Building Bridges: Achieving an Open, Inclusive, Accountable, and Transparent Internet

Session title: Building Bridges: Achieving an Open, Inclusive, Accountable, and Transparent Internet

Speakers:

  • Adam Peake (ICANN)
  • Swati Punia (Centre for Communication Governance at National Law University Delhi)

The discussion, led by Swati Punia and Adam Peake, launched with a reflection on the evolution and growing importance of the internet, particularly in light of the ongoing pandemic. The speakers underscored the necessity for enhancing multistakeholder participation in Internet governance. They expressed concern over the declining engagement of civil society and identified achieving consistency in policy advocacy as a rising challenge, given the continuous expansion of the internet.

The conversation strongly emphasized the importance of multi-stakeholder participation. Observing a decline in civil society’s engagement within UN contexts, the speakers voiced the need for governments to be held accountable to support multi-stakeholder processes. The vital role of civil society in global processes, such as the global digital compact, was brought to light.

The discussion then veered toward the challenges faced by civil society organizations in the Global South. Solutions like hybrid working and local Internet Governance Forums were proposed. ICANN’s efforts to enhance inclusivity, specifically through enabling access to domain names in various scripts, were applauded.

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