IGF 2021 WS #272 Youth in IG policy-making process: Let's talk about the MHLB

Time
Friday, 10th December, 2021 (14:00 UTC) - Friday, 10th December, 2021 (15:00 UTC)
Room
Conference Room 1+2

Organizer 1: Juan Pajaro Velasquez, Youth Observatory
Organizer 2: Eileen Cejas , Youth Coalition on Internet Governance
Organizer 3: Nicolas Fiumarelli, Youth IGF Uruguay
Organizer 4: Bruna Santos , Data Privacy Brasil Research Association
Organizer 5: Juliana Novaes, ARTICLE 19

Speaker 1: Eileen Cejas , Civil Society, Latin American and Caribbean Group (GRULAC)
Speaker 2: Juan Pajaro Velasquez, Civil Society, Latin American and Caribbean Group (GRULAC)
Speaker 3: Emilia Zalewska, Civil Society, Eastern European Group
Speaker 4: Bruna Santos , Civil Society, Latin American and Caribbean Group (GRULAC)

Additional Speakers

Nicolás Fiumarelli is the onsite moderator

João Moreno Falcão is the online moderator

Moderator

Emilia Zalewska, Civil Society, Eastern European Group

Online Moderator

Nicolas Fiumarelli, Civil Society, Latin American and Caribbean Group (GRULAC)

Rapporteur

Juliana Novaes, Civil Society, Latin American and Caribbean Group (GRULAC)

Format

Round Table - U-shape - 60 Min

Policy Question(s)

Advancing global digital cooperation: What opportunities are provided by the current focus on digital cooperation resulting from the UN Secretary-General's Roadmap for digital cooperation? What role should the IGF play (and how) in advancing global digital cooperation?

This session will explore the mechanisms of participation within the IGF such as MAG, BPFs, DCs, NRIs, and youth participation, with special emphasis on the new MLHB. The main challenge under discussion is the full integration of youth in these mechanisms and what we can do as youth to advance global digital cooperation.

SDGs

16. Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions
17. Partnerships for the Goals

Targets: We believe that the composition of the MHLB and other digital cooperation mechanisms should be balanced to guarantee a fair and inclusive internet governance environment. This is extremely relevant in the context we are living.

Description:

Youth has been part of the Internet Governance process since 2005 at the first IGF. In the following years, youth participated in several deliberation spaces such as WSIS, IGF, NRIs, DCs, BPFs, ICANN, etc. Although youth hasn’t been recognised as a stakeholder officially, youth has produced relevant papers, capacity building and outreach projects towards the community to include more youth voices into the IG space.

As long as time passed by since 2005, youth has been included as resources, that could be interpreted as “tokenism”. This way of being included in the policy discussions can be misinterpreted as not on the same level as other stakeholders. However, we could witness since the first IGFs that youth community is very interested in participating in IG spaces, but some support for other stakeholders is needed in order to achieve its full integration. In this sense, the current discussion on the MHLB is a great platform to bring to the table the discussion of youth integration in the policymaking process related to Internet Governance.

This session will be a fantastic opportunity to brainstorm on the suggestions made about the MHLB from the Internet Governance community, and add inputs to guide the implementation of global digital cooperation that includes youth since the policy-making design, as one of the main actors of the Internet Governance process, while analysing the outcomes produced at the YCIG DC Session 2019, UN DESA Policy Brief on Global Technological Commons, which has been designed for their initiative “Emerging Issues in Youth Policy: Addressing Emerging and Frontier Issues with and For Youth.” and other recommendations elaborated by youth initiatives for the implementation of these mechanisms.

Firstly, the speakers will provide a short explanation of the flyers that will summarise this historical review of the representation of youth in the mentioned intersessional activities related to the IGF. The flyers are meant to bring visual support for participants to understand the changes produced from 2005 until the present. These flyers will be produced by Youth SIG & Youth Coalition on Internet Governance as part of their part to engage more youth in the Internet Governance space. This section will be 10 minutes long. The content included in the flyers will be also reflected on the collaborative document we will use for the second section of the session.

Secondly, attendees will be invited to join the Roundtable where we will discuss some pre-arranged questions, which will guide the debate around how we can build the “Youth Position Paper on the MHLB” and agree on recommendations to share with the stakeholders. The deliberation will be for 40 minutes

Thirdly, we will use the last 10 minutes of the session to populate the Miro board (where the flyers would be posted) so participants can share their last thoughts and ideas.

Expected Outcomes

The main outcome of this session would be a produced document on “Youth position toward the present and future of Digital Cooperation”. This document will gather opinions from the participants of the session and later thoughts from the partner youth initiatives (Youth SIG, YCIG) during the following weeks of the IGF2021. The document will be published in early 2022 and be widely spread through the IGF mailing list. Our intention is also to share the main inputs of the session at the IGF Youth Summit and the IGF Taking Stock session.

