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.
>> BABU RAM ARYAL: Good morning, all. This is the last day and this is the morning. So people are still I hope coming and some of our colleagues that have already left. Let's discuss about the NRIs national and regional initiatives where we talk about national and regional issues of Internet Governance, youth IGF as well. There are 100 IGFs around the world. More than ten regional IGFs are there. And it is our honor that Mr. Martin Square is here. Can I request Mr. Markus to join the table?
So we were talking about the issues of national and regional IGFs and the sustainability of national and regional IGFs and the future of the global IGF itself. If we have a robust practice on a national and regional level then definitely this is my assumption that it will contribute for the future of the regional IGF. Sorry, global IGF. As we know that this IGF was the ‑‑ one output of the WSIS process in Tunis and agenda No. 72 established annual global IGF. Mr. Markus Kummer is one of the leading contributors in this whole process. And if I quote him, I read one of his Articles in the DAS report in 2017, he had mentioned that Caribbean IGF was one of the early IGFs who started the IGF discussion in the regional level.
So we'll talk from different perspectives, have colleagues from the Caribbean IGF. This IGF itself is his 11th IGF, if I'm not wrong. He has good experience from regional, national and global IGF as well. So we will discuss from that regional perspective as well. We have Desiree Miloshevic. She is from the private sector. She represents the Western Europe and others group. And she also belongs to the UK IGF. The UK IGF is one of oldest national IGFs in Europe.
And we have Amrita Choudhury. Amrita is from Nepal ‑‑ sorry, from India. I'm from Nepal. I apologize. She is a very good friend of mine. Sorry. She has been engaged in various IGF activities in India. She is one of the very contributors to school on Internet Governance. And Internet school on Internet Governance has started youth IGF in India. But so far India is to have its own national IGF. We'll talk from that perspective as well. And she is also an active contributor for the Asia‑Pacific Internet Governance Forum and also a member of the Asia‑Pacific Internet Governance Forum. We are missing Ali Al‑Meshal. Ali was one of contributing actors of the Arab or Arab IGF. But because of his flight today itself this morning we are missing him and definitely will discuss from that perspective as well. We have Tatiana Tropina from Western European and Others Group. She was based in Berlin. She has moved to the Netherlands. And she has been contributing on EuroDIG and German IGF as well. She will be sharing her perspective in the discussion.
We have Ashim Rai. He was elected mayor of one municipality in Nepal. And he is also very active in developing some ICT friendly environment in his municipality. He has a certain commitment for his own people, and he is contributing at Nepal IGF and Asia‑Pacific Regional IGF as well. He will share some of his thoughts on this. And we have a very important stakeholder youth IGF from Ghana, Ms. Lilly is here. She will be sharing the Ghanaian youth IGF. You have Eun Chang Choi from the South Korea Governance Forum. I have not seen him. But probably he will join very soon. We have Dustin Philippe from the U.S. IGF. So we have very good representatives in the table. A lot consider this as a traditional panel rather than participative to the discussion.
We have Mariam here and we will discuss on the position of national and regional IGFs and the contributions that can make in the global IGF, future of the global IGF. I will start with Tracy at a regional and local level. During the WSIS process it was started representative. Tracy, can you share some of your experience of the Caribbean IGF and how it was possible at that time to start regional, subregional IGF?
>> TRACY HACKSHAW: Thank you. Thanks for inviting me. So I'm Tracy Hackshaw, representing the Trinidad and Tobago Multistakholder Advisory Group, but even participating as a country within the Caribbean IGF for several years. As you hinted there the Caribbean IGF as a matter of fact is the first official Internet Governance Forum that started in 2005. As a matter of fact I was reading through my notes here the WSIS process regarding 2003, failed to come to consensus on a number of matters.
So in preparation for a second round in 2005 within the Caribbean the Governments of the region asked a group called the Caribbean Telecommunications Union was a treaty based body of the CARICOM which was in the Caribbean to gather several stakeholders, Governments, academia, Civil Society, et cetera, to prepare for Tunis 2005. And in doing that they held the first IGF in September 5th and 6th 2000 in Georgetown, Guyana with the support from the CARICOM Secretariat and the United Nations development program.
In that meeting we had participants from 32 Government organizations. We had ICT policy professionals, ISPs, regulators, consumer groups, legal practitioners and NGOs. There were nine countries represented. And the objectives of the ‑‑ the first IGF were to apprise policymakers, practitioners and other stakeholders of key issues of Internet Governance which was new. Appropriate range of forecast, scope of work for the Caribbean stakeholders in the areas of Internet Governance to commence identification and formulation of Caribbean positions on relevant Internet Governance issues as might be deemed appropriate for pursuing at regional, international levels and to develop expertise in the Internet Governance in the region in order to ensure efficient and effective local administration and influence international Internet Governance developments and activities to take due account of regional interests.
The key principles that have guided the first meeting adoption of a regional approach to Internet Governance issues, discussing soft touch regulatory approaches and a program regulatory framework, equal access, nondiscrimination, parity, unbundling, et cetera, respect for the needs and rights of all stakeholders and protection of cultural diversity. There is quite a lot more that we can go in here. From 2005 there has been a Caribbean IGF every year. I guess it is 15 ‑‑ this was the 15th out of history this year held in Trinidad and Tobago. And there will be another one in 2020.
