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>> MARKUS KUMMER: Please, we would like to start with the second part of the session on multi-stakeholder principles. I may ask those who don't wish to participate that they rather leave the room than stay in here and discussing. My name is Markus Kummer. I am the Interim Chair of the Preparatory Process, and it is my honour and pleasure to introduce the Chairman of this session, Dr. Setyanto Santosa. Please, Mr. Chair, you have the floor.
>> SETYANTO SANTOSA: Thank you, Markus. Ladies and gentlemen, Excellencies, it is a great pleasure to open the second session of the 2013 Internet Governance Forum. Please allow me first to welcome to Bali, the Island of God, which is expected to produce the brilliant idea produced by participants of any conference being held in Bali.
My name is Setyanto Santosa. I am the Chairman of Indonesian ICT Association, a nonprofit organisation whose members consist of operators, broadcasters, and ICT associations, including APJII, our host. The intention of my organisation is to assist the country in building ICT in Indonesia for the maximum benefit of the people for the next 90 minutes we will be discussing the issue on the principle of multi-stakeholders.
Before that, information regarding the Internet profile in Indonesia, according to my notes. Internet service in Indonesia is already available since 1996, starting from five ISPs, and the current number of Internet users in Indonesia has reached 72 million users. That's served by 250 members of ISP who are mostly -- 80% of the users are under the age of 45 years, including 30% the age of under 25 years. They use mostly wireless devices, cell phone or smartphone, which number is currently 250 million cellular phones for a population of 240 million. So therefore, you do not be surprised if you look at an Indonesian friend having two cell phones in their pocket.
So if you look at that, that the problem now is the network of smartphones, the quality is among the lowest in Asia Pacific region. This is due to the inaffordability of fixed broadband network, so that the mobile network, including 3G, is not working properly.
Another challenge faced by Indonesia is use of the Internet is still focused on purposes of economic activity, mostly in the early stage, so only pleasure or entertainment, so they don't get their economic value. Trying to formulate programmes for creating economics.
This session, if I may share the experiences of Indonesia, the multi-stakeholder model cooperation in Indonesia should have preference over other countries because the spirit is already regulated in low numbers, 36 year 1999 on, and the role of telecommunication has been set up setting telecommunication policy, namely Article V. Here, the community participants, in the form of delivery of thought, is welcome, and implementation of community participation was organised by an independent body established for that purpose.
Ladies and gentlemen, so I don't want to take long for this introduction. I would like to invite our moderator for this session, Mr. Adiel Akplogan. He is the CEO of AfriNIC. Please, take the Chair.
>> With your indulgence, Mr. Chairman, just a few words on what has been put up on the screen. The CSTD Working Group on IGF Improvements recommended that each session address policy questions, and we have issued a call for public input, and these questions -- can you, Secretariat, please put them up on the screen again? -- should guide our discussions, but of course, the moderators are also free to ask other questions, but they are kindly requested to guide the discussions in a way that we answer the questions and have a sort of tangible outcome after the session.
And I express my hope that it shall be possible for this session to have some kind of agreement on what are the important principles for multi-stakeholder cooperation. I see the IGF very much as the home of multi-stakeholder cooperation. From here it spreads to many other organisations, and I think the time has come to take ownership for the IGF of this term.
Now, please, both moderators, Matthew Shears and Adiel Akplogan, who wants to start, please?
>> ADIEL AKPLOGAN: Thank you very much, Markus, and thank you, Chair. I think this is a very important discussion in the context of this IGF. If you have been familiar with IGF, the world "multi-stakeholder" or "multi-stakeholderism" comes very often, and if you have followed the previous session on Internet Governance principles, multi-stakeholder comes again.
In this session, particularly what we are going to try to do is kind of define what are the key principles which make a forum, policymaking process, so what are the principles that we have to look at?
When we talk about multi-stakeholder or multi-stakeholderism, it doesn't only address just Internet Governance, but we are talking about multi-stakeholder in anything that requests cooperation, anything that requests attention to deal with complex issues in general. So how do we lay down those principles so that we can easily apply them, translate them in addressing such an issue? How can we tap on experience from different stakeholders, civil society, private sector, government, into dealing with those complex issues.
Because when we start looking deeply at multi-stakeholderism and applying it to different sectors, applying it in different regions, applying in different countries, it may have some variances, but what we want to do is to find the common ground, the common denominator for this multi-stakeholderism so that we can properly evaluate application in the day-to-day, evaluate impact on dealing with those complex issues.
So this session will give us the opportunity to challenge what we understand by multi-stakeholderism, converge our view on some of the key principles as already explored by different people. We mainly want to make this session very interactive. We don't have a panel. It's not a session with panelists. But we all in the room are part of the panel. We will expect contributions from everybody. We will hear from a few discussants who will present their view, their work on multi-stakeholderism, and we will try, after that, to have a kind of brainstorming session to converge those ideas to key points.
The session will have four different levels, and I will ask Matthew to give us more detail about those four elements of the session. Thanks.
>> MATTHEW SHEARS: Yes. Hello, everybody. My name is Matthew Shears with theCenter for Democracy and Technology. Before I get into what the goals of this session is, we have a number of open seats around this table. I would encourage you to come forward to sit at this table. There are microphones here that will facilitate participation. We should also have a roving mic, so anybody who wants to contribute -- and we encourage you all to contribute -- please raise your hands and we'll make sure that you have an opportunity to do so. Okay?
So the goals of this session are three part. One is to identify key multi-stakeholder principles, and for doing that, we'll be reviewing the work that's been done so far. We'll be asking, as Adiel said, some discussants to speak to the work they've been doing on multi-stakeholder principles. The second part will be to look at, in very practical terms, what are some of the challenges that we face in implementing multi-stakeholderism in policy development processes? And how have we overcome those challenges? So for those of you in the audience who have had practical experience of working in multi-stakeholder environments or in putting multi-stakeholder policy processes in place, we would very much like to hear from you. And then the third part is how do we promote multi-stakeholderism? How do we take this concept forward? How do we ensure that it is implemented in other fora at the national, regional, and international levels?
So those are the three goals of the session. As I said, we encourage everybody to chime in. If there are principles that we've gone through and you feel there are principles that are missing, we want to hear about them. And the more practical that we can get, the better.
