Promoting policies for the Internet economy: Discussion of the most recent OECD Recommendations

Meeting type: 
Open Forum
Meeting Description: 

The OECD has specialized in advancing policy recommendations, i.e. norms that become standards without being legally binding. This approach has proven most effective in facilitating dynamic development, future innovation and in including different stakeholder groups.

The objective of this Open Forum is to present and discuss the most recent OECD recommendations. The recommendations that will be discussed in this year’s OECD Open Forum include:

• The Council Recommendation on Internet Policy-Making Principles (December 2011)
• The Council Recommendation on the Protection of Children Online (February 2012)
• The Council Recommendation on International Mobile Roaming Services (February 2012)

The OECD’s work, over the previous year, has been marked by the development of principles for Internet policy making. These principles are aimed at assisting policymakers preserve the fundamental openness of the Internet and protect the free flow of online information, while ensuring that privacy, children, intellectual property and security are adequately protected. Under this umbrella, the OECD Council adopted two more specific recommendations.

The Council Recommendation on the Protection of Children Online that was adopted in February 2012 puts forward a new set of principles that are based on evidence-based policy making to help governments protect minors online. The Council Recommendation on International Mobile Roaming, which was also adopted in February 2012, sets out principles with the aim to increase competition and reduce high international mobile roaming prices, including for Internet access while users are abroad.

The desired outcome of this Open Forum is (i) a discussion of these OECD recommendations in a multi-stakeholder and global setting that, in particular, takes priorities and concerns of emerging and developing countries into account and (ii) the elaboration of a muli-stakeholder approach towards the development and implementation of these recommendations.

Report
Reported by: 
Sam Paltridge, Taylor Reynolds, Verena Weber
A brief substantive summary and the main events that were raised: 

The OECD held an open forum on “Promoting policies for the Internet economy: A discussion of the most recent OECD Recommendations” on the 9th of November 2012 between 11:00-12:30. The background paper with the recommendations that were discussed is available at: http://wsms1.intgovforum.org/sites/default/files/Recommendations.pdf
 
 The session consisted of a moderator and five expert panellists. The participants were:
Nigel Hickson                                    ICANN
Toru Nakaya                                      Japan (MIC)
Sam Paltridge                                    OECD
Taylor Reynolds (moderator)                OECD
Rohan Samarajiva                              LIRNEasia
Valerie Hsu Phen Tan                         Microsoft

Conclusions and further comments: 

The session began with an introduction by the OECD. The moderator introduced three OECD recommendations that have been adopted by the OECD’s governing body over the past year. These recommendations are essentially norms that become standards but are not legally binding.  The moderator explained that the OECD finds this approach to be the most effective in facilitating dynamic development, future innovation and in including different stakeholder groups.
 
The three recommendations introduced for discussion, along with their adoption dates, were:
 

  • The Council Recommendation on Internet Policy-Making Principles (December 2011)
  • The Council Recommendation on the Protection of Children Online (February 2012)
  • The Council Recommendation on International Mobile Roaming Services (February 2012)

 
The session was structured so that each recommendation was introduced and then discussed by panel members. Panellists discussed each of the recommendations after it was introduced and then the floor was opened for questions and comments.
 
The discussions started with the Internet policy making principles. The participants welcomed that the OECD Council had adopted the recommendation on Internet Policy-Making Principles and speakers noted the importance of disseminating what they saw as best practices. Some of the comments pointed to how the development of principles had an impact beyond the OECD membership when countries such as Costa Rica said they would adhere to the recommendation.  It was also noted that APEC had discussed and welcomed the recommendation. There was lively discussion on how the principles related to the forthcoming WCIT-12 with discussion on the different mandates and roles of the ITU and OECD. 
 
The second and third recommendations focused on the protection of children online and then international mobile roaming.  It was noted that in both areas, mobile devices were providing increasing access to the Internet. The need for improved education and user empowerment was highlighted as being critical in both areas. Speakers noted that young people are often not conscious of the risks they face online and that consumers may be vulnerable to incurring high prices when they use international data roaming.  There was discussion on the multi-stakeholder processes used to reach the recommendations and panellist and other participants held a lively discussion on which measures held out the most promise for dealing with challenges in both these areas.

Provide the name of the organiser(s) of the Meeting and their affiliation to various stakeholder groups: 

OECD jointly with partners from national governments and the stakeholders from business, civil society and the Internet technical community.

Have you organised a Meeting (Dynamic Coalition, Open Forum, Side Session) before? If yes, please provide links to report(s): 

Yes, Organisation of the OECD Open Forum at all previous IGFs including the IGF 2011: http://www.oecd.org/InternetGovernance
http://www.intgovforum.org/cms/component/chronocontact/?chronoformname=W...

Background document: