Submitted Proposals

Organization: Council of Europe
Title :
26. Towards a code of good practice on public participation in Internet governance - Building on the principles of WSIS and the Aarhus Convention
Provide a concise formulation for the proposed workshop theme including its importance and relevance to the IGF.

Discussing the proposal for a “Code of good practice on public participation, access to information and transparency in Internet governance”. 

Discussion document for the workshop:

 At the second IGF in Rio, the Good Practice Forum on “Public Participation in Internet Governance” issue attracted about 100 participants. In the meantime, exploratory research has been carried out which was presented and discussed at a stakeholder consultation meeting organised in Geneva on 23 May during the cluster of WSIS-related events 2008. The aim of the workshop is to present a concrete proposal for the envisaged Code of Good Practice, taking into account the principles of WSIS and of existing international instruments on governance such as the UNECE Convention on Access to Information, Public Participation in Decision-making and Access to Justice in Environmental Matters (Aarhus Convention). The theme is deemed to be relevant for the IGF, in particular with regard to the sub-theme on ‘Internet Governance Arrangements’, one of the main sessions’ themes of IGF 3 in December 2008. As to the relevance of the initiative to the mandate of IGF, cf. question 6 below.

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.

Opening by Ms Maud de Boer-Buquicchio, Deputy Secretary General, Council of Europe
(video message)

Chair: Ms Anriette Esterhuysen, APC

1. Mr William Drake,
Centre for International Governance, Graduate Institute for International and Development Studies, Geneva
2. Prof. David Souter, UK (Consultant expert)

Interactive discussion 

1. Mr Bill Graham, ISOC
Mr Thomas Schneider, OFCOM, Switzerland
Ms Theresa Swinehart, ICANN
4. Mr Paul Wilson, Number Resource Organisation (NRO)

Closing remaks by Mr Hans Hansell, UNECE 

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.

Intergovernmental Organisations: Council of Europe, United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE). Civil Society: Association for Progressive Communications (APC). The three above-mentioned organisations organised a stakeholder consultation meeting on 23 May 2008 at Geneva, at which the result of the exploratory research into the initiative was presented. Another key objective of that meeting was to identify other interested stakeholders from different stakeholder groups with a view to associating them with the initiative in general and the proposed workshop in particular. Speakers at the proposed workshop will include representatives of business, civil society, academia and international organisations, seeking to take into account geographical diversity and gender balance.
Does the proposed workshop provide different perspectives on the issues under discussion?
The objective of the workshop is to consider the purpose and scope of the proposed instrument and to discuss with panellists and participants its possible opportunities, limitations and risks. Any related initiatives in the field of Internet Governance, such as on participatory issues (including a gender equality perspective), human rights (including freedom of expression, content control, as well as existing charters and frameworks such as the proposed Internet Bill of Rights, APC's Internet rights charter[1], the CRIS Framework[2], the Freedom of Expression project's Principles document[3]) should be discussed in respect of their compatibility or complementarity with the proposed instrument.




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 aim of the proposed “Code of good practice on public participation, access to information and transparency in Internet governance” would be to enable all the institutions which play a role in some aspect of governing the Internet to commit to ensuring transparency, public participation (of all stakeholders) and access to information in Internet Governance. Paragraph 48 of the WSIS Declaration of Principles states that “The Internet has evolved into a global facility available to the public and its governance should constitute a core issue of the Information Society agenda. The international management of the Internet should be multilateral, transparent and democratic, with the full involvement of governments, the private sector, civil society and international organizations.” Paragraph 31 of the Tunis Agenda states that “… we commit ourselves to the stability and security of the Internet as a global facility and to ensuring the requisite legitimacy of its governance, based on the full participation of all stakeholders, from both developed and developing countries, within their respective roles and responsibilities”. In respect of the mandate of the IGF, Paragraph 72 f. of the Tunis Agenda states that the IGF should “strengthen and enhance the engagement of stakeholders in existing and/or future Internet governance mechanisms, particularly those from developing countries”. Moreover, paragraph 72 i. states that the IGF should “promote and assess, on an ongoing basis, the embodiment of WSIS principles in Internet governance processes”. Finally, in respect of the relevance of the gender equality perspective also in Internet Governance, paragraph 23 of the Tunis Agenda states that “... We encourage all stakeholders to support women’s participation in decision-making processes and to contribute to shaping all spheres of the Information Society at international, regional and national levels.”
List similar events you and/or any other IGF workshops you have organized in the past.
Best Practice Forum on “Public participation in Internet governance: Emerging issues, good practices and proposed solutions”, co-organised by the Council of Europe, UNECE and APC, held at the Second Internet Governance Forum in Rio de Janeiro in November 2007.
Were you part of organizing a workshop last year? Which one? Did you submit a workshop report?
Yes, see Q 7 above. A report was presented to the IGF Plenary, which can be found here