2019 IGF - MAG - Virtual Meeting - III

The following are the outputs of the real-time captioning taken during an IGF virtual call. Although it is largely accurate, in some cases it may be incomplete or inaccurate due to inaudible passages or transcription errors. It is posted as an aid, but should not be treated as an authoritative record. 


>> CHENGETAI MASANGO: Good afternoon, good morning, and good evening, ladies and gentlemen.  We'll just give it our usual three minutes just to make sure that the ones who are late can come in.  Thank you.  

    Okay.  Good morning, good afternoon, and good evening, ladies and gentlemen.  This is Virtual MAG Meeting III, and just a reminder before we start that this meeting is being captioned and your voice is being recorded.  Please only speak when the Chair calls on you, and after you've spoken, can you please mute yourself afterwards.  And we'll be using the speaking queue today, as we've done in the past two, and you can -- Luis is going to put in the link to the speaking queue in the chat for those of you who can't find it -- the link.  All right.  Thank you very much.

    And with that, I'll give the floor to our chair, Lynn, to start the meeting.  

    >> LYNN ST. AMOUR: Thank you, Chengetai.  And thank you, again, to everybody who's joining outside of normal work hours.  Again, we rotate the meetings to share the -- share the joy of out-of-work hours.

    The first item of business is to approve the agenda.  I did chat briefly with Chengetai this morning, and we realize that we had left off a Secretariat's updates from the agenda, so that will be a minor addition in the first item we come to after this approval.  So are there any questions, comments on the agenda, any items for AOB?  We'll do a slow count to six here to give people time to come in.  

    Okay.  Not seeing any.  I'll call the agenda approved and just revert to Chengetai quickly for a brief update.  Chengetai.  

    >> CHENGETAI MASANGO: Thank you, Lynn.  For the Secretariat update, we have the Call for Submissions, and we have extended the deadline to the 21st of January.  That is next Monday.  At the moment, we've got very few submissions.  We only got ten submissions, so I would be grateful if you could all just remind your constituents and also the -- of the various mailing lists that you're on that the Call for Submissions is here and the deadline has been extended to the 21st of January.

    For the Call for Issues, that is still ongoing.  The deadline there, as we agreed previously, is on the 24th of January.  At the moment, we have 96 issues that have been submitted, and I would please ask the link for that page to be put into the chat.  And as we can see, we have nine submissions from government, two from Intergovernmental Organizations, 57 from Civil Society, and 12 from the technical community and 16 from the private sector, and as far as regional grouping goes, we have 33 submissions from the African Group, followed by 24 submissions from the WEOG, and Asia-Pacific has 16, Latin American and Caribbean Group have submitted 11, and Intergovernmental Organizations two, and others six.  We have yet done a coalition of the issues, but if you would -- if you want to just have a feeling of what the issues are, you can just read down that page and see what the issues are there.

    The other update, I did inquire with the host country about whether or not it was possible to extend the third meeting from three days to four days, as was the request, but, unfortunately, this is not possible.  There is no room available, so we have to stick to the three days.

    And the other question that we were asked was the dates within the WSIS when the April open facilitations and MAG meeting would take place, and I have from 9th to 11th of April, so that would be on the week of the WSIS Forum.  It will be the Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday during that week.  

    Unless there's any other questions or any questions, I'll give the floor back to Lynn.  Thank you.  

    >> LYNN ST. AMOUR: Thank you, Chengetai.  Maybe just one minor clarification.  Your first set of comments to us for the stocktaking Call for Submissions, Call for Issues is so similar sounding, but that was -- 

    >> CHENGETAI MASANGO: Stocktaking, yes.  

    >> LYNN ST. AMOUR: -- specifically it was the stocktaking deadline.  

    >> CHENGETAI MASANGO: Which is -- the deadline is the 21st, yes.  

    >> LYNN ST. AMOUR: Right.  And I think that's good news with respect to the Call for Issues, and certainly having the various diversity statistics broken out is really helpful.  I would encourage all MAG members to review the submissions and then reach out through your networks, particularly so we ensure that we have a good representation, both regional as well as stakeholder grouping.  

    Any other comments or questions for the Secretariat?  

    I also see a note in the chat -- 

    >> VENI MARKOVSKI: Lynn, this is Veni.  Hi, everyone.  Happy New Year, third time.  

    >> LYNN ST. AMOUR: Hi, Veni.  

    >> VENI MARKOVSKI: I have a question about the meeting in April.  Do we have any -- are we planning any joint, I don't know what you call them, anything to do with the WSIS Forum, or are we just using the fact that it's taking place that week?  I mean, are we going to have some time to actually interact with it?  Thanks.  

    >> LYNN ST. AMOUR: So Chengetai, I can respond first and then you can.  The typically we've only had these meetings overlapping a few times.  You know, the kind of overlap is by participation outside of our MAG meeting hours, of course, and then participation in panels in various speaking slots.  We've had, you know, the ITU head come and address the MAG meeting, and we might do that again, and I think it's important in terms of building a relationship and also properly thanking them for providing us with the facilities.  I think it's a good idea to think about whether or not there's something, you know, more -- more comprehensive or more formal that might be done.  If people had thoughts, I'd be interested in hearing that, and let me turn to Chengetai too to see if he has any thoughts or is having discussions.  Chengetai.  

    >> CHENGETAI MASANGO: Yes.  Yes, exactly.  We don't have anything planned at the moment.  In previous years we've had a session informing the WSIS Forum participants on the IGF.  I don't think those are that successful because the people who are in the room are, generally speaking, people who know about the IGF.  If I recall correctly, I think it was only two people in the room last time that didn't know anything about the IGF, and they were the ones who were the students doing the remote participation, but it is a good idea, and if we could find -- sorry, there's somebody -- can somebody mute themselves.  

    If we could find a sponsor who might be able, maybe, to sponsor a reception or a drink where MAG members can meet the other participate apartments from WSIS and we can try and invite some people to that reception, that would be a great idea.  Thank you.  

    >> LYNN ST. AMOUR: I think we should -- thank you, Chengetai.  I think we should think about this a bit more as well.  While I agree I think most people are familiar with the IGF, perhaps a session somewhere which actually talks about specifically what's -- what's new, what the priorities are.  There were a number of very, I think, significant and visible requests for the IGF, whether that came out of the European Commission's High-Level Internet Governance groups or whether it was President Macron's or Secretary Gutierrez, we have the High-Level Panel in the background as well, which should be close to have completed their report, if not just completed it then, so, I mean, it might be appropriate to have -- I'm not quite sure what vehicles are available outside of the formal programme, but kind of rediscovering the IGF or what's new in the IGF or a key strategic initiative or something like that could be of interest.

    Happy to take any other comments here on the call.  I think that was a good question or suggestion, Veni.  Or we can take it -- take it offline and pick it up even the end of this month.  

    >> CHENGETAI MASANGO: Yes.  I think the earlier we decide -- if we are going to request for a room, I think the earlier we decide is better, and we can request for a room and do something, so the room would have to be either on the Monday or the Friday or during the lunchtime period, or we can actually share a session, as, Lynn, you've mentioned, we can share a session with somebody else, you know.  We can ask the high-level panel.  We can ask somebody else and we can share a session and we can discuss Internet Governance issue.  

    >> LYNN ST. AMOUR: As a holding place, can you look for something on a Monday or maybe a lunch break earlier in the week?  

    >> CHENGETAI MASANGO: We can make a request and -- we'll make a request.  

    >> LYNN ST. AMOUR: Yeah.  I think there's some interesting things we could do, and at least we'll have that in.  

    >> VENI MARKOVSKI: This is Veni, if I may.  

    >> LYNN ST. AMOUR: Mm-hmm, please.  

    >> VENI MARKOVSKI: I think it would be good to have something where we can exchange observations from our work with the people who are coming to the WSIS Forum and vice versa.  I don't necessarily think it should be focused on the High-Level Panel, which is, you know, by then -- by April, May, already it's coming into the final rounds of preparing their report.  I would rather focus on the work that we do, namely the strategic planning, you know, what's coming from the IGF and the financial -- the fundraising efforts that we are having because at the end of the day, we are the MAG, we are not a body to help the High-Level Panel or anybody else, we are here to make sure that the IGF is a successful forum, and if there is more interest -- and there is more interest and that it's financially stable, so if we could focus on these areas, that would be great.  Thanks.  

