14 December 2010

Intervention by Mr. Mohammad Hassani-Nejad

Permanent Mission of the Islamic Republic of Iran to the United Nations

at the Consultation on “Enhanced Cooperation

on international public policy issues pertaining to the Internet”

(New York – 14 December 2010)

In the name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful

 

Mr. Under-Secretary General,

 

Thank you for organizing this important meeting. The management of the Internet has to involve all relevant stakeholders and intergovernmental and international organizations including private sector, civil society and international and intergovernmental organizations, however, and as clearly articulated by paragraphs 49 of 2003 Geneva Declaration of Principles and 35 of 2005 Tunis Agenda “Policy authority for Internet-related public policy issues is the sovereign right of States. They have rights and responsibilities for international Internet-related public policy issues”.

Meanwhile, Tunis Agenda paragraph 69 recognizes the need for enhanced cooperation “to enable governments, on an equal footing, to carry out their roles and responsibilities, 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”; a process which according to Tunis Agenda actually had to precede IGF.

A replication of IGF was not the intention of the member States when Tunis agenda was being drafted. IGF regardless of its shortcomings, mainly attributed to the lack of participation of developing countries in its deliberations, has intended to serve as an informal forum for promotion of multistakeholder dialogue. It was not supposed to replace “enhanced cooperation” nor has it proven having the capacity to ensure governments are enabled, on an equal footing, to carry out their roles and responsibilities, in international public policy issues pertaining to the Internet. IGF and enhanced Cooperation, therefore, are two distinct processes and need to be remained as such.

In fact, developments after Geneva and Tunis have not been supportive of increasing the leverage of developing countries in policy issues pertaining to the Internet, whereas a few developed countries are either monopolizing policy making on such issues or entering into exclusive treaties among themselves to ensure their required policy influence or leverage, while, further marginalizing other countries mainly developing ones.

Therefore, this welcome event should not be considered as a one time shot, but rather starting of a long overdue process to fulfill the commitments made in WSIS and to level the playing field for all, including through creation of an intergovernmental institutional capacity to deal with constant stream of important global internet public policy issues. Internet is no less critical than other similar areas which do have institutional structures from environment to food and agriculture, from industrial development to health, from trade to tourism and etc. The Internet needs a responsible intergovernmental management based on inclusiveness, transparency and effectiveness.

Thank you Mr. Undersecretary-General

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