How can the Global Digital Compact prevent Internet fragmentation? – TOPIC 02 Sub 03 2023

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20 June 2023 | 17:00 - 17:45 EEST | Main auditorium | Live streaming
Consolidated programme 2023 overview / Main Topic 2

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Session teaser

This interactive session will consider how the Global Digital Compact, which is expected to be agreed at the UN Summit of the Future in September 2024, should establish a set of core principles and agree commitments to act by stakeholders, in order to prevent Internet fragmentation.

Session description

The UN Secretary General’s report “Our Common Agenda” has proposed that a Global Digital Compact (GDC) based on shared principles for “an open, free and secure digital future for all” should cover a range of thematic areas and specific issues including the avoidance of Internet fragmentation. The report can be accessed at - the proposed Global Digital Compact is described in para 93.

The Office of the Envoy on Technology launched a consultation on the proposed thematic areas for the GDC which concluded on 30 April. The details of the consultation process are accessible at .

EuroDIG's response to the Tech Envoy's consultation is accessible at This included the following summary of messages from recent EuroDIG meetings when the issue of Internet fragmentation was included in its agenda:

  1. Core principles:
    • The original model for Internet services based on multiple implementations, interoperability and open standards, has proved to be effective in countering the growth and dominance of "walled gardens" and closed platforms.
    • Any regulatory initiatives aimed at exerting sovereignty in a particular field must ensure they do not harm human rights online, do not harm the open and global nature of the Internet, and are in line with democratic multi-stakeholder principles.
  2. Commitments to action
    • The single, global, multi-stakeholder governance framework should be maintained for the key technical resources of the Internet (including IP addresses and domain names).
    • One of the ways to reduce the possibility of a “splinternet” is to avoid incompatible regulations for Internet infrastructure. Fragmentation at the transport layer (IP, DNS root) should be avoided.
    • In regulating the Internet infrastructure, collateral damage should be avoided to the services and operators regarding economic costs and availability and avoid fragmentation of the global critical internet infrastructure.
    • Sovereign states have the right to create rules over the usage of the Internet by their citizens according to their national values and legal frameworks, on issues such as moderation and removal of content, privacy and data protection, fair competition, national security and taxation.

This session in Tampere being held at the time when UN member states are being briefed on the potential scope and impact of the Global Digital Compact, will enable the EuroDIG community to articulate in a set of key messages how specifically the Global Digital Compact should serve to prevent Internet fragmentation.


Mark Carvell, Member of EuroDIG's Support Association, will open the session with a short summary of the recent EuroDIG messages on Internet fragmentation that were included in EuroDIG's response to the UN Secretary-General's Tech Envoy's consultation on the Global Digital Compact. Tatiana Tropina, Assistant Professor in Cybersecurity Governance at the Institute of Security and Global Affairs at Leiden University will then initiate the session's interactive discussion to introduce briefly:

  1. the UN Secretary-General's process led by the Tech Envoy of consultation on Internet fragmentation as a proposed thematic area for the Global Digital Compact;
  2. the current status of relevant initiatives, including the Internet Governance Forum's intersessional Policy Network on Internet Fragmentation (PNIF -

Following these short opening presentations, the floor will open for a 30 minute discussion of how to provide responses to the question in the session title: "How can the Global Digital Compact prevent Internet fragmentation?"

The aim of the session is to agree at least three specific, broadly consensus-based EuroDIG messages which will be reported for submission to the Tech Envoy, Under-Secretary-General Amandeep Gill. Mr Gill has been invited to attend and speak at the end of this session to provide his reflections on the key points made in the discussion.

Further reading: Tatiana Tropina, Assistant Professor in Cybersecurity Governance at the Institute of Security and Global Affairs at Leiden University: Internet Fragmentation: What’s at Stake?


Please provide name and institution for all people you list here.


  • Tatiana Tropina
  • Yrjö Länsipuro

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Focal Points

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  • Mark Carvell

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