The GDC zero draft: the good, the bad, and the ugly

By Konstantinos Komaitis.

The long-awaited Global Digital Compact (GDC) zero draft dropped on April 1, and there is a lot in it. It requires time to absorb it all; with discussions already in progress since Friday, April 5, time is an issue. Also, it is important to remember that this is the “zero draft” and, by the time this process ends at the end of May, the text will look very different. This means that there is no need to panic; at least, not yet.

The zero draft gives a good snapshot of where the mind of the United Nations–and those of its member states–is.

Here is my high-level take.

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Towards a protocol of protocols for multistakeholder collaboration and decision-making

By Jorge Cancio.

Principles of open and inclusive multistakeholder collaboration in digital governance are scattered in various foundational documents and declarations, but nowadays we lack an agreed set of principles that would guide multistakeholder collaboration and decision-making. This means that communities wishing to establish multistakeholder collaboration lack clear reference when doing so. It also means that some processes that lack fundamental multistakeholder features may be presented as “multistakeholder” in a sort of “white-washing” exercise.

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Multistakeholder models: Maturity Levels

By Avri Doria.

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As more and more institutions begin to claim that they adhere to multistakeholder models, it becomes possible to either reject the claims of those with processes that do not promote the active participation of relevant communities or to develop a set of criteria that can be used to rate maturity levels and growth as a multistakeholder organization. As I chose not to reject an institution’s claims of its character and intentions, I have opted for trying to delineate some maturity levels that I have experienced in organizations that make a claim to being multistakeholder organizations.

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Framing the GDC Right

By Amrita Choudhury.

This article does not reflect the views of all Indians or civil society organisations of global South. It reflects the views of the author and the submissions made into the Global Digital Compact (GDC) process by Indian and global South entities.

We are living in a world that is fragmented by geopolitics, between the haves and have nots, developing and developed nations, etc.

Application of technology has brought about a digital transformation and empowered the lives of millions across the world and digital technologies today have a far reaching impact in all our lives. Understanding the power of technology, most developing countries are aspiring to leapfrog and take advantage of this digital revolution. Even in India we are witnessing a digital transformation under the Digital India program1 that aims to transform India into a digitally empowered society and knowledge economy.

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The Global Digital Compact we want

By Anriette Esterhuysen.

This article does not reflect the views of all global South civil society organisations. It reflects the views of the author but it also does draw extensively on inputs into the Global Digital Compact (GDC) process presented by the Association for Progressive Communications, a network of civil society organisations from around the world – mostly based in the global South – that has been working with UN processes dealing with technology and sustainable development since the Earth Summit in 1992.

On 12 December 2003, at the conclusion of the first phase of the World Summit on the Information Society in Geneva, United Nations member states declared their “common desire and commitment to build a people-centered, inclusive and development-oriented Information Society, where everyone can create, access, utilise and share information and knowledge, enabling individuals, communities and peoples to achieve their full potential in promoting their sustainable development and improving their quality of life, premised on the purposes and principles of the Charter of the United Nations and respecting fully and upholding the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR).”1

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