Internet Governance Forum
Geneva, Palais des Nations
22 November 2010
*** The following is the output of the real-time captioning taken during the Open Consultations of the IGF, in Geneva. Although it is largely accurate, in some cases it may be incomplete or inaccurate due to inaudible passages or transcription errors. It is posted as an aid to understanding the proceedings at the session, but should not be treated as an authoritative record. ***
The following is the output of the real-time captioning taken during the Open Consultations of the IGF, in Geneva. Although it is largely accurate, in some cases it may be incomplete or inaccurate due to inaudible passages or transcription errors. It is posted as an aid to understanding the proceedings at the session, but should not be treated as an authoritative record.
>>MARKUS KUMMER: Good afternoon. Can we please get started?
The presentation of the UNCTAD report didn't take place. I don't know what went wrong, but we now resume our session. And I take it as I have not heard any objections that we can allow observers to participate at tomorrow's meeting without speaking rights.
So tomorrow's meeting is in room -- is it 23 or 24?
Okay. The scribes must have gone for a nap at -- what is it? Well, they're waking up soon, yeah?
They're not yet active.
>>AVRI DORIA: No. They're active, but it's not up here.
>>MARKUS KUMMER: Oh, okay. It's a technical hitch. Can someone do something?
Okay. So tomorrow, non-MAG members are -- MAG meeting is open for observers who are -- will be able to participate, but without any speaking rights on an exceptional basis.
Unless there are comments on the first agenda item -- that is, what worked well, what worked less well -- I would suggest that we move to the MAG questionnaire.
I think we had a good and a rich discussion on the taking stock of the Vilnius meeting, and I think it would make -- yes, please. Is that Izumi?
>>IZUMI AIZU: Thank you. Can you hear?
>>MARKUS KUMMER: Yeah.
>>IZUMI AIZU: Yes. I was wondering, the Agenda Item 2 of the suggestions for the future, can I make a statement from the IGC on that?
Because I was wondering whether the first item overlaps with the second one. Because I came a little bit late this morning.
>>MARKUS KUMMER: We basically deleted the Agenda Item 3 and we collapsed it into 1, but please make your statement but consider it as a statement to "taking stock of the Vilnius meeting" and "what worked well and what worked less well," and that's on behalf of the Internet Governance Caucus, I take it. Yes, please.
>>INTERNET GOVERNANCE CAUCUS: Sorry. My name is Izumi Aizu, I was selected as the new co-coordinator of the Civil Society Internet Governance Caucus from October.
First, I'd like to echo with all the comments, appreciations to the hosts of the Vilnius meeting, but also especially not only the government of Lithuania, we'd like to appreciate the privacy sector and the civil society local people there who hosted a wonderful meeting.
What worked well and what didn't work well?
We'd like to sort of make it into the suggestions for the future, reflecting these.
We'd like to see an improved stronger link between the workshops and the main sessions, and perhaps including the possibility of doing all, or most, of the workshops up front. Say in the first two days, workshops only, and then feed back these outcomes of the workshops to the main sessions later for another two days.
We also suggest to give more strict obligations to the workshop organizers, in line with the idea of the feed to the main session, to provide summaries of the workshops directly to the main sessions and also to the whole outcome of the IGF.
We would also like to point out that the MAG and the Secretariat are strongly encouraged to directly foster discussions and debate on the difficulties, using the main session, instead of avoiding them.
In this context, IGC would also like to see that we try to come up with messages or recommendations in certain areas where all stakeholders could reach, parenthesis, rough, end parenthesis close, consensus.
They will not be binding, but could still function as a model or common framework.
And also, the working process towards achieving or building these consensuses will create better and deeper understandings amongst different stakeholders.
Now, let us give more weight to regional and national IGF meetings, as has been suggested by many others.
Making more direct links to the main IGF meeting will help outreach to those who are not yet involved in IGF process, we think.
The same level of working framework of IGF, such as multistakeholder composition and inclusion of civil society groups, where such practice is relatively new or scarce, should be maintained.
The remote hub center moderators at Vilnius IGF made good progress, as we all acknowledged. We are very proud to have civil society members -- especially Ginger and Marilia, in particular -- took strong leadership for the remote moderation, thus setting a very good precedent to follow. Furthermore, we like to propose to try to organize some sessions completely on line. A full remote session.
This may or will create level playing field among all participants that everyone becomes remote and equal -- there's no center -- and may also demonstrate effectiveness of these tools, technologies, media, and may also improve the quality of the services that support these, in turn.
Finally, we have another bold suggestion. That is to increase linguistic diversity.
Currently, English is the only default working language at IGF main sessions, but we think it doesn't have to be so all the way.
How about other U.N. major languages -- other than English, I mean -- at certain sessions, main sessions or occasions, as a main working language, be it Spanish or Chinese or French or Arabic, perhaps, and the scripts also, and these be translated into other U.N. languages such as English.
This will increase the outreach to the non-English-speaking population globally and will give more sense of ownership.
We, the Civil Society Internet Governance Caucus, would like to continue with other stakeholders to the improvement of IGF processes together with the enhanced cooperation processes.
Thank you very much.
>>MARKUS KUMMER: Thank you very much. That's what I like about civil society. You have a strong sense of utopia. Languages are -- the use of languages is not free, you may wish to consider.
To provide text streaming in other languages, I don't even know whether it will be possible, whether we have the knowledge in other languages than English of specialists who can provide this service. You're, of course, free to use other languages in the main session. That's why we provide interpretation.
As it happens, we have interpreters in all U.N. languages, but nobody actually uses any other U.N. languages than English, but it's up to participants.
To produce text costs money, and that's not resource-neutral, and as I said, on the real text transcription, I'm not even sure whether that can be done in other languages, but if it can be done, it's certainly not cost-neutral.
But the general idea of producing diversity or working more in other languages is certainly encouraged and certainly most welcome, but it's up to each individual participant, also, to make use of the facilities we provide and to speak in his or her mother tongue.
So all Spanish speakers here are encouraged to speak in Spanish. All Russian speakers are encouraged to speak in Russian. All -- and so on. And all French speakers are encouraged to speak in French.
But we do provide -- for instance, we have provided text in all six U.N. languages, two papers. Again, we have to pay for the translation.
If, of course, there are translations on a voluntary basis, that can be done, but then they would not have the status as official documents.
Are there any other comments on the taking stock part of the Vilnius meeting?
Yes, you seem to have a comment. Please.
>>UNIDENTIFIED SPEAKER: Thank you very much, Your Honorable Chair.
Just a short comment on the previous speaker.
I support everything he said, but -- except for one thing. I think we didn't so much develop for totally on-line meeting. I think that we should develop remote participation, but we should balance between on-line and off-line sessions.
I think the real meetings should, in any case, be done.
Thank you very much.
>>MARKUS KUMMER: Thank you. And we then move to the next agenda item, the MAG questionnaire.
We can -- as we have done in previous year's, we will build on this discussion and develop a paper and also ask for comments as an input in how to shape the agenda and structure of the Nairobi meeting.
We will do so once a final decision has been taken by the General Assembly, taking into account the legal aspects that we cannot start preparing a meeting before a decision has been taken whether a meeting will take place or not.
But for the rest of the afternoon, I suggest that we move to the discussion on the MAG.
We had, at the end of the May meeting, published a questionnaire on the MAG, on the work of the MAG, and we have received some answers to this questionnaire. I think all in all, we took into account nine answers, but we have since received two more, so we have received 11 answers to this questionnaire, and I would also invite you to maybe revisit the paper -- the summary record of the MAG meeting last May which gives a little bit the history of how the MAG came about.
It was the result of a compromise back in 2006. But there's no need to go too much into that. That is all on the record. You'll find it on the Web site as the summary record of the MAG meeting in May.
Now, the MAG questionnaire.
I don't know whether any participants has prepared an all-embracing statement. If not, I will suggest going through the questionnaire question by question.
Can I take it then that we proceed question by question?
Question 1, has the work of the MAG been consistent with the mandate sent out in the Tunis Agenda and subsequent decisions?
Any comments on that one? It's the -- the synthesis is up on our screen.
The general response we had from those who responded to the questionnaire have been fairly consistent with the mandate.
And while on the whole there was a feeling the MAG had done well, there was also a feeling it could still do more to improve its work.
Who would like to comment? Bertrand, please.
>>INTERNATIONAL DIPLOMATIC ACADEMY: Hi, my name is Bertrand De La Chapelle. I am with the International Diplomatic Academy.
A brief comment that chose what I was saying in the previous session. I'm surprised that there were not more comments by people who were not satisfied with the way the MAG has worked, because for a lot of people who are actually present in this room, the MAG is not perfect because it's a very big challenge to create a smaller group that is sufficiently representative. But all together, there's a general feeling that it has served its purpose.
What I'm surprised of is that there were no submissions explaining why it didn't fulfill its purpose. What were the flaws? And particularly, how it is proposed to make it better.
Because if the solution is to make it an enter governmental bureau, let's put that completely aside. This is not making it better. This is making it worse.
If there are proposals to make the selection more efficient to build a representative group, to make it interact more efficiently with the rest of the community, that would be welcome.
But so far, we haven't seen any proposal to make it really better.
And I find it a little bit troublesome. Somebody in a previous conference that was not related to the IGF was commenting on the arguments -- the transcription apparently is not working.
Maybe the connection was lost.
While it's reconnecting, I can share an anecdote. In one of the meetings I was participating in where a few participants were clearly obstructing the drafting of the document, and in the end were the ones who were saying but why can't we move forward more quickly on consensus, somebody told me it's a little bit like when somebody comes, punctures the four tires of your car and then asks you why you are block being the traffic.
I think to be serious again, the question is how to improve the functioning and the composition of a subgroup like the MAG.
One of the questions we are going to face is that the working group of the chair of the CSTD will have to address this question, and rightfully so.
However, it will produce its report in May for the CSTD meeting, which means that it will be too late to change the rules or to set up a new MAG for the meeting in Kenya. Which leads to the natural conclusion that if the IGF is being reconducted as we all expect it will in a few days, because basically nobody has said it should stop.
Even the Secretary-General's report said that the IGF should continue. As far as I understand the discussions in New York are not addressing at all the opportunity or not to continue. Everybody agrees that it should continue.
The natural conclusion is that until we have proposals for changing the modalities of designation of the MAG, we should keep the same modalities of designation of the MAG for the IGF in Kenya.
Which means that the natural solution is that there's a call for the different stakeholder groups, like we've done in the past, to submit proposals, and whatever we may think of the so-called black box system, I think it has now proved relatively efficient and I would suggest that in the discussion we have today, we explore whether we should just adopt the same thing and create a MAG in a relatively short period of time, as soon as the continuation of the IGF is confirmed, and all the discussions about how to improve it would be naturally finding their home in the group of the chair of the CSTD.
>>MARKUS KUMMER: Thank you for this.
Yes. Greece, please.
>>GREECE: Thank you.
I share the view that the MAG -- the MAG has worked well within the parameters that were set by the Tunis Agenda.
Improving the MAG, in my view, can only be done by changing those parameters.
Now, Bertrand spoke of a new MAG. I cannot see -- since this touches upon the prerogatives of the Secretary-General, I cannot see -- in my mind, it's not very clear how the MAG can be changed by the MAG or by informal consultations without some mandate, and there -- the issue becomes rather complex, I think, as to how it can be done.
I also would like to identify some of the -- well, not problems, but some of the issues within the MAG.
The MAG plays an advisory role, and a Secretariat role, in some ways.
In other words, it's not always innovative work in terms of coming up with ideas and so forth, but we do the preparation of the next IGF which, in other institutions is done by the Secretariat and is presented to the membership.
But as far as the MAG being able to draft an agenda, we were always told that our role was that of an advisory body and the ultimate decision rests with the Secretary-General, so the same holds true for -- since there are no rules, actually, for the next questions regarding the appointment of the chair or the composition or any additional functions that the MAG could take to become more efficient or to change its role.
And unless this is resolved, the issue with the relationship with the Secretary-General, the U.N. resolution and all that, I cannot see very clearly how we can move forward on this subject. Thank you.
>>MARKUS KUMMER: Thank you for this, and allow me to comment briefly.
You, of course, ask the right questions.
I mean, the -- clearly neither we here nor the MAG can change some of these parameters. The Tunis Agenda is set in stone. And then the mandate of the MAG has always been extended from year to year by the Secretary-General, and it has always been a very narrow remit. It has -- some of the proposals made, the MAG should constitute a working group with inter-sessional work and so on and so on, work beyond the narrow remit. But what we can do is, analyzing the past work, analyzing the situation, look at possible weaknesses and propose areas for improvement and make suggestions, and that will be the task of tomorrow's MAG meeting, that we come up with something as we do at the end of each MAG meeting with a summary report, which would then contain its findings, and that would go to the working group of the chair of the CSTD, but it would also go to our colleagues in New York and to the Secretary-General for consideration.
It's not a decision by the MAG, but it will be a recommendation, something to consider, and maybe also change the remit of the MAG, give it a little bit broader, more authority on these issues. Whatever we decide to do.
But, I mean, clearly the MAG itself cannot change that, but the MAG can take stock of the work of the past five years and, based on that, come up with certain suggestions which then may or may not be implemented.
Jeff and Egypt, yes. Please. ICC/BASIS, yes.
>>ICC/BASIS: Thank you. On behalf of ICC/BASIS, a few comments to supplement the written submission that ICC/BASIS made on the MAG.
As a preliminary matter, it's helpful to note that the MAG itself is an important part of the multistakeholder process and it helps to ensure that the IGF will continue to evolve on an ongoing basis as a multistakeholder forum.
So it -- I think it's worth noting the important role that the MAG itself plays.
As far as the activities of the MAG, we do believe that it has fulfilled the mandate set out in the Tunis Agenda over the past five years, and we think that it has been an important part of the overall IGF preparatory process and has been successful in helping to obtain input from the community from a diverse collection of stakeholders, and implement those changes and enhancements on an ongoing basis into the actual IGF meeting process.
So it's part of the process, but it plays an important role.
We also share the view of the Internet Society and other commenters that the MAG has done an admirable job of finding ways to work with the community and be inclusive and responsive to the suggestions and contributions that have been made, and that its work has continued to evolve as you just noted. Therefore, it has been responsive to input about ways to change its format and to change its modes of operation and I think this overall continuing process of evaluation and consideration of those types of improvements is a helpful part of the MAG process, as indeed it is in the IGF process overall. Thank you.
>>MARKUS KUMMER: Thank you very much. And now Egypt, please.
>>EGYPT: Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Actually, what we are discussing now is a very important point from our perspective. I -- I totally understand the rationale behind putting this on the agenda of the meeting of today. I see some valid points in the interventions made by the distinguished colleague from the International Diplomatic Academy. However, I -- I sense some mixing between two things, and this is in a positive manner I'm addressing this.
I believe, Mr. Chairman, that it's better to recall that the Tunis Agenda, while it clarified carefully the mandate of the IGF, it did not elaborate on the possible mechanisms or formats to prepare for the convening of the forum.
The U.N. Secretary-General was kind enough to send us his advisor, Mr. Nitin Desai, after the conclusion of the summit in February 2006 to consult with the stakeholders, including governments, civil society, and private sector entities, on how best he should convene the forum.
After lengthy discussions, it has been decided to follow a special format for the preparatory process by holding an open consultation that would allow stakeholders to express their own views on the issues to be discussed, followed by Multistakeholder Advisory Group meeting that would reflect those views into an agenda, main sessions, workshops, lists of speakers, et cetera.
This format of the preparatory process, Mr. Chairman, was referred to in many comments at the session chaired by the U.N. Undersecretary-General during Sharm El Sheikh meeting in November 2009 as one of the areas, among others, that need to be improved within IGF.
Egypt in particular, while strongly recommended the continuation of the IGF, referred to improvements required within the preparatory process as well as the MAG.
In the same direction, the notion of the need for improvements was the basis on which the ECOSOC has established a working group within the Commission on Science and Technology for Development in order to address.
In this regard, let me say that Egypt is developing its inputs and comments within the overall evaluation of the IGF, including the improvements required, and shall submit this input to the agreed mechanism, which is the working group of the CSTD as requested by the ECOSOC.
Having said that, Mr. Chairman, and following my remarks in the morning session, I think it would be useful to be reminded maybe through clarification from the honorable representative of DESA of the mandate of the Multistakeholder Advisory Group and with the time frame for its role as a group assisting the U.N. Secretary-General in the preparation of the IGF event. I see on another note the responses that are reflected in this document before us today as very valuable responses, Mr. Chairman, within the overall process of improving IGF, which has been recognized to be placed within the CSTD.
However, we need to be very careful and cautious against secreting a parallel mechanism or a parallel track to the issue of improving IGF different from this one.
So I would appreciate, Mr. Chairman, if we could be reminded by DESA representative with the mandate of the Multistakeholder Advisory Group, as a group entrusted or assigned to assist the preparation for the convening of the forum.
Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
>>MARKUS KUMMER: Come back to that after another series of interventions.
I recognize ETNO and the Internet Government Caucus.
>>ETNO: Thank you, Chair.
As ETNO, we did not submit our views on the MAG since the last discussion we had here in Geneva in early 2008, but we will do that soon.
And like Egypt, we're skeptic about this discussion in this room today because of the IGF improvements issue and the decisions pending. But we recognize that in the May 2010 extension of the MAG, a discussion about the future of the MAG was clearly mandated. Anyway, even if the Working Group on Internet Governance will deal with this issue, we think it's important to have a preliminary discussion here and that the results of this discussion are transferred to the new group whenever it is established or to other bodies, like you suggested your colleagues in New York.
So in my personal capacity from this point onwards, not as ETNO, but in my personal capacity, I would like to offer a few thoughts about the role and the functioning of the MAG.
First, we need an organizing committee to mainly prepare open meetings and to do the work between meetings.
The new MAG should present proposals on substance issues, not host-country issues, and those substance issues should be confirmed by the open consultations or planning meetings.
By mainly post acting or by choosing to go independently of the consultation meetings, certainly that is not the proper way forward for the MAG.
Second, we do not need something in the form of a U.N. star bureau. That is has been resolved; discussed and resolved. But of course some colleagues may have different views.
What we need, in my view, is a few members who have a genuine interest in the evolution of Internet governance, who have a general knowledge and experience, who represent all groups and who can dedicate time and work.
I find the current size of the MAG extraordinary. If we also add the advisories and the intergovernmental organizations, we may have almost as many people as those who come to the open consultations. I don't know how many there will be tomorrow. Maybe more.
So I suggest a number of 20 to maximum of 30 people. No other advisors and no other privileges to enter governmental organizations or assistants alternates or whoever. We need workers. We do not need members in the name.
Three, regardless of the size of the MAG, what I consider as an absolute necessity is the balance. We need to have a balance among the four main groups. And I say four because I think that the technical community should be a separate group.
Four, the new MAG should work with transparency. Now, as ETNO, we have submitted the comments on transparency, but I continue in my personal capacity.
A brief report and posting of some anonymized e-mails long after they have been exchanged is far away from transparency. I suggest open doors, to allow observers, to let people listen to meetings, even to Webcast MAG meetings. Look at other organizations that have followed bottom-up approach and policy.
Five, the new MAG should rotate, but no single organization should be responsible for nominating members. Individual nominations should also be allowed.
In all cases, nominees should declare under which main group they apply. Selection is a difficult issue and it is another question as a matter of fact in your questionnaire, but it could be done by a noncom format providing that the noncom fully justifies its selection and that rotation will apply.
Thank you for your attention.
>>MARKUS KUMMER: Thank you very much. Internet Governance Caucus, Izumi or Parminder. Thank you.
>>IGC: Thank you,Izumi Aizu again on behalf of the Internet Governance Caucus of the Civil Society.
We have submitted the responses to the questionnaire, which some of them are reflected into this paper.
We, first of all, we'd like the MAG to play an active role in any possible improvements towards the greater outcome orientation that may be suggested by the ongoing IGF improvement process.
Since there is no other clear body or structure in and of the IGF, any possible suggestions for improvements, like the ones written in the consensus paper, like the intersessional work, choosing of the key issues for more focused work, working groups on issues, background papers, all these require the MAG to play an important working part.
We remember the WGIG days which had to produce the concrete outcome, so they had to work quite a lot or quite well. So that could be a good model for working methodology of the coming MAG as well.
To ensure that MAG remains effective, we should require perhaps more direct lines of accountability of the members to its constituencies, including the civil society but not limited to, more balanced sectorial representation and proactive leadership. We would also like to echo with the previous speaker for the reduction of the size of the MAG that may improve its effectiveness.
Unfortunately, some members are naturally not working that much for any variety of reasons, so we would really like to see the working MAG.
It is also very important that the established process by which one-third of the MAG members are rotated each year, that is executed methodically so that the composition of the MAG is completely refreshed every three years.
And finally, we ask that when the MAG prepares the IGF agenda, it should prioritize issues which directly concern the interests of the marginalized groups as they and those working within them, rather than just or mostly the technical or other experts. And that they see these issues.
This in turn requires that these marginalized groups should be better represented within or on the MAG.
Thank you, Chair.
>>MARKUS KUMMER: Thank you very much.
Next, Portugal and then Greece again. Portugal, please.
>>PORTUGAL: Thank you, Mr. Chair. Ana Neves from Portugal.
Well, very much along the lines of the statement made by the colleague from ETNO, both in ETNO and personal capacities, I would like to underline three points for MAG.
The first one, well, MAG should work on the basis of open calls and not on the basis of recommendations.
Number two, MAG should work on a rotation level.
And number three, if a formal body, as CSTD, is open to observers, why MAG is not open to observers? So MAG has to be open to observers in the future.
>>MARKUS KUMMER: Greece. Yes, please.
>>GREECE: Sorry to come back again, but I think Bertrand mentioned earlier, what happened to all the representatives of U.N. missions here? Why aren't they present?
And the answer is that if you go outside the room and you conduct a kind of a random questioning as to whether anybody knows what the IGF is, you will find out, and I'm willing to bet that probably one in a hundred will know anything about the IGF.
And now we are in a situation where governments will have to decide important things in New York about the IGF, and I see a shrinking number of governments attending those meetings. I have noticed that trend for the last two or three years.
So somebody spoke about marginalized groups, and I think that governments are a marginalized group in here.
Yes, do not laugh. I know how you feel about governments. I have attended all the meetings, and I know how you feel. But on the other hand, if you don't bring the governments in, I think that that group is going to stay the same way. The interest is going to wane. I think the issue of the IGF has never been discussed at the ambassadorial level in Geneva, neither in New York. And Portugal said, well, what happened to the press? We have to attract more media. Well, why isn't the media there? That's the question.
