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1 - 31 January, 2011

The following text is excerpted from an ongoing discussion on the IGF Multistakeholder Advisory Group mailing list. The only changes made relate to an effort to anonymize the comments in respect of the Chatham House rule and separate issues related to logistics and internal procedures. The discussion took place between 1 – 31 January, 2010.

(Writer A)

I wanted to add to add my best wishes to all of you and especially
Markus as you move ahead towards other pursuits after a successful
number of years within the WSIS and IGF spheres. Indeed Markus has led
by example and his team at the IGF Secretariat have gone the extra
mile to help and facilitate important contributions.

While I wish you good luck in your future, I congratulate everyone for
the first cycle of the IGF mandate as well as entering into the second
with renewed energy and motivations. Adding to this is a happy,
successful and safe 2011

I am looking forward to seeing you all again soon despite the fact
that support will not be there during the first quarter for assistance
to MAG members from developing regions, remote maybe but the energy
crisis, electricity load shedding and lack of consistent Internet
remain the critical factors sustaining and adding to the digital
divide for us....some important points to ponder from this side with 2011, renewed hopes of improvements for the better.


(Writer B)

Dear Mr Markus and all the fellow IGF MAG members,
I'd like to thank you to your excellence contributions, since you have
been serving the WGIG and then the IGF. Good luck to your new

Have a very happy new year 2011. May God bless us with health,
prosperity, and happiness forever. I wish you all the best for 2011
and afterward.

(Nitin Desai)

Dear Collaborators,

Today is my last day as Special Adviser on Internet Governnace to the UN SG and as Chair of the MAG.  This e mail is to wish you all a happy and fulfilling new year.

The 7 years that I have been with you, two in the WGIG and five in the MAG,  have been very rewarding.  I believe we made a difference by building bridges between communities who did not see enough of each other.  We did not have any decision making authority but the openness of our debates and the wilingness to listen that we encouraged helped in changing minds and bringing about welcome changes in Internet governance. As a global governance professional, the most valuable contribution of the IGF for me was the way in which it brought together diverse stakeholders, each with their own lanuage of discourse into a common dialogue
In many ways the most pleasurable part was working with the MAG members.  Your good humour, tolerance and dedication made all tyhe difference.  I will miss your company more than anything else.

I think it is good that the IGF is progressing to a new stage with a new cast of cjharacters.  It should.  Otherwise it would have ossified into a convivial club for old friends.  We should welcome this and find ways of supporting it that are as flexible and creative as in the first phase of the IGF.

Many of youy wil continue to be involved and that is good because some of the ethos of the MAG and IGF we built will be passed on the next phase.

Wishing all of you continued fulfillment in whatever you do,

(Writer D)

Dear Nitin, dear Markus, dear MAGgis!

I join the chorus of thanks for great years where we together tried to find new ways for policy development and issue management in the unchartered territory of cyberspace.

I still remember the confusing first meeting of the sub-group on Internet Governance during the WSIS Intersessional in the basement of the UNESCO building in Paris in July 2003. It was late in the evening and nobody controlled badges. Suddenly governmental delegates were sitting next to people from the technical community, civil society and private sector. There were no rules of procedures and it was unclear who has a right to speak. But when the chair mentioned IP addresses and another delegate asked, what this is, an IP address, it was Paul Wilson from APNIC who broke the ice and intervened with a helpful contribution which was very welcomed and build a bridge among stakeholders which - so far - were swimming in different waters. Now we have so many bridges and channels which link the various troubled waters together to the Internet ecosystem of 2011. However we still have long way ahead of us to move from the right to speak to the duty to listen.

Best wishes to everybody

(Writer E)

Markus, Nitin, colleagues,

Warm thanks for an excellent 2010 that not only lead to the successful meeting in Vilnius, but also a continuation process. I further feel that the multi stakeholder _process_ that we started is something the world is asking for. Stronger than ever, and we see that not only in the form of strong push back against the first proposal of the CSTD working group composition, but even more via all the local IGF processes and conferences that have started and is starting.

