Since we have no agreement on a number of contentious issues, the Prepcom finishes, but negotiations continue in what will probably be a much less multistakeholder process. Not that the Prepcom was truly multistakeholder, but the end-game negotiations will most likely be a government only affair.
This “multigovernmentalism” (phrase coined by Jeanette Hoffman) points the way to whatever final document they will produce. It will be a document produced by a group of governments, not a solution. Solutions to development issues must come from the bottom up, just like Internet Governance. Watching this process (largely fail) for the last 2 weeks, has only reinforced my opinion on this.
One note of hope came from the Civil Society Internet Governance Caucus, when they produced a very reasonable “status-quo minus” proposal. It allows for the continuation of ICANN, with some minor reforms. These reforms would have allowed ICANN to “hold the root” as a more internationalised, truly multistakeholder, transparent body. Sort of like the original vision many had for ICANN. Alas, in the polarised environment of the Palais, this was just another in the long line of proposals found unaceptable to the US Government.
Stay tuned…more to come in October and November (and beyond)!