IGF 2019 – Day 1 – Convention Hall II – IGF For Beginners Main Session

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. 



>> Excuse me.  Just for you to know, the panelists are on their way, and it seems it will take five to ten minutes before they arrive.  So, be patient.  Just so you know, it will take a little bit more time.

>> CHENGETAI MASANGO: Good morning, people.  Welcome to the IGF.  How many of you are here for the newcomer session?  Okay. Great.  I'm sorry.  There's been a little bit of confusion.  We have broken up the session into three, and these are taking place in room one, two, and three.  These are based on the main subthemes of the IGF, digital inclusion, security, safety and resilience, and data governance.

So, those are happening now, in room one, two, and three.  Sorry, I mean, this is the first session, and we do get hiccups now and again.  But, since you're all here and for those who don't know me, my name is Chengetai Masango, I'm in charge of the IGF and we have the national regional focal point and also works for the Secretariat.

So, we have two choices.  You can either breakup into those groups and go into rooms one, two, and three.  That is by the registration.  Or, if you have questions, I can answer them, and we can have a discussion.  Does anybody anyone have any questions about the IGF?

(off microphone)

>> CHENGETAI MASANGO: No, it's just for the session.  That's why I said, it's just for the session.  There was confusion on the timetable.  Everything else hopefully will go smoothly.  It's just the session that a little bit of confusion happened.  The breakout groups, they are now.  As scheduled.  Yes.  Yes, sorry.  As scheduled.  Yeah.  I do apologize.  We just realized this now.  These things do happen and I'm so sorry for that.  But, we can make use of this time now, if you have any questions about the IGF, et cetera.  Yes?

(off microphone)

After Berlin?  As you know, we had our first IGF meeting in 2006 in Athens and there has been progress since then.  There have been various things.  There have been the CSDD working group on improvements and every single year, the MAG also has discussed how to improve and we've instituted many things like a multiyear plan, communication strategy, et cetera, and as you know, last year, the Secretary‑General also launched his High-Level Panel on Digital Cooperation.

And so, with all these things, as you know, in the IGF website, we've also launched a review process of the report for the High-Level Panel on Digital Cooperation and we've gotten your comments and in here, in this room, just before lunch, there is going to be the, a discussion with, on the High-Level Panel on Digital Cooperation.

And in the High-Level Panel Digital Cooperation report, there were several recommendations, and I think it's recommendation 5A and B and one of those had some various mechanisms such as the IGF Plus, which is what we're going to discuss, and the Secretary‑General as well, wanted there to be a discussion to see what has support in the report and what does not have support in the report.

So, if there's support for the IGF Plus model, and it can be further defined, and there can be funding for it, then, of course, that can be implemented.

Now, besides that, so, I mean, that's one pathway.  And we also do have our consultations every single year discussing ways to improve the IGF.

We do feel that it's not really up to the Secretariat or the UN to tell you where the IGF is going, but where the community wants the IGF to go.

So, that's one of those.  Please.  Thank you.

>> Thank you, I'm Raja from India.  IGF is a great platform and I'm amazed at some of the things you do.  Sometimes I find that last year in the remarks of Paris I made a request that you should come out with a report on internet and jobs.  On one side, you have the institute of technology for improvement of mankind, second time, you have the threat of job.

I don't see that happening.  I very specifically said, if someone is making notes, I would love to see notes on how many jobs the internet creates because that's a big challenge for a country like India which has 1.3 billion people.  I do not see that here.  And if IGF does, we'll be happy to get it done because if you don't create jobs, you are shying away from answering the most critical question of the economy and that is something that I look at IGF to do that.  Thank you.

>> CHENGETAI MASANGO: Thank you very much.  There's a number of pathways to that.  First of all, of course, you made the recommendation last year.  Did you submit a paper to the IGF Secretariat?

>> I think there was a closing remarks, and I said that I can send you the video because there's a closing remarks and people were taking notes so I said, if someone is taking notes, next year, I would like to see a report on internet and job creations at the Berlin summit.

>> CHENGETAI MASANGO: So, yes, that's very good and we appreciate that input.  But, as we were saying, one thing the IGF works on is community support.  So, you have an idea that we should have a report on ‑‑

>> Yes.  I tell you why.  Because recently, I wrote ‑‑

>> CHENGETAI MASANGO: No, that's fine.  I'm just telling you the pathway to get that report.  So, either it goes through the MAG and the MAG agree, and then, of course, we will get resources to do that report.  Number two, what you can do is, there are dynamic coalitions in the IGF.

So, you have an idea which you feel is very important, you can create a Dynamic Coalition, get two other stakeholders to be there with you.  And then in that Dynamic Coalition, work to create that report and the IGF Secretariat, of course, will provide some support services, name list, getting people together, virtual meetings, et cetera.

