The Internet Governance Forum (IGF)
was a product of the WSIS
-Tunis Agenda and
was given a fairly open-ended and ambiguous mandate. It operates under the aegis of the Secretary-General of the UN, who has asked for a
"process aimed at enhancing cooperation on international public policy issues related to the Internet."
In comparison to other intergovernmental organizations, the IGF is indeed a new paradigm as it is a "multi-stakeholder policy dialogue," where
civil society NGOs, business interests, international organizations, and governments will interact in contours that as yet have to be clearly defined.
As the IGF process bears the impramatur of the UN Secretary-General, the IGF is a platform to discuss and build consensus between like-minded stakeholders (civil society, governments,
industry, IGOs) on the decentralization of ICANN functions, open standards for information technologies, internet spam, promotion and adoption of free and open source software,
freedom of speech and access to knowledge (A2K) issues at the first IGF meeting in Athens, Greece
(30 October 2006-2 November).
On 2 November 2006, CPTech
, Sun Microsystems
Worldwide Web Consortium (W3C)
, the Bibliotheca Alexandrina
South Centre Innovation, Access to Knowledge and Intellectual Property Programme (IAIPP)
Yale Information Society Project (Yale ISP)
and IP Justice
will hold a workshop
on open standards, interoperability, and government procurement from 9:30-11 AM in the Kleoniki Room of the Divani Apollon Palace & Spa in Athens, Greece.
The workshop will present the relationship between the "openness" of ICT standards, economic and social development, and government policy making, with a
focus on procurement policies. The discussion will help governments to better understand the inherent tension between intellectual property rights (IPR) holders in
ICT standards and the public. The workshop will use the example of the OpenDocument Format standard to highlight the positive impact open ICT standards can have on information access.
This workshop aims to create a dynamic coalition of multi-stakeholders to endorse a declaration on open standards and present a draft government procurement protocol to governments.
November 2, 2006. Athens, Greece.
Workshop on open standards, interoperability and government procurement.
Co-sponsored by CPTech, Sun Microsystems, the Worldwide Web Consortium (W3C), the Library of Alexandria, the South Centre Innovation, Access to Knowledge and Intellectual Property Programme (IAIPP), the Yale Information Society Project (Yale ISP) and IP Justice. Contact persons:
Thiru Balasubramaniam, thiru at cptech.org
Susy Struble, susy at sun.com
James Love speaking at the Internet Governance Forum in Athens, Greece. Available here.