Welcome to the United Nations | Department of Economic and Social Affairs

The following are the outputs of the real-time captioning taken during the Tenth Annual Meeting of the Internet Governance Forum (IGF) in João Pessoa, Brazil, from 10 to 13 November 2015. Although it is largely accurate, in some cases it may be incomplete or inaccurate due to inaudible passages or transcription errors. It is posted as an aid to understanding the proceedings at the event, but should not be treated as an authoritative record. 

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>> Good afternoon, ladies and gentlemen.  We are about to start the opening ceremony.  I again kindly ask the Opening Session speakers to please come up front and take their seats on the name chairs.

>> CHENGETAI MASANGO: I would like to start on time.  As you know, these sessions can go on.  And can I kindly ask the rest of you to take your seats, please.

Ladies and gentlemen, can you kindly take your seats?  Thank you.

Ladies and gentlemen, the Assistant Secretary‑General and the Governor and Minister are about to approach.  I kindly ask you to take your seats if you haven't done so, and also kindly ask the Opening Session speakers to come to the front row, and take their seats.  If we have any more Opening Session speakers, can they please come up front?

Thank you very much, ladies and gentlemen.  The Assistant Secretary‑General is entering with the Minister and the Governor.  Good afternoon, ladies and gentlemen.  Before we start the opening ceremony, we would just like to have a short presentation by a local artist, Miss Lucy Alves, some of you will know as the voice behind the song that introduced the IGF Joao Pessoa in last year's meeting in Turkey.  We will start off with a video.

  (video playing).

  (no English translation).

  (applause).

  (performance by Lucy Alves).

  (applause).

>> CHENGETAI MASANGO: Thank you very much.  That is a very beautiful voice.  I also hope that all of you will stay and wait until after the meeting to enjoy all that Paraiba has to offer.  Thank you.

I would like to invite the Assistant Secretary‑General for economic development, Mr. Lenni Montiel, the Minister of Communications of Brazil, Mr. Andre Figueiredo, and the Governor of Paraiba, Mr. Ricardo Coutinho, to proceed to the stage, please.

  (applause).

Thank you very much.  Welcome to the tenth meeting of the Internet Governance Forum.  It is my pleasure to give the floor to Mr. Lenni Montiel, Assistant Secretary‑General for Economic Development, United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs, to deliver a message on behalf of the United Nations Secretary‑General.

  (applause).

>> LENNI MONTIEL: Excellencies, distinguished participants, stakeholders, participating online around the world, I'm honoured to join you at the 10th session of the Internet Governance Forum, and to deliver a message on behalf of the United Nations Secretary‑General.  I quote:  I am pleased to send greetings to all participants of the 10th session of the Internet Governance Forum, including those following online.

And I thank the Government of Brazil for once again acting as a host.  Less than two months ago, world leaders adopted the visionary 2030 agenda for sustainable development.  Our challenge now is to implement this blueprint for a better future.  Information and communication technologies and the Internet can empower this global undertaking.  The breadth and depth of the Sustainable Development Agenda will require that we tap into the potential of the data revolution through the use of new and nontraditional sources of data.

We must enhance the statistical capacities and ensure our efforts are based on sound science.

Many challenges exist including large digital divides, people living in poverty, women and girls, children, indigenous peoples, persons with disabilities, older persons, marginalized and vulnerable groups lack adequate access to and training in using ICTs and the Internet.  Cyber attacks, Cybercrime, and issues related to privacy and surveillance are also issues that need to be addressed.

I call on all stakeholders to intensify efforts to promote accessibility, affordability, education and multilingualism by investing in critical infrastructure and capacity building and by building an open reliable, safe, secure, stable, and inclusive Internet, through multi‑lateral and multistakeholder global partnership.  Let us reaffirm the universality indivisibility, interdependence and interrelation of all human rights, and fundamental freedoms, both online and off‑line.

Let us turn the digital divides into digital opportunities for all.

Let us leave no one behind.  I wish you a productive Internet Governance Forum.  End of quote.

