03.03.2021

What is the Internet Governance Forum and where does it originate from?

What is the Internet Governance Forum and where does it originate from?
A common platform was required to discuss Internet governance issues and create common rules, norms, decision-making procedures and legal regulations. This issue was first put on the agenda at the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS), which took place in two phases: in Geneva in 2003 and later in Tunis in 2005. The final document, adopted in Tunisia ("Agenda for the Information Society"), contained the idea of creating the Internet Governance Forum (IGF), a new model for international discussion of Internet governance. According to the document, the IGF was supposed to identify emerging problems, draw the attention of the relevant authorities and the general public to these problems, and, if necessary, make recommendations. However, the IGF was not expected to have any real authority and weight in decision-making.

In July 2006, Kofi Annan, the 7th UN Secretary-General, announced the creation of the IGF, making this group part of the UN ecosystem. The Forum brought together all stakeholders to discuss Internet governance issues, whether they represent governments, business or civil society. At the IGF platform, they can communicate on an equal basis, having open and inclusive dialogue. In 2015, the IGF's mandate was renewed for 10 years.

To assist in convening the first IGF, the UN Secretary-General also created the Multistakeholder Advisory Group (MAG), which still exists today. MAG meets several times a year for open consultations on the forum's agenda. The group includes representatives from various interest groups, including governments, business, the technical community and the public. At the moment, Russia is represented in MAG by Roman Chukov.

After the main IGF, the forum began to be held at the national and regional levels as a part of the global dialogue. Thus, in 2010, the Russian Internet Governance Forum was created (better known as RIGF), which is held annually, bringing together experts in the field of global network governance. This Forum serves as a discussion platform for the most relevant aspects of Internet governance in Russia and develops a common approach to solving global problems.

This year the RIGF will take place on April 7-9 online. You can register and familiarize yourself with the program on the website: https://rigf.ru/