The following are the outputs of the captioning taken during an IGF virtual intervention. 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, but should not be treated as an authoritative record.
>>CHENGETAI MASANGO: Okay. Good afternoon, evening, and morning, ladies and gentlemen. Just before we start, the meeting is being recorded. There is transcription available. Just click the "live transcription" mark, and the transcript will be available after the meeting as well. A summary report will be available next week, and we're using the built-in Zoom hand-up system where you can just click it with the "Reactions," and "hand up."
Please wait until the chair calls your name. Again, this is the second day of the MAG meeting, so MAG members do have preference, but observers as well can interject. It's up to the chair's discretion, so when he calls your name you can make an intervention.
With that, I will hand it over to our chair, Paul Mitchell.
>>CHAIR MITCHELL: Good day, everyone. Thank you for joining. Appreciate all of the work that everybody has put into this process over the last two days.
We made great progress in defining an overall theme, and we had great progress in terms of having a vibrant discussion about what we should do, what subthemes and tracks. We didn't land on a final inclusion on that latter part, and I'd like to pick us up from where we were. And I'm wondering in, secretariat, we worked on a paper or page, paper that had the themes and that had sort of been collected during the discussion. Do you think you could put that up on the screen, please.
>>CHENGETAI MASANGO: Yes, I can. Just give us 30 seconds.
>>CHAIR MITCHELL: So I'd like to devote not more than 25 minutes to this -- to concluding on this particular issue so that we can move forward on the rest of the agenda and have a successful conclusion today.
>>CHENGETAI MASANGO: We have also shared it on the MAG mailing list, so those people, if you want, you can access it.
>>CHAIR MITCHELL: There we go. And maybe if you could just make it a little bit larger. Thank you.
Okay. So I'd like to pick the discussion up. We had a vibrant discussion between Courtney and Adam on parts of this set of issues. And wondering if, having thought about things overnight, anyone has something new or -- new to propose or a new insight, would like to make an intervention.
>>ADAM PEAKE: It's -- sorry. I'm being a bit slow, so I won't wait for you, Paul. It's Adam.
Yeah, I wanted to draw everyone's attention to another document that was produced, and Bruna sent it around to the MAG list a little earlier.
Sorry; I'll start my video later.
Similar to the secretariat summary that you see, it's been sent to the MAG list. Again, it's trying to focus in on the five themes using the Common Agenda as a, for want of a better word, target, trying to think about who our audience is. And I think it's important to remember that while we can use the Global Digital Compact as a sort of lens for this audience, they would not, of course, be the only audience. But you're producing an output with a particular target in mind. Of course all these sorts of targeted mess- -- or all these specific messages would be relevant to other regional, national policy dialogues, and would be helpful to encourage further -- excuse me -- further multistakeholder participation in those forums. So we're trying to say that this is a set of outputs that not only are we looking at the U.N. processes, particularly the Global Digital Compact, but also it's an example of how multistakeholder processes are able to and do produce tangible and useful outcomes.
So while the Compact is a target, it would of course, not be the only use. And then I think others can talk to the actual topics that we may want to include or the issues that we want to focus in on. But I just wanted to mention that other document. And you all see it in your email from Bruna, probably about 90 minutes ago.
>>CHAIR MITCHELL: Thank you, Adam.
Let me ask a question since it's -- it's much quieter at the moment than it was when we were discussing yesterday. Now that you see this on the screen, sort of with summarized from yesterday and having listened to just what Adam had to say, is there anyone who feels that this collection as in front of you is inefficient to allow us to proceed?
>>CHENGETAI MASANGO: We have Amrita and Chris.
>>CHAIR MITCHELL: Thank you.
>>AMRITA CHOUDHURY: Thank you, Paul. Amrita, for the record.
As in -- even yesterday I did support the themes, subthemes being aligned to the Global Digital Compact, and obviously having more messaging coming from the IGF, and it should be the place where most of the discussions happen, and it should be strengthened. However, I would cautiously go into it, because what if certain things change in the Global Digital Compact? As in have all the mission states ratified it? I'm not sure about it. What if some oppose it? Do we want to maintain a neutral position or do we want to go in some other way?
And the other thing is while we should focus on this, we also need to keep in mind that the IGF is a platform to discuss all issues, as in while we should be focused on this, there should be also some place where it should allow free discussions, which are -- you know, might be certain topics which are not here.
So perhaps we could look at some kind of a balance out there. But I am -- This proposal looks good, but I would cautiously, you know, not go full fledged into it.
>>CHAIR MITCHELL: Thank you very much, Amrita. That helps us move along. Chris.
>>CHRIS BUCKRIDGE: Hi, thank you, Paul. And good morning, afternoon, evening, everyone. Very bright sun.
I support this approach. And thank you, Bruna and everyone, who worked on this document. I think it works very nicely. And I think what we see from the secretariat here also quite -- quite helpfully distills the themes down to a sort of more manageable number and gives us some focus for our output and for what we're trying to achieve.
I think the caution I would have is perhaps in relation to the language in the document. I think talking about reverse engineering the whole IGF to suit the Global Digital Compact work (indiscernible) which we should go.
I think we need to acknowledge that we need to have an important role in that Global Digital Compact work. The IGF absolutely is the only multistakeholder U.N. (indiscernible) to be deferred to in many ways in that work. But the U.N. is certainly not our only audience. There's a lot of work that goes on outside the U.N., and the IGF needs to be engaging with that and also responding to that.
But that said, I think it still is a useful way for us to structure our own work by taking heed of the way the Global Digital Compact has been conceived. And I think this looks like a way to do that usefully.
>>CHAIR MITCHELL: Thank you very much.
>>CHRIS BUCKRIDGE: Thank you.
>>CHAIR MITCHELL: Chengetai, you have your hand up.
>>CHENGETAI MASANGO: Yes. I just wanted to answer Amrita's question about the components changing. I don't think the components will change because they are in the Secretary-General's report.
And also, there was a discussion Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday on this by the member states. And I don't think there was any real controversial argument against any of the components. But then again, I do want to be corrected if I'm wrong by Wai Min or Dennis if they are listening in from New York.
>>CHAIR MITCHELL: Thank you, Chengetai.
>>ADAM PEAKE: Thank you. I agree. I don't believe the Digital Compact will change significantly because it's coming as a -- Chengetai, of course, knows more. But it's a direction set by the U.N. Secretary-General, and it is his mandate for his second term as Secretary-General. So we're going to see this, perhaps, evolve. And the point is I think the IGF should be part of that evolution.
So we are making the process as opposed to being forced to react to it. And we should do because the IGF is the multistakeholder component of the U.N. system, as we've discussed. And we're also looking towards this tech summit in 2023. The IGF working group, the strategy working group, the MAG strategy working group has already made suggestions for us as the MAG to state our wish to be involved in that and the Digital Compact. So I think there's a consistency here.
Yes, I do think that we have to have other issues, but let's not end up where we end up every year which is every issue under the sun. I think it's clear from the venue, for example, we can't do that. We're not going to be focused if we have every issue under the sun, however much we want it.
The MAG has discussed since 2006 whether it should be open to every, every issue, how many workshops there should be, et cetera. And this would seem to be an ideal opportunity to do what many MAGs have discussed, which is to focus in and not have the, as I said yesterday, thousand flowers bloom.
I'm not entirely -- anyway, I do not -- let's not lose the notion that we want to focus this IGF. We need to -- we've been instructed by the U.N. SG to be focused. So let's do that. Thanks.
>>CHAIR MITCHELL: Thank you.
I'll note that there are some challenges with some of the wording. For example, "ensure accountability and security online," I think everyone can agree that's a goal. It's not too controversial.
But right underneath it, we have "regulate emerging technologies, including artificial intelligence." In that rendering, I can imagine that there are -- there will be numerous calls that that's an out-of-scope activity, that the IGF calling for regulation specifically could be interpreted that way.
And so I wonder if there is -- in terms of being able to respond to that and the proper -- in the mandate of the IGF whether there's a slight softening of the language that should be attempted here in order to have something that doesn't look like it's a global call for regulation across the Board, which is how it could be interpreted by some.
Does anyone have any strong opinions on this?
And, Chris, your hand is up.
>>CHRIS BUCKRIDGE: Sorry. Legacy hand.
>>CHAIR MITCHELL: In further thinking about it, I think the challenge here is not boiling the ocean and finding perfect words for everyone because I don't -- I don't think they exist.
Adam just nicely summarized, I think, the benefits of, and really the imperative of, having some form of alignment between the language that the IGF is using as part of its multistakeholder approach and the language the GDC is using as the member state approach.
And having just raised the regulation issue, I just want to make sure that everyone in the group is aligned on a common understanding of what using these -- this set of language would entail.
>>TIMEA SUTO: Thank you, Chair, for giving me the floor. And I apologize asking for it as a non-MAG member. I'll be brief.
Just two issues around the themes. I think that the five overarching concepts are the right ones and these are the ones that we discussed extensively yesterday, so we are heading in a good direction.
From an inclusivity point of view, I think we need to be careful about being too, too specific because some people might feel that their issues that don't go under one basket.
And from a practical point of view, I would urge us not to have very lengthy. We will have an online schedule that we need to publish, and having titles with six or seven words in them will not work.
So I wonder if I can be radical here and propose concepts as the themes rather than goals or aspirations. So connectivity, fragmentation, data, cybersecurity or trust -- pick one -- and then emerging technologies. Then I would leave it at that if it were up to me. Of course, it is up to all of us.
>>CHAIR MITCHELL: Thank you. I think that's a useful point of view.
>>JOYCE CHEN: Good evening, Paul. This is Joyce, second year MAG member. And I wanted to give my support.
I think that the word "regulate" may not be very appropriate for a theme because it does sound like the IGF is advocating for regulation. I don't think that would be the case because there are instances where we also want to think about perhaps not overregulating the space. And I think by phrasing it this way we have also lost the spirit of innovation that, you know, we had in the previous iteration.
Unfortunately, I don't have a better word than "regulate," but I do notice that it seems the first word is all verbs or action words.
And so I think perhaps we just need to find a better action word together with emerging technologies. I'll just leave it there. Sorry, I don't have a better suggestion, but I did want to offer my support for what you said.
>>CHAIR MITCHELL: Thank you very much.
>>JUSTIN FAIR: Thanks, Chair, and good morning, everyone.
Yeah, I don't have an issue with the list in principle, but I agree that I think the way that some of these are phrased might be inappropriate for, you know, how the IGF usually talks about issues. And I think my concern is these are all action verbs to describe some kind of future action. And I understand where that might make sense in the Global Digital Compact, but in the IGF, you know, I think we talk about, to action, we talk about present action, what talk about what might be the right course and what might not. So in some ways, action verbs should probably be more neutral.
And also, I think it misses the point that a lot of activities in this space are under way, and we should talk about what's effective, what's not. It's not all about what we should be doing because some of this is already happening.
So maybe one way to do that, just not to get too into semantics, is instead of like "connect the unconnected" which seems like we initiate new work, we talk about connecting unconnected or promoting human rights, and this could go even into emerging technologies regulation. So it's more talking about a set of issues generally instead of just being proscriptive in the language we're using about what needs to be done in the future.
>>CHAIR MITCHELL: Thank you.
Reactions to Justin's comments?
And from my perspective, I think the idea of using action words is great because it's focusing. The challenge in using action words is that there -- they can create an opening for interpretation that's maybe driven by agendas that aren't necessarily fully adopted by everyone.
I wonder whether the words here, you know, connect, I think "connect all people" is an aspiration. "Promoting human rights." I'm not sure that "promoting" is the right word there. "Avoiding fragmentation," I think we could probably all agree on that. "Protection of data," I think that's pretty straightforward. Everyone could agree on that. "Accountability," I'm not sure that that's the right set of words here. And clearly on "regulate," I'm positive that's not the right set of words for this particular process.
And I wonder if anyone would like to take a swipe at trying to address that concern that I have.
I see, Chris, you have proposed add "ing" works. I don't necessarily disagree.
>>CHRIS BUCKRIDGE: Chris here. And I agree with you that we probably need to look a little more closely at some of the actual verbs here, because I think -- yeah, just agreeing that the form, I think, having a verb but with the "ing," I don't know, is that an infinitive or -- works better.
>>CHAIR MITCHELL: So connecting all people, promoting human rights. Or is -- Would "promoting" be the best word or would it be something like implementing or -- you know, implementing human rights or preserving or promote -- promoting sounds a little bit like a Christmas barker.
I'm personally tripping over that one and "regulate."
I think accountability, ensuring accountability, is -- that works.
>>WOUT DE NATRIS: Yes, thank you, Paul. Can you hear me?
>>CHAIR MITCHELL: Yes, thank you.
>>WOUT DE NATRIS: Thank you giving the word. Non-MAG member, of course, but very involved.
I'm looking at the "promote regulation." I put something in the chat a while back, is that I don't think the IGF can ever promote regulation, because we don't have that function. But what we could do, if artificial intelligence is such a concern, is make a very good inventory of what is happening in the world, get the experts out, and then give recommendations or best practices or a guideline to governments, because it is the governments who have to decide on regulating this new technology.
So if we can do something like that, then it would become a very actionable program as well because it's going to be intersessional, try to find out over the coming months what is actually the good practice in the world or whatever publications there are. And then we can come up with a paper that brings that all together and try to agree on the good practice and to promote it. Then we can hand it over to the rest of the world to decide what they have -- what they want to do with it.
So let me keep it there. Thank you, Paul.
>>CHAIR MITCHELL: Thank you.
Adam, then Joyce, then Chris.
>>ADAM PEAKE: Joyce was before me, please. Thank you.
>>CHAIR MITCHELL: Okay. Joyce.
>>JOYCE CHEN: Thanks very much, Adam, and thanks very much, Paul.
So I think Timea in the chat did mention that "protect data" is a bit insufficient. I'm just paraphrasing what she's saying, and do correct me if I'm wrong. And I agree, it's a bit strange just to say "protect data," and then what happens with protecting digital rights or protecting privacy? It's a bit strange to just talk about protect data and it sounds like it would really, really be only to data corruption or data security. And there are so many other issues around data and digital rights that would not be sufficiently covered with protect data, so we probably need to look at that as well.
Just going back to the one on protect human rights and avoid Internet fragmentation, I think it's worth pointing out that the issue on promoting, whichever word you want to put, human rights, really shouldn't be conflated with Internet fragmentation. They are two very different issues. And I'm a bit uncomfortable sort of putting them together in one track. I feel like it's a bit confused to have both of them inside.
>>CHAIR MITCHELL: Thank you.
>>ADAM PEAKE: Thank you.
I was going to say, just before Joyce raised some actually very important, substantive points that perhaps we might want to -- Do we have agreement on the general approach? Because if we have agreement on the general approach we can wordsmith this until way past the end of the time we have for this whole agenda, and we might want to think about trusting the secretariat to capture thoughts and come back to the MAG list with a revised sort of -- you know, the wording, et cetera, and see how we go from there.
I am concerned that we are getting back to expanding back -- you know, we're expanding out issues again. If we want to go back to a capsule where every single subject comes in, then we're losing the focus that we seem to have agreed upon. I know issues are important, but some may have to not have the prominence that they have had in previous years.
And there's a -- Just to lengthen the discussion, I would like to go back to the sentence above the table that we're seeing, but let's do that in a moment rather than -- rather than immediately.
>>CHAIR MITCHELL: Okay. I have Chris, and there anyone else besides that want to take the floor on this topic?
Chris and then --
>>CHRIS BUCKRIDGE: I'll be very brief
>>CHAIR MITCHELL: Okay.
>>CHRIS BUCKRIDGE: I'll be very brief as I find most of what I was going to say has now been said by Joyce or Adam previously, so thank you, both.
I do think it's useful for us to get some agreement if we're happy with this kind of approach and go forward. As Adam says, the wordsmithing can take longer and can be done perhaps not on a call.
I do think Joyce's point about -- and I also made it on the chat, about human rights and Internet fragmentation perhaps not being a terribly logical confluence or combination there in a track, I would personally, or perhaps even on behalf of the technical community, think that Internet fragmentation is a broad and important enough issue, and I'm sure also others feel the same about human rights, that putting them together like this could sort of tend to dilute the importance of either and perhaps not in a terribly logical way.
