IGF 2021 – Day 1 – UN OF Connecting the digital dots – How the UN System is supporting the digital transformation and the way forward

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.



>> MODERATOR: My name is Anriette Esterhuysen. I'm currently the Chair of the Internet Governance forum MAG, and welcome to the session.  We will start with a film and then we will move on to our very esteemed panel.


Thank you for that, and welcome again.  I also want to welcome all of the participants that are joining us virtually.  I don't have access to the Zoom room myself, but my colleagues do.  I urge people in the room to communicate with those online that are not with us physically so they can feel part of the session.

This United Nations open forum at the IGF is very significant.  It's actually historical.  It's the first time, to my knowledge, that we have this type of open forum where we have senior heads and very senior staff of UN agencies here to join how Internet Governance is relevant to their work and how they are contributing to the broader process of inclusive, collaborative development oriented Internet Governance.

And one of the specific aspects of Internet Governance which I think we are all realizing is that Internet Governance and Internet public policy issues and decisions cannot be isolated, they cannot be concentrated and localized in any one sphere, in any one agency.  The Internet is to ubiquitous and it touches so many aspects of social, political, and economic and security lives that we all have to engage in aspects of Internet‑related policy and governance and we see that very strongly across the UN system.

So to start us, and we are running a little bit late so I'm going to go straight to our esteemed panel, and I want to first give the floor to Under Secretary‑General from UNDESA, the United Nations division for economic and social affairs, which is the institutional home of the IGF in the UN system.  Mr. Liu Zhenmin, who is an IGF regular and I think who understands the IGF and the role and the relationship between the UN and the IGF very well.

Mr. Liu Zhenmin, you have the floor.

>> LIU ZHENMIN: Thank you.

Dear colleagues, I'm so honored to be here joined with you before making some, offering some comments.  Let me first, I want to thank Anriette, the Chair of the Multi‑stakeholder Advisory Group.  Over the past two years I want to thank her and her colleagues of the MAG for their efforts organising the IGF and supporting the IGF process over the past two years under very difficult circumstances.

Second, I want to thank all of my UN colleagues, I think especially not only for this session, but also for your support and your cosponsorship of the last year's session which convened by the UN system virtually.  This year luckily, I think, with the improvement of the situation mitigating pandemic, we have been able to meet in Katowice in hybrid format, but in the event hybrid, I think we continue to count on strong support of UN system families.

I think this process, the IGF process we should depend on the support of multi‑stakeholder as well as UN system, UN system family members.  So dear colleagues, UN family has increasingly engaged in IGF‑related activities, sharing their expertise with multi‑stakeholders while also listening to their view and voices.

Such interactions and collaboration continue to be beneficial to all, and to the entire Internet community.  Many UN entities have been supporting intergovernment processes, contributing to international norm setting and digital contribution.

To international norm setting and digital contribution.

Other UN entities have carried out analytical work covering disability Government, disability economy, access to information, and digital connectivity and cybersecurity.  I know many colleagues are going to share your experience in all of these respects.  So it is critical that we hear back from our civil society, technical community and partners, otherwise Governments advise Governments on how we can further improve analytical outputs.

Increasingly many UN organisations have also been scaling up capacity building, helping countries to apply digital technologies to bridge digital divides, improve public service delivery, and deliver and develop their digital economies.

Dear colleagues, we can do a better job if these efforts are undertaken in partnership with stakeholder groups.  Importantly these collaborative initiatives are now made possible because of the Internet and the digital technologies.  Virtual meetings share document collaboration and conferences held online are some of the tools that facilitate such cooperation.

The digital response to the COVID‑19 pandemic has really demonstrated the value of digital technology, but not for all people.  Indeed the advance of digital technologies has exacerbated inequalities in humanity situations and this is one of the lessons we learned over the past two years.

So we have seen consequences of children not being connected online, employees unable to work remotely due to lack of devices or connectivity, and social relations add stress because of isolation, just because of one fact that digital divide and the lack of access on connectivity.

So it is incumbent on the UN family to be part of a global undertaking for better, safer Internet for all.  By being at the IGF, you are indeed doing so.  So the Under Secretary laid out clear advice for the IGF, to adapt, innovate and reform.

So the IGF is a good platform for us to exchange our experiences in working on the digital ecosystem, digital policy, and digital capacity building.  So, dear colleagues, I invite you to speak today on what you see as imperative for the UN family, to make the Internet a better place for all people on our planet, and especially to harness digital transformation for sustainable development.  It is my sincere wish that this type of gathering becomes a traditional every year's IGF and this is my fifth one.  I thank you very much.

>> MODERATOR: Thank you very much.

We will now hear from various of the UN agencies that are represented online and in the room, and I trust that all of them will keep to their time limit because then we will be able to have an interactive debate about how within the UN system and within this context of the multi‑stakeholder processes that the IGF facilitates and how UN agencies and other organisations in the UN system can work together better to lead digital transformation in support of achieving the SDGs.

Next, I'm delighted to invite Ms. Michèle Coninsx, I have no idea if I correctly pronounced that, she is the Executive Director of the UN counter terrorism Executive Directorate.  Michele.  Please tell us more about how you engage with Internet Governance.

>> MICHÈLE CONINSX: Thanks a lot.  Distinguished participants, a big think you to the organizers of IGF for convening the timely event to bring together UN entities to discuss our work on ICT and other aspects relating to digital technologies.  As all are aware, we have faced immense changes in our efforts to prevent abuse of cyber domain.  Violent extremists continue to exploit digital platforms to support their activities and use online as part of their violent attack.

CEDAC responds to these challenges and seeks to improve quality of life on the one hand, and their vulnerabilities and abuse of trust on the other.  CEDAC's primary function is to monitor, facilitate Member States implementation of the relevant Council resolutions on terrorism including by facilitating technical assistance delivery.  In doing so we help to work with all of the states on the globe, the 193 states to develop ways to prevent use of the Internet for terrorist purposes and create innovative technological solutions in compliance with their obligations on the international law.

Already 20 years ago, the Council noted the use of new technologies by terrorism adopting resolution 1373 and since that moment, 2001, the Council has adopted 13 terrorism resolutions.  In accordance with those resolutions.  Strengthening international cooperation for legal access to electronic evidence, countering online terrorist narratives, gathering and sharing biometric and biographic information, protection of critical infrastructure, cybersecurity, preventing the use of ICT to facilitate trafficking of persons and preventing the use of new financial instruments by terrorists.

Throughout these activities with respectful rule of law and human rights are mainstreamed.  For instance, we address data protection and privacy concerns as well as human rights and gender concerns relative to the programming and use of AI and algorithmic systems, particularly those used in law enforcement and border control.

We also analyze new trends in the use of ICT for purposes such as cyber based fundraising methods and use of game methods for incitement to commit terrorist acts.  This was a very brief bird's eye view of engagement on ICT issues and there is organized criminals continue to abuse the Internet, social media and other component of cyber domain, CEDAC's work will continue to be both relevant and necessary.  In conclusion let me say that CEDAC will continue to address these issues working closely with other partners including the private sector, civil society, members of our Globe Research Network, UN entities and broad range of international and regional organisations.  Thank you very much.

>> MODERATOR: Thank you very much for that, and I hope we can come back to discuss that in more depth because your work overlaps closely with conversations that are taking place here at the IGF.

Next, I'm very pleased to give the floor to Mr. Tawfic Jelassi, the Assistant Director General for Communications and Information at UNESCO.  UNESCO having a very particular place in the history of the IGF through the key role it played as one of the lead agencies involved in the World Summit on the Information Society from which the IGF emerged.

>> TAWFIC JELASSI: Thank you very much Anriette, pleased to be here with senior UN officials.  I would like to make three quick points and thank you for saying that UNESCO has been involved from the WSIS Summit back in 2003 in Geneva and 2005 in Tunis, and was very much the foundation of the IGF back then.  My first point is that we, UNESCO has been advocating for what you call the Rome framework for digital governance and Internet Governance.  What is ROAM?  It's a Human Rights based open accessible, and multi‑stakeholder approach.

We believe that this is the right approach going forward.  We are delighted that so far 34 countries have adopted the UNESCO ROAM framework, and our Internet universality indicators to conduct national digital assessment and we invite more countries to join us and carry out their national digital readiness and assessment through our 300 plus Internet indicators and our ROAM framework.

That's my first point.  My second point is UNESCO has been if not the leading UN agency, it certainly is a leading UN agency when it comes to the freedom of expression, the safety of journalists and addressing the Issue of Impunity for crimes committed against journalists.  So when we talk about the Internet, of course, this is the cyberspace and freedom of expression is central in that cyberspace.

So it's not only in terms of fostering the freedom of expression, but also combatting hate speech, speech of violence, of extremism, the negative sides of misusing the Internet, including misinformation and disinformation.

In my intervention at the High‑Level Panel yesterday afternoon, I suggested the approach of the, of UNESCO which is not very much to opt for a laissez‑faire approach, nor for an overregulated approach, but rather to try to put pressure and advocate for a transparency after Internet companies and digital platforms because you believe that is the proper way forward.

In the 30 seconds left to me, let me briefly make my third point.  Two weeks ago, the 193 Member States of UNESCO have unanimously adopted the UNESCO recommendation on the ethics of Artificial Intelligence.  This is a ground breaking achievement.  This is the first global normative instrument of its kind to, regarding the field of AI, which we know is not an emerging technology, it's already the technology of today, and we have heard so many benefits that can be achieved, but also many harms that the misuse of this technology can lead us to.

So this recommendation on the ethics of the AI we believe is very important to have the proper safeguards not only in the use of the AI, but also the design and the development of AI‑based applications and systems.  Let me stop with these three points and maybe later on I will have the chance to add to them.  Thank you Anriette.

>> MODERATOR: Thank you.  And I do hope we can come back to that.  Next, I am happy to invite and welcome from the virtual space, I can see him on the screen, Mr. Mario Cimoli, who is the Deputy Executive Secretary of ECLAC, Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean, another agency that was active during the World Summit Information Society.  Mario, are you there?  I don't see Mario or I can't hear Mario.

Possibly he has not been able to join us, and maybe he still will, but next I will go to you, Maria Francesca, the Assistant Secretary‑General with UNDESA, but currently the officer in charge of the Office of Envy for Technology to the UN Secretary‑General.

>> MARIA FRANCESCA SPATOLISANO: Thank you very much,  Anriette, and I hope we see Mario very soon.

So dear colleagues, Ladies and Gentlemen, I speak today, as Anriette said, in my capacity as the officer in charge of the Office of the Secretary‑General's Envoy on Technology at United Nations.  This office is the coordination of the follow‑up to the Secretary‑General's Roadmap for Digital Cooperation, which lays out the Secretary‑General's call to connect, respect, and protect everyone everywhere in order to build a more open, free and secure digital future for all.

This was reinforced as the goal in the recent report on Our Common Agenda that was presented by the Secretary‑General in September.  So the office of the technical envoy works in an inclusive and open manner, particularly through multi‑stakeholder partnership and I don't have to tell this to the IGF which is by definition multi‑stakeholder, and a stronger collaboration with the UN entities and here they are already well represented and in particular, of course, we have prioritized to bring together the UN system to better serve the Developing Countries, underserved communities and leaving no one behind in this area.

So let me say a few words about how we do this.  The roadmap set the target of achieving universal meaningful connectivity by 2030 and connecting the unconnected.  That is 2.9 billion still who have not used the net even though they may be under coverage of the net, but they don't use it, and there are several reasons to that.  Moreover, the roadmap is also called for more coherent and coordinated global effort and digital capacity building.  Here I come back to the underserved community, because achieving real and sustained progress in various dimensions of digitalization requires skills development, effective training and this is done in many ways throughout the UN system, of course.

This is why, for instance, the technical envoy office has worked with United Nations Development Coordination Office, the DCO we call it, and other key UN agencies like ITU, UNDP, UNICEF, and we have established a roadmap response team we call it to partner with the UN resident coordinators and country teams and better support the countries on the ground.

Tomorrow morning at the IGF sessions, this office together with ITU and UNDP will also be launching a multi‑stakeholder network on digital capacity development which includes a, we call it again jargon, you will forgive me, but you are all aware of this, clearing house function, and it's powered by joint facility, jointly by ITU and UNDP, and this will help direct specific requests for support for capacity building for training to potential providers of digital capacity building initiatives, such a clearing house matching demand and offer.

We are also working closely with the Office of the Representative for the Least Developed Countries, Landlocked Developing Countries and Small Island States, and the technology bank for NDCs, in view of the NDC's plus five Summit recognizing that access and utilization to digital technologies will be critical in supporting enabling LDC to build back better.  They can leapfrog through some technology toward sustainable development, and providing services to their population.

So across the entire spectrum of the roadmap, our office also collaborates closely with UN agencies to better harness the potential of digital technologies and addressing the challenges.  For example with DESA, we are initiating a UN system‑wide mapping of digital related initiatives to catalyze better collaboration and coordination.

And the synergies with the SDI forum are being explored so that we can leverage the respective strength and we partner with so many other agencies, for instance, the space‑based technologies, Artificial Intelligence for road safety, other emergency responses, I mean, this office is a little bit hub and works with all sorts of entities in the UN family.

There are many examples.  I can't quote every one.  I wish I could, but I can't.  But let me reiterate, how important it is for the Office of the Technical Envoy to be connected and working with everybody, and don't hesitate, of course, to let us know how we can do that better.  Thank you very much.

>> MODERATOR: Next, and I have been informed by the Secretariat that Mr. Cimoli did send an apology, so I did not receive it in time.  I'm afraid he won't be able to join us.

Now, I am giving the floor to Mr. Ib Petersen, Deputy Executive Director of the United Nations FPA.

>> IB PETERSEN: Thank you for the opportunity to be here, and I think I will take final departure in you asked us how does Internet Governance relate to our work.  It relates a lot.  UNFPA being the family and reproductive health agency of the UN, I mean, there is a lot about access in particular for women and girls, but one particular thing that we are working to fight and prevent is gender‑based violence is one of our three major what we call transformative results in our strategic plan, and that is really where there is a need to strengthen Internet Governance and work together.

We launched last week a new campaign on the media on the platform called body rights.  It actually highlights that, you know, IPs are more highly valued and better protected on line and on the net than INO images of people's bodies.  So we launched this Bobby right campaign to demand protection from online, violence against women, but all, of course.  But women and girls are, we know from the economist tells us that 85% of women with access to Internet reported witnessing online violence against other women, and 38% experienced it personally.  65% have experienced cyber harassment and hate speech and defamation.

So this is certainly an area where there is a need to call upon a number of actors, and that's what we are trying to do.  This is why this meeting today is also extremely timely and we appreciate the opportunity here.  It is a global call to action for, to disrupt violence against women and girls in virtual spaces and we need to understand our role in that work together to drive the real change.

Online protection for every girl, women and young person everywhere is a call to individuals, not only men and boys, and others who can refuse to commit violence, they can speak up and act.  It's also a call to the tech companies that they need to step up as well.  We are actually demanding that digital social media platforms, online forums and content sites provide women and girls the same protection as they do for copyrighted materials which is not the case today.

So it's a question of providing reporting processes and tools for users that must be accessible, easy to use and responsive and platforms should support users in managing and controlling who can see, share, and comment on their content.  It is also a call to policy makers and Governments, and they simply cannot continue to ignore that this is one of the major challenges when it comes to fighting gender‑based violence.  So we appeal to make it through this campaign to adopt and implement clear legislation to criminalize the nonconsensual use and misuse and use of people's images online and create legal obligations, moderation and reporting systems and legal obligations for technology companies and social media platforms.

And here, of course, Civil Society experts, survivors themselves, actually, should be involved in the design and the evaluation and the regulation.  These are some of the things that we are trying to promote now, and make happen with this campaign and we, of course, are extremely interested in working with the whole UN family, with civil society, and with the technical companies, as I said, to achieve these goals.

I will stop there.  That was a more concrete example, but I just wanted to point to that.  Thanks.

>> MODERATOR: Thank you, Ib.  I won't dwell on it, but I do hope at some point you have made use of the work done in the IGF.  One of the Best Practice Forums of the IGF, the one on gender has done extensive work on combating gender‑based violence on line, but we are hearing already I think from the complexity and the diversity that UN agencies are engaged both with combating harmful use of the Internet, but also enabling positive use.

And next we have Mr. Masood, the chief of terrorism prevention branch of the United Nations Office on drugs and crime.  I hope I got that right.

>> MASOOD KARIMIPOUR:  Thank you, Anriette.  I join you from a very gloomy Vienna where it's getting dark already.

Distinguished colleagues, thank you for the opportunity to contribute to this panel today.  Thanks to the organizers of the 16th annual meeting of the IGF.  We are also grateful for the opportunity to host a remote hub and an E‑conversation on the topic of human rights and electronic evidence, which will take place this Friday to coincide with and commemorate Human Rights Day.

So let me quickly capture the DC's ongoing support to the Member States and advancing information and communication technologies and digital innovations toward achieving the SDGs.  Our five‑year strategy is grounded in the Secretary‑General's reform agenda including reforms on innovation, data, and digitalization.  We are committed to and we are guided by the SDGs, especially goal 16 which commits all countries to provide equal access to justice for all.

We combine our extensive presence on the ground through our field offices with the provision of digital tools aimed at making criminal justice institutions more resilient, more effective and more able to cope with unexpected challenges such as the COVID‑19 pandemic.  We have seen the rapid move to online space during the pandemic highlighting the enormous potential, but also the enormous risks of digitalization, which includes an increase in criminal and terrorist activity online.

It's in this context I would like to elaborate on five of UNDC's programmatic areas which illustrate the extent to which we are embracing an innovative digital approach in the delivery of our crime prevention and criminal justice mandates.  First, the global initiative on handling electronic evidence across borders which was launched in 2017 together with CITEL and the international association of prosecutors.

Through this initiative, we are leading the enhancement of public‑private partnerships with Member States, with international and regional organisations such as Eurojust, Europol and the European Judicial Network, as well as communication service providers.  We have developed online practical tools and resources such as the new one stop window for electronic evidence, electronic evidence hub we are calling it that provides a number of tools and other valuable links to strengthen the use of electronic evidence.

Next, we are continuing to work with countries to strengthen their responses against the use of Internet for terrorist purposes.  In doing so, we have increased awareness about the legislative frameworks, investigative techniques and the collecting of evidence and crimes involving the use of the Internet.

Next, DC's global program on cybercrime provides technical assistance and training to Member States to prevent and counter cybercrime.  The program works on four dimensions, capacity building, prevention, cooperation, and legal framework.

Next, we have a full range of assistance on cryptocurrencies which is part of our global program against money laundering through awareness raising workshops and E‑learning courses through which we help policy makers understand the Blockchain technology, and address risks of cryptocurrency criminal use, and the strategies to mitigate such risks.  We are also supporting Member States in the development of legislation and regulation on cryptocurrencies.

And last but not least, in 2019 the General Assembly established the ad hoc Committee to elaborate a comprehensive international Convention on countering the use of ICTs for criminal purposes.  The Committee had its first session in May of 2021 after which the General Assembly adopted the resolution providing the roadmap for the negotiation of the Convention, and the first session of the ad hoc Committee will be held just next month in New York.  And we serve as the secretariat of this Committee and will continue to actively support the Committee in negotiating and drafting the Convention.

So let me stop here, Anriette, and thanks to the organizers and to you.  Handing it back to you.

>> MODERATOR: Thanks very much.  We are running a bit out of time, so I don't want to put anyone on the spot, but if contributors can be a little bit briefer than their allocated time, I would appreciate that.  And now I'm happy to invite Ms. Joanna Skoczek who is Poland's Deputy Permanent Representative at the mission in New York.  She is here with us in the room.

>> JOANNA SKOCZEK:  Thank you very much, Madame Chair, and thanks a lot, colleagues.

And I will share some observations from that perspective.  I think that we can discuss the UN digital activity in two, on two levels or in two areas.  First, within the very mandate of the organisation and its operation on both legal and practical levels, and second, in what concerns our daily work as Member States together with UN.  And this first area that I will call political, for lack of a better term, it results from growing, the fact of growing importance of digital issues at the UN and its whole family as we can hear from all of the participants here.

So the digital agenda increasingly becomes the subject of debate of both the most pressing global issues in the economic and social spheres as well as in the context of the reforms of the organisation itself.  And this growing relevance of digital connectivity and new technologies is fully and in my view perfectly described in the Secretary‑General new report Our Common Agenda which as we all know among 12 commitments also calls for improving digital cooperation and achieving universal digital inclusivity.

The objectives formulated in in Our Common Agenda equal the concerns that are raised by Member States, including my own country, Poland, that relate to digital inclusivity, protection of human rights, protection of data, fighting disinformation and promoting digital literacy.  I would say that the two, so fighting disinformation and promoting digital literacy is something that connects with education and communication and it is our common responsibility that we are more and more active in those two fields that we perceive as probably the most important challenges.

And now, jumping to the second more practical UN related plan, last months showed us how effective the UN can be in accommodating and adjusting to new challenges posed by COVID pandemic when most of our work moved from the General Assembly call and the Conference rooms to the Internet platforms.

And although I am convinced that the digitalization or digitalized diplomacy cannot replace real one and cannot replace people‑to‑people contact, the usage of IT enabled us to carry on with our mission and with our daily work, and also somehow it helped with the inclusivity, because it enabled people from all over the world to join events that otherwise would be only available for those physically present in New York, Geneva, Vienna or Nairobi or wherever, and our main challenge was to count properly the time difference.

So although I hope that we will be back in full to the Conference rooms and NGA, I hope that there will be some silver lining of the pandemic that will stay with us that we will always remember about our colleagues and stakeholders who are all over the world and who can also participate.  I just would like to sum up saying that today UN is the only global organisation that can help us tackle this challenges together.

First of all, leading by example, also giving the platform for exchange of good practices, but also assist itself and UN Member States in the implementation of the solutions that will help us to achieve these goals.  Thank you very much.

>> MODERATOR: Thank you very much.  And thank you to Poland for being responsible for us all being here.  And now I'm inviting Mr. Máximo Torero who is chief economist at the Food and Agricultural Organization.  I hope he is speaking from Rome, which is a wonderful city that I love very much.  You have the floor.

