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This text is being provided in a rough draft format. Communication Access Realtime Translation (CART) is provided in order to facilitate communication accessibility and may not be a totally verbatim record of the proceedings.
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>> SALANIETA TAMANIKAIWAIMARO: ‑‑ remotely, we know that you are sacrificing your sleep time wherever you are, whichever time zone. And we encourage you to participate remotely and all contributions are welcome. Just a quick note. We will be drafting an outcomes document and we've got a strict rule. If you want to be part of the drafting team, please give your card, leave your card on the table where the projector is before leaving the meeting, and we will be in touch with you.
But before that, this workshop is on Multi‑stakeholder Selection Processes: Accountability and Transparency. And we're very pleased that we have an excellent panel of experts in their respective institutions and constituencies and communities.
And one of the things that we've ‑‑ one of the things we've been seeing throughout this Internet Governance Forum is the concept of enhanced cooperation and how that ‑‑ what that means, what it looks like, how does it feel. And a critical component of enhanced cooperation is in the context of the selection processes that take place that allow for the voices of the different stakeholders and critical stakeholders from different constituencies as they engage in the governance processes.
And I thought and I think very quickly I would just like to also set the parameters of this discussion that's going to ensue. The cooperation ‑‑ the context in which we will be engaging in discussions today is within the broader global governance mechanisms so we're not talking about internal processes within Internet organizations such as internal processes within ICANN or internal processes within ISOC and that sort of thing. What we're talking about is collaborative ‑‑ collaborative cross‑constituencies processes where representation of selection processes are made towards ‑‑ to its committees and that sort of thing; things like the UNESDA, things like the MAG.
So with that, I'd like to invite Constance Bommelear from.
>> SALANIETA TAMANIKAIWAIMARO: The technical community who will be giving ‑‑ who will be sharing her thoughts. Constance?
>> CONSTANCE BOMMELEAR: Thank you very much. So I'll just start by giving some information on the context of the discussion here. Since WSIS ISOC has been asked to serve as a focal point for various nomination processes and this has been used for the renewal of the MAG, for instance, or several working groups of the UN CSTD, the Commission on Science, Technology and Development.
To facilitate discussions around Internet Governance in our various nomination processes, we have mailing lists. It's called the Internet Collaboration Mailing List, and we also organize monthly calls to exchange in a very informal way on our various activities, insights, thoughts. And when useful, we use this group and this platform to identify representatives of the technical community for these various purposes, finding individuals, good experts to feed the MAG or various working groups.
You said we wouldn't go into a lot of details on these nomination processes, but I think it's still worth, you know, very briefly saying that in the example of this CSTD working group on enhanced cooperation, for instance, in a very simple way, we share the call, the opportunity with our mailing list, with our communities. We ask for names with relevant information, biographies, et cetera, and then we have a call, several calls, if necessary. We come up with a short list. And then final names are suggested, put forward to the relevant intergovernmental bodies because usually it's for the IGF or for the CSTD, acknowledging that the decision, of course, is taken by those relevant ‑‑ those relevant bodies.
Before going further, I would just like to shed some light on what for me seems to be a paradox. The technical community by nature is informal. When the technical community gathers within the ITF, it is an informal group of individuals and organizations who work on a specific task at a specific moment, and the paradox is that as all these multi‑stakeholder processes have developed, when we are asked to designate representatives of our community to feed these processes, we are asked to define very precisely who we are to fit through the door. And that is really a paradox on which we have to work, of course.
So I think it's fair to say that there is some gray zones. Many individuals who are recognized as being part of one community may have connections, interests in other communities. And I guess this is where the notion of community has all its importance.
Our various groups of stakeholders are united around a set of values, interests, specific working items. And, again, I think this notion of community being recognized as being a part of one group shows that there is a societal aspect to ‑‑ to the evolution and the definition of these various groups. In short, there is no legal definition of our various groups.
Furthermore, I would also note that these various groups that have evolved and developed since WSIS, none of them can really intend to represent the entire groups they come from. The Internet Collaboration Group, for instance, could not intend ‑‑ could not affirm that it represents the entire technical community. I don't think, not from the IGC, but I don't think the IGC, for instance, could affirm that it represents the entire Civil Society here. And this is why it's also very important to recognize that no one has the monopoly of feeding multi‑stakeholder processes and it's probably very good to have competition between various groups.
The Internet Collaboration Group, I consider it as a core group, an informal core group. If individuals or organizations feel that they are part of the technical community and wish to put their name forward directly by contacting the UN or various intergovernmental bodies, I think that should be possible. The Internet Collaboration Group in my view is there to facilitate discussion among specific group, but it certainly cannot intend to represent the entire technical community.
And I will conclude, before George completes, that the Internet Collaboration Group really is committed to furthering, amplifying multi‑stakeholder processes. Many of our organizations, many of the individuals that are part of our community support in their own capacity or through the organizations they work for fellowships, ambassadorships, the IGF ambassadorship that is run by the Internet Society is one example. I know there are many other organizations and individuals who help the development of such processes in our community, but also in other communities. So I'll stop there and see if George would like to add to what I've said, and I'm sure I've forgotten many, many details.
>> GEORGE SADOWSKY: No, you haven't. It's a very good summary of where we are and what we do. I'd like to add some thoughts, some of them are very similar to what Constance has said. There are maybe some new things involved.
First of all, I'd like to say that even though I'm affiliated with ICANN, I'm speaking in my individual capacity here, so the first thing to ask ‑‑ that I ask is what is the Internet technical community? And the community is a slippery word. It can mean many different things to many people. But starting, let's say that everybody who is involved in the direct administration, development, operation, care and feeding of the Internet is in that community. And that's a big community. My off the cuff estimate is about two million people. It could be less. It could be more. Depends on what, how you estimate.
How many of those are non ‑‑ aware of Internet Governance issues is a much smaller group. Maybe it's 10,000 and maybe it's more after the NSA and related disclosures. How will many of those are interested in really understanding and staying informed in some detail. Maybe it's 200. Maybe more. And how many of those want to participate really actively in Internet Governance? Well, 50, maybe more. I don't know. But this is what we see when we talk about Internet Governance.
The technical community is self‑identifying. You can't just join it. You join by establishing a track record, a technical track record within the community, which is different from some other communities where you join because you have an interest and you want to learn and you're recognized as a member immediately. The community is open, but the recognition of membership in it is based on accomplishments.
