IGF 2021 - Day 2 - WS #13 Digital transformation challenges in developing countries

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.



     >> OLGA CAVALLI: Okay, think we are live now.  Thank you very much for being with us this morning.  Good morning from Buenos Aires.

     Welcome to this workshop number 13.  I'm Olga Cavalli, cofounder of the Sao Paolo Internet Governance, and I will be moderating this workshop.  Many thanks for joining today.  And to the Polish for organizing the new edition of the IGF.  Unfortunately, we decided not to travel for business related with vaccines and all that health things.

     But thanks to the internet we are all connected today, and I can see you and we can interact.  The people in the room, thank you very much for joining.  Unfortunately, I cannot be with you there today.

    This workshop is organized by the Center of Training and High Technology for Latin America and the Korean (break in audio) for helping us with this workshop. 

     And let me introduce our distinguished keynote and our panelists.  Our very much distinguished keynote is Mr. Vint Cerf, Vice-President and chief internet evangelist at Google.  And, of course, he is considered the father of the internet.  And again, always an honor to have you here.  And thank you for the support that you give to all of the activities that we do with the internet governance and your willingness of participating and sharing your time. 

     Thank you very much and welcome.  And our panelists. Maimouna Ndeye, she's from Senegal, she's a member of the ISO Board of Trustees. Welcome, Maimouna.  Antonio Garcia Zaballos, he's a communication specialist and digital infrastructure coordinator.  Welcome, Antonio. 

     And Vladimir Stankovic from the Department of ITU, he will join us in a while.  He has an overlapping activity in the IGF.  And our friend Matthias Hudobnik, an expert and engineer and a member of the ICANN. 

     Thank you very much to all of you for being with us this morning for me.  And before giving the floor to you, I would like to make a very brief introduction. 

     This is the follow-up activity from ones we organized in the WSIS forum that was quite interesting.  But several things have happened since March and today. 

     So digital transformation is usually defined as the integration of digital technology into economic activity that result in changes in business operations and delivery of value to customers. 

     It has a direct impact on how the world does business, communicates and develops in all levels at the national and international level. 

     Investment in digital technology has a positive impact on economy growth.  And, of course, it impacts the key indicators like the GDP, productivity.  And it has an influence in culture and human relations and in the general speed of change in all of the activities at all levels. 

     So we can agree that the digitalization is of high importance today, but at the same time there is a digital divide because between those countries that have successfully navigated the increase of use of digital technology and those that have not and could be the danger of being left behind. 

     Additional to this, there is the world economic crisis with the COVID-19 pandemic which is the worst after the second world war.  And it is impacting all countries of the world, but with the higher impact in the developing countries, especially Latin America is the most affected region as per the publication I have seen from organizations that most impact of the pandemic is in Latin America where I live and where I come from. 

     This workshop will be focusing on those challenges for developing economies and capturing the benefits of digital transformation in the times of COVID-19 crisis.  And we will try to also identify key elements of the transformation to be implemented to help the developing economies. 

     As you know, I'm always an optimist of the use of technologies, and I'm always an optimist.  So we will try to find the good advice from you as very important experts.

     So first I would like to introduce -- give the floor to Mr. Vint Cerf. 

     Vint, it's always an honor to have you here. As you know, some projects have become uniform startups from companies in developing regions and some are very well known, which is very good. 

     But still many small and medium enterprises and self-employed workers find it difficult to overcome the new challenges to embrace the digital transformation and you see many small and medium enterprises that have presence in the internet but don't include the technology in their processes and in their value of chain. 

     So the challenges are several new types of cyber attacks, lack of connectivity, affordability of services and devices and tools.  How do you see the small and medium enterprises and entrepreneurs could overcome the challenges?  Are there lessons learned in the last year and half a year that could be used in the mid and long-term?  And thank you very much for joining.  And the floor is yours.

     >> VINT CERF: Thank you, Olga, as always, and thank you for your enthusiasm and optimism.  We can all take to heart we will figure out a way to make our way through all of this. 

     I would like to split my keynote into two parts.  One of them is that at the beginning the more general observation is about digital cooperation and why that is so important.  And then I want to speak specifically to the role of SMEs in the online environment.  So let me begin on this first part.

     I want to emphasize that the internet is an artifact.  It is a deliberately designed global shared infrastructure.  And it bears some of the characteristics of other natural shared ecosystems like the atmosphere, the oceans and space, which are also fairly complex environments. 

     So learning to maximize the utility of the internet while managing its risks is kind of like training wheels on a bicycle.  If we can develop common norms and international behavioral agreements for the internet, we can apply these lessons to the other important sustainable development goals, many of which are aimed at shared and equally vital infrastructure. 

     Secretary General Gutierrez' digital cooperative initiative is representative of this mindset, and it could not be more timely.  The Global Commission on the Stability of Cyberspace on which I sit has proposed a variety of norms aimed at protecting the use of the internet and its users. 

     Some actors advocate for policies that would fragment the internet and erode its global potential. The term data sovereignty is often invoked in aid of this argument.  One understandable motivation for this argument is to achieve control of access to data, a concept adjacent to privacy.  But this desirable protection can be achieved by other means that need not fragment the internet.

     At the proper levels in the internet's layered protocol architecture, one can introduce cryptographic means both to enforce access control and to apply strong authentication to the identity of the accessing parties and also to the integrity of the data.

     I could not over emphasize that the free flow of data across borders is actually one of the most valuable aspects of the global internet.

     It is widely appreciated that the applications of the internet have simultaneously given rise to powerful collaborative capabilities such as the development of a response to the global COVID-19 pandemic.  But also to opportunity for harmful cross-border behaviors. 

     It is no wonder that national safety and security concerns have arisen.  But to cope with the global system, one must apply global methods.  And thus the call for digital cooperation extends to law enforcement and the apprehension of criminals, for example. 

     We have seen some -- recently some very effective cooperation among national and international law enforcement agencies and the private sector in aid of such work such as tracking down and apprehending ransomware hackers. 

     These examples reinforce my belief that learning to work together to maintain and enhance the benefits of a global internet and increase the safety and security in its use will inform our efforts in the other SDG domains.  We have an opportunity to learn together, to preserve our global, natural and artificial habitats.

     Now let me turn to SMEs and their role.  SMEs are like the stem cells of national economies.  They can develop into virtually anything as conditions and circumstances permit.  In our increasingly digital world, the term stem seems very appropriate because our global and local economies are increasingly influenced by and independent on science, technology, engineering and mathematics which have brought us a digital environment in which to develop new products and services.  

