Multistakeholder Decision Making in Global Internet Governance

Noncommercial Users Constituency of ICANN

session 212 organizer(s) logo

Session 212

13:15–14:00, Thursday, 22 March 2018 Room H1, ITU Montbrillant Thematic Workshop Speakers/Panellists  Link to WSIS Action Lines  Link to SDGs  Summary Document  Related Links 

Share on:  Facebook  Twitter  Twitter

Quo Vadis?

Ever since the WSIS, Internet governance practitioners and analysts have been debating the strengths, shortcomings and ambiguities of multistakeholder models of international cooperation.  During that time, the model followed within the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) has been significantly enhanced in terms of its stability, transparency, accountability, and inclusivity.  In parallel, some intergovernmental organizations concerned with Internet-related matters have taken steps to increase their own transparency and allow varying levels of multistakeholder input and engagement. But despite these developments, it is not clear whether actual multistakeholder decision making has any prospect of spreading beyond the few policy spaces where it is already in place, i.e. ICANN and related Internet technical community bodies.  On the one hand, there are no signs that any intergovernmental organization plans to significantly deepen multistakeholder participation in its processes.  On the other hand, significant multistakeholder collaborations like the NETmundial meeting have not engendered focused follow-up and implementation efforts, and proposals to create new multistakeholder mechanisms have failed to gain traction.  

With these considerations in mind, the purpose of this brief workshop is to raise some questions that may merit further consideration in future venues.  For example, has the growth of multistakeholder decision making plateaued, or are there any plausible opportunities for it to progress in a helpful manner, e.g. with respect to cybersecurity?  Can the levels of multistakeholder input and engagement currently allowed by some intergovernmental organizations be meaningfully enriched in ways that would be value-adding?  Could anything be done to build upon the NETmundial and more issue-specific initiatives  in order to strengthen the global Internet governance ecosystem?

This workshop is organized by ICANN’s Noncommercial Users Constituency, which is the home for civil society organizations and individuals in the Generic Names Supporting Organization.  NCUC currently comprises 538 members from 161 countries, including 118 noncommercial organizations and 420 individuals.


William J. Drake


William J. Drake 
International Fellow & Lecturer
Department of Communication and Media Research
University of Zurich

Joanna Kulesza
Assistant Professor 
Faculty of Law and Administration
University of Lodz

Markus Kummer
Chair of the IGFSA Executive Committee 
former Executive Coordinator of the IGF
& former member of the ICANN Board of Directors

Larry Strickling  [remote participant]
Executive Director, Collaborative Governance Project
The Internet Society
former Assistant Secretary for Communications and Information
US Department of Commerce

Session's link to WSIS Action Lines

  • AL C1 logo C1. The role of public governance authorities and all stakeholders in the promotion of ICTs for development
  • AL C6 logo C6. Enabling environment
  • AL C11 logo C11. International and regional cooperation

The Outcome document of the high-level meeting of the General Assembly on the overall review of the implementation of the outcomes of the World Summit on the Information Society (UN GA A/70/L.33, 13 December 2015) notes, at paragraph 62, “the important regulatory and legislative processes in some Member States on the open Internet in the context of the information society and the underlying drivers for it, and call for further information-sharing at the international level on the opportunities and challenges.”

Session's link to Sustainable Development Process

  • Goal 8: Decent work and economic growth logo Goal 8: Promote inclusive and sustainable economic growth, employment and decent work for all
  • Goal 9: Industry, innovation and infrastructure logo Goal 9: Build resilient infrastructure, promote sustainable industrialization and foster innovation
  • Goal 16: Peace, justice and strong institutions logo Goal 16: Promote just, peaceful and inclusive societies

An open, interoperable, universally accessible and thriving Internet environment is a key enabler of progress on the SDGs. This session concerns the governance architecture needed to maintain that environment.

Session Summary



Link to this session