[IGFmaglist] For agenda item 3

Bhatia, Virat virat.bhatia at intl.att.com
Sat May 21 03:09:56 EDT 2016

Dear Lynn,

Many thanks for your responses to Elizabeth’s email.  I support Elizabeth’s request for getting more information / clarity around the direction and process that this initiative is expected to take.  I would think most stakeholders will need more time than end-May to get nominations across.  So any reconsideration of deadline would be much appreciated.

Like Elizabeth, I would prefer an early  virtual call to clarify issues, but if that is not possible, would you like MAG members to put together questions and post it online to build some kind of FAQs?   This especially as many couldn’t join the call due to technical difficulties.  My excuse was 3:30 am ☺ !


Virat Bhatia

-----Original Message-----
From: Igfmaglist [mailto:igfmaglist-bounces at intgovforum.org] On Behalf Of Lynn St.Amour
Sent: Saturday, May 21, 2016 7:15 AM
To: THOMAS-RAYNAUD Elizabeth <elizabeth.thomas-raynaud at iccwbo.org<mailto:elizabeth.thomas-raynaud at iccwbo.org>>
Cc: IGF Maglist <igfmaglist at intgovforum.org<mailto:igfmaglist at intgovforum.org>>
Subject: Re: [IGFmaglist] For agenda item 3

Hi Elizabeth,

saw this after hitting send on my previous mail.  And, again responding in my role as MAG Chair and not for the UN secretariat.

> On May 20, 2016, at 7:40 PM, THOMAS-RAYNAUD Elizabeth <elizabeth.thomas-raynaud at iccwbo.org<mailto:elizabeth.thomas-raynaud at iccwbo.org>> wrote:


> Dear colleagues,


> After reaching out inside our community, I would like to support the call below by Avri and Renata for further discussion of the IGF Retreat. In particular there is a need to better understand timing, goals and process.

This is something that I think would be useful for all of us.  I will volunteer to work with the UN secretariat to pull together some additional information.  From other discussions, this certainly seems necessary.

> Could we have a virtual meeting early next week to discuss it?

If we can continue to deal with any questions/concerns online that will be the most inclusive.   Hopefully, the additional information above will help.  In any case, I think we should get that out first.

>  I’ve spent the last two days speaking to people in order to assess the community views. The reaction from private sector people keen to support but not in the MAG has been surprise that this proposal would land last minute with such short notice.

Agree, the timing is not ideal (for those in the northern hemisphere), and the notice is certainly short.   There were several reasons for holding it sooner rather than later, some of the reasons I believe:

- the desire to build on the current momentum from the extension of the IGF mandate, and requests to take a longer term view of what we want to accomplish,

- an expectation that this retreat will help inform the new project description (due in the next few months, I believe).   This project description is the document that governs the IGF as an extra-budgetary project of the UN.  The old project description expired the end of 2015, see:  http://www.intgovforum.org/cms/2013/TrustFund/Project%20document%20IGF.pdf     I personally believe it is important to get this as right as possible - it governs the resources put to the “IGF Project” and we have operated far too short-handed for too long.

> In trying to address questions they raised, it was clear to me there are many still. In particular, I note that I was unable to explain: what problem the designation of a different group from the MAG was trying to solve; what the urgency of the retreat is; and why the timeline we have is so short to offer representatives.

This retreat addresses more than the somewhat focused responsibilities of the MAG, and hopes to address the concerns/suggested improvements from many processes and places (as outlined in my earlier email).  And, it really is the start of a process.

>  Speaking about governments, Juan noted on the call that people’s travel time is often subject to approvals and based on prior planning. This is true also for private sector representatives and surely other communities. That this retreat is planned in midsummer for many is also an obstacle that will only be compounded by the extremely short timeframe. So I agree with the others, it warrants fuller discussion and consideration if we want to do it well and with representative participation.

To be clear, the retreat is not a MAG initiative.  The IGF is convened under the UNSG.  And the IGF itself has become more than just the annual IGF meeting, hence warrants added attention - and soon.  Many of the suggested improvements go beyond the MAG, are expected *now*, and there are significant resource implications for the secretariat.   We cannot address many of these from within the MAG only.

>  Irrespective of whether there can be a call, I must also ask for a more realistic deadline for communities to come back with nominations to the group. Just over a week for this is not a serious option for our community and I cannot imagine it is any easier for others. A credible, open process that reaches out beyond those already planning to attend as MAG members requires more time for people to assess their availability and means of travel support etc.


> Could we please extend the nomination deadline to mid-June instead?

I will bring this request forward to the UN Secretariat (Chengetai is on holiday until the middle of next week).

>  Thanks for kindly considering these two requests.

Thank you for your comments Elizabeth.  I tried to share what I know.   And definitely agree more information would be helpful.

More soon




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