IGF 2021 – Day 1 – Newcomers Track

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.



   >> We all live in a digital world.  We all need it to be open and safe.  We all want to trust.

   >> And to be trusted.

   >> We all despise control. 

   >> And desire freedom. 

   >> We are all united. 

   >> ANJA GENGO:  Can I?  Good morning, everyone.  And thank you very much for coming.  This will be a smaller size kind of intimate meeting between all the heads of the IGF Secretariat, the Chair of the IGF Multistakeholder Advisory Group and all of you.  I think we will have an opportunity as well to introduce ourselves just because we are a small group.  Probably too early for colleagues to join and too cold to walk the streets early in the morning. 

My name is Anja Gengo.  And I work at the IGF Secretariat as a program officer.  Maybe I will just introduce Anriette Esterhuysen.  She is the Chair of the Multistakeholder Advisory Group.  We will be shortly speaking about what the MAG is.  The MAG is quite a large group.  That is advising the Secretariat General on the United Nations on the program on the IGF

On the left side we have the head of the IGF Secretariat that's based at the United Nations office in Geneva Chengetai Masango.  We will go through what the IGF is really about.  What's the structure, working modalities and just maybe through a friendly Q and A to see how can you benefit the most from the IGF which is not easy to navigate because it has quite a complex agenda, a lot of sessions, a lot of people to meet.  With that maybe I will ask colleagues to project the slides and hand over to Chengetai to start with the beginnings of the IGF

   >> CHENGETAI MASANGO:  Hello.  Can you hear me?  Oh, great.  Thank you.  Well, thank you very much, Anja.  And thank you very much for joining us those of you who are here and those who are also online. 

    I'll be very quick because at the IGF we actually believe in discussion.  And we try and discourage powerpoint slides as much as possible.  So I'll just give a brief overview, if you have any questions, please feel free to ask.  There is myself and Anriette and Anja who will be able to answer for you any questions. 

    So yes.  So just very, very briefly, the IGF is one of the outcomes of the World Summit on the Information Society, WSIS.  So WSIS was in two phases.  Phase 1 was in, let me just ‑‑ I will keep it on.  Phase 1 was held in Geneva.  And when they were discussing the World Summit on the Information Society, they were discussing issues of the digital divide, the answer net was growing in popularity and a lot of the economic and social activity was moving on to the Internet.  And it became one of the critical infrastructures, this is around 2000 when they had the idea of starting the WSIS

    And it came out of I think an ITU Plenipotentiary session.  The President of Tunis I think is the one who suggested such a meeting.  So the Secretariat General took it up and the WSIS was announced.  Anriette was one of the key Civil Society players of WSIS and was organizing Civil Society there with all the other partners in Association of Progressive Communications.  And please feel free to ask any questions, et cetera, about the activities and the negotiations and struggles they had. 

    So the phase 1 was held in Geneva and a lot of preparatory phases there.  But the main meeting was in Geneva in 2003.  And while discussing that they discovered that they didn't have a good definition of what Internet Governance was.  Is it just the tubes and pipes and the numbering or is it all the other pieces that go with it, privacy issues, et cetera? 

So as the UN usually does, it formed a Working Group and the Working Group on Internet Governance which was established.  And it operated in 2004.  And it brought aboard a multi‑stakeholder body that came to discuss what Internet governance was.  And they came up with a definition of Internet Governance which was a very broad definition of Internet Governance, which not only included the physical, the names and numbers, but also the social aspects of the Internet, security issues, privacy issues, People with Disabilities issues, et cetera. 

    And then in 2005 there was this phase 2 of the WSIS Summit.  And then 97 Heads of State decided to give the United Nations Secretary‑General a mandate to convene a Forum to discuss public policy issues pertaining to the Internet.  And so our mandate is in paragraph 72 of the Tunis Agenda.  And you can find it on our website.  Or you can just Google the Tunis Agenda and you will be able to read what ‑‑ what our mandate is. 

