The following are the outputs of the real-time captioning taken during the virtual Fifteenth Annual Meeting of the Internet Governance Forum (IGF), from 2 to 17 November 2020. 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.
>> TATIANA TROPINO: I'll kick the ball and give it over to Hanane.
>> HANANE BOUJEMI: Thank you very much. Tatiana. I'm just waiting for the sign we're ready to go. If we're ready to.
>> HUNANE BOUJEMI: Welcome to the main session on the IGF coalition.
My name is Hanane Boujemi, and I'll be comoderating this with my colleague, Tatiana Tropino. The main session of dynamic coalitions, which is part of the intersessional work of the Internet Governance Forum in its first virtual edition will focus on a theme that is basically closed to all of us at the moment we're all battling a local pandemic and it becomes evidenced that the Internet plays a key role in our lives in general.
So this session will focus on the socioeconomic recovery after COVID‑19 and more specifically the role of dynamic coalitions.
Without further ado, I'm going to go through setting the scene for this session will include four phases each phase is focusing on a specific thing. So we have digital divide. Following education and empowerment and the last one would be the future of the IGF. So this is pretty much a multi‑layered discussion because we were trying to identify the future of the Internet and its role post pandemic and the role of BCs facilitating the work needed to make sure you know that's all the issues at stake. Being addressed and input of the dynamic coalitions with regards to the future of the Internet Governance Forum. And the role it can play there as well.
We do have most of the dynamic coalitions substantive papers to contribute to the session represented in the panel.
Each speaker will have two minutes to ask specific policy questions. We do have a timer myself and my colleague Tatiana which will be displayed on our iPhone. I hope you can see it. It's literally two minutes. The conference is structured in an organic way. There's also the opportunity for the SMD attendees to ask questions after each phase. In terms of the format, it was highlighted earlier but by the secretariat that this session is broadcasted live on YouTube on Facebook Live as well and on the U.N. channel.
This is a webinar format which means most of the participants are not able to see who is on the list of the participants in this session.
But I'm pleased to inform you that we have 87 participants. Fifty‑two attendees and 35 technical staff, panelists and support team and translators and the interpreters. Thank you very much.
We do have the opportunity this session is actually interpreted into the main seven languages of the U.N.
So without further ado, I think we would like to give the floor to our panelists and maybe I'll kick off by asking one of the key questions on this session is the need ‑‑ what do we need? Obviously, COVID‑19 highlighted a significantly a number of beyond the usual digital divide that we were talking about. So we realized that the Internet is crucial but it came with a huge disadvantage to a number of communities and luckily we do have many DCs representing these communities across the world.
So inclusion is crucial in this case.
And the barriers that we're encountering beats at the heart of the work that is being done by the dynamic coalition on gender. So I would like to start with Sumita because we tend to give priority to access equally to gender and maybe she can take us through what are the first priorities the government should focus on worldwide when can comes to tackling the issue of gender digital divide in the context of COVID‑19. And I'll take the opportunity to remind you that all the sessions, the panelists are advised or you know ‑‑ it is good to voluntarily contribute with a policy recommendation towards the issue that you are speaking to. So we can gather all this input and present it later on to the Secretariat. So, if you can, consider that in your answer, that would be great. So you can speak to now from your experience, what are the first priorities that the government should tackle when it comes to addressing the issue of gender digital divide in the context of COVID‑19? Smita?
>> SMITA V: Thank you. I hope I'm audible. I'm having a power issue here. Thank you for answering this question. And it's a good way to kick start this conversation because, in all honesty, you can guarantee meaningful access to everyone how are we talking about Internet governance and information for that?
>> I think in the context of COVID‑19, what has happened is that a lot of lived realities, a lot of realities around access to digital spaces has just become amplified. And it's a spotlight on it. It's not that these issues came up now. It's just that you're noticing it now. The governments are feeling the impact of lack of access for example. It's not access. Right? For example, beyond that there's a gender digital divide. But the thing is that one of the impact of this? And also can you really tackle this only at the point of COVID at the point of a crisis. One of the reasons behind the digital divide is not the lack of access, yes, I did participate in last year with the Internet. More importantly we need to have issues which govern lack of access. Right? And important issues of patriarchy of misogyny, of you know language divides, language barriers, all of these are core issues and of course much accessibility of accessibility for persons with disabilities. Without addressing these issues there's no point on distributing on laptops that's been done it didn't work for a reason. Another thing is when we talk about the digital divide, we often start the conversation with a binary agenda. Right? Where we talk about men and women.
Gender is not just that. There's more literature now and more conversation lived realities that say that gender is not just ‑‑ it's a whole universe. So when you talk about gender divide, can we stop is another question. And what happened when we stop the binary? One of the big issues happening and it wasn't acknowledged is that a lot of ‑‑ I know this for a fact in India ‑‑ suddenly lost access to very important medication that is positive people who lost access to medication and transfer who were transitioning and lost access to HIV medication but none of this would be spoken about publicly.
This is small organizations which were working to then bridge this divide.
And finally, in the situation that COVID where information is key, and a lot of the governments took the route of the Internet or apps, so‑called apps as a way to curtail COVID‑19. But how will that work when so much of the country is unconnected and doesn't have meaningful access? So many people in your country don't have ways to access mobile phones. Small cities would rely on small mobile shops in a day there was a lockdown. And they didn't have access to charge their phone.
>> Thank you. These are very good points. And I hope we'll have the opportunity to come back to you so you can elaborate further on the points you mentioned. I just would like to remind the attendees, we have around 70 people now that we have the opportunity to ask questions and to the panelists. But you can use I think the Q&A screen that you have on the ‑‑ on the Zoom window to ask your questions if you have any. We will try to make this session as interactive as possible.
So without further delays, I'll just kindly like to ask the panelists to stick to the 2002 minutes I'm going to move immediately to Gerry who is working on DC and how the COVID‑19 crisis highlighted for the issue that speaks to this DC. So what do you think the priorities of the governments should be in the light of the current crisis?
>> Thank you. As I ‑‑ 20 or 30 second warning so I don't go over my time. I'll break that question down into two things, one of course is discriminations that people with disabilities have built over the last while and then maybe advantages including people with disabilities. And after that we'll come to policy questions.
