[governance] Action on Enhanced Cooperation, please

Milton Mueller Mueller at syr.edu
Tue Jan 9 09:22:30 EST 2007

Thank you for an extensive effort  on this draft. Perhaps some of the
delay in getting there stemmed from what I think is your overestimate of
the amount of work required. 

I really think in this case we need to be very concise and to the
point. Something like, 

" Dear Nitin:
<insert a line or two of pleasantries if you wish>

We are writing to you because we understand you were asked by the UN
Secretary General to begin informal consultations on how to start a
process aimed at enhancing cooperation on international public policy
issues related to the Internet. 

The IGC would very much appreciated an update on progress and news of
the current state of play with respect to "enhanced cooperation." What
concrete measures have been taken and what role is contemplated for
civil society in them? 

>>> parminder at itforchange.net 1/9/2007 1:21 AM >>>
> Where are our coordinators? Wouldn't it be appropriate for them to

> initiate action on this, e.g. develop a draft?


I apologize for being amiss on this issue after promising on 30th last
to do
a draft in 3-4 days. 


A draft is enclosed for your consideration, and also pasted in the body
this email below.


A couple of points about the draft.


Firstly, I have made it elaborate rather than concise - arguing the
case and
making a formal claim to know the present position against clear
commitments, as  a stakeholder of the WSIS and post WSIS process. 


Secondly, between the options of considering 'enhanced cooperation'
(EC) as
THE required public policy process(es) spoken of in paras 60 and 61 of
agenda, or considering it as one of the processes which gets discussed
more details  in the subsequent parts, I have taken the latter option.
agenda can be read either way, and there can be multitude of opinions
this issue. However, I preferred to avoid putting all our 'public
eggs in the EC basket. Also there is the problem that the opening para
that mentions EC for the first time seem to capture it in a somewhat
exclusive governmental framework. The overall paras 61 however is more
multistakeholder inclusive. In any case, other paras talk about
public policy mechanisms/ processes etc for ccTLDs (63) and gTLDs
Keeping EC as just one of the envisaged/possible mechanisms of public
also helps us to keep a way out of a situation where a slightly
GAC, is attempted to be passed off both as the EC as well as all that
ever meant in Tunis agenda as any kind global public policy space or




(draft below, and also enclosed as attachment) 




>From the Civil Society Internet Governance Caucus



Nitin Desai 

Special Advisor to the Secretary-General, United Nations. 





Dear Mr Desai,


Wishing you a happy and fulfilling 2007! 


The Internet Governance Caucus (IGC) would like to congratulate you for
very successful first meeting of the Internet Governance Forum (IGF). A
amount of the credit for this goes to your personal leadership, and
that of
your advisory team. The first meeting of the IGF was a crucial
exercise, and we appreciate the fact that all parties approached it
positively, and with due care. We have been able to set the stage for a
multistakeholder exercise in global governance which is indeed
path-breaking, not only in the area of governance of the Internet, but
general as an outstanding example for future reforms in global


IGF has got firmly established as an open platform, inclusive to all,
gives an opportunity to discuss and debate public policy issues related
the Internet, and explore possibilities as well as constituencies for
change and reform. Some of these issues can even reach high enough
degree of
consensus among the involved parties that can drive change on its own -
instance agreements on new technology or legal standards,
agreed issues of public interest, that are acceptable to all
civil society groups, business and the governments. However, the fact
remains that most public policy processes at the IGF, at least after
reach a level of maturity of debate and deliberation in the IGF,
inputting into an appropriate political arena of global public policy
making. It is the lack of progress in this area in the post WSIS period
continues to cause concern to us. 


The Tunis agenda clearly recognizes 'that there are many cross-cutting
international public policy issues that require attention and are not
adequately addressed by the current mechanisms' (paragraph 60 of Tunis
agenda). It further affirms, for this purpose, the 'need to initiate,
reinforce, as appropriate, a transparent, democratic, and multilateral
process, with the participation of governments, private sector, civil
society and international organizations . (p 61). The Tunis agenda
expressly calls for 'creating an environment that facilitates this
development of public policy principles' (p 70). The intent and mandate
the Tunis agenda in terms of the importance and urgency to proceed with
task of developing public policy principles for the Internet, and
processes/mechanisms for their development and application, is quite


As one form or possibility for this exercise, paragraph 71 lays out
such a
clear mandate that it is worth quoting in full. 


The process towards enhanced cooperation, to be started by the UN
Secretary-General, involving all relevant organisations by the end of
first quarter of 2006, will involve all stakeholders in their
roles, will proceed as quickly as possible consistent with legal
and will be responsive to innovation. Relevant organisations should
a process towards enhanced cooperation involving all stakeholders,
proceeding as quickly as possible and responsive to innovation. The
relevant organisations shall be requested to provide annual


However, as we enter the year 2007, there has been no word, much less
action, on the broader issue of developing public policy principles
processes for the Internet, and specifically, the more clearly
issue, with timelines, of initiating the 'process towards enhanced
cooperation'. As a matter of paramount global public interest, as well
as a
stated commitment of the WSIS, we, the IGC, as stakeholders of the WSIS
post-WSIS process, request to be informed on the status of these
issues, in
terms of the action that has been taken, and is intended to be taken. 


We also wish to claim the full participation of civil society in the
envisaged process of 'enhanced cooperation' and other public policy
processes, which is implied and mandated in the concerned parts of the
agenda, and we request you to ensure such participation. We note with
concern that some parties have tried to claim 'enhanced cooperation' as
government-only process. This is completely at variance with the
envisaged approach to public policy issues for the Internet (p 60 and
61) as
well as in terms of the specific process of 'enhanced cooperation' (p
We also offer our complete cooperation, and assistance as may be
required by
you, for initiating these processes, in order to ensure incorporation
public interest in the development of the most powerful technologies of
times, that holds much promise for just and equitable social change. 


Thanking you.






> -----Original Message-----

> From: Milton Mueller [mailto:mueller at syr.edu] 

> Sent: Tuesday, January 09, 2007 6:49 AM

> To: ajp at glocom.ac.jp; governance at lists.cpsr.org 

> Subject: [governance] Action on Enhanced Cooperation, please


> >>> ajp at glocom.ac.jp 12/28/2006 4:17 AM >>>

> >Any thoughts on writing to Nitin Desai asking for an update on

> >enhanced cooperation?  And working on statements/contributions to


> >February consultation? (about 6 weeks away.)


> I strongly agree with Adam that this is a desirable thing. Enhanced

> cooperation, no matter how bullshit a formulation it is, was supposed

> be one of the key outcomes of WSIS, and represents a critical point

> contention between EU and USA.


> There are (legitimate) worries about governments being passive

> of IGF "shows", expressed by Jeanette earlier. Enhanced coop is one

> the few areas where state politics can intersect with post-WSIS

> politics. At worst, making this inquiry may also bring us face to

> with the possible truth that the govts have no intention of doing

> anything and are playing games with WSIS/IGF. If so, we need to call

> their bluff


> Where are our coordinators? Wouldn't it be appropriate for them to

> initiate action on this, e.g. develop a draft?


> Adam has already laid out the basic outlines of what needs to be


> >a letter asking for

> >progress/update, why aren't we being told, and we would like to be

> >involved. And cc'ing govt and others we know interested to see if

> >they will also then ask the same questions might be helpful.

> >


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