1. New Interim Chair for the Internet Governance Forum’s Multi-stakeholder Advisory Group
In January 2014, the Internet Governance Forum (IGF) Secretariat finalized the renewal of the Multi-stakeholder Advisory Group (MAG) and conducted the selection process for the Interim Chair for the MAG for the 2014 cycle. The new Interim Chair will replace Mr. Markus Kummer who served during the 2013 IGF cycle. One main responsibility of the role is to chair the Open Consultations and MAG meetings. The first round of these meetings will be held in Geneva on 19-20 February 2014.
2. Deputy Permanent Representative of the Latvian Mission visits DPADM
On 31 January 2014, the Deputy Permanent Representative of the Latvian Mission visited DPADM to meet with Ms. Elia Armstrong, Chief of DMB, and Mr. Vyacheslav Cherkasov, Senior Governance and Public Administration Officer. They exchanged views on the current mandate of the Internet Governance Forum (IGF) as well as the progress of the renewal of the IGF Multi-stakeholder Advisory Group.
3. Presentation on the Role of e-Government in Smart Government Transformation
On 30 January 2014, Mr. Vincenzo Aquaro, Chief of DPADM’s eGB made a presentation on “The Role of e-Government in Smart Government Transformation” at a conference organized by the Madinah Institute of Leadership and Entrepreneurship in Madinah, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Mr. Aquaro’s presentation expounded on e-government as an enabler of government transformation as well as the fundamentals and methodology behind the 2014 United Nations E-Government Survey. The Conference was attended by government and private sector executives including H.R.H. Prince Faisal al Saud of KSA, H.E. Prince Tengku Hamzah of Malaysia, H.E., Mr. Adel Fakieh, KSA Minister of Labor, Mr. Ali Al-Soma, Head of Yesser Saudi e-Government Agency, Mr. Salem Khamis Al Shair Al Suwaidi, Chief Information Officer of the United Arab Emirates and Dr. Talal Abu-Ghazali of Jordan.
4. Meeting of the Executive Multi-stakeholder Committee (EMC) for the Global Multi-stakeholder Meeting
ASG Mr. Thomas Gass, with the support of DPADM, participated in a teleconference meeting of the Executive Multi-stakeholder Committee (EMC) for the Global Multi-stakeholder Meeting on the Future of Internet Governance on 7 February 2014. This event is scheduled to take place in Sao Paulo, Brazil from 23 to 24 April 2014. The UN Secretary-General nominated USG Mr. Wu and SG of ITU, Mr. Toure, to the High-Level Organizing Committee as well as ASG Mr. Gass to the EMC. The EMC is responsible for the design of the agenda and format of the Global Multi-stakeholder Meeting, and the invitation to the attendees, all equally balanced across the global multi-stakeholder community. The Meeting will focus on crafting Internet governance principles and proposing a roadmap for the further evolution of the Internet governance ecosystem. Mr. Gass will continue to participate actively in the EMC, which will continue to meet periodically both remotely and face-to-face, leading up to the global meeting in April. Further information and updates on the meeting can be found at: http://netmundial.br/.
5. Meeting with Delegation from the Republic of Korea
On 12 February 2014, Ms. Elia Armstrong, OIC, DPADM, welcomed a delegation led by Mr. Wonki Min, Director General, Ministry of Science, ICT and Future Planning (MSIP), Republic of Korea and Chairman Nominee of the upcoming International Telecommunication Union (ITU) Plenipotentiary Conference which will be held in Busan later this year. The meeting discussed ongoing preparations for the ITU Plenipotentiary Conference, the 9th Internet Governance Forum (IGF) and the Global Multi-stakeholder Meeting on the Future of Internet Governance and ongoing WSIS events. The delegation expressed interest in the IGF, citing similarity of a number of topics on the agenda to that of the Plenipotentiary Conference as well as appreciation for the United Nations E-Government survey, which they indicated, provides great information and advice for ITU Member States. It was agreed that DESA, through DPADM, the ITU and the Government of the Republic of Korea should communicate and work closely throughout the preparatory processes for all the discussed meetings to exhibit a unified voice to Member States and other relevant stakeholders on matters related to Internet governance, ICTs for Development, e-government services and e-participation, among others.
The meeting was also attended by Messrs. Vincenzo Aquaro, Chief, E-Government Branch, Vyacheslav Cherkasov, Wai Min Kwok, and. Brian Gutterman, DPADM, as well as Mr. Gary Fowlie, Head, ITU Liaison Office to the United Nations.
6. UNPOG Steering Committee holds Annual Meeting in New York
An updated framework and project document, a new work plan for 2014-2015 and the vision for the future were discussed by the UN Project Office on Governance (UNPOG) Steering Committee at its annual meeting held on 7 February at DPADM Office in New York. Also discussed were preparations for the 2014 UN Public Service Awards, Day and Forum in June 2014 which will be hosted by the Republic of Korea where UNPOG will also be playing a major role in providing funds and in organizing the event. Committee members who participated were: Messrs. Soon-gu Yoon, and Woonjo Ko, Ministry of Security and Public Administration (MOSPA), Messrs. Vincenzo Aquaro, John-Mary Kauzya, and Jae-hong Lim, Head of UNPOG and ex-officio member of the Committee. Ms. Marie Oveissi was invited to provide insight and advice on the role of CDO in capacity-building projects.
