NETmundial meeting in Brazil: a good starting point

The uncertain outcome of the last WCIT (World Conference on International Telecommunications) and the surveillance scandal have mobilized two of the most actives actors in the Internet...

Chema Alonso

Chema Alonso Follow

Reading time: 3 min

The uncertain outcome of the last WCIT (World Conference on International Telecommunications) and the surveillance scandal have mobilized two of the most actives actors in the Internet Governance arena in an attempt to find common ground where to build the Internet for next years.

The Brazil Government, with its CGI (Comitê Gestor da Internet) arm from one side, and Fadi Chehade, Chairman of ICANN from the other, have agreed to organize a conference, called NETmundial, in Sao Paulo next April, with the double objective of:

  • Crafting Internet Governance Principles and
  • Proposing a roadmap for the further evolution of the Internet governance ecosystem

The NETmundial set up is not easy due to the number of organizers and participants and the complexity of the issue.

Under the chairmanship of Virgilio Fernandes (Chairman of CGI), different committees have been formed to define the agenda and objectives, prepare a draft paper for discussion based on inputs from the various stakeholders and the outcome of the event. The most important are the High Level Committee (HLC), chaired by Paulo Bernardo, the Brazilian Minister for Telecommunications, and the Executive Multistakeholder Committee (EMC). A Council of Governmental Advisors will input the HLC with ideas coming from those governments interested in the Internet Governance.

The composition of both the HLC and the EMC is multistakeholder and all parties will participate to the conference on equal footing.

This conference has laid the ground for the formation of different panels and commissions with the objective of studying the Internet Governance issue and, in one way or another, give input to the NETmundial.

Under the ICANN’s umbrella or stewardship, two groups are working in parallel:

  • High-Level Panel on Global Internet Cooperation and Governance Mechanisms, chaired by President Toomas Ilves of Estonia. This Panel has already had a meeting in London and is closing its input document to the NETmeeting. After considering the results of this conference and other related meetings, will publish its final report in May
  • ICANN Strategy Panel on ICANN’s Role in the Internet Governance Ecosystem, chaired by Vint Cerf, Chief Internet Evangelist at Google. This Panel will Review ICANN’s place in the evolving Internet Governance Eco-System, suggest ways to enhance ICANN’s stewardship within a complex network of interests, propose guiding principles for evolving and implementing ICANN’s transnational, multistakeholder policy making model and propose a roadmap for globalizing ICANN’s role in the Internet governance ecosystem. Its output will be made public by the end of March

A third group was launched during the Annual World Economic Forum meeting in Davos. Called Global Commission on Internet Governance, it is chaired by Carl Bildt, former President & Foreign Affairs Minister of Sweden. This Commission has a longer term spirit as will finish its works in two years’ time. Its objective is to inform concrete policy recommendations for the future of Internet governance and will address the subjects of governance legitimacy and regulation, innovation, online rights and systemic risk.


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