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

parminder parminder at itforchange.net
Wed Sep 2 02:41:41 EDT 2015

On Tuesday 01 September 2015 11:52 PM, Anja Kovacs wrote:
> 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.

Hi Anja

I am unable to see in your email  answers to the questions that I asked.

40 people gathering for an international meeting for 3 days involves a
huge sum. I am asking, who is paying for it? I have no problem about
groups and networks holding their meetings as they please - although
funding transparency is a basic requirement for all civil society
activity. The real issue here is that you are speaking about a "Regional
Asia Consultation" for a UN process - a point I emphasized in my email
but which finds no reference in your response... Any such meeting must
be fully transparent in its funding, and the manner of making
organisational decisions, including giving invitation and participation
funding.... Why do you not just share that information upfront? Why are
you keeping it back?

(When Just Net Coalition held a meeting last year - even though it was
clearly declared to be a /partisan meeting/ for evolving a new civil
society network around certain key advocacy issues, with no claims at
all to be representative of all views etc- as your meeting is - much
less a 'consultation' with the self-assumed name of 'Asia Regional
Consultation' - we shared every bit of information about the meeting,
including full details of financial contributions. Why are you
hesitating? Is there nothing like civil society/ NGO governance,
transparency and accountability? )

I look forward to the information that I have requested. I am asking for
it not because I need it, but because it is in public interest.

 Thanks, parminder

> 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 kind.
> 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.
> Regards,
> Anja
> On 31 August 2015 at 18:47, parminder <parminder at itforchange.net
> <mailto: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 <http://www.internetdemocracy.in/>
>>     ____________________________________________________________
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>     ____________________________________________________________
>     You received this message as a subscriber on the list:
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> -- 
> Dr. Anja Kovacs
> The Internet Democracy Project
> +91 9899028053 | @anjakovacs
> www.internetdemocracy.in <http://www.internetdemocracy.in/>

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