The following are the outputs of the real-time captioning taken during the Twelfth Annual Meeting of the Internet Governance Forum (IGF) in Geneva, Switzerland, from 17 to 21 December 2017. 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.
>> LYNN ST. AMOUR: Thank you, Thomas. Neither Chengetai nor I sponsored a particular discussion. But at this point in time, the taking stock session is closing and we're moving to the final event of the IGF and that's the closing ceremony and Chengetai will be the master of ceremonies for such session.
>> CHENGETAI MASANGO: Thank you very much, Lynn. As Lynn said, this is the final, final section of IGF2017. Doesn't mean that it's the end. We do have activities that will still carry on.
So we're going to have speakers, representatives from the various stakeholder groups to say a few words on the IGF. Our first speaker is Mr. Matthew Rantanen. And he is representing civil society, if he can come up to the lectern, please.
>> MATTHEW RANTANEN: Ladies and gentlemen, Excellencies, colleagues and stakeholders, friends and to make sure I'm recognizing everyone and observing protocols, I'd like to say all protocols observed. I'd like to thank you for the honor in allowing me to speak at the closing ceremonies of this internet governance forum in Geneva.
I'd like to thank those that nominated me and selected me to participate. I'm here before you today to bring awareness to the global and indigenous communities around the world. It is our goal to ensure that we the indigenous people of the world have a recognized seat at the table in planning, development and implementation of the governance of the technology advances of this resource that we gather to support at this forum.
I am Matthew Rantanen, I'm Norwegian and Finnish and born inner the United States of America, in which I'm a citizen. I work as the director of technology in the United Nations. And together, we have built a large community network, but more importantly an ISP. It continues to grow and supports the unserved and underserved Native American populations. It is the microwave network served by fiber that is more than 650 miles of lengths and supports 100 government municipalities, libraries, schools. As well as nearly 500 tribal homes. We're continually expanding the network to allow access to all of our 3,000 homes on the reservations and support the surrounding non‑tribal communities.
We understand to enhance a community is to be inclusive of those that surround you and have some of the same barriers to access. We had to build this network to connect our communities because those communication companies charged with deployed telecom services in the United States have failed to support the most vulnerable population.
Over the past 16 years of work on this initiative, it has become very apparent that there are barriers to entry for tribes and many other unserved and underserved communities to get the access they deserve.
This realization has transitioned my work for the past decade to include advocacy for Native American tribes at the federal and state government levels of policymaking.
I often joke that I'm a babysitter of meetings and I am there to make sure of three things. Native American tribes are not forgotten, Native American tribes are not intentionally excluded and Native American tribes are actually in the decision‑making level of the process. I am proud to say that I am now also doing this for the global indigenous communities of the world at the IGF and ICANN. We presented the concept of the tribal ambassador program which I'm pleased to say it was accepted and further expanded to be the global indigenous program. I attended ICANN60 as an indigenous mentor to the first two indigenous ambassadors. I joined a group of community networking fellows brought here by the internet society allowing us the opportunity to participate and realize the importance for indigenous inclusion at this government's level.
The internet will fail to be the resource it should be if it does not include all of its people in the development of its future. Indigenous populations fill the governance of the internet should include the most underrepresented voices. These communities are particularly underserved populations left further and further behind with less than 50% of the community connected to the internet, it's far less extreme in the indigenous communities. With the development of more and more video solutions, with gig bit applications in the near future, we're in a constant struggle to support our communities without being recognized in the development process.
Having worked on the first and second commission in the United States spanning six years of as far as, I have a very strong foundation of understanding on how to implement change and rulemaking and procedures to break down barriers for the vulnerable communities. I have worked with the National Congress of Native Indians.
These resolutions are used to work with the Federal Government to help them understand the needs of the people to further support the indigenous communities that are being excluded from the process. I'm standing before you today ‑‑ the users not being included in the process that is deciding their fate. We are willing and able to contribute and we know our needs. Policymakers have the responsibility to remove barriers to indigenous community networking not imposing the preconceived notions on what they feel the communities need without proper consultation and inclusion of the indigenous people and the decision-making process.
Policy and governance working hand in hand within indigenous communities to understand the needs is the path to solving this problem. And a last‑minute announcement, we're happy to announce the creation of the internet society, ISOC community essential interest group. Thank you.
[ Applause ]
>> CHENGETAI MASANGO: Thank you very much, our next speaker is Ms. Jianne Soriano. And she is also currently studying international journalism at the Hong Kong Baptist University.
>> JIANNE SORIANO: Good afternoon, distinguished delegates, ladies and gentlemen, I'm the organizer of the youth internet governance forum Asia‑Pacific. The youngest member of the internet region governance forum. And also a journalism student. It's a great honor for me to speak to you today on behalf of young people.
I'd like to thank the local host for making us have a successful and fruitful forum. To all of the workshop organizers and speakers who have traveled miles to be here and speak on different issues and topics that are close to us. And mostly, to young people here who bravely participate on a grand scale event.
Our new ideas, shared realities and active engagement definitely adds a new layer to entire event and eventually to IGF's growth. I started by IGF journey four years ago when I was still in high school.
Now, I'm about to finish my undergraduate. I went from a newcomer to a local organizer, a regional organizer, to now, empowering others. Over the years, I also witnessed the growth of the youth community in the IGF. During my first time in 2013, I could count the number of young people with my two hands.
Today, you need a whole room to fit this all. From one youth oriented workshop before to numerous youth panels today. Indeed, youth is no longer in the shadows. The IGF youth community is diverse coming from different regions, backgrounds and interests. But essentially, passionate, driven, and more importantly, the willingness to learn.
These things make young people an integral part of the IGF. Not only because we're digital natives or the largest end users, but also because we are the future leaders.
Being young is not a disadvantage, it is a strength. And we know the needs of the internet community and we also have the power to address them. Over the course of the past days, I hear discussions on the challenges of youth. We're passed the problems of youth involvement because of various organizations and groups that support young people to be here that start initiatives and give us a platform to engage in.
Right now, what we're facing are participation exhaustion and lack of continued motivation. And essentially, how to have continuity. How do we continue the momentum? Essentially, we want our efforts and what we do. We want to see them have results create an impact. And standing here today giving the speech is one of them. And all started with the majority of how young people here started by participating.
And it's not only about our voices being heard but also how we use our voice and how it's working. Which brings us back to the importance of continuity. In order for your voice to be heard, you have to make noise. But you also have to question how effective is it if you only do it once. Continuity allows for a better collaboration, better capacity building and eventually, better role models through mentorships and tool kits that youth can bring back what they have seen and experienced through the local communities.
It snowballs and eventually forms into something. As a youth fellow last year, I met a fellow youth from Africa who wanted to start her own initiative. But she shared her difficulties in looking for people to support her. It is through her experiences here at the IGF and shared conversations about what the mission has done. And the model for youth by youth. Inspired her to do something in her own community. Similarly, I met youths here in here who want to start their own movements and see the IGF as a great steppingstone.
Initiative from youth is important but support from different stakeholders is just as valuable. Because of the discussions are essentially from all parties. And as community, I believe we should help initiatives to take root and ensure capacity building and have various support measures.
If you support the youth, you are also helping to shape the future of the internet. Perhaps, I may not be the best representation of us all, but I can say the reason I'm here today speaking to you is because I was supported and I was able to still be here today.
So as a young person, I encourage all youth here. If you see something you want to change and no one is doing anything about it, you can be the one to start something. There are a lot of things that have been done and are currently being done.
To leave you all with, I would like to ask you how we can continue to grow. Thank you very much.
>> CHENGETAI MASANGO: Our next speaker is from the private sector, Mr. Bobby Singh Bedi.
>> SUNDEEP SINGH BOBBY BEDI: I'm from the international federation of film producers association. It is a great pleasure to be with you today at the closing ceremony. I'm a content creator, and the content I create is consumed in my country in India. And the rest of the world. This is my third internet governance forum, and it has been the best.
After various goals that the IGF has. One of the key one is to make sure the internet remains globally and freely accessible. A space where we all have the same right as we have offline. We all need to ensure that the opportunities are available to all. We need to by reduce the divide and ensuring equal access to everyone on this planet.
Today, nearly 25 years after the internet came into being, half of the world's population is still offline. And half of the number is from India and China despite the energetic progress of the last few years. This has to change.
We need a serious effort from all stakeholders present in this room, governmental organizations, civil society, academia and private sector, which I represent to ensure that all people be it Africa, Asia and any other continent are truly connected and the benefit from all that is good on the internet.
And be protected from all which is not. Having reviewed several of the workshops and main sessions over the last three and a half days, I see the combined wisdom seems to suggest that 80% or 90% of the outcome of what seems to be the solution is for the good of mankind. Between 10% to 15% presents threats and concerns which need to be dealt with and have been discussed across the Las Vegas few days. Last few days.
The one challenge, however, that is different from 20 years ago is that we are no longer dealing with telecom or local content that was for the most part confined to national boundaries at least till the 90s. Internet is global, benefits are global, and the concerns its presents are global. To keep it that way, we need to ensure an ongoing dialogue between the various stakeholders who have an important role to play. This does not mean that individual stakeholders cannot meet to hold discussions without the presence of everyone else.
The conferences such as IGF will enhance the benefits and reduce the concerns. From a business community's point of view, I would like to underline an often ignored belief. My belief is that the world, including the cyber world strive to be a happy place and that people engage with cyberspace to be entertained and happy. Users log on to consume free high‑quality content that people ‑‑ and to consume user‑generated content that appears and create. Creators of this content, local and universal are as important in this value chain in the other parts and their financial health and creative freedom are as crucial.
Apart from consuming creative content, users for the internet log on to meet friends, family and colleagues just to share moments of joy and concern and to be informed of the change, good and bad, happening in the world. This demand is what creates the first consumer pull and drives the commerce. Fueling investments and infrastructure. And this is what makes the mighty network and economically viable and effective tool for education, security, health, disaster management and any emerging situation.
I might add the uncertainties in the social and political world have the potentials of slowing down investments. Investments in infrastructure, in content, in ensuring truly global medium remains global.
To reduce the uncertainties and to address the misunderstandings, we need to get together all stakeholders of frequent dialogue. This global community has a significant role to play in building capacity and confidence in matters relating to the internet.
National governments must ensure an environment that fosters fresh investment and innovation in this space. We must also refrain from putting on national rules and regulations on critical issues such as privacy or data flows that have the ability to constrain the internet, truly interconnecting and global characters.
The line between use and abuse is a fine one. I take this opportunity to treat an stakeholders, and the private sector to respect. The test of effective use of legislation is important. The test of its abuse is critical. The internet is a place to improve the quality of life. It should not be used to intimidate or otherwise impede the quality of life of our brothers and sisters wherever they might live.
I'd like to thank the MAG, the UN DESA for this outstanding IGF, which like the predecessors has certainly moved the needle on improving collaborations and understanding amongst multitask group towards a better open internet.
I close with a line from my favorite song by the late John Lennon. Imagine, there's no countries. It isn't hard to do. You may say I'm a dreamer, so come and share this dream. Thank you.
[ Applause ]
>> CHENGETAI MASANGO: Thank you very much. Our next speaker is Raquel Gatto, manager for the Chapter Development in the Americas for Internet Society.
>> RAQUEL GATTO: Thank you. Ladies and gentlemen, IGF community, you must remember when the president opened this IGF, what she said to us, to all of us. Be courageous, right? Remember that? So I want to commend all of you, the brave souls that stayed until the very end, including those remote participants that stayed with us through the night. You are all brave. You are probably having family and friends waiting for you at home.
It's hard to be the last speaker at the last session, but I hope I can give you some thoughts around it. I came a long way out from Brazil to be here with you.
Here at the IGF, at the very first day, also, I joined the discussion around bringing citizens to the internet governance debate. And among the things that we've had to choose were questions that would boost the citizens into the debate. And one of them was what did the internet do to change your life? And I was puzzled. I realize that the internet didn't change my life. It didn't change my life because it was there. It was there to use.
So the real question that we should be doing now, we should be having now is what would you do if the internet doesn't exist? And that's a reality. That's a reality for many of us, that are facing shutdowns, that are facing disruptions, blocking and filtering. That's certainly something that we need to tackle. We need to see here and we need to bring the solutions. And that's a possible future to all of us if we go on the wrong path.
If we make the wrong choices. And that's something that reminds me ten years ago I attended the first IGF. It was the IGF in Rio. In 2007. And I heard the wise words. He said, remember that the problems that we see on the internet are the same problems we see on the society.
So if you look into a mirror and you don't like what you see there, don't break the mirror. Don't break the internet. Keep it on. There are threats that raise our fears, but there is also hope. The internet is a force for good. It's a tool, it's a platform, it's where we can have opportunities. Not only to share information, to build a communities. It's really the place you can find the new society, the new times for the society. But these hopes and fears, people’s hopes and fears are dividing us very clearly on our report launched this year by internet society, the global internet report that I truly invite you to read. It brings us to the fact that we have core values for the internet.
And they remain valid. They remain what guarantees an open, global, resilient and secure internet. I must say that I remember when the MAG were brainstorming around the title or the theme for this IGF. And Thomas insisted on a few things. And I'm going to share two of them.
The first one is the word "your" shape your future. That's something that matters to all of us. Each of us. And then, exclamation point. You might have missed that, right? There is an exclamation point there. It's because the IGF calls for action. And that's also remaining for all of us. The responsibility to shape the future, our digital future.
The technical community and internet society are with you on shaping this digital future. And more. We are strong supporters of the IGF. Nigel has pretty much said a lot about it. But over the years, this forum has demonstrated its value as a neutral forum where all the stakeholders can gather on equal footing to discuss internet issues. It has also grown, evolved and it has developed its ability to deliver the tangible outcomes. To bring the concrete examples, the grass root projects for forums, for example. Let's not underestimate the potential of the IGF, the multiplication of the national and regional IGF, for women IGFs. This type of discussions demonstrates the impact and the value of this model. Can the IGF improve? Of course.
There is always room for improvement. And we heard that a lot on the last session. And that needs to be taken as a natural step for its evolution. Bringing more voices to the table, including the remote ones, building capacity in our awareness, influencing beneficial policies are some of the areas that needs to be further developed.
It is my responsibility to do something as part of this community. But it's yours, too. And so, we can only do it together. IGF is about dialogue. It's about diversity. But it's much more. And we should trust overcoming complex challenges. We can't ensure that the IGF reach next level of the evolution. Now, I'm just changing to French to say ‑‑ thank you.
[ Applause ]
>> CHENGETAI MASANGO: Our next speaker is Lynn St. Amour.
>> LYNN ST. AMOUR: Thank you. All four of those speeches were excellent. And it's a nice way to end the week here. So distinguished delegates, ladies and gentlemen, colleagues and I certainly hope, friends. I'd like to thank Switzerland for a wonderful IGF.
And of course, thank you to the United Nations office of Geneva UNOG for hosting us this week and the economic and social affairs for the administrative home for the IGF and everything the secretariat specifically itself does here.
