[discuss] [bestbits] Draft statement on making IGF permanent

parminder parminder at itforchange.net
Wed Sep 3 22:48:19 UTC 2014

I have really not been able to fully follow this thread, but I would soon.

But just out of curiosity: what really is the context and urgency to 
suddenly seek making the IGF permanent. (Before I go further, I will 
clearly state that I would indeed like to have the IGF made permanent. )

The IGF extension review will only take place next year as a part of 
WSIS plus 10 review, which is really quite some time off, plus there are 
other very important issues for WSIS plus 10, and we have not quite got 
into that discussion. So, I am not sure what has happened suddenly to 
which we are responding. I will be obliged if those pushing this 
initiative can help me understand this. I may have missed something here.

Apart from wondering about what really precipitated this issue, and the 
urgency if it, I dont think the IGF is at all under any kind of threat 
of being discontinued. So, why is this threat being invented, especially 
when even the review is not around?

I have never found any substantial opposition to continuation of the 
IGF, for it to constitute any real threat. (I remember one weak and 
vague statement of China once that IGF has served its purpose and can be 
closed down, but not much else really.) So, why in the middle of the 
intense activities of an ongoing IGF, where in fact there are some other 
important issues to discuss,  have we gone into this fit of asserting 
the need to continue the IGF is something I am unable to understand.

BTW, I am ready to take one to ten odds bet with anyone that the IGF 
will be renewed, Any takers?


On Monday 01 September 2014 09:12 PM, Matthew Shears wrote:
> Jeanette, Stephanie
> Great initiative.   Would be wonderful if we could turn this around, 
> get signatures and announce during the open mic/closing session.
> Can we try and get comments by end of Wednesday, sign-ons by end of 
> day Thurs?
> Letter may be a little long and overly full of UN text references - 
> but that may be a matter of tweaking.
> Best.
> Matthew
> On 9/1/2014 5:46 PM, Jeanette Hofmann wrote:
>> Hi all,
>> Stephanie Perrin and I have drafted a statement that asks the UN 
>> Secretary to consider renewing the mandate of the IGF on a permanent 
>> basis.
>> About 90% of the text are quotes from UN documents referring to the 
>> IGF and from the NetMundial Statement.
>> Our draft is intended to reflect the views of all stakeholders and 
>> perhaps get a broad endorsement at the end of the IGF.
>> Right now, it is just a draft. Changes are welcome.
>> We have set up a pad for editing:
>> https://etherpad.mozilla.org/LQO468JD1K
>> For convenience we also paste the text into this email below.
>> The goal is to complete the editing before the end of the IGF.
>> Stephanie and Jeanette
>> Request for consideration to the UN Secretary General on permanence 
>> of the IGF
>> In 2005, the UN Member states asked the UN Secretary-General in the 
>> Tunis Agenda, to convene a meeting of the new forum for 
>> multi-stakeholder policy dialogue—called the Internet Governance 
>> Forum (IGF). (Footnote: paragraph 72, Tunis Agenda)
>> The mandate of the Forum was to discuss public policy issues relating 
>> to key elements of Internet governance, such as those enumerated in
>> the Tunis Agenda, in order to foster the sustainability, robustness, 
>> security, stability and development of the Internet in developed and 
>> developing countries. The Forum was not to replace existing 
>> arrangements, mechanisms, institutions or organizations. It was 
>> intended to constitute a neutral, non-duplicative and non-binding 
>> process, and have no involvement in day-to-day or technical 
>> operations of the Internet.
>> The Tunis Agenda also asked the UN Secretary-General to examine the 
>> desirability of the continuation of the Forum, in formal consultation 
>> with Forum participants, within five years of its creation, and to 
>> make recommendations to the UN Membership in this regard. At its 
>> sixty-fifth session, the General Assembly decided to extend the 
>> mandate of the IGF, underlining the need to improve the IGF “with a 
>> view to linking it to the broader dialogue on global Internet 
>> governance”.
>> In his note on the continuation of the Internet Governance Forum, the 
>> UN Secretary General confirmed that the IGF was unique and valuable. 
>> It is a place where Governments, civil society, the private sector 
>> and international organizations discuss important questions of 
>> economic and social development. They share their insights and 
>> achievements and build a common understanding of the Internet’s great 
>> potential.
>> The Secretary-General recommended that
>> (a) That the mandate of the Internet Governance Forum be extended for 
>> a further five years;
>> (b) That the desirability of continuation be considered again by Member
>> States within the context of a 10-year review of implementation of 
>> the outcome of the World Summit on the Information Society in 2015;
>> Footnote: (General Assembly, Sixty-fifth session, Item 17 of the 
>> preliminary list*,  Information and communications technologies for 
>> development, Economic and Social Council, Substantive session of 2010 
>> New York, 28 June-23 July 2010, Agenda item 13 (b)**)
>> The NetMundial Meeting, convened by the Government of Brazil, stated 
>> in the NetMundial Multistakeholder Statement on April 24th, 2014, 
>> that there is a need for a strengthened Internet Governance Forum 
>> (IGF). Important recommendations to that end had already been made by 
>> the UN CSTD working group on IGF improvements. The NetMundial 
>> Statement also stated that “a strengthened IGF could better serve as 
>> a platform for discussing both long standing and emerging issues with 
>> a view to contributing to the identification of possible ways to 
>> address them.”
>> Given the significance of the Internet Governance Forum for the 
>> continuing development of Internet governance, we request the UN 
>> Secretary General to  establish the IGF as a permanent 
>> multistakeholder forum.  We also request that the UN Secretary 
>> General work with the IGF and its stakeholders to strengthen its 
>> structure and processes.
>> ____________________________________________________________
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> -- 
> Matthew Shears
> Director - Global Internet Policy and Human Rights
> Center for Democracy & Technology (CDT)
> mshears at cdt.org
> + 44 771 247 2987
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