auDA is a proud supporter of multi-stakeholder approaches to internet governance. We operate .au through multi-stakeholder processes, and we advocate for the continuation and improvement of multi-stakeholder internet governance regionally and globally.
An internet governance inflection point
Two significant intergovernmental processes are on the horizon. They create a moment where the approach to internet governance, agreed by countries and stakeholders almost twenty years ago, is up for debate.
The first of these processes is the creation of a Global Digital Compact (GDC), a component of 2024’s Summit of the Future. It seeks to outline shared principles for an open, free and secure digital future for all.
We've written about the development of the GDC on the .au blog to provide background on the process. See auDA’s shared submission to the GDC with other Australia internet governance stakeholders and our proposal for a better way forward that adopts the multi-stakeholder approach.
The second significant intergovernmental process underway is the twenty-year review of the 2003-2005 World Summit on the Information Society - colloquially known as ‘WSIS+20’. It is due to take place in the middle of 2025. You can also read about what WSIS+20 is and why is matters on our blog.
Advocating for a multi-stakeholder approach
One of the important aspects of the multi-stakeholder approach in internet governance is the opportunity - and responsibility - for stakeholders to both work within the system and to be collective stewards of the system itself. In a moment of change, those involved in internet governance should share their thinking about how the system is working and how it could be improved.
That’s why we are pleased to launch auDA’s Internet Governance Roadmap. The Roadmap sets out our analysis and recommendations to promote an ongoing, effective system of multi-stakeholder internet governance. It is the product of engagement and conversations with stakeholders in Australia and overseas.
The Roadmap covers:
- The need for principles to shape the framework of internet governance, perhaps at a NETmundial+10 event in 2024
- The imperative for improved participation by underrepresented stakeholder groups and regions
- Creating goals to shape the work of internet governance, connecting it to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)
- A need for collaboration with the technical community to help shape the internet governance debate
- Institutional innovation, including the possibility of new collaborations or institutions to address emerging digital governance concerns (such as, for example, AI) where today’s internet governance system cannot help.
At the core of the Roadmap is our belief that the multi-stakeholder principle is vital to the internet governance system’s ability to do its job. auDA also believes that multi-stakeholder approaches are worth improving. A governance system that is fully inclusive of the perspectives, voices and insights of all those involved is the best way to drive the internet’s ongoing growth and development.
Today’s internet governance system does that well in most cases, but it can and should be further improved. To strengthen the effectiveness and legitimacy of the system, innovation and change is required.
auDA will actively share the ideas in the Roadmap locally, nationally, regionally and globally. We want to work with other stakeholders to improve internet governance, so it can support an open, free, secure and global internet and be a positive force for people all around the world.
auDA’s Roadmap was launched at a webinar yesterday. Watch the video for more about the context and a summary of the content. Alternatively, read the Roadmap itself, which you can find on our Internet Governance and Public Policy webpage.
We would love to hear from you about the proposals we make in the Roadmap. You can contact us by email at: email@example.com.