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: We're about to start the second part of the open consultations. Thank you very much, ladies and gentlemen. I'll hand over the floor to Lynn St. Amour, our Chair.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Thank you. I just want to welcome everybody back after lunch. And we'll go to the queue in a moment, which is kind of dark in front of me here.
But I don't know what everybody else was doing after lunch, but I was actually looking for community members to come in.
[ Laughter ]
And those of you maybe listening remotely, I found a very old friend of the community, Kavouss Aresteh, who came in and was warmly greeted by everybody here. So we're very happy to pull new faces in.
While everybody is just getting settled, I will go through the agenda today. Marilyn had come in just after we had closed for lunch, so we will go to Marilyn as the first order of business.
But to remind everybody, the agenda we're working towards this afternoon is an hour -- we even have a little bit more time than that if we need to -- on the national, regional, youth IGF initiatives. And then we will go to some contributions from relevant or related Internet governance organizations. And then at 5:00 we actually have a briefing on the Secretary-General's High-Level Panel on Digital Cooperation. So that will probably be from 5:00 to 6:00 and we'll close the meeting out with that. So that's the agenda we're working towards.
And, Marilyn, you have the floor. Thank you for hanging in there over the lunch break or breakfast break probably for you.
>>MARILYN CADE: Thank you, Lynn. I just posted in the chat that I will (indiscernible).
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Marilyn, I know the AV crew here worked over lunchtime to try and sort out some of the problems. I think part of the difficulty might be, as I was told before lunch, with the WSIS Forum the bandwidth and everything is just completely soaked here.
But did she put her comment in the chat room?
>>ANJA GENGO: Yes. Marilyn is saying because she will wait because it's not relevant now for the agenda.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: With that, let me turn it over to Anja to speak about the national and regional, youth IGF initiatives. Again, Anja, we have an hour, probably even up to an hour and a half, if we need that. Thank you.
>>ANJA GENGO: Thank you very much, Chair, for giving me the floor.
We had an excellent informal discussion over the lunch break, so I'm pretty sure a number of NRI colleagues would like to intervene. So I will try to keep my notes short, and then I can comment maybe later.
But just because these are open consultations, not the MAG meeting, maybe we can go a bit broader than just the NRIs' integration into the IGF in Berlin and speak a bit about -- very briefly about who are the NRIs, what do they do, and what is the nature of the relationship that the IGF secretariat has with the NRIs.
So as you know, the national, regional, and subregional and youth IGFs starting emerging spontaneously since 2006 ever since the IGF was formed. The agenda didn't call specifically for the NRIs, the Tunis Agenda, but it did encourage the development of the multistakeholder processes at national, regional, and international levels. And that was the response of the community, to take that form of fulfilling that agenda.
The IGF secretariat is entrusted by the NRIs to run the recognition process and make sure that all NRIs align with key IGF principles, which means that they are bottom-up in their organizational process, that they are multistakeholder, open, transparent, fully inclusive of all views, noncommercial.
Currently we have 114 recognized NRIs, with a number of them being in the so-called information statutes, which means the IGF secretariat is trying to help those processes to be finalized hopefully this year. So far there are 82 countries that are running the national IGF processes, 17 regional IGFs, 15 youth IGFs, and, as I said, I believe six NRIs that are information.
The NRIs, just as the IGF, work toward organizing an annual meeting by their multistakeholder organizing committees. Last year, 72 IGFs happened around the world. Our estimation is that around the same number will happen also this year.
When it comes about the nature of the collaboration between the NRIs and the IGF, I have to say that the IGF secretariat but also the MAG does communicate and collaborate with the NRIs. Primarily the IGF secretariat facilitates the process of the integration of the NRIs into the annual meeting. But also beyond the annual meeting, we work together on a number of other objectives such as, for example, developing publications that are of interest for some NRIs. And that's going to be a specific focus for this year.
When it comes about integration into the annual meeting, the NRIs, traditionally since 2016, were holding a main session. It was organized by the NRIs last year. We did change a bit the approach where the main session was co-organized by the NRIs and the MAG. And it was, I think, an example of a very successful collaboration between all the MAG members and all the NRIs respecting the MAG working modalities but also the NRIS' working modalities.
Aside of the main session, the NRIs for the last two years have organized collaborative sessions. These are the sessions where we have the NRIs partnering on a topic of mutual interest with respecting the regional diversity, first of all. And for the Paris IGF last year, there were five of these collaborative sessions organized. Before that, for the IGF that was hosted in Geneva, Switzerland, we had eight of these.
The NRIs' coordination session is an open work meeting between all the NRIs, colleagues from the UN DESA, the chair of the MAG, and the IGF secretariat, of course, the wider IGF community where we gather at the annual IGF meeting to discuss matters of interest for all NRIs but also the global IGF, the secretariat, and the MAG in order to strengthen the collaboration between the NRIs and the global IGF and also with that would strengthen the global IGF system.
Just very quickly to touch upon some of the notes and questions that were shared during the first half of this day, I, first of all, would like to thank everyone that referenced to the value of the NRIs, which I think is very important. Especially would like to thank the U.K. government for one particular reason. And then, of course, the government of U.K. was very supportive to the NRIs as a network for the past couple of years. I'm saying this because I would like to recognize the role -- very specific role of Mr. Mark Carvell for the past couple of years with the NRIs, of course, with the national U.K. IGF.
I think Mark retired this year, but hopefully he is going to continue joining our meetings and working with us.
I would also like to maybe quickly reflect on Chenai's important question about the communication that the IGF has with the NRIs and also the NRIs with the IGF.
So the NRIs' mailing list is an open mailing list to everyone. We do communicate with the NRIs any updates and information of relevance for the global IGF timely. We recently in this year introduced the concept of a newsletter, which means that we are summarizing everything related to the process of the IGF 2019 and sending once a month to the NRIs' mailing list to have everyone updated. And, also, at the beginning of every month, we will be sending -- also at the beginning of every month, we will be sending -- announcing the NRIs' annual meetings that will be happening in that month. So hopefully that's going to help the communication between the NRIs and the IGF.
About how the NRIs help the IGF, especially in communication, which was a question that was asked by many, historically speaking the NRIs as a network were the largest contributors to the intersessional work. They're also the ones who are sharing all our calls and updates through their social networks and the mailing lists, of course voluntarily. There's no established mechanism on that, but maybe that could be something to work on and improve that mechanism. And we're very grateful for that.
The IGF secretariat, I believe, is doing similar for the NRIs by sharing the information on their annual meetings through our social networks and also through the mailing lists upon request.
The goal for the NRIs collectively, also for the IGF secretariat, is to strengthen the NRIs' network. And in order to strengthen the NRIs' network, you have to have a certain set of objectives because you have to work through interaction of all NRIs, make them know each other, exchange good practices, but also be very careful not to stay in our own silo but actually be there outside and create that friendly environment where we will be interacting as a network with other stakeholders.
And in that sense, we think having the representation of the NRIs at the annual meeting is very important of the IGF. Particularly what's very important from a technical side for the NRIs as a network is the interpretation to six U.N. languages. Out of all main sessions, last year, the year before, if you recall, the NRIs' main session was the only session that actually used that resource. So we had a number of speakers speaking in one of the six U.N. languages. What's very important, we also had a lot of interventions from the audience present online and outside also speaking in one of the six U.N. languages. I think that's a well-spent resource for the IGF as well.
Aside the interpretation, the online participation is of extreme importance because many of the NRIs' communities, especially developing countries, do face financial challenges in coming in person to the IGF. But they show interest, of course, to the entire program, specifically the program that involves the NRIs' relevant component.
And maybe with that, I would stop here because I know colleagues would like to come in. And, of course, if you have any questions, I remain at your disposal. Thank you.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Thank you, Anja, for a very clear and always very informative introduction.
So this is the NRI session. Looking, as Anja said, to hear from any of the NRIs or any of the folks that are engaged with the NRIs in the room. Likewise, I think this is a good opportunity for us to have a discussion between MAG members and NRIs. So I wouldn't want to preclude that either.
Roman. If people could say their names, stakeholder group or organization that would be helpful, too.
>>ROMAN CHUKOV: Dear MAG members, Honorable Chair, co-chair, IGF secretariat, DESA representatives, my name is Roman Chukov. I'm a MAG member from Russia. And so I'm following up with what just Anja said. I would like to share the results of the Russian IGF Forum which just took place on Monday in Moscow.
And I'm very happy that many people from here were there with us. We had really interesting and diverse list of speakers and experts. I think also it was around 20 international guests, including the Chair of IGF secretariat Chengetai Masango and many other people from ICANN, ISOC, from High-Level Panel on Digital Cooperation, Dr. Jovan Kurbalijia. We are really thankful for the German governments who have kindly shared an invitation to Dr. Gunther Grathwohl, who represented chair country, host country.
And what was really interesting, we had also address by President Putin who paid a lot of attention to this forum. And, also, we had some -- received an address by U.N. deputy Secretary-General Alison Smale.
And with regard to presidential address, his main thought was that Russia is a part of global Internet family and that we will be always open to the global community. And I think it's very important.
And, also, we have not only address but we had a speech of our former prime minister and now deputy chief executive of presidential administration Mr. (saying name), **** has also made a lot of attention to contemporary Internet problems and challenges which we are facing.
And this is something I talked about last time, we have managed to make a final outcome document which summarizes main outcomes of main sessions. We had several sessions including new technologies, artificial intelligence including women in I.T. I was moderating the session on quality and security of data.
And I think I will just sense across this document to all MAG members so that you can see. Maybe very briefly I will just point out what are the main ideas there.
So the core idea of the document is that we need new social agreements.
We need new social agreements. And that's governments, I.T. community users, technical companies actually can agree about shared responsibilities they take and self-regulate each other, for instance, in dealing with personal data and so on. And in our session, we will be focusing on this.
What is also interesting maybe, and some -- this was actually really well said by Patrick Penninckx, head of Department of Information Society of Council of Europe, who are now modernizing the Convention 108, that's -- we can go with some soft law. But in Europe, soft law has already been accepted by some courts. And this is very interesting how some practices, best practices which we have in different countries can actually help us to build this whole picture of future global Internet governance.
So what is also important, in the documents, all participants -- and I would like to underline that it was really diverse and multistakeholder, as the core idea of IGF, it -- says that Russian Internet space is an integral space of the global network, we should preserve its integrity and openness, giving states equal rights to manage its critical resources. The states shall guarantee their citizens protection under its jurisdiction, ensure management, strategic sustainability, and security of its infrastructure, protection of the national market of I.T. projects, as well as guarantee of innovation and openness.
At the same time, there was a call to translational corporations to actually follow the law, legislation of countries, ethic principles, pay all taxes, which not every company pays -- there are a lot of cases we have discussed in the forum.
And the main idea is how to deal with personal data protection. Documents stipulate for three levels. When cities ensure the safety of users' data, translational corporations ensure security of data and they are accountable in front of the international community and states and users. And users themselves, they should also pay a lot of attention and responsibility where they put their data and so on.
Very important is the -- is to enhance digital literacy of population and to help population to adapt to new technologies.
Well, I think that's -- I will not spend more time on this. I will simply send you the documents.
But I hope that this will make us a little precedent how we can finish the discussions with some specific steps many experts agreed upon. And maybe we will see such (indiscernible) within German presidency. I think we as MAG members can brainstorm on it, how to make this outcome document with some specific call to actions, to governments or to companies.
So it's just an idea of how it can be. And thank you so much for your attention.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Thank you very much, Roman. Sounds like it was a very good event, and certainly a lot to think about.
Marilyn, are you in the speaking queue or is that from earlier?
>>ARNOLD VAN RHIJN: -- into this room and see many familiar faces. And apart from that, I'm also the EuroDIG host team lead. And I would like to share a bit of information on this important event coming up.
The European Dialogue on Internet Governance will meet this year in The Hauge on the 19th and 20th of June. The program has been fixed already, and our organization teams are ready to fill this program further in, together with all the stakeholders involved.
If you have time to visit the EuroDIG Web site, I'd advise you, please, to do so, because there are interesting topics going to be on the agenda.
There will be pre-events on Day Zero, the 18th of June, and to name a few of them, lots of attention to artificial intelligence. There are three consecutive sessions on that day. But also the NRI assembly, I have to mention that. So lots of information on that Day Zero.
And the first day and the second day of EuroDIG 2019 will be dedicated to lots of topics, which you, of course, as MAG members will be confronted with, setting up the program for the IGF 2019.
Our plan is to be a pillar from the European perspective between Paris and Berlin, in IGF language.
As you all know, President Macron made a famous speech setting out the way forward, as he sees it. And hopefully, it will be picked up by the next host of IGF 2019. And meanwhile, in the Hague, we will try to contribute to this process by putting out some -- the Hague messages and to feed it into the discussion in Berlin in November. That's our main task.
To give some flavor of what the program looks like, we will start with the welcome speech of the mayor of the city of the Hague. Then we will have the secretary-general of EuroDIG having some welcome words. And then we will have a pitch for an hour long of the best practices in The Netherlands with regard to the digital domain. So concrete examples based upon the multistakeholder approach in the Netherlands which can be considered as a good practice.
We are thinking of two concrete pitches and a moderator. And that will be, I think, with Q&As with the public, will last for an hour. And after that, our state secretary of economic affairs will hold her opening keynote. It will be around 15 minutes. Of course, perhaps also time for some Q&As with the public. And then we can start dealing with the other issues in the program.
