Two birds with one stone: a revitalised IGF and Enhanced Cooperation

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Two birds with one stone: a revitalised IGF and Enhanced Cooperation
User: terminus
Date: 25/1/2011 11:45 pm
Views: 5899
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I just posted to the Internet Governance Caucus mailing list my thoughts for the CSTD's working group on the improvements to the IGF, which are rather more radical than will fit within the very pedestrian draft framework of the working group's report.

I believe the MAG needs to be split up into stakeholder councils, one of which would be purely intergovernmental. Decisions could only be made by the MAG, by rough consensus, sitting as a plenary body that includes all the stakeholder councils. However, the councils would individually have the power of veto over any decision.

This structure is called consociation, and it is used to share power between stakeholder groups between which deep divides exist. That remains the case between governments and non-governmental stakeholders; we can now make no mistake about that.

Whilst it may seem a corruption of the ideals of multi-stakeholderism, the simple fact is that governments will not allow any power to a multi-stakeholder process unless they have a sandbox of their own. If there is to be such a sandbox, then let us at least make it subject to the accountability of being part of a larger multi-stakeholder framework: the new MAG.

The good thing about proposing this at the same time as the enhanced cooperation discussions are going on, is that it works together with that very nicely. The role of the stakeholder councils and the new MAG need not be limited to the IGF. They can also have an independent role in Internet Governance. The IGF would just be one of the activities that they oversee. So by doing this, we get "enhanced cooperation" for free.
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