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At the first Internet Governance Forum (IGF), “access to the internet” emerged as an issue of common concern and priority to all stakeholders. At the second IGF the business, civil society and technical communities worked together to prepare a more coherent approach to the access in the IGF, the outcome of which was a convergence in views as to what should be done to increase access to the internet across the world. “Reaching the next billion” is now one of the priority themes for the upcoming third IGF – with stakeholders working together to move from debate and discussion to a manifesto for action. The third Internet Governance Forum (IGF) will take place in Hyderabad, India December 3-6 2008.

IGF panel discussions and open dialogues on main themes

The third IGF will focus on five main themes. Each theme will be explored through a panel discussion (which will address two interlinked aspects of the theme) in the morning, which will be followed by a moderated “open dialogue” in the afternoon.

Panel discussions are 90 minutes long, are held in the main meeting hall, are translated into six UN languages, webcast and have high visibility.

(1) Reaching the Next Billion
Session one: Access
Session two: Realising a multilingual internet

(2) Promoting Cyber-Security and Trust
Session one: Dimensions of cyber-security and cyber-crime
Session two: Fostering security, privacy and openness

(3) Managing Critical Internet Resources
Session one: Transition from IPv4 to IPv6
Session two: Arrangements for internet governance – global and national/regional

(4) Emerging Issues – the Internet of Tomorrow

(5) Taking Stock and the Way Forward

The key issues for APC

APC has found that the IGF is an experimental and influential policy forum for our mission of ensuring open, universal and afforable access to the internet for all people. Naturally we have been very involved preparing for the theme “Reaching the Next Billion” and APC’s executive director will be moderating the session on “access”.

However, APC is also very concerned about the erosion and diminishing visibility of a rights-based approach to how the internet is run and developed. While acknowledging that security is important, APC joined others during February and May 2008 in consultations to ensure that the IGF theme of security also took into account issues of openness and privacy. This concern has been addressed by the organisers who have responded with a main session on “Fostering security, privacy and openness”.

At the IGF, APC will be prioritising the issues of:

  • public participation (access to information, transparency and accountability)
  • sustainable development and internet governance
  • privacy rights and content regulation (openness)
  • development and internet governance
  • rights and internet governance
  • gender and internet governance

and we will be hosting or collaborating with others on workshops and main sessions which focus on all of these areas.

APC workshops

There will be some 70-80 workshops including thematic workshops, best practice fora and dynamic coalition events during the IGF, in addition to the plenary discussions and open dialogues.

APC is working with partners to host four thematic workshops:

With UNDP (United Nations Development Programme):
Workshop 8 : Promoting pro-poor access to ICTs

With the COE (Council of Europe) and UNECE (United Nations Economic Council for Europe):
Workshop 26 : Towards a code of good practice on public participation in internet governance

With the Graduate Institute for International and Development Studies:
Workshop 49 : A Development Agenda for Internet Governance: From Principle to Practice

With IISD (International Institute For Sustainable Development):
Workshop 50 : Global futures – workshop (IISD)

See the programme of events where you can find APC.

The launch of Global Information Society Watch 2008 – Focus on infrastructureGISW2008GISW2008

On December 4 at the IGF, APC and partners will be launching the new 2008 GISWatch report. The annual publication this year highlights the importance of people’s access to infrastructure – and reports on where and how countries are getting it right or wrong, and what can be done
about it.

“There are few independent sources for taking the temperature of the ICT4D policy debate and looking at the current state of the digital divide. GISWatch provides both in a thought-provoking and challenging way,” says Russell Southwood, CEO of Balancing Act. GISWatch, published in print and shortly online by APC and the Third World Institute (ITeM) and Hivos, collects the perspectives of ICT academics, analysts, activists and civil society organisations from across the globe in over 50 reports. GISWatch 2008 will be launched at the Third Internet Governance Forum in Hyderabad, India on December 4 at the Hyderabad International Convention Center (HICC) and all are welcome.

To contact APC at Hyderabad write to or visit us at the APC stand.

Areas of work