Is there anything newsworthy happening that can capture a headline in the New York Times or in the Financial Times or even in the local papers?
So these are some of the questions that beg to be answered. And as I said, without bringing governments back in and generating some interest on their behalf, I don't think that this particular -- that the IGF will function the way it was supposed to at the beginning.
>>MARKUS KUMMER: Next speaker is Bertrand, please.
>>INTERNATIONAL DIPLOMATIC ACADEMY: Yeah, very brief concrete comments regarding the MAG.
As I said earlier, the question that we're facing with the MAG is an overall question in multistakeholder processes. In a nutshell, the question is when you have a very diverse group of stakeholders, how do you create a subset that is limited in numbers that is sufficiently diverse and representative to be accepted by the rest of the community as doing some type of work? It can be drafting a report, it can be planning a meeting. Whatever.
It is a very difficult thing, because for the moment, everything we use is elections in constituencies, in subgroups, which basically reinforce the silo mentality of the different groups and the competition between constituencies instead of facilitating the formation of a group that is a real collegial group.
So there is no clear solution to this problem.
However, there are a few lessons that I would like to share from the past few years.
The first thing is that the MAG actually has achieved -- not alone, of course, but achieved something that we now take-for-granted, which is that it has shaped the format and the structure of the meeting.
If you look at the five years, we now have a format for those four days that is relatively stable in terms of the balance between the main sessions and the workshops, the fact that we adopt now open discussions for the main sessions instead of panels.
The three main themes have been actually reclustered from the five main themes in the beginning. The emerging issues sessions now have a better structure. The opening and the input from the regional and national IGFs, the stock-taking session in the end. When you look at the general framework, we basically have a structure that we can build upon and this is the main result of the interaction in the MAG.
The second thing is we have been talking about rotation, and clearly the notion of rotating, for instance, a third every year is a manner of bringing both fresh blood and keeping institutional memory. However, we face then a very delicate question, which is how do you ensure rotation without eliminating key contributing actors who have a tendency to remain in the process because they do represent major stakeholders? How do you ensure the participation of key stakeholders without creating permanent seats?
If you look, for instance, at the representation on the governmental side, some countries are absolutely systematically renewed, and there is some rationale for that, but at the same time, it goes in the direction of a sort of digital security council where you have permanent seats and nonpermanent seats.
And the same goes for business and civil society. I don't have a solution. But this question of are some stakeholders naturally part of the MAG or not, a question that we could explore.
The next thing is that the presence of the successive host countries, at least three of them, maybe in a sliding way, is clearly a way to ensure the transmission of experience, and it's very useful for the organizers of the next meeting to have the presence in the MAG of people who were involved in the previous ones.
The next thing is, there is a suggestion to reduce the size of the MAG. As a matter of fact, I beg to differ, because, yes, there are people in the MAG who do not participate or do not speak. But the experience proves that even relatively quiet participants do play a role, either by monitoring discussions, because they are just there to listen, or because their presence makes the other actors interact in a different way.
To make a parallel, in ICANN, whether there are governmental participants in working groups or not makes a huge difference on the way the other actors interact.
And here it's the same. Depending on who is there, people interact differently.
The question of geographic, gender, and stakeholder balance is very difficult to achieve if you separate those criteria. So if you want to have absolutely the geographic difference and then you add the gender balance, and everybody is supposed to represent the gender balance or the geographic balance, it doesn't work if you have a small group.
On the other hand, if you combine the different characteristics given the past experience or the origin of people, it's easier to compose a smaller group. And in this respect, a Nominating Committee does have a function in that respect.
Finally, there's one thing we haven't explored, and that could be explored, is how the regional and national IGFs could play a role in outreaching to potential participants to help prepare and make the connection between the global MAG and the organizing committees.
Not in an exclusive way, because of the diversity of those local exercises, but generally speaking it could help.
And finally, to address the question of the shrinking participation of governments that George was mentioning, I think there is a huge difference between governments who have signed and endorsed the WSIS document that basically says there will be a multistakeholder forum to discuss policy issues and who do not come to meetings. I don't think the blame should be put on the IGF for the nonparticipation of some actors. If they do not come, it is also their responsibility to upheld the commitment that they have made. And I can tell you that in a certain number of countries, not only is this topic at the Ambassadorial level but it is at ministerial level. I had the privilege of having my Minister come twice when I was in the French Foreign Affairs Ministry, coming twice to the IGF meeting and I could tell you she was extremely satisfied and extremely pleased with the experience. And I know a lot of other Ministers who made the effort, sometimes just participating in the audience, and who took a great benefit from this exercise.
So it is the responsibility of each and every representative in the missions here in Geneva, and all the countries that have signed, to weigh in and participate. I don't think the blame should be put on the IGF because those who participate actually seem to find it very appropriate.
>>MARKUS KUMMER: Thank you.
We have a few more speakers. There's Wolfgang -- We will also like to react to the questions raised, but we can have another round then react to the question raised with regard to the mandate.
Why don't we do it now.
>>VINCENZO AQUARO: Vincenzo Aquaro, DESA.
I will refer to some official document that already all of you know even better than me, because I am talking about 2005, when at conclusion of Tunis phase, member states decided to establish the IGF and convene by United Secretary-General.
The Secretary-General asked his special advisor for Internet governance to start broad-based consultation on this mandate with the aim to develop a common understanding among all stakeholders on the nature and characteristic of this new entity, Internet governance.
The stakeholders are defined in the Tunis Agenda as being governments, intergovernmental organization, international organization, private sector and civil society, including the academic and technical communities.
And the main task -- And then was established the fact to grow named Multistakeholder Advisory Group, MAG. And it is to provide the substantive agenda and program for the IGF meeting and program.
So this is the framework in which MAG have to work.
For the IGF meetings of members in terms of individual capacity, and the group was first appointed in 2006, and then renew annually.
As you know and you are part of that, the group is based on 56 members.
So what is person to emphasize is that all the improvement, all the suggestion are welcome, but must be in the framework on the mandate of the IGF and of MAG, because it is, in any case, a decision that have to be made by the Secretary-General.
>>MARKUS KUMMER: To supplement your very helpful comment, may I recall the press release issued on 5th of May of this year. And the membership of the MAG, which is -- I am quoting, "which is entrusted with assisting in the preparations for annual meeting of the Internet governance has been renewed." And part of that mandate was then -- precisely was to make proposals with regard to its own future should the mandate be renewed.
As the Internet Governance Forum and as the last year of its five-year mandate, the Multistakeholder Advisory Group has been asked to make proposals with regard to its own future should the mandate be renewed.
That is the discussion we are having right now.
This press release which constitutes the mandate of the MAG for this year was issued prior to the meeting of the CSTD which set up a parallel process.
But basically, the MAG has to finish its mandate and have it discussion, whatever the powers that be, be that the CSTD or then the Secretary-General will make out of this is their business. That's no longer the MAG's business, but it is part of the effective job of the MAG to do this work.
Let's continue with the list of speakers.
I think the next one was Wolfgang Kleinw�chter, and then also Bill Drake, and Egypt asked to come back -- sorry, is it -- Martin, Martin Boyle. Okay.
>>WOLFGANG KLEINW�CHTER: Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman.
By the way, to have headlines in the newspaper can be sometimes counterproductive. So if you want to achieve something, then it's sometimes better not to have front-page article, which is written sometimes by journalists who do not understand what is going on.
I am very much in favor of more outreach, that we get more people, but this does not necessarily mean that we have to have headlines in the newspapers.
I have a question to the representative from the UNDESA. Do we have a timetable now already? My understanding is that the -- the basic decision will be made by the second committee of the General Assembly, and then it needs approval by the General Assembly. Because, you know, we are certainly losing time, and it would be good to know what is the internal discussions about the timetable. If the decision is made, what will be the next steps? Appointment of the chair or, you know, we learned this morning that the executive secretary will step down in January. Do we have already, you know, now a list what will be the next steps after the adoption of the resolution by the second committee and then by the General Assembly?
And this leads me to the final remark, that means if we really take the substance seriously, then there should be at least for the transition period let's say a regime in place which would make sure that we, you know, can improve the quality of the next IGF again. And it means you have to have a structure in place, though it could be something like a plan B. If for some reasons, political or other reasons, the plan A, following the decision now which has to be made takes a lot of time, so that you have a certain safety net which will work regardless of, let's say, decisions that can be postponed for bureaucratic or other reasons.
Thank you very much.
>>VINCENZO AQUARO: Vincenzo Aquaro, DESA.
About the time frame, timetable, right now the decision is not the final one. The second committee is still working. There are the -- Last Friday, it was another informal consultation, but we think that for the next two weeks, they will take the final decision.
In any case, there is no doubt about the renew, but they are still working on the resolution.
And about the new appointment, we knew today because it was announced today by our friend Markus that he will retire on January.
So this is something that we will work on it. But in any case, all this decision have to be taken after the official decision of the renewal of the IGF. Otherwise, there is no legal platform to do that.
>>MARKUS KUMMER: Thank you.
Can we continue with the list of speakers?
Andrey Shcherbovich, you asked for the floor? Yes.
>>ANDREY SHCHERBOVICH: Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I'd like to add some issues concerning the Multistakeholder Advisory Group and its representation.
So it's -- Content should be extended to -- according to the fair geographic representation. It should be other kind of -- kinds of representation. So all stakeholders should have an opportunity to be presented there.
So, in fact, as a colleague said, it is, in fact, the MAG Secretariat. And so the special issue is the youth representation and the youth representation of the developing countries. I think that we should have an opportunity to provide it -- to provide opportunities for youth representation from African countries, Asian, former USSR, other countries, to make it the IGF's better mandate.
So I think we should discuss a little after the continuation of the mandate, of the IGF, but now I'd like to stress a point that I think the procedure of renewal of the multistakeholder advisory group should be changed.
I think that I will write written comments concerning that a bit later. Thank you very much.
>>MARKUS KUMMER: Thank you very much. And we also had a comment from a remote participant, Rafik Dammak, from the youth coalition, who asked why don't we have youth -- on the same line why we don't have a youth representative in the MAG.
I mean, you take -- you know, there are strong calls for a better representation of young people.
Egypt, you asked for the floor. Please.
>>EGYPT: Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I just wanted to thank the Honorable representative of DESA for the clarification, and also to thank yourself, Mr. Chairman, for the elaboration on the statement made by the U.N. Secretary-General with the renewal of the MAG.
I'm fully aware of that statement.
And now, based on these clarifications, I realize that part of the mandate of MAG has been fulfilled, which is regarding the preparation for the meeting, while the second part is undergoing, which is regarding making proposals to the future of MAG itself.
However, I wanted to just refer to another process that we have agreed upon by the ECOSOC resolution, and so stress that this exercise, this valuable exercise, very important exercise, by MAG members, about the future of MAG, how to enhance its work, how to continue in a better manner, should be channeled one way or another within the overall exercise of improving the IGF, should its mandate be renewed.
I would -- I would like to -- to further the same logic here, Mr. Chairman, and maybe think of providing the U.N. Secretary-General, as you rightly mentioned, with the input of MAG after being deliberated now, and after being debated today, in order to allow the Secretary-General to give him some time, taking into account time constraints, to allow him the chance of thinking for the way forward when it comes to the preparation of the Nairobi meeting. Thank you.
>>MARKUS KUMMER: Thank you very much for this.
This is exactly what I had in mind.
