Switzerland hosts the Internet Governance Forum of the United Nations

Under the banner "Shape Your digital future!" the twelfth edition of the Internet Governance Forum (IGF) will take place from 18 to 21 December 2017 at the United Nations Office in Geneva. OFCOM invites all interested parties to participate actively in the preparatory process, and in the debates at the IGF and to promote Swiss concerns, experiences and values. Participation is open to all interested persons and is free of charge.

As the world's largest neutral discussion platform in relation to digitisation issues, this year's IGF offers all participants from politics, business, civil society and academia a unique opportunity to influence the global debate.

Under the banner "Shape your digital future!" and running from 18 - 21 December 2017, the IGF will devote itself to the challenges of digitisation, which today permeate all social, political and economic areas, fundamentally transforming them. The agenda includes issues such as cyber security, the data economy, sustainable development, human rights on the internet and the influence of digitisation on our economy, our media landscape and our political system. In the Palais des Nations, the seat of the United Nations in Geneva, representatives from the worlds of politics, academia, business and civil society will discuss these issues interactively

Home to over 30 international organisations and some 350 non-governmental organisations, Geneva packs a great deal of expertise into a small area. As a venue, Geneva is therefore ideally suited to bring together the most varied participants for constructive dialogue, in particular those who do not primarily deal with issues of digitisation. With this aim, the potential of the international city of Geneva should be optimally exploited by breaking down barriers and mobilising stakeholders across all sectors – in a way which has to date not been possible to this extent elsewhere.

The Internet Governance Forum

The Internet Governance Forum is the most important outcome of the UN World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) held in Geneva in 2003 and Tunis in 2005. It is organised annually by the IGF Secretariat, which is also based in Geneva, in cooperation with the respective host country.

The IGF was deliberately created by the WSIS as a forum in which no decisions are made, i.e. no texts are negotiated. The main focus of the IGF is the dialogue between all stakeholders. Because representatives from governments, business, civil society and the technical and academic sectors debate equally and freely with each other, the IGF is a unique place where new themes can be put on the international agenda and where new trends and mindsets are often first manifest.

Since 2006, more than eighty national and regional IGF structures have been created. The largest regional IGF is the European Dialogue on Internet Governance (EuroDIG, since 2008), in which Switzerland has played a decisive role from the outset. Since 2015, there is also a discussion platform at national level in Switzerland – the Swiss IGF – which is also supported by OFCOM.

OFCOM and the IGF

Specialist staff
Last modification 18.07.2018

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