One of the things that the Caribbean IGF has, in fact, done is spawn national IGFs. Trinidad and Tobago was the first English speaking Caribbean country to have one in 2017. And we have seen Barbados have one in 2020. Also having one and we believe others are about to join. And we also know that our colleagues in the French speaking Caribbean Haiti had an IGF for a few years. And we expect Leeds to follow.
>> BABU RAM ARYAL: One following question on this, the Caribbean Telecommunication Union was one of the driving agencies who contributed to setting up the Caribbean IGF. The International Telecommunication Union and the Internet Governance model is totally different. You have been maintaining with this ‑‑ I mean in ITU there are lots of discussions that Internet Governance should be under the ITU process, but stakeholder can ‑‑ we take conclusion that Indian governance model should be a multi‑stakeholder model. So still that ‑‑ has grown up differently?
>> TRACY HACKSHAW: As I indicated firstly the Governments of the region catalyzed the process in 2005. So there was a Government centric drive to have the 2005 Tunis Agenda meeting prepared for. However there was a mandate from the 2003 WSIS process in to the Caribbean to have a multi‑stakeholder approach. So while the Government did catalyze it through the CTU since 2005 and going forward the CTU although Government data driven agency has always sort of to foster a multi‑stakeholder approach to the Caribbean IGF. So has never been a view that the Governments hold the seats in the IGF. As a matter of fact the way the Caribbean IGF works because of the Caribbean it is many islands scattered across water. They do the electronic collaboration, preparation for the meeting and goes out to a series of stakeholders for the region and provides a Secretariat role as opposed to a governance or guiding role. And I don't believe that there is any ‑‑ I mean not sticking my head out, say there is any direct relationship between the CTU and ITU in this regard but the CTU definitely in the Caribbean plays a role of the multi‑stakeholder approach.
>> BABU RAM ARYAL: Thank you. I would like to request Mr. Markus Kummer to talk about here contributor on IGF process. And you have lots of experience on this. Did ‑‑ we thought about national and regional IGF during setting up the global IGF process.
>> MARKUS KUMMER: Yes, I don't really know where to start but I mean it is ‑‑ it is one of the big success stories of the IGF, that model of the IGF to have a bottom‑up multi‑stakeholder policy discussion on Internet Governance issues, that this has spread to over I think 120 countries in all regions. It is in many ways a paradigm shift for many countries where Governments used to be the only decision makers. And this is a totally different model of participatory democracy, Governments actually talk to other stakeholders to learn from them, to take in to account their concerns, also their advice. It is a recognition and that was the big breakthrough in WSIS that governments said yes, we do need the other stakeholders. The technology is important and the technology is new. And we are not the experts as Governments. We need to listen to what the technologists say. We need to listen to what the business says. And we also need to listen what to Civil Society has to say. They may have concerns. They are advocates for Human Rights, for privacy. The technologist can say what works and what doesn't work. Can you not just do this and technologists say sorry, the technology doesn't allow to do that.
In 2012 in Dubai some Governments said I want to know the traffic that goes through my country which is a legitimate concern. The Governments usually want to know what happens in their country. But then we have to tell them the Internet is not built that way. We don't actually know where the traffic goes. It is a different technology. It is not like the telephone that goes from end to end. It is a distributed technology. When we send off an e‑mail it might go this way or that way. It may go through your country but it may not. But there is no way of establishing exactly what happened. So that is an important discussion to have. Governments need to be aware what can be done and what cannot be done. But then also the business is here to tell what is economically viable. Yes, it will be nice to have this or that. How does it work? But, of course, Governments are an important actor in this arena. And also Civil Society can also sometimes say well, this may be technically feasible, is not desirable. Facial recognition is one of these issues. There is a big debate in France. France wants to roll out the facial recognition program. But there is huge concerns about protection of privacy.
To cut a long story short there is a real need for having a multi‑stakeholder discussion. There was an example from Kenya where the non‑Governmental stakeholders managed to influence policy making process. Parliamentarians listened to them and stopped from passing the roles that really shows the impact you can have at the national level. Much of Internet Governance happens at the national level. And let me conclude what I like to say, good Internet Governance begins at home. The global discussions are important. But at the national level they can make a real difference. And no Government is free from making mistakes. I mean I'm also a member of the Switzerland ISOC chapter. And we collected signatures in Switzerland. We have a system of direct democracy can vote. Parliament had passed a law about online gambling that foreign casinos would not be allowed, make business in Switzerland. And the reason was very simple, it was a protectionist move and then Parliament passed a law to block them. And we said that doesn't work. And that's a misguided move that we lost the battle. And the vote was yes, we now have Internet blocking for foreign casinos in Switzerland. That essentially was a coalition of people who are paid by the Swiss casinos. They give a lot of money to charities, to sports associations, and they all said no, we want that money. They are in favor of blocking foreign competitors which is not what we would have advised the Government or the parliamentarians to do. And there was enough people who were against it to collect signatures but the vote in the end we lost.
And just to show it can happen in any country that something happens that is against the interests of the Internet users and that's why it is important to have this dialogue. And let me conclude by congratulating all of you for your efforts at the national and regional level.
