Speaking during the Forum’s closing ceremony, ICC BASIS member Jeff
Brueggeman, VP Public Policy and deputy Chief Privacy Officer, AT&T, said: “The Internet is a hugely
powerful economic force and has a direct, positive impact on job creation,
trade, competitiveness, and economic development – both for small and large
enterprises, and for mature and developing economies.”
“Other models for shaping the way in which the Internet is governed
would impact the positive effects of the collaborative policy-making process we
have in place today and would potentially threaten the openness which has
defined the Internet from the outset and which has enabled it to become such a
strong tool for positive change,” he continued.
Under the theme ‘Internet governance for sustainable human, economic and
social development,’ some 2,000 registered participants met in Baku to join
open discussions on some of the most pressing challenges pertaining to Internet
governance today – from privacy, infrastructure deployment and innovation in
mobile technologies to the free flow of information online.
Underscoring the importance of protecting the IGF’s format and
fundamental principles during his speech at the closing ceremony, Mr Brueggeman
reiterated the primary business belief that Internet governance issues require
the participation and active input of all relevant stakeholders.
“Business leaders have applauded the IGF for its unique opportunity to
discuss policy issues on an inclusive, equal footing and inform policy-making
around the world at national, regional, and international levels. In fostering
dialogue, and addressing the policy-making process with diverse stakeholders,
and those with decision-making power, IGF 2012 has illustrated how integral
this approach is in protecting and enhancing the social and economic value of
the Internet,” said Mr Brueggeman.
With forthcoming UN deliberations in the General Assembly in mind, Mr Brueggeman
highlighted that the IGF is a model for positive, effective collaboration and that
this multistakeholder process is key to maintaining a transparent Internet. Noting
that multistakeholder participation in the WSIS +10 review process is critical
to continuing open dialogue, he concluded that now is the time to enrich the
debate about participation in Internet governance if the Internet is to remain ‘one
of the world’s greatest human, social and economic resources’, and that, through
innovation, investment, and enabling policy frameworks, the Internet can
continue to enrich the lives of billions of people globally.