One important issue to -- as a first follow-up is the plenary session on digital -- global digital governance, with the title, Can Technical Solutions Respond to Policy Questions?
And I think here it is an interesting high-level panel session which we are working on to discuss issues like more or less regulation, multistakeholder approaches, best practices in this field. We even could take on board some of the recommendations of the high-level panel on digital cooperation. I've spoken to Jovan Kurbalija over lunch with his ideas and suggestions. He will do so in this forum.
So interesting ideas, I think, to consider a journey to the Hague. You are most welcome to join us. And we also are busy, quite busy. But it's a responsibility of the municipality of the Hague to find a suitable place for a social event. So you never know when we end at the beach. Take your swimming suit with you, because, you know, the Netherlands is a lowlands country. We are living below sea level. We never know what the dikes are doing. I hope they don't break. But, well, when the sun is shining, there is perhaps a chance to visit the beach.
Chair, I leave it with that. And if there are any questions, I'm happy to answer them.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Thank you, Arnold, both for all of your support to the IGF over the years. And let me just check -- one second, because Marilyn's been in the queue for a while. Is she looking for the floor or is that left over from before?
>>LUIS BOBO: I just asked her, and she apparently is not paying attention at the moment. So I don't know if keeping her in the queue. I will ask through chat.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Let me know.
I will go to Raquel Gatto.
And then, Kavouss, were you looking for the floor as well?
So, Raquel, you have the floor.
We're using an online speaking queue, so it levels the field between those that are participating here in the room and those that are online. I appreciate that that's not always possible when somebody is just coming in, so I will interweave them.
So, Raquel, you have the floor, and then Kavouss.
>>RAQUEL GATTO: Thank you very much, Lynn.
On this high note about the beach, I needed to comment on the LAC IGF, the preparatory meeting from the Latin American and the Caribbean region. We are arriving in our 11th meeting for the LAC IGF. And it has just been announced from the 5th to the 9th of August in La Paz, Bolivia. So no beach there, but it's a lovely place. Everybody is welcome.
And as usual, now the steering committee -- the organizing committee of the LAC IGF is opening up the call for the community to send their issues and to shape the agenda. So we are in the early stages of shaping this agenda, and most likely just to react to some of the discussions here in the room, it is also very helpful to have the three tracks. And this is going to influence the agenda also in a good way to organize the LAC IGF agenda.
And that's it. Thank you.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Thank you, Raquel, both for the information, but also for commenting on some of the other substantive topics that are in front of us here. We'd like to hear more of that from the NRIs as well in terms of any thoughts you have with respect to deepening or broadening the participation, any thoughts you have with respect to the discussions we've taken to date with respect to the agenda or the -- strengthening the outputs, the myriad of topics we've hit already. So please do take that into account.
And, Kavouss, you have the floor.
>>KAVOUSS ARASTEH: Yes, thank you, Lynn.
Good afternoon, everybody. I'm very happy that I was informed that you have this session. I just passed by, and you told me. Thank you very much.
From the very beginning, -- I don't go through the history of the IGF, but from the very beginning -- First of all, I'm speaking as one of the four billion Internet users, not representing any country, any entity. Totally personal view, experience, and so on, so forth.
So I had a lot of belief in national IGF.
Before you go to up, you have to start at home. And home is national. You have to see what is the compositions of the national IGF. Do you have any information in any country they have national IGF, what is the constituency? Did they include everybody? Was it inclusive totally to the technical community, the nongovernmental, government, and so on, so forth, that was totally inclusive? Do we have that information? That would be very helpful.
Then, is there any information, any difficulty, problems that these people established national IGF they faced and you could help them in order to remove that and in order to push them?
The third question is that a list of the countries do not have yet national IGF, and the reason why they don't have. Is there any problem, obstacle, difficulties, that could be any help to them, encourage them, and so on, so forth.
And fourthly, perhaps it could be possible to differentiate between national IGF and regional IGF, because the region has a lot of meaning. Two or three countries could have a region, subregion, and big area has a region, whether you talk ICANN region, ITU region, United Nations region has a lot of differences with different culture, different innovation, different technical development, and so on, so forth. Perhaps should be good.
Something that I want to suggest to you that I don't know whether you have it before or not, but it could be good that if it is not late for this year, you could have one or two themes every IGF. What is the concentration of the coming year on that?
And last year that I talked you to informally, reduce the number of the workshops to the absolute minimum necessary in order to go more in depth of the situation but not ten to 15 minutes superficially and so on so forth. Go to real problems, difficulties, to improve.
If anything could be done in the governance of the Internet, that should be through these national regions, so on, so forth. Although we don't have any policy-making relationship, any idea, exchange among the people, some people they take it up and put it elsewhere to different channel, which helps the process.
Last, but not least, is the interactive. Please, kindly, try to make IGF interactive. Not people coming on and talk and talk and talk, and then at the end, any question? We have only two minutes. Sorry, we don't have. Unless the people come in and express their views and there is exchange of views among the people, I think a passive lecture may not have effect as you want.
Sorry, I don't want to take your time more than that. That is something that I could contribute to your session.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Kavouss, thank you very much. Really appreciate that. As I said, I was out at lunch looking for community members that I could pull in, and I happened to run into Kavouss just outside the door here.
I have just one or two comments to show, I think, some of the progress we've made here. And then I'll go to Marian and Marilyn are in the queue. And then, Anja, if there's anything specifically you wanted to address to some of the specific comments.
But we have reduced the number of themes. As you know, in past years, we've had eight, nine major themes. This year, the MAG, working with the community, moved to three themes. Data governance is one. Inclusion is another. Safety, security, stability, and resilience is the third.
We also built the narrative around those themes that were meant to support the workshop submissions that would come in so that we could actually work concretely to advance those individual topics.
For several years now, we've had a requirement within the -- with the workshop organizers that half of the session is meant to be for engagement with the community. So half they can do presentations and panelists and speakers, but half is supposed to be. Some of them do that very, very well, and some are even more interactive than that. You know, there are still some who struggle with that a little bit. And I think that's on the organizers. It's also on all of us when we're on panels, too, to respect the time requirements and the organizers. But engagement is absolutely critical and something we're really trying to support there.
I think your other questions with respect to trying to understand more about what are some of the stats, what are the regions -- what are some of the NRIs that we have and where don't we have them, why don't we have them, what more can we do to support them, et cetera, is something we're all trying to step up to. We have a focal point within the IGF Secretariat. Anja Gengo does the work of at least ten people. And she'll have some of this information. And if not, we can certainly -- I think those are excellent questions and sort of worthy of further discussion and distribution for when we have the facts.
But thank you very much for coming in and for your input. Very, very helpful.
Mary, you have the floor.
>>MARY UDUMA: Thank you, Chair, for giving me the floor.
I will talk about two initiatives. One is the Nigerian IGF. And then the West Africa IGF. If I will start with West Africa IGF, we are going to run the 11th the West Africa IGF, and it's going to hold in Gambia. It will be 22nd to the 25th. The first three days will be our second West Africa School of Internet Governance. We started last year, so we are doing the second one this year.
And we had support from (saying name) to be able to run that.
And the objective was that the African School of Internet Governance mostly is done in English. At the west African level, we do it in both English and French, and we have interpretation. And those from the French-speaking countries participate, we give them chance to participate at the School of Internet Governance. And, again, they will also participate in the Internet Governance Forum. And we have created a lot of inputs that a regional organization, The West Africa Economic Community, has not -- has not taken special interest in what we do at the IGF West Africa. And this year, they are supporting us on the School of Internet Governance strongly, although we still need other support from other people in order to bring more people to this school and to bring more people to -- more participants to the IGF itself.
And normally we do consultation within the region to be able to get -- you know, to find out what people think we should be discussing. And we discuss issues that relate to what governments around our country -- around our region because in a region the private sector is not as strong as the government. The government are the movers and shakers of the economy, so we want them to support us strongly.
And the other thing that has happened is that at the end of the program, of our event, West Africa IGF, a communique is issued and this communique is taken up by the West Africa community to the ministers of communications in our city or economy to the heads of states of West Africa. And so policies that are being wrote out around our region also take into consideration the recommendation that come from the West Africa IGF. So that's a strong output. And we -- and it has affected some of the things that we're coming up with at that region.
The second thing is that we have seen more participants. Okay? In the region coming up to join in the Africa -- at the IGF level so many of West African participants do come, all right? Some are supported by the OIF. I think OIF is a Francophile organization. Most of them are supported but then come to the IGF and contribute and let their voices be heard. So -- and that's what -- and this year, as I said, we're going to could that as well and coming up with a communique.
And what is important to us there is that we are looking at local issues. We could go -- they form a pattern, mirrored the global IGF, but we discuss local issues. So that we will get those local issues across -- across our countries. And from here some of the countries that have not been having their IGF processes have started, okay? They've started having their IGF processes. And the heads of states now know and their ministers now know the importance of the IGF and they are encouraging them to -- to run their own initiative in the West African region. So that is that for West Africa, so that I can quickly do that of Nigeria.
In Nigeria we are running it's IGF, and this year it's July as well. But one thing that has come up from our IGF processes is that at the end of our event we come up with a report and we -- since that -- we analyze it into what affect each of the stakeholder group. And since such -- we are sending out a report, the cover paper -- cover letter will state where we think they should do something. It's a recommendation quite all right, but we can't force them to take it up. But we would highlight the area that we think will affect the operation, the stakeholder group. Especially our government. So we have about three of them that we have the regulator, we have the development, ICT development agency, then we have the ministry itself. So we do raise issues with them. And when we raise those issues, because those are the things that are discussed by the participants from grass-roots. And then we get -- we highlight those issues that we think they should take policies on.
The next they want to do now is to track those recommendations. How many of them are turned into policies? How many of them have they -- have they implemented? And if they have not implemented, can we do a follow-up, especially from those of them that are MAG members or for IG -- and IGF. So that they took it up with their organizations.
So they -- the sector that we don't have strong -- or the stakeholder group we don't have strong membership is the academia. And we are targeting academia seriously so that they will be part of it, part of our -- of our process. And we're also going to run the first Nigerian school of Internet governance. It will happen for three days. The first three days, and then we'll continue. And then we do the youth IGF and then do the Nigeria IGF by July 11.
So in terms of strengthening the output, I think the question of being able to discuss local issues, coming up with recommendation from the grass root, what people think about it, and those issues that concern us in Nigeria. So -- and we take it back to policymakers. And I'm happy that we -- that parliamentarians will be invited. Our parliamentarians do attend our Internet Governance Forum. So this year, now that we have opportunity to bring them to Berlin, so that will encourage them to participate more. So we're going to take this conversation and this information back to them so that they would effectively participate. I think those are the things I will say for now. Thanks.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Mary, thank you. That was very helpful. I mean, not only because it was interesting to hear about the West African and the Nigerian IGFs, but I think your comments as well with respect to what some of your own practices have been and what you're doing were very interesting. Particularly as we have been grappling now for some time in the MAG about how much more we can do with respect to outputs and recommendations. And there are a number of people in the queue now. If the other NRIs can kind of comment on any other practices you have that you think are practices that would be either good learning experiences for the global IGF, we're really looking forward very much for that. We've had a number of examples from Latin America and Europe over the -- over the last few meetings. So we have Marilyn in the queue. Marilyn, I hope we can get the audio with no problems.
>>MARILYN CADE: I hope so as well. Okay. Everything looks to me like it's working.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: I think we're still struggling to hear you, but evidently the scribes can. So please, continue, and hopefully we'll get the volume here in the room. But in the meantime, we have the scribes.
>>MARILYN CADE: Fantastic. Well, first of all, I want to just say a special thank you to Kavouss for coming and joining us. Many, many years ago when I was a newbie ITU study group 3, I learned from the master about making sure that I did my research and I knew what was going on. So Kavouss, you have been a fantastic coach and mentor to many, many people, and I -- you may be new to others in the room, but let me just thank you for coming and spending your time with us this afternoon.
Let me move to, I'm very quickly going to update on IGF USA. It's going to be very quick. We have an extremely distributed consultation process. We have chosen -- based on the communities input, we have chosen eight topics. A few of them will become main session topics. The rest will be workshops. I just want to note that we're very different from some of the other NRIs in that our steering group is totally open. And I want to recognize that we actually have participants in our steering group from other countries. They are welcomed and provide comments and also help us to better understand what (indiscernible) and how in the output from the IGF USA can be effective globally.
This year -- we've always had a focus on engagement, but it's been distributed. We have had a -- had a very positive partnership with Elon University and I'll post the link to their previous reports in the chat. But this year we are returning to trying to have a full day focused on (indiscernible) still under development.
We also last year initiated a "send our co-chair around the country by car" to meet with various groups and try to create some build-up interest in participating in the IGF. We are very privileged that many of our participants and some of them are in the room with you. I won't call all of them out, but Susan (indiscernible), sorry. Susan, Ben, and a few others are on our steering group. So you'll have a chance to talk to them. And we have a fairly strong (indiscernible), maybe 12 to 20 people from the IGF USA, that attend and contribute to IGF.
Let me just now turn to a different comment which is, I think the NRI-to-NRI exchanges, I don't mean NRI-to-regional. I mean NRI-to-NRI exchanges. I just want to comment on how valuable they are.
A few years ago, the Russian IGF invited IGF USA to come as a sister IGF. We sent a delegation of four people. I think it was a fantastic exchange that wouldn't have happened if we were siloed into a "Only go to your regional IGF." And so I want us to always think very openly and positively about exchanges between the NRIs on topical topics that are driven by what the NRI themselves finds valuable.
And I'll just say one other quick thing about parliamentarians. Several years ago I was privileged enough to watch something called the congressional Internet caucus. It is supported by civil society and by business, and it has a very, very large number of parliamentarians that regularly receive briefings in a neutral manner. And if anyone's particularly -- I will -- we'll -- IGF USA will undoubtedly be talking about reaching out to them about participating in (indiscernible) session. If anyone's particularly interested in how and why we created that engagement with our version of parliamentarians, meaning our U.S. Congress people, please do let me know (indiscernible) in the chat, and I'll be happy to contact you privately. It has been a very beneficial and now multi-year relationship between multistakeholder and the U.S. Congress.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Thank you, Marilyn.
[ echoing ]
[ Laughter ]
I'm very appreciative.
[ Laughter ]
No. It was a really -- a really good set of comments. And most of it was caught appropriately in the room, but there were quite a number of indiscernibles. Perhaps if you can just take a quick look through the transcript at some point and let the secretariat know. It seemed to cut off at the end, just when you were getting to the key organization or partner was. But thank you. That was a very good comment. And thank you, you've been here all day, and yesterday as well, for putting up with some of the audio/video difficulties here. Jennifer. Jennifer, you have the queue -- floor.
>>JENNIFER CHUNG: Thank you, Chair, for giving me the floor. Jennifer Chung, MAG member, but I'm going to be speaking with a different hat on right now as part of the secretariat team of the Asia-Pacific Regional IGF.
So we've been very fortunate at the AP-IGF to have been host by Vanuatu last year, which was our very first time in the Pacific, and this coming year will be our tenth year and it will be hosted in Vladivostok, Russian, in July from the 16th through the 19th. So well first, congratulations to our Russian colleagues for having successfully hosting the Russian IGF that just concluded on Monday. So maybe extending the invite to all the participants, if they would travel, you know, across quite a few time zones to the other part of the country, all the way to, you know, the eastern part, we were very, very welcome to bring in the good discussion into a more regional context, would be very useful and very fruitful. I think that would be very good.
The overarching theme is enabling a safe, secure, and universal Internet for all in Asia-Pacific.
Also wanted to respond to our Chair's questions earlier about how to bring in and engage more of the NRIs into the global context and vice versa. I think as a network we are really, really important, and I think this has been recognized many times in, of course, our chair and also the secretariat and also the -- also the Secretary-General of the U.N. as well.
I think a good point that our colleague Kavouss brought up was like, why do we not have an NRI in every country in the world. I think a really big thing is to recognize that the proliferation of the NRIs, this -- these coming years has gone from quite a few to I think by last counting from Anja was 114. Please correct me if I'm wrong. And it's really due to the success of the IGF. The success of this type of forum where you are able to -- to talk about these things in a national context, in a regional context, and, of course, we're talking about the global context.
What makes a regional IGF interesting, at least I'm talking about the Asia-Pacific standpoint, is that a lot of the national IGF participants within our region do come to and bring their national perspectives. And I think it's a very good cross proliferation of ideas and best practices. And it's really useful for them to bring it to the regional context and they bring it back to their home countries, their home nations. And in some cases this has inspired them to start their own initiatives, if they don't already have an initiative back home.
I think that's the case for Vanuatu. I think there's still information, and many thanks for Anja for your great support, you know, to contact the people who were very interested in Vanuatu to start their own initiative. But I think this is very, very important. And I think you can think about it in a global context where you want the NRI network to come to the IGF because this is really quite an evidence of the success of the IGF and you want the cycle to be continued. You want to bring in the very good discussions that they're having, the grass-roots discussions that they're having in the national context, to the global IGF. And also see how in a global context when we're talking about the overarching themes how this can also, within that context, you could listen to different national solutions to different issues.
Recognizing that each NRI has its own processes and modalities and, of course, no one size fits all, the AP IGF has, for now, for years has a synthesis document process. So what that is is part of a kind of outcomes but it's not really a negotiated document at all. The process is completely open from beginning to end. It begins with when we poll the community for themes and issues they're more interested to listen to that day. It goes from there to the actual forum itself where they have a town hall session at the end of each day to kind of reflect on the different workshops, different issues, different good conversations that the participants had to reflect it back into the document.
So what we do is we really try to encapsulate the good conversation instead of, you know, having this becoming a negotiation document exercise. And the multistakeholder steering group that we have in the Asia-Pacific Regional IGF, that group is also open to everybody in the community, and they are very supportive of this exercise. And there's also a drafting committee that's completely made up of volunteers, also open to the community, that, you know, spend a lot of time and volunteer their time to make sure this process goes through vigorously every year.
I think this is just something that we could share, at least from the Asia-Pacific standpoint. I hope, you know, this could be just taken as a lesson. But it's definitely not prescriptive in any way, shape, or form for any other NRIs. I just wanted to share this because, Chair, you were asking, you know, is there any outcomes or kind of lessons that we can learn from different NRIs. And I think this is one of -- a key innovation that we had that seems to work quite well for us, and we're going into our fifth year now. So maybe I'll just stop there for that.
And also wanted to thank our host, the German government, for their very generous support. We're very excited that there's going to be a Global South fund that I'm sure a lot of participants, especially in the Asia-Pacific region, would be very, very happy to, you know, make use of.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Jennifer, thank you. That was also very interesting and very helpful. I think the more we can understand what some of the other practices are there, the more we can find some that are really kind of purpose-fit for the global IGF as well. So thank you for including that.
Lucien, you have the floor.
>>LUCIEN CASTEX: Thank you, Chair. Lucien Castex speaking. So I'm not speaking as a MAG member but as a co-chair of the French NRI. The French NRI will be held in Paris on July 4th as it will be not a day zero but sort of event partners, as I said before. It's kind of a day zero but it's not exactly that. The organization is still going ongoing, trying to draw from the French IGF and obviously from also the outputs of the global IGF.
One we are using are the Paris messages, both the IGF secretariat version of the Paris messages and the messages issued after the Paris IGF by the French community. So we are starting from there. And then we have an ongoing call for issues so that the community can put forward some topic of interest that they want to discuss at the French level. So far as the main identified topic (indiscernible), of course, in the wake of the Paris call for cybersecurity, cybersecurity, data protection, including IoT and IoT perspective and best practices. So the idea is to go forward with the Paris call and try to move it.
Also, one of the key thematic is Internet fragmentation with a practical focus on regulation, considering, for example, not in the global context. In France we have a bill on hate speech being discussed at this time. We had a law on fake news last year. And there's also a lot of regulation at the European level, European Union obviously. And we are in the global context of the G7 discussions, so it's quite interesting in this context.
Also, as I said, it will be held in Paris but we are trying to do some outreach to other communities. So to do so, we are putting together a local hub in France, in other cities. So we will try to have, I don't know, like, five or six so the people can participate but still be onsite, not only remotely. And we will be trying to improve the remote participation by having dedicated people on each workshop and plenaries.
Last point, we will have a dedicated youth track so that the young people can directly be involved in the process and also as it was in last IGF in Paris, call for volunteers for rapporteur position for each workshop and obviously for the whole process.
Would like to conclude very quickly by saying that fully support obviously strengthening the network of IGF. It's quite strong to, first, obviously speak about Internet governance and related digital issues in the local context. But also it's quite -- it's quite important to bring forth local ideas and local issues to the global context.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Thank you, Lucien. Also very interesting.
I did want to make one point. I forgot when Arnold Van Rhijn from the Dutch government was talking the BPF on cybersecurity is looking to the Paris call for trust and security and cyberspace as well as one of their components. So I hope there's really good coordination between there. And I'm sure within the French NRI there is as well. Not that it's only French and the Netherlands, of course. That was actually a global call, but to make that linkage.
Let's see. Next in the queue we have Lianna. Lianna, you have the floor.
>>LIANNA GALSTYAN: Thank you, Lynn, for giving me the floor.
Lianna Galstyan speaking. And I would speak on behalf of -- in my capacity of Armenia IGF and also the SEEDIG.
(Audio difficulty) -- every year we have a major event in the country. So this year we will have the World Congress on Information Technology in October in Armenia. We are in discussions with the host organization to see whether we can do that in this framework. Then we would definitely invite or bring many participants from the local IGF as well.
What we're doing very specifically and interesting from the national perspective, this goal of Internet governance, I see many countries has this exercise, this capacity-building. And I find this is very important, especially for developing countries that not everyone knows what is Internet governance. So there's a school on Internet governance. And as a direct income or the output of that school that we had was that the alumni, they want to establish the youth IGF already. So they are very interested in the topics and the process of IG and they want to have their own discussion. So they want to establish that. This is in the discussion already. And they contacted the secretariat, to Anja, and they wanted to have their own program for this year definitely.
And, also, as the Armenian IGF, we participated as a best practice formal local content and we find it's very interesting for us. We're very much interested in IDN issues because we have our own script, and we're very keen to make it popular in the country and in diaspora as well for all Armenian-language users.
And as for the steering group, it's -- we do not call it steering group. We have the Internet Governance Council. It's a permanently working council in the country, and it's multistakeholder. But we do have rotation on the stakeholder participants. So we give the opportunity different groups to come and participate and bring their perspectives. But we make sure that we have all stakeholder group representatives there.
And it also gives some consultation to the legislative bodies on different topics that are emerging for the country, so we're not waiting for those topics to be discussed at the forum only.
Only behalf of the SEEDIG what we're doing, we will have the fifth meeting this year, fifth anniversary, as a subregional IGF. Also in the capacity-development thing, we have the youth school also and also the fellowship. So we give different programs, different type of opportunities, capacity-building for participants to come and participate.
What is also important on SEEDIG to me is that we do not keep the boundaries on the region. We kept it very open with all of Europe and they bring all areas. And we invite all those who are -- who can demonstrate about themselves that they belong to this region. They absolutely are welcomed to join our meetings and be part of the SEEDIG.
And this year we also launched a program of ambassadors, ambassador programs. And, basically, those who have been previously fellows or youth school participants, they -- we came with this initiative or this program that they need to spread the word about the SEEDIG, what we're doing, about the process, and whatever -- all the intersessional activities that we're doing. They're spreading to different countries. And this is very interesting, and they are very enthusiastic about their work. And actually it works very well for the SEEDIG itself.
And as I mentioned about intersessional activities, we also have a newsletter. We have editors, and all the work is being done voluntarily. So the group of editors, they gather information about the region, on IG issues. And we -- every month we publish and spread that over the region, so it's absolutely very interesting for all those who want to know what's happening in the region and what positive development is happening there.
And, also, for this year, for SEEDIG, we collaborated with the DC of DNS issues. This year we will have a session particularly for the universal acceptance readiness and IDN issues. So we'll have discussions with the ccTLD operators and also governmental representatives on the scripts of the duo Latin. This is basically what I wanted to update. Thank you.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Lianna, thank you. Another very rich expose of activities there. That's very interesting. Thank you.
We now have Raul Echeberria.
Raul, you have the floor.
Raul, are you here in the room?
>>RAUL ECHEBERRIA: Can you hear me now?
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Quite low, but yes. Raul Echeberria okay. The transmission from there, it's not stable. Okay, that is very, very interesting to receive all those reports from different initiatives from all around the world, different flavors of meetings, initiatives, and the kind of work.
Having said that, let me make a suggestion, a comment on national and regional IGFs. One of the most interesting things about the national IGFs is national IGFs are closer from the policy-making. This is most, 95% of the policy-making happens at the national level. This is really the opportunity to influence with the multistakeholder models the policy-making. So this is one thing that I think we should consider including them in the sessions, in the IGF in Berlin, is to know more about what are the successful experiences of national IGFs influencing the policy-making. And this is also another way to demonstrate the importance of this IGF ecosystem. When some people expect or criticize or at least some hesitation about the IGF or because the lack of concrete back on policy-making, this is one of the ways we are influencing the policy-making around the world is through the whole ecosystem. So it could be very interesting. I think that's what the colleague from France has presented, for example. I would like to know more, but it looks like there is a concrete experience of influencing the policy-making on a given topic. And this is one of the things we should know more about. And the other one is one I already said before is the different models of producing the outcomes, and that's the presentation from Jennifer was very interesting. We are always learning from different experiences and of those important initiatives.
So thank you very much.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: That's a very good comment. I think that's a really interesting idea. You know, we always say in the IGF that, you know, we're here to inform dialogues and to share experiences and to help build frameworks and understanding and that sort of thing, but clearly the policy-making takes place at national and regional levels.
And a number of the NRIs that spoke actually did reference their work with the policy-makers, and it would be interesting if there was some interest in terms of trying to understand what sort of good practices or examples where they have been successful, if there's anything we can take away and either use to support other NRIs or even, frankly, learn ourselves as we actually work with the NRIs within -- within all of our activities. I think that would be really, really interesting.
We don't have anybody else in the queue at the moment. I will go back to -- we do need to finish up in, like, 10, 15 minutes in terms of getting the other speakers and entities in. But, Anja, if there's anything you want to conclude on or come back on, or if there's anything else that you would like to put on discussion today in front of the MAG. Please, you are the floor.
