STATEMENT ON BEHALF OF THE GROUP OF 77 AND CHINA BY THE DELEGATION OF THE REPUBLIC OF CUBA AT THE INFORMAL CONSULTATIONS ON THE GLOBAL DIGITAL COMPACT ON THE SECOND THEMATIC DEEP DIVE: "INTERNET GOVERNANCE" (New York, 13 April 2023)
H.E. Ms. Anna Karin Eneström, Permanent Representative of Sweden,
H.E. Mr. Claver Gatete, Permanent Representative of Rwanda,
Excellencies and colleagues,
I have the honor to deliver this statement on behalf of the G77 and China.
At the outset, I would like to thank the co-facilitators for convening this thematic deep dive. We will continue to engage in these interactive discussions as they provide the opportunity to share our ideas and vision on these topics.
The Group reaffirms that Internet governance should continue to follow the provisions set forth in the outcomes of the summits held in Geneva and Tunis. We recognize that Internet governance, carried out according to the Geneva principles, is an essential element for a people-centred, inclusive, development-oriented and non-discriminatory Information Society and is a global facility whose international management should be multilateral, transparent and democratic, with the full involvement of governments and relevant stakeholders. The Global Digital Compact (GDC) should aim at promoting unity, cooperation, inclusiveness, while preventing division and fragmentation of Internet governance.
We should leverage the role of the United Nations as the main channel in global Internet governance and ensure equal participation of all countries, while respecting their rights in choosing their own model of network development and governance. We should support global Internet governance based on extensive consultation, joint contribution, and shared benefits, so as to make the governance system more just and equitable, and reflect the interests and concerns of all countries in a more balanced way, especially those of developing countries.
In this regard, a universal, ubiquitous, equitable, non-discriminatory and affordable access to, and use of, ICTs, considering different national circumstances, must be ensured not only in their use but also in their management and governance. There is a need to promote greater participation and engagement in the Internet governance discussions of Governments, the private sector, international organizations, the technical and academic communities, each with their agreed respective role, and all other relevant stakeholders from developing countries. It is key to promote and facilitate such participation.
Paragraph 69 of the Tunis Agenda 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. However, until now no real implementation for enhanced cooperation happened on reality.
If we do not take concrete actions to accelerate a universal access to Internet, we will not achieve an equitable development for all. To this aim, further information-sharing at the international level regarding the opportunities and challenges on the use of Internet is essential. Sharing of expertise through relevant centers or institutions to facilitate knowhow transfer and exchange of best practices can enhance the participation of all countries in Internet governance mechanisms.
In addition, information sharing should be complemented by capacity building in areas relevant to Internet governance and a strengthened international and regional cooperation, which can play a key role, drawing fully on local sources of knowledge and expertise. In this connection the Group also attributes the highest importance to a framework that promotes and allow local internet content that suits local needs of the people and take into account national or local backgrounds and needs.
We emphasize that any Internet governance approach should be inclusive and responsive with the aim of ensuring that the Internet continues to remain open, secure, and interoperable. Our Internet governance approach should also continue to promote an enabling environment for innovation, cooperation, competition and investment. An enabling environment, at national and international levels, supportive of foreign direct investment, transfer of technology, and international cooperation, particularly in the areas of finance, debt and trade, is essential for the development of the Information Society, including for the development and diffusion of the Internet and its optimal use.
Moreover, we are of the view that WISIS+20 will provide the right opportunity to reflect and discuss on the evolution of Internet governance specially enhanced cooperation and the Internet Governance Forum (IGF).
Finally, while the Group reiterates its commitment to actively engage in this very important intergovernmental process, it also recalls paragraph 65 of the Tunis Agenda that underlines "the need to maximize the participation of developing countries in decisions regarding Internet governance, which should reflect their interests, as well as in development and capacity building¨. If we want to achieve a global access to Internet and a world society well prepared and informed, this request must become a reality.
I thank you.