The following are the outputs of the real-time captioning taken during the First Open Consultations and MAG Meeting of the Internet Governance Forum (IGF) 2020 in Geneva, Switzerland, from 14 to 16 January 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.
>>CHENGETAI MASANGO: Good morning, ladies and gentlemen. Welcome to the first Open Consultations and MAG meeting for the 2020 cycle.
This morning we're going to concentrate on the Open Consultation portion of the meeting, and before we start, I would just like to remind everybody that we are being webcast, and there's a transcript being taken. And we would also ask you that if you want to take the floor during the meeting, if you could please use the speaking queue. So we're going to try the speaking queue. The reason why we're trying the speaking queue is that we do have some remote participants outside, and we want to make it fair that the first person to ask for the floor is the first person in the queue.
So with that, I would like to introduce our chair, our MAG chair for 2020, Mrs. -- Miss Anriette Esterhuysen to start the meeting.
Thank you very much.
>>CHAIR ESTERHUYSEN: Thank you very much, Chengetai.
Yes, it's Ms. Anriette Esterhuysen, and it's really a pleasure and an honor to be here. I've been part of the IGF community since we were negotiating around it in 2005, and so being in this role, having been a MAG member, having been a workshop proposal presenter, having been at the ends of rejections of workshop proposals by the MAG, it's really a challenge but also an honor for me to be in this role.
Thanks enormously to everyone for the support and the advice that has been coming my way and needed. I need it now, but I need it throughout this process.
And also feel comfortable -- and I'm saying this to MAG members but also to the constituents, the IGF community out there -- to make that support and advice critical. I come from civil society. I believe in speaking directly and being clear, and I'm open to criticism from all of you, constructive criticism.
I wanted to -- just before we go ahead, Chengetai, I want you to tell people exactly how to use the speaking queue, because there might be people here who have not used it before. So just explain to them where to go in the website and how it works.
>>CHENGETAI MASANGO: Okay. Thank you. For those people who are online, we are going to paste in the link to register or to log in for the speaking queue. And for those people here, you go to the IGF website, and there's a link there at the bottom of the page where you can go to the -- for the speaking queue.
If you have any problems, please do not hesitate to contact Luis over there in the middle, and he will help you out.
>>CHAIR ESTERHUYSEN: Sorry. Thank you for that.
To review the agenda, we'll only review the agenda for today. So just to give everyone a sense of the overall shape of the meeting, today is the Open Consultation. It's the day where the MAG listens to what members of the community feel about the IGF, what they are gaining from it, what they'd like to gain from it, their proposals and suggestions. This is not to say that MAG members cannot participate. You do need to participate, but remember that we need to listen, absorb, and process input from the community. And then tomorrow and the day after is when we as a MAG work with that input and begin to structure it into a plan of action.
Today's agenda, the Open Consultation agenda, the first component are the welcomes and inputs; I'm very pleased, I'll introduce her shortly, and our host country chair. And after that we will go into the taking stock of IGF 2019 and setting expectations for 2020. So that's from 11:00 to 1:00. That's when we look at the synthesis of the input, the written input received, and also inputs from the floor and from remote participants. And we'll have a strategic discussion about those inputs.
We then have lunch, and after lunch we have a session which is being kindly co-organized and supported with Switzerland, and that session will focus on the U.N. Secretary-General's High-Level Panel on Digital Cooperation. It's an opportunity to have a consultation and for us as the IGF community to provide a platform to those champions and key constituents involved in taking that process forward, to give them an opportunity to brief the broader IGF community and others, and to also look at what the IGF can do in terms of its 2020 agenda to respond to some of the specific needs of particularly Geneva-based missions whom we've invited to join. It's also an opportunity for us, as a MAG, to share some of the outcomes of the 2019 IGF with that particular community.
And then that's it. That's the agenda for today.
Are there any -- anyone happy to -- Are you happy to adopt this agenda? Any questions about the agenda for today? We'll review the MAG meeting agenda tomorrow morning.
Okay. On that note, let's adopt the agenda. Consider it adopted.
At this point, I'd like to welcome my colleague from UN DESA, Wai Min, who will start the meeting for us with a message from the UN DESA in New York.
>>WAI MIN KWOK: Thank you, Madam Chair.
Ms. Wanda Buk, 2020 host country chair; Rudolf, our 2019 host country chair; distinguished MAG members; stakeholders who are here with us and all participating online. I am Wai Min Kwok from U.N. Department of Economic and Social Affairs, UN DESA.
My colleagues from the IGF secretariat will be distributing copies of the message of Undersecretary-General for Economic and Social Affairs, Mr. Liu Zhenmin. Many of you met the USG in Berlin during which we had a session with Secretary-General Antonio Guterres and also the other session during which he expressed thanks and gave appreciation letter to outgoing MAG members while also welcoming new MAG members. I would like to highlight some of his key messages here.
He started by recalling IGF 2019. Not only did we have record numbers in participation and diversity across different stakeholder groups, countries, and disciplines, with capacity development support to the Global South provided for by the host government, we also had the inaugural parliamentary session. And with that, the USG expressed deep appreciation to the host, the Government of Germany, for their leadership, collaboration, and commitment.
Looking forward to 2020, he extended special appreciation to the Government of Poland for its offer and undertaking to host the 15th meeting of IGF in Katowice.
He recorded Secretary-General keynote address at the Berlin IGF that the Internet can be a powerful force for good, but we are seeing also that it is the tool that can easily be put to nefarious use.
The Secretary-General also reminded us about the three device -- digital device, social device, political device -- and how digital device both reflect and reinforce the other two.
And with that, let us be reminded also by the Secretary-General that in building the IGF as a platform where government representative from all parts of the world, along with companies, technical experts, and civil society, can come together to share policy expertise, debate emerging technology issues, agree on some basic common principles, and take these ideas back to appropriate norm-setting fora.
In delivering the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development for the remaining ten years, the IGF should also step up as the platform in responding to the Secretary-General call for a Decade of Action to deliver the Sustainable Development Goals. USG Mr. Liu applauded the far-reaching efforts of all current and past MAG members, commenting that the cohesive, committed and collaborative efforts of the MAG, now building on 14 years of work, are important and critical to the IGF process and fulfilling its mandates. But in our efforts to leave no one behind, there remains the need to strengthen the linkages and engagement of the national, subregional, regional, and youth IGF, NRIs, and develop their capacities. We have made impressive progress in the positive network effect of the NRIs, but we need to do more.
And then let USG to continue to remind us to continue to answer to the call of the times as highlighted by Secretary-General and Chancellor Angela Merkel and respond to the mandates of the General Assembly as contained in resolution 70/125 to continue to make improvement to the IGF processes, outputs, and desired impacts. This is also reflected in the recommendation of the High-Level Panel on Digital Cooperation.
The USG urge the MAG and all stakeholders to stay focused and effective on the need for IGF to engage with the global community, including intergovernmental and international organizations, think tanks, academy institutions, and all individuals as the Internet is now a central medium in our daily life, across borders, sectors, and disciplines.
In moving forward, he advised the MAG and all to be guided by the mandate of the IGF as set in the Tunis Agenda, reaffirmed in the GA resolution 70/125 in 2015 as well as the terms of reference of MAG members. The continuing relevance and strength of the global role of the IGF needs the participation of all, the inclusive participation of the community at large, empowered through the MAG and established processes.
The USG called the MAG and all of us to work harder to reach out to those countries and stakeholders who are currently not engaged in the IGF. We do this not only for the benefit of the IGF community but also to fulfill the promise of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Developments in leaving no one behind and no country behind.
Finally, he called upon us to be inspired by the experience and wisdom we learn and share in Berlin on one world, one net, one vision, and work towards Internet united, the overarching proposed theme of the IGF in Katowice.
The USG message is also available on the website. I invite you to visit and take a look.
Thank you, all, and thank you, Madam Chair.
>>CHAIR ESTERHUYSEN: Thank you very much for that, Wai Min. And please convey the gratitude of the MAG to the USG for his presence and his really active participation in Berlin and for carrying so much for this process and for the commitment and for making your time available as well.
And I now have the great pleasure of introducing our host country co-chair of the MAG for 2020, and she's sitting right next to me. And Under-Secretary of State from the Ministry of Digital Affairs of Poland, Ms. Wanda Buk. Please tell us a bit more about yourself.
>>WANDA BUK: Thank you very much, Anriette. Is it on? It works.
So it's a great pleasure for me to be here with you, and it's a great honor also for Poland to host upcoming IGF. Thank you very much for that.
I am Deputy Minister at the Ministry of Digital Affairs, and this day is exactly my fourth anniversary in public administration. I'm a barrister, but for last four years I was working for Minister of Digital Affairs. Half of the time I was general manager of Digital Poland Project Center. This is a public institution responsible for distributing European funds for digitalization in Poland. And half of this time, so two years already, I am Deputy Minister at Ministry of Digital Affairs, and I'm mostly responsible for telecommunications sector, for international relations, and for EU funds, of course.
So as I already told you, it's a great pleasure for us and an honor to organize IGF. We -- I personally will be responsible in Poland for coordination, Polish govern- -- and government activities, but also there are my colleagues from the ministry here. So this is Michal and Typiak. You can see them. Can you stand, please? Just to -- They will be here for a whole week, so don't hesitate to contact them.
So, yeah. Basically that's what I wanted to say. So I would like to wish you a happy year because this is still the beginning of January, so I hope it will be a very, very good year for all of you, and we as Poland will be -- will be able to deliver really meaningful IGF. And we will try to be as supportive as only we can.
We already started our preparation, and in a few minutes I will ask Michael to briefly summarize them so you will know where we are already.
>>CHAIR ESTERHUYSEN: Thanks, Wanda.
I can testify to the enthusiasm and the commitment of the Polish team. Chengetai has been meeting with them. I think Lynn might have had meetings with them. I personally had meetings with the team in Berlin, and here as well. So I feel very supported, actually, and encouraged by the commitment in this area, and you'll hear more of that.
One of the innovations of the IGF is that host countries, past host countries work with the MAG, or have the right to participate in MAG processes, and the IGF is very much about continuity and learning and building on what we've learned. So it's really a great pleasure for me to welcome Rudolf Gridl, known to all of you, and I think to our remote participants, to give us his insights as the host of what is the largest -- to date, the largest IGF, and an IGF which I think we all valued enormously. And based on the feedback, certainly it's considered an extremely successful IGF.
So, Rudolf, maybe now is the time for you to share some of that wisdom and experience in your welcoming remarks.
>>RUDOLF GRIDL: Thank you. Thank you very much, Anriette, and thank you also to Wai Min, to Wanda and to Chengetai, and also from my side. Every good wishes for the new year.
I am -- I am not only here as a former host country representative. There is still a MAG member for this year, which is a very good thing. And looking back to the last year's IGF and some insights, I am very happy that I do not have to refer to the quotation of Bismarck who said people should never know how laws and sausages are made. You can easily know how the IGF is being made. We have no secrets behind it.
We had around 4,000 participants from 160 countries in Berlin. And then again, a large number of online participation. And we thought and we had the vision to have some new ideas. Four of them I will shortly just mention. It was the parliamentarian session, which we think worked out quite well. There was a strong feeling of ownership by all the participations from parliaments around the world that came to Berlin. We tried to have as many representatives of the Global South present as possible. We had the impression that as we have a lot of host countries from Europe these years, it is even more important to have a participation that is global.
So we are very grateful and thankful for all the participants from the Global South, that they made the effort, that they came to Berlin, and that we could help a little bit in facilitating that.
One issue that was very dear to our heart was to involve SMEs and also SMEs not only from the tech sector but from all industries into the IGF process because we feel that in the age of industry 4.0 or IoT there is actually no more distinction between Internet issues, offline issues, new economy, old economy. All these distinctions do not exist anymore, in our view, and that's why we thought it is important for them to be involved to get familiar with the issues that are being discussed at the IGF because they are relevant for these companies as well.
And we tried to revive -- that's not a new thing, but we tried to revive the high leader segment, and it turned out to be also a quite interesting and diverse debate because there were around 30 ministers and vice ministers from all over the world and they are also geographically well represented and also the -- there were countries from the north, from the south, from the east, from the west with different approaches to Internet governance and that, in our view, gave a very good debate on day zero and a good input to the IGF.
We were very thankful that the Secretary-General of the United Nations made the effort and came to Berlin and opened the IGF together with the Chancellor Merkel. And we -- we also welcomed very much that there was a main session on the question that we also are going to discuss this afternoon which is the high-level panel on digital cooperations report and what input the IGF can give into this process of the follow-up of this report. I think that is something that will determine also this year's debate on Internet governance and the future of Internet governance, and it's important to have this linkage between the IGF and this work going on at the HLPDC.
I think I'll leave it at that. I don't want to close without thanking our Polish colleagues for everything that is going to come and for the good communication that has been present between our teams already last year and also this year and looking forward to working with you on this effort and this endeavor and once again Happy New Year to everyone. Thank you very much.
>>CHAIR ESTERHUYSEN: Can I suggest we give Rudolf some applause?
[ Applause ]
And thank you very much for that. And I think, you know, as I said at the closing session last year in Berlin, the thanks is not just to Rudolf and his team. It's to the broader German Internet community, that they managed to galvanize the civil societies and our MAG technical community business and the fact that they really managed to give life to the notion of the IGF being owned by the stakeholders and organized by the stakeholders. And we realize that it wasn't easy. It probably looked a lot easier than it was, but thank you very, very much. It was really a memorable event.
We now move on to a presentation from the Polish team to tell us a little bit more about what to expect for this year and the state of preparations thus far. And then we'll give you all an opportunity and the remote participants to ask questions.
>>PUKALUK MICHAL: Thank you very much, Anriette, for the introduction. I had to move here in order to have full control of the slides.
Before I start with the slides, I would like to extend my warmest thank first to Chengetai and UN DESA, Deniz Susar, who is not here with us, and right now for the extensive support so far.
We are starting with what we do on IGF, but I think we are on the -- on the safe side and we are on the right track with the technical side of the IGF and right now we are starting in the programming which seems to be a bit of a challenge, too.
The slides that I have are not intended to give you extensive information on the status quo, the preparations, just to give you the basic idea of the event. Me and (saying name) will be available for you all along this MAG's agenda and will be pleased to give you more information if you need.
The IGF will take place in Katowice, the capitol of Silesia, in the south of Poland. Silesia (saying name) is one of the most densely populated regions in the country. The city is accessible by road via motorway, rail, and air. There is an international airport right next to it in Pyrzowice. There's also one in Krakow Balice, Strachowice, Czech Republican. Silesia has not only a lot of historical significance for Poland but also due to its vibrant community and coal mining tradition that is the symbol of Polish industry and entrepreneurship. The region is also known for innovation in medicine, business, and culture. It also stands out for outstanding cuisine which is one of the most recognizable trademarks of Poland.
About the venue itself, we're going to have the event in the ICC, International Congress Centre in Katowice. It was built in 2015, so the building is quite new. Quite spacious. And it has already hosted one of the biggest events there, a climate conference in 2018 with 20,000 people attending.
The ICC, there's an interesting thing about that because it comes with the legendary Spodek Arena, which was previously considered as out of the IGF security screening area, finally considered not fit for the purpose by the U.N. security team, but we recently found another purpose for it. I'll come back to this later on.
Now, the building is divided into three levels, as shown on the slide. We already have attended a preliminary setup of the place. In general, the ICC provides a lot of flexibility in terms of space and room adjustment.
The entrance to the building and registration area would be located on level 2. This is on the top of the slide. Level 2. Workshops would be held on level 1, 0, and 2. And the actual village probably would be situated on level 0. This is the purple area on level 0.
For the security screening, it's been decided by the U.N. security mission to go for tentage to be erected on the esplanade at the main entrance off (saying name) Street in front of the entrance doors. It's right next to the entrance on the top of the slide. So it's not depicted on the slide but it will be there.
More in detail, this is level 2. On level 2 we're going to have meeting rooms and workshop rooms. There's going to be plenty of them. We have movable walls and I'm sure we can -- we can fit all the IGF needs there. Yes. This is -- this is -- this is level 2. As you can see, workshop rooms and meeting rooms.
Now, level 1, and this is where the whole event -- well, this is the beating heart of the whole event. Three big rooms among which we are going to have the plenary and main meeting room in section B. In section A we're going to have food court. Right in the middle there's going to be a hangout space. It's not depicted on the picture but we're going to have this. The hangout space, it's a proposal that we have in order to get the most of the networking of all the IGF guests. It could be part of a larger creative space and provide the scene for all entertainment events such as the music night which seems to have already found its permanent place in the IGF agenda. And section C, section C, there are going to be movable walls all across the space. We're going to divide that in workshop rooms as well.
This is a level 0, more workshop rooms, A, B, C, and the IGF village will be here. It's going to be to the left from the ballroom. It's not depicted on the slide but we're going to have a lot of room for that. Last time we checked we can accommodate 45 rooms, tents there. Even more.
This is -- I know this can hardly be legible for you, but it's only a breakdown of all the IGF needs, broken down on the whole ICC. It's just going to give you an idea of how much room we have and how flexible it can be. We can make it available to you for questions later on.
Here's the blue zone as proposed by U.N. security officers (saying names) during their last visit in Katowice in December. There have been two site visits so far from the U.N. representatives. The first one was October and involved Chengetai and Deniz so they could inspect the venue and see if it has enough capacity and fits the purpose.
The round building right next to the ICC there that you can see on the right side of the picture is the Spodek Arena I told you about just a minute ago. It's outside the blue zone, but it would most likely be used by the Kosciuszko Institute, one of the most recognizable Polish establishments and NGO to organize another edition of one of the biggest security events in Poland's cyber sec. The plan is to have the IGF and the cyber sec go at the same time. We hope to create an interesting synergy and attract more people for both events. We're working on the plan right now on the best way of getting both events adding some value to each other.
Now a bit about accommodation. In about five-minute walking distance from the ICC and the Spodek Arena there are ten hotels with a standard from two to five stars. Within the distance of five kilometers from the venue there are 15 hotels altogether. A bit further, up to 40 kilometers from the ICC, there are another 40 hotels. For the climate conference in 2018 it was so many people Katowice couldn't accommodate and we know that some of that -- these made their way down to Krakow to the hotels. It's not that far. Krakow is one of the most beautiful cities in Poland and it absolutely makes sense to have a place there if you want. But I'm pretty sure Katowice will be all already for every IGF participant, if they want to make their stay there.
We want to make sure that the prices are not skyrocketing during the event. That's why we already work with the hotel agent to make sure that we have good prices for everybody.
Last but not least, we've been having entire discussions with extensive aid from the IGF secretary and the MAG chair on the high-level leaders meeting proposals. We have already established a steering committee in Poland. We all had the first -- it's first meeting. The composition of the steering committee is based on what we have done for the local IGF which has been run since 2016. We have an extended team on the IGF 2019 open, big closing session. There was some interesting ideas proposed and then we would like to pick up some of them. And that's some more firstly.
Digital Economy. Digital Economy, but focus not only on technological and business side of the thing but also on ethics and social rights. An interesting angle worth exploring here is the upcoming overall eCommerce directive by the commission and which is expected to provide new framework for social network platforms. And, of course, as much as directive as European context to the platform, the policy has a global one. Definitely it relates to the broad topic of Internet governance. We think if we -- if the draft regulation made it to be in Katowice it would be a nice topic to follow and to work some high-level discussion around that. We have already talked to Director Viola and we are in the process of extending our invitations to the top management to the commission so that they can be here with us at the beginning of November in Katowice.
Secondly, inclusion and diversity. For this topic we have thought of putting more emphasis on equality and social development as well as participation, for instance, of young or disabled people.
Eco smart cities or more broadly digital technologies and environmental change, we'd like to see the term "smart cities" in the broader sense not only when it comes to business and technology but also the impact of -- the impact on climate issues. And this is a very important topic that was heavily discussed during the open MAG session in Berlin and we had shared this sentiment even before Berlin. We will be looking to have the IGF 2020 there, the youth IGF. For that we have some proposals out about this. The first of them is a world wide IGF 2020 contest under the patronage of the Polish president and under the banner of My Internet of the Future. This contest will be addressed to youngsters between the age of 16 and 26. Three main categories, poster, short film, and essay. We also think of inviting the prize winners to Poland and creating the IGF 2020 fund that would cover contest prizes as well as travel logistics to Poland for the winners.
The official ceremony and the wording of prizes would be organized during the IGF in Katowice. There could also be a working session of the young in Poland in the run up to the IGF in April, during which some workshop for 2020 proposals could be discussed based on the contest ideas. Thus debating idea behind the contest is, of course, for you to consider at some value. We're open for your suggestions on that.
Setting up a Polish youth IGF. As I said, we had -- we've had a vibrant community around the local edition of the IGF since 2012. We've never had the youth edition. IGF 2020 is the best opportunity for us to do that, and we're currently thinking of the best model of its affiliation, whether it can go to one of the NGOs or stay with the administration or maybe go to one of the academia members that we have.
On the use space, creative use space, I talked about the hangout space right in the middle of the full court but we're also arranging for a special space in the ICC to enable the enhanced activity of the youngsters; for example, workshops, lectures, side shows, and topics related to the IGF and the broad topic of Internet governance, which will attract people from Poland and other parts of the world.
It's going to be, as I understand, after main agenda, after -- of the IGF, right now we have tasked the steering committee in order to get their ideas on what could be done here, but that's also for you to consider, throw some ideas on us.
Concerning the continuation of the practices around the IGF 2020 in Berlin, we are thinking of going on with the parliamentarian track which was so successfully carried out by our German colleagues, maybe with special participation from the MPs of the European Parliament.
So that's -- That's in the nutshell. So this is what the IGF basics are, as they are right now.
Please note that there is also the official web page of the 2020 event. It's in the slide at the bottom, IGF2020.pl. Not so much information there right now but I'm sure will be filling up quickly.
This is -- this is it. Thank you very much for attention. If you have questions, I'll be happy to answer them. Thank you very much.
>>CHAIR ESTERHUYSEN: Thank you very much.
[ Applause ]
I'm going to try to pronounce your surname. So we just heard from Michal Pukaluk. Is that okay? Who is the international -- the Director of International Policy Department at the Ministry of Digital. Thank you very much for that.
Any questions? I hereby open the floor to those in the room and those that are joining remotely.
Any questions to our Polish hosts?
Takes a little bit of time.
Chengetai, are you monitoring the online?
Oh, we've got nobody. Aha. It's happening!
Ben, you have the floor. And by the way, I'd like all the MAG members and the participants to introduce themselves when they take the floor so we can all get to know one another.
>>BEN WALLIS: Thank you, Anriette. And so to your point there, my name is Ben Wallis. This is my third year as a member of the MAG, third and unfortunately my last. I work for Microsoft as a regularly policy analyst based in Seattle. And my roles within the MAG include co-facilitator of the BPF on cybersecurity for the last two years. Last year I was fortunate to be able to coordinate the data governance thematic track, and looking forward to working with all the new colleagues and old colleagues this year.
The detail that you've just provided there, Michal, demonstrates quite how much you, the Polish hosts, have already got into the spirit of this, and it inspires a lot of confidence. And the one question I had, a particular question I had was a little more information about this meeting that you said would be co-hosted, collocated with the IGF to kind of benefit from synergies focused on cybersecurity.
So I wondered if you could say a little bit more about that meeting which would happen at the same time focused on cybersecurity.
>>CHAIR ESTERHUYSEN: Do you want to, Wanda, and then you can add, Michal.
>>WANDA BUK: So the cybersecurity forum which is usually organized November in Katowice also, so it's not really fortunate for us and for them, you know, to steel -- to steel our girth, and so that's why we decided to co-organize somehow. But those events will be divided. So they are two different buildings. They are really close to each other, so at the same time we benefit from the situation that at Poldek (phonetic), you know, the building which is very close, it's like three, four minutes walk from ICC, there will be no heavy metal concert or something like that, you know. So -- because there was the risk like that.
So at the same time, we can support each other with guests and with teams. We already ask president of Kosciuszko Institute to join our steering board, and she has great experience in organizing events, so she will be very supportive, useful but supportive for us. She decided -- because usually they -- when they organize cybersecurity forum, they focus not only on expo but also they are organizing workshops, but she decided this year, she -- they will focus mostly on expo. So they will not compete with us with -- and with workshop that we're going to organize. Is this okay?