But this is, perhaps, work for...
>>CHAIR MITCHELL: Thank you very much.
I just note that the combination of human rights and the alignment of fragmentation is sort of coming out of the GDC, but I agree with you that they're -- they -- they don't necessarily go together.
I would propose that we -- If the group is amenable, that we move the task to the secretariat to take the discussion that we've just completed at this point forward, doing the wordsmithing, understanding that the goal is really to find a way that our terminology lines up with the terminology used in GDC, which will help us overall with our -- with our agenda within the U.N. system and add some consistency that perhaps, in the past, has not been as tight as it could have been.
I would like to propose that we adopt the format and the framework that we have here with the task for the secretariat to do the specific wordsmithing on the line items, taking into account the discussion we've had.
Is there agreement among everyone to do that?
Sensing no disagreement, then we'll move the agenda void and as I just described.
Secretariat, does that work for you?
>>CHENGETAI MASANGO: Yes, it does. Yes.
>>CHAIR MITCHELL: Thank you very much. Appreciate it.
That allows us to move on to the next part of our agenda.
>>JOYCE CHEN: Paul, sorry, this is Joyce.
>>CHAIR MITCHELL: Yes.
>>JOYCE CHEN: Just a quick question (indiscernible).
>>CHAIR MITCHELL: Did I miss your hand again? Go ahead.
>>JOYCE CHEN: Could the secretariat or someone remind me when we are supposed to decide on the themes. Is there a deadline for this to happen? And was it supposed to be done by this meeting? If not, then when would we push that discussion to?
>>CHENGETAI MASANGO: Sorry, as usual, the mute button.
We would want to have gone as far as possible in this meeting. In this meeting I think we have gone quite a lot. We have the main theme, and we have the framework, and we've basically -- we are almost there.
So we are going to start from next week on really refining it and doing the wordsmithing. But the real deadline, of course, is it has to be done before the call for proposals.
So as soon as possible after this meeting, is basically the answer.
>>JOYCE CHEN: Thanks, Chengetai.
And so just in terms of next steps, how would we find agreement on the new sets of revised wording? Is it on the mailing list?
>>CHENGETAI MASANGO: Yes. We're going to do it online. Yes.
>>JOYCE CHEN: Okay. Thanks very much.
>>CHAIR MITCHELL: Thank you very much.
If there are no further comments, then I'd like to move us to a discussion of the Best Practice Forums and Policy Networks, and basically the intersessional -- the intersessional work. That has been something that has expanded over the course of the existence of the IGF. It's generated lots and lots of learning. There's been a groundswell of interest in moving the intersessional work forward, and I'd like us to take the opportunity to do a review and give some thought to what should be done with intersessional work, how we can innovate intersessional work going forward in the IGF 2022.
I think we have a presentation from Wim Degezelle about last year's intersessional work. And can I turn it over to Wim.
>>WIM DEGEZELLE: Yes. No problem. I will try to share my screen, if -- I don't know if the -- I guess I'll --
>>CHENGETAI MASANGO: By way of introduction, Wim was the consultant for the Best Practice Forums last year. Thanks.
>>WIM DEGEZELLE: Okay. That's already something I don't have to say.
So hi, all, from Brussels.
So in the meantime, could you let me share my screen because I will give a short overview of the work of the two Best Practice Forums last year, the one on cybersecurity and the one on gender.
Okay. Just need to...
Now you should be able to share. Okay. Now it works.
So I will give a brief overview of the work done with focusing on how the BPFs work, I think, and that is based on some criteria that were suggested by the BPF on BPF and also then confirmed by the MAG two years ago in 2020.
What I show on the screen, and I'm sure that the secretariat will share, is basically an evaluation of the working. But as a short introduction, for the Best Practice Forum on Cybersecurity, the Best Practice Forum has been working for a number of years now on the topic on cyber norms and has been looking into cyber norms from different perspectives.
Last year's work was partially continuing with a mapping exercise the BPF has been doing for a number of years, really trying to add to the list the number of cyber -- international cybersecurity agreements and initiatives that exist and perform a deeper analysis on specific elements. Last year, for example, there was try to get more insight and hope for terms like general cooperation and the element human rights was relevant for -- or was present in cybersecurity agreements or (indiscernible).
A second element or a second stream from last year's BPF cybersecurity was an exercise done by a separate -- separate group really looking in norm concepts and how they would have worked with historical cybersecurity events.
The resource question, they asked us which norm that existed of course later, would it have been effective in mitigating the effects of a cybersecurity event a couple of years earlier. And the conclusion there was that, of course, luckily, cybersecurities would have helped. And they underlined as part of their conclusions that it is really important to listen to the voices of the people that were affected in the events, because they give some extra nuance and a better understanding. And one of the understandings the BPF flagged in its report was that there is still a gap in understanding of the rules of the different actors that are there and that could help each other to mitigate or to react in case of a cybersecurity event.
That's for the content of the work, that is summarized in the report.
The BPF had -- like I said, had -- or organized its own working plan. It's had four virtual calls throughout the year, but that should really be put in perspective.
What happened for the BPF cybersecurity is that early on they sent out a call for -- a call for interest for people that wanted to join one of their three working streams. Like I said, the two were content-based. Third working stream was more focused on outreach. And so at that moment, more than 50 people replied and signed up to one of those working streams. And they organized themselves. I mean, they were separate, short calls that were not really announced or that were not on the agenda, just to make progress and collaborate. The four calls the BPF organized was really to give an update to the work.
Also, the BPF, of course, as a continuing BPF, had the mailing list -- or could continue to use the mailing list which now has 400 -- close to 450 subscribers. Traffic and discussions on the mailing list, partially because of the way the BPF works, was relatively limited.
The BPF will not -- the links are there, and I'm sure the document will be available. So the BPF process is documented on the website and our draft outputs were shared ahead of the IGF meeting. And there was a session organized during the IGF and then a final output report that was published after the IGF.
One element for the BPF cybersecurity I would like to flag is that the BPF shared its key findings to the open-ended working group on -- in January, if I remember correctly. That was a great opportunity, call for stakeholder input from the open-ended working group that went out. And the BPF was allowed and had the opportunity to really present their findings but also the work that had been done in previous years.
Then I will quickly move to the other BPF, the BPF on gender. The BPF on gender focused on gender disinformation, the use and spreading of false information online to attack and undermine people based on their gender and weaponize gender narratives for political, social, and economic reasons.
This is a relatively new concept, so part of the work of the BPF went into exchanges on the definition itself, trying to understand and work out different definitions.
And, also, define -- look into forms gender disinformation appears. For example, the use by journalists, politicians, and also in everyday events.
Specific for this BPF is that they came to the conclusions in the discussion it is probably too early to really talk about best practices as it is really an evolving topic. But they tried to list more -- tried to look more into how different stakeholders try to respond to cases of gender disinformation.
I would like to end talking about the content saying there was a session at the IGF -- during the IGF, which also formulated a number of calls to action focused on the importance to engage all political players and also to connect gendered disinformation with other human rights and flagging that IGF and U.N. forums could play a role there.
Looking back now to the table, the evaluation criteria, the BPF had a large number of virtual meetings. So there were eight open virtual calls between eight and November -- between, sorry, between May and November. Specific for the BPF on gender is that the first set of calls, they organized learning sessions, four or five calls if I remember well. They invited one or two specialists really to present on their view or their -- the work they were doing on the gender disinformation. And this was an important first part of the work. The summary document was produced, which was also included in the final document.
The rest I think -- looking back to the evaluation criteria, there was -- there is an active mailing list. But the main comment here, there were a number of subscribers but the real discussion happens at the calls, not that much on the mailing list. But also the BPF produced a draft report which was then updated after the BPF session.
That is in a very high speed an overview of both best practice forums last year. But happy to answer any questions or provide more detail.
>>CHAIR MITCHELL: Thank you very much. We'll just take a couple of minutes here if there is anyone who has a question or an intervention. Would like to not take more than five minutes at this point.
No one asking for the floor, I would like to thank you very much for your presentation. It was great. It really highlights the innovation that has happened since the IGF began 17 years ago. And I'm personally looking forward to how that innovation gets carried forward in the coming year.
But I'd like to turn it over to Anja here to give us a little recap of the take-aways from last year's work.
>>Pascal Garde: Thank you, Chair. It is Pascal from the IGF secretariat.
>>CHAIR MITCHELL: Not Anja.
>>PASCAL GARDE: I'll be doing the presentation.
Let me just share my screen please. Can you see it?
>>CHAIR MITCHELL: Yes.
>>PASCAL GARDE: I'm going to present briefly the main take-aways from the policy networks in 2021.
So the policy networks were established as part of the intersessional activities of the IGF and in line with the mandate of discussing public policy issues.
The two issues for the policy networks that were decided were -- one is policy network on the environment -- on environment which was established following attention on the topic of environmental sustainability at the IGF 2020.
The other subject of the policy networks was the meaningful access which has -- we have attention a few years ago, at least five years ago, for the response of the evidence that people have connectivity but they often don't make use of the Internet.
So the process included several meetings, six online meetings hosted throughout the year, for both policy networks as well as one call for inputs, an open consultation to review the first draft of the documents.
The policy networks also participated in two capacity-development workshops. And the outputs were presented. The preliminary findings were presented at the IGF annual meeting in Katowice.
The policy networks are spearheaded by a stakeholder working group. The PNE working group is made up of 20 experts. The composition of the group is available through the link in the document.
For the PNMA, the group was formed by 25 experts. This is also available on the website. One of the main tools, communication tools, for the policy network was the open mailing list which has 200 subscribers for the PNE and 103 for the PNMA.
There was -- also, a working mailing list was established for members, which had 30 subscribers for PNE and 41 for the PNMA.
And the output document for the PNE was based on the five working group work streams. One -- each work stream was one chapter, which were environmental data; food and water systems; supply chain transparency and circularity; and overarching issues.
And the thematic chapters resulted in some policy recommendations that were targeted to U.N. member states governance bodies.
For the output document for the PNMA is currently under -- still under development. The work streams are considered for this PNMA is connectivity, digital inclusion, and capacity development. And the main focus is why achieving meaningful and universal Internet access remains so challenging. Thank you.
>>CHAIR MITCHELL: Thank you very much. Is there anyone who has questions for comes for Pascal?
Okay. I'd like to turn the discussion to --
>>CHENGETAI MASANGO: Sorry. We have Courtney. She has her hand up.
>>CHAIR MITCHELL: Hi, Courtney. Sorry, I didn't see your hand.
>>COURTNEY RADSCH: Hi. No problem. Thank you so much. This is Courtney Radsch, MAG member, for the record.
I just have a question about whether you have any sense of how the policy network as a new modality may have attracted new participants into the IGF process. Do you have any sense of what level of newness may have been represented among some of the people involved? Thank you.
>>CHAIR MITCHELL: Pascal?
>>CHENGETAI MASANGO: I can answer that one.
>>CHAIR MITCHELL: Thank you.
>>CHENGETAI MASANGO: Yes, the policy networks did bring in some new people. Yes, the policy networks did also bring in new collaboration with people like UNEP, et cetera. We had a higher sense of collaboration with them. But we also had our -- also the IGF stalwarts.
So the answer to your question is, yes, it did. To what extent, well, you know -- I mean, everything new that we have does bring in new people and encourages collaboration with other organizations. I hope that answers your question.
But I think that, yeah -- let me just not read into your question. But yes.
>>CHAIR MITCHELL: I don't want to shortchange anybody. Are there other questions or comments on this issue?
So at this point in time on our agenda, we have the opportunity to think about forming for IGF 2022 best practice forums and policy networks.
Taking advantage of what we've just learned from the two presentations, I'd like to turn the conversation to how we should engage in promoting and supporting intersessional work generally and specifically what we should be thinking about for best practice forums and policy networks.
And I open the floor to anyone with comments. And remind you that these were innovations from the experience that's been gained over the course of the life of the IGF. And as you've seen just in the presentations, they've resulted in tangible and useful outputs.
>>ANRIETTE ESTERHUYSEN: Thanks very much, Paul. Apologies. I'm sort of dropping in and out. When I do drop in, it's really good to see the meeting going so well.
I just want to quickly respond to the policy networks in particular. I think they are really a very interesting new modality. They were initially thought about in a sense in a follow-up to the ideas in the High-Level Panel on Digital Cooperation, the ideas that the IGF should have policy accelerators, observatories, in other words, the IGF past concept.
I think the challenge was that we moved ahead with establishing them before we really thought through the concept of the policy networks as a longer or medium-term way of generating more IGF, very focused policy debate and policy recommendations.
So I think the content, obviously they're very relevant topics. There's no question about it. And I think there's clearly a need for those topics to be explored further.
I think the modalities need to be thought about, how these policy networks then interact with policy-making institutions. Issues of the legitimacy of their policy recommendations need to be considered.
In other words, the question for me is really not so much should they or should they not be but how they can operate and be most effective would be valuable. It's probably premature, I think, to scrap them; but I do think it's really worth thinking about how they can operate and the role that they play in the IGF ecosystems.
I think with BPFs, always again, there's really value in those BPFs. Again there I think the relationship between what is discussed at the IGF, what the BPFs focus on and identifying when a topic is really a BPF topic. To me that still sounds as it is quite challenging.
The idea of BPFs is that they tackle mature topics, where best practices are already around. But it's very often found that when you get into a topic, you have to learn about it first.
So, again, I don't have any particular advice. I trust that you and the MAG will come up with the right decision. But I do think the policy networks need a little bit of thinking at a big-picture level in terms of how they really can strengthen the IGF ecosystem before one decides what to do with them next.
>>CHAIR MITCHELL: Thank you very much. Amrita.
>>AMRITA CHOUDHURY: Thank you, Paul. From the BPF gender and digital rights, there were a few things which we wanted to share as to what -- we took feedback from our mailing list as well as certain suggestions that if the chair and the MAG permits, perhaps if we could share it as to what we think are the places in which we can propose to work. And there is also an idea of trying to link the work with the IGF -- the themes this year in some way. If you could give us three or four minutes, we would present it.
>>CHAIR MITCHELL: Okay.
You've got it.
>>AMRITA CHOUDHURY: Thank you. Anja, would you be able to share the presentation? And I will also share a link to a document which we have.
So basically what we did, while Anja shares the screen, is we took a feedback as to what people think -- next slide, please -- what people think of the work of the BPF. So most of them expressed an interest to continue. There were good reviews expressed. And it was shared that there has been a lot of stride which has been made over the couple of years. And members feel that the conversation should not only be related to gender-based violence but focus on other issues such as, you know, digital rights, you know, focusing on data -- sorry; it should not be "date" -- data with respect to gender identity online. Though we are still synthesizing the feedback which we got, and we are still thinking, but there are a few ideas that came to us.
The next slide, please.
So Bruna is here, but she's traveling; however, you know, Bruna or Courtney can obviously intervene. One of them was how technologies and tech can affect our basic rights, assess the influence tech has on the rights to identify online as well as different forms of gender expressions, investigate the ways in which female and nonbinary communities interact with technology, and what aspects from technologies are relevant for these groups. And then there was another option, which is impact recently enacted on proposed regulations all over the world on women and LGBTQI communities, raise awareness about the horrid impacts some regulations have on the direct well-being of these populations and communities. And also find the -- you know, how collective power could be used in these conversations.
This will be shared. The link is shared. Since I have less time, I'm not going into details.
There was also, you know, possibility to explore integrating the BPFs' work with that of online security for a more transversal approach and innovation take on the discussions.
Lastly, gender and the data divide was something which was possibly thought could be explored because not only women have lower levels of connectivity than men but women are underrepresented online and in data. And fewer women use social media, blog, or contribute to Wikipedia than men. So this was the first order of implications for the presentation online perspectives, access, knowledge, creation, et cetera, but it also has a second-order implication in terms of the datasets created, the algorithms developed, and the machine learning that takes place. What are the implications of the data gender divide in terms of creating sustainable, just, and rights-based common future.
So these are not crisp, you know, solutions, but, you know, general ideas which we had. But the last idea is more relevant to the themes which are being discussed at the IGF this year. You know, when we are talking about divides, when we are talking about access, when we are talking about data privacy, when we are talking about cybersecurity. So all that blends into it.
And this is something where possibly we could focus so that it is more sharper and it is aligned to the theme, you know, what we would be -- we hopefully would be discussing in this year.
And why we feel the discussion of gender and digital rights is important, I don't think we need to specify more because there is a lot of discussion which happens. But unfortunately, gender is still unrepresented in the digital world, you know, and there's a lot more to be done. Be it algorithmic, you know, prejudices or everything, it is still prevalent. So this definitely needs discussion.
So thank you, Paul. I don't know whether Courtney or, you know, Bruna would like to add something, but that's all from me.
>>COURTNEY RADSCH: This is Courtney. I would be happy to just jump in here and add a point. And also, I think it would be relevant to kind of follow up on what Anriette said about the Policy Networks, because one thing that stands out with BP gender, which has been around for several years and has taken different permutations, and we're thinking this year about this focus on thinking about the digital divide but from a data perspective and what the impacts are, is that this is also -- I guess a question is how can we link the Best Practice Forums to the Policy Networks? Because if, as Anriette said, which I think is where we came from when we accepted the idea to create best -- Policy Networks, is that there are already a lot of best practices, and so we want to take policy forward. What responsibility do Policy Networks have to actively incorporate and reach out and learn from best practice fora, which are theoretically -- you know, should have a lot of information relevant for Policy Networks. So I think that would be one question and would just encourage other MAG members to provide some feedback on the general direction that this Best Practice Forum would take for next year.
>>CHAIR MITCHELL: Thank you very much.
>>TIMEA SUTO: Thank you, Chair. I don't want to jump in in front of MAG members, and I see Bruna's hand is up, so if she wants to go first, I'm happy to wait my turn.
>>CHAIR MITCHELL: Okay. Bruna.
>>BRUNA SANTOS: Thank you so much, Chair. And thanks, Timea.
Just to add that ever since last year, we changed the focus from the BPF into a more broader one that would also bring the digital rights aspect, and that's pretty much (indiscernible) with the Global Digital Compact. So maybe there is a point for us to continue the BPF gender and digital rights but just as a -- assuming digital rights is the overarching issue for the whole IGF intersessional work.
So that's it.
>>CHAIR MITCHELL: Thank you.
>>TIMEA SUTO: Thank you, Chair. Thank you for giving me the floor again.
I just want to not necessarily speak about either of the BPFs or the Policy Networks, but to respond to a couple of questions that you have asked and that came up in the meantime. And this is in the spirit of only talking once.
First of all, in terms of the value of the Policy Networks, I think our primary goal with adopting Policy Network as one of the modalities of the IGF is to respond to the call for improvements by the Secretary-General in his roadmap towards the IGF where I think the concepts were mentioned, policy incubators and accelerators, if I'm not mistaken. So I think Policy Networks were sort of a response to that impetus for improvement.
So if only for one reason, I think we should give them a bit more time to become that -- that improvement venue.
I also very much like that they have an engaged and well-established steering group that moves the issues forwards, in terms of like a catalyst for conversations and work. So that's just a plus one for me to continue the Policy Networks.
Secondly, I want to caution ourself again into being aware of how resources and our marching orders to focus agenda and to contribute to relevant ongoing conversations. And I think if we just ask ourselves what are relevant and ongoing conversations, we can come up with ten issues each on this call. So I do want to caution in terms of not to go down the road of what is an important issue, because that is a battle we cannot win. I am a fervent supporter of gender rights. I think there's -- we should have at least three Best Practice Forums to deal with gender issues just at the IGF, but I'm not sure that's the good way forward is to continue on just with that issue.
And I just wanted to underline one thing that Anriette just said there. I think it's a very interesting proposal to see if we can merge the BPFs on gender and on security, of course, if both camps are amenable. There is a lot of interesting conversation also being brought into the open (indiscernible) working group on cybersecurity around gender issues. Gender issues were mentioned in a number of contributions to the U.N. Cybercrime Convention, the negotiation of which is starting on Monday.
So I think there's an interesting way of us looking at what we have on the table, not discard issues that are important but also thinking about how we can best optimize our resources to perhaps make room for some new issues.
And in the spirit of newness, I just wanted to remind the MAG that there is a proposal on the table that is coming from the multistakeholder community for Best Practice Forum on Internet fragmentation, and I do hope that this meeting will give it due consideration.
So thank you all.
>>CHAIR MITCHELL: Thank you very much.
>>ADAM PEAKE: Thanks very much.
Yeah, I support the idea of keeping the Policy Networks. A little bit concerning that we haven't seen, I think, very much output or written reports from one of them. But what we're seeing with all of these intersessional activities, and we'll come to the dynamic coalitions, so you've got -- and just the Policy Networks, they're new. They've had one year to really make it happen, so let's see how we can continue to improve them.
But the context is, with these intersessional groups, you know, the dynamic coalitions, as I said, we'll come to those in a moment, were created organically, really, from 2006 onwards. They are an organic gathering of coalitions of interested people.
The Best Practice Forums, if I remember correctly, were actually a response to a requirement or a strong recommendation from one of the review processes, probably the CSTD some years ago, probably during an IGF mandate renewal process, that there should be tangible outcomes from the IGF. This notion of moving towards, which has always been in the IGF, of moving towards outcomes, and we've already discussed a lot today. So the BPFs were there as a recommendation or a response to a recommendation.
Policy Networks, you know, the environment I think was an initiative supported and promoted by the Swiss government. It's very useful and very timely and an important issue. And again, I think the notion there and for the topic on access were a response, in a way, to the roadmap. Another call for more tangible outcomes, product from the IGF.
So we're seeing a sort of evolution here, but at some point we ought to try and review this. And I don't think the time is now, but we have three intersessional structures: Organic, suggested for recommendations and outputs, another that was sort of responding to an external recommendation.
So I think -- I don't think the time is now, but we need to review all of these structures to see where their outcomes are, they've still grown over, you know, the last 20 years, or whatever it is.
What I would like to go back to, though, is the suggestion from yesterday, and it's in the summary of points the secretariat suggested, where I suggested that when we look at the agenda for the IGF, that we use the Policy Networks to tighten two important themes. Access has been our perennial and very important issue throughout the IGF's history. I suggested we use the Policy Network on Meaningful Access to build a sort of pyramid of a small number of targeted outcome-oriented recommendation, I mean moving the argument forward type workshops that would then be coordinated into a main session by the meaningful access Policy Network. So you'd have something like five excellent high-quality workshops leading into a main session, and do the same -- or -- and then make sure that there is an opportunity, although targeted and outcome-oriented, recommendation-oriented, for Policy Network on environment.
So that was a thought of building little pyramids of multistakeholder, bottom-up outcome-oriented sessions, utilizing these intersessional structures.
Sorry, that probably was a bit confusing, but I half know what I mean (laughing). Sorry about that. I hope it wasn't too confusing.
>>CHAIR MITCHELL: Thank you very much.
Anyone else looking for the floor?
Just summing up a little bit what I've heard, if I were to condense it, is that these have been innovations that are still in their learning phase; that there's support for the idea of continuing and expanding, but needs some more attention paid to what the follow-ups are and what the linkages are between this work and other work that's going on to make it actionable.
I heard that themes need to be tightened up. I've heard that the linkages between issues need to be brought more forward with better coordination across -- across themes. And general support for the idea of continued innovation in both the Policy Networks and the Best Practice Forums, so far.
>>COURTNEY RADSCH: Thank you. I'd like to add to that that it would be interesting to build on what Adam said is one of the challenges, I think, of the proliferation of intersessional work, best practice fora, Policy Networks, dynamic coalitions, et cetera, is the ability of people to participate in them. And so I think there is some sort of interest in keeping a manageable number so that if you are, say, very interested in gender and you are, you know, really focused on the environment, that you have the capacity to do both of those.
And so as we think about the proliferation of these sort of intersessional work or how we organize them, I think I would like to hear a little bit more about whether the Policy Networks, what is the innovation that will link them to the existing multistakeholder, bottom-up structures of dynamic coalitions and best practice fora so that they can build on that? Because maybe I'm just misunderstanding Policy Networks, but my understanding was they are created to, when there are already a bunch of best practices and there's been a lot of conversations, and so it's really to move that conversation forward.
So I think one thing it could be good to hear from the Policy Networks, and I would like to, you know, ideally hear about that, especially in the proposal for any new Policy Network, like the one on fragmentation, is how they will proactively include, reach out to, build on the best practice fora and, perhaps to some extent, relevant dynamic coalitions work, and where those opportunities for collaboration are. Because again, I think everyone has -- wants to put the time into these processes, but you can only follow so many mailing lists and attend so many meetings at, you know, whatever hour of the day it is in your time zone. And I think we need to be cognizant of that as we think about this type of work.
>>CHAIR MITCHELL: Thank you.
>>CHRIS BUCKRIDGE: Thanks, Paul.
Just to briefly follow on from Courtney's point, because I think it's a really important one, and it's also a bit of what I was saying in the chat. I mean, I think we need to be aware that too much complexity in the different modalities, roles, and purposes of this group is something to think if we're trying to grow the number of stakeholders that are actively involved here, we need to make sure we're providing them with really clear communication as to what is this structure that you might be contributing to, how is it different, or what is its purpose in comparison to the other structures that there are. Because, yeah, coming into this, I maybe haven't looked into the Policy Networks enough myself, but I think the distinction between a Policy Network and a dynamic coalition is not immediately straightforward or clear in this sense.
So making sure we're very clear on that and have a good (indiscernible) that everyone can go forward with and communicate effectively would be...
>>CHAIR MITCHELL: I would just add that one thing that jumps off the page, so to speak, is these are all fascinating topics that could go in multiple different directions over time.
There is not a governance mechanism right now that defines when things start and when things end, and that leads to the temptation for things to go on forever because there's always interesting things to talk about. And I wonder whether, in thinking through how to carry intersessional work forward from this point in time, whether we should consider some form of recommendation on -- on how these can be put into practice so that -- they have a defined end point rather than the total open-endedness that can lead to expansion and sort of loss of focus.
I just throw that out there for your consideration.
Adam and Bruna, and then I'd like to move the discussion a little to the DCs and NRIs. We have a couple presentations there.
But -- so Adam.
>>ADAM PEAKE: Thanks, Paul. I just -- so clarification, really. My understanding is that we've mentioned this proposal for a new policy network about fragmentation, but it wouldn't be possible to have a new policy network. We don't have the resources, unless one of the other policy networks or BPFs drops. Is that correct? So there's one out, one in sort is the sort of --
>>CHENGETAI MASANGO: If I may, Chair.
>>CHAIR MITCHELL: Yes.
>>CHENGETAI MASANGO: So we have four slots. So at the moment, last year they were taken up by two policy networks and two best practice forums. So this year we still have four slots.
Just so you know, you have got choices. You can continue the ones from last year. You can drop some out and put some back in. But we've only got -- basically at the end of this discussion, the secretariat would like to have four bullet points here outlining what the PN and the best practice forums for this year are.
>>CHAIR MITCHELL: Makes sense.
>>BRUNA SANTOS: Thanks, Chair. Hopefully you can hear me better now. Just on the -- on this discussion of shelving some BPFs and proposals and everything else, I think just on the gender note, maybe the point -- the reason why this proposal keeps on coming back to us every single year is due to the fact that gender aspects and gender discussions are not yet fully implemented into the IGF agenda. And I know it's not entirely a problem with the secretariat or with the MAG or with the workshop assessment but mostly relying on what the community actually proposes. But they're still disputing that we should do a better job of implementing those discussions.
And mainly -- not mainly, this is why community keeps on coming back to us into asking for more and more discussions around the BPF gender and digital rights or BPF gender and other marginalized communities into Internet governance because at the end of the day, this is still a very -- very dominated discussion by men and some aspects around gender. And other communities are still not really looked upon.
So, yeah, just to back up this point about the BPF gender. Thank you.
>>CHAIR MITCHELL: Thank you very much. Okay.
Anyone else want to take the floor? Chris, your hand is still up? And Joyce.
>>JOYCE CHEN: Sorry. I was just waiting to see if Chris was going to say something, but no.
I had a question on the policy network on environment. My understanding was there was funding last year from the Swiss government, and we were really appreciative of it.
But I think the funding support was for a year, and so I'm not sure if this year there will be such similar funding again for the PNE. And if not, does that mean the PNE would just revert back to sharing the funding of budget with the rest of the other BPFs or policy networks, one of the four? Thanks.
>>CHAIR MITCHELL: Chengetai, can you take that?
>>CHENGETAI MASANGO: It was one of the four, and it still is one of the four.
>>CHAIR MITCHELL: Okay.
>>JOYCE CHEN: And so the question regarding the funding, would it continue this year from the Swiss or was that only for last year?
>>CHENGETAI MASANGO: That was only for last year. But, again, we are committed to the environment -- sorry. If the MAG chooses to continue the PN on environment, it will continue. So if it's -- if you want to put it in one of the four, you can. It's really up to the MAG. As I said, there's four slots. It's up to the MAG to decide what takes up those four slots.
>>CHAIR MITCHELL: Right. Okay.
Can we move on just for the moment to discuss the dynamic coalitions? And I'll turn that over to Markus Kummer for a little presentation.
>>MARKUS KUMMER: Yes. I have to unmute myself.
Hi, everyone. Congratulations to you, Paul, and to all the new MAG members.
I have been the co-facilitator of dynamic coalitions for the past seven or eight years or so, together with Jutta and Adam now joined me. And several speakers have pointed out the importance of dynamic coalitions in previous meetings.
Also listening to the discussion just now, I think it's worth highlighting the difference between the other intersessional activities such as best practice forums, policy networks, and dynamic coalitions. Dynamic coalitions are entirely self-organized and bottom-up. They don't receive any funding from the secretariat. Luckily last year we had some secretariat support in terms of a dedicated consultant who helped us with our coordination work and helped us in producing a paper on dynamic coalitions that highlighted the history of dynamic coalitions, where they come from, highlighted their achievements, and also explored avenues for future work.
So -- and I would thoroughly recommend to -- especially to new MAG members to look at this paper. The paper went through several iterations. The MAG provided input. And it would be helpful if you make yourself familiar with all the background of dynamic coalitions.
Now, we had our first coordination meeting earlier this week, just ahead of the Open Consultation and MAG meeting. And we took stock a bit of where we are, and we decided also to take the paper we produced collectively last year as a basis for our future work. And our future work would essentially be based on two axes. One axis would be to implement the suggestions that are forward in the paper and mainly based around one suggestion, to develop a common governance framework
The idea is not to produce detailed terms of reference for all dynamic coalitions, a one-size-fits-all approach but rather build building blocks, look what is missing, and make sure we adhere to some common principles.
We started doing that seven years ago when we all agreed to what we then called the three Os, that we have open archives, open membership, and open mailing lists. So all dynamic coalitions agreed to this basic principle.
Now the point will be can we go a little bit further, define also what membership entails, what the basic requirements are for being -- a dynamic coalition to be listed on the IGF website.
And the second point, and maybe more importantly, more relevant also to the MAG, would be to integrate the dynamic coalitions more into the overall IGF framework. The dynamic coalitions feel very strongly they are part of this framework. It's also mentioned in the Secretary-General's Roadmap that the dynamic coalitions play an important part. And here we would like closer work with the MAG.
And we do have a MAG member, Adam, who is the official liaison between the Dynamic Coalition Coordination Group and the MAG and where the dynamic coalitions would like to contribute more also in terms of substance and planning of the overall program, planning of the overall -- the main sessions, be resources for -- substantive resources for the main sessions and also work closer with the NRIs.
We have tried in the past to organize calls with them, but it never really took off. And as various MAG members said, we're all very busy. And it's difficult actually to make this happen. But there is a strong will from -- on behalf of the dynamic coalitions really to be tighter, closer connected to the overall planning of the annual meetings, and to really form -- provide strong substance to this.
And lastly then, also shape the future of the IGF when we look forward as part of the IGF+ or IGF++ discussions.
