WSIS Civil Society Working Group

on Information Networks Governance



After long preliminary discussions, a collective and inclusive coordination scheme is proposed, separating out procedural issues from content issues.

Content issues :

All decisions regarding content shall be achieved through a consensus of all civil society participants of good faith ( meaning that are not proxies for governments, businesses or special interest groups ). List members that belong to Governments, Business or the Internet Community may expressed their views on the list, but they shall not taken into account for the purpose of reaching a consensus. The definition ( ISO/IEC Guide 2:1996), widely used by ISO, for consensus is adopted: "General agreement, characterized by the absence of sustained opposition to substantial issues by any important part of the concerned interests and by a process that involves seeking to take into account the views of all parties concerned and to reconcile any conflicting arguments. Consensus need not imply unanimity"

Procedural issues :

A Bureau is established to decide on procedural issues, The bureau in its composition attempts to reflect the new geopolitical diversity. The bureau shall be constituted with 20 members, 4 members from 5 geopolitical regions :

  • Africa
  • Asia
  • Europe - Russia
  • North America - Oceania ( Australia - New Zealand )
  • South and central America ( LAC )

Each geopolitical region shall choose their bureau representatives according to their own internal procedures, building on their own diversity and on the various ways Civil Society is currently organized in different regions.

A Presidency or Chairmanship is established that rotates every 6 months, with a predetermined order, among the 5 geopolitical families, The President or Chairman is elected by her/his own family. The president chairs the Bureau. The president is the spokesperson of the group and represents the group within formal processes. When a consensus may be reached without opposition, the president of the bureau formally register the decision and makes it public. Whenever there is an opposition, the president conducts an informal conciliation process. If conciliation fails, the bureau decides whether a consensus has been reached or not.

An Ethics Committee shall be formed to evaluate potential conflicts of interests.

As a transitional disposition, the founding president shall announce the formation of the group and shall lead open consultations to finalize the organizetion of the group. The founding president shall take the decisions that are required to bootstrap the process of forming the bureau and of establishing liaison officers.

Liaison issues.

For the sake of efficiency there is the need of permanent liaison officers or contact points with institutions. These liaison officers shall be selected by the bureau, These officers shall be available in person to maintain sufficient contact with said institutions. Below is a preliminary list of organizations which the group should establish contact with, along with tentative contact points or liaisons :

  • United Nations( Geneva) Francis Muguet, Jean-Louis Fullsack
  • United Nations (New York) Michel Peissik
  • IGF ( Geneva ) Francis Muguet, Jean-Louis Fullsack
  • ITU ( Geneva ) Jean-Louis Fullsack, Jean Pierre Henninot
  • WIPO ( Geneva ) Drew Schaefer
  • African Union ACSIS
  • European Union ( Brussels ) tba
  • European Union ( Strasbourg ) Jean-Louis Fullsack
  • UNESCO ( Paris ) Divina Frau-Meigs, Francis Muguet
  • OECD ( Paris ) Francis Muguet
  • ICC ( Paris ) Chantal Lebrument
  • IGF ( host country, Rio ) tba
  • MIT ( Boston ) Nicolas Cauchy
  • etc...

The liaison officers are the spokespersons for the group, in meetings, whenever the president is physically absent.

Secretarial issues

For the time being, what is only needed is a web master, and a mailing list maintainer. Decisions concerning a possible moderation of the mailing shall be taken by the President.

  • Founding President : Louis Pouzin
  • Webmaster :