     But for the SMEs to flourish, the populations that create them must have reliable infrastructure of all kinds.  Transportation, energy, education, finance, housing, food security.  I mean you can make a longer list.

     Interestingly, these desirable features align well with the UN sustainable development goals for 2030.  Successful SMEs thrive on high quality and timely information about customer needs, supply chain status, service and manufacturing logistics. 

     It is not surprising that the internet and the computing devices it serves are becoming more important to the successful formation and growth of SMEs.  But the utility of these information services is very dependent on their reliability, their resilience in the face of deficits, resistance to cyber attack and flexible evolutionary capability.

     Moreover, these services really must operate on a global scale because the supply of raw and finished materials, that drive SME businesses are sourced around the world.  The inherent complexity of achieving global information safety and security reinforces the importance of multi-stakeholder processes for the formation of policy and the implementation of practices that lead to desirable outcomes and benefits for everyone.

     This line of reasoning leads to the conclusion that trans-sectoral and transnational cooperation and collaboration are essential to thriving SME-driven economies.  In some sense, this is something like the humble community barn raisings of the 19th century in which the community collaborated for the benefit of every community member to enable their small farms to thrive.

     But in digital cooperation space, this scale is potentially global in scope.  Our challenge, then, is to learn quickly what kinds of cooperation and collaboration are effective for creating conditions in which SMEs can take advantage of and rely upon digital technology.

     It is in this domain that the Internet Governance Forum can play a major role.  In its national, regional and international manifestations, we have an opportunity to share what has worked, what has not worked, and why. 

     This shared learning benefits everyone, not least of which are the SMEs seeking to use technology to improve products, services and awareness of customer needs.  It's precisely the stakeholder nature of the IGF that maximizes its information sharing capacity and spotlights opportunities for multi-stakeholder cooperation for local and global benefit. 

     So I will stop there, Olga, and look forward to this discussion because it feels to me like our SME, our cohort of SMEs are the rock on which our economies are being built.  And I for one hope that the digital economy and the digital environment will assist in that objective.

     >> OLGA CAVALLI: Thank you very much, Vint.  I like that you mentioned that you said that they were stem cells are the economy.  I totally agree.  This is, as you know, at least in Latin America and I think it is the same in many developing economies, most of the economy is based on small and medium enterprises.  Which is nice, but it is challenging at the same time because some of them have difficulties. 

     And I think that the two focus that you made are totally related to global cooperation and the challenges of putting effective use and learn.

     So this is exactly what we are trying to do for many years with the internet governance, trying to help people understanding the basics and concepts of benefits of internet and technologies. 

     Sometimes it is not a matter of having the funds but a matter of having how to apply them, how to find them and how to use them effectively.  it's not that they are not there, sometimes, you know, you have to know how to get there.  Thank you very much, Vint, and we will come back with your comments in a moment. 

     Maimouna, welcome.  My dear friend Maimouna.  I hope that you are doing well, and this pandemic was not so bad for you and your family.

     Let me ask you a question.  In the last two years, one of the challenges for women was to have equal access to the internet and technology which seemed to be somehow diminished due to the different responsibilities at home that we have.  And I'm engineer and mother so I'm both.  Children are young adults now, but I know what I'm talking about.  And at home and also access to manage a few devices at home and were shared by several people at home with kids making the homework for school and fathers working. 

     So how to effectively use this ICT technology and affordability were problems for many families and especially for women. 

     How does needs of women be addressed in the developing economies, how this gender gap will be diminished in relation to access to ICT services and also to education?  Are there examples you can share with us from your country or your region?  And welcome.

     >> MAIMOUNA NDEYE: Thank you, Olga.  And good evening, everybody.  I would like to thank you for inviting me to join this interesting session and a great thanks to Vint for these keynotes. 

     I think it is important to understand that we are in a world where the access is not really available for everyone.  And before I answer to your question about women gap, it is very, very big one, I would like to weigh the issue that Africa has witnessed significant growth in information and technology communication since, particularly in the mobile telephony. 

     And in December of 2020, the internet saturation in Africa tolled at 42% which is not bad.  But that means that most -- more than half of the population does not have access to the internet.  And the pandemic has had an impact on the digital landscape, especially in the sub-Saharan Africa.

     While vaccination has brought some hope and relief, whether it is vaccine availability, whether it's extent of case and emergent of challenging variant continue to prolong the crisis.

     The pandemic has highlighted importance of inclusive digital play and defined by universal access to reliable internet and a range of digital services for individual and businesses.

     And about the gender, a large gender gap in the mobile internet use persists standing at 37% about the gender gap.  And 60% for the rural and urban gap.  That means that we really have to face these big issues in the continent.

     But we have several initiatives at the continental level and also at the local level in my specifically in my country, we set up a special program for ICT for women.

     And it allowed us to have some funds to connect rural area women and specifically to help them to have access to financial services which is a key when it comes to help access to the economy. 

     And we also had an initiative which was kind of coalition within -- to bring the ministry of Health, the Ministry of Digital Economy and all of the stakeholders, the telecom operators and digital services company and we set up these coalition to bring together our effort to -- the internet access application technical solution communication building, capacity building and also to have some platform to raise the issue of digital access during the pandemic.

     We also set up specific initiative to ensure continuity of learning for the children and young in Senegal. 

     And for this, we used -- we had -- we set a universal fund and we used this universal fund to provide five gigabit capacity to the schools in Senegal.  And it was a kind of specific access for the girls in the schools and also at home.

     But I think the fact is that is not enough.  We need to do more.  And the gap is there.  So we need to raise it.  I used to study the girls gap in the internet gap and it is seen that we have a lot of miles before getting, you know, a kind of equity and equality from the men and the women in Africa.  And I think it is the same thing when you talk about the gender gap in Africa.  Thank you.

     >> OLGA CAVALLI: Thanks to you, Maimouna.  Women are responsible for most of the production, more than half of the production of what is produced in the rural areas, but at the same time they don't participate typically into the economic process.  And so that is another divide which is bigger also for women.

     And what you mentioned about the mobile tones in Africa, it is remarkable.  Especially for the financial services.  And I think some other regions they should learn from countries like Kenya or Senegal. 

     The highest access in Latin America is made through mobile phones.  And there could be a lot of enhancement in the use of the mobile technology for financial services.  And finally, interesting what you mentioned about the universal fund.  In some countries where the privatization in the 1990's and the mention of telephone companies, not all of the funds were established -- these were established but not all of the funds were so practically practicality used. 