I would note that we have had an hour and a half on Internet Governance experience and principles, so what I would really encourage us to do is to really -- let's get down into the weeds. Let's talk about how you actually implement multi-stakeholderism, and let's talk about what some of the learnings are so we can make this as useful an output for the IGF as possible.
So with that said, I'll just -- opening the first part of the discussion, I'd just like to review a little bit what work has been done in the context of the IGF Working Group on Multi-stakeholder Principles. And as you may know or may not know, the Working Group has done three things so far, one of which is to compile a set of existing sets of principles and to take a look at those existing principles and also the outputs of workshops that have been undertaken at UNESCO and elsewhere to look at multi-stakeholder principles. There's also been a process to kind of draw from those sets of principles what are the key common principles, if you will, and I'll come to those in a minute. And this goal is to facilitate this discussion. This is not to say that these particular principles which I will highlight are the principles, but rather, something from which we can take our discussion forward.
When I've introduced those, then we'll go to the discussants we've identified and ask them to tell us about the work they've been doing in terms of different multi-stakeholder principles and, in particular, to talk about how that work is being taken forward.
So anyway, in the review work that's been undertaken to date within the IGF Working Group on Multi-stakeholder Principles, the following -- and unfortunately, I'm not sure we can put them up, but I'll read them out -- the following principles have been identified:
The first is open and inclusive processes.
The second is engagement, in other words, processes enabling all stakeholders to engage and to participate.
The third is participation and contribution, meaning the ability to participate in and contribute to decisionmaking.
The fourth is transparency in processes and decision making and how decisions made and input is reflected.
And the last is accountability, in other words, mechanisms for checks and balances in decision making and consensus-based approach for decision making reflecting how input from the multi-stakeholder processes are incorporated.
So again, let me just repeat those principles that have been drawn from the work of the IGF Working Group, so it's open and inclusive processes; engagement; participation and contribution; transparency; accountability; and decision making -- consensus-based decision making.
Now, with that in mind -- and that's not to say that those are the principles. We would welcome a discussion of that. But what we'd like to do is let four or five discussants go first, review their own -- the work they've been doing on multi-stakeholder principles, and then I would like to open it to the floor and engage in an open discussion about the principles that we will have mentioned and other ones that may be missing or still not accounted for.
Yes, we will try and get them up on the screen as we proceed.
So we'd like to call on Ayesha with ICC BASIS, if we can. Let's see if we can track down a microphone. Ayesha, why don't you come. Is there a microphone you can sit at?
>> Thank you very much, Michael. Ayesha with ICC BASIS. In February we hosted an event in Paris, we facilitated a discussion on multi-stakeholder principles. We had some lead discussants from business, civil society, academics, and government. So from that discussion, we identified a few recommendations that came out of it. One was I would say that the principles, Matthew, that you've outlined are things that were an integral part of the discussion clearly identified.
In the discussion, fundamental design and operational principles, meaning there are some fundamental operational principles that constitute multi-stakeholder approaches and processes. So that was drilling down into some of the things that you've identified, but also talking about bottom-up agenda setting and due process, how to progress the engagement of stakeholders, what are the obstacles to participation, and things like that.
And another thing that was clarified was that there is a difference between governance of and governance on the Internet. We also talked about challenges of multi-stakeholder formats and how these formats can be used to address key policy issues and decision making beyond consultations or meetings.
Some of these challenges were balancing geographical representation, how to build capacity to promote effective participation, the role of steering groups or advisory groups, the risks of capture, management of conflicts of interest, and general legitimacy of the overall process.
We also talked about evolving mechanisms for the multi-stakeholder model, things -- how can you put in place processes that will adequately address concrete problems? We also delved into the respective roles of stakeholders within a multi-stakeholder process and how that affects discussion, the different weights of different topics, and the roles of different stakeholders within them.
So with that, that was a very good facilitated discussion at that event in February, and since then we have put in -- we will have a workshop tomorrow with the Internet Society, APC, the Government of Brazil, and ICC-BASIS, also with a multi-stakeholder panel, hopefully building upon the session we are having today. And again, our starting point will be to listen here today and try to drill down further. The workshop is also going to try to focus on dejargonizing the terms. What do we really mean when we are saying "open"? What do we really mean when we say "participation"? What is inclusion? And we hope that will be a good building block from what comes out of today's Focus Session.
Let me know if you have any questions. Thank you.
>> MATTHEW SHEARS: In the interest of interactivity, I don't know if anybody has any immediate responses to Ayesha and her comments. Any immediate responses or questions?
Okay. Then let us proceed. I'd like to ask Professor Rilgli Almeida with the CDBR, coordinator, if she is here. We will come back to him in a little bit.
I was hoping Joy Liddicoat could talk a little bit about the draft Best Bits work that civil society has been working on. Thank you.
>> JOY LIDDICOAT: Thank you, Matthew. Joy Litticoat from APC for the record.
Yes, what I can certainly do is share with you a discussion which is in progress which hasn't been concluded yet but has been quite useful, I think, among the civil society groups that are part of the Best Bits coalition, and we convened a meeting before the IGF Saturday and Sunday, day minus 1 and minus 2 of the IGF, and part of that discussion consisted of an open dialogue about the definition of multi-stakeholderism, what is it, an exchange of ideas and concepts, and from that we distilled both some points of commonality and also dissonance in our understanding.
So I'm happy to share those with you. I see there are some of my other colleagues from Best Bits here, so obviously, they can input, correct me if I'm wrong, add depth as they see fit.
So essentially, in terms of defining what multi-stakeholderism or multi-stakeholder processes might be, there was a very strong feeling since that multi-stakeholder processes are a form of achieving participatory democracy and Internet Governance, they don't conflict with the concepts of democratic participation, but rather, it's just one other form of democracy; that multi-stakeholder processes are focused on giving voice, social justice, and very much, therefore, linked to processes of Democratic participation; that multi-stakeholder processes are iterative, with a core concept around transparency and documenting both consensus and disagreement.
There was some debate about whether the term "multi-stakeholderism" is appropriate because it elevates the concept to an ideology, and there are other forms of isms, such as sexism or communism or other kinds of concepts that we didn't really feel that multi-stakeholder processes were akin to. Some interesting about debate about that.