So first let's say that there are 1.3 billion people with disabilities in the world. That's about 1 in seven people or else the entire population of China, equivalent to the population China. That's a huge amount of people. As we know that access to digital services and products disproportionate advantage to those who are strong access but there are eye disproportionate barrier to those who don't. This is true for everyone but particularly people with disabilities because we typically do not have access to alternatives. COVID‑19‑related lockdown has moved the whole society more on to digital areas but we want to highlight areas where we as people with disabilities really don't have access.
So there's inaccessibility of key Web sites, of key services over the Internet the likes of online shopping sites and we don't have access to the alternative. Public information including COVID‑19 related information is often created very quickly so normal accessibility scrutiny doesn't take place and we don't often have access to that. In terms of support education and employment, very, very key because if you can't work or you can't get your education during COVID as other people do, then you lose out and that can be a lifelong disadvantage.
People with disabilities are often poor and have less access to the likes of broadband and the latest and greatest tools. Particularly in rural cells geographically.
>> Thank you, Gerry. That was two minutes on the dot, if you'd like to stop there. But you raise important points about the importance of having accessible Web sites. I think that is a very good point and I hope that you know the different providers take the lead to adjust their platforms so people with disabilities can access them. Thank you very much for your contribution. And I'm going to speak to another maybe related topic which can loop us a little bit in terms of the educational aspects that the libraries provide especially in an era of a pandemic. Valensiya is representing the D.C. on public access in libraries and maybe she'd like to elaborate further on the efforts deployed during this time.
>> VALENSIYA: Thank you. Looking at the different ways that libraries and public access facilities have adapted to continue to support digital inclusion even when their doors were closed has pointed to possible considerations. And for us actually we could see these as falling alongside three key elements that empower people to make full and effective use of the Internet. That's connectivity, .that's skills and that is content. So, in terms of connectivity, one possible consideration is the continued demand for and use of public access facilities across various countries, different measures from laptop and mobile hotspot loans to reopening public spaces was public Wi‑Fi when possible or free computer use for essential purposes during lockdowns with unemployment. These are measures that have been taken to support and speak to the demand and help meet users' needs and these can be important for groups who are more vulnerable. They're often used for job seeking for benefits and other essential tasks and priority that we'd like to draw attention to of course is supporting users who may not always have decent quality connection or devices to carry out essential tasks at home. Second consideration as you have pointed out digital skills of course. We have seen promising examples of how traditional skills programming in libraries can be delivered remotely from Trinidad and Tobago weekly library ‑‑ virtual 2020 in London able to offer many, many others. With digital skills clearly essential, focus and a question and a priority for us is having and supporting entry points, additional skills, learning alongside formal structures, this can help reach a lot of people especially adults who may not have access to such learning opportunities elsewhere. And finally, the third element is digital content.
In so many countries where connectivity permitted libraries saw a steep growth in demand for digital content. And they significantly broadened their opportunities for demand. It has been a key resource for study, research, work, upskilling, and simply well‑being during the pandemic.
>> MODERATOR: Excellent. Thank you. Very good points. Very concise. And I will invite the attendees to use the Q&A window please to ask your questions. Take this opportunity to have an interaction with the speakers. I know we have other DCs represented. And I think they can speak to the possible recommendations to governments and what should change actually in the context of COVID‑19 when it comes to the specific work they're doing.
And we do have June Parrish with us from IRPC coalition. And I wonder if you have any input with this regard.
June, you have two minutes. Thank you.
>> JUNE PARRIS: Can you repeat what the input is.
>> MODERATOR: It's about what do you think, based on the work you're doing at IRPC, the government should prioritize to guarantee digital inclusion?
>> JUNE PARRIS: The IRPC is based on human rights and we focus mainly on ‑‑ in our charter and this is human rights and governments are corrected ‑‑ connected in a very strong way. I mean as we're going into lockdown and online environment took life, the fundamental rights and freedoms in a virtual space is paramount. Tackling the digital divide is no urgent need on access. And it becomes crucial being able to work, study and social engagements so it's vital to ensure that government responses to the crisis go hand in hand with international human rights and norms so as to fulfill the obligations to promote and uphold fundamental rights and freedoms both online and offline.
Unfortunately, many governments have seen the outbreak as an opportunity to implement more repressive measures from using artificial intelligence, increased surveillance and data collection to restrictions on freedom of expression and information and discrimination online.
We in the IRPC are looking at all this and covering what is going on with COVID. And, hopefully, we can make some sort of change in regards to this.
>> MODERATOR: Excellent, Well, thank you very much, June, for this contribution. And that was two minutes, bang on.
We will wrap up the first phase on digital divide and just to sum up quickly the contributions we had so far from Smita which highlighted the societal influences when it comes to addressing issues such as gender, digital divide. We did have also hear how important it is for Web sites to guarantee accessibility to people who are ‑‑ who have limited accessibility issues. Also the importance of public spaces and libraries generating energy and raising awareness about specific issues. And finally the human rights based approach and importance of digital rights in a crisis and the phases like COVID‑19. So I invite these panelists, our esteemed panelists to write their recommendations so we can pass them on as an outcome of this session later on to the secretariat. And that brings us to 25 minutes that we dedicated to the first phase of this session on digital technologies.
And I'm going to give the floor to my colleague Tatiana to take the lead on phase 2 which will speak to the fundamental rights and freedoms in the phase of COVID‑19. Tatiana, the floor is yours.
>> TATIANA: Thank you very much, Hanane. I'd like to provide a wrapup to phase one. There is a question on the Q&A. I think this is from Valencya what has been the extent of libraries and community centers during COVID? If you have the ability to type up the answer, please do. If not, we can come back to this question later because we do have another aspect where coalition of public ‑‑ on access to public layers is going to be included.
The second phase we have is actually focused on human rights. Fundamental freedoms and protection of fundamental rights. And we wanted to ask the coalitions working in this area. I know almost any work of anyone would relate to rights and freedoms to some extent. But some of them are dealing with these issues directly like for example, you heard from June intervention.
