IGF 2022 WS #440 Declaration for the Future of the Internet

Wednesday, 30th November, 2022 (13:50 UTC) - Wednesday, 30th November, 2022 (15:20 UTC)

Organizer 1: Julia VAN BEST, European Commision
Organizer 2: Esteve Sanz, European Commission
Organizer 3: Anca Andreescu, Stantec
Organizer 4: Sonia Toro, Stantec
Organizer 5: Noha Fathy, Independent

Speaker 1: Pearse O'Donohue, Government, Western European and Others Group (WEOG) 

Speaker 2: Timothy Wu, Government, Western European and Others Group (WEOG)

Speaker 3: Marietje Schaake, Technical Community, Western European and Others Group (WEOG)

Speaker 4: Anriette Esterhuysen, Civil Society, African Group

Speaker 5: Paul Mitchell, Western European and Others Group (WEOG)


Grace Githaiga, Civil Society, African Group

Online Moderator

Sonia Toro, Private Sector, African Group


Noha Fathy, Civil Society, African Group


Debate - Auditorium - 90 Min

Policy Question(s)

1. How to ensure that the Internet remains open, global, and interoperable, in line with universal values and fundamental rights? 2. How can governments, private entities, civil society, and the technical community translate the principles of the DFI into concrete policies and actions and work together to promote this vision globally?

Connection with previous Messages: The workshop is built on some of the IGF 2021 messages, in particular on the following: ‘Economic and Social Inclusion and Human Rights;’ ‘Universal Access and Meaningful Connectivity;’ ‘Inclusive Internet governance ecosystems and digital cooperation;’ and ‘Trust, Security, and Stability.’ The workshop aims to establish a multi-stakeholder discussion on how to preserve an open, global, interoperable, reliable, and secure Internet, and how to achieve sustainable development and drive digital inclusion. This further includes providing meaningful and sustainable Internet access to everyone and safeguarding Internet openness to promote democracy and human rights. In this vein, the discussion will also tackle the open internet policies and actions which are important to promote the trust, security, stability, and interoperability of the Internet including a human-centric approach. All this cannot be achieved without considering the sustainability of the internet governance ecosystem that hinges on well-structured coordination and consolidation among the different stakeholders in order to promote a positive vision for the future of the Internet.


8. Decent Work and Economic Growth
9. Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure
10. Reduced Inequalities
16. Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions
17. Partnerships for the Goals

Targets: While an Internet that imperils fundamental freedoms and human rights online threatens the achievement of almost all the SDGs, there is a direct link between the proposed workshop and the herein above-listed SDGs. A free, open, global, interoperable, reliable, and secure Internet is particularly important as a building block to the advancement of the following SGDs: • Decent Work and Economic Growth: a free, open, global, interoperable, reliable, and secure Internet creates new working opportunities and contributes to growth. It would also provide career opportunities, support the emergence of new businesses, extend distribution channels to remote areas, increase employment in higher-skill occupations, and create new jobs for less-educated workers. • Industry, Innovation, and Infrastructure: a global and open Internet promotes innovation, also contributing to industrial development and infrastructure building/roll-out. It also has a positive impact on economic growth and social well-being which are important for the peace and happiness of individuals and societies at large. It further allows for cultural exchanges and the open exchange of knowledge and creativity which could greatly influence a lasting peace. • Reducing Inequality: A global and open Internet contributes to reducing inequalities between those who have studied and those who have not, urban centers and rural areas, developed and less developed regions, men and women, and ultimately between rich and poor. • Peace, Justice, and Strong Institutions: a global and open Internet ensures transparency, rule of law, democratic societies and processes, reliable institutions capable of regulation but also respective fundamental rights. • Partnerships for the goals: the session would allow structuring the effort of stakeholders around a global, open, and human-centric Internet to build/further partnerships around accelerating the achievements of the SDGs. In this context, the DFI is open to the broadest group of countries from all geographies and development levels, who actively support a similar future of the Internet and want to re-affirm the commitment to protecting and respecting human rights online.


Many internet stakeholders grapple with complicated questions vis-à-vis Internet safety and openness. This includes but is not limited to how to expand Internet access while keeping the Internet safe from illegal content and dangerous goods; how to fight against disinformation while protecting fundamental rights, i.e. freedom of expression and freedom of information; and/or how to keep the digital space contestable, open for innovation and inclusive. At a time where the negative developments of the Internet – including high market concentration and abuses of market power, diminishing pluralism and data privacy, and increasing disinformation, harassment, and censorship – are justifiably and decisively being addressed we must not forget and give up on the great benefits a well-functioning internet can add to our societies and economies. Against this background, the Declaration for the Future of the Internet (DFI) was launched on 28 April, rallying over 60 countries around an affirmative, positive agenda for a free, open, global, interoperable, reliable, and secure Internet. The DFI sets out shared fundamental principles that re-emphasise the great positive potential of the Internet. A well-functioning global Internet will reinforce democracies, promote social cohesion, and protect universal rights while allowing for digitally spurred economic growth and development. To this aim, the workshop will discuss how stakeholders can ensure that the Internet remains widely accessible, open, human-centric, and in line with universal values and fundamental rights. In the same vein, the workshop will further explore how these stakeholders can translate the principles of the DFI into concrete policies and actions and how countries and stakeholders can work together to promote this vision globally. The workshop is designed to allow different stakeholders representing the public and the private sectors from different geographic regions including developed and developing countries to participate and share their perspectives on the key questions. The main objective is to provide a platform for a multi-stakeholder constructive dialogue on how to preserve an Internet that is open, global, interoperable, reliable, and secure, and protects and respects human rights online and avoid efforts that threaten the global open Internet.

Expected Outcomes

1. Establishing an inclusive multi-stakeholder dialogue on a global and open Internet with a special focus on how policies and regulations can promote and human-centric internet that promotes connectivity, democracy, peace, the rule of law, and sustainable development. 2. Providing policy recommendations to help implement the principles in the DFI into concrete actions and policies. 3. Debate the importance of a future of the Internet that is open, global, interoperable, reliable, and secure, and protects and respects human rights online. 4. Strengthen the coalition of partner countries that support the principles in the DFI.

Hybrid Format: - A moderator will be nominated, present at the venue, and supported by an online facilitator who will encourage online participants to interact (via polls, and review of questions submitted online). - The alternation between online and onsite participants will be ensured by the moderator and the facilitator during the Q&A session. - Online participation will be planned ahead in the agenda and will be promoted and encouraged through Delegations around the world. Participants will also be allowed to submit questions in advance. - The European Commission will further reach out to all its networks and Delegations around the world to promote the session and ensure high-level participation. We have access to and can implement complementary communication tools as appropriate.

Online Participation

Usage of IGF Official Tool.