The following are the outputs of the real-time captioning taken during the IGF 2018 Second Open Consultations and MAG Meeting held in Geneva, Switzerland, 11-13 July. 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: Good morning, ladies and gentlemen. Welcome to the second face-to-face open consultations and MAG meeting. So today is the open consultations, and tomorrow and the day after is going to be the MAG meeting.
Before we start, just a few things. We're going to be using the speaking queue, so you can log onto the speaking queue, and if you want to speak just type your name into the box, and it will appear there so everybody can see where they are in the queue. And when you speak, can you please clearly state your name, and if you're a MAG member or if you're not a MAG member, then where you're from so that we can have it for the record.
So with that, I'll hand it over to our chair, Lynn St. Amour, to start the meeting.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Thank you, Chengetai, and good morning, everyone. I'm Lynn St. Amour, chair of the Internet Governance Forum Multistakeholder Advisory Group, and I would like to add just one quick comment to what Chengetai just said. I mean, this speaking queue has been worked that the secretariat, Luis Bobo, has been working on for some time, and it's meant to actually the playing field between those participants that are here in the room and those that are participating online. Historically, if you pose a question to the floor, five to ten hands might go up in the room, but it takes longer for those that are online to actually get in the queue. So it wasn't a particularly fair system. So it really does level the playing field between those that are participating remotely, those that are here in the room, which is extremely important that we actually facilitate that, and it is also very useful to see exactly where you are in the queue so you know who is coming up next. And I just want to thank Luis, because it continues to be a work in progress and really is very useful and very important.
I want to do a brief introduction of the other individuals that are on the dais here, and then we'll move to approval of the agenda, and then we'll come back and do fuller introductions for the individual sessions here.
So on my far right I have Mr. Wai-Min Kwok who is here as a representative of the U.N. Department of Economic and Social Affairs, UNDESA. Some of you may remember Wai-Min because he actually participated two years ago as a representative of UNDESA in a lot of these meetings.
To my left is Mr. Frederic Paruta with the French government. The French, of course, are kindly hosting the IGF later this year, and as such, they actually have an honorary co-chair position. Frederic will be filling this along with Ambassador David Martinon who will be here with us tomorrow. So we're obviously very, very pleased to have him here and of course remain very grateful for hosting IGF 2018.
And we also have Chengetai Masango, whom of course many of you know. He is the lead in the IGF secretariat. Again, we'll do some fuller introductions later as they all have speaking roles.
So at this point we review the agenda. We approve the agenda on a daily basis, so today we would be approving the agenda for the Open Consultation. It's been posted for some weeks now. It was reviewed at the last MAG meeting, but I'd like to see if there are any other calls for any other business or any suggestions. And this is open to all participants, not only MAG members.
So I will give a minute to let everybody wrestle a bit with the speaking queue and see if there are any comments or any items for AOB.
Seeing none, we will call the agenda approved. And I would like to identify that in each one of the sessions we've specifically allowed time for community engagement. So we're asking for any interventions or any presentations that are made at the top of each session slot to be very brief. There is a time that's allotted for them because it's important that we engage with the community and hear from the community. So we don't want a series of largely one-way presentations.
And, again, today is the open consultation day. It's a time for the community talk to the MAG, let us know what's on your mind. And as such, we usually request that the MAG members refrain from taking the floor to the greatest extent possible and really allow time for engagement. Now, obviously engagement means you do engage, so there will be dialogue and discussion but today is really focused on hearing from the community.
So with that, I just have a couple of very brief comments. I would like to recognize, of course, that we are here on the United Nations premises of Geneva, UNOG, and would like to that Michael Moller who is the Secretary-General of UNOG, and all the of support staff within the U.N. and obviously the support staff of the IGF secretariat as well for making this possible. These meetings are fairly intense in terms of audiovisual requirements, and I think they do a superb job at managing all of this. So with thanks and appreciation to everybody for their efforts here.
So as Chengetai said, this is our second face-to-face meeting in the preparatory cycle for IGF 2018. And as we'll see, a lot of work has been done on the preparations for IGF 2018 but also in numerous areas of suggested improvements. That's happening through concerted efforts across all of the IGF-related activities, so through a lot of the intersessional activities, of course, the activities of the NRI, and certainly of the MAG and its various working groups.
Everyone's working hard to step up their game. I suppose I should say to use a sports reference but it's rather hard to avoid these days. And, in fact, we should probably recognize the French win last night. This is obviously an important time for many, many --
[ Laughter ]
-- many people in the world.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: I have to tell you, I actually watched the last 2/3 of the game last night from my hotel room. And I have seen many of the other games in the U.S. as well thanks to DVR and the ability to tape. I would be proud to wear it, but it is a little warm. Congratulations to France as well and, I guess, good luck to England and Croatia.
So we're stepping up our activities, both operationally and more strategically. We're taking a longer term view of our activities and of our goals, and we'll hear about all of these activities over the course of the day, through the various report-outs from things such as the best practice forums and, of course, from working groups and intersessional activities and, again, all the NRI activities.
We really want to take some time on those and the time we have, you know, frankly sort of introduce or expose them to the community and then ask for participation across the community and all of the efforts. The efforts are open and, you know, they benefit from broad -- broad participation.
And most importantly, we need to recognize all the efforts of the community and supporting the call for issues, which was the first time we've run this. It was an innovation. It was to enable kind of greater participation in the agenda-setting process of the MAG, really an opportunity to hear what was on people's minds without having to go through the rather heavy process of actually submitting a workshop proposal. And that was very successful. And we had over 340, 343, I think, submissions. So that was very helpful in terms of helping us identify the main themes which then, of course, fed the call for workshops.
And, you know, perhaps even more impressive was in the workshop submission process, we actually had a record 344 workshop approvals at the end of the day. And all of very, very high quality. I think we all know what work it actually takes to put in a high-quality proposal. So we would really like to recognize the work of the community and supporting that.
So, as I said, today is the open consultation day. MAG members are largely here on a listening mode. We are going to move to welcoming comments from Wai-Min and Frederic. I think they are both willing to take questions at the end of their presentations and if we need to we can certainly follow up later in the meeting.
So with that -- who was first on the agenda? So, Wai-Min. Wai-Min is with, again, UN DESA, United Nations department of economic and social affairs. UN DESA is the administrative host of the IGF activities within the U.N. system. The IGF, of course, is convened by the Secretary-General, the MAG, and MAG chairs are appointed to the Secretary-General as well. But it's through very concerted efforts in support of UN DESA with respect to support for all of our processes here.
So with that, Wai-Min, you have the floor. And thank you for making the trip here. Wai-Min has come from several countries all over the world in fast succession. So we're very glad he could make it here.
>> WAI-MIN KWOK: Thank you. Thank you, Madam Chair. Mr. Frederic Paruta, sitting for the co-chair, government of France, my colleague Chengetai here from the IGF secretariat, distinguished members from the Internet Governance Forum, stakeholders who are here with us and all participating online from around the world, on behalf of the U.N. Department of Economic and Social Affairs, I would like to extend appreciation for your important participation at this open consultation at the second face-to-face meeting of the Multistakeholder Advisory Group of the Internet Governance Forum.
I'm here on behalf of Mr. Stefan Schweinfest, director of statistic division and officer in charge of the division for public institutions and digital government.
Mr. Schweinfest would very much like to be here in person but not able to because of the ongoing high-level political forum on sustainable development at the headquarters in New York.
It is well-known that the preparation of the annual IGF is guided by the distinguished people here, the 55 MAG members and led by MAG chair appointed by the Secretary-General. The secretariat of the IGF is based at U.N. office in Geneva.
UN DESA, we deeply appreciate these exceptional opportunities to support the IGF and the IGF secretariat since the first IGF session in 2006. The IGF now in its 13th cycle has been recognized as an inclusive global multistakeholder forum on public policies relating to Internet governance. Clearly it's has set an exemplary precedent on a global multistakeholder model that works and one that works very effectively.
We are grateful that the government of France, who has offered to host the 13th meeting of the Internet Governance Forum on 11 to 13 November, 2018, also to be held in parallel with the Paris Peace Forum with possible interactive high-level government participation along with key players from the private sector, civil society, the technical community, and other stakeholders.
Announcing the offer, the President of France, His Excellency Emmanuel Macron, emphasized the importance of the upcoming Paris IGF in sharing common ideas and to progress global discussions on Internet governance issues.
We are also grateful to the kind collaboration extended by our colleagues at UNESCO. The UNESCO headquarters will be the venue for this IGF.
The cohesive, committed and collaborative effort on the MAG building on 12 years of work are important and critical to the IGF process and fulfilling its mandate.
UN DESA acknowledges the far-reaching efforts of the MAG. The MAG has been working tirelessly ever since the first face-to-face MAG meeting in March with many virtual meetings, several cohesive tracks of efforts under the dynamic leadership of Lynn as the MAG chair.
We are already seeing the positive changes made and the positive results shown. As shared by Lynn earlier, there is an amount increase in the number of proposals as compared to last year, an increase from 268 to 344.
But, of course, that poses a challenge to the MAG in the process which you are all a part of. All of us should applaud and give due recognition to the improvement introduced by the MAG. There is work is under way by the MAG working groups on multiyear strategy and work program, working group on IGF improvements, on fund-raising, on outreach and engagement, and workshop review and evaluation process.
In addition, the inclusiveness of the IGF has taken a further step with the bottom-up approach through the first-ever call for issues to the IGF diverse community of stakeholders.
The IGF community has decided that the 2018 IGF will focus on the range of digital policy topics from cybersecurity and data privacy, Internet and sustainable development goals, human rights online to new technologies and issues such as artificial intelligence and fake news.
And some of you know well there are two very unique developments for 2018 IGF. First, it is the commendable approach of the MAG to have a strong desire to streamline the number of parallel tracks for a more cohesive overall program while ensuring a balance of thematic focus, diversity, and cohesion. And, second, the reduction by one day of the meeting this year, this will bring challenge but also opportunity to respond to community feedback to advance on innovations, in meeting formats such as shorter, interactive main sessions between senior government officials, private sector leaders, and the IGF stakeholders in general as well as enhanced integrated participation of youth and newcomers, both individuals and countries. We also have ongoing challenges in strengthening the linkages and developing the capacities of the national, subregional, regional and youth IGF, or NRIs in short, that have made very encouraging progress over the past years is via global efforts.
We also need to ensure the health of the IGF Trust Fund, something that I will touch upon more in the afternoon, and in attracting the participation of stakeholders who are currently not engaged in the IGF in fulfilling the promise of the 2030 agenda for sustainable development in leaving no one behind and no country behind.
All countries including the least developed countries, the (indiscernible), the small islands, should have equal opportunity to engage in the debate on Internet governance and to facilitate their participation in assisting institutions and arrangements. Ultimately, the involvement of all stakeholders from developed as well as developing countries is necessary for the future development of the Internet, the digital world, and the digital economy.
The continuing relevance and strengthening the global role of IGF needs your participation, the MAG, and the inclusive participation of the community through established processes and innovation. As you can tell from the meeting agenda, the MAG has before them important issues to address and agree upon through a bottom-up approach with inclusive participation in order to advance on the preparation of the Paris IGF.
This includes finalization of the main theme to the thematic sessions, the workshop proposals, evaluation, the review of various tracks of intersessional activities including best practice forum, dynamic coalitions, the ICD policy options for connecting and enabling the next billion and leaving no one offline.
In addition, on a longer horizon, there is also an important discussion on the multiyear program and ongoing improvement of the IGF including increased participation from senior government officials and increased active growth of private sector leaders.
As you may know, one of the priorities of the U.N. Secretary-General is the emerging growth of new technologies in supporting the integrated work of the U.N. in peace and security, human rights, and sustainable developments.
Chengetai Masango who has been playing leadership roles in the IGF secretariat since its inception in 2005 has been identified to serve in the secretariat of an upcoming-related initiative. I would like to congratulate him as this is clearly an expression of the precision of his professionalism. And we believe he is in a good position to make a significant contribution to the Secretary-General initiative.
We also consider this connection fortunate from a programmatic point of view as the IGF is, indeed, one of the important U.N. instruments in the broader space of digital cooperation in the digital world. We have just initiated a process to find a temporary replacement for Chengetai following the U.N. recruitment process.
In addition, we are also in the process to formalize the staff resource of the IGF secretariat in supporting the important work of the NRIs.
I would like to reiterate that UN DESA remains fully committed to fully supporting the IGF for the Paris IGF and its continuing mandates to 2025. I wish you all a vibrant, successful, and outcome-oriented meeting. Thank you all. Thank you, Chengetai.
[ Applause ]
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Thank you, Wai-Min. Let me see if there are any comments or questions from the floor. I usually give it a slow count to six in our virtual calls. I will give it a little longer here while people perhaps wrestle with the queue. I believe you actually have to be logged in to use the speaking queue. Of course, if won't be our last opportunity, but...
Okay. And, again, thank you, Wai-Min, and thank you so much for making the long, circuitous journey here. It is much appreciated.
Wai-Min will be with us for the entire three days. I think that's excellent news.
So with that, I would like to next introduce Mr. Frederic Paruta. Frederic is a counselor associated here with the United Nations Permanent Mission of France here in Geneva. And he is in the role of the honorary host country co-chair, given France is hosting the IGF 2018.
Frederic, again, thank you. And you are welcome.
>>FREDERIC PARUTA: Thank you, Lynn. So will have my new name tag in front of me to make sure that everybody knows where you are going to in November.
[ Laughter ]
I will not make a speech but just underline some key points, just to tell you that there's a strong support underlined and Wai-Min mentioned by the announcement of President Macron to host the 2018 IGF in Paris. It's a global event. And we are used to global events, but this one is of particular interest. The interest and the support comes from all levels: The government, the civil society. The French IGF has been quite active and has met as latest as last week. Of course, the professionals and the academia.
The basics, Wai-Min mentioned it, the event will take place in Paris November 12 to 14. Paris is the capital of France and hopefully the capital of the football world coming next Sunday. It will be hosted by UNESCO, which is a very important partner. And other venues could also host side events.
France is delighted to be hosting the IGF. We take digital issues seriously. And we widely share the priorities of the Internet community and the digital community. Just to mention a few, the importance of net neutrality, platform responsibilities, artificial intelligence and its ethics, cybersecurity, information manipulation, fair taxation for the global players, the challenge of the use of Internet for terrorist activities, and very important for us diversity, including linguistic diversity, gender issues, and inclusiveness.
Today as co-chair representing France, I will be mostly on listening mode in order to report back to the organizers the essence of our discussions.
As mentioned, Mr. David Martinon, who is French ambassador for digital affairs, will be co-chair the meeting tomorrow and will give us the latest news from the organizers' point of view. So I thank you very much.
[ Applause ]
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Thank you, Frederic. And as Wai-Min said in his comments, I think there are some really interesting advancements we're hoping to see in terms of the -- kind of the cohesiveness of the overall program. There's also some really interesting opportunities with respect to the synergies that we might identify given the Paris Peace Forum that is taking place nearly coincident with the -- hopefully that is the opportunity to reach out to perhaps other senior government leaders that aren't necessarily long-term participants or historically participants in the IGF. So we want to frankly take as much advantage of that opportunity as we can.
So with that, we'll go to the next item in the agenda which is a briefing on the state of preparations from the IGF secretariat. Chengetai, you have the floor.
>>CHENGETAI MASANGO: Thank you very much. I will try and be brief and people can ask me questions later on when I'm finished.
For workshops, the secretariat received a record number of 359 workshop proposal submissions this year. After the initial secretariat screening, there were 344 workshop submissions by the MAG evaluated.
The submissions were centered around major Internet policy themes which were identified through a community process which was the call of issues that was issued by the secretariat earlier this year.
And these themes were: Cybersecurity, trust and privacy, human rights, gender and youth, development, innovation and economic issues, digital inclusion and accessibility, emerging technologies, evolution of Internet governance, media and content, and technical and operational issues.
Cybersecurity emerged as the most popular theme in both the call of issues and the pool of workshop proposals that were received.
In general, we observed a very good alignment between the thematic interest expressed in the overall proposal pool and those in the call of issues. We also observed a very good gender balance for both the workshop co-organizers and the proposed speakers.
For the other sessions, we had the open forum sessions which we had an open call for. And open forums are mainly for governments and IGOs, and their initial idea was for them to be able to showcase their Internet governance-related activities.
This year, we received a total of 40 open forum proposals and there were 30 that fit their requirements. And these 30 are posted on the IGF Web site, if you would like to see them.
These included nine from governments, 16 from intergovernmental organizations and some of whom were proposing to organize a session at the IGF for the first time, so that's very good.
Cybersecurity, trust and privacy was, once again, the most selected theme for the open forums. With development, innovation, and economic issues and media content as close second.
We also received 15 dynamic coalition requests to hold a session at the IGF.
For the IGF Village booths -- this is the exhibition center -- we received a record number of 82 requests. And at the present time, the venue can only accommodate 56. So we are currently reviewing these requests to make it up to 56, and we are going to select them according, of course, to relevance and after that finally, you know, the first-come, first-served, but it's most important to have a wide range of activities showcased at the IGF Village.
And Day 0 events. Due to the compressed schedule and also the difficulty of having days at the UNESCO headquarters, there will be no standard Day 0 events. This is not the high-level leaders' meeting or political forum, whichever word we use, but the normal Day 0 events where we have GIGAnet and these other activities. We will not be able to host them at UNESCO, but we do encourage people to please -- I hear an echo.
Yes, I think it's -- somebody has their speakers on?
>> Yeah, that's me.
[ Laughter ]
>>CHENGETAI MASANGO: Okay. So we do encourage them to make other arrangements. There's lots of hotels and other venues around the UNESCO building. And if they would tell the IGF secretariat, we will publicize them on our website so people will know where they are and where to go.
Also at the same time, one of the difficulties is that the Sunday, the 11th of November, it coincides with Armistice Day, which is celebrated in France, and a whole range of activities are scheduled all around Paris. So there is a bit of competition there.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: (Off mic.)
>>CHENGETAI MASANGO: Oh, yes. Okay, yes. It's an opportunity Sorry; yes. It's an opportunity.
And together with the French government, we are exploring ways to maximize visibility through the Paris Peace Forum, and I think there is an event that is going to be organized together with the Paris Peace Forum, but we'll wait until tomorrow for David -- Ambassador David Martinon to tell us more about that.
For remote hubs, we started the remote hubs registration process, and this is open until the 15th of October. So we do encourage people to see if they can form remote hubs within their countries and register at the IGF website. We will try and help as much as possible with training and whether or not we can talk to other stakeholders within that community to set up these remote hubs. We feel that they are very important to encourage participation from people who cannot afford, you know, the cost of coming to Paris. You can still actively participate online.
And as you know, I think most of us in this room are very familiar with the UNESCO headquarters in Paris. We've held some -- I think we've had one or two IGF open consultations at the Paris headquarters. It's a sizable venue. It has enough room to fit 10 to 12 workshops. One or two of these rooms are rather small, I think 50 to 60, but, I mean, but the largest room is quite large. I think the largest room can fit 1,368, and there are some other fairly sized rooms, you know, that can fit around 400, 200, and 130 people. So I don't think there's a fear that the venue will be too small.
The venue may not be -- I'm trying to find the right words for this. There will have to be some refitting to be done to make it technically compatible with an IGF event because we have a lot of technical requirements which is, as you know, Webcasting from every room and the transcription in every room. But the UNESCO staff are working very hard on this, and I'm sure by the time November comes, they'll be ready for us. So I don't have any major worries at all about the venue.
And I'll stop there. If there's any questions, I'm quite happy to answer them now.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Thank you, Chengetai. We have Nigel Hickson in the queue. Nigel, you have the floor.
>>NIGEL HICKSON: Yes, thank you very much, Madam Chair. Good morning to you and to our distinguished guests from the U.N. and the French mission here and colleagues.
I actually was going to ask our French host a question about Day 0, but I think to a large extent Chengetai has answered that -- that question. It would of course be excellent -- it's an excellent opportunity, I think, for the IGF and for many of us as stakeholders to participate alongside a major peace summit. And this clearly is an opportunity, I think, to be able to attract high-level government representatives and IGOs and stakeholders to Paris for the IGF.
And hopefully, as has been indicated very helpfully by Chengetai, there can be some synergy between the global events being organized in Paris to mark the centenary of the Armistice and the IGF, and we certainly give our gratitude for the French government for hosting this important conference later in the year and look forward to being involved.
Thank you very much.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Thank you, Nigel.
Maybe I'll just -- as there's no one else in the queue, I'll also recognize that we did try very hard to avoid it overlapping with the ITU plenipotentiary. It just wasn't possible in terms of the venue, and honestly it was getting close enough to the time where we had to hold the IGF that we needed to -- we needed to make a decision.
I personally reached out to the ITU Secretary-General several times before it became kind of publicly known, and then afterwards to make sure that he understood, you know, that we had done everything we could to avoid that, and he understands. And again, he understands. We all wish it would be different, but not -- not certain he won't be able to pop by for a little bit, that's not quite certain yet, but at least it's not completely the other side of the world in terms of the location of the plenipot and our meeting.
Any other comments or questions? I hope anybody who is participating online knows that they have the same ability to request the floor and take the floor as those that are here in the room. So -- so please don't hesitate.
Then if not, we'll move to the next item in the agenda.
Did you actually do visa, registration, badges and things as well?
>>CHENGETAI MASANGO: (Off microphone) there's no questions.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: I was just asking -- I looked at the last item under that in which it says basically an update on other organizational logistics such as visa support, registration, badges. I think we're still expecting more information from the host, and that will be put up on the website and certainly on the IGF 2018 French host website once that is established as well. But if there are any kind of immediate questions, we're here to answer them to the best we can, and simply know that we'll be making all those details available just as soon as possible.
>>CHENGETAI MASANGO: I mean, France is a Schengen are country so the Schengen rules do apply, and it's basically going to be the same as we had for Switzerland. The visas will be gratis, if I've understood correctly, since it is a U.N. meeting. But it's going to be the same as coming here to Switzerland.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Just giving it another minute to see if there are any follow-up questions.
>>CHENGETAI MASANGO: For the badges, the badging system, we're going to be using UNESCO's badging system. They've got one in place. It works well, so we're going to use that.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Rudolf, you have the floor.
>>RUDOLF GRIDL: Very spontaneously because of the experience of last year. Will there be a two-step Internet registration approach as it was last year or will there be perhaps the opportunity to merge it to one step?
>>CHENGETAI MASANGO: One step.
>> Thank you very much.
>>CHENGETAI MASANGO: Continuous improvement. One step this year.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: So we take note there was -- on one of the IGF lists, there was quite an extensive list of questions of things people are looking for, the standard things we actually share every year. And again, they will be updated and put on the appropriate websites.
Then with that, let's move to the series of sessions where we actually start to review intersessional activities. The first item is the review of the IGF Best Practice Forums of which there are four. What we thought we would do would be to take a strict five minutes for each BPF to give an update on their work here in the room, and then we'll go through, and we can continue on with the CENB and dynamic coalition updates and have a question period at the end, or we could do a quick question period after each one of the agenda items as the room wishes. But I do ask all the presenters to please stay within their five-minute allotment so we ensure there's time for the community at the end.
So why don't we just go in order as they are in the agenda, which means we would first look for an update on the Best Practice Forum of artificial intelligence, big data, and Internet of Things. I'm not quite sure who is meant to speak for each one of them, so I would just ask you to identify yourself and -- and, please, you have. Floor.
>>Concettina Cassa: Okay. My name is Concettina Cassa. I'm a new appointed MAG member, and I'm also a co-facilitator on Best Practice Forum on artificial intelligence, Internet of Things and also big data.
I give you just an update of the activity. And we had the first of these two meetings on the 15th of June. We had discussion with the mailing list members about the main activities focused on, and then actually it came out that we have to decide the topics to focus on and also the platforms and other international working group that are working on these many issues.
Then we also -- we actually involved in the -- in the Best Practice Forum also the coordinator of dynamic coalition on Internet of Things. We know around the (indiscernible) for the next (indiscernible) which will be held tomorrow. And we also (indiscernible) just to understand what the mailing list member wants to focus on and also what are the main working groups that could be involved in the discussion.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Thank you, Titi.
We move to the next one. It's the BPF on cybersecurity. I'm guessing that's Ben. Ben, you have the floor.
>>BEN WALLIS: Thank you, Lynn. And sorry, I've just arrived. My suitcase just arrived, at least. So I was here yesterday but now I've got a shirt and tie. So apologies if I'm a little fresh here.
Yes, the cybersecurity BPF has had two meetings so far. We have begun work on an initial document which is kind of preparatory research, so I should say first that the focus of this year's cybersecurity Best Practice Forum is on looking at norms that have been established in different countries and regions around the world. And so it's not about coming up with new norms ourselves. It's about comparing, contrasting the norms that are out there and almost maybe providing a tool kit for governments and stakeholders as they think about cybersecurity policies.
And so we've had two meetings so far. We've had a call for volunteers who have helped produce an initial document, which is kind of pulling together everything that's out there that we're aware of. And the next steps would be to put out a formal call for input later this month. And we will be reaching out through the IGF community. We're going to be discussing with the NROs how we can best make use of those and reach out to the NROs and therefore magnify our ability to gather input and spread the word about the work we're doing this year.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Thank you, Ben.
I should just take a moment to point out that if you're interested in any of the BPFs, the MAG working groups, dynamic coalitions, NRIs, et cetera, all that information is on the website. So you'll find the charters of various things such as BPFs and the working groups. And again, all of the BPFs and the working groups are open to all community members. And again, broad participation is extremely helpful to all of our efforts. So please, if you have an interest and you have time, then certainly join us.
The next BPF is gender and access.
Raquel, you have the floor.
>> Raquel: Thank you very much, Lynn, and I'm very sympathetic to Ben. It's not my suitcase. It's my body hours that are still in Brazil, so I'm suffering jet lag but we're here. So just reporting back on the work done for the BPF gender, together with Renata who is here, another fellow MAG member. In the last three years, the BPF gender has addressed the barriers faced by women and girls to access, use, and make the most of the Internet, and has also investigated the challenge that women have to participate and to get involved in Internet policy development and decision-making processes.
So in 2015, the work of the BPF has looked into online abuse and gender-based violence. In 2018, it has identified different barriers that those women face as regarded to access to the Internet. And last year we started focusing more on gathering information from specific communities. So now the MAG in 2018 has approved to further work on gender and access track with a strong focus on -- well, focusing on the communities from which it was not possible to gather enough information like the women with disabilities, migrant women, and refugees women that face several challenges to access to Internet. And it has different meetings for those groups.
Also, looking into those communities that the BPF has access to information and can input from, further analyze that can be conducted to study the way that alternative ways of connectivity can be done, like community networks, public Wi-Fi, free basics, TV white spaces, and how it can be empowering women.
And the third track is identifying women leaders and stories of women that have changed their lives through access. And all of those will contribute.
Now, in terms of more tactical approach, the first kickoff meeting was held in the second of July, and it was focused on the planning of the BPF work. It had three main take-aways. The first one is fine-tune the scope of the work. First identifying the challenge of the previous years and how to overcome those challenges. for example, lack of volunteers and how to outreach more. I think Lynn already started by calling everyone to join, and everyone is more than welcome. Both men and women, by the way. Also, as a second take-away, it's the engagement with the NIRs. So the importance of outreaching and communicating and delivering those reports and information for the BPF, including regional, upcoming regional IGFs like LAC IGF and AP IGF. And, well, more on the communication and outreach is promoting the work done already, and writing blog posts using social media, Twitter, the IGF secretariat account, and using a specific hashtag, bpfgender2018. And also engage with other initiatives. For example, the BPF is currently considering applying to the ITU RECOS (phonetic) program in the research category.
