[governance] Re: [bestbits] Call for making the IGF permanent

Pranesh Prakash pranesh at cis-india.org
Wed Sep 3 08:21:55 EDT 2014

Jeremy Malcolm <jmalcolm at eff.org> [2014-09-01 12:00:42 +0300]:
> Support seemed almost unanimous for sending a statement on the permanent mandate of the IGF

I will have to be the one to provide that "almost" to that unanimity. 
Speaking for myself, I do not support making the IGF a permanent body.

The IGF has to be relevant and has to deliver results, and we should 
push for accountability of the IGF.  Making it permanent isn't really 
going to help accountability of the IGF (just as having the IANA 
contract be renewable has helped keep ICANN more accountable so far, 
though the analogy is not perfect).  I would support making the 
evaluation process (for renewal of the IGF's term) more participative 
and transparent and, yes, more "multistakeholder".

I would love to see analysis of how well the IGF has fulfilled its 
mandate before we call for it to be made permanent.  For instance:

   * What advice has the IGF / the IGF process provided to any of the 
stakeholders about ways and means of accelerating the availability and 
affordability of the Internet in the developing world?
   * Has the IGF helped find any solutions to the issues arising from 
the use and misuse of the Internet?
   * Have any issues ever been brought to the attention of any relevant 
bodies?  If so, which issues and which bodies?
   * Has the IGF interfaced with appropriate IGOs on matters under their 
purview?  If so, which ones, and how have those IGOs benefited from this 

I believe that stability of the IGF is very important.  However, I think 
for stability to be achieved it is far more important to strengthen the 
IGF processes, making it more important, getting it (and people who wish 
to participate in it) greater funding, etc., than to make the IGF 
permanent.  I believe these (especially having a 5/10-year mandate and 
finances for the IGF secretariat) would do a great deal more to bringing 
stability to the IGF than making it permanent would.

Apologies for sounding an off-note.


Jeanette Hofmann <jeanette at wzb.eu> [2014-09-001 10:33:30 +0200]:
> Hi all,
> at the BB meeting yesterday we discussed the idea of a BB statement that
> would ask the UN to make the IGF a permanent body instead of  renewing
> its mandate for another limited term of 5 or 10 years.
> This idea found broad support among the attendees of the BB meeting.
> Later on I discussed the content of such a statement with other
> stakeholders at the IGF and I got the impression that we might be able
> to draft a cross-stakeholder statement together with the technical
> community and the private sector. (Individual governments support such a
> statement too but I am not sure it would be possible within the few days
> available to coordiante enough signatures by governments to make this an
> all inclusive statement.)
> Right now, a multi-stakeholder statement coming out of this IGF is only
> an idea that needs further exploration within the respective groups. So,
> with this email to the bb list and the IGC list I am asking for your
> opinions to find out if such a cross-stakeholder statement would find
> support in civil society.
> jeanette
> P.S. Lately, I have been unable to post to the IGC list. If this email
> does not appear on the IGC list, would someone be so kind to forward it?
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Pranesh Prakash
Policy Director, Centre for Internet and Society
T: +91 80 40926283 | W: http://cis-india.org
Access to Knowledge Fellow, Information Society Project, Yale Law School
M: +1 520 314 7147 | W: http://yaleisp.org
PGP ID: 0x1D5C5F07 | Twitter: https://twitter.com/pranesh_prakash

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