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55 Days Remain Until the 10th Internet Governance Forum in Joao Pessoa, Brazil

Janis Karklins

On behalf of the Internet Governance Forum (IGF) Multistakeholder Advisory Group (MAG) I would like to extend the official invitation from the United Nations Secretary-General which cordially invites and encourages all stakeholders to participate in the upcoming 10th annual meeting of the Internet Governance Forum, being held this year in the beautiful coastal city of João Pessoa, Brazil.

IGF 2015 takes place at a turning point in the history of Internet governance. The ten-year review of the WSIS is an opportunity to set a forward-looking vision for the Information Society, but also to discuss the renewal of the IGF's mandate. Furthermore, with the Sustainable Development Summit, this year offers a unique opportunity for the community to articulate the value of ICTs and the Internet in supporting a people-centric and development oriented Information Society. Many of these issues will be at the heart of the IGF's discussions.

Towards IGF 2015 Outputs

This year some innovative processes are under way, leading to tangible outputs:

'Policy Options for Connecting the Next Billion' exercise, which aims to create better synergies and create linkages between the IGF and National and Regional IGF initiatives that are mushrooming around the world. The process that has been put in place by the MAG strives to produce a community driven, bottom-up developed IGF output. It is direct response to the recommendation of the UN CSTD Working Group on improvements of IGF that called for more tangible outcomes from IGF. Information on how to contribute to this initiative in a variety of ways can be found here.

IGF Best Practice Forums (BPFs) are working to produce diverse outputs intended to become robust resources, to serve as inputs into other pertinent forums, and to evolve and grow over time on the subjects of:

  1. Developing meaningful multistakeholder participation mechanisms,
  2. Regulation and mitigation of unsolicited communications (e.g. "spam"),
  3. Establishing and supporting Computer Security Incident Response Teams (CSIRT) for Internet security, IV. Practice to counter abuse against women online,
  4. Creating an Enabling Environment for IPv6 Adoption,
  5. Enabling Environments for Establishing successful IXPs.

All interested individuals and organizations are invited to join this community driven work. Information on how to join and participate in the BPFs can be found here.

IGF Dynamic Coalitions, some of which have been working since the first IGF in 2006, and others who have just began their work on important and emerging issues related to Internet Governance, are open to all interested stakeholders. This year some of the IGF Dynamic Coalitions will be presenting their work to the broader IGF community in a dedicated main session. This work will be available for public comment leading up to the IGF.

Presence of the UN General Assembly President (or his representative), as well as review co-facilitators (ambassadors of Latvia and UAE to UN in NYC) at the IGF, will provide significant relevance to this multistakeholder engagement.

Registration is now open via the IGF website. More than 1,000 representatives from Governments, private sector, civil society and the technical community, have already registered. Thousands more are expected to join both in person and through online participation. Newcomers and first-time IGF participants are also encouraged to participate in the work of IGF.

We look forward to working with all of you online and seeing many of you at the IGF in November.

By Janis Karklins, Ambassador of Latvia, Chair of the MAG
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