>>CHAIR ESTERHUYSEN: Thanks.
Did you want to add anything, Michal? No.
Next question, I'm very happy to give the floor to Jutta Croll.
>>JUTTA CROLL: Thank you, Madam Chair for giving me the floor. Jutta Croll from the German Digital Opportunities Foundation. I'm a MAG member in my third year. I wanted to thank the Polish colleagues for that very well worked through the presentation. I think you have started already good preparations, and we are very much looking forward to the IGF 2020.
My question is in regard of the youth contest that you already mentioned. I am wondering whether it's open to young people from all over the world, which age groups, and when would you be able to announce a bit more in detail when does the contest start, when entries could be made, and the how the run-through will be.
>>MICHAL PUKALUK: Thank you very much for this question. The idea was to make it open for youngsters aged between 16 and 26, but we can -- well, it's still open. It's open and we can work for that depending on your experience and your feeling whether or not this -- this age race is fit with that.
We are going to make it public in mid-February, and then we'll be heavily campaigning on the publicity. We're going to engage our embassies, and we're going to engage the office of the past president. We would like to use his good offices to make it known worldwide. We'll be outsourcing a third-party establishment to help us out on all the logistics related to it, and the plan is to have as many -- as many works from people as possible, we expect up to even 5,000, and we're going to have a jury. The initial selection will be made by us, and then we'll present the best -- best one to the jury to decide on who gets the main prize.
With the process, we have a timeline for that. It's tentative right now but we know that we have to act quickly. And we would like to conclude the contest in April so that we already have the winners in April. And then of course we can work with the IGF secretariat on the workshop session. We were planning to invite vibrant youth community from around the IGF so that they can use the main ideas that stem from the contest and work around to a form of a workshop that we can have during day zero or any other day.
The purpose for it is to make young people's voice heard. The contest is for young people, and the workshop drawing from the -- drawing from the main ideas of the contest is also for young people to decide on the workshops.
And so as I said, for a timeline, April I think is the deadline for us.
We have -- we have a timeline -- we have a timeline, a timetable in written form. We can make it available to the MAG for review. But we already started with contracting a third-party establishment to help us out. All the modalities on the age of the participants as well as the workshop session involving young people in Poland, it's open for discussion.
>>CHAIR ESTERHUYSEN: Thanks for that. And I can confirm that the Polish team is talking with Anja and is closely committed to working with the existing team, which is quite disperse but those who have been involved in IGF youth processes. So the intention is fully to integrate with existing processes and involve existing youth structures and people in this process.
And next we have Paul and then Raquel. Let's take both your inputs, and then respond to that.
Paul Rowney, you have the floor.
>>PAUL ROWNEY: Thank you, Chair. Paul Rowney, business constituency from Namibia.
I just want to jump back on the cybersecurity forum. And apologies, I missed the beginning because I was on a Skype call, but I think we might have to have a bit more discussion about this. I'm a bit concerned about running the two events in parallel. I think there's possibilities to have them but we need to think of how to structure it. There's so much goes on at an IGF and there's a possibility that people will be drawn to one or the other. That might impact one or the other. So maybe, you know, we look at having it as a pre or post event or finding some way to accommodate it or see if some of it can be accommodated in the program. But I would like us to have a bit more thought and discussion about that.
>>CHAIR ESTERHUYSEN: Thanks, Paul. And we'll get back to that. Raquel, you have the floor.
>>Raquel Gatto: Thank you, Anriette. I am here in the back.
First of all, I want to take just one minute in my personal capacity to thank everybody as an outgoing MAG member. I've been in the MAG for the past three years, and I'm really grateful to have been working with these amazing colleagues, with the IGF secretariat, and with the past and the new chair. So thank you very much.
Now formally, I'm Raquel Gatto. I work with Internet society. I'm the senior policy advisor. I'm also here with my colleague Alejandro Pietro who is coordinating all the youth programs within ISOC.
So I asked for the microphone first to make -- it's probably early, but it's important in the logistic sides, if the Poland, the new host country, has any indications to be working with the visa arrangements. It's really important to consider those for the participants on developing countries. We've had in the past, for example, Fellows who had problems to get the visa from certain regions, especially Latin America and Africa. So if you have any indications in that direction, that would be really appreciated.
And then of course, as it was being discussed, we are open and would be wonderful to share some of our experience in the past years evolving with the youth programs. We've brought more than 300 young participants to the IGFs already, and I'm sure there is a lot to be shared. We also have a special interested group called the Youth SIG (phonetic), and I'm sure they can share within their own experience from the youth for the youth to make it happen.
So thank you very much.
>>CHAIR ESTERHUYSEN: And thank you for that, Raquel.
Do you want to respond to Paul's question about possible conflicts?
I just want to flag as well, we don't have to resolve all issues and concerns today. This is really where we note and reflect them for future -- future work, but it would be good to get an initial response to concern about potential conflicts between the two events.
>>WANDA BUK: Well, to be honest, we cannot stop the Institute Kosciuszko from organizing their day forum, so we decided to cooperate and to support each other. So we can, of course, talk with -- talk with you about how to organize it in the best way and to -- so we wouldn't compete with other events also organized at the same time. But, you know, usually they organize cybersecurity forum in November in Katowice during several -- I don't know how many years in the past, but several of them, several of them. So, yeah, we are open to discuss it, and we can find some solution.
>>CHAIR ESTERHUYSEN: Just a question around that. So the IGF is essentially five days. How long is their event? And on which exact dates will it take place?
>>WANDA BUK: They want to start -- to start it next day. So the first day of IGF, not the day zero but the first day of IGF is going to be also for them the first day of cybersecurity forum, and that's going to last two or three days. They're not sure. They're not sure yet.
>>CHAIR ESTERHUYSEN: So I think -- Thanks for raising that, Paul. It is good that we anticipate this, and we will -- we will get back to looking into this in more depth.
And Jennifer, you have the floor. And just to give everyone a time check, we are running just past the end of our first segment. It's fine. We can be flexible. But people that do want to give input, and remote participants, I'm including you, please join the queue now so that we can close it.
Jennifer, you have the floor.
>>JENNIFER CHUNG: For the quick introduction, my name is Jennifer Chung, a third year MAG member with the private sector. First I would like to say happy new year to everyone because it's still January, and thank Germany very much for the very, very successful IGF Berlin from last year. We had really, really good reviews and thoughts from that.
I'm very happy also to hear from Poland that we'll continue the parliamentarians, possibly, that session. It was really interesting last year to see that. We've also had some very interesting discussions actually coming back home to our region. I'm based in Asia Pacific so it would be nice to have some more information about that, maybe to, you know, include the MAG members in the preliminary kind of discussion with that as well, because I remember last year a lot of people expressed a lot of interest in that.
>>CHAIR ESTERHUYSEN: Thanks very much, Jennifer.
It seems to me that there are no further questions. So we've come to the end, but I'd like to just give my co-chair the opportunity to make some -- any additional remarks or closing remarks on this part of our meeting.
>>WANDA BUK: Well, thank you for a willingness to speak, actually, and this is very important for us to have remarks from you, to have your -- to have you on board actively.
So I'd just like to underline that we are really open to speak, to talk to you and to engage you in the whole process, and we will take everything into consideration. Also we'd like to work together on a day zero agenda, which we are preparing right now.
And basically that's it. I hope everything will go well with our cooperation. I'm pretty sure that it will.
>>CHAIR ESTERHUYSEN: And so am I. And thanks for being here and for your team to be with us.
On that note, we're moving into the second part of the IGF 2020 first MAG meeting and Open Consultation, and this is a really vital part. I think we sometimes underestimate how important this part is, and that is taking stock of 2019 while looking forward to 2020.
This has been part of the IGF format for a long time. I think since -- I see Markus Kummer in the room. Markus, where are you? There he is. Markus was the Executive Secretary of the IGF and has been the MAG chair, and this type of institutional memory is absolutely important. And I also encourage anyone who has any questions about the history of the IGF. And some of them -- We even have Chengetai who has been part of the IGF process from the beginning. And this is when we listen to what the stakeholders who care about the IGF but who are also co-creators of the IGF, when we hear what they have to say.
So I am very happy to hand the mic over to Chengetai who will present us with a summary of the input received on the call.
The call went out in mid December. So we did not give people a lot of time. But in spite of that, we've had a very positive response.
>>CHENGETAI MASANGO: Thank you very much.
For the call for input, we had a web form and we asked what worked well, what didn't work well, and also the suggestions for this year. So the synthesis paper is broken into those two parts. The first part is taking stock of the 2019 program, and the second part is suggestions for the 2020.
We had 40 inputs that we received, and this is just a rum is I of the inputs. The full inputs can be seen on our website. And if you also go to the front page of our website, you go to the bottom, there's a tab called "Documents." You can also click it and you'll see the -- you'll see the input, and then there's also the summary paper which I'm about to read out. Well, I'm going to read out a version of it. This one there is for publication.
Stakeholders express deep appreciation to the government of Germany for hosting a successful IGF. The MAG, under the stewardship of its chair, Ms. Lynn St. Amour, and the IGF Secretariat and UN DESA were also thanked for their contribution in preparing the 14th IGF meeting.
Positive feedback towards an effective preparatory process timeline was given. This includes the timely renewal of the MAG 2020 and its chair, the announcement of the next host country, as well as the call for session proposals.
Regarding the program structure, many noted as important a successful return of the day zero pre-events as it loud for stronger stakeholder interaction. Efforts of the host country to encourage high-level stakeholders into meaningful discussion with concrete outputs, documents were also praised. Many saw the bottom-up selection of themes and subthemes for the 20- -- for the IGF 2019 as a good step towards enabling multidisciplinary discussions and more focused program structure. In addition, many welcomed the innovative legislator's track with a concrete follow-up output.
A few submissions noted that the process of the selection of workshops lacked transparency. They added that workshop evaluation process lacked expertise, resulting in some topics not being integrated into the program. For example, the environmental impacts of ICTs. Some participants noted challenges in updating the workshop speakers' list in regard to the overall workshop organization. Some said that large panels prevented the development of meaningful interactive discussions. Some felt that some sessions lacked diversity, adding that some did not respect scheduled time.
Many noted the rise of the IGF's political visibility and its making a stronger global impact due to the presence of the German Chancellor and the United Nations Secretary-General, as well as of other high-level stakeholders, including heads of state and governments, leaders of large private companies and nonprofit organizations. Of particular importance to many was the legislator's track and engagement of a fair number of parliamentarians from around the world.
A positive growth of the overall participation of the IGF 2019 was underlined as important. Many recognize the contribution of the German hosts in this regard as well through funding participation from developing countries. Some said that a delayed selection process was problematic as it affected the visa processing. The valuable work of the Best Practice Forums, the dynamic coalitions and the national, regional, and youth IGFs has been broadly appreciated as well as enhanced youth engagement into the overall program; however, some noted that the content of the Best Practice Forums and the dynamic coalition sessions was duplicative in comparison to other sessions.
The IGF Village was seen as well equipped and organized. A few inputs noted the splitting the village area into two sections negatively impacted the accessibility of some booths. This also added that -- they also added that the signage to the village area could have been more clearly displayed.
The overall logistics of the meeting received very positive sentiments. Stakeholders appreciated the availability of bilateral rooms as well as free-of-charge coffee and snack breaks, and a friendly service -- and the friendly service of the staff.
>> The water bottle.
>>CHENGETAI MASANGO: The water bottles, yes.
Several inputs underlined the challenges with visas in some developing countries that prevented stakeholders from attending.
Now I'm going to the second part which is suggestions and recommendations looking forward to the 15th IGF.
IGF 2020 should continue the bottom-up, inclusive, thematic approach to the overall program structure. Efforts should be continuously invested to increase the participation of individual stakeholder groups; in particular, governments and the private sector, startups, and small and medium -- small to medium enterprises.
Overall, IGF should strengthen cooperation with other mechanisms related to digital policy. One of the ways this could be done is through fostering discussions on issues of current interest to people in their daily lives, to business but also global politics. For example, the IGF could focus on climate change and digitalization.
An outcome-oriented IGF meeting should be a practice with adopting some of the innovative ways the IGF 2019 host country introduced. For example, their Jimmy Schulz Call. The IGF should continue to improve its outcomes and they should be put at the disposal of the wider community. One possible way is utilization of these outcomes or outputs by the MAG and the IGF secretariat as well as a revisit at the forthcoming IGFs and national and regional initiatives meetings.
Linkages should continue to be improved with the national and regional initiatives, the dynamic coalitions, and the Best Practice Forum networks, as well as with the youth global community.
High-level participation, including from the head of the host country government and the United Nations Secretary-General, should be a permanent practice.
Given the extended mandate and the government's interest for hosting the IGF, a multiyear strategy could be developed to interlink the annual IGF processes. Stable funding, however, remains a challenge to this.
A number of stakeholders referenced to the report on the United Nations Secretary-General's High-Level Panel on Digital Cooperation and stressed that the IGF should evolve into a stronger mechanism for digital cooperation as the panel proposed.
That's the end of the summary by the secretariat.
>>CHAIR ESTERHUYSEN: Thank you very much for that, Chengetai, and I would like to thank every individual and institution that took the time to send input to this call. It's really extremely important. And I expect there's actually -- the secretariat has very little time to produce the synthesis. And I think that when we process this content we should also look at some of the original submissions and draw on them as well. Because there's actually a wealth of detail there that we cannot include in a synthesis at such short notice.
So I now open the floor on -- before we go into sort of the strategic discussion of the inputs, are there any questions at this point about the synthesis and about the types of submissions that we received? Any questions for Chengetai before we move into the strategic discussion?
So on that note, I now open the floor on the input received. And it's just, if you refer to the agenda, what we want to include in this session are three elements. Firstly, the comments we received on the program, main theme and sub-themes, proposals for new themes, session types and format. Then also comments on the intersessional activities. We haven't heard much about them, but they are in the -- they're reflected in the outputs. And then also comments on day zero and suggestions for improvement. And MAG members, we will have time to revisit this in greater detail at this point.
I think, however, it might be quite useful to look at the outputs. We'll discuss the outcomes and the outputs this afternoon as well. But Chengetai, could you perhaps just give us a brief overview of what the -- what the outputs were of the IGF. There's actually a very useful Web page that looks at those different outputs, and what's useful about it is it reflects there are different types of outputs. I wonder if we can bring that page up. Luis, are you able to do that? It clusters the outputs. It has host country outputs. That's it. I just want to review them quickly. Actually, Chengetai, you don't have to. I'll just go over it. It's self-explanatory.
So when we consider the input, some of the inputs we always receive relates to outputs. I find this is quite useful because the IGF is evolving into a continuously more outcome-oriented process.
So what we have are the Berlin IGF messages. Those are the output of the IGF. The draft chair's summary, and then there are video highlights and there are press releases. I'm not sure what exactly is under "see more." And those messages were constructed around the tracks, the three tracks of the IGF 2019 which were -- let me see if I can remember them correctly -- data governance, security, safety, stability -- thanks Luis -- and digital inclusion. And then we have the intersessional work outputs as well. And we have that -- those are the dynamic coalitions and best practice forums.
We also had in Berlin host government outputs, the Jimmy Schulz call, the elements of SMEs and charter, and the summary of the high-level meeting. We also have participant outputs, and those are the session reports that session organizers compile after the IGF and then various process outputs. And Luis, can you just click on that, so we can have various -- the next bullet point. Various process outputs. Because I can't remember what that is. Okay. That's just a listing of all the different types of outputs. And then we also had, through the partnership between the host country and the Geneva Internet platform and DiploFoundation, we also the daily briefs and the just-in-time reports.
But let's go back to the stocktaking inputs and review them. And if you can also cast your memories back to the open mic session, some of the inputs that were received there as well. But let's focus on the stocktaking inputs received in response to the call we put out in December. I open the floor. (Off microphone)
So we have Ben, we have Jim. Ben, you have the floor. And others, please use the queuing system to join.
>>BEN WALLIS: Thank you. I think I'm on now. Thank you, Anriette. So I was a little slow off the mark and I did have a question to Chengetai, but I will also offer some comments as well.
So the stocktaking was partly a call for issues, and I remember last year we used that as an indication of what could be the themes and sub-themes to be covered under the meeting program to help us structure the meeting program for 2019. There seem to be a few comments about additional topics that we covered but not a big discussion since this paper about summarizing a call, a response to call for inputs. So I just wonder whether we take this as our only input to thinking about what topics to cover in 2020 and how to structure. That was partly a question.
So linked to that, just some initial comments, I thought the three thematic tracks worked very well. I would say it was a good innovation because I've only been working with the IGF for three or four years, but I understand it was kind of a reversion to a way of working from a number of years ago. But I felt that having three thematic tracks was a helpful way of organizing -- an organizational tool for the program and a good way of explaining to people what the meeting would cover. I understood from a colleague anecdotally that he felt it led to fewer conflicts for him because clearly, if you're interested in a certain area of Internet governance issues and not others, then it allows you to focus on those. So I thought that was something that would be worth continuing with.
As to what the thematic tracks should be, I find it hard to see how we would come up with anything completely different. Those three tracks seem to capture a lot of the relevant issues.
I noted with interest in the sense of this document that there were some topics that stakeholders called for room in the program for. I thought it was particularly interesting that several suggestions about the environment, so that could be about the impact of ICTs and the impact of digitalization on the environment from an active perspective. It could also be about how digitalization and emerging technologies can help to deal with issues like climate change.
So I'm not sure quite how that would fit into the three thematic tracks we had, but I can see how that could be interesting as well. So I just leave that there as some opening comments. Thank you.
>>CHENGETAI MASANGO: Thanks, Ben. Yes, that's correct. We didn't have that many distinct issues being specifically spelled out. We did have digital transformation, digital skills, digital economy, trust and security, new and emerging technologies, digitalization and climate change, as I mentioned in the summary read-out, and the environmental impact of ICTs. So we can cluster them a little bit more.
>>CHAIR ESTERHUYSEN: Yes. Thanks for that question, Ben. I also had a similar question. And I do think we could -- we could look at the inputs. But it does seem as if there's general support for the idea of tracks in principle. I don't think there's any question about that. I think people felt that the three tracks of 2019 were relevant. And based on this, I think what is appearing as -- in fact, I see only two issues really emerging as a request for additional or new emphasis or different emphasis, and that is skills and climate change and environmental impact. Because as security and trust was covered by last year, new and emerging technologies I think is -- I'm not quite sure what was meant by that but it is -- it's a crosscut, I think, that applies to everything that we do at the IGF.
So I think it is going to be for the MAG to decide whether we consider the input on thematic content received in response to this call as sufficient or whether we should put it out for further call. So it would be useful for you to begin to reflect on that, because I think it's a valid question that you raised, Ben. So let's continue. Next we have Jim.
>>JIM PRENDERGAST: There we go. Good morning. My name is Jim Prendergast with the Galway Strategy Group. I am not a MAG member, but I am a frequent participant in MAG meetings and MAG calls.
Over the course of my involvement with the IGF, there's been a debate and calls for more outputs, more concrete outputs, coming from the IGF, and I just want to note that the organization of the outputs from the IGF in Berlin, the way that was done by the staff, the secretariat, in an almost real time basis was very impressive. I think it goes a long way in answering those calls from people wanting to see more outputs and concrete outcomes from the IGF. What it certainly does is it helps organize that information and puts it in a much easier place to find. So I do think this is an improvement over years past and it's something I think should be continued going forward. I think it really does address a lot of the questions and concerns. Maybe we're not doing the best job marketing the IGF and everything that we do, but this one page with all of that information there is a great innovation. So congratulations. Thanks.
>>CHAIR ESTERHUYSEN: Thanks, Jim. Before I give the floor to Jorge, that's a good opportunity to thank Wai Min who led that process and Sam Dickenson -- I'm not sure if she's participating remotely or not -- and the secretariat and the team of consultants working with the secretariat. It was rather a crazy process. I was part of it myself as I was a consultant to the secretariat last year. So it's really good to hear that it added value. Thanks for that, Jim. Jorge, you have the floor.
>>JORGE CANCIO: Thank you, Anriette. And good morning, everyone. I'm Jorge Cancio from the Swiss Federal Office of Communications from Switzerland. So first of all, of course, thanks to Germany as host country for 2019, to the MAG, to the IGF secretariat, to UN DESA, to all those who made Berlin possible. I think that Berlin really stepped the IGF process higher in its accomplishments. So I think that Poland has a very good basis on where to start on all the innovations, all the improvements we have been witnessing during the last years.
We have made an input to this stocktaking, so anyone who is interested, I recommend you to look at it. I will spare you to me reading it through, but I would like to highlight in a very concise fashion, I hope, some of the points.
The first one is, I think we made very good progress and we still can improve it on the political visibility. And one essential point there I think is this speech from the U.N. Secretary-General which is answered in a way by the host country president or head of government. So that's kind of a tradition we are building, and I think that Katowice would be a great place to continue with that. And in our input we have said that this could be sort of a state of the Internet or state of digital cooperation address by the Secretary-General and the answer by the host country. So I think that would be very important.
Secondly, we saw in Berlin a rising of the high-level leaders segment. I think that that's also very fertile ground where we can build on. And it would be really great if the discussions of the high-level segment really built on the outcomes of Berlin. So if we have discussions in Katowice that they really refer back to what was discussed in Berlin and hopefully that they are also direct linkages to the intersessional work by the BPFs, by the dynamic coalitions, by the NRIs. So I would love to see our ministers discussing, for instance, the outcome document by the cybersecurity BPF and so on and so forth. So because this raises -- it's a win-win solution to raising both the relevance of the high-level segment discussions and of the BPFs and intersessional work.
Of course, the Parliamentarian's track in Berlin already went at great lengths to increase this political visibility and also these linkages with work done by the community.
This leads me to my third point on outputs. Of course, we saw with great interest and also with a lot of satisfaction that Germany continued the tradition started at the 2017 IGF of having messages. I think that that is worth continuing, and hopefully we have Katowice messages also together as was also mentioned by Anriette with better presentation and more visible presentation of all the outputs from the meeting and, of course, again, if we can improve the linkages between those outputs and what has been done the year before and what has been done in the intersessional work by the different leaders of cooperation networks the better.
My fourth point is that we also have -- we also have a lot of experience now with the information sources, with the summaries of the meetings, with orientation that is being given to the participants, to the meetings and participants to the intersessional work. So if we can still improve and strengthen the interconnection between those information sources and orientation sources and what we are doing intersessionally and at the annual meeting this would go at great length to fulfill this recommendation of having observatories, help desks, and I imagine that's the best way to go about is to have a sort of a network of those sources.
And the last before the -- the last point is topics, of course, which are relevant to the wider public, and Katowice being the venue for the 2018 climate change conference is, of course, a perfect place to put in climate change and its interaction because it's not only negative, it can be positive with digitization at the center of the international Internet governance agenda. And, of course, I would recommend that we continue with the practice of the -- of the call of issues where we can further refine the issues which are burning at the tips of the fingers of everyone.
And finally, of course, a modest offer as former host country and also as host country of all the organizations which are here in Geneva, we'd love to continue or to work with you as we've done with France and with Germany in the last years. So thank you very much.
>>CHAIR ESTERHUYSEN: Thank you very much, Jorge. Maria Paz, and you have the floor.
>>MARIA PAZ CANALES: Madam Chair, I'm Maria Paz Canales, Executive Director of Derechos Digitales representing civil society from GRULAC here in MAG for second year.
I first want to thank you again -- here. I first want to thank you again to (saying name) for the wonderful event that we have and all the efforts of working hard for the whole year with the MAG and improvements that we were able to implement, including the innovations in the way in which the session were organized, the three tracks that have been mentioned and the inclusion of the high-level meeting at the (indiscernible). I think that those are things that globally we can hear in all the inputs you're in person doing the event or in consultation that just took place that are things that are commonly recognized by the community as improvement for the last session of the IGF. And I think that particularly the lead in the organization of the high-level meeting day zero, it was fundamental to lead the German government as host had in that happening and also the representative of the German civil society organization that also collaborate and work really hard jointly with the government and make that happen.
That being said, precisely I want to start my comment, my input, considering these. Even this was a with huge improvement, we always can be a little bit more ambitious and try to perfect what is already good. And one of the things that I have heard or have read in the inputs and also resonate with my comments, my own comments, is that we should do a better work in the next version of this high-level meeting for the IGF 2020 in connecting the happening of the high-level meeting with the rest of the event. There was a feeling in some of the participants that they didn't have enough information about what it was going on in the high-level meeting, how the participants of the high-level meeting was selected, and I understand the challenges in identifying the relevant participants from the different sectors but now that we have the experience of the first version, I think that as the MAG we should work more supporting the host government in trying to implement some improvements in that task of identification of the participants in advance. Because that will provide much more transparency and balance in the participation of the -- in the high-level meeting.
Then I want to comment regarding the topic inclusion that also has been mentioned in many of the comments. I agree with Madam Chair that the main subject matter topic that is missing probably from the current discussion of the IGF that is mentioned, in (saying name) submission is the ICP environmental issues which is something that is mainstream around the global discussion about technology and the Internet. But also something that have been commented also in the MAG regarding the inclusion of conversation about new business models in Digital Economy, there is a BPF that has been proposed on that topic and I think that in (saying name) submission and my comment myself, I want to contribute to support the idea of that being considered.
Finally, another thing that I see in some of the comments and submissions and also with my own experience working as a co-facilitator of the gender and access PBF is the issue about gender diversity and how to make the policies and practices and protocols of the IGF more friendly for people of different gender diversities and this includes the issues about (indiscernible) policy, have a Code of Conduct that allows people to feel more safe. There was some unfortunate incident regarding the safety of some of the participants that were linked with the fact that they are more sensitive to gender-based violence and situations in their home countries. So in some sense to try to improve those things that have been developed within our kind of meetings and conference. So I think that is an issue that we could consider for this year.
And finally, regarding the organization of the event in terms of the work session and the different intersessional work, also something that resonates with me from the comment and I want to highlight, it's try to make a better connection between the work of the NRIs in terms of identification of subject matter that are relevant to include in the IGF. I know that there is a specific main session for them. Anja in general all the (indiscernible) have been doing a wonderful job collecting the input of the NRIs for including in the global IGF, but I think that also this input could be tried to be gathered in an earlier state in order to inform more of the decision making of the MAG about the selection of the topics. So in that way we connect better to discussions that are happening on the ground and around -- and around the world.
So I will leave it there. Ah, no. Just the last thing, a small thing, is I think that we will have time to discuss it later during this meeting, but I just want to post the question and highlight the challenge that implied to identify and include new topics but at this same time to understand that probably the three tracks topics that we had last year will keep being relevant. So just a how to creatively layer onto that without necessarily repeat the same topics and being able to include new ones, it will be something very challenging for us as a MAG, and I invite you all from day one to think about how we can confront this challenge. Thank you very much.
>>CHAIR ESTERHUYSEN: Thanks very much. Lots of work and thought in that input, Maria Paz. Next I give the floor to Wout.
>>WOUT de NATRIS: Thank you, Anriette. Just as a reminder, over the past years, or past year, a pilot project that MAG agreed to in the (indiscernible) last year on the implementation of Internet standards which will make the Internet a lot safer once deployed by industry and others. I will present on that on Thursday so I will not go into the content but share some of the experiences that are actually available to this discussion at this point.
As a other reminder, this pilot came forward from the work in MAG working group and that produced a report called Strength in Cooperation Within the Context of the IGF. And some of the recommendations there actually have never truly been discussed in the MAG. It was presented on but never reflected on. And some of the comments made now give rise to maybe do that in this year or at least for 2021. Because what's in there are some recommendations on how to actually structure topics in a better way. And what we've been hearing is we've had a best practice forum on cybersecurity but at the same time we have all these workshops on cybersecurity and for some reason they don't really seem to interact in a serious way.
So how can you actually integrate some processes? And the same will go for the topics that were mentioned now. We can have ten different workshops with maybe even the same people within those workshops discussing on how important the topic is or we could use the four or five days that we actually have, bring these brilliant minds together on the topic, maybe even because of that bring other people in that would usually not be at the IGF and come up with some sort of recommendations of further work that actually needs to be done for 2021 to 20 -- 2022.
So if the MAG would actually be able to cluster and structure some of these proposals and perhaps say to people there's a best practice forum on topic X and if you want to hold a workshop you will have to work with the best practice forum to do that. And in that way, instead of having 20 to 25 people working on the best practice forum all year, you maybe get to have 100, and who knows what happens there. It may be an experiment. If it doesn't work, it doesn't work. But if it does work, you will actually strengthen the IGF in a major way going towards this IGF plus model that people have been talking about in the past months.
So that is one. A great example of that is actually what happened with the parliamentarians. They were brought to the IGF in a very successful way, had about 150 attending, I understand, and they came up with the Jimmy Schulz call. Just by bringing it together and preparing it in a good way, have the workshop and actually on the final day to see all these parliamentarians being enlightened to the topic. And then I come back to my project, because I've reached out to parlimentarians that integrated very well with my project with the reach-out for the IGF, but the first reactions I got were why do I have to go to a conference that does technical things on Internet. So in other words, why would do I have to be there as a politician. And when you start explaining and ask them, but what are the topics that are of relevance to you? We have a workshop on that and that and that. You can attend there and actually participate in an active way.
And that's when they're minds started to change. And to go back to my own country in the Netherlands, it only took two sessions with the parliamentarian and they're going to be asked questions to the government from parliament why is nothing being done on these Internet standards that they're actually taking more seriously and not just voluntarily. That took two sessions of a half hour.
So in other words, that's the way you can influence. Another part I would like to -- and then we talk about reach out. I already heard Polish government is doing reach-out again to parliamentarians in 2020. My question is is there a willingness to reach out to some of the stakeholders that are underrepresented or not represented at all at the IGF, because when I started working on my project, on the implementation standard, I literally was told the IGF is a place where nothing happens, where only people talks so why would I put any effort into your project? In other words, when we try to do something different, they stay away because they don't think it ever will change, and that has to do with some of the quality of the work that people refer to, it has to do with some level of trust, they don't trust this environment to actually produce something, and some just say we don't interact with the IGF and leading to not giving any valuable input at all.
So in other words, there's a will to win when we start reaching out more actively to these sort of stakeholders that see the IGF at this point in time as not relevant.
And that comes back to cooperation because that sort of effort leads to a better way to interact with other stakeholders. And yes, it takes effort, it takes time, it probably will take some money as well, but it's something which in the end is worthwhile because if 2019 proved anything it is that things can change and will change if you make the effort. And I will present on the content on Thursday, and believe me there's some very interesting things we found in just two months of work.
So thank you very much for your time.
>>CHAIR ESTERHUYSEN: Thank you for that, Wout.
Next we have Raul Echeberria who is a remote participant. Raul, introduce yourself, please.
>>RAUL ECHEBERRIA: Hi. I don't know if you hear me.
>>CHAIR ESTERHUYSEN: We can hear you. The volume could go up a little bit, but we can hear you.
Maybe we can --
>>RAUL ECHEBERRIA: Okay. Perfect.
>>CHAIR ESTERHUYSEN: -- use our headsets to hear you more clearly.
>>RAUL ECHEBERRIA: Okay. Thank you. Thank you, Anriette. Congratulations being chair on this first MAG meeting. I wish you all the success. I'm sure you will have a very successful role as the chair of the MAG.
I already submitted my comments in the -- to the Open Consultation, so I invite you to read the comments which are available. I will not repeat all the things that have been already said by other colleagues. I share the overall concept that the meeting in Berlin was very good; that there were a lot of progresses, facilities were extremely good, there were a lot of innovations that were very positive for the meeting.
And one of the good things was the introduction of the policy questions to guide the submission of workshops proposals. That helped very much to have an idea or give an idea to the community about the purposes of the workshops or what was expected to be discussed in the workshops and how the workshops could contribute to the overall discussions of the themes that were selected.
The workshops submission process was a little complicated. There is -- I agree with some concept (indiscernible) in the report from Chengetai that there are some claims that to add more transparency, more clarity to the process to select the workshops. And one important things I think that also is related with the legitimacy of all the processes is that there is a -- there is people that seems that always get their workshops approved. And while the rules changes, there are more -- supposedly more ideas and more measures to promote the proposals from newcomers, it is the impression that some people have learned very well how to deal with these kind of processes and continue being an advantage for the insiders of the process.
Speaking about the meeting, the overall structure, I think it is time to use big changes. And as soon as some decisions can be taken, for example, in this meeting, it's much better.
There were already comments on the high-level panel, and Jorge Cancio from the Swiss government proposed to link the discussion at the high-level session to the outcomes of the previous year and to the outcomes of the intersessional work. This is a very good approach. I think it's very workable. It would be -- and relevant improvement, but we can also do more. We can -- If we move the high-level discussion, high-level session to the end of the meeting instead of having it at the beginning so we could use that session to discuss not only the outcomes of the previous year or the intersessional work but the outcomes of the tracks, the tracks composed by workshops and main sessions of the meeting itself. So it would be a good -- a good way to round the discussion, to close the discussion of the IGF every year.
Maria Paz proposed a lot more transparency about the (indiscernible), the speakers, how they are selected, and this is a big challenge because we need a kind of (indiscernible) in those processes to make them work. But we already learn how to do it NETmundial in 2014.
We have been speaking five years about the success of NETmundial and the things that we achieved there, but we have not adopted yet some of the practices that we learned from that meeting. And we should conduct that high-level session in kind of a NETmundial style because we knew how to do it: How to invite the people, how to select the participants, how to conduct the discussion, how to prepare the materials in advance, everything. So this is about the high-level session.
And the other improvements that I propose for the meeting is that I congratulate the MAG for achieving significant reduction of the number of workshops in 2019. I think that we still have to reduce the -- continue reducing the number of workshops and to avoid discussion -- sorry, the competition between the workshops and main sessions. So to organize the workshops and main sessions at different times during the meeting so we -- so we have different roles for the workshops and main sessions. At this moment it seems that main session is just a kind of workshop that is being held in a bigger room. We should establish a difference. Workshops are meetings, so self-organized meetings in a bottom-up manner, but continue to create the (indiscernible) to continue to inform the people in the session. And main session should be the place where we hold the open discussion among all stakeholders around specific issues. So it would be very good in my view if we can hold the workshops and main sessions at a different time.
Thank you very much.
>>CHAIR ESTERHUYSEN: Thank you very much for that, Raul.
And, you know, as we proceed, the shopping list gets more and more complicated, but also it's really good to give concrete suggestions, which we also had.
And Paul Verhagen, you have the floor.
>>PAUL VERHAGEN: Thank you, Madam Chair. My name is Paul Verhagen. I'm with a think tank based in Netherlands called The Hague Centre for Strategic Studies, and I would like to combine two strands that were mentioned earlier by our colleague from Switzerland as well as Mr. de Natris here, which is the need for a stockholding, a visual representation as well as the interlinkages between different components of Internet governance.
I think all of us are aware that there are many products to be read, many reports to be read. This requires quite a lot of time. And to that end, within the (indiscernible) of the Global Commission on Stability of Cyberspace, GCSC, we have developed a tool, and I will pull up a small prop, that is supposed to measure the propagation of norms within cyberspace. The propagation of norms, principles, confidence-building measures, initiatives, et cetera. And it speaks exactly to these elements of interlinkages, of clustering, of structures, of what kind of stakeholders actually live within the space that we're trying to operate. And we found it to be quite a valuable tool to actually show which parties would have synergy in working together, which parties would benefit from adopting norms from other parties. It is based on a text mining and a social network analysis. So to that extent it is also partially automated. And I would just like to propose this tool as a useful strategic instrument, and would invite anyone that is interested in looking at how these instruments implement to please come talk to us in the break. We are more than happy to elaborate on this.
And with that I yield back. Thank you, Madam Chair.
>>CHAIR ESTERHUYSEN: Thanks, Paul. I really encourage anyone who is interested in how one deals with the plethora of data in the sector to, during the lunch break, to ask for a demonstration. I had the privilege of seeing a demonstration of this tool. So anyone who is interested, make some time with the Hague Institute people to have a look at that. It's a really interesting -- Irrespective of whether it's linked to the IGF or not, it's a really useful tool.
Next we have Raquel.
>>RAQUEL GATTO: Thank you very much, Madam Chair.
As well as the previous speakers, the Internet society has also submitted a formal written contribution so there is no point on repeating it at length. I just want to make a very succinct highlight on some of the three take-aways we had from the past IGF and looking ahead at this year, 2020, preparations.
First off, I'll -- I'm sure that German has expressed many times that's enough thanks, but it's never enough compared to the efforts put to make this IGF 2019 a wonderful remark and impressive event. And it's not putting behind the others -- the other host countries but it's really the effort to deliver the promises made and going beyond. And also to welcome Poland as it's going in the same good direction and to have an even stronger IGF. So thank you very much once more.
In terms of more the program and the agenda shaping, it's important to also recognize that this IGF brought visible improvements to crystallize its relevance. I can name six, and I'm sure that there were much more read by Chengetai and the others, but fewer thematic tracks, less parallel sessions, more cohesive agenda shaping, outreach efforts to new stakeholder groups -- for example, the parliamentarians -- and increased attendance, the higher ever. And of course more clear outputs. And as we celebrate those improvements and as we learn that it can be made, and a few stats can take us a very long the way, it's also good to look into the new challenges and what can still be improved.
Conscious of the time, I'm keeping it short. Just to mention that the streamline of the intersessional activities is really important. The intersessional activities such as the BPFs, the dynamic coalitions, the NRIs, they are important and they should continue to be nurtured, streamlined, and strengthened. But as we do, for example, separate sessions during the IGF itself, it might compromise some of the substantive discussions, and so I would welcome and I would recommend to the MAG to consider integrating that further with the program to delivering even stronger outputs.
In terms of also the post workshop follow up, as we have now a more clear and stronger methodology for the selection of the workshops, it might be the time to look on how to follow up some of the gray areas of good workshops or with good potential and how the MAG and community can contribute to make them into the program, either because they are treating a very specific topic or either because, for example, they are new proponents at the IGF for the first time and don't understand how to make it a good workshop proposal.
And last but not least in this point is also to recognize again the good points that Poland is bringing to increase youth participation. I think we all heard on-site in Berlin their stronger voices, and to take one of their lines, they are not the future, they are here. They are the present. And so it's good to see that this is being taken into account.
And, finally, in terms of (indiscernible) packs, and it has been mentioned for the IGF, the intertwined discussions with the HLPDC follow-up -- HLPDC report follow-up and, in particular, the IGF+, it is reassuring to have the message directly from the U.N. Secretary-General endorsing the importance of the IGF, and it's the moment also for the IGF community and for the MAG to consider in its work stepping up and see how we can bring this wonderful example based on principles of multistakeholder, bottom-up, inclusive participation that the IGF is all about to this work going forward.
Thank you very much.
>>CHAIR ESTERHUYSEN: Thank you, Raquel.
Roman, you have the floor.
>>ROMAN CHUKOV: Thank you. Thank you so much. Dear colleagues, this is a great pleasure and honor to be here with you. Hopefully we start with -- new year with new energy, new approaches. And I would like to really thank on behalf of Russia the German host. I think it was amazing organization and we wish really good luck to our friends from Poland. And we, of course, as always committed to help and provide any necessary instrumentation, knowledge, expertise to the secretariat and to the host country to help. So here in the MAG, I represent government. In the real life, I represent civil society. I am one of those who convene for more than 11 years the young people across the globe to unite against climate change, corruption, cybersecurity, future work, and so on. And I really love this, and I'm also Youth G20 sherpa of Russia.
At the same time, here within the IGF process, I would like to work as the one who work on the IGF mandate. So clearly on global Internet governance. And we have impression also from the last forum that we really do lack discussing the Internet governance. And we would like to get back on track and discuss global Internet governance. And we really like the work from the High-Level Panel on Digital Cooperation (indiscernible) that's on the next sessions. We will hear in more detail how we can contribute and work further. But with regard to the sessions, we would like to discuss best practices on how nations implement new regulations and national legislation.
Best Practice Forum I think would better serve for this to actually share best practices and compare how countries deal with cyber attacks. How they protect their citizens' data, how they, again, implement legislation and so on. That's why I don't understand still with my second year what do we have on BPFs and DCs and so on, as it was mentioned in Chengetai's comments from feedback that sometimes they duplicate the program sessions. Program sessions are really too much. If you see the program schedule, you do not understand where to go. We really like the German approach to narrow it down to three tracks. We did it as swell in the G20 process. It's a good practice. But at the same time, I would -- the result was basically similar sessions divided in three separate tracks. And so let's better have one good session on cybersecurity, one good session on data security or something, yes? One good session on global Internet governance. Please, of course also environment and smart cities is very important. But maybe like U.N. Habitat or UNEP, a bunch of platforms to discuss such aspects, but here to discuss Internet governance.
And you can look also to the best practice of such huge events like World Economic Forum which is about to start next week in Davos. The new approach from this session is they decreased the amount of sessions and they decreased the amount of speakers. You can check the program. It's on the website. You can see it's very, very less this time. The same approach we follow in Russia when we organized the St. Petersburg (indiscernible) Forum.
So we are actually ready to host several sessions related to IGF. So we go to Poland to unite efforts. We propose to incorporate during our national IGF in April. We invite everybody because we are open and inclusive and would like to have as many of MAG members and different stakeholders as possible.
Also, I was first time evaluating the workshops as well as proposing the workshops. So I was able to compare both sides. And I'm not happy with either of them because as one of those who proposed the workshop, I didn't understand the feedback. Also, as one of those who evaluated, I just saw that we had a lot of work, a lot of material. We did not have a chance to actually discuss like this or that session could be better or maybe we should split the session and unite several proposals.
Maybe, actually, MAG can serve as the program committee of the forum. Maybe we can actually discuss the topics. Maybe we can discuss the proposals of the workshop and not just blandly put some marks. Because I was very loyal, you know? All my marks were very 4.7, 4.8, 5. When I received the evaluation of my workshop it was like 2.7 or something. Those speakers were from HLPDC, from European Union, from, like, IGF and so on, you know. Maybe it was a national criteria. Maybe we should not show that, like, Russia is proposing this event and that's how the event would score five out of five. I don't know. Because actually we had a very represented delegation in this forum, and all of them previously had participated for several years, and I thought that's only my impression. But this time all people from Russia with whom I exchanged opinions thought that it was too much of negative towards one certain country on many sessions. And which session you go, like misinformation or something, they discuss one country. We did not feel like this was the U.N. spirit. We did not feel that in some ECOSOC session NGOs or governments would discuss some specific countries with such disrespect and not in a dignified way.
So we would like of course to have it more balanced, more respectful and more dignity way.
With regard to also transparency of booth allocation, we would like to say that we were happy to receive a notification like a week before the event that we can still have it, because somebody refused, but if we received it a little bit early, it would be much more appreciated. And I think MAG can also play some role in allocation of the booth as well as the session.
So yes. Just to put it in a nutshell, we believe that we should have more work from MAG on the topics. Maybe we should just from -- maybe we should just split the workshops call for, like, first we receive topics. Maybe then we'll work among ourselves which topics we want to have at the forum with our host country. Then we compare the descriptions of these topics without speakers at this stage. Then we can all together decide which speakers would be for this or that sessions. One, we can check the geographical diversity, gender diversity, every other form of diversity we would like to check, and to make sure that all the discussions are relevant for the mandate of the IGF, which is our main concern. And I think that many people share this opinion as we really spoke with many people. So let me just say it openly.
And I would like to have some real actions to make IGF a U.N. body, which is -- which has a mandate, which will make real change for the better world because Internet is actually something which unites us. The hugest network. And let's make it really sustainable, and let's do our job.
Thank you so much.
>>CHAIR ESTERHUYSEN: Thanks for that.
Carlos Afonso, you have the floor.
>>CARLOS AFONSO: Hello. Yes. Carlos Afonso from Instituto Nupef in Brazil.
>>CHAIR ESTERHUYSEN: Remember to introduce yourself.
>>CARLOS AFONSO: Yes. That was it. Carlos Afonso from Instituto Nupef in Brazil.
>>CHAIR ESTERHUYSEN: How long have you been on the MAG and how long do you have left?
>>CARLOS AFONSO: Since the beginning.
[ Laughter ]
I am about 75 years old (laughing). And even before it, in fact.
Okay. Thank you, Anriette.
In general, I agree with Raul's suggestions; in particular, very good suggestions, and several over good suggestions we don't have time here to repeat. But there is an element which I would like to suggest regarding the workshops. I was one of the readers of the workshops in 2019. I found several which refer to excellent issues. But the proposals were formulated in a way which would not allow them to past the quantitative tests. They wouldn't get enough (indiscernible) marks to be selected. In some cases we managed to propose the joining together of proposals, but this was not enough to capture good ideas which got lost because of poor formulation according to the proposed evaluation methodology. I would suggest we start very early with the workshops, even earlier than we did in 2019, so that we could have time to deal with them with the approach of thesis advisor, not the approach of an examination board, giving them some time to reformulate to pass the quantitative (indiscernible). This would do a lot for transparency in the process.
>>CHAIR ESTERHUYSEN: Thank you very much to Carlos and to everyone else. And I'm trying to keep some sort of summary of key points, but I'd like to invite comments -- there's no one else on the floor right now -- comments on day zero. We haven't actually had any feedback specifically on day zero other than on some of the high-level sessions. So it would be good to get your feedback on the day zero event in Berlin.
Any remarks? Any reflections?
I think, if I'm correct, we had more events on 2019 day zero than ever before. Is that correct, Chengetai?
>>CHENGETAI MASANGO: Yes.
>>CHAIR ESTERHUYSEN: Can you give us numbers?
[ Laughter ]
>>CHENGETAI MASANGO: I think we had about 50 or 53 events. Yes.
>>CHAIR ESTERHUYSEN: And I think what stood out as really significant in Berlin is that you had the normal IGF community members who used day zero as a core part of their work and take discussion forward on particular issues but then we also had day zero reflected the involvement of German stakeholders and organizing events that are relevant to them.
So I think -- and Rudolf sometimes used the concept of a narrative around the Berlin IGF, and I have the sense that that day zero really was a key component of that narrative.
Can I give you the floor, please, Rudolf?
>>RUDOLF GRIDL: Yes. It is true that it was very important for us to build up from the very outset an awareness and sense of ownership and participation within the German broader IGF community, and that culminated somehow in the involvement that we could witness on day zero from stakeholders, all the stakeholder groups on very different issues. And the nice thing was that on day zero we could somehow manage to have these German IGF community members coming on board at the same time as the high-level people and also the, let's say, normal IGF, usual community and the MAG members. So -- and that was -- and that was a little bit, I'll say, the starting point for this one world, one net, one vision that we had in our minds that everybody came together but from a bottom-up approach, at the same time with a high-level component.
>>CHAIR ESTERHUYSEN: Thanks very much for that, Rudolf.
Jim, you have the floor.
>>JIM PRENDERGAST: Yes. Thank you very much. Jim Prendergast.
So, you know, one of the things I think I find unique about day zero is because it's under the purview of the host country, it's a little different every year. Each country tends to put their own mark on it. So there are some, you know, events that are consistently on day zero.
GigaNet comes to mind that use that -- as you say, they use that to further their work. And I think the freedom and flexibility that comes with day zero is something that we should continue.
However, I think one of the things I think that the MAG should be thinking about as it looks at day zero is day zero has taken on a lot more significance recently than it has in the past. High-level meetings, CEOs of big corporations, luminaries in the Internet industry coming in, but it's also resource intensive as well. And I think there needs to be just a look-at what is happening on day zero, how can it be further integrated into the overall program of the IGF, and what, if any, support does the secretariat give or can be giving to help strengthen those synergies between day zero and what's happening throughout the rest of the week. Thanks.
>>CHAIR ESTERHUYSEN: Yes. That's absolutely true. And I think the reality is also that day zero is to some extent a response to the workshop selection process. And that people who feel they have really important discussions to have at the IGF whose workshop proposals are rejected can still find a way of doing that through not -- but do it through day zero.
It is important, however, to remember that day zero is not organized by the MAG. It's not organized by the host country, although there is a component of it that is.
Chengetai, do you want to just review the shape of day zero for everyone's information?