>> MÁXIMO TORERO:  Thank you very much, and it's a pleasure to be here.  Let me start saying that digital technologies and applications can create significant social and environmental benefits, and accelerate properties through SDGs and that's what we aim at FAO.  And the power of data and technology can harness to reduce the digital divide which today is extremely important right now, but also who help us achieve the 2030 Agenda, but we need to understand that this is not panacea and there are many issues we need to take into consideration.

There are six principles we follow, and this is linked to the Rome Vatican declaration of ethics on AI which are transparency, inclusion, responsibility, impartiality, reliability, security and privacy.  Those are for us the core six principles in which we operate in all activities we do.

And why is it so important?  Because today we have some problems regarding enabling policy environment to support in country investments in agriculture.  We need to do a significant effort to reduce inequality in access, which is significant, especially in broadband.  And that requires also inclusivity in gender and youth, so the principle of inclusivity of inclusion is central.

And we need to strengthen also international cooperation to ensure that increased and targeted investments are made to specifically address the digital divide so that it is reliable, and it also assures there is privacy in information we provide.  The position of FAO is to strengthen the focus on digital for impact, and FAO priorities are to further accelerate the use of innovative technologies and continue to improve on a portfolio of ICT services, tools that will continue to achieve SDGs worldwide but also within the five principles I mentioned before.

We bring solutions for the Agri food system.  Which is more than agriculture.  It goes across the interlinkages so the value changes plus the interlinkages from the farm to the consumer, but also with other sectors.

We also try to share practices through the international food and agriculture which is hosted at FAO and aims to be able to bring access to information and to institutions that are required to be able to reduce the digital divide and be able to make farmers and producers and consumers profit from this digital technology innovations.

Within this we have several initiatives.  One of our priority initiatives is the hand in hand initiative which tries to integrate to digital solutions to bring solutions through approaches to countries and countries are the ones which lead what we do under this initiative.  One of the first outputs we generated was what we call hand in hand special platform which builds on the latest advance in ICT and geography, and federates and integrates data and livestock, land, water, climate, fisheries, socioeconomic factors.

It also allows us to increase effectiveness in terms of our impact.  Second, we have a series of sets of resilience tools which are linked to our early warning systems.  One is on water productivity through open access data, also to look at the stress of water, which is the access tool we have made public and also the record tool which looks at climate change risk assessments.

All of those are essential to be more inclusive in terms of increasing resilience.  Also we have to put enormous effort on prediction and early warning tools, like the platform of global action for full Army warning control, the food price monitor we have in place and information about forest and land monitoring tool.

Why is this important?  Because in the world we are living today in which there is significant volatility because of climate and increasing variants of temperature, it is central to help countries through information respecting the five principles that will allow them to increase the way they produce and to reduce uncertainties so that they can make better choices.

Finally, we also have a portfolio of digital services which is linked to our 1008 village initiative.  In the digital villages we are trying to bring together three main dimensions, E‑agriculture, platform of tools for agriculture are present, but also we want to have E‑village which brings benefits of a village level to farmers and we have a perspective in which we want to bring digital services for non‑farm activities so that we can diversify incomes of farmers.

Those are the ways we are trying to bring to support the process of achieving the SDGs, respecting, as I said again, the five principles, transparency, inclusion, responsibility, impartiality, relativity and security and privacy.  Thank you very much.

>> MODERATOR: And now, Mr. Robin Geiss, Director of the United Nations Division for Disarmament Research.

>> ROBIN GEISS:  Thanks very much for having us today.  It's a great pleasure to be here.  The United Nations Institute for Disarmament Research, we are an autonomous institution within the UN and a think tank that provides independent research and innovative ideas and not just on disarmament, but on international security issues more broadly.  In a time of growing global mistrust and which we are seeing a surge in malicious cyber activity, an increase in attack surfaces just think of the home office, and what that has done to do attack, more sophisticated attack vectors in cyberspace, and certainly new types of digital arms races that go across economic, scientific and traditional military fields.

And in such an area it comes to no surprise that for our research institute, cybersecurity, digital security is, of course, at the forefront of our activities.  And our security and technology program really is designed to dynamically keep pace with all of the rapid evolutions that we are seeing in the digital space, and it's really structured and I'm simplifying a little bit across three main work streams.  Cyber stability, the implications of AI, and not just in weapon systems but in military decision making, security related decision making generally, and then thirdly, we are looking at over the horizon technologies, new trends, what's coming next.  That's increasingly important and I think in that regard, the convergence of the different technologies really deserves significant attention.

It's not just cyber, not just AI in silos it's the synergetic effects of the various technologies coming together and that includes new sensor technology and advancement in robotics and all of that taken together is what is shaping our reality and what holds a lot of benefits but also certain risk and they require our attention.