Also, there are no fixed stakeholders. It is a fluid notion. Stakeholders may come together, form around concepts, and it may not be defined for all time and all issues, which I think was important.
In terms of multi-stakeholder principles, we distilled several. The first cluster was around participation, that multi-stakeholder models should lead real participation, taking into account that there aren't decision-making outcomes, but that it is more than the concept of mere consultation, concept that there is a right for people to participate in governance processes that they have a stake in, that openness and transparency were other keywords here. And this was a standard that civil society should apply to itself as well.
In a similar way, other participation that policy choices shall be explained, shall be justified, particularly from a multi-public interest viewpoint.
The second core principle related to accountability and transparency, in other words, as civil society, that we, as civil society should ensure this accountability and transparency ourselves, but that also, as stakeholders, we do need common understandings of what we mean by these concepts. Bearing in mind that forms of accountability for government may be different from the forms of accountability for private sector or civil society, but nonetheless, accountability is important.
And also the responsibilities of participants in multi-stakeholder processes to be informed and have the necessary skills and be supported in capacity development.
The third principle was somewhat unelegantly framed but was around changing power and balances, that in other words, modalities of process must ensure that civil society groups have a meaningful, equal stake and equal participation in Internet Governance processes and that there is -- sorry -- a fourth principle was procedural fairness. And a fifth one was diversity, diversity of viewpoints, including not only those who are at the table, but the range of viewpoints on and under discussion.
In terms of other clusters of process-related Internet Governance principles, it was also an agreement that participants are working to some collective goal or common purpose, that there are documents and materials available online, that there is an openness and all parties can see those, and principles of respect and dignity in terms of how processes are conducted.
So I'd stop there, and just as I say, those are working notes from a discussion which has not yet concluded, but we share those in the spirit of facilitating your discussions.
>> ADIEL AKPLOGAN: Thank you very much for those points. I think last we will hear from Nnenna. She will give us a perspective from the original IGF, which had laid down some principles as well, so Nnenna.
>> NNENNA NWAKANMA: Good morning. Now my boss is here. That's the man over there in the cap. His name is Martin. He works at the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa, and he is actually the Africa IGF because he is the one doing the work at the Secretariat, which has been hosted by UNECA and the AU.
I am not going to -- I am going to respond in a slightly different way, which will be my summary and understanding based on experience, having gone through the national, the subregional, and the continental. I have organised the Cote d'Ivoire IGF, the West Africa IGF, and have been volunteering on the Africa IGF.
I would like to share the following. Number one point is shoot at the top and dig below. Shoot at the very top and dig as deep as you can. That means that we need all partners on board. In Africa, we need everyone from the AU commission to the person on the street. It's very important that we involve everyone. And give information on time. We have had issues with people not getting important information on the time they need it. So one thing I will put in here will be about sharing information and sharing it on time. And in a language that people understand. There is something called IGF Speak. You send a letter that the WGIG has been convened by ITU, and MS will be speaking with the AfriNIC Chair. That is pure IGF speak. Nobody understands whether MS means multi-stakeholder or it means Matthew Shears, but actually, in this case, I am speaking about Matthew Shears will be speaking with AfriNIC CEO. Just say Adiel. So we need to give information in the language that people understand and not just in speak, but in Africa we speak English, French, Portuguese, Arabic, so it's very important that when we do that we do it in language that people understand.
Encourage volunteers. It's a good thing that we see it online. Encourage volunteers. 80% of IGF work is done on volunteer energy, and if we cannot keep the volunteers, then we cannot keep any multi-stakeholder when going.
The other thing is remote participation because that allows people who may not have the funding in place or people who are held for one or two other reasons to still be able to participate.
And be flexible on dates and agree on them. In Nairobi, when we looked at the dates -- because we have national IGF, we have subregional, then we have the regional -- we decided it was better to do the Africa one at the very end of the year, just before the global IGF, to give enough time for countries and subregions to pull off their own meetings.
Of course there are mailing lists. We cannot run away from mailings lists. That's about the basics of communication. Maybe Marco will share more, but most people communicating from Africa IGF are from the open source world, people used to making open calls. It's always very important to make open calls and put them out where everyone who can have an opportunity.
And I will say establish a website. I think that's one thing we took away from Nairobi. Some IGFs do not have a stand-alone website, and it makes people a bit draw back. But when we have an IGF on one site, it makes it easier to put that information.
Finally, I think during our own experience this week, this year, there was a time Markum got very angry, and he wrote everyone and said guys, this is how much money we received. We received this much from this person, this much from this stakeholder, this much from this stakeholder, total this. This is all the money. So now shoot it.
So I think especially for us in Africa, it's very important to be clear in money communications. Tell how much there is, where it came from, and what it is being used for. It keeps everybody quiet.
>> ADIEL AKPLOGAN: Thank you very much for those key efforts that make IGF successful but also supports multi-stakeholderism in the process of IGF.
We now will listen to Professor -- he's not here.
So we'll hear from Markus, who will give us ISOC perspective on a few of the principles that have been worked on within the community.
>> MARKUS KUMMER: Thank you. I would like to actually pass on the ball to John from ARIN. He has been working on principles and has further developed them, so John, if you don't mind.
>> Thank you, Markus, I think. So in looking at the question of principles, and looking at some of the past work that's happened, one of the things that was discovered -- and it was mentioned in one of the earlier comments regarding the BASIS work. We have the question of what is multi-stakeholderism, and what is it distinct from how we use it with respect to Internet cooperation.
And if you do a straw man, you sort of imagine that we were all here working on some other problem, we were working on something like the management of the Antarctica or greenhouse gases, okay, but we had a common goal and a sense of purpose, and we decided to use multi-stakeholder mechanisms for our engagement. When you do that, it actually helps us understand the difference between multi-stakeholder cooperation for Internet purposes and multi-stakeholder mechanisms in general.
The multi-stakeholder engagement mechanisms we actually have a pretty good agreement on -- I don't say we have agreement -- we have many people using the same words. They're actually up on those screens, open and inclusive, participatory, transparency and accountability. So I actually think work on multi-stakeholder engagement, independent from the Internet context, might be helpful because that's a more general problem which would allow us to understand that portion very well.
