Invitation to the Thirteenth Annual Meeting of the Internet Governance Forum (IGF) ‎

Mr. Liu's portraitOn behalf of the Secretary-General of the United Nations, I have the pleasure to invite you ‎to the 13th annual meeting of the Internet Governance Forum (IGF). The meeting will be ‎hosted by the Government of France at the Headquarters of UNESCO in Paris, from 12 to ‎‎14 November 2018.‎

The IGF is convened by the United Nations Secretary-General as an open, inclusive and ‎multistakeholder platform for bringing all stakeholders together as equals to discuss public ‎policy issues related to key elements of Internet Governance.‎

Through the bottom up process, the community has decided to address some of the currently ‎most critical Internet policy issues, clustered into eight core themes: 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 and Content; and Technical and Operational Topics.‎

This year’s annual IGF meeting is expected to include more than a hundred sessions, ‎organized by various stakeholders from around the world, that will help to orient the public ‎discourse toward achieving needed improvements. ‎

In particular, the community is investing significant efforts in looking at best practices ‎across the world related to: Gender and Access; Cybersecurity; Local Content; and Artificial ‎Intelligence, Big Data and Internet of Things, and having these reflected in final output ‎documents. In addition to this important work, the fourth phase of finding the best policy ‎options for Connecting and Enabling the Next Billion is underway. I would strongly ‎encourage the community to continue contributing to these important processes.‎

Given the Internet’s global nature and specificities of issues across countries and regions, ‎more than a hundred national, regional and youth IGF initiatives, as well as seventeen ‎Dynamic Coalitions will feed into the programme with inputs from their respective ‎communities, and add to the quality of the comprehensive discussions.‎

As during the past twelve years, I expect the IGF to continue being an open and inclusive ‎space for a meaningful dialogue. I believe that the work of the IGF community, expressed ‎through the 13th annual IGF meeting, will be an important contributor to the transformative ‎‎2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, as many of the Sustainable Development Goals ‎depend on robust ICTs and good Internet policies.‎

In conclusion, I would like to thank the Government of France for hosting this year's IGF, ‎and making it possible for the IGF community to discuss best ways forward.  I am hoping ‎that many stakeholders from all parts of the world will be able to attend this important ‎meeting. If not, I am encouraging everyone to take active participation remotely, and help us ‎to make the 13th edition of the Internet Governance Forum a success for us all.‎

Mr. LIU Zhenmin

Under-Secretary-General for Economic and Social Affairs

United Nations