#TheIGFWeWant: Digital rights stakeholders ask the UN to strengthen and renew the mandate of a key space for internet governance

The Internet Governance Forum (IGF), which is taking place in its 18th edition in Kyoto from 8 to 12 October, has proven to be a unique platform for multistakeholder participation. Ahead of the Global Digital Compact and WSIS+20 processes, a global campaign is calling for the IGF to be strengthened and for its mandate to be renewed. We can't discuss the internet we want without a strengthened IGF.

The IGF remains a unique global platform that fosters meaningful collaboration, dialogue, learning and mutual influencing between governments, academia, the technical community, corporations and civil society around important internet-related issues. To call for the strengthening of this crucial space, APC is launching a global campaign under the motto “The IGF We Want”.

On the campaign website, you’ll find testimonies from representatives of different internet governance-related sectors on the value that this space has from their own experiences and varied contexts. From Nigeria to the DRC, Chile, Paraguay or the Philippines, people from more than 20 countries, mostly in the global South, have started asking the United Nations to strengthen this key space for internet governance.

Voices from the digital governance and internet rights community

“The IGF is the only opportunity that we organisations working on internet rights have to engage with other civil society organisations. It’s a step backwards when only states are part of the discussions around these issues. It’s important to keep the technology for the community and the internet open.” (Michel Lambert, eQualitie, Canada)

“From the global South, we tend to be forgotten; the views of actors from the global South are not considered or recognised. The IGF has empowered many young Africans because it has a unique way of operating, starting from the local.” (Arsene Tungali, Rudi International, MAG member for African IGF, DRC) 

“En cada IGF veo un mayor esfuerzo en incluir comunidades, mujeres, disidencias, un trabajo sumamente valioso que debe seguir haciéndose desde todos los sectores”. (Mariana López, Redes A.C., México) 

“The IGF builds connections, collaboration, understanding of the role of different stakeholders, it builds friendships... It facilitates a more inclusive, open approach to addressing the challenges we’re facing in Africa to ensure there is freedom of expression, and internet rights are respected...” (Anriette Esterhuysen, senior adviser at APC, South Africa)

"The IGF is an event that allows people to network - people of similar passion, ideals and interests around tech, internet, freedom of expression and digital rights. It's a potpourri of ideas and people from all walks of life, coming together to discuss and advance issues that concern them." (Olumide Babalola, researcher and digital activist, Nigeria)

“One of the greatest values of the IGF is its support for regional and local discussions, and providing a space for local communities to gather together and decide for themselves what are the topics that they are concerned and passionate about regarding the internet.” (Joyce Chen, APNIC, Australia)

More people will join the campaign with new testimonies as the campaign progresses, so keep an eye on the campaign website and follow #TheIGFWeWant on social media.

More information
  • Read this article for more background on the campaign.

  • See the campaign page for updated information and testimonies.

  • Follow the social media buzz under the hashtag #TheIGFWeWant (you can find APC on apc@mastodon.social, Twitter, Facebook and Instagram).

  • Come to the APC booth at the IGF in Japan to interview us or other members of our community on the value of the IGF.

  • Cover our IGF sessions on the #GlobalDigitalCompact and the future of internet governance, and the value of the IGF.

  • For interviews, media coverage and other press inquiries, contact APC’s media outreach lead Leila Nachawati at leila@apc.org.follow #TheIGFWeWant on social media.

« Go back