     So it is good to know that you are using it in a very good way, especially for enhancing the participation of women.  Thank you very much. 

     We will come back to you in a moment.  And I would like to give the floor to Antonio Garcia Zaballos.  Antonio, welcome.  A question for you in developing countries and economies, the gap between the connected and unconnected as we are talking about experience, a new exposure in many locations existing that is not ready yet.  Some people thought that they were connected but then when three or four people at the same place were connected then the quality was low or they were connected and it didn't work. 

     So the new gap was very explicit during the past year and a half, and those poorly connected have difficulties.  Are there regional or international financing for making improvements to infrastructure and so helping the developing economies embracing the digital transformation and enhancing the infrastructure?  And welcome, Antonio.

     >> ANTONIO GARCIA ZABALLOS: Thank you very much.  The question is terribly important and very, very critical for the period of time that we are living. 

     At this moment in time, according to the OECD, Latin America and the Caribbean is lagging behind in terms of the internet infrastructure.  Around $70 billion just to catch up with the OECD countries. 

     It is obvious this is an amount of money that needs to be done in coordination between the public and the private sector.

     The thing that we are observing these days is that the data infrastructure and connectivity is having a direct impact in terms of social inclusion and also in terms of productivity.  In that particular regard the roles of the multi-lateral government banks such as the IDB but also the role of the private sector and more importantly the role of the governments are going to be critical just to, you know, to bridge the existing gap that we have.  Where is this existing gap coming from?  And this is the first question that probably we need to give answer.

     So the first is that when we talk about the digital gap or infrastructure gap, there are several dimensions.  For instance, one of the things we are observing in Latin America is there's a huge dependency from house located in the United States, so they have particular issue related to international connectivity and to improving the regional integration. 

     So the countries have not interconnected among them, and this has a clear impact in terms of the quality of services and in terms of the prices that the population and the users are paying.

     So in this particular regard, again, there is a specific role for private sector to deploy additional cables but also an important role from the public side to make sure that there is an existing interconnection across different countries. 

     There is an issue related to border connectivity that is going to be very, very important and in this particular regard we have been working closely with governments such as Argentina and Chile and Paraguay just to improve the interconnection across them. 

     And the problem and magnitude of this problem is even greater when we are thinking about non-developed countries or countries that are small in terms of sizes.  For instance, the Caribbean islands or even more countries like El Salvador that they have a huge dependency or one country like Guatemala to have the proper internet services. 

     We cannot talk about proper digitalization if we don't have regional integration in terms of digitalization infrastructure.  So this is one very important theme that we all are co-responsive and co-responsible. 

     Governments, private sector, and, of course, multilateral development banks that at the end of the day are working on the disposal and at the particular request coming from the governments.

     The second thing that I wanted to highlight is what is the digital infrastructure gap where we are thinking nationally?  And here I think that we have had already quite a bit of discussion in the past.

     But the question that comes to my mind is that despite the fact that there are many countries around the world and specifically in Latin America that they don't have specific digital agendas, I realize there are not many countries in Latin America at least with a specific national connectivity plan. 

     So at the end we end up having with the list of targets we needed to digitalize that are built upon with all due respect nothing because we are lacking process for the infrastructure.  So at the end of the day to talk about agenda for Paraguay or Honduras or other countries, it is just for those people who are connected. 

     And we cannot forget the time as it was mentioned at the opening half of the population in Latin America remains unconnected and the other half are still stuck in 3G technologies where the quality of the services and type of services are going to be an issue.

     So with this I want to say that we need to have as a country a strategy going forward in terms of national connectivity and keeping in mind two specific aspects.  The first is related to productivity.  So taking into account the consequences coming from the pandemic situation.  We need to understand that for the continuity of the economy and for the continuity of many businesses’ infrastructure is going to be very important.  And more importantly, to connect areas such as rural areas are going to be a very important aspect if we want to catch up between rural area and have equal opportunities to the people regardless where they are living.

     So that is a very important thing.  The second is the continuity of public services.  So here I'm talking about health service, education service, or countries like, you know, like Guatemala, where, you know, yesterday we have a meeting with the Congressman from Paraguay, less than 10% of the schools are connected there. 

     So this is equivalent to saying that in the last 18 months there was a stop, literally a stop in all education system in those two countries.  We need to do something, and again we are responsible of the situation we are facing. 

     When thinking about the connectivity we need to keep in mind.  And I'm about to finish.  There are two cross-cutting aspects that we need to keep in mind as well.  One is related to the update of the regulatory framework.  And two out of three countries in Latin America do have telecom law and specifically regulation dating from the late 1990's or 2000s where the concept of 5G and broadband and internet even are not captured there. 

     We need to update, and it is specifically important as relate to rights of ways and universal service and also the spectrum that is going to be one of the fuel for keeping it moving forward.

     And last, but not least, the skills which is the other important equation to be able to bring into the equation.  Not just about bringing connectivity and not just about bringing or having appropriate framework but having the digital skills that allow the people to take advantage and benefiting from having that access.

     So I will stop here.  I'm sure that we will have chances of going into further discussions.  Thank you very much.

     >> OLGA CAVALLI: Thanks to you, Antonio.  I always say this, we should move from talking to action.  We do the digital agendas and agenda for cybersecurity, but we have to move from there to action.  Especially in the activities that I do for closing the gender gap in technology.

     And the fact that there is some connectivity it had showed not to be enough especially as you already mentioned for mobile phones it is lagging behind and some countries are really facing difficulties.  And the connectivity in schools I find it relevant. 

     Also digital skills.  It is an interesting thing.  In countries like, for example, Argentina, the ICT sector cannot grow higher because there are not enough human resources trained for that.  That is an opportunity there, but not taken by the people because they are not trained.

     So that is something interesting to think about, and we will come back to you in a moment.  And before giving the floor to the next panelist, I would like to thank all of you in the IGF in person in Poland.  Hello.  I can see the room.  Hola.  And we have a remote hub in Abuja.  Interesting.  Thank you for joining with us this morning.

     And I would like to welcome our new panelist Vladimir.  Thank you for joining us this morning.  I mentioned that you were joining a few minutes later because you had another activity.  And as I mentioned, he works in the ITU

     And I would like to pose the question for you.  It is -- sorry.  During the past year and a half we have experienced a proven value of new ways of working and learning.  So we are having this meeting and it is virtual and I'm in Argentina and some people are in Poland and you are in the United States. 

