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IGF 2018 - Day 1 - Salle I - High Level Panel Discussion: The New Challenges of the Internet Governance

The following are the outputs of the real-time captioning taken during the Thirteenth Annual Meeting of the Internet Governance Forum (IGF) in Paris, France, from 12 to 14 November 2018. 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 to understanding the proceedings at the event, but should not be treated as an authoritative record. 

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>> Ladies and gentlemen, please, there are two high level panels that will follow the speech of the President.  Very interesting panels, so for those of you who want to continue discussing IGF matters, please stay in the room.  The first panel moderated by Ambassador David Martinon is going to start in a few seconds and will be followed by a second one.

Ladies and gentlemen, we are going to continue our Opening Session with high level panels.  The first high level panel is moderated by Professor David Martinon.  It is going to begin in a few minutes.  I'd be most grateful to you if you took a seat so that we can continue our high level session.

>> Ladies and gentlemen, please be seated.  We are about to start.  Our first high level multistakeholder panel, if you may take your Chair.

>>  DAVID MARTINON:  So we have five great panelists today.  My name is David Martinon, French Ambassador for Digital Affairs, which means as a French diplomat talking on UN premises, my duty is to speak French.  So this is exactly what I'm going to do, mostly.  Otherwise, it will probably be the last time you will see me here.

We have five panelists, very high level panelists.  Mariya Gabriel had to leave us in a hurry to make her way to the airport.  So we have Director General of UNESCO, Audrey Azoulay, we have Hadja Ouattara, Minister of Digital Economy Development, Burkina Faso, we have Stephane Richard, CEO of Orange, we have Isabelle Falque‑Pierrotin, outgoing President of the International Conference of Data Protection and Privacy Commissioners and Chair of the National Commission on Informatic and Liberty, ICANN, Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers.

Let me first of all make announcement.  The site, the UN site, the site of the Internet Governance Forum was attacked DBOS, so which we can in fact acknowledge as being a recognition of the role played by the IGF, the IGF is the place to be.  We welcome this as a homage.  Having said that, of course, as you know, the IGF, ever since its creation, at the World Summit on the Information Society 2005, has been the place where the new challenges, the new questions linked to digitalization of the world have been identified, that's its role.  That is the role which is man, its mandate stipulates it is to issue recommendations.

Our panel is going to take that up.  We have invited representatives of states, of international organizations, of the private sector, and of technicians.  Without further ado, since you have to host the President of Colombia in a few minutes, let me give you the floor, and ask you what UNESCO's point of view is on all these new digitally related matters.

>> Thank you very much.  Once again welcome to all of you here at UNESCO.  I'd like to apologize in advance, because I'm going to have to leave you before the session is over.  But I wanted to take part in this panel which I think is taking up a central issue, for us, for UNESCO, I would like to say what the issues are, in this digital world.  Let me say that the first challenge is not to leave anyone on the side of the road.

What is important for us in the UN is inclusiveness, but with UNESCO's universal goals, the gap that might exist, the digital divide is something we note every day.  Half of the world's population is connected, but that means the other half isn't.  That gap between the less developed countries and the more developed ones is extremely strong, and it serves to further worsen existing inequalities, so the first of our concerns is to bridge that gap, and to work on equipping the world to be connected.  In Africa less than 22 percent of the population has Internet access whereas 80 percent does in Europe.

If we look at the impact of that on employment, on the access to the world of knowledge, that is something that is just unacceptable.  It's also, there is also a gap between men and women, a very wide one, which is only widening.  I'd like to come back to that, because we would like to work on that through education.  Last but not least, the universality of the Internet means that we have to work to reach the most marginalized, most far‑flung populations.

How are we dealing with these subjects at UNESCO?  I'm not going to have the time to cover all of that.  But I think that the most important issue is that of education.  Education for digital technologies, education in the digital world which should be included in school curricula, as well as teaching methods, because that opens up new tools for teachers.

It should also, the education should also be a way of training people to have a critical judgment what circulates on the Web, and on the social media, as well as to deal with gender inequality, education of women in science, because what is in the making is a world of science in the digital world.  And in the sciences, there are major inequalities between men and women, in the professions of research, particularly digital research.

