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Joint statement on WSIS+10 multistakeholder process

As civil society organisations that have been engaged throughout the WSIS+10 Multistakeholder Preparatory Platform (MPP), we welcome the adoption of the WSIS+10 MPP outcome documents.

Though the road was a long and at times difficult one, we believe that throughout the MPP a collaborative spirit prevailed in the meetings. Under the able guidance of the Chairperson, Professor Minkin, and with the active participation of all stakeholder groups, we saw for the first time a full-fledged multistakeholder process being implemented in the ITU. And we trust, indeed expect, that this same commitment to multistakeholderism will be carried through into the modalities of the overall WSIS review going forward.

During the last-minute negotiations in the days just preceding the adoption of the text, the multistakeholder aspect of the negotiations disappeared somewhat into the background, providing food for thought as to how we can ensure full stakeholder participation in decisions even at the very last steps of the negotiations. Whilst accepting that the nature of such negotiations is complex, the informal nature of the final negotiations leaves room for improvement.

Nevertheless, in addition to the issues that several of us noted in our statements during the High Level Event, we are particularly pleased about the reinforcement of the importance of multistakeholder processes, and the recognition of the importance of engaging with all stakeholders and of inclusive and open governance mechanisms. We also greatly value the increased recognition of the importance of protecting and promoting human rights that the final versions of the input documents contain.

Finally, we welcome the renewed recognition of the importance of linking ICTs to development in the documents, and would like to use this opportunity to urge governments, indeed all stakeholders, to refocus on the development dimension of the WSIS. There is no doubt that governance issues have an important role to play in facilitating the development dimension of the WSIS. However, we must ensure that the original goal of the WSIS – that of harnessing the potential of ICTs for development – becomes the central focus of the WSIS going forward.

Statement on behalf of:

Access, Association for Progressive Communications (APC), Center for Democracy & Technology (CDT), Center for Technology and Society at FGV (CTS/FGV), Global Partners Digital, International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA), Internet Democracy Project, Internet & Digital Ecosystem Alliance (IDEA), Kenya ICT Action Network (KICTANet).