Retreat of the Internet Governance Forum

Retreat on Advancing the 10-Year Mandate of the Internet Governance Forum will be held on 14-16 July 2016 at Glen Cove, New York (Three-Day Two-Night Retreat):

In the outcome document of the General Assembly on the overall review of the outcomes of WSIS (A/RES/70/125 of 16 December 2015), the existing mandate of the Internet Governance Forum (IGF) was extended for another 10 years, with a call to show “progress on working modalities and the participation of relevant stakeholders from developing countries” and “accelerated implementation of recommendations in the report of the Working Group on Improvements to the Internet  Governance  Forum  of  the  Commission  on  Science  and  Technology  for Development”.

Against that backdrop, a two-day working retreat is proposed by UN Secretariat as part of the process of continual improvement of the IGF. A strategic dialogue will be held among experts, policymakers and practitioners in enriching IGF as the global forum for facilitating multistakeholder policy discussion and exchange on public policy issues related to key elements of Internet governance, in order to foster the sustainability, robustness, security, stability and development of the Internet (in line with its mandate as established by the Tunis Agenda para 72).  As part of the discussion, we will welcome inputs on how the IGF discussions can contribute to the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

Expected outcomes of the retreat include (but are not limited to):
(i) ways to improve the overall preparatory process of the IGF, the structure and nomination process for the Multistakeholder Advisory Group (MAG), and ways to strengthen the IGF Secretariat;
(ii) measures to engage those stakeholders who are currently unengaged, with a view to expand and diversify physical and virtual participation;
(iii) finding ways to better capture the outputs of the IGF and increasing their visibility and impact;
(iv) ideas to support the work of national and regional IGF initiatives, and leverage the synergies between them as well as synergies with the IGF; and
(v) modalities to ensure sustained funding to support the IGF and the IGF Secretariat.

Retreat modality: The proposed retreat will be conducted in a participatory manner. Retreat participants are requested to be involved in designing and organizing the program and to act as moderators and discussants. Limited funding will be available to fund participants from developing countries.

Call for participants:
Participants will be invited from relevant stakeholder groups such as governments, private sector, civil society, technical community and international and intergovernmental organizations, past and current MAG members, past IGF host country representatives and the IGF community in general. In view of retreat limitations, the number of participants is estimated at 35. It is expected there will be 5 participants from each of the 4 IGF Stakeholder communities. The balanced participation and broad diversity across a number of considerations is assured. Finally, the UN Secretariat will publish a “Call for inputs” with guiding questions to solicit inputs from all relevant stakeholders and the wider IGF and WSIS community.

The UN Secretariat welcomes nominations by individuals or any stakeholder groups and institutions to participate at the proposed retreat. Nominations were received until 7 June 2016.

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