[governance] Muti-stakeholder Group structure - Is WGIG a good model

Jeremy Malcolm Jeremy at Malcolm.id.au
Fri Jun 8 07:44:11 EDT 2007

Parminder wrote:
> First of all, a 3 or 4 component bureau seems to have little support, 
> expect for those who proposed it at the recent consultations (Louis and 
> Francis). Apart from them I see only Jeremy supporting such a structure 
> (pl correct me if I am wrong).

My position is a bit more nuanced than a separate components bureau, it 
is more of a hybrid of this and the single bureau model.  I argued that 
some degree of separation between the stakeholder groups would have the 
advantages of institutionalising the formal equality of the stakeholder 
groups, and allowing them each to engage in internal discussions using 
the means they are comfortable with, before coming together as a single 
bureau to seek consensus.  (I'm still working on the paper in which I 
promised to flesh this out.)

But the short of it is, I agree with your statement that

> this genuine 
> problem can be solved even with a combined MAG/ bureau, with the 
> processes of its constitution kept separate for the 3 stakeholder, and 
> kept transparent. 
> Another problem with a bureau is that it seems to be strictly a process 
> related body. Such is the WSIS model, and such is its role in Louis 
> Pouzin's proposal. This doesn’t address one of the main problems that 
> those dissatisfied with the present MAG structure have - which relates 
> to its substantive outcome producing capabilities.

Yes, let us not forget that the role of the Advisory Group was 
explicitly limited to "preparing the substantive agenda and programme 
for the first meeting of the Internet Governance Forum".  Some of the 
other roles for which we require a bureau or IGF committee are:

* Approving reforms to the IGF's structure and working processes.

* Preparing background briefing documents to inform discussion and
   foster the development of consensus.

* Accrediting dynamic coalitions wishing to submit draft recommendations
   to the plenary forum.

* Assessing the rough consensus of open consultation meetings and the
   plenary forum.

* Preparing recommendations based on the rough consensus of the plenary
   forum (this will require reform at the plenary level also).

And last but not least, to vest control of the IGF in the hands of its 
stakeholders, where it belongs, rather than leaving it under the 
wardship of the United Nations Secretary-General where it rests at 
present (despite the lack of any warrant in paragraph 78 of the Tunis 
Agenda, or elsewhere, for him to exercise a continuing role).

Jeremy Malcolm LLB (Hons) B Com
Internet and Open Source lawyer, IT consultant, actor
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