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Statement by Mr Vinay Kwatra, Indian representative at the Global Multistakeholder Meeting on the Future of Internet Governance in Sao Paulo (April 23-24, 2014)

April 24, 2014

  • Honorable Ministers, Excellencies, distinguished delegates, Ladies and Gentlemen.
  • We would like to join others in thanking the Government of Brazil for organizing this unique conference and for inviting India to participate in the deliberations on key aspects of Internet Governance. As Government of India position and views on the agenda of the conference, including on Internet Governance and Road Map ahead, are already contained in our official submission to the conference, we would limit ourselves to making a few main points here. But let me first congratulate Brazil on approval of Marco Civil.
  • For India, Internet has been a catalyst of change, propelling economic growth, enabling extended governance outreach, positively influencing the lives of its people and building new narratives of India and its society. Indeed, Internet has been transformative for India. Equally, as our Honourable Minister for Communications and Technology said at IGF in Baku 2012, "India is important for the Internet”. With over 200 million Internet users, soon going to cross half in billion in coming years, over 900 million mobile telephone subscribers, and a thriving and robust Internet ecosystem, India is well poised and willing to play an important and constructive role in evolving the global Internet Governance ecosystem and in the process make it more credible.
  • While the world has indeed benefitted immeasurably from the growth of the Internet, making it effectively a Global Commons, we also cannot ignore several serious strategic and public policy challenges that this domain has presented. This conference is recognition of these challenges. Some of these would include:

    (i) Lack of truly representative and democratic nature of the existing systems of internet governance including the management of critical internet resources, leading to "trust deficit” in the system.

    (ii) Need for the Internet Governance ecosystem to be sensitive to the cultures and national interests of all nations, not just of a select set of stakeholders.

    (iii) Apparent inability of the current structures of Internet Governance to respond to some of the core and strategic concerns of the Member States.

    (iv) Need to broad base and internationalize the institutions that are invested with authority to manage or regulate the Internet.

    (v) Need to ensure security of the cyberspace and institutionalize safeguards against misuse for the protection of Internet users, and at the same time also ensure the free flow and access to information essential to a democratic society. In this regard, there is a need for cyber jurisprudence.

  • The elements of India’s approach on Internet Governance respond to its growing complexity and rests in supporting the dynamism, security and openness of a single and un-fragmented cyberspace. We also support innovation, and robust private sector investments to augment Internet’s continuing growth and evolution.
  • For it to be globally acceptable and credible, we also seek, as Tunis agenda states clearly, the Internet Governance system to be representative and democratic, rather than being managed by a few, with the full involvement of governments, the private sector, civil society and international organizations. Given its profound important, there is also a need for the various facets of the internet governance, including the core internet infrastructure, to be anchored in appropriate international legal framework. Going forward, we remain open to holding regular dialogues on these issues with relevant International partners.
  • We recognize the important role that various stakeholders play in the cyber domain, and welcome involvement of all legitimate stakeholders in the deliberative and decision making process. Internet is used for transactions of core economic, civil and defence assets at national level and in the process, countries are placing their core national security interests in this medium. Now with such expansive coverage of States’ activities through the internet, the role of the governments in the Internet governance, of course in close collaboration and consultation with other stakeholders is an imperative.
  • Additionally, given the important role that non-government stakeholders play, there should also be a clear delineation of principles governing their participation – including their accountability, representativeness, transparency, and inclusiveness. Clearly, it makes it even more important that we define the multistakeholderism.
  • Lastly, we appreciate the work done by the Secretariat for bringing out the draft of the outcome document of the conference. We can appreciate the enormity of their task given the huge divergence of views on this important issue. On our part, however, we would have liked to some of important principles and ideas, highlighted by us and many other countries reflected in the draft outcome document. As is the practice, we feel that the Chairman’s summary could be used to reflect and capture a wide variety of views. Such an approach would be credible and also provide scope for further improvements in future discussions.
  • In our deliberations over the next two days, we once again thank Brazil for inviting us for this conference and look forward to constructively engaging with other delegations in collectively contribute to making the Internet open, dynamic and secure, and its governance balanced between rights and responsibilities of all its stakeholders.
Thank you very much Mr. Chairman for giving me the floor

Official Submission to the conferenceMalayalam.pdf[631 KB]

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