ICC BASIS calls on global leaders at IGF 2021: Keep the Internet whole!


ICC is set to represent the experiences and perspectives of its global network for the 16th year running, at the 2021 Internet Governance Forum, taking place online and in Katowice, Poland, on 6-10 December.

As the premier United Nations forum for the discussion of issues related to governance of the Internet, the IGF remains the most important international forum for the private sector to engage with other stakeholders for frank discussions on how best to govern and utilise the Internet to enable economic and social benefits for all.

In a world increasingly reliant on digital technologies, the Internet enables digital technologies to be connected, and for people, businesses and governments to benefit from those technologies. During the COVID-19 pandemic for example, a robust, open and unfragmented Internet has enabled people to continue working, socialising and their education.

Through its Business Action to Support the Information Society (BASIS) initiative, ICC is the primary channel for representing the private sector voice at the IGF. By drawing upon the experiences and expertise of ICC’s global network of over 45 million companies in more than 100 countries, ICC BASIS brings together business representatives to prepare for these important discussions – seeking business input, proposing business representatives as speakers and leading a delegation to promote policies on digital issues that impact all sectors of business everywhere, every day. In addition, ICC BASIS issues a post-event summary of key IGF discussions relevant to the private sector, particularly helpful for small- and medium-sized enterprises who may not have the resources to participate in the preparation for IGF, or the event itself, but will inevitably be affected by the policy issues discussed there.

At this year’s IGF, ICC encourages all stakeholders to continue to work collectively to ensure that future developments regarding the Internet’s standards, policies and regulations are coherent with existing commitments to:

  • promote a globally connected, stable, unfragmented Internet. Keep it whole!
  • expand connectivity and ensure meaningful access for everyone. Keep it open!
  • enable data free flows with trust to support a truly global digital economy. Keep it flowing!
  • increase efforts to strengthen cybersecurity. Keep it safe!
  • preserve the multistakeholder model for Internet governance. Keep it ours!

ICC-BASIS contributions to IGF 2021…

On the main stage…

ICC Executive Board member Ralph Mupita, President and CEO of MTN Group South Africa will join UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres and Polish Prime Minister, Mateusz Morawiecki to represent the business community at the IGF’s  Opening Ceremony on Tuesday, 7 December, 09:00-10:30 UTC.

Deep in discussion in workshop sessions

The format of the IGF focuses on knowledge sharing, best practice exchange and capacity building encouraging an openness and frankness of exchanges among participants that is not attained in events where negotiated texts result in entrenched positions being defended. To provide further context supporting ICC’s commitments to the five commitments listed above, ICC BASIS is collaborating with partners to host three workshops, open to all IGF participants and broadcast on YouTube:

Thursday, 9 December 2021, 13:00-14:30 UTC
Trustworthy data flows – what’s at stake and what is needed?

Resilient economies and societal well-being depend on trusted, secure and uninterrupted flow of data between countries. Unfortunately, trust in international data flows continues to be eroded due to concerns over security and data protection, consumers’ rights, universal human rights and freedoms –  including privacy rights –  as well as a lack of clarity, transparency, and consistency between national approaches to government access to data held by the private sector. These increased concerns and waning trust have led to uncertainty that may discourage the participation of people, businesses, communities and even governments in a global economy that is increasingly digital, negatively impacting economic growth when it is most needed. This workshop will unpack the causes and impact of this lack of trust and offer an opportunity for participants to explore, together, potential solutions towards developing comprehensive data governance frameworks that enhance trust and facilitate data free flows.

Friday, 10 December 2021, 12:45-13:45 UTC
From commitment to action: breaking barriers to connectivity

On the premise that successful connectivity projects depend on technological, financial and regulatory support, this workshop aims to identify specific barriers to delivering connectivity to everyone, everywhere. It will highlight how innovative technologies, regulatory frameworks, financial and investment approaches or business models can help address these barriers and, identify concrete policy solutions that can be transposed or scaled up to empower relevant stakeholders to achieve universal connectivity.

Friday, 10 December 2021, 14:00-15:00 UTC
Cutting carbon in a digital world – myths and facts

Based on the latest research and evidence, this workshop will tackle some of the key questions around the carbon footprint of the ICT and digital industry and discuss how companies and governments across the globe can work towards creating a carbon-free tech sector that can capitalise on the opportunities offered by digital technology deployment to help address climate change .

IGF 2021 preparatory process

ICC BASIS and member companies have also been actively participating in the IGF Multistakeholder Advisory Group’s planning and preparatory activities and provided input for the IGF’s year-long intersessional workstreams.

Find out more about ICC’s involvement in the IGF process

Timea Suto, Knowledge Manager, Global Policy and BASIS

ICC Founding Partners