    I won't go in to it because we don't have that much time.  And then after that the Secretary‑General decided to form a Secretariat which will be based in Geneva to help him organize and facilitate the organization of this Forum. 

    And at that time as well Greece offered to host the first annual meeting of the IGF, which was held the 30th of October to the 2nd of November in Athens, Greece. 

    So structurally speaking the IGF falls under DESA, that's the Department of Economic and Social Affairs.  And DESA is based in New York.  And we are based in Geneva in Palais.  Decided to form a Multistakeholder Advisory Group, which is the MAG, which Anriette is currently the Chair of the MAG.  These are 40 people who are derived from the private sector, Civil Society, Governments, and also IGOs can attend. 

    We have the Secretariat which I'm the head of.  And I'm sure you all know Anja and she deals ‑‑ just ‑‑ she does not just deal with the national and regional initiatives.  But she deals with a lot of other things as well. 

    And for the IGF, it is an open, bottom‑up, inclusive, transparent, noncommercial multi‑stakeholder effort.  So we really, really want to emphasize multi‑stakeholder.  We want to emphasize that it is bottom‑up.  So we are not telling people what to do but the issues that we want to discuss, the discussions that we want to discuss are actually derived from the stakeholders.  And the stakeholders are anybody with any interest on the Internet, in the Internet.  You don't have to be on the Internet, but you have to have an interest in getting on the Internet because there is access issues, et cetera, which we also discuss and try and improve.  I mean there is a very common story that we do talk about is that one of the outputs of the IGF, if you can say, or one of the good results of the IGF of having people meeting as equals in an area is that, for instance, in East Africa it led to the establishment of an IXP so that all the local traffic was kept local, instead of back in the day when you wanted to send a message, it would go either to the UK, or to Europe or even to the U.S. and then come back to the next. 

    So it led to the establishment of an IXP.  Because at the IGF you could meet with people like the Packet Clearing House.  You could meet with people in Government.  You could meet with people in the technical community.  Discuss issues, discuss problems and come up with solutions.  And we also believe that if you are building ‑‑ if you want to build strong public policy instruments, you have to have the view of all stakeholders, not just people sitting in their silos deciding what the community or other stakeholder groups should do.  But have input from all the other stakeholders. 

    Now for the IGF, we have held meetings ‑‑ this is the 16th IGF.  So what we do or what the intent is is to have meetings in different regions of the world.  So we did start off in Athens as I said and then we went to Rio de Janeiro and Hyderabad.  Next year the next host country is Ethiopia.  And then Japan is coming up next.  In 2024 we don't have a confirmed host yet.  But in 2025, we have a proposal from Russia as well. 

    So those are the three proposed venues for next year.  I'd also like to mention that the IGF is not just a meeting.  We do have a lot of Intersessional activities, which Anja is going to go through. 

    And I think that's all I should say before I hand it over to Anja.  And, of course, Anriette is going to come in.  I don't know if you want to come in now or later, just to comment. 

   >> ANRIETTE ESTERHUYSEN:  I just want to welcome our participants, our virtual participants.  And I see we have several people here from different continents, different parts of the world.  I see Keto from Capetown, my colleague from Research ICT Africa.  Just welcome, everyone.  This newcomer's session is supposed to be friendly, formal.  You can ask any question.  And you have the core of the IGF Secretariat team here.  Just look forward to lots of interchange with you all. 

   >> ANJA GENGO:  Thank you very much both Chengetai and Anriette.  The IGF is really far more than just one annual big conference or annual event. 

    So throughout the year, there are a number of activities happening.  And organizing and hosting an annual IGF such as this one in Katowice is one portion of our work.  The Intersessional work is the work that's happening between the two annual meetings.  It is substantive and very much dependent on the community.  We in a bottom‑up open consultative process ask stakeholders around the world to understand about the topics that are their priority, to understand what could be the focus of the Intersessional work, and then based on those inputs the MAG through its deliberations a number of meetings decides what could be the subject, thematic focus of the Intersessional work.  The Intersessional work takes different forms. 

So far we had and we have actually the so‑called best practice Forums which basically are community centered, thematic work focusing on as I said a priority issue.  But tying in to a bottom‑up consultative way look at existing good practices around the world, around disciplines and stakeholder groups on particular issues. 

    So to illustrate even more closer this year, for example, the MAG agreed that there will be two best practice Forums.  One is focused on cybersecurity, looking in to norms.  While another one is focused on gender and digital rights.  And in practice how it works that the IGF Secretariat is sort of like a neutral penholder.  So basically we have an editor that works with facilitators from the Multistakeholder Advisory Group.  Does the outreach.  Works in a consultative way throughout the year to understand what are existing good practices and concerns and what could be the way forward. 

    And then all those exchanges happening as said throughout the year, usually through regular monthly or bimonthly online meetings, sometimes even in person when circumstances allow through surveys, questionnaires, gathering contributions of different kinds, which we will kind of analytically look at and gather all the inputs, which go in to the output document.  So the output document is produced closer to the annual IGF meeting.  And then at the annual IGF Forum, we are having a dedicated session focused on the work of that particular best practice Forums and the output document to understand how the broader community feels about it, whether anything needs to be changed, added to the updated document before it is final and formatted towards the end of the year. 

    The same is happening with the different form of Intersessional work, which we call the policy networks.  The only difference between best practice Forums and policy networks is that the best practice Forums scope relates to looking at best practices.  While the policy networks look at a much broader issue.  What the issue is.  What's the status quo.  What are the good practices, but also not so good practices.  And then based on all that what could be the ways forward to bring progress on the issue that's mapped as of interest for the community. 

    Another big difference is that unlike best practice Forum the policy networks, the whole work is done in an open manner.  They are driven by the Multistakeholder Working Groups of experts.  This year we have a policy network on environment.  It is looking on intersections between network and digitalization.  The MAG ‑‑ it was decided that the policy network would focus on that topic. 

    Another relates to an important global issue is matter and meaningful access.  They are both driven by Multistakeholder Working Groups of 25 experts.  Maybe just to illustrate a little bit for you, that expertise is really interesting in terms of the composition.  So people like, for example, Vint Cerf are members of that group.  The policy networks are going to be represented here at IGF as well as the PPFs.  They produce output documents.  Documents which I think is a good opportunity if you would just join those sessions to understand a little bit more about what has been done so far. 

    And especially what ‑‑ what's the plan for the time to come.  And then finally, unlike policy networks, and BPS which are tied to an IGF cycle, we have the Dynamic Coalitions as a form of Intersessional work that's happening throughout the year.  Dynamic Coalitions are multi‑stakeholder networks that work on a particular issue.  They are ‑‑ they have a very good degree of autonomy and independency but they adhere to IGF principles and procedures.  The IGF Secretariat runs the recognition process of those.  So far we have 22 DCs.  Some of the Dynamic Coalitions are in existence since the beginning of the IGF.  They are focused on different issues, from public access in libraries to digital economy in small island developing states and the Internet principles and Internet Governance school and so on. 

    So I think it is a very good opportunity.  For example, you find an issue that's of your interest to join.  Not just to get ‑‑ to contribute to your inputs and knowledge to that work.  But also to benefit from the knowledge and ideas shared by other experts in those groups and to network.  Because these are the networks that are composed of people coming from around the world, of different disciplines and backgrounds, et cetera.  It is a long‑term, very useful way to be connected.  And if we move to ‑‑ okay.  I'm going backwards.  Sorry. 