>> BABU RAM ARYAL: Thank you, Markus. I'll come to Europe. UK IGF is one of the oldest IGFs in Europe. How do you think about its growth and its impact in the policy making or the achieving objectives of Internet Governance set out in the international to national setup?
>> Thank you. I am going to first say a few words since you asked me from my European hat in addition to participating as a member of a Steering Committee in the UK IGF, I also visit quite a lot of and attend EuroDIG in Southeastern Europe and many national ones like in Slovenia, Bosnia and so on. Must be said that all of them are organized in a different manner, all of the 114 NRIs and that we have including youth IGFs in regional. And they obviously must have a different impact in each of their regions respectively. The growth is something that I have personally witnessed seeing IGF SEEDIG, inspiring some of them to pop up national IGFs, in the Balkan States, especially in Macedonia. But in the UK we had a consistent and stable IGF in terms of one sponsor that is nominated. Although it is good to have that stability of having one sponsor on the other hand, there is also a challenge and a risk if that sponsor one day disappears. So there is a need to diversify.
And then how do you ensure that you get different sponsors? You need to make more relevant discussions for the different stakeholders to participate. I think we have all witnessed that in different IGFs there is a lot ‑‑ there is usually a push from one stakeholder to make things happen. But they are all inclusive and the impact is exactly that. That Markus spoke to, it is this inclusiveness that brings all stakeholders together. And it is still organized in a bottom‑up manner to allow these discussions to take place. But they really need to be relevant and to the community they need to be timely.
So, for example, the last UK nominate, UK IGF took place in November, 24th of November and we have a wonderful report that we shared and some key messages that are being brought to the main IGF. And most of the participants at the discussions were very UK oriented and based on what's going on in the UK and in the digital policy realm. We discussed also the changes in the global Internet architecture. So for people that do not have an opportunity to follow the main and global IGF, it is a good environment to familiarize the community in the UK about the global happening.
So it works both ways. So I would say there is really an impact that takes place in these discussions especially in the audience takes participation. You have seen this new application called slider that EuroDIG and UK IGF and SEEDIG and many IGFs that I go to, use to get a quick feedback from the audience. It is growing very popular. The key thing to get to the point to develop discussion. It is not just to have panels. It is not just to have speakers. It is not to have one main stakeholder and one main sponsor behind it but diversify and to get to that point that we have a discussion that is relevant and brings in sustainability. And the people look forward to the next IGF where they can bring their issues and to have open calls for workshops.
>> BABU RAM ARYAL: Yeah. Thank you. Now I will go to Africa. Youth IGF representative is here. How are your experience with this global IGF and how experience with your national and regional IGF in Africa? Africa was one of the late turn in setup of African level. There were some subregional IGFs were there. Can you say some of your experience of how ‑‑ what were the challenges that you had in your national IGF in Ghana briefly, and as youth IGF representative, can you share some on this process?
>> Good morning, everyone. And thank you for the opportunity. So my name is Lilly from Ghana. And I currently coordinate the Ghana youth IGF. I was privileged to have worked with other young people from around Africa to organize the West African IGF and African youth IGF. And the IGF space in Africa is not so different from the one that we see on your stage. I am going to speak from a youth perspective, especially regarding the offering of IGF initiatives in the regions and more. So the Ghana youth IGF had a meeting of the IGF this year. And we tried mimicking what happens in the global one being open and using a multi‑stakeholder approach. But one thing I realized was that there was an issue of personas and pathways. That's to say how do people get involved. Where do they start from. How do they identify their stakeholder groups. We can identify because we had some background in taking models and IGF, understanding how the whole structure. That's an issue for those trying to get in terms of what we are trying to organize. And then the idea we are trying to drive home, especially because we do want to know how to play and they want to contribute to shaping the Internet. How can they get involved.
So that's a clear pathway I am talking about. And another issue we are getting actually from the Ghana youth IGF is that beyond the event, how do we get what the youth have agreed on or the perspective or addition youth bring to the table. How do we get that? Actually implemented or as part of the whole discussion of IGF in Ghana to probably lead to some policy information or something of this sort.
And thankfully this year we had a communication issue at the end of our Ghana IGF which is also added to the main IGF of the country. And it is going to be presented to the Ministry of Communication, especially regarding affordability of the Internet. What we see is that because there is openness and such ‑‑ and there is structures to follow increasing one and everyone actually has an affair to start with IGF, there was an issue of multiple IGFs. Some from different ‑‑ when somebody has started an IGF youth initiative and another one is starting the very same one. And so now we are reaching Consensus and trying to see which way exactly to have a unified front. The spring of many, many youth IGFs. There could be other initiatives that we support, but we don't want the issue of conflict.
So what's happening is we get ‑‑ you have people especially for we who organize the West African IGF we have countries saying how do we start one. So the issue of actually getting to know what the status remains a problem. So we shared with them the NRI toolkit. It explains a lot and this is something that anybody can start. Provided you have a presentation from all the multi‑stakeholder groups but beyond that what's the check to ensure that there is impact and programs and what is it we said we are discussing and trying to do. And measurable impact. The sphere is really booming and getting the youth attention, especially because young people are very first generation of African ‑‑ the very first generation of users of the Internet who not grew up just using it. We are taking some time to actually contribute to make sure that our voices are heard. And we can contribute to what we envision the future of the Internet to be.
