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IGF 2018 - Day 1 - Salle II - IGFSA General Assembly Side Session

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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>> MARKUS KUMMER: My apologies to the IGFSA members, but the previous meeting, they were just so engaged, they refused to stop.  Jennifer, can you inform us on remote participation?  May I ask the other members of the Executive Committee to join me on the dais? 

     And once again, can I invite those who are not planning to attend the IGFSA General Assembly to leave the room.  My apologies.  Our meeting was supposed to have started at half past 1:00, but the previous meeting, they were just moving on and on, and now the last people who attended the meeting are leaving the room.  For the transcription, it's Markus Kummer speaking.  I'm the chair of the IGFSA Executive Committee.  We are holding our annual General Assembly that is called for by our bylaws, and our bylaws also say that the General Assembly is valid, regardless of the number of participants, so, unfortunately, there are many overlapping meetings, and I think the MAG members of the IGFSA had a parallel meeting, so I see some of you are here but some others are in the other meeting that are with a Secretary General of the UN, so all in is very unfortunate.  And we are also told that this room will be used as an overflow room, so I think we will be cut off brutally by, I think, 2:45.

     So we have just about an hour at our disposal.  Let's be quick and efficient.  I have sent out an agenda.  I don't know whether we can show that on the screen, but it is a traditional agenda, approval of the summary record of last year's General Assembly, proposed change in the Articles of Association, Executive Committee election, and then adoption of records, approval of the budget, and one agenda item on fundraising/crowdfunding, and then, again, discharge of the activity of the Executive Committee, which means essentially approval of the work of the Executive Committee and any other business.

     My suggestion would be that we devote -- most of the time will be for the election of the four open slots in the Executive Committee, and that will be the most time-consuming agenda item, but before doing that, I suggest that we adopt the proposed change in the Articles of Association.  Again, I have informed you in writing of what it's all about, and the -- and I sent out a full Article 5 on membership, but it's just one sentence that is new, and that's introducing the notion of a member in good standing, and I'll read the sentence that we've proposed to insert.  Any member who has remained current on the association's annual membership dues is considered a member in good standing.  Voting rights are limited to members in good standing.  Do we have agreement to approve this proposed change in our bylaws?  As nobody speaking against it, can we ask -- you would like to say something? 

     >> AUDIENCE MEMBER: No, it's okay. 

     >> MARKUS KUMMER: You agree.  Okay.  May I ask those who agree to raise their hands so that we -- and I think there is, without counting the individual votes, there seems to be a majority.  Can we see who is against the proposed change?  There's nobody in favor -- there's nobody against the proposed change, so the proposal has been adopted, and from now on, only members who have paid their annual membership dues are allowed to take part in elections and to have a right to vote, and this is also -- our membership year is not the same as the calendar year, it goes, in essence, from General Assembly to General Assembly, so if you pay today, you have paid for the year behind you, and then you can vote today in this year's General Assembly, and from tomorrow onwards, it will be the year, essentially, 2019 from today's General Assembly to next year's General Assembly.

     I think we have currently more than 60 members in good standing.  Is that correct? 

     >> (Off microphone)

     >> MARKUS KUMMER: Okay.  So that is actually not a bad percentage.  We have, I think, 190 or so registered members, and a good third of them have actually paid their membership dues based on experience of other not-for-profit associations.  At least in Switzerland, that is actually quite a good average. 

     >> MARILYN CADE: (Off microphone)

     >> MARKUS KUMMER: Yes, please.  Marilyn has a question. 

     >> MARILYN CADE: I have a question, and I'm going to pose it on behalf of many of the new members.  I don't think it's clear or I don't think it was clear for people who were joining today that they're paying for the past year.  I think that most of them -- I'm looking at some of them who I recruited back here from Syracuse University as an example.  I think most of them assumed that they were paying for the next year -- let me just finish this -- which would include whatever decisions are taken at the AGM, so I guess I would note that it might be important for us, as an Executive Committee, to show some flexibility that people who pay today are paying for a year from today, which means actions of today but also a year forward.  Could we consider that? 

     >> MARKUS KUMMER: For new members, yes, that makes sense.  That was always how we handled it, you remember, automatically with the payment of the membership dues, but obviously, you don't pay for what is behind, you pay going forward, so new members, you have paid your membership dues also for this coming year, so -- but for the old members, that means you are current, you have paid up to today.  Thank you for that, Marilyn.

     With that, can we proceed, then, to the Executive Committee election?  We have statements of interest posted on the IGFSA website, and I know we have is it six or seven candidates for four open slots.  We have two Executive Committee members who are seeking renewal.  That will be renewal for a two-year term, as the first term was only one year, and essentially completion of the first term, and then we have other members who indicated their interest.

     I also had expression of interest just now from a MAG member who is not in the room, but he promised to be back as soon as possible.  That is Nacho, but I don't know whether he'd be able to make it, but in any case, may I ask with our Executive Committee members who seek reelection to briefly introduce themselves and sum up what's in your Statement of Interest.  Marilyn is first, alphabetically.  Cade is ahead of Doria. 

     >> MARILYN CADE: Thanks.  May name is Marilyn Cade.  Let me, first of all, thank all of you for coming.  I know it's an extremely busy IGF, and yet the AGM, the Annual General Meeting, that we have is very important because it's really your opportunity and our opportunity for our members to tell us what our priorities should be.  This is a working Executive Committee, and I -- in my Statement of Interest, I made a very clear point that anyone who has standing needs to be able to confirm that they're able to dedicate the time and the fiscal resources because we do not fund the time and travel of the Executive Committee in order to be able to fulfill our mission.

