September 18, 2008
Contribution by the
WSIS Civil Society Working Group on
Financing Mechanisms to
Meeting 19 September 2008, Geneva
We would like to thank WSIS lead facilitators for allowing Civil Society stakeholders to submit written contributions to this closed meeting.
Since, for procedural reasons,
international organizations are not participating to the elaboration
of CSTD recommendations, it was felt necessary to convey to UNGIS
members some elements of information that would help to better
understand and implement the following CSTD
32. Recommends that UNGIS organize focused open multistakeholder consultations on the implementation of part B of the Tunis Agenda " Financial Mechanisms for Meeting the Challenges of ICTs for Development";
The word focused relates to the fact that those consultations shall not be vague in purpose, content and results. This can be better understood when the origin of this recommendation is explained.
The idea that a framework shall be created to implement the financial part of the Tunis Agenda of assessment lines was first proposed last year by the WSIS-Finance contribution to CSTD ( 18 May 2007, see appendix ) while suggesting Assessment Lines.
It has been acknowledged with a
positive mind in the Intersession
Report ( see §71
for WSIS-Finance input ) of the CSTD 2007-2008 Inter- sessional Panel
( 28–30 November 2007 )
It is kindly suggested that the
agenda of the UNGIS open multistakeholder consultations
should be really be focused on approving the Assessment Lines as a
mechanism of the implementation
of Tunis Agenda part B, that would mirror the Actions lines of the Geneva Plan of Action.
From our understanding of the CSTD negotiations and the CSTD process for the last year, it is felt there is a consensus on the Assessment Lines mechanisms. However, the detail of those Assessment Lines and who is going to lead the lines is the real issue that must be clarified and solved, and about which the CSTD felt it was not entitle to determine without further open consultations with all stakeholders none the least, the prospective facilitators.
it is kindly suggested that the agenda of the UNGIS open
consultations should include two parts :
1) Determination of the Implementation mechanisms ( Assessment lines ). This part should proceed hopefully rather smoothly.
2) Determination of the Assessment lines, and their prospective facilitators.
This latter part is likely going to stir more debates.
Concerning alternative financing mechanisms assessment line, it is emphasized that do exist other Alternative Financing mechanisms other than the Digital Solidarity Fund initiative that have been welcome by the WSIS. For example, there is the proposal of the FSFDS ( Free Software Fund for Digital Solidarities ) (http://www.fsfds.org) that was announced in a plenary speech in Tunis in 2005. It is highly likely that Civil Society would propose other alternative mechanisms once a framework to assess them is created;
May 18, 2007 V5
Written Contribution by the
WSIS Civil Society Working Group on
Commission on Science and Technology for Development, Tenth session, 21–25 May 2007
The WSIS Civil Society Working Group on Financial Mechanisms acknowledges the decision to entrust the Commission on Science and Technology for Development (CSTD) with the task of assessing the WSIS implementation and coordinating the WSIS follow-up. For this task to be executed successfully -i.e. achieving the WSIS objectives enshrined in the Geneva Action Plan and in the Agenda of Tunis- our Group asks for urgently complementing the assessment mandate of the CSTD, and giving it the necessary resources, both human and financial.
Considering the procedures, the WSIS rules were supplemented by effective and efficient practices that allowed its two preparatory phases to achieve an unprecedented level of multi-stakeholderism. The ongoing WSIS implementation process by the leading UN agencies, and within the IGF, appears to -although partially- follow this trend towards an ever-increasing inclusive participation of all stakeholders, and the CSTD should catalyze those efforts.
Tunis Assessment Lines
In addition to their respective Civil Society Declarations, the outcome of the Geneva process is the Declaration of Principles and the Geneva Plan of Action, while the outcome of the Tunis process is the Tunis Commitment and the Tunis Agenda.
The Geneva Plan of action implementation has been structured along specific Action Lines. However, they lack of clear priorities. The governance part of the Tunis Agenda is implemented trough the specific mechanism of the Internet Governance Forum, while the financial part of the Tunis agenda has been left as an orphan without care, without direction, without specific implementation nor integration in any of the follow-up mechanisms. Therefore, it is suggested, in order to recover some symmetry with the Geneva process, that the CSTD should constitute Assessment Lines facilitated by specific UN agencies and other organizations, within similar rules of procedures and practices.
proposed four post-WSIS Assessment Lines are :
Official Development Assistance ODA ( UNDP, World Bank, EU-EFD)
Multi-stakeholder Partnerships ( UNCTAD, ITU )
Innovative Financial Mechanisms ( UNCTAD, DSF )
A4: Infrastructure and International Interconnection costs ( ITU, UNCTAD, a representative body of African Union, e.g. ATU )
Facilitators and co-facilitators have been suggested on a exploratory basis, and CSTD could select other facilitators as appropriate. The digital solidarity fund ( DSF) has informed us informally, it would be glad to consider contributing as a co-facilitator. As with action lines, it is suggested that each direction line be further divided into themes implemented with the help of multi-stakeholder sub-groups facilitated by moderators. The WSIS-Finance working group would be glad to contribute as co-moderator to some of the themes.
These Assessment Lines have been mentioned as cross-cutting themes in many previous action lines meetings in Geneva, Paris and Beijing last year, and represent issues that must be dealt with, in order to take an optimal profit from all possible synergies, and to avoid redundant and uncoordinated financial efforts, thus achieving an overall success for the implementation of almost all the Geneva action lines. Clear priorities in implementing objectives of the Geneva Plan of Action should be set-up coherently with the Assessment Lines and assessed by CSTD in full respect of multi-stakeholder participation.