Committed to connecting the world

ICTs for a Sustainable World #ICT4SDG

Speech by ITU Secretary-General, Dr Hamadoun I. Touré


23 April 2014, São Paulo, Brazil

Distinguished colleagues,
Ladies and gentlemen,

Let me reinforce our common message from the United Nations family – as the ITU Secretary-General, and also on behalf of Ban Ki-moon, alongside Under Secretary-General Wu from DESA.

We know, from the World Summit on the Information Society, that when we consider Internet Governance, we must also consider its significant public policy issues, including the wider legal, economic, developmental and socio-cultural aspects.

We must do this because the internet will be invaluable in achieving the ambitious goals of the post-2015 development agenda – by empowering people and accelerating sustainable social and economic development for all.

We must ensure that all people, wherever they live, and whatever their means, have secure, equitable and affordable access to this vital resource – and that they can use it with confidence.

As part of the UN family, we are proud of our role in this effort, especially in facilitating the development of the infrastructure that enables the deployment of the internet – through global coordination and allocation of wireless spectrum and orbital resources for satellites; technical standards; developmental assistance; providing a platform for the sharing of knowledge and experience; and contributions to the public policy debate.

Ladies and gentlemen,

NETmundial focuses on a specific aspect of Internet Governance: the management of critical internet resources, which includes domain names and addresses.

We welcome the recent momentum in discussions on transitioning some of the key functions in this area to the global community.

No single entity or small set of entities should control the internet – because, as a global asset, all people of the world have a stake in its development; and we should all contribute towards a fair, equitable and inclusive governance model.

We therefore commend NETmundial for providing this important opportunity to take the next steps towards meaningful participation in Internet Governance discussions.

We join USG Wu in highlighting the importance of human rights in this context, and in calling for further progress, building on the achievements so far.

Distinguished colleagues,

As you know, the UN family convened WSIS in 2003 and 2005.
It was the most wide-ranging, comprehensive and inclusive debate ever held on the future of the information society.

The WSIS outcomes articulated fundamental Internet Governance principles, including multi-stakeholderism.

These principles, unanimously endorsed, must also guide our discussions on Internet Governance – especially as we look beyond today’s technologies and business models towards tomorrow’s innovations for the benefit of all.

Ladies and gentlemen,

NETmundial is an important milestone in the global dialogue on Internet Governance, and its outcomes will help to inform upcoming forums, such as the IGF.

Let me also invite all stakeholders to the WSIS+10 High Level event, from 10 to 13 June in Geneva, where we will examine together how far we have come and what remains to be done to achieve the goals of the Information Society.

Thank you.