In the fall of 2021, eQualitie launched an idea to bring the 19th edition of the Internet Governance Forum to Montreal. The initiative already has support and endorsement from local and provincial government, academia, business and community organizations. Read the proposal below and join us in encouraging the government of Canada to invite the IGF Secretariat to Montreal in 2024.
What is the IGF?
The Internet Governance Forum (IGF) is a United Nations summit for multi-stakeholder policy dialogue on Internet governance issues. Since its inception in 2006 by the Tunis Agenda of the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS), the IGF has gained prominence as an open and inclusive forum for dialogue on policy issues aimed to foster the sustainability, robustness, security, stability and development of the Internet.
Each year the forum brings together National, Regional and International stakeholders to engage in cross-cutting discussions on Internet governance issues. Its processes and core principles remain open and transparent, developed bottom-up by the IGF community.
Canadians and Quebecers, already concerned by Internet Governance
The digital divide, cyber security, the Internet of Things, violence and harassment online, ethics in artificial intelligence and many other topics are already mobilizing Canadians. In 2019, Canada launched its national IGF (CIGF) bringing together hundreds of representatives from government, civil society, and the private sector to tackle the pressing public policy issues facing the internet. Given the growing interest and reflecting on the outcomes of the event, CIGF’s 2019 report stressed the importance of Canada’s unique position in the global dialogue and the opportunity for Canadian stakeholders become leaders in addressing the transnational issues associated with the online world.
In Quebec, the ISOC (Quebec Chapter) initiated a Forum sur la Gouvernance de l’Internet au Québec in 2017. The final report featured over 40 recommendations on open data, connectivity, blockchain technologies, and digital inclusion defining opportunities and perspectives – actions that could help make Quebec a more open and inclusive digital society, while offering fairer, and better interconnectedness with the rest of the world.
Montréal, Silicon Valley of the North
Montreal, is often considered one of the birthplaces of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, drafted in 1946 by Canadian legal scholar John Peters Humphrey. The city has witnessed an incredible growth in the technology industry, including AI and deep learning, video game design and production, CGI and cyber-security. Québec’s largest city relies on a diverse ecosystem and strong collaboration between various players including 5,000 technology companies employing 179,000 people; a network of 1,500 volunteer technology mentors; numerous research centres, including the world’s largest university-based research institute for deep and machine learning (MILA); 27 incubators/accelerators; nearly 18,000 university students enrolled in technology programmes; 12 corporate innovation labs; strong government support for R&D; and much more.
Known as the City of Festivals with its rich history, culture and heritage, Montreal is built on an island (Kawenote Teiontiakon in the Kanien’kéha language of the Haudenosaunee people). The city hosts the headquarters for the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) in addition to the United Nations Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD). The Palais des Congrès de Montreal, which has agreed to host the IGF in 2024, previously welcomed the 11th Conference on Climate Change (COP11) in 2005, the World Energy Council in 2010, the Regional Platform for Disaster Risk Reduction in the Americas in 2017 and many other major events.
Encourage Canada to support this initiative!