The following are the outputs of the real-time captioning taken during the IGF 2019 Second Open Consultations and MAG Meeting in Geneva, Switzerland, from 9 to 11 April 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 second face-to-face meeting for the MAG and open consultations. Today is the first day of the MAG meeting. Just a reminder, the open consultations are going to happen tomorrow. So MAG has preference today.
And before we start the meeting, just a quick reminder, we'll be using the speaking queue as usual. And when you speak, can you please speak slowly, more slower than I speak. And when you say your name, also say it very slowly just for the scribes so that they can get your name properly.
With that -- and, also, the transcription is going to be posted, and the meeting is recorded as well. And it's on YouTube and it's Webcast.
With that, let me hand it over to Lynn, the MAG chair, to open the meeting. Thank you.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Thank you, Chengetai. And welcome, everybody. I'm sure everybody is trying to juggle their schedules across their WSIS activities and the MAG activities as well. But I certainly hope that as a MAG member, we're prioritizing the MAG activities.
Having said that, I know there are various individuals that need to step out for speaking roles and various things. So we appreciate the opportunity to participate deeply in the WSIS activities as well. But, again, I do hope we have good participation over the course of three days here for the MAG meeting because this is an important meeting, focusing mostly on some of the more strategic issues.
Our first order of business is to walk through the agenda and approve the agenda. It was posted a few weeks ago. I think it's going to come up on the screen there in a minute. Again, we approve the agenda day by day. So today we're approving just the agenda for today. I will give everybody a moment to pull it up or refresh their minds again and see if there are any comments, suggestions, or any other items for AOB, any other business.
There's some puzzling looks. Is the sound working?
>> Can you hold your microphone closer?
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Okay. So I would like to call for approval of the agenda then. Seeing no objections.
So just briefly here, the purpose of this second meeting, we're fortunate this year in that with the early announcement of Berlin hosting the IGF and with the very timely appointment of the MAG and the MAG chair that we're able to fit in three meetings, which is actually allowing us to dedicate much of this meeting, in fact, most of this meeting, to some of the more strategic areas and areas of improvement. So that's what we'll be focusing on today. We'll have some more words as we actually get to that agenda item.
At our last face-to-face meeting, we actually focused pretty significantly on taking to heart the various suggestions for improvements that we've heard, whether that's with the CSTD Working Group on IGF improvements, the taking-stock activities that happen regularly and annually through the IGF process, the UN DESA retreat, and in particular focused on having a really cohesive, focused agenda for this MAG meeting with the three main themes, as I know you're all very well aware.
We also made efforts to ensure that we were tying the intersessional activities to a lot of those themes and works as well, particularly through the approval of the four best practice forums. And we continue to work. And the MAG at the last meeting very specifically identified the need to increase collaboration with all the intersessional activities, so certainly the best practice forums which are led by the MAG but also all the dynamic coalitions; if we should choose to have a major intersessional policy program, that one as well; and, of course, to increase collaboration with the national, regional, and youth IGF initiatives that such an important part of our ecosystem.
So today we want to continue to focus on what are the improvements we're looking at and take a high-level, longer term view. That will be the bulk of the day. And then later in the day, we'll focus on some updates from the host country and some updates from the secretariat as well.
And then tomorrow, I think, just of note, as I've had an awful lot of comments and questions the last few days, we will actually have an additional agenda item at the end of the day, which is an address from -- I think it's going to be Jovan, but somebody from the U.N.'s High-Level Panel on Digital Cooperation, the HLPDC. So that will be at 5:00 tomorrow. And we'll make sure that agenda is updated online as well so that everybody is aware of that, certainly those here physically but also those participating -- participating online because I know that's of high interest to the community here.
So with that, we will introduce the other members of the panel and we will have some opening comments initially from Deniz Susar who is with UN DESA out of New York. And as you are all aware, the IGF -- UN DESA is the administrative home of the IGF. And then we'll have opening remarks as well from Dr. Daniela Bronstrup who is, of course, the host country co-chair for our IGF this morning.
Deniz, you have the floor.
>>DENIZ SUSAR: Thank you, Chair. Good morning, everyone. My name is Deniz Susar from the Digital Government Branch of the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs.
I'm delivering this statement on behalf of Mr. Juwang Zhu, who is the director of the Division for Public Institutions and Digital Government. He is appointed as a director of our division as 1st of March. And in the management, we don't foresee any change in the near future.
Mr. Stefan Schweinfest, with whom you've met, he moved back to the statistics division but he will be also supporting us for the upcoming German IGF as needed.
First of all, thank you for your important participation at this second meeting and tomorrow's open consultation. As Lynn mentioned, we also extend appreciation for the work of MAG so far and selection of the 2019 themes: Data governance; digital inclusion; security, safety, stability and resilience. These themes are very timely and in line with other global agendas. For example, the Secretary-General's strategy on new technologies mentions that broad and inclusive dialogues and cooperation with all actors are required to address the challenge of inequality within and between nations brought by new technologies.
Also, as you know, High-Level Panel on Digital Cooperation is expected to contribute to the broader public debate on how to ensure a safe and inclusive digital future for all.
A few words about the administrative process. As well as is the case last year, we plan to launch the 2020 renewal of the MAG earlier in 2019 so as to allow new members to have a full year's term and, most importantly, to ensure fully renewed MAG in place to begin the work of planning the 15th annual meeting by 29 November, by the end of the Berlin IGF.
We are also in the process of identifying the host of the 15th IGF for 2020. The decision will be made in the coming weeks and hopefully before or around the third MAG meeting.
Also, let me 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.
In that regard, just please allow me to quickly remind you of the SG's recommendations from the 2018 IGF. First, how can the IGF be more multidisciplinary? We cannot ignore the fact that as the Internet brings the world closer, there are also more silos and more divides. And recalling the SG statement: How can we bring philosophers, anthropologists, political and social scientists to the IGF platform?
Second, the need to create shared language reference, propose new outputs. In that regard, we need inputs from dynamic coalitions, NRIs, and, of course, along with other suggestions.
And, third, the Secretary-General also underlined that IGF must increase its efforts to include weak and missing voices. So how can we reach out to those currently outside of the IGF community?
Related to these recommendations, the two -- the IGF 2019 host country, government of Germany, will support eligible candidates from developing countries to participate at the annual meeting in Berlin and to also support the participation of the MAG members at the MAG meetings and annual meetings.
There will be a call for applications, and the secretariat will share details later. We really express thanks to the generosity of the government of Germany, not only supporting the hosting in Berlin but also contributing to the Global South Fund to boost participation of stakeholders from developing regions and countries.
We feel lucky with our new host. And, as such, they deserve our 100% dedication and we trust all MAG members that they will do their best to make the Berlin IGF meaningful not only to their communities but to everyone in the world.
And a few words on capacity development. In this, we place special emphasis, especially for all stakeholders in countries in special situations, including least developed countries, small island developing states, and land-locked developing countries.
The IGF secretariat will step up its efforts in providing capacity development, especially to the regional IGFs, national and youth IGFs, and to those IGF initiatives starting up or planning to convene its first meeting in 2019. Again, you will hear further details from the secretariat how the German funds will be used in that regard.
In working alongside with the regional commissions, DESA will also reach out to support the regional IGFs, including the Africa IGF, Asia-Pacific IGF, Arab IGF, Latin America and Caribbean IGF, and EuroDIG.
In looking forward -- I mean, 2019 is a significant year as it's the first time High-level Political Forum on Sustainable Development will be held during ECOSOC annual session in July but also in the U.N. General Assembly. Also, we will hear from the High-level Panel on Digital Cooperation with its report very soon. And we should respond effectively to the outcomes of this report.
And, also, about outreach and communication efforts are also less than desired and much more could be done by UN DESA, by the secretariat, and also by you, the MAG.
To conclude, let me thank again Germany, current donors, and many institutions and governments and private sector to contribute to the IGF Trust Fund. And DESA pledges its full support to the MAG, and we wish you a free-filled MAG meeting and open consultation tomorrow. Thank you.
[ Applause ]
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: I would like to thank Stefan Schweinfest in stepping in and fulfilling this role in the last year and at the same time welcome Juwang Zhu back where, in fact, the IGF was under his leadership for many years out of the sort of 13 years we're here, maybe all but one or two years. While he's coming back into this position effective March 1st, he certainly has a long history and a great familiarity with the IGF. So I think we're fortunate that he was able to come back into that role.
So thank you, Deniz.
And now, Dr. Daniela Bronstrup, who is the honorary host country co-chair. Welcome to give some opening remarks.
>>DANIELA BRONSTRUP: Thank you, Lynn.
And also, thank you, Deniz, for the kind words.
Good morning, ladies and gentlemen. I would also like to welcome you to the second physical MAG meeting, second face-to-face meeting. I'm very glad and honored to be here again.
I'm here just to say a few words on the preparations in Berlin. They are making progress, and that is also thanks to a lot of stakeholder groups. Thankful to those who are offering the help to us and who are already very much involved in our preparation process.
You know, that our chancellor, Angela Merkel, has very much from the beginning been engaged in the process and is really campaigning for the IGF in Berlin. She has also decided to give the opening remarks at the IGF in Berlin now. And we believe that the fact that we have high-ranking people at the IGF will raise awareness also in the broader public. And you know I already told you that last time. This is one of our aims. We need to get new stakeholders on board to strengthen the multistakeholder approach of the IGF which is, in our view, key. And that also means that we should give any effort to get those groups on board.
We very much hope that the U.N. Secretary-General will accept the invitation of Chancellor Merkel to come to the IGF as well. I ask the MAG members and our colleagues at the U.N. to help to make this possible. That would be a great honor for Germany, and I think it would be a very good signal also about the importance of the IGF.
What are we specially intending to do? We are planning to hold a high-level meeting on day zero with civil society, with business community, with other governments, with the technical community to have really all stakeholders at a high-ranking level on board. Federal minister Peter Altmaier will send out invitations very soon. The invitations are on his desk. He will just sign now and send them around.
We're seeing a lot of interest in this, so there will be all sorts of interesting proposals. I would like to thank all of those who have already shown interest in participating in developing an interesting program for day zero. I would also like to thank very much all of you who have been engaged in, yeah, developing the call for workshops. I think there was a lot of progress done during the last meeting and after the last meeting. Thank you for that.
On the last day of the IGF in Berlin, that will be the second -- the 29th of November, we are planning a meeting of parliamentarians. I announced that already a little bit last time. This is now much more concrete. We have a Committee on the Digital Agenda of our Bundestag. This committee has designed -- decided to invite parliamentarians from all over the world to come to that meeting, to get input to their daily work from the IGF. I think this is an important signal also to make the discussions at the IGF much more relevant also between IGF meetings.
Deniz already mentioned our Global South Fund. I just want to recall that we gave resources to make possible that representatives of the Global South who had been underrepresented so far can come to Berlin.
I just want to recall Germany and the federal government of Germany are really wanting an open, free, and truly global Internet. This means that everyone can participate on an equal basis. And we would be very happy to have that also shown in the motto of the IGF 2019. We are thinking about a motto like, for example, "One World, One Web, One Vision, Shaping Together the Future of the Net" because in our view, that would show that this is an important debate after decades of having the Internet now looking into the future, discussing together what kind of Internet we would like to see for the next years and decades and to shape that together.
Thank you very much. Lynn already mentioned that the MAG meeting, of course, is a priority for me. But I have the honor also to speak at the WSIS, and that's why I will leave the session in about an hour for about an hour but then I will be back. I apologize for that. Thank you so much.
[ Applause ]
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Thank you, Daniela. We are going to be using the queue, but I see Veni Markovski from the back. And you are in the queue, I just hadn't looked.
>>VENI MARKOVSKI: I'm a good MAG member.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Thank you, Veni. You have the floor.
>>VENI MARKOVSKI: Hi, everyone. And welcome to Geneva. We have lovely weather for those who are participating remotely and thinking it's raining or something.
I have a question to the co-chair. The day, the 29th of November, that you say there will be a parliamentary meeting, are the IGF participants invited? Is it going to be open, or is it going to be only for members of parliamentarians? If you haven't heard it, I can repeat it. Okay.
>>DANIELA BRONSTRUP: We do not know yet. I would say preferably should be open, at least partly open. But we haven't decided -- at least the parliamentarians haven't decided so far. So we will get into talks with them.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Thank you, Veni and Daniela.
Ben Wallis, you have the floor.
>>BEN WALLIS: Thank you, Lynn, and good morning, everyone. And, firstly, just to remark that the comments from both Deniz and Daniela strike a very encouraging tone with lots of momentum. We seem like -- this is my second year on the MAG. So compared to last year, the progress seems very well-advanced and very welcomed. And taking the one example -- and this is my question for Deniz. It's amazing to hear that we could have the host for next year already announced by the time we meet together in June.
And I wondered whether that would be the announcement of the host country and the date or just the host country and the date becomes a matter of discussion or decision later? Thank you.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Chengetai or Deniz?
>>DENIZ SUSAR: As mentioned initially, we are trying to identify the host country, and the date will follow that. I don't know anything about the date yet.
>>CHENGETAI MASANGO: We understand the sooner you know them, better for planning. So as soon as we know them, we'll make them available.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Arsene, you have the floor. I was trying to figure out where everybody is in the room. Thank you, Arsene.
>>ARSENE TUNGALI: Yeah, okay. So it's (indiscernible) the parliamentarian admitting that is planned on the 29th. So my question -- I'm sure probably logistics will be coming -- logistics detail will be coming later, but I was just wondering whether there will be any kind of financial supports for some of those MPs to come to attend the meeting or whether they will be funded through the Global South funds if they're coming from the Global South. This is just to help, you know, manage expectations because I would really -- I mean, I commend, it's a really good opportunity for some of our MPs to be involved with the work of the IGF so such a clarification would be helpful. Thank you.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Thank you, Arsene. I think we'll hear from Daniela and then possibly also from Chengetai as well. Daniela?
>>DANIELA BRONSTRUP: Yes, there will be funding in addition to the Global South fund for parliamentary -- no? In the framework of the Global South fund? Okay. But --
>> (Off microphone).
>>DANIELA BRONSTRUP: So for everyone, one part of the Global South fund will be dedicated to parliamentarians. What? Okay, thanks.
>>CHENGETAI MASANGO: We have parliamentarian specific funding for parliamentarians. If you -- we may not catch all the parliamentarians that are interested, so I would suggest that if you have a few parliamentarians that are interested, please contact the IGF secretariat. We also have Global South funding for -- which is a wider catch for people, funding for people to come to IGF Berlin. So this does not exclude that we can have additional funding for parliamentarians as well. It just depends on the mix that we have because we want to create a good mix of people that we are funding thanks to the German funds to come to the Berlin IGF.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Rudolf, do you want to -- no. When could we actually expect from the MAG to just understand the Global South funding programs and the various components of it so that everybody can share those details appropriately through their wider networks. And I would also hope that if some of that funding -- and I can appreciate that I'm kind of advancing something here -- to bring parliamentarians in is to bring them in to the full IGF and not just the Friday meeting. And I'm not quite sure where to look because I'm not sure who's actually managing that process. Yeah.
>>CHENGETAI MASANGO: Parliamentarians are going to be funded for the whole of the IGF. So they're not just coming for one day. They're coming for the whole IGF, from day zero to the end. So that is not a concern.
As far as the Global South funding is concerned, we will be sending an email out this week just to inform you. We've already informed national regional initiative coordinators because they're the ones that are going to be helping us identify people to be funded, but we will give -- I will send an email out to the MAG as well.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Presumably there would be a request to the MAG to help with the outreach and further identification as well, given it's a very international MAG. Yes. You have the floor.
>> Good morning, Chair. My name is (saying name) from Poland. Ask about, you know, the members of the European parliament are also involved in this IGF or did you just think about the national parliamentarians?
>>DANIELA BRONSTRUP: Also the European parliamentarians, of course. Also the European parliamentarians.
>>CHENGETAI MASANGO: Parliamentarians are parliamentarians.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: But not all will have access to the developing country South funds. Just in case that was another question somewhere in the queue. Okay. Back to the --
>>CHENGETAI MASANGO: Well, I can explain it because we were just planning the details, that for the Global South funds it's mainly for traditional transitional economies and the Global -- what we traditionally call the Global South. For the parliamentarian funds, there's really no restriction to which country they come from because we want a good mix of parliamentarians.
And also the Global South funds, it's not just restricted to any stakeholder -- to one stakeholder group in a (indiscernible) government. It's governments or society, private sector from the Global South as well.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Thank you, Chengetai. Paul Charlton, you have the floor.
>>PAUL CHARLTON: Thank you, Lynn. I just have a question for Dr. Bronstrup and again, I'd like to express my appreciation for the tremendous work and the resources that the German government has put into planning for this year's meeting. I have a question about the meeting that you were indicating, the high-level meeting on day zero. I think it's quite clear what the concept of high level means in relation to governments but you were mentioning there would be -- this would involve all stakeholders groups and I just wondered if you had a criteria for selecting non-governmental representatives or non-governmental stakeholders who would be attending this meeting or would it be generally open to other stakeholders in addition to high-level government representatives. I just wanted to sort of clarify the concept.
>>DANIELA BRONSTRUP: In fact, we are in discussion with the different multistakeholder groups. And basically also they are involved in deciding. But what we are looking for are really high-ranking people of all the different groups, meaning that are those that are really taking decisions and moving forward processes. So, I mean, we do not have a special criteria catalog or something like that, but I have the impression that the stakeholders themselves know very well who are the decision-making people of the groups. Do you want to add something?
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: I'll come to the rest of the queue in a moment but just recall for everybody that at the end of the day today from 5:00 to 6:00 is when we're actually scheduled to have sort of a full discussion on the opening -- high-level opening sessions, closing sections, day zero, which is a different set of activities, and also and also the main session topics as well. So rather than kind of piecemealing it here, if we can perhaps wait until that discussion. Having said that, we'll go to the queue to see if there are related or additional comments. Susan Chalmers, you have the floor.
>>SUSAN CHALMERS: Thanks, Chair. And thank you to BMWi and Dr. Bronstrup for this explanation of the high-level meeting and on day zero. I just had a burning question, if you'll indulge me. On the parliamentarian session are there parliamentarians from specific countries that you are targeting or is it open to all legislators? I mean, would it include members of Congress, for example? I just want to clarify. Perhaps legislator might be a more uniform term. And then secondly, what are the desired outcomes of this meeting, and if we want to discuss that later on this -- today, that's okay, too. But I just wanted to raise that. Thanks.
>>DANIELA BRONSTRUP: Maybe just on the first point. I mean, from the German perspective parliamentarians are legislators, so yeah, they are included for the special question you had. And maybe the other thing for later then. I'm sorry for having opened the discussion to that point in my keynote.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: I think it's still helpful to give an overall view. Raquel, you have the floor.
>>RAQUEL GATTO: Thank you very much, Lynn. I would like to echo some of the previous comments congratulating the efforts made by -- in this -- by, of course, the IGF secretariat and MAG chair and in particular the host country. We had the opportunity to visit Berlin last week and to learn more of the efforts that are being made, and we are sure you are going to get things done and done well. So thank you very much.
But I understand that the day zero we are going to discuss later so I'm going to focus still just as part of the inputs that we may work on this Global South program in both ways, either for the broader participation as the parliamentarians, to have also, I mean, more clarity on the MAG role in that. It is, on one hand, of course, to get this streamlined with the efforts that many of us are somehow involved, and that's good. And we can join some of those efforts and get more people and more diversity. But then it's also about how we can engage those people because it's not only bringing them in as part of the mandate of the MAG is on the program, how we can engage them fairly and make sure this is worthwhile. So those are my inputs. Thank you very much.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Thank you, Raquel. Maybe I'll have a quick sidebar with Chengetai and see if we find some time on the agenda to actually kind of just have that discussion on the program sometime in the next couple of days. Rajesh, you have the floor.
>>RAJESH CHHARIA: Thank you, Chair. And no doubt pleased very good effort by the host country for bringing the parliamentarians and the platform which generally makes the rule for the Internet. I agree the point raised by Susan. What sort of parliamentarians we are thinking of and what is our expectation from them. Because if I take the example of India, we have got a really long queue of parliamentarians but we have got some standing committee on the telecom and on the ITU. Whether we are expecting those parliamentarian to the meeting or are we talking of the general parliamentarians who I think are -- they are the lawmakers but they don't have the broad knowledge of the ITU or related to the IGF. So we should be very selective, otherwise it will become a queue.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Chengetai says that he has a quick answer and if it is not satisfactory, we will move it to a later item.
>>CHENGETAI MASANGO: All right. So first of all, we have limited funds, so we can't open it up to everybody, to all legislators. And this is the IGF. We want legislators -- I'm not using the word "parliamentarians" because it causes some confusion -- legislators who are involved in Internet governance kind of issues. So yes. So if we have applications, those are the ones who will have preference.
>>RAJESH CHHARIA: In that case, Chengetai, we should be sending invitation of the offer only to those who are connected with the IGF or the ITU. Otherwise, what will happen if you will send the invitation to all the persons and then start rejecting them, it will not look nice.
>>CHENGETAI MASANGO: Exactly. We're not -- I mean, we have not specified every single letter and, you know, sub paragraph of our action plan, but we're not going to send letters to -- I don't know how many countries are there, 200 and so odd, you know, parliaments, Senates, et cetera, no. We are going to try and be a little bit more direct in choosing which people that we invite. Yes.
>>RAJESH CHHARIA: ( Speaker off microphone).
>>CHENGETAI MASANGO: Exactly. So we want the ones that are involved in IG issues in India and, as you said, those people who are involved in those committees, within the parliamentarian committees that are dealing with Internet governance issues, yes.
>>RAJESH CHHARIA: That's my suggestion, that we should be inviting only those who are connected with the ITU, IGF, or the telecom.
>>CHENGETAI MASANGO: Yes. I've -- okay, we won't have the discussion now, but we fully understand you. And don't worry, we have put a lot of thought in it, and thank you. And yes, and you're all free to come and talk to me afterwards or talk too us afterwards. But yes.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Daniela.
>>DANIELA BRONSTRUP: Thank you, Lynn. Yeah, not to extend the discussion, but maybe to make something clear. Our parliament hasn't decided finally yet but probably. I mean, that's the usual procedure. Probably our president of parliament, Mr. Schauble, will send a letter to his colleagues, and then it's up to every country to decide who is coming. So we do not want to prescribe who's coming. We're just inviting and that's on a high-ranking level, and then you decide, or your parliaments decide.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: And that seems like a very sensible approach as well as correct diplomatic procedure as well. My preference would be not that Chengetai was inundated with a bunch of individual discussions because I think that leads to more confusion. We will try and find an appropriate time, if not during this call, perhaps on a virtual MAG call once the program is a little more complete. I have to admit I'm not even sure of the current status of the program in terms of its approval. But when it is complete, we will make sure the MAG has the information in front of them and we will actually set aside some appropriate time, whether that's in this meeting or a subsequent call.
>>CHENGETAI MASANGO: Yes. And as I said, I'll send the information out to the MAG list. So once the information is out to the MAG list, you can look at it, and if you have any questions we can have a discussion on the MAG list. But once it's ready to go, we'll send it to the MAG list.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Thank you, Chengetai. Krzysztof, you have the floor.
>>KRZYSZTOF SZUBERT: Yeah, hello. Very short question on day zero to have it 100% clear. So at the moment we are in the process of submitting the workshop proposals which that deadline is by the end of this week, and I have a question if we should do the same if we are ready to submit proposals for day zero senior governmental officials meeting, do it in the same way or should we propose it in maybe a little bit different way? I mean, to discuss the areas like model of the governance in digital space and stuff like this, more horizontal, more strategic than very deep technical workshops. Thank you.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Chengetai.
>>CHENGETAI MASANGO: I'm trying to catch up. Oh, sorry. So there are two things, right? There's the host country day zero activities and then there's also the normal activities that anybody can apply for. So those ones are ending on the -- the application is closing on the 12th of April. So yes. I mean, anybody's free -- it's looser than the general meetings. Anybody's free to send in a proposal and we'll take it on, if there's space, or we find that it is interesting, depending on the amount of applications that we have. But the host country high-level leaders meeting set of activities is a different thing.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: What I understood Krzysztof's discussion to be was not about the high-level meeting and clearly understanding what the current process is for day zero workshops. But I think he was also suggesting is there an opportunity to look at more -- rather than an individual government or an individual IGO, and, of course, all those presentations are supposed to be multistakeholder as well, but rather than just a set of a single stream organization or single stream company -- country, was there an opportunity to do something more strategic and more horizontal and was that an appropriate use of the day zero application? Was that -- and I think the answer is yes, providing it is still government and IGO sort of -- I don't know what the word is -- centric or led because that's what the day zero facility was to accomplish. And at the same time, I really hope that with the -- no, sorry with the open forums was actually their specific -- okay, now I'm getting confused here. Your question was specific to open forums or day zero?
>>KRZYSZTOF SZUBERT: Day zero. (Off microphone). Yes. How we can be involved I think much more deep in the day zero agenda or discussion or what -- for example, if we do have the good connections with our governments, is there any way we should maybe do the process in different way or the government should go to the standard workshop submission proposals to influence a little bit on the day zero.
>>CHENGETAI MASANGO: It's not a standard workshop proposal because day zero is much, much looser. We take day-long events. If you have a proposal for day-long events, send it to the secretariat. We'll look at it. So there aren't any hard and fast rules for that. And that's why we have the day zero, for things that don't fit into the normal IGF program.
Open forums are a bit different. There is a set format for those, and that's available on the website. And it's for governments and treaty-based organizations with -- of course, ICANN and ISOC aren't treaty-based organizations but they are acknowledged to have worldwide Internet governance activities with impact on the Internet. So, yes, they're allowed to have activities for open forums. Those are the two different things.
If your government is interested in hosting a day zero event, yes, they can just send a proposal in and we'll take a look at it and give it a slot.
But, again, it's totally open. We're looking for interesting ideas. There's no real set format for that. Open forums, we usually want to keep them to one government each. We don't want one government to have, like, six open forums.
>>KRZYSZTOF SZUBERT: There might be some ideas or subjects which are cross-governmental, so that maybe the idea to organize something like this, like a cross-governmental discussion on strategic issues. So just an open question. I don't want to take too much time.
>>CHENGETAI MASANGO: That's fine.
>>KRZYSZTOF SZUBERT: Just the idea behind to do it.
>>CHENGETAI MASANGO: The idea is fine. As I say, this is the IGF. We are interested in something new, something that will bring more value to the IGF. So if you have something, yeah, come talk to us, write a proposal. That's fine.
>>DANIELA BRONSTRUP: Thanks. Very briefly, we are organizing this kind of cross-governmental discussion by the high-level meeting. That's the idea of our invitation from our minister. And the day zero basically shall have a focus on that kind of discussion. And then there are other activities and, indeed, as Chengetai said, you send them in and then we try to find a good balance of fora and workshops and initiatives. But for the kind of discussion you are talking about, I have the impression that will be kind of the ministerial meeting and the meeting with the stakeholder groups.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Okay. I'm going to go through the queue that's here. And then, again, if the questions are substantive on high-level or opening or closing ceremonies, we have a slot at the end of the day today to do that properly with an appropriate introduction.
We have Helani. You have the queue. Is Helani online? Helani, we'll come back to you in a moment unless you are ready now.
Okay. Let's go to Veni Markovski. And then, Helani, we will come back to you just as soon as we have a signal.
>>VENI MARKOVSKI: Thank you, Lynn. Sorry to take the floor. I could have asked the question the first time. And I forgot to thank obviously, again, the local host here and the host in Germany for having us.
The question -- I got a couple of questions from my part of the world, Eastern Europe, with regards to the deadline which is Friday. They're asking whether we could consider that given the fact that the next two days are Saturday and Sunday, so there will be no review, so to speak, processing those requests, we could give them two extra days and make the deadlines at the end of Sunday? I don't know if that's possible, but I just need to ask you.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Chengetai is saying yes, that's possible. I guess the next question is: Does that extend to all of the deadlines that were due on April 12th?
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: -- certainly from comments such as those as Secretary-General Gutierrez at the Paris meeting and, of course, President Macron as well. It should be clear I tink that there's a clear request for the IGF to address with some, I think, haste or some immediacy, perhaps -- (audio difficulty) only 50% of the world is now connected even after the substantive piece of work the IGF has always had a lot of interest and a lot of focus on. Are we doing all we can in that area? But also all the other various challenges we're all facing. And I'm sure it differs with everyone, whether you want to talk about security issues or gender or access issues or fake news or the myriad of challenges that people see with Internet of Things and virtual reality and blockchain, et cetera. There are certainly a lot of ground that we can cover here.
There have been several working group reports published in the MAG. I think the most notable ones are probably the Working Group on IGF Improvements and the Working Group on the Multiyear Strategic Work Plan.
And in the agenda, we listed about 10 or 12 of the sort of major areas that have come up through the working groups and various MAG discussions. I want to pull out -- I think there are sort of three or four areas here that I think have had kind of the most significant air play or concern within the MAG and then open the floor up with respect to thoughts the MAG has on which of the right areas to address.
I really hope we focus on that and we don't talk about those that are just going to kind of advance incrementally some of our activities.
There are clearly kind of more operational things we could do that would improve our activities, classify those as kind of incremental. But I think we need to be creative and appropriately ambitious as we actually look at what the IGF and the MAG might actually do to address some of these increasing challenges, increasing opportunities.
One of the areas where there has been an awful lot of discussion over the past couple years WAS multiyear strategic topics, or multiyear focus, which was actually -- it's clear that a lot of the topics we deal with are very substantive and they will take years as they advance. So the cybersecurity discussions we're having today, or security discussion, is not the same one we were having five years ago or ten years ago. But should we look at that field as an example and determine what work the IGF community might go away and address?
Some of the expected benefits of that multiyear focus were identifying topics early would allow for more strategic approaches to the issue. It would allow us to outreach more broadly to all sorts of players and pull them in. The time frame facilitates that as well as, of course, kind of more thoughtful activities in a multiyear scope.
It would enable work year-round and also would minimize the loss of momentum from one year to the next where it was clear that in past years when there was a two- to three-month window where there was no MAG seated, we lost a lot of momentum and lost a lot of time. So the notion behind this multiyear program was that would have facilitated work, work ongoing. I'm very, very happy that we have a commitment to continue with the timely appointment of the MAG. I don't think that takes away from the need to identify these multiyear topics to support year-round work and enable smoother transitions from one year to another, one MAG to another. And, also, presumably, it would result in better work products with that longer time horizon.
We've had that to some extent in the best practice forums where it's pretty clear that every one of the best practice forums has actually imagined multiyears worth of work.
The best practice forums tend to involve a relatively small number of MAG members and sort of specific parts of the community. And I think people think of that as tangential to the work of the IGF. So I think that raises some questions both for how we perceive some of those activities and how they're connected to the MAG and whether or not, in fact, they are the right activities.
We also in past years had a major intersessional policy program. We had connecting and enabling the next billion for four years. We decided to sort of sunset that for a period of time this past year, which does leave an opportunity to undertake another major intersessional policy program. And I think that's a discussion we need to have soon as well.
So some of the questions I think the MAG might have asked with respect to that particular topic is: Should we be doing more multiyear planning? If so, in what areas? And should the various activity we have today, such as BPFs or the major intersessional policy program, should those activities be strengthened? And if so, how? And then kind of a generic question is: How are we engaging all parts of the IGF ecosystem as much and as early as possible?
So, again, that was trying to pull together some of the threads out of the two of the working groups, in fact, that had looked at this, the working group on improvements and the strategic multiyear work program.
Another very major topic focused on more tangible outputs. We hear that from virtually every corner of our community. There's a discussion -- quite a robust discussion about the multiyear strategic plan working group on more tangible outputs, including recommendations. And specifically in last year's working group, two pilots were proposed to facilitate the intersessional multiyear work. They were meant to focus on more concrete outputs and possible modalities for different types of recommendations.
Again, nobody wants to work outside of the Tunis Agenda; but some of the working group members stressed that specifically the Tunis Agenda not only allows that, it calls for that. And they reference paragraph 72 (g) which states in the Tunis Agenda: To identify emerging issues, bring them to the attention of the relevant bodies and the general public, and, where appropriate, make recommendations.
And nobody thinks these are binding policy recommendations. We're clearly not set up for that. But there's a whole gamut of recommendations that some believe we could actually -- actually be implementing.
So, again, there were two pilots proposed last year. One was methodologies for the development of written IGF outputs. And the second one was strengthen cooperation within the context of IGF 2019.
The aim of both of those pilots was to determine if or how we could use those experiences in future IGF cooperation processes. And the pilots were proposed as alternative sessions leading up to or for the Berlin IGF.
The strengthen cooperation pilot is moving forward in the community. That one, in fact, built on two years of successful preparatory work held through various IGF workshops or sessions. And there's support for continuing that in the community, so that is actually moving forward as well.
So the one that's in front of us that the working group actually felt very strongly had to come to the full MAG, because we were not able to progress to a decision in the working group, was the proposal for methodologies for the development of written IGF outputs.
And throughout that process, there was sort of a recurring issue which is: How far should we go with more tangible outputs? And what do we mean by "recommendations"? So I think that's another area that we could specifically try and advance here over the course of the day.
There was another significant effort on improving current outputs; and there was quite a number of changes made, mostly operational last year, where we tried to provide more guidance to the workshop organizers as they prepared their sessions and as they reported out on their sessions, both ahead of and at the end of the sessions.
And, of course, we improved on the IGF 2017 Geneva Messages with what we did in Paris last year with IGF messages, and we got messages out of all of the individual workshops. And we, I think, streamlined and sort of significantly updated the chair's summary as well.
That chair's summary focused on themes and took in all the input by theme, whether that came from a workshop, a main session, an open forum, a day zero event. So it really did try to capture the full set of discussions thematically that had been held over the course of IGF 2018.
There were also some suggestions that we, look, maybe it's some of the processes that are used in some of the national and regional IGF initiatives where they have rapporteurs in session that take five, ten minutes at the end of each session and try to capture kind of the main messages, the main take-aways that were heard in that session, and they present that to the audience and. The purpose is to see if that correlates with the audience believed they just heard and participated in. And, of course, if there was sort of strong objection or somebody thought a point had not been dealt with or dealt with appropriately, there was an opportunity for them to comment as such. And then that actually fed the IGF finding. So that was a way of getting a kind of community validation, if you will, of the output of that topic. And there's some other things we can do to process our workshops a little bit differently.
There's a lot of discussions about what we can do to actually increase engagements with the dynamic coalitions, for instance, with the national and regional IGF and youth initiatives. And then if you look through the agenda, there were those other 10 or 12 points, some of which I have actually encompassed here.
I think what we need to do at this point is to basically have an open discussion with the MAG with respect to what they think some of the more strategic areas are, what the priorities are, and some sort of ideas as to how we might actually approach them.
We moved the open consultation day, the open community day, to day two, so that we could ask the community the same thing and if there was anything sort of substantive coming out of this discussion today, that we had an opportunity to review it with them as well.
So we're trying not to overprocess this. We are a large group, 52 or 53 MAG members. Plus, we have representatives of IGO organizations and the past 13 IGF host countries. So I think we don't get together all that often and have these sorts of discussions, and it's not the easiest one to process through.
Really what we're are looking to hear is what are the areas you think are the most important for the IGF to address, the most strategic, and suggestions with how we might advance some of them.
So I will open the floor now. We have until lunchtime, 1:00. And then we have the first hour afterwards as well before we come back to some of the other sessions.
Are there any views on what I reported? I tried to capture the key themes from the two working groups the MAG had. They have been shared on the MAG list since the end of last year, trying to really put the concrete issues in front. What we hear from individuals, of course, is more tangible outputs. How do we make the substantive dialogues that take place at the IGF, how do we translate out of this forum and into places where they can actually be advanced upon?
So, Raquel Gatto, you have the floor.
>>RAQUEL GATTO: Thank you very much, Lynn. And I can give a try to start sparking the discussions. Of course, we have many ideas of how to help strengthen the IGF.
I think we've said many times and it's worth to say again, the IGF has come a long way and it is the place where we want to have these international discussions around the Internet and the public policies around the Internet.
I'm going back -- and I'm sorry if I'm being erratic, but going back to your questions, the first question was: Should we have the multiyear planning, right? And I think straightforward is, yes, those are important issues that are not going to be solved in a one-year round. And although we have the MAG constraints in terms of the mandate, those are evolving processes. And the more we can avoid (indiscernible), the better, or repetition, let's say. Regarding the intersessional work, so during my time in the MAG, I've been co-facilitating the intersessional work with the CENB effort. And it's really a major effort. I think we need to leverage also some of the existing discussions according to the program priorities. So by saying that, either we had the discussion when we were approving some of the BPFs, for example, the IOTAI and so on. So are there emerging issues that we need to bring, either into a process of community discussion, which are the BPFs, or into a major discussion and streamlined with the stakeholder and the concrete actions and so on to find these recommendations.
So I think there's work to be considered and it shouldn't be dropped. There is importance in this track, and I'm going straight to the question about the tangible outcomes.
And there seems to be usually a confusion on the usual outputs and outcomes and where we were talking about. In my view here, there is -- there are results that come out of the IGF. There are recommendations that comes from the BPFs, work that comes from the dynamic collisions, work that comes from the messages, the IGF messages that are reporting out that's the discussions in the workshops and sessions. So there are results. And it has been said before that we also need to market it better to outreach and to make sure that this is reaching to the people it needs to know about it, right? And do something about it.
But that is also a separate and that's perhaps the outcomes part which is the impact. And in terms of the impact, there are two that I again say one that is pretty clear that is successful which is promoting also the model of the multistakeholder and this collaboration and discussions and those are the NIRs. They are a product of the IGF -- I'm sorry. I could hear me twice. And sorry about that. And so they are -- this is an impact that we see, right? That it's coming out of the IGF. But there is also perhaps, and that's the question mark, where it's the improvement part that needs to be seen and discussed, of course, which is where this is really being adopted and where this is really generating -- you know, even at the local level is this generating new processes in terms of regulation or so on or not. Or even it should be. Anyway. But those are the kinds of questions that in terms of the impact that we still need to see. I hope that's -- at least will spark the discussions within the MAG and to the more strategic work that we can do.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Thank you, Raquel. Appreciate anyone who jumps in to the discussion here at this point. It's always hard to get it kicked off. Jutta, you have the floor.
>>JUTTA CROLL: Thank you, Lynn, for giving me the floor. I just wanted to underline what Raquel has pointed out, that I don't think we have a deficit in tangible outputs or outcomes. We have a deficit in marketing them and bringing them to unfold their impact. And therefore, I do think that with the meeting of the parliamentarians or the legislators this year at the IGF Berlin meeting we have a good opportunity to bring the outputs from the sessions that we have at the IGF to unfold more impact in legislation but also in the work that parliamentarians are doing. And for that I do think we would need to come to a good methodology how all the things that have been and worked on during the first three days of the IGF can be brought forward to the meeting of the parliamentarians so they know what has been discussed. I don't think that all of them will attend all sessions all the three days before, so we would need to have a clear strategy how to bring that forward. And also we could discuss at an early stage how we can come into more close cooperation once the attention of legislators and parliamentarians has been drawn to Internet governance and to the things that we are doing. We continue -- can continue that process also after the IGF in Berlin is finished. Thank you.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Thank you, Jutta. And now we have quite a number in the queue, which is great. Arsene, you have the floor.
>>ARSENE TUNGALI: Yeah. Well, probably my first question will be maybe a question before I can elaborate more would be who -- I mean, what do you mean when you say Senate policymakers. If it's MPs in this area, I find it's personally very good. You know, it's a very good approach and probably this goes back to the discussion we had early on about inviting MPs at the IGF. I found this very useful and valuable to have national MPs attending global IGFs or, you know, somehow being involved in the IGF activities along the year. Because sometimes, you know, when we try to bring them into national IGFs, sometimes they have no idea about -- about the whole of the IGF. And though we need their participation as well, you know, into furthering the discussions on the national level, so I believe if they are really brought into the discussion about the IGF globally, not only the global meeting but also throughout the year, I think this can increase, you know, their involvement and participation in international IGFs. Sometimes from my own experience you've seen most international IGFs, they lack participation by people like MPs, though they are the ones working on policy issues. And so whenever discussing policy on the parliamentarian level, they are lacking some of those things that we -- which are beautiful and we discuss about during the IGF, which could help, you know, in the creation of policies on the national level. But if we have MPs who are close or familiar with the work of the IGF I think, and if they hear all of those beautiful things that are being discussed in the IGF, this is affects, you know, impacts the policymaking processes on the ground.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Thank you, Arsene, for that thoughtful comment. Just one quick point of clarification. When I say senior policymakers, I'm actually trying to be generic so that includes MPs. It also includes, of course, senior policymakers in the private sector who are obviously very, very active in terms of setting policy in a lot of these spaces simply through their actions and their corporate actions. And it also includes senior policymakers and IGOs and that sort of thing as well, in addition to ministers. Ben Wallis, you have the floor.
>>BEN WALLIS: Thank you, Lynn. So thanks, Lynn, for making this a large part of our meeting this week, and I agree, it's great that this year we have the opportunity to do that and spend more time discussing, looking beyond just this year's meeting and discussing the future of the IGF.
Thank my colleagues who are already speaking, particularly to Raquel for being the first one to plunge in and giving us plenty of things to think about.
So I wanted to offer two thoughts. Firstly, looking at something that both Raquel and Jutta said and going back to things which I talked before about the need for more marketing of all the existing outputs and how that might be done better, Lynn you said that the CENB had been sunsetted and that leads an opportunity to want to take another major intersessional policy program but I wonder if it provides the opportunity and frees up some resources within the secretariat to actually do more marketing. I don't know quite how the intersessional -- the CENB was resourced and how much of the secretariat's time and how much of the budget it took up, but if there's the opportunity, for example, to get in a communications professional for a short period of time to advise the secretariat and to bring in new some ideas, I just think about that as an opportunity before leaping into another intersessional policy program.
And I'm also interested to hear -- hear how we might use the NRIs or work with the NRIs to create that kind of impact of what's happening at the global areas. It's not just about marketing directly at a global level from the secretariat, but can we use the NRIs and work with them to do that, too. So the first thought was about marketing. And separately was to whether there are particular issues that are most important and should be our focus.
So I had a thought, and this is -- it's broader than a single policy issue, but looking to the -- what the U.N. Secretary-General said about needing to be more multi-disciplinary and hearing the high-level panel talk about the need to avoid developing policy in silos, I wonder whether there's something we can look at as to how you do join up policymaking, how you have a holistic policy environment? Are there initiatives or ideas out there for making it easier to look at policy and Internet governance issues in a way that brings together traditional kind of technology focused policymakers with those in other parts of government and other stakeholders that are not generally and traditionally involved.
So that's maybe something we can explore when we look at the main sessions as well, but I thought I'd float it as a general idea first. Thank you.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Thank you, Ben. I'm going to ask Chengetai if he wants to respond to just not doing a fifth phase of the CENB free up any resources, any significant resources?
>>CHENGETAI MASANGO: I mean, I was actually lined up to -- you had two questions about the communications professional. I mean, that's one thing that we have to talk to UNDESA about and see whether or not that's a possibility. I mean, it's a -- and for the CENB, I mean, for anything that we do we need to have somebody that is a neutral person so I'm not too sure how that would work with -- without having anybody from the secretariat or a consultant hired by the secretariat for the CENB. That's a little bit difficult. But we didn't have a solid proposal for a CENB section. If we have one and that's discussed by the MAG and it's approved, we could find some.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: I think the question was a little bit different which was, given we have decided not to do a CENB this year, is that freeing up any significant resources that we could use to improve outputs in a different manner. And I think the secretariat resources was a fraction of a consultant for a period of a few months last year, so it wasn't a substantive salaried person that we could actually put to that, so it was minimal.
>>CHENGETAI MASANGO: Thank you. It was a third of a consultant basically. And this year we've actually put -- we've swapped that CENB work to do capacity development work. So the consultant now has been tasked with doing a framework for our capacity development work so that we can more effectively do capacity development through the NRIs and through all our other meetings. So that's how we used up that freed-up resource.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Thank you, Chengetai. I think, though, Ben, in sort of the spirit of your question, if there is work that the MAG thinks should be taken up within the MAG, I think we also need to be creative about how we actually resource that work. Clearly we can put MAG resources to lead it or drive it, the secretariat can accept in-kind contributions. We do need to make sure that, in fact, they are unbiased and neutral resources. But with that said, if there's MAG oversight, that also gives us some extra leeway as well. So, you know, if people thought there was an institution or organization that would be willing to provide some resources or support our project or pilot, then we should approach them as well. There's a lot to be learned from people coming in and participating in this process, whether it's working with the secretariat, it's working with the community, or working with the MAG. So it's a win/win if we can pull people in from other organizations or academia to come in and support the activities here. So I think we're going to need to be creative about resourcing any of the things we actually desire to do here because there's not a pot of unused money in the secretariat that we can just redirect to these activities. Unfortunately. Chenai. Chenai Chair, you have the floor.
>>CHENAI CHAIR: Good morning, everyone. So Chenai Chair for the record. I was thinking when you were talking about the tangible outputs, it's a problem where I think a lot of -- can everyone hear me? Yep. I think it's a problem that's common across different initiatives that are trying to bring people together in terms of what has been your impact or what has been your outreach. So my suggestion is that perhaps we can actually -- on the point about limited resources -- actually engage the community that we facilitate this conversation for. So, for example, I think a lot of people have either attended fellowship meetings or have been part of (indiscernible). One of the things you're asked to do is to reflect on how have you taken the lessons that you've gathered in this space and what have you done to build upon them. So even though we ask people to provide reports on policy (indiscernible) to actually point out that I did write a report. Perhaps also when people are filling in the application for the next round of workshop to point out how they've implemented -- especially those that are second time or third time participants -- to actually point out how they've implemented what they've gathered or the recommendations they gathered based on the facilitation of attending an IGF meeting. And I think that would actually be helpful to actually use that section because it can come up as a separate question to actually put together in a report, to actually say, I attended IGF in 2016 and I participated on the PPF agenda, for example, which was the name discussion in 2017, and from there we implemented A, B, C, and D, based on the discussion that was done. And I think that actually would serve the community, see the purpose of being part of the IGF. Not just attending for the sake of attending but to actually say, I learned something and this is what I did with it, and that could be a tangible output.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: I think that's an excellent suggestion, Chenai. And maybe we could even support that even now and with some online tool to start collecting a lot of the information. Maricela, you have the floor.
>>MARICELA MUNOZ: Thank you, Lynn. And just for the record, I want to state that I am a MAG member. I don't know why the system does not recognize me as such, but yeah. I am a MAG member from Costa Rica. Good morning again. I just want to welcome this reflection and brainstorming on these strategic issues, including the marketing model. And I think, you know, it's just hearing other colleagues speaking this morning about these recurring, you know, conversation in terms of us being able to better disseminate our products, I can totally concur with that. I mean, I don't think that there is a lack of outcomes and outputs, just a lack of systemization probably on the way we have been able to disseminate those results. And I don't think this is a problem that affects only the IGF community. I think that we can find this problem in other platforms as well.
There was a suggestion last year regarding the identification of a potential facilitator to help us explore strategic issues. I think that listening to Chengetai talking about a consultant that is focusing on -- you know, within the framework of the capacity development program, you know, looking for best practices or better ways to enhance that important pillar of our work, I could suggest that we also give some thought to identifying -- I know that, you know, resources are always a question, but if we could identify a consultant for the marketing perspective and I was thinking that we -- you know, we are hosted by ITU and I receive every week ITU news in my iPhone, for instance, and they come with, you know, these latest developments with just one paragraph. And if you want to go deeper, you just press. But, you know, it's just -- just exploring and, you know, taking advantage of all these new tools and virtual, you know, mechanisms that we have to disseminate information. And looking at the community that we want to address, you know, because it's not only parliamentarians that are in charge of developing policy but also ministries and academia that contributes with our technical expertise to these developing -- development of policy. I think that we can reach out slowly but, you know, in a very, you know, systematic manner to a broader community, a broader network, if we were to explore potential avenues for disseminating this information but maybe we need a little bit of help with that. And to just focus our attention to that aspect for a moment.
I also may suggest we consider having an open session during the IGF this year to look at this issue and to hear from the wider community about ideas and thoughts in better marketing our outcomes. But I think that it's a good moment to give further thought to this recommendation.
I heard the Secretary-General speaking about these also in Paris and I think that again is quite an opportunity at this juncture to give momentum to what we're doing through marketing tools that may come to a lower cost than we think. Thank you.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Thank you, Maricela.
I don't know if there is an update from either Chengetai or Deniz. We have been exploring avenues to get some additional marketing and communication support, but I don't think that we have anything that's sort of right in front of us at the moment.
And one piece is certainly capturing it better. I think we need to find a way to capture the intent. I mean, a report that says "it was stated that," "why it was discussed," "a point was made that" is not particularly useful. It's kind of interesting but it's not particularly useful. A lot of people have said they are looking for something that more gives a sense of what a community thinks or a group of people thinks. I think one of the things we could try and assess is how do we actually get that.
Some of the processes I have seen, again, in the national and regional IGF initiative meetings do do that. It can actually say that the workshop session participants generally agreed X or a comment was made and there was strong support or great disagreement, so something that sort of validates a little bit what was actually discussed as opposed to just a factual set of reports. And I think we need to think about how we could actually improve our outputs that way to some extent.
And then I think we need to find a way to direct them. If we want philosophers and social scientists and other people to come into our meeting, we need specific reasons to approach them with specific content and a specific role for them to play, something for them to come in and participate in and contribute.
So I think we need to be -- if we're going to take any of those requests seriously, we're going to need to find different ways to operationalize them. And I think a lot of that is going to come on the MAG, just by default. I'm sure we can get support from community and community members individually, but it would still require kind of MAG leadership and MAG direction. It's not going to come from the small secretariat. I don't even know if it should appropriately come from the secretariat as opposed to community expertise and community engaged. But, again, I'm just throwing some things out to try and get some discussion started.
>>GONZALO LOPEZ-BARAJAS: Hello. Gonzalo Lopez-Barajas from Telefonica, private sector and I'm not a MAG member.
Going back to the issue on improving the outputs and marketing the content, I think it would be interesting to look at the data of the number of the documents that have been downloaded or viewed in order to know where we stand. And if those documents and the summaries of the sessions and the workshops and especially after having included the main messages, if there's an impact on what people is looking at the documents and downloading, it would be interesting to know where we stand now and also to compare it with previous years to see if there's an impact. If, for example, we start marketing those documents, if there's an impact on the number of downloads and page views.
I would suggest we start to look into those numbers to see where it was and where we stand now.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: I think that's a very good suggestion, Gonzalo. While Gonzalo is not a MAG member, I can say he's actually one of the most active working group members from the community. So really appreciate all of his time and effort there. But I think that's a great suggestion. Chengetai is reporting that Luis has already started getting that information.
We've exhausted the queue at the moment. We wanted some open time at the beginning if there was something completely different on people's minds or something they actually had that opportunity. We can -- if we've exhausted that, we could go back and try to look specifically at each one of the topics specifically. Do we want to spend some more time on what we can do to improve outputs? Do we want to spend some time on what are some additional modalities or pilots we might look at to explore where we can push forward on recommendations? Do we want to talk about the multiyear strategic planning? I mean, would people prefer a single-threaded approach? Again, we hadn't had the kind of luxury of having these more open strategic discussions in the MAG so we didn't want to be too prescriptive up front, which is why we started with the work of the working groups and brought those points of view in because at least it was something that had been in front of the community and the MAG for some time.
Daniela, any time you want to come in, as well.
Not seeing any preference or any suggestions from the room, trying to think what's the best -- the best way to go.
Maybe we take the multi-year strategic topics for a moment.
Did you want to come in?
>>DANIELA BRONSTRUP: Thank you, Lynn. Maybe very briefly, I think the idea of having a multi-year strategic program is a very good idea because it leads us to focusing on the key issues and giving also guidance to the discussions, discussions in communities but also inside the MAG, I think. So in that way, I really like the paper the working group presented. Thanks for that work, also. I would support the idea very much. Thank you.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Thank you, Daniela.
If, in fact, we were to do that, if we -- I have no agenda here. I'm really trying to process what I think the room and the community have said over the years.
This year we have three major themes: We have data governance. We have inclusion. And we have, I'm just going to call it, security because I'm a big proponent of cybersecurity is conflating too much, though I always say we need to break that down. I think if we can just stay with "security" for a moment, we have those three topics.
We're expecting of the bulk of the workshop submissions to come in, the vast bulk, I hope, under those three -- those three themes.
We haven't talked about the opening and closing -- the main sessions yet. You know, we could look at doing something which threads the topics that come in under those three main themes more and use the output of those discussions to actually set up work for the next few years. That would mean we would have to think carefully through the main sessions and how they were positioned. We have to be prepare to look through the reports and the discussions of those sessions that came in and then work to suggest a multi-year thread. But we could target our main sessions to try and accomplish that. We could target our main sessions to work through an intro and then maybe the main sessions later in the week to try and encapsulate what we've actually heard which could actually feed a multi-year program.
I think the reason we've had difficulty getting pieces of that off the ground is it requires the MAG, I think, stepping up and taking a little more proactive role in terms of shaping some pieces of the program. And I think there have been views in the past that sort of every year kind of resets and we ask the community what they'd like to talk about and the program is built bottom-up from the community.
And we don't want to lose that, but I think we're hearing from many, many places that that's not enough, that something which did actually try and support the work of the community and structure the sessions and the work of the IGF when it comes together for its annual meeting in a way that actually helped advance a topic was what people are actually looking for.
So, you know, there's -- I'm never sure if our discussion gets stuck because we're so stuck on the process and it has to be bottom-up community and chosen annually or because there's a reluctance for the MAG to step in and take a more proactive role in terms of trying to shape the annual meeting activities.
But I want to recall to everybody what Deniz said at the end and what was said at the IGF Paris a few times, the MAG is actually here to advise the Secretary-General. And the Secretary-General has come in and said: I'd like your help in some of these areas and here's some other things I think you should pay attention to, which can actually be part in your program. Now, we can obviously agree to not pay attention to that.
And at the same time, we have other activities taking place with the HLPDC and other forums as well. In fact, probably the WSIS Forum here that I believe would and should step in and fill any gaps, if it's not something the IGF should do or it's not something we seem to be able to do.
So I think we need to figure out how we move these discussions forward. And I don't know if that's on a more general discussion about the role of the MAG as it relates to the Program Committee or where the MAG sits in reference to relationship to the U.N. or if this is more about not being able to wrap our heads around what are the sort of topics and substantive issues and how do we define those in a multi-year cycle. I don't know.
And kind of hearing from everybody here with respect to what you think are the blocks or what -- positively would be nice if we could say what are the next steps to actually advance some of this. But are there things that are concerning about kind of what I just said or things that you think are kind of inhibitors to us taking a more proactive role in shaping what happens at a meeting? I'm not talking about top-down but shaping, facilitating the meeting.
Sylvia, you have the floor.
>>SYLVIA CADENA: Thank you, Lynn. Sylvia Cadena, technical community, MAG member. Just off the top of my head without much deep thinking on what you just said, but in the interest of making some proposals to see how we can move this forward, I would like to put to the MAG the idea that we could use, like, a mechanism that is already there, that we have kind of an ownership as MAG members, which are the main sessions.
In a very similar way that the workshops are, they are kind of -- we have to wait until a certain part in the process to actually structure what those sessions are going to be around and try to focus the sessions around the themes for the year, et cetera, right?
Last year we did eight, I think? That coincided with seven baskets and one around dynamic coalitions. Maybe I'm mistaken and mixing them all up. But let's say we have that structure from last year. And I think it probably could work if we keep the structure from last year, although it doesn't necessarily reflect the three main topics that we are working this year because that refer to a lot of the stakeholder participation, issues that were a concern and out of concern for many. And that might be relevant to one or more of the narratives. We can figure out how that possibly fits together.
But if we could have a look at those and say let's give the themes or the topics for the main sessions a three-year term that is similar to the term of the MAG members that are joining the group, right? And then you may have the chance to develop the topic for that main session across three years. It doesn't have to be the same MAG member because, of course, we rotate.
But let's say we started last year. On the one that I helped put together, which is the one on technical and operational issues, it was around content (indiscernible) and blocking, which is linked to the cybersecurity -- the security narrative but also has other impact in some of the other narratives.
So we could take a look at what was discussed last year in the main sessions and try to figure out, okay, is there any follow-up for that theme that was structured last year that we can continue and move on so that the main sessions that are that part of the program that the MAG members have a little bit more control of so that we can structure them in this kind of three-year sort of cycle or two-year, whatever it is that the MAG decide.
I think it will be harder to look at all the mechanisms that are already part of the program, like the open forums or day zero events or how that -- how we can kind of interfere in a way in any of the workshops as such because that is kind of like a separate track where all the community participates.
But the main sessions are there for us to structure. So if we can put them to the multi-year strategic plan, it might actually help us to experiment on this and at least see how it goes. And I'm happy to help with whatever it is that is required in that space. Thanks.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Thank you, Sylvia.
Ben, you have the floor.
>>BEN WALLIS: Thank you, Lynn. And some of -- I was thinking of main sessions, too. I'll get to that in a minute. But certainly there's some synergy with what Sylvia was saying.
Maybe -- I don't know how long the queue is. I know it's not very long at the moment.
I mean, maybe we could get a refresher on what the proposal was around a multi-year program just to kind of simulate more discussion.
I was wondering what "multi-year" meant, how long that might be. And so Sylvia gives a good example of what it could be, three years.
There's a risk that if you set the agenda for three years, you can't keep up with developments over time. Presumably, we can build in some flexibility to deal with that. And as Sylvia says, you should be able to have the ability to develop the theme over years.
Another idea was as you point out, we're here to advise the Secretary-General on the program of the IGF and the direction of the IGF. We're also waiting with bated breath to see what the U.N.'s High-Level Panel on Digital Cooperation brings forward. They might ask nothing of the IGF, or it might provide us with challenges and asks. So that makes me wonder whether we would want to set out a multi-year program before we give new homework. But hopefully we'll be given homework, if we have any, by June. So that's just another element to think of as we think about how to kind of set sail for a multi-year program.
I had then been thinking as we came to this meeting about how we could use main sessions and probably simulated by you, Lynn, putting -- sowing some seeds during the last MAG call. I'm interested in this idea of topping and tailing the week with main sessions, of having main sessions around the three themes which can set the tone at the start of the week and once -- and at the end of the week which can hear from as many of the workshops as possible and kind of collect the areas of agreement and consensus in those particular themes.
I think the challenge is, as I already implied there that those get -- there's so many sessions on these themes that you would want to give yourself plenty of time at the end of the week to hear them. So maybe it's more about having main sessions towards the end of the week and not having so many at the start of the week. But I'm certainly interested in that idea.
As Sylvia points out, this is -- the community is invited to propose their workshops, their open forums, their DC sessions, all of those. The main sessions are the one area where MAG members get actively involved.
Last year I was involved in organizing one where we kind of started at the end of August and felt a little bit rushed. This year we have that luxury of time again.
So I'm very interested to get involved in organizing main sessions and see this meeting -- I see this meeting here as what we do with the main sessions being the main output. And look forward to then being able to begin working on them in the coming weeks already. So thank you.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Thank you, Ben.
Daniela, I'll give you the floor. And then I'll talk quickly and remind everybody what the kind of notion was behind the multi-year program. It wasn't the full agenda for the IGF. I'll come back to that in a moment.
>>DANIELA BRONSTRUP: Thank you. Yes, I would like to support the idea of having -- using the main sections for structuring. I think that was a good point, that we already have outputs but maybe not the kind of structured outputs that give enough visibility to those IGF outputs. So maybe the question is how to structure them. And one way was to set the three themes. And maybe it's a good idea to have the main sessions also around those themes, taking up the tone of the community in the beginning of the IGF and then taking up back what has been discussed during the days in the end and, of course, there will be a challenge to put that all then together and to have a nice parcel afterwards of a sort of tangible outcome. But yeah, that will be the task also for us to do. And I think that's very good idea. And, I mean, my understanding, at least of the multi-year program, was that it should be maybe sort of a three-year perspective, giving focus to special themes but not in the sense that it would be, I mean, fixed and couldn't be reversed and discussed each year and adapted, of course, if there are new developments. Because indeed we have a very dynamic situation, and we should be able to adapt them. Thanks, and sorry for leaving now for some time.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Thank you, Daniela. Just to come to the -- to the main sessions for a moment and the kind of notion of topping and tailing, one of the things we might do, building on Ben's point and Daniela's point, is actually -- and I'm not sure we can do it in real time there at the IGF but perhaps immediately afterwards, figure out what are the key messages or what are the key questions or points of contention or a framing of a particular issue that we got from the IGF meeting and then where should that discussion continue? Where should we take that up? Who else should come in and participate in it? So that we actually get some momentum going out of those sessions and accomplish some of the other objectives as well, which is broaden engagement, broaden the outreach, and that sort of thing. So I think we can -- can think about how we might actually process beyond kind of the immediacy of the concluding main sessions.
But the multi-year strategic topics was not a multi-year agenda for the totality of the work on the IGF or the totality of any annual program. It was initially, when it was kind of discussed, and this probably goes back two years to that working group, it was to take two to three topics that we knew were substantive topics that were going to take some years and would -- would, you know, potentially have kind of waves of advancement, if you will. Not really the right word but -- and try and identify what those streams of work would be so that we can approach other organizations, approach other individuals, bring them in. That was thought to actually allow us to reach out to new organizations which would support, perhaps, reaching out to them as donors because they would actually have interest in participating in the IGF because of their engagement in the work and, therefore, be interested in supporting it as well. But it would take up a relatively small number of workshop slots at any one of the IGFs. It wasn't taking away -- wasn't meant to take away significantly from the community aspects or the -- or the bottom-up aspect.
So, you know, at one point the analysis everybody was using was sort of the security and they were actually looking at some of the best practice forums from the security, which when the security BPF, or cybersecurity BPF, was first sort of mooted and even in, I think, the second year, they actually indicated that there was some future work that they would like to do in future phases. So it was in that vein which, you know, we would like to explore this particular set of activities this year, and we think that's a precursor to a second set of activities in year three and possibly another one in -- I got my years wrong but in the third year out. So it was in that vein which would allow us to expand each one of the topics and again reach out to new participants. And maybe -- I'm trying to think if there's a better example, but maybe one of the BPF proposals in cybersecurity from two years ago I think they specifically laid out these are things they'd like to do in this year, next year, and the year after was the model. But again, it was only a small percentage. But we could literally say, the IGF is going to examine these particular issues in cybersecurity. We have a three-year program. We're going to focus on this. This is what we expect would be kind of the outcomes of this. Year two, year three. And obviously that would be developed with the community and the MAG, in one of the topics we might choose. So that was what the notion was. Again, two to three topics, multi-year focus. One of the other examples we used for a while was connecting and enabling the next billions as well, which also did something similar. And that we would expand upon that and very consciously. Who are the other people that are to be engaged in this? What would be their reason for engagement? What would be their contribution? And plan that out as a fuller multi-year program. Again, not taking up a lot of territory in the workshop program but able to say that the IGF recognizes and the IGF community recognizes that these issues are really important, really strategic, really topical. This is what we think we can contribute to them. And this is how we're going to approach it over the next couple of years. So maybe -- I'll go Hana who's been very patient in the room here and then Rudolf. And maybe we can come back specifically and say, as I just kind of outlined that particular work, is that something that the IGF -- that the MAG thinks would be worth exploring? Again, not specifically in cybersecurity but two to three topics, multi-year with that level of definition. So we can try and see if there's support for that approach or not. Again, that would -- I think the difference is that would actually have the MAG working with the community really more specifically sort of scoping out a set of -- a set of work. Hana, thank you for your patience and you have the floor.