    >> LYNN ST. AMOUR: Thank you, Veni.  Those are very good -- very good comments as well.  We'll start a separate thread on the MAG list with respect to how we might structure that session, and I think trying to engage the WSIS leadership in that discussion as well would be important and useful, but let's continue to kind of iterate on possible agendas there with the Secretariat working to reserve some -- a slot just now.  

    Okay.  So going back to the agenda, on our last call last week, we actually reviewed the draft agenda for the MAG meeting in some detail.  As it had just gone out a few days ahead of the meeting, we decided to leave it open for any additional reflection and comments.  Are there anybody who would like to comment on the agenda or have any -- any final thoughts?  Again, it's listed there under the MAG meeting materials for those that need to pull it up.  

    And, obviously, if you're in the WebEx, if you could use the speaking queue, that's the most helpful and the most equitable.  If you're only on the phone, then please just jump in as you can.  

    All right.  Not seeing or hearing any requests from the floor, we will call the open consultation and MAG meeting agenda for the end of this month -- oops.  I see Mary has just put her hand up.  Mary, you have the floor.  

    >> MARY UDUMA: Good morning, all.  This is Mary from Nigeria.  For the Open Forum, I want to raise the fact that the African Union proposal that was held in Paris had issues with the room that was allocated.  So many of our participants were not allowed to enter the room because it was small.  I think the African Union is great by number, and we'd like to see that a bigger room is allocated to African Union.  Thank you.  

    >> LYNN ST. AMOUR: Mary, that's -- just to clarify, that's for the IGF?  

    >> MARY UDUMA: Yeah, at the IGF.  

    >> LYNN ST. AMOUR: Okay.  Okay.  So it wasn't specific to the agenda.  We'll take note of that.  I'm sure the Secretariat will take note of that as well -- 

    >> CHENGETAI MASANGO: Oh, yes.  The that was -- yes, we will.  I mean, it is, you know, difficult to gauge which session is more popular than another session, but we will keep that in mind.  And this year's venue, in fact, the rooms are quite large, so we won't have that problem that we had in a room with only 40 people that can come in.  

    >> LYNN ST. AMOUR: Thank you, Chengetai.  Thank you, Mary, for bringing that up as well.

    So we will call the agenda, again, for the Open Consultation, the MAG meeting at the end of this month approved.  It is already posted.  Again, I would ask everybody to reach out to your networks to ensure they're aware of the Open Consultation and the ability to participate online as well as physically, and, of course, the same for the MAG meeting as well.

    So with that, we'll move to the agenda item Overview and review of the 2018 MAG Working Groups, obviously with an eye to proposing Working Groups for 2019.

    Maybe just a few words first on the Working Groups.  The Working Groups have traditionally been a vehicle to advance some kind of planning pieces or key operational pieces of the MAG or the community's work without having to pull together the full MAG.  It allows people to, obviously, work within their interests and their expertise as well.

    The Working Groups are chartered by the MAG, and they are supported by MAG members.  We ask for two cofacilitators, respecting diversity, gender, stakeholder, and region, and all the Working Groups are open to the community, not just to MAG members, and, of course, they're asked to publish meeting summaries and agendas and things as well.  They are completely voluntary and self-supporting.  With the resource situation in the Secretariat, it is up to those members of the Working Group to do everything from Doodle Polls, scheduling meetings, managing the WebEx participation, any minute taking and publication of meeting summaries.  So with that, this past year -- 

    >> CHENGETAI MASANGO: Hi, Lynn.  Just -- sorry.  This year we will -- since we do have an extra staff member, we will try and support the Working Groups a bit more, depending on the -- the number of Working Groups that we have, but that's one of our goals to do this year.  

    >> LYNN ST. AMOUR: Well, that's excellent.  As the co-chair of two of them last year, I can tell you it's a significant -- a significant administrative workload, so that's great.  Thank you, Chengetai.

    So the first Working Group -- I look at the agenda -- is the Working Group on Fundraising.  A report was sent out a few days ago.  The Working Group on Fundraising was approved last year.  That's the first time we had a fundraising Working Group.  I was chair for the duration of the Working Group in 2018 in Paris, kind of volunteered as co-chair later in the year.  We had a very small number of members, but I think we accomplished a lot, and we were also very fortunate to have the support of DESA staff and the IGF Secretariat in the meeting support -- not the meeting support, sorry, in the activities of the meeting because as the report actually said, we actually focus quite significantly on a number of, I would say, administrative or operational improvements.

    In some of our earlier meetings, there was concern expressed that we weren't quite ready to have a broad fundraising effort with approaches to donors and that much of the process was not clear or stated and the roles and expectations were not particularly clear either, so we worked fairly significantly on that, and as the report says, we worked to streamline and clarify processes.

    We did quite a bit of work on the website in terms of kind of representing the information a bit better, providing some additional information.  There was a Frequently Asked Questions section there that answers a number of key questions, both from kind of the importance of the IGF as well as what the donors' funds support.

    To be really clear on that, the IGF and the Secretariat relies entirely on donations.  The bulk of the annual meeting costs are covered by the host country.  In fact, the funds that are raised through the donor effort supports some travel from participants from developing countries and it supports some -- supports intersessional activities, so some consultants for report writing and that sort of thing, but the IGF Secretariat and those few activities I just mentioned run entirely on donor funds.

    Right now we are operating off of about a third of the amount that was requested in the project document, which is the equivalent of a budget document, so that's obviously putting some severe constraints on the activities of the Secretariat, and it does impact our ability to meet some of the improvements we'd all desire.

    So, again, the report actually looked at creating some fundraising and outreach letters, some templates.  We're working to make sure all of those are clearly up on the website and easy to find.  Many of them were actually meant to be tailored so that if somebody was going to approach a donor and they knew they had a particular interest in cybersecurity, there was some cybersecurity text we could put in that talked about the work in the BPFs and IGFs, et cetera.

    We also launched, with thanks to the Secretariat, to Luis Bobo, a work platform, which is meant to be a relatively lightweight way to capture contacts and the status of prioritized prospects.  It wasn't meant to be a list of, you know, hundreds of companies because it's not just a matter of identifying an organization and a contact point, and, of course, their expected points of interest, it also requires approaching and following up with them, and that can be a fairly substantial workload.

    One of the other requests from the Working Group was that we do more to make it clear what the fundraising responsibilities are, what the situation is, what the funds support, and to that end, there were a couple of presentations to various MAG meetings last year.  We have scheduled for the Open Consultation here at the end of this month a brief review there as well, and then we will go into a smaller donor meeting.

    We created a postcard, and, again, there were lots of learnings through this process as well.  Sylvia, one of the Working Group members, actually introduced us all to an open source very useful tool for creating postcards.  The Dutch government actually funded the printing of several postcards which a number of us distributed throughout the IGF.  We want to make sure that everybody's aware of that tool and the ability to tailor them to their own needs.  I even spoke to some of the NRIs who were potentially interested in tailoring that card for a specific NRI or even a specific project or programme focus, so I think that was a really -- another really useful piece of work.

    In -- as we look forward for -- for 2019, I think it's important now that we really put virtually all of our efforts in any Working Group on -- on bringing in donors, on bringing in funds.  I think we have enough of the background administrative support tools in place.  There's still more that we can do, but I think we can do that in the background.  So my proposal, supported by the Working Group, is that we ask for a rechartering of the Working Group with a focus on bringing in donations and we continue to, you know, clarify or advance any of the administrative or operational activities in the background.  Last year they really were pretty much foreground activities.

    So let me see.  June's on the -- on the call as well.  Again, she kind of volunteered to be a cochair, so, June, do you have any other comments or anything I missed you think is important as background here for the MAG?  

    >> JUNE PARRIS: Hi, everyone.  I just want to say it was a very interesting effort, and I really enjoyed taking part in the Working Group, with especially thanks to Arnold and Sylvia, which Arnold, was it you who traveled with 500 postcards in your suitcase, and Chengetai for distributing the postcards at the IGF.  I actually managed to get one myself that I'm going to share with other people.  Hopefully we can do this again for Berlin, and -- but what I'm asking for is that we have a few more people join the group so that we can really get the work done.  Thank you.  

    >> LYNN ST. AMOUR: Thank you, June.  The report actually also identified, you know, a couple of kind of specific development areas.  If we look through the Working Group on IGF improvements or any of the stock-taking exercises, of course, there's a lot of focus on reaching out to developing countries, marginalized groups, and we could consider some specific fundraising efforts targeting that.  My only caveat is that, you know, the first priority at this point, I think -- or maybe it's a first and equal priority -- really needs to be some additional funding for the Secretariat.  Literally, the project document called for about $2.5 million a year in funding for Secretariat and intersessional activity support.  We had put in place a provisional budget for the first few years, which looked at about $1.4 million or so, and, in fact, the funds and donations have been running a little under a million, so that's where the sort of 35% of the anticipated budget figure comes from.

    Very high-level numbers.  We'll have more specifics for you at the -- at the MAG meeting, but the critical requirement is to bring in some additional funding largely in supporting the Secretariat intersessional activities.  

    So I think what we can do is if -- I think probably the same thing for all of the Working Groups is in -- in this case where I think there's some -- a strong support, at least from the Working Group members to continue, certainly a very clear need from the health of the IGF and support of the Secretariat to lead it is that we would begin working on a Charter that we could put in front of the MAG to get approval and get the Working Group announced and launched, which is when we ask for additional volunteers as well.

    Sylvia has a question.  After the IGF in Paris, was there any renewed interest or contributions to the trust fund?  I'm not aware of it.  I'll ask the Secretariat.  Throughout the years, there were a couple of donors that did increase their annual contributions on the basis of the outreach, but I'm not aware of any that came in at the end of the year directly as the result of outreach.  Chengetai, are you aware of any?

    >> CHENGETAI MASANGO: Hello.  We did have Mark Carvel at the end.  He said the UK government was going to increase the contribution.  I think that would be a direct result.  Not as a direct result, we do have -- we're expecting a contribution from Finland, but I think that was -- that that had been in the works since way before the IGF.  

    >> LYNN ST. AMOUR: Okay.  Thank you, Chengetai.  As I said, all -- in my experience, bringing in contributions, whether they're new or they're increases really requires a fairly significant amount of personal touch and follow-up.  I think that would be one of the first items of work.

    So let me just see if there are any -- if there's support for a renewed Charter for this Working Group, which would be put in front of the MAG over the coming weeks?  Is there anyone that thinks that the Working Group should not continue?  I feel I have to ask, even though I assume the answer is fairly straightforward.  

    >> JUNE PARRIS: That's funny.  

    >> LYNN ST. AMOUR: Okay.  Then we'll proceed on that path.  And Sylvia, yes, I mean, what I would -- maybe you and a couple of the other Working Group members could actually take another shot at the Working Group Charter.  I'm expecting that it could be more singularly focused on actual outreach to donors and bringing in donor activities.

    But let me go to the next one then, the IGF Improvements Working Group.  Julian, were you going to speak to that or --

    >> JULIAN CASASBUENAS: Hello.  Can you hear me?  Yes.  We'll present a report on the MAG Working Group on Improvements at the IGF.  In the report, you will see a set of links where you will be able to access to the information and the work we did.  The Working Group started in 2017, and the Charter can be found at the IGF website under the section of Working Groups, and it's also referred in the report.

    The Working Group collected recommendations for the improvement of the IGF that has been a proponent in various fora.  These recommendations have been grouped into a single spreadsheet together with the identification of various sources.  That includes five important documents.

    The first one is the Commission on Science and Technology for Development Working Group on IGF Improvements Report of 2012.  Then we have the Implementing WSIS Outcomes, a ten-year review document of 2015.  Then the recommendations made by the United Nations General Assembly on renewal of the IGF mandate of December 2015; the draft report from the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs retreat of July 2016; and finally, the NETmundial Multistakeholder Statement in April 2014.  In the report, there is a link where you can find the source of those documents and the spreadsheet that has been prepared by the Working Group in 2017 containing a list of the improvements proposed in the About Set of Inputs and a first classification of these improvements into the set of categories and text.

    The list of improvements end up with 136 proposals for improvement, and in that spreadsheet, in the top of evolution table, you can access them, and they are marked with numbers, and then the Working Group clustered them into -- or classified them into categories, and at the end, we clustered all this list of improvements into 11 categories.

    The goal of the Working Group was to prepare an assessment of all these recommendations so that the community can see how far the IGF has progressed.  It is up to the MAG to propose future steps deriving from this assessment, possibly involving the wider IGF community.

    From the Working Group, we believe these steps can include a possible proposal for an IGF 2019 session, engagement with NRIs as are prepared with IGF and MAG remit, establishing thematic sessions on the various issues at future IGFs, and proposed ways of implementing specific recommendations where needed.

    In that regard and to facilitate this exercise, the recommendations, as I said, were classified into 11 different categories from the first to the seventh one that is in the table that is in the report, and it's on screen now.  Mostly two or three categories were clustered.  Those with more proposals for improvement, and from 8-11 contains a more broader clustering, trying to be consistent with the improvements covered.

    So this table contains the status, the current status of the work for each category for stakeholder engagement and understanding.  We believe the assessment was completed.  For the second one, funding, funding account support and transparency, it's almost completed.  It needs to be assessed, and we believe that on this I can provide information for the assessment.

    And the third one is intersessional work that includes capacity building, multiyear planning, outcomes, and stakeholder engagement.  There are three proposals for improvements pending to assess in that category.

    For outcomes, which is a link to other entities and tangible outputs, only one proposal for improvement is pending.

    The fifth one is participation and capacity building, almost completed as well with two proposals for improvement pending.

    The next one is link to IGF entities and others.  Most of the proposals are pending to assess in this category.

    The seventh one, MAG structure and methods, multiyear planning, it's planning to elaborate the assessments.

    For the next one, broader participation, diversity, relevance, and inclusiveness of IGF programme and outreach is almost completed for proposals for improvement is pending to assess.

    And for multiyear planning, funding link for other entities' evolution and impact is completed.  Process and spending, Secretariat is going to elaborate the assessments, and last one is enhanced communication, improve visibility, mandate modalities, working modalities, and workshop selection, it's pending as well.

    So in the assessment, we can assign a status to each recommendation corresponding to one of these three situations that we decide from the Working Group, recommendation completed, recommendation in progress, and recommendation to be implemented, and there are some cases of -- certainly about the status of the IGF with regard to a particular recommendation.  We created four situations that it's assessment pending, so it is -- we have to state that these are still draft versions of the documents.  Can you access by the links on the table, and they still need a final revision by the Working Group members, and afterwards approval by the MAG.  It may also receive contributions from the IGF community in modalities to be defined by the MAG so that they correspond to a consensual view on the progress that has been achieved towards the implementation of the recommendations.

    If you access to the documents, all they have the same format.  In the heading of each document it contains the title, source of the proposals for improvement, and the volunteers that assess the proposals.

    As you can see on screen, this is the way in a it looks, the header of the documents.

    Then we find the assessments for each proposal, including the status that I mentioned, if it's completed, in progress, or has to be implemented, or assessment pending.  We did an exercise, and in most of the files, the proposals for improvement are clustered into categories, so it's easier to respond and to make the assessment for -- in that way.

    Then a paragraph starts with a number that refers to the ID assigned in the Evolution Table that is available in the main spreadsheet of the -- of the document, where it's possible to go back and track the original document, where the recommendations come from, and then the assessment is presented in italics, as in the example that is on screen.  So in this case of the category of Outcomes from the proposals for improvements, there is an assessment that says that needs to be implemented and so on.

    So at the end, we have all these set of documents where we did a long process of review that started in 2017, as I said, and we believe that it's an exercise that has been long-term but that can provide very important inputs for other Work Groups as well.

    So recommendations, the assessment of various proposals for approval in the IGF can bring improvements for the incoming MAG and for the continuation of work carried out by the Multiyear Strategic Work Programme and Working Group on Improvements, perhaps considering a possible marriage between them for 2019.

    The results should be presented to -- and used by other Working Groups for a further analysis, especially -- especially the results from the Funding (Diversity and Funding) - Acknowledge in-kind support - Accounting & Transparency category to the Working Group on Fundraising.

    Then the multiyear Planning (Funding, Link with other entities), Evolution and Impact category to the Working Group on Multiyear Strategic Work Programme, and finally, Enhanced communication - improve visibility - mandate - modalities, to the Working Group on Outreach and Engagement.

    Another recommendation is extend the table with recommendations coming from published submissions to consultations on IGF improvements, for instance, from the IGF Taking Stock activities.

    There is also -- an initial proposal from the Working Group was to develop indicators, and, for instance, in the category fifth where it talks about proposed improvements for participation, there is a collection of statistics regarding remote participation where we can see a constant decrease on on-site participation and remote hoops -- hops.  So more indicators like these need to be implemented, so it's important to put in place mechanisms that collect information to further analysis and advance in the proposals for improvement.

    So as I said, we believe, as a Working Group, that this is an initial assessment on quite a number of recommendations for improvements to the IGF, and now it's time to open this exercise to the community, not only to the MAG, noting that it is a partial view from the Working Group volunteers and a broader review is important.

    The Working Group volunteers in -- last year include Alejandra Erramuspe, Concettina Cassa, Deborah Brown, and others Raquel Gatto, and Zeina Bou Harb, most of them MAG members except Deborah.  

    So basically, this is the report and recommendations.  I know that some of the members of the Working Group, the volunteers is on the call, Flavio is on the chair of the Working Group.  Maybe if you want to make further comments or others that participated in this process.  Thank you.  

    >> LYNN ST. AMOUR: Thank you.  

    >> FLAVIO WAGNER: Do you hear me?  

    >> LYNN ST. AMOUR: Flavio, we can hear you.  

    >> FLAVIO WAGNER: So I think that Julian made a very -- very good report, very detailed one, and I have not -- not too much to add to that.  Just to highlight the fact that this assessment has been done by members of the Working Group, so for each of those 11 categories, two or three at most members of the Working Group have tried to make a first assessment of those more than 130 recommendations that we collected from various sources.

    So this is a personal view of the members of the Working Group regarding the assessment of each of these recommendations, and, of course, it would be very nice that other members of the MAG and the community at large also look at those recommendations and contribute to the assessment so that we have a final kind of consensus view of the community on how far the IGF has progressed towards each of those recommendations.  So it's very important that the work continues that we just started.  There was a long path to collect all those recommendations, classify them, and start having a methodology for the assessment, and this work must go on because I think it will be a very important input for other Working Groups in the MAG, as Julian already reported, and also for the community, and especially for the Working Group on Multi-Year Work Plan who tries to seek different venues for the IGF.  It's important to see where we are regarding all the recommendations that community has proposed in previous years.  So thank you.  

    >> LYNN ST. AMOUR: Thank you, Flavio, and thank you, Julian, and all the members of the Work Group too.  I've tracked the Working Group over the last couple of years, and I know it's been a tremendous, tremendous amount of work.

    Are there any comments, questions from MAG members?  

    >> FLAVIO WAGNER: May I jump in, Lynn?  Sorry, it's Flavio.  

    >> LYNN ST. AMOUR: Go ahead, Flavio.  Yes.  

    >> FLAVIO WAGNER: It's clear that the work must continue, so either the Working Group, as it has been chartered, is rechartered for 2019 -- there was a proposal from one or two members of the Working Group that maybe it will be interesting to consider a merge with the Working Group on Multi-Year Work Programme, but me -- I personally, I don't think this would be the best situation because the Working Group on Improvements is preparing an assessment that may be considered as an input to various processes in the MAG, not only for this Working Group on Multi-Year Work Programme in particular, and I think these are different things.  One is assessing how far we are progressing our inputs in the past and planning the future.  Of course, this input is important for planning the future, but I think these are different processes, and maybe it would be nice to keep this as a separate Working Group.

    Anyway, I think many of the Working Group members would be ready to help propose a rechartering of the Working Group for 2019.  Thank you.  

    >> LYNN ST. AMOUR: Thank you, Flavio.  I've been thinking about this the last couple of days as well, and if the next step by the Working Group is really a broader review by the MAG and the community, then maybe that's -- I'm not sure if that's something the Working Group continues to do or if the Secretariat leads that review with occasional reviews by the MAG.  I think either one -- either one could work, but it strikes me as this is a good responsibility for the Secretariat to take with respect to broad community review, particularly keeping in mind the fact that they need to provide assessments at various points in time to see and other organizations as well, so it could, you know, align quite well with that work.

    And then as a separate piece, I think -- you know, this Working Group has really been focused on kind of assessing the progress against the suggested improvements.  Clearly, the way the document has been split out, it categorizes them by groups, and some of these are very appropriate, for instance, for a Working Group on Fundraising, others for, perhaps, a workshop review and evaluation process, if that Working Group is continued.

    Maybe the forward-looking work gets split out and embedded in other Working Groups or in the activities of the MAG or the Secretariat, so that's another kind of a hybrid proposal, which would have either the Working Group or the Secretariat or some combination thereof completing the assessment phase, and I think it would be great to underline that with a Working Group Summary Report on the assessment, and then we make sure that there is a home for all of the improvement areas, either in other Working Groups, MAG, or Secretariat.  So just -- are there any thoughts on that?  

    Well, I wonder if -- Julian and Flavio, maybe if everybody reflects on this a little bit more, you think about what you think would work best in terms of supporting the work.  I think it needs to support both the assessment plus kind of forward-looking placement of the improvement areas and see if online on the MAG list we can actually start to get agreement on that.  It would be -- it would be great if we could have enough agreement on Working Group Charters and Next Steps that we could kind of approve and/or launch them at the end of January, because, of course, once the MAG has approved a Charter, we then launch a call for members, and all that takes a little bit of time, so if we could aim to close on these for the end of January at our first MAG meeting, that would give us the best opportunity going forward.

    I see a comment from Rudolf saying that the Secretariat and MAG should -- yeah, they definitely should play a role, particularly looking forward.  But Julian, Flavio, as the co-chairs of that effort, is that an appropriate way?  Maybe just think about this discussion here.  If other MAG members have any comments, they could share that on the list as well, and then ask you to come back with in your opinion what you think is the best way to progress the work.  

    >> FLAVIO WAGNER: Yeah.  It's Flavio again.  It's true that some of the categories, they match very well other Working Groups we have, outreach and engagement and Multiyear Work Plan and fundraising and so on, but I'm afraid that many of the categories do not match any of the Working Groups, so either those -- if we split the work and say that the other Working Groups may complete the assessment, this sounds very reasonable, but then we have to see what we do with the other categories that do not match any Working Group.  Either those are then -- maybe the Secretariat -- the Secretariat may become responsible for going forward with the assessment of those recommendations, or maybe it's a kind of ad hoc group of members of the MAG that become responsible, that volunteer and become responsible for each of those categories, so with guidance from the Secretariat.  

    >> LYNN ST. AMOUR: So I think those are both possible.  Maybe the -- maybe if a Working Group is rechartered to complete the assessment, maybe it hangs on to, if you will, those other areas that don't have a clear Working Group, but I think we should look at the ones that don't have a clear Working Group and determine where they'd best be advanced through a Working Group or ad hoc Working Group or through the Secretariat.

    Carlos, you have the floor.  

    >> CARLOS ALBERTO AFONSO: Yes.  Can you hear me?  

    >> LYNN ST. AMOUR: We can.  Thank you.  

    >> CARLOS ALBERTO AFONSO: I have read in the transcript right now that you, Lynn, mentioned that the members -- the current members of the Working Group, you would be -- it would be interesting if these actual members would continue to participation -- participating in the Working Groups.  This is -- this Working Group on Improvements, the work was excellent, the work by Flavio and Julian, and I trust that the -- the other working groups are at the same level, and I wonder the -- Julian and Flavio are no longer members of the MAG.  Would there be the possibility of them -- of those people that want to continue participating in the Working Group be present in -- in the MAG meetings, in the three days of the MAG meetings?  

    >> LYNN ST. AMOUR: So -- 

    >> CARLOS ALBERTO AFONSO: That's my question.  

    >> LYNN ST. AMOUR: Right.  The -- first of all, a couple questions -- a couple comments.  The Working Groups are open to MAG members and all community members, and I don't believe there are any restrictions against a non-MAG member being a co-chair.  I think it's important that we have at least one MAG member be a co-chair.  Some of the Working Groups have had, I think, three co-chairs, simply so that there's always somebody in the MAG that's paying attention to the work of the MAG and the work of the Working Group, but they certainly could -- certainly could continue.

    Our MAG meetings are open as well, both the online and the physical.  I think there's been an expectation that it's MAG members that speak and represent the work of the Working Group and et cetera, just in terms of kind of maintaining some kind of clear responsibility lines, but participation, absolutely, and by exception, if we need their participation and they're no longer a MAG member in a MAG meeting, then I think we could accommodate that, but I do think it's important that there be one MAG co-chair, again, just so we have somebody always engaged in the discussions following the activities.  

    >> CARLOS ALBERTO AFONSO: Excellent.  

    >> LYNN ST. AMOUR: Thank you, Carlos.  I have Mary in the queue and then Timea.  Mary, you have the floor.  

    >> MARY UDUMA: Yes.  Can you hear me?  

    >> LYNN ST. AMOUR: Yes, we can.  

    >> MARY UDUMA: Okay.  I just want to take off from where the last speaker stopped.  One is that I want to appreciate the work done by Flavio and Julian.  It was great work on the team.  I also want to raise the flag that I think we have too many Working Groups, probably, as we're trying to find the purpose and somebody taking of some of the very low attendance, and when MAG members are in so many of the Working Groups, they may not be effective, so that's one thing I want us to look at, reducing the work, and where there's overlap, we just remove the overlap, and then have the Working Group do specific work.

    Third is that the -- that I support the (?), but in (?), as you said, I'm happy to say both MAG members and non-MAG members are free to join the Working Group because I joined some of the Working Groups when I wasn't a MAG member, so I think it would have that -- those -- the resources that have been over the years, that we don't lose the parties that are no longer MAG members, those that are members of the Working Group, but we should think hard or think deep on how to make some of the Working Groups and reduce the number and make -- and make it more efficient for MAG members to participate in those working groups.  Thank you.  

    >> LYNN ST. AMOUR: Thank you, Mary.  That's, I think, very good advice, and I think finding support in the chat for that as well, so something we should move forward on Timea, you have the floor -- the floor.  

    >> TIMEA SUTO: Thank you, Lynn.  Can you hear me?  

    >> LYNN ST. AMOUR: You're muted again.  Now you're unmuted.  Can you try speaking?  

    >> TIMEA SUTO: I got unmuted on all my devices.  I'm not sure if you can hear me now.  

    >> LYNN ST. AMOUR: We hear you now.  Thank you.  

    >> TIMEA SUTO: Thank you.  Sorry for the technical difficulty.  I want to come in on the two things we've been discussing, firstly on the merging of the Working Groups on improvement and Multiyear Work Plan.  We've heard very compelling arguments, both pro and con, and I'd like to propose we park this conversation for the next two weeks, if possible, give people time to get familiar with the work of both of these Working Groups, especially those who have not been involved.  Both have quite extensive reports and work accomplished and I think a little time to work on this, and time around it will give us a chance to be more substantial on this when we meet face-to-face.  That's just one point.

    And the other regarding the number of volunteers or members who are part of each Working Group and the support they give to the Working Group, I mean, on my part, it's quite a lot of work to be part of a Working Group, but it's also quite fulfilling.  If you have an issue that you have a question about, it's really a good opportunity to get involved more on the ground level and make a difference, so -- but also what is important, I think, in the Working Groups is that we not just look at the number of people working on a group but also at the diversity of the perspective you're presented, and we have usually, you know, sometimes imbalanced Working Groups maybe just because certain people don't do certain issues better, we are lacking diversity in terms of regional involvement sometimes, stakeholder diversity has been an issue in the past, so I think if you're looking at the participation in the Working Groups, we should keep those criteria in mind and perhaps look at chartering Working Groups or any intersessional work, for that matter, after we canvass support on this criteria beforehand as much as possible.  The thank you.  

    >> LYNN ST. AMOUR: Thank you, Timea.  Those are all good points, and I think that's largely the process we're working towards and that this is meant to be a review of last year's Working Group efforts.  We wanted to understand recommendations coming forward from the Working Group.  The MAG then does need to take all this in consideration and in deliberation and then determine which ones we should possibly Charter and go forward on, so I think that's what we're attempting to do here, and I'm hopeful it will come together at the end of the month in our MAG meeting when we can leave with sort of Working Groups roughly chartered, if not fully chartered, and have had the basis of this broad assessment, so I think those were excellent points.

    Any final thoughts from Julian or Flavio or 

    So I think, maybe Julian or Flavio, if you could reflect on this discussion, if there were any, you know, edits to your recommendation or any further clarification on the recommendations from the Working Group, if you could get that into the MAG ahead of the meeting, that would be excellent.  And thank you all for all the work.  It really was a tremendous, tremendous list.  

    >> FLAVIO WAGNER: This is Flavio here, Lynn.  So I think in the next two weeks, the Working Group may try to write down the alternatives the MAG has in front of it regarding the possible rechartering of the Working Group or merging with another Working Group or just having a third approach, for instance, that the Secretariat becomes a part of the recommendations and the other categories are split among the other Working Groups that are -- better match those categories, so we have some possibilities in front of us.  I think we can write down those and submit through the list of the -- the MAG list and so that the MAG can consider those alternatives in the face-to-face meeting.  

    >> LYNN ST. AMOUR: That would be great.  Thank you.  

    >> JULIAN CASASBUENAS: I agree with that approach as well.  

    >> LYNN ST. AMOUR: Thank you.  Thank you, Julian.

    Okay.  Moving to the third Working Group, and I think we need to give all these Working Groups the time they need so that we actually understand the work and the recommendation, and at the same time, I do hope we're able to get through the full agenda because I do think it's important at least that we get through the -- all the Working Group presentations so that we all have that in front of us ahead of the MAG meeting.

    The next one is the Working Group on Multiyear Strategic Work Programme.  I was the co-chair of that along with Sivasubramanian, who is also on the call here, if he's still here.  He is, yes.  This was year two of the Working Group.  Again, the document's quite sort of extensive, but it was chartered by the MAG to see what more could be done to take a strategic long-term view of the role of the activities of the IGF.  It was also to help reinvigorate the IGF by taking a longer-term view of particular issues, which would facilitate bringing in additional collaborators and hopefully new donors and was also meant to look at achieving more concrete outcomes over time as well.

    So the -- the Working Group met 11 times over the course of the last year.  The meeting summaries are published.  There are two still outstanding, but they're coming.  There were three main areas of focus.  The first one was a draft IGF Framework chart, which actually built on a great piece of work that the Secretariat did in 2017 which laid out all the component pieces that went into the IGF annual meeting and all the component pieces and activities from the intersessional activities, as it, again, fed into the annual meeting.  It pulled together all of the documents that actually guided their work and their specific fit within the IGF ecosystem.  The MAG has different responsibilities to various pieces of work, and that was the first time it had been pulled together -- to various pieces of work and also how they have traditionally come together for the annual meeting.

    And so a couple of Working Group members, Timea Suto and Susan Chalmers, in particular, took that and further developed it in a very useful presentation format, specifically meant to give us all a common baseline for the IGF annual meeting programme development and the agenda-setting process.

    I'm going to ask Timea to say just a few words in a minute because it was put out for public comment late last year.  Pretty much the question was does this reflect kind of the current process as you see it.  Again, we were fairly confident from the Working Group perspective that it did but wanted a community review as well.  Timea, do you want to give us a quick update on that?  

    >> TIMEA SUTO: Sure.  If this is the right time, it would be -- I would love to.  

    >> LYNN ST. AMOUR: Mm-hmm, please.  

    >> TIMEA SUTO: So as Lynn said, the aim of this exercise that me and Susan led together over the past year was to just consider the process of arriving to an IGF output throughout the whole IGF cycle of a year and see what are the elements building up to the outputs that IGF produces, and then, again, try to put this -- not in a continuum but rather in a cycle of arriving from output to input and from input to output and, thus, ensuring that the IGFs one year after the other communicate with each other and ensure that there is building and furthering from one IGF cycle to the other.

    So as Lynn said, we did this visual presentation.  I was very glad to see Chengetai use it last week to brief you all on how the IGF intersessional work carries on, and that is an indication because this is something that is useful.

    And as Lynn said, we also had this consultation that I posted the link to in the chat that you can review there on what the community feels about the work.

    And the -- it wasn't as much feedback as we hoped for, but it was very -- very useful, and we were also glad to see that, you know, there was input from various parts of the world on our work.  The community said that the process is, indeed, the way they see it, and this reflects accurately, so this is -- I think we can ultimately say -- a good benchmark for our work going forward.  It's -- you know, looking at the 2019 cycle, we might need to tweak it a little bit, mainly because we have three MAG meetings this year and not two, and the process works with two, so we should, of course, do some minor adjustments to reflect the 2019 reality.  But I also would like to take the time and mention a couple of ideas that we've heard from the consultation with the community.  And a lot of -- what we heard from your responses was that, yes, the process was well reflected, yes, the process is clear as drawn out here, yes, there are guidelines available, but it is very hard to reach all this information.  There's not perhaps enough outreach, not enough communication on this.  People that are new to the MAG said they feel lost for at least the first half of their tenure on the MAG.  It's a long time to get acquainted with all this, and then community members who were not on the MAG or who are first-comers to the IGF feel that all this is pretty daunting.  So I think there's still work that we can carry on if (Off microphone) to the Charter this year, to promote better our work but also to mention that we promote better the various steps in the process that we do more outreach and that we, first and foremost, promote better the output of the IGF because some of our questions also related to do you think the IGF outputs are useful, or is there any other output that there is a need for?

    And while the members and those who contributed agree there is no need for new outputs, or at least that's what we heard unanimously from those who responded, they were saying that there's a very much needed work to share those existing outputs in the communities.  Many pointed to working with other community organizations, working with the national and regional IGFs better to make sure that this work gets to the audiences that it's intended for.

    So we are looking forward to working on this, you know, this year, if we are rechartered, and we are looking forward also to making sure that this tool that we developed and this visual presentation becomes a useful tool for the host countries of the future, of the various adjacent groups to the IGF and to the MAG and just to the plain participants who might in future be more involved in the process.  Thank you.  

    >> LYNN ST. AMOUR: Thank you, Timea.  The other two parts of the work that the Working Group addressed was -- it's outlined in the document there, Moving from Reports to Outputs or Recommendations.  Some Working Group members stress that they believe that within the Tunis agenda, it's indicated that there is, in fact, more we could be doing in terms of recommendations or more sort of advisory statements, if you will.  There were two pilots that were proposed, methodologies for the development of written IGF outputs, and second one, strengthened cooperation within the context of the IGF.  Both of those documents are linked in the document.  They've also been posted for, you know, quite some many months now under the Working Group pages.  They're both fairly, I think, robust reports, documents, so I really would urge all the MAG members to read them.

    We were not actually able to get consensus on progressing those pilots through the Working Group, primarily, I think, because we continued to come back to a recurring issue with respect to difference of opinions on how far the IGF should go with respect to producing more tangible or more concrete outputs.  In particular, it's captured in the document under a paragraph on the third page called Of Special Note, which says, again, throughout this process, there's been a recurring issue with respect to how far to go with producing more tangible outputs.  Some members believe there's support in the Tunis agenda for recommendations, perhaps achieved through various deliberative democratic methodologies that do not require text negotiations or voting while still delivering outputs.

    Some of the opportunities that were seen there would kind of mirror some of the activities we see in the Best Practice Forums, which might suggest best practices or reframing of an issue or suggests that it be addressed in a different way or, in fact, in different organizations.

    It had to be stressed a number of times that all members of the Working Group fully supported the Tunis agenda and the WSIS+10 output document, and, again, the document in front of you goes on to say that no members supported the idea of voting or steps for the IGF to become a forum of negotiations, as such would be on the scope of the MAG and in the hands of the UN General Assembly.  Specifically, several members from different stakeholder groups expressed the hope that the MAG will support the idea of new modalities of outputs or recommendations, perhaps via a small number of pilots.  

    The -- some of those pilots actually have -- in particular the second one has been kind of piloted through the last two IGFs through workshops that were approved by the MAG.  That's documented in -- in that document as well.  We don't have time to go through those documents in any detail, and as I said, the Working Group was not able to reach consensus on moving forward with the pilots, and I think the real sticking point, if you will, was, again, around this notion of how far should the IGF go with respect to outputs, and there were kind of opinions on both sides.  One, I think, about we should focus mostly on kind of managing better the current set of outputs, promoting them better, making them more accessible, making them even, you know, more concrete; others were suggesting piloting or examining other methodologies to arrive at, again, more tangible outputs.  I think everyone was unanimous in believing there should be more focus on outputs and that they should be more useful and certainly more tangible, but I think how we get there is still an open question.

    The third -- I'll open it up for questions in a moment.  The third one I'm going to go through very quickly was an effort to improve current outputs, and there was actually a lot done last year.  A lot of it took place through the Secretariat.  It involved more detailed guidance, better guidance to workshop organizers.  We had early reports from them so that we could promote it.  We had an interim stage just immediately ahead of the IGF immediately following the workshop sessions so we could get key messages and that sort of thing out, and then a fuller workshop proposal.

    More targeted advice was given in terms of trying to be much more specific about the policy questions we were trying to address through the sessions and then about trying to draw out, I think, some concrete suggestions, ideas, topics from the discussions at the IGF.

    We also put in place an improve the Chair's Summary, which was focused on topics which followed the themes of the IGF and did take into account all of the pieces of work, not just the workshop sessions, but NRI sessions, Open Forums, Best Practice sessions, DCs, et cetera.  Both of those output work is sort of captured in the -- under the Multi-Year Work Programme in additional detail.

    Another key point was that the Working Group really recognized the importance of bringing in additional collaborators in virtually all areas, and some discussion on ways to do that.  That was also reported as one of the main drivers of the strengthened cooperation paper as well.

    So I think what's in front of the MAG is on Page 3 of the report, there's a proposed strategic multiyear work programme.  Much of this we're already doing.  It's -- you know, it's -- we're doing it through these MAG meetings, we're doing it through the presentation document that Timea just walked us through.  I think some of the critical decisions in front of us certainly have to do with how the MAG should address what some members feel is a real need for more concrete, more tangible outputs.  I think that's the -- I guess the question there is are we doing enough, can we do more, and if so, what should that look like, and so I think that's a substantive topic for our discussions at our face-to-face meeting later this month.

    There was also some discussion on the major policy initiative, which is connecting and enabling the next billions, which was just completed Phase IV.  Some suggestions to -- one, we should certainly review that initiative, see how it can be improved.  It's supposed to be an initiative of the MAG.  Typically, it's been a very small number of MAG members, I would say two or three, that have really gotten engaged and worked it, so I think trying to understand if that's appropriate, should we be doing something more, is there a different topic, is all, again, another strategic area for discussion at the MAG meeting at the ends of the month.

    Again, it's quite a long report.  I don't want to go through -- I think the only other maybe meta point would be to the extent we can identify a small number of key topics that we think are recurring topics, are worthy of being recurring topics -- again, that's where the multiyear notion comes in -- how should we actually -- what are those topics, how should we address them, and we can obviously look through some of the intersessional activities, such as Best Practice Forums.  We could also look at, perhaps, managing some portion of the annual meeting agenda differently as well.  But, again, to the extent we could do that, that was one of the key enablers of bringing in additional collaborators, hopefully bringing in additional donors.  We actually have a longer runway to actually build out the work and build support and interest in the work as well, so I think that's the other kind of component piece there.

    There was interest in rechartering the Working Group, but, but to do so -- because there was a caveat.  To do so, several Working Group members established the need to new goals for the Working Group, identifying different opinions, and that that would help us to ensure that the group was aligned and able to move the work forward expeditiously.  We did lose or spend quite a bit of time last year, I think some members felt, in kind of circling through and trying to iterate points, so to the extent we can get a concise Charter and a concise set of goals, it was felt that that would be helpful.

    I'm going to stop there, and let me see if there are any comments from Working Group -- again, we've asked for comments from Working Group members or MAG members in this particular set of transitional discussions.  Is there anyone who would like the floor?  

    I did my best to represent the work of the group.  We've -- we've had quite a number of iterations on the report that's here.  In the end, everyone in the Working Group was in agreement with the report.  It was felt that more time could have been spent both on kind of the pros and cons of the pilots and this notion of more tangible outputs or recommendations.  I think that's actually -- would be well served for us to spend some time on that in the face-to-face meeting at the end of the month, and, of course, we always have the list in between.  We can start these conversations on the list, which should help us make progress in our face-to-face meeting as well.