>>CHENGETAI MASANGO: Yeah. There seems to be some confusion with terms. So the first thing I want to say is that yes, for day zero, there's day zero sessions that we have and then there's also the high-level leaders meeting. And so the high-level leaders meeting is the purview of the host country and it's -- it's up to them to come up with the theme and how they're going to do it. And they also do so in consultation with UN DESA. The day zero sessions, those pass through the IGF secretariat.
Now, for the day zero, we don't want day zero to be a place where, if your workshop gets rejected, you come and get a session on day zero. That's definitely not the case. If your workshop gets rejected, it gets rejected. Day zero is for other things that don't actually fit through the workshop process and they're not quite in the program of the IGF because day zero, mind you, is the day before the opening. So the official opening marks, the beginning of the official program, and day zero is outside of the official program.
So we have things that I think the community deems useful. Things like the -- sorry, the GigaNet, that is the academic institutions and we may have, you know, presentations. You know, all -- a whole smorgasbord of things. So I hope I've made it a little bit clearer.
>>CHAIR ESTERHUYSEN: I think you have, and if I was unclear, I apologize. But I think what is happening is that there are people who have events and content that they want to present at the IGF who actually are not even submitting workshop proposals. So they -- rather than try and get their content onto the agenda through the workshop proposal process, which is more unpredictable and complex, they do it through day zero. Now, there are pros and cons attached to that. So I'm not judging it. I just think it is something that the MAG needs to consider, even though day zero is not part of the MAG's work.
Chenai, you have the floor.
>>CHENAI CHAIR: Thank you very much, Anriette. My -- my name is Chenai Chair, and I'm representing civil society MAG and I also work for the World Wide Web Foundation.
My comment specifically with regards to day zero where we had, I think, the one panel that seemed to have four male speakers and only one female speaker and I think that was you, Madam Chair, who was the female speaker on the panel so you brought in some diversity there, however, if MAG -- if the IGF space has been pushing for diversity as one of the big criterias for evaluation for workshops and then on day zero people whose workshops were rejected based on that lack of diversity, I do think it does send quite a confusing message in terms of like when then can one participate.
So even though it is not our oversight as MAG members to determine the kind of -- the events that will take place on day zero, I do think perhaps, as Maria Paz pointed out around community standards, one of the issues that we should raise is that even if you're putting forward something for day zero, do take in mind the criteria around diversity of participation because it is a little confusing for someone who has suggested a session and gets rejected on diversity to then attend a session that has five white male speakers and one white female speaker and the five -- the other white males are from Europe and the only other person on the panel is from Africa. So I do think that's something that we can propose as just having basic standard criteria for day zero sessions, unless it's been addressed before.
>>CHENGETAI MASANGO: Thank you very much for that comment. So we do keep in mind the common IGF principles, diversity, inclusion, et cetera. Those are kept in mind. I'm not too sure of that workshop, but -- yeah, it maybe get lost or maybe they had to make up some panelists, but as a matter of course, whatever we do, it doesn't matter whether it's -- any kind of session, anything, even, you know, we do state that it must adhere to the IGF principles.
>>CHAIR ESTERHUYSEN: Yes. I think the issue of diversity is important. I think Chenai, that particular session was unfortunate because there were two women speakers who got lost and only arrived really at the end. But I think the principle of diversity is -- it's getting more scrutiny from the community and I think how people understand it is also changing. And I think that's good. I think it's challenging for us as the IGF, but it's also important.
I think with day zero what we should remember is that yes, the kind of diversity when it comes to race and gender and origin is important, but it's also different in the sense that on day zero, for example, we accommodate sessions that focus just on one region or sessions that focus just on the comments of one stakeholder group such as the civil society group. So I think it's also important to distinguish between what the diversity standards are that we want day zero session organizers to respect and the diversity standards that we expect workshop and main session organizers to respect. They are -- there's an overlap, but there is also some difference. Did you want to add anything, Chengetai?
>>CHENGETAI MASANGO: I think I'm just repeating what you're saying is that yes. I mean, it's not a mathematical formula as such. If it is a workshop for people from Latin America, we don't expect them to have representatives from all five continents. But they should have diversity in -- it should have diversity in -- you know, gender diversity. It should have diversity in other aspects.
>>CHAIR ESTERHUYSEN: Thank you, Chengetai. It's very -- you know, I'm from South Africa. Chengetai is from Zimbabwe. So it's a real pleasure to sit here and talk to my neighbor. We're used to repeating one another. I see the floor is closed. And our timing is actually fantastic. I don't have a summary at all and we do have the synthesis, but I want to just highlight some points that I think are important takeaways for us and takeaways for the MAG and I encourage MAG members to keep their own notes so that we can come back to this.
There's clearly a message that we need to retain and build on some of the innovations of 2019. So that's come across very strongly. The thematic track, that in itself is considered an innovation we should build on. The fact that there was real time messaging and outputs, quite accessible short outputs, and that these were produced as they then proceeded. That clearly is something as well. The political visibility of the IGF. I think that is definitely an achievement. And it's been a struggle, I think, sometimes for the IGF to retain that political visibility. And it's also quite a complex demand because on the one hand, you want political visibility. You want both at the U.N. level and at host governmental level and the IGF to be taken seriously. But you also want to retain that nature of the IGF as a bottom-up, self-organized, community-organized event. And I think what Berlin has showed us is a very good way of doing both, of having strong host government presence and participation but not losing the IGF's quality as a bottom-up and community-shaped and organized event. I think that the point -- that's day zero. I think I won't dwell on that. I think we have a clear idea of what worked well around that.
In terms of continuity, that strikes me as well. There's -- seems to be a call for more continuity from one year to another. And this is not just so much a multi-work program necessarily but continuity in terms of content and themes and the material that we -- that we deal with. And the suggestion that a high-level session can build on some of the work that emerged from a high-level session in the previous year.
Participation, and Berlin really stood out in terms of participation from the Global South and youth participation. So that is something we really need to build on.
What seems to be the primary emphasis and calls for improvement is at the level of participation gender diversity stood out, so we can build on that. And -- but integration and linkages with the intersessional work. For me that stands out as probably the biggest challenge for the MAG this year.
How do we work with the NRIs earlier? How do we get their input into the shaping of the thematic content? How do we use the BPFs, not as the free floating and small groups of people who do really interesting work but as the best practice forums and the dynamic coalitions, as spaces where work can continue before and after the IGF, to build more continuity in terms of the outcomes.
You know, can I use an ITU term here, study groups? Who's familiar with the idea of study groups that the ITU sometimes used. And where the work of those smaller groups like the BPF actually become more connected to the content and the outputs of the entire event. So that's -- it's a huge challenge, but I think that's something the MAG has the capacity to work on.
In terms of design and flow, what stands out for me are different types of workshops possibly. That was one of the suggestions that we should look at workshops as perhaps not being all the same type of workshops. I think one suggestion was that you'd have workshops that are new, that address new topics, and then workshops that respond specifically to the themes and policy questions of the year.
The other suggestion in terms of flow is to have the high-level sessions at the end. And in terms of the organizing of the high-level sessions, I think the one critical point that was made is to make them more transparent and to make participation more -- and the modalities of participation more inclusive and more transparent. And the idea of putting them at the end I think is a very interesting idea, actually, to use them in a slightly different way.
The number of sessions, I think that comes up year after year. And do we have more, do we have less. And I don't have the answers. The MAG will have to find those answers. What I can say is that, you know, for those who feel we need fewer sessions -- Roman, you are one of them -- remember that the IGF is about ownership and it's about ownership of the community, which is a very loose term, but I think we have this concept of the IGF community. It's about their ownership of the event. And that's really what drives the IGF. Remember, the financing of the IGF goes into the host country costs which are significant, and in some cases they also participate -- support participation through travel grants. But the financial investment that goes into the IGF, the largest one, is the cost of the time and travel and accommodation of the people that participate in the IGF. And therefore, changing the modalities in a way that reduces that level of ownership and engagement will put, I think, the IGF at risk.
So you need to find a way of making it not too big, making it accessible, understandable, but to not lose that quality of this is an event that's organized and owned by the community. And the MAG, we are the facilitator, the mediator. But definitely I think we need to look at design and flow, absolutely. I think that message is clear.
On themes, there seems to be at this point we need to discuss as a MAG whether we put out a further call for themes. There's strong support for that. But we also have some indication of what people feel are priorities. And definitely the themes of 2019 are still considered relevant by most people. And then we have the additional theme of climate change or the environment and how we integrate that as a new theme or a new track or -- that's -- that's come up. And then the idea of business models, Digital Economy. What do we need by that? What are the inherent challenges at the level of business models that the IGF needs to explore?
I'm not -- what else, I think, has stood out. I think that -- that really is -- oh, yes. I think my final point is about outputs and outcomes. So I think -- this is not new, we get that every year. And I wish Lynn was here, by the way. And I don't know if she's online. It's not a good time for her. But a big thanks to Lynn for all the innovation that she nurtured through her role as MAG chair in the years that she was. I think that the issue of outputs and outcomes is one that the MAG will have to face. And I know the MAG deals with that every year. And I think there's been significant progress in documenting and communicating outputs and in understanding what outcomes are, and there is now clearly a call that we need to take that even further, in partnership with other processes but also as the IGF. I don't have particular wisdom on that. I think that it is again a challenge for the MAG to retain the spirit of the mandate and the primary, the core of the IGF mandate which is to be a platform that brings people from different stakeholders together to explore and discuss Internet governance issues in a non-conflictual open and collaborative space. And -- but at the same time, there is a demand for taking -- for distilling from that type of open interaction outputs that can be used and informed by policymakers, by practitioners.
So I think again the challenge here is how do we strengthen the IGF outputs and outcomes without losing that essential quality of the IGF as really it's the only space in the world where you get linked to the intergovernmental system, a platform where people from all stakeholder groups can come and debate and share and learn together.
So we always need to keep in mind what we're being outcome oriented in a more -- in a more deliberate way, could it potentially risk that quality of debate and open engagement. But again I think the MAG has much to work with because of the innovation of best practice forums, the modalities of dynamic coalition, the intersessional work gives us modalities that we can use to make the IGF more output and outcome oriented without losing some of the essential characteristics. But I just want to flag that because there's not -- I know there's sometimes a very clear demand for policy recommendations and the IGF does produce those recommendations. But it's not simple. And I think the other thing to keep in mind when it comes to outputs and outcomes is who has accountability for taking them further. And I think that's something else that we need to keep in our -- keep in mind, you know, as an IGF community and as a MAG.
There's nothing as disencouraging -- sorry, English is not my first language, you'll get to know that better and better. Sometimes I struggle to find words -- as producing recommendations which then sit up in the air. Always in my African capacity I often say, particularly to governments, that there's this cloud above Africa that's full of recommendations, that's a cloud of policy recommendations, of conference outputs, and that cloud sits there and that's what happens. You make recommendations and they go up to the cloud and they stay there. And they might even be blocking the rain and sunshine. Because no one actually takes responsibility for the Internet. It's much easier to make and produce recommendations than to take them forward and put them into practice. And I think the IGF needs to take that into account. Because as our reputation can be affected by the fact that we are not seen to be output oriented enough, I heard some speakers say that they talked to stakeholders who feel as though the IGF doesn't produce anything, it can be even more harmful for the IGF to become a platform that produces recommendation which no one is then accountable for taking further. So we -- we will need to look at those and find ways of banishing them.
So I have no further comments. I'm going to ask my co-chair if she has any reflections or remarks. And the secretariat, UN DESA, Rudolf?
>> ( Speaker off microphone. )
>>CHAIR ESTERHUYSEN: Wai Min, you have the floor.
>>WAI MIN KWOK: Yes, thank you, Thank you, Anriette. Just to reflect on the few points from the perspective of DESA, in respect for diversity, I could not underscore more how it is important to IGF. But not just to IGF. It's also the one (indiscernible) of the U.N. So that includes all diversity just, for example, gender parity. In supporting the MAG selection some of you know that starting last year we managed to achieve gender parity for all the MAG members. So now for this year, the 2020 MAG, there are 50 of you, and we have 25 women and 25 men. And this statistic will stay and, of course, we will see how we can actually take this diversity into different work.
On the -- on the part that has been elaborated very well by Anriette on continuity integrations, the relevance of the current IGF, this is especially important that in 2020 is actually the halfway mark of the current mandate of IGF. Some of you know that, in fact, this is the -- that's mandate of IGF. The first mandate was five years, 2006 through 2010. The second mandate was another five years, and the current mandate is for ten years. We are at the halfway point. The renewal of IGF will be considered by the GA alongside with WSIS in 2025. I'm not surprised that there will be early consultations that we will get to know and to prepare from the secretariats a couple of years from now.
So in looking at the relevance of the IGF for 2025 and beyond, I think the work has to begin now or has begun, but we have to be more mindful as we are approaching this halfway mark.
On that one point that has not been mentioned, though it was also in the message of the -- the USG of DESA, Mr. Liu, was about the half of the IGF main trust fund. We, like many of you, we cannot again underestimate the financial -- the financial commitment of the host country. At the same time there's also the IGF main trust fund that supports the IGF secretariat and all the intersessional work. So I would like to take this opportunity to thank all the past and current donors. Some of you are here with us and of course I'm taking this opportunity too to encourage the current donors and new donors to continue to contribute. Thank you.
>>CHAIR ESTERHUYSEN: Thanks very much, Wai Min, for that very important point. There will be a briefing on the IGF trust fund tomorrow, for those who want to know.
We have a little bit of time left, so I just would like Chengetai to give us a short overview of the participation statistics of the IGF in Berlin. Rudolf gave us the total number of participants. Just the breakdown by gender and stakeholder group and geography.
>>CHENGETAI MASANGO: ( Speaker off microphone. ) The statistics are available on the IGF website and we do these statistics every single year. And unfortunately, mine are not working, but I will read off the screen. Ah, there. Now it's coming. So for on-site participation by stakeholder group, 42% came from civil society, 18% from government, and 19% from the private sector. Intergovernmental organizations and legislators, we did not usually have legislators. I think this is the first year that we have stated the legislators in the graph. But if you go up to the text here -- sorry. We did have a breakdown of the statistics. Yeah. Okay. But as opposed to last year, I don't know if it's possible to have them side by side, just to see if we've improved or if we have gone backward, but this year we definitely have improved. That's --
>> ( Speaker off microphone. )
>>CHENGETAI MASANGO: Let's just talk to the stakeholders. Right now that's regional. Yes. So there's a slight decrease in the percentage of civil society and there's an increase in the governments, which is very good. And we must understand that there's only 193 governments within the U.N. itself so, of course, you're not going to get a 10% increase based on the figures. But that 2% does represent quite a lot of new governments coming in. But that's one thing to point out.
Percentage of private sector is 1% less, but it's not -- but that's overall size again. I think we had more in the number of private sector people coming and also more of the high-level participation from the private sector, thanks to the efforts of the German government. We had, you know, high-level people coming from Daimler-Benz and the banks and et cetera. So I think, you know, all in all, if you look at all the metrics, technical community stayed the same, but that also means that more people from the technical community came. And the press and the media, that's 3%. A lot more. So I think across the board, as far as the stakeholder representation is concerned, I think we've made progress across the board there. This is last year compared to the previous year.
Now, if we look at the regional representation, of course, the IGF was in Europe but also the previous year it was in Europe so, in fact, this makes it a very good comparison as well. So Western Europe and others, we have 55 for this year and last year we had 38. Hmmm. I don't know how quite to dice that. I'll think about it. And then intergovernmental organizations, we had a lot more, which is a good thing. And as you can see, we've had -- Africa group, we have 25% last year and Asia-Pacific we had 16 and Eastern European group we have -- Eastern European increased, but I'm surprised about the Africa group, 25%. Especially since we brought in quite a lot of people coming in. So we have to look into that and maybe tomorrow we'll give you a better analysis of it. Yeah.
Latin America stayed the same. Oh, wait. What's the difference?
No, no, no. Yeah.
>>CHAIR ESTERHUYSEN: I think it's not surprising the difference in Africa. France has got a very large diaspora African population --
>>CHENGETAI MASANGO: Oh, yes.
>>CHAIR ESTERHUYSEN: -- that would probably, as they register, identify with the African group even if they are resident in France.
>>CHENGETAI MASANGO: Okay. Let me -- let's just look at the agenda. We'll come back to you, because I'm very, very interested in this. I have to do some more deeper analysis.
>>CHAIR ESTERHUYSEN: So we've -- we've given you -- so -- and the agenda we've got as well.
>>CHENGETAI MASANGO: Yeah.
>>CHAIR ESTERHUYSEN: And Wanda just asked me the very logical question which people ask all the time which is where's the academic community? And this is a bit of historical World Summit on the Information Society legacy that they are classified with the technical community. In practice, many would identify as part of civil society. I think it's something for us to consider, whether we don't actually want to have data that is specific on the research and academic community. It might be useful for us to try and extract that. So that's something for the MAG to talk to the secretariat about.
>>CHENGETAI MASANGO: We can. We can keep statistics as they are because it's very important to be able to compare backwards, but we can also do another one with the academic taken out. But we also have to remember that these are self selected. We don't select the stakeholder group. the participant selects the stakeholder group.
>>CHAIR ESTERHUYSEN: Thanks for that, Chengetai. And I think just what I will emphasize is that increasing government participation and having substantial participation from business, those were specific targets that the MAG focused on in 2019, and it's really good to get such a positive response to that.
And proposition from the Global South does remain a huge challenge, and it's not something that either the MAG or the -- or UN DESA or the secretariat or the host country can ignore.
>>CHENGETAI MASANGO: And we also -- I mean, if we move to the Global South, of course, all those figures would change. So that's one of our efforts that we have to see and concentrate and also try and get governments from the Global South to come and offer to host the IGF meeting. And this may involve giving them financial help because, you know, holding an IGF is very expensive, and they may not be able to do it alone. So we have to find either some mechanism to help them out and to see what we can do.
>>CHAIR ESTERHUYSEN: Thanks very much. And on that note, if there are no further inputs, I declare the morning session closed, and I wish you all a really good lunch. And we'll see you back at 3:00 for the joint session on the IGF+ and the High-Level Panel on Digital Cooperation.
Thanks very much, everyone. And thanks, everyone, who took the time to give input.
[ Applause ]
>>CHAIR ESTERHUYSEN: Good afternoon, ladies and gentlemen.
Please take a seat. We'll be starting.
Okay. Good afternoon. My name is Anriette Esterhuysen. I'm from South Africa, and I'm currently the chair of the Multistakeholder Advisory Group of the Internet Governance Forum.
I want to welcome all the non-MAG members and representatives, delegates from missions who have joined us and others who have joined us for the session this afternoon. I want to welcome you on behalf of myself and on behalf of the MAG. And I see the room has just been entered by the co-chair of the IGF for this year, Ms. Wanda Buk.
That's fine. That's absolutely fine.
I'll just wait for her to take a seat.
So very briefly, the context of this meeting is that it's coinciding with the first meeting and Open Consultation of the Internet Governance Forum Multistakeholder Advisory Group. For those of you that are not part of the IGF process, the Internet Governance Forum works in a bottom-up and inclusive way, and we start our year's work always with an Open Consultation where we listen to the community, we listen to stakeholders from government, civil society, business, technical community and others to get a sense of what we can do as the organizers of the annual Internet Governance Forum to respond to needs and priorities, and to make the IGF a living and relevant process that adds value to the multitude of Internet policy work that's done by governments and others throughout the year.
And this meeting is for us a special opportunity to ask the IGF to invite and have a shared briefing and consultation with another very significant process, and that's the process convened by the U.N. Secretary-General known as the U.N. SG's High-Level Panel on Digital Cooperation. This panel, a multistakeholder panel, was convened in 2018, if I remember correctly, and took on the challenge of addressing gaps in digital cooperation that had been recognized and that had emerged in other processes. And they produced last year a very substantial report on digital cooperation with some recommendations, which they are now in the process of -- of consulting, briefing, and engaging others in implementation.
This particular session this afternoon is for us an opportunity to do two things. Firstly, as the IGF MAG and UN DESA and the secretariat of the IGF, which is where the IGF sits, it's an opportunity for us to share with you some of the outcomes and successes of the IGF 2019 which concluded in Berlin in December, and to get general feedback I think particularly from missions but not only from missions, from any other stakeholder group in the room of what you feel are the Internet policy issues and priorities that an IGF can respond to usefully. What are the issues? What are the thematic and content issues and policy challenges that you are facing that the IGF can usefully take on?
And, secondly, it's also an opportunity for the IGF, as a platform for open dialogue and engagement and cooperation, that's in the DNA of the IGF, to provide a platform for the office of the Undersecretary-General. You'll meet him soon, he'll be speaking to us, manufacture Fabrizio Hochschild who is the Under-Secretary-General for the U.N. 75th anniversary, but also who has been steering this process of the High-Level Panel on Digital Cooperation to provide them with an opportunity to share their progress and their challenges and their ideas about increasing digital cooperation. And along with the USG's office, they are also champions and key constituents who have committed to be part of this process.
And we're hoping that by having this joint session, we'll create more inclusion, more transparency, more participation, but I think also more mutual benefit for the IGF. Any conversation about the challenges of digital cooperation can provide us with useful input to reinforce the ongoing self-improvement is the term we tend to use in the IGF, the process of enhancing the IGF and making the IGF process more substantial and more valuable. And keep in mind that when I talk about the IGF process, I'm not just talking about the global annual event. The IGF has evolved into this system of processes which includes national and regional Internet Governance Forums, it includes dynamic coalitions, groups of self-organized institutions and individuals that work on particular thematic areas. And it also includes Best Practice Forums where you have again teams of self-organized people and identifying and extracting and documenting best practices and responding to particular policy issues.
So the IGF is in its very nature a process that improves every year, or tries to improve every year, and so we feel that this discussion about taking forward the recommendations of the panel will also have some useful input for us to process and to try to integrate. So we see this as a mutually beneficial, reinforcing and collaborative process that will add value to all our work separately and to our collective goals and our vision for more cooperation and more collaboration across all stakeholder groups and across the vast range of issues that fall under digital operation but that also fall under what we see as the umbrella of Internet governance.
And so we have this afternoon, and do not forget there will be a reception after the proceedings, and you'll hear more about where that is and how that is, but on this I would like to hand over to Fabrizio Hochschild who is joining us remotely from New York. And I think he's ready and waiting, and we'll hear from him, and then we'll move onto our co-organizers.
Fabrizio, are you there?
>>FABRIZIO HOCHSCHILD: I'm here. I'm here. Can you hear me all right?
>>CHAIR ESTERHUYSEN: Good. You can go ahead.
Put your headsets on, and then you'll here Fabrizio much more clearly, and his face will be on screen shortly.
Over to you Fabrizio.
>>FABRIZIO HOCHSCHILD: Thank you. Thank you so much, Anriette. Thank you so much, Switzerland, for convening this. A very good morning to you from New York, or good afternoon. It's a pleasure to be with you.
You know, my name is Fabrizio Hochschild. I support the Secretary-General both in the preparations and execution of his vision for how he wishes to mark the 75th anniversary of the U.N., which is very much focused about getting feedback globally from people across the world about how the U.N. can better address emerging threats and threats to the future, and then my other hat is to support the Secretary-General on issues related to new technologies, and in particular with a follow-up of the high-level panel.
Behind the high-level panel, as you alluded to, Anriette, was a sent sense that there's a deficit in global cooperation to steer digital technologies to maximize the benefits while containing their abuse, their misuse, or their unintended consequences. And the result of that deficit was a plethora alongside the innumerable benefits, a plethora of harms, and also the danger, and some would say the reality of the fragmentation of the Internet as people reacted to perceptions of these harms by trying to erect walls in cyberspace.
So the Secretary-General convened the panel to have recommendations how we can overcome some of the divides, real or imagined, related to these new technologies. And the panel came up with a series of recommendations which we're now consulting on, seeing what already exists in terms of their implementation, where the gaps are, and how we can bring ongoing efforts to scale.
We're doing this very much in the spirit of the IGF, very much in the spirit of the MAG itself through multistakeholder fora. And this is something of a first for the U.N. So based on expressions of interest, we've convened these multistakeholder groups to map the actions that are already happening under each recommendation to identify where the gaps are and to see what in the recommendation, what should be done to further the implementation of the recommendation or, where appropriate, maybe change the recommendation. And that process, which started just before the end of the year, will lead to, in the initial -- as an initial output, a roadmap, a proposed roadmap for the Secretary-General on the way forward.
