The following are the outputs of the real-time captioning taken during the IGF 2019 First Open Consultations and MAG Meeting in Geneva, Switzerland, from 28 to 30 January 2019. Although it is largely accurate, in some cases it may be incomplete or inaccurate due to inaudible passages or transcription errors. It is posted as an aid to understanding the proceedings at the event, but should not be treated as an authoritative record.
>>CHENGETAI MASANGO: Good morning, ladies and gentlemen. Welcome to the first face-to-face open consultations. And tomorrow and the day after we'll have the MAG meeting for the IGF 2019 annual meeting.
Just before we start, I would just like to say this session is being Webcast and transcribed. Please when you speak, can you please say your name clearly. And then after you've finished speaking, please remember to switch off your microphone.
Today as well, it's mainly aimed at nonMAG members, so people who are not MAG members can speak. Of course, if you are a MAG member and you do want to say something, you can. But preference is going to be given to nonMAG members. For tomorrow and the day after, MAG members have preference.
We are going to be using the online speaking queue. And if you want to speak, please, put your name in there. The link is on the website. This is because we want to make it fair for those people who are here and also for offsite participants. So the first person to put their names in get called upon first. It's just an effort to make it fair.
I think that's all. Without further ado, I will give it to Lynn. Thank you.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Good morning, everybody, or good afternoon or good evening, depending on which time zone you're in. And thank you very much to everyone who is participating online as well. It's one of the more difficult ways to participate in the meetings, but it's important in terms of increasing participation, of course, and visibility.
The online queue, as Chengetai mentioned, is something that allows us to equalize between those people that are here in the room and those that are online so we do really request everybody, if at all possible -- I know sometimes there are some minor difficulties -- if it is at possible to use the online queue.
Our first agenda is to -- agenda item is to approve the agenda, and then I will go through some brief introductions here. And we will have welcoming remarks from everybody else on the panel.
The agenda was actually posted a little over a month ago, I think. And as Chengetai said, today is the open consultation day. We are hoping to leave a fairly significant session for more strategic discussions. Chengetai will give us a synthesis of all the stocktaking activities. And we would ask anybody who wants to come in on that, to please add to the comments. Don't repeat your written submissions because they have been read. They have been taken into account. They have been synthesized. And this really is a valuable opportunity to really get a dialogue and share some new thoughts and new reflections.
At lunchtime today, there's a donors' meeting. And then this afternoon we will continue when we come back at 3:00 with the strategic discussions again with a significant focus on all the intersessional activities as well as the NRI activities as well.
And then, finally, the last agenda item of the day is where we invite initiatives from other partners or other relevant or related organizations to suggest some additional opportunities for collaboration. So we will go through a series of introductions there. We're asking everybody to keep their remarks there to four or five minutes maximum. We tend to have quite a number of people who actually want to come in, and we want to make sure we give them the time.
So we will approve the agendas day by day. So this item is just to approve adoption of the agenda for day one. We'll see if there are any objections or any comments. And I will wait for a moment to see if there are -- any comments come in via the queue. I usually do a slow count to six to allow people to find all the right buttons and that sort of thing.
If not, then I will call the agenda approved. And the first item of business is to welcome everybody on the panel here. So let me start from left to right and just let everybody know who everybody else is up here as well.
That's Luis Bobo on the end. Luis is the person to turn to if you have any questions on any of the I.T. support or tools.
Wai-Min Kwok is the senior adviser with the Department of Economic and Social Affairs in the United Nations, and he'll have some welcoming remarks on behalf of Mr. Stefan Schweinfest in just a few moments.
Obviously you all know Chengetai Masango who is the head of the IGF Secretariat.
I'm Lynn St. Amour, chair of the MAG.
This is Dr. Daniela Bronstrup, who is here in the honorary host country co-chair position. As you all know, Germany is hosting IGF 2019 in Berlin in November this year. And Dr. Bronstrup is actually with the Federal Ministry of Economy and Energy.
And then we have Frederic Paruta who is with the mission here in Geneva for the French government. As you know, Ambassador Martinon was, in fact, the French representative, is now posted in Afghanistan so sends his regrets that he can't be here. But Frederic will give us a few words as the host country co-chair for last year's effort.
So I think -- I have just a couple of quick remarks, and that is we are very fortunate this year in that the MAG was appointed very timely. In fact, we've had four or five MAG meetings already, if you count some of the orientation sessions as well as the formal MAG calls. That's significantly earlier in past years when, in fact, none of the MAG last year was appointed in March -- our first meeting was in March. That's really giving us the opportunity to, I think, advance a little bit more on some of the areas of improvement and some of the strategic areas we've all wanted to advance and certainly that we hear repeated requests to do so, whether it's from the CSTD activities, from the DESA retreat a few years ago, from each annual stock-taking exercise, from comments we hear in the hall.
And I think it's really important that we take advantage of the extra time this year. I think the increasing imperative, if we just look at Internet, Internet technologies and their impacts across the world, that we actually ask ourselves if the IGF is doing everything it can, can it do more to help advance some of these issues clearly on behalf of the people of the world.
So I would like us all to take that approach as we go through our discussions here today, focus on those more strategic components, those components that are really going to make a difference.
We have seven years left on this mandate, which may seem like a long time but it goes by very, very quickly. And I think there's a lot of passion and a lot of goodwill and clearly a lot of energy, particularly if we look at the work of the MAG last year, to advance in some of these areas. I think we're really making forward to making some significant progress as we move forward.
So I think with that, I'll stop and turn to Wai-Min. We'll start with some remarks from DESA, and then we'll go to the host country co-chair for 2018, Frederic Paruta, and then we'll finish with Dr. Bronstrup. Thank you.
Wai-Min, you have the floor.
>>WAI-MIN KWOK: Greetings to all. I'm Wai-Min Kwok. I'm here on behalf of Mr. Stefan Schweinfest, the UN DESA director of statistic division and also in charge of division for public institutions and digital governments.
I extend our appreciation, your presence here in Geneva or taking time to participate remotely in this first open consultation and face-to-face meeting of MAG.
Reflecting past year, many firsts, MAG 2018 hosted by the government of France at UNESCO. For the first time, the forum was presided by both the U.N. and the host government at highest level. You heard from the Secretary-General and French President who both placed high expectations of the IGF and highlighted the growing responsibility of IGF and that now are critical moments for IGF to step up its modus operandi as the central global multistakeholder platform for Internet governance.
Improving the fine example of Geneva Messages in 2017, the 2018 IGF Messages were disseminated that presented key discussion outcomes contextual to the 2018 discussion. And there is now requests for these IGF messages to be translated to other U.N. languages.
We express this (indiscernible) to the host, the French governments, and to UNESCO for making available the facilities and the 2018 MAG under the leadership of Lynn as the MAG chair and to all online and remote participants in Paris.
And also for the first time, despite the challenges as Lynn already highlighted, the 2019 MAG members who are here with us were appointed by the Secretary-General in an announcement made in Paris and that allows all of us to be here today.
IGF has enjoyed wide recognition and success for its past 13 years, but the IGF has to keep on adapting to keep up in this complex changing world order. The pace of technological changes and the increasing central global role of the Internet as the platform for economic growth and social inclusion are all unprecedented.
IGF needs to serve its role, processes, and outcomes in visible and concrete ways to better foster international, regional, national, and local cooperation, communication, coordination, and collaboration on digital issues, guided by principles like inclusion, equality, resilience, trust, diversity, security, unrepresented, and leaving no one behind.
Coincidentally these are also the key principles of the 2030 agenda for are sustainable developments, and these are, indeed, challenging when it comes to implementation.
We request all to join us and take a fresh look at the IGF multistakeholder model, building on the success of the past 13 years and to make it even stronger with increased relevance in today's world order, including bringing high-level private sector and government people to the table and reach out to nontraditional partners.
We also need to think about the role of IGF in comparison to other global fora in this space, such as the WSIS Forum, the new mandate of the group of government experts on information security of the General Assembly First Committee, the World Economic Forum, the Global Commission on the Stability of Cyberspace, the work of OECD among many others. The IGF cannot be (indiscernible) to other U.N. and global bodies dealing on digital technologies and the Internet. Or, rather, we should reach out as permitted in the Tunis Agenda of IGF to play a central role on Internet and digital governance issues.
The U.N. Secretary-General made his address at the World Economic Forum at Davos last week. While giving an assessment of current global recent challenges that include globalization, climate change, migration, and, of course, digitalization, he highlighted that these issues are more and more interlinked but the responses are fragmented.
There is fantastic improvement but also increased inequality. And he warned if this is not reversed, it's a recipe for disaster.
In the new -- 2019 newly addressed to the General Assembly and also to staff members, the Secretary-General also highlighted better governance over new technologies as one of his top priorities. The others being diplomacy for peace, ambitious climate change, and (indiscernible) towards the sustainable development goals and stronger U.N. values worldwide.
And in that view, I would like to recall the terms of reference of MAG members, that the purpose of the MAG is to advise the Secretary-General on the program and schedule of the IGF meetings, taking note of global trends, developments, engagement with stakeholders and organizations worldwide at all levels and, of course, listening to the needs of the community.
The MAG 2019 will own the responsibility for coordinated and global response to issues on public policies related to the Internet through this platform of IGF that we all know well. But more needed to be done, identifying the weaker problems, addressing the root causes that will bring many more to the know the issues -- methods to all and to empower more people online and to show that we care for them in the words of the Secretary-General.
We need to demonstrate clearly the added value that IGF delivers to the global citizens. Considering the Secretary-General recommendations, how can IGF be more than multistakeholder? To be also multidisciplinary? We cannot ignore the fact that as the Internet brings the world closer, there are also more silos and more divides. How can we bring philosophers, anthropologists, political and social scientists to the IGF dialogue? How can IGF look at what "meaningful participation" means to stakeholders? What solutions, methods move for government, policymakers, and industry CEOs? What Internet governance means for people who may be connected to the Internet for the first time in 2019 or who are still unconnected? And the need for IGF to create shared language references, to propose new approaches, reframing problems for policy and what does all that create in concrete terms in different national contexts?
How can IGF have more dedicated efforts to include and amplify the weak and the missing voices, to reach out beyond the usual suspects, to the forgotten, to those being left behind?
The national and regional IGF initiative is a shining example of the influence and growth of the global IGF. But how can we amplify this network growth and relevance? How can IGF reach out to those currently still outside of the IGF community when the Internet is as important to every global citizen connected or unconnected?
You may recall that last September the Secretary-General launched a U.N. systemwide strategy on technologies. And in May this year, we are expecting the report from the high-level panel on digital cooperation also established by the Secretary-General. I believe many of you have provided your inputs to the high-level panel. If not, we invite you to do so before the deadline of 31st of January.
This report will also inform the work of IGF and the work of MAG when it is out in May. In that view, a strategy long-term approach will help renew and refresh the work of the IGF. The multiyear strategy could guide and achieve concrete and substantive outcomes over the next six years of the IGF mandates to inform the bidirectional relationship between the global IGF and the NRI, between other global and regional organizations, as well as to facilitate more structured approach to intersessional activities including how the dynamic coalitions policy initiative like connecting and enabling the next billion best practice forum, to also consider how all these activities could be interlinked and contributed over the outcome of the IGF.
Some (indiscernible) work has been done by the MAG working group last year on multiyear strategy. Therefore, I believe a multiyear strategy is crucial to guide the work of the IGF for 2019 and beyond. And we give full support to the MAG -- to the committee in considering a multiyear strategy starting from 2019.
On capacity development, DESA places high emphasis on that especially for all stakeholders and countries in special situations, including the least developed country, the small and developing states, the landlocked developing countries, the medium income countries, and countries in transition. The IGF secretariat established an effort in providing capacity development especially to the regional IGF, the national and youth IGF. Those IGFs starting up are planning to convene its first meeting in 2019 as well as Internet governance schools worldwide. We also reach out to U.N. regional commissions in working alongside with the regional IGF.
Looking forward to 2019, it marks a significant year. And this is the first time the U.N. high-level political forum on sustainable developments, the key global platform to review the SDGs, will be held both during ECOSOC annual session in July as well as our effort of a global summit during the U.N. General Assembly later this year.
Allow me to also remind all that a few SDG targets have the deadline of 2020, a year from now, including Target 19 by 2020 that we should have significantly increased access to ICTs and trying to provide universal and affordable access to the Internet in the least developed countries. This extends to all countries in the world.
The next ten months is the important preparation phase for 2019, and we call for your support and your ability to get stakeholders who are new or currently not engaged with the IGF.
We express big thanks to the generosity of the German government, not only in supporting and hosting the IGF in Berlin but also contributing generously a Global South Fund to boost participation from the Global South.
Collectively, let us seek meaningful improvement, bold and innovative mechanisms to the IGF with reference to the recommendations made by the CSTD Working Group, the IGF retreat that we had in 2016, the past year's effort of MAG working group on IGF improvement, and listening to all stakeholders. Much more will need to be done in outreach and communication by the secretariat, by the MAG, and the community.
On behalf of DESA, I would like to pledge our full support and I'm certain we have a fruitful open consultation and productive meeting. Thank you.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Thank you, Wai-Min, and our thanks to Stefan, as well, for his support. Particularly all the activities last year when we were looking for support and fundraising activities and the multiyear strategic work program. It was a good partnership.
Next, I'd like to turn to Frederic and thank Frederic for being here and stepping in and, of course, as we've said many times over the past year, we were very grateful to the French government for stepping in and supporting an IGF at relatively little notice. I think it was a very successful event, and again, just with full appreciation for everything Ambassador Martinon and Delilah and his very small team did in a very short period of time. It was an extraordinary effort, and we're very appreciative. And Frederic, you have the floor.
>>FREDERIC PARUTA: (Non-English word or phrase). If you don't mind, I will continue in English with the hope that one day we all will be able to speak our language and be understood by all of us all around.
As I say, Lynn, France was very proud to host the 2018 edition of the IGF in Paris. Even with a shorter period of time to organize the event, we believe it was a success. A success thanks to UNESCO. Success to have been able to -- that was our goal to raise the profile of the IGF. You mentioned, of course, the visits or the participation of President Macron and the Prime Minister Le Drian. It was also attended by Antonio Guterres, the U.N. Secretary General, and the Secretary General of UNESCO, of course, Audrey Azoulay.
This success in 2018 was, of course, built upon the success of the 2017 edition in Switzerland which gave us the Geneva messages. We now have the Paris messages, and we also have the Paris call for trust and security in cyberspace. Already 150 signatories of this call, which is ongoing and still open for further support.
France believes in multilateralism to face the global challenges that we have today of our time. IGF is an important actor in this multilateralism in action, and we wish that the higher political profile that's in regard 2018, the Geneva messages and the German presidency or the German hosting the 2019 edition will further raise and strengthen the IGF as an actor.
So as it is still early in 2019, we wish this group -- there's some familiar faces but also some new faces. I'm very glad about that. So we wish this group, the MAG, the IGF secretariat, and the (indiscernible) partner an even greater success in 2019. Merci.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Merci beaucoup, Frederic. Can we give an applause?
[ Applause ]
Thank you. Sincerely. Dr. Bronstrup, you have the floor.
>>DANIELA BRONSTRUP: Thank you, Lynn. Ladies and gentlemen, a very warm welcome from my side also to everybody. As Lynn also already mentioned, my name is Daniela Bronstrup at the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy. I head up the department for telecommunications, media, the postal sector, and international digital policy. As a host country co-chair, basically I serve this year as the German ambassador to the IGF. And I can tell you Germany's really very proud that we're the host country this year.
A few might remember me from Paris where I took over the baton from Paris, and that gives me the opportunity again to thank very much our French colleagues for hosting and for preparing such a remarkable IGF 2018.
Lynn already mentioned that we had very short time last year and that it's really remarkable how he mentioned that -- how you managed that, and I would also like to thank Lynn St. Amour and Chengetai Masango from the IGF Secretariat for preparing that remarkable meeting in Paris. I think all the MAG members did a great job in preparing such an interesting meeting with such a well-balanced agenda.
That gives us really an example for this year. I think now the expectations are even higher for Germany this year. And we build upon the work that Swiss and France did before. I think it was a very good idea to have the messages we had the last years because that focused on -- on the issues we are dealing with at the IGF and we are thinking of taking that as an example also for this year.
So let me say, I'm looking forward to working with all of you, and as this is the day to listen, I stop here and maybe I have the opportunity tomorrow then to tell you a little bit more what we are planning this year. Thank you very much.
[ Applause ]
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Thank you, Daniela. As we turn to the next agenda item, let me first take a moment to recognize all the efforts and thank the outgoing MAG members, some of whom are here today, and, you know, we also -- the saying is, once a MAG member always a MAG member. So we do hope you continue to contribute and participate in the many intersessional activities, and even the MAG working groups which, of course, are open to the broad community. I would really like to give them a round of applause as well because it was a tremendous lift as well in a short time.
[ Applause ]
And then, of course, would like to welcome all the incoming MAG members. And as we actually had the luxury this time of having the MAG having been appointed two months ago, we've done introductions online, which actually afforded us, I think, to do some maybe more lengthy introductions and that will give us two hours back tomorrow on the agenda. So that, in my mind, is a huge, huge win. But could we ask maybe all the MAG members here for a moment just to put your hands up in the air for ten seconds so, you know, community members can sort of see where you are. All MAG members should actually have a nametag. If not, you know, see one of us in the secretariat. See Eleanor and the secretariat, if you haven't found yours yet. But it is really to ensure that all the community members understand who the MAG members are and make sure that you have the appropriate connections and the ability to meet. So thank you. And I'm glad there's quite a number here on site as well. And I think we have a few participating remotely as well.
So with that, I think the only other point I'd like to make before moving to the next agenda item is again request -- the secretariat is going to -- so moving to agenda item 2, which is taking stock of IGF 2018 and, of course, we do that with a view of what do we need to improve for 2019 and beyond. The secretariat -- we're going to reverse and do B and have the secretariat actually cover quite briefly the synthesis of the stocktaking. The report has been published. I urge everybody to read it. I'm assuming all MAG members have read all of the submissions for stocktaking. I mean, they're actually very informative. And then after that, we'll turn to the strategic discussion. So I think there's nothing more to say at that point in time. We can maybe have a few more comments just before we open the mic, if you will, after Chengetai's synthesis. Chengetai, you have the floor.
>>CHENGETAI MASANGO: Thank you very much, Lynn. So the secretariat issued a call for contributions to the stocktaking of IGF 2018 and looking forward to IGF 2019. This year was also a little bit different because we asked some additional questions, especially what we can -- what the IGF can do in response to the Secretary General's call and also President Macron's call.
So the secretariat received 21 submissions in response, and this time around we asked six questions. In addition, we asked stakeholders to reflect on ways the IGF can strengthen its collaboration and with other organizations and/or across disciplines. As well as how we can contribute to the work of the U.N. Secretary General's newly formed high-level panel on digital cooperation.
So a summary of the inputs we received concerning the stocktaking of the 2018 program, the outputs of the propriety process, the community intersessional activities, what worked well and also what did not work so well. Almost all stakeholders expressed deep appreciation to the government of France for its hosting of the 13th IGF meeting. Considering the challenge of a much shorter time frame, the secretariat, the staff at the U.N. Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, UNESCO, and the French government team were praised for their overall excellent running of the meeting. In terms of logistics, the 13th IGF was cited by some as one of the best ever.
The MAG, under the leadership of its chair, Ms. Lynn St. Amour, was also thanked for its handling of the planning in a dynamic and successful program. Several submissions remarked on the suitability of the venue as -- as a meeting venue of institutional and functionally. The registration procedures were highlighted as especially smooth and efficient in 2018. Despite some of the rooms being small in size and non-configurable dune to their historical status, they provided open and comfortable settings for discussions, including for bilateral meetings. The provision of overflow rooms at the time of the high-level opening was
appreciated by many; it was further noted that the premises featured multiple, useful spaces for networking, smaller group meetings and independent work. The friendliness and availability of UNESCO’s staff in helping participants navigate the venue was emphasized.
6. Stakeholders remarked on UNESCO’s central and easy-to-reach location within Paris.
Although food offerings during the lunch breaks were limited, it was recognized that these
provided a much-needed, cost and time effective alternative to external restaurants. Paris in
general was said to be a desirable meeting location; however, as an expensive European capital, many urged a rotation to different regions for future IGFs, particularly to facilitate the participation of stakeholders from the Global South.
7. The scheduling of the IGF within ‘Paris Digital Week’ was widely viewed as advantageous.
Many said this raised the IGF’s profile and placed it within a wider context. Of international events attended by world leaders, including the inaugural Paris Peace Forum and the Govtech Summit.
8. There was broad agreement on the far-reaching, positive impact of the presence in the meeting of the United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres and French President Emmanuel Macron.
This saw the IGF presided over for the first time, at the highest UN and host country levels. The participation of Mr. Guterres and Mr. Macron was felt to have increased not only the visibility of the IGF, but also its political relevance and the future impact of its outcomes. The absence of the traditional day 0 or ‘pre-events’ day was raised by some. Inputs noted
that in the past, this informal day had provided a good opportunity to organize meetings and the events with less rigid formats and its reinstatement was called for. Reactions were mixed to the shorter meeting schedule at three days versus four, with some appreciating that this made the program easier to follow other expressed that it made it more dense and there was insufficient time to cover the many issues under discussion.
Remote participation was highlighted and said it was critical component of the IGF ethos and the IGF meeting success. This was felt to have worked largely well for a number of sessions, once the connectivity issues were overcome.
The IGF village booths also welcomed the opportunity to showcase their work and meet stakeholders from other Internet governance-related organizations. While the village exhibition area was spacious and well-appointed, some also hoped for better equipped individual booths.
The launch in 2018 of the first-ever public call for issues ahead of the usual workshop process was seen by many as success with some remarking that it had achieved a meeting program that as desired was more focused and appropriately reflective of the topical interests of the IGF community.
The overall content of the 2018 meeting was praised in particularly the timely emphasis on the Internet of trust with a program reflecting many ethical and cybersecurity issues related to this topic. Stakeholders took note of and embraced the stronger outlining of the thematic tracks in the program, and together with this, the thematic focus of main sessions on the whole, the shorter duration of these sessions was viewed as an improvement.
The continuation in 2018 of the synthesis or key messages on the meeting's major themes was also much supported. Many state that the IGF Paris accurately projected the vibrancy and trend in growth of the IGF community with diverse stakeholders present in the meeting including newcomers. Nevertheless, it was said that the presence of governments and the private sector was still regrettably low, or lower than hoped. Across nearly all submissions the political spotlight placed on the IGF in 2018 was seen as a positive opportunity.
The next question was suggestions and recommendations looking forward to the 14th IGF meeting. To the extent possible, some submissions recommended maintaining a strategic scheduling of the meeting in sequence with other highly visible international events as was done during the Paris digital week. However, it was also underlined that the timing of the IGF should not clash with other large fora where similar issues are discussed, as was the case in 2018 with ITU's plenipotentiary meeting.
A few suggestions were made regarding rooms in future venues, mainly that they need to be large enough to avoid overcrowding and accommodate popular sessions. Some wish to see larger and more bilateral meeting rooms being made available, and a specific idea was put forward for an ample study hall like space where plugs for devices in which participants could work quietly.
Related to the above recommendations were made to ensure the appropriate presence of in-room remote moderators, effectively bringing in perspective from online participants. It was also noted with appreciation that participant comments made through social media channels such as Twitter were already being taken into consideration in discussions in real time. At the same time some noted a drop in the active engagement of online participants and called for the IGF to do more to promote this opportunity. There was also a call for more to be done for people with disabilities, especially through remote participation.
Stakeholders continue to see improvements in the scheduling of the IGF sessions attributed in part to the more thematic approach to the program in 2018 as well as a shorter schedule overall. Nevertheless, a few wish to see even further reduction in the concurrent sessions on the same or similar themes, which could be greatly eased by the wholesale reduction of sessions in the program.
In terms of the program structure, a couple of suggestions were also made to introduce a schedule in which workshops would be held on separate days from more outcome oriented working sessions or main sessions.
Some general recommendations were made across session types, primarily centered on panelists and panel configurations. Despite positive steps towards increasing the stakeholder or diversity of panels, it was said that this could be taken even further. More pressingly, according to -- accordingly, to many of the participants, should be further reduced. That's the panelists should be further reduced. There's too many panelists. And attention to be paid to the risk that round table formats considered by the MAG as more conducive to discussion and engagements, are used as ways to have what could effectively be called expanded panels.
A couple of inputs touched on session organizing. It was suggested, for instance, that resource persons list on the IGF website should be better categorized to assist those looking for experts in their sessions. The public call for issues ahead of the call for workshops was lauded as a major innovation in the building of the program and in addition to the issues identified in the call, it was said that the IGF should draw stronger and more explicit links to topics related to sustainable development and the U.N. 2030 agenda as well as to perpetually emerging digital issues.
The continuation of the IGF messages themselves was strongly supported, and this should be the focus of the meeting activity in 2019. A suggestion was also made to include in these documents next steps and areas of action.
Inputs concerning the IGF intersessional activities; namely, dynamic coalitions, best practice forums, and connecting and enabling the next billion, as well as the national and regional initiatives emphasized their importance and the critical need to continue to support them.
Regarding the best practice forums specifically, some advised caution in selecting too many for one cycle to the next as this could risk draining the secretariat's resources too soon.
Similarly, it was suggested to avoid bundling too many topics under one best practice forum.
Many said that the dissemination of intersessional group policy outputs should be given more priority. It was noted that still too few people are aware of the IGF is producing these outputs and that greater emphasis needed to be placed on systematically sharing and building communication campaigns around them.
A number of inputs urge the strengthening of communications with governments. It was said that the secretariat should take advantage of its location in Geneva to forge with permanent missions as well as to explore more connections to intergovernmental bodies. This was in addition to the perceived need to include not only underrepresented governments and business community leaders in the IGF's policy discussions but also specifically representatives of the media, industries undergoing digitalization, citizens and lay people. It was also suggested that there should be a space for governments in the IGF to meet.
