[governance] [Fwd: [WSIS CS-Plenary] IGF/MAG renewal an opaque and non-incluse process / un processus opague et non-inclusif]

Dr. Francis MUGUET muguet at mdpi.net
Tue Aug 21 20:46:08 EDT 2007

Dear Jeremy
> Parminder wrote:
>> I don't understand the need and purpose of a co-chair.
> I think that the idea of a co-chair is an excellent one, except for the 
> fact that, as you have noted, it is another governmental stakeholder 
> representative.  In fact I recently wrote in my PhD thesis on the IGF:
Your scholarly work is quite interesting.
> "* Rather than being appointed by the UN Secretary-General, the chair
>   should be selected by democratic or consensual means by the [Advisory
>   Group] itself. ...
> * The rotation of the candidates for chair among the stakeholder groups
>   is necessary to ensure the bureau’s legitimacy as the peak body of a
>   multi-stakeholder governance network. ...
> * The election of co-chairs, as well as supporting the bureau’s
>   multi-stakeholder legitimacy, adds a layer of accountability to the
>   [Advisory Group] ..."
I agree with the intent of your proposal
but I respecfully think that it should
be reframed in a proper legal framework using exact words.

Election of an advisory group as a group of personal advisers to the UN 
SG seems a contradiction in terms :

 >>CHAIRMAN DESAI:   ../.. I would like to clarify one thing, which is 
that the Advisory Group has been constituted by the Secretary-General 
simply to advise him.  It does not really have any other legislative 
basis than that.

So it is very DIFFERENT, legally speaking from the WGIG, constituted
by a decision of the WSIS.

When a monarch or a president choose advisers he/she does not rely on
elections, it is the "will of the prince".
You have to "please" the prince or his/her closest "advisers"
( a pyramid of advisers... with all the intrigues and
  non-transparency that its implies )
The status of an adviser is a top-down process from the "fountain of power".
Of course the selection by the Prince could be better,
if the advisers to the Prince are making the widest as possible
"consultations",  or if each constituency presents a list
( a self-nonimation process, this happened for the WGIG, but it was
done properly unfortunately, for lack of procedural oversight )
but you can see that this process, per se,
belongs to an autocratic system.

What you are really advocating here is a Bureau and more,
where some form of autonomous representation is recognized,
de jure.

A Bureau may be formed of elected persons when the form of the 
constituency allows it (States ) or at least some form of 
self-determination by the constituency.
It is a bottom-up process and this is new at the UN.
It is the form of structure that the internet community is
proud of.
It was initiated during the WSIS by the formation of representation
for procedural matters only however, for the CCBI and the CSB.
  It does mean it is perfect, both in the internet community or
  at the CSB, but I believe it is better than an autocratic
  selection of courtiers.

Since a Bureau in UN terms is for procedural issues only,
it should be supplemented by a Program Board or Committee,
where a transparent
self-nomination process should be implemented.
Of course this implies, consensus and therefore it implies
having constituencies that are well defined to allow such consensus
to occur.

In short, do we want to have an IGF "privy council" or some sort
of a parliament ?
This is the first thing that must be reflected upon.

I would encourage social science, political science researchers, 
ethnologists to investigate this point and also
to study current sociology and political
mechanisms of the "Internet Community"

>> (I know powers-that-be will justify this by saying that MAG is after 
>> all a
>> program committee, and host country's co-chairman-ship has practical 
>> uses. I
>> think MAG has more powers than that of a program committee, it shapes the
>> IGF, and therefore wields much of whatever power IGF has.) 
> Absolutely.  This is also why it is unconscionable that the Advisory 
> Group's members have been appointed without any open call for 
> candidates, or any published criteria for their selection, or any 
> transparency in the process of their selection -
  I mean, we don't even
> have a list of their names yet!  They are apparently not all the same as 
> the original Advisory Group.

My understanding is they are going to be same folks,

 >>GERMANY (European union) :  ../..  we support the reconduction of the 
existing multistakeholder Advisory Group for the Rio meeting for the 
sake of efficiency.

it is possible that they might some new people as special advisors
to the new co-chair.

>> I find some parts of the proclamation quite useful.. especially
>> " As part of its mandate, the Advisory Group has been asked to enhance 
>> the
>> transparency of the preparatory process by ensuring a continuous flow of
>> information between its members and the various interested groups."
> I also took note of the statement that "Any decision on how to prepare 
> subsequent meetings will be taken after the Rio de Janeiro meeting in an 
> open, inclusive and transparent consultative process, taking into 
> account the proposals of the Advisory Group."  This suggests to me that 
> we are being promised greater input into the selection of the third 
> Advisory Group (or bureau, or whatever it becomes).  But why couldn't 
> that have been the case for this year?

This statement seems dangerous if only the proposal of the Advisory
Group are taken into account, because it is going to have a strong
tendency for survival....
Concerning Business and Governments, they seem to be happy with
their representation,
the Internet Community over-happy with their over-representation...
so you can see where the proposal of the overall Advisory Group
is going to lead to...

In his July invitation letter, the UN SG
indicated that he will take into account preparatory meetings and
online consultations.

The only fair and constructive thing is to do
is to separate out Civil Society from the
Internet Community otherwise CS is going to get crushed,
and I think this is also in the best long term interest of
the "Internet Community" if they want to reach, as they are dreaming of,
the status of an "International Organization" enjoying the same
diplomatic privileges as an Intergovernmental Organization.
To reach this goal, they should first adopt decent modes of lobbying
in order to gain better consideration and reputation.

Lets see




Francis F. MUGUET Ph.D

MDPI Foundation Open Access Journals
Associate Publisher
http://www.mdpi.org   http://www.mdpi.net
muguet at mdpi.org       muguet at mdpi.net

ENSTA   Paris, France
KNIS lab.  Director
"Knowledge Networks & Information Society" (KNIS)
muguet at ensta.fr   http://www.ensta.fr/~muguet

World Summit On the Information Society (WSIS)
Civil Society Working Groups
Scientific Information :  http://www.wsis-si.org  chair
Patents & Copyrights   :  http://www.wsis-pct.org co-chair
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UNMSP project : http://www.unmsp.org
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