I think the first input will be through individual members of the MAG and people attending this consultation on Wednesday's meeting, which will be an informal input but we will have to think also of making it maybe a more formal input.
I mean, I can send a letter with the report that comes out of tomorrow's meeting to the secretary of the CSTD, for instance, and of course we will report back to New York for consideration.
But as I said earlier, we cannot decide in this framework on nothing whatsoever, but we can provide input into the areas where decisions will be taken, where reports will be drafted, and this formal link we will have to establish for sure, and the stronger -- I'm sure the stronger the report is, the more convincing the report is that comes out of this room where people have been very closely associated with the preparation of the IGF, the better it will be for the process and the more seriously it will be taken by those reading the report.
If we come up with a report where we say, "Some people said this, some people said that," then it will devalue itself in any case.
So I hope that we can build on this discussion and come up with some very coherent suggestions out of this meeting.
(Speaking in a non-English language)
Michel? Did you ask for the floor, Michel, or not? Okay.
But I know that Martin Boyle asked for the floor. Please.
>>MARTIN BOYLE: Thank you, Chair.
Only having ever seen the MAG by discussions in this sort of consultation meeting and probably much more importantly through the outcome of its work, I thought it might be useful just to try and flag, perhaps, some sort of general ideas that might help to establish some sort of criteria for the way that a MAG might be able to move forward in the future.
But, first of all, there were the comments about exactly what the role of the MAG was, and part of that role very much was the creation, the success of the IGF itself. It's the activity of supporting the IGF that is very clearly identified in the Tunis Agenda, and I think from there, we do have to look and say, "Well, yes, very much the role of the MAG has been to lead to the level of success that I think has been the IGF in the way it has developed over its very brief life."
So having got to there, obviously we need to start thinking forwards as to what we would like the MAG to do in the future, and very high on that, obviously, is to maintain the level of success that it has had in the past, but essentially to announce certainly the role of the MAG has seemed to be very much the role of a program committee, of an interface with the wider stakeholder committee, a group of people who have been willing to put in effort to animate the process, and to facilitate that process.
So essentially, they've been very clearly the workhorses of this process. That's probably belittling the terrific work that the Secretariat has put in, but, you know, let that rest for the moment.
And then obviously if we're trying to look forward and say, "What do you want from the MAG," well, we need to try and put some sort of criteria down as to what it is that would be the way that we would identify members of the MAG.
So it is things like the people are -- the people chosen understand different parts of the issues or of different stakeholder interests, that they are well networked and probably fairly crucial to the whole thing, that they have -- are willing to put in the time and effort to deal with them.
So that really sort of leaves me at the sort of point of saying, "Well, I'm not greatly sure I can see a role into the future for the MAG that is greatly different from where we are at the moment"; that the sort of work that the MAG has been doing makes it perhaps rather easy for the MAG itself to identify what are the criteria that need to be used to select new MAG members, and the identification of those criteria need then to be at the very heart of trying to make sure that as we move forward, as we all recognize if people stay too long on a committee they get stale -- not that I'm accusing any member of the MAG of being stale, let me hasten to add -- but certainly there is a need for rotation, but then you've got a very clear vision of where you need to look to try and make sure that you get the skills, expertise, and in particular the networking that will allow the MAG to carry on doing this underpinning work for the future of the IGF.
>>MARKUS KUMMER: Thank you very much for this.
And I certainly am not taken aback by your comments as a Secretariat representative. I very much second what you said with regard to the role of the MAG as the true workhorse of the process.
We have a remote participant, Rafid Fatani, who served as an intern last year.
Kyle, are you ready to read it out?
>>RAFID FATANI: Okay. So Rafid Fatani said I believe that if the IGF is going to work better, more marketing outreach is required, and this can only be done with more funding, but until that happens, I find it difficult to see a wider interest from new members and we need solutions on how we can achieve this.
And also, that should the role of the MAG not also include a marketing role to enhance further collaboration with new stakeholders?
So that's it.
>>MARKUS KUMMER: And Anriette Esterhuysen from APC has been waiting long enough.
Please. You have the floor.
>>APC: Thank you, Mr. Chairperson.
I assume you've given up on discussing the questionnaire question by question.
I assume you've given up on taking feedback question by question, which is how you started.
>>MARKUS KUMMER: I have not given up on the idea but I mean the discussion was a bit free-wheeling.
And my apologies. Your name has been seriously distorted, but we'll fix that.
>>APC: It doesn't matter. I'm Anriette Esterhuysen, Association for Progressive Communications.
We did submit an input. We thank the MAG for the opportunity and we thank the Secretariat for developing -- and the MAG for the synthesis, and most of our ideas are represented there.
I think just to emphasize that I would support what Martin Boyle said about the role of the MAG. It would be good to have that documented. When I was preparing the APC response to the questionnaire, I searched the IGF Web site for terms of reference or a description, Bullet-pointed description, of the role and responsibility of the MAG, and I actually couldn't find it.
And maybe -- maybe even if it's an informal, not officially mandated description, it would be helpful to have that documented.
And the other input I want to make, just is I think that it would be good if the MAG can make more effective use of the Internet in its work. And I -- I think that could, in fact, address many of the concerns that previous speakers have raised about participation, participation from government representatives, participation from groups that can't attend meetings in Geneva, and we did propose a more staggered work plan for the MAG, so that the MAG has more meetings other than just those meetings linked to open consultations, and we believe that the technology exists for the MAG to have its meetings using on line platforms, even if it makes use of asynchronous forms, considering the number of time zones.
But we feel this would make for a more efficient process and more inclusive process. And we just have to share -- I think as others can as well -- that some of the MAG members that come from our network often don't make it to Geneva as a result of visa and other travel limitations, and I'm sure this applies to other stakeholder groups as well.
So we would just recommend more systemic use of on-line forums for the MAG and its work.
>>MARKUS KUMMER: Right. Now, there doesn't seem to be any further -- oh, there is. Yes. Jeanette, please.
>>JEANETTE HOFMANN: Thank you. Listening to the discussion, there are a few things I would want to add from a member's perspective.
I have been on the MAG for five years, so I'm one of the people who, for one reason or another, didn't rotate. Although I offered to rotate, as Markus can confirm.
Thinking about messages, as somebody who stayed on so long for the next MAG, there are two or three points I would like to stress.
The first is, we hear a lot about the size of the MAG. I think it doesn't matter that much. It hasn't mattered that much because there are lots of people on the MAG who have been sent there. They are there because it's their job to be there. And not all of them participate in an active manner so that they will take space away from other people who would like to talk.
So it doesn't really matter whether there are 40 or 50 people in the room.
The second point, which is perhaps more relevant, something similar applies to representation.
I thought -- and many people think -- that it really matters whether all stakeholder groups are represented in the same quantitative way or not.
From an insider perspective, it doesn't matter that much. The majority of governments never translate it into real influence in terms of the program.
Many of them don't participate that much. They have to sit there. They might veto certain points, but the sort of real impact in terms of expertise and networking and getting topics on the agenda, rather, came from other stakeholders.
So the quantity -- the quantitative representation doesn't translate into substantial impact.
That also means whether there is a stakeholder group called the technical people, whether civil society has a fourth or a third, it doesn't matter. What really matters is whether people put effort in it and really participate.
And the second point that really matters, how well a stakeholder group is connected among itself. How well they prepare, how well they exchange things before a meeting.
This is what creates impact.
So for the next MAG, even if people don't manage to change the balance, it might not be that important.
And the last point I would like to make concerns open and closed meetings.
The last two years, we became more flexible about this issue. We sometimes open meetings spontaneously. Sometimes we have them closed. And I think both is actually necessary.
There need to be a trusted space where people can exchange positions in a way without being accused of sorted of betraying their stakeholder position, so I think it's important to have these closed spaces, but it's also important to have public meetings, especially if we want the program to be prepared by wider groups that are not members of the MAG.
So to have these operational meetings closer to the actual IGF meeting is very helpful.
And even if this can only be decided on a short-term basis, so that people cannot come for open MAG meetings, I think that was a good approach to keep that flexible. Thank you.
>>MARKUS KUMMER: Thank you, Jeanette, and we have Jonathon Zuck right there at the back of the room. You asked for the floor, please.
>>JONATHON ZUCK: Yes. Hello. My name is Jonathon Zuck, from the Association for Competitive Technology.
This may have been something to bring up in the morning session. I apologize if it was. But these issues of representation keep coming up both here in this discussion and the one before, and the more that we focus on this issue of development, ICT for development and development generally in the Internet space, I think one of the most important constituencies that often goes unmentioned is -- are small businesses. Particularly those that export and those that are involved in Internet commerce, et cetera, that operate outside their borders using the Internet. And I think that small businesses need to be better represented at the IGF, and in the planning process for the IGF, if we're really trying to create an environment conducive to development, particularly indigenous development, that really does lie at the feet of small businesses.
So I'd love to see representation, and I don't know what form it takes. It's a -- as complicated as having youth representation, I suppose, on the MAG.
But representation there for small businesses, and then also a means and potentially subsidy to see more small business participation in the IGF generally.
>>MARKUS KUMMER: Thank you. I think you raised the point with your very last sentence that small businesses usually find it difficult to either find the time or the financial resources to participate in this kind of meeting.
We all recognize, of course, the role of small businesses in development. I think our Kenyan friends made a similar point for the Nairobi meeting. It's certainly something worth considering.
I was going to make a few -- I see, sorry, Greece has asked for the floor. I was going to make a few comments on things said.
>>GREECE: Yeah. Thank you. This is a right of reply to Jeanette and Bertrand regarding the participation of governments.
Well, let me start with Jeanette. Jeanette, you have said that governments are not participating, they're not volunteering. I have missed -- in some ways, that's what you have said, and I have never missed a meeting. I have been one of the most vocal representatives of governments, yet I was never offered a job as a moderator or a participant in a panel and so forth, even though I have volunteered my services throughout all these years.
That's one thing.
Secondly, I thought that the discussion would also center as to whether we want to change the MAG in making it a decision-making body, in terms of taking some of the weight off the shoulders of the Secretary-General. Low-level decisions could have been made in the MAG itself, rather than ending up with a report, rather than having the chair trying to distill what each one of us have said and try to identify majorities and then have it all passed on to the Secretary-General to make these decisions.
In addition to that, mention was made about semipermanent members and so forth. Well, yeah, sure, these phenomena will continue to exist as long as there are no democratically elected members. This is the only U.N. body where you don't have people say, "Oh, the bureaus, the intergovernmental bureaus don't work." They work very well and they're democratically elected.
So if you want appointments in some obscure way through nominations or through regional groups and nobody knows how many members are and so forth, you will always get these type of results.
But I thought probably that we were going to broaden the discussion and try to give a little more power to the MAG, to be able to more efficiently and decisively prepare meetings. Thank you.
>>MARKUS KUMMER: Thank you for this, and I certainly would agree that this is well within the remit of this group to discuss precisely this kind of suggestion.
And my point was to understand where we are now. It's not possible, without looking back and recalling the history of the MAG and where we came from.
And, yes, we do not have any terms of reference. And the reason for this is because it was always hobbling on a very wobbly compromise from year to year, where the lowest common denominator was the Secretary-General extending the mandate for another year to ask the MAG to assist him in preparing the program of the meeting, and we kept this fiction in a way that the -- everything is linked to the Secretary-General. It's his program.
