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Lessons learned from other multistakeholder processes

Page history last edited by Mary Murphy 9 years, 3 months ago



Moderator: Anne-Marie Buzatu, Deputy Head of Operations IV, DCAF
Andy Orsmond, Executive Director, International Code of Conduct Association
Michel Quillé, Vice-President, International Forum on Technologies and Security 
Michele Woods, Director, Copyright Law Division, WIPO 




The different stakeholder communities remain divided over the legitimate carrying out and enforcement of decisions. Consequently, compliance remains a test case for IG processes. How can we ensure effective implementation and compliance of decisions, in particular those that require the participation of multiple actors with different views on legitimacy and accountability?

  • Why did you see a need to adopt a multistakeholder approach?
  • What challenges were you facing and how did the multistakeholder approach address them?  
  • What were the three main lessons learned and take-aways from the process, and what would you do differently? 


Moderator Anne-Marie Buzatu noted that a number of the things discussed in other multistakeholder processes, were very similar – and sometimes identical – to the discussion of the Internet communities. The main problem is that the different stakeholder communities remain divided over the legitimate carrying out and enforcement of decisions. Consequently, compliance remains a test case for IG processes. How can we ensure effective implementation and compliance of decisions, in particular those that require the participation of multiple actors with different views on legitimacy and accountability?


Andy Orsmond, Executive Director, International Code of Conduct Association, began his introduction by advising that his organisation is relatively new, and as a disclaimer mentioned that all his expertise stems from several months only due to this young age. The International Code of Conduct Association was born out of disasters related to the Iraq and Afghanistan conflicts and the new reality of the usage of security companies to provide private security. The utilisation of private actors in a space that had traditionally been state military environments brought real challenges. The only real accountability was a contractual right, and for many this was too vague and not as binding as it should be.  As a result, ways of greater accountability were sought for private actors; therefore the multistakeholder approach was necessary for a solution. Government was involved due to its role as the instigator of the inception and primary consumer of these companies; Civil-Society Groups were involved, as having the largest level of concern and impact. An additional question might stem from non-state consumers of these private security companies. These form the three pillars of the multistakeholder approach. UN and other international mechanisms face challenges within the environment.


When asked about the division that is often present within stakeholders, Orsmond remarked on the diversity of actors within each pillar, using the scale of businesses involved in one pillar as an example. In response to determining the diversity of these actors, Orsmond discussed how important it is to include the voice of the Global South? Along with the challenges faced by capacity building, is it needed for these agencies to craft solutions for them? He advised that doing this decision-making in a smaller group is more helpful then when working in a larger setting. 


Michel Quillé, Vice-President of the International Forum on Technologies and Security, mentioned that a forum will be held in Lyon in April 2016 on Internet security with a multistakeholder approach. It will include members of law enforcement security, and the private sector linked to the security field, and citizens. This forum is a reaction to the constantly increasing number of crimes in this field (mainly in child pornography, intrusion in critical infrastructures, and financial crimes). The goals to reach in the field are: detecting, solving, and preventing crimes. An interesting lesson learned is to see that to organise this forum they found support in the private sector and the civil society.


Michele Woods, Director, Copyright Law Division, WIPO, opened her discussion by sharing her wish for the inclusion of WIPO within the community of IG, as it is a UN specialised agency, with a robust focus on treaties, and multilateral institutional implementation of IG. Woods mentioned various treaties, and agencies working on these treaties for their broad support and ratification. She discussed the various entities that WIPO works with, using publishers as an example. Woods shared a specific example of WIPO’s work: the visually impaired attendees and the importance of making documents accessible via alternative means in order to be fully accessible.


Regarding how WIPO has facilitated multistakeholder approaches, Woods described the ground rules that were installed in member state negotiations. The public was not to be given information from observations during closed-door sessions. Member states were allowed to interact with additional stakeholders that were given access to a certain extent, allowing observance of informal sessions, and a lessened involvement of additional stakeholders outside member states by granting them a designated space outside the closed doors of the negotiation room. These rules led to successful implementation of a multistakeholder approach for WIPO.


Woods was asked how WIPO Internet treaties from 1996 deal with modern needs regarding technology and if they could still be considered as multilateral. Many say that these were adopted when the technological situation was very different; however some newer treaties including the Beijing Treaty are examples of being multilateral in scope, and include an update of technology. Woods maintained that consensus is difficult to attain to determine the changes without affecting the rights of users, the rights of companies versus the rights of expression; for example, how do you balance the rights of sports theft such as streaming FIFA, while not curtailing the rights to access by all users. One option she mentioned would be to update the Bern Treaties, but the current multilateral environment makes it difficult to have a renewed discussion on this topic.


Woods was asked for the current role of the WIPO in relation to the difference in scale of operations from smaller states and that of larger states. She mentioned the difficulties in getting all the audience members up to the level of technological expertise and how deeply concerned WIPO is with this issue. There are pros to having a lot of interested players, and there are certainly challenges in granting equal access and equal understanding. Woods mentioned funding to help developing countries in attending Geneva sessions, and commented on how WIPO remains open to new solutions.


Lessons learned:

  • There is always difference in power dynamics. Sometimes it is a leading role, a facilitator role, or a mediator role. The three roles have to exist in order to be successful. (Andy Orsmond)
  • The challenge is a change of mindset; we have to overcome silo thinking. To work together we have to build trust, and building trust is working together; a never ending story… (Michel Quillé)
  • The method applied to ensure consensus is to anticipate. For this we need to think about education, providing information, technical assistance and building capacities. (Michelle Woods)
  • Governments are bound by their own domestic laws, their roles in institutions are therefore not clear and have to be clarified. (Andy Orsmond)
  • Participation is a major issue. (Andy Orsmond)
  • The process of defining the problem, agreeing on the vocabulary, etc., is better in a large group. But the beginning of the drafting of solutions is better on small groups. (Andy Orsmond)
  • Stay pragmatic (and a little bit patient)! (Michel Quillé)


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