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.
>>CHENGETAI MASANGO: Good afternoon, morning and evening, ladies and gentlemen. Thank you very much for joining us here today. I know it's very early for some of you. And we do appreciate the effort to join us at this early time.
Welcome to the second open consultations for the 2021 IGF. Just a reminder, before we start S that this meeting is being recorded and Livestreamed own YouTube. Transcription is available, and there is a link at the bottom of the screen which says "live transcript." A summary report and the transcript will be made available after the meeting.
If you would like to take the floor when the chair opens up the floor, could you please use the speaking queue that we have. And the link is going to be posted into the chat, so you can use that link. If for some reason, you have technical issues and you cannot use that link, please send a message with your name and organization to IGF secretariat, and they will put your name in the queue so you'll be able to see your name and you'll be able to see when you'll be likely to speak.
So the chair will call your name and then when you speak, can you please just repeat your name, your organization, and whether or not you're speaking in a personal capacity or for your organization.
And, please, could you also keep your interventions brief but also speak slowly so that the scribes can catch what you're saying and also other people in the meeting can understand what you're saying. I'm also very guilty of speaking very fast, so I always try and make it slow.
So with that, I would like to hand over to our chair, Anriette Esterhuysen, to start the meeting. Thank you.
>>CHAIR ESTERHUYSEN: And thank you very much, Chengetai.
And greetings to everyone who's joined the meeting. We really appreciate your participation. In fact, the IGF process is completely dependent on this level of participation from other institutions and from the many individuals in the IGF community. And for the MAG, this is a source of guidance and a source of support.
And I will just very briefly review the agenda for today. We will start with welcomes from the host and from UN DESA. And then we'll proceed to get an update on plans for the 2021 hybrid IGF, and you will also learn more about what we mean when we talk about a "hybrid IGF."
We will look at the IGF also in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic, and I know many of you have questions around that.
And then we'll move on to a plenary session. We'll review some of the recent improvements in the IGF and the IGF process. There are always incremental improvements introduced in the IGF and has been since 2006. But we want to share some recent innovation with you and get your feedback.
We'll then get updates from the IGF's growing intersessional activities, policy networks, best practice forums, and dynamic coalitions. And we welcome you to comment on that, engage with those dynamic coalitions and best practice forums, policy networks. And we'll make time for open discussion.
We'll then move on to the second plenary where the secretariat will present the format, the program, and the logistics for IGF 2021, including the phases and the time line.
After that, we invite you all for a virtual coffee break. You will be allocated randomly to rooms. And really that's just a short opportunity for people to network, which is such a core component of the IGF. And we are sad not to be able to do it face-to-face, but we can do it virtually.
And after that, we'll be joined by some speakers from partner institutions. And I hope that you have viewed the inputs they have sent, briefings about their work, the Internet governance-related work which are available on the meeting website. But we'll have some of them with us in person, and we'll have a short overview from them of their briefings. And that will then be followed by Q&A.
We'll then move to the close of today's open consultation with a status overview of national, regional, and youth IGF initiatives. These have become increasingly a part -- an indispensable part of the IGF ecosystem. So to hear from them is -- (audio drop) -- as part of the IGF forum later this year. And that will be the end, and we'll close the day.
So I do not see any immediate comments or requests for the floor. So I now am very honored to hand over to my co-chair, Mr. Krzysztof Szubert, from our host country for 2021, Poland.
Krzysztof, over to you and welcome.
>>KRZYSZTOF SZUBERT: Thank you, Anriette. Thank you, Chengetai. Good morning, ladies and gentlemen. It's roughly four months since our last meeting in February. Throughout this time, we are keeping the pace with preparations for IGF 2021 in Katowice in December. We are preparing this event, as was said, in the hybrid formula, that is onsite and online at the same time.
The final format will depend, of course, on the current COVID-19 pandemic restrictions. At the moment, it's very hard to give 100% reliable prediction in regards to the pandemic in December situation and restrictions in December. So it will be provided on a daily basis, let's say.
As the host country, we are very positive about the developments and as the vaccination process progress in the entire world, we believe that the travel will be possible for those who will want to come to Katowice.
However, we are aware that all legal rules and requirements as well as medical recommendations will need to be observed. To address that, therefore, the IGF 2021 host country website has been updated and now includes a section "COVID info" where one can find information on entering and leaving Poland as well as on the current situation, temporary limitations, and recommended protection means against COVID-19. So please visit the IGF website for more information on the COVID situations. And the website will be, of course, updated day by day.
That page provides updated information, official and reliable information. And the new coronavirus is updated regularly by the relevant Polish authorities. We are working very close with them and would like to be sure that you will be receiving the latest information.
Due to the fact that this year IGF's overarching theme is "Internet united," we are fully committed to welcome you either onsite and online. So we will be ready for that. Please be prepared as well.
We are constantly promoting this event through different channels, so we are spending quite a lot of time in each and every almost day and week. We are working very hard.
Also, we run a series of meetings to encourage active participation from the different stakeholders, including with the government, academia, business, and all others, both focused on Polish and foreign, of course, potential interested parties.
Just to name a few of them, two weeks ago I had presented the IGF 2021 to the Polish Council of Ministers. Moreover, I have conducted several meetings with market stakeholders including business organizations. And we had on the virtual call more than 200 participants, academic councilors, around 70 high-level guests, representative of the diplomatic missions in Poland, also more than 70 participants. In addition, we have permanent cooperation with the Polish diplomatic missions around the world. So we are really very active.
Of course, we do not forget the youth community. We have already had three Webinars in April, May, and June, in June just yesterday. The previous one on ethics in technology and Internet was attended by around eight and a half thousand participants, which is a great result and above our expectations. So we have been really positively surprised by the number of participants and the number of active activities around that.
All these activities, of course, they are with the great support. I just would like to name the director Michal Pukaluk and the Polish IGF team from the Council of the Prime Minister Office. They are really doing a very good job supporting me and the IGF in all these activities.
Another group of stakeholders to whom we are particularly addressing this year are gamers and software developers. We are preparing real food for thought for them and all other interested participants in the form of Game Jam on the 11th and 12th December. Just to put your attention to the fact the IGF is between 6 and 10, and we decided to extend the IGF on the 11th and 12th in the same location with the same team responsible for organization. And it will be held in the famous Spodek arena in Katowice. So very interesting as well if you want to stay longer than a week and see what we can prepare and what we can do together.
Moreover, we are working actively on the high-level component, working jointly with the U.N., UN DESA, IGF secretariat, as well as the Polish parliament. Same on setting up the parliamentary track, very big interest. So we are really looking forward for this activity as well.
Very briefly on the logistics, we are finalizing the selection procedure for the operator. Soon we will allow tender for information and promotion campaign. The very, let's say, active campaign will start 100 days before the event. It will also be visible in the city, so it will be like a billboard campaign and quite a lot of activities around to promote the event.
Later on today, we'll have a more detailed presentation which will be displayed later on. So I'm really looking forward to meet you during the presentation as well. If you will be having more questions, we will be more than happy to answer.
That's all from my side. I stop at that moment, and I wish you a very good and fruitful meeting. Thank you.
>>CHAIR ESTERHUYSEN: Thank you very much, Krzysztof. And I want to take this opportunity to thank you and your team for being such active participants in the entire process, in the MAG, in MAG working groups, and in all the other preparatory phases. So we really value that rounded participation.
Next I'm very happy to hand the floor to Mr. Juwang Zhu from New York who has got up at a very early hour to join us.
Juwang is the director of the Division for Public Institutions and Digital Government of the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs, the home of the IGF in the U.N. system.
Juwang, thank you for joining us. And you have the floor.
>>JUWANG ZHU: Thank you, Anriette.
Distinguished delegates, distinguished MAG chair, and our colleagues from the host country, the government of Poland, dear members of the MAG, colleagues and friends, on behalf of UN DESA I wish to welcome you all to this second open consultation and MAG meeting of the 2021 IGF planning cycle.
Last year, the COVID-19 pandemic challenged everything, including the IGF process. With stable guidance of the MAG, the MAG chair, and the continued support from our host government and the IGF community, these challenges were successfully overcame and we conclude the 15th IGF with record participation and a number of key messages from the global multistakeholder community. Our issues related to data, environment, inclusion, and trust.
The pandemic-related challenges unfortunately still remain with us. But unlike last year, this year we have an advantage and that is our collective reach, experience, and lessoned learned and more confidence in planning the ways ahead.
It is fairly certain that as we move closer to the December IGF meeting in Katowice, the epidemiological situation will be different across countries. This will certainly require the logistics of the meeting to be sound such as to ensure good health and safety conditions at the venue.
It is also expected that the travel restrictions will continue to be present while it is uncertain how it would affect travel costs, especially in terms of airfare from different regions and countries to Katowice. In this regard, we are really grateful for the updates that the host government is putting on the host government website.
The development of the 2021 IGF process has already shown the action-oriented ideas and plans for ensuring meaningful and safe participation for everyone. Allow me to compliment the multilayered cooperative efforts from the MAG members from its working group on hybrid meetings, from our host country, and my colleagues in the IGF secretariat and also my own team at UN DESA.
You make us all feel confident that the IGF meeting in December will ensure good conditions for all participants regardless if they will participate fully online or onsite in Katowice.
It's a busy year for everyone involved in the IGF. Not only is the IGF 2021 hybrid process planning is now under way but the IGF future is being shaped in that respect.
Here I wish to thank the prospective future host countries of the IGF, government of Ethiopia, Japan, and Russia for their support in engagement at the early stages.
And I'm also thanking all stakeholders who have tirelessly contributed to the consultations to understand what could be a meaningful response to the cause of the Secretary-General's Roadmap for Digital Cooperation about the strengthening of the IGF. Along with colleagues and stakeholders here, we will continue to play a proactive role in implementing the Secretary-General's roadmap.
The COVID-19 pandemic exposed many more people to cyber risks than in past, especially in developing countries and also in vulnerable communities.
This makes it even more important for the multistakeholder communities to provide an in-depth look at the use of norms to foster security in our online space. Undoubtedly, the IGF is very much aware of this and is already contributing to the global discourse with its best practice forum dedicated to this. And given that women and girls are often marginalized and among vulnerable groups around the world, the best practice forum on gender and digital rights is very timely and highly relevant to the broader work of the U.N. system .
Last year the IGF community showed enthusiasm for sessions of the environmental track. Through the many exchanges we learned that digital technologies can work for our planet and for our people. In the coming months, the newly introduced IGF policy network on the environment and its multistakeholder working group of experts will guide us through ways this can be achieved.
And, of course, digital technologies with their immense power to transform our work such as the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development recognized cannot fully achieve their impacts if meaningful access is not in place for everyone.
I'm really proud and honored that DESA is also part of the IGF's policy network on meaningful access, its multistakeholder working group, to contribute to the global efforts in bringing meaningful access to people everywhere.
With the ambitious intersessional work activities as well as the continuous cooperation with 137 national, regional and youth IGF initiatives, I believe the IGF will effectively reach people in all parts of our planet and ensure that its outcomes do make a positive impact in various countries and regions.
And also the dynamic coalitions are certainly our strong partners in understanding better what Internet governance issues are about.
I particularly recognize the efforts of the DC network to produce recommendations for their collective improvements and even greater contributions to the IGF ecosystem.
In closing, I would like to invite governments to step forward to be the host country for IGF in 2024 which remains open. We've heard expressions of interest from several member states to which we are grateful. Early announcement of the decision to host the 2024 session will facilitate multiyear preparations of the IGF. I trust the MAG along with all the stakeholders here will make the best decision in selecting sessions for the IGF issue-focused program.
I wish you all a fruitful meeting. And I'm looking forward to the next steps in this bottom-up planning of the IGF 2021. Thank you for giving me the floor.
>>CHAIR ESTERHUYSEN: Thank you very much, Juwang. And thank you, also, for contextualizing the IGF and the IGF process with your bigger-picture input and linking it to other significant processes.
And as always, speaking on behalf of the MAG, thank you very much for all the support we receive from UN DESA.
Next I'm very happy to give the floor to Mr. Przemyslaw Typiak from our host country team who will give us a briefing on the state of preparation for IGF 2021.
>>PRZEMYSLAW TYPIAK: Good morning, afternoon, and evening dear colleagues, distinguished participants of this -- of today's second open consultations regarding the upcoming IGF 2021 in Katowice.
I'm very happy to be here with you and to give you a short presentation and to update you on the current state of preparations. Thank you very much for putting it to everyone so that everyone can see.
Can I ask for the next slide, please.
Here you have just an overview of the venue of the ICC, the International Congress Centre, in Katowice which will be our venue for this year's IGF. You can also see the famous Spodnek arena, which Mr. Szubert kindly mentioned in his intervention previously. So this is our venue for the IGF and for the IGF afterparty because as Mr. Szubert said, we have extended -- we decided to extend our event, our joint event, to the weekend afterwards so that you will get more -- more good experience and good memories from Poland also with respect to the gamers and software developers.
Next slide, please.
Our goal, as I said, is to present Polish achievements and know-how from recipients all over the world. We want Katowice to be the digital center of the -- the global digital center for global discussion and global exchange of experience, good practices, and very good meeting platform for everyone.
The overarching is "Internet united," so a free, open, and indivisible Internet. And as Mr. Krzysztof Szubert mentioned in his intervention, the formula of today -- of this year's IGF will be hybrid. And regarding the details of this hybrid formula, my dear colleagues from the secretariat will brief you more in their presentation afterwards.
Next slide, please.
Here you have just an overview of the main features of our agenda. I have put only the first day -- the day zero which is on the 6th of December and the 7th day, the opening day, and the 10th. But it's not that the other days are less important than those. It's just to present you that 6 and 7 December are the starting days of our event, the 10 is the ending. But, as I said, it's not the end of the entire event because we are extending it into 11 and 12 of December.
So just -- can I ask for a shot back? Thank you very much.
So on the 6th of December, we are planning the entire day dedicated to host country's pre-event but also other events addressed by other stakeholders and communities. We are fully open to your suggestions, but that's up to the MAG and the IGF secretariat. So I'm not going to dive deep into the details.
We are also planning a youth summit because this year the youth is actually our main focus group.
We are also planning an evening reception followed by a music concert. So this will be really -- I do believe that you are also looking forward because that will be really an outstanding event. But I'm not going to give you more details. Just a little surprise for you.
And also the VVIP dinner by invitation.
On the 7, the opening ceremony as usual on the first day and the main phase agenda starts and continues until the 10th of December.
On the 10th, wrapping up our main findings of the entire week and the closing ceremony.
Next slide, please.
We have planned two focus tracks, the high-level track and parliamentary track, as Mr. Szubert kindly mentioned in his intervention.
So we do kindly expect the participation of his Excellence, the Secretary-General of the United Nations but also the President of the Republic of Poland, the Marshal of the same, of the Republic of Poland, the Polish prime minister, EU commissioners, ministers for digital affairs from U.N. countries, but also other high-level representatives of national parliaments and other high-level guests, including business stakeholders and other international organizations, including, of course, the other U.N. agendas.
Here you have just brief information on the proposed high-level topics. I'm not going to present them in the details now because of lack of time, but just to kindly present them to you so you can familiarize yourselves right now with them.
And, of course, there is also the topic for the parliamentary debate, and this parliamentary debate is jointly organized by the IPU, the U.N., and the Polish Parliament.
Next slide, please.
As you know, the IGF is not only the IGF itself, but we have prepared for you some other interesting events and activities.
Just to present a few of them, we are planning a performance by the pianist -- Chopin international contest winner in (indiscernible). We're also planning an exhibition of (indiscernible) works of the International Competition for Young People.
I will tell you a bit more in another slide.
Music Night, as you already know, it's kind of a tradition -- somewhat a tradition of the IGF. But, also, we're planning to have a launch dedicated publication of our Virtual Chair of Ethics and Law.
We are also, as I said, planning a concert. You will also be able to get an almost-free entrance to the Silesian Museum. You will also have a chance to taste the original Silesian cuisine specialties.
We have also planned for you a free tour around Katowice, and, of course, you can also address the IGF secretariat and the MAG by letter or meeting and other high-level events. So I'm not going to present them now.
Next slide, please.
Youth track, this is our goal. This is our main goal for this IGF.
Before the event, we have already settled a series of online events from April to October, as Mr. Szubert kindly mentioned. Our second meeting dedicated to AI and ethics, we had over 8,500 participants interested from young people all over the world, and that was really stunning for us. We do appreciate the youth engagement and interest in the current digital issues. This is really something that, you know, our hearts are simply, you know, getting bigger and bigger with that.
As I said, the international competition, My Internet of the Future, will most probably be launched in August, and after the IGF Game Jam, organized by (saying name) in the Chancellery of the prime minister. Young IGF meeting point, we are planning a dedicated place for people in the center of Katowice. We are having some talks with the city of Katowice on organizing this dedicated space for youth, for young people, to gather together, to have a good chance of explaining and expressing themselves, presenting their point of views on different issues in different parts of the world.
And, of course, last but not least, the YIGF Summit, which we are preparing with our good colleagues from the UN DESA and the IGF secretariat.
Next slide, please.
What's happening now, regarding different aspects, as has already been mentioned by me in the previous slides, we have already sent invitations, save the date, to ministers responsible for digital affairs. And we are in a good road -- in a good way of sending also the save the date parliamentarian, but that will be sent jointly with the IPU.
Webinars, as I've said, free, already have been held in April and May and just yesterday. The other upcoming. So do stay with us for another set of webinars for young people.
And the international competition, which will be announced in August. As I said, it will be in three categories: Graphic visualization, video, and verbal utterance in English.
So we are looking forward to after it will be announced, and we would like to kindly ask you to disseminate it amongst your websites, your paths (indiscernible), and your stakeholder groups.
Next slide, please.
Do stay with us. We are putting a new slate, as Mr. Szubert mentioned, a COVID-19 restrictions, current restrictions, and the regulations regarding the epidemic on our IGF 2021 website. But, of course, we have a (indiscernible) practical information on this website. So do stay with us.
Next slide, please.
If you wish to have any questions, additions, requests, please do contact us via email at the address put on the slide. We have an IGF Twitter. So any latest news, updates, put there.
So just stay with us, and we are really, really looking forward to welcoming you in Katowice in December.
Thank you very much for your kind attention.
And the last slide, you have the graphics by Mr. Stragevski (phonetic), who is our partner. You will be able to see those, particularly the Katowice one, but those other graphics are displayed in the venue and also put on our website.
So do familiarize also yourselves.
As I said, we are all united, and you are all invited to Katowice.
Thank you very much, Madam Chair, for giving me the floor.
>>CHAIR ESTERHUYSEN: Thank you, Przemyslaw and Chengetai. I just want to invite both of you, if you wanted to add anything on the context, the COVID context, and how that is going to be managed, could you do that now, please, if there's anything further that you want to add?
>>PRZEMYSLAW TYPIAK: Nothing more for my side.
Just to kindly ask everyone to, of course, give your feedback on the current restrictions and COVID situation in your countries. This is a permanent request from our side, but I do want to raise it and remember to ask for your feedback also on this issue.
And, as Mr. Krzysztof Szubert said, we have just put the entire set of COVID-19 pandemic regulations, so please do familiarize yourselves.
Of course, we need to be aware that these are the current regulations. And, of course, they are subject to change because the situation is dynamic, and we don't know. We cannot predict what will happen in December and even before. So, therefore, this is just for you to have a brief overview of what this current situation looks like in Poland.
I can only say that the situation is improving, positively improving. I mean, the number of vaccinated people is growing, and the number of people who caught COVID is decreasing. So we are -- of course, we are very happy that this is happening, but we are also aware that in other parts of the world, the situation is improving but not maybe as fast as in Europe, as in Poland. Therefore, we would like to get your feedback and your status of the COVID situation in your countries and regions. That would really help us.
So please do, and I am looking forward to your assistance here.
>>CHENGETAI MASANGO: Thank you very much.
>>CHAIR ESTERHUYSEN: Yes. Please go ahead.
>>CHENGETAI MASANGO: No. I just wanted to add that we are also working very closely with the U.N. Department for Conference Services and our DSS, Department of Safety and Security, and updating what our requirements are.
December, as far as the COVID timeline goes, December is a little bit ways away, so we don't have any concrete things that we can share with you at this present moment in time. But when things get firmed up, we will share them, as well, on our website. But we're working very closely with also our Polish hosts, and we are all very hopeful, and we think that it is going to work out for at least a large majority of people.
>>CHAIR ESTERHUYSEN: Thanks, Chengetai. Thanks, Przemyslaw.
You will see that the MAG has anticipated that it cannot be assumed that everyone will be there in person, and that's why there's this emphasis on the hybrid IGF.
And I think also just a very important consideration is that for many IGF participants who will require a visa to attend in person, it will also be important to take that into account in terms of the timeline of how we plan for participation.
And thank you very much, everyone, for your inputs. We can now move on to the next item on the agenda, Plenary Session One.
We will review some of the recent improvements that have been introduced in the IGF process and then receive an update on intersessional work.
Can I ask the secretariat to adjust the slide that we have prepared for this presentation?
And I also want to draw your attention to the fact that there's a longer document in the meeting pack that provides more detail on this.
I will start this discussion while the presentation comes up.
IGF improvement and introducing improvements to the IGF. It's ongoing. It has been constant. There have been certain moments where there's been particular impetus for introducing new modalities and new features to the IGF process, such as the CSTD, Commission for Science, Technology, and Development, a multistakeholder working group which produced a report in 2012.
There was also an IGF retreat held in 2016. There's annually a bottom-up process with the IGF community during the stocktaking of the annual event and mixed proposals for changes.
From the MAG and the secretariat's perspective, there's an ongoing process with trying to respond with the limitations provided by a lack of resources in some cases.
Recently, in 2020, there was a further impetus and an opportunity through the U.N. Secretary-General's roadmap for digital cooperation, which in itself followed on the high-level panel on digital cooperation report, which actually highlighted evolution and strengthening of the IGF as an important dimension of digital cooperation.
So I invite you to look at the full document, but I'll just highlight some of the more recent improvements.
If we can just move to the next slide?
Apologies for the technical glitch. Just give the secretariat a minute.
I see there's someone in the speaking queue. So while we bring up this presentation, I assume this relates to the previous segment? So I will give -- and we still have time. So I will give the floor to Li Ding, who has joined the speaking queue. You have the floor. Please introduce yourself for the record.
Li Ding, are you there?
Okay. I will proceed, but, please, we'll come back to the speaking queue so, others, do add your name to the queue.
So this table, which is probably a little hard to read, but I will just mention a few highlights of recent improvements.
We've clustered them here as an extract. It's a snapshot of the longer document, which is on the meeting website. But we've looked at visibility, outcomes, capacity development, intersessional work, content, and program, format, cooperation, and sustainability.
In terms of visibility, there's been really quite significant efforts by host countries to invite heads of state to participate in the IGF. This dates back to one of the Brazilian IGFs. Some of the IGFs in Switzerland, in France, and in Germany, we've had heads of states. We've had the U.S. Secretary-General participate in person in Berlin. And, also, he addressed the IGF 2020.
And the institutional agenda of the IGF has been strengthened in this way particularly as an institution that speaks and is represented in international fora, such as the sustainable technology development process; the CSTD meetings; the open-ended working group at the U.N.; ICANN, of course, that's not new.
The IGF has often been present at ICANN meetings. But there's been an effort to consolidate this participation of the IGF at these events and also to reciprocate by inviting these institutions, particularly intergovernmental institutions but not only intergovernmental institutions, to participate in IGF processes.
There's a new IGF website that's under development, and you will probably hear more about that from Chengetai. But expect a new look, more content, more participatory capacity, more collaborative features on the new IGF website which will be launched in the coming months.
There's also an IGF app under development. In terms of outcomes, there's been a significant effort to consolidate IGF outcomes and to express them in more accessible and usable formats. So the IGF has come a long way from having a very valuable chair report and very valuable proceedings which, I think, continue to be used, particularly by the research community, and that is retained. But what there is now are shorter, focused outcomes. For example, from 2020 and 2019, there were packages of thematically focused outcomes. For the three themes of 2020, there are team messages for environment, for trust, and for inclusion. And further innovation has been that those are now available in all six U.N. languages.
A pre-meeting guide was produced in 2020 and has been done again in 2021. What this is a document produced by the MAG and the secretariat that captures what the thematic content focus will be of the IGF.
The reason for this or the purpose of this guide is to contribute to a more focused approach to IGF content.
The IGF has to tread this fine and challenging dividing line between, on the one hand, being a platform where anyone in the IGF community can bring their issues, raise their Internet governance concerns on the one hand, but, on the other hand, there's also an expectation on the IGF to be more outcome-oriented, to channel the diversity of the perspectives inside the IGF into policy, discussion, and debate that can then be used in decision-making places and spaces.
So, in that sense, this pre-meeting guide captures what the issues focus will be, what the policy questions are, and, in that sense, can make it easier to then extract responses to those issues and questions in the IGF outcome documents.
The best practice forums produce a handbook every year that captures their findings, their research, and their recommendations.
The national, regional, and youth IGFs have a compendium of discussion topics, and these topics reflect the diversity of issues and concerns in different parts of the world where the IGF community is present and where they focus on issues of local, national, and regional concern.
Similarly, there's a youth engagement publication.
In terms of capacity development, there's now active grants to national, regional IGF initiatives. There continues to be travel support for the Global South and for MAG members from the Global South. This is not new.
But what is new as well has been more training, in particular areas, capacity development. For example, there's partnership to build capacity in cybersecurity skills. There are fellowships for people from the developing world to work at the secretariat.
There's also a newcomers track which was introduced several years ago but continues to grow and be a space for capacity-building for people that are newcomers.
Just as an aside there, we're not looking at participation data now. We looked at that at the previous open consultation. But if you look at the data that analyzes participation in the IGF, one of the really encouraging metrics is that every year there are a vast number of new people, first-time participants, which I think really challenges the notion that the IGF is for the usual suspects or for a group of insiders. One of the achievements of the IGF has been that there's a substantial number of first-time participants every year.
In terms of intersessional work, I just want to highlight two new elements which I think must be on this slide. I don't see it here. Oh, yes, it is, the new formats, policy networks.
In 2021 -- and Mr. Zhu mentioned this in his opening remarks -- two new intersessional modalities were introduced, a policy network on environment and a policy network on universal and meaningful access.
And the role of these -- and they respond in many respects to the proposals in the roadmap and the High-Level Panel on Digital Cooperation report to create more space for policy incubation inside the IGF. And these networks are made up of a small group of individuals that are experts in those fields, but they are open to participation from all. They will set an agenda, identify priorities, and present recommendations to the IGF.
They will also draw on the vast range of discussion on these topics that have been taking place inside the IGF for many years.
In terms of the program content, I would say the primary change, recent change, has been -- and I think again this starts in 2019 with the MAG that prepared -- that worked under my predecessor Lynn St. Amour preparing for the Berlin IGF to narrow the focus of the IGF, to have fewer thematic tracks. In Berlin, there were four. In 2020, we had three.
The approach is building on that in 2021 with the MAG opting for a more issue-driven approach rather than just broad thematic tracks. And the community provided input on specific issues. And based on this, the MAG identified two main focus areas and a number of cross-cutting areas and predefined policy questions based on the input from the community. And you'll hear more about this later.
The purpose of this is to achieve the goal of more in-depth discussion over the course of the IGF but also to begin to develop issues that could be picked up in subsequent years. So to not necessarily start from scratch every year. We've seen that work well. There was continuity between the thematic tracks in Berlin and the thematic tracks of the virtual IGF 2020, and that has continued. And we hope that will continue. And that's all part of the IGF adopting a more multiyear approach in its work.
The program will also include a parliamentary track and a youth track, and there are several new session formats which you might have seen if you've looked at the call for proposals. There are new session types. There are book launches and awards. There are town hall discussions and networking sessions which was a modality introduced in 2020.
In terms of format, we innovated in 2020 by producing and succeeding, in fact, in organizing a fully virtual IGF. It was very challenging, but I really want to commend the MAG and the secretariat and everyone who helped. The U.N. system was a great source of support for a successful, fully virtual IGF which was also the largest IGF to date.
We also introduced in 2020 a preparatory phase, and that is being repeated at smaller scale. But for 2021, there will also be a short -- or maybe not short in terms of time, but not very intensive preparatory phase but, nevertheless, a phase that allows the community to begin to engage with the issues that the IGF will address and to bring more diversity into those discussions, to create space for people who will not be able to participate face-to-face or not necessarily even virtually in the Katowice annual forum.
And also to provide more opportunity for integration with the national and regional IGFs and with youth IGF initiatives. And then the hybrid IGF which is core to the format for IGF 2021, which is really trying to achieve equality in access, to make the transition from remote participation combined with face-to-face participation to participation that is equal, equally empowering, provide equal opportunity for speaking, for learning irrespective of whether you are in person or virtual. And you'll hear more about this later today.
The NRI community, the national and regional IGF communities is continuing to grow and is supported by the IGF secretariat.
Just a moment.
Sorry. Someone just walked into the room and I just had to ask them to leave.
And IGF 2021 will also include more integration with NRIs, and we hope to do that with NRI participation at the annual forum and in the preparatory phase.
In terms of sustainability, I will leave that to Chengetai to share with you initiatives to strengthen the capacity for the IGF to secure fund-raising, particularly on a multiyear, longer-term basis.
And also just to mention here the work of the MAG working group strategy, many of the innovations that I've actually mentioned, and this issue-driven approach, this more outcome-oriented approach and this more integration with intersessional are the responses of the planning process to recommendations by a MAG working group, the working group on IGF strategy and strengthening, which was initiated by a MAG member in 2020 and which has continued to work. In itself, it builds on the work of previous MAG working groups.
But this working group has, in many ways, I think, played the role of assisting the MAG at interpreting some of the opportunities and challenges presented by the roadmap as well as proposals in previous years for IGF improvements, the working group that I mentioned, CSTD and the IGF retreat. And they produced a document that contains quite comprehensive proposals for IGF strengthening. And so many of these initiatives, including the idea to develop a more multiyear approach to the IGF, is based on the very valuable work.
Anja, if we can just move to the next slide, I think we are more or less done.
Yes. This is just really to provide you with the link to the shared document which has more detailed information about these innovations and to highlight the success in participation in IGF 2020.
Just before I hand over to Chengetai, I just want to emphasize that these improvements -- I have highlighted some recent ones. But, in fact, if you look at the IGF over time, the work of the secretariat over time and of different MAGs, under many different MAG chairs, and with the support of host countries, there's actually a continuous record of IGF strengthening. And I think there's often an assumption that the IGF is static, and I think that might be the result of the fact that many of these changes are incremental. They might not be that dramatic.
But they are there, and they are needed. And I think what is important to continue with this process of IGF strengthening and IGF growth is for the community to participate, to make proposals, to comment, to provide comment that's constructive and that's critical. And for the MAG and the secretariat to remain open to that comment.
And then very, very important is for the resources, for those -- and I thank them -- that support the IGF and continue to do so. Because without substantial financial reports, strengthening the IGF's capacity and strengthening its inclusiveness will not be possible.
Chengetai, can I hand over to you to highlight some initiatives and improvements from the secretariat's perspective?
>>CHENGETAI MASANGO: Thank you very much, Anriette.
You gave a very thorough presentation, and I'd just like to highlight a few things. The first thing I'd like to highlight is your statement saying that we do thank the community. This is a community-driven process. And if anybody has any ideas for improvement, you don't have to wait for the open consultations or for when we call for input. Please feel free just to send us an email at our email address, [email protected]. And we are always interested to try out new ideas or to read new ideas because, of course, we cannot think of everything. And since you are also the users of the website and also the other facilities, you may have something from your perspective that we don't see from our perspective. So please do feel free to contact us whenever you have an idea.
As far as the IGF secretariat is concerned, as Anriette has already -- did mention, is that we do have more intersessional activities. And for the IGF activities, we have had two more consultants than we've had before supporting these activities. And we're very grateful for that, the PNE as well.
As far as the fund-raising, we do have a fund-raising consultant. She has done interviews with people and now she is formulating a plan. And once we have that plan and have reviewed that plan, we will also share it with you. And I think this is also very important for us because without the funds, we cannot implement more of the improvements.
The chair also mentioned the website, and we are very excited about the website. The development is going and it's going strong. And we did have some focus groups, including the dynamic coalition on people -- on accessibility and disability.
And we hope to launch the trial of the website in the beginning of September. And I think we will keep to that date.
And we also have an app, and the app is an integrated app. It will have our newsletters. It will have the calendar so you know all the events that are going on, and you can filter it and decide which notifications that you want to have. It will also have -- as far as for the IGF 2021, since we want to have a hybrid meeting -- and when we say a "hybrid meeting," we do want the experience of the people who do manage to come to Katowice and those who are online to be as similar as possible. So, for instance, if somebody wants to make an intervention in the workshop rooms, through the app you can request for the floor so the moderator or facilitator can call people up in the order that they request the floor. So the people onsite will not have the advantage of being able to raise their hand and attract the moderator's attention. So it's going to be a level playing ground as far as that is concerned.
And there's also a few more innovations that we're going to be trying out. For example, for the IGF village, we hope to make a virtual environment for the IGF village so that you can browse the IGF village online, get all the materials, view the videos, ask questions online. It's similar to the fashion that you'll be able to do onsite when you come to Katowice.
One more -- the other thing is that we are getting one more person in the IGF secretariat to help us. And if -- I think most of you also know Eleonora. She will also be coming back in August, so we will have a much fuller IGF secretariat to be better able to facilitate and to serve you.
And this year, as well, we are going to be having the evaluation. We usually have an evaluation every five years, so we have the evaluation -- outside evaluator coming in. I don't know if any of you know. It's going to be John Mathiason from Cornell University, and he's starting the evaluation. And over the next couple of months, he's going to be contacting some of you to have one-on-one interviews. And we're also going to be having surveys as well just to collect a starter on what has happened over the last five years.
And with that, we will also plan to implement some improvements as we go along.
Another thing that we did last year is that we shared the outcomes of the IGF 2020. We had a professionally typeset report. And with the help of the Under-Secretary-General of UN DESA who also wrote letters, and we included the report and we sent it out to all our sister organizations within the U.N. and also organizations outside of the U.N., like Council of Europe, European Commission, OECD, et cetera, just to make people aware and also to spread the word of what the IGF is doing. And we are going to be continuing to do that this year as well.
And I think that is all from what I have to say, unless you have questions. And we'll try and answer them. Thank you.
>>CHAIR ESTERHUYSEN: Thanks, Chengetai. And thanks to all the MAG members who contributed to these processes. I highlighted the MAG working group on IGF strengthening and strategy. But other MAG working groups have also made really significant contributions. For example, the MAG working group on linguistic diversity which worked in 2020 is responsible through their persistence as not only translating some of the outcome documents into U.N. languages but also being more flexible in format. So you'll learn later today that during the preparatory phase, people can organize preparatory sessions in a language of their choice and even during the main event, the annual forum. Networking sessions could be in language other than English. Not all these sessions will be interpreted, but we're creating that flexibility in response to the important goal of making the IGF more inclusive, more open to its community which is very multilingual.
Also, the MAG working group on hybrid meetings has contributed enormously to the format and process for IGF 2021. And there is also a MAG working group on outreach and engagement which has worked in past years and again this year which supports the secretariat with ensuring that the IGF communicates more effectively.
So thanks to everyone --
>>CHENGETAI MASANGO: Sorry, Anriette. Just within more thing I forgot, if I may.
>>CHAIR ESTERHUYSEN: Go ahead.
>>CHENGETAI MASANGO: Yes. One more thing I did forget. Apologies.
We are also communicating with the next host countries, and they're on board now. So for our next host country for next year is Ethiopia. And the year after that is Japan. So they're on board now. They're observing the processes. And part of the reason as well is to have the handover process much more smoother. And some time back there was this concern that the IGF seemed to be on a year cycle and there wasn't really that long-term view. So this is going to be helping us with that long-term view as now that the next host country and the one after that is very familiar with the topics that we are having and also how we're operating so the handover is going to be much, much smoother. And they're also participating in the parliamentary track and youth program, et cetera. So that's one of the other innovations that we've introduced. Thank you.
>>CHAIR ESTERHUYSEN: Thanks for that, Chengetai.
I don't see anyone in the speaking queue. I do invite you to comment and react on this presentation of IGF improvements at the end of the session.
But now to give you an update on what has become increasingly a really central part of the IGF's work, its intersessional work, I'm very pleased to give the floor to our new policy networks. They can tell you about themselves and what they're planning to do.
So first we will hear from the policy network initiated earlier this year. And we'll hear from the facilitator of that network, Flurino Waspi.
>>FLURINA WASPI: Hi, everyone. I hope that you can hear me. I just joined the call two minutes ago. Yeah, I'm sorry --
>>CHAIR ESTERHUYSEN: We can hear you very clearly.
>>FLURINA WASPI: Perfect. I'm a bit tired because we had the Swiss IGF all day yesterday and we only just finished late in the evening, but everything went fine. And it was a really interesting day. So I'm basically still in the IGF spirit, so -- but I'm a little bit tired from that.
Yes, it's nice that I can be here today to just give you a little update. I haven't really prepared a big presentation or anything. I just maybe wanted to share some materials with you or show you what we have been working on.
I will update the website as well this week because Wednesday is usually my PNE day. I don't know if I should just give a little introduction on myself or whether you all kind of are informed already.
But just my name is Flurino. I'm working -- I'm Swiss. I'm working for the Bern University of Applied Sciences in the kind of fields -- or specialize in the field of digitalization. We are primarily working on digitalizing projects with governments and federal, accountable administrations in the public sector. So that's my focus. And I have been focusing in the area of environment and digitization.
So, yeah, that's just my background. I have an academic background in political science and European and international law.
I have been working with this working group that has been put together before. I began my contract as a consultant. It's a really nice group we have -- yeah, exactly, thanks, Anja, for the link. You can have a look at who is in this expert group. I don't know if you are already aware. I'm not fully competent on how you work right now.
But just what I wanted to say is that we've started out, I think, really nicely. I mean, for me it's been kind of an adaptation period as well to get used to and for everyone in the working group as well. Yeah, it's been really nice.
So for what we have done so far, right now we're really at the point where we're forming work streams with established people. We think it's the best idea to establish work streams to work towards the report that we want to publish in September. So maybe -- I don't know whether I can share -- yeah. I can share maybe with you.
Can you see this now, the time line?
>>CHAIR ESTERHUYSEN: Yes, we can see that.
>>FLURINA WASPI: Perfect. So that was kind of the thing we were operating on. We established this together with the members. There was a bit -- like, the first step was a bit of a challenge, getting everyone to kind of -- getting all of these meetings set up. So we have a monthly. We established methodologies. We have already had two or three meetings. This is from part of June.
We had our June meeting where we've kind of talked about or -- I mean, we've started out with just -- it was a period of getting to know each other and getting to find out what the members want to establish kind of methodology-wise. And, obviously, lots of people in this working group have not been familiar with the IGF itself. So I guess you probably all know how that works. But you are very familiar with how IGF and IGF structure works but not everyone else is. So it was a bit of a period still ongoing of adaptation and transmitting this spirit of openness.
Actually we're still at the point we haven't really opened -- I mean, it is theoretically open. But we haven't actually opened up the meetings because -- we will do it from the next meeting on. But until now, we have really been in this phase where we had to get to know each other and figure out what we actually wanted to do.
Here in this time line, we see established with members that we have monthly meetings. We want to participant in outreach events. And in September, we would like to have a first draft of our output report on digitization and the environment.
And in December, obviously we want to partake in Katowice in the IGF and present our kind of final -- not final results but our adapted results.
Maybe I can share also with you just to give you a little input or insight in how we've been working together, we have formulated -- that's basically now the result of the first two meetings where we did a mural -- I don't know if anyone knows that mural session where at the beginning everybody kind of contributed to all of these topics, contributed what are their personal goals, what are their goals for that group, what are the kind of the visions or just values that they want to work towards because I think it's really important with this kind of very diverse group of experts that as a consultant that we kind of, yeah, let everyone participate and let everyone give their input on how they want to work together. That's really the process that we've kind of went through now. You see we have the one-pager that's our statement of purpose of our group that we want to build on now, that have kind of agreed upon. You see there's still some comments. People are still working with this document. But we've established kind of what is the context, where is the policy network, what is the vision. It's that we want to live in a world where digitalization is used as a force for good and it's used to make progress towards the U.N. environmental goals.
And then we have the specific group we want to be as a group. Obviously, these are pretty much high-level experts who want to contribute something to their field and who would like to bring back the results or bring back the discussions to their respective networks. So this is obviously one goal of them. We really want to publish substantive -- kind of contribute something. So obviously our main goal is to publish this report by December 2021. And we've established in the last session that we want to focus on really policy recommendations. We've had a really good exchange with Michael Oghia, who is also known to you since he's a long-term engager with IGF. (indiscernible). He was also consulting us a little bit. We really need to sharpen our focus. That's what we're doing right now. It's obviously such a large, broad topic; and we're still trying to figure out what we actually want to focus on.
We kind of have this one-pager that we can base ourselves on. We've established we want to work in work streams because that would probably just facilitate or guarantee more -- not guarantee but just have more of a chance of actually producing something when we have work streams.
So we're going to build work streams on different topics that we've worked out in the first and second meeting that are of interest to the members, which are specifically -- so we have these different kind of elements of the report that we want to treat as challenges and opportunities a bit in general. And then really to have a focus on environmental data, food and water security, energy security, supply chain, and overarching issues.
As you can see, it's still very broad. But obviously we know we don't want to reinvent the wheel. And we have really discussed in our last meeting that we really want to focus on the materials that are built upon the materials that have already been produced and also by Michael who has a really comprehensive overview of literature in a Wiki that he has created. So we are very conscious.
A lot of the discussions in our group obviously have revolved around the challenge that is there right now for this topic that we're working on that so many different initiatives have popped up over the last few months.
I remember when I started working on this topic one and a half years ago there was, it felt like, nothing. And now so many different initiatives. There's codes. There's like -- we are there. There are so many different countries working on this. That's really the challenge we have. Right now there's so many different initiatives, and we don't want to create redundant work and duplicate something. So that's why we have what seems maybe like a lot of preparatory work, but it's I think really important to make everyone realize in this group that's what we're aiming for. So that's why we want to focus on giving concrete recommendations from the point of view and experience of our working group members. So we're not going to produce a scientific document on all of these topics. But really focus on what experts', yeah, background is as well. Obviously we're there to consult and give this academic background as well.
Obviously, it has to be factual.
So we have tools that we want to use increasingly now that we started working, which is our community mailing list and (indiscernible) mailing list and our website, which, as I said, I will update with these documents that we've now compiled this week.
And we have also, what I think is quite important, just determined some shared values, which comes from this discussion that I thought was important for me but also for the working group members who are, as I said, foreign to the IGF, for the most part, to kind of determine: Okay. How do we want to work together?
So that's kind of my experience so far. It's been sometimes difficult to push members to work towards this, but that's because they're not used sometimes to this style of working together, but it's been, I think, an important discussion.
>>CHAIR ESTERHUYSEN: Yeah. So we have -- I'm sorry to interrupt you, Flurina, but I'm a little concerned about time.
>>FLURINA WASPI: Anyway --
>>CHAIR ESTERHUYSEN: Can you just remind everyone that they can get more information on the website and --
>>FLURINA WASPI: Yep, exactly.
>>CHAIR ESTERHUYSEN: -- tell them how can they participate?
>>FLURINA WASPI: Exactly. So, basically, that's the most kind of important document. And, as I said, you can just stay up to date by subscribing to this PNE community email and this link here. I will also share the link to this document in the chat after my input and on the PNE website. So we will, on the PNE website, we will put up -- or I will put up the next dates of our meetings, and then everyone can get involved who is interested. What we are planning to do is concentrate each meeting probably to a different topic area so people can see what they're mostly interested in, whether that's environmental data or supply chain transparency. So we have a thematic focus as well.
>>CHAIR ESTERHUYSEN: Thanks for that, Flurina.
Next, we'll hear from the second policy network facilitated by Raquel Gatto. And just to frame these for you because I know this is a question that is frequently asked. How are these new policy networks different from best practice forums or dynamic coalitions?
And really, I think the simplest and shortest answer to that is that they are a response to the suggestions emerging from the U.N. Secretary-General's high-level panel to create a space for policy incubation, to develop these multistakeholder expert-led frameworks, addressing issues in depth, and come up with recommendations.
And in the sense that they are more focused on actual policy processes and policy decisions, whereas dynamic coalitions have a much broader range of issues and concerns and communities of practice. They also discuss policy and come up with policy regulations, but hopefully -- recommendations, but hopefully these PNs will be more than that, and they will be in a space for incubation for specific policy proposals. And that is why it's important that they're open and people in the community do participate in them.
Raquel, over to you.
>>RAQUEL GATTO: Thank you very much, Anriette. And that's one of those moments where I do miss meeting face-to-face for those open consultations not only because I enjoy beautiful summers (indiscernible) in Geneva but also because we're all in the same time zone. So we might see the sun rising just in my window.
Thank you for the opportunity.
And for those that I don't know yet, my name is Raquel Gatto, and I'm working with the secretariat to facilitate the recently created Policy Network on Meaningful Access, the PNMA.
We've just recently launched the key talk meeting that was last Friday. So certainly what you hear from Flurina and we are hearing too and taking advantage of the processes that took off a little earlier to integrate both the policy networks and perhaps, as Anriette was mentioning, I would start with the whys. Let's say, the why a policy network. Not only would we build from the previous experiences from the IGF and, in particular, for meaningful access for the topic of meaningful access, the best practice forum recommendations from local content, from the gender and access BPF but also from the proposal that came in from the current MAG members for sustainable and affordable Internet. So this is one of the streams that we are feeding from but also from the past major intersessional work which was the connecting and enabling the next (indiscernible). If you recall, this was also created around 2015 to bring more of the tangible outcomes to the IGF looking for this innovative approach in terms of going into the grass roots of local examples and building on identifying the challenges but also bringing some of those recommendations. And the CMB *** CHECK also connected with the sustainable development goals, so the SDGs, not all of them. So each year, the MAG decided on a few of them that were the priorities.
But also, of course, connecting to other intersessional work, as Anriette also mentioned, the dynamic coalitions, in particular the DC3 and the director even also mentioned the DC3, dynamic coalition on networks but also the NRIs.
But, anyway, that's one of the pillars, but also, it's tapping on the Secretary-General's Roadmap for Digital Cooperation. In particular, when it states about strengthening the IGF, making it more responsible in terms of integrating the program and the intersessional policy development work into the priority areas that's been identified.
So that's the paragraph 93(e) that is specifically tapping on in terms of why a policy network.
But then why meaningful access, right? This has been -- or meaningful connectivity? And there are some nuances to the term that we might be tapping into this work, but it's really considering the growing evidence that it's not only about infrastructure, in terms of developing this connectivity, this (indiscernible) but it's also about the ease of the Internet. Once you are connected, how much is it going to be inclusive, useful, affordable, sustainable, and several of the other elements that really talks about skills, human capacities, and content labels. I'm sure we can extend that into more of the substantive discussions.
But, really, it's about focusing right now the PNMI into this look of why -- or why and how we can achieve meaningful and universal Internet access, why it remains so challenging because we do have efforts, I must say. With the pandemic, I think this has been amplified and catalyzed to the most level possible, right? We need to get connected. It's a lifeline for all of us, for all individuals. But, despite all the effort, it keeps to be a challenge.
So the PNMA has also this goal of embracing this holistic approach but also being realistic.
What are those things? One, a few things that we can go ahead and prioritize and create impact. So that's kind of where I want to go in terms of this overreaching goal to bring this impact-driven, concrete, actionable policy recommendation on how to achieve this meaningful access and, of course, align with the other streams of IGF work and building on them aligned with the Secretary-General's roadmap and the SDGs and the long-term achievements.
Concretely, I'm going to be very brief. I don't want to -- I'm sure you will find all this information online. We can share. But I just want to say concrete steps on the how we are looking to do that and, of course, it's through community consultations. It's about bringing people together. It's also about putting the efforts to review those draft -- sorry. Not draft -- but to review those draft recommendations that have been done into the multiple streams from the IGF but also building on identifying those priorities and the final recommendations going forward that we hope to present during the annual meeting in Poland, in Katowice. So I just want to reinforce that it's always bottom-up and open for all the community inputs.
And, finally, we do have the similar governance approach to PNE, which is to have the multistakeholder working group with experts from international organizations, from U.N. member states, parliaments, research academic groups, as well as private sector technical communities, so a whole bunch from usual suspects for the IGF but also from new faces that we are tapping on. There are currently 23 members, and I'm going to post in the chat so you know who the 23 members are, and that includes the four MAG liaisons that I see some of them are here, if they want to jump in.
Finally, please join, if you're interested, with our mailing list. We are going to look into the timeline and cross-pollinate with some of the events. I think the neatest one is going to be EuroDIG, a session at EuroDIG pretty soon, next week.
But, again, this information is going to be online, and I'm happy to provide to anyone interested.
Thank you very much, Anriette and everyone.
>>CHAIR ESTERHUYSEN: Thanks very much for that, Raquel.
Next, we will hear from the best practice forums. In 2021, the MAG approved two best practice forums. The best practice forum on agenda and digital rights and the best practice forum on cybersecurity. And these are very different in that they really are primarily there to gather and collect best practices in the area of focus.
To tell us more about the best practice forum on gender and digital rights.
MAG Member, Amrita Choudhury, you have the floor.
>>AMRITA CHOUDHURY: Thank you so much, Anriette.
And hi, everyone.
Could I have the presentation, please?
Just to begin, the best practice forum on gender and digital rights, from the MAG, the representatives are me and Chenai Chair, and the other representatives who are leading the discussion are Bruna Martins dos Santos, Deborah Albu, and Marwa Azelmat, and Wim Degezelle is actually the (indiscernible) from the secretariat.
So this year, we would be -- do you want me to share the presentation? Is it okay?
Thank you. So this year, we will be exploring gender disinformation.
And the goals which we envision are to understand how gender-based disinformation is actually being used as a strategy against women and gender-diverse groups to understand the negative effects on digital rights and how it spills over on other sets of rights, such as political participation, what allows gender disinformation to be used as a part of a larger political project for modern policing, censorship, and hierarchization of citizenship and rights and to map strategies and actions which could help to halt the spread of gender disinformation and build a less toxic environment online, at least, for women and for gender-diverse people, groups, and showcase the positive initiatives which have been taken and which could be the beginning of what can be the long steps and the long-term multistakeholder dialogue which can be held on gender disinformation.
Next slide, please.
So the next steps which we have taken, to kick off, we started with a few virtual meetings. We had -- and then the plan is to, you know, host a series of experts and stakeholders so that there could be discussions on various aspects on the topic of gender disinformation and to identify what the BPF output would be, you know, what would be the topics the BPF should be looking at without duplication of what has already been done somewhere else.
So we had a meeting on 18th May, and the next one was 3rd June. All of these are there on the website along with the recordings.
We have an upcoming meeting this week on 25th of June and subsequently on the 18th July.
To kick off, we started with a survey, and this survey was to understand and to concretize the definition of gender disinformation and what could be the activities the BPF could be looking at.
Further, there is a resource list that is being created, and this is a list which is compiling resources on gender disinformation, which will have research, case studies, best practices, and regulatory initiatives on the topic, and it will be a living document so it can be populated and it can become a resource for people. You know, everyone here is encouraged to go visit it and share references, if you want, and there is a form to which you can submit these suggestions.
In terms of outreach and participation, the BPF is coordinating actively to reach out the specialists organizations and -- you know, and initiatives who are working in this field or, you know, who are cross-cutting. For example, if they are disinformation specialists, they may not be completely on gender but to give their perspectives to. And everyone who is interested is invited to join the mailing list and also the meetings.
Thank you so much, Anriette. I'm open to questions if there are any.
>>CHAIR ESTERHUYSEN: Thanks very much for that, Amrita. And, please, everyone, start requesting the floor because after this segment, there will be quite a few inputs; but then we do want to hear people's comments and reactions to the IGF improvements, inputs, and also to the intersessional work.
And, next, we have the best practice forum on cybersecurity.
You have the floor. I'm not sure if it's a MAG Member Hariniombonana who's presenting or, Markus, if you will present for us.
>>HARINIOMBONANA ANDRIAMAMPIONONA: Thank you for giving me the floor.
>>CHAIR ESTERHUYSEN: Welcome.
>>HARINIOMBONANA ANDRIAMAMPIONONA: I'm Hariniombonana, co-facilitator with Markus Kummer.
I'm glad to present a few updates of the BPF on cybersecurity on the use of norms to foster trust and security.
So this year, BPF has identified three workstreams focused on the BPF matter, and the BPF on cybersecurity is forming groups to work with the workstreams' lead. Workstream one is a continuation of last year's work. It will take a deeper look at the drivers of cyber norms. The goal is to understand what ideas, concerns, or incidents have triggered norms and how norms are practically tied to the actual problems.
Workstream two will identify a significant history about a security event and each will test norms against (indiscernible) Internet events.
Workstream three has supporting role. It will focus on identifying and engaging new stakeholders in the BPF as well as enhancing synergies and cooperation with other initiatives.
Workplans of the three workstreams are summarized in the work pages, and the description of additional meetings are organized in workstream level with our lead expert.
Workstream one and workstream two did already their kickoff meeting, and the workstream three is planned for next week.
The public call for volunteers to sign up to a workstream was launched on the BPF web page and mailing list. I wish to invite you to connect if you wish to join one of our workstreams and subscribe to the BPF mailing list on the web page.
So next is, the BPF has scheduled for the BPF meeting this year. All the data shared in the web page. We had our kickoff meeting on 29th of April, and the next call will be next Thursday on 1st of July at 6:00 a.m. UTC.
The three workstreams working in parallel will update on their progress during this meeting. And, after that, we still have two update meetings before the IGF 2021 Katowice where the BPF will organize a workshop and publish an output report.
That's all from my side.
Markus, would you like to add anything?
>>MARKUS KUMMER: Nothing to add from my end.
>>HARINIOMBONANA ANDRIAMAMPIONONA: Thank you.
Over to you, Anriette.
>>CHAIR ESTERHUYSEN: Thanks very much, Iombonana. I really want to commend both Amrita and Iombonana. They are first-year MAG members, and they have plunged into BPF work with full force and great impact.
Now let's hear from the dynamic coalitions. Policy networks if they exist to incubate specific policy proposals, best practice forums incubate practices.
Both of them and these modalities receive some support from the IGF secretariat.
But dynamic coalitions are very special. They are very different in the sense that they are initiated and created and guided by the IGF community in a completely bottom-up way. There's very minimal support from the secretariat for dynamic coalitions. And, yet, if you look at the output of the work of dynamic coalitions every year, it's full of research and insights and experiences covering a very diverse range of Internet governance issues.
To give us an overview of dynamic coalitions, I'm very pleased to give the floor to past MAG chair and executive secretary Markus Kummer.
>>MARKUS KUMMER: Thank you, Anriette.
Hello, everyone. Yes, you said it all. I think dynamic coalitions are very unique inasfar as they are bottom-up and self-organized. They are all very different. There's no one like the other.
This year we are engaging in a survey to produce a paper that will document their past experience. And right now we're in a fact-finding phase. We have done the first bit of homework going -- asking dynamic coalitions for a survey, asking them what they've been up to, looking at past achievements, looking at their internal organization, their internal engagement, and also their governance structures, working modalities but, of course, also looking at achievements and impact they have. They are quite significant.
So this phase has been concluded. We also identified some challenges which will need address in the third and last phase when we look the way forward on how to propose maybe improvements.
And right now we're looking at the dynamic coalitions' integrations in the broader IGF framework.
Can I ask the secretariat to share the survey. We have sent an email out to the MAG list yesterday, and the broader community is invited to respond to the survey how they see the dynamic coalitions. There are some factual questions. We would like to know, if you respond to this survey, who you are, which category you belong to.
Can you scroll down a bit to show more of the survey?
I'm not going through it in detail, but it also has some open questions right at the bottom where you can then say how you see the future, how they would fit into an IGF+ structure and give your ideas.
Now the deadline is maybe a bit short, but we hope it does not take you too long. And we really would welcome as many of you MAG members but also the broader community as possible could answer this survey as an input then in the dynamic coalitions paper.
The dynamic coalitions also looked at the strategic paper which was kindly addressed to them, and we will also supply comment on that.
Now, as far as I understand, we were asked whether some dynamic coalitions would like to give an insight into their activities. And three of them responded and would be willing to give a brief insight into their activities. That would also give all MAG members and the broader community a bit of a taste, a bit of a feeling in what dynamic coalitions are and how they work.
Can we move -- obviously I would also be ready to answer any questions you may have. And also my co-facilitators Adam Peake, MAG member, and Jutta Croll, if she's on the call.
I would suggest that we give the dynamic coalitions who have volunteered to present themselves the floor right now. Thank you for your attention.
>>CHAIR ESTERHUYSEN: Thanks very much for that, Markus. Indeed, first up we have dynamic coalition -- the youth coalition on Internet governance. And we have Noha Assif Abdel Baky.
Noha, are you ready to take the floor?
>>NOHA ABDEL BAKY: Hi, everyone. Thanks for allowing us to talk about our dynamic coalition. I'm Noha Abel Baky. I'm the African representative of the Youth Commission on Internet governance. We kicked off our year by launching a survey to get to know our community needs. We ended up finalizing some topics and will be organizing Webinars over the next two months on different topics like security, like social media, and different topics.
We were also invited by UN DESA to work on a policy brief with digital comments. And we're working along other youth groups like the SPI and the ITU, who were invited to contribute to this document as well. So we formed a working group of our community to draft this document with us.
We also collaborated with the youth observatory to submit session proposals to the IGF. We had sessions at Rights Con, and we are also organizing a session on the 28th at EuroDIG. I invite you all to attend it. I will be discussing technologies, smart cities, and environment as well. I can share the link here later.
And we are continuously sharing opportunity -- available opportunity for youth in different regions on our mailing list. I'll be sharing the link on how to join our mailing list as well.
>>CHAIR ESTERHUYSEN: Sorry. Struggling to unmute.
Thanks very much for that, Noha. Please, I want to invite everyone to join Nigel Hickson in the speaking queue. This is really the opportunity for members of the community to comment and ask questions. So please add your name to the speaking queue. The link has been posted in the chat by the secretariat.
Next we have the dynamic coalition on public access in libraries, which I'm proud to say I was involved in forming many, many years ago. And we have Valensiya Dresvyannikova to tell us more.
>>VALENSIYA DRESVYANNIKOVA: Yes, thank you very much, Anriette and everyone. It's a pleasure to be here and to have a chance to reflect in all of the wonderful progress that's been achieved over the past few months.
As you have said, I'm Valensiya Dresvyannikova, representing the dynamic coalition on public access in libraries. Just to give a tiny bit of context, DC PAL works to catalyze action, dialogue, and strategic good practices around shared public access to the Internet, to ICT, in libraries, and similar community organizations as a means of supporting the urgent goal of more inclusive and meaningful digital inclusion and participation.
In terms of our intersessional work over the past few months, one of the key tasks we have been working on is creating a combined and updated edition of two DC publications from 2019 and 2020. The first one is an overview of how different national broadband plans and policies engage libraries and similar public access facilities to support digital inclusion, drawing on policy documents from around 30 countries, I believe. This ranges from the roles of public access facilities play, like offering access to connectivity particularly for the more vulnerable community members, digital skills training, supporting learning education, and so on.
It also reflects the variety of policy mechanisms that can enable these interventions from (indiscernible) response to public-private partnerships and beyond.
The second publication looks at how these measures have actually been implemented in practice across several country case studies from Colombia to Kenya. The case studies trace the public access policy interactions, how these have been implemented, the impacts they yielded and what lessons and good practices can be drawn from these.
At the moment, DC PAL is working on a consolidated edition of these three chapters and we are excited to say we are also working on another case study to add to this list very soon.
Further, a key question we plan to explore this year is how public access facilities can drive more community-based models of development and help support eventual recovery, of course.
And, finally, members of DC PAL continue to collaborate with stakeholders in other networks and platforms. In the fall of 2020, partnership for public access launched a call to action entitled Every Community Connected which outlines key steps and urges action towards widespread connectivity through public access. And over the past months, we have continued to receive new signatories to the library pledge for digital inclusion, which is a part of this call to action.
The pledge lets stakeholders make a commitment to support and promote public access to the Internet, to relevant digital content, to offer digital skills training, and to support enabling broadband policies.
Now, with around 600 signatories, I believe, this helps sort of pull together a network of committed advocates around the globe and raise awareness about the tools we have at our disposal which can help bridge the digital divides. Thank you.
>>CHAIR ESTERHUYSEN: Thanks very much for that update, Valensiya.
And I think, you know, just listening to your update and to the policy network on universal and meaningful access, I would urge you to collaborate. And I would urge this dynamic coalition to follow the work of that policy network because like the policy network, this DC on public access is concerned with access to content and access to infrastructure. And that's also a core concern for the policy network.
I think that's an example of how there's overlapping areas of focus between the different intersessional modalities and why it is important for them to collaborate.
Last, but definitely not least, we hear from a dynamic coalition formed in 2020, the dynamic coalition on Internet standards and safety.
Mark Carvell, another past MAG member, you have the floor.
>>MARK CARVELL: Yes, thank you very much, Anriette. And it's a great pleasure to be here joining everybody in this very important milestone on the road to Katowice and to hear so much impressive progress that's being implemented and to hear the views and presentations of progress reports and so on. There's a lot of activity in this area, and it's going to lead to a very successful IGF I'm sure.
Yes, my name is Mark Carvell. I'm one of the members of the leadership team of the dynamic coalition on Internet standards, security, and safety, DCISSS to use the acronym.
And, yes, as you said, Anriette, it's a new dynamic coalition. It was formed last year at the IGF. It does have a pre-history. It goes back to an IGF pilot project on Internet security standards, led to our coordinator of the coalition, Wout de Natris who can't be here with us today due to a conflicting unavoidable commitment.
That pilot project produced a number of conclusions with regard to basically the gap between security standards development by the standards set by the developing technical community, the IETF and elsewhere, the gap between the development of the security standards and effective deployment worldwide.
And our slogan for the coalition is to make the Internet more secure and safe as we are achieving much greater and more effective deployment of security-related standards. So that's our overarching aim.
We are very outcome-oriented, and I will explain a bit about how we're going to about that.
We are early days. That's fair to say. It's our first year. It's taken a lot of work to get our approach embedded to get the involvement of key experts and stakeholders to help us take -- go forward. And for this first phase, we selected specific issues from the pilot project's conclusions. And we formed working groups for them, so we have three working groups.
The first one is on Internet of Things and security by design. That's chaired by Yuri Kargapolov from the Ukrainian Network Information Center.
The second working group is on education skills. And this is about really identifying how curricular schools and tertiary further education level and training initiatives and so on should place much more emphasis and include much more coverage of security-related standards and how to support and deploy them. That working group is led by Raymond Mamattah, an academic from Accra in Ghana.
Our third working group is on -- is looking at a driver, if you'd like, for the deployment of standards through procurement and supply chain management and the whole area of developing a coherent business case for technology, services, and applications to deploy standards, incur extra costs, but the benefits that flow from effective deployment. And that working group is led by Mallory Knodel from the Center for Democracy in Technology.
So we have got these three working groups going. We are finalizing mission statements for each of them, two-page tightly worded text, setting out what their objectives are, their action work plan, and the shape and contours of their outcomes.
As I say, we're very outcome-oriented. The work has to continue to develop those outcomes in a clear, clear way. But we think it's important for stakeholders to understand what it is we're aiming for in terms of the -- what I describe as the contours of the outcomes, be they policy recommendations for decision takers in governments, in industry, across the Internet community in general or toolkits or guidance. Those are the kind of material outcomes that we're heading for.
The current priorities for each of the working groups is to build up their membership. It's early days. We've got some very valuable people involved, but we need more. We need to ensure geographical diversity. They are -- the ones who are actively involved now are collating inputs, materials for what's going on around the Internet ecosystem now with regard to security standards. And they will start to develop proposals that we can present at the IGF in Katowice.
They may be fully developed proposals, but time is running ahead. Or they could be outlines for future work. Indeed, we anticipate the life span of this coalition extending for maybe two to three years and going through progressive phases.
For example, on security by design, we're just looking at IoT, Internet of Things. But we might well take a decision to look at other emerging technologies and see how security standards are being embedded in them and then can be deployed.
So we've got a lot of work -- a lot of work ahead of us. We are also presenting ourselves at EuroDIG with a session on the 28th. So please join us there.
And that's the first opportunity. We're hoping to identify other opportunities to present ourselves, to attract members, to get ideas from other stakeholders and hopefully involve them actively in the work.
We're looking ahead, for example, to the Asia-Pacific regional IGF. We've made a request to present there. And, of course, we will set out everything online through the IGF website, a page there. And I'll put some info in the chat about our specific page and how to subscribe. We need to broaden our subscription to maximize our geographical coverage.
We're getting now -- we've got African, Asian, and some Latin American participation as well as Europe. But we need to expand membership.
So I think that conveys where we are. I hope that's useful. I hope to hear comments and reactions. And please join us at EuroDIG and at subsequent events. And please check us out. And look at our mission statements which are about to be posted. They will convey concisely what the coalition is aiming to do. Our output-oriented focus is very much in line with IGF objectives and for making material impact.
And as I say, our slogan is to make the Internet more secure and safer, and we hope to contribute to that through our activities with the help of stakeholders worldwide.
I'll stop there for now. Thank you very much.
>>CHAIR ESTERHUYSEN: Thank you very much, Mark, for that update. And looking forward to the work of this dynamic coalition and all the others.
We have Nigel Hickson in the speaking queue. I invite everyone else to join the speaking queue.
MAG members, as I put in the chat, you are also welcome. MAG members in general hold back during an open consultation because this is a space for the community. But our queue is still very open. So if there are any MAG members who want to contribute, you are welcome.
Nigel, you have the floor.
>>NIGEL HICKSON: Yes, yes. And good morning. Can you hear me? Otherwise, I have got my headphones in?
>>CHAIR ESTERHUYSEN: Yes, we can hear you very clearly, Nigel.
>>NIGEL HICKSON: Well, apologies for that.
Good morning to everyone. Good afternoon. And I'm Nigel Hickson. I work for the Department of Culture, Media, and Sport in the U.K. And I didn't want at all to make a speech, and I won't make a speech. And everyone will be very pleased about that.
I just really had a question. But as I'm the first speaker, perhaps I ought to say -- I mean, not on behalf of anyone else at all but just what a pleasure it is to be able to participate in another open consultation.
I'm exceptionally keen on these open consultations. I think this is just so important that the IGF community opens out to as many participants as they can to get input and to consult a wider and diverse range of stakeholders, as our U.N. Secretary-General has implored us to do.
And it's really encouraging -- I missed the first part of the meeting, so apologies to our hosts and to Poland in particular. I will try and catch up with the recording on what was said earlier.
I did hear Anriette talk about the improvements that have been put in place and some excellent progress is clearly being made. It was fantastic to hear Chengetai talk about extra resources. He certainly deserves those.
He's a great chap, and he leads a great team. And I think this is a real key feature of the IGF.
And, finally, while I'm just waffling away before I ask a question, I just wanted to say what a pleasure it is to hear about the -- all the varied intersessional activities. I mean, this really does say something about the IGF. And I had the opportunity of briefing an U.K. minister recently in this arena. And I said to him, look, there's the annual IGF but there is so much that goes on. There is so much that goes on between sessions, the national and regional initiatives, the dynamic coalitions, the best practice forums and these network initiatives, and this is really -- this is really marvelous work.
The comment I had was just very briefly on the network group on meaningful access and really to emphasize how important I think this work is, especially in terms of COVID-19 and rebuilding from the pandemic which has shown us the crucial importance of access, of course, but also meaningful access because, you know, without having the incentives, without having the ability, without having the broadband connectivity and everything, you might have access. But if it's not meaningful, if there isn't a way of accessing your content in the way that you want to access it and accessing in your local language, then the access is no longer meaningful.
And so I think this group is doing really important work. And I urge them modestly to connect up with the initiatives that ICANN is taking forward. And I know Adam is on the call and will be able to say something about that and the opportunities there are for international domain names and the takeup of that in a more effective way.
Also, of course, the work that the ITU and other institutions is doing. So I think this particular policy initiative is important that it links up to the broader community in this area. And I wish the work well, and I will certainly try to contribute.
And, finally, Madam Chair, if I may, Mark Carvell said it all, of course, about standards. I work in a small group doing Internet governance and the standards in DCMS.
And this gap between the agreement and the takeup of standards is just so important. I mean, we as policymakers have often thought this over the 50 years I have been in government. Not quite that long. But we agree policies, we agree standards, we agree regulations, we sign off on things. And as policymakers, we all go and celebrate and have a beer in the pub and raise our glasses. And sometimes we come back ten years later and none of it has been taken up and we think, What's going on here? We sweated blood to agree to this standard or agree to this regulation and what's happened?
So I think this work is important. I'm sorry, Madam Chair. I have gone on far too long. Thank you very much. Thank you.
>>CHAIR ESTERHUYSEN: Nigel, thank you very much. Do not apologize. I think that's extremely valuable input. I think your remarks on the diversity of this intersessional work, I think it really reflects the sustainability of the IGF.
The fact that there are so many people around the world who find value in these processes. And I think, as you say, policy processes, particularly when they're very high level often just don't touch the nuts or the bolts or the detail. And I think that English expression "the devil is in the detail" is a very apt one.
And I think what these modalities and these dynamic coalitions and the best practice forums and the policy networks enable is to cut through the grand visions and the big-time goals and actually examine what really needs to be done, what really can be done, what really is being done.
And I think what I really look forward to in looking at the outcomes of the policy network on universal and meaningful access is recommendations on how to cut through the lack of change.
This is access. It has been a preoccupation of the IGF and of other similar fora. And yet we --
[ Multiple speakers ]
Currently, I have a situation where (indiscernible) is not growing, nevermind meaningful access. So also just gathering understanding of what the bottlenecks are, I think, will be very valuable.
We have no one else requesting the floor which means we have very good opportunity for a break. Our next session starts at 10:30 universal time. So I want to thank everyone who's contributed these discussions, the dynamic coalitions, the secretariat, Markus, everyone else and, of course, our host and our colleagues at UN DESA. Thank you and I hope the discussion continues. Please use the chat.
Look at the document. Send your input. Let's have a break, everyone. And come back at 10:30 UTC for plenary session II which will be a presentation on the hybrid IGF 2021 format, program, and implementation logistics.
Thanks, everyone. I now close plenary session I.
[ Break ]
>>CHAIR ESTERHUYSEN: Welcome back, everyone. Let's get ready to start the meeting. I will just give it another minute.
Chengetai, are you ready?
Greetings, everyone. Anriette Esterhuysen here, MAG Chair, welcoming you to the second plenary session of today's open consultation.
I'm now giving the floor to Chengetai Masango, the head of the IGF secretariat to present you with an overview of what the MAG and the secretariat has developed working have developed working the host country for Hybrid IGF 2021.
I want to urge everyone to start joining the speaking queue as soon as you have a comment or a question. So I'd like to see us build up quite a long and dynamic speaking queue in the course of this session.
Chengetai, over to you.
>>CHENGETAI MASANGO: And we'll answer them after the presentation. So the short presentation is just about the Hybrid IGF 2021. Our plans for the IGF 2021 and also the intersessional work leading up to it.
I will not spend too much time on the aspects that have already been said by the host country and also by the MAG chair. So it will just be the new items which I will try and focus on.
I hope everybody can see my slides. Just waiting for confirmation.
>>CHAIR ESTERHUYSEN: Yes.
>>CHENGETAI MASANGO: Okay. Thank you.
So, as most of you know, the IGF 2021 process is an issue-driven approach. So we've changed it slightly from last year. It's an issue-driven approach, and we have two main focus areas or two main-focus issues. And these are the economic and social inclusion and human rights and also universal access and meaningful connectivity.
Now, apart from those two main focus areas, there's four emerging cross-cutting issues which are emerging regulation, market structure, content, data, and consumer and user rights regulation.
Continuing from last year is the environmental sustainability and climate change. So environment is very, very important, and we are integrating all aspects of environment on the intersection between environment and Internet governance into our program, and this is just not as a result of us going outside but also the Secretary-General's roadmap also highlighted this as a very important topic.
And then the next one is inclusive Internet governance, ecosystems, and digital cooperation. And the last is trust, security, and stability.
So these are cross-cutting issues that may permeate through any of the two main focus areas.
Now the secretariat has prepared written narratives and an IGF 2021 guide to the issues and policy questions which will be available on the IGF website.
Now, on the road to Katowice, we are trying to have a preparatory process and engagement phase, and this will be from July to November 2021.
Now, the purpose of this is twofold. First of all, it's to facilitate engagement with the IGF 2021 issue areas and towards the goal of a more focused and impactful IGF.
So we're going through the NRI network and also other associated activities, trying to sensitize and get people to start talking about the issues that will be presented in IGF 2021 so that we can have a more mature discussion when we get to Katowice and so we're not starting the discussion there. There's been intersession activities throughout, and people have been able to discuss their view of the issues, whether it be in the national context or the regional context, and they're better prepared to share and collaborate together when we get to Katowice.
And we are also wanting to broaden the participation and inclusion in all aspects of the IGF.
So as I said, these articles will be incorporated into the IGF 2021 meeting guide, and, also, people will be able to bring them with them when they come to Katowice, and the objectives are just our standard objectives that we have in our project documents.
I think this sort of process that we're going to be having from July will inform a richer discussion at Katowice.
Now, a more in-depth look at the preparatory phase, deep diving into the issue areas, mapping linkages between the IGF 2021 issue areas and activities. And, as I say, this is the idea of community at large and also through the national and regional networks, unpacking the IGF 2021 issues, and we're going to have introductory sessions, and we're going to be doing this in cooperation, of course, with MAG issue teams. And there will be exchanges between these MAG issue teams and also whether it be, you know, a local or regional IGF, whether it would be a remote hub or some other theme that we are going to be having.
And we're continuing, as well, with the capacity available activities. These are not really focused on the issues as such because of that aspect of it, but, also, training organizers, session hosts, moderators, remote hubs as well, how to, first of all, use the online tools, how to have effective online sessions and workshops so they can do that during the intersessional phase and, also, at the IGF 2021 because we know that not everybody will be able to make it, and that is also part of the reason why we're doing these capacity-development activities.
And I would also like to mention that the capacity building is not solely for our benefit. It's not solely for the benefit of, you know, the global IGF, so to speak, but also for the local community and for the regional community because they can use these tools. They can use these online tools, and we also support these communities with the use of our WebEx licenses, our Zoom licenses as well. So if they can use these tools more effectively, I think it's for the betterment of all.
Now, we have our intersessional activities. We have the policy networks of environment and meaningful access. We have the best practice forums on gender digital rights, cybersecurity, and dynamic coalitions, and we're also going to be going out throughout the community and trying also to encourage the debate, inform people, and get feedback.
So, as I said before, the IGF 2021 would be very meaningful and have a very high level of interaction and debate.
In September, we do plan to have some sessions as well for this intersessional activities, and that's the secretariat and also the MAG Chair. We also feel this is very good because we have a milestone week where we have all these intersessional activities come together that they can present their work, and it can better focus them to look forward from September to November.
Now, as you've all heard, the IGF will be a hybrid format. What is the difference between a hybrid format and what we've been doing in 2019 and before 2019 because we've always had remote participation as such.
Moving forward from this year onwards, we are going to be doing our best to integrate the remote participation and the on-site participation. So we won't call it remote participation. We won't call it on-site participation, as such. But wherever you are, whichever group you are, the experience will be more or less closely aligned. And, as I've mentioned before, we have some technical things we're trying to ensure, like the creation of the speaking queue for all sessions that we have. Usually, we just had it for the main sessions. Now we have it for all sessions so everyone is on equal footing when requesting the floor.
Also, when we go out and do our capacity-development activities, as well, we are going to be training the moderators how best to treat all participants equally. And whether or not you're on site as a panelist or off site as a panelist, you should also be able to equally engage. And, of course, that also takes for the moderators and the facilitators to be sensitized to some of these issues.
So when you're in Katowice, there's, you know, basically two main scenarios where you have a mixed session where you have some of the panelists on site, some of the panelists off site; some of the audience members onsite and some of the audience members off site. We're going to be integrating everything together with the host country, the technical side as well because, of course, it needs careful management, and you should be able to have the same sort of experience.
Of course, it will never be truly equal, but we're just trying to level the playing field as much as we can.
Also, I will go on in the next slide. We're also introducing these networking sessions as well because one of the main values of the IGF, apart from the sessions, is also the networking capability. So we're really enhancing them for Katowice in December.
So we'll be able -- and I don't know if some of you have seen that when we did our call for workshops, we also asked them if they were going to be fully online or fully on site or in between. We'll be able to cater for everybody. And, even if you are fully online, you will get a workshop room. So people, participants, can come into that room and also participate.
As our chair has already said, we have -- as part of the improvements, we have formalized some additional sessions. We used to, beforehand, for some of these sessions, we used to have them only by special request so not everybody was aware that you could special request a launch -- a book launch or awards, but now it's in the session proposals that you can select what you want, a launch or award session. We also have the town halls. And, as I mentioned in the previous slide, we have the networking sessions. And we do have the traditional open forums, dynamic coalitions, national and regional initiative sessions, as well, and the pre-events that we usually have on the day zero.
So, so far, we've had over 400 of all these types of sessions, and we're currently in the selection process. And, hopefully, in July, we will publish all the sessions that have been approved to show in Katowice.
As the host country has said, we will have the high-level leaders' track, and we're going to be doing the usual going out. If you did notice, last year, I think the level of the people who participated in the high-level leaders' track was higher than usual, mainly because, of course, there was no travel time involved.
And this year, we tend to do the same, but as a hybrid format. Yes, we would appreciate them to come to Katowice, but if they're not able to come to Katowice, they will still be able to fully participate in the high-level leaders' track.
So we, in fact, expect the same or even more high level. The Polish government and UN DESA as well has been very active in inviting people and convincing people to come to Katowice.
We are continuing the parliamentary track started in 2019, and we're in close communication with the International Parliamentary Union and the host government, as Przemyslaw said at the beginning, and we're working towards that.
And we're going to have intersessional activities as well. The parliamentarians have asked that they learn more about how the Internet works. Of course, I think all of us will agree that this is also very important that if you are shaping public-policy instruments, that you have an opportunity to know exactly how the Internet works. And we'll be doing this, and we'll incorporate with ICANN and anybody else that we -- that can contribute to showing the parliamentarians how that works.
So we'll be communicating with them in the coming months.
The youth track, as you heard, very successful. Over 8,000 registrations, and it's bringing up a lot of momentum, and we will continue to do the newcomers track.
Networking sessions, it's stakeholders can still request networking sessions. We are going to keep it open. So during the coffee breaks, lunchtime, et cetera. Just send us an email to the IGF account, [email protected], and we'll give you a slot for a networking session. So there are still slots available.
And we are going to be doing the bilateral room system open to. It's not just the physical bilateral meeting room. In keeping with the hybrid nature of the meeting, it's also going to be virtual, and you can also have a mixture as well for the bilateral room systems.
As I mentioned earlier, the IGF village will be exactly the same thing. You will have a physical booth, and you will also have a virtual booth, and people can see the same thing, have materials, you know, and watch the small movies virtually, as you can do online.
You can speak and interact with people online and also on site. So there will be times when it's open, and there will be chat windows. You can actually chat and voice chat with the villagers.
And we are still encouraging remote hubs applications. And we would be very grateful if all the remote hubs could be put in by the 20th of September. As we said, we have training for remote hubs. And we would also like to make sure that these remote hubs are integrated into some of these sessions. So the earlier that's done and we find out what your interests are, we can talk with the workshop organizers to make sure that these remote hubs or particular remote hubs with particular interests in certain sessions get a set scheduled time to interact in these sessions. And, of course, I can have more information on this link.
These slides are also available on the IGF website and also in the meeting document section. So thank you very much. And I'm open to questions and discussion and also my team. And the chair can also answer questions.
Thank you, Anriette.
>>CHAIR ESTERHUYSEN: Thank you very much, for that excellent presentation, Chengetai.
I don't see anyone in the queue yet. But there is a very significant relevant question, relevant for everyone in the chat that was asked by Mark Carvell.
Mark, can I invite you to take the floor to ask the question so we can hear your voice. And then I'll respond to it.
>>MARK CARVELL: Yes. Thank you. Thank you, Anriette. It goes back to the earlier part of Chengetai's presentation just now with regard to the preparatory phase.
In particular, the milestone week, I think that's conceptually a very valuable initiative in terms of bringing in a lot of these contributory initiatives together on the road to Katowice. I think that's excellent. I'm not clear on the detail.
Forgive me if I've missed messages or didn't focus enough. But with regard to the dynamic coalitions and individual ones, I mean, this is a valuable platform for us, the milestone week.
So my question was how can we, for example, the DCISSS on security-related standards, how can we participate and contribute to the impact of the milestone week in terms of awareness raising and galvanizing interest in the main event in Katowice in December?
Likewise, transferring my hat as an associate member of EuroDIG, I mean, how can NRIs, for example, EuroDIG, also have a contribution -- active contribution during milestone week?
And if I understood correctly, it was going to be in September. And I was just sort of flagging as well that's Asia-Pacific regional IGF towards the end of September and there's also a G7 follow-on, the Future Tech Forum which the U.K. is hosting on the 20th and 21st of September. So there's a couple of dates perhaps to sort of avoid is my suggestion.
>>CHAIR ESTERHUYSEN: Thanks. Absolutely noted. I think these dates are still all provisional, so thanks for pointing that out. I ask the secretariat to note that we need to change the dates.
I will just try to summarize what we are trying to achieve here in terms of the integration with the dynamic coalitions and the other intersessional facilities. There are really three elements.
One is the mapping. Seeing as we still have lots of time, I'll ask Wim Degezelle and Sorina Teleanu, the two secretariat members who've been working on this, they might want to say a little bit more about how this mapping will take place, using a Wiki platform.
And that will be voluntary. So we'll have the IGF issue areas. And then the community can add content and comment and say, Oh, we have developed a document on this issue or we are having a discussion on this. So that's one element.
The second element is that you are all invited to participate in those introductory and scoping sessions, the deep diving into the IGF issues. And you can participate in that in whatever way you want to, contributing, joining the discussion, joining the sessions, making inputs if you want to.
And then thirdly, and this is very much the purpose of the milestone idea, is to give all the intersessional activities an opportunity for an event where you focus on your work, your priorities, not necessarily the content issue areas of IGF 2021.
And this will just provide all the BPFs and the policy networks and the dynamic coalitions to share progress with their -- of their 2021 work program with the community, facilitate participation, and get input.
And so that is still part of the IGF preparatory phase, but the content of those discussions will be entirely driven by the priority and work areas of the dynamic coalitions, the NRIs, the BPFs, and the policy networks. And it's entirely voluntary. So it is really up to you whether you want to take this opportunity or not.
We encourage it because based on past experience, we often find that the discussion about the intersessional work really gets interesting at the annual IGF, and then it almost feels like it's the beginning of a cycle rather than the close of a cycle. So we wanted to create this milestone moment to reflect, to prepare, to get feedback. And in that way, we hope have more developed and more consultative, I guess, outcomes for the IGF itself.
But I would like to invite others in the secretariat team who have been part of developing these ideas to add here.
And then I see Gonzalo has asked for the floor.
But, first, Wim or Sorina, do you want to elaborate a little bit more in response to Mark's question? I think it's worth dwelling on it. It's a new innovation this year, and it's important that people do understand it.
>>WIM DEGEZELLE: Hi, Anriette. Hi, all. Of course, I'm happy to do so, but let me keep it very short and clear.
The idea of those issue Wiki page comes from the question what we want to do this year. The community came up with the discussions and suggestions after last year's IGF was to have it more focused on specific topics, and I think it has been discussed and presented already in previous presentations, but also to look for more linkages what is going on within the community and to try to link those.
The idea started to grow of coming up with space where actually before we start to make those linkages -- even community members try to make those linkages, we try to bring together a mapping of what is going on within the community already.
I would say it's nothing more than that. It's not really additional work, not creating anything new. It's really before we start to think how can we bring different parts of the community. For example, work being done in an NRI, work being done in a BPF, but also plans for having a main session at the IGF.
Before we really start to think how can we now link, just to get a view on how specific topics or issues are being dealt within the community and start building from there.
I hope that's clear. The practical and technical details of how we want to organize those Wikis is still something internally with the staff and the secretariat and the tech people has to be developed. So it's a bit too early for that.
But I hope that the main idea or the unilateral idea is clear.
>>CHAIR ESTERHUYSEN: Thanks very much for that, Wim. And the MAG will also be discussing this in more detail in the coming meetings tomorrow and next week.
I invite everyone -- remember, this is an open consultation. So, please, we do want to, we need to hear from people.
I now give the floor to Gonzalo Lopez-Barajas. Please introduce yourself. And go ahead.
>>GONZALO LOPEZ-BARAJAS: HI, this is Gonzalo Barajas. I'm work for Telefonica, so I'm a representative from the private stakeholder group.
I would like to make a recommendation, if possible. I think it would be great if we could have as soon as possible a clear definition of what the agenda will be, how the process to get engaged, and what the topics will be discussed and as much detailed information as possible so that we can engage the high-level leaders in due time, considering that their agendas, most of them, are very busy. Having as much information as soon as possible will enable us to have them on board as soon as possible and to get their interest to join the high-level leaders track.
So as soon as that could be defined, it would be, I think, very positive to have that engagement. Thank you. That was all from my side.
>>CHAIR ESTERHUYSEN: Thanks, Gonzalo. That's a very important reminder.
Chengetai, can you respond to that, please.
>>CHENGETAI MASANGO: Sorry. Can you hear me now? Yes. We'll most definitely do that. And we are working, as I said, with the host country. And we will be sending those out as soon as they are finalized. Maybe we'll do it in a two-step process. First with just the broad uplines and then we will have a more detailed agenda coming out afterwards.
I don't know if Przemek or somebody from the Polish government would like to say anything additional?
>>CHAIR ESTERHUYSEN: Przemek, do you want to add anything on the planning for the high-level sessions? I think he has -- he might have stepped away for a while.
I do think this is important. I think the high-level sessions -- I'm glad Gonzalo made this intervention. Sometimes there is a bit of a delay. I know certainly with my own government that there has been delays in inviting them in good enough time. So I think we often underestimate what the leadup time is. So I think that is important.
And I think the MAG stands ready to support this process. It is the high-level track, is led -- the organization is led by the host country and the secretariat. But it's definitely supported by the MAG, and it relies heavily on the community.
As Gonzalo had said, we rely on members in the community to help identify speakers and to urge them to attend.
Adam Peake, MAG member, you have the floor.
And others, please do add your name to the queue. I can also look for your hands in the list of participants. So please just go ahead. We do want to hear from you.
Adam, over to you.
>>ADAM PEAKE: Thank you very much, Anriette. Adam Peake speaking. I am a member of the MAG.
Just quickly responding to the high-level track, I hope there will be some thought given to including the high-level participants or the people working with them into the IGF sessions generally. It's always wonderful to have these tracks, and we learn a lot.
We don't want people in silos. And I think this also applies particularly to the youth participants in the IGF. We heard strong calls from them to be included across the IGF agenda rather than being in a specific track of their own. And I think this is an opportunity for us all to exchange information, learn from each other, and particularly the younger people in this particular case.
But the reason I had my -- I raised my hand was really to follow up on something that Chengetai mentioned in his review. And this is on hybrid format for this meeting and also IGFs going forward. So I'm involved with the MAG working group on hybrid meetings.
As Chengetai said, this builds on the commitment to remote participation the IGF has always supported. It's been a feature since 2006.
And while I am remote from you today, this is not really the term we want to think of when we think of -- I am physically remote from you, but we're all participating in this meeting. We're participating as peers. We're trying to develop a format for the IGF that will be a success later on in December this year. And that's really the principle that the hybrid idea is about.
It's about inclusiveness of the IGF, learning from our experiences from 2020 where a very successful IGF was held online. And also all our experiences over the past, what is it, 16 months when we haven't been able to meet physically? We have been physically remote from each other, but we have conducted our whole lives online. That is not remote.
I am not remote from my mother. Well, I am physically. But we have hopefully a more inclusive relationship than that word suggests. And that's really what we want to bring to the IGF, which is that we will participate whether we are online or onsite as equals, as peers, exchanging information.
And I think the important question from the point of view from the working group and also for this IGF and those going forward is: What does that mean? What did we learn over this past period as we've all participated in conferences and events? What has worked well? What has -- what formats have sent you to sleep? Which ones have energized you? Which formats have you learned from? And where have you felt most part of that meeting?
Because it is possible, but we are all learning about it and it is for this meeting, but it's also for future IGFs because we always have people who are not physically present, but we do want them to be included to the extent it's possible in the meetings.
So that's really a request, that please think about what has worked for you over these past 16 months as we've lived so much of our lives online. How can we make the IGF inclusive in this hybrid format? That's all I wanted to say. Thank you very much for the floor, Anriette. Thank you.
>>CHAIR ESTERHUYSEN: Thanks, Adam. And I think that's a very eloquent and, I think, needed intervention. I think we have to co-create this hybrid IGF. I think that we have a clear commitment to making it inclusive, to have equality of participation. But achieving that goal is an initiative which we all have to invest in as a collective. The MAG is doing enormous amount of work to help shape that. But it has to come from everyone.
The host country will facilitate and so will the secretariat, but it has to be a joint project.
I wanted to -- I see people are joining the speaking queue. Please more go ahead and join.
I wanted to ask Chengetai if you can respond to the remark from Adam on what measures are you taking to prevent the youth track being a separate track? There was a very clear call from the youth in the stocktaking in 2020 and in 2019 saying that they don't want to be a parallel track, they want to be actively integrated into the IGF.
If you can just add how that's being achieved, that would be helpful.
>>CHENGETAI MASANGO: Thank you very much, Anriette.
We are looking at the youth. Yes, the youth will have their own activities. They're going to have the youth conference, et cetera.
But for the main IGF, for the activities that we can influence -- I'm talking about the IGF secretariat and the host country -- we are going to make sure there's a youth representative at the opening, closing, there's youth representatives in the high-level leaders track as well. And we are going to encourage -- and also with the MAG, we're going to encourage them to see that they can put the youth in the main sessions as well.
For the other tracks that we cannot have that much influence on, we can just make recommendations. I think it is clear that as part of the diversity that youth is also a very important factor there.
>>CHAIR ESTERHUYSEN: Chengetai, just to clarify for everyone, the youth summit will be prior to the IGF, won't it?
>>CHENGETAI MASANGO: Yeah.
>>CHAIR ESTERHUYSEN: So I think people should feel reassured.
>>CHENGETAI MASANGO: Yeah. It's one package for us. But, yeah, true.
>>CHAIR ESTERHUYSEN: Thanks, Chengetai.
Next I give the floor to Molly Hammond. Please introduce yourself.
>>MOLLY HAMMOND: Hello, all. My name is Molly Hammond, and I am very proud to be an intern at the IGF this year.
I just want to quickly say thank you very much. I'm very humbled and grateful to be a part of this master meeting. And I want to echo the praise for the wide range of achievements being achieved and implemented in these challenging times.
I think as a student in 2020 who found that my experience of participation was transformed by the virtual IGF, I feel like that success has been reflected in the record number of youths we've seen at recent meetings.
But I wanted to ask a question, and I apologize if I'm repeating others with this question, whether anything about time zones has been considered or brought up. As I've noticed that meetings do occur at UTC, but in terms of participants -- sorry -- participants in developing countries and particularly, for example, in southern and northern America this time will be -- it just turned 7:00 in the morning. Has there been consideration for rotating meeting times, or creating spaces for meetings in different time zones? Thank you.
>>CHAIR ESTERHUYSEN: Thanks for that question, Molly. I will respond and then Chengetai can add.
I'm glad you asked that, actually. We reported earlier that IGF 2020 had record participation, and I think one of the reasons it did is because we rotated time zones. And that is a very explicit goal of the preparatory phase. And the preparatory phase will rotate time zones to facilitate participation from all around the planet.
For the annual forum, the host has generously agreed to extend the time zone a little bit but there are constraints in terms of the staff that have to support the venue, the logistics for interpreters who have to work according to scheduled hours.
And that's actually one of the reasons that the MAG decided to include this preparatory phase because it provides more flexibility as it's fully virtual in terms of time zones. But with the annual forum, there will be some constraints.
However, there is always -- as with past IGFs, sessions will be streamed on YouTube. So people will be able to view them after the fact but not necessarily participate in realtime.
Chengetai, can you elaborate a little bit on the time zone issue, if I've left anything out.
>>CHENGETAI MASANGO: No, no. I think you gave a very complete answer. And you're right, for the actual IGF 2020 meeting in Katowice itself, it is extremely difficult to shift the time zones because we have hundreds of people that are supporting the venue and providing services. And having them come at 10:00 p.m. or et cetera is very difficult for them to do as well as transportation, et cetera. So we have to keep more or less within the time of where we are in Katowice.
But as you've also said, we can start an hour early or end an hour later as well just to put in those time zones.
But we should also consider that next year will be an hour off or two hours off the schedule that we're having now. And in the following year, it's going to be in Japan as well.
So if you want to look at the broader picture, we are shifting time zones each year for the main meeting. And as you said, for the online meetings, it is easier to do for the MAG meetings. We rotate the times. And for any other meetings we have, be it a DC or PNE meeting, we do rotate the time so that we don't disappoint just one particular set of people because of where they are staying. Thank you.
>>CHAIR ESTERHUYSEN: Thanks, Chengetai.
I wanted to just make a quick addition to the response we gave to Gonzalo earlier.
One of the outputs that has been produced, which I think can assist in facilitating participation, is the guide to IGF 2021 issues and policy questions. It's a short document, but it's a content-rich document. So anyone in the community who wants to encourage their constituencies, their colleagues and networks to participate in this year's IGF, you might not have a schedule available yet but you do have this short document that will provide an entry point into the content of this year's IGF discussion.
So I urge you all to use it. It's easy to find on the website. And I think the secretariat can post the link in the chat, so do use that document.
Anyone else? Any other questions? I think just to recap, Chengetai's presentation covered the content, the issue focus of the IGF. So if anyone has questions or content on that.
Secondly, Chengetai presented the overall shape, the phases of the IGF.
And then, thirdly, he talked about the hybrid character of this year's IGF.
So I will leave the floor open for a little bit longer. And I do invite MAG members who have been part of grappling with trying to come up with this framework and they are still refining it. I invite them also to join if they have any questions or comments for the community.
Anja, thank you very much. Anja has just posted the document in the chat, the guide to issues and themes.
If there are no further comments or questions, we can bring this session to a close and give you all -- we'll actually start -- we can start our coffee break earlier actually. That's even better.
So I'm taking a last look at the speaking queue. I see a hand. Giacomo, you have the floor. Please introduce yourself and go ahead.
>>GIACOMO MAZZONE: Hi. Can you listen to me? Can you hear me?
>>CHAIR ESTERHUYSEN: I can hear you clearly, Giacomo.
>>GIACOMO MAZZONE: Okay. Ciao. Giacomo Mazzone with parts of various initiatives, in particular one of the BPFs.
I simply say -- attract the attention of the fact that the High-Level Panel last year were interesting. There was good participation, high-level participation. But I think that we need to use it better, if we can. We need to reflect how to better integrate into the IGF process, especially if we are reminded we want to spread around the conclusion of the IGF and the solution the IGF will bring.
I think it would be useful to try to connect more the High-Level Panel where some of the people that, for instance, we want to reach with the outcome of the IGF are there. So involve them more in the process and not having them as one shot. They come, they make a speech, they eventually interact, if there is time. Last year the professional moderator helped to have more interaction.
But then they leave and it seems like they disconnect from the IGF. While the scope of this high-level is in the future view that we have of the reform of the IGF is that this could be the same people to which we address the outcomes from the IGF or the same people that could ask IGF to give them some advice and reflection from the multistakeholder environment.
>>CHAIR ESTERHUYSEN: Thanks for that, Giacomo.
Does anybody want to react to Giacomo's remarks? Chengetai, did you want to respond to that?
>>CHENGETAI MASANGO: The only thing I can say is that, yes, thank you very much for those ideas. We will try -- we are talking about very busy people and they may only be able to take that day out of their schedule, and having them stay for the week or even three days is very difficult.
But what we do do when we do send an invitation letter for them to participate in the high-level track, we don't just say the high-level track, we say, yes, there's the high-level track and we also encourage them to participate throughout the week.
But as you know, if you're a minister CEO or deputy CEO, it's very, very difficult to have their attention for such a long time.
We do, however, go back to those institutions, so maybe not the CEO or director. We asked if they could assign a person to -- for their IGF, and then we involve them in the mailing list, et cetera. And then when they -- when that person finds something that is interesting, can forward it to the high-level person from that organization.
So we do try several things, and we will continue to try new things and also in new combinations.
>>GIACOMO MAZZONE: Can I add something?
>>CHAIR ESTERHUYSEN: Go ahead, Giacomo.
>>GIACOMO MAZZONE: Based on what Chengetai said. One thing we can explore is looking at the program in advance, if there are some topics that will be treated within the IGF that are related to the guy that are in the High-Level Panel. Let's say if there is something that is related to UNCTAD, we can ask the guy of UNCTAD to -- not only to come to the High-Level Panel but to -- eventually to come at the way forward-session where something related to his activity could come out as a result of the IGF.
And the very useful proposal that Chengetai made of having a link person, because the Director General, of course, will not stay with us all the time much that's impossible to believe that he can do that.
But if you have a contact person and you say, okay, we believe that there is something that can be useful for your debate after the IGF that you can bring back to your activities and ask them to be at the closing of the IGF or reacting, this could be tried. Then probably one out of five could make it. But why not?
>>CHAIR ESTERHUYSEN: Giacomo, I think that is a very good suggestion. But I think you're also touching on one of the challenges that the ongoing IGF strengthening process is having to face. And in fact, I know you're a participant, the MAG Working Group on IGF Strategy and Strengthening. But I think how to consolidate those relationships with institutions that are involved in policy-making, be they multistakeholder or intergovernmental or national level government, I think that is really important.
And I think there's a lot of thinking like that happening around that. The idea of the multistakeholder high-level body is an effort to help achieve that. I think that the way in which the high-level sessions were organized in 2020 I think actually did quite well in making some of those linkages.
I think the session that we have in today's Open Consultation, the next session where we have briefings from other institutions, I think that also can evolve into a more multi-channel relationship.
So I think you're flagging an important area, and I don't think we are yet ready with all the answers. I think we have to develop the answers to how to facilitate that kind of engagement.
And, frankly, you know, I really look forward to getting more concrete proposals on how this can be done, and that we can implement a nexus IGF.
I think we make progress every year in having closer linkages and having the IGF discussion reach more policy-making forums. But I do think we can do more around that.
Chengetai, I'm not sure if you want to also add anything further.
>>CHENGETAI MASANGO: No. Thank you very much, Anriette.
>>CHAIR ESTERHUYSEN: So I'll now give the floor to Amirhossein Mokabberi.
Amir, you have the floor. Please introduce yourself. Go ahead.
>>AMIRHOSSEIN MOKABBERI: Hello, everyone. Can you hear me?
>>CHAIR ESTERHUYSEN: Yes, we can. We can hear you clearly.
>>AMIRHOSSEIN MOKABBERI: Thank you very much for giving me the floor. I'm Amirhossein Mokabberi, cyber (indiscernible) researcher and member of the (indiscernible) community. I'm speaking in my personal capacity.
First of all, I should use this opportunity to thank the MAG and the IGF Secretariat for organizing this valuable and informative session. I would just like to raise the question and give one suggestion.
My first question, dear panelist, what channel are needed to transform IGF to a more people-centric organization in which global public interests are fully ensured and users' voices are heard systemic -- systemically? What is the role of IGF process and structure in this regard?