    Sivas, do you want to add anything?  Again, Sivas was the co-chair.  

    >> SIVASUBRAMANIAN MUTHUSAMY: No, I want to -- can you hear me 

    >> LYNN ST. AMOUR: We can hear you, yes.  

    >> SIVASUBRAMANIAN MUTHUSAMY: That is a section on the report on additional roles, which are less -- increasing participation from salient policymakers and increased participation from salient private-sector actors and a more balanced stakeholder participation, and some of these additional goals could be included and mainstreamed as part of the work for -- on the Multiyear Work Programme in the Charter -- when the Charter of the Working Group is renewed.

    I think if the Working Group is renewed, it could have a much broader participation and could work more like a think tank on a multiyear time frame, so that's what I wanted to say.  Thank you, Lynn.  

    >> LYNN ST. AMOUR: Thank you, Sivas.  Thank you.  Veni, you have your hand up.  You have the floor.  

    >> VENI MARKOVSKI: Yeah, thank you, Lynn.  I just wanted to thank everyone who was engaged in the work of this group, and you and Sivas in particular for co-chairing.  I think it's one of the -- one of the -- I mean, everything that we do I think is important, all the Working Groups and the work that the MAG is doing is important.  This is particularly important, and I hope that we can take it and use it in our future work.  We are in a situation -- and I may keep repeating that, but we are in a situation where we have three consecutive IGF meetings in countries that support the -- the IGF supports the multistakeholder model of Internet Governance, and we have to try to use as maximum as we can these circumstances to make the IGF even more successful than it is and to make it more financially stable and solid in any case.  Thanks.  

    >> LYNN ST. AMOUR: Thank you, Veni.  Any other comments?  Not seeing any, then I think I would just ask the MAG members to -- I do think this is very important work.  As Veni said, they're all important, but I think this really gets to the heart of a lot of requests we've seen that some say, you know, the IGF needs to be more relevant, some say we need more concrete outputs, you know.  Different language, but I think it all points to really addressing kind of at its heart our programmatic activities, which is not just the annual meeting, of course, but the intersessional activities as well.

    So I would ask everybody to look through the report.  Please look through the supporting documents as well, and we'll work to set this discussion up as part of the -- we have four hours, I think, on the first day of the MAG meeting, which is Day 2 of our meeting, to look at some of the more strategic areas, and that would include Secretary General Gutierrez's comments, President Macron's, the High-Level IG statements, and I think the MAG really addressing what are some of the strategic multiyear issues we think we should be focused on and how do we address them, so that will be a significant piece of the agenda on that day.

    I'm not sure how to progress a further kind of potential chartering or rechartering.  I'll think about that a little bit more, and if we can start a discussion on a list in advance of the meeting as well -- on the MAG list in advance of the meeting.

    So I want to thank everybody, too, from the Working Group.  It was a big lift and a lot of meetings, but everybody, you know, was, I think -- really stayed in there, was really supportive, really trying to work together and move things forward.

    With that, we'll move to the Working Group on Outreach and Engagement.  Mamadou, I think, are you going to present that work?  

    >> MAMADOU LO: Hello, everybody.  Can you hear me?  

    >> LYNN ST. AMOUR: Yes, we can.  

    >> MAMADOU LO: Thank you, Lynn.  I'm going to begin by giving the goals and objectives.  It was increase the coordination among IGF activities through the creation and maintenance of a communication channel among facilitators of major intersessional activities and WG-OE.

    It was also produce periodic reports to the community in advances of the IGF preparatory process, including major intersessional and MAG activities.

     Increase the engagement on IGF activities through the emphasis on opportunities of participation for the at-large community. 

    >> LYNN ST. AMOUR: Mamadou.  

    >> MAMADOU LO: Yes.  

    >> LYNN ST. AMOUR: Everybody's saying it's difficult to hear, there's some crackling and some skipping.  Maybe if you could speak a little louder and a little bit more slowly, it would come through.  

    >> MAMADOU LO: Okay.  Okay.  Thank you.  I was spelling out the activities that -- of the beginning of the work in 2018.  The last was to distribute information as to help MAG members be aware of major issues related to Internet Governance.

    Now talking about overall activities in 2018, following the resignation of Israel Rosas from the MAG, then we took over the Working Group, helped by some external members making great works on spreading news and translation.  And then following Working Group outreach Com 2017 recommendations, we go straight to activities aiming to get more engagement from the community.

    So we are assisting the IGF Secretariat on communication among the IGF community and the at-large community, which could have interests in the IGF activities in order to increase engagement in the IGF preparatory process and, in consequence, in the IGF meeting activities.

    So in 2018 we started going through several mailing lists and social medias to call for issues and call for workshop proposals.  We translated into French and Spanish calls for issues and workshop proposal to get more -- to get more communities engaged.  We think there is no doubt that that's contributed a lot in reaching high number of workshop proposals in 2018.

    Also, we had our weekly Internet Governance review to help to be people be aware of what is going on in the Internet Governance landscape.  We insisted on spreading and translating IGF documents into French once we knew the IGF 2018 will be hosted by France.  It was appreciated by the francophone community worldwide, and we still think we had a good attendance from this community in IGF 2018.  I would like to say here that I think the African community, above all the French community, were well represented in the IGF.  The interpretation of IGF into French was very useful in what was going on, and the feedback was received very well.

    The same example, we think, should be experienced in the IGF 2019 with news and documents translated and spread in German.

    Also, we help to spread our intersessional activities in DCs, BPFs, CENB III in various United Nations languages.  We had feedback very instructive and interesting once we share the wrap-up document relating to IGF 2018 preparation, which was very useful and instructive for the audience.

    Now, the next steps for IGF 2019, we would like to advise to continue the sharing information on different platforms but also create a communication platform, like booths, during Internet Governance events, doing some media coverage on preactivities, on activities on-site, and post-activities of the IGF.

    Also, we recommend communication tools, like leaflets, designed in IGF brand and distributed during Internet Governance activities.

    Also, we are grateful to the job done by the IGF Secretariat on the website translation.  We recommend the WG-OE stand as main partner to achieve this work in order to reach out to the whole community.  We also recommend more collaboration between the IGF Secretariat and the Working Group on Engagement, as the Working Group has already shown its capacity to widen IGF messages and activities to brick more people in the process.  Thank you, Chair.  

    >> LYNN ST. AMOUR: Thank you, Mamadou, and thank you, the audio was coming quite clearly in the end, and Mamadou followed quite closely his report as well, so if people did have trouble hearing, I would refer to the report.

    Any comments or questions?  I think some very good work was done by the communications and outreach group.  I've seen them be very active on social media as well in terms of promoting the IGF plus stocktaking and that sort of thing.

    All right.  Not seeing any comments, I would ask all the MAG members to consider the report and consider the requests for rechartering, and I would also ask the Secretariat, I think, the Secretariat to take a careful look at the report and determine what would be most useful as well.  Is there somebody trying to come in?  

    No.  So, again, the Secretariat could take a look at it, and the MAG members as well, and we'll pick this up again at the meeting at the end of the month.

    The final Working Group is Workshop Review and Evaluation process, and Rasha Abdulla is going to present that work.  Jutta Croll is unable to be here today.  Rasha was a MAG member for the last three years, she's just termed off.  She led some very, very, very useful, very important work over the last few years leading that Working Group, and we're very thankful to her for her leadership there and also coming back on to present the work of the Working Group from last year, so Rasha, you have the floor.  

    >> RASHA ABDULLA: Thank you, Lynn.  Can you hear me?  

    >> LYNN ST. AMOUR: Yes, we can.  Yes.  

    >> RASHA ABDULLA: Hello.  Hello.  

    >> LYNN ST. AMOUR: Yes, we can hear you, Rasha.  Please go ahead.  

    >> RASHA ABDULLA: Okay.  Great.  Thanks a lot.  Well, basically, over the last few years we've tried to put a system in place or a better system in place to evaluate the workshop proposals that come in to the IGF based on some systematic criteria, so we've basically come up with four criteria to rank or grade each workshop that comes in, and basically give it the grade from 1-5 on each of the four criteria, and then the system basically calculates the average and we end up choosing at least the top section of that for a point of the programme, and then for the other part of the programme, we tried to take in considerations, mainly diversity, to make sure that groups that are underrepresented or issues that are underrepresented get a better representation.  So basically, we filed the report at the end of last year.  I think you all got it on the mail, but I'm happy to resend that if -- if needed, and we had some recommendations for the coming year.

