Hell freezes over, and in other news from the IGF Secretariat...

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Hell freezes over, and in other news from the IGF Secretariat...
User: terminus
Date: 11/10/2012 12:16 am
Views: 3832
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The IGF's Secretariat has always been one of the most regressive influences on its development. In a previous post I criticised Markus Kummer's part in this, but Nitin Desai was just as bad. Even before the IGF's first meeting, Desai had sounded the death knell for its capacity to conclude recommendations, claiming that "there's no way it can ever become a decision-making body".

Well, we are now in the IGF's post-Kummer/Desai age, and whilst their deputy Chengetai has been no better in many respects, he or someone else within the IGF Secretariat (they nearly always communicate anonymously) has now about-turned on Desai's prejudgment that no decisions would ever emanate from the IGF.

In an email sent today to the regional IGF organisers, the Secretariat asks them to meet to discuss and decide upon the appropriate criteria that regional initiatives should meet in the future, saying, "The aim of these discussions would be to reach consensus on the formalities that IGF initiatives are recommended to consider when formulating an IGF initiative" (emphasis added).

Admittedly, the regional IGF organisers are a smaller group than the IGF participants at large, but the difference of scale is just an engineering problem. It is no longer consistent for the IGF to deny the possibility outright that the IGF at large might be asked to seek a consensus on any other policy decision, such as the adoption of an agreed statement of Internet governance principles.

The complete email from the Secretariat is posted below.

Dear IGF initiatives,

Thank you for your contributions to the format of inter-regional dialogue session to be held at the IGF annual meeting in Baku.

As to the agenda item number 3: during this part of the session, the participants can be briefed on the basic principles which the national and regional IGF initiatives should comply with in order to be listed on the IGF website.

The session can then focus on sharing experiences regarding the formulating and running of IGF initiatives; this can range from discussing on how to maintain a multi-stakeholder approach to providing remote participation during the IGF initiatives meetings. The aim of these discussions would be to reach consensus on the formalities that IGF initiatives are recommended to consider when formulating an IGF initiative.

In order to prepare for this session, you are kindly requested to submit the names of the national and regional IGF representatives that are going to contribute to the inter-regional dialogue session. You can send the names to igf [at] unog.ch. Please note that in order to contribute to the inter-regional dialogue session, the regional and national IGF initiatives should submit a substantive report to the IGF Secretariat .

Best regards,
IGF Secretariat
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