IGF 2018 First Open Consultations and MAG Meeting Day 1 Morning


The following are the outputs of the real-time captioning taken during the IGF 2018 First Open Consultations and MAG Meeting in Geneva, Switzerland, from 20 to 22 March 2018. 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. 



>>CHENGETAI MASANGO: Thank you very much, ladies and gentlemen.  This is day one of the IGF open consultations and MAG meeting.  Today is for the open consultations.  To start things off, I will just hand it over to the chair, Lynn St. Amour, to start off the meeting.  Thank you very much.

 >>CHAIR ST. AMOUR:  Thank you.  Before we open the meeting, I'd like to introduce and welcome Malcolm Johnson, who is the Deputy Secretary-General of the ITU.  Obviously we're here on the premises of the ITU alongside the WSIS Forum.  So wanted to give our thanks to the ITU for their support.  Malcolm has graciously agreed to say a few words.  He then he has to leave because, of course, the WSIS opening ceremony and he's chairing a panel at 10:15, hence the need to start right on time.  Without further ado, let me turn the floor over to Malcolm and then we will formally open the meeting later.

 >> MALCOLM JOHNSON:  Good morning, everybody.  Thank you, Lynn.  Just wanted to say on behalf of ITU, welcome.  It's very nice to be hosting this IGF MAG and open consultation for this year's IGF.  I believe it's the third time -- third year that ITU has managed to host your -- second time?  Oh, okay.  Well, hopefully there will be a third next year.

 [ Laughter ]

 It's very nice to take advantage of the fact that we have around 2,000 participants in town at the moment for the WSIS Forum.  As Lynn says, it's just opening across the road in the CICG.  There's a lot of events going to be on -- in this building and three ITU buildings as well as the CICG through the week.  So I know you will be busy yourselves.  But if you have a chance, take advantage of some of those very interesting dialogues that will be happening and chance to meet up in some other stakeholders that will be around here.  We have this exhibition outside as well, which is very interesting. 

 It's nice that we have got an IGF-related event together with the WSIS Forum at the same time, same place.  Since both events derive from the World Summit on Information Society, of course, the WSIS Forum is very much focused on ICT4Development.  Whereas, IGF is obviously Internet governance-related issues but they're very closely related.  So hope to benefit from being here together with the WSIS Forum. 

 And wish you a very successful preparation.  ITU looks forward to contributing as always to the IGF.  And we always have the benefit of being able to speak at the opening of each IGF, so that's much appreciated.  And wish you well.  Thank you very much.

 >>CHAIR ST. AMOUR:  Thank you, Malcolm.  In fact, I know a number of MAG members and myself as well are speaking in various sessions in the WSIS meeting over the next few days as well.  So just another sign, I think, of the cooperation and collaboration between the two efforts.  So very much appreciated taking time out of the busy schedule, and wish you luck with the opening of your panel.

 >> MALCOLM JOHNSON:  Thanks very much.

 >>CHAIR ST. AMOUR:  We will open the meeting in just one minute.  Sorry, apparently we're discussing some logistics in the background here.

 We're now formally opening the first day of the MAG meeting.  Today is the open consultation day.  The first order of business is the approval of the agenda, and then we will come to opening remarks from a number of people. 

 The agenda was posted a few weeks ago, I think.  I'm not sure. Do we have another screen we will be showing the agenda in the background?  We are approving the agenda just for day one.  We approve the agendas individually which allows us some flexibility with respect to the restructuring, as required. 

 I would like to call for approval of the agenda and see if there are any comments or any requested changes.  And I'm assuming there are none from the online participants as well.  I would like a positive affirmation of that.  I will call the agenda approved. 

 And the first order of business is a few welcoming statements.  We will start with Armin Plum from the Department of Economic and Social Affairs, UN DESA.  And then I have a few remarks and then Jorge Cancio will speak as well from the host country co-chair as they hosted last year's IGF

 So with that, let me turn it to Armin. 

 And then maybe, Armin, afterwards, I will go through some of the logistics with respect to the online participants and using the queuing system and that sort of thing. 

 Armin, you have the floor.

 >> ARMIN PLUM:  Thank you, Lynn.  Good morning, everybody.  I am reading out a statement from the Undersecretary-General.  On the occasion of the first Open Consultations and Multistakeholder Advisory Group meeting of the 2018 Internet Governance Forum, I would like to extend on behalf of the United Nations a warm welcome and greetings to the chairperson, the membership of the MAG.  And I also want to thank the government of Switzerland for hosting the 2017 IGF and to all colleagues of the ITU for welcoming us on this premises, once again.

 Our thanks also go out to all the MAG members and multistakeholders for their past work.  That has had a profound effect on Internet governance today. 

 Also thank Lynn St. Amour for her leadership as the MAG chair over the past two years.  Most of all, I would like to express my deep appreciation to all of you as stakeholders representing the wider global community.  It's your presence that reminds us of the diverse perspectives on the Internet and the complex issues affecting the Internet ecosystem.

 In a few months, member states will meet in New York on the occasion of the high-level political government for sustainable development to take stock of progress made towards the implementation of the 2030 agenda.  The theme of this year's HLPF is transformation towards sustainable and resilient societies.  One year later in 2019, the HLPF will meet at the summit level under the auspices of the General Assembly under the theme "Empowering People and Ensuring Inclusiveness and Equality."  Both sessions of the HLPF will, therefore, deliberate on themes that are of utmost relevance for Internet governance.  And I would like to encourage you to take into account these themes when considering the work of the MAG.

 With here us today is the 2018 MAG membership appointed by the Secretary-General to advise and assist him on the program of the next IGF.  28 MAG members are new out of a total of 55.  The representation of women has reached 46%.  Once again, the composition of the MAG adequately represents the different stakeholder groups and regions of the world.  Now, as you are aware, (indiscernible) has taken its time.  This should be seen as a testament to the great importance the United Nations and the Secretary-General personally attaches to the open and inclusive process of the IGF and the multistakeholder policy dialogue on Internet governance.  Together with you, we strive to do more to ensure that the value of multistakeholder participation continues to be embraced and broadened to include those who are not yet privileged to participate in this important journey.

 Together with you, the broader stakeholders, we hope to continue improving the work modalities of the IGF and the participation of stakeholders from developing countries. 

 Last December, most of you participated in the 12th IGF just across the street from here.  As you know, we have not yet confirmed the location of the next, the 13th IGF.  In some cultures the number 13 is a number that is associated with bad luck.  There's even a word -- and I had to look this up -- triskaidecaphobia which expresses the fear of the number 13.  In other cultures, however, it is the exact opposite.  The Italian expression, for example, (non-English word or phrase) -- sorry for all the Italians in the room -- translates to do 13 and it means to hit the jackpot.  I'm convinced that the 13th IGF, regardless of the current logistical challenges, will, once again, hit the jackpot for advancing matters of Internet governance. 

 The 2018 MAG and the IGF community have important tasks ahead.  Collectively we need to work harder to bring about greater roles of the IGF and the Internet in driving and empowering sustainable development to ensure that no one is left behind.  Let us fulfill this mission.

 I wish you a productive and successful meeting.  Thank you.

 [ Applause ]

 >>CHAIR ST. AMOUR:  Thank you, Armin.  Thank you.  So I'm going to just say a very few words.  We will have a presentation from the IGF secretariat later on with respect to stock-taking which captures the impressions and reactions, strengths, and areas of improvement from the past IGF.  And I know Jorge, Switzerland, as the host country, has their own reflections on last year's process.

 I simply want to say that we have a lot to accomplish over the next few days.  We obviously have the IGF program preparations to kick off and, in fact, need to be advanced quite substantially given where we are in the year.  And we also need to decide if and how to continue some of the work that was begun last year and certainly years before with respect to improvements and the strategic work program activities that were also begun last year.

 And we need to make some progress on increasing the collaboration and better integrating the component activities that make up the IGF

 I think this is a time for us to really think carefully through some of the innovations we did put in place last year.  And, again, some of these will be covered in the various reports later.  And hear from the community, what you think of them.  Do they go far enough?  Did they go too far?  Do we need to do more?  I think this is really a time to build on the momentum of the last two years.  We still have eight years ahead of us with the current mandate.  It's pretty clear that Internet issues are, I think, reaching a new point in many arenas and forums, whether it is from the lens of cybersecurity, whether it's from the lens of this information or misinformation or fake news, popularly called.  Certainly artificial intelligence and some of the questions that are coming up there and, of course, all of these have a lot of implications on privacy as well.  So there's a lot of areas that are really topical and really front and center frankly in a way that I think hasn't been quite so strong before and certainly in front of so many different forums.

 But today is the Open Consultation day.  It's the day when the MAG actually listens to the community.  We actually encourage MAG members not to speak, not to take the floor.  I know MAG members wear many different hats and occasionally they do take the floor in their other hat as a nonMAG member.  This is really the day where we hear from the community.  And we want to engage with the community appropriately so we understand any of the points or take-aways.  And then that actually supports the deliberations of the MAG over the next two days.

 As Armin said, we have a lot of new MAG members, 28 out of 55.  It's a huge number.  Chengetai and I were having a discussion as to whether or not we went through kind of the introductions today or we do it tomorrow.  Clearly, there are pros and cons on both.  For me, the biggest con is that exercise never takes less than an hour and that's an hour that we lose from six hours of open community consultations.  And I personally feel that that's too big a loss.  So what I'd like to do is to.

 Just point out that the MAG members that are in the room actually have place cards in front of them.  So if you're looking to talk to a MAG member, they're the people with the place cards.  We can ask people to raise their hands now quickly for a moment.  And, of course, the list of MAG members is on the IGF Web site.  So there are particular individuals you want to see or you want to talk to, I would encourage everybody to do that and take advantage of the breaks today and over the next couple of days to do so.

 But I'm -- I have to admit, I'm really quite reluctant to give up an hour for introductions when I think the wealth of information that we can all get from the Internet. 

 So if there are no significant objections to that, we would move -- after a couple of comments on some of the admin, logistics here, we will move to the next set of opening comments which would be from -- trying to see if there is anything from the online participants as well.  Any strong disagreement from people here?  Seeing none and the speaking queue is empty...

 We have established an online speaking queue.  We really encourage everybody to use that, MAG member, nonMAG member alike.  It actually facilitates participation from an equal participation and equal playing field from the people that are here physically and those that are participating online, which is not only fair but a tremendous benefit to people participating online.  It also allows everybody to see where you are in the queue so that you can understand when your speaking slot is open and frankly who is speaking before and after you as well.  So it's also a significant help to people in the room.

 The instructions for how to do that are on the Web page that actually announces all of the reference documents and activities here.

 If you need help maybe you can just -- Luis Bobo, the individual there in the front, is the gentleman who works in the secretariat.  He's I.T. support.  He can certainly help everybody get online.  Let me turn to Luis or Chengetai to see if I missed anything with respect to the queue.

 >>CHENGETAI MASANGO:  One also, when you speak, can you please say your name clearly and slowly for the remote participants and also for the transcribers.

 >>CHAIR ST. AMOUR:  So with no further ado then, Ji, you have a comment?

 >> JI HAOJUN:  My name is Ji Haojun from China, second year as MAG member.  First of all, I would like to -- Chair, I was very happy that you were back with us now because before the appointment was announced, I was a bit worried that we may lose strong leadership this year.  And it's great you are back with us. 

 And, secondly, I would like to welcome all the new colleagues.  And with them, I hope that we can make big progress this year.

 And, thirdly, I have a little bit complaint that, you know, with the UNOG badge, I cannot access the door down the street.  It's very weird.  So I am late.  I go through the buildings, zig-zag, and it takes me 20 minutes.  And I hope next year, Mr. Chengetai, can we have our meeting in Palais rather than here?  It will make our life easier.

 You know, it's difficult to find a parking place here also.  Thank you.

 >>CHAIR ST. AMOUR:  I'll come to Chengetai in a moment to see if he has any comments on your last point. 

 And thank you for your comment.  You actually reminded me in my kind of enthusiasm to get started on the work, I want to make sure that we are warmly welcoming all the incoming MAG members and, of course, all of the returning MAG members as well.  There's a lot of work to do in a relatively short period of time.  And that's much appreciated and, frankly, I have to say, I feel the weight of that somewhat.  But you reminded that we should very, very clearly welcome all of the MAG members.

 Chengetai, is there something you want to say on the UNOG?

 >>CHENGETAI MASANGO:  Oh, yes.  Thank you, Ji, for your comments.  One of the reasons why we do have it together with the WSIS Forum is we're following part of the CSTD recommendations on improvements to the IGF.  And we also had a vote -- well, not a vote, but we had a Doodle poll on whether or not we should.  But you highlighted some of the difficulties in doing this.  So I think we'll have another Doodle poll for next year and to see whether or not we should do it or we should have it in a different week because there are problems. 

 As you know, today's the opening.  So, I mean, Lynn has to go after lunch for two hours.  So, yes, I think we have to -- for one hour, so yes.  So we have to think about it again and see whether or not it is useful for us to have it in conjunction with the WSIS Forum.

 >>CHAIR ST. AMOUR:  Again, I would encourage people to use the queue.

 But, Andrea, you have the floor.

 >> ANDREA SAKS:  Sorry.  I always forget.  I'm Andrea Saks.  I take care of the dynamic coalition on accessibility and disability.  One of the things that we found very difficult about having the meeting in the U.N. was its accessibility because the U.N. is a very old building. 

 And here at the ITU, we are pretty well-trained because of my battle-axe attitude about getting things done.  So there is that I wanted to point out.  The parking -- there's tons of it under the building.  But you have to, I guess, know where it is.  And if you have difficulty in getting from the parking to the main building, the ITU is always really very cooperative about assisting people if you have a disability in that regard.  So I wanted to point out that out as a plus.

 And for me, I -- I prefer because I can take care of persons with disabilities who come here much more easily than I can -- the U.N. last year was really hard, as I mentioned at the last meeting that we had, which I won't go into again except for a few points later.

 Thank you very much.

 >>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Thank you, Andrea.  Okay, so seriously, with no further adieu, we're going to move to the opening remarks from Jorge Cancio from the Swiss, given Switzerland was the host country last year.  Jorge?

 >>JORGE CANCIO: Hello.  Good morning, everyone.  My name is Jorge Cancio from the Swiss Federal Office of Communications.  I was one of the team members in organizing the last year's IGF, so I'm very thankful for the invitation for being here and for being able to share with you our views about the last year's IGF.

 We've made an input to the stock taking process of the consultation so I refer, of course, to that document and my boss, Ambassador Thomas Schneider, will be here tomorrow with you to share more forward looking views about the IGF

 So regarding this look back to the IGF 2017, we were, of course, very pleased to be able to host it and to organize it together with the IGF secretariat.  And so a big thanks -- a big thank you to Chengetai, Luis, to Annia, to Eleanora, and, of course, also a big thank you to Lynn as MAG chair.  We were very happy about this experience.  It was, of course, a very intensive process, but we think that we can be satisfied both on a content -- from a content point of view and from a organizational point of view. 

 Regarding the participation and the content of the IGF 2017, you may have looked into the host's chair summary report which was released and circulated.  There is reference that there were about 2,000 participants.  If you add the dark number of those who had their UNOC credentials, probably we were more around 2,200, 2,300 participants in the meeting, and one of the positive aspects of these numbers is that they came at least from 142 countries and that the participation from the IGOs and all the Internet -- international Geneva community based here was quite high.  They engaged in many of the open fora of the workshops of the main sessions.  And also the participation of governments was higher thanks to this -- this possibility for those based in their missions in Geneva to easily come by to the meetings of the IGF.  Of course, there were a lot of sessions, 240, I think, overall, an issue that may be discussed also further on in the future IGFs.  In any case, they showed a lot of richness in the debates, they tackled emerging issues, and I think they gave rise to a lot of interesting discussions. 

 So another issue we would like to highlight on the participation side is that the theme chosen by the MAG last year, to shape our digital future, was able to attract the attention of many stakeholders that converged on the topic of digital -- of digitalization of data impact on our societies and our economies, on our democracies, and in this regard I think we were able to break some of the silos in bringing together people to talk about these issues from a governance perspective.  Amongst other things with the organization of what we called the digital Geneva track that was a series of conference in the build-up to the IGF in December but -- and which culminated in 44 differentt open fora organized by IGOs and other international bodies here in Geneva.

 As to the innovations of the 2017 IGF, I will name just a few, of course.  Those which where we were most involved, but I surely forget about others which were the initiative of other stakeholders in the IGF but on these innovations that Swiss host country was able to implement, we, of course, want to thank very much the MAG, all its members for their support, the MAG chair, and, of course, also the IGF secretariat for making them possible.

 The first thing, perhaps, was the new kind of opening session we had.  It was a ceremonial opening session, but then instead of a row of five-minute statements, we organized a high-level panel with the president of the Swiss confederation and a limited number of high-level representatives from all stakeholder groups.  And I think that this session, which was on the topic of shaping our future digital global governance, showed a more interactive way of doing things in this opening session.  And we think that this small interactive format that also gave the possibility to some participants from the audience to take the floor could be further improved and further explored in future IGFs.

 There was, of course, also another high-level session we organized on the second day of the IGF on the impact of digitization on democracy, public trust, and public opinion which was made possible by the MAG by giving us a slot of the main session, which we think put a very important topic at the center of the agenda and also was able to discuss these issues in a multistakeholder format and in a very interactive session.

 Another innovation, which I think we can be proud of, or at least we are very satisfied of, is the Geneva messages which were drafted together with the IGF secretariat and the MAG chair and in close consultation with all the session organizers and where we distilled in very short bullet points the room agreements or the room feeling in the different high-level sessions and main sessions we had in the 2017 IGF.  We think that these Geneva messages serve well the goal of improving more tangible and more visible outcomes from the IGF and at least for -- for our part we're trying to disseminate them as much as possible in different fora, be it the WIF or be it other U.N. venues or other international venues.

 So with this, I think that I said before the IGF covered many relevant issues to the daily lives on a political and economic or a social level.  Various topics such as digital human rights, sustainable development, cybersecurity and cybercrime, and digital economy were at the forefront of our discussions.  We think that there were also some hot topics like artificial intelligence, of course, blockchain where we had many different fora, tech news, Internet of Things, virtual reality.  In the end, all the different issues that present challenges and opportunities in this process of digitization that is transforming our lives.

 So in ending, and I think I'm already over the minutes I was granted, I would like to thank again the MAG for its excellent cooperation, welcome the new GAC members, wish you a very fruitful meeting and process of preparation for this 2018 IGF, and I would like to express the continuous support of Switzerland for the IGF and its continuous improvement and as former host country we will continue to sit in this forum in the MAG and help in progressing and further enhancing and improving the working of the IGF.  Thank you very much.

 >>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Thank you, Jorge.  We were very happy to be here working with the Swiss government on this.  The Swiss government, of course, has been very, very supportive of all matters Internet governance preceding WSIS 1 and WSIS 2.  And they've been sort of stalwart supporters throughout all of the different phases of Internet governance.  So it was really lovely personally to be back here working closely with the Swiss government on last year's IGF.

 I want to take just a few moments, before we go to the stock taking, to talk about IGF 2018.  You know, as we've said, we don't actually have a host country venue to announce yet.  I will come to a status on that.  But I think there's a series of sort of reasons for that.  We have had very significant discussions with -- we were trying to do a quick count last night, I think about 12 different countries over the last year or so and for a whole host of various reasons, either they fell through or it wasn't appropriate for some other reason, but we weren't able to conclude on any of those prior to this point.

 We do have a host for 2019 and that will be formally announced in due course.  For 2020 and 2021, we have a number of very firm offers and we actually expect to close on those and be able to make some announcements on those over the course of this year as well.  And they were countries that have actually approached the IGF to host.  So 2019, '20, '21 look really secure.  And I say that because I don't want there to be any sort of misinterpretation around the status for 2018.

 The current status for 2018 is that we have a couple of countries which we are very far advanced in the discussions.  Doesn't mean they will conclude successfully, as we've seen, but one of them is in the Asia Pacific region.  The second one is in Africa.  There's a possibility of one in Latin America that's come up fairly recently, and another country in Western Europe again is also trying to find the support for that.  Those are the ones that are the most advanced.  That would look like a normal IGF with a host country. 

 As a Plan B, if you will, we would look to host -- to have -- to hold IGF 2018 on U.N. premises.  That obviously reduces some of the expenses because -- the primary expenses of hosting an IGF.  Those costs are borne by the host country.  Primarily are the venue, which differs widely from country to country, security, U.N. security, interpretation, and --

 >> (Off microphone).

 >>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: But those costs come down fairly significantly if you're actually in a U.N. premise.  So we are in discussions with the U.N. for premise, and there are dates booked.  This is not, you know, we're just in discussions.  We actually have looked at dates and availabilities there with a premise in Asia-Pacific and again, possibly one in Africa.  We're hoping to kind of make that call as to whether or not we need to go to a Plan B by the end of this month, the end of March.  So I -- we don't think we're in a position to be any more specific on that at this point in time, by, you know, as it's a question that's been asked often of Chengetai and I, particularly over the last month or so, we wanted to be up front and share as much information as we possibly can just now.

 So with that, next we'll move to the taking stock exercise, which is a summary prepared by the secretariat, based on the open mic comments from the last IGF, based on more formal submissions that were made through the taking stock process and, of course, through the input from the various intersessional activities within the IGF community and working group inputs and that sort of thing.  So Chengetai.

 >>CHENGETAI MASANGO: Thank you very much, Lynn.  So what I will do is that I will just summarize -- summarize from the synthesis paper the different parts.  So for agenda item 2A and B or 2B, I'll just summarize quickly and then open the floor and get that and then I'll summarize for agenda item number C so that we just keep it specific to those items and we don't encourage people to say everything.  I mean, we can take better notes.  Okay.

 So the secretariat issued an open call to the community for inputs to its stock taking process.  The call asked for reflections on what had worked well and what had worked not so well for the IGF 2017 meeting, the meeting itself and also the intersessional activities as well as suggestions for improvements in their 2018 cycle.  In response to this call the secretariat received a total of 34 submissions from all stakeholder groups and regions.  This number is consistent with what we received in the previous year, in 2016 as well.  Several IGF dynamic coalitions and national and regional initiatives also from the private sector, ICC BASIS, Microsoft, we had submissions from civil society such as APC and as well as a whole range of individuals.  The full list can be seen on our summary document and also all of the individual summaries are -- all the individual inputs are available on our Web site.

 All the community was highly satisfied with last year's meeting.  Many contributions expressed deep thanks and appreciation to the government of Switzerland for hosting the IGF.  They noted the smooth, efficient organization of the meeting as well as the professionalism and excellent support from the Swiss and the secretariat teams on the ground.  Also, I should also add from the UNOG team as well.

 Inputs were also appreciative of the wide-ranging support from logistical and organizational matters to substantive guidance provided by the host country in the run-up and preparation of the IGF.

 Submissions to the process varied considerably in scope and opinion.  However, there were a few general high-level take-aways and areas of overlap or commonality that the secretariat felt it could extract from the total contributions.

 Participants express that the IGF had in many ways proven its relevance with the 2017 meeting.  The discussion of frontier issues such as artificial intelligence, blockchain, fake news showed that the IGF is really responding to the new and emerging issues of the day.

 Thanks to the meeting being held in Geneva, more governments and IGOs were also present and created an opportunity for exchange with policy and decision makers that was highly appreciated.  At the same time, as it evolves, the IGF has maintained its strong commitment to multistakeholderism and openness.  Participants continued to feel that regardless of their stakeholder group and nationality, they could still come to the IGF and have their voices heard on an equal footing with all other participants.

 The content of the meeting was very good, but several times it was noted that the quality of the discussions at the IGF was very high and that many interesting speakers were featured.  The program was rich and diverse, and this can continue to be regarded as a strength. 

 However, it was also felt that the annual program may have become too expansive for its own good.  The agenda could do with more focus and more semantic coherence across the overarching theme, main sessions and themes or subthemes.  As a result of this, there were many suggestions to make structural changes to the program. 

 A desire for outcomes.  Several submissions either praised the newly launched Geneva Messages as a synthesis mechanism that should be maintained moving forward or made recommendations for more outcomes or more outcome orientation of the IGF activities and annual meeting.

 These are all the ideas, the MAG and the secretariat should take under consideration in the coming days and months. 

 The comments on the program, main themes, subthemes, structure of session types, including the new and innovation -- innovative, sorry, session types of the schedule.  Stock-taking contributions noted that the themes of the main sessions in 2017, in particular cybersecurity, were highly relevant and that the sessions themselves were strategically focused in such a way to facilitate positive and meaningful exchanges across stakeholder groups.  The suggestion was also made, however, to have main session themes more closely reflect the subthemes and to consider shortening main session durations.

 Inputs noted that the overarching theme "Shape Your Digital Future" was appropriately broad and inclusive.  Observations were also made, however, that in the general and semantic direction of the program should have stronger ties to the U.N. 2030 agenda. 

 For overall greater structural coherence in the program, some suggestions were made to dedicate each day in the schedule to a single theme or having the main sessions on a different day.

 Many inputs appreciated all new and innovative session formats featured in the 2017 program and want to see more of these moving forward.  Workshops which were seen as generally having improved in terms of having more balanced composition of speakers, it was said, should strive even more to be less panel formatted.  Some submissions suggested having fewer workshops in the program overall.

 In terms of the participation in the 2017 meeting, many noted the vibrant and diverse mix of stakeholders.  Participation from government and IGO stakeholders was felt to be particularly strong and participation from the global south was also said to be good.  However, many called for more support and strengthened youth engagement as well as much stronger participation from the private sector.

 I'll pause here and -- if the chair would open it to the floor for comments.

 >>CHAIR ST. AMOUR:  The floor is now open for comments on this particular portion of the agenda.  And then we will move on to day zero, which is about some of the other sessions.  Give people a moment to use the queue.

 I know some of you have thoughts.  I can't walk down the hall without hearing thoughts on the meeting, so I really need some voices.

 So I'm waiting -- yes.  Okay.  You have the floor.  I think you are probably trying to get into the speaking queue because I can see it working hard.

 >> CANADA:  Yes, exactly.  Thank you.  I'm trying to get there.  But somehow I need a password, and I don't know where I might have put it last time around.  All right.  Let me go back to where I was. 

 First of all, my name is Chrystiane Roy.  I'm here with the Canadian Permanent Mission.  This year was the first time that I was given the pleasure to actually physically participate in an IGF.  Previous two years I watched sessions remotely, which was highly frustrating because they looked very interesting.  And so this year was a big reward for me. 

 I would tend to agree with many of the comments that have been made to date.  Certainly for me this experience was definitely interesting and worth it.  And the diversity of participants was what made it so rich.  The fact that we were able to speak freely without any pressures of coming to an outcome also was essential, I think, in allowing sort of a freedom of thought, a good exploration of themes because we weren't bound by what was being said.  We were able to just, you know, debate things without any pressure of producing an outcome or recommendations.  So in that sense, I would tend to perhaps disagree slightly with the suggestions that IGF needs to be more focused on outcomes and recommendations because I think that would -- from my experience, it would harm the ability we are given by participating in the IGF that there's no pressure.

 To react a little bit to some of the comments that we heard from the host country, indeed, I would very much like to thank them for having organized such an excellent forum this year.  And I would concur with the merits of the opening session.  There's nothing more deadly than to hear a series of monologues by high-level representatives.  This year I thought it was nice.  It was interactive.  Certainly the moderator you had picked was excellent because she was really able to go and draw out the questions and say, "Okay, let's push this further." 

 And I think this is what -- this is the purpose of the IGF, is an ability to push this further, push the thinking without having the pressure of coming with an outcome or recommendation.  So I certainly would endorse pursuing this idea of a more interactive opening introductory session.

 On the Geneva Messages, during the forum itself, I personally was not aware that this was taking place.  Neither was the organizer of the session for which I was a rapporteur for, which was one of the main sessions.  So at some point, a day after the meeting, we received a message from a nice gentleman saying, These are the main points.  Do you agree with them?  And we are like, Yes, those were, indeed, the main points.  What are you going to do with that?  He said, Well, we are preparing these for the IGF.  So, great.  They were good.  But they sort of overlapped a little bit with what we thought was a role for rapporteur. 

 Personally, I think the Geneva Messages would be a good replacement of the work of the rapporteur in the sense that they end up being more uniform and then they remove this burden from the session organizer, which is already a big thing, a big deal to organize a session, manage panelists.  If afterwards you have to manage a rapporteur report, which to this day I still don't know what is the report for a rapporteur to do for a session, who you send it, and where it's posted afterwards.  So certainly, going forward, if we were to formalize the Geneva Message format, I think it would be very good. 

 There was a shortcoming I think for this year in terms it was not well-advertised.  And it's just now when we talk about it and -- I went back to the IGF 2017 main page, it's right up there.  There's a link to it, very visible on the main page now.  But it wasn't there during the actual IGF

 So in that sense, I think this is a good thing for the future.  It just needs to be better explained, especially for session organizers who perhaps certainly in the case of my session, which turns out a MAG member who was organized it on top of that, he had no idea what this was for.

 On the point of linking the IGF with the SDGs, I would say yes, indeed, it is very important.  But I would be concerned about making this a very strict rule because the SDGs are now fixed in time and they're very good and they're very broad.  But they don't cover everything.  They don't cover emerging issues. 

 And this is one of the good things that was about this year is the IGF, the sessions, were actually quite responsive to new things like AI and fake news and attack from democracy. 

 Now, I'm not sure how the issue of fake news fits in nicely with one of the SDGs right now.  So, yes, there should be an alignment, but I wouldn't want that in the future IGFs to be a firm commitment, that everything we do needs to be correlated with in the SDGs.

 So I will stop there for now.  But, certainly, a big congratulations both to the host country and to the MAG for having put on such a great -- a great event where we met with really interesting people and the format and the timing were actually very smooth running and certainly made me love the IGF even more than I did before without ever having attended one.  So thank you very much.

 >>CHAIR ST. AMOUR:  Thank you.  That was Canada.  In the speaking queue, we have Jim Prendergast.  Again, if people could say their names and their organization or stakeholder group, that would be helpful.

 >> JIM PRENDERGAST:  Yes, thank you, Chair.  My name is Jim Prendergast with the Galway Strategy Group.  I had to re-arrange my notes because you changed it up on me.  It keeps us on our toes. I saw Chrystiane as well scrolling through what she had previously written.  So I am going to cheat and read some notes because I had it differently. 

 First off, like everybody else, thanks to Thomas and Jorge for really putting together a good meeting.  I think many of us as we were making our way to the meeting this morning wished we had brought our IGF ski caps with us, not thinking it would be so cold at this time of the year.

 [ Laughter ]

 There we go.  I saw one spotted in Ottawa two weeks ago, too.  They were making their way around the world.  All right!

 Shows you the swag is really important.  It's what people remember.

 You know, I, too, really appreciate the attempt to make the opening ceremony more interactive.  I don't think anybody really looks forward to going to the opening ceremony when it's a parade of 27 speeches.  I don't know if we're quite there yet.  I think what I've heard from folks that I've spoken to is that they would prefer, like to see a little more audience interaction.  Interaction between speakers and the moderator is good, but the next level would be trying to integrate more of the audience into those discussions.  I am not sure how you accomplish that, but that's something to think about moving forward.

 So talked a little bit about the workshop formats and how those were -- how those happened this year.  I think I'm pretty well established on record as being a fan of highly interactive formats.  I appreciate the efforts of the MAG to force people to look at new and innovative formats for workshops.  But at the same time, there are still workshops there are being approved by the MAG that contain 15 to 20 speakers.  So I would encourage the MAG, as you move into the planning for the next meeting, to walk the talk and enforce what you are looking for.  If there are 20 speakers, if there are 12 speakers, really think hard about whether or not that is meeting the need and the call for new and innovative workshops. 

 I think it was touched on.  On the call for outcomes, I know this is something we talk about over the next three days and probably for the next three years.  I would suggest personally I don't think we have an outcomes problem.  I think we have a marketing problem.  There's a long list of outcomes that come from an IGF, both in the past and in the future, things like dynamic coalitions, best practice forums, all the workshop reports, all the recordings, the transcripts.  The NRIs are an outcome of the IGF.

 So while there's a call for more outcomes, I think we have them.  We probably just don't do a good enough job packaging them and making them accessible to people who are looking for them.  So I think that might be a good area of emphasis for the next year.

 On the theme, I know Jorge talked about how the theme sort of brought people together.  I would just recommend to the -- especially the new members of the MAG and frankly to the old members of the MAG, don't spend two and a half, three hours debating the theme.  It's important but I think there are other things that you need to sort of be focused on. 

 And whatever it is, people will come to the IGF and they will talk about a wide range of activities which brings me to the last point. 

 Chrystiane, I think you brought up as well. 

 Not necessarily tying the theme of the IGF to the SDGs in a way that binds or puts boundaries around the topics for conversation.  One of the things that we know about this space is that the issues change rapidly.  The way this meeting is traditionally set up is call for workshops come in the spring, and the IGF is held in the fall/winter.  There are a lot of things that hit the radar in those intervening times that I think would be valuable for members and attendees of the IGF to be discussing.  And I think we need to allow for that flexibility going forward.  Thank you for the opportunity.

 >>CHAIR ST. AMOUR:  Thank you, Jim, I think your point on the fact that there are a lot of outcomes, it's more of a matter of marketing them more.  I think we used to say "making them accessible," which means sometimes consolidation and grouping and aggregation and a host of things, is an important point. 

 And I should thank Chrystiane and Canada for going first and jumping in there as well with such a thorough coverage.

 In the queue we have Raquel Gatto, Marilyn -- Ji has had his flag up here in the room, so I will put you in after Marilyn.  And then, again, you can see the remaining people in the queue as well.

 Still would like to encourage everybody to use the queue.  You can access it from your mobile devices as well.  You simply need to be online and logged in through your IGF log-in.

 But just now, Raquel, you have the floor.

 >> RAQUEL GATTO:  Thank you, Madam Chair.  So my name is Raquel Gatto.  I'm a MAG member on my second term representing the technical community, but I'm not acting as a MAG member.  I really want to convene a message in preparing -- ISOC presented a formal contribution for the stock-taking.  But in the preparations for those meetings, we also went further and we just issued last week, if you didn't saw, a blog post from Raul Echeberria.  He's our vice president and also former MAG member.  He was pretty involved in all the creation of the IGF itself.  And we are really putting out a challenge for -- well, for the community and for the MAG members to take in on the reflections to reform the IGF.

 We obviously see a lot of value within the IGF.  We can hardly say that the world is much better with the IGF than without it.  But we do have a reality check in terms of the discussions we are taking and the way we can approach them and the way we can frame those into the program and the processes that the IGF takes and really value them more, like improve them much more.

 I'm not going for the details.  I think that's something we will take in the MAG in the next few days, or I hope we do. 

 I do want to point out some of those challenges and some of the fatigue that we see within the community and that we could really make a call for action.  We are really good on talking over these problems and overthinking sometimes, but it's walk the talk.  And I think it was said previously.  It's really making a very pragmatic approach.  It's strategic also in that sense. 

 And the five points that we put out as challenges that we should reflect on is to first simplify the program, meaning having less sessions.  We have too many parallel sessions, too much repetitive discussions.  We need to be bold to remember President Leuthard at the time of the opening when she said we need to be courageous.  And that means in short the program, making also more focused discussions.  That's the second point.

 I mean, we have about eight or nine components with the program including workshops, main sessions, all the intersessional work, et cetera.  It needs to be better linkaged together.  It needs to be the whole package under one theme and avoiding similar discussions to be in parallel.

 We also need to better build on the outcomes.  Perhaps it's not the outcomes itself.  It was said before, too.  But if you think about the linkage and what we do with those outcomes and how we present them and how we bring them to the community to comment and really say we left the IGF with this and this and this, we need to be more clear and much better in that sense.

 We also need to reduce the requirements and the costs for the IGF.

 We also need to reduce the requirements and the costs for the IGF other.  I do believe that one of the problems when we have so many multiple sessions, when we have so many multiple requirements for a host country, that's going to be hard for the developing countries to be hosting the IGF.  And by reframing and reforming the program, we could really have more hosts perhaps as candidates for the upcoming years. 

 And so now, to be short, I think if we can agree on those challenges and if we can take it forward, we can detail many ideas that we have already heard from the community.  Thank you very much.

 >>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Thank you, Raquel.  Also a very comprehensive contribution.  Next we have Marilyn in the queue.  While Marilyn gets set up, I want to put Marilia in the queue as well.  You're in now.  Okay, excellent.  Great.  Thank you.  Thank you for using the system.  Marilyn, you have the floor.

 >>MARILYN CADE: Thank you, Chair.  And greetings to all colleagues.  I want to both thank the secretariat and the host country, as I know many others will today and also in the next two days for the fabulous event that we had together and experience that we had together last year at the IGF 2017.  And I want to make a comment about an innovation in the program that perhaps not everyone recognized as much as I did and why I think it was so important.  By meeting here in Geneva and at the Palais, we were able to reach a Geneva community of IGOs, intergovernmental organizations, and international organizations and a development community that otherwise we have not been able to reach on a broad basis.  That is just a locality issue but a very important contribution.  Particularly as we are charged by the secretary general to take into account the 2030 agenda and the linkage between Internet governance and the SDGs.

 Prior to that 2017, we were fortunate if we would have four, five of the IGOs regularly contributing.  And we were able to reach well over 30 of the intergovernmental organizations and a much broader business community, the Geneva business network and the Rotary Club that is located here which broad us into contact with the whole new group of people that were not previously aware of us.  And I want to mention that as a positive outcome as well, because, of course, I take note as someone from the business community, of the importance of reaching all of the different stakeholder groups.

 For myself, I'm going to make a comment.  I am a former MAG member.  I've been at every one of the open consultations and once the MAG meetings were open, I continued to attend them.  I fully support the idea that we must continue to evolve and enhance the IGF but I offer a word of caution to MAG members.  You are only on the MAG for three years.  This may sound a little tough, but nobody died and appointed you permanently in charge of planning the program or advising the secretary general.  You're part when you -- before you come on and after you go off of a broader community.  So in evolving and enhancing the IGF, I think it's really important that the MAG and the secretariat think of themselves as merely a conduit to reaching out to the broader community.

 And now I want to make a comment about an innovation that took place last year that I personally was very involved in, and that is the success of the NRI-to-NRI sessions, the national and regional initiative sessions.  It was a tough struggle, frankly, with some of the MAG members in the March meeting to understand the importance of the NRI-to-NRI collaboration.  And in the end, I felt that we perhaps have not had an opportunity but should take the opportunity at some point to explain the importance of these separate -- they're not workshops and they are ways that NRIs communicate and share the commonality and the difference around certain topics that they're experiencing locally.  I had the benefit of moderating two, one on fake news, this information and disinformation, and one on the much broader definition of access.  But taking into account cultural and societal differences in access challenges.  These opportunities existed parallel to the workshops, did not compete with them, and at least the two that I moderated, the NRIs that co-organized from a bottom-up perspective, supported by our great focal point and the secretariat, have agreed to continue to examine those issues to ask their national IGFs if they wish to take that issue up again at the national level and then come back.  I think that also is an outcome.  Thank you, Chair.

 >>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Thank you, Marilyn.  Those are very good points.  And in particular with your last comment on the NRIs, one of the fairly significant pieces of work that is in front of the MAG this coming year is to look at all of the various intersessional components, if you will, and really understand where we can collaborate more and how we can integrate better.  Both to help increase their impact as well as, of course, to enrich us here at the -- in preparations for the global meeting.  So I think that is a fairly significant piece of work that's ahead of us.  Next in the queue we have Ji.  Ji Haojun, you have the floor.

 >>JI HAOJUN:  Thank you, Madam Chair.  First of all, I would like to say that the IGF we had in Geneva last year is a very much success, big success.  But on some, you know, front we still have room to -- to improve.  For example, the standard of screening and the selection of workshops currently we have -- I have the impression that we are focusing too much on whether this or this group of panelists, they're famous or not.  But, you know, this is an international global forum.  We should listen to everybody from all over the world.  And we should, therefore, put more emphasis on equal geographical distribution.  To have more in the future we need to put in place new standards of screening our selection that more workshops from developing countries, even least -- least the developing countries can, you know, come on board.  And my experience of participating in those workshops from this more and less developed countries, they have their perspective.  They -- they have their needs and requirements and expectations, and some of those workshops are indeed very successful. 

 And the second thing is about how do we make good or better use of the results of our work of the annual session.  We will know that each and every workshop would generate their summary or report.  Now, if we put -- put all these report together, it will be huge volume.  So it's -- it's very difficult to reach out and to disseminate them.  I'm wondering if we can, you know, be member -- MAG members or we can invite some academic people from the academia that -- to compile and edit and to converge the cream of those results so that we can have an annual publication or yearbook which is like 2 -- 200 or 300 pages and easy to distribute by hard copy or in electronic version -- by, you know -- by distributing electronic version so that the work of IGF would have higher visibility in the global community.

 The third is that we know that the secretary general, His Excellency Guterres, is working hard on improving the work of U.N. system, both on the peace and development fronts and the cyber -- Internet governance or cyber cooperation is very much a part of his new effort.  And we hope that Chair and Chengetai can convey our words to the Secretary General's office that MAG is the established mechanism.  We have our expertise, we have our knowledge, and we have our views to contribute to their new endeavor.  Thank you.

 >>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Thank you, Ji.  Next in the queue we have Wout.  Wout, you have the floor.

 >>WOUT DE NATRIS:  Thank you.  My name is Wout de Natris.  I'm a consultant but when I speak here I'm representing a very broad section of the Dutch national IGF who made it possible to write a report on strengthening cooperation within the IGF, which I will be speaking on a bit later today.  I would like to reflect here on some of the outcomes in that report that is actually the topic right now in this section of the agenda.

 First of all, that -- we were talking about outputs, and one of the things that came out there is that the first one is, like everybody is saying already, that we need to learn to celebrate our successes, something I said at the open -- in the open mic session at the end of the IGF last year.  I think that's something which is very important because that puts more focus on what we do here and it will attract more people.  But we also need to learn to distribute that successes and that is something that perhaps we have to work on together more closely.

 One of the things that we -- when we talk about outputs in the report is that perhaps it would be more advised to look at issues that happened within one stakeholder community that actually has a severe impact on other stakeholders.  And one of -- an example that came up is that in the session on day zero we held on this report is that the IGF said well, we're just doing our thing.  And I said to the moderator yes, okay, but what is that thing?  And they said well, we're actually changing Internet protocol, we're working on that.  And then a whole -- basically the whole room started saying, what are you guys doing?  Governance said we need to know about this.  Industry said we need to know about it, and then they said perhaps we need to do something on that topic in 2018 at the IGF.  Well, that is perhaps an item that is literally presenting itself.  I'll come back to that later today also.  But is some of the thing where when you talk about impact, that is something which could have actually an output that could help the whole community further.  And the same will be for ICANN or for the MAG or whatever community is working on something that will impact other stakeholders, and where better to discuss it at the IGF because we all come together here.

 When we talk about focus on topics, I noticed last year that there were ten sessions on artificial intelligence, 5 on blockchain, and 16 on whatever, for example.  I'm exaggerating a little.  But what if we put focus on those topics.  Because we have all these brilliant minds coming together, and they discuss something, maybe they get one or two questions, they listen to the story from others that they've probably heard ten times before in other venues, but what do we actually want to get out of a discussion on artificial intelligence, IOT security, et cetera.  That is something when you have all these stakeholders together you can actually organize some sort of a session for one day or two days or whatever it takes to have some sort of an outcome saying in our community we need to look at this specific topic and in that community on that.  And that would actually have a major output without impeding on freedom of speech because there's nothing definite or a resolution coming out of it.

 Then a little sense of warning.  In the whole preparatory process towards the report several people from the technical industry in a governance background said the IGF is getting less and less attractive for us because the topics that we're looking at, I'm walking around there for four days and there's really not one session that I really should be at because I'm going to learn something.  And other people are worried about it because apparently it's sort of workshops do not come out of a specific community enough at this point in time, or perhaps they were rejected or they're not submitting any.  I don't have the answer to that, unfortunately.

 The fourth one is a flexibility in the program, as has been mentioned before.  A lot of things come up, but I've got one good example I think that in the best practice forum on cybersecurity I participated at two or three topics came up that really needed a session to learn more about because there were not enough people knowledgeable enough in the best practice forum present.  But there's nothing in the program allowing, say, okay we need to have this specific session on this specific topic to learn more to have a better outcome in the program.  So this is something  that I took along also. 

 And then putting off my hat and just a personal one on the workshops, I've attended a few very, very good workshops last year.  But somewhere half along the route somebody said we're only talking about a specific group and there's no representation of the group in the panel nor in the room.  So in other words, that is something that perhaps we overlooked when the workshop was vetted or people pulled out somewhere along the route.  So perhaps instead of just vetting something in the program, it would be good if some MAG members were actually some sort of coach or of assistance to that working group so when they run into this sort of problem, actually they could help just by bringing other people to the panel along the route when things go wrong.  And in another way, is that some of the workshops ended where they should have started.  So all of a sudden it was, we've got these problems together and perhaps with a little bit of coaching or some better questions asked up front, perhaps halfway of the session they would have reached that conclusion so that they would have really brought the discussion forward instead of leaving for another year with everybody -- you know, everybody goes home, goes back to their jobs, and I think there's another way of perhaps improving it by asking more detailed questions except just asking do you have the right gender balance or the right regional balance.  No, do you have the most brilliant mind on this topic in your panel because he's here. 

 I think I would like to leave it at that and hopefully I'll get a little more time this afternoon.  Thank you very much.

 >>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Thank you, Wout.  That was very helpful.  And, you know, you've been pushing on some of these issues for the last year or so, so I look forward to bringing them forward in the MAG.  And I think your comment and some of the comments from the taking stock session and other comments in the room I think really start to speak to the role of the MAG as we actually develop the program.  Pretty much it's been bottom-up community and there's a selection of workshops and it's been community-driven.  If -- if a lot of these calls are pointing towards the MAG taking more responsibility for streaming or shaping or integrating or tying various MAG sessions together, we need to think about how that's down.  And I think that impacts the call that we actually put out for workshops, which is a significant piece of work the MAG will be doing in next few weeks or so.  So I think there's a lot to think about there and I'm sure we'll come back to it, probably in some of the additional comments we have but certainly over the next couple of days as well.  So thank you.  Julian, you have the floor.

 >>JULIAN CASABUENAS:  Thank you, Madam Chair.  My name is Julian Casasbuenas.  I'm a MAG member from civil society and this is my third term.  I'm making this input on behalf of the Association for Progressive Communications in my capacity as a member of the APC board of directors.  APC is an international civil society network with more than 90 members, most of whom participate actively in the IGF process.  APC has been an active supporter of the IGF since inception.

 Thanks for the opportunity to make this input.  We thank Switzerland, Geneva, and secretariat, the MAG and all who contributed to a successful IGF.  The presence of a diverse group of people, including many newcomers, created a rare and valuable opportunity for learning and cross-regional and cross-sector dialogue and for voicing concerns. 

 Looking forward we want to highlight a few points included in our write-in submission.  Intersessional work is extremely important and needs to be well resourced.  We echo that remarks of Markus Kummer in his submission that appointing consultants to work with best practice forums needs to be done early on in the process.  We also agree with him that more interaction between best practice forums, dynamic collisions, and a rise (phonetic) is needed. 

 Put audience participation first. 

 Putting audience participation first.  Make sure that sessions are not flooded with panelists.  Always consider gender in the composition of panels and the treatment of topics.  Simplify the structure of the IGF.  Consider changing the overall structure to have two days of workshops followed by two days of main sessions, interspersed with roundtables and best practice forums.  This structure will enable deepening of the discussion on some topics and facilitate developing key messages, outcomes linked to intersessional work. 

 Encourage government participation.  Counsel them proactively on issues they would like to see discussed at the IGF.  Designate a member of the secretariat to play a government liaison role to make sure they participate in and benefit from intersessional work.  Improve aspects of MAG selection and operation.  Appoint the MAG before the end of the calendar year and make the selection process more transparent.

 Introduce more support for the chair.  We congratulate the chair on her reappointment and thank her for her fantastic work.  We propose that she creates a Friends of the Chair group to work with her to assist with the workload and ensure that voices from all regions and stakeholder groups are reflected in MAG coordination.

 Appoint a special adviser and the executive secretary.  Their absence still leaves a gap in spite of the increased capacity and performance of IGF staff and the significant value added by the excellent MAG chairperson.

 The strength, outreach, and output.  The Geneva Messages are a positive innovation, but we think more can be done to package IGF output for use by policy-making processes.  Some of the best practice forums have done this very effectively.  We have some specific suggestions in our submission.

 Encourage and facilitate the media presence at the IGF.  Media presence has been uneven.  The MAG and the secretariat should develop and implement a media outreach strategy.

 In closing, we have the impression that the IGF is being taken for granted and undervalued, including by some of its traditional supporters.  The IGF can and should evolve its methods and strength, the diversity of participation.  But we want to stress that the IGF is essential to the goal of inclusive democracy multistakeholder policy making and implementation.  National and regional IGF supports this goal but cannot achieve it on their own. 

 As challenges related to the use and abuse of the Internet increase, we need the IGF more than ever.  The failure of the Working Group of Enhanced Cooperation on Internet governance to agree on recommendations just reinforce how critical the IGF is as a platform for collaborative Internet-related public policy problem solving. 

 We urge the MAG, the secretariat, host countries, the broader IGF community, and those who provide financial support to continue their invaluable work.

 Quoting Raul Echeberria of ISOC in his recent blog, "The world is much better with the IGF than without it."  Thank you, Madam Chair.

 >>CHAIR ST. AMOUR:  Thank you, Julian.  And thank you to APC for such a comprehensive statement as well.

 Next in the queue we have Maciel.

 >>MARILIA MACIEL: Thank you, Madam Chair.  This is Marilia Maciel speaking.  I'm a researcher at DiploFoundation but I'm speaking in my personal capacity. 

 First of all, I would like to join others who have welcomed incoming MAG members and also the MAG members who are returning and thank them for their commitment and their work here, which is extremely important for the IGF.

 I would also like to thank the Swiss government for holding what I think was a very smooth and perfect IGF in terms of the organization and for being hosts that do not only do their jobs but also get extremely involved and committed with the IGF of the future.

 And one of the suggestions that I know the Swiss and others were also involved with is Messages from Geneva.  And my first observation is about the outputs.  I think that the Messages from Geneva were a great step and another initiative to try to implement what the CSTD Working Group on IGF improvements suggested, to have more concrete outcomes from the IGF.  And this is very welcome.

 But there was another thing that was very important for us who were part of the working group at the time, which is the linkages that the IGF needs to have with other organizations and the follow-up after the IGF.  And I think that this goes beyond packaging as was mentioned before here.  Packaging is very important.  However, we need to have more proactive engagement with other forums and other organizations that are starting to deal more and more with digital policy issues.

 Speaking more specifically of eCommerce which was a topic that I have been involved for a couple of years now, we had seen how the WTO is discussing an increasing number of digital policy issues from a trade perspective.  So we see it with negotiators at the WTO who are very knowledgeable about trade but that are confronted right now to discuss encryption, data localization, data flows, and network neutrality.  And this is very difficult because they don't want to make bad decisions.  However, sometimes they do not have the best income and support to discuss these issues.  So I think that it's important to raise awareness, that the IGF is a great base that these negotiators working in other organizations can come to, to look for information, to look for guidance, to look for networking. 

 However, this will not be done only with making information available but we need to make sure that this information reaches out to them.  And there's a very important role, I think, the MAG members and the secretariat can play with that in making sure that there are connections being made with these other organizations.  For example, we know that there will be the UNCTAD eCommerce week coming up in April.  And there are several sessions that are related to digital.  Last year the UNCTAD eCommerce week was absolutely digital in all its programs and sessions.  So it's important to make sure -- and we had a main session last IGF on economic issues that had very interesting messages and outputs coming from it.  So it's important to make sure that these messages are voiced in spaces like the UNCTAD.