And of course this is a fiction. It's not that the Secretary-General sits down and says, "Okay, now, this work belongs there and goes there" and so on, but it is does in the name of the authority of the Secretary-General. And George asked a very valid and relevant question, whether we as a group may not suggest that the Secretary-General should empower the MAG or call it something else.
I think Vincenzo referred to as a de facto bureau. The reason why it's slightly different from normal bureaus is because it is multistakeholder and I think several speakers pointed out the difficulty, actually, of constituting that kind of body from different stakeholder groups.
But we are here in a brainstorming moment and nothing prevents us to make very constructive and innovative proposals.
Some of the -- Jeanette also looked back at the history and explained a bit why some of the meetings are actually not open.
For instance, at the beginning, we were fairly open to observers, but then it was a general feeling that that gave a predominant role to Geneva-based people, as people who come from all over the world were then suddenly dominated by usually people from missions in Geneva.
Then it was decided to have a more closed space for MAG members to discuss, and it was actually also government representatives were happier if their mission colleagues were not in the room, because for the very same reason Jeanette mentioned, a closed meeting allows for freer exchange of discussion.
Also, some of the earlier meetings -- we had lengthy discussions on who should sit on the panel or not, and once you discuss people, why this person might be better than another, then it gets rather delicate and people are more comfortable with having this kind of discussion in a closed space.
So this has -- also goes back to the Working Group on Internet Governance, where we had this alternation between closed meetings and open meetings, but it was always felt necessary, if there is a closed meeting, to have a back-to-back open exchange with the wider community.
Now, we may well think this may not be necessary anymore, as I think on the whole the community is a little bit more relaxed, they're a little bit less suspicious. We spend less time in selecting panelists in a MAG type of setting. We leave that more to issue groups.
I think in the past year, we would not have lost much having had open meetings.
The point was made that our anonymous digests are up too late. Point well taken, but again, this is something that has to do also with human resources and capacity.
We cannot do everything at the same time.
Tomorrow for the first time, we will have transcription. We will discuss that at the MAG meeting, how to handle that. We will still operate under Chatham House Rules, with observers being present but we can improve on that. And I think one -- maybe one constructive approach would actually be to maybe focus on terms of reference for the MAG -- what should the terms of reference for the MAG be -- and come out with that as a very concrete output: "This is how people who have been associated with this work for the past five years would recommend terms of reference." This could be one suggestion.
Yes, and the size of the MAG is, again -- I mean, I refer to the summary report of last May's MAG meeting, but that has also been with us from the beginning, and again, I recall there were those who wanted a small program, small efficient program committee of a dozen people or so, and then there were those who wanted to replicate the WSIS mechanism of three separate bureaus and the compromise was to put it all together and to give it the task of working de facto as a program committee. But the innovation, as compared for WSIS, was that the stakeholders did not meet separately, but they meet together under the same roof at the same table, and I think this has worked extremely well, and I think it was a collective learning experience. I heard so from many colleagues.
Government representatives learned a lot about technical details of the Internet, and I heard from other stakeholder representatives they learned a lot from their government colleagues on the diplomatic behavior, diplomatic -- de facto diplomatic negotiations in preparing the program, and as an end result, I think we are all much more comfortable with each other in discussing these issues.
And some of these issues have been extremely sensitive some seven years back. And now, I quoted Jeannette after the critical Internet resources when you as a co-moderator said this is almost boring, a meeting when -- when was it? Three or four years ago people thought the world would be in danger if we actually discussed this issue.
I mean, this was, I think, a very good example of moving forward together in this multistakeholder setting.
>>JEANETTE HOFMANN: (Off microphone). I just said it was boring.
>>MARKUS KUMMER: (Laughing) You go even further than I do. Okay.
There are certain broad parameters we would have to discuss. For instance, do we want to give up the Chatham House Rule or not for the future of the MAG? This is something clearly to reflect upon. Or do we want to maintain a space for confidential exchanges?
I'm not sure yet whether everybody would be ready or happy to give up space for confidential discussions if necessary, but we can also think about reducing the space to the -- really to the minimum necessary and to adopt a policy of, if in doubt, be as open as possible.
On the size, a lot has been said. Balance is very much like beauty. It lies in the eyes of the beholder, but it's no coincidence that we ended up where we are because governments said in order to establish subregional balance, they need at least four members in the group, or we ended up then with four plus the host country from each region. That already gives a fairly big group. And then if then the other stakeholder groups ask for exactly the same representation, then we multiply by that many more.
But I would agree with Jeanette that the size in the end, de facto, doesn't really matter that much as the bigger the group is, then you end up also with a number of people who are less active.
It may look unwieldy on paper, but it's -- in practical terms, it did not make that much of a difference.
We have tried over the years to improve gender balance, to increase participation of developing countries in the MAG, but compared to other bodies -- for instance, the intergovernmental panel on climate change -- we are not that, should we say, too bad in terms of having developing country participation.
We have to recognize the fact that much of the expertise is in the countries that have developed the Internet, but we have been, I think, fairly successful in identifying expertise in developing countries, also in the other stakeholder groups.
Governments are relatively easy to establish the balance this. You just go through the process with the regional coordinators. With the other stakeholder groups, it gets a little bit more complicated as they have to find people from developing countries within their stakeholder groups. I mean people like our colleague Waudo Siganga and Kenya. It's great to have him on board. Zahid has not been able to come this time. I think he had some health problem.
It is not always that obvious. It is not always that easy to find people who have the time, then, to liberate themselves for this kind of task.
But several speakers I think also the notion of Nominating Committee that came up in several of the written contributions, and it came up also this afternoon, that there needs to be some kind of mechanism where you actually can look at the proposals that come from the different stakeholder groups. You also need to be able to balance a little bit the different regions. If you just leave it to each stakeholder groups to say this is our representative, you may then end up with having, let's say, three West Africans and nobody from East Africa or nobody from southern Africa. So you need some kind of a central -- call it mechanism, whatever it is, that looks at the various proposals in order to establish also a balance. You don't want to have, for instance, one stakeholder group represented all by people from Latin America; civil society or Latin America business or from Africa. You need to mix this a bit, and you cannot leave that just to an automatic type of process.
Yes, these are my preliminary remarks on this, and I can't -- Carlos, I think. You have asked for the floor as well? Yes. Please.
>>JUAN CARLOS SOLINES MORENO: Hello. Can you hear me?
My name is Juan Carlos Solines Moreno from Ecuador. I belong to the private sector of Latin America as well as the Academy, but closely following what civil society of the region is doing in connection with Internet governance.
I would like to adhere to the views and remarks expressed by the ICC and its BASIS initiative as well as some of the comments made by APC in connection with some important issues related time given to regional discussions and outcomes and other important issues.
We are at the end of a cycle that left many useful lessons on a newly created form of global interaction around key issues for innovation and development.
I would like to comment particularly on one of the issues raised by the newly appointed member of the board of ICANN, Bertrand De La Chapelle, regarding participation of developing countries in general, and particularly in governments.
In fact, as I previously mentioned, there is no doubt that ICT in general, and Internet in particular, are one of the four pillars for innovation in the next 20 years, along with biotechnology, neuroscience and nano technology. Unfortunately, I think this has neither been acknowledged nor internalized yet by most developing countries.
Basic human rights, access to basic services, food, health and education are still issues that monopolize the attention of developing countries that have to deal not only with the actual problems around those issues but with scarce human and financial resources to cover the different forums and discussions even here in Geneva, as a reaction to what Bertrand has said.
I recently met a member of a developing country mission here in Geneva and found out that she was covering human rights, refugees, disarmament, rights of the C and ICT, including Internet governance.
However, what really concerns me more is the decreasing representation of governments from developing countries, particularly from my region beyond what statistics and charts may say. With the exception of Brazil, Latin American governments have been very modest participation in the last two IGFs. Even traditional ICT champions in the region such as the Dominican Republic, Mexico, Peru, Chile, and even my own country, Ecuador, have been almost absent from the last two IGFs.
Somehow, that also applies to private sector and civil society from the region.
It is true that some global organizations from private sector and civil society may bring some views and perspectives from developing countries, but a substantive effort should be made to engage key players from the three sectors within the regions.
I have knowledge that initiatives like DiploFoundation's is creating awareness in developing capacities, but it is very far from addressing the problem of engagement and a balanced participation.
IGF seems like it is improving on remote participation through certain enthusiastic persons in selected countries; yet it seems like it is losing in relevant and informed participation. Therefore, discussions on how to select MAG members or how to rotate them, in my view, is less important than stimulate and develop a solid human base of individuals from the three sectors from all regions that can assume the challenge of actively joining the IGF process and improve it in the way forward.
We also should acknowledge that politics play an important role not only in terms of speakers in open and closing ceremonies, as Markus Kummer mentioned, but also in terms of MAG composition, topics to be covered, emerging issues, including reaching this fine balance among actors.
In that respect, we should ask ourselves to what extent the role of IGF Secretariat has been key in the successful outcomes of IGF that have been pointed out.
This has not been for free, and how can adversely affect any change in the structure of leadership and coordination of the IGF?
Another key players are the regional IGF groups. Unfortunately, in Latin America there is still a very small and select group of organizations that have been participating in regional discussions and that have not been very successful in engaging and incorporating neither governments nor private sector or civil society organizations from the region. I would say that the region is represented by a very exclusive and capable club of organizations, some of them international, but we see how Internet governance as a critical topic for the world and, therefore, for the region is losing importance to the extent that Working Group on Internet Governance is being eliminated from the regional strategy on ICT called eLAC.
The chicken and the egg dilemma, what is first? Should the global IGF process, through discussions like this one, and concrete actions and strategy focus on engagement of developing countries governments, private sector organizations and local civil society organizations? Should we wait for regional IGF to create awareness in their own regions in order to develop an informed interest and a solid base of candidates to join the different instances of IGF, mainly the MAG? Are the parallel initiatives and discussions within the ITU and CSTD helping to create awareness among governments or are they burning up the little attention and resources that developing countries governments are allocating for Internet governance?
The role of media is, in fact, not desirable in order to continue with an ongoing work as Wolfgang Kleinw�chter suggested, or should we look in media as a vehicle to create more awareness and develop interest?
Are some of us old and recurrent participants of this process becoming an obstacle for the emergence of new participants that can successfully continue with the process?
Isn't the interest of global civil society organizations that have been playing a leading role in the process to give up some spaces of representation in favor of new, emerging and sometimes regional organizations?
I think these are basic questions that we should address in order to discuss in an informed way the new composition, the rotation of such a critical space like the Multistakeholder Advisory Group.
Thank you, Mr. Chair.
>>MARKUS KUMMER: Is thank you very much, Juan Carlos. Finland, you asked for the floor.
>>FINLAND: Thank you. I am Mervi Kultamaa from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Finland.
I would like to support what you have said, Mr. Chairman. Finland didn't submit its comments, but we have the impression that the MAG has succeeded rather well in its tasks, and it's greatly thanks to its work that the IGF has been able to mature and improve itself over the years.
And based on this discussion, it sounds like we should clarify MAG's role and tasks and draft a T.O.R. But it would be difficult to see any other option than to maintain the MAG as a multistakeholder preparatory tool for the IGF meetings.
We understand the justification for closed meetings, but if, even after deep deliberations and explications there is still criticism on the closeness, then in the name of transparency, we would support the MAG to be open to observers or have its Webcasts.
Since we are not really a member of the MAG, we would welcome the MAG itself to be at the driver's seat in suggesting its own improvements. And, therefore, we look forward to listening to its discussions tomorrow.
