IGF 2019 – Day 2 – Convention Hall I-C – OF #21 Arab perspectives on Digital Cooperation and Internet Governance Process

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. 



>> I would like to convey, first of all, my colleague who was co‑organizing this session, but he couldn't be ‑‑ was asked now because of some health issues.

Now let me start by thanking Mr. Jovan Kurbalija, who was a former executive director of the high‑level panel on digital cooperation, and we will be delighted to have him starting with us overviewing the report ‑‑ the main report was published and the main context of the high‑level panel work process.

Mr. Jovan, please.

>> JOVAN KURBALIJA:  Well, good afternoon.  It's really great to be today here at the session focusing on the digital developments in the Middle East.  As was just indicated I was involved in the high‑level panel it's a rather long panel it's the executive director of the secretariat of the U.N. secretary‑general on high‑level panel of cooperation.  Could you repeat that now?


>> JOVAN KURBALIJA:  It was a long title.  It's a unique exercise if you're asked by secretary‑general to provide the reflections of what can be done in the field of digital developments, and we got quite sort of open ‑‑ open hands to work on it, and it was a real exciting process of ten months of working with the stakeholders worldwide.  It happened in June.  There were few reports.  There's preparation for the follow‑up discussion on the report and the implementation by the U.N. secretary‑general's office the cooperation of the panel will finish the cooperation for the panel.  It will be inclusive, open to all stakeholders, and I think the spirit of inclusion and the multistakeholder approach is quite prominent also in thinking about ‑‑ about implementation.

Now, there are five sets of recommendation, and I will give you the gist of what is behind.  You can read them, obviously, in the report itself.

The first recommendation is on digital economy and society.  This set of recommendation could be called as sort of 18 SDGs.

As you know there's 17.  For some reason digital didn't play prominently in SDGs because SDGs is not technology driven there's only one indication of 9C which only deals with digital technology.  The panel, basically, tried to rebalance that with this first recommendation and the standard elements of inclusion, inclusion of the gender inclusion and also measuring inclusion and indicated by 2030 that every adult should have affordable access to digital network also digital health, which is the spirit to bring the question of digital into the SDGs framework.

The second is on the human and institutional capacity.  And here there were few ‑‑ the key element is to develop regional and global held desks for digital cooperation, and one of the key issue here is to develop let's say 360 of the great capacities.  What we are finding now on individual we are doing relatively well, and there's more trainings but much more needs to be done, but there's weak institutions especially in the global south.  Institutions could sustain development for policy parkway and economy, and this has ‑‑ and this is one of the major challenges.

The third set of recommendations deal with the human rights and human agency.  That recommendation 3,A in there, basically, secretary‑general to see how digital technology impacts various aspects of human rights, to have more holistic approach in addition to traditional area where digital and human rights have discussed freedom of expression and protection of policy, also the question of disabilities, multicultural and other horizontal aspects of human ‑‑ human rights.

And then there is a question of social and the approaching human rights especially to children and EC is probably the most interesting view of new technologies.  It is interplay between human rights and artificial intelligence.

To what extent human rights regime can guide us in ‑‑ guiding developments of artificial intelligence.  I think that's relatively strong message that human rights regime should be viewed in artificial, and we were relatively modest and shy that it's a highly controversial issue there are two processes on the U.N. level, open‑ended working group and U.N. GG and, basically, call for the more converge sis and more cooperation without anything specific, calling for the global commitment on digital trust and consistency, but I would say we've stayed relatively sort of open for the future consultations and developments.

The fifth recommendation deal with the digital corporations and something ‑‑ digital cooperations and something that we deal with digital governance or internet governance.  We have to be careful on technology because there are sometimes confusing signals.

Here the panel asked the secretary‑general to use the context of the U.N.'s 75th anniversary, which will be celebrated the next year during the general assembly week in New York where the heads of state will join for their annual ritual, but this time celebrating 75th anniversary to accept global commitment for digital cooperation to ensure general principles and objectives for improved global cooperation architecture, and that's ‑‑ that's sort of ‑‑ has two elements.  It has elements of values and elements of the very practical mechanisms.