We like to support member states, in helping to attack that problem.  It is also for us an issue of culture, cultural diversity.  In the Internet there isn't cultural diversity today.  You can see that when you look at the publications, on human sciences and in the exact sciences on the Internet.  Those publications are for the most part in English, in a single language, and that of course raises the problem of the rating of universities and preservation of academic and cultural diversity, what with the question of remunerating creators.  Because UNESCO is the house of the 2005 convention on University of cultural expression which we have adapted through its digital implementation, and also a major issue for cultural diversity for the development of creative economies, that is to adapt to digital technology and to compensate innovation in this area, because here as well you can see major inequalities between the world of creation and the world of distribution.

Then the third point I'd like to mention which is a very important and was also mentioned with the Secretary‑General of the United Nations is the ethical question, that is the question leading to values, to the world that we want to see in the future.

This is a world that is not, apart from civilization, from what we have built so far, from what we have succeeded in creating, since 1945 in particular.  That is why we need to work on the issue of ethical principles, we need to have a debate on it that is universal in scope, global in scope, because there are different perspectives on different schools of thought, different approaches throughout the world.

But this is a global issue, and so if we have a separate or divisive ethical principle, this is not happening.  We need to work to develop guiding principles that can help to steer humanity's conscience in this new digital world.

To conclude, I'd like to cite a historian philosopher whose works are very important when it comes to the 21st century challenges and he has a humanist agenda for the world that we are living in.  For us at UNESCO our role is promote humanism and bring it into a digital world so it's not a separate world, so that it can also help to promote development and our values, in a world that is still inclusive, that is still a human world, not a cold sterile digital unequal world.

We need to focus on science, of course, including the pewter science, digital sciences, hard sciences and also social sciences, philosophy, history, and so next weekend here at UNESCO we will be holding philosophy night.  I invite all of you to take part in it.  Thank you.

>> DAVID MARTINON: Thank you very much for taking part in this meeting, and we will let you go now since we know that you have a very busy schedule.  Thank you very much.

Madam Minister, you are the Minister of Digital Economy Development of Burkina Faso and have been for a long time, you have been working on open source software in Africa.  What is your country's experience when it comes to the new issues facing digital world today?

>> HADJA OUATTARA: Thank you very much, Mr. Ambassador.  It is a great honor for me to be taking part in this high level panel on the new challenges of Internet Governance, and to speak about possible prospects for reforming Internet Governance.

I'd like to thank France for its hospitality, and to also have some gratitude to the Minister of Europe and Foreign Affairs for France, who was kind enough to invite us here.  I'd like to thank the organizers of this event as well as you, Mr. Ambassador, for the opportunity you are giving us to take part in this high level panel.

Distinguished participants, ladies and gentlemen, 2005, my predecessor stated that only 2 percent of Africans had Internet access, and 13 years later, in 2018 this number is 22 percent, only 22 percent of Africans have access to Internet compared to 80 percent of Westerners.

So this clearly shows that there is a digital divide, a geographical divide that still exists, and Internet access remains a major challenge for Africa.  Distinguished participants, fortunately, this Internet access challenge is now being addressed and resolved by major changes in Africa, including fiberoptic networks that are currently being installed, as well as international connectivity with submarine cables and a virtual endpoints for landlocked countries like Burkina Faso as well as Internet exchange points of a national and regional level.

Even if this battle is now being won, currently, with the advent of various structural projects, Africa still has a long way to go, and Africa is known as being the continent where Internet is most expensive, with mobile operators, providing their own services that are perhaps in a way idiosyncratic, because they supply Internet access only to social media for young people, and most of these young people, when we ask them about it, they say to us that Internet means Facebook, Internet means what's app, and this is a phenomenon that has led African governments to try to establish more services.  There are factors linked to this, for example, lack of education, lack of financial resources, the still budding entrepreneurship in Africa, as well as the issue of potential new consumers who do not get on the Internet except to buy foreign products.  The second type of massive divide which is important in Africa these days is the divide created by the content produced by developed countries.

Africa is only a consumer of these digital goods and services, due to its inability as of yet to innovate to appropriate the content, to take ownership of it itself, and to produce added value.  The social media networks that we have talked about are obviously very important tools.  They help to link citizens, help them share knowledge, they serve leisure purposes as well.

