[governance] IGF 2020 to be held in Poland

Michael J. Oghia" (via governance Mailing List governance at lists.riseup.net
Thu Jun 6 06:19:35 EDT 2019

Agreed Stephanie!

On Thu, Jun 6, 2019 at 12:13 PM Stephanie Perrin <
stephanie.perrin at mail.utoronto.ca> wrote:

> Wow that is quite a story.  I think it is particularly objectionable that
> ICANN facilitated visas for their staff but not the community in the Panama
> City case.  They are supposed to be working for us.
> Stephanie Perrin
> On 2019-06-06 03:38, Mawaki Chango (via governance Mailing List) wrote:
> Michael, that's okay :)
> My story in this instance was just offered as a testimony echoing the
> experience of many others. But please don't let that eclipse my last
> paragraph in that message, which specifically address the question : What
> can be done? I hope anyone here who may be concerned take note. The country
> chosen for the venue and the level of measures the convening organization
> is willing to secure in order to facilitate access to that country/venue
> for all members of the community should be taken seriously as indicative of
> the openness and inclusiveness of that organization regarding the community
> engagement with its very subject matter and in its processes. In my view
> ICANN failed on that in this (and probably not the only) instance.
> IGF/UNDESA, too, have more work to do.
> Thank you all for your attention. Now, I am ready to get back to
> discussing Internet governance in substance.
> Mawaki
> On Thu, Jun 6, 2019, 07:03 Michael J. Oghia <mike.oghia at gmail.com> wrote:
>> Wow Mawaki, thank you for sharing this. I'm sorry you had to deal with
>> all that. You make good points, though. Forgive the brevity of this reply
>> in light of your own, but I just don't have much more to say.
>> Best,
>> -Michael
>> On Wed, Jun 5, 2019 at 11:09 PM Mawaki Chango <kichango at gmail.com> wrote:
>>> Hi Michael, all:
>>> What are the solutions to this? I feel there's still room for the
>>> convening entity to do more with the host country in order to facilitate
>>> visa issuance (and this does not apply only to Schengen but to any country
>>> for which it might be challenging to get a visa from the peripheries of the
>>> world.) As the saying goes about images, I'd say a story is worth a
>>> thousand arguments. So here you go.
>>> ICANN meeting, Panama City. Panama has only up to 3 ambassies in the
>>> whole of Africa which, you might remember, is as large as several other
>>> continents put together: those are at the southern end (South Africa) and
>>> the northern end (Egypt and possibly Morocco, if my memory is correct) of
>>> the continent. Those 3 countries are far away for someone living in the
>>> middle part of the continent -- I'd say about 5 hour flight average from
>>> Lome for instance. And the visa application takes generally a week to be
>>> processed and that waiting time away from one's home country would have to
>>> a substantial cost. With such configuration, one might as well head to
>>> a Schengen capital where it's easier both to have access to a Panama
>>> consulate for the visa and to proceed with a direct flight to Panama City
>>> in this case. The two scenari are sub-optimal, to say the least, although
>>> the latter seems the least costly.
>>> So I tried to see whether ICANN could help in any way. I was a bit
>>> shocked to discover that ICANN made arrangements with the host country to
>>> grant visa on arrival only for their staff; nobody else could benefit from
>>> that. I tried to argue with the management that ICANN is a community-based
>>> organization and that they should very much care about facilitating
>>> participation from the community (people, stakeholders, etc.) not just the
>>> staff. But there was nothing I could say to make them change, of course;
>>> they already had an agreement with the host country.
>>> Finally what happened is I got in touch with the Panama's consul in
>>> Paris and he was nice enough to commit to issuing my visa the same day
>>> should I have all the documents required. I had already an appointment with
>>> the consulate of France, which you get after paying a fee (that procedure
>>> was the first thing I did by reflex as soon as I knew I was going to be
>>> invited to the Panama meeting and that country has no consulate anywhere
>>> near.) Yet, the earliest available slot fell after the ICANN meeting dates.
>>> In such cases the prospective applicant is invited to call in every other
>>> day to find out whether a slot has been surrendered in the mean time. In
>>> sum, it went some way like this: I got informed on a Friday that there was
>>> a newly available slot on Monday. The latest I could catch the flight to
>>> Paris would be on Thursday that week (for a chance to be at the Panama
>>> consulate in Paris on Friday, and then catch the flight from Paris to
>>> Panama city on Saturday, etc.) When I dropped the first visa application on
>>> Monday, I explained to them the time constraints (again, it requires
>>> normally one full week to process these visa applications.) They said they
>>> will try but they can't promise, because they need clearance from their
>>> central administration after security screening, etc. Facing such uncertain
>>> prospects, the sponsor decided to cancel flights and hotel reservations
>>> before they lose all their money with possibly a late cancelation. Thursday
>>> came, I got the first visa that opens the doors for the rest, but I
>>> couldn't go anywhere because all the subsequent travel and accommodation
>>> arrangements were canceled, as the schedule was too tight while the outcome
>>> was uncertain up to the last minute.
>>> The whole process took so much time and energy (which on top of that
>>> prove to be useless) that when I received the invitation letter to the next
>>> ICANN meeting, I didn't even give it a thought; I declined.
>>> Countries or nations-states have their sovereignty and no one can demand
>>> they change, wholesale, their policies or their bureaucratic culture
>>> (for instance, issuing a visa to cover only the specific dates of a meeting
>>> despite a heavy procedure and the likelihood of repeats within a single
>>> year vs. being opened to granting long term visas depending on the
>>> precedents or profile of the applicant.) But UNDESA/IGF, ICANN, etc. should
>>> assign themselves the goal of getting from the chanceries of the host
>>> countries the maximum visa facilitating measures possible for ALL
>>> prospective participants in their meetings - from visa on arrival to
>>> setting up a fast track in the consulates for visa interview appointments
>>> and application processing (maybe the latter is a new idea? In any case, it
>>> just occurred to me.) Certainly, just issuing an invitation letter and a
>>> proof of registration to the meeting is not enough.
>>> Best,
>>> Mawaki
>>> On Wed, Jun 5, 2019, 09:35 "Michael J. Oghia" <
>>> governance at lists.riseup.net> wrote:
>>>> Hi Mawaki, all:
>>>> No need to apologise or call it a rant. It's a very fair point, and I
>>>> appreciate your articulation. As someone who lives in Europe and
>>>> undoubtedly benefits from having the IGF hosted on the continent, I am also
>>>> frustrated that – assuming it's already been decided – the IGF would be
>>>> held yet again in Europe.
>>>> I know that the country where it's held mainly rests on which
>>>> government is willing to host it, so I do understand if the options are
>>>> limited.
>>>> What are the solutions to this?
>>>> Best,
>>>> -Michael
>>>> On Wed, Jun 5, 2019 at 11:26 AM Mawaki Chango <
>>>> governance at lists.riseup.net> wrote:
>>>>> Good point, Abdeldjalil. Geneva, Paris, Berlin and now Poland
>>>>> (Varsovie/Warsaw, I guess?) That's four.
>>>>> The Schengen visa is such a hassle for so many people, and so time
>>>>> consuming! I'm not even talking about getting all the paperwork in order.
>>>>> One has to secure the interview appointment months and months in advance
>>>>> and that alone is sometimes enough to cause failure.
>>>>> And when you manage to get the visa, it only lasts the exact number of
>>>>> days planned for your meeting (or whatever the purpose of the visit.) And
>>>>> even if one knows there's another meeting (say, ICANN) coming up in
>>>>> the next few months still in the Schengen space which one needs to attend,
>>>>> one has to go through all of it again. They won't consider that even if the
>>>>> visa paperwork for the next meeting is ready. Certainly not if the two
>>>>> consecutive meetings are happening in two different Schengen countries,
>>>>> although any Schengen country visa applies to the whole of Schengen space.
>>>>> I'm not even sure they accept to issue an extended visa in the case the two
>>>>> meetings were to happen in the same country three or four months apart. The
>>>>> bureaucracy of sovereignty !
>>>>> Okay, I guess that was my mid-week rant. Otherwise, I'm looking
>>>>> forward to seeing and enjoying Berlin and hopefully Warsaw.
>>>>> Mawaki
>>>>> On Wed, Jun 5, 2019, 08:29 Abdeldjalil Bachar Bong <bachar at igf.td>
>>>>> wrote:
>>>>>> Thanks Arsene for sharing.
>>>>>> Congratulation for that innovation :knowing the date early .
>>>>>> After 3 round I'm Europe we hope that after Poland will be in AFRICA
>>>>>> .
>>>>>> -------------------------------
>>>>>> Cordialement
>>>>>> ----------------------------------
>>>>>> E-mail: bachar at houseof.africa
>>>>>> Twitter: @HOUSEOFINTERNET
>>>>>> WEBSITE : www.houseof.africa
>>>>>> Whatsapp: +23566274284
>>>>>> Skype: Bongbour
>>>>>> -------------------------------------
>>>>>> Le Secrétaire Exécutif/Executive Secretary
>>>>>> Forum sur la Gouvernance de l'Internet au Tchad (FGI Tchad) /
>>>>>> Chad Internet Governance Forum
>>>>>> -------------------------------------
>>>>>> E-mail: Bachar at igf.td
>>>>>> Website: www.igf.td
>>>>>> Twitter :@IGFCHAD
>>>>>> https://twitter.com/bacharbong
>>>>>> Tél:0023566274284
>>>>>> N'djaména(Tchad)
>>>>>> ---------------------------------------------
>>>>>> DELEGATE - CHAD 2016-2018|ICANN60 Fellow ||Youth Peacebuilder|||
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