Welcoming Address to the Participants of the Second Russian Internet Governance Forum

Dear Friends,

A year has passed since the First Internet Governance Forum. Many significant events occurred during this period. We have become pioneers in launching country top-level domains in national languages. IDN TLD .РФ has now become an indisputable leader in terms of growth rates. We see that the Internet-community become aware of the need to reform the current system of Internet governance. Recent events have demonstrated the role of the Internet as an important tool of social development. Today we need thoughtful and coordinated efforts aimed at maintaining and developing the balance of forces engaged in Internet governance.

Last year, Moscow joined the global community of centers which hold regional Internet Governance Forums. Today, the critical challenge is to acquire our own voice and solidify our well-deserved position in the global processes in this area.

The last Forum demonstrated that the public debate on a broad array of issues in the Internet governance area constitutes a demanded form of the experts’ dialogue. It is important for us to further champion it and have new participants engaged in the discussion.

We are pleased that our friends and neighbors from the CIS countries have shown interest in the Forum. We have the common history, close development paths and enjoy traditionally friendly relations. I am confident we have a lot to borrow from each other's experiences. 

The Russian Federation has consistently advocated fostering sustainable partnerships with European countries. I believe that the debate on key developments and the shaping a unified stance in the Internet governance area forms one of critical tasks of the Forum.

While discussing the Internet governance issues, we mean debate on its future, its role as a driver of innovation, and on of its mirroring new societal development trends. I hope that in the course of discussions, the Forum participants will be able to offer their views and recommendations on the strategy of development of the Internet.

See you at the Forum!

Igor Schegolev
Minister of Telecommunications and Mass Media of the Russian Federation