Submitted Proposals

Organization: Internet Governance Caucus
Title :
84. The role and mandate of the IGF
Provide a concise formulation for the proposed workshop theme including its importance and relevance to the IGF.

Civil Society Internet Caucus held a workshop on the same theme, 'The role and mandate of the IGF', at IGF, Rio. A report of this first workshop is found at . It was driven by an identification of a need for regular self-appraisal of the IGF vis-à-vis its mandated role. Such a ‘periodic review’ is also required by the Tunis Agenda (paragraph 73 b). Consequently, the caucus proposes to hold a workshop with the same title during IGF, Hyderabad.

The role and mandate of the Internet Governance Forum were set out in general terms at the World Summit on the Information Society, particularly in paragraph 72 of the Tunis Agenda. However since the conclusion of the World Summit, various interpretations of this general statement of the IGF's role and mandate have been put forward and continue to be debated amongst its stakeholders. Some believe that there are elements of the IGF's mandate that have been overlooked or minimised in its operation to date. Others maintain, to the contrary, that the IGF must contain the overreaching ambitions of those who would transform it from a non-binding forum for discussion into something more.

Since IGF Hyderabad, represents the midpoint in the initial 5 year term of the IGF after which the whole IGF process is sought to be reviewed. It will be pertinent at this midpoint to:
  1. Review how the IGF has fared till now vis-à-vis its TA mandate, and whether any structure and/or substance corrections are needed for the remaining part of its initial 5 year mandate; and
  2. What are the emerging views on post-2010 arrangements for the IGF, if one is at all needed?
There has been unmistakable improvements in the IGF format and substance since its first meeting whether it has been to include topics earlier considered too controversial (CIRs for Rio) or more focused discussions on specific issues (as per tentative program for Hyderabad). The directions of these changes vis-à-vis fulfillment of the mandate of the IGF may also be an important issue of discussion. Since paragraph 73 also speaks about a ‘decentralized structure’ it will also be worth exploring how can the IGF be decentralized beyond the present structure of a single annual event, perhaps by exploring IGF like structures at the regional and national levels (which will inter alia fulfill part of the requirements of paragraph 80) and working group working on important issues contributing to the proceedings of the annual event.

Provide the names and affiliations of the panellists you are planning to invite. Describe the main actors in the field and whether you have you approached them about their willingness to participate in proposed workshop.

Conducted by: Lee McKnight - Syracuse University

  • Ms. Olga Cavalli - Adviser for Technology, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Argentina

  • Mr. Ken Lohento – Panos Institute West Africa (PIWA)

  • Mr. Robert Pepper - CISCO

  • Mr. Jeremy Malcolm – Consumers International

  • Mr. Bill Graham – Internet Society (ISOC)

Provide the name of the organizer(s) of the workshop and their affiliation to various stakeholder groups. Describe how you will take steps to adhere to the multi-stakeholder principle, including geographical diversity.

Civil Society Internet Governance Caucus and the Internet Society of Australia (ISOC-AU) are the co organisers and discussions are in progress on involving other stakeholder group members as co-organizers of the workshop.

Does the proposed workshop provide different perspectives on the issues under discussion?
A broad cross-section of perspectives will be brought to bear on the discussion in this workshop, as was the case in the first workshop in this series held in Rio.
Please explain how the workshop will address issues relating to Internet governance and describe how the workshop conforms with the Tunis Agenda in terms of substance and the mandate of the IGF.

The interpretation of its own role and mandate is an inherent function of the IGF that is consistent with the Tunis Agenda. The IGF was established in recognition that that there are many cross-cutting international public policy issues that require attention and are not adequately addressed by the current mechanisms" (para 60 Tunis Agenda). Whether the IGF has redressed that omission, or still could do so, is an essential issue of Internet governance.
List similar events you and/or any other IGF workshops you have organized in the past.

IGC organized a workshop on the same theme at Rio. This assessment of IGF role and mandate needs to be a part of the IGF processes itself.

The workshop report has been submitted to the secretariat, see

Were you part of organizing a workshop last year? Which one? Did you submit a workshop report?
Yes, workshop reports have been prepared for the IGC's Rio workshops.