How governments and private industry are dealing with handling and promoting human rights during the COVID pandemic and they're not always doing well. So based on the contribution provided by June, I would like to move here to sustainability. Your paper focuses a lot on the post COVID recovery and on journalists and what you call infodemics. I wanted to ask you from your perspective. What are the main issues during the pandemic and hopefully on the road to recovery. I believe that we have Michael who is going to speak from this coalition. Michael, you have two minutes.
>> MICHAEL OGHIA: Thank you for having us. Essentially, there are a few things to stress in this particular time. And that is that indeed, journalism at the moment. And news media in the world are facing really an extinction level event where, according to one survey, for instance, that was just very recently released, essentially even though readership audience reach has been up over the past ever since the beginning started, almost 80% of small and independent journalism outlets around the world are reporting a significant drop in revenue. Why is this important and why is it related to Internet governance? It has to do with the, one, so much of what is happening online is as it relates to journalism and news media, it means ‑‑ includes the fact that funding is under threat because of changing advertising revenues and market dynamics that impact the journalism sector. But also there's a critical ‑‑ rather ‑‑ there's a critical lack of good.
>> We lost Michael.
>> MICHAEL OGHIA: One thing we say ‑‑ can you hear me?
>> TATIANA TROPINO: Now, yes.
>> MICHAEL OGHIA: One thing we like to say a lot, an axiom we like to say is that you cannot have press freedom without the press. So one of the things we're dealing with at the moment is the fact that ‑‑ but in order to actually enable press freedom, we need to have sustainable journalism and that is exactly what I'm trying to ‑‑ is our point that it is under threat in part and we need support from governments, technology organizations, technology companies, advertising firms in order to shore up the sector as a whole.
>> HANANE: I can't see how much time I have left.
>> That's a start for now. Happy to take more.
>> TATIANA TROPINA: Thank you. I'm sure you can see if there are questions, I hope there are questions for discussion. Olivier, you will have the floor and you're going to speak about digital divide and connected to fundamental rights. So you have the flow of the session here.
Before we go to Olivier, I would like to give the floor to child online protection because we're talking about human rights and fundamental freedoms but there's a big debate going on about how pandemics actually affected children. So how do we protect them online. What is being done by your coalition and in general.
John Carr, the floor is yours.
>> JOHN CARR: Thank you very much. I hope we get a chance to come in and strongly support the things Michael was saying in the previous session because that absolutely raises questions about children and young people's rights. Just briefly I say you sometimes hear it said that professional journalism is not dead. You just have to pay for it now.
Well, you know what? I have a number of subscriptions to the Economist, New Scientists. They cost a lot of money. Children don't and can't pay to hear the truth. Would they rely on professional journalism, governed by the ethics of journalism and governed by the laws of libel and slander that have always governed normal newspaper outputs. These laws simply do not apply to online platforms which is where children and young people are increasingly getting their news from? So this whole question of journalism is a human rights question. And it is a human rights question which is particular in children. I just want to briefly say I very much agree with what Smiti was saying at the beginning. What the COVID crisis has revealed is nothing new. It's just put it all on steroids.
The number of children calling helplines during the lockdown has gone up by 50%, 60%. The number of children who haven't been able to connect to school remotely in England was 1.34 million. They didn't have adequate Internet connectivity or device at home that would allow them to do their homework. By the way, equivalent figure in the United States is 9 million. If that's the position if two of the richest countries in the world, you have to wonder what's been happening to children elsewhere in the world in less affluent countries. Having a mobile phone is no good if you're trying to do your chemistry homework. Having a mobile phone is no good if you're trying to write an essay about War and Peace.
So COVID has revealed stuff that we already knew but it was magnified and amplified, if I can borrow the phrase that Smiti used in her opening remarks.
>> MODERATOR: Thank you, John. Time. Thank you. We'll get back to you. Thanks. We're just saving time for discussion.
Now I would like to go to Olivier Crepin‑Leblond. This is the core anything on the Internet. We know there are different from principles. We hold these interventions about human rights, fundamental rights, rights of children, journalism, media and support. So how can the work‑related to core Internet values support all these and maybe bring these issues together? Is there any chance? Olivier, the floor is yours.
>> OLIVIER CREPIN‑LEBLOND: Thank you very much. I've heard a lot of sensible points being made here. The dynamic coalition on core Internet values focused on technical issues with regards to the Internet and core values, technical values in which the Internet was built on, TCP/IP, all these technical things with end‑to‑end principle and Internet being open, being non‑discriminatory, et cetera. Unfortunately what we're seeing here at present that governments are doing is exactly somehow the opposite of what they should be doing. We've heard from so many DCs here that the primary problem is going to be access and access for those children and grownups that do not have access to the Internet at the moment because the COVID‑19 has just brought so much business online and if you're not online, you can't have it. And instead of doing that, governments have been focusing on exactly the opposite.
To the extent that the dynamic coalition of core Internet values and other dynamic coalitions have released a statement on Internet on excessive Internet control which touches on suppression of political dissent because technologically this is something that's being done and can be done especially with artificial intelligence, national firewalls which are now being rolled out for some reason. National shutdowns, fragmentation. Internet and data prioritization and shaping. And we understand there needs to be traffic shaping for maybe new services that come out. When it's being used politically, in order to provide this sort of edge, this competitive edge to the biggest companies out there, the expense of the smaller voices out there that we really have a problem and that completely breaks core Internet values. So that's where we stand at the moment and several DCs have assigned this dynamic coalition that went on to Internet of things, Internet principles coalition and youth coalition on Internet governance. Thank you.
>> MODERATOR: Thank you for being short and on the spot. And this gives us some means for discussion and for maybe some of the panelists answering to the interventions of each other. But before we go there, I think that many of the fundamental rights and freedoms problems, I see on the chat as well, we're talking about gender, we're talking about boys and girls. We're talking about how gender is affected and I see that the chat is actually bringing some of the issues and I wanted to ask Smita, listening to the first three panelists talking about fundamental rights, protection, core Internet values, do you have anything to add here?
>> Hi, yes. Thank you. I think one of the things which we talked about is what I put in the chat is one thing that you talk about access to education and information who is prioritized to whom is another question. What happens once you enter the digital space and start losing technical is another question. Right? One of the things that's happened during COVID‑19, there is a sudden dramatic increase in online silence and this ‑‑ and this is you know you can actually trace it lockdowns happening in different countries. And what this means is that once again this infringes on fundamental rights against discrimination. Education because it is the access to technology and monitored council and whether they are the ones subjected, the fact is that this is happening to you so stop using your mobile phone. Right? And these are ‑‑ you know, the nuances of individual needs to be spoken about. And finally, when we talk about access and you know the right to access, what also happens to spaces like IGF why we need to have these conversations, is it easy access? Is it welcome to persons or people who do not speak English or the U.N. languages because more people speak in spaces ‑‑ there are a whole bunch of languages which are not in the U.N. list of languages as well.
Also when you come here how easy is it for me to join a panel? Am I clicking in five different spaces and then coming here? What does this mean to people who want to talk this and have a lot to add, for example, school teachers, college professors and journalists in small cities who don't report in English have a lot to say here. But, if I have to click in five different places just to find a log‑in link then happens? Are we making access easier?
As a queer person, I didn't like the registration form which when I had to register for IGF because after man, woman, there was other. Am I so fluid that it's all or another? So I think when we talk about core values, these are things which we need to reflect on by ourselves and see how we can do better by communities who want to bring their own questions and are we doing the actions required for the same? I'll stop here for now. Thank you.
>> TATIANA TROPINO: Thank you, Smita. I know you see John's excellent intervention on the chat. Do you want to add anything else? Because I see that the issue about access fundamental rights, children's rights. Gender issues are coming together in this panel. So John, over to you.
>> Not much to add to what I said in the chat.
>> JOHN CARR: I was very impressed by Michael's presentation. It's a shame we don't have longer to talk about it. Set up systems where apparently we're now expected to pay for the truth. Children can't pay for the truth. So when they go to Web sites that say the Holocaust never happened, or when they go to Web sites that tell us that won the Second World War and the Soviet Union had nothing to do with it, that's a human rights question, a child rights protection question. And, if the Internet governance member have questions can't address it, we're wasting our time.
>> TATIANA TROPINO: Thank you, John. Actually, we do have time to talk about this because I was cutting off brutally.
So Michael, now over to you. Do you think Internet governance can address these issues?
>> MICHAEL OGHIA: Yes, when it comes to journal system sustainability there are crosscutting issues not just one specific group of actors that need to be included in the conversation in order to drive change. What we really need is concerted multistakeholder effort. If anything, that's one of the exact reasons why we need to be here at the IGF, why the IGF can facilitate those kinds of connections and cross pollinated ‑‑ that kind of cross pollination. I talk about that with environmental sustainability. It's just as much of an issue within journalism sustainability. And one thing that we've done for instance earlier this year is we actually released and emergency joint appeal that was signed by now over 180 different organizations calling on recommendations for across ‑‑ for stakeholders from across the sectors. Talk about what they can do. For instance, advertisers and technology organizations need to stop blacklisting certain kind of advertising from journalism article or journalistic articles that, for instance, talk about COVID‑19. Earlier in the year a lot of advertisers were ‑‑ stopped allowing for COVID‑19 related posts to include their branding and their adverts. That obviously hurt journalism organizations even though those ‑‑ you know that was something that was meant to be ‑‑ that was something that could help support that.
So that's a one instance. But, of course, there are so many others to highlight including the need to continue expanding access. That is something that is absolutely critical for the up take of journalism in new media especially in Global South and hard to access areas. There is a need to discuss how ‑‑ what for instance, governments, technology companies can do to help facilitate the kinds of support that is needed. I mean, especially financial support and things like that.
So there's quite a lot that we can do here and that's exactly why the DC sustainability thinks that it's so important for journalists and news media actors to be involved in the digital policy discussion else specially that historically we've been relatively excluded not necessarily on purpose but we're making that concerted effort to make our community heard.
>> TATIANA TROPINA: We still have a few minutes left in this session. I wanted to ask, John, did you want to say something?
>> JOHN CARR: Michael, where is the vast majority of money that used to pay the advertising that kept journalism going? Where is all that money going? It's not going to anybody who is in this session or anybody listening to the IGF? If a government were to legislate to tell Google and Facebook to give money to support professional journalism, what would you say? That the government has nothing to do with governance?
>> MICHAEL OGHIA: I would say we do need significant market‑based mechanisms for how to address this. Because you know there's a clear imbalance between what publishers and what not ‑‑ what publishers, journalism organizations, what they're dealing with at the moment and then what especially large technology companies without naming any names per se are now reaping the benefits of that. I mean there's a lot of interesting regulation and a lot of interesting developments happening in Australia now within the EU and also within the U.S. I don't mean to just highlight northern examples but those specific examples are where there's a lot of ‑‑ where a lot of this conversation is being driven. And I would say that I mean it's ‑‑ I really don't see ‑‑ of course, I welcome dialogue. But I don't really see any significant changes happening without more ‑‑
>> JOHN CARR: Michael, you did see that Facebook threatened to draw all its services from Australia if they promised to go ahead with those laws. You know we need to be realistic about this. Two or three small companies are doing all the damage and they are not involved in this discussion.
>> TATIANA TROPINA: Hello, dear panelists. I'm going to wrap up the discussion right now. And, Marianne, you got it right in the chat. I was going to give the floor we still have a couple minutes left to DC on human rights and principles. And I was going to call either Marianne or somebody please, the floor is yours for the next two minutes.
>> MARIANNE FRANKLIN: Is that okay? We haven't cued ourselves off this line. Thank you very much. This issue around right of access to the Internet as Michael quite rightly ‑‑ sorry, had I, as Michael quite rightly says, these are cost cutting issues and why this DC main session is so important and underscores how important the issues are. Access is more than pushing a button or entering details. It begins once you enter your detail.