Excellencies, the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs, also known as UN DESA, has been entrusted by the Secretary‑General of the United Nations to oversee the Secretariat support to the Internet Governance Forum.

We at UN DESA appreciate the opportunity to have serviced the IGF for more than, for ten years, a unique multistakeholder Forum on public policies relating to global Internet Governance.  We remain committed to supporting the IGF, should member states decide to extend its mandate beyond 2015.

In echoing appeals from governments and other stakeholders we will further strengthen and improve the functions of the IGF.  I wish you all a vibrant and outcome oriented meeting.

Now, in accordance with the customs on the Internet Governance Forum, I have the honor to invite Mr. Andre Figueiredo, Minister of Communications of Brazil, to assume the Chairpersonship of the 2015 IGF on behalf of the Government of Brazil.

  (applause).

>> ANDRE FIGUEIREDO: Assistant Secretary General Montiel, thank you for your kind words.  It is my pleasure to accept the Chairmanship of 2015 IGF.

Now, I would like to formally open the IGF 2015 in Joao Pessoa, and allow me to present a video message of Her Excellency Mrs. Dilma Rousseff, President of the Republic of Brazil.

(Video:)

>> DILMA ROUSSEFF: Ladies and gentlemen, participants of the 10th Forum of the Internet Governance, IGF, I want to express the welcome of the Brazilian people for all of Joao Pessoa to take part of this edition of the IGF.  I am sure that this meeting will allow the deepening of the great themes that concern governments and organizations of the Civil Society, businessmen, scientists, and researchers that work in the development of the global Internet.  We want to help in the creation of an inclusive environment, and also sustainable, that allows the experience between differences and seeking consensus to evolve the Internet and its governance, ten years after the WSIS, and its main recommendations and conclusions remain current.

We should preserve the accomplishments made, and seek solutions for the new challenges, which is balancing security and full respect to human rights, specifically, right to privacy.  Brazil has been endeavoring to build paths to evolve the current system of Internet Governance.

We have hosted in 2014 NETMundial, whose statement identified principles for Internet Governance, and a pathway for its future evolvement.  The high level UN meeting late this year, once it reviews the ten years of implementation of the results of the World Summit, also should face these themes.  Actually it is an important challenge that we have ahead of us, regards the conclusion of the reform process of the supervision or oversight system of the central parts of the Internet.

This exercise should result in the creation of a structure that is of global nature that should indeed respond to the demands and expectations of the community, and that renders accounts of its action.  There is no opposition between multistakeholders and multilateralisms.

Some themes require deliberation on a multi‑lateral level.  In this case, all the countries should have the possibility of taking part on equal conditions, without having only one country or a small group of countries having priority over the others.

One Internet, submitted to intergovernmental arrangements that exclude the other stakeholders would not be Democratic, nor are acceptable, multistakeholder arrangements subject to the oversight of one or few states.  Thus the complementarity between these two concepts, multistakeholder and multilateralism, derives from the recognition of the different roles and responsibilities that should be performed by the actors that take part of the ecosystem of the Internet.  In Brazil the successful experience with the multistakeholder and pluri participative model implemented by CGI has inspired us to build and improve the Internet Marco Civil.  It is only possible in a scenario of respect to human rights, freedom of expression, net neutrality, diversity, universality, security, and thus protection of privacy and the state of all our great challenge is to expand the access to the Internet for those that are still disconnected, especially those that live in developing countries.

We must have joint efforts of all participants present here, so that we can move forward in the development of the society of digital inclusion.  This is the commitment of my administration that will be implemented via the program, broadband for all.  Brazil has been from the beginning an advocate of the Internet use as a multistakeholder debate.  We defend the extension of its mandate.  The IGF, due to constant search for consensus amongst the various areas that are interested or stakeholders, is one of the most important Forums to continue the trajectory of building global Internet, enabling the Sustainable Development and also inclusive development.

Welcome to Joao Pessoa.  Welcome to Brazil.

(End of Video.)

  (applause).

>> ANDRE FIGUEIREDO: If you don't mind, I would like to continue my speech in Portuguese.

