Ten distinguished persons hailing from all regions of the globe have been appointed to serve on the Secretary-General’s inaugural Internet Governance Forum (IGF) Leadership Panel, the United Nations announced on Tuesday.
UN chief António Guterres established the Panel to support and strengthen the IGF, an annual meeting to discuss public policy issues pertaining to the Internet.
Panel members will address strategic and urgent issues and highlight Forum discussions, as well as possible follow-up actions, to promote greater impact and dissemination of IGF discussions, according to its Terms of Reference.
They were appointed by the Secretary-General following an open call for nominations, and in line with “an equitably distributed, multistakeholder configuration” of representatives from Government, the private sector, civil society and the technical community, as well as prominent persons in the field of digital policy.
The members of the Leadership Panel are Mr. Vint Cerf from the United States, Mr. Hatem Dowidar from Egypt, Ms. Lise Fuhr from Denmark, Ms. Maria Fernanda Garza from Mexico, Mr. Toomas Hendrik Ilves from Estonia, Ms. Maria Ressa from the Philippines and the USA, Mr. Alkesh Kumar Sharma from India, Ms. Karoline Edtstadler from Austria, Mr. ‘Gbenga Sesan from Nigeria, and Mr. Lan Xue from China.
They will serve for a two-year term during the 2022-23 IGF cycles.
The Panel also consists of five ex-officio members: senior representatives of the current, immediately previous, and immediately upcoming IGF host countries; the Chair of the Forum’s Multistakeholder Advisory Group, as well as the Secretary-General’s Envoy on Technology, Mr. Amandeep Singh Gill.
Besides the UN Envoy, the other ex-officio members are Mrs. Huria Ali Mahdi from Ethiopia, host of this year’s IGF; Mr. Yuji Sasaki from Japan, where the 2023 Forum will be held; Mr. Krzysztof Szubert of Poland, the 2021 host country, and Mr. Paul Mitchell, the Multistakeholder Advisory Group chair.
About the IGF
The Internet Governance Forum is an outcome of the Tunis phase of the World Summit on the Information Society (WISS) that took place in 2005. The first phase was held in Geneva in December 2003.
In the Tunis Agenda, Governments asked the UN Secretary-General to convene a “new forum for policy dialogue” to discuss issues related to key elements of Internet governance.
The Forum’s mandate was extended for another 10 years in December 2015, during the high-level meeting of the UN General Assembly on the overall review of the implementation of WISS outcomes.
The 17th edition of the IGF will be held in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, from 28 November to 2 December.