 Coming up to the role of the MAG, I think that it is true that the MAG has an important role to play when it comes to the networking and to forwarding these messages but also to make sure that the program of the IGF, it's more -- it's more tightened and concise. 

 I think that mergers perhaps should be the rule here, not the exception.  We participate in many other conferences.  And it's -- it's very common that our proposals get merged.  And to me it's very rewarding because I have the chance to work with people that otherwise I would not meet and to challenge my own perceptions about the session that I was going to organize.

 But sometimes mergers are seen here in the IGF as if the session organizer is somehow being punished or the session was not good enough, it needs to be merged with someone else.  And I think that we should perhaps approach mergers with more easiness and make sure that we have stronger and fewer sessions.

 I believe that the MAG should also have a role in identifying the key topics of the year.  And I think that perhaps it's the moment to achieve a balance between this bottom-up approach to agenda setting of the IGF, which is very important, but also to some strategic guidance coming up from the MAG when it comes to identifying the issues that are really begging to be discussed because they are being discussed everywhere else.  And MAG has a role with it when it comes to organizing main sessions.  But, unfortunately, main sessions are not very conducive to interactive discussions because they're too big, because there are too many people, and it's hard to change that. 

 So perhaps it is time for the MAG to organize smaller sessions.  In ICANN we have something that we call the high-interest sessions.  And this is something that would explore.  Perhaps not use the same name workshops, not to give the idea that we are trying to change the bottom-up nature, but high-interest session, sessions that are smaller but organized around topics that really need to be discussed because everyone else is dealing with in that particular year.

 So having said that, I think that MAG members perhaps could have a more stronger role in strategic thinking about the IGF and that is what I would personally expect from incoming MAG members.  Thank you.

 >>CHAIR ST. AMOUR:  Thank you, Marilia.  We certainly see a lot of consistency in some of the comments with respect to the need for reformation of the program.

 Mark Carvell.  Mark, you have the floor.

 >>MARK CARVELL:  Yes, thank you, Lynn.  And congratulations to you on your reappointment.  And welcome to the new MAG members.

 My name is Mark Carvell.  I'm with the U.K. government ministry, the Department for Digital Culture, Media and Sport.  I'm a former MAG member. 

 Unfortunately, I personally wasn't able to attend the IGF in Geneva.  I had to pull out at the last minute due to personal circumstances.  But I was pleased that the U.K. government had several policymakers attending. 

 And overall, our impressions were that this was a very successful IGF.  And we appreciate very much the Swiss government hosting the IGF last year and approaching it in such an innovative way.  I think that was providing an opportunity for some refreshing of the planning and the programming.  And I would certainly support building on those innovations that the Swiss government introduced in Geneva.

 The IGF is a success.  It's important as other colleagues here have commented.  The comments that have been made about Geneva have all been, I think, made in a very constructive way.  The IGF is on a direction.  It's an evolutionary one.  And we will continue to -- we, the U.K. government, will continue to support it.  We're a donor to help fund the secretariat.  We have always been so. 

 But the point is we do need to learn from experience and help the IGF evolve in a strong, positive way that's going to continue to attract the whole panoply of stakeholder communities, including more governments. 

 It was good in Geneva that the number of government representatives attending was higher.  Of course, we may not well expect such an opportunity of close proximity of missions as there was in Geneva at future IGFs.  But it's, I think, a breakthrough.  And we in the U.K. government, we will continue to advocate the importance of sustaining governmental participation in this important WSIS outcome.

 A lot of very useful comments made today in the stock-holding process.  We would support certainly exploring how the IGF program could be simplified with fewer parallel sessions and also to reduce the number of days.  This would all help, I think, ensure that the IGF is not considered too difficult to navigate.  And it would also enhance the opportunities of focusing down on the issues.

 And I know this has been raised before.  And those who advocate maintaining the very open bottom-up process have been alarmed that it would somehow constrain the central character of the IGF if there were to be a managed process to identify particular issues of focus.  But I think it's still worth exploring.  We made this point in our contribution to the U.N. retreat a couple of years ago, and we even suggested a modality for focusing down whereby the MAG and the secretariat link with the key centers of Internet governance, if that's the right word, such as ISOC, ICANN, and others and try to define what the objective and overall impact of the IGF should be.  And that process would be a very open one that would build on the inputs that have been made by stakeholders for workshops but would manage the overall objective of the IGF.  And that would enhance its ability to be characterized as this is what -- with a message like, "This is what the IGF is currently helping to resolve," that kind of messaging I think will be strengthened if there were that focus down on issues.

 I also am very sympathetic to the view that we should leave space for emerging issues.  I think this is a point Jim made earlier.  The Internet and digital economy is a fast-moving area.  Technology is rapidly advancing, AI, Internet of Things, and so on.  So you need to allow some opportunity for the IGF to remain agile so as to pick up issues that are rapidly developing during the period in the preparation for the IGF.  So we should allow that as well, that opportunity to connect with what's happening so the IGF doesn't miss the boat, you might say, on a particular rapidly evolving issue.

 So overall, I think we're very positive.  We remain very positive about the IGF as an important mechanism.  We're seeing other proposals for fora to discuss digital issues emerging, including within the U.N.  So we must safeguard the IGF's role.  And to do that is to strengthen its profile on key issues and increase its outreach across the world, maintain it as a forum for discussion. 

 I'm very -- we are very -- the U.K. government is very sympathetic as to what our colleague from Canada said earlier on.  It's not turning into a negotiating forum but crystallizing the essential areas of broad understanding and direction through messaging, I think, is a very important objective to do.  And, again, that's, I think, an important innovation that Switzerland has introduced with the Geneva Messages, so support that.

 I think I'll stop there.  We heard in consultation with my colleagues in Geneva other comments, but maybe I'll pick those up at a later opportunity rather than take too much time now.  I hope that's helpful.  Thank you.

 >>CHAIR ST. AMOUR:  Thank you, Mark.  It was very helpful, as all the comments have been, of course.

 I just want to -- so far in the queue we've had just participants who are here physically in the room.  I really want to encourage those participants who are participating online to take the mic, ask for the mic as well.  And I know Anja and other folks are encouraging the same.

 Next in the queue we have Susan Chalmers.  Susan.

 >>SUSAN CHALMERS:  Thank you, Chair.  Susan Chalmers on behalf of the United States.  My congratulations on your reappointment as chair of the Multistakeholder Advisory Group.  Congratulations to all new MAG members attending in person and remotely.  And thank you to the Swiss for having hosted a very successful IGF 2017.

 The United States recognizes the Internet Governance Forum as the premiere global forum for multistakeholder dialogue on cross-cutting Internet governance and policy issues.  The IGF brings together stakeholders from all sectors to share ideas and exchange best practices and to build collaborative relationships to address areas of mutual interest.

 The value of the multistakeholder discussions that take place during the IGF depends in part upon the diversity of perspectives included.  So to this end, we suggest that the MAG consider how to encourage more diverse participation at the IGF, particularly from developing countries and from all stakeholder groups but with a focus on governments as well as the private sector.

 In addition to this suggestion, we would also like to emphasize the importance of announcing the new composition of the MAG as early as possible following the conclusion of the previous IGF or even during the previous IGF.  Doing so will better equip the IGF community to undertake its programmatic and improvements work for the next IGF.





 Finally, we would like to congratulate those groups, the DCs, the BPS, the CENB, behind the various publications of intersessional work.  Together with the Geneva messages, workshop reports, and other tangible outputs, the products of the IGF can be better compiled, communicated, and disseminated to the Internet community and to policymakers.  These valuable resources can be made more visible.  We suggest that the MAG should consider how best it can do that.  Thank you for the opportunity to comment.

 >>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Thank you, Susan.  And building on adversity comment, we've had a number of interventions from the WEOG countries.  I would encourage those of you from other regions to please take the floor, ask for the mic as well.  Next in the queue we have Mike Nelson.  Mike, have you the floor.

 >>MICHAEL NELSON: Thank you very much, Lynn.  I'm speaking as Mike Nelson, a former MAG member.  Unfortunately, I was unable to be in Geneva, but I was a very active remote participant, just as I was for the IGF in Athens, the IGF in Hyderabad, and the IGF in Nairobi.  And over the years I think remote participation has gotten better, and I was very glad to be able to not only listen but to also speak in Geneva.

 I'm here wearing several hats.  I'm a member of the technical community as a physicist, a former government person.  I'm currently working for CloudFlare in the private sector, and in my spare time I'm an academic at Georgetown. 

 I want to thank you, Lynn, for agreeing to continue on in your service, and thank you also, Chengetai, and the team that makes this happen.  You do the work of a team that's three or four times larger and you do it with a lot of humor and grace and spirit.

 I just have a few comments.  My most important comment regards the program and how we develop the agenda.  I think greater effort has to be made to make sure that every workshop brings something fresh and new, something that hasn't been done before.  On my three years in the MAG people got tired of hearing that, but I really worry that the pressure seems to be towards doing something safe, doing something that everybody understands.  And that's exactly the opposite of what we should be doing as the IGF.  We should be finding things that most of the people in the room haven't heard about before, exploring debates that other groups have not been exploring.  That's the unique role of this group.

 The other unique role of the IGF is to focus on things that pertain to the Internet and to governance.  One of my concerns over the last five years is that more and more proposals are being accepted that really don't pertain just to Internet.  Sometimes they're much broader Internet technology issues.  Sometimes they don't have anything to do with governance, they're just a discussion of some of the interesting projects that are happening online.  The kind of panel that would be much more likely to be at WSIS, which is in the other building here and which is why I'm not able to spend more time in this session.  Though I'd urge you to try to keep to the unique role of looking at issues that are shaping the future of the Internet, places where decisions are being made by the private sector, by governments, by standards bodies, and most of all by users, let's not just talk about the Internet.  Let's talk about who is shaping the Internet.  I think that will enable us to get more people at the table.  I've been disappointed to see that the private sector participation has not grown over the last five years and that very few companies like CloudFlare, which only has 650 employees, are involved.  You don't have a lot of start-ups involved.  And unfortunately I think too often we're missing the chance to hit -- to debate the big debates because we're playing it safe.  We have so many different viewpoints here, quite often controversial issues are pushed to the side because a number of people don't want to talk about those issues. 

 To fix that, I think we need to do something like Mark Carvell and others have mentioned.  We need to pull away from the idea that we'll just compile all the good ideas that bubble up from the bottom up.  I think we need a combination of sideways and bottom up.  The MAG can provide a framework from the side.  It can come in and say, these are the big issues, these are the topics we want to debate.  Not at the highest level that we do now but a little more specific.  Pick out those big debates that need to be addressed, that haven't been addressed before, and then use the bottom-up process to decide who the best players, the best people to bring that to the table.  And I'd urge you as you do that to stop focusing only on geographic and gender, ethnicity, diversity, but make sure you focus on diversity of point of view.  There's nothing worse than a panel of eight people from all around the world all saying the same thing.  I think the model that we see at the IGF USA, the model we see at EuroDIG is a good example of the sideways, then bottom-up approach. 

 And lastly, I want to propose a crazy idea because those of you who know me know that's one of my specialties.  And the crazy idea I think might be something we can do this year to immediately address the challenge we've been having finding a host.  We have a host for next year.  I think Germany will do a great job.  But as I understand it, we're on Plan C or plan D when it comes to finding a host for the meeting, so I want to propose plan E, which is to have a virtual distributed IGF.  This is something that could be done very efficiently, very cheaply, and it would be brand new.  It would be different.  As I envision it, it might only be two days long but it would run straight for 48 hours around the globe.  You might have 15, 20 different locations, each contributing a few hours of content, all projecting the webcasts online.  This would be new, it would be exciting, it would bring in much higher level participants and many more participants who then probably would be more likely to go to Germany in 2019 and future IGFs.  We have some models.  The Internet Society has done the intercommunity global meeting with more than 12 different places.  You could go beyond their simple -- their approach which was one meeting at a time and do parallel tracks so we could cover more topics.  If you did this, I'm sure that Google Hangout, Zoom, Skype, Facebook would all compete and probably agree to pay for the whole process.  And it would be a showcase of the technology we're all talking about.  The most important part about this would be that you would have a hallway zone, so people wouldn't miss out on the opportunities to talk to each other, there would be a chance to do one-on-one, face-to-face virtual conversations.  The only thing missing would be the hors d'oeuvres and the coffee, but maybe even that's possible at the different hubs around the world.  We've got the structure to do this, we've done hubs before, we've got more than 50 different regional and national IGFs that could be the core of this structure.  So let's think about it.  Let's look at ways we might be able to make it happen.  Because we're running out of time to find a real physical host.  If we don't do something new, I really worry that the IGF is not going to be the -- the exciting place it has been.  I worry a little bit it could become like the Internet Society's INET conferences which 25 years ago were "the" place to go for the Internet.  If you cared about the Internet you went to the INET conferences and 2,000 people showed up, even when there were only half a million people using the Internet.  But because they tried to cover too much and because they tended -- over the years they started covering the same territory, people set up other meetings that went deeper and more focused and they lost the momentum.  So let's make sure the IGF continues, completes its 10-year mandate, and again, thank you to all of you on the MAG for being part of this process, it's never been more important, there have never been more big debates that needed to be discussed, and I look forward to helping anyone and everyone who wants to think about ways we can keep the IGF fresh and exciting.  Thank you.