You have asked us to keep this brief and I'm watching the clock so let me just give you a few examples of some of our research activities in the digital field.  We are very much involved with our research in pursuing options for confidence building, capacity building, confidence building clearly not an easy ask in this new rapidly evolving environment.  Cyber policy portal is one item I would like to put on the map, on the table here today.

It brings together the various policy pronouncements from states across the globe.  It helps to build transparency because others can check what others are doing.  It also helps to build confidence and capacity because it provides a range of examples of how certain issues and challenges in the cyber domain can be addressed.  It's heavily referenced in all of the intergovernmental cyber processes at the UN that we are currently looking into making it even more interactive and more accessible.

Then secondly, we have a traditional and strong role in working towards the operationalization of norms of responsible state behavior.  And we do this through multi‑stakeholder dialogues.  It is a bridge between stakeholders involved and clearly also the private sector and trying to bring them into state centred security debates.

So a combination of multi‑stakeholder events and research activities and really to give you the flavor of what we are doing, most recent reports have focused on supply chain security, responsible vulnerability disclosure, international cooperation in the event of a cyber incident affecting critical infrastructure, and then also expectations and explanations to due diligence in cyberspace, and lastly public‑private coordination, cooperation when it comes to international law and implementation.

Last but not least in and I will conclude here, we are very much involved in supporting the various intergovernmental UN processes on norm development in the digital domain.  As you know, the GGE and open‑ended Working Group earlier this year came to a successful conclusion, both of them, and now there is a new open‑ended Working Group with a five‑year mandate about to start in a week or so and, of course, a five‑year mandate provides opportunity to advance discussions on cybersecurity at the UN and the media will be very much supporting this process.  Thank you very much.

>> MODERATOR: Thanks, and I have been watching that closely in my capacity as a Commissioner of the Global Commission of Cybersecurity.

Kate McBride who's in the room, the Director of the ICT Policy Division of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change.

>> KATE MCBRIDE:  Thank You, Madame Chair.  It's a great pleasure to be here today to present how the climate change Secretariat is supporting the digital transformation and how we strategically partner to unleash digital information and innovation to address the climate crisis.  Following the excellent presentations and discussions yesterday and today, I would like to go over some of the various ways that we are using digital technologies for inclusivity and collaboration.

This year we launched a new digital platform to enhance the experience and significantly expand the participation in Glasgow, ECOP26.  The platform included virtual and on site digital ID registration, hybrid networking capabilities, and then the ability to participate in person or virtually or both like many of us are doing here.  Through the digital platform we were able to increase participation from an expected 30,000 participants to 50,000, 20,000 participants participating solely virtually.

The new platform is the result of experiences of the last year which we have suffered and perhaps to a certain extent found a silver lining in how we could participate from anywhere with everyone.  We went to a fully virtual intersession meetings and then hybrid at the COP in Glasgow.

In the face of these many COVID challenges, many of the digital technologies did allow us to progress and maintain the climate process moving forward.  One of the consequences has clearly been broader participation and inclusivity both from Governments and multi‑stakeholders and non‑actors such as civil society, indigenous people, and a very large outcry from youth to participate in our activities.

Following COP26, we continued to develop and innovate the digital platform to increase the effectiveness and inclusivity and transparency of the climate process to bring more people in to do more for each other and for our planet.  Secondly, another might go area we have been working is in the area of data.  The Secretary provides the NASCA platform for non‑state actors transparently inform on their voluntary efforts and progress.

And this provides a continuous evolving picture of non‑state actors commitments, actions and enhancements.  Thirdly, the climate change Secretariat is supporting capacity building and social engagement through climate education and the use of digital technologies.  We have partnered with more than 30 multilateral organisations led by the United Nations Institute for Training and Research to deliver an online platform with curated videos and training materials on climate change, and the platform is available to everyone with connectivity.

The Secretariat also conducts capacity building workshops with Developing Countries through virtual workshops and seminars.  And then lastly, we are working with the resilience frontier initiative to design ambitious pathways towards long term resilience by responding to the deep social transformations driven by the pandemic, technologies, and new trends in sustainability.  It is at the forefront of the thinking on human sustainability and expanding planetary boundaries towards regenerative prosperity that the resilient frontiers is helping us approach this transformation.

We are taking into account the impact of technology and all of the factors that are leading to the state of we as a people and of our planet.  We are looking at how AI, big data, Blockchain, autonomous systems, biotech, sat technologies are driving change and defining pathways.  And how these various pathways are filled with many, many, many of our youth and non‑party stakeholders.