So sustainability wise is beyond the event and beyond the discussions you have, actually have what you discuss, see the light of day and coming to fruition. So that's what's happening from where I come from.
>> BABU RAM ARYAL: Thank you. It is very important that we should have youth represented in the whole process and we have been engaged in this process. And I appreciate your engagement. I will come to the Asia‑Pacific Region. And it is a very vast region. We have around 45 to 50 economies. And there are various time differences as well. So I will come to Waqas Hassan from Pakistan. So far my knowledge in Pakistan we are still waiting for a national IGF. Can you say some issues not having national IGF so far and what are the challenges that we have been facing?
>> WAQAS HASSAN: Thank you, Babu. For those of you who don't know me my name is Waqas Hassan. It is a bit of a misfortune that we didn't have a national IGF so far. The challenges, the beauty of Internet Governance itself is a multi‑stakeholder process, but at the same time it is its biggest challenge, how to get everyone on board. How to have every stakeholder representation where you have discussions on Internet is a big challenge. So far we have been trying to get this done, to have all the stakeholders available for to organize this IGF. But somehow for some reasons we have not been able to do that so far. But I bring good news, because we have now prepared a proposal and we are probably going to have an IGF in the first quarter of next year. The venue and other things have been finalized. We are working on the program right now.
One of the big paradigm shifts because of it we have been able to do this now is the fact that the Government is very much on board with us and the other stakeholders as well. So unless you have all the stakeholders there is no point in having a discussion on Internet issues. This is the core belief that we have been working on so far and very near to achieving that objective now. So I think this is one of the topics that I have. Any other specific questions I would be happy to answer.
>> BABU RAM ARYAL: Thank you. Pakistan IGF in very near future. So I will come to Dustin who has been engaged in U.S. IGF. Dustin, can you say your experience, USA's whole of Internet in some way it was invented in USA and expanded from there. And other countries are having different issues like access and other rights perspective as well. What type of discourse you have in youth IGF and what kind of youth IGF can give to other IGFs, if you have any specific and unique experience.
>> Thank you. My name is Dustin Loop, and I am a co‑Chair of the IGF‑USA. And, you know, we cover a lot, I think a lot of the same issues that the other IGFs are covering. I think one misconception is that access is not an issue in the U.S. It is very much an issue in the U.S. both in the urban and rural context. So we cover that almost on an annual basis.
And in identifying which topics we talk about over the past few years we have been working really hard to get more contributions not just from the same voices and same contributors but more people around the U.S. One challenge that we face is the size of the U.S. and the different cultures on the different coasts and in different regions and in the center of the country and the South and the Midwest. And so what we have done to try to get more of a regionally diverse contribution is an IGF‑USA on the road initiative where we go visit different places around the U.S. and usually we'll have a ‑‑ we will find an event that's already happening and tack on a side event that allows us to raise awareness for the IGF‑USA and Internet Governance in general because there are a lot of people talking about the issues that we care about but not realizing that there is a direct kind of way for them to contribute to these discussions.
>> BABU RAM ARYAL: Dustin, a follow‑up question on U.S. IGF. How national is this? I mean the U.S. is a very big country and having a very big population. And you have very different ‑‑ they have different laws at a local level and how it is collectively representing as U.S. IGF and what character you are making born in that. Do you have any subnational IGF practice or something like that?
>> No, the closest thing we have to a subnational would be this IGF‑USA on the road series. But that's trying to get more events happening throughout the year. So it is not a single IGF and, you know, there's discussions happening throughout the year in different places, but the main one is always held in Washington D.C. or at least it always has been up until now. And I think that because we have developed a center of gravity there where it makes sense to host it there, we have sponsors that want to see it there. We have a kind of core organizing group that's there, but we are really working to expand the core group of organizers. And I hope we hope to see more ‑‑ we don't want to call them subnational because we don't think it should be a hierarchical thing. But we are looking to get events happening in different areas.
>> BABU RAM ARYAL: Thank you, Dustin. I will come to Tatiana. In Europe there are subregional IGFs as well. So what is the importance of having subregional IGFs in relations with the regional IGFs and national IGFs? We have been contributing. How can we build harmony or make that relation good and contribute to the road to the global IGF?
>> TATIANA TROPINA: Thank you very much. So Tatiana Tropina. So just for the record, I wasn't the one who was there at EuroDIG which stands for European Dialogue on the European Government. The EuroDIG was established in 2008. And I joined in 2011. I am currently a subject matter expert on cybersecurity issues.
Why EuroDIG? Well, first of all, if we think about Europe we think a lot about the European Union. There are policies that are harmonized but Europe is much broader than the European Union. When you think about EuroDIG and its reach and outreach, that would be Georgia, Serbia and other countries which geographically Europe but politically not European Union, but it is very important to get those countries involved as well. Why have a EuroDIG? There are lots of national and regional IGFs that exist themselves but they are also sometimes inspired by EuroDIG. Their dialogue is shaped by EuroDIG as well. EuroDIG does promote engagement in this multi‑stakeholder manner. It promotes sharing expertise. It promotes bringing stakeholders to the same table in a way I do believe EuroDIG shapes European values on the Internet Governance. IGF shapes them as well, but it is so important to bring stakeholders together regionally. I do think that EuroDIG in a way inspires SEEDIG, but SEEDIG was very, very much a bottom‑ up initiative in Eastern Europe. But the first SEEDIG got, took place in Sophia together with EuroDIG. And they still issue a joint call for issues, although SEEDIG exists very much independently from EuroDIG. And it is also called dialogue, right? Dialogue on Internet Governance.
I do believe that with years EuroDIG developed a lot. So, for example, at the beginning it was more or less like the IGF model. People submitted proposals for the workshops. And then they were selected. Now we just ask at EuroDIG for the calls for ‑‑ we issue the call for issues. And stakeholders and individuals and organizations are submitting just one or two lines, what is important for Europe. What do you think is important to be discussed this year? And then we have subject matter experts, a few of us on various topics accessing literacy, cybersecurity, Human Rights. And we identify which issues can be merged together. And then we call for focal points, who would organize people who submitted the issues in organizing the team. It is very much a bottom‑up approach. Yes, sometimes it has drawbacks and shortcomings because it is very much based on voluntary work. And time that people are ready to invest. But it also leads to discussing very controversial and very current issues.
For example, I can speak for myself. There was this proposal on EU directive from electronic evidence which would bring a lot of controversy in to digital investigations and Human Rights and safeguards both for industry and Internet users. We discuss such issues over the years like GDPR and Network Neutrality. And it depends on which country we go. In Georgia the issues for this country would be different than let's say for the Netherlands, like accessing literacy, like how to get stakeholders involved.
So yes, I do believe that EuroDIG is very much needed because we are shaping in many ways the European agenda on the Internet Governance which then goes down like structure it to the national IGFs but also up to the global IGF. And we are contributing to bring together and shaping European values and then challenging them to the global IGFs. Thank you very much.
>> BABU RAM ARYAL: Thank you. It is always really important to having all IGF and all discussion that's very important. And talking about own IGF, own discussion, how inclusiveness is important. I'll come to my home country, my colleague here, Mr. Ashim Rai is mayor of one of the municipalities in Nepal. His municipality is based off Mt. Everest which is remote. There are lots of issues with Internet in his municipality. Ashim, how do you think this kind of discussion can contribute to your municipality level? And how do you think that inclusion could be maintained from these kind of discussions? Ashim.
>> ASHIM RAI: Thank you, Babu, sir. And good morning to you all. Basically my name is Ashim Rai. I'm from the land of Mt. Everest. I am the youngest mayor in Nepal. But in our area, basically in rural places there are major problems is the connectivity of internet itself. There is no access of Internet, may request is this platform is that to contribute the Internet connectivity also over the year around the world where is the ‑‑ it is not easy to access the Internet. Basically digital inclusion is the main theme of the time. Unless and until we make inclusive Internet we cannot grow together. The workshop is to enhance local, make inclusive Internet. Enhance to design development and the execution of the local IGF. It is obvious that when a policy and technology both develop through inclusive and multi‑stakeholders approach, the outcome will be inclusive and will be followed.
There is growing concern of the maintaining the multi‑stakeholder's model of the Internet Governance. It is further important that the national and regional IGFs should grow further. And we need to enhance the regional and local IGF and the session was also dedicated to the sustainability for the NRIs, national and regional IGFs. Thank you.
>> BABU RAM ARYAL: Thank you. It is very important to have before discussing about Internet Governance we should have Internet at least. So it is very important to have Internet. Now I'll come to the floor. Any ‑‑ I'll come to more friends. First I will open the floor and then I will come back to specific speakers. Anu from Bangladesh, would you like to share your experience? What are the challenges, especially for a country like Bangladesh to have a national IGF and contribute from national IGF to regional and global IGF? Though we don't have hierarchy on IGF, national, regional and global but contributing at different levels is an important part. Anu.
>> Thank you. Good morning. This is Anu, Secretary‑General of Bangladesh Internet Governance Forum. I will share with our country IGFs. We are this year 16, we are organizing the Bangladesh IGF. The first session where we are organizing Bangladesh European IGF opening session Internet Governance perspective on current startups and future achieving the SDGs in the Digital Age. Keynote represented by Paul Song, Director General. And chief, his excellence, Minister of post and telecommunication division. Second session we are organizing ‑‑
>> BABU RAM ARYAL: Can you say your experience other than the event that you had? Your perspective on the process for national to global and your challenges from that perspective?
>> This is our challenges, one challenges we are organizing, fundraising is the challenge. We are finishing our consultation. Our policymakers saying we need cross‑border e‑commerce policy and we need broadcast law, Data Security Act, national plan for Internet of Things, national plan for Artificial Intelligence, national plan for 5G and digital content bank. This is our local language. This is our challenging issue is upcoming and impact of our Bangladesh IGF policy advocacy with ICANN for Top‑Level Domain, fourth UN in Sharm El‑Sheikh. We are organizing the school of Internet Governance. Here is another challenge, fundraising is a very big issue. We are already three years. We are starting 2017 in the first school of Internet Governance. Second is school of Internet Governance. We organize it 2018 and this year organizing school of Internet Governance.