The panel proposed 3 models and out of the these 3 models the most interesting probably for this community is IGF + or building on the IGF as a mechanism for digital cooperation, and that's, I would say, the main topic, how to ‑‑ how to continue what we have been doing for quite some time to support, to push the strengthening of the IGF within its core spirit of being multistakeholder space but also what we sometimes say to become some sort of new digital or not new ‑‑ digital home for humanity where different stakeholders will feel comfortable to come and join discussions and pose their problems and search for solutions.

That's the most interesting I would say aspect and usually, and it's a bit human in the document, but these are the 5 recommendations and ultimately the key question how and to what extent IGF + proposes should be developed.  How big and as bold I was told should be the plus in IGF+, one is cooperation accelerator, the second is policy incubator and third one is support function.

There is also a line in the proposal that all stakeholders should have also all possibility to discuss for one day ‑‑ that is not specified issues along their tracks where the governance, business, and civil society because that was clearly considered in our consultations that stakeholder groups also want to have their own special tracks in addition to multistakeholder track.

That's, let's say, 10,000 views, and we can go delve into more details in any of these aspects.  This is the main summary of the building blogs and main implementation.

>> MODERATOR:  Thank you very much for this fruitful and helpful overview about the main outcomes of the high‑level panel report on digital cooperation.

And now we will move with the panel in order to discuss the main principles and, so you can see the opportunities ‑‑ and outcomes and opportunities to see how we can be applied at regional level and what are the main implications in our region.

I would leave the floor for our two moderators.

We have Mr. Qusai Al‑Shatti, who is a regional expert in the field of ICT for development.  Mr. Shatti was actually the first host for the Arab ‑‑ the Arab IGF in the region in 2012 in Kuwait, and he is currently an active contributor and participant in the field of digital cooperation and digital development.

We have also a co‑moderator, Mr. Ibaa Oueicheck, who is the for shareholders at the Arab state, and he was also ‑‑ his former digital ‑‑ sorry, director general of TAR8 in Syria and currently playing the role of the advisor of minister of communication and technology in Syria.

Mr. Qusai and Mr. Ibaa, the floor is yours.  Please go ahead.

>> QUASAI AL‑SHATTI:  Of course, I would like to thank Hanane on his brief on digital cooperation and really setting the scene for us and enlightening on digital cooperation and his presence is highly appreciated, and we thank him for that.

I'm so honored and pleased to have this wonderful panel with Ibaa from Jordan, who's the ICANN ‑‑ from ICANN; Hanane Yaed from Morocco and Mr. Shatti from the NCC and Mrs. Christine Arida from Egypt and ‑‑


>> QUSAI AL‑SHATTI:  So we are so happy to have this wonderful panel, and I'll pass the floor to my co‑moderator.

>> Thank you, Quasai.  Please let me to welcome everyone.  It's great we have a representative of several communities.  I think that all communities are being ‑‑ and are represented at this table, and we like to gather ‑‑ all their input and possible impact of digital interpretation.

I would like to welcome our friends from Egypt.  The question is very simple is:  In terms of the priorities or the perception of your community, the community that you represent, the technical community in one way or the other, we would like to hear your main feedback about the report of ‑‑ on digital cooperation and more specifically what are the most important issues where there needs to be better cooperation and with whom?  Thank you.

>> Very good question.


>> Thank you.

First, I would like to thank you and thanks for inviting us for this interesting panel.  As an organization was working where ‑‑ working with a part of internet infrastructure and as a facilitator to coordinate technical issues with other stakeholders, Arab NCC are supporting any modest stakeholder approach.

Given our long involvement in the existing IGF and our invested interests in maintaining the modest stakeholder approach.  I believe Arab ICC is a well‑placed and a neutral player in Europe, Middle East and part of the central Asia where we support our members.