    Another point that I just wanted to say, relates to not the Intersessional work, but a concept that's extremely important through the Internet Governance Forum and ecosystem.  It relates to the IGFs that exist at the national, regional, subregional levels or that are organized for and by young people.  So we call them the NRIs.  Basically what everything that's been said now about the IGF, about the working modalities, the principles, everything is applied at a local level.  The only differences that it is not applied by us, but it is applied by multi‑stakeholder teams from different countries and regions which felt inspired to organize the IGF like processes at the level of the country or region.  The IGF Secretariat is entrusted by these independent, autonomous IGF initiatives to run the recognition process, to ensure that they adhere to the IGF principles and procedures.  So strengthen upon demand the local levels.  And also to facilitate the overall coordination among the NRIs

    I'm sure that I don't know still what are the countries and regions you are coming from.  But I'm pretty sure that wherever you are if there is not a regional IGF, there is a subregional IGF.  I do encourage you to start engaging in Internet Governance from your homes firstly.  So I would be happy if you reach out, for example, to me, to the Secretariat to connect you with the coordinators and the multi‑stakeholder organizing teams to learn more about the processes existing at those levels. 

    Let me just maybe move to where we are now.  To what's here in Katowice for all of us.  Chengetai spoke a little bit about how the program of IGF is developed. 

    I will just repeat that the program of the IGF is always people‑centered and people‑focused.  So it is developed in a bottom‑up manner where the MAG calls for thematic inputs at the beginning of the year to understand what's the priority.  Then there is the analytical look at everything that's been received, which is quite a large volume of inputs.  And based on that the so‑called thematic orientation of the meeting is being determined. 

    This year has been very specific.  The MAG was very much determined to ensure that this year's IGF is as much as possible streamlined and issue focused.  And that's why we don't have those ‑‑ for those of you that maybe have some sort of a recollection of the previous IGFs, we don't have the traditional teams, broad teams.  But we really have an issue focused IGF, which means that we have two main focus areas.  And four cross‑cutting issue areas which hopefully at the end of this meeting will allow us to understand from over 200 sessions what are the concrete issues that are of concern for several thousands of participants that are part of the 16th IGF and will inspire some cooperation and ways forward to resolve those issues. 

    The narratives of the issue areas have been available at the IGF website for a long time.  I encourage you to look at those to understand what under each issue area is discussed.  As I can see on the screen the issue areas as much as we aim to be focused they are also very broad in order to ensure that the global community covers everything.  So they relate from access to Human Rights, economic rights, social rights, all the way to matters of cooperation, trust, environmental sustainability.  And emerging regulations. 

Before I speak about the structure of this year's meeting I wanted to quickly refer to the fact that this issue focused program and 200 sessions organized by several hundred stakeholders from around the world for thousands of participants is hosted in a hybrid format.  The IGF from its beginnings has always been organized in a way that it had its on site plus online way of participation. 

    But this year I think the efforts invested are also much higher, especially because we had our lessons learned last year during the pandemic, when we were all completely dependent on online delivery of the meeting.  For example, one of the solutions to strengthen the hybrid format is to ensure that we are all regardless of that we are here in this room, we are also in Zoom together with our virtual participants.  The venues, this really beautiful venue that we are in has an equivalent online, 3D venue.  You can explore and see how it looks like it.  It allows to enter every room in this venue, in this physical venue. 

    As I said more than a thousand speakers are waiting for us in the next four days of this meeting.  I think for you, what would be most important is to advise that you really maximize your participation benefits from this meeting by, first of all, connecting to people that are here.  Cooperation is extremely important.  And it starts by meeting other people and understanding what they do. 

    There are various ways to connect.  One of the ways, of course, is just by merely going to the sessions, speaking during the session and also after the sessions.  There is the bilateral room room reservation which still has some available spaces I believe.  So you can go to website if you, for example, want to meet bilaterally with someone.  You will be ‑‑ you will be given an opportunity to reserve a space for that. 

    And if you really specifically would like to meet someone and you don't have really means to approach someone, be free to reach out to the Secretariat as well.  We're happy to connect, facilitate the connection where that's possible. 

    The program as well, I think is as I said at the beginning it is quite robust.  But the good thing is to identify your interest.  You will see in the schedule each session is marked with a specific color.  And those colors belong to the issue areas.  So, for example, if your primary interest is in access then you will see I believe a blue color there.  Or if your interest is in security then just follow that color line.  In addition the high level leader's track which started yesterday on Day Zero and continue with the Opening Ceremonies in a couple of minutes from now is an interesting structure of the meeting.  Worth exploring. 

