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Sunday, 18 September 2005 09:09

Internet Governance high on World IT summit agenda

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Internet governance is shaping up to be a highly contentious issue on the agenda of the second phase of the UN-sponsored World Summit on the Information Society, (WSIS) due to be held in Tunis in November.  A final preparatory meeting starts in Geneva today, 19 September and runs until 30 September.

According to the International Telecommunication Union, the UN agency responsible for telecommunications, "The transformation of the Internet from a research network into a mainstream communications platform for a fast-growing range of private and public purposes has seen different views emerge about the appropriate scope of and mechanisms for Internet governance...In a bid to build global consensus on this complex issue, the multi-stakeholder Working Group on Internet Governance (WGIG), established after WSIS 2003 to investigate and make proposals for action by the Summit's second phase, was charged with arriving at a working definition of Internet governance, identifying relevant public policy issues, and developing a common understanding of the roles and responsibilities of different stakeholders."

The final report of the WGIG, released on 18 July (http://www.wgig.org) will serve as the catalyst for ongoing debate on this issue in Geneva.

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