The following are the outputs of the real-time captioning taken during the IGF 2017 First Open Consultations and MAG Meeting from 1 to 3 March 2017 in Geneva, Switzerland. Although it is largely accurate, in some cases it may be incomplete or inaccurate due to inaudible passages or transcription errors. It is posted as an aid to understanding the proceedings at the event, but should not be treated as an authoritative record.
01 MAR 2017
>>CHENGETAI MASANGO: Ladies and gentlemen, let's start the meeting. We're 15 minutes late. Thank you, Nigel.
Okay. Good morning, ladies and gentlemen. Welcome to the first open consultations in the IGF 2017 process, and as you know, the new MAG has been announced and Lynn has been reappointed as chair for the 2017 process.
Before we start, just a few things.
If you want to request for the floor, if you've got a nameplate, just lift up your nameplate or lift up your hand and then we'll nod and we'll write your name down and then Lynn or Thomas will call your name out and then you can speak.
That's the way we do it.
And shall I introduce you guys or I think you --
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Online?
>>CHENGETAI MASANGO: Oh, yes. And also for the online -- yes. Anja will be taking the online interventions. Thank you very much.
So without further ado, I will give the floor to Lynn to start the meeting.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Thank you, Chengetai, and welcome to everybody here.
I think maybe I'll just add one more point to Chengetai's remarks here on the speaking order.
We actually do run the order according to who has actually asked for the floor, and the online participants are slotted in at the point they request. And I know we always have questions because if you're on an online participant it's not obvious how many people have their flags up in the room and where they are in the queue, but we are not, you know, pushing the online participants to the end. They are slotted in at the time the request comes in and in line with the existing queue at that time.
So I want to welcome everybody for coming here again. I am Lynn St. Amour. I was, as Chengetai said, reappointed as the IGF MAG chair for 2017. I know many of you in the room, but not all of you yet. I know many of you from my previous activities where I was the president and CEO of the Internet Society for about 14 years, so I'm very glad to be able to continue doing some work here in the Internet governance space because I think it's just so critical.
We're here today for the IGF MAG open consultations, IGF 2017 open consultations, which are a central part of setting the program for all of the IGF's work activities.
And we may need to find a new terminology because sort of in the early days, IGF really focused on the annual meeting. Right now, the IGF really refers to a lot of intersessional work as well, so I'm trying to use, you know, "IGF work program" and sometimes use "IGF globally," but we should recognize that that covers the full span of activities.
I'll come to the rest of the agenda in a moment and fully and properly introduce Thomas Schneider at that point. Thomas is the host country co-chair. Switzerland has offered to host the IGF later this year. And, again, when I introduce Thomas, I can give some more words why we're so excited that both Switzerland and Geneva are hosting and why we actually have Thomas as the host country chair.
What I'd actually like to do first is actually seek approval for the agenda.
So briefly, what the agenda covers today is it covers some welcoming remarks by myself as the MAG chair, a presentation from Mexico as the IGF 2016 host country, and then a presentation and some remarks from Thomas as the host country for 2017.
The second section is actually taking stock of IGF 2016.
There have been a lot of proposals submitted and a lot of taking stock reports and surveys and things, and what we'd like to do is sort of acknowledge that they're there, MAG members are expected to have read them, and really focus that discussion on what we take forward from 2016 into our 2017 activities. So it really should be somewhat focused on what we can actually take forward and what needs, you know, further thought or improvement going forward.
The third session, after -- and I'll come back to the lunch session in a moment.
But the third session actually is updates from related Internet governance initiatives, and they're followed by an open discussion on possible areas of collaboration.
A couple of organizations have actually asked specifically to take the floor. They're the ones that are listed in the agenda. It is an open session and we will take additional requests from related Internet governance organizations during that process, either from individuals that are here in the room or from any online participants.
The final agenda item is an open discussion on the follow-up from the retreat, which was organized by DESA last year shortly after the renewal of the mandate for the IGF and the theme of that retreat was how to advance the 10-year mandate of the IGF.
With that brief introduction, I'd like to seek your approval for today's agenda.
I see lots of heads nodding yes, so I will take that as approved.
And let me just mention two other things.
There is a session here today at lunch which is an informal informational presentation on the IGF Trust Fund.
For those of you that may have forgotten, maybe didn't know, the IGF is an extra-budgetary project of the United Nations. It's not funded from the general budget or from member states' donations. The IGF is convened by the U.N. Secretary-General. The MAG and the MAG chair are appointed by the U.N. secretary-general, and the U.N. Department of Economic and Social Affairs, DESA, actually provides significant administrative support to us. And to that extent, Mr. Armin Plum is here. He prefers to be there rather than here on the podium. He's the administrative officer and he will actually be the sort of central DESA contact point for this year.
Armin will actually be walking us through this presentation this afternoon at lunch. It is an open session. I believe it's here in this room. So everybody is welcome if you'd like to understand more about that process and maybe more about the state of the financials too and some of the resources and plans we have going forward.
So with that, I'm just going to make a few comments here.
I want to welcome the new MAG members that are here and, you know, obviously very much, as well, thank the outgoing MAG members. We'll actually do this process more formally tomorrow in the MAG meeting itself. To do that in almost any way today, we always feel, takes away from the open community consultation time, so, again, I want -- most of the MAG members, I thought, but as I look around the room that's not true. I thought most of the MAG members were supposed to have name cards which would serve to identify a MAG member to the community so that people could be approached.
I see some, but not all. Some are countries, some are names. But maybe we can try and figure out what that protocol is so that people know who the MAG members are and can reach out.
So today is the open consultations where the MAG members actually get to hear from the community on issues that matter to them. Tomorrow, I'll say a few more words about how I see our task and preparatory process for this year's IGF meeting, but today I'd simply like to say that this, I think, is really the year to build the long runway we now have, the first time the mandate has actually been extended for something beyond five years.
We have a 10-year mandate and we're now in the second year, so, in fact, we have a 9-year runway.
That's a significant opportunity for us to really take a longer-term view of Internet governance and where the IGF plays a role in all those other activities. It's a great opportunity for us to continue to strengthen the IGF, obviously in support of its mandate.
Last year, we heard a clear call for the MAG to address a multiyear strategic plan of action and that was also requested as a result of the retreat output as well.
And this is work, I believe, the MAG is ready to take up this year. I don't know that. We haven't had that discussion within the MAG yet. But certainly from all the discussions we had last year and the strong community input, I would expect that that's a significant piece of work we have going forward.
We also continue to hear about the need to expand our outreach activities. One, to engage new participants and new partners, especially from developing countries, and to deepen our collaborative efforts with any current partners.
The other thing we hear a lot of is to ensure that all the outputs whether from the IGF meeting itself or the various pieces of the community intersessional work, such as the best practice forums, the dynamic coalitions, the national and regional IGF initiatives or major policy projects such as Connecting and Enabling the Next Billions get to the places where they can be most helpful.
This last area is very important and particularly challenging as I believe it's not only going to require a significant effort from the MAG and the IGF community, I think it will also require a change in kind of our mindset and approach in many instances. I believe right now many of our activities are -- largely seem to be complete when the report is delivered, when the paper is submitted. And, in fact, I think that's just the end of that stage and signals the beginning of a new stage, which is work that actually needs to be supported not only by the MAG but by the community as well.
So we need to think just about how we can take this work and all these outputs, which can be so useful, but how do we get them noticed? How do we get them to the places that can be most helpful?
I think we're going to need to be resourceful, creative, and focused in order to do that. We always have limited resources with respect to what our ambitions or aspirations are in the IGF. But I actually see the responsibility for that to be equal to the responsibility of delivering the program in the first instance. Without that, we're simply holding a program and publishing some papers. And I don't think that's giving us the impact we really intend to have.
So those are certainly a few areas where I'd like us to put some additional thought, particularly as part of the MAG over the next couple of days but equally very interested in hearing your thoughts here in the room on those points but certainly any other points as well. This is a really open agenda, and it really is what -- we want to discuss what is on the community's mind.
Priority will be given to the community. We actually ask MAG members to hold back as much as possible so that we maximize the time from the community, just as in days 2 and days 3, it's the MAG voices that are actually prioritized in order that we can accomplish the activities of the MAG.
So is Israel here or somebody from 2016? I'm sorry. I didn't see you behind Brian. So I would actually like to call on the next order of the agenda -- we always give an opportunity to the outgoing host country to make some remarks on their experience. And I believe, Israel, you were the individual who is -- you have the floor. If you would like to come up here -- I think you have a video or something as well. If you want to come up here and say some words -- No? We're rolling a video.
[ Video ]
[ Music ]
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: I think we're going to another video in a moment. Is that right?
>>ISRAEL ROSAS: Thank you. We prepares this video to show the main -- the main highlights about the IGF meeting. As you know, the 2016 meeting was the first of the new mandate. We in Mexico took it as a very -- as a high honor but also as a challenge. We want to thank all of the Internet community, especially the Multistakeholder Advisory Group members, for all their continued support for the realization of this meeting. We faced a lot of challenges about money, about organization. We have a change of venue. But thanks to all the support of the community, we made the meeting.
We also acknowledge the comments in the taking-stock process. We acknowledge also the summary prepared by the IGF secretariat. We take it as learned lessons.
We also are open to collaborate with our colleagues from Switzerland. And we are sure that the IGF 2017 meeting is going to be a tremendous success. Thank you very much for the support. And we are ready to continue collaborating with you.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Israel, I would like to recognize several things about the IGF last year. I think the first is that Mexico came in very early to actually volunteer to host the IGF last year, before the mandate was even extended. And that, we believe, was a really important gesture at an important time in the process. And we are very thankful to them for having done that.
The IGF itself last year, I just thought, was excellent. I thought the preparation, the organization, the support of the volunteers, where you had the volunteers place the support really took some significant kind of advancements, if you will, in sort of the admin and the logistics and the environment of a venue and a site. And we had many, many good comments on that.
So I'd like to thank you and the Mexican government and there's far too many people. I mean, Victor, Victoria, and Yolanda, yourself, Israel, who worked so hard on that for well over a year. It really was a great event. So thank you.
So now let me turn to the 2016 host country chair for Switzerland Thomas Schneider. '17.
[ Laughter ]
So I've known Thomas for several years and have actually worked -- had the pleasure of working with him in a few different environments. We're very lucky to have him, and I think we're very fortunate to be here in Geneva and Switzerland. Geneva and Switzerland have both been supportive of Internet governance efforts for many, many years now. They were very active in the World Summit on Information Society 1 and 2. As a government, they were actually very central to a lot of the negotiations and discussions when, you know, frankly the world was still trying to figure out what all this was and what it meant. They have been there sort of consistently and steadfastly and have always been a real supporter of Internet governance and Internet governance principles.
I should also note we are very fortunate to have Markus Kummer here as well who, of course, was previously with the Swiss government and was central to many of those efforts in the very early days.
Coming back to Thomas for a moment, earlier this year, Thomas was appointed the vice director of the Swiss Federal Office of Communications, or OFCOM as the English acronym. There he's going to head the international relations service effective the 1st of April, 2017, and he was appointed to this position as well as the vice director of the office by the Federal Department of the Environment, Transport, Energy, and Communications.
Thomas joined OFCOM in 2003, where he coordinated Switzerland's activities and positions in relation to the World Summit on the Information Society and many other Internet governance issues.
WSIS 1 and 2, of course, is the U.N. summit which actually gave the IGF its mandate through the Tunis Agenda, which is, of course, why it's so central to so many of our comments here.
So with that, I'd like to turn to Thomas and, again, thank you for being here. He will be here with us for the three days.
>>THOMAS SCHNEIDER: Yes. Hello, everybody. (speaking in a non-English language) -- what this small but nice city and small but nice country with nice weather outside as usual around this time of the year.
So as I had mentioned last November, we have been invited by some friends present in this room to think about holding the IGF 2017 in Geneva, and at that time this came to us rather unexpectedly and we had to take a decision in a fairly short time, a few weeks only, about whether or not we should and we could do this.
And our own reaction at OFCOM was actually the same as everybody else's that we spoke to and listened to, that although this has come unexpected, unplanned, we had not budgeted anything and so on and so forth -- you know how these things work in governments where you need to know years in advance what you will be doing -- everybody said that this is great, it's a great opportunity, the IGF goes back to where it started, Geneva has a lot of unique things to offer, and that there's no question that we have to do this, this is great.
So why is this great? Why is this a win/win situation for us as a Swiss government, as Swiss people, as well as, we think, also for the U.N., the IGF community, all stakeholders anywhere in the world?
For us nationally, this is actually the perfect time because we are having a new strategy, national strategy on digital Switzerland, out since last year, and we are organizing a national dialogue with all stakeholders with a number of events throughout the year. There's going to be a Swiss IGF, a national IGF for the third time now in -- at the end of May. There's going to be a number of other events until November, with the bigger event on the 20th of November, and then -- with several people organizing several things, so it's a very typically Swiss distributed shared responsibility type of year for us.
And then at the end, we have the global IGF where the national dialogue can feed into and learn from the global dialogue on Internet governance.
So for us, this is really a great opportunity that we're very happy to be able to benefit.
We also think that it is -- Geneva is a win for the IGF and the global community because Geneva has a unique potential that can be used to boost the IGF into its second decade after the good start in Mexico, and we hope that the fact that -- that we can use -- we will be able to use that potential that Geneva offers also to allow the following -- the next IGF meetings to build on this.
Geneva has an amazing concentration of expertise and knowledge and experience in almost -- or probably all aspects of the Internet and of the digital world, starting from technical research. I guess many of you know that the World Wide Web, HTML and so on, has been first used at the CERN here in Geneva, a few kilometers away from here in the late '80s. '89, I think, or whenever that was. And we also have a huge gathering of expertise on social, political, economical, governance issues, other technical fields that are more and more linked to Internet like climate issues, weather, labor, a number of things that are linked to this, so we really think that this is something that we can and should use.
We have almost 200 governmental missions here in Geneva that we are, of course, in close contact with.
We have a great number of NGOs, think-tanks that are located in Geneva, and we'll do everything we can as a Swiss government to bring in this expertise into the IGF to break these silos that many times, although they're only a few meters apart from each other, people don't know what their neighbors are doing, what they're working on. They don't realize that they're actually working on the same issues from different angles. And we'll try to do everything we can to bring people together, to break the silos, to open up dialogue and help people listen and learn from each other.
We're also willing to contribute to an IGF of which nobody will say that it is a traveling circus of insiders, something that sometimes people -- some people say about the IGF, but we want people to say that the IGF is an open space where all issues are discussed which are relevant to our citizens, our businesses, and we would like to facilitate debates that have a positive impact on better informed decisions in whatever fora that these decisions will be taken.
I will not repeat here that Switzerland has contributed quite committedly to the development of the IGF so far in the past years, but I will just say that for us -- and make that very clear -- the IGF 2017 in Geneva is not an emergency solution but it's going to be, as I said, a unique win/win opportunity for everybody. For us here in Switzerland, for people in Geneva, but also for the global community.
At this stage I will not go into logistical details. More will follow tomorrow. I will just say the following: That as you probably know, we are a fairly small country, we are a very small government because our taxpayers decide how much money they give us, so we cannot just hire new people without going through lengthy processes.
This is why the IGF secretariat will organize the IGF, which is no issue for them because it's a home run as they live here almost every day so they know every door and every angle of this building by heart. All the infrastructure is here in Geneva. The infrastructure is great. We will not have to organize buses and so on. You will just have to find out where to get your free tickets to use the public transport with a train stop in every few meters. I don't have to tell you this because you've been here before, obviously, or if not, you're here for the first time.
So this makes it actually fairly convenient and we're very positive that we will sort out everything together with Chengetai and his team with UN DESA and whoever is involved, the people here at UNOG, at the U.N. in Geneva, to make this work.
There will be a Web site soon -- i.e., at the latest it should be up by the end of April -- where you will find the information about how to get a visa and travels and everything that normally -- and of course also what touristic activities you can undertake after the IGF, in the weekend before Christmas, where to go skiing or whatever you would like to do, of course. There will be some information as well.
And what we will do -- and I think this is actually the most important -- is we will run around the world and we will tell everybody that we meet that they should participate in the IGF, in its preparatory processes, bring in their issues, make their voices heard, so that this is really going to be an inclusive event.
And what the key issues will be, of course this is not in the hands of us as a Swiss government nor is it in the hands of the IGF secretariat. It's in the hands of those who bring in their issues that they want to have discussed. So this is, of course, being a direct democratic country where in the end the people decide, this is something that we are very familiar with and we really appreciate this bottom-up approach. That is one of the reasons why we are so committed about the IGF.
But the organization is concerned that the way we do it, I think we should also be critical of ourselves here to rethink our habits of the first 10 or 11 years how we organize and prepare the IGF, how we proceed in the MAG. We should continue to find new and even more interactive formats at the IGF meeting. We should really be open to new ideas, also building on the discussions that we had last year in New York at the retreat, but that's only one element of a number of ideas that are floating around. And in our view, the Geneva 2017 is just the next one of a series of dialogue experiments that will contribute to paving the way forward to the future IGF meetings to come.
And with the IGF taking place from 18 to 21 December this year, it is obvious that this year it's not going to be Geneva first. It's actually going to be Geneva very last. But in our view, this is an advantage because we can learn and benefit from all your discussions and insights that you've gathered on national and regional levels throughout the year, and this is something that we think is another opportunity.
And so I'll stop here just by making, again, very clear that the Swiss government is committed to doing all we can to making the IGF 2017 the best so far and to help the ones to follow to be even better than this year's IGF.
And for those who know me personally, I'm even wearing a tie to signal to you that -- how committed I am also personally, at least for this morning.
So we really take this very serious and we are enthusiastically looking forward to having a good, open, frank, and constructive first open consultation and MAG meeting this year. So with this, (speaking in a non-English language.)
[ Applause ]
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: And that was an excellent example of why we're so excited to be here in Switzerland and why we're so excited to have Thomas here with us as well.
I should also mention that we're actually hosted here today by the United Nations Geneva office, UNOG, which also happens to be the home of the IGF secretariat, as Thomas said, and would just like to acknowledge and thank them for all their support here.
So with that, I'm actually happy to say that we're ahead of schedule. Those of you who have been to MAG meetings know just how exceedingly rare that is. With any luck, it won't be the last time over the next three days, but that's a point well worth noting here.
So it's time to move to the second item, which is taking stock of IGF 2016, and we'll start with a brief presentation from the secretariat, from Chengetai, who will cover sort of some of the results from the survey and various stock-taking activities.
Again, we're hopeful that everybody has read them, digested them, and we take that as the base and we move our discussions forward from there with respect to what that actually means for our activities in 2017. The -- it would be helpful afterwards when we open it up, again, we prioritize the floor for the community and really are interested in hearing thoughts from you on any of the activities or comments as reported out by the secretariat, but also over this session, which takes us up to lunchtime, comments on the program, the main theme, the subthemes, any of the intersessional activities, and any -- we also include the national and regional IGF initiatives in there as well, and then of course any comments on day zero.
So with that, I'll turn the floor to Chengetai.
>>CHENGETAI MASANGO: Thank you very much, Lynn.
Before I start, Thomas, on this paper, I'd just also like to say from the secretariat that we thoroughly enjoyed working with the Mexican host team. I think it was an excellent relationship. Everybody here, we had very quick and easy communication between us and we solved all the problems and I think it was really great. Thank you.
And Israel, of course, he -- I was texting him at 2:00 his morning and he was replying and vice versa, so that was great. Yeah. Thank you.
The secretariat put out a call for contributions from the community asking a -- you know, taking stock of the 2016 program and preparatory process, the community intersessional activities, and also the 11th annual IGF meeting.
We asked what worked well and what did not work so well. I mean, things for improvement and what should be carried forward.
So we received about 30 contributions, and we also received a contribution from the NRIs, which was a joint commission of about 30 NRIs that came together and submitted one paper.
So -- and all these contributions are available on the IGF Web site. If you go to the front page under the "Open Consultations" tab, there is a reference document and then they are listed there.
So in summary, what we summarized from the feedback was that for taking stock of the 2016 event and the organization and logistics, what worked well. Stakeholders expressed their deep appreciation to the Mexican host, to their hospitality during the 11th IGF, as well as providing an excellent venue and excellent support team on the ground in Zapopan. It was said that the Mexican hosts warmly welcomed the IGF participants and the event was impressively organized and executed.
Many inputs said that the facilities and rooms were accessible to all, which is a very important necessity, and it was very well received.
Many appreciated that the host country made a laudable effort in providing interpretation, including sign language. It was also noted that providing the option of interpretation for workshops made the sessions more inclusive. However, it was not an option for all sessions which all session organizers could afford.
And the strong Internet connection was also noted and very much appreciated by all participants, and -- yes. I mean, this is the first IGF that we held that the network did not collapse. It has always collapsed, but this IGF it was very smooth throughout, and that is to be commended.
It was said that the Webcast and video streaming was excellent and the transcripts of the session and the availability in some instances shortly after the conclusion of the sessions was very useful.
Logistically, sessions were conducted on time with a smooth transition between rooms.
What worked not so well and could be improved.
Some inputs did identify that some issues could be improved upon in the future. For instance, some said in regards to scheduling, many of the topics that were similar in nature were scheduled at the same time, even though they covered different aspects of the issues.
This made it difficult for some participants to choose which session to go to and which one would be most beneficial.
Some inputs mentioned that the small size of some of the workshop rooms resulted in a few times the need to turn people away from popular sessions.
It was noted that in the future, if a session did not have adequate space, then it should be adapted accordingly, that the schedule should be adapted accordingly, with the session types that do not require bigger rooms being assigned to the smaller ones.
A few contributions noted that there wasn't an inclusive gala at the event, and they also noted that while no official reception took place, there was a private hosted event on the same day, which was only -- which was open to only a limited number of participants, and some thought that this was not in keeping with the spirit of openness characterized by the IGF.
Program and thematic highlights.
Many inputs said that the 11th IGF was a significant landmark for the IGF and for the global Internet community. Being the first global meeting since the United Nations General Assembly at the WSIS+10 review discussions in December 2015 approved a further mandate of 10 years for the IGF, it was said that the thematic topics covered in 2016 were timely and represented a lot of the current issues being discussed globally.
The overarching theme of IGF 2016 was, "Enabling Inclusive and Sustainable Growth."
This theme successfully broadened the dialogue on global Internet governance as it was neatly linked to the United Nations 2030 agenda. The theme also provided a timely link to the broader U.N. agenda and highlighted the direct connection between the Internet, information and communication technologies, and sustainable development.
Many inputs welcomed the strong emphasis of the 2016 meeting on international cooperation and strategic partnerships to bridge the digital divides and address global Internet governance challenges.
Participants also appreciated the critical focus on new and pressing issues. It was said that the range of workshops that specifically addressed or touched upon the Internet of Things, big data, artificial intelligence, technological innovation and the implications for policy, human rights, society, and economy more broadly was welcomed.
It was said that the IGF continues to be a constructive venue for the -- for both vertical and horizontal linkages in Internet governance. Many noted that the 2016 IGF preparatory process and annual meeting provided to be an important breakthrough for raising the profile of many national and regional IGFs which have sprung up in the wake of the global IGF.
Many in the community have clearly articulated a wish to see Geneva as the location of this year's IGF fully capitalize in terms of its importance as a base for permanent missions to the U.N., raising the level of government participation in the IGF. In particular participation of governments from the global south was mentioned as a priority by several contributors.
Many inputs pointed out that the uniqueness of Geneva as a hub for international organizations, U.N. agencies, specialized technical agencies, and Internet governance focused civil society organizations represented a greater opportunity still for the IGF to include a wide diversity of stakeholders. Fostering this diversity would be critical not just for ensuring the perspectives of underrepresented groups as taken into account but also to reflect the expanding range of Internet-related public policy issues into other sectors.
Regarding possible themes of the IGF, many contributions emphasize closely aligning those with the U.N. sustainable development goals. It was widely felt that alignment with the SDGs would help engage governments, better integrate the IGF with other U.N. processes, and broaden the appeal and relevance of IGF issues to all stakeholders in the global community.
Many in the community praise the continuing development and strengthening of the intersessional work through best practice forums, the work related to IGF policy options for connecting the next billions, and the IGF dynamic coalitions. The community inputs also expressed much support for the increased linkages between the NRIs and the global IGF and wish to see this further developed.
Some general observations were offered concerning the future of the IGF beyond the year ahead. It was emphasized that the IGF should take into consideration the accelerating effects of the digital transformation and accordingly strive to make its process as flexible and agile as possible.
And that's a short summary. Thank you very much.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Thank you, Chengetai.
And thank you to everyone in the community that actually took efforts to respond to the surveys and the stock-taking. It's a critical piece obviously of our improving the IGF, and it's actually helpful that it's done immediately following the IGF as well and the memory is fresh. And thank you to the secretariat for such a helpful distillation of many, many, many, many pages of inputs.
So with that, the floor is open. Again, priority is given to the community, and you will be recognized in the order that you ask to take the floor, slotted into the queue. And online participants are slotted into the queue at the time we receive the request as well.
So we'll see who will be the first. The floor is open both by topic, main theme, subthemes. Marilyn Cade.
>>MARILYN CADE: Thank you, Chair. And greetings, all. My name is Marilyn Cade. I was privileged last year and the year before to serve as the substantive coordinator to enhance the engagement of the NRIs. And I just wanted to make a couple of comments.
There are a number of NRI coordinators that are either in the room or are participating remotely, and I'm sure they will want to perhaps offer some other comments.