So next question I asked was, what should the goals of the technical community be with respect to Internet Governance decisions and discussions? And I think it's to provide useful and accurate technical advice regarding possible technical mechanisms that affect Internet Governance and to inform the larger community, the multi‑sectorial ‑‑ the multi‑stakeholder community regarding the implications of actual or proposed decisions or by other actors or by the group as a whole.
I think it's important to recognize the difference, as Constance has said, between the interests of people in the technical community and what we think the technical community should be giving to these discussions.
People in the community have different interests. I take myself as an example. I've been an independent entrepreneur. I've worked for governments. I've run Civil Society organizations, but I consider myself technical. The ‑‑ if I represent the technical community, I will be informed of, in my experience by all these things, but I will ‑‑ I think I should keep the advice to the technical advice and how it affects the discussions. And I think that's a difference that sometimes gets blurred when we think about what the representatives of the various communities should be providing.
Now, not everybody is in agreement with that definition, and if you'd like to discuss it further, Workshop 210, The Role of the Technical Community in Internet Governance is going to drill down to this topic a little bit more. It's Thursday at 2:30 p.m.
So how do we select people to represent the community in multi‑stakeholder discussions in ‑‑ outside of the technical community? I start with the premise that each stakeholder group has its own culture, its own processes, private sectors certainly operates differently than government and they operate differently from Civil Society. And these, the cultures reflect the history and the particular substance, in our case, technical substance, underlying the group.
And I think one of the ways in which we can cooperate best in this regard is to say that we respect the processes and guidelines and the policies of other groups because they know what they're doing in those sectors, and we expect our those processes and our guidelines to be respected in the same way by the other groups. So there will be differences and there should be differences because we're not all coming from the same place and we don't all have ‑‑ we don't have 100 percent shared experiences or goals.
The Internet technical sector has some very specific cultural characteristics. It's an open community. It regards technical excellence as primary in terms of what it does and how it uses its skills. The Internet was born in a research environment and so research and teaching ‑‑ research and learning, sharing and collaboration, the creation of things that work, software, hardware, processes, is ‑‑ are very important values in our culture.
They're embodied in the IETF culture which is a meritocracy. It's run by people who understand excellence and recognize it and at the same time recognize lack of excellence. They are concerned with operational proof of what they do, running code. And they have a method of making decisions which is not shared, I think, in many places, rough consensus. And rough consensus is an interesting concept because you sort of intuitively know what it means, but it is capable of further study, and there's a paper, a recent Internet draft by Pete Resnik, which is fairly long, and it gives a nuanced and insightful analysis of how the IETF regards rough consensus, and I think it's worth reading if there's any interest in learning more about that.
In terms of selection principles, our concern is that the person we choose has the appropriate knowledge, either technical excellence or strongly connected to that community that has technical excellence that supports that issue. And the principles that qualify our representatives are independence, belonging to the community, transparency, participation, technical relevance and ability to collaborate. And those are principles that we can go into more later if you like, but those are the ones that we see as being really important for judging who we would like to have represent us in multi‑stakeholder forum.
The choices discussed and made by a small, self‑selected group of the technical community ‑‑ as Constance said, we don't claim to represent the technical community, but we also know that the technical community, those who care and even those who don't, know what we're doing and can on the basis of their ‑‑ of their background, they can ‑‑ they can come and be a part of us. If they ‑‑ if they don't like the way we're doing things, they will join us, and they will tell us so.
The group that is choosing is open. It's based on expertise and interest and understanding of the issue. The rough consensus principle is used to come to a decision.
Finally, I'd like to say that the group and process are presently coordinated by ISOC by mutual consent. But the group is neither dependent on or reports in any normal sense to ISOC.
We had hoped to have a short paper which describes these processes and guidelines in somewhat more detail and in a somewhat more crisper manner. We're not quite ready for that yet. We just weren't able to pull it together. But we are working on it. And even when it is published, we understand and state that the process and the criteria are going to evolve and they're going to evolve in response to our thinking about things and in response to the evolving situation in Internet Governance and the evolving needs of the multi‑stakeholder gathering to which we will be providing representatives. Thank you.
>> SALANIETA TAMANIKAIWAIMARO: Before we hear from Civil Society, a quick synthesis of what both Constance and George sort of addressed. What they raised was we're hearing that different stakeholder groups have different mechanisms for selection. The other thing was definitions in terms of defining communities. The other thing that we're hearing is criteria, the issue of criteria of selection, for selection.
So with that, we're going to hear from Civil Society, and we'll have Anriette Esterhuysen address us.
>> ANRIETTE ESTERHUYSEN: Does someone know how to turn the air conditioning down, please, if possible? Because I think I'm getting frostbite on my ears. Might be back here as well. Anyway, thanks.
I was preparing to speak specifically about the CTSD process. I think that was the plan, was it not? Okay for me to do that. But I will make a few general remarks. There's an echo in here.
I think selection process in Civil Society is really complicated. I think it's always quite complicated, but I think in Civil Society, particularly in the IG sector, because unlike with business and with the technical community, even though they are diverse within themselves, within the IGF context, they've evolved in a way where they've had appointed institutions that have been playing a facilitative role. So ISOC and ICC basis. And I'm sure not everyone in the technical community and business considers that legitimate, but there's a general consensus within those communities that those are legitimate institutions and that they do a job that most people respect.
In Civil Society, we've never had that degree of organization, and we have spaces where we have discussions such as the Internet Governance Caucus. But they've never been established as structures that can represent us.
So ‑‑ and I think ‑‑ so that's the one reason. And then I think also the goals. While Civil Society goals I think are generally quite common, and the different solutions that people in Civil Society propose or believe in very enormously, and I'll just mention one example, and that is regulate the Internet or not?
So I think everyone in Civil Society will say we believe in it, in an Internet for common good. But some people will have a very libertarian, no regulation solution to achieve that goal. And others believe there needs to be more laws, regulation, checks and balances and so on. And in between is the spectrum. So it's actually very difficult.
And I think the other complexity for Civil Society is resources. There's ‑‑ I know that all IGF participants and ‑‑ struggle to have the resources to participate. But I think with business and technical community, there's probably more of an overlap between people that have the interest and the capacity to participate in these processes and institutions that might ‑‑ or it might be in the line of their work. So I mean, I don't want to make generalizations because I know from the African sector that everyone in Africa, small businesses as well and many people in the technical community don't have the resources.