So, finally, just a few acknowledgments. I want to thank you very much, the MAG members who have done -- strongly support to approve this BPF this year. Also, my co-facilitator, Renata Aquino who has been doing the groundwork. And also to recognize that there are leading work done by Jac Kee, the former co-facilitator -- MAG member, co-facilitator of this BPF, Anri van der Spuy, and Agustina Callegari. And we also appreciate very much the IGF secretariat support to us.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Thank you. Thank you, Raquel. I was trying to squint to see the screen back there. I'll get to the screen in a moment, I would just like to point out that I think the -- we're certainly very pleased with the workshops that actually came in. There's great gender parity across all of the workshops, which you will see later in some of the statistics. Also to say that the MAG itself is 46% women, and in the last few years, it's been 46% or higher. So that's not quite reaching the Secretary-General's goal of parity of 50/50, but I think that was a 2020 goal. So, again, I think we're all quite conscious of that, certainly in the general spirit of just broad inclusion as well. And would just like to call out appreciate everybody's focus on it and that we continue to be focused on it as well going forward.
So I'm not -- I guess we have Renata in the queue. Does registered online participant mean someone else? That's you, Renata? Okay, Renata, you have the floor.
>>RENATA AQUINO RIBEIRO: I'm just wearing my other hat of Mozilla community member. And the Mozilla Open Leaders program is a program that brings together project in Internet policy, in Internet governance and worldwide community. And of this year, we have a participant from Mozilla Foundation also contributing to the BPF gender. And we hope that more and more this huge community of Internet policy activists contributes to the IGF.
This is our first door, the BPF gender. I hope we get to contribute together to the other alternatives, too.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: That's great, Renata. It's a very important community and really strong principles and values that I think are appreciated by many.
The last BPF is local content. I'm assuming that's Nacho. Miguel, you have the floor.
>>MIGUEL IGNACIO ESTRADA: Thank you, Lynn. I'll do a short update.
This year's BPF focus will be on experiences on building a sustainable, local content value chain on the economic viability of creating and providing locally relevant content. We had our first meeting a week ago where we kind of defined that the co-coordinators will be me, Miguel Ignacio Estrada, and Giacomo Mazzone. And then I will ask Giacomo -- I think he is around there -- if he wants to add anything else.
We invited Carolina Aguerre as a lead expert. She doesn't have the time to be the third co-coordinator. So what we wanted to do is to have some academic oversee the process, the methodology, and stuff. We agreed to meet every two weeks. So I hope next week we'll be meeting again. So I invite everyone who wants to join to join us.
Thank you, Chair.
Giacomo, I don't know if you have anything to add.
>>GIACOMO MAZZONE: Thank you. Just to add one detail, I think WIPO and UNESCO are willing to also contribute to this BPF. So I am in contact with them, and I hope that soon we can get information to be on board.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: That's excellent, Nacho and Giacomo, and really important that they're going to participate as well. Obviously having content in your own language is one of the very earlier barriers as well to greater adoption.
I think Chengetai wanted to say a few words on the BPF consultants. And then we can open it up to the floor to see if there are any comments or questions to any of the coordinators with respect to the BPF activities.
>>CHENGETAI MASANGO: Yes, the process for selecting the BPF consultants has not been finalized. So I think the BPFs, if you have not already been contacted by -- it's Wim Degezelle and Radhika -- I will try to say her name properly -- Radhakrishnan. I think you all know them. They will contact you either today or tomorrow. I think Wim is coming as well here. He should be present tomorrow, if he's not.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Thank you, Chengetai. Any comments or questions from the floor from any of the BPF activities? Obviously you now know who the coordinators are of them as well, and we're going to make that more visible on the Web site as well so that you can immediately go, I mean, if you have any offline questions.
Then, if not, we'll move to the second item under this intersessional activity update and that's the major policy and intersessional policy initiative we had called policy options for Connecting and Enabling the Next Billions, Phase 3.
Raquel, is that you? You have the floor.
>> RAQUEL GATTO: Thank you very much, Lynn. Now about the CENB, phase IV, the IGF MAG has recently decided to develop further the first phase of the policy options for connecting and enabling the next billion. If you'll recall, back in 2015 it started this major track with new methodology to build the policy recommendations based on a broad consultation, bottom-up, crowdsourcing, and crowd engagement with the work of the NRIs, national and regional IGFs, the dynamic coalitions, and the best practice forums by itself. And those -- in the beginning, those discussions were focused on infrastructure, increasing usability, enabling users, entering for (indiscernible), enabling environments. So given the success of this methodology and the trends that we gather from this result, the MAG has decided to continue a second and a third phase now more focused narrowing on ICTs that can help reach the sustainable development goals but still keeping the lens of the local and regional specificities.
So back on looking over the past three years, we have received already 200 submissions, including the work done in the national and regional initiatives that has contributed to form this background documents and also are serving as more tangible and useful resources for policymakers and other stakeholders. But it's also a way to show the value, right, of this multistakeholder collaboration for, in this case, expanding info, Internet access.
For building on this work done, the MAG has approved the focus of looking into concrete examples, into successful cases, focusing on five SDGs. So SDG 1, which is about end of poverty in all its forms and everywhere; SDG 7 which is about ensuring access to affordable, reliable, sustainable, and modern energy for all; SDG 8 which is about work and economic growth; SDG 9 which repeats last year because it has a particular linkage with Internet access which is about industry innovation and infrastructure, if you remember 9(c) specifically on Internet development; and then SDG 17 which is about partnership for the goals and it has also the linkage more to this collaborative processes.
Now more in practical terms, following up the methodology, the successful methodology, it's based on two rounds of consultations. So a call for contributions should be going out soon and looking for those cases. By gathering those, then we will elaborate a first draft and this first draft we'll put out for the community for inputs and comments and further cases that might come in as a second round and then finalizing with a draft to be delivered during the global IGF in Paris.
And then -- so also acknowledging that the co-coordinators for this work, well, myself, the previous ones, Constance Bommelaer, former MAG member, Christopher Yoo from Penn University, my follow MAG members, Wisdom Donkor, Paul Rowney, and I believe Ji also who suggested SDG 1 was interested.
And I think that's about it for now. I'm open to any comments and anyone interested to help. It's a major work and a really great work to be done there and hearing from those case examples and building these policy options. Thank you very much.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Thank you, Raquel. Before we go to the next line item under this agenda item, are there any questions, comments for Raquel on the CENB? Just giving it a slow count. Okay. Not seeing any, not seeing any in the speaking queue, we'll go to the next item which is updates from the IGF dynamic coalitions. And I'm guessing that's Markus Kummer who is going to give that update.
Markus, you have the floor.
>> MARKUS KUMMER: Thank you, Lynn. Israel, my co-facilitator, unfortunately has not been able to make it here so I'm giving the update.
I sent and email yesterday to the MAG list recalling that we had several times briefed the MAG that the dynamic coalitions had discussed amongst themselves whether they would ask again for a session that would allow them to present their activities as we had done very successfully in Guadalajara or last year in Geneva or whether we should gather around a main theme. And, finally, the dynamic coalitions decided and agreed given the fact that the MAG has chosen a more thematic approach, I think it will make more sense also to rally around a common theme.
The dynamic coalitions looked at all the themes on the discussion. It was evident for them that the theme needed to be fairly broad, that it would cover all their activities as they're ranging -- their very disparate activities. And obviously if they want to give their perspective to a common theme, the theme needs to be fairly high level.
And looking at all the themes, it was felt that the development, innovation, and economic issues would be best suited to allow all the DCs to contribute and to provide their perspectives.
In addition, they felt they would like to have a special focus on sustainable development. So they proposed a theme that would then read: Development, innovation, and economic issues with a special focus on sustainable development as a theme for a main session that would be run by the DCs. That is the proposal the DCs submitted to the MAG and hope for a favorable consideration of this proposal.
Also, I sent out a briefing paper that has been prepared last year and was updated again. Last year it was felt very useful, especially for newcomers to the MAG that explains a bit the history of the DCs, where they are, where they come from, and what they do.
Now we have 15 DCs that have applied for a slot in the program and all of these 15 DCs would qualify for a slot. And, again, at the last call, they made the request that they be given 90 minutes. Their argument is that the session they have is here for them to consider the work that has been going on throughout the year and they have to revise documents. And some of them only had a 60-minute slot last year, and they felt that was very difficult for them to go through the agenda.
So please look at the documents so you understand better who the DCs are. They are, once again, very bottom-up, self-organized groups of people but they do adhere to some common principles such as they're open to anyone who wants to join. They have open archives and open lists.
And in addition to the 15 DCs who applied for a slot, we have two new ones that have formed themselves. One on small island development states, and the other one on schools of Internet governance. So there are 70 DCs now functional.
With that, I thank you for your attention.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Thank you, Markus. I appreciate that you called everybody's attention to the document as well because when we talk about the total of the IGF activities, what I call the IGF ecosystem, are made up of many component pieces. And most of them have slightly different genesis and a slightly different relationship to the MAG. And it is important that we understand that. We are, by and large, kind of bottom-up in a community set of activities. The MAG plays a role in terms of some coordination of critical points but recognizing the genesis of a lot of the other activities in the ecosystem and getting, I think, some clarity on relationship between those activities in the MAG. And understanding what we can do to nurture and improve all the component pieces is critically important to the work we do here. So I do encourage people to look at the document.
The MAG will take up the questions with respect to workshop slot requests during the MAG meeting. But let me just see if there are any questions here for Markus either on the DCs, their role, purpose, genesis, criteria for being acknowledged as appropriate for a slot here. Anything like that we can get understood or discussed here would be helpful.
So, again, just doing a slow count and waiting to see if there's anybody who has any comments or questions.
Sala, you have the floor.
>>SALANIETA TAMANIKAIWAIMARO: Thank you, Lynn. Salanieta Tamanikaiwaimaro for the record. I would just like to congratulate all those who have been speaking, particularly the intersessionals but especially Markus and the team because I noted on the mailing list -- and I think it should be acknowledged and on the transcripts -- that one of the -- one of the developments from the groups have been actually used by one of the countries. So that's commendable. And it shows a tangible effort that the intersessionals are having on countries and economies. So commendations.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Thank you, Sala.
I don't see any other requests from the floor.
Markus, are there any final comments? Thank you. Thank you for all you do and have done over the years to support that effort as well. We had dynamic coalitions at the very first IGF meeting, if I recall, on principles.
The next item is community engagement and comment time for all of the things that we've just discussed, so kind of a final slot here. We are well ahead of time. See if there are any comments, questions. Appreciate people are probably still a little tired from their flights and things. But if something occurs to you now from an earlier item, this would also be a good time to bring that up.
Seeing no requests for the floor and hoping we haven't surprised Anja too much -- sorry, Mark Carvell. Mark, you have the floor.
>>MARK CARVELL: Yes, thank you very much, Lynn. And good morning, everybody. It's been a very good opening part to the open consultation meeting. I heard a lot of very encouraging reports on progress and statements of expectations for the IGF in Paris. It's been very useful. And look forward to hearing a lot more of the detail about the program development and so on over the course of the meeting.
I just have, first of all, a question going back to Wai-Min's opening statement with regard to the Secretary-General's panel on digital cooperation which we in the U.K. government -- if I understood correctly, that's what you are referring. We in the U.K. government have been following the development of that initiative which we understand will be announced formally shortly.
Very interested to hear that Chengetai is, if I understood correctly, is going to move across to the secretariat for the new panel on digital cooperation. So congratulations to Chengetai. I know the IGF has progressed over the years very much with very active contribution from Chengetai, his leadership for the secretariat has been an enormous resource and success -- leading to the success of the IGF as its developed. I'm sure the IGF community will miss him in that respect.
But, of course, there is a linkage across to the Secretary-General's panel on digital cooperation. And Chengetai will bring with him all the experience and the importance of the IGF and its potential role in respect of assisting the Secretary-General with his panel of experts.
My specific question is whether, assuming -- in the months leading up to the IGF in Paris, there will be the opportunity at the IGF for a report and a progress statement for the IGF community on the panel, its terms of reference, its objectives, and what exactly will be the opportunity for the IGF community in relation to the panel's work and what happens with panel's recommendations on digital cooperation. Is it possible to indicate or signal how this important linkage will be manifested in such a way at the IGF itself in Paris? Thank you very much.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Yes, Wai-Min, you have the floor.
>>WAI-MIN KWOK: Thank you. Thanks for that. I think it's a very important question, but I'm afraid that I do not have a lot of the answers. And as you rightly mentioned, there will be a formal announcement. And I'm not part of the -- part of the group involved in this actually at the Office of the Secretary-General.
But as you know, this is actually part of the broader Secretary-General strategy on -- tapping on new technologies, frontier technologies, emerging technologies, and all these fronts.
And what you mention is actually, well, one explicit initiative that's -- I'm actually including in the earlier statement because as you rightly mention, Chengetai played a key role and to acknowledge his continuing leadership also in a way to acknowledge -- he spoke as well as the IGF office of cross over to the secretariat.
I do not have all the details, but we do know that an announcement will be coming very soon.
As to your question about the potential linkage of IGF with the work of this initiative, I believe we will get an answer from the office and in particular from our colleague here Chengetai himself.
And what we do -- I mean, we certainly very much know that Chengetai will continue to -- even in a different office, continue to lend his advice because of all the past support and his institutional knowledge. But at the same time, he will be able to -- in his supporting role as part of the secretariat will be able to see what (indiscernible) engages in terms of getting the two secretariat to work together.
So I will stop here because I really -- to be honest, I don't have more details about this initiative, but the announcement should be coming soon. That's all I can say.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Thank you, Wai-Min. I have a couple of other things I can add, in that -- I think everybody seems to know the announcement is coming soon. Friday morning at 9:30, we're proposing that we start earlier here in the room and we would have an update from one of the chairs of the secretariat who will then be free to speak about the initiative as the announcement will have occurred and can answer a lot of the questions that are coming up here. I would also like to say that for Chengetai, he also has some privileged information. I think you would probably appreciate people not leaning on him to share any of that ahead of the announcement. He can't, and it just puts him in an awkward position. And, you know, Chengetai's heart is obviously very, very much with the IGF. I think we also need to respect that when he goes to that new position, he's there in that position, and it's not really fair to ask anybody to do two jobs at once. And, frankly, I think if he's participating still quite deeply in the work of the IGF, I actually think that puts him at a disadvantage in his new secretariat role. Of course the secretariat role is here meant to be neutral and reflect the work and draw on your past expertise. So I just really, I think, ask the community to be quite thoughtful about when we kind of pull a Chengetai card. It's not fair to him and I know he will bend over backwards to do everything he can to support it. And again, I think we just need to make sure we're -- we're thoughtful of him. We have a lot of experts and a lot of contacts in here that can jump in and help, and I think we will need to rely on them as we go forward.
I will now turn to Chengetai, having tried to give him a little cover to see if there's anything else he wants to add.
>>CHENGETAI MASANGO: No comment.
[ Laughter ]
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Again, I think we're very pleased that we will actually have one of the co-chairs of the secretariat. One of them actually comes from the broader IGF community. He won't be here. He's at another part of the world. But the other co-chair will be here, and, you know, very, very, very early on in this announcement in their activities. He has agreed to come to address the IGF because he recognizes our role in this greater set of activities and is very keen to work with us. So 9:30 here in this room on Friday.
So I'll give everybody another moment to see if there are other comments on the agenda items from this morning.
And if not, we'll move to the NRI initiatives. Anja Gengo, the focal point, will kick us off. And I think we should, at the same time point out, so that people have time to adjust their lunchtime schedules if they weren't already aware, is that there is a formal gathering proposed for the community, for MAG members, for NRI members as well. That obviously will follow this formal presentation but we thought it was a good opportunity, giving half the MAG are, in fact, coming in the first year, to just have an informal, almost a meet-and-greet. Are there other questions? Are there additional that we could understand about the respective groups that would help? And of course how do we actually best nurture and support all those activities going forward?
So it's scheduled for 1:45 to 2:45 in order to allow people time to get a quick lunch, come back, and then allow us time to clear the room and set up for a 3:00 start.
In this room. And we will have transcription and streaming and everything as well to support online participation. Or no transcription. We will have the streaming to...
So, Anja, you have the floor.
>>ANJA GENGO: Thank you very much, Chair.
I am just going to kindly ask Luis to share a couple of slides that myself and the NRI colleagues, primarily the coordinators, have prepared for you. Just to make a brief reflection on the origin and the nature of the NRIs individually and collectively, and also on the integration of the NRIs collectively into the annual IGF program and kind of to explain the nature of the collaboration that exists between the IGF and the NRIs.
So while waiting for the slides to be shown, I would just maybe quickly start from the origin and background of the NRIs. As you know, the IGF stems its mandate from the Tunis Agenda for the Information Society, Paragraph 72, and the Tunis Agenda initially didn't call for the formation of the IGF processes on the level of country or region, subregion or in any sense with any other communities but it did encourage the multistakeholder approach, of course. Recognized it as a fundamental principle, and encouraged the development of multistakeholder processes on the national, regional, and international levels to discussed and collaborate matters of interest.
And in that sense, some countries and regions did recognize that the annual IGF program is actually a very effective way to engage the community into discussion on the Internet governance pertaining matters but it cannot encompass the whole world that easily. And that maybe a pragmatical solution would be that each community, given the diversity of issues that are existing across countries and regions, should organize their own IGF processes.
So in 2006, basically certain national and subregional IGFs started their processes. They were followed by a number of regional IGFs. And the IGF secretariat recognized the value, first of all, of these processes, so in 2009 it started to liaise with the NRIs more and to take official records and publish them on the IGF website.
Today, the network has 105 officially recognized national regional, subregional new to IGFs. So just very quickly, how do we run the recognition process from the secretariat side. So what was agreed among the NRIs much before my time as the focal point with the NRI, so I think beginning of 2006-'7, was that the NRIs will follow the core characteristics and principles of the IGF, which means that they will be, first of all, multistakeholder. Their processes will be organized in a bottom-up manner, completely open and transparent. They will be inclusive of all views within their respective communities, and of course noncommercial.
In this sense, I think it's very important for us to recognize, underline and remind ourselves that the NRIs are completely organic in that sense. Nobody called for them, and they are independent and autonomous as such multistakeholder formations.
Over the time in 2015, '16, the IGF secretariat also tried to outline these basic principles that the NRIs network adhere to, so we developed the NRI tool kit which was the very first document that was translated to all six U.N. languages thanks to the volunteers from the NRI communities, which I think it's really worth of all respect to our the colleagues that helped to do this.
The youth IGFs are of course very important within the IG broad ecosystem, so in that sense the secretariat is trying to put efforts also to bring visibility for the young people that are working through the multistakeholder and bottom-up processes to discuss the matters of Internet governance and to engage with all of us and bring new ideas.
So this is -- this graph shows the -- this continued evolutionary growth of the NRIs across the IGF mandate. So if you look at in 2011, which was basically the continuation of the second mandate, we had 37 national, subregional, and regional, and -- well, and regional IGFs. Actually, the youth IGFs were not recognized as such in this year. They were classified as others.
Then in 2015, the network growth for ten more. And today from this position, we have basically almost double number of the NRIs, which is 105. So we have 77 countries that are running the national IGFs. On a level of subregion, region, we have 17 IGFs. And also there are 11 youth IGFs developed in various communities.
There are six, at this moment, national IGFs that the secretariat is running extensive communication with. And we are hoping that we will have these processes finalized in the near future.
On this map, on the next slide, you can see the geographical coverage of the NRIs currently, and you can see that there is a very good balance when it comes about the presence of the IGF processes across all the continents.
The NRIs of course run their processes with a goal to organize an annual meeting just as the IGF itself. Last year we had 70 IGFs organized across the world. So far, for this year, we have 35 NRIs that confirmed their dates. We are expecting this number to be doubled just based on our previous experience. And you can see that currently the majority of the meetings are actually happening in July. And from the previous experience, I think October and November will be probably the busiest month.
On the next slide we actually wanted to bring closer to you the meeting and the atmosphere that's happening at the national regional and levels when it comes to the IGF processes. So the IGF secretariat was fortunate enough to be present at the second Afghanistan event that happened this year. It was a two-day event including the Day 0 -- Baltsai (phonetic) was a three-days event -- that attracted almost 200 participants. I don't know whether Omar is here with us, the coordinator, but I will just add from our experience that it was such a valuable experience for the IGF secretariat. The Afghanistan IGF operates in challenging conditions given the security situation, first of all, and running the bottom-up process in that sense is challenging there. And it was impressive, what we have seen, which was basically achieved just by personal commitments of an excellent team that exists there that is composed of stakeholders coming from different sectors and a lot of, I have to say, young people from the universities, from inside the countries that are showing a lot of enthusiasm, impressive knowledge, to discuss these matters and to improve the situation in the Afghanistan.
So you can see a couple of photos. What's very interesting here, and I think we pointed it out last year as well, is the Kids Academy, which is very unique when it -- unique practice when it comes about the NRIs. We had the pleasure to attend in person that academy and to liaise with the children that were -- I think the age range was between 7 and 12, and it was just an incredible life experience, I would say. And when you see how they see the Internet and issues that they face from their personal level, then I think really you kind of conclude that it's worth of investing a lot of efforts in organizing these processes.
Following later in June, the MAG chair and the IGF secretariat had the pleasure to attend the 11th annual meeting of EuroDIG which is the regional IGF for Europe. It was again an impressive meeting I would say that really opened a lot of questions and provided a lot of insights for new knowledge and experiences. So it attracted a lot of participants, couple of hundred. The records on the website says 700. It discussed various matters such as the GDPR of course, the DNS, the freedom of expression. A lot of human rights were on the agenda, fake news, IoT, blockchain, new emerging technologies, and so on.
We of course used these regional and subregional IGFs as excellent opportunities to meet also with the national IGFs that are present there, so on the Day 0 we had an excellent meeting. The EuroDIG is calling it the NRIs Assembly, where there was interesting discussion because the discussion engaged I would say internal and external perspectives to the NRIs. And maybe later over that lunch, informal meeting we can refer also to come of the outcomes of that meeting and discuss it further.
Moving on, later the secretariat of course cannot travel due to financial constraints to all these meetings, but we try to use the benefits of the Internet and connect online wherever we can. To some of the meetings we're invited in a formal role to speak on various matters. So there are just a couple of examples. Unfortunately, I am limited with time so I couldn't put all the photos of the meetings where we participated at this year, but you can see the Albanian IGF was the first Albanian IGF that happened after almost three years' long preparatory work. The 14th Caribbean IGF happened. This is the IGF that actually predates the global IGF itself. The Gambia IGF hosted an excellent meeting with an excellent set of topics. And also of course the SEDIG, the Southeastern European IGF.
And just moving next. So after these slides where you've seen what is actually happening in practice on the NRI levels in terms of the IGF processes, we just wanted to quickly tackle on the integration of the NRIs into the give annual meeting or better yet, into the entire IGF preparatory process that leads to the annual meeting.
So historically speaking, it was a journey for all the NRIs until I joined in 2015 to the secretariat, so I will speak from 2015 on. I'm glad that Mr. Markus Kummer is with us. Markus was with the secretariat from the beginning. Chengetai, of course. So maybe later on, we could just discuss briefly this historic overview of how the secretariat was, first of all, but also the MAG was putting efforts to engage the NRIs collectively as a network during the annual meetings.
But since 2015, I remember there was the first meeting that I joined, and in that time there was a session that was classified as "other" where the NRIs gather to discuss certain issues. And what was said is a lot of potential is probably not used in the best possible way -- that is, with countries and regions -- and that maybe we should also review the practice on our side and see with the MAG how we can better integrate the NRIs.
The continuous and fixed constant support from the IGF secretariat was requested at that meeting, and then the management of the secretariat responded in 2016 by establishing a position of the dedicated focal point for the NRIs. And that exists until today.
And then of course we also consulted with the MAG. At that time, the current MAG chair joined the IGF and started chairing the MAG meeting. So we discussed a lot how this can be changed. And following the bottom-up request by the NRIs, the NRIs' main session was requested. Some of you probably remember at that time Ms. Marilyn Cade as a MAG member was appointed by the MAG chair to support the NRIs from that position. So through Marilyn's position, that session was requested and in 2016 the first main session for the NRIs was held. We also had the coordination session, which was also, historically speaking, a unique session because for the first time it allowed for the NRIs to meet face to face also with the colleagues from UNDESA, IGF secretariat and the MAG chair all together in one room. And I think it was a very productive meeting where we kind of explained very clearly what is the nature of the collaboration between the IGF and the NRIs with clearly stating out that everyone are in respect to the NRI's independency and autonomousy and in respect of the great work that is happening within their communities.
And of course in 2017, we continued to brainstorm how can we better integrate into the annual meeting, along, of course, with the MAG. So the second main session was granted to the NRIs. It was focused on the digital rights.
We also -- I mean, the NRIs also thought that maybe it would be useful that we, as a pilot, organize a set of collaborative sessions, sessions that will kind of be exchanges between the NRIs on good and -- on best practices and some not that good and ways for improvements on substantive issues. Those are very interesting sessions that attracted a lot of participants. If you look at the IGF website in the official records and the recordings and also the reports, then you will see that they were really well attended, and a lot of follow-up questions were posed to the NRIs.
The taking stock process that followed the Geneva meeting actually outlined by many stakeholders that, in general, the presence of the NRIs was very useful in this sense.
The booth at the IGF Village also is traditionally organized by the NRIs. It serves, first of all, as a meeting point for the NRIs, but also for the other stakeholders that would like to learn more.
And as I said at the beginning, in Geneva meeting, for the first time we met with the youth IGFs. That meeting went beyond the youth IGF initiatives. It also attracted many stakeholders that are just interested in strengthening the youth engagement at the IGF. And the process is still under way from the IGF side to see how we can strengthen the engagement much young people at the IGF.
Finally to include with the last slide, what are the plans for the IGF 2018 in Paris. So as I said at the beginning, the NRIs do see the IGF's annual meeting as an excellent place to meet, formally and informally. And they have a lot to bring and to contribute to the process in all. So in that sense, we ran the very extensive bottom-up consultative process across the NRIs for a couple of months following the Geneva meeting to see what's the view of the NRIs. It was agreed in a bottom-up manner that the main session should be organized also this year by the NRIs and the session should be focused on the evolution of Internet governance, specifically on applications of multistakeholder model from the perspectives of the NRIs.
It was also agreed that the NRIs' collaborative sessions were very useful, both for the wider community and, of course, for the NRIs because it strengthened the engagement among individual NRIs. So in that sense, these were also requested, and we will see in the next two days what will be the response from the MAG.
The NRIs submitted the request for the booth again at the IGF village, so we will try to develop some publications and info material for the community. We're also trying to work on developing second publication of the NRIs. Hopefully the first draft will be with the NRIs by the end of this month. That publication is aiming to explain the records of the NRIs and also pragmatically how the NRIs are applying the core IGF principles in various communities.
Finally, we will continue with organizing the coordination session co-organized by the NRIs. There's an open work meeting between the NRIs, the colleagues from UN DESA, the MAG chair, and, of course, the IGF secretariat to try to see how we can improve further long-term speaking collaboration that exists between the IGF and the NRIs.
And I think on the last slide, there is just information on how you can join the NRIs' mailing list and be in touch with all of us. I would like to thank you for your attention. And I'm at your disposal if you have any questions. Thank you.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Thank you, Anja. I would like to recognize Anja's critical --
[ Applause ]
-- Anja's critical efforts in terms of in her role as a focus point of the NRIs. It's an awful lot of work and quite challenging given the global reach and the global effort. I'm not sure she sleeps much, in fact.
So I think -- it's obvious that NRIs are critically important. I mean, discussions at a global level are great and very useful and very, very helpful. But at the end of the day, implementation happens locally and we need these conversations to both feed up at the global level so the global discussions are properly and broadly informed and, likewise, that having learned from those global discussions that there is an outlet and a vehicle to actually take those discussions back to the local level which is, I think, what their original genesis was and why they continue to grow and frankly I think move from strength to strength.
Let me see if there are any comments or questions. We'd invite if there are any other comments from any of the NRI members, co-facilitators, leaders, or community members. It's an open floor. We had, in fact, an hour for this agenda item and we're 35 minutes in. So we have plenty of time to kind of explore or answer any questions. Again, invite any NRI members to come in if they have some additional perspectives.
So we have two in the queue. We have -- not sure if it's Su Sonia Herring or Sonia Herring. Sonia, you have the floor.
>> SU SONIA HERRING: Hello, can you hear me? Hello?
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Hi, we can hear you. Those that are in the room here need to use the ear pieces. Channel 0, I think. So just give everybody a second to put them on. And, Sonia, you can begin.
>> SU SONIA HERRING: Let me introduce myself. I'm Su Sonia Herring. I'm a coordinator of the youth IGF Turkey and also on the executive committee of SEEDIG and also a member of NCUC, an IGO.
Anja already mentioned some things about the booth. I was wondering when exactly the approval or the temp approval of the booth spaces will be announced to the community.
And a second unrelated question is about youth engagement. First of all, I really appreciate the IGF secretariat and the MAG's increased efforts on youth engagement and hearing -- and having the public comments. And maybe you have already seen in the public comments the question of the secretariat or MAG planning on combining these efforts with already existing efforts, especially with YCIG, the official dynamic coalition of -- Youth Coalition on Internet Governance.
Or another example could be Council of Europe also has increased efforts in youth participation in Internet governance. So the plan to start from scratch, which may lead to a bit of fragmentation or repetition or -- like I said, the YCIG has increased their activities on this. And there's many resources and work on the mailing list will be consolidated with the youth engagement efforts of the IGF.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Thank you, Su Sonia. I'm going to ask Chengetai if he has a response to the first question with respect to when the accepted booths will be known, either Anja or Chengetai. And then see if there are any other responses from Anja.
>>CHENGETAI MASANGO: For the booths, the deadline has already passed.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Accepted.
>>CHENGETAI MASANGO: Accepted?
>> (off microphone).
>>ANJA GREGO: Sonia, Anja speaking. Thank you for the question. We are reviewing the submitted questions for the IGF village. And by the end of next week, we will have the final list published on the IGF Web site along with the outline of the village. Thank you.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Anja, did you have any other comments on Su Sonia's comments?
>>ANJA GREGO: Yes, on the second question.
Chengetai, can I?
So, yes, thank you, Sonia, also for bringing up this question of the youth engagement at the IGF and the efforts that the secretariat is putting in order to strengthen in and communicate with the community more to see what are the ideas. It is true, as I said, starting from the Geneva meeting when we met with a number of stakeholders that requested -- well, advised the secretariat to maybe put focus on the young people, we then continued to run public consultations to actually explore what is in the public and what are the ideas of how we can do that, of course, within our capacity.
So we also continued to run a couple of online public consultations. They're all followed by formal reports. You can find them on the IGF Web site. And in that sense, the community was very concrete with a couple of ideas, how we can engage better young people into the whole preparatory process of the IGF and, of course, especially at the annual meeting.
So those ideas were summarized clear with the community. And they were -- I think for almost five weeks, they were subject for public comments in the online platform at the IGF Web site. There are a lot of valuable comments that were received. And currently what we are doing on the secretariat side, we're looking at the comments trying to see what's feasible, what's not feasible from the secretariat side summarizing everything and we will come back to the community as soon as possible with an outcome and feedback from our side. Of course, everything has been communicated to the MAG. So as much is of MAG concern, I'm pretty sure that MAG will also respond.
On the question whether we will start from scratch, I don't think that's wise. It was never the intention of the IGF. So in that sense, we do communicate with the colleagues from Council of Europe to see what are their initiatives regarding the youths' engagement and capacity-building in that sense.
The communication is under way. At EuroDIG we met with a couple of colleagues, so that was also a very useful conversation. So we will also see in that sense whether we can maybe join forces in order to achieve something that's going to be useful for the wider community.
For the Youth Coalition on Internet Governance, we are very much communicating, yes, with all of them, especially with -- I think they call themselves facilitators or co-chairs. I'm not quite sure. But a lot with Michael and Nadia as a new co-chair. So in that sense, the YCIG will be very much involved in the process. They already helped a lot with their valuable inputs and their expertise they have on the methods related to the position of young people in this ecosystem.
I hope, Sonia, this responds. Please let me know if you have follow-up questions.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Thank you, Anja much.
Next in the queue we have Renata, who I think is seeing she is listed as registered online participant.
I should also mention, this session is also open for MAG members. This really is about engaging and working to understand NRI-MAG relationships. So everybody should feel free to speak.
And, Renata, you have the floor.
>>RENATA AQUINO RIBEIRO: Yes, many points were already made by Sonia. I would just reinforce as an NGO who had a booth last year, that would be great to have these activities and partnerships involving the booths. We talked a lot about signage and integrations really between the booths and probably some impromptu onsite activities. So just wanted to reinforce Sonia's point. Thanks.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Thank you, Renata.
Paul, you have the floor.
>> PAUL ROWNEY: Hi. Paul Rowney. I'm a member of the working group for the Namibian NRI. We call ourselves the NAM IGF. Also a MAG member. And I want to thank Anja. She expressed our thoughts well. And just to add that the NRIs are important to us. They amplify the work that we do in the MAG. And the work is at the national and regional levels. So what we're doing here and the lessons learned and what we discuss is being discussed at those national and regional levels.
It's important as a MAG that we recognize what is happening at the grassroots level, the bottom-up approach. And a lot of the workshops, they have some influence from that engagement between the different stakeholders here with the global IGF, the MAG, and the NRIs.
So I just wanted to add to what has already been said, our feeling from the NRIs is that we are important and that we should be incorporated at these discussions at the global IGFs and have that relevance there. And I'm hoping that the members here will join us later and have a short lunch and join us so we can discuss in a bit more detail about what we're actually doing there at those levels, at the grassroots levels. Thank you.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Thank you, Paul.
Nigel, Nigel Hickson, you have the floor.
>>NIGEL HICKSON: Yes, thank you very much. It might be a good idea -- oh, yeah. It's a bit technical, this stuff.
[ Laughter ]
Nigel Hickson, ICANN. Thank you, Madam Chair. And thank you very much, Anja, for your excellent overview of what is happening. I mean, I'm not going to give a long speech on the NRIs.
But it occurs to me there probably are other people like me around that in our early days of involvement in the IGF, because of perhaps our time constraints or our narrow vision or whatever -- and I'm not making any excuses -- we tended to concentrate on the global IGF and didn't really get involved in the NRIs unless perhaps we bumped into them as we were walking through our own particular town or our own particular location.
In recent years in ICANN I have been fortunate and been able to experience some of the regional IGFs and the national IGFs. I think what is brought home to us by the reports we hear and by attending some of these meetings, this is where a lot of the real activity is done in the multistakeholder frameworks.
We often talk about the importance of multistakeholder initiatives. In ICANN, we talk about the importance of our local communities, of our local at-large memberships. In ISOC, the ISOC chapters do an incredible job as well of bringing people together. And, also, we have national and regional initiatives of the IGF.
And I think this is really -- this is really important. And it's wonderful to attend and it's wonderful to see the youth involved in these initiatives because it is this involvement fighting against blocking, fighting against censorship, fighting against restrictions of the Internet, campaigning for an open Internet, campaigning for a single Internet, campaigning for freedom of expression. These are the -- these are the attributes which many of us that perhaps are getting rather too senior in this area were fighting for 25 years ago with no real involvement, with no real structure. Now we see this marvelous, bottom-up, grassroots approach to these important issues. And I think we should be very supportive, indeed.
And we need to bring this support, as Paul has just said, into the global IGF in whatever way. So people are attending there and see they're not just attending a conference. They are not just attending something in Paris because the senior government leaders, which I hope certainly there will be. But they're attending something that's so much more important than that, a grassroots movement to preserve what we value about the Internet. Thank you.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Thank you, Nigel.
Next we have Raquel in the queue. Raquel.
>>RAQUEL GATTO: Thank you very much, Lynn. And thank you so much, Anja, for all the great work you've been doing. I think we said this over and over, and it's never enough to thank you for this.
I will be brief. I think we have also some opportunities to talk with the NIR leaders. It's also in terms of some updates from the LAC region. So there will be the third youth LAC IGF to be held in about two weeks, on the 29th of July. I'm not sure how much they're feeding -- I would also be happy to liaise with them and bring those inputs for the work that you are doing.
Also, with Vibrin (phonetic) -- the youth observatory that we have, Vibrin, Latin America is participating.
Also, regarding the more engagement with the NIRs, just to share a new practice that we're doing together with my colleague, Miguel Estrada and with LACNIC who is also the secretariat for the LAC IGF, we started last year with this informal conversation NIR leaders and really anyone interested to perhaps develop their NIR initiative at the local level. It was a good surprise. It was well-attended and everybody's interested.
So this year we are preparing not only because we have limited time in the schedule to start earlier. So next week, on Thursday and Friday, we're going to hold two pre-calls or preparation calls or Webinars, if you want to say, one in Spanish, one in English because of the language difference in the region. And the idea is to share studies and mappings that were done, including the GIS watch addition last year, including Carolina Aguerre's study on mapping the NIRs in the region. So they're going to present.
And then from there, we are willing to do a survey to identify which are the topics, the hot topics, that they want to see and discuss. And then that's going to be the shaping the discussions during LAC IGF which will take place during the 21st July to the 2nd of August. And I don't have the date specifically for this meeting, but I can update later. So just to give a little bit of feedback. Thank you.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Thank you, Raquel.
Mark, Mark Carvell, you have the floor.
>>MARK CARVELL: Yes, thank you, Lynn. Mark Carvell, U.K. government, Department for Digital Culture, Media and Sport. And I'm a member of the steering committee of the U.K. IGF. And I'm observing as a nonMAG member at this meeting.
I just wanted to, first of all, remark upon the remarkable proliferation of national IGFs in recent years as we have heard to over 70 now as accredited by the global IGF.
The U.K. IGF is one of the first, if not the first, national IGF back in 2007. And the U.K. government was instrumental along with our national country code domain registry, Nominet for .UK, in establishing our national IGF as performing two key functions to engage with stakeholders in the U.K. in preparation for the global IGF and to crystallize ideas for proposals to submit for consideration in the IGF program and, secondly, to cascade back from the global IGF to the U.K. stakeholder community. So that was the concept for the U.K. IGF, and we've adhered to that.
This year actually our national U.K. event is on the 22nd of November. So it turns out to be after the global IGF, so it's very much with a kind of cascading back, feedback provision, function in mind for the program.
But my main point in taking the mic was to underline for us the criticality of the government being involved along with the stakeholders in the coordination, through membership of the Steering Committee of the UK IGF, and in the actual national UK IGF event. For example, we are planning, as government, to have a session on our policy, our national policy on online safety and addressing issues like terrorist use of the Internet and disinformation and hate speech and online bullying and so on.
So we seized the opportunity of the UK IGF to connect with the stakeholder community and explain and open out our process of policy development in that way. So it's a very important opportunity for us in government as policymakers provided by the UK IGF, and that also of course links into the global IGF discussions on many of these key policy challenges and opportunities.
So the NRIs session I think provides an opportunity to compare the experience of national IGFs in connecting with the government policymakers. The extent to which they're involved or sponsoring or helping to facilitate the national IGF is an interesting issue. And I hope there may be some useful comparison of experience of connecting with governments at the national level through the IGFs.
So that was my main point in taking the mic, just to underline and broadcast the message that these national processes, to be coherent and consistently multistakeholder, need to involve government policymakers. And that's -- As I say, the experience of that has not been easy for some initiatives. I'm well aware of that, and there may be ways of drawing in the experience of others by the UK IGF which have been more successful in that respect in overcoming those challenges to ensure the national IGFs contribute and maximize their contributions, both at the national level and in the opportunities provided for them at the global IGF.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Thank you, Mark.
Anja, is there anything you want to respond to or comment on? Again, this is in the nature of ensuring that everybody sort of understands what, you know, the current nature and the evolution of the NRIs is.
>>ANJA GENGO: I didn't hear a concrete question but I heard, of course, extremely valuable inputs that I'm hearing from the NRIs basically on a daily basis. And Mark said well in his last lines that these are not -- these are not processes that are easily established with some communities. Somewhere it's very difficult, first of all, to introduce the term "Internet governance." For some it's very difficult to get certain stakeholders somewhere to act on equal footing, which is very important with the IGF. Of course the funding is a huge issue. And in that sense I think giving visibility and credibility to the NRI processes is very important because that also helps them a lot for developing their budgets, attracting donors, and then, in that sense, providing more for their communities.
So that would be also my input. But I do see that there are a couple of colleagues.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Thank you, Anja.
One of the details to be recognized as an NRI by the IGF secretariat is that the Steering Committee needs to have at least three of the four stakeholders present and active. So that is one of the -- you know, the pressure points, if you will, to really force broad participation in the management.
Marilyn Cade. Marilyn, you have the floor. Marilyn is also participating remotely so you'll need to put your ear pieces on in order to hear her.
>>MARILYN CADE: Thank you, Lynn.
I would like to open my comments by noting my name is Marilyn Cade, just to make sure that the record is representing my comments, and to acknowledge the terrific work of our focal point, Anja Gengo.
I'm going to just say, because many of the MAG members are new, that it is really important to understand that for many, many years in our history we didn't have a focal point at the IGF. And in 2015, the NRIs themselves, they weren't called NRIs at that time, made a call for an established focal point. And that is what we should recognize as the lynch point as to why we now have such significant growth. And I think it's important to understand that Anja is doing almost daily coaching of new NRIs. And I think it's really important to recognize that.
I do want to comment on a couple of other things. First of all, I keep seeing suggestions for certain regions having a dominant role or a, you know, "we can do it better" or "we're already doing it." And I want to caution against that. Every region is unique and every country is unique. And I think that's extremely important to remember and to recognize. And all of my work with the NRIs is about advancing what is unique in your country and what is important to your country. And I hope that the MAG will recognize whatever people say is aggregated, needs to be taken with a grain of salt, so to speak, and to ask are we hearing and reflecting the voice of each of the countries. Every country is so unique. I know you're going to talk about that later, but I just want to reinforce that for the NRIs.
Finally, I'm just going to make a comment about something that was said by a preceding speaker. Many of the NRIs that grow up organically struggle with engaging their governments, but by creating their NRI, they then establish relationships with their ministries and with multiple ministries. And I urge you to really understand how important that is.
I could name many countries who have brought their ministers to the IGF and then engaged them back in their national IGF. So I hope when you think about the role and activities of the NRIs, you will think about how the reflection of the national issues and the global issues are like a mirror, and that reflection makes a difference at the national level. We cannot change national law by talking globally, but we can reflect a global perspective into the national level to change national law.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Thank you, Marilyn. Yet another sign of Marilyn's dedication to this, I suspect she's been up since 4:00 a.m., U.S. time, participating here.
Jennifer. Jennifer Chung, you have the floor.
>>JENNIFER CHUNG: Thank you, Chair. Sorry for my appearance. I just came straight from the airport, but I want to echo a lot of sentiment that my NRI colleagues have expressed to Anja as a focal point; that without her tireless and really engaging efforts helping us through all of the issues we have and highlighting a lot of things that we do and creating a lot of, you know, highlight onto the very good work that all the NRIs do at a national, subregional and regional level, I mean, this would not be recognized by the MAG or even the general IGF community. So thank you very much for that.
I wanted to really put my hat as secretariat of the Asia-Pacific regional IGF on. We are really happy at this time we are finally going to the Pacific region after nine additions, in the middle of next month, in August. I think it's 11th through 13th. And we very much appreciate that the Pacific IGF will also be held in conjunction to bring to light all the different and very crucial issues that small Island developing states do have and do face. Asia-Pacific is a very, very diverse region, both geographically, culturally, linguistically. So we are very happy to be able to highlight this especially with this addition.
One of our vice chairs of our multistakeholder Steering Committee Sylvia Cadena, is also here, so she can add to whatever I am saying, and also very happy that we also have another fellow new MAG member from the Pacific Islands as well, Dalsie. So very happy that the NRI colleagues are also being recognized as MAG members as well and contributing very greatly to this very important process.
I think Mark brought up a very good, very crucial point of continuing the engagement with governments at a national level and to compare the experience of national IGFs in connecting with the government policymakers. So I wanted to share I guess two interesting developments that happened this past week in Hong Kong.
We had the very first Hong Kong Internet Governance Forum roundtable which called together civil society, academia, industry and technical community as well as legislators to talk about how the privacy laws should be reformed. So this initiative is currently in the process of being recognized by the IGF secretariat, but it also learns from a different format that the Japan IGF uses, which it's not so much an annual meeting as more of a recurring, smaller, periodic quarterly meetings held throughout the year that actually helps very much with the intersessional work and can focus maybe two or three hours on a single topic that can bring together. You know, I guess the legislators don't really seem to be too engaged in the Internet governance processes of a lot of, I guess, NRIs and also at the global level. So this is something that we're very happy to be able to actually have for the first time.
And the second development I wanted to share very much is the youth engagement. I'm very enthusiastic that a lot of our NRI colleagues as well as MAG members do recognize the importance of continuing engagement with youths. I want to commend Anja again for her tireless efforts to bring that together. So thank you very much, Anja.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Thank you, Jennifer.
Maybe this is a good opportunity as well to say anything you can do in those meetings to increase support for holding an IGF in the Asia-Pacific region would be greatly appreciated. We've got quite a concentration of IGFs here over a short period on this continent, and we are actively working and hoping to get some IGFs in Asia-Pacific and certainly in Africa and other regions as well. So if there's anything we can do to support interest, answer queries, answer questions, we are very much here to do that.
Again, it has to be hosted by a government. This isn't your typical conference where you can simply find some sponsors and a venue and go forward. So again, if there's anything we can do to help, we would appreciate that.
Mary Uduma. Mary, you had the floor. I saw you come in and I'm just seeing where you are now.
I would encourage at the lunch break for the concentration of people that are way back there in the corners of the room to come up. There's quite a few spaces up here as well.
Mary, you have the floor.
>>MARY UDUMA: Thank you very much. For the records, my name is Mary Uduma, and I coordinate the Nigerian Internet Governance Forum as well as the West African Internet Governance Forum.
Just to join my voice in thanking Anja for the good work, and my colleagues. But also in the same boat with me in the evangelizing the good work of the IGF, and creating legitimacy for the IGF at the national level.
As of today, in my own country, we have just finished our IGF, and we had it two days, 2nd and 3rd of July. What is trending in my -- in the press in my country today is what we said at the IGF. And our theme for this year was "Internet, A Great Enabler for Good Governance." And you can agree with me that we have challenges with good governance.
And one thing that was said and what is occurring on and trending in our media is that Internet is the destructive and also a leveler for between the suppliers of good governance and the demand of good governance. In our own region, in my own country, the suppliers of good governance have had very high upper hand, and they are monopolies and they dictate what to happen. But the demand side has not been coming up. And so during our IGF we were able to raise this. And the government -- our minister was there, Minister of Communication was there, and made a lot of promises. And also, I want to say that the -- the multistakeholder approach and model is being adopted greatly. And there's no more this question of -- question of what IGF is all about, what are we going to get from IGF, because we have been running the national IGF.
And so it's not against saying that we have had a good time. We have done six, seven years of great multistakeholder process. And what we want to do next now is to track our recommendations, where and which ministry or organization in Nigeria that have been taking notes of our recommendation and using it as policy, throw in our policies.
We know that we have our regulator, the telecom regulator. They have adopted some of our recommendations. Our government also adopted some of our recommendations. But what we intend to do is we are setting up a working group that will track that in order to know that, to see whether these -- the issues we raise each year, and the same we come about, we determine to hold on to each year without making any impact.
The other thing as I said, as evangelist of multistakeholderism, there's nothing we are doing in Nigeria that people will not talk about multistakeholder. So they want to involve the civil society. If you are going to throw out any policy, the civil society must be part of it. Even when we do tendering in my country now, if you publish your tender, we are going to evaluate it, the civil society will come to check what you are doing with that. We are going by what you said you should do. So that is one of the things that Internet governance at my local level has been able to bring about.
So at the West African level, almost all the countries at West Africa are starting their processes. And this year we are even including a school of Internet governance for West Africa. And why did we do that? The Francophonie countries in my region, they have not been participating so much in the school of Internet governance because of language issues. So we are trying to bring them in, make sure that they are part of it, make sure that they understand what Internet governance is all about.
So in our (indiscernible), we are very, very happy with what has been happening, the outcomes of engagement with the civil society, technical community, the private sector as well as the -- as well as our government.
Our greatest funders in our online environment is our government establishments. So they fund us. And what do we do? We try to work with them early enough when they are preparing their budgets so they will be able to include us in their budgets.
We also have funding from public -- I mean private sector, like the operators. They give us in kind. Sometimes they give us in cash. And I will not stop until I appreciate the work the IGS -- IGFSA has been doing in funding us as well.
So the relationship between the IG- -- I mean the NRIs and also the MAG, I think the truth is that MAG -- the NRIs are the extension where the work of MAG will be made visible at the local level. The work of IGF is made visible at the local level.
So the engagement will continue. And one person that attended a meeting said to me even if the IGF at the global level fails, I think you have succeeded at the local level.
And so I will encourage us and -- encourage us to support these efforts that we are doing in order to create this legitimacy, create this visibility, create these outcomes and help in shaping policies at our local level that would have been against the Internet.
So our people are admitting that the Internet is the way to go in making sure we have good governance. Thank you.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Thank you, Mary --
Sala, Sala, you have the floor.
>>SALANIETA TAMANIKAIWAIMARO: Salanieta Tamanikaiwaimaro for the record and speaking in my individual capacity and also wearing several hats, one of which is through BrightPath Foundation, an international nonprofit organization focused on building global capacity, particularly with young people and a lot of work through mobile app cams, tech cams, (indiscernible) cams have been done in the Caribbean and in the Pacific. The foundation is actually led by Bevil Wooding who is also ARIN outreach coordinator.
Having said that, last year for the first time we had the Pacific IGF -- Pacific Youth IGF, not the first Pacific IGF, but -- that was the second Pacific IGF, but it was the first Pacific Youth IGF. One of the critical outcomes that actually came from that impacted the national landscape because not long after one of the interactions, some of the sessions involved analyzing the regulatory environments of four Pacific countries. They were practical sessions amongst many other things.
Shortly after the regulator got removed, and it resulted in a heavy litigation. What actually happened was because this youth were actively involved in discussions about what is an open and free Internet community or Internet society or society looks like and that sort of thing, they were asking critical issues about issues of access and infrastructure.
And that, of course, like most of the communities around the world, you know, you have your local discussion boards. So there were lots of heavy discussions. But you had this critical mass of people beginning to engaging in discussions and they understood what were the barriers particularly in terms of access.
Well, the good news is the regulator came back and the -- because one of the recommendations the youth -- the Pacific Youth IGF made was -- and it went to the governments -- directly on areas where -- particularly pertaining to competition and that sort of thing because if you've ever been to Vanuatu -- and for those who will be going to the Asia-Pacific IGF you will soon find out -- Internet affordability in Vanuatu is astronomical. But it has now compared to what it was 12 months ago has improved. I'm really, really excited that Dalsie is on board, on the MAG. She is the regulator, the Vanuatu regulator. While she can't be here with us, she has been kept abreast of everything that's happening.
I suppose what I wanted to underscore is that the youth IGF is not secondary. It's not just some token thing, meaning like, "Oh, yeah, let's just have it. Let's just give them space." No, no, these are actually -- and I like what Nigel said. It's different from his time compared to now.
I'm not saying you're old, Nigel.
[ Laughter ]
Yes, but what I'm trying to underscore is these -- the youth, they are actually impacting public policy now. And the IGF is all about public policy. So with that I'd also like to thank Anja for the amazing work that you continue to do with the NRIs and all the amazing NRI coordinators in the room and those who are remote streaming in. Thank you for all that you do. And particularly to Chengetai for the amazing work that you do in supporting efforts from the ground, especially when we reach out to you. You always are very helpful. Thank you.
So with that, I thank you, Chair.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Thank you, Sala. I support everything you said with respect to youth. And I always find engaging with youth kind of a natural high. You come away so kind of energized and enthused. Honestly, it's -- I never turn down an opportunity to do it. It's always just a really fun experience.
So that is the end of the queue at this moment on this session. I'll just see if either Anja or Chengetai have any kind of concluding remarks or anything you'd like to follow up on. You have basically whatever time you need, Anja, to do that.
>>ANJA GREGO: Well, just since we have time, just very, very quickly to say that the NRIs network did grow. I think as a network, we have bimonthly calls. They are well-attended. I just have to say all the success for the NRIs' work is really due to the coordinators and the community members that are so dedicated. That means basically in practice that every month you are leaving at least three, four hours on a side just to join the calls which are usually with very heavy agendas. Sometimes the NRIs have different views on certain things. So it's also sometimes very time consuming and takes a lot of energy to achieve the compromise.
But I think our collective biggest (indiscernible) with the NRIs is that we really manage to compromise on so many things and produce a lot of outputs which I think really speaks for itself about the good work and the healthy nature of the network. Thanks primarily to the coordinators and the community members of the NRIs.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Thank you. Thank you, Anja. Having had similar experiences in my past worklife, I think Anja's experiences here probably qualify her to be a senior diplomat in any number of -- in any number of activities. It is not easy with such a broad set of participants and differing views and differing priorities and people who feel very passionate about what they're doing. So really think she does do a tremendous job as has been recognized by so many of the NRIs.
We have another individual in the queue, Uffa Modey. You have the floor.
>> UFFA MODEY: Good morning, everyone. My name is Uffa Modey and speaking on behalf of -- (indiscernible). A couple of -- (indiscernible) -- well-focused on the capacity-building for young people in the IGF. And we are looking forward to working with more youth initiatives. (Audio difficulty) -- especially from the African region. Thank you.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Thank you, Uffa. The transcribers managed to catch most of it, but the connection was a little spotty. Perhaps you have a moment, you could look back through the record and help us with some of the blank spaces so it's captured fully.
So with that, not seeing any additional requests for the floor, I would propose that we just continue moving.
We are sort of 40 minutes ahead of schedule which is great but I do hope that everybody is taking the opportunity to engage and ask whatever questions here as well. But we'll just keep moving forward through the agenda.
So the next item is the working group meeting updates. And, again, we'll -- if people are -- okay. I recognize we are ahead and people may have expecting a lunch hour in order to finish some of their comments. So we will work to accommodate that. Otherwise, we will work through our way through the list.
The working group on IGF improvements, I suspect that's Julian. Julian, you have the floor.
>>JULIAN CASABUENAS: Thank you, Madam Chair. Well, I would like to make a brief report on the working group of IGF improvements. And you can find all the information of the working group. It's available in the IGF Web site. And the purpose of the work as stated in the 2018 charter is to continue the work of the MAG working group that was launched in 2017 to support the evaluation and implementation of improvements of the IGF, building upon the results already achieved by the working group.
The group has met twice this year. And co-chairs were selected. This is Flavio Wagner, former MAG member, Deborah Brown from the Association for Progressive Communications, and myself.
We reviewed the set of recommendations for IGF improvement and documents, then offered direction -- or community input on specific topics to the extent to which they have been implemented.
So the inputs for the analysis includes the Commission on Science and Technology for Development working group on IGF improvements report of 2012. The document sent out by the MAG working group in 2013 to analyze progress towards CSTD improvements, recommendations made by the U.N. General Assembly on approval of CSTD working group IGF, recommendations made by the UNGA on renewal of the IGF mandate. And the UN DESA retreat on the IGF of 2016 for assessment, visibility, analysis and prioritization, NETmundial multistakeholder statement, April 2013 report, and WSIS +10 outcome document on December 2015.
So what we did was to continue the work on 2017, and we found 162 proposals and recommendations, 135 proposals for improvement from the UN DESA retreat on the IGF.
We found 102 proposals for improvement; from CSTD working group report 2012, 43; U.N. WSIS +10, 10; And NETmundial, 17 -- 7, sorry.
So these bring us with a review process that we found 38 categories that then we clustered into 11 to facilitate this analysis, noting that these can be changed during the reviewing process.
11, one of each cluster, categories where the volunteers are able to include their assessments to the proposals for improvement indicating which are completed, which in progress, or needed to be implemented.
The first draft of the document will be ready by the end of July 2018. And once the assessment is done for all the categories by the volunteers, it was agreed also that all members of the working group will review the entire document prior to presenting it to the MAG for review.
The working group agreed to complete the exercise by the end of August 2018.