And then just finally in closing, we are looking at 2022 as a new era for climate change, for engagement and the use of digital technologies to keep the forward pressure and ambition on climate action to lead to concrete and effective solutions for current and future generations.  Really our goal is that every positive action mitigating the causes or effects of climate and a digital world will increase the resilience and the inclusivity we need to embrace the changes.  I thank you for your time and your attention.

>> MODERATOR: Thank you very much, Kate.  And, please, everyone, I know we are at the end of the session, but we will take a little bit of your time, not much, just bear with us.  And we have one final speaker, Mr. Mark Williams, practice manager, digital development global practice from The World Bank, mark.

>> MARK WILLIAMS:  Thank you, and good afternoon, ladies and gentlemen.  It's a real pleasure to have this opportunity to represent World Bank at the IGF, and The World Bank is an organisation in every major area of economic and social development in the vast majority of Developing Countries.

We provide a wide arrange of products in technical assistance and we help countries share and apply innovative solutions to the challenges they face.  Digital developments is an integral part of the bank's portfolio in every country that we work in.  If we go back 30 years this work was mainly focused on state‑owned enterprises, telecoms companies and improving the those businesses.

This was followed by market reforms, liberalization, competition, regulation and then over the last ten years the focus has shifted towards mainstreaming digital technologies across the entire portfolio of the World Bank, that's bringing digital technologies into private sector development, research and citizen engagement.

Now, digital and the Internet part of that is now a central pillar of the World Bank's portfolio and there are a few projects being approved which do not have digital as a core element of the project design.  And supporting that is a very broad range of research policy being undertaken in the digital area.  This looks at the economic impact of digital at all levels of the economy and society, the macro down to household impacts and individual impacts on income inequality and inclusion.

Technical and economic regulation of digital is, remains a central part of the research agenda and this evolves as the topic, areas of focus have evolved from telecom regulation, data protection and so on that research program has so evolved.  The ways in which digital can be used to modernize public service delivery has become increasingly important to our research program.

So in addition to the research and analysis, we are strongly committed to integrating digital financial support.  In the digital sector itself we are financing the rollout of broadband networks in rural areas, high command capacity transmission networks both terrestrial and submarine to bring digital low cost bandwidth to Developing Countries.  We are supporting countries to strengthen capacity for data protection, cybersecurity and data regulation across the area of digital governance and helping countries to interest great digital technologies into core Government functions promoting reforms in process reengineering and the delivery of services, public facing services delivery via technologies.

Looking ahead, the agenda is evolving rapidly, we are increasing our focus on the green and inclusive development.  We are looking at the relationship between digital and climate change.  This works in creating insights and knowledge around how digital technologies can be deployed to support country's efforts to support climate change.  We are integrating this research directly into the design of digital projects and looking ahead we see the amount of digital, the use of digital technologies towards addressing country climate change mitigation and adaptation strategies as an increasingly significant component.

Our work on Government and regulation is targeted at the country level.  We help countries build the institutions they need to ensure fair, transparent and safe digital environment.  Internationally we work closely with partners in areas of digital development.  This is particularly strong with other institutions having a strong focus on digital such as the ITU.

Looking ahead our work on digital will continue to grow.  Digital technologies will become increasingly integrated into our portfolio.  We are increasing focus on governance regulation, data protection and cybersecurity.  We also tend to be placing more emphasis on Digital Inclusion in all its dimensions so that everyone in the developing world is able to take advantage of the benefits of digital, and to ensure that as the world becomes an increasingly oriented and digital delivery no one is left behind.  Thank you.

>> MODERATOR: Thanks very much, Mark.  I'm afraid we don't have time to engage the audience, but I think what we have heard is a very rich sense of the depth but also the breadth of the work that involves digital across the UN system.  In fact, it's immense, I think, and I think as Mark Williams just said, it's going to grow.

I think this means that the challenge within the UN system to ensure that you work together, that we work together with you as a board and multi‑stakeholder community is immense.  Just one thing that also really struck me is that there is also so much overlap between your engagement, their specificity, you are engaging and in specialized ways, you are providing immense resources to Member States.  You are doing that, but there is also a lot of overlap.

Perhaps that's the place of the IGF.  It exists in the overlap.  I also heard really resonance with the IGF themes for IGF 2021, social and economic inclusion, universal and meaningful access, trust and security, climate change, Emerging Regulation and digital cooperation.

So I do trust that the IGF can be of service to yourselves, and be a bridge between all of this depth of knowledge and this broader community that does come together at the IGF.  I'm afraid I don't have more time, but if Mr. Liu Zhenmin and Francesca, if you wanted to make remarks it's completely over.

So on that, thank you very much, everyone, for coming to the session.  Apologies that we started late.  And look forward to more of this type of engagement at future IGFs.  Thank you.