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IGF 2015: Capping a Triumphant Decade

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The Internet Governance Forum held its tenth annual event in the Brazilian city of João Pessoa from 9-13 November. The event drew more than 3,000 participants from a wide range of Internet stakeholder groups, including youth representatives, and more than 6,000 followed the discussions or contributed via remote participation.

The RIPE NCC and members of the RIPE community contributed to a range of workshops and sessions, including two focused on IPv6 adoption. One of these sessions sprang from the work of the Best Practice Forum (BPF) on IPv6 Adoption, to whose work the RIPE NCC has been contributing over the past year. Read the current draft of the IPv6 BPF document.

IPv6 Adoption was one of six BPFs reporting at this event on issues including Internet Exchange Points, multistakeholder practices, spam mitigation and access. This was the first time the BPF model has been tried in the IGF, reflecting a desire to enhance the tangible outcomes of the IGF.

The Regional Internet Registries (RIRs) also worked with the GSMA, the global mobile industry association, to jointly organise a workshop on the intersection of bottom-up Internet governance practices with traditional “top-down” governance models. This is a particularly relevant subject as the mobile industry and technologies such as the Internet of Things see the Internet coming into contact with an ever-expanding range of industries. Speakers from the RIPE NCC, the GSMA, the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), the IANA Stewardship Transition Coordination Group (ICG), the European Commission and the Association for Progressive Communications (APC) contributed to a wide-ranging discussion, considering the range of governance models and the need for them to interoperate to effectively address Internet governance matters.

RIPE NCC staff also participated in the main session on Enhancing Cybersecurity and Building Digital Trust, stressing the importance of public-private cooperation to preserve and enhance the security on the Internet.

In addition, an Open Forum organised by the RIRs showcased the work of the RIR communities, with German government representative Saskia Kleine-Tebbe speaking about the German government’s experience in contributing to RIPE policy development.

The overall theme of the event, “Evolution of Internet Governance: Empowering Sustainable Development”, reflected a focus on the role of Internet in development and tied in to the ongoing 10-year review of the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS), the United Nations process that originally launched the IGF. Much of Day 1 was devoted to a discussion session attended by the co-facilitators of the WSIS review in the UN General Assembly, the Ambassadors of Latvia and the United Arab Emirates. IGF participants urged that the WSIS review extend the mandate of the IGF (which has now officially expired) and respect the “multistakeholder" model captured in the original WSIS meetings and their output. Several participating organisations, including the RIPE NCC and other RIRs, signed a joint statement reflecting these views.

At this stage, the IGF community is awaiting the outcome of the WSIS review (which will come out of a High Level Meeting on 15-16 December) and specifically what it means for the IGF's remit. However, Mexico has noted that it stands ready to host an eleventh event in 2016.

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