IGF MAG Meeting
Geneva-Palais des Nations
23 November 2010
The following is the output of the real-time captioning taken during the IGF MAG Meeting, in Geneva. Although it is largely accurate, in some cases it may be incomplete or inaccurate due to inaudible passages or transcription errors. It is posted as an aid to understanding the proceedings at the session, but should not be treated as an authoritative record.
(Scribes receiving no audio.)
...Change much either way so the problem is not such a difficult task and that's not probably the parameters for today.
>>MARKUS KUMMER: Well, sometimes it helps to do the easy things first, because it builds confidence.
But we do have the MAG questionnaire. We had a fairly broad discussion yesterday, and there are clearly areas where there is, I think, an emerging sort of consensus. I think we had a good discussion on the selection of nongovernmental MAG members, and I think there is, I would say, at least I sensed among the MAG members a general feeling that it would be useful to move to a different mode of selection which would be based on a (poor audio) Nominating Committee approach.
My sense was that -- and maybe also a word on the different stakeholder groups.
There is -- I noticed a certain element of angst as what are the stakeholder groups. But history again may help us.
In Geneva in 2003, we had intergovernmental organizations and international organizations. And some people wondered what was the difference. But international organizations was then a code word for basically what we now call the academic and technical communities.
Because some of the international organizations are not intergovernmental organizations but they deal with the Internet, such as ICANN, such as the IETF, such as the NRO.
In the discussions in the WGIG, and I remember vividly, it was -- Emily then was working for Nominet, but (poor audio) I'm not international organization, Nominet is not an international organization, it deals with the Internet at the international level, but I am not civil society. We are an operational organization, but I am not private sector either because we are not-for-profit.
And I think during the phase between the two summits, the Internet community manifested itself as clearly a distinct stakeholder in the context of Internet governance, and that was reflected in the Tunis Agenda with the insertion of the academic and technical community, which was then not recognized as a separate stakeholder group, but it was -- because, I mean, for the very simple reason that the negotiator stance that we don't want to re-open what was agreed on in Geneva. But it was added as within the other stakeholder groups. But in the IGF context, we always have made sure that the academic and technical communities or the Internet community is represented as a fourth stakeholder group.
And the intergovernmental organizations, we always said they are ex officio allowed to participate as equals.
Now, I know we had some contributions that questioned what they call privileges of intergovernmental organizations, but in a sense, intergovernmental organizations represent all member states anyway. They don't have a separate identity from member states. Member states are represented in the organizations.
And I think, my experience, this worked very well. And we have very constructive contributions of the IGOs.
So my reading of the discussion yesterday -- I mean, first of all, we have to be aware, this is not the decision-making meeting. But what we can make is have recommendations coming out of this and the recommendations can go to the CSTD and they will go to the Secretary-General. And the more concrete we are I think the more chances the report has to be implemented, to be listened to.
So we can, of course, discuss everything, but at the end of the day, we need to have something, and something concrete on paper would be very useful. And the terms of reference I think would be one of these things.
I think the first question to consider is do we think the MAG was useful? And I think we don't even need to discuss that because yesterday's discussion I think showed, it was a fairly wide consensus, that the MAG should more or less continue, either as MAG or the Secretary-General in his wisdom may choose another name. But some kind of body that represents all stakeholders sitting at the same table. I think that is the essential ingredient. And I think we can safely put that in a summary report, that we took stock of our functioning and we thought that this was a useful way of preparing the annual meeting.
Now, the question was asked, indeed, whether there should be some decision-making power, that the MAG should be empowered. And I think this is also some -- I think George made the question, asked the question. And this is also something where I think we might find a consensus that the MAG should be empowered to be the de facto program committee that decides on the agenda. But I don't know. Please, other voices. (Poor audio) my reading of yesterday's discussion more or less yours?
Yes, I see we have the thing up.
>> Well, I'm wondering, all these suggestions that will be made, some of them probably go beyond the authority of the Secretary-General. In other words, if you want to change the MAG to some decision-making body, that may imply a decision by the G.A. I'm not sure, because if it will make decisions, then we're getting into how these decisions will be made, where they will be reflected. And I think that it's -- I'm not sure, all these areas that we are touching upon, whether they need a decision, some form of decision by a U.N. body or they are within the purview of the Secretary-General.
As I said, I'm glad that we're having this discussion, we make these recommendations. But what can be (poor audio) how? I'm just not very sure. Probably DESA could --
>>MARKUS KUMMER: Well, I'm happy to listen to your wisdom, but my understanding is the mandate was given to the Secretary-General, and it's up to the Secretary-General to decide how he wants to implement the mandate. And if he passes it on to some representative group to say, okay, I have been given the mandate, now I ask you to do the job. Obviously the Secretary-General is a busy man and he doesn't have time to allocate workshop rooms to whatever are the site of workshops proposed.
>>MIGUEL ALCAINE: Thank you, Markus. Just to remember a little bit more of history, as you said. The summit that put the duty on the Secretary-General to decide how to convene the Internet Governance Forum. And through the open consultations, before the first IGF, it was the suggestion of the open consultations to have some sort of committee that didn't have a name at the time. February consultations, 2006.
And then the Secretary-General made the final decision to establish the MAG in the way he established. But this decision was not based in a vacuum. It was based on suggestions that were made in the open consultations.
So my belief is that this won't change dramatically.
But on George's point, I believe that the way these changes will become operational can be either through the General Assembly or through the governmental machinery, or can be either by the Secretary-General. It remain to be seen.
I mean, the first time it was governments by mandate of the Secretary-General. And in this time that we are closing the first cycle, it's also in the intergovernmental machinery to see also this. So I won't be surprised if there is a decision in this regard or if they decide again to let this final decision in the hands of the Secretary-General. Both of them can be valid.
>>MARKUS KUMMER: Thank you. And also to -- again, to come back on the history. The reason why we went on a year-to-year basis is at that time, the G77 only grudgingly agreed on a joint body. They -- Originally their proposals were separate bodies for the separate stakeholder groups, would need separately with work on their program ideas, and then there would be a joint meeting at the end of the process.
I think anybody who thinks this through makes it obvious it won't work. People move on different tracks and how do you bridge that? And once you have developed an idea into deep details, you are not willing to give up and to compromise on that.
So the idea then was, okay, let's put them together in the same room, but it was done -- accepted only if it was done on an experimental basis for one year. And after Athens, there was again a stock-taking session and then it was sort of renewed on an annual basis, but the MAG -- whenever the MAG was asked to discuss its own functioning, they were never able to come up with concrete proposals, and especially with regards the nomination of (poor audio). That's why it was always continued on a year-to-year basis.
But my understanding is that nothing would prevent the Secretary-General from giving a broader mandate to the MAG than was in the past.
But I don't know whether -- Would you like to comment on that?
>> Yes, I was reading from --
>>MARKUS KUMMER: Can you press the microphone?
>> Yes. Which one?
>>MARKUS KUMMER: The red one.
>>VINCENZO AQUARO: Yes. Honestly, I think if we stay, in any case, in the framework of the MAG, and so we are working without changing the real rights and the power of MAG, but working at the operational level (poor audio), if we go a little bit beyond, then I agree that it is not under the responsibility of the Secretary-General but must go back to member states.
So in any case, it's a little bit -- We have to make an exercise that we have to change, we have to make some proposals, but at the same time we cannot go beyond. Otherwise, the process changes.
But I think in any case, I think we can make some good proposals on this, taking into consideration also that there is another exercise that the CSTD is doing with working group.
So maybe this work is something that could support them in what they are doing, because otherwise we have two different proposals.
>>MARKUS KUMMER: We will continue our work today, and the CSTD process will start tomorrow.
So, I mean, obviously it will be an input that will be food for thought, but we are not in any way in any decision-making mode.
>>MARKUS KUMMER: It's just making suggestions for the future.
And the basic thing was, okay, we said beginning, the Secretary-General needs advisors to support him in convening the meeting, and then whenever it came to any -- It was always basically the final decision rests with the Secretary-General. The question was whether the MAG could or should be empowered to be the de facto program committee.
I mean, there are various steps, of course, in that, the agenda setting. There are obviously -- there may be member states who may be interested to be involved in the agenda-setting process. Agenda setting is always a politically delicate process. But then there are other elements apart from the agenda setting which is basically filling in the gaps, developing the program of the meeting.
But there are other -- Jeanette, please.
>>JEANETTE HOFMANN: Thank you, Chair.
I would say that the last five years, the MAG was really fortunate because it had a good Secretariat and a very good chair. And at the same time, we saw a change of the Secretary-General, and it had clearly an impact on the sort of working environment of the MAG and the Secretariat.
So learning from that, I would say it would be good if we would try, as much as possible, to sort of transform rather informal institutions like a black box that would select members and would confirm suggestions regarding the agenda or the program to sort of transform such informal institutions in something more robust that gives the MAG some degree of autonomy and makes the relationship between the MAG and (poor audio) a bit more solid instead of informal.
So I think that would suggest there is a formal charter that requires and gives the MAG sort of some authority in terms of agenda and also in terms of selecting its membership.
>>MARKUS KUMMER: Thank you.
Parminder, you asked for the floor, I think.
>>PARMINDER SINGH: Yes, two comments. One is on process and the other the (poor audio) of what MAG is. Even going by Jeanette's comments that we could look at greater empowerment and (poor audio) -ification of the institution of MAG, I go back to the basic purpose of MAG, whether it is a program committee or it is a committee which helps along -- helps the IGF in doing all the functions it needs to do. For example, when we are talking of greater outcome orientation, whether it's messages or recommendations, the only body that can help that process, I mean actually rectify, is MAG. So we are really looking at a possible expanded and more institutionalized role of MAG.
Secondly, about in whose competence does these decisions lie. We, in principle, can clearly see that some of them may be within the parameter of what the Secretary-General can himself do and others may be something which need a higher mandate. And I want a clarification whether through this process is feeding only to the Secretary-General's office, of which MAG is an advisory group, or also to the CSTD process. Because if it is, indeed, feeding into both the processes, then it can cover both sides of it, the more operational sides and a little more than operational which is more specific. And that could answer John's question whether some of those things being more than operational, whether they can be channeled to the CSTD, and then CSTD to ECOSOC, and the ECOSOC goes up (poor audio) U.N. General Assembly (poor audio).
>>MARKUS KUMMER: For the time being there is no formal link between the CSTD and the MAG. That's up to member states to decide whether they -- you know, the IGF operates under the sole authority of the Secretary-General. That is part of the WSIS follow-up and implementation, and it's part of the Secretary-General's report on WSIS follow-up and implementation which goes to the CSTD. In that sense, there is a link but it does not have any direct institutional link.
Then as Vincenzo said, we cannot change the Tunis Agenda. All this outcome and recommendation discussion is very nice, but the Tunis Agenda is extremely limited in that. There is a reference to recommendation, but it refers solely to emerging issues where appropriate.
I don't know how you can go beyond that agenda. The Tunis Agenda is clearly the limit within which we operate, and we cannot go beyond that.
