IDEA's Nick Ashton-Hart was at NetMundial and an active part of the two-day negotiations, including being the first speaker for the private sector from the floor. His comments seem to have really caught the imagination, as they led to an interview with CCTV America and Bloomberg and echoes of his main points may be found in the final Statement too.
"Thank you Chairman, and to the hosts and volunteers for their hard work organising NetMundial. I speak today on behalf of the Internet & Digital Ecosystem Alliance based in Geneva.
I would like to make two points.
Firstly, that Internet Governance cannot expand infinitely to cover every subject with an Internet element - especially areas that relate to content. If Internet Governance tries to solve all problems, it will end up able to solve none.
Secondly, many of the principles we may settle upon here relate to life online and offline equally - and we should not seek to address the online dimension in isolation.
For example: Human rights apply equally online and offline; they are not fundamentally “about” the Internet but about people. Issues of social development and multilingualism apply equally online and offline, too. Surveillance is not an Internet problem, but a problem with how states treat foreigners in execution of their obligation to protect their citizens - and the Internet cannot solve that problem. And so forth.
Mr. Chairman, we must remember that many principles we agree in this context are already actively being worked on in other international processes - the Human Rights Council for Human Rights, UNESCO for social and cultural development - and so on. Those venues concentrate expertise and experience we must collaborate with, not seek to duplicate. We should participate in these fora to give them the benefit of the Internet community’s expertise, not least amongst which is the value of multi-stakeholder based decision-making."