So, that's also one way of doing it.  And then the other way of doing it is trying to get support for best practices.  Best practices on, you know, hard to face employment in the, you know, in the face of these new technologies coming in, you know, life-long learning, et cetera.

So, just to repeat what I was saying, it's really community support, and we are there to provide a framework for that support.

>> Sure.  So, next time, in Poland, we will see that report, hopefully.

>> If you champion it.

>> I will do that.  I'll take the responsibility.

>> CHENGETAI MASANGO: So, the responsibility is, in part, on you.

>> I'll do that.

>> CHENGETAI MASANGO: So, yes.  So, you have to champion it all through the process.

>> I'll make sure I do that.  Thanks so much.

>> CHENGETAI MASANGO: Do we have any other questions?  Anybody else?  I'm open, who is, is this the first IGF for anybody?  Oh, Okay. Great.  And Okay. That's fantastic.  And how do you feel about the IGF so far?  I mean, it hasn't started yet, but what made you come to the IGF?  Do we have the mic?  Maybe we give it there and then we give it there.  Those people in the blue suits before they leave.

>> Okay. We are from the Dutch government and we are trainees, ICT trainees and we are here to learn about the new developments in internet governance.  We're not particularly here for a certain session because we're with a group of 11 and everybody works at a different Ministry.

But, we're here representing each Ministry and seeing what can we take back to report and maybe develop at home so it's basically finding out what the developments are and also for fun, of course, because we've been working at the government now for a couple of years and these trips, you don't see them a lot.

So, it's also for good fun.  Go to Berlin.

>> CHENGETAI MASANGO: Thank you.  And those are all valid reasons.  People with come here, they have a specific purpose or they just want to find out about Internet Governance.  Because we have a whole range of topics, right?  And then if you find something that interests you, you can join into the discussion and also help in some of the Working Groups and produce some principles or best practices, et cetera.

Also, just listen, learn, absorb and then when you go back home, you might remember what you've heard here and also, we also say that the value of the IGF is also around the edges.  It may not be just the workshop but also the people you meet from the different sectors.

This is one of the places where people from the different sectors come together and we say that everybody is on an equal footing.

So, that's great.  Thank you.  Yes, please.

>> Yeah, once again.  See, India is very keen on the digital economy and our prime minister has made commitment that we will have 1 million‑dollar economy.  I came to see this great forum hosted in India after Poland.  If someone has not applied, I know the process I'm going to request my government again to host IGF in India.

Because we want to show case what we have done, at heart, unique, and probably the world's largest biometric ID for the company, we have a whole host of things going on in India.  Maybe that is something I hope to see in India in 2021, perhaps.

>> CHENGETAI MASANGO: That would be great.  For the IGF, optimally, we would want each IGF to be in a different region and going around the world.  So, it makes it easier for people to come to the IGF.  The last three IGFs have been in Europe.  I mean, we're very grateful for the host countries, but it might be time to have it in Asia.

So, if you can encourage them to come and go through the process, it would be great.  I mean, we had the IGF in Hyderabad, I think it was, in 2007, 2008.  That was a great IGF.  Everybody enjoyed it.  Lots of good discussion and hosts were very gracious so that was great.

Yes.  Any other questions?  Yes?

>> Hello.  I'm from Hauri Technology, a private sector.  So, I understand that we can register for the IGF events, but I'm wondering, how can the private sector be more involved in this IGF events.  Like, can we apply for host sessions?  Or is there any way we can apply for speaker of this session or workshop?  So, this is question.  Thank you.

>> CHENGETAI MASANGO: Okay. Thank you very much.  Yes.  We are trying to encourage more private sector participation within the IGF.  And there are various ways that the private sector can be involved in the IGF.

One of the first things is to apply for the multistakeholder advisory group, which we changed by one‑third every single year and we have these nominations maybe June, July, et cetera.

So, if you look hard for those, and put your name forward, then if you're on the MAG, then you'll be helping formulate the program and IGF so that's one of them.

If you're just a private sector person and want to be on a panel W do have a resource person's list on our website.  So, you just put your name, what you're interested in, what you can talk on, and then when people apply for workshops was one of our stipulations for the workshops is that for the panelists, you have to have a multistakeholder panel and it's sometimes difficult for people to find somebody from the private sector, for instance.  So, they go to this resource list and sigh who is interested in that particular topic.  And then, they'll contact you.

So, that's one way of becoming a panelist on a workshop.

And then, there is also, of course, the workshop itself.  You can submit a workshop proposal.  We usually start announcing the workshop proposal submission time February, March.  And then if you come up with a proposal and you submit it, the MAG will look at it and then it may be selected so then you facilitate a workshop on a subject that is important to you.

So, those are the ways that the private sector can participate and also the Dynamic Coalitions.  You can make up a Dynamic Coalition and we'll support you.  And we'll try and get other stakeholders to join that Dynamic Coalition.