I will also note there is an overlap in terms, in trying to tease out some of this among the work going on in some of the Internet technical organisations. It's hard to talk about accountability without talking about transparency first because it's next to impossible to build transparency if you don't -- accountability without it.
The same thing when you talk about openness, inclusiveness, and participation end up being a common theme. So I guess I don't think we're as far away as people might think. I think work in trying to figure out what multi-stakeholder engagement mechanisms are outside of the Internet context would be helpful, and then we can make using multi-stakeholder engagement one principle in how we handle Internet cooperation, and then we can talk about all the other principles beyond multi-stakeholder engagement mechanisms because we understand the multi-stakeholder part so well.
>> MATTHEW SHEARS: Let me just say if you wish to speak, please raise your hand. We want to get as many questions and comments as possible. Thank you.
>> P. JEET: I am Parminder Jeet from IT for Change, also with an interest to make it more interactive, I thought we can kind of have a discussion going as well, and I am very -- I agree completely with John to see things in certain compartments as well. And when we are talking about multi-stakeholderism outside Internet Governance mechanisms, it is proven and established rather well there are some new things which we should take cognizance of, and I also see in certain moves, including Montevideo and other people, who are aspiring to take that out to the rest of the world, and now we need to examine what it does it mean here?
In the outside world, multi-stakeholder has other history, which comes generally from projects. World Bank made it famous, that you are making a road somewhere, you could quickly collect people around that place, people whose livelihoods are affected, industries are affected, and have a consultation before you finalize a project. It was a very project-related idea. And as we elevate it to a form of governance, and I think you are talking about democracy and multi-stakeholderism and what is the relationship between the two, and yesterday I heard it's just an instrument of democracy, and if it is an instrument of democracy, it should always test itself against democracy, which principle is that everybody should have equal political power. Therefore, each act or process of multi-stakeholderism, if it is an interest of democracy, has to demonstrate that it actually increases the power of those people who don't otherwise get represented adequately in existing, insufficient, inappropriate instruments of democracy, and then alone is it an instrument of democracy.
So there should be a principle out there to test each method against a test of power imbalance, whether it actually affects the power of the marginalized groups and people in a positive manner, and then alone it contributes to democracy.
And the connected point, the last principle which is consensus-based decision making, again, I think is a hangover from a process where it was possible to a place where it needs to be thought about. If you would have seen the latest movie on Abraham Lincoln, you would know that slavery would not have been abolish if we were looking at consensus in the very august assembly which I saw in that movie. We need to be talking about great contestations of power. There are entrenched powers, people making claims, and status quo in these situations are not -- I am only saying that we need to examine and I think we can't fix ourselves to consensus-based decision making in general public policy areas. Thank you.
>> MATTHEW SHEARS: Thanks, Parminder. We've got two questions, then we'll go to our last discussant.
>> NIGEL HICKSON: Yes. Thank you very much. Nigel Hickson, ICANN.
Just a couple of points. I don't want to be too controversial, but I actually think that trying to define multi-stakeholder approaches can be somewhat damaging. I can see the advantage in having principles, and indeed, I think the principles that Matthew read out earlier are the sort of principles that one should adhere to. In ICANN, the multi-stakeholder process is quite complex, it's quite sophisticated how the different stakeholders interact. I am not saying it's perfect, but I think it is a process that evolves.
But why I say I think we have to be careful is because I think although we should have principles we uphold for what is and what is not a multi-stakeholder approach, we shouldn't lock out processes that fall short of that necessarily. Multi-stakeholder approaches are a -- it's a vehicle going forward. If we look -- if we look back what governments did 10 or 15 years ago, then a lot of governments were in a very different position when it came to collaboration, multi-stakeholder dialogue, et cetera, et cetera. It's a journey. Therefore, I think we have to accept that people are at different stages on the journey. And to say that that is not a process and this is a process I think can be dangerous.
Ultimately, we want to have a situation which is transparent and which upholds the principles.
>> (Speaker off mic)
>> Ultimately, we want a multi-stakeholder process which adheres to principles on the board, but we might not always everyone be at that stage at every particular time. Thank you.
>> MATTHEW SHEARS: Thank you, Nigel. We do have an issue with the transcript. I don't know if we can solve that. Okay.
Is that a note to continue? Okay. All right. Makane, would you like to take the floor?
>> MAKANE: Thank you. Good morning, everyone. I just wanted to continue on what Nnenna had said. Because in the African IGF, we had two sessions on multi-stakeholderism, so you have some recommendations which was passed, and I can give them now or at the end of the session, if you wish.
There are not too many, and in fact, what was said is as follows:
Public participation in ICT processes should be open to all stakeholders and their engagement encourage --
The second one, purpose, goals, and moralities of the processes should be agreed by all stakeholders from the outset, and consultations should occur at the early stages of policy making, thereby improving buy-in in implementation.
Stakeholder groups should strengthen deliberative structures and processes to be more effectively engaged at all levels, and they should also be accountable and transparent and report back to their constituencies.
Documents, proceedings, and submissions should be open and readily available to the public throughout the process. Multilingualism should also be taken into account to enable everyone to communicate at ease. And remote participation also should be allowed and be the norm in multi-stakeholderism.
And specific recommendations were targeted to all the stakeholder groups. The young people, government, original institutions, business, civil society, major and technical community.
>> MATTHEW SHEARS: Thank you, Makane. Ayesha, do you want to come in now? Thank you. Please do.
>> Thank you. Is it working? I just wanted to build on something that Nigel brought up. I think his point is, is very interesting about becoming too rigid. I think that having a discussion about the various types of multi-stakeholder processes and opportunities and initiatives is going to be helpful in getting to the principles. I don't think we should be afraid to bring out the various examples.
I know in preparing for our workshop that will take place tomorrow, workshop 41, just in case anybody wants to know. I know it came out that, you know, there is a question when there are national initiatives set up, if there is, for instance, one businessperson and one academic, for some people, that is multi-stakeholder, and for some people, that is not. But having the discussion about, well, how effective is that? Because really, it's not just about setting up something, it's about that because we believe that informed policy development and decision making comes from having the views of all interested stakeholders, and so drilling down to see, well, what are you losing in you don't actually abide by certain principles in whatever you are setting up and calling it multi-stakeholder?
