This is now a legacy site and could be not up to date. Please move to the new IGF Website at

You are here

IGF 2020 - Day 7 - Parliamentary Roundtable

The following are the outputs of the real-time captioning taken during the virtual Fifteenth Annual Meeting of the Internet Governance Forum (IGF), from 2 to 17 November 2020. 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. 



>> ANDY WILLIAMSON: Welcome to today's Parliamentary Roundtable as part of the IGF 2020.  And continuing this theme of virtual meetings, we are going to discuss today not just in a virtual setting but how the Internet affects Parliamentarians and view of political trust.  We have got wide ranging discussions and discussions from Panelists from all around the world.  When hoping to do in the next 90 minutes is tease out the conversation about Internet and trust.  Of course what we can't do in the current setting is discuss anything around the Internet and politics and Parliament without bringing up the subject of the COVID‑19 pandemic.  So, we are going to focus a little bit in our discussion as well on how parliaments responded to the pandemic.

We have seen really in our work in the Inter Parliamentary Union, that parliaments went from a standing start, how do you turn yourself into a virtual Parliament?  How do you as a tradition alley physical institution operate remotely and increasingly have to rely on digital technology and remote connections when not only your members, but your support staff aren't able to be physically press innocent so we spent nine months seeing parliaments becoming different in a number of countries and we have gone through a period of radical and forced innovation to emerge perhaps nine months in without answers but with certainly some new solutions.

And what we are hoping to do today is drill down into the conversation about where particle investments a role in terms of Internet Governance and this is a two‑sided conversation.  Parliaments ultimately are the institutions that make law and we have a lot of ongoing discussions and a lot within the IGF about the legal frameworks we operate in and the Internet needs to operate in.

National legislation no longer is significant in some cases because it gets over taken by other jurisdictions where sites are hosted, where data is stored, and the complexity that the Internet has brought to us and brought to legislators, is well documented.

The other side of this is, as legislators, our MPs are required to know complex technical issues as well as issues of trust and privacy.  We are also required to operate globally and we have seen a number of parliaments work together to try and understand how the Internet has impacted a number of us social and political structures.

So I hope that in the conversation today, which as a follow‑up from last year where we introduced the parliamentary roundtable, we can start to tease out a little bit about how the Internet affects the life of politicians.  How it affects the public's view of trust and our politicians, but also what it is that members of Parliament, and our legislators can do to sensibly manage the flow of information to understand issues of digital literally and information literacy and how they can be advocates for a positive future on the Internet.

Today's discussion is co‑hosted by the Inter Parliamentary Union and the United Nation Department of Economic and social affairs.  So what I'd like to do is call on the Under Secretary general of the United Nations Department of Economic and social affairs Mr. Zhenmin Liu to give us a short welcome.  Over to you.

>> ZHENMIN LIU: Thank you.  Your Honorable Members of Parliament from around the world, Excellencies and ladies and gentlemen, welcome you all to this parliamentary roundtable, a special highlight of this year's Internet of governance forum.

Due to the COVID‑19 pandemic, this IGF is convened entirely virtually.  By the United Nations.  I think my gratitude to Parliamentary Union for co‑hosting this roundtable with the United Nation of department and economic and social affairs.  Also the Government of Germany for organizing the first‑ever parliamentary session since last year.  The session sends a strong message for national parliaments to cooperate and exchange Best Practices in the Internet‑related Public Policy issues.  This year, we are grappling with devastating impact of COVID‑19 pandemic.  And has laid bear our increasing reliance on the Internet in so many ways.  Critical that the United Nations and global community work together to ensure meaningful access for all people to the Internet.  This can be achieved with the effective public policies and our enhanced Internet Governance.  Indeed, these resonates with this roundtable building trust in a time of COVID‑19 response and the post‑COVID‑19 recovery.

Clearly, national parliamentary institutions play a critical role not only do they contribute to regulatory frameworks but effectively use of the Internet as a global public good.  They also act as leaders and advocates for achieving sustainable developable goals.  And budgetary and oversight functions in their predictions, natural Parliament also have responsibility to define how people and organizations interact in the inclusive and entrusted manner, especially in this fast expanding digital space.

Roadmap for digital corporation, record for more actionable outcomes through high‑level sessions at the Internet Governance Forum with specific reference to this parliamentary track.  I urge you to respond to this and I wish you engaging fruitful session.  I thank you.

>> ANDY WILLIAMSON: Sorry, I was having a connection problem there.  I'm sitting in the remote wilds of the Scottish islands and sometimes the Internet just decides to stop itself.

Thank you very much for that and I'd like to call on Mr. Martin Chungong, the Secretary General of the Inter Parliamentary Union.  Martin?

>> MARTIN CHUNGONG: Thank you for moderating this session.  Mr. Under‑Secretary‑General, dear valued Partner of the Inter Parliamentary Union, distinguished members of Parliament, ladies and gentlemen, it gives me great pleasure to address this opening segment of the parliamentary session organized on the occasion of the Internet Governance Forum.

I am delighted that we are organizing this event with our valued Partners of the United Nations Department of Economics and Social Affairs and I would like to use the opportunity also to thank the Government of Poland and its Parliament for their support.

We have not been able to make physically this year, but I hope that next year we'll have ample opportunity, the health pandemic willing, for us to meet in person.

Ladies and gentlemen, Mr. Under‑Secretary‑General, you have just referred to last year's Internet Governance Forum during which parliamentarians called for more cooperation between parliaments for them to come together in order to exchange Best Practices for dealing with Internet‑related Public Policy issues.  I'm delighted to say that the IPU is proud to sponsor this second Parliamentary Roundtable to allow parliamentarians and other stakeholders to do just that, share in good practice.

I'm also delighted that the voice of parliamentarians is now beginning to have a platform during the Internet Governance Forum.  This form of transparent inclusive and multi‑stakeholder discussion on the Internet and digital policy is critical for advancing trust in digital technologies and for fostering trust in the work of Parliament.

The IPU is of course strongly focused on strengthening Parliament and through our Center for Innovation and Parliament, we and our participating parliaments are proud to be able to provide good practice, promote good practice, and digital innovation.  This role has shown through amidst the pandemic where our networks have been used to support parliaments and share experiences globally on virtual and hybrid parliaments and enabling our democracy to function in these difficult and challenging times.

Parliaments must play a robust role in our Democratic systems.  But they are not untouched by the world around them.  The Internet has been a transformative tool for knowledge, information and communication, and it has also been a dangerous and destructive too, fueling this information and conspiracy.

It is up to parliaments and parliamentarians and legislators to take this issues onboard and then show that legislation supports a creatable access and digital literacy and also that it protects citizens of societies from harm and attempts to sub vert democracy.

As a force for good, the Internet is potentially unparalleled.  Only if we can control the dangerous flow of this information.  We must, as citizens, be able to trust what we see on line just as we must be able to trust the legislators acting on our behalf.

The Internet has done damage to this bond of trust and it is imperative that parliamentarians and legislators work proactively to rebuild and strengthen first in democracy as well as to ensure that citizens can feel safe on line and trust the information they find.

We must understand how information is spread, how social networks operate and how to counter the negative impact that ranges from this information to cyberattack on our public bodies.  You're commend the Members of Parliament attending this meeting today and I see that many of them ‑‑ we have, if I look at the screen here, some 160 participants participating in this meeting.  And as I said, I commend them for being at the forefront of the debate, at the forefront of the conversation on building trust in this new digital age.  And I hope that they will respond to the call for actionable accounts.

I wish you very fruitful deliberations and I can assure you that the IPU will be prepared to support any recommendations that come out of your deliberations as we move forward with concrete actions.  Thank you very much.

>> ANDY WILLIAMSON: Thank you very much for those Welcoming Remarks and to Zhenmin Liu thank you for your welcome.  To set the scene for this evening's discussion, I'd like to introduce a member of ‑‑ and he will introduce to us a video that bondo stock has prepared to outline the events of the first parliamentary roundtable last year.  Mr. Hoferlin, over to you.

>> MANUEL HOFERLIN:  I'm very excited to be here and excited to announce that video with some reviews of the IGF last year in Berlin and Germany.  Last year we had this meeting from national parliamentarians it was an emotion day because we called out some of you.  So let us see the video and enjoy.

