[WG-Strategy] WG-Strategy - proposed agenda for today

parminder parminder at itforchange.net
Thu Nov 25 10:03:06 EST 2021

Dear All,

Let me begin by quoting the CSTD report on improvements of the IGF,
which is adopted by the UN GA, and is therefore an official UN policy ..

            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;


I understand that the MAG has been undertaking the implementation of the
report on IGF improvements. I had asked about a simple and clear element
of the MAG members' selection process, and since it was said that the
IGF LP will follow the same process, also about the LP members selection
process.... But frankly i was made to feel like i was dropping some kind
of a bomb-shell, personalizing things, being too disagreeable, etc.

I just wanted to know what exactly is the role of the IGF secretariat in
this, because as I understand this should have been documented by now,
and also that MAG bears some responsibility and accountability for
implementing the IGF improvement recs and now directions.

Chengetai first told me today me that the IGF secretariat will just
receive, collate and transmit. I said, so the sect makes no notes on the
nominations. And here Chengetai would not commit. He says they will do
what the US SG office asks them to -- of course they will, they work for
the UN SG, I know that. But my question was more specific, now when they
get the nominations by the 29th, what exactly do they propose to do --
what are there instructions -- is giving notes on nominations a part of
the process at this stage or not ... Now, to repeat this is different
from UN SG or DESA asking for any comments later. IGF sect would of
course respond to that. I was asking, what are their instructions at
this stage This is something the sect and Chengetai knows at this stage,
obviously. But he refused to tell us. Not only for the LP, he also
refused to clearly tell us the process for MAG selections, and whether
at the initial stage of sending nominations to UN DESA, they are
accompanied by sect notes or not .. At one stage he did say in that in
MAG process may be they did so, but then partly withdrew that comment
too.. Here is where we stand.

Well Chengetai works as and for the UN bureaucracy - though I wonder
what his exact position is, IGF being not a UN institution but a UN
project, but anyway -- and I can understand a bureaucratic reticence
from me ... Though as I said, and I do deal with other UN bodies, having
been inside the IGF, as MAG chair's advisor etc, and seeing the IGF as a
special people's participatory sphere and all, which is supposed to be
self-organsing etc, I do try to deal with IGF as a more horizontal and
less bureaucratic place. But it may not be as I see now.

In any case, this is a MAG WG, and MAG members are not UN administration
but representing stakeholders -- that is what is supposed to be unique
about the IGF .... But why i found no support for a transparency
question, on the process whose transparency and documentation is
currently official UN policy, and direction to the IGFsystem ... Sorry,
but I came off feeling that i was being seen as disruptive, etc.

In any case, my question stands: What is MAGs position on the issue that
I raised? And before that what is this MAG-WG's position on it? Are they
even ready to discuss it?

That is beyond my disappointment with the IGF secretariat's non
responsiveness to my question about a process which should not only be
transparent but documented by now, as per UN GA's directions.

Whether inside this group or outside, I continue to take myself as a
civil society activist and representative, and will keep asking such
transparency questions (for instance0. We do the same when we, say, work
with the government of India. I thought it would be easier with the IGF,
given all its self professed attributes, but it does not seem to be. You
want civil society inside IGF processes, and bodies, this is civil
society as I know....

PL dont just blame and point at the UN DESA, at this stage i am even
just looking to the IGF community's' position and of the MAG that is
supposed to represent this 'IGF community' -- and of this MAG WG which
deals with strategic forward looking issues related to the IGF, and also
digital cooperation elements.

Thanks, and best regards


On 25/11/21 5:07 pm, CASSA Concettina wrote:
> Dear Colleagues,
> I kindly remind you that the next virtual meeting of the WG-Strategy
> will be held today*at 1 PM UTC.*
> Agenda
>   1.  IGF  Leadership panel
>   2.  Update on  the Draft Letter to the UN SG
>   3.  Update on the IGF Youth Summit
>   4.  Update on behalf of the Office of the Envoy on Technology
>   5.  Any other business
>                 Participation of the WG-Strategy in IGF2021
>                 Update from the IGF Secretariat/UNDESA on the
> Parliamentary Track
> Zoom details:  https://intgovforum.zoom.us/j/89852950738
> <https://intgovforum.zoom.us/j/89852950738>
> Best,
> Titti
> _______________________________________________
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> WG-Strategy at intgovforum.org
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