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<h1>Internet Governance Forum (IGF)</h1>
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<p>As one outcome of the United Nations <a
href="/activities/wsis/">World Summit on the Information Society</a> and
following up on its <a href="wgig.html">Working Group on Internet
Governance (WGIG)</a>, the November 2005 summit in Tunis decided to
establish the United Nations <a href="http://www.intgovforum.org"
target="_blank">Internet Governance Forum (IGF)</a>.</p>
<p>It is important to understand that the IGF is not a decision-making
body, but has been established as a policy dialogue forum with strong
claims to multi-stakeholder involvement and participation. Its mandate
is set out in paragraph 72 of the Tunis Agenda of the WSIS:</p>
<p class="indent">
<strong>72. We ask the UN Secretary-General</strong>, in an open and
inclusive process, to convene, by the second quarter of 2006, a
meeting of the new forum for multi-stakeholder policy dialogue --
called the Internet Governance Forum (IGF).The mandate of the Forum is
to:</p>
<ol type="a">
<li>Discuss public policy issues related to key elements of
Internet governance in order to foster the sustainability, robustness,
security, stability and development of the Internet; </li>
<li>Facilitate discourse between bodies dealing with
different cross-cutting international public policies regarding the
Internet and discuss issues that do not fall within the scope of any
existing body;</li>
<li>Interface with appropriate inter-governmental
organizations and other institutions on matters under their purview;
</li>
<li>Facilitate the exchange of information and best
practices, and in this regard make full use of the expertise of the
academic, scientific and technical communities; </li>
<li>Advise all stakeholders in proposing ways and means to
accelerate the availability and affordability of the Internet in the
developing world; </li>
<li>Strengthen and enhance the engagement of stakeholders in
existing and/or future Internet governance mechanisms, particularly
those from developing countries; </li>
<li>Identify emerging issues, bring them to the attention of
the relevant bodies and the general public, and, where appropriate,
make recommendations; </li>
<li>Contribute to capacity building for Internet governance
in developing countries, drawing fully on local sources of knowledge
and expertise; </li>
<li>Promote and assess, on an ongoing basis, the embodiment
of WSIS principles in Internet governance processes; </li>
<li>Discuss, inter alia, issues relating to critical Internet
resources; </li>
<li>Help to find solutions to the issues arising from the use
and misuse of the Internet, of particular concern to everyday users;
</li>
<li>Publish its proceedings </li>
</ol>
<p>So it cannot make policy itself, but national and international
policies may follow from its work. But given that people are pushing
for the IGF to tackle issues such as Spam, Cybercrime, Copyrights,
Patents, Trademarks and such, following the IGF makes sure that the
Free Software community will not be surprised by policies that would
contribute to monopolisation of the internet, and to maintain the
freedom of users, developers and companies on the internet.</p>
<h3>Process</h3>
<p>The Internet Governance Forum is a yearly meeting, held in
different countries, and open to participation by governments, private
sector and civil society.</p>
<ul>
<li><b>2006</b>: The Inaugural Meeting of the <a href="http://www.igfgreece2006.gr" target="_blank">IGF has taken place in Athens, Greece</a> on 30 October - 2 November.</li>
<li><b>2007</b>: The 2007 IGF will be held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil</li>
</ul>
<h3>Dynamic Coalitions</h3>
<p>Most of the substantial discussion at the IGF takes place in the
Dynamic Coalitions, which are formed ad-hoc at the IGF, and work in an
open multi-stakeholder approach. These are the Dynamic Coalitions that
FSFE is involved in:</p>
<ul>
<li><a href="dcos.html">Dynamic Coalition on Open Standards</a></li>
<li><a href="a2k.html">Dynamic Coalition on Access to Knowledge (A2K) and Freedom of Expression</a></li>
</ul>
<h3>Documents</h3>
<ul>
<li><b><a href="sovsoft.html">Sovereign Software: Open Standards, Free
Software, and the Internet</a></b><br />FSFE contribution by its
president Georg Greve to the first meeting of the Internet Governance
Forum</li>
</ul>
<h3>External Links</h3>
<ul>
<li>Official web site of the IGF:<br />
<a href="http://www.intgovforum.org" target="_blank">http://www.intgovforum.org</a></li>
</ul>
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