Having said all that, there were also some concerns expressed by the DCs. There's still a feeling that the visibility of the DCs on the IGF website could be improved. That is a technical detail, and I think we can look at this offline with the secretariat, how to improve this.
There was also a surprise expressed that dynamic coalitions were not reflected in the summary report of last year's meeting, not as in previous meetings. We don't expect this to be deliberate but more of an oversight and the hope that this can be corrected. And there's already attempts afoot among the dynamic coalitions to produce a paper that would go to the Expert Group Meetings because dynamic coalitions feel it's important that the participants at the EGM will be fully briefed on the importance and the contributions of the DCs for the future of the IGF.
And, lastly, there was also a note of disappointment that the DCs were not to be considered as a group of participants for the EGM -- forthcoming EGM meeting in New York.
But on all these points, I think my co-facilitator, Adam, who was also a MAG facilitator may have additional comments. And there may be representatives also of the DCs who are on the call who may wish to jump in on this. With this, I think you for your attention. Thanks.
>>ADAM PEAKE: May I make a comment?
Thank you, Markus. Thank you. Yes, I try and act as a liaison from the MAG to the DCs, and we will try and make sure that happens more. I should try and keep the MAG better informed, although it wasn't too bad last year, I think.
I think it was a shame that the DCs were not recognized within the report as they were in previous years from the IGF. I would suggest that it only needs a couple of paragraphs explaining who they are and then linking to the reports that each DC produced from the sessions that took place. If the annual report from 2021 could be amended, I think that would be very helpful and then it's really mirroring what happened in previous years.
Over some of the other issues, I do have some concern about the DCs themselves. Some are very active. Some of them produce very good work, different structures you see and different intents in what they're trying to do. And some of them are not active. Some of them look like it's one of two people. And I know that there are always problems trying to get reports from some of the DCs. They don't turn up on calls. They're not part of the Coordination Group.
And I think this is -- in many ways, it's simply disrespectful. These groups are getting some cachet, some prominence from being associated with the IGF. They get time on the IGF agenda, a global conference which, you know, is very significant. So I think there needs to be a little bit of -- a better response from the DC side.
I do not mean all of them. Some of them are very, very good but not all of them. So that's a bit of a concern.
Yeah. I think I'll stop there. But it's -- they're important, and it's great to try and support them working with Markus and Jutta and Sorina, of course. Thank you, Sorina, for your support.
>>CHAIR MITCHELL: Thank you. Wout, do you have comments?
>>WOUT de NATRIS: Yes. Thank you, Paul.
On behalf of the dynamic coalition Internet standard, security, and safety, or IS3C, first I would like to express that my -- one of my chairs leading one of the working groups lives in Odesa, in Ukraine. Though I'm glad to say yesterday he said he was well, his family was well. And that my thoughts are really, really with him and his family. The world changed since I participated on Tuesday, obviously.
That said, on the dynamic coalitions, our dynamic coalition is trying to come up with tier goals, recommendations on deployment of Internet standards, on education and Internet standards, on procurement of Internet standards, to come up with toolkits and guidelines, perhaps even capacity-building programs.
And I'm just going to ask the question. Maybe this isn't a very nice question, but I'm going to ask it. Who of the MAG members has an idea what we are actually trying to achieve? And I'm asking that question because quite often Mark Carvell, who I work with very closely and myself feel extremely lonely, having to do all this work and reach out and everything ourselves and not being able to find a lot of funding to do this work. And that is a major, major challenge. And Internet security is, I think, one of the greatest challenges we will face at this point in time.
That having said, let's look forward in a positive way. You've heard Markus on the reports. I'm not going to reiterate that. Just to share some ideas. Is it an idea that dynamic coalitions who wish to have one have a facilitator, co-facilitator, from the MAG so that there's direct interaction and not just through the coordination? Because the content is not being discussed in the Coordination Working Group. So is that an idea to give that some level of parity?
Where the program coordination is concerned what Markus said about, what I would like you to think about is that the series of dynamic coalitions run into issues that can probably only be discussed at the IGF and not in the hour that I get as a dynamic coalition to present our results in. We may want to interact actively with people trying to find the right recommendations or agree with the recommendation because these people are only at the IGF and hard to reach in another way.
And Markus said already something about publications. I won't go into that. But I wanted to realize my personal disappointment that I saw I had a whole page as a rock star at the IGF, that being mentioned in a footnote that dynamic coalitions exist in an annex. Where was our work? How was it reflected? How was it appreciated? And that truly was a bit of a disappointment. I want you to think about that, that we can improve that in 2022.
But, finally, what I want the MAG to think about and the IGF secretariat, and UN DESA to think about, when we have these tangible outcomes at the end of 2022, what do we want to do with them? Is it going to be a digital paper on the IGF website? Or is it going to be something that could potentially change the way we live, depending on the topic the dynamic coalition is working about? So it's not only about IS3C. This is all about ambitious dynamic coalitions and there are several.
So in that way, I would like to invite the MAG to interact more and what I used on Tuesday is to integrate the dynamic coalitions more into the IGF itself and not having it as something, which is a voluntary piece of work because some of them are extremely ambitious.
And I think I will leave it at that because Markus and Sorina -- I would say Sorina -- I already expressed my gratitude to Sorina at the IGF and on Tuesday and I'll do it again here. It shows the ambition and the needs of the dynamic coalitions.
So let me stop there and thank you for the opportunity to speak. And let's have this discussion together in the near future so that we can work together on improving the IGF. Thank you. Thank you, Chair, for the opportunity.
>>CHAIR MITCHELL: Thank you.
I'd like to close the discussion on the dynamic coalitions for the moment and move to the little overview of the NRIs and pass the floor to Anja to bring us up to date on that.
>>ANJA GENGO: Thank you very much. I will be sharing my screen shortly. I'm pasting the presentation in the chat. So hopefully you can see it.
Thank you very much, Chair, for giving me the floor, once again. I will be briefing the MAG primarily on the current status of the NRIs as a network and on the goals for the 2022 IGF cycle that the NRIs will pursue.
So in terms of the recognized NRIs, currently we're in a number of 147. Four NRIs are in formation. And if you look at the graph, you can see that now we have 95 national IGFs, 20 regional and subregional IGFs, and 32 independently or integrated into the NRIs organized youth Is.
A couple of colleagues actually asked me about the number of member states where there is an international IGF process. And so you have this comparison in this second graph that hopefully illustrates it nicely where there is still work to be done.
Obviously, we're very thankful to the regional IGFs for allowing and creating opportunities with the communities that do not have a national IGF to be engaged into the IGF-like processes.
I mentioned the four national and youth IGFs that we are expecting to be recognized in the coming weeks. And you can see here basically which of those are to be recognized. And we have the national IGF of Chile and Youth IGF, which is going to be independently set up. Myanmar Youth IGF as well as the subregional Indian Ocean IGF. We have been having discussions for quite a longer time now.
And you can see who are the NRIs recognized in the past couple of weeks, from Liberia IGF to Youth Nepal IGF, Youth IGF of Vietnam. Indian IGF has been finally recognized. They had a very good meeting last year. And we will also confirm the status of the Mozambique IGF which for years, couple past years, was in an inactive status with the IGF secretariat's recognition process.
In terms of the whole plans for the IGF 2022, I think it's good to mention that -- and it's very important for the NRIs' visual overview that the new IGF website has created a whole set of new pages and features for the NRIs. Obviously, I'm sure that you are aware of how the NRIs are positioned on the new website, which I think a new update we use that we are in the process of developing live NRIs dashboard. So it will be basically a live update on the topics, issues, and participation records of -- on the NRIs' meetings at any point of time. And hopefully that will become available soon in this year.
If you are interested to learn more about the NRIs processes, so not just about the information on their annual meetings, where are those going to be hosted and similar, then there's a section on the NRIs news. And there you can find some very interesting, I think, developments, process related, for the NRIs.
Geographically speaking, as I mentioned at the beginning, I do think we do have a good balance in terms of the coverage of the -- of all the continents by the NRIs. Especially, as I said, where we don't have the national IGFs, I think we have a very nicely developed regional and subregional IGFs, and colleagues are doing excellent work there.
And finally to come to the objectives for this year. So currently the process for the NRIs to endorse six participants for the IGF Expert Group Meeting happen in New York later in March is under way. It's basically a process organically done by the NRIs, but the secretariat just facilitates the overall consultations and ensure the process is inclusive and open. There's accountability within all stakeholder organizing committees, so that process will hopefully be successfully concluded by the deadline of the AGM's call, which is 28th of February, so Monday next week, end of day.
In parallel to that, the NRIs have responded to the IGF 2022 call for issues, and the secretariat analyzed separately just the NRIs' responses to support the NRIs network to understand what are the substantive priorities for this year for them and what could be the topics for the NRI sessions that -- depending on those priorities.
It is interesting that this year follows to a good extent the priorities from last year, and that cybersecurity, emerging technologies, and digital access are the topics of biggest interest for the NRIs. But there is a difference between what are the issues of the NRI priorities when you compare, for example, the overall results of the -- of the IGF's call for issues for this year.
The NRIs decided that they will not follow just a mere process of focusing on the numbers. So these topics that came through these qualitative analysis may not be the final decision. They will look at everything holistically to understand what could be the topic and to ensure that they really partner together to create sessions which can provide regional specificity on declarations of global importance.
Individually speaking, the IGF secretariat is in a continuous communication with the NRI coordinators. That's, for that, their multistakeholder organizing committees. A lot is happening on the NRIs individual levels as well as, as you can see, with the IGF on a global level, especially in regards to advancing the processes. And so you will, for example, see that the African IGF is having a completely new way to call for the membership of their regional MAG. The Canada IGF is approaching in a new way development of the process through having (indiscernible) talks throughout the year. Then we have, for example, the EuroDIG that is experimenting with how the program is being shaped through now engaging subject-matter experts to help their multistakeholder organizing committee to define the focus areas and similar.
I do invite you to visit the IGF website. If you visit individual NRI websites, then I think they can give you more information about all these updates.
The secretariat certainly counts on partnering, collaborating with the NRIs on developing its capacity-development framework, as we did last year, and more information on that certainly will be available on the IGF website once the discussion's concluded on that planning.
In terms of the work plan, the NRIs, in a bottom-up manner earlier in this year, have endorsed work plan, which is basically a living document, which means it can be changed in its essence, but the focus will be obviously to plan the NRIs' participation at the 17th annual IGF meeting in Addis. A lot will be hopefully done on the area of communication and outreach in regards to giving more visibility and promoting the NRIs, so we will be working with our colleague in the secretariat to make sure that's implemented.
On the -- and the NRIs agree that they will try to help each other, support each other on creating maybe stronger visual identity on a collective but also individual manner. So best practices in that sense among the NRIs will be exchanged this year and some packages created that could be then used and adjusted by the NRIs.
One of the requests for the secretariat was to create a collaborative space where the NRIs can speak one on one about matters which are of priority for their communities. And so the secretariat is now consulting with the NRIs to understand what, within its capacity, could be done.
And then I mentioned at the beginning, capacity development framework very much features the NRIs. One of the goals for us is to again go with implementation and giving the grants to support the NRIs meetings implementation. And then probably, as last year, we will enter again into developing some workshop modules, implementing workshops upon the MAG for communities that feel -- that feel the need to benefit from these.
So with that, I'll stop here, and thank you very much for the attention.
>>CHAIR MITCHELL: Thank you very much. I just opened the floor for a few minutes for comments or questions to you.
Wout, did you have a comment or question?
>>WOUT DE NATRIS: No, sorry, Paul. It's an old hand.
>>CHAIR MITCHELL: Okay.
Anyone with comments or questions on this topic?
>>ADAM PEAKE: Hi, Paul. I do, quickly, I hope.
Anja, do you think the NRIs could be encouraged to follow the same sort of format and approach as we've been talking about with looking towards outcomes and the specific themes that we're talking about this year? Recognizing that they should, of course, of course, you know, keep their national regional priorities. That's at question. I think it would be good if we can have that linkage.
And perhaps would it be helpful to have a call at some point -- I don't mean now; perhaps June or later -- MAG and the NRIs so that we can coordinate, understand better their overall interest? Try and get all of us together. Perhaps not all 147 NRIs, but a very good selection of them.
And this might be -- sorry, three issues. This might be another topic, but there were some very good hubs that were organized. And I'll come to this when we talk about some of the MAG working groups, the hybrid working group. But I just wanted to flag that and sort of note how effective some of the NRIs and other organizations were in providing hub activities for the IGF last year.
>>CHAIR MITCHELL: Thanks very much.
>>ANJA GENGO: Thank you very much, Adam. Maybe I can briefly respond to the questions.
In terms of sharing, I think experiences and advice with the NRIs in terms of how they shape their program, obviously respecting their modalities and the fact that they're organized independently, in a bottom-up manner, that they're responsible to their communities to ensure that the communities' interests are on the agenda, I think it's certainly a good idea. And I, as an NRI folk cam point, and I think the whole secretariat will welcome the even stronger collaboration, cooperation, exchanges of ideas, lessons learned between the MAG and the NRIs.
And I will certainly pass on all the conclusions from this meeting to the NRIs and encourage the coordinators to look carefully into those and see if that can be a useful material for the -- for development of their processes.
And building on that, certainly, as I said, we encourage collaboration, cooperation between the MAG and the NRIs. I think we've seen such strong progress in the last couple of years. And in that sense, if a concrete proposal is maybe to organize an online exchange, a meeting somewhere in the middle of the year between the NRIs or a selection of the coordinators and the MAG, I will certainly pass on the information to the NRIs. As an NRIs focal point, I warmly welcome that idea and think it's a very excellent proposal. Once I explore with the NRIs, I'll write back to you, Adam, and then we can debrief the MAG as well as the MAG chair.
And then for the hubs, I know it was a comment. I join, certainly, your comment. I think they were really excellent examples of the NRIs organizing the hubs. And I think during the Open Consultations, Chengetai mentioned that the secretariat tried to provide stronger support this year to the hubs. I hope we were successful. That support also included limited financial support to a couple of hubs which were organized by the NRIs. I think the records, especially visual records that were received from those hubs, spoke about excellent organized participation at the IGF in Poland from the location of local communities.
Thank you very much.
>>CHAIR MITCHELL: Thank you very much.
So at this point, I'd like us to take a break.
As we go into the break, I think we need to be thinking about how we're going to allocate our four slots for the BP -- Best Practice Forums and the Policy Networks. And so I will come back after the break and with the goal specifically to figure out and adopt the ones that are continuing in our four slots.
Just before we close for the break, anybody have an urgent item they'd like to bring out?
If not, then we'll take a -- I think we're scheduled for a 20-minute break.
Okay. So we'll see you back here in 20 minutes after you have your coffee.
[ Break ]
>>CHAIR MITCHELL: Welcome back, everybody.
Okay. I think we're all back. I hope so.
>> Yeah, thanks.
>>CHAIR MITCHELL: Thank you. We have accomplished a lot so far today. A lot of very good discussion. We have a very task we have to do, which is allocate our four slots for DCs and PNs -- sorry, BPFs and PNs.
And we have a new proposal that's been made related to fragmentation. And it didn't come up as a specific issue or subtopic in the call. But it is -- the topic itself, Internet shutdowns, was the highest ranked of the technical and operational topics. And freedom of expression, human rights were considered the two most important issues under rights and freedoms. Cross-border data flows is the second-highest-scoring issue under data governance.
So we have -- we have four existing BPNs -- or sorry, PNs, BPFs, best practice forums and policy networks, and we have a new proposal on Internet fragmentation. If we keep everything going, that makes five out of four slots.
So I'm wondering how we can move forward in terms of selecting the slots. My proposal would be that we effectively rank them, with the one that falls out being the one that doesn't happen in the coming year.
But I welcome comments on this topic.
>>ROBERTO ZAMBRANA: Thank you very much, Mr. Chair.
Hello, everyone. This is Roberto Zambrana, third-year MAG member from Bolivia.
Well, first of all, I want to thank Anriette and also Timea to make excellent points in general terms about what was proposed to go to this new intersessional work called policy networks. And it's really, really difficult to define which of the five actually need to go. Every proposal have its own value. I think all of those are important, really important topics. But it's going to be a difficult task for all of us as MAG members.
What I can say is since I was part of the policy network on meaningful access -- and I will try in this case to advocate to keep this one. That's what I can do on my side. Because of my involvement to this one and not only mine but also some other colleagues, one that is still in the MAG, which is Karim Attoumani, and other colleagues that are not with us as current MAG members anymore but I'm sure are following this process. I know Pascal did a great job trying to summarize what the policy networks did during the year. But, of course, it's really difficult to express everything that was done.
I am sure if we could have a chance to speak with the co-chairs, I'm talking about Sylvia Cadena, past MAG member, and also Sonia Jorge that you all know, if we had a chance to talk with them, I'm sure they would express all the different aspects that we achieved. Also, if we could have the chance to speak with Raquel that was facilitating this policy network.
There were several things that we obtained during this work. Just a few, some, the idea was to make a map of different experiences and policies that we had during the last -- not only last year but different experiences during the pandemic that was related with this important topic. And actually we launched a call for inputs regarding this. And several other inputs were in place coming from different important institutions such as ITU and others, UNESCO and some others, which were the institutions that were involved. You will see that they are relevant institutions. All of them trying to work together, aiming to provide several inputs regarding meaningful connectivity.
But we also need to see a little bit of the history about this. Actually, when -- as you remember, this panel convened by the Secretary-General presented the Age of Digital Interdependence -- it was the report back then -- we were in parallel working with Karim about the proposal. So at the beginning of 2020, in our first year, we presented a proposal to have a BPF actually regarding -- called at that time meaningful access but universal access. That's what we called back then.
And as a result, the MAG decided that we needed to organize a main session first to validate the importance of these subjects. That's what we did at the end of 2020. We've managed to organize a very important session. It was a main session regarding in those days to the inclusion track but aimed to provide all the experiences regarding universal access.
And in parallel, as you all know, we also have received the global connectivity report -- I mean, sorry, the Roadmap report on digital cooperation in 2020. And as we all know, one of the main issues was global connectivity. That was the first actually, of course, related with this topic.
After that, in the Common Agenda that we are now analyzing, that we are using as an important, major input, particularly regarding the Digital Compact, we, again, can see that connect the unconnected is again the very first topic that we need to tackle.
So I think there are several arguments regarding this particular topic that I think will guide us to support the continuity.
The other thing is to define how this is going to continue, how the new facilitator or the past facilitator is going to continue her job or if we're going to see some other way.
And, also, again maybe to try to receive some inputs also from the colleagues of the group such as the co-chairs Sylvia and Sonia. That's for now. Thank you very much.
>>CHAIR MITCHELL: Okay. Karim and then Vadim.
>>KARIM ATTOUMANI MOHAMED: Thank you, Chair. Hello, everyone. I would like to support what Roberto said regarding this policy network.
What I would like to add is that as a policy network, a new policy network, we need to have more time to do work and to try to come up with a good result.
And I think the work we had the opportunity to do last year can positively argue for a continuation.
So my recommendation is to let us -- to let's do this new policy network. I think in one year we could not appreciate effectively achievement in such a short period. But as a policy network, we need to involve a lot of people, yes, and try to give the opportunity to produce results in at least three years. Thank you.
>>CHAIR MITCHELL: Thank you.
>>VADIM GLUSHCHENKO: Thank you, Chair. Vadim Glushchenko. I'm from the Center for Global-IT Cooperation and represent the future country which will be host of IGF in 2025. And I'm a newcomer to the MAG, so please forgive me for any question that may seem naive or probably strange.
As far as I understand, both the PNs from last year were quite successful which we can see from the previous interventions by Karim and Roberto. And the proposal for a new policy network, of course, might be relevant and interesting. And I'd like to thank, first of all, its office, 25 organizations and two individuals, preparing it. And it's, of course, up to the secretariat to decide whether we'll choose it or not.
As I understand from the policy network concept, such a decision is taken upon inter alia the broad consensus from the stakeholders.
And in that case, my question is: How are we going to explore this overall stakeholder support? Thank you.
>>CHAIR MITCHELL: Thank you. Other comments? Questions?
Does anyone want to speak in support of the proposal to add a PN on fragmentation? Chris.
>>CHRIS BUCKRIDGE: (indiscernible) -- involved really in the discussion leading up to the proposal of this new policy network on fragmentation. But I do see it as a very timely and important issue. And so in that sense, I think it would be really an opportunity missed to convene some formal work. And this policy network seems like the best modality for that on fragmentation.
I mean, I think -- yeah, the arguments in favor of keeping the meaningful access policy network going are very compelling. I haven't been involved in the work. Clearly, they have done very good work.
I haven't heard anyone much from the policy network on environment. But I also know that -- I had a little bit more to do with that, and they also did some great work.
So I don't really have a way through here. I do think it's important maybe that we think about -- given a bit of the restricted resources, that we think about these policy networks having an annual reassessment period. And so I'm sure that each policy network has a clear goal within the year that then allows it to either -- could continue or allows it to wrap up in a relatively tidy way because we're going to face this every year in terms of restricted and limited resources and having to choose how to share those amongst policy networks. And I think we shouldn't find ourselves in a situation where there's no resources for new work that is timely because we're still committed to longer processes that were started several years ago doing well.
But, yeah, that's my...
>>CHAIR MITCHELL: Thank you.
>>BRUNA SANTOS: Thank you, Chair. Just add my support to PN on Internet fragmentation is all.
I think we discussed on the first day of these meetings about the relevance of connecting the annual meeting to a lot of the processes going on in the world in terms of regulation.
So I think this is a fairly good multistakeholder initiative to address a topic that's concerning to a lot of us around the world. So I would add a +1 on support for the fragmentation one. Thank you.
>>CHAIR MITCHELL: Thank you.
>>ADAM PEAKE: Thanks. Thanks very much.
Yeah, I'm very interested in the Policy Network on fragmentation. Like Chris, I hadn't really heard about it before, which I suppose in some ways is a little surprising given that, you know, the technical community -- if we're talking about technical fragmentation, then it's surprising that the Regional Internet Registries at ICANN weren't aware of it. But it's a very good proposal, so I'm not complaining; I'm just saying it does need some work on that account, I think, unless the fragmentation is talking about different issues there.
So I would like to see that happen. I think it is very relevant. It's very relevant to discussions that are going on within the U.N. system or in parts of the U.N. system.
On the others, I could write a note about what I think, but I do think environment and meaningful access should be kept. I think the BPF on gender is important. We do not see it -- we do not see gender in the whole issues being -- I feel that something would be seriously lost if we didn't highlight gender quite as much.
And I would sort of feel the opposite for cybersecurity, which of course is one of the most important issues we will discuss in any technical policy. But what would be lost if we didn't have the BPF on Cybersecurity? It's going to exist. It's going to be a main session, as we've discussed, anyway. It's going to be a central core of the IGF. Do we lose something by losing the BPF compared to what we would lose by, for example, cutting the BPF on gender? And I see it is gender and cybersecurity, but I don't see how they mix together.
Anyway, that's my thought, is what do we lose most? And I think we lose a lot if we lose the BPF on gender. I think the Internet fragmentation is a good addition. Environment has been very good and important work. I'd like to see it do more coordinating with groups like CARP [phonetic] and the U.N. system. Meaningful access, it would be a way of sharpening the work on access which we've seen for many, many years, and really needs sharpening if we're going to talk about -- rather than talking about what's nice and interesting, and getting into the meat of messaging around a topic.
>>CHAIR MITCHELL: Thank you.
Bruna, did you have your hand up again?
>>BRUNA SANTOS: It was a legacy hand. So sorry.
>>CHAIR MITCHELL: Okay. So any other comments?
I am wondering whether or not there is an opportunity to do some creative collaboration with the new topic of fragmentation and the old topic of either cybersecurity or access. It seems to me that, depending on what -- in what direction the work would go, that fragmentation is something that's -- that is endemic or has the potential to be endemic across multiple of these existing topic areas. And I wonder whether there's a -- there's a opportunity to begin work on a fragmentation topic by collaborating it into work on one of the existing PNs.
I'm wondering what you think of that concept.
>>ROBERTO ZAMBRANA: If I may react, Paul.
>>CHAIR MITCHELL: Yes, please do.
>>ROBERTO ZAMBRANA: Thank you very much.
I think the idea and the evolution to have Policy Networks was to aim to a more focused outcome-oriented kind of session. So I think it's a good idea to try to be creative, of course, I chose your idea, but on the other hand, I think it's really important to focus in a particular topic when we are discussing to a Policy Network, at least regard to go a Policy Network.
I am not sure if we can do that maybe in BPFs, but I'm sure the other colleagues that are involved, and the others could say something about it. But again, in my point of view, at least, I think it's really difficult to combine different -- different topics.
Thank you, Paul.
>>CHAIR MITCHELL: Okay. Thank you.
Anyone in violent support of the fragmentation topic?
If there isn't sufficient support in the MAG, which appears to be the case, then I think the -- we're left with the previous four topics. And I would propose that we adopt the continuation of the existing four topics with an explicit directive that this is funded for the one-year period, and that it should -- the work should be terminal work; that is, that from a topic perspective, the expectation would be that each of these has -- their mandate will run out at the end of the coming year. And that we adopt that as a -- as -- I think, Adam, was it you that suggested it? Specifically that they be chartered with the specific period of time and the explicit expectation that they'll go away.
Comments on that. And I see Joyce and then Timea.
>>JOYCE CHEN: Thanks very much, Paul.
I'm not sure if my remarks have been superseded by your instruction to strike out the Internet fragmentation Policy Network.
I want to lend my strong support to having the Policy Network on Internet fragmentation be established. I think it's a very important topic, and also something that is very, very relevant. I mean, we've had a lot of discussion from the Global Digital Compact, and one of the key topics is actually avoiding Internet fragmentation.
And so I think this work is very timely. It's very needed. I would not want to see it struck out so easily.
Instead, what I hope that we would discuss would be for the other groups what plan do they have for this year. I don't think this we should be continuing any one particular group just for, you know, continuity sake. We should probably see what agenda or program that they have planned for this year, what are they actually planning to do. If there's nothing that is actually on the agenda for 2022, then I don't understand why we would want to give up the Internet fragmentation one over something else that doesn't have much of a plan for the year.
>>CHAIR MITCHELL: Thank you.
Timea, then Bruna.
>>TIMEA SUTO: Thank you very much, Chair. And again, I'm not a MAG member, so sorry to taking up time. But I just wanted to voice my strong support, as obviously one of the proponents of this Policy Network on Internet fragmentation, and to draw attention to the conversation that we've been having in the chat as well, because although many people were not vocal in supporting the Internet fragmentation Policy Network, by voice there was quite a bit of support lent to that idea into the chat. And just listening and reading the conversations, I do understand that the most support from the community here on the call today has been actually expressed towards meaningful access, Internet fragmentation, and gender, in that order. And I've heard fewer voices calling for environment and cybersecurity. So I wonder how we want to capture that.
And also to lend my full support to what Joyce just said in terms of wanting to hear a bit more about the actual proposals for these constructions and their plans for the future vis-a-vis the pretty detailed proposal that there is on the table for Internet fragmentation.
So if I can plea the MAG to consider a bit longer the idea of Internet fragmentation, we would be very appreciative of that.
>>CHAIR MITCHELL: Thank you.
>>JORGE CANCIO: Thank you very much, Paul. I'm also not a MAG member but from the host country and was part of those initiating the seed funding for the Policy Network on environment.
So on this Policy Network, I think it would be very interesting to hear the plans from the co-facilitators and also perhaps the plans from the secretariat itself on this Policy Network to also assess what -- what is there for the coming year.
But in general, I would like to join the remarks made by Joyce in the sense that it would be very useful to have the full information from all the different Policy Networks or BPFs on the table in order to make a thoughtful decision.
And regarding the Internet fragmentation one, I think there's a lot of value, a lot of support behind it. And also, it's very timely issue. As we have been discussing, it will also be considered in the U.N. for the Global Digital Compact.
And finally, also turning back to the argument made by Giacomo, I think in the chat, it's also important to give space to new initiatives. So we have very limited resources. We are very aware of that, and we have been, from the Swiss government, trying to support these kinds of initiatives. And so maybe there should be some rotation within these kinds of initiatives that requires support, and some of those initiatives that have been longer there and maybe their program is being covered by other parts of the community, maybe this is the case for the BPF on Cybersecurity but I'm not sure, they could phase out at least for some time. If they are innovative proposals that either are completely new or that have been there only for a limited time, like the two Policy Networks and which have rendered tangible outcomes, for instance, in the case of the Policy Network on environment, fully-fledged report from multistakeholder, interdisciplinary working groups that has been working the whole 2021.
So I leave it by that. Thank you very much.
>>CHAIR MITCHELL: Thank you very much.
>>BRUNA SANTOS: Thank you, Chair.
More of a practical question than an -- very much in line with Joyce, and with regard to the timeline.
So the PNE on fragmentation is the one who has the clearest, like, who has a proper proposal lined out and will share with the MAG list and so on. So maybe we can agree on like a timeline for the other initiatives to send a proper proposal to the MAG list just so we could discuss, and other members could propose amendments or even directions in the work.
And also, I think taking on some of the suggestions from the BPF gender mailing list, I think there should be some interest announced for working on the realm of cybersecurity as well. So maybe there is some areas or paths for us to like bridging the work for the BPF gender with the fragmentation and the cybersecurity one if that's holding on.
So that's it. Thank you so much.
>>CHAIR MITCHELL: Thank you. I have a question for the secretariat, which is my understanding is that our limitation is a budget limitation that has -- is basically funded to support up to four slots. The question is, is that a hard number based on number of slots or a hard number based on available dollars?
For example, could we elect to defund by 20% or something like that one or more of the existing so that we actually expand to five slots but with slightly less funding per spot? That's a question for the secretariat.
>>CHENGETAI MASANGO: Yes, Chair. There's no hard-and-fast answer here. And this is the problem that we faced every single year, basically, is that there is interest in more consultant-supported BPFs or PNEs than we have budgeted for.
So it's not a definite no, but this is what we have in the budget, and what we usually do is that we have one consultant to -- to do two BPFs or PNEs. So basically it's two consultants supporting the four. So, therefore, if we have five, of course we can have one who's shorter. So -- And if we put in money for an additional consultant, that means that we have to -- because we have to balance our budget. So we will reduce money somewhere. We either reduce the money for support of, you know, travel to the IGF or reduce the money for support for hubs. You know, the money has to come from somewhere. So if we take from John to give to Jake, you know. So that's the thing.
>>CHAIR MITCHELL: Thank you. That answers the question, and of course that's logical.
My personal opinion, which at some level doesn't really matter here but I'll just share it, is that fragmentation topic as a whole is incredibly meaningful and timely given everything that's happened in the past couple of years and the increasing reliance of every sector of every economy on the stability and the ubiquity and the commonality of our ability to connect across every geography and every kind of communications technology. And the forces that are leading to fragmentation are natural forces driven by economic concerns and economic needs but not necessarily in service of the benefits of a fully universal and fully compatible interoperable "bring what you have with your idea and you can make things happen" sort of concept.
I personally think that work on fragmentation is timely in a way that the gender topic and cybersecurity topics were one to two years ago and where the environment topic, you know, was all-consuming a year ago.
And I'd the group to consider sort of the idea of ranking each of these topics and with an eye to whether or not we can support all of the topics by rearranging the budget somehow. I mean, I know from Chengetai's answer that that's a possibility. And I'd like to get a sense of how -- how much support there would be for proceeding along the lines of trying to re-stripe the budget.
And then a last thought here. I would propose additionally that the existing efforts be given some period of time, a week or so, to make a proposal or bring a quality update on their activity that allows for some sort of meaningful exploration and comparison between the expectations of that particular effort as compared against the expectations that, for example, are being shared in the proposal on fragmentation.
Open the floor for anyone who wants to talk.
I'm not sure whose hand went up first, but I think it's Bruna.
>>BRUNA SANTOS: I also forgot the hand up. So sorry.
>>CHAIR MITCHELL: Okay. I guess that's why it was first.
>>CHRIS BUCKRIDGE: Yeah, thanks, Paul.
Yeah, I would like to go on the record, I think, in saying let's not try and be too clever with the budget. My impression is that there hasn't -- it's not like there's been a lot of flab to cut in past years working with set of four, and I think (indiscernible) we're going to find ourselves -- ourselves with a very stressed secretariat. But I think sort of the ability to do the work will suffer as well this year.
I think this is a really tough decision, and I hope and I think we need to be able to make the tough decisions and kill our darlings, to use that awful phrase. Yeah, and I don't necessarily know which one that -- or what that means or, as I said, I haven't heard a huge amount from the Policy Network on the environment this time around, and if there was a sort of strong community desire to continue that and to continue to have the requisite support that goes with being a Policy Network, I would have expected to maybe hear a little bit more. So that, I feel, tells me something there.
I think -- And I just do see in the chat, I think Karim made a point about we can't necessarily expect a BPF or PN to produce a tangible outcome. I take that point. I think, you know, that this is sort of wide-ranging work. I do think, though, it's realistic to say you should have a work plan and some achievable outcomes that you see as that network or as that group as achievable within a (indiscernible) on the ground. And maybe that there is not going to be able to be support in the next 12-month period.
So that -- Yeah, that would be my two cents there. Thanks.
>>CHAIR MITCHELL: Thank you. Adam.
>>ADAM PEAKE: Similar to Chris, be careful of what we ask of the secretariat. They're already doing a lot. Knowing Wim and Sorina, if we ask them to share their time and reduce their time on something, they probably wouldn't reduce their time. They would just carry on doing the same, only more, because that's the way that they are and we're grateful for it. So I think that is a bit -- it's asking a great deal.
On the output, I think this is really tangible outputs from the PNs and BPFs -- it sounds like ICANN with all the acronyms -- best practice forums and policy networks.
If we give them a role to present themselves within an important part of the IGF, the annual IGF, that is something for them to work for, i.e., coordinating sessions with workshops that have been proposed so that we have important messages coming out of the IGF process. Surely that's one of the goals of what a policy network or a best practice forum would want to do anyway. So if they want to continue, give them that role and work with the MAG in achieving that. You might not produce a report of the particular structure itself every year but at least, you know, use your expertise to make sure that we have a bottom-up process of workshops received, coordinated by MAG and our experiment team, which is the BPF and the policy network. So that's what I would suggest.
And as I said, it's very difficult to pick and choose between these things. We know the people involved, recognize the amount of work they have done.
As I said, I just wonder if cybersecurity disappeared as a BPF, would it be as harmful as the others not continuing? "Harmful" may not be the right word, but I just wonder -- cybersecurity is going to be there whatever we do. So where would that work go? Would it continue naturally anyway? But it's so difficult to choose. Thank you.
>>CHAIR MITCHELL: That's a good point.
>>ROBERTO ZAMBRANA: Thank you, Paul. Just as a last comment about another thing that we can consider -- and again remembering back in 2021, the thing we were told as proposers of the BPF of universal access was that, well, it wasn't, back then, a subject that was mature enough. Maybe it could go as a dynamic coalition, et cetera. Finally, I already told you what happened then.
The only thing I wanted to comment is perhaps we can also think about the dynamic coalition for one of these subjects because, again, it's something that could help to gather all the community regarding this -- I'm not sure -- I'm not talking about any particular issue but regarding the one that finally is out of the four -- of the list of four and could continue working as a dynamic coalition. Thank you, Paul.
>>CHAIR MITCHELL: Thank you. I note in the chat that Courtney is noting combining Internet fragmentation and meaningful access into one.
Anyone else have comments or thoughts?
I note that the secretariat has prepared a poll that we can use to help us evaluate this. But any further comments?
I wonder if there are no further comments, it would be great for us to take a temperature of the room, so to speak. If we could utilize the poll function and just get a read on how the MAG as a whole ranks these issues. Chengetai, could you explain how this could work?
>>CHENGETAI MASANGO: Yes. Let me just get to where my window is, yes.
So we have a Doodle poll with the options that we have. So in order to test the temperature of the room, we will just, as we did yesterday, ask MAG members only to fill in the poll.
Sorry, let me just get the link.
And I have it.
Here's the link. And so we would ask MAG members to fill in the poll and we will give MAG members three minutes to do that, if they can. And give us two minutes just to check to see that it's only MAG members. And then we will give you the results in five minutes in total, so at the top of the hour.
I would also like to mention that we do actually -- did increase the support that we are giving to the PNEs and the best practice forums because if you remember, the Swiss government graciously gave us some seed funding for the policy network on environment. And seed funding is just that, it's to get it off the road -- I mean, to get it up and running.
And so now it's up and running. The funding for the policy network on environment is going to come from our regular budget. So we have already increased. So if we get the six, we'll be -- if we add one more, we'll be increasing.
And then again, my other comment is come next year, will we have the same issue in that will we be able to let one of them go or not or will we be adding another one as well? So those are just thoughts. Thank you.
>>CHAIR MITCHELL: Thank you very much.
So the poll is live. So let's take five minutes or so to have everyone make their selections.
>>COURTNEY RADSCH: Sorry, Paul. Can you clarify --
>>CHENGETAI MASANGO: I'm so sorry. Yes, we have to restart. A MAG member can only select four. So you can't select more than four because we only have four slots. So just give us one second to restart.
Yes, if we can delete it --
>>CHAIR MITCHELL: And this is just taking a temperature of the room. This is not a binding vote, but it's to gauge the temperature.
>>CHRIS BUCKRIDGE: Paul, can I just ask a quick question? Looking at this -- I know I mentioned before -- I didn't see a lot of support on policy network on environment. Is there something I'm missing here? Do we have a sense that the policy network on environment wants to continue as a work, idea of what it would do with the funding and the cooperation here? Or are we just assuming that there is that desire?
I support the topic myself. I think it's very... (indiscernible). If the policy network itself has not expressed that desire, then...
>>CHAIR MITCHELL: Yeah, I think we're -- I think we're operating on the assumption that they would like to continue.
>>CHENGETAI MASANGO: Yes, that is the case, yes.
>>AMRITA CHOUDHURY: So I have a question. Amrita here. No one from the cybersecurity BPF has expressed or declined to have it. So are we not also mentioning cybersecurity separately? Since no one has spoken doesn't mean they are not interested or otherwise in the Doodle poll. Or are we assuming that these two would be kept?
>>CHAIR MITCHELL: My understanding is that's how it has worked up to this point.
>>CHENGETAI MASANGO: There has to be an expression of interest. If there's no expression of interest from anybody, then...
>>CHAIR MITCHELL: Yes.
>>JOYCE CHEN: This is Joyce speaking. Sorry, I had my hand up.
I still think that if I recall correctly last year, all the BPFs that wanted to have their work continue for the year had to present their case or work agenda or plan for that year, and that was what happened in 2021.
I can't say for years before that because I wasn't in the MAG. I'm just a bit surprised that this year I haven't seen any proposals from any of the groups that we are planning to have continue.
Is this the norm? Because I was expecting to be able to see what their plan was for this year or it could be that, for example, the BPFs cybersecurity in their plan last year had mentioned that there would be a rolling plan for two years covering 2022 and that's why they haven't presented their work plan again.
But in that case, we should be going back to see what they had said that they would do this year before we make these decisions. We shouldn't be deciding based on which topic we feel is important in an arbitrary manner. It should really work based on that there is a plan for the year. Thanks.
>>CHAIR MITCHELL: Thank you. Good point.
>>CHENGETAI MASANGO: Yes. It did not come out as it -- it's one of those planning things. There was -- as we were reviewing the work, there was supposed to be a section where they would be stating what they want to do next year. And it unfortunately did not come out that way. It may be that we didn't give clear enough instructions. But I thought it did -- but it didn't do.
I think that's why the Chair did mention that he's going to give time for the five that we have decided upon to present a work plan. And then we are going to do it again. That's why this vote is just for interests sake. And then online next week, we are going to have them produce a plan and post it to the mailing list.
>>JOYCE CHEN: Thanks for clarifying, Chengetai.
>>CHAIR MITCHELL: Okay. All questions relative to this poll have been answered, I hope.
>>CHENGETAI MASANGO: And please for taking the temperature, please go ahead and select four, yes.
Give it another minute.
>>CHENGETAI MASANGO: And I hope this doesn't mean we only have seven MAG members on this call.
>>ROBERTO ZAMBRANA: That will be hard.
>>CHAIR MITCHELL: Everybody is shy.
>>CHENGETAI MASANGO: You may take this as a roll-call to see who's actually on the call from the MAG.
Okay. I think it has not increased.
>>CHAIR MITCHELL: Yes. It's interesting that the new proposal on fragmentation ties for the highest number of votes with the meaningful access at this point.
I would propose that we make a communication to the organizers of the existing work, asking them for their work plan and expected outcomes for the coming year, assuming that their funding and support continues. And we ask for that within a week.
And then we take that into account with the existing proposal for fragmentation and come back to make a decision as to exactly how we'll allocate these slots.
Comments, concerns about that? Amrita.
>>AMRITA CHOUDHURY: I have a question here, as in I do understand, you know, BPF gender making a proposal and coming, or the Policy Network on Internet fragmentation has already submitted. The meaningful access will submit. But who is going to submit for gender and cybersecurity?
That's my question, because this was a suggestion, but who is going to make the proposal? Just a question. You may not have the answer, but who in the MAG has the answer?
>>CHAIR MITCHELL: That's an excellent question, and I don't have the answer.
>>CHENGETAI MASANGO: We can ask for a volunteer now, if there is a volunteer to organize. If not, because for these BPFs, we do need strong facilitators. So if there isn't a facilitator that comes up by the deadline, then I think we can -- that can be an indication of the interest.
>>CHAIR MITCHELL: Yes, for sure.
Other comments? Thoughts?
>>COURTNEY RADSCH: I guess -- So it seems here that there is much less support for the environment one than for any of the others, given that some of them are overlapping. So does that mean that is dropped or are we asking for them to submit a work plan as well?
>>CHAIR MITCHELL: My proposal was that we would ask them to submit a work plan.
>>CHENGETAI MASANGO: Yes.
>>CHAIR MITCHELL: So we would be evaluating work plans for all of the potential spots.
>>MICHAEL NELSON: I think Joyce may have been first.
>>CHAIR MITCHELL: Joyce.
>>JOYCE CHEN: Thanks very much. Just wanted to put for the record that there's some traction on the chat, support for the BPF cybersecurity as a standalone. And so the Doodle poll may not be very indicative of our actual choices.
For my part, I had to select the gender and the gender and cybersecurity one because there wasn't an option for which the cybersecurity one could be by itself.
I understand the poll is really just to share interest, but I think it's -- it's important to consider if we want to have the option to have the BPF Cybersecurity considered by itself instead of merging with the gender one. They are very different issues. And I believe they have been working on entirely different tracks. And to ask them to merge midway through their multiyear work, I think it's going to be very difficult and quite disruptive.
I have personally have not been involved in the BPFs, but I heard their reports at the IGF, and I think it's quite different. And this point I think has been raised before as well. So just reiterating it again for the record.
>>CHAIR MITCHELL: So appreciate that.
I think a note for the next year is that we -- we should ensure that there's a call for proposals for the BPF, et cetera, ahead of this meeting, this -- the next year's version of this meeting. But we should actually institutionalize a submission process so that we aren't faced with -- or our successors are not faced with the same challenge next year.
>>MICHAEL NELSON: Thank you very much. I'm a former MAG member so I appreciate the chance to say a few words.
Initially I was thinking combining some of these didn't make sense, but I really think that taking fragmentation as a separate working group is going to get you so many different topics that you're not going to be able to really make much progress. I mean, I'm doing a lot of work on digital sovereignty and data sovereignty right now. There's at least seven or eight different policy areas, and some of them involve banking regulation and government procurement. I mean, it's so broad that I don't think we'll be able to accomplish much more than to say this is an issue and that's an issue.
On the other hand, if you combined the goal of meaningful access with the topic of fragmentation and focused on the Venn diagram where they have a huge overlap and looked at meaningful access to the global Internet, I think you would focus both areas on what is an area that isn't getting enough attention.
Meaningful access is also pretty dispersed. I mean, we're talking not just about getting the wire. We're talking about getting people educated enough to use it, you know, meaningful access to government data. I mean, I've seen that term used to cover a lot of things that are far beyond Internet infrastructure and Internet services.
So if instead we looked at the overlap and said how can we ensure that every person, wherever they are, can get access to the global Internet and avoid the filters and avoid the data localization rules. That's a huge topic in itself, and I think it would solve our problem.
Thank you very much. Again, I'll just go back to being a silent observer.
>>CHAIR MITCHELL: Thank you.
>>ROBERTO ZAMBRANA: Thank you, Paul. I will agree with the first part that Michael mentioned. Totally agree that fragmentation is another topic, big topic with different, different issues. But on the second part, again I'm going to repeat my personal opinion about it, and I think most of the other colleagues, and we can see it through the voting also thinks the same. It's really, really difficult to combine two things.
And I want to put one additional argument, and this one is related to the work that we've done during the I think six sessions that we have, six meetings that we have with this amazing group of experts regarding this issue. And yes, it was really difficult to focus, because as Michael said, there are different issues regarding meaningful access.
But finally we did, and finally that's part of the results of this group, the hoping in some moment we can see through the reports of our facilitator.
But since it was difficult, one of the good results of this group was to finally focus in particular aspect that we thought that were important for this discussion.
Again, I don't think it will be a good idea to combine some other aspect. And I think the temperature that we sensed in the polling was saying the same.
>>CHAIR MITCHELL: Thank you.
Other comments? Concerns? Proposals for a way forward?
>>ADAM PEAKE: I have a feeling this is going to make me reasonably unpopular with a couple of people. I think the Policy Network on fragmentation should be -- might be suggested as a dynamic coalition for this year, allow them to scope the work clearly, give clarity to the MAG and to the rest of the community. They will get a session. They will get some prominence. It's an issue that is going to be important within the -- within the whole agenda for the global IGF and hopefully for the NRIs that can pick up on the issue. And then when they've done that work over the year, become a policy Network.
I don't -- Sorry to those much you who I like who put this forward.
>>CHAIR MITCHELL: Thank you. That's a great, very interesting proposal.
Anyone have a, besides Adam's proposal, a suggestion for a way forward here?
Anyone who was a proponent of the (indiscernible) fragmented -- fragmentation have any comments on Adam's proposal?
Is there support to recommend Adam's -- that we adopt Adam's proposal for this year?
Anyone like to speak on that?
>>JOYCE CHEN: Hi, Paul. This is Joyce. I'm not against Adam's proposal, and I think that his proposal for the fragmentation group to start off as a dynamic coalition, it does make sense, and it might be a more suitable place for them, actually, if the work that they're doing is not exactly set up for a Policy Network per se but actually more of a dynamic coalition style.
But that aside, I don't -- I think it's a bit premature to make a decision now. I really would prefer to see the other proposals first to see what exactly they're going to put on the table.
>>CHAIR MITCHELL: Okay.
>>AMRITA CHOUDHURY: Thanks, Paul. I was just going to reiterate what Joyce mentioned; that since everyone is supposed to give the proposals, perhaps we wait for a week and look at the proposals, and then can take a call. Because many are unprepared. Like just now, (indiscernible) was saying that cybersecurity was saying they're not prepared; they have to submit a proposal.
So perhaps we look at it and then take a call. We already know the temperature in the room.
>>CHAIR MITCHELL: Right. We do.
With that, I would actually go back to my proposal that we send a communication to the supporters and the actors that are in the current programs and ask for their work plan, and we take a week to evaluate them and have a meeting and allocate our spots at that time.
Chengetai, will that work for secretariat?
>>CHENGETAI MASANGO: Yes, it would.
And should we arrange for a meeting now if it's possible?
>>CHAIR MITCHELL: Yeah, I --
>>CHENGETAI MASANGO: Like Tuesday, March 8th?
>>CHAIR MITCHELL: Yeah, I think we should just do that.
>>CHENGETAI MASANGO: Courtney?
>>COURTNEY RADSCH: Yes. I was just wondering if it's possible to make sure that there are ways to submit comments and, you know, voice your support one way or the other, since I think this would have been the right place to do that. And if we're adding a meeting, some people may not be able to do that in person. And also just to suggest that for next year. Why don't we come up with a really clear guide that if you want to consider -- continue the work of a BPF or a Policy Network, like three bullet points, here's what you need to do. It's due by X time.
I think it should be circulated in advance of the first Open Consultation/MAG meeting, and that we should be using this time that we all devoted to three days to making these decisions instead of trying to add additional meetings across -- you know, I don't know how many time zones there are in the world. But that would be my suggestion.
>>CHENGETAI MASANGO: Yeah.
>>CHAIR MITCHELL: Okay. I agree with that. Can we all adopt that proposal? And Chengetai, secretariat, arrange a meeting, and I'll work with the secretariat on the communication for the existing programs.
Does that work?
Bruna, your hand is up. Markus, your hand is up.
>>BRUNA SANTOS: Thank you, Chair. This is a follow-up and suggestion to what Courtney has been saying. Maybe there is a chance we could discuss our mandates or like terms for those BPFs in intersessional work, because I guess if we come up with a model of, let's say, PNEs can run for three years or two years and be given like one renewal or two, this would avoid the MAG in the future to keep prioritizing between really relevant issues.
So just food for thought and something for us to consider: Maybe restricting the time span in which those intersessional efforts run through. And I know I'm speaking also on behalf of the BPF gender, but I think this could be an interesting model for us moving forward.
>>CHAIR MITCHELL: Thank you. I agree with that.
>>CHENGETAI MASANGO: I -- Oh, actually, I think Markus wants to say something, which I was going to say, but I think I know what he's going to say.
>>MARKUS KUMMER: I'm not sure what you were going to say, but I have more of a method comment.
In 2020, we produced a report on Best Practice Forums, essentially, again, like we did last year on the DCs, showing the history and also looking at challenges and possible ways forward. And I think one element that came through is very much what Adam proposed; that the boundaries between the various categories should maybe not be cast in iron but they could be a possible transition. That is, the DCs could be turned into Best Practice Forums and benefit from MAG guidance and secretariat support, and the other way around. So this is just something for your consideration.
And also speaking in my capacity as the co-facilitator for the BPF on Cybersecurity, we were simply, shall we say, taken on the wrong foot. I'm not prepared to produce a report because in previous cycles it always came a bit later. But the discussion goes the right way. I think the better and clearer the guidelines are, the better it is.
And a last comment, BPF for cybersecurity, cybersecurity is obviously a very, very broad area, and the BPF for cybersecurity had each year focused on one issue area and been relatively narrow in its focus. So it was always a different, in a way, BPF each year on cybersecurity. The issue area was different from year to year. But we will take that back to the group and come forward.
And there was another suggestion that came up. You know, it's also possible maybe to have a break for one year for a BPF. They should definitely not be going on forever and ever. That was never the intention when we reinstalled them back in 2014.
>>CHAIR MITCHELL: Thank you.
>>CHENGETAI MASANGO: If I may just interject. Yes, I was going to actually point to the BPF modalities document which does have some criteria.
And then I would also just like to explain a little bit. I mean, we are going, actually, in the way that I was thinking a little bit, because in the previous years when we did have a lot of proposals put forward for Best Practice Forums and -- well, not PNEs as such, but for Best Practice Forums we had eight or nine proposals, and then it was really a deadlock because people wouldn't want to let go of their proposals. And then in some instances, we ended up being very creative in a way on how to please everybody. Which coordinating group is good -- it's got two things. You cannot fully please everybody. You have to have -- you do have to make some sacrifices. And if you merge proposals as well, maybe nobody is happy.
But in this way, I think we have a limited number. Six, which is fine. And then we have proposals. Then we call for the proposals, which are fleshed out and which can be discussed. And it's easier to discuss six instead of discussing, you know, eight or ten proposals coming from different places.
But what the Chair has suggested is right in line and I think is very good.
>>CHAIR MITCHELL: Okay. Anyone violently disagree with that as a process to go forward?
Then with that, I will take the action item to work with Chengetai on the communication, and we will solicit those and come back to make a decision. And before we get off this call, we'll try to schedule, make sure we actually have a date in our calendars.
>>CHENGETAI MASANGO: I think -- Was there any objection to 8th of March? If there wasn't, then we can just stick with that date.
>>CHAIR MITCHELL: Okay. March 8th it is.
All right. Thank you. That's a lot of work, processing that. Let's see. On my agenda, make sure I caught everything.
Right now I think we're moving to the various working groups, the discussion of working groups if I'm on the right spot on my agenda.
So we have had a bunch of working groups, and I think we've got some -- I think we have Adam to represent the Working Group on Hybrid Meetings. There's -- Amrita, you kind of represent the work on IGF strategy working group. And I wonder if we want to take just a five-minute break before we get into that topic.
Does everybody just want to dive straight through?
All right. No burning desire for a break, so let's turn the floor over to Adam first.
>>ADAM PEAKE: Thank you, yeah. So hybrid. Where are my notes?
I suppose going through the comments from the taking stock, there were a lot of positives about the notion of hybrid. So calls for it to continue. And I'll put some of the notes from last year. Nothing has really changed, to be quite honest. When we proposed, it was Tereza and I proposed the working group back in January of last year, the idea was that we, at that point, of course, had gone through the first all-online IGF, 2020. We were all working online, as we still are mostly, unfortunately, and we didn't want to lose the -- the skills, is it? The experience that we had in working online more efficiently.
The IGF has always had a very strong commitment, of course, to inclusion. Remote access has always been a feature. It has been since 2006. We've used hubs, and as I mentioned earlier, hubs worked very well in 2021 and we should think more about how to learn from that and then carry it forward. But the whole idea is we're trying to not waste the pain of what we've learned of going through the pandemic and having to work online. And so how do we bring that into the IGF to make sure we have a fully inclusive dialogue, where it doesn't matter whether you're on-site or online. You're going to participate in those sessions.
There are things to learn. We do need -- the working group has been established. And Tereza and I have both said we feel uncomfortable. It tends to be just us two, and that shouldn't be the case because it's frankly uncomfortable making this sort of policy for the IGF. So we do need more MAG members participating. And I'll send the link to how you can do that.
But how you want to take it forward? What have we learned? I mean, from the IGF in Katowice, I wasn't able to attend in the end. One of the basic things, and something we need to think about right now, is if you're being asked to participate when you are onsite but still using your device, one of the basic things is that every seat must have power because otherwise your mobile phone or your laptop is not going to have power by the end of lunch.
So these are the sorts of things that we do need to think about because Chengetai needs to know this because he has to discuss with the people in Addis as we heard from the gentleman on Wednesday. He said we're there to make your event happen. What do you need to know?
So there are things that we need to think about. We don't know where we would be by the end of November, December with this tricky COVID thing. We hope there will not be variants, but I think we have to be careful not to assume there won't be because we've learned that it's quite tricky, this virus thing. And let's not over assume.
Really, it's what do you want from the hybrid experience? There were people who said in the comments that they felt that the experience in the room was difficult and some of that was because they weren't instructed clearly that the experience they were going to have, that it should be through the Zoom platform. And you communicate through the Zoom platform. So make that instruction clear. It was not clear.
I think we need a better communication with the workshop organizers. It was not made clear to them entirely what they should be planning for, which is an online, onsite participatory experience.
So we need -- and this is something we need to do anyway -- is communicate with the workshop organizers on a more consistent basis through the year. You probably noticed if you looked at the program just before the IGF happened in Katowice, many of the workshop proposals had not changed one sentence, one letter from what we saw and reviewed in March. That's not good. These things should evolve and improve over time, right? We want good workshops. We don't want people putting in a proposal in March and then not really explaining them and developing them so people can see what workshop they're going to attend. That's one aspect.
The other is if we're going to have them to be interactive, to have capacity-building, which we need to do to help people understand how to make this hybrid approach work, then we need to communicate with them through the years. So I think a more constant communication with workshops, not just about the interactivity and hybrid nature but also to improve the quality of workshops generally would be a good idea.
I'll stop there because we don't really have too much time, do we? So it's really let's just make sure that the thing works. We've got a call, I think, quite clear that hybrid should continue. Let's make it work better. And I'm particularly interested to learn from the hub experience. Thank you.
>>CHAIR MITCHELL: Great. Thank you.
Does anyone have a question or comment for Adam? If not, then I'll go to Amrita, who is...
>>COURTNEY RADSCH: Yes, I have a comment.
>>CHAIR MITCHELL: Yes, go ahead.
>>COURTNEY RADSCH: This is Courtney Radsch for the record. I wanted to build on what Adam was saying about the expectations and what we mean by "hybridity."
Having participated in person and both as a workshop organizer and participant, I think that we need to, like, go back to the drawing board personally on what we -- what "hybridity" means in the current environment and just more -- more generally about what we want the IGF conference to be going forward and the role that the in-person, the virtual, and the hybrid. Because hybrid, I think we have to recognize, is something distinct from in-person and it is distinct from virtual. Although I think there was more virtual than in-person focus on the last one. So I want to focus on that.
The other thing is we have to think about as we design the proposal submission form and assessment that from my perspective, none of the -- there were very creative ideas about how to be participatory and almost none of them worked because none -- we couldn't do polling. People did not understand how it was going to work for in-person. Virtual, there were sessions where we were in-person and completely unable to participate.
So we asked for all these great ideas about how to get people to participate and include the audience. And then, frankly, there was very little way to do that other than asking them to raise their hand and make a comment. So I think we also need to be very realistic.
I know we want to make a lot of these interactive, et cetera. But we have to realize what the technical capacity is because I'm concerned that the way that we weighted the proposals -- we gave significant emphasis, I think, to interactivity. That then was completely unable to be done in-person. And so I just wonder what that meant for the proposals where people weren't as experienced at thinking about creative ways to be inclusive but which ultimately were irrelevant because the technology wasn't there to make that possible.
>>CHAIR MITCHELL: Thank you. Important points.
>>ADAM PEAKE: A quick reply on that, I think one of the problems -- and Courtney is right. One of the problems was that over that period, end of October, November, we saw COVID increasing so dramatically. We had hopes at the end of October, I remember, that we'd probably be there. And then slowly you saw less and less decisions being made because people weren't able to go.
So we ended up sort of anticipating at least 50/50, perhaps more people onsite in the room than we would have online. And it ended up completely the other way around, so that there were some sessions -- most sessions were, I think, probably organized almost completely online. And people in the room were -- as a result felt as a bit of an annex. In a way, as I said, COVID is a little bit tricky. I caught us out there, and I think we ought to be aware of that. It may unfortunately -- let's pray a lot that it doesn't happen again.
But the anticipation is that you're still going to have full rooms, people onsite. And you're going to have people online. And that's what we were thinking of when we had the concept of what hybrid might be like. And we were caught out by December. Thanks.
>>CHAIR MITCHELL: Great. Thank you.
Amrita, you're up.
>>AMRITA CHOUDHURY: Okay. Thank you, Paul. Anja, could you help me with the presentation?
Hello, everyone. I'm back again. And this time I would be presenting on the working group which is -- working group on strengthening the IGF. We have a small presentation. It's just an overview of this group, IGF strengthening and strategy.
So this group was actually proposed in 2020. And the basic objective -- you can go through it on the website -- is to strengthen the IGF and strategically position IGF in the evolving digital cooperation landscape.
The next slide.
So there are about 90 subscribed members to this group. And anyone interested can join this working group, existing MAG members, past MAG members, or even others. We have regular calls once a month. The attendance ranges from 15 to 40 people. And we discuss strategic -- topics of strategic importance, such as how to -- how the IGF could implement the advice from the U.N. Secretary-General's Roadmap for Digital Cooperation and now the Our Common Agenda.
These meetings are attended by the Office of Envoy on Technology who provides an update on the Roadmap activities. And regular updates are provided to the -- are provided by the IGF secretariat, the youth initiatives, NRI initiatives, the parliamentary track. I would say it's like a confluence where everything is discussed.
So the next slide.
So what we have done since 2020 is -- you know, we analyzed the results and recommendations of the previous working groups. And, for example, the CSTD working group on IGF improvements report, the IGF retreat, the multiyear strategic work program, the working groups on IGF improvements, and discussed on the IGF+ model and how to operationalize the new features included in the model, taking into account the intersessional activities of the IGF.
Drafted the response to the Options Paper document to give a contribution to the Options Paper issued by the co-champions of Recommendations 5A/B of the High-Level Panel.
And then created -- and working to create a link with the Office of Envoy on Technologies and sharing of the information on the Roadmap activities on the IGF website.
Discussions on how to operationalize the MHLB and drafting of the three proposals discussed by the working group.
And support the MAG chair in organizing Webinars to discuss main topics, including topics of The Roadmap on Digital Cooperation, support to the IGF 2020 preparatory phase.
Next slides. You can skip about two slides. We have the details here, but I will not go into it.
So in 2021, what we did was we shared recommendations on the proposals on strategic importance to IGF and operational measures in 2021 on how to make a more strategic and impactful and inclusive IGF. This was shared with the MAG.
We collected feedback from the MAG on what they think of the multiyear plan and the follow-up activities.
We conducted a mapping exercise on the U.N. Secretary-General's Roadmap for Digital Cooperation and IGF activities primarily to show how the various activities of IGF are linking to the Roadmap. And this is a living document because there is more happening, and this can always be populated.
We shared a list of priorities that have been included in the action areas, selected as priorities of the working group for further action documents.
We've been supporting the MAG chair to organize sessions in the preparatory and engagement phase.
We were collecting the comments on the Common Agenda report from the U.N. Secretary-General's office and shared with the MAG who, in turn, sent it to the Secretary-General's office and provides some support to the multiyear plan.
You can skip a few slides, Anja. Just go further. We have the details, but I will not go into the details. If you want, we can share the presentation.
So what we are currently doing -- the next one -- is that we are drafting an input document on the EGM. We hope to be submitting it by 28th. And we are compiling a synthesis of the key take-aways from the synthesis document of IGF 2021 that the MAG can prioritize. And we are drafting the activity plan of the working group for 2022.
I'll have my colleague Titti share it in the chat. And certain things which we plan to do in 2022 includes providing input to the MAG on ways to engage in the Common Agenda and the Digital Summit. Continue supporting the MAG on the IGF priorities. Compiling and synthesizing 40 MAG actionable items from the various reports, developments, and information being generated.
You must be aware that there are various discussions happening at various platforms. And there is a lot of information. What should be priority to the MAG and what should not be -- or could at least have low priority is something which we can help in facilitating to synthesize and share.
Continue deepening linkages with these strategic departments and bodies.
Discussing issues of digital cooperation, the Common Agenda.
Continue supporting the multiyear plan and gather the relevant resources engaged in events that lays out the steps involved in the WSIS+20 process pertaining to IGF renewal.
Continuing to serve as an exchange channel between the Tech Envoy's Office and the MAG or IGF on the different initiatives and discussions related to the Roadmap for Digital Cooperation and Our Common Agenda report. And contribute in supporting the IGF or MAG and as a platform for widespread, bottom-up participation in the Global Digital Compact process through the annual program and intersessional work as proposed in the letters sent to the U.N. Secretary-General by the MAG last November.
So why should this working group be there, or what is the benefit for the MAG, is primarily this is a forum where a lot of discussions on many topics happen which cannot happen in the normal MAG meetings because there are other things the MAG has to work on. So, you know, interested MAG members should be there to discuss the other things so you will get a background information of what's happening there.
It helps to build capacity of existing MAG members. It facilitates the exchange of information, ideas, and thoughts between existing and past MAG members on issues relevant to the IGF.
It supports the MAG by providing practical suggestions on how MAG can prioritize, operationalize, or implement any of the suggestions it receives and provide the MAG with recommendations on issues which is of strategic importance to the IGF.
And as mentioned earlier, it creates a link with the Office of the Envoy on Technology for a common exchange of information.
So that's about it from the group. I have Titti here in the call who had initiated this group. And we have Chris who is the other co-chair.
In case you have any questions, or if I missed anything, Titti, Chris, please feel free to share.
>>CONCETTINA CASSA: Thanks, Amrita. Nothing from my side. You include all the information. Okay. Thanks a lot.
>>CHRIS BUCKRIDGE: Nothing from my side. I think you covered it all very well, Amrita.
I'm coming into this as a new co-facilitator or co-chair, I absolutely see the importance and need for this working group in the current environment, given the range of new structures and processes developing and evolving and the need to strengthen and secure the IGF's place amongst all of that and to ensure that it has the appropriate input and sort of control there as a model body.
Yeah, looking forward to the work of this working group. I think it's really important.
>>CHAIR MITCHELL: Thank you, Chris.
Anyone have questions or comments? I have one question just related to deciding on priorities, how you within the working group decide on what priorities get worked on and when done is done.
But anyone else have questions or comments?
>>AMRITA CHOUDHURY: To answer your question, the priorities are based on consensus. Normally we do have MAG members also in the call, the MAG chair.
Also, we have a discussion. We may propose certain things just like we have a wish list which we are drawing out as to what we want to do. We would be submitting it to the MAG also for -- and in case the MAG feels that certain things may need to be changed, we are flexible to kind of make changes.
And many times priorities come based upon new things coming. For example, the EGM plan, this has come in new, that we add our thoughts. Since it's a strategic discussion, we give our inputs to.
So at times, there are new things which are coming. But at times, there are things which are existing or planned or even the MAG has accepted, which is worked upon. I hope I have been able to answer your question to some extent.
>>CHAIR MITCHELL: Yes. That's good. And I -- follow-on question, which is what mechanisms, if any, have you sort of put in place relative to engaging in the other U.N. processes in terms of strategies? So you're talking about strategy for IGF going forward. But -- and you just mentioned some of the other U.N. engagements. And I wonder if you formalized any of those or how you're thinking about that.
>>AMRITA CHOUDHURY: So we haven't formalized it yet, but, Titti, you can correct me. But, you know, we are interested in reaching out to the other U.N. processes and having them in the discourses.
So at this point of time, this is my -- this is what I know. But, Titti, correct me if I'm wrong.
>>CONCETTINA CASSA: Yes, you are right, Amrita. We are going to formalize some projects to reach also the U.N. agency, but at the moment we are just discussing it and preparing a proposal.
What we have used so far it the network, as there are 90 people participating to this working group. So we used a lot of network. And also the results of the discussion and also of the webinars and events that we organize to create links with the several also institutional body and people who supported us in sharing this discussion as much as possible.
>>AMRITA CHOUDHURY: And just to add on here. Amrita for the record. We would reach out to the entities once, you know, even the MAG kind of approves of it, because we are here to support the IGF and the MAG.
So based upon the requirements, we may suggest, but if the MAG feels more, we would be reaching out to those entities, because our mandate is to support the MAG and the IGF.
>>CHAIR MITCHELL: Very good. Thank you.
Does anyone else have questions or comments?
If not, then I think our next speaker is Amado.
>>AMADO ESPINOSA: Yes. Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman.
We are actually working on the strategy for engagement, outreach, and communication. And we are -- we have offered the -- proposed a specific methodology to try to approach target groups with specific messages regarding what would be -- what would be a value proposition for all of them in terms of becoming a more relevant and practical IGF inside the different stockholders that we have already placed.
I don't know, Eleonora, if you have already the document ready for us or if I have to -- or if I can share my screen?
>>ELEONORA MAZZUCCHI: Hi, Amado. I don't have the document as a link, but Luis should be able to make you a co-host so you can share your screen.
>>AMADO ESPINOSA: Okay. Then what we have -- Well, Courtney and I, we are the co-facil- -- co-chairs of this working group.
No, I cannot share my screen.
Paul, what we are pursuing right now is how to implement a very effective communication strategy in order to let the people know what IGF actually is. It's not only about an event. It's not about only what we can get from -- from the participants at this event. But IGF actually is a living activity during the whole year.
And then it's certainly very critical to recommend or to invite people to join us in these kind of efforts. And what we suggested last year was how can we implement a, let's say, intelligence here which can provide the IGF or the secretariat with the possibility, the capability to target specific groups. And the more general scope of what we are trying to pursue is displayed here at this graphic in which we are trying to approach different specific groups -- U.N., government, private sector society, academia -- and from each one of these very broad groups to try to identify the decision-makers here which would be the proper link for us. For example, at the ITU, who are the key representatives, the decision-makers of the key areas. So the different input plenipotentiary groups, the standards groups, and so on.
This is a document that we want to share with all MAG members in order to invite them to improve it. Of course also to the secretariat in order to have a very active database which can allow us to send these kind of messages, but also to have a bilateral communication, a way to get some response, some input from those groups. We learn from Anja all the activities that they are taking place at the NRIs. And of course we do want to spread the word with all these members there what are the most important documents from the IGF through this kind of resources, like these electronic communications. And how can we get a more -- a wider audience participating into our activities.
I don't want to go into a deeper detail as to how this database is supposed to work or to be placed, but I will want to share an invitation to all the MAG members and also the observers to let us know if they see a better way to segment -- to target the different groups of the different stockholders groups, and how can we actually be capable to approach those decision-makers. And, of course, then give the secretariat the opportunity to sort out the -- into the database which members belong to which groups and how can we, MAG members, prepare these messages.
That's pretty much the initiative, Paul, and I hope we can echo -- we can have a -- we can have echoed from the MAG members all the participations that we have had during this Open Consultation meeting has been really great. And if we can transform these participations into specific messages to the audience which we are trying to target to become more relevant into our society, I think it would be very helpful.
Thank you very much. And please, Courtney, feel free to add anything else.
>>COURTNEY RADSCH: Sure. Thank you so much.
So maybe just to let the MAG know and the observers know the plan is we developed a communication strategy last year that will continue to be the guiding strategy for this coming year that has a couple of key prongs, one of which Amado is talking about with respect to this database is really aimed at strengthening engagement with and outreach to and within the U.N. system as well as the promotion of the IGF 2022 preparatory process by figuring out where do we want to make sure that we're focusing, right? It's great to say, like, hey, we want to do more, but this database is designed to help us operationalize that.
In addition, we are going to continue the strategic emphasis on increasing social media impacts of the IGF and increase media coverage of the IGF. And I think to that extent it would be great to hear from MAG members. You'll recall that we also circulated a document last year at the hybrid MAG meeting asking for people to share their social media handles on whatever platforms they're willing to use and be engaged on as kind of IGF ambassadors. So we'd like to call for that again. And Eleonora I see has just shared the link. So if you could please add in your handles as we are sitting here doing this, that would be fantastic.
And part of making this -- part of this is also making it as easy as possible for IGF ambassadors and for everyone who is engaged in this community to amplify and share the messages. And so you'll continue to get communications with advice about what you can share on social media, et cetera.
I think one thing that we should discuss with this -- with this year's strategy is how to get the DCs, BPFs, and Policy Networks to engage in this strategy. The secretariat and the committee can't come up with the content for all the social media or for the media outreach, but what we emphasized last year is how a lot of the work being done here is relevant to stuff that's in the news, to issues that a lot of different stakeholders are working on and where, you know, the Internet governance dimension might not be as familiar.
And so we'd love to really emphasize and increase that outreach and communication by getting better -- more content from the various groups that you are all involved in. So, you know, when there is a BPF meeting on gender or a DC meeting on cybersecurity, you know, share that with the -- I think we need to figure out the best modality for sharing those, but let's tell some of the stories that are involved. You know, if you're doing something about cybersecurity and gender, let's put that out into the public sphere because that's a great way to get people more involved and get them excited.
And so I think part of what we'll be asking the MAG and all of the supporters who are engaged in this process is to help provide the substantive content for what we can share with media, what we can share on social media in order to generate more interest, attention, and relevance for the IGF.
So -- And hope we'll get more people involved in the working group as well.
Thanks so much.
And we can use last year's data, absolutely. I think, you know, if there are any MAG members who have signed up whose social handles have changed, please go ahead and change that.
I will say the other thing that we want to do is to create Twitter lists of, say, you know, the Twitter MAG list, just to make it really easy to follow people. We could have -- you know, maybe one thing we could ask -- exactly, BPF, DCs, PNs, to create their own lists of members or poll their members, and then we can have Twitter lists.
I think the challenge that we'll need to think about in the working group is how do we keep those updated and dynamic as people, you know, drop in and out of different coalitions and what role does the secretariat's official accounts play in that. I think that should be fine for MAG members, but, you know, we'll have to sort that out.
So for anyone who is interested in working on this with us, we really invite you to join the working group.
>>CHAIR MITCHELL: Thank you very much.
Does anyone have a question or a comment to make on this topic?
If not, I have one. Just relative to coordination of messaging and interacting with the other U.N. Internet-related programs, I wonder what plan you have and how you -- if you have a plan, and if you don't, what's the process to getting a plan? And if you do have a plan, how does it work in terms of making sure there's real coordination between messaging and the things that you're working on for the IGF? And that folds in nicely to the broader messaging that comes up; for example, with Our Common Agenda.
>>AMADO ESPINOSA: Yes, I am -- Paul, actually, that was one of the most important incentives for us, to try to build up this broad mapping on these specific partners or targets that we would like to approach, because of course we realize there is an overlapping among the different U.N. agencies and IGF in terms of what Internet governance could mean. And that's why we are mentioning here just a couple of examples. Who should be actually the person related at this position to be addressed? And of course working together with the secretariat to get the proper contact list of those people in order for us to learn not only once or twice a year what they are doing but on an ongoing basis how to exchange this kind of information, and that they help us to retweet or to resend to the mailing list they already have the messages coming out from the IGF in order for us to allow their nation members -- for example, ITU has 192 nation representatives or government representatives into their plenipotentiary committees. And if they can re-send the information that we do have already available here, then the decision-makers of those governments, of those agencies, governments, could take a look at what we are doing and helping to us build up the local organizations or to further support the local organizations in order for them to become more relevant.
In the same way to UNESCO, to WHO, to the -- of course all the activities that UN DESA already has at the local governments. And that would allow, of course, the members of the IGF to grow or to start their own group, local group at their nations. Then that would be the best way to go. I mean, to find the proper person responsible for -- for the contact with the -- with the secretariat. We already have some representatives, and we will try to build up a joint effort to do what already Courtney mentioned.
>>CHAIR MITCHELL: Very good. Thank you.
>>AMADO ESPINOSA: Thanks to you.
>>CHAIR MITCHELL: Adam, your hand is up.
>>ADAM PEAKE: Yeah, could you just go to the Gov tab, please. And just as a comment while you're doing that. Yeah, don't forget to work with the U.N. comms people and media people, because they will have messaging and distributions, et cetera.
I'm not sure why ICANN is under government, much as people think we might be the new United Nations. I shouldn't say that because we're being transcribed, so strike that. We're not a government. And so technical community might be an additional tab to add there. It would be great. Yeah, don't delete it at the moment, just so it's there.
>>CHAIR MITCHELL: Thank you.
>>AMRITA CHOUDHURY: Yeah, I just had a question for Chengetai and others. In reaching out to many of the U.N. organizations, can the working groups directly reach out or is it done through the secretariat?
>>CHENGETAI MASANGO: This should be done through the secretariat. We do have standard ways of communication. For every single IGF, we also do cooperate with the global department of communications.
So at the moment, we do -- the person who deals mostly with our communications in the office at the moment is Eleonora, so things should really go through her.
And I would discourage direct communication, because then there's, you know, so many streams of communication coming from the IGF. So we should actually be organized and not have too many streams, especially when we're dealing with our sister organizations.
Yes, I think that's all I have to say. But yes, I mean we are willing to work with anybody who wants to help with the communications. Yes.
>>CHAIR MITCHELL: Any other comments?
I just note that we have reviewed three working groups of the MAG, one on hybrid meetings, one on IGF strategy, and one on communications outreach.
I make the assumption that the MAG would like to see all of these working groups continue. And I'll ask if anyone has an objection to that. But also, is there anyone who feels that there's a working group or a topic that is missing from what we're -- what we have at this point in time?
>>ROBERTO ZAMBRANA: Thank you. No, I'm not against what all these three very fantastic work they have done so far. So far as in my personal opinion, I think they should continue.
The only thing I want to add is that we also have -- I don't know why it's not in the Web page, as it is present in 2020, 2021. I don't know why it is not present now. But we do have another working group of workshop process which have relevant work during the first part of the year because it is in this group where we discuss how the evaluation process is going to be performed. So I'm not sure. Maybe it was a decision.
I prefer to stop here and to see. Maybe Chengetai has a view about this. I'm not sure if it's going to continue or not.
>>CHENGETAI MASANGO: We -- if I may.
>>CHAIR MITCHELL: Yes, please.
>>CHENGETAI MASANGO: Yes.
No, definitely it should be there and I think maybe it's something that slipped when we shifted websites.
But it's definitely an important group. And the secretariat feels that it should definitely continue. I think it's even in their agenda. I think it's one of the last things that we suggest that the working group on workshop proposals -- or we just call it workshops -- should continue and it should be formulated and it's first task is, of course, to look at the workshop proposal form for this year which we hope to launch by first of April.
So I think -- and I do apologize for it not being on the front page. But, yes, it definitely should continue this year. That's our feeling in any case.
>>ROBERTO ZAMBRANA: Thank you very much. That was just a question. Thank you.
>>CHAIR MITCHELL: Any other questions, thoughts, concerns? Then I'll make the point that we will go forward with the existing three +1 working groups for this coming year.
And that brings us to the end pretty much of our formal agenda, I believe.
The opportunity to do a little wrapup discussion of what's been achieved in the course of the last three days and what the action items are to move forward.
Does anyone have any other action item or issue you'd like to discuss at this point in time?
So I would like to thank all of you for your participation. We have successfully, I believe, identified overarching themes and tracks. We have an action item to deal with how we will allocate our resources relative to dynamic coalitions and intersessional work.
We have had excellent reports from the existing working groups on communication, on hybrid meetings, and strategy.
There's been some open questions that have been asked across all of the groups. And clear direction in terms of where to go, I think, in the coming months as we prepare for IGF 2022.
Good, strong liaisons between working groups already are evident and good collegial attitude. We have excellent support from our secretariat. And we have, I think, a clear way forward.
Is there any closing remarks anyone would like to make before I turn it over to Myriam Said? Okay.
Then I think the floor goes to Myriam.
>>CHENGETAI MASANGO: I think we'll have to skip that. I don't think Myriam is here.
>>CHAIR MITCHELL: Okay. Then I guess --
>>CHENGETAI MASANGO: I can say just a few last words.
>>CHAIR MITCHELL: Thank you.
>>CHENGETAI MASANGO: That we will be publishing the summary report and then also on the MAG dashboard if those of you were on the orientation session, but we will also be putting the link -- an email to MAG members so we'll be putting the action items on the MAG dashboard so all MAG members can see what they have to do in the coming weeks. And we will send out the meeting invite also for the 8th. Thank you.
It will just be a two-hour session for the 8th.
>>CHAIR MITCHELL: Yes, yes. Thank you.
Anyone want to have any last word? If not --
>>AMADO ESPINOSA: Just to congratulate you, Paul, for the excellent leadership that you are showing to the group. And we really appreciate your effort, your experience, and the willingness to try for this more relevant and significant IGF. Thank you very much, Paul.
>>CHAIR MITCHELL: Thank you very much. I appreciate it.
>>AMRITA CHOUDHURY: Thank you, Paul. We had a good three days, even though it's online. But thank you and the secretariat and everyone who was involved. Really hope that we can meet face-to-face if the virus allows us.
>>CHAIR MITCHELL: I appreciate that.
And I very much want to thank the secretariat for all of the support behind the scenes and making everything work. It's -- I recognize how complicated a task it is when you're herding cats and trying to work across time zones and keep documents live during the deliberations.
So thank you to everyone and Chengetai's team and Chengetai.
And with that, I will close the meeting.
>>CHENGETAI MASANGO: Thank you.