On the outcome of the CSTD's working group on improvements to the IGF

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On the outcome of the CSTD's working group on improvements to the IGF
User: wolfgang
Date: 27/3/2011 7:54 pm
Views: 5100
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I am not surprised about the outcome. It was crystal clear after the Montreux meeting, that it will be impossible to reach a reasonable result within the given time frame. The whole planning and executing of the launch and the work of this UNCSTD WG raises a lot of question.

I am not sure whether this was by intention. If I create an unworkable environment which does not allow the production of anything which is meaningful than nobody should be surprised that exactly this is happening. Such a "planned failure" can be used as a good argument to change the whole direction and to discredite the innovative forms of multistakeholder collaboration. It is easy now for governments, which were not members in the group, to argue: "Look, multistakeholderism does not work. We - as governments - are different and have other working methods. So let us alone when we try to translate our (national) agendas into an international dialogue."

A second scenario could be, that this is another step in what Bill Clinton said in San Francisco when he defined "Internet Governance" as a process of "stumbling forward". In this case a lot will depend upon the Nairobi IGF. If Nairobi takes on board a number of reasonable proposals which has been made by various members of the UNCSTD IGF Working Group and if Nairobi becomes an "outstanding success", this will make life much more difficult for the governmental negotiators in the 2nd Committee of the UNGA to change the direction.

What are the options now for civil society?

Option 1: General frustration. We leave it as it is, lamenting about the failure of the process and watch what the governments will do.

Option 2: Working together with friendly governments who have a voice in the CSTD, to work towards an extension of the mandate of the existing group until May 2012 with the aim, to produce a more serious analytical interim paper with recommendations until September 2011 (the draft could be discussed in Nairobi) for presentation to the 2nd Committee of the UNGA, which starts in early October 2011.

Option 3: IGC takes the lead and starts a open drafting procedure for an alternative report, inviting other non-govenrmental stakeholders and friendly governments to join the process. The report could be presented via a friendly government to the UNCSTD meeting in May 2011 in Geneva. On the eve of the UNCSTD meeting in Geneva we could have a half day open multistakeholder workshop under the title "The Future of the IGF: How to improve multistakeholder collaboration".

-- Wolfgang Kleinwächter
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