Thank you very much for holding the present consultations regarding enhanced cooperation pursuant to resolution 2010/2 of the Economic and Social Council.
As you know the European Union attaches great importance to Internet Governance arrangements. The Internet has proven to be a vital communications network for our societies and economies. We therefore also have to address the question what are the underlying rules for the governance of this important medium.
The World Summit on the Information Society has identified principles that are relevant in this context. We note that since the World Summit the Internet Governance landscape has changed.
One very positive development has been the increase of cooperation between various actors and more efforts to learn about each others activities. This has enhanced understanding of the issues and of the respective roles of the key players.
We note in this context the important role of the Internet Governance Forum by successfully bringing together inter-governmental organisations, international private sector-led organisations, regional governmental organisations, together with individual governments and stakeholders worldwide, including representatives from industry, the technical community, academia and civil society organisations.
Another very relevant and welcome development of the past years is the growing recognition of the value of the multi-stakeholder approach.
We have also seen a growing interest by governments and we believe it is indeed necessary to allow governments on an equal footing, to fulfil their roles and responsibilities with regard in international public policy issues pertaining to the Internet, but not in the day-to-day technical and operational matters, that do not impact on international public policy issues.
Enhanced cooperation should lead to the development of globally applicable principles on public policy issues, including those associated with the coordination and management of critical Internet resources.
In this regard we welcome the Affirmation of Commitments (AoC) and the commitments of ICANN to improve the transparency and global accountability of its policy developments processes as an important step to further internationalisation of Internet governance and more balanced governmental involvement.
We also welcome the outcomes of the ITU Plenipotentiary Conference, which includes the exploration of ways and means for greater collaboration and cooperation between ITU and relevant organisations (including, but not limited, to ICANN, RIRs, IETF, ISOC and W3C on the basis of reciprocity). This should improve the effectiveness of the different organisations involved in Internet governance.
Governments indeed cannot anymore today ignore the importance of a stable, secure and resilient Internet for economic growth and development. We also believe that the further internationalisation of Internet governance is a crucial issue which governments should continue to address in consultation with business and civil society stakeholders, and users.
We strongly believe that Internet Governance needs to continue to evolve in line with the principles established in the Tunis Agenda, such as transparency, multilateralism, democracy and the full involvement of all stakeholders. We should build on the progress made so far in the above mentioned areas and further foster understanding and cooperation between all actors.