[discuss] /1net Steering/Coordination Commitee
kichango at gmail.com
Sat Dec 21 08:22:27 UTC 2013
On Sat, Dec 21, 2013 at 4:58 AM, Andrew Sullivan <ajs at anvilwalrusden.com>wrote:
> > Few governments work on mailing lists.
> Indeed, because they claim sovereignty and therefore cannot possibly
> negotiate with any other non-sovereigns. This is a serious and tricky
> problem of (diplomatic) protocol, and I don't dismiss it. If we are to
> be successful, we need to face it. I'd be extremely enthusiastic to
> learn of a group (I'm tempted to say "working group") organising to
> confront that problem, and I would contribute to it. But it would need
> diplomats and people who have worked as civil servants to be part of
> the group. Do you think we can attract such people?
I think it would, but that might take some work to be able to convince a
wide enough variety of civil servants (eg, from every continent). At any
rate, I would be interested in taking part in this effort, too, although I
never worked in a government/public administration (except around them at
international/intergovernmental organization level).
We also have to understand that this is not simply arrogance or an
irrepressible desire to be in charge, although some of that may be in play.
We have to recognize the fact that we are in the middle of an important
cultural and historical transition/change for entities like nation-state
governments. The administrative protocol challenge is real whether it stems
from multi-century old bureaucratic or diplomatic culture and practices.
There's some tension/contradiction in saying civil servants would be
participating in their individual capacity and still consider them as
government elements. On the other hand if they were to participate as
government, their employer has to approve and allocate time to this effort
on their work time as civil servant. Plus there is such thing as "devoir de
reserve" (duty of reservation?) especially in an international/global
setting or simply in public. Civil servants can't always (or rather, rarely
can), without risk, publicly take off-the-cuff positions in the absence of
written rules or instructions/ established tradition or corpus of similar
decisions/positions, etc. etc. So it would be interesting to be able to
form a global working group including civil servants and diplomats (even in
their persona capacity) plus other interested parties/individuals to come
up with some useful insights on how to make that transition more feasible
and a little smoother.
> Andrew Sullivan
> ajs at anvilwalrusden.com
> discuss mailing list
> discuss at 1net.org
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