“Seoul Declaration” Offers Roadmap for the Internet Economy

According to the new Seoul Declaration, the OECD will work with developed and developing countries and international organizations to improve policies for the Internet economy and increase international cooperation on issues such as cyber crime and security.

The OECD member countries, the European Community and ministers from Chile, Egypt, Estonia, India, Indonesia, Israel, Latvia, Senegal and Slovenia affirmed in a declaration their commitment to working together to stimulate innovation, competition and investment in ICT.

The declaration came at the close of the OECD Ministerial Meeting on the Future of the Internet Economy on 17-18 June 2008. Participants agreed on the need for governments to work closely with business, civil society and technical experts on policies that promote competition, empower and protect consumers, and expand Internet access and use worldwide.

“Given that this infrastructure has become critical to our economies and societies, we should all engage in developing better, more broad-based, governance arrangements and policies,” said OECD Secretary-General Mr. Angel Gurría in his closing speech.

Mr. Gurría called for a new approach to drawing up these policies. “A more decentralized, networked approach to policy formulation for the Internet economy that includes the active participation of stakeholders.” It had been 10 years since the landmark Ottawa OECD Ministerial Meeting on E-Commerce, he said, but “we cannot talk about the importance of the Internet every 10 years, which is an eternity in Internet time.” He pledged to review progress on the Declaration within three years.

During the closing session meeting, the OECD committed to improving statistical indicators to measure access and use of the Internet and its networks in order to provide more reliable data and analysis, notably of the impact of the Internet on economic performance and social well-being.

The OECD agreed to work closely with stakeholders to increase confidence in the Internet, to protect users online more effectively and enhance the fight against cyber threats through improved cross-border cooperation. The organization would also assess how OECD instruments related to competition, consumer protection, privacy and security are being applied by governments and business.

See also: the meeting’s preliminary statistical report.

Source: OECD

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