So, first of all, we did submit a formal reply to the U.N. report.

First, we had stated that we support the existing model of the IGF with its values of inclusiveness, transparent and multistakeholder approach.

Knowing that, we mentioned and recognized some challenges as the lack of concrete outcome and participation ‑‑ active participation of policies over ‑‑ policymakers and representatives of the industry, so these are the main concern or challenges that we can share for this U.N. Arab report.

Another point that we mentioned, which is very important is that we also encouraged the panel to take into consideration the discussions that take place at national and regional level and to incorporate or to put a process to take over these discussions, the global discussions because doing this, we can to take the concerns and the issues that was developing countries would like to highlight, but they don't have resources to come and participate in this global debate, so this is the highlight or our main reply to the U.N. high‑level panel recommendation for digital cooperation.

>> MODERATOR:  Thank you, great answer.

Can we take another answer?  If anyone is interested in providing another answer?

Christine, please.  Christine, you represent governance.

>> CHRISTINE ARIDA:  Yes, I do.  I represent specifically my governance.

Well, no, I probably speak from a more general perspective and since we are talking in this specific session about digital cooperation and internet governance, so I'm trying to make maybe step back and look at the IGF, and I think we will all ‑‑ we have been for a couple of years realizing that the IGF is at a cross‑point, I would say, at a cross‑road, that there is need for resolution.  That has been for enhance and efforts that were put in the IGF, and we have seen success ‑‑ success indicators.

We've seen more trusts come from stakeholders.  We've seen concrete outcomes come out like repository I would say knowledge coming out documents forums coming from the different intercessional programs, the policy options and all that so there is a involvement and a certain maturity seeing the IGF, which is very different in the IGF we have seen in the first five years, of course with the same mandate.

But fortunately we have seen the grassroots effect for the IGF.  We've seen national and regional and youth IGFs that's another term there's another question in the country even if the country doesn't have a national IGF, there's an impact on policy discussions.  There is a tendency towards multistakeholderism, and that is ‑‑ that governments be pressured that they have to do.  They can't ‑‑ be pressured that they have to do, and they can't go through policymaking without reaching out even with a known perspective or a practical perspective.  They can't do it alone.  They have to do it with private sector.  They have to do it with big companies, with international partners, with everything, so how can we actually help the IGF evolve among all that that is happening.

And this is where we welcome very much the report of the digital cooperation because if we look at the proposed models ‑‑ and I would really like to look at the IGF+ or the IGF positive group that was put ‑‑ to me I see the advisory group and the cooperation accelerator as something that reaches out on a global level.  It would have as its proposed ‑‑ in its proposed function it would have the capability of actually looking into other forums for us.  You mentioned the U.S. forums for security.  There are other things happening where there are many things happening on artificial intelligence.  I mean, the IGF needs to reach out on a global level, but it needs to be back into the roots and get something from the grassroots, and this is where I think the policy incubator and help desk observatory can do their job, and I actually see there's a line in the middle.  We have the global cooperation, and we have a grassroot effect and ‑‑

>> MODERATOR:  If you can close ‑‑ if you can please close.

>> That was, thank you.

>> MODERATOR:  Thank you, Christine, sorry for interrupting you but time is a little bit critical.  We would like to hear a third opinion from another community.

Maybe, Hanane, if you can in one way or another you represent private sector, civil society.

>> HANANE BOUJEMI:  In a way I'm a note‑taker in a moment, and I'm just trying to capture the main points and the relationship between the outcome of the high‑level panel and the regional process, and I think the recommendations that Jovan just brought us on feeds very much into the work that would he have been doing at the level of the Middle East for the last or 7 or 8 years.

In my view, you know, our region requires a lot more ‑‑ a lot more work, you know, than we're doing now in order to be able to incorporate the point of views of everybody in the discussion when it comes to policies related to internet governance and digital cooperation so there is a huge gap still when it comes to bringing, you know, voices together to the space to be able to discuss, you know, what's at stake at the global level.

At the moment we're still struggling with capturing what people want at the national level, so the lack of infrastructure is that it tells us something we need to do a lot more work, you know, to be in a position to formalize a policy position, so you need the grassroots.

So, Christine, you know, was talking about the grassroot level is important, and we don't see that happening, unfortunately, for so many reasons so there is the political, obviously, situation in the Middle East which makes things a lot more difficult at various fronts, but there's also the lack of uptake.  People are busy with so many other things daily life, issues that prevents us having that representation to formulate this policy position, so I think we can definitely feed into the work in the high‑level panels especially the recommendation because it cuts a lot of the legwork that we have to do, you know, it give us a snapshot of the main principles we have to focus on, and we, basically, just need to get to work to be able to achieve a level where digital cooperation can help us advance our economy, our human engines, you know, the kind of ‑‑ the welfare state that we aim at, you know, in the Middle East, hopefully.

>> MODERATOR:  Thank you, Hanane.

>> HANANE BOUJEMI:  In the future.

>> MODERATOR:  Thank you.

>> Thank you, dear panelists on your everyone it is on the first question and the second question based on what we just heard, my questions will be directed to two others.

What do you see as regional policies and issues related to digital cooperation in light of what has been said by the first panels and allow me to start with Hisham and move to Vlad?

Please, if you can eliminate that to on 4 minutes.

>> HISHAM ABOUL YAZED:  Yeah, I can do that.

First of all, I want to kind of build on the introduction into the overall motivation behind the work of the U.N. secretary‑general on this one.  And maybe because this community has been too much focus on the IGF part and the IGF+ we have not paid those of the out lines I would say of a bigger problem, and I want to Zoom in a little bit on a specific part of that report related to the task deficit information that outlined, and I want to elaborate a little bit on the trust issue here.

The IGF has been at the ‑‑ and even at the regional area IGF and the north African IGF.  Even at the regional level, and I want to give some examples like the Arab IGF and the north African IGF, which I happen to be involved in both capacities, but it was obvious from the beginning that different stakeholders trust different processes in a very different manner, like ‑‑ you can add the governance at the stakeholder level, one global stakeholders still see it differently so not all civil society would approach these equally and same sector.

But if you look at the users and how they are ‑‑ because they are the most affected, I would say, at the individual level at least.  When we lost here or earlier this year it's still 2019 in a way we were on a questionnaire when we were planning on the annual events, and we wanted to teacher in a gas roots way, Christina to see how people are affected by these issues and the first topics that came up it was mainly about data protection and cybersecurity, and then in secretary priority it came the legal and legislative issues and the evolution of the multistakeholder model

Since I have spent some time on this, I've been thinking with a group that worked on this, how we can actually make inference out of this data.  It was in a way, obviously, that these two priorities are regulated.  Cybersecurity and data protection are still a concern for users because it's about safety ‑‑

>> MODERATOR:  We got to close it please.

>> HISHAM ABOUL YAZED:  I will conclude in 20 seconds if I have this.  And when they are looking for solutions, they still look at two things the legal frameworks to protect them and the multistakeholder processes that they still can take this issue forward.  Thank you.

>> Thank you.  Go ahead, please.

>> Yeah, thank you for having me on this panel.  I'm really privileged.  I work for ICANN and looking to other frameworks, and we have a new strategic plan that is effective on the 1st of July of 2020 and in that strategic plan, which will be running the next 30 years until June of 2025, and there's areas that I can be focusing on in the next five years.  I won't mention all of them but three worth nibbles.  And, of course, cybersecurity is a big topic and a big trend today governments and countries are investing billions of dollars in the cybersecurity and infrastructure.