>>ANJA GENGO: There are a couple of questions that maybe I will just take the floor to quickly respond, especially on how many countries don't have the national regional IGFs; to say that neither the IGF secretariat, neither the MAG sends requests for forming the national regional IGFs. These are -- Even the requests are of a bottom-up nature. But we do have those statistics on many member states don't have the national IGF. So it's very interesting to look because for the African region you would say the coverage is around 43%. For Eastern Europe quite high, 61%. And for Asia Pacific it's very low, 19%. GRULAC is 58% of coverage, and is WEOG or 57% of the national IGFs. But we're very happy to have the subregional and regional IGFs with the very good geographical spread. And, actually, many of the national IGFs with their specific, of course, role and independent processes are the global IGF (indiscernible) by the regional or subregional IGFs.
For the IGF process, I think, yes, we have been learning from the NRIs just as the NRIs from the global IGF. So in that sense, I can just remind maybe that the call for issues that the IGF introduced was actually inspired by some regional and national IGFs. The same with the concept of the messages that was introduced in 2017 by the host country, Switzerland, which was inspired actually by their national IGF but also some primarily, I believe, European regional IGFs and other national IGFs.
So we could actually maybe form a couple of questions as the global IGFs or the NRIs and ask concretely how things can be improved especially in terms of communication or what you mentioned about the quality and the visibility of the outputs. The same thing would go, I think which is very important, for the outreach. The NRIs have very specific practices to do the outreach. Yesterday I mentioned some and I think probably we don't have time, but it would be good to maybe just put it for the record there that many of the national and regional IGFs are aware that their practices are concentrated in bigger urban centers, usually the capitals and so on and it's very difficult to reach those that live in remote areas. So sometimes, and that practice is actually happening more often with the NRIs, they tour the country or the region physically. They go into various schools, at various universities. They engage with different communities in the local communities and in the various cities, villages, where they try to introduce the concept of the digital technologies and what those can do for, first of all, sustainable development but also for the inclusion, and so on.
So I think learning from those practices would be great. The secretariat is actually working on a -- on one publication where we will gather those practices and try to kind of visually present them to the community, how those practices are implemented in various NRI levels.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Anja, I think that's great. And I think earlier I had written down inclusion with respect to learn from the NRIs because of course it was certainly something which we all care about. It's one of our main three themes this year, and was also a request from the Secretary-General to look to what we can do to increase. So it was interesting. And look forward to seeing the report, too.
So the speaking queue is empty. I think one of the things that might be more helpful in terms of kind of increasing the bandwidth, if you will, between the NRIs and the MAG or the NRIs and the various intersessional activities is probably to do some preplanning for these sorts of agendas and meetings so we can understand from the NRIs what it would be helpful to talk to the MAG about or other intersessional activities about and vice versa, what the MAG would like to know more about from the NRIs, what are some of the experiences we can learn from and those sorts of things, and maybe be a little more programmed in terms of that -- that relationship, particularly because when you run consultations against multiple countries, that actually takes time. It's probably, I don't know, four to six weeks or something for a reasonably paced consultation process with the number of people we engage the NRIs. I'm not sure the MAG is that much faster either. But I think we should keep that in mind, which means we need to get started now for the June -- June MAG meeting.
But I think this exchange has been really helpful, and I not only appreciate all the input on the activities themselves but I think sharing some of the learnings and some of the practices that talk specifically to some of the things we've been addressing here within the MAG.
So I'd like to thank everybody for that. We would now -- actually, we didn't -- Raquel, I'm not really putting you on the spot because it was on the agenda but the one thing we didn't get to earlier was gender and access BP update. We had asked everybody to give a brief update, sort of three to five minutes, and see if there were other questions or comments from the room. We'll finish that and then we'll go to some individual contributions from related and relevant Internet initiatives.
>>RAQUEL GATTO: Thank you very much, Lynn. Just to briefly update that the MAG approved the continuation of the Best Practice Forum on gender and access. The first one was in 2005 -- 15, sorry, 2015 based on online violence and gender-based violence online. The second one identified the barriers for accessing the Internet. And over the next two, three years, we have been dealing and dipping on some of those issues. We went to the challenges in 2017, to the challenges that the women's groups have to -- and the needs to access the Internet. And in 2018, the connectivity models that would bring this gender digital equality.
And this year, the MAG has also -- has approved the continuation, also looking at the digital inclusion and the future of work. What are the digital skills that -- and the barriers and the enablers for fostering the digital skills on women and girls that would bring society.
And I have my co-facilitators from the MAG. Maria Paz is not here, and Chenai. We are just sharing lists and we will have the meeting soon.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Thank you, Raquel. And Chenai is here, far back in the room here.
Are there any comments or questions or anything else, Chenai, you would like to add?
Then I'm not sure, Chengetai, are you going to walk us through the list of the related, relevant initiatives or organizations that --
>>CHENGETAI MASANGO: (Off microphone).
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: I just see Nigel here.
So I'm going to go through the list that Chengetai has composed here on the understanding that that's the list -- that's the order people thought they were going to be speaking in. I don't know if that's true or not but I don't see Nigel Hickson from ICANN here. (Indiscernible) to him afterwards. I also I don't see Jane Coffin -- oh, right next to Raquel.
So Jane Coffin. Jane, you have the floor.
>>JANE COFFIN: Thank you, Lynn. Just a brief update for colleagues here. For those of you who don't know me, I work on infrastructure and connectivity issues at the Internet Society. Someone had mentioned earlier that the output of WSIS was to encourage multistakeholder processes, to develop bottom-up governance, more communities of interest, and sustainability of the infrastructure. And those communities -- this is an absolute focus of the Internet societies, and many of our programs this year sync up extremely well with this. Two out of three of them, actually.
So on the IGF theme of inclusion, we work with communities to build local Internet infrastructure, Internet exchange points, and to train people technically to sustain and maintain that infrastructure.
We also are working and have been speaking about here community networks, bottom-up community built infrastructure run for, by, with communities.
On the security side, one of our major programs this year is the Mutually Agreed Norms for Routing Security, or MANRS, where we are working with operators around the world to try and encourage more security of network routing.
We also have a focus on encryption through our policy team and through our technical team.
Overall, part of what we do is the bottom-up governance working through communities of interest with our chapters, with our organizational members, and again, communities in general to promote that Internet way of working, network to network, person to person.
Our new CEO, Andrew Sullivan, often remarks that we need to work the way the Internet works, from network to network.
So we just thank you very much. We're committed to working with NRIs through the IGF and with all of our colleagues and stakeholders. And if anyone is interested around the world with our partners (indiscernible) to communities and train people.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: It might be one opportunity there to get to those previously underserved communities from an IGF initiative.
The next speaker is Victor from the World Intellectual Property Organization, WIPO. Victor.
>>VICTOR OWADE: Very good afternoon, dear colleagues, and thanks very much once again for giving WIPO this opportunity to address the meeting. I will be very brief in my intervention and only mention three updates which may be of interest to the IGF community.
Firstly, I would wish to highlight that the Marrakech Treaty administered by WIPO gained its 50th member in February. The Marrakech Treaty promotes the worldwide availability of texts that are specially adapted for use by persons with visual or print impairments. The joining of the United States to the Marrakech Treaty in February gives a major boost for increased access to English language text in accessible formats for people living with print or visual disabilities around the world.
We are very pleased about this and are working hard for more ratifications.
Secondly, the 38th session of WIPO Standing Committee on Copyright and Related Rights, SCCR met last week in Geneva. the SCCR is a multilateral forum where governments meet to discuss matters of substantive law or harmonization in the field of copyright and related rights. The 38th session made significant progress on the protection of broadcasting organizations as well as limitations in the (indiscernible), libraries and disabilities. These issues continue to be of great importance for many IGF stakeholders.
Thirdly, colleagues, WIPO cybersquatting cases grew by 12% in 2018 to reach a new record. Brand owners from 109 countries filed a record 3,000-plus cases under the Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution policy within WIPO. This shows the increasing challenges faced by businesses online and the need for vigilance against the proliferation of websites used for counterfeit sales, fraud, phishing, and other forms of online abuses.
With these brief updates, I thank you for your attention and wish the MAG fruitful discussions for the remaining day. WIPO remains committed to the IGF process and looks forward to working with you, all of you, to contribute to the next IGF meeting.
I thank you.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Victor, thank you.
That was a very interesting presentation. And we really appreciate the continuing support and engagement and involvement from WIPO.
I understand we just approved a new dynamic coalition this week, which I was quickly trying to look up here to see if there was any.
>> Sorry, you were probably looking on the information on the new DC and its name. It's not published yet because we're still working with the DC and some of the details.
Sure, sure, yeah.
It's a new DC on the sustainability of journalism and the news media. And, actually, we have a representative of the Global Forum for Media Development, Michael Oghia, who is online and ready to make an intervention on the work of GFMD. And he may also say a few words about the new DC.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Excellent. Thank you, Eleanor. And, again, I couldn't quite remember whether or not there was a nice relationship or a good fit with the work of WIPO, which is why I was trying to find it on the site.
If Michael is there, we can go to Michael now. If that's not Michael Oghia, he's online.
We've been trying to get him, and we have some recovery time.
>>LUIS BOBO: He's unmuted, but I'm not sure he's aware he's being called.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Why don't we work that in the ground, then, and we'll just go to the next.
Thank you, Luis.
You have the floor for the European Commission.
>>EUROPEAN COMMISSION: Thank you.
Thank you very much, Lynn. Valentina Scialpi from the European Commission, for the record.
The European Commission would like to thank the MAG and the IGF secretariat for the relentless work and welcome especially the new developments on the strategic multi-year program prepared by the working groups.
On our side, we're working along the same line of reflection that I'm hearing coming from the community during this meeting in these days.
For our last high-level group on Internet governance that for your information is a meeting that we organize three times a year with member states and other stakeholders, some of those stakeholders being in the room right now, including Chengetai, who participated in the last one.
We have prepared the position paper that was shared with the participants to the meeting and invited them to comment.
These inputs will inform our future strategy on Internet governance that most likely will lead to a new Commission communication on Internet governance early next year. However, this, of course, will depend a lot on the outcomes of the European Parliament election next month, which will then be paramount for the nomination of our new commission.
I am happy to share with you the outcomes of our Multistakeholder Expert Group on Artificial Intelligence that was published two days ago, ethical guidelines for artificial intelligence that the European private sector and public institutions will now have as a reference when working in this area.
To this point in particular, I will follow up on the discussion that we were having yesterday on what sort of outcomes the IGF should produce and in what forums. And we believe that for policymakers, it will be extremely useful to have outcomes in the form of guidelines such as the one introduced by this expert group on AI that would inform the action of policymakers.
If we look at the Paris messages produced by the IGF Secretariat, these are a bit too high-level to be translated into any policy. It was interesting to see that from Paris, we actually had two different sets of messages, one coming from the IGF secretariat and one from the French government itself. And the latter were already a bit more focused than the one produced by the secretariat. With that said, we might consider producing even two different types of outcomes: One more informing the general public, like the message we produced until now. And that's one level. And one more focused, addressing more specialized audience, like the policymaker and tech industry.
Last, but not least, I will touch upon a point that I know is always critical for the IGF, but at the same time may be good news, which is we managed this year to secure our contribution for the coming two years until the end of 2020, and to up-front most of the contribution in signatures already. Thank you.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Thank you very much, Valentina. It's an interesting question, interesting comment with respect to different types of outputs and goes to the discussion yesterday as well, which is trying to understand which audience we're trying to reach with each activity at the IGF.
I think, Veni, you're asking to come in?
>>VENI MARKOVSKI: Yes, just to mention I was texting Nigel. He'll be coming shortly. He understood this was going to be discussed around 5:30, so he's in some bilateral. But he's coming soon. Because I wasn't in (indiscernible), which is the thing that happened in ICANN meeting
between our (indiscernible) meeting and today, I can't really talk about it. So he'll be here shortly.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Okay. Thank you. That's fine. Don't want to interrupt his bilateral meeting, either. So we can show some flexibility and do it at the end of the session if that's better.
>>VENI MARKOVSKI: Thank you. But I'm sure he would be more than happy to interrupt his bi- -- No, just kidding. I just wanted to cheer up people here on how important our meeting is.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: I'm glad we're on the plus side of that.
>>ICC/BASIS: Thank you, Chair. My name is Timea Suto. I'm a MAG member, but at this time, I'm representing International Chamber of Commerce, which is the world's largest business organization, representing more than 45 million companies around the world in over 100 countries.
Our core mission is to make business work for everyone, every day, everywhere. And we do that through a unique mix of democracy, solutions, and standard-setting. And we promote international trade, responsible business conduct, and global approach to regulation, in addition to providing dispute resolution services.
Our members include many of the world's largest companies, SMEs, business associations, and local chambers of commerce.
And I wanted to highlight two main activities that we have coming up this year. All chambers of commerce that are ICC members are also members of ICC's initiative that is called the World Chambers Federation. That was established by ICC to be the advocate of chambers of commerce members worldwide. And the World Chambers Federation organizes a congress every two years. And the 11th one of that is taking place this June in Rio de Janeiro between 12th and 14th of June, which is the largest chamber event, featuring more than 1,000 delegates form 100 countries. And this year's congress will take place under the theme Creating a Shared Future and I will touch upon issues like smart cities, trade, and digital economy, SME entrepreneurship, and digital economy, inclusive infrastructure and skills for the global economy.
So if this is of interest to you, please feel free to let me know and I can share more details.
And on our work directly related to Internet governance, innovation, as you know, is very important for ICC. And we've been, with our BASIS project, present in the Internet governance discussion since the WSIS process started in 2003 and 2005.
