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Building consensus on Internet access at the Internet Governance Forum (IGF)

Jagun, A. (2008) Building consensus on Internet access at the Internet Governance Forum (IGF). Discussion paper. Association for Progressive Communications, Melville, South Africa.

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Abstract

This paper identifies and documents the main areas of discussions and 'recommendations' that were generated under the Access theme at the second Internet Governance Forum in Rio De Janeiro, November 2007. Whilst recognising that the IGF is currently viewed and operates primarily as a space for discussion, the paper finds that (specifically in the case of Access) it is also a space in which commonality of opinion occurs to the level at which 'recommendations' can be made and repeatedly asserted independently/individually in the workshops, and strategically reinforced at different levels of the IGF. The Internet Governance Forum (IGF) is a space for multi-stakeholder policy dialogue, set up in 2006 as a direct response to the deliberations of the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS). The forum was created to (amongst other things) discuss public policy issues related to key elements of internet governance in order to foster the sustainability, robustness, security, stability and development of the internet. Its structure, function and working are addressed in paragraphs 73 to 79 of the WSIS Tunis Agenda.