7. Mission to Colombia
At meetings held in Bogota with representatives of Colombia’s Ministry of Information and Communications Technology (MINTIC) from 11 to 12 February 2014, DPADM’s IRA, Mr. Jonas Rabinovitch provided guidance towards the implementation phase of the Centre for Innovation on e-Government Development. This included giving direction with respect to the methodology to be used in the identification of e-government best practices and a sustainability strategy for introducing a culture of innovation to be implemented in the public sector as part of the project.
In addition, at the invitation from Mayor Guerrero of Cali, the IRA, delivered a keynote address at the Conference on Innovation, Technology and Sustainable Development at the Colombian Pacific on 13 February 2014, aimed at strengthening Latin America-Asia relations on “E-Government, Sustainability and Intelligent Cities”. This resulted in an invitation to provide advisory services. The Conference was attended by an audience of over 700 decision-makers, NGOs, mayors and development practitioners.
8. UNPOG Explores External Funding for Joint Research Project on E-government for Women’s Empowerment with UNESCAP
On 17 February, Mr. Jae-hong Lim, Head of UNPOG met a representative of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Republic of Korea for detailed discussions on the components of the UNESCAP - UNPOG Joint Research Project on e-Government for Women’s Empowerment. Following the meeting, UNPOG will make revisions to the proposed budget and the timeline of the project document. They will share the same with UNESCAP and work together to expedite the finalization of the Project proposal and the application procedure to obtain funding from the Korea-ESCAP Cooperation Fund.
9. Internet Governance Forum (IGF) Convenes Open Consultations and Meeting of the Multi-stakeholder Advisory Group (MAG)
On 19-20 February 2014, Mr. Janis Karklins, recently appointed Interim Chair of the Multi-stakeholder Advisory Group (MAG), chaired a meeting of the Internet Governance Forum (IGF) community as part of the preparatory process for the 9th Annual Meeting of the IGF, which is scheduled to be held in Istanbul, Turkey from 2 to 5 September 2014. The meeting took stock of the overall progress, including the 8th Annual Meeting of the IGF, which was held in Bali, Indonesia in October 2013, and sought inputs and suggestions from all stakeholders on how to continuously improve and evolve the Forum. To ensure full transparency and bottom-up decision making, the meeting was open to all interested stakeholders, including live remote participation.
10. Second Executive Multi-stakeholder Committee (EMC) of Brazilian NetMundial
On 20 February, DPADM supported ASG Mr. Thomas Gass in participating in the preparatory meeting for the Global Multi-stakeholder Meeting on the Future of Internet Governance, to be held in Sao Paulo, 23-24 April. The Executive Multi-stakeholder Committee (EMC) considered outreach to the various stakeholder groups that are to be invited, as well as logistical concerns.
11. World Bank Partnership for Open Government
On 24 February 2014, staff of DPADM’s Development Management Branch (DMB) remotely participated at a meeting on Partnership for Open Data (POD) organised by the World Bank Group, Open Knowledge Foundation and Open Data Institute. The partnership aims at supporting developing countries to plan, execute and run open data initiatives, increase re-use of open data in developing countries, and grow the base of evidence on the impact of open data for development. In the next 2 to 3 years, it is envisaged that the partnership will focus on creating support networks to help developing countries to: (a) build vibrant open data programs and peer networks across country borders to facilitate the exchange of knowledge; (b) improve capacity of government, businesses and civil society in how best to publish and use open data; and (c) further harmonise activities of various partners on open data initiatives by agreeing on benchmarks, metrics and standards and conducting open data research. At this initial meeting of the POD, the organisers discussed the importance of rolling out and scaling up open data initiatives in developing countries for improved data on sustainable development. DESA, and particularly DPADM, was invited, together with other stakeholders, to contribute to discussion on future of partnership on open data, and on the potential role of the UN in advancing open data initiatives globally. The Division has taken note of the current developments on forging a partnership for open data, and will continue collaborating with the World Bank and other stakeholders to explore avenues for harmonised and mutually reinforcing activities to complement implementation of its upcoming project on open data in ECLAC and ESCAP regions.
12. Global Multi-stakeholder Meeting on the Future of Internet Governance (NETmundial), 23 – 24 April 2014 in Brazil
The Chief and colleagues of DPADM’s DMB observed the first meeting of the High-Level Multi-stakeholder Committee Meeting in Barcelona on 24 February 2014. The meeting was attended by high-level representatives from the European Commission (H.E. Neelie Kroes, Vice President), Brazil, Spain, Germany, South Africa, Tunisia, Ghana, France and the USA. Representatives from ITU, the Business Community and Civil Society were also in attendance. The meeting discussed the overall role and expected work of the High-Level Multi-stakeholder Committee as well as its relationship with the other various committees planning the NETmundial.
13. Internet Governance Forum (IGF) Donor Meeting
A donor meeting was held on 21 February 2014 in Geneva, after the Open Consultations and Multi-Stakeholder Advisory Group (MAG) meeting on the 2014 IGF (as reported last week). Members of the IGF MAG, the donor community and other prospective donors met together with staff members of DPADM and IGF Secretariat to continue discussions on strengthening the current fundraising mechanism for the various activities of the IGF. Participants of the meeting worked towards finding ways to expand the current donor base and ensure that the trust fund has adequate and sustained long-term funding.