>>EMILY TAYLOR: Yeah, just to say on the recommendations and whether the MAG should be doing recommendations, as I read the Tunis Agenda, I agree with you that the only scope for recommendations is relating to emerging issues.
However, as a practical point, I think it would be sensible for us, in the MAG, to try to give some advice or some sort of reflection on our role (poor audio) that people in the MAG can bring to the table. Because I think it will help the CSTD as they deliberate the next few months to understand a bit more about the workings of the MAG. We hear that it (poor audio) not particularly transparent, best to open up those (poor audio) and put them into words if we can.
>>MARKUS KUMMER: As regards transparency, what you said now is being streamed on the Web and people can read outside this room.
>>WOLFGANG KLEINWÄCHTER: I understand that some people want to have something concrete and short which can be reported in form of, quote, unquote, recommendations.
We know the word recommendation has a certain political meaning, and that's why we should avoid this, but I think we should feel free to express this, you know, with -- if we have to say something in a different form, we can call it opinion.
This is opinion the MAG had. We can then communicate this opinion in a more structured way, not just (poor audio) probably not --
(getting background noise blocking out audio.)
Commission for scientific knowledge and development to have, even if there is no formal link, I think people understand this is part of the process, which is very interrelated.
>>MARKUS KUMMER: Fouad.
>>FOUAD BAJWA: Two things. One is to build upon what Wolfgang has shared.
I think a more suitable approach of the recommendations or opinions is we define some sort of principles around -- within which we tend to do improvements or forward our suggested recommendations to the Secretary-General.
Second thing is, I've had this confusion along the scope of the MAG. I think it would be suitable to start this process with at least defining a scope that we have in front of us, and we move from there on forward.
>>MARKUS KUMMER: George.
>>GEORGE PAPADATOS: Thank you. I would like to touch upon a couple of points that Jeanette has made. Indeed, the success of the MAG pretty much was based on the personalities of Desai and your help with the Secretariat.
Now, of course, an institution cannot or an institutional experiment cannot be based on the personalities once they are gone. And then take, for example, the case of a Desai. He was able to get sometimes even rough consensus and convey that to the Secretary-General. That was based on years of experience in (poor audio) and so forth. If you put another chair, it may take days, and then that brings us to the question, because that's all we are seeing here in the U.N., different chairs.
And there is magic in some of them, and others are really having a lot of problems. They alienate the committee and all that. History is well-known.
So what -- I think what Jeanette was saying is we have to have some kind of a mechanism where we should not rely on personality. And have a MAG working by some rules that can possibly reach an acceptable outcome that can be transmitted to the Secretary-General.
It was (poor audio) get consensus (poor audio) members. That's really difficult to do.
So that was also my point in terms of giving more power or structure to the MAG, to make the task easier for whoever is going to succeed Desai. And you, of course.
>>MARKUS KUMMER: I certainly agree that we are extremely fortunate to have Nitin Desai, but it was certainly the point that he made himself for many years now that it cannot just rely on a few persons but we need to build a type of structure that makes the IGF to fly on its own.
And this is basically what we are discussing.
I think Parminder had a question.
>>PARMINDER SINGH: Yeah, I think what George said goes very much to the heart of the matter, that after five years, we are done with an experiment which early part of the experiment (poor audio) personalities and (poor audio) on to shape and give different possibilities, how we handle different options. And we need to go to an institutionalization, and that requires some more concrete thinking with the specific purpose of, yes, we need institutionalization, because otherwise it will be difficult to be working even at the existing level of efficiency, and I really do hope we work at a much higher level. And therefore we must be looking at better rules and some bubble for MAG to do what it is supposed to do. And another point, I don't want to get into a discussion which will become very long about recommendations but I am also not comfortable if it appears that the group has agreed that accommodations in any way falls out of Tunis Agenda are highly limited even within the Tunis Agenda.
I think emerging issues remain emerging until they are dealt with. The (poor audio) is emerging issue. Interconnection was and is an emerging issue. And everything which really needs resolution is an emerging issue until you deal with it and it stops emerging further.
So all these issues are important ones. And if that part is important, then the MAG and IGF have to structure it around that function as well.
A lot of people -- Wolfgang said we should avoid recommendation on that (inaudible) as much outside Tunis Agenda because Tunis Agenda mentions recommendation, as somebody talking about recommendation seems to fall out Tunis Agenda. And I think we need to be more balanced on this aspect.
(Inaudible) messages, if somebody can really lay out purpose of getting all the messages probably that's what I mean by recommendations and we can agree. But we generally agree and that I think -- for example, in the Vilnius closing session, a lot of people endorsed the Brazilian principles, Internet principles as a possible kind of thing which should be endorsed by a bigger multistakeholder group. That would be for me what I am talking about.
And these processes of endorsement of need, certain set of structures which not only extend to the IGF but backwards to the MAG. And I think while we are talking about improvements to the MAG, two things should be kept in mind. One is what George said that we are into a period where we want to be less dependent on personalities than (inaudible), and second is that we have to relate the structure of MAG to the purpose of the IGF. It works backwards. We understand what the purpose of the IGF and from there we talk about the structure and activities of the IGF. And from there we derive what should be the structure and the role of the MAG.
>>MARKUS KUMMER: Thank you. I think Emily asked, then Jeanette.
>>EMILY TAYLOR: And Chris Disspain would like to come in from remote participation.
>>MARKUS KUMMER: Hang on. Can you organize that? Remote participation for Chris Disspain?
>> (Speaker is off microphone).
>>CHRIS DISSPAIN: Can anyone hear me? Hello? Hello? Hello. Can you hear me?
Ah, you can hear me. Fantastic. Then I should have seen you can. It feels a little like -- oh, is it really bad? Some of you say something to me.
>>MARKUS KUMMER: Yes, please go ahead.
>>CHRIS DISSPAIN: Okay. Well, I hope you can hear me. It feels a little bit like I'm delivering results in (inaudible) contest, because I have no idea what's going on there, but I'm hoping that everyone is able to hear me reasonably well.
Can I just start by saying thank you very much for allowing me to make an intervention at this point in today's MAG meeting. It's evening here in Australia and I'm sitting here in my pajamas.
My intervention is not about the outstanding success of the Vilnius meeting, it's not about the plans for next year, and it's not about the real meaning of critical Internet resources. It's about something far more important. It's about the linchpin of the IGF, the oil in the IGF machine, the petrol in the IGF engine. Yes, it's about Markus Kummer.
As most, if not all, of you will know by now, Markus will step down from his role as executive coordinator on the IGF Secretariat early next year, and so it seemed appropriate to me, not only to compare him to linchpins, oil, and petrol, but also to say a few words of appreciation.
When the IGF started out, it was against the background of acrimonious discussions within the World Summit on Information Society. There were deep divisions not only on issues, but also on matters of process.
So Markus, when we started to put this Internet Governance Forum experiment together, there was every reason to expect that the experiment would fail. Not least because of the multistakeholders who made up the first MAG came from different backgrounds, were used to expressing themselves in different ways, and in some cases harbored deep suspicions of each other's motivations and how the IGF process might undermine their positions.
But through your leadership and even-handedness, you showed us that there was nothing to be afraid of, and that there was no topic that could not be constructively discussed, no matter how divisive that topic may be.
It was a testament to your skill in driving a prolonged process, that labeled the five-year initial phase of the IGF. We have all learned from your leadership and all been changed by the process to some degree.
More importantly, whilst there are some governments or organizations that will never accept that this process is desirable and workable, you have proved to everyone with an open mind that multistakeholder dialogue works and is the best method for discussing the many aspects of Internet governance.
On a personal note, I have immensely enjoyed working with you on the MAG, learning from you by what from your many demonstrations, is the art of diplomacy, and laughing with you at some of the truly bizarre things that happened in IGF world.
I hope you will continue to be involved in the Internet environment in the future. You are far too big a talent for us to lose. As I'm sure everyone would agree, for the last five years, it is you that has been the outstanding success.
Best of luck, and thank you very much.
>> MARKUS KUMMER: Thank you for this, Chris - you made me feel like attending my own funeral.
[Laughter and applause]
>>MARKUS KUMMER: Who else was -- Emily, you did not ask for the floor. You wanted to introduce Chris, correct? Jeanette asked for the floor?
>>JEANETTE HOFMANN: It feels really wrong to speak after Chris and go back to something so mundane as recommendations.
I've been thinking about this issue because this -- we have been concerned with this question of output of the IGF for several years, and it was one of the issues where the MAG really couldn't find any consensus. Should we pursue this, should we not pursue this. Is this dangerous, is this desirable, or both at the same time.
And then I had a short conversation with Bill yesterday about it and that got me thinking about it again.
I think decisions in general are only as good as their implementation, and in a way, the debate about recommendations is a symbolic discussion. It's a shortcut. What we all want is to maximize the impact of the IGF, and recommendations or decisions is one way to there sue this, but it is not necessarily the only way, and this is not necessarily the best way.
So if recommendations, as such, are only symbolic because only if they're implemented, and implemented in the way they were intended, do they do any good. Instead of doing only -- wasting our time because it takes a long time to agree on anything.
What could the other ways of maximizing the impact of the IGF? That was what I was thinking as I talked with Bill yesterday.
And what I've been thinking before about is how we can further keep evolving the discussion format to make them more output-oriented.
We discussed this already several times with roundtables and similar stuff.
So what we really want is the people at the IGF to take stuff home and do working on them, and if decisions are not the way to get them doing this, what could be a format that would sort of facilitate this.
So I've been wondering whether that could be a way we should keep thinking. How can we use new formats to make people do things when they get back from the IGF.
I know that there are lots of research institutes and similar things where they are trying to design collective thinking in terms of improving discussions and improving outputs, and I've been wondering whether we could think along these such terms. Not reinvent wheels, but rather look at what other people have done to sort of improve collective discussion and decision-making processes without relying only on the formal outcome.
So that's the point I wanted to make. Thank you.
>>MARKUS KUMMER: Thank you, Jeanette. And I also would like to remind this meeting that the mandate, as contained in the press release issued 5th of May is not so much to discuss the functioning of the IGF and its output or lack thereof, but the Multistakeholder Advisory Group has been asked to make proposals with regard to its own future, should the mandate be renewed.
Now, we do understand everything is linked, but nevertheless let's more focus on the future and there the selection of members, working methods and so on, I think are part of that.
I don't know whether you would like also to comment on that, Vincenzo.
>>VINCENZO AQUARO: Yes. I won't refer on a document that I have yet from U.N. because there are two different actions.
One is CSTD working group, and they will prepare recommendation through the Secretary-General, going to ECOSOC and then the General Assembly. And then there is another action that is the special advisor of the Secretary-General for Internet governance. Through the IGF Secretariat, and with the support of DESA, has also requested comments, so they say "comments," not "recommendations," on the composition and function of the Multistakeholder Advisory Group, which acts as a forum bureau, and that says there is no formal connection between any of these processes. The workshop group -- the working group on CSTD and this one.
