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The IGF is a forum for multi-stakeholder dialogue on public policy issues related to key elements of Internet governance issues, such as the Internet's sustainability, robustness, security, stability and development. The United Nations Secretary-General formally announced the establishment of the IGF in July 2006 and the first meeting was convened in October/November 2006.
The purpose of the IGF is to maximize the opportunity for open and inclusive dialogue and the exchange of ideas on Internet governance (IG) related issues; create opportunities to share best practices and experiences; identify emerging issues and bring them to the attention of the relevant bodies and the general public; contribute to capacity building for Internet governance.
The main aim of the IGF is to facilitate inclusive, productive discussions on Internet related public policy issues from a general perspective, while keeping all stakeholders involved. This includes having a harmonized and consistent approach when covering IG issues. To further this aim, the IGF adheres to the generally used UN principle of discouraging ad hominem attacks. As such, participants should refrain from singling out individual persons, companies, countries or entities during their interventions and throughout the general discussions and debates in main sessions, workshops and other events at IGF meetings. Concrete examples can be highlighted in the overall coverage of IG issues as long as it is not done in a blatantly inflammatory or potentially libelous way. Singling out one entity without broader context could not only discourage further participation of this entity, but endanger inclusive and productive discussion at the IGF.
The IGF welcomes organisations and individuals from diverse relevant expertise and geographical areas around the world. The meeting is open to all World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) accredited entities, as well as other institutions and individuals with proven expertise and experience in matters related to Internet Governance.
The IGF Secretariat provides travel funding for a limited number of participants on a case by case basis. The eligibility criteria for funding can be found here.
In addition, the Internet Society (ISOC) provides travel funds for some of its members through the IGF Ambassadors Programme. Successful applicants of the programme will be able to participate in the IGF meeting as ambassadors of ISOC. ISOC supports participation of first-time ambassadors as well as returning ambassadors from IGFs in Rio (2007), Hyderabad (2008), Sharm El Sheikh (2009), Vilnius (2010), Nairobi (2011), Baku (2012), Bali (2013) and Istanbul (2014). For more information please refer to http://internetsociety.org/what-we-do/education-and-leadership-programmes/next-generation-leaders/igf-ambassadors-programme
Commercial logos, flags, banners or printed publications are not allowed in the main meeting halls.
On behalf of the United Nations Secretary-General, the Under-Secretary-General for Economic and Social Affairs requests nominations from all stakeholders in an official announcement published on the IGF Secretariat’s website.
The call for nominations is a call to all stakeholders for names to be put forward for the UN Secretary-General (through the Under-Secretary-General and the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs - UNDESA) to consider when appointing the new MAG, as the mandate of the IGF was given to the Secretary-General.
Any interested individuals or organizations are welcome to put forward candidates for the MAG to represent their stakeholder group, or individuals may nominate themselves, using the online form provided on the IGF website. Stakeholder groups should nominate candidates from the stakeholder group that they belong to.
All applicants will be given equal consideration in line with the MAG terms of reference, available here.
As explained above, the individual candidates will be identified with a stakeholder group based on chosen classification in the submitted forms. After the candidates are selected, they serve in their personal capacity. The candidates represent the interests of the entire stakeholder group.
It is the prerogative of the UN Secretary-General to appoint the candidates.
Candidates are assessed based on a number of factors such as, but not limited to: broadness of support, likely contribution, and knowledge and expertise. In reference to the MAG composition, the final aim is to make the MAG as representative as possible, reflecting diversity of viewpoints, geography and gender balance, and knowledge of Internet Governance-related issues. Experts in subject areas as well as apparent newbies are welcome as part of IGF capacity building efforts.
The membership of the current and previous MAGs can be found at the following url: http://www.intgovforum.org/cms/magabout
There are no permanent or reserved seats - or guaranteed membership allotments - per stakeholder group on the MAG. During the annual appointment process, a general balance is always sought among the groups but their respective numbers will fluctuate slightly from year to year. This is due to important factors which are given the same, if not higher, consideration than the need for numerically equivalent stakeholder groups, notably: priorities for regional diversity, with an emphasis on representation from developing and least developed countries; gender balance; and diversity of institutions and organizations with which members are affiliated.
Approximately one half of the MAG membership is filled by Governments, while the other half is divided in roughly equal fashion among the remaining stakeholder groups.
MAG members are appointed for a term of one year with a possible extension of up to two more years. The MAG is rotated by approximately one-third each year in order to enhance diversity and bring in new viewpoints.
Exceptionally, MAG members can serve for a longer period of time (on re-nomination!) if there is a lack of candidates fitting the desired criteria.
MAG members who have served fewer than three years and want to continue to serve, do not have to be re-nominated; however, there is an evaluation at the end of each one-year term. Based on their performance, which takes into account their attendance at meetings and the level of their contribution and participation in the global IGF’s activities, members with low performance may be excluded from automatic renewal. Existing MAG members who wish to discontinue their service should inform the IGF Secretariat at [email protected].
The 2016 list of MAG members can be found on the IGF website, under the section ‘MAG’, available here. Past MAG membership lists are also available in this section.
MAG members from least developed, developing countries and transitional economies can apply to have their travel and/or accommodation financed by the IGF Secretariat, subject to the financial resources available in the IGF Trust Fund. The criteria for this process are spelled out here: ‘Eligibility Criteria For Funding A Participant’