But of course, it can be also misused, used for a level of purposes to disseminate false information, or defamation, and so in Burkina Faso, the use of these networks has been extremely important.  If you recall in 2014, there was a regime that tried to rise to power partly using the social media, asking the Burkina Faso people to accept this coup d'etat September 2015.  So in these two cases, if we wanted to put an end to the regime that was trying to hold on to power, in these cases, the use of social media was actually quite positive in my country.

However, it's important to note that with the rise of terrorism in Sub‑Saharan Africa, fake news, disinformation, misuse of these, abuse of these networks by terrorist groups has now become a major problem that is jeopardizing the Democratic model and national culture of my country.

Ladies and gentlemen, regulation of social media, as mentioned by President Macron, is a challenge, is a thorny issue for many governments, because we need to have to control access to the Internet, while maintaining freedom of expression and universal access to Internet, beyond the use of the Internet made by Internet users, the fact is that Google, Apple, Facebook and Amazon play a very important role.  They have been successful in our countries, and yet they are not regulated on a national level.  They do not have any tax obligations, either.

And that is why we are closely following the discussions being held in Europe, as well as by the OECD on this topic, as well as the President, we also call for an international initiative for taxation of GAFA.

Distinguished participants, there are global initiatives that need to be taken in order to competently address the challenges posed by the Internet, and as we all know, the Internet knows no boundaries, no legislation, and so a lack of international cooperation, I think, endangers our efforts to boost Cybersecurity and to protect data privacy.

That is why we need initiatives such as the Budapest convention, the RGPD for Europe as well as the Malibu convention.

So here, your Excellencies, I would like to conclude my remarks by once again thanking the organizers of this event, as well as the French Government, and all of you present in this room who are taking part in the 13th IGF.  And before we move into the second interactive phase, I'd like to thank all of you and tell you how honored and pleased we are, our delegation of Burkina Faso, that is, to be taking part in this conference.  Thank you.

  (applause).

>> DAVID MARTINON: Thank you very much, Madam Minister, for these very important words.  I'd like to give the floor to Mr. Stephane Richard, CEO of Orange since 2014, and also would like to publicly state that your collaborative, always been here present at the IGF, year after year, ICANN meetings as well, and you are a very important stakeholder for us when it comes to Internet Governance.  And you created Orange cyber defense facing many digital risks.  What is your perspective on this issue overall?

>> STEPHANE RICHARD: The major challenge, I think, when it comes to this digital revolution and today's Internet, is that this is really a universal issue that produces both political and policy questions.  We see people, that have spoken today, that talked about politics, policies, but it also has an economic aspect that is also quite potent.  The economic world has changed a great deal in the past 15 years, when you think about the fact that today, for American companies, GAFA, actually there are five of them with Net Flix that they actually represent more value than the Paris Stock Exchange, and with the financial resources available to a company like Apple actually, before major European mobile operators Orange, Digital, Vodafone and Telefonica could actually be bought, altogether by Apple alone.  And the fact that the equivalent of GAFA in China also constitutes a major new power, and so it's all well and good to have these debates about regulating or not regulating and so on, so forth, should we be addressing the Telecom sector, what should we do or not do.

But what is important to keep in mind, that we as economic actors, and I feel isolated in fact, as economic actors, we are in the middle of a war, in a world where there is a balance of power, not necessarily in our favor, and this is a reality that each of us needs to keep in mind.

There are major discussions going on about regulation, of course, as we know our American friends are not fans of regulation, when you see what they manage to do, American companies, and Chinese companies don't really need regulation, either, because the structure of the system in China actually obviates that issue.

So my point is that the issue of regulation is a very European one, actually.  And what is driving, we are the ones driving the issue of regulation throughout the world.  We are insiders in this industry, who have skin in the game every day.  The only product that Europe has managed to export in the digital world is regulation, it's said.  It is true but we shouldn't forget the rest, either.  We have to ask ourselves about the issue of the relationship between regulation and innovation.

Perhaps regulating every new enterprise or new idea in the digital world might not be the best idea, for example, artificial intelligence, we have seen what the Chinese and Americans are doing in the field of AI today, and so I want to remind all of you that today, the digital economy consists of about 20 major platforms throughout the world, and there is not a single one of those 20 major platforms that is European, let alone African.  They are mainly American and Asian.  When I say Asian, I mainly mean Chinese.

