It came to my mind that most of the big ideas in this process are coming from the Civil Society, the private sector and the Internet community. CS has been organizing a number of meetings regarding different subjects: Internet governance, privacy, childhood, gender issues, education, digital divide and press freedom, just no name a few.
Of course, most of the ideas under discussion in the WSIS process come from the WGIG report. In that group, several stakeholders discussed their views and thoughts about the Internet Government Issue. That report – and more specifically the background report – shows a myriad of ideas and suggest the existence of a fructiferous debate, which must be commended.
The inclusion and debate of ideas coming from all who have interest in the process enrich its results and represent a milestone in the policy development. The Geneva declaration acknowledges the benefits of this framework, and promotes it.
However, this process is not being a multistakeholder process so far. Much has being said about the ICANN’s lack of transparency and participation, but here at Nations, the non government stakeholders have had fifteen (15) minutes to express their views, and they didn’t get a seat in those places where the real wording is being decided.
To achieve that transparency, openness and a real multistakeholder approach – that has characterized the development of the Internet until these days -, the different stakeholders should be able to participate at all levels of the process, and not only observe and submit comments from time to time.
Ambassador Kahn is facing a difficult decision, but he also has an incredible opportunity: to give these groups – the civil society, the private sector and the Internet community – a significant participation in the process not only would set a hallmark in the UN policy development process, but would also shows that the international community is ready to address continuously evolving issues, such as the development of the Internet.
An Internet for All.