Lenni Montiel, Assistant Secretary‑General of the United Nations, Ricardo Coutinho, Governor of the State of Paraiba, also our Vice Governor and her secretaries, ministers, authorities present, all the representatives of Civil Society, of the teleco corporate organizations, the academia and technical community, once again I would like to reiterate the welcoming of our President Dilma Rousseff and how we give the welcome to the IGF and the City of Joao Pessoa.  For us it's a great honor to have you all here, to have the opportunity for the next few days to share with you information, visions, experiences and propositions to enhance our ecosystems for Internet Governance.

I would like to start saying a bit about what aspects that really challenge us, that countries, developing countries, access to the Internet which are the ones that are still not included in the society of information.  One of the core issues is the discussion on the options of public policies to connect the next one billion users.

In Brazil, there is full awareness of the importance of Internet access in people's lives.  The Marco Civil that has as its essence respect to freedom of expression, the human right and development of person individualities, says that access to Internet is essential to exercising citizenship.  That way, one of our big challenges is to really find the broadening of infrastructure in Telecom, that gives support to Internet and also really have a regulatory scenario that is stable that can bring on investment, innovation and respect to citizens' rights.  In Brazil we have had great efforts to promote access to Internet to all.

Within our program of broadband, we have some tax waivers for Internet equipment and also for building broadband network.  We have encouraged to have local providers.  There are thousands around the country, and that today invest heavily in cutting edge network.  We are about to launch a geostationary satellite to cover the remote areas of the country, and of a submarine cable to improve our connectivity internationally speaking.

As a benefit of this group of actions, we had notable impact.  In December 2010 to August 2015, the number of subscriptions to Internet and broadband has increased 69 percent, going from 15 to 25 million for mobile broadband, we had a growth of 867 percent of subscription, which went from 34 to 138 million.

And today, there are 208 million subscriptions for Internet access through broadband in the country.  The wide scale of the service shows a connected society in 2014, half of the households had access to the Internet, and 94.2 million people with at least 10 years old were Internet users.

So this significant numbers shows economic growth, increase of productivity, national integration and above all, digital and social inclusion of our population.

Beyond the challenges that each society sees in their own national state has a global impact and an impact individually.  Our view as said by our President Dilma Rousseff is that multistakeholder approach and multi‑lateral approach are complementary concepts respecting each theme and roles and responsibilities of each of the players that are part of the Internet.  In the view of Brazil, when it comes to the global processes of Internet Governance, we can align with what we practice in‑house.

I'd like to remind you that a bit over a year ago, we hosted the multistakeholder meeting for the future of Internet Governance, NETMundial, held in Sao Paulo through the call of Dilma Rousseff.

I believe that the draft from this meeting bringing on principles to be followed is the roadmap for the future evolution of the global ecosystem of Internet Governance.  And it's an important benchmark for our discussions here at IGF.  Based on these assumptions, we have now the task to debate and understand complex concepts as enhanced cooperation and the role of Government in a multistakeholders approach.  We need to identify mechanisms of strengthening for this multistakeholder environment, so that all voices can be heard and can influence all the processes that impact them.

It's necessary to have a look into the specific demands of the developing countries, and less developed ones as well.  Together with that, the dynamism and ability of change in Internet brings on concrete solid issues how to preserve the neutrality of the net, what business models can bring benefit or harm the Internet.  What is the best policy of management for critical resources of the Internet?  What are the barriers for the full development of the economic, digital economy, how can we protect the respect to the essential rights in the net, especially those that have to do with freedom of expression and privacy?

These are topics that will be debated throughout this week, and those which are not there, they are not ready answers to be used.  That way, we must address based on the understanding the Internet has to be preserved within its openness, plurality and diversity, that can contribute to a society that it's inclusive, and fair.  On behalf of the Brazilian Government, once again I'd like to wish you all a great time here, and really have an enriching time in the discussions.  Welcome to Joao Pessoa.  Welcome to Brazil.

  (applause).

I would now like to give the floor to Ricardo Coutinho, Governor of State of Paraiba.

  (applause).