And we're very grateful to those organizations, those countries and those industry members or academic institutions who have joined this effort. And of course the effort is open, so anybody is still free to join who may have a particular interest in advancing this or that recommendation.
We are posting on our website the outcomes of the first discussions we had before Christmas. Some of the -- Some of the notes are already up. Others will be up in the coming days.
Of course one of the major recommendations was the idea to further strengthen or improve...
Geneva, I stopped because apparently I can't be heard.
Geneva, I don't know if you can hear me, but I'm on standby to continue if you give a signal.
You're talking to me. I can't hear you.
It seems I'm back on.
For those online who apparently can hear me, it would seem I'm connected to everybody online, but what has been lost is the bridge to Geneva.
I'll stay on standby.
>> Hello. It seems back now.
>>FABRIZIO HOCHSCHILD: Geneva, this is New York. Can you hear me now? Should I go ahead?
>> Yes, Fabrizio, we can hear you again.
>>CHAIR ESTERHUYSEN: (No audio).
>>FABRIZIO HOCHSCHILD: Sorry. Anriette, I see you're speaking, but I can't hear what you're saying.
>>CHAIR ESTERHUYSEN: (No audio).
Try again. Can I confirm, can you hear me? Transcribers can't hear me.
>>CHENGETAI MASANGO: But we can hear Fabrizio; right?
>>FABRIZIO HOCHSCHILD: Okay. Anriette, I can --
>>CHAIR ESTERHUYSEN: You can hear me now?
>>FABRIZIO HOCHSCHILD: I can hear you loud and clear. Should I start from the beginning? I don't know where I was cut off.
>>CHAIR ESTERHUYSEN: Fabrizio, we just looked into that. So we would like you to go back to where you talked about how people can join and others can join in the process.
So I'm really, really sorry about this. But you do need to go back a little bit.
>>FABRIZIO HOCHSCHILD: No, no. This happens. Anyway.
>>CHAIR ESTERHUYSEN: So we -- you have the floor. Please continue.
We're ready to go. We have Fabrizio back. Have your headsets on. And apologies to everyone.
Back to you, Fabrizio.
>>FABRIZIO HOCHSCHILD: Thank you, Anriette, and greetings again to everyone.
Just to go back, I'm charged with the follow-up to the high-level panel report. When the high-level panel came out, we sent it to over 500 stakeholders soliciting feedback. Over 100 responded. And based on the interest expressed and views of the hundred that responded, we formed these multistakeholder groups to follow up on each recommendation.
We had the first round of discussions just before Christmas by each of these eight multistakeholder groups. We're in the process of putting up on the U.N. Web site and on the Digital Cooperation Web site the outcome of those discussions. You'll see there the composition of each group. The groups are open. I mean, the more interested parties -- we just want to keep it multistakeholder. We want to have a balance between North and South.
But having said that, while ensuring diversity, the more interest there is in joining these groups, the better. So everybody's welcome. And if there are any queries about how we set this up, how we went about this, what we mean by this in this or that note, my colleagues -- I mean, David Kelly who many of you know well, we're totally at your disposal.
So, please, if there's any sense that information is lacking, press us for it, and we will do our utmost to be -- to continue to be responsive.
And if there's interest in joining the process, please express their interest. But do look at the notes we've put from the first roundtables up on the Web site. And more will be coming in the coming days.
And, of course, as I was noting, one of the chief recommendations is the idea for further strengthening or, to use Anriette's word, further improving the IGF, and trying to position the IGF to be a strong contributor, not in competition, but in complement to the many other mechanisms that already exist, to global Internet governance, taking advantage of its unique or pretty unique multistakeholder fora and its long and distinguished roots in the WSIS process.
But as you -- many will recall, the secretary-general in Berlin suggested that the forum should transform into a platform where government representatives from all parts of the world -- and I'm quoting -- along with companies, technical experts, and civil society, can come together to share policy expertise, debate emerging technologies, and agree -- and I guess this would be the new element -- agree on some basic common principles and take these ideas back to appropriate norm-setting fora.
So there's no aspiration for the IGF itself to become a norm-setting fora, but there is an aspiration to position it to better feed into existing norm-setting fora, the national, regional, and global level.
And at the IGF in Berlin, some concerns were expressed that perhaps by calling upon it to have agreed outcomes, that could jeopardize the quality and the debates at the IGF itself. I think there are ways around that. There are other multistakeholder U.N. bodies where there are very substantive discussions notwithstanding the pursuit also of outcomes. So I think trying to have outcomes doesn't necessarily have to dumb down the debate.
But I think these issues do have to be considered. Also, another concern raised in Berlin was how do you ensure the connectivity tissue through norm-setting fora. And I think there are ways around that. I think the innovation of the IGF this year of interim prom, having a high-level segment, ensuring strong participation of parliamentarians, those are two ways that you can try to get connection to the normative tissue in ways that would ensure a greater impact of outcomes.
But we're very glad that, you know, we have -- Germany and the UAE have taken on the task of leading a multistakeholder group to come up with much more detailed recommendations based on the outcome of the high-level panel report. And no doubt, the discussion today will also be an important contributor to that.
I think we're all aware of the challenges we're trying to contain. Perhaps the principal challenge is the fragmentation of the World Wide Web. Perhaps the principal challenge is the growth of harmful use and lack of security in digital technologies. And, of course, the IGF can't on its own be the magical solution to such enormous challenges, but we believe it can be positioned to build on its formidable strengths to make a greater contribution to tackling some of these challenges.
So that's where we stand. And we hope very much for your support in continuing this process and for fine-tuning the recommendations and for contributing to advancing them as and where appropriate.
And I wish you all the best in your deliberations today. And we very much look forward to learning of the outcomes being able to integrate the views that emerge in our own processes.
>>CHAIR ESTERHUYSEN: Thank you very much for that, Fabrizio.
And we will produce as an output of this afternoon's session a summary of discussions, which we will share and which we trust will be of value to yourselves and the champions and key constituents, as well as to the IGF MAG.
Ambassador Thomas Schneider, you have the floor again.
>>THOMAS SCHNEIDER: Thank you, and hello again.
So I hope that technology now works.
So, again, we really enjoyed the IGF in Berlin and would like to thank our German friends again for this and at the same time also thank the UAE and Germany for signing up as champions to lead the process with regard to discussing implementation of recommendation 5, which is, in our view, one of the key recommendations of the high-level panel report, because it tries to improve the architecture that should deliver progress on all the substantive areas of the other recommendations. So for us, this is really a crucial part.
And we propose to facilitate this meeting or this discussion here this afternoon because we are convinced that of the gaps identified in the report in the digital cooperation architecture, the IGF has a great potential to actually help filling these gaps through developing into being -- into this horizontal, networked architecture that is described in various variations in the three proposed options or models in the report.
So -- and also the discussion in Berlin has shown that there is very great interest in discussing this issue of how to use the IGF for basis to develop something that would actually, then, fill the gaps that are identified in the report.
So -- and already now the IGF is fulfilling some of the functions that are described in the report that have been discussed, in particular, the dialogue function, some things may need to be strengthened, like the support function. This is probably one of the key issues. And the IGF has also proven over its existence that it is able to develop itself further. This is not the first time that we are discussing how to improve and further develop the IGF. There has been a report and a process facilitated by the CSTD already some time ago, and we are convinced that when we now start discussing the IGF, the last experience with the IGF in Germany, that that can be one of the inputs and one of the bases on developing concrete ideas on how to bring this forward.
So we were hoping that today we'll get into the concrete depths that you think are important that they are filled and what we can do concretely based on the IGF and the IGF+ model, or whatever you call it in the end, and hope for an interesting debate that will, as Anriette has already said, feed back into the process.
And, of course, now we depend on technology this afternoon. In the evening, we'll be, unfortunately, disconnected. Then again, hope the discussions will also continue at the reception, at least with the ones present. So this is just the beginning of the discussions, I guess.
>>CHAIR ESTERHUYSEN: Thank you very much, Thomas.
And so don't be intimidated by this very fragmented agenda you see in front of you. This agenda was developed by committee, and I think it was developed by committee while some of them were still trying to be on holiday, shortly after new year, or even between Christmas and new year.
Essentially, this afternoon's session has two parts. The first part, which we'll now go into, which will be quite brief, is just updating everyone present on the IGF+ 2019, and then to give you an opportunity to talk about what you feel would be useful priorities for the IGF+ to address in 2020. So that will be quite brief.
And then we'll move on to the substantive, the larger part of this afternoon's session, which is to look at recommendation 5. And I know -- I will make sure that recommendation 5 is explained to you in greater detail. And how to move forward with that process.
So with that, I'd like to give the floor to Rudolf Gridl from Germany, who was one of the key people, if not the key person, who steered IGF+ Berlin, with the cooperation of many others, into being really hugely successful IGF+. Just to give us a sense of what the innovations and outcomes and outputs were of the IGF+ in Berlin.
>>RUDOLF GRIDL: Thank you very much, Anriette, for giving me the floor, and good afternoon, to everybody.
Thank you to you and to Switzerland for having taken the initiative for this session. I think it is very timely and very important to have this kind of transparency and input-oriented exercise at the beginning of the year, at the first MAG and open consultations. So thank you very much for that.
Concerning IGF+ 2019, of course we already were aware of the work that was going on in the High-Level Panel on Digital Cooperation when we started to think about what could be a good IGF+ in Berlin, what could be the elements of a good IGF+ in Berlin. We had in July the report that has already been talked about. And we are very happy to witness that these two processes, the IGF+ MAG process and the HLPDC process that were at the very beginning parallel processes, are converging more and more. And that is, I think, a very good development, because the IGF+ has been one of the three elements in the pro- -- in the report, as called the IGF+, that could be developed upon further.
So what that -- did that mean for the IGF+ 2019 in Berlin?
We took up concerns that had been -- that had been taken to us from the report, but also from others, that there was not enough involvement of the global South. We managed to have more participants from Africa, from the global South, from Latin America, from Asia, from many countries that had not been present before. We could deblock some money for traveling fund for the U.N.
We had for the first time the parliamentarians. Fabrizio has mentioned it. That was an innovation. And it is also the element of making a link between what's happening on the international level to the national legislatures. And we had this high-level leaders' track, where we had, like, 30 ministers and vice ministers from all over the world, but also business leaders from various branches of industry, not only from the tech industry, including SMEs, which are, in Germany, but I think in many countries, a very important element of the economic development.
And we hoped that we could manage by having these new elements to make the IGF+ a little bit more relevant for stakeholder groups that were not active before and also to reach out to a more globally balanced participation.
I think these are elements that we can build upon if we are now thinking about what does it mean to have an IGF+ or whatever new model comes out of this process described by Fabrizio Hochschild. And I'm very happy to hear also today from all the distinguished delegates what their input and their visions would be on that.
And thank you very much to our chair, and give it back to you.
>>CHAIR ESTERHUYSEN: Thanks for that, Rudolf.
We won't go into detailed presentation of the IGF+ 2019 outputs, but I just want to alert you to their existence and the fact that you can access them on the IGF+ Web site.
And I'll just review very briefly what they are.
The IGF+ is this huge self-organized event with inputs from multiple stakeholders. The program is designed by the MAG, or I would say it is nurtured by the MAG. But the actual input comes from the community.
So you have a variety of different types of IGF+ outputs. And if you go to the IGF+ Web site, you'll be able to look at them. And we'll put this in the output document of this event.
But firstly, there are messages. We refer to them as Berlin IGF+ messages. And they synthesize -- they don't summarize. I think they extract key elements of discussions that took place along the three thematic tracks of IGF+ 2019. And those tracks were data governance, a huge area that includes a range of issues that fall under that umbrella. That was one of the main tracks.
The second one is digital inclusion. And, again, that covers a whole range of issues. And if you look at IGF+ messages, you'll get a sense of what the diversity of issues were that were discussed.
And then the third track was security, safety, stability, and resilience. And the messages are not all that there is, but they'll give those who were not at the event a sense of what the highlights were. And then it's possible to go and look at detailed session reports and get more of a sense of some of the specific issues that were discussed.
Aside from those Berlin IGF+ messages, there's also other types of outputs. The IGF+ has what is known as intersessional work. That is work that's done throughout the year by Best-practice forums and dynamic coalitions. And I won't go into detail again. You can find that on the IGF+ Web site.
But in Berlin, there were four best practice forums. And what these best practice forums do is, in the area that they're tackling, they do research. They listen to stories. They gather examples. And then they synthesize that into quite substantive outputs which really can be very useful to you as policymakers and as implementers.
The four best practice forums we had in 2019 were cybersecurity. That's an ongoing best practice forums. And they cover different areas every year. They looked at implementation of norms in the cybersecurity field.
There's a Best Practice Forum on Gender and Access. In 2019, these best practice forums looked at the digital economy and the participation of women and gender-diverse people in the digital economy. What are the policy -- what, as an enabling environment at the level of policy and other resources, what is needed to ensure effective participation in the digital economy?
There was a best practice forum on Internet of things. And that, I cannot remember exactly what it covered. In fact, I see the coordinator or the support consultant of that Best Practice Forum.
Tell us briefly what you did or one of the MAG members, what did IOT cover in 2019, in one sentence?
>>WIM DEGEZELLE -- can be used to help solving societal challenges, all kinds of challenges.
And in the second step, to be able to do that, it looked at how policymakers can help and what challenges they have. Three types of challenges. They could help to establish trust in the technologies. They could help to develop technologies. And -- well, develop the technologies, and help them spread. And the last thing, we all know there is a lot of discussion around data and privacy, data, and related issues. They also should look at that. So those were the three topics.
>>CHAIR ESTERHUYSEN: Thanks very much for that one.
And then the best practice forum on local content looked at how the digitization of local content can be a way of responding to the challenge of language diversity and cultural heritage and history being threatened by social and political upheaval. And, again, there's a very comprehensive report with recommendations on what to consider, from intellectual property provisions to ensuring that digitization processes of cultural heritage are inclusive and actually create opportunities for the communities whose heritage it is that's being digitized.
So thanks very much, you know, for the secretariat for doing such a good job in documenting these. And we will, in our summary of this afternoon's session, give you more intuitive links to this.
But I really do want to stress for those people who are not on the MAG, the IGF+ produces more outputs than you might think it does. And, in fact, it's so vast that it can be difficult to navigate. But they really are useful and concrete research often -- it's not just opinions and debate and dialogue and -- that you can use to inform your work in this area.
On that note, I want to just open the floor if there are any questions about the IGF+ 2019 process and the outputs and outcomes, and also, particularly for those who are not on the MAG, what you see on the horizon of Internet policy and governance and issues and challenges or topics that you think the IGF+ MAG should consider when it plans the program for 2020, which will be hosted in Poland. And we have our Polish host team present if you have any questions as well.
I open the floor to questions, focusing on IGF+ 2020.
We -- You can just raise your flag. You don't need to use the online system, the online queuing system.
So if there's anyone in the room who wants to contribute.
So I see there's a request for the floor from Bill Drake. You can introduce yourself, Bill. And others please put your flags up in the meantime.
Bill, you have the floor. And introduce yourself.
>>WILLIAM DRAKE: I'm Bill Drake from the University of Zurich, and longtime IGF+er involved from before the beginning, including the Working Group on Internet Governance that put together the proposal for the mandate for the IGF+.
I would make one suggestion out of just my -- it reflects my own interest, but I think it also is something where there's an actual need in the international community, which is that increasingly, a lot of Internet-related issues are being driven into economic and especially trade policy forums. And they do negotiate binding agreements in fairly closed manners that don't allow for multistakeholder discussion or input. And the WTO is currently engaged in trying to reach an agreement, pluriliteral agreement, on digital trade that I think would have a substantial impact on different aspects of the Internet with regard to how data flows and so on, that matter.
And there's no other place to really have any structured dialogue about this. The WTO has a public forum that it does once a year, but those public forums, having spoken at them a number of times, I can tell you that the agenda is completely controlled by the staff, and it's not a criticism, it's simply the way they do it. And it's just little workshops. It's not larger-scale discussions that are really kind of open engagements.
UNCTAD does some stuff along these lines, but they have their own kinds of factors that are shaping and it's not a space that has historically attracted a lot of people from the Internet governance kind of community, the stakeholders that have engaged from WSIS and before in and around these kinds of issues that we deal with here.
So I would simply say that since the WTO is hoping to have a final agreement in June, which either will succeed or crash or burn and then there will be requests of what to do next, and similarly, in parallel, there's a whole bunch of pluri-lateral and bilateral agreements being formed, it's a space that at least some amount of time in a more focused way maybe could be given to -- on the program.
>>CHAIR ESTERHUYSEN: Thanks for that, Bill. And that's very topical.
There were some workshops on that topic in Berlin, if I remember correctly.
>>WILLIAM DRAKE: There was, yes. There were more in previous years.
>>CHAIR ESTERHUYSEN: Any other comments or suggestions while you consider whether you want to take the floor or not. I can share that based on the call for input that the secretariat put out in December, which we do every year, what we heard from people who responded is that climate change and the environmental impact of ICTs are definitely -- is definitely an important issue.
I think we also got feedback from our open call that the tracks in Berlin are still relevant. So digital inclusion, data governance, security, stability, those are also still relevant. And I think the new themes we were asked to consider included climate change and looking at the business models that drive the Internet. And this issue of trade policy and data flows definitely is also a very significant one, as Bill said.
Any other thoughts? You don't -- You know, you really don't have to feel deeply prepared for this. Just any other topics you think IGF should consider working on.
You have the floor. Introduce yourself, please.
>>WOUT DE NATRIS: Thank you, Anriette. Wout de Natris. I have my own consultancy.
I would like to step away from topics for a moment. I think in 2012 or 2013 I organized a workshop on how to break down silos, and we decided it was not necessary to break them down but to create doors and windows so we could look at each other, perhaps a little bridge to cross.
If you look at 2019, then still there are several communities that think that the IGF is not really relevant because all they do is talk and you can organize a million workshops and their frame of mind will not change. So in other words, how can you assist these communities to engage while at the same time they have the opinion that actually something is changing not, per se, in their favor but in everybody's favor. And that is not on topics but on interaction. And that is not solved by having another workshop, I can tell you.
So how could the MAG and the IGF assist communities to actually reach out to each other in better ways?
>>CHAIR ESTERHUYSEN: Thanks, and that's important, the quality of the interaction, the process.
Online participants? Yes, we have Raul Echeberria. Raul, please go ahead and introduce yourself again.
>>RAUL ECHEBERRIA: Hi. Thank you very much. As I have said in my comment I submitted, (indiscernible) that have been identified for Berlin were very good and was very important progresses. But as I have said also in my comments, I think that themes should be more concrete. So maybe it's not only the, quote, "other topics" we have to add for the three tracks but also how we can go deeper in some of those topics.
And a couple of things that are really creating some tensions in discussions about regulations and policy around the world are, one of them is encryption. So I think that under security we should pay much more attention to that specific issue, because all the risks around encryption that exist about overregulation affecting freedom of expression and privacy and other things. And the other topic that I think is very important and relevant is intellectual property. And now recently because of the new directives on intellectual property in Europe, this is a topic that is being discussed all around the world. And those are the things that are relevant, themes that matter to the people that's working on developing policies and those are the things we should discuss and pay attention and discuss deeply during the next IGF. So a couple of examples.
But maybe we can go also deeper and select concrete and specific themes under the other umbrellas, topics, areas, thematic areas.
>>CHAIR ESTERHUYSEN: Thanks very much for that, Raul. And, yes, intellectual property emerged in the local content Best Practice Forum as a really important enabler and, under certain circumstances, disabler of content creation at the local level.
If there's no one else that hasn't -- no other questions or suggestions -- I see someone right at the back. Raquel, you have the floor.
>>RAQUEL GATTO: Thank you very much, Madam Chair. I think you can still hear probably myself. So my contribution was in the spirit of looking back and going forward. One of the intersessional work that didn't happen last year but happened in the past is the major policy intersessional track which is the connecting and enabling the next (indiscernible), the CNB, called another acronym. And it actually started together with the BPF efforts in the terms of creating more tangible outcomes but with a slightly different focus because it was streamlining not only the work that come out of the BPFs itself but also from the DCs, from the workshop outputs, and so on, so forth, and the idea was more focused on creating these policy options. And it's not to rescue itself, let's say, hold onto the old, but it's demonstrating from the lessons learned that when it started, it was about connectivity, it was more about connecting, and then the next year it was about connecting and enabling. So it's not about getting to the Internet but what happens after you get there. And then it was connected to the -- when the SDGs were approved, how this connectivity and this access can really change people's life.
And then of course you had the challenge with narrowing down, because we couldn't tackle all the SDGs, and which ones we were going to pick. The first year -- I should know better, but the first year was education and gender, and of course the nine that has more of the linkage to work or to the Internet itself. The other year -- oh, my God. Help me here. Wim, you were there.
But anyway, so each year this was changing. And this was not only about researching but also identifying from concrete cases to raise where policies have been made and how this was changing and impacting people.
From my takeaway as I was part of the MAG and the coordinating this process, also there were people there for the first time. And they were not there -- they had never been to any of the U.N.-related or directly into the IGF, but they were there to share. And this experience has been very, very grateful.
So as we look into options perhaps for new themes, new topics, new -- perhaps we can think on how to have these building processes and where we want to get. So if that's policy options, and if needs to be more streamlined, we might revive major policy issue. So I hope that's helpful.
>>CHAIR ESTERHUYSEN: Thanks. That is very helpful. And this was, for those of you who are not aware, this was an intersessional work stream that the IGF undertook for many years, looking at policy options for dealing with the digital divide and with the challenge of connecting those that are not connected yet. And that has, to some extent, been taken up by the dynamic coalition on community connectivity. And, in fact, you remind me Raquel, that one of the inputs I received as well, particularly from Africa, is measuring impact. And I think there are several governments in particular who are interested in assessing what the impact of the Internet is. And I know there are partnerships at the moment with UNESCO, who developed Internet universality indicators, and UNESCO is working in several countries, I think about 15 or 20 countries at the moment, using these indicators in a multistakeholder context to assess what the impact and the reach of the Internet is on social and economic and human development.
But I will close the session on the IGF to demonstrate that this is not the last opportunity that you will have to give input on the IGF program for this year, through the MAG, through other processes, through the intersessional work.
I'm going to ask the secretariat to just present briefly the current timeline for IGF 2020 so that you have a sense of what the opportunities will be to participate in organizing the work of the IGF this year.
If you could just review it very briefly.
And it's still in draft form. The MAG still has to review it.
>>CHENGETAI MASANGO: Yes. Thank you very much, Chair.
I'm just going to go through the draft timeline that the IGF Secretariat prepared for the MAG. So it just highlights the major milestones and dates for this year's preparatory process. And it's available on the IGF website. If you go down below at the bottom half of the page where there's documents, you'll see a link to the IGF 2020 draft timeline.
So it starts off with the announcement of the 2020 MAG, which happened in the -- on the 25th of November. And I would like to thank UN DESA, particularly Wai Min who is here, for pushing this, and also the Secretary-General's office for the timely announcement of the 2020 MAG. And it did -- it was very, very helpful to have the MAG announced before the meeting, the 2019 meeting, because it helped us prepare. And during the 2019 meeting, we could really start and hit the road running right during that meeting. So thank you for that.
So we've had the IGF community call for inputs which I read a summary of this morning, and that ended on the 10th of January, which was Friday. And then right now we are in the middle of the first Open Consultations, and the two MAG days of meetings will happen tomorrow and the day after where the MAG will discuss, amongst other things, the timeline and the intersessional work, et cetera. So that's happening this week.
So we envision that we will launch the intersessional work on the 10th of February. That's the Best Practice Forums. And the other intersessional work that we have.
And if you are looking at this timeline, we do have a more detailed description of what happens in each of these boxes below the box.
So at the end of this meeting, we hope to have approved the MAG working groups, have a general idea on the shape of the program and general idea on the main themes as well as ideas on the Best Practice Forums. And what we are doing now is the strategic discussion which includes the high-level panel report and recommendations.