 >>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Thank you, Michael.  And just in response to your last idea, in fact that's Plan C.  Plan A and Plan B I covered earlier in the opening remarks.  We have had discussions within the secretariat about probably defaulting back to would be the appropriate words an online conference.  That certainly is a possibility if we're not able to agree another strategy.  And again, we're hoping to pull the trigger on that decision by late March or early April. 

 We have two more people in the queue at the moment for this particular topic, which again was a part of the secretariat's readout of the various taking stock activities.  And this section in particular was meant to focus on the various kind of program components, the main theme, the subthemes, the session types, including the new and innovative sessions and the schedule.  If you want to comment on those particular topics, I would suggest you should indicate so soon.  If not, I think we'll ask the secretariat to come back to the next part of the stock taking which would focus on comments on day zero, logistics, lessons learned, suggestions for improvement, those sorts of areas.  That was just a heads up.  Next in the queue we have Markus Kummer.  Markus, you have the floor.

 >>MARKUS KUMMER: Thank you, Lynn.  And with a congratulations to your reelection and welcome to all the new MAG members.  I'm speaking in my personal capacity as someone who was involved in some of the intersessional activities.  But before going into that, I would definitely support a virtual meeting of 2018.  I think that would be quite exciting.

 Let me go to the intersessional activities.  It is essentially a success story for the past years.  We have the connecting and enabling the next billion.  We have the best practice forums but also the NRIs and the dynamic coalitions as really substantive intersessional activities.  But actually when taking stock with all of them involved in the dynamic coalitions and with the best practice forum on cybersecurity and we felt they had developed a bit in silos.  There was not enough interaction between them and there would have been some interest, let's say, at the dynamic coalition of Internet of Things, being involved in discussion on cybersecurity, but they just didn't know about each other.  We have discussed this, and there are moves underway of establishing a common calendar to make it easier to know what happens where.  But I think they -- again, the calls for a role, an active role of the MAG to ensure coherence of the program is very welcomed.  This is an important part that each component of the program actually know what the other is doing and there's a tremendous potential for cross fertilization between the different activities that are taking place.  So this is a -- I think an area where improvements can be achieved relatively easy just by making the information available and inviting also people to be part of the various activities.  We have tried, for instance, involving the NRIs in this or in that, but we never had proactive calls with them we actually had a discussion bring them in and see how we can involve them closer in these activities.

 And I would also echo some of the comments made during this morning to caution against too rigid linkages with SDGs and U.N. programs, and there is indeed a need for flexibility for the IGF to be able to address new and emerging issues as they come up.  And we would lose that if we are linked too closely to SDGs, however important they are.  So this is an important component to maintain.

 And lastly, I think Mark mentioned that some of the comments made were made right in the beginning of the IGF.  That they are the work -- the program is too rich, too many speakers, too many panelists, and we set up right from the first meeting, should never be -- we don't want to see these panels of ten or more people.  And now we don't have panels anymore but we have Town Hall sessions when you have 20 people.  So it's -- the names have changed but the problem seems to be the same.  And I think the calls made for more streamlining remain as relevant as ever.  And there again I think is a role for the MAG, and the comments also made by Mike Nelson just now that diversity of viewpoints quite often get overlooked and that's, I think, more important than geographical diversity, that we really bring the diversity of viewpoints to the fore.  Thank you.

 >>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Thank you, Markus.  Israel, you have the floor.

 >>ISRAEL ROSAS:  Thank you, Chair.  This is Israel Rosas from Mexico, for the record.  First of all, I want to congratulate you as well as the incoming and returning MAG members for their appointment.  I also want to thank the Swiss government and the IGF secretariat for the great IGF 2017 meeting.  About the idea of improvements, I support the idea of build on existing efforts as well as the new ones like the general messages and the interactive approach taken by the Swiss government during their sessions.  And, of course, I would be in favor of advancing improvements to the IGF suggested by Internet Society, by Raquel.  Thank you.

 >>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Thank you, Israel.  Andrea, you have the floor.

 >>ANDREA SAKS:  Thank you, Lynn.  Because it was mentioned twice, I have to make a comment.  I will make it short and I will be more elaborate in the logistics part.  Remote participation is a nightmare for persons who are blind, and we had a very bad experience.  I was going to talk about this later, but remote participation as it is now, and that was one of my big bugaboos and Chengetai knows this, it's not accessible for persons with disabilities.  And also, I just, being dyslexic, I just had a dickens of a time trying to learn how to get on to do -- to get my name on the queue.  And if it hadn't been for Markus sort of saying, you put here, you do here and you do that, I would not be able to see my name up there.  So just to be brief, to point that out, with all due respect, for persons with disabilities, remote doesn't always work.  And it should work because it would be fabulous because not all persons with disabilities can travel to be here with us.  Thank you.

 >>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Thank you, Andrea.  And we had a MAG orientation session yesterday for the incoming MAG members, and one of the things that was sort of put forward there and had a lot of support, of course, there's no formal standing as the MAG hasn't yet met in full plenary, was, in fact, to support a working group on accessibility, given some of the discussions that came up out of the last IGF.  So that will fit in there nicely.  Thank you.  Next we have Mary.  Mary, you have the floor.

 >>MARY UDUMA:  My name is Mary Uduma, for the record.  And I just want to intervene based on the growing support for virtual meeting.  I'm speaking from my own environment that we have challenges with infrastructure and it would be difficult for some of us from these developing countries, in Africa in particular.  In my region, we tried remote participation from a hub, you know, when we do regional IGFs and we find people are not following.  So in moving forward on this or supporting this, I think people should consider the fact that not all the regions of the world have fantastic infrastructure to go on.  We tried ours at the ISOC regional meeting, and I'm not sure my hub -- my hub was even taken away and not following the programme fully.  We couldn't reach others.  And I don't know whether others were reaching the hub we used because we have infrastructure challenges and it would be a big challenge and disadvantage for those of us that are in that environment.  Thank you.  I just wanted to intervene on that, though you said I should just be listening though I needed to raise this.  Thank you.

 >>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Mary is referring to the fact that she's an incoming MAG member, and again, we encourage incoming MAG members to listen to the community, but that doesn't mean no interaction and those were very important points. 

 We now have in the queue Marc Jacquand.  Marc, you have the floor, and thank you for using the queue as a new participant here.

 >>MARC JACQUAND:  Yeah, I can't -- I'm excited I actually figured it out.  But thank you.  My name is Marc Jacquand.  I'm with the executive office of the secretary general in New York.  I'm primarily in a listening mode.  The secretary general and his office certainly want to strengthen the links with the MAG and with the IGF and that starts by being here and listening to these discussions, listening to your ideas, your suggestions, your concerns.  This -- like I said, the secretary general certainly wants to increase in engagement with the MAG and with the IGF and really to have the MAG and the IGF discussions and form his own views, his own advocacy, and his own initiatives.  A few of you have alluded to that.  I've heard, you know, some of you talk about other proposals within the U.N.  He's certainly contemplating a number of very concrete initiatives to support these discussions, to support the IGF, and to support international cooperation in general on Internet governance issues, but he's certainly looking at the IGF as a -- as a mechanism really to inform his own engagement.  Some of you may have noticed that he has stepped up his engagement on these issues, he's talked about them in a number of different fora.  It's also one of the priorities that he listed to the -- in front of the General Assembly, so we're certainly talking to the -- the MAG and the IGF secretariat to see how we can increase our collaboration, but certainly learn from you and from all the expertise.  On a related note, we'll also be looking at tightening and cleaning up the way the MAG nominations are done and making sure they're done earlier so that you don't lose three months each time to get to the important work that you're doing.  Thank you.





 >>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Thank you, Marc.  And very pleased to have you here as well.  There's nothing like participation to really understand sort of both the value and the workings of a lot of these multistakeholder forums, which on the surface may seem fairly straightforward but have their own set of complexities and nuances and richness.  So very glad you're here.

 Before we close this portion out and move to another section of the stock-taking exercise, are there any final requests from the floor?  Or are there any online participants that want to come in?  Doing the slow count to six.  And seeing no further requests, we'll revert back to Chengetai from the secretariat to pick up on the stock-taking report-out for another set of activities.  And then, again, we'll open up the floor for questions.

 >>CHENGETAI MASANGO:  Thank you, Lynn.  The next session is 2C, comments on day zero, logistics of IGF's 2017 lessons learned, and suggestions for improvement.  To summarize, day zero continues to be seen as a valuable component of the IGF week and many called for it to be retained as is.  While noting its informality, it was said day zero still includes important substantive discussions relevant to overall IGF and IG debate.  It was suggested, however, that to the extent possible, the premises for day zero should be the same as the ones where the rest of the IGF is taking place.

 Many appreciated the venue for the IGF, the U.N. Offices at Geneva, UNOG, noting the Wi-Fi and audiovisual facilities were excellent.  Meeting rooms were spacious and well-equipped and generally worked well for all sessions.  Bilateral meeting rooms were also said to be -- to have been of good quality. 

 It was noted, nevertheless, that given the importance of these kinds of exchanges at IGF meetings, more bilateral meeting rooms should be set aside in the future venue.

 It was also said that especially when a venue is large and complex, having a high number of volunteers posted inside would be helpful.  This will be both useful for orienting participants as well as assisting participants with disabilities.  In general, it was also emphasized that more should be done to ensure the venue is more accessibility-friendly and that guidelines provided by the Dynamic Coalition on Accessibility And disability, the DCAD, on which the IGF has increasingly relied should be more closely followed.  That's the end of the summary.

 >>CHAIR ST. AMOUR:  Thank you, Chengetai. 

 And thank you, Andrea. 

 Is there anybody who wants to come in and comment on those particular aspects?  Sorry, Andrea.  Mm-hmm.

 >>ANDREA SAKS:  I don't want to take too much time because I have taken the floor, I think, quite a bit.  I think one of the main things is that I've always appreciated Chengetai for recognizing the problem, but we still haven't managed to solve it.  And it does -- we're going to revamp that guideline and make it more specific.  And I have threatened to come and meet with him, but both of us have ridiculous schedules.  We have never been able to kind of do it.  He says, Yes, come.  And I go Okay, and I can't manage.

 But the thing is I would like people in this room to consider -- and make a contribution to what they think, what they observe because it can't just be down to the dynamic coalition and to me.  All of you know something.  And what did you notice?  What did you think could be better?  Because there's logistics in how we get there.  The captioning -- thanks to Markus.  He was the first person to do captioning.  Finally established that.  And that has made -- we had a bit of a war deciding who did what first, but he was correct. 

 And, also, we haven't really attempted something else, sign language interpretation.  And that's another hit.  So I want to get the information from people here in this room.  And we don't have many people coming who are persons with disabilities because of the impediments.  So we really need to do something about getting them into IGF as well.  And I'm a one-man band a lot of the time. 

 So thank you for letting me say that.  And thank you, Chengetai, for making that the last thing you said!

 [ Laughter ]

 >>CHAIR ST. AMOUR:  Hopefully we can help the one-man band as well with perhaps constituting a working group within the MAG to actually address that as well.  Ji, you have the floor.

 >>JI HAOJUN:  Thank you, Madam Chair.  Regarding the arrangement of day zero, this -- last year I happened to participate in a couple of sessions of the meetings on day zero.  I found that some themes, topics are very important and very valuable.  For example, protection of youth, how do parents and society manage, you know, access to the Internet via the kids, how do we heal them from the addiction to Internet, forgetting about their homework, et cetera.  This is a very important, very valuable access (indiscernible)

 But I have found that in the meeting room as big as this one, you know, it's really sparsely populated and the participants -- the number of participants is very small.  And I hope that in the future such a waste of time and financial resources can be avoided.

 >>CHAIR ST. AMOUR:  We should follow up on your last point off line, I think, because this is a community consultation leading up to a working group of the MAG.  So it's not meant to be a particular forum that draws in 2,000 people with respect to the MAG.  So the MAG was a facility to help pull in comments from the community.  But I would like to follow up some of your other points off line to make sure I understand them.

 At the moment in the queue, we have Jim Prendergast, Marilyn Cade, and then Michael, we'll come to you as well. 

 So, Jim, you have the floor.

 >>JIM PRENDERGAST:  Yes, Thank you, Chair.  Jim Prendergast for the record.

 Digging into the logistics a little bit, I think timing of the past IGF conference where it fell on the calendar, had an impact on attendance.  I know anecdotally a lot of folks pumping right up against the holidays just weren't able to make it.  They had family vacations.  That's a tough time of the year to be doing something.  So I think we need to look at the calendar itself across all the IG events, as crowded as it is.  But I do think stepping back, we do need to look at trying to avoid those year-end holidays, national holidays, et cetera, that just take a lot of people out of play.

 I thought the security arrangements in Mexico were fantastic, a huge improvement over previous IGFs.  Right in, boom, boom, boom.  I heard stories of people standing out in the snow for an hour to get into the venue this go-round.  It is unfortunate.  I think we need look at ways to avoid that in the future.  I know here it was resource constrained, but there's really no reason for that to be happening.