So I just wanted to bring that into the discussion. Thanks.
>> MATTHEW SHEARS: Thank you. Subi, would you like to just spend a moment talking about principles?
>> SUBI CHATURVEDI: Yes, thank you. My name is Subi Chaturvedi, and I teach at a university. That's as multi-stakeholder we will get. There's representation from 25 states of the country. In terms of diversity and access issues, India is a case study by itself. About 840 million mobile phones, about 160 million people online, and we are hoping to put and connect another billion.
There are issues, of course, with multi-stakeholderism. It is not something that is uncontroversial. It is not something that we have come to understand and agree. And I think that is a good thing. I have to thank Nigel for bringing this to our attention, that definitions and labels and compartments are not always the best way forward.
I do want to, however, take a step back and ask these questions, and these are important questions when we talk about multi-stakeholderism. Whose voices are heard, and whose voices are left out or excluded when it comes to multi-stakeholderism? These are important questions to ask.
When we talk about processes -- and I'll come to democracy and multi-stakeholderism in just a second -- but it is also equally important to understand what is the legitimacy that each stakeholder has in terms of representing their voices and opinions? And as Ayesha very rightly pointed out, sometimes we get the platform right, the notion right, the idea right by having representation, but not participation, by having -- accountability does not come without transparency. Transparency leads to better efficient and decision making. Collective voices is equally important, and getting as many new voices as possible in the room from developing countries, from emerging economies is an important aspect of multi-stakeholderism.
That is why let us not forget to celebrate the open bottoms-up, inclusive,transparent process that the IGF is. It is a very important moment in history, and I know there are problems, but I would reiterate that these are good problems to have and to solve.
I want to share a little experience that we had with India because it is just so overwhelming when you speak with young people, because young people are not often always polite. They ask sharp questions, and they ask pointed questions. We did about three roundtables, and we had voices from a thousand young leaders who came together and talked about the Internet that they want, and this is the conversation that we need to have, to facilitate. When we talk about multi-stakeholderism, the Tunis Agenda, Paragraph 34 in particular, talks about the rightful roles and responsibilities of each stakeholders, the private sector, the technical community, the academic community, media, youth, the industry, and governments. When we talk about governments, they have an important role to play, and it is important to understand in the state versus market debate, when ROIs are important, governments will create infrastructure in the long run.
That will facilitate and benefit other stakeholders, and they have a huge role to play. But to differentiate between government and governance, as Ayesha also pointed out, is equally important.
The Tunis Agenda talks about the development and application by governments, the private sector, the civil society in their respective roles of shared principles, norms, rules, decision-making procedures. Though we might not agree to a definition or a common understanding of multi-stakeholderism, but both in governance as well as Internet Governance, it is an important concept. Because I don't see any other option. I don't see an option where governments can speak with governments and solve a problem which is beyond their understanding at the moment, because governments, please remember, did not create the Internet. The Internet was created by cherishing and upholding current values and principles of openless and permissionless innovation. And it is a community exercise.
So I just want to leave it at that for a moment, and we want this session to be interactive. We want comments from the floor. Diplo carried a really interesting exercise, and that's my benchmark for understanding how we see, respond to, and solve questions differently. I just want to put the top three words that were used most often by different stakeholder communities. For governments, it was: Internet, think, IGF. For internal organisations, it was: Internet, think, very, which was followed by much. Nongovernmental Organisations: Privileged, think, much, very, and person. Technical communities talked about think, Internet, much, and very. Academia talked about Internet, very, much, think. Business talked about think, much, very, and goal.
These are calls to action, and this is also a small example in how we talk about similar things but not with equal amount of importance and privileges.
So I also want this opportunity to be a call to action for communities to engage and, yes, civil societies have a huge role to play.
As Nnenna pointed out, it is important to be able to disseminate information and to be able to build bridges and facilitate greater participation.
Thank you, Matthew.
>> MATTHEW SHEARS: Thank you, Subi.
So now I welcome -- we welcome comments, questions from the floor. I know that we have one over here. Does anybody else want to get in the order to speak?
>> Matthew, sorry. Matthew, we also requested a regional perspective, so may I also request Mark to share his observations during the course of the discussion? Thank you.
>> MATTHEW SHEARS: Yes, absolutely. Who else? So I have -- and then Joy and Norbert. Okay. Yes, please, go ahead.
>> So I wanted to take off from where John left and wanted to say there is systematic research that exists on multi-stakeholderism, and one of these research pieces that we've been studying was undertaken by Fredreich Ebert Stifton, and it looked at the United Nations and looked at what these partnerships actually mean. And the conclusion of this research was that invariably, the notion or practice of multi-stakeholderism suffers from the problem of putting the cart before the horse, which is that instead of asking the question, how can global problems be solved in a framework of democratic multilateralism, and in our case we might want to say democratic multiculturalism, multipluralism, and everything else. Normally the question tends to degenerate into how can partnership models be strengthened and their management improved?
So this is a kind of a reductionist approach, and what the research also says is that there is no unifying goal in any of these partnerships other than the fact that different actors espousing multiple goals and different time scales are actually coming together.
The research also cautions that in these arrangements, there can actually be a distortion of competition and a pretense of representativeness. It also cautions that it has dubious complementarity, where governments escape responsibility on human rights.
Well, I think I'll stop there, but just to say that this cart before the horse problem needs to be identified, and one must go back to the touchstone of democracy.
>> MATTHEW SHEARS: Thank you very much.
Could I just ask everybody to introduce themselves when they speak. Thank you. Joy?
>> JOY: Thanks, Matthew. I want to pick up on a couple of points that were made that I think are very useful. Just in relation to the shared understandings of multi-stakeholder processes. I wanted to share an idea that arose in the Best Bits meeting, which was to do with this discussion and trying to build towards a shared understanding of multi-stakeholder principles, shared not only in the areas where we agree, but shared understanding of where we disagree.
And one suggestion that has been made is that the Best Bits begin to think about some kind of quality mark, if you like, for multi-stakeholder processes, taking into account our shared understandings of what principles we think are important in defining legitimate multi-stakeholder processes.