We are also part of the WSIS Forum that is taking place right now in the rooms adjacent to this one. And we will have a workshop tomorrow on digital entrepreneurship to bridge the connectivity gap, where we will discuss business initiatives and public-private partnerships that are meant to expand connectivity in hard-to-reach and remote areas and directed towards vulnerable groups. So that will take place tomorrow at 4:30, if you are interested. You are welcome and very warmly invited.
And, of course, a large part of our work is to support business participation and engagement in the IGF itself. So my colleagues are right now very busy working on submitting the proposals for the IGF workshops. By the end of this week, we will have a couple of proposals for Day Zero events as well. And as always, we will make sure to invite our network and coordinate business participation in the IGF.
So in a nutshell, this is what we're working on right now. For any other questions, I'm happy to discuss after the meeting.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: (Indiscernible).
>>ICC/BASIS: Hopefully, some good discussions as well. But yes.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Thank you, Timea.
Is Michael able to -- No? Not at the moment?
>>LUIS BOBO: He's commuting at the moment, so he doesn't have a stable connection. But maybe five, ten minutes.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Is there a document he can send us that we can put in the record? Maybe you can just check that in the background.
Thank you, Luis.
We have Marco Lotti from Diplo.
Marco, you have the floor.
>>MARCO LOTTI: Thank you. Thank you very much for giving the Geneva Internet Platform the possibility to speak about our contributions to the Internet governance policy discussions and the IGF.
As said, I'm Marco Lotti from the Geneva Internet Platform, and my intervention will be very brief as well. And among all the initiatives that I'm going to tell you about, I think I will start with reporting, which is probably one of the most important ones.
We report from the main digital policy-related events happening in Geneva and around the world, when, of course, possible. In fact, here at WSIS, we are reporting from all the thematic workshops throughout the week and publishing the reports online afterwards. This is also what we did last year in Paris and where we covered about 90% of the sessions and published the reports on our Web site, the Digital Watch Observatory, that you can visit at dig.watch.
What we did with these reports was to produce daily summaries, what some of you may know as IGF Dailies, summaries of the discussions that took place every day in Paris. It's the same as a small newspaper.
Then we compile them in a final comprehensive report covering IGF as a whole.
I'm happy to underline that for the first time last year, our final report included also an in-depth data analysis on the content, topics, and words that were most relevant in the discussions, be it cyber, be it data, fake news, so on and so forth.
This year, we are planning to run the reporting initiative again during the IGF in Berlin. And in the meantime, in preparation for Berlin, we are planning to continue our analysis throughout the year on the Digital Watch Web site, to continue reporting from the main digital policy-related events as well as continuing organizing discussions in Geneva, Brussels, and Washington.
In Geneva, for example, we are planning to continue our thematic discussions on digital policy issues. And one example of them are our data talks, meetings specifically focusing on data applications and data projects for and by international organizations in Geneva.
Finally, we will also continue with our monthly online briefings, which anyone can join online every last Tuesday of the month. These briefings compile the main IG developments of the previous 30 days. And their content is also published at the beginning of each month in our newsletter.
To close, for other locations, we will also organize thematic dialogues regularly. For example, early this year, we had a discussion on AI and diplomacy in Brussels, where we also launched our related publication. AI and policy, in fact, we believe it to be one of the key topics for 2019.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Thank you, Marco. I've actually had the pleasure of attending one or two of those meetings and reading the reports. And they really are informative. Thank you.
I'm talking about the reports that Diplo publishes. Obviously, the IGF documents and reports are very good as well.
So is there any word from Michael?
No? Okay. Well, we will --
>>LUIS BOBO: No. He didn't answer to our request for a document. But he will. He's probably in a meeting or something.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: I'm sure he will. If we get it, we can try to bring him in or read it out later in the document.
I didn't see Nigel come in. I was looking the other way yet.
And we're waiting for Jovan to come in at 5:00 o'clock for the HLPDC.
We could -- oh, sorry. Mamadou, you have the floor.
>>MAMADOU LO: I just wanted to say I'm one of the creator, I'm following the multilingualism issue and the IGF (indiscernible).
Thank you very much.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Thank you, Mamadou.
Were there any -- Is there anything the MAG would actually like to follow up on with respect to the -- the contributions we've just -- just received?
Any questions for further ways we can collaborate? Any questions they have for us or MAG has for them? Just want to give you a few minutes to get settled here.
Is there anybody else in the room who would like to make a contribution as well?
We do ask for people to notify ahead of time. But we're not that inflexible.
No? Okay. Well, maybe we'll just take an in-place stretch break and give you a minute to catch your breath and your sunglasses to come to indoor color, I think.
[ Laughter ]
>> It looks more mysterious.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: That's exact- -- I'm not sure we need more mystery on this particular topic right now. I appreciate the consistency.
Seriously, we can just take a minute, Jovan, I'm sure people don't mind taking an in-place stretch break. We're a little bit ahead of time.
Are you ready? So we have, basically, up until 6:00 o'clock, if you need it. Or you --
[ Laughter ]
-- or you want the time. So, I mean, just know that we actually do have adequate time for the discussion.
And very much appreciate your coming. I know Jovan's been in one meeting after another, because I've seen him sitting in the CICG cafeteria with various people going through, and, in fact, some of us were one of those this morning first thing.
Thank you, Jovan Kurbalija.
>>JOVAN KURBALIJA: We started at 1:00 o'clock. Thank you, Lynn, thank you, Daniela, Chengetai, for inviting me to address you today.
Well, I know that there are quite a few questions that -- open and the questions to be asked about especially interplay between the panel and the Internet Governance Forum.
For the -- since there is still some sun outside, I will try to keep it short and give you some time to go and enjoy lovely Geneva weather, which is not typical.
I guess that you are familiar with the panel, what panel is doing. You have been hearing two briefings from my colleague.
I would like just to provide a few points which are of relevance for our discussion today. In the time line that our panel was establishing, July last year, we had the first meeting in September in New York, the second meeting in Geneva in January, and we had the last, informal meeting last week in Helsinki.
The panel is independent expert group appointed by the U.N. secretary-general, and it is very important to keep the formal status of the panel clear. It is appointed by the U.N. secretary-general to provide him with advice about the future digital cooperation.
Our mandate is to submit a report to the secretary-general at the end of May, beginning of June, which he can consider for further action. He can -- I hope he won't do it -- he can throw it into the dust bin, or he can suggest the next steps according to his discretion.
Now, based on the discussion and consultation that we have been having over the last eight months, there is a clear buildup around inclusion. And secretary-general has pointed out on a few occasions that he would like to have an inclusive debate about the report of the panel and possible follow-up steps. This is the overall spirit. And we can clear any question about the forum or status of the panel in our discussion.
The report, which is the output of the panel's activities, consists of the -- of three major elements. The first is framing of the discussion around the values that digital cooperation should support, values and principles. Most of those values and principles have been codified in various U.N. documents, Internet governance, spirit of Internet governance community since the early days. We are trying to codify them and to say, okay, here are the values and principles, somewhere in the cloud, as general guiding issues, and to answer the questions how to bring those values and principles to the daily reality and to the activities that we are doing from simple clicking on the Facebook like or dislike. All of our activities are guided by certain values.
From those rather trivial activities to the rather complex activities, making policy decisions in the corporate sector, in governments, and international organizations. That led visually from the cloud values and principles to daily reality is one of the major challenges that will we are trying to address.
In addressing this challenge, we are basically discussing the key mechanisms of digital cooperation. In the buildup for -- in the preparation for the report, we identified more than 1,000 mechanisms that currently exist in the field of digital cooperation.
Those of you who are familiar with the report for the UNCSTD group, at that time, four years ago, we identified 643 mechanisms. Obviously, with the latest developments, it extended to approximately 1,200 mechanisms.
And while we are discussing Internet governance, digital governance, digital cooperation, there are many developments. People are addressing issues, solving problems in multistakeholder way, bottom-up. Governments are, as you know, also addressing various cybersecurity, taxation issues, and things are happening.
The first point in the panel work was to avoid duplicating the things that already exist or reinventing the wheel or discovering hot water. You can label it in whatever way you want.
In that analysis, we also identified gaps that exist in the current mechanisms and led towards discussion about the possible solution governance architecture solution that may address these gaps.
The underlying message that we have been hearing from the consultation is that there is a need to accelerate digital cooperation and digital governance. It is no-brainer. You have been reading the newspapers. And no further call from the Mark Zuckerberg and Facebook. But those calls and those comments are basically frequent all over the world. They could be real, perceived.
There are different motivations. But there is a strong feeling that something has to be done in order to address these gaps.
These gaps are in particular related to this bringing of the values from the cloud or the values and principles to digital activities. This is one area. The other is related to connecting the dots among different digital policy silos or the governance silos that exist. And it has been underlying message from the national level to regional and global levels that something has to be done to have at least more awareness of what's going on behind the policy role, whether it is human rights, security, eTrade and others issues; sort of overcoming. And I think overcoming policy silos, I think that we shouldn't break policy silos. They exist. They are quite human and normal. The people gather in small communities like we are gathering in our IG community. But one has to at least ensure that discussion in nonpolicy silos is informed by discussion going across -- across the (indiscernible).
We identified quite a few policy tradeoffs where ideally we can make win-win (indiscernible).
Privacy protection in some cases and security. I can list the areas where you have ultimately to come to the point to make informed tradeoff.
Those are three major challenges and gaps that we have been hearing during the consultation. Now, in discussion, the panel, we came to a few potential models how those tradeoffs and missing links in digital cooperation could be addressed. And I will describe these three -- three models, emerging models that are not final. The panel is still discussing possibilities, but it would be very useful to hear your views and your reflections around these three models.
The first one is Digital Cooperation Initiative, which is based on the idea of network of networks where people in communities gather in the network to address specific policy issues, whether it be (indiscernible), Internet of Things, and issues considered important.
That networks can propose possible policy or norms that can address specific issue. There is no idea, there is no suggestion that this network should provide any recommendation, but the idea is that they generate those ideas for further consideration by governments, technical community, companies, and international organizations.
This network of networks should have sense of the rules, coordination point in the peer coordination network. It should have a support function. It should have a capacity-building function.
The second idea that has been emerging in our consultation is related to potential use and -- or strengthening of the Internet Governance Forum by building on already achieved level of cooperation and successes of Internet Governance Forum, by relying on the various analysis and the studies on the enhancement of the Internet Governance Forum that have been conducted over the last years, and quite a few of you have been involved those exercises, but adjusting to the demand of the current time when it comes to those requests to have more coordination among different policy spaces, potential discussion on the issue-based discussion on policies, some sort of dynamic coalition on steroids, if you can call it, and having some sort of an observatory of (indiscernible) in particular developing countries can address their pressing concerns and the issues.
The third model which has been under discussion is the digital commons platform, and the idea is to have it more closely linked to the United Nations as a place where the issues of digital commons would be addressed. It's important to keep in mind all of these three models are still in the formative phase. They are ideas that have been considered. They're not -- they're not fixed as a solution that the panel will propose, but discussion is basically centered around these three type of ideas. The first one, Digital Cooperation Initiative, would be public-private framework established by different stakeholders. The second one would build on the Internet Governance Forum as unique interplay between multilateral and multistakeholder space. And third one would be closer link to the U.N. -- U.N. secretariat and the U.N. (indiscernible).
I guess that I answer all questions, huh?
Let me see, what are the expressions?
This is more or less the construct of the architecture of the report. The idea is that we present to you and Secretary-General these three options, and then he, based on consultations with different stakeholders, can advance one of those options or maybe combine two or three options further via stakeholders community, member states and other actors.
One overall impression that we have been receiving from the consultation process is that nobody, at least openly, has been questioning multistakeholder approach. There is now -- I have been in this field, as you know, for 15, 20 years. There is a clear evolution that multistakeholder approach is accepted and appreciated by -- by almost all interlocutories with whom we have been discussing digital cooperation. Obviously it has to co-exist and interplay with the multilateral process that currently exists in the various field, in eCommerce discussion, cybersecurity, and other related issues.
Another dominant feedback, especially from international organization, is that we have, faster than we thought, and digitalization of the agenda of traditional policy institutions -- traditional policy issues. (Indiscernible) is becoming increasingly held. There is digitalization discussion on the eCommerce, on the humanitarian assist- (indiscernible). Faster than we expected. This is one of the major trend which I guess IGF and our broader community should be aware of. Digitalization of the W (indiscernible) agenda, ILO agenda, WTO (indiscernible), and that will be one that future cooperation can address, and these challenges will be coming more and more on the agenda of the IGF in the form of the IGF.
Well, I promised to be brief. This always dangerous when you make to be brief.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Thank you, Jovan, we do have some people in the queue for questions. So thank you. I think that was a good intro.
Could I just ask those folks who aren't speaking to turn the mics off because it does actually help with the volume. Veni. Sorry, it just helps with the volume on the other mics, and I think remotely as well.
So we have Marilyn Cade. Marilyn, and then we have Raul Echeberria. They're both participating online. We've had some success actually hearing the audio in the room, but we've also had to resort to reading the transcript there. So let's see what we can do. Can we hear Marilyn?
>>MARILYN CADE: Speaking.
Can you hear me, Lynn?
[ Laughter ]
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: No, we can't hear you, Marilyn. The scribe, though --
>>JOVAN KURBALIJA: We can read.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Are we going to be able to get the audio in a moment?
>>MARILYN CADE: I just want to go ahead, if I might.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Just one second, Marilyn.
