On November 22, the Geneva launch of the Report of the Global Commission on Internet Governance took place at the Maison de la Paix.
The event was organised by the Permanent Mission of Canada in Geneva and the Centre for International Governance Innovation (CIGI). Dr Gustav Lindstrom, the GCSP's Head of the Emerging Security Challenges Programme, took part in the launch panel together with, among others, Mr Carl Bildt, Chair of the Commission and former Swedish Prime Minister, Ambassador Syed Tauquir Shah, Permanent Representative to the WTO and co-convener of the e-Commerce for Development Initiative, Mr Joakim Reiter, Deputy Secretary-General of the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), and Dr Eileen Donahoe, Member of the Commission and former US Ambassador and Permanent Representative to the UN Human Rights Council.
Panelists discussed the importance of the Internet, as it now touches almost every aspect of our lives and has become the most powerful infrastructure in the world. Its importance will only grow as more and more aspects of day-to-day life become connected to and dependent upon the Internet. But the report addresses how basic access to the Internet is under threat, people don’t trust it to be secure, and the technology that underpins it is due for a major update. Were the Internet to lose its ability to support innovation, many of the gains we have seen over the past two decades could be erased.