So after that we're going to have the call for workshops and other sessions. So this will be from the 2nd of March until the 15th of April. And this year everything, all the deadlines will be on the 15th of April. That means for the workshops, for the -- for the open forums, et cetera. And also for the day zero, so that we don't have this venue shopping or if you fail in one venue, let's try in another venue. So we give everybody equal opportunity and that's why we are closing it on the 15th of April. Well, we propose to close it on the 15th of April.
This also, as I said, is call for Village booths, et cetera.
And then we have the evaluation, the workshop evaluations from the 20th of April to the 10th of May. And this is the MAG evaluating the workshops and choosing what workshops will be approved for the IGF 2020 session.
We propose to have the second IGF Open Consultations and MAG meeting from 16th to 18th of June. I do -- We do realize that some holidays for the people in the northern hemisphere may begin in June, but these are the dates that we could get that don't coincide with an ICANN meeting or any other meeting that would draw away participants from the IGF meeting. And before that, we do have some holidays, like ID (phonetic) and et cetera. So we try to skip those, so that's why we're having it in June 16 to 18.
Between June and August is the drafting of the IGF 2020, the plan of the IGF Village. And then bilateral meeting request. That's fine. And I'm sorry, I have to just stop. One back is something important that I missed out, is invitations to high-level participants. That begins in February until September. So we would be asking MAG and any other person, people from the community, if you think there is somebody that needs to be invited to the IGF meeting, the 2020 meeting, please contact us and we will put the name on the list. And then together with the host country and UN DESA, we will look at it and send invitations out to those people.
If you could also please provide a justification, a small justification, because we may not be familiar with the name. But if that person will enhance the meeting, then, yes, of course, we are very well willing to consider inviting them as well.
That's to say, of course, the invitations are -- I mean the meeting attendance is open, but for those people we think will enhance the meeting, we will produce formal invitations either from the government of Poland or from UN DESA, or joint invitations from both of us.
The registration for IGF 2020 will be open from 15th of July to 6th of November. And again, we always try and stress that people should register early so that you can get your visas early, and in case there's any visa problems, we can also assist together with the Polish government, assist in getting those visas. So the earlier you do it, the better it is for us.
And then from June to November is the media and communications strategy that we'll be working out together with the MAG. There's a MAG working group on communications and strategy and also with the IGF Secretariat, UN DESA, and the host country. We'll be working out a communications strategy to inform people about the IGF. There are still a few people out there that are not too familiar with the IGF.
And then from the 2nd to 6th of November is the IGF meeting in Katowice in Poland. And after that meeting, we hope to finalize the IGF outputs, the IGF 2020 outputs in 15th of December, just before everybody breaks for the Christmas break. This year -- Last year we had a little bit of an issue because if people break for Christmas, it's very difficult to get them started up again until the 7th of January. So we'll try and really get that out and done by 15th of December, and we can distribute it through all our distribution channels.
So that's it.
>>CHAIR ESTERHUYSEN: Thank you.
So the point is there's still opportunity to participate in the shaping of the IGF this year in many different ways. Probably too many different ways because it's quite confusing. But I really do urge people in the room who have not been part of the IGF in the past to commit to be part of the IGF this year in one way or another. You can approach anyone on the MAG, myself, the secretariat, our co-hosts to find out when, how, and why it's valuable for you to do that.
But I really do urge people, it is not as difficult as it seem. And there are lots of different modalities. The IGF is a very flexible process. So it creates lots of different opportunities to participate and share your work.
So on that note, thanks very much, Chengetai, I will bring to a close this part of the meeting which was the briefing on the IGF. And we will now move into the second and the major part of our discussion this afternoon which is the consultation on recommendation 5 of the UN SG's high-level panel on digital cooperation.
To open for us -- and thanks again, Fabrizio, I don't know if you're still with us -- for joining us and apologies for the technical challenges, but to take us back and give us background and update us on the state of this process, I give the floor to David Kelly joining us from New York. David is strategic planning officer from the Executive Office of the Secretary-General. And David, are you with us and can you hear us and are you ready?
>>DAVID KELLY: Here, Anriette. I just want to confirm, can you hear my audio?
>>CHAIR ESTERHUYSEN: We can hear you very clearly. Thanks, David. Go ahead.
>>DAVID KELLY: Thank you, Anriette. Thank you for your work as chair. Thank you to (indiscernible) for hosting this event and to IGF for both attending and dialing in online.
I'll maybe briefly take you through where we've come through much of the report with the current period forward in the short term, where we're going to be (indiscernible).
We began in June with the launch of the report and consultations that took place after that we took feedback. Can I confirm you can hear, Anriette?
>>CHAIR ESTERHUYSEN: Yes, we can.
>>DAVID KELLY: Sorry. I just hear some feedback there on the other side. We had consultations informally with people here in New York and in Geneva and then we issued, as Fabrizio said, emails to between 450 and 500 organizations that were involved not only in deliberations on the high-level panel report but those who have been engaged actively in digital cooperation issues.
We then had a briefing at a series of member state meetings here in New York and we attended the IGF Berlin where there were open discussions on this topic throughout the week, including introductory and closing remarks by Fabrizio. I was also there in Berlin and was pleased to meet so many of you there.
After the IGF in Berlin, we embarked on a series of round table discussions for each of the eight recommendation areas. Now there were originally 11 recommendations that were part of the high-level panel report, but many of them were similar or connected so we narrowed it down into 8. We didn't think that we'd want to have 11 round tables. Eight were certainly enough to try to manage.
So we did have those multistakeholder round table discussions in December, all eight of them. You can see the summaries of those discussions, certainly the first three, are posted online now at the U.N. website. The following three will be posted, I believe at the end of the day today, and we should have all of them by the end of this week, all eight summaries online.
What I'll do, because I know some people have asked where those can be accessed, we're posting them on the U.N. digital cooperation website, but we're also going to be posting them on the independent digital cooperation website and we're also going to be using our social media platform. It's going to be reengaged in the coming weeks to start sending those out via social media. If you have any questions about the round table process, if you have any questions about multistakeholder engagement or what was discussed, there is an email address that we've been trying to push out everywhere which is [email protected]. Our team checks this email every single day. We respond very quickly, as quickly as we can. So we will make sure that the IGF secretariat has access to this -- or at least has the details around these websites and the digital feedback email address and that that will be sent out to everybody. If there's anybody who hasn't heard about the digital cooperation process or follow-up, we can be sure that that goes out to them and that they have access to these round table discussions.
And just to echo one final point from Fabrizio, it is that these processes and these round tables are not closed. If you're a constituent who has an interest in digital human rights, artificial intelligence, standards and ethics, if you're interested in digital cooperation and the IGF+ model, reach out to us and we will bring you onboard and include you in those round table discussions.
The round table groups are about 20 to 30 organizations at this point, and we're comfortable increasing it a little bit
That's where we are. We've had the eight round table discussions. We've had great summaries. These discussions were introductory and now is meant, 2020, to be the period of action and follow-up. Consultation periods are quite closed. We've had a lot of them. It's now time for action, and that's where we're going to be heading.
In the spring, three months from now, roughly in or around April, the idea is that the Secretary-General will publish a roadmap on digital cooperation. The roadmap will be informed by the round table discussions. So the champions who have put their hands up to lead these round table discussions -- and thanks to Germany and UAE for their leadership of round table 5A and B -- those champions and the key constituents that make up those round table groups will advise our office on where they think action and success can be in the medium and longer term as it relates to the recommendations under their purview. So the IGF process will be deliberated on within the 5AB. We are having side discussions, as this one is with IGF. We will be having side discussions on a number of different round table areas. For instance, digital human rights will be massively discussed and the recommendation will be massively discussed at RightsCon in Costa Rica in June of this year. Many different round tables are engaging audiences far and wide on discussions to follow up to the recommendations. It's a new process. It's multistakeholder. It's not something we're doing traditionally in our office. We're really excited by it. Although you'll have to bear with us with regards to growing pains and engagement. And we do apologize. If there is a sense that there hasn't been as much transparency as there should be, we're making ever effort to be transparent. We will continue to do so as we go forward. We value transparency, and that's why we're seeking to publish as much information as much as we can going forward.
So these discussions, these round tables over the next two to three months, will lead towards a Secretary-General roadmap on digital cooperation. Once we get past that publication, we will move quickly forward towards U.N. 75 which will take place in the fall of 2020. There's two recommendations that bear specifically on U.N. 75. Recommendation 5, which calls for language on digital cooperation in the U.N. 75 declaration, and recommendation 4, which calls for a commitment, global commitment, on digital trust and security. We will be accelerating discussions around implementation of that language and how it fits into the U.N. 75 as we go forward. We value input on those processes.
Of the other six round tables, it is envisioned that they will continue as long as they are useful to the audiences and the constituents that are there. The idea of AI governance, AI, you know, principles, AI measurements, AI standards, these are long broad term questions. As it relates to global Internet connectivity, which is recommendation 1A, that is not going to be achieved in the next 8 to 12 months. That is a longer term process and discussion. So the idea is that we would continue to have these conversations as they are deemed relevant.
One final point just to close on, and this is to reinforce something that -- that's a big priority for us, is we want to make sure that there is broad engagement from stakeholders of all groups, from stakeholders of all geographies. We're still far too -- in our opinion, we're still far too focused on western institutions, western organizations and governments, and we are actively trying to engage more fully with the Global South institutions, both academic, civil society, technical, and member states from the global south. So if you do have interest in participating in the round tables, I want to make this plea here that we continue to engage, that we talk further, and that you engage more further in this process.
So that's a bit of a summary, Anriette, if I haven't taken too much time of where we've come from, where we are, and where we're going in the follow-up to the high-level panel process.
>>CHAIR ESTERHUYSEN: Thank very much, David. And, David, will you stay around to respond to questions later on?
>>DAVID KELLY: Yes, I'm very pleased to. Thanks, Anriette.
>>CHAIR ESTERHUYSEN: Good. So you'll be there. Thanks, David. Now next, I would like to give the floor again to our representatives from Germany, who is one of the champions. And maybe, Rudolf, if you can explain recommendation 5 to people who have not yet read the report or were not part of the process, I think just so that we can see it through -- from a broader perspective. And thanks very much for that input, David.
>>RUDOLF GRIDL: Yes, thank you very much, Anriette, for this easy task you've given me. So the recommendation 5AB that has been talked about for some time now and for which we as Germany, together with Fabrizio's office and the UAE are the champions meaning -- not meaning we are the best. Meaning we are championing, we are supporting, facilitating this recommendation, and I will come later in my intervention to the point how we want to do this. Is the one recommendation in the report that has a structural nature. It's the recommendation that describes how options, how Internet governance, digital cooperation governance can be structured, could be structured in the future. And it sets out three different models. I wouldn't say models. Three different headlines with a little position after the headline.
And the one headline that has been mention of a lot today is the one called the IGF+ Model, meaning the IGF, that it exists, that is already existing, could be strengthened by different ingredients to it. For instance, the question of how to make it more relevant -- how to make more relevant what is being discussed at the IGF for decision-making bodies. How to better ensure political guidance, how to better ensure political interaction without making the IGF a decision-making body.
Another idea that has been presented is the one of the digital commons. There is a debate going on, what the term of "digital commons" really means. There is, for instance, for many of you who are perhaps familiar with an international law background the digital commons is a notion that is very well-known in the law of the sea or in the law of the space. It is probably not this kind of digital commons architecture that is being set out by the report, so because we have here not a natural resource that is belonging to the entire mankind, we have a privately-owned resource, which is the Internet. So it is more about the question of how to together, in an inclusive way, manage this.
And we have as a third -- as a third proposal some kind of network of networks of several layers that are already existing in the world of the Internet governance and that could be interlinked in a more efficient way that could be also be more transparent in their interaction between each other so that everyone is all the time at the same level of information and that these different processes that are going on, for instance in the ITU and the OECD and in the UNCTAD, in so many different fora, also non-states, like the World Economic Forum could together be interlinked as some kind of network of networks and out of this network of networks would result in some way, not yet defined exactly, the future structure of the Internet governance. These are the three -- these are the three institutional proposals which are probably not completely exclusive, one to each other. Probably it is possible to combine them in a way so that the best elements of each of them could feed into what at the end would be the proposed structure. There's one more element that is a little bit superseding all these ideas, that is the creation of a tech envoy. And the Secretary-General of the United Nations at the Berlin IGF announced that he will designate this tech envoy in the near future. We don't know exactly when, but this has been announced. And so now, what is our task? What is our task as champions and what is our common task?
As champions, we have taken this very seriously in a way not to, like, impose our view of how the structure should look like to anybody, but more as a facilitator, as a moderator, as someone, together with the UAE and the team of Fabrizio Hochschild, David Kelly, and others, to facilitate the process, to be as transparent as possible, and to bring on board as many views as possible on how to flesh out these ideas that have been presented in a coherent, structured, and operational way. Maybe with all the input that we will get, we will not come out with one single solution, but perhaps with options to the secretary-general. And then he could take the responsibility and choose among the options that have been presented to him.
But we -- in no way do we want to steer or dominate the process. We want to facilitate it, and we are eager to learn what are the inputs that are coming from different sides in order to then -- and that would be our task -- to assemble them and to break down the input to perhaps two options or something like -- or three options, something like that. So we are dependent on the input coming from you, the stakeholders. And in order to get your input, we have conceived a road map for ourselves, and together with our cochampions, which are the UAE, which could not be present today -- that's why I am taking so much of the speaking time -- and my colleague Swantje Maecker from the foreign office, she will present on a more detailed basis later on where you will be able to participate, you or your colleagues or your friends. We have a very strong will to have this consultation process all over the world, not only in western Europe, not only in North America, but also in the global South, Latin America, Africa, Asia, and other places, so that we can really -- we can go to the stakeholders, get their input on the ground. We don't want anybody to be left out. We want everybody to be involved in this process so in order to have a very well balanced and broad-based input at the end.
I -- Swantje Maecker will say more about this towards the end. But I just want to flag that there will be -- there is now, from now on, I am pushing the point on my mobile phone. There is a Web site online where all the events that we are planning can be seen and you can participate and everything -- the information that you need. The name is WWW.digital-cooperation -- sorry. That's my fault, WWW.global-cooperation.digital. That's it. It's online now.
I think, for the moment, I stop there, Anriette?
>>CHAIR ESTERHUYSEN: Thank you very much, Rudolf.
And, you know, it's -- I think it's really important that this work is done and that it's done inclusively. And I think it's complex work. I think some of you might recall the Working Group on Enhanced Cooperation, which was convened by the chair of the Commission on Science and Technology for Development in response to the U.N. General Assembly resolution on the WSIS + 10 in 2015, which also looked at cooperation and what is involved in enhancing it.
So I think this is -- it's challenging work, and I think it is work that needs to be done and needs to be done inclusively.
I want to buy us a little bit of time, so I am going to ask -- because we are running a little bit late. But I do want to open the floor.
Are there any questions for clarification on what you've heard thus far?
Next, what we'll hear is a presentation of the IGF+ model, and then we'll go into a discussion until the closing.
But if there are any questions for clarification that you have for David or for Rudolf, please put up your flag.
I see Carlos Afonso in the speaking queue.
So, Carlos, you have the floor.
Let's keep it to questions. No, you're withdrawing.
Just questions for clarification at this point.
Nothing at this point.
So now -- and this will be the final input before we go into open discussion on this -- we have Jovan Kurbalija, who was one of the executive directors of the High-Level Panel on Digital Cooperation, who will present to us a schematic of how -- to help us think and visualize what is meant by IGF+.
So, Jovan, you have the floor.
Will you be speaking from your chair?
>>JOVAN KURBALIJA: It's great to be back at the IGF+. Thank you, Anriette. Thank you, Switzerland and Germany, for hosting this discussion.
And a lot has been said already by Fabrizio Hochschild and colleagues here on the panel about conclusions about recommendation 5.
And as was indicated, the proposal IGF+ is one of the proposals.
In the preparation for this session, I was basically going through the document to the outline of the report and what has been done so far in the IGF+ context.
As you know, we structured the work on the report around a few issues. The first, identifying gaps; then focusing on the functioning; and at the end, suggesting some forms or solution how to address those -- how to address those gaps.
And while I was going through the gaps, I just produced a document -- I have a few copies. You may take it.
It was clear that IGF+ is already -- next one, please -- IGF+ is already addressing quite a few gaps. One of the gaps was the low status and visibility on the global and political agenda. We have so far two IGFs which were opened by Secretary-General and the heads of governments or states in -- both in France -- in Switzerland, France, and Germany.
We probably still need a bit more media coverage, because as you can recall, in Berlin, there were more articles in global media on .ORG controversy than on the IGF+, for the Working Group on the Media Visibility should put more efforts.
Then there was a question of desire for more tangible outcomes. IGF+, as Anriette has indicated, has quite a few Best Practice Forum outcomes, IGF+ message, improved host country report.
What is basically -- and I can go through all the gaps or I can distribute these documents with more details. But I will try to return to this schema and sort of visualization of possible IGF+ function.
Before I go to that, it's important to highlight that we are not starting from scratch. IGF+ is -- has been doing quite a few significant improvements. Therefore, while one can be critical of some shortcomings, one should also highlight, especially after Berlin, the major breakthroughs and achievements.
IGF+ model has a few in-built advantages comparing to the other models. As it was already indicated, probably the solution should be found through the combination of different models. But as we know, IGF+ has a mandate in the Tunis Agenda, article 72. And this -- we have the youth joining us? Excellent. Well, that's -- that's the -- that's the missing community which we should engage more. It's future generations. Good.
It's also a reminder and a reality check when we get into abstract discussions that there is important consideration in this context.
First there's the mandate. We shouldn't underestimate that, because we know currently to get the new mandate in multilateral space is almost, if not impossible, extremely difficult. And that mandate is very generous when it comes to possible improvements and enhancements of the IGF+.
Second point, IGF+ is still the only place in international environment which addresses digital issues in holistic way.
We heard from Bill about dynamics in the WTO, in the OECD. But it is still the only place under the U.N. umbrella which addresses the digital issues and Internet issues in holistic, multidisciplinary way.
It is multistakeholder. It exists, it's tested many procedures and processes, and it is a huge advantage.
My strong belief for the IGF+ community would be to consider some of those proposals and to use this context, with HLP consultations, to further develop IGF, whatever it is called, IGF+, small plus, big Plus, enhanced -- well, "enhanced," one has to be careful of using this description.
Now, the discussion at the panel was guided by the identified gaps. And what we identified after the discussion were more or less three new -- not new -- three spaces. You can call them new policy spaces or even bodies within the IGF+. But I would be careful about going too far in that context.
One is cooperation accelerator. You probably realize that we use terminology incubator, accelerator. One of the ideas was to outreach to people who are outside the U.N. and policy context, therefore, high-tech communities, people who gather around Web summit and other places.
The function of cooperation accelerator is exactly to do what Bill indicated in relation to WTO, how to connect what's going on at the WTO on eCommerce with the IGF+ dynamics, how to make these processes more inclusive, informed. Or I can mention OECD and digital taxation process, which is currently co-governed by OECD and G20. Some interplay with the IGF+ would be extremely useful. This is really multilateral framework.
Then we have Web summit. We have so many important digital events which is completely out of sync with the policy processes. And for that, cooperation accelerator should connect as many dots as is possible.
Second element is a policy incubator, a place where can, well, as the name goes, incubate new ideas, policy proposals, in some cases, even discuss possibility of norms as the Global Commission of Cyber Stability has been doing very successfully.
It was identified as a clear gap. We heard from many actors and stakeholders that nobody wants and expects from IGF+ to be normative or a rulemaking organization. But there is some hope that IGF+ could be place where these new policies and norms can be discussed and then provided to the private sector, governments, international organization for a possible follow-up and adoption.
The idea is to have it very decentralized, obviously multistakeholder, and follow the overall spirit of the IGF+.
And the third, let's say, part is observatory and policy help desk.
Throughout the consultations -- and I think that that would be the shared point in this room -- there is underlying point that people have perceived -- it could be just perception -- that there are no places where they can address their policy issues.
The least-developed countries, the more concerns there are where to go and how to address policy issues.
This perception is to some extent misguiding, because there are more than 1,000 policy processes and spaces. But one, again, should help stakeholder, especially from small and developing countries, to connect the dots, to find the places where they will address their concerns in the child safety, eCommerce, whatever -- whatever the issues.
And the IGF+ has the legitimacy of the U.N., it has the legitimacy of the multistakeholder process. It has been around for quite some time. And it could be a possible space which can coordinate the networks of help desks or observatories.
The underlying spirit -- and with that, I will conclude -- is to include buy-in for the IGF+. One element which at least motivated me to be part of the IGF+ process, that IGF+ rarely impose itself as the place to do things. It was moving by attraction, by engaging, by providing value-add element. And those are some of the value-added elements, around cooperation, around policy incubator, around the help desk. And that would be, in summary, the logic behind the IGF+ proposal, starting from the gaps and moving to the functions, and these three possible policy spaces that could be developed in the IGF+ framework.
And one last comment. We have already embryonic elements, like best practice coalitions, that could serve as possible policy incubators. I would see this progress more as evolution than revolution when it comes to the possible shift towards IGF+.
>>CHAIR ESTERHUYSEN: Thank you very much for that, Jovan. That's very useful to see it represented in that way. And I think -- but I think my understanding is that the consultation process is still ongoing. So I don't think people should feel that they are presented with this as a package deal. So -- in fact, that's precisely what this whole process is about.
So to open our discussion of this, I want to give the floor to Jorge Cancio, who is going to give us a brief summary of what the response was in Berlin to these proposals.
And then we'll open to the rest of the participants in the room and remote participants.
But Berlin was an important moment, and there was substantial discussion on this.
So just -- Jorge, are you ready to go?
>>JORGE CANCIO: Hello. This is Jorge Cancio from the Swiss government.
There is actually a session report on the session in the IGF+ in Berlin which dealt with this specifically. So I will post the link to the chat, or I guess the secretariat can also distribute the link. And I will go over very briefly, because I think that time is running short, to the main points of that discussion.
So this was a main session we had in Berlin on Internet governance and digital cooperation. It was on the 26th of November. And there, we had, amongst others, Fabrizio Hochschild participating, and with moderation from the then-MAG chair, Lynn St. Amour, and the cohost -- the host chair, Mr. Daniela Bronstrup. And also the moderation by Ambassador Fonseca from Brazil.
It was explained, and we have heard this again in greater detail now how the cochampions, Germany, UAE, and the office of Mr. Hochshchild itself, were selected for running -- for championing, as Rudolf said before, this process of recommendations 5A and 5B of the high-level panel report. And the Undersecretary-General Hochshchild presented recommendations on how to strengthen cooperation in the digital space among relevant actors at a scale that really fits or addresses the dimension of the challenges we are witnessing in the digital space.
He also made the point very clear that it's important to make efforts and progress in the inclusion of the digital cooperation arrangements, especially with the global South.
There was a very lively discussion where there was widespread support from all intervening stakeholders to the multistakeholder approach to Internet governance, whilst some interveners also made the point that you have to combine this multistakeholder approach with also the multilateral or more traditional intergovernmental settings and ways of working.
Then also, as Rudolf mentioned before, there was mention of the three models or approaches presented in the high-level panel report on how to go about these improvements in digital cooperation. And there was also mention that they don't need to be mutually exclusive and may be combined.
Also in line with what we have been discussing this afternoon, there was a highlighting by stakeholders that there has been a lot of progress made in the IGF+ since its inception. But turning back to the gaps identified by the high-level panel, there is a need to link better the discussions in the IGF+ with other processes and also, especially, with U.N. processes.
There was also reference to the recent discussions on the need to have, let's say, stronger regulation or approach regulation on some of the phenomena which are happening in Internet governance with some proposing a greater role for governments. But many also cautioned against a splintering of efforts and pointed out the need for coordination.
There was expression by some on -- of concern regarding the transparency until Berlin of the -- of this process of roundtables and on implementation on -- of the recommendations. But as we have witnessed today, at least in my personal opinion, there has been a lot of progress in that regard. And we now have even a dedicated Web site for the recommendation 5 process.
Then let's say that there was a discussion on the three approaches, the IGF+, the CoGov, and the digital commons proposed in the high-level panel report. Most of the people who expressed their opinions favored the IGF+, although some also expressed the possibility of taking elements from the other models which could be useful.
