[discuss] NETmundial and CSTD mtg

William Drake wjdrake at gmail.com
Sun May 18 13:59:54 UTC 2014

I was at the CSTD for the key day when enhanced cooperation was first tackled and the one hour agenda item turned into three.  During the two day marathon that followed I was online with the intrepid CS and TC observers who stayed behind in the trenches to narrate the follies.  Lest the selective quoting of Avri’s blog leave any misunderstanding, corporate lobbying simply was not the primary source of power games or the cause of the breakdown in cooperation.  Rather it was the absolutely dogged insistence of representatives of just a few governments—principally KSA, Iran, India, Cuba and sometimes Russia---on formulations that they knew full well the rest of the room could never ever agree to.  Over and over they made it clear they did not want the WGEC mandate to be renewed and the group to keep trying to work toward compromises.  They even forced the participants to spend hours in a surreal nighttime debate about whether to acknowledge the NETmundial or even “congratulate" the Brazilians for hosting it.  They preferred that the word coming of the meeting was that world does not agree on such things, hence they must be debated in more appropriate venues like the UN General Assembly and perhaps the ITU Plenipotiary.  

The real word  coming of the meeting is that this small group of governments are fundamentally isolated from what’s going in the world (including, in it would seem, within their own countries), and are making it impossible for the UN to play a constructive role in the search for solutions to real issues that impact developing countries in particular.  It was a somewhat sad but predictable culmination of the ten year discussion about enhanced cooperation, but perhaps by next year we’ll be able to remove the albatross of this lousy 13th hour Tunis PrepComm language from around the neck of Internet governance. Then perhaps we could focus on ways to make IG more effective and inclusive, rather than being just a bargaining game through which private agendas are advanced.


On May 18, 2014, at 8:44 AM, Norbert Bollow <nb at bollow.ch> wrote:

> Having followed this process as closely as possible as a remote
> participant (including via very unofficial channel involving copies of
> intermediary versions of the draft outcome document) I agree with this
> important observation by Avri.
> That is exactly what happened, and if we close our eyes to this
> reality, we are just fooling ourselves.
> Greetings,
> Norbert
> Avri Doria <avri at acm.org> wrote:
>> But I argue that at the end of the last day,
>> in the last discussions,
>> in the bargaining over the final wording:
>> some footing was more equal than others.
> [..]
>>    At 17:07 17/05/2014, Avri Doria wrote:  
>>> My take:
>>> http://avri.doria.org/post/85948899480/netmundial-was-an-act-of-enhanced-cooperation-cstd
>>> was not  
>>    "Some of us, myself included, are dismayed at the fact that some
>>    of the corporations used their wealth based power to sway the
>>    outcome document at the very end of the discussion, but that
>>    happens in the multilateral world as well, just less visibly and
>>    without any chance for other stakeholders to do anything to
>>    counter it."
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