Finally, some of the contributions -- sorry, yeah -- continue to call for the reappointment of the position of special advisor to the Secretary-General on Internet governance.
The next question was: How could the IGF respond to the recommendations made by the U.N. Secretary-General during his speech at the IGF 2018 opening ceremony?
Regarding the Secretary-General's recommendations, that there be a more interdisciplinary approach to Internet governance, it was said more should be done to connect the IGF in a cross-sectoral way in the IGF itself. The IGF could consider conducting Internet governance capacity-building within certain academic disciplines. Further, the IGF should continue to include in its discussion issues that relate to other fields, such as jobs and the economy.
On the matter of shared reference and language on digital policy, it was suggested that the IGF could be a repository of such knowledge in the U.N. system. In order to continue effectively building a shared language, the IGF should also maintain its commitment to making its activities more multilingual.
There was agreement on the need to continue including underrepresented voices in the Internet governance debate on continuing to discuss the digital divide where it intersects with Internet governance. The comment was made that as connectivity expands, in reality more research should be done into more specifically identifying who is underrepresented. The need to put youth voices at the center of digital policy discussions was also noted.
To address the matter of IGF reform, suggestions focus on similar issues broadly. It was said that the IGF should be more sustainably funded, feature a more focused annual meeting program, highlight the success of its existing activities and outputs, invest greater effort in a move towards tangible outcomes, and strengthen its relationship with governments.
The next question that was asked was: How could the IGF respond to President Macron's call for action made during his speech during the IGF 2018 opening ceremony? Many noted that the critical importance of collaboration for overcoming the challenges outlined by President Macron. President Macron stated that the new and innovative approaches were needed and in line with those inputs largely expressed that this would be best achieved by including multistakeholder voices and bridging the multilateral, multistakeholder gap in the drive for solutions with the IGF as the logical venue.
Related to the above, several submissions focused on the need to enhance the IGF itself as a response. These remarked that the IGF should have more prominence within the U.N. and to this end suggested again -- suggested was repeated to put in place a special advisor to the Secretary-General tied to the IGF.
In addition, it was said that the IGF needed to extend its reach to different stakeholders, including governments to strengthen the legitimacy of its discussions. While there is a wish to see the role elevated at the same time, it was underlined that the bottom-up nonbinding nature of the IGF must be maintained.
Some inputs continued that there was a need for technically informed policy proposals in response to President Macron's call and links this with an understanding of the importance of a single, open, interoperable Internet.
On the question on what other organizations' disciplines should the IGF be collaborating with and how to and to what purpose, many emphasized that the IGF is already an open multistakeholder, collaborative space which fosters dialogue and partnerships across disciplines and organizations. It was noted that this aspect of the IGF should be continuously developed and, in particular, to extend never-before engaged stakeholders and actors.
Some specific suggestions were made, namely, that the IGF should establish closer -- more collaborate with organizations within the U.N. system such as UNESCO and the Science and Technology and Innovation Forum -- that's the STI Forum -- enhanced cooperation with NETmundial conference, the Internet Engineering Task Force, IETF, and civil society organizations such as the Electronics Frontier Foundation, the EFF, and the Mozilla Foundation were also suggested.
On the question of the Secretary-General's High-Level Panel on Digital Cooperation, responding to how the IGF can contribute to the HLPDC's work, a majority of the submissions referenced the IGF's extensive multistakeholder regional, national, and as well as intersessional networks and that these could be utilized for providing inputs to the panel.
Many felt that in light of the IGF being a very well-placed organization to fill the gaps in cooperation identified by the HLPDC, at or at a minimum as an organization that can actively improve cooperation on digital policy issues, that there were ways in which the HLPDC could contribute to the IGF's work. It was noted that many -- by many that they hoped the panel would make recommendations on how and where the IGF could be strengthened in areas of financing, outreach, high-level political visibility, and the issue of action-oriented outcomes.
And I'll stop there. Thank you.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Thank you, Chengetai. And thank you to the secretariat for turning that around so quickly because we did extend the call for stocktaking date, which meant their time for synthesization was quite short. I think that did cover the key points. And appreciate, again, all of the effort, Secretariat and Chengetai.
One quick note, I mean, the transcript was not quite catching HLPDC. So maybe we could just make sure that's correct when we go forward.
So we're now at the agenda item: Strategic discussion on high-level statements from IGF 2018 in collaboration with other organizations. As I said at the top of the hour here today, we tried to set aside as much time as we could for discussion focused on the more strategic issues on topics that go directly to increasing the utility and the value of the IGF.
We've heard for several years that the IGF needs to produce more tangible outputs. We need more private sector and government participation. We need to attract additional donors so we can properly resource the secretariat amongst other points. Of course, in addition, we have the remarks of the U.N. Secretary-General and President Macron as well as the Paris call and, of course, equally important remarks across all the other sessions at IGF 2018 to consider.
We've been asked by many what else can the IGF do to help advance international Internet public policy issues. And these questions were all related to persistent questions about the IGF's future and its relevance. So this year we have more time to address them, again, thanks to the timely appointment of the MAG.
And with that, we'd like to move to an open discussion or an open mic, if you will. I really would ask people not to reiterate the statements that you may have submitted already to the stocktaking. Assume they have been read and hopefully captured in the synthesization. If you felt they weren't properly captured, maybe just drop a note to Eleonora or Chengetai and we can revise that. Really would like this to be a substantive, strategic discussion, really dedicated to the future of the IGF and specifically areas for improvement.
It can cover the intersessional activities, the dynamic coalitions, best practice forums, as well as the NRIs. I think just as one quick point of note, for the last four years we've had a major intersessional policy initiative called Connecting and Enabling the Next Billion. There has not been a request from the leaders of that effort for a new phase, which means there's a fairly large slot, if you will, open for some substantive intersessional multiyear policy work. So I would ask people to keep that in mind as well as we go through the discussions here over the next couple of days.
So with that, again, MAG members are asked not to take the floor in your MAG capacity. I know many people have multiple hats, and you may be speaking on behalf of your organization. Please identify yourself that way. But this really is an opportunity here to hear from the community members.
And, again, we'll be using the online queue to equalize participation between the online and offline participants.
So with that, I have Anriette Esterhuysen, long time and early MAG member in the queue. Anriette, you have the floor.
>>ANRIETTE ESTERHUYSEN: Thank you very much, Lynn. And greetings, everyone. I was not expecting to be the first to speak. And thanks for the synthesis and to the secretariat. It's very helpful. And to everyone who gives input.
And I think my suggestion really is, I think, to reinforce many of the inputs which is that we want the IGF to be more influential and be consolidated as a space for strategic intervention.
And I think the IGF in Paris really put up a challenge for us to do that and in a very specific way. I think President Macron's input with regard to the discussion on regulation of the Internet, which has been reinforced by many heads of state in Davos -- I assume many of you have been following discussions at Davos. This is the heart of the debate of the role of the IGF, which is how do we ensure that the Internet remain free and open and accessible? But how do we also ensure that all stakeholders are able to participate effectively?
And I think the issue of regulation, how, to what extent, by whom, and in what way is one that cannot be avoided. So I think that definitely is an opportunity for the IGF to be the most inclusive space where these debates can be played out, more inclusive than spaces like Davos, for example.
And then just, finally, in terms of going forward, I want to agree with ISOC and others who are suggesting that the IGF focus on depth rather than breadth, that we have fewer themes and that we then try to enhance the intersessional work on those themes and have that feed into the program and into the outputs. And that's it. And wishing you all very well for your meetings in Geneva this week. Thank you.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Thank you, Anriette. And thank you for participating remotely as well. Anriette has been in many of these IG circles for a few decades. I'm not giving anything away, Anriette. So appreciate your view.
Raquel, you have the floor.
If you could just say for purpose what organization you are speaking on behalf of.
>>RAQUEL GATTO: Thank you, Madam Chair. I hope you can hear me now. My name is Raquel Gatto. I'm a MAG member, but I'm not speaking in my capacity as MAG member but as Internet Society together with my colleague, Israel Rosas. Some of you may remember him from the MAG. Now introducing him also as a team. He will be joining us for a few days.
ISOC, Internet Society, has submitted a contribution, a formal contribution. There is no point on going in these details.
But the point I would like to emphasize here that have been made before for some of the interventions, there is this fast-changing, geopolitical forces. There are challenges. Of course, there are challenges surrounding the digital technologies and how constantly it's raised by its actors, including the governments and its potential for regulation.
In the IGF, if it is refocused, if it is reinvigorated, it should be the place to go. It should be -- and it has the full capacity -- in its full capacity to deliver paths for solutions. I lay out the example from the Paris call for trust and cybersecurity, it brought and it raised several of the security issues and how organizations and countries are coming together to address those issues.
And it means more than ever that the IGF should be the place to solve these critical online issues on the Internet way, which means on a bottom-up, on a collaborative and inclusive manner.
Unilateral actions, we only create more silos, and silos will only break the Internet, can only break the Internet.
So we have this ideal moment -- we believe we have this ideal moment to make this change and to bring this new path for the IGF. And we as Internet Society and other active stakeholders in the community have been pushing for this. We started with our vice president's call for reform, Raul Echeberria, also a former MAG member. It went through our CEO, Andrew Sullivan's speech at the IGF in Paris. And it is now part of our 2019 action plan. It is one of our goals for this year to have this reinvigorated, refreshed IGF.
And why is that? Because the IGF has already the solid basis, this commitment to solving those issues together. It is supported by global actors who feel the same way.
Now, the next step, it is to take a few changes, changes like -- and those are suggestions to be put forward into the discussion, to have more focused discussions on critical issues that can show the impact of the IGF in addressing those.
Make room in the program to have more substantive discussions within the community, which means that we should have less -- fewer sessions. We should have less parallel tracks to avoid diluting the audience and the substance of those discussions. So, again, more focused discussions to be -- to be taken.
An improved approach to the intersessional work with processes based on issues and to produce outcomes that are picked up at the high-level discussions. For example, one of the change that can be brought up is for the IGF Messages, which were part of the improvements since the Geneva IGF that could be -- that could be -- led to a high-level session at the last day of the IGF, not at the beginning, because then it's the IGF community, it's the IGF discussions that leads to a high-level deliverable or a high-level discussion and the way forward to a strong commitment.
And then -- that's the last point. We also need to find a way to dispatch the outcomes to the appropriate forums. One of the examples that we can draw from is where we call the Canadian Internet of Things Multistakeholder Working Group that is doing a series of -- last year has been working hard on shaping new policies to help make quick, evolving world of connected devices more secure.
And what it means, it means that they created a local group that is really delivering on those frameworks for IoT security and it's contagious. It has taken now -- Senegal has expressed interest to set the same as well as France. And we believe that there is a model that we can be grounded on the IGF values and grounded on the IGF work. This is one of the tracks that could bring more tangible and more tangible results.
And just to reinforce, I'm not going through all of this, but we believe this model could easily be replicated in a productive way to dispatch to other forums when it's needed.
But remind, that's my first -- my last line, sorry. Let's remind what is at stake here. If the IGF doesn't become stronger and more effective, there is the risk for more top-down and governmental alternatives to deal with international Internet public policy issues. And this will gain only strength.
So this is an urgent matter. The call for reform is urgent, and we want to ensure that all stakeholders can continue to say -- to have a say and to use their voice in the evolution of this Internet. The fact remains that the world is much better with the IGF than without it, and let's all work together, taking the opportunity of having the said committeemen from our German hosts to give us this critical and strategic opportunity to reform the IGF. Thank you very much.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Thank you, Raquel.
Sandra, you have the floor.
>>SANDRA HOFERICHTER: Thank you very much. And hello, Lynn and Chengetai and all the others for setting up this meeting and all the hard work you did this year and are continuing to do this year.
I can just underline what Raquel just said. There is really an urgency to strengthen the IGF and make it even more relevant. I'm a fully hard believer in what we are doing here in the multistakeholder model, in the bottom-up manner we are organizing -- is it still on? Yeah. And the bottom-up manner we are organizing the things. And I think one point to strengthen the IGF is -- and I said that already in other foras, but I want to reiterate it here -- is to really make a strong link between one IGF to the others. And as a representative of a regional IGF, I think the NRIs are going to play here a significant role in being the pillars in between two global IGFs so that we don't see one event as a closed and finished element and going to the next and closed finished element but that we're really trying to continue with our discussion throughout the years on a national, on a regional, and then again on a global level.
I think with this year with the IGF in Paris and in Berlin we are in a very comfortable situation that we are well ahead of time, that we have the host confirmed already and marked that is started early it's work, and I think the Paris call and also the U.N. panel on digital cooperation will play significant roles in terms of being a linking element between Paris and Berlin. And we had our -- EuroDIG had its -- had its planning meeting, the public planning meeting just two weeks ago, and there we decided to start another intersessional work. We did it already in 2015 on net neutrality. Had some experiences there. But this year we want to start again intersessional work. And it was agreed that we will invite in this respect the European stakeholders to comment on the report of the U.N. panel on digital cooperation. Once this report is out in late May or early June we will convene a group of interested individuals but in particular the NRIs in Europe, of course, to come together and make a reply, make some recommendations on this U.N. panel report so that this is something that just not goes into any desk but this is really something that we can build on -- upon. And I think this goes very much along also with what President Macron mentioned in his speeches about digital cooperation. Not by chance our overarching theme for EuroDIG 2019 is cooperation/the right way. We can discuss what the right way of cooperation will be.
The process that we will start with the intersessional work in May will then continue. During EuroDIG, of course, we will have space there to continue the discussion. There will be some work going on throughout the summer, but we all know summer is sometimes a difficult phase and people are not really active. I don't know yet if we will have a final document by the IGF in Berlin, but I don't think that's an issue. We can also see the IGF in Berlin as a continuation of the discussion and invite other regions, other stakeholder to either do the same for their regional, for their stakeholder group, or to join the European effort as a reply. In this respect, I don't only want to see this effort as a European initiative that is limited to Europe. I invite everyone to see the European initiative as kind of an experiment that we are moving forward to experiment a little bit. We have the flexibility, we have the freedom to do so, and learn from it in this intersessional work and also if there are -- if there will be mistakes be made or things that we think okay, this could have been done differently, then use it for the next intersessional work. And I also consider if at the end maybe there is no paper or no agreement, I would also consider this as an outcome. Failure is an option, I would say. And with failure, I mean not that the work or the process might not work, but that we might end up with no resolution or with no reply or however we would like to call it. We don't yet have defined an official term for that.
This leads me to my second point in terms of calling for tangible outcomes. I think we should be careful of what we are calling for. The IGF never had to mandate to come up with the resolution or with a negotiated document and I think we should not get into this -- into this issue. I think there are a lot of other outcomes, and they are not visible for the -- for many people. For instance, the IGF had many positive impact on policymaking processes in other countries or within other stakeholder groups and these good examples, they should be collected. And I think that should be a work where resources should be allocated within the IGF secretariat that really throughout the years the IGF is existing, that they collect the positive implications the IGF had on a national level or on a -- on a regional or on a global level. I know there are good examples. In Kenya, I know from colleagues that are really NRIs and the global IGF made an impact so that these examples are collected and are also presented as one of the outcomes the IGF is producing. I think we should be careful in speaking about outcomes only about declaration negotiated because here I see sometimes a mismatch between what people have in mind when they discuss tangible outcomes.
And my last point on the program planning, I said it already, the MAG, that its constituents so early in the year is a very good -- good thing, and I would call upon the MAG to be more flexible and to be a little bit more brave and have a little bit more braveness to experiment with the program. I also think less sessions, less speakers, less redundancy is sometimes -- something that we were always calling for and I would encourage this year's MAG to work very hard towards this direction so that this -- the program as such is more focused. Thank you very much.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Thank you, Sandra. And I think those comments were obviously on behalf of -- or you in your role in EuroDIG. If people could, as I call them to floor, either comment on whether they're speaking in an individual capacity or if it is on behalf of an organization, it just gives a little more context to our positions. Wout, you have the floor.
>>WOUT de NATRIS: Thank you, Lynn, for the opportunity. My name is Wout de Natris, De Natris Consult, and I'm speaking somewhat in a personal capacity but also not officially representing but reporting on activities from the Internet Society and the Internet engineering task force.
Last year we had a workshop called Megatrends on the Internet and the impact on the Internet of these trends, and with the workshop proposal came the obligation to report to the MAG. We did a new sort of session called an informative session. And we have to go a little bit back in history is that we had a session in 2017 in Geneva on the strengthening report that was published in January 2018 and the technical community for the IGF was asked, what are you actually doing in 2018. And after a lot of hesitation, they said we're changing the Internet. And everybody else, all the other people in the room said, what are you doing? They said well, we're changing the Internet. And nobody really understood what that meant. And they asked, can you do a session on that in 2018? That was the question from the room. And it was turned into a proposal for a pilot to intersessional work. It was funded up front, but the MAG was not able to make a decision on that in March. The result of that is something which I think is important to stress, is that we lost about four months to do the work, to do the pilot and reach out to all the communities that were intended to be reached out to, politicians, consumer organizations, people usually not present at the IGF.
We had that work, anyways, starting basically late in August and had a session that was packed. And there were more people in the room that were supposed to be there and they were from really in leadership positions also. We lost a lot of politicians because of the Paris process going on in the back. At the last moment, people went to other sessions organized by President Macron. So there was a negative point to having two different sessions at the same time. All the painstaking work basically was somewhere lost.
Two politicians came in late and here we have the tangible outcome of the session. They understood what it was about. We had a pilot in the Netherlands and one went for the second time to the same sort of session, and they actually said, we're going to make sure the technical community can reach out to our colleagues. They need to understand what is going on. The topics were consolidation on the Internet, so vertical integration, they were on the Internet of Things, and they were on cryptography. And that is basically the topics that the technical community is working on on the global level together. And if they had not been asked to give this presentation, it would not have happened. So somewhere there is a mismatch between what the IGF is doing and the expectations other organizations have of it. So perhaps -- and that's something where we can move into the future. And the comment about outreach to other communities -- that's a side comment -- you have to go where they are. Because if you don't, they will never find out what the relevance of the IGF is to them. So if you can go there and explain why it's important to them and explain what sort of topics are on the agenda which are important to them, you will find that they will come. That is my experience because I've been able to do that in the past and people did show up and changed the outcome and process within the IGF. So go where they go. So that's one side comment.
I would like to reiterate something we said last year also and look at new ways, and we'd like to do what Raquel said and what Sandra said. The strength in report had a second iteration. This year -- strength in cooperation within the context of the IGF which was presented through the IGF through the working group on multiyear strategy. Basically is asking for MAG leadership. When all the topics have been raised, all the calls and issues, you are the only people in the world who have the overview of what is important. So in other words, you can make choices there. And now it's a 100% bottom-up process, and I'm not asking to change that. But what I'm inviting you to do is look at, let's say, 50% of the topics, invite people to organize workshop on that specific topic. Perhaps reach out first to leaders within the technical community, within the industry, within politics where -- and policy where less proposals come from usually, to ask them what are your main concerns, what are your topics for 2019, and perhaps from there ask them to organize a session around it. If there are ten sessions on the same topic, why not put all these brilliant minds into the room and ask to come up with some sort of a tangible outcome. Some ideas on how to continue instead of having the same people on stage through the four days and then basically tell their own point again and again without any consequences, without any outcome.
So that is something which is -- MAG is able to do. I think that the whole work, the importance of the IGF will change. The people it will attract will change. And from there, the importance of the IGF will change. And that's something we've been working on for one and a half year and it's presented again, and I would like to reiterate that here that it's presented to the MAG. But what it showed last year, the sort of session we were able to do for the IETF with the help of ISOC, it showed that different people did show up and a tangible outcome is one politicians reach out to the technical community and the technical community understand. We've never reached out to consumer organizations before. Why have we not done that? Because they can make a main difference in how the public discusses these sort of topics and understands these sort of topics. So that we'd like to give as a thought to the MAG for 2019 and beyond. So thank you for your attention.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Thank you, Wout. Wout and Lousewies Van der Laan had prepared a proposal which I did send to the MAG last night. That was my fault that it was late by a few days. I just had a bit of a nasty flu for a few days and got behind on my mail. But the document is there and it's something I think we will pick up later on.
Let's see, next in the queue. Carlos, you have the floor.
>>CARLOS AFONSO: Okay. Good morning. I am Carlos Afonso from Institute of Nupef in Rio de Janeiro, a former member of the Brazilian steering committee of the Internet, and a member of the Brazilian chapter of Internet Society.
I notice that my -- the speaker next to me will be Marilyn who is a pioneer, in my opinion, all the national and regional initiatives related to the IGF. This is a precious input towards [ no audio ].
-- these initiatives, and this is my point. I remember that in 2017 we were doing the national IGF of Brazil and practically at the same time Argentina was doing their national IGF. And we realized that just at the same day we were starting the national IGFs and couldn't sort of combine some sort of relationship in which one of them could see the results of the other or exchange recommendations and so on. We lost a networking opportunity there. And I see that many of these opportunities that are lost, even if we have regional IGFs and even these regional IGFs do not interact with all the regional IGFs. I wonder if part of all that work between IGFs would be tried to enhance this network among the national and regional ones and try to do sort of stock -- stock-taking synthesis on time for, say, define -- help to define the agenda of each IGF. I see that a lost -- a lot is lost in the -- from the outputs of these national and regional IGFs which is not taken into consideration in the very IGF and a lot of work and outcomes are lost in that process. So I would recommend that we think of how to better network these national and regional initiatives so that concrete information results are synthesized and come to the IGF on time.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Thank you, Carlos. Marilyn Cade, you have the floor.
>>MARILYN CADE: Thank you. My name is Marilyn Cade, and I would open my comments, Carlos, by thanking you for your very kind recognition of the role I played very, very early with what we now call the NRIs but in the days that I was engaged very early -- and I wish to acknowledge Chengetai and also Markus Kummer -- when we were beginning to meet as a very informal gathering at the IGFs, we met at lunchtime and shared information. We then went on and subsequently, in 2009 and '10, to have sessions of the NRIs which often had 50 to 60 NRIs sharing information. We did this without the kind of formal recognition that we have today.
I was appointed by the past chair, Janis Karklins, to be the substantive coordinator to enhance the visibility and growth of NRIs. At that time we had only the benefit of having Anja Gengo as a fellow, and we are now blessed that we have a formal approved position for the NRI focal point on the IGF. And under Anja's fantastic leadership and the leadership at the national levels, we have grown the number of the NRIs. I know Anja will be reporting on that. My comments are not going to focus so much on that. I would now like to revert to the purpose of my taking the microphone and to speak in my individual capacity.
I would like to call to attention the secretariat of DESA and the MAG the importance of continuing to think about the open consultation day as really about an open consultation day. It has evolved toward being briefings, and that means that the MAG is briefed but the community is less incented to spend their time signing up and trying to attend and to a comment. Because they get to make a comment, but they don't necessarily get to really be heard in an interactive discussion. So I just ask that you continue to think about how the open consultation day can give you the most in input from those who are not on the MAG. I am a previous MAG member so I'm very experienced. But many who want to talk to you and have their voice heard perhaps need a little bit more guidance in how they can effectively participate in the open consultation processes.
A few comments that I have to ask you to consider is I do fully support the idea that we are at a -- I would like to call it rather than a crisis, I would like to consider this as a window of opportunity. We are faced with the fact that, finally, and again, governments at all levels, local, national, global entities understand that the Internet is a very powerful platform, that the applications that it accesses are incredibly important now to daily life; that the face of work is changing; that new and emerging technologies are bringing new challenges. So we have a window of opportunity to increase our relevance and to help to be part of the solution.
But there are very real geopolitical concerns where some think the only answer is to institutionalize increased governmental engagement or even treaties.
So if we expect to provide the multistakeholder voice, then I think we have to do -- we have to step up to the challenge that was first identified -- I think, in NETmundial. And I wish to recognize that -- and then enhanced last year in -- by the Swiss government -- sorry, the year before by the Swiss government and then last year by the French government and now again as we are coming into IGF 2019.
We have to improve awareness. We also have to strengthen what messages are. I understand the comment that Sandra made about negotiated outcomes. Nitin Desai always coached us to remember, we were not elected to make negotiated decisions. But he always also encouraged us to understand that we can make meaningful recommendations.
And I think that that is what we need to continue to focus on. How do we do that and how do we take those recommendations into the fora where decisions are being made?
On the question of fewer sessions, at every MAG meeting, MAG members call for fewer meetings. We want fewer sessions, fewer sessions. We want to do this. Fewer sessions.
Let me ask us to think instead about an experiment of different kinds of sessions. For instance, perhaps we should have information sessions which are to educate and inform. So that could be one track. We should have sessions that are about discussion and debate of various options. We could have sessions about the more mature topics and what the key messages might be that could be attributed to the IGF.
We always need to remember that for people to participate, they need to have a draw that is about why they need and want to participate.
I think also we need to -- and I fully support the idea recommended by the Secretary-General that we reach out to philosophers, to economists, to ministers beyond the regulators, the com, the ICT, and we reach out to ministers from science and technology development, from health care, from agriculture, from education, from economic development, from tourism. In many countries, tourism is a major adopter of the Internet and of online communication and a major source of revenue into countries.
Finally, I want to make a comment about the high-level panel's work, on digital cooperation. We were very privileged at IGF USA to have heard from Jovan (phonetic) and had an excellent briefing and update. And I anticipate continued high interest at the national level to continue to look at the work and even offer comments on the report. That is yet to be determined.
But I think the work of the panel needs to be considered at the national level, not just in a single approach. And so I'm going to offer a consideration to the panel to think about following the international forum on the white papers approach, which is to work at a distributed regional level and to then make sure that everyone who is interested can provide comments. Because their work will not just affect the IGF as important as it is to us, but it will affect also and influence the thinking of Internet governance organizations, IGOs, and IGs.