    For this year, we hope that there will be a better system of defining what each score means, so, basically, from 1-5, like what to give a 1 and what to give a 5.  We are recommending that scores of 5 would be preserved for really, really exceptional projects, but we're also recommending that there may be -- it may be useful to have sort of a trial run, so -- you know, so all MAG members would create maybe a couple of workshops from last year or something, and then there would be a MAG call on which these scores are discussed, and basically the MAG can then arrive at a system, and this creates more reliability as people sort of agree on what's a 3 or what's a 4 on each of the criteria.

    We are also recommending that maybe on the technical side there would be the ability to edit scores that have already been evaluated so that as MAG members go through the workshops, if they need to go back to a workshop that they had already evaluated and sort of amend a score on that other workshop, that they'd be able do that.  That basically gives them a better overview of all the workshops that get assigned to each MAG member.

    We're also recommending that speakers get verified before the proposal stage before the workshop is graded because even though we tried to make that happen over the last few years, it's basically still -- the -- more or less the norm that people sort of submit an idea, and then they submit either names that have not really been confirmed or they just submit a few names and they say, you know, the others will be contacted later or something, and we just think that the more we have a concrete idea of who would be speaking on that workshop and what exactly is the content, the better we are in a shape to more accurately or more appropriately grade that workshop and decide whether it will be included or not or whether, maybe, it will be merged with another workshop or not.

    And finally, we had a recommendation also regarding Open Forums, that maybe they should be a bit more limited or that the MAG would at least get to see the proposed Open Forum and maybe have a say in what's to be included on the programme, as they do comprise a rather big section of the overall programme.

    That was pretty much the essence of our recommendations.  I'm happy to answer any questions.  

    >> LYNN ST. AMOUR: Thank you, Rasha.  Let me see if there are any questions or comments.  

    Well, seeing none, as I said, again, the work that's been done was very useful in terms of, I think, providing more consistency in the programme.  I think we need to look at some of these improvements at our meeting the end of the month so that we're embedding any of them in the subsequent call for workshops, which will take place after our face-to-face meeting, and that would address any kind of grading considerations or evaluation considerations as well because we should be noting those up front in the Call for Submissions as well, so, again, I would encourage people to look at the reports, to think about it.  I think it's also important that we really understand from the community perspective what this process feels like and what they're experiencing and how it can be improved, so if we can speak to some of the members that have submitted workshop proposals, I think that would be -- would be helpful as well.

    Carlos, you have the floor.  

    >> CARLOS ALBERTO AFONSO: Okay.  Very quickly.  Rasha's comment on the need to have information regarding the proposed participants in each workshop, rapporteur, moderator, the speakers, et cetera, beforehand, even before the workshop proposal is submitted is fundamental because we have seen this problem of people that were mentioned but not confirmed, they don't show up in the workshop, and this really degrades the whole process.  I think this is important.  

    >> LYNN ST. AMOUR: Thank you, Carlos.  I think that's come up several times as well, so there's definitely agreement on that and needing to make improvements there.  

    I also think we -- you know, some of the things we try to do later in the year with respect to -- and trying to get more kind of concrete messages or key themes out of the workshop sessions is if the MAG has that expectation coming out of the sessions, we need to be really clear on -- on that as we actually launch the Call for Submissions, so to the extent -- you know, in the past we've asked for people to state what the policy questions are their session is meant to address or how they're to advance the particular topic or issue, I think we need to give some thought to that as well because, again, that would also inform the Call for Submissions, so if we could keep both the kind of operational and administrative pieces in front of mind as well as the more strategic, I think that would be helpful.

    Sylvia is asking in the call -- the Working Group for this call, but we'll find it and -- oh, I think -- are you asking in the documents, it's not there?  The report was actually given late last year on one of our MAG calls, so maybe that's why, but we'll get it and make sure it's posted with the meeting documents in the appropriate place.

    So just to wrap up quickly, because I know we'd like to give kind of any of the last ten minutes here -- I would ask everybody to read through the Working Group Status Reports to think about what we think would be useful going forward.  I think also take into account some of Mary and Timea's comments with respect to the number of Working Groups we can support and whether or not there are any opportunities to get the work done otherwise or perhaps even for a combination or merging of some of the Working Groups.

    Again, our goal would be to come out of the meeting at the end of January with an agreement on the Working Groups with, I think, an agreement on the charters, or at a minimum, a rough Charter for the Working Group so we can very quickly thereafter launch the call for members.  

    And so with that, on the last call, Veni had made a couple of comments with respect to some activities that are happening within the UN system, which I think are -- should -- we should be aware of and it should inform some of our strategic thinking as we look at the IGF as well, so he kind of volunteered to give us just ten minutes by way of introduction.  I think there's probably some documents he can send along as well.  So, Veni, you have the floor, and thank you.  

    >> VENI MARKOVSKI: Hi.  Sorry, I'm trying to unmute my line.  So can you hear me?  

    >> LYNN ST. AMOUR: We can, yes.  

    >> VENI MARKOVSKI: So the things that I wanted to talk about are related to the UN General Assembly and what it is planning to do this year.  There have been a lot of discussions last fall during the General Assembly session and a lot of resolutions were proposed.  The ones that are important for our groups and for the IGF in general, the cybersecurity resolutions, two of them, the cybercrime resolution, one, and the discussions about the ICP for development.  Now, there are two cybersecurity resolutions that establish two different groups within the UN General Assembly.  One is called Open-Ended Working Group, the other one is called The Governmental Group of Experts, and the difference is that The Governmental Group of Experts, as the name hints, consists only of representatives from the Member States, 25 of them, including the five permanent members of the Security Councils who have their representatives there.

    The Open-Ended Working Group is also for Member States, but it also -- it talks that there will be public consultations with people from Civil Society, businesses, and other stakeholders.  They will be discussing issues related to cybersecurity.  We cannot participate in those discussions unless we're on governmental delegations.  That's for people who may be wondering how to participate.  And it's the first time that there will be competing cybersecurity discussions within the General Assembly within the same committee, the committee of the General Assembly, so it's a little bit unclear territory what exactly will happen there.

    The cybercrime resolution is -- was voted in the third committee, which deals with human rights and crime, and it will be -- it is also a general resolution that basically talks that there should be information provided to the Member States on cybercrime or tackling cybercrime.

    So I thought it's important for you guys, for the whole MAG to know it because some of the topics at the IGF are usually around cybersecurity, and it's good to know that there is a continuous, now, more substantive discussion that will be taking place at the UN.  I'll be happy to share, if I haven't already shared on the mailing list, the resolutions that were voted -- and, I mean, they're publicly accessible, but I'll be happy to share them so if people have questions during our face-to-face meeting, we can continue this conversation.  That's all from me.  The 

    >> LYNN ST. AMOUR: Thank you, Veni.  And I don't believe you have shared them on the list, so that would be helpful.

    Any -- any other reflections, if there are other MAG members that have participated or are aware.  I'll also invite any of our DESA colleagues to speak if they'd like to.  I know Ji -- I don't see him on the call this time.  Ji had made a comment in the chat room last time as well, but -- I'll do a slow count to six to see if there are any other comments or anybody who would like to come in.  

    I do think what Veni is pointing out is important and does impact, as many said, a number of discussions we've had within the IGF.  It certainly will impact the kind of larger Internet Governance ecosystem generally, so the documents are quite interesting and definitely well worth a read.

    Not seeing any further comments, thank you, Veni.  That was very helpful.

    Are there any other -- any other items, any other AOB?  

    Any items from the Secretariat?

    Well, then, I want to thank everybody for the time.  I know we've had two back-to-back meetings here, but I think there was a lot of information to get through, and I hope this certainly helps both the incoming and returning MAG as we get prepared for the meetings in just over two weeks' time.  So thank you.  We'll see you all in Geneva or hear you all in Geneva.  

    >> RAJESH CHHARIA: Thank you.

    >> CHENGETAI MASANGO: Thank you, Rajesh.  Thank you, Lynn, and all.  

    >> LYNN ST. AMOUR: Thank you, Rajesh.  Bye-bye.