>> RICARDO COUTINHO: Good afternoon, ladies and gentlemen.  My dear Lenni Montiel, Assistant to the Secretary‑General of the United Nations here representing Secretary‑General of the United Nations, our acknowledgment for the holding of the 10th edition of IGF in Brazil, my dear Andre Figueiredo, Minister of Communications of Brazil here representing the distinguished President of the Republic of Brazil, dear Dilma Rousseff, also a partner in the Ministry of Communications and various projects to support implementation of the infrastructure of digital inclusion in the State of Paraiba, that today has decided to celebrate yet another year of life, precisely at the opening of this event, which is IGF.

My dear Chengetai Masango, Secretary of IGF, partner of UN, responsible for the preparation of the schedule, our acknowledgment for hosting in this City of Joao Pessoa, the choosing of Joao Pessoa to be the seat in the center to hold the 10th edition.  I'd like to thank the Ambassadors and coordinators and all the team for the partnership and trust in preparing and organizing IGF 2015, and we know it is an extremely important agenda for our country and for the world, in this beginning of the 21st century.

I would like furthermore to welcome everyone present, Government, representatives, private sectors, Civil Society, members of academic and technical communities, from the various regions of the world and Brazil.

And also, my welcome to the press professionals.  We understand that this 10th edition of IGF in Joao Pessoa, that will have the central theme, the evolution of governance of Internet, empowering sustainable development, already gets it right on the starting point, by choosing the main theme.  From the very first moment, we are aware of the articulation between the CGI in Brazil and the UN to bring another edition of the IGF to Brazil.  It was our desire to support this important initiative, and to introduce the State of Paraiba, the City of Joao Pessoa, the facilities of our convention center with all the services and the facilities, all our tourism attractions, our hospitality, as a differential point for this 10th edition of IGF in Brazil.

Unlike some we are not used to say no between four walls, and are now seeing that we say yes to the public.  A word is only one in any environment.  This is why the holding of this IGF will be a landmark in history, and also in its next editions that will certainly take place.

This edition in Joao Pessoa outside major other centers signals to the importance of the open Internet, and the benefit of new development frontiers that are more sustainable and with special attention to better distribution of wealth throughout all regions and communities.

This is an immense challenge to all of us, particularly public servants.  We know that IGF makes feasible a collective and participative space for the reflection of potentialities, risks and critical resources related to the advances of the Internet and the world.  This return of IGF to Brazil after the 2007 edition in Rio de Janeiro represents a recognition on the part of the other world players to the protagonism of Brazil in the global debate on Internet Governance.

Here, I would like to make a special highlight to the partnership between cgi.br and the Brazilian Government in conducting the debate on the regulation of the Internet Marco Civil in Brazil.  We are moving forward, Minister Andre Figueiredo, but we need to advance even further with a certainty that we will retain in Brazil an Internet Governance ecosystem guided by good practices internationally settled, and in behalf of innovation.

I believe that this model should be taken as a reference in other parts of the world.  The UN General Assembly in its resolution entitled, the Future We Want, drafted within Rio+20, reasserted the strong need to attain Sustainable Development.

We must act jointly in promoting sustainable economic growth, inclusive, equitable, generating more opportunities for all, reducing inequalities, heightening basic living standards, fostering social equitable development and inclusion, and promoting the integration and sustainable management of natural resources and ecosystems.

This important resolution reinforces the importance of the involvement of all levels of Government, legislative agencies and segments of the society in the promotion of sustainable development.

We must have the engagement and efforts for other challenges, amongst them the continuity of the struggle for democratization of communications, opening up for a greater number of people, the opportunity of sharing a greater number of information contents that circulate in the world, giving equal conditions of individual and collective development, something that brings down another rationale that few people that are privileged can actually boast of holding exclusive information, be it as producers or broadcasters, as if information could still be an exclusively individual good, and transferable.

This is rather a pathway that needs strong step, and a moment in which society is increasingly more vulnerable to conservative, moving back, where only empowered population reduces risks of subtracting the most fundamental right, nothing most important than all being able to express their needs and dreams, access to information is a basic condition for each Democratic project over society.