We have Dynamic Coalitions on a lot of things.  You know, climate change.  People with disabilities.  Et cetera.  So, yes.  Thank you very much.

Do we have any other questions?  We still have about 15 minutes.

>> This is ‑‑ may I start?  This is Ivan from Bangladesh.  I do work with a foundation, working mainly on reducing extremist ideas online and both offline.  My point is, this is my first ever IGF.  I got invitation from the AfA of Germany.  The point is since we do work on the extremism issues, I haven't seen any sort of forum so far who will discuss more on reducing the extremist ideas online.

Or, how can you include this particular area in the agenda.  Thank you.

>> CHENGETAI MASANGO: I haven't ‑‑ I don't have the whole schedule in my head, but, that is a very important topic.  I know we have discussed it before in the IGF.  I'm not sure if we have workshops on that specific issue.  In this IGF.

But, if not, as I was saying previously, it's a very important topic.  If you want to champion the topics, we stand ready to support you in whatever way and you know, you can have a, write a proposal on a best practice forum on combating extremism online.

But, we do have a main session, basically, on it.  This IGF.  And, you think it's entitled that.  Yes.  Combating Extremist Content Online.

So, I'm not too sure what date that is.  Thursday?  Or?  Wednesday?  So, you should come there.

I mean, there's been a lot, one extreme example was the Christchurch example where that basically took place online and they tried to stop it but how do you do that.  And there's plenty of examples of how fake news and et cetera, spreads this kind of extremist views online, and there's been a lot of work on that.

So, maybe if I, I can get back to you and see, and look at the schedule again, and see if there are topics.  Unfortunately, it's not all in the head.  Yes.  Okay. Thank you.

Anybody else?  Others?  I'll start asking questions again.  Because I would like to get to know you as well and to see what your views are and how we can make the IGF processes and the IGF annual meeting better as well.  Community input is very, very important.  Do we have, you said you were new.  This is your first IGF.  Correct?  Would you like to say why you came and what your impressions are?

>> So, I'm from Latvan.  I have been running national IGF, not running it, just contributing it.  And always I have global IGF and to see in my eyes what's happening here actually.

It's, it covers so many areas and the very complicated very complicated.

So, I'm wondering if I can get some and bring it back to my country and hopefully, we can incubate some discussions.

But, it's so difficult I hoped I can get some ideas from this session.

>> Thank you very much.  Your feelings are what new comers also feel.  That they come in here and they are sometimes overwhelmed with the plethora of issues that are being discussed and how can you take all this in.  So, my advice would be, don't look at it all.  Just pick a particular topic or two that interest you and then just follow that topic with anything, if you've got a big thing.

The best thing to do is to chop it up into little pieces and attack those, and deal with those little pieces one at a time.

So, hopefully, with a breakout groups that are going to start in nine minutes, I'll just go on for two more minutes and then the rest of you can go into either rooms one, two, and three, depending on what issue is of importance to you.  Thank you.  Yes, please.

>> Yes, good morning, Chengetai.  Good morning, everyone.  I'm so excited, actually, to start this IGF.  My first time, too.  Just to, an answer for the previous question regarding one of the sessions is going to be in tomorrow.  The name is addressing terrorists and extremist content online.  So, that's the one.

And there's another on Thursday about hate speech, too.  Well, one of the things I think is going to be very useful for me in my country is to strengthen our local dialogue we started three years ago and I think to manage a way to link what is cast in our local level and then ‑‑ what we discussed in our local he level and then into the regional.  That will be really important.  That's one of the questions I think we all are pursuing in the future.

>> CHENGETAI MASANGO: Thank you very much.  And welcome.  He's one of our new MAG members for 2020.  Congratulations.  Do we have any other questions?  Yes, one more.  And then we, if ‑‑

>> Thank you very much.  I'm from Finland from Civil Society and academia.  I'm interested in the trends over time in the participation in IGF.  How have the developments between different stakeholders groups, how have these, do you have like static, statistics of numbers of participation.

>> CHENGETAI MASANGO: Okay. Yes, on our IGF website, we do have statistics since 2006 to present day.  There has been, let's say the first half, for the first five, seven years, the participation from developing countries has been rather low.  And so, we have made a lot of efforts to increase that participation and also, this year, with the help of the German government, they have the Global South travel fund so this year, the statistics are more even.

And really, I think even the largest group now apart from the host country is basically from Africa.

So, I think that's great news that we're involving people in the debate from the developing country and from the Global South.

We're also trying strategies to increase the participation from the private sector and from government.  Over the past three years, this has also increased but before then, there was actually a decrease in the government participation but now, government participation, especially on the high level, ministerial, et cetera, has increased tremendously and I think this year, we have about 30 so the high level participation is quite good.

So, it's looking better and of course, we can improve and we are also looking at the gender dimension as well.