No. 2 is governance and while we have this really nice model of bottom‑up multistakeholder consensus‑driven policy development process it needs revisiting.  I mean, all the policy development work that is being undertaken at the ICANN is growing, and we need more people to work on that, so the objective here is really to revisit the multistakeholder model that is being used at ICANN and trying to evolve it and actually we are seeing other organizations around us actually looking at a similar way.  They're looking at the single multisecondary holder model in a similar way.

No. 3 is geopolitics.  They're very involved in geopolitics and what GDPR instigated around the world.  It is something we are tracking and seeing how it's operating in the unique operation system.

And these topics are touched upon by the report, which I personally very much welcome and find of value, actually, thank you.

>> MODERATOR:  Thank you for being prompt and on time.

Let me ask the regional organization and based on the forum that has been held last April what have you sensed the priorities and issues related to the same question?

>> Thank you.

Actually based on the new reform that we are following currently at the U.N. system and having in mind that we are preparing to improve our work together and synergize our effort to work as one U.N. and as per our first date is to achieve the 2030 agenda for sustainable development, we are hoping that this new framework of digital cooperation would be main framework under which we can combine all of our efforts and synergize all our efforts at the same time to build the digital economy in our region and improve the sector as a stand‑alone sector and from the other side to have this digital technology as a main engine that would help in achieving SDGs, and I'm very happy as Jovan just said in his overview that we may need to invent ‑‑ to put in place a new SDGs, which is SDGs 18 and try to reach some level of digital economy at the regional level and global level.

>> Thank you.  I'll pass the floor to my dear colleague.

>> Thank you.  We still have something 18 minutes, I think.  We still have two questions which have not been asked yet.  Now, the question that I would like to hear again from the technical community, okay, Fahd or Chafic.

During the high‑level session which was held the first day in the main hall during the ‑‑ when the report was presented, some of the comments that I heard were about various working groups, working in policy‑making and policymaking bodies and working groups talking about the same issues but not sharing results and information, which resulted in the applicational efforts feinting in one way or another I would say wasted efforts and not reaching consensus and results as quickly as possible.  I would like to hear what's your opinion about the situation in the Arab region from your experience during the previous years where you have been active in this region, and this question goes to you and to our question Christine.

No, to you, to Chafic and to you.  2 minutes.  Yes.

>> CHAFIC CHAYA:  There are a few Arab countries that are involved in the internet governance and debate and the pure and active agenda.  As we all know there have been some attempts to put national or regional internet governance agendas.  Some are active and some are failed to preserve the stage.

Two small examples:  The national international agenda we have the IGF.  It's a new board, and it's progressing very quickly in the right sense that Zena informed us two days ago that the chairman of the IGF civil society, which is a huge step for us because we have never not dreamed but expected to have this huge jump, to have civil society chairing an IGF agenda, which is really a great job and really a big effort.

On the other side, we have the Arab IGF that we work together, and we put really a lot of effort, but it wasn't ‑‑ it didn't meet the expectation of the stakeholders for different reasons.

For me I believe the main challenge here is the slow evolving internet ecosystem in the Arab world, so we need to work on this because if I wanted to apply it directly to the question, we need to have a platform to discuss all these issues and to be neutral and to be open to all stakeholders on an equal footing.  We can't give a stakeholder more privileges than others and to do this.

We need to collaborate and trust first, and so if we don't trust we can't go further and to have a neutral, inclusive, transparent and multistakeholder and all participation for all stakeholders, thank you.

>> CHRISTINE ARIDA:  I'm not sure I understood the question earlier, but I will try to respond.


>> CHRISTINE ARIDA:  So I understand that you were referring to the application and efforts?

>> MODERATOR:  I was referring to a comment that I heard during the presentation.  From one of the attendants, and I will ask the professor after that ‑‑


>> MODERATOR:  That as a general observation at the board level, when it comes to cooperation, there is some sort of lack of cooperation.

>> CHRISTINE ARIDA:  Okay.  I got it.

>> MODERATOR:  And what is your assessment about this at the regional level, okay, and how ‑‑ if any how could this be avoided?

>> CHRISTINE ARIDA:  Okay, right, thank you.

Definitely there is a lot of overlap.  I'm not sure it is in vain because every stakeholder community is trying to what is in her best interest, or in the best interest something that I want to achieve, and a I see a lack of participation from our region in the internet forum and the internet forum arena, and there's a lot of participation in a lot of different forums so if we go to the ‑‑


>> CHRISTINE ARIDA:  There's a lot of participation in the Arab world.  There are other forums in which we can look at, and we will find.  I maybe want to come on the decision that we had on Sunday zero in the session that was organized together with RIPE and internet society there is so many initiatives in the Arab regions that are happening, and it's happening sometimes in a multistakeholder and sometimes in a intergovernmental format and sometimes within operators like MINOG and others.

What we need to do is we need to connect the dots.  Sometimes we are not aware what is out there and sometimes the interests are not addressed.  Maybe at the Arab IGF we failed to ‑‑ not we failed, but we didn't really manage to get the interests of the industry in a good manner.  The interest of the governance in a good manner, and this is a shortcoming that I would say that was I've had even at the global level and the international IGF so in order to do this here's where cooperation comes into picture and cooperation means that you have to go out of the your comfort zone actually and be willing to discuss and open up and probably give part of ‑‑ give part of the control that you think you're doing in your own network and maybe this this is a lesson that we can learn from, and we can evolve it by wearing each other what is out there and be willing to participate even in other forums without being productive to one's own forum.

>> MODERATOR:  Okay.  Thank you, Christine.

I would like to hear the opinion of Professor Jovan on this issue at the global level.  About working group not sharing with each other the information that they should.

>> So good and bad news it's not only in the global level.  It's on all levels from the corporate governance, the regional international global.  The problem ‑‑ there are two aspects.  One signs unseen that are ‑‑


>> Where we work and share the same language, and it is in a way natural, but the problem with digital which we've noticed in the panel is that unlike let's say trade or human rights, humanitarian, with digital you cannot preserve ‑‑ or keep dealing in silos because of digitalists transferization, and this is a huge problem and one example, which I always quote is data.  You can discuss data in trade context as a free flow of data, but there is a human rights privacy context there's standardization and very often different aspects of data are discussed in all the silos.  Leading sometimes to a mixed situation.

>> Yeah.

>> Now it's not specific for the region.  Even within corporations and efforts should be made through training, through policy‑framing, through a cooperation bringing people from other communities, health community on data, on national regional level.  This is probably our major challenge I would say on national and regional and global, of course.

>> MODERATOR:  Thank you, thank you very much.  Greatly appreciated.

I think that we are now done with this question.

Maybe Quasi can go to the last question, and then maybe move to our colleagues.

>> Yes, thank you very much, so I'll really be quick here.  I tend to agree with Professor Jovan on what he shared, so that I can ‑‑ around one year ago we started working on the community, of course, on revisiting the multistakeholder model of ICANN, and so what we have seen in the past couple of years all the PDP work outlet pothole development work has been on the rise.  The number of volunteering are kind of limited, and so this created what we called burnout, community burnout where you find a certain number of people on several working groups, and this actually has led to working groups taking months, maybe years to conclude their work and even when it comes to implementing it would take even more time, so you have burnout on one end.  This is causing different delays.

And, of course, when it comes to silos within ICANN you have contracted parties, you have noncontracted parties, different groups having different interests and trying to about it discussion to a neutral level where let's say rough consensus has been reached.  It's pretty challenging, and this has actually instigated this whole concept of evolving the multistakeholder model used with ICANN.

>> MODERATOR:  Thank you.  The last question before taking feedback and inputs and comments from the floor and from what will be ‑‑ how will you envision the role of ‑‑ let's say original organization or a prospective stakeholders to boost digital cooperation through coordination and synergizing resources?  I'll start with ‑‑

>> QUSAI AL‑SHATTI:  Thank you.

I think the question is the most deficit thing, and this goes to maybe what we discussed on day zero on the event Christine mentioned and must have maybe participated that we need to strengthen the synergies between the organizations and for each organization it's important to get the process right for all stakeholders involved.

Sometimes we just overlook the procedure and process issues, and we tell them that's not what we're not here for and if we don't determine this it can haunt the process at later stages and create more problems for engagement.

The other thing I would add is definitely to strengthen the community.  A lot of the disconnect you mentioned between the different organizations because the community itself is I when it's not strong enough, it's split between the different processes, so I don't see the community doing its own to facilitate the coordination.

A lot of effective coordination actually comes from the community because if you are the same person or the same community, and you are engaged in different processes, they actually bring these dots together, and this happens all the time if they are engaged, so for the organization and processes, I would say to strengthen and do the process right and to strengthen the community.

>> Thank you.  May I pass the floor to ‑‑

>> Yes, thank you, thank you.  I work for a team with the global extreme line engagement, and it's to push ICANN and to people across different regions on what ICANN is.

Here within the Middle East we conduct a lot of capacity development programs that could range from one hour to maybe five days, so we have a couple of projects that we actually work on with our colleagues at the different internet institute.  We have a five‑day school on internet governance where we literally teach people about the basics of internet governance and there are a couple of faces here in the room who have not just benefited from the school but also have gone to get themselves involved in other initiatives.

We do a lot of engagement with academia.  We teach students about internet governance.  One of the key questions I usually ask is how does the internet function and in most instances people are just quiet ‑‑ you just realize how people take it for granted that the international is functional, and we are benefiting from it, and they just don't think about this notion of how the internet works and who governs it and all the policies related ‑‑ at the technical level we do a lot of capacity programs rather workshops on DNS sec or dismiss or abuse, and we continue to revisit it.

At ICANN our different course portfolio to accommodate the ever‑evolving ecosystem of the internet.

>> Thank you.  And maybe to hear the original organization from Mirna.


>> It's just to hear ‑‑ fast.

>> Is there more participation promote participation?  Can we take the remote participation before or ‑‑

(Speaker Not Mic'd)

>> We cannot wait.  Thank you.  I would like to thank you, Ayman who was asked for the first time in the IGF and his ‑‑ she is a student and shelves involved from the first time with us in managing the remote participation.  Go ahead, Ahmad.

>> I'm really glad and honored for this participation.  And for me, I’m also really honored to participate with my origins country so, yeah, I'm glad and thank you all for the possibility and chance.

(Speaker Not Mic'd)

>> We can take the floor.

>> Very quickly.

On behalf of human society organizations and minimum Mirna I would like to express our wish to work with you.  This is about implementation of the multistakeholder approach.  It is very important to involve that organization and what a ‑‑ whatever problems that are facing the IGF we want to work with you to solve these problems.  I know we have current problems now such as the lack of freedom of freedom and lack of network and also the fact that it the ISB is mostly closed by intelligence, but these problems could be solved through cooperation, so I want to change than mentality that is looking at the society movement as enemies.

We're not enemies we want to build with you prospective future for all of our citizen so hopefully we could work together, we could be involved with all our meetings and all your activities, and we, of course, we will be happy to put a hand with you, and this digital cooperation that will give ‑‑ give a good future for all our citizens and be prosperous forever.

>> And we have to say on board.  Any further comments or perspectives from the board ‑‑


>> There's a changing mind.  It doesn't want anymore.

>> Any further comment from the floor?  Please.

>> Thank you very much.  I'm working for the Freedom of Expression Organization.  I'm working for the MINA office.  I'm thankful for the openness to talk about the challenges and what is blocking the process of the Arab level, so I would like to ask if possible within this transparency and openness which counties are involved and which counties are not, if possible, in this process.