And then I think the issue of power. I think that within our IGF and our Internet Governance universe, I think that the ‑‑ community and business has been more effective in establishing their power and influence in a consistent way and you might see it very differently. But from my perspective for someone in Civil Society, I think Civil Society has not been as organized, not as coherent, not as consistent. And therefore, our power and influence has tended to wax and wane. It comes and goes, and it depends on the issue of the moment and the event. And what this does is it creates a certain sense of or a certain degree of tension among Civil Society and this tension plays itself out often when there's a selection process.
And the issue of, you know, the other issues that you have the Civil Society's spaces are made up of a mix of individuals, academics, organizations, and we generally work in a very open and inclusive way. But when it comes to selection processes, that's more complex.
In the caucus, the IGC, very transparent procedures have been developed for selecting representatives of the IGC caucus. There's a Noncom process, but many people in Civil Society I would say most would not feel that the IGC caucus is not the representative body for all of Civil Society. So even though IGC has made all this progress in establishing transparent and effective, accountable procedures with this ‑‑ there's even a ‑‑ not a grievance. What do we call it? It's not a ‑‑ is an appeals, appeals procedure. There's an appeals team. So the procedures are really sound. But it doesn't represent all of Civil Society.
Okay. So to get to the CSTD. I was asked by the chair of the CSTD to facilitate the selection process of the representatives to the working people in ‑‑ corporation. And because of all the reasons I've just mentioned, I felt that I needed to establish a fresh process. I felt I needed to take responsibility for it. I didn't feel it would be appropriate for me to delegate it to the IGC or to anyone else for that matter because I thought that would actually make it even more difficult.
And the, you know, the methodology I used was essentially very similar to any other selection process or a hiring process. I convened a selection group, drawing on individuals that have been active in sort of society and the Internet Governance context that was regionally representative. So I had somebody from each of the main regions that we all work in, continents.
Then this group I had to brief in a very short space of time and get their buy‑in. We add Africa, Asia, North America, Latin America and Europe. And then to complement that group, I invited two past IGC coordinators. And the reason I felt this was necessary was not just because of the IGC, but the IGC had already done its own selection process by that time for the CSTD working group, and I felt that to show some respect for that selection process without just adopting it wholesale, it would be appropriate to have two IGC coordinators, so just to show respect for that structure. So this is, I guess, just balancing interests and trying to build more ownership of the process.
And then to avoid conflict of interest, I did not include anyone from APC in the selection, because APC is quite a large network, so there are a lot of APC people in this community, but I felt it would be inappropriate for me to include anyone from APC.
And basically from then, it was a question of inviting other nations and criteria. I had to develop the specific device for dealing with endorsed nominees, people that had been ‑‑ some people would send in a nomination with 50 endorsements or 50 other people having endorsed them. Some would just send nomination of one person, and having discussed that as well with the selection group and others, we noted, if anyone had been endorsed, but we felt seeing as it was not a criteria, it would not be appropriate to give additional weighting to people who had received endorsements.
And then the criteria were experience and expertise in public interest or policy processes. Experience and expertise in enhanced cooperation in relation to WSIS and IG, ability and commitment to put in the work and travel, ability to work collaboratively and confidently in multi‑stakeholder processes that involve both consensus building and dealing with conflicting interests. And then we allowed for regional and gender balance.
So the process was quite complicated. The core selection committee had to work quite hard. Nadine was there. She knows. And because we had several scoring processes. We had a short list. And then out of the short list, we scored again.
All in all, I feel happy with that particular process, and I think it has ‑‑ some people question the legitimacy, and I think even though it was a very transparent process, there were still people that questioned the legitimacy, but I felt that I had and with the help of the selection committee a process that I could respond to. So there was ‑‑ was pretty transparent because I think it is okay for people to question these processes. I think they need to be questioned in a respectful way, but it was legitimate to question them. And I prepared and anticipated that it might be.
I think in, just in retrospect ‑‑ actually, I'll come back to that because having reflected on that process, there is some additional criteria that I think should be applied and also criteria on assessing whether people that have been selected, even, you know, through a process like this are actually deliberate in, are they doing the work? And I would like us to have particularly with processes like the MAG to have mechanism where we can remove people if they don't deliver or participate before the next round of rotation comes up. But I'll come back to that later. That was just the story of the CSTD process.
>> SALANIETA TAMANIKAIWAIMARO: Thank you, and just before I give this over to Norbert, we just listened to a practical selection process and the evolution of that particular selection process within Civil Society. Norbert Bollow.
>> NORBERT BALLOW: Okay. Quickly, to introduce myself, I'm together with Salanieta who is moderating this meeting, the other coordinator of Internet Governance Caucus. And sometimes I joke that I'm wearing the coordinator hat when I speak officially, but now I just speak in my personal capacity just giving a perspective. Personally, I like the ‑‑ and especially when we want to look forward and find solutions that may have some sustainability, I like to think about the reason for things.
Now, it's easy for me to see why the technical community has a lot of credibility in this space. Essentially, they build it. They know it. They can tell us how it works. It's easy to see where the business community has credibility or at least why I would assign credibility. This is something that everybody that's more or less personally because they are in the position through having a significant customer base to be part of the solution. When we have problems, and we have lots of them in Internet Governance, we need to have the entities involved that can actually make change happen.
Different, of course, are governments, but they also have power to make change happen. So now, here come we, Civil Society people, and we claim that we should be totally respected. But why? What is the basis for our claim? And I think the real basis for this claim is that we can claim independence. Power is something valuable. But it also comes with its interests. And in order to be respected, I would say we as Civil Society need to maintain independence from such power in order to be respected as Civil Society.
So this is in a way a core criterion if we want to be representing Civil Society, we should make sure that we are actually credibly able to represent the people who we claim to represent and not ‑‑ we are not be too influenced by some kind of monetary or political interest that we might care about. While the easiest way to solve this problem is simply for everybody to come in and represent their own interests, that is totally unproblematic in a way except that not everybody takes the time to come here, not everybody's able to. And accept that in some context, like this year's IGC working group, they're simply not accepting everybody to come.
So there must be a selection process with credibility that figures out the small number of people. We only have a small number of representatives in Civil Society who will represent Civil Society.
