Swedish statement on IGF closing plenary

This afternoon Sweden, via Maria Häll from Ministry of Enterprise, Energy and Communication, made a statement at the IGF in Vilnius. It is not online yet, but I asked Maria for a copy of her written speech, and the ability to republish. The real spoken words might of course have been slightly different, so if you want details, have a look in the transcript when it is available.

SE Statement Stocktaking session IGF Vilnius Sept 2010, Maria Hall from Swedish Ministry of Enterprise, Energy and Communication.

On the behalf of Sweden I would like to express our deepest thanks to the hosting country Lithuania, to Nitin Desai, Markus Kummer and rest of the IGF secretariat as well as all active participants that once again has made the IGF a success.

In this statement I will try to answer the questions for this Stocktaking session:

It’s has been a great pleasure to be here again at yet another Internet Governance Forum and many things have evolved since the start. Discussions are more mature, current new and interesting subjects are brought up, as well as the still relevant themes of Critical Internet Resources, Access, Diversity, Openness and Security. Things are discussed in a relaxed way and experiences are shared in a true multi-stakeholder environment. Another thematic area which should be further explored is the Internet in its function as a democratic arena where human rights, including freedom of expression and freedom of information are important principles

We welcome with appreciation that IGF deals much more profoundly with human rights issues now than in the past. This process should continue and Sweden believes that a human rights approach should be applied to all areas of Internet Governance. The IGF is well suited to promote such discussions and we encourage more governments to take an active role in this process. Net neutrality as well as the responsibility and different roles of intermediaries are issues that would benefit from more analysis from a human rights perspective.

Internet usage has increased and also the awareness of Internet Governance. The numbers of participants from government, private sector, civil sociey and technical community, has therefore increased. That’s one of the many positive outcomes of the IGF process and this will, for sure, continue to evolve. Another positive outcome is the development of regional and national Internet governance processes which increases international inclusiveness as well as local and regional multi-stakeholder dialogue and capacity building.

As Sweden said before, we support the continuation of the IGF with its multistakeholder, non-binding principles and present structures intact.

The wonderful thing with the IGF is that there has been, and still is an ongoing development of the IGF since the start five years ago. And this will continue within the IGF process!

This “self development” process and power pushing evolvement and capacity building is something remarkable and something to be proud of. We want the CSTD working group to follow and take this into consideration in their discussions and work with the development of the IGF.

Sweden also wants to support the structure and format of the present Geneva based IGF secretariat, and also the fact that IGF funding is based on donations. This ensures processes to be unbiased and independent. The secretariat function and funding model should though, based on these principles, be reviewed in the CSTD working group.

The IGF process continue to evolve every year within this fantastic multi-stakeholder environment. Let’s keep it this way. Let’s invite and stimulate more players to participate and let our own engagement continue to be the driving force of the process of the development of the IGF for many years to come. This is the true IGF spirit!

Thank you!