Wednesday, February 16, 2005

Internet Governance Caucus Statement

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Statement on behalf of the Internet Governance Caucus (prepared by Vittorio Bertola, Milton Mueller, Hans Klein, Avri Doria, Michael Steffen and Jeanette Hoffman) as a contribution to the open WGIG meeting:

1. The Civil Society Internet Governance caucus would like to express its support for the Internet Governance working group's multi stakeholder approach. We think that legitimacy and success in Internet Governance can only be achieved if all the affected groups have an opportunity to influence the outcome. We would like to see the principle of multi stakeholder participation be applied throughout all Internet Governance arenas such as ICANN or the ITU and also other UN bodies such as WIPO or UNESCO for the parts of their mission that pertains to Internet Governance.

2. Furthermore the Internet Governance caucus wants the working group to put a stronger focus on basic principles, such as human rights, freedom of expression, openness and innovation and an enabling environment. The caucus believes that a central and valuable outcome of the WGIG process would be an understanding of the ways in which governance mechanisms furthers these basic principles. In that respect, the working group should work on specifying the WSIS criteria such as transparency, accountability and democracy into requirements that can then be measured and verified. In particular, from our point of view the notion of democratic Internet Governance needs further elaboration.

3. We think it is important to recognize the diversity of mechanisms involved in Internet governance, including decisions by individual users, private agreements, national policies, and international and transnational bodies. These correspond to a diversity of perspectives on what issue areas are important in Internet governance. The caucus would recommend that all relevant issues of importance to stakeholder groups should be addressed by the working group. Unresolved controversies should be documented in papers and statements and not used as a basis to omit particular issues.

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