Mr. Liu Zhenmin Under-Secretary-General for Economic and Social Affairs
14th annual meeting of the Internet Governance Forum
29 November 2019, Berlin
Ladies and Gentlemen,
We are coming to the close of the 14th annual meeting of the Internet Governance Forum, also known as the Berlin IGF. By all standards, it has been an inspiring and enriching Forum. We have seen 214 events, including:
10 main sessions,
40 open forums,
64 multi-stakeholder workshops,
4 Best Practice Forum sessions,
18 Dynamic Coalition sessions,
7 National and Regional Initiative sessions, and
45 Day Zero events.
From these numbers emerge important insights and forward-thinking actions. And behind these numbers lie countless hours of hard work that demonstrate a clear commitment to an open, inclusive, secure, safe, resilient and affordable internet.
These aspirations are vividly captured under the overarching theme: One World. One Net. One Vision. Among other innovative measures, the Berlin IGF has benefited from the enhanced participation of developing countries and an increased role of parliamentarians.
I want to thank our German Hosts for their outstanding leadership, vision, innovation and generous funding support to the IGF. Thank you, Germany.
Our profound thanks also go to the members of the Multi-stakeholder Advisory Group. Your tireless efforts have laid the solid groundwork for this successful IGF. I would be remiss if I failed to express, on behalf of the Secretary-General, our profound gratitude to the chairperson of the Multi-stakeholder Advisory Group, Ms. Lynn St. Amour.
Lynn, your commitment, vision and leadership, when it comes to the IGF, is recognized by the entire IGF community. I am convinced that you will continue supporting the IGF in your future endeavors.
The 14-year journey of the IGF has been a remarkable one. This is thanks to the broad multi-stakeholder participation and engagement. We take this opportunity to thank the many donors for their financial contributions to the United Nations IGF trust fund. We count on your continued support. Your commitment to a strengthened IGF will be crucial as we look forward to the next six years of the IGF’s mandate, to 2025.
The national, regional and youth IGF initiatives should also be recognized. They are further expanding the inclusive multi-stakeholder Internet dialogue in a bottom-up manner. Indeed, there are now more than 120 national and regional initiatives from various regions and countries. Some have shared their invaluable experience and challenges with us here in Berlin.
I also wish to thank all the remote participants whose engagement is critical, as you are sharing the IGF experience with many others.
Finally, I thank all the volunteers for your hard work. You are the unsung heroes of the Berlin IGF. Looking ahead – from Berlin to Katowice – I wish our Polish Hosts all the best.
The United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs – UN DESA – stands ready to support our Polish hosts to carry forward the IGF’s mandate.
Ladies and gentlemen,
Let’s conclude this Berlin IGF with a sense of encouragement, and let us be prepared for the forthcoming IGF in Katowice.
Thank you all.