Open Consultation 23 February 2009 Transcript
Internet Governance Forum
23 February 2009
Note: The following is the output of the real-time captioning taken during the Open Consultations of the IGF on 23 Feb in Geneva. 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 session, but should not be treated as an authoritative record.
[ Gavel ]
>>CHAIR DESAI: Welcome to Geneva on a rather cold day.
This is the first time we are meeting after the Hyderabad IGF.
And let me begin first by thanking the ITU for hosting us here and providing us with these very excellent facilities which we can use for our two days of consultations and subsequently for two days of the advisory group meeting.
ITU has always been a consistent supporter of our process, has always been very helpful and supportive, and I would say that their hosting us for this February session is an example of this.
So may I, before we begin, turn to the Deputy Secretary-General of the ITU and request him to say a few words before we begin our meeting.
>>DEPUTY SECRETARY-GENERAL ZHAO: Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Good morning, ladies and gentlemen. It's a real pleasure to see you here.
It's a real pleasure, it's not just political, you know, I like to use these words. It's because, indeed, it is really my pleasure to see many of you who I met before at IGF or the related meetings.
Perhaps some of you will remember I was following IGF activities since WSIS phase II, and even before Tunis preparation for the WSIS, I was there for the IGF, up to the end of 2006. And till that moment I was the Director of ITU Telecommunications Standardization Bureau, so-called technical guy, and I followed that actively in that capacity.
And since then I changed my role. I am now Deputy Secretary-General, and I left that function, those abilities to my successor, Mr. Malcolm Johnson, who is now actual Director of Telecommunications Standardization Bureau.
He followed the IGF meetings several times.
I think that I was there, in essence, for the first IGF meeting. I met you.
And then in Rio and in India, it's my colleague, Mr. Johnson, who followed those activities.
I was very pleased to know that Secretary-General of ITU, Dr. Hamadoun Touré, who put this IGF highly on his agenda, that he himself went to two places, in Rio and in India, Hyderabad,.
I noted that he was the only head of U.N. agencies who followed that activities with such kind of attention.
As Mr. Desai just said, ITU always supported the IGF, not only because IGF is one of the output of WSIS, where ITU played leading roles to organize those two phases of WSIS, but also these are very important topics that all members of ITU pay high attention to.
Therefore, the Secretary-General, following the advice from our ITU members, give very high support to these IGF activities.
We noted that over the last couple of years, IGF has made big progress, and those meetings in Athens, in Rio, and in Hyderabad give us a lot of good results. And this meeting is just one of those consultation meetings IGF manages.
Actually, as Deputy Secretary-General of ITU, I have another role within ITU. I am the chairman of ITU's WSIS task force.
So as this WSIS task force covers all the WSIS follow-up actions, I found that today, in the world, there are two big issues for the WSIS follow-up. One is IGF, which is made annually outside of Geneva, but always in December. And another one is we called World Summit on the Information Society cluster event which is always in Geneva in May every year.
But at last cluster meeting, I discussed the matter with my colleagues who organized this event, cluster event, and I said we might have to follow IGF because IGF has very good arrangement, logistical arrangement and constituent arrangement. That members of IGF could come together and discuss the issues that they are concerned, why in the WSIS cluster event, each action line facilitators organizes the event and puts them together in May.
That caused some concerns of our participants that it's not very efficient.
For example, each action line tried to organize a session of so-called capacity-building sessions. And so many action lines organized capacity-building sessions in the week of cluster event here in Geneva and it made people quite uncomfortable with that situation.
Therefore, they ask organizers to come together to try to organize the future event in May in much better form. And we did not have major ideas to follow, but we just considered ourselves that we have to follow IGF, to have some consultations before the event. Then we should have programs presented to the public for information and then to organize the meetings in a much more connected way.
So we are taking this challenge. And actually, today, in one of the consultation meeting we have here at lunchtime, (saying name) which is also a U.N. agency who organizes some activities to carry out the output for WSIS.
I think by chance, it is also on the UNDESA.
Actually, the Secretary-General and myself had discussions with the Secretary-General of U.N., Ambassador Sha, and we all agree that we have to increase our cooperations internally so we can have better images to all side.
As a matter of fact, two weeks ago, Mr. Kummer came to visit us and we exchanged our views, and recently I received a letter from Ambassador Sha reconfirming that UNDESA and ITU and IGF Secretariat and we do our best to increase our internal cooperations to make sure that we work in one voice, under the name of one U.N.
So Mr. Chairman, I think that this is my short opening remarks for my role. But on behalf of the Secretary-General and myself, we welcome you to this meeting, which is our pleasure to host you here over the next two days.
And we hope you enjoy these facilities, but anyhow, for those who are not familiar with ITU facilities, if you have any problems, don't hesitate to let me know. And I have my colleagues sitting in this room and you can contact any of them just to convey your opinions to us.
And next meeting, I think that we will be in Egypt. We are preparing our meeting for Egypt.
I think that we see the host of Egypt here, who is also a good friend of mine.
So I hope these two days meeting, we have very good preparation, and the next meeting, IGF in Egypt, will be a great success as a result of this preparation.
So having said these short remarks, Mr. Chairman, I wish you very great success over these two days.
Thank you very much.
>>CHAIR DESAI: Thank you very much.
And I'm so happy that you sort of placed the idea for the broader context for the WSIS follow up. And that's most helpful. And certainly these four days that we will be here will be -- we will learn much more.
Your colleagues are all very supportive and helpful in our work, and we look forward to that.
Let me turn now to our draft agenda.
Our major purpose, as we decided last time, was first to take stock of the Hyderabad meeting, what worked, what did not work, what are the lessons we draw from that for organizational purposes, what are the lessons we draw for substantive purposes.
Second, we are very happy that we have many people from our host for this year, Egypt, and in the afternoon, we will begin the afternoon with a presentation by our host country on what are the arrangements, what are the other issues which they would like us to look at. And perhaps we will do that immediately after lunch.
And the third major task before us is, of course, the review of the IGF itself.
As you know, the Secretary-General has to submit his assessment of how the IGF has functioned before five years are up. And we happen to be in the fourth year of the IGF, and we have decided that we would start this process of review now, and it will certainly be an important part of the focus of our work in the course of this year.
And the idea is that we should really start our discussions on this process at this session itself.
So these are the three basic things that we need to do: Review Hyderabad, start looking ahead at the meeting in Cairo -- sorry, Sharm El Sheikh, and start the process of the IGF review.
So with your permission, let's take up the first item, the Hyderabad meeting. And I'm going to turn to Markus to -- because they have been consulting on people's assessment, and I would request Markus to give us an overview of what has come out of this process of consultation.
>>SECRETARY KUMMER: Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Good morning. And let me start by also thank being the Deputy Secretary-General of ITU, Mr. Houlin Zhao for his hospitality and also his kind words addressed to the ITU -- to the IGF. And I can only confirm that we, indeed, enjoy an excellent cooperation, and I think a very nice symbol of this cooperation is actually the book we have distributed in Hyderabad, which is printed by the ITU, and the design was made by the UNESCO. So we have an excellent cooperation between leading agencies in the WSIS follow-up.
Extra copies of the book are available outside for those who may not have picked up a copy in Hyderabad.
Copies of the agenda and of the synthesis paper we posted on our Web site are also available in the back of the room. And I would like to ask those participants who have prepared a statement, to make the statement available for the benefit of the interpreters. It is very helpful to the interpreters if they have a copy of any statement. You can hand the statement to the Secretariat.
I would also like maybe to inform you a little bit of the work we have done since Hyderabad. We have continued what we think is an improvement of our Web site.
We have not yet finished all the homework after Hyderabad, so we are still waiting for the videos to put up for all the Webcasts.
The list of participants, we had some technical hitches, but it will be up, if not today, later this week.
We also added a section where we have links to regional and national events, and we would like to call on all of those who organized national or regional IGFs to send us their information so we can put a link on our Web site. This was, indeed, one of the significant developments in 2008 that we had the spreading of regional and national events.
Also, we tried now to be planning ahead a little bit better. One of the problems, you may recall, is because we are not always part of the regular activities of the U.N., we always had to wait till the last moment to have our meetings fixed for the fall. And now, we are taking up a kind offer from the European Broadcasting Union and we are having our meeting in September at the seat of the European Broadcasting Union on the 16th of September and also the MAG meeting in -- it will be there. And the open consultations in May will be on the 13th of May.
This you will find on our Web site where we say IGF calendar.
You may have noticed in Hyderabad we started playing around with YouTube and we have now an IGF YouTube channel. We uploaded a few videos, and we hope that we can get some of your statements during these next two days.
Seiiti, who works for the Secretariat, will go around with a video camera interviewing you, and if you feel like giving an interview, please approach us. You are more than welcome. We hope that this helps to some community building among the IGF participants. And in the same vein, we have created a Facebook and a Twitter and Flickr section.
One of the elements where we have not scored that well in the past was the reports of all the workshops and other events held at the IGF.
We have now made it clear that those organizers who have not submitted a report will not be given a slot at the next meeting, and yet we still have not received reports from all the organizers so far. We have set January 31st as a deadline, and so far we have received 49 out of 87.
And also, the dynamic coalitions, not all of them have submitted their report. Seven out of ten. I would appeal on those who have not done it yet to do it as soon as possible, especially with regard to dynamic coalitions. You may recall that we said that those who don't give any signal of their activities will be taken off our Web site and put up again once we have had their news.
So please, the last three, file your reports.
Now to the stock taking and the synthesis paper, I have already mentioned. This paper summarizes the reactions we have received. We received three written contributions from two different organizations, and you also received two contributions from a dynamic coalition. One of them actually made the proposal that dynamic coalitions should be invited as observers to the MAG meeting to allow for a better interaction. I responded that this is something the MAG would have to discuss at the meeting this week.
And we had 26 answers to our questionnaire. All in all, they were extremely helpful, very thoughtful. They related both to logistics and organizational issues and also to substance.
Some of them related to sort of nice-to-have things, room layout, et cetera. Frankly, there's very little we can do. We have to live with the conference centers we are given. I think we had an excellent facility in Hyderabad, and we will have equally excellent facility in Sharm El Sheikh.
You will see the layout is a little bit different, and we will have to adapt, also, our room structure to the layout.
But in general, the feedback was very positive.
As I said, there may have been -- There's always room for improvement. Some of the suggestions are simply not possible to take up.
The real-time transcription service, for instance, was in general terms extremely well appreciated. Some suggestions were made that it should be extended to all the meetings. However, there is a cost involved, and there are logistics involved and this would be a burden almost impossible to bear by the host country.
Equally, the suggestion was made, interpretation should go beyond the U.N. languages. This is something we cannot handle. The U.N. works with six official languages, and this is a limit imposed by member states.
The same goes for written translations. The U.N. can assure quality control for the six U.N. languages, but not for what goes beyond.
But of course, we can look at voluntary, informal translation of, for instance, a synthesis paper in additional languages, but they can never be official translations.
There were some general -- It's very difficult to summarize in a few words the whole wealth of contributions we received, but nevertheless, there were some general threads, I think, that came out of the feedback. Some, I would say, recurrent items that there's always room for improvement with regard to the technical infrastructure such as Wi-Fi, with regard to remote participation, also with regard to the panels, the gender balance was mentioned, the age balance was mentioned, and also, in general, the involvement of young people, youth and also of children.
One point that was made was the linkages between the main sessions and the other events were not that clear in Hyderabad.
Also, the cross-cutting themes of development and capacity building did not come across that well, and maybe more attention should be paid on how to deal with these issues.
There was also -- the view was held already in Hyderabad that the format we had used of panel sessions and open dialogues worked well, but for some of the issues, maybe we should look for other formats.
The notion of mature themes was made, and the proposal was made that maybe we should look at roundtable format to deal with some of these issues.
And also, there was, I think, a general concern that was made after all our meetings that there were too many sessions held in parallel, and we should make an effort, maybe, of having fewer sessions, of consolidating the program a little bit more, of making the program available further in advance. However, we should at the same time leave open space for ad hoc meetings, ad hoc sessions, and spontaneous meeting.
We had provided a facility in the Village Square in Hyderabad, but there was -- the remark was made that it was not advertised well enough. That many people had not noticed it. However, it was used, and I think it was generally felt that it was a useful function to have a kind of space for ad hoc meetings.
And the Village Square, I think, on the whole was well received. There were some remarks made about the logistics of it, where it should be. But again, we have to look at the meeting venue and then decide on the basis of what is available.
In Hyderabad -- I think we will go ahead again, if that response to a need of participants, but there the facilities will make it in a way a bit easier because there is a huge entrance hall is participants will have to go through the village on the way into the main session hall.
Some comments were based on some subjective perception. One commentator said the village, while being smaller than on previous occasion, was more interactive. However, I can assure you that what we had in Hyderabad was bigger, both in space as also in number of participants.
But the point was made that we should outreach a bit more and bring in more organizations into the village.
I think I'll stop at that. As I said, it's difficult to summarize as it was many interesting details were made in the comments we received.
>>CHAIR DESAI: In any case, a full report is available for those who want a hard copy, outside, and it has been on the net for some time.
May I now -- the floor is open for comments. We are focusing on the Hyderabad meeting.
>>EGYPT: Thank you, Chair.
Good morning, everyone.
Allow me, please, to deliver my comments in Arabic.
Dear Mr. Chairman, dear delegates, ladies and gentlemen. In the name of the Egyptian government, I would like to thank you, and I would like to thank the Indian government for the success and organizing of the IGF. And this organization has enabled everyone to work in concert.
I would like to thank the Indian people, and I would like to thank the Hyderabad community for the spirit of hospitality that was extended to us.
I would like to thank especially, I would like to express our gratitude to the MAG, Multistakeholder Advisory Group. I would like to express gratitude to the Secretariat for the efforts that have been extended that resulted in the successful conduct of the IGF. This success was not -- could not be achieved if the MAG did not take active part. We would like to thank you for the participation.
Without doubt, you are in agreement with us that we are crossing a turning point when we're organizing the IGF. And, of course, this was very important in the light of the World Summit on the Information Society, which has expanded, and now it has become a mature forum. And the IGF is a very important turning point. It's a huge forum that permits and enables to express the opinion of the interested parties to exchange the experts' opinions, and to discuss all of the questions that are relative to the governance of Internet.
The first reunion, the first meeting was organized in Athens, and it defines the framework and the diversity and the openness and the security of Internet.
The second meeting was organized in Brazil, and it added the fifth element, which is very important.
After the meeting in Hyderabad we have examined other questions which are pertinent. We have insisted on the importance of cooperation between multistakeholders, and we would like to point out that we have discussed the question of reinforced cooperation.
Now we are on the eve of the next stage. In November of 2009 in Sharm El Sheikh, we are about to organize the third session of the IGF. We will do our very best to ensure success of this pending IGF forum, and other meetings should follow. And we should manage Internet better and more efficiency.
So for us, this is a question of dynamism which has started from previous meetings. We should not end up with the IGF fora. We should go beyond. We insist on the continuity of the process, and we would like to underscore that we should continue the Tunis Agenda, we should explore the process. This process must continue. And we should -- we should take a neutral position in the Internet governance so that we could evaluate and assess, as needed, which would take into account different aspects of implementation.
Thanks for this process, we can take into account the opinions of stakeholders.
We could discuss very important questions. The role of MAG will be reinforced. The role of Internet governance becomes more and more important. And, therefore, we will convene our IGF forum in Sharm El Sheikh, we will be able to achieve our objectives due to the participation of everyone involved. And we need to take into account the opinions of the stakeholders. We should concentrate on the issue of engagement so that we could implement practical aspects so that everyone would be encouraged to do better.
Evidently, that we are in the middle of the process of being engaged. We need to concentrate on the issues of the -- on the dimension of development. This is a very important aspect, especially in relationship to the developing countries.
And, of course, we need to achieve other objectives. We're talking about the formation and training of personnel, and that is very important, training of personnel, though the personnel that is capable of pursuing the technology and implementing technology and has the knowledge to accelerate the implementation. We have to reinforce cooperation between the stakeholders and integrate other participants. We need to integrate the younger generation to avoid running into dangers of Internet.
We need to avoid the abuse and this concern becomes primordial. Ladies and gentlemen, with your permission, I would like to underscore the important results of the Internet Governance Forum, the increase of -- and the increase of the engagement on the local basis. Evidently, more and more so, we need to become more sensitive to the importance of Internet Governance and different aspects of it, and we need to look for solutions that entail the Internet Governance. We need to find durable, sustainable solutions so that we could pursue the activities in the area of exchange of opinions and information. At the end, I would like to underscore that the IGF has resulted in becoming a true forum that will engage all of the stakeholders and its role will continue so that we could engage more and more participants, to ensure security and independence of the Internet, and this is the end objective that we are striving to achieve. Thank you so much, Mr. President.
>>CHAIR DESAI: Thank you very much, and I'm sure all of us are looking forward to coming to Sharm El Sheikh. I'll been the beneficiary of Egyptian hospitality in other U.N. meetings and I know that we can look forward to a very successfully organized and well-organized meeting. I'm pretty sure of that. But we'll learn more about it in the afternoon when you speak to us on the arrangements.
The Czech Republic.
>>CZECH REPUBLIC: Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I have the honor to speak on behalf of the European Union but in the spirit of an open character of these consultations, you will hear individual voices of a few member states as well.
First and foremost, the E.U. would like to express its gratitude to the Government of India for having hosted the third IGF meeting in Hyderabad. It was perfectly organized, successful, and well-attended, and this despite the deplorable terrorist attacks in Mumbai.
The Hyderabad meeting also demonstrated that the Tunis Agenda for the Information Society has given us the right guiding principle for the work of the IGF. Namely, its informal multistakeholder nature.
The multistakeholder basis of the IGF with all forum participants operating on an equal footing and shaping points of view and best practices remains the cornerstone of the success of the IGF. This unique expert within the U.N. system has already proved to be viable and could be replicated in other areas of multilateral cooperation.
We also note with great interest the emergence of similar dialogue forums at national and regional levels, a trend worth encouraging.
It was decided in Tunis that the IGF would be constituted as a nonbinding process. However, this does not mean that the IGF has not produced results or has not influenced formal decision-making processes. On the contrary, the creation of national and regional IGFs and the various dynamic coalition initiatives is tangible evidence that the IGF has been increasingly producing operational follow-up.
Moreover, the IGF has progressed considerably as it does not only serve as a platform to identify problems but also to discuss solutions. In this regard, the IGF has made significant contributions to issues -- sorry, on issues such as security and openness, and it has gradually fostered voluntary policy cooperation inspired by the knowledge and awareness gained at the IGF. The lack of negotiated documents should therefore not be considered as weakness of the process. It is, in fact, one of its major strengths which is increasingly recognized because it allows for a much freer exchange between participants.
In this context, the Hyderabad meeting has showed that some issues have reached a certain level of maturity and common understanding in the discussion. The agenda for Sharm El Sheikh meeting should take this into account and experiment on these issues more result-oriented workshop formats such as roundtables. The emerging issues session in Hyderabad has also highlighted themes that deserve attention, such as convergence, the development of social networks, user-generated content, and the Internet of things.
Dynamic coalitions are an important development of the IGF. They have the potential to develop issue papers and proposals for action that could be presented at the annual meeting of the IGF. The E.U. firmly believes that the multilateral, multistakeholder, open, democratic, and transparent working methods and functioning of the IGF are the best guarantee for allowing benefits of the IGF to develop even further.
Mr. Chairman, the E.U. listened attentively to your closing remarks in Hyderabad. If I'm not mistaken, you said -- and I quote here -- "There is no obvious other space to discuss IGF's technical, political, and societal issues."
Mr. Chairman, the E.U. fully shares your analysis. The IGF is the only one-stop shop to discuss Internet Governance in a neutral and truly multistakeholder framework. The E.U. therefore, reminds -- remains fully committed to the IGF. Nevertheless, the E.U. does feel that the participation of developing countries in future IGF meetings should be increased.
The E.U. would also urge all countries to engage actively in the IGF process. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
>>CHAIR DESAI: The Council of Europe followed by the APC.
>>COUNCIL OF EUROPE: Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Ladies and gentlemen, let me start by saying how much we, the Council of Europe, regret not having been able to be with you in Hyderabad last December.
This was a decision taken exclusively on security grounds by our Secretary-General during the Mumbai terrorist attacks. In the interest of the safety of the members of the delegation.
Our condolences and deepest sympathy remain with the families of the victims and to the people of India.
That said, several (inaudible) colleagues were present in Hyderabad via remote participation and through video messages that were screened there. Several of our planned workshops were actually carried out, despite our physical absence from Hyderabad. This was thanks to the hard work of certain co-organizers and planned speakers. In particular, OFCOM Switzerland and the EBU which typifies the spirit of cooperation and community that the IGF facilitates and fosters so well.
This is also stimulating regional initiatives, such as the EuroDIG, the pan-European dialogue on Internet Governance, which the Council of Europe fully supports, is committed to, and stands ready to assist.
More information about plans for this year's EuroDIG will be given later today.
Mr. Chairman, the Council of Europe's commitment to the IGF process remains undiminished. The IGF continues to inspire the Council of Europe to formulate new standards and tools which protect and promote human rights, democracy, and the rule of law on the Internet.
Just over the last two years, the Council of Europe has conceptualized, developed, and adopted, through its 47 member states, more than seven public policy documents in the media and Information Society field alone. Plus two sets of human rights guidelines elaborated for and with key non-state Internet actors. Namely, online games providers and European Internet Service Providers.
As a platform for global networking and cooperation, the IGF has considerable value for the Council of Europe. In the true spirit of the IGF's mandate, it is helping us to shape a workable framework for legally binding conventions, globally reaching policy documents and guidelines, and other tools which are necessary to respond to the multilayered challenges and frameworks of Internet Governance.
Mr. Chairman, let me recall that this cooperation is clearly recognized in the recent resolution of the General Assembly of the United Nations on cooperation between the United Nations and the Council of Europe, which in particular stresses the importance of cooperation in the promotion of human rights and the rule of law in the Information Society and takes note of the contribution of the Council of Europe to the IGF.
It is on this basis, Mr. Chairman, that we very much support and strongly encourage the IGF, including its further development and sustainability.
Looking further ahead to this year's IGF, let me inform you, Mr. Chairman, of the Council of Europe's commitment to substantively contributing to and wholeheartedly participating in the IGF in Sharm El Sheikh. We would already now like to express our gratitude to the Egyptian authorities for their hosting of this important event. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
>>APC: Thank you, Chair. I'd like to add APC's appreciation to the Indian government and the people of India for the wonderful hospitality and services that we all enjoyed in Hyderabad. And of course to express our condolences for the tragic loss of life and tragedy that preceded the forum.
I'm going to confine comments to the Hyderabad experience for the APC team, which was quite -- we had, I think, about 15 or 20 people and we've -- in our response to the survey, it is largely a synthesis of the comments and the reason I'd like to speak about some of them -- and I'll only speak about the points that haven't been reflected in the paper -- is that it's a mix of people. We had a good number of people who had never been to an IGF before, but who are very experienced participants of policy process dialogues. We also had people who hadn't been to a policy process dialogue of this type before at all.
But what I found interesting in their response was that they found it a rather obscure and difficult process to access as a first-time participant. And these are very experienced international policy meeting goers, if you like and I think that for many of us who have been involved in the process for such a long time, we forget about maybe some of the real basic things that people expect when they come to a meeting of this kind.
So people were very much looking forward to the IGF book and a program. Well, of course we know that there's a program online and there's a wonderfully complex spreadsheet that I certainly always look forward to and print out and play around with, but people actually expected something that listed workshops with bios, participant names, and a one-paragraph abstract that told them what was going to happen, because of course many workshop organizers had been asked to provide that information as well. So they were a little surprised that they couldn't find it anywhere.
That's just sort of a -- I guess a logistical issue.
But I think, again, from some of the first-time participants' perspectives, at a more substantial level, what they found difficult, particularly in the absence of that kind of material, was to understand at a substantive level how the main issues related to one another, because that wasn't obvious. There was no mechanism that really linked the main themes to one another. It wasn't clear how, or if at all, the workshops fed into the main sessions or other sessions.
So this is in relation, particularly I think, to the question in the survey about linkages. And a lot of people found those linkages quite difficult to grasp.
I think a recommendation would be that we might want to think about some kind of orientation process that could be the very first day morning. We'd have to do to do a lot of preparation, but I think it would be very useful, just a two-hour session for first-timers, to try and explain how this whole process works, because I think it's very difficult for newcomers to understand that.
A little bit on the session formats. And I think when looking at session formats, we need to look at the -- and this is a word we're using now -- the degree of maturity of the different issues, and I think formats have to be looked at in relation to where the issues are.
So I think for the issues that have reached a level of maturity and enjoy sort of broad consensus, that we need very focused, very focused methodologies such as roundtables, such as organized debates with background papers, but something very focused and a targeted around the way forward.
Then with emerging issues we'd like to suggest using something called "open space technology." Some people might be familiar with it. There's an awful lot of information about it online, but it's really about people setting the agenda in a very open way. Particularly with issues that are new, that are emerging, or that may be quite controversial and need a lot of space to create dialogue.
And then I think the other main issue is around the -- the main sessions and open dialogues. APC was involved in helping to prepare two of the main sessions, and across the board found that a very, very worthwhile experience, a real demonstration of grass-roots bottom-up participation in forming the forum process. But in terms of the sessions themselves, it really came down to a lot of variables. It came down to diversity on panel, preparation of panelists, number of panelists, experience of the broadcast anchor, the degree of interactivity with the audience.
So people felt that in each of the sessions were very different in terms of how successful they were or weren't. And we go into some detail in the survey response on that.
I think lastly, in terms of the one significant -- well, there are actually three, but the significant changes, maybe to underscore one point you have already made is continued and increased support for national and regional IGFs and creating mechanisms to ensure that they're fed into the global forums.
We also identified diversity and bringing in different actors, particularly from developing countries, more mainstream civil society, women's rights, and media organizations, but I think the -- the sort of overarching feeling amongst our team was that we would -- we wished the IGF process to become one that creates opportunities for moving from dialogue and debate to synergizing action around those issues that now enjoy broad consensus amongst the community and have reached a certain point of maturity.
And lastly, that we're very much looking forward to Sharm El Sheikh and to continue working with everyone in the process. Thank you.
>>CHAIR DESAI: Thank you. I now have Martin Boyle from Nominet. Then Ayesha Hassan from ICC and ETNO. Mr. Boyle.
>>NOMINET: Thank you, Chairman. I'd like to focus in this first intervention solely on organizational issues and come back later with comments on more substantive issues from the event. And these, to some extent, are a personal organizational view of how Hyderabad went, even though we were there as part of the U.K. Internet Governance Forum contribution.
I would like to congratulate our regional hosts on the effective and efficient organization of Hyderabad, and in the wake of the tragic events in Mumbai we all shared the sadness of the Indian people.
The Indian and United Nations security services were efficient and reassuring, and the height end security did not obtrude on the good atmosphere of the event. This was a remarkable achievement for which we should all be grateful. For such a busy environment as the IGF, as we've just heard, it is inevitable that we will see compromises on how we balance the events. In many ways, the model used for Hyderabad was a good one, not least in ensuring better participation in the plenary discussions.
These main forum discussions were well-organized and constructive. I think you used the words "respectful and informed" for one of them, and I think that this does highlight the value of promoting dialogue, which means listening as well as speaking.
The balance was perhaps less favorable for the workshops and APC have just highlighted a few of the reasons why this might -- might have been so.
And in fact, perhaps it is inevitable, but we do need to consider how we might be able to maintain the participation in the main hall while continuing to benefit from the vibrancy of the workshops as a way to promote dialogue on new issues, and to prepare and feed into the plenary sessions.
I believe that the village remains an important feature of the IGF, and we were pleased to have a stand to present the U.K. IGF initiative. It provided a meeting point and an excellent opportunity for people to share information about what they were doing.
I think this sort of informal exchange is a real opportunity, and I hope that we will be able to continue this in Sharm El Sheikh.
In conclusion, we have a lot of people to thank for a truly memorable IGF. Our Indian hosts, the multistakeholder Advisory Group, and of course to you, chair, and to the IGF Secretariat for faultless organization.
IGFs are made, they don't just happen. Together we made an IGF that we are all be proud of. Thank you, chair.
>>CHAIR DESAI: Thank you. Ayesha from ICC.
>>ICC: Thank you, Mr. Chairman. On behalf of ICC/BASIS members, who as many of you know come from companies and associations from around the world and across sectors, we'd like to join others in congratulating the host country, India, the organizers, you, Mr. Chairman, and the IGF Secretariat, as well as the Advisory Group members and the community on a very successful event. And we really look forward to working with all stakeholders to prepare another successful IGF in Sharm El Sheikh in Egypt in 2009.
I would like to highlight a few of our general comments at this stage and also just call attention to the fact that ICC/BASIS did contribute two contributions. They are on the Web site and are in the back of the room for your convenience.
The Indian hosts managed the organizational and logistics responsibilities with grace and effectiveness, particularly under the circumstances as others have noted. We applaud the Indian government and organizers for all they did to reassure and secure participants and manage the underpinnings of the event to ensure that it could go on and be productive. And it was.
ICC/BASIS members believed that the spirit in which the Indian government and organizers welcomed participants played a critical role in the success of the event, and would like to express our deep appreciation for each person who was involved in that effort.
ICC/BASIS members believe that the IGF in Hyderabad successfully built upon the productive experiences of Rio and Athens. The sheer number of business participants present in Hyderabad and actively engaged is just one indication of the importance business around the world places on the IGF.
There are many organizations involved in a wide range of Internet Governance issues, and each of them has a useful role to play. The IGF's unique capability to bring together the range of organizations and stakeholders involved in Internet Governance issues for the open discussions we had in Hyderabad is a particular value-add to the global-level discussions on these matters.
The IGF's format brings all stakeholders together, treats all of them equally, and provides a space to address any Internet Governance issue in a timely manner because it is not a negotiation process that requires compliance with set preparatory processes.
This unique benefit cannot be fulfilled by alternative approaches.
We've observed that in the range of Internet Governance issues, it is the landscape of organizations and forums that are involved that bring out the many dimensions of these policy issues. No single organization leads on or owns any particular issue but, rather, contributes in a specific way. The IGF, with its flexible approach, allows for the constant refreshing and renewing of thought on issues as new developments occur and as organizations make progress on specific aspects of them. This is a real benefit to us all.
The IGF has also stimulated more efficiencies in other organizations and national and regional dialogues on Internet Governance issues. We believe that the continued exchange in the IGF will lead to more concrete results like those we saw in 2008, with the establishment of several new national and regional multistakeholder dialogues and IGF events.
The IGF is the only arena where we come together to discuss, not negotiate, and the ability to do this is an important aspect of enhancing cooperation by encouraging cooperation among different stakeholder groups and among organizations. We believe that the IGF in Hyderabad deepened many cooperative and collaborative efforts, created new bonds between people, and strengthened the relationships and exchanges between stakeholder groups and organizations.
Over the course of the past three IGFs, we have seen the demonstrable impact of the IGF on policy issues and how they are approached at the national and regional levels. The IGF in Egypt should continue this effort and should be kept in mind as we develop the program.
A few points to build on inputs from previous contributors.
As we plan for the IGF in Egypt, a focus on the national and regional initiatives, and an exchange on how those initiatives have been constructed and developed and exchanging experience on the national and regional initiatives would be very useful, in our view.
We also believe that we should be keeping an eye on how to capture the many activities and many benefits that are coming out of the IGF, to continue to have those activities be able to be shared among a broader group of stakeholders.
We do agree with other contributors that it is a challenge to have the right equation, to balance the number of parallel events, to both nourish the discussion in the workshops as well as the main sessions. Careful attention should be given to this to ensure that there are well-attended and balanced events, and also to create an opportunity for the main sessions for many more stakeholders to continue to benefit from the substantive exchange in those sessions.
Like others, we would also like to highlight that the village was another success this year. ICC/BASIS had a booth, and our members took great advantage of that opportunity. I know many others had booths in the village and we continue to believe that this is an excellent opportunity for informal exchange, which is one of the unique opportunities that participants get at the IGF to share and build new connections and launch new alliances and initiatives together.
With that, I will end, Mr. Chairman, and I look forward to contributing throughout the day. Thanks.
>>CHAIR DESAI: Thank you. ETNO.
>>ETNO: Yes. Thank you, chair, and good morning to all. I speak on behalf of ETNO, which is the Association of European telecommunications network operators.
Mr. Chair, ETNO has submitted a written contribution on taking stock, as well as on the review of the IGF, and we invite those interested to consult our contribution posted on the IGF site under "Contributions." In this intervention, we would like to highlight some of the issues contained there, but also bring up some other things. First of all -- and we need to say this -- we would like to thank the Indian government, the IGF Secretariat, the MAG members, but also the participants of the Hyderabad IGF who made it a success. In particular, thanks to you chair, and Mr. Kummer. Although the IGF is not just about the four days meeting, you've managed very well to handle a very difficult situation. I personally regret not being able to attend but tried to follow the Hyderabad meeting remotely.
Secondly, we were very pleased -- we were pleasantly surprised by the number of people that replied this time to the online questionnaire or sent contributions. We find this a healthy sign, comparing to the situation of the past, although we cannot help noticing the lack of input from governments.
The result was a rich synthesis paper which gave us a lot of issues to comment on.
The third general comment is something we stress every year this time, that good organization and programming are fundamental. We consider it essential that the program and schedule for the Egyptian meeting become available well before the second open consultation in May, and that they are finalized by September 2009.
At this point, we would like to thank the Secretariat for announcing the exact dates of the open consultations in Geneva. Ideally, this should be done in January each year, in order to facilitate preparations and help programming.
Also, we would like to request that all documents for comments -- for example, versions of the program paper -- become available at least one month before each consultation, in order to prepare properly.
Coming now to the more practical issues and taking stock of the Hyderabad meeting, first of all, let us express our comments about the format of the meeting, and we appreciate the improvement of the structure and we believe that things in Hyderabad worked very well overall.
The morning panel discussions were extremely interesting, while the afternoon open discussions were very interactive. However, in some cases, good interaction did not necessarily go hand in hand with taking the discussion further. Therefore, proper adjustments are necessary, and we stress the word "adjustments" because we need to build on the Hyderabad structure and not reinvent the wheel.
Main sessions should have more focus in order to avoid repeating standard views well-known to many. Main sessions should also have more structure. And by that, we mean better theme descriptions. Questions to be answered known well in advance. By the way, this will also help remote participation.
More structure also means better and proper preparation of moderators, perhaps the addition of a keynote speaker for certain of the discussion sessions, and availability of speakers not to be discussed -- I'm sorry, not to be confused with the discussants of the past who are known from before and that are experts on specific issues.
Now, if the main sessions have the form of a panel or a roundtable, depending on their maturity, we need to decide on the specific subjects first and then see which form fits best each meeting.
The Hyderabad experience proved that using the co-moderator format was very constructive. ETNO prefers, where possible, that experts with communication skills are the moderators instead of journalists.
One thing that appears to be negative is the large number of workshops and other events. While respecting the diversity of opinions, we think that the workshops happening in parallel were still too many, and we really cannot understand why similar workshops did not merge. After all, we believe that it is more efficient, if not more democratic, to have many diverse voices in one room instead of having the same diverse voices scattered in various rooms repeating the same views.
We continue to believe that it will be best if we have fewer events. Let's suggest maximum four, held in parallel of the main sessions, but with better quality. That the number of workshops and other events be reduced, and that resources are optimized.
Like last year, an early call would help in this direction and the IGF Secretariat and the MAG should continue to push for similar workshops to merge.
If the view of maximum four event held in parallel finds support, it would be best to drop best practice forums as best practices or lessons learned should be an integral part of most meetings.
On the other hand, we should have at least one reporting back from the workshops session, which besides the obvious, practical reason of making known what was happening in the other rooms, it increases the linkage between main sessions and workshops, and can be a start of a general overall discussion.
This can also be extended to a free discussion on every other issue, which was not mentioned until that time.
Mr. Chair, we also have comments on remote participation, the synthesis paper, and we will also like to make a couple of concrete suggestions, but I will come back later about these issues.
>>CHAIR DESAI: I have Honduras, Bill Graham from ISOC, and Mr. Jamil.
>>HONDURAS: Yes, thank you, Chair. The Honduran delegation as the regional representative of GRULAC thinks that the Internet Governance Forum is seen as an ideal platform for the dialogue and exchange of information on Internet governance.
GRULAC thinks that this discussion must go beyond and have workshops and roundtables for these substantive issues of the forum.
We are grateful to the delegation from Egypt for hosting the next forum meeting.
And among the related subjects, we would also like there to be debate at that meeting in Egypt, subject related to development in all its dimensions.
We also believe that the importance of looking at other models within other reasons, as, for example, in our case, in the case of GRULAC, we share many ideas which are in line with those of APC. We also think there are many subjects that have already got a certain amount of consensus, and need a more operational format.
We also think there are new themes that still need to mature and to have open, democratic, and transparent discussions to help them develop further.
We also think that the review of the forum will give us better results, more specific results, and in the same way we think it will give more clarity for the debates of the forum.
Thank you very much.
>>CHAIR DESAI: (saying name) from ISOC.
>>ISOC: Thank you very much, Mr. Chair, and thank you to the Secretariat for organizing the meetings this week.
ISOC would like to express once again our thanks to the Indian government and to their partners for the excellent job they did in organizing the Hyderabad meetings, particularly under the difficult situations that prevailed at that time. We were truly impressed at the excellent facilities and organization that took place there, and we look forward to the Egyptian event this year.
I have a few positive comments and a few suggestions where improvements could be made so that -- Is that working?
First, the organization of the main sessions, we felt that this was really a significant improvement, and the main reason, I think, for the improvement in the main sessions was the effort that was put into getting organizers of workshops of different views to work together. As one of those coordinating one of the workshops, I can attest to the fact that it was difficult at times, but I really felt it was well worth the effort, and a practice that should be continued to make this a real forum for open discussion.
We also very much appreciated the IGF village, which was a good opportunity for ISOC and many other organizations to present our work and also to get together with various people and find matters of joint interest, and find ways that we can work together between the IGFs.
We also appreciated the Secretariat's paper prepared for the event, but feel that there really needs to be more linkage between the preparations for the IGF and the events as they take place. I think we could raise the level of debate to a higher level if we were to take those steps.
Areas where we feel there could be significant improvement would start with remote participation.
Perhaps this came more to the fourth year because of people who were unable, for various reasons, to attend the meetings in Hyderabad. And therefore, it was more noticeable.
Secondly, I think the pre-organization with the early suggestions to have remote sites probably raised expectations in conjunction with people not being able to be there.
This is not an issue that is the responsibility of the hosts, would I say, but really for us as supporters of the IGF to really flesh out the conceptual aspects of remote participation, make it clear what we expect to be able to provide and what we don't, and then find ways to deliver on the expectations.
ISOC is committed to assisting in that regard.
Second area that we feel could be improved is the amount of interaction and discussion both in the workshops and the main sessions. While the afternoon open dialogues were a gesture in that direction, the discussion tended to be somewhat unfocused and didn't really come to any kind of coherent whole.
And many of the workshops still tend toward talking-head sessions with very little time allocated for discussion.
I think the linkage between the workshops and the main sessions, which remains an area that we could definitely improve, could contribute somewhat to the coherence of the discussion.
It's also, we feel, time to finish the IGF 101 approach of the IGF sessions. We have been through three IGFs now. The quality has been very good, but I heard from many participants in our organization and from others as well that they felt they had seen the same people saying the same thing for three consecutive years now. And it's time to try to raise the level of discussion, perhaps by having -- introducing expert panels in areas where one really gets a chance to interact with the experts in some areas.
Also, by emphasizing once again the desired outcome of having people attend the IGF and then go away and work in their local and regional environments to implement the things that they have been discussing and learning.
In that respect, we noted a change of phrase by at least one of the participants in Hyderabad that I thought was really well beyond the semantic, but really an important change. And that was one discussion where there was discussion of not talking any longer about whether there should be outputs of the IGF, but, rather, changing it to discussing whether there have been outputs from the IGF.
That change, to me, is a very important one. It really points to the need for people to work together based on what they are learning at the IGF, on people they are meeting at the IGF, on joint interests that are identified at the IGF, and then coming back to subsequent meetings, reporting on the outputs from their endeavors.
So I just thought I would like to highlight that early on in the meeting.
Thank you very much.
>>CHAIR DESAI: I have Switzerland followed by Mr. Jamil followed by the remote participation working group. And then ICANN.
So can I first have Switzerland.
>>SWITZERLAND: Thank you, Mr. Chair.
First I would like to start with a few brief general remarks.
I would like to add my voice to those before who appreciated the IGF, because it is a unique platform for multistakeholder policy discussions on equal footing in the Internet governance area, and to those who see no alternative to it.
Many aspects of the IGF are unique. I just would like to highlight the openness of discussions and the absence of hierarchy between stakeholders, and also within stakeholders, which in our view is the basis for identifying challenges and for work towards solution -- solutions through voluntary but convinced cooperation and action.
We have also been very impressed by the number of initiatives on regional and national levels that have been and still are emerging around the IGF.
I would now like to make a few remarks with regard to organizational issues.
The IGF Hyderabad was very well organized, and I would like to join previous speakers in thanking the host country for the very open, and warm-hearted way of hosting and for all they did to make the IGF 2008 such a successful event.
Buildup the same thanks, of course, goes to the IGF Chair, the Secretariat and its staff, the MAG and everybody else who was involved in the preparation and conduction of the event.
We think that in general, the format of last year's IGF proved to be very successful. Most of the changes helped to improve the quality of the event.
There would be very many positive things to be said. I would just mention a few.
The quality of the main sessions was higher than before. The fact that there were no sessions during lunch break and the evening was a very positive experience in our eyes.
The way lunch was organized in general was very good for informal and spontaneous networking and preparation of other sessions and so on and so forth. Like I said, there would be much more to say that was positive.
I would like now to concentrate on things that we think -- we hope will -- can and will be improved in the future.
We still think that the number of simultaneous events was too high in Hyderabad.
The events that we managed to follow were practically all of very high quality and very interesting, but the attendance was limited. And I think this is a pity, and we should continue to merge events more, to strengthen the efforts to merge events on related issues.
In that regard, I would like to repeat the proposal made by some stakeholders in Hyderabad that we could try not to call for people to organize workshops but to call for issues and then get the interested stakeholders around the issues together to organize predefined number of workshops or events.
Remote participation is another issue where we think it was a good start or a good development in Hyderabad, but the stability and the viability of the technical system can be improved. And I would support proposals for thinking of concentrating on a high-quality audio cast rather than a visual cast as well, which would just take resources which we would not think are necessary, or if it's a capacity or technical problems, that we should try to concentrate on the audio signal.
The reporting back from workshops to main sessions was not enough clear for us, and these structures should be clarified and improved for next year. And one point which is recurring, but nevertheless key, is we should try to define and communicate the program and other important organizational aspects as early as possible.
The earlier things are organized, the easier it is for everybody to find out what is going on to organize one's self and to participate and contribute to the event.
And something that has also been said by others, we should keep trying to integrate new participants and bring in new stakeholders. We should do everything to avoid becoming a meeting of a group of usual suspects, but should always pay attention to be as open and as easy to access for new people and new ideas.
I will make some remarks on the substantive part at the later stage. If you allow me, I would like to give a limit of information on this year's EuroDIG process as already mentioned by others.
The process and event of the EuroDIG last year has received positive reactions and support, and we will try and build on last year but try to improve the process.
The second EuroDIG will be developed like the first by an open-ended EuroDIG network, where everybody is invited to join.
The 2009 European dialogue on Internet governance will this time be co-organized by the European Broadcasting Union, and OFCOM Switzerland, with the strong support by the Secretariat of the Council of Europe who, as you know, hosted the first event in Strasbourg last year.
The dates for EuroDIG 2009 will be 14 and 15 September. It will be held at the EBU's premises in Geneva in the same week and back to back with the IGF open consultations and MAG meeting, which are also planned to be held at the EBU's premises.
I would like to repeat that EuroDIG is an open-ended initiative with an open-ended network behind it.
The first year was a good start in our view, especially given the short time and little resources, but it can and has to be improved.
And we are starting this year's process now, which is much earlier than last year. This means we have more time, and hopefully we also get more resources to have also to take this momentum that exists at the moment.
And we therefore would like to invite all the European stakeholders to join the network and to work with us. That includes all national IGF initiatives, that includes representatives from all stakeholders and all country of the geographical your, including national stakeholders, parliamentarians, but also sub-national stakeholders including the E.U. and its high-level Internet governance group, the parliaments of the European Union, the Parliament of the Council of Europe, Parliamentary Assembly, the U.N. Regional Economic Commission for Europe, and other European and supranational organizations like business organizations, just to name a few.
Together we will develop a preparatory process where all stakeholders can feed in their issues, ideas, and concerns about Internet governance.
We will develop a program that will focus on Internet governance issues based on the global IGF process, but focused on European common values, on issues where a broad consensus can be reached and action can be facilitated.
And we will also try to link not only with the national European initiatives but also with the other regional initiatives under the framework of the global IGF and try to provide some valuable input to the global IGF process.
And I would end with recalling the name of the Web site, this is EuroDIG.org, but don't go there yet. It's not on an actual stage, but as soon as we find the time, we will start this year's process.
Thank you very much.
[ Laughter ]
>>CHAIR DESAI: Zahid Jamil.
>>ZAHID JAMIL: Thank you, sir. Thank you to the Chair. I am a member of the MAG from the business community and under the ICC Pakistan.
I would like to start by thanking and recognizing the efforts and to the host country, India, in those very trying times and in the midst of the abhorrent incidents in Mumbai and which continue to plague our region. But I would also like to recognize and support the host country's efforts in moving ahead with and continuing with the very important multistakeholder event successfully.
In this -- since I myself was unable from Pakistan to be in India for this event I would like to underscore the importance and recognize the importance of the remote participation facilities made available.
And hence, support the continuity of this process and underscore the importance of this process for developing countries.
The use of remote participation also shows the enthusiasm of regional Internet users in the region of Pakistan and others who may not have been able to attend but were able to utilize these services and show enthusiasm in those regions.
This led to several initiatives locally in the countries and in our region. For instance, the IGF has become a point of reference, and a source of best practices.
We support the concept what ISOC just mentioned earlier that this is -- that people look towards the output from the IGF, and this has become the basis for point of impact discussions and issues related, exchanges of best practices and policy-making circles in our region.
This has affected matters in the last two to three years, affecting from legislation, regulation, and advocacy.
In particular, the introduction of a concept of a national IGF process has been successful in Pakistan.
In legislation matters such as cyber security and the cyber crime bill and followed by the ordinance has -- and privacy legislation have been greatly influenced by the informed discussions that have taken place at the IGF and many participants from these developing countries who went to the IGF and have come back and fed back into the process. Therefore, we recognize the importance on the policy and the dialogue and exchange of best practice that take place at this important forum.
And we would like to underscore the importance of these sort of initiatives and results that have taken, the outputs that have taken place in the review process of successes of this very important, nonbinding, neutral and truly multistakeholder process.
Looking forward, I would state that the -- we're looking forward to the Web site of the IGF being updated with the proceedings as it was in Rio for all the updates and proceedings of Hyderabad also being made available online as they are not at the moment.
With regard to the early comments with the connection and the balance between the plenary and the workshops, we would also again support that concept that we need to explore more efficient means to have them feed into each other.
Also, another comment made earlier with regard to the level of discussion be raised, we support that because we think there have been enough IGFs now to raise from the 101 standard to a higher level.
In general, we believed that a special emphasis on the cross cutting themes, human and institutional capacity building and development will further the discussions on all the main themes at the next IGF in Egypt.
This could be accomplished by having a special session on these -- each of these cross-cutting themes and addressing the main topics from those angles.
With regard to multilingualism, we believe the discussions in the next IGF in 2009 in Egypt need to be deepened to focus more on policy implications and inform policy choices through the exchange more of best practices.
With regard to the access theme, the access earlier discussions have ripened at the IGF in Hyderabad, and this session -- the sessions there highlighted that, that the need for a new approach for the IGF, Internet governance discussions of access issues at the IGF in Egypt. We would suggest that access be discussed in a real capacity building and exchange of best practices format at the IGF in Egypt.
With regard to dimensions of cyber security and cyber crime, the education and capacity building remain critical issues, with end users to ensure that propagators of cyber crime and compromised devices are maintained and defended against cyber attacks and the operators are aware of procedures and tools to mitigate the risks through the exchange of best practices at the IGF.
We support the IGF as a useful forum for discussing the important child protection issues and exchanging best practices and policy approaches. We do not, however, believe that this particular security is the only one issue that needs further discussion at the IGF in general and the IGF in Egypt this year.
We therefore believe that more than just the child protection issue should be discussed at the next IGF in Egypt.
Thank you for the opportunity, sir.
>>CHAIR DESAI: Remote participation group.
>>REMOTE PARTICIPATION GROUP: I will focus my thanks and congratulations to the Secretariat and the host country in India, and the excellent progress made with remote participation.
I think the comments we have had from so many previous speakers about remote participation in itself indicate that it was a great success, although it was not perfect, although we have to work on it. It certainly laid the groundwork for the future, and we do thank all of the previous speakers for their comments.
Because of the work that the Secretariat, in particular Markus Kummer, worked on with India and Dimdim, more than 500 individual participants remotely joined the IGF sessions. Among these, the Council of Europe, of course, were a great addition, adapting to the problems to arrive in India.
These attendees participated in panel discussions through live chat, audio and video streaming during the four-day event.
In addition, nine regional hubs -- Argentina, Brazil, Columbia, Serbia, India, Pakistan, and three in Spain -- registered for the IGF holding parallel sessions to view, participate, and discuss the proceedings in Hyderabad through the remote participation platform.
At the same time that they attended the sessions in Hyderabad remotely, they met in their own regional groups to apply the discussions directly to their own regional issues and situations; in particular, as was pointed out by our speaker from Pakistan.
With aim to contribute to the improvement of the remote participation, the working group, together with Dimdim, has written a report to evaluate the remote participation in Hyderabad and to suggest the way forward.
This report is now available on the remote participation working group page at www.igfremote.org.
In order to improve remote participation solutions for the next IGF in Egypt, the continued cooperation of the IGF Secretariat and the community and those today that offered, ISOC and others who are interested in participating, is of course indispensable. This initiative will extend the debates of the IGF in a critical moment of re-evaluation, a crossroads where enhanced inclusion will reinforce an interactive exchange and solutions within the community, which proves the importance and the effectiveness of the IGF process.
A formal preparatory process, including an open communications channel between the IGF Secretariat, the host country, and the Remote Participation Working Group will allow a stronger foundation for remote participation at the IGF 2009.
As in any other project, if we do competent preparatory process, we will have a better result.
Thank you very much.
>>CHAIR DESAI: Thank you. I have ICANN, followed by (saying name) from Diplo, and then Bertrand from France.
>>ICANN: Thank, Mr. Chairman. ICANN would like once again to congratulate the government and people of India as well as the Chair and Secretariat of the IGF on the successful meeting in Hyderabad.
We recognize the progress the IGF has been making since its inception, as a truly open forum for multistakeholder participation, and believe that the Hyderabad session was a valuable addition to the previous meetings in Athens and Rio de Janeiro.
We look forward to build on that success in moving forward to Sharm El Sheikh in November 2009.
We have some general remarks on the Hyderabad meeting and some few suggestions on the way going forward.
ICANN believes that the Hyderabad meeting was featured with distinctive participation of experts who represent wide range of stakeholders coming from India as well as from all over the world.
The level of participation together with the willingness to address all issues openly and deeply has reflected on the informative and fruitful discussions throughout the meeting.
We found the main sessions together with the open dialogues very successful in bringing experts in the field to the discussion and allowing various groups and individuals to share knowledge and exchange views.
In particular, the interaction among participants during the open dialogue sessions was one of the key characteristics of the Hyderabad meeting.
We would like to see this format continue in Sharm El Sheikh.
We also recognize the effort of the IGF Secretariat and the MAG, trying to enrich the meetings' program with a variety of workshops proposed by large number of organizations and groups. And as much as we support this open and inclusive approach of the IGF, it's also necessary to try to make some balance between the tolerance in accommodating the desire of the various stakeholders to share their experiences and best practices and the need to ensure the effective participation in the different sessions of the program.
We believe that more consideration is required by the Secretariat and the MAG to try to combine workshops that address the same topics or topics that are interrelated and could be merged into one workshop.
This, by all means, is not an easy task, but it merits more thought because it has a significant impact on the effective participation and engagement in the event as a whole, as well as on the interaction among participants not only during the sessions, but also during breaks where side meetings could be arranged. It's important to emphasize that the IGF is becoming the forum where all interested stakeholders have the chance to get together once every year and so more consideration needs to be taken in organizing the overall program of the meeting.
ICANN cannot stress more on the importance of multistakeholder models as the appropriate approach to addressing Internet-related matters, and the IGF has demonstrated its competence in this realm.
Additionally, the ability for remote participation for stakeholders unable to attend meetings is equally important in an era when the technology exists. Its implementation is for users to use.
In this regard, remote participation and ensuring the availability and reliability of bandwidth and tools to help participants who will not physically be in Sharm El Sheikh take part in the various sessions. Equally important is interpretation services, which are usually available in the main sessions. Making such services available within reasonable prices would encourage workshops' organizers to make the most -- the most use of them.
On topical areas, we believe that all the Internet plays and economic development and support efforts and initiatives to boost Internet access around the world, and particularly in developing countries. We also realize that the IGF, over the course of the past three years, has been an excellent venue for discussing issues pertaining to access and for sharing experiences of different actors in the field.
Discussions around access were very useful in Hyderabad, and we hope to see them continue in Sharm El Sheikh.
And in talking about access, we actually are looking at the bigger picture, where connectivity and network infrastructures are key, beside other important elements such as multilingual content, localized tools for computers as well as mobile devices, planning for the transition to IPv6, ensuring security and interoperability of a single Internet as well as the cross-cutting elements of capacity building and innovation in business models and service offerings.
With that, Mr. Chairman, I'll end my intervention and I look forward to contributing through the day. Thank you.
>>CHAIR DESAI: Thank you very much. May I now ask Jovan from Diplo.
>>DIPLO: Thank you, Mr. Chair. Let me take this opportunity to join other colleagues in congratulating all involved in the preparation and organization of IGF Hyderabad. The tragic circumstances made this event unique in many respects. The IGF was a victory of clarity and openness against the atmosphere of fear and threat. And once more, I would like to extend our thanks to our Indian hosts and the IGF Secretariat for making this a memorable and unique experience.
With regard to the IGF in 2008, I would like to make one reflection related to capacity development, which made IGF Hyderabad not only the successful event but also very rich development process that lasted for almost nine months, if not one year.
On this point, I would like just to make one slight linguistical digression. You will probably notice that in global political circles, there is a change in semantics and language. The term "capacity building" that -- which we adopted in 2005 in Tunis is not any more used.
It's replaced by the term "capacity development," which is less mechanic than "capacity building" and more organic. Therefore, we may have to update our language in the forthcoming period along those trends.
But apart from the form and the linguistics, I would like just to inform you about the main developments in capacity development in 2008.
In Hyderabad, we had 25 IG fellows whose participation was made possible thanks to the support of the Canadian government, ITU, and Switzerland.
The IGF Hyderabad was the last step in a nine-month process that started with a course, first introductory course back in March 2008, followed by the policy research phase, and then out of the 130 students, 25 most successful were selected and brought, thanks to Canada, ITU, and Switzerland to India.
In India, you probably met some of those IG fellows. They presented their policy research in the IGF village. They participated in workshops and introduced some new forms of interaction, one which was highly appreciated although in its embryonic stage, the so-called "Oxford style debate" or "BBC Doha style debate," which is now more -- people are more familiar with that, with the successful BBC broadcasting.
They tackled the key IG issues through using -- by using debating techniques in the event in Hyderabad.
In order to bring this really rich capacity development experience that has happened since March till December, throughout 2008, we prepared a collection of stories, stories told and written by IGF fellows, and tomorrow at 1:00 I think in the hall, which is on the opposite side of this floor, we will have a presentation of this publication and which contains their stories and description of the overall process.
Now, Indian hosts also made considerable efforts to have IGF as a process, not only as an event. They trained 30 Indian officials in a short two-month-long course and the 15 most successful Indian participants in the course attended the IGF in Hyderabad.
The Indian national capacity building program made a vibrant community that has remained active even after the last date of the IGF in Hyderabad and it can ensure continuity of discussion in IG issues, in academic society and business circles in India.
Our experience for 2008 provides a good basis for the renewed and more inclusive discussion on capacity development in the preparation for IGF in Sharm El Sheikh, and probably one of the main evolutions that we should be open to and that we should discuss is a shift from individual towards institutional capacity development. There is a need -- there is an increasing need in the global development circles to have institutional capacity development.
We can see from our colleagues from Egypt that they are keen to keep this momentum from Hyderabad, and to enhance activities in the field of capacity building, and it provides a guarantee that capacity development will be an important issue throughout 2009, and at the major event in Sharm El Sheikh in November of this year. Thank you, Mr. Chair.
>>CHAIR DESAI: I have France, then Canada, followed by AT&T, and then Diop.
>>FRANCE: Thank you, Mr. Chair. First of all, it's -- it is a great pleasure to be able to congratulate the Indian hosts. It was a very difficult situation, and it was a very strong honor to be there on that occasion, and to witness how they hosted this event, in spite of those difficulties.
So it's a pleasure to recognize it like others did before today.
I just would like to make a few contributions. Basically, I support almost everything that has been said before, and the comments are very constructive. I would like to highlight a few key words that may help us move forward.
The first key word is "maturity." I think it's a very interesting word. First of all, because on many occasions, people have said that the IGF has come of age or is at a turning point. There is a sort of maturation in the IGF itself, and in particular it was very good to see that in Hyderabad, we could tackle an issue that used to be a great taboo, and the session on enhanced cooperation was a very interesting interaction. People did not necessarily agree, but at least everybody got a better understanding of what people understood, or saw behind this work, which is a typical issue-framing discussion and one of the main benefits of the IGF.
The second element of maturity was also the debate on the IGF itself, and inasmuch as we support very strongly, as the European Union said before, the IGF, we are now getting in a space as APC said earlier or demonstrated earlier where, because we believe strongly in this, we see where the improvements can be made and where it is maybe not as good as we hope it can be or how it can be improved.
And in this respect, there were interventions, including by very high-level participants, who explained what can be improved, and this is good. It means that we don't shy away from addressing what needs to be improved, and it's good.
So this is a maturity. But the reason why I raise this point is also because the notion of "maturity" of issues has emerged in Hyderabad, and this is a very important thing.
The different subjects are not the same stage of discussion. Some are very little understood. But they don't raise big debates. They don't raise big opposition. Sometimes it's just a question of awareness.
In this respect, the IPv6/IPv4 part of the discussion was very good, to explain what it is. Others are at a later stage, where it's basically a better understanding of who is working in this field that is needed. And, for instance, the panel that I was pleased to moderate on cyber dimensions, or cybersecurity and cybercrime, probably didn't make the substance progress as much as explain to everybody who are the actors present and what is the discussion.
So this notion of the degree of maturity of an issue also relates to the format in which they must be addressed, and this will be a part of the work of the MAG and our further discussions to match the type of format to the types of issues.
The second key word I would like to use is "flexibility." One of the main advantages of the IGF is its informal nature, and the flexibility both in agenda-setting and in the format. The exercise we did in Hyderabad in setting three major themes and discussing at length what these themes were and what the titles of each session was going to be, was an incredibly useful exercise because it provides a flexible and evolutive agenda and this is in sharp contrast with the problems that the Secretary-General -- the Deputy Secretary-General of the ITU was alluding to regarding the cluster WSIS events for May, where the action lines of Geneva are relatively rigid framework.
The IGF has the capacity to progressively make its own agenda evolve and this is a great function. And in this respect, we support what has been mentioned earlier, which is a call for themes, rather than a call for workshops as an initial stage that will allow a better cooperation.
In terms of flexibility, there's also the evolutionary nature of formats. The open dialogue format was a very nice innovation. It worked well, altogether, and it particularly demonstrated that co-moderation by experts can work namely at least as well as moderation by journalists and sometimes better, and I want here to congratulate both Chris and Jeanette on the excellent work that they did on the panel they co-moderated.
As ETNO mentioned earlier, we should continue building on what we've already achieved, not try to work and reinvent from scratch, but build upon the three formats that we have today -- workshops, panels, and open dialogues -- to try to improve, maybe diversify them a little bit. We support the notion of roundtables for issues that are ripe enough, result-oriented discussions, and maybe a hybrid format combining some sort of panel plus an open dialogue in a sort of three-hour session could be a useful format to explore.
Likewise, in terms of flexibility, dynamic coalitions showed that they could merge, change their names, and this is a very good evolutionary pattern.
Two last words. One is "replication." It is the third key word. It has been mentioned that greater attention was paid to the emergence of national and regional IGFs. As you know, we co-animated with Nominet a workshop on national and regional IGFs. We produced a report, and actually for those interested, we will distribute, probably this afternoon, a paper version of it.
It led to the notion of a dynamic coalition to develop the IGF network and all actors who will undertake to set up national or regional IGFs will be encouraged to contact us to help develop this in the future. And of course those national and regional IGFs are probably very useful interlocutors for the remote participation efforts and the dynamic coalition on this.
Last thing, in terms of outcomes -- and the last key word is "outcomes" -- the mention that has already been made, especially by ISOC, is very worth highlighting. This very small distinction between recommendations at the IGF and recommendations by the IGF is a very positive way to move forward, and we are looking forward to any possibility for dynamic coalitions, in particular, or workshop organizers, to contribute to proposals for action or proposals and calls for cooperations in Egypt. Thank you.
>>CHAIR DESAI: I have Canada, AT&T, Senegal, Egypt. Canada.
>>CANADA: Thank you, chair. The Canadian government would first like to extend thanks to India for hosting a successful third Internet Governance Forum in Hyderabad. Particularly in light of the tragic events that took place in Mumbai.
We further look forward to participating in the IGF to take place in Sharm El Sheikh in November this year.
Experience has now demonstrated that the IGF and MAG models have lasting value. This approach to meaningful policy discussions on Internet Governance-related policy issues will continue to work in support of development and capacity building. Perhaps I ought to consult with Diplo on the new term "capacity development."
Canada notes that there are numerous initiatives and partnerships conducted by all stakeholder groups, committed to addressing the need for increasing developing-country participation in Internet Governance. To this end, I am pleased to report on one such initiative. Canada will again be providing funds to the ITU to support travel for developing countries to IGF meetings. In this regard, Canada appreciates the opportunity to work with the ITU on this shared goal.
This year's fund of 150,000 Canadian dollars will again be available to all stakeholder groups, particularly those that will have a speaking role at the IGF in Sharm El Sheikh. Information on the fund will be made available on the IGF Web site closer to November.
Canada would like to stress the importance of capacity building in youth, and sees the work of the DiploFoundation as very successful in its merit-based approach in Internet Governance capacity development.
Canada would echo the thoughts of others that we need to build on the clear success to date of the IGF, and now give thought on how to move the IGF and its discussions further along in its evolution.
Last year's preparations raised the question of how to ensure that there is a readily accessible record of the outputs from the IGF. Transcription of the main sessions, improvements in the Web site, publishing workshop reports, summary reports, and synthesis papers all contribute significantly to creating a lasting resource.
Following the suggestion of the Secretariat, linking to the IGF Web site is a good way to demonstrate the work of the regional or national IGFs, as well as a sharing of best practices in Internet Governance-related issues.
As to the Village Square, this worked well, as did the discussion space.
Canada would further like to acknowledge the efforts of the remote participation group. Clearly this facility is an important means for allowing continued broad participation in the meetings.
In closing, Canada looks forward to working further with the IGF and its participants to ensure its continued success. Thank you.
>>CHAIR DESAI: All right. Thank you. I have AT&T.
>>AT&T: Thank you, chair. I would add my thanks to the organizers of the IGF meeting in Hyderabad, including the IGF Secretariat and our Indian hosts. Despite the tragic events in Mumbai, the meeting was very successful and there was strong attendance and participation.
I think it's notable that this is a positive reflection of the success and importance of the IGF in bringing together the various stakeholders from the Internet community. It was my first IGF meeting, and I was struck by the commitment of all the attendees to the process and to the policy dialogue that occurred there.
I'd like to reiterate the positive impact that the IGF is having in stimulating ongoing engagement and participation among the global business community. AT&T worked with our colleagues in the federation of Indian chambers of commerce and industry to encourage participation in the IGF. This included organizing a workshop that addressed the challenges of continuing investment in the current global economic environment and also helped to encourage participation among businesses in India in the IGF, which was very successful.
A few weeks ago, I participated in an event in Cairo to raise awareness among Egyptian businesses about the 2009 IGF meeting, and once again we're seeing the IGF have a very positive impact in stimulating interest among the local business community there.
The result is a growing network of global businesses that is becoming more engaged in the ongoing policy discussions, and also more linked to the Internet community as a result of the IGF.
This is even carrying over to the U.S. as well. We have seen the development of national IGF events and there's now growing interest in holding an event in the U.S.
So at AT&T we look forward to continuing the IGF process and to providing our ongoing support and participation going forward and thank you very much for your time.
>>CHAIR DESAI: Thank you. Can I have --
>>SENEGAL: Thank you, chair. I will use the interpretation facility and I will speak in French.
Mr. Chair, Mr. Secretary, I would like, first of all, to thank and congratulate India, not only for the quality of the organization but for the warm welcome that they gave us at the IGF.
I would also like for the summary of Hyderabad to go back to the plenary sessions. I think we all appreciated the new format and the opportunity to have meetings over mealtimes, and I think that if there could be an improvement on this, it might be to have slightly less MAG participants in the plenaries.
Also appreciated the remote facilities, which allowed those who could not attend to give their viewpoint.
With regards to improving -- improvements on feedback and reporting, it seems that there are a lot of difficulties in receiving feedback on what took place. The Secretariat has told us that there were only 48 reports out of 87 from the workshops and the dynamic coalitions. I think that perhaps we need to find another way on -- of receiving feedback because we are within a forum where, unlike other United Nations groups, there aren't recommendations in text. It's only through the reports that we can have an idea of the quality of what has been done. And in terms of what has been achieved, I think that we need to reflect within our work on how to report better, because I think there was a level of reporting that was fairly interesting and there was an ability to carry out surveys.
And with regards the forthcoming IGF, I would like to thank Canada for the efforts they've made in helping developing countries to participate in the forum, and I'd like to ask the African continent to prepare better for this forthcoming forum and to participate more in it.
I think there are initiatives being carried out on a continental level, and we need to strengthen them, and there will be more people and resources to help prepare the next meeting well. Thank you.
>>CHAIR DESAI: Egypt?
>>EGYPT: Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I hope you are not consider us using the position of being the next host and asking the floor so many times, but we have some --
>>CHAIR DESAI: You can ask the floor as often as you like.
>>EGYPT: Thank you.
>>CHAIR DESAI: It's our pleasure to listen to you.
>>EGYPT: Thank you. Mr. Chairman, we have witnessed a change in the way by which the general themes have been tackled throughout the agenda of the Hyderabad meeting in contrast with previous IGFs. The format itself for having an overall theme for each day that matches one or more of the main topics previously agreed upon has proven to be a successful idea.
Nevertheless, separating the discussion during the morning sessions from the open dialogue in the afternoon, interrupted by lunch break, somehow distracted attention of some of the participants and diluted their engagement in the topics being discussed in the session.
This is especially because there were as well several parallel workshops which by themselves had absorbed some of the potential participants from the main discussion. Hence we believe that the future design of the agenda for the coming IGF in Sharm El Sheikh should be handled in a way that helps with more integration and we, therefore, support the idea spoken out by many previous speakers of introducing more harnessed dialogue through roundtables on mature topics, as this brings more focus to the discussions about these topics.
Indeed, the amount and variety of the workshops included in the Hyderabad agenda had been an enriching addition to the IGF. Nevertheless, avoiding as much as possible the parallelism between the workshops and main sessions would be a better enhancement.
We believe as well that there is an opportunity for workshops to be more consolidated, integrated, and merged in order not to turn down proposals.
Regarding the themes themselves, we believe that some mature topics may be tackled in a more focused way that could help in raising the level of dialogue. Those include, but not confined to issues such as, constructing a roadmap to multilingual Internet, availability and affordability of Internet access, awareness on cybersecurity and flagging out the importance of establishing national certs, online child protection and safety, development of IXPs, critical infrastructure such as Internet cables and its legalities.
Regarding new issues, Mr. Chairman, one of the subjects that we'd like to address in the possible -- is the possible implications of the global financial crisis on Internet, especially from the access perspective.
We should not forget that the Internet, as a dynamic phenomena, with its continuous development and evolving, does not operate in a vacuum or in isolation to other developments in the world. It is clear by now that such crisis will deeply affect the world business, work, and employment and shall cause irreversible negative effects on societies and individuals. To give you a specific example, as many individuals who have lost their jobs because of the crisis are forced now to leave the cities they live in and return back to their origin in villages or elsewhere, and they may soon face an Internet access problem as they are used to. Such a change likely to happen soon in developing and developed countries alike should invite us to think of contributing as the global Internet community to solutions for current and future problems in access. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
>>CHAIR DESAI: China.
>>CHINA: Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Now I would like to speak on behalf of the government of China. I would like to thank the government of India for the organization of the Hyderabad meeting.
We believe that the success of the third session, at this session, all the parties have exchanged views on the quality of Internet, and on the Internet governance. This will be helpful to the next session, the consultations, and the considerations of the U.N. General Assembly on the question, on the IGF process.
As to the third session, which will be held in Egypt, the fourth session which will be held in Egypt, we believe that the orientation should be settled, the issue of Internet development. To promote the coordination and development of the global Internet is the major mission of IGF.
How to settle the DNS and servers issue should also be the focus of the IGF.
And the critical Internet resources.
This will help the IGF to achieve the mission conferred on it, to promote the governance of Internet and to promote democratization of the Internet.
We believe that with the support of the Egyptian government, the fourth session will be successful.
Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
>>CHAIR DESAI: I have AT&T and then ETNO.
>>TECH AMERICA: Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I would like to announce that I am speaking today in my role as Chair of the Global Public Policy Committee of an association that was known as ITAA, but I should first introduce a new acronym, and that is Tech America. ITAA has merged with another association and now is known as Tech America.
But I will note that the DNA that is coming into ITAA -- into Tech America comes from ITAA, and, thus, we will continue to be strong supporters and advocates of the IGF.
I join with others who thank our host, our Indian host, the people of India and the Hyderabad community. Our members, too wish to commend the Indian government for their stewardship both in the planning and in the hosting of a very successful meeting and to take note of the special circumstances of IGF 2008 due to the situation prevailing in India at that time.
At the same time, the IGF 2008 was a tremendous success and all of us benefited from the opportunity to continue our work together in participating in a truly multistakeholder manner in the IGF.
I'd also like to note that we continue as an IGF community to appreciate the leadership of our Chair, Nitin Desai, and the executive Secretariat and the very efficient and effective executive Secretariat that supports the IGF.
And I would like to now thank the Egyptian government for their hosting role in 2009.
The Egyptian government, as you may have noted from their comments, is taking very early outreach efforts to the multistakeholder community, including the development of issues and activities that are focused on reaching that community in preparation of the fourth IGF in Sharm El Sheikh.
Just two weeks ago, I was pleased in my personal capacity to moderate a panel organized by the Egyptian host, but in addition to reaching the business community, they are also reaching out to the multistakeholder, civil society, academics and other interested parties.
We support the concept that the IGF is, indeed, maturing as a forum that permits and supports the free expression of views and sharing of expertise and experiments.
We note that the tone of interaction between diverse groups is turning to more thoughtful and interactive nature, not only stating opinions, which I must say is what we did in the early days of the IGF, but truly seeking to understand the views and perspectives of other stakeholders on topics that are, indeed, challenging and where many of us bring our own unique understanding.
Thus, the IGF, as we participated in it, may be experienced as a form of enhanced cooperation.
We also note the importance of the ability to participate on an equal footing, and we commend those who represent associations and organizations that are recognizing and embracing the opportunity to step out of special positions or roles and who truly embrace the opportunity to interact on an equal footing with all other stakeholders.
This is, of course, part of the uniqueness and the great value of the IGF.
Others have commented on the importance of remote participation, and we are in full agreement. The evolution of different models to support remote participation during the IGF itself is very encouraging. In that light, we also take note of the development of national and regional preparatory events which in and of themselves are broadening and deepening the ability of stakeholders to participate in the IGF's ecosystem.
We will make a few comments now about our experience in the three IGFs, and in particular, our experience in Hyderabad.
We spent six hours together in plenary sessions in Hyderabad. And as a representative of an association that did submit a workshop proposal that was merged into a main session, we found great value in the main session and in the dialogue that took place in the afternoon.
However, we spent six hours in plenary sessions in Hyderabad.
This consumed a significant amount of time and did also create competition for focus and attendance in the workshop sessions.
So we would ask that the MAG and the multistakeholder community itself consider perhaps setting a limit of no more than four sessions in the main sessions so that we can continue to support audience participation and attendance in workshops, best practice forums, open forums, et cetera.
There is great value in the opportunity for smaller groups to interact more actively with each other in these workshop settings, and we would like to see that value maintained.
We also think that it's important to not limit the opportunity for participation. Each year, for the IGF, we all want to encourage broader and deeper participation, and that means many newcomers.
For them, the workshops probably present a first opportunity to interact as speakers or participants, and we think it is going to be important to keep a wide number of those opportunities. And in the changing economic situation, the challenging environment that we face, for many participants, it will be easier for them to justify their sponsorship, their ability to get approval to travel if they are, in fact, active participants.
This will be a cross-cutting challenge affecting NGOs, business, academia, technical community and governments. So we would suggest to the MAG that they not be proscriptive about the number of events but focus on improvements to planning and finalizing events on an earlier time frame and establishing further structural support that can strengthen the quality and excellence of workshops as well as the main panel sessions.
As the IGF matures, certainly the role of expert panels could be explored more thoroughly for the main panels. But that also means that workshops offer the opportunity for what was called IGF 101 that was referenced before.
We would also like to see IGF 2009 reflect the renewed focus on experiences and learning that can be shared back at home in countries and in regions.
We appreciate the role of the MAG in offering support and guidance to the development of the program throughout the year. And on that note, we appreciate and value the Secretariat's summary documents. We would like to see an increased integration of the comments and summary documents, analysis into the planning and even integrated as relevant into workshops and main panels.
And we do wish to thank MAG members for their commitment and contribution in planning and convening of the IGF.
However, we urge that the MAG see itself as facilitating and supporting the process. We saw very high level of direct participation of MAG members themselves throughout the IGF program. We envision the MAG as enabling the process rather than operating the IGF.
We do understand the circumstances in India were unique. There were some last-minute cancellations, but in general we would advise that the MAG should remain advisory and seek to support the identification of moderators, expert panelists and workshop participation on a very wide and diverse basis.
And I would like to thank you for being able to offer these comments on behalf of Tech America, and I will look forward to making comments later today and tomorrow in the public comment session.
>>CHAIR DESAI: ETNO and then UNESCO.
>>ETNO: Thank you, Chair. As was said in our first intervention, we have more issues to raise and would like to open all our cards this morning, if I can use that expression, and get reactions later.
So continuing our comments and regarding remote participation, ETNO was very pleased to see that in Hyderabad real-time transcripts were available live for all the discussions in the main room as well as extensive live streaming broadcast in all rooms. This gave the opportunity to those who could not participate physically to follow discussions in real time.
Unfortunately, as many others have said, technology did not work well.
What really worked well was the live and then archived transcripts, which we understand is an expensive solution and difficult to be applied in all rooms.
Perhaps a simpler solution could be applied next time, bearing in mind that many -- there are many technological problems, but also bearing in mind the cost for a solution whose quality is questionable.
For example, we suggest that for all the other but the main rooms, there is audio only and the Web camera transmitting occasionally pictures or at least there is a choice between audio- and video-only broadcast. Also, there should be an opportunity to either play or download all the archives as soon as possible, starting from the same day of the event. This could even be useful for same-day events due to the time differences around the world because it could be midnight in one place of the world when an IGF event takes place.
Regarding the synthesis paper, we believe the paper produced and published by the IGF Secretariat translated in all U.N. languages, and probably more if possible, is very much useful. However, we believe that such a synthesis paper must set the scene and it must be the starting reference of the IGF meeting.
It should not be just a description of the preparatory process -- in other words, on the way to the IGF -- and an overview of the limited contributions received, although these should be included.
As we have said in the past, it could also be a background note for the IGF meeting, and a critical review of the situation over the previous year in order to boost discussions.
ETNO ponders the continuation of the synthesis paper in the present form. Instead, we found quite useful the background documents prepared for the media.
Maybe these can be integrated in the synthesis paper or become widely known and not just addressed to the media.
ETNO would also like to bring up the idea of a newsletter, which could be published periodically. For example, before and after each open consultation, daily during the IGF meeting.
This newsletter could include short announcements, important information, calendar activities, et cetera. In other words, what an IGF participant needs to or should know about the IGF.
This newsletter could be prepared by an editing committee consisting by volunteers from any interested party. The IGF Secretariat, and the MAG included.
The newsletter, with the proper disclaimers so there are no misinterpretations, could be distributed in electronic form by the IGF Secretariat to a non-ending mailing list, open to subscription. Such a newsletter could improve dissemination of information and transparency. And at this moment, we would also like to support the idea about a tutorial session for newcomers, which I think it was mentioned first by ISOC.
Finally, we really applaud the improvement of the appearance of the IGF site and the new IGF YouTube channel.
We recognize these were done with very few resources, and we encourage the IGF Secretariat to continue improving the site and the YouTube channel as well as other forms of electronic communication, because we really believe that these initiatives are necessary.
Thank you, Mr. Chair.
>>CHAIR DESAI: Thank you. UNESCO.
>>UNESCO: Thank you, Mr. Chair. UNESCO wishes to join other speakers in congratulating and thanking the host country and the IGF Secretariat for preparing and facilitating such a successful IGF, particularly considering the deploring dramatic events of the Mumbai attacks. UNESCO wishes to express once again its appreciation on the choice of the theme "Internet for All," inspired by UNESCO's longstanding commitment to "education for all" as a main overall theme of the IGF, and believes the theme of "Internet for All" should be maintained for the next IGF.
UNESCO as the lead facilitator agency of the six of the 11 WSIS action lines of the Tunis agenda believes the IGF process is at the forefront in promoting the multistakeholder approach.
The IGF is an effective continuation of the WSIS multistakeholder spirit, and that a normative inclusive way for dealing with international policy issues, a case that will be appropriate to considering the global debate on education, environment, and development.
UNESCO supports the idea for further exploring the potential of a process based on equal footing, participation, inclusiveness.
UNESCO supports a spread of national and regional IGFs and recognizes the capacity-building role of the IGF. It's important in the preparation of the next IGF in Egypt to create mechanisms to feed the local and regional IGF into the main IGF.
UNESCO supports the organizational bodies called mature themes in roundtable or open dialogue session formats as a natural implementation of the discussion undertaken during the last three IGFs.
UNESCO supports the themes of freedom of expression, openness, access and multilingualism, disabilities, privacy protection, Internet rights, and the overall development potential of the Internet in terms of capacity development.
From the experience of the IGF book, that is a remarkable cooperation among U.N. agencies and IGF Secretariat has been published and freely distributed, but UNESCO would like to explore the possibility to continue such experience, possibly focusing on multistakeholder publication on the mature themes.
Further detailed comments on the IGF Hyderabad and the preparation of the next IGF and the initiation of the review process will be addressed during the later discussions.
>>CHAIR DESAI: Stephen Lau --
>> Thank you, Mr. President.
>>CHAIR DESAI: -- from Hong Kong.
>> I am Stephen Lau from Hong Kong. My organization is EDS, a global I.T. service company, which you might be aware that recently we have been merged with another global company, HP.
As a newly appointed or recently appointed MAG member, the IGF at Hyderabad was my first IGF, and I just wish to echo the sentiments already expressed by my colleagues and others in terms of the wonderful organization by the Indian government and supported by the MAG Secretariat.
As it was my first IGF meeting, I spent all my four days in the main sessions, in the main discussion hall, which meant that I did not have the opportunity of enjoying and listening to the many workshops, parallel workshops organized by many, many different concerned organizations. So I missed a lot.
And the more I missed was actually the feedback from these workshops, which I'm sure would have been informative, would have been of value to many of us there.
So I strongly support some kind of feedback mechanism during IGF. And may I suggest for consideration, since we have so many -- we will, I think, continue to have quite a number of workshops, and may I suggest that one feedback mechanism would be during the -- assuming that we will continue to have a main session on emerging issues, so we could ask the coordinator or convener of these workshops to give a brief report, maybe mainly on asking them to highlight a couple of what they consider to be important and strategic emerging issues based on these workshops, and then for consideration and information at the emerging session, main session, at the next IGF.
I also wish to say that I have learned a lot at the IGF in Hyderabad, because coming in from the business sector, we may not really have much opportunity to be exposed to the really global and diversified nature of Internet in terms of the scope, we learned a lot from civil societies, NGOs and other multistakeholders, in terms of the spread and scope of the issues in the Internet, and for which I thank you.
Thank you, Mr. Chair.
>>CHAIR DESAI: Thank you very much.
I think this has been a very constructive and helpful discussion.
I don't see anybody from the government of India present here, but I suppose as one of the 500 million Indians to whom that government is accountable, I can sort of thank you all for the sentiments that you have expressed.
Oh, sorry, we have a couple of remote participants.
>>SECRETARY KUMMER: Thank you. Yes, as many participants here underlined the importance of remote participation, I think it's only appropriate that we acknowledge two comments we received from remote participants.
One member of the working group on remote participation, Rafik Dammak, wrote about the need to provide open channel to all people and avoid use of restricted platforms or technologies, especially because mainly people are more depending to Webcast to follow. And he criticizes the current Webcast demands the use of Realmedia software that can be restrictive.
And he adds also, in addition, it will be great to restore chat channels for more interaction and feedback.
A small comment on that. We always make sure in our specification that we use open standards, and I think the Indian hosts did that. Here, we rely on the Webcast provided by the ITU.
An additional comment came from Deidre Williams from the St. Arthur Lewis Community College in Santa Lucia in the West Indies and she is also a member of Diplo, and she had a very short comment mentioning that we were not very good in creating public interest among the media despite the fact that we had quite a high percentage of media participants in Hyderabad.
And she writes, "The IGF is good at the centripetal, brackets, internal, aggregation of information. Now it should work on the centrifugal, brackets, external, dissemination of the information collected to the billion already connected as well as to the next billion."
If you allow a short comment, I think the suggestion made by our colleague from ETNO was an excellent suggestion. We can produce the newsletter he suggested without actually much additional work, and I think from the Secretariat's point of view, I find this very helpful and I will follow up on that.
Deidre also made a second comment, and she writes, "Make the questionnaire available during the IGF together with some type of implied obligation to complete it as well as part of the IGF itself. 26 out of a thousand is a very poor score."
This is also something we can discuss. We discussed it before in the MAG; however, I find it can be helpful to fill in this kind of questionnaire, if we ask for it with some kind of a distance.
If I may, just two technical comments.
There were several participants commented on, shall we say, the importance of making sure that the Webcasts actually work and that we would be better off limiting ourselves to audio from the workshops.
This is basically precisely what we ask the host country, but they said look, we can even provide more and provide a video Webcast from the workshops. But the lessons learned there is maybe less is more, and let's stick to our original specification. And I think together with our Egyptian hosts, we listened to your comments and we will stick to the basic scenario. Video cast for the main session and audio casts for all the other rooms.
Lastly, I mentioned in my introductory remarks, we would have loved to upload all the Webcasts much earlier, but we still have not received them. We are waiting for them from the Hyderabad convention center. They had given us a suitcase full of DVDs to take home, but they were not -- some of them we could use, but not all of them, and we have been waiting ever since for the Webcasts we can upload.
These are my short comments.
>>CHAIR DESAI: Thank you.
So if I may, so on behalf -- as a person to whom the government is accountable, I would like to thank you all for your comments.
Let me say a word more on that. Certainly we met in very fraught circumstances, and I am truly grateful to all of you who, despite those circumstances, chose to come to Hyderabad to demonstrate your solidarity, if you like. And really, we, in India, truly appreciated that, and I would like to convey that to all of you, also through you to your constituents.
I think the most important thing that I would get across in terms of the arrangements is the role of the host country. The one thing that I -- well, I was, frankly, far more engaged in India than I would have been in any of the others because I happen to live in Delhi, and sort of I was in more or less continuous touch with them.
The most important thing that probably helped was that the government of India had no substantive agenda for the meeting. Their only purpose was that we want to host this meeting, provide space, be as -- do that as efficiently as possible. And their only hope was that people would go away from that meeting saying yes, you guys organized it well. They had no other goals or ambitions. And I think I would like to get that across, that one of the reasons why it worked is because they really did not want anything else other than for people to say that, look, you guys did a reasonable, good job of organizing it.
Second, and this was with some effort, they took the multistakeholder part pretty seriously and made a fairly determined effort to get nongovernment people engaged in the leadership part.
So this is why you found that the chairmanship which was passed on to different people from India for the different sessions did involve stakeholders from many different segments. And they did not sort of monopolize it with government people. And that was valuable because it connected a lot of people in India to that process.
You had some pretty important visitors. (Saying name) Durai, of course we invited (saying name) Durai, was there. Of course one of the chaps they invited is now in jail for fraud, but that's a different story.
It happens. When you have multistakeholders, who knows?
We could have a minister who is in jail for all I know. But let me just try and bring together some of the strands in the discussion so that we can move on from this.
First, in the broad sense of is the IGF playing its role as a multistakeholder process, the general agreement sense is that it has certainly succeeded in getting stakeholders working together on an equal footing. But there is probably a sense that it needs -- that the governments need to be more involved and engaged in the actual operation, in the actual debates which take place in the IGF. There have been references to the problems of developing country participation in the IGF. The fact that we move from region to region will hopefully help. But that may not be enough, and we may have to address this issue as we go down.
But beyond that, there is a sense in which I think we can see that, besides this set of problems, as far as the others are concerned, there is reasonable engagement.
We have probably constructed something which is truly a multistakeholder process, and certainly people who are not involved in the process, who are outside, are showing a lot of interest in how this is working, what the results are. And I certainly get a lot of requests to write about it, talk about it, and so on.
But let's get down to our task, which is to look at the IGF's functioning. There are, I think, many references that have been made to the -- our experimentation with the format, and I would recognize this. I think we have experimented. We have not been rigid. We have changed. I think every year, every IGF has been a little different from the previous one.
And we tried something new in Hyderabad. Some things worked, some things did not work. For instance, somebody mentioned that by breaking up the discussion on a theme with a lunch in between, you sort of lost some continuity.
Maybe the MAG can probably address some of these concerns and issues.
There has been talk about "Don't be too stuck on one single format; change the format depending on the nature of the issue that you are discussing."
A distinction was made about degree of maturity, I think initially by Karen from APC, and to use a roundtable-focused format for certain types of issues but some more open dialogue on other types of issues. And again, we can examine how we could do this more easily.
You know, Bertrand spoke and, you know, one of the models that I've always been fascinated by, which is a combination of these -- because many people mentioned, incidentally, audience -- the fact that people could participate more easily in the second half of the discussion, when we had the panel, we did separate the panel discussion and the participation by the audience, if you like. There used to be a program on French television called "Apostrophe," and that was an interesting program because it sought to combine both, where you had a roundtable of people talking, and the audience was listening to them, but the audience had the opportunity and the right to interrupt. And in fact, at times the moderator would turn to the audience and sort of ask them, "Now, what do you think about what these chaps are saying?" type of thing.
So in a sense, it broke this division between roundtable and audience participation by trying to do both in one structured format.
But for that, we have to address the other question which has been raised: You can't do that sort of thing if your subject is going to be relatively banal. 101. It has to be something on which there could be different opinions, so that there is a sense in which you can actually have a debate and call people -- call forth for people's opinion. You really have to move the debate beyond the 101 stage, the point which Bill made and then several others picked up subsequently.
So let's look at this. Let's look at this. And I think the most important message I get from all of you is: Be flexible. Don't be stuck on any format, whether you've inherited it from the past. And most important, don't say every session in every IGF must follow the same format. You may require something different. And so be elastic, be flexible, and see how you can look at it.
There have been many questions raised about the workshops, the number of workshops, the reporting in from workshops, the connection between workshops and the main sessions, and this problem continues to plague us, if you like.
This time we did make an effort at scheduling the workshops in such a way that there was a connection that was feasible and possible. To some extent, this was done, and it certainly helped in many ways. We have tried reporting in. I remember we did this in Athens, but the -- I mean, other than the people who were reporting in, nobody else was present in the room. And since I chaired it, I remember that.
So I'm not sure that's going to help, but we may have to think of some way of doing this. Many people, I think, complained about the number of workshops, the need to combine. This is a perpetual problem which we will have to address, and let us see how we do it. And this is also where -- you know, the point which Karen raised about keep informing people about what to expect in the workshops is also important. And we may put down some minimum standard of information which should be available about who are the panelists, a one-pager on the agenda, et cetera, et cetera. And that -- I think all that is feasible.
The question -- a point came up about first users, the possibility of some sort of orientation. We could certainly look -- I'm sure we could look into that. And it is possible that we really shouldn't make this simply an annual gathering of people -- of the usual suspects, because we have to reach out to a lot more people.
But I do believe we have been getting new people coming in at every session, and I'm impressed by the fact that the participation, not just in the IGF but in the preparatory meetings for the IGF, continues to remain reasonably robust and high, and so I'm quite hopeful on this.
I think the big issues that we will have to address are issues about what people call "outputs." And there's a distinction made which -- again by Bill which others picked up -- of the distinction between outputs of the IGF and outputs from the IGF, and the sort of things that people have mentioned as things which have come out of the IGF. One is voluntary policy cooperation. For instance, on child pornography. Or it may be on some other area of cybersecurity. The spread of best practices. The emergence of national and regional IGFs, and the dynamic coalitions.
Now, what we probably have to address here are a couple of things.
First, if you take -- you have an IGF which generates this interest in voluntary policy cooperation in a certain area, or an interest in a best practice. Somebody wants to find out more on how to pursue this, saying, "Look, we have a problem. This experience seems interesting. We would like to do more on this," and this is where I think we may have to ask ourselves, "Who is going to follow through? Who is going to follow through something useful which emerges out of this IGF?"
So where it is an output from the giving, but then the giving must now start thinking about, "What is it that we ought to do in order to ensure that this does get followed through, that there is some procedure, some mechanism, some facilitation, something which helps this to happen and come about?"
And on the second thing, on national and regional IGFs and dynamic coalitions, I think they are very valuable, they play a very useful role, but I think we may have to find a way of connecting them with the IGF. There is for -- in the national and regional IGFs, this is happening, because most of them have been designed to feed into the global IGF, but they are very valuable and I think almost everybody has said that -- most of the people who have spoken on this have said that they consider this to be one of the more important products of the IGF, so let's find a way of making sure that we nurture this valuable product which has come out of this.
There are many other questions which have come about on remote participation, how to organize it, and so on, and we may -- in every IGF, we should experiment with something, and one thought I want to leave for the Egyptian hosts, is that this is one of the things which is in fashion if one of these big meetings, is to make the participants go through a certain experience which they are going to be talking about.