The working group insists to invite more people to participate actively in the working group, especially more MAG members. Also to invite former host countries to provide their inputs to the working group as well as future host countries. So advised propose to invite representatives from France and Germany to participate in the group.
So we have so far eight volunteers, former MAG members, MAG members, and other stakeholders participating. And we expect to develop targets, milestones, and indicators to measure the current and future progress towards recommendations that have not been fully implemented.
Propose future steps for MAG and the wider IGF community, and these steps include the possible proposal for an IGF 2018 session, engagement with national and regional IGFs as appropriate with an IGF MAG remit, establish thematic sessions on the various issues at futures, propose ways to implement specific recommendations where needed.
Also, it was also highlighted in the charter the relationship to other IGF efforts, so working in synergy with the MAG working group on multiyear work program either as part of this working group or as a separate working group. Working in synergy also with other MAG working groups, where available.
The outputs that we expect includes the report on degree of completion of IGF improvement recommendations, recommend metrics that can be used to measure the degree of progress on the recommendations for improvement, reporting back session for wider IGF community as here in the MAG consultations, report of engagement process with national and regional IGFs which have been listed in the IGF, possible proposal for session in the IGF 2016 -- '18, sorry.
And a proposed charter for next steps. That's the report. Thank you.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Thank you, Julian. That's a very comprehensive update, and the work has been very, very comprehensive. It's a really impressive spreadsheet documenting the efforts.
I would like to see if there are any comments or questions on that work. And we'll do that after each one of the working group updates.
Just giving everyone a moment. Seeing Sala, Sala, you have the floor.
>>SALANIETA TAMANIKAIWAIMARO: Salanieta Tamanikaiwaimaro for the record. This has been mentioned before by UN DESA, Wai-Min Kwok and IGF secretariat Chengetai. But I think I should mention it speaking as an individual person but also as having served on the MAG for the last -- this is my third year.
I've seen lots of improvements and particularly the push to implement a lot of the recommendations that came down from -- I shouldn't say "came down," a lot of recommendations that have come from the -- is it the Working Group on Enhanced --
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: It is many efforts. It is certainly the CSTD Working Group on IGF Improvements. It's a key report. But it's also all the stock-taking activities from every one of the IGF meetings. It's the DESA retreat. It's individual suggestions. It covers the whole array of them.
>>SALANIETA TAMANIKAIWAIMARO: Everything that Lynn said transcribed, so repeat that. I won't repeat that but everything that Lynn said.
And also a very conscious effort to listen, not only during the open consultations as we're having now but the open forums at the IGFs. There's been a very conscious effort on the part of the secretariat and the part of the MAG, particularly on the part of the MAG chair to take these onboard.
And kudos to the working group. This is their second group where they have been recommissioned. Last year they did a fantastic job setting the ground-breaking platforms.
But today I'd also like to particularly acknowledge what goes unseen and doesn't really get appreciated because it's unseen. Sometimes when it's not seen, it's not appreciated.
So I'd like to acknowledge the fantastic work done by the secretariat's team through Chengetai, Luis, Eleonora, and Anja, aggregating the data and putting the things together, the improvements on the platform, the removal of conflicts. We've come a long way since grading workshop proposals in New York.
I don't know about the rest of you, but that was extremely painful. But we have come so far along. And I think it's important that this logistical development be commended, be documented, and. We know that it can only go higher from here and lots and lots of improvements.
And also I'd like to acknowledge the fantastic efforts from Dr. Rasha. Is she here? I saw her walk in. I can't see where she's sitting. But the working group led by her over the last three years have done phenomenal work in removing a lot of biases. There's still lots of room for improvement, but I would just like to acknowledge it again and have it on the transcripts.
With that, Chair, thank you.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Thank you, Sala.
And Sala has done tremendous work this year with a lot of the analysis behind the workshop proposals and things. She's clearly an Excel guru. You will see some of that work over the next couple of days.
Mark Carvell. Mark, you have the floor.
>>MARK CARVELL: Yes, thank you. Mark Carvell, UK government.
I just wanted to commend the work of this working group. It's very important, and as we've heard, there's a lot of source material to go through. And a lot of that material made very firm, strong recommendations from the CSTD and from the U.N. retreat, to which the UK government contributed. And the stock-taking reports as well. I think that's very important. We contributed to that, the most recent one, with some criticisms and proposals. So this is very important work. And it's got to have strong visibility. We are aware in the political world that there are administrations who would like to see some fundamental reform of the IGF, for it to be given decision-making powers and so on. So this -- those are petitions the UK government does not support. We maintain the concept of the IGF as described in the Tunis Agenda, that it's nondecisional. It's a forum for discussion, for all the stakeholders to meet on an equal basis. And, you know, we need to be vigilant about maintaining that fundamental concept for the IGF and ensure that it goes from strength to strength and addresses the criticisms, picks up on the valuable proposals for improving it and strengthening the IGF, and that it keeps in step with developments in geo politics, if you like, of the Internet, and has appropriate visibility as a source.
And a key issue that I would underline for the working group to consider is how do we ensure that the IGF has impact; that it leads to positive change; it deals with the problems in a way that constructive discussion, not decisional but constructive discussion amongst the stakeholder constituencies can -- can produce.
Likewise the intersessional work on best practice and connecting and engaging the next billions. How do we ensure that they -- the results of all that hard work by so many dedicated people, many of them in the room here, leads to, you know, change and result. And that is -- will strengthen arguments for protecting the IGF concept as it is, enjoying the luxury of providing the place for so many stakeholders, including government policymakers, to come together on so many issues and emerging issues.
So I would just like to underline those points.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Thank you, Mark.
Before I go to the next -- Rudolf is in the queue. Julian, your mic's on. Did you want to respond to that or --
>>JULIAN CASASBUENAS: No.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Mark, I think some of your comments, some of them respond to the working group that Julian is leading, which is the working group on IGF improvements which is pretty much trying to kind of capture the status of all the recommendations and then determine where they should be dealt with because some of them are more directed towards certain parts of the community. Some of the other items you mentioned are being addressed in the working group on multi-year strategic work programs, and we'll come to that in just a moment.
I have Rudolf Gridl in the queue and then Giacomo. Rudolph, you have the floor.
>>RUDOLF GRIDL: Thank you very much, Chair.
First of all, many of the issues that I wanted to touch upon have already been made by Mark now, and I understand this is not, perhaps, the right forum. It's another working group that we should discuss it. Yeah? As you say. But still, I think it's very relevant, and I really support this, speaking also for the German government.
Just a question, a pure and simple question. You were mentioning 11 categories or clusters that you identified condensating more and more of the input. Actually, if you could just name them or mention them, that would be very interesting.
>>JULIAN CASASBUENAS: Yes, well, when we make the review of the -- in 2017 of all the documents, it was categorize them in 38 categories, but analyzing all these one by one, it's too difficult. So we decided in the working group to facilitate the analysis, try to start clustering them, and we end up with 11 of these categories.
So the first one is the stakeholder engagement and understanding. Second is funding, diversity and funding; acknowledge in-kind support, account and transparency. Third one is intersessional work, capacity building and multi-year planning outcomes, stakeholder engagement. Next one is outcomes, link to other entities and tangible outputs. Then participation and capacity building. Link to IG entities and others. MAG structure and methods and multi-year planning. Then broader participation, diversity, relevance, and inclusiveness of IGF program and outreach. Then multi-year planning, funding, link with other entities, evolution and impact. Process related to secretariat. And last one, enhanced communication, improved visibility, mandate, modalities, working modalities, and workshop selection.
The last one is like grouping those that has very few proposals for improvement. So -- where as working group, we decided that this was not the unique way to cluster them, but in the review process, we can probably change these proposals from one cluster to another.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Thank you, Julian.
Giacomo, you have the floor.
>>GIACOMO MAZZONE: Thank you. Simple suggestion because this could allow us to make a better work in the multi-year plan. Can we ask to the Julian group to put the target on feasibility according to the years? Say this goal can be achieved in one year, this in two years, this in three years, and then we can match with the work that we are doing in the other working group.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Julian is nodding his head yes.
I'd like to really recognize certainly Julian's work this year, but also Flavio Wagner who was a MAG member for the last three years did a tremendous amount of work with Julian and with Raquel Gatto and Avri Doria last year as well, and it was a tremendous lift. And we all do this work as volunteer, so when people step up and take on significant extra projects like this I think it's important that we appreciate and recognize it is for the benefit of the entire community.
And Julian, you have the floor.
>>JULIAN CASASBUENAS: Yes, I don't know if Flavio is online. He wanted to participate as well in the report, but since we presented in advance, probably he's not online yet, so I don't know if he's available.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Is -- Someone who is in the Webex room, is Flavio there now? If not, we can certainly pass on our appreciation. And if he comes on later today and there's something he wants to add, Julian, I'm very happy to give him the floor.
Then we can move to the next working group, which coincidentally was the Multi-Year Strategic Work Program Working Group. I'm -- We have sort of three efforts that are ongoing. I'm going to talk through two of those and then I'm going to ask Timea to talk to -- or Susan, you know, one slide. But let me first say the Multi-Year Strategic Work Program Working Group, we have had three meetings so far. We're meeting on a biweekly schedule, trying to get as much done as we can in a short time frame, and we have sort of three kind of major streams of work. The first one, much like the title of the group, multi-year strategic work program, is working to identify a process which would have us reaching agreement with the community, the broad community, on a small number of important topics that we believe require a multi-year, longer term strategic focus.
At the moment, we're sort of calling it an agenda-setting process for those strategic areas. That title may change. And the purpose is really to allow a longer and a more strategic approach. That would certainly allow us to increase our outreach efforts. It would allow us to think a little more concretely about what are the impacts we might have. To Mark's earlier comment, hopefully would allow us to get some additional support, whether it's support in terms of participating in the work of those projects within the IGF or, in fact, financial contributions. And ideally, of course, we would like both. So the working group is still working to identify the appropriate process for engaging with the community on that.
The sort of second major piece of work following on from the above is we're discussing two tracks. And I want to point, Mark made some comments around decision or kind of nondecisional aspects. That's always been a fairly kind of emotional topic within the IGF. I think the word "recommendations" has always been a particular flash point within the IGF. And one of our working group members takes pains to point out that, in fact, in the Tunis Agenda, in paragraph 72g, it actually says that the IGF has the capacity to, quote, "identify emerging issues, bring them to the attention of the relevant bodies and the general public, and, where appropriate, make recommendations."
And "recommendations" to me is a very broad term. The work that comes out of the Best Practices Forums are recommendations. The work that we actually get out of NRI reports are recommendations. The sessions we have at the workshops are recommendations. They don't need to be policy recommendations.
But I think one of the complexities in -- in that discussion is when we try and name them an IGF recommendation, because, in fact, we're not really clear on who is the community? How do we know if we've assessed the community appropriately or accurately? How do we know what the community believes? How do we know what kind of level of support it has generally? And so we're trying to figure out how far we can take that notion.
One of the things we're doing is take a look at some of the tools. New tools and new processes are coming up all the time. Mission Publiques is here and they're doing some interesting work. There's a lot of other tools and applications that are emerging. In fact, some of them have been around for some years that try to pull out that dialogue on a global level, and then of course helps you assess the level of support or not.
So I think one of the things we would like to do is to kind of sort of strip away "the topic," and we're thinking about taking one or two areas that we believe have really broad support in the community already, like the accessibility principles, the DCAD principles, accessibility principles. In use for many years. In fact, this was an exercise that Markus led a couple of years ago in an IGF.
Another area under discussion is to take the GCSE. The Global Commission on Security -- on the stability of cyberspace put out a norm calling for everybody to support a norm which protects the public or the Internet. I think there's sort of broad support for that .
One of the things we're trying to di, and maybe there are other -- there are clearly other suggestions as well, but maybe there are some other topics the working group should consider.
But if we take those two that I just put out there and we assume that there's broad support, what are some of the tools and processes we might drive across the community that would have us assess the level of support, and is there something more concretely, the IGF or a piece of the IGF community, could actually stand behind and say "we request" or desire or recommend or believe, or choose a verb that works since this is such a loaded discussion for everybody, but how do we actually get the most concrete, the most useful outputs we can? Again, to Mark's point about how do we ensure that all the good work we're doing here has the most impact it can possibly have across the world.
So we're looking at a couple of pilots; again, to test the back-end piece of the process, not work through the entire front end.
The second pilot we're doing within that concept is also the result of another recommendation by a working group member, which is -- has piloted workshop sessions at the last two IGFs, and it's actually focused on strengthening cooperation in the context of the IGF. And basically the work there is really trying to answer the question is the IGF the appropriate place, witness my discussion here on recommendations and how far we want to take some of that discussion, and -- and is it capable of discussing complex multistakeholder Internet governance challenges? I think that's clearly a yes. But to formulate consensus-based advice or consensus-based best practices or consensus-based solutions. Again, I think there's a broad definition.
So the group is focused on trying to advance those two. I know this is an area that causes some concern within parts of the community. We'd really like to hear what those concerns are. Nobody is trying to work outside of the Tunis Agenda. Nobody is trying to break the Tunis Agenda. We really just want to understand how we can advance all the good work we're doing here and make it as useful as we possibly can.
Again, the working groups are all open. All the meeting summaries and documents are on the website. Please, please do come and participate.
The third piece of work we're doing here actually began last year when the working group and the secretariat actually put a document together to clarify all the component pieces that make up an IGF annual meeting and the IGF, I'm going to call, ecosystem. And there are lots of questions of what are DCs? What's the relationship between the MAG and the DCs? What are NRIs? What's the relationship? Are there any guiding documents? How they manage themselves or structure their efforts?
So that document lays that out and puts pointers to all of the really kind of useful guiding documents.
A working group member, Timea and Susan Chalmers and some other folk, I think on the basis of that document, they can correct me if that's wrong, did a very, very, very useful graphic representation of all those component pieces and kind of talked about it in terms of where in the process and also identifies kind of inputs and outputs.
I'd actually like them to walk us through that now. Luis is going to put up the one-page slide that's been in front of the working group previously. Timea and Susan just sent out another I think 25-page document this morning, but the working group hasn't actually had a chance to review, and I think it's too much to ask everybody to walk through here. So if we can focus on this one. And it is on the website as well. If people need the specific pointer, we can send that to you. But I'm not sure if it's Timea or Susan who are going to walk through.
>>TIMEA SUTO: Since it's the open consultation, I am going to reserve my MAG member speaking rights for the next days and let my colleague Susan do the hard lifting this first time.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Susan, you have the floor.
>>SUSAN CHALMERS: Cheers. Thank you, Chair. Thank you, Timea, and hello everyone, good morning, good afternoon.
So what you see -- if we can be able to kind of maximize the window to get a full view of the graphic, that would be great.
The 25-page document that Lynn mentioned earlier is actually in the form of a Prezi, which is in presentation software, so we have shared that with the working group and -- for their feedback. But just some words to describe -- describe the effort as you can regards the graphic on the screen.
So the landscape of the IGF agenda and program has evolved considerably since 2006, and in particular, over the past few years. And in addition to workshop sessions and main sessions, there is now a robust program of intersessional work, a burgeoning NRIs network, open fora, new session formats, of course in addition to the opening and closing sessions. So we believe that the success of the IGF going forward will depend in part upon the synergistic coherence to all of these elements.
The IGF life cycle mapping exercise incorporates the components document that Lynn had mentioned earlier and will contribute in the form of a graphic way out a bird's eye view of all of these IGF components and illustrate the process. By illustrating the IGF life cycle, the exercise can also serve as a helpful reference for the work of the multiyear strategic work program. For example, the two proposals that Lynn had just previously described.
So as part of this work, we aim to show the linkages between the different work streams are, how they feed into each other and how they can be arranged into a self-sustaining process that moves from one IGF cycle to the next. If we can build such a framework, it will facilitate the efforts of the community to populate it in a bottom-up manner with the issues that they wish to discuss.
So having a comprehensive and a clear understanding of the different moving parts of the IGF supports transparency for the community and helps those new to the IGF when and how they can engage.
So in the coming weeks, working with the secretariat, we will reach out to the various constituencies of the IGF and ask for comments and advice on the framework and we will work to build an exhaustive picture of the IGF life cycle.
SO we would like to hear from all of you involved in or leading in various stages to consider systematically at which junctures the process works well and where there is a need for further guidance and clarification.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Thank you, Susan.
Timea and everybody else who has actually worked on this, as I said before, it's very useful.
I'm going to open the floor to comments. I think I identified kind of the three pieces of work. Our next meeting is next week, so it's not too late to sign up and participate and look at the documents.
Give a few moments to see if there are any comments or questions.
Maybe while we're seeing if there is any, Luis, how quickly can we get the transcript posted? I'm actually thinking that there are people who were going to join the call at a more civilized hour when we resumed at 3:00, which is when we would have been having these working group sessions.
The transcript, of course, is very useful because they can see specifically what's been discussed to date. If we could make that available online at kind of the half-day mark, then we could come back after lunch, go to the two remaining working groups and ask if there are any comments from the community that want to come back and revisit any part of the first two working groups again.
I'm just conscious. I know those two areas are of high interest to the community and we are significantly ahead of schedule so may have missed some schedule.
>> LUIS BOBO: Usually the transcripts are send at the end of the meeting. So by this afternoon, hopefully before --
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Is there any way anyone can just do a grab of the transcript now. I unfortunately wasn't logged in the room. If we can do a grab of the transcript for the last hour and just post it somewhere, at least they would see the text. Can we do that?
>> LUIS BOBO: We will do that.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Trying to see if there are any comments. I'm surprised there aren't any. We are clearly pushing some boundaries there. I don't think we are pushing them inappropriately. I'm trying to be very clear that we don't want to break anything. We don't want to go beyond the Tunis Agenda. But I think given the geopolitical environment, given the emerging issues and their criticality in all aspects of our life whether we are looking at AI or Internet of Things or privacy or big data, there's clearly a call and an expectation that we're doing everything we can to help society at-large advance these. And I think that's what we want to push on a little bit and just ensure we're doing as much as we can and no more than we should.
So if there are concerns, join the working group. Share them here. Share them online. But silence doesn't help us move forward. So looking for engagement.
Seeing no -- Mark, you have the floor.
>>MARK CARVELL: Yes, thank you, Lynn. I was clicking on -- but it didn't seem to be connecting. Mark Carvell, U.K. government.
Just a comment on the landscape of agenda development and the intersect of all the various components, DCs, BPFs, and so on is a very useful exercise.
I just had a logistical question to Susan or Timea. You spoke about a consultation with constituencies. For example, for us in government, how will we be able to react to that and provide comments and so on? I wasn't sure, the practicalities. Simply that. Very welcomed work. Practicalities question. Thank you.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Thank you, Mark.
Timea or Susan?
>>SUSAN CHALMERS: Thank you, Mark, for your question. It's a very good question. I guess when I use the word "constituencies" I was thinking about the different communities within the IGF's ensuring that the NRIs' network, the DCs, the BPFs all review how the process is illustrated and make sure it's consistent with what they believe. So that's really important.
But you raise a great question about government -- I think we're going to have to come back on that question and develop a consultation plan. But it surely should incorporate your views. So we'll come back to you on that once we have a clear idea. Thank you.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Thank you, Susan.
I don't see anyone else requesting the floor. So what I'd like to do just as soon as we have the transcription from the last hour posted, if you know there are members of your communities or your stakeholder groups that would have been interested in that particular session, if you can make sure their attention is drawn to the transcription. And when we come back, we'll go through the two working groups that are remaining and then we'll come back and see if there are any other additional comments or follow-up from the two that we were early on.
We should all plan on meeting back here at 1:45, please. I really do think it is important for engagement. And we will let that run for an hour so that everybody can stop and get settled. And we'll open the formal MAG meeting up at 3:00 local time. Thank you very much, everybody.
Have a good lunch.
[ Lunch break ]
>>CHENGETAI MASANGO: Ladies and gentlemen, let's -- can we please sit down?
Ladies and gentlemen, I'll start naming names.
Timea, can you please sit down.
[ Laughter ]
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Thank you, everybody. Thank you for coming back on time, and thank you to all the MAG members who gave up a portion of their lunch hour to come into the last session. I think we had everybody except for maybe one or two. That was excellent.
For those that are just joining, we had a very efficient morning and, in fact, we moved forward. Two of the working groups, the working group on IGF improvements and the working group on the multiyear strategic work program. And those presentations were made just before the lunch break.
The transcript from those two sessions has been posted on the IGF Web site. What we're actually proposing is we go through the remaining two working group presentations, give any new participants that might be coming in participating online the opportunity to read through the transcript. And then we'll come back and see if there are any additional questions or comments or remarks that any of the online participants might want to make. Again, we are cognizant of the fact we had moved the agenda up and suspect those two topics were potentially of interest to other members. So we'll come back to those in probably 15 or 20 minutes or so and then move forward through the rest of the agenda.
So the next working group in order here was the outreach and engagement working group. I'm not sure who's actually going to seek to their activities. Okay. Yes. You have the floor.
>> MAMADOU LO: Hello, everybody. Mamadou Lo for the record. I'm going to give an quick update of the working group on outreach and engagement. On behalf of this working group on engagement and outreach, in the absence of Israel Rosas, I'm going to give a quick update on our work undertaken so far this year.
So taking into our consequent effort carried out by facilitators of each initiative and project in the global IGF, the working grouping of outreach and engagement adopt a light-touch approach just acting as facilitator of the communication amongst the MAG, the IGF community, and the at-large community which could have an interest in IGF activities in order to increase the engagement in the IGF preparatory process and in consequences in IGF meeting activities both online and onsite.
So we started this year by (indiscernible) for several mailing lists and social media the call for issues and call for workshop proposals. Also, we contributed by translation into French and Spanish call for issues and workshop proposals to get more communities engaged.
We think there is no doubt this had contributed a lot in reaching high number of workshops this year. We had also our weekly Internet governance review to help people aware of what is going into the government landscape.
Now, we are looking forward to the next IGF in Paris to spread news and get attendance online or onsite. Also, we are ready to help all interested activities communicating the recommendations and output worldwide.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Thank you, Mamadou. It's a very important working group.
Are there any comments, questions? Give a few minutes to allow people to get into the speaking queue, if there are.
Again, it's very critical set of activities. One of the things we hear most often is that is a number of people or a number of entities or communities are not really well enough aware of the IGF. If we are coming across that in our daily lives and we have suggestions on how to fix it, please send those suggestions to the working group.
Seeing no further requests for the floor, again, thank Mamadou and the team for all of their work and we will move to the next working group review, which is the workshop review and evaluation process, working group WREP.
Rasha, you have the floor.
>>RASHA ABDULLA: Thank you, Lynn. The working group met twice in recent months, and we basically have been working on how to further enhance the process for this year.
June the 1st meeting we agreed on the structure of the groups, how do we -- how do we break out MAG members into groups to do the evaluations, and we agreed on sort of a mixture of experts and nonexperts on each of the eight themes that we came up with. We also spoke a little bit about the program structuring and how do we end up with a more cohesive, more focused program.
We discussed mergers. And I think it was very helpful this year thanks to the efforts of Luis and the secretariat to add a box where possible mergers could be identified while the members were evaluating. I think that would save us a lot of time during the next couple of days.
We also discussed the speaker limits. And we agreed on trying to limit the sessions, particularly the panel sessions, to a maximum of five speakers with each speaker not appearing on more than three sessions.
We met again just a couple days ago to try to smooth out the efforts that we're going to be doing tomorrow and the day after basically talking about stage 3 of the workshop evaluations.
We -- sort of based on some more recent statistics, we -- it seems that we have a good balance of a diversity within gender and multistakeholder groups both across the top 40 and the top 60 workshops that were chosen out of the evaluations.
And so we agreed that in light of this, the best way to move forward would be to look at content diversity, to try to smooth out any imbalances in the topics, whether we can do that by mergers or maybe relooking at the themes and seeing if there were subthemes that were cross-listed or could be listed under different -- more than one theme. So we're talking about maybe emerging themes or renaming themes, depending on how we want to look at it. This is basically what we're going to decide on tomorrow and the day after.
We did discuss whether it would be better for the MAG to break out into smaller groups or to look at the stage 3 as one entity. And we feel that maybe if we don't break out into smaller groups, it would give us a better outlook on the program as a whole.
We also agreed that the program should be structured thematically once we agree on the final list of themes. So we're going to end up with a final list of six to eight themes, depending on how we want to look at it. And then the process would be guided by the number of overall proposals per theme guided by the call for issues as well and, of course, the workshops that scored highly on the evaluations.
We did quickly discuss the open forums, although that remains the responsibility of the secretariat more than anything. So I understand this morning that the final list of open forums are already on the Web site, on the IGF Web site.
We did talk about main sessions, and we agreed that maybe the best strategy for us to do that this year rather than MAG members proposing main sessions as we did in past years is to basically sort of solicit volunteers to do a main theme per -- a main session per theme of the final themes that we're going to choose and basically work with these members on developing a main session for each theme that we -- that we're going to have.
The one thing we definitely agreed on about main sessions is that the three-hour slots were way too long and we want to look at a way to work with the three-hour translation slots that we have and use that time to break it down a bit more efficiently, I guess.
I urge all MAG members to please give us any notes you have on the evaluation process for this year. This is my final year as a MAG member. But I hope that somebody will take on this task next year and maybe do any further fine-tunings that need to be taken into consideration with that effort.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Thank you, Rasha. And thank you for all the effort you've put into this, particularly last year which I think was kind of a seminal turning point in the workshop review process.
[ Applause ]
>>RASHA ABDULLA: If I may, I just have to point out, this was a process of a whole working group, not just me. But thank you for the recognition. Thanks.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: For those of you who aren't quite sure how much you should appreciate that, you could just imagine for a moment reviewing 344 workshops rather than 70-odd. That was the task every MAG member had ahead of them, although clearly it was a smaller number in previous years.
So in the queue I have Renata. Renata, you have the floor.
>>RENATA AQUINO RIBEIRO: Yes, Renata.
First, I want to apologize to Rasha because I was subscribed to the working group and made some contributions. But, clearly, it was so much work and I wish I could have contributed more but always trying.
And a quick -- I keep receiving confirmation that I am subscribed. It's weird. Like, perhaps there's a bounce thing. So I will probably follow up with Luis.
And I want to know now -- and this is something that we've been talking, me and Eleonora during lunch with Zeina as well. Now we have the mergers proposal. This will be -- this is something that has made our mind go into -- go to many places because we never know what's going to happen there. So is this probably still putting more work on you, or do we all have to decide? I mean, what is your view on that?
>>RASHA ABDULLA: I just want to make sure I understand the question correctly. You are asking for my questions on merger in general. Like, when do we do mergers?
>>RENATA AQUINO RIBEIRO: (off microphone).
>>RASHA ABDULLA: It's a good question. I think it will depend on how the MAG as a whole feels about that. I feel a bit awkward about merging workshops, but I do understand that we have very limited slots this year and a large number of workshops and I would hate to turn people away.
Amongst the 70 workshops that I had personally evaluated, there were quite a few that were very similar. I'm just not sure how the people involved would feel about, you know, merging them together. But since we're a multistakeholder process, there's no harm in encouraging that.
And we also talked in the meeting about maybe if people had proposed, let's say, three sessions -- three panel sessions on the same topic, that we can maybe ask them to merge and do it as a roundtable instead so that everyone will have fewer minutes to speak but everybody would get in their views.
But it does take effort, and it takes dedication on the part of those involved as well to be able to accommodate each other and work together, because it's not exactly go to what they had in mind initially, but it might be useful. So I think we're just going to have to look at it on a case-by-case scenario, I guess, and just see how the MAG feels about them.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Okay. We'll allow that, but then we're going to go back to the queue.
>>RENATA AQUINO RIBEIRO: Yeah, just a quick follow-up. Renata. Yeah, I think there is a case-by-case analysis, but I'm also thinking that maybe -- and that's why asked the question to Rasha, but also of course I -- the chair will guide us. I think we should have one, not two weights. Two measures. A system to everyone, because there will be those who don't want to merge. There will be those who say, "I will merge but I'm the owner of the workshop so I will say what will happen."
So just, you know, think about that before we decide, like some main guidelines for mergers. Just a suggestion.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: I think that's good Renata. And we had discussions in the secretariat, too, but what to do to that. And I think we can get to that discussion either a little bit later, if we have time today, or one of the things we're thinking about doing, since we appear to be ahead of schedule, is perhaps towards the end of the day today, sharing -- which we have done in past years -- kind of the first view of -- statistical review, high-level analysis of the themes that came in, the subthemes that came in compared to the call for issues in the workshops so that people have that. And maybe that's another place to start taking up some of that issue as well. But there are some suggestions from the secretariat, too.
So we have Paul in the queue. Paul.
>>PAUL ROWNEY: Thank you, Chair. Paul Rowney.
Firstly, it's my first year on the MAG, and I understand this process was a lot more complex in the past. So I hate to think what it was like in the past.
[ Laughter ]
I would congratulate those that have implemented those changes. But I also wanted to mention that we -- and I don't know if the working group is going to cover this but to make some recommendations on how we can leverage technology further to streamline this process. And there's a lot that we could do. And I think there was a request from Rasha, anyway, for us to submit our feedback on our experiences, which I think we all should, particularly with -- part of that feedback should be on a focus of how we feel technology could have been utilized or can be utilized downstream to make this an easier process.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: I appreciate those comments very much, Paul. And I would like to strongly urge the working group -- of which I'm a member, by the way -- to hold the meeting here on-site to catch the learnings from this experience. Every year we say we're going to do it, and we go by and it's six months before that discussion is had and you lose too much state. So I think if we can have had a discussion for an hour somewhere on a lunch break or before the meeting starts to just quickly capture the learnings and possible changes, it will benefit all of us a lot more. And I'm all for technology and improving and simplifying the processes.
Jutta, you have the floor.
>>JUTTA CROLL: Yes, thank you for giving me the floor. Jutta Croll speaking.
Just a quick note. I got the feeling that the word "merger" has some bad connotation. Everybody thinks it's something that should not happen. But when I went through the workshop proposals, I really saw many of them where merging would be beneficial. The most criticized point is we don't have enough diversity of stakeholders and regional diversity in the workshops. So when I had a look at this, I was looking for having more diversity by doing mergers of proposals, so maybe we can have a little more positive approach to mergers and not only this negative approach of merging as a bad thing to the owners of the workshop proposals, like Renata has said before.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Thank you, JUTTA. Very good comments.
Mary. Mary, you had the floor.
>>MARY UDUMA: Thank you, Chair. My name is Mary Uduma, for the records.
This is my first year in MAG, and I participated in the evaluation. I just want to say that initially I was afraid and I was concerned that the -- it was going to be very, very tedious and difficult for me to participate, but the simplification that the group had made in the (indiscernible) helped so much. And you just have to do one or two, three, then, it starts flowing.
Having said that, I think there's still a lot of subjectivity in the (indiscernible).
Probably -- you know, we listed criteria for what you should consider in given MAG. So I don't know whether I'm asking too much for us to break it down to see if -- this -- this -- you give this MAG. If it's short of this -- like the first one, where you consider the first criteria of the proposal that diversity, you talk about whether it refers to is it ongoing work and not the rest of them.
So if we have three -- I mean five -- five MAGs. Five is the highest, and each of the criteria will say one, two, three, four, five in each of the sections. If we do more than five, it becomes very difficult. It becomes very, very subjective. So am I going to give two? Am I going to give three?
So maybe the group, the working group, will also help us to make it less -- less subjective, because at that point it was subjective for me. All right? Thank you.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Thank you, Mary.
Maybe just one quick comment, because I mean, this is the open community day, and we should be hearing from the community members.
There are a lot of MAG participants, which is okay because these are MAG working groups, and these working groups are actually doing work to help advance the MAG's initiatives. So we do that.
My purpose in taking the floor now is to encourage any community members to comment from the perspective of what it was like to participate in the workshop submission process, not only what it's like to review and grade them on the back end. And I think that's something the working group needs to do as well, is to find a way to reach out to the community, to understand from the perspective of workshop proposers how did it feel, what could be done better, what additional support or tools could we provide. So just let's make sure we're having both sides of that conversation here in the room today.
And with that, we'll go to Mark Carvell. Mark.
>>MARK CARVELL: Yes, thank you, Lynn. Mark Carvell, UK government.
On the issue of mergers, I wonder if this necessity to encourage mergers in order to avoid duplication, if that necessity can be expressed in a message at the time of the call for workshops so that applicants know that there is the possibility of a merger request if their proposal is successful. And the reasons for that is it's in the interests of a coherent IGF program that minimizes duplication. And also, merging does create opportunities to enhance the diversity of the workshop proposal.
Perhaps geographically you got submissions coming from different regions on the same topic. There's potentially real benefit in those -- those proposals merging.
Just a thought. I don't know. Maybe it's already being considered, but a clearer message at the time of call for workshops.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: That's a good suggestion. I'm sure it will be taken up in the working group.
Marilyn Cade. Marilyn, you have the floor.
>>MARILYN CADE: Thank you, Lynn. Marilyn Cade speaking.
I'll make a comment about mergers first. I think that I -- I really hope the MAG will be aggressive in thinking about mergers as a positive force as opposed to an oppositional force. I've seen -- I've read over 200 submissions. I guess being sleepless in Washington, D.C. is a good thing.
I really admire the work you've done, but I do think that we're missing a few criteria that some of you have already identified. How do we bring together the number of submissions after the fact? For next year, I think we need to focus on quality rather than quantity and be much more specific about requirements.
But now you have the opportunity to smush some of the proposals together and come up with a more balanced approach in geographic representation, in gender participation, and in topical inclusion. That's my first point.
I also now want to make a point that I come from a WEOG country. However, we have been in Switzerland, which is not Europe, but it is in the continent. We will be in France, and then we will be in Germany. I think we have to make -- I ask the MAG to make a special focus on including and prioritizing, at least in the main sessions which are under your discretion, topical interest to the developing countries. The African countries, the Latin American, the Caribbean, the SIDs. We must show we're not only about the areas and interest of the developing world, the developed world. And I say that because we all know that 60%, maybe more, of the attendance will be from Europe, but we've got to really reinforce the global nature. And I speak about the importance of a priority for the developing countries. We can't necessarily do it in the workshops since it's after the fact, but you can do it in the main sessions.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Thank you, Marilyn. That's a good -- a good comment and something I think we should pay attention to given the current concentration on the -- on the continent here.
Susan, Susan Chalmers, you have the floor.
>>SUSAN CHALMERS: Thank you, Lynn.
I'd like to thank Rasha for her read out of the working group on workshop evaluation and to congratulate Rasha, Lynn and the working group for the tremendous progress that has made over the few years in simplifying the process.
There was also some words offered there around the development of main sessions, and I had some questions about that because it seems that the process may have shifted. So previously, MAG members had worked to develop guidelines on how to develop main sessions at the IGF, and that's the documents that we can access and understand. But I'm just wondering because -- how that process may have changed, if it has departed from the previous set of guidelines, and what the role of the community at large can be in developing the main sessions, if there is one.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Thank you, Susan. I will give Rasha a few minutes to think about it to see if you want to come back in with a response a bit later in the queue. We'll just continue going through the queue, though.
Next is Liesyl. Liesyl, you have the floor.
>>LIESYL FRANZ: Actually, I did take my hand down, but it didn't seem to reflect that. I'll hold my comments until tomorrow.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Giving everybody the gift of time back.
[ Laughter ]
Raquel, you have the floor. Same thing? Hand down.
So Nigel Hickson, you have the floor.
>>NIGEL HICKSON: Thank you very much, Madam Chair. Sort of we go to the last common denominator or something.
Yes, thank you.
So just -- just a couple of points and a question, I suppose.
I think, Madam Chair, you asked the question about the submission process. And certainly as one that's been submitting applications for the last two or three years, I found this year to be a vast improvement, so thank you so much. It actually was a pleasure submitting applications. I know I'm fairly perverse in this, but it was much easier this year. I mean the ability to save the application as you're making it I think was tremendously important. I liked the structure. And so I thought that was a very good way forward.
On the issue of applications, I think it's an incredible job the secretariat and the MAG members do. I have been involved in this sort of process not for the IGF but for other things before, and when you're faced with hundreds of applications, it's daunting. The -- and also because of the criteria under which you're working. So I don't -- you know, it's not a trivial task at all.
The fact that there were so many applications of course is not easy, and we have a shorter IGF period, and we all appreciate that and we want to streamline the process. So I want to commend the work that's done.
On the -- On the issue of mergers, well, you know, mergers are somewhat difficult. I mean, I can't believe personally that on the applications that we submitted as ICANN to the three applications or whatever, if someone came to us and said, "Can we merge," then what would be the point of saying, "No, we can't"? That would sound to be pretty negative. Yes! Of course! This is a multistakeholder approach and the fact that we might only be able to speak for three minutes rather than six is, you know -- I mean, a lot of people would prefer not speaking at all.
So I -- so I think, you know, the merger -- the merger approach is far more -- seems to me to be in the spirit of what we're trying to do here. And I know it's not easy for applicants sometimes to discuss a coordinated approach, but it's much better than not being able to -- not being able to take part at all.
And I suppose the last thing, and I'm sure this will be covered tomorrow in that, but for us in the open consultation here, when might -- if our proposals are of those nature that are going to be merged, when might we sort of be hearing about, as applicants, what we're supposed to do? I don't know if that was clear, but anyway, thank you very much, indeed.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Thank you, Nigel.
To your last point, I think we can kind of talk about how we might proceed through the process tomorrow at the end of the day today. I certainly hope somebody tweeted out your absolute pleasure to submit workshop proposals out.
We have Zeina in the queue. Zeina.
>>ZEINA BOU HARB: Good morning. When I was evaluating the workshops that were assigned to me, I noticed that many of them, they were like -- we can just say they are weak proposals. I don't know if the proposals didn't understand really what do we mean by diversity, what do we mean by -- I mean, the criteria that we gave them to work upon. But I don't know if it's feasible that we recommend in the guidelines, we just add a recommendation for the proposers maybe to consult if they have an initiative, an NRI in their nation, I mean in their country. Maybe before sending, before submitting the proposal, they can collaborate with the people that might have more experience in the proposals. By this, maybe we can avoid having such a number of very weak proposals. I don't know if it's feasible or -- if it's ethically feasible. I mean -- Thank you.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: I think the notion of having a resource people could go to if they want some help in terms of does this look like a strong proposal is an interesting proposition. And I think we had something similar to that last year. But again, maybe that's something which can be taken up in the working group. I certainly don't think there should be any kind of forced requirement to go through another process or entity, but making some resources available to help could be interesting.
We have Natasa. And then, Rasha, we'll come to you to go to Susan's point after.
>> NATASA GLAVOR: Hello, everyone. My name is Natasa Glavor. I come from Croatia. I am a MAG member for the first time.
I would like to make a comment concerning merging of the proposals that we were talking about. And I agree with Renata and some others as well, propose that we tried to consider and present those merging from positive perspective and try to explain to the proposer this is the opportunity to enhance the diversity of the proposals.
And because of the limited space that we have during this year IGF, we must focus program content and that's why we have to do this merging thing.
So I think we all tried to grade proposals as objective as possible. And I think that it would be a good thing -- good thing, just best among the same -- the proposals of the same topic just to -- a few best of them propose for merging because poorly written proposals unfortunately will not be better after merging. And we could only decrease the quality of the well-written proposals. So it's something I think could be good.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Thank you. Thank you, Natasa.
Rasha, as this is the last intervention, if you could certainly respond to Susan's comment, but then if there's anything else you would like to say with respect to the working group activities and then we will move on to the final working group review.
>>RASHA ABDULLA: Thank you, Lynn.
Susan, to answer your question, I don't think it's going to differ much actually. I'm not sure if that's just my understanding. We might find out differently in the process. But I don't think it's going to change much. I think the only change is that we will be more focused on the issues that we -- on the themes that we had already agreed upon so that instead of having at the end maybe, you know, eight or nine main sessions and we have to choose, like, seven and all of them are very good and people have already put a lot of effort into them and we have to vote a couple out because we don't have resources for them, that we start with the issue and then have people who are interested in that issue work together to come up with a good proposal for a main session based on the criteria and the process that we already have in place.
I don't think the process itself is going to change much. I actually don't anticipate much change at all other than just it being more focused on the themes that we had agree upon for each year. We'll see if that holds, but that's my initial reaction.
I think I'll stop at that, and I'm sure I'll have more questions during the next couple days.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: And when we come to the session on the agenda where we talk about the main proposals as well, we will talk about how we can actually advance. And this year we did agree that we would not have individual proposals sent in ahead of time but that we would work to ensure that the main sessions addressed the main themes and were in line with the expressions of interest from the community as expressed through the call for issues and the workshop submission process. So I think that's also part of your questions, Susan, with respect to how do we ensure that there's kind of a community linkage. We can figure out how else we might improve that process tomorrow.
So with that, we'll move to the final working group on fund-raising. And I am chairing that one. My computer froze up just as we were getting to it.
We have had three meetings as well in that working group. We're also meeting on a biweekly schedule. We have a very small working group. The size of the working group is only matched by their dedication. And to the few folks there, I want to thank you sincerely for all the time and effort. And I think we've actually managed to make quite an amount of progress as well in that time. So I want to thank and recognize those efforts and also encourage people to sign up for the working group as well.
What we're actually doing is focusing on sort of two streams of work. One is kind of -- one I call we're practically focused on identifying a relatively small number of organizations somewhere probably between 25 and 30, 25 and 40, that we think would be a good partner for the IGF, both in terms of content and interest in the activities of the IGF and certainly would hope to support their participation in those activities as well as be a reason for them to actually support financially as well. So we had a very small list of companies we were -- had already begun some various outreach activities to. In the last meeting we actually thought that we would approach some of the intersessional activities so most notably the BPFs, the CENB, and the dynamic coalitions, to say are there organizations you think that should be engaged in your work, that it's important to them and would help the work of the BPF here. Let's see if we can actually put a proposal to kind of get their support and participation.
And, of course, if there's a natural linkage in that sense, then maybe there's also the opportunity for some financial contributions. That started already with one of the working group members outreaching to the BPFs. I think that memo went out in just the last day or two.
And I know certainly in some of the discussions I've had with companies, I've approached one or two, and a lot of them don't know that this work is actually ongoing in the IGF. And when you can talk about the work that's ongoing in the BPFs or some of the other work or sessions that have been held, they're very, very interested. And, of course, I certainly start with the physical participation, engagement in the work. So I think that's kind of a natural way to do that.
The second stream is kind of clarifying and documenting both the roles and the processes of the MAG members, of the secretariat, of DESA. We rely on DESA a lot for -- in fact, kind of 100% for the administrative support in that space. And I think it's pretty safe to say that the processes are not clear enough. They aren't documented. A lot of the questions that have come up through another review are completely appropriate and completely valid. I actually think it's going to take a fair amount of work to clarify some of that. It is work that we want to move forward on. But the working group agreed they would go forward in parallel.
So I do have one sort of specific request for DESA, and that's that we need -- and preferably in the shorter term -- fairly significant support to understand the processes and the system that exists in place today and engage with the working group to figure out how we can improve that. It's pretty much on a query-by-query basis and that's -- that's not, you know, frankly really efficient enough. And we can take that offline and use that to move forward.
So that's what I had there. The next item on the agenda -- I will open it up for questions. The next item on the agenda actually talks about the IGF Trust Fund and the project documents. So you'll actually see where we are with respect to the financial situation.
Let me just say that it's from my perspective extremely urgent. It was extremely urgent last year and we cobbled by. We will very soon be at the point where we can't cobble by because we are consistently eating into the reserves that the IGF has to manage this activity. This activity is not funded by member state contributions. It's an extra budgetary project. And right now we're operating at less than half of the approved budget, and that's also less than half of the staff to support.
So when we all go out of our way to thank the secretariat, it's because we recognize how much they're doing with so very little. And everybody is so keen to improve the IGF and our activities here. It starts with a healthier financial situation so we can get appropriate secretariat support and resources in. And, of course, those funds actually support developing country participation as well, both in terms of MAG participation but also participation during the IGF event itself, given that such a critical focus for the IGF, for all of our organizations and certainly for the U.N., that's just another added impetus for why improving the financial health of the IGF is so important. But, again, I won't get into any of the specifics, and I don't want to ruin Wai-Min's presentation. But that's the next presentation that's up. We will get there in a moment.
Let me just see if there are any comments or questions on the work of the working group at this point.
>>ANJA GREGO: Just a couple of comments in the chat regarding the gender representation on the workshop proposals, so I don't know whether that's appropriate to be read here.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: I think we'll come to that -- some of the statistics I think are already up on the Web site. And we'll certainly come to that, if not later today, tomorrow. But at a high level, we looked at some of the analysis of the secretariat did and some of the analysis Sala did. It was actually at a very high level across all of the proposals.
We can break it down very detailed.
In fact, Sala did some analysis, took every workshop that was proposed in one sort by stakeholder group male/female representatives and another sort by region male/female representatives. So we have all the information. It's just we tried to pull out some high-level statistics that we could use to drive the workshop review. All of that information, a lot of it is available through the reports that the secretariat has actually posted. And there's a lot more information available in a very detailed set of Excel spreadsheets. So I think we can answer that really finely. But at the high level, the analysis of the secretariat was a very good -- very strong gender balance.
So not seeing -- Rudolf, you have the floor.
>> RUDOLF GRIDL: Just one question, what role does the multistakeholder diversity play in the financing question?
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: That's one of the key questions. I mean, the terms of reference for the MAG member says that I think -- I have forgotten exactly the words -- but that they have a responsibility to support sort of fund-raising efforts or something. I mean, it's pretty clear that if we're promoting the IGF and the activities of the IGF, to make it clear that this exists on the basis of voluntary contributions and voluntary donations is a responsibility I think we should all carry as appropriate in all of our conversations. It doesn't mean we beat people over the head with it when we first meet them. But as appropriate, we should all be making that point as kind of persuasively as we can.
Historically, I don't think the MAG has had a particular role or a particular responsibility put on them and frankly neither has the chair really. It may have been a little bit different in the earlier years. And kind of looking at Markus because, of course, when it first started up, there were -- there were no donors. There were no reserves. So there needed to be an effort to get the initial support in financing. And this is -- my activities here are sort of part of an extraordinary or out-of-the-usual impact because we started eating into the reserves a couple of years ago. I think we first saw the dip come at the 9th and 10th year of the IGF when we went through the process in terms of is the mandate going to be renewed. And a lot of the community's attention was actually focused to ensuring that the mandate would be renewed. And I think that and maybe some questions just caused a little lack of focus in general across the community.
I think that's a fair representation. And if not, Chengetai and/or Markus can jump in and help. And, again, Wai-Min will have the current status.
Markus is studiously looking straight ahead, so I guess he has nothing to add.
[ Laughter ]
And Chengetai has his -- so I guess it was close enough for government work, as they say.
Then let's -- Marilyn has asked for the floor. We will take Marilyn's comment and then we will go to the next agenda item. Marilyn, you have the floor.
>>MARILYN CADE: Thank you, Lynn. I'm sorry I was delayed in asking for the floor. Marilyn Cade speaking.
I just want to really reinforce the importance of every MAG member understanding that the funding requirements, I've been in MAG meetings before when not everybody attended the briefings. And I'm not being critical. I'm just being factual here.
The more the MAG understands the relevance and the synergy of the stable funding for the IGF, that means the rest of the work that you need to do as the MAG is really well-supported.
We have a very small secretariat. We're not even funding all of the needs of the secretariat.
The IGFSA that I'm on the executive committee of provides additional funding. Everything you can do as a MAG member to advance why your country or your company should contribute to the Trust Fund helps to stabilize the IGF. And I think sometimes that hasn't been as well understood as it needs to be. I'm not -- and I really appreciate, Lynn, your focus on this. But I do want to just reinforce that without stable funding -- and I'm really glad Armin is there and Wai-Min is there from DESA. Without stable funding, then we are not able to bring fellows. We're not able to have the stable staffing we need. We're not able to share the cost when we need to bring our secretariat to participate in events that are advancing the interest of the MAG.
So thank you for bringing this topic up. But I think, in fact, even if you think you can't do something, I'm not -- I think you can call for more countries to contribute and more companies to contribute. The technical community is already doing a fantastic job. I think it's the rest of us, we need to do more.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Thank you, Marilyn. I think we're cutting into Wai-Min's presentation, in fact, here by repeating some of these messages as well.
Let me go to Mark and then absolutely close the queue on this topic so we can get to Wai-Min.
This afternoon we still have a major session in front of us, and that is to invite contributions from other related organizations. I want to make sure we have enough time for that as well.
So, Mark, and then we'll go to Wai-Min's presentation.
>>MARK CARVELL: Thanks, Lynn. Mark Carvell, U.K. government. Actually I think I may be jumping the gun because I was going to talk about governments contributing. So I am jumping the gun, aren't I? Yes, so I will save it. Thank you.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: If we could go to Wai-Min's, and then we'll come back. That's the immediate item after this next item.
So, Wai-Min, please take a few minutes. We can take time back from the end of the day to go through your presentation. You have the floor.
>>WAI-MIN KWOK: Thank you, Thank you, Chair. Lynn says 15 minutes, probably I will take less just to see if there will be questions from the floor. And I also realize that the screen is a little small so I'm not going to go through one by one.
And in any case, some of the slides you may be familiar. For those MAG members who were here last year, you may have seen some of this. This is actually thanks to my colleague Mr. Armin Plum who was here representing DESA in March when you had your first face-to-face meeting. So I'm actually reusing the slides that he has. It's actually just to give clarity to the trust fund, IGF Trust Fund. And some of this is what Lynn has already shared some light and Marilyn also add more in terms of the importance of the fund-raising.
So there are 12 slides. As I say, I will not go through all the details. It is available on the Web site, of course, after this session.
IGF Trust Fund, what is it? Essentially, every body, every initiative of the U.N. is being supported by the secretariat. So the IGF secretariat was established because of IGF. That was based on the mandate given to convene SG to convene coming out of WSIS.
But the IGF secretariat is what we call to be funded under a strong budgetary.
The other funding sources are what we call regular budget, and that comes from member state contributions. In other words, IGF secretariat being strong budgetary is not coming from regular contributions of the U.N. regular budget. So that's first unique feature about IGF secretariat -- IGF Trust Fund.
Second, the IGF Trust Fund is also a multidonor and multistakeholder. This is also quite unique. In a lot of the U.N. trust funds, it is quite typical that we have single donor, sometimes two or three donors. Sometimes it's just coming from the government. Sometimes just coming from one private entity, one IGO. But IGF Trust Fund is multidonor and multistakeholder. So it is unique and it is also challenging, and I will come to some details.
And the trust fund, what does it cover? Essentially the cost of running the IGF secretariat which includes the staffing, the consultancies. Like right now we have Wim and Radhika on board to support the best practice forums, the MAG meetings, if there's a cost incurred, the rent of the secretariat office, funding the travel for MAG members, yourself, coming from developing countries, and very limited funding that's available for capacity-building and other -- and other needs.
And all this is actually the fully available in what we call the project document, which is available on the Web site. And if you need to know the giving list, I can point that to you.
On next slide just to mention that we are now -- in this -- we call it the third phase which is coming from the new mandate from 2016 to 2025. The first phase was in 2006 to 2010. Second was 2011 to 2016.
It has its own mandate, but at the same time the funds is actually administered under the U.N. financial rules and regulation, which I must admit it is not very clear and the process need to be -- they need to be streamlined, which is what Lynn mentioned.
On the next slide, just to highlight some (indiscernible) about the trust fund, the IGF Trust Fund, the subject of this presentation, it does not cover the IGF annual meetings. So the IGF annual meetings, they're only possible thanks to the host government.
The French government this year, last year Switzerland, before that Mexico, Brazil, and the ten meetings before that.
So it's actually based on the U.N. host country agreement between the U.N. and the host country about all the costs, including the facilities, the -- any related -- any related conference costs and facilities.
The U.N., the second thing is that when the trust fund, when there are gaps on when we -- let's say, for example, we have difficulty in paying salaries, for example, the U.N. or DESA can come in and cover the cost? The answer is no.
Under regular budgets, that is where, like, funding that stuff. For example, among other U.N. departments and officers, we have very strict guidelines coming from member states governed by the Fifth Committee of the General Assembly to say what we can pay -- what regular budget can pay for and not. So it is -- and I can -- as you said, during the WSIS (indiscernible) negotiation in January 2015 that I was part of the secretariat supporting the negotiation, there was actually call for request for regular budgets to fund the IGF processes. But that was not part of the final outcome.
So IGF maintains to be -- the funding source remains to be extra-budgetary.
The third myth is that only government and big organizations can contribute. So the answer is no. Any organization -- for that matter, private sector, civil society, technical community -- any -- any organization or even individual, to that effect, can contribute to the trust fund.
Next slide is just for the first phase, just to let you know, which is the inception of the Internet Governance Forum itself. It is only possible because we have very huge and significant support from the government of Finland, from Switzerland and the European Commission. So that actually give to the Internet Governance Forum, but of course the subsequent years we have a big donor base.
In the next slide you will see the second phase. I'm sorry for the typo. The second phase should be 2011 to 2016. Again, certainly do not attempt to read the small correctors there, but just to say the donors base have been diversified. We also have ICANN, ISOC, and a lot more other IGO coming in, including governments and private sector as well. And we also have more -- we receive more funding as compared to the first phase.
And by the stakeholder group -- again, just to -- yeah. This is on this slide. You can make -- yeah, this is fine.
Again, there's a typo. I will correct it when I put it online. The second phase should be 2011 to 2016. So just to show that the first phase, the one in blue is governments. They are actually bearing the big brunt of it. And for the second phase we have the technical community coming with a very strong contribution.
The other two is private sector and the other IGOs, which also very significant but is just less in comparison.
In the next slide which is more current about 2018, the contributions, here we have the table, like we have European Commission, Microsoft, Netherlands, very significant amount as some of you know. The NRO, Google through Tides, and the UK. So this other list. And the total is about 320,000. And we are -- we are behind, as a matter of fact.
On the next slide is the expenses to date. Here, just to give you a flavor of what are the costs the trust fund covered, as I mentioned, and this is the breakdown. There are two column, the two column of numbers. The first column is actually the budget that's (indiscernible). This is the total of 2.8 million. This is documented in the project document. So this is what the IGF secretariat is budgeted for to function at the full capacity or demand capacity.
The second column of numbers is actually the expenditure to date. So at the midpoint, June of 2018, over 500,000 has been expended. So we -- like previous years, you will be about 1.1 to 1.2 million. Every year, the total amount expensed.
In the next slide we will have a clearer picture that -- the next -- yeah. The expenses versus the contribution.S.
So if you see the first table on top, 2015, 2016 is over a million, 2017 is slightly less and 2018 is again over one million. However, the contributions we receive through the trust fund for 2015, 2016, that is also because of the uncertainty of the IGF renewal based on the WSIS, the WSIS+10 outcome. There's some uncertainty at that time, so we do not have much. But even in the last 2017, there is still some momentum pick up. We are still very much receiving less than what we should, which is 2.8 million per year.
So in other words, that is actually echoing what's already been mentioned, and Marilyn also added to the call. We do need contributions, and we do need continuing contributions from current donors. We also need new donors. We also need to reach out to other private sector organizations, especially, and -- for that matter, and anyone who have a stake and who think they can contribute to the IGF mandate.
The -- Making a contribution, I will not say that is the most straightforward way, but we can certainly think it through with you. We do have a good base of donors. As I said, IGF is unique because it's multi-donor, multistakeholder. Our current system is not -- is certainly far from perfection. In the U.N. we were going to be introducing a system that will be managing -- managing funds towards the end of the year. We do have some system now, of course, but it is certainly inadequate to -- to -- to be able to support the multi-donor, multistakeholder funding source.
So with that, I end my presentation here, and thank you.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Thank you, Wai-Min. And thank you to Armin, too, for the set of slides.
Are there any comments or requests for the floor?
I can't see the speaking queue at this point but I know Luis is working hard to bring it up.
Thank you, Luis.
Sala, you have the floor.
>>SALANIETA TAMANIKAIWAIMARO: Sala Tamanikaiwaimaro for the record.
Thank you, Wai-Min, for the presentation. It was very useful, especially since I missed the last meeting.
I just have a quick question, one, and then a comment. I went on the website after you were talking about the Fifth Committee. I was just curious to see who is the chair of the Fifth Committee.
Second, I very quickly went through some of the agenda items that were raised during the Fifth Committee meeting sessions just to see some of the scope, and I noticed, obviously, and different countries have different state craft and priorities. But having -- noting that the IGF has traveled through various countries and a lot of high-level participation, particularly head of state level and also ambassador level. Just thinking whether the finance committee or the working group and perhaps DESA at some point could collaborate in terms much how you might want to -- how you might want to reach out to some of these states to see whether they could have that prioritized first in their parliaments to be part of the state craft and also to push it up through the Fifth Committee.
And I notice that this year we're late, obviously, because they've already started with the agenda items, the budget items for next year. But -- And that's where the other working group for the multi-year strategic planning comes to be in terms of setting timelines and how you can sort of synergize some of these initiatives so you can target budgets for at least the next -- if it's not possible at least for these two years, at least from the Fifth Committee level, but at least, say, the next eight years or something.
Having said that with respect to the call for funders, big or small, MNCs or no size and all sizes, all shapes, I think that's a -- it's good to hear DESA say that because it's certainly a different message than we heard some time ago. Not necessarily by you but we were told it was only specific -- it could only come from a specific set of -- there was very strict criteria.
So now that it's an open call, I think one of the things would I like to recommend to the chair and also to the working groups is to make that call public. Yeah. And that's it.
Thank you, Chair.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Thank you, Sala. I don't think it's ever been not a public call. I think for a while it was kind of held within a donor committee which were current donors, and I think that actually somewhat restricts the visibility of the effort. But we are working to bring that more public now. Hence, this is during the open community consultation and not at a lunch break where it's historically been.
I think Mark's hand is up for the next agenda item. Oh, was it on this one? Okay. So, Mark, take the floor on this one.
>>MARK CARVELL: Yes, thank you, Lynn. Mark Carvell, UK government.
Yeah, I was just going to comment on government contributions to the trust fund. As I understand it, this year it's just three. There's the Dutch, UK, and European Commission. But of course France is hosting. So they're contributing in kind, if that's the right phrase, a lot more. But I'm sorry, I know the scale of funding is -- is massive. And then Germany next year.
So I think a concerted effort directed at the governments is necessary.
It's disappointing because last year with the IGF taking place here in Geneva, there was the proximity of the U.N. missions and the engagement there that might have been an opportunity to push for more government contributions. Maybe it was. I don't know.
And I wonder -- and Marilyn Cade earlier on, I think, urged MAG members to reach out to government and business stakeholders on the funding issue. My additional thought is whether the national and regional IGFs might do likewise in terms of issuing some kind of statement or letter based on a narrative which captures the financial situations just being described by Wai-Min, so it has a common, authoritative statement that could be the basis of a letter going out to governments. And it could be used, obviously, for the corporate sector as well. Maybe some concerted effort through those channels as well as the channels available to colleagues here in the MAG could be done now. I mean, I think the -- as you say, the situation is now pretty desperate and urgent. And especially so given the extension of IGF activities intersessionally, which needs support by the secretariat, as was mentioned earlier.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Thank you, Mark.
One quick comment, and then I'm going to close the queue with what's up there as well so we can get to the other relationships and partnerships. Those are extremely important to the work we do and a critical part of the IGF activities. And we can come back to this during the MAG meetings over the next couple of days if we need to.
The governments that were listed are just those that have actually contributed so far this year. Having said that, there are probably less than 15 that actually contribute on a regular basis and are outstanding. So that is a very small number when you look at the governments in total in the world. So clearly there's a lot of work still to be done there.
I'm going to go through Marilyn, Renata, and Nigel. And then, Wai-Min, I'll see if you have any kind of final comments, and then we'll move to the other items.
So if you can keep your comments brief and to the point, that will be helpful.
Marilyn, you have the floor.
>>MARILYN CADE: Thank you, Lynn. Marilyn Cade speaking.
I'm just going to comment quickly. Mark, I don't think it's really -- at least the developing countries NRIs, I don't think it's feasible to ask them to ask their government. I think some governments could provide -- particularly the WEOG governments, could provide more funding than they are. Some are already big funders. And perhaps we can think about, you know, thinking about the G20 countries, the WEOG countries and advancing those contributions. My own government is a limited contributor. I'm not sure I can do much about that, but I never give up, as we say.
Finland is a leader as is The Netherlands. Role models. The UK government. And maybe we could think about taking some of you who are role models and going to other governments like South Korea, Japan, and a few others. So I'll just make that comment.
Secondly, on the business side, I think we need to diversify our request on business. We've been limited in our own thinking, and yet the companies that are in the content space, in the energy space might be new opportunities for us. And I'll just ask the MAG -- I'd be happy to talk more with MAG members about diversifying who we're asking for funding for the U.N. Trust Fund.
And then finally I'm just going to promote the IGFSA, the IGF Support Association that I'm on the board of. We're a very small contributor, but we do contribute to the U.N. Trust Fund, but we also contribute to the NRIs, and perhaps that would be the way for us to advance more awareness about the need for stable funding for the IGF itself.
I'll leave it at that.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Thank you, Marilyn.
Renata, you have the floor.
>>RENATA AQUINO RIBEIRO: Thank you, Chair. Renata.
Just bringing a point that I brought before, but I think that it's -- it's a glass ceiling. The issue of funding, of having possibilities to fund the IGF of micro grants or ground-funding initiatives, I understand that IGF has a membership model and it helps the NRIs, but really so many other models are out there. And I'm speaking here with the head of CryptoRave participant, which is a global event that -- that happens through members' contribution. So there's -- there's a goal, and if you don't reach that goal, you won't have certain things.
So it doesn't need to be a revolution to start this in the IGF, but baby steps. Perhaps an activity that -- and space that could be crowd funded. In Paris there are so many possibilities, like doing a partnership. We have a space for that or something like that.
So I'm just throwing the idea, again, out there. And I know it's very uncanny for governments and all, but I think that it should be a way forward.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Renata, there are a couple of points you made that we should come back to. We don't have time. It's not really a membership model for the IGF. And, I mean, please, if you can, join the working group as well. And a couple of the other commenters are members of the working group but we need not only people to sit on the list but we need participants, actually participants joining the call in the working group to help us move forward as well. So I'm renewing that call for participation.
Nigel, you have the floor.
>>NIGEL HICKSON: Thank you very much indeed, Madam Chair. Nigel Hickson, ICANN. Just two points. First is that ICANN is committed to continue its support for the IGF, so we'll be contributing in the same way in 2018 as we did in 2017.
Secondly, I think we ought to during this open consultation, express thanks to the MAG working group that's looking at funding in this area. It's never an easy task to solicit funding from organizations. So I think we ought to thank them for looking at business organizations that might be susceptible to endorsement.
The third point is perhaps slightly more controversial and has got nothing to do with football or anything else. But I think France --
[ Laughter ]
-- is in a significant position here. We'll hear more tomorrow obviously from the Ambassador Martinon. But we've heard this morning already that France is proposing some form of integration of the peace activities with the IGF. And this is excellent. As I said before, we hope that Paris will show the high-level government ministers and businesses will want to discuss these Internet governance issues. I mean, they should want to discuss these Internet governance issues whether we meet in Paris or whether we meet anywhere because as anyone knows, these Internet governance issues and the wider economic issues of the Internet are pretty critical.
But having said that, we are going to have hopefully business leaders, government leaders in Paris for the IGF. And surely France along with the U.N. and others in talking to these business leaders and government leaders will have the opportunity not of passing the hat around or anything else like that but certainly making it clear that the future of this initiative does depend on funding. Thank you.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Thank you, Nigel. Sylvia and then, Wai-Min, we'll come to you and that is the end of the queue in this session.
>>SYLVIA CADENA: Thank you, Lynn. Sylvia Cadena for the recording.
Just wanted to go back to the slide that shows the diversification of donors on the trust fund. I think that is something that we should take the one before that has a little bit -- that one. That is really fantastic actually, even if to this year it means we have not received the contributions that were expected. I think there are very few organizations that can handle that number of donors and don't go crazy because they all ask different things.
So I was wondering if on that list there is, like, what the procedure for the trust fund is in terms of follow-up with them to figure out why they gave to the trust fund in the first place and what will make them give again if they are not completed that. That might actually help some of the groups that are working on improvements and also the group on the outreach and some of the ideas around communication, for example, that in my experience outcomes are very important when you are trying to convey people to put money on the table. There is a big push at the moment, for example, to invest in initiatives only based on success or outcomes delivered, even if you are signing grants. So you are never sure about how much you're going to get until you reach those outcomes.
Either trust funds that the U.N. manages, like the gender one, for example, that is very successful. They have raised a million dollars last year alone. So I think that maybe there is some information there that we as MAG members don't -- we don't have.
I commented -- I had some comments to the working group on fund-raising based on my experience. But it would be really good to know, how is it working in terms of whatever fancy system or nonsystem is in use. Putting the hat out to ask for money is basically based on relations. So it's very important to know how those relations are maintained and what are they asking for and if we have been able or not to deliver on those promises.
Because they might not have budget this year, for example, to contribute. But if we ask them how successful or not we were in the IGF delivering to the promise or whatever it was that they were looking at, they might be able to give us -- or recommend us to others, to be able to send those pledge requests. So they might not have the funds but they might have some knowledge of other organizations we might be able to. But following up with previous donors is super key to understand your landscape is for the next round. I am sure it's obvious to those of you who are managing it, but I don't know. Thank you.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Thank you, Sylvia. Frederic asked for the floor first. Wai-Min, I will go to Frederic first.
Frederic, you have the floor.
>>FREDERIC PARUTA: Yes. Very quickly, just to -- France would be a good place maybe to seek funds. But the French government is already trying to share the cost of the organization of the IGF and the different bills that will come from UN DESA and others.
So just to make it clear to Nigel don't expect tomorrow to have a French ambassador which will be distributing money around. Is looking for money also because UNESCO, and that's the U.N., is not free. So would like to have this idea of suddenly France winning the World Cup will --
[ Laughter ]
-- create a cash box in which the IGF could be funded on. Thank you.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Wai-Min, you have the floor.
>>WAI-MIN KWOK: Thanks. I would like to start with a comment just before Frederic on follow-ups. I think that's one area we can certainly do better. We have discussions. We also have areas identified for improvement. I think the recommendations coming of the working group led by Lynn will be a very good basis for us to look at in the areas of gaps that we can do better.
Now I can admit it's not a very systematic follow-up. So it's something we can do better and one specific area, for instance, is on capacity development. A lot of donors specifically ask this trust fund do more in capacity development. And one -- there are different areas of capacity development, but it is always challenging, especially in the IGF context. So what we are trying to do more is also to see how we can help the NRI and also how we can actually have increased participation from the developing countries.
On that note, if you have any ideas or any co-initiatives, please share with us.
The second, in response -- my general response is that all the documents, the list of donors, they are all available on the IGF Web site, which is also I would say not typical of other U.N. trust funds. Typically administratively a typical U.N. trust fund, only the documents are only open to the donors. But understanding that this is a bottom-up, inclusive community and also respecting -- I mean, with the decision of all the donors, it has always been open since a quite number of years ago, including the project document, the expenditure, and so on and so forth.
And that is the clarification to Sala's point about the Fifth Committee. I may have caused the confusion. The Fifth Committee, they do not govern the IGF Trust Fund. I mentioned Fifth Committees because they actually are the governing body of the regular budget. So I'm just trying to say that we cannot -- through DESA, we can not actually transfer funds from regular budget to the IGF trust fund. We do not have that authority, neither does even the Fifth Committee because it's actually given by the GA resolution.
So the trust fund -- IGF Trust Fund is truly based on donors' contribution, multidonor, multistakeholder.
One general point or so I would just like to acknowledge hearing from all of you, we mentioned about the contribution from host country, the trust fund in terms of supporting all the cost. There's also one very important group of contribution, there's the in-kind contributions that we have been receiving from a lot of organizations, including some of you are a representative of. Like, for instance, ISOC bringing participants to the annual IGF, WebEx sponsored by Cisco. These are just two. I happen to know there are many others. I think we can also do a better job in terms of registering these in-kind contributions. Thank you. Thank you, Chair.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Thank you, Wai-Min.
Again, appreciate very much your being here and stepping in in the role of Armin. Much appreciated. Thank you.
So let's move to the next agenda item which is briefings from other related or relevant initiatives and organizations. And we will just -- I have a list of people that have either indicated they would be speaking, but there is no order. Most of you know who you are. Feel free to put your hand up in the queue and we will work through. If nobody volunteers to go first, we will just choose somebody.
>>ZEINA BOU HARB: I'm not sure if it's what's meant by "any other initiative" but I have -- I have a message from ESCWA, and they asked me to transfer this message to our meeting.
It's related to the Arab IGF. And ESCWA wants to inform everybody that in partnership with the League of Arab States and after the conclusion of the review and improvement efforts of the Arab IGF, the formal preparation for the fifth meeting started. And we'll be having an open consultation and an Arab MAG meeting next week. And they would like to invite everybody to join the open consultation if someone would like to attend this and provide any feedback. This is mainly the message.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Thank you, Zeina. The organizations that we tend to have come in here are the European Commission, EBU, ICANN, ISOC. I think Mission Publiques was looking for the floor. They are largely international organizations that have a lot of integrated activities or a lot of activities that are particular core to the business of the IGF.
So let me go first. Yes, you can go first.
>> VALENTINA SCIALPI: Thank you, Chair. Valentina Sciapli from the European Commission. Dear MAG members, dear colleagues, as Commisisoner Mariya Gabriel said during an intervention at the last EuroDIG in Georgia, we are now at the crossroads in the evolution of the Internet.
I don't know if you can hear me. Yes, maybe this is better.
The European Commission and the European Union at-large are very pleased that this year for the second year in a row the IGF will take place in European country as seems the case for almost 2019 for the third year in a row.
This would provide the necessary continuity to shape the discussion and push the IGF and the multistakeholder model further as we hope.
To this end, we are now developing a new strategy for Internet governance that will support our future position. And as we have just saw in the previous agenda item, the European Commission has been a long-standing supporter of the IGF and of the multistakeholder model for Internet governance. And we continue to do so in the future, which is why we hope we will have very high-level representation from our side at the upcoming IGF in Paris.
We also support directly and indirectly several national and regional initiatives. EuroDIG and SEEDIG just to mention a couple. We have set two high-level multistakeholder groups, one on artificial intelligence and another one on fake news, that will advise the Commission in these fields.
To this end, we have noticed that the multistakeholder model works extremely well when there is the relatively narrow target or focus. Or as it is the case for some organizations dealing with Internet policies such as ICANN or the IETF, it works when there is a specific task to accomplish.
We know that the discussion around Internet governance has been changing and evolving a lot since 2005. And the remit of Internet governance itself has been growing.
We are now witnessing pushes towards a fragmentation and paralyzation of the digital world coming from different sides and different regions of the world as well as the state of decline of user's trust toward technologies. No day passes by without reading about a new (indiscernible) down somewhere in the world.
This is why it would be crucial now for the IGF to move a step further, from a platform purely for discussion towards having some tangible and measurable outcomes and narrow, more focused debate.
We need to move the focus of the discussion from the model itself to the real issue to strive or try at least towards finding solution and best practices in order to revive the discussion and stay relevant in the Internet governance debate.
We are glad, as I mentioned already, it was the IGF in Europe for three years in a row. However, we cannot be naive. Results can be achieved only with the support of all the stakeholders involved, and we will as European Commission in the coming months engage and interact with as many stakeholders as possible to help us design our strategy.
To conclude, we are not just at a crossroads as Commissioner Gabriel said. We are at the crucial point of the evolution of the Internet, for the future of the IGF and its relevance. Thank you.
And also since now it's public, I want to congratulate Chengetai for his future and thank him for his work.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Thank you. I was just saying Commissioner Gabriel gave a very impressive speech at EuroDIG as well which I'm sure is online on the EuroDIG site somewhere.
Next in the queue we have Antoine, Renata, and then Giacomo for EBU.
Antoine, you have the floor.
>> ANTOINE VERGNE: Antoine Vergne from Mission Publiques. Some of them know me and know our organization and our project. But now I would like to make it a bit more official and present it. Our goal of our organization -- we are a team of ten. Our goal is to create a channel between ordinary citizens and global challenges, global decision-making processes. We have been doing that since ten years and last year we started to work on the question of the future of Internet with a goal of organizing a global citizens debate on the future of Internet. Our goal is to engage around 20,000 ordinary citizens, people from the streets, to recruit them through random selection processes, have them working in groups of 100, 150 persons in around 100 countries of the world. Give them the occasion to meet during a full day and discuss on four to six topics of the future -- around the future of Internet and Internet governance. Before that giving them some tools to understand the topics so we produce information materials that we deliver to the citizens. Then they have this day to deliberate, and then we ask them some questions about the future of the Internet.
We have been doing that in 2015 on the topic of climate change before COP21 in Paris. And we are now in the process of implementing the same process on the future of Internet.
Our goal is to have ten pilots this year in the five continents, so two countries by continents. We already have good candidates for that.
We want to present the results of this first step of the process at IGF '18 or around it. And we want to have the full-scale debate next year in May or June 2019 with the goal of 100 countries.
So we've been talking with a lot of you. We've been getting much support from very different stakeholders, and we are now finalizing the coalition. We will have more news in September. And we will launch the pilots, too.
But I wanted to inform the MAG that we are doing that, that our goal is to support and inform the discussion of the stakeholders and that we are happy to engage in discussions and in exchanges on what you see as the main topics of discussion and also to see if you want to interact with us on the pilots, on the debate next year, on the results or any other aspect of this project.
I am here until tonight, but I am available also online. And thank you.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Thank you, Antoine. Antoine is actually a member of the working group on multiyear strategic program as well, both in terms of sharing ideas and cross-fertilization. And there's a number of conversations happening with other entities in this group as well to see what we can sort of learn and advance. I think it's very interesting work.
Thank you, Antoine. Thank you for coming, too.
Next in the queue we had Renata.
Renata, you have the floor.
>>RENATA AQUINO RIBEIRO: Hi. Renata. So speaking again as participant from the Mozilla community and the digital grassroots youth initiative.
So a while ago we also shared with the MAG members proposal for the newcomers track, and the IGF is doing the -- the consult -- the consultation on youth engagement. So there are many youth avenues for participation. But I would like really to focus that on the newcomers track but we will need your contribution and hope that we can discuss in the upcoming meeting.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Thank you, Renata. Next we have Giacomo, European Broadcasting Union, in the queue.
>>GIACOMO MAZZONE: Thank you, Chair. I want to say that, for us, it was -- last year was a very interesting opportunity the IGF made in this way. We tried to make the most interactive possible with our strategic activities.
Just to give you an example of what I mean for that is that, for instance, our Director General was in the panel with Commissioner Gabriel on fake news at the very opening of the IGF, and after that we were involved in the high-level group, expert group of the European Commission, and now we are part of the group -- working group that is in charge of implementing the proposal coming out of the high-level expert group. So you see that there is continuing back and forth of activities.
After that, we also created a working group of broadcasters and media on artificial intelligence applied to media, because this is something that is having a big impact on our activities. And so, again, this was inspired by many of the discussions we had last year.
And finally, the -- we have an open forum organized with WIPO on local content, how to promote local content. And based on that, we decided to engage directly in the BPF of this year for the next IGF, and this is why now we are supporting this activity massively, and I hope the other organization will be with us, too.
So you see that if this kind of model could be replicated also in Paris this year, I think it will be beneficiary on both sides.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Thank you, Giacomo.
I think we were expecting comments from ISOC, ICANN, UNESCO. Okay. Sorry. You're from UNESCO? Please.
>>UNESCO: Yeah, thank you very much, Madam Chair. My name is Bobir Tukhtabayev from UNESCO liaison office in Geneva. Thank you very much for the opportunity to intervene.
Before I focus on the related activity, I just would like to extend our appreciation to the secretariat of IGF for the very commendable work and for organizing this meeting in a most efficient manner.
UNESCO is very pleased to participate in the second open consultations, and as we discussed this morning, we look forward to hosting the next IGF forum as convened by France within our premises later this year.
Today we would like briefly to inform the membership of the progress on the -- in the implementation of the ongoing UNESCO project to elaborate Internet Universality Indicators Framework, which will be one of the topics discussed at the next IGF as open forum.
As many of you may be aware, this process actually started three years ago when our general conference adopted the concept of Internet universality to highlight those features of the Internet which are fundamental to fulfilling UNESCO's mandate.
The UNESCO Internet universality concept is endorsed by member states; was elaborated through very extensive program of research, analysis, as well as consultations with governments and other Internet community, broad Internet community, including through international conference entitled "Connecting the Dots" that was held in Paris in 2015.
The concept recognize that Internet is much more than infrastructure and applications. It's a network of economic and social interactions and relationships which has a great potential to enable human rights, empower individuals and communities, and facilitate sustainable development.
Understanding the Internet in this way helps to draw together the many different facets of Internet development which are affected by technology and public policy into a cohesive framework. Some of these facets intimately link to the core aspects of UNESCO's mandate, be it education, sciences, culture, human rights, or knowledge societies.
On the basis of this very concept, the Internet universality indicators have been now elaborated as a research tool, let me underline it is a research tool for broader stakeholders in order to get the evidence to assess national Internet frameworks, particularly in UNESCO's fields of competence. Secondly, to increase understanding on the national Internet environment, and also to provide evidence base for policy-making by governments and stakeholders.
These indicators have been developed around five categories, which are embedded in so-called ROAM principles which advocate for an Internet based on human rights, that is open, accessible to all and nurtured by multistakeholder participation, as well as a focus on cross-cutting issues such as gender, youth, and people with disabilities.
Each category is divided into several themes dealing with different aspects of Internet, including freedom of expression, privacy, open data, connectivity, affordability, Internet governance, trust, and security.
We are currently in the second phase of the project which results in the release of the second version of the draft Internet universality indicators. The second version of the draft indicators has drawn upon a very comprehensive consultation process. In fact, since the beginning of the project, more than 2,000 experts have been consulted in 40 countries across all regions, strengthening the quality and legitimacy of these indicators.
During the recent online consultation, for instance, UNESCO received more than 150 contribution from 54 countries. A total of 136 comments were also posted on the dedicated portal supported by Association of Progressive Communications, APC consortium, which is actually helping UNESCO to develop these indicators.
In parallel, 38 consultation meetings and workshops were convened for face-to-face discussion in Egypt, Sri Lanka, Switzerland, France, Canada, Brazil, U.S., Tunisia, UK and Ghana.
The second version of the framework, which includes actually 283 indicators, draft indicators, have been scientifically screened by experts recently in Brazil, Ecuador, Nigeria, and Pakistan in order to consider and examine the validity of the indicators in terms of whether there are, indeed, available data and methodologies to gather evidence at national level.
Following this, soon practical piloting will be undertaken in selected countries, after which the indicators will be submitted to the consideration of intergovernmental council of UNESCO's International Program for the Development of Communication in November of 2018, just ten days after -- after Internet Governance Forum.
Allow me also to underline and recall that U.N. Human Rights Council adopted just last week, last Friday, a new resolution on human rights on the Internet which recognizes the ongoing process of UNESCO to develop Internet universality indicators. It is, indeed, obvious that Internet universality indicators are not intended to address all and every aspect of Internet. It actually focus on the ROAM principles which essentially reflect those aspects that fall within UNESCO's fields of competence. These indicators are not being developed either to facilitate direct comparison between countries.
We believe that once finalized, the indicators will become a useful tool at the disposal of governments and other stakeholders to measure the progress and force the Internet universality within their territories or areas of responsibility.
Thank you very much.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Thank you. And thank you for everything UNESCO is doing to help advance the IGF in Paris later this year as well.
I think I saw Nigel's hand go up earlier for ICANN. No?
So Nigel, you have the floor.
>>NIGEL HICKSON: Thank you, Madam Chair. If someone else wanted to go before, that's what I was -- no?
Well, thank you very much for this opportunity, and I'll -- I'll try and be brief.
First of all, the commitment to the IGF, I've noted, is total. I think it's incredibly important at this time as other people -- as other people have said. The analogy of being at a crossroads or something like that is too often used, but whether it's a crunch point or just a -- an important part in the evolution of the -- of the Internet, it's certainly an important time for the -- for the IGF.
Thank you also to the secretariat for continuing to giving this excellent support. To Chengetai, particularly in your new role. And I promise we won't badger you over coffee. I won't offer you any drinks or anything like that.
It's been fantastic working with you and we hope we can continue to do so.
ICANN has been working on a number of issues which I suppose are pertinent to some of the work that we've done at the IGF and some of the sessions that will be discussed in -- in Paris, noticeably on European General Data Protection Regulation. Of course there's been a lot of work across the community and there's many other areas as well. And I think what we're seeing is that the -- this wide ranging regulation has many positive attributes. (Indiscernible).
We should not lose that as a principle objective for what it set out to do.
Of course it also raises many practical issues and concerns which our organizations are working through, including ICANN in terms of our global registries and registrars that handle European citizen data as they apply for domain names. This is an ongoing piece of work, and I'm not saying that ICANN is alone in working on these issues, but I think because of our responsibility for the database, the WHOIS database where -- which is used by many different sectors of society, for security, for law enforcement, for IP protection, it does have a certain pertinent ring for ICANN. But it is, as I say, it's something -- it's something positive as well to work on.
We're looking forward to the -- to the IGF in Paris and discussing a wide range of issues. As you know, we also have our own meetings three times a year. And it's not just the GDPR that's being discussed, I hasten to add; a whole range of other issues including the next or the subsequent process for generic top-level domains. This is reaching a conclusion, perhaps, or the policy development process is perhaps reaching a conclusion in the next 12 to 18 months, and then we might well see another round of generic top-level domains in -- in due course.
Two other -- two other issues. We're working towards our next meeting in Barcelona in -- at the end of October or the middle of October. This is a -- what we call a high level meeting. It's our AGM meeting. We have one AGM meeting a year, but it's also every two years we hold a meeting where we invite ministers from the -- ministers from across the -- across the globe to attend and heads of various stakeholder organizations for a high-level government meeting or a high-level meeting which is taking place on Monday, the 22nd of October. And if anyone wants any further details on that, I'd be delighted to contribute to them. And the IGF no doubt -- well, is featuring on the agenda of that meeting when we look into the wider Internet governance aspects that are coming up.
And that includes also, of course, which I'll finish on, the ITU plenipotentiary which was mentioned this morning which -- the final week of which takes place at the same time as the IGF. The plenipotentiary this year will be looking at a whole range of issues, some of which have been mentioned this morning, such as artificial intelligence, the Internet of Things, cybersecurity, data protection issues. So there is a -- there is a read across there as well. Thank you very much, indeed.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Thank you very much, Nigel.
ISOC, I had you down as a potential speaker. Is that -- Raul is online? Raul, you have the floor.
>>RAUL ECHEBERRIA: I'm trying to unmute. Are --
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: You are unmuted. Yes, we can hear you.
>>RAUL ECHEBERRIA: Okay. Thank you very much. Good afternoon, everybody. Thank you for the opportunity to provide comments remotely.
I would like to take advantage of this opportunity to thank France for hosting the next IGF meeting and also UNESCO for the contribution providing their facilities. Thank you also to the MAG and you, Lynn, as a the chair for all the work you are doing, working for having another successful meeting this year. And congratulation to the secretariat for the work, also, that the permanent (indiscernible), individually to Chengetai for this change, this new responsibility he is taking very soon. That will impose a new challenge for him, but that, I'm sure, will succeed and make -- continue making an important contribution to the community from this new role.