     I take the commitment of time very seriously and am competent and am committed to continuing the work that I do.  Most of you who are here who are affiliated with the NRIs, the National and Regional Initiatives, know that I've been heavily involved with them along with the Secretariat, and during the time that -- since December of 2015, we have together grown the number of national initiatives from 57 to over 111, which is particularly, I think, important for us as the IGF Support Association to take into account the majority of those who are coming in from developing countries, and the small grants that we give and the communications support that we can give is particularly important to the small -- the smaller countries who don't have a lot of resources in their country to turn to to do the fundraising that is needed.

     One of the things I think we need to do better and more of is communicate more with our members.  I made a suggestion that we start doing a two-page quarterly newsletter type update and also that we hold an occasional webinar.  Several ICANN meetings ago I launched an informal gathering of the NRI coordinators, and recently, IGFSA has stepped up as the host of those meetings, and many of the coordinators and people affiliated with the NRIs are able to meet informally at the ICANN meetings and to exchange and continuing to build the network and the identity of the NRIs.

     So looking ahead, a final point I would make is we do not have a sufficient and diverse enough pool of sponsors, and while crowdsourcing funding is a very interesting and worthwhile strategy, I believe we should be much more organized and active in reaching out to further corporates and to other organizations that can make significant financial contributions in larger amounts of money so we can keep up with the growth of the NRIs.  In the next two years, I believe we will grow from over 111 to at least 150 to 160.

     The final thing I'll say is we are at one of those windows, again, where if we don't step up our communications and the work that we do, we're not going to be able to fulfill our mission.  We're going to -- the Plenipot, the ITU Plenipotentiary will end shortly, the UN Panel on Digital Cooperation will come up with recommendations, and the NRIs are going to be bombarded with questions at home about what they should be debating, what they should be talking about, and what resources might come as expert speakers, so I see a great opportunity for us, but I also see some risk if we're not able to really enhance the support that we provide.  We don't direct the policy activities of the IGF Secretariat, but we do provide tremendous support and fundraising that helps them to fulfill their mission as well.  Thank you. 

     >> MARKUS KUMMER: Thank you.  Avri. 

     >> AVRI DORIA: Thank you.  I'm Avri Doria.  I'm currently on the Executive Committee, and I'm asking for your vote to continue on it.

     One of the most important things to me over the last couple of years has been sort of the structural foundation of the IGFSA as we moved from being sort of sheltered and protected by ISOC to becoming more freestanding, and so to me that has been a very important part of what I've helped with and what I've focused on.

     One of the things that I'm very focused on is how do we get the members more involved, both in sort of initiating various fundraising things?  It's something we've talked about for the last two years but we're still churning on, though now we have started talking about ways to do -- other ways of doing funding among individuals. 

     Part of why I think the IGFSA is important is because the IGF is important, but the IGF's importance sort of comes from what its foundations are, and as Marilyn said, the nationals and the regionals are important to support not per se but because they are the foundation that the rest of the IGF sort of builds on and can grow on.

     We have changed the mix over the years of the kind of support we do from giving just a blank sum to the IGF itself but the more discrete funding of the national and regionals, and I think that was a very important change for us because we're building that global presence that can sustain the IGF has time goes on.

     So for those reasons, for the structural integrity of the IGFSA and its continued support of the regionals to support the main organization, I'm asking for your vote, and I'm hoping that I do get it and remain on the Executive Committee.  Thank you. 

     >> MARKUS KUMMER: Thank you, Avri.  And then we have four candidates who are not members of the Executive Committee.  We have Kossi Amessinou, Makane Faye, Jacqueline Morris, and Nilmini Rubin.

     So in alphabetical order, Kossi, would you like to say a few words?  Are you in the room or did you go to the -- yes, he is.  Right in the back. 

     >> KOSSI AMESSINOU: I'm here.  I'm here.  Hello. 

     >> MARKUS KUMMER: We can hear you. 

     >> KOSSI AMESSINOU: I'm sorry for my bad English, but you must understand.  I make my candidacy for this committee to --

     >> MARKUS KUMMER: Can you go a bit closer to the microphone.  We can hardly hear you. 

     >> KOSSI AMESSINOU: Hello.  Okay.  I make my candidacy for this committee to share maximal experience having now in the -- in my new position in my ministry working for funding collection for development.  Some experience I get there can be used to look for funding also for IGF Support Association on the bilateral, and multilateral organization.  It's essentially the reason for my candidacy here.  Thank you, Markus. 

     >> MARKUS KUMMER: Thank you.  Marilyn just asked a procedural question, whether somebody working for a government can serve on the Executive Committee.  I don't think our bylaws say anything on who can serve or not.  I think that would be more a political appreciation of whether or not that is appropriate.

     Next candidate on the alphabetical list will be Makane. 

     >> MAKANE FAYE: Good afternoon, everybody.  My name is Makane Faye.  I've been an IGF member since its inception, paying member.  I have worked for the United Nations for 33 years.  I retired two years ago, and since the start of the WSIS, I've been coordinating the WSIS activities for the African continent, especially for the ministerial -- ministers in Africa on ICT.  And since the beginning of IGF also, I've been coordinating the activities of the African continent in the framework of the African Internet Governance Forum.