>>MARILYN CADE: Okay. May I go ahead?
All right. I'm going to read. I'm very sorry you're not hearing my melodious voice, but I -- first of all, I'd like to join with many others who will say thank you, Jovan, for the work that you are doing, and also to recognize how many years, in fact, you have been leading in this space.
I do have a couple of I hope relevant comments. Hearing this overview presentation is really helpful. I also note that it builds on previous work at the CSTD work group on enhanced cooperation that was chaired both by Peter Major and then Ambassador Fonseca, and you made a major contribution to also. So I just want to recognize that.
I also recall a very early report that you and I collaborated on called "Identifying the Impact," and that publication has been (indiscernible). It may even be a role model for how we need to start thinking about bringing digestible messages that different policymakers can embrace. One thing that you contributed over the years that I've known you is the idea that a roadmap of who does what, where they do it, can be extremely helpful. Almost an observatory approach to what is going on and then how to engage and effecting input there.
Your comments about the fact that we have already moved to a highly digitized world I think is something that the MAG, perhaps tomorrow, could spend more time on discussing, because I believe that is, in fact, one of our biggest challenges that is, in fact (indiscernible) not yet really addressed everything we are doing. I'm not suggesting that we change our workshops at the IGF, but I do think that at least the main session (indiscernible) how digitization is changing the world. Even in developing countries where drones may now be delivering agricultural supplies or healthcare information.
And I will make one final comment, that I would ask you to comment. We always (indiscernible) with talking about ourselves. I have wondered and posted recently and perhaps you launch the new MAG every year with a thought leadership panel of strategic thinkers, social scientists, anthropologists, others who come in and talk to the MAG about the changing world as they see it and the future of how technology affects society, just to kind of update all of this on what is going on, and then we can begin to develop a program of the give with a more futuristic approach.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: I just want to make sure because we could hear you and then we couldn't.
Thank you very much, Marilyn, and thank you for putting forth with the audiovisual difficulties as well.
Jovan, do you want to respond and then we'll go back to the queue?
>>JOVAN KURBALIJA: Marilyn, you surprised me I thought the question would be on the national and regional IGFs but you really surprised me with the different focus. First, thank you for various digital spaces. You pointed to two key aspects in your discussion, is first that digital is basically becoming society. Digital economy is just economy, and we are noticing that, and it is a huge challenging challenge for all of us involved in the digital policy space. And you pointed to one important aspect in the -- related to thinking about the future, and deep reflections in what direction society is moving. We have been hearing a lot of reflections from social scientists, from science fiction authors, from diplomats, technical people related to the need to step back and to (indiscernible) challenges that (indiscernible) is happening. We are basically preparing some events with science fiction authors who may be useful, this is one extreme community, in providing some reflections. But it is a clear message which we have been hearing from China to Silicon Valley in Africa. I just came from the Western Balkans and Moscow from the Russian IGF. People are both excited about possibilities but also concerned beyond just the core technical issues. They want to see what is coming, what are the dilemmas, ethical, societal dilemmas we have to address. And this is some of the deep reflections of society worldwide.
Your point I think is extremely important, to try to continue with these type of reflections.
Thank you, Marilyn.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Thank you, Johan.
>>RAUL ECHEBERRIA: Thank you very much. Hi, Jovan. This is Raul Echeberria speaking on behalf of myself. This has been very useful report, Jovan.
You mentioned at the beginning that the first challenge is to draw the set of values that should support the digital cooperation. So my first question for you is to what extent are you taking in consideration the outcomes of NETmundial, the work deeply on exactly the elaboration of a set of principles to support Internet governance that could be used also to a broader definition of digital cooperation.
The second thing is that I think this classification you presented very quickly and the possible solutions or way forwards, and then I think it's a good recollection of the different options. And one that is very (indiscernible) by all the stakeholders, one that builds on the existing IGF, including the IGF, and the third one that is more U.N.-based multilateral model.
One thing that I think is very interesting to recognized is that international organizations, multilateral organizations are not the same than in 2003.
Clearly, those organizations were not ready to take bigger roles in Internet governance 16 years ago. Most organizations didn't have all the knowledge and expertise to deal with the emerging issues related to the Internet. Now, I'm seeing a great evolution in some of them, not in all of them. But it's clear also that, on the other hand, the multistakeholder is something that came to stay. So it should be a big step back to move toward a more multigovernmental model.
So I think that what is clear for me is that the second model is the option to consider more seriously. It's clear that there is a lot of work to do, and so we have to take very seriously this improvement of the IGF. And in the context of what you are saying, I think that discussions about the future of IGF become more and more relevant, and we should find all of us working together in order to continue making this IGF a relevant tool for the informational community to deal with all the challenging issues.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Thank you, Raul. A comprehensive set of comments.
Is there anything that you want to respond to at this point, Jovan Kurbalija?
>>JOVAN KURBALIJA: Now, like with Marilyn Cade, I expected a comment on NETmundial. And the answer is, yes, we are considering the NETmundial principles, which are an extremely valuable codification of the values and principles in digital policy field.
In addition to U.N. Charter; in addition, U.N. Declaration of Human Rights; and other documents. And the main problem is how to converge all of those principles to a manageable number, because we started with almost 30 principles. We are now getting to -- with some convergences, to 15 to 20 principles. And, obviously, WSIS principles which were developed during the Geneva and the Tunis process.
Your point on the major changes is extremely valid. The world is changing. That's part of dialectics of life. New issues are emerging. And I have to admit that some of the constructs that were developed 15 years ago during the WSIS process are still with us, and they are sustaining the test of time. And I think that all of those who were involved at that time in Tunis, in Geneva and Tunis should be proud of their achievements. And IGF is one of those achievements.
And, yes, thank you for your comment on the models. And we'll take them into consideration.
Have a nice, I guess, morning in Uruguay, if you're there. Bye.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Thank you, Jovan.
Next, we have Raquel.
Raquel, you have the floor.
>>RAQUEL GATTO: Thank you very much, Lynn.
And thank you very much, Jovan, for coming here and outlining the recommendations of the high-level panel.
As Marilyn was saying, it's undeniable, and we are very glad to have you in this process. Personally, your book and DiploFoundation were the starting point for me in Internet governance. So thank you very much very much.
I guess we submitted the contribution as Internet Society to the process. There is no point on going back to all the concerns. Of course, we had major concerns with technical community involvement in the process of these consultations.
But after hearing a bit on the reasoning and this outline of the recommendations, I would point to two questions. Are we expected to have another round of consultations and react to those, to the outlines or to some sort of draft?
And if so, how much does -- would this influence up to the final report?
And also, I'm now in conversations with Raul. Raul is in Uruguay, by the way, since 5:00 a.m. joining us, so lots of coffee. But is there any assessment on the impact precisely on the Tunis Agenda commitments?
>>JOVAN KURBALIJA: Okay. We are currently at the Helsinki meeting where we outlined the main architecture of the report. We started by receiving the comments, feedback from the panel members. And we would like to use this meeting and the other meetings, I think we'll have some meeting with the technical community over the next few days, quite a few bilateral meetings during the WSIS process, to get feedback, to get the ideas around these three types of recommendations and overall construction of the report. Therefore, it's not -- it is not too late to provide suggestions.
The report will be finalized for the presentation to secretary-general at the end of May. The good news is that at least based on hints that we are receiving from the overall process is that the report will be the basis for the additional iteration of discussions and consultation. Therefore, the key spirit of the -- this process is to have all relevant inputs heard and consideration and complaints and worries red-lined, whatever lines we have these days. This is essential, that we hear the feedback from the community, in particular, technical community, which has been extremely important in shaping digital -- digital developments.
We are not conducting the official review of Tunis Agenda. Obviously, we are considering the WSIS documents, together with SDGs. SDGs are one of the elements where we are trying to frame the overall value and approach to digital policy. But we don't have official review of the Tunis Agenda. We are using values and principles and, obviously, articles like article 72 and all relevant articles that could provide input into design of possible models.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Thank you, Jovan. Very interesting to hear the signals continue to be that the report itself would actually be the basis of the next consultation. I understand that's not a done deal yet, but I'm glad the signals are strong.
I did mention on a MAG call, I don't know, a few weeks ago, that in a meeting with the secretary-general's office, that they had expressed significant interest in actually having discussions around the report at the IGF meeting in Berlin. And they were asking us to keep that in mind as we actually work towards the program and make sure that we could -- or were certainly asking if we were amenable to actually making time and facilitating that.
In that meeting, I actually suggested as well that we could consider ways to do some online consultations ahead of time, which would certainly give a much broader review of the report. And since so much of what we all do here and so much of what the U.N. is concerned about is inclusion and access and getting to those underserved communities and those communities that don't have access, I think anything we can do to build those processes on the front end that would do that would be very important.
I also think it's a great opportunity for all those communities to help determine what the next round of Internet governance structures or mechanisms or processes are. So I think anything we can do, really, to get that out to those others communities is -- And there's certainly been an awful lot of advances in tools and that sort of thing. And there's also a lot of physical movement that can actually facilitate that. So I think that's something that the MAG, and I'm sure many other entities, will take up as well, but take up specifically with respect to how we can get a really broad, robust, thoughtful consultation. And it can't just be the usual suspects, because I think that will get us, frankly, the same answers we've been delivering for some time now. So we need to find a way to reach out more broadly and more deeply.
>>JOVAN KURBALIJA: Thank you.
The overall spirit is that what we are facing these days within the panel in (indiscernible) is basically of the relevance beyond our traditional core bodies or the forums that we have been -- we have been attending. And this is of utmost importance to have as many communities, individuals, countries, stakeholders involved in this discussion. Obviously, there are physical organization procedure limits. But there is a strong, strong interest and push from the secretary-general himself and from his team to have that -- this discussion as inclusive as possible and as relevant for the -- for setting some sort of building blocks for the future, not only I would say digital developments.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Thank you, Jovan.
Next in the queue, we have Danko.
Danko, you have the floor.
>>DANKO JEVTOVIC: Thank you, Lynn. Thank, you, Jovan.
I have two short questions.
I especially liked that you presented those three models. And regarding the first model, network of networks, my question is how you see the relationship of that with the U.N. And is the idea of that model to have some sort of a U.N. stamp on it? Because I see it's mentioned the public-private partnership. So how that will function.
And the second question is regarding the messages we have from Paris IGF and from President Macron about the need for the evolution of the IGF.
I understand that your role U.N. is primarily as a facilitator of the process. You are presenting those three models, those three options. But what is your personal view which one of those is best answering this call for the evolution?
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Jovan.
>>JOVAN KURBALIJA: The answer to the first question is, the U.N. would be one of the partners into these networks. Let's if you have the network addressing the Internet of things and the privacy, it will be open for the U.N. representatives along the lines of the private sector, civil society, technical community.
The second question is related to the call by President Macron. And I would say he was very specific by asking, for example, the IGF to follow up on the Paris call and suggesting some specific steps for the IGF. But in addition to his call, this is the underlying message from many, many policy circles, that there is a need to do something.
And I think that those calls should be addressed. And this is one of the reasons why the secretary-general established this panel, in order to be proactive in addressing the calls for the digital cooperation on the international level.
The third point, the answer is relatively simple. I am from the IGF community for a long time, and emotionally, this is basically my broader family. And you are adopted, all of you. And that's it.
But apart from the -- let's say, this personal aspect, if I put an expert hat, I think the IGF model is probably the most realistic to be further developed for the few reasons.
First, there is a mandate, which is extremely important.
Second, there is -- there is a lot of dynamics from the procedures to the fascinating work of the secretariat to tacit understandings of the IGF community, which is important for any social endeavor, which is also the risk that we, from time to time, we tend to slide into inwards-looking, which is very human for any social dynamics. But IGF would be, definitely, from the expert point of view, the most realistic and the most appropriate way to address these issues.
In particular, IGF has unique double legitimacy. It has multilateral legitimacy by being convened by the U.N. secretary-general, and it has multistakeholder legitimacy, which is present here in the room. And it's very difficult to find any international structure with this sort of type of double legitimacy.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Thank you, Jovan.
Hana, you have the floor.
>>JOVAN KURBALIJA: Now difficult question is coming.
>>HANA ALHASHIMI: Thank you, Chair. And thank you, Jovan. It's nice to see you, too.
[ Laughter ]
Hana Alhashimi, United Arab Emirates, here as a MAG member. So, really, I do sincerely want to thank you. And congratulations on the extensive work done in just eight months, which is speed of light by U.N. terms, for sure.
[ Laughter ]
No, I'm serious.
I also -- you know, I think it's worth recalling conversations we had around -- I don't even know -- over eight months ago now, perhaps this time last year almost, in the leadup to sort of the start of the panel, and recall that there was broad support for this panel, particularly by small states. And the reason for that was an interest specifically in models of cooperation and ways to engage more in the developing world of digital cooperation. So I think it's really great that this report is coming out, that it is really timely, and that it's worth remembering that this extended beyond the IGF and that the scope was broader than that. And based on that, it's really good to see some of the preliminary recommendations. And thank you for sharing them.
I do have a couple of questions to link the discussion with some of the debates we've been having in this room. One of them is, it's thank you for identifying the over 1,000 mechanisms. I just wanted to check whether there was some consideration of how impactful these mechanisms are so as to lead more towards recommendations.
The second question has to do, as my colleague just suggested, on the network of networks model. Would there be some elaboration on a home for these or how that would function, a sort of guide for practitioners?
