Internet Governance Forum gets underway in Azerbaijan

The 7th Internet Governance Forum kicked off in Azerbaijan's capital Baku on November 6.
The United Nations Under-Secretary-General for Economic and Social Affairs Wu Hongbo in his opening address expressed gratitude to the Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev for the high-level organization of the Forum.
Azeri Minister for Communication and Information Technologies Ali Abbasov read a congratulation letter on behalf of the President Ilham Aliyev to the participants of the Forum.
Over 1500 delegates from over 100 countries representing Governments, international organizations, the private sector, civil society, Internet enthusiasts and the media convened in Baku, Azerbaijan to examine cross-border Internet governance challenges. This seventh meeting of the Internet Governance Forum (IGF) will be held from 6 to 9 November.
This year's annual meeting, which takes place at the Baku Expo Exhibition and Convention Center, has as its main theme: Internet Governance for Sustainable Human, Economic and Social Development. Internet governance for development (IG4D) is high on the agenda of the IGF 2012 meeting. Delegates will examine and discuss global Internet governance issues that may have particular relevance to development, and how Internet governance can be integrated into development approaches, at local, national and international levels. These discussions, workshops and debates will focus on issues such as the diffusion and use of IPv6 and how innovative policies for access and diversity can ensure that the potential benefits of the Internet can be enjoyed by all.
A number of workshops to be held in the context of the IGF will look at issues of security, openness and privacy a uniquely IGF perspective which links these core policy concerns. Some of the workshops will debate issues such as filtering, blocking and the impact of actions taken to cut access to the Internet for individuals, groups or entire countries.
Several debates at this year's IGF will also revolve around emerging issues, such as intellectual property rights and new business models, open government data and the use of the Internet in disaster management.
An important focus at this year's IGF will be on capacity building in the field of Internet governance. Participants will discuss, among other issues, the role of capacity building in strengthening the Internet governance multi-stakeholder model and the possibility for the IGF to include well-structured and coordinated capacity building events intended to attract and inform new stakeholders, especially from developing countries.
The IGF is a United Nations sponsored "multi-stakeholder" forum to discuss a wide variety of issues regarding Internet governance. Unlike many U.N. forums, IGF is attended not just by government officials but also by corporations, non-profit groups (aka "NGOs" or "non-governmental organizations) and scholars interested in how to handle, security, stability, growth and content management on the global Internet.
IGF isn't a legislative body - it's a place to talk about Internet issues and serve as a backdrop to policy makers around the world who are struggling on how to "manage" the fact that we now live in a world that is "virtually" without borders.
The IGF is also a space that gives developing countries the same opportunity as wealthier nations to engage in debate on Internet governance and to facilitate their participation in existing institutions and arrangements. Ultimately, according to the Tunis Agenda, the involvement of all stakeholders, from developed as well as developing countries, is necessary for the future advancement of the Internet.
The annual IGF has become the pre-eminent multi-stakeholder platform for discussions on all policy issues related to the Internet. Six previous meetings of the Forum have been held, in Athens, Greece in 2006; Rio de Janeiro, Brazil in 2007; Hyderabad, India in 2008; Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt in 2009; Vilnius, Lithuania in 2010 and Nairobi, Kenya in 2011.
Virtual Participation Individuals and institutions interested in participating but who are unable to travel to Baku, can participate remotely during the four-day meeting. Interested parties can follow the discussions from their home or office; watch the webcast of the event; follow real-time closed captioning; and participate live at



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