     When I retired, also I continued working with the African IGF, to which I'm the secretary, and I organized the last meeting in Khartoum last week, and we have been benefiting from funding from IGFSA, and Markus came to Khartoum and also made a presentation on IGFSA.

     My endeavor is to really extend the reach of IGFSA in Africa and get enlisted as many members as possible because I coordinated a list of association, individuals, and -- in Africa, and I will contact them and request them to join the IGFSA and also in Africa, many national NRIs also have been getting support from IGFSA, even those NRIs, coordinators -- most of them are not members of IGFSA.  I'll make sure that they are all members.

     Currently, as a retiree, I'm the president of the former UN staff based in Senegal, and I coordinate also the West African Internet Governance Forum as the Planning Committee, and I'm the secretary of the African Internet Governance Forum as well.  Thank you.  I hope you get your work.

     >> MARKUS KUMMER: Thank you, Makane.  Ms. Morris will be the next.  Is she online, Jennifer?  Well, her statement is up on our website.  She's not online.  But her statement is up on the website.

     Nilmini Rubin, are you in the room?  Oh, yes, please, yes. 

     >> NILMINI RUBIN: Hi.  I'm Nilmini Rubin. 

     >> MARKUS KUMMER: Speak in the microphone so people can hear you. 

     >> NILMINI RUBIN: Hi.  I'm Nilmini Rubin.  I work for an engineering consulting company called Tetra Tech, and I lead a team of 170 people that work on international development projects on both Internet and energy.  We do projects for the World Bank, the African Development aid, and other big donors.  My passion lies in connecting all people, regardless of age and gender, to the Internet and electricity.  I feel like those -- are -- that's the juice of modernity.  And I'm standing here today and asking for your support to serve on the IGFSA Executive Committee.  I strongly believe in the goals of IGFSA, I've been very active in it, and I'm also here in honor of my friend Manu Bhardwaj, who -- I read his statement last year when he was running for IGFSA.  He was late from his plane, and -- and I read his statement, and he was elected to the Executive Committee, and very tragically he died this year, and I felt very strongly about running to take his place and continuing his work.  He was only 39.

     I have been very active in IGF, in addition to being active in the IGF USA.  I've attended IGF meetings in Geneva, Mexico, Brazil, and spoken at the IGF Afghanistan meeting through Skype.

     My background is fairly different.  I worked in politics and policy.  I wrote the Digital GAP Act for Chairman Royce which would frame U.S. policy to Internet access.  It's passed the House of Representatives and the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, and awaits passage by the U.S. Senate, and I was very active in the last administration supporting global connect with Manu.

     I -- I think that my background in the private sector in politics and formerly as -- in lobbying and fundraising would be helpful to the IGF, especially as we get our heads around how to raise more money more sustainably for the IGFSA.  I have a lot of experience in asking and receiving money for organizations, so I ask for your support, and thank you very much. 

     >> MARKUS KUMMER: Thank you.  And meanwhile, I have also sent out an email -- forwarded an email I have received from Nacho, Miguel Ignacio Estrada, who has also announced his interest.  He -- he is one of the founding members of IGF Argentina, of the committee members of LAC IGF, and is also a MAG member, and he has been a member of IGFSA for three years and has expressed his interest to be on the Executive Committee.  With that, we can proceed to the voting, and I will ask our secretary, Jennifer, to be in charge of the counting of the votes.  You have all the names, the candidates are up on the website, and the additional candidate I have sent as an email, so write the four names you would like to fill the four slots with, and we would also need some help, then, for the counting.  I'm looking to my EC members.

     Obviously, the candidates -- it would not be appropriate to have the candidates voting, but could I ask Edmon to help with the counting and maybe also some members from the floor.  Austin.  One more.  Help me out.  I have a black --

     (Laughter)

     I know you well, but -- Tracy, yes.  Tracy, of course.  My apologies. 

     >> (Off microphone)

     >> MARILYN CADE: Thanks.  I have a point of order.  It's my understanding if we follow the procedure we followed last year.  Let me clarify.  we don't have a ballot, we're supposed to individually write the people's names?  We don't have a ballot prepared, we're giving pieces of paper? 

     >> (Off microphone)

     >> MARILYN CADE: I got it.  And we're accepting email votes from remote participants?  Okay.

     >> MARKUS KUMMER: We have already received some email votes. 

     >> MARILYN CADE: Secondly, I believe procedurally we need both counting and validating, so you would have two people maybe counting, and then you have two people verifying the vote.  This is customary when -- rather than just having one group doing the counting, or are you thinking you're only going to have one group counting?  You can do it either way, but --

     >> MARKUS KUMMER: I thought one group doing the counting and trusting, but if you're more comfortable with having somebody validating --

     >> MARILYN CADE: I was just trying to go back to what we did last year to be clear --

     >> MARKUS KUMMER: I don't think we have a separate counting procedure, but if you're more comfortable, I'm fine with it. 

     >> MARILYN CADE: I think we just need to get on with it. 

     >> MARKUS KUMMER: That's what I think, yes.  So you write down four names you would like to select for the Executive Committee, and, thus, that will take quite a while.  That will allow us to go through the rest of the proceedings, and hopefully at the end, we have fully -- sorry? 

     >> (Off microphone)

     >> MARKUS KUMMER: Oh, yes. 

     >> (Off microphone)

     >> MARKUS KUMMER: Yeah.  Yeah.  Jennifer, we need to add Nacho's name on the list, Miguel Ignacio Estrada. 

