Internet governance was one of the most controversial issues at the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) and at the subsequent WSIS+10 review by the General Assembly in the wake of the adoption of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in 2015. Cognizant of the fact that any Internet governance approach should be inclusive and responsive, the WSIS mandated the Secretary-General of the United Nations to convene the Global Internet Governance Forum (IGF) for multistakeholder policy dialogue. The convening of the IGF was announced by the Secretary-General of the United Nations on 18 July 2006.
As a platform for discussions, the IGF brings various people and stakeholder groups to the table as equals to exchange information and share good policies and practices relating to the Internet and technologies. While the IGF may not have decision-making mandates, it informs and inspires those who do. It facilitates common understandings and knowledge exchange of how to maximize Internet opportunities and address risks and challenges.
The IGF also gives stakeholders from all countries, including developing countries, the opportunity to engage in the debate on Internet governance and it contributes to capacity building, allowing these stakeholders to build knowledge and skills that will facilitate their participation in existing Internet governance institutions and arrangements. Ultimately the involvement of all stakeholders, from developed as well as developing countries, from governments to international organisations, from the private sector to the civil society, is necessary for advancing dynamic public policies in Internet governance.
The Fifteenth Annual Meeting of the Internet Governance Forum (IGF) was hosted online by the United Nations under the overarching theme Internet for human resilience and solidarity. The programme was built around the four main thematic tracks: (1) Data; (2) Environment; (3) Inclusion; (4) Trust.
The IGF 2020 pre-events, newcomers' sessions, thematic introductory sessions, as well as the Open Forums, NRIs and DC sessions were hosted on 2–6 November during the meeting's first phase. The meeting was officially opened on 9 November and closed on 17 November. During this 7-day phase, workshops, main sessions, the high-level leader's track, a parliamentary roundtable, and thematic concluding sessions were hosted.
File added date: February 2021
Organized by: UN DESA/DPIDG