As you know, the Internet society has been one of those permanent forces behind IGF since its inception, contributing not only with funds but also providing contents, organizing stations, bringing feelers, and different -- many other different ways. We continue strongly committed to IGF and its success. We are convinced that we have built along the years a very (indiscernible) and important piece of the Internet governance ecosystem, and we really hope that the IGF can continue playing a center role in the ecosystem. This is a place where all the stakeholders come with a lot of trust. We have learned how to work together, and this is why this IGF or the IGF should continue to be a relevant forum because Internet governance matters, especially in those times that are very challenging for a lot of us. Challenges are coming up from different perspectives, emerging technologies, new (indiscernible) of regulations and the impact that the Internet and the ICTs in general are creating in local economies, and global economies, too.
So there is a lot of challenges in the future, and we need a strong IGF for that. Even now with this recently created U.N. high-level panel, we need a very strong IGF in order to play this -- to ensure the bridges between those initiatives and other IG forums with this Internet governance community we have built in the last -- the last 14 years. And so we are really -- we are promoting, as you know, a global and open discussion about what's the kind of IGF we need and how we can continue strengthening the IGF and improving the IGF. And probably you already know some of the ideas that we have promoted, but the main concern is that how we can work together in order to ensuring that the IGF continue being the relevant forum which it has been so far, and relevant for all the stakeholders.
We have (indiscernible) these discussions in many meetings around the world, and we have -- what we have perceived is broad support to those ideas that we have to continue improving this forum.
Some complete ideas that we have managed are, for example, how to be more focused in discussions, how to reduce the number of (indiscernible), reducing the number of workshops so we can concentrate, we can take advantage, full advantage of the very relevant people that is going to every IGF, to engage them in the discussions, and not having 20 things happening at the same time so we really reduce the impact of the discussion.
So more focused discussions, more clear tracks so you don't have workshops of the same topics competing with them, reducing the number of (indiscernible) the idea of the high-level organization that would have the ministerial meeting we have at the beginning of the IGF every year. But it's not been as useful as it would be, probably changing the format and trying to get these high-level people (indiscernible) or making a statement for really having discussing the outcomes of the different tracks or sessions.
There are many ideas. But those are just open ideas.
We know, of course, every year there are limitations to introduce new components or to change the format of the meetings because we have also to accommodate the expectations of the country host and adopt, for example, to the number of days that the IGF would have this year. It would be a shorter IGF than other times.
But besides the fact that our understanding is that we have some limitations, we think that's -- we have to go back to give some signs to the community that we are moving forward so that we really care about, continue having this IGF as a centered piece of the Internet governance ecosystem in a relevant manner.
So this is just an invitation to continue discussing that. And you are in a position, you the MAG, are in a position to give some sign to the community. So this is what we want to ask you to continue discussing, to engage yourself in the discussion about how to continue improving the IGF and provide some signs to the community.
But be sure that The Internet Society will continue as we have done so far, continuing with the same tools we have done so far, so bringing new leaders, youth to the IGF, contributing financially, and continue providing contents working with all of you in trying to design decisions in the best possible way in order to have a very successful, meaningful IGF. Thank you very much for the opportunity to speak to you.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Thank you, Raul. Thank you for your comments and thank you for coming in remotely as well. Much appreciated. Are there any other international organizations, related organizations that would like to make some comments here? Typically we've had the World Economic Forum because they have a project called Internet for All that the secretariat actually interfaces with them on -- that's been Anja and Chengetai -- and where appropriate, have made some linkages between a couple of NRIs and the World Economic Forum as well. I know they are all tied up at various other meetings this week but couldn't be there.
I don't know, Anja, if there's anything else you want to add or maybe just a quick update maybe where there is that cross-participation.
>>ANJA GREGO: Yes, that is true. I think for the sake also the importance of the NRI's network, it's importan to say that WEF was very much interested to work with the NRIs. So in that sense, we have connected with a team of colleagues at the Argentinian IGF, Rwanda IGF. They're also working in Jordan. We don't have the IGF presence there, but the WEF was so kind to connect us just to kind of tell what is the IGF process. So maybe there will be some updates also from that side.
The steering committee met, I believe, two weeks ago and we attended two days' workshops. What they are trying to do is similar as we have the views, they want to, first of all, put emphasis on these country programs. They believe that their implementation of their project is for with local communities, especially on the national level. So we will see how that will happen in the future.
The group, the steering committee, was trying be to brainstorm on the methodology. And in that sense, the NRIs were also recognized. So we will continue connecting the stakeholders from the NRIs where the country programs of the WEF are present. Thank you.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Thank you, Anja.
I should also mention that I am co-chair of the Digital Economy and Society System initiative. The other co-chair with the CEO of Thompson Reuters. I have actually worked with the World Economic Forum on various future of the Internet projects going back ten or 12 years. So partly as a result of that earlier relationship, it's also reflecting the fact that the World Economic Forum is really trying to understand sort of network of networks and some system effects that come about in a world where communications are so intertwined and so sort of easy, if you will.
So we are -- there's a number of initiatives they are actually looking at there. I take every opportunity I can to make sure they are aware of kind of a lot of our own principles and values in the Internet community which, you know, sometimes is a little different to their own set of kind of experiences or directions, given largely the makeup of their members.
I think there's a nice complementarity to the two populations, if we can find ways to look at the strengths of both and find out what the appropriate interconnection points are.
One of the things they're starting to look at pretty seriously is identity and drawing on a World Bank initiative that has put some several millions of dollars over a couple of years to help advance identity systems. Don't know if there's any, you know, possible intersect there. The one thing I could think would be kind of interesting is to understand what this global community thinks about identity and what identity systems might look like which I think would be an interesting complement again to, you know, what some of the members there might actually be considering.
But there is no formal request or anything from them at this point in time. I do think we probably need to get a sort of fuller briefing of some of their activities so we can see where there's a good intersect. We might -- my personal belief is the World Economic Forum attracts the leading governments and the leading policymakers and leading CEOs. And if we can help them in their own deliberations in some of these areas, then I think that's potentially a win-win. Of course, it also serves to help advance some of our own outreach efforts as well. And, in fact, there are a couple of discussions I'm having with some companies that came out of some of those contacts.
So, again, if anybody has any kind of questions or comments on any of the presentations that have come through this agenda item or section, this would be a time to raise your hand. I see that there are a few up as well. But if there are any other additional organizations that would like to share appropriate projects or potential interlinkages, this is the time to do that. If you have questions about any of the presentations that have gone before, this is also the time to do that.
Mark Carvell, you have the floor.
>>MARK CARVELL: Thank you, Lynn. Mark Carvell, U.K. government.
Just following on from your points about the WEF, I just wanted to inform the meeting that the WEF is holding a summit on innovation, science and technology in Tianjin, China, on the 18th to 19th of September which the U.K. government is co-chairing with China. We have a minister -- well, a minister who has just moved actually.
[ Laughter ]
In the course of the recent developments, just moved. So I can't actually confirm --
[ Laughter ]
We should have a minister there co-chairing this session. But to bring back -- bring me back to the serious point, it's really looking at transformative technologies, including AI. So there will be a lot of interest there. And a lot of interest for the IGF agenda on AI and ethics and the impact of transformative technologies such as that in industry 4.0 as we say.
So I hope that's a useful piece of supplementary information. Thank you.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: It is. Thank you, Mark.
Next in the queue we have -- I think it's Carina Birarda. Carina, you have the floor.
May, in fact, be the reverse.
>> I think she's not online.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: She's not being online. Being informed she's no longer online.
Anybody else who would like to take the floor or any comments on any of the initiatives that were covered earlier?
Sala, you have the floor.
>>SALANIETA TAMANIKAIWAIMARO: I tried the speaking queue but apparently it's not working or the Internet is slow or something this afternoon.
I just wanted to thank you, Lynn, particularly for your work on the World Economic Forum. I think it's particularly important and critical that we bring these level of synergies. I note particularly that you mentioned that the World Bank is doing work in the area of identity. Is it identities or identifiers? Identities?
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: A global identity system.
>>SALANIETA TAMANIKAIWAIMARO: A global identity system. And that's really critical. And one of the -- one of the things that I'd like to emphasize and also to encourage particularly the MAG members who will be carrying the baton and making the IGF greater and greater and greater is to, you know, bring some level of global relevance to the global discussions because the IGF, when it was created, it was created primarily to be on the cutting edge of public policy discourse.
Having said that, last year's world trade -- last year's WTO ministerial trade meeting where the discussions collapsed -- well, some people say it collapsed. That's just one perspective -- but the debate and the controversies surrounded the area of eCommerce. And within the IGF community, you have, like, whole bunch of experts and specialists from vendors and ISPs and OTTs and that sort of thing.
But I'm looking to see more global diversity particularly with inclusion of spaces from the ETOG, the European Telecommunication Operators Group, which is why I'm particularly excited that Christopher Steck -- I'm not sure if he is here today. Is he here?
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: No, he was going to have to participate remotely.
>>SALANIETA TAMANIKAIWAIMARO: I'm really excited that he's on the MAG this year because he's from Telefonica Spain. And it's very critical that we get that level of participation into the IGF to make us diverse.
It doesn't mean we have to be everywhere because people are already everywhere but enough where we keep our fingers on the pulse where it matters and to have a level of aggregation. So that will become relevant.
We want the WTO, UNCTAD -- by the way, UNCTAD is just next door, the next building.
And they are actually in the midst of rolling out eCommerce strategy -- not eCommerce, workshops for governments and all kinds of stakeholders, so sort of levels of synergies particularly with the IGF community and the NRIs.
Now, having said that, they also -- UNCTAD's ambassador happens to be Jack Ma. Is it Jack Ma? Alibaba?
So there's a whole level of synergies that can be explored from a greater cohesive collaboration.
So, yeah, just wanted to say thank you, Lynn, for the work you're doing on the World Economic Forum and encourage everybody else to see how else we can synergize better. Thank you.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Thank you, Sala.
Any other comments, interventions?
Rudolf. Rudolf, you have the floor.
>>RUDOLF GRIDL: Hello. Rudolf Gridl from the German government.
I just wanted to draw the attention of the MAG to everybody actually to the work of the Internet and Jurisdiction Conference that is going to take place -- the next conference is going to take place in actually Berlin in June of next year. But it has now been -- established have been the content groups on the different tracks, data, domains, and actually content where we as a government have representatives in every -- in every of those groups. And we think it's very important work that in our view could also feed into the IGF work this year and also next year. It is under the chairmanship of Bertrand de La Chapelle who is very much known to many of you.
And we think that this year and next year, this could be -- especially concerning the questions of legal solutions to these jurisdiction problems one of the important inputs to our work. Thank you.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Thank you, Rudolf. It is very interesting work and certainly Bertrand and Internet Jurisdiction have participated in past IGF meetings as well. Kind of a natural intersection.
Jutta, you have the floor.
>>JUTTA CROLL: Thank you, Madam Chair, for giving me the floor. I wanted to draw the attention of the MAG to the recommendation that the Council of Europe has published in the last week, on 4th of July, which were addressing the rights of children in the digital environment, giving huge guidance to stakeholders all around the world who have already signed into the U.N. Convention on the Rights of the Child, how to understand how these rights of children can be implemented in the digital environment.
If you're interested, I can send around a link to the recommendations. They are already published on the Council of Europe Web site. Thank you.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Thank you, Jutta.
It seems as though at least for the moment we've sort of exhausted that agenda item. So we can go to the last agenda item of the day today, which is basically sort of open community time. This was to allow time, if there were any other items or issues that hadn't come up for the previous discussion or through the specific agenda items to just ensure there was some free time to hear from the community on anything that was of importance to them.
So I will wait a minute to see if there's anybody in the room here who wants to say something or anyone online and just give them a few moments to -- just before anybody gets too excited, even if there's nobody that comes in on this item, I'm not suggesting we close the meeting early. I think we can get a head start on tomorrow in some areas.
Julian, you have the floor.
>>JULIAN CASABUENAS: Thank you, Madam Chair. My name is Julian Casabuenas. And 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 around the world and it has been an active supporter of the IGF since its inception. Thank you for the opportunity to make this input. We also thank the host government of France, the secretariat, the MAG, and all who are working towards making the IGF a success.
We wish to make a few comments on preparations for the 2018 IGF as well as the role of the IGF in the broader context of international Internet governance discussions.
Regarding participation from the Global South, encourage greater participation from governments by sending invitation to representatives of UNESCO missions and embassies in Paris. Location is a challenge, once again, for stakeholders from the Global South, particularly civil society actors.
What measures are being taken to support their participation? Let's be specific. Flights are not the issue, but accommodation is.
Regarding programming content and session formats, now that the IGF is shorter, three days instead of four, making improvements and innovations to the format is even more important. We, therefore, make the following recommendations to the MAG for its consideration in developing the program.
Revise roundtable formats so that it is interactive, involving the audience and not just an extended set of panelists.
Use plenaries and roundtables for synthesis across cross-cutting and emerging issues.
Workshops are a way of bringing people to the IGF and building community ownership and, therefore, limiting their number has to be done with care.
Workshops on common themes should not run concurrently.
Consider creating a coding system for different types of workshops that will reflect their goal is to elaborate a topic or to build on previous discussions.
Ensure that panels are composed with gender balance.
Ensure that the IGF agenda responds to issues that matter to underrepresented groups who often have existing capacity in relation to these areas and can share their knowledge with the IGF community.
Examples include people with disabilities, people living in rural areas without sufficient infrastructure and people from small islands states and indigneous people.
Balance taking into account the priorities and particularities of different regions while continuing to address global issues. Relying on the NRIs to achieve this is not sufficient. In fact, to some extent the focus on NRIs runs the risk of creating a separate regional and national track as opposed to exploring linkages between global, regional and national levels.
Regarding community intersessional work, more visibility needed for this work, including mapping where outputs can feed into other processes and where outcomes are already being used in other processes. For example, at the Human Rights Council, high-level political forum, and others.
Finally, the role of the IGF in relation to U.N. processes on Internet governance. We will appreciate an update from the secretariat, the MAG, and UNDESA on the upcoming U.N. Secretary-General's panel on digital cooperation. We welcome any initiative aimed at strengthening cooperation in the spirit of Internet and broader digital governance and development. We are concerned, however, about two issues in particular. The membership of the panel and its relationship to the Governance Internet Forum -- to Internet Governance Forum.
For this panel to have the legitimacy required for its recommendations to be taken seriously, its membership must be fully inclusive for all stakeholder groups and be representative of all parts of the world. Based on information available thus far, it appears that the panel lacks members from the civil society and the global south. We also believe that if this panel bypasses the IGF, it will be bypassing the stakeholders who have been most invested in facilitating greater coordination and cooperation in the fields of digital governance. The IGF needs to be strengthened, not side-lined.
APC encourage the IGF secretariat and the MAG to work with the executive office of the Secretary-General to ensure that this panel operates in a transparent and inclusive manner and that it takes into account the vast body of work related to cooperation and coordination on Internet-related matters, matters that has been done through and around the Internet Governance Forum.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Thank you, Julian. I certainly can't speak directly to your last set of points at this point, and certainly I think little can be said ahead of the formal announcement. I have met several times, though, with representatives of the executive office of the Secretary-General and particular sense the comments were made at the MAG meeting in March to ensure that there was familiarity amongst them with respect to the IGF and its genesis and opportunities to work together and that sort of thing.
It would be overstating significantly if we thought there was the opportunity for the IGF to sort of insist on something that happens in that -- in that environment. This is very much, as I understand it, and we'll know more tomorrow and the day after, the prerogative of the Secretary-General to establish a high-level panel to advise him. So -- I mean, I'm -- I'm happy with the fact that we've gone in several times and really, you know -- and done our best to sort of expose them to the IGF and insist on the IGF and its principles and its values. And I've certainly made the arguments about things we could do to further strengthen the IGF. But again, I think that needs to be taken into -- into account with respect to what the genesis of that particular effort was and the prerogative of the Secretary-General, of course, to establish the high-level panels as he sees fit.
But would I suggest that we really wait and see what the announcement says tomorrow and what the, you know, final makeup and that sort of thing is.
And then we have the opportunity, as I said earlier, on Friday morning, 9:30 local time, we will have here one of the co-chairs of the secretariat who will address us and be here to take any questions and provide some additional details on -- on that panel. I'm not intending to put anybody else to my right here on the spot, Chengetai or Wai-Min, but is there anything that they should add or anything that I've --
>>CHENGETAI MASANGO: No.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: -- inappropriately spoken of?
>>CHENGETAI MASANGO: So, yes. Executive director on Friday, and also a quick comment.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: The secretariat.
>>CHENGETAI MASANGO: Of the secretariat, yes. And also I am sure the Secretary-General has also taken into account those points you have made on the panel. I mean, it's the same sort of rules that they use to make up the IGF MAG. So, I mean, they are across the U.N. system when these panels are made or these advisory groups are made.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Thank you, Chengetai. Sala, you have -- oh. Sorry. Julian was there. I have Mark, Bruna and then Sala. I just want to respect the queue. So, Mark, you have the floor.
>>MARK CARVELL: Yes, thank you, Lynn. And thanks for the opportunity to raise two, three extra points in my case.
Firstly, this question about the length of the IGF. We have three days this year. I don't know if this is intended to be a permanent thing or I don't know what -- maybe this is a question for Germany. I don't know. But I think it would be important to review how this -- how the IGF has worked with the three-day program. I know there have been proposals before to shorten the IGF, but I think we're seeing a lot of additional pressure on the time slots available from the discussions we've had today about the best practice fora, about dynamic coalitions, the governmental and intergovernmental open fora. All of these need space in the IGF. And this is happening -- this increase in demand, if you like, is happening when there's a lot more coming forward in terms of workshop proposals. So it is a huge amount of competition, if you like, for the time.
So I think the review of how Paris goes as a three-day event, without a Day 0 as well, will be important.
Secondly, it is a late start this year for the planning, and that brings the IGF into a bit of disconnect with the national and regional IGFs who are holding events much earlier in the year, and this year in the absence of clear process for the global IGF. I think that's been a problem, and it won't happen again because we know Berlin is well established, and so on, for next year. But just a reminder about that point.
And a third point I think kind of connects with what we've just been discussing. We are -- now have a Secretary-General's panel on digital cooperation being established, and I think it reminds me of the discussions that have been held about the value of having an Executive Coordinator for the IGF. So somebody appointed by the Secretary-General with a focus on the IGF. You know, we shouldn't lose sight of that discussion, I think, about the value of an executive coordinator who will also add strength to the outreach on securing funding for the IGF and other -- other issues of advocacy, increasing the visibility and understanding of the IGF within the U.N. system and beyond.
So I -- I'd just table that point for consideration.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Thank you, Mark. Just a couple of quick comments. I mean, the three days was, if you will, sort of a forced experiment. I think we absolutely should take stock of it afterwards. It is now planned to be a shortened IGF in the 2019 and that's really the MAG's decision going forward in terms of what's the length of the IGF that suits the community needs. And of course that then is taken on board by those that are interested in hosting in negotiations of the secretariat. But, no, it really was a one-off.
I'm not sure what you mean by the late planning because our planning this year ran to the same cycle as past years. It is somewhat condensed, and our preference would be that the MAG is actually appointed ahead of the current year's IGF so that there's no lapse in the MAG being appointed. And we've all said numerous times we lose sort of three months a year in terms of that, and that hampers us obviously. But the planning cycle this time, at least in terms of the MAG's work, is the same as it has been for the last three years or so. And I say that because I convinced the French of that when they were taking their decision to host; that in fact this is not an abbreviated process we are following this year. It is the process we have followed for several years and that the planning is on track. And I fully, fully support that. This is exactly the same cycle as past years.
And I think we were talking about, with respect to the Executive Coordinator, I think you're talking about the special advisor. The Nitin Desai-level role, which is a role of special advisor to the Secretary-General. And that role actually fulfilled the chair role as well. That is something that I think mainly the community, mostly all the community believes is important. You know, it's not something that has come to fruition yet, and maybe that's a discussion for another time in terms of how that might come about and what we think is needed for the IGF to really kind of exercise its full strength, if you will, within the world at large. Within the U.N. system, but also beyond that -- beyond that as well, because I think we all very much valued Nitin's expertise and, you know, everything he contributed to the -- to the process.
Let me -- I don't know if Wai-Min has anything that he wants to add to the set of comments, and then we'll go back to the queue.
>>WAI-MIN KWOK: Thank you, Chair. Just to response about the appointment of the MAG members. We do understand the appointment was late this year. It's not meant to be that, but for various reasons, nonetheless it was late. And that, of course, it affect the overall preparation, and it's what Lynn said. It is the compressed time, but I understand that everything is still according to schedule and we are on good progress.
But I am actually at the liberty to announce that DESA, the USG is very much committed to having the next MAG -- I mean to prepare for the IGF in Germany. So the announcement for the nomination of the next MAG will come soon. In fact, hopefully will be sometime in this week or early next week. But it's -- the call for nomination will start in July. Then we will get -- following the normal cycle we will have all the nominations by sometime end of September. Then after which the intention is actually to have the new MAG members on board in the beginning of November in advance of the -- of the Paris IGF so that the new MAG can be on board and to see what can be the -- be the -- already the lessons drawn for the next IGF in Germany.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Thank you, Wai-Min. And I'll just echo that as well. That's one of the key points in my discussions with the Executive Office of the Secretary-General, was just how important it is that the MAG is here; that we lose too much time every year. We not only lose time, we lose momentum, and it's hard to do the sustained work of improvements when you come together in March and the bulk of your efforts have to be focused necessarily on the program and those activity. And I think that has been taken fully on board.
The other thing when I've gone in to see them that I've said is the IGF is convened by the Secretary-General. It operates largely under U.N. rules, slightly a hybrid model in that it's actually a bottom-up community consensus process. But then my next statement is what can we do to help? We understand the U.N. is concerned about a series of frontier issues, whether it's artificial intelligence or data, privacy or cybersecurity. I think what can the IGF do to help? And I ask that question of everybody I meet. A lot of people say the IGF is extremely important and we're valuable, and I honestly have to say I don't feel them beating down our doors to say "here's how you can help." And some of that, I think, is because of misunderstandings of what we are as a forum and they sort of feel we're not approachable in that manner; that it comes from kind of a bottom-up MAG or something.
So I think we have, you know, some work to do ourselves with respect to having people understand that we are here to really try and help advance the issues within our mandate, you know, that are important to the world. And if there's something we can do to help, then people should certainly engage and ask. And we, of course, have full ability to say that's not appropriate or no.
Mark, you're coming in on that point? Because otherwise, I should go back to the queue.
>>MARK CARVELL: Thanks. Sorry to come back in but just to come back to my late start point, I think one example of that was the call for issues. I think if that is done a lot earlier, it gives the chance for national and regional IGFs, which are meeting in the early part of the year, to actually contribute to that exercise. So that was one point I had in mind.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Thank you, Mark.
We have Bruna Santos in the queue. Bruna, you had the floor.
>>BRUNA SANTOS: Good afternoon, everyone. Is my audio working? I don't know.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: It is, yes.
>>BRUNA SANTOS: Thank you very much, Lynn. I will follow on my comments.
As the MAG undertakes the effort to agree on the proposals accepted, I would like to highlight that we understand that the evaluation was mainly focused on the quality of the proposals and how hard is the job of trimming over 300 proposals down to 50, but the overall selection of workshops doesn't seem to encompass some of the subjects around the IG community such as gender, accessibility, and youth participation.
On the breakdown of top-rated workshops, we're still lacking regional and gender representation, and in any events that is happening for the second year in a row in (indiscernible), you should be fostering regional representation from regions other than WEOG.
Also, from a quick look, there are only three gender-related workshops, and when you see the speaker stats between the top 40 rated workshops, we have 20 more male than female speakers. So my comment is more on the sense of asking MAG members to look for a means of balancing regional and gender representation in speakers and in any other measure possible. Quality of the content is very important, but we should continue to foster the IGF as a space for exchanging different narratives and experience it has always been.
Thank you very much.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Thank you, Bruna. Those are very good comments and very much to the point. And we will certainly be addressing that when we actually look at what the preliminary evaluation has given us in terms of workshops. And of course it's the MAG's responsibility to balance that appropriately across all the criteria.
We have Rudolf in the queue. Rudolf, you have the floor.
>>RUDOLF GRIDL: Thank you, Chair. It's on the previous point. Of course, it's the decision of the MAG deciding on the duration of the IGF. I just wanted to tell everybody that we have made reservations for a Day 0 and a four-day IGF for 2019 for the premises and everything that goes with it.
Then, again, it's the decision of the MAG and we should decide to have it two days. We can, I don't know, have a ball or a party the other three days or something.
[ Laughter ]
>> (off microphone).
>>RUDOLF GRIDL: This is one.
And, second, just to really reiterate the point on the appointment of the MAG. And we appreciate very much what we are hearing from UN DESA on that. And we encourage you to proceed with this timing that you presented to us because I think it's really crucial to have it early in time and so everyone can be up and ready working for the next IGF. So thank you for this.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Chengetai.
>>CHENGETAI MASANGO: I was also going to say we are going to have a music night because there's a nightclub in the venue. So if you can play an instrument or can sing, please come and see me.
[ Laughter ]
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Okay. Sala, you have the floor.
>>SALANIETA TAMANIKAIWAIMARO: Thank you, Chair. Salanieta Tamanikaiwaimaro for the record.
I would just like to pick up on a point that was raised by -- two points that was raised by APC. Was it Julian? Yes.
There was a brief mention of the NRIs. And the transcripts are too fast for me, or maybe I'm severely jet lagged.
But I would like to ask if that particular comment, if Anja, during your speaking time for the NRIs this week, if you could actually respond to that because it's critical that we actually respond to the comments that they made.
My perception of what I heard -- and I might have misheard because I'm again severely jet lagged and probably needing sleep -- is that there's a perception that there might be -- that the NRIs are a potential threat to the legitimacy of countries or something. I can't remember. But, anyway, which is where we actually need to -- if we could actually have the transcripts grabbed today, that would be great so I can actually go to it again. I would like to point Anja to it so you can adequately respond. That's one.
One of the things I would like to mention is, like, if you look at the number of people that actually applied, even though, you know, we advertise late because of logistical issues that were clearly beyond us but we should celebrate the success factors. Never before in the history of the IGF have we had this level of applications and proposals and quality proposals that actually came through at least in my sample space compared to previous years within the short time I've served on the MAG. I think that's commendation to the global community for taking the time to actually put that together and the match making that they possibly did at the last IGF or within the NRIs.
Having said that, I'd also like to point out that there's about -- I'm not sure whether it's 73. Hang on. Oh, yes, 78.25% of speakers that actually submitted workshop proposals came from countries that have NRIs. And that's a significant figure. They're not necessarily may be active within the NRI, but they certainly come from countries and territories that have NRIs. So that's a potential -- that's a critical figure to look at because you look at the penetration and the reach and the potential for catalyst and growth.
Now, having said that, you also have some countries like Senegal and Benin, for instance, who are putting in workshop proposals. I think Benin put in eight or something, but they all fell through the cracks. Obviously the workshops they were part of that they actually submitted didn't make it.
So, you know, there's room for -- I know the MAG actually looks at merges. But there's also room for looking to pull diversity from countries that could potentially be represented in other workshops.
And maybe some of them just couldn't write in English because they are just Francophones. Like, I couldn't write a paragraph in French to help me. I would probably need Google Translate. I can only imagine what it's like on the other side.
And the second point I would like to pick up from the comments that APC made is in relation to the U.N. processes. And I won't comment too much on it except to say that as far as -- and I speak only for myself. As far as my perception of what the MAG remit is, ours is very confined in terms of convening the IGF sort of to some extent influencing the public policy discourse.
As for the U.N. Secretary-General, he can speak for himself. I mean, I don't speak for him obviously. But I would assume given the global foras right now where a lot of the cutting-edge topics for discussions touch on issues pertaining to ICT/Internet governance and everything else in between. It would completely make sense that he would set up a commission.
Whether or not we have a say in it, it's beyond our scope as a MAG and it's beyond the secretariat's scope. It's beyond DESA's scope. It's his discretion, his prerogative.
And as for the IGF contributing to that space, that's certainly something that we can do better as a community in terms of -- I know there have been calls from the Council of Europe to set up -- for the IGF to set up a global public policy repository.
Is Lee in the room today from Council of Europe? No. It's something that Lee is always on the record for saying over the years. So that's certainly something we could work to developing.
Having said that, I thank you, Chair.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Thank you, Sala.
I'd like to come back and ask Julian -- rather than going and grabbing a transcript and taking the discussion offline, we can actually grab the individual here in the room to maybe just come back and explain your comment on the NRIs in response to Sala's question.
>>JULIAN CASABUENAS: Yeah. Thank you, Madam Chair.
I think the comment is related to -- keep in mind it is important for the IGF to explore linkages between global, regional, and national levels and not only to rely on NRIs' initiatives. And I think that's the intention of the comment from APC.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: If there's any more -- if you can make it a short response, and then I'd like to move to the final item.
>>SALANIETA TAMANIKAIWAIMARO: Thank you, Julian. Salanieta Tamanikaiwaimaro for the record. Just very quickly would like to respond.
Thank you for clarifying that. Yes, certainly I fully agree with what you're saying. There's a need to activate the network operating groups and all the other regional and national initiatives aside from the NRIs. Yep.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Thank you.
In the ten minutes we have -- we have actually finished the formal agenda for today. As I said, in past years we have actually gone through quickly here's what the current profile looks of those workshops that have come through the first stage of our Stage 3 evaluation. There is no final selection. There is no assumed selection even in the top 40. Even if you were ranked the top one selection, that's the process we will go through over the next couple days.
I thought it might help actually, the secretariat has done a lot of good analysis. It has been supplemented with some work from. In fact, CGI.br has submitted a couple of graphs and Sala as well.
I thought I might ask Eleonora -- Eleonora and Luis who actually have been instrumental in the secretariat in terms of pulling this together just to go through a few slides just so we actually understand the profile. We can start to understand the discussion in front of us tomorrow, not to start problem solve for that but to familiarize everybody with the charts that are up on the Web site. They went up last night, quite late last night. I would expect most people haven't had a chance yet to look at them.
>> ELEONORA MAZZUCHI: Thank you, Lynn. I want to give Luis a moment to maybe pull up some of those slides.
So actually, during the meeting, I also had the chance to speak with Raquel Gatto from ISOC. And as Lynn just mentioned, they also took a look at the top 40-ranked proposals and what was encouraging was that we really drew the same conclusions.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: (off microphone).
>> ELEONORA MAZZUCCHI: If you're looking for this document, it's in the input document on the meeting page. It's public. So anyone can open it up.
And as we have been saying, the MAG has -- and the community, have clearly and loudly said that we need to have fewer workshops and more cohesive and streamlined schedule and what we have concluded from that is that also given the shorter meeting duration is that the magic number of workshops we can include in the program is 60. And traditionally we have had a kind of buffer between what the program can accommodate and where we cut off the number of proposals that we, let's say, automatically accept into the program and so we have placed that cut-off at 40. Coincidentally our colleagues who were taking a look at the top scored proposals also made that cut-off at 40. So we feel that we were on the right track with that.
And if you look at the thematic distribution of those top 40 proposals, we have -- well, we did a comparison across the top 40 proposals, the overall proposal pool, and the call for issues. The good news is that between the call for issues and the overall pool of proposals, we have very good alignment. Four out of the five most popular themes are the same.
But then if you look at the top 40 proposals, there is some deviation from what the most popular themes were in those two other -- in those two other pools of proposals. We have as the most represented theme digital inclusion, when in the overall proposal pool and the call for issues it was clearly cybersecurity. And then following from that technical and operational topics, emerging technologies, cybersecurity, development, innovation and economic issues, evolution of Internet governance, and then human rights as last. And median content, which was one of the major overall themes, didn't actually make it through into the top 40. And this was because there were not that many submissions on media and content to begin with, and then those that were made just didn't have the sufficient scores to be in the top 40.
And then if you scroll down to the next slide, you'll see that we looked at specifically how these themes in the top 40 stacked up with the overall proposal pool. And clearly there's a very big gap, for instance, in the cybersecurity theme. And then some other gaps in the other -- in the other themes. And so in a kind of rebalancing, as the MAG chair mentioned, the MAG might look at trying to bring the accepted proposals closer to what the community interests were in the overall proposal pool.
And, of course, it's up to the MAG to discuss exactly, you know, how that will take place and the series of steps. But one thing that should definitely occur, if there is agreement to do this kind of thematic rebalancing, is to look more specifically at the subthemes within the proposals that are accepted. And we also did a comparison of the subthemes in the top 40-ranked proposals across the overall proposal pool and the pool of the call for issues. And, again, there in the overall proposal pool and the call for issues, there is much more alignment than in the top 40-ranked proposals. So the suggestion is that the MAG should not just limit itself to the themes. It should take a deeper look at what the constituent subthemes are to make sure that those also align with the community's interest.
And then under that, we have some bar charts that take a look at these gaps by subtheme in more detail.
What we also found was that among the most popular subthemes in the workshop proposal pool and the call for issues, some of these were actually just missing altogether from the top 40-ranked proposals. And the big one is really Internet for development and SDGs. I mean, we know that the community is very interested in that. It was one of the top-ranked subthemes in both the overall workshop proposal pool and the call for issues. That's clearly a subtheme that the MAG would have to look closely at to think about including.
And at the end of this presentation, we have just some -- sorry, some tables to get the MAG thinking about what data they might consider in the rebalancing. And one of them -- one factor is, you know, which proposals among the top 60 were flagged as being eligible for -- well, good for merging with other proposals. And then below that, also the list of proposals with highest standard deviation which can -- high standard deviation may indicate that proposal is interesting in a way because some MAG members found it very compelling and others didn't. So there could be a maybe provocative topic there that's worth taking a second look at.
I mean, just to sum up the overall approach is that the MAG would try to rebalance from the top 40-ranked proposals. And, again, this is something that would need to be agreed on by the members, but this was the approach the secretariat thought made most sense.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Eleonora, thank you. I think that was excellent. And it was kind of interesting that a couple of community members who were simply trying to help with the evaluation process, and I think going through them themselves to see how it -- you know, came up with a lot of the same comparisons and conclusions.
I'd actually like to ask Sala just one last point and maybe just to work with the community. I think you have already done this.
Sala had actually taken each one of the workshops -- so 344 workshops, not 40 or 60, and looked at every one of them in a way that was very graphic and showed you immediately what level of diversity they had by stakeholder. And she also did gender as well. So you can quickly see you didn't even need to stop and think about it. You could just go through and if there were three or four rows underneath each one of the workshops they this had good diversity because that was a speaker or panelist participant from each one. And you just needed to quickly scan on the gender and you could see the gender as well. It was that quick scan which had us feeling pretty good about the overall balance overall.
What Sala had agreed to do was to pull that analysis together to do that same analysis for region, again, by gender, just for the top 40 or the top 60. So if we could actually get that captured in a slide that we can share with everybody.
What we're trying to do is say these are some things we think we don't need to spend a lot of time and attention and worry on because we think they're done well. So let's focus on the topics and the content. And then, of course, any workshops that we might look to pull in and certainly any that we validate from the top 40 as being appropriate, we can do a quick scan at the time. But I don't think there's, from the proposals we've seen, an overriding issue either in terms of diversity or gender balance. There my be individual workshops that could be improved in any one. But, by and large, it looks pretty good.
So I think we can quite quickly go to the content and look at it probably in a theme, in a subtheme level. I think one of the other points that Eleonora had made when she was talking about an analysis was that some of the subthemes we might, in fact, be able to group differently under some of the themes so that if we were to end up possibly with a theme that didn't have a lot of representation, we don't need to carry forward eight themes. There's nothing magic about eight themes. If we can get six themes and get the right content subthematically and they may group, then that is something that I think is helpful as well.
Can I ask if there's anybody else -- I know a number of MAG members have actually taken some time to go through the analysis. If there's any other metalevel points you should bring up that you would just ask the MAG to kind of think about as we prepare for the next two days, then I think that will help. I have Eleonora in the queue and then Sala.
>> ELEONORA MAZZUCCHI: That's quickly to point out the data you were referencing from Sala is in the document we displayed and it is linked. It's at the end.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Okay. Excellent. Sala.
>>SALANIETA TAMANIKAIWAIMARO: Thank you, Chair. Salanieta Tamanikaiwaimaro for the record.
I just wanted to point out -- and I just very quickly went to Rasha just to ask her if she was open to it. You know, obviously we're improving all the time. In terms of the balancing criteria, last year we looked at largely merges and we spend a lot of time on the merges, eh? I think this year the numbers help us do it a little bit better.
And one of the things we need to start thinking about -- and I would like to ask the working group that Rasha chairs to start thinking about prior to tomorrow's meeting is to perhaps, you know, pre the meeting tomorrow before we all come or maybe could be shared even on the mailing list to see we can hash it all together to think about how we would like to sort of rebalance this better.
Like obviously I notice -- I haven't finished the NRI analysis, I am still doing it, but I notice that the countries like Senegal and Benin, all their proposals have dropped out. Now, even if their proposals dropped out, but the speakers are still there with the technical expertise and whatnot. And so if we're going to create baskets and that sort of thing, we should start thinking about it before tomorrow's meeting. And if that document could be circulated and if we could agree to a process so that it could make it easier. Thank you, Chair.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: I think the remit of the working group should be to agree on the process. I think the content and substantive discussion needs to take place in the MAG as a whole.
On the -- I actually have Renata, Raquel, I saw Nacho and then Jutta, and we'll try to close the queue there.
So Renata, you have the floor.
>>RENATA AQUINO RIBEIRO: Hi, Renata using another hat. The women in blockchain community. I'm aware they submitted a lot of workshops. So right back when we were doing the call for issues and we had to choose, was one of the questions I did to the secretariat. What if we had -- have, like, intersection of things, for example, blockchain and gender. Where that would go.
So I'm seeing here the comments about the gender proposals not being present and the percentage. And I'm thinking about taking a look at these themes, taking a look at these workshops also by communities that were not present. So it might be a workshop, I don't know, blockchain for developing economies, but made by the women in blockchain communities. So that's a very important gender aspect. So it should be considered on reevaluating. Just that observation.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: That's a good comment, Renata. And I am aware that it's after 6:00, so if we can just keep our comments to kind of medal-level issues that you think it's important to the MAG to think about and sort of stewing on overnight, that would be helpful.
So next we have Raquel.
>>RAQUEL GATTO: Yes, thank you very much, Lynn. And I would like also to thank Eleonora for the great work with the charters and the numbers. I know by heart it's not easy.
I just want to, for institutional -- I was working with some Brazilian fellows. It happens to be Flavio from -- former MAG member and former CTI member. It's not the CTI contribution but the personal contributions.
But in terms of the thinking that we could take from today for tomorrow, and that's what we are working, is first to agree on the criteria. As Eleonora has said, one of the concerns and that we realize also is that the top -- the top teams from the workshop proposals in the top 40, top 60 didn't represent necessarily the same ranking as the proposals that came in from -- the thematic order that came in from the call for issues and from the number of workshop proposals that came in. So I hope that makes sense. I'm getting tired, probably.
So what we need to look into is do we want to take the meritocracy or the merit of the proposals as much as they are ranked or do we want to see more of this thematic representation? And there is a way to balance this. We are working into two or three scenarios that I hope to be able to present tomorrow. I just don't want to show some preliminary and being wrong here, but one of them is scenario one, for example, would be take the top 40, as Eleonora was saying by the ranking, and then the 20 rebalanced by the order of thematic approach that came in, combine issue, call for issues, and number of proposals received.
The other scenario, too, that can be thought is top take 40 based on top five per team. So that one depends how many teams we're going to have. If that's eight, then take top five. That's top 40. Or if we have six teams, then top 30, and then the other half would be rebalanced by the rankings. Regardless of the team for the second part, it's the merit part. So that's one option. Second option.
And the third option is precisely if we take one of them that we saw from the median content. Did it make the good reading, even. So it would be, for example, unfair to bring five from this team on second scenario if they don't even make the four grading, for example.
So anyway, and this is the first criteria, it's tabbed that needs to be taken. It doesn't mean there are the steps to rebalance. It's not done. It's just agreeing where we want to go. And then we go with the rebalancing by geographical, by diversity, all the diversity criterias that we've been mentioning, the good workshops that perhaps has some potential and we can bring in, et cetera.
So just in terms of the process, that's how our mind-set is going. And I hope for tomorrow to have more visual to present it.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Raquel, I'd really like to thank you and recognize that work. At the same time, that was the remit of the working group on the prep and evaluation process, and we had hoped that that would be done and determined before we got into the room so we didn't lose what will probably be a half day to a process discussion and rush the theme of the content.
I don't know if there's an opportunity to get the working group together at some point and see if we can get to, you know, kind of a preferred model ahead of the meeting tomorrow. You know, the content and the substantive discussion is what's really important in the room here. As I said, there's lots of good suggestions there, but my -- my forecast is we will lose a significant amount of time to that discussion and find ourselves short on the content one.
So, you know, if not, maybe we can even put it out online tonight or something, what the three are, and everybody makes a commitment to read it tonight or tomorrow morning before we come in the meeting so we get through that shorter. But I also applaud you because I think the working group got started late as well and everything kind of backed up to the meeting, so it didn't have really broad participation. But that was the purpose of it.
Is that okay? Do you think you can write something up or share it or something quickly?
I know you just got here from Brazil on a late flight, but I would appreciate it.
Okay. So we have Jutta, Nacho and Liesyl and that is absolutely the end of the queue. We need a new feature so when the chair says end of the queue it doesn't allow anyone else to get in.
>> Just a quick question on the slide we are looking at. Towards the midpoint or something it says proposals with the highest standard deviation, and then there's a variant score. Is this the variance or the standard deviation?
>>LUIS BOBO: It's the variance. But the standard deviation is just square root. It's proportional.
>> Because then the standard deviation is not that large. That's why I'm asking.
>>LUIS BOBO: Exactly. This is variance.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Thank you, Luis.
Jutta, you have the floor. Everybody, again, we're over time, so keep your comments --
>>JUTTA CROLL: Yes. I try to be very brief.
First of all, I'd like to thank the secretariat for making it more transparent to us, the metrics of the results of the evaluation process.
As I was engaged for the first time in the evaluation process, I -- I don't know whether it's true, but during doing that work, I got a feeling that -- I'm not sure whether all of the MAG members are using kind of the same yardstick when deciding how they score the proposals. I don't know how you all gave five points for diversity when -- when it's only three groups of stakeholders, when it's all groups of stakeholders. So I do think we have kind of a different measurement. And I saw that mirrored in the overall results. I saw that also mirrored in the top 40 proposals and the top 60 proposals. So I do think it's really necessary to take that in mind when we have our discussion tomorrow; that maybe we have just used very different measuring instruments when scoring the proposals, and that's not to be seen in looking at the overall scores that were given maybe by ten or 11 people that have assessed one and the same proposal. And, therefore, I do think it's so important to have this discussion. And I do think what Raquel proposed already, there are different approaches to that, and we need to decide on that in advance before we start the discussion.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Agree. Thank you. Thank you, Jutta.
Nacho, you have the floor.
>>MIGUEL IGNACIO ESTRADA: Thank you, Lynn. Just three points. First of all, I will say that we should see mergers as an opportunity to bring diversity in many ways, gender and region. I saw many, many opportunity for mergers during the grading, and I just saw part of the total workshop's proposal. So we should take that as an opportunity to bring more diversity.
And also to strengthen the idea on having the lightning sessions as a second chance for not so high-graded workshops but also to bring more diversity. If we see that there's no -- for example, I don't know, there's a really low-rated workshops in some -- some kind of theme and cannot be merged with another one, well, maybe bringing -- giving them the opportunity to have a flash session or a lightning session, as we call them, could be a good way.
And again, I'm asking for not a special place during lunch. Maybe it could be an entire room during the whole day with, I don't know, 30 minutes or maybe less, 20 minutes lightning session so we can give the opportunity to many, many workshops to present -- to -- just to present, to be there.
Well, maybe I have to talk with this later, but I don't know if just selecting the top 40 is the better way. The MAG agreed to have eight baskets. Maybe we could reduce them to six. But if those baskets are like the vertical interests or the silos. It's not a good word. But maybe we should try to fill those baskets. And maybe one of the top 40 is out of this basket because in the top 40, there are many of these baskets.
So I don't know, maybe changing the approach in that way would help us to -- to be more fair, bring diversity on the themes also.
Thank you, Chair.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Yeah. And I think just to be clear, I don't think there's anything sacrosanct about the top 40. They're not automatically ruled in at all. And I think some of the things you're pointing at talk to that directly.
We had Liesyl in the queue. Liesyl, you have the floor.
>>LIESYL FRANZ: Thank you, Chair. And since this is my first time to take the mic, good afternoon, everybody.
I guess I am a bit confused by our process for tomorrow. So perhaps by being last in the queue, it gives you a chance to give some clarification for going forward tomorrow.
I know it's probably never been set in stone that whatever our top 40 or 60 or 80 of the workshops that were ranked by the evaluations were set in stone necessarily or sacrosanct, but I did think that at least in the course of the last two meetings that there was great value on the evaluations that we did do, the process we went through in order to come up with that ranking. And so -- or in order to -- the ranking being the result of our evaluations, with some buffer of 20% or whatever that would be more fungible for fixing the balances that we're looking for: gender, geography, subject matter, et cetera.
So I really like Nacho's comments about utilizing the flash sessions or lightning sessions as a way to bring in some of that balance. But I am concerned about relitigating the 40 ranking because I'm not sure where that gets us started on the process tomorrow, what I'm supposed to do between now and then, which of course is a little bit of time.
And just to address Jutta's comment earlier, I found when I -- I was a bit concerned about whether my -- the way I was evaluating the sessions would be in line with the other however many other people were evaluating the ones that I was evaluating. But what I found in looking back at the rankings and seeing how they gelled with mine, maybe there's two or three where mine is significantly different than what the results were.
So while I, you know, agree that we have interjected more scientific measures into the process, so thanks very much to Rasha and the working group for doing that, I think that that process, as organic as it was and as scientific as it became, has ended up in a fairly justifiable evaluation of the workshops that came in and the quality that all of us ascribe to them.
So I guess if we are to open up the top 40, can you please give us a sense of what you expect from us tomorrow? Because I'm confused by that.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: So let me try and do something, and then, Rasha and Raquel, maybe you can come in and correct whatever I may get wrong.
I think when the working group met, and it was a small working group that met, I think the assumptions were that we think in the top 40 there's a pretty good diversity of stakeholders, pretty good gender balance. That wasn't something we felt we needed to take a special effort to sort of correct.
When we looked at them, we did see that some of the themes were overrepresented and others were -- overrepresented and others were underrepresented when we looked at both the call for issues and the workshop submissions. And there was good alignment between the call for submissions and the workshop submissions. So we said the community said this is what we're interested in in the call for issues. The workshop submissions that came in, good alignment, really reflected that, but when we looked at what made the top 40 there were some really significant imbalances, some that had high interest from the community, low representation in the 40, and vice versa.
So I think the group had sort of thought that we would start looking at those sort of significant imbalances and figuring out if some of them were, you know, by themes oversubscribed and others under, and we would have a how do we rebalance discussion. We have 20 more workshops we can pull in. Are there some workshops we should pull in and does that help the balance? So I think that's where the workshop -- the group left the discussion a couple days ago. I'll come to Rasha in a moment.
I think Raquel was saying there are a couple other models that we can actually use to do that in balancing. And I do think there's a lot of value in rethinking this and flexibility. I also think at some point it becomes maybe a little late to change the process as well. She was suggesting that maybe what we should do is take, for instance, the top four or five highly ranked proposals from each one of the themes. Start with that as the 40, and then balance from there for other topics. And I think there was another model you suggested as well.
But I think at a very high level, I think that's the discussion we're actually having in terms of what's the right process.
I mean, I think it's pretty clear that we need to start with some number of 40-ish, given we have 60. And I think the first question on the table maybe is do we start with the 40 that came through, highly graded across all workshops and all themes, or do we want to look at the top four or five in each one of the workshops and themes and start with that as the 40. And I think that's probably the first kind of fundamental question in front of us. And however we do that, we should always compare it to how do those selected compare to the profile of community interest given the call for issues and the workshop submissions, and use the 20 to rebalance on that model.
So while it sounds confusing, I don't think it's actually a huge lift in front of us. I think we just need to decide which one and hopefully don't lose a lot of time to deciding which one.
But let -- Is it -- I want to ask first Rasha or Raquel if I kind of misrepresented or got anything wrong in that conversation. If so, please correct that. And then Sala, come to you.
>>RASHA ABDULLA: Thank you, Lynn. At which point I didn't know who was --This is a lot of input for me. You're not the only one confused. I'm confused as well. Now, by tomorrow we would have figured it out. It would have been much easier on all of us had this been presented a few days because this is my first time to see this as well.
Having said that, I think we're missing a few pieces of information, and I'm just trying very hard to focus because I'm really tired at this point.
Do we know at the 40 workshop cut-off and at the 60 workshop cut-off, what was the cut-off score? Do we have some way to document somewhere all the workshops with the scores? Maybe I didn't see it. Maybe I missed it.
>> (off microphone).
>>RASHA ABDULLA: Is it on email?
>> (off microphone).
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: We know what it is, but I'm not sure it's relevant. They're all very, very high. It's 40 proposals out of --
>>RASHA ABDULLA: The thing is I don't mind in principle pulling a few -- first of all, we need to go by subtheme because, you know, as I said in our virtual meeting, the working group virtual meeting, for example, I graded a lot of workshops on big data and that wasn't under content. That was under economics for some reason. Some of the subthemes may have just been misplaced because I think that's content.
But the thing is having said that, I don't mind pulling a few workshops from some of the underrepresented themes and subthemes, but I don't want to pull in a workshop that scored 3.5 just because it wasn't represented. If the proposal is that bad, then there needs to be some minimal criteria for the workshops that we push up.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Any that -- sorry for jumping in here. I'm conscious it's late. Any we pull in, we either accept them conditionally or we speak to how they need to be improved. It's not just pull them up for pulling up sake. It really is evaluating them and working to get a high-quality proposal so they're no less than any of the others.
>>RASHA ABDULLA: Okay. We would be reserving a time slot for that workshop and depriving another workshop. I mean, I don't know if we have time to do all these things.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: We do. The secretariat always manages that process well, and there are always some in the background.
>>RAQUEL GATTO: Thank you very much, Lynn.
Rasha, I apologize I didn't know about the working group. I think I said a couple of times -- and now I have Luis. I tried three, four times to subscribe to the group. I'm still not receiving the message. So I didn't know about the meeting.
Two, it was too late when it was -- no, we can solve it. But just to say I didn't know. So I don't want to compete with the process. It was really in good faith to do it and to realize as we were saying, like, there was this mismatch and we were trying to find scenarios where we could rebalance.
And I -- that's part of the confusing that perhaps (saying name) was having. If you want to work together, I can show, if that makes sense, to the work that we've been doing. Fine. If not, we can -- we can see in the rebalance how to do it later. I just want to point out that up front so we don't lose time on what is not needed.
But I really think there is opportunities, if we started with this call for issues and we see topics like cybersecurity. There were about 75 -- that's the top on the call for issues, received issues. That's about 75 workshop proposals that came in and only five were accepted -- or are in the top 40, right? There is some there. Perhaps the proposal wees not with the good ranking for any reason.
Or perhaps there is something that we can do. And I totally agree with Rasha in the sense that we shouldn't make any proposal that is very low ranked in just because it's in for the team. But we need to look into what do we ask the community, what are the expectations that we grow on, and then rebalance based on that. So thank you very much.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Thank you, Raquel. Really appreciate all the work you're doing as well. In defense, the working group was pulled together late and a presentation just a few days before. I think we need to make sure we take good opportunity to pull in other thoughts as well.
Sala and then Zeina and then we really are done.
>>SALANIETA TAMANIKAIWAIMARO: Thank you, Chair. I'll be putting -- I'll be putting not a submission, that's the wrong word. I'll be putting a bunch of thoughts on what we're discussing on the email thread because it's a bit longer. But I would just like to pick up on a point that Jutta raised which is a really valid point. It actually goes to show why we can't actually stick to the 60 and the 40 rule. Now, mathematically if every MAG member -- there are 55 of us -- were given equal batches and the aggregate score and the average and variation standard deviation was taken, then we could assume that bias was reduced. In fact, that's why that system or methodology was created.
But obviously -- I mean, there's room for improvement in future workshops but we don't -- future IGFs. We don't want to touch on it now but way forward in terms of what can we do.
And I like the two questions that Lynn as chair fundamentally posed to the MAG, which approach to take. Anyway, my thoughts on it as follows, I think if every MAG member were to have access to the -- there's a spreadsheet where each workshop, every workshop proposal has already been sort of graded before the cut-off, before the 60% or 40% and sort of do your own comparative analysis, or your assessment. I know this assessment is objective. But if you were to say, pick, five workshops that you think -- or maybe it could be two -- but I just say five -- that you think have fallen through the cracks for review and they have substantive merit and then if the group in terms of MAG, entire group, in terms of rebalancing -- I like the idea of the something else and yet it's the same thing -- the themes can be deceptive because the subthemes were actually more credible in terms of content-wise because they'll be massive discussion on content.
I think if we did that before we came tomorrow, it would reduce our discussion time and we could have a robust discussion on content then. Thank you, Lynn.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Zeina.
I'll come back on that in a moment, Sala.
>>ZEINA BOU HARB: I need the clarification please regarding the subthemes because when we sent the call for workshop proposal, we invited everyone even to propose subthemes that are not -- that are not listed when we did the call for workshop. So it's not fair now to just discard those workshops that are not -- that the subthemes are not included in our initial table of subthemes.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: I agree. It wouldn't be fair, and I don't think we've done that.
Let me just try and sort of square this circle if we can. I think, first of all, we have taken a huge step in that we are talking about let's focus on content and cohesive themes. Last few years there were elements of a beauty contest in who could kind of lobby the hardest for their favorite one, which is not a great place to be. I think we have one question in front of us.
We have, again, good alignment between what the community said at a theme level on the call for issues and the workshops. We should feel good about that and take that as a good solid starting point.
Then I think we need to look at what has come through the top 40 process. And when we look at that compared to this other grouping over here, there are some imbalances and some overbalances. I'm assuming from heads nodding around the room that everybody thinks we need to address that, that we shouldn't have overbalances and underrepresentation, at least not just because of the exercise we've done, that we should look at this consciously.
Eleonora and the secretariat has actually identified where those underbalances and imbalances are in the slides. She has actually said, by the way, there are also some areas that came through that were rated pretty high in the call for issues at a subthematic level that didn't make it into the top 40 as well. That was the second part of that slide.
So I think the secretariat is already telling us where we need to look to figure out where we want to get workshops to pull in to balance against that tall thematic level.
So I think that part of the process is pretty clear. And I think that's what the working group agreed the other day.
I think the only open question in front of us is the top 40. Do we say the top 40 is the ones that came through by the top 40 grades looking at all 344 workshops equal? Or do we actually think that we should take the top four as a choice from the eight themes that we said and see -- obviously we do that, that takes away the kind of imbalance that we actually see in those themes and then we could move up from there.
>> (off microphone).
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Sorry? So I think those are the two. Maybe we can just -- you all know me. I'll stay here all night and have this discussion. The scribes have to go and I'm not sure everybody else wants to.
So if that's clear enough, can I just leave that conversation in front of us here and we're going to come back tomorrow. We'll have some introductory comments. We'll have Ambassador Martinon, and Patrick will still be with us as well. And we can get some additional details on the form. And then we get in quite straight thereafter to this process.
But is that enough guidance for everybody to go away and just sort of think? We have got two models for how we get to 40. We have balance. And I think in principle we have everybody agreeing that we want to get to a final workshop program that reflects pretty much the community's interest as seen by the call for issues and the workshop submissions which are both pretty well aligned.
I am tempted to grab a gavel and go for a quick close. I will do that.
I want to thank the transcribers for staying with us, particularly this part of the discussion. It's really important to have it documented as well.
And thank everybody for all of their effort and work to pull this together. The secretariat and those of you in the MAG and the community that have taken your own time and efforts to help advance this analysis. So thank you and we will see you back here tomorrow morning at 10:00. Thank you.