[Update] An event report is now available.
Open Consultations and MAG meeting discuss IGF 2016
The second open consultations and MAG meeting, held in New York, on 12-14 July in preparation for the 2016 Internet Governance Forum (IGF), was organised by the IGF Secretariat and the Department on Economic and Social Affairs (DESA), responsible to administer support for several UN initiatives, including the Internet Governance Forum.
The open consultations were opened by the Under-Secretary General, Hongbo Wu, who stressed that the priority for Internet governance for decades to come should be linked to the implementation of the sustainable development goals (SDGs). The UN’s commitment to strengthening the multistakeholder engagement in Internet governance was reaffirmed, including through remote participation.
Mr Wu stressed that as the IGF begins a new cycle of its mandate, it is important to strengthen its outputs and conclusions, and to produce policy recommendations especially on issues in which there is less divergence among stakeholders.
A considerable part of the open consultations were dedicated to discussing the upcoming Retreat on Advancing the 10-year mandate of the IGF, which will take place on 14-16 July in Glen Cove, and which is open to participants who have been selected by the United Nations in consultation with stakeholder groups. The retreat is part of a wider ongoing process aimed at improving the IGF. The previous initiative - the CSTD working group on improvements to the IGF - produced a final report in 2012. The agenda for Glen Cove will cover issues such as the IGF preparatory process, how to better capture the outputs of the meeting, and sustainable funding for the IGF.
The participants of the open consultations made additional suggestions to the agenda of the retreat, such as analysing the possibility of creating a mentoring programme, developing a strategy to enhance youth involvement, and improving remote participation. Participants also asked for more clarity on the outputs of the retreat, especially in terms of who will carry the outputs forward, and who will be responsible for their implementation.
Reports from the work being carried out by the five IGF best practice forums (BPFs), as well as updates from the second phase of the initiative on Policy Options for connecting and enabling the next billion, were shared during the open consultations. Both processes are part of an effort to extend the IGF's impact and implement the recommendations of the CSTD working group on improvements to the IGF.
The meeting of the Multistakeholder Advisory Group (MAG) was dedicated to the preparation of the next IGF, especially the IGF 2016 programme. This year, 274 workshop proposals were received, graded and assessed by MAG members, and approximately 100 will be included in the final agenda.
The MAG also discussed the proposed themes for IGF main sessions, which varied across a wide range of issues, such as sustainable development and growth, trade agreements, Internet governance and SDGs, national and regional IGFs, economic, social and cultural rights, and jurisdiction issues.
A third IGF preparatory meeting will likely be held in Geneva towards the end of the year.
by Mariíia Maciel
The preparatory process for the 11th meeting of the Internet Governance Forum (IGF) will continue with the second round of Open Consultations and face-to-face meetings of the IGF Multistakeholder Advisory Group (MAG). These meetings will take place from 12 to 14 July, at the United Nations headquarters in New York.
Discussions are expected to be focused on the programme of IGF 2016 (main sessions, workshops, etc.), as well as on the progress and further steps regarding the inter-sessional activities (best practice forums and, possibly, Connecting the Next Billion phase 2).
Updated information (including an agenda) can be found on the IGF website, as it becomes available.