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[I-coordination] New: How do we dissect Internet governance? [Was: Europe at a tipping point?]
Shatan, Gregory S.
GShatan at ReedSmith.com
Wed Dec 18 18:02:15 CET 2013
I agree that the concept of “roles” set out in the Tunis Agenda (specifically paragraph 35, along with para. 36), which essentially parrots Geneva para 49, is antithetical to true multistakeholderism. The “roles” are really boxes. The beauty of true MSism is the ability of stakeholders to be involved in the entire spectrum of issues and policy (reserved to governments in Tunis 35).
Yes, multistakeholderism is messy, and some of the messier aspects are interstakeholder friction, weighting of stakeholder interests, and multiple hat-wearing (and the potential for conflicts of interest that flows from that). Nonetheless, these are not arguments against multistakeholderism, just issues to deal with.
I dare say that as much as stakeholders may disagree with each other within that process, the vast majority of stakeholders will still support multistakeholderism over a state-centric system with stakeholders relegated to boxes and kept away from policy. Of course, if a stakeholder group feels that they are frozen out and getting nothing from the system, they may be disenchanted enough to opt out and may believe their agenda can be better met by influencing states than by participating in a multistakeholder process. This is a danger to be avoided.
As should be evident from the statements above, I personally find myself agreeing with much on this list that is being said by members of stakeholder groups that are often not in harmony with the stakeholder group that I identify with (IP Constituency). I think that is a Good Thing. We do need more trust and cooperation between stakeholders to defend and advance multistakeholderism. While I am but one small voice in this whole discussion, I am also ready to try and advance interstakeholder trust and cooperation -- both to advance mulitistakholderism and to improve it.
Gregory S. Shatan
Reed Smith LLP
599 Lexington Avenue
New York, NY 10022
gshatan at reedsmith.com
From: i-coordination-bounces at nro.net [mailto:i-coordination-bounces at nro.net] On Behalf Of Milton L Mueller
Sent: Wednesday, December 18, 2013 11:06 AM
To: William Drake; i-coordination at nro.net
Subject: Re: [I-coordination] New: How do we dissect Internet governance? [Was: Europe at a tipping point?]
>Yes, in 2003, when governments were still locking or throwing us out of rooms.
>They then insisted that this had to be incorporated into the IG definition if they
>were going to accept it. It was a statist ideological misrepresentation then and
>it’s even more out of touch with reality now.
Agreed. And this historical context is important. I keep insisting that the whole concept of ‘roles’ was simply some states’ way of subverting the whole notion of direct participation in policy making by nonstate actors. If you believe in the so-called MS model, you have to push back against that now.
>Milton is right that it’d be good to revise it, but one suspects there’d be real resistance
>from G77 and China and it’d take a concerted effort with strong support from other
>governments (many of whom I suspect are actually sort of comfortable with it, even if
>they don’t openly admit that to stakeholders).
I don’t think it matters whether the Brazil meeting can revise the Tunis Agenda; I think it should, and could, issue its own “Sao Paulo Agenda” which gets it right. Then let the WSIS+10 and other state-centric venues react to it. And of course state-centric forces would resist such a principle, but no meaningful change occurs without resistance. I think the role of Europe here is key. If Europe – which is teetering in either direction – joins with the US, private sector, CS and technical community, and Brazil comes along too, the direction could change.
The more I think about the Brazil meeting, the more I come to the conclusion that this issue of “roles” and of who makes “policy” for the internet is THE fundamental IG issue we are grappling with and one of the two areas where progress could actually be made (the other being IANA contract). The term “multistakeholder model” implies that the Tunis Agenda is wrong on the question of roles, or it means nothing.
>Such an effort could require more trust and cooperation between stakeholders than we’ve
>been able to muster to date; are we collectively capable of agreeing and advancing a positive
> agenda, rather than just fetishizing differences and reacting separately to bad ideas from >governments?
I’m certainly ready to give it a try.
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