[WSIS CS-Plenary] Call for Comments: Draft YC Input to WGIG Sept Consultation
rsagun at takingitglobal.org
rsagun at takingitglobal.org
Sat Sep 11 15:11:24 BST 2004
Thank you very much to those who have taken time to review and send in
their initial comments to the WSIS Youth Caucus' draft contribution to the
upcoming WGIG open consultation. We likewise encourage others to comment on
our draft and forward them at facilitators at wsisyouth.org on or before 12
September 2004. Please feel free to circulate this post to other lists as
However, we have been receiving posts that some people are unable to open
the file we attached to our first call. We are very sorry for this.
Appended below is the draft.
We likewise invite young people from your lists to subscribe to the WSIS
Youth Caucus' mailinglist by sending a blank message at
wsisyouth-subscribe at groups.takingitglobal.org. The Youth Caucus is heavily
preparing towards WSIS Tunis 2005 and, on this regard, we are sending out
to call to all WSIS caucuses/working groups/stakeholders for partnerships
and project collaborations at the global, regional and national levels.
Please fell free to contact the Facilitation Team on this matter at
facilitators at wsisyouth.org.
Initially, the WSIS Youth Caucus will be setting up an "Issues Working
Group" that will write articles and policy papers detailing the stand of
the Youth Caucus on relevant issues around WSIS Phase II (ie. Internet
governance, financial mechanisms, e-governance, "spam", information and
network security, freedom of expression in an Information Society, etc).
Thus, we are calling upon individuals/groups with expertise/experience on
these issues from your lists to serve as volunteer
advisers/readers/contributors/ to the IWG of the WSIS Youth Caucus.
Thank you very much and keep sending us your comments and inquiries! Watch
out for the launching of the WSIS Youth Caucus website... really soon!
Policy Coordinator, WSIS Youth Caucus
Global Facilitator, WSIS Youth Caucus
Communications Facilitator, WSIS Youth Caucus
======== Draft YC Input to the WGIG Sept Consultations =========
13 September 2004
Secretariat of the UN Working Group on the Internet Governance
Dear Mr. Kummer,
On behalf of the entire membership of the WSIS Youth Caucus, we are very
pleased to transmit to your office our collective contribution to the
establishment of the Working Group on Internet Governance for your review
This input is the result of an intensive e-consultation participated by
hundreds of Youth Caucus members from around the globe. It has likewise
been transmitted to the mailing lists of the WSIS Civil Society Plenary and
Internet Governance Caucus for additional comments
We will highly appreciate receiving a brief feedback from you on our
recommendations as well as request for your support to have young people
included as members of the WGIG. Please send correspondence at
facilitators at wsisyouth.org.
Thank you very much.
WSIS Youth Caucus Policy Coordinator
Email: rsagun at wsisyouth.org
WSIS Youth Caucus Global Facilitator
Email: takinsanmi at wsisyouth.org
WSIS Youth Caucus Communications Coordinator
Email: lcholerton at wsisyouth.org
The Youth Caucus of the UN World Summit on the Information Society
Geneva 2003 - Tunis 2005
Contribution to the Establishment of the
Working Group on Internet Governance (WGIG)
First Open Consultation Meeting, 20-21 September 004, Geneva, Switzerland
Draft Version 1.1
10 September 2004
We are committed to realizing our common vision of the Information
Society for ourselves and for future generations. We recognize that young
people are the future workforce and leading creators and earliest adopters
of ICTs. They must therefore be empowered as learners, developers,
contributors, entrepreneurs and decision-makers. We must focus especially
on young people who have not yet been able to benefit fully from the
opportunities provided by ICTs. We are also committed to ensuring that the
development of ICT applications and operation of services respects the
rights of children as well as their protection and well-being.
Youth Paragraph (para. 11) of the
WSIS Declaration of Principles
1 At present, over 3 billion individuals or just over 50 per cent of the
worlds population are children or youth. In terms of youth alone, there
are 1.3 billion young people aged between 15 and 24, according to the 2003
UN World Youth Report. If there was ever an area where young people are the
leaders not only of the future, but also of today, it is the emerging
Information Society. From web development to information access, youth are
growing up with the latest technologies - and extending them, providing
innovative solutions to global challenges. Youth are creators and consumers
of technologies ranging from mobile telephones to email, to instant
messaging, radio, print media and television. As both business and social
entrepreneurs, young people are creatively using technology to address
2 Young people are central to the evolution of a people-centered,
inclusive and development-oriented Information Society. They are heavily
represented in almost every category of Information Society from the
development of software products, establishment of technology
infrastructure and creation of Internet communities.
