[IRPCoalition] Fwd: : OECD - what is going on? and what do you need to know?

Marianne Franklin m.i.franklin at gold.ac.uk
Mon Feb 8 16:03:04 EET 2016

Dear all

In the spirit of consistency and inclusion I have taken the liberty to 
continue forwarding the conversation to the IRPC list as initially 
included. The details in all responses are worth the effort, and the 
topic relevant to us all.

No spamming intended.

-------- Forwarded Message --------
Subject: 	Re: [bestbits] Fwd: Re: [IRPCoalition] OECD - what is going 
on? and what do you need to know?
Date: 	Sun, 7 Feb 2016 15:38:28 -0500
From: 	Veni Markovski <veni at veni.com>
Reply-To: 	veni at veni.com
To: 	parminder <parminder at itforchange.net>, Tamir Israel 
<tisrael at cippic.ca>, Lea Kaspar <lea at gp-digital.org>
CC: 	Best Bits <bestbits at lists.bestbits.net>

Parminder, just two comments below.

On 02/07/16 04:57, parminder wrote:
> my question to you all is, what is your response to my proposal 
> (forget others) to develop a Internet related public policy 
> development mechanism inside the UN... And if I do not get it, keep 
> asking this question. 

You could, of course, continue repeating the question, if you are not 
happy with the answers you get, but let's look at the only relevant fact:

The WSIS+10 outcome document 
<http://workspace.unpan.org/sites/Internet/Documents/UNPAN95735.pdf> was 
passed at the UN General Assembly, and it addressed your concerns.

The document was drafted with the active participation of the 
governments of India, Brazil, China, Russia, USA, as well as G-77, the 
EU, and many others. Clearly majority of the world population!
It was accepted with no objections whatsoever.
You were there, you spoke at the end of the WSIS High Level Meeting, and 
you made your point there, too. I am not sure why you continue to ask 
the question over and over again, as if you expect a different response 
on this mailing list, than the one you got via the WSIS+10 review 
process. A simple reference to the accepted outcome document is the 
natural response.

But since we, at ISOC-Bulgaria, have had similar issues like yours years 
ago, allow me to share our experience, and our conclusions, which 
slightly differ from yours.

In our chapter we had to fight with the government for the "right of 
democratic participation", as you say it, in the Internet-related public 
policy discussions - this was about 17 years ago. We were a very young 
ISOC chapter, if I remember correctly, we were the 6th chapter 
It was 1999.
We started a fight against the proposed by the government 
Internet-policy with a court case at the Supreme Administrative Court 
(see details here <http://isoc.bg/kpd/index-eng.html>, in English). So, 
even in a developing country, with less democratic traditions than India 
(don't forget - we had our Constitution accepted just 8 years earlier, 
and there has not been a case against the government until then; we 
couldn't find a lawyer to represent us, so I had to take personally this 
task, as I my degree is in law), such a thing is possible - to 
successfully change the Internet-related policy of a country.

Listening and watching the contributions by the member-states at the UN, 
I can share something you have also observed, as you were at the UN in 
December: governments around the world have engaged to different degree 
with the broader Internet community, businesses, academic institutions, 
end-users, experts, etc., to better understand the way the Internet 
works. I assure you - 17 years ago was much more difficult: we had to 
explain to the government what the Internet is, and did that by 
comparing it to... the fax;-)

> This is about the denial of the right of self determination and right 
> of democratic participation of the huge majority of the world's 
> population (non OECD countries).

Clearly there's disagreement between your assessment of the WSIS+10 
outcome document, and the way we at ISOC-Bulgaria (Bulgaria is not a 
member of the OECD, by the way), and many other chapters around the 
world, see the way we participate in these debates.
 From national and regional point of view, we have found the national 
and regional IGFs to be an excellent way to approach the Internet 
issues, and solve some, if not all.
At the UN agencies, we have seen increased cooperation between ISOC and 
some of them, and between ISOC chapters on the national turf, too. For 
example, ISOC Bulgaria executed an UNDP project for e-municipality back 
in 2003, and this was one of the many projects we have done 
successfully. And it gave us yet one more avenue towards the government, 
and the way they define their policies.
Fast forward to 2010, the Bulgarian government participated at ITU 
PleniPot 2010, and had a contribution, which ISOC Bulgaria supported. 
Nobody has denied participation, and if a country has done that, perhaps 
you could reach to the local chapter of the Internet Society (if there 
<http://www.isoc.org/apps/maps/> is such in the respected country), and 
see how they could engage (with) their governments in a substantive way. 
But certainly, you don't mean that India is such a country, as they were 
(as I witnessed) very active in the WSIS+10 discussions, and were 
actually among the leaders, as noted by the New York Times (I've sent 
you the URL couple of weeks ago, in another discussion on this list).


Veni Markovski
Internet Society - Bulgaria

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