Editor   07 Sep 2014   Internet Governance

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It’s over. The 9th IGF has come to a close and by now, most of Diplo’s team are back home or en route. It’s been a very full week with lots of interesting sessions, engaging discussions, and fruitful meetings. Old friendships were renewed and new friendships forged.

Diplo had one workshop on Friday (Workshop No. 124 ‒ Debates: Future IG Architecture) that provided an interesting model for the future, where confrontation of arguments was purposely sharpened and polarised through debate. The aim was to prepare a base position for substantive progress in other discussions, leading to eventual resolution. In a modified Oxford-style, two teams of two respectively supported and confronted two motions – (1) Should ICANN be globalised or should it be internationalised? (2) Does ‘respective roles’ of stakeholders in IG allow for their participation on an ‘equal footing’? – within strictly timed and guided debates. It provided an orientation for newcomers to the subject, and clarified things for those who already had some familiarity. The audience – both in situ and online – posed questions to each party and then decided on the winning team, based on the arguments presented. Feedback on delivery was given by Diplo’s resident speech coach.

On the final day in this five-day marathon Tereza Horejsova participated in a meeting for partners and invitees to the Internews' Global Internet Policy Project which advocates for an open Internet around the world. One of the meeting's objectives was to discover new partnerships among organisations sharing the mission of an open Internet and to further develop relationships with donors.

In the capacity building roundtable Vlada Radunovic moderated a discussion on how to make capacity development activities offered by various partners more effective. The participants, including a number of MAG members, discussed various formats offered and how they fit into what is most in demand.

The Open Forum saw a number of interesting interventions from various groups and organisations. Freedom House Turkey spoke on the UN principle of discouraging ad hominem attacks which it thought might stifle criticism. Freedom House International called for more protection for human rights online, recommending a renewal and extension of the IGF mandate, expanded access, and more transparency. The Danish Business Authority acknowledged that many good topics had made for a good meeting, but that corporations spoke about government surveillance only, and not corporate surveillance. This they need to take up next. UNCTAD/CSTD reminded us of the CSTD 10-year review of the implementation of WSIS outcomes – there is an ongoing call for input from all stakeholders to share experiences by 15th Sep.

As October is Cybersecurity month all over the world, there will be plenty more to think about in the coming weeks. In the meantime, continue to keep updated on IG issues, subscribe to Diplo’s IG Webinars and join the Geneva Internet Platform’s post-IGF webinar on 9 September where Diplo’s Vlada Radunovic will look at the main developments that took place during the week.

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