This might be something that a cross-community conversation would be good to have, so not only the processes themselves, but how do we share in degree when we look at different processes on the quality of those, and whether we can sort of assist them in some way? And I think that would be an interesting concept to explore in the context of this discussion and the IGF going forward.
>> MATTHEW SHEARS: Thank you.
Next we have Norbert, please.
>> NORBERT BOLLOW: Norbert, speaking for the Civil Society Internet Governance Caucus. We have a workshop that I wanted to mention, and it is very interesting as an example also for what I call incident handling. The workshop is called Multi-stakeholder Selection Processes, Accountability and Transparency. And the incident is in conflict that arised out of lack of clarity and different understandings about stakeholder groupings. There was a breakdown in trust in the whole concept and process of representativity, and the way forward that eventually crystallized is that we are organising a workshop jointly with the three focal points for the nongovernmental stakeholder categories, for the Working Group on Enhanced Cooperation, and we are going to look into principles that will work specifically to have accountability and transparency in a way that is trustworthy so that we can build trust, that people can feel represented, not only that they are comfortable with the representatives that are sort of responsible for their kinds of concerns, but also that we can have some kind of trust in the whole system, that the whole system is sort of adequate to bring all the various concerns to the table.
So that is today right after the lunch break, number 127. Thank you.
>> MATTHEW SHEARS: Thank you, Norbert.
>> LESLEY COWLEY: Thank you, Matthew. Lesley Cowley from Nominet and the registry, also speaking with my experience working with country code colleagues over a number of years.
I'd like to welcome the principles. Clearly a lot of thinking has already gone into those already. And just to add two reflections. I noticed at the very end was something on decision making. And I just observe that's interesting because traditionally the IGF as a multi-stakeholder model hasn't been keen on decision making, so maybe that's new territory. But for me, decision making in a multi-stakeholder environment can often be challenging, and often one of the key aspects of decision making is making a timely decision. And if it takes forever to get to a decision, then maybe that's not such a good thing.
My second point, though, is about the wording here, and I am lucky because English is my first language. But even though it's my first language, I could still give you different meanings on some of those words. And I would just suggest that maybe assuming we can reach some agreement on words, then examples of those principles in action might be very helpful.
For example, in terms of accountability, this is a small case study as to how this was done in a particular policy area. That might be helpful in terms of making those principles real to people and preventing different interpretations of the words.
>> MATTHEW SHEARS: Thank you, Lesley. That's a very valuable comment, I think, and an interesting way for us to possibly proceed with this.
I think we have one more comment that would like to be made, and then I think we're going to need to kind of move this forward a little bit, given the constraints of time, so please.
>> Thank you. My name is Gerrard Patia. I work for AT&T and also represent a large industry association based out of New Delhi.
I just wanted to make a point about the various models that were discussed and the fact that we shouldn't try and label them, to emphasize some of that stuff. There's a lot spoken about the resilient multi-stakeholder model. Let me represent in some -- pull this up further -- let me represent that in -- from my experience of working for about 18 years in the Indian ICT space, we don't have a body like that, but in fact, I would argue that we have a very strong -- perhaps even a stronger process of engaging multi-stakeholders in decision making that is almost written under law.
And in countries where tradition for participation is weak, it is sensible to put this under law. I would just sort of argue, just take about a minute or so, under the Telecom Act in India, which basically leads to decisions of the government, executive decisions of the government, not necessarily policy, both from telecommunications and which lead to Internet access, et cetera, not only are the regulators obliged to act in a transparent manner under law, but in fact, inputs provided by stakeholders have to be considered, and in the event that a party believes that the inputs have not been considered in an open, transparent process that is available to open houses and written consultation, they are able to take the decisions of the government to court and get those decisions set aside and has been done on more than one occasion. So in fact, the way to strengthen meaningful engagement of the stakeholders with government when it's making a decision, one of the models is to actually write it in law so government is required to explain their decisions and also inclusion of comments that might have been given.
This is not a very celebrated model around the world, but I would agree and would argue a very effective model. In policy making, we have the same process. It's not under law, but there's open consultation.
So I was just trying to strengthen the point that was being made that I think the debate about what the various multi-stakeholder models should be is an evolving debate, but I suppose the basic principles hold. The point that I want to emphasize upon is that when the government is making decisions, it should be obliged to reflect the inputs that have been received, including the ones that have been rejected, along with assigning reasons. And that will strengthen the confidence and the process more than any other discussion.
I'd close by saying that in countries where this is not a strong legacy or not well developed, it makes sense to put it under law to the extent possible so that recourse is available when the principles are violated. Thank you.
>> MATTHEW SHEARS: Thank you. Sorry, Mark, I may have missed you. Do you wish to speak? Okay, and then we'll move on. Thanks.
>> Thanks very much. Mark, UK development department. -- in fora like this and also in the ITU when it's dealing with Internet issues and also in the UN and other fora where a lot of examination and the evolution of multi-stakeholder processes come up for discussion. We are very committed to getting involved in those discussions. As much as possible.
I just wanted to follow up in a kind of neat segue in the last two or three interventions about the UK experience here because we do have a long, well-established tradition within the UK Government of Consulting on any legislative proposals, and there are a number of well-established mechanisms for that, publication of green papers, white papers, and so on. And generally being open and accessible to anyone who has interest at the centre of a legislative proposal.
In the area of Internet Governance, we have set up a process for consultation with stakeholders. Minister Vaizey referred to this in one of his speeches when he was here. And that is the Multi-stakeholder AG on Internet Governance, a new acronym, called MAGIG, and that comprises about 40 representatives from across our administration because Internet issues, interest in other government ministries, in respect to Internet issues, is quite extensive. So we bring together those colleagues from other parts of government, so we're more joined up. We've got the private sector there, we've got civil society, we've got the academic experts.
So this group, we meet with them at regular intervals. We have an agenda which is largely determined by what's happening in the Internet ecosystem, such as the WSIS review, process of the IGF, ITU preparations for the High Level Event next April, and so on. So we've got a very busy agenda. And we are saying look, this is what's coming up. Let us know what you feel. We can do a paper about this, circulate it against members of the MAGIG, and then we get a better sense of confidence is actually the point that's being made. You know, we are going in line with what stakeholders are telling us, and if we have points of difference, let's talk them through and examine that.
