The following are the outputs of the real-time captioning taken during the Fourteenth Annual Meeting of the Internet Governance Forum (IGF) in Berlin, Germany, from 25 to 29 November 2019. Although it is largely accurate, in some cases it may be incomplete or inaccurate due to inaudible passages or transcription errors. It is posted as an aid to understanding the proceedings at the event, but should not be treated as an authoritative record.
>> LYNN ST. AMOUR: Good morning, everyone. That's a little loud. Well, we hope, I know there are still some more people coming into the room, but we have an awful lot of ground to cover, and a fairly short time given the ground to cover so I think we'll just get started here now.
I'm going to do a quick introduction of the individuals up here with me, and then we'll have some introductory comments and then we'll come back and discuss the logistics of the remaining session.
So, on my far left is Dr. Daniela Brünstrup who is with the federal board of economic affairs and industry and of course Germany is the host country and Daniella is the co‑chair.
>> Thank you very much. Ladies and gentlemen, first of all, a very warm welcome from the host country to Berlin. We are very glad to have you all here. We are really impressed by the participation and we are very honored to be the host country of the IGF 2019.
You know, that Germany is a strong supporter of the multistakeholder approach, and we made quite an effort to also reach out to all those stakeholders who have been underrepresented so far. The German government fully supports also the work of the High-Level Panel on Digital Cooperation and on behalf of the German government, I would like to thank you all for your commitment and support in the follow‑up process to the final report of the High-Level Panel.
I assume you would not be here today if you were not deeply committed to the future of Internet Governance.
Since the final report was published in June, we have witnessed an incomparable consultation process within the internet governance community. Feedback has been received from all stakeholder groups, government, civil society, private sector, academia, technical networks and international organizations. They all were actively engaged in the past months. There has been an online consultation in the run up of this main session and very good synopsis is online, so you can see the results already online.
Others have already contributed to this common effort and I wanted to mention the online consultation by EuroDIG, the results of which will be presented at lunchtime on the 28th of November. And today, on day 1 of the innovative 2019, we expect now further valuable contributions and comments from you. I'm very much looking forward to the discussion we will have right now. Germany has been commissioned by the United Nations to coordinate the process resulting from Recommendation 5 as a so‑called champion.
Our partner can be will be the UAE. Let me assure you, we are aware of the great responsibility this entails. During the next month, we want to bring a broad variety of voices to round tables. The aim is to reach out to all stakeholder groups. Their experiences, their expertise, their ideas are extremely valuable for the round table's work because only by having everybody on board, we can create a truly global and inclusive dialogue.
we will discuss in concrete terms what the architecture of international internet governance should look like. How can Recommendation 5 be implemented? What should it look like in detail? And we really hope that we will find concrete solutions to these questions. Ladies and gentlemen, I invite all of you to participate in this discussion consultation program. Just come up to us and take part in that dialogue. I'm looking very forward to our discussion today. A warm welcome to you all and thank you all.
>> LYNN ST. AMOUR: Thank you, Daniela. I think I'll go through the rest of the remarks and then we're going to have some remarks from USG Hochschild. He is also going to continue supporting the Secretary‑General on issues related to Frontier technologies to ensure the follow‑up to the High-Level Panel on Digital Cooperation, which he has been engaged in since its very earliest days and he will share some of the status of that work today in just a few minutes. We also have investor Benedicto Fonseca who is well‑known to many of you as he has been active in these WCAG discussions for some years. Benedict is not here representing Brazil as he has a new portfolio but he's giving his history and also past history of chairman of the Working Group. So, he brings a wealth of knowledge to these activities and I'm Lynn St. Amour, of the Multistakeholder Advisory Group.
So, I'm going to ask USG Hochschild to go to the podium in just a few moments but maybe while there are some people settling in, we'll explain the set‑up. This is a set‑up we ran in 2016 for the WSIS10 conference where we asked people to sit in your stakeholder groups. You are free to sit where you like but to sit in your stakeholder groups to get some easy access to the mics. What that allowed us to do was rotate the discussions across the groups so we will go from one to the other and of course we have online participation as well which will be rotated in as a fifth stakeholder group. So, again, because I've had a few comments on the way, people are free to sit where they like but if you take the mic, please take it according to your stakeholder group. It just allows for a breadth of responses on the stakeholder discussion.
And of course, if you take the mic, you can just quickly identify yourself as well.
So, people can start preparing, we are going to try to hold everybody to a firm max two and a half minutes per comment. This session will end at 12:30. We have a hard stop at 12:30 to get ready for the subsequent high‑level sessions that are in here and we want to maximize the time we actually have for comments from the community.
So, we'll go through the. So, we'll go through the logistics in a few more minutes but just now, I'd like to give the floor to Hochschild.
>> FABRIZIO HOCHSCHILD: A very good morning to you all. It's great to being together in this cozy little room. first of all, I would like to thank Germany. It is great how this event has been organized and that so many people have been invited to this event.
I am honored to be moderating the discussion, but I'm also honored to be on the stage with Lynn, who I think has done four years of extraordinary work, voluntary work, it should be said, in leading the MAG. And she will be sorely missed. As Lynn highlighted.
As Lynn highlighted, we hope very much to take maximum advantage of this, I think, the largest IGF to date to gather feedback on the Secretary‑General's high-level report on Digital Cooperation. The aim of the report is really very much aligned with the aims of the IGF.
And that is to strengthen cooperation in the digital space among relevant actors, including governments, the private sector, civil society, academia and international cooperations.
Of course, that cooperation has long existed and existed in many fora apart from the IGF. I think the Secretary‑General called the panel because he felt what was happening was really not to scale with the dimension of the challenge.
International cooperation, he believes, is absolutely critical to ensure the benefits of the internet and other digital manifestations of digital technology maximally distributed and the risks mitigated.
Cooperation, international cooperation is a safe guard to ensure the interoperability and access of digital technologies across all geographies.
3.6 billion people still do not have access to the internet, but, it's more and more people come online, we see the increased need for guard retails and security measures for personal data privacy which balances considerations of freedom of expression, personal privacy, data ownership, and social cohesion.
Most of the work, of course, depends on national and regional normative frameworks and policy approaches. But, these technologies, but their very nature, ignore borders. By their very nature, are transnational and I think everybody at this forum would aspire to maintaining or achieving the global nature of the internet.
So, in order to be truly effective, and in order to minimize vulnerabilities, national and regional normative efforts need to be complemented by action at an international level.
A fractured internet is a serious threat to open, free, safe, and just internet that was envisioned by its Founding Fathers.
in September, it was striking that in separate declarations, the Secretariat general, Eric Smith, the former chief of chairman, Alfred, and to some extent, Brad in a new book all pointed toward the imminent fracturing of the internet into at least two parts. One led by China, and another linked to the United States.
We already see the fracturing of normative frameworks. Europe, America, China, Russia and other countries around the world are generating different, at times, incompatible sets of rules and regulations and norms. In addition, there's a trend towards ensuring that the physical location of data is confined to data centers within the boundaries of countries with data localization laws.
We cannot afford the dangers of incompatible fragmented digital regulation. What it would mean is losing the free, secure, and global nature of the internet. And the ability, above all, to provide adequate guardrails, for all, in particular, the most vulnerable.
And this wonderful, and indisputable, and now indispensable as all the benefits of in digital technologies undoubtedly you are, and without lapsing into sort of dystopian ladite negativity around new technologies, we have to get better at acknowledging seriously the harms and addressing them, less in a defensive manner than in a constructive manner that really tries to maximize the benefits in an openite manner.
Let me just give one example where there isn't national consensus. Online child abuse. According to a September article of the New York Times which appeared very well researched, in the UN, we're obviously not in a position to independently verify what it set out. But, according to that article, the number of reports of child abuse imagery on the internet have radically increased over the past two decades and increased much more rapidly than the growth of the internet itself. In 1998, there were 3,000 reports of child abuse images on the internet, according to that article. And last year, internet companies reported 45 million online photographs and videos of an abusive nature of children.
Double, if I'm not mistaken, the figure of the previous year. And that is an area where there is consensus across borders, consensus across stakeholder groups, of the need for better control. And for me, it's an indication of just how far we're falling short in having the adequate security guardrails for the most vulnerable.
And that's particularly true at an international level. Our international cooperation mechanisms have not yet developed to the required sophistication to attend to these growing challenges. International cooperation in this domain is very much in its infancy. Government oversight in this space is difficult. Obviously, we acknowledge that. And legislation tends to lag far behind innovation. In addition, we have now a climate of increased nationalism and isolationism and cooperation at an international level is waning at the very moment where it is most needed.
Not only to tackle the potentially disruptive effects of new digital technologies, but to come to grips with other pressing priorities, like climate change.
It's also necessary that we address better the large geographic discrepancies in the challenges and the opportunities that digital technology begins, and especially, that we make greater efforts to incorporate the perspectives of the Global South.
I think in the 28 or so EU countries, connectivity rates are around 90 percent. In the 47 least developed countries in the world, countries that stand to gain or lose the most by connectivity, connectivity rates are under 20 percent.
It's more than a four-fold difference. The price of access centralization of data, and infrastructure required by digital systems is likely to foster if we follow current trends, increased monopolization of data mature economies and increased dependency of developing countries. And yet, actors influencing the standards and regulatory discourse, many in this room, are mostly from the more affluent countries, despite the Global South having the most to gain, and the most to lose from new technology.
I have to acknowledge here that Germany has made an extraordinary effort to make sure that this IGF really brings people from all over the world, and goes beyond the countries that traditionally dominate its participation. And we hope that future hosts will also be able to do this. It's very welcome.
We also have to continue, and I know the IGF has made important strides forward in this regard, but I don't think we can content ourselves with what's been achieved so far. We have to continue to try and push for greater participation of women, and other groups who traditionally are not adequately heard in the tech debate.
The main session is an important opportunity for different stakeholder and geographic groups to share their feedback and perspectives on the High-Level Panel report on Digital Cooperation and in particular, the recommendations 5A and B, on global Digital Cooperation. These recommendations state that, and I quote, the Secretary‑General should facilitate an agile consultation process to provide updated mechanisms for Global Digital Cooperation. We suggested an additional goal of marking the UN 70th anniversary in 2020 with a global cooperation. The quote contains text. To apply shared values, principles, understandings and objectives for improved global Digital Cooperation architecture.
As part of this process, we understand that the UN Secretary‑General may appoint a technology envoy. The report then goes on to outline three possible architectures for Digital Cooperation.
