The Internet has become an integrated part of our lives, from accessing an education, to receiving healthcare services and to conducting business. The digital transformation we are experiencing is spreading across the most remote areas in the world. The frontier technologies are opening new boundaries and possibilities for development. As we move forward, our dependence on the Internet and technologies will grow even further. Meanwhile, the Internet also brings risks and serious dangers to our lives: cyberthreats, fake news, information misuse by terrorists, sexual exploitation and data abuse. As our dependence to the Internet grows, it is high time to think and re-think: how much can we trust the Internet? To address this concern, more than 3,000 representatives from governments, the private sector, technical community and the civil society will gather in Paris on 12-14 November 2018 at the annual global Internet Governance Forum (IGF) to look at a range of issues and actions that can be taken to ensure an “Internet of Trust.” The IGF, convened by the United Nations Secretary-General, serves to bring people together from various stakeholder groups as equals in discussions on public policy issues relating to the Internet.
The Forum promotes dialogue and encourages an exchange of ideas to better govern the internet so that it is a safe and trustworthy environment for all. “With technology outracing institutions, cooperation between countries and among stakeholders will be crucial, including Member States, the private sector, research centres, civil society and academia,” UN Secretary-General António Guterres said, addressing the opening of the 73rd session of the UN General Assembly . “There are many mutually beneficial solutions for digital challenges. We need urgently to find the way to apply them”. The thirteenth session of the IGF will discuss some of the most pressing Internet Governance issues today: Cybersecurity, Trust and Privacy, Digital Inclusion and Accessibility, Emerging Technologies, Evolution of Internet Governance, Human Rights, Gender and Youth Development, Innovation and Economic Issues, Media & Content, and Technical and Operational Topics; and Trends such as Artificial Intelligence, Big Data, Virtual Reality, Fake News and Net Neutrality; and many others. These discussions will act as inputs toward the implementation of the 2030 Agenda, which relies on robust and strategic use of ICTs and sound Internet policies. With its mandate renewed for 10 years by the UN General Assembly in December 2015, the IGF has consolidated its position as a platform for bringing together members of various stakeholder groups as equals. While there is no negotiated outcome, the IGF informs and inspires those with policy-making powers in both the public and private sectors. Delegates will hold discussions, exchange information and share good practices with each other at the annual meeting for collectively shaping the digital future. The IGF is also a truly global event, as the forum invites the online community to participate via remote hubs. Wherever you are in the world, find out how to join and register here.