Editorial

May 28, 2013

By Constance Bommelaer, Senior Director, Global Policy Partnerships, and Nicolas Seidler, Policy Advisor, Internet Society

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It is with great pleasure that we inaugurate the first newsletter from the Internet Technical Advisory Committee (ITAC) to the OECD.

ITAC was created in January 2009, following the 2008 OECD Ministerial in Seoul. Its main purpose is to provide Internet technical expertise to the work of the OECD Information, Computer and Communication Policy Committee (ICCP) and its working parties. The civil society advisory group (CSISAC) was also created at the same time, in addition to the existing business and trade unions stakeholders groups (BIAC and TUAC).

Ever since the first World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) in Geneva in 2003, tremendous evolutions have taken place in the field of Internet Policy development, with the emergence of more cooperative and inclusive models of policy-shaping in a variety of fora and regions.  Five years later, in june 2008, the positive input of the technical community in the OECD Ministerial was acknowledged by OECD ministers in the Seoul Declaration for the Future of the Internet Economy. This declaration invited OECD Member States to reinforce co-operative relationships and mutually beneficial collaboration with the Internet community. This was reflected in the Closing remarks by Angel Gurría, Secretary-General of the OECD:

“A more decentralized networked approach to policy formulation for the Internet economy also includes the active participation of stakeholders. Such active participation needs to be the norm. We appreciate the participation of stakeholders in this ministerial meeting. But I think we need to go further.  I would recommend that we begin the process of formalizing the participation of civil society and the technical community in the work of the OECD on the Internet economy.”

The Internet Technical Advisory Committee (ITAC) was officially recognized by the OECD Council on 15 January 2009. This concrete commitment to the multistakeholder model of cooperation was re-emphasised in the 2011 OECD Communiqué on Principles for Internet Policy-Making, recognising that better Internet policies are developed through multi-stakeholder processes, including business, civil society, the Internet technical community and academic institutions.

Over the past five years, ITAC has progressively grown into a well-identified group, sharing the view that universal growth and social progress can only be achieved on the basis of an open and global Internet ecosystem.  Indeed, the Open Internet is an extraordinary platform for existing and new business opportunities – enabling commerce to flow between all parties in dynamic ways, opening new territories, encouraging competition, expanding market presence, and fostering new business models.

The twenty-seven organisations part of the Internet Technical Advisory Committee have contributed to shape technologically-sound OECD policies and research in critical areas such as IPv6 implementation, open Internet standards, interconnection, security or privacy. Inclusive policy development processes have proved valuable both for governments and participating stakeholders.

With this bi-annual newsletter, we hope to share concrete illustrations and practices of the evolving multistakeholder model of policy development and create opportunities for new partnerships. The Internet Society, which is currently coordinating ITAC, is committed to working with all communities to ensure the Internet continues to grow and evolve as a platform for innovation, economic development, and social progress for people around the world.