[bestbits] FYI: A letter to IGF Secretariat re: the outcome of the MAG Nominations 2017

Sheetal Kumar sheetal at gp-digital.org
Wed Mar 1 11:21:27 EST 2017

Dear all,

I'm writing regarding the outcome of the MAG nomination process this year.
As you know, the CSCG ran a nomination process to select candidates to the
MAG 2017 nominations and submitted the three names selected (Norbert
Bollow, Jeremy Malcolm, Arsene Tungali) by the deadline, 16 December.

The CSCG was informed of the outcome on 27 February. We received the
communication that "there will be no new Civil Society MAG member being

The IGF 2017 MAG has now been been approved by the Secretary-General's
office. The list of members can be found on the following url:

In response, we have sent the following letter to the IGF Secretariat,
copied in full under the dotted line below. The first Open Consultations
and MAG meeting of the IGF 2017 preparatory cycle are taking place now
(01-03 March) in Geneva, so we expect for this to be brought up during the
course of the discussions there, and to receive a response soon.

Should you have any questions at all,

Sheetal and Poncelet.

1 March 2017

Dear Chengetai,

We are writing, as members of the Civil Society Coordination Group (CSCG),
to respectfully express our concern at the notice received via the Internet
Governance Forum’s (IGF) Secretariat, that there will be no new civil
society member added to the Internet Governance Forum's Multistakeholder
Advisory Group (MAG) this year (2017). The reason provided to the CSCG was
that there is no civil society MAG member being rotated out.

The Civil Society Coordination Group (CSCG) exists solely to ensure a
coordinated civil society response and conduit when it comes to making
civil society appointments to outside bodies. Please see the website for
more information on the mechanism: <http://internetgov-cs.org/#about>

According to the FAQ provided
<https://www.intgovforum.org/multilingual/content/mag-renewal-2016>, there
is not a fixed number of civil society representatives. We understood that
one of the current members (Ms. Amelia Andersdotter
has served three terms and would be be rotated out. On the IGF website
<https://www.intgovforum.org/multilingual/content/mag-members-0>, her
affiliation is listed as Civil Society, we therefore do not fully
understand the explanation provided about her past and current affiliation
in your email (dated 27 February) 2017 to us. We understand that, apart
from Amelia Andersdotter's retirement,  another civil society vacancy has
been created by John Dada stepping down over the last year. This vacancy we
understand was never filled.

Once again, it was our understanding from the beginning that at least one,
perhaps two, vacant position(s) was available and to be filled by a Civil
Society representative. The CSCG conducted an open, transparent and
democratic selection process, following which three candidates were
selected. These three names were submitted
<http://www.internetgov-cs.org/2016-12-15> before the deadline to UNDESA
for consideration.

However, the decision to not elect a civil society representative to
replace the outgoing member comes as both a surprise and disappointment to
the CSCG. The selection process conducted via CSCG paid respect to the
factors outlined by UNDESA, “notably: priorities for regional diversity,
with an emphasis on representation from developing and least developed
countries; gender balance; and diversity of institutions and organizations
with which members are affiliated”.

We strongly regret that, following an open, transparent and democratic
selection process, we will not be able to provide a satisfactory
explanation for this situation to the members of the various constituencies
which we represent. Moreover we are concerned about the possibility that
this situation may deter, or at least reduce willingness of, civil society
members to engage in the process going forward considering the time lost
and unaccounted for on this occasion.

While we would like to thank the UNDESA for its leadership we hereby
respectfully request that UNDEA reconsider its decision and agree to
appoint at least one additional representative from civil society on the
basis of our proposal, or, at a minimum, that UNDESA provide further
explanation as to the decision not to nominate a replacement for the
outgoing civil society MAG member.

Thank you for your time and consideration of this matter.

With best wishes,



*Sheetal Kumar*
Second Home, 68-80 Hanbury Street, London, E1 5JL
T: +44 (0)20 3 818 3258 0337| M: +44 (0)7739569514  |
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