WSIS Forum 2017 will be held from 12–16 June 2017 in Geneva, Switzerland. More info.

Enhanced Cooperation and Internet Governance

Centre for Communication Governance at the National Law University, Delhi/Global Partners Digital/ Media Change and Innovation, IPMZ, Univeristy of Zurich

The Way Forward

The 2005 Tunis Agenda for the Information Society called for enhanced cooperation to enable governments, on an equal footing, to carry out their roles and responsibilities in international public policy issues pertaining to the Internet, but not in the day-to-day technical and operational matters that do not impact on international public policy issues.  In the decade since, the international community has struggled to reach consensus as to the precise meaning and implementation of this enhanced cooperation.  Annual stock taking exercises and the convening during 2013-2014 of the Working Group on Enhanced Cooperation (WGEC) by the Commission on Science and Technology for Development revealed both areas of agreement and significant areas of disagreement among governments and stakeholders.   The December 2015 WSIS+10 Outcome Document called for the reconvening of the WGEC in 2016 in the hope of reinvigorating the consensus building process amidst the changing political environment of global Internet governance.

This workshop brings together a multistakeholder group of analysts and participants in the debate to provide initial inputs for the reconvened discussions to come and help build a shared understanding of the topic.  Topics discussed will include, inter alia, the state of play following the previous WGEC effort, and the possible mechanics of the next one; the vexing challenge of agreeing on the “respective roles and responsibilities” of governments and stakeholders in Internet governance issues and institutions; and the respective contributions of intergovernmental and multistakeholder cooperation in enabling governments to discharge their international public policy responsibilities.  The format will be an interactive roundtable, and sufficient time will be reserved for open dialogue among all participants.


Chinmayi Arun, Executive Director, the Centre for Communication Governance, National Law University India

Speakers / panellists
  • William J. Drake, International Fellow & Lecturer, Media Change & Innovation Division, IPMZ, University of Zurich, Switzerland
  • Wolfgang Kleinwachter, Professor Emeritus, University of Aarhus, Denmark
  • Anriette Esterhuysen, Executive Director, the Association for Progressive Communications, South Africa
  • Peter Major, Chair, UN Commission on Science and Technology for Development, Switzerland
  • Lea Kaspar, Head of Programmes, Global Partners Digital, United Kingdom
  • Chinmayi Arun, Executive Director, the Centre for Communication Governance, National Law University, India
  • Constance Bommelaer, Senior Director of Global Internet Policy at ISOC
  • Dominique Lazanski, Public Policy Director, GSMA, United Kingdom
Link to WSIS Action Lines
  • C1. The role of public governance authorities and all stakeholders in the promotion of ICTs for development
  • C11. International and regional cooperation

Identifying and defining the roles and responsibilities of different stakeholders is crucial to the realization of the WSIS Action Lines

Link to the Sustainable Development Process
  • Goal 8: Promote inclusive and sustainable economic growth, employment and decent work for all
  • Goal 9: Build resilient infrastructure, promote sustainable industrialization and foster innovation
  • Goal 10: Reduce inequality within and among countries

As noted in the WSIS Outcome Document, the WSIS process is crucial to the implementation of the SDGs. One part of this is understanding what enhanced cooperation means to different stakeholders.

WSIS Forum 2016 | WSIS Action Lines: Supporting the Implementation of SDGs
2–6 May 2016, International Telecommunication Union (ITU), Place des Nations, 1211 Geneva, Switzerland