The following are the outputs of the real-time captioning taken during the IGF 2017 Second Open Consultations and MAG Meeting from 12 to 14 June 2017 in Geneva, Switzerland. Although it is largely accurate, in some cases it may be incomplete or inaccurate due to inaudible passages or transcription errors. It is posted as an aid to understanding the proceedings at the event, but should not be treated as an authoritative record.
13 JUNE 2017 10:00
>>CHENGETAI MASANGO: Good morning, ladies and gentlemen. Just testing to see that everything is working fine, and we're about to start.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: We'll start in just a minute. We're just waiting for some of the AV. And in fact, we can start right now with some quick introductions and a couple of administrative details.
So Thomas Schneider, the honorary host country co-chair, will be joining us in a little bit, and Jorge may actually come in in the interim. The -- today on the screens here in the room, we will only be able to show one set of slides, so it will either be the transcript or the presentations, if we're actually using presentations or looking at something from the Web site. If people choose to join the meeting through Adobe Connect, you can actually get the transcript and the presentations or whatever is showing on the slides here.
Okay. In fact, this is -- this is real-time -- real-time improvements the IGF. They are, in fact, setting up a separate screen for the transcript, so...
One other comment.
Yesterday there was a Skype chat room running in the background and I had a couple of comments last night to make sure that the Skype chat room does not become a sort of significant interface for MAG discussions. Not everybody's in.
The MAG discussions should take place in this room, for full transparency and access.
So, you know, I understand how useful they are in the background for questions or to -- you know, to follow up on immediate things, we all need to be really -- really careful and really thoughtful not to make that a kind of more primary communication channel.
So please, I think probably it would either be most appropriate in the Adobe Connect, the Adobe chat room there, or, in fact, in the -- in the meeting. Both of those, I believe, are recorded as part of the minutes of the meeting.
There's still a few people filtering in, so...
So the first order of business here is adoption of the agenda, which is up on the screen there.
We are in Day 1 of the MAG meeting, Day 2 of our combined meeting. We actually have the full day today for the workshop selection process.
And if you move to Day 2 of the MAG meeting, Day 3, in fact, we had left much of tomorrow morning to finish up any of the workshop selection process as well.
An ambitious goal for us would be to try and complete the workshop selection process today. Maybe if there are a few open questions or open items, we could hit those first thing tomorrow morning. But that would allow us more time -- if we move to Day 3 of the agenda, that would allow us more time to follow up on some of the working group discussions, dynamic coalition, NRI discussions, some of the other more strategic components of our work, as well as, of course, the main and focus sessions, which I expect to be a fairly substantive topic as well.
So with that, the agenda has been posted for some weeks. Maybe close to a month. Are there any further comments or do I have your approval to move forward with that agenda?
I see heads nodding so I call the agenda approved.
So the first item --
Again, one other administrative. We will be using the electronic speaking queue again today, as well. Again, Luis is available to help if people are having any difficulties, and it really does help to keep the playing field equal between online participants and participants in the room, and in fact, it keeps it really level, if you will, even for participants in the room, as I said -- as I said yesterday, not dependent upon where I might be looking at any point in time, or Chengetai, but in fact, simply who is first in the queue.
So with that, again, today our work is going to be focused on completing the workshop selection process, and I think it's important that everyone keep in mind that as the MAG, we're responsible for a program that meets the needs of the entire multistakeholder community and not simply our own community.
We obviously have a lot of support and love and passion for our own issues and our own items, but that is not what we're here to do. We are here to develop a program for -- as the MAG for the global multistakeholder community and I'm sure we will all participate in that consensual spirit.
So let me cover quickly the process that I actually sent out the other day. I know there were some questions. I tried to respond to them last night. That may not be the -- the easiest to follow.
I actually don't think we're doing anything substantially different than what we've done in the last three to four years, even if some of my language might have been somewhat confusing yesterday.
We have always had some number of workshops that were selected as the result of the evaluation by the MAG, and that was sort of established as a cutoff. We have always gone back and taken a high-level look at that against several diversity characteristics. Those of you that have been in these meetings for some years will probably remember Virat Bhatia, who really was the leader at saying, you know, "The workshops that were selected, X amount were from developing countries, from this stakeholder group, first-time proposers," et cetera. So it was always against those -- the topics always against a broad set of criteria that we sort of scanned the ones that were accepted in to see if there was anything that we thought needed to be addressed, are there any imbalances, any significant overrepresentations or underrepresentations. We do not want to undermine the evaluation process the MAG did, but I think we actually owe that kind of cursory high-level check. That's what was meant in my Step 2 of the process.
The secretariat can explain in a moment the cutoff at 72 and the proposal that we support 80 workshops going forward, so that we have that as another baseline.
The -- Liesyl had introduced a wildcard process on, I don't know, a call three or four weeks ago, which I understood to be one that said, as a reviewer, if you're going through these workshops and you find something that really looks kind of interesting but you really just couldn't rate it, that you flag that because the topic was either interesting enough or it may be something about the proposers or the panel or the format that was interesting enough that you thought it was worthy of further reflection from the MAG and further kind of nurturing or support, if you will.
So it was expected that that was a relatively small number. I think what's happened over time, possibly with some of this discussion around addressing the imbalances, was that we kind of conflated those two processes, and I believe they're separate. You know, if -- and I think most of the proposals that have come in through the wildcard process -- well, actually, I'm going to -- I think they probably are a mixture. Some were, "We found this workshop as we were going through that really was worthy of further consideration but didn't make the cut." Others have suggested ones that should be reviewed because of a perceived gap in the workshops that are selected.
So what I think I would propose would be, as a first order of business, we open the floor for any thoughts on balances/imbalances in -- after Chengetai talks about the 72 and the 80, but we talk about any perceived balances or imbalances in the 72 that are ranked.
We then look at the wildcards and see if the wildcards address any of that. And then if we need another level of discussion which would look at any other actions we might take to address any of those imbalances, we do that as a separate and third step.
What I would like is for the working group on the workshop evaluation -- I'm looking for Rasha -- to pick up this part of the process, this part of their next phase of work, and further define this process so that we have clear definitions -- if we're going to use a wildcard facility when the MAG reviews the work, that we define what that is so that that's more clear, and that we define subsequent steps for -- for addressing any imbalances we actually see in the preselected workshops.
So let me open the floor first to see if that works for a reasonable process for going forward, if there are any comments or thoughts, and then once we're done with this section, I will ask Chengetai to give some background with respect to the cutoff of 72. I don't think we need to go through the full statistics slides from yesterday because they've been posted on the MAG list for some time and we did go through them quite thoroughly yesterday. But again, if people really feel that's helpful, we can put that in.
So I think I have Ji in the queue, and then Sala, I don't know if you were looking or not but we are trying to use the speaking -- the electronic speaking queue, so --
>> (Off microphone.)
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: You couldn't access it? Okay. Well, if you continue to have a problem, maybe see --
>>CHENGETAI MASANGO: Maybe Luis can help.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: -- see Luis. So, Ji, you have the floor.
>>JI HAOJUN: Thank you, Chair. As a new MAG member, I don't know how you guys played the game last year. So sometimes I'm slow to respond. But I'm really disappointed by the screening result, the 72 short list. And according to the briefing by Chengetai yesterday, the composition of the -- this more or less final list is very problematic. For example, Asia, we have 58.4% of global population, only --
>> (off microphone).
>>JI HAOJUN: I'm speaking very loud already. I'm sorry.
>> (off microphone).
>>JI HAOJUN: Now it's okay? Channel zero. Okay. Let me start again? Yeah. Just start from the imbalances.
Asia has 58.4% of global population, but only 20% of proposals is from Asia. And Europe has only 16% of global population. And in the final -- in the 72 proposals, more than half is from European countries. And that is not corresponding to the current global geopolitical map. It deviates too far from the reality.
And I don't know why this happened. And I think we need to figure out a way to resolve such kind of imbalance.
I'm not saying that MAG members are not doing the job properly. I would like to, you know, have this result be respected and take as a good basis for further work. But on this screening result, I think we need to take into account the geographical balance and equity into consideration because this is the overarching principle of how U.N. works, no matter it's multistakeholder model or governmental players-only model.
So in addition to population factor, we can also take into the size -- the economy of each group, of Internet users of each group, whatever. We need to add some -- to add some -- introduce more factors to make this result more accurately react to the global map.
For example, if we take only the population factor into account, we can multiply the current screening result with the weight of each continent. For example, Asia, you give it 60% -- you give it -- the current result, multiply 60. And Europe, multiply 16. That would make things more fair. Otherwise, if you say European countries are submitting more proposals, okay. If that is the way we work, next year Asia countries to submit 1,000 proposals. That would be a disaster for MAG members. We would be overwhelmed certainly. That's my initial thinking.
At this stage, I don't think the current statistic, 72 short list, is the basis we should work on. I think we need to find a way to get a new short list, a new method. Thank you.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Thank you, Ji.
And I hear your comments, and I think many people in the room would like a better diversity both in terms of the workshops that come in and the workshops that are accepted. You've mentioned the procedures that this room operates by with respect to consensual and bottom-up process from the community, the community that is actually engaged in the IGF. That represents the workshops that were submitted, and I think the workshops that were selected.
To my understanding, the U.N. doesn't work through its processes on the basis of population size or GDP or any other global metric. It works on the basis of the topics and the substance that is in front of them, which is, I believe, exactly what we are doing here.
If you have some specific suggestions you'd like in terms of workshops that this room should consider, I'm sure everybody would be very, very happy to consider them.
But at this stage in the process to think that we're going to throw out the considered work, not considerable, considered work of the MAG and run to a process that looks at something like population statistics, I think is just not -- not appropriate within the current set of procedures and the context we're operating in here.
So let me go to the next queue. I see you're back in the queue, but I think I had Sala and then there's another five or six folks in the queue as well.
So, Sala, you have the floor.
>>SALANIETA TAMANIKAIWAIMARO: Good morning, Chair. And good morning, colleagues. I'd just like to offer comments in relation to methodology just to ensure that we get maximum efficiency while trying to reduce the level of biases and to maintain a level of neutrality, noting that whilst we represent -- or we come from certain stakeholder groups as MAG members in executing this particular component of the process, we're actually stewards of the entire global process. So, in other words, we have to be -- we kind of have to be neutral as best as possible.
So one of the suggestions that I would like to make would be that the working group chair -- Rasha who is sitting at the back there -- I have just sent an email to one before I made the intervention. That the working group chair, if they could be allowed, should the rest of the MAG agree, to take -- to take the time of the MAG for 20 minutes to agree on a set of additional rules for the wildcard process in terms of a component or -- if we were going to accept the wildcard process, if there was certain disparities which there possibly are, which there are. Again, that's my personal opinion.
Again, we don't want to take the work off the excellent work of the selection process. But, again, we do want to ensure that we want the best possible robust outcome in terms of representation.
Then what I would suggest is that the working group chair, Rasha, that she take us through a process where we through consensus agree to a set of rules on how we're going to actually make the additional selection. And this shouldn't take longer than 20 minutes. And once that's done, then perhaps we can begin the process of selection. So this suggestion is made in terms of methodology. Thank you, Chair.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Okay. We should take that suggestion into consideration. I think the methodology we're doing now is not any different than what we've done in past years. In fact, past years we -- we sort of did it on the fly with people suggesting and we came back and had to review 60 proposals or something, which we went through one by one, which is extremely painful and the MAG was adamant they didn't want to repeat again this year. In fact, it was a process we've run the last two years.
I think the wildcard process is pretty straightforward. There were nine that were selected, and we can look at those and then we can see if there are any other imbalances we need to address. That's the process we've been running at a high level.
Let me go through. There's another five people, see what those five or six people in the queue -- see what those comments are and then come back and see what we do with the process.
Next in the line, I have -- here's what I have. I have Renata, Cheryl, Juan Fernandez, German, Ji, and Sumon.
So, Renata, you have the floor.
>>RENATA AQUINO RIBEIRO: Hello, everyone. Thank you, Chair. Well, I would just like to confirm that I stand by my list, including my wildcard priority, being the first one I indicated the one I would maintain. Initially my comments were more about if these workshops get to be selected, how can we help them, how they can be improved, but they also were selected on the fact that they're from developing countries addressing accessibility issues and having the possibility for an interactive session.
And I would -- I do see that there's a need for a more general address in imbalance. For instance, it is unacceptable that an event which is supposed to encourage a bottom-up multistakeholder dialogue has 70% of sessions which are mainly long series of talks by a few presenters, being that the description of most panels and roundtables presented. I think it would be interesting to issue a bulletin to presenters on how to create more interactive sessions. I believe the secretariat could be indicated to coordinate this communication but MAG members volunteers who would be interested can help draft it and perhaps articulate to working groups like session formats and outreach. So I'll leave this idea for consideration.
And another important imbalance to address, perhaps the most important, is developing countries' participation also in the backdrop of the diversity criteria imbalance in general which can be found in some sessions, and this could be also something that this communication by the secretariat could address.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Thank you, Renata.
Cheryl, you have the floor.
>>CHERYL MILLER: Thank you, Madam Chair. I just -- following up on a conversation we had yesterday which was quite good, I thought, around increasing government participation -- note that we don't have many government proposals in the top chunk, and so I definitely think that that's an imbalance that we should focus on as we're going through this, moving forward. And to a comment that was made earlier regarding, you know, maybe with respect to the proposals that come in we don't receive enough from certain groups or it's hard to really understand how it comes out that way, but perhaps an idea moving forward could be to submit sort of almost an invitation to governments to really encourage at least each country to submit a proposal. So maybe we can sort of boost the numbers on the front end that way.
And I'm sure there are other ideas that folks might have in the room but I want to make sure that we definitely address that imbalance. Thank you.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Thank you. I think that is an important imbalance, and a discussion I had earlier this morning suggested that, you know, it's certainly worthy of more discussion, both in terms of this part of the process as well as general increase in government engagement, and maybe we can get to that tomorrow -- tomorrow afternoon where we actually have some time to follow up on the comments from -- but agree that's important.
Juan, you have the floor.
>>JUAN FERNANDEZ: Thank you. Eleonora can you put on the screen from the PowerPoint of the statistics Slide 7, please? I always have -- I've been telling many times in face-to-face meetings last year, last time, and also in the virtual meetings that I think -- I believe strongly that we, the MAG, have to exert criteria.
