On the issue of the host country co-chair, ICC/BASIS supports the reconfirmation of Mr. Nitin Desai as the chair of the Advisory Group as our input ahead of the IGF in Rio on the taking stock and way-forward sessions outlined. We believe that the chair of the IGF Advisory Group has an important role to play and must be neutral objective and balanced in this guiding role. The naming of a co-chair was an experiment that has concluded. We support only a special liaison from the host country of India being appointed to assist the chair, Mr. Nitin Desai, with planning and logistics. We support this approach because such a role will help facilitate this important aspect of a successful IGF meeting. In addition, it will enable us to return to the clearer situation of having one chair and allowing Mr. Desai to focus more completely on the work of the Advisory Group and the open consultations.
Regarding the rotation of the Advisory Group, ICC/BASIS supports maintaining the important link of the IGF Advisory Group to the United Nations Secretary-General’s office. We also support the current balance of representatives from government, business, civil society and technical community in the Advisory Group. These statements have been said earlier today, for instance, by ETNO and ISOC. It is important to build on the experience of experts who have participated in the Advisory Group and also to bring in new expertise for planning of the next IGF in India.
Thus, we would support a voluntary renewal and rotation process with approximately onethird of the representatives from each stakeholder group being replaced while the remaining two-thirds would be reconfirmed. Among the criteria for rotation and renewal process should be theactive engagement and constructive participation of Advisory Group members at the meetings in the online and offline consultations and at the IGF and commitment to fulfill these responsibilities. ICC/BASIS proposes that the IGF Secretariat post a call for proposed names from all of the stakeholder groups for consideration in rotation and renewal of the Advisory Group members. Such a call would also envision asking current members about their plans for their own personal continuation in the group or whether they would be interested in creating space for a replacement including suggesting names for possible replacements. This would allow a critical objective to be met which is to have the Advisory Group confirmed just after the February consultations and stock-taking meetings of the current Advisory Group. This is critical to ensure that the program for the IGF in Hyderabad is well progressed by May 2008 and planning and invitations will be facilitated by this action. We support the need for geographic diversity to be carefully considered in the renewal and rotation process for theAdvisory Group. We support the input that has been earlier said about the ongoing role of the Advisory Group and we do not support changing the name, structure, format or “rules of procedure” of the Advisory Group to a bureau or a program committee, even though many of the functions of a bureau or program committee are de facto carried out by the Advisory Group. The existing format has worked well for the past two IGFs and should be maintained.
Consideration should be given to establishing a schedule for IGF key dates that can be counted on each year instead of reinventing the wheel each year. This concludes the remarks of ICC/BASIS for now and we will come back on other issues later.
Thank you very much.