[IRP] Text of IRP Statement to Open Consultation for IGF 2010: Call for IGC consensus about support--please opine!
Thu Jan 14 13:33:13 EET 2010
Hello all: this is the current draft of the IRP contribution, which is
up for Consensus for IGC support. There will be a "tightened" draft
later, probably this afternoon, but this appears to be the essence of
Please read it carefully, and advise whether the IGC should sign on in
support of this statement. This is independent of any IGC statement.
We need to do this quickly if we want to ask the IRP to add our
signature to their written contribution. Please post.
Open Consultation IGF 2010
INTERNET RIGHTS AND PRINCIPLES DYNAMIC COALITION Statement
The IRP Dynamic Coalition would like to contribute to the Open Consultation
for IGF 2010 in two areas: observations for taking stock of IGF 2009 and
suggestions for the format and agenda of the Vilnius meeting. The comments
below are organised under [..] themes, under which we take stock of IGF
2009 and then offer practical suggestions for the format and planning of
1) General Organization: Generally speaking coalition members found the
meeting to be well organised, with signs of continued progress in all
aspects. Coalition members who were participating in or who organised
workshops would like to commend the organisers for their good work in this
regard, particularly given the relatively limited budget and resources
available to the IGF. Some specific concerns include:
a. Discussions, especially in plenary sessions tended to become diverted
into the issue of whether the IGF should continue, and if so, how. We think
it is time to move on and to keep these issues from overwhelming the topics
b. Continuity and more explicit links between the main sessions and the
workshops could have been stronger. Clear links in the program by
cross-referencing of session/workshop themes and titles is one way to
create these links before the meeting. During and after the meeting, we
would like to see formal feedback opportunities put in place and integrated
into the stocktaking; from organizers and/or moderators of both main
sessions and workshops.
c. Main sessions based around the "traditional" themes of openness,
diversity, and such like started to feel a bit repetitive particularly in
relation to the freshness of new themes introduced onto the program. The
need for continuity and depth needs to be balanced by new themes as well
d. Some panels in main sessions were overloaded with panellists. This
always means less time for a wider plenary discussion. Moderators of larger
sessions need to find ways to ensure that discussion actually takes place
and when it does it dynamic and inclusive. To this end we would suggest
that there is an upper limit set on the number of panellists and/or length
of formal presentations. Moreover that enough time is set aside for
discussion. It is important that contributions from the floor, and remote
participants get enough time to have their say and be adequately responded
to by panellists and other participants.
e. Rather than having main sessions based around broad themes, we think
this year is the moment to broach more specific questions or policy
dilemmas. These can be proposed in advance with an eye to opening up the
discussion about specific solutions before the actual session.
2) Remote Participation: On the whole the facilities for remote
participation seemed to work well. However, there are some specific issues
that we think need to be attended to this year to ensure fuller and more
diverse participation in the IGF.
a. Workshop organisers were not given enough support in good time or
enough information on how to use the technology provided properly. When
technical hitches did occur, there were not enough technicians on hand so
many moderators found themselves doing DIY instead. This is unprofessional
and causes delays and loss of focus for everyone. More information in
advance from IGF HQ would be useful. But also during the event, and given
the importance of enabling remote participation but also having it run
smoothly, the need for more dedicated staff in this respect is
b. We would also suggest, in line with suggestions from the Remote
Participation Working Group (RPWG), that Workshops include both a moderator
on-the-ground and an online moderator in their planning. Some-one needs to
monitor remote participation, in partnership with the workshop moderator,
in order to streamline, filter and facilitate remote participation in the
proceedings; e.g. by gathering text-based comments, setting up a queue for
spoken interventions, or having remote participants be given the floor en
bloc if this is more practicable. We would also urge all moderators to
understand the many remote participants are doing this at difficult times
of their 24 hour day and that time-lags require careful attention be paid
to timing responses and requests by moderators on the ground.
c. The above points underscore our support for proposals to organise
adequate guidelines as well as a brief training session/module/virtual tour
for all moderators before the IGF meeting. During the meeting is not the
time to experiment.
3) Emerging Key themes: A wide range of stakeholders in the plenary
sessions reaffirmed the importance of upholding human rights in the
internet age. However these sentiments tended to be expressed in general
rather than specific terms.
a. The challenge for this coming year is to focus on how upholding human
rights can be achieved in practice; what roles different stakeholders can
or should play in this regard, and how these play out more specifically in
different Internet governance issue-areas.
b. With this in mind we would like to see not only workshops but also main
sessions that look more closely at what a "human rights agenda" or
"development agenda: for Internet Governance might actually look like.
Discussions around broad themes such as openness and diversity have already
taken place. It is time to get down to specifics and we do not see why
these specifics always have to be covered in workshop sessions.
4) Participation: Increasing diversity in terms of cultural, regional, and
linguistic representation remains a core issue for a number of dynamic
coalitions. Our comments and suggestions about continuing to improve remote
participation technically and organizationally relate to these concerns.
Practically there is a need to
a. Setting up coherent - vertical and lateral - links between discussions
and themes from national, regional and international IGFs better, during
the meetings as well as in the record of these various meetings. At present
the public record is piecemeal and not easily accessible. We recognise that
this is process that needs dedicated time and resources to do so and urge
the IGF to put aside some resources for this.
b. Find more ways to open up the meetings to lay-participants. By this we
mean that preparatory consultations, main sessions, and specialised
workshops need to be more accessible not only to 'everyday internet users'
but also for any communities or groups from areas where the Internet is
either less extensive or who have other communication priorities.
Dr Marianne Franklin
Convener of the Transnational Communications & Global Media Program
Media & Communications
Goldsmiths, University of London
London SE14 6NW
Tel (direct): #44 (0)207 919-7072
Fax: #44 (0) 207 919-7616
email: m.i.franklin at gold.ac.uk
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