The Internet Governance Forum (IGF) was set up as an open discussion platform of the United Nations for key legal, political, social and technical issues relating to the internet.
The IGF is designed according to the “multi-stakeholder” model, meaning that all the relevant societal groups are equally involved in preparations and implementation: from governments, civil society, business, academia, international organisations and the technical community. This is particularly of note in terms of representatives from developing and newly industrialising countries, who otherwise tend to be under-represented.
The forum was established in 2006 by the Secretary-General of the United Nations (UN). The IGF does not make binding decisions, but only serves in an advisory capacity. The annual meetings are held for the purposes of discussion, information and inspiration, with the primary objective of facilitating equitable and constructive dialogue between the various representatives, and to play a role in shaping debate within the relevant decision-making bodies at a national and international level.
Global trends relating to internet politics, current draft legislation and established practices are regularly discussed at these meetings. Delegates address topics including future opportunities and challenges presented by the internet, as well as analysing ways of making full use of the internet’s potential.