First, is the Internet Governance Plus forum which enhances and extends this multistakeholder IGF, and tries to suggest an architecture with an advisory group, a cooperation accelerator, policy incubator, and observatory and help desk that would drive it towards more concrete results and better policy support to those who may need it.
The second is the so‑called distributed co‑governance architecture which would build on existing mechanisms and relies on self‑forming horizontal distributed network approach used by the internet engineering task force, the internet cooperation for assigned names and numbers.
ICANN, the World Wide Web Consortium, the IEEE and others to host networks to design norms and policies. So, a completely distributed self‑motivated form of the formulation of norms and policies.
The third option put forward by the report is a so-called digital comment operator which envisions a comment approach with loose participation by the UN. It takes the space, climate, and sea where the international entity has entered treaties and developed digital forums and functional cooperation mechanisms to designate certain spaces as international commons and then govern them through ongoing practice dialogue within a global normative framework.
To give some insight to the existing discussion around Recommendations 5A and B and Digital Cooperation. We want to, we solicited views from about 500 stakeholders, member states, the private sector, civil society. We got very substantive feedback, written feedback from over 100 entities.
What was clear there is that when it comes to governance frameworks, there is some controversy with some fearing any international frameworks that could be perceived as intrusive on what, on a sort of more libertarian, free market ethics of the internet that many would wish to see upheld.
Other groups would like to see more of an internationalizing of their own approach with a healthy degree of regulation, and in particular, when this comes to the safe guarding of data.
At the same time, others are concerned about the intrusion of international politics into regulation and in particular, in the current atmosphere of extreme distrust, there is a lot of skepticism about the ability to achieve international frameworks and a lot of doubt about those, the good will or the good faith efforts behind, of those who wish to pursue it.
I think behind these rather mixed voices or voices that I would say tend towards fairly minimalist levels of ambition, is a sense of multilateralism fatigue in light of current geo political divisions.
Where even the smaller entities who have the most to gain from the protection of international normative frameworks balance the pursuit of those against the threat of pushback by one of the larger powers.
And hence, tend to want to keep their heads down in times of strife and dispute. So, I think if we want to make progress, and if we all agree here that putting the international safe guards in place to try and uphold and promote a universal global safe and free internet, if we think that's worthwhile, it's going to take a concerted effort by all our respective entities.
I think if we just let things drift as they're going now, the predictions, both of the Secretary‑General as well as some very seasoned and senior tech executives are likely to be realized.
In many of the debates I've had with member states in particular, I always find what is a little strange is that the trend is not to compare the cost of action against the cost of inaction, but the cost of action against the desirability of the ideal.
And of course, if we weigh what can be achieved through international negotiations and discussion and compromise, against some sense of national or regional ideals, what comes out of a negotiated deal will always be less.
But, I think the truly meaningful comparison is not with the ideal, but with the cost we'll pay and future generations will pay by doing nothing.
So, I hope we can use this fora to map out ways and to develop a will to see how we can strengthen international architecture. And of course, implementation or developing of Recommendations 5A and B on their own are just a very minor grain in the sand to contribute towards the construction of that architecture.
But, having said that, I think they are an important contribution. And we believe the combination, with the UN 75 efforts, which the Secretary‑General wants to mark by the world taking the temperature of where it's heading, and looking open‑eyed at the challenges that we're drifting towards, and reflecting on how international cooperation can be better revived to address those challenges, I think that UN 75 moment and reflection process is very timely to be combined with an effort to revitalize efforts around succeeding and upholding free, safe, and secure global internet.
So, we, I very much look forward to hearing your comments now on these recommendations. And we will do our utmost to address the recommendations or to pursue the recommendations in line with the comments we get.
So, thank you for the time.
Thank you again to Germany for making this all possible. Thank you
>> LYNN ST. AMOUR: If we could just ask AV to put the two slides up on the screen. One of them is the timetable we're working towards here today and the other one is a framing document to cover specifically the points that USG Hochschild just spoke to. So, that's up there now. Ambassador Benedicto is going to moderate the first session, which is general comments. Again, this session is focused on the HLPDC report, specifically some of the possible architectures of cooperation, and Recommendations 5A and 5B.
What as a panel we had agreed is a reasonable approach is up there, with 30 minutes for general comments on the report or specifically on these individual sections, and then, we would intend to move through the possible architectures and the recommendations with a little more channeling, if you will, in the main section there for the 80 minutes or so.
Again, if people could take the mics according to your stakeholder group. Again, you're free to sit wherever you want but it does allow us to be equal across all the stakeholder groups and for those of us that are here on the panel, looking at this graphic in front of us, it is, of course, reversed because it shows the stage behind us. So, governments are over there, private sector here, civil society here, and technical community on the left. Ambassador?
>> BENEDICTO FONSECA: Thank you, Lynn. I'd like to start by thanking Mr. Hochschild for setting the scene for our discussion today. Actually, I should start by thanking you for the opportunity of being here today as my friend and colleague Lynn has already said, I'm not here on an official capacity as representative of Brazil.
Since as a diplomat, I have moved on and am now based in Boston.
But I was deeply honored to have been invited here so thank you very much, Lynn and organizing committee. And I hope to be able to contribute with the experience I have accumulated over those years, working with internet governance related issues at the IGF, but also in so many other fora. The Working Group on enhanced cooperation, the second configuration of that group, which we fondly call the CSG Cooperation 2.0.
I think when we named it, we expected to achieve some success. Maybe you should not name 2.0 but rather 1B because the outcome is basically the same as the first configuration that was Chaired by my friend and colleague from Hungary. Peter Major.
So, thank you again, and let me take this opportunity to congratulate Anriette as her appointment for the MAG Chair next year. Congratulations to have been a force behind those meetings and so many other Internet Governance discussions. I'm sure you do a great job of following in the steps of Lynn. So, you have big shoes to fill in, but I know you'll be up to the challenge.
So, having said that, I am also coming back to what Lynn has said. We want to make very good use of our time. Starting from now, we'd like to invite you to make interventions and we want to follow something that was, indeed, I don't know if it was inaugurated, but we did have that model, that was to separate the stakeholder groups by lines and assign a microphone for each, so, we can move and can rotate among groups and so, we can have as much input as we can from different angles, we'll try to do it to the extent possible to get as many inputs we can.
So, for this first session, for this first part of our session, if I understood correctly, from here, governance would be there, but I understand, there. So, I would invite government representatives if anyone wants to make, initially, that part would allow for general comments. We are not focusing on the particular recommendations. This is an opportunity for you to maybe have some broader encompassing remarks that, in regard to Internet Governance in general or in regard to the High-Level Panel on Digital Cooperation in general. And then, we move to the actual recommendations that have a direct interest to our discussions here.
So, for this first, I would like to invite governments. So, my fellow government colleagues, not be shy. Take the first microphone on my far right is available for you. And then, we'll have private sector. Also, on my right, on your left.
And then, on the other side of the aisle, Civil Society on the far left, technical community.
So, I will be taking the interventions as they appear. As I can see the first one was the lady over there.
So, he's from Civil Society. You have the floor, Madam. And one thing I'd like just to recall, we invite you to make interventions to be very focused. To be very concrete in regard to the recommendations. I know sometimes there's a temptation to say things we have been doing and experiences we have before. With all due respect, it's not, we'll lose a lot of time if we allow this to take place so we'll be very strict from the Chairmanship not to allow those kind of interventions.
We want very action‑oriented and very focused interventions and if you restrict it to two minutes, we really appreciate. Madam, you have the floor.
>> MEI LIN FUNG: Hello, I'm Mei Lin Fung. I'm with the people's internet and I co‑founded it with Vint, one of the fathers of the internet. But I'm here to speak on behalf of a voice who is not here, who is Douglas Englebart. He was with, the first two notes of the internet. He would be thrilled to know about this Digital Cooperation. He spent his life until he passed away in 2013, talking about the opportunities for networks of communities to come together. I think Digital Cooperation can really realize the original founding genesis of the internet in that way. And so, I just wanted to say that history is with us, the founding ideas of the internet were about coming together in Digital Cooperation.
And one way that he saw that we could do this is by common protocols. By having networks of communities working together by doing it in a systematic way. So, social technical protocols, I see as the next year of Digital Cooperation. Thank you.
>> BENEDICTO FONSECA: Thank you, Madam. May I turn to Thomas Snyder, Switzerland government.
>> Thank you, Benedicto. Echo is always nice. Thanks to everybody for the presentation of the High-Level Panel's report and its findings, in particular, the proposals for the architecture. As you may know, Switzerland has been very much supporting the set‑up of the High-Level Panel and also its work because we think that this is one way hopefully to deblock some of the disagreements on a number of issues regarding to the future of the governance architecture.
In our view, the report, and its recommendations are really a source of inspiration that may guide us on agreeing on next steps with regard to how to cooperate a global agreement and also government system.
What is important for us is that it identifies some of the key gaps of the current architectures. One, of course, and I think the first step is to see to what extent we agree on the findings of the report regarding these steps. One is, of course, the inclusiveness of the processes. Support for stakeholders, not only governments, but all stakeholders, from small and developing countries.
The other one is a disconnect between expert dialogues, like many of them which happen here at the IGF, and the decision makers who do not necessarily see the whole picture when they take a decision in a silo. So, this is for us, one of the key findings. And then, as a consequence of this, identifying this disconnect, the cross‑siloed cooperation and interdependent, interdisciplinary, thematic operation in agile forms.
So, for us, the next step is to what extent we agree on functions that need to be improved in order to have a better digital governance and cooperation. Of course, one of these functions is to achieve a holistic picture where we can all together in a truly inclusive multistakeholder dialogue like the IGF, but even broader, to coordinate to see that we understand the issues that we can start identifying solutions, then, the next step would be to build thematic agile inclusive policy networks that would deal with the issues, and then, of course, to install some kind of support and help desk functions.
Now, I'll finish with this. With regard to the three options that are proposed in Recommendation 5, they basically ‑‑
>> BENEDICTO FONSECA: I'm sorry, we are coming to that later on. Not now.
>> All right. Thank you.
>> BENEDICTO FONSECA: So, I will thank you, Thomas. I will turn now to the gentleman in the front aisle. I understand you are from Civil Society. Now. You can go ahead. Please identify yourself and make intervention, please.
>> ANDREW CAMPLING: Thank you, and good morning. My name is Andrew Campling. I'm a director of Forenight Consulting, which is a public affairs and public consulting, very much in the private sector. Just reflecting on the opening comments, which I think were really excellent. You might be surprised that there isn't, in fact, a consensus in the need to block content such as child sexual abuse material across all parts of the community. I was at the IETF conference in Singapore last week and actually, any efforts to block content would be regarded amongst certain parts of the community as hugely contentious.
