CSTD Working Group on Enhanced Cooperation: 3rd meeting

3 May 2017 to 5 May 2017
Geneva, Switzerland


Event report/s:
Jovan Kurbalija

During the third meeting of the Working Group on Enhanced Cooperation (WGEC), held on 3–5 May, 

During the third meeting of the Working Group on Enhanced Cooperation (WGEC), held on 3–5 May, the main discussion focused on the future architecture of global Internet governance. Two main views were prevalent during the discourse. On the one hand, most developed countries and industry representatives believe that enhanced co-operation is taking place that there is no need for any new institutional mechanisms, and that all issues are being adequately dealt with by the existing mechanisms that use multistakeholder processes. On the other hand, some civil society actors and many developing countries argue that key issues are not being adequately dealt with (in particular security, data protection, platform dominance, the rise of artificial intelligence, the impact of the Internet on jobs, etc.). Thus, they suggest the establishment of a UN-based mechanisms that would facilitate enhanced co-operation in digital matters among governments, and better address key issues.

Few compromise solutions were proposed, such as introducing government-focused sessions (as well as other sessions dedicated to specific stakeholder groups) as pre-events to the Internet Governance Forum (IGF), introducing a governmental track at the IGF, and creating an online and/or in situ clearing house for digital issues. However that proposals did not, at least initially, gather significant support. In order to advance with the preparation of the report it needs to present to the Commission on Science and Technology for Development (CSTD) in May 2018, the WGEC will hold at least two more meetings, the next one being scheduled for 25-27 September 2017, in Geneva.

The third meeting of the Working Group on Enhanced Cooperation (WGEC) of the United Nations Commission on Science and Technology for Development (CSTD) will be held on 3–5 May 2017, in Geneva, Switzerland.

The WGEC was established on the basis of the UN General Assembly Resolution A/70/125 (the outcome document of the review of the ten-year implementation of the World Summit on the Information Society), with the aim to develop recommendations on how to further implement enhanced cooperation on public policy issues pertaining to the Internet, as envisioned in the Tunis Agenda for the Information Society, taking into consideration the work that has been done on this matter. The resolution also requested the group to decide at the outset of its working methods, and to ensure the full involvment of all relevant stakeholders, taking into account all their views and expertise. 

The group, whose composition was announced in May 2016, is expected to report to the 21st session of the CSTD in 2018. 

For more information, visit the event webpage.



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