So the last day was, they created a space where for a certain amount of -- space of time, had you to live like a refugee in terms of the rations you got, in terms of how you slept, et cetera, et cetera. So I was just wondering, maybe what we can do on multilingualism is for an hour a day, make sure that the computers have no script other than Arabic.
>>EGYPT: Okay. If you'll guarantee, Mr. Chairman, that I will not be fired after doing this.
>>CHAIR DESAI: -- (off microphone) multilingualism, you know. Just for one hour a day only, make sure there's no script other than Arabic available on the net. Anyhow, this is just a thought. I'm sure you won't be as badly off as all that and you won't have to suddenly start learning Arabic, but I just -- these are some reflections that I -- you know, listening to all of you.
What I suggest is we adjourn now, we come back, and let's first listen to our Egyptian hosts on the arrangements, et cetera. I'm sure we'll have questions which we want to pose to them. And then we'll continue our discussions and we also now need to give -- most of our focus has been on learning lessons from the Hyderabad process. We need to go on to the next item on our agenda, which is the evaluation of the IGF process as a whole and what are the issues we ought to be looking at there, and so on.
Anything else, Markus?
>>SECRETARY KUMMER: You may leave your computers in the room. There will always be somebody in the room.
>>CHAIR DESAI: Thank you.
Internet Governance Forum
23 February 2009
[ Gavel ]
>>CHAIR DESAI: Can we settle down?
As we said, we'll start the post-lunch session with a presentation by our host for this year, Egypt. And I understand that they have a presentation and a frame. So maybe we should move down there. It's probably going to be easier if we move down there. And it's in your hands, you just do the full thing, and after that I will come up here. And please stay here because I'm sure people will have questions, et cetera, which I will request you respond to. Okay?
>>NERMINE EL SAADANY: So good afternoon, ladies and gentlemen.
I hope you have enjoyed your lunch, and I do hope that you will be enjoying the event in Sharm El Sheikh.
Ladies and gentlemen, it gives me great pleasure to address your elite gathering today in the first open consultation meeting of the IGF during the year 2009.
Most deliberations mentioned earlier today showed that the IGF is approaching a crucial phase. Therefore, the coming IGF in Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt, should reflect such an important interval in the different aspects of the organization of this specific event.
My presentation in the following minutes will highlight how Egypt is welcoming this event and what kind of preparation is taken in that regard.
Before going into details, I would like to touch upon one important aspect, which is the location of Egypt, and the fact that the Egyptians could be easily classified as Arabs, Africans, and also Mediterraneans.
This means that the coming IGF will be hosted in a multi-cultural environment where Egypt will try to maintain its role in bridging the different views and visions across the globe.
The same environment would also help in fostering more networking and negotiations and hence enrich the discussion platform.
It is also important to know where the IGF will be hosted this year. I mean, what ICT sector and setting is there and how this could help the IGF.
Maybe some much you know this, but I would like to introduce our ICT sector as being the pioneer, not only in Egypt but also within the region, to adopt a partnership with the private sector and civil society in the implementation of national strategies since 2000.
The government has noted the importance to include the private sector in its plans since they are the engines for growth, and a win-win strategy is crucial for having a healthy, well-developed and mature sector.
Consultations as the one we are in right now have been an ongoing mechanism with all relevant stakeholders whenever we, as government, wanted to introduce a new service or regulations.
I am not very good in numbers, actually, but I know for sure that the ICT sector in Egypt is one of the sectors that contributes to the government treasury about 23 billion Egyptian pounds was injected in the treasury of Egypt from the European sector. 5 to 6 billion came from the private sector alone.
The figures of some services speak for themselves as well. In 2008, for example, the number of mobile subscribers reached around 35 million users with a penetration rate of 50%.
And the number is still growing.
The Internet users are starting to pick up as you see from the chart. We were not yet very happy about the numbers of the Internet users, but we do think and believe that our projects, like the e-continent project and other projects, will help in enhancing this figure.
Now let me move to the Egyptian action plan of hosting the IGF. We have set the plan, a very ambitious one, actually, that had started last January, actually. We have started a capacity-building process for the national IG task force. We do think and believe that the community in Egypt needs to be raised their awareness in knowing and understanding what IGF is really about, and we have conducted this capacity building process with DiploFoundation, I'm sure Jovan and Vlada over here could maybe reflect on this point from their perspectives since they were with us in Egypt in January.
Also, we have started an awareness campaign with the business community and the civil society as well as the academia and the legal partners. We have started the first session in February last month, actually beginning of this month, with the ICC, the International Chamber of Commerce. And again, I'm sure that Ayesha and Marilyn, maybe you could reflect on this as well.
We are doing this effort to have this national Internet platform set up in Egypt just before the IGF and hope you will be successful enough to launch this platform in the IGF in Sharm El Sheikh.
We will be starting a thematic workshop of the different themes of the IGF with the community at large to make them more fully aware of what the IGF is discussing and how could they be entangled in the activities.
We would be as well introducing a new strata in the process that is including youth and children. We will be hopefully including children starting nine years old up till 17 or 18 years old to discuss with us different aspects of the IGF, and I would like to keep this till later stage, maybe in later consultations we can highlight for you more about it.
On the regional effort, we will be hosting in late June, beginning of July, an IG summer school with Professor Wolfgang, he is as well over here.
Maybe he can, as well, reflect on this. This summer school will be addressing not only Egyptian community but, as well, the Arabs and the Africans. We will be hosting an African workshop one day, workshop in late May, during the hosting of the AfriNIC meeting in Egypt to discuss as well the African agenda for the IGF in Sharm as well as doing an expert group meeting on the Arab level in cooperation with the Arab League.
So wish us good luck.
We do hope that during our interventions and cooperation with the MAG and the IGF Secretariat we will be able to introduce for you what we call IGF kit. That includes the forum program well in advance, the speaker's bio and the workshop synopsis and calendar of events if we have parallel events.
We will do all our efforts to strengthen the remote participation and enhance the remote capability through the EBU and our national broadcasting agencies.
Now let's move to more logistical side. Where is the event? The event will take place on the City of Peace, Sharm El Sheikh.
Sharm El Sheikh, I'm sure most much you have the opportunity to land there for one or more reasons. Nevertheless, let me share with you some facts about the city that we call the City of Peace.
Sharm El Sheikh is one of the most famous and favorite touristic area in Egypt. Many charter flights go there directly without even stopping in Cairo.
Various peace conferences took place there, simply because the ambience helps in easy-going discussion, reaching consensus. Hence the name the City of Peace.
Conferences and summits, businesses, as a result, have become one of the attractions of Sharm El Sheikh.
The small city has been able to accommodate various presidential summits, the World Economic Forum, and other sports championships.
The newly born culture is simply emphasized because of the beauty of Sharm. There is no traffic in Sharm El Sheikh, pleasant weather around the year, no pollution, attractive day and night activities, so why being elsewhere?
>>NERMINE EL SAADANY: Glad to make you smile, actually.
Our venue is the Maritim International Congress Center.
I am here reflecting on my own personal view as an IGF participant since its beginning in lovely Athens.
The Sharm Congress Center will encompass us all in a very friendly atmosphere in its one-floor basis where everyone -- everything is at hand and everyone you would like to meet is just around the corner.
Networking and meeting one another will be pretty easy. The lounges and sitting areas will also help in facilitating all over, coffee break discussions and chatting throughout the day.
The head quarter hotel is the Maritim Jolie Ville, five minutes walk from the venue and of course golf carts will be available for you if you would like to use one.
Our choice of this hotel was not only balls of its location and choice of the venue, but also for the serenity and relaxing atmosphere which will help in more focusing and productivity from us all.
Sharm El Sheikh is full of hotels of all levels. The different -- with different price range. We have chosen for you a twin hotel about seven minutes from the venue, Maritim Jolie Ville golf & resort, with 18 hole championship golf course.
In addition to seven other hotels, one of them is a complex of seven hotels in a nice resort atmosphere. We have chosen Four Seasons Hyatt Regency, (saying name), Baron Resort and the Domino Coral Beach.
The prices of those hotels and the reservation code will be announced shortly on the host country Web site, which will be launched, actually, next week. So kindly be patient with us until maybe the beginning of next week, the prices will be announced for your convenience.
Our caring for you will start from the Cairo airport where a meet and assist services will be provided for our guests as well as in Sharm international airport.
A free shuttling services will be provided in Sharm from the airport to the venue and between the official hotels and the venue as well.
Egypt Air will be selected as the official carrier with special discounts from all the regions and destinations.
Facilitation for visa will be provided and once settled, I will be happy to inform you on how to proceed either in our coming meeting in May or even maybe before this through our Web site.
Our Minister, His Excellency Dr. Tarek Kamel would have loved to be with us today, but he is sending you his best regards and assures you that you are in very good hands. His Excellency emphasizes that the IGF should remain a space where a healthy dialogue continues, the balance between issues maintained, and the attention of both the developing and developed countries needs are tackled in cooperation with all stakeholders.
Thank you so much, and allow me to....
I will show a short movie and I would encourage you to listen to the music. I think it will help relaxing.
[ Laughter ]
>>NERMINE EL SAADANY: So thank you so much for listening, and I hope you did enjoy the music.
This is, by the way, this is the Web site of the event, the hose country Web site. It's very easy, IGF09.eg, and look for its launch next week.
[ Applause ]
>>CHAIR DESAI: Thank you very much.
I would like to remind people that we are going to Sharm El Sheikh to work.
[ Laughter ]
>>CHAIR DESAI: In case you get carried away.
But questions? Questions? Comments?
Please, this is the opportunity to -- as I said, the two issues which initially mostly concern people are accommodation and visas, and on accommodation, as they said, they will have the site up, and with the information by next week.
And on visas, if you wish to say any procedure questions which people need to know on the question of visas.
>>NERMINE EL SAADANY: Actually, I'm pretty acquainted that the visa issue is usually the most important thing, and the first, maybe, obstacle in the way. But our friends from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs are sitting just in the Egyptian delegation seat and they have promised they will be circulating a newsletter or an information note to all our embassies, once we have settled everything regarding the registration of the hotels and so on. So that whenever you approach a consulate or an embassy in your own country, they will be informed well enough in advance that there will be an event taking place in Egypt in Sharm El Sheikh, and the visa will be smoothly going process. This we promise you.
But I ask you as well, and I feel for you that you approach the consulate early enough because usually they take some time as well to facilitate the visa in advance.
>>CHAIR DESAI: What I would request is that there should be clarity on what is the documentation required, whether it is the registration for the conference or whether it is registration plus hotel booking. So that there is clarity on what is required, so that when people apply for visas, they know this is what they need to have. That is usually what is required.
Second, visa arrangements in countries where they do not have an Egyptian mission, and what is the time line for that would be helpful.
And beyond that, whether there is any provision for visas on arrival. These are the three questions that I would raise; okay?
>>HONDURAS: Thank you, Chair.
On the behalf of GRULAC and Latin American and Caribbean countries would like to thank the delegation from Egypt for having given us this very attractive information. We hope to participate actively in this conference.
We have a very specific request, and I would like the Secretariat to take note of this.
We think it would be convenient if the Secretariat of the IGF were to circulate a notice far enough in advance to all the permanent missions here in Geneva which mentions and highlights the importance of this event which is to take place.
This is so that we, at the permanent missions, may prepare notices to our capitals so all the procedures and financing that is needed for participation can take place. This is my comment.
>>CHAIR DESAI: Any other questions? Markus, would you like to -- because Markus has already gone and seen the site, and maybe you would like to say a word on, like, how many parallel events, rooms, the room arrangements that we could have, because this tends to vary. But maybe you want to say a word or two on that.
>>SECRETARY KUMMER: Yes, thank you.
I don't really have that much to add. It certainly is an excellent venue. Delegates will be spoiled with regard to the choice of hotel accommodation.
The conference center itself is brand-new and is state of the art equipment. It is all on the ground floor which makes circulation very easy.
It has one very big main hall, and then it has four decent-sized rooms for break-out events, and I think the rooms are so big that we can offer classroom seating like we have in this room, which is more comfortable for participants, as you can put the computer on a table, the laptop on a table.
And then we have smaller rooms. We have also rooms we can set up as roundtables. That was a notion that came across many of the interventions today. But they will not be round. They will be rectangular, as a matter of fact.
So we have plenty of flexibility for the set up of rooms.
What we have to decide is how to fill the rooms, but we have -- it's equal in terms of facilities as the venue we had in Hyderabad.
So -- And the one thing you may have for people who have been in Cairo where traffic can be rather frightening, there's a lot of traffic. We went to visit the smart village you were shown, and back to the hotel. It took us two hours to go through the metropolis. You will have none of that in Sharm El Sheikh, because it is essentially a tourist resort. There is no local traffic there. So the transportation is extremely easy. From the airport, which is a grand, modern airport, you are ten minutes. At the conference center, from any hotel in the resort, it doesn't take longer than ten minutes to go to the conference center. And again it's ten minutes from the conference center to the heart of the resort. So from that point of view, I think it will be a very easy meeting in terms of logistics, transportation, hotel accommodations.
>>CHAIR DESAI: Any questions?
Thank you. That has been very helpful. We look forward to seeing the information on the accommodation, and I tell everybody to apply for their visas in good time. Because it does take -- particularly if you happen to be in a country where there is no local Egyptian mission, and you have to send it somewhere else for your visas.
The range -- I have been assured that the range of hotel accommodation is such that there is something to suit every pocket, if you like.
There are low-cost hotels and there are also very elaborate, very fancy ones, much fancier than the convention center hotel, if you are so inclined for that.
And I would like to thank Egypt and also thank Mr. Tarek Kamel, the Minister. We are looking forward to getting to share Sharm El Sheikh, and we are absolutely confident that we will be looked after well, and that we are really very happy that you are our host, and we are absolutely convinced that things will be fine.
And I guess we will talk about this again in May and September again, but this is a good beginning. And already you can see that the state of preparation is pretty advanced. We are in February, and one planning mission has already been there. And clearly, under the process of organizing, the meeting has started in very good time.
So we do hope that everything will work out smoothly.
So thank you very much.
I don't see any questions. People are thoroughly convinced by your presentation.
So let's continue our conversation, which we started in the morning.
My suggestion is that we continue our discussion on the evaluation that we had begun in the morning, and that we start our discussion on the modalities for the broader question, which is the review of the IGF, first thing tomorrow morning, because we -- Is that okay? Unless we want to start the second theme also now.
But I have a feeling that we let us have time to complete the discussion on the first issue of taking stock of how the IGF has functioned in Hyderabad. Actually, most comments have already looked at all three IGFs, not just at Hyderabad. And people have already made, are make being suggestions on what are the sorts of changes we should be looking at for the next IGF.
So the floor is open.
Yes, quasi. Qusai Al-Shatti from Kuwait.
>>KUWAIT: Thank you, Mr. Desai. If you allow me, I will do my intervention in Arabic.
Thank you so much, Mr. Chairman. I represent the Kuwait Information Technology Society. I would like first of all to thank the government of India for hosting the third IGF meeting in Hyderabad, and for their efforts in organizing this meeting, which contributed to its success, to its big success.
I would like also to express our deep appreciation to you and Mr. Markus Kummer and to all of my colleagues in the association for all of the efforts in making the third IGF meeting a huge success. And most of all I would like to thank all the participants who were present and who actively participated. And thanks to their participation, they assured the real success of this third IGF. They have extended their support to the people of India during all of the sad events in the city of Mumbai, and we would like to express our appreciation.
Mr. Chairman, the third IGF meeting in Hyderabad was a continuation and pursuit of success of the previous two meetings in Athens and Rio de Janeiro in terms of organization, logistics, participation. Organizational logistics aspects of the meeting were the best, and they handled all of the activities and the large number of participants. The exceptional security procedures did not harm the event but, on the contrary, it helped in establishing a positive working atmosphere. One of the factors in the success, that contributed to the success of the meeting, was the participation of the experts in the first session who have shared their opinion, and they have expressed their opinion, the second session. This approach gave us the opportunity to build a better understanding and to discuss a number of topics, and we were also able to discuss the management of Internet critical resources in the Rio meeting, where we were also able to discuss the issue of enhanced and reinforced cooperation for the first time in the Hyderabad meeting. And we were able to reach an acceptable framework that would contribute positively in discussing Internet governance related issues.
We have also started discussing a variety of other issues.
(Waiting for translation).
(Scribes have no translation).
But we have had a chance to discuss the reinforcement of cooperation for the first time in the Hyderabad meeting which enabled to us reach an acceptable effective framework that contributed positively in discussing IG-related issues.
We also started to discuss the trend toward regional and national IG, and we have connected these issues on a deeper level. And we were able to discuss the new trends on the national/regional levels in the network of Internet and that would enable us to create an atmosphere which enabled further discussions.
We were able to concentrate on the constant cooperation on the international level and to preserve these subjects in the agenda of the upcoming forum, which will take place in Sharm El Sheikh in Egypt.
And there are certain subjects which require maturity, and it allowed us to include these issues in the upcoming agenda.
We hope that we will have ample discussion, too, of these issues, and we will allow enough time to discuss other issues. What is important? We would like to wish -- to thank the team of the remote participation and that enabled remote participation participants. We hope that this particular group will continue its work and it will allow to involve the greater number of participants in the workings and proceedings of this forum.
It is very important at the time of the fourth IGF meeting to open the participation of all stakeholders, to all stakeholders. Well notice the governments are still absent from the IGF meeting.
Despite the fact that topics related to their role, like enhanced cooperation, should be discussed. And it is very important to support the participation of the civil society so that their presence would not be limited by geographical and remote distances.
We also wish that the presence of the private sector would be assured as well as the technical community experts should have ample occasion to take part at the next and fourth IGF meetings.
On the positive aspect in the Hyderabad community was the noticeable presence of parliamentarians, and we hope to see more of them during the next IGF meetings.
Last, would I like to express my deepest thanks and appreciation to all our brothers in the Republic of Egypt who will be happy to see them hosting the fourth IGF meeting in Hyderabad, wishing them all the best and success in organizing this upcoming meeting.
We hope that it will be a continuation of the previous success from the previous three IGF meetings.
Thank you so much, Mr. Chairman.
>>CHAIR DESAI: Thank you.
>>Y.J. PARK: Thank you, Chairman. Y.J. Park from Delft University of Technology.
Before I make suggestions for potential agenda for 2009 IGF policy discussion, I would like to strongly echo your urging earlier today that we have to have the debate beyond 101 at IGF.
So as a part of emerging themes, I'd like to underscore we should focus on more Internet Governance issues at Internet Governance Forum. In line with such efforts, it would be appropriate for IGF multistakeholder community to discuss ICANN's new gTLD creation process and its evaluation for our policy discussion at 2009 IGF.
As some of us already recognized, creating new namespaces as a form of TLD on the Internet is associated with critical Internet Governance issues. Who should operate the critical Internet resources? What principles should be considered when a registry is delegated for the new namespace? However, such governance issues have not been revisited extensively at the IGF.
On the other hand, U.S. Department of Commerce clearly expressed their concerns in creating new gTLDs in its official letter to ICANN just after 2008 IGF on December 18, 2008.
As of today, as the U.S. government noted, there are many challenges ahead in creating new gTLDs, including internationalized domain name TLDs. If IGF can provide an opportunity for multistakeholders to look into such challenges, it would be beneficial for multistakeholders who participate in this process.
Lastly, I would like to congratulate IGF Secretariat and Chairman Desai on implementing informal and interactive multistakeholder format at IGF. At this juncture of reviewing IGF, it would be also very timely, 2009 IGF main sessions should look into each stakeholder's participation, contribution, and influence at IGF more closely.
I hope such in-depth investigation on the roles for each stakeholder, such as a civil society, private sector, and governments in IGF will lead to more productive Internet Governance Forum down this road.
Thank you for your attention.
>>CHAIR DESAI: Ms. Selaimen?
>>BRAZIL: Thank you, chair. I'm Graciela Selaimen from Nupef-Rits in Brazil. Please allow us to take this opportunity to share with the IGF organizer and community that the dynamic coalition on an Internet Bill of Rights and the dynamic coalition on framework of principles for the Internet have agreed to merge and change our name to dynamic coalition on Internet rights and principles, IRP.
The inclusion of "principles" in our mandate will enable us to define better what applying established human rights to the Internet environment means in practice, examining the implications for Internet users and policymakers.
We invite all interested parties to join and participate in our discussions and initiatives. Furthermore, on today's subject, the dynamic coalition on Internet rights and principles wants to join others in urging the IGF organizers to make Internet rights and principles a major theme at the IGF in Egypt.
Naturally, our coalition is working to prepare thematic events and workshops on Internet rights and principles for Egypt, and we are most interested in working with other groups and institutions, including the IGF community as a whole, to ensure that the IGF 2009 will be successful in developing insights and solutions regarding this key theme of protecting the openness of the Internet as a public sphere in which all humans enjoy their basic rights and freedoms. Thank you very much.
>>CHAIR DESAI: Ian Peter from the Internet Governance Caucus.
>>IAN PETER: Thank you, Mr. Chair. It's a great pleasure to be here in Geneva. For those who may not be aware, Geneva plays a very critical part in the history of the Internet. Geneva is the birthplace of the World Wide Web, and it was the decision of the CERN Laboratories in 1993 in Geneva to make the new World Wide Web at a time when a commercial Internet was already available, available as a free and open platform for development that's probably one of the most critical points in the history of the Internet as we know it.
So Geneva is a pivotal place to be for discussions around the Internet.
I'd like to read a statement which was adopted consensually by the civil society Internet Governance caucus, and following from the previous speaker, the Internet Governance civil society caucus supports Internet rights and principles as a major theme for IGF 4 in Egypt. This should lead to discourse at the IGF meetings moving towards the definition and clarification of rights in relation to the Internet, and how they relate to preexisting definitions of human rights.
It also includes a space for discussions about the responsibilities of all parties.
The concept of rights continues to stress the importance of openness and universal access. This framework will continue to emphasize the importance of Access to Knowledge and development in Internet Governance, while adding to it the basic right of individuals to access the content and applications of their choice. This is in keeping with current debates regarding an open Internet and relevant aspects of the often-confusing network neutrality discussions.
The inclusion of principles allows for wide discussion of the responsibilities that the different stakeholders have to each other.
It allows for open examination of the principles that should govern the Internet, particularly in its commercial facets. And on the question of remote participation, within the mandate of the IGF and in support of strengthening this multistakeholder process, we ask that the IGF Secretariat continue and expand the use of remote participation as a tool for attendance at the IGF 2009 in Egypt as a proven method to include new voices.
To that end, we recommend that the Secretariat recognize the remote participation working group as a collaborating organization at IGF 2009, especially in the area of hub participation and facilitate the use of the remote participation resources from the first planning stage for this fourth meeting. Thank you.
>>CHAIR DESAI: Anybody else? Yeah. Martin Boyle from Nominet.
>>NOMINET: Thank you, Chairman. I'd like to pick up on a point that was made by ISOC earlier about the importance of output from the IGF.
