9 December 2021
A group of more than 140 members of the multistakeholder community including several states, civil society organizations, members of academia and leading technology and cybersecurity companies, have signed a letter addressed to Ambassador Burhan Gafoor, Chair of the UN OEWG, about multistakeholder participation in the upcoming sessions. This multistakeholder letter comes in response to a previous letter from the Chair dated 15 November 2021, where a proposal for modalities for multistakeholder participations is set out, identical to the ones of the previous OEWG.
In response to this news, and taking into consideration the final report of the first OEWG on ICTs, which states that: “...the broad engagement of non-governmental stakeholders has demonstrated that a wider community of actors is ready to leverage its expertise to support States in their objective to ensure an open, secure, stable, accessible and peaceful ICT environment”, the multistakeholder letter proposes five principles that the Chair should take into consideration and that the modalities should embody in order to engage with stakeholders:
(1) ensure participation of stakeholders without existing consultative status with the UN;
(2) ensure transparency regarding objection from a Member State to accreditation requests;
(3) create channels for participation for stakeholders that are denied accreditation to formal OEWG sessions stakeholders;
(4) allow sufficient time for multistakeholder input and meaningful discussion of their views;
(5) ensure all stakeholders can participate remotely through a hybrid session.
The letter was delivered to the Chair of the OEWG on Tuesday, 7 December 2021 by Australia and Canada.