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Internet Governance Civil Society Coordination Group (CSCG)

CSCG letter to the IGF Secretariat

Mar 31, 2018

Dear IGF Secretariat,

We, the Civil Society Coordination Group (CSCG), write with regards to
the recent appointment of MAG members:

https://www.intgovforum.org/multilingual/content/mag-2018-members

With regards to the civil society member appointments, the IGF 2018
MAG composition does not appear to have fully considered the CSCG
recommendations, which were sent to the IGF Secretariat on 9 November 2018
(see http://internetgov-cs.org/2017-11-08 ). Those recommendations were
established via an open, inclusive and transparent process within the
global civil society stakeholder community.

Of the 8 names we put forward, only one (Jeremy Malcolm, the third name
on the slate) was appointed.

The report of the CSTD Working Group on improvements to the IGF includes
reference to the selection process for the MAG, and recommendations for
improvements, as noted below:

"2.     improve the structure and working methods of the MAG

"20. The proposed Selection Process for the MAG:

"(a) The three non-governmental stakeholder groups should propose lists
of candidates that should be balanced, including in terms of gender
distribution and in reflecting the diversity of geographical distribution.
This will enable a wide range of diversity within the MAG, especially
those groups which have been underrepresented in the MAG, and be
sufficiently large to provide some flexibility when selecting MAG members.

"(b) Stakeholder groups should identify and publicize the process that
works best for their own culture and methods of engagement and which will
ensure their self-management.

"21. During the Selection Process the following measures should be kept
in mind:

"(a) The process of selection of MAG members should be inclusive,
predictable, transparent and fully documented."

Considering the appointment of only one of the members nominated by the CSCG,
we have concerns with regards to the selection process: namely with regards
to its transparency, predictability and the documentation process. 

In particular, we believe there should be transparency regarding when the
list of candidates is first vetted, what comments and recommendations are
made, what elements UN DESA takes into account, and the reasons for which
UN DESA deviates from the recommendations made by a stakeholder group's own
decision-making procedures and mechanisms. 

Both the Stakeholder Groups and the UN DESA can benefit from more transparency
in the above mentioned process as any inputs provided with regards to the
suggested names would allow us to enhance given mechanisms for the nomination
and selection of MAG appointees. We also suggest that a timeline, which clearly
states the date for the nomination, selection, appointment and announcement of
new MAG members, be made publicly available.

In this context, we stress that civil society, through the CSCG, uses a public
process to select the candidates that it recommends, so we have ensured
self-management in accordance with the cited CSTD Working Group report. All our
previous communications regarding MAG nominations can be found at:
http://internetgov-cs.org/

We have been consistent in our efforts for diverse networks to come together and
openly and transparently identify civil society slates for MAG renewals. We urge
UNDESA and the Secretariat, likewise, to follow the cited CSTD recommendations.

We look forward to your reply to our comments above.

Sincerely,
R. Hill, for the Civil Society Coordination Group.