One of the commitments that we have made within the U.K. Internet Governance Forum is to provide feedback from each event to the wider stakeholder community in the U.K., but we also, this year, took the opportunity to look at things that we might be able to do better. In the U.K., we held our feedback session on the messages from Hyderabad on the 10th of March, and I'd like to share just some of the things that came out where obviously we need to do something more.
These inevitably tend to be processes where you look introvertedly and, therefore, see the things that you do less well, but in fact as part of that feedback process we produced a booklet with short comments from participants in Hyderabad, and this shows the real benefits that many of the participants got from that process and we'll make that document available via the Secretariat -- via the IGF Secretariat.
In our discussion, I think one of the most common concerns that we heard was that industry -- in particular, U.K. companies -- were not quite as well-represented as they might be. This is a weakness, in that we could and should benefit from hearing about what they are doing to help meet the goals of the IGF: Improving access, openness, security, and diversity.
We recognized that we need to engage more businesses. In particular, in focusing on solutions.
A comment from one of our leading industry bodies was that in areas like the migration to IPv6 and in looking to connect the last billion users, industry needs to be preparing those solutions now.
This came out clearly in our discussion of an area of particular importance for the U.K.: Protecting children.
The added value comes from dialogue with other stakeholders, engaging with them, challenging them on difficult issues. We have found, in the U.K., the value of multistakeholder cooperation in dealing with these issues, and we need to find ways to bring this to the IGF table for Sharm El Sheikh.
So a second commitment for the U.K. is to work with others to get more of those who really can help make a difference into the discussions.
One thing that we continue to be pleased with is the value of the IGF as a forum to share experience and good practice. The revised format for Hyderabad has an impact on workshop attendance, but it would be a shame to lose this very positive aspect of the IGF.
We have now launched the 2009 round of the Nominet Best Practice Challenge at the messages from Hyderabad event. We believe that the best practice challenge contributes to the discussions of the IGF by helping to identify solutions. But from Hyderabad, I'd like to highlight two other examples of best practice sharing that made a mark.
The first was intensely practical, and this came from a colleague from the London Internet Exchange who highlighted, as one of his key messages from Hyderabad, the development of the Kenyan Internet exchange and how they had moved to reduce costs for Kenyan Internet users and to stimulate the local provision of mail services.
And I met the organizers of the Manthan Project -- and I hope I've pronounced that right -- which was a best practice challenge type initiative covering 8 countries in south Asia, in the area of e-content, and I think there could be a real opportunity to use this and other initiatives to develop some sort of repository of ideas that people could refer to and on, and this is perhaps something where the IGF could provide a real added value.
Another immensely satisfying thing was to see the development of other national and regional Internet Governance Forums. We are, obviously, engaged in the European initiative, EuroDIG, but it is also good to see other national and regional initiatives where the countries concerned are looking at what they can do, and I'm sure, like us, they will have positive messages about the preparatory work that helps them draw more benefit from the four short days of the IGF meeting.
Of special interest to me was the way that the east Africa initiative builds on national work and I'm sure we could also learn from the others, so a third commitment from us should be to build bridges to other national and regional activities, to build on common and shared interests.
The U.K. benefitted again in Hyderabad by having four members of Parliament actively engaged in the discussion. For us, this is particularly important in that the elected accountability of parliamentarians helps them understand the very real concerns of the citizen.
We would be keen to work with other countries in improving the opportunities for exchanges between parliamentarians and other stakeholders.
Perhaps, Chairman, four commitments is enough, but the area we felt -- but the areas where we felt we could do better were, to summarize: Improving industry engagement; drawing in the right stakeholders and enlarging the discussion to engage the difficult issues; building bridges with other national initiatives to benefit from common interests; and engaging more with elected representatives.
And these are all areas where we, in the U.K., can try to do something more for Sharm El Sheikh, and where we hope others who share this analysis will join us in working to meet these commitments.
Thank you, chair.
>>CHAIR DESAI: Thank you. I have the remote participation caucus. Do you want to --
>>REMOTE PARTICIPATION GROUP:
Excuse me. Yes, please, to read a comment from the dynamic coalition on gender.
The dynamic coalition on gender of the IGF strongly supports the extension of the mandate of the IGF beyond the initial 5 years, but in particular, the gender dynamic coalition calls upon all stakeholders to support an extension of the mandate in a direction that further strengthens the IGF's policy role.
As the gender coalition has pointed out before, access to a free and open Internet is critical for women to access information and to facilitate the full realization of their rights.
The provisioning of a gender-just Internet is, therefore, a fundamental social policy that needs to be developed and implemented systematically at global, regional, national, and local levels.
The IGF has played, and continues to play, a vital role in this process. The extension of its mandate should be approached as an opportunity to strengthen this crucially valuable role.
Although important progress has been made in this regard for which we have expressed our appreciation on earlier occasions, the gender D.C. believes that the processes of the IGF remain insufficiently gendered if we, as stakeholders in the IGF process, are committed to ensuring gender justice, then we need to work towards more attention for social -- rather than core technical -- issues and for the social angle of technical issues. We need to integrate gender perspectives in all public policy debates regarding the use and development of the Internet, and we need to involve women and gender experts as speakers, panelists, and workshop proponents in all sessions.
Moreover, as most of the world's women continue to be from the south, and poor, a greater representation of southern actors is needed and greater diversity within this representation.
Similarly, the continued and consistent foregrounding of development as a crucial, cross-cutting issue is essential.
In line with what was initially foreseen in Paragraph 72 of the Tunis Agenda, which lays out the IGF mandate, the structural linkages between the IGF and U.N. agencies such as UNIFEM should, therefore, be further developed and strengthened.
Ultimately, a rights-based approach to Internet Governance is the only safeguard for women to enjoy -- to fully enjoy the potential benefits of the Internet. Unfortunately, from a feminist social justice perspective, the IGF has not yet succeeded in mainstreaming a strong rights-based framework to provide guidance for the tackling of difficult issues.
This would be direly needed in a climate which, at times, appears doubly short-circuited by the political climate surrounding terrorism and the social panic surrounding child pornography.
In this climate, care must be taken to remember that answers and strategies will not do much good if they only result from knee-jerk or automatic type of responses, rather than thorough considerations of the issues involved from historical, geopolitical, economic, social, and rights-based, gender-sensitive bases.
Moreover, in the absence of such an overarching framework, links between different meetings in the IGF remain tenuous at best. For all these reasons, the dynamic coalition on gender strongly supports the suggestion made by the Internet Governance caucus and other groups to make Internet rights and principles the overarching framework of the forthcoming IGF in Egypt.
Thank you very much.
>>CHAIR DESAI: Thank you. Incidentally, one useful thing the gender coalition can do is -- which played a very valuable role in some other areas of work in the U.N. is to prepare a directory, prepare a directory of women who are active in this area on policymaking in this area, and I've seen this in the environment area. Once that directory was prepared, then it was very difficult to say, "Oh, we couldn't find the right person." So this is something which, using your network, you can start putting it together. You don't need to have a meeting. You can start doing this over the Internet. Just start putting together a directory of women who are active in this area, either from the side of industry or as civil society activists or in policymaking in government, or just a -- or, for that matter, in the Internet organizations involved in this at a global level. So if a directory can be prepared using your network, I'm sure this would be of great use in putting together panels, discussions, and I'm sure we can find ways of making that directory widely available to all organizers.
Can I now turn to Brazil and then Finland?
>>BRAZIL: Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman.
Brazil was represented in Hyderabad by a high-level multistakeholder delegation integrated by one vice minister and two federal senators, as well as by representatives of the judiciary and by representatives of a number of ministries, governmental agencies, and from the civil society and the private sector.
We sincerely hope to have contributed to the success of the third IGF in Hyderabad. Our delegation took an active role and an active part in many sessions and workshops. Particularly, we attempted to learn with other participants, as well as to share our national experiences in a range of areas, but specifically we tried to learn as well as to share our experience in the field of combatting and preventing child pornography in the Internet.
Brazil does believe that the Hyderabad meeting tremendously added to the IGF's common patrimony. Let my highlight that the debate on the enhanced cooperation by the organization of a workshop on this subject must be seen as a largely positive step towards an effective implementation of the Tunis Agenda.
We are open and we want to continue to participate in this successful process. We want to contribute to the success of the fourth IGF in Egypt. And Mr. Chairman, when it comes to the future of the IGF -- and I understand that it is your intention to deal with this issue tomorrow -- let me simply advance that we support the continuation of the IGF beyond its fifth meeting in Latvia, and that as a way of strengthening the IGF, we are still convinced that the IGF should not discard the possibility of elaborating and issuing recommendations in areas related to Internet public policies, and that we should begin our work in areas such as child pornography where there seems to be a relevant mass of consensus. Thank you very much, and I -- and I want to participate in the debate tomorrow when it comes to the future of the IGF. Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman, and thank you, my good friend, Markus Kummer and the IGF Secretariat.
>>CHAIR DESAI: Thank you. Thank you very much. And I would -- yes, I think we in India noticed how committed Brazil was, and the very substantial numbers who came from Brazil to participate in this, including from a very senior level.
I met your senator. Also, many other countries also came in large numbers, despite the problems of Bombay. China, Finland was also present there in good strength, and Switzerland, which also took on a responsibility for carrying on with some of the -- I think we appreciate this, that this commitment to solidarity was shown by your very substantial participation in the meeting and in the process and the very high-level delegations which came from all of these countries.
>>FINLAND: Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Many have already talked about a broader participation of different stakeholders, and I'm glad that our Egyptian colleague mentioned the participation of the youth.
Now, we would support the enhanced involvement of young people who are actually the most active users of Internet, and not just as quota people to fill in the age balance, but we would suggest to task a multistakeholder group of young people to actually organize one of the workshops or even one of the main sessions in the next IGF.
So I suppose I leave this for the reflection of MAG. Thank you.
>>CHAIR DESAI: I actually am really looking forward to the arrangements which are being made in Egypt for talking to young people. I think you're planning a meeting with the youth and children on -- to prepare for Egypt. Maybe something will come out of that meeting which we could then take up in the IGF.
I had Switzerland.
>>SWITZERLAND: Thank you, chair.
I would like to share another positive experience that we had in Hyderabad. In Hyderabad, we had seen that issues for the first time for -- were really put in relation to each other. Unlike in the first two IGFs, for instance, security and openness were not discussed in an isolated way, but were discussed together. This has brought the discussion closer to real-life situations and challenges, because in real life those things also meet. They are not separate. And it provides a better path to follow in order to find solutions and get the right people from the different ends together so that they engage in cooperation instead of defending their goals against the others.
So also in the future, we need an ongoing and flexible process to develop the issues and themes for the IGF. I would agree with what has been said by Bertrand de la Chapelle who, as usual, put it into very nice and clear words. We have to be aware that the different issues have a different level of maturity, and this requires different formats and might require different formats adequate to the state of discussions on the different issues.
With regard to the issue of Internet rights and principles, in our view -- and we share this with others -- this is one of the key issues. Actually it's more than an issue; it's a whole concept of the IGF process.
Up to now, we have approached the rights and principles via separate ways, going through issues like openness, security, privacy, protection of children, so on, gender and so forth.
We have tried to bring -- tried out to bring together some of these issues last year, which in our view has proved successful. So in consequence, we would support others who would like to go one step further and define for the next IGF the concept of an Internet that is based on rights and principles and would like to see this as one of the main themes for the 2009 IGF.
We also welcome to see some movement in the landscape of the dynamic coalitions and support the merging of two existing coalitions into one named Internet rights and principles, which we would hope will become a kind of an umbrella coalition to others like the privacy and other coalitions, hoping that this will make things more coherent and efficient and will make it easier for people to work.
We are also happy to see that business in India has shown interest in joining this work on a rights- and a human-rights-based Internet and to see companies like Google joining this work.
We are convinced that the dynamic coalitions only have a future -- or only have a role in the future if they are not advocacy groups but if they manage to integrate different actors with different stakes, and bring them to contribute to the work according to their different roles and responsibilities.
So we are happy with this development, and we are willing to join the efforts to promote the rights and human rights-based Internet and such an Internet Governance. Thank you.
>>CHAIR DESAI: Yes.
>>DIPLOFOUNDATION: Good day. My name is Vladimir Radunovic, on behalf of DiploFoundation. One thing that I wanted just to mention when we tackle two important topics throughout the day today. One was dealing with -- or encouraging youth to take an active participation and the other one was the issue of Internet safety or child -- the focus on child safety.
I had a pleasant experience just now when I came from Cairo to Geneva working with the Cyber Peace Initiative, which is -- probably Nermine and NTRA can give more info about the initiative, but what was done in Egypt was basically training the group of young people to further train their peers and training a group of parents to further train their peers or the parents.
I think it would be very relevant to build up on this initiative in Egypt. In order to also put an emphasis on Internet safety and child safety, child protection online.
Now, also we have a functioning dynamic coalition on child protection as well, and lastly, the group of kids that were involved in these initiatives in Egypt were a very probable driving force for the youth involvement in the process of course in cooperation with the other youth activists that we had in the last years, so I just wanted to emphasize this issue and I hope that we'll see the -- the issue of Internet safety and the issues of youth and involvement of youth very high on the agenda in Sharm El Sheikh. Thank you.
>>CHAIR DESAI: Yes, AT&T?
>>AT&T: Thank you. I just wanted to reiterate support for the idea that as the policy discussions mature, it's appropriate to continue to refine how they will be addressed at the IGF and I think there has been an evolution of the way items are being discussed and introduction of new topics into the discussion.
For example, on the issue of online safety, I think today there has been an interesting discussion continuing on the need to talk about human rights, but also the continuing importance of child protection. And I think that's an example where we really can talk about balancing very important public policy interest of things like privacy and online safety and security with other important issues such as freedom of expression and the personal rights on the Internet as well.
And I think that is the type of discussion that can occur at IGF in a very positive environment without having it be done in a hostile way.
I also think there is a continuing focus on new issues, and the example of the economic crisis being something that was added to the India agenda and, I think as Nermine said, will continue to be of importance this year are types of examples where the format is flexible enough that you can continue to look for what is the next issue emerging over the horizon that we should be talking about.
Soy I look forward to more discussion on that as we prepare the agenda.
>>CHAIR DESAI: Financial crisis. Well, how many companies will be there in December to attend the meeting?
But, no, I think we could do that, but probably better if we wait until about September before we commit ourselves to what we are going to talk about. Because it's so uncertain what's happening that we really don't know what the world is going to be like in November-December.
I am a little more involved in that area, frankly, than even the Internet. But I must say that things are very, very uncertain.
But let me say one thing which is coming out here is the need to differentiate between issues. And maybe this is one message that the members of the Advisory Group should take home, that let's try and put issues in sort of alternate baskets, if you like.
One, a basket which is really issues which -- where people -- there's also certain even lack of knowledge, if you like, or full understanding of issues. And that's the sort of issue where we would probably focus on getting people who are at the leading edge of thinking on this to speak, and then trying to have a debate after that.
This would really be mainly for issues which are not yet on the policy radar, which there probably is even a certain lack of full knowledge and understanding in the people who come to the IGF.
The second set is the issues where the problem is not lack of understanding, but there are big differences between people on how these should be addressed.
This is where the open-space type of concept which Karen was talking about earlier could be used.
And the third are issues where there is both understanding as well as a growing consensus on what needs to be done, the point that Brazil was just making. And there we should find the modality which actually allows action to come out of that process. So that we can get something like, maybe, a statement of what are best practices in this area, or something of this sort.
Something actionable which will come out of this, which will partly meet the requirements of recommendations or an output from the IGF.
So maybe this is a sort of approach that we are to increasingly start following instead of one pattern for all issues which are on the table. To try and clearly distinguish between the issues in these three broad categories, and with three broad modalities for handling them.
The first one where there is a great deal, if you like, of educational work required, rely a lot on experts.
And the second one, where there is understanding but disputes, rely on open-space dialogue.
And in the third one, try and figure out a modality by which you can get from dialogue to action. Some real product comes out of it which people can take home and say, okay, this is what came out of this when it came to this particular issue. And one example which was given is an issue of child pornography where there is a growing consensus and where I think people are expecting action. This I would certainly agree, if we have a third IGF where we again talk about child pornography and that's all that comes out of it and people say, well, we already talked about it in Rio, we have talked about it in Hyderabad, and we will talk about it again in Sharm El Sheikh, what's the point in repeating this conversation three times running? What's next? And that question I think ought to be addressed by the members of the Advisory Group. We just can't have the same discussion year after year.
And yet we can't say we have already talked about it so we are not going to discuss it. That will again be a problem.
So I would suggest that this is the way in which we could hear, this is one dimension in what people have been talking about.
Somebody was asking -- Bertrand, were you asking -- yes, Bertrand.
>>FRANCE: Thank you, Mr. Chair. A few concrete points that I wanted -- to what I said this morning.
On the operational aspects, the village was a great idea. If it could be used in Sharm El Sheikh for also the lunch gathering, it would be great for everybody to have the opportunity to meet and gather in that space. I don't know how the physical location enables or not, but helping people to get together during the lunch would be great.
By the way, the gathering in Hyderabad was excellent.
Another element, I would support what was said this morning regarding the preference being given to audio if video is not perfect. Audio is important, and keeping the recording of the audio so that all the workshops, for instance, can be recorded and made available. It requires less bandwidth and storage capacity, probably, and it's technically very useful.
In addition, I liked what was mentioned about the unofficial translations for synthesis paper and so on. And I would like to extend this notion to the fact that if the audio is available for all workshops, then they can be non-official transcriptions be made afterwards. Like, for instance, the NGO or the organizers of the workshop can take upon themselves to say, okay, I take the MP3 recording and then I transcribe what has been said so that it is being made available. It is not an official transcription in any case, but then it would make search easier for people.
I think the preparatory methodology that we experimented with for the panels for Hyderabad was very interesting. The fact that a few people from the MAG were connecting with other actors and setting up the panels themselves was a way to distribute the workload, and it can be reproduced.
We strongly support the accent or the importance given to youth participation, and also to gender participation. And I think your suggestion of setting up a database or identifying speakers and panelists, women panelists, would be a great source of information.
Finally, two elements regarding the clustering or the baskets. I think the three categories you highlighted in terms of the degree of ripeness of issues is a good distinction, and I would support the three categories.
Interestingly enough, in the first one, it's interesting to see in each one what kind of outcome you can get, what you can take away.
In the first category, where it's an awareness-raising and capacity building exercise, the main thing you take away is this better understanding of what it is about.
The second category is more about how you frame the problem you want to address. And a very good example in Hyderabad was, for instance, the emergence of this notion of fostering security, privacy and openness which is a formulation that came out of the MAG discussion and which embodied, as was said earlier, the fact that these three themes shouldn't be addressed separately but where connected with one another.
So the second category is the result of the debate is not a decision. It's just an agreed formulation, something that is an issue of common concern or interest that people agreed to address as the topic of a workshop, as the topic of further work. And sometimes finding this very formulation is important.
For instance, we were talking about child pornography. There's a strong distinct between the subject of child pornography and child protection.
I think what the IGF in Hyderabad reached is an agreement that child porn is not a subject of debate. It is just a subject of how you address it.
Child protection is where the cursor is, and there is no agreement on where the cursor should be.
This is a big distinction. One is a ripe issue for the third category, and then you move to actual work. The other is still a debate issue.
And finally, following up on what I was suggesting in Hyderabad, on the importance of social networks, user-generated content in general, when we talk about the Internet, we always talk about the network itself, but also the World Wide Web. And we are now getting into a phase where the social networking applications are not really the Web. It's not a Web site. It is not an information repository. It's an exchange.
And so I would just like to bring into the discussion that we should have in mind when we discuss the themes the three categories of basically the Internet, the World Wide Web, and the social net, which are the three different types of issues that we address. One is infrastructure, the other is management of information and content, and the third one is relationship and people. And one of the things that was said in Hyderabad and has been said in the press is that, for instance, in terms of children protection, bullying among children of the same age is almost as much a danger and a threat as actual predatory conduct, which is now full threat.
But bullying has nothing to do with the management of content or just freedom of expression. It's a different type of behavior that is emerging.
Just a suggestion to take into account, not only the three categories of ripeness that you said but also the three types of infrastructure, Web, and social net.
>>CHAIR DESAI: I have Khaled from the multilingualism group followed by Heather Creech.
>>KHALED FATTAL: Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Khaled Fattal speaking here, as you know, on behalf of many organizations that I represent, Live Multilingual Translator, and MINC, the Multilingual Internet Names Consortium.
Mr. Chairman, I was hoping to save my remarks for tomorrow in the hope of helping, perhaps, navigate or guide the future of what IGF should be focused on. But I was impressed with the comments you made earlier on, and I felt I couldn't really miss out on the opportunity.
You raise some very important issues in regards to doing more and not being stuck in talking for the sake of talk. And I think we become -- We're sort of like stuck in a way that we have a process that is meant to be nonnegotiating, nonimposing, whereas we're finding ourselves doing a lot of talking but not finding enough results so that we can take it to the next level.
And Bertrand made an exceptional point in terms of child pornography. This is an issue that has no contention whatsoever. I think there is tremendous consensus across the board, regardless of the community you are dealing with, that it needs to be addressed. Yet still we are finding it difficult to come to a conclusion of how to actually implement that.
So I think that what's lacking for future is to come up with processes that lead us to conclusions and implementations in the same thought as you mentioned. Otherwise, we will end up going from one IGF to the next and we're only talking but not really progressing.
Something else. One of the other issues you raised, which I think is also very valid, is addressing issues that are important that we need to address immediately. For example, exactly a year ago when IGF preparation for Hyderabad took place in Geneva, my intervention at the time raised -- wanted to raise the awareness that we had only 18 months to go before the JPA expires and the single-country -- single-country management of the net needs to be transitioned to something else that would be international community or whatever. And I actually called on yourself and the Secretariat to do the best you can to at least make this an important issue so that the debate can start taking place, and perhaps assist the U.S. government, assist ICANN in creating this transition that is fundamentally being supported by the communities.
From what I have seen so far, I think this is an area where we probably could have done a little bit better on. Now we are left with only six months before this is taking place, and whenever you look at whatever is going on on the Internet, in debates, in chats, in discussion, you seldom hear anybody talking about the transition or the JPA. Guess what they are all talking about? The new gTLDs.
Now, we all agree new gTLDs are important, but we're losing sight of what's at stake and what's important to be done. And I think if there is the opportunity to, throughout MAG, through your guidance, for the next six months, to try to accelerate the discussion and the involvement from those communities so something to help this transition take place, I think it would be a very important task now that perhaps 12 months have passed without as much significant advancement as would have been wished.
>>CHAIR DESAI: There was some discussion on enhanced cooperation in Hyderabad, which was in some ways contributory to that.
But let me not get into that debate.
Let me move to Heather Creech.
>>IISD: Thank you, Mr. Chair. Heather Creech with the International Institute for Sustainable Development.
I have two short suggestions to put on the table for Sharm El Sheikh.
First, I really like this emerging idea of the different modalities, different operating modalities for the IGF, one being related to education, framing of issues themselves, the second on dialogue.
