From: Chengetai Masango
Sent: Thursday, March 23, 2017 14:07
To: Richard Hill
Subject: RE: CSWG nominations for IGF MAG renewal

Dear Richard, 

Thank you for your email and for the feedback and your impressions on the
MAG nomination process. 

Though, the selection and appointment to the MAG is ultimately the
prerogative of the Secretary-General of the United Nations, as it is
“Secretary-General’s Multistakeholder Advisory Group”. I will give you my
and the IGF Secretariat’s take on the issue as there have been some emergent
codes of practice and general selection principles that have developed:

With every renewal there is a conscientious effort made to appoint a MAG
that is balanced in terms of regional and stakeholder representation (save
for Governments, which  have roughly twice the number of seats as the other
individual stakeholder groups). As you have mentioned, the number of seats
is not quite fixed and may fluctuate depending on the potential pool of
candidate names submitted each year and the current makeup of the MAG. We
are always striving for balance across many axes to the greatest extent
possible with each cycle. 

Over the past number of years, civil society (CS) has gained a number of
seats to become the largest stakeholder group among the three non-Government
groups on the MAG (as can be seen by
http://www.intgovforum.org/multilingual/index.php?q=filedepot_download/3813/502
the chart we produced). This was a result of CS being often the  
group with the largest number of submitted candidates, and, as a
consequence, the group that was used in the event that there was a shortage
of candidates from other groups, but MAG seats were still to be filled in.
For example, there used to be a lack of private sector candidates from Asia,
so, even though stakeholder balance could not be maintained, regional
balance was attempted by selecting people of that region from CS. But there
has to come a time when MAG seats are rebalanced, and this naturally happens
when there is a pool of candidates that fit the required different criteria.

A similar balancing effort has been made to achieve better geographic
balance: the MAG has traditionally had an over representation of WEOG
members simply because other regions were still getting involved. You may
therefore still expect a slight reduction in the number of WEOG MAG members
over the next years, as the selection pool is now much more geographically
diverse. The same can be said over time about the gender balance in the
other direction. This can be seen in the charts comparing the make up of the
2016 and 2017
http://www.intgovforum.org/multilingual/index.php?q=filedepot_download/3813/502
MAG.

This year, looking at the chart, CS happens to be numerically on par with
the private sector. But it should be noted that the private sector has two
additional members attributed to it due to a change in stakeholder group,
as two continuing members who were previously Government have switched their
affiliation and now have self-identified themselves as private sector. 

There is an understanding that any additional seats that certain stakeholder
groups gain as a consequence of current MAG members changing their
affiliation are temporary and that they will disappear when the tenure of
those individuals in the MAG ends (as explained on the listing of the
current MAG). This was the case with Amelia Andersdotter, she came in as
government and when she left the European Parliament she self-identified as
CS. The seat vacated by John Dada was not refilled due to the incremental
rebalancing of the stakeholder groups, as previously mentioned.

We note the open process conducted within the  CSCG to agree on candidate
nominations. These efforts are sincerely appreciated. They are not wasted,
since even a stakeholder group that might not have seats vacated on the MAG
may still have a submitted candidate (or candidates) selected if, for
instance, they can balance representation on another level (be it an
under-represented regional group, come from a country that has never been
represented on the MAG, or have some other unique quality in terms of
credentials or perspective they would bring). This is to say that any
candidature to the MAG will always be reviewed, and not dismissed out of
hand on the basis of rigid quotas. Some of these needs or criteria are not
easy to foresee until the full submitted candidate pool is reviewed.  Before
any MAG selection process announcement, we will review and update or FAQ’s
on the process in order to assist individuals and stakeholder groups on the
attributes that are being looked for.

We do not think that the system is by any means perfect and we remain open
to any suggestions for improvements, as long as they do not advantage one
set of actors over another. As conditions change from year to year,  we do
believe in dialogue with all stakeholders, with a view to continuously
improve the system.

I hope CSCG finds the above explanation helpful. With thanks for your
continued commitment to the IGF process, I remain available to answer any
questions or even brainstorm ideas with you.

Best regards 

Chengetai