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Open consultations on enhanced cooperation on international public policy issues pertaining to the Internet

Why these consultations?

In its resolution 2010/2 of 19 July, the Economic and Social Council invited the Secretary-General “to convene open and inclusive consultations involving all Member States and all other stakeholders with a view to assisting the process towards enhanced cooperation in order to enable Governments on an equal footing to carry out their roles and responsibilities in respect of international public policy issues pertaining to the Internet but not of the day-to-day technical and operational matters that do not impact upon those issues.” The Council further requested that the consultations be undertaken “through a balanced participation of all stakeholders in their respective roles and responsibilities, as stated in paragraph 35 of the Tunis Agenda.” These consultations respond to that request.

How to participate

The deadline for participating in the open consultations has passed.

The consultations consisted of two parts: (1) submission of written comments, preferably by 15 November 2010 and no later than 31 December 2010; and, (2) a face-to-face meeting held in New York on 14 December 2010.

1 - Submission of written comments

All stakeholders were invited to participate by submitting their ideas, opinions and comments online or by email to unpan@un.org. Comments could also be sent by fax to +1 917 367-0522 or by post to:

Division for Public Administration and Development Management
United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs
Two UN Plaza, Room DC2-1712
New York, NY 10017
In preparing comments, it was suggested that participants reflect, above all, on what international public policy issues pertaining to the Internet were not being adequately addressed by current mechanisms and what specific processes should be pursued to enhance international cooperation in these areas.

2 - Face-to-face meeting

The face-to-face meeting took place on 14 December 2010 at United Nations Headquarters in New York and has now concluded.

In keeping with UN practice, priority in assigning slots was given to those speaking on behalf of the largest number of entities, with due regard for balanced participation including equitable geographical representation and the respective roles and responsibilities of the different stakeholder groups as described in paragraphs 35 and 36 of the Tunis Agenda. All participants were responsible for their own travel and visa arrangements, and for any costs associated with attending the meeting.

In order to allow for expression of as wide a range of views as possible, designated representatives of civil society organizations and the private sector presented a summary of the inputs of their respective groups. The International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) spoke on behalf of the private sector. The Conference of NGOs in Consultative Status with the United Nations (CoNGO) spoke on behalf of civil society organizations. The group presentations were followed by contributions from individual countries and organizations, including presentations by members of the technical community.

All speakers at the 14 December consultation were asked to adhere to a time limit of 5 minutes with the understanding that the full texts of the statements could be circulated in the meeting room and posted online.

All contributions, both written and oral, will be considered in the preparation of the Secretary-General’s note on the outcome to be presented to the General Assembly next year.

Who is eligible to participate?

All Member States of the United Nations were invited to participate in the consultations. The consultations were also open to organizations in consultative status with the Economic and Social Council and other entities accredited to the World Summit on the Information Society.

What kind of outcome is expected?

The consultations resulted in a set of ideas, opinions and comments on processes for pursuing enhanced cooperation on international public policy issues relating to the Internet. These inputs will be synthesized by the Secretary-General and submitted as a report to the United Nations General Assembly for consideration at its sixty-sixth session through the Economic and Social Council.

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