3 With the introduction of the Internet, youth have acquired a powerful new
tool to connect and communicate. Today, young people constitute the largest
percentage of those online: they go online more than anyone else, they stay
online longer, and they have more diverse online activities. Yet, youth are
rarely given the opportunity to be engaged in Information and
Communications Technology (ICT) policy development. If the WSIS is to
effect real change, it must involve youth in program/project implementation
as well as in the broader context of youth participation and
multi-stakeholder consultation in ICT decision-making such as Internet
Governance and national e-strategies.
4 Like other stakeholder groups, youth are organized within a Caucus. The
WSIS Youth Caucus, formed on the occasion of the 1st WSIS Preparatory
Committee Meeting in July 2002, is acting as an umbrella for all young
people and youth non-government organizations (NGOs) interested and/or
involved in the WSIS process and ICT policy formulation. The WSIS Youth
Caucus aims to mainstream youth perspectives into civil society, the
private sector and government inputs throughout the WSIS process.
5 Youth were also one of the most organized and successful stakeholder
groupings in the first phase of the WSIS process - participating and
speaking at meetings, publishing a regular newsletter, running an award
program, conducting significant national-level outreach, and much more.
Clearly, if it is to achieve its ambitious goals, the WSIS now must
continue to actively engage young people, the pathbreakers of the ICT
II. Basic Principles of Structure
6. As put forward by the WSIS Civil Society Declaration, global governance
frameworks must reflect the diverse views and interests of the
international community as a whole. It further states that
decision-making processes must be based on such values as inclusive
participation, transparency and democratic accountability.
7 The WGIG must have a multi-stakeholder, multi-disciplinary membership and
conduct an inclusive consultation process. As succinctly stated in the WSIS
Declaration of Principles and Plan of Action, it should be an open and
inclusive process that ensures a mechanism for the full and active
participation of governments, the private sector and civil society from
both developing and developed countries, involving relevant
intergovernmental and international organizations and forums
multi-actor character will broaden the ownership of its outcomes and
consultation process and provide a multi-dimensional approach to the
debates and discussions. Regional representation and gender balance must be
central to its establishment. Particular attention to its membership is the
effective participation of developing country experts, sectoral
representatives and stakeholders. Their participation must be accorded with
high importance and travel support.
8 Its operations must be independent of the WSIS process. Though the basis
of creating the WGIG is based on negotiated WSIS documents, it should be
functioning with full independence from, yet contributing to, the WSIS
process. The WGIG and its consultation process should be structured
separate from the WSIS Tunis Phases intergovernmental political debates.
9 The WGIG must conduct its work with utmost objectivity, clear direction
and rationality. It must encourage academic, well-researched stakeholder
inputs aside from organizing and programming activities that are factual
and impartial. Among the relevant Internet Governance issues that should
be of high priority, and which are important to and for young people, are
the increasing number of unsolicited commercial/bulk email or spam,
information and network security vis-à-vis cybercrime and consumer safety,
protection of personal privacy and other rights, Internet telephony or
Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP), and proliferation of illicit websites.
10 It must be accountable and transparent at all times. The WGIG should
conduct its activities and consultations in an accessible and widely open
and transparent process. Its reports, as well as background documents and
stakeholder contributions, must be uploaded to a devoted, broadly
broadcasted website. The WGIG website must be updated at the most regular,
yet economical manner with documents accessible to the public, easily
downloadable and archived.
III. Scope of Work
11 In programming the WGIGs scope of work and operational strategies, its
reporting deadlines and membership expertise should be taken into account.
The WGIG, at the very least, should be made responsible of the following
Crafting a working definition of Internet Governance agreeable to all.
Identifying and prioritizing the relevant, most pressing Internet
Governance issues through an open, inclusive and multi-stakeholder
Researching, collecting and critically analyzing pertinent data and
information based on the Internet governance issues identified. Make use of
available literature from recently held Internet Governance fora
(including, but not limited to, the UN ICT Task Force Meeting and ITU
Workshops on Countering Spam and Internet Governance) and, if need be,
commission independent papers.
Learning both the successes and failures of past global governance efforts,
for example the World Trade Organization on global economic governance.