 One of the things I noticed with the scheduling this year was it seemed like some of the sessions were staggered and starting at different times, which did create I think more conflicts than we've seen in the past.  I'm not quite sure if that was -- whether it was the room layouts or if it was trying to squeeze in more sessions or if it was, you know, allowing for the flash sessions that didn't necessarily line up with the 90-minute blocks we're used to. 

 But going forward, you know, starting a session at 10:20 versus 10:00, that did create more conflicts than I felt as though we had seen in the past.  That may be something we want to revisit.

 Remote participation, I wasn't remote participating.  I was fortunate to be in Geneva.  But the folks that I do know who were participating remotely had serious challenges.  And I don't remember it being that bad in the past.

 I heard they were using three different systems to enable remote participation, an audio stream, a separate video stream, and then another scribe feed of some sort.  We just have to do a much better job of that.  And I think that -- it's not only inconvenient to those who are trying to participate, but it helps -- it hurts actually when we are trying to gather the record of what happened with the recordings and with the audio and with the scribe feeds for the record of outputs that we need going forward.

 On day zero, I still -- personally I continue to struggle with what day zero is.  I know it's controlled by the host country.  But it's starting to look and feel a lot more like an another day of the IGF

 And one of the things I see from that is we see workshops that attempted to become part of the day one through four program are not successful.  They're not chosen.  Yet, they show up on day zero.  In fact, some workshops that finished in the bottom ten in the rankings.  So I don't know -- I don't think that's what the goal of day zero is, nor do I think that's what it should be. 

 But if it is and that's what the MAG decides, then it has to be resourced appropriately so that there is remote participation.  There is scribe feed capture, et cetera, to continue to build the record of outputs and outcomes.

 I guess the only other thing I would just add is, you know -- as person who has been to several of these consultations in the past, is maybe some more advice for the MAG going forward as they look at these things.  I think everybody in this room agrees that it's unfortunate that we have another late start to the naming of the MAG and, as was mentioned, we lost three months' worth of work.

 Try and avoid becoming just meeting planners and try and be more strategic and long-term in your outlook.  I know that's going to be a challenge this year with the compressed schedule.  But there are some trends and there are some things I think the MAG does need to address. 

 Figure out how to change these things.  How can we continue to improve participation from governments?  I think everybody agrees that's a key goal.

 We're seeing struggles with private sector participation.  I know the folks that I work with are trying to come up with new ideas.  But I think the MAG could also add some answers to that as well as participation from the Global South and developing countries.

 How do we -- you know, as I mentioned earlier, how do we do a better job of marketing the outcomes of the IGF to those who want them and those who may not be aware of them.

 And then the funding issue, how do we find more diverse and stable streams of funding for the IGF.  I think that's important.  Having a stable financial footing is key to the long-term success of the IGF

 And how do we make it more equitable amongst all shareholders?  I know there are certain segments of the community that are really stepping up and others are not.  So how do we distribute that a little more evenly?

 And then, finally, be aspirational but also be practical.  Don't lose sight of what the mandate of the IGF is because I think that's very important.  At the same time, you know, keep coming up with the big ideas and we'll find out if we have the funds to make them happen.  Hopefully that issue takes care of itself for the short-term so that some of those big ideas that people are so keen to come up with in this group can be implemented some day.  Thanks.

 >>CHAIR ST. AMOUR:  Thank you, Jim, for another complete set of activities.  I'm going to turn to Chengetai in a moment to talk a little bit about day zero because I think there's one or two misunderstandings there that we should just sort of correct now. 

 And also take the opportunity to point out that at 2:00 today in this room there is a donor's meeting.  Armin Plum from UN DESA is actually going to share the current state of funding and also sort of budget state as well.  So I announce that now so you can rearrange your lunch plans to be here.  And if not, of course, we can certainly make sure you understand the output of that discussion later.

 Chengetai, day zero.

 >>CHENGETAI MASANGO:  Thank you, Lynn.  Yes. 

 Day zero is not controlled by the host country, so to speak.  We do have the high-level session in previous IGFs, so that was an activity for the host country.

 The rest of the activities on day zero, these are activities that do not quite fit into the schedule and do not quite adhere, let's say, to the IGF standards of, you know, complete multistakeholderism, et cetera.  For instance, on day zero, we have the GigaNet meeting, which is the meeting for academics which goes on for the whole day.  And I attended a small island state meeting as well just for the small island states.  So we have those types of activities that are important but do not quite fit into the IGF schedule.

 And activities in day zero are not part of the official record of the IGF annual meetings.  I hope that clarifies it a little bit.

 >>CHAIR ST. AMOUR:  I think that clarifies what it is.  I think Jim's other points with respect to the MAG to really determine what day zero activities are and both how they support and fit into the program is still an open point to be taken up with the MAG.  Just wanted to correct the responsibility, if you will.

 Next in the queue I believe was Marilyn Cade. 

 Marilyn, you have the floor.

 >>MARILYN CADE:  Thank you, Chair.  Marilyn Cade speaking.  I especially appreciate the opportunity to speak now because, in fact, my comments are going to be largely focused on the benefit of day zero and its function in overall supporting the broader community's interest in having the opportunity to convene on day zero in self-organized activities, many of which are informational or educational but also to note on day zero that many of the groups that -- like a group that's organized a main session or organized a panel have in the past taken the opportunity to use a room in the afternoon of day zero to improve their coordination and their planning. 

 NRIs have used the opportunity to convene their own community, again, in a preparatory session because they all happen to be in the same place.

 I'm a big fan of day zero because of its flexibility.  I will make a comment, though, that venue, venue, venue.  I'm sorry that Ji had to leave, but I will approach him privately.  The venue that was used for day zero -- and I too urge that we have the day zero event whenever possible geographically located at the same place.  The good news is that we were not far away. 

 But the meeting rooms in CICG happened to come in big sizes or very small sizes.  It just happens that way.  I did a session on day zero co-organized with others who are here in the room focusing on special, cultural, and religious barriers to access for women, to ICTs for the purpose of economic growth.  It was a formative event that wouldn't have fit into the agenda of the four days at all.  But it was taking advantage of the fact that there were about 30 to 35 women and other experts -- and I see one of the women who participated, Mary, here in the room. 

 So I think when people start questioning the day zero, I think it's important to look at the value of it.

 And then, secondly, I will raise a very strong objection to the MAG taking oversight of day zero.  Frankly, I think you have enough on your plate to plan a four-day program and to deal with all the challenges that you're being confronted with like being more strategic, looking ahead to new issues.  And taking on the responsibility of governing day zero will be a diversion, I think, from your -- from your overall task.

 On the logistics, Jorge and Thomas and others from the Swiss government were aware that I was very challenging to them privately about the logistics of the registration process, the badging process, because of my deep experience or long experience in going to the Palais. 

 However, although we had a few stumbles, I think overall we had a very effective session.  The venue is very challenging for persons with disabilities and for people who are old, like me.  But it is also a venue that has historical value.  And I think perhaps we also want to remember that it was the United Nations building that we met in and to remember that that brought some value added to us in many, many ways.

 Finally, I'm just going to make a comment about having the opportunity to have more flexible access to bilateral rooms, if it's possible, in the next venue to maybe dedicate even kind of an online sign-up approach so that small groups or even two or three people who find that they have something they need to discuss or an opportunity to meet with a minister or a deputy minister, maybe we can -- the MAG can look ahead at, you know, whether those kinds of more ad hoc scheduling can be built in to the session for next year.

 >>CHAIR ST. AMOUR:  Thank you, Marilyn. 

 Mark, you have the floor.

 >>MARK CARVELL:  Yes, thank you, Lynn.  Mark Carvell, U.K. government, about day zero.  I think there is a perception problem here about what it is.  And I note what you say, Lynn, about the MAG looking at this, how the day is assembled and so on.

 Looking at the program for day zero in Geneva, it's a very rich set of sessions, so it's not to be overlooked.  I was saying to colleagues that is a part of the IGF program really. 




 Day zero is perhaps a misnomer.  And I remember Nigel Hickson saying "zero," God, it sounds like nothing.  Maybe you want to rename it.  Give it another name.  And the other problem is -- and Chengetai is right.  Originally it was the opportunity for the host -- host government to convene meetings for ministers primarily but also leading people in the Internet world.  And I remember several very good sessions where my minister was involved on the day zero.  And in those days the minister also had an opportunity to take the IGF stage on the opening day.  So for a tag team government, I'm just picking up really on what Marilyn just said, picking up on, you know, how critical it is actually to get some ministers to come to the IGF.  You've got to give them something -- a platform, something for them to be involved in and to speak at.  They want to talk about their policies, but they want to talk about it within a U.N -- a rare opportunity outside the U.N. itself in New York to be able to do that.  With a focus on ITTs and digitals with a global stakeholder community in the audience.  Of course, in Geneva, for very valid reasons, the opportunity for ministers to have their five-minute slot was cut.  And so when I went to my minister, Matt Hancock, who was all fired up after the G7 and say oh, I've got hopefully a U.N. opportunity here with the IGF.  I said well actually there's no opportunity in the IGF program for you to speak.  And ultimately he said oh, I can't -- I'm not going.  It's difficult for ministers to get approval, especially without government with a very tight situation in Parliament to travel when there isn't the opportunity to speak.  So I wonder if we could go back to day zero, if that's -- rename it in some way other than that, as providing that opportunity for government ministers, perhaps in consultation with the host government, and allow time for that.  Otherwise, I think the incentives for ministers to attend the IGF is now much reduced, and I'm not against the decision that was taken in Geneva about the opening day and -- session.  I'm not against that.  But I'm just talking reality really in terms of politicians, government ministers.  What opportunity -- what is the value for them and for us to convince our government whips to allow the minister to attend if there is no opportunity actually to be on the platform, for lacking some way.  Thank you.

 >>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: No, thank you, Mark.  I think the last point you raised is very important and, of course, ties into the desire from the IGF community to have more higher level government participation.  I just want to clarify one thing you said.  I wasn't suggesting that the MAG take over site responsibility, just that the MAG needs to have a discussion of the day zero and I think you elucidated some of those reasons for the discussion quite well. 

 I need to go to Michael, and I'm sorry, Michael, I did a really poor job of integrating the offline queue with the online queue.  I think he probably should have spoken a couple of participants ago, but you have the floor now, and then we'll come back to the online queue.

 >>MICHAEL ILISHEBO:  Good afternoon and good afternoon to Chengetai and the secretariat.  And MAG chair, congratulations for your election. 

 On matters concerning the day zero, I find day zero to be one of the highly interactive days.  One of the days, of course, it's not crowded and there's less of the politics that we see during the main IGF sessions.

 So basically day zero should be maintained because at the end of the day it brings out thin groups of people who may not find space or whose agendas may not actually fit with the main session and the theme of that year's IGF

 During last year's IGF, I think there's (indiscernible) here that CICG.  They are the session for the youth.  I think it was sponsored by ISOC.  During that session, I saw how youths could interact easily amongst themselves.  I could hear the voice of the youth coming with a greater meaning.  Of course, getting youths to the main sessions where they find a diverse group of people, some youths are somehow intimidated.  They cannot accurately express themselves in the manner of expressing themselves when their space is somehow protected on day zero.  Basically, day zero in my view as a MAG member, should be maintained because it somehow is -- gives a platform to the voices whose concerns may not be given space during the main sessions.  Thank you.

 >>CHAIR ST. AMOUR:  Thank you,  Michael.  Coming back to the online queue, Rasha, you have the floor.  And, again, if people could give their stakeholder group and organization, if appropriate, whichever is appropriate from whichever hat you might be speaking from.  It's the little face with the like microphone bars.

 >>RASHA ABDULLA:  Thank you.  Good morning, everybody.  My name is Rasha Abdulla.  I'm a MAG member representing civil society in Africa.  This is my third year on the MAG.  And I'm still not sure what day zero is all about.  And I'm afraid Chengetai's clarification confused me even more. 

 My first year on the MAG I wasn't sure what to expect.  The last year people started -- some NGO started emailing me saying should we fund our participants for day zero, is it important?  And I said yes, I feel it's a day of the MAG

 The other point that Chengetai mentioned actually about GigaNet is a lot of the schools -- I'm a professor at the American University of Cairo, and a lot of the schools, mine included, would not fund me for day zero.  They would only fund me for the official days of the conference.  So my suggestion, and I'm glad there's probably going to be a discussion about this later, but my suggestion is to cancel day zero or rename it or whatever and just maybe have it as the second half of day one and move all that.  Because also that really makes the IGF five days, and it just -- it makes everybody very tired by the end of the conference and it makes it pretty expensive to attend.  Especially like last year it was in a place like Geneva or something.  So there's a cost issue involved and a fatigue issue involved as well.  So just something to consider.  Thank you.

 >>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Thank you, Rasha.  Omar, you have the floor.

 >>OMAR MANSOOR ANSARI: Thank you, Madam Chair.  And also, congratulations for reappointment as the MAG chair and welcome to all the new MAG members.  I look forward to working together through the year.  Also, congratulations to the secretariat in the MAG for a very successful IGF 2017.