    And worth understanding where the decision makers and decision shapers on higher levels stand.  There is the youth track which allows you to meet a lot of young people.  Parliamentary track where you can meet and hear from legislators from around the world.  Then it would be extremely beneficial for us also if at the end of this meeting you will tell us what was your experience, especially if you are the first time attendees.  There is the open mic and can take the mic and talk about the experience at IGF or what you would change or what was good for you in terms of your participation. 

Finally the IGF village is on the ground floor.  And it has its equivalent online.  It is a good opportunity to understand what certain organizations do.  And you are mostly encouraged to approach those and explore those possible cooperations. 

    That would be all from me.  Now I think the question ‑‑ the floor is yours, if you would like to ask any questions or share any suggestions with us since we have a couple more minutes to go in to this session. 

    And I also invite our colleagues, participants that are present in Zoom online to raise their hands, request the floor and they will be given the floor to speak. 

    So I don't see any raised hands. 

   >> ANRIETTE ESTERHUYSEN:  There is someone there. 

   >> ANJA GENGO:  Do you have a microphone?  Okay. 

   >> CHENGETAI MASANGO:  We can start asking questions as well.  It can go both ways. 

   >> ANRIETTE ESTERHUYSEN:  Let me respond to some of the questions that have come up in the chat which I have been trying to respond to. 

    So there was a question ‑‑ so for the record this is Anriette Esterhuysen speaking.  Someone asked if the ‑‑ Jamie McPhearson, tell us where you are by the way, even if you write it in the chat.  It will be interesting for people to know.  Jamie asked is the Intersessional work program published online or distributed in another way.  I said yes, it is and I sent the link.  If you go to the IGF website, you will find the main menu bar a link to Intersessional work.  If you click on that, you will be able to look at everything that Anja described.  Best practice Forums, Dynamic Coalitions, policy networks.  The trick is to join the mailing list.  You will find a link to joining the mailing list.  In the IGF we tend to use mailing lists as our primary way of announcing meetings, asking for contributions to reports.  So that would be the place to start. 

    And then I also said in the chat that the incredible thing about these Intersessional activities and Anja emphasized this you can also initiate them.  Some of them are faulted through the Multistakeholder Advisory Group.  Some are coordinated by the Dynamic Coalitions.  If you work in an area of practice around the Internet and Internet policy and you look at the Dynamic Coalitions and you don't see your area reflected there, and you want to work in a global, multi‑stakeholder community on that issue, you can start a Dynamic Coalition.  You have to follow a format.  You have to follow the guidelines.  But it is really open to the initiative from anywhere around the world. 

    And then there was another question from someone called Jonathan to say ‑‑ okay.  So Jamie was from Australia.  Great.  I'm from South Africa.  So I hope you have sunshine, Jamie.  I'm missing the sunshine here in Poland even though it is really nice.  There was a question from Jonathan asking about UNESCO.  If there is a document that describes the IGF's relationship to the Sustainable Development Goals.  My response to that, the MAG always tries to keep the SDGs in mind in a fairly open way.  Not in a very directive way.  But if any of you, and I hope you do next year, apply to host a session at the IGF, that's very important.  The process of applying to organize a session at the IGF is open to anyone, anywhere in the world. 

    You have to follow a template to develop your application.  You have to follow guidelines which means you have to be diverse in terms of race and gender and origin and political perspective as well. 

    And you have to try ‑‑ I should say, it is not always possible to be diverse perfectly.  But you have to try.  And then the MAG will review that proposal. 

    And in that proposal template, we ask the proposer of the session to think about the SDGs.  So really we use the SDGs as something that's always in the background.  But we also want to keep the IGF open and dynamic.  And not be too directive.  Chengetai, I'm not sure how you would say that.  So the SDGs are important to the IGF but it is also this platform that's more dynamic and open and interactive.  So I think I have covered all the questions from the chat. 