There is no way back.

Happy New Year!

(Writer F)

Dear Markus

It was indeed a pleasure to work with you.
Wishing you all the best.

(Writer G)

Dear Markus:
Wish you a happy new year. May the new year be blessed with health and
happiness to you, the IG Secretariate and my colleagues in the MAG.

It has been a pleasure to work with you. Your effort along with the
secretariat have been significant to the success of IG and it was a
good learning experience to me . I am honored to work with you during
the last and wish you all the best on your next endeavors.

Best regards,

(Writer H)

Dear Markus, dear Nitin, dear all,

we've been lucky to have the opportunity to experiment for more than
five years with new and more inclusive forms of policy making. You,
Markus, and Nitin managed to create - and maintain - the institutional
space that enabled us to develop a functioning and yet always evolving
forum structure. No small achievement, indeed! The concept of
multi-stakeholder collaboration has found a practical example with lots
of regional offsprings and online material as remaining evidence. We all
learned a lot about the potential of such processes, and I am sure we
will make use of these insights also in other areas.

One important element in my view till missing is the acceptance of
multi-stakeholder collaboration independent of its personal experience.
New participants, particularly with a public administration background
often struggle to understand its value. Multi-stakeholderism thus needs
to become part of a general political culture. That would perhaps be a
nice mission for the next five year term?

(Writer I)

Dean Nitin,
I always value your leadership at the MAG  and sorry that you are relinquishing the position of special adviser.
all the best to all your future endeavours. I like to believe our path would cross  again in the future, and till then,
my best regards

(Writer J)

A very happy 2011 to everyone!

And special gratitude and thanks to Nitin and Markus for leading the IGF process so remarkably well in its early difficult times. Very best wishes to both of them as they move on, no doubt to even more interesting and fulfilling pursuits.

(Writer K)

Dear Markus,
It was a big pleasure to work with you. I wish you nice and active retirement.
I wish all of you that 2011 will be better than 2011.
May the  New Year bring health, happiness and prosperity to you and your family.

(Writer L)

Dear Nitin, Markus and MAG colleagues,

Belated Happy New Year from me.
It has been a real pleasure working with you all and it's been a great learning experience being part of this rather unique process so far.

A special thank you to Markus and Nitin for your inspiring leadership throughout this whole process. I feel privileged having had the opportunity to work with you. Thank you also to the secretariat for all the hard work behind the scenes!

The future of this process will indeed be very different without you. But we will do our best to  continue in your constructive and diplomatic spirit.

Wishing you all a sucessful and fruitful 2011!

(Writer K)

Dear Nitin,
Thank you for your leadership since thé beginning of IGF.
We will miss your efficient sharing method.

(Writer M)

Dear Markus,

Happy New year for you and the best wishes for your new endeavors.

(Writer N)

Dear Nitin, Markus, et al,

As a MAG alumnus and lurker on the mailing list I would like to take this opportunity to express my gratitude for your leadership over the past many years. Your leadership has been an inspiration to me and I am immensely grateful having had the privilege to serve with you in the initial years of the MAG and to see it progreess over the years. I see your departure with sadness, especially as you both seem to be leaving in the same year, which will surely leave a big gap and introduce anxiety about your successors as well as the changes that may be introduced. Therefore I hope that a sufficient number of experienced MAG members will remain to assure that the important precedents both in leadership style as well as in the cooperative and professional communication among MAG members, will be carried forward and be defended against attempts to change things in a way that could be detrimental to the functioning of the MAG and indeed the IGF.