So are two different activities. Work together but in different directions. They can link but -- and we are here working to prepare these requested comments that you will prepare through the IGF Secretariat and with the support of DESA, and then it is what I think we need to do here.
>>MARKUS KUMMER: Ayesha and then George.
>>AYESHA HASSAN: Thank you, Markus. Just taking what Jeanette was talking about in terms of recommendations or messages or outputs and how we effectively work in the IGF, but let's apply it to the MAG. If we're here to talk about the composition and the function of the MAG, applying all the questions you just posed I think are really helpful.
When we look at the composition, obviously the wonderful toast that Chris has just made to you, you will step out of the equation, so if we look at this room, all of us as people will be stepping out of this equation at some stage, too.
So I think the composition and looking at what have been really the qualities and criteria and the balance, because I think the balance has also been part of what we have so counted on you and Nitin and the mysteries of the wonderful situation that would then help the Secretary-General to select a balanced group.
I think it would be useful to have a discussion about that balance as part of the composition discussion.
I think we've also learned over the years that there -- there is a balance of people who actually roll up their sleeves, and there are others who quietly provide other kinds of input along the process and very useful contributions that maybe are not that recognized, actually, because they're kind of quiet and soft.
So maybe a discussion around that range of qualities would also be helpful, so that in the future as other people are working in whatever process is put in place to select, nominate, identify, what have you, they have some help, some ideas.
I think another thing that would be helpful to think about is, you know, we -- there have been many ideas put forth in the written contributions, and in yesterday's discussions, about a nominating process of some kind. My community, we called it a trusted group because we also wanted to be aware that some nominating processes can become quite lengthy or cumbersome or expensive or what have you.
So maybe thinking through that a bit.
My general sense was that it's clear that stakeholder groups from the intergovernmental stakeholders, all three of them, have a very important role in utilizing the expertise in their own community, and there doesn't seem to be a lot of controversy around that concept.
So then what are the ideas to put out there so that that structure will help to bring out a new range of experts in the future.
So I would like to move the discussion forward, as you have talked about, and maybe digging in and hearing from colleagues about how we really want to help with ideas about balance and composition, and then I have comments on the functioning of the MAG but I think perhaps I can save those for a bit later. Thanks.
>>MARKUS KUMMER: Thank you. George?
>>GEORGE PAPADATOS: I would like to link the comments made by Jeanette about -- well, I won't say "outcome," but it could be -- it is conceivable that the MAG, after a meeting with the IGF, comes up with a collection of new ideas that have emerged from a particular IGF, because I think that that's what's lost.
There are so many things that are happening, either in the different workshops or elsewhere, that may be worthwhile for the world to know, and they are totally lost.
So conceivably, the MAG could issue a press release or come up with a collection of ideas that they would publicize as to what has happened, and that's not an outcome and I think the MAG would be probably the most qualified body to do such a thing.
>>MARKUS KUMMER: Thank you. Okay. That does -- yes, Parminder.
>>PARMINDER SINGH: I agree with George, and without being specific about what kind of work the MAG should do to synthesize some of the activities and outcomes in whichever fashion from the IGF, the MAG should have that additional role of doing something and pulling things together, whether it's messages, recommendations, or any kind of, you know, distilling their experiences.
I won't go too much into what Jeanette argued, but I think I've been a part of many civil society multistakeholder groups at the national level and this is perhaps, if people believe that that's how a MAG should work, would be about the first group I've seen which, when asked whether you want to input into a policy process, says "We don't want to input specifically into a policy process."
I mean, I've worked in groups when they are asked that "Do you have some points to put into a policy process," everybody's very eager because that's how multistakeholder participation works.
And if you think that the real problem is that they should be implementable, then probably we should be suggesting global policymaking processes like an S corporation or whatever which should therefore be maintained. But that cannot be a reason for us not to develop those kind of recommendations.
Going more specifically to what Ayesha is saying about composition processes, I think people have not discussed it much, but the Brazilian multistakeholder model is rather elaborate and they have specific and clear processes of how the private sector and civil society members get into their Internet committee.
There are not black box selections. They're based on actual networks and actual representativeness within that stakeholder group. There are specific slots. There's one for hardware manufacturers, another for software industry, a third one for telecom, and it relies on extensive networks of organizations which do represent those sectors, and it's not like picking up one from Apple or another from Google kind of process. And I think that that works.
And similarly in civil society, it's not just picking up the more visible people, but there are about 400 civil society organizations who organize themselves and then they select people upwards into the Internet committee.
So we could go between the direct direction process which is almost impossible and the NomCom process, which I would come back again if this issue is discussed. I have major objections on, because it's a expertise based thing and not really about participation based process.
We can work through networks of private sector and NGO organizations and have clear processes whereby they therefore then select people, which could finally go through a process whereby you look at problem issues like Bertrand was talking more in response to the Egyptian reservations. Thank you.
>>MARKUS KUMMER: Thank you. Theresa? Then Katitza?
>>THERESA SWINEHART: Hi. It seems to me that we're sort of having two different -- two separate conversations. One is the MAG and the MAG moving forward, and the recommendations around that, and I think that there's been some very good discussions, concepts of a nominating committee and things like that, and I'm happy to comment on those later.
The other is the actual value of the IGF, and the -- the information that both goes into the IGF meetings and the information that comes out, much of it which is housed in the scripts and -- the transcripts that appear on the Web site afterwards.
It would seem to me that we might want to capture some of that in whatever we prepare for today, but I think we should view it as two separate things. And one is not necessarily a function of the MAG, but actually a function of the IGF and the Secretariat itself, with the other being conversation about the MAG and the MAG moving forward.
And in relation to the value of the IGF and the output, it's very difficult to quantify it, and I think we've seen that over the years. The -- the projects and events that come as a result of people having met at an IGF meeting, the national and regional IGF events, going back and looking at the transcripts of a workshop and informing yourself on a discussion that's relevant for work in another area.
So we can't quantify it in specific things, but I don't think we should underestimate the value of it. But let's keep the two conversations as distinct from each other.
>>MARKUS KUMMER: Thank you for that, and I would very much basically like us to focus on precisely the mandate, which is working methods of the MAG and its composition, which we are here to discuss.
So if we -- at the end of the day, we say we had lengthy discussions on whether or not to have recommendations, that will not help anybody. Katitza? Then Bill.
>>KATITZA RODRIGUEZ: Thank you, Markus.
I have one question for the representative from DESA.
You mentioned that this process is for the MAG to be sent to the Secretariat with the support of DESA.
I wonder if there is any deadline for that.
And my second comment, based on that answer, will be that it would be good that the MAG, based on their own experience, could create a drafting group to work on this document that then we could submit to the general Secretariat.
I see that there are many points of view on these questions, and I don't think we are going to finish today, so I'm just proposing that?
>>MARKUS KUMMER: Well, basically, I can answer this question.
We have today a meeting, and that is the deadline to continue -- to finish our work and we usually -- at the end of a meeting, we have a summary report. This time, we have a verbatim transcript of the discussion.
Now, if the MAG decides to continue an on-line process to continue refining, fine, so be it, but it will be ready when it will be ready.
I mean, what we come up with today may or may not have an impact on the discussions tomorrow in the CSTD framework, but that depends on the discussions.
Fine if you want to continue an on-line process after that and give a more -- you can also give an individual testimonial, whatever, based on your experience, but the -- the advantage of being physically in one room is that we have a dynamic exchange of views and then presumably, hopefully, we would come up with some kind of rough consensus representing the views of the MAG, and I think that is what will give it a certain weight.
Bill, you asked for the floor? And Jennifer.
>>BILL GRAHAM: Thanks very much, Markus. I've -- this is somewhat along the same lines as what you've just said, I think.
Looking back at the May 5th press release, we've been asked to talk about the future of the MAG as the first order of business, and I think given the limited amount of time we have together, we should -- we should really concentrate on that.
And to start, I think it would be worthwhile, as others have said, spending some time talking about the qualities desirable in the MAG membership overall, which leads naturally into a discussion of working methods.
On the selection criteria, I would really strongly advise that in my experience as being -- having been part of a couple, if not -- probably three of the different stakeholder groups at different times in my career, I can say that each one of the stakeholder groups has a very different culture and a very different way of doing things. And I think for this group as a whole to try and dictate a single mechanism for the members of the MAG from the stakeholder groups to be selected would be a real mistake. I think -- I think we should be talking about the qualities we'd like to see brought into the MAG, but not be telling people from the business community that they have to use the same method as civil society or the academic and technical community or governments, for that matter.
It's just not appropriate for us to be doing that, I don't think.
And finally, from my perspective, at least, I think we should get through those things before we turn to talking about new functions for the MAG or changes to the nature of the IGF. That's not clearly part of what we've been asked to do, although that's certainly arguable, but I think it's premature, most importantly.
We are waiting for decisions from the U.N. overall and the outputs of the CSTD process on improvements to the IGF, and to talk about new functions for the MAG or for the IGF itself before we hear the results of those discussions I really think is -- is premature.
>>MARKUS KUMMER: Thank you. Jennifer?
>>JENNIFER WARREN: Yeah. Good morning. I'm really happy to follow Bill, so that I can concur in everything that he just said. I think that the uniqueness of each stakeholder group is important, and we find that perspective important in trying to overlay some sort of harmonized approach which would kind of dilute the uniqueness, perhaps, that we value from each stakeholder group.
But my original comment was more to talk about the terms of reference that you had originally started this meeting with. You had listed vision, profile -- I think Bill called it function. I would also -- when we're talking about composition, I would like to add from my personal experience on other advisory committees or other task forces, they also like to be very clear what the nature of the commitment is. That we want individuals to understand what they are -- minimal expectations of the role that they can serve. Now, this may be derived from what the function of the MAG is, but I think a practical understanding of -- of what is done and what the minimum -- it's not just the amount of time one serves on the MAG, but what can be accomplished, the meetings, and how it all works, is very important, so that the -- the people that choose to put themselves forward or the people that are nominated actually know what they're getting into and so I would just add that to this discussion. Thank you.
>>MARKUS KUMMER: Thank you, Jennifer. I think that is a very relevant point. That came to my mind when actually asking for new functions for the MAG. Would MAG members be actually willing to add that much more time. Already now it's a considerable commitment. We have normally three meetings in Geneva, basically a week is gone for people like Chris coming from down under, and then we have the annual meeting itself, and there's, in between, quite a while of on-line work in preparing the sessions and so on.
So if you pile on extra work, it certainly would add even more, and I'm not sure whether everybody will be willing to do that.
I mean, some people might, but not -- but it might also make it more difficult to find the people.
And, yes, I agree, I think we -- terms of reference should go a little bit beyond the qualities and definitely we would need to say the time commitments and also the qualities we are looking for.
>>CHRISTINE ARIDA: Yes. Thank you, Chair. I think -- I fully agree with what Bill just said about the uniqueness of the different stakeholder groups and the selection processes within those groups, but it's important, if we go that way, that we have some aggregation of this selection process, because at the end of the day, the balance, be it geographical, gender, even the developing countries, has to be maintained.
