19 September 2005 - Civil Society Content and Themes Meeting (6:00pm – 7:00)

The
evening reception happening outside of the meeting room really tested the
commitment of the participants in this meeting (me! me!). But Tracey Naughton (MISA
- Media Institute of Southern Africa) who chaired the meeting was amazingly efficient,
an
d
d
espite
it starting almost 20 minutes late, she m
anaged to outline the new
method and structure of working, faciliate a discussion on its finer points,
culled concrete steps of moving forward, and organised ourselves into working
teams. All this by
on the dot!








So
the new working method will be to create a mirror process that replicates the
government’s working structure. Namely, since the government has two
sub-committees, one working on internet governance and one on other issues
(i.e. follow up, implementation, the political chapeau & financing
mechanisms), the civil society plenary will also have two tracks that matches
that.








Membership
to the tracks will be on voluntary basis, while facilitators are envisaged to
emerge organically from individuals who have been working on the issue for
quite some time and have thought about them a fair bit. Focal points for each
track were identified, with Jeanette Hofman for Track A, and Bertran
d de La Chapelle for Track B.
They were to especially liase on issues that cut across both tracks, for
example, on the multi-stakeholder dynamics of the WSIS process. Tracey was
re-elected as Chair for the Civil Society Content & Themes group, which was
no surp
rise though she greeted with
some reluctance, inspired perhaps by weariness =)








The
reason for the mirror process was to intervene directly to the government led
plenary sessions. According to Tracey (whom I caught up with and had a quick
chat with while lining up to get our passports checked at the entry to the
building), previous methods of work entailed primarily coming up with
principled stands and statements. While this was invaluable at Phase I of WSIS,
especially for the drafting of Principles (and still is at Phase II for the
Political Chapeau), it was also important to speak directly to what was going
on in the government process. Also, by doing this, it means the civil society
could come up with alternative documents should it become necessary.








After
the meeting was closed, the two tracks convened (I’m not sure before, during or
after the reception where free wine and beer and little things on little bread
were served) to discuss in more details about work flow and so on. Meanwhile, I
caught up with Marianne (Seger
who's the permanent representative of EURAG - I'm not sure what EURAG stands for either...) on the afternoon plenary
session which I missed. Reports of various working groups, thematic meetings
and regional conferences were accepted without much incident apart from the
Report of the Group of Friends of the President of the Preparatory Committee.
They replaced paragraph 10, 11 & 29 of the report (WSIS-II/PC-3/DOC/6) with
new phrasing, and after some debate, it was agreed that this will be further
discussed at the Sub-committee B’s meeting.






By this point, I was too tired to seek for ‘more
clarification’, an
d
d
ecided to attack the tempting small things on
small breads instead.




jac smk


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