UN Secretary-General Appoints Nigeria’s Sesan, Nine Others To Serve In Internet Governance Forum Leadership Panel

The United Nations Secretary-General, Antonio Gutteres has appointed Gbenga Sesan from Nigeria and others into 10 high-level professionals and eminent persons to serve on his inaugural Internet Governance Forum (IGF) Leadership Panel.

In line with the mandate of the IGF and as recommended in the Secretary General’s Roadmap for Digital Cooperation, the Secretary-General has established the Panel as a strategic, empowered, and multistakeholder body to support and strengthen the IGF.

The 10 distinguished members of the Panel have been appointed by the Secretary-General following an open call for nominations, and in line with an equitably distributed, multistakeholder configuration of ministerial-level Government representatives, executive-level representatives of the private sector, civil society and the technical community, as well as “at-large” prominent persons in the field of digital policy.

In addition, the Panel consists of five ex-officio members: senior representatives of the current, immediately previous, and immediately upcoming IGF host countries; the Chair of the Forum’s Multistakeholder Advisory Group; and the Secretary-General’s Envoy on Technology.

Hailing from all regions of the world and serving a two-year term during the 2022–23 IGF cycles, the complete, inaugural Panel is as follows:

· Mr. Vint Cerf, United States of America
· Mr. Hatem Dowidar, Egypt
· Ms. Lise Fuhr, Denmark
· Ms. Maria Fernanda Garza, Mexico
· Mr. Toomas Hendrik Ilves, Estonia
· Ms. Maria Ressa, Philippines and United States of America
· H.E. Mr. Alkesh Kumar Sharma, India
· H.E. Ms. Karoline Edtstadler, Austria
· Mr. ‘Gbenga Sesan, Nigeria
· Mr. Lan Xue, China

Ex-officio Members

· H.E. Mrs. Huria Ali Mahdi, IGF 2022 Host Country (Ethiopia)
· H.E. Mr. Yuji Sasaki, IGF 2023 Host Country (Japan)
· H.E. Mr. Krzysztof Szubert, IGF 2021 Host Country (Poland)
· Mr. Paul Mitchell, Chair of the IGF Multistakeholder Advisory Group
· Mr. Amandeep Singh Gill, Secretary-General’s Envoy on Technology

The full biographies of the Leadership Panel members are available on the IGF website. Further details on the functioning of the Panel can be found in its Terms of Reference.

The IGF is an outcome of the Tunis phase of the World Summit on the Information Society that took place in 2005. In the Tunis Agenda, Governments asked the Secretary-General to convene a “new forum for policy dialogue” to discuss issues related to key elements of Internet governance. The mandate of the Forum was extended for another 10 years in December 2015, during the high-level meeting of the General Assembly on the overall review of the implementation of the World Summit on the Information Society outcomes. The 17th edition of the Forum will take place from 28 November to 2 December 2022, in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

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