APC's closing statement to the Sixth Internet Governance Forum
, September 2011
APC reaffirms the importance of multi stakeholder participation in the internet global public policy and principles debate.
Various proposals related to internet governance, primarily from governments, have been discussed at this IGF. These proposals must be developed in a multi-stakeholder bottom up manner. Civil society groups and other stakeholders do not have sufficient access to multi-lateral processes. In addition, it is difficult for civil society to engage meaningfully in these discussions at the IGF if timelines for consideration and discussion take place outside the IGF. The important policy issues of access, development, empowerment and rights (including security openness and privacy) as well as emerging issues, need consideration by all stakeholders together. We believe the IGF is a proper UN mandated forum for stakeholders to discuss these issues together. We therefore call for more in-depth multi-stakeholder dialogue on such proposals at nationally, regionally, and at the global IGF before they are presented to the UN General Assembly.
We note the proliferation of internet governance principles that has been developed by several institutions. The IGF is the ideal forum for the discussion of such principles. We recommend that more space be allocated to this, either in the form of a pre-event, or of a thematic IGF.
Mandated by the United Nations, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights is the foundation of the IGF as noted in WSIS and the Tunis Agenda. After six years, it is time to bring the human rights back to the fore and to this end APC suggests that human rights be the main theme of the IGF in 2012. The UN Human Rights Council passed yesterday a resolution to convene an expert panel on human rights and the internet. This is a critical step in recognising the importance of respecting human rights online and provides another reason to make this issue the main one for the next IGF.
We would like to congratulate the government of Kenya and the IGF secretariat for hosting a very successful sixth IGF.