ECOSOC articles

The United Nations' Economic and Social Council concerns itself with the world’s economic, social and environmental challenges. It was established in 1946 and issues policy recommendations. It also has broad responsibility for around 70 percent of the UN's finances.

The Council holds regular meetings throughout the year with business, academica and NGOs. Most important is it annual, month-long session in July each year, alternating location between New York and Geneva. In terms of Internet policy and governance, ECOSOC oversees the Commission on Science and Technology for Development (CSTD); the body where most topics are dealt with formally within the United Nations.

ECOSOC has been fighting somewhat of a turf war with another arm of the UN, UNCTAD (UN Conference on Trade and Development), over Internet governance issues. UNCTAD is connected to the CSTD and closely involved with the Internet Governance Forum (IGF). ECOSOC website can be found at:

27 March 2012

[Copy of transcript and audio available on 12 March 2012 ICANN and the Internet Governance Landscape session page]

Bill Graham: I think we should get started, I’m very pleased to see such a large group here for this interesting, I hope, I’m sure will be an interesting session. I want to congratulate all of you who found the place, because I know there’s been confusion about the time and the room, and I truly apologize for that. But some last minute changes were required and that has been the result. But anyway you’re here and I’m very pleased to see you.

I am Bill Graham; I am a Director on the ICANN Board. Markus Kummer beside me is the Vice President of Public Policy for the Internet Society, and we will be co-chairing this event.

9 February 2012

The Internet governance dance card gets fuller every year as each stakeholder group adds its own meetings on various isssues to the mix. Below is a list of 12 meetings within the global inter-governmental space to keep an eye on in 2012.


1. Panel discussion on freedom of expression on the Internet

To be held during 19th Session of the Human Rights Council (HRC).
When: 27 February - 23 March
Where: Geneva

28 January 2012

Both the Internet Governance Forum (IGF) and the idea of “enhanced co-operation on public policy issues pertaining to the Internet” are outcomes of the 2005 WSIS document, Tunis Agenda for the Information Society.

Since the Tunis Agenda was adopted by UN Member States, there have been six IGFs, involving thousands of participants, linking stakeholders in different Internet governance areas from around the world, and spawning a number of national and regional IGF initiatives.

CSTDWG chair Peter Major talks with member Izumi Aizu. Photo: Sam Dickinson

In that same time period, there have been sporadic consultations on what "enhanced co-operation" is and should be, with no agreement amongst stakeholders on whether enhanced co-operation is a governments-only co-operation mechanism or is about broader co-operation between governments and all other stakeholders in Internet governance.