1) Online and onsite participants will get access to the flyers on Miro and the collaborative document on a platform like Google docs. Moderators will be in charge of measuring the time to participants to speak up and write on the document. Our speakers will be also paying attention to use their assigned time and not more than that. 2) For the onsite participants, we will make sure of checking in advance with the IGF staff to provide enough time for the participants to access the Zoom platform and join the room.

Online Participation

Usage of IGF Official Tool. Additional Tools proposed: We will use Miro and a collaborative document (this document probably will be at Google docs which is the easiest way for unconnected people to follow the session and provide their feedback throughout the session)

The Miro board will be useful to post the flyers we mentioned before.

Key Takeaways (* deadline 2 hours after session)

Young people need to continue to join efforts from different stakeholders to turn the IGF into a more concrete and open space. Tokenism is still a problem in the ecosystem and we still do not see the response we wish. We have provided several recommendations to the IGF and one of them is to give young people meaningful participation

There are many controversies regarding this body (Leadership Panel) , because the IGF could become a top-down body and break the equality between stakeholders.

Call to Action (* deadline 2 hours after session)

We make a call to action to the IGF Secretariat and all the stakeholders to consider youth as a recognized stakeholder, and consider the importance of youth for the intergenerational exchange and change in the Internet Governance ecosystem; and work in collaboration with youth avoiding tokenism.

Governments and private sector should provide support to youth in: bringing capacity building tools, high level mentorship and engagement in all workstreams. Youth’s viewpoint can enrich the conversation and foster the improvements to make more inclusive Internet Governance.

Session Report (* deadline Monday 20 December) - click on the ? symbol for instructions

IGF 2021 WS #272 Youth in IG policy-making process: Let's talk about the MHLB

Panelists and moderator: João Moreno, Emilia Zalewska, Bruna Santos,  Nicolas Fiumarelli, Juan Pajaro, Eileen Cejas

Rapporteur: Juliana Novaes

 

Bruna Santos

Bruna Santos introduced the Multistakeholder High Level Body (MHLB) as an initiative to bring concrete outcomes to the IGF, since one of the main criticisms the forum faces is related to its non-binding nature.

In 2018, there was a discussion about digital cooperation and the role of the IGF, which was a process sponsored and led by the United Nations. As an outcome of this whole process, there was a report created with some suggestions of improvements that could be made in the IGF, so that the forum continues to be relevant and an important element of the discussions on Internet policy.

The MHLB is therefore the product of these discussions. There has always been a discussion about its role in contrast to the Multistakeholder Advisory Group (MAG), because the MHLB does not have the objective to replace the MAG, but to complement it and give the IGF more concrete policy outcomes.

Last month, the Secretariat of the IGF announced the IGF Leadership Panel, which has opened its call for applications for members from the civil society, academia, technical community, governments and private sector. There are many controversies regarding this body, because the IGF could become a top-down body and break the equality between stakeholders.

Juan Pajaro

Introduced issues regarding youth participation in the MHLB.

During these last few years, he has seen many initiatives with the objective to achieve a community that has one voice in the policymaking process. He highlighted the importance of having a diverse ecosystem of actors and voices in the IGF, also one of the messages of this years’ Youth Summit. Young people need to continue to join efforts from different stakeholders to turn the IGF into a more concrete and open space.

Eileen Cejas

Discussed the role of the Youth Coalition in Internet Governance. A document called DC paper was created to relate the works of the dynamic coalitions and the policy processes related to Internet governance.

The Youth Summit was an open event that counted with the participation of the Polish government and several other organizations. Nonetheless, young people still face a lot of skepticism when developing their projects at the IGF. Tokenism is still a problem in the ecosystem and we still do not see the response we wish. We have provided several recommendations to the IGF and one of them is to give young people meaningful participation.

Emilia Zalewska

Introduced the project Youth Summit, an initiative in partnership with the Polish government and other organizations.

The idea of the youth summit started from the idea of having young people being listened to, making youth postulates become something concrete and visible. We partnered with the Youth Observatory and divided ourselves into groups. So we divided ourselves into groups and tried to address some of the challenges of Internet governance in that particular field. We wanted to create these points of action, because they could be addressed to several groups of people, like governments, private sector, technical community etc. The outcomes of the Youth Summit will be publically available and we want young people to be engaged in this process.

After the speakers presentation, participants were invited to collaborate on a document called "Youth position toward the present and future of Digital Cooperation". This document was edited and tailored into PDF format, and can be accessed here: