[bestbits] [governance] CS input to Chairs Statement for GCCS - apologies for short time frame

parminder parminder at itforchange.net
Sat Apr 4 04:00:26 EDT 2015

Ian/ All

The following are my comments on the Global Conference on CyberSpace
2015 <https://www.gccs2015.com/> and its outcome document

This conference is 4th in a series also known as the London process. It
was started by US and UK and involves key developed countries, in an
attempt to create a captured space to develop global Internet related
norms and principles. See for instance the about page
<https://www.gccs2015.com/gccs/all-about-gccs2015>which says, "The three
preceding Global Conferences on CyberSpace (in London, Budapest and
Seoul) established a set of principles on internet governance." The
effort is to shun and move away from globally democratic spaces like
those of the UN, which should be the legitimate places to develop global
IG principles, to spaces controlled by key Northern powers.

Further, this process is not 'really multi-stakeholder' as all the
documents in the preceding meetings have been prepared by the key
Northern powers, with little or no input from civil society, or from
other country governments - certainly far far from the much bandied
equal footing multistakeholderism. The highly controlled participation
of civil society in these meeting is mediated in a non transparent
manner through means and agencies that I will pass commenting on at present.

These Northern powers (US and its allies) controlled global governance
spaces - even as the same powers resist any attempts to undertake such
principles and norms development at the UN level - represent entrenching
of their hegemony over the world's affairs, and further the spectre of a
unipolar world, which is imperialistic (and neo-colonial) and neoliberal.

In the circumstances, the foremost thing that civil society in Internet
governance space has to decide and comment upon is about the
imperialist, hegemonic and non-democratic means of global norms and
policy development that is embodied in GCCS kind of processes (and also
in OECD's Internet policy processes). Does civil society condone the
London process, with the said attributes and motives? In a way, they
seem to already condone it by participating in it, but then perhaps
participation could be used to convey the message to the organisers what
we think about it. Is there any such plan? Or is the civil society
merely going to fawn about how good everything is, except perhaps - can
you change the comma in line 8, and maybe insert 5-6 more instances of
the word 'multistakeholderism', and, thanks, we are done.

My view is, civil society participants should give a clear message to
the organisers that global civil society does not approve to such
captured spaces for global norms development, and that such activity
should be moved to genuinely globally democratic venues, where all
countries participate at the same level, and where civil society groups
have a very strong participative role. We should in fact prepare and
deliver a written common statement to the meeting in this regard. I dont
see what else can and needs to be done about this conference and its
proposed outcome document, which merely seeks to foist on the world the
principles and mechanisms for a hegemonic unipolar world, controlled by
imperialist forces, pursuing a neoliberal ideology .


On Saturday 04 April 2015 02:32 AM, Ian Peter wrote:
> Dear friends,
> /[Apologies for cross-posting]/
> // 
> /Below is a statement requesting your input into formulating the civil
> society response to the Chair’s statement for GCCS 2015. Apologies for
> very short comments period, but the draft was only released for our
> wider input in last 24 hours, and we need to submit a consolidated CS
> response after getting your input. There will be another (again short)
> opportunity to comment on the consolidated response as per message below./
> // 
> /Governments and business interests will also be responding to the
> text separately in the same time frame, so we can expect changes.
> There are some (surprisingly) good sections of the text  currently
> (IMHO) that we need to argue to retain, plus plenty where we can
> suggest improvements. But please input within the time frame either by
> the form or the email address below./
> // 
> // 
> // 
> // 
> //
> We would like to bring to your attention the call for civil society
> input on the outcome document for the Global Conference on Cyberspace
> 2015 <https://www.gccs2015.com/gccs/all-about-gccs2015>(GCCS 2015),
> hosted by the government of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, and taking
> place in The Hague on 16 and 17 April 2015.
> Following on from the London (2011), Budapest (2012), and Seoul (2013)
> Conferences - a series also known as the London Process, the 2015
> event in The Hague will provide an opportunity for further high-level
> discussion of key cyberspace issues, structured around the three main
> themes ofFreedom <https://www.gccs2015.com/themes/freedom>,Security
> <https://www.gccs2015.com/themes/security-0>andGrowth
> <https://www.gccs2015.com/themes/growth>. The Conference will be a
> stock-taking event, assessing the current global situation and mapping
> out the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead. By engaging
> governments, business, academia and civil society participants at the
> Conference, the organisers hope to find practical solutions to real
> and urgent challenges, and to progress the agenda of a free, open and
> secure internet.
> Based on the assumption that all those who have a stake in cyberspace
> should be able to express their views and participate in a meaningful
> way, this year, the organisers are putting particular emphasis on
> facilitating multistakeholder engagement in the Conference. As part of
> an effort to achieve this, the Conference organisers are interested in
> getting Civil Society input on the draft outcome document of the
> Conference (The Chair’s Statement).
> To submit your comments on the draft Chair’s Statement (HERE:
> http://tinyurl.com/lqp8knr), please complete this Google Form
> <http://goo.gl/forms/dYdv3rVkIJ>(link:http://goo.gl/forms/E72m3QTR1K)
> by _*COB Tuesday 7th April*_.
> The consolidation of this input into a unified document to be
> presented to the Conference organisers will be coordinated by the
> GCCS2015 Advisory Board
> <https://www.gccs2015.com/participants/civil-society-participation>,
> which has been set up by the Conference organisers to help ensure the
> Conference is as inclusive and representative as possible.
> In case you are unable to provide input at this stage, a call for a
> second round of comments on the unified document will be circulated in
> the week of the Conference.
> If you would rather contact us directly with your comments, please
> write to aditi at gp-digital.org <mailto:aditi at gp-digital.org>, answering
> the following 4 questions on the text:
> 1.
>     Sections of the text that you support being included in the final
>     outcome document
> 2.
>     Areas of the text which could be strengthened
> 3.
>     Areas of the text that raise concerns
> 4.
>     Areas of the text where there are inconsistencies or that lack clarity
> *Feel free to share this call with your civil society networks.*
> Ian Peter
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