One (Almost) Happy Multi-stakeholder Family At The Annual Internet Governance Forum

If you don’t count China, it was difficult to find people speaking against an extension of the non-decision-making Internet Governance Forum (IGF) of the United Nations at last week’s gathering. An overwhelming majority of the 1,800 participants at the Egyptian tourist destination Sharm El Sheikh seemed to be in favour of the “multi-stakeholder” discussions taking place during the IGF events because they allow for better understanding on overarching issues like human rights and privacy or access problems in developing countries, but also the specialised problems with the internet infrastructure like internationalised domain names and the next generation internet, IPv6.The final decision on the continuation of the IGF after the end of its five-year mandate in 2010 will be taken be the UN General Assembly next year and some say that there have been tangible results since the forum started in 2006. Intellectual property was touched on in several workshops organised by non-governmental groups, for example in what way IP issues should be framed under the human rights regime.

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