Creating opportunities for all ist he claim of this years Internet Governance Forum (IFG), held in Sharm el Sheikh, November 15th to 18th, 2009 - a claim representing perfectly the objectives of Stiftung Digitale Chancen.
In his opening speech Sha Zukang, United Nations Under-Secretary-General for Economic and Social Affairs emphasised the need to critcally discuss the decision whether the IGF process should be continued or not. Following the World Summit on Information Society the United Nations decided to create a platform for the dialogue of all stakeholders called Internet Governance Forum. It was decided to examine the desirability of the continuation of the Forum, in formal consultation with Forum participants, within five years of its creation, and to make recommendations to the UN Membership in this regard. Now ist time, so Sha Zukang to consider the success stories of IGF and to answer the question about ist continuation.
All speakers of the opening ceremony seemed to be aware of the IGF being on trial: Anything that had to be said previously must be said right here and now.
Tarek Kamel, Minister of Communication and IT of Egypt and Chairman of the meeting, said that Sharm el-Sheikh was witnessing, again, the opening of yet another historic meeting, a meeting of Internet governance world leaders and pioneers. He said the IGF had proved only over four years that it is not just another isolated parallel process but had managed to bring on board all the relevant stakeholders and key players. He then drew attention on the breakthrough of Internet evolution in the country through a deregulated framework for service provision with strong private sector involvement. The Internet was becoming for developing countries a space of opportunities that should be handled with due attention. The IGF should continue to provide a venue where new policy issues are surfaced, voiced freely and discussed constructively.
M. Hamadoun Touré, Secretary General of the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), the Organization that organized the World Summit on the Information Society which gave birth to the IGF, said that, taking into account the experience acquired during the last three IGF meetings, framing the decisions which will be taken concerning the future of IGF, looking at the best ways of serving the needs of the global community and engaging strongly in enhanced cooperation. He asked participants to look at the bigger picture in the context of the millennium goals and striving to meet tangible targets by 2015. The IGF is a clear part of that process.
Tim Berners-Lee, Father of the World Wide Web, and Director of World Wide Web Consortium (W3C), also made a keynote statement, during which he officially launched the World Wide Web Foundation, an international, non-profit organization that strives to advance the Web as a medium that empowers people.
On Sunday morning in advance of the opening ceremony safer use of the Internet by children and youths was on the agenda of several workshops. Invited by UNESCO Stiftung Digitale Chancen got the opportunity to present their position on youth protection online and the results of the Youth Protection Roundtable at the ITU Panel on Child Online Protection.