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The Association for Progressive Communications (APC) welcomes the opportunity to contribute to the Secretary-General’s Roadmap on Digital Cooperation and reiterates its support for the follow-up process of the recommendations from the UN High-level Panel on Digital Cooperation. Effective and viable ways to shape, sustain and strengthen global digital cooperation are paramount not only for universalising digital inclusion but to mobilise collective intelligence and the potential of multistakeholder collaboration and action to respond to the persistent and emerging challenges in the digital age, including the environmental crisis. In the coming years, the use, development and evolution of information and communications technologies (ICTs) should be decisively aimed at contributing to ensuring the full enjoyment of human rights online and offline at all levels, counteracting the weaponisation of the internet and other digital technologies, and establishing all the necessary measures to strengthen civic spaces, democratic processes and institutions.

With decades of experience being engaged and helping to facilitate stakeholder participation and input into international internet governance processes, with an emphasis on participation from countries in the global South, APC is convinced that multilateralism and multistakeholderism are both necessary and can coexist, and that both must be strengthened. Consequently, we strongly support strengthening the IGF Plus model as the basis for establishing accountable, inclusive, participatory and effective global digital cooperation among all stakeholders. We believe the mandate and the structure of the IGF offers the most suitable basis to facilitate further work on policies and norms.

In this contribution, APC highlights a number of aspects that would contribute to strengthening the IGF process:

  • Greater political commitment of all stakeholders to participate, particularly governments.

  • A more outcome-oriented process.

  • Strengthened thematic focus as a basis for follow-up actions.

  • Strengthened cooperation mechanisms between the global IGF and the national and regional IGF initiatives (NRIs).

  • Dedicated resource mobilisation structure.

  • More effective IGF intersessional work (Best Practice Forums, Dynamic Coalitions).

Read the full text of APC's contribution here.