     Based on the hybrid mixing and on-site, online training and working, how can the new capacity building methods help closing the gaps that we have been talking about for a while today in the access to education and ICT services and technologies and the need for STEM education, especially for young women in developing economies?  So welcome, and the floor is yours, Vladimir.

     >> VLADIMIR STANKOVIK: Thank you very much.  Thank you for inviting ITU to present at your session.  And a very warm greeting to all of the panelists and those following us in the audience. 

     Definitely the past year and a half has brought us lots of new developments that look very with potential and promising, and we will share more about the details of the ITU numbers and especially those coming from the forum as I'm one of the coordinators of the process as part of ITU

     Before I start sharing some insights and importance of ICTs and the growing capacities for education for gender mainstreaming and youth, all together the efforts by ITU especially during the ongoing challenging times.  If you allow me, I would like to use this opportunity and share a story of how each of us can contribute to the gender equality.

     So back in 2010, I was part of a delegation that attended the IGT in India and there was a feeling more can be done in the gender mainstreaming activities in the ICT field.  The last meeting on the topic in ITU was held in 2005.  So five years before that meeting in the forum of a working level group.

     And not a lot were held since then.  So back to coming back from India, which by the way has a very good system that I would like to mention of open schools which has been successfully run since 1989 where all, you know, different technologies were used to educate using radios, television and now internet.

     So going back from India, I continued to do research and consulted lots of experts in the field of gender missing in ICTs.  And basically there was a clear need to start at early age with the so-called STEM education which would then be supported by a successful transition to the careers and then later on to having gender balanced decision makers.

     So the division was proposed at the conference in Guadalajara and several initiatives were suggested.  One was the establishment of the International Girls in IT Day.

     And I would like to use this opportunity to present in the last 10 years million of girls around the world have been part of the global celebrations and have been introduced to STEM and ICT careers.  And I bet some of them from 10 years ago are now here at IGF contributing to the exciting new moment for gender equality in the ICT field.

     So what is needed?  We need to do the extra step.  We could have revised the resolution and point out a couple of things, but neglect to touch upon the very important issue on how and where is -- how can we respond to this challenge, what are the roots?

     But this is something that I would like to share at the beginning and invite everyone to -- who are in position here in Nigeria, at the national level, international level, to do their work regardless of the result.  Often they don't -- they fail but in order for them to succeed they need to be made.

     So once again I believe IGF has done a tremendous job in the last 10 years in gender mainstreaming with lots of new activities and initiatives, and I think we are looking for a very promising future ahead. 

     Let me move to the present times.  I will repeat something that everyone here at the meeting or IGF or another ICT events has already mentioned, never before has there been so much reliance, appreciation and emphasis placed on the importance of capacity of ICTs which has given people around the world the work, study, and care of others and remaining connected to loved ones. 

     It is important to emphasize the importance of ICTs and these kind of events and also importance of various international bodies that are really there to support and give and connect the world.

     However, talking about connection, not everyone was able to benefit.  So the digital divides are increasingly apparent between different sides, rich and poor, urban and rural, young and elderly as well and those on gender but also including people with disabilities and Indigenous peoples. 

     For half of the nation it is out of reach.  Too complicated to use or not in the local language.  We believe that increased awareness of importance of getting everyone connected brought about by the pandemic which will make it sooner rather than later that everyone everywhere benefits from technology.  As you know, some of the numbers are in looking better and much better in the last year and a half than they were before.

     There is an estimated 37% of the world population or 2.5 billion people have still never used internet.  And the new ITU data for those who are yet to learn about ITU is the -- it is the United Nations specialized agency for information for communication technology, the report revealed growth in the internet use and number of people who used the internet surging to 4.9 billion in 2021 from 4.1 billion in 2019.  A huge increase in the last year and a half.  Moreover in the last decade if you have seen the increase of 17%.

     So all of these lockdowns, schools’ closures, combined with people's need to access the government services, health updates, e-commerce and online banking contributed to the COVID connectivity boost with more than 782 million additional people online.  This particular moment has also witnessed an increase in bridging the digital gap.

     I would like to focus at the things we witnessed at the business forum in 2021 and in 2020.  And first, thank you, Olga, for being a great contributor to the forum and process.  We always appreciate your presence and look forward for the outcomes of this session to be presented at the business forum for 2022.

     So starting the discussion about WSIS and gender, we cannot avoid going back in history and discussing the declaration of all peoples of the world in 2003 Which declared a common desire and incentive to build a people centered, inclusive and developed automated information society including the promotion of gender equality and empowerment of women. 

     Almost two decades ago the decision makers at the summit affirmed that the development of ICTs provide enormous opportunities for women who should be an integral part of key actors in the information society.  We are committed they stay to ensure that the information society enables women empowerment and their full participation.  To this end they may we should mainstream gender equality perspective and the use of ICTs as a tool to that end. 

     So discussing about two decades ago and what is happening now and the boost that is happening in the last year and a half.  We must say that we are dedicated to the issues of digital gender divide, maintaining gender equality and at the WSIS forum we also look very strongly to the 50/50 participation. 

     And the WSIS forum has launched special tracks on ICTs and several other activities including special initiative on agenda mainstreaming that I will discussion a bit more later.

     Just to point out what was mentioned by the ITU Secretary General at the recently held UN Women Generation Equality Forum where he stressed that by holding back half of the world's population we hold back human progress. 

     And if you don't enforce the efforts now, it will be difficult to achieve at the G5 or any other UN entity before the end of this decade.  We all must make use of the momentum and of the digital transformation that we are a part of and push for this gender equality in the ICT field.

     And I will close by mentioning some of the new activities that has been developed in the WSIS forum lately.  In line with also the WSIS declaration principles the ITU has recently launched the World Summit on Information Science Taking Repository of Women In Technology.  We would like everyone to join this opportunity.  It is a global portal that is highlighting national initiatives and programs that would be of interest and relevance to the gender mainstreaming.

     This forum has witnessed a huge increase of participation and many sessions were focusing on the capacity building towards gender mainstreaming including STEM. 

     I would like to specifically comment on the session held within the ICT and gender mainstreaming special track called Experience of Young Women and Girls in STEM that was organized by tech girls.  The recording is available on the WSIS forum 2021 website and was conducted virtually and introduced real examples from the ground by the alumni of those who witnessed and took action in the program. 

     And all of this helped closing the gender gap in the access to education and ICTs in the developing economies as well which is also one of the focus of the WSIS forum next year including the least developed countries. 