In particular, I would really like to support this third modality through which we can move from dialogue to action. And I would like to remind the MAG and the Secretariat that the one airplane yeah in which the IGF does have scope to make recommendations for action is on emerging issues. And as you think through, in particular, this third modality, consider how -- what the process is going to be, how those specific recommendations can be developed and tabled.
And further, give some consideration to a mechanism for monitoring the disposition of the recommendations and actions that are taken in relation to such recommendations.
The second suggestion that I would make is that we also support this emerging framing of Internet rights and principles as a major theme for 2009.
We would like to suggest that in discussing the related concept of responsibilities that those responsibilities be more widely construed beyond content and use, and that consideration be given to responsibility for, first of all, delivering development benefits to the south and, second, responsibility for managing the environmental footprint of the Internet.
>>CHAIR DESAI: Heather, perhaps you can tell me, I saw a piece, a news story that said two Google searches is the equivalent of boiling a kettle. Is that right? That the amount of power that is used in this great big storage in the data centers is such that two Google searches is the equivalent of the amount of energy used to boil a kettle. That's something I saw somewhere.
>>IISD: Yeah, actually, it is true.
But some of you may be aware that there is a lot of work that's now being done by CNARI, which is the Canadian Network for Advanced Research Networks, looking at zero-emission data centers, which is a whole new trend, trying to get the data centers to use renewable energy and also reduce their emissions.
>>CHAIR DESAI: Good. I'm glad. I have been throwing this figure out, and people have been questioning it, so now I know. I can say Heather Creech told me it is right.
>>APC: Thank you, Nitin. We have some initial thoughts on themes, but I'm hoping there will be opportunities in the coming months also to keep talk about themes.
Very pleased, I think, the way we are starting to think about the different layers, all the different formulations or modulations. And in relation to the themes that I'd suggest now, I think you would have to apply that layering, because they are all at different levels of maturity, I would say.
APC definitely supports human rights in the Internet as a main theme for the IGF in Cairo. I don't think -- obviously, we support the statements that have been made to date.
Also, when looking at sustainability, we would like to look at linking sustainability with security, so not only looking at the issues that we have been dealing with to date around cyber security and so on and so forth but looking at the long-term stability and security of the Internet with relation to the issues you are just mentioning, considering energy use, climate change, natural disasters, et cetera, et cetera.
So thinking about security in relation to sustainability.
One, it's a very large theme and it might be more a useful basket for capturing some other issues that people have raised. We like the idea of Internet governance for all.
We feel that it can address issues more concretely around capacity building, enhanced cooperation, diversity of participation, gender equity and participation, transparency, national and regional IGFs.
It's a -- I think it's quite a useful framework to think about quite a few issues that we're struggling to fit into the program.
And although we would, speaking from APC's perspective, would not like to keep addressing access in the way we have, we feel we have discussed access as usefully as we can in the formats we have used to date. And clearly, we are looking at wanting to move into that layer of dialogue to action in relation to access. But in that theme, we would be wanting to look at issues such as bridging the gaps between policy and regulation, which would then mean looking at things like, in more detail, IXPs, interconnection costs, conversion to policy in terms of mobile telephony, and standards.
And one thing I wanted to bring up linked to my comments this morning, one of the -- one of the reasons given for people finding it difficult to find links between different aspects of the IGF was that they felt, in the lack of a common framework, it's actually pretty difficult to do that. If you don't have something that's holding it all together, such as a rights approach, a sustainable development approach, but something that can be commonly linked through everything, that it's very difficult to create those linkages. So I think it's worth thinking about that, and also to look at identifying people or groups who can actually focus on linkages. Because I don't think that they emerge organically. I think you have to be constantly looking at commonalities, divergences and opportunities to create linkages between whatever themes may emerge in discussions.
>>CHAIR DESAI: Thank you.
I have Marilyn Cade and then I have got Malcolm, and Y.J. Park.
>>MARILYN CADE: Thank you. I want to go back to a conversation that I have heard emerging throughout the day, and that is a discussion about how we interact with young people.
So far, what I have been hearing is the importance of protecting kids online, and I will say that I think that is a very important topic. But I think that there's a broader discussion that we might wish to bring forward in Egypt. And so in referencing that, I just want to think a little bit about expanding our thinking.
Of the next billion users, a large number of those users are, today, the very young in our societies around the world. They will be not only the next users probably of the mobile Internet, not so much the fixed-line Internet, but they will also be the innovators of new applications.
Years ago, when I was very young, everybody in the room was supposed to note that, I helped to introduce the narrow-band Internet into the United States. And we experienced a situation where members of our Congress and of our society were very concerned about child pornography online and about the risk of luring children.
It went so far that we actually passed a law called the Communications Decency Act that required ISPs to open the content of e-mail to determine whether or not the content was safe or included child pornography. That law was overturned by the U.S. Supreme Court, but in the context of getting there, the private sector and civil society and government officials organized something called the Internet Summit, bringing together a very multistakeholder group into Washington, D.C.
In preparing for that, I helped to organize bringing four young people to Washington speak to members of Congress...
The meeting went something like this.
About coaching people about what is legal or illegal online. And they acted as mentors to children much younger than them. We met with Rick White and the Internet Caucus, and the members of the Internet Caucus, both Senators and Representatives, explained to the young people their grave concerns about the experience that children were having online, in chat rooms, encountering pornography. The young ladies listened very attentively, and at the end of it one of them leaned forward and said, "Thank you very much. Now let me tell you what matters to us." And they went on to talk about the importance of access, about the importance of young people in both knowing how to use the technology and knowing how to explain the technology, its challenges, and its benefits to their parents and to their caregivers.
So looking ahead at how we might interact with young people when we go to Egypt, I'd just like to note that we probably will learn more from them than they might learn from us.
>>CHAIR DESAI: Thank you.
I have Malcolm.
>>EuroISPA: Thank you, Mr. Chairman. My name is Malcolm Hutty and I am speaking today as the president of EuroISPA, the umbrella trade association representing the Internet service providers of Europe, about 1500 Internet service providers.
Since this is the first time I have intervened I would like to pay my compliments on behalf of EuroISPA to our Indian hosts and condolences for the tragedy and appalling events that immediately preceded the last meeting. And without taking your time on those points that people have made, but I would like to add our name to that.
The issue of child pornography, child protection, and moving from discussion to action has just been addressed by a great many speakers, and I would like to take up that theme.
There is a difficulty here.
The Internet service providers of Europe are fully committed to ensuring as safe and positive as possible an online experience for all, including children, and have worked tirelessly to drive up standards and to achieve that to the best that it can be achieved at any given moment.
However, our experience has been that this is a difficult and complicated and complex area, and one that is not without controversy when it comes to determine what action should be done.
Firstly, I would like to agree with Mr. Chapelle's point about the distinction between the narrow and specific issue of child pornography and the much broader issues of child protection. And particularly, to agree with Ms. Cade's point there about how the -- which I believe referred to how much child protection includes ensuring that your children get the best possible experience in the broadest context, which means providing opportunities as well as looking at ways in which to protect them from the evils.
But when it comes to child protection, there is a sense in some of the discussions -- to child pornography, I beg your pardon, there has been a sense in what some of the speakers before have said in saying we need to move from discussion to action that has conveyed the impression that the action is very clear and simple. And I think that there is actually much that we can do to discuss what that action might be in a way that would still be extremely beneficial within the IGF context.
When it comes to removing elicit material, such as child pornography, there were two basic approaches that can be taken. The first is removal at source. The second is attempting to try and get the network in some way to block access to that material.
With regard to removal at source, I believe that most people are agreed that where that is possible, that is the ideal outcome so that the material disappears all together.
I am not aware of anyone, incidentally, lest there be any doubt, that defends the existence of child pornography, of pictures of children being raped on free-speech grounds or any other grounds. So we're all agreed as to what the actual objective is.
However, when it comes to picking that action, the action of removal at source immediately gets us into difficulties of law enforcement cooperation across international boundaries, about discussions about to what extent Internet service providers should act merely on the advice of the police and law enforcement authorities or even private reporters or whether they should wait for judicial intervention, and other matters which are of complexity and controversy across the world.
When we actually turn to network-level blocking, there is considerable -- some people believe that that is needed in addition to attempting to remove at source. Other people believe that that is actively counterproductive. It is also controversial the extent to which this is effective, if it is effective as all and not actively counter-product and whether it be made effective over the long term.
It is -- also involves considerable complexities, again, when it comes to the issues of what's the appropriate due processes, whether this provides mechanisms for broader types of censorship that have considerable freedom of speech implications and so on and so forth.
So Mr. Chairman, in conclusion, I would caution you against assuming that just because we are all absolutely of one mind as to the evil of child pornography, and are united in our attempt to wish to eradicate it, that we necessarily immediately to move directly to action without considering very carefully and discussing what those actions might be. And I hope that those -- the opportunity to discuss that and to learn from each other our various experiences won't be excluded from the next meeting.
>>CHAIR DESAI: Thank you very much. Let me clarify. See, remember the reason for people -- why people have picked on this as an area where action is -- is ripe for action is there's very little disagreement about objectives here.
You're right, there will be differences about how to do this. Now, this is precisely where IGF can make a difference. See, the IGF cannot really make a difference where there is a clear alternate focus with legislative responsibility for that area. Where the IGF can make a contribution is precisely when the locus of action or the modalities of action are not entirely clear.
It's not entirely clear that we can say, "Oh, child pornography will be handled there." There is no obvious place in the international system which we can say we'll handle this, and that is why the IGF plays a role.
But on some other thing, there will be obvious places which we are -- let's say, for instance, the use of electronic signatures in trade documents. Take a simple example as a fairly obvious forum of where this can be handled and you leave it there. But the contribution of the IGF is precisely in areas where there are ambiguities, where there are items of this nature.
Second, the action does not necessarily have to take the form of, "Do this, this, this." It may take the form of simply asking a relevant group, identifying a relevant group, and saying, "Please get together across national boundaries in some form and talk to one another on what is the best way of handling this." So let me assure you that the intention is never to sort of be over-prescriptive, but to take an issue when an issue has reached a point at which everybody has agreed action is required. I think the IGF has to be show how that action can be generated. It does not have any legislative authority, but it has a huge capacity to influence other people who will have the executive authority to act or the legislative authority to legislate.
Particularly national parliaments, et cetera, et cetera. This was -- I mean, I was impressed by the fact that this is the one issue which most parliamentarians pick up. The parliamentarians who have participated in the IGF have tended to pick on this issue almost above every other issue before they picked it -- talked about it.
So that's the sense. And I would like to assure you that nobody is talking in terms of trying to become a body which is actually instructing others on what they should be doing, but more a body which tries to fill a gap when there is no obvious alternate locus for this type of discussion. And there are issues of this nature which do come onto our agenda.
The Internet Bill of Rights is another one. There is no obvious place where this can be discussed, and in a way this is probably at a different category. Probably in a category where there's still a lot of debate on what it should be, et cetera. But again, it's the type of issue which the IGF needs to address because there's nobody else who is going to talk about it if the IGF does not you see.
So there are -- these are the types of things which I think make sense in an IGF context. But not all of it is ripe for decision. Much of it is essentially in the category of dialogue or maybe even just awareness raising, not even there.
Ms. Park, Y.J. Park. After that, I have El Salvador, Egypt and Portugal.
>>Y.J. PARK: Thank you, Mr. Chair. I'd like to thank the government of Egypt and IGF Secretariat for preparing for a very clear vision for 2009 IGF well in advance.
I would like to support more mature roundtable discussion and the possible development of decisions at the IGF proposed by the Secretariat.
On the other hand, I'd like to draw your attention to one of the general principles presented by the IGF Secretariat. According to the current version, the IGF Secretariat proposes there should be no prepared statements read out during the main sessions. In this regard, I have strong reservations, even though the Secretariat recommends the IGF YouTube channel for recording of prepared statements.
As the consequences of such conditions required, I'm afraid it will prevent a substantial participation from stakeholders from nonnative speakers of English community, and it will also prevent effective participation of governments who are not used to such interactive environments as a way to shape a dialogue and consensus at IGF main sessions.
As a nonnative speaker of English, I would like to underscore how challenging for some of us -- especially from some parts of Asia -- to participate in shaping the dialogue of IGF when simultaneous interpretation is not offered. For the past three years of IGF, we have seen few contributions from Asia, even though Asia has the biggest Internet community. We all have to reach out to realize an Internet for all, as well as Africa and Latin America.
Therefore, I strongly propose IGF Secretariat should accept some of reading statements from nonnative English-speaking countries and governments who are willing to participate in IGF and make a difference at IGF at the main sessions. Thank you for your attention.
>>CHAIR DESAI: Let me assure you that IGF main sessions have interpretation. In six languages.
>>Y.J. PARK: Yes. That --
>>CHAIR DESAI: IGF -- IGF in the main sessions will have interpretation.
>>Y.J. PARK: Yeah, but however some people like me who speak Korean will not really have the interpretation or a lot of others --
>>CHAIR DESAI: That's true, but that's a problem which will arise in any U.N. meeting, but there are six languages available.
>>Y.J. PARK: Right.
>>CHAIR DESAI: And I think the -- there's no way in which a practical distinction can be made between those people who have command over these six languages and all others. That could be a very difficult distinction to make, and the thought behind no prepared statements is, IGF is not a convention forum, it is a dialogue forum, and in that -- it never stops people. I still people still read out. That doesn't -- but the point is we should at least try and get an interaction, a conversation. And, yes, there is a limitation in the six languages, and but the point is if you -- we cannot have all languages in the IGF. It's not possible. But I -- this assurance is there: That the six U.N. languages will be available in the IGF.
>>Y.J. PARK: Okay. I can understand the current constraint of this -- the limited interpretation and translations, but if you kind of allow only the interactive main sessions, that will, in reality, prevent a lot of participation from those who cannot actively participate in those instructive sessions, even though they wish they could do because of this language barriers, and which could be very unfair for those stakeholders and including a lot of governments who you urged substantial participation in the IGF down this road. So hopefully we can find some compromise or some way for those stakeholders to participate in this process.
>>CHAIR DESAI: Thank you. I have El Salvador, Egypt, Portugal, and then somebody from the Communications Commission of Kenya, Ms. Mwende Njiraini.
>>EL SALVADOR: Thank you, chair. I would like to refer mainly to the relationship between the themes that were brought up by the representative of APC earlier.
The topics that have been debated in the IGF and their links between them, where they arise, is one of the principles that were agreed on Internet Governance -- at least that's how my country sees it.
Everything that we have talked about in the Internet governance fora are -- is on the basis of the agreements set out, so in this sense I support Switzerland's statement with regards to keeping the principles and rights as a main theme for the IGF 2009.
And I think the time has come when we need to start this discussion. It's the only subject that hasn't yet been included in discussions.
I would also like to refer to Finland's recommendation with regards to young people. And other speakers who have spoken before me, El Salvador also supports the giving of space to young people so that they may organize a workshop or a main session with the minimum amount of coaching necessary from MAG.
I'm fully in agreement, in that -- in what they say, that we have more to learn from young people than young people have to learn from us. Thank you.
>>CHAIR DESAI: Thank you. Egypt?
>>EGYPT: Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
I would like to intervene with an experience that we've had recently in Egypt to reflect on what Vladimir from the DiploFoundation has mentioned earlier, as well as the ideas injected by Finland, Marilyn and others on the involvement of use.
In 2007, the Cyber Peace Initiative was launched by the Suzanne Mubarak Women's International Peace Movement during the International Youth Forum held in Sharm El Sheikh. It's main objective is to empower youth of all nations to become catalysts for the change through ICT. It's a multistakeholder initiative with partners from government, civil society, industry, and international organizations and is also a member of the dynamic coalition on child online safety.
Last week in Cairo, during the Internet safety conference that was organized by the Cyber Peace Initiative, the activities of its youth Internet safety focus group were highlighted. So let me quickly introduce these activities to you as I think they are of relevance to our discussion here.
This focus group consists of young people which have received extensive training programs and who are dedicated to spread the awareness of safety on the Internet among peers, who are balancing that with the empowerment of young people through the positive use of the Internet. They meet regularly and mainly work on specific targets. To research the current Internet safety needs of the Egyptian young people, to be empowered to respond to concerns of other youth and families about the use of mobile communications and Internet tools, to assess the most appropriate guidelines for young people with regard to the safe use of the Internet, to be equipped to design and create effective educational and awareness-raising tools, including train the trainers programs and communicate such knowledge acquired to peers and parents.
To contribute to a wider strategic program on the topic, and act as young ambassadors for the program. And to tell you the truth, they compete very hardly with the parents' focus group.
>>EGYPT: While we were pleased to have representatives from the Cyber Peace Initiative participate to the IGF in Hyderabad and I think they are planning to be active participants to the IGF in Sharm El Sheikh, where we hope that the youth themselves will play a more elaborated role on the issue of child online safety. Thank you.
>>CHAIR DESAI: Thank you. Portugal?
>>PORTUGAL: Thank you. Thank you. Well, I would like to say something about the safer Internet.
I think that we should not discuss crimes, child pornography, abuses and bad behavior because of the existence of the Internet but to discuss the issue, seeing the Internet as a tool, as a mechanism, through which these crimes and bad behavior are expanded.
So we think that the -- our objective should be to discuss how to get a -- to prepare the children, young people, teachers, and parents to cope with this, as they have to on a daily basis apart from the existence of the Internet, because we can't create a fear environment around the use of the Internet.
So we would like to support the idea to involve youth in the next IGF. Thank you.
>>CHAIR DESAI: [Speaker is off microphone]
>>COMMUNICATION COMM. OF KENYA:
Thank you, Mr. Chairman. My name is Mwende Njiraini. I come from Kenya, but here on my personal capacity. I would like to read a statement on behalf of Marilia, who is -- would like to comment on the second item of the agenda with relation to organizational issues. Mr. Chairman, my name is Marilia Maciel from Brazil, and from a remote participation working group. I'd like to mention that we are following the open consultations remotely and Twittering on our channel.
We also have live blogging about it and covering it on cover it live platform.
We congratulate the Secretariat for moving to Web 2 tools such as Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube, and would like to continue improving communication possibilities. We would also like to remind the IG community that our report about remote participation in Hyderabad is available on our Web site, which is www.igfremote.org. Thank you very much, Marilia Maciel, from the remote participation working group. Thank you.
>>CHAIR DESAI: Thank you. Sudan, followed by Ian Peter of the Internet Governance Forum and then Council of Europe. Sudan?
>>SUDAN: Thank you. My name is Abuelfayd Mukhtar Hassan. I would, first of all, like to thank all those who participate in the organization of this forum, particularly all the states who have hosted this forum, and we have followed the forum very closely, and have participated with a large delegation.
Our participation from the very beginning, in the preparatory stages, has been very active, and we would like to thank our brother country, Egypt, for the preparation of the organization of the fourth IGF and we wish them every success and we hope that the fourth IGF will end in useful recommendations which will benefit all the peoples of the world and we would also hope that there will be a clear message from the forum to put an end to the political divisions, so that this forum brings together countries, because we are one of the countries that has suffered through these political problems and we have suffered sanctions from large countries which have prevented us from participating fully and completing in this Internet revolution.
So we have not been able to take advantage of the presence of large companies or the knowledge of several technologies. Our supplier of Internet services is suffering a great deal of competition due to the sanctions imposed on it, and this is in contravention of principles of openness.
With regards the organization of the forum at Sharm El Sheikh and the participation of the important conference, we would like to call and launch an appeal for a spirit of openness in order to allow everyone to participate freely, despite political divisions.
We will try -- we are trying, through our participations, to allow our Sudanese people to benefit from free Internet services, particularly in remote areas, and isolated regions, and last year we permitted the creation of Internet access points that were free and we are growing the number of access points each year.
We hope that the consultations, debates, and discussions at Sharm El Sheikh will allow the preparation of recommendations for the application of the Tunis action points. Thank you.
>>CHAIR DESAI: Thank you. I have Ian Peter of the Internet Governance Caucus followed by Council of Europe, Raúl Echeberria.
>>INTERNET GOVERNANCE CAUCUS:
Thank you, Mr. Chair. I want to return to the question of how many Google searches in a cup of tea. Because I think we need to get the record quite straight on this.
I risk the future of the planet by doing a Google search on this matter, and the scientific jury is definitely out on the question of how many Google searches in a cup of tea and the debate is rather akin to the medieval debate of how many angels on a pinhead, but I can give you a couple of facts around this which, you know, do seem to have a fair degree of support.
Firstly, the whole of the I.T. industry -- not just the Internet but the whole of the I.T. industry -- does have, at this point of time, carbon emissions roughly equivalent to the airline industry. So it is a significant contributor to carbon at this point of time.
Another thing that I can inform you of is that there is a very serious and substantial effort, which many people believe can be successful, to create a zero carbon emission Internet. This, people believe, is a totally achievable thing but it does require some differences to architecture and placement of data warehouses and things in the future.
But to come back to what Google searches might represent, two figures that I have been able to come up with which might be more credible, which are quite interesting, I think, is that two Google searches would roughly be the equivalent of leaving your mobile phone charger on for a day. Or another one is -- which is quite telling -- is that two Google searches probably use about the same energy as driving an average car for one second. Thank you.
>>CHAIR DESAI: Thank you. Helpful, helpful. Good.
>>CHAIR DESAI: See, you learn so much, you know, when you get -- attend these meetings.
>>CHAIR DESAI: The Council of Europe.
>>COUNCIL OF EUROPE: Thank you, Chairman. Following on from my earlier comment this morning, I'd like to make a few thematic comments. But before doing so, perhaps to respond to the earlier discussion on child pornography, just again to get the record straight, I think it is not quite right to suggest that this is a totally controversial area where there's no consensus whatsoever, because there are, in fact, international standards on the matter. Namely, that such conduct should be criminalized. I would refer to the Council of Europe convention on cybercrime which has a very clear list of offenses rated as child pornography and its dissemination through the Internet. But also to the Council of Europe convention on the protection of children against sexual exploitation and abuse, which criminalizes soliciting children for sexual purposes.
Mr. Chairman, the Council of Europe is a strong believer in a rights-based Internet, which is people-centered in its development. In our standards-setting and policy work, we strive to ensure that our core values of human rights, democracy, and the rule of law are developed and applied also as regards to the Information Society.
It will, therefore, come as no surprise that we welcome very much further discussions, as has been suggested by other speakers, further discussions on human rights in the Internet at the upcoming IGF.
In the near future, there are a number of thematic discussions that are going to happen within the Council of Europe which I think it would be good to inform you about.
In the near future, Internet Governance, critical Internet resources, openness, security, and privacy of the Internet will be at the heart of discussions in the first Council of Europe conference of ministers responsible for media and new communications services, which will take place on 28-29 May, 2009, in Reykjavik, Iceland. This conference is likely to discuss the need for further consideration and possible action regarding a number of issues, interrelated issues, and I would mention the following:
The question of a standards-setting instrument which would acknowledge and outline the shared responsibility of states to take reasonable measures to ensure the ongoing functioning of the Internet across borders. This is because the Internet is a critical common resource which requires interstate cooperation and solidarity, to prevent or manage events, including malicious acts falling within their jurisdictions or territories which could block or significantly impede Internet access.
