[IRPCoalition] [governance] Re: [JNC - Forum] Time-sensitive: 24 hour sign on period for ITUPlenipot joint recommendations
gurstein at gmail.com
Thu Oct 23 19:21:46 EEST 2014
From: Richard Hill [mailto:rhill at hill-a.ch]
Sent: Thursday, October 23, 2014 8:54 AM
To: Baudouin Schombe; governance at lists.igcaucus.org; Kleinwächter, Wolfgang
Cc: Anriette Esterhuysen; michael gurstein; Milton L Mueller; bestbits at lists.bestbits.net; IRP; JNC Forum
Subject: RE: [governance] Re: [IRPCoalition] [JNC - Forum] Time-sensitive: 24 hour sign on period for ITUPlenipot joint recommendations
Paragraph 34 of the Tunis Agenda reads:
"34. A working definition of Internet governance is the development and application by governments, the private sector and civil society, in their respective roles, of shared principles, norms, rules, decision-making procedures, and programmes that shape the evolution and use of the Internet."
The "respective roles" are outlined in paragraph 35, which includes the following:
"a. Policy authority for Internet-related public policy issues is the sovereign right of States. They have rights and responsibilities for international Internet-related public policy issues."
The only use of the expression "equal footing" is found in paragraph 69, where it refers to equal footing among governments. This language was specifically addressing the asymmetric role of the US government.
Thus I cannot agree with Wolfgang's interpetation to the effect that the WSIS outcomes imply that Internet governance should be based on a model in which stakeholders operate on equal footing and decisions are made by rough consensus and without veto rights.
Note that, at present, in the formal treaty-making processes, each state in effect has veto rights, because no treaty binds a state unless it has been ratified at the national level. In democratic countries, ratification is usually an act of parliament.
That is, there is democratic control over treaties and their effects. This is not just theory, it is practice: ACTA was defeated by parliaments.
So removing "veto rights" would, in my view, be undemocratic, because states would then be bound by decisions taken by "rough consensus" in some international forum, and the citizens of states could not challenge those decisions through their normal democratic processes. For example, we would all be stuck with ACTA.
Paragraph 72 of the Tunis Agenda describes the IGF. But it must be understood in context, that is, in relation with paragraphs 34 and 35.
From: Baudouin Schombe [mailto:baudouin.schombe at gmail.com]
Sent: jeudi, 23. octobre 2014 14:44
To: governance at lists.igcaucus.org; Kleinwächter, Wolfgang
Cc: Anriette Esterhuysen; rhill at hill-a.ch; michael gurstein; Milton L Mueller; <,bestbits at lists.bestbits.net>,; IRP; JNC Forum
Subject: Re: [governance] Re: [IRPCoalition] [JNC - Forum] Time-sensitive: 24 hour sign on period for ITUPlenipot joint recommendations
"The key reference is the working definition of Internet Governance from the Tunis Agenda, which has stated that "decision making procedures" with regard to Internet Governance has to be "shared" among all stakeholders. This means that there is no "Hierarchie Structure" among the stakeholders but a "Network Structure" where stakeholders operate in their respective roles on equal footing and has to work hand in Hand towards rough consensus and without veto rights".
I fully support this Wolfgang argument . In my opinion, I think the rules of the games have already been defined since 2003 and 2005, more specifically, in paragraph 72 of the Tunis Agenda.
Should we still questioning a document which was approved by all members of the United Nations?
I realize that this is also from this period that the multi-stakeholder approach arose. .
Currently our platforms or discussion networks have adopted this approach even if the part of governments and private sectors, it is not yet so accepted.
In the field of digital technology, it is an inescapable approach.
2014-10-23 13:03 GMT+02:00 "Kleinwächter, Wolfgang" <wolfgang.kleinwaechter at medienkomm.uni-halle.de>:
The Intergovernmental organizations and the related intergovernmental treaty system (as the ITU, WIPO, WTO, UNESCO etc.) will continue to play a specific role but it is now embedded in a multistakeholder environment. The key reference is the working definition of Internet Governance from the Tunis Agenda, which has stated that "decision making procedures" with regard to Internet Governance has to be "shared" among all stakeholders. This means that there is no "Hierarchie Structure" among the stakeholders but a "Network Structure" where stakeholders operate in their respective roles on equal footing and has to work hand in Hand towards rough consensus and without veto rights. This does not exclude that the individual stakeholder groups make their own arrangements among themselves which can include also arrangements among governments in form of treaties under international law.
Von: governance-request at lists.igcaucus.org im Auftrag von Anriette Esterhuysen
Gesendet: Do 23.10.2014 12:41
An: rhill at hill-a.ch; michael gurstein; 'Milton L Mueller'
Cc: bestbits at lists.bestbits.net; 'IRP'; governance at lists.igcaucus.org; forum at justnetcoalition.org
Betreff: [governance] Re: [IRPCoalition] [JNC - Forum] Time-sensitive: 24 hour sign on period for ITUPlenipot joint recommendations
Surely we need both multi stakeholder and intergovernmental processes? They are not mutually exclusive in my view and increasing transparency, inclusion and accountability is needed for both.
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<div>-------- Original message --------</div><div>From: Richard Hill <rhill at hill-a.ch> </div><div>Date:23/10/2014 11:37 (GMT+02:00) </div><div>To: michael gurstein <gurstein at gmail.com>,'Milton L Mueller' <mueller at syr.edu> </div><div>Cc: bestbits at lists.bestbits.net,'IRP' <Irp at lists.internetrightsandprinciples.org>,governance at lists.igcaucus.org,forum at justnetcoalition.org </div><div>Subject: Re: [IRPCoalition] [JNC - Forum] Time-sensitive: 24 hour sign on
period for ITUPlenipot joint recommendations </div><div>
"I think private sector-based MS institutions are doing a better job of that
than anything that will come out of the UN and its clientelist co-optation
of civil society and development groups. And some of these institutions work
better and preserve the freedom and autonomy of communications better
precisely because they are _not_ democratic in the old sense of pure
In contrast, I think that it might be worth trying the good old
intergovernmental system, despite its defects, given that the "private
sector-based MS institutions" have failed to solve the urgent issues
identified by the Working Group on Internet Governance back in 2004: the
asymmetric role of the US government, the relatively high cost of Internet
connectivity in developing countries, and the lack of security. Sorry to be
repetitive, but please see:
Further, "majority rule" is an element of democracy, but it is not the only
element. On the contrary, respect for human rights is a fundamental
element, and it is that element, together with the rule of law (which
includes due process), that protects minorities from undue oppression by
Until we create a full fledged "Internet nation", we are stuck with the
nations that we have, and we should use their good features while striving
to correct their bad features.
Calling for an abrogation of state involvement in the absence of
alternatives that ensure democracy, and social and economic justice, is not
something that I can support.
From: Forum [mailto:forum-bounces at justnetcoalition.org]On Behalf Of michael
Sent: mercredi, 22. octobre 2014 22:35
To: 'Milton L Mueller'
Cc: bestbits at lists.bestbits.net; 'IRP'; governance at lists.igcaucus.org;
forum at justnetcoalition.org
Subject: Re: [JNC - Forum] Time-sensitive: 24 hour sign on period for
ITUPlenipot joint recommendations
Actually Milton, the term is "We the Peoples". recognizing the diversity and
multiplicity of the peoples of the world and presumably their various forms
of governance and aspirations towards efficacy and empowerment including
through their representative governance structures most of which at least
nominally have presented themselves as "democracies".
True that many states haven't lived up to those early aspirations, (some of
us even remember when the US could, with a straight face present itself as a
fully functioning model democracy) but this is no reason to deny the
legitimacy of those aspirations and instead out of what--cynicism, fatigue,
self-interest, racism, elitism-whatever--opt for governance through
corporate autocracy errr. a multi-stakeholderism dominated by Western,
technocratic, primarily male, overwhelmingly white elites.
But at least I give you credit for being clear and straightforward in opting
for this form of governance by "private sector-based MS institutions", would
that others in CS were as forthright in admitting where their loyalties
From: Milton L Mueller [mailto:mueller at syr.edu]
Sent: Wednesday, October 22, 2014 1:04 PM
To: 'michael gurstein'
Cc: 'bestbits at lists.bestbits.net'; 'IRP'; 'governance at lists.igcaucus.org'
Subject: RE: Time-sensitive: 24 hour sign on period for ITU Plenipot joint
The UN has never been about "we the people." It has always been about "we
the states." With nearly half the states in it being nondemocratic, and
international law treating any and all states as sovereign individuals with
equal rights, "democracy" in the UN system means one government, one vote.
Not 'democratic' in the good sense at all. We can agree on this, however:
we should find alternative and effective ways of manifesting [snip]
democratic impulses in this new era and with new mechanisms and processes.
But personally I think private sector-based MS institutions are doing a
better job of that than anything that will come out of the UN and its
clientelist co-optation of civil society and development groups. And some of
these institutions work better and preserve the freedom and autonomy of
communications better precisely because they are _not_ democratic in the old
sense of pure majority rule.
Milton L. Mueller
Laura J. and L. Douglas Meredith Professor
Syracuse University School of Information Studies
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