Of course, we take note that the report is to the secretary-general, to advise the secretary-general, but wonder if the broader community could benefit also from these recommendations and perhaps take some of them on, regardless of the decision of the secretary-general.
The IGF itself, for example, is that a space that could host some networks of networks? Could some of the existing groups within the IGF work on them?
And a third and related question is, what kind of IGF session might help in considering the actual report?
So if I understand correctly, the panel itself would cease to exist in June. And so if we want to plan something in November, it would kind of be up to us to think about the kind of format that would be helpful to either create space for consideration or -- and I thank the chair also for considering this as a longer-term thing -- or to create space for -- you know, for more ownership and initiative on acting on perhaps some of the recommendations.
So I'll stop there with a sincere thanks. I hope it wasn't too hard. I'm sure you're up to it.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Jovan, did you want to comment?
>>JOVAN KURBALIJA: Thank you, especially for your efforts in the early panel.
Hana is very modest, but she put a lot energy, creative ideas in this lifting of the panel from the ground. And I'd like to thank you publicly for your efforts in June/July last year.
Now, how impactful are those mechanisms? Obviously, we didn't have a time to analyze all of them. But I would say Internet is functioning. We can send email. We can -- well, I hope you're not -- you're listening to me, not browsing the Web sites worldwide. But even from this room, we use Wi-Fi. And I always say that the less visible those mechanisms are and the more we take them for granted, the more successful they are. And I think that is sometimes underestimated what is done by the technical community, by -- by ICANN and other actors to make it functional. And that's a great success.
Obviously, the issues are posing new challenges. Some challenges related to cybersecurity, to e-commerce need the use of existing institutions, first of all, but also need some sort of upgraded mechanisms to address specificities of the Internet, especially amplifying the effect of Internet communication. We know the principle is, existing law applies offline applies online. This is accepted principle. The question is how it applies. And this is probably the major challenge to our stress test that we'll be facing in the years -- in the coming years, how to -- what will be stress test reaction of the WHO mechanisms (no audio) ILO, WTO (indiscernible) regulate traditional public policy issues.
But so far, (indiscernible) I think Internet (indiscernible) well, and there is a positive impact.
Network of networks, the idea is that they're hosted in different institutions. There is a need to discuss details. And as always, devil is in the details. And we will be (indiscernible) addressing this issue, what type of institutions can host different networks. But the idea is to have it relatively open to -- well, definitely to frameworks like IGF, but also non-state actors, technical communities, universities, think tanks, and people who can facilitate substantively discussions on the policy issues.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Thank you, Jovan.
Next in the queue, we have Paul Blaker from the U.K. government. And then we'll go to Vincenzo from e-government UNDESA.
>>PAUL BLAKER: Thank you very much, Lynn. And thank you very much for the presentation and for coming and sharing these ideas with us and for giving us all an opportunity to comment. I think that's really valuable, and we're grateful to you for that opportunity.
It struck me while I was listening just how much of what you talked about repeated many of the themes and the ideas from the CSTD Working Group on Enhanced Cooperation. And I wonder whether the panel took that work into account in its deliberations. The working group was a broadly representative group, I think, of all stakeholders and from all global regions.
We didn't have any celebrities. Unfortunately we didn't have that advantage, but I think that working group did a really thorough job and spent many, many hours grappling with these issues, and it's worth looking at their work.
CSTD looked at some of these ideas, wanted to pursue some, but also found others were at risk of duplication, and that's something that you mentioned. And there is already a proliferation of different initiatives, and do we really need more. And I got a sense in some of the ideas that you were presenting that there were two particular ideas which seemed to me now to be quite old-fashioned. And one is this idea that digital policy is somehow separate to other kinds of policy. And I think Marilyn kind of referred to that. That digital policy is separation to economic policy, it's separate to social policy, and therefore, it should be managed separately. I think we all know that's not true anymore. And having a separate process or whatever it is simply for digital isn't enough.
And the second idea is that somehow digital policy issues, they all have digital in common, therefore, they should all be treated the same or there is one solution that is going to address them all. And also we know that's not true. Digital policy issues are very, very different and very varied and require different kinds of responses in order to address them effectively.
So this idea that digital policy is separate or there's one solution may have been current at the time of the WSIS maybe in 2005 but in 2019 they do seem very old-fashioned. We know digital is mainstreamed. It runs through all policy areas.
So one question is whether the panel made an assessment of how existing organizations are addressing these issues and how effective existing organizations are. We know many U.N. organizations, for example, are doing work on digital, UNESCO, ITU, ILO, UNODC, et cetera, et cetera. Did the panel make -- I mean, you counted initiatives, but did they make a qualitative assessment of how effective those organizations are and whether there are things that could be done to improve them. So I think that given that digital is mainstream now, not paying attention to the existing architecture would be a real missed opportunity.
And then finally, I really welcome and agree with the things that you said about the IGF and the legitimacy of the IGF. And we were talking this morning a little bit about how the -- there are opportunities for the IGF coming out of the Secretary-General's tech strategy in terms of finding legitimate platforms for multistakeholder engagement and demonstrating and taking those ideas forward. And I -- I hope that the digital panel, digital cooperation panel, will strengthen the efforts the MAG is already undertaking to strengthen the IGF and will provide more fuel, if you like, to that effort, to strengthen the IGF and make sure that the IGF is fulfilling its mandates as effectively as it could.
But there are just some brief reflections. I'm particularly interested in the extent to which the panel has made any assessment or will make any recommendations about the work that the existing architecture is doing. Thank you.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Thank you, Paul. I wish I had a joke so I could give you a bit more time to reflect here, Jovan, but over to you.
>>JOVAN KURBALIJA: Great. Paul, thank you for all these reflections. First of all, (indiscernible) on the panel, for me personally, and ultimately everything starts from the personal experience, we then extend it between the institutional group, is mix of a bit of deja vu. And you mentioned the (audio problems) STG, but always like in the fashion, you know, when old-fashioned is (audio problems) old clothes because there are always some sort of small change that makes you -- forces you to buy the new clothes or whatever new things. And I think that would be the answer.
Those issues have been discussed for a long time, in particular in the working group on -- assistive working group. But those in other IGF, IGF bodies. But the new element which is emerging is basically specially digitalization of the traditional policy issues that you mentioned.
Moving from the recognition that existing rules apply online to the asking how they can be -- how they can be applied, that's the real -- real challenge. Though this is the new element in the overall discussion. Yes, we cannot have one solution for such a diverse policy issues and I think that -- that option has not been entertained in the panel's discussion. There is clear understanding of the huge diversity and need to have diverse digital policy approach. Your point, yes, there are -- I mean, this is mainstreaming of the digital and existing organizations, but there is one interesting development in discussions that we have the international organizations. They're also trying to revisit some of their challenges that they existed in traditional -- in traditional categories, let's say health and other issues, by digital, and one of the challenges is overcoming policy silos.
There is in a way paradoxical aspect that when it is mainstreamed, when digital is mainstreamed, it is also used as a tool to modernize approach and traditional policy processes. And that's -- that's an interesting interplay.
One approach that was discussed, and I feel will be part of the report, is a sandbox approach. Sandbox approach where we don't -- where we don't know the answers to the question, we approach them with the utmost modesty, experiment, following the feedback, and trying to adjust the rules. And I think that could be one of the ideas that the IGF could also consider as some sort of modernization aspect.
Yeah, that would be great, if you can -- if the -- if this overall process, whatever the Secretary-General decides, but if the overall process can help strengthening the IGF mandate and preparing IGF for the -- well, the new quite fast-changing face in the global digital developments. That would be, I would say, a win/win solution for all who are in the world and concerned with digital developments.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Thank you, Jovan. Vincenzo, you have the floor. Vincenzo, you want to introduce yourself.
>>VINCENZO AQUARO: Thank you, Madam Chair. My question is about the relationship between the Secretary-General strategy on new technology and the work that you have been doing on the report because as a U.N. perspective, I am the chief of digital government, and we are realigning our priority, our strategies, and our activities based on that document. From the other hand, that document also has one of the outcomes that is your report, but also is giving some clear guidelines in terms of cooperation for different agencies and also I -- you know, it's easy for us to work more closely with the other organization. We are already doing inside the U.N. family. Becomes more complicated when we talk about multistakeholder. So I would like to understand more if in the report there is also something that can also facilitate our day-by-day working at U.N. in this field.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Thank you, Vincenzo. That's actually a very interesting question. Jovan.
>>JOVAN KURBALIJA: One of the chapters of the report will deal with the role of the U.N. and the fast-changing world. You already mentioned STGs and tech strategies, two documents or two policy processes which are influencing the -- these developments. I have to admit that that's sort of a confession. I was a bit -- when I started this process, I was a bit ignorant about STGs, potentials of STGs. And one of the lessons that they learned during the panel process is potential power of STGs to especially to connect the different dots, the policy issues. You're much more familiar working in UN DESA about this. But I would like to invite all of you to revisit. At least this is what I did, after (indiscernible) reading of STGs, I spent quite a bit of time and STGs have a lot of potentials.
They have also enormous potential, and we're going to discuss it next week in Silicon Valley, to be some sort of anchor for AI developments. You know, the key issue in AI discussion is ethics and how AI can serve core values of humanity.
In the basis, conceptual basis of the STGs at the core human values from a question of poverty reduction, inequalities, inclusion. And one of the ideas for the next discussion is to see how STGs could be operational in guiding the AI developments. There will be quite a few proposals coming from the report in relation to the U.N. Thank you. Thank you for your question.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Thank you. And that last speaker was Vincenzo Aquaro from DESA e-government, I think, or is it government -- digital -- I'm sorry. I'm sorry. I conflated the E in the digital. Digital government. There was a request in the chat room for speakers to identify themselves if we're not using the queue. Raul Echeberria. Raul, you have the floor.
>>RAUL ECHEBERRIA: Yes. Thank you very much. I found very interesting the comments from Paul, from U.K. government. I think that's (indiscernible) to help very much to organize my own ideas.
If we consider all the existing organizations have been evolving in order to adapt themselves to the new world, the discussion is not about creating something or to deal with all the.
(no audio) digital policies.
-- I feel that probably the model one and two (indiscernible) because it is about having a place like IGF (indiscernible) IGF to the entry of discussions and the way to (indiscernible) many of the discussions in the multistakeholder fashion, but at the same time to connect with other networks. Those are existing networks in intergovernmental but also nongovernmental networks that are dealing with other issues already.
So I don't know, I think that's broad. This is something else to explore.
Of course it demands the need for improvements also in those existing organizations and not only in the IGF side.
So, Jovan, you spoke about (indiscernible). That might not be very different from what they're doing in 2004 and 2005 in the working group on Internet governance, trying to propose options, alternatives for mechanisms to deal with the governance issues. Of course this is a different context, a different time but the mission is still something similar.
But the point is that at that time, the arrangements that were adopted in the creation of the IGF were the result of two summits and the work of the work group on Internet governance. It was very -- we had a very good mechanism to define the level of support that those ideas had. I don't know had -- I know it will depend on the Secretary-General at the end of the day, but how you envisage that the level of support to the new ideas could be measured, because creating institutions is quite easy. What is very difficult later is to shut down the new mechanism if they are not the appropriate ones. So we have to be very careful in that sense that really the things that we do are things that have broad support in the global community. That is not longer (indiscernible) communities. It's these big, broad multistakeholder community that we have created.
>>JOVAN KURBALIJA: Well, I agree with Raul. One has to be very, very careful when there is discussion about new mechanism. Sometimes solutions could look on the first glance simply easy. But as we know, the life -- special life of a new institution is often very complex. And this is one of the reason why, for example, the idea to strengthen the IGF is strongly entertained in the various -- various discussions.
We will -- within the context of the current circumstances, which are different from the WGIG and WSIS process, we have been trying to involve as many communities as it has been possible, and I know that Secretary-General and the U.N. would also like to continue with the consultations. And that's the -- given the circumstance which are different from the WSIS process, we are trying to make a very broad ownership of the possible solution that will be proposed and possibly implemented in the forthcoming period.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: When I was the president and CEO of the Internet Society, participated in a meeting just down the road here in Coppet, Chateau de Coppet, which was imagining what a WSIS World Summit on the Information Society might be. So it was pre-WSIS 1, pre-prep sessions for WSIS 1. And participated deeply in all the prep sessions, WSIS 1, 2, et cetera.
When we got to WSIS 2 in Tunis, there were two possibilities that were mooted. Quite a number of member states supported putting an Internet Governance Forum or activity within the ITU. Quite a number of others specifically supported putting it in the Internet Society. So two very different organizations, clearly -- I mean, civil society, technical; U.N., governmental -- with very different procedures, particularly, the procedures were very different between the two entities, as many of you that were there remember.
So, I mean, the United Nations took quite a bold stroke at that time, I think, to establish the IGF. As you say, multistakeholder, with a lot of its principles, let the community decide its operating practices, its frequency of meetings, and virtually all the other parts that have come through the IGF ecosystem actually came from the community, whether it was the national regional youth IGF initiatives, the dynamic coalitions, the best-practice forums, the format of the meetings. The MAG even, in fact, was a construct that grew organically.
So having said all that, I think many in the community would say we haven't always sort of felt the support from the United Nations system fully, as we would have expected, given that.