     >> (Off microphone)

     >> MARKUS KUMMER: And, obviously, I can also ask the last, is there anybody else who would like to present him or herself as a candidate?  That's --

     >> MARILYN CADE: We also get a vote up here. 

     >> MARKUS KUMMER: Yeah. 

     >> MARILYN CADE: (Off microphone)

     >> MARKUS KUMMER: Yes, please.  You would like to be a candidate? 

     >> AUDIENCE MEMBER: (Off microphone)

     >> MARKUS KUMMER: Sorry, I can't hear you.  Microphone, please. 

     >> AUDIENCE MEMBER: (Off microphone)

     >> BABU RAM ARYAL: Hello.  Can you hear me?  This is Babu Ram Aryal from Nepal IGF.  It's -- I'm vice chair of Nepal IGF. 

     >> MARKUS KUMMER: Can you repeat your statement? 

     >> BABU RAM ARYAL: This is Babu Ram Aryal from Nepal IGF.  So I'm not seeing from Asia, so I would like to stand as a candidate for -- from that region. 

     >> MARKUS KUMMER: Okay.  You nominate yourself as a candidate.  That's fine.  Can you make sure that your name is spelled properly. 

     Okay.  So now while the voting is under way, can we proceed with our regular agenda items?  We have adopted the agenda.  Now, the second agenda item is approval of the summary record of the 2017 General Assembly.  It has been posted on our website for quite a while.  Are there any comments on the summary record of last year's General Assembly?  That does not seem to be the case.  Can I take it, then, that we approve the summary record of last year's General Assembly?  With that, it is approved.  Yes, please. 

     >> MARILYN CADE: I have another query.  In order for the secretary to verify it's a member in good standing, that means we have to sign our votes.  We just passed --

     >> MARKUS KUMMER: Only the members -- now, okay.  We have changed our bylaws.  Only members who have paid their annual membership dues are enO8Æ18Ç1to vote.  Now, is there anyone in the room who is not in good standing who has not paid the annual membership dues?  Shall we put it that way? 

     >> (Off microphone)

     >> MARKUS KUMMER: You can vote for -- we have four seats to be filled.  Obviously, we have secret votes, so we don't need to fill in -- we don't need to sign the ballot paper with your name, but can we also ask for a good record that you sign your name on another sheet so that we know who has taken part in the vote, and we can check -- we have a list of those who are in good standing who are current, who have paid their membership fees.

     So the easiest thing would be if you fold it in half and sign your name on one bit of the paper and sign the four names on the other bit of paper, and then we can validate whether they have been paid or not, and we trust that you're honest and we trust that you don't vote if you haven't paid your membership fee

     With that, we come to No. 5, which is adoption of the contents of the reports and financial statements for the year.  Again, I have -- they have been up on our website for a few days, I think at least a week.  The report is fairly straightforward.  It just shows the activities of the association.  It refers -- starts with last year's General Assembly.  Last year we had two members of the committee up for renewal, Tarek Kamel and Jimson Olufuye, and we had a new incoming Executive Committee member.  That was Manu Bhardwaj, and sadly, Manu passed away in July, and we ask all the members to honor Manu's memory, and I would also like to ask you for a few minutes of -- a short moment of silence to honor his memory.

     (Moment of silence)

     Thank you.  And we held five meetings over the course of the year, and we had -- as Avri said in her statement, we had to restructure ourself as ISOC withdrew, as was originally foreseen, after two years they withdrew their initial support, so we are now a self-standing organization, and we are supported thanks to Edmon through DotAsia organization and Jennifer also from DotAsia, so they are running the website, and you may notice, the website has been upgraded, and it looks a lot better now, and with that, I think we are up and running.  It took us also a while to change the banking arrangements, but those of you who benefited from our support saw that we are up and running and working.

     Last year we accepted 18 new members, and that brought the total membership up to 190.  Fundraising, we received a total of 117,000 U.S. dollars, so 500 in contributions.  We definitely could have done better.  Our main contributors are ICANN, and a number of resource organizations who contributed 50,000 U.S. dollars each, but we also had a smaller contribution from the Colombian.co Internet SAS 5,000, 2,500 from MSN, and we had a contribution from Google that is of 10,000 U.S. dollars that is earmarked for enhancing the accessibility at the IGF, and we used that for providing realtime transcription to the intersessional calls, essentially the MAG calls but also some other calls where the people with accessibility issues were involved.  That is the -- essentially the DCAD.

     And to remember that since our inception four years ago, we have raised a total of three-quarters of a million U.S. dollars, and, again, as Avri said, we have shifted our attention and we moved away from giving the major -- the bulk of our contributions to the UN, and we have given more to the NRIs.  Last year we also decided to provide a fellowship to Anja.  She's the NRI focal point and the IGF Secretariat.  That is also according to our bylaws that provides for direct support to the IGF Secretariat.  But the major shift was away from the UN Trust Fund, more to the NRIs.

     And the dynamics, as Marilyn already said in her statement, it's difficult to keep up with growth.  In 2018 already contributed a total of $91,500 to the NRIs, and that is as of 1st of November, but we have since then already made additional contributions, and that brings me to a point.  Some of these requests for funding are extremely late, and, obviously, we cannot change the rules in the middle of a game, but as we're at the end of our year and going forward, I would advocate that we set a deadline at least one month ahead of a meeting for making a request.  I discussed that with the IGF Secretariat and Anja also thinks that would be a very reasonable request in the interest of everybody, that sometimes the NRIs in question getting actually the funding only after the event.  That means also we, then, don't benefit as much in terms of getting recognition during the event, so that is a suggestion that we will change that and make it explicit, that we would like to have the requests one month ahead, and, obviously, we would be flexible in interpreting that there are -- may always be unforeseen circumstances.  Yes, Marilyn. 

     >> MARILYN CADE: Thanks.  Markus, I do want to make a comment, but Jen mentioned to me that she needed to ask you to take some action.  Do you want to do that first?  

     >> JENNIFER CHUNG: Sure.  Hello.  This is Jennifer Chung for the record.  Once -- when we come to the agenda item where we take the votes come in, if you could you please come up.  I will be sitting down there so I can double-check that you are a member that is active before you give me your vote, so you can fold up your vote, give me your name, I'll check, and then you give me the vote.  Thank you. 

     >> MARKUS KUMMER: Thank you.  This is very much like we do voting in Switzerland.  We have our voting certificate, so to speak, we have then we are allowed to actually vote, then we have what we actually vote that gets into the box, but that's why I suggested write your name separately on a separate piece of paper.  That will also facilitate the checking.  Thank you. 

     >> MARILYN CADE: Thank you.  Before I make my -- ask my question, we're going to do that soon since you have to count the votes and we're running out of time?  We have to be out of here in a few minutes, like 30 minutes; is that right?  You said we needed to --

     >> MARKUS KUMMER: I think by quarter to, as far as I understand, but, yes, we have to hurry up. 

     >> MARILYN CADE: Okay.  So I -- I actually am not comfortable with our being too rigorous in setting a deadline because I am very familiar with the planning challenges of -- in NRIs since I am involved with one, not one that is eligible to receive funding, but many of the NRIs in particular from developing countries may receive final notice quite late from their governments where they can finally confirm a date that is suitable to have a high-level speaker from their government, so I guess I'd like to hear in particular from some of the NRIs, particularly the smaller ones, who don't have a lot of resources on what is a reasonable time frame for them and whether it could be even a two-stage approach where they give us a confirmed heads-up that they are validated by the IGF Secretariat, they have a target date but will not have a final date, just so we're not cutting people out who, in particular, benefit from the -- I understand the regionals are very different, they have -- tend to have more resources, they have a longer planning cycle, but for some of the smaller ones, I think we could find ourselves in a situation where some of the smaller ones who particularly benefit could be disadvantaged by too long a time frame. 

     >> MARKUS KUMMER: Thank you, Marilyn.  Well, the IGF Secretariat, Anja, the NRI focal point, actually supports this.  It will also be held for a bit.  Obviously, we have to interpret this with a certain amount of flexibility and that you can change the date of the meeting.  That will not speak against the request itself, and see it as an aspirational deadline, but just to make sure it's in everybody's interest to have it as early as possible and usually one month ahead, I think, would be very helpful.  But we will interpret it with flexibility.

     So we had this year so far nine regional and subregional IGF and 31 national, and they are on the flyer.  We have --

     >> MARILYN CADE: (Off microphone)

     >> MARKUS KUMMER: We can actually -- please. 

     >> (Off microphone)

     >> MARKUS KUMMER: As I said, this is as of 1st of November, and since then, there have already been new changes.

     We also at the last meeting of the Executive Committee agreed to make a contribution of 10,000 U.S. dollars to the UN IGF Trust Fund.  That is while we were shifting our priorities to the NRIs, this means, nevertheless, not neglecting the UN IGF Trust Fund, and this amount has been transferred into the account of the UN in New York, and it brings the total contributions to the UN to $270,000.

     And lastly, there is some outreach communications, miscellaneous, as, again, as Marilyn has already alluded to, we had various events we used to raise awareness and recruit new members, and we did that at the NRI meetings but also MAG meetings and ICANN meetings.  The last such meeting took place in Barcelona at ICANN63, and this is our Activities Report.  Are there questions or comments on the Activities Report?  And together with the Activities Report goes the Financial Overview, which is not a Financial Statement approved by or prepared by the accountant, but it is just my layman's view of presenting it.  It shows that we had a balance on the 31st of October of $77,925.  It explains the contributions I already mentioned.  It explains the expenditures to regional/subregional IGFs of $31,500, to national IGFs for $60,000, so a total went to the NRIs of $91,500.  We had the Fellowship for Anja, which was a total of $54,000, and then we had some smaller expenses.  We had the captioning from the Accessibility Fund.  That was close to $3,000, so there is still some money left there.  The total expenses of close to $150,000, and now we have some reserved funds.  We still have a contingency fund of $10,000.  We have the contribution to the Trust Fund I already mentioned, but, in essence, we have disposable funds as per now of 44,000 U.S. dollars, so it is clear that will not go very far, and we will have to make -- step up our efforts to do fundraising.

     With that, can I ask this august U.S. Assembly to adopt the contents of the report and the Financial Overview Statement?  Are there questions or comments?  This does not seem to be the case.  Can I take it, then, that these documents have been adopted.  As there's no objection, I can say these documents have been adopted.

     And approval of annual budget based upon the recommendation by the Executive Committee, obviously, we don't have a budget in figures, as we don't know yet what funds we will have at our disposal, but based on past activities, again, our proposal to the membership is to devote the majority -- most of our budget in support of the NRIs, but we have also said, on behalf of the Executive Committee, that we'll look at making another contribution of 20,000 U.S. dollars to the UN IGF Trust Fund to keep showing to the UN that we remain responsible and a partner to the UN.  Does this meet the approval of the General Assembly?  I can already see some heads nodding.  Are there comments, votes of support or votes of dissent?  This does not seem to be the case, so I take it, then, that we have the approval of the General Assembly to move forward in that direction.

     And the last substantive item before coming to the discharge of the activity and any other business would be fundraising and crowdfunding.  You have seen I sent out an email yesterday with a sort of better version of a crowdfunding action.  Some members have already responded; that is, joined in in the crowdfunding.  Obviously, there's much room for improvement there. 

     >> (Off microphone)

     >> MARKUS KUMMER: Is that --

     >> AUDIENCE MEMBER: (Off microphone)

     >> MARKUS KUMMER: I'm not sure --

     >> AUDIENCE MEMBER: (Off microphone)

     >> MARKUS KUMMER: Okay.  There's some voice in the background, but we don't know what it is, but in any case, we will not have time here to go into depth in crowdfunding, but maybe -- Austin, would you like to say a few words, as you were essentially my coach, as I'm a beginner in that field and you know much better, but essentially, Austin, he identified intermediary based in Switzerland who does crowdfunding for reputable organization, as you can see on their website, which I just shared the link with you yesterday, and we are -- just have an embryonic campaign going.  Austin, kindly helped me to get it started, but we obviously need more help, and I'm looking here more to the digital natives and the millennials.  I may well be too old for that, but, Austin, please. 

     >> AUSTIN RUCKSTUHL: Hi.  My name is Austin Ruckstuhl, for the record.  I was happy to help Markus build a fundraising --       >> MARKUS KUMMER: Closer to the microphone, Austin. 

     >> AUSTIN RUCKSTUHL: Can you still hear me?  Yeah, okay.  Yeah, so we created this fundraising campaign on a website called Give Gain because they do accept Swiss bank accounts, which is where the bank account for this charity is based, and it's pretty straightforward.  There's a bigger campaign I call #LovetheIGF, and the idea is to create your own fundraising page or donate to the fundraising page, either one, and then share it on your social networks.  You can share the link to donate on the page itself or to personalized fundraising page.  It's a crowdfunding campaign, like peer-to-peer, and you can share it on Twitter and say, I love the IGF because it does this or this for me or for the IGF in my country or my region and encourage your network to donate.  Yeah, it's pretty straightforward.

     I just came up with a very general campaign.  It can kind of be our first year, just #LovetheIGF, just to get people talking or sharing on social, but you're more than welcome to propose a different marketing campaign.  We need imagery, so if you're an NRI and you have approved photos that we could use to really make the content look more appealing with high res photos, then that would be more than welcomed.

     And that's pretty much it.  Yeah, so feel free to create your own fundraising page or donate directly to the fundraising page, send it to businesses.  Anybody can donate, and you can donate in U.S. dollars, even though it is a Swiss account.  Thank you. 

     >> MARKUS KUMMER: Thank you for that.  So, obviously, there we will rely on the members to help us to do the crowdfunding, and I also would hope that one of the board members would take also responsibility for that.  Would you like to say --

Makane, please. 

     >> MAKANE FAYE: Thank you, Markus.  Thank you for the suggesting crowdfunding, which is also a very good idea.  I have some other suggestions.  I think an organization actually which is getting funding to get $3,500 or $2,500 should be a member.  I don't know how the assembly would view it, but my suggestion is really to make sure that there are members, paying members before they receive the funds because they pay $100, they receive $2,500.  Why don't you suggest that?  I think it's important.

     For the African region, I also have a suggestion.  Some members have a problem of paying the funds in the foreign currency, the $25 sending and so on, but me, I make myself available to the African members or potential members.  If I can direct them to someone in the country to give the funds, and I'll pay on their behalf.  Thank you. 

     >> MARKUS KUMMER: Thank you for the suggestion.  I think there were plenty to discuss, but we will not have time to go into that.  My suggestion would be, then, to really have this discussion started after this General Assembly and also with the incoming new board members.  Yes. 

     >> MARILYN CADE: Thanks, but I would just like to make a comment.  IGFSA is incorporated in Switzerland, and while this may not be illegal for a not-for-profit in Switzerland, what we think of as tying; that is, having a requirement that you are a member, that you have paid money to be a member in order to receive funding would potentially create interesting attention to the not-for-profit by the U.S., so, for instance, if we were to decide in the future that -- to make it easy to collect funds from companies and foundations that are based in the United States and we created a parallel association, which many do, we would have significant difficulties if we were to create that kind of requirement, you have to pay us money so we will pay you money, and I'm just looking at Austin because I think there are just reputational reflections about that as well, but perhaps we could do more conversation about that. 

     >> MARKUS KUMMER: Thank you.  Jennifer, where are we with the counting? 

     >> JENNIFER CHUNG: (Off microphone)

     >> (Off microphone)

     >> MARKUS KUMMER: You haven't got my vote yet. 

     >> MARILYN CADE: You need some paper? 

     >> MARKUS KUMMER: I got some.  I got some. 

     >> MARILYN CADE: (Off microphone) quick announcement. 

     >> MARKUS KUMMER: All right.  Has everyone handed in the ballot paper?  It seems to be the case, yeah? 