So somehow, this would be my first principle in this selection process. It must ensure that these people who get selected are actually independent of political and business power. The second principle that I was ‑‑ would propose specifically for Civil Society has to do with what was already mentioned several times. There is not a single entity that can claim to be totally representative. What is the point of Internet Governance Caucus selecting some people from just the relatively small part of Civil Society that is organized in the caucus and everybody else will feel unrepresented?
So I would propose this fundamental idea of a non ‑‑ commission, nomination commission is good. But if the goal is to represent Civil Society as a whole, it must not be a commission of this Internet Governance Caucus, but I would propose it must be joined Noncom where all Civil Society people are equally able to put their names forward to become part of the Noncom. I quickly summarize how this works.
The nomination commission process, the Noncom process, we get ‑‑ we ask many people to volunteer to be part of this commission, and they ‑‑ the actual members of the commission are then randomly selected. It works surprisingly well.
These random people, they then discuss criteria. They make a call for interests. And people who want to be selected, they put forward their names, the reasons why they would consider themselves to be viable candidates. And then the nomination commission, they decide. And in the end, they decide. They discuss, they decide, possibly by voting.
The big difference that I would propose, it must be a joint thing. It must not be a thing of the caucus or some other entity, but this will be something in my opinion that we need to organize in Civil Society including the major groups, which is APC. Now that's another rising star called Best Fits, and there are many, many, many Civil Society people. The vast majority is not part of any of these networks. So a joint nomination commission would really need to reach out to this huge community.
And then, of course, to make this credible, to make it trustworthy, we must have accountability, we must have transparency. But I think I stop here for now, and in the discussion, then we can perhaps find more joint principles, how to actually make this accountability and transparency work. Thank you.
>> SALANIETA TAMANIKAIWAIMARO: Thank you, Norbert. At this point, I'd just like to mention that there is actually a working document that's already been passed around. It's probably hosted on a website already. I'm not sure, but we'll check after this.
And I just wanted to point out that there will be a drafting process and members of those who are here in the room are invited to be part of that process where you can actually give your feedback where we encourage the solicitation of a diverse perspectives on the issue, on the issues that are raised. And yes, this invitation is also open to those who are remotely participating.
I'd just like to very quickly synthesize the words of Civil Society here on this panel just to tease out two critical points. One was whether there's need for aggregating the voice of Civil Society pertaining to a potential Noncom where there's, in terms of the selection processes, increasing and enhancing accountability and transparency. Again, we don't know how that's going to look. These are just what we're hearing from Norbert. And also pertaining to the issue of criteria, and we're hearing this from the technical community. We're hearing it again from within Civil Society, the issue of criteria and the diverse conflicting perspectives even within that category.
And with that, I would just like to welcome Ayesha Hassan who will be addressing us from the business focal point in terms of their selection processes and multi‑stakeholder selection processes in terms of accountability and transparency. Ayesha.
>> AYESHA HASSAN: Thank you very much, and thank you to the other panelists because I think there is really some interesting common areas that are coming out both in terms of criteria and approaches as well as challenges. Yes, so Ayesha Hassan on behalf of ICC basis.
The International Chamber of Commerce back during the summit was asked to be the sole focal point for business, so during the summit, we set up an umbrella called the Coordinating Committee of Business Interlocutors, CCBI, and that was the sole accreditation mechanism for any business that wanted to be a part of the summit preparations and be at the summit.
At the end of the summit when these various processes were established, IGF, the CSTDs, follow‑up, et cetera, we launched the basis initiative as a call ‑‑ as our members and business that was involved in the summit wanted to have a coordinating representational advocacy platform for business to help them organize themselves to bring the expertise of business into the IGF and other processes.
So basis is basically that. It's a platform that provides those services but also serves as the focal point vis‑a‑vis the multi‑stakeholder advisory group, the various CSTD working groups, et cetera, to provide business experts for those ‑‑ those groups.
Over the process ‑‑ over the past years, we've evolved our process for selection. And I wanted to underscore that though we, as ICC basis, do put forward proposes for these various groups, the MAG, et cetera, there are examples where business representatives have been appointed through other channels. But because of the credibility that has been established, the fact that ICC basis is membership, but also our networks, because the membership includes various other business associations; WITSA, AICTE, et cetera, and those associations have networks that are regional or sector specific.
So when we start our process to select and identify potential members, we're going out to our national committees in 120 countries, to the members of our digital economy commission which is over 300 members, to the networks of the various associations that are affiliated with ICC basis and asking them as a first step to send in names, identify people.
And once we have the names, we go through a similar process that has been described by the others. We put out the whole list of names with short bios to our basis membership. They prioritize those names and tell us if we need to fill eight seats, they prioritize one to eight or whatever the number might be. We usually take a couple rounds that includes both e‑mail input as well as teleconferences to discuss the group that has been put forward.
My colleague Constance Weise is in the room as well. She helps to compile the numbers, and once we've gotten to a solid base, that is the list that goes in.
In terms of criteria, I mean I would say qualities. What we're looking for are many things that I've heard from the other panelists as well. First off, we're looking for somebody who has experience with the processes and expertise, that they're going to bring a sector specific or geographic specific perspective, business perspective. We also are looking for people who are actively engaged. This is ‑‑ these processes are complicated and it makes it easier if somebody has some exposure to them already. Somebody who is actively willing to collaborate, a willingness to work with others across stakeholder groups.
And as Anriette pointed out, over the years, it's become more and more really a major criteria for us that people can commit to the travel, to the work, are willing to also keep the business community updated on what's going on as they serve as our representatives.
And we've also made attempts to ‑‑ to the extent possible have diversity of geographic and gender diversity. And I would also just comment that the geographic diversity issue, we ‑‑ we are challenged to ensure that developing country business participants have the resources and support to perform their duties in these working groups and it affects them as much as anyone else from other stakeholder groups.
I would also say that, as George has said, the different stakeholder groups have different cultures. From a business perspective, there is a desire for there to be an easy effective, efficient way for these kind of selection processes to happen and people have felt comfortable with ICC basis. That again doesn't mean that there aren't business people out there who participate in these processes who are not part of this group. But we do provide a useful focal point for business. So with that, I'll stop, and I hope that that describes the process. I'm happy to take questions. Thanks.
>> SALANIETA TAMANIKAIWAIMARO: Thank you, Ayesha. We're going to hear from Mr. Virat Bhatia from AT&T India.