It would be really interesting to know whether or not the panel actually spent any time understanding what might have been done differently, what we could do to build that support up. Because whether you start up a strengthened IGF or a network of networks, or -- if we're not actually bring the governments in the U.N. system into this discussion, we'll find ourself in the same things. We are so poorly funded here. We have an operating budget expectation of $2.8 million a year. This year, we're running a running rate of 1.4. And our current contribution expected level at this point in time is less than $800,000. Last year, we ate into the reserves by 200-, $300,000. Operating budget of just over a million dollars, and I think we brought in just 800 again.
We find great difficulty finding funds. We have said for years that we don't get appropriate level of senior policymaker participation. There are some notable exceptions. And we're not getting senior or appropriate level of support from the private sector.
So, I mean, I think it would be really interesting in that report if there was any work done that would actually look at what are some of the maybe systemic causes for that. I mean, I've actually been in New York, and I've said -- I have to say, I don't think the IGF has always felt the love from the broader U.N. system. Obviously, not from DESA and the departments we work very closely with, but just broadly and generally.
So I think it would be really helpful, if it hasn't been done to date, that somehow there's an allowance made in the report that really looks at, you know, given we were, we think, a very innovative forum -- we've said multilateral, multistakeholder, part of a four-, five-year, two-part United Nations World Summit on the Information Society -- and we are starved for resources and participation.
So I don't know what will make any new model or any new structure more effective if we don't understand, you know, systemically, is it -- some people have said is it, you know, discomfort with the multistakeholder model, so people stay away? You know, there's a lot the IGF can own, absolutely, with respect to what we've done to increase our own participation and outreach. But I also think at the same time we have done a tremendous, tremendous amount of work with the resources and the support we've had. And that's thanks to individuals, it's thanks to communities, it's thanks to probably about 20 governments and private sector companies and technical organizations. You can go look at the funding. It's up on the Web site since day one.
So if you think about what we've actually accomplished with that little support, if we could actually get behind this, properly get behind this, political will, political resources, financial support, I think we could accomplish a lot more a lot faster. And I think we're all aligned on the fact that the world actually needs that and is look for it.
But I do hope that's addressed in the report somehow. And if not, maybe we can find a way to structure some work that really makes that clear.
Sorry if I get --
>>JOVAN KURBALIJA: Great summary. And I think from time to time, we have to step back and congratulate ourselves. And we have been involved in day-to-day dynamics, we sometimes effect what has been achieved. And your summary is excellent.
IGF is one of the rare forums, digital policy forums, with equal -- with proper gender equality.
Somebody is calling?
>> I'll turn it off.
>>JOVAN KURBALIJA: Good.
With gender equality, relative parity when it comes to the participants and speakers. We analyzed the three last IGFs. And this is a remarkable achievement.
We have now the WSIS Forum, the ITU, which has a multistakeholder participation, and very nice interplay between the WSIS Forum and the IGF. Well, as you know, it wasn't necessarily always that way in 2003 and 2005.
IGF pushed the frontier when it comes to online participation. Many international organizations learned from the IGF and the ITU and ICANN and these actors. Therefore, I think the IGF and IG community contributed a lot to the, let's say, global public good on policy-making.
Having said that, we have to adjust to the time and changes. And you outlined in your comments what is happening around us. And I think this is one of those decisive moments where IGF has to step into the sort of next phase.
The question of leadership is important. Now we are really fortunate that secretary-general is strongly behind the IGF. He delivered a very important speech in Paris. We had during the last two IGFs, two presidents addressing, the president of Switzerland, and President Macron. There is a clear signal that leadership and political buy-in is increasing worldwide.
But the ultimate question is if the IGF is going to be relevant and attractive for different stakeholders. We cannot say, okay, we are the institution, and you should come to the IGF. It won't work. People gather in Web summit, thousands of I.T. specialists, and they discuss digital policy issues. And you have so many meetings worldwide. Therefore, we have to make sure that we remain attractive and relevant and useful for wider communities. I think this is the only way how I would say we can also ensure the financial support and growing relevance of the IGF.
And thank you for the great summary and for your efforts during the ISOC time and now at the IGF.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Thank you, Jovan.
I just have one additional comment I'd like to make in the room, and it's because it's a comment that was in the chat room here. Because today is the open consultation day for the community. And there was a suggestion that was made that as we might consider what we might do with the report at the IGF Berlin, to just consider what was done at one of the IGFs, 2015, obviously, and the WSIS + 10 document. And, in fact, there was a main session, it was very much imagined and energized and organized by Marilyn Cade. It was actually cochaired by the ambassadors of the UAE in Latvia, and it was moderated by myself and Ambassador Fonseca. And what we did was -- and, of course, we had a document, not unlike what we'll have this time -- a document, which was the -- I guess, the penultimate report on the WSIS + 10. So we ensured that everybody had the document. We made it clear in the agenda we were going to cover specific parts of the document, which were those which were, you know, the subject of a matter -- a significant amount of discussion. And we actually divided the room physically into four, with four mics, so we had the stakeholder community.
And that was partly to show who was in the room and the impact of multistakeholder, when you can see people spread about the room. It actually gave us a sense of who was coming to the mic and how many people were taking the mic from each one of the stakeholders and whether or not there was kind of a consistent view within a stakeholder group or across a stakeholder group.
So with just a different room setup, there was an awful lot of information that was actually transmitted at the time. And, in fact, the report that was put out literally said things such as, you know, on this particular clause or sentence or idea, there was significant agreement from those people that were in the room -- we weren't trying to represent anything that wasn't in front of us -- but of those people in the room, there was sort of significant agreement on "X," or a diversity of opinions. And I think that's just a good model for us to think about. I'm sure it can be improved four or five years later.
But at the same time, I really want to think about what we can all do online ahead of time, being in our own communities. Because otherwise, I think we're going to have the same arguments and the same answers again if it's the same people in a different format, for those that also sat through the Working Group on Enhanced Cooperation set of discussions the last few years.
But, again, the request was that that actually be commented on in the open consultation so that people had that for context as we go away and think about the main sessions.
There's, obviously, a lot more we can talk about here. I think the presentation was very, very helpful, Jovan. And I -- you know, I personally hope it helps crystallize kind of the opportunities that are in front of us as the IGF, not just for this IGF in Berlin, but, really, for all the other things we've been trying to do and the improvements we've been trying to work on ourselves for some years.
I will comment in a moment and see if there are any comments from Daniela. We do still have one outstanding request, and that was a comment from ICANN, who wasn't able to give us a comment in the earlier session. And I really would like to fit that in.
If the scribes are okay staying on a bit longer. It shouldn't be very long.
And we're sort of one minute short yet. So it's probably an extra five, extra ten minutes, I should think. Daniela, do you want to comment now or at the end? It's entirely up to you?
>>DANIELA BRONSTRUP: Thank you, Lynn. This is very briefly to say thank you, thank you to Jovan for sharing the information with us. Thank you to all of you inside the room, and also everywhere else in the world coming in, even though this sometimes was difficult today.
I have gotten a lot of input today. And we will take this with us, maybe overnight think about it, and then tomorrow, there will be interesting discussions also on the question how to deal, then, with the report in Berlin.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Thank you, Daniela.
Thank you, everybody. And particularly a big thank you to Jovan. And Jovan, Nigel's comments are always entertaining. So if you want to stay for that, you're welcome to stay. And that will be the last item of the day.
So Nigel Hickson from ICANN, you have the floor.
>>NIGEL HICKSON: Thank you very much, indeed. Can you hear me?
Oh, you can. Well, that's a shame.
[ Laughter ]
So -- so Nigel Hickson, ICANN. And I'll be very brief, because I think you probably should have finished or something.
And apologies I couldn't be here earlier.
So all I really wanted to do was just to update you on a couple of developments taking place at ICANN meetings, and as Jovan is just about to leave the room -- no, you don't have to listen to me at all.
All I wanted to say was what I thought Lynn had said earlier, and I'm speaking in a personal capacity, having lived through some of the mechanisms and some of the machinations that Lynn has taken part in, not all of them, and not as many.
But I think the -- you know, the fundamental -- the fundamental belief that we all have in coming together and providing something or benefit for the wider community is so essential. And the opportunity that the U.N. secretary-general has in endorsing this -- this unique approach is truly -- is truly valuable.
On to -- on to ICANN initiatives. We had a meeting in Kobe back in -- back in March. As you know, ICANN has three community meetings a year, which attract usually around 2,000 people. The one in Kobe was -- attracted, I think, just under 2,000.
It's an opportunity for the community to come together and pursue policy objectives of a various nature.
In Kobe in particular, there was vigorous discussion on what we call a subsequent process for generic top-level domains. I mean, this sounds very boring. All it means is that, as some of you know, the gTLD space, the generic top-level domains, .COM, .ORG, was expanded in 2012 from 22 to now 1,200 and something. I won't name them all, because I can't. And now there's going to be or there's -- almost certainly there will be another process -- perhaps in 2021, perhaps around that time -- where people will have the opportunity to apply for new generic top-level domains, whether they're community names, whether they're open names, whether they're company names, et cetera, regional names, whatever. And the ICANN community is, through a policy development process, is contributing to the rules and the regulations and the guidelines for this process.
And that -- if you like, that process is very important, because it's important -- it's important to everyone that the number of top-level domains reflects the diversity of the Internet, it reflects the different culture of the languages and the geographical bounds of the Internet. So that's something that is being discussed.
In addition to that, the Kobe meeting discussed the issue of GDPR and WHOIS. And we -- no doubt, many of you are involved in data protection issues and you're aware that the general data protection regulation which came in in May last year, the European Union GDPR, has affected the way that registries and registrars, those that sell domain names, those that register domain names, it's affected the information that they can publish and collect in terms of registrant names and addresses.
This is not unique. I mean, lots of companies have been affected by the GDPR. ICANN doesn't have unique status here. But it does mean that this information that went in a database has been -- has been (indiscernible) and this information is used by (indiscernible) enforcement, et cetera, and other purposes.
So there's been a policy development to reflect the new environment we live in. Registries and registrars operate under a different environment to be compliant with the general data protection regulation. And the policy development process has just concluded to endorse a specification, or they will be endorsing a specification in due course to ensure that registries and registrars are compliant.
The next step of this process, which is probably more important in some ways, is to develop an access regime so those with legitimate interest to understand who is the owner of a domain name can access that information in some sort of -- under some sort of legitimate process. And that work, which the community is leading, is ongoing and will be a significant feature of the next ICANN meeting, which is taking place in Marrakech in June. In June. Sorry. Later in June.
So those are some of the issues.
Two things I just wanted to mention as well, 'cause I think they're relevant in terms of the thinking that this wonderful MAG has given to the themes for the next IGF. And I just am so excited by the things, Daniela, you know, that you're -- the MAG are taking forward for Berlin. I mean, I think it's just going to be so -- it's going to be exciting in this context. And the governance and security, stability -- security, stability is all-important for ICANN. Obviously, our mission is for the security and stability of the domain name system. And what we've seen in recent months is attacks on the domain name system. We're hoping to reflect on some of that during the Berlin workshop. I mean, there are always attacks on lots of sites, as you know, and you're all more qualified than I am to talk about this. But we have seen targeted attacks on the domain name system in recent months on certain types of domains. And this is really worrying, because this is the -- you know, this is the guts of the Internet. I'm not saying it's any more important than a Web site selling shoes, but -- well, you know. But it is an attack on the infrastructure of the Internet. So that's one thing I wanted to mention that will be discussed in Marrakech.
The second is a new emphasis that the CEO and president, Goran Marby -- and we talked about this yesterday here in Geneva -- his initiative, if you like, to work much more closely with governments, with regional bodies, with IGOs to try and understand ahead of time where their legislation and policies could affect the running of the Internet. And this is something which I think is increasingly important, that we don't do things, if you like, to break the Internet unintentionally. Hopefully, we don't do things to break it intentionally. But we certainly, you know, wouldn't do things to break it unintentionally.
That's all I wanted to say. Sorry, and, yes, thanks.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Thank you, Nigel. And thank you for your flexibility with the time as well, because we did move the agenda item around.
Before I do the thanks, I just want to make sure that neither Deniz for Daniela had any final....
I want to thank the secretariat for all of their work. And I also really want to thank Luis and the ITU support as well. And I'm very, very sorry, because I'm forgetting your name at the moment.
'Cause I know as frustrating as it is for us trying to make the AV work, it's much more stressful for them. So appreciate everything you tried to do over the course of today. And in the end, we actually were able to hear them online. So thank you. Thank you.
And thank you to the scribes, who, you know, just add so much value to these meetings, and appreciate their staying a few minutes over time as well.
What we'll do, we had a pretty open agenda tomorrow, because we weren't certain how much we'd hear from the strategic discussions of the MAG yesterday and from the open consultation here. But it was all about advancing the IGF 2019 program. We had some specific callouts for discussion on any of the sessions, next step in planning, overall meeting title and theme, et cetera.
We will do a quick huddle here after maybe a 30-second pause, and work on another agenda. I think there are some clear topics we should come to and really try and kind of structure a discussion on whether it's the main sessions or how we want to approach a really thematic narrative as we do our workshop reviews and outputs, a few other things have come up over the course of the day. So we'll get a new agenda posted, which we will then look at first thing tomorrow when we all come back together, and we can do a quick agenda bash and make sure it meets everybody's needs rather than trying to do that late tonight.
Still working to the same expected outputs, but I think we have a little bit more definition now.
Thank you very much. Thank you to everybody who contributed.
And, Kavouss, thank you, again, for coming. I think it was very helpful.
Have a good evening.
[ Applause ]