In this process you have mentioned number of people governments are involved so ‑‑ or engaged.

>> Yeah.  I said there are a few attempts at a national level so a good example is Tunisia.  Tunisia has the best national IGF, which is really ‑‑ I can take it as a best case example.

>> The digitech place since three or four years.

>> I was ‑‑ I was invited last year, I believe, or ‑‑ no.  It was in Tunisia.  Other attempts at the regional level we have only one attempt that all of us have worked and do have put all of our efforts but, unfortunately, it cannot succeed in making it sustainable.  So what we need, I believe, is to identify a new structure, new approach to have ‑‑ I like the idea of Arab IGF+?  I don't know why we don't have Arab IGF+ and to apply the Arab IGF+ to apply to the recently IGF, plus‑plus or whatever you want to name it, but we need to have a new structure, a new approach in maintaining the code value of the IGF.  I repeat we need to be transparent, inconclusive and multistakeholder approach.  Thank you.

>> I will pass ‑‑ I would pass to Fahd, please.

>> FAHD BATAYNEH:  Thank you, Doctor.

So to your question, I mean so there are plenty of initiatives that are taking place at a global level, and we see a replication of those initiatives of the regional level, and I can give you a couple of examples.

When we talk, for example ‑‑ on the Middle East example that I cover spans from Pakistan all the way to Morocco and everything in between, so that's 26 countries.

Now, when it comes to holding metric operators groups at the local level that has an excellent level they've been holding the Sudan operators group, I think, since 2015, and they just came out of the a political turmoil, and they just held their fifth edition I think just last month, so that's one good example in mobilizing the technical internet community in the region.

When it comes to national schools and lieutenant governance countries like Pakistan and Afghanistan, they are actually holding these schools untended Afghanistan ‑‑ and they're holding a youth IGF very soon.

When it comes to national internet governance forums, again, Afghanistan is a really good example to share.

When we talk, for example, of participation at ICANN, if we look like at the level of the ‑‑ if we look at the level of internet just a minute we look at Egypt and if we look at other constituencies you would see places from Bahrain, Palestine, or Tunisia are kind of active so there is no one silver bullet, et cetera, because at the end of the day when you talk about these initiatives it's mostly voluntary work, so that's people dedicating their free time to provide a service to their respective community and feel don't get paid at the end of the day for all of that, so it's ‑‑ I mean, there's no one generic answer, but I think there are some good attempts happening in the region but definitely there's much more to be done.

>> Thank you, Fahd, I will give Chafic, 5 seconds.

>> CHAFIC CHAYA:  To what Fahd mentioned now we have an excellent example of the regional initiative called Minogue, Middle East network group it's a academic technical platform where people sit together to discuss technical regulation and policy issues, and it's done yearly.  Next year it will be in Bahrain, and this really very successful event for the Middle East region, yeah, so this is really an example that you can follow.  Why not?  And we have the governance.  We'll have the platform.  We'll have everything done by volunteers from different stakeholders.

>> Thank you.

I think that we can now conclude the session I remind everyone that this is an introductory session.  It's not ‑‑ the goal is to prepare for the lunch and kickoff of regional efforts on digital cooperation.  I'm greatly thankful for the professor for being with us, and I would have  Dr. Mirna conclude, thank you.

>> MIRNA BARBAR:  Thank you very much for everybody for being with us today for this really kickoff session about consultation on the digital cooperation process at the global and regional level, and I would to thank you Dr. Jovan being with us about the report and the main content components of this report.  Thank you very much, dear expert speakers, presenters and attendees, and we would like to invite you for a similar session we would preparing for the IGF that is scheduled to be held in Cairo and during 15‑16 January 2020 where there is a main session in which we will discuss more in details digital cooperation processes in the Arab region.  Thank you all for your very ‑‑ for your excellent chair ‑‑ chairing this session and leading for a fruitful discussion.


>> Thank you, everyone.  Take care.

>> Thank you.