IGF 2020 Second Open Consultations and MAG Meeting - RIPE NCC

The following are the outputs of the captioning taken during an IGF virtual intervention. 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, but should not be treated as an authoritative record. 


 >>CHRIS BUCKRIDGE:  Hello, this is Chris Buckridge, head of External Relations for the RIPE NCC, Regional Internet Registry for Europe, Middle East, and parts of Central Asia, and secretariat to RIPE, the open community of people with an interest in IP address networks in our service region.  

 We find ourselves preparing for this year's IGF under circumstances unlike any that we faced before.  And while we're mindful of the tragedy and challenge created by this COVID-19 crisis, both health related and economic, it also presents us with an important opportunity to consider the role and the importance of the Internet.  If it wasn't clear before, it's now apparent to all just how essential the Internet is to the functioning of our societies.  And that places even more urgency and significance on our efforts to evolve and implement effective Internet governance structures and processes.

 Like so many others, the RIPE NCC has faced challenges created by the measures imposed to restrict the spread of COVID-19.  With our staff of just over 150 working from their homes in Amsterdam, Dubai, and elsewhere across our service region, we've relied on the connection of the Internet to ensure that our work, including registry services, our training and engagement activities, has gone on largely unaffected.

 Working closely with the RIPE community, we also held the first fully virtual RIPE meeting, RIPE 80, which took place in May and attracted more than 2,000 registrants and more than a thousand participants participating on each of its four days.

 We've transitioned our engagement with RIPE NCC members and the broader community to a range of online events, from technical training courses to RIPE working group meetings to informational lunchtime sessions.

 The potential for such remote events in allowing many more people to participate is self-evident.  The need to embrace and innovate with online events driven by the COVID-19-related restrictions, has led to vastly improved remote conference experiences for many users in just the last few months.  As we go into this IGF Open Consultation and the MAG meetings that will follow, this is an important point to keep in mind.

 Whether this year's IGF event can proceed in person or can only take place remotely, there are lessons that all of us are learning during this period about what is possible in a remote format and how we can elevate the experience of those not physically in the room.  Those less sense mustn't be forgotten as the possibility of international travel opens up again.  The inclusivity and legitimacy of our multistakeholder approach to Internet governance depends on that.

 It's also important for all of us to be aware that now more than ever the world is looking to the IGF and all its stakeholders for direction and leadership.  At what was already a milestone moment in the evolution of the IGF and global Internet governance with the release of the Secretary-General's Roadmap for Digital Cooperation, the COVID-19 crisis has thrown a blinding spotlight onto the Internet and its role in our society.  That spotlight has brought some key issues to the fore including the security of our networks and platforms, the safety of users online, and the different measures that stakeholders can take to ensure broader access to the Internet.

 After 15 years, the IGF is an institution well prepared to help us come to greater understanding of the ways this which the Internet is being used, the risks inherent in that use, and the different approaches, whether through policy or technology, that can help us face those risks and, at the same time, ensure that everyone can benefit from what the Internet has to offer.

 Ensuring that future Internet governance efforts build on that model of the IGF and that it's funded adequately and sustainably must be a priority. 

 The RIPE NCC is happy to be an active participant in the global IGF and to the network of regional and local Internet governance discussions that make up this ecosystem.  We're looking forward to IGF 2020, to sharing insights and analysis from our staff and the RIPE community, and to helping steer the ongoing evolution of global Internet governance processes.