IGF 2021 – Day 4 – Closing Ceremony

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.




>> AGATA KONARSKA: Good afternoon, ladies and gentlemen!  Great to see you again after several days.  I hope you had a good time here in Katowice.

My name is Agata Konarska.  I have a great pleasure in welcoming you, all of you gathered here in the International Congress Center in Katowice and online, of course.

It's my honor to welcome you to the closing ceremony of the United Nation Internet Governance Forum, IGF 2021.

It was held for the first time in Poland and organized by the Prime Minister's chancellery.  I would like to take the opportunity to thank you for participating and for cocreating this important event.  Over the past five days almost 10,300 people from 175 countries have participated in the forum in Katowice and in front of the computer or smartphone screens.  This is one of the best results in the history of the UN Internet Governance Forum.  We hosted experts, politicians, representatives of science, business, NGOs and technology companies from almost all continents.  They came with one goal in mind, to talk about the future of the Internet and how to manage it.

It is about time to move on to the closing ceremony of the Internet Governance Forum, IGF 2021 in Katowice.  Today we ask at the closing ceremony, we have special guests, Maria‑Francesca Spatolisano, Secretary‑General of the United Nations, Janusz Cieszynski, State and Government Plenipotentiary for Cybersecurity Republic of Poland, Republic of Poland Plenipotentiary for UN IGF 2021, Krzysztof Szubert and Minister for Affairs Japan, Yasushi Kaneki, and Huria Ali, ITU Minister of Ethiopia, thank you for being with us.

We have special cultural guests, the song dance and assemble and an orchestra whose unforgettable performance will make it harder for you to leave Katowice.  We think also you all appreciate the efforts of the organizers who in these difficult times for organizing such an event like this meet the challenge.  They care not only about the content of the forum but also of the safety of its participants.  Thank you for it.

Next year IGF 2022 will take place in Ethiopia and even there you will remember meeting in Katowice with sentiment, you will!  I hope so!  Thank you!

In a moment, ladies and gentlemen, we'll start this official part of the closing ceremony.  But before, we hear from the officials, first we will hear from stakeholder group representatives and also a cultural performance will open and then close the session.

As I said, we start with closing statements from representatives of stakeholder groups.  First on stage will appear youth representative, Emilia Zalewska, Polish Youth IGF who will take the floor now.  I invite you to join me on stage.

>> EMILIA ZALEWSKA: Hello, everyone.

Thank you very much for inviting me here on this stage.  I would like to thank you for this opportunity to share a few words at this closing ceremony of this year's IGF.

I must say, it's a big honor to stand on this stage as a youth representative and I think it is also a big responsibility to represent a group, especially as diverse as youth are.  That's why before this speech I ask my colleagues from the project with whom we organized the Youth Summit on the Day 0 of the IGF what messages they would like me to bring up in this stage.

As I have a very short time for that, I would like to share just one of them with you because the motto of this year's IGF is Internet United, and if we want it to be more than just a slogan, but an idea that would be actually put into practice we need to remember one thing, it is inclusion.  Without inclusion of all voices, all perspectives into the discussion, there is always a huge risk of staying just in one's own bubble, and leaving others that are not in this bubble behind.  That's why we as young people, we demand inclusion.  Inclusion in all fields and levels of Internet Governance.  We are asking to be heard because we have a lot to say, and I think this year's Youth Summit is the best example.

We also want to be the voice of other vulnerable groups, marginalized who are not much represented in forums like this or other forums.  There are still millions of people who are unconnected and cannot benefit from what opportunities the Internet offers.  Millions of People with Disabilities are non-English speakers, they just can't use Internet because of lack of a solution that are tailored to their needs.  That's why we as young people, we would like to advocate also for them, for their inclusion, and we want draw the attention of the IGF community to the challenges those people are facing.

Just wrapping up my speech, I would like to thank you for the opportunity this year to organize the Youth Summit with the support of the IGF secretariate and the Host Country.  The idea of increasing youth inclusion will be continued I hope upon the next editions of IGFs in other countries.  I would like to finish this speech with a thought I also shared at the Youth Summit, we, the young people, are inviting you all to our table, and we hope that we also will find a place waiting for us at yours.

Thank you.

>> AGATA KONARSKA: Emilia Zalewska, thank you very much for your remarks.

The private sector representative, Mrs. Maria Gernanda Garza, First Vice‑Chair of International Chamber of Commerce is with us online.  Hello, good afternoon!

>> MARIA GERNANDA GARZA:  Thank you very much, Excellency, distinguished stakeholder, representative, ladies and gentlemen.  Thank you for the opportunity to address you on behalf of the international chamber of commerce as representative of the private sector.  We came together in Katowice and virtually this year for the 16th Internet Governance Forum under the theme Internet United and the private sector interpretation of this year was very clear, keep the Internet whole.  Discussions over the last few days underscored our strong commitment as the youth representative just said to ensure these words to not remain an empty slogan, but translate into strengthening multistakeholder partnerships and concrete policy actions.

We must work collectively to ensure that we keep the Internet open, expanding connectivity and ensure meaningful access to the Internet and digital technologies for all.  Keep the Internet flowing, we ensure all citizens and companies can realize the full potential of the Internet by enabling the adoption of new technologies and the global movement of data that supports them.

Third, keep the Internet safe, take meaningful, effective ways to curb the ever increasing cyber threats, ensure that users have adequate privacy, data, IP protection and that The Rights that people have offline are also protected online.  Businesses worldwide recognize the absolute imperative in both moral and economic terms, to act on the policy commitments and play our full part in enabling an inclusive digital future.

Business does not operate in a vacuum, nor can it act alone.  Collaboration between all stakeholders is vital in achieving our shared goals, and there is no better place to forge cooperation and partnership than at the IGF.  This is a truly unique forum where all of us, business people, governmental officials, Civil Society representatives, technical, academic experts can come together for open and Frank discussions, not by our national, stakeholder interests, but by our shared desire to find common evidence‑based, globally interoperable policy solutions.  Each stakeholder community will leave the IGF today with a better understanding of the needs and ideas of others.  This open environment is the best way to provide governments with evidence and information needed to develop a fuller understanding of the issues and appropriate Policy Options they consider.  The IGF does not end here, our work only begins.

Ladies and gentlemen, the business community is your committed partner to build an Internet that works for everyone every day, everywhere.

Thank you.

>> AGATA KONARSKA: Thank you very much for being with us and for your closing statement.

Let me invite now to the stage Civil Society representative Mrs. Sonia Jorge, Executive Director, Alliance for Affordable Internet, Head of Digital Inclusion, Web Foundation is with us.

The floor is your, please.

>> SONIA JORGE: Thank you, all.  Thank you for having me here representing Civil Society.

I want to start by saying that I am very hopeful after this IGF.  I'm hopeful from hearing Emilia Zalewska, hopeful from having heard many of you during the comment session and I'm hopeful because one of the things that distinguishes IGF in my view is the fact that we can bring not only multiple voices, all the different stakeholders, but voices that care.  We're not here just to accept the status quo, and I think Civil Society is very important in that, but so are every single of you.  It is not about the status quo, otherwise we wouldn't be here, the world is not connected yet.  And most of those that are unconnected, we have a long way to go.

What I want to say is that I'm hopeful because I think we cannot only connect humanity, but connect humanity in a way that is sustainable, just like many of you talk about this, we can think about sustainable access and being digital activists, digital provider, digital creator, digital thinkers and policymakers while at the same time thinking about our earth, thinking about the environment and climate. 

We can be agents of change and making sure that we contribute to gender equality, not just gender equality in general, and I mean digital equality.  I want to make sure that next time we come to IGF I see a very large percentage of women, of young women, of women representatives, women from around the world, to make the world a better place, a place where women and men in rural and urban areas can afford Internet, can have meaningful connectivity with the highest quality possible and also have the skills, the content, the content in multiple languages, the capacity to sustain digital ecosystems that they deserve.  We owe it to ourselves and our communities to do better.  We're not there yet!  We have a long way to go.  I urge you all not to just join us here at IGF but join us every single day, every single month, every single quarter.  Think about the communities that we are here thinking about and we want to connect.  We owe it to ourself, to them, to connect humanity and to make it well, safely, privately, and in a way that people can use their agency to define their livelihood.  That is the vision that I hope you can embrace as private sector, Civil Society, as governments, as academia, make it meaningful, make it purposefully and we are here to help you and to be partners in this journey.  Join the journey, and I hope that we can all meet again in a year in Ethiopia, a very important journey to a very special country of the world wherein a continent so much still needs to be done, we need all of our strength together to make change possible.

So join the force and thank you.

>> AGATA KONARSKA: Let's make the change possible.  Thank you very much for those important words.

May I invite now, ladies and gentlemen, technical community representative, Goran Marby, CEO of ICANN.

>> GORAN MARBY: Good afternoon.  Thank you very much.

>> AGATA KONARSKA: The floor is yours then.

>> GORAN MARBY: First I would like to take the opportunity to congratulate the Polish government that despite all of the complexities of setting up a hybrid meeting, this has been a very successful meeting.  Congratulations and thank you very much.  I think that many of the discussions during this week has been very interesting and eye opening.  The realization that one important requirement for meaningful connectivity in any forum is the access to an open, interoperable Internet and when people go online, they need to be able to access content easily and in their local languages, in their own narrative.  They need to be able to trust that the Internet works safely and securely.  They need to be connected to users around the world, and they need to be able to seize the benefits of being on the Internet, not just the digital economy, but the importance of being able to share information.

At ICANN we're a part of a technical community, together with other partners like the RERs, the root server operator, the IGFs, others, we provide a technical service for a global interest for all of you.  It is interesting that Internet as a technology was designed by users, maintained by users and is actually the future of the Internet, it lies in the users, that's what we have the multistakeholder models combining people from all different parts of the word, all different languages and all different steps in the world.  If you haven't been engaged in any of those technical organization, don't think it is boring, it is actually quite interesting. 

As many speakers said, we're not done yet.  About half of the world's population is not connected yet.  We have to make sure that we're working together to be connected.  It is not a business model connecting all of those people, we have to come together from all parts, business, society, governments and working on a solution to get those people connected. 

At the core, the Internet is a technical solution, a complex network of ICANN, no partner, we maintain the stability and the security, and we know that a new technology, new platforms on the Internet, they will change how users are using it.  We need to work together to be able to adopt.

The truth is, that Internet is far too more important for any actor to determine when these evolutions take place.  Regardless if it is a government or a business.  That's why it is ‑‑ why this forum brings people together from different parts of the world, different parts of life is so important so we can share ideas, we can understand how it works and really make sure we put the Internet users up in front.

Yes, we have seen over the last couple of years that we live in a terrible time or interesting time.  The function of the Internet has worked very well over the last couple of years.  I think you all ‑‑ we have spoken about that, what would the world look like during a COVID if we didn't have the function of Internet.  As many said, we're not done.  We're not done because first of all, as I said, half of the world's population is not connected, but also that we have to continue to evolve this technology in such a way that people can use their own keyboard, their own scripts, their own language to interact with the Internet because Internet is local and global at the same time.  I want to finish with this, maybe the next evolution of Internet, we always talk about the technical interoperable, maybe we work together to make it interoperable tore everybody on earth, time for an Internet that's interoperable for people, not just machines. 

I'm looking forward also to come to Ethiopia next year for having the next meeting.  I'm looking forward to work together with the organizers to make sure that it is going to be a success there as well.

Thank you very much.  Thank you to everybody who went there.  Thank you to everybody who came here.  I'm really thankful for all of the participation coming here.  We learned a lot.

>> AGATA KONARSKA: Thank you very much.  It is great to hear that we learned a lot.

Ladies and gentlemen, during the five days of this year's edition of the forum 300 different event, activities such as lecture, debates, workshops devoted to the digital world took place.  Which hope you have really enjoyed and you had a successful time and debate.  I have a great pleasure now to introduce the Polish national song and dance ensemble, one of the most recognizable artistic group in the world, it is one of the world's largest most original, Artistically professional group displaying the beauty and richness of Polish dance, songs and its traditions.

The ensemble strives for perfection and excellence and have colleagues from arts and critics and the public from around the world.  The artistry and fame has been built by many great artists and educators over time so that today they perform over hundred concerts a year.  Nearly 300 people belong to the group, over 100 of them are the artists that make up the core ballet and orchestra.  This is a treasure trove of Polish culture which the ensemble has presented and showcased for more than six decades.  Now, please give a big applause! 

>> AGATA KONARSKA: Thank you very much!  Such a great show!  The three traditional Polish dances you have watched this time and this is not the end, ladies and gentlemen.

As the 16th Internet Governance Forum wraps up in Katowice following five days of lively discussions over the course of 250 sessions attended and almost 10,300 participants, 2,700 in‑person in Katowice, listening to the closing statements of the main outcome and recommendation of the event of Katowice IGF 2021 messages, what did they are this year's forum result in, what's the recommendations for the government, private companies and other digital policy actors?  The answer, are coming just now.

Let's start the official speeches of the closing ceremony.  I have the great pleasure to invite first to the stage UN assistant Secretary‑General Mrs. Maria‑Francesca Spatolisano who will deliver the closing remarks.

Please, the floor is yours.

>> MARIA-FRANCESCA SPATOLISANO: Excellency, Secretary of State, Government Plenipotentiary for Cybersecurity, His Excellency, Krzysztof Szubert, High Representative of the Prime Minister for European Policy and Poland's Plenipotentiary for the UN IGF 2021, Excellencies, colleagues, friends, here in Katowice and online from around the world, I'm pleased to deliver this statement on behalf of Under‑Secretary‑General for Economic and Social Affairs.

73 years ago today the United Nations General Assembly adopted Universal Declaration of Human Rights.  As the UN Secretary‑General Guterres highlighted in his message today the COVID‑19 pandemic, the climate crisis and the expansion of digital technology into all areas of our lives has created new threats to Human Rights.  The principles set out in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights remain the key to realizing all Human Rights, civil, economic, cultural, social and political for all people everywhere.  The last five days of this Internet Governance Forum has been engaging, inspiring and fruitful.  We have been joined by over 10,300 participants from over 175 countries who are have registered online from all continents around the world.  Over 2,000 have joined us here in Katowice.  Over 10,300 registrations, this is yet again another record for the IGF.  There were over 15,000 connections and 50,000 social interactions with the #IGF2021, with the reach of 5 million people!  5 million people!  And over 20,000 YouTube views following the Katowice IGF sessions.

We are honored to have been joined by close to 200 ministers, parliamentarians and other high‑level leaders from the private sector, Civil Society, technical community, United Nation agencies and other international organizations.  Over 140 national, regional, Youth IGF initiatives or NRIs contributed to the IGF.  This speaks truly to the localized inclusive multistakeholder nature of the Internet dialogue.

There are 39 remote hubs that have joined the forum all week online in countries ranging wide from the African region, to Bolivia, Colombia, Venezuela in Latin America, and to Malaysia and India in Asia.  Remote hubs have been a hallmark of the IGF in facilitating this hybrid IGF.  They are supported technically by the IGF secretariate and among them a handful are also supported financially by the United Nations.  So from these impressive participation numbers emerge important actions and outcomes of the Katowice IGF that include the Katowice IGF Messages, the IGF 2021 summary, the outcome document of the IGF parliamentary track, the Global Youth Summit action points and report, and over 300 insightful session reports.

I urge you to especially review the Katowice IGF Messages and give us your valuable feedback and input as part of the distinctive trademark of the IGF, the bottom‑up inclusive, multistakeholder process.  I urge you to bring these outcomes into action through your governments or your communities as well as various intergovernmental and international bodies.

Excellencies, ladies and gentlemen, the United Nations is extremely grateful to the host, the government of Poland.  We thank Poland, not only for their hospitality and generosity, but also for their strong commitment to the IGF.  It was in 2018, more than three years ago, when they first offered to host the IGF in 2020.  That was eventually delayed as you all know for a year until now.  But that did not stop them from providing full support to the global virtual IGF that was hosted by the United Nations secretariate last year.  Indeed, the success of this year's 16th Internet Governance Forum is a result of two years of intensive preparatory work.

Poland rose to the challenge of the last few weeks with unrelenting dedication and commitment for which the UN is deeply grateful.  I would like to take this opportunity to present letters of appreciation to the Prime Minister of the Republic of Poland, His Excellency Mateusz Morawiecki, as well as to Minister Andrzej Duda and Minister Krzysztof Szubert.  May I request Minister Mateusz Morawiecki and Minister Krzysztof Szubert on stage, please.  

We thank the leadership of the chancellery of the Prime Minister, and we certainly cannot thank enough the dedication of the director of digital policy, and he's admirably, his outstanding team.  We thank all colleagues from the Polish government who worked with us patiently throughout the last years, we also have to recognize the outstanding preparatory work of the 2021 Multistakeholder Advisory Group under the able guidance of the MAG chair Anriette.  Yes!  The IGF is reinvigorated with this first of fully hybrid IGF that has stressed the importance of the on‑site and online participation.  And the forward looking agenda that is more focused and issue driven.

Thank you to the colleagues from various UN agency, ITU, UN counterterrorism, the Office of The Secretary‑General's envoy on technology, UNESCO, UNFPA, FAO, UNF, World Bank, WIPO, others for their active participation and I thank all UN staff from Geneva, Nairobi, New York, war sew, for the security, for the service, news coverage, communication outreach, remote participation and technical infrastructure.  I take this opportunity to thank the many donors for the financial support for the forum and to the UN Trust Fund.  We count on your continued support and commitment to strengthen the IGF, it will be crucial as we look forward to the next year's meetings. 

Most important than all, I want to thank you, the participants joining us online or on site.  For those who are here, your traveling from afar, and you have the pandemic, quarantine and travel restrictions.  For those joining us online, you have dedicated your precious time to join us and engage with this important issues no matter your time zone.

For all the sessions' organizers, you worked hard to prepare for your session and to prepare your interactions.

We thank all the young people joining us.  You play an important role in shaping today's and tomorrow's Internet.  So a big thank you to all of you.  Without your presence, it would not be possible for us to have a track record of 16 years of success of IGF.

Colleague, ladies and gentlemen, clearly the COVID‑19 pandemic is accentuating the roles and use of the Internet and technologies as a global issue, at the same time, we witnessed the persistent widening with divides, the spike in misinformation, hate speech perpetrated through online platforms, as well as rising concerns over cybercrime, frauds, privacy, security and Human Rights issues.  Never has the need for safe, inclusive digital environment been as evident as now.  We must not forget that the Internet which many of us take for granted remains inaccessible for 2.9 billion people, especially developing countries.  As highlighted in the Secretary‑General's report on the Common Agenda, the Internet Governance Forum remains as the default global multistakeholder platform on Internet Governance and digitalization.  It is essential to fulfilling the IGF's mission in closing all forms of digital divides while addressing the policy issues related to the protection of Human Rights and many potential risks and misuse of the Internet.

The Secretary‑General has called for the IGF to adopt, innovate, reform, to support policy, governance of the digital commons and to keep pace with rapid real word developments.  The Secretary‑General also calls for a Global Digital Compact and a people‑centered Internet..

Let us stand united, and work together, united as global community to ensure that the IGF outcomes contribute effectively to the Global Digital Compact and multilateral processes on digitalization across the UN system.

I wish you safe travel back to your homes and I also wish all happy holidays as we approach the end of this eventful year.  I thank you.

>> AGATA KONARSKA: Thank you very much for the speech.

I now invite the Secretary of State and government Plenipotentiary for cybersecurity who is this ‑‑ who is with us this afternoon now to take the floor.

>> JANUSZ CIESZYNSKI: Madam secretary, distinguished guests, I was driving to Katowice today for the end of the IGF and I was trying to think of something interesting that I could tell you but it is a very difficult task because, well, you have just finished a whole session of listening to interesting things and smart people.  I wouldn't stand a chance.  I was thinking about questions.  Questions that maybe we should all ask each other.  How will we remember Katowice?  How will we remember this IGF?  How will we remember what happened here?  Will we remember it for the first Youth IGF and having the people, you know that actually use the Internet ‑‑ not us ‑‑ talk about having their voice heard?  Will we remember it for the traditional Polish dishes that I hope that as many as possible you have had the chance to try?  Will we remember it for the Polish music concert that was in the pride of the City of beautiful monument of architecture and art in one?  Will we remember it because everyone spoke about cybersecurity, which is something which is on the agenda and will stay there for as long as the Internet exists?  Will we remember it for what ‑‑ one of the hundreds of panels said?  I'm sure that each and every one of us has at least one inspirational thing that he heard, something interesting, something to use in the future.

Will it be the 2.9 billion people who still do not have Internet access all over the world?  Maybe it will be the thing, the fact that the Internet is like a Swiss Army Knife, there are some moments where you can't live without it, but if it is not used the right way, it can be dangerous.  Will we remember it for asking ourselves the question of how can Human Rights be protected online?  How the digital economy and the fact that the world and tempo of changes has accelerated so much thanks to the new technology, how will this impact us and the future generations?  Will we remember it being the last COVID‑ridden IGF?  I certainly hope so, despite the efforts and making it possible to have it in the hybrid way, we all know that we would have loved it to be 100% on site, of course, with all the benefits that the technology gives us to transmit and broadcast it and have people from around the world to just join in for the 5, 10 minutes they're interested in.

Will we remember it for the 12,000 doughnuts that you guys ate?  Yeah!  They were good apparently!  So I don't know.  It's my first high‑level event in my life, I'm not even sure if I should give you the answer.  I hope that when we'll be returning to our homes we'll have a chance to reflect on this, how will we remember Katowice?  How will we remember IGF?  I won't leave you wondering about what I will remember it for.  I'll remember it for the efforts of the team led by Krzysztof Szubert who is here with us, by others mentioned, by the 900 people that were here and made it all possible, and I would love you to give them a round of applause for the amazing job they did.

I'm not sure if you know, but if you started driving on Monday morning, you would be almost reaching Ethiopia by car.  True!  Check it out on Google maps!  It is true!

So this is why I would like to wish all the best to Huria Ali and her team in organizing the next IGF and I certainly hope it will be good and great and will also have questions to ask after it.

Thank you very much for coming to Poland.  Thank you very much for being in Poland for all of the people who are here online and I wish you a very, very interesting next IGF in Ethiopia.

Thank you very much.

>> AGATA KONARSKA: Thank you very much.

May I now invite to the stage Mr. Krzysztof Szubert, Republic of Poland Plenipotentiary for UN IGF 2021 for the closing remarks.

>> KRZYSZTOF SZUBERT: Madam assistant Secretary‑General, dear minister, thank you very much for the very kind words.  I have been asked do this part to show diversity in Polish, so we'll do the summary as much as possible in as short as possible.  I have been asked to do a summary of the high‑level panels.

Ladies and gentlemen, I would like to welcome you yet again in Katowice.  I have the greatest pleasure to welcome you here in person.  Thank you so much for coming to Katowice, thank you for staying with us for a whole week that's been a unique experience and especially at the time of the COVID‑19 pandemic.  Last year's edition was virtual, but this year we had the pleasure to meet all of you here in person on site. 

Very briefly, ladies and gentlemen, the first high‑level panel on global recovery led us to some significant conclusions.  I would like to be brief and I'm very happy to say that all of the documents including the different conclusions will be included in the Katowice IGF minutes and this is a document that will be published very soon by the United Nations and we will be able to reflect on the document and so you will still have a few days until the 20th of December to voice your feedback.

The first high‑level panel was about the consequences of the COVID pandemic and we talked about the necessary investment in infrastructure in order to cater to the high Internet traffic.  Conclusion number 2, the pandemic highlighted the digital divide, the differences in between the different countries across the globe and how those differences may exacerbate the existing inequality.

Conclusion number 3, what is crucial, is global cooperation to foster Digital Transformation?  Common solutions should be adopted across the globe.

Conclusion number 4 is that we need to establish multistakeholder partnerships and intensify the cooperation between the private sector and the public administration.

The second panel was on the cities united that was high‑level panel 2, and the first conclusion was that large cities across the globe face similar challenges.  All of them need to develop their digital infrastructure, open data, the 5G network.  Again, multistakeholder partnerships is what we need to promote.

Conclusion number 2, still many cities are at a stage of implementing smart solutions or even at an earlier stage.  It is our joint responsibility to help those countries.

Conclusion number 3, we need to support the development of the local start‑ups as this is the pillar for the development of cities across the globe.

Conclusion number 4, smart technologies should be applied.

High‑level panel 3 was on creating sustainable value and inclusive society.  Here conclusion number 1 is that we need to continue promoting a human‑centered approach that ensures universal access to the Internet in order to enable Sustainable Development.

We need to have equal access to information but for this, what is necessary are new business model, new management models that we need to work out together.

Now the next conclusion was that the fintech business should continue enhancing smart solutions and implement efficient solutions that help the end users benefit from their rights.

Conclusion number 3 was that what we need are new solutions in terms of the management of the Internet and the digital space, small and medium‑sized enterprises should be involved in the process.

Conclusion number 4, multistakeholder dialogue during the IGF forum is the best example of collaborative shaping of the new digital future.

High panel number 4 ‑‑ and here I would like to propose four conclusions as well ‑‑ new technologies bring along enormous potential of change with integration and change, what's needed is a high‑level of awareness.  Here it is important to introduce common standards.

Conclusion number 2, companies need to be responsible in terms of how their digital behavior impacts the consumers and the society at large, what is needed is to implement more transparent relationship models of interaction with the end users.

Conclusion number 3, that the developing countries need to become a key element in the supply chain of the production and dissemination of technologies and digital services.

Conclusion number 4, the jointly worked out recommendations and regulations both at the level of the E.U. and at a more broader level is a good example of the collaborative effort involving many different countries.  It is very important to implement the Digital Transformation solutions as quickly as possible.

High‑level panel 5, building employment conditions for the future of work, that's also been a very important high‑level panel.  Conclusion number 1, because of the COVID‑19 pandemic that has changed the global employment market, we need to create new forms of remote employment possibilities in order to ensure that all regions have access to the digital services we need to invest in the capacities in the IT talents locally.

Conclusion number 3 is that a strong position of academia is instrumental in the Digital Transformation.  We need to support the young researchers.

Conclusion number 4, we need to focus on early education and in particular focus on the STEM subjects, we need to educate students in terms of how to seek creative solutions to the challenges of the coming years.

The next high‑level panel brought along the following conclusions:  Digital Transformation is a source of many new opportunities, but the digital divide in between Europe and other super powers totals around 1% of GDP annual where.  We need more investment program, we need a tighter cooperation between the private sector and the public administration.

Conclusion number 2 is that there are different factors that impact the digital development, including the different financial incentives for SMEs and the adequate legal framework, digitalization of the business processes, efficient infrastructure is what we need.

Conclusion number 3, the use of eServices is crucial at a time of the COVID‑19 pandemic and conclusion number 4 is that regulations are really important to make sure that SMEs have a level playing field with the giants operating in the market.

Finally, the last high‑level panel 7 was government models that promote diverse business development.  Here I would also like to propose four conclusions.  No one can be left behind during the process of Digital Transformation, the pandemic has shown it to us how quickly regulations may be implemented, how we can enhance the adoption of new digital public services.

Conclusion number 2, the governments should be held accountable for the introduction of the necessary infrastructure. 

We also need to educate students in terms of their creative potential.  It is important to tap into the creative potential of the regions.

And conclusion number 4 is that governments need to ensure the necessary circumstances for the development of the private public partnership and they need to facilitate access to public infrastructure to the enterprises operating on the market.

Ladies and gentlemen, what I have mentioned in the beginning, the Katowice protocol draft IGF Messages should be on your account and should be published on the UN website right now as we're speaking.  Thank you very much for your time.

I hope you had a great time in Katowice!  Thank you!

>> AGATA KONARSKA: Thank you very much!  Thank you for delivering the findings from the HL sessions.

Now I would like to invite Mr. Chris Dispain ‑‑ Mr. Yasuchi Kaneko, minister for international affairs and communication, Japan.  This is prerecorded and you're invited to watch now.

>> I'm honored to have this address to address you at the conclusion of the annual meeting.