So it's important to figure out a mechanism.
So I do agree that we can think about having a different selection processes for the different stakeholder groups, but then we need some committee -- I don't want to name it, don't want to say the word "NomCom" because maybe it's not necessarily functioning the same way we've seen other entities function, but it's important to have this aggregate function then. Thank you.
>>MARKUS KUMMER: Thank you for that. Can we focus on the discussions, Parminder, with the MAG members, first of all? May I remind you you are basically an advisor of the chair.
>>GEORGE PAPADATOS: Thank you. Well, while I -- I find the discussion very useful in terms of what the MAG should do, and all that, when it comes to elections -- excuse me. Slippery -- Freudian slip here.
>>GEORGE PAPADATOS: When it comes to the composition and balance, I see a problem, and the problem is that there are basic interests and all of us have been here too long, and I think that at one time when we were asked to -- the point came up in the discussion whether we should all resign or not, there was not very much willingness of anybody to resign. And I'm sure that there are a lot of people here whose membership in the MAG is very important for the standing in their own organization and for whom they represent and all that.
Well, every time I come to the MAG, I -- people are giving me new cards all the time, but apart from that, I don't think we are the most -- the best body to decide how the composition should be made in the future. I think an outside evaluation may be appropriate.
The reason being that I've heard quite a few -- quite a few opinions, including mine, from elections all the way to different committees and all that, and all of them are somewhat flawed.
I don't think there is going to be a perfect system for which we can replace the members of the MAG. And it may be preferable, either an outside evaluation or accept -- like we do with juries, have the Secretary-General decide and take it as a divine opinion that does not require any objection or discussion.
But for those reasons that I've outlined, I think it will be very difficult for us to come up with concrete recommendations, and I haven't -- I don't think there's any consensus so far, unless you have seen, among the different views that have been expressed. I think it is a very slippery slope because -- and of course I speak as government. The only reason I'm here is because Brazil and Egypt passed a decision that former hosts of an IGF should stay for five years.
I never pursued that through my regional group, so I have -- I have absolutely no ax to grind on this issue. Thank you.
>>MARKUS KUMMER: Thank you. Well, let's try. I think I heard enough voices that the black box approach is flawed in terms of transparency and that would need to be replaced by something.
I also sense there is a distinct identity of the different stakeholder groups. The governments are clearly in the question air, we had worked out last time in May, were left out of the equation. They have their own well-established mechanisms. They have regional coordinators. That's difficult enough. But it is a well-established process.
The difficulty comes in with the other stakeholder groups, and each of them have their own processes, and I think I sense that they don't want to have a joint process where they select the nongovernmental members. So there will be in a way three separate pillars for the nongovernmental stakeholder groups. But I think Christine made a valid point that we need some final arbitrage, and be that only for geographical reasons that we not be questioning the quality of the proposals that come from the different stakeholder groups, but just to make sure that they are not an overrepresentation of one particular subregion. Also to make sure that there is an adequate gender balance. In case of equal qualification, preference will be given to female candidates. I think that's U.N. policy, and so on.
But these would not me, I think, a NomCom. I think arbitrage may be the proper word. Just basically to assure adequate parlance among the stakeholders.
That's, I think, what I feel where we are. I don't know, does anybody have a different reading of our discussion?
Can we focus on the MAG members? Because I asked for the floor and then -- (saying name). Yes.
>> I find -- I think the combination of comments between what Bill said and what Christine said and what the Greek Ambassador said is a good start for us to rethink the MAG composition.
>>MARKUS KUMMER: Can you please talk into the microphone?
>> Can you hear clearly?
>>MARKUS KUMMER: When you talk into the microphone, yes.
>> I think the combination of what Bill said and Christine and the Greek Ambassador said, especially in the fact that someone from the outside should look at the MAG composition also, is also an important factor.
For us, at least we can define the set of qualities that we need within the possible candidates to be the member of the MAG. And we leave it to each constituency, whether it's civil society, private sector, or governments, to nominate their candidates, plus international organizations. And then there is a committee, whatever it is from the outside, taking this nomination and -- or this candidacy and (poor audio) in a way that (poor audio) the quality that is in the MAG. Taking into consideration also what will be the next mandate of the IGF. Especially that we are now at a crossroad. The five year ended and there is a new maybe five-year period or so on.
Therefore, I think we should -- while I support the fact that we leave to each constituency to have their own process to nominate their candidate, we should have somewhere a group or an entity that will help in filtering of selecting the proper candidates which will define the MAG members.
>>MARKUS KUMMER: Thank you. That was my sense that the general feeling would be that this, whatever it is, this group should not be the MAG itself, but that could be composed of former MAG members, of representatives of each stakeholder group, former MAG members for instance, something like that.
But I think it's an important notion that there are certain (speaking in French) that you don't have too much (poor audio) in one group but that you have a division of functions.
>>GRACIELA SELAIMAN: Thank you, Chair.
My suggestion is that the MAG could focus today at least in drafting some criteria for the selection of MAG members and of MAG's roles and duty. Criteria, I think it's a good outcome of this meeting today, a general agreement on the basic criteria that we should follow, and then deepen the discussion.
And also, my comments on the selection process that we have been discussing now and building on the comments made by Parminder and Bill and Christine. I'd like to stress that from a civil society point of view, it is very important that civil society be able to make nominations through different channels, multiple channels. This is what has been happening in Brazil for the last years, and it's a very fruitful construction that we are able to make.
There's not only one channel of indication of civil society candidates or suggestions for the Steering Committee.
Any organization or groups of organizations can build their platforms or suggest the names of candidates. And I think it will be -- This has been very enriching because as in any other place, civil society is not only one thing. We don't have this homogenization of (inaudible).
>>MARKUS KUMMER: We have several groups that have put forward members, and that goes for virtually all nongovernmental stakeholders, that we received proposals for candidates from various different sources.
But basically, you need somebody to do the triage at the end.
I think that would also be a great help to the Secretary-General, that we don't burden the Secretary-General or the people who do it on his behalf with doing that job.
>>WOLFGANG KLEINWÄCHTER: Just I want to pick up the point made by George about the external evaluation.
I think we have an interesting model. ICANN has started the external evaluation of all its bodies, the committees, the board, and Supporting Organizations on a regular basis. Every three years, they have an external evaluation.
I was involved in some of this evaluation, and although it has sometimes a flip side. Because if you hire an external evaluator which has not the specific knowledge, then you can get the wrong results.
But in any case, an external evaluation could be helpful, but would be not the only process which is needed. That means you need -- have to have combination between the internal evaluation or self-evaluation, what we are doing now here, combined with probably an external evaluation.
But I was realistic because this need a contract which has to be paid, and I do not see any budget at the moment which would allow us to do this.
But I think it could be, for the future, one of the recommendations we could give back to the United Nations and to think about such a process of external evaluation.
It certainly would be also an innovation for the United Nations in general, because normally, no United Nations body is evaluated externally. But I think in this case where we have the multistakeholder group, which is also an innovation for the United Nations, an external evaluation could bring additional value and could make, in the long term, the work of this mechanism more efficient and more attractive.
>>MARKUS KUMMER: Thank you. George wants to reply.
>>GEORGE PAPADATOS: Well, I agree with that, but there is a body in the United Nations called the joint inspection unit that has quite a bit of expertise, even on subjects like we're dealing with right now. That that is one area.
The other area is that it seems now that this idea of having some kind of a group that will oversee or make some recommendations where all the applications or nominations will go to, which will be composed.
(Audio stopped for scribes)
....to the Secretary-General. So it's a three-step approach to think that we should define terms. There are no terms now. There's no time limit.
And also the same should hold true in terms of I think the regional process, the regional groups sometimes come up with recommendations strictly because somebody put an application. There may be some incentive also for the governments to -- or for the government groups that decide the nominations to select people that are qualified. Some kind of a directive or so forth.
Yeah, I think that might work.
>>MARKUS KUMMER: Thank you. Well, that is basically what's the starting point. Let's discuss the terms of reference.
But just the note: Government's candidates by definition are qualified. Whenever a government puts forward a candidate, it's not up to us to qualify whether they are an expert or not.
We have remote participant. I cannot read -- it's Valeria. Can you make a comment?
(scribes have no audio).
....caution against make this process too complex. Let's not throw out the baby with the bath water. We have built experience over these last few years, and I think we should use that experience. I'd like to support both Bill and Christina's points again about each stakeholder groups having their own processes. And of course a sort of triage at the end to ensure diversity.
Putting in too many layers of process I think can actually hinder -- hinder the process, I should say.
I think while the black box approach -- I think we agree that that's -- we need to move away from that, it is also proven to work remarkably well up to today, and I think that is because both the Secretariat and yourself but I think also because of the composition of the past MAG.
So I would like to -- to actually argue towards a model of where we use the experience of the current MAG somehow, whether that's at the end of this triage, so to speak, or in another way, but not move away from building on the continued experience of the MAG.
I'm not sure if that's clear. What I am trying to say is let's not put in too many complex processes with lots of different review committees that will make the process complex and difficult to understand.
>>MARKUS KUMMER: Thank you. It was perfectly clear.
Is Valeria ready? She doesn't want to. Oh, I was looking forward to hearing her.
>>ALVARO GALVANI: Thank you. I agree with previous speakers regarding the fact that it's hard to debate deeply the discussions we are proposing to do because we are, until the resolution of renewing IGF is not brought yet. And also, there is a mandate that will -- there is a process that is likely to start in order to propose improvements to IGF.
Considering these situations is one side. And I also see the other side; that is, all -- a few MAG members are here. We need -- we want and we need to provide any output from this meeting here.
So in order to be constructive and allow us to a result today, I just want to have it clear. And I think the right way is that we agree here that we are providing comment, as DESA representative said to us. And in order to relieve the burden on Secretariat's shoulders, I think that it would be nice if we make a kind of a remark. It may be a footnote or something, saying that not all MAG members are present, and maybe there will be further contribution or further comments to these discussions.
I think this is a matter of trust. We are not here. We are not constructive environment and we don't want to overcome different opinions. We want to be (inaudible) consensus.
So maybe this is a way in order to relieve the burden of the Secretariat, just having a note on that point that further contributions may be welcome.
I have two other very brief points, and then I will do another -- in the afternoon I may present other comment.
But just two very brief comments. The first one just for the record about the presence in the MAG of governments from countries who have hosted IGF. I think that George presented a likely different interpretation of previous discussions. I don't want to go into this now, but just for the record.
And a second good idea that I understood is ICANN external evaluation. This sounds very interesting. You just have to do it very wisely. You, the Secretariat, presented the idea of checks and balance principles. This is very interesting. We just have to be sure that this second group doesn't mean -- doesn't gather the same principle from the previous one. So it wouldn't be counter balance.
But this is a great idea. I think a lot about this. Thank you.
>>MARKUS KUMMER: Thank you.
