[discuss] NETmundial and CSTD mtg

Nick Ashton-Hart nashton at internet-ecosystem.org
Sun May 18 19:54:25 UTC 2014

Dear Marilyn,

While as a naturally optimistic person I'm always happy to see it in others, my perspective on the overall situation is that it is very much worse than it was last year, and agreements are moving further away from us rather than gaps being narrowed. With respect to upcoming major meetings like Plenipot I think the wise approach is to expect the worst and hope for, and work for, the best.

S&T for development is very important, that's certainly true, and one of the reason why I continue to socialise the importance of ensuring the next 10 years of WSIS are much more closely intertwined with the sustainable development agenda through implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals. It was one of the great tragedies of the CSTD session that a number of developing countries worked so hard to weaken the language making that connection in the resolution, despite the hard work of Ethiopia and others. I tried to intervene to support them, but the chair wasn't really calling on anyone but member-states.

The best way for S&T to serve development is not through debates at CSTD but through much more effective integration of the WSIS targets and action lines activities with the relevant SDGs once they're finalized. Committees, in my experience, don't make life better for real people. Work on the ground to deliver real benefits to real people however does, and I hope we can all work to ensure that the promise of WSIS - development - is much better realised in the next decade of WSIS than it was in the first.

On 18 May 2014, at 16:17, Marilyn Cade <marilynscade at hotmail.com> wrote:

> Thanks, Bill.
> Wasn't Avri's comment about NETmundial, and yours about CSTD? I wonder if it is indeed being conflated
> As to NETMundial, I find that many found the glass just above half full in the outcome, perhaps, in certain policy areas. 
> But many also valued the experience and the steps that were achieved. I would not, myself, translate any meeting of stakeholders trying to find consensus likely to fully satisfy any particular group. But that is the importance of working as stakeholders, to find as much commonality as possible, which is what I called for in my NETmundial 2 minutes.  There were many things about the way that NETmundial sprank forth, and how it had to so quickly organize that raised some anxieties for me, and for small companies, and large. Probably for many in the technical commuities as well. 
> However, I think that NETmundial is much above the outcomes we will find in the MPP WSIS +10 documents, and it was more multi stakeholder than that, or the WCIT, etc. etc. 
> I hope that in discussing NETmundial, we can focus on what lessons can be learned, appreciate the Brazilians for hosting and for all the efforts that all made to have as open and multi stakeholder process as possible. None of us who participated are perfected as representatives of any group, or at least I don't perceive perfection, but I did detect and observe loads of hard work, good will, and willingness to try -- and to find as much commonality as possible.
> So, for NETmundial documents and process, I appreciate and value and think also that more discussions are needed about issues mostly in the IGF itself. I am sure others will also want to discuss relevant elements from NETmundail. Probably the MAG will talk a lot about how any learnings might be tested in some parts of IGF. 
> As to the CSTD documents, and process, again, I appreciate that you made it clear that this was quite separated from NETmundial, and is after all a UN Commission.  I however appear to differ from one view expressed, as I do think that Tunis Agenda serves us well still, and that some progressing, although slow is happening. More CSTD members expressed views during the discussions and especially more efforts to try to understand differences grew during te CSTD WG EC.  Was it difficult. Very at times. Was the spirit of willingness much better than last year's CSTD. Immensely. 
> In the end, NETmundial is referenced in the Commission's report,with the agreement of Brazil as to that approach, and with the agreement of all. 
> I think that the work on STI is important to developing countries and shouldn't be ignored as a good outcome, as I consider the Commission's work inextribularly linked and inter dependent. 
> Perhaps it is true that some states want to debate at ITU Plenipotentary, but more states than at WCIT possibly do not want that. I hope we will focus on how to work with as many states interested in more productive agendas to broaden their engagement and involvement in the IGF and to provide an alternative, helpful, and insightful forum that is relevant to their needs.
> M
> > From: wjdrake at gmail.com
> > Date: Sun, 18 May 2014 15:59:54 +0200
> > To: discuss at 1net.org
> > Subject: Re: [discuss] NETmundial and CSTD mtg
> > 
> > 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.
> > 
> > Bill
> > 
> > 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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> > 
> > 
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