The 2005 Tunis Agenda for the Information Society called for enhanced cooperation to enable governments, on an equal footing, to carry out their roles and responsibilities in international public policy issues pertaining to the Internet, but not in the day-to-day technical and operational matters that do not impact on international public policy issues. In the decade since, the international community has struggled to reach consensus as to the precise meaning and implementation of this enhanced cooperation. Annual stock taking exercises and the convening during 2013-2014 of the Working Group on Enhanced Cooperation (WGEC) by the Commission on Science and Technology for Development revealed both areas of agreement and significant areas of disagreement among governments and stakeholders. The December 2015 WSIS+10 Outcome Document called for the reconvening of the WGEC in 2016 in the hope of reinvigorating the consensus building process amidst the changing political environment of global Internet governance.
This workshop brings together a multistakeholder group of analysts and participants in the debate to provide initial inputs for the reconvened discussions to come and help build a shared understanding of the topic. Topics discussed will include, inter alia, the state of play following the previous WGEC effort, and the possible mechanics of the next one; the vexing challenge of agreeing on the “respective roles and responsibilities” of governments and stakeholders in Internet governance issues and institutions; and the respective contributions of intergovernmental and multistakeholder cooperation in enabling governments to discharge their international public policy responsibilities. The format will be an interactive roundtable, and sufficient time will be reserved for open dialogue among all participants.