Based on the results of literature reviews and broad-based consultations,
recommend options, solutions, framework for action and, if need be,
institutional reforms as it relates to Internet Governance.
The Secretariat and its members must be ready to brief stakeholders and
report to interested parties.
Clearly defining appropriate roles for major stakeholder blocks
(Government, private sector, civil society and international organizations).
Consciously encouraging each stakeholder to actively contribute inputs and
gather support on the WGIG.
Provide travel support for WGIG members originating from developing and
least developed countries and representing marginalized, less heard
groupings such as indigenous peoples, disabled peoples, youth and women.
IV. General Structure
12 The WGIG should be multi-stakeholder with members representative of
Governments, private sector, civil society and international organizations.
Marginalized sectors such as youth and women should be given opportunity to
contribute to the debates as working group members. Developing countries,
as well as developed nations, should be equally represented. Regional
representation and gender balance must be highly equated in the selection
process. Consumers/users and providers/developers of Internet services and
applications, most of which are essentially young people, must likewise be
13 The size of the membership of WGIG is critical. It must be reasonably
representative and supportive of the structural issues enumerated above yet
its total membership must neither be too small nor too large that will
negatively impact on its work given the limited time available.
14 Aside from having core members from the major stakeholders already
listed above, the WGIG should have an external support group, assisting its
core members in preparing the report(s) and organizing stakeholder
dialogues, composed of experts on the policy, legal, economic, social and
technical aspects of Internet Governance as well as on related issues such
as, among others, ICT for Development, multi-stakeholder diplomacy and
partnerships, human rights, consumer protection and global policy processes.
15 The WGIG must have a Government representative, preferably from a
developing country, as Over-All Chair, and Private Sector and Civil Society
representatives acting as Co-Chairs. The Co-Chairs could later be appointed
to coordinate the work of Sub-Thematic Committees based on collectively
agreed Internet Governance themes.
16 All the members of WGIG must have credible expertise and experience in
the following fields:
Policy and Governance
Technical and Academic
Internet and ICT development, including operations and applications
Social development work
ICT for Development
Multi-stakeholder diplomacy and partnerships
Human rights, education and gender advocacy, especially in an Information
Consumer protection and safety
UN global processes and/or international, multi-cultural working
Fluency in any major UN language
Effective communication, both written and verbal
17 Further, the members must ensure they are able to contribute ample time
needed bythe work as well as widely communicate, by means of participating
in e-consultations and panel presentations, to stakeholders developments in
the work of the WGIG.
18 As most young people would not have wide expertise and strong experience
in some of the fields enumerated above compared to their adult
counterparts, the more that their participation as working group members
must be accorded with high consideration to build their full capacity and
knowledge and to empower them as stakeholders of and contributors to
Internet Governance. As youth, by definition is a transitory demographic,
providing them an opportunity to gain experience and networks today will
provide continuity and diversity to the Internet Governance debate in the
future: a key mechanism to enhance inter-generational equity.
19 Selection of the WGIG members must be made transparent and based on core
competencies, with criteria for selection widely consulted and reasons for
selection made public.
V. Mode of Operations
20 Aside from having closed-door meetings, the WGIG must ensure it utilizes
open consultations, both online and physical, to harness the knowledge and
expertise of a wider range of interested parties. Taking into account cost
considerations, the WGIG must work to organize regional, sub-regional,
thematic and sectoral meetings and consultations. The WGIG Secretariat
should enter into partnerships with relevant groups in organizing these
21 To support its information dissemination activities, the WGIG could set
up an email notification/alert system within its website to inform
subscribed stakeholders of latest news and developments. The website must
also be developed as a repository of knowledge and databank on Internet
Governance and its sub-themes.
22 The WGIG must ensure real-time translation of meeting plenaries and
debates in major UN languages to ensure meaningful participation of members
and stakeholders. Official meeting documents such as background papers and
reports should be translated in the same manner. Stakeholder contributions,
regardless of language used, should be accepted, uploaded and likewise be
translated, whenever possible.
23 With these recommendations and proposals, the entire membership of the
WSIS Youth Caucus stands ready to assist, provide input and actively
participate in the consultation process of the WGIG. The WSIS Youth Caucus
will be forwarding names of young people, taking into account gender
balance and development dichotomies, who are best suited and well qualified
to represent the youth of the world and have the relevant expertise on the
Internet Governance debate.
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