This is the reality we live in.  Where do you want to go from here?  What are the European plans in this area for the next ten, 15, 20 years?  This is the question that really haunts me as a CEO as well as a regular citizen.  This being said, I am overall optimistic.  I believe the digital world can be much better than it has been in the past.  I believe that digital technology can provide us with unprecedented solutions to various problems that humanity has been facing for millennia now, especially on certain continents, for example, in Africa, Orange is involved in Africa, as you know.  And I think that the revolution could change the game in Africa, could allow widespread access to education, culture, healthcare, an example of mobile banking, which is quite unique in Africa.  This is a service, that has been possible, made possible by digital technology.  It allowed hundreds of millions of Africans today to have access to a certain kind of modern economic technology, through this service, which only emerged a few years ago.

So, this is a host of opportunities, I think that this could really change the course of history.  So there are of course risks, we have to talk about them.  We have to face them head on, and a most important one is Cybersecurity, because we created a sort of open global platform, and this obviously entails risks, significant risks for Cybersecurity.

This is the problem that all of us have to deal with, governments, companies, ordinary people, in their every day lives, and here the issue is how can we improve everyone's level of protection in this field.  There is of course technological aspect of Cybersecurity.  We also have, we are not, we don't have the necessary skills in this area.  We have to learn a great deal more, and this is a concern that every major actor in the field has to keep in mind today.  We need to invest a great deal in this issue, because we ourselves are target given our customers, given the massive amount of data that we handle, that we host on our servers, makes us a target.  That is why we need to be very involved in this field in particular.

But for us as well, this is a field that is very rapidly growing, when it comes to expertise and the use of new expertise in this field, what we need today.

This issue of safety, Cybersecurity, is essential, because it could lead to the collapse of the entire system.  This is also a topic that needs to focus more on civil protection, that is to say that everyone needs to feel involved, needs to have a stake in this, including ordinary people.

So, I think that we need to really understand these problems, so that we can tackle them, in order to fully benefit from the opportunities brought by digital revolution.

Here international cooperation is very complex, because we all know that there are governments behind cyber attacks.  So we can't count too much, I'm not saying that we don't need more governance, more cooperation.  But I also, as a business leader, I want to promote realism, being realistic, and there are opportunities today in the world but also there are many conflicting interests out there.

Not everyone holds the same principles of multilateralism, universal values.  We see this every day.  So, personally, I think that we need perhaps more limited solutions that are more realistic in today's world.  As Europeans, we could be doing more to defend these interests because Europe is the most open platform in the world today.  All the major digital actors today know this, when they have a new product that they want to roll out, they always start in the European market.

The thing is that we need to tackle all of these issues.  We believe that our mission consists of bringing more connectivity, more access in Africa through an economic model, that is based on private companies.

In addition, governments here and in Africa need to become real partners, and not just cash cows, if you will forgive the expression.  We have another important role to play, that is we have to help build infrastructure, and take part in the various discussions on the topic.  But we always have to maintain a ambitious but realistic point of view.  Thank you.

>> DAVID MARTINON: Thank you very much for sharing your point of view.  So Isabelle, you are the head of the CNIL, the head of the International Conference of Data Protection and Privacy Commissioners, so you are very familiar with the RGPD.  This is a tool that you are perfectly familiar with, since its very development, and you have also contributed greatly to promoting it, and to sharing this discussion with others throughout the world, especially through this international conference, that you are the President of.

You heard as well as we have Emmanuel Macron talk about the digital revolution.  What is your point of view today on these issues?

>> ISABELLE FALQUE-PIERROTIN: Thank you very much.  Good afternoon, everyone, as well as my predecessors, I want, and previous speakers, I would like to talk about this in more practical terms.  I want to frame my response, in the reality of regulators of personal data.  So the RGPD is indeed a potential solution, but we also see that this digital society is expanding, with the international conference of data protection that took place recently in Brussels, we have 122 members today.  Africa sends many prominent representatives, also there are a number of executive Commissioners of this international conference, and many members of our conference and the countries they represent have a certain vision when it comes to digital technology.

But they may not have the exact same technology, same vision.  They all are legitimate in their own way.  We can see that their visions can diverge or converge, and one of the visions is the European vision, the RGPD which was, has been in development for a long time, and has been applied since last May.  The RGPD is an approach that was designed to address characteristic of the digital revolution, that is a problem with trust.  Tim Cook said the crisis is real.  Why is there a crisis today?  There is a crisis because most individuals throughout the world feel that digital society is leaving them behind.  Therefore, they want to take back control over it, to take back ownership, and this is what has led Europe to come up with this RGPD, general data protection regulation.  This is really at the heart of the digital revolution, in order to bring back ordinary citizens, help them, empower them to guide this revolution in their societies.

This is a very ambitious solution, of course, because it provides a very high level of protection, but it also sends a message that we cannot have sustainable innovation without respect for privacy and for people.

The response proposed by Europe is sustainable digital development that respects individuals, and this distinction of course is based on a certain philosophical legacy as well as a very pro business rationale.  I'm sure you are quite aware that you can't have business without trust, if investors and consumers and employees do not trust companies to handle their personal data, then there can be no digital growth.

So Europe is gambling that beyond the protection of personal data, this protection actually is a wager that will benefit consumers in Europe.  I think that in the various visions of digital world that we are seeing today, this is a very clear‑cutting choice.  Is it going to become a universal standard?  I don't know.  Time will tell.

But for us as Europeans, what is important is to show that this legislative framework can provide added value to regulators, to companies and to individuals, and so in the months to come, we will see if this is a winning bet.

The second thought that I wanted to share with you is that we have heard a great deal in the previous presentations about multilateralism, with this new emerging global digital world, all actors, society, governments, companies, regulators, all need a template for cooperation, and currently, we are trying to develop this cooperation model.

The stance taken by the International Conference of Data Privacy Commissioners held in October held this potential because it's authority for data protection and yet it wants to innovate.  It wants to contribute to this sandbox for governance.  We have adopted a roadmap that aims to structure a revolution over the next few months, that can actually influence the building of this digital revolution.

We are taking a certain stance that is both open‑minded, flexible for new actors, multilateral, and also, I'd like to propose this today, it also asks whether the right governance model that can steer this digital globalization is actually, consists of building a network of networks.

In the next few months, we have established a working group, at our national commission, in order to reflect on this roadmap to think about how to implement it, to apply it, as well as reflect on the possibility of establishing a permanent Secretariat of the international conference, and to perhaps establish this network of networks.

The third idea I want to mention is that we have talked a great deal about artificial intelligence.  Indeed, this is a topic that is highly relevant today, in all countries, and in many countries we have seen very bold initiatives emerge with regard to artificial intelligence.

So of course, the risk here is that we might end up with a very piece work landscape of initiatives with each party claiming to have a global, created a truly global initiative.  Here the International Conference of Data Protection and Privacy Commissioners wanted to make a contribution, and as said by Madam Audrey Azoulay just now, we have been trying to contribute to the legislative and ethical framework behind artificial intelligence.

So in October, we adopted a sort of platform that outlines the principles of data protection, as well as ethical principles, that authorities in all countries of the world have been interested in adopting.  These principles are not strictly speaking legal principles.  These actually are principles that fall a bit below the legal framework, and can be adapted in all the countries of the world in order to promote, develop AI in each of these countries.

I believe it's important because countries as diverse have signed this international framework.  In this international framework beyond the six referential principles, there was also a call and appeal for framework of governance.  I believe it is the desire of President Macron to set up a G7 or G8 meeting or an artificial intelligence on the Internet forum, whatever the format might be.  There is within this production that stemmed from the world congress on data protection a first draft that we can work with in terms of governing these issues.

These are the three points I wanted to share with you this afternoon.

>> DAVID MARTINON: You are the CEO of ICANN, International Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers, for those who are not familiar with the institution, it is a non‑for‑profit corporate, incorporated in California, Marina Del Rey, not a bad place to be by the way, and you deliver a global service to the whole community, which is basically to ensure that the Internet does work.

So your work is about names, numbers, protocols, but having spent days and actually nights at the Governmental Advisory Committee of ICANN, my experience is that most of the technical issues you are addressing have also a huge political impact, and this is why there are some governmental representatives also working at ICANN.

So what would be your perspectives on these issues, like I guess for example about data protection, you and Isabelle have a lot to talk about, when you have time.  But so, please, what would be your perspective on these challenges?

>> GORAN MARBY: First of all, to the embarrassment of my friend's teacher I will speak my own version of English, sorry about that.

You might need translation to English.

Thank you very much for the introduction.  ICANN is more than a nonprofit.  We are a international organization, participants from a 170 countries.  Our latest ICANN meeting in Barcelona we had 3500 people from amalgam of countries.  We are a pure technical organization.  We have no opinions about business models or anything else.

What we do, together with other partners in the ecosystem, is make sure that people can connect, and we don't have any opinions about who connects to who or what kind of information they send.  We provide a simple service to the world called a Domain Name System.

One thing that I'm thinking about, I've been doing this for many years, I'm thinking, I wonder sometimes when the word opportunity became a challenge.  For right now, we seem to be in a situation where we talk about all the risks of the Internet and how insanely bad it is sometimes.

It struck me that all of us here are using Internet for many things, sending E‑mails with content to your loved ones, doing financials, whatever you do, that is a essential part of the Internet.  There are bad things on the Internet.  We agree.  The problem is it's one system.  It's only one single technical parameter that sets itself.  One thing I'm cautious, when we have this narrative about everything that is bad on top of the Internet, we sometimes end up talking about things that could disconnect users from the Internet, not giving people the access to what I think is important.

We say internally that the reason why we do this is because when you connect two people, something magical happens.  What that magic is, that is not up to us.  But anything that prevents that opportunity could actually have an effect on how Internet works.  It's been proven to be fairly good and stable thing because we have been doing this for many years.  We have been around for 20 years.  Some of those in the ecosystems like the RERs has been around longer.  These have worked.  We took it from, you took it from serial uses to 4 point whatever billion users.

One word of caution in all of this is that some things of these could have effect on ability of end users to connect to a full interconnected Internet.  That is what we have to carefully work at.  You mentioned GDPR.  As a organization as ICANN or ISOC, we are extremely transparent organizations.  The reason we are is because everybody wants us to be accountable, because anyone who works in this hard off the Internet ecosystem has to be accountable all the time.

You should be able to call me up and say or actually the policies are set by our community, call them and say we are wrong, you are can't do this.  One of the questions that comes with privacy legislation is that I can't be accountable anymore.  Our ecosystem, we have thousands of databases with names, because you want to know who does what.  You want to be able to go after bad actors or the example of who is, where I often as a user, I get a E‑mail with a link I don't recognize, I go to the system and check who that actually is, to make sure that I can do that, and we have the protocol, part of the ecosystem writes down who makes the decision about standardization.

That is because I think we don't see that there is this how the infrastructure, I wouldn't call it infrastructure because Telecom operators provide infrastructure but this methodology of connecting people has a system.  I think we have in the system, it has to be accountable how that works.

What people often talk about are bad actors on top of the Internet, in social media and other ones who provides good or bad information, and that is for other one than me to discuss.  Maybe a fair bit of warning in all of this, with all the respect of all the opinions and all the discussions, do you really want to prevent people from connecting each other?

We have to figure out a better way of having a dialogue in between each other, and I end up being positive to Internet because I see people sharing information, I see researchers sharing information, I communicate with my kids over Internet.  I get a lot of information, yes, not always the good one but I get a lot of information on Internet.  I live in L.A., yes, not a bad place to be.  But some of my kids lives in Europe.  That is how I connect.

I don't want that to be a problem going forward, because we see other problems.

Putting some, be a little more positive, I heard 28 percent of African, 22 percent of people in Africa are getting connected to the system, that I'm a small part of.  That is not a problem for me.  That is fantastic.  I want to end with a story from South America a couple years ago, some of you know I was a Telecom regulator.  I was invited to South America, and I was doing a one country project, to connect people.  I asked why, usually I get it's good for economy, it's good for gross national product, it's good for something.

But this Minister told me the reason they do this is because access to information always has been the right of the rich people.  They always have access to information.  But if you put people on line you take away one of the biggest disadvantage from poor people, having access to information.  Now 22 percent of African people can do that, where they couldn't do ten years ago.

I'm looking forward, when Africa is leading this evolution going forward.  Thank you very much.

>> DAVID MARTINON: Thank you very much.

  (applause).

It appears that we still have some time for a few questions from the audience.  So should there be a question, we would be happy to take it.  I don't see hands.  It means everything has been perfectly clear.

No questions, anyone?

Could we have a microphone to the back there, please?  Go ahead.

>> AUDIENCE MEMBER: Hello, everyone.  Can you hear me?  Okay.  Thank you for the different presentations.  I would like to come back to the case of RGPD, the legal framework here in Europe, Madam, has this framework been, this framework has been set up in Europe.  However, there are many European companies that actually have their business activities in other parts of the world, notably in Africa.

So are these companies also going to adopt this legal framework, and wouldn't it be better to have an international framework rather than just a European framework?

>> ISABELLE FALQUE-PIERROTIN: The response is yes.  The international dimension of this legal framework in Europe is double, because of course, when companies are operating outside of Europe, they must respect the RGPD, but also for companies that are from a outside of the European Union, and who must act according to European laws, with respect to European laws.  Yes, this does give not just a European dimension to the framework, but also an international dimension to it.

>> DAVID MARTINON: Do we have any other questions in the room?  Yes, at the back there.

>> AUDIENCE MEMBER: Thank you very much.  I'm from Chad.  I'd like to thank the panelists.  Regarding RGPD, what impact is it going to have in terms of taxes placed on businesses?  Is the revenue from these taxes going to go to developing the Internet in general, where is this money going to go?

>> You are asking about where the money is going to go when companies are fined for not respecting the framework?

>> Well, in fact, in France, it will go to the public treasury in France, afterwards, the French treasury will use the money as it wishes.  But there is no specific attribution of these funds that will stem from any fines imposed on companies.

>> Thank you, Isabelle.  I think that time is up.  Minister, would you like to perhaps say a few words to close this panel session?

>> I believe that President Macron has given us enough guidelines and avenues to explore, and I believe that there is food for thought for our different governments.  We will try and move forward of course with these different initiatives and try as much as possible to implement them.

>> Excuse me, I have a question.  If you will look over in my direction, okay, let's go for it.  Over to you, sir.

>> I'm going to try to be brief.  Firstly, I'm going to present myself, it's a pleasure for me because I actually presented the plenipotentiary Telecoms summit in Morocco recently.  And I believe that there is a problem.  We are only looking at the regulatory aspects, but here what we are speaking about is a revolution.  That is what Mr. Macron said, in fact, at a political level, economic level, social level, societal level, so I believe that we need to create a whole new world of regulations, when it comes to telecommunications.  The international union for telecommunication actually dates all the way back to 1960, sorry, 1860, excuse me.  It was even before the UN and the League of Nations.

We need to have a new form of international cooperation, that is something that we need to invent from scratch.

It is in fact 1865, yes, it's the oldest UN system, UN agency created here in Paris, that is true.

>> Thank you for that.  Stephane, would you like to conclude?

>> STEPHANE RICHARD: Well, it's difficult to conclude, but it is true that the goal of the Internet era poses several issues for the world in terms of governance.  We see that there are power relations that govern the world.  I believe that the issue that is posed by different forms of governance is very complex, because we have to take into account so many different parameters, which bring together different stakeholders, multistakeholders, and politicians, of course.

We also have different regions in the world, different types of governments, different types of, well, different cultures, something that may shock decision‑makers in Europe, may not shock them in Africa, for example.

So, this is a huge task, I believe that we have to move forward together, hand in hand.  I believe that Europe has an important role to play, and it is actually rare to hear someone from the telecommunications sector, a leader in that sector actually saluting what has been carried out in terms of regulation.

But I believe that this new regulation is extremely positive when it comes to data protection in the world, in fact.  I believe it will be precursor not only from a legal point of view, but we also see Facebook and Google who have already announced that they are going to set the bar to this high standard.

I believe that Europe has added a very important brick to the foundations of data protection.  Indeed, we are concerned by these issues just like in other parts of the world.  And I believe it's a little bit like the fight against climate change in fact.  That is to say that it is essential to fight for the cause, but of course is extremely difficult.  It's difficult to bring all the different stakeholders to the table.  We have to take into account the economic realities and business realities, and yes, it's very difficult, but it's not just because something is difficult that we shouldn't actually address it.

>> DAVID MARTINON: Thank you, Stephane.  Isabelle, words to close?

>> ISABELLE FALQUE-PIERROTIN: Yes, I'd like to highlight the fact that we have spoken a lot about protecting personal data, we have talked about Cybercrime, cyber attacks.  We haven't necessarily made the link between the two.  Now, it is clear that the front line, the main front line when it comes to cyberattack is protecting data, at the level of businesses, also when it comes to individuals, because any one of us could be the weakest link.  Therefore, I believe it's very important to really foster this culture of data protection, because in this highly interconnected world, where every individual, every business, every municipality could be the gateway for a cyberattack, we will have to understand how important data protection is.

>> Let's be practical, you talked about Cybersecurity and your responsibility.  Can anyone in this room clean your cache from your Web browser, do it regularly, clean your underwear and your cache.  Make sure you have VPN and latest updated software on your computer and device.  That will take down the potential risk for everybody.

>> DAVID MARTINON: Thank you very much.  That was a crispy conclusion.

Thank you very much.  Thank you, round of applause for our panelist.  Now, from UNDESA, United Nations department of social economic affairs, before we welcome the participants of the second high level multistakeholder panel.

>> Your Excellencies, distinguished colleagues, ladies and gentlemen, as the head of the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs, UNDESA, we serve as traditional home of the Internet Governance Forum Secretariat.  I'm very glad to be here, and to welcome the distinguished high level panel on strengthening the Internet Governance and IGF.

Since the establishment of Internet Governance Forum in 2005, the support of the Secretary‑General to convene annual IGF meetings as mandated by the General Assembly, the UNDESA has been organizing the event in cooperation with Host Country and supporting the work of the Multistakeholder Advisory Group.

I would like to take this opportunity to extend my gratitude to donors from different stakeholders, for their generous contributions to the IGF trust fund, managed by UNDESA over the past 30 years.

At a event not covered by the UN budget we count on your continued support and also welcome support from any stakeholder expanding and improving IGF.  IGF received global recognition as the key platform for dialogue on Internet Governance, with its mandate renewed not once but twice by the UN General Assembly.  Ladies and gentlemen, while IGF may not have decision‑making mandates, it informs those who do, as we see the multi player effect it has on the national, regional, youth IGFs.

At the same time, UN General Assembly recognize that IGF should continue to show progress with stakeholders especially from developing countries.

We are encouraged by the strong diverse interests and deep engagement from different stakeholders, including governments and nonGovernment institutions, in formulating a strategic long term view of the role of IGF, and its outputs between now and 2025.

Ladies and gentlemen, we are living in a true digital revolution, which is considered as the greatest single enabler of development.  We are now nearing the end of the third year of the implementation of 2030 agenda for standard development.

Next year, in 2019, the United Nations high level political Forum on Sustainable Development also supported by UNDESA, will take place under auspices of both the economic social council in July, as well as the General Assembly in September.  We should galvanize momentum to mobilize technology and innovation for the service of people and not allow them to result in polarization and division.

At the United Nations, the Secretary‑General mentioned last week we need to create platforms where governments, academia, private sector, Civil Society, can come together, and find a way to discuss and agree on protocols, on code of conduct and on mechanisms that allow for the cyberspace and digital technologies to be essentially a force for good.

IGF is well‑positioned to continue to realize this vision, at UNDESA, we are always open to new ideas and look forward to the progressive suggestions of the High Level Panel on Digital Cooperation and the IGF community to further strengthen the role and outputs of the IGF.

Let me conclude by extending deep appreciation to the French Government and UNESCO for their excellent collaboration with UNDESA in organizing this 13th IGF.  I also want to add my personal gratitude and appreciation to the French Government and UNESCO.  I wish this 13th IGF great success.  Thank you.

 

Contact Information

United Nations
Secretariat of the Internet Governance Forum (IGF)

Villa Le Bocage
Palais des Nations,
CH-1211 Geneva 10
Switzerland

igf [at] un [dot] org
+41 (0) 229 173 678