IGF 2022 Lightning Talk #89 Renewing the WSIS mandate: the Internet and its governance beyond 2025

Thursday, 1st December, 2022 (13:00 UTC) - Thursday, 1st December, 2022 (14:00 UTC)
Speaker's Corner

Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport (DCMS), UK Government
Rosalind KennyBirch (DCMS, UK Government) and Nigel Hickson (DCMS, UK Government). We are collaborating with other stakeholders in delivering the lightning talk.


Rosalind KennyBirch (DCMS, UK Government), Jennifer Chung (DotAsia Organisation) and Nigel Hickson (DCMS, UK Government)

Onsite Moderator

Rosalind KennyBirch (DCMS, UK Government)/Nigel Hickson (DCMS, UK Government)

Online Moderator

Rosalind KennyBirch (DCMS, UK Government)/Nigel Hickson (DCMS, UK Government)


Rosalind KennyBirch (DCMS, UK Government)



Targets: This lightning talk proposal links to three key sustainable development goals. Primarily, 16.10. The talk will explore how the WSIS review process can renew the Tunis Agenda’s commitment to promoting equitable access to information and knowledge for all for 2025 and beyond. This directly connects to the IGF’s key theme of connecting all people and safeguarding human rights. However, to enable the Internet to be truly accessible to all, people need to be able to utilise it in the first place. Therefore, our lightning talk will also connect to 9c. We will discuss the UK and other stakeholders' work to contribute to this goal. Finally, the talk will discuss how the Internet is a key tool for achieving goal 10.2. The Internet is a resource that can enable societal inclusion, by connecting people to a wide array of information and networks, in their local area and globally.


The lightning talk is planned for one hour, with 30 minutes for the talk and the subsequent 30 minutes for open discussion. We plan to being with an introduction and welcome from the in-room moderator, followed by a short presentation on the WSIS+20 review process from two participants, addressing the key policy questions listed above. That allotment will take up the first 30 minutes of the talk. In the subsequent 30 minutes, we will facilitate an open discussion, welcoming comments and questions from both the physical and virtual audience. We will utilise a virtual platform to facilitate a hybrid discussion. 

Duration (minutes)

The 2025 review of the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) mandate is a critical opportunity to renew support for multistakeholder governance of the Internet and ensure the UN IGF’s continuation as a vital forum for facilitating dialogue on Internet-related issues. 

In December 2015, as part of the first outcomes review (WSIS+10), Member States agreed on a resolution confirming the initial WSIS vision of a “people-centred, inclusive and development-oriented Information Society, where everyone can create, access, utilise and share information and knowledge”. The next review process, agreed in the former Resolution, WSIS+20, is scheduled for 2025 and is critical in continuing the multistakeholder model of Internet governance.

Looking to 2025, and taking into account the pressures on the current governance model, it is more important than ever to reaffirm the importance of the multistakeholder model which is enshrined in the Tunis Agenda, the critical element of the WSIS agenda. The multistakeholder model is based upon the ethos that broad support is needed to implement policies and principles that govern and maintain the global Internet. An array of expertise from diverse perspectives is utilised to develop those policies and principles. Under the model, governance decisions are made based on consensus, ensuring that the principles and policies for global Internet governance are collaboratively developed by civil society, businesses and governments. As such, multistakeholderism fosters collective responsibility for managing the global Internet. Strengthening consensus around the multistakeholder model ahead of the WSIS+20 can therefore support the continued efficacy of Internet governance. 

The WSIS+20 review process is not only an opportunity to renew a commitment to multistakeholderism, but also an opportunity to set new and ambitious goals for the future of the Internet, aimed at enhancing global connectivity. As the review approaches, it is critical that a diverse range of stakeholders, including youth, women and those from developing geographic regions are fully included in discussions on the future of the Internet. 

This lightning talk will examine how the WSIS+20 review process can renew the multistakeholder mandate and protect the continuation of the system that has made the Internet successful to date. The talk will also explore how the review process can contribute to our shared aim of using the Internet to connect all people, ensuring access to information and knowledge for all. In this regard, it will take note of the P2C pledges made at the ITU WTDC and the UN Global Digital Compact. 

The lightning talk will consider the following key questions:

  • How can we reaffirm, and strengthen the multistakeholder model as part of the WSIS+20 review process?

  • How can we ensure that in the 2025 UNGA consideration of the WSIS mandate that the multistakeholder model of Internet Governance is retained?

  • How can we ensure that the review process itself embraces multistakeholder participation? What role does the IGF have?

  • How can we use WSIS+20 to set new goals in order to ensure public access to information and protection of fundamental freedoms on the Internet (the aims of Sustainable Development Goal 16.10)?