Working Group on Internet Governance
Open-ended consultations

H.E. Ambassador Doru-Romulus Costea
Deputy Permanent Representative of Romania

- Geneva, November 24, 2004 -

General comments

We would like to express our satisfaction on the establishment of the Working Group on Internet Governance, the fruit of one of the most important deliberations we had in the preparation of the first phase of the World Summit on the Information Society. We are in particular grateful to the experts that showed interest or responded to the invitation to be part of this group of the wise. They are entrusted with a high responsibility. They are called to help the preparatory process to understand better the functioning and the resources of the Internet. They are helping us go deeper into issues that have not been thus far the object of any scrutiny in international organizations.

At this juncture, it is high time for us, all stakeholders, to pay tribute to the amazing work of those who created and developed the extraordinary network of people, groups and institutions that is Internet. The institutions that presently administer, manage or coordinate various aspect of the Internet deserve our respect, admiration and trust.

Presently, we came to recognize that Internet is a global problem that concerns all of us. People on all meridians are more than ever in the past closer to each other, despite of the reminiscences of old and new divides. Internet affects now profoundly our daily lives, our cultures, our economies, our knowledge power, and, not in the least, our security. The changes are too profound to be left entirely at the mercy of invisible hands or codes.

Let us not step back when confronted with new words. There is no ground to believe that, for some of us, governance means a priori government. We may be able to share, at the end of the preparatory process, a necessary common understanding about the meaning of governance. What we know at the beginning of this reflection process is that we have to make an informed decision about whether there is a need to do more at the international level than we have done so far.

There should be no room for prejudices or for suspicion. We are called to find together whether we can improve the existing management of Internet according to criteria that have been put in place in other domains of international interest: efficiency, inclusion, transparency, democratic accountability, fair competition. We should clearly state a few general principles:

  • that there is no intention to fix what is not broken;
  • that there is no wish to dismiss protagonists that have done an excellent work so far;
  • that there is no aspiration to downgrade the justified interests of all stakeholder, be they governments, private sector, academic media, standards creators, operators, service providers, property rights holders and, above all, beneficiaries, the ordinary people.

Before concluding, on a more personal note, my delegation would like to say how pleased it is to see among the members of the Working Group on the Internet Governance, three distinguished experts that brought invaluable service as rapporteurs of the Ministerial Pan-European Conference on the Information Society, held in Romania, in 2002 namely Mrs. Karen Banks, Mrs. Ayesha Hassan and Mr. Iosif Charles Legrand.

We are expecting form this Working Group, clear and fully justified evaluations and recommendations, capable of attracting consensus and of contributing to the success of the Summit.

In a full spirit of optimism, my delegation wishes the Group every success and landmark results.

Thank you

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