But I just wanted to make a couple of comments that build on the consensus submission submitted into taking stock and to also note that in addition to that submission, some of the NRIs also submitted individual comments.
I mention this because I want to really elevate the awareness of the MAG members and others from the community about the growing work that is going on at the national, subregional and regional, and youth initiative level.
We are doing -- we're really completing and carrying through on some of the recommendations that were made at IGF 2015 in the substantive session. And one of those significant improvements called for was the establishment of a dedicated focal point that has been filled by Anja Gengo. Many of you know her.
It has been incredibly important and reinforced over and over in the feedback that has been given both in the phone calls, the virtual working calls, but also in all the written submissions that this dedicated focal point really be continued. And the importance of that stability has been reinforced to me as the substantive coordinator. So I wanted to reference that. I think later Anja will be presenting some of the facts.
The second thing I would like to note is the work that the NRIs have undertaken, if you do have time to read their contribution that is submitted, I hope you'll take the opportunity to do that and also the comments that they have submitted into taking stock.
Working at the national or subregional level to effect change in policy and in processes is extremely time consuming. And the only way we're ever going to really achieve the promise of the information society for all is if we not only meet together to talk about global policy but then the work goes on at the national, subregional, and regional level. Thank you.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Thank you, Marilyn.
And I think one of the -- we made tremendous progress last year as a community on national, regional IGF initiatives. They virtually doubled over the course of one year. And at this point, I think we're just over 80 sort of officially recognized. And, you know, that was due in very large part to the efforts of Marilyn and Anja who really did a tremendous job in terms of kind of inspiring and helping to organize and coordinate. So I wanted to thank and recognize both those efforts.
And, yes, we are, indeed, extremely happy to have Anja returning as a dedicated focal point.
We have a queue now of Arnold, Juan, Janis, and Constance. Arnold, you have the floor.
>>ARNOLD van RHIJN: Am I clear? Okay. I just wanted to know if there are other remote participants who would like to speak? Otherwise, I will just withdraw and come back later.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: You can go ahead. I mean -- we do not have a request from an online participant. We actually have a good system here in the room, I think, to recognize online participants. And they will be slotted in the queue appropriately.
So you have the floor, Arnold.
>>ARNOLD van RHIJN: Good morning to you all. And let me start by congratulating you, Lynn, as chair, being reappointed to this great forum. I would also congratulate the colleagues who have been reappointed as well and, of course, a warm welcome to our new colleagues.
I would like to share with you today some thoughts which have been tabled by the Netherlands IGF community.
My name is Arnold van Rhijn from the Dutch government to start with. But I would like to share with you some thoughts which have been tabled by the Netherlands IGF community. We had a debriefing late February, so we were not able to send in written comments. But I will shortly share with you some thoughts, what went well, what could be improved for our future meetings.
Let's first start by thanking Mexico for having hosted a successful IGF 2016. Special thanks to the chair, the IGF secretariat, and all the others involved in the preparatory work. The broad multistakeholder Netherlands IGF community was well-represented at IGF 2016 with more than 20 participants actively contributing to the debate in numerous sessions and members having organized three well-prepared workshops.
NL IGF presented itself with a booth in the IGF village which we shared with the global forum on cyber expertise. And we're happy to present our chair at the NL IGF booth, the second edition of the Global Cyber Expertise Magazine that published, amongst others, an interview with Lynn on the achievements and the challenges ahead for the IGF.
On day zero, the Netherlands IGF community had its traditional theme-building day starting with a high-tech working breakfast with Mexican startups and followed up by a visit to a tequila production site and participating in a very successful tasting panel. I can recommend it to you whenever you go back to Mexico.
The Netherlands IGF delegation had a debriefing meeting, as I said, late February. It was in the second half of February this year. Happy to share with you shortly what the outcome was in terms of what went well and what could be improved for future IGF meetings.
On the venue, there were mixed reactions. Some were happy with the locations. Others found it too big. Meeting rooms were not easy to find and sometimes too small. And the IGF village including booths was separated from the main building with meeting rooms. This should be all under one roof, if possible, like we had in Joao Pessoa.
Transport to and from the venue was not always available which resulted in long queues waiting for the taxis.
On the location, traveling to Guadalajara was for some participants quite a challenge. A suggestion was made to hold the IGF in the capital of the host country to make traveling a bit easier and cheaper.
And remote participation was found not always to be established very easy.
However, the conference app was very much welcomed. Handy, too, for finding your way in the program and choosing effectively the preferred workshops and getting to know other participants. By the way, as was already mentioned, the WiFi connection at IGF was excellent.
On the preparatory work, some noted that the selection of workshops by the MAG should be further improved. More transparency is needed and dare to take risks to select new faces to organized workshops.
Looking at the program, some -- I must stress not all -- found a level of ambition too low. Suggestions were made to have more strategic, ambitious programming for the remaining nine years of the IGF mandate, Including more innovative and interactive debates such as the fact-finding or breakout sessions, letting participants do the work instead of listening. This new way of interactive was successfully applied in last year's workshops Let's Break Down Silos and to workshop Implementing Security Standards. Both workshops were organized by members of the NL IGF communities.
Another interesting suggestion made was to have an African hour in the IGF program offering African countries a podium to give an update on their Internet governance activities and policies.
Sorry, I have gone a bit long. I'm nearly at the end of my presentation.
On best practice forums and dynamic coalitions, comments were made to evaluate the progress in these discussions which should build upon conclusions of previous meetings. And workshops should also be subject to such an evaluation process.
The lightning or flash sessions were a great success, not the least because they were held at the venue and not outside the location. We should continue to use this setting for future IGF meetings. For those participants who want to make their voice heard, a speaker's corner could be a solution, too.
I was sure pleased to see that IGF 2016 resulted in tangible outcomes. As clearly pointed out in the chair's summary, I recall amongst others the best practice forum, the dynamic coalitions, and the policy option for connecting the next billion.
And personally, I found the main session on the NRIs and the trade policy and the Internet very successful. New topics that deserve to be in the spotlight and should remain on the agenda of future IGFs.
I have some more improvements to make, but I can come back later on that. Thank you so much.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Thank you, Arnold.
I'm going to allow Juan to have the floor since he put up his flag very early before there were other people in the queue. Again, I do want to state we are giving the priority to the community, and the next four speakers or so on the list are indeed from the community.
So, Juan, exceptionally, you have the floor.
>>JUAN FERNANDEZ: I would like to -- (off mic) -- myself to the new MAG members. I believe there's 12 new MAG members. Well, some of them already know me, like Carolyn. She's a new MAG member. My name is Juan Alfonso Fernandez Gonzalez. I represent the government of Cuba. I have been in the MAG -- this is my third term, but I have been around ICT issues internationally for many years.
I'm still learning. We're all still learning in all this. But if I can help for the newcomers into my capacity, please do not hesitate. And I could share my views that sometimes are a little off the main stream. So I can do that.
Now, also, I would like to recommend newcomers and everybody to read the complete synthesis paper of the taking stock. Chengetai read a brief summary. But I recommend to read the whole -- of course, it will be best to read all the contribution. But there are many contributions. But that synthesis paper is really fabulous. It's only 11 pages. I recommend everybody, especially the newcomers, to read it all.
And, also, Arnold's review was also good to have that. I think it's a good starting point for this year's IGF.
Now, chair, you said that we are going to in this session begin discussing the main themes for this year? Not now?
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: No. Right now we want to hear from the community on any aspects of 2016 looking forward to how that might impact 2017. The MAG discussion begins tomorrow.
>>JUAN FERNANDEZ: (off microphone).
Main theme for this year, this will be today?
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: We will hear from the community -- (off microphone).
Sorry. Today we're going to hear from the community. So I would like to hear from the community on their reactions on main theme, their thoughts and suggestions.
The MAG will take that into our deliberations over the next couple of days. So, again, the priority is given to community, community members. We should listen and get their thoughts. And then we can move that forward.
So we have four or five people in the queue. Janis Karklins, you're next. You have the floor.
>>JANIS KARKLINS: Thank you. Thank you very much, Lynn. My name is Janis Karklins. I am a permanent resident of Latvia here in United Nations, Geneva. But at this time, I will speak in my personal capacity.
Let me start by congratulating you, Lynn, on your reappointment and the MAG, the new MAG members, who joined the MAG and those who have been reappointed and wish you all the success you need in preparing the next IGF meeting here in Geneva.
I also would like to join those who congratulated Mexican hosts. This was a very successful event which certainly will remain in memory of those who participated in the meeting. Hopefully those who were not able to go will be able to read the information about the meeting.
Through this I'm coming to a few points that I wanted to raise in this intervention thinking ahead. As you know, the biggest room in the world is room for improvement. Therefore, every time when we will analyze any of the IGF meetings, we will find some good things and some things that could have been done otherwise or better. And that's normal.
But what I would like to say, we need to keep in mind maybe a bigger picture always when we are thinking about modalities of the meeting. And we are privileged in the sense that for the first time we have a longer stretch to go without any doubt that something may happen along the way. We have now nine years agreed by all of us confirmed by the General Assembly resolution.
I believe having good success is in good planning. So, therefore, I would like to encourage the MAG to think about strategic plan for nine years. That would allow implementation of those CSTD Working Group on Improvements recommendations that has not been fully implemented until now.
In this respect, three points. One, we should do whatever we can to avoid routine, or at least sensation of routine. Avoid a situation when we come to the IGF meeting and say, Oh, this is deja vous because IGF is a unique in the sense creation outcome of the WSIS. And we have much more at stake and too little we understand about complexities surrounding this digital future that we are venturing towards.
So we need to use this platform in order to look in the future to identify things that make headline news in few years and try to better understand them. So in that respect, this must always need to be kept in mind.
And this brings me to the second point, which is the way how we think about preparations and programming of IGF.
Until now, 10 -- rather 11 years, we have used the random proposal selection method, which is justified and then fine, but that has not allowed us to maybe bring new -- or enough new industries or new participants to IGF.
And in order to do that, maybe we need to think about adding to this random proposal selection method also some kind of planned proposal selection whereby, for instance, if we're thinking about Geneva and we know that Internet plays an extremely important role in the financial sector, in the banking sector, and knowing that Geneva is a banking hub, or one of the banking hubs in the world, to try to reach out to the banking sector and make their presence in IGF very prominent. But that is something that needs to be proposed, agreed, and then worked on. And in the future, we may think about inviting -- or targeting specific sectors to IGF.
Arnold was speaking about Africa. Africa, our --
So Brazil showed us a youth stream as a very good way of attracting young people, so simply we need to think how to attract those who have not come to IGF until now in the best way.
And finally, the third point is we still need to think how to communicate better.
The perception that IGF does not produce anything is wrong. There is a wealth of information, wealth of knowledge that has been produced in 11 years, and simply we have not been successful enough to communicate those.
Here, I would like to bring to your attention the initiative that was taken by the Mexican delegation here in Geneva by informing the ITU council working group on Internet about the outcome of the Guadalajara IGF and a subsequent discussion about those outcomes, and I think that this is the way how we should proceed. We need to encourage host country to think and to promote outcomes of their own IGFs wherever they deem it useful.
So with this, I will, once again, welcome new MAG members and wish MAG very successful preparations for Geneva meeting. Thank you.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Thank you, Janis, and really find those comments very helpful.
And it should be pointed out that Janis was actually the IGF MAG chair in 2014 and 2015. Maybe just as importantly, he was actually the head of the PrepCom 2 for WSIS 2, which those of you that were in those meetings, they were two- and three-week long meetings in -- well, that one was in Geneva, but -- so he's been involved in Internet governance discussions for a very long time and in key roles, and thank you. That was very helpful.
Next on the list, we have Constance, and then I notice we have Jim, Nigel, Aida, Markus, and then we have Mary, who is participating on line. So that's the current queue.
So Constance, you have the floor.
>>CONSTANCE BOMMELAER: Thank you, Chair, and good morning, everyone. I'm Constance Bommelaer, from the technical community, from the Internet Society, and a former MAG member as well, so I'd like to start by thanking Mexico for its commitment towards IGF 2016 which I think was definitely a success, and also thanking our chair, all MAG members, and of course Switzerland for its commitment this year.
I won't go through the full list of our comments that we have submitted in writing. I think here I would just like to perhaps emphasize two points.
I think IGF 2016 was definitely an opportunity to demonstrate the value of the IGF, to show that the IGF community was able to pursue its efforts, responding to the call at WSIS+10 in line with the CSTD recommendations on IGF improvements, and I think here we've said this, but the role of the NRIs, the new intersessional activities, the best practice forums, dynamic coalitions, and connecting the next billion policy options, again, were an opportunity for the IGF community to demonstrate that the IGF can deliver tangible outputs.
Now, of course there are ways to improve further the IGF. I think Janis made excellent points and I would support those points.
Two tangible recommendations that came to our mind.
First of all, perhaps invite the MAG to think about further thematic focus for IGF 2017.
In going through the list of written submissions, I saw many good ideas from the IGF community perhaps focusing further on the sustainable development goals or finding another way to attract specific industries that are impacted by the information society, and Geneva, of course, offers great opportunities in that regard. And this has also been said, but I would really reemphasize -- emphasize further this point, the importance of outreach.
We continue hearing from many individuals, organizations, that they are simply not aware of all the work and information that is produced by the IGF community beyond the best practice forums or the policy options. There are a lot of -- a lot of information needs to get out there, so if the MAG and the broader IGF community can help the secretariat and the U.N. in general to do this, we believe it's extremely important.
So the Internet Society, of course, is looking forward to working with all of you and is committed to assuring that IGF 2017 will be a great success. Thank you.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Thank you, Constance. Jim, you have the floor.
>>JIM PRENDERGAST: Yes. Thank you, Chair. My name is Jim Prendergast with the Galway Strategy Group.
Wanted to add just some personal observations to what others have added.
I would like to thank again the host, Mexico, for a fantastic event. Thought the volunteers were spectacular. I've never seen volunteers so helpful and wanting to go out of their way to help people find sessions and have a great experience.
Guadalajara, what a wonderful city. I'd never been there. Pleasantly surprised. I hope to be back someday. In fact, Nigel, I know some folks told ICANN that they should look at it for an ICANN meeting, so you've got some homework out of this one.
For the few hours that I was a tourist, I did see the cabanas and spectacular murals. Would have been a unique setting but I'm kind of glad that we did have a venue change at the last second. I think that worked out in our benefit, except for those who maybe had a workshop in Room 10, which if you did have one, you know exactly what I'm talking about.
One of the things that I think we do need to think about going forward is, you know, as the MAG continues to try and encourage new and innovative formats for sessions, we need to take that into account when it comes time to scheduling.
Chengetai, I do not envy you and your team trying to do the scheduling. You know, we heard already some comments through the consultation about themes and trying to track them. One of the things that I think would be beneficial is, when we are looking at new innovative formats, trying to match the room to accommodate those.
I had an experience with a session that dealt with countering violence and extremism online that the workshop proposal specifically said we were going to do three breakout groups and the room we had was a hollow rectangle.
Now, we made it work. We put one group in one corner, another group in another corner, and actually sent the third group out the room, down the stairs, out to a landing where the coffee was set up, and it worked out great.
But having, you know, everybody in the same room may have been a little more beneficial.
The AV crew in that room in particular did a heroic effort trying to capture what was being said in all three breakout groups, moving microphones around. It's also something we do need to take into account, with these new and innovative formats, remote participation. We struggled with it. It was only when everybody came back to share the synthesis of ideas that folks who were remote participants could actually participate and actually hear what was being said.
The other thing that I would say on the new and innovative formats is, you know, for me, there's nothing more disheartening than walking into a workshop and seeing 10 people on a dais about to speak to me for 90 minutes. I think we all share that and I think we're trying to move away from that.
But I'm going to channel Virat here with some statistics for everybody. He's not here but somebody has to pick up that sort of baton and go with it.
84% of the sessions that were approved had 5 or more speakers listed; 21% had 10 or more speakers listed; one session had 16 speakers; and 5 had 14 speakers.
So if the MAG is serious about audience participation and innovative formats, then I think there needs to be a change in how sessions with 10 or more speakers are evaluated.
I welcome the efforts of the working group that's working to improve the evaluations and hopefully this is something they can consider.
Using that session that I was involved with, the countering violence and extremism, we had three discussion leaders. Those were the only three that were listed in the workshop proposal. But through the course of the session, we had dozens of people contributing. We got our diversity. We got it through audience participation. We had stakeholder diversity, we had a geographic diversity, probably, you know, I would say as good, if not better than any other session that was held that week.
But it didn't really come through in the workshop because where we were getting our diversity was from the audience and from the interactive sessions, so that --
And then finally, you know, many of you who know me know that I like to explore the local culture through the food and drink of where we are, and I'll be honest, I was a little taken back at first when I saw that there were tequila drinks at lunch at the IGF, but it was a pleasant surprise and actually helped fuel some interesting lunchtime conversations.
[ Laughter ]
>>JIM PRENDERGAST: Along with the live music, which was fantastic, it really was a nice way to enjoy the Mexican culture while still working.
So Thomas, I'm really looking forward to seeing how you and the Swiss are able to top that.
[ Laughter ]
>>JIM PRENDERGAST: So thank you very much.
>>THOMAS SCHNEIDER: We'll do some yodeling for you.
[ Laughter ]
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Or fondue and kirsch or something. Jim, thank you for those comments. And let me just take the opportunity to say that the working group did meet last night for over five hours. In fact, it was after midnight when we finished. A new draft is out that will actually be published on the MAG list, hopefully sort of lunchtime-ish. We wanted to give those working group members that weren't able to join us last night an opportunity to review. And we have taken to heart a lot of those comments. We're actually looking at now evaluating some of the workshops by format, because that will allow for a different set of criteria which would allow things like diversity to be measured differently, depending on --
But lot of other changes to the process as well.
So we need to move quite quickly on approving that, so if you have really sort of strong thoughts on that, I would actually encourage you to look at the document today, tomorrow. Ideally, we need to have that document approved by the end of the day Friday in order to meet the expected timetable for the call for proposals.
And there is a number of working group members here, if people have direct comments. Rasha is actually leading the work over there. But I hope we've taken some steps to address that.
Nigel, you have the floor. Or was it Markus? I'm not sure. You were -- Nigel.
>>NIGEL HICKSON: Thank you very much. Good morning. Nigel Hickson, ICANN.
I'll just say a few words because I think we're going to have the chance of saying some more words this afternoon, and don't want too many words.
But, I mean, first of all, it's delightful to be here. I think having these open consultations is absolutely critical and the ability of observers to make comments is always welcome.
So just a few.
First of all, congratulations to Lynn. Congratulations to the new MAG members. It's fantastic to see some of them here. It's great that the MAG has a dynamism -- I can't say that word, I'm still learning the language -- but I really think it's great that, you know, we have new people and young people and it really does foster a -- you know, a great opportunity for the IGF.
Well, it's been said, hasn't it, what a wonderful place. Guadalajara. It was my second visit there. The first visit was for a three-week ITU meeting, and did I enjoy my second time there or my first time there? Well, I think the IGF capped it just marginally.
It was fantastic. It was a great experience and what wonderful hosts. I mean, Jim and others have said it already. The volunteers, the passion, they were great. And the people were marvelous. The spirit of the IGF was alive and had some fantastic sessions.
I think, you know, the diverse agenda was -- worked very well indeed. I mean, there's always a few organizational issues. I got lost but then that's just me. But no, I thought it was -- it was truly first-class and thank you very much, Mexico, for all you -- for all you did.
In terms of, you know, looking forward and some of the sort of lessons, it was interesting to hear about the working group, looking at the format, so, I mean, I share Jim's observation on some of the sessions.
I mean, this is -- this is difficult. I mean, we have it in ICANN meetings. We have it at ITU meetings. We have it -- you know, you get a panel one day and it's got three people and you then got a panel the next and it's got 14, you know. It's difficult. But I think really it's up to the organizers of the panels to be a bit more -- you know, a bit more realistic.
And, you know, if you've got a panel over four or five people, then you don't have panel speakers, as such. You have discussants. You have a moderator that says, "Fred, you know, what's your view of this? Anna, what's your view of that," and if they waffle on you, you say, "Markus, shut up," you know.
[ Laughter ]
>>NIGEL HICKSON: But, you know, it's for the chair, it's for the moderator to bring a sense of dynamism, to bring a sense of order to the panel so, you know -- and then you involve the audience. You say, you know, "You in the front row there, what do you think of this," and they don't say anything.
But -- you know, so I think you do -- in judging the panels -- and I know it's very difficult for the MAG because it's just on paper. You don't know -- you know, you don't know it all from the paper, but we have to take that into consideration.
So looking forward to Geneva, it certainly came as a shock to me to learn it was Geneva, but -- and at first, you thought, "Oh, no, not in Geneva. That's where I live at the moment, you know. Can't we go somewhere where I haven't been?"
You know, but then you thought, "Well, actually you're being a bit selfish here, Nigel, because the IGF in Geneva is such an opportunity." And of course Thomas has already said it. But the opportunity that the IGF has in Geneva to expand, to take on new organizations that have never heard of the IGF. All the international governmental organizations that are here, the World Health Organization, UNICEF, these organizations can have an input into this IGF. The 192 missions that we have here for the U.N, the NGOs, the civil society groups, the technical community groups. I think it really does have the opportunity to bring in these new actors and to bring in this new enthusiasm.
So I'm really looking forward to it and thank you for doing this, Thomas.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Thank you, Nigel.
Always a very spirited intervention.
Aida, you have the floor.
>>AIDA MAHMUTOVIC: Thank you. So I am also a MAG member but now I will not be speaking as a MAG member but as a community on behalf of SEEDIG, Southeastern European Dialogue on Internet Governance, which is a subregional Internet Governance Forum.
We would especially like to applaud the idea of bringing representatives of national, subregional, and regional IGFs in one main room for one session, so this is really showing their or our existence, and giving the space to vocalize directly activities and challenges that us as individuals and initiatives have.
So far, we did not have this possibility and this was a huge plus, we believe, for the IGF meeting in Mexico.
So this year, we can definitely be more innovative, as we were hearing that the session was too long or, as some said, too boring, but to be honest, if we are talking about bottom-up and inclusiveness, this was such a great and concrete -- and maybe I shouldn't say "rare" -- example of those.
So I would definitely -- we would definitely encourage keeping this, as much as I know it was very challenging for the whole IGF secretariat team and for Anja. Anja, thank you for this.
So I know that for Geneva, it will be very expensive, and coming from southeastern Europe, you know, money is a challenge for us, but I hope we will cross that bridge once we get there.
So thank you once again and we fully support repeating a similar thing this year as well. Thank you.
And also, I hope we will get a bit more space later to talk about SEEDIG as a subregional initiative. Thank you.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Thank you, Aida.
Next on the list is Markus and then we will go to Mary, who is an online participant.
Markus, you have the floor.
>>MARKUS KUMMER: Thank you, Lynn. Markus Kummer speaking. Let me add my voice of congratulation to your reelection as the chair and thanks to the Mexican hosts. Like others, I really thoroughly enjoyed it and I think the volunteers were really fantastic. That was a great experience and it was, in true IGF tradition, the best IGF ever.
A few words on the innovative format. I fully agree. Nigel said it very elegantly as always. It's quite often up to the chair. We switch to saying, okay, we should not have more panelists than four or five. And ten people said, Can we have a roundtable and instead of four or five panelists have 30 panelists? That obviously doesn't work.
I'm quite happy to report one of the main sessions I co-facilitated -- Avri may jump in. She is participating remotely -- was on the dynamic coalitions. There we had the challenge -- we knew we had 16 dynamic coalitions, and you cannot all read your papers. So we said from the beginning you have to produce a paper beforehand in order to qualify. The session will be interactive.
We ended up with 12 dynamic coalitions that had produced a five-page background paper. Our moderator was fantastic. She really had made questions and (indiscernible) them. We had a Q&A and a very dynamic panel that was never boring. That is a challenge to make panels with big speakers attractive throughout.
But the echos I had, and I think also in the written submissions was that it was a positive experience.
And the dynamic coalitions have started a process of working together. We have already taken stock and look forward to next year, and the dynamic coalitions would make a claim already for having -- for getting a main session also this year.
Let me also turn to another best practice forum I co-facilitated with (saying name) that was on cybersecurity. That was conceived from the beginning as a multiyear project. It was a follow-up to two earlier best practice forums on spam and CCERTs, and cybersecurity as we all know has really been an issue that has come for the fore. Again, we have taken stock. I mean, last year the emphasis was on collaboration and on building on what is the comparative advantage of the IGF, that is bringing people together.
Now, looking forward some ideas have emerged. One of them would be to look at what comes out from the NRIs and have a document regional best practices on, for instance, how to count DDoS attacks.
And the Other Thread this year the global group of experts on cybersecurity will present their report. That's a purely intergovernmental effort. And the IGF here in Geneva would be a good opportunity to present their report to a broader multistakeholder community.
And that brings me to Geneva. Much has been said on that already. That is, of course, I also think a great opportunity. But it will not just happen. I think we really have to -- as other speakers have said, we will have to do our outreach. And one great opportunity when presenting workshops, I remember we had the discussion, for instance, on trade issues. And we said we lack expertise on trade. And now we come to Geneva where we do have the expertise on trade. So maybe the host country can help to reach out to speakers in the WTO. And obviously on health issues, we have the WHO. So there's a lot of potential expertise with resource persons here who will not necessarily come forward but we can pull in by reaching out to them. And this is an opportunity for the IGF coming, as I said in a blog post I wrote for the ISOC Switzerland chapter, the IGF is coming home. So that is an opportunity.
Otherwise, I think I agree with much what has been said. Also, Janis in particular made some more long-term observations. And this is -- again, it has come out from the retreat already in last July that we try and establish a more multiyear program also for the IGF. Thank you for that.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Thank you, Markus. Very helpful and very eloquent comments. You can see how addictive Internet governance is because Markus is obviously still deeply engaged in activities of the IGF. In fact, he led the IGF secretariat for the first five years. The comments are very helpful.
We would actually like to ask -- we are going to two online participants, Mary and then Shreedeep. We would like to ask people, everyone in the room and online, when you introduce yourselves, say your name slowly so we can actually get them quite close at least in the transcription record.
So, Mary, you have the floor.
>>MARY UDUMA: Good morning, all. Can you hear me? Can you hear me?
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: We can hear you. They are adjusting the volume. Give us just one second, Mary. Can you try again?
>>MARY UDUMA: All right. Can you hear me now?
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Sorry, just a second. I think that went lower. Do you need your headphones? Is that better?
>>MARY UDUMA: Yeah.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: If people turn their headphones on, you can actually hear Mary. We can work on the room later.
Mary, you have the floor.
>>MARY UDUMA: Thank you very much. My name is Mary Uduma. I'm from Nigeria. I coordinate the Nigerian IGF and I'm part of the West African IGF as well as the African IGF. I have been around the I.G. space since WSIS 2003 and WSIS 2005 and have followed the program up till now.
I want to, first of all, thank -- congratulate you, Lynn, for the reappointment and acknowledge the good work you did in 2016 and all the members of MAG.
I want also to congratulate those that are coming into the MAG for the first time. I have never been a MAG member; but I have always participated in IGF processes, IGF meetings, IGF initiatives. So I do get all that happens in the I.G. space. And I'm also very -- very much involved with ICANN.
I cannot thank Mexico enough because Mexico actually surprised me. It was a good one. It was a good outing. I can't say more than what the others have said. I just want to join the others to say thank you to Mexico.
I also want to say that the 2016 theme was very apt because it was just the first year after the renewal and the first year into the sustainability development goals that the whole world set for itself. It was a good one.
Some level of grouping of topics made it easier for some of us to follow. The DGs -- I mean, the DCs, the BFCs, and then the climax being the NRIs. We credit ability for the NRIs in 2016 which we have been yearning for.
The main session was a great -- a great one for us, delivered the NRIs. And I think that the success of IGF or IGF process would be most felt at the local level.
Let me give you an example of what happened in Nigeria. After our Nigerian IGF, we made a lot of recommendations. And we send these recommendations to our stakeholders, including the government. The minister of communication wrote us a very nice letter and has formed a working group to see that they implement some of the recommendations, if not all of the recommendations. So there is a working group already formed in my country by the minister of communication to look at the recommendations that came from our Nigerian IGF. So those are the type of outcomes that the national, regional, initiatives will bring to the IGF and also to improve the IGF.
So sharing my experience in that way and the fact that we remain focused -- the NRIs will focus in 2016 thanks to Anja and Marilyn. We had time to plan. We had time to have our coordination meeting. We had time also to even produce a toolkit for any NRI, any nation that wants to start a NRI.
So because we're coordinating, we're able to come out with a toolkit that will help others, guide others to start a national or regional IGF.
So the outcome or what we have credited -- or what we have seen in the NRIs is something to bring a lot of credibility, a lot of acceptance of the IGF from the national or regional level.
So in that note, I will say that Lianna has made some comments and Thomas repeated the issue of NRIs. And so many of those that have intervened have said something about it. But I want to challenge all that. We shouldn't hold back on the NRIs. It should be given greater visibility because what happens at the local level is more important to the nations than coming to talk at IGF. So that's what I would think that we would look at in 2017.
The coordinators should be given opportunity to continue the good work they started. And in this way, I want to thank Marilyn a lot for what she did. She did a tremendous job. And I hope that the MAG will find a space for her to continue this job. And it will be my joy to see her do more in 2017.
Now, coming to the theme for 2017, I want to see that the thing for 2016 will be carried for to 2017 because the countries, the nations, the regions are also planning and working towards meeting the sustainable development goals. So all issues are related to that will be of interest.
I also want to see -- I'm expecting issues on IoTs and security implication for (indiscernible) to be taken into consideration when you are looking at the topics or the theme that you're going to give -- to have or to recommend for 2017.
So -- and I want to say that I support what Markus, Janis, Nigel have already said concerning the work that the IGF will be doing.
On that note, I want to say thank you again for giving me the floor. And I want to -- I'm expecting that the NRIs will be given (indiscernible) again in 2017, coordination meeting where we had opportunities to speak to UNDESA and we were able to present our causes.
Again, when we share our experiences at the local level, it gives legitimacy to the work of the IGF. Thank you very much.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Thank you, Mary. Those are very good comments.
We have a number of other speakers in the queue here as well. They are also online. I think it's probably still best to continue listening to the mic.
I also wanted to point out -- I think we forgot to mention earlier that there is, in fact, French translation available if people care to comment or listen to this event in French.
Next participant is Shreedeep. Sorry? Mike next. And then obviously some background negotiations going on there.
Mike, you have the floor.
>>MICHAEL NELSON: Thank you very much. Can I be heard?
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Yes.
>>MICHAEL NELSON: I'm Mike Nelson. I work for CloudFlare on public policy but more importantly I spent the last three years in the MAG. And I just wanted to share a few observations from my time in the MAG and the Mexican IGF.
I'm very sorry I can't be with you, particularly sorry that I had to get up at 4:00 a.m. this morning. But there is a lot going on here in Washington, D.C.
I just wanted to second all the nice things that have been said about the Mexican hosts and the volunteers and to also add that I thought IGF 2016 did a very good job of facilitating informal interactions and small group meetings. Having all the outdoor space in the sunshine made it a lot easier to have small-group discussions.
I think it's also helpful, if possible, to have some breakout rooms available that people can sign up for. That was a possibility in Mexico, but I don't think many people took advantage of that.
And I also want to praise the Mexican hosts for a great job of enabling remote participation. There was a huge amount of tweeting that made it easier to follow some of the debates when you couldn't be in the room. So I hope we'll build on that in Geneva so we can reach an even larger audience.
And I'm very excited about Geneva. As Nigel said, this will give us a chance to bring in new voices. I'm particularly interested in getting more skeptics to show up at IGF meetings. I know a lot of panel proposals came in that I evaluated looked very balanced because they had people from all different perspectives. But at the end of the day, some of the skeptics, some of the people who would have said things that weren't so popular didn't show up because they weren't going to make the trip to Guadalajara.
When I say "skeptics," I'm talking about people who look at the Internet and sometimes see a threat, whether they're law enforcement agencies and they're worried about encryption or (indiscernible) incumbent companies that are worried about new competition. These people don't tend to show up at our meetings to voice their views. So I think we're going to have to do a better job of reaching out to the people who don't agree with the broader consensus of the people who usually come to IGF.
I also do worry a little bit about being too focused on the sustainable development goals for the second year in a row. When you talk to the people I talk to in Silicon Valley, they see the IGF as a unique opportunity to talk to more than a hundred countries at a time. Not to talk to the U.N. Not to talk to those agencies, as important as they are, but instead to talk to decision makers and business people and NGOs in countries around the world. And I think that's why the NRIs are so important, because they link us to the important policy-making decisions that are being made back in national capitals.
And so I'd hope that we can embrace the peer-to-peer spirit of the Internet, get many people talking to many people rather than thinking that we have to focus on one centralized theme about the strategic development goals.
I also do hope, as Janis said, that we can avoid deja vous. We do tend to have a lot of talks about the same topics that we have every year. I don't think we need to make a radical change in the criteria that the MAG uses to select. I just think the MAG members have to approach proposals a little bit differently. When they see a proposal that they don't really understand because it's something they haven't read about, in the past I think the default was to give it a 1 or a 2. I think the default should be to give something innovative and unusual a 5 until convinced otherwise.
Otherwise, we're not going to have the new things that really excite people. We're not going to generate as much press attention.
And evenly more importantly, I think we need to have new formats. We had some exciting things happen in Mexico. We had -- the Internet Society did a policy slam that went very well. We had some debates, but, again, sometimes we didn't get the other side, so it wasn't really a debate.
And one thing I think would be really effective is some kind of award process or contest. Maybe it's because we just had the Academy Awards here in Washington, but I was thinking it would be amazing to have some kind of people's award, the IGF people's award, in 8 or 10 different categories, and award different nations awards for best in broadband deployment and best in eGovernment and best in rural applications.
This would be something voted upon by the participants in IGFs.
When I was first involved in the Internet 25 years ago, I would go to a meeting called "Agenda" and they would have polls of the audience and this was the -- these were the smartest people working on the Internet, so when they did a poll of the audience, it really meant something.
We could do something similar, totally unofficial, but it would be a way to recognize those countries that have really excelled.
Last, I -- the other reason I'm excited about going to Switzerland is I'm looking forward to some fun field trips. We won't get to go to tequila but maybe we'll have some chocolate tours. And of course I hope everyone will have an opportunity to go to CERN and -- on a pilgrimage and pay homage to the original Web server that still sits there in the museum at CERN.
Thank you very much for letting me share my thoughts, and I look forward to the rest of the meeting and being part of this process.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Thank you, Michael. This might even be an opportunity to help the world understand the difference between the Web and the Internet.
[ Laughter ]
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: The next in the queue is Shreedeep.
>>SHREEDEEP RAYAMAJHI: Hello?
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Yes, we can hear you.
>>SHREEDEEP RAYAMAJHI: Welcome to the new MAG members. I'm Shreedeep from Nepal. I am associated Learn Internet Governance, a collaborative community concept which we found more recently working with Internet leaders. We are working in various aspects of research and communication in Asia-Pacific.
I think IGF has grown from past few years. It has taken exponential leap with issues and people coming and making it their forum.
Coming from Nepal, I believe it is my forum where I have and I can express my issues, and for young leaders, it gives us great energy and inspiration to meet people we idolize and talk about issues. It constantly motivates us to do something and to create a better world and we are working and committed.
Having said that, I feel with the technological growth and gap in between the developed and the developing nations, there are voices of diversity and minorities which need more focus and strategic focus, especially in the communication and participation.
Here are some of the issues that need some more focus.
I strongly believe youth on the table, it's a more bigger issue, especially from Asia-Pacific. Next billion diversity -- you know, diversity in terms of Asia. You know, Asia has been represented in a certain way by a few organizations, only we need representations from minority and diversity. That's a main issue.
I attended IGF from 2013 to 2015, but in 2016 when I attended it remotely, it was more exhausting, so, you know, we need certain -- there are certain issues of participation where people -- where we want to speak but there are -- at times there are issues of -- at times things are ignored.
Regional collaboration, more interventions like a guide -- guiding handbook for new participation about IGF can be a breakthrough, just like the toolkit for, you know, the NRI group. That was a great initiation.
We would like to have similar, you know, interventions in terms of guiding handbook for new participation. More Asian and African integration and participation I think is required.
With the growth in Internet penetration rate in Asia-Pacific, we need better coordination and integration in terms of bringing the youth leaders and collaborating their issues and problems. We, the youth, are committed and we appreciate the work done by MAG -- the MAG people and the, you know, IGF secretariat. We believe in you and we know we can change the world but we need your support and cooperation. Thank you.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Thank you, Shreedeep.
Anriette, you have the floor, and then Segun.
>>ANRIETTE ESTERHUYSEN: I'm just trying to enable my mic.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: You have succeeded.
>>ANRIETTE ESTERHUYSEN: All right. Good. Thanks.
Thanks a lot, Lynn. Welcome to all the new MAG members. My name is Anriette Esterhuysen. I'm a past MAG member. As you can see, there are lots of us in the meeting.
And congratulations to Chengetai and his team for a really good IGF, and thanks to the host government, Mexican government, and all the volunteers.
I also want to thank Mexican civil society, who were very welcoming and supportive to global civil society.
And I want to commend the Mexican government for their openness to critical voices from within their own civil society, and the gracefulness or graciousness within which that was handled at the IGF. I felt that that worked really well. So I really want to thank the host government.
And on workshops, I agree with Nigel and other speakers. You know, we can't substitute in the preparation process for the responsibility of chairs and moderators, and Lynn, you know, I wish the working group well but I think be careful about not trying to overengineer the selection process.
You know, since the IGF has started, there's been so many different incarnations of the selection process. And the results, you know, I -- I -- they're not dramatically different, actually, every year.
So there are improvements and I think the format diversity has worked well.
I want to say some words, though, about the longer-term impact of the IGF, and I really think we should not underestimate that, and I think, you know, as the MAG chair and the secretariat, you can probably claim this and take credit for this more -- you know, more extravagantly than you are doing now.
I think the IGF has become a point of reference, and I think Mary Uduma expressed that very clearly.
For other multistakeholder governance processes around the world, the global IGF is a point of reference. It's a measure. It's something we aspire to.
And that value really shouldn't be underestimated.
I think the side events, the spinoff activities, the concrete partnerships that are all linked to the IGF also have a lot of impact.
For example, in 2016, APC, my own organization, and Internet Society partnered on bringing locally owned small network service providers to Mexico, and they had side events, they had capacity building events, planning events, and it's just been an inspiration for them and there's now -- you can see the impact in terms of how their implementation is taking off as a result of that.
So I think the intersessional work also is really working well. Dynamic coalitions, the national/regional initiatives. And the best practice forums. I increasingly see the best practice forums' outcome documents being referenced at national and regional policy events.
So just moving a bit to the future because I don't think I'll be able to participate for the rest of the day, I agree with Markus. I think Markus Kummer said that security is a major issue. I think that's very important.
There is not just the group of governmental experts. There's also the Global Commission on the Stability of Cyberspace and I think we need to make the IGF a space where these bodies come to interact, consult, and report on what they do.
I think we shouldn't lose the ground that we've gained in terms of gender and women's concerns and participation and integrating that, and nor should we (indiscernible) of human rights.
I think that finally, we need to look still at the SDG process. Mike Nelson, I heard what you said, but I think there is a way of having the IGF focusing on the high-level political forums' themes, on the goals that they will focus on in New York this year, linking that to the IGF. They're quite concrete. You know, there's a goal on industrialization and infrastructure, on sustainability of the oceans, for example. So I do think it -- it's something we can still achieve without closing the space for new Internet-specific issues to be dealt with.
And then finally, I think I want to say -- this is really my "finally" -- reaching out to governments, I think that increasingly becomes important. I think the MAG and the secretariat need to make sure that governments are involved in the preparatory process. Perhaps at the next MAG meeting, have a function for them, engage with them. We really do need them. And APC has made some concrete suggestions in our written submission around that.
I have some -- just practically, I think, looking at working with the Geneva Welcome Center on subsidized accommodation. You know, I'll be eager to hear how that's going. And then finally, IGF retreat. If we can get an update on that, that would be helpful. Thanks a lot.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Thank you very much, Anriette. Always very useful comments.
The -- there is a topic at the end of the day today on the retreat, which is when we would look to cover that.
With respect to your comment that IGF is a point of reference, I mean, I think it's safe to say that the secretariat and I very much agree with you. I do think it's more powerful when someone else says it, and, you know, if we had more people saying it more often, I think that would actually help it to become even more real.
But we'll take the -- you know, the spirit behind the comment as well.
The next in the queue is Segun and then we have Israel.
Segun, you have the floor.
>>SEGUN OLUGBILE: Hello. Thank you, Madam Chair.
First, I would like to congratulate you on the reappointment as the chair of the IGF. It's a well-deserved appointment.
Then secondly, I would also like to welcome the new MAG members --
Oh, sorry. Let me introduce myself. I'm Segun Olugbile from Nigeria. I'm here to represent myself and AfICTA, Africa ICT Alliance, and at the same time to an extension I'm also representing the Nigeria Internet Governance Forum. My chairlady has just spoken in the person of Mrs. Uduma who has actually expressed some of what I have in mind.
However, I would still like to also welcome the new MAG members. I'm particularly happy to have seen some of these people who I have been communicating with on line and they are here and I do believe that they are going to add more value to what we are doing here. And, again, I will -- on behalf of myself and also my country, too, I would like to congratulate Mexico. They did very well.
For me, that was the first time I had the privilege to attend the IGF, and one of the things that I saw is that I had the privilege to have access to a large pool of resources and capacity building, networking with so many individuals and institutions. For me, it had a lot of value.
I would -- again would like to really thank the Mexican government for their hospitality. They have done so well. I do believe that the new host country will probably take it from there.
Now, please permit me to also congratulate the secretariat and all the team there. They have done so well. And I'm so proud of my brother, too, Chengetai. He has made us proud because we -- we knew the story. We knew how it all got started.
Moving from there, I would like to comment on two points.
Basically, on the area that people have been talking about, the need to improve communication and outreach. What I have discovered in the last IGF and the previous IGFs that we've had so far, I discover that we have so much -- a large pool of resources. You know, they are -- they are diverse resources, and I really want IGF to go beyond just a forum where people come together to discuss, so I'm looking at how the secretariat and perhaps the MAG members can look at how to communicate these resources on the Web site of the IGF.
For me, this is one of the best -- I'm thinking back, and I've always been privileged to be part of those that have access to such resources.
And, again, I also would like to comment on the best practice forums, especially on cybersecurity. I enjoyed the session and also would like to appreciate the role played by Markus. He has been an inspirational leader.
But then I would like to also comment that there's a need for us to have the young professional and the youth to be partaking in this process because what I discovered was that at that meeting, at that session, we have representatives of various groups and their institutions, but the critical mass of the young professional and the youth that are going to be the future leaders of this process is lacking.
So I'm looking toward how we can really improve on that.
Then the area also I'm more concerned with is how can we improve communication and outreach.
The last because I've been talking about the issues of communicating to the diverse group of people, people have complained that they have no -- they are not getting much of information and the value of IGFs are not being communicated across. I feel the same way too. And I had the privilege to coordinate that process last year. I'm talking about the work group on communication and outreach. But I would like to throw it open, because it is essential to bring in new ideas and innovations and allow new members who perhaps might have a better perception on how we can move this group forward.
Then again I want to emphasize this, that the working group on communication and outreach needs to be strengthened. It needs to be supported by all the coordinators and heads of various working groups. In fact, I'm hoping that all the members, all the coordinators of all the working groups should be member of the working groups so that it will improve interactions and at the same time a synergy in the areas of their various work.
Then on a last note, I -- we like to talk about the need for us to link from what Ambassador Karklins. Sorry. My apologies if I don't pronounce that name very well. You know, we need to -- we should appreciate the enormity of the challenges before us.
I would like to talk more but my chairlady from Nigeria has spoken some of what I have in mind.
But three basic things which have been -- which actually help us so far.
In the areas of adding new value to a IGF, the new construct, the NIR, and the business community in this case. Inasmuch that I would now like to glorify any one of them, but please permit me to mention ICC/BASIS because they have done something to the business community which I find so very useful and I'm seeing how they can take it further by working with the secretariat. That is every morning during the time we have the IGF, they always providing a daily briefing but that briefing can be expanded. It can be picked up and work in line with the secretariat communication goals.
So I really want to appreciate those again, every one of those. I think we have done so well but we need to improve more. Thank you.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Thank you, Segun.
Next, we have Israel. You have the floor.
>>ISRAEL ROSAS: Thank you. Israel Rosas for the record. Thanks for the exception.
I just wanted to echo the comments from Anriette about the openness with civil society and I could say about all the stakeholders. This is possible thanks to our local initiative group on Internet governance which is part of the NRI's network. In my opinion, that's one of the examples of the value of the NRI's network. Thank you.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Thank you, Israel. I don't have anybody else in the queue at the moment, so I can --
Oh, I guess we do have somebody else on line in the queue and maybe somebody else in the back here, too.
So let me do that, and then maybe just as we're entering this sort of last 45 minutes of this session, if there are any sort of specific items people would like to call out, whether it's on BPS or dynamic coalitions or your thoughts on main themes, your thoughts on how well the tagging worked last year, those sorts of things would be very helpful in terms of sort of informing the MAG as we go forward.
So we have Michael on line? Michael, you have the floor.
>> MICHAEL OGHIA: Hi, good morning. Good afternoon, everyone. I'm Michael Oghia, not Michael Nelson. I'm an independent consultant based now in Belgrade. And I think many of you know me. I'm involved in many different Internet governance processes at this point.
I want to again congratulate you, Lynn, on the position and also all of the new MAG members that are joining now.
What I really want to do is focus on some of the intersessional work and also some of the other aspects that I have been taking part in over the past couple years.
So I was an Internet Society ambassador to the IGF for both my first and second times which was in 2015 and last year. In my now two years of experience, I think we really need to focus on how we can maximize the effectiveness of the IGF process in general and also think about the opportunity the IGF presents which brings together individuals from across stakeholder groups from around the world.
One thing I wanted to do is follow up on one of the Markus' points that he made earlier about the DCs. Right now we have already been going through and starting DC coordination meetings. We've also been doing being -- weaving -- anybody involved in the DC meetings have already met online and started discussing the way forward for this year.
One of the points I made in that call is basically that I see the dynamic coalitions as being frankly kind of underutilized. I think we could do more to expand the work they do and how they can function throughout the year.
One aspect of the DCs that I was advocating for was, for instance, focusing more on surveys that the secretariat and Jeremy Malcolm had created basically to create data. I think the IGF could be a really good place to create data and kind of work towards doing more to enhance the outcomes of the IGF.
In addition to the dynamic coalitions, in terms of intersessional work, I really have to advocate for the BPFs. I think they're such a good addition to the program. They not just provide outcomes -- I'm sorry, output documents but they also provide a subcommunity or forums that people need any kind of expertise, at least regarding the subjects that we focus on.
And I will -- although it's somewhat separate, I will also incorporate into that my praise for the Connecting the Next Billion initiative. Anri, Constance, and everybody involved in that really did a fantastic job this past year. I really hope we can continue this going forward.
And, of course, again to echo what's already been said, the NRIs are such and absolutely a paramount point of the IGF that we should continue to focus on. The way I see it is that each NRI -- specifically the regionals, subregionals, and the national NRI initiatives should feed into the global IGF. So the global IGF, I mean, obviously people -- you know, people want to focus on certain global public policy issues. That is a good place for that.
But it's also a good place to say, hey, this local NRI or this regional NRI are dealing with these issues. How can we better coordinate, connect, and then talk about outcomes? One of the best -- one of the best sessions I attended at the IGF this past year was actually the collaborative leadership exchange because -- it's a day zero event that brings youth and anyone interested in having dynamic conversations together. And we break out into groups and we talk about things related to Internet policy that we don't necessarily get to talk about so often.
And one of -- one of the greatest outcomes for me that came out was discussing, for instance, how the SDG -- the sustainable development goals could be better implemented.
And so emphasizing spaces for those kinds of conversations are really important.
In addition -- in addition, I just wanted to add that, of course, emphasizing youth participation at the -- both within NRIs as well as at the global IGF is incredibly important.
And one idea that I -- when I was listening especially to Anriette and to Mike Nelson speak, was perhaps it would be good for the MAG to encourage some people that are submitting sessions to incorporate new stakeholders or voices that are not necessarily heard as much within that public policy issue that they want to discuss.
So with that said, I'll give the floor back again. Thank you very much for all of your work. And I look very forward to being incredibly engaged in the upcoming IGF process.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Thank you, Michael. Appreciate your comments. You've had sort of a different introduction and road to some of the IGF work than many of us in the room. So I think it's really helpful.
Next we have Haojun, an incoming MAG member, in the queue. You have the floor.
>> HAOJUN JI: Thank you, Madam Chair. My name is Ji Haojun. Ji is my family name. I work here in China's permanent mission in Geneva representing the Chinese government. As an incoming MAG member, I actually don't have much to say right now because I'm just at the starting point of the learning curve. And I'm ready to learn from all of you.
The reason I take the floor is I just want to say hello to everybody in the room and to the guys on the line.
Secondly is that I just want to congratulate you, Madam Chair, on your reappointment.
And, thirdly, I want to ask some small logistical question to Mr. Chengetai.
Firstly that why we only have French interpretation, we don't have Chinese, Russian, Arabic, and other U.N. official language in this meeting?
The second thing is that I'm surprised that our colleagues can take records so quickly. Maybe we're using voice recognition system. But I find this -- the transcript very useful. I don't know if we can download the transcript online, in case there's sometime we are absent from the meeting we can check what happened afterward. Thank you very much.
>>CHENGETAI MASANGO: Yes. The reason why we only have French and English at the moment is just because of -- it's a financial issue. We don't have that much money to offer all six languages. All six languages would cost us around about $14,000 U.S. So French and English are the working languages of Geneva. So that's why we use that.
We would like to offer all six languages, but it just depends on the money that we have in our trust fund.
And for the transcription, yes, it's not artificial intelligence. Actually we have two people who are in San Francisco, I think it is. And they are listening to us via Skype. And they transpose.
Yes, it is available for download quite soon. I think it's in two sessions. After lunch if you wait for about an hour, you can download it. And then also in the evening, then there's going to be the full day's, which is available on the Web site to download. Thank you.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: And it is possible to join the live stream. It should be. Yeah.
>>CHENGETAI MASANGO: Yes, yes. There is a link on the Web site. So if you want to then -- once -- if it's crawling, then you can save that file as well and then you can have it immediately. So there's various options. But it is available on our Web site to download in various manners, forms.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Before we go to the next in the queue, I mean, you know, it may seem easy to say we're not doing something because we are limited by money. I really would encourage people to come to the informational informal donors meeting. The IGF runs on a very, very, very tight budget. In fact, the project document that drives this plan would look for sort of a doubling of resources and additional services. And we just don't have the funds for it.
So one of the things we will be doing over the course of the year is looking for more support, whether that's financial or some in-kind activities. But I think it would be really informative to come to the lunchtime session. It's probably about an hour, I would guess. And Armin is certainly looking forward to seeing everybody there.
Did you have a follow-up? Follow-up and then we will go to the next presenter.
>> HAOJUN JI: Chair, I don't want to make myself a nuisance. I fully understand that we don't have enough money and to save money. I myself is concerned we can go without any interpretation, although we have a large audience in China who may be watching the live streaming of our meeting.
But, you know, if we have French interpretation only, that will create a big political problem. That will be something that we are discriminating other languages because all six official languages of the U.N. are all equal. And we should not discriminate one against each other. Thank you.
>>CHENGETAI MASANGO: Fully understood. We'll take another look at it and get back to you. Thank you.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Thank you.
Next in the queue, I believe we have Lianna. Online participant.
>> LIANNA GALSTYAN: Hello, everyone. My name is Lianna Galstyan. I'm the member of the organizing committee for the Armenian IGF.
We have very lively discussion in the WebEx chat mentioning that the intersessional NRIs were really the highlights of the IGF in Mexico.
Since we have a (indiscernible) the NRIs, which was mentioned, which was coordinated to have here for the first time.
I would like to speak a little bit about the newcomers track. It was really very good to have a separate session for those who first time are at the IGF and don't know where to start from. With so many sessions and trends, it can be very difficult not to feel lost if not such a track were designed so that all stakeholders, representatives are met with newcomers and explore more on who they are and how they are involved and collaborate in the stakeholder world.
I really appreciate the secretariat effort on these, and would like it to be continued for the 2017 cycle as well. Thank you.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Thank you, Lianna.
I think is Shita next in the queue?
>> ANJA GENGO: Shita Laksmi asks me to read a comment. I think it is necessary to acknowledge the NRIs as the story from Nigeria is very inspiring. Indonesia is planning to do more outreach in its Indonesian IGF. But the focus of IGF is too far from reality on the ground. This will make an impact on the choice of the team. Perhaps SDGs is too far. Perhaps we need something more on the ground.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: I think that's an interesting point. Maybe we can hear a little bit more about it later because obviously one of the things the NRIs do have is access to local conditions and environment and priorities and resources, which is why they're so important. We don't hold these global meetings just to produce papers. It really is to make a difference on the ground. And we need to find a way to get the work out more locally and more deeply. So look forward to hearing some more on those comments as well.
Next we have France. I'm sorry, I don't know your name. If you could introduce yourself.
>>FREDERIC PARUTA: Yes, good morning or good afternoon. I'm Frederic Paruta from the French mission here in Geneva. I raised my flag for the issue of the use of languages was raised. That will not be a political problem for France if only French was used during the meetings.
But my remark was to second my Chinese colleague on the multilingualism. I'm glad our host -- the Swiss hosts are here so I can convey the same message I conveyed earlier, that we -- it would be great if as the IGF would be based in Geneva we would use the U.N. rules as much as possible and use of the official languages would be great. I don't know if the Swiss government can do this. We would be very happy. Thank you.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Thank you, Frederic.
Do we have another online? Sharada?
>> SHARADA SRINIVASAN: Am I audible? I'm just trying to check.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Yes, we can hear you.
>> SHARADA SRINIVASAN: Hello. Thank you for the floor, Madam Chair. I would like to congratulate you and the new MAG for the appointment and would like to take this opportunity to commend on last year's IGF and think we can learn from it. I specifically wanted to focus on two aspects of it. The first of it had to do with the intersessional work. The second had to do with IGF youth.
On intersessional work, I felt that the IGF did amazing intersessional work last year that we had the opportunity -- that I had the opportunity to personally contribute both to the best practice forums as well as the dynamic coalitions as well as the work that the NRIs do which I want to point out -- as has been pointed out many times before are truly inspiring.
I think that moving forward there should be more coordination/collaboration between different work streams in intersessional work in the sense that I think there is -- there might be opportunities for collaboration between work dynamic coalitions are doing and specific meetings that the NRIs are having on issues that are relevant either to the best practice forums or the dynamic coalitions.
I do know that the BPF on gender tried to do, like, an offline session at the IGF. I think sessions of that nature can be quite useful when relevant at specific local meetings. It takes forward the point that Shita made earlier about going more local, the issue that we do, like, discuss online.
The other thing that I wanted to note about intersessional work is that I believe that they can be better opportunities for dissemination of outputs. I mentioned this earlier as well at the meeting in Mexico. But I think we need to think more about how we disseminate these outputs. And I believe we need to long beyond just long written reports.
And I think we are making steps in that direction. I think -- I hope we continue to do so in this year.
The second thing that I wanted to mention was about the IGF youth. I was an Amazon fellow at 2015 IGF. And I think that the youth are a critical demographic for the IGF to flourish and function. And I believe that outreach activities to the youth should be encouraged, enhanced, and the newcomers track is one step in that direction.
But I often feel like we are focusing too much on having youth presence and not as much on encouraging youth participation or even taking youth participation from the IGF to their local context and encouraging that sort of activity.
I believe that focusing on participation more than just presence moving forward might be very helpful. Thank you for the floor.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Thank you, Sharada.
I don't see anybody else in the queue at the moment. I could tee up two possible subjects. One might take someone by surprise. I'll come to you in a moment, Cristina.
One is whether or not Rasha would be willing do a sort of ten-minute introduction into some of the changes that are being considered as part of the workshop evaluation process, which might make the document a little easier. That's obviously a critical piece that depends on kind of community support, and it needs to work for the community. I said that might take you by surprise.
I'm not sure if you are prepared to do that.
The other one is potentially a short conversation on BPFs. This past year we had four. IPv6, Internet exchange points, both of those I believe are indicating they think their work is done for the moment and are not looking for a BPF on those two subject matters going forward. Again, that's what I'm hearing from some of the leaders and members of the group. That will be determined finally tomorrow by the MAG. But if there's any thoughts in the community on that.
And I think we have also seen two specific requests or expectations or beliefs that there is enough work in BPFs around gender issues and cybersecurity that those would move forward next year. Again, this is to try to get some additional feedback to the MAG.
I will go to Cristina, and then the floor is open for people to take it in whatever direction you would like.
Cristina, you have the floor.
>>CRISTINA MONTI: Thank you, Lynn. Cristina Monti, European Commission.
First of all, congratulations to you, Chair, for your reelection, and to the -- to all MAG members and welcome on board for the new ones.
I will try to be brief because I don't want to repeat many of the things that have already been said, and also, we submitted a written contribution with some of our thoughts.
I just would like to also take this opportunity to -- on behalf of the European Commission to wholeheartedly thank the Mexican hosts, the MAG, the IGF secretariat, and the wide community of participants who altogether contributed to making last year's IGF a success. The meeting ran smoothly with a positive and constructive mood.
The European Commission actively participated as a sign of its continued commitment and support of the multistakeholder approach to Internet governance which is embodied by the IGF, and this was also attested by the participation of 12 members of the European parliament. This was the biggest ever delegation sent to the IGF.
At the end of the meeting, they issued a statement which you can find on line where they called for clear rules and respect for rights and liberties on the Internet.
As a follow-up, in -- on the 25th of January, there was an exchange of views among members of the European parliament, the European Commission, and European business and civil society representatives in the European parliament in Brussels, and this was an event organized under the auspices of the European Internet Forum.
The European Commission welcomes the strong emphasis of this IGF on the international cooperation and strategic partnership to bridge digital divides and address global Internet governance challenges.
The theme of the event, which was "Enabling Inclusive and Sustainable Growth," reflected well global discussions around the 2030 agenda for sustainable development, and given the work of the European Union in this area, digital for development, this theme offered the opportunity to raise awareness of ongoing work and to engage with potential partners.
So the meeting confirmed once more IGF's unique role as an open multistakeholder forum and as a neutral place for discussion.
However, looking ahead for challenges ahead of us, we have to be mindful, as well, that over the last few years, there has been a growth in the number and quality of meetings dealing with various aspects of Internet governance, so in a way, there is much more competition out there and we have to be mindful of that.
At the same time, we should consider ways to fully exploit the wealth of documents which now are produced by the IGF and couple this with an effective outreach strategy.
We think this is really essential.
We are very glad, finally, that Switzerland has volunteered to host the next edition of the IGF in Geneva. As has been already said by many, the city undoubtedly offers many advantages.
At the same time, we should not underestimate that it is an expensive city and also that the dates are really close to the winter season and holidays.
So maybe a way to address this is to really focus on having a very attractive program, maybe also highlighting the economic impact of Internet governance, because we think that in addition to attracting more government representatives, we should also attract more business representatives beyond the usual suspects.
And therefore, we stand ready also to help in any way as possible to make sure that the IGF continues to be a valuable forum.
Thank you very much.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Thank you, Cristina.
I have three more people in the queue now, and then I want to leave a little bit of time before we go to lunch for some comments from Thomas.
So we will go to Alejandra and then Virginia, both participating on line.
And I want to thank everybody that is participating on line. I think it's been a really good participation. I know it's not always the easiest.
I also want to recognize the secretariat for making this process actually quite smooth, and I'm very happy that I can actually call on online participants by their name, not by a generic "Online Participant."
So Alejandra, you have the floor.
>>ALEJANDRA ERRAMUSPE: Can you hear me?
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: We can, yes.
>>ALEJANDRA ERRAMUSPE: I'm Alejandra Erramuspe from the Uruguayan government. First of all, I want to congratulate Lynn and all MAG members, the new and those who continue.
I want to note about IGF participation in the last IGF in Guadalajara, which had an excellent participation from Latin America.
I'm worried about the future participation in the next IGF. I think we -- all of you, I suppose, (indiscernible) important to the development and the strength of the IGF process, so we have to care about it.
We are doing a big effort at the national and regional level with the help of Marilyn and Anja and (indiscernible) initiatives. I hope these will continue.
I encourage us to continue this effort and in the next IGFs we have a very (indiscernible) presence for all over the world, for the -- all the community.
And then second, I want to support the issue about languages that our colleagues speak before.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Thank you very much. Next in the queue is Virginia.
>>GINGER PAQUE: Good morning, everyone. This is Ginger Paque. I'm with DiploFoundation and I'm in my third year on the MAG.
I echo, but will not repeat, the same congratulations and welcomes to everyone, but much appreciated.
I will go directly to one specific point because I see we are dealing very well with other issues.
This may be considered by some to be a tech issue, and those of you who know me may be quite sure I'm going to speak about remote participation, which I am.
This is not just a tech issue, but is an overarching issue for inclusion, which is why I really appreciate the emphasis and attention Chengetai, our chair, Lynn, who has made enormous strides, Luis Bobo, and the whole IGF team have made to give importance, attention, time, and resources to improving remote and online participation.
The problem is that we need to work at it -- now that we have more of the background and underlying issues taken care of, we need to work on it ourselves from a human resource and human strategy.
We need to have -- as Mike Nelson and many others and many who improved and suggested new formats for workshops, we must make sure that at least some of these new workshop formats include remote and online participation.
It's really good to energize and make all of these dynamic with a small group and breakout groups, but we do have to remember that we have sometimes as large an online community as we do in situ, and we have to make clear how we will generate inclusion and participation and engagement for online participants.
If this is not possible -- for instance, in Mexico, sometimes there were great breakout groups which allow for brainstorming and a lot of participation in the room -- it should be clear that there will not be online participation for these sessions.
So perhaps we need to recognize that some sessions won't have online participation or won't facilitate a facilitated or won't be practical and let people know before they set up their -- and plan on and prepare their excitement and channel their energy to attending a session.
On this -- at the same time, one of the things we need to do when we take this energy to design new formats is to take advantage of the energy from on line participants and specifically use them, design a session that actually takes advantage of the opportunity, not just the challenge, of online participation.
A couple other things that I think might help is that we definitely need to develop some guidelines for clear communication on queues and better communication -- perhaps we can ask the tech team from the IGF or other people who have had success in this area to make sure that we have really good communication between the remote participation moderators and the panel moderators so that the same queues and the updated queues are apparent to both, that they're working together in real time, not passing lists. I'm wondering if we can find a better solution, and someone who is here or someone who reads the transcript may have a solution to that.
Another thing that might really help is that when the MAG and others who collaborate review workshop proposals and MAG members make detailed feedback on the proposals explaining why we have concerns about a proposal, that this feedback be given to the workshop organizers so they know what reaction we had when we read their proposals, and the suggestions we had for improvement are actually given to the workshop organizers. This is a very easy -- well, easy for me to say. I'm hoping that somehow the data generated from our feedback to the -- to -- and our evaluation of the workshop proposals could be translated into some kind of product and delivered to the workshop organizers.
Obviously, remote participation is working. You know, it's very early morning on a cold winter day in Wisconsin and I'm participating. I appreciate your listening and I appreciate being able to engage in this meeting. Thank you very much.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Ginger, thank you for your comments. They're always very helpful. And it's funny. When I saw your name come up as "Virginia," I didn't actually immediately think of you.
You had also suggested on the MAG working group list, which I'm not sure I actually included the new MAG members at that point because that was announced only yesterday, that we might actually bring forward a working group on online participation, and I think a lot of what you've just suggested would be an excellent place to help move some of that forward, but, again, that's something we will take up in the -- in the MAG meeting.
I have two more people in the queue. I would ask them to keep their remarks quite short and then we will close with some final comments from Thomas.
So Moedjiono, you have the floor.
>>MOEDJIONO SARDJOENI: Hello. Okay. Thank you. My name is Moedjiono from Indonesia.
I would like to assert three parts.
First one is as others, I would like to congratulate Mexico as previous host country in Guadalajara. It was all very, very successful.
The second thing is also congratulations for the next -- for the new MAG members. Welcome and have a good discussion here.
Give us a very kind of good idea for the next IGF meeting is very important for us.
The third thing is I'd like to propose a kind of next IGF topic. It must be to boost the next development of the Internet governance concept because it is going to be hosted in Geneva, as WSIS and IGF are start of development. Okay. Thank you.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Thank you, Moedjiono.
We have Kaoru Mizuno. I hope I'm pronouncing that name correctly. An online? You have the floor.
Kaoru Mizuno, you have the floor.
>>KAORU MIZUNO: Can you hear me?
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Yes, we can hear you know.
>>KAORU MIZUNO: Yes. Thank you very much. My name is Kaoru Mizuno from ITU. I'm speaking in my capacity as the secretariat of DCAD, which stands for Dynamic Coalition on Accessibility and Disability.
Firstly, I'd like to congratulate you on your appointment as the chair of the IGF.
Then I also would like to congratulate the new MAG members.
Also, I thank the IGF secretariat for the efficient organization of the meetings.
DCAD is working to facilitate interaction between relevant bodies and to ensure that ICT accessibility for persons with disabilities and those with specific needs is included in the discussions around Internet governance.
DCAD aims to help create a future where all individuals have equal access to the opportunities through ICT.
As one of the outputs from DCAD, DCAD accessibility guidelines are submitted to the IGF secretariat to improve the accessibility of the IGF meetings.
The guidelines cover the accessibility considerations, including, but not limited to, venue, technology, provision of information, remote participation covered in facility, registration, transport, accommodation, and staff training.
The guidelines are being updated to cover other issues and to meet the rapidly changing environment.
We know IGF meetings have very well improved. Also, in terms of access- -- also, in terms of accessibility, we have captioning and accessibility services, but we would like to remind you of our guidelines, which should be considered when you prepare organizing the IGF this year as well.
We believe the guidelines will help recall some of the accessibility issues. All were raised by accessibility experts and representatives of persons -- and persons with disabilities participating in DCAD.
Finally, ITU is glad to provide continued support, and within ITU we have progressed in developing standards that facilitate the use of ICTs for persons with disabilities as well as helping developing training and guidance materials for developing countries in implementing provisions of the U.N. (indiscernible). These activities are inclusive of persons with disabilities and of associations representing them and we do our best to provide the necessary accessibility accommodations to allow their participation. Thank you very much.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Thank you very much.
So I want to move to Thomas now, before we break for lunch, and then just remind everybody that we will be coming back after lunch, and the rest of the day is also open consultations. So I do hope everybody will come back, and we'll have an announcement at the end about the lunchtime session too. But Thomas, you have the floor.
>>THOMAS SCHNEIDER: Thank you. Just a few remarks.
First of all, thanks, everybody, for this very valuable input, and we've been listening very, very closely and I would agree with everybody who said that we can learn and build on Mexico and Guadalajara in many ways. Not just the hospitality and all that goes with it, but also in terms of things that have been done that have not been done before.
Like, for instance, one of my favorites was this session space outside in the open where people could just organize meetings on a lower, let's say, entry threshold, and as -- being one of the smokers, it happened to me several times that just because standing there, I was actually drawn into the discussion and listening to it because it was just there.
So we're trying to find ways to accommodate for something like that with our climate that we will have, which -- which will definitely not work in December in Geneva, but that was one of the elements and there were a number of others that were innovative and I think worked very well.
So -- and we are also -- we're already in contact with our Mexican friends about learning what they did, how they got these fabulous volunteers and how -- what they used them for and see to what extent we can also benefit from that experience. I stopped counting the list.
One remark that is a personal one which is very dear to me is about what -- I think it was Mike or somebody else who started this -- about -- and Jim also referred to it -- about the size of panels.
I've been involved in EuroDIG since its beginning and we're also having the same problem. We're trying to reduce panels. We've managed occasionally to have sessions with no panels. One, for instance, in Belgrade in 2011 on social media where we decided we have -- we will just have two moderators and we -- of course you need to have some names, some VIP names that people think, "If they are there, I need to be there as well" and so on and so forth, but we called them key participants or something like that and nobody was sitting on the panel. They were all sitting in the audience.
And it worked excellently. We had a great interactive discussion with a lot of young people as well.
And what we did on the Swiss national IGF, we just told the Swiss national people that, "This is part of the IGF logic that there are no panelists, so you won't have any panelists. You audience will be the panelists."
And since most of them haven't been to the global IGF, they believed us.
So what we did is we had like -- in every session, we're having one or two five-minute entry statements, and then just two moderators, and the panel is the audience, and it works perfectly. We've been doing this for three years.
So if anybody wants to know more about how we do this, I'm happy to -- and other people who are participating in the Swiss IGF are happy to share that experience.
It works and people love it because you get to hear from people that were not there to take up the floor because they are not sitting on the panel and so on and so forth, and we get inputs, for instance, from the people from the Swiss Railway Corporation on data and privacy issues that we didn't even know that they were thinking about and so on and so forth. So this is reality excellent.
Just one or two other elements. One is SDGs. SDGs are basically to us at least the fundament of everything we do. The question is how to frame it, how to make it understandable or break it down to, let's say, everyday life things.
We had in Switzerland, led by our development cooperation, a so-called baseline assessment on the 169 or whatever the themes are. And my office contributed some Ds and DDs and DDDs to this where we think digitization has a key impact on all of the SDGs. And actually the number is quite high on that clear link.
So it's just a question of how to frame and how to present it. It's clear to us that the SDGs is one of the underlying logic of the IGF and all the dialogue and all of the activities that we have.
And the last thing, which is something I have to mention, of course, this discussion about Geneva being expensive. If you go to a restaurant and order a beer or a Coke or whatever you order and a pizza, yes, it is expensive compared to other places. If you make the full calculation, including travel costs, flights, taxis to go from A to B and whatever you may have in other areas, in particular with the flights, if you calculate all the costs of people going to Joao Pessoa, to use my Brazilian friends, I'm not sure which one would actually be cheaper in the end. So I think you should try and make the full cost calculation when considering what is expensive or more expensive and less expensive. I'm not so sure Geneva is the most expensive place to get to. Also, if you look at hotel prices, I can name you at least ten other cities in Europe and probably another 30 in the whole world where meetings happen very often where you will not find cheaper hotels than in Geneva.
And good thing about mid December or second half of December is hotel -- go on your hotel booking Web sites -- prices are fairly low during that period. That was another reason why we think this period is not so bad.
I'll stop here. And I can go into more details about this issue for many more minutes, but I will stop here and will wish you a good lunch and see you again then in the afternoon. Thank you.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Thank you, Thomas.
We're breaking for lunch now. We have this informal presentation on the donors meeting. It will take place in this room so that there is -- I think we're actually Webcasting as well if people want to participate remotely. I'm not sure about that. But I will give everybody a few seconds to think about it.
We would propose to come back at 2:00 to do that. That means that if you're not interested in that presentation, you can either sit here in the room with the presentation going on in the background. But please don't try and schedule other meetings in this room over that presentation. We've had this happen in past years, and it just -- it doesn't work for anybody. It doesn't work for the smaller meetings, and it certainly doesn't work for the meeting that's scheduled here. So 2:00 back in the room if you are interested, understand a little bit more about the IGF Trust Fund and the project document which defines the resources and the budget for the IGF. That will be here at 2:00. And then we will start the afternoon session promptly at 3:00. We'll start that with the session on updates from related Internet governance initiatives. So thank you very much.
Hope everybody has a good lunch or good breakfast or whatever is the appropriate meal of the day depending on where you might be located.
[ Lunch break ]
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Deep breath. I know that was a pretty sombering -- maybe next time we'll actually do it at the beginning of the lunch hour so people can go away and have their lunch and come back here.
We are at the point in the agenda where we're looking to receive updates from related Internet governance initiatives on their processes, followed by open discussion on possible activities or points of collaboration. I said there were a couple of entities that had specifically asked or sort of through the usual practices are listed here as wanting to take the floor. It is absolutely open to any comments from people either physically here in the room or online. It wasn't meant to be restricted to the four or five activities that are there.
Again, the same kind of protocols as this morning. The priority is for community members. We will run a queue and participants will be slotted this that queue whether they are in the room or online when your request to take the floor is acknowledged.
So with that, I will open it up. Thank you, Aida.
>>AIDA MAHMUTOVIC: So again, my name is Aida for the record talking on behalf of Southeastern Europe Dialogue of Internet Governance, which is a subregional IGF initiative recognized by the United Nations-led Internet Governance Forum.
And this year we will hold a third annual meeting, 24th and 25th of May, 2017, in Ohrid, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia.
The program of the meeting is currently being built by the SEEDIG community in a bottom-up, open, inclusive, and transparent manner. It will include a pre-event which will be happening on the 24th of May focused on capacity development and a main event on the 25th of May featuring discussions and topics such as human rights online, the Internet of Things, cybersecurity, and the IDNs.
A SEEDIG youth school is also planned for this year, and this is the first time the region is actually getting this opportunity for youth on Internet-related issues. It will include a half-day meeting, half-day event, on the 24th of May preceded by online preparation meeting with selected participants.
Meeting fellowship program has also been launched. So currently we have two calls launched with an aim to support individuals from the region to attend this meeting and to overall strengthen the SEEDIG community.
In addition to the annual meeting, SEEDIG is also engaged in intersessional activities. Sorry. One such activity is Internet governance development in southeastern Europe, which is undertaken in collaboration with DiploFoundation and the Geneva Internet Platform, the GIP. It has two components which are monthly summaries of Internet governance and digital policy developments in the region and monthly briefings focusing on digital challenges in the region.
So far we have published six monthly summaries and held five hub meetings.
And, also, as it continues to grow, SEEDIG is exploring additional types of intersessional activities. Examples include surveys on Internet governance, compilations of good practices related to specific Internet governance issues such as management of country codes top-level domains, for example, the roadmap with possible solutions for addressing Internet-related challenges identified by the community.
We are now in the process of building a survey on IDNs whose results will feed into the SEEDIG 2017 meeting. We also want to say here that we are continuing to work on strengthening linkages between SEEDIG and EuroDIG and also that we have regular meeting with national IGFs from our region, and there will be a session about it at the Ohrid meeting. Thank you.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Thank you, Aida.
Are there no other immediately -- Segun, you have the floor.
>>SEGUN OLUGBILE: Okay. Thank you once again. I would like to brief us concerning what we are doing in Nigeria on Internet governance initiative evolution. Nigerian Internet Governance Forum has come up to the (indiscernible) of where we now have the ministers and the officials of government taking the output of the Nigerian governance into the mainstream of the national policy.
Just last year, 2016, we had the honorable minister of communication actually set up a working group on the -- on the various recommendation that came up from the NIGF process.
Now, I can tell you that working group has -- inter-agencies working group cuts across agency in charge of the communication on the -- sorry, in charge of the telecommunication and agency in charge of the information technology development agency. Then we have the other agency which has to do Nigerian telecommunication. They are looking at how they can look at the various recommendations and infuse it into the national process.
Then we also have the School of Internet Governance and the Internet Governance Academy by the Nigeria Digital Institute is being set up. And I'm also aware that the Center for Internet Governance and Cybersecurity is also based out of -- by a university in partnership with the local NGO, the Global Network for Cybersolution. At the same time, we have Nigerian Internet Governance Forum being part of it.
Now, what I'm trying to say is that the Nigerian Internet Governance Forum is evolving, and various stakeholders are taking responsibility most especially in the areas of capacity-building and research. As we move forward toward 2017, the federal government of Nigeria has spurred interest to ensure that the outcome of the process becomes part of the policy development issues. Thank you.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Thank you, Segun.
Next in the queue we have Cristina, European Commission.
>> CRISTINA MONTI: Thank you, Chair. And thank you for the opportunity to provide a broad update on the European Commission's activities of relevance for Internet governance. I hope these remarks might be helpful for the MAG in providing maybe some inspiration in terms of themes and topics for next IGF and also maybe for the future additions.
As you might know, the European Union approach to Internet governance remains the promotion of a world where the Internet is firmly onward in the defense of human rights and democratic values -- (no audio).
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Cristina, can you press your mic again?
>> CRISTINA MONTI: I was just recalling the general E.U. approach to Internet governance and the promotion of a world where the Internet is firmly onward in the defense of human rights and democratic values and where the same rights that where people enjoy offline are also to be enjoyed online.
So an open, stable, and robust Internet accessible to all is essential for the development of the digital economy and for citizens' empowerment.
The impact of digital technologies has been huge also from the economic point of view. Over the past decade, digital technologies have contributed to around a third of GDP growth in the E.U., and the digital economy is developing rapidly worldwide. It is one of the main drivers for innovation, competitiveness, and growth, and it holds huge potential for entrepreneurs and small- and medium-sized enterprises all over the world.
In Europe, what we are doing now, we are working at modernizing our digital rules in the context of the completion of the digital single market.
You might know that in the E.U., we have the single market, and this means that we have a free movement of people, goods, capitals, and services.
What we still do not have is the free flow of data, which is now a crucial component of the digital single market.
That lies at the core of the fourth industrial revolution and the E.U. is working at the transition towards a modern data economy.
This is, of course, also related to trust. If we want to make most out of data, everyone must feel confident that their data is protected. Increasing trust and security is, therefore, critical, and this is why we also proposed last January to update our rules on privacy in the digital environment, so ePrivacy.
And actually, a recent survey in Europe has shown that the confidentiality of emails and instant messaging is an important concern for 92% of Europeans.
The international landscape, at the same time, is changing quickly. We know that the next billion of users are going to come from emerging economies, and therefore we are adding a strong digital flavor into E.U. development assistance. This will have an impact because the E.U. is the largest donor in the world.
So from our perspective, in 2017 discussions in Europe but also internationally and with the global community will continue on many still unresolved issues.
In the face of rising and worrying phenomena such as cybercrime, hate speech, fake news, stakeholders will have to engage in complex discussions on issues such as the interplay of privacy, data protection, freedom of expression, security, the fight against criminal and illegal activities on line, as well as the jurisdictional challenges posed by the Internet which, as we all know, goes beyond national borders.
At the same time, the Internet is in continuous evolution. We might actually only have seen the very initial stages, and the developments in the years to come will bring even more transformative phenomena in our societies and economies. Let's just think about the Internet of Things, artificial intelligence, or blockchain technologies.
For sure, we will be discussing all of these issues at the European dialogue on Internet governance that will take place in June, and maybe Sandra might be willing to provide some additional information on that.
In order to address all these challenges, Internet governance discussions will have to enter into a new phase and show the necessary maturity.
In these discussions, it is very important to have a clear vision of the Internet we want for ourselves but also for the future generations, and this is why the European Commission is launching an ambitious initiative, which is called the next-generation Internet, with the aim of shaping an Internet for humans, an Internet that holds people and their needs at its core, and it is really to bring together research and policy perspectives.
Of course these discussions are quite complex, in particular, as stakeholders have to engage in a multiplicity of dimensions.
In order to develop capacity, raise awareness, and create cooperation opportunities, the European Commission is working at the creation of the Global Internet Policy Observatory, or GIPO. Many of you might be familiar with this tool because in the past I was also invited to provide a short update on this tool.
GIPO is a practical tool to help stakeholders -- in particular, those with limited resources -- to understand and engage in Internet governance issues. Now, the project is pretty well advanced. An online platform and an interactive dashboard to visualize information are publicly available. The tool relies a lot on automation. It is an automated tool that compiles and analyzes information on Internet policy development from online sources, including social media, and makes this information available to the community for further use.
I invite you to visit the tool, if you don't -- if you're still not familiar with it. You will find it at observatory.giponet.org.
All core features have now been developed and we are in the process of fine-tuning the tool and of further promoting it and engaging in cooperation with other observatories, as well as with NRIs.
So national and regional initiatives who would like to enrich their Web site with additional features are welcome to connect to GIPO.
And actually, we are planning to hold a dedicated Webinar for NRIs to provide an overview of the possibilities they have to use the functionalities of GIPO.
So I would like also to highlight that this tool has been developed with the idea of providing a concrete contribution for the global Internet community, and from our perspective, the IGF would be the ideal house to host such a tool, given the role that the IGF is -- the recognized role of the IGF in the Internet governance ecosystem.
And the IGF could really further amplify the benefits of such a tool to the advantage of the IGF broader community, and so in this sense, the European Commission would be happy to hand over GIPO to the IGF secretariat as an in-kind contribution.
So I thank you very much for your attention and I hope that these remarks might be useful in advancing the work and the preparation for the next IGF meeting. Thank you.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Cristina, thank you. And let me take this opportunity to thank the European Commission, too, for their support in so many of the different Internet governance activities, both at a regional and a global level, As you mentioned earlier, the very impressive delegation that you actually had at the IGF in Mexico. So now you now have a new standard to beat for this year's IGF.
Next in the queue, we have Marilyn Cade, and we have a few other folks in the queue as well. I just want to remind everybody that this is the section where we're looking for updates from related Internet governance initiatives or organizations, and this is certainly to just make the community aware of these particular topics, and then we can move them forward at an appropriate point for additional discussion and possible collaboration efforts.
So Chengetai is running the queue. There's five or six folks in the queue now.
Sorry. Marilyn, you have the floor.
>>MARILYN CADE: Thank you. I'll just make two quick points.
First of all, I will very briefly update about the IGF USA, but what I would ask, Chair, is: We do have a more detailed, but short, PowerPoint update about the NRIs that Anja has prepared, and perhaps after you go through the other contributions, it would be possible for her to quickly go through those, since not everyone is as familiar as perhaps some of us are.
Very quickly about the IGF USA, it was launched in 2009 and has continued since. It has a somewhat unique structure, in that the steering group is totally open to anyone who is interested in contributing to the planning and the development.
This year, we -- we have always tried to integrate youth, but in different ways. We have a standing relationship with Elon University's "Imagining The Internet" that in the past has come with a team of nine to 12 young people and they're media professors and have provided very professional-level reporting on the IGF USA's activities.
We will be trying to relaunch a youth -- an integration of youth to develop workshops and also provide speakers, and we are trying to experiment again with perhaps some remote hubs or lead-in events.
The reason I wanted to take the floor is that in 2015 we held a very unique town hall on the WSIS+10 because even as rich in resources as we may be in the United States, with think-tanks and academics and business experts and civil society, it was really not well understood, and so we did a kind of a town hall consultation on WSIS+10. Last year, 2016, we did a plenary session focused on connecting the next billion that tied that topic to the relevant two SDGs in a very high-level way.
And I just want to say that, you know, right now the planning is just beginning, the target date is mid-July, and we'll be continuing to work along with other of the NRIs in contributing through the two coordinators and the chairs into the work of the NRIs.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Thank you, Marilyn. I'm not quite sure if you were asking for the NRI video now or at the end of this current speaker queue.
>>MARILYN CADE: I would suggest that it come off the other speakers, with ICANN and others, if that would be possible.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Certainly possible.
What we have in the queue at the moment, I'll just read out the next three or four so that people can be prepared. We have Lori Schulman, who I think is participating on line. Then we have Sharada. We have Derek O'Halloran from the World Economic Forum and we have Roxana from Diplo. We have Sandra from EuroDIG. We have Nigel, Arnold, Giacomo from EBU, and Mark Carvell from the U.K., and -- oh, and Markus Kummer.
Okay. Well, let's go with that. It doesn't prevent other people from being -- and Lee. We'll put you on there as well.
It doesn't prevent more people from coming in, but that was just to give people a sort of sense of who's in the queue and where we're going from here. So Lori, you have the floor.
>>ELEONORA ANNA MAZZUCCHI: So Lori has actually asked that we read her statement out loud because she's having some connectivity problems, so I'll go ahead and do that.
Madam Chair and IGF secretariat, members of the MAG and my fellow colleagues, thank you for allowing this statement to be read as I cannot be there in person and my Internet connection has been intermittent today.
INTA appreciates the opportunity to participate in the public consultation and to further the success of the IGF. We support the earlier comments made by Ginger and Thomas regarding the importance of remote participation and for creating open, flexible, and collegial spaces for exchanging ideas for those in the face-to-face meetings.
With regard to remote participation, we believe that remote participation will stimulate much more private sector and civil society participation. Currently, there are many private sectors that do not prioritize U.N. efforts for a variety of reasons. One of these reasons is that the Internet governance initiatives are still not well understood. We have to do a better job of capacity-building in terms of making the case for grassroots involvement. The average business person or non-profit leader does not know how to make the connection between IGF discussions and the impact on their daily operations. That is our biggest challenge as leaders in this space, to figure out how to make engagement meaningful across sectors in order to encourage the kind of sustainable growth that is envisioned by the SDGs.
Our thoughts are that if we can get more private sector and civil society participants at least involved remotely, it may spur attendance at face-to-face meetings and ultimately an investment of development projects. Of course, we would have to engage in some targeted evaluation and follow-up to prove the theory is true.
Trips to IGF locations require planning and special budget requests. Corporate, non-profit budgets are typically set a year in advance. This makes participation even for large companies very challenging, for small and emerging businesses and non-profits nearly impossible. Remote engagement can close this gap and may inspire certain private sector and certain civil society actors to plan for future face-to-face dialogue and project sponsorship.
One suggestion we put forth, provided funding could be raised, is to have a global remote IGF intersessional. Perhaps a pre-meeting, warm-up event several months before. If not in 2017, perhaps 2018.
Also, engaging more trade associations like INTA and collective interest groups like ISOC may also stimulate involvement rather than aiming for individual involvement.
Perhaps create a list of such non-profit organizations and target them for participation, either remotely or in person. INTA would be happy to assist in that effort.
With regard to the lightning sessions, INTA thanks the IGF and the MAG for opening up this experience to those who scored well enough with their proposals to merit a session.
They allowed for a wonderful diversity of topics in a collegial setting. We strongly support their continuance. They're a great way to engage particularly for IGF newcomers who may not have a familiarity with the depth or breadth of what the IGF has to offer.
For old timers, it afforded an opportunity to listen to new subjects in way that would support further engagement should interest and time permit.
Regarding next year's lightning sessions, we would recommend that we would make sure that we have a consistent name for them. We were confused as to whether the appropriate terminology was "lightning session" or "corner session," as we saw different signs posted in the same location. Allow for at least 30 days' notice rather than two weeks' notice for preparation or have a separate lightning session application process.
Advertise more before and during the IGF meeting. Continue to conduct them in a prominent open location so people can drop in but may not happen so close to a venue where music is playing or there is a lunchtime cafeteria area.
Ensure that each session organizer has a designated rapporteur before the session starts. There was some confusion about this in Mexico.
Thank you for your consideration of our intervention. We look forward to another successful IGF.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Thank you, Eleonora, Lori. I think the next participant is actually Sharada, online as well.
For those of you that have just joined us, the online participants come better if you use the microphones.
>> SHARADA SRINIVASAN: I'm just checking if my microphone -- Am I heard?
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Yes, we can hear you. Go ahead.
>>SHARADA SRINIVASAN: Thank you. Thank you for the floor, Madam Chair.
My name is Sharada Srinivasan. I'm a research fellow at the University of Pennsylvania, Centre for Technology, Innovation, and Competition. And I'd like to take this opportunity to provide an update on One World Connected, a research project that is housed at the CTIC but also engages with the IGF through the dynamic coalition on innovative approaches to connecting the unconnected.
2017 is the year that -- that is widely recognized as the year that half the world's population will be connected to the Internet. But we think that the problem is that Internet adoption rates are flowing globally, and there are numerous supply and demand barriers to accelerated Internet adoption.
We think that governments, businesses, and public interest organizations are trying numerous ways to surmount those barriers through innovative business models, new technology deployments, and capacity-building efforts.
But we think that there is a key knowledge gap in terms of the thematic compilation and analysis of the impact of these efforts, and we believe that this can have the potential to inform policy and channel resources which can accelerate global broadband adoption.
We further think that this has the ability to positively impact health outcomes, education outcomes, agricultural productivity outcomes, and even gender clarity in remote, rural areas, or even areas within densely populated cities that simply do not have access to the Internet.
Over the last year, we were engaged in a huge effort to try and compile a catalog of projects that have tried to bridge this gap in very many ways. Recently, I posted to the intersessional mailing list a list of 600-plus case studies that are being undertaken globally. And we hope over the course of this year to compile systematic case studies on all of them through interviews and desk research.
We think that the IGF community can be a huge resource as well as a huge audience for such research that we are now in the process of compiling. And we believe that -- we would love to engage in further collaborations within this community.
We think that the work that has already been done in terms of connecting and enabling the next billion in phase one and phase two have been a huge resource already in terms of providing us directional guidelines in terms of contributions that have had projects or mention projects that are relevant in this area. We think, however, the work now, especially intersessionally, needs to be more focused on individual stories and individual projects which is what we are currently working towards. And we would love to work with various stakeholders within the IGF community to do the same as well as people outside the IGF community that we are collaborating with in the World Economic Forum, to the IEEE, to ITU, to Internet Society, World Bank, USA, and many others that we are currently engaging with.
We think that there is specific, like, synergies between the work that the national and regional initiatives are doing as well as work that other dynamic coalitions, like the dynamic coalition on community connectivity as well as the best practice forum on gender and access are working towards, that we would like to contribute to as well as tap into the wealth and resources of.
We hope to have a very productive year this year and look forward to a very -- like -- a very productive collaboration with the IGF community and hope to see all of you in Geneva just like we did last year in Guadalajara. Thank you.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Thank you, Sharada. We now have quite a large queue in front of us, which is excellent because, again, this was a critical piece of the IGF mandate as dictated by the Tunis Agenda. So we're glad to see that there's a growing set of activities and entities that actually want to be a part of this.
Next up we have the World Economic Forum, Derek O'Halloran. You have the floor.
>> DEREK O'HALLORAN: On behalf of the World Economic Forum, I would like to thank the IGF and recognize the great support and collaboration we've had over the past year in particular marked by, I think, mutual participation, mutual supporting of goals and mutual participation in activities.
Provide a brief update in some of the key areas of progress and plans for the World Economic Forum. We have established -- we've organized all of our work around some key portfolios, one of which is called the Future Digital Economy and Society which is where we bring together our various multistakeholder efforts focused on understanding and helping various stakeholders shape positive and inclusive outcomes from the rapid growth and adoption of digital technology.
Within this, we have a large number of projects that operate in a variety of different ways, producing insight or partnerships. There's four thematic areas. One around transformation, understanding the transformation of society and the economy. The second is a set of activities around policy and governance and facilitating private/public dialogues there. And the third is a cluster of activity around access adoption and inclusiveness more broadly. And the, finally, some activities around building security trust and resilience.
A couple of areas that I think might be worth highlighting for the purposes of today, the first one is around access and adoption. So the Forum's work in this space has been run under the name of a project called The Internet for All. We have seen great collaboration between IGF and the Forum on this over the past year. And we appreciate the active participation of the IGF in the steering committee. And we have internally actively supported a number of the activities around the next billion. We have participated, supported the IGF in December and held a working session there and found many of the individuals that we brought along from our organization, others found that extremely valuable. We look forward to strengthening and deepening that collaboration for IGF 2017.
One other key area I think that's worth highlighting is a little bit of a shift in terms not only in what we're doing but in terms of how we are working. In particular, we've been laying the foundations for being able to operate in a more open and inclusive way. Specifically, we are building an open platform for different organizations, coalitions, stakeholders to be able to collaborate around issues that matter to them and to coordinate between various activities and stakeholders.
In particular, we're looking at -- we have established some pilots that are focused on developing some non-binding governance frameworks which would be developed -- which would be proposed from across the community, developed by a set of stakeholders with input from the community on an ongoing basis and then offered to the world as a set of public goods for people to take up as they find valuable.
There is three of these pilots underway right now, and we are building an open process for stakeholders to be able to identify what matters issue to them and be able to propose through that channel.
We offer this as a potential mechanism for feedback and activity for IGF activities. We also see -- I think there's great potential that as some of those activities are started that the IGF could be -- and the community represented here could be very valuable reviewers and inputters and shapers of that work. So we would make that offer and welcome input from across the community.
A couple of -- a couple of final points. So part of the activity right now is we're shifting from annual planning cycles to multiyear planning cycles. And as we do this over the next few months, we would invite the MAG to consider us as potential partners for further dialogue and discussion around mutual support of shared goals.
We believe that many of the leaders in many of the different domains that are represented through the wide variety of networks of the World Economic Forum would -- are desperately in need of the expertise that the IGF network represents, that they would benefit from understanding more the governance principles that are so firmly rooted here. And we look forward to being able to carry some of those lessons into other communities and help leaders across different domains understand the Internet governance ecosystem as a number of speakers have already referred to.
Conversely, across the Forum, the World Economic Forum Network do believe that there are a number of decision makers and leaders who we feel would be valuable and target audiences for a lot of the work that is created across the IGF networks. So we look forward to hearing the priorities that are established at the end of this week and would invite further discussion for strategic collaboration over the coming years.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Thank you, Derek. Maybe just a quick comment here because I think this is probably one of the only -- maybe the only place where the secretariat and the chair actually have a role in another organization of sorts.
Derek mentioned that some of the MAG members and the IGF secretariat staff actually work together on their Internet for All project and WEF staff actually have participated fully in support of the Connecting and Enabling the Next Billions project as well. So there's sort of an exchange there.
And I was also asked, as past chairs had, to sit on a board of the initiative that actually oversees the Internet for All project. It's a high-level steering committee with about three, four meetings a year. Again, that was just as a reminder and sort of no surprises.
So the next on the speaker list is Roxana from Diplo.
>> ROXANA RADU: I would like to highlight three sets of activities we are engaged with at DiploFoundation and the Geneva Internet platform in support of the IGF.
First of all, it's regional briefings for heads of missions here in Geneva. Second is constant monitoring and updates. And the third is a Just-in-Time reporting initiative.
So let me go quickly through all of these.
For the regional briefings, we hold -- we just held one on the 21st of February with heads of missions from 10 different countries with the participation of the IGF secretariat.
The aim of these meetings is to introduce the IGF on the radar of diplomats and to explain to them a little bit the process and also to explain the continuity so that they don't seek as a single event. They have many of these in Geneva and they need to understand the dynamics of this particular process.
Secondly, we are constantly monitoring the updates that have to do with things that would be relevant to the IGF as a process. We have a dedicated page for that, but also in terms of topics, we have an observatory with human curated information that helps newcomers and also more established participants in the community keep track of the many developments out there, and I think this could also be useful as a resource in preparation for the different workshops.
And thirdly, for the past two years, we ran the Just-in-Time initiative. We do reporting on a daily basis for all the days of the IGF in two different formats. We report from every single workshop on line a few hours after the workshop is over, and we also report in a summary format at the end of the day across topics so people can keep track very easily of what has been discussed, not in workshops only, but also in terms of thematic coverage.
We are planning to run this initiative again. It has been very well received by the community. We got excellent feedback for this and I think it's helping everyone to navigate a bit the complex IGF process at the moment, so we will do this again in December and for that, we are preparing now assistant curators and rapporteurs, so we just opened a call for people who would like to join the process and be part of this team of rapporteurs at the IGF.
Thank you very much.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Thank you, Roxana.
I'd actually like to take just one quick second and we met with Diplo on Monday and a number of other organizations here in Geneva, and Jovan made the comment that said something along the lines of they used to do sort of generic briefings on Internet governance matters and a short time ago they actually went to a regional briefing, which allowed them to actually engage with the region in terms of topics that were of particular interest to them, but importantly, it actually allowed the missions that were here to feed back to capital, and it was sort of an immediate kind of built-in process which allowed them to take the benefit of the work that was done here, and useful work, and actually get it to the capital where it could make a difference.
Just that small switch by going from sort of, "We're going to hold a briefing on Topic X, general, everybody come" and focusing on the regional and the community and really understanding what that community needed I think made a significant difference in terms of its outreach and ultimately, one would hope and expect, its impact.
And I share that just because over the next couple of days, I think we need to really try to think about how we can take all the outputs of the IGF and actually make them much more useful and get to the place where they're really needed.
So that was sort of a great, you know "of course" moment.
Thank you, Jovan, and thank you, Roxana.
Next we have EuroDIG and Sandra?
>>SANDRA HOFERICHTER: Thank you very much for this opportunity to speak here.
This year's EuroDIG will take place in Tallinn, and I will just provide you with a very short and brief update on our focus this year and on our processes.
Each year we have a focus to involve one stakeholder group in particular. Last year, when we have been in Brussels, it was obviously the European Commission and members of the European parliament to get them better involved in the EuroDIG process.
This year, we will have a focus on the business sector and especially here, because we are in Estonia, small and medium enterprises, because they are -- as well as in the global IGF, as in the EuroDIG and in other national foras, the least represented groups and we believe if we lose out of one stakeholder group, we are really in trouble and we will do efforts in this regard to strengthen this group this year and we hope that we have in Estonia a good ground for this.
And of course we will continue to involve young participants. We have made efforts since the early days, since 2010, with various ways of involving them. Our aim is that we really involve the young people into the session and program planning process and not only in pre-events, although pre-events are a very important element but we really want to see them on stage, we want to hear their -- we want to hear their voices. Another focus is, with the IGF this year taking place in Europe, that we would like to initiate a sort of a process, including NRIs, the regional, the subregional, the SEEDIG, leading to the global IGF. European stakeholders -- and I use this opportunity to just announce this for those who haven't been on the email list I've sent around. European stakeholders will meet here during lunchtime tomorrow at 2:00 in this room. I just checked the situation in the cafeteria. It's difficult to find a room there. So those who are from Europe who are interested in brainstorming about how to initiate a process from now, March, to December when the global IGF takes place in Europe and how we can present Europe as a great host, then you are invited to just meet us in this room tomorrow at 2:00.
We hope with this initiative we can bring the overall Internet governance process to the next level, and under Point 4 of the agenda, I will use the opportunity again to speak and may bring in some ideas on improvements of the global IGF, but this is not a topic of this intervention now.
And then on the update, as you know, or as some of you might know, EuroDIG is organizing a slightly different approach in terms of how to deal with incoming proposals and how to set the agenda, and I will stay around for the next two days and I'm ready to contribute to the MAG discussion, either officially here with an intervention, but you can also come to me if you would like to find out more about this process because I know the MAG is always discussing how to deal with the big amount of proposals and -- for workshops and sessions, and this is also an issue for the EuroDIG.
This year, we received around 130 proposals again, so we somehow have to find a way to deal with it without excluding those who took the effort and contributed to the program planning.
And our approach is that we are not excluding or dis-lining proposals, but our approach is that we somehow try to include all the proposals in the program when we're merging them into various sessions or on the key topics.
This is also not an easy task, but we are developing this way of moving forward and we are getting a little bit better every year. But this might feed into the discussion of the next two days.
Then the -- we drafted a program. It was reviewed by the community. We have now the consolidated program. It is published already on the Web site since today, on the EuroDIG wiki, which is our collaboration tool.
We are now in the process of forming org teams, and also here, everyone from Europe is invited to participate in the org teams. You will find all the information on the EuroDIG wiki, where you can get in contact with the org teams and so on.
Also, the registration is open.
So as it will be the 10th anniversary, we are looking very, very much forward to seeing all of you. And not only Europeans. Of course everyone is invited to participate in our regional forum. We are looking very much forward to welcome you in Thailand and to celebrate our 10th anniversary, one year behind the global IGF. Thank you very much.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Thank you, Sandra.
ICANN? Nigel, you have the floor.
>>NIGEL HICKSON: Thank you very much, Madam Chair. Good afternoon. I was thinking there were other people in the queue so I wasn't -- I wasn't on the ball.
Just a couple of things about ICANN and then a couple of more general comments, if I may.
On ICANN, I don't intend to go through all the meeting schedule, as that would not be conducive to good time management, but for anyone in Copenhagen at the end of next week and the beginning of the week after, please come and see us. ICANN is having its -- having its next meeting in Copenhagen.
As you know, these meetings are completely open. You can literally turn up, as they say, and have a cup of coffee and, well, take part in the meetings as well. They're also on line. Lots of different issues are being discussed, from a new process to perhaps introduce new types of generic top-level domains.
We have a special session on privacy, particularly with a focus on Europe that the Council of Europe are contributing to. There's discussions on rights protection mechanisms and a variety of other subjects. And as you know, ICANN meetings sort of tend to take part in -- on a very regular basis, three times a year.
The next meeting after Copenhagen is June in Johannesburg, and then Abu Dhabi in October, and next year, Barcelona in -- yeah, in the summer next year, so -- no, sorry, not the summer. In October next year, Barcelona. So that will be a -- that will be the next European one after Copenhagen.
I wanted to just say a couple of things about what we're doing here.
We had an exchange this morning which was, of course, necessary and useful to discuss Mexico, to learn from the -- what we did there, and to look forward to Geneva, but I think as a couple of speakers said this morning after me -- and I forgot to mention this -- the word "strategic" or the word "plan" or "strategic plan" put together. Because beyond being a committee that -- or a group of people that does its best to ensure that the program for the IGF which no one is trivializing, it's very important, without this superb program of diverse workshops, no one would come, and if no one would come, then you wouldn't have an IGF.
But beyond this program, this group have a responsibility, I would say -- and this was discussed at the end of the conference in Mexico in the excellent session on the Friday afternoon -- it's a shame that these best discussions are sometimes left to the end of conferences -- with the excellent support of UN DESA and the contributions of many people from the floor, many stakeholders, a diverse range of stakeholders, young and old, contributing to what they thought the vision for the IGF should be. And it's -- it is this vision which I think is so crucially important, and it's this vision which perhaps more now than we ever thought, perhaps now more than we even thought in Mexico in December, is going to be of absolute paramount importance as we go forward over the next couple of years.
The whole range of Internet governance policies, Internet policies, call them what you will, it doesn't really matter how we label things, but the fact is that there is an awful lot of important things to discuss, from privacy, from cybersecurity, to child online protection.
And these are issues that, if you like, we come back to and we say, "These are issues we've discussed before." But the issues don't remain the same. The issues take on new shapes.
Governments were here, 25 governments were here last week in Geneva discussing a global approach, a global way forward on cybersecurity, on -- on the sort of -- on the sort of state security components of security.
These are very important discussions.
We now have a commission on security and stability that's been set up to look at this.
But these are particular actors discussing this.
There were no civil society representation. There were no businesses. There were no technical community representatives in this U.N. room -- I don't think it was this room; it might have been -- last week.
Now, there's good reasons for that, and there's no reason why all stakeholders need to be in all settings at all times. That would be completely unrealistic. And there's no reason why governments need to be in some other settings where businesses discuss legitimate needs and interests.
But this leads us to where the strength of the IGF lies, because the strength of the IGF -- and Markus touched on this this morning -- is that those actors should be at the IGF. There should be a discussion on some of these crucial issues.
The legislators that are discussing copyright legislation in the European Union, the legislators that get around a table and discuss international trade treaties that include eCommerce, that include cybersecurity, that include data protection. The actors that get together and discuss norms of behavior. Norms of behavior for all actors discussed by governments.
It's got to start somewhere. But these norms of behavior have to be shared, there has to be dialogue, there has to be thought, there has to be a general buy-in to norms of behavior. Otherwise, there won't be norms of behavior. We can all write down names of -- norms of behavior. We can all write down confidence-building measures. I could do it fairly easily. I've been in this game too long.
But if we're going to get buy-in to this, then all the stakeholders have to come together, and that's the strength of the IGF because we have the ability to schedule those strategic discussions at the IGF in Geneva or in the next IGF or whatever.
And not hold the actors to account -- that's not what I mean -- but allow the actors to describe what's going on and to get our feedback and buy-in.
So that is the strength of the IGF and that's why it's important. Thank you.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Thank you, Nigel. And if you'll actually permit me just a comment on one country's government and not meaning any offense, but that was a wonderful Kellyanne pivot from what is Internet governance-related initiative of ICANN to another series of other topics. It was pretty masterful.
Could we just go through what's in the queue there for a minute?
We have the Dutch government, U.K. government, European Broadcasting Union. We have Markus, who could have any number of four hats or organizations that he's representing there, so he can sort of surprise us or inform us at the moment.
We have Council of Europe, Chinese government, we have the western African IGF and African IGF. That's Mary. We have ISOC. And that is the end of the queue and I think I would say at this point in time unless there's somebody who feels really strong about getting in the queue, that we do that and then we would go to the NRI video. That should leave us in sort of a reasonable time frame to go to the last agenda item.
So Arnold, you have the floor.
>>ARNOLD VAN RHIJN: Thank you, Lynn, and thank you, Nigel. You're unbeatable. I mean, your very impressive statement, which I think really reflects on what we are doing here and the value of this forum.
I was going to touch on that as well.
I have three updates for you, dear colleagues.
The first one is -- and it has been touched upon by Nigel very shortly. That's the UNGGE. For somebody, it's quite peculiar what it means, but it stands for the U.N. Governmental Group on Experts in the field of ICT in the context of international peace and security.
I didn't invent that name but let's stick to "UNGGE." It's now in the process. This group has been now installed for the fifth time and is working on a resolution which deals with cyberspace.
Two weeks ago, they had their last meeting, and there will be a follow-up.
But one part of this concept resolution deals with a standard, a standard which the Netherlands government put forward after thorough consultations with our stakeholders. And this part of the resolution deals with -- it's only a minor part, a but very important part -- deals with a draft standard protecting the public core of the Internet against unwarranted state interventions.
We think, from the Netherlands government, that it's a very important issue which should be kept and should be protected in a resolution.
Discussions are going on, and as I told you, we have -- before we presented this proposal, we have consulted our stakeholders and, well, one of the reasons I present it here is to inform you about this draft resolution and this small part of it related to the standard. I call it the Internet standard.
Nigel already mentioned it. There is a global commission on the stability in cyberspace. It has been installed two weeks ago in the margin of the Munich security conference, which is held yearly, and it was initiated by our minister of foreign affairs, particularly for the reason to involve other stakeholders than governments in this process. Because as we all know, the U.N. and the UNGGE, they're intergovernmental discussions, so we need to involve the stakeholders. And that's why this global commission, the GCSC, has been installed comprised of around 20-plus commissioners. And I'm happy to inform you that many of the panelists which we organized during the Global Cyberspace Conference in 2015, this panel on Internet governance, many of these panelists are on this global commission. I'll name a few. Wolfgang Kleinwachter and the Brazilian state secretary and -- Virgilio, and many more very well informed and knowledgeable people who can advise this UNGGE group on their work. That's, I think, the best we can do, apart from, of course, other stakeholders to inform their governments -- or to advise their governments what to say in these very close meetings.
This is my first update. The second update relates to a conference which the Netherlands is organizing since 2013. It is called the International One Conference on Cybersecurity. And this is partly due to its link with the global cyberspace conference we held in The Hague in 2015 and during the Dutch E.U. presidency in 2016.
The One Conference has grown since then in importance and expanded its scope not by only focusing on merely cybersecurity issues but also on the economic opportunities of the cyber domain.
The One Conference this year will be held the 16th and 17th of May. It is -- well, it's a two-day conference consisting of a plenary program and various breakout sessions.
In total, I think there will be 15. We're working together with the National Security Center on this program, and we are aiming at having 15 sessions for around, I think, approximately 800 participants upon invitation.
And topics will be discussed, like, malware detection, incidence response, law enforcement cases, and less technical subjects amongst other public/private partnerships. They are all going to be discussed. Also attention is given to research from industry and academia.
So I hope to see many of you in The Hague 16th and 17th of May. I informed you through a "save the date" mail a couple of months ago about this One Conference. I think there could be valuable input from the IGF community or MAG community into this One Conference.
My third and last update concerns the cyberspace conference. I mentioned it already. In 2015 we chaired this cyberspace conference. Finally, we were luckily to have found another country who is willing to host this conference in 2017, this year. And this is India. It will be held in Hyderabad, approximately in October or November. But this is all I can say. Of course, some more information will be provided by the Indian government. Thank you.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Thank you, Arnold. That's very interesting.
Next we have Mark, United Kingdom.
>>MARK CARVELL: Yes, again, Mark Carvell, U.K. government. But I am switching hats actually to the Commonwealth of Nations. I am a member of the leadership team of the Commonwealth Internet Governance Forum, and I just wanted to provide a little -- some updating that on that.
The Commonwealth of Nations comprises 52 member states, as you may know, including the U.K. We have held Commonwealth Internet Governance Forum meetings in most IGFs of recent years. And, indeed, we held one in Guadalajara. It was very well attended, and we covered a range of Internet governance and cyber-related issues at that meeting.
We provided updates on a common of commonwealth initiatives including the commonwealth cybercrime initiative, which is one of the tangible outcomes of the Commonwealth Internet Governance Forum. We are about to launch an updated version of the Commonwealth Online Child Protection Toolkit. These are all accessible on the Commonwealth IGF Web site which is hosted by the Commonwealth Telecommunications Organization, the CTO. We will be discussing the IGF and Internet governance-related issues at the session at the upcoming Commonwealth Cybersecurity Forum in London on the 22nd through 24th of March. And we anticipate holding another Commonwealth Internet Governance Forum event at the IGF in Geneva.
But we are also -- we also have an open invitation for a Commonwealth member to host a stand-alone Commonwealth Internet Governance Forum event. We don't have that yet, that offer. But we're hopeful as we relaunch the Commonwealth Internet Governance Forum initiative after the strong expressions of support from commonwealth stakeholders in Guadalajara. And we hope we can go from strength to strength.
One of the decisions following the discussion we had in Guadalajara was to set up a working group on sustainable development goals and how we can develop Commonwealth input into the next phase of the intersessional IGF work on access for the next billion. So we have that on our agenda again as a practical initiative following our discussions in Guadalajara. So that's where we are. We will keep you posted on commonwealth initiatives and particularly Commonwealth IGF and throughout the year. Thank you.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Thank you. Thank you, mark. Next we have European Broadcasting Union. Giacomo, you have the floor.
>> GIACOMO MAZZONE: Just a brief update. Not surprisingly ago we had a European conference on security media because, as you know, we have experienced those in our sector some huge problems, like the hijacking of TV5 two years ago that was made by an international attack of pirates. So we are trying to coordinate the efforts and to secure that there are the best efforts made to be sure that at least infrastructure and the offer for the media access would be secured in our zone at least.
And then we have another event, very important and very large vision on big data. We call it big data initiative, and it will be on the 21st and 22nd of March. This, again, European but there are also speakers coming from all over the world. In the opening there will be Professor Kanatachi as one of the relevant speakers. This will be about two topics that are very much concerning the media sector. The first is the use of the big data for journalistic purposes, how you can produce relevant content that are -- could be used in the media from the data. And the second is to establish a charter of the rights of the users when they access media about what happens with their data. So we hope at the end of this conference we will produce a charter that will be adopted by most of the media outlets, at least in Europe, in relation between their users and the media.
Always in the same direction, we will contribute within the EuroDIG in Tallinn to the plenary session on fake news because this is another major concern for our sector as you can imagine. And we gather ideas and suggestions because we want to make out of it something useful for everybody. Then these are the information from my side.
But if we talk in general about what could of this be fruitful and useful as a contribution to the IGF this year in Geneva, I think that here in Geneva we have a lot of expertise and a lot of knowledge related to data and cybersecurity and other things. Thanks also to the presence of many international organizations and private, also intergovernmental, that they have a lot of experience on that. So I think when we will look for the overarching theme and the topics that this could be something that we need to do.
And I suggest this would be the next point in the agenda, that when we talk out the suggestions that were deliberated in Glenco (phonetic) we look really starting from this year to have a strategic and multiyear plan, approach to the problems. Thank you.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Thank you, Giacomo.
Markus Kummer, you have the floor.
>>MARKUS KUMMER: Thank you. This time I'm speaking on behalf of the Internet Governance Forum Support Association. I was given the opportunity on previous occasions to brief on our activities as they are new MAG members in this room, I start at the beginning. It was set up at 2014 at the Istanbul meeting as a membership association incorporated in Switzerland. Our objective is to strengthen and support the IGF secretariat and the NRIs.
Our country to the IGF Trust Fund so far has been 200,000 U.S. dollars. We pledged another $40,000 and have not yet transferred it as we're waiting to finalize the agreement or exchange of letters.
Some of you may recall that we had some legal issues. This may be exaggerating, but our contribution was put on hold as the U.N. had to look into our legal status and what is the appropriate form of -- appropriate legal form for signing an agreement. But that has been solved since, and we have proceeded to an exchange of letters which allowed us to transfer the remainder of the 2015 contribution, bringing up our contribution to $200,000.
Last year we supported 20 national IGF initiatives and eight regional initiatives all over the world. And we continue to do that also in this year.
And, obviously, as we are a membership organization, we always welcome new members, and we have some MAG members who are members and we would welcome more to join us. And our membership fee is a modest 25 U.S. dollars. And unlike the U.N., we also accept $10 contributions or less. One of our aims was, indeed, to proceed to crowdfunding, crowdsourcing.
We have not yet been that successful in generating big revenues through crowdfunding. But we hope that we will be able to do so with more efforts to do that.
So if you feel like joining, please approach me. I'm happy to take your $25. Thank you.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Thank you, Markus.
Council of Europe, Lee?
>>LEE HIBBARD: Thank you, Madam Chair. And hello, everybody. Apologies for not being here this morning. Just a quick thank you to the Mexican authorities for their hosting of last year's event. Excellent event. Thank you very much.
And, also, welcome to Switzerland for hosting this year's event. We very much welcome working with Switzerland. Of course, we worked with Switzerland all the time on issues of digital -- of different issues in the Internet governance field. And, of course, Switzerland is a member state of the Council of Europe, which is an important note.
So the Council of Europe is an intergovernmental organization. It has 40 member states, for those of you whom are not aware plus observer states plus states outside of Europe which signed different conventions, the cybercrime convention, the data protection convention, and the MEDICRIME convention, and many others beside. Very important to note a lot of legal instruments are one way forward, Nigel, in terms of what we can do together, how we can mobilize different actors. But in capacity-building or (indiscernible) states to encourage them to sign and support different aspects of work online.
And the Council of Europe has government representatives, parliamentary representatives, youth activists, and many other experts besides talking about human rights, rule of law, and democracy online now. So there's a great big network of people, experts, of politicians who are out there talking about those things in Strasbourg which is just down the road from Geneva. So I wonder whether those things could be used more as we move forward to the IGF this year.
We support the EuroDIG process, of course. We support ICANN. And we're going to go to the ICANN58 meeting on issues regarding child protection issues and also committee-based top-level domain issues and human rights.
That said, we have our own work in Strasbourg which is Internet governance strategy, an all-encompassing document which was adopted just about a year ago which brings together what we understand Internet governance to mean. The words "Internet governance" are in the title of that text adopted by the member states. It includes support -- multistakeholder support, of course. We have new work upcoming with companies, Internet companies, looking at partnership with Internet companies. So a new initiative between an IGO and companies to see how we can work better together to make a more regular dialogue in all of the areas of work. And the reason for that is because there are more and more calls from different parts of the organization sitting down in meetings like this, setting standards, looking at how to address the issues of rights and freedoms online, how they can do that better. And they are turning more and more to other actors, including companies. That's why we're now talking about partnership with companies.
There's also the work on cybercrime, and there's very innovative work on law enforcement, access to data in the cloud, which is a hot topic coming through this year. We have new guidelines on big data with regard to data protection.
And we have new instruments now. New instruments don't mean much, as Nigel said, unless we can do something with it. What do we do with them? What do we do on new instruments coming through on Internet intermediaries? On the human rights dimensions of automated data processing techniques, i.e., in particular algorithms? What do we do with instruments on culture and digitization, the right to being scrutable online with regard to predictive behaviors, with regard to algorithms. And there's also new guidelines on children in the digital environment.
There are also new notions coming through on Internet citizens in a democracy pillar. There's also a new notion of critical digital literacy coming through in the organization as well as some capacity-building.
So just to summarize by saying that our job in Strasbourg is de facto coordination of baselines, of minimum principles on different issues. So how can the Council of Europe be used in the IGF more effectively? We take away a lot. But what can you bring back here? How can you -- how can the IGF call upon the Council of Europe to do things, to mobilize the actors it has in its networks? That's what we're there for, if you like. So how can we do that this year in 2017 with the member states of the Council of Europe not very far away, to really ramp up the effectiveness of this space? Thank you.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Thank you, Lee.
Actually next in the queue we have China. Haojun Ji, if you could take the floor, please.
>>HAOJUN JI: Thank you, Madam Chair. I'm taking the floor this time in the capacity as national representative.
I'm taking the floor, just would like to share with the colleagues an important piece of news that today, March 1st, Wednesday, China released its strategy on cyberspace cooperation. It's entitled, "The International Strategy of Cooperation on Cyberspace" which is the first China has released in this regard.
The aim of the strategy jointly -- is to jointly build a community of a shared future inside the space. Illustrates China's approach to cyberspace cooperation, notably one that is based on peace, sovereignty, shared governance, and shared benefits.
The strategic goals of China's participation in national cyberspace cooperation are, first, the safeguarding of China's sovereignty, security and development interests in cyberspace. Second, the secure and orderly flow of information on the Internet. Third, improved global connectivity. Fourth, maintaining peace, security, and stability in cyberspace. Fifth, enhancement of international rule of law in cyberspace and the promotion of global development of the digital economy and deepening cultural exchange and mutual understanding, et cetera.
China's plan of action includes promoting the beauty of rule-based order inside the space, expanding partnership with other countries, boosting institutional reform in Internet governance, jointly (indiscernible) cyber terrorism and crimes and protecting individual privacy in cyberspace. China supports Internet-based innovation and entrepreneurship and is committed to at least in developing countries with cybersecurity capacity-building.
The country support -- China also supports the formulation of cyberspace trade rules and effective policy coordination among countries. China will work with other countries to strengthen global information infrastructure to facilitate the smooth flow of information and facilitate such cooperation among countries.
With the animation, comic, and games industry as a priority area, China will carry out a practical cooperation with countries along the Silk Road on land and the Silk Road on the sea. Encourage China's enterprises to provide online cultural products and services catered to local needs based on local cultural resources.
This strategy is issued by the foreign ministry and the state Internet information of this. If colleagues are interested, I can provide the links later on. Thank you.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Thank you.
Next in the queue we have the West African IGF and the African IGF. Mary, you have the floor. Again, Mary is going to come in online so you may need your headphones.
>> ANJA GENGO: Having some technical difficulties so if we could wait maybe for later. Thank you.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Thank you. No problem. There are a few other folks in the queue.
We actually have The Internet Society, Raquel, and then Jovan, Diplo.
Raquel, you have the floor.
>>RAQUEL GATTO: Thank you, Madam Chair.
Yes, I'm Raquel Gatto. I'm an incoming new MAG member working with Internet Society but I'm always speaking about the LAC IGF, the Latin American/Caribbean regional IGF. I've been tasked by my colleagues, the program committee colleagues, Igor Resende from the government of Brazil, Alejandra Erramuspe, who is from the government of Uruguay and is following us on line, and also acknowledging that we have Mexico and ICANN in this program committee.
So the LAC IGF is pleased to inform we are reaching this year our tenth edition. We are a very early child of the global IGF. We hope to have a hitting event this year. For those that don't know, the basic governance structure of the LAC IGF is a multistakeholder program committee composed of 12 members, three seats per four of the stakeholder groups, government, civil society, technical community, and business, and the secretariat which is being held by LACNIC, the regional RIR, and, well, each year we -- we learn a lot. I think it's the same for all the NRIs' experiences. It's small steps but firm ahead.
We've learned to work with remote participation; translation, as the three main languages in the region are Spanish, Portuguese, and English; to work on the rapporteurship and how to make it collaborative and useful; also on the event -- fellowships for the event; the support of the community.
And I think the two main takeaways that I could highlight in these past experiences are the open consultation process, so setting the agenda is important based on the main topics chosen by the community; and the session with the feeds from the national IGFs and initiatives through the regional IGFs from the region, those have been very successful processes that we adopted.
And last year, we had also new -- new ideas and we've been creative by having first a local country -- the host country session, which has been very welcomed by the community to learn more about the country where the IGF -- the LAC IGF is happening. Also to have, by the end, an open mic session so participants could directly express their improvements or their complements to the event. And also, we had for the first time the youth LAC IGF, so the youth regional IGF the day before the event, which also allowed more of the youth participation within the regional IGF.
We also have been worried about having a direct link with the global IGF agenda. Last year was connecting the next billion as the main theme, but we look -- although the agenda is shaped by the community, we look for some spots with this direct link with the global discussions.
Just going forward for this year where we are planning, we have a tentative date for August, early August. We have just closed the call for the hosts to apply. We have a good problem at hand. We had seven full applications, meaning seven applications were screened and formally complied with the criteria. Now we have to choose one. That's a very good problem. If we could state one per year, we'd almost have the next decade guaranteed.
And it should be announced in two weeks. The program committee is working on that for the venue.
We are also renewing the program committee seats. It's an annual process. So far, we have just released -- and it's at a very good timing -- the questionnaire with the open consultations for the main topics, so it will be open for about a month. Anyone interested to contribute, please go to the lacigf.org Web site and we are glad to hear from you.
And lastly, the LAC IGF secretariat has recently joined -- actually last week -- the NRI mailing list and is looking forward to contribute with interaction process Marilyn and the secretariat is leading.
Thank you very much.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Thank you very much, Raquel.
So we actually have Diplo and we'll come back to the West African IGF, African IGF, close this session with the NRI video, and then move to the final session for the day, which was to focus on a follow-up to the retreat.
So with that, Jovan, you have the floor.
>>JOVAN KURBALIJIA: Yes. Good afternoon. It's great to see you again at the beginning of this interesting process. We have been meeting often in Geneva in the preparation for the previous IGFs, but this year we'll have IGF in Geneva and it offers quite a few opportunities, first of all, to tap into the rich expertise that exists in this city in the field of data, Internet governance, digital policy. But while we have quite a few opportunities, we have certain limitations. This is a city which hosts 17,000 meetings per year. The attention span at least of the local community in Geneva, first of all, diplomats, is very limited, and you have probably not today at least 30 or 40 parallel meetings on different topics.
Faced with this -- over the last two months, faced with following this opportunity to tap the huge knowledge and to activate this knowledge that exists in Geneva, and limitations, we have been conducting consultations with permanent missions, international organizations, start-up community, and other players, and there are three underlying themes that have been emerging.
Roxana focused on the methods and the approaches for the consultations and other activities, but three underlying themes that could be of interest and that could attract both attention and activate expertise that exists in Geneva.
First of all, sustainable development goals. This is the underlying framework for many activities in Geneva. There is SDG lab here at the U.N. campus which is trying to connect to the various dots in the field of SDG.
The second topic is data, and here is we are close to CERN, the big lab, which is one of the biggest generators of data and processors of data in the world, organizations like WMO, WHO, which have data as one of the central topics in their activities, both policy and operational activities.
And what is interesting, many missions and many international organizations easily relate their work to Internet governance via data discourse, if we can call it.
"Internet governance" could sometimes sound a bit abstract, but then you mention "data," they relate, because they discuss internally data policies. Data is in the public subconsciousness because of big data and all the issues that are in the focus of media.
Therefore, data is a second topic that should be -- should be looked upon while we are discussing the underlying theme for the IGF.
And third one is a multidisciplinarity. We have been developing the multistakeholder approach quite successfully, but what has been repeated in our discussion is that there is a need to address specific topics in a multidisciplinary way.
I will give you one example. WTO is currently focusing on eCommerce and digital trade in preparation for the Buenos Aires ministerial meeting, and they have an excellent expertise on questions of tariffs on the core WTO issues but they have been realizing more and more that while they're discussing eCommerce, they have also to reflect on cybersecurity, human rights, standardization, and data policies.
Therefore, that could be a possible entry point into the -- this busy agenda and the attention span of the local community in Geneva. Multidisciplinary approach.
Therefore, in brief, sustainable development goals, data in all its complexity, and a multidisciplinary approach to digital policy issues.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Thank you, Jovan. Mary? Again, Mary is I think speaking on behalf of the western African IGF and the African IGF.
Mary, you have the floor.
>>MARY UDUMA: Hello. Hello. Can you hear me?
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: We can hear you.
>>MARY UDUMA: You can hear me. Okay. All right. Thank you very much. Thank you for giving me the floor again, and I just wanted to intervene briefly on the West African IGF which currently I coordinate.
2017 IGF for West Africa is the 9th of the series of initiatives or processes we have carried out in the subregion and we are hoping that between the 1st and the 3rd of August, we will be holding the West African IGF. Uppermost in our process and in our program is the restructure that was done to have the ECOWAS and WATRA.
WATRA is the umbrella body for regulators in -- telecom regulators in West Africa, while the ECOWAS is the economic community of the West African countries, and they have come to back us strongly in the process of having our IGF 2017, and they are not only backing with (indiscernible), they are also providing some budget that will help us participate with the initiative.
We made a call for a host and we had two countries, Benin and Burkina Faso, and we have lined up Benin for 2017 and Burkina Faso for 2018, just to make sure we're planning ahead.
Within the period, we have been also be able to start up our planning process. We have appointed a chairman of the planning committee. We have also constituted the program committee, fundraising committee, and the host that would -- the host agreement committee that would fashion out and fine-tune what we require. Uppermost in the requirement will be Internet access provisioning.
A country that doesn't have Internet access might find it difficult because last year it was not so good for us because our online participants could not follow us, could not join in the process, so we intend to make it a priority this year.
We also have also started consulting, as normally we do, the theme and the subthemes with the community, and we intend to focus on some of the intent of ECOWAS. ECOWAS' intent for 2017 is ECOWAS in the age of electronic money, digital security from -- for economic development, and the protection of personal data in the ECOWAS region.
So we have called on the community to have this at the back of their mind as they suggest or propose themes and subthemes. So the planning has started and we're intending that we'll be able to meet.
Makane is chair of the planning committee, and we have started sending out requests for funding to our strategic (indiscernible), our traditional partners, but also to new ones, new partners, so we're hoping that we'll be able to raise the necessary funds that will help us do the -- manage the process. Not only support in cash, but in-kind could also be accepted.
As for Africa IGF, there's a call also for a host, and the call is still open for the next one month and we're hoping that countries in Africa will come up to bid for the hosting of African IGF.
But more importantly for us in the Africa IGF is our charter that we are developing and I happen to have the chair of the charter and we are trying to make sure that we have a proper charter that will be acceptable by our people and also others will contribute to it.
So I think in a nutshell that's what I need to state, that we are in the process and we are going -- going smoothly and we hope that between 1st and 3rd of August. If the date will change, we'd also communicate to everyone in the community.