One comment I would ask us all to think about is: Are there models out there that we should think about quickly that could influence our thinking about innovative approaches? One I would call your attention to is the approach taken at the WSIS Forum on the high-level panels, where we managed to have multistakeholder participants. To take a topic, we limit the speakers to only three or four minutes and then have a cross-discussion. There are high-level track facilitators. It's one model not to take over the IGF in any way but to think about how we may engage more high-level speakers in perhaps one small segment of the IGF itself. And I hope we will think seriously about how we reach to business beyond the tech, the com, and the ICT sectors where I come from and think about the sectors like energy, health care, and finance, transportation. All of them are dependent on the changing role of ICTs and the Internet that are not yet at our door and supporting us. Thank you.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Thank you, Marilyn. A number of very interesting suggestions.
Mark Carvell, you have the floor.
>>MARK CARVELL: Thank you, Lynn. Thank you very much for the opportunity to speak today at this important session to look at strategic issues.
And, first of all, by way of introduction, I'm with the U.K. government, the ministry with responsibility for Internet and digital policy. It's called their department for digital culture, media, and sport. I'm also a member of the steering committee of our national IGF, the U.K. IGF. And going back several years, I was a MAG member.
Some of these strategic issues we discussed with our advisory group. Our ministry has an advisory group on Internet governance. It comprises about 40-odd -- not odd in sense of strange, but approximately 40 people from the private sector, civil society, academic experts as well, which is -- who provide a very valuable input into our discussions.
We had a meeting just on Friday actually which explains why we're a bit out of step in submitting our response to the call for views on the stocktaking and the specific questions about the points made by the Secretary-General and President Macron and others at the Paris IGF. We're still digesting the discussion we had on Friday.
But I think I can give you a few steers, if you'd like, as to the thinking of us in the ministry and those of our stakeholders in our advisory group. And I really recommend actually stakeholders engaging with government ministries with responsibility for Internet issues, some of which may have some kind of mechanism for consultation like we had this formal mechanism of our advisory group. But it's important to reach out -- stakeholders to reach out to their governments. And I hope others in this room and beyond will attempt to do that at this critical time for the IGF and the future.
But, anyway, some of the points that came up in our meeting are being picked up here, and that's very reassuring to know.
First of all, there was a great appreciation for the French government in hosting the IGF so effectively in Paris. And, also, we welcome very much the German ministry working very diligently and constructively and openly in preparing for the Berlin IGF.
And this is against a context of overall support for retaining the IGF as a central meeting point in the ecosystem of the Internet for stakeholders to come together, including governments. And we need more governments there, certainly. It's a point I will come on to in a short while.
And there was -- there was a general sense in our discussion that the IGF has a unique role in providing multistakeholder input into multilateral processes where not all stakeholders are represented. So it has that critical foundation base, if you'd like, for decisions relating to emerging technologies and the future of the Internet that are being taken elsewhere. And that's why the liaison between the IGF and this community of stakeholders with those bodies is particularly important.
And we can envisage a situation where in a body like Internet Engineering Task Force or the ITU looking at a particular digital issue, we'll say, well, what did the IGF say about this? How did the discussions that were held at the IGF about this particular issue, what direction did those discussions take?
So you're communicating what's coming out of the IGF in terms of the messaging and broad direction, if you'd like, that can be determined from IGF discussions is critical. And it leads to better informed decisions, better shaped decisions, if you'd like, in those fora and processes where perhaps not all stakeholders are represented.
So the tangible outcomes in IGF deliverables should be articulated and communicated much more effectively. And then their impact actually assessed and valued. Who's taking notice of what's coming out of the IGF?
And the -- related to this really is the NRIs' initiative because they do, in our view, provide a channel to the roots of the Internet communities worldwide, including those who are at risk of being left out or forgotten. The NRIs are enormously valuable as channels of communication two ways, bottom up and also coming back from the IGF and also from those other institutions and processes through an enhanced linkage, if you would like, so there's better understanding, better input from the small island developing states to least developed land-locked countries and so on. So that was one key point that we would continue to support and was endorsed by our stakeholder discussions.
Another point that came up was much more visible and better structured integration of the intersessional activities, including dynamic coalitions. There was a voice at our meeting saying, oh, they have never even heard of the dynamic coalitions so what are they? What do they do? How do they contribute to the matrix of intersessional activity along with the best practice forums, connecting and enabling the next billion? So more structured understanding of the intersessional activity and, of course, that will require stronger stakeholder -- secretariat support. And that comes back to the issue of funding.
And here there was a strong feeling in our discussions that funding was a critical issue for the future of the IGF. It seems at the moment, we are in a very precarious situation. And how do we address that to get to more private sector funding coming through. And the private sector perhaps will not see a discussion or nondecision-taking forum as a priority for funding. And, likewise, with governments.
And here the discussion we had on Friday seemed to go in the direction of a steer towards the U.N. system. If the IGF -- perhaps this intersects with earlier points made by Mr. Kwok and others, that the U.N -- the profile of the IGF within the U.N. needs much stronger development.
And we're not sure whether we would advocate a relationship in terms of -- directly of financing. We have to think about that a bit more to make up for the shortfall. Could the funding come from the U.N. budgetary system? We don't have a view on that, but it's an issue that's being discussed.
And perhaps the appointment of somebody who has the ear of the Secretary-General, a special advisor as we experienced in the early years with Nitin Desai so effectively, will enhance that profile of the IGF within the U.N. system. And then that feeds through to governments having a better understanding and coming forward with a commitment to support through knowing that if they support the IGF, that will lead to addressing some of the critical failures within the global system of development and achieving the sustainable development goals and the issues which the High-Level Panel on Digital Cooperation is looking at to break down the silos and ensure a much more effective approach globally to technology change and ensuring that nobody gets left behind or forgotten.
So funding through greater engagement of governments is vitally important, we would say. And that should feed through to the private sector leaders, and they will understand more fully why they need to support a multistakeholder process such as the IGF.
So I think I'll stop there. The high-level panel, we have submitted as U.K. government a contribution to that. And we underline there the critical role of the IGF as a demonstrable way to foster cooperation. We described that in our response to the high-level panel.
Okay. I hope those comments are helpful at this state. Thank you.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Thank you, Mark.
And with Mark's knowledge, I would actually like to just recognize and thank Mark for his many, many, many years of service to the Internet governance activities. He's going to be retiring in March. But we pointed out again that, of course, once a MAG member, always a MAG member and made it clear he's also very welcome at the Berlin IGF, which promises to be very exciting as well.
But thank you, Mark, for everything and for your continued -- continued support and engagement.
Next in the queue we have Christine. Christine?
>>CHRISTINE ARIDA: Thank you, Chair.
I'm speaking in my capacity representing the government of Egypt, who is a former host of the IGF and also a co-founder of a number of regional IGF initiatives; namely, the Arab IGF, the African IGF, and the North African IGF.
So the government of Egypt welcomes the opportunity to provide its views in stocktaking IGF 2018 and looking ahead for the IGF 2019 in Berlin and more strategically the IGF.
I would like to start by congratulating and thanking the French government for the tremendous effort they have put in such a restricted time frame to make the IGF in Paris a remarkable and successful one. I would also like to take the opportunity to commend and thank the MAG through its leadership and members as well as the secretariat for the great work noting that the cycle of IGF 2018 has witnessed several (indiscernible) and improvements, contributing to an inclusive planning and organization of its program.
In terms of stocktaking and looking ahead, allow me to offer a few comments. While we value the tremendous efforts exerted by MAG leadership and secretariat to announce the 2018 host and venue and fully understand the challenge they faced in that respect, we note that the late announcement has had throw-backs on engagement window for stakeholders specifically from the Global South.
Equally, the overlapping dates with the ITU plenipotentiary conference was a major setback to either participation for governments from the Global South which often don't have enough capacity to participate in two major events at the same time.
So we very much welcome the early planning window that is provided for the Berlin IGF and hope it is possible to continue this practice for future IGFs.
Intersessional activities this year were a great success here again. BPFs, DCs, connecting and enabling the next billion, but also NRIs have created great value and advanced IGF purpose on several tracks. But we note that there is still need for higher integration among those components and wider utilization of their outcome material.
There is also a pressing need to identify groups that are less represented in those specific activities and make corresponding efforts to engage them in order to make the outcomes more inclusive and valuable for everyone.
On the logistic side, we note the efforts that the French host have put in making, for example, registration and budgeting smooth, well organized, and effective, but we also note there is need in the future to look at space limitations in some workshop rooms so that we do not restrict participation and that it's also important to give due attention to rooms that are dedicated to bilateral meetings.
With respect to high-level participation, the representation of host county at the level of heads of state second year in a row and the participation of the U.N. Secretary General for the first time are a great milestone for the IGF growth and maturity and are helping very much raising the profile and the awareness about the IGF. We surely hope that the participation of the U.N. Secretary General is a practice that can continue for future IGFs which provides an opportunity to shed light on the relevant ongoing activities within the U.N. system and help identify and discuss possible synergies between IGF and other processes within the U.N. system. Continuing such a practice would catalyze similar high-level political participation among governments and businesses, particularly from the global south which seem to be less represented. It is worth noting in that respect that we believe there is room for a larger load for the MAG in planning for high-level panels and for planning the participation of high-level dignitaries and how this can be integrated within the overall program of the IGF. Clearly the strong coordination role by MAG leadership and IGF secretariat together with the IGF host in that respect is extremely helpful and should be continued and strengthened.
We need to note that the open forum session that was organized by the German government was a very useful and well attended one. It provided valuable opportunity to meet and hear from various key stakeholders in the country of the next host and to learn more about their preparations for engagement for the following year. During on this experience it would be very beneficial for the IGF community to invite hosts of the IGF 2020 to organize a similar session during IGF 2019 in Berlin, and carrying this practice forward will create a great opportunity, not only for the IGF community to meet with key players from upcoming hosts, but also for stakeholders whom the IGF is coming to their country to hear more about the community annual experiences.
With respect to synergies with other U.N. processes, we believe the IGF has developed through the years into a unique platform for inclusive, open, and bottom-up dialogue among a wide range of actors which together have gained its both strong legitimacy and great value. Today the IGF continues to steer the dates around most current and pressing Internet governance issues that have wider -- far wider implications in the digital world. Through this strong, vibrant, and diversified community it has developed. Thus, the IGF offers a distinctive platform for interaction between relevant, multilateral, multistakeholder and multidisciplinary processes within the U.N. family. For that, we think it is important for the IGF to be further strengthened. The continued relevance of its overall program and intersessional activities planning, the defining of linkages to national and regional initiatives, also further support for the IGF secretariat sustainable funding and the reappointment of the special adviser to the U.N. Secretary General all seem to be very important steps in that direction. Thank you very much.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Thank you, Christine. Next in the queue we have Chris. Chris, you have the floor.
>>CHRIS BUCKRIDGE: Good morning, everybody. Chris Buckridge. I'm speaking for the RIPE NCC, one of the regional Internet registries, and along with all the other regional Internet registries a very strong supporter of the IGF from the beginning and prior to that. And so my comments today are certainly in that spirit of continued support for the IGF.
I think we all appreciate and understand that the IGF is quite a unique event in the global scene. I think that's one of its strengths, but I think it also serves as one of its weaknesses in that I think it's always found itself in an uneasy balance between something like a U.N. conference, something like a trade show, something like a working meeting, and that current balance is not really working for what it needs to. And I think the question of who's there, why are they there, what do they expect to get out of it is the really key question that we have here. Right now the balance that we have is not effectively selling the value and the influence of the IGF to get people in, to bring people in to those discussions and to give influence to the outcomes of those discussions.
I think -- I agree with many of the speakers that have gone before me today. I think Wout raised a really important point about the value of outreach, specific outreach, to different players. I think Marilyn Cade also made some very good points about the different kinds of stakeholders that would be valuable to see in these discussions because the Internet is no longer simply about technical community. It really extends far beyond that. But I would somewhat disagree with her point about having many different kinds of sessions. And I think this comes back to again another speaker, to Internet Society's point about depth. The question or something that we've discussed recently in the EuroDIG context, and I think this is very important for all the NRIs, is the scope of the discussions. And I think we really risk what value and influence we can have when the scope of Internet governance discussions are allowed to go beyond the scope of Internet governance. And I think that temptation is very real and very strong when we see all of the different technology questions that are raised by things like the Internet of Things or artificial intelligence particularly. I think it's important that we really ensure that the focus we have is on Internet governance, and I think having a reduced number of sessions and sessions that can maintain that focus is a really important step towards that. Looking at the NRIs again -- and I'm involved with EuroDIG. We have some involvement with SEEDIG, Central Asian IGF, Asia Pacific regional IGF to some extent. Many of those, I think, have a somewhat different approach than the current MAG and I hesitate to use the word but I think the approach is more "ruthless." And I think that that's not something that should be seen as odds with the bottom-up process. I think it's an acknowledgment of the physical and temporal constraints that reality places on all of us. And we have that in the IGF. Maybe we have a few more days than some of the NRIs are able to have, but by having many, many different tracks I think we lose the impact and the influence that those sessions can have.
Finally, I just want to point out yes, the intersessional work that does go on. I think there's not enough awareness of that and that that really does hinder the discussions of the IGF. I think this was made nowhere more clear than at the plenipotentiary last year which I attended and therefore was unable to be in Paris. But in that discussion, a discussion at that conference about IPv6, to hear the IGF dismissed as something that had no outputs and no relevant output for the IPv6 discussion was disheartened, knowing there have been two specific documents coming out on IPv6 produced by the IGF. If it's not aware of -- if people aren't aware of it in that ITU plenipotentiary environment, I have no doubt that there are many other places they're not aware of it either, and I think Mark's point about the -- the funding necessary to make that sort of awareness raising is well-taken, but we need to find other ways to work within the constraints that we have. Because right now the discussion keeps circling back to oh, the IGF must have outcomes, the IGF must have outputs. It has outputs, and I think if people are not recognizing that, then that's something that really needs to be addressed.
So with that, I'll simply wish the MAG good luck in their deliberations over the coming days. I think there are some real goals that can be achieved here, and I think I'm looking forward to the event in Berlin. Thanks.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Thank you, Chris. Some very -- some very good points. Next we have Thomas Schneider in the queue. Thomas, you have the floor.
>>THOMAS SCHNEIDER: Okay. Can you hear me? Yes. Hello, everybody. My name is Thomas Schneider. I work for the Swiss government. First of all, I also would like to thank, of course, the secretariat and everybody involved behind the scenes for the good and hard work for organizing the last year's IGF and, of course, also our French colleagues which we were in close contact because like us a year before, they stepped in in an even shorter time than we had to organize an IGF that would otherwise not have happened, at least not in a physical way the way it did. And we're also looking forward, of course, to support and work with our German colleagues for the next IGF. Like actually also the previous hosts of IGFs have supported us and the fact that we have now -- we are now having three European hosts is a coincidence because there has been no other hosts, but I also encourage you to talk to previous hosts. We had very useful information also from our colleagues from Mexico, from Brazil, and even the IGFs before. Also Christine from Egypt, for instance, was there when the IGF was organized in Egypt, also to take the experience from other regions into your account when organizing the next IGF.
We have given input in the name of my office -- our office, the office of communication into the stocktaking process. I won't go and repeat all of this. I hope some of you at least have read it. What we noticed and we largely shared the feeling that in the past years there has been -- I wouldn't talk about the crisis but some kind of fatigue of where we stand and a lack of development of progress of the structural situation in the global discussion on Internet governance. But we think is that basically the IGF is more needed than ever because dialogue of whatever happens beyond dialogue, dialogue is fundamental and open, bottom-up dialogue between all stakeholders is the basis for everything that happens elsewhere. And that is for us extremely important and should be strengthened and should continue.
However, at the same time, we share the feeling with many others that dialogue alone is not enough. And that in particular that the biggest gap is in our view, probably, the link that is still not strong enough between open dialogue for like the IGF and all the NRIs and the spaces, the silos, the institutions where decisions are made. The messages, the outcomes, of the dialogue does not -- is not yet fully transported into these different -- into these different fora where decisions are taken. And we're happy to see that the messages that we started in Geneva but that we haven't invented but that has been used in a number of regional and national NRIs before is something that has been considered as useful, has been picked up by our French colleagues and will probably hopefully also be continued by the German hosts because we think that is one element to make it easier to transport the outcome of the discussions or the tendencies or results of the discussions into other fora. But we also ourselves, we need to do more. All the people that have participated in the IGF when they go to meetings at the ITU or on national level or take decisions in business circles, they should have the messages of the last IGFs in front of them and should refer to this discussion and to the findings and the insights that have been shared at the IGF. So it's also up on us to actually use the messages and the documents that exist and other, like the Geneva Internet platform that has written very good summaries about a number of sessions. So we need to use this material in order to refer to this and tell others that were not there or don't remember that this has been discussed at the IGF. That the tendency was that most people think that solution A may not work but solution B may be something and so on and so forth. So it's also up on us to create that missing link.
Another element that we hope that will contribute to making the link between the dialogue and the decision makers, of course, is the high-level panel that has been set up by the U.N. Secretary General. This panel puts the focus on cooperation, and we hope that that helps also to build bridges between different silos, to bring stakeholders together in an unideological but solution-oriented way. And as you may know, there is a deadline that is still a few days ahead of us. It's the 31st of January, where people can make contributions on substance but maybe also on what they expect from the panel. And I think it's very important that there is a communication between the community and the people that are on the panel in both ways and that there's also an expectation that the panel communicates and the other way around. So I encourage everybody to use the channels that exist. And we're very happy to see that EuroDIG has decided to devote some resources and attention through an intersessional process but then also cumulating in The Hague, in the conference itself, to react to the report of this panel and we hope that others will pick up that example and follow because I think this should also not just remain a paper but whatever is -- falls on fertile ground should be picked up and then people should discuss what and where to do with this.
One more element I think that is the outcome of these -- or should be the outcome of these discussions, which is also not new because it's written in the WSIS text already, is the discussion and the clarification on the roles and responsibilities of stakeholders. And in particular in some new areas, if I just pick one example which is the whole discussion about information disorder, manipulation, misinformation. Everybody's crying, shouting for action, but it's normally less clear on who -- which actor, which stakeholder has or should have or should not have which role and responsibility. So in particular in new issues that are not so familiar, a discussion and a shared understanding about roles and responsibilities of governments of the industry, of Civil Society, of the technical communities, normally key to actually taking action that helped to improve our lives and not make it more difficult.
And another point that I wanted to raise, it has also been mentioned already, this year is actually five years after the NETmundial conference in Brazil, and it may be interesting to see not just about the document on principles but actually on the roadmap document that has been produced in NETmundial to see where we stand five years after Sao Paulo, what has been implemented, what discussions are still turning in circles since then or even since before, and how we can make use of the discussions that were held at the NETmundial conference in Sao Paulo and maybe we are now at a different point to take some things forward that were not possible five years ago.
And then just the last remarks. I am -- support the remarks made by Marilyn Cade about the repeated every year story about how to reduce the number of sessions, the number of parallel sessions. This is a recurring story that we are rediscussing, and I think her proposal of looking at the maturity or the development of the discussion of a particular issue and then maybe go from information sessions on issues where only a few experts understand the issue and others are mainly there to learn whereas other issues that are well-known where people want solutions or want concrete actions to be taken so that that may be a distinction between different types of sessions that may help us create threads on particular issues and, of course, also we think it should be continue to not call for workshops but actually call for issues, for themes, and then see who replies and then try to get these people together in order not to be resulting in a huge number of workshops again.
And just to end that again, I think the fact that we have three European hosts for the last -- for these three years is something that is -- that is a coincidence. We had two Latin American hosts before, and we are very thankful to our German hosts that they are very aware of this and they're trying to support not only financially but also the participation from stake holders from other regions because this is -- we have the EuroDIG for Europe but the IGF should be a global event, no matter where on which continent it takes place. Thank you.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Thank you, Thomas. A number of good points. One or two I would just like to comment on quickly, and maybe I'll start with the last one with respect to the host. I think it's sometimes forgotten that as we are a UN-convened event, it's not a simple matter of just finding a conference venue somewhere. We actually need to be invited by a government to the country. So, you know, we do outreach broadly and generally we, of course, support diversity, and we do try and find hosts and certainly rotate through the regions. But again, it's not just finding a conference venue. We need to be invited by a government. So when those invitations are not forthcoming, we end up with situations such as Switzerland stepping in, which they were able to do because they had U.N. premises here. Second year France was able to do because they had U.N. premises in UNESCO there as well which, of course, reduces some of the cost and some of the complexity because it's already a U.N. site. But we all want diversity. We all want the IGF to be in different regions. We need to all work our own networks so that we get people standing up and offering to host the IGF.
And one other quick point. Last name Chengetai and I and Wai-Min met, and we're going to translate the messages into the six U.N. languages. And we're going to do that following some sort of established U.N. processes to make sure that they're actually suitable for posting on a U.N. website. Because there are some specificities there that need to be managed as well. And we're also calling them IGF messages with subtitles Geneva 2017 or Paris 2018. Because if we want people to really identify with IGF, that we need to promote IGF everywhere and not just a Paris message or Geneva messages because it gets lost. So IGF messages with a subtitle of the city and the location. But certainly having them translated into the U.N. languages should help with the dissemination.
And one last point. I'm going to totally agree with your comments and Marilyn's earlier. I've been trying not to intervene so much because we have lots of comments, but I think there's a lot of work the IGF can do to frame issues or pull apart issues, whether they're new and emerging issues or whether they're older issues. And now we're looking for maybe the next step of dissemination or the next step of action because we have all the players, we have the expertise, we understand the issues. And I think that's a really useful set of activities as well. And it's just a different type of output or recommendation that we could follow as well. So I think there are some -- you know, some really fairly simple and straightforward things we could -- we could step up.
Going to go to the next in queue now and that's Jim. Jim, you have the floor.
>>JIM PRENDERGAST: Thank you, Chair. My name is Jim Prendergast and contrary to popular belief, I'm not a member of the MAG. Do follow the MAG very closely and I've been to several of the organizational meetings. Just want to, in a personal capacity, pick up on some of the comments that Sandra, Mark, Chris, and even Thomas made and build upon what I've heard and sort of my take on it.
Outcomes, outputs, deliverables, work product, messages, and then you throw in words like "tangible" and "negotiated." Even as a native English speaker, sometimes these phrases are confusing to me, and I can only imagine what it's like for the non-native English speakers as we deliberate these topics. There's been a lot of discussion about what going forward the IGF should be doing in increasing outputs. We hear calls about increasing outputs, increasing deliverables, but I think what we need to ask every time that -- that statement is made is well what exactly are you looking for because those phrases mean different things to different people and to different contexts. I think, you know, as Sandra reminded us earlier, there's a mandate and a limit to the mandate of what the IGF can and cannot do, and some of these things are outside of that mandate.
I have noted in the past, and we've heard it all from discussions already -- and if you go to the website -- there is a tremendous amount of delivers that are produced at each IGF. There's the chair's report, the host report, messages, best practice forum reports, workshop reports, recordings, transcripts, dynamic coalition reports, et cetera. There are even discussions that somebody mentioned earlier about the success stories of ideas that come from the IGF and then are used on the national and local basis.
Sometimes I think we don't have an output problem. I think we have a marketing problem. A tremendous amount of activity takes place at each one of these. How we package that and how we distribute that is something I think that the MAG needs to think about and look at as part of this effort in answering the call from more work and more tangible outcomes from the IGF.
So that's an issue that has been talked about for a few years now. I'm a member of the Multiyear Strategic Working Group as well. But I think specifics about what people are asking for when they don't feel as though they're getting enough from the IGF as it's currently constructed but certainly aid and help in those deliberations.
Putting on the ICC-BASIS hat, which flag I'm sitting behind, Chengetai and the team at the secretariat, I think, did a wonderful job synthesizing all the comments that did come in. There are a few that were included in the ICC-BASIS submission that didn't make it into it, and we understand there's so much room you can only cover. But we would encourage members of the MAG and the broader community to take a look at that submission to see what some of the private sector interests have said in response to the call for action.
With that, I would conclude my remarks. Thank you.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Thank you, Jim. And I do think it's important that we do lean into the questions and ask for more information. It's certainly a better approach than being afraid of the subject altogether, which I think happens occasionally as well.
Roman, you have the floor.
>>ROMAN CHUKOV: Hello, honorable chair, dear colleagues. This is a great honor to participate here in the capacity of a MAG member. Though, I will now talk in a personal capacity. And I have submitted my inputs for the taking stock. And mainly a lot of the points were reflected in the final report, which I'm very happy about. The outcomes you can see, the inputs.
But I think that one of the main outcomes was that IGF should have some outputs which should have been better articulated every year. Some strong call for actions, some declaration or statements.
And also one of the points we shared was not covered with this taking stock, but I think it's really important, if we talk about international information security or cybersecurity and we mention one of the -- the initiative of one country leader. We should not ignore the fact that on the 5th of December, the relevant resolution was passed in the General Assembly First Committee. And I would like it to be also added somewhere there to be equally considered when we speak about international information security because this resolution titled Development in the Fields of Information Telecommunications, in the context of international security, it was actually supported by an overwhelming majority of states and co-authored by more than 30 countries.
And what is really interesting, this document includes a number of innovations and a provisional list of 13 international rules, norms, and principles of responsible behavior states in this sphere. And this is the first and one-of-a-kind for now -- kind of code of conduct in the digital sphere, which is designed to create the foundation for peaceful interaction and to prevent war, confrontation, any other aggressive action.
It's really important, the U.N -- and one of the main provisions of this resolution is that United Nations should play a leading role in promoting dialogue among member states to develop common understanding on the security and the use of ICTs. And what is really important which I think is really important and what we have -- what we should discuss how to implement this, the establishment of open-ended working group which is proposed by this resolution, where all U.N. member states without exception will be able to take part in.