Another issue that I would like to mention is that I think before do anything, IGF community should define and identify the nature of Internet, whether it is civilian or whether it is noncivilian space.
My second question in this regard is with the issue of nature of Internet as a civilian-only environment or being as new battlefield, we place in the IGF mandate from us, we would like to develop norm and policy proposal for the Internet and all civilians peaceful and the movement-oriented environment or Internet as a global (indiscernible) and a stable environment.
Do IGF mandate cover this issue? We should address this vital issue that is key for future of -- We should address this vital issue that is key for future of Internet and IGF community. For example, in this regard I propose the Policy Network on Nature of Internet.
Thank you very much.
>>CHAIR ESTERHUYSEN: Thanks, Amir. You always ask very challenging, big-picture questions. And I saw your question in the chat earlier. And I think in many respects, many of the innovations that we presented earlier today are a response to that question.
I think that -- I think we also have to be realistic about what the capacity of the IGF is.
I think the issues you raise, some of them are covered by the dynamic coalition on Internet standards that -- and safety and security that Mark Carvell talked about earlier. So I think that's a good space to delve in more depth into that. Similarly the cybersecurity Best Practice Forum.
And I think the big-picture question about the nature of the Internet, I think that's very much at the heart -- and the global public interest, I think it's at the heart of the IGF. I think, however, what happens with an evolving Internet is that the scope of what Internet governance and Internet-related public policy includes, it widens and it shifts and it changes. And I think you see that reflected in the issue areas that the MAG identified this year. For example, the issue area on emerging regulation. You know, this is not a conversation that would have happened at the IGF ten years ago, but now it's a conversation that I think all stakeholder groups are ready to have, to ensure that if there is regulation, that it is actually in the public interest, in the interest of all stakeholders and that it is, you know, well thought through.
So in a way, I think the answer to your question is -- is being provided by the IGF, you know, in all its diversity and all its different -- different intersessional dimensions.
So -- But I think we do also need to remember, the IGF is not a policy-making body or a policy-making space. It is a space that allows those who do make policy and set standards, you know be they industry level or civil society or governmental, to make better policy decisions and set standards that are -- that are more implementable, that are informed by the diversity of interests and perspectives.
And I think that's a value of the IGF. Even though we are aiming for a more outcome-oriented, strategic and impactful IGF, we shouldn't lose the fact that the IGF is first and foremost this incredibly open and inclusive space for debate and for generating ideas and learning and understanding, you know, different interest and different perspectives.
So apologies for this long speech, everyone.
On this note, I call this second plenary on IGF 2021 format and program to a close. And I invite all of you to stay online for a coffee break or a tea break, or whatever beverage you feel in need of at this time.
And this is really a very informal networking break. You will be automatically and randomly assigned to a room with other participants in this meeting. And you can share ideas, you can complain, you can introduce one another or catch up if you know one another, or comment on the discussion we're had so far. So it's only -- it's really up to you. It's completely flexible. And it will continue for 30 minutes. We'll keep the rooms open. You can leave them whenever you want.
And formally, we ask you to rejoin us at:30 UTC when we'll hear from other organizations that touch on Internet governance-related issues.
And if you've not yet watched the pre-recorded inputs, I think you could do that as well. But we will reconvene formally at 12:30 UTC. But for now, please, everyone, stay online. You'll go into one of your networking spaces.
Thanks to Chengetai and everyone who participated in this session.
>>CHENGETAI MASANGO: Thank you very much, Anriette. And thank you, everybody.
>>CHAIR ESTERHUYSEN: See you in the breakout rooms. I'll be joining as well.
>>CHENGETAI MASANGO: And please do watch the videos if you have not watched them yet from the organizations. They're in the schedule.
[ Break ]
>>CHENGETAI MASANGO: Good afternoon, evening, and morning, ladies and gentlemen. Welcome back to this session. Let me just give a pause to see if the numbers are going up. If not, I will just continue on time.
Okay. They seem to be static. So hopefully everybody's online.
And this segment of the schedule is briefings from other organizations and initiatives that are allied to Internet governance.
I hope you have had a chance to view the videos that we have posted. They are integrated into the schedule and they are on YouTube. So you can go to the IGF YouTube channel and view them at any time; else, you can go to the schedule and view the videos.
We have short overviews from the Council of Europe, RIPE NCC, CGI.br, from Brazil, the Brazilian NIC, and European Commission, from the ITU, ISOC, United Nations Institute for Disarmament Research, from the Office of the Envoy on Technology, DiploFoundation, OECD, and ICANN.
I will not go into them since the videos are there and you can view them, but I will call upon those who are there to give very short, one-minute overview of their interventions. So you can either do that by going to the speaking queue or you can raise your hand, since I can see you. There's very few of you.
So if any of you are there who want to give a short one-minute overview of their video, please raise your hand and then we can do that. And then after that, we will have questions from participants.
Okay. So we do have their hands. Thank you very much.
And I will just go in the order that I see them. And, please, when I call your name, please, can you just introduce yourself fully, and then we can go on to it.
So the first person is Vinicius. Hopefully I said that right.
>>VINICIUS SANTOS: Yes, you said it right. That's right, Chengetai. Thank you.
Well, my name is Vinicius. I'm an advisor to the Brazilian Internet Steering Committee. I'm here today on behalf of Professor Helmut Glaser, who is the Executive Secretary of the Brazilian Internet Steering Committee, CGI.br. And I thank you. Thank you to the secretariat, thank you to the MAG for this opportunity to be here and speak a little bit about what we have been doing within the committee.
Well, the Brazilian -- so, like Chengetai has just said, I have just one minute to a very short briefing, so I would just highlight some key points from our previous briefing in the video that we sent, but it's important to say a little bit about CGI for those that don't know the committee in depth.
So CGI is a multistakeholder body that has the mandate, the primary mandate of producing recommendations and guidelines to the Internet development in Brazil. That's a multistakeholder body comprised of 21 members from four sectors, private sector, government, science and technology community, and the civil society. And CGI is involved in many different initiatives in Brazil related to Internet development, operation, and all the discussions related to it.
From our very short briefing video, I would like to -- to highlight two key points that is -- that are related to CGI.br involvement in recent debates over Internet policy topics in the country.
So the committee has been -- has been dedicating time to discussions on -- in-depth discussions on platforms, on digital platforms. And from -- out from the several working groups that are operational within CGI.br, there are two working groups dealing with the topics of -- the topic of digital platforms. One of them is focused on digital platforms focused on education. So the use of digital platforms for educational purposes. And the other one is focused on platform regulation in broader terms. Both groups have just put up the -- some in-depth events where they discussed many topics related to these issues. The Digital Platform Regulation, for example, just organized an international seminar with some very, very important speakers from other parts of the world. And the Digital Platforms for Education working group has just organized the seminar with many professionals of Brazil to discuss the impacts of the increasing use of digital platforms in education, the risks, the opportunities, the tradeoffs and everything else involved with this team.
And the other key topic I would like to stress is the involvement of the committee within specific discussions, public discussions about Internet policy issues in the country, in legislative fears and also policy-making in broader terms. CGI.br is usually involved in these type of discussions whenever there are relevant Internet topics being discussed in the country. And nowadays, there are at least two main issues in which CGI has been involved with. The issue of -- There is a draft bilk discussed within the Congress, a draft bill on platforms. So there is this draft bill trying to regulate platforms from the perspective of transparency and accountability and also content moderation. CGI has a working group also focused specifically on this draft bill, and there is a recent -- recent initiative to alter regulations related to the Brazilian Marco Civil, which many of you probably know, which is the Brazilian Internet civil rights law. So CGI is also involved in this debate, has also participated in a public hearing recently in this month about this -- this proposal. And that's it.
So many -- many discussions are also -- are right, actually, going on in the country and also things in (indiscernible) dot br.
There are also many other projects, many other working groups being developed, events that were organized and events to come. Many things that are on the agenda for the committee this year.
So I'm -- I thank you for this space, and I'm available to respond to any questions you may have to provide any additional information on the role that the committee plays in the country and everything else.
Thank you very much.
>>CHENGETAI MASANGO: Thank you very much, Vinicius. CGI.br has always been a great champion of Internet governance and Internet governance issues.
We will ask -- we will get the questions later after everybody has gone and then we can tackle the questions after that.
The next person on my list is Constance.
>>CONSTANCE BOMMELAER: Thank you very much, Chengetai, and good afternoon or good morning, everyone. I'm Constance Bommelaer from the Internet Society, ISOC.
So first of all, just a few words about the Internet Society created over 20 years ago by Vint Cerf, one of the fathers of the Internet, to be the umbrella organization of the IETF, the Internet Engineering Task Force. And we also, in addition to that role, conduct policy analysis, development of technology solutions, and some capacity-building activities. We have organizational members in all parts of the world, chapters in about a hundred countries, and individual members, about 50,000 individual members all over the world as well.
We're international, and we're a nonprofit. And we've also been a strong supporter of the IGF over the years financially as well and through active participation.
So first of all, thank you very much, Chengetai and colleagues from the IGF community. There's perhaps one theme on which I wanted to insist a little bit today, which is this -- this project that we'll be talking about, hopefully, at the IGF this year. We've put in a workshop proposal. We've launched what we call a toolkit around what we call the Internet way of working. So it's basically a set of principles, a set of criteria that we think are important properties for policymakers to think about as they develop their policy frameworks, their local regulations, their international treaties. And it has to do with how policies can impact the way the Internet technically functions.
So -- And that is a dialogue, I think, that is more timely than ever as we see the IGF moving in the space of producing more outputs, as we see also the Secretary-General, leaders of the world, you know, waiting for the IGF to be more impactful to guide policy-making around the world.
So that is a contribution that we would like to bring to the IGF community. And we'll also be sharing latest updates, work we've been doing to grow the Internet and to strengthen the Internet. And we'll be looking forward to working with all of you in a multistakeholder fashion.
Thank you, Chengetai.
>>CHENGETAI MASANGO: Thank you, Constance.
The next on my list is Chris. Buckridge.
>>CHRIS BUCKRIDGE: Thanks, Chengetai. Good to see so many familiar faces here.
Yeah, my name is Chris Buckridge. I work for the RIPE NCC. On this occasion, though, I'm actually speaking for the Number Resource Organization, which is the umbrella organization for all five of the Regional Internet Registries. To that end, all of us as Regional Internet Registries represent our regional communities and obviously have a very diverse range of issues and topics that we're covering. So in that sense, I want to be quite high level, perhaps not so specific. But something that we do see at the RIR level is at this stage we are all seeing Internet governance issues, regulatory issues, really starting to hit home, starting to affect our members, the operators. Also starting to affect the remit of the Regional Internet Registries themselves, that fundamental layer of Internet governance. So in that sense it's become more important than ever for us to work with our communities, facilitate those discussions, and facilitate the multistakeholder approach that we're seeing some public policymakers endorse and embrace. So having that role as showing the value of a multistakeholder approach by being active participants is something that we've committed to, really, as all five RIRs.
What I think it is important for the IGF, in that sense, and we've stressed this in the past, is for it to continue to serve its purpose as a crucible, a place of coming together for all of those different regional perspectives, whether it's from NRIs or from venues like the RIRs focused on specific technical issues. The IGF needs to build and continue to evolve its role as bringing together all of those perspectives and those issues that have capacity to affect the global Internet.
I think that's also the perspective we're bringing into some of these discussions around the Secretary-General's roadmap and around the multistakeholder high-level body that we see. It's really vital that that body find a distinct role within the IGF infrastructure and ecosystem and that it not be confused with the MAG, which is also doing such an important role in making sure that the IGF can meet its potential and do everything that we need to do in this time.
So that's all for me. Thank you very much for allowing us a chance to speak. And looking forward to more discussions this week.
>>CHENGETAI MASANGO: Thank you very much, Chris.
Next is Katrina.
>>KATRINA ANDELKOVIC: Hello. Hi, everyone. It's a pleasure to be here and contribute to the discussion by updating you about our work in Diplo on online and hybrid meetings. And as you probably know, Diplo is a nonprofit organization aimed at increasing the role of small states and developing states improving global governance and international policy development. And we have experience of almost 20 years in organizing online courses, online capacity, development activities and online and hybrid meetings and events. And to this end, over the last year we have tried to improve the way we run online meetings and conferences and improve our capacity development efforts, building on decades of experience in this field. And as Dr. Kurbalija mentioned in the video he submitted, when the pandemic began, Diplo reacted in an agile way by setting its contact and Help Desk initiative. And the initiative aims to improve and provide immediate advice and help countries and organizations identify solutions, make quick decisions on how to organize and run online meetings and events. And what initially started as a Help Desk initiative evolved in a few months' time to a more comprehensive project and includes several areas of activities. For instance, we developed and organized online course and online meetings and conferences where participants learn how to plan, manage, run successful online events. Then we have established two contact labs in Geneva and in Belgrade offices to experiment with innovative ways of hosting hybrid meetings. As Jovan showed in the video, we use the latest technology to bridge this gap between on-site and online events.
And lastly, we have conducted analysis of major platforms and tools that are updated on a regular basis as well as guides and manuals for online conference organizers and moderators to actually help them -- help them prepare for this -- for the new normal.
I'm looking forward to the questions and to discuss these issues further. And thank you very much for this opportunity.
>>CHENGETAI MASANGO: Thank you, Katrina.
By the way, if any participants want to ask questions, could you please put your names in the speaking queue, and then we can go to the questions after all the short presentations.
Next is Giacomo.
>>GIACOMO PERSI PAOLI: Yes, hi. Hello, everyone. Good afternoon. My name is Giacomo Persi Paoli. I am the Program Lead for Security and Technology at UNIDIR, the United Nations Institute for Disarmament Research. Allow me to thank you very much for giving us the opportunity to contribute with our video and then to be here with you today to share with you and with all attendees what UNIDIR is currently doing in the area ICPs and cyberspace.
As is in our name, we are primarily an organization that focuses on international security, and this applies also to the work that we are doing in the context of cyber.
As you may have seen from our introductory video, our work in this space is really a three-leg stool. The first leg of the stool is UNIDIR's core business: It's the research, the research and analysis that we produce to build the knowledge in this very complex field that is cyberspace. Our primary audience is, of course, policy and decision-makers, but the way that we craft our research products is really meant to be accessible to the wider audience, which is really -- is an important part of your work. It's really consolidating and building and further expanding the knowledge base.
The second leg of the stool is kind of a direct benefit of UNIDIR's nature of having one foot in the U.N. but also one foot out. For those of you who are not familiar with our organization, although we are part of the U.N. system, we are basically an independent think tank that operates in the system, which means that we are completely independent in setting our own research agendas and our research priorities. We do not need to be mandated by anyone to do the work that we do.
On the other hand -- so this gives us a lot of freedom. On the other hand, by having one foot out and -- one foot in the door, I'm sorry, this also gives us a lot of legitimacy in the eyes of member states and really helps us in our convening power. That is the second leg of the stool. Creating opportunities for true multistakeholder engagement that brings together policymakers with industry, with civil society to discuss the complexities of addressing cyber -- cyber challenges is really -- is really key. And we have been quite successful in doing this both in the pre-pandemic world but, quite surprisingly, during the pandemic. One of the few, very few positive aspects is that it really -- by steering on virtual platforms, it really expanded our global reach. And the number of participants we were able to reach through online meetings has really increased significantly.
And last but not least, the third leg of the stool is the most recent one. In 2019 we launched a cyber policy portal, which is -- well, it's a web-based portal, it's open source, everyone can access it, where we're basically collating all information available regarding national cybersecurity strategies, structures, and legal frameworks. This portal is constantly -- it's a work in progress, like any good portal is. We're always trying to keep information up-to-date, but the real kind of benefit and the power of the stool has been recognized twice officially in this year by both multilateral U.N. processes focusing on international security in cyber, the Open-Ended Working Group, and the GDE, both of which adopted a consensus report and in both reports there is an explicit reference to the importance of our cyber policy portal as a confidence-building tool, really inviting member states to provide their input, making sure that the information we have is up-to-date.
This concludes my very brief overview focusing more on the substance of the work that we do. Thank you very much.
>>CHENGETAI MASANGO: Thank you, Giacomo.
Next is Adam Peake.
>>ADAM PEAKE: Thank you very much, Chengetai. And my apologies for not using the video today.
And I should say that while I am a MAG member, at the moment I'm speaking on behalf of ICANN where I'm a member of staff as well.
So first I'd like to say thank you and congratulations to Anriette, to you Chengetai and your team, Polish hosts, UN DESA and, of course, my MAG members. The work is great this year. I think we're going to have an excellent meeting later in the year in Katowice, and the ICANN team is looking forward to joining you all there.
It's been an honor for us to be able to contribute to the IGF and many NRIs around the world over the years. So it's -- the IGF is very dear to ICANN, and thank you very much for allowing us to be involved really.
As many of you will know, we're a not-for-profit public benefit organization. We were created in 1998 to coordinate the domain name system. So we work with, as Chris Buckridge mentioned, regional Internet registries. As Constance mentioned, we work with the IETF to help this framework of the domain name system to help you navigate the Internet so that you can find the applications, the content, the services you need to communicate with others all using the names and addresses that make the Internet work.
Today there are about 4, 4 1/2 billion people on the Internet and all of them are using the DNS. This compares to about 150 million users at the time of ICANN's creation. So we've seen an enormous growth, enormous scaling of how the Internet is being used over the past 20 years. And this growth is going to continue.
One of our focuses -- and this is something we will bring to the IGF this year, and we are focusing on it in ICANN in our communities, is some years ago ICANN introduced internationalized domain names, or commonly known as IDNs, and these have the purpose of bringing people online to be able to use names in their own languages and their own scripts. And this is -- the work we're doing now is to enable people using these scripts to make those domain names universally accepted.
What that means is that at the moment, many of the scripts, if you're using a name in Arabic or perhaps in Japanese, where we will be in 2023, various applications and services on the Internet won't recognize those names. You won't be able to register for perhaps a Web form or you might not be able to buy some goods. Your email may not send appropriately.
So our contribution to the activity around meaningful access will be this universal acceptance program where we're leading an international project to make the recognition of internationalized domain names, well, universal as the name says.
And this was one of the topics that we discussed last week over a four-day meeting that we held online. It's the fifth meeting that we've held online to conduct the work of ICANN. And it's going very well, although I think as we all feel, we all want to get back together and see each other again. ICANN is very pleased to call itself a community, the ICANN community. And this is a genuine term, and I think it also applies to the IGF. It's a community of friends and colleagues. We're not only developing policy. In ICANN's case, we're also working on really how to further the interests of the Internet.
With that in mind -- and this is also echoing some of the things that Chris Buckridge mentioned, we're concerned about and also interested in new legislation that's being proposed around the world. And we're available to provide information to lawmakers, to policymakers as a source of expertise on the fundamental DNS operations that those legislations might touch upon.
We wish to be a trusted neutral source of technical expertise on Internet operations generally. And I think this is something that we share with both the regional Internet registries and The Internet Society. We're there to make sure that the legislation that's implemented doesn't affect the global operations of the Internet inadvertently. And we feel we're a trusted resource, and this is something that we can discuss and bring to the IGF and the communities there.
So I think that's really all I want to say. I will put some links into the chat, which gives link to some papers that our office of the CTO have produced and also our government engagement team have produced and a little guide to policy making at ICANN which has just been published today.
Again, I want to thank you for giving us time to speak today and also just how much -- how important the IGF and the national and regional IGFs are to ICANN and the work we do. So thank you. And look forward to hearing more. Cheers. Bye-bye.
>>CHENGETAI MASANGO: Thank you very much, Adam.
Next from Strasbourg, we have Patrick. You have the floor.
>>PATRICK PENNINCKX: Thank you, Chengetai. So good to see you and to see all the friends online. It's a pleasure. And I would really love to see Liana and Chris and Anja and Mark and Nigel and Giacomo and Sorina and Peter all of us in a room again. I hope this will happen soon.
I will not repeat what I already said in the video, Chengetai, but rather focus on a couple of things that may be novel to even the ones that have been following the Council of Europe's work in recent years.
