ICC-BASIS fifth intervention, Ayesha Hassan

          Open Consultation-Internet Governance Forum (IGF)

          The following is the output of the real-time captioning taken during the 13 May 2009 open consultations of the IGF. Although it is largely accurate, in some cases it may be incomplete or inaccurate due to inaudible passages or transcription errors. It is posted as an aid to understanding the proceedings at the session, but should not be treated as an authoritative record.

          Thank you, Chair.

          On behalf of the ICC and the members of the BASIS initiative, Ayesha Hassan, providing a few comments.

          As many of you know, ICC/BASIS has responded to the questionnaire. I would like to emphasize a few of the points that are of great importance to our members. We believe that the IGF provides a useful opportunity for all relevant stakeholders to discuss important Internet governance-related policy issues and exchange experiences on challenges faced, solutions that work, good practices, and issues on the horizon.

          I am reiterating what I have heard other contributors put forward this afternoon, and we join them.

          It also provides a place to make new contacts and to make new contacts which can turn into partnerships, and also allow the exchange of information that raises awareness about initiatives and resources that are available to address these issues.

          We believe there is no other forum that provides the opportunities that are afforded by the IGF to all stakeholders. In terms of impacts, we do agree that there is room to capture impacts that the IGF has in a more concrete way going forward. We also believe that the IGF has been a catalyst for building several new relationships and deepening others. This has real impact.

          Business has seen a major difference in the relationships between business representatives and certain governments, for instance, as well as other organizations and actors, which have led to new joint initiatives, invitations to speak and participate in national and regional events on a variety of topics, the exchange of experiences and expertise which have helped to shape initiatives and policy approaches.

          We, too, will join to try to capture those impacts going forward.

          ICC/BASIS members fully support the continuation of the IGF in its current format and structure, with the essential approach to multistakeholderism and all participants on an equal footing, because it provides a unique space for exchange, dialogue, and relationship-building among stakeholders, many of which would not otherwise have an opportunity to come together.

          The ‘no negotiating’ nature of the IGF is a unique quality that allows for open, frank exchange that has a positive impact on approaches to Internet governance issues in other forums and at the national and regional levels. There is no alternative approach to achieving this special opportunity.

          We have offered some suggestions for continued improvements for the IGF. And I would like to highlight just a few of them. One of them is to ensure that the IGF secretariat has additional human and financial resources to carry out its very important activities.

          We also note that there has been increasingly sensitivity by the IGF regarding limited time and human resources of all stakeholders in setting deadlines, dates, locations, et cetera. We would like to see this continue as a continued sensitivity.

          We join others in emphasizing the importance of working on remote participation and online tools to allow a broad range of relevant stakeholders to contribute to and participate in the IGF. And, lastly, that we should work together to develop effective ways to capture all of the very important substantive impacts that result from the IGF and its preparatory processes.

          Thank you.