This open-ended working group will be authorized to consider the entire range of issues related to international information security. It will continue as a priority to further develop the rules, norms, and principles of responsible behavior of states' information space. Also, the resolution for the first time stipulates the establishment of groups' intersessional consultative meetings with business, nongovernmental organizations, academia, technical community, which I believe are at the core of IGF, the core of multistakeholderism which is really important.
And, also, the status of this working group is very high because unlike the previous group of governmental experts on international information security, this open-end working group will be a full-fledged body of the U.N. General Assembly with the right to draft and recommend any documents to member states including drafts of international treaties.
I really think that given that we also have relevant BPF in the IGF, we should find some time to explore how we can contribute to the work of this group, how we can implement some of the decisions because I think that some -- there is some institutional process taking place. And the IGF should also not be outside of this process. Thank you very much.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Thank you, Roman. And I agree. In particular those last few comments were both interesting and an important piece of information. And Veni Markovski had also shared some additional information on the MAG list, if people are looking for specific references to those activities.
Krzystof, have you the floor.
>>KRZYSZTOF SZUBERT: Thank you, Chair. Ladies and gentlemen, I would like to make two points and one update.
So, first of all, I would like to support the direction to strengthen the IGF as well as Mark both mentioned in Paris in both keynote speeches done by Secretary-General Guterres and President Macron. I think this is extremely important, as well as strongly support the direction to increase collaboration between the IGF marked community and organizations such as World Economic Forum, OECD maybe, the European Commission and so on. Simply to have more visibility at very different levels.
I would like also to give you the short update from my perspective from Poland. The formula of IGF has been successfully working as well in Poland for several years now. The national Polish edition of Internet Governance Forum 2018 held on December 13th at the Copernicus Science Center in Poland, it was a great opportunity to tackle many issues related to the functioning of the network.
The program included among others topics such as responsibility of online platforms, copyright reforms, free speech on the Internet, artificial intelligence, and transparency of algorithms.
During the conference in Poland, we made as well an important announcement, I think, by the minister of digital affairs. It was the official intention to organize the Internet Governance Forum in Central-Eastern Europe in Poland maybe in 2020. That was the intention of the minister.
I hope that it might also be useful for you. If you may need any more information about that, please feel free to contact me. Thank you.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Thank you, Krzysztof. And thank you for Poland's support and interest as well.
Next in the queue we have Giacomo. Giacomo, you have the floor.
>>GIACOMO MAZZONE: Yes. Thank you very much for the floor. And hello, everybody. Happy New Year, by the way for this we haven't seen before.
A certain number of reflections. First apologies for not putting in writing before. But I had no time to fulfill this within the deadline. So I proffer on this occasion to say some words and some reflection.
First, I think that there is nothing changed since the New York retreat, as Wai-Min correctly mentioned before. All the ideas that we are echoing today were already there. I think if we have a look at it retrospectively, we can find a lot of interesting inputs.
The problem that we have today -- that has been improved -- the only point that has been improved in the meantime is the deliverables. Now we have many deliverables out of every IGF.
The problem is that these deliverables, they are not delivered or they are not delivered to the right person in the right time in the right appropriate context.
Of course, we stick to the mandate of the IGF. We are not a decision-making body. This cannot be changed. We don't want to change because the value that the IGF bring is to be a multistakeholder place, arena, where a lot of decision-making bodies are not multistakeholder. So this could be our specific -- it has to be our specific contribution to the Internet governance debate in the world.
But how to make this deliverable delivered? I think we need first to reestablish a direct link with the U.N. Secretary-General, as it was in the past. I don't want to offend anybody, but the problem is many of these messages can be taken over by the United Nations and addressed within the United Nations, within the United Nations' agencies. So the Secretary-General was playing an essential role in the past through the special advisor. We need to reestablish this link. I hope that the High-Level Panel on Digital Cooperation will take over this idea.
The second is we have an enormous opportunity that is the opening ceremony, the moment -- or the closing ceremony. The day is wasted. We have Secretary-General of ITU coming and he doesn't know, for instance, if any of the issues that we have discussed or we will discuss at the IGF has an impact on ITU or could be taken over by the ITU and implemented into his body. So why? Let's use people that is traveling all over the world for a few hours, for few minutes of speech, instead to stay there with us and creating seminars, moments with them in which we deliver to them what has been produced by the IGF saying, Hey, can you take over this? Can you make something concrete out of this in your daily job? Can you make a proposal to be discussed at the next plenipot or at the next counsel, et cetera, et cetera? This we can do with UNESCO. We can do with the Y. We can do with the European Union. We can do with all the people that represent the international organization that have decision-making power.
Then I think that we have -- what we have to do best is the intersessional work. There is a lot of amount of work, a lot of amount of reflection that is done. And that for the moment is also lost as well as the deliverable of the main IGF.
We think that we need to streamline also the intersessional work in order to feed better the IGF sessions. I don't mind how many sessions there are, if there are rooms enough and people want to meet -- can meet to discuss whatever.
For me what is important is that we identify what are the goals that we want to achieve in each IGF session, in each IGF edition. And we want to focus on that. And then we streamline workshop, dynamic coalition, et cetera, work in order to feed a plenary or whatever that will be a place where the solution, proposals, or at least full exam of the problem are delivered. This is a way to make streamlining concretely.
And then, last point before to hand over, Wout's proposal about an IGF pilot, this is another concrete example what we can do, suggesting concrete solution to ongoing problem that are not addressed by other bodies that have not been solved all along these years.
Why not -- if we decide that this is one point where we want to focus and we want to put the weight and the moral authority of the IGF to endorse certain ideas and projects or not, I think is a wonderful, concrete example. Thank you very much.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Thank you, Giacomo.
Veni, you have the floor.
>>VENI MARKOVSKI: Thanks, Lynn. And Happy New Year as well to all the people. I mean, it's good when you -- when we meet each other during the whole year, we can say Happy New Year to people we haven't seen.
I'm a second-year MAG member. I'm the ICANN vice president for U.N. engagement. I used to be on the MAG in the beginning when we were not so well-organized as it is now. Because right now I have to say special thanks to UN DESA for the professional way of managing the IGF and the MAG work.
And thanks to all the colleagues because it's -- it's actually almost like a part-time job. We have to read the emails. We have to respond -- we have to read the documents. We have to respond to questions. And then we have to participate in the MAG meetings and the IGF itself. And I think in one of the criterias for being a MAG member actually is to be able to allocate the time. And I often joke that unless your job approves participation, you have to be either a university professor or retired person so that you have the time to do that.
But having said that, I also wanted to use the opportunity to thank France and Switzerland for the last two MAG meetings as well as the previous host obviously but also Germany which came in early, came in really well. I mean, the website is up and running, welcoming messages. And we have a co-host chair here. And it's -- it's amazing how good it is organized, even now, way before it started. So I'm looking forward to be in one of the best cities in the world, in Berlin for the June meeting and then for the IGF.
I also want to point that I think -- I forgot who mentioned that it's happening again in Europe. But it's good that it's happening and it's good that we actually know where it's happening because we all remember that last year, we didn't know where it's going to take place for quite a while. We started much later working on the meeting venue, and the result was also, you know, the squeezing one day less, et cetera, et cetera.
So I'm supportive of any country -- if there are only European countries that are willing to host an IGF, you know, it's -- we should not consider this as a big problem because it's much better to have a country to host it rather than not have one.
And I remember in the MAG last year for the new guys coming, we were arguing, well, isn't there another country? Well, if there was another country, we -- in another continent, we probably would have considered it more seriously.
But, also, it's not really a MAG decision, so to speak. It's a complicated meeting. It's not just the normal meeting, you know. The U.N. has special rules of procedure, and you have to sign a host country agreement, I believe it's called. So if there are no U.N. premises in the country, then it becomes even more complicated.
I also wanted to thank Roman for -- our Russian colleague, for mentioning the two -- the other groups. Actually, I had it as a note here. So you pointed out that there are two groups in the U.N. dealing with cybersecurity this year and the next year actually because they both will be working in parallel.
I do want to make a point, though, that instead of the MAG or the IGF going to these groups, we should actually invite them to come to the IGF and present their findings and their discussions because we are a multistakeholder platform under the U.N. umbrella. And the Secretary-General convenes this meeting with the idea that it's -- it is, in fact, outside of the small meeting, the science and technology for innovation within the ECOSOC thank, that is also a multistakeholder forum, which started a couple of years ago only.
IGF is the multistakeholder forum where all governments and private sector and civil society and everyone comes together. So I think it would be really good if, Roman, you can convey this message to your colleagues who will be participating at the meeting in -- the meetings in New York and Geneva of the open-ended working group and the governmental group of experts, to actually maybe ask for a session -- I mean, a workshop of some kind or something, you know?
And maybe it's too early for this coming IGF because the groups will actually start working this fall so there will be nothing to report. But for the next IGF, it would be perfect because one of the group -- the open-ended working group should publish their report next fall. So they could come and talk to the IGF and present the findings and the reports that are shared and will be public. And, yes, they do have -- the open-ended working group will have consultations with civil society and businesses. And I think there are probably organizations within the MAG and within the IGF which will participate in these consultations, but we should be really opening the IGF for such groups.
I mean, it's not that we should be opening. It's open. So please, you know, anyone who is doing something come to the IGF to share your experience because that's the way -- that's the place and that's the way to do it. Otherwise, we will end up in becoming either the MAG or the chair of the MAG or I don't know who -- there is no formal representation of the IGF. You cannot say, I represent the IGF, you know, and I participate as representative of the IGF. It's very -- it's a very unique structure, and we have to keep it this way because it's -- it's been achieved in 2003, 2005, during the WSIS and it's been updated during the WSIS +10 negotiations and we should keep it that way. Thank you.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Thank you, Veni. I'm going to close the queue after the last two speakers, and then we are going to take the last 20 minutes or so and we're going to have a brief presentation on the IGF Trust Fund.
One of the things that came out of a working group on fund-raising last year was that it's -- it would be very helpful to -- to share the information with the community with respect to how the IGF is funded, what the state of its current funding is, and some of the activities that are under way.
So we have about a 20-minute presentation that Wai-Min will give us and then we'll break for lunch. And when we come back after lunch, we'll come back to this same topic with a focus on some of the intersessional activities and the NRIs.
And I'd like to ask people to -- over lunchtime to think about what are some concrete suggestions you would suggest the MAG and the community look at based on the things we've heard this morning. You know, one of the things we continue to hear a lot about, of course, is outreach and how to do more with the outputs that we do have. So concrete suggestions on how we could do that, how we could tackle that would be really, really helpful.
So with that said, the next person in the queue is Anand. Anand, you have the floor. Then we'll go to Elena, and then we'll go to the Trust Fund presentation.
Anand, you have the floor. Anand, you have the floor.
>>LUIS BOBO: Hi, Lynn. He doesn't seem to be connected. Unless he was here in the room.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: I don't see him. I thought he was online. Okay.
Anand, we'll come back to you. If you come back in, just signal in some capacity, even in a chatroom, if that's easier. In the meantime, we'll go to Elena. You have the floor.
>> ELENA PEROTTI: Hello, everybody. I am Elena Perotti, and I represent the World Association on Newspapers and News Publishers. I don't know many of you. I can count two people that I really know in this room, but I hope this will change over the next few months.
I heard a lot of speaking of Macron in this meeting this morning. But there are parts of his speech that seem to me they have been ignored in both the IGF messages and the chair summary.
In the IGF 2018 chair summary this is what remains of Macron's remarks. They say he made a call for common regulation in the area of suppressing illegal or undesirable content, hate speech and cyberbullying ensuring freedom of discretion, access to information, culture, diversity, fair taxation in the digital world, and further expansion on General Data Protection Regulation.
But, in fact, he insisted quite a bit on the importance of journalism and news media, saying that in the interest of democracy, we need to support democratic and trustworthy third parties, particularly journalists.
Very importantly, he also said that the creative works disseminated on the Internet have a value and, therefore, a price, which needs to be paid in order to ensure that it keeps being produced. He specified that fighting for copyright means fighting for the authors of content, that it is at the forefront of the fight against this information and not at all against a free Internet. And this one is a remark that disappeared from the discussion as soon as the President mentioned it.
The only occurrence in which the official IGF documents mentioned news is in connection with the word "fake." The word "journalism" is missing in the IGF messages and media content and mentioned in the chair's summary only once in connection with safety, which is great but it's really not enough.
So even if the concern of literacy seems very well-perceived, IGF limits itself to the idea of media literacy, completely missing that only coupled with news literacy it can represent the proper tool to fight the worldwide problem of misinformation. News literacy is an effective antidote to the disinformation that is holding such a relevant part of the planet hostage. It is something that I would really love being addressed in the sessions at IGF, and we as a world association of news media would be honored to contribute.
All in all, I'm here to try and do my part in making sure that the news media begin being represented in some way in this environment and they can, thus, better contribute to the Internet of the future.
On our side, we've been working for the last two years with colleague organizations in the media development community such as a Global Forum for Media Development and the Center for International Media Assistance, organizing a symposium on media development and Internet governance which took place around IGF both in Paris and here in Geneva the year before. Together, we also considering the establishment of a dynamic coalition to ensure a wider ecosystem in IGF, which includes news media and journalism.
There is a great need, I believe, for broader inclusion in journalism and the news media community within IGF and wider Internet governance ecosystems. So in response to the chair's appeal of a concrete proposal, I urge the IGF to dedicate some thought to the need of expanding its topics, concerns, and community to the news media and journalism in general. Thank you.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Elena, thank you. And a warm welcome here as well. And those were very useful and very important comments. And I know in all the discussions I heard last year in preparation to 2018, we were all trying to avoid fake news because it's not helpful and it conflates too many different issues.
Maybe there's an opportunity to actually kind of reopen the chair's summary and revisit that or an addendum because I do think if we haven't actually focused on journalism and misinformation or disinformation or news or the importance, particularly today when I think it's more important than it has been in a very, very long time, I think that's an oversight that we should take another look at.
So I'm seeing Chengetai and Wai-Min shake their head yes. So we can go back and do that. If you have some concrete suggestions in terms of how to better represent that, that would be helpful as well.
So that speaking queue is empty. That closes that portion. I said we would like to invite Wai-Min now to take -- in fact, you have sort of 25 minutes if you'd like, Wai-Min, or that will just leave us time for questions.
Again, the recommendation from the working group on fund-raising was that we ensure there was a discussion in front of the community, on the transcript, on the screen that actually talked about the status of the fund-raising efforts, how the IGF is funded. It's awfully difficult to get donors in if people don't understand what the financial situation is, what it's used for, and how to go about it. So that's the purpose of this -- of this item.
Wai-Min, you have the floor.
>>WAI-MIN KWOK: Thank you, Lynn.
I will give some brief information and also invite Lynn or Chengetai to give any certain points that I may miss in this -- my briefing that follows.
Some background, the IGF Trust Fund has been in existence since day one of IGF. That was in 2006 when IGF was first conceived, had its first session. That was also the basis of supporting all resources related to the IGF secretariat.
The IGF Trust Fund is straw budgetary. In other words, it is not part of the United Nations' budgets that is financed through assessments to all U.N. member states. So IGF Trust Fund relies on voluntary contributions from donors, and we are thankful to all our donors. And true to the IGF spirit, the donor is also multistakeholder.
I would like to highlight that the IGF Trust Fund is separate from the organization and cost of the annual IGF meetings. These are very generously covered by the host country or the past host country.
In essence, the IGF Trust Fund supports, first, staff and operational costs of the IGF secretariat; second, participation of MAG members from developing countries, from different stakeholder groups including governments, civil society, technical community; and, third, support to intersessional activities like the BPFs, the dynamic coalitions, the policy options on Connecting and Enabling the Next Billion, and capacity developments in limited basis, in particular the NRIs.
We wish to take this opportunity to thank many donors and do allow me here just to mention the list of donors in 2018 that we express deep gratitude. That includes government of Netherlands, the government of United Kingdom, the government of Portugal, and the European Commission, ICANN, The Internet Society, the Number Resource Organizations, the IGF Support Association, Tides Foundation supported by Google, Facebook, Verizon, AT&T, Microsoft, and Afilias. And the list of donors there, including past year donors, they are all on the IGF website.
We also received early pledge for 2019. This includes the government of Germany for its general contributions supporting participation of Global South. The government of Finland also a generous amount. We are finalizing the agreement. And, of course, the government of Netherlands as part of their significant multiyear pledge through 2021. And from the industry, we also have received a pledge from Disney as well as polytechnical.
Some of you may know that IGF Trust Fund is guided by the IGF project document administered by UN DESA. That is a yearly proposed budget of 2.8 million. However, for 2018 and also in 2017 and 2016, we have not been able to reach close to that level of pledges. In 2018, the IGF Trust Fund received over 830,000, lower than 2017. And that is also less than the actual expenditure in 2018. The total expenditure was 1,016,000.
In other words, the IGF Trust Fund is depleting its savings based on these past years.
As Lynn mentioned earlier, there's a MAG working group on fund-raising that we are making efforts to improve the funding situation, the communication, drawing reference through recommendations of the CSTD working group and DESA retreats. And some of the efforts in 2018 together as a group with IGF secretariat, we have better reporting and greater transparency through information sharing on the websites, through meetings like these open consultations.
The secretariat considered efforts to follow up on routine contributions of assisting donors and also engagement with potential donors, enhanced communication, and outreach efforts like putting a very clear fact sheets and FAQs on IGF to those who are new to IGF.
Moving forward to 2019, within the limited resources, the IGF secretariat will also be devoting to step up capacity development efforts including and supporting the NRIs and also working with Internet governance schools.
Once again, we would like to reiterate our big thanks to all the donors, not just 2018 donors, but past donors of IGF for 13 years.
We do count on the continued support of donors. We certainly welcome more donors from governments from industry and continuous support from the technical community.
The complement of donors will be essential to support the IGF, the IGF secretariat, the intersessional work and capacity developments. Thank you.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Thank you, Wai-Min. I might just add one or two additional comments, I think, and I'm often asked the question, what's the stakeholder breakdown of the contributions. And in fact, in 2018 against the funds Wai-Min just quoted -- and these are figures from Wai-Min but I have them in front of me and he may not have them -- the government actually contributed -- governments contribute 41%, the technical community, 37%, and the business community 22%. There was a significant increase in contributions specifically from the Dutch government last year which virtually tripled its current -- its historical running rate and guaranteed that for five years. So they're giving 100,000 Euros guaranteed for five years. A number of other companies have -- or organizations have pledged to look at increasing and some have pledged to increase, but as Wai-Min said, we're still far below. The rough numbers I quote is we expected when the project document budget was done $2.8 million to run the secretariat and intersessional activities. In fact, we're getting less than $1 million. Or 2 point -- yes, we're getting less than $1 million every year and, in fact, we're spending just more than we're bringing in, so we're eating into our reserves.
Always chokes me up. So, I mean, the situation really is serious in terms of needing to do more. The working group on fundraising last year spent a lot of time trying to clarify roles and responsibilities, getting material up on the website in a little more useful manner, creating some templates and some letters. We had a fundraising card that was created and a very useful template that was done actually through Sylvia Cadena from technical organizations and again, the Dutch government provided some funding for it. But there's a lot of tools that we're starting to put in place that will allow MAG members to promote the IGF and places to direct them for questions about contributions and donations as well. And there was a proposal that the working group on fundraising continue next year. And there's still a little bit of kind of operational administrative clean-up we can do, but that really the primary effort be simply about identifying the small number of very likely candidates for donations and that we work to bring those in. It's not just a matter of sending an email. It's multiple phone calls, it's finding the right value proposition, understanding where their interest is and where their interest links with the work of the IGF. It's some real work, so we need to be quite thoughtful about the organizations we target and the outreach. We'll hear more about that in the next -- in the next couple of days. I don't know if there's anybody else who wants to say anything. I know Arnold van Rhijn is online as well. If he wants to comment about anything he did to specifically get his government to support such a significant increase in the contribution and why he finds it so important. And I'm not meaning to put him on -- sorry, I'm not putting him on the spot but --
>>CHENGETAI MASANGO: He does want to speak.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Excellent. Excellent. Arnold, you have the floor. Thank you.
Luis, could you help make sure he's unmuted.
>>LUIS BOBO: Let me check the caller's speaker, please. Maybe now? Arnold? Are you there? No. He's in the list but he's not connected apparently. Maybe I can help him offline.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Okay. Thank you, Luis. Are there any comments or questions or final reflections from -- so yes, Chengetai is pointing out that if you go to the bottom of any one of the home pages about IGF on the very bottom there's a series of links for funding and there you can find all of the project documents for all three phases of the IGF, you find various progress reports, there are sample trust fund agreement templates and pledge letters. That process has been simplified as well over the years and there's various trust fund presentations. There are all of the past donors by year and aggravated -- aggregated by faces. A lot of information there. I think we need to just keep iterating a little bit on some of the maybe more helpful components. And Veni was just holding up in the background here, The IGF Needs You. This was a document that was prepared by the working group on fundraising that was used at the IGF in Paris. And Sylvia had actually found a very good open source online tool which allows you to do some very professional designs really quite easily. And then, of course, you can PDF and send them or you can, of course, print them out as well. So we're going to try to make that available. I think it's something the NRIs could actually adjust and adjust the text themselves and use for some of their own fundraising activities, or even just to promote, you know, activities. It really was a really great, great tool. So we're working to make sure that's available to -- available on the website as well. Is there anything else you wanted me to say, Chengetai? Wout, you have the floor.
>>WOUT de NATRIS: Yes. Thank you, Lynn. So just a comment. Just looking at Luis scrolling down the website, scrolling down, scrolling down with this message that the IGF needs funding, whoever gets there? Let's be honest. I've seen it and then that's it. But perhaps why not put up a message right up on the front page saying the IGF needs funding and explain in a few words why that is important to the world? Perhaps some people will notice without having to scroll down and go beyond the part -- the important messages. So just a suggestion. Thank you.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Thank you, Wout. Nigel has asked for the floor here as well. I'm going to recognize Nigel, but I also want to make sure that we're not slippery sliding into not using the online queue because it's not fair to those that are participating remotely. But given we're working our way up to the lunch hour and Nigel has come in recently, Nigel, you have the floor.
>>NIGEL HICKSON: Madam Chair, Nigel Hickson, ICANN. I do apologize. I'm not very good at online things. Just to comment on the -- on what's been said on the fundraising situation, I think you're right to reflect on it as you -- as you did. And clearly there's only so much that can be done on the website. There's only so much that can be done by IGF participants, and obviously it's -- it's really heartwarming to see that people are contributing, new people are coming on to contribute as well. But the funding gap is -- is still substantive.
I mean, we -- I was wondering whether at this juncture we ought to be looking, as I'm sure we always do, for friends and advocates and supporters, and one would hope that given the close relationship that the IGF has had with the U.N. high-level panel on digital cooperation and given that the IGF works with a number of other sort of bodies, et cetera, that we could -- we could do some -- we could do with some advocacy in that direction. I'm sure if the high-level panel is -- and this was, of course, reflected in the -- in the speeches in Paris, but if recommendations were made on the necessity of finding a more stable funding base for the IGF, I think that would be useful. Thank you.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Thank you, Nigel. Good comments. Arnold van Rhijn has asked for the floor again. We're hopeful he can be heard this time. Arnold, you have the floor.
>>ARNOLD VAN RHIJN: Hello, Lynn. Can you hear me?
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Yes, we can.
>>ARNOLD VAN RHIJN: Great. I hope technology will work, even if I'm in Geneva. I'm stuck right now in my hotel room as I'm waiting for my lost luggage to arrive. But anyhow, hope to see you all this afternoon. My name is Arnold van Rhijn from the Netherlands government and I'm a former MAG member. And I would like to pick up on this -- this donor issue, the funding issue.
I heard partly what has been said, but I would like to stress that the Netherlands government is supporting the IGF from the start. We have now been a long-term donor for five years until 2022 and donating each year 100,000 Euros, and we're still trying to continue our funding in the future.
Having reflected on what has been said, I think we have to be aware that some problems too to reach out to potential donors. And I heard what Jim Prendergast said about the issue of reaching out to the potential donors. It's a marketing problem, I think. There's lots of output coming out from the IGF meetings that we have to market those results. We have to reach out to the stakeholders and show them what -- what the discussion has come up with. And then finally ask them if they are able to, to fund, to donate to the IGF trust fund.
A second solution could be to bring the discussion to the national IGF. Those who are able to fund have a discussion with stakeholders at the national level and bring across the valuable work the IGF is doing, and hopefully there will be participants in the room, some were in the country, say hey, let's put some money in this. It's valuable work. And then I think whilst de Natris had made a point saying that it should be higher on the website, it should be more physical, what the -- the organizations who are funding the IGF are doing or what they are contributing.
It's hard work and I was really happy to be part of the working group on funding. And we can came up with a nice postcard. I brought along -- hopefully the suitcase will arrive soon. I brought along a couple of those, and I will distribute them this afternoon. We also came up with a high-level or champion letter, and I think our next work will be how we can distribute this letter to those who are interested to fund the IGF.
So in my view -- and it's up to the MAG to decide if this valuable working group on funding should have a next life, and we hopefully can get an agreement on that. And I will be -- if everything goes well, be part of that at 2:00. Thank you very much, Lynn, for this opportunity to speak, and I hope to meet you this afternoon in the Palais. Thank you.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Thank you, Arnold. And thank you very much to the Dutch government, too, for significant -- significant support and willingness to allow us to promote it so heavily as well.
I think with that we have one announcement before we break, and we'll break for the lunch break which, of course, is until 3:00. If people could come back timely so we can get started. We still have a full agenda this afternoon. There is one session at lunchtime which is an IGF donor's meeting from 1:30 to 2:30 in room 4, which is where?
>>CHENGETAI MASANGO: That way.
[ Laughter ]
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Which is in room 4. I guess we need to look at the UNOG map. So I want to thank everybody for the contributions this morning. As you always say, it doesn't end here in the room either. I mean, you can send notes and comments and suggestions. But when we come back we'd really like some kind of concrete suggestions on how we can improve. If there are some areas you think the IGF could reform in terms of some of its activities, then please identify that as well. This really is the opportunity to get all the suggestions out on the table. Really appreciate everybody's time here this morning. And let me just see if Daniela has anything she'd like to say at this point as well?
>>DANIELA BRONSTRUP: Yes, thank you. Maybe just for my side very briefly. Thank you all very much. I learned a lot. I will take that into account. Some of the things we already have in our heads a little bit, and maybe I will comment on that then tomorrow in more detail. Thank you very much. Especially also for those who commented already on our website, for example, and maybe we take onboard the fact that asking for donors could also be on our website. Thanks.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Thank you. Thank you, Daniela. All right. With that, this section of the meeting's adjourned. Thank you very much.
[ Lunch break ]
>>CHENGETAI MASANGO: Good afternoon, ladies and gentlemen. Welcome to the afternoon session of the open consultations for IGF for 2019. And we're about to start.
Okay. I'll give the floor over to our chair, Lynn St. Amour. Thank you.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Thank you, Chengetai. And welcome back, everybody. Thank you for being so timely.
This afternoon we have two major are sections to the agenda. The next two hours are meant to cover a continuation of this morning's session, the taking-stock review, and also invite comments and discussion on the IGF intersessional activities, specifically the BPFs, the dynamic coalitions, and the CENB and then also a discussion re NRI engagements and the IGF.
The last hour is set aside for updates from related Internet governance initiatives and processes followed by open discussion on possible IGF 2019 activities and collaboration. Normally there are quite a few organizations that actually want to come in on that section. So we would ask everybody to hold their comments to four or five minutes so that we can fit everybody in. It would be excellent if we had time to talk about what we might do with some of those going forward to 2019. If not, then, of course, that discussion will roll forward to the next two days.
As we -- maybe we could, just to make sure we have time to get through the intersessional activities, invite some comments on the intersessional activities now. Again, if people have submitted comments in taking stock, it would be good if you didn't repeat those but, in fact, added to them or, better, made some concrete suggestions for areas of improvement or things we ought to pay more attention to and how we might do that.
Many of our discussions go along the lines of we need to do more outreach, we need to do a better job of ensuring people understand the outputs we do have. We need to get beyond the royal "we" and start to get really specific and saying here's some of the things we propose, here's how it can be done, and here's who should be made responsible for doing that. I think we need to find a way over the next couple of days to get much more concrete, build a plan, build a roadmap, if you will, for drilling down into some of these activities.
So with that, let me open up the floor for comments on IGF intersessional activities. We have some co-facilitators, co-chairs, co-leaders for most of those activities that may want to come in with some specific statements. Or we can just go right to kind of an open mic, open community session. It's as people want. I see the speaking queue is empty, so I will give it a moment.
Otherwise, did we have anybody specifically on tap to give a readout of the activities, BPFs, DCs, CENB?
When Raquel comes back, I can ask her to do the CENB. But for the others?
>>CHENGETAI MASANGO: We just ask for volunteers.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: I did and the queue is empty.
Let me just ask specifically, is there anybody who wants to start a discussion on dynamic coalitions?
Jutta. Thank you, Jutta.
>>JUTTA CROLL: Thank you. I'm the co-chair for the dynamic coalitions, co-chair, co-coordinator I think is the perfect term, working together with Markus Kummer. So far I do think we have 19 dynamic coalitions, two new ones that started just at the IGF 2018.
And we have done a stocktaking session at the IGF in Paris and also we have had, I think, two calls afterwards to include as much dynamic coalitions as possible in the stocktaking. And, first of all, it's necessary to say that for the dynamic coalitions 2018, IGF was a bit different than it was in the years before. For the first time, we did organize a thematic main session focused on one theme where all the dynamic coalitions were asked to contribute to. And we did that in advance with doing an exercise where we related the work of the dynamic coalitions to the SDGs, finding out what the particular work in the dynamic coalitions has been doing in relation to the sustainable development goals.
In the end, I do think we had 11 dynamic coalitions who took part in that session. The session was really successful to the feeling of all the people that were involved from the dynamic coalitions but also it was very well-attended.
And for the first time, I do think that in this joined effort, the dynamic coalitions achieved to have more relation to the business sector, more people from the business sector, attended the session which was very beneficial also for the work of the dynamic coalitions.
Nonetheless, dynamic coalitions also felt that it would be good to have a session that is not only restricted to the 80 minutes. So if we would go to continue with this format, having it as a thematic main session organized by many or preferably all dynamic coalitions, then it should be a longer time slot just to give the dynamic coalitions enough space to present their own work. Because that was a little bit faint in that session, that the dynamic coalitions had only a very, very short slot to speak. And so for newcomers to the whole theme, it might be a little bit difficult to follow how broad the areas that the dynamic coalitions are doing their work in.
And now that we have two new dynamic coalitions, I've heard an announcement that there might be a 20th dynamic coalition this year. So that would just be too much to be organized in one session, we would say.
So I do think you can get the information also for the new MAG members on the work of all dynamic coalitions from the website for the Internet Governance Forum. And it's very important to mention that dynamic coalitions are open to everybody. So everybody -- any organization is welcome to work on the specific topics, and I do think that is also a great benefit of the work of the dynamic coalitions. Thank you.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Thank you, Jutta. That was very helpful.
Next in the queue we have Giacomo.
>>GIACOMO MAZZONE: Yes. Simply if you want me to say some words about the BPF because I see Wim is not here. As we discussed in the first conference call at the beginning of the year, the BPF on local content was much more animated than previous years, let's say. And we have been able to be involved in the discussion by subjects including some international -- international organizations that are interested directly in content, like UNESCO, WIPO, and the World Federation of Newspapers and Broadcasters Association, even from Africa and South America. So there has been a lot of participation around that.
And there is a strong interest to continue to this discussion because can bring some interesting fruits. There were some proposals that have been highlighted as interesting proposals that could benefit of follow-up in future, sort of -- this could bring a sort of branding for ideas that could be multistakeholder validated and on which could be useful to attract the attention of donors that could be interested in developing this kind of project.
And, also, there are other two paths forward this year continuing the activity. One year is about the universality indicators of UNESCO, that have a lot to see with content, where there is a lot to be improved in the current structure of the document.
And the second is about preservation of heritage and memory, digital memory, because we are seeing in the last (indiscernible) developments that even the memory of some digital issues is disappearing because of this attention, because of lack of funding, or simply because of deliberate political intention. So it is another aspect that need to be focused in the future.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Thank you, Giacomo.
Any other requests for the floor on dynamic coalitions? Any of the other three BPFs or the CENB just as Raquel walks in the room? I'll give her a moment to take her coat off.
Ben, Ben Wallis, you have the floor.
>>BEN WALLIS: Thank you, Lynn. I unfortunately also walked in late so I'm not quite sure I know what I'm doing.
I guess this is kicking off a discussion, this agenda point, to kind of get views on the DCs and the BPFs and the CENB.
And so I'm one of the co-conveners for the BPF on cybersecurity. I've updated the MAG before when we met three weeks ago on the details of our work in 2018. I won't go through that again but maybe to think about the challenges and opportunities from last year's work.
We had 16 responses to our call for contributions, and we didn't have any from governments. So we're keen to find ways to involve government more in our work this year, should we be rechartered. And so that's one of the reasons we've looked to the Paris call, which has at present 64 governments' signatories. That might bring governments into the work if we're using our BPF on cybersecurity in 2019 to contribute to how the Paris call is being taken forward.
We also tried to make an effort this year to work with NRIs, to find a way to involve NRIs and integrate their views into the BPF.
I'm not sure the way we did it was a success. We did it by having a kind of -- a separate call, meeting with the NRIs to rate the awareness of what we were doing this year. So that was a teleconference, a meeting. And then we had a separate call for inputs. We had one which was a general public call and one which was directed at the NRIs. And, obviously, Anja helped to get that out to the NRIs. But we didn't have any input back from the NRIs. So we would want to think again and working with the secretariat about other ways that we might be able to make sure we're making that linkage as best we can as the BPF.
And I'm sure there are many of our 250 mailing list members who are -- who are both NRI participants and global IGF participants. In that sense, we're getting national and regional perspectives. But we were trying to find a way to kind of make that linkage more formally through the definitive IGF processes. So maybe some reflections from our work last year. Thank you.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Thank you, Ben.
I think we all need to, as we both make these reports and listen to reports, think about what concretely we might suggest we do differently next year. And the BPFs have always been seen as a good way to reach out to other organizations and other entities who maybe aren't interested in the broad panoply of topics that take place at an IGF but are really quite expert and willing to drill deeper into some particular topics. And I think we need to talk about how that might happen. And maybe that actually becomes a critical part of a MAG's evaluation when they decide whether or not to recharter a BPF.
If we don't have a robust, concrete, specific outreach plan and on the back-end a plan for dissemination of the outputs, then I think we need to determine whether or not we really have the robust enough BPF or we figure out how to build and strengthen up the BPF.
So I say that not to pick on cybersecurity because I think it's doing some great work. I think we just need to keep challenging ourselves to be really concrete, saying specifically what does that mean is going to be done and who's going to do it. So thank you. Thank you, Ben.
I have Mark Carvell on the floor. Mark, you have the floor. I mean, in the queue.
>>MARK CARVELL: Yes, thank you, Lynn.
And, first of all, I just wanted to come in on that last point about the BPF and the Paris call. We are reflecting on this and anxious to know what other stakeholders feel about focusing some of the work of the BPF on security, on elements of the Paris call. I mean, is this something that the MAG is -- would be supportive of? In which case, we would certainly contribute as the U.K. government to the development of that in consultation with the chair next to me.
So we'll be interested to hear what other stakeholders feel about that, that specific issue of connecting the Paris call with this particular BPF.
My reason for taking the mic was to come back on dynamic coalitions. And here I always have a bit of a problem explaining this part of the matrix of intersessional activity because I never -- I am never really sure to what extent dynamic coalition outcomes feed into, for example, the messaging from the IGF. Is there some input there that relevant work of dynamic coalitions is created? Does it create that input into the outcome as IGF messaging? I'm never sure of that.
And I'm also never sure if there is some MAG direction -- maybe that's too heavy a word -- but "consultation," perhaps that's the right word, with dynamic coalition leaders as to the direction of their work and how the work of dynamic coalitions can progress issues that have been discussed in regular IGF sessions. Is there some linkage there to develop which would, in effect, integrate the dynamic coalitions more directly in the profile of the IGF and what we as supporters of the IGF can say as very productive, inclusive work, which is developed by experts working within a dynamic coalition contributing to very effective outputs which then can be recognized when we talk to interlocutors across the piece, stakeholder communities, other governments, IGOs, about the work of the IGF, if you follow my thread. Thank you.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: I think those are very thoughtful questions, Mark. I could respond to several of them off the top of my head. Jutta could respond, I'm sure, to all of them. Let's stick to the queue which is Anriette and Raquel and I will give Jutta a few moments to come back in and it's important to react to them realtime. Raquel, you have the floor.
>>RAQUEL GATTO: Thank you very much, Madam Chair. As per the mic, with the provocation around the CENB, just to provide an overview of our results over the past four years. But, also, I would take the opportunity later to comment on Mark's question regarding the focus on the Paris call.
But, first, on the connecting and enabling the next billion which is the major intersessional policy work or track that we have in the past four years, it started, if you remember, in 2015 as one of the opportunities for the IGF to bring more tangible results and outcomes and innovate in the sense of bringing this methodology that would build under identifying what are the policy questions, what are the policy recommendations for increasing access and from both a bottom-up, grassroots, crowdsources, and engaging streamlining from the inputs from the NIRs, the DCs, and the other BPFs, per se. This was, let's soya, the initial kickoff for this work.
Later in 2016, it has focused on the SDGs, the new goals within the U.N. language and the idea was also to streamline with the efforts that U.N. was doing in terms of increasing infrastructure, enabling users, and so on.
Later in 2017, the MAG has decided to focus into specific SDGs, also to bring more concrete results, and not only talk about the policy recommendations but what were the successful examples on the ground, the case studies and the examples that we could build on in advancing those SDGs.
And the three that were focused on were SDG 4 around education, SDG 5 around gender, and SDG 9 which is the one that has a particular target on Internet access.
And last year it was focused into, again, following the same path of looking into local and regional examples, into bringing more of this concrete initiatives into the -- what would build into the policy recommendations where the enablers were the barriers that put forward the SDGs. And it focused into four. So it's SDG 7, which is around energy. It's SDG 8 which is around jobs and the future of work in the digital environment, digital economy. SDG 9, again, because it has the closest link to the Internet access. And SDG 17 which is about partnerships and has the closest link to what we call here the multistakeholder approach.
And just to give some of the numbers over the past four years, we can -- we received more than 250 inputs. Only last year there were 14 cases submitted to this effort. So there is a pickup from the community, but there is still much room to grow.
As Lynn was mentioning, as we look now going forward, Mark's question and the future of the CENB, the IGF -- or the MAG can look more strategically into its program and its thematic approach. Focusing on the issues per se will bring this opportunity to deliver the results and not looking into all the directions. And the Paris call is a good example of something that can be picked up. It brings the values of the IGF as I was mentioning in my early comments as Internet Society. It really brings the values of we need to address those issues -- those complex issues around security together. And the IGF is the place to go to.
And if we can create major tracks that will -- we're not talking about workshops per se or the sessions per se but everything flows into -- and feeds into this major track, I think it would bring much more useful and focused discussions instead of diluting everything into many directions.
So I hope that makes an effort to report back. And I invite also -- there were others involved in the process, if they want to jump in. Thank you very much.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Thank you, Raquel. Appreciate your addressing the CENB and coming back to the Paris call as well because that was obviously a fairly significant event at the last IGF. We need to make sure we cover all the intersessional activities as well, but it is important to hear what the community actually thinks about the Paris call as well as the other notable high-level speeches. Again, not just those of the Secretary-General or President Macron, those across all of the sessions. They are all equally important.
Next in the queue we have Anriette. Anriette, you have the floor.
>>ANRIETTE ESTERHUYSEN: Thank you very much, Lynn. Anriette Esterhuysen here from Association for Progressive Communications.
I wanted to pick up on what Ben was saying about the cybersecurity best practice forum and also really endorse Raquel's comments.
It's fantastic that the BPF on cybersecurity already has a proposal out for us to look at. I want to commend everyone who's worked on that cybersecurity best practice forum. It's really well-coordinated, and I feel very proud to be part of it actually.
And I like very much the idea of the focus on the Paris call. I think it demonstrates how the IGF can link into existing processes, inform them, look at outputs, track participation, look at whether the principles in the call are actually being complied with, do they make sense. So it's a really good example of the role the IGF can play.
I would like also for us to consider looking at the U.N. General Assembly processes as well. So the open-ended working group earlier, we heard a speaker talk about it, the one initiated through the Russian resolution. But, also, the group of governmental experts that will be starting again.
I think if we can facilitate connection with the IGF community through the best practice forum, increase the dialogue or use the IGF to feed in participation into the discussion, I think that would be useful.
One weakness which we pointed out in our written submission -- it's not a weakness really but it's something we should build on -- is increasing government participation. I think Ben even mentioned the limited government participation.
So that would be something I really think the MAG should deliberate on. How can the IGF intersessional work include and communicate outward to governments more effectively?
Can there be briefings in Geneva with missions, for example, during the intersessional -- you know, during the preparatory process but intersessional briefings? Can we use the NRIs? I think we need to be proactive. But it's -- and I don't think we should feel that it violates the general multistakeholder approach for a best practice forum to reach out to certain stakeholder groups in a targeted way. So that really would be, you know, what I would like to add.
And then I really endorse Raquel's points but just one interesting observation about connecting the next billion. It's interesting to see how that intersessional stream has also productively interfaced with another which is the dynamic coalition on community and connectivity, which is ongoing and which is thriving. So I think, again, an example of how linking different intersessional streams can also be very productive.
I endorse everything that was said earlier this morning about marketing and communications, so I think that's really a key challenge for us this year. And to communicate and reach people more effectively with the outcomes on intersessional work. Thanks, Lynn.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Thank you, Anriette. Jutta, you have the floor.
>>JUTTA CROLL: Yes. Just to go back quickly to some of the questions raised by Mark Carvell. As I said before, it's one of the benefits of the dynamic coalitions is the breadth of the topics that are addressed by the dynamic coalitions. But it's obvious that it's somehow also difficult to bring all these different people back, mirror the diversity that we would like to achieve at the IGF, into a streamlined approach to feed into the messages from the IGF. So I do think this is a difficult process, but I also do think that with the session that we had at the IGF 2018 we did a very big step forward to achieve that goal. The session was named development, innovation and economic issues focus on the SDGs and also from the title you can see how the dynamic coalitions tried to find a very broad approach to the topics and also to cover all the aspects of the work of the different dynamic coalitions. So I do think this was a first step, and we will need to discuss with all the dynamic coalitions how we can improve that. I do see the need that the work of the dynamic coalitions is more related to that tangible output messages or however we call that from the IGF, but I do also think that it's necessary to keep in mind that it's -- it's a real benefit to the IGF that we have this broad diversity of actors, of stakeholders, and of topics.
And I would like to finish with one question to you, again, Mark, because I don't know what you mean with the differentiation of regular IGF sessions and dynamic coalition sessions. I do think dynamic coalition are also regular in the program of the IGF. Thank you.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Thank you, Jutta. I would suspect he was referring to the fact that how they make their way onto the agenda because the workshop submission process, of course, which follows a call is different than the route open forums take to be part of the agenda, than dynamic coalitions take, than NRI engagements take, and that's what the piece of work that was done two years ago by the secretariat, which actually was the kind of program component document and upgraded in the working group on NWP this year with some significant work by Timea and Susan to really graphically represent, showed all those different streams and their linkages. But I suspect that's all -- and (saying name) is shaking his head yes.
I'd like to ask Chengetai to just say a couple of comments with respect to what we did do this year to try and integrate the activities of DCs, BPFs, et cetera, into the messages, which is also Mark's question.
>>CHENGETAI MASANGO: Thank you, Lynn. First of all, I would just like to reiterate that the dynamic coalitions are independent entities. They are bottom-up and, you know, they need three stake -- three or more stakeholder groups to come together and form a dynamic coalition. They have to provide a work plan for the year and also provide a report to Eleonora who coordinates the dynamic coalitions within the secretariat. And they -- but that is how they are recognized by the IGF secretariat.
Further written output, since they did hold sessions at the main meeting and all the session holders were approached to provide messages or to provide little statements that can form part of the key messages, so there were -- the output was integrated into the key messages. And I'd like just also to say that the dynamic coalitions are evolving. I mean, towards our push for greater outputs, they are coming, you know -- producing reports which they did not necessarily do at the very beginning. There may be just doing research or activist work, but now they are producing reports and we are integrating them. They do provide source material for the Chairman's summary and also for the IGF messages.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Thank you, Chengetai. Melinda. Melinda Clem, you have the floor.
>>MELINDA CLEM: My name is Melinda Clem. I'm with Afilias. Together with NTIA from the U.S. Department of Commerce and VeriSign, we're the founding members of the newest DC, DCDNSI. We're looking at DNS issues. We had our inaugural meeting in Paris in November.
Our DC is designed to foster a multistakeholder discussion and issue resolution for DNS issues that complement but don't duplicate or in any way compete with the work that is undertaken with ICANN and the IETF. The first issue that we are tackling is known as universal acceptance, UA. And we're going to build on a tremendous body of work that's already been done by the universal acceptance steering group within ICANN.
So this DC and the UA is an imperative that directly aligns with the IGF mandate to help find solutions that arise from use and misuse of the Internet of particular concern to everyday users.
So we believe that something as fundamental as language should not be a barrier to using the Internet, and UA is about removing those technical barriers. And we are motivated by, you know, helping to mitigate a digital divide, providing the -- meeting the economic potential and benefit that comes with increased markets and having localized language in the Internet, and creating linguistic diversity.
Tomorrow at the end of the lunch session at 1345 we've been granted the opportunity to talk to you in a little bit more detail about this. We have some specific goals for this year, including a comprehensive survey of governance which is where we'd like to focus our efforts on raising awareness, making certain that everybody understands the need in their own government where they have the procurement ability to make changes and to make their web presence and emails and everything what we call UA ready. So we'll talk about that tomorrow and how we can increase our initiative, and hopefully we'll see all of you there.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Thank you, Melinda. And I think we were quite excited to welcome that new dynamic coalition at the Paris IGF. I know it was a little while in the thinking stage. Wout. Wout, you have the floor.
>>WOUT de NATRIS: Thank you, Lynn. I would like to go into the topic of outreach a little bit more. I've worked with the IGF secretariat as a consultant almost ancient history now, but I would like to share two different elements that I too pack as lessons which I think are still very important.
The first one is when you're working or for or with a prospectus forum or another special intersessional work, it's important to be able to be where the others are. And the others are the ones that are not involved. And my very -- I've been telling this a few years, but my example was that nobody was responding on the unsolicited communications second year to do anything. So the only thing I could do was reach out to the right people. And I traveled to Dublin to talk to anti-spam authorities who work together with message anti-abuse industry, and they actually said okay, we're going to be involved in this. And it resulted in a tremendous report. And then I'm going to be responding to Veni and to Roman and to Chris, all saying we have -- you have to go there. The other one said no, we have to bring them here. If that is a stalemate, that said the example from Roman in New York, then they will never come to the IGF and the other way around, we will never be there. So I have been discussing with the gentlemen of VeriSign behind me on lunch and they introduced the word "champion." So it's important to have the topic of cybersecurity or the other BPFs. Perhaps it's important to have somebody identified as a champion. Somebody who's able to say, I need to travel to wherever and make sure that there's a ticket and hotel so that he can make a presentation at the -- to the right people. And that will bring probably a lot of people in, just like they did with me.
The other one is that as a consultant or working with the BPF you have to identify the right signals. Somebody's perhaps pushing against something because it's different or because it's strange or because they're not used to discussing it with another stakeholder group. And my example of a tangible outcome and a success of the IGF is that the CSIRTs were not willing to talk with governments because the governments, despite they were gov SIRTs, or 50% of them, the government was the enemy. They perceived it as the enemy because they wanted information that would probably be used and they would never trust each other again. A year later they were working off my comments as a consultant, they were working with the OECD on a report on what CSIRTs actually do. Since then in the CSIRT community they have a government working group and are working together with governments and only because I kept pushing your issue is the governments don't know what you do. And they accepted that, and in the end it was in the report, which I was not allowed to write in for nine months, and in the tenth month it was in. And now they are working together, and they know exactly what each other's work is and they're not having an issue anymore, as far as I understand. So that's something which is seizing the moment.
So the thing is that, if you want to be a success as an IGF, the marketing word has been mentioned by Jim behind me already but it's being where you need to be, and then you can invite people to come within. If you wait for them, you will probably be ending until the end of the mandate and still wondering why they're not here. So one, try to find a champion for each BPF that's always able to do something extra. B, be where you need to be and make sure the message gets out. Why it's important, what they're missing out on, if near not there, because perhaps something is decided which you really wanted to be a part of to change. So that is probably the things that could actually make this IGF bigger, better, and more influential. Thank you.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Thank you, Wout. The speaking queue is empty at the moment. Daniela. Actually, it's not.
>>DANIELA BRONSTRUP: Thank you. I'll take the chance here just maybe to direct a little bit to what I've heard. Because I think one very good idea is to address people who could, let's say, do the marketing for the IGF. And what I've heard that, for example, the best practice fora could have briefing sessions for the missions. I think that, for example, is a very good idea because if you address the missions, then you can address the whole government. Not only one ministry, for example, but the whole government, and that will maybe be sort of a multiplier to address other stakeholders. So that, for example, is in my view a very concrete and very good idea to transfer or tell the knowledge that is discussed among all the expert in the fora, to transfer to other stakeholders that you would like to address.
And a second point maybe, we talk a little bit about how to address others and -- or how to focus. I think there are two sides of the same coin. Because if you try, for example, to reach out to the business sector and the small and medium-sized companies, they will ask, why should I come to the IGF. What can I learn there? For them, for example, if they are interested in, let's say, cybersecurity, it will be helpful for them to see in the program that they have a really -- a focused streamline of different sessions where they can learn more about cybersecurity. They can discuss both with experts and maybe we should have that also in mind when discussing later about the program. Thank you.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Thank you, Daniela. Was there anything -- I think those were some really good comments. And maybe at this point we could -- we still have sort of an hour for this session in which we could open it up a little bit and ask if there are -- very sorry -- any sort of specific ideas of major topics or major new pieces of work we should take on board. The CENB team said that they're not proposing a fifth phase of CENB. That was our major intersessional policy initiative. There might be another piece of work that we really want to drive across the community as a whole. That could be one year or multiyear. It could build off of the Paris call. Lots of conversations I've heard in the background have said there's this kind of emerging discussion on regulation, more regulations, regulation necessary, how can we make more use of soft policy instruments and move forward from soft policy instruments so that they have more impact. Is there a way to make some of the soft policy instruments we look at maybe more accountable? Are there activities underway to try and assess whether or not those soft policies were even signatories to the Paris call or, in fact, abiding by what's in the Paris call and what they're signing? Is there a set of best practice activities for kind of putting a soft policy process in place and then evaluating it or -- I'm just throwing out a bunch of ideas that I've heard from -- you know, from people kind of across the spectrum. More to make sure that we're picking our heads up and we're taking a more strategic longer term view of where the IGF could be helpful, where we can do some useful work.
We're a global forum. We're multistakeholder. Everybody has an equal voice to participate. There's very few barriers to participation. We either have the experts in our discussions or we should be able to easily tap them if we actually have a discussion that we can -- or a topic or a theme that we can get behind and construct.
This is the opportunity, really, for us to hear broadly and openly from the community. So, you know, in the next hour, if people have any thoughts on a major intersessional policy initiative, something you'd really like to see the IGF be much more ambitious in or active in, please put that out here. If you would like to share more thoughts on the Paris call, again on the secretary-general's comments at the IGF, President Macron's comments, comments from whatever sessions you participated in, that's the purpose of this session, is for us to learn from all the activities of 2018 and use that to shape a program going forward. And at the same time, we've heard multiple requests for a multiyear focus on at least a couple of themes and topics so that we can pull in new participants and really build out a really kind of thorough, thoughtful piece of work that typically we've had difficulty doing because we've been in these kind of 8- or 9-month windows. We get appointed in March, in November we're done. The three-month break we start over. We don't have that difficulty at the moment. Thankfully there are some people in the queue. So I will turn to Siva. And again, please, this is the community's time. Please tell us what you would like to discuss, what you would like the community to hear, and what you would actually like the MAG to hear as we go forward in our processes. Siva, you have the floor.
>>SIVASUBRAMANIAN MUTHUSAMY : One of the points that Wout was mentioning was that he was working on spam and then he set up a meeting with someone and with some establishments and took it forward and it became an action item, and there was another point that was mentioned that said governments do not know what the Civil Society group or the national IGF participants are doing a bunch of good work that they do. So the missing link here is that the discussions that take place in all the areas that come up in the IGF do not take on action items and are not followed up with policymakers in government and with business leaders and what is lacking is the connection. These steps are made by which resource persons of the IGF or people who can make connections, say with the BPF, who can connect the BPF to a company like Microsoft or a DC to a government and help them meet, set up conversations and help them move forward to make their ideas or their policy positions become actionable items. This is something that we could do toward the long term in the IGF. Thank you.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Thank you, Siva. It sounds like you're actually proposing that maybe there's a specific resource or a bureau or individuals that are tagged as a point that could go away and facilitate some of that happening. If that wasn't your point, maybe you can come back in -- come back in later. Paul? Paul Rowney, you have the floor.
>>PAUL ROWNEY: Thank you, Lynn. Paul Rowney, MAG member. I'm actually speaking in my capacity as a board member of AfICTA, the Africa ICT Alliance.
One of the things we have been thinking as an alliance of I.T. businesses is challenges in Africa. We hold a lot of the disconnected citizens. When we look at connecting and enabling the next billion, this has slowed down. We got 50% connected. So what are the real issues? How can we enable Africa to participate in the new digital economy?
So what we want to see or we'd like to see is more discussions around digital cooperation and inclusion. We have a high-level panel already on digital cooperation, so something that can feed off that.
What we sense is that through digital cooperation -- and this is global, continental, and regional cooperation, collaboration -- where we enable channels for exchange and access to technology, I.P., that can enable the different economies to grow and develop those skills. We live in an age where you don't physically have to be in the town or the city where you work. You can actually work anywhere. So if we have collaboration, cooperation where we can actually have graduates that become part of that global digital economy without having to move to become active members of that, but through that then we develop new skills that enable our economies and our countries to be true participants but also to bridge that gap.
We -- you know, the reasons people are disconnected is not a technical discussion. It's -- the technology exists. We don't have the infrastructure. We don't have the power, and often we don't have the political will or want to connect all of our citizens. So a lot of this can be addressed through enhanced global and continental and regional cooperation on these digital matters.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Thank you, Paul. Probably tomorrow we'll hear a little bit more about some of the resources Germany is putting to bear broadly on IGF activities of which they are putting some resources there for capacity development. And I would just ask Daniela if she wants to comment today or tomorrow in terms of maybe there are some things to pulling in there.
>>DANIELA BRONSTRUP: In fact, we have pledged money to make it easier for the Global South to participate.
But I would like to make a little bit of transfer to another forum, because we are talking about transfer also, and you maybe know that under the German presidency of the G20, 2017, that exactly -- I mean, connecting all the people in the world by 2025 was a special goal. And as we are still working inside the G20 on that issue, every input we get, how we could foster that any more is very welcome.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Thank you, Daniela.
Nigel, you have the floor.
>>NIGEL HICKSON: Thank you very much. And I managed to use the queue. I very, very impressed. I impressed myself. I mean, it's not very impressive. Every little thing has to be...
So Nigel Hickson, ICANN. Thanks very much for the opportunity to just say a couple of things. I must admit, I agree with a lot that Paul said in his intervention just now. We took the opportunity of replying to the stocktaking exercise, which I must admit we always find very useful.
It's a very good vehicle, I think, for trying to collect one's thoughts after an IGF, both in terms of what has taken place at the IGF and looking forward to what you might want to see in future IGFs.
And I think for ICANN -- and I'm sure for many others -- the IGF in Paris was significant. It was significant in several ways of having such high-profile participation from the platform, so to speak.
But it was also, I think, very -- it was an ambitious IGF. It followed on from the IGF that was staged here in Geneva obviously, which the Swiss put an awful lot of effort into and was successful in bringing new stakeholders to the participation of the IGF.
So along with -- along with Geneva and Paris, we obviously look forward to Berlin.
And it's there that I think we need to -- and so we now have the opportunity of, if you'd like, taking stock and deciding how we go forward. And I think the one -- well, there were several significant messages that came out of Paris in terms of the Macron -- the speech by President Macron and also by the U.N. Secretary-General.
And, indeed, Lynn, you mentioned this whole notion of regulation and soft lore and hard lore and how that is taken forward and is there a middle ground between the sort of business approach and the multilateral approach advocated by some governments. And that is -- that is something that could be looked at.
But the one -- the one issue we focused on in our response to stocktaking is the -- is the issue of taking forward an issue, taking forward something that the MAG can agree on in a multiyear strategic framework, or call it what you will, and can really produce some type of recommendations, some type of conclusions on, whether it be in a 12-month period, whether it be a 18-month period or a 24-month period. And I think we have the opportunity to do that.
We had the call by the Secretary-General for the IGF to be more action oriented, and I think this is the opportunity with the report from the multiyear strategic working group that we should be able to move on, identify something which people can, if you would like, buy into, that there's a multitude of views on and really work on it both intersessionally and at the next IGF and then perhaps intersessionally again before the IGF in 2020.
But I do think -- I do think we need to be able to take something forward along those lines. And the only other point I would make is in relation to the High-Level Panel on Digital Cooperation and the -- and the synergy as has been alluded to there and the opportunity for the IGF to really input into that panel. And I know there's already been some, if you'd like, cross-dialogue.
But I do think that coming out of this meeting this week some important messages could be taken back to the panel. After all, this IGF is a mechanism, is an example of where all stakeholders can come together and express views. And that's just so important to keep. Thank you.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Thank you, Nigel.
Wout, you have the floor.
>>WOUT DE NATRIS: Thank you, Lynn. Just as an idea for best practice fora in the future, I would like to pose two ideas. One is on consolidation. Already mentioned this morning the session we had with IETF, reach out to the IGF community, most people in the room agreed that consolidation on the Internet is really changing how the Internet works, how the influences on the Internet change. And that is something which the technical community but also the people present thought very important to discuss more in-depth into 2019.
The other one is perhaps a bit newer. But with everything being connected to everything, more and more data is being generated that is being put into something, repository of companies or governments or whatever around the world. How are we going to make sure that the data is going to be used for good? So data from self-driving cars could actually also tell us something perhaps about health issues or about whatever. The other way around, something from health could also tell us something about education perhaps.
So how can these data be brought to the right researchers, the right academia, right companies so that also new things can be invented for the world? So how -- as a topic, how does a smart anything be used to make a world even smarter and more intelligent? But it's who owns data? Who is allowed to look into data? And how can we actually make that happen? And what parties are needed to discuss this in a sensible way? Are there already initiatives around the world others can learn from? So that is something that actually may take the world a lot further and make the IGF also interesting to a lot of parties to participate in.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Thank you, Wout. Those are both big topics.
Helani, you have the floor.
>>HELANI GALPAYA: Thank you, Lynn. My apologies for not being in Geneva in person. This is Helani Galpaya.
I would very much agree with some of the speakers. Particularly, I think Nigel touched on sort of multiyear work program.
I would like to suggest we pick a multiyear work program but almost maybe is too controversial. We are sitting, worrying about, you know, what outcomes and outputs the IGF produces. We shouldn't be talking about, you know, problems that are easy to solve. And we should use a multiyear work program to bring together people at other fora. And that's also been talked about, whether we go to them or they come to us.
So, you know, if we address, like, crucial issues such as the fragmentation of the Internet, which could be labeled as fragmentation, could be labeled as global governance versus nation state governance and dominance over the Internet.
We pick a label that people can't ignore. Nothing as nice as "Open Internet for All." You put a label that gets attention. Design maybe a two- to three-year work program and really incorporate into that ways to get other existing groups, fora initiatives like the Commission on Stability, the Internet and security working groups, and so on and so forth.
This could really not only sort of, you know, focus attention on the issue of governance of the Internet, which is what the IGF is supposed to be about, but really sort of, you know, make IGF a place that all these other groups and other fora also feel they should be at. So we could possibly design it in both ways. So look at this as a marketing opportunity as well as a meaningful way to, you know, engage in a particular topic. So get the attention of all stakeholders. Thanks.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Thank you, Helani.
Mark Carvell, you have the floor.
>>MARK CARVELL: Yes, thank you, Lynn. Mark Carvell, U.K. government.
I just wanted to pick up, first of all, on the high-level panel and the IGF focus on that following on from Nigel Hickson's comments, I guess. Because I assume that there will be a substantial amount of work coming in the direction of the IGF. And, in fact, there's a useful coincidence with the conclusion of connecting and enabling access for the next billion work over the last four years, having looked at barriers, solutions, and recently showcased examples in the last phase of the work. I think that feeds into one element of the high-level panel's work.
So when its report emerges in May, I would hope that the MAG would be ready to hit the ground running with that and pick up the outcomes from the high-level panel and welcome that intersessionally with consultations with stakeholders as necessary.
So in terms of workload, it could be quite substantial, I think, for the IGF community and the MAG in particular in organizing how it picks up effectively the report and recommendations of the High-Level Panel on Digital Cooperation.
My second point is about also one point that the Secretary-General made in his address at the IGF in Paris about trust and the Internet. To quote, he said, "I encourage you to focus especially on innovative solutions that can increase trust on the Internet. There are many digital risks, but some of them could be turned into digital opportunities," end of quote.
That resonates with us in the U.K. government because we are developing proposals which some of you may be well aware of which will come through in a white paper that the U.K. government will propose on nine harms in addressing the issue of how to make the Internet safer -- a safer place to be.
We've been through two phases of public consultation on this over the last year or so. And as I say, we'll be coming through with proposals in a white paper in the near future.
And I really support the proposal that the IGF should pick up on this issue of trust, of making the Internet a safer place to be, whether you're an individual, a child, or a business starting up, how to approach this and acknowledge the risks are being addressed and mitigated.
And the IGF can contribute a lot to that increasing awareness of how to deal with risk and combat it and generally make the Internet safer. Thank you.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Thank you, Mark. Some very interesting and very useful comments.
With some trepidation, I'm tempted to say I'm not sure we all know what to expect with the HLPDC report, what its standing is. I mean, I would guess that the Secretary-General can choose to release it or not release it. I don't know what standing it has with member states or so. I think there's still a lot of steps that need to play out.
And I just want to make sure that people aren't thinking that in May comes a report and possibly expecting there's direction to the IGF that we need to begin implementing or reacting to. I'm not -- I'm not sure. I don't know enough. I don't want to put either Wai-Min or Chengetai on the spot in terms of adding anything.
>>CHENGETAI MASANGO: The only sure thing is that the high-level panel has to deliver a report to the Secretary-General. So what the Secretary-General does with that report, it's up to him. He may, you know, submit it to the G.A. He may submit it to the U.N. system. It's totally up to him. And it also depends on the contents of the report.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: I think my big take-away from a lot of those discussions is that, as we've heard the Secretary-General say in virtually every one of his speeches for the last two years, they talk about frontier technologies within the U.N., artificial intelligence, Internet of Things, big data, virtual reality, cybersecurity. And, you know, the concern about whether or not collectively the world is doing enough to address those, whether or not the U.N. is doing as much as it can and is structured to address them as well as they can and he equally has a real concern on that.
And he said in his speech in Davos, you know, as the world becomes more consolidated -- the problems are becoming more consolidated but the solutions are becoming more fragmented.
So, you know, I think -- and I think we all see that. We all see those sort of pressures stepping up. There are more and more full forums. There are more soft policy instruments. There are more norms. There's more packages. There's an open-ended working group. And there's a GGE. Working Group on Enhanced Cooperation that didn't manage to deliver a report last year. There's a whole host of pressures.
What I think we need to keep focused on in the IGF is what can we do to help advance those international Internet public policy issues and I think not expect a silver bullet or a directional bullet to come out in May from the HLPDC. I don't think you were saying that, but I just want to try and set a little bit of a level playing field here that I think we all need to keep putting our best game forward being as kind of, I don't know, aggressive or forward-looking as we can about the things we can do within and across the IGF ecosystem and, frankly, deal with that and look at the output of the HLPDC when it comes out, which is probably substantially later in the year.
I mean, I don't know necessarily that it will be May with a lot of conclusion of what we might do but maybe.
I want to turn the floor to Daniela for a few minutes with maybe another question or two as we start to move in afterwards into the final agenda item of the day. So this would be your opportunity to respond to Daniela's questions here or again, if there are any other items that are top of mind that you would like to put forward, please, this is your opportunity. Thank you. Daniela.
>>DANIELA BRONSTRUP: Yes. Thank you, Lynn. Basically I'm here today also to learn. And I would just like to ask the question, what are your special expectations you have when you are looking forward to Berlin in November 2019? How should the IGF in Berlin be so that you would say afterwards so that was a good one and that reached my expectations? Do you have special advice you would like to give that now today I think is the good opportunity to give that to us. Thank you.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Thank you, Daniela. I'm tempted to say I think it was Nitin who said there are only two types of U.N. conferences, successful and very successful.
[ Laughter ]
>>DANIELA BRONSTRUP: So very, very successful.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: So you're starting from a good platform. Anybody who wants to comment on that? Of course, we've had a lot of comments and suggestions through the stocktaking and through the discussion today, but any specific? Krzysztof.
>>KRZYSZTOF SZUBERT: Yes. A few comments before I will get to the idea for building maybe. First question or a suggestion may be to what is our intention and ambition as MAG members for the future? If you would like to be and stay as a kind of organizer of IGF forum and intersessional different activities or we would like to be something more in the future and deliver much more maybe value to the Secretary-General because if you look at them, the MAG website, there is very clearly said the information that the purpose of MAG is to advise the Secretary-General of the program and schedule of the Internet governance for meetings. So maybe if we would be able to deliver some more value, we might be able also to get much closer, I would say, contact with the Secretary-General. Because the topics are obvious that they are extremely important. They are on the World Economic Forum. They are in many places. They are visible right now. But maybe if we're delivering much more, we would position ourself much higher. The Secretary-General could be much closer for us. I mean, at least meet with us once a year or something like this, just to show that we are really bringing a value.
Also, I think that from the United Nations' perspective, because as MAG members or as IGF we have in our, let's say, portfolio, probably one of the strongest logo types in the world, yes, United Nations logo type. So I think we had some comments or questions on the PR. Maybe we can use it on the look for more synergies and much better way. Because I just checked on the Twitter the number of followers on the IGF forum which is around 7,000 followers. If we look at the -- on the UNDESA, it's 77,000 followers. On the United Nations 11 million. So if maybe we would try to look at that type of synergies without big investments, even to be able to publish there some kind of very important news, I don't know, news that the social media channels which are in place in much better way that maybe will be much easier for us for the future.
And the third comment would be on the high-level panel, to really understand for now and for the future our role against the high-level panel. If we are like delivering additional information, we are more complementary group to them, or we are a little bit like competing on different levels, just to understand where we are going quick with this subject.
And very shortly on the -- on (indiscernible) and that topic. So in my opinion we've done it in Poland two years ago and last year that we are not really concentrating on our IGF -- regional IGF on the Internet governance, which is quite technical in the end. We are much more focused on different technologies which are on Internet, like mentioned Internet of Things, automatic driving, all the new technologies which are basically within the biggest -- biggest European strategy, which is digital single market. Most of the topics are technologies are mentioned there. So we are discussing in Poland, for example, in our region the topics which are from that portfolio, like blockchain, artificial intelligence, algorithms, rolloff platform, taxations for the digital space, and stuff like this. Many different topics around, and I think from my perspective it's extremely important for the future to have a common idea for that. And also from the governance perspective but not the Internet governance but how the digital transformation should be governed in different state levels and also high like on the European Commission level, for example. Because we had this discussions a couple of weeks ago just we're in front of the European elections in May, that maybe there's also some idea how we would like to see it for the future because what I see have more and more, in Europe, digital commissioners touching digital space. Yes? Actually we have Commissioner Gabriel and Commissioner Ansip, but there are much more players and then they are -- and it's very difficult also on the government level to really be sure that we are controlling everything or we are on the same page on the levels -- on the state level, on the government's level. But it's a couple of ideas maybe for -- not for now but maybe for later today or tomorrow. Thank you.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Thank you very much for jumping in. I'll answer the HLPDC. I'll at least start it and turn it to Chengetai. So the HLPDC is a defined -- mandated and a defined term. It's not an ongoing activity or a panel or a committee. It will stop once it delivers its paper to the Secretary-General, which is due in May. I don't think they were meant to be competing at all in that sense. It really was to address a very specific set of questions that the Secretary-General was, as I understand it, asking himself about frontier technologies and digital impact across the U.N. system broadly. And I think looking to understand what more the U.N. system might do across those activities and within its own structure to again help advance, you know, those complex issues.
But as Chengetai was actually there and secretariat for a period of time, let me see if he wants to correct anything or add anything.
>>CHENGETAI MASANGO: No, no, that's correct. There's -- I mean, the HLPDC is not in competition with the IGF. And they've got a mandate for a year and they have to produce a report after that answering the questions that Lynn just said.
We are supposed to have somebody from the secretariat come between 5:00 and 6:00 in any case here to give us an update. So maybe we can hold off those questions until they come? I'm just checking up to see -- confirming that they're coming.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Thank you, Chengetai. And thank you, Krzysztof. They're good questions. Is Susan Chalmers in the queue? Susan, you have the floor.
>>SUSAN CHALMERS: Good afternoon. My name is Susan Chalmers, and I'm speaking on behalf of the U.S. today. But I will be speaking on behalf -- or as a MAG member for the next coming days. Just in response to your question, Dr. Bronstrup, thank you, first, for asking that during the open consultations. I think it's an excellent gesture on behalf of the host to really invite comment from the community. I'll just be very brief. I think one thing that we would support as a priority for Berlin would be the engagement of senior level officials from the governments and also companies in the private sector. I kind of giggled earlier. I noticed that the transcription came through not as medium-sized companies but as yum-sized companies. So if we can -- if we could bring those companies in, that would be excellent, and that's all I will say for now. Thank you.
>>DANIELA BRONSTRUP: Yes. Thank you, Susan. In fact, that's certainly due to the fact that I'm always a little bit too fast while speaking. I'll try to be slower. And yes, indeed I appreciate very much that you mentioned senior level meetings. We are thinking ourselves about how to bring senior level people from all stakeholder groups to Berlin. And as I said this morning, we are taking example from, for example, the French colleagues who also had a high-level -- a high political level meeting, but what we are thinking about now is not only had have a high-level political meeting but have high levels from all parts of society. Thanks.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Thank you, Susan. I think the "yum" comment was actually attributed to Timea as well. So when we correct yum maybe we can put Daniela's name in.
Norbert. Norbert, you have the floor.
>>NORBERT BALLOW: I wanted to throw out an idea which is in reaction to some of the comments made recently about maybe having something that is a little bit provocative as a word to your activity. And I'm proposing governance of the digital transformation. I think from my Civil Society perspective it's something that really needs to be looked at and that really needs some real governance, and once we throw that out, I don't think this term really exists yet. Maybe I just don't know about it. But I think it's something where the IGF process could leave a mark. Thank you.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Thank you, Norbert. I think particularly at this stage in our deliberations provocative is good. Out-of-the-box thinking is good. New suggestions, new ideas are all good. There's nobody else in the queue at the moment. I was trying to see if there were any other questions that have come up in the conversation that we want to route back to, but Daniela, did you have --
>>DANIELA BRONSTRUP: Yeah, coming back to the provocative question, if there's something like governance of the digital information, I think there are a lot of fora talking about digitalization and basically then it's always sort of governance of digitalization. But there was also the idea of having data more as a priority subject. And I think that's a very interesting idea because if we are thinking about digitalization we always talk about data and how to use data and who can use data and in what context and with consent or without consent and all the debates we have, and that's a very important part of digital governance, in my view. As I found that very interesting idea to have data more also as a sort of a headline, I wonder what -- what you think about that idea.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: I can let that percolate for a moment and then I'm going to give Anja a heads up. I'm guessing that you're probably going to walk us through NRI engagements in the IGF in a moment. But I think Krzysztof wanted to speak and Mary, and then we'll go to you, Anja, for the NRIs. Krzysztof.
>>KRZYSZTOF SZUBERT: -- on data because in the end that's true, that we're talking about any technology and then we're talking about data. On the European level, we have since two years this free flow of data initiative about non-personal data, so maybe this might be the good topic to share. Not only in the respect of the European Union but much wider. Like couple of days ago there was an interesting agreement between European Union and Japan of exchanging data. So maybe that might be the model we could talk about in much more -- in much more -- in details.
And the second question on the governance, in a very different way how to show how the different -- different states are dealing with this subject because we have very different models. For example, in Poland we have the minister of digital affairs which is quite unique. In Germany we have a Secretary of State, very close to the councillor office, or actually in the councillor office. And in different councillors like Denmark we have a digital ambassador which is doing kind of a more PR but also business job in the end. So there are very different model, and would be also very interesting to have a session, maybe high-level session, to share different models, how different countries are dealing with the subject and what are the ideas for the future we can maybe use in different countries. Thank you
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Thank you, Krzysztof. Some interesting ideas. Mary, you have the floor.
>>MARY UDUMA: All right. My name is Mary Uduma from Nigeria. Mine is a very straightforward and, you know, a concrete proposal. We've been talking about high level. I want to talk about low level. Low level inclusion in Germany. I want to see that there's inclusion interpretation to those that were not here and, you know, those that have physical disability. So that's one of the things. Let this IGF be more inclusive than what I've seen other IGFs. Thank you.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: That's very important, Mary.
>>DANIELA BRONSTRUP: Indeed it is. We already discussed the topic over lunch a little bit. For example, the site we have chosen in Berlin is an inclusive one in that sense. So you can -- yeah, you can try it even if you're a disabled person, for example. So we had a focus on that issue as well when we have chosen the venue. And as I mentioned before, we are trying to be inclusive in the sense that we would try to reach out to all the people that are not yet in that sense addressed by our community. And concerning the Global South, we have the funds to make really a low-level threshold to join.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Thank you, Mary. Very, very good point. The queue is empty on those set of questions. Let's move to Anja. Was waiting for you to put up your hand and if not, I thought I'd just invite you to jump in on the NRIs and, of course, it's an open discussion for the community as well. Anja.
>>ANJA GENGO: I will just speak a bit broader maybe about -- very briefly about the nature of the NRIs for the record in case maybe there are some stakeholders present here that they're not familiar with the nature of the national, regional, and subregional IGF's.
So as you know, the Tunis Agenda did not call for the information of the IGF processes on national, regional, and subregional levels. However, it did call for the engagement of stakeholders on those levels and prioritized it. The many communities starting from 2006 recognized that the needs that their communities should have a process to discuss Internet governance pertaining matters relevant for their communities. So in that sense they started spontaneously to organize their own IGF processes. And since 2006, up until this very present moment, there are 112 recognized national, regional, and subregional IGFs that are very active. But obviously not everything is about the quantity. Quality is very important of the process, and we are very fortunate to say that there are so many processes that are going through the reforming phase of their processes in order to become more advanced when it comes about the application of the multistakeholder and bottom-up principle in an open and inclusive, transparent and non-commercial environment.
The IGF secretariat has been having a very good collaboration and communication with all the NRIs ever since their beginning, and thanks to the NRIs they've entrusted the secretariat to run the impartial recognition process of the NRIs based on the core IGF principles that the NRIs adhere to, which is what I have just mentioned, that they are multistakeholder in their organization, and the way how they conduct the process, that they are bottom-up which means that the process is requested and led by the community primarily. They are open to everyone, fully inclusive of all views, of all stakeholders, transparent in their work and, of course, their work is noncommercial.
The -- since 2016 the MAG, first of all, has agreed that the NRIs should have a main session hosted at the meeting, primarily because it would bring visibility to the valuable work of the NRIs collectively. But also, of course, bring value to the IGF as the NRIs are very valuable partners in bringing local perspectives to the global level.
So since 2006 up to 2018 the NRIs were organizing the main session, and that is one of the concrete ways of integrating the network collectively in the IGF program. Aside of the main session, they also have been organizing for the past two years the so-called collaborative sessions where a number of NRIs from different regions are partnering on the topic of mutual interest and are addressing it at the global annual meeting of them -- of the IGF.
Last year more than at that time 109 NRIs worked on organizing the main section that was focusing on the evolution of Internet governance, specifically it focused on the multistakeholder approach. They were working in collaboration with the MAG members, respecting the NRI's working modalities. And I have to say that all the indicators are showing that that session was very successful. One primarily I'm referring to the references came through the taking stock process, but also I'm referring to the full room at the -- at Paris in the room where we were hosting the session.