Even if there's an underlying good behind the required blocking. So, things like malware, child sex abut material. And in fact, some of the new standards that are coming out of the IETF would actually arguably as an unintended consequence of those standards aid the dissemination of such undesirable content, be it malware, child sexual abuse or other sexual materials, as well as centralize the internet making it even easier for the large tech companies to exploit even more data monetization opportunities.
I think part of the problem is there's virtual no involvement in fora such as the IETF by policy makers, so, therefore, you have people, who, in my view, fairly extreme views on libertarianism who are not prepared to consider aspects such as the need to block the dissemination of that content.
So, it needs people like the people gathered here to engage at those events. So, please, any policy makers, please go to the IETF. The next one is in Vancouver early next year, your voices are needed to give a different perspective to the voices of the technologists which are giving a pure libertarian view.
>> BENEDICTO FONSECA: Can you conclude your remarks, please?
>> Yes, and I think if that engagement doesn't happen, it will accelerate, sort of splinter that because people will insist on that migration to protect themselves from the harmful content.
>> BENEDICTO FONSECA: Thank you. I will turn now to if my colleague, Mark Carvell. I used to see you as representative of UK but I assume you have moved on as well. So, you have the floor.
>> MARK CARVELL: Yes, indeed. Thank you, Benedicto. A year ago, I would have been over on that side of the house, but I've left now service in the UK government. I'm working to assist EuroDIG, the European dialogue and Internet Governance. As Lynn later on will be presenting the results of our consultation on the High-Level Panel's report on Thursday at 12:30. I don't have a room number yet, but when we have that room, we'll announce it.
So, I just wanted to trail that as an important process of consultation, the stakeholders that the European IGF undertook. Indeed, if you want to have a look at the report in physical form as a synthesis of the stakeholders' responses, it included a number of European governments, a number of European institutions, Council of Europe, European Commission, European Broadcasting Union and Civil Society representatives, individuals and we had some private sector comment.
If you want to look at it, this report is available in physical form in the Village on the EuroDIG stand and you can access it online of course at EuroDIG.org.
I would just say very briefly without going into detail at this stage, that European stakeholders who responded were very supportive of this process, and we appreciate, very much, your comments, Mr. Hochschild in explaining the context.
There was a lot of sympathy with the objectives. And I guess one of the key elements that really came through in the responses from European stakeholders was support for building on existing global multistakeholder solutions and mechanisms with the aim of maximizing the contributions of digital technologies to sustainable development while also protecting human rights, data, free flow of data, which you touched on. Privacy, and freedom of expression online.
So, there's a lot of support for the general thrusts of the panel's report. And not going down a tricky route of creating new processes, new mechanisms, that would risk duplication and complicating the scene, but there was ready recognition that existing mechanisms need to sort of ramp up and meet the challenges.
So, again, that's a very important point that resonated well with the stakeholders who responded. Just a couple of points about omissions. There was a sense that the report did not really engage on climate change and environmental issues. That was spotted by several respondents as a serious omission.
And maybe as a sort of way forward, rolls out for implementing recommendations, that can be really factored in. And also the role of media, the European Broadcasting Union made a very strong point that there's not enough relevance of the role of media in this whole area.
So, generally, support very much what the UN is doing. The proposal to create a tech envoy post is very much welcomed. Many of us, like me, who have been, you know, involved in this area for some time, recall the very effective special adviser for the IGF and for Internet Governance, Nitan Dessei. It was a very important appointment within the UN system, and we want, European stakeholders would like to see that coming back to that kind of appointment to really pull together, Marshall the effort across the UN system while engaging with the multistakeholder processes.
So, stakeholders in Europe look forward very much to working on the next steps, working with the UN system, working with all the stakeholder colleagues, and looking forward to implementation.
And we will comment on the specific recommendations later in this session, but also on Thursday at 12:30.
>> BENEDICTO FONSECA: Okay. Thank you. Thank you, Mark. Thank you for your remarks. You will have noticed I allowed some more time for Mark because I think he was reporting on the regional process and I think it was very helpful for us, but I would really encourage all speakers to try to stick to the time to be allotted and I will do my best not to be very blunt about it, but, if needed, I just try to make sure our time we have efficient use of our time.
Let me now turn to my dear colleague and friend, Juan Fernandez from Cuba. You have the floor, sir.
>> Thank you, Benedicto. My comment regarding the IGF Plus, I placed it in the website of the IGF so I will not refer to them here in order to save time. I'm going to refer to something more general. We're talking about Digital Cooperation, so, I want to focus in the concept of cooperation itself. The dictionary says that cooperation is to work together with another or others to achieve a common goal. Therefore, there cannot be cooperation if there's no common goal to which all parties can aspire. It may seem that this is a very obvious conclusion. However, history teaches us that many attempts at cooperation has been frustrated because some of the parties are satisfied with the status quo and do not recognize those that are problems for other parties.
Therefore, the starting point for any cooperation must be the identification of the objective to be achieved and this identification should be made at two levels.
First, at the highest level and political level, all parties must agree in the overall objective to be achieved. An excellent example of this is the classic first paragraph of the Declaration of Principles of the Geneva phase of the World Summit on Information Society.
And the, in addition to agreeing in an overall and political high-level objective, there should be other objectives that have to be identified at the more particular and technical level, and then to figure out how to operationalize that. That is my contribution now. Thank you.
>> BENEDICTO FONSECA: Thank you very much, Juan. I will turn now to the lady in the main aisle. Please, you have the floor. Can you identify yourself and the organization you belong to?
>> Okay. I will speak French because I'm French. I found that we've been working on these recommendations for a very long time, and my question is the following. If you look at the African continent, I'm from Benin, where we used to have a model whereby the internet governance hasn't really made it to every single country, do you believe that we really need another model if the predecessor hasn't really transpired throughout Africa. It hasn't really been tested?
>> BENEDICTO FONSECA: Now I give the floor to the lady on my left. Could you please identify yourself? Yes. It's a gentleman ‑‑ oh, I'm sorry. I'm sorry, sir. You have the floor.
>> Yeah. Thank you, sir. This is Aasim. I come from Bangladesh Internet Governance Forum and a member of the Asia Pacific Internet Governance Forum.
I would like to unloose this report and I would like to congratulate for publishing this report to the public domain.
My specific intervention is, where is the action plan? How this report will connect country level? This is my one question. Second question is, how this report will contribute to shaping the future of media, entertainment, and information sector in future?
So, this is my two question to this panel. Thank you, sir.
>> BENEDICTO FONSECA: Thank you. And I think, actually, the points you raised are in a way, in the discussions, I hope some of the contributions will focus on those points. I'll turn to the last two speakers on this, and I'm closing the list after those two speakers and turning to Lynn to, for the other part of this meeting, which would focus more clearly on, yes, I will allow, also, Raul Echeveria, of course, but after that, and also, my fellow compatriot. But you have the floor after that.
>> Thank you, Ambassador. My name is Maurice from the Ministry of Affairs in France. Speaking on behalf of the Digital affairs. I shall speak in French.
We would like to thank the United Nations in particular and we would like to congratulate you on your work, in particular, the work in the high-level group. This is a highly ambitious piece of work and we think that the recommendations and the ambitions are extremely well chosen.
Just like other governments, we regret to a certain extent that the work has not progressed as we would like and also that there has been a certain amount of secrecy surrounding this work because at this point in time, we don't know whether we will be permitted to participate in all Working Groups we would like to be involved in, or whether the number of participant countries will be restricted. So, my goal is not to give France some kind of leadership role or team leader role, but as you know, France is highly active in the domain of digitization. In 2018, we had the ISDG in Paris, IGF in Paris, and we would like to stay informed about the progress of the work and we would like to make sure that we don't just have some snippets of information thrown at us.
So, what we would like to do is to build on the reputation of this institution rather than endanger it. We would like to have a trusted and transparent approach, because trust is something that's becoming ever more rare on the internet and this is why we need to make sure that there's more trust and more transparency. This is one of the main points of the HLDPP and this is why we need more trust and more transparency in our work. Thank you very much.
>> BENEDICTO FONSECA: I think that one of the main issues here is, and one of the ambitions, too, is to have this process to explain how this session will be built into the overarching process.
This is my understanding of what's happening here. But, we'll have an opportunity to consult with the Secretariat on this in due time.
In the main aisle, can you please, you have the floor. Can you identify yourself and the organization you belong to?
>> Thank you, Mr. Fonseca. I'm an independent consultant, Walter Napris. And actually, at this point in time, we're doing something at the IGF which is IGF Plus and I'm not going to promote it, but I'll tell you what it can do in a couple months' time. It's on the deployment of internet standards that would immediately make the world safer if industry would deploy them at this point in time. So, that is happening, and I'll promote it for one second. Wednesday at 1:00 in Room 3.
But, what it can do in a few months' work is get recommendations, concept recommendations ready to present on at the IGF. So, we'll not be having presentations. We'll have sessions working on actions. How can we actually make these recommendations happen and from there, who do you need to involve? And from the recommendations, you can see that there are several stakeholder groups that are never represented at the IGF but will have to be present if this deployment is to happen.
So, in education, in industry, et cetera. And I think that that is something which shows what an IGF Plus model could actually work because it's always been my personal conviction is that we have all these brilliant minds in a room for four or five days and basically, let them escape once the IGF is over and not use the potential to cooperate between all these silos.
And the doors in these silos need to be opened to make complex internet issues actually to be solved. So, thank you for this opportunity. And hope to see you on Wednesday.
>> BENEDICTO FONSECA: Thank you for your intervention. I will now give the floor to my friend and colleague, Raul Echeverría.
>> Thank you, Ambassador. Good morning.
(no English translation available)
So, we should analyze pieces that can help to improve the general system. Let me be very brief because we are short of time. But, one important aspect is that when we created the IGF, in 2005, we created IGF as the centerpiece of the Internet Governance ecosystem.
And the centerpiece of the Internet Governance system and we were able to do that at the time. The status quo, I was thinking about my colleague Juan Fernandez said. There is nothing as the status quo, every minute in this field. When we say that, we want to keep the status quo because it's changing all the time. So, the context has changed very much. So, there are now, there are several hundreds of forums, small, medium, and large forums of people, countries and stakeholders that come together to discuss several things.