>> VIRAT BHATIA: Thank you. I also chair industry association in Delhi, the largest industry association in India which has about 150 representatives of various ICT spaces which work under this umbrella body. And as we see this process of multi‑stakeholder selection, I can sort of come back to experiments that we have tried in the last two years.
We started off domestically with an India Internet Governance Conference which is a governance initiative for the first time after India had hosted the IGF in 2008. Usually, it isn't up to the private sector to sort of get this movement going, but we did. It was originally planned out to be an Internet broadband conference, and we extended it to include many of the governance agendas, but that also meant expanding who will participate and what events will be arranged and what session would be arranged.
So that meant then calling in everyone that we knew to participate in that process. And these were both established names and some not so established names from various different backgrounds.
Anybody who tries to put together a coalition of multi‑stakeholders, let me tell you it's not easy. It's never complete and no one is ever happy. But for me, it was a very rewarding and ‑‑ experience for the simple reason that we're not coached and trained to deal with multi‑stakeholder groups in a dialogue that spends 80 percent of the time on process and 20 percent of the time on results.
The business community is dealing 10 percent on process and then gets on to the results. The business community is also inherently trained to very quickly find a coalition, find a leader, find common issues and get behind it. They also trained because they advocate all the time that the government in an organized way to quickly leave out relevant issues. This was not what we experienced when we put together the selection process for the multi‑stakeholders.
So in the first instance, it was by invitation. It would be new and we expanded it, but we made sure that there was adequate representation from all the stakeholder groups and 25 percent of them were women. This was in year one. Which is to the best news in my strike is normal. It's not a normal number for the developing world, certainly not for India to have that level of participation.
In the next year, we changed the process, and selection process was open, quite close to what we have in the ITF which is self‑nomination based on who you represent. And we got 49 people who wanted to serve on the national MAG. Of the 49 who put in their application, to serve on the national MAG, everybody was selected. In the end, only 30 participated actively.
But the MAG, in the second year, unlike the first year it was slightly business heavy, was equally distributed amongst business, Civil Society, technical community, media, academia and ‑‑ reasonably equally divided. But what was heartening was that the numbers moved to 36 percent for women, from 25 percent of the first year.
Now, we've had to hold off that process because the government has gone ahead and announced a MAG and wants to hold an India ITF, so it's perceived as a competing event which we don't want to do.
But in my experience, based on the first experience we've had of selecting this, it was quite clear that these individuals who represented ‑‑ some of them represented large sections of India's academia, some of them were in their personal capacity but were individual experts, so it wasn't a hard and fast rule. We were able to get away with sort of nominating ‑‑ sort of making all nominations self‑nominations, but I think as you go forward, criteria will have to be drawn.
Now, the government has set up a MAG, and that's also dropdown nomination by the government. Our expectation is they will expand that to further include people that are not there.
But I think the accountability of such a process which is ‑‑ initially comes from the results that you delivered. So while the first year was a process of calling everybody that you knew to come participate and the second one was an open nomination, you would be glad to know that while the funding came voluntarily 100 percent from the private sector, 90 percent of the sessions were organized by the Civil Society and the academia. And the second year, 95 percent of the sessions were organized by the Civil Society and the academia, and 50 percent of the sessions were being led by women, so the whole ‑‑ was quite different in terms of accountability and where it came. So I just wanted to make that distinction between processes of selection and the outcomes within ‑‑ it's unclear to me if we had adopted a different process than what we did, but that's just a country experience.
I think it's an evolving experience. You also sort of pleased to know that some 400 people participated in it which made it quite the largest Internet Governance. We don't call it IGF because it ‑‑ IGF would be launched by the government in the future.
Make one comment. I think that the group that we found least ‑‑ on what they wanted was actually the Civil Society. They were least structured in terms of what they wanted and how they wanted the process to go. The academicians were very clear what they needed. They were ready. Industry as I told you, the business, the government, even the youth, when we asked them to select the coalition leader, they took about seven minutes in a room, came back and said, by rotation; six months this person, six months this person. And they elected a leader.
The Civil Society could not pick anybody for a long time, and that was a challenge, whatever the reasons, but I just wanted to sort of present that point. But they've been a huge help in structuring the discussion, the debates because they really brought in the real issues. So it is a very positive side to this difficult process, but I thought I would just mention that.
>> SALANIETA TAMANIKAIWAIMARO: Thank you. That was really awesome. The common threads that you would have heard from the different panelists, and essentially one of the thread is criteria, issue of the criteria. And under criteria, things we're hearing are definitions, legitimacy ‑‑ having a proven record in the case of the industry association convening the IGF in India, gender in the case of what Anriette had mentioned, and also ICC basis in terms of selection of representatives of the business constituency, geographical distribution and really excellent to hear youth.
And then, of course, the other thread is, in terms of accountability, the three things that I heard under accountability. One is the selector who is making the selection. And here we heard two different models. There's one where there's a sole selector. And under that, we're hearing issues of credibility in the case of ICC basis where the community trusts that ICC basis is competent and capable of making the selection. On the other hand, you have other models where it's the MAG or Noncom or an aggregator that makes the selection. And the third thing that I heard under accountability from the panelists is the issue of productivity and the capacity to remove them if they're not performing in terms of accountability.
So here we're hearing two throngs of, in terms of not only the selection but also productivity and that sort of thing. So with that, I'm just going to very quickly ask any of the panelists if they want to quickly comment to any of the other speakers, fellow speakers' comments, and then we'll open the floor, and I'll ask the panelists to keep it brief.
>> VIRAT BHATIA: Just a very short couple of points. One was that none of the voluntary funding organizations were given any privileges in the running of the MAG or the sessions. They had no session, they had no chairs, they were not in the board room. They were not sort of out there. The brands were not shining all over the place. There was no such thing. And this was in the private sector.
And many of the issues that were discussed in the sessions were actually against the performance or the interests as you would call of those who had funded the businesses. So it was the accountability and the strength of the process came from the fact that nobody was told, you can't do the session or you can't hold the session or you can't invite any speaker of your choice to any session that you want. And several of them were paid for. Because they were Civil Society and academia had to fly from outside the area, so they were funded for their travel. That's how we strengthened the process of multi‑stakeholderism. Because finally, we shouldn't forget the importance of funding when ensuring inclusive participation of those who may not have the funds but may have great stuff to say in the conference.
