[governance] Draft proposal for IGC workshop

William Drake drake at hei.unige.ch
Fri Jun 22 03:35:10 EDT 2007


Hi,

Thanks Meryem for doing this.  Personally though, I'd rather we came at this
from a different angle.

This framing starts from the IGF as it has operates now, and and asks, "have
these structuring, management and advisory  mechanisms proven adequate and
compliant with the Tunis Agenda  requirements? What are their strengths to
reinforce and their weaknesses to overcome?"  To me, this reads like an
invitation to a public colonoscopy, and to those responsible to come and
justify their actions to a presumably skeptical audience.  Given that the
process of standing up the extant structures has been highly constrained,
that political and financial support for the enterprise has been hard to
secure, and that the leadership is trying to do its best to balance
competing pressures under difficult circumstances, proposing a discussion
around the implicit premise that things should be quite different and better
might be seen as a bit churlish.  I'm not sure the IGC puts its best foot
forward as a partner and supporter by adopting the stance of the
dissatisfied gadfly.  In particular, I wonder about asking the mAG to
approve a session that is framed in part as being about the mAG's warts.
Maybe the mAGers here can assure us to the contrary, but a priori it almost
seems like we're throwing down the gauntlet and daring them to reject a
workshop that at least some members would probably not like to happen.  And
if one thinks about scenarios of how such a dialogue might go if approved
and with this panel composition, it seems at best a fifty fifty proposition
that people will walk out thinking that was a positive and constructive
dialogue and things will now be different in a way that garners consensus.

What I had in mind, which was reflected in the prior text, was to come at
this from an entirely different angle---the TA 72 mandate.  Rather than
dissecting the IGF as it now operates, the starting point would have been to
say ok, the mandate says IGF should do x, y, and z.  Are these useful, well
formulated, value-adding objectives that are not being met otherwise, and
hence on which the IGF could make a distinctive contribution?  If so, what
would it take to make them happen?  In this approach, the ways in which
current practices fall short, where they do, would be obvious background
knowledge rather than the focal point of debate, and the workshop would
hopefully point to concrete and potentially doable fresh ideas about how to
build in activities that could close the gap.  In other words, the event
would point to aspirational goals that could be considered and pursued going
forward, rather than focusing on critique of current shortcomings.  This
strikes me as an "positive and constructive" approach others could not
easily reject as divisive, controversial, etc.  And per previous, to make it
MS, I'd get onto the panel some of the government, industry, and IO people
who were parties to the formulation of the WGIG text that morphed into TA
72, as they could reflect on what the thinking was as well as how well the
current formulation embodies it.

In any event, we have one week to pull this together.  Whichever approach
there's a majority for fine, but it would be good if we could get input as
quickly as possible from as many people as possible as to which approach, or
some other, seems the most sensible, so a text can be finalized and a
consensus call organized no later than Wednesday.

Best,

Bill


On 6/21/07 7:08 PM, "Meryem Marzouki" <marzouki at ras.eu.org> wrote:

> Hi,
> 
> Since my offer to propose a first draft for this IGC workshop was by
> no mean a proposal to _organize_ it (in partiuclar I'm not offering
> to contact possible panelists), here is a quick suggestion that I let
> this caucus discuss and amend. In addition to what was originally
> proposed in the caucus statement to advocate a main session on IGF's
> role and mandate, I've felt the need to include one of the main
> discussion topics of this list since the IGF earliest steps.
> 
> Best,
> Meryem
> =======
> 1. Provide a concise formulation for the proposed workshop theme.
> 
> The role, mandate, processes and outcomes of IGF: a self-reflective
> exercise
> 
> The Tunis Agenda mandated the IGF to address critically important,
> value-adding functions that cannot be performed by any existing
> Internet governance mechanism. Inter alia, the IGF should bring
> emerging issues to the attention, and, where appropriate, make
> recommendations. It should also promote and assess the embodiment of
> WSIS principles in Internet governance processes. Furthermore, it
> should strengthen and enhance the engagement of stakeholders in
> Internet governance mechanisms, particularly those from developing
> countries. To which extent this mandate has been fulfilled at this
> step, which difficulties have been identified and how could they be
> solved in order to achieve this mandate?
> The Tunis Agenda also defines the IGF as ┬│multilateral, multi-
> stakeholder, democratic and transparent┬▓ in its working and function.
> The IGF is currently mainly structured as an open discursive space,
> prepared through open consultation sessions. It is managed by a
> Secretariat.  A multi-stakeholder advisory group (MAG) has been
> appointed by the UN Secretary-General to assist him in convening the
> IGF inaugural meeting. The Chair of the MAG is assisted by a special
> advisory group (SAG). Have these structuring, management and advisory
> mechanisms proven adequate and compliant with the Tunis Agenda
> requirements? What are their strengths to reinforce and their
> weaknesses to overcome?
> The purpose of this workshop would be to foster an open and inclusive
> dialogue on how the IGF could fulfill these and other elements of its
> mandate.
> 
> 2. Provide the Name of the Organizer(s) of the workshop and their
> Affiliation to various stakeholder groups. Describe how you will take
> steps to adhere to the multi-stakeholder principle, including
> geographical diversity.
> 
> Organizer: the Civil Society Internet Governance Caucus.
> (to be completed).
> 
> 3. Why do you think the proposed theme is important?
> 
> The IGF is unanimously considered as one of the main outcomes of the
> WSIS process, and an innovation in the arena of global governance.
> Two years after WSIS and one year after the IGF inaugural meeting in
> Athens, this workshop aims at providing the means of a self-
> reflective exercise to all IGF stakeholders, as a reflexive
> governance analysis process in line with the IGF unique innovative
> feature.
> 
> 4. Describe the workshop┬╣s conformity with the Tunis Agenda in terms
> of substance and the mandate of the IGF.
> 
> It goes without saying that a self-assessment of the IGF in terms of
> role, mandate, processes and outcomes is at the heart of its own
> mandate. This workshop aims at contributing to achieve this obvious
> and natural requirement.
> 
> 5. Provide the Name and Affiliation of the panellists you are
> planning to invite.
> 
> Moderators: one of the co-coordinators of the IGC
> Possible panelists -- NB. the idea is not to choose speakers that we
> think would be good and interesting, but to have the main actors
> represented. The UN Secretary-General is missing:)
> -       the other co-coordinator of the IGC, mandated to express
> concerns discussed on the IGC list
> -       Nitin Desai (as chair of both the MAG and formerly WGIG)
> -       Markus Kummer (as Secretary of both the MAG and formerly WGIG)
> -       Business: ICC rep.
> -       Gov: as we hardly can just pick one, one way could be to have
> reps. from Greece and Brazil as 1st and 2nd IG organizing countries
> -       IGO: as hard as gov. Either none, or ITU as WSIS organizer
> (but far from satisfactory:)), or ??
> 
> 6. Describe the main actors in the field. Have you approached them
> and asked whether they would be willing to participate in proposed
> workshop?
> 
> N/A in my opinion
> 
> 7.  List similar events you have organized in the past.
> 
> ??
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***********************************************************
William J. Drake  drake at hei.unige.ch
Director, Project on the Information
  Revolution and Global Governance/PSIO
  Graduate Institute for International Studies
  Geneva, Switzerland
http://hei.unige.ch/psio/researchprojects/Drake.html
***********************************************************



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