[IGFmaglist] For agenda item 3

Lynn St.Amour Lynn at Internet-Matters.org
Fri May 20 20:19:41 EDT 2016

> On May 19, 2016, at 11:08 AM, avri doria <avri at acm.org> wrote:
> Hi,
> After yesterdays discussion I must say I remain concerned by the fact
> that this was a surprise proposal from DESA that had no prior discussion
> in the MAG before being 'adopted.'
> Personally I believe that the MAG should discuss the idea and should be
> involved in setting the agenda for the retreat.  Whether the work of
> setting the agenda is done in a MAG WG or in the MAG as a whole, it
> should be, at the very least, a cooperative effort between the
> secretariat and the MAG.
> I think the last minute notification and the fact that we had so many
> with participation dysfunction yesterday is an indicator that this
> proposal needs a bit more consideration before approval and implementation.
> Thanks
> avri

Hi Avri,

Please note I am speaking as the IGF-MAG Chair, not for the UN secretariat.

I do not believe it is the MAG’s responsibility to “adopt” the retreat, nor do I believe we did.  I would characterize the MAG as welcoming it, inherently recognizing the right of the UN-DESA to hold such a retreat.  The UN is the convener of the IGF, and DESA is the home within the UN performing the UN Secretariat role. 

There seem to be differing interpretations of the role of the MAG (and this continues to complicate some of the MAG discussions re WGs such as the one on evaluating CSTD improvements).  This retreat should allow us to begin addressing the different interpretations, and suggest necessary improvements as we look forward to the next 10 years.

I understand the MAG and the broader IGF community will be engaged in all aspects of the retreat:  agenda planning, input to the retreat, as well as reviewing/advancing, etc. any outputs.  These modalities are still being worked out, and I am sure any thoughts you or other MAG members have would be welcomed.

Speaking for myself, I see this retreat as the start of a process (and note improvements are always possible).   I believe significant steps are being taken towards what many would recognize as a more "multi-stakeholder like” process, and there is a clear commitment to include the entire IGF community.

Specifically, the call says:

1 - "The proposed retreat will be conducted in a participatory manner. Retreat participants are requested to be involved in designing and organizing the programme and to act as moderators and discussants.”  

Personal note: Paragraph 3 outlines the high level agenda points expected to be covered based on feedback to-date, and a draft agenda will be published for comment.

2 - "the UN Secretariat will publish a “Call for inputs” with guiding questions to solicit inputs from all relevant stakeholders and the wider IGF and WSIS community. “   

Personal note:  much exists already through the CSTD reviews and recommendations, WSIS Forums, as well as all the IGF reviews and reports, etc. all of which the MAG and the IGF community have contributed to very significantly over the years.  This call will though allow for further inputs.  

In addition, though this is not stated clearly in the paper call, it was confirmed by the UN Secretariat,

3 -   there will be a report from the retreat.  Recommendations, items to be explored, etc. will be shared for further discussion and review with the MAG, stakeholder communities, IGF community, etc.    There is no “done deal” coming out of the retreat (that would be against many of the stakeholder community processes and very likely limit their participation in the retreat).  But, it is the start of a process to improve the IGF, IGF-MAG, etc.   

While the timetable is quite compressed, (as is our entire planning cycle this year) it allows us to make progress through this year's IGF cycle, and address the requests from several MAG members to take a longer term view and be more strategic as we kick off the next 10 years of the IGF.   

I hope this helps.


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