At that national level, we are very active. We are very active in the European multi-stakeholder Forum, the EuroDIG, European dialogue on Internet Governance, EuroDIG. We engage in discussions when EuroDIG takes place.
Then in the Commonwealth, we have -- it's a bit of a virtual forum. We don't have stand-alone events as the Commonwealth IGF. We've got an Open Forum here in Bali on Friday morning. And there the experience has been good in terms of bringing together potential partners for initiatives, concrete actions coming out of dialogue. The IGF is not a decision-making forum, but it brings together potential partners, and that is the catalyst for cooperation, again, involving stakeholders, and we have a major initiative on the go. We'll talk about this at our Friday session here, and that is the cybercrime initiative.
And there we have all the key international partners engaged in capacity building to combat the threats of cybercrime. We have ICANN, Council of Europe, ITU, UN office of drugs and crime, and many others, existing Commonwealth institutions that have an interest in this, such as Commonwealth Secretariat. They are all around the table with us, and it came around a very open discussion that we facilitated through the Commonwealth Internet Governance Forum. And I think the story is looking very good on that. The dialogue, the coming together with partners is leading to a very open and accessible process. I briefly wanted to count that as an example of how dialogue, involving stakeholders, governments can actually lead to concrete actions.
>> MATTHEW SHEARS: Thank you. I see no other hands, and in the interest of time, I think we need to move on just to -- let me just make a couple of comments. I think we've had a very rich discussion. Some themes that have come out are the imperative of diversity and geographical representation, the need for common language, and a common understanding of what those principles that we may be working to are. There needs to be opportunity for participation, including remote participation. We talked a little bit about legitimacy of purpose and how important that is, about bottom-up agenda setting, clear and transparent processes, the legitimacy of representation, and general transparency of what the process is and how do you contribute and what the outcomes are and what the accountability is.
I think at this point I'd like to turn it over to Adiel, and I'd like to see if we can, without wordsmithing -- which is going to be very challenging -- if we can come to some sense of purpose around the words that we've got up on the screen as a first step, if you will, and if that's agreeable, I'd certainly like to give that a try, and I'll turn it over to Adiel. Thank you.
>> ADIEL AKPLOGAN: Yes, thank you, Matthew, and very interesting indeed.
One thing that I've noticed as well is that globally we are all converging towards some key principles. When we start digging in and start looking at the applications and start looking at their translation into different areas of Internet Governance, policy development process at country level, then the interpretation may vary, and that interpretation depends a lot on the environment and who is driving the process as well. And I think that is where the challenge is for all of us, how we can get around that.
I think what we can do now, as Matthew said, is to look at those words projected there and see among those words which of them can -- across the board can be applied and where we see challenges as well. Because one of the parts of this session was to look at where the challenges arose in applying those principles of multi-stakeholderism generally. So if we can look at those few points and see if there is or there is no convergence on those principles, and if there is no, where the challenge -- where is the challenge, and how can we address them going forward?
Yes, John and Parminder. Yeah, John and then Parminder.
>> J. CURRAN: Okay. Looking at the ones on the screen before us, I just note that the mechanisms listed for decision making and for how transparency cover how decisions are made and the inputs behind that, but it actually doesn't cover the documents and the materials in the discussion. So there's a question of whether or not multi-stakeholderism requires not just understanding how the decisions were made, but access to all of the communications, all of the inputs are available.
And it doesn't -- it's an interesting question whether or not this is an Internet-specific item or not, but it doesn't specifically talk about things like public comment and remote participation. I'd like to think if multi-stakeholder mechanisms were used by another group of people solving some other problem, they'd still include mandatory processes for public comment and from remote participation where feasible and without any requirements for participation in either of those other than decorum.
>> ADIEL AKPLOGAN: Thank you, John. You mentioned -- excuse me, Parminder. Just to comment on John's comment. You mentioned remote participation, public comment, and availability of documents or supporting documents for the decision-making process. Can those be aggregated in transparency, for instance?
>> J. CURRAN: They can. Presently the language there provides processes, decision making, and decisions made and input. That actually doesn't include all of the input, just the input reflected in the decision, and so we just need to be careful there. We need to elaborate transparency.
>> ADIEL AKPLOGAN: On the wording, thank you, I got that part.
>> P. JEET: I think I perhaps did not make myself clear, but I reiterate -- and I said this even when these principles were being developed -- that consensus-based decision making in public policy is a huge political issue. And I repeat, we are talking about public policy decisions of power conflicts, structural marginalizations. I actually gave an example that slavery would not be abolished in consensus-making decisions. Therefore, we cannot tie ourselves to consensus-based decision making in public policy process. That was not acceptable earlier for us and is not acceptable politically generally for any processes which I have been a part of, so I would like that to be removed or said in a manner which does not make it applicable in public policy processes.
Secondly, as a principle, also I requested that multi-stakeholderism is seen as a form of participatory democracy, and every instrumental act of multi-stakeholderism is checked, whether it actually increases the power and participation of those who are traditionally left out. That, for me, is the biggest principle. We don't need reform in democracy if democracy is working, and if multi-stakeholderism is reforming democracy, then it means it's not working, and the point it's not working means people do not have political power, and multi-stakeholderism is only legitimate if it increases the equity of political power.
So two things, again, to be very precise so that they get incorporated, consensus-based decision making public policy cannot be a thing we can commit ourselves to. Second, it should be a form of participatory democracy and should be checked against whether it increases the power of marginalized groups.
>> ADIEL AKPLOGAN: Thank you very much, Parminder. I think especially decision making, I think it's something very tricky to talk about, and I think that will be taken into consideration.
Matthew, you want to add something?
>> MATTHEW SHEARS: Perhaps we could take the following approach, and we've got an incredibly valuable transcript going here that reflects all the various inputs that have been given so far.
Perhaps we can talk about these a little bit more generally, and then take into account the point that everybody is making and view this as an ongoing, iterative process, so taking into account the things that people have said and work and view this as something going forward. And I really -- I particularly liked Lesley's proposal about looking at actual practices and how can we illustrate these principles through actual things that are working out there or, indeed, the challenges aspect.