>>EMILY TAYLOR: Thank you. I partly wanted to support (saying names) call to keep it as simple as we possibly can.
What I am picking up from the discussion so far is that we're all reasonably comfortable with multistakeholder and for the different stakeholders to go through their own processes, that we recognize a need for some sort of triage to get the gender balance, so on.
My suggestion for that triage is we perhaps have a few outgoing MAG members who are representative of the different stakeholder groups who can just take a look on their way out and help to make recommendations up to the Secretary-General. But just an idea to throw into the pot.
>>MARKUS KUMMER: Thank you. That was very much along the lines, I think, what also Christine originally suggested, and I picked up on that.
What I meant was there should not be MAG members selecting (inaudible) but that there should be somebody else who does it. And I think outgoing MAG members would be the most logical way to go.
In very practical terms, as we have always moved from meeting to meeting, the mandate of this MAG is basically running out. This is the last MAG meeting.
So if you have an ongoing process after that, we have to think about how to formalizing it. And I think one recommendation could, indeed, be to the Secretary-General to extend the mandate with, at the same time, a rotation, because we discussed that yesterday. Any change from the intergovernmental process will not kick in under the following year.
So to have a certain sense of continuity, I think it will make sense if a recommendation coming out of this meeting would be to the Secretary-General to extend the mandate with a suitable rotation.
And then when it comes to the rotation, the MAG could, indeed, then make this proposal that this should be shored by a triage committee of the outgoing MAG members that will look at the different proposals coming from the different stakeholder groups, then make the proposal. They would not decide on that. They would make the proposal that would go to the Secretary-General, that would be endorsed or rejected. I mean, the Secretary-General may, for one reason or another, not like this or that person and say, "Sorry. Come up with somebody else."
We have to leave that -- that's, I think, the prerogative of the Secretary-General.
So this will be one of my proposals as a very concrete next step, because we have to think about ensuring continuity, always on the assumption that the mandate will be renewed. That is a bit the difficult situation we are in. The mandate has not yet been renewed, but I think we have every reason to believe that it will be renewed. And it will make sense, then, to have some kind of recommendation to ensure there's continuity.
And then the -- Yes, we ought to give some guidance as regards the selection of new MAG members. It was also mentioned of how long should they serve. There were various proposals that came up, very concrete in terms of rotation, but I think we discussed that many times. In theory, we all agree that further (inaudible) should be rotated so that would give a three-year term, but that's a theory. It's like coordination. Everybody is in favor of coordination but nobody wants to be coordinated.
The same for rotation. Everybody is in favor of rotation but nobody wants to be rotated.
So this is clearly one aspect I think we have to consider. And there are a number of extremely valuable MAG members who have been here right from the beginning. That makes five years. So the question would also be, you know, are there voluntary rotations of people who have been here long enough?
And the discussion on the criteria, we haven't yet started that. But I think we all have a certain sense. I remember when we discussed the composition of the WGIG, that was the time of the first phase of the Galactic Real Madrid, we don't need the Real Madrid, a team of 11 superstars, but we need people who are willing to roll up their sleeves and do some work and we need team players. That's the main thing.
If you have 40 superstars who all think they are the only ones, it doesn't work.
So we do need people who are willing to engage, with, I think, a proven ability to work in a team as team members to be constructive and apart from the government members, bring in different -- we don't need government experts necessarily but we need the diplomatic and political expertise. And this works extremely well in the MAG during the last few years. That we have learned to bring -- to bridge -- to bring the different cultures and backgrounds together to have government representatives engage in a maybe more issue-oriented technical dialogue, and at the same time to have civil society and business and technical communities engage more diplomatic dialogue than what they are necessarily used to from their background.
The criteria, I think, (saying name) you mentioned it. Would you like to say how you see selection criteria for MAG members? I would like to get this discussion a bit started.
I agree it's an important discussion. Would you have -- Or I would also like maybe to call on Anriette. Anriette yesterday made the suggestion that where are the terms of reference? That was basically my starting point. Do you have suggestions?
>>ANRIETTE ESTERHUYSEN: Thank you, Markus.
I would propose that before you develop criteria for the members of the MAG, you document the function, the role of the MAG. And then once you have done that, then you can develop criteria for selection and then you can finalize the process for the selection. I wouldn't go into much more detail than that.
But it is a pity the mandate of this MAG is ending now because the ideal process would probably have been a small drafting group from the current MAG, volunteering, to draft these documents. And then to send then to the rest of the MAG for discussion and finalization. And then submit them to the Secretary-General for his information.
I'm not sure if you want more detail, but as a procedure that seems to make sense. I think the knowledge is all in people's heads based on experience. It's just a matter of systematically documenting and sharing it.
>>MARKUS KUMMER: Thank you.
I think (inaudible) floor before that.
>> Thank you, Markus.
Sort of the confusion rising from the discussion is why do we exist in the first place? Number one. What is it? No, really. Where were we supposed to go and what were we supposed to do?
We have a clear definition that for the -- we exist for the Secretary-General in organizing the IGF. And identifying emerging issues, bring them to the attention of the (inaudible) body and then the general public and where appropriate make recommendations.
Where are we going to go towards if the mandate is renewed? Do we want to go towards making recommendations? Is it something we want to fulfill in the agenda for (poor audio)? This is the mandate of the IGF?
This is what I look at from the perspective of a developing country.
And it gives me great confusion when processes become complex, when what we need to do, as part of our mandate, goes into all these discussions about NomComs and so forth and all the selection committees, selection committees, all these slippery words, as our friend from (inaudible) mentioned. These are very, very concerning for me. And it's adding to my confusion.
When the mandate is renewed, does the MAG -- is the MAG needed? If the MAG is needed, what will it do? It will continue its previous role, number one. Number two, is there any innovation, modification we want to go towards? No. It is already set out in the mandate which is where appropriate, make recommendations.
I would like to see some form of constitution of the MAG to actually go towards this way.
This is something we have to explore. This is something which is meaningful to us as developing countries.
So this is something I would like to be brought to attention now.
>>MARKUS KUMMER: .
>>MARKUS KUMMER: Thank you. Very down to earth comment. The scribes ask us that whenever you stop speaking, make sure to mute your microphone because it creates confusing noises to them and prevents them from transcribing properly.
>>AYESHA HASSAN: Thank you.
I'm inclined to go towards where Anriette was taking us. I think that if we perhaps take -- you had started this off as almost a drafting process. I think if we -- I think the role of the MAG discussion may open up a lot of discussion around things that maybe will divert us. So I will prefer to skip right to function.
Maybe just put it up on the board and say what have we been doing? What are the things that have been helpful from the MAG? How has the MAG been able to support the preparations? Where are the new things that maybe the MAG should consider but put them under new ideas or something. And maybe just really dig in and get started, because I think that the flow from Anriette's list is very helpful.
Once we all look at the list of functions that the group together have been providing, we can then look at some helpful ideas regarding criteria. And then I would just state that I support the idea that the recommendation from this group today would be that the MAG be continued for the process of ensuring a prepared IGF in Kenya with natural rotation where possible or needed, what have you. And I like the idea of the MAG alumni group being a trusted group to review the ideas, nominations that come from the various stakeholder groups.
I am just stating my thoughts on the process parts, but I would be very happy for us to focus on function and dig in and move this forward.
>>MARKUS KUMMER: Thank you. George?
>>GEORGE PAPADATOS: Well, quite a few possible scenarios have been outlined, but on the basis of -- let's assume that of course we know that you're not going to be with us at the next MAG meeting, so then we don't know whether the Secretary-General is going to renew this MAG or there may be -- may be new members coming, so that's another unknown.
And also, what is an unknown is whether there's going to be another chair.
So we're talking about a parametric shift here, which may change the face of the MAG and all that, but coming back to you, you are -- you have a D2 position. What concerns me, who is going to step in your shoes, while probably the position will be advertised in the U.N. in the same way it's advertised with a vacancy and so forth.
Who is going to be in your shoes while the normal process of hiring somebody in your place will take place at the U.N.? That's of concern to all of us, I think, because as I said, there are quite a few question marks: A new MAG, who is going to be in your shoes, and all that.
>>MARKUS KUMMER: Thank you. Miguel.
>>MIGUEL ALCAINE: Thank you, Markus. I was asking for the floor, but now with Ayesha commenting, it will be easier.
I think that part of the suggestions from this MAG to other parts of the process to the implicit agreement that we have found that the MAG -- the MAG as useful and the -- the Multistakeholder Advisory Group, and we believe that in the future, a structure like this is helpful to help organize the common IGF.
We have been able to discuss sensible topics through the five years without -- we have had difficulties, but it has not been impossible to tackle all of this.
So I believe this has to be made explicit as a suggestion of this MAG, that the structure has proved its usefulness for the process.
And last, I believe that -- I have no problem of having the -- every stakeholder, as been mentioned one hour ago, to decide on their representations, but I believe that criteria -- I don't remember who mentioned that. I think it was Graciela, said that criteria -- for example, participation and accountability -- should be in each of these groups as well as balances, that they check the balances of the whole group, but at the end to confirm it.
And I believe I will stop there. The other two ideas I have maybe are not that relevant anymore.
>>MARKUS KUMMER: Thank you. Juan Carlos?
>>JUAN CARLOS SOLINES: Thank you.
>>MARKUS KUMMER: Actually, for the benefit of the scribes, could I remind it's helpful if you state at the beginning when you talk who you are? For the record.
>>JUAN CARLOS SOLINES: Sure. Juan Carlos Solines. Just a quick question, Markus. I was wondering if you or the Secretariat as a whole is going to present like a final report or final, you know, memo or -- on what happened during this period, this initial five years period. Are you going to do that?
And if the response is "yes," this report is going to include some recommendations or analysis about how the MAG worked during these five years?
>>MARKUS KUMMER: We do -- basically do an annual report, but, I mean, this is a very technical explanation the Secretariat is organized as a project funded by voluntary contributions, so we are legally obliged to write an annual project report which goes to the donors.
And obviously at the end of five years, we will prepare a final report for the donors, but nothing prevents us from making -- as far as I understand, from making this report maybe in a slightly modified form as part of it is a financial report. The donors want to see what happened with their money. To make this report available to a broader community and there may indeed be so married.
However, it's not so much a report. It's more a factual report of what happened, and not so much a report that makes a recommendation as regards the future.
If the mandate is extended, then there will be a -- basically a new project document that would extend also the life span of the Secretariat, but that would be something that would need to be discussed in the future.
But this is my answer to this question.
>>JUAN CARLOS SOLINES: Thank you, Markus. And if I may frame another question.
If that's the case, after listening to your answer, who is going to tell -- in order to develop a new project, in case the MAG -- the IGF is extended, who is going to be the critical voice in order to correct?
Because the structure in the MAG, I guess it has very positive aspects, but I'm sure it has also negative aspects that should be corrected.
So who's going to be the independent voice that will point out what didn't work or what are the -- eventually the failures that we, as a structure, have?
>>MARKUS KUMMER: This would not be part of our project document, but please go ahead and say what needs to be amended.