Having said that, I don't disqualify any quantitative method because that is useful for making sort of a ranking in order to have some guideline, but this is not an exam. We are not having admissions that all people below 3 or a C are not in -- it is not an exam.
This should be a guideline for us to find --
Not that. 7. 7. No, the one that has the two pies. Maybe I have another version. That one. That one. Yes. Those two. Because as you say -- people say, a picture is more than a thousand words, so that can say that.
So I think first that we should not have this charting of the 72, or whatever, as a straitjacket. This is only a list in which it's put in the list in terms of the quality perceived -- perceived! -- by the MAG members that graded that particular workshop.
That, in the end, is also a very subjective thing. It's very useful that we have the variance or the standard deviation in order to say that, but as you can see, it's not rocket science. It's not exact science. It's very subjective and it's only a guideline. A guideline for us to do our job.
What is our job?
We were talking about that yesterday. There is no interest by private sector, by governments, so we have to take that into consideration, and see there, 49% from western European and other groups and it's going to be here in Geneva, a very expensive place, in December, and many persons that I know from civil society, they don't even have coats to deal with this climate over here.
We want this to be a club for the rich countries in the world or we really want people from all the world, of those billion that is not connected? We really believe in that? We want them to participate?
So we have to take care of that 49%. We as the MAG has to do something about that. Okay?
And on the other side, from stakeholders, also the same. We want this to be a private club for those?
I remember the WSIS process. I remember there was some tension between stakeholders and that this was considered the -- sort of the concession for civil society, but it has evolved from that. It's not -- this is no longer a civil society hundred percent event. Maybe in the beginning it was perceived like that, "Okay, government has their process and this is going to be the space for civil society."
No. We try this to be multistakeholder with all participation. So that is an imbalance that we have to face. Because otherwise, you know, private sector or the other sectors, they will not be interested. Even private sector is smaller there. So -- and we're concerned about that. We can do -- we can act on that and we can act trying to solve those imbalances.
What I suggest?
I suggest, of course -- and as Renata said, there are some other criteria under development, but the one on the right fails because, you know, Africa and America is mainly on the developed countries.
So also we -- we as a MAG can help those proposals that maybe are perceived quality is lower to help them to improve the organization of those workshops, but I think that we should try going down in the list -- that is what I propose, going down in the list from the first, and trying to fill those gaps that are there.
For instance, I was looking at the -- at the Excel chart. It's only nine proposals from governments, and none was accepted, and some of the topics are very interesting. I don't know, maybe the presentation was not good. That's why they didn't receive the grade. But the topics are very interesting. And some are even by developed countries proposed. Very interesting here from eastern Europe. Very interesting. I suggested that we should -- we were talking about that yesterday. We should take a look at the MAG to all those nine government proposals and see which of them we can, in a frank debate, in an open debate here between all of us, see which one we could recommend to move to the top of that.
And the same of some of the other proposals from the rest of the countries, you know, of the areas from Africa, civil society, further, and try and, you know -- 3% is eastern Europe groups -- try to find more there and try to balance those two.
I think that we should keep -- in all the work that we're going to have today, we have to keep these two pie charts either in the screen, either in our minds, but more of all in our hearts, because otherwise, the IGF will not be really what it should be. It will be -- become a private club and, you know, very expensive this year here in Geneva. Thank you.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Thank you, Juan. I'm sure there's a lot of support in the room for your kind of meta comments with respect to what we want this process to be and certainly that we don't want it to be an exclusive or private club or club for those with means.
Lots of heads shaking around the room.
I like your proposal that we look at the nine government proposals that have come in because we've had significant discussions on the fact that governments are underrepresented. I think there's also something else we need to consider in some of our improvements as we go forward because a lot of governments and a lot of IGOs rely on the open forum process, feeling that that's a more appropriate process for them to engage in this activity than through the workshop process. I think that's something we need to evaluate a little bit and understand that. I think that helps with some of the imbalances we see here. But -- but I do actually like -- because I agree, there were a number of very interesting proposals within those that have come from governments, so we'll come back to the process in a few minutes, but -- and I would like to put forward for the MAG's consideration the fact that we do take those nine government proposals into account and we look at those when we actually work towards the final selection of workshop proposals.
In the queue now I have German and then I have Ji and Sumon still and then Carlos, Raquel, and Elizabeth.
So German, you have the floor.
>>GERMAN VALDEZ: Thank you, Madam Chair. My name is German Valdez, from the Number Resource Organization.
I would like to say that we should be careful of changing the expectation of the methodology that we have discussed and we have implemented in the past.
I think the expectation coming here to -- to Geneva and also the different proposals that we have to include in this new program were based on criteria that we already discussed in the past. That includes a fair distribution among the sectors, the gender, the developing countries versus developed countries, first-timers versus returning proposers.
So I think it's important that we avoid any imposition of different criteria, be those GDP or new concepts or new criteria that come up out of the blue.
I think we need to attach to the methodology and work on those. There are other MAG members that are not here that -- and we have had a lot of opportunities in the teleconference to shape the methodology and at this stage I think we need to attach to what we expect it is going to be.
I agree with the idea of the wildcard concept, using it to include workshops in the process but not to remove them.
I mean, the idea of having wildcards to remove them from the list I feel that in practice can become some sort of veto power of MAG members, which I don't think is good for us to have such approach to the wildcards in that sense.
I think also I agree to Juan's comments that we need to avoid this to become an exclusive club, but sometimes at least in my personal observation in the past years the participation from the regions will increase depending on where the IGF meeting is going to be hosted. I mean, this year it's going to be Europe. If -- it's almost naturally that more Europeans will be coming here. And the dates of this year's IGF has been publicized for a long time, so I think it's a reflection as well that maybe not other -- many other participants from other regions applied because they knew that it was going to be difficult for them to come to the IGF, given the dates and the time of this particular year, but maybe it's a reflection of the reality we are facing in terms of the dates. But I fully agree that we should work and avoid this to become an exclusive club.
And lastly, I'd like to support the idea of -- in order to work on those imbalances, to support the idea of including IPv6 work that was mentioned yesterday in the list. We worked very successfully in the best practice forum related to IPv6 and we'll be sending a very wrong message if this year we don't have any particular single workshop related to that, and this is a comment quite critical for the stability of the Internet to discuss this technology.
And that's it. Thank you, Madam Chair.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Thank you, German. Many good points, and to your very last point, there certainly was a lot of support on the list for moving forward with that merged IPv6 proposal.
Ji, you have the floor.
>>JI HAOJUN: Thank you, Madam Chair.
I know that people -- most -- some of our MAG colleagues wish to speak to the past practice. As new members, I haven't participate in deciding on the criteria we're using now, but I myself is concerned. I have to stick to my principles. And before we solve the fundamental problems, I am not ready to discuss any particular proposal or any wild proposal.
This is not a world before the first world war. I have this impression that the multistakeholder model has become a thin cover for European-dominated world. Everybody -- all men are created equal. If we don't talk about -- when we talk about democracy, human rights, if we don't talk about population, what -- what does democracy and human rights mean?
Geographical equity and balance is an overarching principle of United Nations. It's the cardinal rule. Whatever models you take, this principle should, first of all, be respected. But the current screening result deviates too much from this principle, and that is unacceptable.
I think we need to also balance the qualitative factor and also quantitative factor, and, you know, to -- people might say that the number of proposals from Asia-Pacific is very low. In the total more than 280 proposals, like only 20% is from Asia-Pacific. That's true. But the problem is that Asian people use a totally different language system from the western world. To prepare one proposal in Asian countries, the difficulty, the time we consume on it, is three times or four times than that of European countries. The translation is very expensive. Not every expert from Asia speak English but they are very good experts. We all know very well that we are -- we Asian people are doing many innovative things. We are leading the world in the Internet economy and we deserve a chance to be heard. We come to this IGF meeting. We -- we come modestly. We are ready to learn. But we also want to share our best practices. We are not coming to be brainwashed by others. So before solving this fundamental dis- -- imbalance, I would like to say that we should not talk about any particular wildcard and any -- you know, which one should be killed one and which one should be salvaged. Thank you.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Thank you, Ji.
I mean, I have a lot of sympathy for your comments. At the same time, we're working within a process that has some restrictions, and I mean, I think we're all keen to figure out how we can get beyond some of those restrictions and be even more inclusive and even more open and facilitate more proposals from all regions of the world. And I think we need to be quite creative in terms of how we do that, moving forward.
With respect to one of your first comments, I mean, you have been a MAG member this year. This MAG approved the processes we're running with. So, yes, those processes have been largely the same over the last three or four years, but the processes and the criteria we established were established by this MAG, of which you're a part of, and I do hope that we can move forward with agreement on how we're going to process our way through this workshop selection process this year and that we find a way to capture your very excellent points about how we can make those improvements going forward. I don't think there's disagreement in the room about how hard it is and how English-centric it is, and that is not our goal. We are not -- our goal is not to be English-centric in this process. But we're going to need to be creative with respect to how we figure out ways to solve that because there are some very real -- very real restrictions that we're living within.
I'm going to move next to the -- Sumon, who is in the queue.
And then we have another three or four folks. And then I will come back to you again, Ji.
Sumon, you have the floor.
>>SUMON AHMED SABIR: Thank you, Chair. First, I would like to thank Rasha and the team for the evaluation. It makes our life easy and gives us enough time to deliver the paper.
But one thing I think we can do this time marking for merging, like same kind of paper coming up. Last time we saw a lot of merging, but this time we didn't do it. I just looked at the list, and I found one of the topics like fake news, the third selected topics. And there was seven papers submitted on fake news, and four of them are (indiscernible). So do we need -- I think we can merge and reduce similar topic and echo it with the government papers or some other papers or wildcard thing, if the topic (indiscernible). That's one observation.
Maybe some other similar thing could happen. This came to my eye so I just point it out. If you all can look at the list, then we can actually figure it out in a better way.
And second point actually, discussion looking at the side -- I'm from the developing countries. What I can tell actually one of the reason -- German mentioned that this is in Geneva, and it's really expensive for many people from there. So that's one of the reason for less papers from Asia because some people are told to submit but they are not here to get funding so they didn't submit a paper. So if we can get some country in Asia to review -- a lot of -- many years in South America or in Europe in this side, if we can move IGF to that side, then we see more participation.
And, secondly, we need to be a little bit impassioned. I want to give an example from the technical perspective. If I go back into '05, '06, that time we started different NOGs in South Asia and other NOGs event. All the presenters, speakers are from Europe, USA or Japan or Australia. But in 2017, I can tell that an ethnic (indiscernible) program, 70% are from South Asia or this developing region. So if we encourage people and help them to grow, eventually they come up. We have to deliver passion on that as well.
But definitely we should be focused on that, that we need to bring those people, we need to connect the next billion, how we can do that. We should keep it in mind, but we should be impassioned at this moment. Thank you very much.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Thank you, Sumon.
And, yes, German, made one of those points earlier and Chengetai actually pointed out there really is a significant difference in where the proposals come from depending on where the meeting is located. And part of the way we attempt to manage that is by rotating the IGF (audio drop).
Carlos Fonseca, you have the floor.
>>CARLOS FONSECA: Thank you, Madam Chair.
Just a few comments from someone who is a newcomer here so I'm not used to the way you guys work. But I comment to what was said first by our colleague, Ji. I really don't see a methodology problem or an imbalance when we consider the number of proposals that were presented and the number of proposals that were accepted.
So if we go to Slide Number 6, we can see that 46% of proposals -- (audio drop) -- 23 from Latin America, 24 accepted, 20 from Asia, 18 accepted, et cetera. There is a correlation, and it's very balanced to a way.
Maybe in that respect the only imbalance would be a proposal made by governments, 4% and zero accepted. So there is something there, okay? But I don't personally see a problem in the correlation between the two pies.
What I see is maybe a problem -- it's a problem at the origin, not really there. So it's not a methodological problem. It's a problem at the origin. And my colleague Juan Fernandez Gonzalez just mentioned that and a few other colleagues here. Maybe the problem is how to stimulate certain regions, certain stakeholders to increase their participation rather than to change the methodology that was applied there because if you have 20% of a proposal from Asia and then you have 18% accepted, I don't see really a problem there.
Then if you go to Slide Number 6, maybe there you can see the origin of the problem. 65% of proposals came from returning proposers. So there is, I think, a problem in sort of renewing this club membership, to borrow an expression that was used before me. There is a number of issues that could be considered. But if 2/3 of the proposals are made by people who already proposed before, it clearly shows that there is a problem in renewing this club membership.
Maybe one aspect would be to try to stimulate governments. Clearly government actors or Asian actors maybe are the ones who participate the least, if you consider that.
And then as was mentioned by Ji again, language is definitely a problem. So we are working in English here. And I know that U.N. official languages are not one but six, including Chinese.
And, again, I know this is -- this poses a very -- big logistic problem but definitely language is a barrier. If the U.N. works in six languages and we here work with one only language and then, of course, people who dominate English, really work in English well, they will have a problem dealing with that.
So the way I see it, I don't think there is a methodological problem the way it is done today but rather how to renew participation. That's the way I see that. Thank you.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Thank you, Carlos. Many good points there. And we would love to have the resources to be able to do this in languages and to translate the Web site and translate some materials and things as well. Hopefully soon there will be some better electronic tools to facilitate some of that.
Next in the queue is Raquel. Raquel, you have the floor.
>>RAQUEL GATTO: Thanks, Madam Chair. So I'm perhaps bringing a pragmatic perspective, if you may. I'm tackling some of the topics that are mentioned here.
I think we -- we need to take separate discussions. The first one is what we have as a goal here which is to evaluate the workshop proposals and to come out with the agenda for the IGF. And we need to recognize and respect the efforts made by those who submitted those proposals and how we can ensure that we have a strong agenda forward. And, in fact, I'm going to mention some of those topics.
But then there is this -- it's an important discussion, but we need to be careful not to be, you know, in the cycle of where we want to be.
And I think Juan made a very good point. We don't want to be this exclusive club. And at some point we need to think forward what we can do as improvements. And Carlos was mentioning that, too, and Ji.
But we need to, first, stick to this methodology and stick to this goal that we need to come out from this meeting with this evaluation process. It is important. And the community expects for that.
And in terms of -- so, first, now going to the topics, in terms of the geographical imbalance it was mentioned, it seems to me to be a venue effect. You can see most of the proposals coming up from Europe as part of being host here.
The second region is Latin America. It's probably an effect of the last IGF being held in Latin America. So this has -- you know, this venue effect and historical numbers, it's not as balanced in terms of one region being overcome the other but it's more what you get from it.
And then just flagging -- I know we're going to tackle in substance later -- but the imbalances that I see that are important that we tackle, one is the topics that should be considered even though they don't make it to the final cutting. And German mentioned IPv6. I think there was great support, and it's an example of the topics we need to consider -- or the workshops by topics that we need to consider.
The other one that I want to flag, the other imbalance, is reconsider the government proposals. I think there are practical solutions that we can take. There is one that is almost in the -- close to the cutting line. It is very well evaluated, and we could start considering from those criterias.
Also, it is a message that we send. Governments have other spaces like the open forum, we mentioned that, or they can be speakers. But having governments mobilizing to present a proposal and to organizing a workshop, it is really embracing also them as part of the IGF methodology. So I think this is important.
And I just want to support now on the second part that I was mentioning on where we should be the importance of language. I know it's resources. But, also, don't underestimate the community efforts that we could pull out to make it happen. So just to leave like that. It's important to open up, to receive proposals for other languages. I know there will be some need for adjustments, especially for the later evaluation. But that's something we can think for the next year. Thank you very much.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Thank you, Raquel.
Ji, you're next in the queue. You can get ready. And then we'll then go to the speaking queue, which is Elizabeth, Juan, et cetera.
Ji, you have the floor.
>>JI HAOJUN: Thank you, Chair. Let me come back briefly on the U.N. practice on how do we address the geographical balance issue. Most of the time we divide countries into east group, west group, NAM and plus one country government, which is (audio drop).
In talking about population, one of the factors we consider. But the G20, G7, all these important international organizations are based on economic size, plus population size.
So maybe we can come up -- come up with a new weight factor, taking into consideration these things and to multiply that new factor with the screening results we already have there. That may help us to come up with a more fair final list.
We can also take into account the number of countries in particular -- in each particular region. For example, Africa have more than 50 countries. They deserve, like, more than 20% of the chances to present themselves in the annual meeting. Thank you.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Thank you, Ji.
Chengetai just mentioned that the groupings we're using are the U.N. groupings that supported the WSIS process which, of course, is what actually established the IGF. And that is the protocol we followed since the very first IGF, which is not to say that we can't change those going forward but I think changing them in what I term is kind of midflight here in this our process is fraught with unknown additional complexities.
The next in the queue I said was Elizabeth.
Elizabeth, you have the floor.
>>ELIZABETH THOMAS-RAYNAUD: Thank you, Chair. Good morning, everyone.
So I think one of the things -- in listening to the commentary and the discussion this morning, one of the things I want to move us away from is overvaluing the assumption that is behind the categorization of the regional influence based on the proposer.
And to help us consider that, I want us to use an example. And one of the examples is a proposal put in by a colleague of mine. So she comes from a country in Europe but she's representing an organization that has a headquarters in Europe but that is an international organization. So that's my first point, is that the representation of the country by which you are in when you present this is not necessarily a determination of what your perspective and angle is coming from.
But even more relevant I think to the conversation we're having now is that the proposal has a set of speakers, or five speakers. And there's one from Korean. There's one from India. There are two from Africa. And there's one person from WEOG. So I want to remember that we went through an evaluation process and the reason that this particular item came up quite high is because there was a lot of care and attention to diversity of voice, all the criteria that we set out.
So if we now, after ranking based on that criteria, then look at the statistics which are really helpful for certain, you know, just one-shot glances and impressions -- but if we overemphasize what we think is in these statistics and forget that we actually went through a much more detailed analysis to find diversity, I think that's a false assumption. And I think it leads us down the wrong path.
And I want to reassure Ji, for example, that in being the proposer, you construct something. You facilitate and do the work to organize something. But on the day, those speakers, the people that they're interacting with, they create the substance and the voices are heard because those people are participating and speaking. It's not the proposer who is standing there speaking.
So I think we should take heart that we actually have done a good job in ranking diversity and considering diversity and that that criteria -- I think we've been stronger and harsher on what we demand from that and it's well articulated. So I would hate to see us second-guess that because -- (audio drop).
The other thing I wanted to say is this there was mention of the roundtable and the panel format. And I think we've also heard that given the spaces that we'll be in, that could -- not having some sort of format like that may be difficult. We had a breakout group in a workshop last time and, you know, the room sometimes make that more difficult.
So I would support the notion that a roundtable or a panel -- the question of how interactive that session will be is really up to skilled and attentive moderating. And we saw it in a workshop yesterday. If you actually incorporate interaction into the program, into the activity, and you -- even if we do need to help train moderators to do that and to be attentive to that, you can have an incredibly useful interaction and session, even though you have a table of speakers involved.
And then I have one question for the group which is around the new formats process. Last year that sort of came in sort of midstream, and so we decided to pull out some items that could -- topics that could fit into the new formats process. I don't have a clear understanding of how that's fitting into our exercise today and I wonder if the secretariat, and perhaps Miguel, could help us walk through that and understand how that fits into what we're going to do today. Thank you.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Thank you, Elizabeth. And good comments with respect to the snapshot because one of our key criteria was diversity of the panels. And if any panel had five people from the same region or five from the same stakeholder group, it would have been rated extremely low.
(Audio drop) -- criteria were looked at very thoughtfully and very carefully, were agreed by the MAG. And I think does gives us the appropriate set of diversity.
I have another nine people in the queue to speak. I'd like to close it off at that and then figure out how we move forward to the next step.
Juan Fernandez, you have the floor.
>>JUAN FERNANDEZ: Thank you, Chair, and apologize for taking the floor again, but I want to clarify -- I'm going to be very brief. I want to clarify some of the things that I said before.
I'm going to be very brief because fortunately the -- the previous speaker already argued the things that I want to say. That's a good thing to have been in the company of so smart people here around, so the good ideas already are on the table. You don't have to say it again.
First, about the methodology, as Carlos said very clearly, the methodology is not broken. It was working. It worked because it's statistically sound. It has an input and it has an output. But as -- well, I also want to mention, but also it's not perfect because there's some details that -- you mentioned one, but Elizabeth mentioned some other details that you have to take into consideration that maybe -- so that makes that we as a MAG has to complement the methodology.
Otherwise, we could all be remote. You know, we have a number and that's it. We need to put our minds and think about that. I think we have to look to the -- to all the workshops.
But having -- going back to the methodology, the methodology works because it has an input, it has an output, but unfortunately the output that we got is not really what we want. So the question is: What are we going to do about it?
We can change the input in order to get a better output, as Carlos said, but I think that is something that we have to work in a multiyear thing. It's prospective but it's not for now. So what are we going to do now?
I think that unfortunately we have to tweak the output, with using these criteria that Elizabeth said, using -- through our collective thinking. We have to do this today. Maybe we don't have to go back because we have this methodology, we already have a ranking. We can go by that, not -- maybe not to the whole list, but I remember that before we had this methodology -- I don't know who are third-year when we did with Janis in -- I think it was in Paris, in the meeting that we had in UNESCO. We went almost all one by one all the workshop proposals and we had qualitative criteria. It was exhausting, but I really was more satisfied with that procedure than with the purely quantitative. I think the quantitative can streamline the qualitative, but it will never substitute for qualitative things.
So going back here, either -- I'm -- I agree that the real solution is in the input to the process, but that's a multiyear thing. That's a thing --
And also, I want to also react to what German said about the regional. Of course if you're making one in the region, the on-site participation from that region is higher. We had that in Guadalajara last year from Latin America. There was a lot on site. But that should not be for the workshops that comes from all over the world. And even here, we have eastern Europe but eastern Europe only has 3% and eastern Europe is here, and Africa is closer to Europe than to America. And Asia is even closer to Europe than to America. So I think that we have to handle that in some other perspective. I think in terms of the workshops, we need to be more global because those are the ideas that are being interchanged. Maybe sometimes you have a workshop and maybe the presenter cannot take and somebody will take it but you have the representation there.
So I think that of course the solution is to work on the input. That's prospective work for multi-years, but now we have a problem and I think that we should do it. We should not keep the methodology as cast in stone. I think we have to accept criteria. I'm saying that over and over again. Thank you.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Thank you, Juan. I mean, I don't think the methodology is cast in stone. I think it is trying to find the right mixture between the qualitative and the quantitative reviews.
So I have Arnold, Jac, Pablo, Israel, Leisyl, Cheryl, Rasha. And Ji, I will add you to the queue, but I really would like to close it and then see if we can agree a way forward after that.
So Arnold, you have the floor.
>>ARNOLD VAN RHIJN: Thank you. Lynn. You can hear me? Okay. Good. Thank you.
For the record, Arnold van Rhijn is my name. I'm from the Dutch government, MAG member, and good morning to you all.
I would give you a positive note on the selection process. I was impressed, really impressed, by the huge amount of high-quality proposals which came forward and which ended up with a really high score. Lots of those proposals were above the threshold of 3%. But the selection process has -- is not perfect. It can be improved. And we should work on that in the near future. Because I noted that -- and it was mentioned by other colleagues here in the room -- that governments didn't make the cut. I looked at the online format where we could fill in our comments and I was really pleased that we can use this new online tool for our grading and we should keep that in the future.
But also looking at this online tool, we could improve it.
I noted also that there were less comments than I expected from our colleagues because it was -- it was mentioned that when you end up with a score below 3%, then you have to write down why you thought so. But I did it the other way around. I mean, even if it was above the threshold of 3%, I wrote down my comments and I think we should in the future use that format to write down your comments, whether these are positive or critical, so there's a better understanding then why somebody came up with a certain grade.
Then I also noticed that from our community, the national IGF community, we had sent in four proposals and they didn't make the cut either, so we are quite disappointed. And I think we can use some of our guiding principles when setting up proposals for perhaps the near future, and that is, when they are going to table a proposal, different stakeholders independently, they have to stick to some principles. I'll name them -- a couple of them.
That is, first, the proposal has to feed -- at least the outcome of such discussions has to feed into the regional and global IGFs.
Second, it has to build on the conclusions of previous IGFs.
Third, topics must be emerging challenging issues.
Fourth, it must attract new participants to the IGF.
And lastly, debates forward must be innovative.
Now, these are guiding principles which upon our community are following a proposal and sending it in, so when we are discussing concrete proposals, I will come back to the -- to the issues and hopefully we'll have another look at it. Thank you very much.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Thank you, Arnold. It will be interesting to see the proposal.
Jac, you have the floor.
>>JAC SM KEE: Thanks, Chair. Can you hear me? Yeah.
I think at the risk of sort of repeating some of the points which are already made I just wanted to maybe just reiterate four.
The first one is a question around the wildcard process. If I'm not hearing wrongly, I'm thinking that there is still a possibility of introducing other workshops to be considered, taking into consideration possibly different kinds of balances that needs to happen. Am I right?
That the wildcards is not -- those are not the only workshops that we're going to consider; that there's a possibility to any of other ones. For example, government.
I really liked Raquel's proposal as well, to look at the government workshop submissions that has -- that's a little bit up the ranking. That will sort of shortcut some of this. So that's just a clarification.
And the other imbalance is also that -- that I'm seeing is also from the African region, as well as eastern European, as mentioned by Juan, in terms of any bias.
The second point is that I think we just need to be careful to not throw away the baby with the bathwater, in that it's a good thing that civil society is very invested in this process, and the question is not that this in itself is a problem, but how do we increase investments by other stakeholder groups, so to be quite careful, I think, in terms of thinking through that.
The second is also in terms of the private club thing. I think it's also really quite important to recognize the kind of sustained investment and commitment of different groups in this process, and at the same time to be able to make sure that this is balanced against openness, that there is care and consideration to make sure that this space remains open whilst not really penalizing people for being sustain -- for sustaining their commitment to the process.
And so some of the things that we are doing in order to ensure this kind of openness are the criteria which has been developed and thought through very carefully, as Carlos mentioned very, very much earlier in this whole conversation, around privileging first-timers, around making sure there's diversity in stakeholder groups and regional participation, et cetera. All these things have been thought through and developed and fine-tuned, as well, throughout the different years, and not -- you know, sort of like as we are identifying issues not to forget that this is an existing and ongoing work to try and make this much more improved each -- year by year.
The third point I guess -- the third point I wanted to make is that I think Elizabeth makes a really, really good point around diversity within the sessions themselves. It's going to be very tricky to do, and I already really greatly appreciate the work that the secretariat has done in terms of pulling out the statistics to show like, you know, diversity so that we can have a bit of a bird's-eye view. But if it's possible to pull out statistics even within the workshop submissions themselves to see actually stakeholder groups.
So you mentioned yesterday, I think, in that just because a proposal is not submitted by governments doesn't mean that there's no government representation. They could be speaking in other proposals that are submitted by other people. So that also gives maybe much more nuance, and that's a sense of reflection of diversity in terms of countries, regions, stakeholder groups and so forth. If that's possible, that would be fantastic but I know it's probably very tricky, also has to do with timing in terms of how many speakers can you actually already confirm in the submission process stage as opposed to the actual workshop when it's being held.
But yeah, that would be really great to have.
And just to reiterate that we have to make a distinction between the approval -- the selection process and the submission process or, as Juan puts it, the input and the output, and to be quite clear in terms of what we're doing here. The concern is not so much that there are few selected workshops, for example, from the Asia-Pacific region but why are there so few submissions and how do we respond to this also as the MAG? And we had a serious discussion yesterday about how to engage diverse stakeholder groups from governments and private sector. Similarly, a serious conversation then needs to be had in terms of how do we engage different regions to be able to increase their participation.
And maybe national and regional IGFs is one way to do this. Also, Internet governance school. And maybe a series of Webinars can be organized next year in advance early enough to help in proposal writing because it might not be very -- you know, it might not be evident and this could be something that we could do to support some of this in different languages and different regions and this would require some kind of takeup from -- you know, either from MAG or from other interested parties. And this is about a bottom-up approach and it's to really reflect the interest and investments of the community, so it sort of needs to go from the periphery to the center supported from the center to the periphery in some ways and to think through like what are the different roles that we should play in relation to this.
And it is long-term work, as Juan mentioned earlier. So maybe this is something that could also be considered as some sort of intersessional activity. Maybe a working group, maybe a BFP of some sort.
And lastly, as far as I'm aware of, U.N. works on the principle of one country, one vote, regardless of population, and I think this is also quite an important principle to check against geopolitical power, so I just want to add that. Thanks.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Thank you, Jac. Really appreciate your comments with respect to kind of reminding us of some of the things we have tried to do to fix the origin or the input problem, and clearly we need to do more. And I also like some of your suggestions with respect to how we might begin addressing that as well.
The next in the queue is Pablo Bello. Thank you, Pablo.
>>PABLO BELLO: Thank you, Chair. This is my first time in the MAG. I'm from private sector from Latin America.
I totally agree with Juan that there is no problem in the methodology about the process of selecting the workshops, but it's pretty clear from my point of view that the outcome is not good for a multistakeholder global forum.
For that, taking into consideration what Elizabeth said, I think that the best way that we can consider to solve this issue is to introduce a cap. For example, it could be no more than 35 workshops per stakeholder and no more than 25 workshops per region groups.
I totally agree that the problem is in the input side, but at the same time, I think that we have to deal with this issue right now because it's very important to have a real multistakeholder forum in December. So I -- this is my proposal. To introduce a cap.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Thank you, Pablo. It would be interesting to see if there are resources in the secretariat to just do that quickly right now with the 72 that are in.
Even having said that, I have caveat which is with respect to Elizabeth's, because if the proposal came from one country but 80% of the participants are -- are from without that country...
Anyway, let's just noodle on that a little bit more and maybe it's something we do at the end to address that.
The -- Israel? Israel Rosas, you have the floor.
>>ISRAEL ROSAS: Thank you. Yes. Thank you. Can you hear me?
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Yes, we can hear you.
>>ISRAEL ROSAS: Thank you, Madam Chair, and good morning colleagues. For the record, this is Israel Rosas. In my opinion, if we are (indiscernible) strong workshop proposals from developing countries (indiscernible) that we should (indiscernible) capacity-building -- but also in the local (indiscernible) communities. (indiscernible) LAC region is the (indiscernible) promote not only in the (indiscernible) meeting but also in the intersessional period. We promote (indiscernible) participation of the region and community through (indiscernible) Spanish and Portuguese. Also, I agree that there are (indiscernible) people who see as a challenge (indiscernible) the proposals in English. That's why (indiscernible) to strengthen the trust fund, to strengthen the terrific work that's been done yet. For me this is -- this is not only a challenge for the multiyear planning working group but also for the communications and outreach. Those are the kind of stories that we have to tell to the community to foster the funding. Thank you.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Thank you, Israel. It was a little kind of garbled, I guess, is probably the best. I think the scribes did a great job at capturing what was there. If you're in the Adobe Connect, you could perhaps just look at the scribe pod and see if you feel it accurately reflected what you said or not, and if not, then send it in in writing. Like I said, I think they actually did quite a good job, but thank you.
Liesyl, you have the floor.
>>LIESYL FRANZ: Thank you, Chair, and good morning, everybody.
I guess I also have three points. I'll dispatch the first two quickly.
First, on the workshop evaluation process, I will submit some comments to the group, but mostly I thought that the -- the evaluations went really well and I think the result is probably not that much different than when we had 200-some each to review.
So it's generally positive.
I think that the proposal form can still be improved because I think that input is not quite there for us when we're evaluating.
I just want -- second point is I just want to make a point about the government presence. I really appreciated Elizabeth's comments about the diversity within each of the proposals, and what it brought -- it reminded me is that last year at IGF in Guadalajara, there were 80 governments represented by the participants, many of whom spoke. I don't know what the sub-number of that would be. And while that's probably not adequate, it's at least a good number to think about when we're talking about the diversity aspect here.
And so third, I guess I have a request. If we are going to look at the government proposals, as you've -- as you've noted, Chair, then would it be possible for the secretariat to send us a sub-chart of those proposals and links to the -- a sub-chart of the list and links to the proposals or something? Because I'm having trouble manipulating the chart to try to get to those -- that we've received to get to those proposals so that we can actually roll up our sleeves and look at them.
And I would also say that we really do need to take into consideration the -- as you've mentioned, the governments often put proposals in for open forums and that process hasn't closed yet.
So it might be that we need to get some information from the secretariat about those that have been received or those that typically submit. I don't know what -- how that will inform that process, but if we can get that sub-chart, so we can start looking at that.
Perhaps that's also true for whatever the cutoff period is for the -- I'm almost hesitating to use my term of "wildcard" at this point, or the new submissions for workshops that need to be considered for additional elements of balance. So if we have a cutoff and perhaps can get a chart of those, that would be helpful for us to actually review them. Thank you.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Thank you, Liesyl.
Let me see if Chengetai has a response to that or if he needs a few minutes to reflect.
>>CHENGETAI MASANGO: Let me just repeat back to you what you want. You want an Excel sheet with the nine government proposals and the links to that.
>>LIESYL FRANZ: Yes, exactly. That would be helpful for me -- if we're going to review them --
>>CHENGETAI MASANGO: Yeah, sure. That shouldn't be a problem.
>>LIESYL FRANZ: I guess I would have an additional question. What do you expect of us after we review them? Our top choice for submission from each of us or how are we going to review them? But to answer your question, yes.
>>CHENGETAI MASANGO: I will answer that first question, and the second question I will leave to the MAG chair.
>>LIESYL FRANZ: Thank you. That's exactly right so we can take a look at them. I just can't toggle back and forth through everything to find them quickly. Thank you.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: And I will answer the second question once we take the remaining speakers in the queue.
Next we have Cheryl Miller.
>>CHERYL MILLER: Thank you, Chair. Actually, Jac commented on one of the things I wanted to raise just with respect to the club comment that was made. I do think it's important to note that there have been some long-time supporters both individual and organizations in the room that have actually made some great strides in broadening our community.
I would note that Brazil was really instrumental in launching the IGF Youth Program, and that's really been growing and I think that's a very positive step. We can certainly all work together to create some new avenues and new pathways. But we should certainly not forget that.
Another item, remote participation is something we should keep working on to really improve and make it better for those times that people can't physically be in the room. It is the Internet after all. So certainly important as well.
And then travel support, another key item moving forward if we really do want to reach out to certain populations that maybe don't have the same resources. I think it's really up to all of us in the room to think about how we're going to approach fund-raising and how we're all going to be responsible for ensuring the financial health of the IGF moving forward.
I really appreciated Elizabeth's comment on speaker diversity. That's really important. I'm certainly not a proposer myself but am happy to speak on certain things. So I think there are different roles of participation sort of within.
I was pleased to see of the proposals, they were quite balanced in terms of gender diversity, regional, et cetera. I think everyone really did a pretty good job on that.
And then there was a comment made is respect to return proposers. I think that's great. We want people to come back. We don't want people to propose one year and show up one year and not return. I think that's what we want. We are kind of looking at this longer term, especially now that we have our new mandate. So do not forget about that.
And Juan's comment is certainly on point thinking about how we approach the inputs and improve the inputs. I think we just have to start thinking a little bit more strategically about how we market things and how we are able to really engage those new voices that we discussed yesterday as well in terms of growing the community even broader. So thank you.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Thank you. Thank you, Cheryl.
Rasha, you have the floor.
>>RASHA ABDULLA: Thank you, Chair. Good morning, everyone. Thank you for your comments. Just a couple quick points. I think the point was made yesterday and maybe today that -- I think it would be helpful if -- I'm not sure if it's doable for this time -- but if we can have a listing of stakeholders by speakers rather than by proposers because if I'm proposing a workshop and I have, let's say, five speakers from five different stakeholders, I can play around with whose name do I put as a proposer if I know this name has a better chance of being accepted on the grounds of diversity.
So if there's a first-time proposer, you know, I'll put their name as proposer even though they are not actually the ones who worked on the proposal. I will just put whichever name gets me through. And I'm not -- I'm sure this is not going to happen next year. But if word gets out that we're picking up the government proposers in terms of pushing them through the queue, that would be the magic cord, just put the person's name as a proposer who comes from the government sector.
But I do think it would be interesting to see overall from the speakers, how many speakers do we have, particularly confirmed speakers, from each stakeholder group. That might give us a better picture of the overall diversity of speakers that we have than we do now.
My second point is on the Arab region. And I know it's not a region per se based on the criteria that we have. But I was also wondering if maybe -- again, I'm not sure if it's doable for this time but maybe for future rounds -- even if not officially, can we have a count of what comes out of the Arab region just for people who come from that part of the world to know how little output basically they have out there. Because I have run through the proposal list, and I could only find three workshops from the MENA region. None of them actually were accepted.
And I just want to make the point very strongly that I would advocate for diversity of regions, but I would not advocate for the necessity of every single country being on the list as a proposal because if we go by that logic, that automatically gives us, like, 210 workshops that have to be accepted if a minimum of one workshop per country.
So I just -- these are just, you know, ideas off the top of my head. But I was wondering if we could have these statistics available for this round. If not, then for next year. Thank you.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Chengetai, is it possible to get those sorts of statistics, or Eleonora?
>>CHENGETAI MASANGO: As Rasha has said, it's not a defined region. I would have to go through it.
For the panelists, yes, we did mention -- I think I mentioned -- was it yesterday or on our virtual call, that, yes, that is one thing we saw after we did the evaluations, that it would be very useful to have that and we hadn't thought of that. So for this week we can't do it. But, I mean, we can do it later on, but I don't think it will help. But for next time around, yes, we are definitely going to be able to do that.
>>RASHA ABDULLA: I would just warn against taking it as a fact that governments are underrepresented because, I mean, they are on panels. They're just not listed as proposers. I don't think -- I mean, does it make a difference if a person is listed as a proposer or a speaker, does it make a difference in terms of role that they take on during the panel? Politically but --
>>CHENGETAI MASANGO: It can be argued that if a person is a panelist, they are supporting that workshop. The workshop doesn't come from that stakeholder group. So there is some perspective there. I mean, but you could look at it any which way.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Thank you, Chengetai.
Ji, you have the floor. And then Carlos.
>>JI HAOJUN: Thank you, Chair. I would like to reiterate that I'm not ready to go into discussion of particular specific proposals before we solve the methodological issue.
Of course, I understand it would be difficult to come up with a grading system everybody can agree to. We can work on that in the future. But the current problem, this extreme imbalance between different regions should be solved this year. We should not postpone it until next year. So to make things simpler, I would like to propose that can we set a cap for each region for the number of proposals from each region? For example, Asia can have up to 30, Europe can -- western Europe up to 20, something like that. Thank you.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Thank you, Ji. We'll come to that in a moment.
Let me just get the last speaker in.
Carlos, you have the floor.
>>CARLOS FONSECA: Thank you, Madam Chair. Sorry to take the floor again.
Just very quickly to agree with what was said by many colleagues and especially Juan. I think engaging new actors, new stakeholders is definitely a long-term issue. And I don't think it's something we can deal with just now. It's a strategic problem we have to think about that and see what we can do in the long-term.
But I'm also -- was struck by -- the problem with the diversity of topics that were presented. If we consider the thematic tags, the first tags used, it strikes me that -- how little the number of topics that were covered because you can see around 16. But then if you consider one by one, you have cybersecurity, cyber NOGs, and cybercrime, and this is basically a similar topic. Freedom of expression and freedom of expression online, Internet governance, multistakeholder corporations are related. Human rights and human rights online is related. So maybe this is something we could consider in the shorter terms ways to stimulate a diversity in topics, of proposals, let's say, by establishing some sort of quota or some sort of mechanism to stimulate the different topics to be presented.
Maybe this is something we can deal with in a shorter term. Maybe it's easier to establish a quota to diversify the topics. Maybe it's easier than to establish a quota by region, I think. It's just -- just an idea. Thanks.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Thank you, Carlos.
I think there's lots of work we could do to perhaps make the tags more useful. I think that's why we thought allowing the freedom of people to put in people the freed to put their own tags would be useful. But as you say, it makes it more difficult to see if there's an aggregation of topics. I think we should think about that a little bit more. And maybe that's something the working group on workshop evaluations could take on as well.
Let me come just quickly to the, I think, current question of caps and quotas. I know a lot of people -- actually, let me just -- Michael, do you have an input? I would like to give you the floor because you haven't taken the floor to date. In the interest of being inclusive here and really supporting participation, let me give you the floor and then I'll come back.
>> MICHAEL ILISHEBO: Good morning, everyone. For the record, I'm Michael Ilishebo from the Zambia, (indiscernible) stakeholder group. A lot of issues are delayed today looking at all interventions and comments from all stakeholder groups. However, it points out -- it all gets back to one thing. Had we all participated in the virtual meetings, most of these issues could have been resolved. But during virtual meetings, the (indiscernible) is solo. As a result, issues are not discussed in the manner they are supposed to. If there would have been 55 of us in attendance, you would end up finding 21. Of course, we would discuss issues that only agree to the agenda that is brought to the table.
However, in a face-to-face meeting like this one, other people may not even have a chance of being part of an virtual meeting. So some issues they are encountering right now are new to them. In this way, they are taking us backwards.
I think as a way forward from this meeting, let us take virtual meetings very serious, less talk when we meet in face-to-face meetings because most of the contentious issues could have been handled way back in meetings and on mailing lists. Thank you, Chair.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Thank you, Michael. I do think that's a very good point. The virtual meetings carry the same weight as the physical meetings as well. We actually do take lengths to move them around the 24-hour clock at great pain to someone only in the interest of really being fair so that everybody actually shares in kind of the comfortable time zones and the uncomfortable time zones in the meetings. I think that was a good point.
I think to your other point, we are well-advanced in the process. We're 12 years in with a lot of learnings behind us. I think everybody is in agreement that there is a lot more work to be done on the input side of the process. We've had, I think, lots of activities over the years to do that. We still need more. We need more improvements in that end.
But what's in front of us right now -- and I think we also need to keep in mind the community that we're addressing -- is we established a process. We established a time frame. We established criteria. We need to complete the process according to those established criteria.
To change the criteria at this point in time by any significant measure, I think, will raise more questions with the community, more discomfort with the process we're using.
There's been a request for kind of caps or quotas, which I -- you know, if it's -- which I will put to the room to see if there's support or not. Historically that's not been really well-supported in this room where we are meant to take decisions by consensus.
