[ccwg-internet-governance] CSTD WORKING GROUP ON ENHANCED COOPERATION: REPORT OF FINAL MEETING ON 29-31 JANUARY; 2018

Greg Shatan gregshatanipc at gmail.com
Tue Feb 6 03:17:00 UTC 2018


It would be ironic for some governments to argue that multistakeholder
systems don't work because of the actions of some (possibly the same)
governments in the CSTD WG.  I suppose that's just a more concrete way of
saying what Olivier is saying.

As for the level of agreement needed to produce a report, it would seem
that the "GNSO levels of consensus" are one way that multistakeholder
systems stay workable.  It avoids "hostage-taking" by a small minority.  I
will note that in, e.g., the CCWG-Accountability WG Jurisdiction SG, some
governments never seemed to get very comfortable with those levels.

Greg


On Sun, Feb 4, 2018 at 7:15 PM, Olivier MJ Crépin-Leblond <ocl at gih.com>
wrote:

> Thank you for this report, Nigel.
> From what you have drafted, I get the idea that any agreement would
> require all governments to agree and that agreement was scuttled by as
> little as one government - with a potential result being that the failure
> to reach consensus would be used to demonstrate that Multistakeholder
> systems don't work. Spitting in the soup and then saying it is bad because
> there is something floating in it isn't a particularly constructive thing
> to do, isn't it?
> Kindest regards,
>
> Olivier
>
>
> On 05/02/2018 00:17, Nigel Hickson wrote:
>
> Dear Colleagues
>
>
>
> Good evening
>
>
>
> The below is a note I penned of the proceedings last week in Geneva.
> There are already quite a few postings about this meeting on various
> sites.  There were others in the CCWG at the meeting, such as Marilyn Cade,
> and thus this is only a personal contribution; there will no doubt be more
> authorative accounts.
>
>
>
> In due course the transcripts of each day will be on
> http://unctad.org/en/pages/MeetingDetails.aspx?meetingid=1613
>
>
>
> The different contributions for the work of the Group; including proposals
> for a UN mechanism from Russia Saudi Arabia are also at
>
>
>
> http://unctad.org/en/pages/MeetingDetails.aspx?meetingid=1613
>
>
>
> The twitter feed from meeting was at #WGEC.
>
>
>
> Best
>
>
>
> Nigel
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
> *CSTD WORKING GROUP ON ENHANCED COOPERATION:  REPORT OF FINAL MEETING ON
> 29-31 JANUARY; 2018*
>
>
>
>
>
> *Summary *
>
>
>
> This multistakeholder working group (see below for composition) was
> established by the UN General Assembly in December 2015 (during the WSIS+10
> Review discussions) to come forward with Recommendations on Enhanced
> Cooperation by the CSTD Plenary in May 2018.  The Working Group met five
> times, starting in September 2016 and concluding its deliberations early on
> 1st February 2018.  The Working Group was unable, due to lack of
> consensus, to adopt a Report and thus the Chair will provide his own
> summary of proceedings to the CSTD Plenary which meets in the middle of
> May.   ICANN, were a member of the Technical Community membership of the
> Working Group.
>
>
>
> The failure to produce a consensus Report (which was not a surprise given
> the failure of the previous WG on the same issue in 2014) was essentially down
> to how the Report should reflect the keen desire of a number of
> Governments, and some in civil society, for a new UN mechanism, essentially
> a UN Committee, to develop Internet governance policies. Such a
> Recommendation was opposed by many other countries, as well as businesses
> and the Technical Community, and, despite best endeavours, the Working
> Group was unable to find a way of dealing with this fundamental difference
> of view on the face of the Report.  Both “sides” showed flexibility but in
> the end, despite numerous drafts from the Chair, and a good deal of
> compromising, the ask from two or three governments was just too much for
> the rest of the Working Group.
>
>
>
> The outcome is clearly a disappointment, especially as we were so near at
> one point last night to an agreement, but the members remained cordial and
> courteous to each other, with many heartfelt statements of thanks for the
> hard work of all, and especially for Ambassador Benidicto from Brazil.
> ICANN, along with a number of governments and with Business members
> (including Marilyn Cade) and some in civil society played a positive role
> in trying to identify solutions.  In addition, ICANN were thanked at the
> end of the session for providing transcription services for all the WG
> meetings.
>
>
>
> Looking ahead, the failure to agree a Report may have a number of
> ramifications.  It will, for example make the annual WSIS Resolution for UN
> ECOSOC that is negotiated at the CSTD Plenary (taking place in Geneva from
> 15-18 May) difficult, with some governments no doubt pushing for it to call
> directly for a UNGA debate on Enhanced Cooperation.  It may also lead to a
> more fractured debate at the ITU Plenipotentiary in November on the need
> for multilateral treatment of Internet public policy issues (including the
> DNS). While having an agreed Report would not have prevented such dialogue
> (in all likelihood), it would have allowed the “allies” to argue that this
> debate had been, to an extent, concluded in the Working Group. Finally, the
> failure will, no doubt, be used by some to argue (despite the IANA
> Transition etc.) that multistakeholder processes are incapable of resolving
> high level policy issues.
>
>
>
>
>
> *Detail *
>
>
>
> *1.  Background*
>
>
>
> The notion of *Enhanced Cooperation* is a throwback, so to speak, from
> the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) and the resultant Tunis
> Agenda (https://www.itu.int/net/wsis/outcome/booklet/tunis-agenda_C.html);
> where paragraphs 69 and 71 envisaged some sort of process under which
> governments could better carry out their role (also delineated under Tunis)
> with respect to international public policy issues pertaining to the
> Internet. Since the adoption of the Agenda in 2015 some governments (led