    And Jonathan by the way is from Canada.  So we have someone from Australia, Canada, people from South Africa in our remote participants, virtual participants.  I'm just checking if there are any hands up in the Zoom room.  And I don't think so. 

    So I think this is the moment when one of the people sitting here in the room with us have to ask a question. 

   >> CHENGETAI MASANGO:  We are also interested to see if you would tell us why you are here.  What's your main interest.  And you can also tell us where you are from.  Just introduce yourself and your name and why you are here.  It doesn't have to be very long.  You can even say one word, security or whatever. 

   >> ANRIETTE ESTERHUYSEN:  Please.  The microphone is over there.  Just get up and go to it.

   >> My name is Ingrid.  I'm a professor at Melvin University, also Australia and I have worked in globalization and digitalization.  I have completed a big study for the WHO.  So my work is international, looking at new conceptual approaches to interdependence across countries, new civic engagement.  And I would love to be involved with the IGF somehow.  But I have joined several meetings but I never got ‑‑ how I could be involved.  But it would be great.  That's why I'm here, if there is any chance for perhaps to talk afterwards or whatever, how to get involved.  That's my main motivation.  Thank you. 

   >> ANRIETTE ESTERHUYSEN:  That's very much.  In fact, the IGF is the perfect place for you.  And it also sounds like you might want to look at some of the existing Dynamic Coalitions.  Or also ‑‑ I think if someone is working in an area of research, particularly a fairly complex nuanced one like yours, the IGF is a very good place.  Because you can get a multi‑disciplinary, multi‑stakeholder level of engagement.  I think one of the challenges of the IGF and I think many newcomers feels quite intimidated by it.  The IGF is one of those things until you contribute to it, you don't quite understand it.  You have to make that transition from being in the audience, to becoming more active.  Of course, you don't have to do that. 

    But it becomes more understandable to you if you collaborate on organizing a session, for example.  Or a networking session or if you have a booth.  And you don't have to do it on your own.  You can do it collectively.  Anyone else?  Yes, I was hoping you would because you were in our access session yesterday.   

   >> Thank you very much.  My name is Asid.  I come from Pakistan.  But I'm based in Frankfurt.  I'm an IT consultant.  I work in different parts of the world.  Right now I'm here just to ‑‑ because I'm very much interested in the topic of data vulnerabilities.  And like how the Internet is becoming a difficult place for the common people.  And how they can avoid all those ‑‑ what they are going to encounter in terms of their privacy, in terms of ‑‑ I was heading this project of Smart Cities in the Gulf region.  I understand that how much data involvement either in Gulf tech or either from the corporate sector is making very much questionable remarks.  And I'm interested that if we come up with some ideas.  And yesterday we had a couple of very good discussions where we talked about some digital Human Rights, and how we can protect people and how we can create more awareness for the common good. 

    So these are the topics I'm interested in and that's why I'm here.  I would be really interested if you can guide me on some particular session that those ‑‑ I must attend.  I would be apt to do that.  Thank you. 

   >> ANRIETTE ESTERHUYSEN:  Thanks.  That's good.  Anja, maybe you can think of some sessions that we can suggest.  I have here from our virtual participants, two hands.  One from Yousef and one from Inof.  So Inof, why don't you go first.  Let's see if you can unmute your microphone and speak.  I'm not sure, can we ‑‑ no, we can't.  Can our remote participants ‑‑

   >> Hello. 

   >> ANRIETTE ESTERHUYSEN:  Good.  Remember to introduce yourself and everyone in the room can hear you. 

   >> Okay.  Thank you very much.  I'm Inof from Ghana.  This is my first IGF.  And ‑‑ but I have been quite involved from June of this year.  And I can say that I have really enjoyed the lead up to today IGF

    As a youth being involved in a lot of the youth activities and the youth sessions, one issue that kept coming up and I guess the impression that this year is stronger, it might have been the same in previous years.  But because I wasn't there, I certainly don't know.  But it is the issue of more action and less talk. 

    There has been (cutting out).  And I'm wondering how the Secretariats and the IGF as ‑‑ an initiative where a program is taken that request for more action than talk.  That's my question.  Thank you very much. 