So, we cannot just offer the centerpiece of something. We have to work very much in the interconnection between all the pieces. And we have to see the IGF Plus not at the center of the ecosystem but as the fundamental piece of the ecosystem.
And this is why there are proposals in the other models that are very complementary towards this objective is to make the, all the systems much more connected and much more informed. Of course, there is a need to make it work and to offer help to all the stakeholders to become engaged in their proper place and their proper label and in a meaningful manner. Thank you.
>> BENEDICTO FONSECA: Thank you. Move immediately to Ms. Gatto ISOC. Please, you have the floor.
>> RAQUEL GATTO: Thank you, Ambassador. Quickly, I'm Raquel Gatto. I work with Internet Society with written contributions both on the report and before, shaping the report and after with the follow‑up implementation. So, I'm not going to speak largely about it. But, invite everyone to read quickly on three comments that I wanted to make today.
First of all, we appreciate that the report recognized that Digital Cooperation and mechanisms needs to be holistic, multidisciplinary, multistakeholder, agile, and able to convert rhetorical into practice. That's what the Internet Society also believes, that the Digital Cooperation can be improved. The Digital Cooperation mechanisms can be improved and need to be improved. But, collaborative processes are still the best way when technology is concerned.
The second point I want to make is also that, instead of creating new mechanisms, we do believe that strengthening the IGF is the best way. That's the IGF Plus suggestion, recommendation.
>> BENEDICTO FONSECA: Sorry, we are going to address the specific recommendations. So, now, we just ‑‑
>> RAQUEL GATTO: Just general comments? Okay. Just one concern regarding the discussions that will follow up is regarding the coexist, the ambiguity coexisting between stakeholder and multilateral approach and there is a risk that you're going to make a reasonable compromise that might lead to more negotiated outcomes and that's something that we should as a community address going forward.
The other suggestion is also to have kind of a dispatch function for the IGF to be delivering more tangible outcomes and being more practical as the report points out where you would identify some of the issues. Who could follow up, and where they would be followed, and we have also a lot of examples to illustrate and draw from, including NETmundial, including the IANA transition process and so on.
So, thank you very much for your time. I'm sorry to be the last one. I was slow walking. Thank you.
>> BENEDICTO FONSECA: Thank you, Raquel. Someone has to be the last one. And I thank you all for participating. Let me just check if we have some remote participation. Where is the remote facilitator? Yes, Anya, is there someone from remote? With this, I turn to Lynn for the more I think juicy part of our discussion. Thank you, Lynn.
>> LYNN ST. AMOUR: Not sure if it's juicy but we can certainly look at this first session as a warm‑up. As we've stated in numerous cases, we're really looking for I a concrete substantive discussion here. So, if you've submitted comments, it's really no need to stand up and give us a summary of them. If you could speak directly to the things you think the community should be considering or things you think would be helpful given the objectives we've outlined, that would be a good way to actually advance the discussion, and show we are building towards some takeaways for the next step of this process.
So, in the next hour, we're going to focus on the slide that's up behind me, which talks about the models and then, specifically, in the center outlines the four major components, the report talks about with respect to the IGF Plus.
And then, of course, we also wanted to come to Recommendations 5A and 5B, which were the suggested appointment of a tech envoy and the IGF's Secretariat being institutionally placed in the Secretary‑General's office.
So, the floor is open. Really would encourage those that are participating online as well to please, we do have a process to allow you to get your voice and your comments in. This is also a good opportunity to say that there is, in fact, a survey in this Sched app where you can put some additional comments and additional suggestions, not just in this session, but for all of the sessions over the course of the week.
So, I mean, as Raul said there at the end that while the bulk of the reports we've had through our processes, through some of the regional processes and even through the Secretary‑General's process, there was a lot of support for the IGF Plus model. There were also some comments that talked about some of the other common areas that might be interesting in the other two approaches as well.
So, I mean, again, in IGF spirit, this is an open discussion. At the same time, we really would like to be able to make some concrete progress as we move forward here. So, this session, this section of this session was intended to focus on the IGF Plus and specifically on those four components.
And Ambassador Fonseca and I will share the moderating. I will probably do this IGF Plus and Ambassador Fonseca will pick up the Recommendations 5A and 5B. So, with that, the mics are open.
I've never actually seen such short mics in any IGF session. So, we have some individuals coming forward. You have the floor. Please, again, introduce yourself and the stakeholder group. The mics are not necessarily the clearest alignment here. You have the floor.
>> FINN PETERSEN: Thank you. My name is Finn Petersen from the Danish government. Denmark welcomes the High-Level Panel and the strong focus on multistakeholder approach to enhance Digital Cooperation. Denmark supports multistakeholder processes in cooperation in order to secure an open, secure, and free, and trustworthy internet.
Moreover, Denmark believes strongly in safeguarding the role of the IGF and other multistakeholder forums, such as ICANN. We strongly support the initiative to strengthen the IGF, the plus model. Firstly, for us, it's crucial to secure the financial support of the IGF Secretariat.
Secondly, we support the moving of the responsibility for the IGF to the office of the UN General Secretariat and a pointing a tech envoy.
Thirdly, we believe there's a need for more inclusive participation in the IGF, including business and governments, but also from the Global South. Fourthly, the IGF should continue to be a forum where new issues related to the internet can be raised and discussed through optimal process.
Fifth point, it is important to Denmark that the IGF continues to be a non‑decision making forum. However, there's an urgent need for a more efficient way to work together to ensure a strengthened focus and more accessible outcome.
For example, developing best practices, having more discussions based on evidence, and establishing more coordinated approach to the agenda setting in order to focus on the most important issues.
Finally, we must all work closer together, breakdown silos between different communities and continents, and in order to combat fragmentation and to ensure that the internet continues to be a common good for all.
Denmark are looking forward to continuing the dialogue with all stakeholders to develop an efficient architecture for Global Digital Cooperation for an even stronger IGF, the IGF Plus model. Thank you very much.
>> LYNN ST. AMOUR: Thank you. And some of the work that we'll be doing hopefully in this session, subsequent to this session, of course, we need to start putting the next level of definition to the things we all say we want and we like. So, if we, for instance, like a tech envoy, at some point, we're going to have to talk about the responsibilities of the tech envoy where that fits in the overall process so I really want to encourage people to start thinking about those next steps.
To spend the next hour kind of restating our positions that have already been published is not going to move us forward as quickly as I think many of us would like. So, with that, Jorge, you have a challenge to give us something new to think about.
>> Hello, hello, good morning, everyone. This is Jorge Cansio from the Swiss Federal Office of Communications. I will try to follow on what Ambassador Thomas Snyder already introduced before.
As you know, and as Fabrizio knows, we have been deeply involved in the discussions with the opportunity of supporting our former president, Ms. Doris Scherhart within its panel the panel really proposes in our eyes we could say three flavors of the same ice cream because in the end, what the panel is proposing in these architecture models is to a response to the gaps to fill in the gaps we have been identifying in the global Internet Governance and Digital Cooperation arrangements.
And those gaps were mentioned before by Thomas and the responses in the end, whatever the specific name in the three models is, is in the end, to improve the follow‑up to the discussions we are having in global fora, especially in the IGF, which is the main global forum to have digital policy discussions.
So, a follow‑up to that. A coordination that allows us to bring the reaction to challenges that arrive as the Paris call, Christ Church called right here into the structures to the IGF to have those discussions and those actions. Not outside the IGF, but inside the IGF, and of course, we need to support and to help all the stakeholder communities to find their way, find their way to the right stakeholders, find their way to the right processes, and to the right information, through the help desk and observatory function.
So, more coordination, better policy networks, also to come to results with that coordination, and very strong observatory and help desk function.
In Switzerland really stands ready to help here and to support this process. We have been, he we launched in 2014, the Geneva Internet Platform which tries to offer many of these tools as an observatory, as a support network for Geneva diplomats, but also diplomats in New York, in Brussels. Worldwide. And we will continue on that. Apologies for going over the time as there are now other people in the queue and you asked me for concrete proposals. We are willing to continue on that, and of course, we are also willing to help in continuing consultations. Hopefully, also in Geneva, back to back, to the IGF 2020 preparations. Thank you so much.
>> LYNN ST. AMOUR: Thank you, Jorge. I see Timea coming up to the mic but let me just in the effort to try to encourage more people to come up to the mic as well. The IGF has been listening to all sorts of comments and suggestions for improvements going way back to the CSTD effort, a Working Group effort on improvements to the IGF to the taking stock sessions we hold at each one of the IGFs to community surveys, to a retreat that DESA organized in 2016 and we've been actively trying to implement a lot of those improvements.
So, best practice forums is one. The key messages that we started putting out at the swiss IGF two years ago, significant efforts this year to improve our reporting efforts.
So, we're really trying to do a lot, and what we need is more ideas, and more support. And that support is participation, and frankly, since there's not a long list at the mic, we need more financial support. It's no secret that we're actually getting funding at about 40 percent of what was budgeted. That directly impacts the level of staff we can put in the Secretariat and frankly, we are running them hard.
And that is the biggest blocker to our making some of the progress and improvements we all talked about. We are already piloting various things for different types of recommendations and different documents, but we need more support. Participation, and financial.
So, again, at least I got some people up at the mic here. So, let me go to Timea and then we'll go over to the mic on the end and again, encourage anybody who is participating online to come in as well. Timea, you have the floor.
>> TIMEA SUTO: Thank you very much, Lynn. My name is Timea Suto. I work for the International Chamber of Commerce, the World Business Organization representing 45 million businesses. ICC has been following the work of the panel since its inception. Sorry, there's an echo. And we welcome the opportunity to continue to engage with the work of the panel and the multistakeholder community, including the reports' recommendations on the government governance approaches. In our view, governance model fit to promote this culture of cooperation that we've been talking about today needs to be multistakeholder, bottom up, and transparent.
And we think that the IGF Plus model as described in the panel's report is the perfect embodiment of such a governance model.
We are viewing this opportunity to raise the IGF's profiles, strengthen the IGF institution, and build on the past years to, of the good work done at the IGF, to communicate what has happened here, the results and the outputs that are in the archives.
A conscious effort is needed to increase awareness of the IGF, and it needs to occur to all resources available to better market the existing outputs.
In the past, the IGF has benefited from high level representation of a special adviser to the UN Secretary‑General and that facilitated advocacy and diplomacy and served as an important adviser. A suitable candidate should be sought for that position. Other alternatives to the IGF should be explored including oversight of the IGF by the Office of the Secretary‑General.