Much has been achieved, but that is no reason for complacency. The principle that Internet Governance requires the collaboration of all stakeholders is hopefully now established in a sufficient manner to withstand repeated attempts to turn back the clock, although the events around the CSTD working group on IGF improvements show that the specter of that is not mote, but real. We managed to hold our stand on this aspect, but we need to remain vigilant. Changes will need to be proposed and implemented in a sensible way, just as the Internet has evolved and is changing every day in response to innovation and challenges. In the same way, the MAG and the IGF will change, and Nitin, Markus and the MAG members of the past and present have shown how this can be done, becoming more open and more transparent, more responsive and more responsible to the community, but not disruptive or threatening to the functioning of the discourse.

Again, much has been achieved also in the discourse itself, the topics covered, bridges being built between stakeholders. I see it as a great achievement, and credit it to Nitin's and Markus's leadership, that we have managed to become that "convivial club of friends". I am honored to be an alumnus if such a distinguished group of people. Thank you for your friendship.

Happy new year to you all!

(Writer O)

Greetings All and Happy New Year!

The IGF web site refers to a open consultations on 23 Feb and a MAG meeting on 24 Feb. Markus’ email indicated that they would take place but I have heard nothing since.

Do we know if these are happening? Do we have any idea who is organising them? Who will Chair? Is there a secretariat? Is there a MAG?

(Writer A)

Hi Writer O,

Happy New Year to you too.

I had some communication with Chengetai a week or so ago regarding
visa support to participate in the MAG meetings. I have been issued
the support letter that certifies MAG status and carries the
information of Open Consultation and MAG Meeting from 23-24 February
2011 respectively and I have forwarded my application for visa. This
shows that the MAG is definitely there. What will it look like in the
coming days remains a question.

However, I had requested a possible link or document that carries the
approval of renewal of the IGF mandate. I still haven't received
anything on that. I haven't been able to find any document online or
the press release Markus mentioned in his last message to this list.
So silence with regards to all that.

I believe the improvements to the IGF and MAG under the renewed
mandate is subject to the CSTD consultations that too are very quiet
now. There is no news on who will take up the secretariat or the

I must acknowledge the concerns of many that participation in this
Open Consultation and MAG meeting by MAG members is crucial to lay the
foundation for the coming 5 IGFs as well as building the channel for
communication and intervention with the new Executive Coordinator and

(Markus Kummer)

Dear Writer O and colleagues,

Yes, indeed, the meeting in February will take place. All the arrangements have been made and the rooms have been reserved. There are still a few open questions, in particular with regard to the MAG. I mentioned in my last email I sent out that I had suggested renewing the MAG mandate on a provisional basis for that meeting while figuring out a more permanent solution, and issuing a press release to that effect. I hope that such a press release will be issued in time ahead of the meeting. Should this not be possible, then both days could presumably be held in form of open consultations.

The chairmanship is also an open issue, as Nitin Desai seems to have a scheduling conflict. However, this can be decided on the spot, as necessary.

Lastly, the Secretariat will continue to function and Chengetai will continue to provide Secretariat services. While not prejudging any decision on any future arrangements, the current set-up is guaranteed until 31 March 2011.

(Markus Kummer)

Dear Writer I, colleagues,

You are right, there is no doubt that the GA has decided to extend the IGF mandate and has adopted a resolution in this matter. The problem is that so far I have not yet found the final text. The GA Web site leads us to a press release, but not the final text, as adopted:

The press release contains the following sentence:

"By a resolution on information and communications technologies, the Assembly extended the mandate of the Internet Governance Forum for five more years and stressed the need for it to improve its working methods and functions."

We have every reason to believe that the final text is identical to the draft adopted by the Second Committee in November. However, before posting the text I would like to have 100% certainty. I hope to get confirmation from colleagues in New York in due course.

(Markus Kummer)

Dear colleagues,

The time has come to for me let you know what I will be doing after leaving the UN. I will be joining ISOC as VP for Public Policy as from 1 February.  ISOC will issue a press release shortly, announcing my appointment, so I thought it would be appropriate for me to inform you directly.

I hope to stay in touch with many of you also in my new function, although I will not be dealing with the IGF.