 There has been or there were quite a few issues.  Number one, it was related to access, especially for the -- for the people who were exhibiting.  My company technician was -- we had a booth and we had quite a number of print material.  It was a long distance for us to carry all those materials.  I had to find like five people to help me, you know, carry those material to the -- to the exhibiter place.  I did not understand the fact that government participants were allowed to access through the front gate and non-government through the back gate.  That was like quite a challenge for us because, you know, we had to walk all the way to the back gate and access the place.  And the first day when we arrived there were some confusions about where the registration would be done.  We were guided through a different place, and there was no one.  And then finally we found out that it's up the -- you know, on the hill.  And then we had to call Anja and a few other people to sort that out.  There might have been issues, you know, on our end, but probably it wasn't clearly communicated on the, you know, Google maps and others.  So in the future if that's improved it would really help the participants in general, especially the ones who are participating for the first time.  I've been coming to Geneva for MAG meetings and other meetings.  I know what is where but still it is a challenge.  But it will be more challenge for the newcomers.

 Also, one of our continued problem, I'm speaking this on behalf of the IGF Afghanistan where I also belong and people who are coming from that region, that's the Visa issue.  And I personally been having this issue, now I know how to, you know, get Visas, you know, in which place.  And my friends who are joking with me that you should write a book titled "How to Get a Visa Fast 101."  But a lot of people from Afghanistan, Pakistan, India, wider central Asia and south Asia are having a huge challenge.  It's easy for India and Pakistan because they have embassies and consulates in their countries.  For Afghanistan we have to travel to Pakistan because that's the embassy that deals with Afghanistan.  And each time you travel to Pakistan, you spend between 500 to $1,000.  And you have to wait there 14 days to, you know, get the approval.  Or you can get your passport, go home, and take another trip.  So that has been an issue. 

 Last year for IGF 2017 we built a delegation of ten people, including government, civil society, private sector, technical community to come to Geneva.  But unfortunately, five of them were not able to get Visa.  One of them being an ex-deputy minister of the ministry of communication and IT, two -- one private sector, one civil society.  Two of them personally traveled to Islamabad, spent 14 days waiting for their Visas, and at the end they got nothing and they had to come back home.  I reported this to the secretariat and our colleagues in Geneva who tried also very hard to make that possible, but it did not happen.  Two of our colleagues were coming from London, but the embassy in Islamabad denied authorizing the Swiss embassy in London to issue Visas for the people -- for the Afghans who were traveling to Geneva.  So we had to come back again, talk to Chengetai and colleagues here who intervened, and luckily that was resolved.  But the embassy in Islamabad that's also responsible for Afghanistan is really hard.  You know, it's -- it's really difficult to get authorizations.  I don't see the reasons why they're not authorizing other embassies.  For example, if you're in India and you can process your Visa application there. 

 Madam Chair, Switzerland does not only -- it's not only a land of Swiss.  It's a home for the -- also a home for the nations.  And the nations need to be treated with respect.  When it comes to -- and they should be given the opportunity to come here, learn and share experiences and go back home, you know, with new ideas to enhance and contribute to their communities.  And also they should be given the opportunity to find partners, find collaborators, and work together to make this -- this world a better place for all of us.  Thank you.

 >>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Thank you, Omar.  And, of course, we're always just very, very sorry to hear about the problems with people trying to get Visas to participate.  That's difficult even to understand just how difficult the processes are.  If we moved next to the queue, Wisdom, have you the floor.

 >>WISDOM KWASI DONKOR: Thank you, Chair.  And congratulations to your appointment to the chair.  And congratulations also to the returning and new MAG members. 

 Last year's IGF I co-organized two main sessions, one on local intervention global impact and outcomes, international multistakeholder cooperation address, international destruction encryption and (indiscernible).  And the other one was data road maps.  And moving forward we tried to reach out to some governments to consider taking part in some of this main sessions but the concerns that some of them were bringing up was, it looks like they have been left out.  They don't have -- let's say a particular session that they can actually recognize as being part of the IGF.  I remember one of the circumstances I was discussing one government official who was at the last year's IGF and he was thinking if IGF can come out with maybe one main session or whatever name now we call it so that that session can invite all government officials, including all government officials in the world, so they can come in and discuss about some of these issues and as well as interact with the audience who are coming from the other part of the world, moving forward the IGF agenda.  So I'm thinking this year if we can come up with one main session for officials that they come and whatever agenda they have or whatever policy implementation idea they should implement in the various countries, they can come and discuss all of those things and as well as learn from others moving forward.  Thank you.

 >>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Thank you, wisdom.  Marilia, you're in the queue, or you have the floor.

 >>MARILIA MACIEL: Thank you, Marilia Maciel speaking on my personal capacity.  And I just would like to make a comment on day zero.  I think it changed a lot over the years to a point that it's almost irrecognizable to those who participated in the discussions that created day zero and that created a lot of confusion with regards to what day zero is for and whether we should finance it and come here one day earlier.  And I think it also created another problem.  Back when day zero was a space for governments to hold their meetings and there were a few meetings going on such as GigaNet, it also gave us the opportunity to get together in caucuses.  And this year what happened is that caucuses created a fictitious day minus one before day zero.  So we at Diplo, we hosted a civil society meeting that happened day minus one.  We just add another day to the time that people need to travel and to find their stay elsewhere.  And this is becoming really hard for stakeholders that have less resources to participate in the IGF.  The IGF is really becoming very, very long, and I don't think that this is very sustainable.  Another thing that is concerning me about day zero is that I think it's draining the energy from the organization of workshops.  There are a lot of excellent sessions organized on day zero.  Day zero is probably my favorite day in the IGF because it's so high quality and because organizations have three days -- three hours on the slots to organize their sessions.  They really pay a lot of attention to the speakers, to the themes, they try to be innovative.  But this should be done in the workshops.  And I think perhaps this energy is being taken away from the workshops to day zero, and day zero is still substantive and it's not documented to date, which is also a shame.  So I am super in favor of day zero.  I think day zero contributes a lot to the debate, but I join voices with others that say that MAG needs to rethink day zero.  If it's a day in the program, let's make it a day in the program and document it and make sure that  we invite people to participate.  If it's not a day in the program and I think it's a viable option as well, perhaps day zero doesn't need to be the same every year.  We can have one year day zero as an outreach day, another day a platform for youth which is an extremely good idea.  Another day another year day zero could be a day to unite the governments and hold high-level meetings.  So day zero could be flexible and not the same from year to year.  This is something we should think about.  The only thing is today I think day zero is confusing.  It's not clear for those who wish to attend the IGF.  It's diverting energy and it's not documented, and I think that this is not the ideal situation so we should think about it.

 >>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Thank you, Marilia.  Let me see if Chengetai wants to comment on anything.  If not, I mean, clearly this is a topic in front of the MAG.  I would actually say a lot of the comments we've just heard about day zero would apply to open forums as well, which I notice haven't been called out specifically here but certainly in past MAG meetings we've had some of the same discussions with respect to open forums.  And last year we took -- we changed the process slightly so that the MAG was informed of the activities that were going forward in open forums, and I think day zero, although I'm not entirely sure of that, more so that if there was a serious concern or a significant objection we actually had the ability to speak to the secretariat about that. 

 What we actually did in one of the working groups this past year, the working group for multi-year strategic work programs, we built a components to document, to talk about all the various pieces that make up an IGF annual meeting plus all the intersessional activities and tried to show the relationship between them.  That was specifically to make clear what the current set of practices were regarding all those component pieces.  So it is not a recommendation.  It's not cast in stone.  It simply tried to capture the current state because, in fact, we saw last year there was a significant amount of confusion in terms of what the various roles were and what were all the component pieces of an IGF program.  I think that's clearly a piece of work that the MAG will need to pick up going forward. 

 And I've now apparently triggered Chengetai into wanting to say something, which is always excellent.

 >>CHENGETAI MASANGO: I just wanted to say that I hear you on what you say on day zero.  Day zero -- we also thought -- I'm speaking for the secretariat here, that day zero was just a service to the community.  We have these rooms.  They're supposed to be ready a day before the meeting and they're empty, so why not have them being used by the community for conversations which do not make it into the main schedule. 






 And it's also a testing day for us because we don't guarantee anything on day zero, but it's a testing to make sure Webcasting is working and the remote participation is working as well. 

 I mean, but it's really up to the community through the MAG, if we -- if we want to do without day zero, that's fine.

 My only concern is that we should cap the costs of holding an IGF meeting.  As has been noted here, I think every single year the cost and the services increase and increase.  That might also be one of the reasons why we're in a certain -- I'm not sure what kind of word to use.  But we're having several challenges. 

 So I think it also would be good to make a commitment to let's not expand it too much but let's just cap it as it is or even reduce it a little bit, the costs of holding the IGF meetings.

 >>CHAIR ST. AMOUR:  Thank you, Chengetai.

 I'm going to call Adam Peake to the floor in a moment and close the queue for this portion of the agenda.  We have a couple of logistics announcements with respect to the afternoon.  I think it's important we close on time.  People have other commitments.  And, in fact, it's only allowing an hour for lunch for those of you that are coming back here for the donor meeting at 2:00. 

 Adam, you have the floor.  And then we have a series of logistics announcements.

 >>ADAM PEAKE:  Good morning, everybody.  Adam Peake.  I work for ICANN but this is very much a personal comment having been involved with the IGF for a while.

 Open forums, there seemed to be a lot more last year.  And I wondered if the criteria for selection had been changed or relaxed.  But having said that, I did notice that there were a lot more governments and intergovernmental organizations holding open forums.  That seemed a particularly good way of encouraging folks from the governmental sector and would be something to encourage. 

 I think it's difficult for government stakeholders to follow some of the criteria for workshop selection.  It's difficult for them, I think, to get the balanced stakeholder participation and so on.  It's a difficult process to follow.  So I'd like to encourage that opportunity for governments and IGOs to use the open forums but at the same time would be interested to what happened with the rules for selecting those. 

 So bit of a contradiction in that statement, but I did think it was a useful thing to see more government participation in that way.  Thank you.

 >>CHENGETAI MASANGO:  Yes, we did increase the open forums last year to encourage government and IGO participation, which was one of our aims for last year and especially since we were in Geneva and there are a lot of government missions here and there are a lot of IGOs here as well, which could take advantage of that.  So that was the reason why there was an increase.

 I don't think we did relax the rules.  I think we actually tightened the rules a little bit.  We said they have to be a treaty-based organization or governments backing the open forums.  Yeah.

 >>CHAIR ST. AMOUR:  Thank you, Adam.  Thank you, Chengetai.

 We want to take just a few moments for a few announcements.  Again, you've heard the announcement on the donors meeting in this room here at 2:00.  There's an announcement to come from the Swiss government in a moment.  And I need to announce that I will not be chairing the meeting from 3:00 to 4:00 today.  Chengetai will chair the meeting.  I actually have a speaking slot at the WSIS High Level Forum.  And as part of the continued support for outreach and greater visibility and ensuring that the WSIS Forum certainly understands the IGF and the linkages between the two I thought it was too important an opportunity to pass up.  But, sadly, it means I won't be here from 3:00 to 4:00. 

 It's particularly sad for me because the next item is the 2017 IGF intersessional activities, lessons learned, and suggestions for improvement.  And I think most of you know how passionate I have been about supporting those and really trying to move those forward. 

 I wouldn't really suggest that we move the agenda.  The transcript is extremely helpful.  I will read the transcript very carefully tonight for the section I miss and make sure that I'm up to speed on that discussion for tomorrow.

 I think we'll leave it at that.  If we were to swap it, we would have to swap that with the updates from related Internet governance initiatives and processes followed by open discussion of possible IGF 2017 collaboration.  And I think it messes too much with people who possibly aren't in the room just now who might be coming a little bit later in the afternoon for that session. 

 So with sadness, I will miss that section but come back and read it carefully.

 I think -- were there any other announcements from the secretariat before we turn to the government?

 >>CHENGETAI MASANGO:  One other thing.  Just a housekeeping announcement, could you please sign in on our Web site.  There's a signup sheet because we have no idea who's here.  The WSIS registration does not signify that you are coming here for the IGF meeting.  So it would be good to have your names on our Web site.  I think there is also pieces of paper on the table which have instructions.  Thank you.

 >>CHAIR ST. AMOUR:  Thank you, Chengetai.


 >>SWITZERLAND:  Hello.  Good afternoon already.  I would like to make a more social announcement.  And this is on the occasion of the WSIS Forum which you are accredited to, the Swiss government, the canton of Geneva and the city of Geneva are holding a reception from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. in the first floor restaurant area of the CICG, which is the building next to this one where some of the WSIS activities are taking place.  And as WSIS participants, WSIS Forum participants, you are cordially invited to take part there. 

 And we hope this is also a good opportunity for the new and old MAG members to gather and to exchange and network.  So hope to see you there this afternoon.  Thank you.

 [ Applause ]

 >>CHAIR ST. AMOUR:  Yet another significant contribution from the Swiss government.

 [ Laughter ]

 I have one question for the donors meeting.  Will that actually be transcribed and will allow online participation?  I don't know what the --

 >>CHENGETAI MASANGO:  There will be online participation.

 >>CHAIR ST. AMOUR:  Okay.  But online participation -- okay.  Excellent.  Thank you.  We are adjourned.  We will be back in this room at 2:00 for the donors meeting and 3:00 for the MAG meeting continuation.  Thank you.

 [ Lunch break ]