The date for Africa IGF has not been fixed. It's only call for hosting that we have made, and we are trying to make sure that our charter is in place as we progress in 2017. Thank you very much.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Thank you, Mary.
That actually exhausted the speaker queue for this particular topic, so I think I'd like to go to the NRI presentation now, and maybe we can ask Anja to actually just say a few words in terms of introducing it as it comes up, given you're so central to its production.
>>ANJA GENGO: Okay. I'm starting again.
First of all, thank you very much for this time. I promise I won't take a lot of time.
This is just a couple of slides that we are sending primarily to the NRIs as some sort of a report from our side on the progress that we achieved so far and also, of course, to the MAG respectively as -- on this occasion of their consultations and MAG meeting.
But we have just added at the beginning a couple of slides that will explain the nature of the NRIs, just for the colleagues that are not that much familiar with something that's not mandated but became so important as a truly bottom-up initiative.
So if we could just move to the second slide, Luis.
Very briefly, as I said, we all know that the Tunis Agenda speaks for the mandate of the Internet Governance Forum but doesn't make a direct reference to the national and regional IGFs. However, some countries very independently on their own started holding sessions and meetings as early as the IGF, so basically from 2006, so some of them are -- have the experience as much as the IGF itself.
What makes the NRIs the NRIs as a network are the principles that they follow and adhere to, so these principles are the same principles the global IGF follows, which means that they are, first of all, the bottom-up initiatives. They are of a multistakeholder nature, open and transparent, inclusive, and of course noncommercial.
Their nature is in independent and organic where all stakeholders act on equal footing.
The next slide, if Luis can just point to the fourth slide, illustrates very briefly the rapid growth of the NRIs throughout the three mandates of the IGF.
So as we can see, in 2011 we have the official records for the NRIs being only 37. We ended up the 2016 year with having 79 national, regional, subregional, also youth IGFs, where 72 are kind of officially recognized by the IGF secretariat where we work together to see whether all the principles are in place and the whole practice is in accordance with the IGF principles, but seven of them had the status of the so-called information initiatives, which means that they are internally fully organized but they do face a lot of challenges in order to organize their annual meetings.
So Luis, if we could just move briefly to the fifth slide. I don't know why it's not projected on the screen.
In any case, on the fifth slide at least that I could see on my laptop, it is that today when we draw the line at the end of February in 2017, the total number of recognized and information NRIs is 91, where we have 54 national IGFs. The regional and subregional, we have 15, 8 youth IGF initiatives, and 14 national IGFs that are information.
That would be the Slide 5. Can you just briefly show...
The next slide -- I'm sorry, I'll try to then explain what am I looking at.
>>LUIS BOBO: Sorry, Anja. Maybe you can come here and try to follow it from here.
>>ANJA GENGO: Okay. Let me just finish with this slide and then --
In any case, this presentation is available on the IGF Web site, the NRI's Web page.
In terms of the overview of the annual events as organized by the NRIs, last year we had more than 50 national and regional IGFs. They were announced by the NRIs to the IGF secretariat.
On the map below, you can see the geographic coverage kind of seen from a global view of all the NRIs.
And lastly, what I would like you also to make a reference to is on the activities that were done by the NRIs during the last IGF cycle.
So we had the 79 NRIs that collaborated throughout the year in order to organize the main session that was entrusted to them by the 2016 MAG.
Many of you have attended that session that has an impressive number of speakers of 42 where they were presenting on behalf of their respective communities on four topics.
I don't know whether you can see the topics, but very briefly, they were presenting on access and enhancing opportunities for the unconnected and under-connected; on secure, resilient, and trusted Internet from the NRIs perspectives; on reliable and sustainable funding sources for the NRIs events; and on challenges in how to create more awareness about Internet governance and why stakeholders should be actively engaging.
I believe this session showed, especially these four topics, the diversity of -- the substantive diversity of the NRIs.
This activity was followed by a very important meeting of the NRIs with the IGF MAG chair, IGF secretariat, and for the very first time by -- with the colleagues from UN DESA where we were speaking on the nature of the IGF's collaboration with the NRIs and what are the NRIs biggest challenges. The meeting was open, and to everyone and many of the MAG members -- last year MAG members did attend the meeting as well as the wider community.
Of course, something that was somehow our pilot but should be a very successful practice is the NRIs' info booth at the IGF village where we -- I'm the NRIs developed informational material on what are the NRIs, who are they, what do they do. They made an internal schedule and organized face-to-face consultations and informal meetings with the interested stakeholders. This resulted in an increases growth of the NRIs because the colleagues that were there, the stakeholders realized that the IGFs could be organized also within their respective communities.
Finally, not that much related to the IGF annual event but something that we worked a lot in the last year is the IGF NRI toolkit that helps communities to develop the IGF initiatives.
It's an advisory document. The NRIs collaborated together with the wider NRI, I have to say, community to develop the publication that will reflect the nature of the NRIs and the main principles that they follow.
I'm just going to use this opportunity to thank many of the MAG members, the former MAG members, that really contributed significantly to the working group for the toolkit in order to have this document developed.
And, finally, what we are working on now is the so-called NRI practice publication that we referred to as the info manual.
So this is a publication that looks into the best practices of the NRIs, especially in regards to their internal structure, the implementation of the IGF principles, the model for gathering inputs from communities to develop programs for their annual meetings, ways of reporting to their respective communities. And, of course, it will look at the biggest challenges that the NRIs are facing while working.
We are also running and facilitating the process of developing certain standards for establishing and running substantive tracks that will be dedicated to young people in these respective communities in order to increase the capacity-building, the knowledge on Internet governance issues.
And the last slide would be if you are interested to know more and learn more about the NRIs, there is, first of all, the mailing list of the NRIs where we are all very active. And the secretariat has the focal point to which -- which is me and where the main task are, first of all, to assist the communities on issues that are of relevance in terms of them. So, please, you are more than welcome to approach us and hear more about the NRIs. Thank you very much.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Thank you, Anja.
I think we've mentioned a couple of times over the day just the impressive kind of growth in the NRIs and the activity and how important they are to actually reaching out to efforts at the ground level which, of course, where a lot of this change happens and where it needs to happen.
So really, again, want to recognize Marilyn for all of her efforts last year and for Anja who, again, we're very lucky to have back with us again this year as the focal point.
That sort of draws to a conclusion this section. Again, this is partly in fulfillment of our mandate as outlined in the Tunis Agenda. It's to expose some of the opportunities happening across other Internet governance-related initiatives and activities. We can certainly continue the discussions over the next couple days with respect to any possibilities for appropriately deepening those partnerships.
I think it's also of interest, hopefully to the NRIs as well. A lot of those global efforts actually have an opportunity in region and in country as well. And so many of the entities actually share goals, of course, which is to bring an equitable, fair, open Internet to as many people as possible.
So I would like to thank everyone for coming, particularly those that came for this particular session. And, of course, everybody is always welcome to stay. Our sessions are open.
The last agenda item today is going to focus on the retreat. I'm just going to say a couple of words of introduction for those that are new or maybe just to refresh memories because it was some time ago.
Last -- middle of last year, a two-day working retreat was organized by the United Nations' secretariat specifically to help advance the ten-year mandate of the IGF and as part of a sort of process of continual development, continual improvement. The IGF has always operated under the desire for continual improvement.
And a few years into the IGF, there was also CSTD working group on improvements to the IGF which is something the IGF has also tracked and tried to move forward as well.
Specifically, if you recall last -- not last December, December 2015, at the WSIS when the mandate of Internet governance was extended for -- Internet Governance Forum was extended for another ten years, there was a call to show progress on working modalities and the participation of relevant stakeholders from developing countries and an accelerated implementation of recommendations in the report of the Working Group on Improvements to the Governance Forum of the Commission on Science and Technology for Development. So it was in response to that specific call-out in the WSIS+10 or 15 declaration that the retreat was held.
The last early August, mid August, in fact, the proceedings were published on the IGF Web site. And they were pretty much published in full. We had great secretariat support from DESA which pretty much captured the discussion of every one of the sessions and topics and tried to put them out pretty much verbatim sort of verbatim. There was not really a lot of culling. If you read through it, you'll actually see that there's a fair amount of duplication depending on which particular topic there was.
The IGF secretariat then distilled that somewhat. Pretty much I think they took sort of the chapeau away and left most of the content and put it up on a Wordpress platform which allowed commenting line by line, if so desired. That has actually been open, I guess, since last August or so.
The secretariat is in the process of consolidating and incorporating those inputs into that Wordpress platform. We are leaving the proceedings documents as a stand-alone, straightforward record of what happened at the retreat. But the -- I don't know how to distinguish between the two sets of proceedings. But the Wordpress document is the one that the secretariat is working with to incorporate the comments actually in the text.
One of the things we actually wanted to do here today was to talk about what the next steps are. I mean, I think it's -- you can safely say that the MAG and the secretariat have certainly paid attention to a lot of the suggestions and recommendations that came from the retreat and that are in the proceedings document and have been implementing them where possible. Certainly know there have been some fairly specific things that the secretariat has been able to implement.
There's clearly more to be done, though. So the thought was that we would give the community this session here a little bit to refresh our minds on the retreat because a lot has happened since then and, also, to talk about, as I said, next steps.
Chengetai and I had a couple of discussions on how we might actually progress that. And I will just throw that out as maybe a kind of discussion starter.
We actually think that many of the suggestions or recommendations in the document really fall into a couple of categories. Some of them are fairly operational. Clearly, it's the responsibility of the secretariat to implement, resources permitting.
There's another whole category that actually talks to sort of the program or programmatic work of the IGF. And some of that actually includes the intersessional activities as well.
And there I think that's the responsibility of the MAG and the IGF community again to determine what the appropriate resolution is, if you will, to those items. And I actually don't think it needs approval beyond the MAG and the IGF community.
There's a third item -- sorry. The third item is some I would say are open to the community for suggestions and input, but clearly the right remains with the U.N. Secretary-General for any ultimate decision that such things as the appointment of the chair and the appointment process for the MAG. And that was discussed at some length in the retreat. I think that's where those of us that participated in the retreat came down as well.
But I also think just the fact that the IGF is, in fact, convened by the Secretary-General, it is the Secretary-General that appoints the chair and the MAG. We can certainly have consultations and have our own opinions on how that should be done, but we can't effect or direct or change ourselves. We would need to engage with them on any possible suggestions.
So those are sort of the three broad categories. I would like to open it up for discussions, either if there are sort of any other questions on the retreat itself, any thoughts on next steps, and certainly any kind of thoughts on the sort of proposal I just put out. With that, the floor is open.
Unless Chengetai -- I should say, Chengetai, is there anything you wanted to add? No? Rafael, you have the floor.
>> RAFAEL PEREZ GALINDO: Thank you, Lynn.
I wanted to comment on something that during last year's retreat and also in Guadalajara, there were strong calls for securing the personal presence of the U.N. Secretary-General at the IGF which would strengthen with his attendance the profile and visibility of the IGF and its outcomes.
And we also feel that the reappointment of the special adviser to the U.N. Secretary-General could help invigorating the profile of the IGF. We believe these are key issues.
We wonder if hopefully appropriate actions may be undertaken to make this happen in the next year's IGF. Thank you.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: I'll jump in here. In fact, there was a time when we actually thought the Secretary-General was going to attend last year's IGF and then schedules changed.
There is an effort to reach out to the Secretary-General for this year's IGF as well. And I think we'll just have to keep posted.
Trying to think if there was another point there in yours that I lost for a moment.
No other comments or anybody asking for the floor or clarification? Do you want to bat around my three categories earlier or...
Sandra, you have the floor.
>> SANDRA HOFERICHTER: Thank you, Madam Chair. Just to clarify, this is about the retreat now? Is this the right place to speak?
Okay. The EuroDIG made already some contribution to the document which was published earlier this year. And I would like to highlight and put into context of the last IGF in Mexico one point which was about paragraph 36. It was mentioned there that among the IGF put forward one was that national and regional IGFs should be strengthened. And I think it was mentioned many times today that there is agreement on this in this room.
We should notice that many regions and nations have been inspired by the formation of the IGF back ten years ago, and how fast this concept spread all over the world to have a multistakeholder discussion is really an important thing to consider.
We believe it would help to strengthen the involvement of the national and regional IGFs as they introduce also sort of a geographical component. And here I'm referring to -- and I said it already on other occasions. I'm referring to that it would be helpful if we could introduce regional foras either on day zero or on day one.
We personally believe this would really help all stakeholders, first of all, for the regions to meet. I mean, it's a great opportunity to get so many stakeholders from one region together, additionally to the regional and national forums.
Secondly, we could really reach out to other regions and mutually update each other on what are the hot issues in each region, to coordinate such a forum is a multistakeholder discussion in itself. And it would just help the national and regional from the region to organize among themselves.
And then another advantage would be that if the participants, the ordinary participants, who are not connected to a national or regional fora, if they just go to these regional forums, they would have the opportunity to find out, okay, what are the issues in this region. And then they would have a better understanding of why in the course of the IGF various people are arguing in one way or another because they might have a better idea of what is going on in a special region and why are the issues focused on topic X, Y, Z. I think this would -- would be of benefit for all participants.
Last, but not least, I would really like to thank all the efforts which have been undertaken during the IGF in Mexico. It was in particular a successful meeting for national and regional IGFs because we have been given so much visibility with the main session and also with this working retreat.
And I really wold like to thank also the support from the IGF secretariat, Anja in person, who helped us to organize NRIs among ourselves. And also Marilyn who had as a MAG member supported the regional and national IGFs.
From Europe and from the EuroDIG, we would very, very much support that this concept of support from the global IGF secretariat as well as from sort of a liaison from the MAG would be -- were to be continued in the future because it would really help the global -- the national and regional IGFs to organize themselves and to even better integrate their topics into the global debate. Thank you very much.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Thank you, Sandra.
Marilyn was next in the queue. So let me go to Marilyn. And then we can see whether or not we expand on any of these topics. And then I have Cristina and Lea and Mark.
Marilyn, you have the floor.
>>MARILYN CADE: Thank you, chair. Marilyn Cade speaking.
I want to make a comment about the IGF retreat document. And while recognizing the role of DESA in really pulling together the first IGF retreat, just by its nature that meant that it had to have a somewhat contained set of participants. And the document and the work that was done was very interesting. But I made the comment later -- and I will make the comment again now -- that I had called for a much more robust consultation during the IGF itself face-to-face. And as it turned out, only possible to have a 45-minute time slot.
While that was still a useful time slot, the reality is that there have been relatively few contributions that have come back in broadly from the community.
I mention that because I think there are a number of interesting suggestions in it, not all of them have been thoroughly vetted by the NRIs themselves. There were many suggestions about work the NRIs could do. I think they would need to assess the practicalities. But I also think that it's important to think of the output of the retreat and the continued work needed called for in the CSTD Working Group on Improvements as two halves of a whole rather than thinking about them separately.
And I say that because I believe I heard earlier -- and I've heard from many of the MAG members their interest in helping to make sure that the CSTD Working Group on Improvements outputs -- which, of course, were approved at the U.N. level -- are continued to be implemented.
So my comment is really, I hope we will think about taking the present status of improvements or options that are proposed in the retreat document, look at them against the CSTD working group on improvements, and then consider any changes in a more holistic manner and that the MAG would work on that perhaps yet this year and I hope that there will be consideration of also making that work open to ongoing input from, in particular -- I'll just say from the NRIs. Thank you.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Thank you, Marilyn.
I actually think that's a good comment.
If I can just go back to Sandra for a moment because I suspect the other comments are probably on the retreat, I have had a number of sort of approaches talking about maybe a possible liaison between the NRIs and the MAG and I think I can say -- recognizing that the MAG meeting -- the MAG hasn't yet met -- that of course we want to do everything we can to support the NRIs.
I think the NRIs are probably at an inflection point. There's been tremendous growth and progress over the last couple of years. The NRIs are organic and independent, and the community side come from -- always take it upon themselves to determine what's the sort of support they need or bandwidth they need or resource or activities they need.
So I would guess, I think, that the MAG is very interested in hearing from the NRIs in terms of what sort of support you think you need.
I think we need to watch out for two things.
We need to make sure that it's at least a majority of the NRIs, not just sort of 10 or 12, so we need to, I think, put a process together to do that.
I think maybe a little bit more rigor in helping us understand what the consensus is of the NRIs would be helpful. And I know Anja has some thoughts on that as well, as I know other NRIs and MAG members do too. And I think we would happily entertain any discussion that said "We think this type of relationship or liaison or bandwidth would be helpful between the NRIs and the MAG," but then I'd really like us to follow it up with a description in terms of what the work is and the relationship.
Liaisons can go either way and they act differently depending on which way they're going.
So the MAG is, I think, very interested in hearing what the NRIs are interested in and what would best support you, and we really look forward to having similar discussions and -- discussions.
So I'll go back to the queue now which I suspect most of those other comments are probably quite directly on the retreat.
I actually have Cristina, Lea, Mark and Liesyl and Sharada.
>>CRISTINA MONTI: Thank you, Chair. Cristina Monti, European Commission.
With reference to the IGF retreat, one of the main messages I got from it is this idea of strategic multi-annual planning, an idea that came up again this morning and this afternoon.
So until now the IGF has successfully built on incremental improvements introduced gradually over the years, but I think that now that we have a much longer perspective ahead of us, we should really use this opportunity to change gears, and we have to ensure that the IGF will still be relevant in nine years' time, so we -- and we know that in this time lapse technology will evolve very, very quickly. There will be an acceleration in the digital transformation and there are unprecedented global challenges that ICT need to help address. So in this way, in this sense, I really think that this strategic multi-annual planning could be helpful. Each IGF meeting should not be seen in isolation but should be part of a broader reflection spanning intersessional work and cycles of maybe three or four years.
This would allow to define more challenging goals and processes.
A carefully designed multi-annual strategy would provide a broad framework which would still require the flexibility to adapt to new and unexpected developments, but then if we had this broader framework, we could accommodate topics and issues which could then be addressed in more depth.
And in this way, maybe also the workshop selection process could become more transparent and more efficient, less time-consuming.
Of course in order to do that, we also need to couple this with an adequate and consistent financial plan, and we go back to what we discussed during the lunchtime. We need consistent and predictable commitment by host countries and by donors, because if we don't have the financial resources, then it is very hard to have strategies in place.
So the financial sustainability is a key challenge. The European Commission is a committed and sustained donor and we invite also others to join in this effort. Thank you.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Thank you, Cristina.
Next in the queue we have Lea and then Mark.
>>LEA KASPAR: Thank you, Chair. This is Lea Kaspar speaking. Since I'm speaking for the first time, let me just say congratulations for your reappointment. We're really honored to have you as our chair.
I'm speaking here as a participant of the IGF retreat as well as a current MAG member in my third year now, and I'd like to thank the secretariat and UN DESA for helping facilitate this process, first of all, and I would like to thank you for the summary of the three types of recommendations. I think it's helpful to think about who is responsible for delivering different recommendations and delineating roles and responsibilities, because I think that that's possibly the next step.
Speaking as a MAG member -- and I reserve the right to come back to this potentially during the MAG meeting over the next couple of days -- what might be useful is for those who are responsible for different recommendations to think about developing roadmaps or action plans for how these recommendations could be developed and implemented -- not developed, implemented, over the next year as a minimum but potentially along the lines of what Cristina and others were saying, how that would then fit into the broader strategic plan for the IGF.
I think that is a particularly valuable recommendation that has come out of the retreat and don't know whether that's something that can be developed this year, if we can get a head start and then maybe see how different communities who are responsible for different recommendations can then -- how that can be lifted into the multiyear strategy. That would be excellent to see.
Whether -- in my head, there's a question of whether we should set up a working group on the MAG to see how we could take forward and develop a roadmap to oversee the implementation of the recommendations that pertain to the MAG and the community. And I'll stop there.
And one last thing. I'd just like to reflect on something that Marilyn said which I think was really important, and that is to see how these recommendations fit within the CSTD working group recommendations and to look at this in a holistic way. So just not to lose sight of the fact that this is part of a -- an already agreed-upon framework. I'm sure that there will be additional points to consider, but we do have a U.N. approved document and guidance there as well. Thank you.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Thank you, Lea. I think those are very helpful comments. I certainly heard a number of comments from MAG members over the last year, but the last few days as well, where I think there's a lot of support in moving forward on a multiyear strategic work plan and venues identified multiple years out and work on sort of longer-term and multiyear themes and intersessional work, and so there's a great deal of enthusiasm and at the same time a great deal of work in front of us as well, so I think we're going to need to be thoughtful and prioritize it, but I do think there's support for moving forward on virtually all of the topics that you mentioned.
Mark Carvell, you have the floor. U.K.
>>MARK CARVELL: Yes. Thank you, Lynn, and congratulations from me as well on your reappointment. That's great news for everybody, I'm sure.
Thanks. Yes, Mark Carvell, U.K. government.
The General Assembly called for the accelerated implementation of the recommendations of the CSTD's working group on improving the IGF. I think they actually used the word "accelerated," I think. So I think it's important, as Lea just said, to have a roadmap and a clear stated time line and commitment so that when the ICT for development second committee picks this up in the autumn, there's a clear messaging there that -- from the MAG and the wider community that this is the response and this is going to deliver.
Regarding Sandra's proposal, I very much agree with the intent there, but I think we are looking for the kind of interaction amongst the national and regional IGFs to take place much earlier in the preparation, so the liaison with the MAG, which I think you are suggesting would be well supported by the MAG, I think is very good because we said in our input to the retreat that the national and regional IGFs would be a valuable sounding board for identifying questions and key issues for the strategic planning, they'd be one of the groups to be consulted in our proposal for developing the strategic plan. So you've got that.
And then secondly, at the IGF event itself, I believe we are expecting a main session for the national and regional IGFs, and that needs to be well prepared for and you need the kind of consultation amongst the representatives of the NRIs on what are the key issues, what are the hot topics, where is shared knowledge and experience and working together on specific challenges going to really produce results within the global forum.
So if I understood Sandra correctly, she's looking for that really to happen at the IGF itself, but I would ad- -- forgive me if I've mistaken that, but I would advocate a priority process for the NRIs with the help of the MAG which is going to merely -- and Anja and Marilyn, of course, all their work to build on that in the way I've described. Thank you.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Thank you, Mark. I would just like to clarify one thing, I think, in that I wasn't calling for a liaison from the MAG. I'm actually responding from requests from some of the NRIs for some additional linkages between the two organizations and really asking them to help identify what would be helpful and useful for them.
So just so we're -- we're clear on that.
And I think we have Susan Chalmers from the United States. Susan, you have the floor.
>>SUSAN CHALMERS: Thank you, Chair. And as this is my first time speaking today, let me congratulate you on your renewed appointment as the MAG chair and to extend a thank you to all of the outgoing MAG members for their work and a warm welcome to all the new MAG members.
We'd also like to thank our Mexican hosts for a successful event last year and to thank our Swiss hosts in advance for what will surely be a successful event this upcoming December.
So as for the retreat on the three broad categories that you mentioned, Chair, this seems like a natural way for the secretariat to organize the next paper in this process, and while ideas on the IGF improvements are being discussed, I think it's important to note that we recognize that some of these recommendations have already been addressed or are being implemented and addressed, and so this should be reflected in any next steps that we take in this regard.
So we look forward to further discussion on how the post-retreat process will continue, and however it continues, we support that continuation in an open, transparent, and inclusive way.
So just a few words on three subject matter points from the retreat proceedings that were included in the proceedings document, and those are NRIs funding and relationships with other initiatives.
To follow up on some of the interventions made by our colleagues here on IGF initiatives and by yourself, Chair, whether regional, subregional, national, or youth initiatives, we would first like to express appreciation and support for the IGF core principles that guide all of those initiatives, and these are rooted in openness and inclusivity with the IGF events being free to attend, the agenda being developed through a bottom-up and consensus-based process, and of course a multistakeholder approach to participation and engagement.
As we note in our submission to the retreat proceedings, in terms of the relationship of the NRIs to the global event, the United States believes that the many different NRIs help to enrich and expand worldwide dialogue on Internet policy issues by feeding the local experiences into the discussion.
On a very practical note and on a structural point, what we were just discussing in terms of how the NRI work is reflected into the IGF agenda, we would support a little bit of what has been discussed today. That is, the role of the MAG is to plan the IGF program and agenda and ensuring that the MAG works to weave -- somehow to be discussed and determined to weave the NRIs into the agenda, of course in coordination with Anja in her valuable role as the secretariat's point of contact.
So separately, on budget and on funding, we heard of a budget shortfall during the lunchtime briefing today. We would like to note that while the intersessional work contributes greatly to the production of more tangible outputs for the IGF, which is one of the recommendations of the working group on IGF improvements, we recall that in our submission to the retreat we said that the administrative support role of the IGF secretariat has to be the priority for funding, just to keep us in motion, to keep us moving forward, and so if there are additional funds, those can be used for supporting the very important intersessional work, capacity building, and other efforts, but only over and above securing the funding for the staff to plan the IGF itself.
And finally, it has been interesting, as always, to hear about the various initiatives that are working on Internet governance issues and how they can engage at the IGF. This was also a subject of discussion at the retreat. I'd be interested, for example, to learn more about WEF's activities in particular, just because that's the one I'm least familiar with, and to hearing more about the pilot for establishing prospective online collaboration platforms at the WEF, et cetera, and how we can -- how the WEF intends to bring that to the IGF. Thank you, Chair.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Thank you, Susan. U.S.
I don't have anybody else in the queue just now.