>>JUAN CARLOS SOLINES: No, no, no. What I'm saying is that who is going to be the independent. Because, I mean, we are not objective. We are within the MAG and we have been working within this group, so I don't know. There's going to be a source of constructive critics, you know, outside our group.
>>MARKUS KUMMER: No.
>>JUAN CARLOS SOLINES: Okay. Thank you.
>>MARKUS KUMMER: Yes, Parminder.
>>PARMINDER SINGH: Before I make my substantive comment, I would also like to add another process issue.
I think we need also to clarify the roles of the special advisors.
I am one, and I've never clearly understood the role myself.
I learned it by practice that it is probably a certain basket of people which have been thrown in at the discretion of the chair of the MAG, along with the people who were -- who had come along with the Secretary-General's nominations, and they more or less do the same function within the MAG meetings.
And if there was a special function which could be a back linkage to the chair, that has never been exercised in my knowledge, so we would rather clarify the rule, and if it is redundant, we could also do away with this category.
But I understood it that it's the chair who would like to kind of fill in the gaps in the way he looked at the composition which came from the Secretary-General's office and nominate his own selection of people, so that's one task we can address ourselves to.
The substantive comment, which I really was holding back and not coming in, but I think I need to, because I know that in Internet governance caucus, there is -- there would be a lot of diversity of views on that, is about a committee which has been spoken about which is a committee of the past MAG members which would vet the nominations which come along.
And I know that civil society is very sensitive to give a veto role to other stakeholders on its nominations, especially because the civil society is, by its structure, a constituency which is organized for seeking accountability from those who are in power. It's, in a sense, the other -- for many people who are in power, it is very sensitive to giving other stakeholders a role in vetoing their nominations, which could not be the case -- so much the case for other groups where the diversity is perhaps less, and they're more organized in putting up their slate of members. We would, I know I understand in Internet Governance Caucus, have deep reservations with any system which gives vetos to other stakeholders.
I understand the issue of finally -- I mean, I know the governments might want somebody who is a big (inaudible) within their countries to go up, but I'm talking about even the technical community and the private sector being able to veto the members from the civil society. Thank you.
>>MARKUS KUMMER: Thank you for your comments. I think the last comment, there must be a misunderstanding. Nobody talks about vetoing. It's a question of triage, of making sure that there is a balance.
For instance, each stakeholder group could be asked to make, say, eight proposals for five slots, for instance, and then there will be a selection among these, but it would not be a question of vetoing. It would be a question of finding a geographical balance.
If you leave the selection to each stakeholder group without any triage, you may end up with, I think, one subregion by sheer coincidence being overrepresented. Let's say have three West Africans and nobody from East Africa or so on.
That's a very simple, I think -- that's, I think, very much what Christine said, that you need a kind of a view from above to make sure the balance is established.
The first question I think that came up in some of the written reports that -- many comments on we have developed into a structure that is somewhat too Baroque, with special advisors and we have gradually expanded the original membership. We have -- originally we had, I think, four members per region, and then we added -- well, it made sense, you know -- added all the host countries, and by having more members, that allowed us also to have a better balance, being in more developing countries without actually rotating out some experts, valued experts, from developed countries and so on.
But I think there is a sense that there would be merit in keeping it down somewhat.
I think the notion, as some said, you know, there should not be more than 20, and my feeling is it would not be realistic to expect -- as I said, governments, in terms of a regional balance or subregional balance, you cannot ask a group like the Asian group to come up with two representatives. It's just not possible, knowed to find a balance also within their region.
Reducing it somewhat would be I think, a noble aim, and I think also the -- as (saying name) pointed out, the definition of -- it gave the chairman a certain leeway to fill certain gaps, to accommodate certain people, without affecting the overall balance, but --
I stand to be corrected, but my feeling is that there's a general notion that we should do away with a category of people whose function is not clearly defined.
This is my reaction to your -- to your question. Ra�l wants to come in. Yes, please.
>>RAUL ECHEBERRIA: Hi, everybody. Good morning. It is nice to join you remotely for this meeting.
We have been talking about the triage, but this is a way of assuming that we will continue working in three constituent spaces. This is an assumption that has been pointed out many times from the people from the Internet technical community, that we should have a more formal definition of the existence of this stakeholder group.
I would like to share with you that yesterday in Peru, the Latin American recognized the existence of the technical community as an independent stakeholder group.
I think this has been a -- included the representation of the technical community in the follow-up mechanism for this -- such a steering committee of this process, and there have been some very positive remarks from different governments, including Brazil, Peru, and Uruguay, about the inclusion of this group.
So since I'm showing up a bit late to this meeting due to some technical problems with the WebEx, I would like to have some clarification about what this triage means, and if it is what I'm assuming or I'm wrong in my interpretation.
>>MARKUS KUMMER: Well, we had a -- as I said right at the outset, we had a de facto recognition of the technical community right from the beginning of the IGF as a third stakeholder group.
The formal recognition -- I think the discussion, that would be up to the CSTD to recommend to the General Assembly whether there will be a formal recognition. I have my doubts whether governments are willing to open, basically, what is the Tunis Agenda agreed definition, but I think the de facto recognition, I think, is important as it is.
And the triage question, it's basically -- I think your understanding is correct. The general idea is that we would have the three stakeholder spaces and they would each have their own system of generating names for candidates of MAG membership, but there was the feeling that there would be a need for somebody having the overview to ensure the -- essentially the geographical balance and maybe talk about the regional and subregional balance, just to make sure that the names proposed don't overrepresent one particular country or subregion.
I don't know whether I've answered the question. Yes, Raul?
>>RAUL ECHEBERRIA: You answered the question very well. I think I agree with you that the technical community has been, by de facto, recognized. I think that this is very important. I think that you have been -- you or Nitin have been key elements in this recognition, but this assumption has worked very well in the -- in a black box approach because you have the opportunity to fix the possible imbalance and include the people from the (inaudible) stakeholder group. I'd be afraid of how it would be work if we moved to a bit more formal mechanism. We have to create this group as a basis of the idea of the existence of the three stakeholder groups. I think -- I know that because it works very well, and I have to applaud that, but I am a bit afraid of the -- how good it will work in the future in this transition that -- if we explicitly speak about the three groups. Thank you.
>>MARKUS KUMMER: That's a valid point and my recommendation would be, then, also that our summary report clearly includes this basically past practice and recommends this past practice be continued in the future; that selection of MAG members is made from governments, on the one hand, as a separate clearly distinct group, and then the civil society, private sector, and the technical community as the three constituents; nongovernmental groups and intergovernmental organizations continue to participate as equals, as we have done in the past.
And that obviously would also relate to any governmental organization that does not participate.
I noticed, for instance, in Vilnius that the League of Arab States was very active and that was a very positive development. I participated in one of the workshops they organized and they would certainly be most welcome to participate.
Yes, Freda, you asked for the floor and welcome back and I was sorry to hear about your health problems in Vilnius.
>>FREDA RUTH MURRAY-BRUCE: Yes. Thank you. Feeling better now. Well, in a way better. Thanks.
I just wanted to comment that it was -- even though I was practically ill and in hospital in Vilnius, that was the first time I realized we actually had certain people from Nigeria who were actually on the MAG, who came there, I think from another country.
I think what I'm trying to say is that another way of whittling or, you know, looking at the representation is actually to see people who don't contribute either by coming to meetings or otherwise.
Because I think there are actually three other Nigerians and I'm the person of us in a meeting and that was a big surprise. That's civil society, because governmental always do what they need to do.
And I think that's one process, just to try and look at numbers. Thank you.
>>MARKUS KUMMER: Thank you. And I'm happy to note that you're back on your feet again.
No, I mean, that is a -- it is a fact. I have talked to the person you mentioned. He apologized, but there's not much point having somebody on a list who doesn't appear, yeah.
Yes, shall we discuss the functions a bit? Well, basically this is a description of what we have been doing in the past. I think the report has to state clearly -- that does not mean that in the future it may not be different, but in the past, at least, the task of the MAG members was to attend three physical meetings in Geneva and the annual meeting in wherever it was, and complement this through intersessional on-line work.
And then there were -- I think it differed a bit, depending actually on the will of MAG members to engage in the practical preparation of the meeting. Some are clearly more active than others in preparing the main session, but in terms of physical presence away from the office, we talk -- it's almost four weeks, correct, with travel included. Well, three to four weeks, I think, depending on where you come from.
Which I think is a considerable chunk of somebody's time. You know, if you put it in these terms.
And then obviously the intersessional contribution to on-line discussion, again it's up to the MAG member to choose how intense their participation will be, but if you look at it in those terms, in percentage that makes, what, our work here -- consider one month of holiday -- well, I suppose in the U.S. it's two days is holiday.
>>MARKUS KUMMER: But, you know, it's close to 10% of your work. That's quite a bit.
What else do we need to say? Emily.
>>EMILY TAYLOR: I'm sure you would say it anyway, but it's one of the things that has come up consistently in the conversations yesterday and today is the outreach to one's own community, whatever that is. Some people do it in different ways. Some of us are involved in national or regional processes. Others do other stuff. There's a lot of work I'm aware of within the civil society list in coordination and outreach.
So it's just that people were talking yesterday about bringing networks into the MAG, and reaching out to those networks as well. And I think that is an important function.
>>MARKUS KUMMER: Absolutely. That was also contained in some of the press releases as clearly as part of the mandate that the MAG members -- and also that they serve in their individual capacity. I think it is important to note, however, that they are requested to connect, to reach out to their various stakeholder groups and constituencies. Jeanette?
>>JEANETTE HOFMANN: Both be involved in preparing main sessions, but also outreaching to the expert groups relevant for that topic of the main session.
>>MARKUS KUMMER: That's right.
>>JEANETTE HOFMANN: It's not only the -- one's own stakeholder group. It's also the technical community or other communities that work in a specific area of Internet governance.
>>MARKUS KUMMER: Valid point. Thank you.
>>MARKUS KUMMER: What else? Have we got the functions in that? Ayesha?
>>AYESHA HASSAN: I think there was also quite a bit of work done regarding, you know, listening to input from the community, like the workshop proposals, et cetera, and helping to balance the merging of the workshops or the response to encourage mergers by workshop proposers, and an overall program development/support function.
>>MARKUS KUMMER: That's nicely worded. Overall program development/support function. That sounds good.
>>MARKUS KUMMER: Bill?
>>BILL GRAHAM: Yeah. I don't -- the one thing I don't think can be overstated is the need, really, to reach out to the -- the community. That is very, very important, both in the overall program development support function and more generally building -- building support and recruiting speakers for the various workshops, whether they be main sessions or workshops. Thanks.
>>MARKUS KUMMER: Yes. And thank you.
And also, I think we need to make clear that it's a two-way street, to bring in comments from the community and to explain to the community why this has been done in this or in that way.
It may not always be obvious to people outside. Sometimes compromises are necessary. And it needs to be explained why this works this way or this works that way.
