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Live debate: Which model of governance? The multistakeholder approach in the MENA region beyond rhetoric

 


Date: Monday, 10 November 2014 
Time: 15:00 – 16:00 CET 
Topic: Which model of governance? The multistakeholder approach in the MENA region beyond rhetoric.  
Language: Arabic
Platform: Google Hangouts 
Speakers:
  • Ahmad Shwieke, Legal researcher at Birzeit University, Palestine
  • Hiba Abbas Yousif Eltigani, Electrical Engineering Regulatory Affairs Specialist, Sudan
  • Rana Khalaf, Independent socio-economic researcher, Syria
  • Hamza Ben Mehrez, Researcher / Policy Analyst, Tunisia

Ever since the endorsement by WSIS, the World Summit on Information Society of UNGA resolution 56/183 in 2001 the multistakeholder principle has been emphasized as a necessary requirement for the management of the Internet. The Declaration of Principles “Building the Information Society: a Global Challenge in the New Millennium” set the basis for an integrative approach calling for cooperation, partnership, and commitment of all stakeholders involved in the management of the Internet, including policy authority, the private sector, civil society, and intergovernmental and international organizations. The multistakeholder approach was further reaffirmed in subsequent forums to reflect the interconnectedness of society, aimed at achieving inclusiveness and in order to avoid redundancy. The WSIS Tunis Agenda in 2005 built on those principles and focused on IG and related issues. A working definition of IG was coined: “the development and application by governments, the private sector and civil society, in their respective roles, of shared principles, norms, rules, decision-making procedures, and programmes that shape the evolution and use of the Internet”. The Tunis Agenda emphasized that ”the international management of the Internet should be multilateral, transparent, and democratic”.

The multistakeholder approach aims at enabling all the actors involved in IG to participate on equal footing according to their roles and responsibilities. Although the multistakeholder approach does not seem to be contested in principle, the effective realization of meaningful and accountable participation of all stakeholders is still controversial. 

The next IGMENA Hangouts will address the question of how different priorities and interests from each stakeholder could be consolidated, as well as other aspects related to the multistakeholders model. 

IGMENA’s debate will consider the following questions: 
  • What is the value of the multistakeholder model compared to a multilateral model?
  • How can the sovereign rights of states regarding Internet-related policy be compatible with a multistakeholder model? 
  • What is the role of civil society as one of the main stakeholders in the IG process? How can its engagement be strengthened to pursue that role?
  • In which ways can private companies turn the “digital divide” into a digital opportunity? 
  • What are the barriers and challenges to effective realization of the multistakeholder approach in the MENA region?