The IGF is already producing tremendous amount of output. Including textual, but also the multistakeholder dialogues themselves that are valuable outputs. Policy makers can gather many insights from the exchanges of information and experiences on internet policy issues that take place here.
Capturing, promoting these exchanges successfully could increase their reach beyond the participation in sessions of the IGF and we see the cooperation accelerator and the policy incubator as potential retainers of this brainstorming activity, sharing best practices, and other informal aspects that we have come to value from IGF in the past 14 years.
I would like to also echo the comments from our colleague from Denmark and Chair, your comments just now. We need efforts to expand and strengthen the financial foundation of the IGF. This will be vital p to enable the forum to expend its existing mechanisms to fulfill the functions that are required by such a comprehensive global governance framework that was described in the IGF Plus model in the report.
So, thank you. I'm sorry to go over time but I hope to work with you in getting all these goals off the ground.
>> LYNN ST. AMOUR: Thank you, Timea. wonderful‑‑ Wolfgang, you have the floor.
>> Thank you, Lynn. My name is Wolfgang Kimmer and I was like Raul, a member of the group which created the idea to have an Internet Governance Forum. I remember the discussions we had with the governments in the WCAG because governments wanted to have decision making body. And argument of the Civil Society and representatives in the WCAG was before you take discussions, you have to understand the complexity of the issue.
That's why before, decisions are taken, you should have a broad discussion forum. And this was the starting point for the IGF. Fifteen years ago, there were only a limited number of bodies which had the decision-making capacity with regard to the internet. This has changed now. We have now more than half a dozen, so nearly one dozen in the governmental bodies which a decision-making capacity dealing with internet issues. In the view of security, it's the GTE, the augmented working group, the group dealing with letter systems. In the economy, negotiation and world trade organizations, we have the human rights council, now the third committee general assembly adopted or created a new intergovernmental body for cybercrime but what I see is we have a gap, a missing link between the discussion which takes place here and the decision making body which are more or less, as some people have already said, in the discussion are sitting in their silos.
And so far, I'm very happy with the IGF Plus proposals and in particular with the cooperation accelerator because what could be introduced is better linkage between the discussion platform as to IGF and the decision taking platforms in various intergovernmental bodies.
So, why not send the messages from the IGF directly to these negotiation bodies and then to invite the Chairs of the negotiation bodies to report back to the IGF so that their outcome from the negotiations goes through a discussion process in a multistakeholder environment.
This would help them to produce more sustainable results, and would really close the gap between discussion and decision making that means the cooperation accelerator, in my eyes, would be like a distribution mechanism which would then be the IGF Plus. Thank you.
>> LYNN ST. AMOUR: Thank you, Wolfgang. We'll continue going back and forth. I really would like to ask people to keep their comments to two and a half minutes. If they start running on, we'll have to shorten it to one and a half minutes and then one minute to make sure we get everybody's comments in. Vittorio, you have the floor.
>> VITTORIO BERTOLA: Thank you. I was also one of the people on Working Group in Internet Governance 15 years ago that came up with the IGF idea. So, of course, now the question is, has this multistakeholder model been successful? Honestly, I think it's been partly successful but mostly not because what we perhaps did not imagine in the beginning but what we see now is that the lack of basically regulation has allowed some very big companies concentrated in a single part or in a few parts of the globe to take over the internet, basically.
And the imposed changes that are usually not discussed or agreed with anyone, not in a multistakeholder setting anyway.
So, even the increased deployment, which I have been involved in, which was already mentioned today, is another little example of how the big tech companies and sometimes also the technical community just go ahead with things that create big policies messes without involving any other stakeholder.
So, the question now is, then, do these proposals actually address the problem? But, maybe yes. I mean, I think they could make things better, but, in the end, I am afraid that you need something different to be able to keep these very powerful stakeholders under control.
And not in a negative sense but in the sense that they should be brought back to doing something which combos in global public interest and not just in their own business interest. if I think especially from my European perspective, the only thing for which Europe has had impact on was the GDPR, regulation.
Maybe that's the current of Europe but I think regulation is the only thing we are really good at making in Europe so I'm afraid we will see, but I hope we will see more regulation in Europe. To, preserve some kind of sovereignty by the European citizens over the internet, at least for the European sphere.
So, the challenge for the IGF, I think, will be how do we interact with governments that will have a bigger role than in the past and of course advising these governments to do the right things is is a good thing that the IGF could take in whatever form it will do. But, at the same time, we must not think this can prevent the wave coming over and I think it will actually make the intern better. Thank you.
>> Thank you, Vittorio. We'll go to Mark Carvell for comment and then I understand we have somebody from the remote hub in Nigeria that wants to take the floor. So, we'll take them, Anya, just after Mark. Mark, you have the floor.
>> MARK CARVELL: Thank you, Lynn. Mark Carvell working specifically on the High‑level's report. With regard to 5A and 5B, the overall consensus was to favor the IGF Plus model. There were questions about the appropriate applicability of the global commons approach of the law of the sea. How can you apply that to the fast evolving digital environment which is throwing up constantly new public policy challenges and so on.
So, the digital commons one received no expressions of support.
With regards to specifics relating to IGF Plus. Yes, there was support for, in principle, the cooperation accelerator, very much for the reasons that Wolfgang has recounted but mindful, really, of the IGF straying from its original mandate as a forum for dialogue which would then translate issues for other entities to implement in practice.
You know, that model is a very well proven one, but it needs enhancing, certainly.
So, the policy incubator, accelerator, and the observatory, we're open but need to work out the details and logistics of how you support those in what will essentially be an intersessional structure for the IGF Plus of
Global help desks, many respondents said, well, there's a lot of sources of advice and information available through existing mechanisms. Was there a risk of creating a new structure of global help desks that would overlap or detract from existing sources of advice?
So, again, need to look at that more carefully. Tech envoy, as I mentioned earlier, there was support for, and generally, the thruster 5B in terms of a holistic approach system‑wide involving stakeholder communities across the world to ensure that underserved communities are effectively represented in their views are fed into processes.
I think those are the points I wanted to underline. Thank you.
>> LYNN ST. AMOUR: Thank you, Mark. That was very, very helpful and quite concrete. We're going to go to the remote hub in Nigeria now. And while we do that, I just want to kind of remind everybody that we have national, regional, subregional and youth IGF initiatives across the country. That we sort of get a new one every day. I think we're at 117 or 118 at the moment. And I think one of the things that we need to think about as we think through a lot of these different mechanisms is what role we can use.
They are on the ground. They're multistakeholder. They're knowledgeable about not only these issues, they're knowledgeable about their local conditions and local needs as well.
So, I would encourage everybody to think in the background about how we can work more closely with a lot of those activities to reach our objectives. But, Anya, how do we pull in the remote hub from Nigeria?
>> LAWRENCE: Thank you, this is Lawrence. And I representative the private sector, speaking in my individual capacity. First of all, I would want to thank the Panel for doing a great job and especially for the focus that's been given to small businesses to also be part of the process that shall engage and enhance Digital Cooperation.
While, this is welcome, the question that comes to mind is how small businesses on a global scale will be coordinated to contribute. While this is a very large, we know this business is running billions in terms of numbers, my take would be to seek contributions on regional businesses. In other words, looking at Africa, the other parts of the Global South might be best to seek contributions from this these different areas so that we have more diversity.
While it is true that small businesses are small businesses, the context with which everyone comes to the table are different. Why? Because the challenges that I face in my part of the world was definitely going to be different from what others face in their own part of the world. To be developed.
And to also say that really, from a personal perspective, support a talk of an IGF loss and we hope that we have the opportunity to continue to engage in this particular discussion going forward.
>> LYNN ST. AMOUR: Thank you, Lawrence. It was very key points. Not only in terms of kind of the local context, but also the need to focus on small businesses who have so much to offer to these discussions and hopefully, so much to gain as well. We're going to keep going back and forth, so, Raul. Oh, no, I guess it would be, you had the floor.
>> Thank you, Lynn. I'm representing the Dutch Technical Community at this point, who made possible to write two iterations of the report strengthening operations in the IGF which basically is looking to the IGF Plus model.
And they've come up with several recommendations which I'd like to reiterate here because it will help the discussion in a practical sense. I think that one of the themes that came out of it is that, and this is driven by the IGF community, so, this is the IGF community speaking here. Is that they are looking for MAG leadership. So, actually, to come up with the cutting-edge topics and make sure that they're debated at the IGF but not just in the form of a workshop, but in the form of something that is actually distributional and some sort of recommendation comes out because we know how bad it is. We don't need to hear that next year.
And a way to do the distribution is by making sure that there's some sort of a liaison function between other internet organizations and the MAG. To actually institutionalize it and make sure that these organizations are always present and bring topics and bring answers back.
The other one is to start some sort of working groups that actually, at the, that are they're prepared, but then worked at the IGF in a room and come up with a solution or a recommendation or an action plan and not just have four people discuss a topic on stage but come up with a, an actual solution at the end of the IGF which is distributable and presentable.
The other one that it needs to become more solution driven. And if nothing else, then have a law or regulation, but, that is a direction going forward and that we know who to involve to get to that solution so that it can be actively presented on, actually brought into the discussion and stakeholders that are not currently usually present at the IGF.
And the other one is just to try things out. Be imaginative. How can we actually do something different than we've ever done before, and in what way would that be inspirational to everybody in the world to actually come to the IGF and be present, because you can't afford not to be there.
And as a final one, I would like to reiterate what Lynn was saying to everybody. If the IGF is so important, as we say, then, put your money where your mouth is because otherwise, all these things will never happen. We'll be discussing them into 2025 when this is all over and we get to this new mandate.
But, I think by then, we need to be able to prove what the added value of the IGF is and that gives us about six IGFs to go from now to actually make happen what we have not been able to do in the past 14 years.
So, I wish us all luck in getting there. Thank you.
>> LYNN ST. AMOUR: Thank you, Walt. Raul?
>> Thank you, Lynn. I am researching IGF Plus that produces certain kind of outcomes every year. And the outcomes I think IGF should produce are best practices, principles, and general guidelines to address the most important challenges that we face.
Some of those things have already been done, but we need more work, intersessional work. And to advertise the intersessional work and to help all the stakeholders to engage in, with potential to influence the decisions and the discussions during intersessional work. So, the work shall be something that has the participation of much more people.
Having said that, there are things that we can control and we can affect with our decisions and there are things that are happening, are matter of fact.
At the same time we are speaking here, there are a group of governments and other stakeholders that are meeting to discuss things like, standards for privacy with regard to the governmental services, data protection, cybersecurity agreements, and some of those don't know about IGF, they don't participate.
And I have experienced this working for other groups that I have to tell them about IGF because they are not aware of that but they are doing things that lead the discussion, they are having discussions that lead to the development of a standard that will affect the same issues that we are discussing here.
So, when we discuss about the cooperation, this is what I think is the cooperation could feel. To help, to coordinate better, and all the pieces, all the groups that are working on different issues, to be aligned. To cooperate among them.
And in the same sense, the policy incubator, that I think is a great idea. But, should, apart from the basis that we cannot tell everybody what they have to do because they are already working. Many people are already working on policies to address several issues.
So, what we can do is from this point of view of the corporation is to make all the people to work with all the other people that is important on a certain issue to be sure that they are contemplating all the perspectives and all the point of view at the point of developing the policies.
So, we cannot just create groups to propose policies on certain matters without considering that there are not already people that is not linked to IGF, that is already working on developing policies. We have to work in the incubating policies but coordinating those different groups. Thank you.
>> LYNN ST. AMOUR: Thank you, Raul. Good points. Peter Major, you have the floor.
>> Thank you, Lynn. Well, just reflecting on what you said about the regional and the national IGFs, I'm proud to report to you that we had the first Hungarian IGF in September. Getting back to the original theme, we had the annual session of the CIC. I'm an adviser of the CIC and we have touched upon the report on Digital Cooperation. We had a very good discussion and I hope that in the annual session which will be held in March, member states will come up with some consensual reports on the outcome of digital. And hopefully, we should include it in draft resolutions.
Concretely, what I have in mind, basically, Wilhelm has mentioned some aspects of the way forward which very much in mind which I have already proposed. We know that the Sustainable Development Goals do not explicitly mention the technical, the ICTs themselves. However, specialized agencies of the UN have taken up the questions, and there are many experts groups in these specialized agencies. Not necessarily decision-making ones, as was mentioned, but they are coming off of recommendations.
So, my suggestions as well. The results of this experts group should be included in the discussions of the IGF Plus and IGF Plus should come up with some kind of recommendation which will be discussed in the CSCD itself.
And it can be forwarded to the general assembly, and at the end of the day, we may come up with some tangible outputs in forms of recommendations, eventually resolutions.
So, basically, if we want to keep the whole process within the UN, that's the way I can see, that is the way forward I can see. Thank you.
>> BENEDICTO FONSECA: So, I'll take over from Lynn. And we'll keep the order of interventions. I give the floor to the lady on the main corridor. You have the floor. Can you please identify yourself? And your organization?
>> DEBORAH BROWN: Sure. Thank you, Ambassador. My name is Deborah Brown. I'm with the Association for Progressive Communications, a Civil Society organization. I'm not sure if I'm in the right microphone, but I hope this is okay. So, firstly, we'd like to congratulate the panel on its work and thank you for your ongoing consultative approach. We found that there are many attractive proposals in the report that would strengthen the IGF's work and capacity to perform its functions. However, we feel that there's a number of questions that are still unanswered.
The first is around funding. Specifically, who would finance the IGF Plus model? In this current forum, the IGF is already struggling with its financial support and with this more robust mandate, we feel that there's more clarity needed on how it will be funded to take on this extra mandate.
We also had a question about participation, how the IGF Plus model will attract greater participation from governments and from the private sector, that there's resources and capacity building for governments might attract some but certainly won't satisfy the needs of a lot of governments who are pushing for pay more centralized intergovernmental body, so, we'd like to get more of a sense of how the IGF Plus would attract governments and private sector participation.
We also had some questions around national and regional IGFs as well as youth IGFs, in recent years, they have expanded in ways that are organic and have helped strengthen and democratize internet governance in many parts of the world.
And the IGF Plus model doesn't really address the roles of those initiatives and how they would support the different roles foreseen within the IGF Plus model.
That said, we are supportive of it. We do feel that's the best way to continue the IGF's important work over the years and support having more conversations around how to improve it. But, what we felt was really missing from the report and the IGF model is, and would add considerable value, is for the IGF to somehow play a connective tissue within the United Nations. That there's a number of digital issues, human rights, governance, securities that are happening in different parts of the United Nations and that are often out of sync with one another, happening in silos and sometimes unfortunately contradict one another.
So, we feel there's really a need for the United Nations to play that connective tissue and to ensure that there's a more holistic and comprehensive approach. Thank you.
>> BENEDICTO FONSECA: Thank you, Deborah. And before turning to at this point, the last two speakers, I'd like just to recall that we would also like to invite at this point comments on the two other formats that were proposed, the distributed governance architecture and digital commerce architecture. I know some people have already commented, but if you have some specific comment in regard to that, please, this would be the moment to come forward.
In regard to IGF Plus, I must confess we were expecting some more inputs as we go through all the comments that we received online, I think some of them were very interesting in regard to the modalities that are proposed, advisory group, for example, there is a comment that in a way to mirror the existing mark, so, it would be another way to pursue the MAG. The same is in regard to acceleration coordinator. I think there is a point.
The point was made that actually it would very much do what the best practice fora are doing today, observatory, help desk, all the elements they're trying to propose, you are invited to come and to the IGF placement with the office. I understand that’s general support for that.
I don't recall having seen any negative opinion on that, but please feel free to come forward. So, I'll give the floor to the gentleman on my left, please, you have the floor.
>> CHRIS BUCKRIDGE: Thank you, Ambassador, and good morning. My name is Chris Buckridge. I work for the regional ICC. I apologize if I'm perhaps starting to restate some of the points made earlier but I'll try to be succinct. We responded to the reports and went into the EuroDIG discussion that Mark has talked about and it would be probably no surprise coming from an internet registry that one of the points we emphasized was the need for recognition and incorporation of those regional and national governance events that are going on.
I think it's been commented that there are more than 110 now active. And certainly, as a regional internet registry we're acutely aware of how diverse the needs and concerns of different stakeholders are across a geography, even one, just the service region we have.
So, in thinking, then, how we incorporate that in concrete ways, as we've been asked here today, I was actually thinking in terms of what Lynn mentioned before about the work that's been done in terms of evolution and improvement of the IGF. You mentioned best practice forums and sort of more reporting.
I think the work that's been done to recognize and incorporate in our eyes is also something that's been done and evolving over the last few years. It's very much a work in progress but it's something that we would certainly want to acknowledge. I think that's what brings me to the point to say that actually, a lot of this evolution and incorporation of these new ideas or ideas that we see here is it being done by the MAG and that's a very good thing. It's being done by the institutional parts of the IGF itself.
I think the portion I would see is that as we strengthen the institution of the IGF and particularly as we sort of solidify funding, which is so important. As we embody it maybe a little bit more in sections of the UN structures, we don't lose that control and direction that the MAG and the structures of the IGF itself have.
We don't incorporate more of a top down approach in strengthening the ties there, but we maintain that community‑driven aspect. So, I'm not sure that's a really practical advice but it's something I would really caution and advise that we keep in mind going forward here. Thank you.
>> BENEDICTO FONSECA: Thank you. We'll listen to the last four participants on this. If anyone else would like to make an intervention, please indicate it now. Otherwise, we'll close the list because as we are approaching the end, we want to give enough time for Mr. Hochschild to respond and to provide some more information on the process as it was requested sometime before, and also for final comments. As we have to stop at 12:30 for security preparations for the opening ceremony.
With this, then, I will give the floor to Paul Blaker. Please, you have the floor.
>> PAUL BLAKER: Thank you very much. My name is Paul Blaker. I'm speaking for the government of the United Kingdom. The UK has welcomed the report and welcomed many of its recommendations, and I'd like to support the comments made by my colleague from France. We think it's critically important that the follow‑up to the reports is undertaken in an open and transparent way, and in an inclusive way so that all stakeholders who wish to participate are able to do so.
But, I'd like to ask about a different issue, although it's relevant to the High-Level Panel report. In September last year, the UN Secretary‑General published a strategy on new technologies and it's really an excellent document. If colleagues in the room have not seen it, I recommend it as being a good worthwhile read.
The strategy talks about how the UN can be a trusted venue for all stakeholders to come together in an open and transparent way to discuss technology issues, and it talks about how the UN can be more open to new ideas, and new voices. Perhaps the High-Level Panel could be seen as one example of that. I don't know. But I'd like to ask if Mr. Hochschild perhaps in his closing remarks could say a little bit about how that report is being implemented and how it might support follow‑up work to the High-Level Panel. Thank you.
>> BENEDICTO FONSECA: Thank you, Paul. I think next will be, yes, on my far left. Please, Madam, you have the floor.
>> ELLEN STRICKLAND: Thank you, panel. Thank you, I'm Ellen Strickland from Internet New Zealand and we've certainly, are very interested in the report and the recommendations and the discussions here today. One of the things that I've heard recently, particularly at the Paris Peace Forum was this concept of multilateralism and multistakeholderism collapsing in on each other and the issues that are proliferating in collaborative ways. And I want to talk about a process I think in New Zealand can relate and contribute to the discussion of these ideas, particularly the IGF Plus.
We, in May this year, there was a Christchurch call that the New Zealand government along with France initiated, which was a unique process engaging governments and companies as well as Civil Society, technical community. This happened, for those of you who don't know, because in March, there was a terrorist attack in New Zealand which killed 51 New Zealanders from the Muslim community, which was live streamed online, and the content was modified and coordinated behavior, distributed in ways that were unprecedented in our understanding from the way of the internet being used.
And responding to this as New Zealand, our prime minister, speculation, but realized that international action was required on an issue like this. And that companies and other countries and Civil Society needed to talk and work together. So, they did it in this way that they put together.
And so my question, really, is for particularly the cooperation accelerator or the policy incubator and observatory, could functions like this, as we think about how it might happen, what if those that existed in a way that when this happened, the New Zealand government and other actors had a place to go. So, that's thinking, intersessionally but more than that, having staff, a place to put them. Thank you.
>> BENEDICTO FONSECA: Thank you. I'll turn to the gentleman in the main aisle.
>> Thank you very much for giving me the floor. I am Em Cadbury from Iran academic community. First of all, I should thank IGF Secretariat, MAG and government, German government for hosting this well-organized IGF Berlin.
We have been hearing the same statement from the member of internet community during past 13 years since the beginning of IGF in 2006. Statement like this. We don't support the internet that is free to fake news, that is free to hate speech, and online embroiling. We are against the internet free to denounce the reputation of independent nation. We don't support free access to child pornography, harmful content, online racism, women abuse, the white nation, and online xenophobia. We don't advocate the internet that is open to surveillance, cyber warfare, this information campaign, psychological, new platform, colonialism, human rights violators, and forming Monopoly.
We don't support the internet that is interoperable to cyber institution, other internal efforts, cyber tanks, and cybercrimes. These breaches.
We don't want internet to be secure for criminals and terrorists.
We have been hearing such a statement during these years.
We don't want internet, existing Internet Governance model have not solved many economical, social, or internal o problems related to internet. But we couldn't solve so many problems like Monopoly, harm from content, child pornography, privacy. Why we couldn't move forward so much?
The answer is, the main root cause of unsolved problem during past two decades is core in IG model and policy making mechanism.
We have a digital unilateralism. Without solving the main problem of internal policy making, our effort in IGF and other platforms will reach nowhere. Had
The main problems, and negative trends that trends the future of global internet and will lead to complete internet fragmentation.
Something like, militarization of internet, inquiry in cyber arms race, offensive cyber doctrines by some countries, using anybody as a tool for achieving illegitimate geopolitical interests, applying cybersanctions against other nations, increase the scope and cost of cybercrimes, existing the role of jungle out in internet and especially dark web, and unrelated.
Decentralization in hands of digital platform that result in undermining of democracy and national sovereignty. And where do we collaborate with digital platforms in government in judicial cases linked to cybercrime and cyber tourism and using digital rights violation cases.
Suggestion to solve this accumulated and unsolved problems are ‑‑
>> BENEDICTO FONSECA: Could you please conclude?
>> Yeah, thank you. Enhancing multilateralism in internet governance framework. Setting norms and rules on responsible behavior of tech company and digital platform as well as government. Creating mechanism for interaction between state and platform to dealing with legal jurisdiction, law enforcement and cybercrime issues under United Nations framework, and we are fully support setting up a new digital United Nations charter. We all have a digital dream. A new vision for internet. Our region is at the last one, we hope one day we will collective with other ‑‑ with our collective effort, our visions will be achieved. A new democracy, transparent, ethical, rule‑based, trustful, inclusive, and multilateral internet governance model with participation of all parties at service of human goods, peace, human development and public interest under UN framework. Thank you very much.
>> BENEDICTO FONSECA: Thank you. And I was just told by my fellow participant that there is still an opportunity, if you want, to send written comments. I think that would be the appropriate way to address your issues. Your concerns.
I will turn to the last intervention, the gentleman on my left, please, you have the floor, sir.
>> Thank you so much. My name is Nikolai Furereli from Uruguay. I am part of the Ambassadors this year. I have some recommendations prior to the report. Prior to IGF, we have several research about this topic and we have a recommendation that is from the beginning of the IGF, the idea of having these incomes and outcomes from the national to the regional and then to the global meeting. The idea is to maintain it, the multistakeholder works very well. In order to have all the opinions. So, we are recommending to digitalize the multistakeholder process.
I don't know if all people here remember about the NETmundial meeting when it was a collaborative software, when people could emphasize paragraphs and then comment on the paragraphs. So, the idea is to maintain these opinions by different categorizations like stakeholders, topics, and in this way, in this process of the multistakeholderism, it will be solved and better optimized the drafting process, and in this case, we could maintain the incomes and outcomes from all the different years and not repeat the work and maintain like a model that awaits to do the multistakeholder process. Thanks.
>> BENEDICTO FONSECA: Thank you. And I'm told by Lynn that indeed, the same resource was used in the preparation of these documents for this meeting in collecting so we are trying to incorporate best practices that have been taking place in other fora. So just before turning, and I thank you for your comments. And just before turning to my co‑moderator to lead us in the final part of this meeting, I'd like to make three very short comments.
And I want, again, to make a disclaimer that I'm not speaking on behalf of the government of Brazil. I am here in my personal capacity but as I told you, in the past eight years, I have been following processes, have been involved in the IGF Plus document, I was proud to be part of the team that organized NETmundial and also IGF back in 2015 and so on and so forth.
So, I will allow myself to make a few comments if I may. First of all, I think we should not lose sight of the achievements that were being introduced in the IGF in the last few years. I think as we move to another phase, IGF Plus, I think in some papers I read things saying, well, nothing has been done yet, well, that's not true.
We took upon ourselves, for example, in Brazil, we launched the first version of these document policy options for connecting the next billion online. I think the name has changed slightly since then, but the idea is to have a compendium for best practice, that would be service at all for participators, for people working on connectivity issues and this has proved to be useful resource. And also, if we think about the outputs coming from the best practice fora and other discussions taking place here, I was very impressed to see in one of the comments coming from, I think the business organization from United States and they provide some examples, actual examples in which companies benefited from the IGF.
Amazon, Microsoft, if I recall correctly. Providing very concrete examples of discussions here that were then fed into their process. So, I think we should be proud of what we're doing. Of course, there is more improved to have more visibility I think by moving to IGF Plus and having support of the Secretary‑General, it's very important. But, let's not, we do not need to diminish the work that has been done so far.
The second comment is, regarding the financial sustainability. It has been said a lot, there needs to be more funding. I couldn't agree more.
However, we should not decide that, I would say, being a diplomat, having served at the UN and so on and so forth, I don't think it's realistic to think that the United Nations will reallocate funds for this. For the reason that the United Nations is not an entity they target from the membership. The United Nations will do what the members decide.
I was serving at the second committee there and one of our fears, and we're always a bit nervous when there was what you call the PBI, the program budget implication because we knew that what we were proposing there would not fly because it would be channeled to a committee and the overall situation, we know there's a lot of strain on the, stress on the United Nations as such because not only the development issues but also peace operations and so on and so forth, there is a huge, huge list of issues that must be funded by the UN and of course that depends on the involvement of countries, focus of countries, and if we talk about the process in which it is recognized, countries are not here, it's not a forum in which we have substantive and robust involvement. It's not realistic to think that back in New York, there will a decision to fund this.
I think the support, it's very important to have the Secretary‑General on board to be a champion for this, but, again, at the end of the day, it's up to the membership to make a decision.
You'll excuse me, I could not say this before, and I asked my colleague, my successor, not to put that in his report, because I'm speaking on a very personal basis. And being even blunt on some aspects.
Also, the financial sustainability, governments are not in the business of making money, but, other people in this room are. And they have been throwing a lot of money, they have been thriving because of the internet. So, I think when someone says, let's put the money where the mouth is, I think it should be taken into perspective that some participants have more resources than others.
And they could, if they believe in this process, they could come forward with very significant resources that would be without reach of governments anyway.
And I'm saying this because I really believe in what we have been doing here. I think it's worthwhile. And I think we should, everyone should come forward with its resource, its contribution. It's unrealistic to think that Civil Society can contribute, even the technical parts, the private sector might have motivation to contribute.
And the final point, and I, I'm sorry, I think I'm abusing my co‑moderator. You'll never ask me again to come here after this. But, I'd like to say, having been in that NETmundial with so many other fora, my basic thought about the kind of problems we face in IGF, especially making its outcomes meaningful from the perspective of people that are outside the room and thinking about, in the case of governments, in particular, because governments, of course, is the part of this group that I know better, when we're preparing NETmundial, we made a point to respect fully the culture and the organization of each stakeholder group.
In scope, in the meeting, in allowing the groups to select their representatives, so, we allowed the groups to do that and I think we did not do this in relation to governments because if we had done this, certainly, maybe, this year, we could have something involving governments because there is, we need a lot of time to mature this and to go through the groups and so on and so forth.
We didn't have time. So, we pushed a little bit, the governments. But, my point is that maybe the mistake we made is that at the end of NETmundial, we didn't go, we didn't make the same way back and consult the groups on the outcome of NETmundial. Because if you'll recall at the end of NETmundial, a very important group of countries came forward and they said, we reject the NETmundial outcomes.
And I know that even within other stakeholder groups, there were some doubts. Even though there is a very strong recognition of the uniqueness of NETmundial, of the very important contributions made there, or short comings.
I think today, if thinking back, that if we had taken the outcome of NETmundial and fed into the UN process, this is the appropriate way to engage countries. We should have tabled it as a draft resolution at second committee and have a discussion then.
Usually, at second committee, they just have a few tables but I think in this case, easily, this could be tabled by together the European Union, so, we'll have a very strong support.
Of course, the final document would be something slightly different. You insert, if appropriate here, as necessary there.
But, I think the contents, I discussed with people that were NETmundial.
They were not very much against the content but against the process. So, I think, and these should have been done by all stakeholders because even if there would be maybe a final round of refining the unified document on the basis of the contributions, that would give a very solid basis for the work forward.
So, I'm saying this because when I see some proposals that IGF Plus could even engage in normative work or, it is realistic to think that anything coming from this context would be taken up by governments without any further work. And from the prospective governments, I would say the appropriate way would be to channel it through the committee and have it digested there. And you would be surprised. Good things come out of these processes. IGF is one of them, and so many other examples. And having the Secretary‑General as a champion for this, and countries in the room, I see many countries in the that would certainly push for that. Certainly, I think that would be a way.
So, I leave it as a personal contribution to this discussion and apologies for taking so long. Lynn.
>> LYNN ST. AMOUR: No, thank you, Ambassador. These are very important learnings. I think what we'll do now as we close here is go to USG Hochschild for some closing comments, closing reflections and then Daniela as well, we'll give you some quick comments and we'll aim to close at 12:30.
>> FABRIZIO HOCHSCHILD: I'd like to thank you for your incredible patience throughout this long session. Having shared such rich comments. My colleague and I took very careful notes. We will do our utmost to build them into the follow‑up. I found the comments particularly enriching.
I was a little shocked by one of the early comments where it was mentioned at the IETF, there was a stakeholder group that believes that abusive imagery of children should be permissible on the internet and malware should be permissible on the internet.
While that sort of extreme version of libertarian views of how digital technology should be used can flourish, we cannot be surprised if countries wish to put up cyberwalls.
It's just a viewpoint that many people in the world don't share so to the extent that the internet is perceived as a tool for globalizing those attitudes, it will encounter more and more barriers.
And I'm afraid without qualifying those views, although my personal ones are rather skeptical about such libertarianism, the inevitable consequence will be the fragmentation and splintering of the internet so I think there needs to be a much broader international effort to protect the public good if we want to uphold the global nature of the internet.
If I may comment on the comments of the Delegate from Benin, then I think it's not so much about developing new models. It's about having an international cooperation that is based on infrastructure that might even have to be created below the floor, and that actually makes it possible to use the internet. And this expansion of the internet also needs political support and this is why, this is where these help desk models come in. These regional help desks.
I'd like to thank the many expressions of support. Switzerland, and suggestions for further improvements. Switzerland, Denmark, Wolfgang, Raul and others on how to make an IGF Plus most effective.
I think the idea of the IGF being a connecting tissue for the fragmented and rather low-profile efforts that are going on in the UN is a very good one, but I fully share the point many made about the need for more resources. As the Ambassador pointed out, the resource situation of the UN is not ideal but, the many countries that have expressed support for an IGF Plus, if they brought the resources to bear around their conviction that that is the best model and if we could also raise resources from the private sector, I think that would be good. And I think the idea that Raul and to some extent the Ambassador expressed of using the IGF, not just as a discussion forum, but also to propose standards, to propose normative frameworks that could be adopted by other normative bodies, including the UN, is a good model that is worthy of further consideration.
If I may respond to the comments by the French Delegate, there has been a misunderstanding. There is no attempt to do this exactly as described. What we want to do is to actually pick up on all the suggestions. So, here, I'm completely at your disposition for answering your questions considering the follow‑up. If we haven't published the complete summary of the round table, this is because we still have to talk to the participants once again. And check back with them.
As soon as we have their responses, and their replies, that is all the relevant responses, we will create a report.
So, it is at the initiative of individual groups that we are doing this work.
An apparent lack of transparency in the formation of these groups. So, I'd just like to emphasize that I am happy to set aside time on Friday morning, in particular, for the French and British delegation, but for anybody else who wants to join, to give them detailed briefing on the composition of these groups, and I'm happy, literally, to bore you for hours, if you wish, on exactly how we came up with the composition of those groups.
And if we haven't, you know, described every step of the composition of this group blow by blow, it's because we thought it would be more respectful of your time to do that when we were further advanced.
But, we're always at your disposal for responding to your questions or anybody other's. And of course, we would love to have UK and France support, active support, active contribution in the follow‑up to the High-Level Panel. That would be extremely welcome, and much needed.
And we're very grateful for the many other countries who have already pledged and contributed support.
In terms of the global help structures, regional desks, there was a question about that. Of course, the idea is not to duplicate existing structures, but to build on them. I've heard different, we now have about half of human kind connected to the internet. Incidentally, it's about half of mankind and about 10 percent less women.
In fact, rates of connecting women are going backwards, not forward. That's a little bit alarming in this day in age. Everybody, I don't think there's any disagreement, that connecting the second half of humanity will be a much bigger challenge than connecting the first half. The first half are the people for whom it has been most profitable to access. Largely, people in western countries, largely people in urban centers. In the 47 least developed countries, as I said before, connectivity is under 20 percent.
I've heard different calculations of the cost and the time it will take to connect the last half of humanity. The lowest cost estimates, I've heard, is about $450 billion. The lowest time estimates I've heard at a current pace are about 15 or 20 years.
So, yes, we can just go with existing initiatives and existing efforts, and we will end up with a much more greater digital divide and a much more inequality with all that implies. Or we can scale up. We can scale up existing initiatives. We can coordinate them better. And we can try and speed up as the report proposes connectivity to achieve it in ten years.
I think we should try and speed the process up. And I think it's in that spirit that the recommendations were made.
The final question from the UK on the SDG strategy on new technologies, thank you for your kind words. It was actually meant as an internal strategy. But, in the spirit of transparency, we published it openly. It has a number of pillars. The main one is that the UN itself grows more technically wise. Both with a view to understanding the implications of technology on our mandates. What are the implications of new technologies for human rights? What are the implications of new technologies for peace and security for sustainable development?
So, just understanding what these revolutionary changes are doing to our traditional mandates. A second layer of that education process is seeing how we can employ these new technologies better in our own work. And the Secretary‑General has periodically now every six months or so undertaken surveys, innovation surveys within the UN system to see how rapidly different parts of the UN system are adopting new technologies in order to deliver better on their mandates.
The outcome has been rather uneven, but the effort to evaluate, I think, is certainly, raised the profile and made it of greater importance for all parts of the UN to study hard how they can improve their work, benefiting from new technologies, digital and others.
A second strand of the new strategy was advocacy for international cooperation. And of course, the High-Level Panel was a key part of that, and the follow‑up is a key part of that.
But, there are many other initiatives, also in the normative field, which is part of the report, and I'd highlight under the first committee, which is the committee that doles with arms control, and there, there are two initiatives. Looking at new technologies through the lens of threats to international peace and security. One, an open‑ended Working Group and another, an expert group building on a series of expert groups that have happened over a number of years and they're looking particularly at the norms that should govern the use of information technologies in the context of threats to international peace and security.
So, both on the international cooperation side and on the normative side, the other pillars of the strategy, there's been a series of initiatives.
And finally, the, one of the main recommendations is we should step up our support to member states in both in guiding them where they seek our guidance on the impact that new technologies could have, on their development processes, on their economies, on their political and human rights processes, and where required or where sought after, also providing support.
And I think the UN different parts of the UN system, of course, some parts of the UN system, notably ITU and others have had that as their mandate for a very long time. And other parts of the UN system within their mandates are stepping up efforts to build the capacity to support those member states who wish it.
So, I think overall, we've done pretty well on the implementation of the strategy. We're drafting a new version which will highlight outstanding tasks and will be kept under review by the Secretary‑General for whom making the UN better understanding of new technologies and putting it into position to better support peoples and countries who require our support in dealing with the massive transformations that these technologies imply, for him, it remains a great priority and we'll continue to do our best to support him.
And once again, thank you for your very enriching comments, and also for your patience with my many words. Thank you
>> LYNN ST. AMOUR: Thank you, USG Hochschild. Daniela, you have the floor.
>> DANIELA BRÜNSTRUP: Thank you, Lynn. I'll be brief so we can end on time because this room will then be prepared for the ending ceremony. Thank you all for your comments and ideas. I take them with me. I've learned a lot and I especially liked the picture of the IGF being the foundation of the future internet governance. I think we should build on that. A lot of comments have been made supporting the idea of IGF Plus and I think indeed, maybe we should build sort of a new house, IGF as the foundation and then a new IGF Plus.
And we should discuss in detail, I think, in the following weeks and months, what that shall be, then, in detail.
I heard the call for more political engagement and technical discussions. I take that with me because I agree completely with Fabrizio Hochschild that it should be, I mean, no discussion about the fact that the rule of law has also to be applicable on the internet, and not only in the nondigital world.
So, we will have to make sure that this is the case. There was a lot of call for strengthening the financial resources, and I'm glad to say that Minister Altmaier announced yesterday that Germany will support the IGF with $1 million and of course we would be happy to see others to become donors as well
Coming back to Wolfgang Klimmer who mentioned we will have to fill the gap between IGF and decision-making bodies, I think he's completely right. I believe that it would be helpful if we could come out with more tangible outcomes. Like, for example, recommendations, I think that would help to fill that gap.
Then, you also asked for more participation. I think that's also crucial. And I think that should, indeed, also be done in between of the IGF sessions, so, the intercessional work, I think, could be crucial. As Germany has been nominated as a so‑called champion, I would call it rather a moderator for the round table process that will start after the IGF. I can only reiterate what is said in the beginning. We will be as inclusive as possible.
So, everybody is really invited. Please come up to us, everyone who would like to participate in that round table, of course, is invited. Thank you.
>> LYNN ST. AMOUR: Thank you, Daniela. I just have a couple quick comments as well and then some thanks. I do have one public service announcement, though. Having spent years tracking the IETF, I would suspect, without knowing any of the details, that the IETF's position was that you shouldn't encode policy in technology, particularly when the body that is encoding technology doesn't understand the policy and isn't responsible for setting policy.
So, before that becomes a poster example for, you know, people not hearing and not listening, I really would like people to go in and get some more information, because I suspect it was just respecting the boundaries. The IETF is not a policy making entity and they have always tried to refrain from embedding political decisions in technology. Again, I've just seen those discussions become poster childs for unhelpful discussions.
I just really appreciate everybody's participation here and of course the participation online and the participation of the panelists as well. Internet Governance and the IGF has always been about evolution and evolving in response to needs. There have been many changes over the years with respect to IGF, and a lot, this year, with the support of the German government, of course. Because for years, we have asked for increased participation from private sector governments and policy makers. And Germany stepped up hugely this year.
We had the parliamentarians set of activity over the course of the week fully engaged in the IGF activities, not a separate activity. We had the reinstatement of the high-level leaders meeting yesterday, which, again, was open and fully multistakeholder. And then we also have the funds to support participation from developing countries.
So, those were all huge efforts.
The MAG has actually taken great efforts this past year to hear some of the suggestions for improvements with respect to more focused agenda. More focus on policy questions, and what is it we're trying to get out of every session? And trying to improve the reporting there. The MAG has had three physical two‑day meetings and two two‑hour meetings since December every week so it's a tremendous load. And I don't know how we can get any more out of the MAG. To implement some of the other improvements we're talking about whether it's IGF Plus or a new foundation for the IGF requires, again, more funding, more participation.
I don't know the exact numbers and there have obviously been some recent donations, but the fund, the IGF trust fund supports the Secretariat. They're probably running at about just over a million dollars a year to support it and that doesn't support only the Secretariat and the MAG. It supports travel for developing country participants to participate in the MAG and to participate in this meeting.
So, you can just imagine that it doesn't go very far. So, we're not about trying to be a broken record about finance, but there's so much good that can come out of all these sessions and all these meetings if we had some additional support, and specifically, additional support to the trust fund to support the activities of the Secretariat.
We've been fortunate this year that DESA has really stepped up and put some additional resources in to support a lot of those activities and honestly, without them, we wouldn't have made some of the strides we've actually made here in terms of online activities and the reporting activities. So, I will stop there. I want to thank the interpreters, the scribes, the Rapporteurs as well. We will be producing some key messages within the next, I'm told, 24 hours, at the extreme side.
And then, a fuller report within the next week or so to actually capture some of this. And equally, I'm sure that the incoming MAG and the incoming MAG chair are paying attention to all of these comments and will find a way to increase the processes and increase the engagement with the community as we actually continue some of the next stages of this increase Digital Cooperation.
So, please, go to the survey. Fill out any thoughts or comments. And appreciate everybody staying here today. So, thank you. And we do need to leave the room quickly so that we can get the room set up for the panel later.
So, if everybody could just exit to lunch, which is not a bad idea anyway, appreciate it. Thank you.
Thank you, panelists.