The Multi-Stakeholder Principle in Asia by Y. J. Park

Abstract: In 1998, ICANN started placing a high emphasis on the private sector-oriented decision-making process. The UN World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) in 2003 initially kicked off as a traditional government-oriented decision-making forum in 2003, and it concluded that the future global negotiation will be operated in a multi-stakeholder environment in 2005. However, the nation states from the South failed to understand the emerging rules of the multi-stakeholder principle pushed by the North until now. The culture of working together with non-state actors as decision makers in the South, including many Asian countries, is still foreign to state actors. Consequently, they could not be effectively engaged with the global negotiations on Internet Governance.

Those who have adapted to this new global negotiation environment could gain more negotiating power promptly by inviting the private sector and civil society into both national and global regulatory frameworks, while those who have resisted to implementing the multi-stakeholder principle encountered limitations in influencing the multi-layer global negotiation. This results in the reality that the North wins over the South by working with like-minded private sector and civil society actors in establishing an ICT policy regulatory framework that disempowers the South. Participation and observation in the field including ICANN and the UN Internet Governance Forum is the main methodology in conducting this study. The findings of this study will illuminate the lessons the Asia region should learn to become effective negotiators in global negotiations on Internet Governance.

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