The UN statistics say that we should have at least, you know, 40 percent female participants.  I think we beat that but let's try for 50/50.  I think that's what we're going to try to aim for so we still need to do a little bit of work on that but we're trying our best so thank you.  But, it's all on our website.  So, thank you.

>> Thank you very much.

>> Just a second, yeah?

>> Good morning.

>> Good morning.

>> My name is Kenan.  I'm from Kiribati.  It's a remote island in south Pacific.  This is actually my second time attending the IGF.  The first one being in Mexico as a youth fellow.  And my question is, regarding engagement and participation in the IGF.  I've seen a lot of stories from national IGFs in the new chapters for the countries and they seem to be very active discussing in this internet space.

And in my country, it seems like nobody knows about this IGF thing.  So, do you have any advice how to identify this and how to get them in case in the IGF in the national and then regional and then global level.

>> CHENGETAI MASANGO: That's one of the pushes that we've been trying to do, engage people, especially from the small island developing states to get involved in the IGF.  I think last year, for the Asia Pacific IGF, it was in Vanuatu as well, but, it's also important to have these regional initiatives in the islands and in these areas.

We've made great strides.  I mean, right now, I think we have 120 national and regional IGFs but as you were saying, these are basically in the main areas and we really have to push out into the so‑called remote regions and try and encourage that.

As I pointed out to you, Anya Gengo over there is our national and regional coordinators and through her, we've been trying to encourage the formation of national and regional initiatives in these areas.

This year, we started our first program for providing small grants to them so they can use those grants for transport to rent facilities, and for, with the, on the IGF Secretariat, we make use of our remote participation tools.

You know, Zoom, that's what we are currently using now so that the local national and regional initiatives don't have to pay for that.

And we can also host your mailing list for you.  We try and provide that support.  To make it easier.  To make it less of a financial burden to have these national and regional initiatives in these areas but we still have a long way to go for that.  Thank you.  Yes, please?

>> So, my question is about the access.  Having access to some informations.  Like, for example, what happens with secrecy of some information?  We have different policies in different countries, and sometimes governments or other Secretariat groups could spur action of the human rights activist as well as initiative of nongovernmental organizations.

What about, for example, the modern holocaust, the business with electronic agencies, the electronic harassment?  So, I've been victim of these abuses.

I come from Italy, and this scare which is happening.  So, it would be nice to understand what is possible to do, to declare these abuses, get justice, dignity, protect human rights, stop violations, and have the possibility to dialogue with some stakeholders that are abusing their powers for different reasons.  Actually, so, a lack of stability, social responsibility could cause like massive abuses.  So, with another question is what is possible to do within the UN2020 program to avoid like manipulation of human beings like, and protect identity.

Avoid the manipulation of persons because it's a really big issue and it's scary that it's not possible to talk about it.  For example, at harassment, the scare happens with like industries that have a huge amount of interests.

So, human beings should be protected.  We should not become like electronic devices to be programmed, manipulated, because of different interests.  So, we are in the middle of the fourth industrial revolution.  It's incredible what is possible to achieve with technology.  But, it's scary when, so, government becomes technocratic and forget about human dignity.  So, thank you very much for that.

>> CHENGETAI MASANGO: No, thank you.  No, I totally agree with you.  Those are very serious and important issues.  And if you look at the main themes for this year, safety, security, and resilience, and also data inclusion and data protection.

So, I mean, those are basically central to some of the discussions that we are going to be having here.  And so, there's three things that we can encourage policy coherence, so, one of the benefits of having people involved in the world and people are making policy progress is to have coherent policy on data protection across the globe.

And then, the other thing is, awareness raising as well.  You know, people should be aware of the dangers that the internet can present.  Especially in the developing world, the first thought is access.  But, after access, you have to be aware that the data that you're giving, the data that you may be unintentionally giving as well.  People have to be made aware of that and that's what we're trying to do.

And we also have capacity building programs and workshops, and we work with our national and regional initiatives to do that.  And again, going back to my original thing, have you thought about getting together with some people and forming best practices?  Best practice forum and then, we can work on it throughout the year.

And then, present some best practices on how people can safe guard themselves against it, and how people can deal with it, and also, how not only governments, but societies can have help desks to deal with these things.

And that can also link into this IGF Plus that's being discussed.  But, even without the IGF Plus, we can go ahead with those suggestions, and best practices or good practices, as we say.

Thank you.  Okay. So it's 9:34.  We have the breakout rooms, rooms one, two, and three.  So, if you would like to go there, please do.  I'm around all week.  Please feel free to approach me.  If you want to talk to me, I'm here for you.  And also, Anya Gengo as well.  If you see her walking around as well, please feel free to approach us.  We are very approachable.  Thank you very much.  And again, apologies for the mix‑up this session here.  Thank you.