>>MARKUS KUMMER: Thank you very much.
Is there no other comments right now?
Oh, yes, there is.
>>INTERNATIONAL DIPLOMATIC ACADEMY: Thank you, and apologies for taking the floor again. This is Bertrand De La Chapelle from the International Diplomatic Academy.
Very quickly, first when we talk about representation, we should always keep in mind that it is representation of the diversity of viewpoints that counts. And that we will -- we should always make sure that irrespective of who composes a group, we always take great care to make sure that all the different viewpoints are being taken into account.
The second thing is the main value of the IGF has been its self-organizing nature. And in this respect it is extremely valuable that the MAG and even the people who participate in these open consultations do contribute to the constant evolution of the functioning.
Third, regarding the closeness of the MAG discussions, I would strongly support what our chairman said today regarding the fact that maybe now that people are more comfortable with the interaction and the type of discussions, the need for having meetings closed is probably less stringent than it was at the beginning. And I would make an analogy with what happened in the Governmental Advisory Committee of ICANN where discussions were extremely closed during a long period of time, and this triggered a lot of misunderstanding about why the discussions were going in one direction or the other, and even anxiety about what was being discussed. And when the GAC moved towards having open meetings, a lot of the fears disappeared, and there are only a few meetings that on very specific topics can be maintained as close.
So maybe we could do the same here, and make the default open and maintaining the possibility on specific topics to have some kind of closed discussion, exceptionally.
Finally, one of the arguments that was raised, which is very valuable, is that closed discussions were sometimes useful for discussing panelists or the choice of speakers or things like that. As we have moved more and more towards open panels or open discussions for the main sessions, this element is less necessary, and actually in the last two IGFs, the composition of whatever panels has not really been the responsibility of the MAG only, but of a new intermediary format where some MAG members were actually steering a broader discussion with people who were knowledgeable in the topic to understand how the meeting or the main session could be organized.
So I think this further pushes in the direction of making the meetings open to observers, and, second, to have different ways to organize the critical element that we could discuss in the working group or the chair of the CSTD which is the articulation or stronger articulation between the workshops and the main sessions, which is one of the functions that the MAG could fulfill; in particular, by identifying subthemes that could be is put in between the main sessions and the workshops to aggregate the discussions in the workshop and feed into the main sessions.
>>MARKUS KUMMER: Thank you very much.
I think we have sort of wound up the -- was that Daniel right at the end? Yes, Daniel Dardier from W3C. Please.
>>W3C: I just want to make sure the MAG can have something to say about the way the dynamic coalitions are working, because thing there is too much sort of -- not enough relation between the dynamic coalition, each had different processes, different kind of bylaws in a sense. And the MAG doesn't really coordinate any of that. So I am not asking for the MAG to oversee the dynamic coalition work, but there is some discussion of the way the dynamic coalitions are working in the MAG for the future of the coalition work itself.
>>MARKUS KUMMER: Thank you for this.
Yes, this is definitely -- which has been a little bit half outside the MAG's remedies. The dynamic coalitions are not part of the close-knit part of the annual meeting. They are sort of attached. And this is certainly one of the elements where we could discuss broadening the mandate when discussing the terms of reference.
The same also, the relationship with regional and national meetings.
If you have sort of finished this round, then I would suggest that we go also through the individual questions a little bit more in detail, but I see that Brazil asked for the floor.
>>BRAZIL: Thank you. Just a very brief and general comment.
Considering the document that was distributed today, take into account at least the footnote, I see that no governments have submitted comments. All the comments were submitted by civil society or private sector.
I believe in the future, governments will be -- will also participate and react to this document. I think this is a natural process, since the governments were very busy on debating the resolution in the General Assembly who was talking about the renewal of the mandate of the IGF and also the improvements that IGF should seek, at least in the perspective of its mandate defined in the Tunis Agenda to which we have to be restricted, we have to follow.
So just to have, for the record, that I believe governments would be able to react in a constructive way, in the appropriate forum about these comments.
>>MARKUS KUMMER: Thank you very much.
They certainly will be most welcome. But this also brings me a little bit back to one of the suggestions made by Anriette from APC on having more virtual work.
My experience in the past is governments are a little bit more reluctant in participating in online processes. Government processes are somewhat different from the processes of other stakeholders, and they usually need more time for internal coordination, which makes it more difficult for them to react quickly.
In this particular case, it may well be that governments were more focused on the intergovernmental processes, both in the General Assembly and in the CSTD. But it certainly will be most welcome to have more governmental groups.
I think we, by and large, have exhausted the question 1.
Wonder whether we could briefly look at the other questions.
Well, we have touched, I think, on all of them on how best to nominate nongovernmental members for the MAG. And the way it was formulated that way was the governmental members, there we have established procedures and established processes.
Here we have listed some of the proposals made, but my general feeling is that there is a notion, a feeling that we should move towards having a kind of Nominating Committee process in whatever form that may take.
I also wonder, we have several people here in the room who have been extremely involved in Nominating Committee process. I recognize Wolfgang, a former chair of the ICANN NomCom. I wonder whether you would like to comment on this, to maybe make suggestions drawn on your experience as a chairman of a Nominating Committee. But I don't want to force you to say anything if you are not ready to say anything. It's really up to you.
Maybe there are other people in the room who -- Sorry? Who asked for the floor? Andrey Shcherbovich asked for the floor.
And Izumi and (saying name).
>>ANDREY SHCHERBOVICH: It is a couple of words about the online processes.
As you're absolutely right concerning the governments will not move online in any kind of meetings. That's the first point. Because -- Because no formal procedures and no formal decisions could be made online.
And so online base should be kind of supplementary.
Assisting the normal meetings. But normal meetings should be -- and normal procedures should be observed.
Thank you. Just a short comment.
>>MARKUS KUMMER: We have -- who was that? IGC? Izumi first and then....
>>IGC: Thank you, Chair. Izumi Aizu again on behalf of the IGC, the Civil Society Internet Governance Caucus.
Yes, we have submitted the alternative approach to the black box exercise to date.
We'd like to have the real bottom-up selection process driven by the stakeholder groups, subject to appropriate criteria to ensure regional and gender and maybe other diversity balance viewpoints.
For the implementation, we have several different options, and it's been sort of debated. These include the reestablishment of a civil society wider umbrella group, such as we used to have at the WSIS civil society plenary, and led this body to form a NomCom or selection function.
The second approach is the use of an independent Nominating Committee. We can debate independent from which one, but it's independent.
The third one is that as the Internet Governance Caucus ourselves can take such assignment, perhaps with some like-minded other groups together to work to form a NomCom function. We have been is exercising in the NomCom within our own caucus which sort of selected the candidates for the CSTD working group, and we are preparing for the nomination. Well, two of the other selection process this time of the MAG, but we -- if so happens that we can take a further responsibility on behalf of the civil society.
Thank you, Chair.
>>MARKUS KUMMER: Thank you. ICC/BASIS.
>>ICC/BASIS: Thank you. Once again, reiterating some of the points made in the written submission, we do think that a nomination model can be a helpful way to evolve the MAG process. However, we also agree with the comments about transparency. And to some extent we think this should be built on the existing stakeholder groups. And as part of that we support including the technical community as a distinct stakeholder group that should be represented. But the idea is that, for example, the business community is in the best position to assess and determine how to evaluate nominations within that community. So there should be some self-determination aspect to the process. However, having a group much trusted representatives be part of the nominating process, we do think could add value.
Also, I think at the end of the process it's important to have a linkage to the IGF Executive Coordinator and ultimately have the U.N. Secretary-General sign off on the MAG members as happens today so that you have the recognition from that level within the U.N. ultimately in the process.
But we do think that the nomination could be a way to help effectuate the selection process.
>>MARKUS KUMMER: Egypt.
>>EGYPT: Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I have many comments on the content of this part, but I am going to summarize them into one. And before making this comment, I wish to note that I still have no clue with regard to the destination of this report, whether it is going to be transmitted as is to the U.N. Secretary-General or it would be coupled with the points made here.
However, I wish to note here our strong objection to have a selection committee of nongovernmental stakeholders to select their counterparts, to select nongovernmental stakeholders. I truly believe there should be a criteria for nomination to the membership. This criteria should be based on relevance and competence. I do understand that. But to reach up to the limit of having a selection committee that would control the selection or would decide on behalf of others who should be there, we strongly object to that.
Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
>>MARKUS KUMMER: May I follow-up on the question? How then would you see the selection? Who should make the selection?
>>EGYPT: I still have -- thank you, Mr. Chairman. I still have nothing concrete in my mind, but definitely we can work out a mechanism for that.
Again, it is an issue to be debated here and debated in -- in -- within the context of the CSTD.
I just wanted to note in your report, if you are going to send the report to the Secretary-General, that Egypt objects to this strongly. We do not see that anyone can enjoy a supreme position over the others and have the right to select his colleague or his -- to select a member within the same group. We cannot act as countries, Mr. Chairman, to select others. As governments, we select other governments, we cannot select other stakeholders. We don't have the right to say, "That stakeholder is eligible to be a member" or not. And we cannot give this right to a stakeholder. Thank you.
>>MARKUS KUMMER: Thank you. That was helpful explanation, but I am not sure whether there was not a misunderstanding. In this case, we clearly don't talk about governmental members. That would follow a governmental track, with usual coordination with regional coordinators. But here we assess the problem on how to select the nongovernmental members as there's no established mechanism for this kind of selection, and these are proposals on how to establish such a mechanism from within each stakeholder group, but governments would not be involved in that particular selection.
This would be more of a bottom-up process from within each stakeholder group.
And to your concrete question, we are not going to write a report of the consultations. They are available verbatim on our Web site, but the discussions we have will feed into the discussions we have tomorrow in the MAG, and out of that we will produce a summary report as we always do, and that report will go to the Secretary-General through the channels in New York. And one element we will discuss is whether I should formally address it to the colleagues of the CSTD Secretariat as an input into the deliberations of the CSTD working group on the IGF, but I don't want to prejudge this discussion.
It also depends on the quality of the report that comes out of tomorrow's meeting. I hope it will be a good report and hope we'll have a good discussion. But that's a brief reaction to your intervention.
>>GREECE: Thank you. I think my Egyptian colleague merely pointed out some of the flaws that on any selection process other than elections, any way you look at it there is going to be subjective criteria, there's going to be a committee, there's going to be a group, and I was wondering whether this -- nobody ever mentioned that I think e-democracy has improved a lot, and whether we can hold elections with the qualifications on-line.
I don't know whether any models exist, but that's one possibility that will be fair to everyone.
In addition to that, if I could talk about the same situation may appear in governmental situations where you have a certain number of slates in the MAG and the number of candidates which will be available will exceed this number.
In other words, there may be, say, five from the western group and you have eight candidates. Then who selects, among the eight, who are the five?
So this is also another issue that may come up with governmental selections as well. Thank you.
>>MARKUS KUMMER: A brief comment on your last remark.
Actually, regional coordinators in the past, since 2006, were never able to come up with a clean slate. They always had one or two more and they said, "We leave it to the Secretary-General, in his wisdom, to make a selection."
But that's just as a part of the history but Wolfgang wanted to come in and also Bertrand.
>>WOLFGANG KLEINW�CHTER: Thank you, Mr. Chair.
I think we should really not confuse the selection of members of a future MAG from the governments and from the nongovernmental groups. I think those are two different issues and different procedures.
You know, when George proposes elections, then let's go back to the history of ICANN.