I mean, we had, as an example, epic discussions on how to deal with development and it's not over. And we heard that yesterday. There were those who felt it was a good thing to have a separate main session to isolate the issue while others think no, it was a bad idea, it would be better to have it as a horizontal function.
And when we come to any kind of agreement on it, I think it's important, then, that you carry it back to your community and say, "Look, what will appear in the program is not what you asked for, but it was necessary for this or for that reason to do it in this or in that way," and I think I agree, this cannot -- the importance of this function cannot be overstated.
>>CHRISTINE ARIDA: Maybe also the linkage to the regional IGFs is an important thing to look at.
>>MARKUS KUMMER: Well, this is basically something, you know, we did not have at the beginning and which has emerged in the past five years, and I think many think it's basically the single most important development that we have now this regional and national IGF-type meetings.
In some cases, MAG members were deeply involved. I mean, Emily was the driving force trustee U.K. of the IGF U.K. Stephen Lau who cannot be with us was very much the center of the Hong Kong and the Asia-Pacific initiative. Whereas others developed a little bit outside, and I think while there's obviously nothing wrong, we don't have any kind of monopoly, but obviously it is helpful if MAG members are involved.
And at the same time, we can look at these national and regional initiatives in many ways. They seem to be logical candidates also for new MAG members. People who are very active in this area who set up their own meetings. They, in a way, impose themselves as candidates for the MAG to discuss the organization of the global meeting. This clearly corresponds to a general feeling that we have to improve the linkages between them, and how better to do that than having them directly sit in -- into the -- what is it called -- program development support committee of the annual meeting.
What else? Parminder.
>>PARMINDER SINGH: A clarification. Are we talking about what the MAG did in these years, what are the functions they did, or what are the functions we think they did plus they could do? Which one?
>>MARKUS KUMMER: Basically, we are looking at what is the function of the MAG member and what has it been in the past.
The question is: Do we want to look at what else it could do? I think Jennifer made the point, you know, we have to -- also to say how much time is involved, and actually by listing it, it is already quite a bit.
Now, do we feel we can -- just -- I'm not talking now, you know, whether we should -- that it's good that we do this thing or not, but that we actually can ask for more from prospective MAG members.
>>RAUL ECHEBERRIA: Yes. I wanted to talk about the linkage between regional and global IGF, but I don't know if this is the moment because you are (inaudible) the talk on the issue of the role of MAG members. I don't know. You tell me.
>>MARKUS KUMMER: Please, go ahead.
>>RAUL ECHEBERRIA: Okay. I think that's one way to group the linkage between the regional, local IGFs and the global processes, is we could provide an area on the Website for (inaudible) on the (inaudible) that are being passed around the board. Because until now, as you mentioned, we know most of the organizers of those meetings. But in the sense that the number of meetings is increasing around the world, it would be more difficult to be in touch with all the organizers. And probably some (inaudible) will be organized by people that is not in our work. It is not very close from the MAG.
So I think that's it. We provide an area on the Web site for (inaudible) their own meetings. We can then ask them to provide just a brief two pages, three pages of reports on all those meetings.
And I think if the current model continues for IGF in the future, I think the Secretariat would prefer some summary of the contributions that have been received from the regional or local IGF.
So in just looking at one document, anybody could have a look around what is being discussed in different regions and countries, what are the priorities for these people and what are the findings.
I think it could be a way to improve the influence of those meetings in the (poor audio). Thank you.
>>MARKUS KUMMER: A I think to all the regional -- we have a page on our Web site with links to all the regional and national initiatives.
What you are asking for is to have a sort of meta document that sums it up. A lot of it depends on the input we get. And not all of them are equally comprehensive in terms of organizing their Web site. But basically, my suggestion was to look at those who are active in the regions as potential candidates for the MAG also.
But I mean, yes, we can always do more to make it more visible.
We have also started -- we have this discussion in Vilnius, roundtable discussions with all the regional, national initiatives. And we have created a list, but it has admittedly not been very lively since. But I think we ought to make a special effort, have maybe a virtual meeting with the regional and national organizers in a teleconference in preparation for the substantive agenda which will be then first discussion in the February meeting. (inaudible) Webex conference.
Graciela and Juan Carlos.
>>GRACIELA SELAIMAN: Thank you. Continuing on the discussion of the functions of the MAG, since there was a general consensus that the regional and national process should be strengthened, it makes sense that the MAG facilitate periodic meetings between the conveners of national and regional IGFs and provide avenues for the exchange of information among these players and groups.
>>MARKUS KUMMER: Well, my recommendation would be to go even further, to make sure that it they are actually members of the MAG. You know, we have now basically a new reservoir of active people in the field of Internet governance, like Edmon in Hong Kong, for instance, who with his dot Asia finances. The Net Mission does a lot with bringing in young people in the discussion. He will be an excellent candidate to be part of the MAG, to prepare the global meeting.
Then you have a natural linkage with a regional or national initiative.
I think for the Latin American IGF, I think people who are involved in the organization are already in the MAG, so there is a natural linkages there already. But it was also the West Africa, for instance, they had an IGF meeting, and the whole East Africa, a national meeting of the East African IGF.
There are strong candidates there which would naturally enrich, I think, the MAG and the preparation of the annual meeting. But this goes hand in hand. What you said obviously makes sense.
I think Juan Carlos was first and then Katitza.
>>JUAN CARLOS SOLINES: Yes, thank you. I'm not sure it was already mentioned but I think one of the critical functions is to identify and discuss the emerging issues and trends that are going to be included in each IGF.
I think that the emerging issues has played a role like an engine for -- to attract the people towards these discussions around new issues that are coming up within the Internet.
So I think it's a very important function, that.
>>MARKUS KUMMER: Well, I think this is part basically of the program function of identifying the issues. I think the agenda and the emerging issues is -- in a way, we have sort of developed a program that has a fixed set of issues. We have reshuffled them around but they have remained very stable with us since Athens. And the only agenda item that changed was actually the emerging issues. You're right there.
Valeria would like to talk this time.
>>VALERIA BETANCOURT: Hello? Yes, thank you, Markus. I hope you can hear me. I am glad to participate remotely, and I find this discussion about the functions of the MAG very relevant.
And I would like to just -- just to add to what some have been saying in relation to the MAG, MAG members' functions. And one of it could be that MAG members act as rapporteurs to help with synthesizing discussions from both main sessions and workshops.
I think MAG members have a good understanding of issues and could be very helpful in synthesizing and pulling out the main issues of debate and discussion from workshops and sessions.
>>MARKUS KUMMER: Nobody else? Oh, yes. Parminder, yes. Sorry.
>>PARMINDER SINGH: I support Graciela's suggestion that the regional processes should be a way to input into MAG selection. And that's what I meant earlier by going through networks of actual people and organizations involved in national and regional levels. They should contribute to the membership of MAG. But two caveats here. One, that the regional and the national IGFs should themselves have some kind of guidelines as what becomes recognized, even if it's quasi recognition, as contributing to the global process. And I remember that the Indian representative in MAG meeting last year raised concerns about the way the Asia-Pacific meeting was organized, and I also have grave concerns about that.
So it's fine for an experiment but we should go towards guidelines and they should be actually representative of all sections of those areas. And then, yes, we should use the regional processes to input into the MAG.
Second caveat is there is a tendency to be mission creep, from what I understand is MAG and IGF's main role, which is to contribute towards democratic global policy-making in the Internet area. All works are important: democratic, global, and policy-making.
So the primary function of contributing to global policy-making should not get diluted if our attention goes too much towards capacity building for regional to national meetings.
So, yes, I think in the actual process of selection of MAG members, the regional processes should be contributing more, and it's a good idea, and we should look into it more structurally. Thank you.
>>MARKUS KUMMER: Thank you.
Katitiza and then Nurani.
>>KATITIZA RODRIGUEZ: Thank you, Markus. Just I want to follow-up what was said before. I think the MAG members could have a good position if they are rapporteurs of the main sessions. The main sessions only, not the workshops. There are too many.
They will be able to review the transcripts after the meeting, help distill some messages on those issues that we agree on, and where boundaries exist, which will in turn help us identify common ground.
It's not that we are so -- So I think that will be useful to have these kind of outcomes and from each of the sessions and the MAG, play a role in that.
>>MARKUS KUMMER: This again would be extra work. And in what way would this be different from what we had in the past with the chairman's summary?
>> I think the MAG have some expertise and different point of view on the issues. So you have this balance among the different stakeholders that (inaudible).
And because everything is based on the transcripts, we are just going to distill the message from them.
I have seen that some of the summaries sometimes don't grab the policy -- public policy issues because they are technical level. So you need some -- I think as experts on the topic, we will be able to understand where are the boundaries and what are the key messages that came out from that session. That's my personal opinion.
>>MARKUS KUMMER: Okay. Thank you.
>>NURANI NIMPUNO: Thank you, Markus.
Nurani Nimpuno from Netnod.
I want to go back to discussing the function of the MAG and what we have done to date.
And I would like to add the airing of the IGF process, obviously not as defining the process of the IGF but I think that the MAG has played a key role in providing advice, recommendations on planning processes and things like that.
So not just the actual overall program development support. OD -- OPDS? Do you have an acronym. But also actually defining how to best plan and prepare for the meetings.
>>MARKUS KUMMER: Thank you, yeah.
And of steering the process, Steering Committee, Steering Committee, planning.
>>THERESA SWINEHART: I wanted to go back to the discussion of the work of the MAG members and already the enormous amount of work that exists preparing for meetings themselves, and the diversity of that kind of work. And caution a little bit about trying to increase that workload by identifying other project areas, but, rather, looking at how the MAG work and MAG member work can continue to be improved and strengthened.
So it takes quite a bit of time to identify and work on a good program and to identify new speakers and to reach out into the communities and find yet that new next generation of ideas and new next generation of expertise in whatever it might be.
And so part of it, I think, is focusing on doing the existing job really, really well, and improving that, and recognizing also with the rotation of MAG members, there's going to be new ideas and new avenues to be pursuing.
So I would just exercise caution on that, that we don't get ourselves into a position where MAG members become interpreters of discussions and interpretations of what the outputs are as opposed to just strengthening what we already have.
I also appreciate the idea of providing guidance to national or regional IGFs, but I think some of the beauty of that entire process is that those national and regional events are really being designed to what is of interest to those countries or regions in particular. And I certainly wouldn't want to be in a position to presume to provide guidance to those.
>>MARKUS KUMMER: Thank you.
On the last point, actually, the discussion we had, the roundtable in Vilnius, was agreed precisely that conclusion that it was impossible to go beyond saying, as two basic criteria, it needs to be multistakeholder and the meeting needs to be open and inclusive. Then I think each region has their own priority and their own idiosyncrasies, their own culture, so they all function somewhat differently.
And the -- There was two approaches basically towards these meetings. Some started as type of prepcoms. Let's take the agenda that was agreed on for the global meeting and let's work towards it at the regional level. But more and more we see that the regions actually define their other priorities. Each region, or some of them, for instance, IDN is terribly important. I notice that for the Arabic region,, for instance, so they devote a lot of attention to that. In Africa, access is extremely important. Again, in Europe, I think it's more on the rights-based approach. And then also the methodology can be different depending on how you work.
