[governance] multi-stakeholder modalities WG

Avri Doria avri at acm.org
Tue Dec 13 13:44:50 EST 2005


During one of the Tunis IGC meetings, I proposed the formation of a  
group to work on formulating and suggesting multistakeholder  
modalities for the  IGF.  After a bit of thought and some  
consultation with interested individuals, i have decided to suggest  
that we should form a single WG on modalities that will work on any  
possibility of multi-stakeholder participation, though the initial  
effort will certainly be focused on the Tunis Agenda driven efforts  
including the IGF.

A proposed charter for this group has been posted at:


It is currently just in English, but if there are volunteers for  
translation, translations will also be posted.  In the meantime, I am  
including a text copy at the end of this message so that the  
automatic translation service can make a pass at it.

As the charter indicates, once 10 people have joined the group, it  
will be considered (self) formed.  At that point, the group will need  
to chose its chair(s).  While I have taking repsonsiblitiy for  
coordinating the initiation of the group, I will _not_ be a condidate  
for a chair position as I do not believe one can both initiate an  
effort and apply to lead it without confusing goals.

I know the current charter is far from perfect, but I hope it is good  
enough to get the group started.  As the charter itself mentions, it  
can be changed by the members whenever there is consensus, or a 2/3  
vote, to do so.

Briefly, I see this group as somewhat similar to the working methods  
group, except that it is outward facing and deals with Civil  
society's and other sectors' participation in the upcoming  
arrangements.  The similarity centers on the fact that the group will  
focus on modalities and mechanisms instead of the specific contentful  
areas under discussion in CS and in the WSIS driven new  
organizational structures.

I hope this effort is of interest to some of the CS participants. I  
welcome conversation on the WG on any list where it would be in scope.



Multi-stakeholder Modalities Working Group (MMWG)


The basic principle of multi-stakeholder participation has been  
accepted by WSIS as the founding principle for establishing which  
will motivate  the modalities of participation in the entities  
resulting that result from the Tunis Commitment and the Tunis Agenda.  
These entities include, but are not restricted to, the UNSG process  
for enhanced cooperation (Tunis Agenda Para 71), the Internet  
Governance Forum (Tunis Agenda, paragraph 72), and in the activities  
involved related to Implementation and follow-on (Tunis Agenda Para  

There is, however, no common understanding yet of what multi- 
stakeholder participation involves nor of the what modalities should  
be used in enabling full and equal multi-stakeholder participation.   
It is also expected that full and equal multi-stakeholder  
participation will take time to reach full fruition.

This WG is established to develop the concepts of multi-stakeholder  
participation and to create produce recommendations for the  
modalities that will encourage full and equal multi-stakeholder  
participation.  The WG is also organized as an advocate WG that will  
work with the appropriate UN and other organizations to encourage  
them in the evolution towards a full  multi-stakeholder processes.


The purpose of the Working Group is :

• To define multi-stakeholder participation in a way that is  
inclusive and accessible to all stakeholders.

• To develop and formalize timely recommendations for modalities of  
multi-stakeholder participation that can be applied, among others,  
to  activities in:

• The Internet Governance Forum (IGF)

• The Process for enhanced cooperation

• WSIS Implementation and follow on activities

• To promote such recommendations to relevant UN and other  
international organizations

• To provide ongoing recommendations and advocacy once the original  
mechanisms are established


Membership is open to any individual who:

• Supports the goals of the working group

• Is willing to work actively on achieving the goals of the working  

• Is willing to sign a copy of the current charter.  This can be  
done either by returning an email, preferably using a digital  
signature, or by returning a signed copy of the charter to one of the  
WG chairs via mail or fax.  Voting will be dependent on receipt of a  

Working Methods

As much as possible Internet methods will be used to conduct the MMWG  
work.  The basic function of the WG is as follows:

• Two co-chairs will be designated by the Working group members.   
The term will be for 1 year.  Chairs can either be designated by  
consensus of the MMWG or by a 2/3 vote. Chairs can be removed by a  
2/3 vote of the voting members.

• Decisions will be made by consensus whenever possible.

• However when consensus cannot be reached, but an action needs to  
be taken or a document needs to be published by some deadline, a  
voting procedure may be used.

• Votes can be initiated in one of two ways:

•called at the joint initiative of the elected chairs of the group

• initiated by a majority of voting members of the group. To start a  
vote initiation process, 2 members must request the vote on the  
mailing list.

•Votes on substantive issues will be decided by a 2/3 majority of  
those voting.

•Voting procedures will use, yet to be determined, Internet  
procedures and will last 48 hours in duration

•In order to avoid vote capture, all members can only vote after  
then have been members of the MMWG for a month.

•All members are expected to participate in discussions and in the  
votes as much as is possible.  Voting will include 'abstain'  as an  

•A mailing list, open only to members but with public archives, will  
be set up for the group.

−This list will be run according to rules of netiquette that  
disallow personal attacks by one member on another member of the group.

−A member of the group can have email sending privileges suspended  
for a month by the chairs after 2 warnings, 1 private and 1 public.   
The privilege of receiving mail will not be suspended unless  
requested by the member.

• To the fullest extent possible, technology such as Wikis and chat  
rooms, will be used for discussion and document creation.

•As necessary, tools such as on line conferencing may be used.


In order to start the MMWG, a minimum of 10 individuals must agree to  
the charter.  There is no maximum membership level.


The Working Group is established for an initial period of two years.  
It can be extended  through a decision by a majority of its members.

Charter Changes
Any aspect of the charter can be changed by consensus or by a 2/3  
vote of the membership.

To Join
Please read the charter and review the archives and join at:


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