[Wg-mwp] Comments on WG-MWP work and proposal on IGF outputs

SUTO Timea Timea.SUTO at iccwbo.org
Mon Nov 6 12:08:36 EST 2017

Dear Lynn and colleagues,

I am writing to share the feedback of ICC BASIS members on the work of the WG-MWP so far and the proposals we have been discussing. My apologies for getting back to you late and thank you again for your understanding and flexibility in allowing us to consult more broadly about this to improve our work.

About the mandate of the group
During the previous mandate, in pursuit of improvements to the IGF,  a number of offshoot of activities from the global IGF event have emerged (such as BPFs, DCs, NRIs, CENB). As these have come about in a more organic fashion and are in many cases competing for similar resources, the Working Group on Multi-year strategic workplan for the IGF -- at this early stage of a new mandate -- presents an opportunity for the community to consider the IGF event and these component parts with more of a strategic and longer term perspective. This MAG working group has a unique opportunity to provide a common framework and coherent work plan covering expected major areas of work for the IGF as well as for all intersessional activities, and including support requirements/expectations.

Concurrently the Working Group to support evaluation and implementation of improvements to the IGF (WG-IMP), MAG members and the community have an opportunity to evaluate and assess progress from efforts such as the CSTD Working Group on IGF improvements and its recommendations  along with other improvement proposals such as the IGF retreat and its reflections.

On the proposal for advancing IGF outputs
In our opinion, it is premature to ask the WG-MWP to work on the proposal put forward. We view it as rather a possible solution offered in response to some of the recommendations currently being evaluated by WG-IMP that call for more "tangible outcomes".  In our understanding, discussions on this proposal are out of place in that it would add new work items  and detract from the important work the WG-MWP should address as a priority - notably contributing to the strategic deployment of existing activities.

For this reason we suggest the proposal should rather  be discussed sequentially following the assessment of the WG-IMP and considered in view of all other proposals and recommendations already made to improve the IGF by exploring "tangible outcomes".  Discussing this proposal in WG-MWP not only overlaps with the work of WG-IMP, but also circumvents the mandate and work of WG-IMP and creates a scenario where this particular proposal is leapfrogging others already made in the past years through open and collaborative channels.

On the areas of focus of the WG-MWP
The WG-MWP, as we understand it, was created to respond to arising concerns over the future of the IGF, its funding, staffing and financial sustainability as well as the working methods and accountability processes of the different IGF work streams. Thus we believe the main focus of this WG should be to:

*                    establish clear and accountable work processes and stable and predictable mandate of authorization for the various intersessional work-streams;

*                    create a strategic multi-year work program for the IGF and intersessional activities;

*                    consider ways to raise profile of the IGF and strengthen the participation of underrepresented groups and regions and enhance the credibility of IGF work streams by addressing their balance and ensuring representation of regions and stakeholders;

*                    consider ways to broaden the pool of funding resources and establish adequate long term funding to provide the IGF Secretariat with sufficient resources to prioritize IGF topics of relevance to the community, and ensure adequate documentation of policy discussions.

Keeping in mind these focus areas, the WG-MWP should start its work by considering the chain of action and accountability of all IGF activities and consider how these can be woven into a common action plan with defined processes and responsibilities and frameworks for decision-making. This can be done based on the document prepared by the IGF Secretariat listing all IGF activities.
Once this common action plan is completed, careful consideration should be given to assess the needed resources for its implementation (financial resources, staffing, expertise, etc.).
Then, the working group should focus on making recommendations on fundraising activities to cover the resources needed and consider the feasibility of the activities taking into consideration their return on the required input and investment in the allocated timeframe.

Thank you for the opportunity to provide these comments. I look forward to our next discussion.

Kind regards,
Timea Suto
Project Coordinator
Commission on the Digital Economy / BASIS
International Chamber of Commerce (ICC)
33-43 Avenue President Wilson, 75016 Paris, France
+33 (0) 1 49 53 33 89  | timea.suto at iccwbo.org<mailto:timea.suto at iccwbo.org> | www.iccwbo.org<http://www.iccwbo.org>
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