Consulta informal abierta sobre gobernanza en internet para la fase II de la CMSI
El Mundo --
Informal Open-ended Consultations on Internet Governance
20 July 2005 – 10:00-13:00 – Room XVIII
Ambassador Masood Khan from Pakistan, Chairman-designate of PrepCom-3 Sub-Committee A, had convened this open-ended, informal consultation on Internet Governance. Mr Khan has had bilateral meeting with all actors, to have a preliminary exchange of views in preparation of PrepCom-3.
The aim of this meeting was to have a discussion on Internet governance issues on the basis of the WSIS Phase I outcome documents, the WGIG report, the outcomes of the regional meetings and the CS and Private Sector perspective on internet governance.
Mr Khan recalled that this meeting would not deal with substantive matters and would not be part of the negotiation process. It would be a brainstorming meeting to advice and to help knowing each other’s perspectives. He proposed some guiding questions to structure the debate:
- What is internet governance? Is there an agreement on the report’s definition?
- How can we deal with technical aspects?
- Which type of regulation?
- Cyber security and freedom of expression
- Interconnection costs
- How can Internet contribute to development?
- How to deal with multilingualism?
- What are the best practices?
- How to built consensus?
Ayesha Hassan, on behalf of CCBI, regretted the short notice of the meeting which did not give time enough to build common positions. Private sector approved the report and considered the comments as very positive for future discussions. CCBI specified some key principles and priorities in any internet governance framework, including the development of Internet as both economic and social medium, the protection of the many existing business models based on the Internet, the idea that Internet was currently functioning well, technical and engineering development not based on political concern, and the need to promote a liable, stable and secure Internet.
The USA underlined the importance to preserve the security and stability of the DNS framework. Stating that all governments had an interest in the management of ccTLDs, the USA considered ICANN as the appropriate technical manager. The USA reminded their engagement in the WSIS process and beyond.
For Israel, the WGIG process has developed a better understanding of each other’s perspectives. ICANN should still be an actor of the process. It supported the multi-stakeholder character of any process and the bottom-up approach. The 4 proposed IG models did not offer the innovation required. Infrastructure and content development issues should be dealt with. Israel representative stressed the importance of multilingualism and of tackling new issues such as offensive content. Lastly, IG follow-up should be related to WSIS follow-up, in accordance with the GA resolution 57/270B on International UN Summits follow-up.
Ambassador Karklins reminded that PrepCom 2 decided that two documents would be submitted to PrepCom-3, at least 4 weeks before the meeting. This consultation was an important step to develop our thinking on IG issues and he recommended that discussion tackled the format of chapter 3 and not only focused on one IG cluster. The other aims should be to help developing countries to expand their Internet capacities, and to deal with Internet security and spam. In response to Israel’s comments, he said that IG follow-up should be separated from WSIS related issues because there is no relation between them. He also called upon stakeholders to discuss modalities for this follow up, including the forum functions and how each actor would participate and be integrated into this framework.
Brazil suggested that in-depth discussion could take place be in smaller groups. Three main IG issues should be better discussed: stability and security; ccTLD management, on which Brazil stated each government had a legitimate role on its ccTLDS, underlining the Brazilian model in which CS has an important role; and the role of ICANN which should be an appropriate technical manager of the DNS but should not be a political actor. Brazil was still studying the forum proposal.
The United Kingdom/EU, mentioned the openness of the EU to the concerns expressed by developing countries on public policy issues. Lastly the UK wanted to consider the positions of CS and of the Private Sector on the forum functions.
William Drake underlined that, in the WGIG process, Civil Society supported the idea of a proposed Forum, since it did not see any specialized agency as an appropriate home for such a function. Civil Society has supported the creation of a new multi-stakeholder mechanism, with a broad mandate to look at all policy questions related to Internet Governance. However, the question whether it should remain a free-standing body or be settled within the UN remained open. The Forum should be completely inclusive, open to all actors and guarantee an equal access to all, including developing countries. This forum would not have any decision making power, but could produce soft law.
Donald McLean highlighted the need to build a strong partnership with academic institutions, as a source of knowledge and expertise for the public discussions within the forum. Moreover, the wording of ‘Forum functions’ deliberately brought no specific institutional arrangement, is order to keep a very wide and light construction. International cooperation issues should be included in these forum functions, in which stakeholders from developed and developing countries would be on equal footing.
Alejandro Pisanty underlined the constructive use by developing countries stakeholders of on-line participation mechanisms. The institutional arrangements to be decided for the Forum, as well as the definition of the term ‘stakeholders’, should be taken in a broad and flexible perspective, to guarantee a wider inclusion according to the issue to be discussed.
Markus Kummer, noting that the WGIG report called for regional and national coordination, stressed the forum should promote a bottom-up approach, and favour the exchange of best practices on Internet governance issues. Coordination between all organisations and institutions involved in Internet governance should be improved, as proposed in the WGIG report, to deal with cross-cutting issues.
Bertrand de la Chapelle took note of the nature of the WGIG, highlighting the advantages of the multi-stakeholder approach. This provided better interactions and has even changed the way people interacted in the decision shaping period. As regards the forum functions, he warned towards the risk to get trapped into a strict institutional arrangement. On the contrary, the forum should be accessible to all stakeholders, and should be supported by relevant existing international agencies. The question is how the multi-stakeholder discussion format should be structured. To this end, basic principles for multi-stakeholderism should be drawn form the WGIG process. Other good practices should also be positively considered, such as the Tokyo Meeting (Phase I), the GFC compilations of stakeholders contributions on one common document, and real time capture of comments during WGIG meetings. Lastly, Mr. de la Chapelle stressed that the national dimensions of Internet governance should not be overlooked in the WGIG report.
Switzerland raised the question of the added value of this proposed Forum in relation to the follow-up process.
ICANN, underlining the need to take into account the existing framework of Internet, called upon to work with current ICANN experience, and said to be ready to listen, discuss and evolve.
Ms. Karen Banks, referring to the discussion of the CS IG Caucus, added that there is an overall support to the proposed forum functions, provided that it is global, comprehensive, inclusive and multi-stakeholder in composition as equal peers. The functions of such a forum should be to monitor trends, identify tensions in existing mechanisms and enhancing coordination. However, there is no specific support for any of the proposed governance models, so that further and more detailed reflection should be carried out. On Root Zones, she mentioned the CS IG Caucus supported the position that no single country should have a higher situation in the management of Internet infrastructures. The role and responsibilities of each stakeholder should be defined in an open and inclusive manner, in the light of the WGIG process.
Barbados asserted that a forum would constitute a positive change for developing countries. However, Barbados reminded that developing countries should also be involved in the decision making process. Brazil added that a place for political decision at the international level on Internet governance issues is still needed, involving both developed and developing countries, with technical input and expertise from the academic community. Indeed, ICANN has been taking so far both technical but also political decisions and this should be changed. Ghana stressed that the status quo would be more harmful for all stakeholders, so that change is vital required.
Alejandro Pisanty underlined the complexity of the frontier between technical and political, which highlighted the need to improve communications on many issues through a forum-like structure. This type of light mechanism could be very useful for the internet governance system to flag publicly some critical issues and therefore intervene in public policy making.
Chairman Khan closed the meeting by demanding electronic inputs to be reflected in whatever evolving thinking on Internet Governance in the perspective of PrepCom-3. Ambassador Karklins reminded the deadline of 15 August for inputs on Internet governance, to email@example.com). An extra GFC meeting would be held on the week starting with 5 September.
Notes by: Alejandra Mendoza, Philippe Dam
Theme: Gobernanza de internet, CMSI y seguimiento