[Governance] Fwd: UN SG interjects a completely unnecessary leadership group on the top of IGF's MAG

parminder parminder at itforchange.net
Wed Nov 10 10:45:33 EST 2021

Sent the below to the ISOC list ... I think this leadership group over
the top of MAG and the IGF is completely needless, and dangerous, and
alsoas per my best understanding  does not correspond to what came out
of the pubic consultations on the subject

Any comments?


-------- Forwarded Message --------
Subject: 	UN SG interjects a completely unnecessary leadership group on
the top of IGF's MAG
Date: 	Wed, 10 Nov 2021 20:56:16 +0530
From: 	parminder <parminder.js at gmail.com>
To: 	parminder via InternetPolicy <internetpolicy at elists.isoc.org>

Please see

The UN Internet Governance Forum was created by the World Summit on the
Information Society as, and only as, a forum for policy dialogue, 
...Policy making or shaping, or even nudging was never its job.  The
current Multi stakeholder Advisory Group (MAG) is already an
over-bloated body as an annual program development system..... Why does
MAG and IGF need a leadership group on the top of it. It is not only
highly unnecessary, but quite dangerous, as an international group that
I am a member of argued in its response to UNSG's consultation
<https://justnetcoalition.org/big-tech-governing-big-tech.pdf> on
developing some such new body .

ISOC's response to the consultation also argued against the need for any
such new body, and certainly not outside the existing MAG and kind of
overseeing it, as it has now been created . See ISOC's response at

The leadership group would apparently be promoting some policy options
as 'IGF views' ('promote IGF outputs' is one function of this new body),
which is a very dangerous over-reach .... I can see some senior Big Tech
executives promoting, well, the IGF community wants this and this, and
not that..... Are we ready to live in such a world?

I wonder if ISOC has any plans to oppose this move by the UN SG. 

I am sure we will hear: tch, tch, you are completely wrong, this is not
what this new body is supposed to do.. It is quite an innocent one ..
But just look at its name ' The IGF Leadership Panel'. what does a
leadership group do ... 

Sorry, we do not want some Big Tech  CEO's calling themselves IGF
leaders.. we do not accept them as IGF leaders. In fact, we want IGF
turned to the task of examining and exploring how best to regulate Big
Tech, about which there is a serious public and political clamor today,
not for the IGF to be led by Big Tech.


PS: Unfortunately, the UN Secretary General seems to have made it his
agenda to inject corporate elements into key policy levels in all areas
of global governance, through such multistakeholder panels... Similar
happened at the recent UN Food Systems Summit (UNFSS) . Grassroots
groups involved with right to food, and working with small farmers and
peasants, made the following observation, and I quote:

    *The implications of the UN FSS follow-up on the existing Global
    Food Governance Architecture * The description of follow-up plans in
    the latest draft of the UN Secretary General’s (UNSG) Statement of
    Action (14 September) is deeply worrying, as is the public statement
    by FAO Director General (15 September) on how the FAO intends to
    follow up on the Food System Summit. The UNSG does not have a
    mandate to establish follow up mechanisms for this Summit. Member
    States are the decision makers in the UN system. Member States did
    not request or agree to put these new structures and mechanisms in
    place. We do not recognize the multistakeholder national food
    systems pathways without emphasis on the differentiated
    responsibilities. Most of the Summit’s national and independent
    dialogues largely excluded the groups most affected by hunger and
    malnutrition, and key food system actors such as small-scale food
    producers and workers. Most dialogues were as opaque as the whole
    Summit. Further, the FSS organizers - the Deputy Secretary General
    (DSG) in particular – committed to not creating new structures. Yet
    the announcement that the Rome-based Agencies - FAO, IFAD, WFP -
    will jointly lead a “coordination hub” that draws on wider UN system
    capacities to support follow-up to the Food Systems Summit, points
    to significantly altering the existing global governance of food and
    agriculture with far reaching implications. This Rome based hub and
    a newly established “Advisory Group” are supposed to strengthen
    linkages to other priority global and intergovernmental processes
    relating for example to the Environment, Climate, Food Security,
    Health and Nutrition, as well as key intergovernmental fora such as
    the High-level Political Forum (HLPF), and Financing for Development
    Forum. Such a change in the existing governance architecture without
    any intergovernmental deliberation and mandate is completely
    illegitimate and unacceptable. Such a “coordination hub” and its
    newly created “Advisory Group” would encroach into the functions of
    the CFS, which is precisely the UN Committee mandated to ensure
    inclusive policy development, coherence, coordination, and
    convergence across the UN systems on issues of food security and
    nutrition. This proposal of change in global food governance
    architecture bypasses Member States and the CFS, and has the
    potential to destroy the CFS and its unique mandate and processes.
    The UNSG as well as the heads of the Rome-based agencies, if they
    support such suggestions, are clearly acting outside their mandates.
    Third, there is no need to conduct a global stock-taking in two
    years to review progress in implementing the outcomes of a Summit
    which did not have the mandate to make any formal commitments. The
    public statement released by the DG of FAO is also quite alarming.
    FAO is unduly diverging from its mandate in the direction of a
    corporate-driven agenda very much aligned with the FSS agenda.
    Prioritizing technology, innovation and data will clearly fail its
    mandate that is grounded in attaining the right to food for all, and
    redirect financing towards corporate private sector at the cost of
    public programmes. As a UN agency, FAO is bound by the international
    human rights framework, and must serve public interest and give
    centrality to the weakest – yet essential – actors of food systems:
    small-scale food producers and workers. Excerpt taken from

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