Such blockages could violate the right to freedom of expression and information.
The key objective of a possible multilateral legal instrument would not be regulation, but laying down safeguards for ensuring that the Internet continues to be open and free.
Ways of avoiding -- a second point, a related point: Ways of avoiding fragmentation and barriers to seamless communication through the Internet, and ways of guaranteeing the ongoing universal nature and integrity of the net.
Next, policy as regards universal access to the Internet, including policies for responding to market failure, where market forces are unable to satisfy society's legitimate needs and aspirations. Both in terms of infrastructure and as regards to range and quality of available content and services.
Further, freedom of expression and information, and other fundamental rights, as well as issues of dignity and security on the Internet, profiling techniques and practices, and examination of threats deriving from systems designed to identify and track objects.
And finally, the feasibility of removing or deleting, within a reasonably short period of time, content created by or concerning children on the Internet, which challenges their dignity, security and privacy or otherwise renders them vulnerable now or at a later stage in their lives, including traces thereof -- logs, records and processing.
We hope, Mr. Chairman, to share this work with you later in this year's IGF and in future IGFs.
And finally, in the runup to the IGF in Sharm El Sheikh, the Council of Europe will also be a keen contributor to the pan -- the second pan-European dialogue on Internet Governance, EuroDIG, for which I said this morning we are ready to continue our strong support alongside key partners like the EBU and OFCOM Switzerland. Thank you.
>>CHAIR DESAI: Thank you. Raúl Echeberria.
>>RAUL ECHEBERRIA: Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
First of all, I would like to highlight an error that there was in the minutes where Mr. Ian Peter spoke a few minutes ago, the minutes still showed that -- showed that I was speaking, and I wouldn't like to take the merit away from him for his statement.
>>RAUL ECHEBERRIA: I would like to refer, in general terms, to the Hyderabad meeting, and my impression is that this meeting that took place in India last year was very good. And I'd like to once more express my condolences for the suffering of the people of India in the attacks on Mumbai.
And this makes even more important the efforts of the Government of India and all the people who made this event so successful within this context. From a personal point of view, I was very happy to have gone, despite the doubts generated over those days about the significance of participating and reinforcing our spirit to continue working on these subjects and the advances that took place there in these circumstances.
From a logistical point of view, it was very good. The place where it took place, the meeting was excellent.
There were problems with the Internet connections and with the audio, but these were taken very seriously and resolved in a timely manner.
There was a very significant change in the format, which was that of the plenary sessions where there was more debate than in previous years, and this change was very positive from my point of view, even if the way in which each of the meetings was conducted was a different way. And this is something on which we need to work so that there is a more homogenous management of the meetings, so that the session format is the same for people attending them all.
But what has come out is very positive, is that this new format allowed for much more discussion and participation, and this was extremely important.
With regards to the workshops, it's very important to see that there were -- there was less innovation in this meeting and that there was a lot of repetition, and by the second or third day it was quite tiring to take part in these workshops, which were always the same. There was a panel of five, six, seven people with individual statements, and then debate, debate that was fairly low key because the panelists normally take the time. I think we have to ask for workshop organizers to be innovative in the preparation of these workshops, so that they are more efficient and that they are innovative in the same way as we have been with regards to the organization of the plenary spaces.
So to end on the subject of workshops, I personally would hope that we would have less workshops, and that they should be more significant. That they have more transcendent results, and that within these workshops there is more opportunity for debate.
With regards to the subjects discussed at the IGF, I think that at the third meeting we were at a point where we made a lot of advances on the format, and this is the utility of a forum like this. And I think on the next two years that remain of this first cycle of the IGF, we must concentrate on it being more efficient from the point of view of the discussion subjects.
At the moment, until now, the subjects are very general, and we need to be more specific and to find the most important subjects and themes within each area.
So, for example, the theme of privacy was presented by many players as a priority one, and it was a principal part of the regional element that we created in Latin America last year.
And this subject of privacy was one where there was more -- the most consensus, that it needed to be discussed in more depth. But once more, we came to the IGF and it was diluted within the whole thematic that we were trying to cover.
The same happens with many subjects, such as the impact of social networks on the lives of Internet users and many others which have appeared, often in the issues and emerging issues. And that these need to move on to the main agenda of the meeting.
I think the format has now moved forward enough. We found a balance, which still needs a little fine-tuning, but we have found a balance between presentations by experts, participation by the public. But we need to make this tool a little more effective by being more precise in the subjects that are debated and making all the energy put into the discussion and the preparation of workshops much more efficient.
Thank you very much.
>>CHAIR DESAI: I presume APC and Council of Europe have just forgotten to put their flags down, that's all.
>>JEANETTE HOFMANN: Yes, thank you, Mr. Chairman.
I'd like to tie in with the issue of the number of workshops. This morning several speakers suggested that we should restrict the number and just how we brought this topic up as well.
I would like to remind all of us that we had this discussion about the number of workshops from day one. There were always two positions. One said it might be confusing if we have too many workshops, and the other position was that we should allow everybody to hold meetings as long as we have enough rooms. That we should not deny workshop proposals if there is free space.
I'm a bit afraid that if we restrict the number of workshops, that people might criticize the mechanism by which we choose workshops as being sinister and transparent or even exerting censorship.
We have not, I think, a good mechanism to determine who should be allowed to hold a workshop and who should not be allowed.
We even have problems merging workshops because people, perhaps for good reasons, insist that they want to address a certain topic from a different angle.
I wonder about the implications if we really try to restrict workshops.
I don't have a clear position on this myself. I just wanted to point out the implications.
That's one point I wanted to make.
And another point concerns topics.
I remember that last year or the year before, Bill Manning said at the main session that we need to teach the Internet to forget.
The Council of Europe just made this point with regard to children and young people who might not be aware of what it means for them 10 or 20 years later when they see what they have published on the Internet. But I think it's a broader issue. It concerns almost everybody.
And I wonder whether this could be addressed in the context with human rights and the right of informational self-determination.
How can people have better control over what is known about them on the Internet?
This is a matter that concerns the interface between self-regulation but also companies that run search engines or public archives on the Internet.
I think people need to come together and discuss this issue in a broader sense.
>>CHAIR DESAI: Thank you.
On the workshops, one somewhat practical point which one person raised, which I think we should keep in mind, that in a meeting like this, a lot of people who are not part of government but belong to civil society or research institutions can normally not get funding to participate in a meeting unless they have a -- some function, that they are speaking or running -- that they are panelists in a workshop or organizing a workshop. This is a practical reality which we should not lose sight of. That a lot of people get the sort of resources to participate in the IGF because they are participating in a workshop -- have some direct connection with a workshop as a panelist or something.
But we will see.
I have the WBU there, and then George Papadatos from Greece and then Bertrand from France.
>>WBU: I am going to speak in French so that we can test the translation service.
As the World Union for Broadcasting, we took part in Hyderabad. We appreciated all the organization and the perfect way in which things took place. It was a pity that there were many delegations who did not participate. Some of these speakers were not there, but I think it still allowed us to make advances.
The television union has given its support and is willing to do so once more for 2009, particularly for our friends the Egyptians.
We have some ideas for attempting to improve and to ensure that the next IGF is even more effective in its performance.
We would like to reintroduce the reporting session because this year there was a loss of the link between the workshops and the plenary sessions, because we were following two different tracks that barely met.
We would also like the workshops to be functional within the plenary so that they allow a more in-depth examination of certain files before they go towards -- to the plenary. And we'd also like to take into account the comments of participants for the workshops so that we can maybe sort through the workshops a little more.
There are many interesting subjects, but often they touch complementary areas which may have been better treated together within a joint workshop, which would allow for several voices around a subject, rather than a lot of different voices and areas.
There are subjects on which the IGF saw as being sufficiently mature to arrive at conclusions and implementation steps. We mustn't fear this. We need to avoid the IGF depriving itself of these opportunities, because on some subjects, such as privacy and the protection of minors and the right of Internet surfers with regard to search engines and Internet service provision, we have moved on sufficiently to be able to make specific suggestions.
That's why we, on behalf of the world television union, will work in cooperation with OFCOM Swiss and the Council of Europe, and we would like to continue with our meeting we are going to host on the 14th of September in Geneva.
>>CHAIR DESAI: George Papadatos from Greece.
>>GREECE: Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Just some additional comments on the workshops following the line put forward by Jeanette and the comments made by you.
It is true that we had this discussion in the past, but let me point out that workshops cater to a different clientele.
I have met several participants that come for the workshops alone, they stay one or two days, and then they leave.
I don't know whether anybody has any data, but most of them do not participate in the main sessions.
And it seems to me that probably the majority of our attendees are to that particular -- to the IGF, come for the workshops.
So it will be very difficult to restrict the number without changing the overall structure and the personality of the IGF.
>>CHAIR DESAI: Bertrand. France. Bertrand De La Chapelle from France.
>>FRANCE: Thank you.
Just a brief comment on what Jeanette was addressing, because she is absolutely right. The question of the number of workshops has been an ongoing discussion from the very beginning. And until now, we don't have something that allows to restrict the number.
I think what we are thinking about at the moment is a slightly different approach, which is not to restrict people who make proposals, because -- but to go one step before and trying to aggregate the theme before people have spent a lot of time identifying speakers, identifying themes, and getting engaged in the preparation.
One of the problems we encountered last year was that we encouraged people to merge their workshops after they had already contacted certain people or they had already planned for what they wanted to do.
And so the goal is not to restrict in any way. And I think it's a very important factor that Jeanette was mentioning.
The goal is not to restrict the possibility for people to propose themes or to declare their desire to be engaged in the preparation and the organization of a workshop. It is more to try to get a sense, as early as possible, of the range of themes that people want to see addressed, and to group them afterwards to avoid what Nitin was mentioning earlier, which is having the same themes being discussed in several rooms where the attendance is scattered and the panelists are scattered as well.
So in particular, this is important on the themes that are becoming ripe. Because usually -- and I want here to close the comment on the remark that was made earlier regarding moving into action on child pornography. I would support very much what Nitin Desai was saying. Moving to the next stage doesn't mean that it gets out of the IGF. Quite on the contrary. It just means that there is an agreement that has been reached on the fact that a specific issue is an objective, and that you then need to discuss how to do it, which is a great progress because in too many cases, people rush into discussing the solutions before they have agreed on what the objective is.
And so here we would make a particular distinction. For instance, in the list of themes, on those who have already been addressed in several workshops in the past that seem ripe enough, and where there is a clear benefit in bringing the different actors together in the same room so that the different viewpoints are really confronted to one another on how to move forward.
So this is just a way maybe to address, and we will have more discussions on that.
But I wanted to highlight that this is a way to address the problem of having the result of less workshops without doing any censorship or limitation on the initiative, which is one of the great benefits of the forum.
>>SECRETARY KUMMER: Yes, on the workshops, I agree with those who remind us that the issue has been with us right from the beginning whether we should, in the abstract, define to have a given number of workshops or just let the workshops' proposals come forward, and then we decide on the basis of the proposals.
In very practical terms, I think it is very difficult, if not impossible, to say we have empty rooms and don't let people use them. But I think the notion also came up that there are certain spaces that ought to be kept workshop free, like we did always the opening session was always kept free of parallel sessions.
And I sensed also in the comments we received that the review issue, the formal consultations with forum participants on the renewal or not of the mandate should be such a space where we don't have workshops in parallel.
The merging of workshops, I can assure you there maybe two workshops that look almost 99% overlap, but when you talk to the organizer, they given you thousands of reasons explaining why their workshop is so particularly special and cannot possibly be compared to the other one, which to the outside looks exactly the same.
And I must say, I experienced that very much on all the various child pornography, protection of children workshops, although they now have formed the dynamic coalition and I think everybody agrees that there's no point anymore in repeating these workshops.
The call for themes, you may or may not remember that right at the beginning, the very first year, we did exactly that. We asked what are the issues that should be addressed, and we came up with a very broad panoply of issues we then put into shape for the Athens agenda. But I think what we hear now talking about is something in between. Not to ask for fully-fledged workshop proposals, because, indeed, Bertrand made the point when people spend effort to contacting names and developing the themes to a certain detail, they feel very reluctant to give it up or then to merge. Whereas if they put forward a theme in a more abstract manner, but I think it should be more than just a one-liner. It should be a short development of the theme of what the workshop is supposed to address.
It might be easier, then, in a more upstream way to bring potential workshop organizers together, or also make it in a main session.
But I think some comments also said the agenda of the IGF should not be determined by the workshops. It was, to a large extent, for the Hyderabad meeting, but also for the Rio meeting, workshops came in and they came from the outside in a very bottom-up manner, and they did define the agenda of the meeting. And I think that was a very positive event.
We had, in the main meetings -- we never thought, for instance, of child pornography as an Internet governance issue in the previous discussions, but it came up in a bottom-up way, and found its way on center stage. And I think that is -- I can't see anything wrong with that, in issues emerging from the bottom-up.
But we will have time to develop that further, but I think the suggestion to have sort of an intermediate form, not to call for fully-fledged workshop proposals but, rather, for sketches. And also, why not, of proposals, of workshops people would like to see even if they are not the organizers themselves? We could then see who could be approached to take care of this or that particular workshop, or approach several people at the same time.
So I think flexibility, and that was a very, I think, common thread throughout these discussions, that we need to look at different formats also for different issues.
>>CHAIR DESAI: Two speakers, Ginger there, and then there.
>>REMOTE PARTICIPATION GROUP: Thank you. I would just like to mention on this point Markus just made that there was kind of an intermediate which proves that what you are suggesting will work, and that is some of the workshops were combined, and I can tell you I worked on organizing the net neutrality workshop which -- where I represented ISOC Venezuela, and we ended up a little concerned because we ended up with business and civil society and everyone threw a lump together in one panel, and it was beautiful. It worked very well.
And so I think there's a definite possibility for positive outcome, and I think we should continue to explore that because you have already proved that it works.
>>CHAIR DESAI: Okay.
>>FRANCIS MUGUET: Let me speak in French because it's a technical issue.
The suggestion is the following. A lot of people are in need to organizing their respective workshop, but they are limited by financial resources, and they cannot make it to the forum.
On the other side, there is the comfort of their participants. There are a number of participants who would like to have similar workshops.
And the subject that was experimented in Tunisia, for instance, federal government got involved. For instance, there is an umbrella event that could be held knowing that each participant, that each workshop pursues its own financial needs and covers the financial needs, invites speakers but inviting all of the participants in the same hall in such a manner that at the end, there would be a common discussion on the whole variety of issues that all workshops are discussing.
Thank you so much.
>>CHAIR DESAI: Thank you.
Marilyn. Marilyn Cade.
>>MARILYN CADE: Thank you. I would just like to intervene on the discussion we are having right now about the idea of inviting interested parties to propose themes, and I, too, was one of the organizers who submitted a workshop proposal and then worked with others to collapse that proposal and help to organize a more -- a unified cyber security panel.
In doing that, I moved away from the core initial purpose of the -- and focus of the workshop that I organized, but I think that what was built out of the collaboration of multiple workshop providers was actually stronger and, I hope, a good contribution.
But I am thinking that if we take this approach of asking parties to submit themes, we should also plan ahead of the May meeting and enable a small amount of time for break-out sessions for parties who are submitting themes or who are interested in themes to interact with each other in order to think through what their recommendations might be.
Otherwise, we will find ourselves, I think, with a plethora of themes, but relying on trying -- you know, people will be crystallizing their ideas and then coming together pretty far along in the process.
So I would just propose that if we take this approach, perhaps we can do that fairly soon, and then build in a bit of additional time for break-out sessions where people can get together for even an hour, perhaps before the main session starts, and work a bit together.
>>CHAIR DESAI: Okay. I think the multistakeholder -- the MAG has clearly got absolutely precise instructions on how to organize the workshops. So they will be able to do all that.
And so I'm not going to try to summarize that discussion.
But the lessons are clear. One is the way in which -- sorry. Raul, you wanted the floor.
>>RAUL ECHEBERRIA: Thank you. First of all, I wanted to comment that this year, and three years up until now we had meetings before the plenary sessions in order to organize the debate, and I think this year was when they were best organized and most fruitful.
There were long meetings which were even as interesting as the plenaries themselves.
Earlier I was saying that I would hope to have less workshops this year and better ability. I wasn't proposing a restriction on the number of workshops.
We have to think that the number of workshops is restricted. It is restricted due to the time available for workshops, by the number of rooms available.
Last year, we decided that at certain times, there would not be workshops, so we restricted it a little further.
So perhaps what we could do once more this year, and I in particular think there shouldn't be workshops at the same time as plenary sessions so that the plenary sessions can be attended as well as possible and have as much debate as possible.
That's another way of having less workshops.
But another thing we need to work on is the clarity of workshops, to have a better coordination between the proposers of various workshops to avoid duplication or even the trebling of the same debate being carried out three times, with regards to the format in order to create more debate. These workshops which, as this year, are just spaces for the panelists to speak are not particularly fruitful. Here, there is a great deal of workshops because there are a lot of people who want to speak.
What we need to do is have less panelists and more space for dialogue, more space for debate.
So I think we need to put more emphasis on the quality, not restricting the number of people who can propose or organize workshops, but they need to -- that they need to meet higher levels of quality in terms of the format, who is participating, and the outcome.
So the natural consequence would be less workshops and better quality. With regard to the other subjects, I was proposing being more concise on the subjects to be discussed in the plenary sessions and I think we've made some steps forward in this sense.
Before we might have had a session on critical Internet resources; this year we had some slightly more specific areas on IP Version 6 and cooperation, but these are still fairly wide areas. So we can't really have a session on IPv4 and transition to IPv6; we needed to have something more specific from which we can take conclusions to take home and to put into our daily jobs. Thank you.
>>CHAIR DESAI: Thank you. Yes.
>>ROYAUME-UNI: Yes. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Just on this point of quality of workshops and the number of workshops, I wonder if one point that it would be useful to take into consideration is the length of the workshops. I've found in my experience in Hyderabad that 90 minutes could be too short, and in fact, it didn't allow enough time for really profitable interaction with the audience and for interaction with the audience remotely.
So if we were to look at longer timings for workshops, perhaps two hours or 2-point -- 2 1/2 hours, that might then encourage the process of aggregation and improve the quality of the workshops.
So it's just a thought, just a suggestion, that we might take that factor into account as we look at this whole issue of workshops. I mean, I'm generally sympathetic to the view that we should not try to impose some kind of restriction or limitation. That does seem fundamentally to go against the whole principle of the IGF and the importance of bottom-up emergence of issues and, quite often, as one of the earlier speakers indicated, there may be similar issues but coming at the problem from a totally different angle which would justify, perhaps, the holding of a separate workshop entity.
So I think that those are my thoughts on this particular issue. It is a difficult one, and I do have some sympathy with -- with those who are trying to resolve this. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
>>CHAIR DESAI: Thank you. Yes, El Salvador.
>>EL SALVADOR: Thank you. I will take advantage of the fact that the meeting is referring to the workshops to remind every -- recall the moral obligation that workshop organizers have to hand in their reports and we have heard that a little less than half the organizers have handed over their reports. It would seem to me that MAG should take into account which organizations, which bodies, have met the responsibility of handing in their reports when they look at the space and planning for workshops at the forthcoming IGF.
I would also like to support a proposal which I think was made this morning or earlier this afternoon on the fact that advance information on the workshops, so that people can have an idea of who are the panelists, a little biography written on them and what can the expectations be of each of the workshops, and this should be a complement and a supplement to the report, and it -- this moral contract between the workshop organizers and the IGF must be respected. Thank you.
>>CHAIR DESAI: Yeah. And this time, in fact, they were told this. They were told that if they did not submit their report, they would not get a chance again. Egypt?
>>EGYPT: Thank you, Mr. Chairman. On the same topic of workshops, I think as Bertrand mentioned, limiting the number of workshops is not an objective by itself, and should not be accompanied by turning down proposals after being submitted. But, rather, should have the objective of bringing more audience and enriching discussions within each and every workshop. I even think that different proposals that tackle a certain topic from different points of view would even better qualify for being merged into the same workshop. Workshops should bring together people of different points of views, rather than bringing people who share the same pint point of view. And this of course would be achieved by early preparations and, as suggested, calling for an abstract rather than a detailed proposal. Thank you.
>>CHAIR DESAI: Thank you. I think it's -- we've been making some forward -- remember, I go back to the time of the very first IGF when we were doing it in Greece. It was more or less of a free-for-all. We said the workshops have nothing to do with us, we are not responsible for them, that's a space that we are providing, let them do it. And we left it at that and we did have this slot where they could report in the next morning which nobody came to. Then we started doing a little bit more in Rio and then again in Hyderabad, so this is a natural progression, and what I find is that now people want a clearer architecture between the main sessions and the workshops. Not that every workshop is necessarily connected with the main session. For instance, there were workshops on Internet Bill of Rights which we didn't talk about in the main sessions. That's fine. I mean, part of the purpose of the workshops is to leave certain issues on the table. Child pornography was another example which Markus mentioned earlier. It was not there in the main sessions but did come up in the workshops and from there, it has moved to the main sessions.
So I think we should be reasonably flexible because the workshops have been important as an element in the -- in the development of the IGF.
Also, the point which has been made, we're not talking in terms of some arbitrary restriction in numbers or any such thing, but more a matter of looking for a clearer structure, more information, better knowledge.
Now, one question which has come up is the question of reporting in from the workshops to the main sessions, and there are different ways of doing this. Just asking every workshop to report in probably won't work. Because we don't even have the time for that. Is there some other way that this can be done? And I hope the MAG can address this issue.
Let me turn to tomorrow's agenda now.
Tomorrow's agenda is going to be on the review of the IGF. Now, the issue is not so much that we do a discussion here on what we think of the IGF, because then what's going to happen is that one by one, we'll all say "IGF is very useful." Now, we know that. Let's take that for granted.
So -- but let's move beyond that. Much more important: How do we do the review? You see? The basic requirement is the Secretary-General does the review, but he's required to consult with the stakeholders. Now, how do we give meaning to that phrase, "consult the stakeholders," is the real issue. The modalities are as important as the sort of, if you like, your views on this whole process.
So tomorrow let us try and focus as much on that, and keep in mind the time line. I'm going to ask tomorrow when we'll begin by Markus laying out the basic requirements for us on what the time line would be, what we need to represent to the Secretary-General, so that the Secretary-General can present his report in time for the intergovernmental process to take a decision.
I'm not sure we need to spend a lot of time on our own views on this because there will be other opportunities. This is not -- we are not to put this to finalize this now. We're not going to finalize this in Sharm El Sheikh and we're going to meet at least twice before Sharm El Sheikh and we meet again in Sharm El Sheikh, you see. So we're going to have at least three more opportunities for discussing the substantive elements of this. So tomorrow let's try and focus on the modalities, if you like.
So this is where we -- what we intend tomorrow, and in the meantime maybe another question -- Ian Peter, I have noticed that about 50 computers working simultaneously in this room, probably noting down the same things, so tomorrow tell us what is the carbon footprint of that, okay?
>>CHAIR DESAI: Tomorrow. Okay. Thank you very much. See you tomorrow morning at 10:00.