     And while the counting goes on, can I ask, then, the General Assembly to discharge of the activity of the Executive Committee; that is -- I think it's a term translated directly from the French into English.  Discharge means essentially to approve the activity and means they're not responsible anymore for what happened in the past.  It's -- but I don't think it's used in legal English as such, it's a French version of it, but in any case, we would like to ask our members to say, yes, you have done maybe not an excellent job, but everything is okay and done in -- legally according to the bylaws, which is obviously important that we respect, whatever we do that we are in accordance with our bylaws.  Can I ask for this vote of discharge, as we are in Paris I think we can say it in French.  (Speaking non-English language)

     Is the General Assembly agreeable to discharge the Executive Committee?  I can see heads nodding.  I can see nobody protesting, so I take it, then, that we have been discharged of our responsibilities.

     Is there any other item under Any Other Business?  It doesn't seem to be the case, so we are -- oh, Marilyn, please. 

     >> MARILYN CADE: Thank you, Markus.  Marilyn Cade speaking.

     We didn't go into detail the fact that we don't have a village booth this time, but we will have flyers in I think the shared NRI booth.  It doesn't mean shared between IGFSA and NRIs, the title of the NRI booth is called Shared Booth because it is multiple NRIs, and we'll be putting our flyers in there for those who might need additional copies.  I just wanted to reinforce that for some people. 

     >> MARKUS KUMMER: Thank you.  Yes, there's some flyers there.  I left some there.  That's it again.  We tried, but I hope very much that next year we'll be able again to have a common booth, and I would then also rely on the members in the previous years, we were able to rely on a dedicated member from ISOC staff who sat there all the time, but we don't have that luxury anymore, but we -- hopefully, we should be able to man it by our members that we actually have somebody there in the rotation.  We principally don't ask members to sit there all the time, but if you take it in turns, two hours here, two hours there, it should be possible to have a booth, and I hope it will be possible next year.

     With that, we have finished our business, and we wait with excitement and trepidation for the results of our elections to the Executive Committee.  I can see a lot of counting is going on there. 

     While we're waiting for the -- and Marilyn would like to make a commercial for the NRI session.  Okay.  Babu. 

     >> BABU RAM ARYAL: In between, can we discuss how we can make -- maximize this IGFSA platform with local IGFs?  I mean, we have been supporting various IGFs, and we are just mentioning we supported so-and-so IGFs, so why not have more increasement of our supported IGF in our platform and we coordinate it -- we coordinate more to support not only from funding rather than from concept and designing.  You know, many IGFs are not a priority process of IGF, so why not have that discussion in our platform as well.  That would definitely help our local IGFs to grow day by day.  Thank you. 

     >> MARKUS KUMMER: Well, we do that in a modest way already by organizing the meetings, Marilyn said.  Essentially, we have been relying quite often back-to-back on ICANN meetings but also on NRI meetings, the informal contacts, but it is our part of our scope article that we facilitate the exchanges between NRIs and the global IGF.  Of course, we can always do more, we can always do better, and suggestions and ideas are welcome, but Marilyn, you wanted to introduce briefly the NRI session? 

     >> MARILYN CADE: Thank you, Markus.  And Babu, thank you for that suggestion.  There are six opportunities to hear NRI speak, and one of them is a main session, which is tomorrow, which is about the evolution of -- of Internet Governance, and it is in Salle 1, Salon 1, because it is a main session.  There will be somewhere between roughly 25-34 NRIs who will be speaking.  We have policy questions, and if you go on the website, the schedule, you'll be able to see the lineup.  This is going to be a very fast-paced session.  Normally we have a three-hour -- at least a two-hour session or a three-hour session.

     Then there are four NRI collaborative sessions touching on such things as access and another one on fake news, two more that I'm not going to go into, but when you look at the schedule, it says NRI, and then there's also a consultative session, which is tomorrow again, that follows the NRI main session.  That is a consultation between the NRIs and DESA and the Secretariat, but it is an open session, the room is large, and we urge all of you to come to listen to the exchange between the NRIs and DESA and the Secretariat.  So it's not in any way sponsored by IGFSA, I don't mean to imply that it is, and it is the NRIs speaking on their own behalf about things they think -- and Babu, I think this will be a place to raise questions as well about how activities that are related to the IGF Secretariat and DESA can be more helpful to the NRIs, so those are places to meet other NRIs, and the family for each NRI because for many of the NRIs, there are multiple people here, so it will be good opportunity.

     Again, main session tomorrow, followed by the consultation session between the NRIs and DESA and the Secretariat, and then four remaining sessions that are called NRI collaborative sessions. 

     >> MARKUS KUMMER: Thank you for that, and allow me also one comment.  I think our modest contributions to the NRIs has also had a positive side effect that it has forced -- as we make our contribution contingent on their being recognized by the Secretariat, and, in essence, that means have you written your report, that has led to a greater discipline in reporting.  Before the Secretariat always had to chase the reports, and quite often they did not file reports, but now I think, thanks to our contribution, it's a better carrot and stick.  If they want the carrot, then they need to provide the report, and that has led to a great coherence among the various NRIs and the entire network.

     So how are we doing vote counters? 

     >> (Off microphone)

     >> MARKUS KUMMER: Almost finished.  Okay.  Almost finished.  So we wait with excitement. 

     Can you also tell us, then, how many ballots cast, how many valid ballots, that sort of thing? 

     We have been amazingly efficient, actually.  It's still not quarter to 3:00, and we would have finished had we been allowed to start when we were supposed to start.  Do we have the results? 

     Our MAG members are returning. 

     >> MARILYN CADE: I think we have both still coming in.  Jen, I think you have mega votes still coming in. 

     >> MARKUS KUMMER: Have you voted by email?  Oh, there's someone. 