First of all, we held a ministerial conference just over a week ago on artificial intelligence, intelligent politics in which we discussed quite a few elements which are related to Internet governance and digital developments. So I really would like for you to have a look at it. I put it in the chat as well.
A few things that may be interesting of this conference, we had 44 ministers there and they took a number of commitments which are related to how the digital development should be governed in the light of human rights. And that's maybe a very crucial element that we could look at.
Otherwise, the Council of Europe has been working on regulating artificial intelligence and the development of artificial intelligence. We have set up a formal steering committee around that, and they're now developing the elements that have to be contained in such a regulation.
We continue to support very strongly the multistakeholder approach. And as you know, Chengetai, we've been also supporting national IGFs and regional IGFs such as EuroDIG and SEEDIG in order to not only spread the word at a global level but also at regional and national level.
On cybercrime, we are in the process of finalizing a second additional protocol to the Budapest Convention which is also important because it concerns cloud evidence and access to information which is contained in the cloud, and obviously this is also this is closely linked to what we are discussing today.
Our data protection committee adopted a guidance note on facial recognition. And the persons -- the expert group dealing with Internet governance as such and the work with the intermediaries have adopted a guidance note on content moderation, self-regulation, co-regulation, or regulation. So there are quite a number of new developments in that.
One last thing I would like to mention is also the fact that we have expanded our partnership with business partners, and that concerns both Internet intermediaries but also telecom industry and their associations.
And ISOC is here present. RIPE NCC is present. And the persons that are here have also been very helpful in establishing this partnership between the Council of Europe and their organizations.
So these are the developments, Chengetai. I hope people will watch the video. There's a bit more explanation about all of that. So thank you.
>>CHENGETAI MASANGO: Thank you very much, Patrick.
Next we have Jason.
>>JASON MUNYAN: Thank you, Chengetai. Hello, everybody. My name is Jason Munyan. I'm in the Office of the Secretary-General's Envoy on Technology. Thanks a lot to Chengetai and the IGF secretariat for the great organization and the opportunity to participate in this briefing.
The video that we shared provides quick updates since the first open consultations and MAG meeting in February. Our office has been very active. We've done a lot along the different areas of the roadmap, and it's too much to summarize in a minute. So just, please, see the website and a brief report with highlights where we just share some of the updates among the different areas of the roadmap.
Just wanted to also mention, we recognize all the work that the IGF secretariat and the MAG have already been doing to implement the roadmap recommendations. The MAG has made implementation of the Roadmap for Digital Cooperation a priority, and we're encouraged that the IGF 2021 main focus areas in emerging and cross-cutting issue areas are directly related to the roadmap. And our office looks forward to continue close collaboration with the IGF secretariat, the MAG, and the working group on strategy and strengthening as we look to the future.
We are also actively seeking to support linkages between the roadmap implementation and the IGF, such as through the mapping exercise that has been proposed. And we also appreciate the many people from all stakeholder groups who have been engaged in the roadmap implementation that provided inputs to date. And so we welcome any ideas, and we look forward to continued collaboration as throughout the rest of this year and as we prepare for the 2021 IGF.
And so again, there are more details in the video briefing and also if you visit our website. Then there's a brief update with highlights as of April that goes through different recommendation areas. And then there's also a page on the website with initial action plans for several of the areas of the roadmap. So just encourage people to see our website for more details or to reach out to me for more information. Thank you very much.
>>CHENGETAI MASANGO: Thank you very much, Jason.
Next on the list is Lucia Russo.
>>LUCIA RUSSO: Good afternoon, good evening. Thank you. Thank you, again, for this opportunity to share with you our main Internet governance-related initiatives. First of all, let me congratulate the IGF secretariat, the MAG members, and Poland for organizing the IGF.
I won't repeat all the video because I only have one minute. So I just want to stress the fact that OECD mission in Internet governance -- work in Internet governance is rooted in its mission to provide evidence-based for policymakers. So as I mentioned in the meeting, we have a number of activities in this relation. And I will summarize those that relate to standard-setting work. We adopted recently two recommendations that are actually related to the main focus areas of this year's IGF, the recommendation on roadmap connectivity and the recommendation on children in a digital environment.
And these two recommendations come on top of previous recommendations that seek to improve and support global Internet governance such as the OECD AI principles adopted in 2019 and our digital recommendations which we presented in open forums and workshops in previous IGF.
And then moving to the analytical measurement framework work, we are expanding the Going Digital project with the third phase which focuses on data governance which aims at providing further evidence and deepen our understanding on the role of data as a resource for growth and well-being and so to provide as well support for countries to deliver policy frameworks to govern data.
And then last two points on AI, as I said, the OECD principles -- the AI principles were adopted in 2019. And current work is on developing tools for the implementation. And I invite you to take part in the open consultation that is currently ongoing on the classification of AI systems.
You can find the link at the oecd.ai policy observatory.
And, lastly, the work on promoting transparency and handling terrorist and volatile effects of misconduct online, which aims at developing a voluntary transparency reporting framework that could promote accountability and transparency.
So I'll just stop here, and I thank you again for this opportunity and looking forward to the IGF. Thank you.
>>CHENGETAI MASANGO: Thank you very much, Lucia. And last, but definitely not least, we have Sadhvi from the ITU.
>>SADHVI SARAN: Hi, thanks, Chengetai. And a very good afternoon to you all from Geneva.
My name is Sadhvi, and I work with the International Telecommunication Union. My apologies for not being able to turn on my video today, but I hope you can hear me well.
Let me first convey on behalf of the ITU our thanks to the IGF and MAG for giving us the opportunity to contribute via the video clip as well as this meeting today.
And, also, our congratulations in organizing a very successful virtual forum last year.
As in previous years, ITU participated at the highest level last year and organized a number of different sessions at the forum including those related to the WSIS Forum and the Equals Initiative. And as always, we look forward to continued active engagement and collaboration going forward.
In terms of activities, our video clip provides a detailed overview of initiatives that might be of interest to this group. But I'll briefly present some of the key ones that might be relevant for our discussion today.
Perhaps starting with online open public consultations that ITU holds regularly on international Internet-related public policy issues. The current one is on the role of Internet and public policy issues with regards to COVID-19 and possible future pandemics.
Separately, preparations for the upcoming sixth World Telecom/ICT Policy Forum, or the WTPF, is scheduled to be held in Geneva from 16 to 18 December, 2021, are also under way.
The theme for that includes mobilizing new and emerging telecom/ICTs for sustainable development.
We have also recently concluded the virtual WSIS Forum which this year hosted more than 250 sessions with the cumulative attendance of over 50,000 participants from 185 countries, while the always-online AI for Good Summit continues to hold sessions through this year.
Finally, maybe the last initiative that I'll highlight here for now is our most recent collaboration with UNDP. It was announced last month that we will be establishing a joint facility for digital capacity-building in furtherance of the U.N. Roadmap on Digital Cooperation.
More information on all of these various activities is also available on our website.
All stakeholders are welcome to join us and/or contribute to any of these activities.
I'll stop here for now, but I remain available for any questions or provide any more information. Thank you.
>>CHENGETAI MASANGO: Thank you very much, Sadhvi.
Next we'll look at the speaking queue to see if there are -- if there's anybody on the speaking queue. If you can share the speaking queue.
>>ANJA GENGO: The speaking queue is empty, Chengetai.
>>CHENGETAI MASANGO: Oh, it's empty. We did have one question in the chat that I saw and it's from Amirhossein. Would you want to say your question out? If you do, please go ahead. You have the floor.
Okay. Maybe there's a problem with the audio connection but he does have a question for Vinicius and Giacomo. And the question was: Have you ever worked on the issues of defining the nature of the Internet at national and international levels? And what is the CGI and UNIDIR positions on the issues that whether it should be civilian or noncivilian space. We would like to develop norms and policy proposals for the Internet as an only-civilian, peaceful development-oriented environment or Internet as a global militarized battlefield and unstable environment.
That was his question. I don't know if you want to respond to that, either of you.
>>VINICIUS SANTOS: I can say something.
>>CHENGETAI MASANGO: Sure. Please.
>>VINICIUS SANTOS: Hi. Thank you, Chengetai, for this space.
Thank you, Amirhossein for the question.
What I go say from the point of the CGI, at least in more -- in broader terms for the characteristics and the nature of the Internet, I can say that CGI does have solid positions on a set of Internet characteristics, let's say like this. Characteristics that should be observed and guaranteed.
So CGI has, for example, a set of principles, a set of ten principles to guide its working involvement in all these discussions that we have regarding Internet governance and policy issues and et cetera. And within this set of principles there is one specific principle that calls to the protection of privacy, freedom of expression, and human rights.
So in this sense, the committee strongly supports a development of the Internet that respect these rights from many points of view. So in this sense, I think that would be my comment on that.
But it is also important to say this the committee strongly supports cooperation initiatives. So the committee has been historically involved in a diverse set of cooperation initiatives with many kinds of organizations, be it to discuss norms in policy like you just mentioned, but also to look into specific topics of technical operation of the Internet and specific standards, everything else. So technical cooperation and policy cooperation, all of these are things that CGI is also very keen to be involved with, and as means of helping the Internet to develop in good manner, and also to strongly defend the rights of people in the Internet in a diverse approach.
That's it. Thank you.
>>CHENGETAI MASANGO: Thank you very much.
And, Giacomo, would you want to briefly respond to that?
>>GIACOMO PERSI PAOLI: Sure, just a very quick point to say that as UNIDIR, we do not have a position, per se, given that UNIDIR is not -- is a research institute. It's not like an advocacy organization. But that being said, I think that the -- there's common (indiscernible) among member states and international community at large to ensure that the ICT environment is used peacefully. However, there is also the recognition that cyber operations, both offensive and defensive, are not a thing of the future. They are a thing of the present, in a way. They are already happening, and, therefore, in absence of any legally binding treaty that regulates this through more robust regulatory framework, the power of the norms of responsible state behavior that were adopted in 2015 and then further elaborated this year with the GDE report is definitely providing a good framework to ensure that those actors that are engaging in the cyberspace in -- through cyber operations do so in a responsible way.
So this is as much as I can say on this -- on this topic.
>>CHENGETAI MASANGO: Thank you very much, Giacomo.
Next we have Nigel, and then after Nigel we'll have the other Giacomo.
So Nigel, please.
>>NIGEL HICKSON: Yes, thank you very much. Good afternoon. Nigel Hickson and UK DCMS.
First of all, to thank everyone, really, for updating us on all these initiatives. It's incredibly useful. And further sort of exemplifies the value of this Open Consultation.
Just a couple of questions. First of all, an observation, if I may, and that is the work that various organizations are doing looking at regional and global legislation, it was interesting to hear Chris's comments in relation to that. And of course the Council of Europe work is very important in this -- in this respect. And so I do hope at the IGF, and I haven't looked at every single workshop proposal but looked at some of them, that there will be an opportunity to discuss some of the regional and global legislation being proposed that affects the -- that affects the Internet and of course is directly related to initiatives such as the, you know, the policy work on meaningful connectivity, et cetera.
So just a brief question I had, if I may. I'll stop waffling in a minute. And thanks to Chengetai and colleagues for hosting the session the other week on the high-level body, and thanks to Jason for all of his -- ISO his work on this and keeping us up-to-date. And I suppose the question was, and apologies if this has been answered, when we -- whether we might expect, before the IGF in Katowice, to know the sort of firm plans concerning the high-level body.
Thank you very much.
>>CHENGETAI MASANGO: Thank you very much, Nigel.
I think the general feeling within -- for the U.N. or within our various departments is that we would want to have a conclusion to these consultations and move into the action part of it. So the idea is to have something out, some use out before the Katowice IGF.
I don't know if Jason wants to add something. If you want to add something very quickly.
>>JASON MUNYAN: Sure. No, I'll just say yes. Exactly, Chengetai, I think we've had very rich discussions and consultations, many people have provided inputs, and we're definitely looking forward to the next steps of conveying these recommendations and guide cans to the U.N. Secretary-General, awaiting his decision, and then implementing it. And ideally that this all takes place in time for the next IGF in Katowice.
>>CHENGETAI MASANGO: Thank you, Jason.
So next is Giacomo.
>>GIACOMO MAZZONE: The other one, you mean.
>>CHENGETAI MASANGO: Yes, the other one.
>>GIACOMO MAZZONE: We still have to be granted as Giacomo.
>>CHENGETAI MASANGO: Yes. The other one, and then we'll have (laughing), okay, Anriette and then Nicolas. But Giacomo, please.
>>GIACOMO MAZZONE: Yes. Listening to this interesting presentation, I had another idea, just to complicate the life of secretariat. This is my main sport, as you know.
I have seen, for instance, that there are simultaneously activities and initiatives on artificial intelligence by different international organization. The Council of Europe has just approved this resolution written by the Ministry of Council. UNESCO has launched its own activity, and also others are working in this field, and they have recently announced that they are ready to cooperate together for fulfilling these goals.
I think that this is a typical example of the kind of things where the IGF could work as an amplifier and duplicator of the opportunity to exchange and to improve initiatives that are taken by institutions and other kind of partners, multistakeholder partners that are doing something in the right direction for the problems that we want to tackle.
So I'm wondering how we can be upheld to this laudable process. It means more work for you, Chengetai. Yes, you understand correctly.
[ Laughter ]
>>CHENGETAI MASANGO: And are you directing that question to anybody in particular?
>>GIACOMO MAZZONE: To Anriette.
[ Laughter ]
If we want -- if we think that the IGF can play a role. And also to the subjects, because it could be that Council of Europe and UNESCO, they don't want to be coordinated or interact with us and they want to go alone. This is perfectly understandable.
But in the spirit of the IGF as an accelerator, this, I think, would be a perfect example.
>>CHENGETAI MASANGO: Okay. I'll hand it off to Anriette, then.
[ Laughter ]
>>CHAIR ESTERHUYSEN: Thanks, Chengetai.
I was going to ask a related question. I'm not going to answer your question, I think, but I think that's a very important consideration for the MAG.
And that was going to be my question to everyone. And thank you very much to all the institutions who have taken the time to be here today. And from your perspective, I think clearly, listening to you, there is good overlap with the issue focus areas that the MAG identified for this year. So I think there's relevance there.
My question to you, and this is linked to Giacomo's question, is how can the IGF add value? You know, what -- how can we document outcomes? What approach to IGF process and discussion will contribute to your work or add value to your work? Playing that amplification role that Giacomo was talking about.
You know, we've heard -- Chris Buckridge talked about the IGF being unique in that it's so diverse and it brings so many different people together.
So, yes, if you can answer my question and Giacomo's question.
You know, Giacomo, off the top of my head, I think this is something we can do with the issue teams that the MAG will be working with to finalize the main sessions, for example, and finalize sessions during the preparatory process. Maybe there's an opportunity there to bring together initiatives in a particular issue area such as artificial intelligence, which also happens to be a priority in the roadmap.
So I am just building on your question and asking all of our -- you know, our fellow institutions represented here to be a little bit more specific on how you would like to see the IGF add value to your work.
You are muted, Chengetai.
>>CHENGETAI MASANGO: This is part of digital cooperation.
>>GIACOMO MAZZONE: He's speechless. He's speechless.
>>CHENGETAI MASANGO: No, no, no.
[ Laughter ]
And when I was laughing, Giacomo, I thought you were going to defer the question to Jason or somebody like that. But yes, and we can all play our part, and the Secretary-General has asked for champions as well to play our part as well.
But let me close the speaking queue right now since we are running short of time. And what I'll do is I'll go through and then I'll ask any of the previous speakers, we can call them panelists, if they would like to put in any comments on these questions that have been asked.
So Nicolas, please.
>>NICOLAS FIUMARELLI: Yes, Nicolas Fiumarelli from Uruguay. Just a quick (indiscernible). I have participated in the last IGF last year that was online, and -- as part of the youth observatory and a lot of work done in terms of improvements for the IGF meeting. I have seen that we didn't see yet these -- a nice approach in terms of having a multistakeholder platform in line. For example, the review IGF platform and other tools that are available are not being used. And it would be really, really nice to, this year, try to -- from experience from the last year, for example, talking about the youth lightning talks that have placed last year, was very interesting discussions that happened there but there was not enough time to reach consensus or to have a -- to achieve a great outcome of the sessions.
So at the end, we have some outcomes. At the end all the things were resumed and with Open Consultations after the call, but the issue is how to improve the way of massive participation for the IGF. I am talking about like 1,000 people participating in a session. In a way of comments, maybe we could explore new platforms, like media platform or (saying name) that are more focused for a wide (indiscernible) and other tools that will be very, very nice to have this intel, to reach more massive groups and also to include hubs, the idea of hubs. I have read a lot about the working group discussion strategies and the hybrid working group discussion list, and I found some interesting things there, but how this is advanced, I would like to -- I got some lost these last weeks, and I want to know if there is an idea of using some of these platforms for the IGF this year and how about these hybrid solutions that will be the future of the Internet governance meetings, not only IGF but also in other ecosystems, right? ICANN, et cetera, will gain from the experience that we have this year at the IGF in this hybrid format.
So the question is I would like to hear more about is something is thought for this year or how to include these massive platforms inside the IGF process. Thank you.
>>CHENGETAI MASANGO: Thank you very much, Nicolas. Yes, this is something we have been looking at extensively, both within the secretariat, we have Luis there, and also myself, looking at how we can improve the experience. And also with hubs. We have a call for hubs, and this year we are paying particular attention to the hubs and trying to develop them so that they could use the platforms and tools available better. And we're also talking to our other organizations in the arena, you know, like ICANN, like RIPE NCC, et cetera, and we exchange knowledge about these platforms and tools on a regular basis.
But since we are running out of time, let me give it -- give the floor to Courtney, and then I will ask the panelists to say final words.
So Courtney, please.
>>COURTNEY RADSCH: Thank you very much, this is Courtney Radsch. I'm a MAG member. I have a question on the previous speaker before just now. I think there is a tension between some of the values that we give in judging the workshops and what we want the IGF to be. It seems like we might think about, in the future, how we could encourage those institutions and organizations with consultative processes going on or aiming to develop policy guidelines, templates, et cetera, to bring it to the IGF by making that an explicit part of the evaluation criteria. I know that I felt like some of the most compelling proposals were those that were building on existing work and wanted to take it to a broader audience to get input or, you know, socialize or whatever. And I think there's a tension between doing that, which is obviously going to include a lot of experienced people who work in the field, and the interests in first-time proposers, people who have never participated in the IGF.
And so I wonder if, you know, maybe next year, instead of or in addition to, say, thematic tracks or issue tracks, we have, you know, a couple of different tracks. Like I'm putting this in because I've never been part of this community, and I want to put this on the agenda, and then we could have a, you know, separate section where it's like, hey, we've been working on this topic, you know, AI principles or cybersecurity, or whatever, and we want to bring it to the IGF community. Because I think that what I'm hearing and what I would see the value in the IGF is on both of those. You know, you have this huge community being this convening, consultative body, but at the same time being able to bubble up new issues and ideas from the community.
So I would encourage us to think about how the evaluation -- well, how the proposal process and evaluation works to do that so that we can make sure the evaluation fits our ultimate goals. And if we decide that we want this to be more of a convening, that these other -- you know, all these groups bring their processes here and link up.
So, yeah, I just wanted to contribute that. Thanks.
>>CHENGETAI MASANGO: Thank you very much, Courtney.
So now from our contributors, rapid flier, Lucia, please.
>>LUCIA RUSSO: Thank you. I'm afraid I have no answer to how the IGF can bring more coordination to our respective works, but I would just like to draw your attention to the global policy .AI Initiative which is a platform where all the main organizations -- Council of Europe, European Commission, OECD, U.N. -- are -- are sharing information on their work with the aim of having one central point for policy-makers to have a look at what these organizations are doing.
And I think I -- there is also proposal for an open forum, which we, indeed, discussed this initiative at the IGF.
But certainly I will bring back this discussion to my colleagues who are working on AI. And I hope I would contribute to the discussion in the next meeting.
>>CHENGETAI MASANGO: Thank you very much, Lucia.
>>PATRICK PENNINCKX: Yes, just briefly on what Lucia has just said. In fact with the Council of Europe, OECD, UNESCO, European Commission, we're all working together already in order to make sure that there is no overlap and that we take artificial intelligence from each of our specific angles, obviously. But right now, as we speak, we are having within the artificial intelligence working group taking place on consultation processes. And I've already advocated in the past to make sure that we use the existing multistakeholder networks such as the IGF in order to be able to consult a much larger public issue.
So thank you, Giacomo, for your proposal. And I'm sure that Courtney can take it up further, and Chengetai.
>>CHENGETAI MASANGO: Thank you, Patrick.
>>GIACOMO PERSI PAOLI: Yep. Thank you very much. I just wanted to use this last minute to answer a question that we missed in the chat.
Will the issue of the establishment of cybersecurity governance framework at the global level be placed in the IGF mandate or in the U.N. open-ended working group mandate?
So this is a very good question, and one of the roles of each bodies in this regard, looking at the mandate that was actually linked in the chat for the establishment of the new open-ended working group, a cybersecurity governance framework at the global level as such is not mentioned. That language is not included in the mandate itself.
Just reminding that the OEWG is a body already established of the First Committee of the General Assembly, so within the specific boundaries of international security.
The mandate will more or less follow the process that just concluded. However, there is the option that hasn't been ruled out about establishing within this open-ended working group, subgroups to discuss specific themes and topics. So if that was to be the case, I cannot exclude that one such subgroups would then focus on the issue that has been asked.
But other than that, I would like to thank you again all for inviting us. And look forward to working with you all in the future.
>>CHENGETAI MASANGO: Thank you, Giacomo.
>>JASON MUNYAN: Sure. So just on the question on artificial intelligence, just wanted to mention, as somebody else already did say, there is a -- in the Roadmap for Digital Cooperation, there is an area on artificial intelligence, so there is a relevant work recommendation group with various stakeholders, including a number of MAG members in that group.
And I think to answer the question of what can the IGF do in that area, I think one challenge that we've seen is having developing-country perspectives and challenges taken into account in the work of this recommendation group.
And so the IGF can contribute its networks and any relevant stakeholders, particularly in developing countries. They can give inputs on the challenges developing countries have and the perspectives on algorithms and data, using data for AI and so on.
And, also, thinking any of the best practices or ideas that come out of IGF, those can be inputted and considered by the recommendation group as they look at their action plan and make next steps for work.
I think as a secondary aspect, you know, there are other recommendation group areas that are also related. So capacity-building, you know, there's substantial capacity-building needs. So if the IGF has views or ideas on how we can better support with addressing the capacity-building challenges related to AI.
And another area obviously is the work we do in human rights. So looking to hear rights implications of artificial intelligence.
And so I think a lot of work, a lot of the sessions, and the networks of these different strengths of the IGF can feed into the work of roadmap implementation in various ways. So just wanted to mention that. Thank you.
>>CHENGETAI MASANGO: And thank you, Jason.
Vinicius, very quickly, because we are into the other session's time.
>>VINICIUS SANTOS: I will just then try to respond to Anriette's questions.
Was just to say we can learn about everything through the IGF network and through sessions that we submit every year, and we have been doing that.
We have submitted one this year, and I expect this to be useful. But we can extend these in further conversation. Thank you, Chengetai.
>>CHENGETAI MASANGO: All right. Thank you very much.
And thank you, all. I would like to give a very special thanks to all of our contributors. It was very interesting to find out what you've been doing over the past -- since the last open consultations. And it's all very interesting, and we will be getting in touch with you on various issues as well.
With that, let me hand it over to our chair, Anriette Esterhuysen, to take it from here.
>>CHAIR ESTERHUYSEN: Thank you very much, Chengetai. And thanks again to everyone who contributed to this session. And we look forward to seeing you and engaging with you at the IGF and post the IGF.
And we're now entering the second-to-last session of today's agenda and we will focus on national, regional, and youth IGF initiatives. And I'm very happy to be handing over to the focal point for NRIs at the secretariat, Anja Gengo.
Anja, you have the floor.
>>ANJA GENGO: Thank you very much, Anriette, for this opportunity. I'm going to share just very briefly in the chat the link to a couple of visual updates on the NRIs and shortly to share my screen.
While I'm sharing my screen, I hope you can see now the presentation. I will ask my NRI colleagues whether those are the coordinators, members of the NRI organizing committees, or the community members, anyone interested in the NRIs to start raising their hands in the Zoom or using the floor system because I will just take a very short time, a few minutes, to update on the collective work of the NRIs. I do think the real interest is really to hear about the extremely important work that's happening at the national and regional IGFs.
So with that, let me briefly -- in case there are maybe complete newcomers in this call, repeat that the NRI stands for national, regional but also the youth IGFs which can be part of the national, regional IGFs. They can also be independently organized.
Probably to in short, say, who are the NRIs, the best would be that those are the IGFs recognized at the levels of countries or regions. They follow the same set principles and procedures as IGF. They are autonomous, so completely independent in their practices. And they have interested the IGF secretariat to run the recognition practice which is based on making sure that the whole process adheres to the IGF principles and procedures. And if recognized, then the NRIs are listed on the IGF website.
Currently, the number is continuously growing on the total number of recognized NRIs. We have 137 national, regional, and youth IGFs recognized. Around this time last year, we were reporting around 130, I believe. So it is expected that this number will continue to grow, especially given the communication that we have with some already-existing multistakeholder organizing themes of potentially new national or regional or youth IGFs.
I hope you can see the map. This is just geographically how the spread of the NRIs looks like from a global perspective. As you can see, there is quite a good balance in terms of the regional presence of the NRIs, especially in terms of the regional IGFs which are covering a good part of the world but I think also the growing national IGFs which are now on -- over 90 countries having their national IGFs.
In terms of the NRI landscaping 2021 or, in other words, what are the activities that are in front of us prepared by the individual national and regional or youth IGFs, it's still a challenging year pandemic-wise. Last year we had over 80 NRI meetings which were hosted completely online. Very few were hosted onsite given the good epidemiological situation in the country.
This year is a little bit different. There is obviously progress with a number of NRIs reporting to the IGF secretariat and the broader community. They will manage to post their meetings either fully onsite with a strong online participation or in a hybrid format trying to invest even more efforts to treat participants that are present online in the same way as participants that are present onsite.
But there are still those that will not be able to host their meetings onsite. For example, just yesterday the Swiss IGF concluded very successfully.
There are creative ways to approach organizational the meetings even if they are organized completely online. So, for example, one of the trends we are seeing growing inspired by some individual NRIs relates to establishing multiple onsite studios. We have obviously a very limited number of people, so technically two, three moderators moderating the discussions that are happening completely online. One of those will be the upcoming EuroDIG.
Finally, I actually put just for illustrative purposes a couple of logos of the NRIs which are hosting their meetings already now or starting to host them in the future.
But as I said, there are 137 NRIs. So putting those -- (background noise).
Maybe we can identify the source of noise, and I will continue presenting.
Collectively speaking, the NRIs work on achieving a couple of objectives. The IGF secretariat works with the entire network of the NRIs facilitating the coordination through regular monthly meetings but also through just one-on-one communication that's happening continuously.
Some of the concrete objectives for this year relates to NRIs organizing five collaborative sessions, which are basically workshop-like sessions with the main objective to ensure that local specificities on topics which are within NRI priorities do reach the IGF.
Already topics are identified, and you can see on the slide that there's quite a divestium (phonetic) of them looking at the matters related to access of connectivity with special focus on certain marginalized and vulnerable groups to matters related to cybersecurity and economic issues.
In addition to the collaborative sessions, the NRIs' main session will also be organized this year with the involvement of all the NRIs who will work in a collaborative manner, in a bottom-up manner to ensure that the topic and the entire proposal of the session is developed by the IGF in Katowice.
And the same -- and the NRIs traditional coordination session is planned to be hosted in a hybrid format in Katowice at the IGF, the 16th IGF.
The agenda for the coordination session is under way. But it is expected that it will focus on procedural matters as well as matters of long-term sustainability cooperation between the NRIs but also the overall Internet governance ecosystem and the role the NRIs play in it.
Finally, this is the most recent update. One of the goals and requests from the NRIs communicated to the secretariat was also that we support engagement of national parliaments and governments into the NRI processes. The secretariat and the NRIs do work continuously on this, starting from early in the year. So far the work resulted in producing a brochure which speaks about the NRIs but also motivates hopefully these targeted groups to engage into these practices with outlining some very good practices that already exist in the world, such as the good example of the Kenya IGF or the SEEDIG, for example.
One additional -- one additional reason why I'm sharing also this brochure with you is because it's being translated to Spanish and Arabic. It is expected that we will have translations into French, Portuguese, and German by the NRIs' volunteers from the communities while the original is, of course, available in English language.
In case you're interested to learn more about the NRIs, especially about the policy areas that are of relevance for NRIs and with that having a global overview of the issues, then we advise that you visit the IGF website. There is a compendium of the issues that were of focus of the NRIs for 2019 and 2020 where you can see the easily shift that the pandemic caused in terms of the issues that were priorities for the NRIs.
In case you're interested more about the youth IGFs in different capacity-development initiatives that exist on youth engagement and Internet governance, there is a publication which also outlines the specificities on this matter.
And, finally, colleagues spoke before me about the host country efforts which the IGF secretariat but also the MAG supports, of course, relates to the youth-focused activities in this year. Several Webinars were hosted by the Polish youth IGF, one being only yesterday, and a couple more are planned in months to come. The information will be posted to the IGF website as soon as the final plan is available.
I also invite you to subscribe to the NRIs' mailing list or just reach out to the IGF secretariat in case you would like to be connected to the individual NRIs.
So with that, I will conclude my presentation here. Happy to respond to any of the questions you may have.
And, once again, if the MAG chair would allow inviting and encouraging all the NRI colleagues present here to speak and update about their process. Thank you very much, MAG chair.
>>CHENGETAI MASANGO: Thanks very much, Anja.
And we see have a request for the floor from -- I'm looking at the hands. We have -- I think the first contributor we had was Poncelet Illeleji from The Gambia. Poncelet, over to you. And then I see we have got Nigel Hickson and Courtney Radsch.
But, Pncelet, you go first.
And I really invite -- I join Anja in inviting participants from NRIs to take the floor. Poncelet, over to you.
>>PONCELET ILELEJI: Thank you very much, Anriette. And thank you, Anja. I think it's really been a good collaboration with the NRIs, especially with the planning that is going on. A lot of us have been taking it back. In our case, in The Gambia NRI, we have planned our meetings. Our permanent secretary of the minister of information and communication infrastructure who does ministry that (indiscernible) governmental organizers. We usually meet for our national MAG which has all this in place.
We have posted to the site when we will be hosting our own national NRI, our national MAG which will be in this second week of August.
But a good thing is that we want our government delegates to be part of the DCS IGF. So our permanent secretary, or our minister, will get an invitation and will be attending for that event.
But I think it's very important that we be an NRI. Especially in our sessions, we get more diversity so that we'll be able to disperse issues from various aspects of what is happening in different regions and (indiscernible) regions so that at the end of the day, it builds our national processes to be stronger, especially with our engagements with our national government.
That is what I have to say. Thank you very much.
>>CHAIR ESTERHUYSEN: Thanks a lot, Poncelet.
Next we have -- I think it was Courtney who was in the speaking queue. Actually, Nigel first. Nigel Hickson and then Courtney Radsch.
Nigel, are you ready? Is this speaking queue not up to date?
Okay. Anyone else from the NRIs who want to share their perspectives or provide any input?
What I would like to say is that I think from the MAG's perspective, I do urge people to look at the recommendations of the MAG working group on strategy which has recommended much closer integration with NRIs.
At the same time, I think that it's challenging because, as Anja presented, NRIs are autonomous. And I think what we need to navigate in the coming years as we try to achieve the dual goal of, on the one hand, growing NRIs as processes and as events that speak to their own context, that are relevant in their own context, and provide value to the Internet policy communities in those contexts, on the one hand, and, on the other hand, of connecting NRIs to the global IGF and facilitating the diverse perspectives from NRIs on the issues that are core to the IGF and feature on the annual IGF agenda.
I think the MAG, together with the secretariat and the NRIs, have started navigating this process more closely this year, and there will be opportunities for NRIs to bring their views to the issue areas the IGF is covering. But, at the same time, this shouldn't happen in a manner that detracts from the NRIs independence, their autonomy, and their relevance in their own context.
If there's no one else who wants to contribute to this?
I see Adam Peake has his hand up. Please go ahead.
And, others, join the queue if you have questions or want to share your experience. Many of you are part of NRIs, and your experience is valuable.
Adam, you have the floor.
>>ADAM PEAKE: Hi, Anriette. I thought I'd finally be able to switch a camera on. Sorry about that. Perhaps I should switch it off.
Anyway, I wanted to say about NRIs, and it's been wonderful to see them develop over the years. I was fortunate enough to be involved with a couple of early ones. The idea from NRIs I've been involved with were those at the national level would then try to feed into the regional level, and the regional level would then try to contribute to the Global IGF, so it was something like a bottom-up process that we're familiar with from the multistakeholder activities generally.
I know this doesn't apply to all NRIs. You're absolutely right. They should be autonomous, and they are autonomous, but if an NRI wants to function in that way, then it is a way of bringing aggregated or collected information from the local to the regional to the global level, and that is something that we might try to encourage.
I think one of the challenges that we will face, however, is that the global IGF will always be very tight for the amount of time that we have on the agenda. If we have a five-day meeting, we have to be very careful about how to accommodate all the demands and requests for time on those agendas, on the agenda. So there's a careful balancing act there because I think there are well over 100 NRIs now. So it's very difficult to see how we can accommodate all of that.
But I do think we should try, and this aggregation from local to regional to national may be a way of achieving that.
So thank you.
>>CHAIR ESTERHUYSEN: Thanks for that, Adam. You know, I think that the NRI space, I have had the pleasure to participate in some of the NRI calls, and they are extremely dynamic, and I think Anja does an excellent job of facilitating exchange. There's one practice that, in fact, I want to just highlight. I know there are many good practices among NRIs, but some IGF's convene a post-global forum debrief. And the one that I've participated in and I found it extremely valuable is the U.S.A., United States, National IGF who regularly -- usually in January, they convene a session for participants in that IGF, the national IGF, to debrief, share experiences and insights from the global IGF.
You know, even a simple activity like that which can take place virtually also achieves great integration.
Next, I'm happy to give the floor to Chris Buckridge.
Chris, you have the floor.
>>CHRIS BUCKRIDGE: Thanks, Anriette. I'm Chris Buckridge from RIPE NCC. I'm also with the EuroDIG Support Association Board. And I don't have a huge amount to say here, but I think you made some really interesting points, Anriette, and I think Adam also made some very interesting points.
I think what's clear is that it's a really challenging time for the IGF but also the NRIs. We're all trying to navigate questions of access modalities during the COVID era.
But I think that's also -- it is a really interesting time, and I think from the EuroDIG perspective, for instance, we've had some more remote sessions outside the single event in the middle of the year. And I think a lot of us are finding, of necessity, new ways for remote interaction to work.
So having an openness to have that evolve into something new, new models, I think is something that's really important.
So I think part of what the IGF can do is ensure that those channels are open, that there is that ongoing discussion because right now, we don't know how this COVID era is going to affect how interaction goes on going forward.
I think Adam has a good point about the tightness of the agenda at the IGF. I think in that sense, finding ways that the NRIs can be useful partners to the MAG, perhaps in sort of bringing together stakeholders and maybe refining groups so that it helps with that challenge of not having a lot of different workshops looking at similar issues but maybe sort of a more consolidated program where you can bring together the right perspectives from a quite diverse range rather than just the people who the workshops proposes are known or able to reach.
I think, then, the other thing is, if there's an opportunity, to continue building on those best practices. I know this is work that's been done before. I know Anja is working very well and closely with a lot of the NRIs, but, as I said, I think we're discovering new best practices even now in this sort of challenging era, and so an openness to integrating those and building on those is really important.
>>CHAIR ESTERHUYSEN: Thanks for that, Chris. Very, very helpful suggestions.
Next, I have the pleasure of giving the floor to Titi Cassa, past MAG member.
>>CONCETTINA CASSA: Thanks a lot, Anriette, for giving me the floor. Can you hear me?
>>CHAIR ESTERHUYSEN: Yes.
>>CONCETTINA CASSA: I want to thank Anriette for the great support she's always giving to us NRIs. I think that the NRIs are doing important work at the regional level. And I think that it's important also to increase visibility of this forecast. We have people also appointed in the private intervention. And I think one element that could add in increasing visibility also in sharing the initiative that all NRIs are dealing. There should be the implementation of the observatory of the NRIs. Remember, we started a very important discussion at the beginning of this year on these elements, I wonder if this will be a functionality that will be included in the next IGF website.
>>CHAIR ESTERHUYSEN: Thanks for that, Titi.
I don't see anyone else requesting the floor.
I want to highlight a remark that was made in the chat by Mark Carvell. I'm just scrolling up to find this.
In fact, Mark, yes, I'm going to read it.
Mark just points out here how the NRIs are an important bottom-up channel from the local level for developing the IGF program and also for cascading messages and outcomes from the IGF back down to the local level. I think this echoes what was said by Chris and others, and I think the MAG is very much aware of that.
I think we are -- in the coming months, the MAG will start working in issue teams that are led by the MAG but that are open to others in the community. This will be an opportunity for NRIs to participate and help shape the program. And similarly, in the preparatory phase, we'll be creating spaces for that. But it's an ongoing process, and I think this is clearly an area that needs more thinking, more ideas. It's about connecting the IGF to the local level and keeping the IGF receptive and open to the local level.
And I invite everyone to try and strive to achieve those goals this year, but also to use the IGF input platforms, the stock-taking next year, the Open Consultation, to come up with concrete proposals, to participate in the MAG Working Group on Strategy and Strengthening, which is open to everyone in the community and where these issues are also being discussed.
But thank you very much for that input. Thanks to Anja and thanks to the NRIs. You really have become the -- both the roots and the leads of the IGF tree.
We are now moving on to our closing session which is really just to recap what we covered today.
It was quite an intense session, so I appreciate that everyone has stayed with us. Thanks to those who got up early or who are staying up late to be part of this process. And we had, I think, a very thorough explanation of what IGF -- hybrid IGF 2021 is going to strive to be, but there are input documents in the meeting pages which you can look at for more information.
I think it was very helpful to get quite an in-depth feedback or update from the intersessional activities. I think that this helps us see how the IGF is evolving as an ecosystem. And I think similarly, hearing from other institutions about their work, their Internet governance-related work demonstrates that the IGF is located in a growing ecosystem where the complexity of Internet governance grows, but where there's also a growing network of institutions and networks that are taking up these Internet governance issues.
And I think what this brings home to us, and I hope the MAG will work with this, I trust that they will do, is that the IGF is very central as a multi-disciplinary and multistakeholder public-policy platform, and learning and networking platform. There's really no other platform or space such as the IGF in that it's open to everyone and from everywhere.
So I -- really have nothing else to add today. I think this meeting has given the MAG insights, food for thought that will be taken up in coming days as the MAG proceeds to work with the secretariat and the host country to organize IGF 2021.
And I want to thank everyone who contributed to today's meeting. And you are all invited to attend the MAG meeting tomorrow as observers -- the agenda is on the website -- and, similarly, the MAG meeting on 30 June.
And look out for an invitation to join MAG issue teams when they begin their next phase of their work. I'll just switch my camera on for the closing. And we will soon announce the timeline and agenda for the preparatory phase, which will be the next milestone for the community.
So on that, thank you very much to everyone for participating in this meeting. And we look forward to collaborating with you.
Our host has had to leave, so an apology from Przemyslaw, but he wishes us well for this closing, and we will reconvene tomorrow for the MAG meeting.
Thanks very much.
Chengetai, unless you have anything to add, I will now bring the meeting to a close.
>>CHENGETAI MASANGO: No, nothing else to add except thank you very much, Anriette, for chairing this meeting, and also thanks to the scribes. Thank you.
>>CHAIR ESTERHUYSEN: Yes, thanks to the scribes and to the captioners, and to everyone who contributed.
See you tomorrow at the MAG meeting.
>>CHENGETAI MASANGO: Thank you.
Thank you all.
>> Thank you, bye all.
>> Thank you. Bye-bye, everyone.