I'd like to take a moment and really recognize Switzerland. They've been such a strong supporter of multi‑stakeholder dialogue and internet governance since the early days. I hosted the first in 2003. They facilitated the outcome that led to the creation to the working group on internet governance, which led to a definition of governance that exists today. And they supported the creation of the IGF as a result of the second world summit information society in 2005.
As host of UNOG here and many other IGOs and private institutions that deal with internet issues, Switzerland has a special responsibility to internet governance and have always taken this seriously and always been there. Importantly, they're active, vocal and consistent supporters of the multistakeholder model.
Finally, the Swiss government was, I believe, the first donor to the IGF's trust fund supporting the secretariat which allowed the startup of the first IGF, which was held in 2006. So obviously, we have very much to thank them for and I would like to give them a round of applause.
[ Applause ]
Also, warms my heart, I spent 22 years here living in Geneva. I've always appreciated just the Swiss approach to so many things. I'd also be remiss, though, if I didn't remind everyone that the IGF was an extra budgetary project under the United Nations under the secretary general, yet doesn't receive funding for the UN budget or the member state contributions. It survives on donations. And obviously, there's much, much more we can do, but it does depend on funding and therefore, of course, contributions to the IGF trust fund are very welcome.
Now, moving to this year's IGF, we're just finish year two over the ten‑year mandate. And the MAG and the IGF community are working hard to advance key issues. So we, the multistakeholder adviser group, the IGF secretariat and, of course, you the IGF community continue to innovate and many of the core components of the IGF and the IGF ecosystem. While at the same time, we're intensifying our efforts to produce more concrete outputs. Innovation such as the opening sessions, which Thomas talked about earlier, where we actually worked toward a dialogue on a single theme allowing key messages to be pulled from the discussion versus the long series of individuals and often somewhat unrelated statements.
And we're working hard to introduce more active dialogue and open discussions and all the sessions held here and promoting different and open formats. There's still room to improve there. We captured key messages shortly after each main session for publication on the IGF website to ensure that the communication was easy to spread across the players and actors here as well as outside. And certainly, those will be fed into the usual chair report.
If I can come to a moment for the intercessional activities, we created more space in the programs for the IGF. These activities are important. As this work continues year round, which allows more in‑depth activities while allowing more progress, more participation on key issues. I'm referring to, of course, the work of the best practice forums, the dynamic coalitions and of the major policy initiative connecting and enabling the next billions.
And one of it is most impactful outcomes for the IGF ecosystem is the advent of the sub regional and youth IGF initiatives called NRIs for short. While the establishment was not foreseen by the agenda which gives the mandate, it did encourage multistakeholder engagement on national and regional levels.
Because of this, several countries in regions started engaging stakeholders in their local communities in the IGF processes in organizing more annual IGF meetings at local levels. As somebody said earlier, you talk globally and act locally. So I think the NRIs are making a very significant difference in the advancement of internet issues across the world.
The current number is 97, there's another 10 in formation, they should be approved very shortly, which is nearly double the number of NRIs in a little over two years. Really phenomenal work. And to that, I think we need to really recognize the support of Anja Gengo and the secretary, she's available 24/7, seriously.
[ Applause ]
Of course, we need to recognize the work of all of the NRIs, as well, and their fearless and tireless champion, Marilyn Cade.
Coming back to the point to produce ever more concrete outputs. I believe overtime, there's been a qualitative difference in the discussions themselves and in the supporting papers and the reports. Certainly, it's not really about what I feel. I certainly hope that difference has been noticed and is shared.
And at the same time, really sincere that we want to know how those can be improved. So please, suggestions, I think as Thomas said and was said, we need to be a little courageous, we need to figure out where we can push, where we can advance, pilot some things and learn from those that work well and learn from those that don't work well.
