Submission of the IGC on themes for the Vilnius meeting of the IGF

For the Vilnius 2010 meeting of the IGF, the Internet Governance Caucus suggests the following main session themes:

1. Network Neutrality

Network neutrality has been an important architectural principle for the Internet. This principle is under considerable challenge as the Internet becomes the mainstream communication platform for almost all business and social activities. The IGC proposes a main session with the focus of Network Neutrality - Ensuring the openness of the Internet. This main session should examine the implications of this principle, and its possible evolutionary interpretations for Internet policy in different areas. Issues about the openness of the Internet architecture are increasingly manifest in all layers of the Internet today.

2. A Development Agenda for Internet Governance

Development is a key focus of the Tunis Agenda and its mandate for the IGF. But while development has been posed as a cross-cutting theme of IGF meetings, they have not featured a broadly inclusive and probing dialogue on what Internet Governance for Development (IG4D) might mean in conceptual and operational terms.  To address this gap, the IGC previously has advocated a main session on A Development Agenda for Internet Governance, and some its members have organized workshops or produced position papers elaborating different visions of what such an agenda could entail. In light of the related discussions during the Sharm El Sheikh cycle, we renew our call for a main session on this theme. The dialogue at Vilnius could, inter alia, identify the linkages between Internet governance mechanisms and development, and consider options for mainstreaming development considerations into IGF discussions and Internet governance processes, as appropriate. We also continue to support the Swiss government's proposal to consider establishing a multi-stakeholder Working Group that could develop recommendations to the IGF on a development agenda.

3. Internet Rights and Principles

Internet governance has up to this time largely been founded in technical principles and, increasingly, on the Internet’s functionality as a giant global marketplace. With the Internet becoming increasingly central to many social and political institutions, we are of the view that a consideration of 'internet rights and principles' can provide the basis for a more comprehensive conceptual framework for IG.

In Sharm El Sheikh, specific 3-hour workshops on the two themes of a development agenda and Net Neutrality were organized, which represents a certain degree of maturity of these themes within the IGF context. These successful and productive sessions should be built upon in 2010.

The Dynamic Coalition on Internet Rights and Principles has done dynamic and productive work on the issue of IRP, highlighting the concept of Dynamic Coalitions and laying the groundwork to address this issue as part of the Vilnius agenda.

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