First of all, I would like to pay my highest respect to the government of Poland and or relevant people from the country, I would like to thank the UN DESA and the IGF secretariate and all involved to contribute to organizing the session and preparing the discussion under the persistent COVID‑19 pandemic.  Nevertheless, the COVID pandemic brought along chances to reaffirm the power of the Internet.  Under the pandemic crisis and even more in the process of recovery, the Internet is taking the role of the essential infrastructure for the daily lives and economic activities of people around the world and has been providing the foundation for building the digital society of the future.

In order to enable the world to overcome the COVID‑19 pandemic, to address global challenges such as Human Rights protection, climate change and other environmental issues, and to achieve the SGs what we need is to further promote further digital cooperation and to enable all people to access the Internet and participate in the digital society without concern.

Under the leadership of the Prime Minister, Japan is domestically promoting a digital policy, the digital garden state city initiative aiming to solve various challenges in rural areas utilizing the power of digital technologies and realizing a sustainable, inclusive society where no one is left behind.

It is also true that the Internet brought along various difficulties, such as the spread of illegal, harmful information, infringement of privacy and threats to digital security.  Therefore, strengthening people's trust in the Internet is one of the themes of IGF 2021 as it is indeed an urgent issue.

From that perspective, Japan proposed the concept of data free flow with trust, the so‑called DFFT in 2019.  Based on the DFFT concept we continue to work towards a society in which innovation enables wellbeing for all people thanks to a sorrow utilization of data and with the fully hybrid format, IGF 2021 is a good opportunity to embody the multistakeholder approach where people from different regions and communities around the world participate and discuss the up to date issues of the Internet.

Diversity and inclusiveness is the central core of the IGF which also underpins the source of the Internet potential for growth and innovation for new values.

This understanding led to us a strong support of the concept of the IGF Plus outlined by Secretary‑General in his Roadmap for Digital Cooperation and Japan is determined to contribute to it by hosting the IGF in 2023 and continuing our efforts in working hand in hand with all the stakeholders in order to continue the efforts this year and further forward our steps together toward the common goals of finding the way to a more inclusive, effective IGF and of protecting, promoting the full, open, secure and interoperable Internet.  I would like to extend to you our sincere invitation to IGF 2023.

>> AGATA KONARSKA: Ladies and gentlemen, the IGF 2021 is nearing its understand Katowice.  It is time to talk, to think about next year's event, IGF 2022 to begin the countdown and I ask the ICT Minister of Ethiopia, Mrs. Huria Ali is with us.  I would like to invite you to the stage to say a few words and to invite us to Ethiopia!  Please!

>> HURIA ALI: Good evening.  Excellency, honorable ministries, ladies and gentlemen, good afternoon, good evening and good morning all connected all over the world.

Once again, it is my pleasure to address the participants of this forum.  I was told to address the closing ceremony remark, but I would say I'm addressing the end of the session because the next session will be in my continent, Africa, which I am proudly representing here.

As you know, as all know, if we want an inclusive and bright future, or a resilient one, we need digital technologies as an enabler.  Digital technologies has the ability to transform the society and also to help the world to rapidly recover from COVID‑19.  We are concluding this year's forum while connectivity and Sustainable Development are facing a new growing challenge as COVID‑19 and, of course, opportunity like a new shift to digital solutions to remain connected.

On behalf of the ‑‑ half the planet or the world remains unconnected, women and girls, elder, People with Disabilities, indigenous population, economically disadvantaged are among the unconnected.  This makes connectivity a pressing global issue and exceptionally critical for Africa.

It has always been said connectivity has become a core enabler to the economic development, job creation, poverty reduction and the most countries understand connectivity as a critical factor to achieve a knowledge‑based economy.

Excellencies, ladies and gentlemen, however our continent Africa is a critical time where most of the population remains unconnected.  We are in a time where the digital ecosystem has become more complex, I'm sure, for the last few days you and the participants have made a lot of gross in framing and recommending policy issues that will address suppressing issues that we're facing today.

We're also in a very critical time where policymakers and other stakeholders need to collaborate further addressing the challenges and explore opportunities.  It is obvious that the issue of connectivity and power will remain a development challenge, especially for our continent Africa.  I am asking the community to work diligently to keep working and providing frameworks that help us to address challenges in connectivity and power.

Finally, I would like to take this opportunity to reassure Ethiopia's commitment to make IGF 2022 a success and a request of your solidarity to continue addressing the challenges in a sustainable way.

I would like to thank all high officials who have made this incredible forum, all participants, all beloved and respected Katowice people for your very kind hospitality.  Me and my colleague enjoyed Poland very much.  I look forward to welcoming you all to Addis Ababa for IGF 2022, the most beautiful city with much diversity and culture. 

Thank you very much.

>> Mankind, where the mother of humanity took her first steps.

The land that gave coffee to the world, Ethiopia, is rich in history, wildlife, awe inspiring landscapes, adventure, 9 World Heritage Sites and a stunning diversity of people.

The birthplace of headquarters of the African Union, Ethiopia is the hub of Africa.

An ancient land with a modern capital city, Addis Ababa will thrill you with its exciting night life.  Step back in time and marvel at the 800 year old monolithic churches carved out of solid rock and considered to be the 8th Wonder of the World.

The ancient Empire there is home to the legendary Queen of Sheba, you can walk among this area and visit the final resting place of the ark of the covenant.

The 17th Century Gothic Castle was home to a king where people still get baptized in the pool.

Take a relaxing ride on the beautiful lake and witness the source of the magnificent blue Nile, the roar of the falls will fill your heart and the secrets of the hidden islands will fill your soul.

The walled city, immerse yourself in the colorful traditions of the unique culture, wander in the footsteps of a French poet and feed the hyenas by hand.

Take a leisurely cruise down the mighty river or brave the rapids if you dare!  Climbing the vast mountain ranges will lift you to places few have ever seen.

The hottest place on earth is this depression, be mesmerized by the landscapes painted in glorious colors.

Camp overnight by an active volcano or follow a caravan of camels along the salt route.  Track through the Simien Mountain, hike to the peaks and marvel at the rock foundations that are called the chess pieces of the Gods.

Ride through the many parks, fall in love with the beauty of nature and marvel at century old trees.  You can explore stunning caves by following an underground river through a series of majestic interlocking chambers.  Relax your body and renew your spirit in our many natural hot spots and luxury spas.  You can check more than 80 indigenous animals through the lands or spend the day birdwatching with over 800 species. Ethiopia is truly a birdwatcher's paradise.

The copper waters of the lake is a perfect spot for a swim.

Enjoy the vibrant Addis Ababa night life where you can wine and dine on food from the world, entertained by live music from the traditional to the modern and dance the night away in pubs and clubs that go on all night long.

From 5 star hotels to backpacker hostels, Ethiopia has a wide range of accommodation, catering to all kinds of travelers with daily Ethiopian airline flights to a range of domestic tourist destinations and rental cars readily available, traveling within the country is easy, safe and convenient.

Ethiopia, where hospitality is a way of life.  Come see for yourself!

>> AGATA KONARSKA: Thank you.  Thank you for inviting to us Ethiopia, to IGF 2022.

Now I'll we'll have a performance for you again, ladies and gentlemen, give a big round of applause!


>> AGATA KONARSKA: Thank you, the dances of the Polish Highlander, Highlanders that live 100 kilometers from here in the mountains.

Thank you very much for this incredible visual experience and beautiful show, especially for you, our guests and participants of the IGF 2021.

As now it is really time to say good‑bye, ladies and gentlemen, I invite again to the stage Mr. Krzysztof Szubert, who will thank to all of the organizing team for delivering IGF2021.

>> KRZYSZTOF SZUBERT: Thank you!  Ladies and gentlemen, we're about to close our ceremony.  It is a very good moment to invite and join me on stage director of the National Research Institute.

Ladies and gentlemen, as you know, to organize those day, such as event, it is quite challenging.  So there is a lot of people behind the scenes, which have been with us all the time now I would like to spend a few moments to invite them, just a few of them actually, there were a ton of them to be honest working very hard all the week, being behind the scenes, being behind the screens, monitors, stuff like this.

So they have been working very hard.

I would like to now spend a moment and show you the top 12 of them.

It was very difficult for us to choose which to present together with the director, but now I would like to show 12 of them leading by the leader of the group, the director of the chancellory of the Prime Minister., and now the team from the ministry, from the counselor minister.

That's the team behind the team!

>> AGATA KONARSKA: That's the team!  Thank you very much!

>> KRZYSZTOF SZUBERT: Thank you again!  Please give them a really big round of applause!  Thank you!

>> AGATA KONARSKA: A good occasion to make a family photo!  Maybe you want to join us, the representatives of the IGF secretariate, the Host Country organizing team, just to make a photo to remember all of news Katowice.  If you want to join on stage, you're welcome to.  This is the time for a family photo, again to make a big applause for the great organizing team.  Thank you.

>> KRZYSZTOF SZUBERT: Please, please, minister.

Can we ask you to join us?

>> AGATA KONARSKA: Ladies and gentlemen, in this way, the closing ceremony is nearing its end.  The IGF 2021 goes down to history, we believe it was a place of open and real debate about the future of Internet platforms as well as a number of other issues.  We hope that as we said, a wonderful time in Poland.  I would like to thank you for being with us here in Katowice in‑person and all of the participants that joined us online.  Have a lovely evening.  Please, also have a safe trip back home.

Thank you for your attention.

We will make this beautiful family photo and I would like to invite also on stage the orchestra who will say good‑bye to you here in Katowice!  Thank you!

>> AGATA KONARSKA: Beautiful!  Smile!  Last one!  Last photos!  Thank you very much!  Thank you!  Thank you for joining us on stage!  Thanks a lot!