     Again we invite everyone to join us in increasing the capacity of the ICS agenda mainstreaming at the WSIS forum.  And I would like to go back to the panelists and audience for questions on particularities the WSIS forum is planning towards next year in the special track on the gender mainstreaming in the special new initiatives regarding the WSIS youth campaigns and other capacity building activities that ITU is also holding within its own scope of ITU Academy and many other events towards the gender equality.  Thank you, Olga.

     >> OLGA CAVALLI: Thank you very much, Vladimir.  I would like to say that I follow all of your activities at ITU for all of the activities of the WSIS forum. 

     I would like you to know that at least in Argentina chapter and the school of internet governance we always have a celebration for the Day of the Girls in IT.  We always do that for many years.

     And those who know me, I have been working on this issue for more than 20 years.  Before that it -- now it is kind of in fashion, but I used to talk about especially with young women and students and ladies, an opportunity here of international careers and well-paying jobs and go for it. 

     So this is my message, always trying to be positive.  And thank you very much, Vladimir, and we will come back and perhaps you can tell us how to get more involved with the WSIS forum this year. 

     Now Matthias, thank you for your patience.  I will give the floor to you.  I know that you are very active in a very interesting part of the ICANN ecosystem. 

     And many developing economies are updating several regulations related to digital economy, cybersecurity, privacy, among many others.  But at the same time, a solid multi-stakeholder interaction has proved to be the best environment to develop and update these regulations. 

     But sometimes developing economies and countries don't get the most of the multi-stakeholder process.  How can the multi-stakeholder model be reinforced or consolidated in developing economies to create an open dialogue to achieve digital consolidation and what Vint said with the sharing experiences?  Welcome, Matthias.

     >> MATTHIAS HUDOBNIK:  Hello, everyone.  Thank you very much for having me, and thank you to the organizers and especially to you, Olga, for the moderation.

     Yeah, ultimately I'm thrilled and deeply honored to speak with Vint as the father of the internet and all of the other distinguished speakers on the workshop.

     And for me, having an important topic.  As you said, Olga, I see myself as the next generation with the internet governance and especially as a large advisory committee member at ICANN representing internet end user from Europe, this is for me a very interesting panel. 

     So I want to start my talk with the statement is there is a global evolution of internet and data traffic.

     And here I would very much like to refer to digital and economy report carried out in 2017 by the ICT policy section on the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development Division which has very interesting insights.

     Just emphasize a bit.  It shows in general that the digital data and the flows are a core factor to all facets involving digital technology, artificial intelligence, internet of things and blockchain, data analytics and cloud computing and other internet-based services. 

     The massive flows of data are substantial to virtually achieve all of the sustainable development goals.  We can see that countries around the world are struggling to determine how to deal with it from a policy perspective, I would say. 

     And the national and international levels will affect not only trade, innovation and economic progress but also a range of other topics related to the distribution of digitalization, human rights, law enforcement and also national security which is very important to mention. 

     And in my opinion, the three very important points I want to reflect on, and it might be stimulating for a fruitful discussion.

     The first point I want to stress is that data flows are growing enormously but are difficult to measure.  So the trend of data flows is steeply upwards even though it is hard to measure the data traffic, the report also forecasts that global internet traffic in 2022 will exceed all internet traffic up to 2016. 

     Moreover, the internet traffic was heavily impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, we already heard, because most of the activities took place in the online environment.  And considering this, the global internet bandwidth rose by 35% in 2020.  The largest one-year increase since 2013.  That's Very interesting, right? 

     And there is an estimation of approximate 80% of all internet traffic affects social networking, videos and gaming.  It is expected that this global traffic or data traffic will raise from 230 exabytes in 2020 to 780 exabytes by 2026 and that is really huge. 

     And if we start talking about the measurement of cross-border data flows, it is even more difficult to tackle.  And undermining that in terms of volume, the most used measure is the total use and capacity of international internet bandwidth.  And this refers to the amount of data flowing in terms of bytes but does not show the direction of the flows nor anything about the nature and quality of the data.

     So the available information advocates that international bandwidth use accelerated during the pandemic and that this traffic is geographically concentrated between North America and Europe and North America and Asia.

     The second point I want to underline is that the data group digital economy is immensely imbalanced.  Firstly, only 20% of people in least developed countries use the internet.  Secondly, if used it is characteristically at relatively low download speeds. 

     And thirdly, with relatively high price.  And thirdly, the nature of use also refers to related to the region which is also shown in the report.  And just to mention one example, one up to eight in 10 internet users shop online in many developed countries.  That figure is less than one in 10 in many least developed countries. 

     Again, this is not a surprise.  There are also significant divides between rural and urban areas and between men and women.  The largest divides are observed in the least developed countries and the African region. 

     Regarding the engagement capacities and advantages from the data group for digital economy, two countries are outstanding.  Guess which countries?  The United States and China.  And these two countries account for half of the world's data centers.  The highest rates of 5G implementation in the world. 

     94% of all funding in startups.  70% of the world's top researchers.  And finally, almost 90% of the market capitalization of the world's largest digital platforms. 

     What do I mean with the largest digital platforms?  Obviously, the tech giants, Anderson, Meta, and Microsoft.  Not to forget 10-cent and Alibaba in China. 

     And these corporations are heavily invested in all parts of the global value chain.  So what is the global data value chain?  It is the whole chain from the data collection through the, for example, user-facing platform services to data transmission, to submarine cables and satellites, to data storage and data centers and finally the data analyzing. 

     So the processing and use for the data, for instance, in for the i-tools or other technologies.

     And again the figures also show that the traditional divide between developed and developing countries realized regarding internet connectivity access and use remains high.  And it is a persistent challenge for development.  And having said that, developing countries may find themselves in even more issues related to data and the value capturing associated with the data because the control of the use of the user data is in the hands of a couple of global digital corporations or multinational enterprises. 

     And this may lead to the risk that developing countries may become only supplier of raw data to global digital platforms while having to pay for the digital intelligence obtained from the data.

     And the third and last point is that is global data governance framework would be a meaningful step also in relation to different governance approaches like the multi-stakeholder model. 

     And related to the rural governments I want to underline three aspects which are important in my personal opinion. 

     First, a global data governance framework which would help enable global data sharing and develop goods to effectively address challenges such as poverty, health, global climate change, et cetera.

     Secondly, when a technical coordination ideally at the global level would be crucial to avoid further fragmentation.  And thirdly, a global data governance framework becomes more significant when we consider also IoT and 5G. 

     And internationally there are worldwide three main governance approaches.  There is the European Union which favors control of data by individuals based on fundamental rights approaches values.  The approach of the United States emphasis more on the control of data by the private sector and the Chinese model emphasize control of data by more or less the governments. 

     And to sum it up, the dates regarding digital data having -- have taken place in various fora at regional or global level. 

     And in conclusion, a more balanced concept to grow the data governance should be considered to ensure data flows across borders are as free and necessary as possible.  Also to achieve a fair distribution of benefits within and across countries should be the goal as well as tackling risks related to human rights and also national security. 

     I would say the IGF has been always the place to foster the multi-stakeholder model and trying to find product consensus between the various stakeholders and broad range of issues like economic, social, et cetera.  But the lack of formal rule making power has limited its ability to shape policy directions. 

     And therefore, I want to finish my talk with two remaining questions to the council.  Is it still the appropriate fora for the global governance discussions?  And also what sort of potential new global ideals can we develop in terms of institutional frameworks? 

     Is it most likely needed to be more -- to be more efficient and also more agile?  So a mixture of multilateral or multi-stakeholder and multidisciplinary engagement would be very interesting to talk with the audience.  Thank you very much, and I'm very much looking forward to fruitful discussion.

     >> OLGA CAVALLI: Thank you, Matthias.  I think you made the question of the million, as we say in Spanish (speaking in non-English), which is this proper fora for all of us to discuss these things. 

     As you can see with the involvement and evolution of the internet, every year we have new layers of desire.  Now we are thinking about the global data management or coordination before and still ongoing coordination about cybersecurity and revision of the cybersecurity rules.  And so very interesting question.  I don't have the answer, but we are together to think about some ideas.

     And I will go back to Vint.  I don't know if you want to react to some of the questions that were made.  And I would like to point some of your comments you mentioned the importance of reliability and resistance to cyber attacks. 

     How do you find the discussions that are being taking place now at the United Nations level and the revision of the Convention of Cyber Crime of the Council of Europe? 

     Do you see this as a proper multi-stakeholder platform where all the countries are participating?  How do you see that?  And if you want to comment about other statements made by colleagues that would be welcome.

     >> VINT CERF: Thank you.  First of all, I really enjoyed the comments made by the other panelists.  I have been taking notes like crazy.

     With regard to the whole safety and security, we tend to spend an excessive amount of time admiring the problem, but we don't spend enough time talking about what has worked and what hasn't worked and why. 

     And so IGF is a really good place, for example, where we should be exposing as much as we can what efforts have been undertaken in order to make the internet a safer and more secure place.  And also what has worked and what has not worked. 

     So it's the sharing of that experience which I believe is vital, and IGF is as good a place as any to have those conversations.  But I want to emphasize how important it is to try something out as opposed to perhaps trying to establish a set of principles and admire the problem and outline it without necessarily explaining what has -- what people have successfully been able to do.

     The stories about the takedown of various criminal networks, for example, are really quite revealing because they tell you about what vulnerabilities were made use of in order to tackle the problem.

     People who are abusing the network are not necessarily smarter than everybody else, and in many cases they make mistakes that can be used to track them down.

     So I would like to see more discussion about the successful efforts to improve safety and security that is not only the technical side of things which is what some of the efforts that are under way in Europe tend to focus on and how can we set up rules and reporting arrangements.  But it may be that those practices are not really tackling the real problems that we are experiencing online.

     I actually had two questions, if it's okay, for anyone that would like to respond.  One of them has to do with the Starlink infrastructure.  And I'm curious to know whether the low earth orbiting satellites are going to be helpful or not?  And I think the economics of it and the deployment of ground station capability will be part of the answer to that.

     The second question has to do with content distribution networks because they are designed to reduce the need for long haul transport across the internet backbones in order to deliver commonly desired content whether that is games or videos or web pages and so on. 

     But I would like to hear from the other panelists if there is -- whether the CDMs are turning out to be an important part of making the internet more useful and responsive to the local populations?

     >> OLGA CAVALLI: Thank you, Vint.  I don't know who would like to react.  As for the Starlink, it is mentioned like way too close pickup.  I see it for the moment a desire in developing countries and developing regions. 

     And there are some concerns that I have been talking about with the local national regulator about this is what I work about is the coordination of the frequencies.

     So that is something that I worked many years with and that is a kind of worrying from the local -- from the national regulators about the coordination of frequencies and the amount of satellites that will be launched.

     As per the price, I find it for the moment information that I saw it is kind of expensive for those that are disconnected unless there is a company that it is located in the middle of the mountains, I see it expensive for those families or small or medium enterprises that would like to buy the kit. 

     I think it is starting to be available in Latin America.  I don't know if other colleagues would like to comment. 

     And also about CDMs.  I have been studying about that for a while.  What strikes me is that most of the traffic is going through CDMs now and not really through the internet.  I wonder if it has an impact in, I don't know, trying to field whatever.  Any reactions to Vint's questions?  Who was that?

     >> VLADIMIR STANKOVIC: This is Vladimir.

     >> OLGA CAVALLI: Vladimir, please.

     >> VLADIMIR STANKOVIC: My answer will probably not hit the point, but perhaps you would like to know as one of the coordinators of WSIS process I'm also leading the WSIS prizes contest which is supposed to promote the best ICT practices. 

     And in 2021 SpaceX Company submitted the Starlink project for this global prize and were recognized first by the experts in ITU as a part of the communication infrastructure. 

     And as among 20 nominated projects within this action line.  The public community voted fairly well for this project, and it was among the five most voted.

     So I guess, you know, the story behind or question behind a very popular and, of course, also looking forward to see the progress.  And I hope that your question will be answered soon if not already by the day.

     >> OLGA CAVALLI: Thank you.  Thank you, Vladimir, very much.  Maimouna.

    >> MAIMOUNA NDEYE: Thank you.  I think if it comes to Africa we definitely have to raise this issue of having -- building a universal access to affordable and good quality. 

     And the African Union estimates a need of 109 billion to address this issue.  And the satellite technology is definitely one of I think the solution if we need really to address the accessibility because we have a large continent where there is several difference as economic level. 

     And if you look at the infrastructure now, we -- you can see that several countries -- African countries launched their satellite. 

     That means that that is one of I think the solution we need to really look carefully to be sure that we will have the resource to bring internet everywhere.  Because it is kind of equity.  I think at the political level we need to work at this -- to join this equity and give access to everybody. 

     Even they are in a rural area or the mountain or anywhere in the country, they need anywhere in the country they need to access to the internet, and I think the satellite is one of the solutions.

     But the content, I will talk about as the universal access fund.  They have also the mission to work, to have more content and local content and also using our local language.  And I think it is important if you need to address the issue of universal access. 

     And if you take the case in Senegal where you have more than 72% of the people who are illiterate, we need to have content and local content.  Thank you.

     >> VINT CERF: I wonder if I could ask, Olga.

     >> OLGA CAVALLI: Of course.

     >> VINT CERF: Antonio, you brought up something I consider very important. 

     And that is the continental connectivity with the LATAM region.  I remember early stories in Europe where the European countries were interconnected with each other by going across the Atlantic ocean and back mostly by way of the research and education networks that were promoting connectivity for research and education purposes. 

     But then over time interexchange points were developed locally and that allowed for much more intersection.  I wanted to strongly endorse the idea that interexchange points within the Latin America region is an important infrastructure investment worthy of undertaking for precisely the reason it reduces costs for everyone, and I hope you and I are aligned on that.

     >> ANTONIO GARCIA ZABALLOS: Thank you very much.  There are a number of ongoing initiatives in the countries led by the governments. 

     For instance, the government is at this moment in time already having feasibility studies for the structuring.  And this will be not only good for Chile, but one of the things I am stressing to the government of Chile is that probably the amount of traffic that Chile is going to generate doesn't justify the amount going to that cable. 

     However, if Chile include in their connection with all of the neighboring countries then they have a real IXP making more sense in terms of the economics and sustainability requirement on that particular cable and making in Chile a regional hub, digital hub and hub for the cell phone. 

     So that is one growing initiative.  With the government of Argentina we are helping with the border connectivity in 13 different locations.  And another is with the government of Jamaica as well.  So it is not just a matter of big countries or medium sized countries, but it is also a matter of the small countries.  Actually, this is the biggest problem that they may have. 

     So if they want to implement specific national connectivity plans or national global plans, they need to have I would say the pipeline that is entering and getting out from the country that allows all of the traffic flows in particular terms and conditions to make sure that there is no citizens which are enjoying, you know, a particular access and then some areas that are not enjoying this particular advantage.  I totally agree.

     There are some initiatives at the regional level to improve this interconnection, but unfortunately they are taking some time because of the particular political changes that are ongoing.  And I hope that the IDB will have specific discussions at the regional bringing importantly the private sector. 

     I think that the role that yourself and Google is playing on this particular matter is going to be instrumental.  And recently Google was deploying a new cable that is going to the south part of Latin America.  I'm sure that it could be of interest for many countries that are passing by.  So thank you very much for the question.

     >> VINT CERF: Thank you so much.  Back to you, Olga.

     >> OLGA CAVALLI: Thank you, Antonio.  I would like to chime in and comment. 

     Especially internet exchange points have helped a lot in many countries.  In Latin America they have been a way to avoid going with the traffic to United States and come back.  This has changed substantially. 

     And Argentina, Brazil holds 60% of the IXPs.  We have more than 30 in Argentina.  We have the one at the -- the southern internet exchange point in the world that was thanks to some funds get from Internet Society with our chapter.  That was a nice story.  And also there is cable coming from China.

     To achieve this, there was important connections to get interconnected.  As Antonio said, the intentions were not complete so far.  Matthias, you want to comment something?

     >> MATTHIAS HUDOBNIK:  I just wanted to comment to  Vint's interesting question. 

     I think related to the internet connectivity to satellites, it is in my opinion a double-edged sword.  Depends from direction.  Brings more connectivity but gives more power to the sector and -- and here again I think if you are living, for example, in a stable site and, for example, there is leadership and says okay, I will just stop the internet exchange. 

     Maybe when you are getting internet maybe by satellite it will help the privacy advocacy to even though stay still connected.  It is not black and white, it depends on the situation in general.

     And related to content, I think for me as I'm coming from the ICANN world, I think also internationalized main acceptance is a very important topic also related to the area because we still see that like the content or the domains you use are still highly related to the region. 

     And also the website you make, of course, it will survive to use your language if possible.  I think like universal acceptance is very, very important but also worldwide.  Thank you.

     >> OLGA CAVALLI: Thank you very much, Matthias.  I would like to ask Vladimir if he could -- we have -- oh, I always confuse the applause with the hand up.  Sorry for that. 

     So we have applause from Jessica.  Thank you.  And audience, we have some minutes for you to react or make comments or questions to the panelists, whether in the national or live with taking the floor. 

     Just let me know.  Vladimir, we talked very much the WSIS forum since its beginning.  I think the last edition, I think it was successful and I have been taking part in all of the activities related with gender violence and the women in ICTs.  Can you share with us about the activities you are organizing in the next year?

     >> VLADIMIR STANKOVIC: Yes.  Everything takes place, we depend on the submissions on the stakeholders.  It seems that the communities that are interested in gender mainstreaming have recognized WSIS forum as a platform where they can join and share their challenges and provide their solutions.  So we are growing. 

     As you mentioned, I was would just recently asked to present, and I ask the organizers to allow me to share the screen.

     >> OLGA CAVALLI: I'm not in the position to do that. If technical support can allow Vladimir to share.

     >> VINT CERF: You are now the cohost, so I think you do have the ability to share.

     >> OLGA CAVALLI: You're the boss.

     >> VLADIMIR STANKOVIC: This will be very brief, colleagues. 

     But I would not feel as useful as if I haven't shared this. 

     It is a special initiative and goes beyond the special track, activities.  So we are doing activities and not only as part of the annual event. 

     This is an ongoing activity.  We are now in the second half of the second mandate given by the United Nations General Assembly which ends in 2025.

     So towards 2025, link to the sustainable development goals.  The WSIS forum started in 2009.  And for now a couple of years we have been launching actually it is the very beginning 2009 we started working on the gender mainstreaming, promotion of the gender equality in the ICTs, and working with really different stakeholders who have brought in innovation to the forum. 

     I mean recognizing, engaging women in technology, raising awareness about this issue has been a very important segment besides just gender equality participation of 50/50. 

     Some of the networks and educational activities we are planning throughout the year is all kinds of networking events with leaders in the field and workshops and knowledge cafes to tackle the capacity building in developing countries with a focus on the LDC. 

     Provide master classes, bootcamps and hack-a-thons.  We already have two hack-a-thons.  One on preservation of Indigenous languages which, again, it is always a beneficial for this gender mainstreaming.  And, of course, we will be presenting and highlighting those that have something to share with the world.

     Some of the things that have taken place in 2021.  You can see in the slide various numerous sessions tackling gender in ICT.  It's really been a very successful year, and this is for 2021. 

     Of course, as I mentioned, the participation increased due to being digital.  They had the opportunity for the remote participation.  And now people not being able to physically go there and perhaps us only promote virtual was even more successful than the previous.  And we look forward to the hybrid format in the future. 

     These are some of the contests that we invite all from this community to also contribute.  Promoting the woodwork that has been led by women behind the ice cube projects. 

     As I mentioned, special repository where we are definitely focusing on the capacity building for young women and men.  Finally, also launching the trendsetters.  As we know, often we need those ambassadors and those campaigners who are already well recognized in their communities to lead in.  We invite all of you to take the opportunity and contribute.  WSIS forum starts mid-March and finishes last week of May, May 30. Thank you again for this opportunity.

     >> OLGA CAVALLI: Thank you, Vladimir.  I can tell you that we organized the WSIS last year and it was very interesting. 

     I have to tell you we were candidates for the prize, and we never win.  But we will keep on trying with the School of Internet gone.  I never give up.  Those who know me, I never give up. 

     So we have like five minutes, and as you can tell the journey is the destination about this issue about digital improvements for developing economies.  I will give the floor to each of you for the last comments. 

     As you know, I'm always an optimistic and I know that we work together especially using the connectivity and the internet and this virtual or in-person in communication and cooperation to overcome the challenges.  Vint, you have the floor.

     >> VINT CERF: I would just say drive cost out.  That should be one of our primary goals.  Drive cost out because that is one of the biggest barriers to the adoption and use of the internet.

     >> OLGA CAVALLI: Thank you very much.  Thank you for your generosity in sharing your thoughts and your time with us and always a pleasure to have you among us.

     And Maimouna, your final comments?

     >> MAIMOUNA NDEYA: Thank you, Olga, for this opportunity.  I think my last comment will be on how we can address the gender issue.  In Senegal we had since 2010 and we made significant progress, but a lot of things has to be done to continue to be done.

     And I just want to share with you the power survey that the amount given by women for not opening an account is 34% of the reason are related to the distance.

     That means that most of the women are where they don't have any bank infrastructures.  They don't have access to ICT infrastructure.  That means we really need to work on giving this access to the women.  And also wherever they are.  Also at schools and give them the skill to be sure that they will be part of the digital economy.  Thank you.

     >> OLGA CAVALLI: Thank you very much, Maimouna.  You bring an important issue which is the access to financial services.  Developing economists have a big part of that which is a problem because that is a problem for taxes and for the government to become money from the community and also give in money to schools and health and other services.  So that's a big challenge.

     And I think that -- at least in Latin America there have been some improvements.  But in my opinion still there's a lot to do there to include everyone in the financial platforms.  So and improved ICT usage.  So I have Antonio, your last comments?

     >> ANTONIO GARCIA ZABALLOS: I would just stress the importance of having a collaboration between the public and private sector. 

     And more importantly to have minister of finance and president office in the countries getting very much involved in the definition of the strategy going forward.  At the end of the day one has the decision where to go and the other has the money to contribute and support the private industry. Thank you again.

     >> OLGA CAVALLI: Thank you.  So the relevant people have also to be there to make the decisions.  Thank you for that.  But we can reach out to them with messages.  That is also possible. 

     Vladimir, the floor is yours for last comments.

     >> VLADIMIR STANKOVIC: Thank for inviting us.  And thanks, Olga, for going always your extra step and extra mile.  This is my last comment. 

     We all come from different angles with different capacities.  Whenever we are invited or not we should try to do try to do our Best and I would like to congratulate the panelists here for doing so.  Once again, reach out to us at the business forum and we will be happy to host you next year.

     >> OLGA CAVALLI: Before giving the floor to Matthias, I am told there are questions from the floor in Poland.  Can we take them?  How can we know them?  Share them to us in the chat or I didn't know.  Monica?  If someone can help me.  There is a mic, but I can't hear the mic.  If you can speak up.  I see people cueing in the mic, but we cannot hear.  At least I cannot hear.

     >> VINT CERF: I can't either.

     >> OLGA CAVALLI: Maybe someone can write down the question or in the chat?  We can hear you now.  Sorry for that.

     >> AUDIENCE: Madam chair, distinguished panelists, very thankful to you for your brilliant ideas. 

     Actually, you have mentioned a lot of challenges that countries are witnessing regarding digital transformation.  But I as a person coming from a developing country, we are witnessing another challenge which is foreign challenge.  I mean using of sanctions against countries that impedes their development in digital transformation.

     You know, I as an Iranian citizen am witnessing two type of challenges.  First of all, it is the access is blocked from Iran inside to many technical solutions.  When I'm using this iPhone mobile, I don't have any access to Apple Store or a lot of Google technical.  It was very interesting that, you know, from inside we don't have access to Garmin International.  Garmin International is producing digital watch and the site is not accessible. 

     It is a big issue for me as a citizen.  I mean this using of economic and political means as a coercion means against Iranians is making a lot of hardships.  

     And for another issue is from 2011 we are witnessing digital sanctions against the Iranian digital platforms in the beginning.  First in the form of soft regulation techniques.  And after that we are witnessing hard use of law in the form of sanction. 

     Do you -- I mean I consider that international community and international summit such as IGF and various -- and even ITU has any attention to the challenges which are imposed by other countries that they are impeding the digital transformation.  And how this challenge is important for all of this international community.  Thank you very much.

     >> OLGA CAVALLI: Thanks so you.  An important issue which is not related to technology.  Technology doesn't have boundaries.  It is about other problems.  I see Vint raising his hand.

     >> VINT CERF: I wish I had a simple answer to the question.  A tough one because the relationships among countries is complex, as you obviously know. 

     One thing I will say, though, is that the IGF is a place where that issue now you have raised in order for us to understand and appreciate some of the barriers to digitalization and to use of internet.

     I'm not sure that we are going to solve that problem for you in this context.  But the fact that you can raise the question in this session I think is very important.

     And at the very least we can make note of that additional barrier to the adoption and use of internet technology.  I'm sorry I don't have a cleaner answer for you than that but the fact that you raised the question at all is important.

     >> OLGA CAVALLI: Thank you, Vint.  I fully agree.  I think it is not a technology issue.  It is an issue related, as mentioned by Vint, the relationships between two countries which is, as we all know, sometimes complex and sometimes time is needed. 

     I agree this is recorded and some others can perhaps build upon your question and give you an answer.  I see Vladimir has his hand up.