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Internet Governance Civil Society Coordination Group (CSCG)

Letter on the selection process for the IGF MAG

Sep 12, 2018


Dear IGF Secretariat,

Please forward a copy of this E-Mail to UN DESA, Executive Office of the
Secretary-General. 

We, the Civil Society Coordination Group (CSCG), write with regards the
selection process for members of the Internet Governance Forum
Multistakeholder Advisor Group.

We refer you to our previous E-Mail, dated 31 March 2018 (copied below for
your convenience), and respectfully request a response to the issues we
raised at that  stage. As we embark on process to select nominees from
within the global civil society stakeholder community for the 2019 MAG
renewal, we reiterate our concern that the IGF 2018 MAG composition does not
appear to have fully considered the CSCG recommendations.

As detailed in our previous E-Mail, the CGSG endeavors to carry out a fully
open, inclusive and transparent process in line with the recommendations of
the CSTD Working Group on IGF Improvements. 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.
Otherwise the processes and measures that CSCG has taken up are undermined.

We take this opportunity to also raise the rotation of the MAG Chair, which
we feel requires more transparency. We reiterate the importance of rotating
the appointment of the MAG Chair to someone from the global south and to a
stakeholder group that has not yet held the position, such as civil society.
More transparency and consultation are needed around the selection and
appointment of the next MAG chair and we believe that the MAG should be
consulted on the renewal of the Chair.

Finally, we request an update on where the IGF retreat process stands. A
number of thoughtful and constructive suggestions were made regarding the
issues raised above. It is incumbent upon DESA to take this process forward.



We look forward to your reply to our comments above.

Sincerely,
R. Hill on behalf of the CSCG

================

Copy of our 31 March E-Mail
---------------------------

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.