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In the outcome document of the General Assembly on the overall review of the outcomes of WSIS (A/RES/70/125 of 16 December 2015), the existing mandate of the Internet Governance Forum (IGF) was extended for another 10 years, with a call to show “progress on working modalities and the participation of relevant stakeholders from developing countries” and “accelerated implementation of recommendations in the report of the Working Group on Improvements to the Internet  Governance  Forum  of  the  Commission  on  Science  and  Technology  for Development”[1]. 

Against that backdrop, a two-day working retreat is proposed by UN Secretariat as part of the process of continual improvement of the IGF. A strategic dialogue will be held among experts, policymakers and practitioners in enriching IGF as the global forum for facilitating multistakeholder policy discussion and exchange on public policy issues related to key elements of Internet governance, in order to foster the sustainability, robustness, security, stability and development of the Internet (in line with its mandate as established by the Tunis Agenda para 72).  As part of the discussion, we will welcome inputs on how the IGF discussions can contribute to the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development[2].

Expected outcomes of the retreat include (but are not limited to): (i) ways to improve the overall preparatory process of the IGF, the structure and nomination process for the Multistakeholder Advisory Group (MAG), and ways to strengthen the IGF Secretariat; (ii) measures to engage those stakeholders who are currently unengaged, with a view to expand and diversify physical and virtual participation; (iii) finding ways to better capture the outputs of the IGF and increasing their visibility and impact; (iv) ideas to support the work of national and regional IGF initiatives, and leverage the synergies between them as well as synergies with the IGF; and (v) modalities to ensure sustained funding to support the IGF and the IGF Secretariat.

Duration and date         Three-Day Two-Night Retreat (14-16 July 2016)

Proposed venue           Glen Cove, New York

Retreat modality         The proposed retreat will be conducted in a participatory manner. Retreat participants are requested to be involved in designing and organizing the programme and to act as moderators and discussants. Limited funding will be available to fund participants from developing countries.

Call for participants       Participants will be invited from relevant stakeholder groups such as governments, private sector, civil society, technical community and international and intergovernmental organizations, past and current MAG members, past IGF host country representatives and the IGF community in general. In view of retreat limitations, the number of participants is estimated at 35.

It is expected there will be 5 participants from each of the 4 IGF Stakeholder communities.    This is in addition to representatives from international and Intergovernmental organizations, IGF host countries, etc.  The following applies to the Civil Society, Technical, and Private Sector communities.  The 4th Stakeholder community – Governments, will be managed through their usual processes.

To ensure continuity and integration with current IGF and MAG efforts, current MAG members from each of the Civil Society, Technical, and Private Sector communities will appoint 1 participant each.   Additionally, each community will have the option of designating 2 participants through their own processes.  The stakeholder communities are also requested to submit 3 - 4 additional nominations for the remaining 2 positions while noting that participants may also be drawn from self-nominations as well as nominations from other institutions/organizations.  This is to assure balanced participation and broad diversity across a number of considerations.

Finally, the UN Secretariat will publish a “Call for inputs” with guiding questions to solicit inputs from all relevant stakeholders and the wider IGF and WSIS community.

The UN Secretariat welcomes nominations by individuals or any stakeholder groups and institutions to participate at the proposed retreat.   With apologies for the short notice, the nominations were received until 7 June 2016 [3]. 

 

For more information, please refer to the IGF Retreat FAQs.


[1] Ibid. Para. 63.

[2] Ibid. Para. 5,12,13,28,67,71.

[3] In response to many requests received from various stakeholders, the UN Secretariat extended the deadline for nominating participants by one week. We would appreciate all stakeholders completing the nomination process by 7 June 2016. This will give the minimum necessary time for the Secretariat to arrange logistics for participants' travel and to finalize the full list of retreat participants.