Drilling deeper on the IGF+, there was reference to the need of more inclusive participation, highlighting the efforts made by Germany for reaching out to global South stakeholders for the Berlin IGF+. Of course, all these improvements need more stable funding. We need to nurture all these improvements with support and with finance with funds.
There was also a reference that while the IGF+ has to remain bottom-up and community-driven and we can better integrate NRIs, the youth, and other communities, there is still a gap to be bridged between a pure dialogue and decision-making. And at the same time, some underlined that the IGF+ should remain non-decision-making forum or a non-negotiating forum, so to say.
Regarding the specifics or the specific arrangements, part of the IGF+, as the cooperation accelerator, there was support by some participants to this, and also mentioned that this would allow for better coordinating existing processes and initiatives dealing with digital policy issues and bringing, for instance, what happens outside of the IGF+, like the Paris call or the Christchurch call, into the proceedings of the IGF+ itself.
And, finally, there were only a few interventions specifically referring to the -- to other approaches of the high-level panel report. There was support for the appointment of the tech envoy and the need that there is a good and smooth synergies between this new role and the IGF+, recalling how this used to be in the early days of the IGF+, with former Undersecretary-General Nitin Desai, who used to be the special advisor to Kofi Annan on these issues.
I think this is it. So I hope this has been useful for all of you.
>>CHAIR ESTERHUYSEN: Thanks for that, Jorge.
And now let's open the floor to the room and remote participants.
Consider all the remaining agenda items merged.
We are now going to have questions, discussions, suggestions for implementation, and any other proposals.
The only thing to keep in mind that David Kelly can only be with us for about another ten minutes. So if there are any specific questions for them, let's hear those first. But he will be represented by his colleagues. So don't feel too constrained by that.
And we thank New York for their presence.
So, yes, I open the floor for discussion on interrogating, critiquing, and suggestions for implementation of this model, and questions to the champions.
Our speaking queue is still empty. Flags. We have Bill Drake. Anyone else at this point? Sandra. Okay.
So, Bill, you're not using the speaking queue, which is fine. You have the floor, then we have Sandra, then Raul.
Bill, you have the floor.
>>WILLIAM DRAKE: Okay. I think that the -- the framework that's outlined in the report is a welcome starting point, but I agree with what the Chair said earlier, that we should view this as that, as a starting point and recognize that more ideas can be on the table.
My predilection is to say that the way forward for thinking about the evolution of the IGF should be well informed by the past 15 years of debate and activity around the IGF. Many of us who have been involved in this stuff since the WSIS have been party to discussions about the ways in which the institutional framework could be rendered more optimal. And the high-level report I think is a welcome addition to that discussion, but it would be, to me, sort of odd if it -- if the whole discussion then pivoted only to those pages of this report, given the way the process was done, rather than accepting the possibility of broader kinds of range of ideas being on the table.
So I hope that we can have an open and inclusive discussion around these issues going forward.
My own view is, you know, I strongly support the idea of an observatory or help desk. I've written about this in the past and called it a clearinghouse function, but whatever. I think that there's the -- there's a real case to be made for the IGF playing sort of a knowledge-bank, information-sharing role that's unique.
With regard to the -- some of the other elements of the model that's been laid out, you know, the cooperation accelerator and the policy incubator, I'm not clear how much buy-in internationally there will be to launch and sustain cooperation in these manners, but if it were to come, then there's the question of operational. Are these the best ways to engineer what's needed for the IGF?
As I look at the -- Johan gave me this nice paper that said -- I could just imagine the fun you guys had in the panel drawing on a white board with circles and lines connecting things and saying the work will flow like this.
>> (Off microphone).
>>WILLIAM DRAKE: I know, but I'm sure that there were discussions like that.
And the problem is, though, it's easy in those kinds of panels, we've all been on so-called high-level panels that have tried to tackle different aspects of Internet-related policy and governance and have come forward with different kinds of models and so on, and you try to think out of the box, you try to think about new, innovative ways to do things. It's possible that we can overengineer things in that process without actually thinking through how, in practice, this would really work. How much would people really pick up this process and utilize it and sustain it?
So I'm a bit unclear about that, but perhaps these processes going on in New York that I didn't know about will clarify all of that.
My own view is that it would be -- and I will conclude. My personal preference is that for something more along the lines of the kinds of things many of us were debating 15 years ago, which was that the IGF could be a place for more structured thematic discussions, where you took, you know, maybe two or three issues per year and had a year-long preparatory process through working groups or whatever, networks, whatever you wanted to call it, to develop serious knowledge-based inputs that could be utilized in having a broad, collective discussion around those issues with an eye not towards necessarily drafting -- negotiating recommendations, which I know everybody doesn't want to do, but to at least have a structured walk-through of topics and an outcome document that summarizes the discussion in ways that capture the areas of agreement and disagreement. I still think that that would be useful, and we've seen models that work like this. The NETmundial. Even, you know, in an intergovernmental way, the ITU's World Telecom Policy Forum do this kind of like long, structured, focused interrogation of a couple of issues and try to foster focused conversations around those. And you could do, like, that in a couple of days and then have a couple of days of workshops that were thematically related that explored and took elements of those discussions and drilled down into more detail. Or as I've often thought, we could have a day that was focused on developing country concerns in particular. IG4D type day.
There's a lot of different ways to think about how the IGF could be improved. So I guess I'm just saying the model that's articulated in this report is one. It's interesting. We should certainly talk it through and try to see what it would really mean operationally, but we should also keep open, I would think, to some other possible trajectories.
>>CHAIR ESTERHUYSEN: Thanks. Thanks for that, Bill.
Before we go on to the next speakers, David, are you still with us and do you want to say anything before you leave?
>>DAVID KELLY: No, that's fine. I am here, and I have listened, and I appreciate the most recent intervention from Mr. Drake. And I think the best way to do it would be to connect directly.
So I'm here listening. Colleagues are also going to be on the line and we have colleagues in the room to follow-up on any specific questions. So I'll sign off for now.
>>CHAIR ESTERHUYSEN: Thanks for that, David.
And I think, Bill, that's exactly what this phase of roundtables and consultation is actually trying to unpack. So it's good to be devil's advocate on this.
And next I'm very pleased to give the floor to Sandra Hoferichter. You can introduce yourself, Sandra. You have the floor.
>>SANDRA HOFERICHTER: Thank you. Thank you very much, Anriette. As the new chair of the IGF, I also congratulate you. I'm very happy to have you leading us.
Actually, I prepared, after the IGF, a statement that I wanted to distribute among NRIs about the national and regional IGFs asking for support, and Christmastime preparations and all these made it not easy. So basically now I'm coming too late because, on the other hand, I'm very happy to see that what I was preparing or what we were preparing at EuroDIG basically is already implemented in this website, what Rudolf Gridl just mentioned us because you can see in the timeline of activities that it will be a consultation, a grassroots consultation leveraging national and regional IGFs. And I would take that opportunity to very much thank the champion of recommendation 5A and B to be so forward looking in terms of including national and regional IGFs.
I would encourage all the NRIs, coordinators that are in the room to participate in this process actively, because what came out of our gathering and disrespect at the IGF was that -- that we basically recommend that national and regional IGF structures to be used to support the consultation process that are currently being established, follow-up on the recommendation -- in particular, A and 5 -- 5A and B, it appears that the IGF+ model which basically enjoys a lot of broad support within the community but also among NRIs, its implementation would benefit from the perspective of the NRIs because some elements of the proposed IGF+ model have similarity with mechanisms and initiatives that are already in place or are existing in some countries and regions.
The success and the lessons learned from these initiatives could serve as a valuable input to the subsequent work on the IGF+ model and broader digital cooperation mechanisms. So basically I'm very happy to see that this has been taken into account before even calling for it. And I personally, and also I think colleagues from SEEDIG, we are looking very much forward to contribute to that process and maybe also the IGF Secretariat, Anja, could take up this initiative and manage the global NRIs to contribute to that process in giving input to, in particular, the strike on recommendation 5A and B.
Thank you very much.
>>CHAIR ESTERHUYSEN: Thank you very much for that, Sandra.
Next we have Raul Echeberria, remote participant.
>>RAUL ECHEBERRIA: Thank you, Anriette.
First of all, I think I agree hundred percent with what Rudolf from the German government said before in the sense that the alternatives that are proposed in the report are not exclusive to each other. I think this is a key concept to keep in mind, that we don't have to choose one. But, however, the IGF+ is a must in my view. So that should be basis. So we have to implement the IGF+ and components from the other models that are very useful, are very well designed and well thought.
But, so if we have to implement the IGF+, we have to on-board the word this new IGF and we have to introduce several improvements. We already covered some of them in the discussion this morning, so I will not repeat them. But let me come back to the proposal, specific to the proposal of having that high-level session at the end of the meeting instead of at the beginning to discuss the outcomes of the different tracks. I think that that idea is crucial in order to chief one of the objectives, that is to produce the valuable outcomes for the global community. Because having that discussion at the end of the meeting would give more value and more legitimacy to the outputs and outcomes of the meeting and to the whole annual process. We are now producing several outputs but they are not very visible later after the IGF. And so finishing the annual meeting with the high-level session would change that in a very significant way.
My second comment is more (indiscernible). The IGF was conceived as the beginning of the center component of the Internet governance ecosystem, and it worked well at that time because the number of forums that we had was much smaller than now. But the world now is absolutely different. There are many initiatives, most of them bottom-up initiatives where IG-related issues are discussed. So the government sometimes decide that they will meet in a new mechanism to discuss on a specific issue or a civil society organization or multistakeholder -- multistakeholder forums. We cannot tell the community how and where they have discussed a given issue. So we have to recognize that the new IGF ecosystem is a big network of forums and organizations. And the IGF+ will not be longer the centerpiece of the IG ecosystem but it will be a fundamental component of the IG ecosystem. Not necessarily the center one but a fundamental component. And this is a big change in the concept of how we conceive the IGF from now.
So if we want to address the concern mentioned by you, Anriette, this morning about the lack of accountability, about how to take the outcomes farther after the IGF, it is crucial to work on the communication among multiple forums and organizations, including NRIs, understanding the role of each of them, and keeping in mind that most of the policy-making happens at the national level.
And so the big objective of all the IG ecosystems should be that those decisions at the local levels are taken in a very well-informed way with the participation of as multistakeholders as possible, depending on each of the -- of the topics.
In the comments I submitted to the report of the high-level panel, I drew that chart that tried to show how the different pieces of the ecosystem interact to each other. It's a work in progress, I think and I appreciate any comment or feedback on that, if we can improve it, and invite all of you to visit the comment that is available on the Internet and to see if that chart make any sense.
My last comment is about the other ideas that are included in the recommendations, the help desk region has, the incubator, the facilitator of initiatives. And I think all of them are very good ideas. One thing that we have to be careful about is that we cannot impose them. There are already a lot of original forums and mechanisms, and it is important that we don't impose new mechanisms to them. What is important is that we work with them in order to build new ways of cooperation together.
Thank you very much.
>>CHAIR ESTERHUYSEN: Thank you, Raul. It's good to hear the voice of experience in this.
Next I give the floor to Paul Blaker from the United Kingdom.
>>PAUL BLAKER: Thank you, Chair. I'm Paul Blaker. I speak for the UK government. Thank you for the opportunity to participate in this discussion. I think it's very good that the MAG is having this discussion.
We have welcomed the report of the high-level panel. We've welcomed the consultations which have taken place over the last eight months or so, and welcome the strong support emerging for the IGF+ model, particularly in the discussions in Berlin.
The IGF has continued to change and improve over its lifetime, and we must thank Germany and the other previous hosts for the huge contribution that they have made to that process. But the challenges we face now and will face in the future do require new reforms and improvements. And we think that after the consultations that we've had so far, we now need to start thinking about identifying and developing concrete steps to make the IGF+ model a reality.
And in the UK, we've been thinking about this in six broad areas, and I will just run through those six quickly, if I may.
The first is around policy issues. And I think Raul touched on this earlier. We think each annual IGF meeting should focus on a smaller number of specific policy issues. In the past, the themes have been rather generic, and the danger of very generic themes is the lack of focus and people don't feel there is a need to be there. So we think that having more specific issues identified would help.
The second is around the role of local and regional initiatives and finding stronger roots for national, regional IGFs to contribute to the discussions at the global IGF. If the policy issues can be identified much earlier, it would give local initiatives more time and an opportunity to prepare. And then if we could find some more concrete, perhaps, formal ways of taking the messages from those local and regional IGFs as an input into the global meeting, it would both help promote inclusion and embed a much more global perspective in the annual IGF.
Thirdly we've been thinking about the structure of the meetings and how they are, if you like, curated. So absolutely, the IGF should remain bottom-up and led by stakeholder contributions, but they need to be curated and given a clearer shape in order to make the debate more coherent and easy to follow. So, for example, the opening sessions could perhaps present the policy issues to be addressed. There could be workshops during the week looking at the detailed aspects of those issues. And then the final day should bring that work together to identify broad outcomes. And in that way, the week would have a much clearer shape.
Fourthly, we do think the IGF should produce outcomes. It should not become a negotiating body. And the IGF should not be expected to agree by consensus outcomes on every issue, but there should be clear outcomes on the policy issues reflecting the discussions during the week. Those outcomes may identify areas of consensus or they may identify areas of difference or areas where further work is needed. But we do need to have clear outcomes.
The fifth point is around the role of the MAG and how can we empower the MAG and give it a more strategic role for this new, strengthened IGF. We looked at some of the functions set out in policy indicator -- incubators or accelerators and those other ideas. Actually, we think a lot of those functions really should be within the MAG, if the MAG is going to play the strategic role that we need in terms of identifying issues, convening discussions, helping to build an evidence base and preparing for the IGF itself. And we should be thinking about how to empower the MAG rather than setting up lots of new committees, which have disadvantages in terms of resource and inclusion and just everybody's time.
And then finally, the sixth point was how the IGF can develop more of a strong corporate identity of its own guided by the MAG as a convener and custodian of multistakeholder dialogue and a champion of inclusive multistakeholder dialogue. That means looking at having a better and clearer website; for example, clearer communications. Perhaps the chair of the MAG should be given a stronger leadership and representational role, and there are different ideas there. Certainly the outcomes of the IGF need to be communicated more clearly, including across the U.N. system. But the IGF needs to take on -- needs to find ways of taking on that stronger and more clearer corporate identity of its own.
So these are the six main areas that we've been looking at, and we hope that now we can start to share these kinds of ideas on concrete proposals so that we know the direction that we need to aim for.
My last comment is around the roundtable and the work going forward there. And we would like very much to thank both Germany and the UAE for the work they are doing in championing this recommendation. We strongly support an inclusive process, but it's also important not to forget that we have already had eight months of discussions and consultations, and that should be fully taken into account. We're thinking -- Jorge talked about the discussions at the global IGF. Sandra mentioned the EuroDIG which had a very extensive consultation exercise over the summer and the autumn.
The website, which I've just had a look at, is an excellent initiative. Thank you very much for all the work that's gone into that.
But I wonder if it's possible for that website to include a record of all of the previous consultations which have taken place so that they are not lost. Thank you very much.
>>CHAIR ESTERHUYSEN: Thanks, Paul. That immediately reminded me of my son who seems to be well underway to being a student for the rest of his adult life. So I think yes, discussions do need to be intensive and comprehensive, but they also cannot be endless. They do need to have some kind of finite point until we start implementing. Next the floor goes to Wout.
>>WOUT de NATRIS: Thank you, chair. My name is Wout de Natris, and as was said, I run my own consultancy. But also, I'm not just representing myself here but there are many people supporting in funding or in actual support to make the work I do on possible. We'll say more on Thursday.
And I said I would present on Thursday, but because of the discussion, I'm going to highlight a little bit which is relevant to this discussion. Not before I compliment Paul on his comments because it reflects the report strength and cooperation within the IGF almost 100%. And just as a reminder, that report was based on a workshop held on a day zero in Geneva in 2017 where 33 different organizations participating in the IGF contributed ideas how the IGF could actually strengthen their cooperation. And I won't say that everything is 100%, but these sort of ideas are reflected by our community. So it's not just something somebody is saying in a report but it's widely supportive if we actually start going forward that way.
To reflect on my own work and why this is relevant right now, because some people said things about we have to make the Internet more secure, more safe. We have to work together harder on that. And if we don't understand the following, that's what I'll be saying a little bit more extensively about on Thursday, is that if we talk about Internet security then a lot of people think about completely different types of security. What I've been working on is Internet standards. And if you think of Internet standards, then you reach the public core of the Internet. And I think that most nations at this point in time think that that part of the Internet should not be attacked, abused either by nation states or by other actors.
But if you go into the norms and law discussion reaching the public core of the Internet, then Internet standards are not included, as far as I know, and I take a caveat, serious caveat there, as far as I've been known and been told are not a part of official laws, official agreements, et cetera. So in other words, if you're talking about protecting the core of the Internet, which is the DNS -- the DNS system, the routing system, the email, et cetera, is there we leave the defense of that public core completely in the hands of industry and other organizations. So in other words, if you look at norms and laws and I reflect back on this document that has been shown earlier this morning by the people of The Hague Centre for Strategic Studies, norms -- sorry, the Internet standards are only discussed in a very isolated part of norms and laws which is connected to only one note in the whole discussion and that is a note which is what I translate as "should have, would have, could have." In other words, nothing is official, nothing is really documented, and when we talk about the public core of the Internet, we're talking about Internet standards like the DNS system, et cetera, which are completely unknown to most people in the world. In other words, they're totally unused. So people say there's lack of a business case. No, it's a completely unknown situation. Unknown territory. So there's no need to take a business case. There's no need to take action because whether you do or don't, literally nobody cares because nobody says oh, well done or nobody says oh, you should be doing this.
So in other words, if we talk about Internet security, the whole narrative of this discussion needs to change because a lot of people need become involved and informed. So that's just a highlight from what I'm going to be presenting on Thursday. Thank you.
>>CHAIR ESTERHUYSEN: Thanks, Wout. Next, Ben Wallis.
>>BEN WALLIS: Thank you, Anriette. So I speak as a Microsoft representative and give some sense of how we're looking at this potential move towards an IGF+.
As was said earlier, the IGF always seeks to improve the way it works. And I would see the move towards an IGF+ as more of an evolution than a revolution, although clearly a more substantial leap forward than the iterative improvements that the secretariat, the MAG, and the host country try to take each year. So let me give you some examples from the envisaged functions of a potential IGF+ of why I see it as more of an evolution than a revolution.
For example, I'd agree with Bill Drake that an IGF+ would be well placed to act as a Help Desk. And I've been among those in the past that has said there's value in finding ways to better organize the outputs and the reports from previous meetings to serve as some kind of repository of very valuable information. And separately, as a facilitator of one of the best practice forums, I co-signed a statement back in October which set out the parallels between the envisaged function of a cooperation accelerator and the way that the BPF's have worked in the last few years.
So I will also just give you a sense of the direction that Microsoft would like to see the IGF going. I think maybe this was Jovan that said this, but one of the panelists just said earlier, I'm in agreement, the IGF is one international venue where all stakeholders can come together on equal footing to have open and inclusive discussions on a range of Internet policy issues. And we believe there is inherent value in that simple function of bringing people together. Bringing together such a broad range of stakeholders, of views and experiences and ideas enables us to learn about new topics or to learn new perspectives on issues we're already familiar with. And we can then take back ideas or connections and back home with us and feed them into the companies or organizations that we worked for.
We do support the move towards clearer, more concise, and more widely disseminated outputs to represent the discussions at the annual meetings, including where there are areas of consensus. And I think there's been really positive movement in this area just over the last couple of years. And these are valuable written outputs, alongside the recommendations and the best practices developed by the other various intersessional work streams. But we think it really is important to retain significant space within any expanded IGF so they continue to serve as a forum where views are exchanged. People can learn from them, get to know each other.
So I think it would be a mistake to look for more concrete outputs or new functions in a way that would turn the IGF into a negotiating forum and would dilute the energy that enables such a rich exchange of views.
>>CHAIR ESTERHUYSEN: Thanks very much. We have two more people, and I would like us to, if anyone else wants to take the floor, please join the speaking queue now because I want to allow enough time for the champions to respond. So good. So we'll leave it open for like another minute and then, Luis, we can close it. Next we have Susan Chalmers.
>>SUSAN CHALMERS: Thank you, Anriette, for giving me the floor, and a warm welcome to you in your role as MAG chair. My name is Susan Chalmers. I am with the National Telecommunications and Information Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce, but offering comments here on behalf of the U.S. Government.
To continue my thanks, I'd like to thank Rudolf, BMWi, the German Government, and the German IGF community at large on an outstanding IGF. Also, thank you to our prospective hosts from Poland and to our co-chair, the deputy minister, for your support for the IGF 2020. We look forward to working with you.
I'd like to recognize the thoughtful intervention from our colleague from the U.K. and also some of Ben's most recent points. The U.S. also encourages improvements to the IGF and in line with Bill's intervention, there's a large corpus of work to draw upon which should figure into discussions on the evolution of the IGF, both within and without the context of recommendation number 5.
We appreciate the concrete efforts towards transparency by the undersecretary and his team on the HLPDC recommendation discussions, including the posting of the minutes. And the U.S. Government looks forward to further details and more clarity on the process leading up to and following the roadmap that was just mentioned. And especially on the ideas or goals, proposed formats for the outcome, for example, the options -- options presented to the Secretary-General, Rudolf as you had mentioned.
So just a very brief intervention. I just want to thank you, Anriette, chair, and also Thomas for having this open and transparent discussion during the open consultations today. Thank you.
>>CHAIR ESTERHUYSEN: Thank you very much, Susan. Next we have Paul Charlton from Canada. And that's it. We're closing the floor now. Paul, you have the mic.
>>PAUL CHARLTON: Oh, yes. Thank you, Chair. And I wanted to join others in welcoming you as the new chair of the MAG, and hello to other colleagues and stakeholders who are here and online.
I just wanted to make a few brief comments. I think that we as the government of Canada, we are participating in some of the activity following up on the HLP report. We're following some of the round tables, including the round table relating to recommendations 5A and 5B. I welcome the consultations that are taking place, the ones that have taken place. We've -- it's been described to us there have been already various extensive consultations, and also I thank the Swiss Government for co-hosting this consultation session.
I think there are some aspects that are worth addressing. I would like to thank Undersecretary General Hochschild and also David Kelly from his office for their explanation of the HLP follow-up process and also for their commitment to transparency, which I think is an essential part of the -- of the process and will help immensely as we move forward. I'd also like to thank Jovan for his explanation of some of the elements of the IGF+ proposal. I think as we move along in further consultations and in the round table process, there will need to be more discussions on -- on the various elements of that proposal and what they mean, how they would work with existing institutions that may be doing some of the same things that the incubator or the accelerator, for example, would be aimed at doing.
I also would support the -- the proposals put forward by the U.K. Government. I think they're very constructive and give us a good framework going forward.
I'd also pick up on what a number of participants have mentioned which is that the process of improving the IGF has been ongoing, really for a number of years, in different guises, at different periods. And it's ongoing now and especially the -- you know, the two perceived gaps that we've heard a lot about in terms of lack of focus and lack of concrete outputs or lack of visibility of outputs that I think it's very important that everybody understand that the IGF, the MAG, and the wider community and our host countries, for example, especially Germany last year, have been working hard to address those perceived gaps. And I understand the comments that more could be done, for example, on -- in terms of focus that -- that the -- the more sort of narrow and concrete the themes, the better. I think that's something that's worth discussing, and I trust we will continue discussing as we -- as we work with the Polish Government in preparing IGF 2020.
But I would just pick up on something that Ben said which is that this is -- for the IGF improvement, it's a process of evolution. And it's going to continue. I think the HLP process may be a way to kind of perhaps accelerate that improvement. But it's just important to know that it's -- it is taking place. I think all of us here are committed to it. And as we work through the process, whatever the outcome of the HLP process is in general, I hope that in regard to the IGF the result is a better IGF, one that's constantly improving, one that is meeting the community's expectations in terms of focus and in terms of usable outputs, and an IGF that is remaining true to its essential purpose and as well to its multistakeholder nature.