>>HANA ALHASHIMI: Thank you very much, Lynn. Hana AlHashimi from the United Arab Emirates. It's my first time taking the floor in a face-to-face session, so thank you very much to the hosts and all protocol observed, nice to meet you all in person.
Just to support your point, Lynn, I think it's very good that you laid out the connection between the three streams and potentially using those as a multi-year program. And we have privacy, inclusivity, and security. They're not very different from the three pillars of the United Nations which are exactly rights, development, and security. So I think they're broad enough buckets that they could essentially be used in a multi-year framework.
But I also thought it might be helpful in structuring this discussion to have a couple of timelines in mind.
The IGF itself only has a timeline to 2025. That's six years. The entirety of the 2030 agenda has just 11 years left. But actually the target for universal access in least developed countries actually just has nine months. So I think it's helpful to think of those timelines.
And to that point, I think Raquel's point of the thinking of three-year terms might be helpful because it fits in well with the amount of time we have left really. So -- in our work.
I also wanted to touch on what Ben said about the high-level panel and digital cooperation and something you had raised as well, Lynn. This panel, and we've mentioned this in our online sessions as well, is not, in my view and I think also the co-chairs view meant to be a direct attack on the IGF in any way. I think the scope of the panel goes beyond, to some degree, some of the work that the IGF does. The community that it focuses on is also slightly different. It's focused on models of cooperation. And it also has a fixed term. So after June there will be a report. And yes, we're all eagerly waiting to see it. But they would also be looking for champions to take whatever happens in that report forward. So I think from a member state perspective, it's very important that that report doesn't end up being something on the shelf. And there's certainly a role for the IGF to play in ensuring that whatever recommendations come out or whatever thoughts there are exactly on models of cooperation, exactly on how when we talk about multistakeholder cooperation, what that actually looks like in practice. That's something that the IGF could certainly work on. And all of these comments lead towards the need for strengthened outcomes and outputs. So particularly when we talk about less developed regions and less developed stakeholders, particularly in my region, if you ask, you know, why there isn't more engagement in IGFs, either locally or globally, it's because there isn't a clear understanding of the outcomes and outputs. So perhaps when we're talking about marketing, perhaps we can think about really making it -- making the value out of the IGF clear and perhaps structuring the outcomes in a way where it is sort of a repository or something that's, for lack of a better term, "pedestrian friendly" in terms of listing sort of best practices or ideas that could be picked up on and built on in a strategic way. I think the multi-year framework would help that. I think looking at models of cooperation could also help. But definitely keeping in mind that we don't have a lot of time. Certainly plus one to the multi-year work. Thank you.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Thank you, Hana. Those are very good comments. And you reminded me of a comment as well. We shared it on a MAG meeting recently. But the Secretary-General's office specifically asked the IGF to -- if we would be willing to provide sort of space and time to help them advance the HLPDC report once it's done. And I said I thought the IGF community would be supportive of that and also that to ensure that it actually had the broadest sort of view that we could actually look at doing some things online ahead of time with the community broadly which would certainly advance it, you know, well beyond the 3,000 people or so that participate in the IGF. So I think it's -- it's -- the offer is there. Of course, it's in the absence of actually understanding the report or seeing the report, but assuming that there are some intersections of Internet governance activities, maybe even implications for the IGF, the IGF would be a reasonable place to -- and the IGF community, of course, would be a reasonable place to advance those. So I think it was excellent that they actually reached out early to give us a heads up because they want to make sure we were taking that into account in the planning as we actually pulled the program together. Rudolf, you have the floor.
>>RUDOLF GRIDL: Thank you very much. Acting as a MAG member, not as a representative of the German government, to be clear. First of all, on the last point that you mentioned, of course, we also are thinking about how to include the findings of the high-level panel into what we call the day zero high-level event. Of course, there is a big, big question mark on what is going to be the result of this panel and only if we have this we can a little bit more concretely think about how to advance it, if to advance it, and so forth. So we need to have an open and transparent process from this side as well as is ours. That's the first point.
But I wanted to support the idea of like the MAG having a more structuring role of the program through the main sessions that you have outlined. And perhaps even going a little bit beyond. Because -- and it has been said that perhaps it's not a good role for the MAG. I think it is an important role for the MAG and I have been looking up the terms of reference of the MAG. And it is specifically outlined that the MAG should develop the program and the schedule. It should determine how to best plan and organize the IGF. So these are very strong words and very strong language. So it's not -- so it comes down to the question, what does bottom-up approach mean? Does it mean everyone puts in proposals and it's just then because it is a bottom-up a proposal put on the agenda of the IGF without any structure? I don't think so. I think as a MAG we have a responsibility, under the defined issues that we have found together with the community and the call for issues, to structure the whole exercise in a way that it becomes a story to tell in itself, to the outside world. Not to the inside world. The IGF, there is one -- there is one inside world where everyone understands every little reference and every little half sentence. That's okay. But that stays within the community. We have to go outside this community. And in order to do so, and it goes hand in hand with this marketing idea, we have to be strictured, transparent, and in a way this requires to take decisions. To take decisions of priorities, to merge workshop proposals, to have a clear idea of what -- of what the story of the IGF will be at this particular year. And we can -- even not in one year but in a multi-year. So I -- without wanting -- without wanting the MAG to like impose anything, I think we have a responsibility as a MAG to look at what's being proposed from the bottom-up approach and then it is our task and it is what we have been charged by the Secretary-General to advise and to determine a good program that speaks to the outside world. So we should start with the main sessions, but we should not stop there, in my point of view. Thank you.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Thank you, Rudolf. I'm trying not to smile quite so broadly at the half terms and three words and they do say volumes if you've been doing this for a decade or two and you're right, it is sometimes difficult to translate that to broader audiences. Raquel, you have the floor.
>>RAQUEL GATTO: Thank you very much, Lynn. Actually I think I'm going to echo a lot of what Rudolf said. But let me take perhaps a pragmatic angle. I think we need to perhaps save some more time on Thursday after we hear from the high-level panel and we understand what is the extent of their recommendations and what is our role there. I think that's important to also take the opportunity we are here and to have this interface and how much we are going to influence this process after all because it's not only receiving the information but how much we are going to make this a joint effort to get to the point that -- the very legitimate point that the U.N. Secretary-General raised.
And on the multi-year approach, I think I've said it before but let me reinforce, I totally agree with the extended multi-year programming. I think we have started with the three themes, and that can be combined easily with the efforts we have been doing by shaping the policy questions and framing it also with the community inputs on what is below those big buckets or whatever we want to call. That also gives us an opportunity to make a more focused program, to be more efficient after all and not be repetitive with over -- some of the topics and show, as Rudolf was saying, telling this story and also showing this evolution of the topics.
One of the things, it might be as a reflection, but even when the IGF was created per se back in 2005, many of the tools that we have nowadays and how the Internet is perceived is totally different. So there are concerns that needs to be addressed. And there is a dynamic that needs to be addressed also at the geopolitical level, the change that we see. So all of this needs to fit in to make the IGF meaningful and relevant with relevant outputs.
Coming from the technical community, one of the concerns and that might be more of a thematic also suggestion for this multi-year program and how -- not only you go down to the issues but how we perceive this Internet governance processes. Coming from the technical community, there is always a certain confusion on what is the Internet per se and where we are talking about, for example, the players or the human behaviors on the Internet. And that's -- that is a recurrent problem in our discussions. So I think that should be also tackled at some point.
And finally just on the outputs, outcomes, the marketing part, I think the marketing we -- we have a clear -- at least major support that this needs to evolve. But on the outcomes and the impact and going beyond, if we take the main session approach at the end, let's say, you know, let's discuss it and with the main sessions, what are the results of the workshops and how they fit in is part of the outputs of the IGF.
If we want to go beyond, we need also need to identify where we are dispatching those issues, where is this going to be the next step.
And I think right now the IGF has this huge community that can get it done. It's just a matter of structuring and taking advantage that we have the time now to make it happen.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Thank you, Raquel.
We have quite a number in the queue now, which is excellent.
Ben, you have the floor.
>>BEN WALLIS: Yeah, it's me again. I'll try to be a bit briefer this time.
To Rudolf and the idea of the MAG having a role to devise a story that can be told to the world, I just want to say I think this already began with the efforts that Rudolf and Daniela and Lynn led us in back in January to come up with three themes with succinct narrative descriptions. That's already setting us on a course to have a clear story to tell to the world and to drum up interest in the meeting where we had eight seemingly disparate themes this time last year.
And, Lynn, thank you for your clarification about the proposals behind a multi-year program. There now seems to be a separate idea about setting multi-year themes for the IGF, and that's interesting to explore as well. And you are keen to kind of bring up ideas, and it will be interesting to see what the community thinks of that tomorrow. But on your clarification about the specific multi-year program proposal, so it seems in some ways it's about reimagining and bolstering the BPFs, chartering -- you could see it as chartering BPFs for multiple years but also giving them a big more backing and emphasizing that they should be looking to create kind of formal relationships, including financial relationships with other organizations.
And I think that's -- I'd certainly support looking further into that. I couldn't say I am not coming up with any proposals for what the issues should be. But I remember that when the AI and Internet of Things and big data proposal came up last year, my response was there's too much here. You've got to split this, and, indeed, that's what they ended up doing. They kind of set out, let's do this in two stages and we'll do this in the first year and this in the second year. As I say, before I got involved with the BPF on cybersecurity, they were already thinking in terms of multi-year work.
So I don't know whether that means replacing the BPFs with something or having something different in tandem. But you asked whether there is support for exploring this idea, so I'm offering mine. Thank you.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Thank you, Ben.
One of the other things I think we should consider is in the discussions and working group I think the notion was that the BPFs would be supportive of one of those major topics just as we might look to see if the DCs were interested in participating or if some of the NRIs were interested in supporting them, or activities. So it was a way to pull in all the various activities across the IGF community.
I think the one thing we have to do because it's hard for one MAG to future -- forward commit subsequent MAGs. That's where I think it's really important that the community actually supports both, if we did this, a small number of key topics and we're actively involved in the description of what those topics were because it's the community that supports the work at the end of the day and the MAG just tryings to facilitate and occasionally lead it. So I think we can get beyond the one MAG future committing a second MAG if we're actually doing that through the community with community support and the community says "Yes, this is important and this is an appropriate strategy and we want to support whether it's through DCs, BPFs, NRIs or through additional working groups or structures as well."
From my mind, this is actually an opportunity for us to pull in the community much more deeply into those strategic topics than kind of reset every year fully in the program. I see Mary nodding her head in the background, which I like always.
Let's see. Susan, Susan Chalmers, you have the floor.
>>SUSAN CHALMERS: Thank you, Chair.
I first would like to support the comments of Rudi -- Rudolf and Raquel on the high-level panel report. I think it would be useful to first understand what the findings are and the recommendations are, and then we'll be best-placed to understand how to incorporate that within the program.
On the nature of outputs, again, at the expense of perhaps repeating myself, I do think that over -- well, since 2006, all of the discussions in the MAG and within the IGF events themselves, there are certainly gems and different types of recommendations, different explanations of policy approaches to various issues.
I would agree with the previous comments that Ben had mentioned about funding the development of these outputs, being able to package and promote these outputs. Again, I do not think it's a lack of quality of discussion but I do -- I think it's the -- how these outputs are formatted and promoted. Really, that should be the focus.
And, lastly, on the role of the MAG, I think that the place where the MAG can really shine in helping to shape the narrative, echoing certain comments that have come before, are in the main sessions. And MAG members have organized main sessions in different ways before. There's been more open approaches; for example, negotiating the format of the main sessions completely, openly with the communities in a Google Doc. There have been less open approaches which it's within the prerogative of the MAG, so that's okay, too.
But I guess one question I had, just a very practical one, is when in the cycle this year we will be working on those main sessions. I see we have a strategic discussion tee'd up for this afternoon. But I was just wondering when we decide to work on those main sessions? Are we expecting to that that this meeting, in a virtual meeting, or at the third meeting? Thank you.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: All three.
[ Laughter ]
And we clearly have to have a vision of what we want to do with the main sessions leaving this meeting. And depending on what that discussion is I think will determine how far we can advance on them in this meeting. It's pretty clear we will have to take them forward to some virtual meetings and hopefully be ready to pretty much conclude the kind of structure in the meeting in Berlin, I think is the timetable everybody is working towards.
Veni, you have the floor.
>>VENI MARKOVSKI: Thank you, Lynn. I have a question on -- another question or comment on the part of the discussion that we had on the High-Level Panel on Digital Cooperation. This comes back to something we also raised in our January meeting when we also had comments about it.
So from the perspective of the time, we will be done with our June meeting before the High-Level Panel issues their report. I guess it will be a report. And even if they are done a little bit before that, we may not have enough time to actually look into it.
But the question is rather going into align -- I mean, going into the same comments that we got in January about, you know, the IGF should not discuss that much of cyber because it will be discussed at the U.N., I mean, the High-Level Panel is set up by the Secretary-General. The IGF is set up by the General Assembly and by the WSIS before that, so to speak.
So I'm a little bit concerned that we keep on going back to the same point, which is we have to take into account what this panel will be saying. Shouldn't it be in a way -- the way it was established, it was mentioned whatever conclusions, recommendations it comes with, it will not touch on existing structure including, I guess, the IGF.
So we should probably be more careful in how we approach this question because I don't want to spend too much time on the panel -- I mean, the panel report. Rather, we should probably have a report from the panel, like, Jovan will be coming here, you said, on Thursday -- or tomorrow and he will tell us what's the current status. But, still, we wouldn't know what's happening until our June meeting. And we can be informed about it and they can have probably a workshop if they put a workshop proposal.
But I'm a little bit worried that we have put too much attention to this, and we may not put enough attention to other topics that people from around the world are providing to us through workshop proposals and BPFs, et cetera.
So I'm just being kind of -- playing devil's advocate, if you will, not to get driven into a discussion of another group report since we have a lot on our agenda and we will have probably hundreds of workshop proposals to review and make sure that, you know, they all follow the requirements that we have, et cetera, et cetera.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Thank you, Veni.
I mean, I think it's good advice to make sure we're really focused on the work that the MAG is uniquely kind of here to do. And I actually don't think so far we're focusing inappropriately on the HLPDC because I think one of our big take-aways should be that the HLPDC is there because some set of individuals, some member states within the U.N., think that there's a need to review digital cooperation both in the context of the U.N. doing all it can to facilitate and support those ideas and are the various sort of structures and forums that are engaged in some of these doing everything.
I'm not sure I interpret your quote the same way you did, or even that the quote is the same with respect to "not touching on other organizations." I think specifically it was to look at all the activities which includes organizations, processes, and institutions and identify where there are opportunities. So, you know, I think that was how I kind of interpreted that said. And I think from some of the conversations, and Ambassador Gill -- I don't know if Chengetai has any more information because, of course, he was seconded to the secretary for a period of time and may still have half a substantive foot in that camp.
But, I mean, I would suspect that at the end of the day, there are some implications for Internet governance, in which case I think there would be implications for the IGF.
But your main point, which is we shouldn't overconcentrate or overfocus, is absolutely right. And I don't -- I don't think -- I don't think we are.
Mary, you have the floor.
>>MARY UDUMA: Thank you, the Chairman. My name is Mary Uduma from Nigeria.
First -- since I'm taking the floor for the first time, I want to say welcome to everyone, and I hope you're having a (indiscernible). It's good for me. Okay. Having said that, I want to raise about three points.
One is the multi-year strategic plan is yes for me because it's necessary for us to have direction or roadmap or have a focus for the next three years, whether it's for this present MAG or the incoming or the MAG is continued. So if we develop that.
Secondly is that we are better off this year because we have developed -- we have a focus. And the three themes we have would be a starting point for us to continue with the strategic roadmap or direction. It could be adjusted yearly as the dynamics of IG issues dictates. So every year we adjust that while we have a focus, and it's good planning for us.
The second thing I want to mention is that these three focused themes, they cut across multi-sector, multi-disciplinary, and it would bring in new voices, new participants to the IGF process which I think is very good if we continue to develop that.
And before that, I think we're on the correct map, roadmap.
The third thing I want to talk about is the day zero High-Level Panel. I want us to consider what would such people be expecting from IGF, and their expectation should be our concern. What do we want to communicate to them? And that should be another concern of ours. What exactly -- just like Veni said, we are not going to communicate what another group will communicate to them. We will look at our three main focus and have to bring them to accept that these are very, very critical areas of concentration where you think about Internet development in every country, in every sector, in every stakeholder group. So that is the another thing. Then what should they take away? Those are things that I think should preoccupy our time for us to develop those things.
And then marketing, I know that if we develop this multi-year properly and we communicate properly, then we would be able to look at how we raise finances from those new sectors, new commerce, other disciplines that the Secretary-General is asking us to reach out to.
So I want to support all the comments that we have received here, especially the explanation that the agenda has been given to us. As Chair said, I have been nodding because I agree with most of the things that Chair has said. So I think we're on the right path. And then we should also look at what we should present that would make our new strategy acceptable and understood by the newcomers. Thank you.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Thank you, Mary, and thank you for a clear statement of your position, happy it's supportive, of course, but your position on the question that's in front of the room.
So let me go to Ananda. And then see if we can see what the next step is with respect to this topic. And then I will try to move to another one.
You have the floor.
>>ANANDA RAJ KHANAL: Thank you very much. One of the issues for strategic discussion that is strengthening -- I mean, increasing participation, increasing stakeholder engagement and inclusion, so I see that this is widening actually. When we have national IGFs, then it's focused only in the capital, you know, one small community, the same community everywhere in all meetings, in all programs like that. So we're not able to bring people outside the geographical region.
So how can we bring these people? One problem is online system cannot be developed. It's very complicated. Another is the geographical difficulties, very remote areas. And the local governments, they started taxing Internet per subscriber. So this widening inclusion is a very serious concern in countries like ours.
So is it the same kind of thing that is happening in other countries? Or this national IGF, how does it work? That's a very serious question. Thank you.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: It's a serious question and a really serious topic.
And I'm actually wondering if maybe a way to do that is maybe through one of the NRI calls where you actually see, first, if there are sort of shared experiences, and I am sure there are countries with the same set of issues or concerns and see what their suggestions have been to try and address that or whether or not there's something you can suggest that you think would help to close it. I don't know. Looking to Anja as a focal point of the NRIs to see if there's a way to --
>>ANJA GENGO: Thank you very much for the question. I think that's actually the most appropriate approach, that we bring this most important matter to the NRIs network and consult the NRIs. I think also some of the MAG members are affiliated with the NRIs so they could actually be in better position to speak than me about the issue of inclusion of everyone in the predecessors. For example, the Italian IGF -- it's been a while since it's been in Rome. I think last year and this year it will be there but they were touring the country. I know the South African IGF also had an excellent proposal where they go into remote areas.
So yes, those here, some inputs behind me. So maybe the best would be actually the colleagues involved in the NRIs could speak. Thank you.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: I think that's great. I think there were a lot of good comments you just made as well. And, you know, if we do go forward with two or three main strategic topics, that might actually facilitate a lot of input from the NRIs as well. If they have a longer horizon, then you can actually use a longer process and different processes to actually pull in, you know, reflections into that discussion as well. So they're still participating at a global as well as a local level. The screen has gone dark up here, but Arsene, you have the floor.
>>ARSENE TUNGALI: Yeah. It's on the same one, the same issue that was written by Ananda and then complemented by Anja (phonetic). I just wanted to throw out, that's for the Congo IGF. Of course, we have some internal issues currently but we also have a plan to have this year's IGF out of Kinshasa which is the main capital city, for a Congo which has like the size of a continent by itself. Most of those discussions are happening in the capital city, but we're looking into having it in Ghana, Ghana which is on the eastern side, for the IGF this year. I think this is one of the ways to make sure discussions on IG issues are being attended by many other people from across the country and not only those who are able to go to Kinshasa.
But the issue of online participation as well has always been a challenge. But it's on the global level. The global IGF, even on the national level. Because I would like probably to say thanks to, you know, to the ISOC for making it possible for most -- for most countries anybody having their -- their NRI, ISOC has been of great support in providing live stream for most of these. But in a country like mine where only up to 15% of people have access to the Internet, it's really hard, you know, to rely on the online participation system. And so going into different cities is the best approach, I think.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Thank you, Arsene. Very helpful comments. Mary, you have the floor.
>>MARY UDUMA: Thank you. Mary, again. I just want to respond to the question pertaining to the grass-roots. When we heard on the 2015 IGF where this was raised and we decided to create what we call zonal, sub zonal. So at that zonal level we have gone to about three zones since we started or four zones since we started. We've gone to state governments in Nigeria, you know, willing to host the IGF. So (indiscernible) in the capital. So you could also -- since some of us have very large country, we could also consider having a sub theme -- a sub meeting that will bring together those at the local level to be able to contribute to the work of the IGF and the process. That's what I wanted to share. Thank you.
>>CHAIR: ST. AMOUR: That's another very good idea. So there's clearly lots of creativity and energy here in the broad community. So that was good. Thank you. Mary. Miguel, you have the floor.
>>MIGUEL CANDIA: Thank you very much, Chair, for giving me the floor. It's Miguel Candia from Paraguay. MAG member. Good morning, everybody. It's the first time I take the floor. So I just thank everybody for their hard work, and particularly Germany for their organization.
Just a couple of things. The first one, with the taking into account what we are discussing now a couple of suggestions I myself made through the national initiative of Paraguay, that is the rotation of the meeting, of the Paraguay IGF. This year doesn't have a city yet but, we're trying to move from Asuncion, depending on how we can arrange the logisticals. It's a bit hard always but we're trying to do it. At least we have the idea of doing it.
And the other is to have local hubs at the same time as the national IGF. So we're trying to have maybe a smaller group of people in different cities discussing the same things we are discussing, either the same agenda or the same point in an online way, you know.
And the other is that we had -- this is last year's idea, but we are trying to put it into the national budget, is to have some sort of -- not scholarship but, you know, support for individuals from different parts of the country and that would be interested in participating in the IGF if it is in Asuncion.
So these are efforts we are trying to put in action in order to have more participation and more -- and particularly for people to know better what the IGF is doing, both at the national and global level, because you have feedback from both.
And this is just a comment but also a (indiscernible). Just before coming here I was attending a workshop on the dangers on online gaming in our Congress. And at the time when they opened the floor I started to talk about the IGF, and I noticed that the -- the representatives, they knew nothing about the IGF, the national one. Not talking about the global one. But it was an opportunity to make them understand, to make them known, to make them know what we are doing and that we are involved as a country. So one other thing is just to pretty much invite not -- I mean, in the national level, make the effort to invite Congressmen from different parties and different visions because they are the ones taking afterwards the issues to the Congress and to the -- making it into law. Thank you. Thank you, Lynne.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Thank you, Miguel. Very interesting comments. I'm going to go to Lucien, and then I'm going to try and kind of put a proposal together, try and move this multi-year topic discussion forward. So everybody can get their thoughts together, and Lucien, you have the floor.
>>LUCIEN CASTEX: Hi, everyone. Lucien Castex from France, whether to speak as the co-chair of the French NRI and to say that also in France we have a program of involving local communities outside of Paris obviously and within the France region. And this year IGF France will be held in Paris, but we plan to have local hubs in other cities to obviously improve participation and particularly to improve online participation by having a dedicated moderator, an expert, to facilitate online participation, which is obviously a challenge.
Going back to the multi-year framework, I wanted to say that I fully support this way forward because it's a way of achieving positive tangible outcomes. I also agree with Mary as it concerns a thematic focus because obviously we need to adopt them yearly, but it's quite a good base to work with.
And I wanted to stress that I had before obviously we have another year left on the U.N. agenda and it would be a great idea to, you know, implement IGF 2030 agenda as the (indiscernible) in a timely fashion on the next edition. Thank you.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: We'll declare our own timetable.
[ Laughter ]
Thank you, Lucien. I'm going to tell you what my sort of assumption is and then a suggestion for processing the work and then I'll come back and test the assumption with everybody here. But if I look around the room, I've either seen body language -- and I apologize to those people that are participating remotely because I obviously can't see your body language, but please, any MAG members that are participating remotely that want to come in, please do come in. I hope we fix the audio problems today. And the comments that have actually been made seem to be supportive for trying to evaluate a small number, two to three, multi-year strategic topics. So that's my assumption. I want to see if that's true, and I'll come back and test that in a moment, everybody. What I think we could do is ask for a subset of the MAG. I would propose not a formal working group structure because I think a lot of this discussion has taken place in various working groups over the years and we just need to get a proposal together which actually would look at doesn't even need to declare the topics but what this process would look like and what the purpose of it would be. And how it would be structured, taking into considerations appropriate consultations with the community and with all the intersessional activities, both in terms of this is a -- as an approach and then ultimately the specific topics.