Hang on. We had Christine -- Oh, Jennifer, Jennifer. Sorry, you were the first. Then Christine and then Wolfgang.
>>JENNIFER WARREN: First, I associate with what Theresa said but I want to pick up on a concern about all views of stakeholders aren't expressed in workshops or main sessions. There is a role for the MAG there but it is really at the front end, which is to make sure, and this is part of the -- I don't know what the acronyms that the oversight program function support, whatever that was, it's that role which is to ensure that all stakeholder or the workshops actually include all stakeholders, representation of all stakeholders, because we really don't need to all be talking to ourselves. I think we agreed the business community doesn't just need to talk to the business community. And I think the same is true for all stakeholders.
And so the workshops are valuable to the extent they bring all stakeholders together on a panel.
And I think that addresses, or in the room, the main session, stakeholder small communities are brought to the microphone.
I think that would address, then, a concern any reporting out from different folks isn't comprehensive of all stakeholders' interests.
>>MARKUS KUMMER: Thank you. Christine.
>>CHRISTINE ARIDA: Yes, thank you, Chair. I think on the regional IGF issues, it's the other way around, if I may come back on what Theresa was saying. It's, rather, hearing from the region. So if we have a pool, actually, like you were saying, from the experts coming in to the MAG, then we have this natural linkage. We will have the topics of interest. And then we may be looking at making the IGF more effective, as Jeanette was saying. It's actually having those topics and those issues that are of real concern to the different regions to step up naturally through the MAG when the agenda is being developed.
>>MARKUS KUMMER: Yeah, thank you.
Well, basically, you confirm what I was trying to say, that to bring them in, the initiatives in the planning of the annual meeting.
>>WOLFGANG KLEINWÄCHTER: I will not be here in the afternoon. That's why I raise this now, because probably you will discuss this in the afternoon. It is the dynamic coalitions, because this is a very concrete outcome of our work, and I think one role and function of the MAG could be to think about a certain procedure it deal with the dynamic coalition. So that means this was a bottom-up process and it has worked wonderful, but it has worked rather uneven. After years of enthusiasm, then in various dynamic coalitions you had different kinds of progress.
Because it use -- The dynamic coalitions are rather independent from the IGF, but they use the acronym IGF dynamic coalitions.
And it would make sense that the IGF and the MAG plays a certain role at least to establish a certain formal procedure in reporting forward and backward. More or less, this is already there, but if this could be more formalized, it could probably make the work of the dynamic coalitions also more, let's say, legitimate.
And while I am not in favor to formalize the relationship between the national and regional IGFs and global IGF, because this is rather independent, but in the case of the dynamic coalitions, I am in favor of certain very, you know, weak but at least formal procedure.
>>MARKUS KUMMER: Well, there are various degrees of enthusiasm and dynamism in the dynamic coalitions. And some are not very dynamic, to put it mildly.
But what we have at least established as a principle, they are not listed anymore if they don't at least present an annual report of their activities. We have listed them on a link to inactive coalitions, so they can be revitalized, brought to life again.
What we have found is a lot of it depends sometimes on the individuals. One dynamic coalition is very dynamic as long as one individual is driving it, and then all of a sudden they leave and they move out of existence and where others pop up.
I see Peter Major is there who is involved very strongly in the dynamic coalition on accessibility. I don't know whether you would like to comment on how you see this from a dynamic coalitions's point of view or you can also come in later, if you prefer. I mean, I don't want to put you on the spot, but I think it would be nice also to hear it from the other side.
>>PETER MAJOR: Peter Major from the dynamic coalition on accessibility and disability.
I have a very positive experience in the Vilnius IGF when we had young people involved. And basically, I think that is the way we should go ahead, is to have an outreach, as it has been said, to different regions, different organizations, and different age groups.
And in general, I think young people should be involved in the whole process.
How we do it, frankly, I don't know.
Nominet has made a tremendous effort, I think, and as a result of that, that's why we have the young people in involved in the dynamic coalition activities.
Well, right now they were involved in a way of dialogues, and probably they will be involved in a more direct way. But I think if we continue this way, the dynamic coalitions will contribute tremendously to the success of the IGF.
>>MARKUS KUMMER: Thank you. And of course your dynamic coalition is also supported by the ITU, which gives a certain stability, shall we say, to the dynamic coalitions that should not be underestimated.
I see Theresa, do you want to come back? No. Then it's just Alvaro on this side. Please.
>>ALVARO GALVANI: Thank you. I just would like to echo the idea expressed by many, that is the clear function the MAG can play in linking the discussions in the regional/national IGFs and the discussions in the global level.
This is not a matter only of procedural task. As stated before, each region, in regional process, states, defines it's priority, but we have to take into consideration that if one issue is a priority in one region, it doesn't mean that it is not a global issue.
For example, the question of access in Africa. The solution is not only in Africa itself. This is part of a global issue regarding high costs of access and so forth.
So we have to -- maybe the GAC members can be the right people to play a very special role in linking the discussions of regional level to global level.
>>MARKUS KUMMER: Thank you. Katitza and then Juan Carlos, and Mike -- I think we have time for these three before we break for lunch.
>>KATITZA RODRIGUEZ: I just want to make a comment about the linkage between the workshops and the main sessions. We tried that with a cloud computing session, and security, openness and privacy and I think the MAG played a very good role in trying to make those linkages. So I think it's a good step forward to continue with that.
I just want to make a specific comment to my colleague on the left, which is Emily, that we are not trying on the role of the MAG to make -- to make distill messages from the main session. If they act as a rapporteur, we don't want interpretation, either, as I think you said. We just want to distill messages based on what people have said. And because of that, you are able to identify the common grounds. You might be able to identify also the boundaries and the difference. And I think it would be useful to have this kind of outcome from the main sessions, because if you are putting in the table -- It's a way also to link the sessions with what is going on at the policy level, at the international level. You will be able to see inform one text exactly what are the positions of the different stakeholders in a clear way. And we are not talking of interpretation.
>>MARKUS KUMMER: Thank you.
>>JUAN CARLOS SOLINES: Thank you. Juan Carlos Solines.
Just to fully agree with what Theresa said a few moments ago and then Christine. We should look the other way around in the sense that whatever discussions are taking place in the regions should be acknowledged and somehow reflected in the discussions of the MAG. However, it's important to point it out that in the last years, the -- at least in my region, in Latin America, the regional IGF meetings have been very close to the IGF meeting, and, therefore, the MAG didn't have the opportunity to be sensitive with the priorities that are emerging in the regions and somehow try to reflect in the composition of workshops and themes that are being discussed.
So I think that in order to create this linkage that Alvaro was referring to, the MAG should have more time to acknowledge and incorporate these priorities of the regions within the global discussion.
>>MARKUS KUMMER: Well, let's not forget, this is basically a new phenomenon that you have all these emerging national and regional IGF initiatives. And we recognize the importance there. Now we are basically in the face of defining how best to bring them in to the global discussion.
>>MICHAEL KATUNDU: Michael Katundu from Kenya.
While I appreciate the aspect of the linking of the national and regional IGF initiatives with the global IGF, I think we also need to appreciate that (inaudible) these are mainly offshoots of the global IGF. But one thing we need to appreciate is that the national and regional IGFs are mainly focused on addressing local perspectives of the various countries, and hence, the reason why drawing guidelines which may be cross-cutting may be a bigger challenge.
Nevertheless, I think also one thing I want to underscore here is that going forward, whether the global IGF goes on or not, is renewed or not, the regional and national IGFs are likely to be important drivers at the national levels, and it's something which we can appreciate going forward as a living example and an appreciation of the global IGF itself.
So as we think of how we want to link the two, we need to also -- we need to really appreciate that these are initiatives which have to go on. If the global IGF is renewed for the next maybe five years or something like that, and the (inaudible) is not, or we have something else, these are initiatives which ought not to be -- to be looked at as an end to themselves, but going forward they're initiatives which can be very useful to continue being a living example of the global IGF.
>>MARKUS KUMMER: Thank you. Can we, with this, break for lunch?
I suggest, then, resuming at 3:00 again in this room, and we have to --
I would, like we did in previous meetings, like us to at least agree on the rough draft of a summary report of our meeting so that we have something at the end of the day.
Which does not preclude that we have a continuing ongoing discussion. That's fine. But it would be useful to have something.
And Thomas wants to say there's a meeting on EuroDIG in the afternoon, correct? Thomas?
>> Thank you. Actually, not only.
Unfortunately, Frederic and me have not been able to participate yesterday at the consultations because we had an internal meeting (inaudible) which we were not allowed to miss, and unfortunately we can't be with you in the afternoon today either, so -- because of the EuroDIG meeting and because there are some preparations for tomorrow's meeting.
By the way, the EuroDIG meeting, for those who are interested to come -- and then I'll do what you proposed -- is going to take place in E1088/10. I have no idea where this is. Maybe Chengetai can explain it to us. Otherwise, keep yourself informed.
It must be somewhere here. I didn't find it, so far.
But it will take place in that room.
And before I -- I hope to see as many of you there. Even if the MAG meeting ends before 6:00, please come over and join the discussion. It's the first meeting to define the program and the issues of EuroDIG.
But what is much more important, I wanted to -- in the name of my government, to thank the IGF chair of the MAG and the Secretariat for the work that it has done for the last five years, and especially, of course, to Markus, with whom I started to work in early 2003 and we shared a long and very intense and always collegial time together.
And I have to say we are proud that one of our fellow countrymen was again an important figure in starting up of the process and we wish you all the best and hope that we will not lose you entirely. Thank you.
>>MARKUS KUMMER: Thank you for this, Thomas.
Okay. With this, can we --
>> (Speaker is off microphone).
>>MARKUS KUMMER: Valeria wants to comment.
>> (Speaker is off microphone).
>>MARKUS KUMMER: Sorry?
>> (Speaker is off microphone).
>>MARKUS KUMMER: Afterwards. Valeria first.
>>VALERIA BETANCOURT: Thank you.
Thank you, Markus. A very short intervention.
I'd just like to support what Alvaro has said in relation to the role of the MAG in ensuring regional priorities are taken into account when shaping the global IGF agenda.
The IGF obviously should find a way to keep the balance between taking into account the priorities and particularities of the regions, without preventing the global dimension of issues from being fully addressed, and the MAG could have a key role in doing so.
I would also like to support what Katitza said about the key contribution and role that MAG members could play in distilling the main messages from main sessions.
>>MARKUS KUMMER: Thank you for this.
I think I will end with the motto of the (poor audio) IGF, "Think Globally, Act Locally."
With this, can we suspend the meeting? And I wish you a pleasant lunch.
Actually, I recommend go around the stores of the bazaar. You will find lots of local specialties and you can do some Christmas shopping. It will be for a good cause. And we will resume at 3:00.