But it's certain that maintaining what we're doing today will not advance our issues here as quickly as many of us would like. So while I believe no one would argue with a need to continually improve, I also think we need to recognize, feel good about, celebrate and certainly promote the value of the IGF as a platform for multistakeholder dialogue as recognized in the agenda. Sometimes, I think we're almost apologetic it's a platform for dialogue. Key discussions such as cyber security, human rights, internet of things, access, they've all been on the agenda since the very, very earliest days for ten, 12 years. And our discussions are also evolving. Today's discussions on cyber security are very different from the discussions of ten years ago. These issues are complex, often very nuanced, they clearly involve many different viewpoints whether that's from different stakeholder groups or national or regional differences. It takes time to understand the different viewpoints and even more time to find commonality.
I think helping to prove how important discussion and this forum is. At the same time, we've seen real concrete actions come out of the IGF. While it's not a place for binding decisions, it does very clearly inform actions that are taken back to the national and local level. Whether that's taken back through private sector activity or through government, civil society, technical or academic activities. Or through some of the IGF intercessional activities, again, such as the best practice forums or the NRIs. There is clear action being driven from the discussions here and I'm certain we'll continue to evolve productively and positively. There have been a number of discussions over the week where it says advancing issues is a process. We look for commonality, some agreement, perhaps agree on a framework to advance the discussions further or even propose some norms.
Ultimately, if appropriate, they may become policy. One good example of this is the commission on the stability of cyberspace, which earlier this eke woo, launched a norm on protecting the core of the public internet as the first building block and their efforts to help address cyber security issues. Equally importantly, by the way, the paper was one page. And the norm itself is one paragraph.
Which is another version of accessibility. So that to me is a clear action oriented output. And I also believe the IGF is the only forum to address cyber security issues in a multistakeholder fashion. Having said that, I would have been happier to have been proved wrong. They have all of those cyber security efforts. Should be much more than largely one stake holder.
I for one am glad we give way to the complex discussions. I'm glad we had the foresight to establish as a multistakeholder platform for dialogue. It would be a much scarier world without the IGF and the ability to have these debates both here and through the NRIs.
So with that, I feel I've probably already gone on far too long. I would like to thank the community, the MAG, the secretariat, the host country, everybody that's participated or had any kind of touch on this IGF here over the year. And look forward to progressing some of the activities over the coming years and certainly next year. Thank you very much.
[ Applause ]
>> CHENGETAI MASANGO: Thank you very much, Lynn, and now we'll have the MAG host country co‑chair for 2017 ambassador Thomas Schneider.
>> THOMAS SCHNEIDER: Thank you. And as I said, I be brief. Just one point I'd like to repeat from what I said before. I think we all realized, again, this year that the potential of the IGF is huge. It's unique. But at the same time, it's still not fully used. So we really need more resources. We need better communication about the value of the IGF that leads to higher relevance, more awareness and, again, more resources. And just to quote, again, my friend Nigel, we need to fight, fight, fight, I don't shout this, but I mean it the same way like Nigel did for this because there's no free lunch.
Somebody needs to work and then things happen. So the second thing is a message to those who are interested but still thinking about saying yes to host the next IGF. Also, to those who haven't started to think about but could also host the next IGF, it is hard work that is true. But actually, in particular, when you look back there are other things that are more important than the hard work. It's a unique experience to organize an IGF. On the one hand, it's a unique experience to organize and achieve something working in a team or in different teams. Sometimes, under difficult circumstances for various reasons.
But making things happen in the end, that makes you stronger individually as a person with more stress resistance, maybe less doubt, less fears, but whether something goes right, or not, it makes it stronger as a team and you may actually make new friends in these moments. The other thing is, this is amazing. The people that come to you and tell you that they have really enjoyed the IGF, that they have learned new things that they have been ‑‑ they look at some things this is the most important. They will love you at the end of the IGF. And people will thank you also. Ask this is what I'm going to do now and I'm closing with this.