The other A word is availability. And Michael saying the fact that we have less and less availability and rich diverse forms of ‑‑ 10 years old underscores this within its article six freedom of expression by including the right to information. A 5‑year‑old has a right to information. As that is made up by you in ‑‑ so this is what the problem is and we know that governments are reneging on their actual human rights obligations by allowing private sector actors to provide emergency provisions and using pandemic as a cloak and this must stop and we must be firmer and clearer for governments to comply with their own human rights standards and intervene in ways only they can by avoiding private sector domination of all forms of information. And finally, that with information comes dismissed skewed information with all this availability becomes difference, diversity, contradictions. It's not about all saying the same thing at the same time. It's about being able to discern the difference between rubbish, bitter rubbish, worse rubbish, truth, fact, fiction and all the rest. That's the concern. I don't want us to get locked into an either/or situation, we have to allow diverse information and let people who want to spread lies spread the lies but come back with truths, our own truths, substantiated truths and Internet can provide this but governments have to step up to the mark. I'm getting increasingly impatient. Thank you very much.
>> TATIANA TROPINA: Thank you. And with this, this is basically a perfect wrapup for this session on fundamental rights and freedoms because you made a point which leads us to the phase 3 about awareness, about education and empowerment.
And I will give the floor back to Hanane who will moderate the next phase.
>> HANANE: Thank you very much very, Tatiana. And all the speakers about the passionate plea. We do have various contributions which touch closely on the key issues that we're facing as humans and Internet users so the role of the media is very important and that takes me to flip the coin and take us to another important segment of the society. And that speaks to you know the next phase of this session and specifically the role of youth when it comes to how they have been you know tackling the area of digital inclusion and I'm happy to invite the conversation what is the other side of the coin, you know, of you know this pandemic from the perspective of the youth. So Gustav is representing the coalition of youth in the IGF, not sure if you can hear me.
>> GUSTAVO PAIVA: I already have my time here. First of all, I have to agree with the points represented before. If anything, I would really highlight that maybe a way to summarise what was discussed so far is the COVID pandemic potentialized three existing inequalities across the board. All of them. Economic inequalities. Age and even in access. Mainly in access.
And not only that, when it comes to the youth in education in particular, political issues, national political issues, election issues. Took precedence over the essential things that are important for youth to our education.
Basically, the youth became absolutely secondary. The whole next‑generation became completely secondary to all these political issues going on around the world. Mainly. And we can see this in elections even today.
Not only that, one of the things we identified in a workshop in Brazilian IGF is that going forward, Internet governance as in the holistic understanding of what the Internet is and the role it has in society and professional world is no longer something which people cannot know. It is becoming increasingly pressing that educating people about what the Internet is, how it works and even platforms and all these issues we're facing with disinformation, this is necessary. This is necessary in universities in basic education. This is no longer something which we can keep in a specific (audio cutting out) all across the globe and in families. This is going forward and essential life skill. Thank you.
>> HANANE: Thank you, Gustavo. Good points.
I'd like to ask Christopher Yu connecting the connects and unconnected. I think through your paper that I read you play the key role during the pandemic addressing the key issues that have arisen due to COVID‑19 especially in the health sector so you might want to share with us you know what role did you play in terms of raising awareness, educating the authorities about the needs of citizens.
>> She ‑‑ he has to be here in a minute. Chris, I hope you can unmute yourself now.
>> CHRISTOPHER YOO: Christopher, I'm not sure if you were able to hear .
>> HUNANE BOUJEMI: Hi, you're muted. So I don't think we can hear you. We'll sort out your technical issue and come back to you.
With regards to raising awareness on these issues, I have to go back now to Gerry. Gerry, so I know that you're doing a lot of work on the ground. Meanwhile, Christopher is back. Gerry, if you would like to take us through your efforts to raise awareness and play your educational card when it comes to addressing inclusion issues?
>> GERRY ELLIS: Thank you. One of the things that we want to raise awareness is that we're not the only people who are saying that inclusion of people with disabilities are good for society.
All of society is saying that. I'll give examples of that. U.N. General Secretary Antonio Gutierrez launched the Disability Inclusion Strategy in 2019 and stated from a remote in or tackles for people with disabilities the whole world benefits. Accenture launched a report in 2018 called ‑‑ let me just check the name. Getting to call. What that showed is the economic benefits of organizations of including people with disabilities as employees and making their products accessible to society in general.
There's an economic benefit to those organizations.
Of course, U.N. Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. Of course, people with disabilities are mentioned seven times in the sustainable development goals.
The roadmap to equality and sustainability includes the 1.3 billion people with disabilities. It is a benefit to all of society. And that's one of the main things that we're raising.
Let me give you a small example just before we go. This IGF that we're attending, there are hundreds of sessions. And if that was ‑‑ if you were trying to watch all those on video to get an idea of what's going on, it would take you three years, two years, who knows. But because there is captioning there, which was originally done for people who are deaf, you can now search through those. You can do searches. You can search for common themes through different things. Much more easily. That benefits everyone. Not just people with disabilities. I'll leave it with that for now.
>> HUNANE BOUJEMI: I'm going to go back to Christopher. We'd like to hear from you in the role you're playing in terms of raising awareness with the communities you're working with. Hi Christopher, it's good to see you.
So the floor is yours.
>> CHRISTOPHER YOO: Can you hear me now?
>> Loud and clear.
>> Thank you very much. We're delighted to be here representing the dynamic coalition on innovative approaches to connecting the unconnected.
We continue our work trying to gather to try to avoid reinventing the wheel, to learn from the wonderful work that people all over the world but are convinces that unfortunately, very little information or data is collected on a success of failures which means that everyone is pretty much starting from scratch and unfortunately, also what little data is being collected does not allow for cross project comparisons. The heart of the work is a database with a mass of over 1100 innovative ways to connect people to the Internet both on increase of connectivity but also of overcoming demand side obstacles such as digital literacy and the like.
And gender disability access, as Gerry mentioned, senior access, any one of a number of dimensions. We then reached out to all 1100 of the initiatives that were identified and have now conducted case study interviews with everyone who consented they're in 125. All of these are available on oneworldconnected.org. And we're trying to create an information base that will help to give insights to people all over the world, give a new ideas about ways to try but also information on what's working and what's not working. Because many people are too busy, people are doing this in the field don't have time to document what they're doing. And what is documented often is perceived success stories without much often attention to failure stories and this is important for learning project to project.
Based on my understanding of this meeting ‑‑ and I apologize if I got the time wrong ‑‑ because I thought I was joining just before it began.
I was asked to address in particular issues surrounding education.
Which has been one of the focuses of the dynamic coalition's work. In fact, what we participated in two major efforts one is initiative to connects everything in school by UNICEF for the ITU and the educating project led by Tim Unwin, a professor in the U.K. called education for post in the nationalized in post COVID‑19. What we learned is a case study of importance in the work that the IGF is doing is that the Internet connectivity is critical. If that's ‑‑ anyone who has school‑aged children involved in education have become aware that the pandemic nearly through a huge spotlight on the necessity of Internet connectivity. And that's a really wonderful chance to understand its importance and what we learned among other things is that the pandemic is actually exacerbated learning. In July Kenya admitted that they had lost the ‑‑ and conceded that they will reopen in 2021 but have no real way in effectively conduct education for its students for most of that year.
So there are alarming problems but at the same time we've seen the number of very innovative responses and solutions which have been tremendous ‑‑ it's a wonderful chance to learn, wonderful chance to try new things and mother of necessity ‑‑ necessity being the mother of invention what you see is an outpouring of fascinating efforts to expand into connectivity with urgency of need to educate people. Many joint efforts with private sector with initiatives being launched all over the world but for example in South Africa alone, they ‑‑ additional spectrum to wireless broadband. Spec data, provided laptops, tablets to make this possible. And a very common phenomenon all over the world South Africa zero rated content to make it easier to access. These are all very interesting, innovative responses which we thought was incredibly beneficial. Interestingly also we learned there are a number of prerequisites for delivering educational. There's a bunch prereq easiest one for all of us to understand is the necessity of Internet connectivity for students. And so first it has to exist and it also has to be affordable. But we also learned that quality matters a great deal. We see in the middle of pandemic because of the multiple use there was a spike in usage and that would cause slow downs in a number of countries.
And in fact we saw even countries with connectivity ‑‑ the story is Italy. They have a good base level connectivity but not enough to support the video learning, submission of assignments and all that that brought things down.
>> HUNANE BOUJEMI: Thank you, Christopher. I don't mean ‑‑ you're doing great work. And I invite everybody to read your paper on the IGF Web site but I have to cut you because there is another aspect that I really want to touch upon before we broke up this phase. And I see a few questions. And I invite people to keep an eye on the chat window because there's a very interesting discussion and input consistently and constantly added by the panelists and different participants we have.
We also have three questions, and I hope we answered a few of them through the different interventions that we have.
But the last item on the agenda speaks to the role of empowerment which we know empowering people to join the conversation on Internet governance integrated into national policy processes is not easy. So we thought that having our work done online will help include more people in important key policy processes. But I think one panelist I'll have to turn to Stewart to speak and Gustavo if he has anything to add to how do we empower least represented communities in processes such as Internet governance so we can have actually a clear view of what's at stake exactly? So Stewart? Maybe.
>> STEWART HAMILTON: I have to confess I was coming with research and learning. But I mean, I think libraries replay a good role through the connectivity that we offer to allow people to take part in Internet governance. But you know there are things that you know people need if they're going to be able to participate accurately in this and that of course is the sort of skills that come with a good education and that's where we've been trying to do our best during the pandemic to make use of library facilities and extend online education whilst the doors and places like libraries are closed. So I wanted to point out a couple things which I think are important for the over all debate which do cover that context of engagement.
We've seen a tremendous amount of use of digital library resources by all user groups which I think bodes well for engagement. There might be an idea it's only younger people but we've seen it across the board. We've seen this big shift to online education and research and learning, which Christopher was alluding to as well. It's there I want to point out things we need too keep a close eye on as we go forward. There are problems.
And some of these problems are around the licensing environments for the sorts of information that libraries make available.
Limits on number of simultaneous users that people can connect textbooks, ebooks, restrictions on lending. Information on libraries across countries and restrictions on test and data mining which is extremely important because access to knowledge is very much in a pandemic a public health issue. There are major issues around the costs of things like electronic textbooks. I'll play us a link in the chat in a moment which will let you see the massive differences between the cost of a print book and electronic book and huge issues around copyright. If you think about a situation where lecturers are telling people it would be better to get a Netflix subscription because we don't have media studies courses take place. This is something we need to be careful of. In terms of what we want in policy recommendations we need clarity on the exceptions and limitations that be can use for online education and things libraries can provide. We need an investigation into ebook pricing which is scandalous and we need more options to purchase them. And something we haven't touched upon which is to purchase. We talked about connectivity. We need to talk about device poverty in the future.
>> HANANE BOUJEMI: Thank you very much, Stewart. Knowledge is power. And educational aspect is also equally important in the issue of empowerment. And I do have two hands, I think. Two panelists that can speak to probably the issue of panel integrating minorities and decision‑making processes. And I'll give the floor to Smita to reflect on this point.
If you can hear me, so the question speaks to the role of empowerment of minorities or communities that are not represented properly.
>> MUHAMMAD: Yes, thank you very much. Ladies and gentlemen, my apologies for you not being able to see me because I have a one key Internet connection so I would really apologize for that so you have to rely on my voice.
I would like to see two or three points here with regards to inclusion and awareness and particularly about the empowerment. We have to have if we want to make people, we need to bring communities as we ‑‑ people with disabilities like to say. Nothing about us without us.
If you want to have a discussion about persons with disabilities, you need to bring people with disabilities on to that level for having these kind of discussions about their issues.
With regard to their dynamic coalition on accessibility and disability this year, since were hearing that this IGF is going to go online, we thanks to a guard from Google and Vint Cerf, we supported people with disabilities all with regards to Internet connectivity. We provided fellowships to enable people with disabilities with regards to accessing the Internet and availing the opportunity to attend IGF. We also organized a hub in Italy to persons with disabilities but also supported by the grant provided by Google and Vint Cerf. So thanks hats off to that. We could also provide some next year IGF goes back to in‑person participation. There would be funds as well. Two minutes is up. You made cool suggestions on how to include basically guarantee more contributions in general. So second recommendation in writing so we can put it forward. And I'll give the floor to Smita because I know she has something to say about empowerment of minority in general.
>> Thank you very much. I think one of the things that we really need in terms of bringing more people to this conversation, one in which ‑‑ I have two points to make, I think one of the reasons people live here in different conversations around IGF and less policy spaces is because they cannot connect to their own realities. If you cannot connect with people on what is actually happening to them and convey why these policies matter to them in real life, why will they care about it? Until you get people who care, policies and guidelines are just words in the cloud.
And second thing is that in a lot of conversations what happens, especially with regards to communities and women and other gender and sexual minority is the possibility speak ‑‑ establish all of this is that we constantly remain in disguise as intervention mode and we talk about problems. Gender came into IGF spaces because online grew to the point that we couldn't ignore it and there were people smarter and wiser than me who spoke about it and said we can bring to Internet governance spaces. We cannot stop. You need pleasure and access to spaces and technology for fun. You need access to do what you want. Policies need to support this. I don't want a policy only to protect me.
I want a policy this will allow me to have fun. It's like demanding equality and this equality to loiter on online spaces equality to participate in policy and bring up topics that are relevant to you. Access tomorrow. But I think that is the way we can actually bring in more people.
>> HUNANE BOUJEMI: Very concrete suggestions and inputs as usual. Thank you very much. And I think with that, I am going to wrap up the section on empowerment and education. And we will have to spend the last 20 minutes of this session talking about the future of the IGF and contribution of ‑‑ to Tatiana will be moderating that specific space. It is very important at this point that the IGF works on cross fertilization of ideas between different segments that are not represented. And I received information yesterday that the high‑level roundtable which included Parliamentarians would like to collaborate with the DCs. And I think this is good news because then you can actually work with various entities on specific issues to advocate on whatever is at stake on the ground, on the floor to make sure your voice is heard. An with that I will pass the floor to Tatianna.
>> TATIANA TROPINA: Thank you, Hanane. As you said, we want to ensure that all voices are heard and allow Gustavo to make the last word about the last phase. I'll give you two minutes. We will make it.
>> GUSTAVO: I'll be very brief. On the topic of empowerment, I think there are many ways to approach this especially when they talk about the youth. Many of the young people who come to government spaces coming from other industries. They come from economic activities which already are closely tied to Internet policy making so for them, it's only about matter of quickly learning about topic and then just jumping in. For other youth who want these people, these young people they often do not have continued engagement if we want to create continued engagement, especially from youth or people, people in general, not only youth but underrepresented people such as LGBT people, we need to address a fact that for many professionals, continuing engagement in Internet governance is not feasible. There are very few incentives in terms of how it applies to their inactivity and we in the Internet governance community we benefit immensely from extremely hard working volunteers, it is uphill battle. And this continued engagement especially for young people and people from the global ‑‑ it is when you have so many professional obligations when making enough to live by is so difficult. It is very difficult.
To justify the kind ‑‑ this kind of engagement with global ‑‑ thank you.
>> HUNANE BOUJEMI: Thank you, Gustavo. And thank you for building another ‑‑ from our previous discussion to the wrapping up phase of this session. We are going to talk. What can the IGF community do to make these ‑‑ the IGF catalyst, a cause for these changes during pandemic and post? And is IGF doing enough we have two speakers in my mind for this phase of the session. I would like to actually ‑‑ this wrapped up the previous one with youth. And I would like to give the floor to another speaker from youth to Ellen. What is your take on this and future of IGF in this regard?
>> EILEEN: I'll be as short as possible. From youth coalition we've been seeing that the current situation is that the disease had an a key player in the get governance and on youth coalition where we brought the topic of the table of which is the role that we have as youth how we want to play it and facility and empowering the next‑generation of leaders, we in the IGF/IG environment. A good example is how we've been working closely with Internet Society to build mentorship training for interns who say youth and others of this years because we believe that we need more voices that this ‑‑ to be able to have voices who can give proper treatment of the topics that matter to us in IGF. This has been part of our efforts targeting youth and participating at the youth and strategy. So future within dynamic coalition we shall address the importance of highlighting intersectional work as this has been happening with the BPMs, they this not get enough recognition to most of the discussion is concentrated at the developments in the IGF space. But I would like to bring to this excellent panel the future application of IGF plus model. It has been highly recommendation to the U.N. high level panel on digital coalitions and especially other stakeholders and global citizens they organize this year. Dynamic coalitions and other parts of this intersectional work should be the basis to strengthen Internet in the terms of digital corporation as a introductory remark we have participated in IGF on behalf of the YC. In addition we promote dynamic coalitions. This year we have collaborated with statement on assistive this controls that my colleague Olivier mentioned before. We have participated at a section organized by rights and principles coalition. These examples show us the work of dynamic coalition that should become more relevant than ever. We are part of a larger community. We need to contribute the improvements of the IGF towards the future.
Finally I would like to remark that it is essential to have representation of youth including youth Parliamentarians at IGF intersection activities. We shall decide in our future and encourage stakeholders to avoid tokenism of youth. We are here to address the matters we care about. Our voice should be heard and taken into consideration to shape the future of the IGF in the Internet governance space.
>> Thank you very much. It's very nice to see youth being so active in all these processes. I would like to give the floor to Olivier Crepin‑Leblond because I believe in a way the dynamic coalition of core Internet values can tell us how core Internet values contribute to all these quantum changes. Olivier, you have 20 seconds to add something. To add something to youth.
>> Olivier Crepin‑Leblond: Oh, dear. You're so tough. Twenty minutes would have been just barely enough. No, I'm not going to purport to say it's only dynamic coalitions on values that has all the issues. What this session is showing is that every coalition has got this angle covered and covered extremely well. And, as Eileen just mentioned, I'm not going to have to repeat what Eileen said. But I can say that the future of IGF has got the core Internet ‑‑ sorry ‑‑ dynamic coalitions and its real core. It's vitally important that this intersectional work continues ‑‑ intersession this work continues. That's only possible with the people of you, the people watching this, the audience here because the vibrancy of dynamic coalitions is only there because of the people that make it. That's all I wanted to say.
>> TATIANA TROPINA: Thank you very much, Olivier. And I would like to remind us all because I can see how many people are attending right now. I have 103 people in this room. And I hope that you're all enjoying this.
We still have a couple minutes to tie up this phase which was pretty short for this issue on the future of IGF. The dynamic coalitions weren't to say so this ‑‑ yes, Gerry. Go ahead.
