Internet Governance Civil Society Coordination Group (CSCG)

Re: IGF MAG 2015 appointments

Tuesday, November 18, 2014
From: Ian Peter
To: Deniz Susar
Cc: Elia Armstrong

Dear Deniz,

Thank you for your reply and your constructive comments. In the same spirit of seeking the best possible methodology to ensure the most effective civil society involvement in IGF MAG, let me just make a few comments towards the objective of developing a globally accepted and consolidated nomination process. Perhaps by the time of the next round of MAG renewals we might have something more effective in place!

Given that the current process is one that calls for individuals to be nominated by any entity, it is not surprising that you have a very large number of nominations – often in fact, people will approach us, and if they are not endorsed by us, will approach you directly as well. But, as you do not know who has already been considered by us, and as we also do not know who has written to you, the concept of a globally accepted and consolidated nomination process would have to involve, it would seem, sharing of candidate information so that all candidates can be assessed equitably. This does not have to involve UNDESA’s co ordination role being subverted, but it does perhaps suggest that for any such consolidated process, either civil society nominations should be forwarded to UNDESA, and then shared with us in every case for evaluation of all candidates, or sent to us directly in all cases, with no alternative route of applying to UNDESA/IGF directly. I think we should discuss how we can most effectively achieve this.

Another problem which arises for us in the current situation is that, in forwarding a slate of 10 names, we have given very careful attention to balancing the range of political perspectives within civil society, and indeed our capacity to be fully representative requires that all voices be heard. When a list we submit is not fully accepted because of the need for intra regional gender and geographic balance – an understandable requirement for IGF MAG – this balance can be inadvertently upset. This was the case with the 2015 MAG appointments. It would be good to find a way to ensure that such adjustments do not have wider ramifications for broad civil society representation, so the solution we finally adopt needs to take this into account as well.

All of which will require some closer collaboration between civil society groups, and between civil society and UNDESA. For our part, we intend to take some steps during the current year to expand our capability to effectively reach out to civil society groups currently not directly associated with any of our coalitions – we do realise that our effective reach is an important factor in our capability to represent as broadly as possible the diverse and important range of civil society voices. We will begin by reaching out to the two newly appointed civil society reps to MAG who do not currently engage with us.

Another step we probably need to consider is the rotation balance. This year almost all civil society reps were rotated out; as far as we can see, next year there will be only one representative for civil society completing a three year term (unless some members decide not to renominate). I think we also need to consider evening up the annual rotation cycle, perhaps by retiring some less active and less effective members at the end of 2015.

Again, thank you for engaging constructively with us and we hope that over coming months we will be able to develop an approach to overcome some of these issues and develop a more globally accepted and consolidated nomination process.

Ian Peter

From: Deniz Susar
Sent: Saturday, November 15, 2014 2:49 AM
To: Ian Peter
Cc: Elia Armstrong
Subject: Re: IGF MAG 2015 appointments

Dear Ian,

Thank you for your email.

Please allow me first to congratulate both the CSCG for the process it has coordinated and the nominees endorsed by the CSCG who were (re)appointed on the 2015 MAG.

As you point out, it is indeed a nontrivial task trying to balance or the different factors that go into selecting MAG members both within the individual stakeholder groups and across the whole MAG. We highly appreciate the efforts the CSCG went through to coordinate civil society groups which is reflected by your nominations receiving the lion's share of the society seats. We still received by far the most number of nominations from the civil society stakeholder group. It seems that the “black box’ approach of selection is still in effect until a more unified and consolidated selection process acceptable to all within the group is found.

The CSCG did very well in coming up with its candidates being cognisant of the regional, gender, age and experience balance that we strive for. The only real disadvantage that the nominations had was that there were so many other nominations coming from other civil society entities that could not all be ignored. If we may suggest a way forward it would be to work towards a globally accepted unified and consolidated nomination process that has the consensus of the entire civil society community to take this role.

We agree it is important to ensure an effective and involved civil society presence in the IGF process and we are looking forward to continuing to work together in the IGF process.