[an error occurred while processing this directive]
BBC News
watch One-Minute World News
Last Updated: Friday, 13 January 2006, 11:55 GMT
UN prepares to set up net group
Net users at WSIS meeting, BBC
The idea for the forum came out of the WSIS meeting
The UN has begun setting up the body that will debate the internet's most pressing problems.

A meeting to decide the structure of the group and what it should debate first will be held in February.

Though powerless to impose its decisions, the Internet Governance Forum (IGF) is expected to be widely influential on national net policies.

The decision to set it up emerged from the UN internet summit held in Tunis late 2005.

Talking shop

The IGF was one of the results of heated negotiations over the way the net is administered conducted prior to the UN's World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS).

Although the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (Icann) oversees the running of core net tasks, such as the maintenance of the network's master address books, it does so with the permission of the US Department of Commerce.

The only change that the WSIS negotiations produced in the running of the net was the creation of the Internet Governance Forum which many see as the first step towards loosening the US hold on Icann.

The UN is now inviting those interested to join a consultation session on the forum's structure and what it should debate.

The meeting is open to organisations accredited to the WSIS or the Economic and Social Council of the UN. However, anyone who "can demonstrate proven interest and/or expertise in Internet related issues will also be admitted".

Those interested in joining the debate are asked to fill in an application form and return it no later than 11 February. IGF administrators are expecting applications from technology firms, non-governmental bodies and citizens.

The preliminary meeting is scheduled to take place in Geneva on 16-17 February.

Greece has offered to host the first meeting of the IGF which is scheduled to take place by the end of June 2006.

US heads for internet showdown
15 Nov 05 |  Technology
Voice of innovation at net summit
25 Nov 05 |  Click Online
Annan calls for digital bridges
16 Nov 05 |  Technology
US retains hold of the internet
16 Nov 05 |  Technology

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites


Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific