The following are the outputs of the real-time captioning taken during an IGF virtual call. 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.
>> CHENGATAI MASANGO: Good afternoon, good morning, and good evening, everybody. Let's give it two minutes. I see the participant count is still going up. So let's give the traditional two minutes for people to still come in.
We can't hear you. You are muted. Mattia, were you saying something?
>> MATTIA FANTINATI: If you can add the link to add yourself to speak, that would be helpful.
>> CHENGATAI MASANGO: Yes, we will. Right at the beginning we will.
>>> MATTIA FANTINATI: Fantastic. Thank you.
>> CHENGATAI MASANGO: Okay. Good afternoon, morning and evening, ladies and gentlemen. Welcome to MAG virtual meeting number four. Just a quick reminder that this meeting is being recorded. And it's also being transcribed. There will be a summary report after the meeting, in a day or so and we will publish it on the IGF website.
If you don't want to speak, can you please use the speaking queue and the link is being pasted into the chat right now. So please use that. If you are unable to use the speaking queue, then you can raise your hand and somebody from the Secretariat, Luis most likely will add you to the speaking queue and so you know when to speak.
With that, I will hand over to our chair, Anriette Esterhuysen.
>> CHAIR: Thank you very much, I'm Anriette Esterhuysen from South Africa. I think this is the call where we are really going to get into the inner bones of IGF 2021. Welcome to our observers MAG members, Secretariat, Tracy our captioner, and anyone else who has joined us.
And I want to go through the agenda very briefly. I'm going to then ask Typiak, I think you are representing our host country and then we can start with our agenda.
Today we will cover updates from the Secretariat, like we always do, and then item number 3 is really very important. That's where we will give you the feedback on your prioritization of the issues which the committee has submitted and we will define next steps for finalizing IGF 2021's issues and themes.
Then we will look at the format and we have a proposal to present to you. We have already emailed it. In fact, thanks very much to those of you who that have taken time to send comments. We will present it very roughly and take a few more comments.
And then also look at next steps for finalizing the format. Hopefully we can reach consensus on least ‑‑ on at least the basic outline of that design and format. And that means we can go public with that, and it will give you more time to fill in some of the detail. That also will include looking at guidelines for having meetings and the next steps undertaken by the Working Group. And then we have any other business.
If there's time, those of you that have been working on Working Groups can report back, and I also ‑‑ you know, if there are any other items, let us know. We will cover the next steps on intersessional work on the secretariat's update. So that's the agenda. If you have comments or questions, please raise your hand.
Joyce is asking if there's a Streamtext. You have it great. Great. Thanks a lot for that Luis.
And Typiak, do you want to make any comments.
>> TYPIAK PREZEMYSLAW: Yes, our distinguished colleagues, welcome to our next MAG meeting. On behalf of the host country, I cordially welcome you to our meeting.
I'm very happy to be here with you and to discuss with you the possibilities of shaping the structure of this year's IGF 2021. We have some general thoughts and comments from the host country's perspective, but maybe let's leave it until our discussion. So I will not present them right now. Maybe I will be able to share them with you after we start our discussion.
So first of all, very, very warm welcome and I wish you a very good and lively discussion, and do hope that we will come up with the themes and possibly also on the structure of this IGF. So I do hope we make that and hope to be here with you the entire time and answer all of your questions that you might have and to be here to participate in our discussion.
Thank you so much.
Back to you, Anriette.
>> CHAIR: Thank you very much for that.
And thank you for being with us.
Now I want to hang over to Chengetai and his team who will give us the update from the Secretariat.
>> CHENGATAI MASANGO: Thank you, very much, Anriette.
Just a few quick updates. As some of you have may know, that we have started the community consultations on the new website design. So we are inviting several focus groups to come and have a virtual call and discuss several aspects of the design. For instance, usability, the user interface, and the DCAD group and anybody else that is interested to make sure that you give us the points usability, for accessibility. And we will also be posting times where we will be discussing with the other focus groups like, for instance, for the NRIs, for the MAG as well, for the dynamic coalitions, the various users and communities on the IGF website because we want to make it as user friendly and also fit for the task that we have assigned to the IGF website.
So you will be receiving further information on that through our mailing lists and it will be posted on to the IGF website.
The consultations for the paragraph 93a of the roadmap, those questions that we posted and starting off from the discussions that we had on the 22 of February, the deadline was yesterday. So we have received about 60 and we are organizing them. And we will be posting all of those responses on the website, and there will be a summary report on that.
And the third and final thing that I would like to mention, that as part of the IGF 2021 support and capacity development plan, we have published a call for NRIs to apply for financial grants if they are hosting meetings and they can be face‑to‑face meetings and they can be virtual meetings. So the call is on the website and it's open until the 15th of March. So any ‑‑ that's national, regional initiatives who would want some financial support from us. Please feel in that form and submit your application by the 15th of March.
That's all for me and let me check with Luis and Sorina, if there's anything else they would like to mention.
>> Nothing from me.
>> CHENGATAI MASANGO: Thank you very much, Anriette. Back to you.
>> CHAIR: Basically, everyone, the Secretariat looked at resources and what they can approve is two policy networks, the policy network on environment which has already been established, and the policy network on universal and meaningful access.
In terms of BPFs, they can support along as BPFs, the Best Practice Forum on cybersecurity and the Best Practice Forum on gender and access.
I hope I'm not leaving anything out here. The Best Practice Forum on data governance access has been approved but to work in collaboration with the policy network in environment. What that means is the BPF will probably start off as a BPF but as the policy network and environment gets off the ground, they will collaborate and establish how to work in ‑‑ and work together in ‑‑ in a kind of way that dovetails and rationalizes use of resources.
The Best Practice Forum on local content proposal and the Best Practice Forum on sustained committed actions or committed actions for sustainable connectivity have both been accepted as components of the policy network on universal and meaningful access.
So they would work ‑‑ and we are still in the presence of developing that proposal. We have until the 15 March how to integrate the priorities that those two Best Practice Forum proposals contained, but into this broader policy network on universal and meaningful access.
Anja, have I left anything out?
>> ANJA GENO: No, I think you covered well. Maybe just with respect to timeline, because we received a couple of emails.
>> CHAIR: I think you should go ahead to do that.
>> ANJA GENO: Thank you to the MAG members who wrote to the MAG chair for the timelines for the policy networks. The policy network, we have seen and we thank you for helpful comments to finalize the proposal now as it is then, and we hope by the end of this month to have the multi‑stakeholder Working Group also constituted. We will be working with the facilitators of the proposed BPFs that feed into this policy network on meaningful access, and, of course, the MAG will be informed on everything. We have what could be the provisional timelines and we will inform in writing on in as well. And as for the policy network on environment, we internally are having a lot of communication with those that will most probably be members of the stakeholder Working Group.
And just this morning, we started with the proposal, the facilitators of the BPF of the environment, that it won't be a standalone but an integrated part of this policy network, we are going to discuss further on how can we proceed in this interim period until the multi‑stakeholder Working Group is constituted to report on what could be gathering of the data for the BPF. That much I can say on the timeline.
>> CHAIR: Thank you very much. And just one more thing that some MAG members have asked for a schedule, a work plan, and I have discussed that with the Secretariat. They said we are ready to do that, as long as we define the thematic tracks, in other words after today's meeting hopefully. So I can promise MAG members who asked for that and I can see why you need that, because you want to plan your time for the rest of the year.
I promise by the end of March, you will get a document that is similar to the existing timeline that you have seen already, but gives you a much clearer indication of when you should set aside time for work on program development, on session evaluation and so on. So I wanted to note that I have sign that request from MAG members that have been sent to me off life and we will respond to that.
>> CHENGATAI MASANGO: I would just like to add.
>> CHAIR: Go ahead.
>> CHENGATAI MASANGO: For the P & E consultant, we expect them be on board in two weeks and for the rest of the consultants, it will take us about a minimum ‑‑ well, a minimum of a month ‑‑ let me put the minimum figure, the minimum of a month to six weeks to get that.
>> CHAIR: And I see there's a question from Carlos Alfoso about existing mailing list for BPFs that exists or the BPF on local content. Can you just give them some guidelines on setting up mailing lists maybe rebranding or renaming mailing lists?
>> CHENGATAI MASANGO: Yes, I mean, there's a choice. We can either use existing mailing list or we can just ask Luis to ‑‑ to set up a new mailing list and if it's a new BPF, not continuing like for the cybersecurity one, that's continuing. So that's fine.
But if it's a new subject, then I would suggest starting a new one so that people can sign on to that one if they don't want to continue.
So Luis can set that up and set up the pages for the policy networks and Best Practice Forums for the new ones, yeah.
>> CHAIR: Since we have more time, perhaps we should have a meeting next week with MAG members involved with BPF and policy networks and then we can have a quick discussion amongst ourselves about protocol for lists and web pages and web spaces and so on. That might be a useful thing for us to do. I'm not saying we can't go ahead with the proposal. If local content is important, I think it's important to make it clear to the community that that is what it is, but that doesn't mean that it's based on the local content within the broader framework of the policy network.
Rather than take everyone's time on this I think let's have a ‑‑ talk to Luis about what is possible and then we can communicate with everyone, all the MAG members involved in this. Is that okay?
Okay. I think let's move on to ‑‑ if there are no other questions. There's no one in the speaking queue. So thanks very much for those updates to Anja and Chengetai. Let's move open to number three, which is the prioritization of issues for IGF 2021 and this is actually an activity that we have gone into quite a lot of depth. The background is that we had a call for issues that closed at the end of January. There as an analysis done of that call based on the high‑level categories that people put toward and that was presented and discussed during the open consultation in the week of 22 February.
And Sorina gave us a detailed analysis of what the clusters were, but there was also a call then for MAG members about wanting to look not just at those themes but looking at the issues that people put forward. So the issue was not a call for themes but about issues. And the Secretariat looked at that again. An issue‑driven approach which was also proposed ‑‑ the MAG Working Group strategy working point and basically came up with seven clusters and cross‑checked how those clusters matched the original thematic prioritization that was presented during the opening consultation and the result was presented to all of you with a request for you to prioritize which cluster of issues we should focus on. We wanted you to look at the specific issues and I really hope you did that.
For me, my takeaway from the exercise our community has specific issues that they want the IGF to address. I think the community does like the idea of an IGF that is focused on specific issues. Not everyone did, but most did. I think it's worth MAG members times to do that.
Sorina is going to present to you which issue clustered you focused.
So Sorina, I will ask you to share your screen and show the MAG what we came up with and then we should have a discussion about how to proceed.
So Sorina, over to you.
>> SORINA: Hello, Luis, could you please make me a cohost so I can share my screen?
So hopefully you can now see my screen and I will go quickly through what you see here as Anriette had just said, we looked at how the MAG members that have responded to the survey have prioritized the clusters, the clusters proposed. And we looked at both the prioritization of the top or the main issue or cluster and the top first and second, and then the top first, second and the third, just to, you know, get a more clarity into what exactly you prioritized and that list for 2021, results were pretty much similar across all three stuff we looked at.
Based on the first three clusters that MAG members prioritized, so economic and social inclusion and human rights, and universal access and meaningful connectivity. These are the three clusters in bold. And then also very closely following would be trust, security and stability, and digital cooperation.
Then for 2022, the results are pretty much similar in the first two clusters. So economic and social inclusions and human rights and universal access but then there's a difference in the sense that trust, security and stability has been more prioritized for 2022 than emerging regulations. That's the only big difference.
But anyway, we are now focusing on 2021. So, again, the top three clusters are economic, social inclusions and human rights. And then emerging regulation, and then universal access and meaningful connectivity. The order is not exactly the same if you look at the top first, top first and second, but top, first, second and third.
I think I can stop here and I will also share the link to the Google Doc so you can look at it further.
>> CHAIR: Thank you very much, Sorina. I think we had 27 responses. I'm not sure Luis. So over 50% of MAG members. I would have liked it to be more, but it's still a substantive number of MAG members.
Some of the comments we received suggested that some of these clusters could be merged. For example, some people felt that consumer protection and rights could be part of emerging regulation. Some people felt that inclusive IG and trust belong together because it's about an environment of trust.
But we felt at this point, we didn't want to do more generalization. We actually wanted to present it to the MAG in this form, and now we need to look at next steps. So I will give you a rough idea of what I think our next steps or the way in which to work with, and then open the floor for comments.
The way I analyze the response. There are priorities. I think clearly it's broadly defined issues around inclusion economic and social inclusion and rights. And if you look at the issues within that, it's much more than classical human rights. It's everything from economic opportunities and the interest of particular groups of people, such as those with disabilities access is a priority.
Many felt it was really important priority. That included issues around content regulation, as well as around regulation of data protection and privacy. So you will see again it's a fairly important issue. What I think stands out for me is that there is a prioritization. I think we can use that as the focus areas to respond to the demand for more focused on outcome oriented IGF. Would propose that the MAG decides to work with either two or three of those areas that are prioritized and make that the main focus of the IGF program.
But I would like to suggest that we capture a track to are these people. People feel they are important. Environment, for example, and we know that it's important that ‑‑ an issue area that may not have a mass number of people focusing on it, but it's one that those would do focus on it feel is very important and it's also a long‑term, a future oriented. So I'm proposing a two‑teared approach for 2021. Very focused area on issues that achieve a more outcome oriented IGF, of discussion that's more in‑depth.
But another component that would allow them to submit suggestion proposals on these other areas. So that's essentially what I would like to suggest. I think this is consistent with the fact that we have to recognize that the host country has planned for a big IGF in terms of the facilities and there are ten rooms, ten parallel sessions. And they have not been given a narrow IGF.
That's why I think it's useful to have some issues that we treat as priority focused outcome oriented issues and other issues which are open for discussion but maybe treated in a slightly different way. So that's really what I have to take. I think we should form MAG Working Groups to do the next round of refinement of looking at not just clusters and the descriptions that we wrote, but the actual issues and to best on that. For how we should put the call out to session proposals.
I think that depends on how we street all the sessions out. I think it should be fit to purpose on the one hand, the more focused and the other open ended treatment.
So I'm going to switch off my camera and open up the floor. I know there's a lot to absorb here. I encourage you to make suggestions and ask questions. Sorina. Perhaps you can share your screen. Or perhaps will you Luis ‑‑ maybe you should share the descriptions of the issues which is on the website.
Adam, thank you very much. I see that you requested the floor.
>> ADAM PEAKE: I thought I might as well start thing bees off. Thinking about focusing the IGF usually, I think we saw quite a lot of comments that it's quite difficult to navigate the IGF. There's quite scattered agenda of issues and so the idea of focusing on some topics.
When I looked at the prioritization, I thought that economics and social inclusion and particularly the description part of that was the priority that I selected. And I thought that universal access and meaningful connectivity was also a high priority, not just because of the issues, but the work that has been done, the fact that we have a new policy network forming on this.
I thought those two issues were very closely aligned. I think this was a proposal from Canada and that was submitted describing inclusion as one of the sort of highlight areas that we have seen emerge during the pandemic.
Access connectivity being another and I wondered if we could treat those two almost collectively. I'm not saying that access is a subset, but they seem to mix very well together.
And if that were the approach, it would give us a strong focus for the topics. I also feel that emerging regulation is extremely important and it's an issue that will run for some time, and could work sort of in tandem, sort of hand in hand with this inclusion access connectivity sort of theme and trend. And the others would in some ways fit within that sort of basket that would be created of economics, access connectivity, and the emerging regulation.
The only one that doesn't particularly, I felt was environmental sustainability. We have a policy network here. We have something that's working towards outcomes in its own rights, environmental data and so on.
And, of course, it's a global issue that everybody is absolutely aware of the environmental issues that are facing us globally and governance issues are extremely important. I wonder if we see three things here, one which is the largest overall focus, the first two boxes, the second economics, the one is at the bottom, universal access. I'm not reading of it this. A strong thread on emerging regulation and then an absolute global priority of environmental sustainability and then trying to make sure that the other topics and themes that are mentioned in those other sort of clusters are included in those sort of those these baskets as it were.
I will be quiet now.
>> CHAIR: Thanks, Adam.
So see anyone else ‑‑ unless someone objects, I'm actually going to suggest that you discuss this issue in groups for a few minutes, just so we get you talking about this.
So unless there is suddenly a substantial raising of hands, I'm going to ‑‑ Typiak, you have the floor. Please go ahead.
>> TYPIAK PRZEMYSLAW: Yes, thank you very much. Just a question of clarification, if I may. Connected with what Carlos wrote on the chat, are we assuming for overarching theme or three or how many of them?
And my second question is looking at this document, I see that the issue for this year, the trust and security, it received as much as emerging regulations. Put it's not in bold. Is there any particular reason for that or it has not been eye lighted somehow? Thank you.
>> CHAIR: Typiak, the reason for that, if we look at the number of votes or the number of people that felt ‑‑ that put it in their top priority, then emerging regulation got more than trust security and stability, but we add up the ranking of first, second and third position, then they are same. But if we look at the distribution of that ranking then emerging regulation is weighted as more important. That's why it was not put into bold but you are right. If we add up people that place them in the first, second and third position, then they are the same. But if we look at just first, then there are more choices for emerging regulation than for just. In response to your question, I think this is what the MAG must decide.
I think that do we want to have ‑‑ if we are trying to have more in‑depth discussion and more outcome oriented discussion. Do we have three tracks or three themes or four? That really is up for you to decide.
>> CHENGATAI MASANGO: Ananda.
>> ANANDA KHANAL: This is Ananda from Nepal. My argument has not been accepted so far. An issue should be discussed in MAG or in IGF, when it has not been accepted as an issue in the global, regional and national strategies and priorities. Once they are established, as an issue, they are under the implementation process, I don't think that other discussions has any significant contribution in that.
So if some issues are not at all established as an issue, either in national or regional or global forum, I think MAG or this IGF should take up some issues.
For example, inclusion is very much an issue that is accepted by all Member States around the world. So further discussion on inclusion, access, I don't think we can further contribute in the process. It's ‑‑ it's important. It's relevant, but what is our contribution? What it is already accepted by Member States, whether ‑‑ where there is already programs, there's a lot of money invested in making access, you know, affordable and of quality, and meaningful access, et cetera.
So my argument is if it is not established as an issue in the national, regional or international forum, it should be given high priority.
They are very important because we generate awareness that this is uses are very, very important and critical that should go down to a national level and that should be reflected in their policies and strategies.
Thank you very much.
>> CHAIR: Ananda, I saw that comment. I didn't know where it was from because the responses were anonymized and I think that's a valuable consideration. But we also need to be responsive to what the community asked us to focus on. And I think, you know, IGF is not just for Member States. It's for all stakeholder groups and sometimes there are different perspectives on these issues. And I think of the ‑‑ in fact one of the issues that was submitted to the IGF was actually raising the question, in that ‑‑ in response to the call for issues. It was saying why when we know what the solutions are, are they not implemented?
I think your point is completely valid, but I think it's also useful to have a multi‑stakeholder discussion, like inclusion, why are we not making sufficient progress? There's different ways of looking at that, but it's definitely a criteria that can be applied by the MAG, your perspective.
But I now need to know ‑‑ I need from more of new plenary or I will ask Luis to break you into groups.
I think Luis, plenary is better. Does that mean you are ready to speak?
>> MARIA PAZ CANALES: Yeah, sure. I don't think have I in issue speaking right now. The reason I think the plenary is better for this purpose because I think there's a need of everyone to be able to know that their perspectives are being considered by the whole group. I think if we break out in groups, some of that is maybe lost and not well captured for the summaries of the report. So I think that is better in this stage because it's a very relevant question for the rest of the planning of the IGF that we stay all together and we are able to hear each other precisely because of the things like Ananda, it's important to hear from the different stakeholders.
So adding my two cents to the discussion, I ‑‑ I agree that this is a lot of commonalty between the inclusion and connectivity of this. And a lot of challenge of how we are going out in this space hopefully in the following years and how we learn from the experiences that we have it during this very hard period about how to make more resilient and participatory the digital space.
I think in that sense, it will fit also in a good way from a progression of last year's ideas in terms of like acknowledging that the ‑‑ the challenge for the future now will be how to ensure if any and all the situations like this happen in the future, we will be able to respond of what works in the recent year.
And I think adding those two elements, the environmental component and the future perspective of humanity as a whole. That being said, I think that the issue ‑‑ the regulatory cluster, the discussion of the emerging regulatory issues cluster is very relevant and it could have some sort of novelty of adding to the IGF as a fourth pillar of the discussion. And they were suggesting that the consumer rights issue fits very well inside that track and that's my experience working with these issues that's one of the components of the issues that's being integrated.
Think the competitive, and the human rights protection will be four ways in which we can address this new cluster that it will be included in the future.
And, again, in terms of consistency of the narrative of what will be presented in the IGF, I think this is also an element of resilience of the future. Now we are realizing some of the challenges that we have with the current functioning of the Internet. And so it's another way to add to the pillar of more resilient and inclusive Internet for the future.
So thank you. That's helpful.
>> CHAIR: Actually, it was you who talked about merging consumer rights and protection and regulation. We almost did that. And there were not many specific subcommissions on consumer rights. And so we thought it was worth highlighting it but it can merge.
Maria Paz, before you stop talking, what would be your proposal in terms of firstly how many focus areas we should have? Then secondly, this idea of having this treatment as Adam was saying the basket. The basket of priority issues and then a basket of other issues. Are you okay with that and how would you approach that?
>> MARIA PAZ CANALES: Treating these as four pillars it makes sense. They look at the issue of resilience from different perspective. The thing I'm struggling more is about the draft of the Internet and I think it's very relevant from the actors. And we can't leave it out. The other way to look at is in inclusivity ‑‑ I'm sorry, inclusion, and economic rights because at the end the draft is a being able to use the Internet inclusive. In the end, it's like a side way of protecting that.
And because of the novelty, it will make sense to concentrate inclusion and rights and connectivity of the main two topics and to consider that the two emerging areas of discussion will be environmental issues that we incorporate into the plan last year and the regulatory discussion.
I think that that makes sense also because the reality is those two are more novelties that have been added to the Internet forums. The other two have been around forever in the Internet government, but I think they deserve a different look from the perspective from the learning that the pandemic has given us.
>> CHAIR: Yes. In fact, if you look at how the issues were submitted by the community, many of them did contextualize those issues within the broader pandemic and post‑pandemic content. Any other reactions or suggestions for how to proceed?
Nicola Frank you have your hand up and then Courtney.
>> NICOLA FRANK: Thank you. And hello, everybody. I had a comment to make. I mean, I think I would agree what Maria Paz said generally, and also what was said before that a lot of discussion has already been taken place about, you know, how things should happen, but they are not happening. So in a way, the next step is probably to look at regulation, because you have a lot of guidelines. I mean there are ‑‑ a lot of discussions have been done on how to improve universal access and connectivity and a lot of other issues. So the next step is certainly to look at regulation in a way. And we see that is happening at the E U. level and other places.
So in a way, one could probably regroup if we wanted to, the universal ‑‑ I mean, several things and then look and combine them with regulation in some way. I mean, I don't have now the wonderful solution for it, but there should be a possibility of doing that. Then I ‑‑ what I find is important is trust, security and stability, which I mean from a content perspective and I represent public forecasts which is extremely important for us. It's very important to combine this with the content and the data issues.
I know, you have to group ‑‑ you have to make some ‑‑ you have to decide on some issues. So it's always difficult to have everything everywhere. And in terms of number of focus areas if we could decide on three, maximum four, that would be really good. Thank you.
>> CHAIR: Thanks very much, Nicola.
Courtney and then Gunela and then Joyce. And everyone, always remember to introduce yourselves, please.
>> COURTNEY RADSCH: I'm Courtney Radsch, and I'm a MAG member. I think we should have no more than three main themes but then we should see whether one can be broadly conceived which would allow the community to fill in with what they think that means.
I think emerging regulation is really one of those buckets. I mean, here it's talking about market structure content and date. There is no reason that could not include inclusivity, and if we consider it normative and there are many forms of regulation, if we convey, that that would be really interesting because emerging regulation tells us like where we are going and where we are headed.
And then I think a strain on rights broadly conceived as you suggested, Anriette, because there's so much support for that and the economic, social inclusion and human rights.
I felt that consumer rights is much too narrow of what the Internet is about. And that seems like it's included in the economics as well. So it seemed redundant.
I wonder if we can combine universal activity and connectivity and trust security and stability. As we heard over the past several weeks is to get towards a little bit more action relevant discussions and combining the needs to respond to the community's interest in continuing to discuss access and meaningful connectivity because, again, understanding, dynamics of these issues evolve over time but maybe putting that lens of trust, security and stability would be really important. So that's ‑‑ those are some of my thoughts. Thank you.
>> CHAIR: Thanks. I think the only thing I would caution here is that, that ‑‑ if we want to treat these issues in the IGF in such a way that we have actually have quite in‑depth discussion, then we probably want to plan for a process where you don't just have, you know, hundreds of workshops on different components of that issue. You might want to also have different types of sessions. And sessions where you, you know, get people together to elaborate what the issues are. Then you have lots of different workshops and then you come together. So I think just keep that in mind as well.
If we do want to treat these issues in enough depth to come up with outputs that are going to be of interest, we ‑‑ we need to allow for the space of that. But I think your reasoning makes complete sense.
So Gunela you are next.
>> GUNELA ASTBRINK: This is Gunela Astbrink, a MAG member. We hear a bit of a trend here. I had also made a comment when I submitted the priorities about economic and social inclusion, human rights and the connectivity and overlap with some of the issues on universal access and meaningful connectivity. And you keep on hearing that from a few others. And I'm just ‑‑ I see that we can really work with that quite well, because there is so much connection with the various issues underlying those two clusters.
And if we decide to go down that path, we really do need to find a good title for it, because it becomes very long and it needs to indicate what it's representing but it also needs to be reasonably succinct. So that's one comment.
I also made the observation, of consumer rights and protection, it's a global issue, but it's often dealt with by Member States in regard to regulation in a number of cases. And ‑‑ and while emerging regulation looks at higher level issues, there is a possible maybe to fold some of the consumer rights and protection issues under that, but it needs to be clarified a little bit. So they are probably my main comments when it comes to clusters and issues and I agree with a number of others about maybe having three main topics, and ‑‑ or clusters and then looking at some other cluster where other key topics need to be explored but it should also not be a mishmash of a bit of everything. I'm not sure how that could be handled.
I'm also keen that environment sustainability and climate change be covered. It seems to be such an important issue going forwards and we recognize that in a number of ways. So how the Internet can make a difference but also recognizing that it can also contribute in a number of ways to environmental issues.
So those are my main comments. Thank you.
>> CHAIR: Thanks very much, Gunela.
>> JOYCE CHEN: Thank you very much, Anriette. I'm Joyce Chen, a MAG member. I heard all the different suggestions and comments on how to deal with this. As part of the technical community I'm a bit worried that trust, security and stability have not quite made the top three. And just sort of racing through my mind, I'm just wondering, like proposals from the technical community, where would they fall under? It's not that easy. I have one question and one comment. One question would be if somebody has a proposal, say for environment, or consumer will rights or cybersecurity, and committed that, would that even have a chance of being accepted? Or would we necessarily need to exclude them because they are not falling under any of the themes? That has my question.
And then my comment is I quite like the idea of having fewer themes, so we could maybe even consider having just two say inclusion and human rights and meaningful connectivity as two of the mainstays. I think every single year we see that these two themes come up top all the time, and it seems like focus does not shift is way from this area. They could be mainstay type of things.
Then for something like emerging regulation, maybe it could be not so much a theme, but we could name it as in the spotlight. This is an issue that the IGF thinks is in the spotlight. It gains so much support from the community. There's a bit of distinction. If people want to have proposals that's more topical, really a hot topic kind of thing, they could submit it for this particular theme. I wanted to have a different take on this, something new and refreshing.
>> CHAIR: Thanks, Joyce. That's a great idea. In response to your question. (Background noise).
In response to your question, Joyce, I mean when ‑‑ when I ‑‑ certainly when I looked at the issues, they were anonymized. So I didn't know who submitted the issues. So we clustered the issued just based on what was in them, not based on which stakeholder groups committed them. But I can tell you there are issues of a technical nature in all the cluster. So I want say that technical. I think there's more proposals from the technical community under inclusion, social and economic inclusion than there would be under trust, security and stability. You know, for example, universal acceptance, that sort of thing.
I think what is important for the MAG, when the MAG does the next task which is to develop the framing of how we put out the call to community I think it's important that whatever tracks we select that they are framed in such a way that you invite perspectives from all subject matter groups. You can look at them from a business lens, a civil society lens. You know, they need to be treated in a holistic way, I think or at least have ‑‑ have a total mix of work shops or sessions that treat these issues in these different ways. So I think it's risk to think of one track that's open to the technical community. I think it's important that we frame the call for session proposals in such a way that it invites all stakeholder groups and apply their thinking to that particular topic. I it helps to answer that.
If not, let me know in the chat. And next I call to the floor Mattia.
>> MATTIA FANTINATI: They are crossing the border. They are unlocking themselves ‑‑
>> Can you hear me because I have a bit of noise in the background.
>> MATTIA FANTINATI: I think so.
>> CHAIR: This is noisy, but we can hear you.
>> MATTIA FANTINATI: My comments, I will give a little bit more, is to give another point of view is that who we are talking to. I mean, we are able to if find another point of view, maybe we speak to our audience about these kind of things. So we can just collect and group this cluster in even, I think, two or three main clusters, as far as you say. And I think that's just like the main aspects, the different aspects of the three kind of holders one is defined by the economic topics, point number two, economic and social inclusion, market structures. So I think this is a Chasse that could be interested more interested by companies and all the people to refer to the economic topics.
The second one, I think this could be the topics about the inclusion that it's leaving no one behind. I mean, it could be a topic of inclusion and consumer rights and protection.
And the third cluster that I think it could be about the policymakers and so try to find out the sort of agreements between ‑‑ to find out the framework on perhaps with you have been developing. This is my point of view. I don't know if I'm being clear, but I think that it's something that I could give. Thank you very much.
>> CHAIR: Thanks very much, Mattia. I think we did capture that. I wanted to check, Sorina, did you manage to get all of Mattia's comments?
>> SORINA: Yes, thank you.
>> CHAIR: It's the transcript. Good. So thank you for that, Mattia.
Next we have Roberto ‑‑ no, I'm sorry, Paul Charlton and then our last speaker, unless someone jumps into the cue very quickly, on this topic will be Roberto Zambrana and then we will look at next steps. Paul, you have the floor.
>> PAUL CHARLTON: Yes, hello. Hello, everyone, and good morning, good afternoon, good evening.
I just wanted to comment and first of all, I should apologize because I was cut off in the meeting for technical reasons for a few minutes. And so I hope I'm not being too repetitive. I wanted to support the proposal that you made at the outset, Anriette about having first of all, the minimum of three themes and support specifically your proposal of the two themes, the inclusion and universal access.
I think they are clearly quite popular and top of mind for the stakeholders that came out in the consultation and I think as well, that there are a lot of subissues to tackle there and as you and others mentioned Anriette, these issues, they have a lot of elements that relate to specific stakeholder groups. There are, you know, obviously human rights is included and inclusion. There are security issues relating to inclusion and access. So I think we can work within those two broad themes.
I wanted to ask because of just the whole issue that, of course, we dealt with last year on the issue of COVID or the Internet in an emergency and I just want to know how Anriette and you and other members of the MAG think of dealing with that.
Hopefully by December, COVID will be mainly behind us and it won't be top of issue as it is right now and I'm not suggesting that it be a separate track, but I'm more suggesting it may come up in the two broader themes that we have been talking about of inclusion and access or would it be dealt with sort of as environment, as kind of secondary theme for this year that may cut across the two main themes? And I also just wanted to ask just for clarity on the process where we go, if we agree on two or three themes, as we mentioned, it will be very important to be as specific as we can as to what they entail. I was hoping we can elaborate on what the next stage would be, in taking the themes we agree upon and drawing out specific issues as we talked about at the open consultation so that within our themes, we can have sort of specific and directed discussions.
That's all I wanted to say for now. Thank you.
>> CHAIR: Thanks, Paul. Thanks, Paul. And before I give the floor to Roberto to answer you quickly on, that I think that there definitely was a ‑‑ when of the submissions were concerned with the pandemic context. It's interesting because I think people are reflecting on how do you approach ‑‑ how do you get Internet Governance to support a more interconnected world that responds to policy in a time of crisis.
There were quite a few people who submitted on the role of Internet and Internet policy to encourage public access to health data and sharing of data across borders, sharing of research and evidence.
So I think that it might very well be not that difficult for the MAG to have that in the ‑‑ I think we had a similar theme last year, resilience in times of crisis.
It would watch well the motto and the theme of the host country which is Internet united.
In terms of next steps, I will respond to that after Roberto has had a chance to speak.
>> ROBERT ZAMBRANA: I'm Robert Zambrana. I'm a second year MAG member. It's really interesting about the suggestions about combined ‑‑ trying to combine some of these items. The risk is that we are not going to have a very focused‑oriented IGF and I think that's one of our mandates that we need to pursue.
So we need to think about that while we try to combine some of these things. The second reflection that I would like to make as some said before, there are some issues, particularly universal access, meaningful connectivity that are ‑‑ have been repeatedly asked to be one of the issues during the last year and this is still an issue that has not been solved. In our ‑‑ particularly in global south countries. So it's going to and it will continue to be asked until we get some advances in this matter. So we need to keep that in mind.
And finally, we also need to remember that if we think about this ‑‑ these two items, the second one, economic and social inclusion, and this seventh one, universal access, we need to remember that universal and meaningful access is an enabler for the economic and the social inclusion. So those are related items, but different at the same time.
Thank you very much.
>> CHAIR: Thank you very much, for that Roberto. That is useful input. We need to move on to the next agenda item. What I would like to propose as next steps ‑‑ I think what emerges for me is that the initial step is to reach closure on the spotlight things and whether we are do any reclusterring of the things ‑‑ or the clusters as we have at the moment and definitely, I think most people agree there shouldn't be more than three. But there does also seem to be openness to treating some clusters in a slightly different way and focus on them more.
The next step, once we have decided what the issue clusters are that we prioritize, is to define them, further define them and develop the subissues and prepare in that way for the call for sessions.
So what I would like to do is ask MAG members, firstly, to volunteer to ‑‑ to do the first task which is to look at the prioritization and take on all the discussion and the responses of MAG members when they responded to the prioritization and come to us with their proposal for what should be the structure and focus in terms of content, issues and themes for IGF 2021.
Once they have done that, we will break up into groups and so let's assume that economic and social inclusion and human rights remains an area of priority. Then there would be a group of MAG members that looks at that and all the issues that have been submitted and they might want to look at some of the other clusters to see if they would fit that up and they would break that up into subissues look at how to structure the call for session proposals.
Towards the goal that we have substantive discussion and that's fairly outcome oriented. I would say if I could ask ‑‑ I will mention their names here. They can decline, but they have had a lot of experience of, working with this process, Maria Paz, would you be available to help with that and maybe Paul? Paul Charlton, if you are available. If you can just act as kind of facilitators of a group of MAG members to work on this. That would give us the overall structures and themes and then the next step is to have separate groups working on separate issue areas.
Is that okay? Is everyone comfortable with that.
So we have Paul and Maria Paz facilitating. We will set up a mailing list. And the Secretariat will give you all the information you need for your proposal.
Certainly for my several and Sorina, we have gone through this material in a lot of depth and I think it's important that we have MAG eyes and MAG decision making on how to proceed.
So is that okay as our immediate next step? We can work with you off list on timeline, but I have to also convey, you know, from Poland's perspective and also from the Secretariat's perspective, we do need to be able to tell the world what IGF 2021 will focus on.
So I think that is ‑‑ I think by the end of March, he want to have clarity on what IGF 2021 will look like.
Chengetai, do you want to weigh in on timelines in any way?
Okay. I think I don't see anyone else responding or calling for the floor. So I'm assuming there's no objections to that as a way forward.
>> CHENGATAI MASANGO: Sorry, I was muted, but that's fine.
>> CHAIR: What did you say, Chengetai.
>> CHENGATAI MASANGO: I was muted, but it was fine. I was underlining what you said that it is critical for us to have at least the main themes so we can prepare, advertise, et cetera, the IGF 2021 meeting.
>> CHAIR: Well, if this group that is going to work on the overarching themes can complete their work by end of next week, the other group can have the subthemes.
I think one thing that is very important is really specificity. I think generalities ‑‑ we tend to start clustering issues. It's a human condition. We classify. We are the species that classify all other species and we classify ideas. And I think the one remainder is not lose the specificity. Let's not end up with generality and categories that sound topical and interesting. There's so much detail in those issues that the community have submitted and I think we ‑‑ we should really look at that detail and try and respond to it in a practical way.
So thanks, everyone. We have next steps and we will work offline with MAG members who are interested in that. MAG members, who are interested in, start typing your name in the chat. Thanks to Maria Paz and Paul Charlton for allowing me to volunteer you, as old ‑‑ old in experience, not old in years.
The next agenda item is number four, and we have just about 40 minutes left for meeting. I think we are doing okay for time.
So the other goal that we had for today's call is to decide on an overall format and dates for IGF 2021 process. Based on the discussion during the open consultation, and MAG meeting, which in itself was based open the stock taking feedback we got from the community, we have developed a proposal. So I want to present it to you very briefly. Thanks to those of you who already submitted comments. I urge you to make those comments today as well.
Thank you very much. Anja has put that proposal on the screen. I will run through it very briefly and then I will open the floor to questions.
So this proposal ‑‑ sorry, Anja, this is the wrong document. This is not version two.
>> ANJA GENO: Actually, thank you.
>> CHAIR: It looks like version two, but it doesn't say version two. But it might be version two. I'm just ‑‑ just checking.
>> ANJA GENO: It's a document you sent to the MAG list but let me double check.
>> CHAIR: That's correct then. So essentially what we are proposing is that we look at the IGF 2021 through a plan A, plan B and plan C. One of the feedbacks that we received in the stock taking based on IGF 2020 is that people felt that we made the decision to go from a face‑to‑face ‑‑ fully face‑to‑face event and phased event too late. So we tried to come up early on.
So plan A is for ‑‑ assuming ‑‑ and that's what we would like, that all travel restrictions have been lifted and we can have a face‑to‑face like a traditional IGF.
Plan B is assuming that some travel restrictions remain, particularly for people from the global south, who might not yet have access to vaccinations, et cetera, but there will be a face‑to‑face event as well.
Plan C is for the scenario of there being perhaps a resurgent of the virus and new variants and have a face‑to‑face event is not post‑pandemic in. I think plan C is very unlikely. I think plan A is likely. I think plan B is not something we can rule out. And so the principle behind this proposal is we take these into being and that we plan for an event which can in fact accommodate all of these but we focus on plan A. Because that is really what we want.
If we go down to the table, Courtney is asking for modality for the feedback.
So it would have been through the email list, but please give feedback now as well.
What we are proposal is two phases. Or I should say a preparatory phase and an annual forum. We keep it very light and not as elaborate and it's really focused on providing input to the annual forum on the IGF 2021 priority issue areas and in the proposal, you will see we make suggestions that we could ‑‑ the MAG could invite NRIs to have sessions that focus on MAG 2021 priority issues which they can feed into the annual forum. And there's also the option to have an intersessional event. So there's certain sessions there. I won't go into detail.
The Val view is twofold. On the one hand, it allows us to have preparatory discussions. It helps IGF to have the goal of deeper discussions on fewer issues that's more outcome oriented. The second goal, it can help us achieve is inclusion. Inclusion in time zones and those who can't travel, and language. We can keep it fairly low, and we have Best Practice Forums so that we use the existing IGF community. It's important that we keep it fairly light. We don't want to make it too demanding with too many sessions.
This preparatory phase will also include capacity development, and some of the capacity development will be for session organizers on moderation. You know, the list came out of the stock taking and there could be some capacity development sessions on the substantive issue areas that IGF‑21 is dealing with.
And then the second part, in the main part, this is IGF 2021 will be an annual forum, that takes place from 6 to 10 December, in Katowice, but it will assume a hybrid form. So it will maximize virtual participation through various means which we still need to explore and find, you know, what the best ways of doing that. We have a lot of input from the stock taking that we can build on.
There are some constraints such as the time zone of the venue and of the host country and of the tech staff that will support that event, interpreters and so on. So there can be some extension of the time zone margins to make it more inclusive, but it will still have limitations in the sense that the annual forum will be hosted and be part of that hosted event.
We are also looking at the MAG Working Group on hybrid meetings. Coming up we created proposals how to keep it accessible. So it will be a four‑Dave event. And I think that's essentially it. Anja, if you can scroll down, I'm not sure if I left out anything important. There's some suggestions about introducing lightning sessions and networking sessions and on. And so there are so many decisions that have to be made, such as the total number of sessions and exactly the type of sessions, parallel tracks and so on. I would like very broad feedback on the overall structure of this, which is to have a light, preparatory phase from June to the end of November. And then the annual forum from 1 to 6 December, which is face‑to‑face with a virtual component.
So I open the floor.
>> CHENGATAI MASANGO: It's 6 to 10 December, right?
>> CHAIR: Yes. Do you want to add anything, Anja before people join the queue?
>> ANJA GENO: No thank you, Anriette. Thank you.
>> CHAIR: Courtney, please go ahead.
>> COURTNEY RADSCH: Thank you. I managed to reset my log‑in for the speaking queue. Thank you, Anriette. This is Courtney Radsch. I think the proposal for preparatory phases sounds good and the timeline makes a lot of sense.
I think in terms of thinking about the realistic scenarios that the first option is not realistic. And I want ‑‑ I think it's important to realize that even in some of the more developed countries that have early access to the vaccine, private employers are not necessarily allowing their staff to travel in 2021.
So I think we should definitely focus on primarily number two as the format and really think about how we, you know, focusing on that and just given the developments in terms the different variants and all of that, that we make a very robust consideration for the third track.
And I wonder if whether there's some possible of, you know this ‑‑ how we have talked about having kind of an extra track that is not necessarily in the core themes that maybe that track could be all virtual, and thus taking place across time zones.
I hads wanted to note that on the proposal for the working hours. I think it says 8 to 11:00. I know that there have been a lot of discussion a couple of weeks ago about compressing the time for the in‑person event and I want to suggest that we really look at that seriously again and think about how we compress any sort of physical options into the middle of this UTC, CET time zone to really enable those on the far edges of other time ‑‑ far edges of other time zones to participate but also recognizing that, you know, we have to be bound by the physical.
I wonder if there's a way to have a purely virtual track. And then similarly in the proposal, it talks about being cognizant of the virtual participants. I think want to be careful that there has to be a virtual panel or one virtual high‑level panel.
It seems to me that the form and function should follow from what the topic is and who is on is panel, rather than trying to artificially trying to create requirements on that.
>> CHAIR: Thank you, Courtney. I think on that last point, that's precisely the kind of consideration that the Working Group on hybrid meetings should take into account, and their guidelines will be useful to the MAG.
Yes, all very good points. This proposal is structured in such a way that if scenario A doesn't materialize, that the planning is not that different, than it would be for scenario B. Obviously for the host it has implications, but I think from the MAG's perspective, we are planning or we are proposing a process that doesn't require the MAG to go back to the drawing board should scenario A not be possible.
Gunela, you were next.
>> GUNELA ASTBRINK: Thank you very much, this is Gunela Astbrink, MAG mean. I concur with some of those observations in regards to the difficulty even in December for various parts of the world to travel. Certainly from this far end of the time zone in Australia and New Zealand, I think it will be very difficult. This is one particular region. I'm certainly very interested in the best possible way of having a hybrid meeting, bearing in mind the difficulty with time zones which is always going to raise as an issue. And certainly in the proposal having both times 8 to 11:00, and then the other one, 1 to ‑‑ I have forgotten what that one is, sounds like a sensible way to go, but I know there will be a lot of debate about that.
And I just also wanted to mention about ‑‑ I missed a little bit in the document there. I think it was talking about NRIs and some of the preparatory sessions and referring to the resources may not be available for interpretation and transcripts. And certainly I strongly propose that just because it's a preparatory session, or a set of sessions that they be given all the support that would be available, say, in the IGF itself, be it in December, whether it will be all on site or all hybrid. So we are talking about inclusion. We talked about that as one of the key clusters. And we need to demonstrate that we are as inclusive as possible with regard no how we present material to make sure that a large part of the community can access whatever they need in terms of participation and discussion.
>> CHAIR: Thank you, Gunela. I think you are absolutely right. I think what I was trying to say, we cannot expect the host country to provide that support. That doesn't mean that that support cannot be found. For example, by those preparatory sessions, taking place with the large regional IGFs, such as the LAC IGF, the EuroDIG, and where they would have some resources. And if we work collaboratively with them to have transcripts. So I just think we need to and possibly there are other items that can be done to provide interpretation for those sessions. We can't assume that those resources exist, they don't. We have to factor them into the preparatory sessions.
You are absolutely right, we need to make them as inclusive as possible and therefore, it's important not to have so many of them. I think having fewer sessions that we ‑‑ the preparatory sessions that we do well and that are supports, rather than having a lot of sessions that are not necessarily well supported.
Anyone else? Any other comments? I think we need to ‑‑ to get your feedback because we really need to move forward I'm hearing feedback about the time zones. I know the time zones are not ideal for everyone. We have to recognize the constraints of utilizing the facilities of a face‑to‑face event which are by their very nature constrained in terms of time zones.
What I would urge you is to accept that there will be some limitations, but also then to ask the Working Group on hybrid meetings to come up with creative proposals that would address the issue of time zones even for the face‑to‑face event.
>> NICOLA FRANK: If I may.
>> CHAIR: Go ahead and then Adam and Typiak.
>> NICOLA FRANK: I think you should really plan for a hybrid event. I'm a positive person and I think some type of meeting should be possible at the end of the year. As we all know, I mean the dynamics of real meetings are different than it's just more are ‑‑ yeah. It's more fun and all the networking.
At the same time, since we don't have a lot of experiences online and it offers a possibility for people who otherwise maybe could not travel to include them, it's good to have this hybrid element so that online people can join in as well.
I think the planning should really go for that and I know it's not ease e because if you ‑‑ easy because if you want to have a good hybrid meeting, you need to have some real production on site and find a way good way of including contributions from the online participation, but it's possible and experience is being gained every day with this kind of meeting. I think that's what we should go for.
>> CHAIR: Thanks, Nicola. Thank you for that.
>> ADAM PEAKE: Yes, I put it in the chat, but I wanted to check this. So you mentioned preparatory stages Anriette, what is our timeline for the review of the workshop proposals, for example, and the development of the agenda.
What would normally be ‑‑ or what are what is the Secretariat thinking and what are you thinking for our work plan because perhaps those are milestones that we can start trying to associate these preparatory steps with. I'm not anticipating that we will meet in June in Geneva, but this would be useful to know what is ours for the schedule of work to be done and the technical activities and give us some structure for the year.
>> CHAIR: Thanks, Adam. I think as I said at the beginning of the meeting as well, you know, there are various MAG members would asked for that. After this discussion, I think we will be able to share that. I think broadly what we are looking at is MAG continuing to elaborate the process and putting out a call for session proposals by the end of April.
And then we would start the preparatory phase and that would include the next MAG open consultation and the MAG meeting and then the preparatory phase which includes various intersessional activities until the end of November, roughly and then the annual forum from 6 to 10 December.
I think that's roughly the shape we are looking at in terms of exactly when MAG has to review session proposals we are not quite there yet. As I promised earlier, I think the Secretariat will be able to share a more detailed schedule.
I think we are asking people are you okay with this preparatory phase to take place in, and approach it as a hybrid event? I think that's essentially what we are asking you to say yes or no to at this point.
But let me give the floor to Typiak.
>> TYPIAK PRZEMYSLAW: Thank you very much for giving me the floor. Just briefly step in here from the host country's perspective. In taking into consideration all the previous voices and concerns, yes, we do take this into consideration. We would be totally be the total on site an Katowice, but yet we are also realistic and aware that the entire vaccination process may not be finalized until the end of this year.
Therefore, some restrictions concerning mobility around the world could not be entirely lifted. That's why we are thinking of and we are striving for the hybrid event, meaning it will take place from Katowice from 6 to 10 December and online participation at the same time.
So we do take this into consideration and looking at and hearing other voices of other distinguishes MAG colleagues regarding the timeline, we think it might be possible to discuss now, try to build on the existing timing and work on possible extension but, of course, that would need to be discussed with our distinguished colleagues from the MAG and the UN DESA and the UN Secretariat in order to best accommodate those possible shiftings. Regarding the preparatory process. We wonder if it would be able to distinguish those two phases. From our perspective, we have focused on preparing the hybrid event in Katowice. We have chosen the logistics provider and the venue. And we have rooms for in‑person meetings. We hope those will take place.
So we could do our best and we could try to find the best possible way of accommodating those free spaces that will be provided for you. Unfortunately, we cannot make any well ‑‑ well, any ‑‑ promises regarding the financial support for those or any other organizational assistance just because we are preparing for the annual event and we take all the necessary needs and resources and our manual work for this particular event in order to have it in the best possible successful organization way.
That is why, of course, we ‑‑ we are not against the peremptory phase, not at all. Nevertheless, we do kindly ask you to take into consideration that the host country cannot make any assumption or any assistance, including financial one, regarding the preparatory phase, be it ‑‑ no matter how it would be discussed, or what form it would take. We are focusing on the annual IGF and we would like to stick to the main event.
And one my last request here. It's a request to the since MAG colleagues. Since we are not aware ‑‑ we have the perspective of the European region situation. And the restrictions if Poland and neighboring countries. We have knowledge of the current situation, but we do not know what the situation is in other geographical places from which you come from, distinguished MAG colleagues.
Therefore, we have a kind request to, to please keep us informed about restrictions regarding the COVID‑19 in countries. Could you provide us with some information this issues.
It could be monthly information, roughly just a few words from each region maybe the Secretariat could assist you in providing this information to us. We would like to be informed and we would need to have a current knowledge on the actual perspective of your region.
We need to know and we need to be prepared just like Anriette said. In the situation would not get better, until December or at least October or November, we would need to find the best possible solution to meet those challenges. Therefore, miff kind request you to fellow colleagues, provide us with such information. And, of course, kindly update on what Anriette said on our involvement in the MAG Working Groups I have been involved on the Working Group on strategy and my other colleagues are working on the Working Group on hybrid meetings.
We would like to stick to this group in order to be first of all, keep in touch with you and know your insights and thoughts and suggestions on this preparatory process. We would like to be informed and we would like to assist you. We will take part in these hybrid Working Group meetings as well.
>> CHAIR: Thanks very much for that, Typiak.
I think we do take this all on board. Please do respond to the call for feedback. I think it's also a way for us to be connected to one another and the various constraints that we are still all working and living under in our respective countries.
So we have come to the end of the meeting. I don't see anyone else calling for the floor. So my takeaway from this discussion is that this is broad agreement that.
We have a preparatory phase that's relatively light and focused on the priority themes of IGF 202 is and that preparatory phase is implemented in a way that's fully virtual, inclusive and that leads into the main forum and we implement with NRIs and intersessional modalities, that we have a main event in December, as planned, but that with we are approaching that was a hybrid etch. The exact details of that still has to be defined. And the MAG Working Group on hybrid meetings will help us on that, and working together with the host country and that we try to make that as inclusive as possible in terms of the hybrid format and other ways of inclusion such as time zone extension, et cetera. But that broadly we can announce that the IGF will be part of this hybrid event and a substantial face‑to‑face component. At least that's what we plan.
In terms of next steps, I think we are going to for reaching finality, we have a group of volunteers. I see Roberto and Carlos and I'm not sure who else has volunteered, who will work with Paul and Maria Paz. We will hand them all the information we have done on issue analysis and they will come up with a proposal for the MAG's consideration and before the end of next we can ‑‑ we hope by the end of next week. Then in terms of proposal for format and design and I would like MAG members to send written comments and we will bolt that in the next proposal of this meeting. And if they can begin to feed some proposals into that overall design and format as well.
I think that's where we are at the moment. Are there any other items? Any announcements from Working Groups? Anything else.
>> ADAM PEAKE: I should say something about the hybrid Working Group because it's been mentioned a lot. When we were envisioning setting up this group, the first steps we thought of were really investigation in a way. What have other organizations been doing and what have they learned and what has worked well and less well and usual sorts of things in trying to understand of from a foundational level in what we should be looking at in terms of how people have learned how to do this online over the past year, including the IGF last year.
My understanding is we will using Zoom this year. We will not be investigating a new platform under this year and that's fully understandable because contracts and relationships with all organizations have to be developed. That's reasonable. But that doesn't mean we won't be looking at other platforms for future. I don't know. The Secretariat will have to correct me if that's not the correct information.
For the most ‑‑
>> CHENGATAI MASANGO: Sorry, if you want a correction, I would also investigate social, not just for IGF 2020, but for the time in between the social apps that we could use. So not necessarily Zoom, but something that's good for social activities.
>> ADAM PEAKE: And we had ‑‑ yes, so it would either be potential ‑‑ potentially it could be plug‑ins to Zoom, although I don't think that's the most attractive way forward.
What we did in the MAG meeting, the simple from Diplo, that you could have a separate platform that's running off a browser. We will look at that for this year, different examples of that kind of tool. But for the base platform, I think it's right to say that we will be using Zoom and Zoom has certain limitations although, we don't know what changes Zoom are envisioning over the course of the year. That's something again we would want to try to find out. For the future, we might want to look at different platforms, but this is something we will need your advice on, Chengetai.
That's the initial scope here and MAG members advice on this large organizations or any organizations that has had experienced the good and the bad and the ugly of online meetings would be extremely helpful. The list is now established. I don't think we have had many messages to it, but perhaps we can distribute how to subscribe necessary message to the MAG list and we can all start to join that.
Thanks. That's the sort of kickoff on that.
>> CHAIR: Thanks, Adam. If I can ask the Working Group to give an initial report to the MAG and to the host country at the next MAG call which will be two weeks from today. And I think just ‑‑ I think the very important thick to keep in mind here is that for the hybrid component of the annual forum from 6 to 10 December, the host country needs to be able to plan for that in advance.
I think that's why it's good that Typiak and his colleague will be in hybrid Working Group as a member because I think it's important that they know Hoy no anticipate from a logistical perspective and the task is for the Working Group on hybrid meetings no consider this proposal and make some initial proposal.
And all MAG members are asked to send proposals on format and design. If you prefer to do that on a Google Doc, that's also very possible. And then our volunteer group of MAG members will process the work so far on issues and themes and come back to us with a propose by the end of next week.
I think captured everything.
And thanks very much, everyone.
We have actually done quite a lot of work. I think we are getting really close to that point where we have a picture in our own heads and one that we can share with others of what IGF will look like in 2021 and we are very close in showing what IGF 2021 will focus on.
Thank you very much for participating in the meeting. Thanks, Secretariat, for the preparation and to our captioner, and Luis for all of his incredible technical support.
And I think that's the end of our meeting, Chengetai and Typiak, please jump in if you have any remarks.
>> CHENGATAI MASANGO: Just for the next meeting, it should be on the 23rd of March.
And the time is going to be ‑‑ that's a pause for Luis or Anja to jump in and tell me the time.
>> LUIS BOBO: Maybe you more than I.
>> ANJA GENO: I think it's 15UTC.
>> CHAIR: So apologies Joyce and Amirita and Anja. It will be late for you.
Thank you very much. I look forward to talking to you online and as I promised earlier, we will share a more detailed schedule so that MAG members can plan their work.
Thank you very much, everyone. See you online and see you at the next meeting.
>> Thank you very much for a very good meeting. Take care and stay healthy.
>> Thank you.
>> Thank you.
>> CHENGATAI MASANGO: Thank you, Anriette.