Is true multi-stakeholderism failing? FIRST fears so.

Last week FIRST learned that it is among a large group of organizations that were rejected from participating in the Open ended Working Group (OEWG) process, despite the groups expressed commitment to work with non-governmental organizations.

July, 21st 2022 – Today, together with other stakeholders, we sent a letter to the Open ended Working Group's (OEWG) chair asking the group to rethink its decision.

We are concerned that the OEWG process is becoming increasingly political, while it should be about searching for common ground to prevent conflict and preserve the Internet and Cyberspace for all users.

This is particularly worrisome for FIRST: Only last year the UN GEE underscored “the importance of avoiding the politicization of CERTs/CSIRTs and respecting the independent character of their functions”. Yet this is exactly what has happened.

A diplomatic process is not about agreeing, it's about dialogue and finding a consensus despite disagreements. This is particularly important during a time where conflict and tensions are on the rise. FIRST members, for more than 30 years, globally and across organizations, have strived to make the Internet a safe place for all users.

Today CSIRTs and PSIRTs are instrumental, along with other organizations in protecting the public core of the internet. Excluding critical voices from the table does not create better solutions, but in fact undermines the credibility of those left in the room.

We encourage states to reconsider its admission procedure and ensure the OEWG process remains a true multi-stakeholder endeavor, where everyone; states, the private sector, and civil society, brings their strengths to the table.

Also available in PDF

FIRST letter in response to OEWG rejection (PDF)