I don't think it's actually a huge lift to document that or write that because of the work that's been done in this discussion over the last couple of years, but I think it's -- as the working group said, it's time that these things come out of the working group, come to the MAG and to the community.
So if it was true we would look for a small group of people, appropriately multistakeholder and appropriately diverse, regional, et cetera, to build a proposal that would suggest that the MAG working with the community and all the intersessional activities and the NRIs identify a process that would establish two to three strategic topics with multi-year sets of activities -- there's a different word I had in my mind but I couldn't find it at the moment -- and a process for bringing that forward appropriately across the community for support. I mean, so the question specifically to the MAG, is there support for a small kind of ad hoc working group process to go away and write that proposal up and bring it appropriately to the community and to the MAG for review? So, I mean, again, I see heads nodding on the floor. I haven't actually logged into the chat so I'm not sure which MAG members are online. If there's anybody who wants to come in online for that, we'll give them a moment to do that or to put a comment in the chat room,which maybe somebody can inform me of. And Is there anybody who wants to suggest a different approach or object to that approach?
So the next question would be, who wants to support that activity? And I will take that to the list so that we're not losing valuable face-to-face time. So we will find a way to capture what the specific ask is at its briefest. It is bring a proposal forward for review with the MAG and the community that would actually look at two to three years strategic topics, multi-year focus, and again, some of it kind of models for that work would either be some of the BPF submissions in the past, notably the cybersecurity and the CENB work as well.
So thank you everybody for pressing on with that discussion. We have sort of 15 minutes left here for a couple of other areas which came up. One was we talk about improving current outputs. There are some things we can do, I think, to continue building on last year's process where we tried to engage all the workshop organizers earlier in the process. So we've asked people to identify the policy questions or specifically what is it you're trying to advance by having this workshop at the IGF. We asked them to submit a series of steps which actually identified that. So obviously they have their workshop submission process. Within a few weeks -- this is roughly right --
>> Within a few weeks.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Not entirely accurate, but a few weeks before the IGF itself we asked the organizers to clarify again their speakers, their policy questions, sort of expected topics or outputs they were looking for. And then exiting the meeting, they were meant to share some key messages and then they had to week to actually get their full workshop report in. I think we should go away and look at that process and figure out what else we can do to kind of support that. I think there are two specific areas I'd like to -- just some thoughts on a little bit.
One suggestion, maybe there's three. There were some suggestions made last year, but they came in quite late so we weren't able to implement them for last year. But one was, when we're walking into the room, on the screen have the workshop title and number and the policy question on the screen so that people were reminded of why they're there. They're there to help advance that particular issue, that particular policy question. That it would focus the discussion. That was one thing that people said would just be a good kind of focusing element.
There was also a suggestion that we set up a tool within the secretariat that would allow people that are participating in those workshops to participate, and this actually came out of a discussion with Yves Mathieu from Mission Publiques, said, if you just asked everybody on this particular topic, what do you think the IGF could concretely impact or effect or accomplish next year on this topic? And I mean, it's kind of an interesting question because it's pretty concrete, it's time focused, it's specifically focused on what the IGF community could actually accomplish. But it also then gave everybody who participated in that discussion the opportunity to share their thoughts whereas if you're in a room with a few hundred people, even if you leave 30 minutes for questions, you're getting comments from ten people maybe. So it was a way to get everybody kind of engaged sort of deeply in the topic, know that they were actually going to have a voice and an opinion, and hopefully give some additional kind of concrete direction to the community, the MAG, in terms of things that they thought we could do or were of interest.
So there's -- I mean, I throw those out only because I think if we actually think we kind of -- a little -- I don't know if the word is really "creatively" or what. We've got some other things we could do or triggers that would help the discussions in the room really focus and try to work towards a more concrete amount that would be helpful.
The other thing that I think is kind of in a request or a desire on the part of some would be to find a way to sort of ascribe, and I'm saying this word I have to tell you, lots of trepidation. Ascribe an IGF view to the discussion that was held. And I don't think it needs to be an IGF view. We've all had these discussions at some pain a few years ago. But what a few of the NRI processes do again, as I said earlier, is they have rapporteurs in the room who actually try and say here were the two or three main findings from the room. And in doing so, they ask people to say is that we all we all think we heard and also allow them to capture whether or not there was sort of agreement on a particular direction or a particular problem statement. Or whether there was disagreement. But something that gave a profile, if you will, to the discussion in the room that they could take away, and say. It clearly wouldn't be an IGF view because not any one of these sessions are clearly representative of the IGF and we've never been certain how we would even define the IGF. But is there an appetite for trying to look at a different way to capture and validate or substantiate the discussions that were in the room that would actually be more helpful than it was said, it was stated, somebody commented? Which, you know, when you share some of these things with people that aren't participating in the process, it doesn't really do much at all, frankly. You know, they can get that from reading a "Newsweek" article or their Spiegel article or something.
You know, so I don't know. I'll stop right there. But I think when we think about outputs, it's not just about better capturing the outputs that we have and it's not making them easier to find on the website and it's not better marketing for them. I think concretely we need to produce better outputs from the activities in the IGF. And it needs to start there. And all those other things need to happen.
So I will stop there. I see we have Jutta and Chenai in the -- and if I had my druthers what I would do is come back after lunch with a discussion on what else we can do to actually concretely improve the outputs and the (indiscernible) discussions and takeaways in the room. If there's support for some other discussion in the room, then we can entertain that and let the room decide where to go from there.
Jutta, you have the floor.
>>JUTTA CROLL: Thank you, Lynn, for giving me the floor. My thoughts were around not the input but the output we already get. I do think that we could probably also focus on the policy questions that we get from the community by the end of next week. I do think we will have a broad -- a lot of things that will be in that policy questions.
I was considering whether it would be possible to have an analysis of all the policy questions, not only those that will be in the workshop proposals that we accept afterwards because I do think there might be a lot of value in policy questions raised by workshop submitters. Also, their workshops do not come through probably due to diversity reasons whatsoever or format whatsoever.
There's so much wealth, I assume, will be in the policy questions that doing a lot of analysis of all the policy questions and then shaping the focus and probably we could also address some of the policy questions in the main sessions that we have to decide on as well. So that's my suggestion. Thank you.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Thank you, Jutta. That's very good. Let me ask Luis quickly. Luis, would we be able to capture the policy questions by tag and aggregate them so we could say these are all the policy questions under this particular tag and send that out as a separate extract?
>>LUIS BOBO: I mean, the only thing is the basic question is -- they are not structured so we can just get text from them. But we can do, of course, any kind of filter now with that, yes.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: I do think there was a way Luis could set it up. We will talk to the secretariat after. I think we are looking for two filters, ultimately one is with all the workshops to Jutta's point and then subsequently those that are selected. That would be a second step.
Chenai, you have the floor.
>>CHENAI CHAIR: Thank you very much, Lynn. I think my suggestion has more to do with participating in these spaces as a young person and also -- I mean, you get your proposal accepted but in order for you steer the outputs that IGF desires, you also need to have the capacity to actually hold the conversation, in particular, if you are on the moderator.
So a suggestion and a question. The first question is: What happens in order to support people who have been selected to have panels especially when we know these are first-time presenters or in areas that we recall that they don't actually have the capacity to hold the workshop? That's the first question.
The second question I actually would like to suggest -- I was at the Internet Freedom Festival last week. What I saw they did is with everyone who was having to facilitate, they actually had a handbook for all of the facilitators with your main aim saying we want to ensure that there is a conversation and that you engage the room.
I think having those guidelines set up from the very beginning for people to actually say, "This is what I'm trying to achieve," it can be useful. I'm been on panels and in rooms where the moderator becomes the fifth panelist or there's another moderator who steps up from the floor because they can't hold the conversation.
So I think if you want to enjoy that good outputs come out, it starts from the prep into actually getting them into the room.
So I would like to suggest perhaps having that kind of document set up, especially for people who have been in MAG for -- they are in their third terms. They know exactly what makes a session successful, and I would like to support where I can by sharing resources of people who've provided support for moderators and panels.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Those are excellent points, Chenai. I think we could look at the guidelines we actually give and would appreciate your view on them.
I know in the past we have had kind of mentorship capabilities. I'm not sure I would say it was sort of a full program, but MAG members did volunteer to be available as a resource to mentor. Maybe we can pull that out again and buff it up if we need to.
Susan Chalmers. Susan, you have the floor.
>>SUSAN CHALMERS: Thank you, Chair. Just responding to your most recent comments, and I think the question that you raised might be worthy of a longer discussion just before the lunch hour.
But it seems to me that we're now kind of talking about the nature of the workshops and the sessions and whether or not -- it seems to me what's being proposed is a question as to whether or not to urge people towards consensus in these sessions. No? Okay. Perhaps I misunderstood.
But, I mean, just having an IGF view or a profile, the nature of reporting, I think from where I stand, part of the value of the IGF workshops is being able to have a diversity and plurality of opinion and different views. And maybe we could state it in a way that's not in the passive voice but ensuring that those different perspectives are reflected and the different analyses are put through. And if there's a different way to package that in a report, I think that we should certainly have a longer discussion about it.
But -- so I just think that ensuring that we have -- we're not kind of gearing ourselves -- when we're talking about outputs, we're not gearing ourselves towards a discussion of finding consensus position but being able to just reflect the nature of the discussion in general and a more neutral way I think would be useful. Thank you.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Just to be clear, I was absolutely not suggesting the individual sessions try to urge people toward consensus. And, in fact, one of the things we said this year is we wanted the workshop organizers to really focus on getting diverse viewpoints into the room so that we actually had a discussion.
What I'm looking for is to capture that discussion in a way that either shows both the points were supporting one view or the other but something more than literally "it was stated that." And there are ways to do that. And if we set the policy questions and there actually is a robust debate or discussion in the room, then those different viewpoints will come out and it would capture those.
But I think to the extent we could say, you know, there was some level of agreement on this point and vast disagreement on this and here's where they converge or diverge would be useful information.
What's mostly helpful is the arguments for or against or supporting a point as opposed to the opinions. But I don't know how we get that out when they're just sort of individual "we stated" sort of statements.
We'll go to Ben on the floor and then...
>>BEN WALLIS: Thank you. It was just a quick point to respond to Chenai, to appreciate the reminder that not everyone who puts in a workshop proposal will feel confident or experienced in how they would manage and organize that session once it's been approved.
And the idea of a mentor I think is really good. So maybe that's when people are told their workshop has been approved, they could be invited to -- do they have in interest in having a mentor from the MAG in giving them any advice about how to organize their session.
I appreciate -- well, we don't know how many workshop sessions there are. If we're going to parallel with 2017, there will be a hundred sessions and there were just over 50 MAG members. And I don't expect everyone MAG member would volunteer. So there probably isn't the resources for every workshop to be supported, but I don't think every workshop organizer wants a MAG member telling them -- advising them.
So I think --
[ Laughter ]
It's worth asking that question and expressing it as "do you have interest" because it's not a promise premise we can make. But I would certainly put my hand up come July if the secretariat circulated a list and said the following would like some interest who would like to match up and be a mentor.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Thank you, Ben.
On that -- do you have a comment, Chenai? Comment quickly and then we will have to take lunch.
>>CHENAI CHAIR: I just want to add onto that, that I do understand that mentorship is also very exhausting. So I think perhaps having a resource that people can pull up quickly to read prior to, like, this is what to expect from you as people moderate would also be a useful resource to have.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: I thank you. I think we do have some of those materials available, but I'm sure they can be improved.
So we need to break. I know a number of people have other meetings scheduled right now.
And there's a donors meeting at 1:30, I guess, as well, which is normally open if other people want to come in. What room?
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: G3. I'll let -- I'm one of the ones that have another meeting at 1:00, so I need to step out.
I will let Chengetai tell you where room G3 is. When we come back at 3:00, we'll pick up this discussion because I hadn't intended to open and close it before lunch, assuming the MAG actually has interest in pursuing this discussion. We have an hour left in the strategic. If there's another strategic discussion or component we'd like to move forward, then we should get that on the floor quite quickly.
Thank you very much, everybody, for staying with this conversation this morning.
Veni, you have a quick --
>>VENI MARKOVSKI: Is the donor meeting one hour?
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: I think it has to be one hour because people are going to need time to get back here and get lunch. So 1:30 to 2:30.
>>VENI MARKOVSKI: We had the same problem last time because we have 30 minutes before and after, which is not the best usage of time for lunch. Could we start it 15 minutes earlier or later so that we have 45 minutes for lunch?
>>CHENGETAI MASANGO: That will have been an excellent suggestion when I sent out the email and you replied, but now we have people online who might join.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: You can probably stretch it from 1:30 to 2:45 if that makes you feel better, Veni.