>> ANRIETTE ESTERHUYSEN: Thank you, Salat. I just wanted to clarify that, so we've very clear, it's the membership that prioritizes, not the ICC basis Secretariat. I just wanted to make sure because I didn't want to be misunderstood. It's really the membership that votes quote/unquote on who should be selected or proposed. Thank you.
Virat, as an example, he's on the CSTD working group on ‑‑ cooperation through this process.
>> VIRAT BHATIA: I have no idea how I got the votes, but I was voted in.
>> SALANIETA TAMANIKAIWAIMARO: So the correct word that I should have used was facilitator, facilitating the process. So I'm going to give this to George.
>> GEORGE SADOWSKY: I want to take off on something Anriette said. Some of the criteria that she mentioned, ability to travel, to stick with things, to put the time in and so on, I guess we assumed it. I didn't mention it. Constance didn't mention it. But we assume that's a requirement, and maybe we should state it as being important because certainly it leads to better results.
But Anriette pointed on out, brought up the point if somebody's not performing, you ought to be able to replace them. And that relates to the performance issue, if ‑‑ and it's very difficult to make judgments in some cases about how your representatives are performing on external bodies. Sometimes it's easier. And I think that she raised a very good point.
There is ‑‑ there's another point and that is that we list these desideratum, but there are times when they conflict, and you can't get one without getting less of the other. And in particular, in the technical community, it's conceivable and probably does happen that relevant experience, that is, the technical experience and independence may clash because often the people who know the most about a subject are the people who have been working in the field intensively, and therefore, they may not be independent. They may be working for a firm that might stand to benefit from their involvement.
Now, the typical way around this is to let sunlight in, that they declare ‑‑ they declare their conflicts and everybody knows what their conflicts are and they're trusted as an individual, then it's likely that the lack of independence is not going to be nearly so much of an issue and can be tolerated in some cases. Thank you.
>> ANRIETTE ESTERHUYSEN: I think we should recognize that different processes meet different types of selection processes. So selecting someone for an opening ceremony speaking slot is very different from selecting somebody to work on a working group for a period of one or two years.
And I think just to react to Norbert, I think the idea of independence, I think it's actually really difficult to establish that. A lot of Civil Society organizations work very closely with their governments. And I think it's good that they are transparent about that. But it doesn't mean that they are not legitimate Civil Society groups. So it makes it quite complex.
And as for being independent from business or this and that, then we get into kind of thought police type of environment where you have to kind of check people's ideological purity which is tricky and could just undermine cohesion even further.
And I think just a back issue. I think one of the differences in efficiency and power, why does this echo when I speak? ‑‑ is because Civil Society lacks the opportunity to really work together on specific issues. And to develop coherent responses to do analysis and then ‑‑ and then pursue advocacy positions. Where they do that, you actually see them being quite effective, in WIPO, for example, among the access to knowledge and access to development treaties. And you can also begin to see coalitions between Civil Society and governments in some sectors or business evolve. And I think whatever process we use, it needs to allow that to happen.
And then I think just another point, rotation versus continuity I think is a real problem. I think we've ended up in the Internet Governance space with a process where it's almost as if people, everybody wants a turn to be a representative of Civil Society. And I'm not saying that's not legitimate, but if our goal is to pursue successful advocacy, I think expertise and continuity becomes very important.
And I'm putting my APC hat on, Norbert, where's that hat? And for a group like APC, on the one hand, we ‑‑ we do a lot of advocacy and a lot of policy research and analysis, and it's very important for us, we are, we use public funds. We raise our own funding to be able to pursue that advocacy. And then we work very hard to have access to spaces. So we are often in a very awkward position because, on the one hand, we want to have access to negotiating spaces and working groups because that's what we do. We work for that and we have goals and we have statements, they are transparent. They are available, but we don't represent all of Civil Society. We represent APC and APC members, so I sometimes think that a combination approach of the more traditional and accredited approach which gives expert space and access to Civil Society groups that do this work, I'm sorry, on an ongoing basis combined with a Noncom approach that gives more rotation and space for individuals and academics might work. So I don't have all the answers, but I know that it's not easy.
>> SALANIETA TAMANIKAIWAIMARO: Thank you Anriette. Very interesting perspectives from all the panelists. And it does beg the question where there's need for some sort of accountability and transparency mechanism whether that would have to be formal or informal or whether that's something that needs to be discussed or not.
But anyway, we don't want to hear from me. We want to hear from you. So with that, Nnenna, we would like to invite the remote participants if they have any questions. And if there are others who you would like to comment, we'd just like you to please come up nearer to the mic so that we can have serious interaction. And we'll take all the question and then have the panel address them. Nnenna? Is this the only mic?
>> NNENNA NWAKANMA: I had two people offer comment online, having difficulties connecting, someone called Ita and some other person called Shan, but I didn't have their input for now. This is my personal input, no hats on, just this scarf.
It's about the Civil Society because that's what many people online are also talking about on Twitter. That complicated stakeholder that cannot decide very easily, cannot organize very efficiently, cannot seem to agree on anything. And my question to the panelists would be, but though they cannot get things out very easily, the gentleman from India did recognize that it was a Civil Society that brought the real issues to the table.
So my question would be, is it because in activism, we've had a long tradition of being mobilized against. And as activists, we' normally ‑‑ we're either for or against. And so that has been our reason that the way we do things, okay, we don't like this. We all go against it. So we are always fighting for or fighting against. And when we get into processes in which there is no clear for or against, then it becomes a problem because we are now forced into working with differences that exist within the Civil Society. Do you think that's correct? That's what I'm thinking now, because I've been an activist for some years at ‑‑ both my parents were activists, and I was born this way, so it's not IGF's fault that I'm this way. Okay. Right.
Now the thing is we've always had things to fight for or fight against. But when we come to IGF, there are no clear enemies and there are no clear friends and we end up being our own enemies? Is that correct?
>> SALANIETA TAMANIKAIWAIMARO: We'll take another question.
>> : Yeah, I think Constance really hit the nail on the head when she showed the problem, highlight the problem between self‑representation and representation of others, right? That in ITF, everyone comes in just for themselves. And I think that's a problem across the board, not just in the technical community.
