About the MAG

MAG Terms of Reference




Internet Governance Forum (IGF) Multistakeholder Advisory Group (MAG)

Terms of Reference


The Internet Governance Forum (IGF) Multistakeholder Advisory Group (MAG) was established by the United Nations Secretary-General in 2006 to assist the Secretary-General in convening the annual IGF Meeting by preparing the programme and schedule. MAG members serve in their personal capacity, but are expected to have established linkages with their respective stakeholder groups.

I. Responsibilities:

The primary purpose of the MAG is to advise the Secretary-General on the programme and schedule of the Internet Governance Forum meetings. Concerted efforts should be made by the MAG to improve the IGF process through community consultations, outreach and stakeholder engagement. With the main aim of advising the UN Secretary-General on the programme and schedule for the annual IGF Meeting, the MAG is expected to carry out the following tasks:

  1. Develop the detailed programme and schedule of the annual IGF meetings, including the identification of themes, sub-themes and issues taking into account inputs of all relevant stakeholders;
  2. Determine how best to plan and organise the annual IGF meeting;
  3. Organise main sessions and where necessary participate in dedicated thematic working groups;
  4. Select workshops and facilitate the organisation of workshops;
  5. Coordinate panels and provide support and guidance to panellists, moderators and speakers at the annual meeting;
  6. Support IGF intersessional work;
  7. Promote the work of the IGF amongst all stakeholders; foster multistakeholder participation and collaboration at the annual IGF meetings and intersessional work.
II. Individual Member Responsibilities:

As a member of the MAG, individuals are expected to engage actively in the work of MAG throughout the year, not only during the annual forums but also the bi or tri-annual physical meetings and virtual meetings. Specifically, each MAG member is expected to carry out the following tasks throughout the year:

  1. Attend up to three MAG physical meetings per year; if physical presence at the meetings is not possible, every effort should be made to participate online;
  2. Participate actively in the annual IGF meeting;
  3. Participate in inter-sessional work; including online discussions and virtual meetings;
  4. Engage in outreach communication to the wider community and bring other networks related to Internet governance into the MAG discussions and planning;
  5. Explore new fundraising opportunities for contributions to the IGF trust fund;
  6. Identify emerging Internet governance issues and other areas in need of discussion, research or recommendation.


III. Group Procedures

MAG meetings are held under the ‘Chatham House Rule’ and follow pre-approved agendas prepared by the Secretariat together with the MAG itself prior to each meeting. All MAG meetings, virtual or otherwise, are open to observers unless stated otherwise. When making decisions, a rough consensus will be sought making sure that each member has an equal say.

The MAG meets face-to-face officially twice to three times a year between the annual meetings and holds periodic virtual MAG meetings. Ongoing discussions and planning will continue to take place throughout the year online and through virtual meetings as the situation warrants.


IV. Composition

The MAG is comprised of approximately 50 Members (total number of MAG members is subject to change from year-to-year) from governments, the private sector, media, civil society, and the technical community. Additionally, former host countries have a standing seat on the MAG. Proportionally the MAG is approximately 40% governments and the rest is divided more or less equally between other stakeholder groups. The proportions vary slightly from year to year. Representatives of intergovernmental organisations, are invited to attend and contribute to the meetings and work of the MAG.


V. Appointments and Duration of Terms

MAG members are appointed by the United Nations Secretary-General for a term of one year. Generally, this term is automatically renewable for two consecutive years, contingent on a yearly evaluation of their engagement and contribution to the work of MAG. The MAG is rotated by roughly one-third each year, in order to enhance diversity and bring in new viewpoints.


VI. Compensation

MAG members shall not receive any honorarium, fee or other remuneration from the United Nations. However, some MAG members may be eligible[1]  to receive some funding to cover travel and daily subsistence costs for their participation in face-to-face MAG meetings and/or the annual IGF meetings.