So rather that -- perhaps it's good to hear -- we would like to hear what people have concerns about, but we're not taking this session as an opportunity to wordsmith. This is an ongoing process. We want to get the sense of this room, so to speak, and take this discussion forward. So let's note all the comments and take this discussion forward, towards the next IGF, and build on the basis of what we have on the screen as a starting point.
>> ADIEL AKPLOGAN: Yeah. Thank you, Matthew. And I think there are many other workshops during this week that are going to provide input to this discussion as well. So we are not going to have the final word here, but I think all the input that we have here will contribute to shape this discussion going forward.
Any other comment on the challenge, and then specific application of this?
>> Thank you. I don't have a specific application, but I would like to comment on specific applications. It seems to me that the basis of your principles are that there's some kind of normative consensus among the various stakeholders. That is, there's a convergence of the stakeholders around a shared set of values and norms concerning the issue at hand.
I think there's a problem with that. When we talk about stakeholders, we are talking about interests, and in many environments and many decisions, there are conflicts, conflicts between interests as well as perhaps conflicts of interests, but certainly conflicts between interests.
And I guess what I don't see in your principles or that hasn't been raised in the discussion to date is how, in this context, those kinds of conflicts are managed. That is, when there isn't a normative consensus, when people are pursuing their interests and you have in some sense a zero-sum game. And I think that's perhaps getting into an issue that was raised elsewhere, which is the issue of the relationship between multi-stakeholderism and democracy.
One of the key virtues, if you will, one of the key contributions of democracy was its capacity to settle, to resolve gross conflicts within society, perhaps not to everyone's satisfaction, but at least to a degree of satisficing amongst the various parties. And the challenge that I see if multi-stakeholderism is put up as a decision-making process, in the absence of its subordination to democratic processes, is that there is no means to resolve those kinds of conflicts.
>> ADIEL AKPLOGAN: Yeah. Thank you very much. I think we have two further comments. You, and John later.
>> Joy LIDDICOAT: Thank you. Joy Liddicoat for the record.
Yes, I just wanted to repeat the earlier thought, share the earlier thought we'd had about discussion and some of the Best Bits list about coming up with some shared understandings that we could use to assist from a sort of a qualitative basis, multi-stakeholder processes which we think have hallmarks of or appear to be conducive -- commensurate with, I should say -- the principles that we're sharing, and we think this would be a useful thing to explore. It's a new idea. And we think, you know, it would be a valuable input perhaps to the next IGF and also something for participants in other IG-related processes to take into account in their own work.
I just, on the consensus-based decision-making point, I mean, I understand that there are different perspectives on this. But I wouldn't want those different perspectives to prevent us from including within decision making those decision-making processes that are based on consensus, where there is some qualitative aspect towards ensuring -- assuring, I should say -- that consensus is genuine, fully informed, and resulting in the kinds of processes that we want.
I certainly would not want to see consensus-based decision making excluded entirely from our principles. I think that would be counterproductive. The point is well made about the quality of those, but I think that that's a different issue.
>> ADIEL AKPLOGAN: Thank you. I think we will take the last one. John, you wanted to say something? And we will wrap up. Matthew, you will take it after -- oh, there is two. Okay. We take that one first because John already -- yeah.
>> Thank you very much. Sala Tamarikamaro, and I am from Fiji. I thought I would quickly share some thoughts. I will try to be very succinct, as much as possible.
I think to a large extent, because there are different contexts within Internet Governance, whether it's within a policymaking body, whether it's within the IGF, or whether it's the selection of certain representatives or constituents and that sort of thing.
I think one thing we should include in our dialogue is the philosophical base. The reality is you can have one person from government, you can have ten people from civil society, you can have maybe two from corporate, but that one person can override the room. Numbers don't solve the problem, although they do help in terms of aggregating and ensuring a certain level of equality of voices.
However, having said that, I think we should focus -- and this is -- and I'll quickly address the philosophical point. I think we should move away from -- we should move to the bigger picture as to why we are doing this and get the stakeholders to recognize that at the end of the day, it has to be people centric. Corporates need consumers to purchase or to acquire products. Governments exist to look after global -- I mean, not global -- to look after their citizens' interests, and the civil society is sort of a watchdog, so because context defer and that sort of thing, I would say that a values-based approach to collaboration, returning the focus to it's about the people.
>> ADIEL AKPLOGAN: Thank you very much for this new perspective. Unfortunately, we are running out of time. John, we won't be able to take your comment. But you can send them by mail if you want to us.
Matthew, if you can.
>> MATTHEW SHEARS: Yes. I do apologize that we have run out of time because this has been a wonderful discussion, but we will be here in the room for those who would like to make a comment, we can take it and make sure it's reflected as we take this work forward, and I'd like to turn it over to the Chair. Thank you.
>> Thank you, Matthew. Thank you, Adiel.
So ladies and gentlemen, I followed all the discussion. This is my first time to be involved in the IGF, and very interesting and very difficult, of course, especially when maybe during your childhood you never understand about the value of what they are discussing here. And this is very important.
And we are lucky also, like for Indonesia, my colleague already mentioned that we have about 450 ethnic groups. We are lucky we have the national language. That's the first.
And the second, also, the national language is chosen from the small ethnic group, not from the major, like Javanese. This is a kind of respect for all. And our symbol or our foundation, university and diversity. So therefore, we are trained, we learn. Even though the younger generation involve, interfere, interrupted by the new culture in Indonesia. Maybe the environment is changing.
I believe that let's say Bali can produce the brilliant thoughts, and we can, of course, later discuss in -- maybe in the special dialogue regarding this.
So, ladies and gentlemen, with this comment, I conclude the session on Principles of Multi-stakeholder Cooperation, and thank you also for moderator, Adiel and Matthew, and also Markus, who guided me in chairing this session. Enjoy your stay in Bali. The longer you stay, the better for Indonesian economy. Thank you very much.
This text is being provided in a rough draft format. Communication Access Realtime Translation (CART) is provided in order to facilitate communication accessibility and may not be a totally verbatim record of the proceedings.