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Geneva to play leading role in global Internet governance

Geneva has recently launched the Geneva Digital Talks on cybersecurity, in partnership with Digitalswitzerland. The Swiss city is also hosting the Internet Governance Forum, the main platform where Internet-related public policy issues are discussed.

Jet d'Eau in Geneva
Geneva is emerging as a global digital governance platform. © Stephan Engler

Pierre Maudet, Geneva Minister of Economy and Security, launched the Geneva Digital Talks on October 12. This series of discussions on cybersecurity is aimed at facilitating the emergence of innovative, concrete and sustainable solutions to reduce the risks associated with cyberspace. This initiative follows the proposal made in February by Microsoft President Brad Smith for the establishment of a “Digital Geneva Convention", i.e. the implementation of international rules to protect the civilian use of the Internet. Digitalswitzerland, the platform focusing on making Switzerland a leading digital innovation hub, is part of the Geneva Digital Talks.

Geneva as an Internet governance hub

Geneva is a recognized center of competence in the field of internet governance, with key organizations such as the Internet Society, ICANN, the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) and the secretariat of the Internet Governance Forum. The city is home to more than 50% of the world's Internet-related activities and is set to host the twelfth edition of the Internet Governance Forum (IGF) taking place from 18 to 21 December 2017. Established by the UN Secretary General in 2006, the IGF is a global forum for multi-stakeholder dialogue on public policy issues related to key elements of Internet governance. Nearly 2,000 participants from governments, industry, the scientific community and civil society are expected to attend.

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