ICANN started with elections. They wanted to elect nine directors for the board, and it ended up with global elections and the result was, "Oh, God, this pulls us into a very complicated mess. Who will vote for that?" At the end, 2 billion people would have a voice and, you know, how are we going to organize this?
And they then substituted the election process with a selection process and created a nomination committee, which tries -- is rather fair because it tries to bring the best people to the various leading positions of ICANN. I chaired the nomination committee last year, and I think it's a very democratic procedure under the condition that you have the right people in the nomination committee. So that means if you go via the establishment of a nomination committee and give the nomination committee a mandate to select people for the future MAG, then you have to have a procedure in place how to compose the nomination committee. And this is rather important.
And here you have to identify the key stakeholders in the ICANN context. It's that the main constituencies in ICANN can send a voting member to the nomination committee.
The chair of the nomination committee has no vote, because he steers the debate. That means the people that are involved in the process, they vote for their representatives in the leading bodies of ICANN. And I could imagine that such a procedure could be developed that the various civil society organizations are involved in the IGF and the various private organizations, you know, more or less sort of figure out that, say, you know, have five seats in the nomination committee and then they send people to the nomination committee and this group of 10, probably the chair can be nominated by the Secretary-General of the United Nations because this is an important function.
So -- and then this group of 11 could, you know, take applications, statements of interest, and then figure out the best people for the MAG.
I think such a procedure can be developed. This would be a new, a creative procedure, but would make sure that you really bring the best people to the process, because here again, quality matters first.
If you move forward through the next five years, the challenge for this new group will be enormous and they have to be a lot of content-related work, and so what you need in such a MAG is people who have the knowledge, the expertise, the courage and also the reputation that they can do this work for the next five years.
This is not a group for five years just waiting and doing some -- some day-to-day business. This is very challenging, and for this job you need the best people in the world. Thank you.
>>MARKUS KUMMER: Thank you for that, and also for sharing your experience.
>>INTERNATIONAL DIPLOMATIC ACADEMY: Yeah. I think we -- we're getting into -- into the various options and it's -- it may be a little bit premature.
However, it's interesting to consider that in those issues we always can explore a whole range of options, and clearly there are many possible options that we will not explore here today, but we should keep the mind open because we have to invent something here.
Not necessarily fall back on existing methods, combining some existing components, drawing lessons from other processes.
Fundamentally, there are two extremes, almost, where on one extreme you would have individual candidates that just put their names up, including governments, maybe, and then the Secretary-General is completely picking and composing the group. That's a possibility.
It has many flaws.
The other extreme is, you could even go into imagining that there is a nominating committee that actually handles all the stakeholder groups, including governments, and the nominating committee would have governments and other stakeholders inside and would make a slate with the different components.
It is premature. It is impossible to implement that, probably, at that stage. And I do not even know if it is the right approach.
But conceptually, it is not impossible.
In between, we have something that more or less builds upon informal constituencies. Some are formal. The governmental part, I fully agree with you, is clearly identified, and basically there are procedures within each group to propose a certain number -- even if, as you said, they move sometimes beyond the number -- however, for the other constituencies, there is a fundamental principle of democratic participation, that it is the community itself that has a major responsibility in defining who is going to represent the community.
And so in this respect, I find it a little bit strange to consider that the civil society group or the private sector group or even the technical community, however we define it, do not -- would not have the main say in proposing and selecting the actors they believe should be part of the MAG.
That said, I do understand -- if I try to fully hear what has been suggested before, I do understand that there can be a fear that some actors who are not appropriate, not relevant, or dangerous, or whatever, are being selected by a process that nobody controls.
Then the question is a mechanism of -- how do you build a mechanism of initiation and validation.
Today, this is what we have. What we have in the informal procedure is that there is a bottom-up suggestion that we have a certain number of names, including from civil society and the private sector, that have been selected through internal processes in civil society and the private sector that are proposed as a slate and there remains a modus of balancing for the Secretary-General.
But as far as my experience is concerned, I do not think that the Secretary-General actually picked or introduced in the MAG itself people who were absolutely out of that slate before. It was more a picking among the proposals a portion of them. But not completely going out of the slates that had been proposed.
So we need to find a mechanism whereby the interested parties have a major say in defining who is going to be part of the MAG, and if there are safeguard mechanisms that can be put in place afterwards, maybe this can be explored, but it is a safeguard mechanism.
It -- the fundamental principle is the responsibility of the interested stakeholders.
And finally, before I forget, I wanted to take the opportunity of the presence of the representative of DESA.
As I said earlier in my interventions, we may discuss as much as we want how we will improve the MAG in the future, but this will only be applicable for the 2012 MAG. There's no way we can produce something that will be implemented this year. So my question is: Given the fact that we have an ongoing process that has worked in the last five years, there is a basis. We're not starting from scratch. How do you envisage the next steps, and given that there is more than a great likelihood that the IGF will be re-conducted, what would prevent the launch of a call for members of the MAG as soon as the decision has been made to continue the -- the IGF, and likewise, the position that Nitin Desai had before was to be the chair of the MAG, irrespective of the evolution of the Secretariat which is different, what is the thinking inside the Secretariat of the U.N. regarding the designation of the chair.
It is something that will have to be done for the 2011 meeting, irrespective of the procedures that we find in the working group of the chair of the CSTD, so we would be very interested in having your feedback on that. Thank you.
>>MARKUS KUMMER: I suggest listening to all of those who ask for the floor and then maybe give you an opportunity to give a roundup, but just once more, to comment, Mr. Desai is still the chair of the MAG and he has indicated his readiness to chair the meeting in February if we have a meeting in February.
Brazil, then Daniel Dardailler, Andrey and Emily. Brazil, please.
>>BRAZIL: Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
This is a very complicated issue, and I've been studying for my participation here. I've been reading the notes of Brazilian diplomacy regarding this similar discussion that goes back to 2006 and I see many -- many of the questions remain the same.
So -- but it is very interesting, and I think brainstorming is a very important exercise on that.
As Brazilian representative, I still don't have -- so far, I don't have a position on that. We have to consult -- do further consultations. But as a matter of brainstorming, we welcome the discussion.
I see that there are many suggestions, not only the idea of a nominating committee. There are other suggestions on the table. This is nice.
I would like also to point three basic ideas.
The idea is that the black box scenario is really -- seems to be the worst one, so we have to think on alternatives to that.
And I'd like to recall two ideas presented by other colleagues today.
The first one, the idea of representation by the diversity of viewpoints. I think this is an important issue we have to consider, whatever the mechanism is.
And the second one was a -- a concern we have to take into consideration that was mentioned about if -- let me see if I'm clear. The concern of existing small and selective groups dominating the discussions. The same people all the times.
This was mentioned regarding the process in Latin America. I'm not sure if I agree with this comment regarding Latin America specifically. There, I saw a very diversity of points of view. It was much more than sometimes I see here in the MAG.
But anyway, I think this -- the small and selective groups is a problem that is within the representation -- the discussion of Internet government -- Internet governance worldwide, so we have to take this into consideration in order -- when we think about a future mechanism. Thank you.
>>MARKUS KUMMER: Thank you very much. And can we have Daniel Dardailler from the W3C?
>>W3C: Yeah. So my understanding of what the person from Egypt said was that he doesn't want to see two levels of nomination, in a sense. That the MAG is formed by people that have the responsibility for sending people.
And what I'm looking at today is not this model, because we've been selected by the Secretary-General, but in a sense a couple of years ago I asked you, Markus, if there was any way that I could be replaced in my capacity of, you know, representing Web standards, W3C, and we talked, you know, it wasn't clear the way it was going to work, but overall I think, you know, what's important is that W3C is represented and maybe there are too many people that ISOC or, you know, IETF represent W3C because we do Web standard and are part of the Internet standard, but to me the fact that, you know, a person from Egypt can change from one meeting to the other wouldn't be a problem. You know, it's important that Egypt is represented like it's important that W3C is represented.
But the person behind those capacity is less important, I think.
>>MARKUS KUMMER: Thank you for this comment.
You asked for the floor, Andrey. Okay.
>>ANDREY SHCHERBOVICH: Okay. I think that -- just two words.
I think that we should have special consultations on a reform of procedure of the nomination. But I think that we need to make this procedure real democratic and still maybe the first variant. Make a new procedure of multi-steps, with the final step maybe on the assembly of the -- or maybe of the other is the first variant.
The second variant is to make different alternatives to nominate partly. One-third, one-third, one-third.
For example, one-third for a special NomCom, nomination committee, one-third to the Secretary-General of the United Nations and one-third to someone else. To the IGF maybe assembly. To make this procedure real democratic with representation of different stakeholder groups. Thank you.
>>MARKUS KUMMER: Thank you. And we also have Emily. You asked for the floor. Emily, please.
>>EMILY TAYLOR: Thank you, Chair.
Yes, I'd just like to join in this brainstorming mode on selection of the MAG. And like Jeanette, I'm one of those MAG members who has been on since the beginning and I would expect to be rotated off in some -- in the fullness of time.
We've had various suggestions from the floor, including George's suggestion for elections, and we've heard Wolfgang's reflections from the nominating committee as well as the -- you know, the default fallback on the black box.
Now, on democratic elections, it sounds intuitively the right thing to do, but from experiencing elections in this community, my reflection is that democratic elections are predicated on, one, a reasonably high level of engagement by the electorate; two, a reasonably good understanding of the issues and how they impact on them.
So for example, in an ordinarily democratic election, I would expect people to understand why health and education and even having their garbage collected impacts on their lives. But I'm yet to be convinced that people at large have the same understanding of how Internet governance and the institutions of Internet governance impact on their daily lives.
But also, where you have this higher level of engagement, you also have the rich debate hustings which reveals candidates' strengths and weaknesses and their suitability for the role.
Where you have a low level of engagement by the few, you don't have that sort of democratic engagement and the -- and the candidates are not forced to reveal their strengths and weaknesses.
So I think that we have to accept that whereas with a democratic election which should be our goal in the fullness of time, you will get a guaranteed representativeness, you will not, at this current time, in my view, get a guaranteed competence.
So I think that, you know, in the -- the broad choices that we have, black box being the least acceptable, democratic elections being perhaps our goal in the future, I think a nominations committee is sounding like the imperfect but probably the best practical solution, because as Wolfgang describes, it involves identifying who are the relevant stakeholder groups who have the interest, and I think that having that element of peer review by the relevant stakeholders would be an improvement on what we have now. Thanks.
>>MARKUS KUMMER: Thank you very much.
I think we also have a remote -- oh, Izumi again and we have a remote from David Allen we can read out. But first Izumi and then Greece and then we listen to what David Allen has to say.
>>IZUMI AIZU: Thank you, chair. This time I'm not wearing the hat of the civil society, IGC, but just speaking for myself. Because I was directly involved with the election of ICANN's first global one, we -- we designed the election.
First of all, it was cost. For any sort of reliable global election, how do you confirm the identity of the voters. We have the registration system. We imagine that for ICANN maybe only 1,000 from each continent would like to become the member of at-large and would like to vote. So 5,000 from 5 regions. And we argued should we impose a membership or not. And I really defended interests of developing country folks on the average sort of -- I mean, income is sometimes a hundred dollars or less a month, and charging $20 a year is almost prohibiting to some, and so we designed a system to have 5,000 registrations and it turned out after all the campaigns, 140,000 registered.
Of which, half of them are from my country, Japan. Our government was afraid of our national interests being taken over by our neighboring countries because it's done on a regional basis. Only one from Asia-Pacific, so we should have to compete with Korea or China.
