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ABA Urges Continuation of United Nations Internet Governance Forum

CHICAGO, August 19, 2009 – The _’s House of Delegates urged support for continuing operations of the Internet Governance Forum, the United Nations group that serves as a global policy discussion forum on the governance of the Internet. The association’s governing body took that action during the ABA Annual Meeting in Chicago earlier this month.

The United Nations established the IGF to allow for the free, open and frank exchange of views among all interested parties. Its initial five-year charter expires at the end of 2010.

The ABA action urges the U.S. Secretary of State and the Assistant U.S. Secretary of Commerce/Administrator of the National Telecommunications and Information Administration to support a renewal of the IGF term to operate substantially in accordance with its current mandate.

The IGF is the only international forum dedicated to providing open discussions concerning all aspects of Internet governance. As an inclusive forum, it encourages the exchange of opinions among all Internet stakeholders, including governments, intergovernmental organizations, non-governmental organizations, industry, the private sector, civil society, academia and the Internet technical community.

The European Parliament, the International Chamber of Commerce, the United Kingdom government and the Council of Europe also have expressed support for continuation of the IGF’s mandate.

The ABA recommendation was sponsored by the association’s Section of Business Law through its Cyberspace Law Committee with additional sponsorship from the Section of Science and Technology Law and the Section of International Law.

With more than 400,000 members, the _ is the largest voluntary professional membership organization in the world. As the national voice of the legal profession, the ABA works to improve the administration of justice, promotes programs that assist lawyers and judges in their work, accredits law schools, provides continuing legal education, and works to build public understanding around the world of the importance of the rule of law.

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