     >> Sorry for jumping in.  I guess for those of you who still want to put in your vote, I guess you can.  Yes, please do come to the front --

     >> MARKUS KUMMER: Put the names back up.  Yeah, put the list. 

     >> MARILYN CADE: Jen, you're going to have to put the list back up.  Sorry.  You're going to have to put the list back up.  Maybe we could just ask how many people still need to vote.  No, but we're putting the list back up. 

     >> (Off microphone)

     >> MARKUS KUMMER: Oh, I just heard from Jacqueline Morris that she was sitting in front of the camera at the IGF remote hub, but it seems it didn't work out. 

     >> MARILYN CADE: (Off microphone)

     >> MARKUS KUMMER: Are you ready to announce the vote? 

     >> MARILYN CADE: We have votes still coming in. 

     >> MARKUS KUMMER: Still coming in? 

     >> MARILYN CADE: Yes.  Can I just ask for the MAG members who've come in, Wisdom and Mary and I think -- yeah, we still have at least four people.  Do you still need to see the names in order to vote? 

     >> Excuse me.  Should I ask to which email should we send votes or it's not an email, how to make the vote? 

     >> MARKUS KUMMER: Yeah, you wanted a piece of paper or --

     For those who came in, write your name on a separate paper so it can be checked.  I mean, we assume -- we have changed our bylaws, and only members that are in good standing, that is members who have paid their membership dues, are entitled to vote, so we trust you have paid, but the Secretariat will still check it, so please write your name on a separate paper so that can be checked and the names of the four people you choose for the Executive Committee. 

     >> MARILYN CADE: (Off microphone)

     >> MARKUS KUMMER: If you haven't paid, you can pay if you go on, give 25 euros to Jennifer, and then you are in good standing if you haven't paid your annual fee yet.  That's one way of extracting money. 

     (Laughter)

     If you are done, you can give it to Jennifer. 

     >> JENNIFER CHUNG: (Off microphone)

     >> MARILYN CADE: Jennifer, Jennifer, you can't -- you have to take the votes in the room and add to it.  You can't announce the results -- okay. 

     >> JENNIFER CHUNG: (Off microphone). 

     >> MARKUS KUMMER: Okay.  We're only waiting for the remaining votes in the room, so once you're done, hand the note to Jennifer, please. 

     >> JENNIFER CHUNG: (Off microphone)

     >> MARKUS KUMMER: Yes.  There are some who have voted remotely, and they all received a confirmation from the Secretariat that their vote has been taken into account. 

     >> MARILYN CADE: Jennifer, you received an email -- yes. 

     >> MARKUS KUMMER: Are we journalist waiting for the votes of these two ladies there?  Now we have everybody's vote; correct?  There's nobody left in the room who hasn't cast his or her vote? 

     And by the way, we have still some buttons left in case anybody would like one of these buttons or pins for -- pins for the button hole or buttons for the pinhole, yes. 

     All right.  I think our secretary has the election results.  Please read them out. 

     >> JENNIFER CHUNG: Thank you, Markus, and thank you, everyone, for your patience.  We've received in total 25 in-person votes and six remote votes that were all counted, and everybody was an active member who voted.

     In order of -- in order of the votes received according to the list above, we received two votes for Kossi Amessinou, we received 23 votes for Marilyn Cade, we received 18 votes for Avri Doria, we received 16 votes for Makane Faye, we received seven votes for Jacqueline Morris, we received 18 votes for Nilmini Rubin -- sorry for mispronouncing your name -- we received seven votes for Miguel Estrada, and we received six votes for Babu Ram Aryal.  And the -- we actually received a tie for the second number of votes, so in order of the total votes received --

     >> MARILYN CADE: Not according to the (Off microphone).  Oh, sorry, 18. 

     >> (Off microphone)

     >> MARKUS KUMMER: I take it that we have Marilyn, Avri, Makane, and Nilmini elected as -- the vote on Nilmini is not listed there, but as I heard --

     >> JENNIFER CHUNG: Sorry.  I was just advised by Yanis, there are remote votes that were added to the total list, and I will re-read the total numbers, and except the actual numbers are the same as I've read before.

     So for Kossi, we received a total of three votes, for Marilyn we received a total of 26 votes, for Avri, we received a total of 23 votes, for Makane, we received a total of 20 votes, for Jacqueline, we received seven votes, for Nilmini, we received a total of 20 votes, for Miguel, we received a total of nine votes, and for Babu, we received six votes. 

     >> MARKUS KUMMER: This looks a bit misleading there with the names, but Jacqueline Morris gives 20 votes, but I think it was the other way around.  It was Nilmini had 20, I think.  Well, anyway, I take it we have four members that are elected.  That's Marilyn, Avri, Makane, and Nilmini; is that correct? 

     >> JENNIFER CHUNG: That is correct.  Thank you, Markus. 

     (Applause)

     >> MARKUS KUMMER: Okay.  With that, I think I welcome the new members to our Executive Committee, welcome Nilmini and Makane, and I welcome back Avri and Marilyn. 

     (Applause)

     And with that, I close our General Assembly.  Thank you very much for attending and for being so efficient.  Thank you. 

     >> Markus.  Markus.  Markus.  Hello.  Markus.  Is -- hi, Markus.  Is this the room for the event still?  Markus.  Hello.  I'm asking if this is the spillover room for the main session.  It still is the spillover room? 

     >> MARKUS KUMMER: Yes, I think we are requested to close our meetings immediately because there is a spillover room here for the opening. 

     >> Thank you. 

 

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