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Olufuye appointed member UN Internet Governance group

The President of Information Technology Association of Nigeria,( ITAN), Dr Jimson Olufuye has been appointed by United Nations Commission on Science and Technology for Development (CSTD) as a representative to the new Working Group on Internet Governance.

The  Public Policy Director of  World Information Technology Service Alliance, (WITSA)   Anders Halvorsen, who stated this in a letter dated January 28, 2011 to WITSA members said that as one of only five business representatives globally, Dr. Olufuye who is also the Vice Chairman of World Information Technology Service Alliance, (WITSA) is expected to  play an instrumental role in influencing the recommendations from the working group, which will be presented to the CSTD at its 14th session in Geneva on May this financial year

According to him,  Olufuye  will participate in both working group meetings, taking place in Montreux, Switzerland on February 25 through 26 , 2011 and in Zurich on March 24 through 25.2011 respectively.

With this, the  working group, he said,   will meet physically at least twice in Geneva, Switzerland respectively after which   they will then produce a consensus report to the CSTD

Halvorsen in a report disclosed  that the United Nations Commission on Science and Technology for Development (CSTD) has changed course and will allow participation by stakeholders, including from business, civil society, the technical and academic community, and intergovernmental organizations.

Even though the stakeholder groups will be limited to five rather than the originally anticipated twelve representatives each, he aid that  this can be seen as a clear victory for the multi stakeholder approach.

To date, according to  Halvorsen, the  Internet has grown in a largely unregulated environment, and has shown an ability to thrive in a wide variety of market environments under competitive conditions.

“This freedom from centralized and heavy regulations has produced impressive results over a relatively short period of time, delivering innovation, productivity and opportunity to a growing numbers of users in all parts of the world.

“Notably, the Internet has grown fastest in markets where there is competition for the provision of underlying telecommunications facilities, as well as for access and related services.

Today, policy makers at both national and global levels are considering a wide number of regulatory approaches to dealing with the issues of Internet governance, including cyber security, access, management of spam and malware, protection of intellectual property and other issues” he said.

With the recent renewal of the mandate for the IGF  coupled with the United Nations’ new focus on the enhanced cooperation clauses  and the movement towards independence of the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) through last year’s Affirmation of Commitments (AOC), he noted that  industry must remain vigilant in defending the multistakeholder approach to Internet governance.

In that regard, WITSA, he assured  will continue to appeal to governments and international institutions to make their Internet policy related and decision-making activities more open and inclusive of all stakeholders.

“Governments, regional and international organizations that have been more open, and that have shown a commitment to cooperation have proven to be more effective in their work. As industry, we not only welcome but demand opportunities to participate in the policy development process at all levels” he added


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