>> BABU RAM ARYAL: School of Internet Governance, is this significant to having national IGF Forum?
>> No. We are supporting this school there. Here is a result of 150 stakeholders participate in three batches, across 50 policy experts, resource person, policymakers and shared the knowledge. Thank you very much.
>> BABU RAM ARYAL: Thank you. Now I would like to give the floor for Mary. Mary is a very experienced campaigner of NRIs so far I know. She has been contributing in this process. In Africa there are some more regional initiatives. And if I'm not wrong, some of the subregional initiatives are ‑‑ not contribute when they started. You can correct me on that if I'm wrong. How important is the discourse of Internet Governance in Africa, in particular having grassroots level discourse? Mary, over to you.
>> My name is Mary Udama. I'm from Nigeria. I'm also the MAG Chair of the continental IGF, the Africa IGF. We have the east, west, north, south and central regions. And as some of our regions have started their IGF. In South Africa it has not been that regional IGF. In the North I think they are regrouping now and they will hold their own. In Central Africa the same thing we have been having. In East Africa has started again. The one good thing is this is that in Africa we ask the regional blocks to support the IGFs. So at least to have sustainability, to have the buy‑in of the regional bodies in the ICT directors or Ministers. And so that has helped us to maintain the regional IGF. And when we do ‑‑ the discussions that are held at the regional level or brought up and linked to the continental IGF that happens on one ‑‑ once every year. As we speak the African union has taken it upon itself to strengthen the IGFs in region.
Now the school of Internet Governance is being strengthened and there is a project that the African union support the school. Second thing is that Africa union, Africa union also has launched its own youth IGF. And that youth IGF is a very strong one. And we believe that as the youth IGF becomes stronger, just like our lady from Ghana has said, so we are seeing a lot of cohesion, a lot of bringing issues that would be of benefit to the locals.
Now let me talk a little bit about our national IGF, Nigeria. Nigeria like U.S. is a very large country. The strategy we are taking we have subnational IGFs that they hold their own IGF and then at a national level we come together at the national level to hold once a year the national IGF.
And we also have the youth IGF which does its only youth program. We support and then they bring in that Committee and report to the part of the national IGF. I don't know whether I have answered your question and ‑‑
>> BABU RAM ARYAL: Small follow‑up question. As regional IGF, host, the secretary and supports, do they support from financially to host African IGF as well?
>> In African union is the Secretariat of Africa IGF. And they put projects line for IGF, for the continental IGF. There is a special project that they are doing now that supports the regional IGFs in terms of school of Internet Governance and that's what they have been doing. They are building capacity to make sure that Africans are more effective, participating more effectively. You can see a number of Africans that are here. It is because of what is taking place in the African union.
>> BABU RAM ARYAL: That's interesting. But do you think that the African union is an Intergovernmental agency and IGF global and other IGF, the practices rather than multi‑stakeholder, than Intergovernmental? Do you think there is any ‑‑ how is the harmony between this?
>> We don't have any conflicts. We have Africa IGF MAG which I chair. So it is a multi‑stakeholder MAG. So we advise, we ship the program, but when it comes to fundraising, when it comes to support, when it comes to presenting our outcomes to the Heads of State, African union that we will present to and we will present to heads of states. So there is no conflicts.
>> BABU RAM ARYAL: That's great. Thank you. Now I will come to Japan. Our colleague Keisuke, he represents Japan. Can you share the Japanese experience having Japanese IGF?
>> KEISUKE KAMIMURA: Thank you. My name is Keisuke Kamimura. Speaking of Japan IGF. It is not well received in Japan. We had the first national IGF meeting in 2010 where we also invited Mr. Markus Kummer. So we have a little bit of history of having the IGF now. But we used to have two streams of meetings annually. We use to host an annual national ‑‑ annual national IGF meeting as well as a series of smaller IGF related meetings on specific issues. But for the last few years we are trying to define ourselves as a national IGF in a way. And as a result we only have a smaller meetings in 2018 and 2019. So this is ‑‑ this may or may not be sustainable, sustainable issue of Japan IGF. The problem with Japan IGF is like this, Internet policy issues are ‑‑ Internet policy issues tend to be discussed in various specific Forum, fora or policy panels that may or may not be convened by the Government. Many of them are also initiated by industry or the Civil Society.
So lots of discussion is going on elsewhere other than the Japan IGF framework. So what we are trying to do is not to hold the nationwide dialogue on Government issues as Japan IGF but to try to bring in what have already been discussed elsewhere to the Japan IGF arena. So we do have bottom‑up dialogue and discussion on policy issues, but that does not necessarily take place in Japan IGF conferences. We don't think this is a fault of failure of Japan IGF, but we rather see Japan IGF as a thin model of planning the local initiative. So but how it is ‑‑ it is a current issue as that, how we can run the Japan IGF as a ‑‑ under the thin model. So that's where we are now.