So I have actually a few questions if we have time. If we do, then, okay, I'll try to do that. One question, is ITF a multi‑stakeholder? If so, who are the stakeholders? And this is a ‑‑ this is an issue that kind of runs across the board, right? If you look at the Internet architecture board, there are a total of 15 people. There are one or two academics, depending on how you count that. There are 13 businesses represented, one NGO represented, two women and one person who is not Caucasian. So the question of representativeness, if we move from just people who want to speak and who are elected ‑‑ question of representativeness and highlight, the ISO board of trustees, there is one person who is from a developing country. There are numerous people from the United States on the other hand.
In Civil Society, who is Civil Society? How do you exclude people from Civil Society? Do you decide on the base of NGOs, individuals, nonprofit companies or what. There are religious groups who are important at national levels often. Where are the trade unions? Where are the environmentalist groups? And it's a very small community that's actually engaging in this process, so ‑‑ and individuals, if they're also allowed to be part of Civil Society, who are they accountable to at the end of the day?
I mean, if these were businesses, even if it's a small company, there is the process of accountability that's easier to answer. They protect community. There is not much of a question of accountability needed to answer. For Civil Society, the question of accountability exists and no one has done any answering.
And Norbert mentioned Best Fits ‑‑ how many people ‑‑ as a rising star, right? How many people on Best Fits are different from the people who are on IGC? So has there been any attempt at creating a difference? This is a different platform, sure. But in terms of representation, there is nothing different about it. In fact, it represents a smaller group, a smaller subset of IGC.
>> ANITA: Yeah, this is more like a comment and could also be a question. I'm deeply interested in the show of independence. And I'm interested in it because I look at Civil Society working with government as fanning out into different scenarios. One, if you're an agent of a government, because in many countries where democracies may not be mature ‑‑ our Civil Society, so‑called Civil Society set up by government. And in that case, you know, they might infiltrate quote/unquote political Civil Society, political Civil Society which is independent.
The second scenario is that in traditional theories of politics, there is the state and then there is political Civil Society. And within a democracy, of course, this ideal public spirit ‑‑ anywhere, but they ‑‑ the hope is that somebody will speak on behalf or some set of organizations will speak on behalf of people as in democracy. I mean, people. And that those voices can then actually be part of the political process and can percolate into public policy.
But for me, even the UN started co‑opting individuals who ‑‑ that was about 10, 15 years ago. Even the World Bank did. For me, the process of working with institutions, retaining your independence is very different from working as agents of government. So I want to make that clarification, just adding to what Anriette had said about even people work very closely with governments. Of course, you have to. In a country like India, I believe that, the right to education act, the right to food bill which is being debated in parliament and, you know, is ‑‑
>> SALANIETA TAMANIKAIWAIMARO: My apologies, sorry, because of the brief time, and we'd like lot of people to ask. Could you be still and ask your question, frame your question?
>> ANITA: So let me comment, let me just finish it. I won't take long. I think this question of independence and people working with government should not be conflicted. I think they are different. Secondly, I think independence from ‑‑ independence with respect to who is funding you is a very important question. And I think that a law has been written about it in India, particularly over the past let's say 60 years, as to how the NGO movement has changed. And there is certainly implications of that for what the panel has been discussing is the final outcomes for accountability.
>> SALANIETA TAMANIKAIWAIMARO: Thank you. Thank you very much. If we could just ‑‑ thank you, Anita. Maybe we'll use that, Mike. Mike, if you could have you ask your questions? Is there anyone after Mike? Nnenna? Are there any in the ‑‑ just before ‑‑ yes. Go ahead, Mike.
>> MIKE: I think it's more in the form of a comment than a question. I think the processes we're involved in are really quite important. When we talk about selection, when we talk about the role of Civil Society ‑‑ I'm sorry ‑‑ the role of the stakeholders, given the discussion that was held in this room the evening prior, we're talking about at least the future of the Internet within a multi‑stakeholder environment.
The problem that I have is that the multi‑stakeholder environment, as I said in the, another session today is based on the notion of consensus and a commonality of norms. It's a normative consensus, an assumption of a normative consensus within each of the stakeholder groups and I think ‑‑ certainly I heard that explicitly in the technical community, implicitly in the business community, and I think with an exception from the Civil Society where Anriette did recognize that there was divergence.
I think that that's a very dangerous thing is the assumption of consensus because in the absence of means to recognize and accommodate divergence, divergence of opinion, divergence of position, divergence of interest, conflict, then I think what we're talking about is a managed, undemocratic system. One of the strong points of democracy is that has methods for organizing and managing conflict. The kind of multi‑stakeholder model that is being presented here and that's being discussed without definition yesterday and today is not one that seems to either accommodate or recognize or have any means of managing and responding to divergence and conflict and I think that ‑‑ I'd like to hear some response to that, how that's handled.
I should say that in Civil Society, there is ‑‑ there are some mechanisms for dealing with that. And that's part of the ‑‑ I guess the incoherence of Civil Society, but I'd like to hear that on two levels. One which has to do with overall the multi‑stakeholder model and the issue of conflict within ‑‑ the conflict in relation to the stakeholder structures. And secondly, conflict in relation to the individual stakeholder elements, individual elements of the stakeholders.
>> SALANIETA TAMANIKAIWAIMARO: Thank you, Mike. I'd just like to say that we'd like to thank everybody who has been giving feedback from the floor and also raising questions because you've added four things to the criteria that's been building up by the panel. Nnenna raised the issue of culture. Anita raised the issue of independence and Mike raised the issue of democratization and legitimacy. There is another question. And straight up after the question, we'll get the panel, and we'll start with Ayesha first.
Do you have a mic? Please introduce yourself.
>> EMMA: Hi. I'm Emma from Paris. And I just had a comment on ‑‑ general comment on everything that was kind of said, and his ‑‑ the final comment kind of aroused my interest. And he says, from what I understood, that the current model of selecting individuals to represent each stakeholder group in the current Internet Governance model isn't really democratic, but in that sense, what really is a democracy because to have a democracy, you have to have the representation of all the interests, and how do you represent the interests if not by having a specialized person who best knows and understands the questions at stake and can designate a representative to speak for each of these communities?
And it also means ‑‑ my friend, what she said on the fact that we are ‑‑ Civil Society is its own enemy, that Civil Society is so large and so vast that it ‑‑ it has really hard time trying to conciliate all the different interests. And I think ‑‑ I think finding a better process to designate people who can represent the interests would make the process more democratic because it would give a stronger role and strengthen the role of each person. So contrary to what the previous person said, I think that the selection process makes Internet Governance more democratic rather than making it less democratic, but that's just my independent and personal point of view. No cap on.