So I'm glad to see, and I hope to see continuing forward, that we'll all be committed to that. Thank you.
>>CHAIR ESTERHUYSEN: Thanks very much for that, Paul.
>>JORGE CANCIO: Thank you.
Thank you, Anriette. And thanks also to the previous speakers, because I couldn't agree more with some of the comments which have been made. I think that Paul Charlton just put it very nicely. We have been evolving the IGF+ along the last years in a certain direction, making it, as much as possible, more effective, more inclusive, stronger, and more relevant to digital policy discussions. And I think that, really, the high-level panel report is an opportunity to accelerate those improvements, those enhancements to how the IGF+ works.
And as Bill Drake said before, there's a lot of what has been discussed in the last years that we can learn from. And I think the high-level panel was very conscious of that and was perhaps putting in different words what had been proposed by others before.
I think also that the specific -- and I very much welcome that approach of making specific proposals -- from the U.K. is very helpful. And we can make progress in the six fields that Paul Blaker identified. Also the notion that we have to have an evolutionary approach, but at the same time, change is needed to address the new needs. That was also put forward by Ben Wallis from Microsoft.
So I think there's a lot of common ground. Perhaps this is the typical Swiss looking for consensus. But I think that's a very useful basis to start from.
And just referring back to what I also mentioned this morning, there's a lot we can already do for the IGF+ in Katowice going -- building on the basis of the IGF+ in Berlin. There are things to maintain, for instance, or to institutionalize, like this state of digital cooperation speech by the U.N. secretary-general and the answer or the second speech by the host country president or head of government. That's something that really raises the political visibility of the IGF+.
Also, another thing where we can work on is this high-level leaders' gathering. This is a very welcome innovation or re-innovation brought about by our German colleagues. And we can build on that. And as has been said by many during today's discussions, it would be even better if that high-level segment discussions are strongly linked with the intersessional work and also with the discussions in the thematic tracks so that we really make the connection between the political level or, let's say, the more VIP level of those leaders, and what has been prepared or what has been discussed at the workshop level or at the intersessional level. That would be a win-win both for the high-level segment and for the intersessional work, which by this, would also gain in visibility and relevance.
Of course, we can also be innovative. Perhaps this is more for the roundtables discussion. But perhaps we have to think about giving a more permanent or a more continuous basis to these high-level gatherings so that they help in this follow-up and in this coordination of what is discussed in the annual meetings.
I think that probably we can make progress in further streamlining and supporting the intersessional work, also integrating the work from NRIs into the program without having to put them as an addition to the program with specific sessions.
And for making this possible and also another thought that transpires in the high-level panel report and in the discussions we had in Berlin, inclusion is basic. And inclusion comes -- inclusion is only there if there's meaningful participation of those people, those stakeholder groups, to be included. And to have that possibility of meaningful participate, you need information, you need resources. And this leads us to this observatory help desk function.
And there is already a lot being done there, be it by the IGF+ secretariat, be it by other initiatives. I can also mention the work done by the Geneva Internet Platform. And what we have to do is to give it more -- more stability, more institutionalities, so to say, to formalize a little bit that network of observatories and help desks so that they give better service and help to include all stakeholders.
So outputs has also -- already been mentioned. We have to strike the right balance between no negotiating, but going all the way down to the path of recommendations as set out in the mandate of the Tunis Agenda for the IGF+. And perhaps in Poland, in Katowice, we can select one topic where we want to develop such a recommendation that really meets the level of the mandate set out 15 years ago in the WSIS Phase II.
So, to sum up, I think we have to find the right balance of incentives, of innovations, of creative evolution of the IGF+ in order to have a big "Plus" after the IGF+, an enhanced and a strengthened IGF+ which is more inclusive, more effective, and stronger, and which really addresses the needs of the digital reality we live in.
And if we get all the incentives right, I think that we will also have a big chance to convince, at least in my case, our supervisors to put more money into this. Because with more effectiveness, with more results, with more networks, with more policy recommendations, with more solutions, we won't be in the need of finding solutions elsewhere or setting up ad hoc initiatives which are less inclusive, less transparent, less democratic, and we will be able to do it in the IGF+. And if that is the case, the money will also follow.
So finally, I think with this optimistic note, I'll leave it by that for the moment.
>>CHAIR ESTERHUYSEN: Thank you, Jorge.
And we need to -- we don't have a lot of time left, so we have two more people, and then we'll go into concluding remarks.
Raquel, you have the floor.
>>RAQUEL GATTO: Thank you, Madam Chair. No pressure on time. I'm going to be brief, I hope.
So my name is Raquel Gatto. I speak also in the in time of the Internet Society. And, of course, we have submitted contributions in the past consultations, before and after the report, but also to the IGF+ consultations itself regarding the HLPDC follow-up. So I'm sure this is all available. And I'm not going to repeat myself.
But we've also joined the roundtable, the 5A and 5B roundtable, as one of the key participants. I don't recall exactly the title. But I really want to emphasize that we highly appreciate these efforts for a continued dialogue, but also the clarity and the transparency on the process. It was really good to hear from Fabrizio about the time line and the road map and where is this going to feed all the contributions.
So I don't want to echo many of the suggestions. I think we are in agreement in most of them, and they are also in agreement with some of the comments during this morning.
But I want to, in particular, emphasize the point on the evolution of the IGF+ and we treat this as an evolution. It's not the time to be reinventing new mechanisms, but to recognize that the context has changed. When the IGF+ was agreed upon, the Internet back then, or the perception and the use of the Internet was different. And we need to recognize that most of the -- what we call the upper layer or the content and the platforms and the use itself has changed over the past 15 years. And most of it is also increasing, and some of the tensions are increasing with the international geopolitical environment. So it is time for the IGF+ to also go under this exercise and reinvent itself.
So we really appreciate when the high-level panel addresses it, recognizing its pillars with the multistakeholder and inclusive approaches that have been there. And we see that from the mechanisms proposal, of course, the IGF+ is the one that seems more feasible.
And similarly to some of the comments made with the evolution of the IGF+ that we are concretely talking about and delivering more tangible outcomes, but also to have kind of a dispatch function that can be enabled once you have this repository or an idea of what is -- what are the outcomes, but what are the -- sorry -- the outputs, but also the outcomes. But, more importantly, also who is going to carry that? And if there is a particular fora, an existing fora in the Internet ecosystem that can follow up and retrofit with the IGF+ itself. So that's a particular function that could be added in this effort.
We also echo the importance of not creating a negotiating body at the end of this exercise or these efforts. There are some concerns when we try to negotiate our -- we try to put together multistakeholder and multilateral approaches, and it might lead to some compromises that are going to kill the very nature of the IGF+, the very DNA that the IGF+ was built on.
I also -- I probably am not going to do a good job naming everyone, but I believe that Paul from the U.K. has brought a very important point, that it's the time to go for the concrete proposals. I think he brought also a good way forward. As a gluten, I might say, that the only way to eat the big sandwich is by bites. So it's good that we can also break and go forward.
The last comment that I'm going to do -- and I'm sorry for taking so much time -- but it's also that as we have these efforts for the high-level -- the HLPDC follow-ups and we broke into the roundtables, this roundtable in particular, the 5A and 5B, could also benefit from having feed from the other ones. I believe, as I was mentioning in the context of the decisions around creating the IGF+ itself, some of the challenges remain the same, for example, connecting more people, and with different nuances on how to do it. But still, some of them that are the recommendation 5 -- 5A, if I'm not mistaken, and on the high-level report that brings the global activity, but also some of them have changed, for example, recommendation 4 around the trust and cybersecurity issues.
So I believe also connecting us with the challenges and the problems and the issues that are being discussed there with how the mechanisms can go forward is going to be important.
And I'm sorry if I missed this from Fabrizio's reporting earlier.
Thank you very much.
>>CHAIR ESTERHUYSEN: Thank you, Raquel.
Valentina, are you going to be brief? Because Wanda needs to leave, so I need to give her the floor. I can do it before. Shall I do that?
So to our co-chair.
>>WANDA BUK: Thank you, Anriette.
Ladies and gentlemen, first of all, I would like to thank you for this whole day. This is my first day, and this is my first opportunity to participate in a MAG meeting. And I haven't expected such good learning and an inspiring day.
I think that this variety of perspectives you have here, and it's really impressive and valuable at the same time. So you will -- we all benefit from it. But for us, especially as a host country, the most important remarks and recommendations concerned -- were about, of course, the logistic dimension and Day Zero agenda. Thank you very much for all of them. I hope you will give us more.
I really truly regret that I have to leave today and go back to Poland. But, unfortunately, we are going through some legislation process right now that requires my presence there.
But as I mentioned previously, Michal and Typiak will stay here until Thursday. So don't hesitate to contact them and give other advice you have so we can really accelerate the improvement.
But as I've already heard, bases are very strong. And this is very intimidating when I hear all of the things you said about IGF+ in Berlin. I hope we will be able to catch up.
So, again, thank you very much. I wish you a fruitful discussion, and too during the next MAG meeting. And then see you in Poland, because I forget to invite you to Poland. But you are, of course, invited.
Thank you very much.
>>CHAIR ESTERHUYSEN: Thank you very much. And we wish you safe travels. And we really look forward to working with you.
And let's continue.
Valentina, you have the floor.
>>VALENTINA SCIALPI: Yes.
Thank you. Thank you, Chair. My name is Valentina Scialpi. I work for the European Commission in the unit in charge for Internet governance. Since it is my first time intervening today, let me first welcome the new MAG members.
Congratulate you, Anriette, for the nomination as MAG chair.
Congratulations, Rudolf, once again in Germany for the amazing organization of the IGF+ 2019.
And wish the best of luck to our Polish colleague for the organization of the 2020 IGF+.
This one in Poland will be the fourth IGF+ in a row organized in a European country. And, of course, it is our utmost wish in the Commission to have another country, another non-European country stepping up and taking the challenge for 2021 to organize and host the IGF+, which, of course, will also help geographically balance the participation and ensure the diversity of participation.
I am very happy today to be joined by my other unit near me, Mr. Olivier Bringer.
And so as they say in Latin, ubi maior, minor cessat, I will leave the floor to Olivier for our contribution.
>>OLIVIER BRINGER: Thank you, Valentina.
So I would like to, yes, comment on the recommendation 5.
First of all, commend the work of the High-Level Panel on Digital Cooperation, which has produced very useful output and which is now followed up by the team of Mr. Hochschild and the very courageous champions so that the report is not yet another report, but there is follow-up and there is implementation of the recommendations contained in it.
So the Commission, the European Commission, remains very committed to the multistakeholder model.
>>OLIVIER BRINGER: Thank you. Thank you, Valentina. So I would like, to yes, comment on the recommendation 5. First of all, commend the work of the High-Level Panel on Digital Cooperation which has produced very, very useful output and which is now followed up by the team of Mr. Rafshild (phonetic), and the very courageous champions. So that's -- the report is not yet another report but there is follow-up and there is implementation of the recommendations contained in it. So the Commission, the European Commission remains very committed to the multistakeholder model, and we have ourselves implemented it in our own policy areas. So you may have heard of the work we are doing on artificial intelligence or blockchain where we have set up multistakeholder groups to help us devise policies at European level.
So overall, we are supportive, hike most of you, of the IGF+ model. We think it builds upon existing procedures, procedures which have been tested and developed by the current IGF for nearly 15 -- 15 years. And at the same time, it addresses some of the shortcomings of the current architecture. And Jovan, a few moments ago, described, for example, the good ideas of cooperation accelerator or policy incubator which describe how to address -- how to improve cooperation or how to develop policy in a multistakeholder environment.
So we have also a number of suggestions for areas of improvement which are very similar to what you have heard already from the UK and other -- other participants.
We also believe that there is a key role for the national and the regional initiatives, and that's a bidirectional role. So it's very important to collect ideas that come from these initiatives and, at the same time, to use them as instruments to spread the IGF messages to the local community.
We think it's important to develop strategies that make the best use of the information and the knowledge that is built at national and at regional level. We also believe very much in the need to increase the level of participation of certain categories of stakeholders; in particular, governments and the private sector including, in terms of vertical sectors involved as well as startups and SMEs. And I think the last IGF showed, the IGF in Berlin showed that it is possible. For us, it's very important because it's the way to ensure continuous renewal of the IGF community. And Valentina was explaining to me how you proceed inside the MAG. You have this system of rotation, and that's also very good to have new ideas, new people and new perspective. And we should also apply this principle at the IGF level in general.
It's also important to, we think, improve the operational process to set up the annual program. And I think there the MAG has a very important role, and I would echo what Paul has said on the curating role of the MAG, which is possible together with bottom-up procedures. The two are not antagonistic. And it's also very important to have multiyear planning to agree on topics which are going to studied for several years so that we come to the bottom of the topics.
Outcomes is very important. We also believe clear outcomes are needed, and, indeed, it can be consensus, not consensus, recognize where there is no consensus. This is what the high-level panel report has -- panel has done. They have recognized that in some areas, there is no -- there is no consensus, but they have not removed the area from the -- from the content of the report.
It's important to also address these conclusions to the relevant stakeholders, and that's why participation is important. Participation from companies, from governments, from policymakers as has been tried in Berlin. And I think there we also can build on the work that has been done. I mean, there has been a lot of work. I was in a Best Practice Forum in Berlin, and I found the discussion very interesting, very open, with -- For someone coming from inside the European Union, having the perspective from African, Asian countries was very interesting.
So there is a way to have this work done and to coordinate well between the discussion in the earlier meetings and the discussion in the intersessional bodies or meetings.
And my last point would be on -- and it has been mentioned by Jorge, by Switzerland. It's very good to develop a new -- a new model, but it's very important to think about the practical implementation. And I heard the word "not to overengineer." I think this is a risk. So we should always think about what is the right process model but how can we implement it in practice. And one key issue there, of course, is the financial sustainability, which has been a recurring issue for the current IGF and which remain so that there will be no better model if there is no good financial support for it.
And I would like to make an announcement to finish, which is that we, or, rather, we together with Germany, will hold a similar consultation in our multistakeholder group inside Europe, which is called the High-Level Group on Internet Governance, on the 28th of January. So for European stakeholders who want to come to Brussels, you are also very welcome to join the discussion.
>>CHAIR ESTERHUYSEN: Thank you very much.
So now for concluding remarks. Let's first hear from Germany.
>>SWANTJE MAECKER: Thank you very much, an Anriette. And just to introduce myself, I'm Swantje Maecker of the German Foreign Office and happy to be here.
Firstly, thank you very much for your contributions. They are well noted and not just in transcript but also here and online.
First I would like to respond just with a few words to the contributions I've heard here. Just a few points taken.
It is clear that the consultations we are holding now should be -- should lead to concrete outcomes. They shouldn't repeat consultations already -- which have already been done but should lead to more concrete results. This is well taken.
And also, we had the comment about the website, and I think that's also well noted.
So now to the next steps. First, we'll hold consultations from January to June. That's our roadmap. And we have three kinds of consultations. The first ones which should be initiated by the key constituents or by other stakeholders. And let repeat again my warm invitation to everybody to come to us with their proposals, their ideas for their own consultations. That's really important. That should be the key pillar of the consultations. Is today a first step, and thanks to the European Commission, we'll have another one end of January.
Then there will be more events organized by the co-champions which is our own contribution to the process, and I will introduce some of those shortly. And then there was the third pillar, which was already mentioned today, that's the grassroots consultations which will convene with an organization which will lead these grassroot consultations which should be bottom-up and include the national and regional IGFs. That's, at the moment, at the planning state.
So regarding our tentative list of co-champions-led events, we have identified in beginning of February the annual conference of the Freedom Online Coalition in Accra, Ghana, and we will hold a workshop there on the follow-up on recommendation 5A.
Then 14th to 15th March, there's the South-by-Southwest conference in Austin, Texas. And 6th to 9th April, there's the World Summit on the Information Society here in Geneva again. 6th to 8th May, there's the Republica happening in Berlin. There's also a digital society event. 12th to 13th May there's the U.N. Multistakeholder Forum on Science, Technology and Innovation for the Sustainability Development Goals in New York. And then 9th to 12th June, there's the RightsCon in San Jose, Costa Rica, where we'll also hold a workshop. Just to note, that's a tentative list at the moment. Not all events are confirmed. But we also are aware this list is not fully regionally balanced. There are some gaps so if you have propositions for more events, they are very welcome. We would like to hear them.
So these consultations from January to June will lead, in the end, to most likely an options paper, which -- for which we will develop a draft after June and which, of course, we will also share and discuss with the key constituents. So there is another round for discussion, which will then be submitted to the Secretary-General for the 75th anniversary.
And to point again, if you have any contributions, please submit them, especially on the website, which went online today. And we are happy to hear your suggestions.
Thank you very much.
>>CHAIR ESTERHUYSEN: Thanks very much, Swantje. And thanks to Germany for being here and being part of this.
And Ambassador Schneider. I like saying that.
>>THOMAS SCHNEIDER: You may also call me Thomas.
>>CHAIR ESTERHUYSEN: I've known Thomas for a very long time, so it's really fun to call him Ambassador.
>>THOMAS SCHNEIDER: You're not the only one, but don't worry. I'll be very brief because I think you've heard quite a lot of good wrap-ups. I'm quite happy with the discussion because we had a number of concrete ideas that do not take 500 years of negotiation to actually implement them. Some things are fairly straightforward. Just one thing that -- and again, it's Paul Blaker who said it, to try and create more clear tracks, for instance, at the IGF where the sessions are more connected and try to more build one on each other, maybe also with a site where you can put existing background documents, already-existing recommendations and regulations and background stuff to discuss it.
This is a very straightforward proposal. We would just need the resources that somebody, and this is what the IGF Secretariat has been suffering, to moderate. Such things are complicated if you want to feel everybody owning the process. So again, we need a little bit more money, maybe, for the secretariat, and then things can -- some things can be done quite easily at the IGF.
And then the other thing, of course, is looking at the elements of support and help desk functions that are at the existing networks. One of my favorite quotes is, of course, Internet jurisdiction networks -- network because they managed to get a number of people together that have an interest in finding concrete solutions for concrete but not-so-easy problems. And so basically the more we can build on these things, the more we can pull the ropes together, always built on -- never built on an overengineering, top-down decision but on the desire, on the demand of people to find solutions for challenges or for seizing opportunities. I think -- yeah, if we collect this in a good way, I think we can actually achieve something, not just in the next 50 years but in a reasonable time frame. So that's basically my wrap-up for today. And again, we will have a reception for you tonight at 2130 at the lake. No, I think it's at 6:30 at the OMM building, so with the DiploFoundation building. So it's just enough time to walk over there.
>>CHAIR ESTERHUYSEN: And I'll make sure you get directions.
So, yes. So some -- I do not have a summary. Maybe just some points that stood out for me.
Firstly, it was very clear that the input you all gave has dual value. It has value for the IGF within its current mandate to add more substance to the process of strengthening the IGF. So very useful for the MAG and for the secretariat. But it also has value for this process. And I hope that the champions and the key constituents in the room and our friends in New York found this useful.
I think what stood out for me is that the remark about the ecosystem being complex and the IGF not necessarily being at the center of the Internet governance ecosystem. And I think that's a fair comment. It might be at the center of the common space, if there is such a common space. Or it might represent to what extent you still can constitute a common public open space for Internet governance. And I think Fabrizio's use of the language of connecting tissue or connectivity tissue is very important. I think what is also really important is to note that cooperation is most valuable when it's not abstract and when it's closest to the ground. And I think that is a caution that I heard from some people in the room, and I think it's a very valid caution. To have a cooperation architecture that looks good on paper and that works well at an abstract level is not necessarily going to achieve the results, unless it's really connected to or reflects cooperation at the front line of where policy and implementation happens. And that's often not in Geneva or New York.
I think the other point that stood out for me is this issue of the focus on depth. I think there's clearly consensus around that, and the need for continuity, thematic engagement, linking with the intersessional process. Being selective about topics.
I think what I did not hear is how one does not do that at the expense of renewing the community. I think it -- from a policy-making perspective, it is very useful and important to have that kind of narrow focus and depth and continuity, but keep in mind that the IGF process, not necessarily just the global IGF, is about bringing young people into the process. It's about bringing newcomers into the process. And I think we need to -- we need to consider where there -- there's more directed, targeted focus, does not at some level perhaps risk that type of easy, accessible renewal of the community, that there's more open and sometimes more horizontal approaches to topics achieved.
I think the issue of technical standards and public policy still in spite of years of trying to achieve that, there's still a divide of how we talk about and where we talk about technical standards and public policy. So it was good that that came up.
And the point about the value of bringing people together, I think that was made, and I think it's extremely important. As I've just said. There's value in that. There's intrinsic value. I think it might have been Ben who said that, just in bringing people together to talk about these issues. Change ultimately does take place through people, and I think one of the unique characteristics of the IGF is that it is not just about representatives and institutions. It's about individuals, and the IGFs kind of change process. The way in which it produces change is not necessarily through excellent institutions deciding we're going to do one, two, three. It's about changing the way individuals think and understand their own work and the work of people of other stakeholders.
So I don't think we should lose that.
I heard consensus on outcomes, actually. I heard that there's -- I heard consensus on the IGF producing outcomes but that need not be or should not be negotiated recommendations. So I think that's real progress. We should recognize that.
And one -- one sort of -- something more challenging point I want to flag is this discussion of evolution versus revolution and gaps versus perceived gaps. I think it was good, Paul, you talked about gaps versus perceived gaps. I think it's important to talk about that. I think we should also -- it's very easy to say we're talking about evolution and not revolution, but I think we shouldn't let that mask the fact that there are political differences and that there sometimes are power differences in how people feel about the IGF and their agency inside the IGF. And I think that's something we need to confront. It's very easy to say we don't need revolution, we want evolution, but you need to convince those that want revolution that evolution is powerful and quickly enough that it satisfies some of the demands of those that want revolution. And I think we talk about gaps sometimes in a way that can, I think, risk masking that those -- that behind those gaps are sense of disempowerment, a sense that there's still divides between countries, between the south and the north, between different stakeholder groups.
So, I mean, I agree with what was said about evolution and revolution. I just think we shouldn't deny or not confront the fact that there are actually political differences in what people feel about the IGF or about multistakeholder approach. There are governments who are still not comfortable with multistakeholder approaches, there are other stakeholder groups who are not comfortable with it, and we do need to take that on board as well.
And then, I think, finally, really the point that was made was that we do have to work with what we have and not underestimate the value of incremental change. I think we sometimes do. I think the IGF doesn't have a lot of resources, and it feels that it cannot produce the kind of incremental change that could, in fact, make a lot of difference. And that's really my final point. And I think many of you have said this. We need to look at capacity, institutional capacity, institutional resources and not fragment those resources, and I think that's a real challenge.
For those of you who are champions of the follow-up and implementation of the high-level panel recommendations as well as supporters of the IGF is that we can find a way to strengthen the IGF and use resources that can support that new process but in a way that doesn't fragment the channeling of resources to the IGF. But it's not just financial capacity. I think as Paul said it's also about institutional identity, leadership and presence and agency. And that is something that the IGF lacks, and I think that's something that the champions need to consider in their architecture for digital cooperation which clearly involves the IGF.
And I have a special recommendation to the champions of recommendation 5A and B. I suggest you change the name. Call it recommendation on mechanisms for digital cooperation rather than recommendations 5A and 5B, just to make it more accessible.
And thanks, everyone, who contributed. Thanks to Jovan and for his presentation, the secretariat who worked hard for this, and thanks very much to Switzerland for supporting this event and supporting our cocktail reception.
So on that, I'm closing the event, thanking everyone. And Chengetai will give us directions to where the refreshments are.
[ Applause ]
>>CHENGETAI MASANGO: That way.
WMO. So you have to leave the Palais. Across the street is the World Meteorological Organization, and it's -- on the roof; right?
Oh, sorry. Second floor. Second floor. WMO second floor.
>>CHAIR ESTERHUYSEN: So does everyone have that? WMO. Second floor. It's walking distance. It's where the Diplo offices are. It's not very far. It should take about ten minutes to get there.
>>CHENGETAI MASANGO: So it's out the flag gate. Don't go out the Pregny gate. It's the flag gate.
>>CHAIR ESTERHUYSEN: See you tomorrow morning, those that are on the MAG.