lighting, Diplomacy

Remote Participation – Opportunities and Challenges for Multilateral Diplomacy

17 May 2012 -


Event description

Panel at the 2012 WSIS Forum: Thursday, 17 May 2012 (video)

The Internet has entered conference rooms worldwide. Discussions are broadcast globally. Reporting is provided via social media. More and more people are engaged in global policy-making. Remote participation opens up new opportunities for more inclusive global policy-making. It also poses new challenges of integrating remote participation in the modus operandi of multilateral diplomacy.

From "need to know" to "need to share"

The full video and records of remote participation are available here.

The panel focused on the following main issues:

  • How to ensure effective interplay between face-to-face and remote participation in international meetings?
  • What is the legal status of remote participants in multilateral meetings?
  • How can existing rules of procedure facilitate remote participation?
  • How to ensure remote access to interpretation in all official UN languages?
  • How does verbatim transcription of the meeting impact diplomatic interaction?
  • What are the new diplomatic skills required for effective remote participation (e.g. chairing, reporting, drafting)?

These issues were addressed through reflections on the experience developed in remote participation activities of the ITU, the WSIS Forum, the Internet Governance Forum, and other policy bodies. The panel also "walked the talk" by introducing two panelists remotely.

Moderator: Mr Guy Girardet, ITU (@GuyGirardet)


  • Mr Anders Norsker, Chief of the Information Services Department, ITU, Geneva
  • Dr Giorgio Rosso Cicogna – Alternate Secretary General of the Central European Initiative, Trieste
  • Mr Richard Boly, Director, Office of E-diplomacy, U.S. State Department, remotely (@Beaurichly)
  • Dr Jovan Kurbalija, Director of DiploFoundation, Geneva (@jovankurbalija)
  • Dr Fergus Hanson, Researcher at the Brookings Institution, Washington DC, remotely (@FergusHanson)