(Writer P)

Dear Markus,
this is great news for ISOC.
As secretary of the Argentina ISOC Chapter I am so happy to know you will be related to this great institution.
All the best for you in this new stage of your career.

(Writer L)

Dear Markus,

I have previously expressed what a great loss to the IGF process it will be to have you step down from the secretariat.
But I am very happy to hear this news.

I believe you will do great work with ISOC, continuing to contribute constructively within the Internet policy and governance arena and beyond. I can only congratulate ISOC on hiring you!

Best wishes in your new role. And I look forward to continuing working with you in this new capacity!

(Markus Kummer)

Dear colleagues,

Meanwhile, I have received an authoritative answer from New York:

The mandate of the IGF was renewed by the GA in its resolution 65/141 of 20 December 2010. The text of the resolution as adopted is contained in A/65/433, para. 12. The GA plenary adopted the resolution based on the recommendation of the 2nd Committee without further discussion or amendment (see UN Journal no. 2010/244 of 21 December 2010).

The text of the resolution should appear on its own in document A/RES/65/141 in due course.

(Writer Q)

Dear Markus,

All my best wishes for the new job. It will always be a pleasure to have to build something positive together. It doesn't matter the hat you wear….

(Writer A)

Congratulations Markus!  You have definitely taken a wonderful step.
This is indeed very different from your role within IGF but still,
this is a great task in itself and you will surely both fulfill it and
enjoy it in its own perspective.

I wish you good luck and hope to see you as you progress in to your
new role in ISOC! ISOC is an important multistakeholder engagement
model for the Internet Community. In many regions of the world, ISOC
Chapters have stimulated considerable improvements within the areas of
access, technical capacity and advancing the Internet and Telecom
infrastructure as well as guiding public policy with regards to the
Internet. This opportunity will also help you stay in touch with
almost all the IGF community but will engage you with the broader
linkages within the global technical Internet community.

This has been a great piece of news for me! Take good care and best
wishes Markus!

(Writer A)

And Markus, here is the news spreading like viral over the Internet:


Markus Kummer takes on leadership role for global, regional and
national Internet issues

internationally recognized leader in a broad range of Internet policy
issues will join the Internet Society as head of its public policy
department. As the Internet Society's Vice President of Public Policy,
Markus Kummer will advance key Internet Society policy positions on
issues such as privacy, cybersecurity, and network neutrality. Most
recently the Executive Coordinator of the Secretariat supporting the
United Nations' Internet Governance Forum, Kummer has extensive
experience with Internet policy at the global, regional, and national

"Markus' broad experience with and deep understanding of the key
policy issues facing the Internet will help ensure the Internet
Society has an even greater impact on issues critical to the
Internet's continued evolution as an open platform for innovation and
economic development," said Lynn St.Amour, the Internet Society's
President and CEO.

Before joining the United Nations in 2004, Kummer held the position of
eEnvoy for the Swiss Foreign Ministry in Berne. Mr. Kummer was a
member of the Swiss delegation during the first phase of the World
Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) where he chaired several
negotiating groups, including the group on Internet governance. He
went on to serve as the Executive Coordinator of the WSIS Working
Group on Internet Governance from 2004 to 2005. Before his involvement
with the WSIS, he served as a career diplomat in several functions in
the Swiss Foreign Ministry and was posted in Lisbon, Vienna, Oslo,
Geneva, and Ankara.

"In joining the Internet Society, I look forward to advancing the
multistakeholder approach to policy that has been so central to the
Internet's development and is even more critical to its future," said
Markus Kummer, who will officially take up his position on 1 February
2011. "With its technical roots, the Internet Society is already
established as a uniquely credible leader on policy issues, and a key
contributor to policy discussions at the national, regional, and
global levels."

The Internet Society is the world's trusted independent source of
leadership on Internet issues. The Internet Society works with its
tens of thousands of Members and nearly 100 Chapters around the world
to promote the continued evolution and growth of the open global

About the Internet Society
The Internet Society is a non-profit organisation founded in 1992 to
provide leadership in Internet-related standards, education, and
policy. It is dedicated to ensuring the open development, evolution
and use of the Internet for the benefit of people throughout the
world. See:

Greg Wood
[email protected]

(Writer R)

Dear Markus;
Congratulations Markus for your new appointment. I wish you all the best.. You will definitely be missed in the IGF process.

(Writer S)


Congratulations!  What a great match for Internet.

(Writer T)

Dear Markus

I just want to add my best wishes to you for the new job. I am sure you will do a great work within ISOC.

As President of ISOC Morocco I am happy to know that I will have the opportunity to continue working with you in the family of ISOC. My all best wishes for your next venture and regards

(Writer U)

Congratulations to you and ISOC, all the best. By the way ISOC was fast yesterday and Baher twitted about it just before your email J

(Writer V)

Best wishes from the Kenya business community Markus.

(Writer X)

Dear Markus
Congratulations on your new position. You will be a great asset to ISOC as you have been to the IGF. Look forward to seeing you soon.

Best wishes

(Writer Y)

Congratulations!  Inshallah you will be a great asset. Looking forward to continuing working with you!

(Writer Z)

Dear Nitin and Markus,

It's really a nice memory to recall the days working with both of you during the last years. I sincerely wish you a happy, healthy, and prosperous New Year 2011.

And also congratulations to Markus for the new position in ISOC.


(Writer AA)

From BBC News Europe. Sorry for possible cross-postings.

fraternal regards

25 January 2011 Last updated at 03:19 GMT

UN defends Ban Ki-moon against rights 'cowardice' claim
HRW said Mr Ban placed "undue faith" in his persuasion skills

The UN has defended its Secretary General Ban Ki-moon over accusations
that he has failed to speak out over human rights issues.

Mr Ban has been singled out for harsh criticism by Human Rights Watch in
its annual report.

The group said he had been "notably reluctant to put pressure on abusive

Mr Ban's office denied this, saying he used both quiet diplomacy and
public pressure to promote human rights.

But HRW says it wants its annual report to draw attention to "the
failure of the expected champions of human rights" to defend those
rights and stand up to abusive governments.

While there is "nothing inherently wrong with dialogue and cooperation
to promote human rights", the group says, there was a danger that it
could become "a charade designed more to appease critics of complacency
than to secure change".

"Whether out of calculation or cowardice, many [UN Security] Council
members promote dialogue and cooperation as a universal prescription
without regard to whether a government has the political will to curtail
its abusive behavior."

The BBC's Barbara Plett at the UN says Mr Ban's style has been more
discreet than that of his predecessor Kofi Annan. He has often often
opted to work behind the scenes to pressure governments on human rights
Continue reading the main story
“Start Quote

The record shows he has achieved results through both quiet
diplomacy and public pressure”

End Quote Farhan Haq Spokesman for Ban Ki-moon

But HRW says Mr Ban's "disinclination to speak out about serious human
rights violators means he is often choosing to fight with one hand tied
behind his back".

It says that while Mr Ban has made strong comments on human rights when
visiting, for example, Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan, he has failed to do
so with Chinese officials.

HRW also says Mr Ban appeared to have "placed undue faith in his
professed ability to convince by private persuasion", citing his
discussions with leaders including Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir,
Burma's military leader Than Shwe and Sri Lankan President Mahinda

Mr Ban's spokesman Farhan Haq defended the secretary general's record,
saying he did speak publicly about human rights when he visited some of
those countries named by HRW.

"In each case he makes a strategic decision on the most effective to way
to secure respect for HR [human rights] and accountability," said Mr Haq.

"The record shows he has achieved results through both quiet diplomacy
and public pressure."

Mr Haq cited the freeing of a jailed gay couple in Malawi as one example
where quiet diplomacy had proved successful.