The word was used "cap." Cap means not to exceed, not a goal of. So I want to make sure if we're going to have a discussion on whether or not we would support caps by some level of the diversity criteria we've put forward, that we use the definition of "cap" to be "not to exceed," not that it is a goal.
But let me open it first just quickly for is there support for trying to -- as a method of addressing some of the imbalances through what we have all said -- and Elizabeth said it very clearly -- a somewhat too high a level view of the diversity of the workshops by simply identifying the proposer. Again, you could have a proposer from country X but that proposer might or might not be on the panel and the panel might have full diversity.
With that said, is there support in the room for trying to establish some sort of cap across, I guess what I have been hearing, is sort of a regional metric.
I see lots of -- and, again, this is not fair to those that are online. But let me just -- I see lots of heads in the room signaling no. I'm not quite sure how to do that with those folks that are participating online. But maybe there's an opportunity to put something in the queue.
And then I have Juan Fernandez who has asked for the floor.
Juan, you have the floor.
>>JUAN FERNANDEZ: I'm sorry, Chair. Because I think that these questions cannot be so black and white because as Elizabeth said, we really have to do -- we have to get the diversity. Here the main -- the really black-and-white question is: Are we going to keep the imbalance results, or are we going to do something about it? That's the real black and white.
I'm supposing that we're going to do something about it. And for that, we have to, in a way, to tweak the result, the output, not the input, the output.
And Elizabeth very clearly said some of the problems of the diversity, maybe it's part of the tag that we have, the high-level view. But we have to get into detail and see if it's really diverse. And really we need to put some sort -- not caps or quota, call it how you do, but we have to put something in from the 72 and maybe take out some from the lower 72.
I know we have start of eight from the 72 to 80. We also have the open forums. The open forums could be for intergovernmental. That gives us more room. But we have to do it. And in that part of the one we put in and out, we have to look at detail, as Elizabeth said, not only this and to see that. But we have to do that.
Otherwise, simply we can go early and say, okay, keep that number from the list and that's it.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: So I don't think anybody's saying that we weren't going to address the imbalances. I think it's how can we best address the imbalances given the information we have in front of us.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: So I don't think anybody's saying that we're not going to address the imbalances. I think it's how can we best address the imbalances given the information --
>>JUAN FERNANDEZ: But we need caps or quotas or whatever.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: -- that we have in front of us.
Carlos, you have the floor.
>>CARLOS FONSECA: Yeah, just a thought. Maybe not -- I don't think that regional quotas would work. I don't see that. And -- or at least not in the short term. Maybe some kind of criteria or stimulus to add different perspectives or different topics. Maybe through that we could deal a little bit with regional imbalances, not -- not that we will establish a quota for Asia, et cetera, et cetera, but somehow to create a stimulus in the way the methodology is done to stimulate a different perspective of something, and then maybe this will work in a way that would sort of stimulate people from other regions to present not because they are from the region but because they are presenting something that reflects the way they see maybe the same topic that -- you know.
So maybe through that, instead of establishing a quota for, okay, let's establish 30% from Asia, but maybe an extra point if you present a new topic or a new perspective or something like that, not through the region but through the perspective or through a new topic, you know. Just a thought.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: So I think we're at the qualitative part of the process, not the quantitative. The quantitative has been done and some of the solutions I hear I think try to get us to readdress some of the quantitative components and I don't think we have that ability. I mean, I think we just don't have the information that is sortable in that way and I don't think we have the time to actually digest it. So I think we're solidly in the qualitative piece.
What I've actually heard in terms of some of the imbalances we'd want to address would be certainly to look at the government proposals of nine. That list is being prepared. The IPv6 proposals. And there was great support on the MAG list for that. We've heard about the need to maybe take a harder look at eastern European and African countries or maybe even developing countries in total, MENA --
>> (Off microphone.)
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Yes. The -- and so the other regions that aren't well-represented, and pull that forward.
You know, one thing we could do -- I think that's probably still a relatively small list. I mean, I'm kind of guessing maybe it's 40 workshops or something. I think we can go through -- I think we should judge them on their merit, maybe look at the -- Juan is rolling up his sleeves. Time to get to work.
-- look at them on their merit against -- but against the criteria that we established, because it's not fair to the 260 people that submitted proposals if we start putting different criteria into that acceptance. I think we need to judge those against that criteria and identify specific actions that need to be taken to bring those proposals up to meet those criteria.
I think that's probably the closest we can get to, you know, adjusting or -- adjusting the high-level view of the imbalances here in the room.
So let me -- I had Sala, Aida, and then Christine and Segun. And Segun. So let me go through the list of four and see where we are.
Sala, you have the floor.
>>SALANIETA TAMANIKAIWAIMARO: Thank you, Chair.
First of all, I would just like to say I like how you synthesized the criteria. When I first made the comment initially when you opened the floor, that was what I was trying to get at, for us to zero in, to nail down the criteria so that it's just easier to select.
On your comment in terms of quantitative and qualitative and you note -- you mentioned that your reading of the room was that it was qualitative, I would beg to differ that it -- it is both quantitative and qualitative, but we have to be careful.
For example, I can only speak from what I graded. There were instances -- I won't mention what I graded, but there were instances where I graded duplicate workshop proposals by completely different proponents, but on practical -- on almost virtually the same thematic area, but I graded them as if I hadn't seen the other one. I wanted to be fair to them.
And having said that, chances are -- chances are, just based on what I've graded, that there's -- in terms of the data that was harvested, or whatever, that was aggregated, chances are that we have instances where there are certain thematic areas of (indiscernible) which actual -- which are duplicates. I think one such area from memory would be the one related to Internet take-downs -- just throwing it out there, on Internet take-downs, because there were like about four or something. And having said that -- having said that, at some point -- and this is rather qualitative but comes in -- we, the MAG, has to figure out how to merge that because, you know, you don't want to duplicate -- have, you know, a wasting -- wasting time. You might want to merge that and get the new speakers and sort of see how that they can sort of funnel that, synthesize that. And that's a qualitative process that needs to happen. That level of discussion.
The quantitative part, I would like to point out is what's already been pointed out, in terms of what my colleague, Zeina, from Lebanon, has mentioned, that the MENA region was under-represented even though they had participated -- they had submitted workshops.
Having said that, I noted that even in -- I can only speak from what I graded. I can't comment on what anybody else graded. I noted that there were workshop proponents who were newcomers or were first-time proponents, and -- but they did mention that they were -- they wanted to be able to be connected too, and so again, there's an aspect that's qualitative there for the MAG. And the quantitative part is I know Mr. Ji from China had sort of suggested the geographical capping. Obviously we have a disagreement and there's no right and wrong. And is it Carlos? Mr. Carlos? From Brazil?
>>CARLOS FONSECA: (Off microphone.)
>>SALANIETA TAMANIKAIWAIMARO: Right. Had mentioned -- had suggested, again, another imperial method. And again, there's no right and wrong mathematical formula, but what I would suggest is at some point -- I like, like I said, how you put the list already in terms of the criteria. If we throw up the pie chart that actually show the underserved regions, the percentages, and then just come up with basic sets, like not less than this and -- you know, like between a certain set -- like how many more do we want to include, bearing in mind -- bearing in mind that we will be reducing, because there are potential duplicates for different thematic areas.
For example, I think was it the freedom of expression --
Again, because all of us graded different things, but I noted that from what I had graded, that there was certain thematic sets that had multiple, multiple proponents. So for the -- for the thematic areas like you had mentioned that were not -- that -- you know, that are not featured, like IPv6, or not thoroughly featured, or like the blockchain, that could, you know, feature more, then that's where we could pull those up.
So again, that's where I would say that, Chair, it's both qualitative and qualitative. Thank you.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Okay. I'm not going to get into a debate around the qualitative versus quantitative. I think we just can't put a lot more quantitative data into this room and expect it to be absorbed appropriately, which is why I said I think we need to rely a little bit more on the qualitative process.
And I need to apologize to the folks that are using the speaking queue. For some reason my screen hadn't refreshed, so I actually had just Carlos as the last speaker there.
So there's now eight or nine people in the queue plus one in the -- in the room here. I would like people to respond directly and succinctly, if at all possible, to the rough proposal that we move forward with the list of workshops along the lines of some of the categories I mentioned a few moments ago, to review those against the criteria that we established for the grading of the proposals in to date, to figure out which ones ought to be taken into the program, and identify at the same time any actions needed to bring them up, if necessary.
A lot of them, I think, were really high scoring so maybe there's very little to be done.
If we could get through that process today, we can then go away and see if -- where that leaves us in terms of total number of slots available to us and whether or not we need to do some further streamlining or -- the unknown is, we don't know how many open forums we're going to have come in. That's not a process that's actually under the MAG's responsibility. So I don't think we can try and, you know, assume too much about that process going here, but it does have some effect on the number of rooms we would hold -- hold available for them.
So again, if the people in the queue could just respond quickly to are they okay with going forward with the process I've outlined. If not, could you please suggest something else concretely, so that we can, to Juan's point, roll up our sleeves and get to work.
So we have Aida in the queue, and then we'll go to Christine, because I saw it, and then we'll go back to the speaking queue. So Aida, you have the floor.
>>AIDA MAHMUTOVIC: So I hope that what I wanted to say will sort of answer, but I more had a question. I saw that from the eastern European group, we have only three proposals and two are put through, so, you know, if I evaluate the third one, it will -- the dis-balance would still be there because, you know, whatever you do, the input is not enough in order -- and this is why I'm very hesitant and I'm not sure if we are talking about capping quotas for this particular IGF meeting or also for the future because unfortunately in the eastern European group, I don't see things changing that drastically, so we will -- we would still have this gap if we put not more than 25. I hope that next year, there will be like 10 inputs but there will still be this dis-balance. So I'm not sure and -- how to deal with that. But I'm okay like with the process moving forward, at least for this IGF to move forward.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Thank you, Aida. Agree with the input and I think to a point that Jac made earlier, I think we need to maybe establish another working group that looks specifically at what we can do to pick up the input side as we move forward here. I think at the same time, we need to perhaps have some more discussion, if we're worried about seeming lack of participation from governments or other regions, is that real and what do we need to do to fix it and I think it differs probably by stakeholder and probably by region as well.
To your other point, it doesn't feel like we're going to caps and quotas in this process, and this MAG obviously can't constrain future MAGs, so just to answer that question.
Christine, you have the floor.
>>CHRISTINE ARIDA: Thank you, Chair. I just want to say that it's a good thing that we are keen about diversity, so let us acknowledge this. I mean, I think it's really positive to see that we're all trying, actually, to maintain the diversity, whether in terms of stakeholder groups or regions and that's much appreciated. And I also agree on the -- on your proposal, Chair. I think -- I think, again, quota and cap won't work simply because there is not enough interest from some stakeholder groups or from regions to put forth. So the input coming in is already low, so whatever we do, if we don't address that problem, it will remain the same.
So I also think it's only fair that if we're going to review, that we review against the criteria that was put forward and this is fair for everyone that has abided by the rules and was judged by the criteria.
But I also want us to reflect for the future. I know future MAGs would work the way they want to. I think we should address the problem for future -- for the future and for next year.
So personally, I was approached by stakeholder -- by proponents from the region and from other regions saying "How do we do a proposal?"
So I would suggest that if we can have some process -- resource persons, maybe -- that are put on the official side of the IGF that could mentor new proponents or help them to create their proposal in a good way, that may be helpful.
Another issue, we could identify imbalance trends that we've seen for a couple of years and then think about how we can do some positive discrimination that is early on put forward very transparently.
Like, for example -- and it's just an example -- encouraging returning proponents or those who are very good at doing proposals to engage others as co-proponents with them in their proposal so they would get a plus point if they go to an under- -- to a region that is not very represented and get a stakeholder from that region. That's just an example.
And then finally, I want to say again what I mentioned yesterday. It's about that we have to make use -- or we should maybe make use of the NRI network, and specifically to address those imbalances so NRIs could be closer to governments in their areas that are not there and they also definitely will help with the regional imbalance, so I am -- I think we should give that some thought. Thank you.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: No. I mean, many good points, Christine. Your last point was also important, in that there is a request in front of the MAG to support 12 NRI-led workshops which would be -- each one of the workshops has to have participation from at least three different regions in terms of developing that workshop and proposal.
Assuming that that goes forward, that would actually certainly support a lot of the regional diversity as well.
Next in the line is Ginger. Ginger, you have the floor.
>>VIRGINIA PAQUE: Good morning, everyone, and thank you for all of your participation.
With all respect, admiration, and full appreciation, I must object to the way we're managing the queue.
I'm really sorry. I know it's difficult. I'm also aware that you can't see me here biting my fingers, jumping up and down, and waving -- waving a flag I don't have. By the time I'm allowed to make an intervention, the moment has passed.
I think we have a problem here that we must address. Although we have made great strides, of course I, as an advocate, will never be fully satisfied, but I do think this is a point we must address immediately. We have to use one queueing system and we have to respect it.
I will be as brief as I can on other points.
On caps or quotas but also any discussion of the leveling of group input, we don't have the full information we need on the composition of a group, of -- and of a workshop, so I think it's very difficult at this point to bring up in very -- any kind of tight restriction because we don't know -- all we know is who was the first proposer.
So I don't -- I think we have to put that discussion aside until we can have the proper information to apply stricter measures on this point.
I do agree that all these points raised are extremely important, but I think we have to be more flexible and move ahead as Lynn and many others have mentioned. I do think that it's important that we remember that a conference is normally set by content, and while I totally respect the need for multistakeholder and respect the need for diversity, when we let the medium and the process take over the substance of a conference, we are doing ourselves and the whole Internet governance community a disservice.
So I think we need to put, as many people have mentioned, more emphasis on grading or choosing on -- based on content and improving those proposals with work. I'm sure there are many people who are willing to mentor and work with groups on both mergers and on improving substance and presentation of the proposals.
Thank you very much.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Thank you, Ginger. Good comments.
And my sincere apologies. As I said, my screen wasn't refreshing. I am now trying to remember to manually refresh it frequently. It was -- it was stuck on just the last speaker. So that was just -- just a technical glitch and we're trying to pay much more attention to it now.
Jac, you have the floor.
>>JAC SM KEE: Thanks, Lynn. Just very quickly, I just wanted to check. Are there 80 workshops in total that we're looking for or what's the total number?
