Note: These FAQs may be updated on a rolling basis if and when the United Nations Secretariat receives additional questions. Please revisit the IGF website for the most up-to-date information on the proposed retreat.
1. What is the IGF Retreat?
A two-day working retreat is proposed by the United Nations Secretariat for 14-16 July 2016 in Glen Cove, New York on Advancing the 10-Year Mandate of the IGF, as part of the process of continual improvement of the IGF.
2. What is the purpose of the retreat?
The proposed retreat is part of a larger ongoing process aimed at improving the IGF. It is envisaged as a strategic dialogue to 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, as mandated the Tunis Agenda para 72. As part of the discussion, the retreat will welcome inputs on how IGF can contribute to the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
To recall, 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”
3. What will be the outcome(s)?
Expected outcomes of the retreat include recommendations on (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) 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.
4. Will these outcomes be shared with the IGF community?
Yes, any outcomes or recommendations coming out of the retreat will be shared with the broader IGF community for further comment/consultation.
5. Who will participate in the Retreat?
In view of retreat limitations, the total number of participants is estimated at 35.
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. It is expected there will be approximately 5 participants from each of the 4 IGF Stakeholder communities. This is in addition to some representatives from relevant International and Intergovernmental organizations, former and current IGF host countries, etc.
6. How are participants selected?
The final list of participants in the proposed retreat will be composed of individuals designated through community processes as well as a number to be appointed by the UN Secretariat, largely based upon nominations received by the multistakeholder community. The final participants list will be construed to assure balanced participation and broad diversity across a number of considerations.
The UN Secretariat welcomes nominations by individuals or any stakeholder groups and institutions to participate at the proposed retreat.
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 within the 2016 MAG are being asked to designate 1 participant each. The MAG Chair has also been invited to participate in the retreat.
-Process by Stakeholder Groups:
Each of the 3 non-governmental stakeholder groups (civil society, private sector, technical community) have the option of designating 2 participants through their own processes.
The remaining two positions within each stakeholder group will be selected by the UN secretariat through the public nomination process to assure balanced participation and broad diversity across a number of considerations. Stakeholder communities are therefore requested to submit 3 - 4 additional nominations for these 2 positions while noting that participants may also be drawn from self-nominations as well as nominations from other institutions/organizations.
Governments will be contacted by their UNCTAD regional coordinators and invited to submit names for consideration to the IGF Secretariat directly.
-International and Intergovernmental Organizations:
The UN may invite relevant international, intergovernmental and non-governmental organizations to participate. Any organization can also nominate participants/representatives through the public nomination process.
7. What is the breakdown of the other participants?
As indicated in question 6 above, the total number of participants is estimated at 35. In addition to 20 participants representing the 4 stakeholder groups, (i.e. governments, civil society, private sector and the technical community) it's expected that the approximately 15 remaining participants slots will be filled by invited and or interested relevant International (including non-governmental) and Intergovernmental organizations and former IGF host countries.
8. How do I nominate a participant (or myself) for the Retreat?
A form was available to nominate a participant or to submit a self-nomination for the Internet Governance Forum Retreat before 7 June 2016.
9. What are the other modalities for the Retreat?
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.
10. Will there be online/remote participation?
Due to on-site logistics, online/remote participation may not be available for the retreat; however, outcome documents of the retreat will be shared for further comment/consultation.
11. Since there is a limitation to the number of participants at the retreat, how can anyone in the IGF community contribute to the retreat?
To be as inclusive as possible and allow for a broad set of contributions, 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 ahead of the retreat. These contributions will then feed into the programme and expected outcomes of the retreat, as appropriate, along with reports from the CSTD WG on Improvements to the IGF, the outcome document of the General Assembly on the overall review of the outcomes of WSIS (A/RES/70/125 of 16 December 2015, and other related outcome documents of past IGF sessions and MAG meetings. In addition, a substantive section of the Open Consultation Day (12th July 2016) immediately ahead of the MAG meeting on 13-14 July 2016 will focus on the Retreat Agenda.
12. Will participants be funded for travel?
Limited funding will be available to support the travel costs of participants from developing countries. More details at http://www.intgovforum.org/cms/aboutigf/2016-05-10-14-28-13
13. What is the cost of attending the retreat (accommodation, meals, etc.) ?
Accommodation and meals will be provided for all participants at the retreat venue - Glen Cove, New York.