So it became a numbers game.
And I didn't want to go too much on this, but in the end there are some other countries not in Asia-Pacific where the citizens really want it to become the netizens of the globe or some industrial or other national interests also prevailed, and after review, we couldn't really find a mutual sort of, you know, more rational ways to organize a global campaign. Also, there was no real code of conduct or systems globally applicable, too, at that moment.
For the NomCom, I've been just following the ICANN model to some extent. ICANN spends not too much money but still they have to support a good face-to-face meetings of staff, so to have any global election, we need to think of the associated costs it may impose. And also, are we going to select politicians for the global election or are we going to select the working people. That gives different ideas about election, perhaps. What is the fair election for selecting MAG may not be equal to how -- what's a fair selection process for selecting the representatives of each country or each civil society groups, so we have to sort of reflect on that.
So at the civil society caucus, I also was involved in the first recommendation of the members to the WGIG. It was about five people who just discussed mostly on line. We didn't spend too much money. We did spend a good amount of money-I mean, time, not money. So there are different ways to fit with. So that's sort of my suggestions. Thank you, chair.
>>MARKUS KUMMER: Thank you. Oh, yeah. Greece, yes, please.
>>GREECE: Just a quick response to Emily's arguments. I fully agree with the first part of the statement. However, as far as the candidates having full knowledge of the subject, we have to dismiss half the world's politicians, if that were the case, so thank you.
>>MARKUS KUMMER: Thank you. Kyle, can you read out David Allen's contribution? He's a regular, faithful remote participant who sends his remarks from Harvard. Please.
>>DAVID ALLEN: Okay. Yes, "competent" is pivotal, so an elected representative of civil society and the private sector can vet and then appoint appropriate people, as is typical with governments. The symmetry between selection of government representatives and nongovernmental representatives reveals a larger difficulty. Namely, what is the basis for legitimacy of selections that come from a select group such as a nominating committee. Regardless of claims otherwise, such as picking the best people, nominating committees have a view. In the end, a bias.
Elections are a terrible process. This mangles Churchill's (inaudible) observation, but to finish his observation, it is the best we have now.
>>MARKUS KUMMER: Thank you.
We don't seem to have any -- oh, yes, we do. Yes, we do.
>>CANADA: Thank you very much, Chair. Again, this is Heather Dryden, speaking on behalf of the Canadian government.
Just touching upon one of the points made about parliamentarians participating in the MAG, and building on some of the comments that were made earlier today regarding the IGF more broadly.
I just wanted to introduce maybe a different kind of point, and that there is a role for governments, certainly, in this context. And if governments would orient themselves more towards pledging towards the global Internet community, including present and future Internet users, regarding the expansion of the benefits of the Information Society consistent with the purposes of the WSIS could be a great deal of benefit to this.
For example, governments could pledge to take no action that threatens the stability and security of the Internet and call on other stakeholders to do the same.
And I think in light of the discussions taking place in the General Assembly presently, this is a useful way for governments to look at their role as being a part of that Information Society.
Thank you, chairman.
>>MARKUS KUMMER: Thank you, Canada.
Yes, please, Desiree.
>>DESIREE MILOSHEVIC: Thank you, Mr. Chair.
I would like to add a couple of comments as well with regards to the work of appointing MAG and its work.
I've got some limited experience with successfully being rolled from the special advisory group after three years, so it was a successful replacement. But after having also some experience of working with the ICANN NomCom and the ISOC chair of the NomCom, I would say that it is important that whatever the new form of the nomination takes place or grows into, and I would have to state that the black box, although it worked in mysterious way, has represented some very good results, and the results of the MAG have also successfully created the good IGFs that we have all experienced.
So my comment would be that it would be essential, no matter how many future MAG members you'd have to replace, that there is some kind of expertise that stays within that new group from the current MAG members that have had the experience of working throughout this period. And so my humble recommendation would be to really look carefully into maintaining the role of Secretariat, adopting some of the new ways, maybe, that the ICC have suggested, and to make and keep the balance that was in the group that has kept the balance and provided a diversity of views and diversity of participants both from developing countries and developed countries, the technical community, academia, and the civil society.
And obviously since I speak on behalf of Afilias and private sector, I would say that both private sector could organize themselves and it would be good that we see some small businesses also be part of the next MAG as well as the previous colleague suggested.
>>MARKUS KUMMER: Thank you.
I'm just looking at my watch, and I see we are slowly but steadily running out of time, and we have not actually looked at some of the other questions.
We don't need to go through all of the questions right now, but if anybody has an urgent need to address one of them, I mean, I read them out. How best to nominate the MAG chair, how best to organize open consultations, how best to link with regional meetings, and how best to link with international processes and institutions.
I think some of these we have already kind of touched on.
On the MAG chair, are there any particular suggestions that have not been relayed to? I mean, as I said, for the time being, we still have a MAG chair. That is Mr. Desai who, at the same time, happens to be the special advisor to the Secretary-General on Internet governance. But these functions do not necessarily need to be combined.
And there is also sometimes confusion that people refer to Mr. Desai as the IGF chair, which is, strictly speaking, not correct. The IGF chair is always the host country, starting from Greece in 2006 to Vilnius in 2010.
And that gives me a nice link to give the floor to Greece.
>>GREECE: Thank you.
As far as the Chair, we could follow a very similar process. Have nominations from the different constituencies or the different groups that make up the MAG, and then have the Secretary-General, in consultation with the members of those groups, as it usually happens -- usually he consults with governments, but here we have a larger constituency -- decide who this person is going to be.
But at least some individuals, some names would come forward from which probably he will or he would not choose. That I'm not sure as to what exactly, but at least there will be some candidates.
>>ICC/BASIS: Thank you, Chair. Ayesha Hassan speaking for ICC/BASIS.
First of all, we have expressed our support for Mr. Desai and his continuation in this role as MAG chair. He has had a tremendous ability to handle challenging situations and a diverse set of interests that have really been essential to the IGF's success. However, should there be a new MAG chair, we believe that a transition period for that person with Mr. Desai would not only be important but critical to ensure a smooth transition.
With regard to the selection of a future MAG chair, we believe to ensure qualifications for the unique role, qualified candidates should be selected by a mechanism led by the IGF Secretariat and the outgoing chair but in consultation with the community and named by the U.N. Secretary-General.
The idea of terms of reference and criteria put forward by APC in their written contribution should be considered. It would ensure there's clear criteria for candidates for this important position. We also found the idea of co-chairs to ensure a smooth transition as mentioned by APC and the Internet Society to be a useful way to shape a transition. We are concerned that an election process from the MAG members themselves would not provide candidates with the next experience or that meet the criteria that we believe are essential for a chair.
>>MARKUS KUMMER: Thank you very much.
>>EGYPT: Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Also we wish to associate ourselves the intervention made by ICC phrasing the role played by Mr. Desai, the chair of this process since the beginning. We think he played a very important role in this regard.
On the paragraphs mentioned in the report, I just don't see the argument of paragraph 21 with regard to the changes of the role of the chair; that is, to facilitate the MAG's effective operation as a de facto multistakeholder bureau for the IGF.
I wonder if the role of the chair is published by DESA or not. I don't recall that -- how the chair was selected by the U.N. Secretary-General in 2006 or 2005, whether his role was carefully defined or not. And I am saying this in order to propose the idea of having similar terms of reference for the chair.
My last point is also supporting the idea made by our Greek colleague on having a consultative process led by the U.N. Secretary-General taking into account that this is his prerogative right to appoint the chair, but he can, after five years of the establishment of the IGF, conduct it in a consultative manner with the stakeholders.
>>MARKUS KUMMER: Thank you. We really have to finish by 6:00. The interpreters have to stop then.
I can briefly basically confirm that when the Secretary-General asked Mr. Desai back in 2006, it was a continuation of his role. He was special advisor on WSIS, and then he asked him just to conduct this process; that there was -- again, like the MAG, it was always an extension of the role without ever establishing a terms of reference.
But I wonder whether at this stage you would like to comment, Vincenzo, and also address some of the concrete questions addressed to you, please.
>>VINCENZO AQUARO: Yes, thank you, Markus.
About this issue, it is still under the decision of the Secretary-General, so we don't know which process he will take for the nomination of the new chair.
About the first one, that is a new -- a very new issue, too, very interesting. But right now, because 2011 will be really a transition. So we are in a situation that we are waiting for the renew of the new IGF, and at the same time, we have already an agenda and we have the previous MAG.
Honestly, because it is something new, they are still working in New York. And because there is a legal aspect and also something that is much more concrete, not to stop the working the IGF.
So I want to check with -- there isn't by now a clear position on this.
So I will refer, I think, tomorrow, because I will have a conference call in half an hour.
>>MARKUS KUMMER: Thank you for this.
In French there's a saying, (speaking in French) and that may well be a solution to continue with what we have been doing for the past five years; that is, to wobble along with this MAG construct while we're waiting for a more sustainable structure being set up.
I wonder whether, with this, we can adjourn for the day.
I don't really have anything to add from my end. I think it was a very rich and interesting discussion, and our aim tomorrow will be to bring it into a more concrete shape so that at the end of the day, we will have a summary report we can submit back to New York which hopefully will have workable suggestions for the continuation of this process.
There is any other business, and on any other business I would briefly look forward to the calendar of next year's meeting. Our Kenyan friends have also looked with the facilities of the United Nations in Nairobi, and basically they propose the last week of September for the 2011 IGF meeting, which will be very much in line with what we had this year.
We have started the stock-taking process earlier than we had in previous years, so we could move into a next phase where we discuss substance, always under the assumption that the mandate be extended.
We have earlier circulated dates of 16 and 17 of February. Unfortunately, these dates will not work out for Mr. Desai and he suggested 23rd and 24th of February, and we would have facility here in Geneva. This will be the suggestion, always assuming the mandate will be extended.
And then we would have to look also at dates in May. And as the WSIS forum will be in Geneva from 16 to 20 May, it would be logical to look for facility on the preceding end of the week; that is, Thursday, Friday. That will be 12 and 13 of May, 2011, if my calculations are correct. Unless stakeholders prefer having it in parallel with WSIS forum, but based on past experience, I think it would be preferable to have it ahead of the WSIS forum, the preceding week. And we would have to look at another planning meeting which, based on what I generally felt was a good formula to have it again in an open setting sometime end of June or beginning of July.
Would this general calendar seem reasonable? If this seems to be the case, so we can start looking at facilities and at concrete dates for -- concrete slots along these dates.
With this, then, unless there are other remarks under "any other business," -- that doesn't seem to be the case. Then we can conclude today's consultations.
Are there other remarks? There are other remarks. Okay.
Is that civil society, it says there? That's Bill Drake. Please, Bill.
>>WILLIAM DRAKE: Thank you, Markus. It just occurred to us that given what you said earlier in the day about retiring in January that this is the last time you'll be chairing an open consultation for us. And we just wanted to say thank you for everything you have done for the past years to make this such an open and inclusive process for everybody. It's really been absolutely central to what the IGF is.
So thank you much for everything.
[ Applause ]
>>MARKUS KUMMER: Thank you very much.
Thank you very much.
A small word of correction. I will not be retiring. I will be withdrawing from my U.N. job because I cannot continue due to my advanced age, but I will look for other functions. And I think we will have the opportunity to meet again.
Thank you again.
And with this, I adjourn this meeting.
[ Applause ]