Aside from the fact that they are integrated to the annual IGF actually program, as I said, our collaboration goes beyond just having the NRIs working on a number of sessions to be presented at the annual meeting.
We are trying to learn, one, from each other about how to advance the process and make it more effective and more relevant for the levels that we are primarily working on. I will leave maybe to the NRIs -- a number of them are present in this room -- to give feedback, first of all, on that process.
But just maybe to illustrate that collaboration, how it is shaping, for example, I will mention the NRI toolkit which was the document that was produced collectively by the NRIs in a bottom-up manner and it, first of all, outlined the key principles and procedures that the -- all IGFs, regardless of the level they're organized at are adhering to. It is the very first document that was translated to all six U.N. languages thanks to the voluntary contributions of the NRIs.
In this year, there are a number of plans, first of all, how to work together and how to strengthen the ecosystem of the Internet governance together. On Wednesday, during the lunch break, we will have a dedicated session to the 2019 work of the NRIs. But maybe just to bring attention to that work, I can just say that most probably the NRIs collectively will work again on organizing joint sessions to be presented in Berlin at the annual meeting. But also on a number of publications, there will be -- first of all, a reference to the process will be produced that hopefully will be of help to the wider IGF ecosystem. Thank you.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Thank you, Anja.
I'm not sure if Anja mentioned when she first started speaking but she's the NRI focal point within the secretariat. Well-known to many here but maybe not to everybody.
So I'd like comments on this particular item, NRI engagements and the IGF, either from NRI representatives or community members in general. Questions? Areas for improvement? Successes? Again, this is the open mic, the community portion. So it's whatever's on your mind.
>>ANJA GENGO: Yes, maybe some of the colleagues that are present here, representing the NRIs that are also the MAG members can speak. But I just wanted to refer to the intersessional work and that connection between the NRIs and the intersessional work, primarily the best practice forums and connecting and enabling the next billion.
Since 2015, we were very carefully tracking the contributions that are coming from the NRIs to the intersessional work. And it is true that maybe the quantity of contributions has changed, and I think that's due to the fact that the work of the NRIs on this global level has become more intensive. That means that more time was dedicated to that collective work, and we just lacked time for contributing to the intersessional work. But, still, they are the biggest -- their communities are the biggest contributors to the best practice forums and connecting and enabling the next billion.
And if you look at the -- I think the colleagues, the co-facilitators for the BPFs and CENB will confirm that even the proposals and the structures of those BPFs and CENB always lean on the inputs from the NRIs as those grassroots, bottom-up inputs that are coming.
I think it's worth for the community to discuss the most effective ways of how to channel those inputs from the local levels to the global level without asking the NRIs to spend much time on filling out questionnaires or spending time on calls and so on because I just think that the time is definitely a luxury that's not on the NRIs' side given the fact that we are collectively working. That's requires a lot of time. And, of course, just the NRIs' work is on a voluntary basis. So that also requires time.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: I think that's an excellent point, Anja. I mean, of course, the global IGF or the IGF ecosystem activities are enriched by input from the NRIs and hopefully the NRIs are enriched by those activities the other way.
I think we do need to find ways to both increase the integration without increasing the workload. And I think that should be something that we try and look at collectively, certainly within the NRI network, as well as any thoughts from the community or the MAG as well. It's clear that the NRIs are just a really critical component of the IGF ecosystem.
And the ideas that might come up through the IGF annual meeting or through the IGF intersessional activities have a really natural home in the NRIs where they can actually be tailored and then implemented as appropriate for the local environment. So I think it's really important that we find a way to make that bandwidth sort of as full as we can, as robust as we can but also pay attention to the workload.
Yes, thank you. Titi is in the queue first. And then, Paul, we'll come to you.
>>CONCETTINA CASSA: So I want just to tell you about the Italy IGF we had this year. It was a quite successful event because actually it's a three-day event. And then we for first time in Italy, we actually run completely bottom-up process. And we did the agenda considering the workshop proposal that we received from the Italian community, our workshop proposal that lasted for two months.
And it was a good event also because on Day 0, it was completely focused on youth people. We had the participation of a lot of classes from (saying name) in Rome. There was a lot of interest from young people. So we actually -- we were very, very, I mean, proud of the Italian IGF.
And we also published a report seeing the main results that had been discussed. And the report has also been sent to Anja and is available on the NRI section of IGF website. Thank you.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Thank you, Titi.
Paul, Paul Rowney, you have the floor.
>>PAUL ROWNEY: Thank you. I managed to get in the queue again.
Just to reiterate what Anja said, just to also state, I'm with the Namibian IGF as one of the coordinators. I think we all recognize the value of the NRIs in the process.
And I'm happy to hear what Ben said, that there's an outreach from some of the BPFs to try and get the NRIs involved. I think we should expand on that, and I think it's quite important to have that engagement. Everybody in the NRIs are busy because they have full-time jobs. It's all voluntary. The MAG is also.
I'm happy to hear from German colleagues that they are making provisions to bring people that could not afford to come to the IGF. So it would be good -- one of the challenges that a lot of the IGFs have is actually participating in person at these global events. And we have a lot of grassroots expertise that the whole community would benefit from if they're present. And they can get on to workshops, speakers, et cetera, et cetera.
So there's a massive contribution that the NRIs can bring to the global IGF and any effort that we can entertain to engage them deeper in the entire process, not just the three or four days but through the entire process, I think would be beneficial. Thank you.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Thank you, Paul.
Do you want to come in? Sorry. I was on mute.
I want to recognize Chenai Chair, and thank her for coming in. It's a new voice, first time to address the MAG or the community here. So welcome.
>>CHENAI CHAIR: Thank you very much, Chair. My name is Chenai Chair from Research ICT Africa. I would like to speak in the capacity of the community as part of youth community/academia/just involved in everything.
I think -- I just want to reflect from the perspective of NRIs and the work that they do from an African perspective and how they can contribute to the overall Internet governance program, especially linking it to young people's participation which I've seen has been identified as a very important aspect in getting all of the young people into the room.
I think just looking at the website and tracking of events that the NRI does and the reports they produce, is there a way that perhaps in the marketing that we've been talking about and facilitating participation we could actually take into account the kind of activities that NRIs do over the period of the year? I do understand it's a voluntary work.
But what I found interesting is that most of the time you learn about these initiatives two months before your national or regional IGF, two months if you're lucky.
So I think my biggest criticism as a young person trying to participate in these spaces, my first point is to look at the national initiatives. And I would want to figure out what it is they are doing and how then I can participate in the global IGF. So I'm just wondering if there could be a potential way of assessing the activities that are done over the period of a year and maybe that would be a starting intervention of having more participation from young people without necessarily them coming to Berlin but maybe participation from their remote spaces.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Thank you. Those are very good points. And thank you for explicitly bringing youth into the discussion here because, of course, it's been very important to the MAG and the IGF community for many years and have had a number of activities undertaken to increase participation of youth. But I don't believe that it has actually been explicitly mentioned up to this point. So thank you. Thank you.
Anja, is there anything you want to follow up or add to that specifically?
>>ANJA GENGO: Just briefly to thank Chenai for a very good suggestion. And I was actually totally surprised last year by so many emails from the stakeholders that I thought that maybe don't traditionally follow the collective NRIs' activities bout -- that go in the same spirit as Chenai said, where they, first of all, would like to be aware of the processes and meetings that are happening much before than they are announced on the list, for example, when we are announcing them very close to the meeting as some kind of a reminder because the assumption is that the stakeholders interested in the NRIs' work can see this relevant information on the calendar that's available on the IGF website.
So maybe some kind of a newsletter on that could be adopted as a practice. That could be sent on a monthly basis. That's something that the NRIs were discussing as an objective for this year.
But I also think that this question could be referred to the colleagues representing here, the NRIs, because it also relates to the outreach and how the process is open and promoted from the side of the national and regional organizing committees to people that are obviously interested to be part of these processes.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Thank you, Anja.
Mark, Mark Carvell, you have the floor.
>>MARK CARVELL: Thank you, Chair. Mark Carvell speaking now really as a member of the steering committee of the U.K. IGF. I just wanted to make a couple of points, first of all, to underline that we support the integration of national, regional, and subregional IGFs into the work planning and the program of the IGF. It does provide that valuable linkage down to communities at the local level across the world and bottom-up for those communities to contribute to the IGF at the global level. So it's a very important evolutionary aspect of the IGF that this has happened. And all credit to Anja and the team for coordinating inputs from, what is it, over 100 -- I forget the exact number -- 115 IGFs worldwide. That is a huge, huge operation, quite a challenge.
And it does throw up some challenges because, for example, the U.K. IGF traditionally meets with one event close to the global IGF. It was really designed originally back in 2007 as a preparatory phase for U.K. stakeholders as they get ready for the global IGF.
And so our sort of time line, if you'd like, is skewed towards the timing of the global IGF event. And, of course, for maximizing interaction, you need a much earlier stage and process, a regular process, of engagement.
And the idea of a newsletter out to the NRIs I think is very useful because actually it will help us as we gear up U.K. stakeholders early in the year to the time line leading up to the global IGF. Whereas, in the past, we've tended to leave it quite much later in the year. And that helps also with the BPF processes because I'm sure the U.K. IGF could do a lot more actually in contributing to the BPF tracks earlier in the time line than we have done in the past.
So I just highlight that that is an example of how this community of NRIs is quite diverse and the fora themselves are diverse in terms of main themes and topics. For some, they will be very locally based issues which might not be directly relevant to what's happening at the global level, the bigger picture, if you'd like, within each NRI operates.
So I guess what I'm saying is we're unleashing the potential and we have to work on the mechanics and the logistics for realizing that potential over the year.
And one key aspect is understanding clearly at an early stage what are the main themes of the global IGF. And I think we're expecting this to be much earlier available to us next year so that the local communities can focus on what the main themes are at the global IGF and then through their interaction as part of the NRI community, they can then contribute and commit to participation at the sessions at the global IGF. So I think we're on a track, and there's a lot of hard work going -- a track that's going to lead toward much more successfully integrated NRI community in the global IGF.
Thanks to everybody who has been working on that with such determination and diligence. Thank you.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Thank you, Mark.
And I agree with respect to the earlier timetable we're on and also remind everybody that, in fact, the MAG did approve a timetable for the key activities over the course of the year in terms of when we will launch the call for workshop proposals, when that period will be open and closed so it does facilitate planning over the course of the year.
And I keep bringing things up like that because I want certainly the United Nations to understand how critical it was and how valuable it was the earlier appointment of the MAG. It's actually facilitating a lot across the entire community with the earlier -- earlier appointment.
Chris, Chris Buckridge, you have the floor.
>>CHRIS BUCKRIDGE: Thank you very much. Chris Buckridge from the RIPE NCC but speaking primarily here from my experience with EuroDIG and as part of the EuroDIG association board. I will be very brief because I'm really reiterating a lot of what's just been said.
I think we do have a really complex ecosystem of organizations and events and processes here both because of the sheer number of NRIs. And I think, Lynn, you yourself point out pointed out the sort of two-way flow of information and processes that can occur between global level and the -- well, lower levels and that hierarchy, if you will. But I don't think it's exactly a hierarchical structure. So, I mean, I think, planning time lines and mapping out exactly what those interrelationships are is really fundamental.
The only other point that I would make, which I think can also be a bit difficult, is that it's important not to have token participation or token representation of NRIs in, say, the global IGF. We need to think back to the discussion -- we need to concurrently think of the discussions we had this morning about the kind of event and the importance of making that event that's sort of impactful, influential, cohesive.
We can't just throw in the NRIs and say we have this important program looking at important issues and also we have the NRIs coming in. I think that will diminish the importance of the NRIs in that process, and it will diminish the IGF event itself.
We need to look at ways that we can actually have the processes and the output of those NRIs flow into the same core discussions that we're planning to have in the IGF event itself. Thank you.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Thank you, Chris. Good points. I think the language we usually use is global level versus more local levels, not "lower levels" because I agree it's not hierarchical.
I would like to close the floor after the remaining three people that are in the queue. I suspect that is going to take us up to the top of the hour.
And then we have some other -- representatives of other organizations that are coming in to provide some updates on their organizations. That will move us to the 5:00 agenda item local time.
Wout, you have the floor.
>>WOUT DE NATRIS: Thank you, Lynn. Wout de Natris. In full recognition of all the work that has been done and growing by the year, I have noticed in the past years, just an example of what could probably happen. Just a suggestion.
Not everyone can come to the IGF. That would be tens of thousands of people and it would never work again. But the potential at the NRIs is tremendous. Not everybody is able to come, maybe doesn't want to come, but they do participate regionally or locally.
What if as an IGF we have a certain theme that we want to know more about what is happening exactly at the global level? So that is decided during this MAG meeting, and that could be on anything. I'm not suggesting a topic.
And then invite the NRIs to do one session at their event on that topic and feed the information back to the global level. And that would mean that it would be a very specific topic session in Berlin and the year after, unleashing a tremendous amount of knowledge and best practices or whatever they have at the local level. So that could be -- actually be a way to unleash the potential of NRIs and that yes, that would mean that the IGF suggests something, but if you have ten sessions and you suggest one, you still have nine to do on your own. So that's just an idea.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Thank you, Wout. I'll see if Marilyn doesn't comment on that later on in her comments, that if maybe Anja wants to come back in because I think there had been discussions along that kind of fun vector before. Giacomo, you have the floor.
>>GIACOMO MAZZONE: Just to come back on what Wout said, that we have discussed already this issue either at the EuroDIG meeting, preparatory meeting, in January that Chris was referring to, and either in the IGF Italy. And both this -- both are very happy to start to work on this project in this way. So if we identify common topics that can be bounced from the regional IGF, the national IGF, and then briefing the global IGF, this would be perfect. So we hope that we can build on that and come out from the next two days with concrete ideas on which we can work. Because if you look at the calendar, there are already some IGF that will take place before the summer break. Others that will take place during the summer break, and then can feed finally and building in November.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Thank you, Giacomo. Marilyn, you have the floor.
>>MARILYN CADE: Thank you, Chair. My name is Marilyn Cade. I serve -- my informal title is chief catalyst of IGF U.S.A. because I actually was the catalyst founding the IGF U.S.A. back in 2009.
I'm just going to speak -- I mentioned earlier that I was earlier privileged to serve for two years as a substantive coordinator to enhance the engagement of the NRIs. I'm going to offer a few thoughts that I would like all of you to keep in mind as you -- as you talk about the engagement of the NRIs, I'm going to start out by saying it's really wonderful that there are now a number of NRI coordinators that are actually on the MAG, but I will also issue a small challenge because there are MAG members perhaps who aren't yet fully engaging in their national or regional IGF. Many of you are, perhaps not all of you are in an active, supportive role. And so that will be my -- my question to all of you is to ask huh, what am I doing not to be a MAG member attending my national IGF but what am I doing to enhance my national IGF. And I want to compliment many of you who actually were -- are even the founders or the catalyst in your country, ranging from governments to civil society, to the technical community.
I want to urge a little bit of caution about everybody wants the NRIs to work for them or work with them. But I want you to think about this a little bit differently. The NRIs are the way that national public policy can be changed. That engagement with the national governments can happen. And so for BPFs and dynamic coalitions, not only asking the NRIs for input but think about how you might need to customize the materials that you provide so that then those materials that you developed can be easily and effectively taken advantage of by an NRI when it actually meets what their local community is interested in. Most of the NRIs from the developing countries continue to have a very, very high focus on meaningful access. And so I heard Wai-Min reference earlier the importance of universal access, affordable universal access. That remains a very big priority, and I reinforce Paul's comments about that. As you think about what you're working on, how do you message it so that it supports the key priority that is facing that country.
We have a challenge that you can think about with the NRIs and with the secretariat and that is, how do you glean the key messages from the work now of 112 NRIs and put them into the kind of materials that can be used to promote the visibility and awareness of the contribution that the IGF and the NRIs are making. And I'm just going to give you an example. For a couple of years I collaborated with others to come to Geneva and do briefings for the missions there that were hosted by -- at the ambassador level and there was a focus on including representatives from the missions and individuals talking about what was going on in the IGF. And because of the rotation in assignment in governments, very often we find that the person who is in Geneva in the mission or in Washington, DC at the embassy or in New York, they don't actually know about the NRI that's in their own country. So we need to think about how do we package this information to help to create the visibility in a very easy and effective messaging format that is not just text oriented.
Finally, I'm going to make three other comments. The early launch of the planning and the outreach that you are doing is incredibly helpful, I will just say to the IGF U.S.A., since I don't want to speak for any other national initiative. But by knowing what is going on, what the issues are that have been submitted, you're helping us to be able then to think about okay, here's what's on the global mind, so to speak, and here's how we can contribute. I reinforce Chris' comment that we're not looking for token representation, but I ask you to all be very, very sensitive. And I'm so glad, Daniela, you're on the phone, you're in the meeting. The Visa barriers continue to be a major problem in particular to attendees from developing countries. And that has affected many of the NRIs and their ability at the coordinator level to advance attendance and participation.
I just have one final point. Let me just get a drink of water. Hubs are a very effective way for the NRIs to consider -- they hold their NRI and then they work to develop a national hub. But then that means there has to be a meaningful way for the participants to be able to contribute so they're willing to come together again for a second time in order to participate. Thank you.
Oh, sorry, Lynn. I would -- I just want to comment on the idea of there being maybe one topic and all NRIs contribute to it. I would suggest you think a little bit differently and think that maybe there are three topics because you may find that topics and interests in proposing to their local coordinate -- their local community were invited to take up one particular topic offering a small menu, not a large one, might be more helpful since some NRIs are particularly focused on disinformation, misinformation, some on emerging technologies, some on making direct policy changes that affect connectivity, and by offering a small menu out of 112 you might find you get 30 on one topic, 40 on another topic, 15 on another, while if you pick only one topic, it may be very, very difficult for the 112 and probably soon to be 115 or 16 to all sell that idea to their local steering committee. Thank you.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Thank you, Marilyn. I want to, you know, recognize I think Wout's intent to be concrete with the suggestion there and just see quickly in Anja has anything else to add with respect to what they've done, based on Giacomo and Marilyn's comments. No? Okay.
Then with that, I'd like to call this portion of the agenda item closed, unless Daniela -- Daniela was taking notes quickly on the Visa issue and things, and I'm sure that's always a top-of-mind issue with the host countries and we work with them as well. So I'm sure they'll take that into consideration.
The final agenda item is updates from related Internet governance initiatives and processes followed by open discussions on possible activities or collaborations for IGF 2019.
I will open the floor -- sorry, my screen just changed. Will open the floor to those other activities to make some kind of brief comments. Again, if people could keep the comments to four to five minutes, we usually have quite a -- quite a number of participants, and I -- I saw some of them walk into the room over the last half hour, so I know they're in here. I'm just not sure who wants to go first. And actually I do know who wants to go first because Chengetai has just given me a list. So what I have on the list is ITU, ICANN, WIPO, Geneva Internet platform, ISOC, and WEF. And if there's anybody else who's not on that list that wants to come in, then please signal to Chengetai or in the speaking queue, and we'll put them in. So Preetam, I think, ITU. Thank you.
>>PREETAM MALOOR: Thank you very much for the invitation and thank you for giving me the floor. So I'll be briefer than three minutes, hopefully.
So we came out of our ITU plenipotentiary conference October 29 to November 16. And for those of you who may not be familiar with it, that's where the ITU membership elects its leadership and also agrees on its work program.
So we have quite a few resolutions on a variety of topics, specifically on Internet and cybersecurity we have four resolutions on Internet-related issues, on IP networks, on ITU stolen domain names and addresses, and public policy issues including domain names and addresses, resolution on multilingualization and on IP -- the transition from IPv4 to IPv6. And on cybersecurity we have three or four resolutions, but there's one mother resolution which is resolution 130.
So the Internet one took around 80 hours of negotiations. Cybersecurity took around 60 hours, 60, 70 hours. Many of you in this room have probably lived through that. So in the end, you know, we came out with output that was agreed by consensus. Just three key to this. No change to the mandate of the council looking upon Internet. It was one of the key discussions. Incremental changes to various aspects. Incremental changes to the cybersecurity resolution, which primarily the changes are on capacity building activities. There was a lot of support to that.
Now, coming to specific activities, you know, this week at the ITU we have the council working group meetings. Specifically the council working group on WSIS meets on Wednesday and Thursday. And the council working group on Internet meets on Friday, 1st of Feb. We also have the second physical meeting of the WSIS forum consultations which is on 31st of Jan. The council working group, as many of you know, carries out online and physical consultations with stakeholders on a variety of topics. This time several topics have been proposed by different member states, and the group will agree on a topic and launch consultations within a couple of weeks. I urge all stakeholders to look out for that.
Let me also highlight two events coming up in the first half of 2019. Two major events that ITU is co-organizing. The first one, of course, is the WSIS Forum 2019 and this is the tenth anniversary of the WSIS Forum and we are very proud of having fostered so many successful collaborations, partnerships since our humble beginning in 2009.
So ITU along with the UNESCO, UNCTAD, UNDP, and with the support of around 32 U.N. agencies who act as action line co-facilitators on different action lines, we are delighted to organize this version of the forum from 8 to 12th of April in Geneva, Switzerland, as always. And in line with the follow-up and review of the 2030 agenda for sustainable development. The main theme this year is ICTs for achieving the SDGs. This year we expect around 3,000 physical participants, 100-plus ministers and deputies, 350 workshops, 18 WSIS prize winners. There are different tracks and just highlighting a few. There's a hack-a-thon, hacking solutions for lifelong learning and livelihoods, organized by ITU and, I think, IEEE and a few agencies. Extended reality for SDGs, WSIS Accessibility Day, youth track, frontier technologies, AI robotics, 3D printing, IOTs, and quite a few other events. And so we look forward to welcoming you there.
And the second event I'd like to highlight is AI for Good Global Summit. This is the third edition. The -- it's a platform for global and inclusive dialogue on AI. It's hosted every year In Geneva by the ITU in partnership with sister U.N. agencies. The Express Foundation and ACM. ACM is the Association for Computing Machinery. This year it will be 28 to the 31st of May in the CICG. Last year we had 32 U.N. agencies as partners. And we likely have the same number, if not more. And the goals of the summit are to connect the AI innovators with the problems owners to identify practical solutions for AI, to accelerate progress towards the SDGs, and to ensure trusted, safe, and inclusive development of AI technologies and equal access to the benefits. So see you there in both these forums, and thank you very much.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Thank you, Preetam. And I want to thank the ITU, too, for a close working relationship. They provide us support for our meetings. In fact, they will be providing support for our meeting in April, taking place alongside the WSIS forum, and we were very sorry, of course, last year with the IGF that it ran the same time frame as the ITU plenipot. Everybody understands why that was the case. It was something we worked very, very hard to avoid. Wasn't able to. But we thanked and recognize ITU and certainly Secretary Houlin Zhao's efforts there as well. So Preetam.
>>PREETAM MALOOR: Sorry to take the floor again, and this should have been my introductory. You know, our apologies for not having been, you know, in significant numbers at the Paris IGF but this year we'll engage right from the beginning and we note you can expect a very active participation from us in Germany.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Excellent. Thank you. Next we have ICANN. I'm assuming that's Nigel. Again, if we could ask everybody to really keep to the four to five minutes. Thank you. Nigel.
>>NIGEL HICKSON: Madam Chair, could I go slightly further down the list, if that's all right? Thank you very much.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: That's absolutely all right. WIPO, I'm not sure who -- World Intellectual Property Organization.
>>WIPO: Thanks. Thanks very much, Chair. Very good afternoon, dear colleagues. Thank you for giving WIPO this opportunity to address this meeting. As you may be aware, WIPO has been actively engaged in IGF since its inception. Often in partnership with other stakeholders WIPO has been organizing sessions that cover a wide variety of topics at the intersection between Internet governance and intellectual property. Our partners in the past have included EBU, ISOC, WEF, UNESCO, film producers, news publishers, and IFLA, to name a few. We are pleased to note the growing awareness of the important role played by IP in Internet governance debates across all regions.
Chair, allow me to briefly highlight three WIPO activities which may be of interest to the IGF community. WIPO's arbitration and mediation center through the UDRP continues its work to provide timely and efficient mechanisms to resolve Internet domain name disputes. This work is vital for protecting brands online and promoting trust.
In 2018, over 3,000 UDRP complaints were filed with the WIPO center, a slight increase over 2017 filings.
I'm joined here by my colleague Charlotte Spencer who is available after this meeting to provide much more detailed information on these and other center activities such as those touching on the GDPR and ICANN's review of the UDRP for those who may be interested.
WIPO continues its work also to study and promote the legal and policy frameworks, underline the creation and distribution of creative content in general and local content in particular.
In this regard, I would like to mention that WIPO is an active member of the IGF best practices forum on local content.
WIPO is also committed, Chair, to helping member states take the fullest advantage of the Marrakech treaty to facilitate access to published works for those who are blind, visually impaired, or otherwise print disabled.
It is a leader of the Accessible Books Consortium, ABC, a multistakeholder lines including organizations that represent people with print disabilities such as the World Blind Union, libraries for the blind, publishers, authors, and collective management organizations.
Chair, in this regard, WIPO is very much involved in working towards increasing access and inclusion for people with visual impairment through the ABC.
The ABCs's global book service is already giving free access to over 400,000 titles in 76 languages in a wide range of accessible formats.
Looking to the future, Chair, WIPO will continue to remain committed to this process and work to initiate and develop new collaborations with other interstate stakeholders.
Please feel free to get in touch with us. Our colleagues are here available to discuss and speak with you.
Chair, may I end with two humble suggestions for enhancing the relevance and impact of the tremendous work the IGF continues to deliver.
The first suggestion is to continue to enhance efforts to secure the participation of governments and to ensure that they're actively engaged in IGF discussions. We think that this is crucial.
The second suggestion is a call for more debates to take place on the challenges facing the creative community, including artists and creative industries.