So first, I want to thank Lynn as the MAG chair. It was a pleasure to work with you we had inspiring and efficient and open‑minded debates and great cooperation. Thank you for this year. Anja, Louis ‑‑ I know you work under severe conditions, again, mainly due to funding and you did a tremendous job. Thanks also to Armin and Stan and everybody else who supported us throughout this year. Also, director General Miller who supported us, also, from the beginning. That includes, of course, technical staff, interpreters, security, the EBU, and in particular, the people from RTS who were extremely helpful and efficient in supporting us. Thanks, also, for offering the visit that many of you have been profiting or will profit from seeing the CERN which is an interesting institution. And an enormous thank to the Geneva Internet Platform. All of the others that I may forget, you were indispensable for us in the preparation and the conduction of the IGF. And we hope you also will be able to support future hosts of the IGF. Thanks, also, for stepping in and organizing the volunteers for the remote participation. We said that before, it's a fundamental element of inclusivity. And thanks, of course, to my colleagues.
All of the others that supported us. And that also had to bear with me in some difficult moments. Thanks, also, to Patrick and everybody else at the Swiss mission and the foreign ministry. It's amazing and possible that different ministries can work together without competition but actually joining forces and it's really a pleasure to work in a government where you can make this experience that we don't compete with each other, we actually work together. Thanks to everybody at the foreign ministry. And particular thanks to Phillip, other actor general, for your personal commitment and support. And then, finally, thanks to all of you. What we provided you here is an empty shell. You filled it with content, with life, with meaning and with relevance. Thank you all very much.
[ Applause ]
>> CHENGETAI MASANGO: Our final speaker is Mr. Armin Plum from the Department of Economic and Social Affairs. And he's going to give the closing remarks on behalf of the United Nations Secretary General.
>> ARMIN PLUM: Thank you. Stakeholders, participating online from around the world, it is my pleasure to be with you at this unique multistakeholder gathering. On behalf of the United Nations Secretary General, I want to thank the government of Switzerland for hosting the 12th annual meeting of the internet governance forum here in Geneva.
The United Nations is grateful the advisory group for the guidance and preparing another great IGF. It also recognizes the valuable leadership and vision of the MAG chair. This IGF is the outcome of intensive work of a large group of people. The community worked tirelessly over the past months to prepare and during the last four days to realize the IGF2017.
Thank you to the organizing team, its numerous volunteers, stuff at UNOG, so many others who have worked behind the scenes to make this happen.
Key for the further success of the IGF, thank you to all of you. Over 2,000 participants in Geneva and those who joined remotely for your active participation. You make this IGF meeting successful.
We would like to acknowledge the work of initiatives and their many members that are continue to expand the multistakeholder dialogue in the spirit of the global IGF by convening the own meetings and discuss and address local, national and regional internet governance, channels and opportunities. We should also acknowledge the IGF community and work, channeled through the best practices forums. These are fundamental in the ongoing drive to make it outcome oriented and delivering bottom‑up outputs.
In delivering safe internet, benefits enjoyed equally in the undeveloped and underdeveloped countries. Bridging the digital divide remains one of the key topics of this year's IGF. Similarly, sustainable development goals continue to provide a framework for dialogue on economic development, human rights, freedom of expression and gender parity online.
What we see is that the IGF continues to grow as an open and inclusive discussion platform. Its growth is not only measured in the number of people or stakeholder groups who attend this meeting, but also in the ever increasing area of topics that get discussed in the internet governance context. Artificial intelligence, this information, internet of things, virtual reality, these are all new or emerging issues that were explored in this year's IGF. We can expect over the course of the next year, the developments and digital policy will mean this list will expand.
It's ever critical we maintain the multi-stakeholders commitment to improving on the IGF to bringing new voices and ideas. We must ensure that everybody participates in shaping the digital future.
Thank you all of you for your contributions for another successful IGF. We look forward to working with you alongside over the coming year. Thank you. I'm actually supposed to use together. ‑‑ the gavel.
>> CHENGETAI MASANGO: Thank you. Have safe travels home. And I hope some of you will stay a day or two to see Geneva. Thank you very much.