Washington: The US has applauded India's recent support for multi-stakeholder approach on Internet, saying the decision is critical for ensuring the vitality of the World Wide Web.
"Just a few weeks ago, (Indian) Communications Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad announced the Government of India's support for the multi-stakeholder approach at the last Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) meeting," said Catherine A Novelli, Under Secretary of State for Economic Growth, Energy and Environment, yesterday.
Addressing a meeting of Internet Governance Forum-USA, Novelli said Prasad stressed the idea that multi-stakeholderism should embrace all geographies and societies.
"I could not agree more with Minister Prasad on this point and we look forward to our continued dialogue with India and others on this important issue," Novelli said.
"Every citizen ? regardless of the country they live in ? can contribute to global decision-making on how we manage this common resource," she said ahead of this year's global Internet Governance Forum (IGF) in Brazil.
Noting that over the past few years there has been growth in IGF stature in participants, diversity and in substance, she said this was a very positive development.
The IGF has demonstrated that it is a preeminent venue for the multi-stakeholder community to share opinions, ideas and solutions to problems regarding a range of Internet governance and policy issues. Its continued growth and long-term stability is absolutely essential to the future of the Internet, Novelli said.
"In Brazil, we must continue to demonstrate to the world that the multi-stakeholder approach, that brings together government policy-makers, businesses, NGOs and Internet experts on an equal footing, is the best way to effectively overcome today's challenges and preserve the Internet's future," Novelli said, adding that she was thrilled with the growing support for this model of Internet governance.
Observing that Internet offers unprecedented opportunities for economic growth in developing countries, she said of the developing world's 1.4 billion extremely poor people, 70 per cent live in rural areas.
Their lives can be transformed by connecting village schools to the web, bringing telemedicine to far-flung rural health centers, providing accurate weather information to farmers and fisherman and supplying up-to-date market information to producers, Novelli said.
She said for every ten per cent increase in a country's Internet penetration, its total economic growth expands by one to two per cent.
"Internet is a foundational tool for creating shared prosperity. It is as fundamental for economic growth as highways, power grids and ports," Novelli said.