I thank you, once again, for this opportunity and wish the MAG fruitful deliberations over the next few days. i thank you, Chair.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Thank you, Victor. One quick comment. At a meeting last week Francis Gurry, who is the head of WIPO, actually used the UDRP as an example of sort of innovative approaches as opposed to regulation policy. And we tend to forget about it because it happened so long ago.
But if you think about back then when it was first sought, it was a fairly radical idea. It has stood the test of time. It's lightweight, and it's a really innovative solution.
So, I mean, I think there's a lot of examples through our kind of collective history where we've taken some really good innovative approaches that have addressed a specific problem and didn't have to resort to, you know, perhaps a much more laborious multiyear harder process which ended in regulation or policy.
So it was just interesting because I hadn't actually thought of UDRP for some years. But it was -- it was quite a talking point there for a while.
Next, Geneva Internet Platform. Marco, you have the floor.
>>GENEVA INTERNET PLATFORM: Thank you. Very briefly about our contributions today, IG policy discussions in the IGF, reporting is probably the most important activity that we carry out. We report from the main digital policy-related events happening in Geneva and around the world, when possible. This, of course, includes reporting from the IGF.
In fact, last year in Paris, we covered about 90% of the sessions and published the reports on our website, the Digital Watch Observatory, that you can visit, of course, at dig.watch.
What we did with these reports was to produce daily summaries, what some of you may know as IGF dailies, which are summaries of the discussions taking place every day in Paris. In the end, we compiled them in a final comprehensive report which covered IGF as a whole.
For the first time last year, our final report included also data analysis on the content topics and words that were most relevant, be it cyber, big data, fake news and so on and so forth.
This year we plan to run the report initiative again during the IGF in Berlin. In the meantime, in preparation for Berlin, we will continue our analysis throughout the year on our Digital Watch website and report from the digital policy-related events as well as organize discussions in Geneva, Brussels, and Washington.
In Geneva, for example, we will be launching in few days the Geneva Digital Talks, which are thematic discussions on specific digital policy issues. Again, in 2019, we will continue our data talks, meetings specifically focusing on data application, data projects for IAOs based in Geneva and beyond.
Finally, we will also continue with our monthly online briefings to take place the last Tuesday of the month. And by coincidence, tomorrow we will have the first one for 2019. So I invite you all to join.
These briefings compile the main IG developments of the month and they have a global spectrum, the content of which is also published in our monthly newsletter at the beginning of the month.
To close, just because I have to keep this brief, for other locations, we will also organize thematic dialogues regularly. For instance, today we had a discussion on AI and diplomacy in Brussels where we also launched our related publications. In fact, AI and policy, we expect it to be one of the key topics for 2019. Thank you very much.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Thank you, Marco. Let me just integrate the queue I mentioned earlier and the online queue that's up here. So what we have next is ISOC. And I'm assuming that's Israel.
And then we'll have Wout and Anriette who are in the queue here.
We'll come back to WEF, if there's someone in the room from WEF. And then ICANN? Okay. So, Israel, you have the floor.
>>ISRAEL ROSAS: Thank you, Madam Chair, dear colleagues. We appreciate the opportunity to share with the MAG some of our Internet governance-related activities for this year.
At the Internet Society, we are working for an open, globally connected, secure, and trustworthy Internet for everyone. That's our enduring goal for 2019 which is reflected in our action plan for this year.
As part of this action plan, we have four focused areas: Connecting the world, improving technical security, building trust, and shaping the Internet future. That's what we do, but how we do it is equally important.
We seek collaboration, we support and build our community, and we strengthen our global voice to speak on the issues that are most important to us. We won't rest until each person has the option of choosing to be connected.
One of the most permanent parts of our efforts on connecting the world is our campaigning for community networks, whose combination will be a global summit for this community by the end of this year hosted by the Internet Society.
The summit will be the expression of our roadmap to advance community networks and be a foundation for our community driving the organization of community networks to implement the roadmap.
In order to continue our efforts to improving the technical foundations of the Internet, the mutually agreed norms on routing security or Manners campaign successfully in 2018 will continue in 2019.
Besides increasing the number of members of the Manners community, we will deplore an Manners observatory to better know how many routing leaks happen on the Internet, whether there's a downward trend in such failures and how the efforts of Manners make a difference.
In this context, an important objective is the adoption of community-wide norms of behavior that protect the public core of the Internet, including in the international security community so that we will continue to seek technical and policy levers that affect the ecosystem positively.
Taking into account that trust is a key issue in defining the future value of the Internet, our trust policy agenda is guided by our policy framework for an open and trusted Internet.
We will use the Online Trust Alliance trust framework, the OTA framework, as a cornerstone of our expanded IOT-focused effort. Of course, we will continue to weigh in on discussions around privacy, identification, and encryption in various policy-oriented forums. Also will continue our work in the Global Commission on the Stability of Cyberspace.
Finally, a part of the Internet Society's work is understanding and anticipate how various factors might affect the Internet's future and work to ensure changes do not undermine its key attributes.
We even identified two pressing issues to look ahead: Consolidation and regulation. Our upcoming global Internet report looks at how consolidation might influence the Internet's fundamental technical properties, shape the role of Internet stakeholders, and affect Internet users.
Our efforts for this year in these fields, we focus on understanding these issues and the steps that may need to be taken to address the impact of consolidation on users, including opportunities (indiscernible).
To close, regarding the increasing call for regulation at the end of last year, we started thinking about regulation and its consequences. We see that the Internet is exposed to regulation that can create consequences to its underlying design and architecture. Much of these consequences are unintended, but they can still have a tremendous impact to the way the Internet works and possibly evolves.
So that during this year, we will be hosting a series of brainstorming sessions, seeking inputs and knowledge exchanged from a diversity of stakeholders.
We are open to hear from you and will be glad to take into account your inputs. I will be following in the MAG meeting as an observer. So I will be happy to provide specifics about our work. So feel free to reach me at any time. Thank you very much.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Thank you, Israel. Those of you who don't know, Israel was previously with the Mexican government. And he was actually part of the team that hosted the very successful IGF 2016. So we're very pleased to have him continuing to support the MAG, albeit in a different role now.
Wout, you have the floor.
Again, if people could keep their comments to four to five minutes, it would be appreciated.
>>WOUT DE NATRIS: Thank you, Lynn. Before the MAG is a proposal for a pilot called, To Ensure Swifter Implementation of Internet Standards and Protocols. And I will not repeat the request for a pilot of the proposal as such but just tell you where it comes from and where we would like to go.
The technical community of the Netherlands and regional in Europe has been supportive in an important driver in the work carried out within the IGF in 2017 and 2018, looking for meaningful ways to strengthen cooperation in the context of the IGF.
This left two iterations of the report on cooperation with other stakeholders in the working group, multiyear strategy as well. The result of this work is two reports that have been put to the MAG in 2018 and this year in 2019.
After deliberations, several contributors to the report agree that the implementation of Internet standards and protocol would be a ripe topic for a pilot. The report has suggested to run two pilots in 2019. And the motivation for that you can read in the report.
What I would like to repeat here the following: Making the Internet world more secure is a necessity for all involved around the globe. The technical community provides solutions that would make the Internet more secure. It also advocates at this point strongly that those solutions are implemented. Yet, years and sometimes even decades of nonimplementation seem to be standard and it's the normal procedure.
So this proposal is going to look into why that is, can it be amended, and what stakeholders should be addressed and reached out to, to make implementation a normal procedure.
This proposal has taken comments into account and objections to several intersessional work into consideration, so reflects on the discussions of the past two years.
One, it provides focus and some priority. It intends not to impede on the finances nor the workload of the secretariat beyond what is normal in setting up meetings, online, and that sort of thing.
Reaching out to other communities is an integral part of the proposal. And that is Lousewies Van der Laan who is co-proposing this who is a member of the parliament of the European Union and member of parliament of the Netherlands and exICANN Board member is also seriously involved in this proposal so that she can assist in opening doors that for some others are not easily opened.
So what we actually aim for is a single solution, recommendations towards a swifter implementation of Internet standards and protocols. And what we ask for is to do it under the umbrella of the IGF so that we're able to use the IGF as a platform to do this work.
We also ask for the MAG to consider this proposal during these two days or very shortly after and not lose necessary time to do the reachout to make sure people are aware of this process and not being aware of it just before Berlin because then usually agendas are already filled.
And what we are going to do is do this work, then write a proposal -- write a report and bring that to the MAG right after the meeting in Berlin and make sure that there are recommendations for everybody involved and lessons that are learned that others can jump on and use so that the outcomes are beneficiary to all concerned and not just to a few people who happen to participate.
And after that, we're going to make sure that the reachout is going to be substantive and not just the IGF website.
So this is the proposal. I'm available to discuss this over the coming two years -- two days, sorry, two days and make sure that -- please, understand that this time is essential here. Thank you very much, Chair, for the time.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Thank you. Thank you, Wout.
Anriette. Anriette, you have the floor. Anriette is online for those that have come in recently. So you either need to watch the transcription or grab a headset.
>>ANRIETTE ESTERHUYSEN: Thank you, Lynn. This is Anriette Esterhuysen, participating with two hats here, firstly, Association for Progressive Communications and then, secondly, the Global Commission on the Stability of Cyberspace.
Just APC will continue as it has been since the beginning to work very closely with the IGF process. In this cycle, we hope to really focus on the local access work. We've been working very effectively in the dynamic coalition on community connectivity, with ISOC and others. So I just urge everyone to watch that space. It's producing a lot of really useful output. And we will continue to use NRIs as we have done and the global IGF to take the discussion forward and depend on what the enabling policy and regulatory environment is and investment environment that is really needed for local access solutions.
And in my capacity as a member of the Global Commission on the Stability of Cyberspace -- Israel just mentioned that, ISOC is also a member -- we really valued our collaboration with the IGF.
So in Paris we were able to use the IGF as a platform to launch the norms that we've developed on cyber stability, norms addressing state and nonstate actors. And it was a really valuable opportunity for us. So thank you to the IGF for that.
We also are very pleased that the Paris call included an endorsement of our norm to protect the global public call of the Internet. We hope to continue working closely with the IGF this year at NRI level and at the global level. Our next steps will be to -- this is our final year of the first phase, in any case -- to come up with principles that could frame the norms on stability in cyberspace. We feel these principles would also be very important to discuss in the IGF community.
And we plan to use the Berlin IGF as an important space for us to get feedback on the further work that we have done.
Thank you, Lynn.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Thank you, Anriette.
Yes, so next -- is there anyone here from the World Economic Forum? Recognizing they've just finished Davos and may still be on their way down, I will pull up the document that, in fact, I sort of co-authored and I will walk through that in a moment.
But why don't we first see if ICANN's ready. If not, I will go to Chenai Chair. ICANN?
>>ICANN: Yes, thank you very much. I'm ready, as they say. And thank you for the opportunity to just say a few words in this session. I think it's really an excellent part of the open consultation and MAG that you have this session. And I think everyone is -- from the Geneva community here is very grateful for it.
And we all learn even though we're in Geneva, we learn about what other people are doing as well. So it's -- it's very beneficial indeed.
I don't think I need to say too much about what ICANN does. I think many of you will know. In terms of our -- in terms of our meeting schedule, as many of you know, we have three physical meetings a year and these meetings are completely open to all stakeholders. And we're very grateful in the context of those meetings that we're usually able to host a meeting of the IGFSA. Marilyn Cade has been incredibly positive and enthusiastic in talking to the ICANN community about what the IGF is doing, and we very much welcome that.
We always have a welcome for Chengetai as well. He comes to many of our ICANN meetings and talks to our Internet governance community about the IGF. And may that continue.
And as we discussed earlier in terms of the -- in terms of the capacity-building, I think it's very important, indeed, that we use every platform there is to reach out to a wider audience.
In terms of the ICANN agenda itself, we are discussing a number of issues which touch on some of the issues that get discussed at the IGF. For instance, the implementation of the General Data Protection Regulation is something that has affected ICANN. In particular, it's affected us in terms of the information on registrants that can be published in the WHOIS which is the lookup -- lookup mechanism for those that have domain names.
We are also working within the ICANN community -- as many of you know, policies in ICANN come up from the bottom. They are not imposed by the ICANN Board or the staff. And there's a bottom-up community process undergoing for some time a potential subsequent round of generic top-level domains. As many of you know the gTLD base was expanded considerably post-2012, and there's now a policy development process that could see a further sort of subsequent initiative perhaps launched in a couple of year's time. That's still ongoing. And there are other policy developments that get discussed from time to time
Our next meeting is in Kobe in Japan in the middle of March. And, finally, just to say that as ISOC -- as Israel mentioned the importance of the work that ISOC does in terms of contributing to the overall Internet governance agenda, ICANN is privileged to join with ISOC and the regional Internet registries and other bodies in terms of collaborating on the Internet governance agenda. And we took part in the -- along with other members of the technical community and the plenipotentiary that Preetam mentioned in Dubai this year to, if you'd like, to input that technical background to some of the resolutions that were being discussed.
I'll stop there. Thank you for opportunity.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Thank you, Nigel. Veni has asked for a brief word as well, and then we'll come to Chenai.
Veni, you have the floor.
>>VENI MARKOVSKI: I just wanted to add what Nigel said about a couple of points which have happened in the last couple of months on ICANN. So I'm speaking here more as ICANN -- I mean, I hate this saying "now I put off my hat" because I'm also a MAG member.
And I would also adhere that we follow the deliberations that were taking place at the United Nations in the fall around the cybersecurity resolutions that we were discussing earlier today but also about the cybercrime resolution in the Third Committee and the ICT for Development in the Second Committee.
For those of you who are following the CSTD Enhanced Cooperation, you may be interested to know there was a proposal to move the CSTD, the discussion around enhanced cooperation, to New York from Geneva in the draft discussions around ICT for development. It didn't go through, but it was discussed in New York.
So we should be aware also what's happening in Geneva oftentimes is not necessarily isolated and does not mean that it may stay in Geneva forever. And there are some, you know, interest to move the discussions to New York.
Also, we didn't -- we organized a training session for young diplomats and U.N. staff. It was co-hosted with the mission -- the permanent mission of Bulgaria to the U.N.
Full disclosure, I'm from Bulgaria, so if you're wondering why with Bulgaria.
And we reached out to about 40 diplomats, a couple of ambassadors, deputy permanent representatives. And we had David Conrad, the CTO of ICANN and Tripti Sinha who is the -- well, she's from the University of Maryland, the CTO of the university. But she was also actually in the meantime selected as an ICANN Board member.
And we did -- we did this outreach because we wanted the diplomats to understand what's happening and how the Internet functions. The topic was actually cybersecurity and securing -- ensuring the security, stability, and resiliency of the Internet. And we thought it's important for the diplomats in New York to actually know what -- how the Internet functioned so when they're behind the closed doors and start talking about these issues, there are people there who would take -- who would have the knowledge or at least would know to reach out and ask questions if there are technical questions, which touch on the nail the ICANN has in the DNS space.
And the last thing, which I think may be good to know, is that actually there is a continuous program where diplomats from the U.N. in particular -- I mean, sorry, not diplomats from the U.N. but diplomats who work at the permanent missions to the U.N. going for IETF meetings. So several already have gone, like, for a full week at an IETF meeting. And the IETF has a program for such people who are not technically -- they're not engineers but they're diplomats of, you know, foreign affairs, et cetera. They want to know how this IETF functions.
And it's very interesting to follow up with these diplomats and with the people at the IETF because these are two worlds which usually don't interact with each other. But when they do, both worlds are really surprised. Those of you who are here participating remotely and have gone to IETF meetings, they know how the IETF functions, you know, how they build consensus, et cetera, et cetera. That's not how the United Nations work.
And there is probably no bigger distance between the rules and procedures of the U.N. General Assembly and the rules and procedures of the IETF.
And I think this is a very useful exercise where we should move it a little bit further and have some people from the technical community to be more engaged and understand how the U.N. functions. We all -- all of us who are participating at ITU-related meetings know, you know, how the ITU is working and other U.N. agencies. But the U.N. and the U.N. General Assembly have a very peculiar way of dealing. And if something is discussed in New York, it's not going to be multistakeholder. The only multistakeholder forum they have is the one that takes place -- it's called Science and Technology for Innovation. It's part of the ECOSOC agenda, so it's very, very different.
And I urge people who are interested to, you know, read documents, reach out, ask questions, if they want, in the hallways here. But I think we should be -- we should be educating ourselves about the way the U.N. works and we should educate the U.N. about how the multistakeholder model works. This will be extremely helpful also vis-a-vis the IGF further development because -- and I'll finish with that.
Three years ago when we were discussing the continuation of the WSIS+10 -- sorry, the continuation of the IGF, it was very good that there were people in the rooms who knew how the Internet functions and who knew what a multistakeholder model is because there was a big difference between the draft document, outcome document, and the final document. And in the final document the multistakeholder model is actually recognized, which is -- of course, it was recognized back in the WSIS. Thank you.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Thank you Veni.
If I can take 30 seconds on that as well because I was the ISOC president/CEO that started the program he's talking about that put policymakers together with the IETF.
And it was one of these things it's either going to hopefully work well or going to be a disaster, frankly. And we got some policymakers and we said, What are your -- what are your technical questions? What are your interests? What are your concerns. Describe them for us. We found people in the IETF that were technical experts.
I have to say it was nearly a match made in heaven because engineers like to problem solve. So if they have somebody in front of them who's asking questions and they can help close that gap -- and that was back in 2011 or so. It still continues today. It is a really successful program.
And I think the learning there is that we shouldn't be concerned about trying some new pilots on a small scale and learning from them and then adapting them as you go forward because that was not an obvious experiment, if you will.
Chenai Chair, you have the floor.
>>CHENAI CHAIR: Thank you very much, chair. My name is Chenai Chair, speaking on behalf of the African School of Internet Governance.
The school was -- has been A successful initiative that's now currently in its seventh year, and it has drawn many stakeholders -- many participants from different stakeholders including NRIs. It is convened by the Association for Progressive Communication with support from the African Union Commission as well as Research ICT Africa. AfriSIG is also part of the IGF dynamic coalition on Internet Governance Forum schools.
It will be convened again this year media and just to note that some of the people who are in this MAG have come from the African School of Internet Governance indicating its success in trying to build capacity around Internet governance. Thank you.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Thank you, Chenai. I'm going to do a quick introduction of the WEF paper. If there are any other institutions, organizations, efforts, or activities that would like to, you know, report out or comment here, please do so. And then we'll take the remaining moments to just get any kind of immediate reactions from the community. Obviously these discussions will have to go forward, and I think many of them kind of beg a question with respect to how do we more effectively liaise with a lot of these organizations and these efforts.
So let me just talk quickly through the World Economic Forum. It basically started because there's been collaboration between various activities in the World Economic Forum and various activities across the IGF ecosystem for some years now, notably in the Internet for All set of activities which, of course, is focused on access, which has been primarily led through the secretariat. I've participated in a couple of meetings here and there and with outreach in some countries' specific initiatives through the NRIs as well.
I'm -- I've participated in, I don't know, eight or nine Davos I guess and been involved in WEF probably going back sort of 14 years when I was with the Internet Society. And when they were dealing with issues such as, back then, data privacy -- and it was big data back then and data is the new oil and all those sorts of activities -- the Internet Society felt that it was important that we actually help ensure that the materials were as accurate as possible or certainly reflective of kind of a user-centric view or a broader global view than perhaps what was there through simply the -- the WEF participants at the time.
And that was extremely valuable to them. Frankly, it was extremely valuable to ISOC because then we understood what questions were on policymakers' minds and what questions were on governments' mind as well that we didn't have the same level of access to.
At the moment I'm also co-chair of their Digital Economy and Society System Initiative. Jim Smith, the CEO of Thomas Reuters, is the other. I'm just finishing my second and likely last year as that co-chair. The document that we actually put together was to try and identify -- we think there's a lot of complementarity between the two networks of the two organizations. I mentioned some of the Internet for All. There's also been quite a robust collaboration on the Internet of Things with a dynamic coalition on the Internet of Things where some of the members including the chair of the DC on IoT participated quite deeply in reviewing their cybersecurity best practices document for safety and security protocol for industrial IoT. And there have been some other sharings across those activities. And, again, this is pointed to in the -- in the paper in a little more detail.
If we look at what IGF 2018 the chair summary and we look at the activities that are front and center on the WEF agenda, there's also a lot of complementarity and a lot of commonality between them as well.
So one of the things we wanted to put forward to partly address trying to look for concrete ways to address this recurring point of we need to increase participation of governments and we need to increase participation from the private sector. It's very clear that the WEF actually attracts top CEOs, top policymakers, top governments as well in their activities and they have a reach to a certain set of players that we don't have. And, likewise, we have a reach to a whole set of players that they don't have and, frankly, often quite a different view. But, again, this is where the complementarity comes in and where I think we've both benefited from the exchanges here over the last -- last few years.
So some of the areas we said that are, you know, maybe obvious areas for some increased participation might be to continue on the Internet of Things, perhaps just expand on the current collaboration or explore collaborations on Internet of Things for the sustainable development project which would actually encourage use of Internet of Things to accelerate progress in some of the SDGs.
Obviously, access and adoption continues to be a really critical area and a nice intersection as well.
They've done a lot of work over the last two years and in particular over the last year on digital identity and are really working to establish a platform for good digital identity. There are links in the document to some of these activities. They're very explicit on it being user-centric, and I think the work has come a tremendously long way.
I and Brett Solomon from Access Now and SELinux Foundation, Mozilla Foundation folks spent a lot of time last year at Davos reviewing the reports and providing them with additional contacts and experts so that they could -- could advance their work there.
And I think the -- you know, the report is -- is pretty good. We need to continue all these discussions, of course, and it needs a lot more -- a lot more participation.
As the report says these are just indicative examples. There's obviously a lot we can do on trust or data, cybersecurity, AI. It identifies a couple of possible mechanisms for collaboration. And could be nothing more than just some enhanced information sharing, a regular flow of updated information between the two organizations on key activities which would inform both of our networks broadly. And if people find them of interest or there are intersects with their own activities, they can, of course, participate and pick that up.
Could look at doing something a little bit more formal which might be connecting private sector decision makers and civil society. May hear from a lot of their members that the private sector decision makers would find it helpful to understand a more user-centric view or a civil society view. And we certainly did see some of that in a couple of meetings here over the last six months or so.
Another opportunity was look at the Forum's platform to provide some more visibility for some of our key activities and projects. Provide a platform for input on draft deliverables of their working groups, again in either direction.
IGF platform is a collaborative sounding board. I mean, one of the closest examples might have been a digital identity except it wasn't sort of formalized. It was five or six people that were interested in this that reached out to their own networks and pointed them towards the WEF activity.
You can imagine -- that obviously was very helpful to them. But you can also imagine that having been done a little more two-way, if you will, which would have also informed some of our activities and perhaps helped us stand up different sessions at the IGF and across our -- across all of our activities.
So what we were hoping to do with the paper -- and just to be clear, this is not a proposal from the Chair or anything. It was the WEF really wanting to understand what we could do to actually participate and work more closely together. And given my experience with them and my experience in this community as well, I offered to help draft the paper that would put some options in front of everybody here. So I want everybody to treat this just as another input that's here for the community review.
And, again, the ask was obviously looking for reactions. And if there was support, what would a useful collaboration look like? What topics would you prioritize? And what challenges or risks might we see?
So I will stop there, underline that, see if there are any other topics that somebody wants to bring to the floor here again from the community or comment on any of the proposals that have been made here in the last nearly an hour. Just any kind of quick top-of-mind reflections. I know it's late. It's been a long day.
Okay. Well, we don't need to put anybody on the spot. As I said, most of these proposals have been written up. And certainly if not, you now have the transcript for those that hadn't provided a report ahead of the meeting.
Really think we should consider all of them carefully. We talk about outreach and wanting to do more outreach. And these are kind of in my mind natural partners, possible partners, for us that share a lot of common objectives that operate in the IG sphere. And I think we need to determine which ones we want to engage with and then I think more importantly how.
And this is where I come back to, we're going to need to drill deeper. It can't be the royal "we." We all want more outreach and we all say we are going to work more closely with the ITU.
We need to be more really specific in respect to what areas we're going to work with them on, to what end, and then have a plan for actually supporting those engagements across the community.
And I think that's something we need to do in all of our activities over the next couple of days, is really be really clear on how we're going to source the work, resource the work, commit to making some progress here.
And we'll stop for a moment. I'll still seeing no one in the queue.
I will turn to, I think Daniela to see if there are any comments from Daniela and then to Wai-Min, if there are any comments, and then Chengetai, if there is any administrative info for tomorrow.
>>DANIELA BRONSTRUP: Thank you. Yes, I would just like to say thank you to all of you because I learned a lot today. It was very interesting for me. This was the first time I attend a MAG and a community meeting. So I had a rather very good learning curve today. Thank you all.
And, yeah, let's, of course, keep in contact. We are very open to your suggestions up to Berlin. And I hope to see you all in Berlin. Thanks.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Thank you, Daniela.
Wai-Min, nothing? No? Wai-Min will be with us here for the next two days as well.
>>CHENGETAI MASANGO: Okay. Thank you very much, ladies and gentlemen. We'll see you tomorrow at 10:00. Oh, yes, I would like to just commend everybody was very prompt today. It's like the first time everything started on time.
[ Laughter ]
I don't know whether it's the influence of the host country, but it was great.
[ Laughter ]
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Running right by the fact that we're in Switzerland as well which also could have something to do with it.
Thank you very much, everybody. And please, if there are any final comments or reflections, catch a MAG member. Send a note to myself or Chengetai. Whatever works. The conversation obviously doesn't stop here.
And I would be very interested in any ways we can make this community consultation better, more interactive, more discussion, more debate. If there are suggestions for improvement, please send those in as well. Thank you, everybody. Have a good evening.