   >> If you permit me, the previous speaker did indicate working in area of data vulnerability.  I'm part of the Dynamic Coalition for Internet security, safety and standards.  DC ISSS.  We have two sessions tomorrow.  It may be very interesting for him.  So I want to invite him to ‑‑

   >> ANRIETTE ESTERHUYSEN:  Good.  Did you hear that?  Our friend from Pakistan, Inof just said that there are sessions tomorrow that are being organized by the Dynamic Coalition on standards and safety, sorry, if I misremember it.  And they are looking at issues of vulnerability and you might find those interesting. 

    Next we have Yousef.  If this is the Yousef from Northern Nigeria, I'm sending you greetings from Poland.  If it is another Yousef that's good. 

   >> Good morning.  I'm so delighted to be part of this Forum.  My first encounter with Internet Governance, it was a very, very good session.  Gave me the opportunity to see things in terms of digital literacy and production of local content for my community, you know.  And I ‑‑ I'm motivated and delighted to be also part of this global IGF

    And I would just like to add that going forward, is there a way that we can introduce the youngster, youngster people to participate and even in University, to participate in global IGF?  Even NRIs across our domain, because if I look at this, things like the working for the future of the IGF, message needs to be localized.  The message needs to be pushed to cross.  I'm looking at a channel whereby the global IGF can also channel all the activities to the secondary schools and all down to the tertiary institutions. 

    I'm very, very delighted to be here.  And now Anriette, I don't know what next.  I hope to get people involved in things.  And just make sure that IGF stays in our domain. 

   >> ANRIETTE ESTERHUYSEN:  Thank you.  Just everyone I know Yousef, he participated earlier this year.  He was a very dynamic contributor.  I would point you to, talked about the policy network on universal access and meaningful connectivity.  And I think if you follow their work, because I know that you are concerned in infrastructure, but concern ‑‑ concerned with infrastructure but also concerned with content and language. 

    And I think that ‑‑ and culture.  And I think the universal access and meaningful connectivity policy network is trying to bridge all of those different aspects of meaningful access together.  So they have a mailing list.  They are still just starting their work.  I think they will continue.  But I think you will find value in that.  And also this year, the IGF program, one of the two main themes is universal access. 

    So also look ‑‑ when you look at the program, look at the color coding, look at the sessions that are linked to that thematic area. 

    And just your point about the NRIs.  I can tell you that we have here in the room with us your compatriot, Mary, and what you are saying about the link between local and national and global, that's access that the IGF tries to generate impact around.  But Anja and Chengetai, since I was hogging the mic.  There was the question from Inof about IGF being challenged about talk and not action.  What's your response to that? 

   >> ANJA GENGO:  What a difficult question to respond to in less than 30 seconds.  I think there is a lot of action about the IGF.  Several of you mentioned the NRIs.  Those are concrete dynamics.  The fact that thousands of us are here in this place is a dynamic because you don't have other opportunity to meet people who are interested in different issues with different perspectives.  I think that's the biggest value of the IGF.  And certainly, especially if you speak about the local levels through the NRIs I think there is a concrete policy as well. 

    Laws and policies were changed at the national level following the discussions of the NRIs

   >> CHENGETAI MASANGO:  Yes.  Time is up but I totally concur with what Anja has said.  There is a lot of capacity building programs as well.  Over the past two years there has been the COVID effect.  But despite that we have done quite a lot here. 

   >> ANRIETTE ESTERHUYSEN:  I'm going to respond by not disagreeing but saying that talk is important.  Why do we undervalue talking?  If we don't talk to one another, to people from different sectors, different stakeholders, who don't necessarily agree, our actions are not going to be effective and that's the power of the IGF.  It is structured, effective, action‑oriented talking. 

   >> ANJA GENGO:  Thank you very much.  Thank you to our online participants. 

   >> CHENGETAI MASANGO:  Opening Ceremony, best to get there early and take your seats.  Thanks.