  (applause).

Now a question, regarding the access to the Internet, then I would like to share with you regards the growing numbers here.  In Brazil, we estimate that over 97 million Brazilians have access to Internet at home.  In Paraiba, ladies and gentlemen, children, very joyfully to host this meeting, has surfing indices that even higher than other Brazilian states, even economically stronger.  According to research conducted by the federal government, 33 percent of Paraiba citizens access Internet 7 days a week, a higher percentage than states that are bigger, like Bayeux, which are our dear neighboring states.

Surveys points that Paraiba citizens spend on average six hours 26 minutes per day surfing, exceeding the national average, which is four hours 59 minutes, and still states like Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro.  Why am I saying this?  I say this that for us, civil servants, this naturally imposes other challenge, expanding the way the governments relate with citizens.

We must, as I could see yesterday on Day Zero, we have been making efforts towards this, both in the need of democratizing the use, also in the expanding of instruments of Government for the improvement of public services.  We are proportionately the Brazilian state that most acquired computers for students in the public school network, proportionally.  We have implemented the teaching of robotics in public schools, middle schools.  We are implementing to the end of 2016 in a partnership with MCTI about 3,000‑kilometers of fiberoptics, integrating 55 cities in the state.

We have a process of making our budget all based in the popular participation that increasingly results to digital media to enhance the level of engagement of the population, as well as the transparency portal that allows simultaneous follow‑up of Government spending.

So that in Paraiba, the population tells the state which are the priorities for investments and tries to see whether they are actually being made.

I would thus like to take the opportunity of this important edition of IGF in Joao Pessoa to highlight that it is imperative to rethink the scope and availability of solutions of electronic Government.  We must listen from you at this Forum how we can move forward, and actually financially, in building agendas, guided to best deployment of new technologies, with direct impact in the goals of sustainable development in our state.

In regions like ours, Brazil northeast, whose adversities are permanent challenges, we have to make growth leaps at a shorter period of time.  We know the importance of the role of the Governments, with greater articulation, with the private segments of Civil Society, members of academic and technical communities.  We will be able to advance in the definition, implementation and assessment of public policies and foster instruments towards an open Internet that is Democratic, safe, and that enables social and productive inclusion of individuals.

I must admit that as a civil servant, I'd like to move forward in the offer of qualified services to citizens based on the Internet, with a certainty that technologies and the correct empowerment of knowledge to overcome our limitations may bring more favorable setting for sustainable growth, in a region like ours, where we are, our state is located, as well as other regions of the world naturally.

I am sure that safe, open, neutral Internet, neutral, well assisted by legislation, will be able to be an important resource for sustainable development, helping generating results and positive impact in education, healthcare, agriculture, public, security, perhaps one of the great challenges of a great part of the world start in many other areas.  The State of Paraiba, with all its academic potential and also business potential, is open for partnerships that aim at the development, experimenting solutions of electronic Government, involving academic centers, young talents, the generation of solutions, the establishment of innovative businesses and connections with the market.

And lastly, I wish great success to all of you on these four days of IGF sharing with you the same feeling that Brazil and the world need to move forward in the strategic themes regarding Internet Governance, that is growing and becoming more inclusive.

I wish you all success.  Enjoy the beauties of our state, of our capital, the easternmost point of the Americas, and enjoy the warmth of our people.  We are very happy to welcome you, all of you, very welcome.  Come back.  Get to know better our culture and our people.  Thank you.

  (applause).

>> CHENGETAI MASANGO: Thank you very much, Governor Ricardo Coutinho.  Please remain seated while Assistant Secretary General Montiel, Minister Andre Figueiredo, Governor Ricardo Coutinho leave the auditorium, please.

I call on Professor Almeida to continue chairing this meeting.

He is coordinator of the Brazilian Steering Committee, one of the main organizations behind bringing us to Joao Pessoa.  I'd also like to call on Mr. Koulov to take the stage in place of the Assistant Secretary‑General.  Now that has put a close to our opening ceremony.  We will now start the Opening Session of the IGF.

I will now hand it over to our next master of ceremony.