Internet Governance Forum 2023 ‎

United Nations Internet Governance Forum Secretariat

Session 323

Friday, 17 March 2023 10:00–10:45 (UTC+01:00) Room 9, CICG, 2nd Floor Open Space Talks

Journey to IGF 2023 in Kyoto

The Internet Governance Forum (IGF)[1], convened by the United Nations Secretary-General, brings people together from various stakeholder and regional groups as equals in discussions on public policy issues relating to the Internet. While there is no negotiated outcome, the IGF informs and inspires those with policy-making power in both the public and private sectors. The Forum facilitates a common understanding of how to maximize Internet opportunities and address risks and challenges that arise.

Each IGF cycle is concluded with an annual meeting hosted by a different government. During the annual meetings, delegates discuss, exchange information and share good practices with each other.

The 17th IGF was hosted in Addis Ababa by the Government of Ethiopia in November/December 2022. Over 5,000 participants of the hybrid IGF sent strong messages on some of the most pressing digital policy issues the word has been facing. Its main outputs are summarized in Addis Ababa IGF Messages[2]. The IGF in Ethiopia set a good foundation to build on this year.

The 18th annual IGF meeting will be hosted by the Government of Japan in Kyoto from 8-12 October 2023. Through a multistakeholder lens, the meeting will address some of the most pressing digital policy issues, as well as opportunities digital technologies bring.

In addition, throughout a year, the IGF’s thematic intersessional work[3] gathers stakeholders from all parts of the world around its policy networks on meaningful access; Internet fragmentation; and Artificial Intelligence; as well as around its best practice forum focused on cybersecurity. Also, communities work consensually witing 24 dynamic coalitions[4] focused on particular Internet governance issues. The 156 national and regional IGF initiatives[5] stand as one of the strongest partners in ensuring the IGF process is inclusive of as many stakeholders as possible.

Institutionally, the IGF is supported by the IGF Secretariat located at the UN office at Geneva, administered by the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs (DESA) based in New York. The Forum’s programme is developed by the IGF Multistakeholder Advisory Group (MAG) and its strategic impact shaped by the Leadership Panel. The IGF is an extra-budgetary project supported through donations[6].


Session objectives and guiding questions 

This session will bring together the past and future IGF Hosts to discuss achievements made so far and expectations from the IGF 2023. It will also describe how people can participate in the IGF.

Particular aspects to be addressed relate to: 

·         IGF on its way from Ethiopia to Japan

·         Why IGF matters to all stakeholders from all countries and regions? 

·         Digital policy challenges and how IGF can add to a more safe, secure and prosperous digital 


WSIS Action Lines
  • AL C1 logo C1. The role of governments and all stakeholders in the promotion of ICTs for development
  • AL C2 logo C2. Information and communication infrastructure
  • AL C3 logo C3. Access to information and knowledge
  • AL C4 logo C4. Capacity building
  • AL C5 logo C5. Building confidence and security in use of ICTs
  • AL C6 logo C6. Enabling environment
  • AL C11 logo C11. International and regional cooperation