Press release | Date: 08/10/2023 | Ministry of Local Government and Regional Development
Norway is actively engaged in Internet Governance and cooperates closely with other states and actors. The overall vision is that the Internet needs to continue to be an open and free arena where everyone can freely give and receive information and where human rights are protected. This week Mr. Sigbjørn Gjelsvik, Minister of Local Government and Regional Development, is leading a Norwegian delegation to the UN conference Internet Governance Forum in Kyoto.
– We must avoid that governmental regulation of the Internet slows down development, innovation, and communication or is misused for censorship or propaganda. At a time when several countries are limiting citizens' digital freedom, there is an increasing need for liberal democracies to be present and contribute to the vital work in international forums where Internet Governance is discussed and negotiated, says Minister Gjelsvik
Internet Governance Forum (IGF) is an annual UN conference that allows the world community to discuss, share ideas, and exchange experiences for shaping the future of the Internet. This year, the IGF is hosted in Kyoto by the Japanese government.
Norwegian candidacy for hosting the IGF in 2025
Norway will be present with a large delegation led by Mr. Sigbjørn Gjelsvik, the Minister of Local Government and Regional Development. During this year's IGF, Norway wants to promote Norwegian priorities and our candidacy for hosting the IGF in 2025.
In this context, Norway wishes to draw attention to several issues that support the multistakeholder model so that everyone can give input to Internet Governance in the future. This includes, among other things, efforts to strengthen freedom of expression in cyberspace, initiatives to enhance access to the Internet in developing countries, measures against digital disinformation and the promotion of ethical development, and the introduction and use of Artificial Intelligence.
– The Internet today is one of the world's most critical infrastructures. For the Internet to be for everyone, one depends on the right balance between openness, security, robustness, and freedom, says Minister Gjelsvik.
The Norwegian delegation to this year's IGF includes representatives from the Ministry of Local Government and Regional Development, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Fisheries, the Ministry of Culture and Equality, the Norwegian Communications Authority, and the Norwegian Digitalisation Agency. The delegation also includes people from civil society, from academia, the technical community, and the private sector. The delegation will discuss several topics related to Artificial Intelligence, the multistakeholder model, and digital human rights.
Minister Gjelsvik wishes in particular to challenge Norwegian businesses, organizations and communities to contribute to important priorities for the Norwegian IGF candidacy and further the work with Internet Governance.
– The vast majority of people who use the Internet today are not aware of the discussions that are now taking place. The Internet did not become what it is today by itself, and there is no guarantee that it will stay this way. It is about choices made by people. We need all the stakeholders to contribute to these discussions, from civil society, academia, the private sector, the technical community - to individuals, concludes Minister Gjelsvik.