> consistently by Saudi Arabia) have been pushing the UN to “operationalize”
> Enhanced Cooperation through a mechanism at the UN.  Others (including US
> and Europe) argue that Enhanced Cooperation is a process that is, already,
> underway, for example at ICANN, an argument not accepted by Saudi.
>
>
>
> In response to the pressure the UN in 2012 established a Working Group
> (under CSTD and with Peter Major from Hungary in the Chair) to make
> Recommendations concerning Enhanced Cooperation and how it might be taken
> forward.  This multistakeholder Group (on which ICANN were also members),
> again - despite best efforts of all involved - failed to reach any
> agreements or a Report. Seehttp://unctad.org/en/Pages/
> CSTD/WGEC-2013-to-2014.aspx for further details.
>
>
>
>
>
> In 2015 the UN General Assembly undertook a comprehensive review of the
> 10-year implementation of the WSIS.  In the outcome document of that
> review, General Assembly resolution 70/125 of 16 December 2015 requested
> the Chair of the Commission on Science and Technology for Development
> (CSTD) to establish a*new *Working Group to develop recommendations on
> how to further implement enhanced cooperation as envisioned in the Tunis
> Agenda, taking into consideration the work that had been done on the matter
> thus far. Pursuant to this request, the Chair established the Working Group
> on Enhanced Cooperation on 2 May 2016.
>
>
>
> *2. Meetings and Process*
>
>
>
> The Working Group, after consultation by CSTD during 2016, was established
> and held its first meeting in September 2016.  Ambassador Fonseca (Brazil)
> was invited to Chair the group along with member States (who were currently
> serving as members of CSTD) and 20 stakeholders proposed by their
> constituency groups. A full list of the participants is at
>
> http://unctad.org/Sections/un_cstd/docs/CSTD_2016_WorkingGroup_en.pdf.
>
>
>
> The Group met on five occasions (In Geneva) to pursue its mandate, namely
> to articulate and agree Recommendations in a Report to CSTD in May 2018.
> The Chairman invited contributions from members (and the wider public) and
> in total some 50 or so contributions were made.  These were all discussed
> and those parts receiving most support were framed into the draft Report
> which was circulated to members (and published on the CSTD website) towards
> the end of last year. The Report is at http://unctad.org/meetings/
> en/SessionalDocuments/WGEC2016-18_m5_DraftReport_InitialProposal.pdf.
>  While the Report does not, as such touch on the DNS, there were several
> proposals made relating to ICANN, the work of the GAC and on cc TLDs.
> These were all from Richard Hill (civil society).   ICANN’s own
> contribution related to the characteristics of cooperation processes, under
> which public policy is developed, and thus informed, to an extent, the
> drafting of paragraph 1 and 2 of the Recommendation.
>
>
>
> The meeting last week concentrated on the draft Report taking into account
> further proposals and edits.  While it was a closed meeting there was a
> twitter feed (at #WGEC) and the transcripts (of each day) will be made
> public in du course.
>
>
>
> *3.  Substantive Differences at Meeting*
>
>
>
> As alluded to above, while the Chair’s Report only listed in the
> Recommendations issues on which, in the main, there had been general
> agreement, it was not surprising that those wanting a new UN mechanism
> wanted the Report to record their views.  Some governments were initially
> opposed to this but did, during the three days, agree to a section of the
> Report that, in some detail, articulated the arguments for and against a
> new UN mechanism. In turn a Recommendation, which many of us had opposed
> concerning a mandate to the UNGA for an annual discussion on Enhanced
> Cooperation, was dropped.  This formulation had some traction during the
> last evening but was then scuppered by one government demanding a culling
> of at least half the Recommendations, including those endorsing the need
> for full participation of stakeholders in public policy processes. A
> compromise was crafted to reflect the desire for a continued dialogue on
> Enhanced Cooperation (including the use of CSTD to monitor the
> implementation of the Recommendations) and again just before midnight it
> appeared an agreement was in site, only to be dashed again by more demands
> for new text from a couple of governments
>
>
>
>
>
> *4. Wider implications and Next Steps*
>
>
>
> While it may be somewhat premature to speculate on the wider implications
> for the failure of the Working Group, it would be surprising if this
> failure was the end of the matter……The hook in the Tunis Agenda (paragraph
> 71) to text which talks about new processes in the UN will, one would have
> thought, continue to be used by those that advocate a primarily
> multilateral forum for Internet policy issues.  It is likely, as noted
> above, that we will see the same arguments made at the ITU PP-18 in July
> for perhaps UN frameworks on Cybersecurity and privacy.  There are also
> upcoming discussions in the UN Committees in New York, for example on
> Cybersecuirty (as Veni Markovski has highlighted) where some governments
> may argue that a failure to agree a Report in a multistakeholder
> environment is further evidence on the need for multilateral solutions.
>
>
>
> While some of these possible deliberations (whether at UN or ITU) may not
> affect ICANN and the DNS itself they could have longer term implications
> for the role of governments within multistakeholder environments. One
> government made it clear, during one of the long debates, that while they
> fully respect paragraph 69 of the Tunis Agenda, concerning technical
> operations on the Internet, this does *not* extend to governments
> deliberating on public policy issues (such as say on GDPR) in ICANN or
> elsewhere.
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
> *ICANN; 4/2*
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
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