>> GERRY ELLIS: People with disabilities want to be involved and be included and to a large extent included. DCED made standards on making meetings accessible. So we say please lock it. Make improving the Web site, I know it's going to be rebuilt. These include our needs in those. But as we get away from COVID‑19 and we move back toward physical access and then hopefully Poland next year, there is a recognition or there needs to be a recognition that it costs usually a lot more for people with disabilities to attend because of inaccessible transport and to hotels and physical buildings where meetings are held. I know IGF doesn't have funds. But, hopefully, you'll work with us to find funders to help support people coming from particularly poorer areas of the world to have their themselves heard. Keep in mind, please. The basic saying of people with disabilities, nothing about us without us. Consult us. Talk with us.
We'll help you. You can help us.
>> TATIANA TROPINA: Thank you very much. Gerry, with them I'm going do the close. Peter, you first and then Marianne. Please be brief. Jutta, the floor is yours.
>> JUTTA CROLL: I'm not speaking on behalf of dynamic coalition. I might belong to. But, as cofacilitator for all the dynamic coalitions. And I'm grateful for the richness of this debate. I've seen a lot of points that will this us forward into the future not only post pandemic, but also considering how intersessional work will be done by dynamic coalitions in the IGF plus model suggested by the HLPDC.
If I can report back also from the roundtable of Parliamentarians it's not only the roundtable itself but all the Parliamentarians that took part in that session yesterday. Really had a great interest in working with this dynamic coalitions intersessional between this governance forum. So we have achieved to arouse interest in that during the IGF last year. And I would really suggest to pick up on that dynamic coalitions to have a look out for Parliamentarians who can work with them and also bring the work forward because that is the major step moving forward for all of us. Thank you so much disguise. Thank you for all the work you do to facilitate this work. >> TATIANA TROPINO: This work of dynamic coalition this everything you did for the preparation of this session. Marianne, to wrap this up with your contribution. So please go ahead.
>> Thank you very briefly. I want to the comment that she just made to the charter of human rights and principles. Starts with quality of service. The quality of service to which people are entitled acts shall involve in line with advancing technological possibility. I do not believe the quality of service is evolving in line with advancing technological facilities. So I think we had a serious task ahead of us. And this is why the IGF has proven its worth. And Olivier, finally, a huge call out.
Thank you to everyone here who puts all their additional time, their weekends, their lunch time to get up at 3:00 and 4:00 in the morning to be part of this. I just want to say all this is voluntary, unpaid and under this and underrecognized labor. And we need to start noticing it. Because our time is also money and we're devoting our time and money to this process. So I want to thank everyone for all this time and all the extra hours. And organizing committee for this DC9 session and professional paid support this as well. Let's give the IGF more money, more resources and more grunt because we make it. So show us. Put your money where your mouth is, governments, private sector, technical communities and anyone with any members and give it to us without strings money taxed or you're not worth your salt.
>> Thank you very much.
>> TATIANA TROPINA: I want to tell the number of funds ‑‑ there are 107 who heard your intervention. And with this I'm going to give it back to Hanane for the wrapup. It's yours now.
>> Thank you very much. Thank you, Tatiana. Thank you to all the panelists and vibrant attendees of the session who made the discussion really interesting. It's ‑‑ we're lucky that we have a transcript. And I think we can always go back to look at all the contributions across the board, you know, through the whole of the phases you know that we had during this session. So we can actually have a concise ‑‑ you know summary of all the recommendations and also I would like to thank the ‑‑ what do you call that the godfather and godmother of the intersessional work, specific to the DC work. And that is Markus Kummer and Jutta for their encouragements and all the work that is being done by the DCs themselves. I know what it takes because I cochaired one of them. And I understand inside out how they can influence policy making processes in various contexts. So I would encourage people to chose the topic that is close to their heart and join the DC work because it speaks to the heart, to the core of the issues tackle in the IG. And there is a little bit of everything for everyone. So ‑‑ and you know, for the people who are asking how to join, the DCs. I invite you to check the Internet governance Web site, Secretariat. There is a mailing list for each DC. And you can actually choose which one that speaks to you most. So you can join the work. It's unpaid work. It's voluntary.
It feeds usually to the full‑time job of all of us somehow. Just to that disguise us are paid. We're doing it because we love what we're doing. And we'd like to contribute to enrich the agenda of the IGF and make it more substantive and meaningful.
And I guess the sum up of this session speaks to us all. We know that youth has this role to play. We need to be more inclusive when it comes to representing making sure that every segment of the society is actually represented. That pandemic made us all realize that the Internet is so crucial. Now everybody who is not compelled or convinced that the Internet can may play actually a key role sites and economies. Now is the time they understand that. Having said that, we also realize how the pandemic actually widened the gap whether it's gender gap, be disabilities gaps. So we need to be wary. We need to address these issues to make sure that nobody's left behind, that we are actually practicing what we're preaching and that is very important. And I hope this platform has been you know important you know this call out all the decision‑makers and policy makers to take into account and be accountable also to the feedback we're receiving from communities all around the world.
I have to say this is one of the most active sessions I've ever moderated or contributed to. And that's thanks to the rich discussion that we had so far.
I invite the S and Ds to also read the substantive papers that were submitted by the DCs because they actually Zoom in to these issues that we're trying to speak to at a high level. And that's what we do usually in these kinds of panels. So maybe we don't have a silver bullet that kind of ‑‑ let's say creates solutions to solve things but this is a process. I think a lot of people in this call understand what does it mean to be this in the IGF. For so many years at least two decades now we're doing this. And we're doing it for a reason. We can see this impact. We can see how we manage finally to include actually more segments from you know Parliamentarians to youth into the discussion and I hope you enjoyed the session as much as I did. Thank you very much, everyone. Thank you to the interpreters. Thank you, Tatianna. Thank you, Markus, Jutta and work of DCs. And thank you to all the panelists and I think that's all from me today. Thank you very much. And good‑bye.
>> TATIANA TROPINA: Thank you, good‑bye. All.
>> Thanks to you both. Wonderful moderation. Thank you so much.
>> Bye, everybody. And to the sign language interpreters and captioners.
>> Yes, captioners and sign language interpreters.
>> Wonderful session. Thanks, everybody.
>> Excellent, bye.
>> Thank you, everyone.