>> NNENNA NWAKANMA: Someone called ‑‑ said she wants to see the photos of people when they wear their hats on. So please don't put on the hat. Take it off. I need to take your pictures. I'm making a photo album of the hats. Thank you.
>> SALANIETA TAMANIKAIWAIMARO: Thank you, Nnenna. Ayesha.
>> AYESHA HASSAN: So, very briefly to respond to the divergence conflict consensus point that was made. I just wanted to clarify within the ICC basis business community, actually, we don't build any policy positions through the basis group. All of our business policy positions are developed through a rigorous consensus building process within ICC's digital economy commission. So by the time you take the issues that the basis initiative is trying to contribute to, we have a solid base of policy positions, and the rest is really more positioning political issues or decisions on process. And there, what we find is that the diverse sectors and geographically different businesses have common interests, and it's really not that difficult a problem.
Within the MAG, I would say having been there since the inception, there are moments of conflict. There is an effort made by different people to facilitate, to find some way in which we can all be comfortable. And I think that that's ‑‑ that's a good thing, and we all have been learning through that process, through the different ‑‑ the disagreements. I think all stakeholder groups over the years learn more about not only substance but procedural perspectives of the various stakeholder groups. I hope that's responsive.
>> VIRAT BHATIA: I wanted to respond to the first point that was made about, but my observation of Civil Society, but on the whole issue of for and against. So I think, my experience is about 11 months dealing with Civil Society on sort of a regular basis, on the issues of Internet Governance in India to address the issues.
So here are my sort of experiences of this extensive dialogue which is relatively short. Three reasons why I think; one, is the fact their DNA is for and against as they get up out of the bed every morning. That is what they do. It's an important thing for them. You can't take that away just as businesses will make money. That's what they do. The governments will do, write laws. That's what they do. And students will go ‑‑ so that's their DNA. You can't take that away however hard you try.
Second, I think there are genuine differences in Civil Society between the positions that they take. There are Civil Societies that believe that the government should be given a bigger role. There are Civil Societies that believe government shouldn't be given a bigger role. There are those who believe severance is critical because it's important for MAG security, and that's their part of the mandate, and there are others who are fighting for free speech.
So actually, within the whole issue of cybersecurity, there are those in Civil Society who are fighting harder for national security, who are fighting harder for, you know, that's the separatists. The general differences position.
And the third part that I would say is actually, this is my experience, the most relevant one is I don't think they are trained professionally to work with each other and working coalitions in as much as businesses are. Businesses have to get themselves into a room and have no choice but to find a way forward to the point about manufacturing consensus. You cannot leave the room unless you leave your minor differences on the side and find a way forward by sacrificing your absolutist agenda. Businesses are trained to do that. Academicians are trained to do that because of the academic politics that goes on in colleges and institutions. I think the technical community is very trained to do that, IT for example, even to utilize that.
So I think there are three of these reasons. So they are for and against. They are general differences. But also, I think other ‑‑ the other stakeholders regularly work together in coalitions as industry associations where they're mandated to find a way to leave extremist positions and move forward.
And to your point, the one point I wanted to make, comment that you made about consensus building, the difficulty is that some states, even in democracy, you've got to move forward, and so people must sacrifice their absolute agenda. We often do. And everybody will have to do that, and that's is only way they will have to move, and I don't think that constitutes manufacturing consensus, but that sort of commitment, common ground on what's often known in India as a common minimum programme. Thank you.
>> SALANIETA TAMANIKAIWAIMARO: Anriette, would you like to respond?
>> ANRIETTE ESTERHUYSEN: Thanks. This one is better. Thanks for the opportunity. I must say I have seen companies disagree with one another violently. Particularly the ‑‑ and the Internet companies, but I have also seen as you're saying, you know, taking, for example, the OECD as an example, that they do I wouldn't say they necessarily reach consensus easily, but there is an agreement that consensus is more strategic in the end than division. But I don't think we should underestimate the differences among ‑‑ yeah, yeah, absolutely.
I think good ideas have come up. Just a few reactions. I think we should approach this process by process. I think different types of processes, different types of policy making institutions lend themselves to different modalities for nongovernmental stakeholder participation.
I think on the issue of independence, I think it's important, but I think it's very difficult to establish and I think the process of establishing it could be very divisive. I think transparency on the other hand is not difficult. And I think it is important for any publicly engaged institution to be transparent about how it's financed and also to make its positions and its values available. But to decide who is truly independent and who is not will just result in witch hunting in my view within Civil Society.
I think the issue of representivity, Pranesh's questions, that is the hardest question to answer, and I think Civil Society is very rarely representative. I personally believe Civil Society cannot claim to be representative. It can claim to have expertise. It can claim to have consulted with a particular community. If a dam is being built in a village and Civil Society organization has done research and talked with that community, they can represent that community's interests. But it has to be assist on an issue by issue basis.
And then finally, just to mention the example of where I think a specific case can result in a very good process is within the OECD. There is a Civil Society structure called CSAC. And as Miriam is here, and that structure has a membership of about 18 individuals and organizations and a steering committee. And when we have the opportunity to submit comments or represent Civil Society, we draw from among our membership those who have the expertise and the time to submit comment and content or negotiate. And actually, we've always manage to reach consensus. And that process which is a more structured, traditional process, Civil Society group, elected steer committee, trusted among its peers and then expert knowledge based input works quite well.
>> SALANIETA TAMANIKAIWAIMARO: Thank you, Anriette. Who would have the question from the remote participant? I'm going to ask for your assistance. And Norbert.
We don't really have time for questions, Nnenna, I'm afraid.
>> NNENNA NWAKANMA: It's not a question. It's just a statement from Angelina who says it is because, in capitals, Civil Society is diverse, complex and messy that it is able to raise issues that no one else does.
>> SALANIETA TAMANIKAIWAIMARO: That's excellent. That's a very good comment, comment to conclude this workshop, and with that, thank you for turning up. For those who are interested in Workshop 210, you can talk to George about it outside the ‑‑ in the corridor. And this workshop is officially concluded. Thank you, everyone. And just as I mentioned earlier, there will be a draft text, and if you're interested in participating, please leave your business cards up here.
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This text is being provided in a rough draft format. Communication Access Realtime Translation (CART) is provided in order to facilitate communication accessibility and may not be a totally verbatim record of the proceedings.
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