I'm sort of tempted to say -- I mean, you just mentioned the WEF. There are lots of other initiatives that were actually brought forward as well. I worry that sometimes we leave these meetings and we get caught up in our day jobs and we don't actually follow up and really try and, you know, more deeply explore. I don't know how we do that better, but if people were willing to entertain -- we still have a little over half an hour -- were sort of maybe willing to entertain some thoughts on how we could take some of those activities, WEF or otherwise, but I'm more kind of interested in the process of how do we, I think as a community. Because it's not just the MAG and it's not just for the annual IGF. It's how does it -- you know, how might some of those activities actually participate and collaborate with some of our other intersessional activities.
And I don't really know how to advance that and I feel like we leave these meetings and maybe some connections are made and maybe there's some discussions but it's not really probably as deliberative as it needs to be and I think certainly doesn't lead to as robust a set of collaborative relationships as we'd like.
And excellent because that triggered a couple of hands up.
So we have Renata and then we have Elizabeth.
Renata, you have the floor.
>>RENATA AQUINO RIBEIRO: Yes. About the intersessional activities, and also building upon some of the comments about the great presentations of the NRIs' work, I think one of the achievements that should be highlighted was the integration between intersessional activities and the NRIs' work. And I do agree with Susan that planning the IGF is very important, but I think also planning this integration.
So I had, as a right arm on IGF a LAC IGF fellow, so it was someone that I could count on for running around and giving advice to LAC proposers who were presenting for the first time, and for the BPF gender, it was very important, the integration with Brazil IGF and LAC IGF. Both opportunities we got because we entered into -- well, in Brazil IGF, we entered in the un-conference slot and in LAC IGF we managed to secure like 20 minutes of a session.
So I guess -- and I am really here also talking to the community. I think inviting the intersessional work to the NRIs, inviting the MAG members involved, trying to do that exchange would greatly increase outreach for the global IGF, as well for the NRIs, and produce even more results for the intersessional work.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Thank you, Renata.
Elizabeth, you have the floor.
>>ELIZABETH THOMAS-RAYNAUD: Can you hear me? Yes. Okay. Elizabeth Thomas-Raynaud speaking from the International Chamber of Commerce and I'm going against my grain, which was not to speak today because I'm a current MAG member, but I wanted to very, very briefly throw in again a frame of reference that in addition, when we're doing our long-term strategic planning, which I wholeheartedly support and I think we would get a lot of support from the business sector on that point, but when we're doing our planning and our prioritization, I really want to remind people that we are talking about resources. There are financial and there are human capital resources. And we don't measure very much the amount of time and effort and additional engagement that's required in the roles we've all taken up in the MAG and elsewhere.
And I really take your point to heart, Chair, about the preparedness and the engagement and the ability for people to have meaningful dialogues when we meet.
So there isn't an untapped supply of that human capacity. We all know it. And I think sometimes we don't like to say no, and we don't say no.
So I'm going to leave it for other people to share ideas about how we prioritize those better because I do think we have key indicators from the U.N. General Assembly, from the improvements, and other activities. Again, I just wanted to raise that resource constraint.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Thank you, Elizabeth. We have Giacomo in the queue and then Constance. And Derek is still here from WEF, too.
I couldn't see your flag back there. Thank you. Okay.
So, Giacomo, you have the floor.
>>GIACOMO MAZZONE: Thank you. As a matter of brainstorming, I think that if we are thinking how to link with the existing initiatives, we cannot skip to the WSIS follow-up that is in May. I think we need to use this opportunity in a structured way trying to mobilize -- because there are a lot of governments that usually we don't have in our radars here at the IGF. So it's a unique opportunity to link and promote and to discuss with them and to convince them to come in December.
Of course, the -- I understand the concerns of Elizabeth about funding. But the proposal to link the intersessional activities to the NRIs, I think that could be fairly solved within the resources of the -- also the local IGF. Not all of them are rich, but some of them have resources. So if we can ask them to contaminate their programs with trying to reach and discuss some of the topics that will be then reported to the global IGF is exactly the kind of idea that I think we are discussing. And I think it is feasible. Not with all the IGF, of course, the national and regional, but with some of them it could be done.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Thank you, Giacomo.
Chengetai wanted the floor.
>>CHENGETAI MASANGO: Yes. Just to follow-up on Giacomo, you were saying on the WSIS forum, the IGF secretariat is also looking into having a workshop in the WSIS forum and also the possibility of holding the consultations during the forum. They will get back to us tomorrow and then we can decide.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Thank you, Chengetai.
We have Constance, Internet Society.
>>CONSTANCE BOMMELAER: Thank you very much. I would like to echo this proposal of linking the intersessional activities with the NRIs. I can say that when we decided to rejuvenate the best practice forums with a number of you here in the room and also launch the CENB, the policy options for Connecting and Enabling the Next Billion, the first year it functioned but people were not really aware of it. The second year it functioned much, much better. And that is partly due to the participation of the national and regional initiatives which allowed to gather contributions from a number of regions, countries, and really giving some legitimacy and some depth to some of the outputs that the IGF as a committee was able to deliver.
From a practical point of view, I would also emphasize that after the first year where the NRIs were a little less involved, one difficulty we faced is that these communities that we had gathered, you know, people who had signed up to a number of mailing lists, best practices, some of the mailing lists gathered hundreds of people who usually do not participate in the IGF and before that had no interest in the IGF.
And I would say with the NRIs being more involved this past year, once the IGF event -- the global IGF events had ended, these people naturally connected with national and regional IGFs. So I would say the NRI network and pace of activities during the year provided a place for these individuals to reconnect and continue the engagement. So I think it's an excellent idea. Thank you.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Thank you, Constance.
And I know while there are lots of offers for where the NRIs might participate and get engaged, that we recognize that there are choices on both sides, choices to approach and choices to say, "My priorities are elsewhere at this point in time." I only say that because usually there are a few people who jump in to kind of make it very clear.
Derek, you have the floor.
>> DEREK O'HALLORAN: Just to respond very briefly. I will be available over the next couple of days for people to come find me if they want to. Happy to do that.
Also, as I say, we're in a little bit of a strategic planning phase ourselves. I think of overviews or activities, I would say we would have a little bit of an initial strategic document for sharing later this month. And we actually have a meeting on the 23rd of March in San Francisco where we will be reviewing a lot of this information. If people are interested, please let me know. We will be publishing it then and happy to make it available through this network as well.
On the -- although I would say as mentioned, this is the beginning of a multiyear strategic planning, so there's scope for input and iteration on that. I think the purpose is to set out the vision and intent and direction and then allow input from others along the way.
Just on the point -- the broader point the Chair brought, finding ways to at least to see the interconnections across the various activities, maybe just a couple of points. One, at the risk of making it even more of a complex problem than it already seems to be, I would just point out that as was mentioned earlier, as the issues are evolving, and as they are becoming more complex and as technology is -- particularly with IOC and NNIs -- touching more policy domains and more industries, there's a greater number of stakeholders that are becoming interested and feel that they have some sort of role in this.
There are a greater number of institutions that feel that they need to understand what their role is in this space.
And so I think -- I would just kind of echo and underline, I do think if we are talking about strategic multiyear planning on the global level, trying to tackle this very tricky nosh of understanding needs across the board from stakeholders as diverse of ministers of transport and ministers of health through to the CEO of an industrial company through to people who might be working on gender diversity and have never really thought about the Internet before. I think it's really multiplying and thinking about what are the needs and what are the mechanisms we already have. What are the activities? How could we map the activities? And then that will throw up of where there are areas, opportunities for collaboration and obviously then where there are big gaps that we're not addressing.
That's a big, hairy kind of mapping problem. I don't really know either how we do that or how we get our arms around that. It's something that we are spending a little -- a fair bit of time thinking about and trying to work on. So if others know of work that's been done in that area, we would greatly receive it or if others want to kind of put their brain power together and either informally or perhaps develop something else, I think that's a pretty worthy exercise.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Thank you, Derek.
Maybe one of the things we could do is as we go forward over the next couple of days from the MAG and, of course, anybody from the community is always free to, you know, send in comments or suggestions, if there are some of the initiatives, again, not just specific to WEF, but that we've heard today that we think could be usefully explored in a half-hour, hour discussion, we can set those up.
The MAG actually meets on a regular basis according to the workload in front of us. If we're as ambitious where we seem to be this morning with respect to the multiyear strategic work plans and multiyear venues and maybe doing something to support some of the fund-raising and further focus on outreach, et cetera, et cetera, I suspect those calls could be fairly frequent.
But that actually might be a way to do a slightly deeper dive into some of these efforts. And those calls are open. They're also broadcast. I don't think they're transcribed. But they would serve as a record for continuing some of that discussion.
So maybe that's a way to get a little deeper into some of these without, you know, needing to do something really heavy in terms of a process.
Lee, you have the floor.
>>LEE HIBBARD: Just echoing what the WEF just mentioned about organizations that perhaps are not aware of this space, I myself am approached by different people from different organizations that have nothing to do with Internet governance. Somehow they want to know. They're curious. I think it's incumbent on the MAG, on the IGF, to every year -- every time it meets to reflect on who are the new entrants we should be targeting because obviously it becomes closed -- it could even become a filter bubble sometimes one could say. I think it's really incumbent on trying to reduce the barriers of entry into this space and understanding what that means and then making active outreach to those actors who are just not here. You know, would that be agriculture or others which are using technology in different ways? Because the words "Internet governance" are quite -- I think Jovan said the word "abstract." Internet governance, "governance" means actors, actors. Which actors? And, of course, then it leads to a discussion about who is responsible, for what on the Internet. Therefore, the discussion gets captured by those actors who do things regarding Internet. And that's not necessarily all of what we do here, I think. So, you know, to avoid being too abstract, you know, breaking the mold every time and trying to bring in new entrants would be a key challenge every time we meet and try to bring them in. We can do that from the ambassadors in this room, from the MAG, et cetera. I think that's a key -- a key -- a key task for this group. Thank you.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Thank you, Lee.
>>MARK CARVELL: Yes, thank you, Lynn. Just picking up on what Lee has just said and also Derek in respect of the challenges for governments actually, how to get policymakers who do not deal with Internet policy with the IGF. They may be dealing with agriculture, health, education issues where Internet technologies are transformative, same along industrial strategy, how manufacturing processes are going to be totally revolutionized with new technologies. How do we in government actually get the message out that you need to be at the IGF is a particular challenge for us.
And when we have some cross-governmental working in the U.K., maybe other governments, administrations also have that experience. But there's also -- actually the sustainable development goals provides very multisectoral focus when it comes to ICTs. That is actually providing a little bit of scope for sort of transversal work in government and saying to people who are policy experts on education and what ICTs can do for the educational sector, for example, get to the IGF and then, you know, there's the opportunity to engage with people from industry, people that are developing the technologies and others who have a direct interest.
I just reflect on that as a particular challenge as we enter this new era when these technologies are going to have massive effect across so many areas. Thank you.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Thank you, mark. I think that also recalls a point we heard in a discussion earlier in the week where, you know, an individual was actually commenting that within their ministry, it seemed as though they seemed to feel that to understand some particular topic and understand the impacts of Internet governance that they needed to keep going out more broadly to understand all these other Internet things and that they were in danger of trying -- of feeling like they had to become an expert in all these other topics in order to master their one and vice versa.
And I think that's really an interesting problem. Maybe the question is: What, if anything, can the IGF do to actually help in those instances which may actually come back into the output or the outreach.
I see Jovan because he was at that meeting when that comment was made. And Nigel.
Jovan, you have the floor and then we will go to Nigel.
>>JOVAN KURBALIJA: While we are in the brainstorming part of the session, that was just mentioned by Lee and the other colleagues is that it is a really big challenge for many governments and organizations to define what they're focusing on. Earlier this week we had a meeting with the delegation from one major country trying to develop cyber diplomacy capacity. And we started from the discussion of there are prefixes used: Cyber diplomacy, digital diplomacy, net diplomacy. And there is a huge confusion what it is about. Is it security? Is it Internet Governance Forum? Is it trade? Is it human rights?
I think if Internet Governance Forum can help to bring some sort of -- I don't think, not overall mapping is not realistic but at least to ask the question: What do you mean when you use the term "cyber diplomacy" or "digital economy" "digital trade" or "eCommerce." In any field you have confusion in making.
I think it is reducing resources because things are done in multiplied foes and ministries. It creates confusion, and it creates definitely suboptimal policy -- policy making.
And I can see that the organizations, governments are looking for some sort of more clarity in dealing with this. This is the first point.
Second point is bad news, is that silos are here to stay. And I think we should start our discussion from the reality that we simply gathering the communities that we develop -- and starting from Internet Governance Forum, we have known each other for quite some time. You have security community, trade communities, and other communities.
I think the silos will be there, and it's not realistic. And I will say even it's not advisable to dismantle them because there is a social dynamics in the silos.
What we have to focus on is to find some sort of boundary spanners, people who can translate simple communication, who can communicate between these different silos. And knowing the people in this community, I think we have quite a few potential boundary spanners between, I would say, security and technical community, trade and the human rights. That could be possibly a space in which IGF can intervene and always in the needs approach.
What is needed, for example, in WTO community? Now they're asking questions, what are the impacts of cybersecurity standardization and other issues on trade? They would welcome input from our community, from IGF or technical community. But we need some sort of mechanisms. I don't think this should be very formal, but we need to innovate not just developments of those boundary spanners between different communities.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: I think those are good comments.
And maybe just to build on some of this past discussion for a moment, one of the other things we heard a lot of last year was that we certainly want more participation, broader participation. There were certainly that aspect from a developing country. There was also the same thing from a stakeholder. We all said we wanted more governments, more than senior policymakers. We also said we needed more policy sector there as well.
Maybe one of the things we could do, taking advantage of being in Geneva, might be to find a way to actually ask the governments through the missions here to the capitals what they would -- ask them some direct questions. I'm not sure we do that directly enough and probably not in the name of sort of the IGF. So that could be, you know, one interesting way to do it. And I think that we probably have quite a -- I could say -- a convenient vehicle here in Geneva to do so with some of the missions here.
Another thing that could be quite interesting, given private sector tying into some of the other conversations, particularly if we could get two or three years out in terms of venues -- different countries have different set of priorities and different -- you know, they're at different points in time -- to identify a couple of industries. This is also building on something Janis Karklins said this morning, to build out and identify some of those industries where we have the time to actually go work some partnerships with them ahead of time. I think that could also be useful for a fund-raising as well. All of that really requires we get out several years on many dimensions.
There might be an opportunity to start that here in Geneva as well if, in fact, as we've heard today there's a focus on, I don't know, finance systems or finance payments or a cashless society or blockchain technologies or data. We've heard a couple of kind of pillars, I guess, of possibilities here. But maybe that's an opportunity to do that as well.
We have Nigel in the queue and then Marilyn.
Nigel, you have the floor.
>>NIGEL HICKSON: Thank you very much. I'll be very brief.
I mean, just really picking up from what a number of people have said about the -- the sort of interplay between the IGF and the various other organizations, not just in Geneva, of course, but elsewhere, and I -- I do think it's important that there is this interplay.
I mean, how one does it, of course, is rather more difficult and, you know, the -- the MAG have a -- have a lot of work to do and, you know, can't have endless discussions about what goes on in other organizations.
But I do wonder whether there could be a -- you know, a place on the agenda for some of the calls where, from time to time, organizations like the WEF or other organizations could, if you like, interact with some of the work they're doing, so there's a -- there's a mutual understanding here.
And I think this comes into this sort of strategic planning issue as well, in the sense that I think for some people the Internet Governance Forum -- and it's probably people that don't go to it, if you see what I mean, or perhaps only went to one, you know, years and years ago. But they see it -- it's seen sometimes as a bit of a sponge, in the sense that it -- you know, people go along, you collect the ideas, there's a lot of -- a lot of discussion, et cetera, and, you know, it's rather -- it's rather a sort of one-way dialogue.
Now, I know the intersessional work has changed that, and the dynamic coalitions, if you like, generate a certain amount of continuity and a certain amount of work, and of course we have the very important work on connecting the next billion.
But I do think as we reflect -- some of us reflected in Mexico on the need to try and sort of capture a subtheme, if you like, and run with it for a particular year -- and I think we do have the opportunity this year because we're starting early and the IGF is reasonably late and no doubt, you know, during the MAG meeting in the next couple of days you might be able to reflect on how this is done and what sort of subtheme there might be. And Anriette talked this morning about the high-level political forum in New York will be looking at particular sustainable development goals, so whether it's something around that or whether it's something around cybersecurity and taking some of the elements that we addressed earlier.
But I -- I think some sort of theme would help, and then -- and if that could -- you know, I'm waffling -- I'll stop waffling.
If that could be worked out before the WSIS forum, which is not till June, is it, this year, and then, you know, that could be announced at the WSIS forum that there is this continuity, there's this bit of work that's going on, I think that would really interest people. Thank you.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Thank you, Nigel.
Marilyn, you have the floor.
>>MARILYN CADE: Thank you, Chair. Marilyn Cade speaking. Well, Nigel has picked up on few of the points I wanted to make. A couple of things I would just reflect, and that is, even the United Nations has understood that to address the sustainable development goals, they need to take them in smaller bites, so they are prioritizing a short list of the goals over the next four years, and the high-level forum, for instance, this year will address -- and the ministerial -- will agree Goal 1, end poverty in all its forms; Goal 2, end hunger; address food security, Goal 3; ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages; Goal 5, achieve gender equality and empower women and girls; Goal 9, build Brazilian infrastructure; Goal 14, conserve the sustainable use of the oceans, the seas, and marine resources.
I don't -- I personally think it's difficult for us to map all of our work in Internet governance to all of the SDGs but I believe some of them have particular affinity, and certainly if we're serious about attracting health ministers or agriculture ministers, I think we should just keep in mind this other work that is going on.
The second point I would make is just a reminder, a gentle reminder, that in May of this year the CSTD Working Group on Enhanced Cooperation will have its third three-day meeting. That is the 3rd through the 5th of May here in Geneva. Some of us are members of that working group. But it's followed by the Commission on Science and Technology for Development, and CSTD has a two-part mandate from the United Nations.
One is, of course, the science and acting as the advisor to the U.N. through ECOSOC on science and technology for development, but the second is WSIS follow-up.
And so there will be an important resolution that is drafted, and I hope that the MAG will keep in mind that different ministers, usually the science and technology for development ministers, come, and that may be a good time to be aware that it's important to have some engagement with those -- with those other government ministers who come.
The WSIS forum -- and thank you, Chengetai, for referencing that. I think the WSIS forum is also a very unique opportunity, because of the two-day high-level segment where there are high-level participants from ministries but also from business and from civil society.
And finally, I will just offer a thought, and I -- I'm glad Derek is here so he is able to perhaps respond.
I did a lot of work at WEF for a large global corporation that I used to work for, and WEF has direct contact and engagement with a lot of the CEOs of businesses and also an SME track, and so if we are trying to advance efforts to reach some of the business sectors, perhaps we could put that on an agenda and also perhaps talk to UNCTAD about their new SME initiative which is doing a terrific amount of work both in the industrial side, but also an initiative that they have on bringing women entrepreneurs into activities. And perhaps we could be thinking about when the MAG meets again on day zero we try to do some more outreach and engagement with some of those other entities while we're here in Geneva.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Thank you, Marilyn.
So we have Juan. Juan will be the last speaker, and then Thomas is going to give us a couple of remarks and then I need to cover a couple of administrative and logistic items for tomorrow.
So Juan, you have the floor.
>>JUAN FERNANDEZ: Very brief. I was following very -- very interesting this brainstorm, and I just want to repeat what I said in the retreat because I think these all things are related. Even the lack of funding of the IGF is related. Because we have to concentrate in what makes IGF different from the other conversations or the other discussions going around. As Jovan very aptly said, it's unrealistic to believe that we're going to substitute some of those silos that is going on because they have their own community, they have their own track and they're going on. But we have to ask ourselves what value do we add to all that conversation that is going on.
I was -- many speakers mentioned the WSIS forum. I am very concerned that this -- a big similarity between what is happening in the WSIS forum and the IGF. Of course there are some differences. I think we have to concentrate on the differences.
But, for instance, I can say that in my country, in Cuba, the same people, the same workshops that they presented for IGF, they presented it to the WSIS forum, so what's the difference?
And the WSIS forum has these other segments that Marilyn was saying around.
I believe -- I believe that IGF has some other qualities. I don't want to go into it now because we don't have time. Maybe in a -- in a virtual meeting ask for comments. But we have to get back to the roots of the IGF, that freshness of policy dialogue among equals and all the stakeholders, and try to -- from there, try to extract what value do we add to the rest of the process going on.
Because if we don't have value, we don't get funding because funding for what? And I think that that situation with the funding is a reflection of the perception of the value that we have.
I said that we need to do some marketing because I firmly believe -- and I have sent my contribution that I sent for the retreat -- that IGF can make a difference for all this enhanced cooperation and even for cybersecurity.
I was very surprised that now many other colleagues were mentioning the GGE in this meeting, and I'm surprised because many delegates in the GGE are against any linkage between cybersecurity and Internet governance.
For me, that is very surprising because it's like discussing human health and saying that pneumonia has nothing to do with human health.
But that's true. In that silo, they don't want to know anything about Internet governance. I was in the workshop in Guadalajara that had to do with the GGE and I advanced that I think that it's linked. We have to find out, as Nigel said, how we can connect all these processes. We start substituting -- in order to give value. I think we have value to bring to the table, but we have to put it -- and to market it very clearly for the rest of the world to see because we all see it because we are inside, but many people don't see it. I think that we have to do that.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Thank you, Juan.
And I also think part of the difficulties with the funding was because of the decision in WSIS+10 late in December 2015 about the possible extension or not of the IGF mandate.
I'm sure some steam was lost there, and questions were raised in the minds of donors with respect to whether or not they continue to contribute to something whose future wasn't at all assured.
And then of course in December we did get a 10-year mandate and then started sort of significantly for the next year's program.
So I think it's more about sort of ramping that back up and getting back there again a little bit. And that's not to take anything away from your comment about value, but I also think there was some sort of admin reasons as well.
Let me turn to Thomas.
>>THOMAS SCHNEIDER: Thank you, and I would like to make a couple of points but I'll try to be brief because of the time that is already quite advanced.
I think we've heard a lot of good ideas on how to do things better. Some of them go into actually different directions where it's not so easy to actually be coherent.
Another thing is that many of these proposals or ideas are not new and it seems to me a little bit that -- and this is a natural human thing that happens in many places -- we agree what we should do better and then one year later we meet again and agree what we should do better and nobody has really been able to do anything because it wasn't worked out into much detail. And that goes for the IGF improvements paper, it goes for the retreat results.
We have enough things where we would know what we could or should improve, but then of course who has the time, the resources, and the willingness to work with others to actually do the hard work, which is -- which is the challenge.
And maybe we should -- and that could be part of the strategic plan or it could be something separate -- work on a very concrete to-do list. Not just what the objectives are, but what are the steps to get there and then see who could actually -- part of the MAG or whatever, who should work with whom to actually get these things done, or at least try to get some of them done. Because I have a little bit of a deja vu with these meetings that we agree but then we wait and nothing happens and then we agree again what should be done.
And some of the -- there are concrete ideas. Like the one that Marilyn mentioned about the SMEs, how to reach out to SMEs and so on and so forth. There are concrete ideas but somebody needs to actually say, "Okay, I'm going to do it. Who's with me?" And take the lead on something.
And then the last thing is what Juan has said, and this is something that actually struck me when -- now that we are talking to people also in my country about the IGF and then they ask me like, "What? Ah, this is not going to take decisions so then what's the point in meeting and just talking?"
And communication is key, and we know -- or we think we know -- what the value of the IGF or the values of the IGF -- the value added of the IGF are, but everybody doesn't. We are not that good in communicating, which is also not so easy, but I strongly support your point. The problem is there may be different perceptions of what the value added is and we may have to have like -- depending on whom we want to involve, like play a little bit with these different perceptions.
I'll stop here and see you tomorrow morning again. Thank you.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: On that high point --
[ Laughter ]
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: -- just a couple of administrative logistics.
We had scheduled -- there's been a lot of work done on the workshop evaluation proposal. We had tentatively scheduled that for the morning of Friday. I'd actually like Rasha, who is leading that working group, to kind of maybe think about it and poll some of the working group members and understand whether or not we actually pull that review forward to tomorrow, which would allow us time as a working group to make any subsequent changes.
Again, this was something that we said we need to have approved as we leave this meeting in order to allow on time for all of the I.T. work to be done and have a timely call for proposals.
So, I mean, I won't -- I'm not trying to put Rasha on the spot just now, or the working group, but, I mean, it sort of strikes me that maybe having that discussion earlier than Friday morning would be useful.
If so, then we'll make the appropriate changes in the agenda.
There's a cocktail tonight, ICANN NomCom, on the 8th floor. And I'm not sure, they may be wanting to twist some arms. I think their nominating session is open. And that's at 6:30. From 6:30 to 7:30 or so, I guess.
And then there is a reception tomorrow night hosted by the Swiss government immediately following as well.
All our meetings are open. Our receptions are open as well, I'm assuming. So those of you that are here that are not MAG members should very, very, very much attend. We still need to hear more from you.
And then finally, to thank the interpreters and the scribes for all of their efforts today. They really add just tremendously, I think, to the record, and, you know, enable subsequent follow-up broadly. So thank you. We'll see you back here tomorrow morning at 10:00, and that will be the convening of the MAG, the new MAG. Thank you.