IGF 2022 WS #235 Dialogue on the 'Declaration for the Future of the Internet'

Thursday, 1st December, 2022 (12:05 UTC) - Thursday, 1st December, 2022 (13:35 UTC)

Organizer 1: Milton Mueller, Georgia Tech Internet Governance Project
Organizer 2: Andreas Kuehn, Observer Research Foundation America

Speaker 1: Timothy Wu, Government, Western European and Others Group (WEOG)
Speaker 2: Louise Marie Hurel, Civil Society, Latin American and Caribbean Group (GRULAC)
Speaker 3: Anriette Esterhuysen, Civil Society, African Group
Speaker 4: Dhruva Jaishankar, Civil Society, Asia-Pacific Group

Additional Speakers

Dr. Regine Grienberger, Cyber Ambassador for Germany


Milton Mueller, Civil Society, Western European and Others Group (WEOG)

Online Moderator

Andreas Kuehn, Civil Society, Western European and Others Group (WEOG)


Andreas Kuehn, Civil Society, Western European and Others Group (WEOG)


Round Table - U-shape - 90 Min

Policy Question(s)

1. How can we foster global cooperation on an open, free and secure internet, without creating a digital Cold War that pits one bloc of nation-states against another? 2. What are the Internet policy issues that can command a broad consensus among governments and other stakeholders, and where are the points of disagreement? If the Declaration is not the right vehicle for these efforts, what is a better alternative? 3. How can stakeholders other than governments be brought into these dialogues?

Connection with previous Messages: Our panel builds on Message #7, under the heading, "Inclusive Internet Ecosystems and Digital Cooperation," which said: "A positive vision for the future of the Internet has to draw together the strands of core values across technical principles. human rights. access and openness, transparency, and rule of law. as well as economic considerations. This can only be done in an inclusive multistakeholder manner. where the interests of all actors can be addressed."


9. Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure
16. Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions

Targets: 9 Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure; 16 Peace Justice and Strong Institutions Both (9) and (16) are relevant to the Declaration. #9 is relevant because the Declaration recognizes Internet as an infrastructure, encourages innovation and looks for coordinated initiatives to regulate industry when needed. #16 Is relevant because the Declaration is attempting to foster coordinated adherence to international norms and promote peaceful relations in cvberspace.


The U.S. government-led "Declaration for the Future of the Internet" was an attempt to renew and revitalize the vision of an open global digital environment while addressing known problems. It included commitments to "Human rights and fundamental freedoms" as well as "Inclusive and affordable access." Sixty (60) countries signed on to it, but some notable countries did not. In general, we see the IGF, the UN Digital Cooperation Agenda and the Declaration as related, potentially complementary, mutually reinforcing initiatives to develop a vision and positive agenda tor tackling contemporary digital policy problems on a coordinated global basis. This workshop will foster dialogue between supporters of and signatories to the Declaration, neutral analysts from academia and civil society, and representatives of several major countries that did not join it. They will discuss the value of the initiative and whether it should be expanded. The initiative raised a number of questions: What effect will these commitments have? What does it do that other existing groupings, such as the Freedom Online Coalition, do not do? Will the initiative continue to seek additional signatories? Why was it conceived as a government-to-government initiative and did not include civil society and business? Why did some important countries not sign on to it? This panel discussion and interactive exchange will feature the following people: Timothy Wu, US Government. Wu is in the Executive Office of the President and was one of the key developers of the Declaration. Dr. Regine Grienberger, Cyber Ambassador for Germany. Anriette Esterhuysen: South African civil society. Human rights activist, selected to Internet Hall of Fame, and former executive director of Association for Progressive Communications Dhruva Jaishankar: India. Executive Director of the Observer Research Foundation America. Has published research on India’s relations with the United States, Japan, Australia, Southeast Asia, and Europe. Louise Marie Hurel: Brazil. PhD Researcher in Data, Networks, and Society at the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE) TBD: A speaker from the European Union Parliament or European Commission will be added TBD: We have made outreach to someone from the Chinese government and expect a positive response, but it is not confirmed yet. TBD: We have invited a representative from Ethiopia, but it is not confirmed yet. Milton Mueller: USA. Moderator. Dr. Mueller is a well known academic researcher and activist in Internet governance who has held elected positions in ICANN, ARIN, and runs the Internet Governance Project at Georgia Tech. Andreas Kuehn: Swiss. Online Moderator. Dr. Kuehn works for Observer Research Foundation and has held previous positions with the East-West Institute.

Expected Outcomes

1. A key follow-up process would be for the IGF participants to decide whether the Declaration for the Future of the Internet should continue to seek additional signatories from governments, and to expand its signatories to include civil society and business stakeholders. If there was consensus to continue to expand the initiative, an multistakeholder organizational apparatus could be set up to do that. 2. Another important followup process would be to establish an ongoing assessment of how well signatories to the Declaration are living up to the commitments made in the Declaration. 3. The organizers (IGP and ORF America) expect to edit and publish an edited transcript of the discussion as a white paper.

Hybrid Format: 1. Facilitating interaction between onsite and online speakers: IGP did a Town Hall and Workshop in Hybrid mode at the 2021 Poland IGF. In both cases, the onsite moderator and online speakers had no trouble coordinating through the Zoom interface. The sequence of speakers will be worked out in advance, so both types of speakers will know when they are expected to start. For discussion, the onsite moderator will keep track of hands raised in the room, and the online moderator will carefully watch for virtual hand raises through the meeting platform. The two moderators will alternate between in-room and online questions. 2. Session design: The session will be clearly divided into 5 segments: a) background information (explaining what is in the Declaration and a background of some of the issues it raises); b) panelists statements; c) interactions among the panelists; d) open discussion including audience members e) decisions about follow up. The moderators will make sure that an specific amount of time is allocated to each of these 5 sections and that those time limits are adhered to. 3. Our summary of the declaration will draw on recorded videos and include some reactions drawn from public media.

Online Participation


Usage of IGF Official Tool.