I think because then that will help to think about what's the -- what's the -- you know, the first basic that we would say, "Okay, so what's the 72 based on," right?
And then secondly, MENA is not a region that is being pulled out so you can't actually see how many proposals are from MENA, from the Arab region, and how many is identified, so is that something that can be addressed or is that too much to ask for at this point, because I also totally recognize that.
And I support your process in going forward.
And the other thing is this kind of like the quota/gap thing. I think it's sort of -- I think what would be very helpful, actually, is to ask statistical layers, maybe not at this moment but maybe in the future -- future workshop selection process, to add the statistical layers that was already mentioned earlier around the actual number of speakers within the session and the stakeholder groups within the session rather than to try to add a quota or a quantitative factor at the top because that's too easily gamed. You know, for me like I'll just put, yeah, if I had anyone at all which was possibly from a government in the global south, first time, I'll just put that as the workshop proposer, just to easily game, and I think it will defeat the purpose of what we're trying to do which is to increase diversity.
And I also support what Ginger is saying in terms of looking at content and substance a lot more than to sort of -- sort of balance between the two, right? One is around sort of representation; the other is really to look at the content itself.
And also in previous years, we looked flash sessions and accepting flash sessions as one of the possible ways to address some of the imbalances, so maybe that's also something we can consider moving forward from here.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Thank you, Jac. I'm going to ask Chengetai to comment on the first two questions in a moment.
We are -- I don't think Miguel is actually on the call. I believe -- and if somebody -- I don't know if maybe Eleonora can -- that Miguel is also hoping to do some of what he -- the same thing we did last year. Take some of the proposals that were close but maybe not accepted and move them into the new session stream. But I'm not entirely sure of that and we can verify that with him when he comes back on line.
Chengetai, to Jac's first two points?
>>CHENGETAI MASANGO: Yes. Your first point, for the 80 workshops, this is what we're looking at here for 80 workshops. That doesn't mean that there's going to be 80 workshops on the schedule.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Thank you, Jac. I am going to ask Chengetai to comment on the first two questions in a moment.
I don't believe Miguel is actually on the call. I believe -- maybe Eleonora can -- that Miguel is also hoping to do the same thing we did last year, take some of the proposals that were close and maybe not accepted and move them into the new session stream. Not entirely sure of that. We can verify that with him when he comes online.
Chengetai, to Jac's first two points.
>>CHENGETAI MASANGO: Your first point for the 80 workshops, the support we're looking for the 80 workshops, that doesn't mean that there's going to be 80 workshops on the schedule when all is said and done because some of the workshops are 60 minutes, some are 30, some are an hour and a half.
So once we pluck everything into the schedule, we may have space for more workshops. So when we were talking to Lynn and discussing this, one of the suggestions was to have a waiting list, a short waiting list, which we can put in more workshops if the space becomes available.
For the MENA, yes. It will be difficult to do it this time around. But as this is a continuous improvement process, next time around we will havesubfield for MENA and we can have a subfield for all the other regions, central Asia or other regions that we can. And the same goes for the speakers.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: What Chengetai said as well, I was talking about the NRI -- I should have used the word "sessions," not "workshops" earlier. If we talk about sessions as sort of activities that are onsite during an IGF there's approximately 200 sessions or 200 activities when you add in the open forums, the workshops, and the coalition meetings, NRI sessions, et cetera. It's that total profile that the participants actually see and yet the MAG only directly oversees half of that.
I think we need to maybe think differently about how we align some of these things. Maybe we align the open forum time table to come in at the same time as the workshop proposals or something. But I think again this is work we can bring forward in some of the working groups of the MAG.
Going to the queue, Segun, you have the floor.
>>SEGUN OLUGBILE: Thank you, Chair.
I just want to add my little voice to the issue. To be fair with the other regions, when I was doing the review of the workshop proposals, most of the topics are really to my understanding, they are very advanced. And I think it might be extremely very difficult to say that, because of the starting criteria, some proposals should be reconsidered when they have actually been nominated.
Again, and I want us to look at the diversity from the perspective of the speakers, because I also -- also observed that.
Some of these proposals are -- included diversity of the speakers, and to me, I think that reflects something, at least a change to a (indiscernible). But they say that the law is made for man and man is not made for law. I don't know if that is an inverse principle. I really want us to make a decision, especially in the areas of encouraging diversity from the other regions.
We know that we may not be able to implement such a decision, but let it be recorded that the new MAG might probably take off from there. Let us have a decision on the capping system so that we can encourage other regions. Like, for example, inasmuch as that I receive a lot of proposals from African inside, and because there is a need for me to be fair in my judgment, some of them are not really, you know, qualified to be considered as based on the requirements, but if we have a quota system, I think it will help us to address that.
Number two, I do not want to agree with the fact that if we have (indiscernible) some region may not be able to probably meet up. If they don't meet up, then we can open up the system for the other regions to fill in. But let us have a system that would at least encourage diversity and should, at the end of the day, give a sense of, you know, participation and belonging. Thank you.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: I think everyone has agreed on the need to improve diversity. I think that suggestion would be more appropriate in either the working group on workshop evaluations or maybe it's in one of the Working Group on IGF Improvements or the Multiyear Strategic Work Plan because it's going to take some time to actually get through an appropriate discussion with a MAG on that. I didn't assume that you were suggesting that we try and do that today in the middle of this process.
And I would like some indication as to whether or not you would support moving forward according to the process that I outlined a few moments ago. Can you give me a quick response to that, Segun?
>>SEGUN OLUGBILE: Hello? Well, from my own point of view, I'm aware that the time is not there. And we cannot just stop all of the topic in the middle of this process to make a decision. But let us have at least a position, a strong position, that can communicate the fact that at least for the future, there should be a need for that MAG to reconsider the issues of diversity in terms of representations of these regions. We need to make a clear statement and a strong position. I think it's very, very necessary. Thank you.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Thank you. I think that ties in nicely with all the pieces of work with respect to working on the input. So I will put that in that category and take that forward. Thank you.
Rasha, you have the floor.
>>RASHA ABDULLA: Thank you, Chair. I think we're hearing a lot of the same things; we just need to iron them out. And the words keep being repeated to address the imbalance. And I think it's important that we acknowledge that we do have two components, an input and an output, and that the imbalance is with the input, not with the output. I think it's important to make that distinction.
So for the coming rounds, for the long-term, we need to think of how do we improve the input, how do we improve the diversity of the input. And I have a couple of questions. I was just wondering if the secretariat can give us any information on how the speaker workshop collaboration space was used. Was it used enough? Do people know about it? Do we have a sense of how useful it was? Do we need to publicize it more? How can we improve on that particular resource?
And the other thing which actually Christine mentioned, some of us are listed as resource persons. But, again, do particularly new proposers, do know they can approach us for help with designing a proposal, even if we're not on the proposal so we don't have to be speakers but we can help put together a proposal or guide them through the process.
So these are just questions to improve the inputs.
To deal with the questions that we now have -- and generally speaking I do support the proposal that you've made, Chair. But I have a question regarding a suggestion that I had made on email. Can we possibly get back to some of the proposers with a chance to improve their proposals? Do we have the luxury -- do we have a time, that kind of time, to give them a week or so or even a few days to improve their proposals and come back to us and then we can make include some of these workshops? Or that would help us decide which of these workshops to include? Or do we have to make that decision by the end of the day today or tomorrow?
To answer Jac's question, I counted only four workshops from the MENA region and none of them were accepted. That was a clear imbalance.
While I have the microphone, if I have to push, I would obviously push for all four. But if I have to push for some of them, I would push for at least Number 140 and Number 246 to be included.
I do not support caps, but I'm wondering if maybe we can consider a minimum, a minimum number of sessions to be included for each region or subregion. And I don't mean a minimum in general but, I mean, a minimum percentage of the workshops submitted from that region because we need to make sure that people work within these regions to submit workshops. We need to get them involved in the process. I'm not for just getting them all through just because they are a minority. I think it's very important to get them through, but I think they need to realize there's an effort they need to make to get through.
So I would maybe support, like, a minimal percentage of maybe 50% per region or something like that or per subregion just to make sure that all workshops are -- or that all regions are represented. So there are four regions from the MENA region. I would say at least two should get in. Again, that's a very rough estimate off the top of my mind, but it's just a suggestion for consideration. Thank you.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Thank you, Rasha.
A couple of quick comments. With respect to the more time to go back out, I think the process allows that but possibly not in the way you're thinking. We have conditional acceptance. We've always had conditional acceptance. The proposals we're going to go through are going to be evaluated against the criteria that all of them were evaluated against that were published up front. That is the only thing that's fair.
And if they are found wanting in some areas, then I think it's upon the MAG to note that and go back and work with them to bring them up to that acceptance. I think we would meet what you are looking for, but I would use sort of different words.
You know, we need to move on. I've now got another seven people in the queue and Ji, and I would like to close the queue at that and come back and see where we are on the proposals so we can start actually looking substantively at the workshops in front of us.
I don't think there's support for caps and quotas. I think introducing that in the middle of this process goes contrary to the criteria and the guidance we put out. I think it doesn't allow us to look at open forums which would, I think, skew significantly a lot of the statistics we're actually looking at today. So I think that's another thing in our process that we actually need to look at going forward.
I also, you know, play back some of Ginger's comments in terms of the content. I think some of these discussions really talk to some longer term strategic discussions and very, very, very clearly talk to the need to work on the input side of the equation. And I think that's a specific effort the MAG could go away and support.
But so the last one in the queue is Julian. As I said, there are seven or eight folks in there now. I think I just refreshed so I think that's actually current. And with your support, I would like to go forward and try and move us forward to the next step after that.
So, Kenta, you have the floor. Very glad to hear from you, a new MAG member and a new voice.
>>KENT MOCHIZUKI: Thank you very much, chair. This is my first time to take the floor. And I really appreciate the chair and all of the other MAG member's efforts to organize this IGF. And actually after listening to everyone's comments and opinions, to be honest, you know, I have feeling that people are really criticizing the statistics or just ask -- I mean, you know -- because, you know, there are some criteria where we are grading the proposals, including the diversity so that then it came out in front of us. So we have to accept this result as it is.
And now is not time to discuss the methodology, change the procedures, something like that. So we have only two days. We have to discuss the content and proposals of this year's IGF.
I really wanted to discuss the wildcard. Although at first, I didn't accept the concept of wildcard but now I can understand the concept of the wildcard. So I do want to talk about the wildcard.
In relation to that, I want to make another comment if that, I mean, people -- you know, some people have some kind of criticisms or just have complaint about the result of this workshop session process.
But I think everything comes back to -- I mean, you know, there are some kind of processes that we have to improve. But as Chengetai said yesterday, this could be improved in the near future, future IGF. Of course, we have to think about seriously about these imbalances, but it's not time to discuss all the imbalances.
And, also, it is our responsibility to encourage our constituency to submit more and more proposals and more and more good proposals in front of us. It is our role to invite more and more proposals.
And, also, regarding the caps and quotas, simply I cannot support it because same discussion would be made.
And, finally -- let's just stop here. Thank you very much.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Thank you, Kenta.
Flavio, Flavio Wagner, you have the floor.
>>FLAVIO WAGNER: Thank you, Lynn. Do you hear me? So I would give three short concrete suggestions regarding the procedure now for selecting the final list of workshops.
The first one is I agree that we try to balance our final selection considering geographic regions and stakeholder groups as already discussed. But let's try to avoid selecting subjects that are already very well represented.
If you could show us Slide Number 6, yeah, we can see there are some tags -- some subjects that are very well-represented already among the top 72. So when trying to pick new workshops from underrepresented stakeholder groups or geographic regions, let's try to select also underrepresented subjects as an additional criteria.
So a second suggestion very similar to this one is that we try to identify in the pending of the stakeholder group or the geographic region of the proposals which are the subjects that are important and that are not very well-represented. We had the example of the IPv6 already circulating on the list. Maybe we can identify other subjects also that are very important and that did not make it to the top 72 in the moment.
And a third suggestion is that we don't know exactly how many slots we will have at the end. We are considering we will have 80, but it depends on the open forums and other things that will be decided later on. So maybe there will be space for some additional workshops above the 80.
So if this is the case, I suggest that we prepare a kind of waiting list. When considering those balancing efforts here regarding geographic regions, stakeholder groups, and subjects, that we prepare our list not of only eight workshops to make to 80 but a little bit higher. So 15 or 20. I don't know how many. So if the secretariat and the chair already have this list prepared and if there is additional room, they just pick from the list. Thank you.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: I think those are excellent suggestions. And I know Chengetai is fully supportive of the waiting list as well as having previously enacted that as well.
Thank you, Flavio.
Renata, you have the floor.
>>RENATA AQUINO RIBEIRO: Thank you, Chair. I would like to first agree with Flavio on the represented subjects and on the waiting list.
However, I will go back to the point of regional diversity still thinking we need to include underserved regions as well. But following up on Rasha's point, balanced percentages is a way we can think about this numerically.
And the point of format, the 70%, almost 70% are roundtables. Even if good moderators, I think it's a lot of time spent on this. And for all that, the solution, again, I would propose is communicating with session organizers. I will come back to the point of mentoring. If we are talking about addressing imbalances and thinking about eight workshops only, I think we need to start also thinking about a pilot experience in mentoring. And this can be done to address this more urgent imbalances. So I would propose these eight workshops to be for a mentoring or guiding experience.
And a one-pager on communication and how to do more interactive sessions could already go a long way.
So I will think that to conclude addressing balances, specifically on improving diversity, I would never leave this as work for one working group. This is something that the whole MAG has to consider. Thanks.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Thank you, Renata. I think those are a number of good points.
Elizabeth, you have the floor.
>>ELIZABETH THOMAS-RAYNAUD: Thank you. Yes, I also agree with a number of good points just made by Renata. I think those things would be very helpful.
I also support the suggestion that Flavio made. I'd like to go back to just pick up on a comment that Christine made, not to go into that question too deeply right now because we're focused on the workshops. But I think it is pertinent to what we're discussing and what we're trying to achieve.
So Christine mentioned -- and I believe the Chair also mentioned -- the NRI sessions and workshops, this idea that there could be these 12 slots designated to NRI proposals that haven't yet been put forward and that might complement. Just as the open forums might complement the missing diversity in government participation, the NRIs might enhance the regional and other diversity that's missing.
I would caution us, as we think of that, to what the impact, the longer-term impact, will be of separating that out. Because when I think about the NRIs and their participation in the program and enriching the diversity and the development and contributing, whether it's a government or business or somebody else from their region, to -- to participate, I'm very concerned that if we have 12 separate spots and that becomes something that we entrench in the structure of the program, that we would then create a mechanism by which they would not participate in the workshop evaluation.
And so in this goal that we're talking about, we need to -- we have an output we're trying to rebalance that is sort of a systemic consequence of an imbalanced input, and yet if we carve off this other place, we're actually going to -- we have the propensity to compound that problem and I would much, much rather see us encourage NRIs to be part of the process, to put in workshops with broader community members and to be integrated into the program.
So I wanted to say that.
And I think the other thing -- so I think we need to keep in mind this proposal as well as the open forums, the DC sessions, as contributing to the overall balance, and that raised for me, in thinking about it, another concern that I have, which is that the MAG, over time --
The MAG's role is for the program. We used to actually be completely restricted in the definition and the terms of reference to that, and now we've, you know, taken on other longer-term projects and vision. But I guess I'm concerned that the MAG's role in what it's responsible for on the program has actually been declining, and so we're now facing a situation where we're looking at trying to assess a portion of the program and deliver the same diversity when we're only in control of part of it. And I'm not asking for more control of that, but I -- I do want us to be aware that while on the MAG we represent ourselves, we are selected by stakeholder group and representation, and there is a constituency of stakeholders that are looking to us to make sure that their -- that our -- that their interests and their interest in participating and engaging is factored, and so we should be able to bring that in.
And so, you know, looking at it with my private sector representative hat on, how can I help in bringing and holding the responsibility to the stakeholders for that balance when there's a whole component of work where private sector may actually end up being less influenced or less -- less present and less participatory, or issues and scope might be actually less relevant to them because of a whole component part.
So I don't want to belabor that, but we are talking about balance in the program and our responsibility, so I want us to maybe have that in our awareness, to -- and to put that definitely into the work that we do in the longer term and evaluation of that. And I'll stop there.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Thank you, Elizabeth. I think those are some very good points and as kind of an organic system here, some things have evolved over time and I do think it's time for us to -- as we're still relatively early in the 10-year cycle, to revisit where we go forward.
I think some of that work that you mentioned would take place in the multiyear strategic work plan working group and would fully involve the MAG. I do think at this point in time we need to recognize that NRIs are different from DCs, are different from best practice forums, are different from the workshops that we're responsible for, and I think it behooves us to do what we can to support their specific requests, because it is advancing their work, which is advancing all of our work.
But I think we need to figure out how we pull some of that in this year. Call it or think of it as a pilot or something if we're not certain it's something we want to say we're definitely engraining, but err on the side of supporting those that are really active in terms of driving so many issues of Internet governance forward and figure out how we make some of the more programmatic aspects work through a separate -- separate effort.
>>ELIZABETH THOMAS-RAYNAUD: Could I just ask a follow-up question, just to your response? Because I absolutely agree with the goal of making sure that there's a fitting place for them. I guess I'd really like to understand what it is, the problem that we would solve in separating it.
Why -- what is it that they can't access through the open program? Why do they feel outside or that they -- they'd need to be protected in some way from the structure? Because I think if that really is the -- if there is that kind of a problem, then I desperately would like to understand it to better help, and I think that that's something that would help us deliberate how do we address that better. Because I don't have a clear understanding of that. (off microphone) was fabulous and really insightful and I learned a lot about them and wholeheartedly support how -- you know, sort of how beneficial it is to have them and to make sure that we're working together. I just feel a concern about excluding them from the mainstay of what we do.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: I think my only comment -- not to belabor this and hopefully we'll have time tomorrow afternoon, although it's looking less and less likely -- to address this, I don't actually think it's a problem that we're solving. I think we're actually recognizing that the NRIs have a need to do some things to organize amongst themselves and something that I think would be of interest to the broad audience and are looking for a place and a venue to do that. Which is different than, "I have a workshop that I want to submit according to the theme of the IGF." It's more facilitating and supporting their work so that they can advance their work when they go back as well, and this is certainly, in their minds, a logical place to do that.
But I mean, I throw that out there not to kind of tease everybody with the discussion. Simply I think to take it out of the notion of it's a problem that anybody's trying to solve. And I mean, again, I think there's probably a similar discussion to be had with some of the other events that take place too.
But if I could, I know -- you know, I can see faces in the room that people are dying to get into this discussion but if we could move forward and if we have time tomorrow, and if not, maybe we have a separate virtual MAG call dedicated to this, with appropriate NRI participation as well.
So with that, going to the speaking queue, I have Liesyl in the queue.
Liesyl, you have the floor.
>>LIESYL FRANZ: All right. Thank you, Chair. One of the benefits of being later in the list is I can react to some of the comments that have been made and so I'd like to do that, but I guess my first question was about how -- the mechanism we're going to use, and I think you said you were going to answer this, and I'm not sure that you have.
So if you don't -- allow me.
The process by which we're going to -- like what you need from us in reaction to what we get from the government proposals that were sent forward -- thank you very much, Chengetai, for working so quickly to do that for us -- and the additional submissions of diversity and -- regional diversity and balance that we're looking for in what is now called the wildcard process.
I probably need to write that down, maybe, or take on the mantle of -- the burden of doing that, because I coined the term, I think. But one thing I want to strongly agree with is Renata's comment about mentoring those that come in in the wildcard process, because when I said it in March, that was exactly what I meant, was that if each of us are reviewing our proposals, our set of proposals of 50, or whatever they were, and one we rated low because of the criteria upon which we were evaluating them but we thought there was something -- there was a nugget in there that could be cultivated, it was precisely that mentoring process that I thought would be hugely beneficial for that.
But I really want to -- I wanted to support that comment.
I also wanted to support Flavio's notion of a waiting list for whatever number we come up with, the 80. A waiting list. I only note that I don't know if that means that we are then abandoning the 81 to 91 or -- 81 to 91 that are in the ranking or if we come up with a new waiting list.
So how does this process of diversity -- injecting -- trying to inject more diversity and balance into the program affect that waiting list?
So that would be my one question.
And then if -- I would make -- if you -- for those that have talked about the missing regional diversity or balance, like Rasha's good comment about the proposals from the MENA region, if we were going to be -- if they haven't, if they could put those forward to that group of -- you know, that bucket that we're going to be looking at for this remaining eight-plus-waiting-list bucket, then that would be really helpful if they haven't already done that.
And then just want to remind the group or clarify my understanding of not only the new formats that -- the new formats process, because we did include the flash sessions and things like that in this evaluation process and so we have done some of that. And the other piece of that was preserving some slots for hot topics that might come up in the intervening months between now and December, and I don't know where that plays into this -- this bucket of workshops that we're considering beyond the 72.
And then lastly, I really feel like I would really like to strongly agree with the comments that Elizabeth put forward on the NRIs and their real estate in the program.
Not -- not just because of the, quote-unquote, problem. You know, I get your point, Lynn, about, you know, maybe we're not trying to solve a problem, but I -- what is the goal, then?
And I really associate with her comments about that it's the fear of carving out a new process for them in this -- in the global IGF that doesn't, in a way, integrate them into that discussion.
So I guess I'd be interested in what the objective is and what they are looking for and what we are going to accommodate for them, and this -- for this IGF is one thing and I think we need to put a fine point on that and define it, and then agree with you that if it needs to be further considered, that that is probably part of, you know, the strategic plan or improvements or whatever problem -- you know, whatever improvement process we go through for evolving the program and the MAG's decision-making.
I'm sorry to take up so much time, but I did have the benefit of having other folks say really interesting things before me. So anyway, that's it for now. Thank you.
And there may be other places in the program -- sorry. Just to -- back to the NRIs, you know, they do have a main session slot, as I understand it. As I understand it, that's de facto at this point. Am I correct?
And then perhaps there are other ways to accommodate their convening factor at the global IGF other than workshop real estate, such as, I don't know, day zero, lunch sessions, un-conference. I don't know. But I just -- I feel the same tension that Elizabeth described and I'm not sure how -- what we're -- how we're approaching that.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Thank you, Liesyl. And we'll come to your process questions after we finish the list of speakers.
But specifically to the NRIs, I'm sure the NRIs have found the discuss over the last 5, 10 minutes helpful in terms of the things that they need to future elucidate for the MAG here.
I just want to address one thing.
I think it's not the MAG or the NRI are off in a corner meeting and not participating in the IGF because I think they are all over the IGF. They've been in the CE&B, they're in the best practice forums, they're in a host of things, so they are just very, very present and I just didn't want anybody who might be new to this conversation to think that this was an either/or conversation with respect to the NRIs because I just don't believe that's true at all. But that doesn't take away from the point that we really need, I think, to understand how we sort of share the space, if you will.
>> (Off microphone.)
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: You what?
>>CHENGETAI MASANGO: I'm just agreeing with you.
>> (Off microphone.)
>>LIESYL FRANZ: Just for the record, I agree with that point. I think they are integrated in all of the work that we do, so again, why the separate consideration process, I guess, is my question, and what else can we do.
>>CHENGETAI MASANGO: Just one point. Yes, they are integrated, but they still need space for themselves to discuss amongst themselves.
They do support a lot of the IGF work, so I think it's more of a balance of, you know, paying them back for all the effort they've done to support all the various other aspects of the IGF.
>>LIESYL FRANZ: I think I'll beg to --
>>CHENGETAI MASANGO: (Off microphone.)
>>LIESYL FRANZ: Yes. I may well can be said but I don't think that's a -- that is specific to the NRIs and so I would -- that opens another whole can of forms. They're not the only -- I mean, I completely agree with Elizabeth that the presentation that Anja gave yesterday and the work of the NRIs is extremely valuable, but I don't know what that means for paying them back for their efforts. I mean, what about everybody else? I'm sorry.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Okay. So I just am going to wade in here one more time, I think, to see if we can leave it at a better place, because the problem with leaving these rooms and these discussions like that is they, kind of their own, fester and it takes a lot more time to fix later.
My understanding -- and we can try and carve out some time tomorrow maybe to have some of the NRIs speak -- is that the NRIs -- and if we think of it not as a workshop but there are 90-odd NRIs. 30 of them believe that it's important for them to share their experiences and what's happening with some cybersecurity or privacy practices in countries, and they actually want the opportunity to be able to share those learnings, learn, move forward. The IGF is a great place to do that because they're here, their participation obviously supports the IGF, and hopefully the IGF actually is supporting them and giving them a reason, as well, for their local efforts because of the global efforts.
So I think it's facilitating that.
We have a significant part of our community that has expressed a need for a meeting venue on site with the IGF to facilitate their work. That's what we've been trying to address. I think that's the request in front of us.
I really don't want this to feel like an us-and-them set of discussions here, and I don't think that's anybody's intent, so if we can just assume that everybody is really adamant and really passionate about advancing Internet and Internet governance for the benefit of people across the world, we simply need to figure out how these various structures play together going forward. I think that would be the most appropriate way to leave this discussion.
And Liesyl, I don't think you're saying anything different. Or Elizabeth either. But I just want to make sure that we're hopefully trying to leave it on a positive open discussion, and I'm really interested in hearing from the NRIs at some point about how they'd like to take some of this discussion forward. Is that a separate virtual meeting, you know, with the MAG that people have time to prepare for on both sides? And maybe we can, you know, think through the agenda quite carefully and work it going forward.
If I can, a deep breath and I hope that left us in a better place. I'm not entirely sure. The three people that have been in the queue for some time here are Julian, Ji, and Rasha, and then we will, frankly, close, see if we can agree a process, we'll be at the lunch hour at that point, so we would come back in our afternoon session and hopefully, to Juan's point, roll up our sleeves and get to work on some substantive discussion.
>> (Off microphone.)
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Oh, did I not refresh the queue again? I was so engaged in that last discussion I didn't refresh the queue. Okay. So we will draw it after Aida.
Julian, you have the floor.
>>JULIAN CASABUENAS: Thank you, Madam Chair. I hope I won't be so repetitive. I think most of the things I have to highlight are related to my previous colleagues at the MAG. But basically I want to say that I think the process so far has been fine and was implemented as discussed related to the evaluation of the workshops.
So I agree that we need to work on the government participation. It seems that one of the proposals, it's very close to the cut of proposals with a score of 4. And maybe we can look -- so that one maybe could be accepted.
And look at the other ones and see if they are linked to subjects that are not represented yet that we have on screen now.
And, also, we were discussing merging proposals could be also a way to include others as we recommended with IPv6 already. And I think that could be also a way that we can include other subjects as Flavio just mentioned.
Regarding NRIs, I think it helps a lot to increase participation from different regions. I think in the case, for instance, of Colombia, we see that there are more interesting -- participate and present more workshop proposals. I think NRIs will be a key platform, and we should work better and give them all the tools and all the way that can bring these issues to the different regions so we have more proposals in the future.
And as we did last year using the flash session as a way to include workshops that are not automatically accepted as other spaces like open forums, I understand that we have four flash sessions accepted already. Maybe these flash sessions could be, of course, accepted but that will increase maybe the number of slots that we can add to those that are available from the cut point. Thank you.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Thank you, Julian. And that does increase the availability.
Could you tell us maybe offline find the number of the workshop proposal you were mentioning at the top of your comments? Could you tell me the -- tell us the number of the workshop proposal you were suggesting at the top of your comments? Or just sending it in to the secretariat. We are trying to keep a list of things that have come up either by workshop proposal or topic.
You can just send it in to the secretariat, and we'll put it on the...
>> (off microphone).
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: I don't know. In the interest of time, let's move on to the next speaker and you can just send it to us offline.
>>JULIAN CASABUENAS: I will send it.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Thank you, Julian.
So next in the queue, Rasha, you have the floor.
>>RASHA ABDULLA: Thank you, Lynn. Very briefly, just -- I would like to emphasize my agreement with Elizabeth on the NRI thing. But my main point is really about the evaluation of topics by regions and just -- I have one sentence to make. Freedom of expression in the MENA region, for example, is very different from freedom of expression in Geneva. I mean, you wouldn't recognize the topics. They are completely different. So, you know, we just need to keep that in mind when we are evaluating workshops. Thank you.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Thank you, Rasha. And thank you for the brevity of your comments, too, because we are coming up to the lunch hour.
Juan, you have the floor.
>>JUAN FERNANDEZ: Yes. Apologies for taking the floor again, but I'm not going to apologize anymore because that's how I am. So I won't apologize.
[ Laughter ]
After hearing Elizabeth, I think that just briefly I want to remind everybody about the mandate of the MAG and what we're doing here because she said that maybe our power is not enough.
Well, it's always good to go back to the basics. You know, this forum was created by the Tunis Agenda in 2005 and you can read it. It's from paragraph 72 to 78. And with the mandate, it's for the Secretary-General to convene this multistakeholder and the mandate was there. You can see all the things we are discussing here are already there.
But this is very important. This is convened by the Secretary-General.
And, of course, because the Secretary-General has a lot of work in his place, he selected -- he (indiscernible) that he needed an advisory group to help convene this IGF every year. And it's a multistakeholder advisory group because this is a multistakeholder event. And very wisely, the Secretary-General selects diverse and geographical areas from different backgrounds advisory group because in the diversity of the advisory group it's how the Secretary-General's wisdom it will be the advice that he will receive that could have all the views and everybody will be covered there.
And this is not only because his goodwill because in paragraph 75, the Secretary-General has to report to member states on the operation of the forum of the Internet Governance Forum. So this is a very well-established thing that it is his responsibility and he does through us.
So we are selected, we are the guy. We are the one that has to do the planning of this. We are the persons to do it. So Elizabeth was saying we were losing control. No, if we are losing control, we have to gain the control because we -- in the first time I came to the MAG, somebody asked me and I said that we are like the wedding planners, that we have to take care of catering, take care of the balance in the guest list between the bride and the groom.
[ Laughter ]
And we have to be good at the timing, everything is there, flowers and everything and everybody is happy, the photographs. If the newlyweds divorce in a year time, that is not our problem. That could happen. And then the family between the groom and the bride will start fighting. We have to plan the wedding perfectly.
And I will finish my intervention recommending the classic, some of the classic set: You can't always get what you want.
[ Laughter ]
You can't always get what you want. But if you try sometimes, well, you do just fine. You get what you need.
[ Applause ]
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Thank you, Juan.
Next we have Ji in the queue and then we'll go to Cheryl.
>>JI HAOJUN: Thank you, Madam Chair. I would like to thank Juan for his excellent speech. I'm the one who wants to get what I need.
[ Laughter ]
First, in the quota, whatever we call it, cap system or minimum or maximum, we need a quota system.
Second, I want to point out that the input and output analysis is unfair and I don't accept it.
The number of inputs -- I mean, the proposals from Asia-Pacific region is low. But I don't think they are of low quality. Different regions have different perspectives and different standards. To ask Europeans to judge whether the Asia-Pacific proposal is good or not is not fair. Also, it will be unfair for Asian people to judge whether this speaker from Ghana or from Zambia is famous enough or not. It is also unfair.
So I do think that we need to carve up the whole pie and let different regions to divide their own share of the pie inside their region. That would make things more equal, more or less perfect.
Second, about the waiting list, I don't know what kind of waiting list we are handling now. My preference is that in the waiting list since Asia is underrepresented in the current top 72, Asia and MENA and some subregional proposals which (indiscernible) should be given priority rather than given those the high graders from European countries. Those high graders from European countries should be out first.
About the 72 proposals I think there's lots of repetitions about human rights, gender issues. I think we need to ask them to converge and save some place for Asian proposals. Thank you.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Thank you, Ji. It seems as though we are back at the top of the meeting. I think some of your suggestions are worthy of consideration but considered deliberate consideration for future processes.
I don't think we can change the criteria, the methodology, those sort of things as dramatically as you are proposing in the middle of the cycle. I think it's just unfair to the process we have run to date.
The principles, as I said yesterday, by which we operate here under the United Nations Secretary-General is the multistakeholder forum to convene a conference that meets all the interests of multistakeholders across the world.
I think a model where Asians review proposals that come from Asia is fine for an Asian conference. I think for a global conference under the United Nations and under these rules we have established it would be under a multistakeholder view with a review of the full MAG on all the proposals to create the program. So I really need to ask you to help us figure -- need you to help us figure out how we can move forward given where we are in the process. And some of your suggestions should be taken up for next year's or future processes.
So I will allow you to come back in. But I really would like really to understand how we can move forward because that's going to be the final decision before we break for lunch so we can move to substantive review of the proposals immediately following lunch.
Ji, you have the floor.
>>JI HAOJUN: Thank you, Chair. With your respect, I do disagree with you. We are living in a more and more diverse world and this meeting -- IGF annual retreat should be a chance for people from different countries to present themselves so the whole world can get the perspective of different regions and different countries.
We are not coming to Geneva to be brainwashed by European-centric standards. Thank you.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Thank you, Ji.
I don't think anybody is coming to any part of the world under an IGF process to be brainwashed. Thank you. Appreciate your comments.
I have four people in the queue before we come back. My reading so far is that we have substantive support for the process as was outlined about an hour or so ago. And my proposal, again, is we come back after lunch with that.
The four speakers that are remaining, if you could comment specifically to that as well, which was the thread which we had actually opened with this set of speakers.
So, Cheryl, you have the floor.
>>CHERYL MILLER: Thank you, Chair. In response to that, I do support that and just wanted to follow up with respect to some of the comments made on the NRIs because the work that they're doing truly is very important in particular as we're talking about wanting to engage different developing world countries, et cetera.
I thought I heard doing something -- I was trying to listen. I thought I heard some support for doing something day zero. I think maybe tomorrow when we have a discussion with them, I think it would be good to hear from them, that we could talk a little bit more about that. Thank you.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Thank you, Cheryl.
Aida, you have the floor.
>>AIDA MAHMUTOVIC: Thank you. There is also a little bit of disbalance when it comes to speaking so eastern Europe where I come from versus China, for example and around NRIs. Having NRIs the IGF is, I believe, the first step to having more submissions, which we talked about a lot talk today by the underrepresented region's proposals in this year. So this is the way we can start this year by really welcoming NRIs to the IGF.
Because as we will remember from Anja's excellent presentation from yesterday examples of great practices of the way that national and regional NRIs work are from the regions who have the lowest, almost non-existent number of submitted proposals, or at least it seems like they were submitted by mistake because, come on, only four from eastern Europe. It's not such a small region.
So one of these is as mentioned SEEDIG, Southeastern European Dialogue on internet Governance. We only have three submissions, and it was many times mentioned as an example of the way they work in a really inclusive and bottom-up process. So there's something going wrong there.
Also, I would like to note that NRIs are not one stakeholder group so this would increase the participation stakeholder-wise. And then the point that -- and to point out there is no other way for them to organize a workshop as they are not a separate stakeholder group. So let's let NRIs' participation this way -- in this way be our way of encouraging them and meeting them sort of halfway for a better -- their better participation in the future.
And on that note, another quick note, is to welcome the online participation by a representative of a new -- only few weeks new Macedonian IGF, and they are already online following the work we do. I also want to share with you that they're wondering of the ways they can join the global conversation because now they're not sure if NRIs are not accepted to the IGF how they can be here. So the NRIs seem to give sort of a safe space of the way to get included in the IGF. And I think this is what we should consider if we want to be inclusive bottom up and whatnot. Thank you.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Thank you. I have three speakers left the queue, and I recognize we are three minutes over the hour. I hope people will stay through to the end of that set of speaker list. And if people can again speak directly to the question that's open in front of the floor.
Jac, you have the floor.
>>JAC sm KEE: I'm just trying to figure something out and I'm not sure if I'm answering the question on the floor because there's a whole bunch of thing. The point of discussion I'm really trying to figure out is I guess the sets of concerns coming out around the workshops dedicated to NRIs. What I'm hearing is everybody is 100% supportive of having a much more integrated -- in having NRIs be much more integrated in the global IGF in whatever way, shape, or form. I don't think there's no disagreement in relation to that.
But from what I'm getting, maybe the question then is kind of the set of limitation in relation to what another three or four days of IGF can do and what then one -- I guess what is one at the cost of the other possibly and the role of MAG in relation to that maybe.
I'm just -- I don't really -- I don't have clarity. I have a set of questions, I suppose. And we are having sort of more and more different kinds of formats, which is really great because it's responsive. It's trying to really support much more different kinds of ways of engagement beyond workshops. But maybe the lack of clarity is what the is role of MAG in relation to some of these? And then are we also able to make sure that we are playing our role in trying to support the MAG agenda as a whole? And maybe that's at the crux of it.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: So those are excellent questions. And at the same time, that is not the question that was on the floor.
[ Laughter ]
That discussion is one we're hoping to have time to have tomorrow. And if not, we will move to a virtual MAG meeting.
The question that's on the floor is the proposal that I made about an hour, hour and a half ago and Flavio had a couple of other comments as well with respect to other things that should be considered. And that was that we take the supposed imbalances, in quotes -- and I won't go through the whole list again, but it was things like governments, IPv6, the various regional disparities. Flavio's point was to look and understand whether or not there are some subjects we want to pull in, that we evaluate those as a full MAG here against the criteria by which all the other proposals were evaluated and we determine whether or not we want to pull some of those into the program.
Also, we agreed that we would have a waiting list which Chengetai originally suggested and Flavio suggested as well that would allow us to fill out any time slots we find available. And Julian gave an example that said there are four flash sessions that were supported. Flash sessions are 30 minutes long, not 60 or 90, so that automatically frees up some slots.
So another question that was in the Skype chatroom, 80 is not a hard number. That's why the secretariat has always had a bit of a waiting list because you never know how many slots you have until you actually have all the workshop proposals in with respect to their respective time requirements.
So the proposal was that we begin going forward substantively, concretely, proposal by proposal to try and get to a list of 80 plus some waiting list so that we can actually move forward with the program.
I have three -- two more speakers in the queue. My reading so far was that there was substantive support for that in the room, and I see heads nodding yes again. That means we would come back after lunch and start that immediately, and I will work with the secretariat over lunchtime to pull together the list of whatever we have today. I suspect there are probably a few more in people's minds out here that haven't kind of made it up to the top of the list yet, and we'll simply add those in. But we'll pull together that list.
We obviously have the governments list. Chengetai sent it out. We have the wildcard list from yesterday. We have a suggestion on the four MENA proposals. You know, there are some things which we -- IPv6 is another one.
There are some that we know that we can pull in, and we would top that up with any others that haven't come through. That's the proposal we're going to be working towards after lunch, I believe, on the basis of consensus across the MAG.
With that, I have Zeina in the queue and then Arnold.
Zeina, you have the floor.
>>ZEINA BOU HARB: Thank you, Madam Chair.
As we are going to look into covering the geographical imbalance issue by using the wildcard solution, can we please just also take a look at the proposed countries of origin? I mean, I would prefer having a proposal sent by two countries which will -- which will enforce diversity even within the same region but also on the national level.
For example, I will give you the example of what we have in the MENA region.
I have two proposals that I recommended I proposed as wildcard. They were proposed by one Lebanese and one Iraqi and the other one is from one Lebanese, one Moroccan. From my understanding, as we are in Lebanon establishing now and we officially announced the (indiscernible) IGF, I think this collaboration on the workshop level might lead to further collaboration or encouraging the others to establish its other national initiatives. That is something I was hoping that you will take into consideration.
Also the national diversity of the proposals. Okay?
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: I actually think that is the process we're following. Maybe there's something I'm not understanding in yours, but certainly those two proposals, if you can make sure that the secretariat has those proposal numbers as well, I think that he would be put -- put forward for review.
Arnold, you have the floor.
>>ARNOLD VAN RHIJN: Thank you, Lynn. Arnold van Rhijn speaking. MAG member and representative of the Dutch government.
I would like to strongly object formally to what my distinguished Chinese colleague said in his latest intervention. Literally, he said, "We are not coming to Geneva to be brainwashed by European-centric standards."
I think this statement is going too much too far. We are operating here under U.N. rules which are fair rules and criteria where every region in the world can put forward their own proposals to come up with a good program for the IGF. That's our main goal. That's what the secretary-general of the U.N. has instructed us. So accusing a certain region in the world of brainwashing others is going much too far, in my view, and I would like to ask my distinguished Chinese colleague to be more cooperative in the near future in our discussions. Thank you very much.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Thank you, Arnold.
Ji, you've requested the floor. You have the floor.
>>JI HAOJUN: Thank you, Madam Chair.
I would like to say that I have no intention to apologize for what I have said.
The pie we see earlier indicates that in the top 72, more than half is from Europe. If that is not Europe-centric, what is Europe-centric? If -- if that situation -- that kind of makeup is not changed, I'm not ready to talk any of those particular proposals among the 72.
These 72 have to be changed in accordance with the principle of geographic equity and balance. Thank you very much.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: I think we're looking for a level of civil discourse here and we don't quite have that fully yet, so I would like us to come back after lunch and really reestablish that basis. Disagreement is fine, difference of opinions is fine, but really getting back to an appropriate level of civil discourse would be appropriate.
I know there's also a saying "statistics, damn statistics." We've heard numerous examples of the fact that this high-level view of the percentages of proposers and first-time and developing country and regional, et cetera, doesn't go deeply enough and that it doesn't show that a proposer might have been from one country, one region, but the other four panelists are from four other regions, and that's lost in those statistics. At the same time, one of our key criteria in evaluating the workshops was diversity. Diversity of -- geographic diversity, diversity of stakeholder. So we have to believe that within our process, with the grading that was done by the MAG, that that -- since diversity was such a key characteristic, that the panels that have made it through have significant diversity. If anybody saw a panel -- or, sorry, saw a workshop session that was all from one region or didn't have an appropriate level of diversity, it should have been rated very low.
So we're going to move forward on the basis of what I think has been consensus for our process. As I outlined a few minutes ago, we're going to come back after lunch and we will start working through those proposals.
I would suggest that we start either with the governments or -- maybe we start with the government one first and then we will expand the wildcard list to include some of these other ones that have come in today. The MENA region and the one that Julian suggested and that sort of thing, and get a concrete list in front of everybody.
But with that, I thank everybody. I thank you all, in particular, for staying on a bit later.
At 2:00 back in this room, we have a presentation by our esteemed DESA colleague on the IGF trust fund, and encourage everybody when you running into people at lunch to get additional support for the IGF activities, and that would actually go a long way to helping us resource better some of our efforts. So thank you.
[ Lunch break]