The EU also comes under fire in the report - HRW says it has "become
particularly infatuated with the idea of dialogue and cooperation" and
criticises foreign policy chief Baroness Ashton, "for repeatedly
expressing a preference for 'quiet diplomacy' regardless of the

Meanwhile US President Barack Obama is accused of lacking his "famed
eloquence" when defending human rights in bilateral contexts with China,
India and Indonesia, and of failing to ensure other areas of US
government "convey strong human rights messages consistently".

(Writer AB)

Dear Nitin and Markus,

The Diplo Team joins with our heartfelt thanks and appreciation for your work with the IGF.   We are particularly grateful for your personal efforts in making capacity building more than just a line item in the documents and resolution. Both of you, together with MAG and the IGF Secretariat managed to give real meaning to the concept of capacity building. You have supported many young people and those trying to find their way in the relatively new field of Internet governance. Today, they are important contributors to IG on global, regional and national levels.

Despite our hard work and preparation with remote participation, it only finally took off with your support. For this alone we are indebted to you. The IGF regional meetings have filtered Internet governance knowledge and awareness building down to local level, offering more opportunities for learning, sharing, and discussion closer to home. A real achievement.

Nitin, your premise that the IGF is not about negotiations in the formal sense of the word, but that practically speaking, it thrives on negotiations without the documented formalities, has greatly influenced our perspective. The IGF, under your joint leadership, has also promoted values which the world will need even more in the forthcoming period. You were professional but also humble in your knowledge. You were flexible but also firm when it was needed. You were generous in sharing your ideas, but also listened to others. All of us have had your in vivo lecture on how to chair international meetings and govern global processes.

As a mark of our appreciation for your contribution to Internet governance and, indeed, to all of us, please accept this small gift from Diplo's Creative Lab:  Negotiating skills.

Wishing you both the very best for the future.

The Diplo Team

(Chengetai Masango)

Dear All,

Registration for the February meeting is now open at :

As you will have noticed,  we have issued a call for proposals for the programme of the 2011 meeting.   So far,  we have received no contributions. We would therefore be grateful if you could all circulate the call within your respective stakeholder groups. Contributions can be sent to the IGF mailbox at  [email protected],  the deadline for submission is 7 February 2011.

Best regards

(Writer A)

Dear Chengetai,

Thank you for the information update. I have registered. Secondly our
stakeholder group the IGC is already in the process of finalization of
its contribution and should soon be sending it to the secretariat.

(Writer AC)

Dear MAG members -

Attached is a submission made by the 5 "Internet technical and academic" representatives ot the CSTD Chair's Working Group on Improvements to the IGF.  No action required; this is for your information only.

best regards

(Markus Kummer)

Dear colleagues,

With this email I am taking leave from the IGF, as today is my last day in the office. Once again, many thanks for your support throughout the years and I trust that you will be as supportive of Chengetai in the preparation of the next meeting.

It was a pleasure working with you and I look forward to staying in touch.

(Writer AA)

Nos vemos pelos caminhos, caríssimo Markus!

(Writer AD)

Dear Markus,

Wishing you all the best for the future. It was a pleasure to work with you. I am sure your new path will cross with ours in different ways. Looking forward to it.


(Writer A)

Hello Markus,

Your last day at office marks a new beginning for you through ISOC
where there is a lot to do and there is a global community that will
benefit from your knowledge. This brings an opportunity to bridge two
perspectives within IG between governmental view and non-government as
there is a great need to do so. It will be great meeting up with you
in your new role. Take care and good luck Sir!

(Writer P)

Dear Markus,
All the best for this new stage in your career and many thanks for your invaluable work done in the IGF.
Best regards

Contact Information

United Nations
Secretariat of the Internet Governance Forum (IGF)

Villa Le Bocage
Palais des Nations,
CH-1211 Geneva 10

igf [at] un [dot] org
+41 (0) 229 173 411