Speech by ITU Secretary-General, Dr Hamadoun I. Touré
Briefing to Council 2014 on NETmundial
08 May 2014, Geneva, Switzerland
It is my pleasure to brief you on my participation at NETmundial (the Global Multi-stakeholder Meeting on the Future of Internet Governance) which was held from 23-24 April in São Paulo, Brazil.
I attended NETmundial along with Under Secretary-General Wu from UNDESA, on behalf of the UN Secretary-General, Mr. Ban Ki-moon as representatives of the United Nations system. The presence of the UN was highly appreciated by NETmundial participants as well as the Government of Brazil.
I would like to highlight the excellent cooperation and team spirit between our organizations, UNDESA and ITU, as well as with the entire UN system throughout this process. We worked as a team, in close coordination through the United Nations Group on the Information Society (UNGIS), to ensure that we worked as One UN in the run up to NETmundial.
At NETmundial we presented a common message from the UN system, which was elaborated in our respective interventions:
- The UN believes that, as a global public good, the internet should be open, fully-inclusive, free, reliable, robust, secure and trustworthy. It should ensure human rights online, and stakeholders from all nations should have a say in its running and development. The internet and the information society will play a key role in delivering social, economic and environmentally sustainable progress in the 21st century, and are a key component of the post-2015 development agenda.
- No single entity or small set of entities – be it a single government or set of governments, a single organization or group of organizations – should or can control the governance of the internet. We are all part of this vast ecosystem; we all have a stake in its development; and we should all contribute towards a fair, equitable and inclusive model of its governance. The UN system as a whole has been playing its part in this ecosystem, including by convening and facilitating global dialogue.
- The multi-stakeholder model of internet governance was a key outcome from the World Summit on the Information Society, and the UN firmly believes this continues to be the right way ahead for the governance of the internet. The WSIS principles continue to be relevant as the world progresses towards more equitable, inclusive internet governance.
In a bilateral meeting with Her Excellency Dilma Rousseff, President of Brazil, I discussed how to ensure trust and confidence in the internet. President Rousseff originally took the initiative at the UN General Assembly in September 2013 to further dialogue on this globally-important topic, and the President appreciates the important role played by the UN in this regard. The President was assured of the UN’s support for discussions among Member States to ensure that the international community arrives at a common understanding of, and takes action on, furthering cooperation in this field.
We congratulated the Government of Brazil for successfully hosting NETmundial, which is an important milestone in the global dialogue on Internet Governance. Its outcomes will help to inform upcoming forums, including UN-hosted events such as the Internet Governance Forum (IGF) and the WSIS+10 related processes and forums. In this regard, I was also part of the panel discussion on Beyond NETmundial: NETmundial and the Internet Governance Ecosystem where I reiterated UN’s support to this continuing global dialogue.