[governance] [bestbits] Taking place next week: Asian Regional Consultation on the WSIS+10 Review - remote participation available

Anja Kovacs anja at internetdemocracy.in
Tue Sep 1 14:22:37 EDT 2015

Hi Parminder,

I have not discussed this with my co-organisers, but as the person who
first came up with this idea and also the one to send the message to which
you responded, I am happy to provide some answers.

Perhaps first a note on what we are trying to do here. As we all know, the
modalities explicitly made the Review a government-led process. Also,
details on the way in which the informal consultations with other
stakeholders would be facilitated remained extremely scanty even eight
months before the review was supposed to take place. Even when the Review
process was formally announced, it wasn't clear to what extent inputs from
stakeholders other than governments would be taken into account. This
meeting is an attempt to be proactive in that situation, trying to amplify
voices from our region to make sure that concerns from this region actually
find resonance in New York - something that, seeing how far removed we are
from there, isn't guaranteed at all.

The organisations that are co-organising this meeting are organisations
that all got enthused by this prospect, and were willing to put part of
their organisational budgets, of their staff's time and minds, or of all of
these up to make this event happen. No funding was secured specifically for
this meeting (though I tried). What this meant is that the funding pool was
limited, and difficult decisions indeed did have to be made. What we aimed
for was to have a balanced representation across Asia's sub-regions as well
as a group that could address a mix of issues from a range of perspectives.
A direct engagement with the WSIS+10 Review process over the past two years
was definitely seen as a plus, but not a must.

As is bound to happen in such circumstances, there are indeed people who
would be able to offer valuable inputs to the meeting but who we were not
able to offer funding. Luckily, some of those are able to self-fund their
attendance. In addition, we tried to alleviate the restrictions imposed by
the limited funding by deciding to provide remote participation, so as to
allow all those interested in participating to do so. The full modalities
of how this will work is something that we are still working out: as this
is intended to be a working meeting, ensuring that remote participation is
substantive is not a given. We are doing our very best to try and pull off
successfully what I think is a first in our region for a meeting of this

Your claim that nobody from the Just Net Coalition has been invited is of
course not correct. One organisation was on our shortlist from day one.
Another is attending on its own force, and we are very happy that they, as
well as others, have been able to draw on their own resources to attend
this event and contribute to its success.

On APRCEM, thanks for the heads-up. I am glad to hear that they are now
intending to work on issues related to science and technology as well, and
that they are even engaging with the Internet Social Forum initiative on
this. Though I am on an email list that is dedicated to discussing the
Internet Social Forum, I don't seem to be able to locate that information
there. Do please feel free to pass on the message about this event to them
though. If any representative of APRCEM would be interested in attending,
either in person or remotely, they are very welcome to do so, as are you.

Hope this clarifies.


On 31 August 2015 at 18:47, parminder <parminder at itforchange.net> wrote:

> Dear organisers of the
> *Asian Regional Consultation on the WIS+10 Review, *With your permission
> I have some questions to ask you. I know this is a treacherous territory,
> given an extra ordinary (and completely inappropriate) sensitivity to being
> asked questions by some groups, but my apologies, I cannot but ask them in
> pursuance of my public interest work, however distasteful it may be even
> for me to get into this thing....
> This is being called a 'consultation' and further an 'Asian Regional'
> consultation, on what is a global governance process, and so some questions
> arise in my mind:
> (1) who is funding this 'consultation'
> (2) on what criteria participants were determined, and invitations sent,
> and by whom - were all concerned people invited (that, in my view, would be
> a consultation)
> (3) On what criteria funding for participation was provided, and by whom,
> and who decided it..
> Thanks for answering these public interest questions...
> I may declare that my interest got evoked from the knowledge that no
> member of the Just Net Coalition has been invited... IT for Change is among
> very few groups in Asia Pacific which has been engaged with the WSIS
> process from the start, and very thoroughly engaged. Further, there is in
> fact an Asia Pacific Regional CSO Engagement Mechanism
> <http://www.asiapacificrcem.org/>, which describes itself as
> "APRCEM is a civil society platform aimed to enable stronger
> cross constituency coordination and ensure that voices of all sub-regions
> of Asia Pacific are heard in intergovernmental processes in regional and
> global level. The platform is initiated, owned and driven by the CSOs, and
> has been set up under the auspices of UN-ESCAP and seeks to engage with UN
> agencies and Member States on the Post-2015 as well as other development
> related issues/processes. "
> In fact the APRCEM also has an Science and Technology Constituency which
> works as an active network (of which IT for Change is a member) which has
> begun to work closely with the Just Net Coalition (many JNC members also
> being its members) and the Internet Social Forum initiatives, which shows
> its interest in Internet issues... As far as I know no member of this
> network, or the network as a whole, has been involved in this so-called
> "Asia Regional Consultation' which being on a UN process this group would
> be natural constituency... All of which makes me wonder, and so my
> questions..
> parminder
> On Wednesday 26 August 2015 08:21 PM, Anja Kovacs wrote:
> Dear all,
> The Internet Democracy Project, Bytes for All, APNIC, the Association for
> Progressive Communications, ISOC, Global Partners Digital and ICT Watch are
> together organising an *Asian Regional Consultation on the WIS+10 Review*
> from 3 to 5 September in Pattaya, Thailand.
> The Asian Regional Consultation on the WSIS+10 Review will bring together
> experts from different backgrounds and from around the Asian region who are
> concerned about issues concerning ICTs, sustainable development, human
> rights and Internet governance, to ask:
> *what are the issues that our governments need to squarely address in the
> process of the review? *
> The meeting is timed so as to be able for the group to comment on the
> non-paper that will have been released by the co-facilitators of the review
> process in late August (inputs into that paper can be made by all
> stakeholders and are due on 31 July). The group will take stock of the
> extent to which priorities for the Asian region have been reflected in the
> non-paper, and will work together on formulating a joint comment on the
> non-paper (comments on the non-paper will be due in mid-September, and
> will be drawn on by the co-facilitators to formulate a zero-draft). The
> group will also look forward to consider which further inputs could be made
> or actions could be taken strategically to ensure that priorities from the
> Asian region are fully taken onto board in the final WSIS+10 Review outcome
> documents. If there are other processes the group believes this work
> could usefully feed into, these might be taken into consideration as well.
> *The meeting is conceived as a highly interactive working meeting that is
> geared towards producing a joint submission to the next input round on the
> Review outcome document. *Participants will be drawn from all
> non-government stakeholder groups, and will have a wide and rich variety of
> backgrounds, both in terms of professional expertise and geographical
> location. What unites all, however, is a shared commitment to a free and
> open Internet and to the use of technology to benefit the development and
> human rights of all in our region.
> *We're very happy to let you know that remote participation will be
> available. *For more information on remote participation and the event in
> general, please see the event website <http://www.wsis10.asia/>. Or
> follow us on Twitter @WSISAsia #wsis10.
> We look forward to your inputs into this event. Do please let me know if
> you have any comments or questions.
> Warm regards,
> Anja
> --
> Dr. Anja Kovacs
> The Internet Democracy Project
> +91 9899028053 | @anjakovacs
> www.internetdemocracy.in
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Dr. Anja Kovacs
The Internet Democracy Project

+91 9899028053 | @anjakovacs
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