>> BABU RAM ARYAL: Thank you, Keisuke. Now I will come next to my Amrita. She is from India and Government of India started mostly one discussion on Indian IGF. It was one list given by Government. But that did not happen. But you have been engaged in school on Internet Governance and you have also started youth IGF in India. So how important is the national IGF, though you are not having so far I hope you will have in future, what is the importance of your thinking and what are the limits in that not having IGF and how you think that you ‑‑ that the IGF ‑‑ the discourse can contribute to the regional and global level?
>> AMRITA CHOUDHURY: Thank you. In 2008 we had a kind of multi‑stakeholder group which came together and we had a conference, we called it the Indian Internet conference which was in line with the IGF. And unfortunately that we didn't have such discussions. We did after that have the Government constitute a MAG. It was not so transparent as the process should be. And ultimately nothing much happened there. But if you look at the Internet Governance discourse in India it is pretty right, people do participate. I'm not saying a lot more people can participate but the participation is limited. However there are discussions. But when you look at India we are having these discussions in pockets. It might be specific telecom discussions or Internet Governance discussions or it might be health tech agriculture, so it is not under one roof. From the Internet Society that's another hat which I wear from. I had the Delhi chapter. Four of the chapters of India, we came together and we found the school of Internet Governance.
One of the objectives from the link capacity amongst people was to try to start the discussion of why not have India IGF. So for that two years back we supported certain youth who are also alumni to start the youth India IGF initiative. So the second edition we had it two years earlier in a city called Calcutta. I had one of the organizers in the room and unfortunately he had to leave for the youth IGF meeting as I would have asked him to share more on it. However, we are speaking to other stakeholders and trying to see if we can start some part of ‑‑ some form of the India IGF. Why it is necessary is to bring all kinds of discussions since the Internet is all pervasive and it affects all our lives how can we bring all these discussions under one room. So we discuss on sustainability and numbers and other ‑‑ even the rights, Human Rights privacy which is happening in silos in to one room.
So this is something which we are trying to do. And also to get everyone in to the same room is pretty difficult in the country like India where we have diversity interests, cultures, regional aspects. So that's something, but Babu, here I would like to add something on Asia‑Pacific Region, what I hear about African union and from the APAC region and EuroDIG if you would allow me two minutes. Since I am also part of the Asia‑Pacific Regional IGF certain differences which we see with the others when you are talking about EuroDIG or the African IGF is one is we do not have a defined number of countries in APAC. Different ‑‑ have different countries who come under APAC. So that again brings an issue. And we have so diverse countries, they might not be so culturally linked. It is a very loose network we have. We do work on. We had the last meeting in Lativast. Many of the Asians could not participate there. The advantage that people from that part of Russia came to hear about what the internet governance was.
The second part is the lack of Government involvement as I am not ‑‑ I am not saying involvement involvement. But their participation is required. If their IGF has quite a list of Government participation except the local hosts and that's what we have been seeing for some time. Funding is an issue because we have concerns of who is going to take the next APrIGF. Babu is having fundraising funds because the next one is in Nepal. What I like about African IGF is the Government is involved but they are not involved directly. But they are supporting and that support is necessary, especially in developing emerging continents. And what I like of EuroDIG is the kind of ‑‑ it is looked at as a place which delivers a lot of thinking material, policy material and the Governments also look back to EuroDIG for reference materials and others which is a positive part. I don't think that happens with APrIGF. That's something which we need to work on.
And perhaps all the sustainability of regional IGFs, that's my personal feeling, somehow if we can show that there is a value for Governments, businesses, et cetera, as a discussion point where, you know, certain tangible discussions happen not only just talking, sitting and talking which is necessary, perhaps they would see value in investing and also referring to reference materials generated there.
>> BABU RAM ARYAL: Thank you. Obviously APrIGF has certain talent, that we are hosting in Nepal for 2020. I would like to ‑‑ I'm trying to bring the voice from various regional and national IGF representatives here participating in this room.
We have Leah from Bolivia. I would like to request her to share some of her experience or challenges they are facing very briefly. Thank you.
>> Good morning. I am going to speak in Spanish, please. (Speaking in a non‑English language)
>> BABU RAM ARYAL: Thank you. I was expecting there was translation, but I don't see translation. We take from the record. And we will try to incorporate your opinion in the final report of this workshop as well. Now I can see Oxsana from Ukraine. And she represents the subregional level. Can you say some of your experience and your challenges and uniqueness briefly? Because we are also having just 11 minutes left for this. I am not limiting you only. For next round of comment I will come to the panelists.
>> Thank you very much. I'm Oxsana from Ukraine. I am an observer of youth IGF. This year we had 10th edition of IGF UA and second edition of youth IGF. Two years ago we decided to bring usage and IGF UAE under this umbrella of Ukrainian days. You have Ukrainian Internet week because of privacy which were held in September 2019. This year we have extremely successful events. I'm talking about inclusion of global agenda in to our national IGF. We discussed UN report on digital cooperation and we provided our comments and messages to EuroDIG. And these messages were included in the EuroDIG contribution to global discussion. Besides my view also we also discussed European electronic communications code implementation in Ukraine. And I have to say that it was a real multi‑stakeholder event session because you had representatives over Internet of Association who represents a point of view of small ISPs. We had a Ukrainian parliamentarian who is working on implementation of this legislation. We had ‑‑ from Ukraine ICANN and other experts and representatives of Civil Society. And we have very practical results. We have a Working Group at Ukrainian Parliament. I am a member of this working group on legislation. And at youth IGF UAE, youth raised also some extremely important issues. And they have also included in messages from youth. For example, regarding standards for websites for visually impaired persons and just now representative Moderator of youth IGF UAE couldn't contact ISOC special group for disadvantaged people. To collaborate to such standards in Ukraine and maybe for ‑‑
>> BABU RAM ARYAL: Thank you, Oxsana. Any question or comment online? No?
>> Do you have another question?
>> Yes. Basically strategy for future NRI. But discussion going on on experience. We did not find out any future strategy. My question is what is IGF for us? Can we get something, strategic direction for the IGF? So this is my one question. Another question is I must congratulate you who organized the APrIGF in Nepal. It is very good for the AP Pacific region. If you try to involve the Government participation, only send invitation, then maybe they join, of course. And as well as some member of the Parliament involve the process. And last one is the try to involve the national level private sector associations because they are playing a very vital role. So this is my question because from the morning to now you ask a lot of questions to the speakers. Now I am question to you. Thank you.
>> BABU RAM ARYAL: Thank you very much. As a host definitely we will try to engage more stakeholders. And APrIGF also has a practice of sending notice to various stakeholders. Now I would like to ‑‑ we have very short time. Listening all those experience what could be the suggestion for future IGF. Yeah. Please.
>> Sorry. I have a question. Thank you so much to the speakers for sharing your experiences. I'm Ellen Strictland from the Internet New Zealand. We are the ccTLD and country code operator. And I'm aware with ccNSO there has been a Working Group of Internet Governance set up. And one of the things there they are quite aware that many ccTLDs are involved in the national initiatives as well as regional. And I wonder those who presented whether your ccTLDs are involved as funders but they are connected to the local Internet community. That's my question.
>> AMRITA CHOUDHURY: CcTLD India has been involved in our initiative, even the youth initiative.
>> BABU RAM ARYAL: Thank you. As we have just five minutes left I would like to connect a few strategic interventions from our speakers. Can you say very quickly listening with all these experience any recommendation for future strategy?
>> Well, as I said in my opening every IGF it is different. And therefore it seems they have different challenges and different needs. So I actually welcome that diversity in approaching our problem. One of the things that would make the process very stable, maybe takes about five years of having an IGF until you found an entity like it happened at the German national IGF has just set up this year a month ago a not‑for‑profit entity that will be a Steering Committee and Program Committee. So that's something to look forward to to have a stable entity that can accept sponsorship and funding from different stakeholders. Something to aim for. It is not easy. And I really appreciate the comments from Bangladesh with a list of all the digital policy issues that the country itself has to deal with. And so they seem to have an action plan already. So there is, you know, no silver bullet for everything. But I think it is a nice ‑‑
>> BABU RAM ARYAL: Thank you. Tracy very quick.
>> TRACY HACKSHAW: Yes, two points. I would like to echo the comments about the structures that need to be set up as important. It is a multi‑stakeholder structure. Not dominated by one entity over another. Another thing to be looked at I think especially in regional IGF scenarios the rotation amongst countries and territories and so on. One of the things that we found in the Caribbean is that when you go to another territory or country, while you go there and that territory or country has participation, the other countries are difficult to get to. So there must be some way to have regional environment, the ability to get the other countries who are not in that country to that part of the world. I think that's important.
>> BABU RAM ARYAL: Thank you. Very quick response, from your perspective how we can give some message for global IGF?
>> Okay. So from my ‑‑ from the youth perspective because we have many young people willing to participate, willing to start initiatives, I think there should be a way to actually check who starts what, about to measure impact. And to avoid the issue of multiple initiatives because those are redundant and not yielded as positive. Also structures to check exactly how people enter the space. How to get people to enter the space. Making it clearer, so people know this is where I play and this is the stakeholder that I can join or this is where I identify as a member in the IGF ecosystem and together all of us can play well.
>> BABU RAM ARYAL: Thank you. Very quick response from Tatiana.
>> TATIANA TROPINA: I believe that regional and national IGFs can feed the global IGF under this IGF plus model which was suggested in the report on digital cooperation. And in this way IGF would facilitate multi‑stakeholder input in to multilateral system of the United Nations. And I believe that this is the greatest strength of the national and regional initiative is to be able to contribute in these dialogue and make multi‑stakeholder processes compliment in multilateral process. And just as a note European dialogue on the Internet Governance did collect and summarize the response to digital cooperation reports from European stakeholders. And it is available on the website. And basically I'm just here channelling this general opinion that IGF plus model and NRIs can facilitate the multi‑stakeholder.
>> BABU RAM ARYAL: Thank you very much all of you for joining this important meeting, important discussion rather. This is Babu Ram Aryal. I'm a Vice Chair of MSG of Asia‑Pacific Region. We are hosting in Nepal IGF 2020. I would like to request all of you if possible mark your calendar. It is May 26th to 29th in Katmandu. You all ‑‑ I hope Markus has a good reason, discussion has given significant inputs for the future of global IGF process. And by this thanking all of you I conclude this workshop. Thank you very much. I would like to request all of you to assemble for final photograph. Thank you. If it is okay with you.