[ Video playing ]

>> MANUEL HOFERLIN:  Thank you for Manuel for trues that video for preparing that video.  And it set us up very nicely for a discussion we want to have this evening.  And the rolls that politicians can play in determining how we have an effective and accessible Internet for all.  So I'm going to call on our Panelists to join us now in the conversation to make sure you have all got your video on.  Manuel Höferlin from Germany will stay with us.  And I'm hoping that ‑‑ from Nigeria has managed to connect and join us.  We haven't had time to check the connection yet so hopefully that works.  Mattia Fantinati from Italy and Krzysztof from Poland.  I welcome you all to this Parliamentary Roundtable and I'm going to start with Margarita Escobar, if I may.  You talked a lot in there about the role of Parliament and parliamentarians as the lawmakers and how important that was and you mentioned in the video that it's important for parliaments to be able to connect and engage.  I'd like to you reflect very, very briefly ‑‑ I'm going to ask all the participants to participate maximum of two minutes because of time, on how you think the Internet has changed the relationship with parliaments, particularly in the sense of the COVID‑19 pandemic.  We had to move to virtual hybrid parliaments.  We haven't been able to be able to be physically present in the same way.  Perhaps you could give short reflections on how you think the restrictions have changed the relationship between Parliament, and parliamentarians and whether this is a opportunity to create something more open and transparent.  Margarita over to you.


>> ANDY WILLIAMSON: I'm not seeing margarita in here.  I'm still seeing your video live and active.  Can I go with you to ask you ‑‑

>> MARGARITA ESCOBAR: There we go.  I was saying thank you very much, Andy for this introduction and Manuel, thank you for the wonderful video.  As I look back and think about this year, I'm very happy to tell you that I brought the spirit of Jimmy Schulz asked us to do in the Jimmy Schulz call.  In Berlin, that COVID was around the corner as we left Berlin, and then everything was pushed very, very fast to moving through the Internet, digital era.

I think the COVID‑19, trying to answer your question, gave us an opportunity to get closer between parliamentarians and our stakeholders.  Now for example, I have just finished a meeting with Civil Society because we are starting the ‑‑ a digital law that is on personal data protection.  But also it forced us to introduce a new Bill regarding universal Internet access as a human right.  And this is another issue that we are starting very strongly near El Salvador.  Otherwise, a lot of people could be left behind and a lot of poverty could be centered in those areas without Internet access.

COVID‑19 presented us the opportunity to get trust back to politicians.  Having politicians and technical people working together through virtual platforms, through Internet, I am very happy that I said that a year ago at the IGF in Berlin.  Now, I can tell you, because of the practice that we have here in El Salvador, that is the right thing to do.

COVID also has isolated our humanity and isolated that human touch.

That will remain a challenge for the future.  Internet can help us be more transparent, we build trust, started Bills in a more consultative manner, but we have the problem of the personal contact.  And that is yet to be seen.  As to the misinformation systems that I also are in place in Internet, we have a big challenge there.  We don't know how to approach this issue.

What we are doing is, I took from Berlin, the Declaration of Human Rights in Internet, and what we are doing here is, taking that Declaration of Human Rights and Internet, and trying to change it into a bill.  We don't know,will end up.  How we will work it out, but it has been introduced in our legislation and we are going to be starting that aspect of Internet.

So, I think it's my two minutes.  A multi‑stakeholder approach is one to include trust.  Politicians and technical people building laws and another way to increase trust.  And third, we need to continue working on this information aspects of Internet.

>> ANDY WILLIAMSON: Thank you very much, Margarita.  Krzysztof, can I go to you and ask you the same question?  Particularly focusing on how you think digital technologies can help us facilitate more transparency and inclusive communication.

>> KRZYSZTOF GAWKOWSKI: Thank you this is very interesting.  We strongly support universal access to the Internet.  COVID has showed us how important it is in our lives and every day provide access to the Internet and it is only for the users themselves but also for the more economy.  There is so much to be done here through digital education and actualization of society to such case as Cyber Security data protection and user himself.

The current technology development including the spread of Internet and also recently the pandemic has resulted in the transfer of many forms of life to digital space.  This is a first for government.  This make it necessary to develop digital skill even faster.  The current digital transformation will lead in the near future to the experience of some profession as well as to transformation of others and the creation of the nuance.

Then the ability to use digital tools simply and necessarily in the labor market and it will be a great role of the government, Parliament, to digital exclusion, as much as possible.  This is my opinion.  Thank you.  And thank you.

>> ANDY WILLIAMSON: Thank you for that.  You were present at the IGF last year like Margarita and had interesting comments.  I would particularly like the comment you made which was perhaps more of a technical one but I think it's very, very interesting.  You said the discussion about representing parliaments and parliamentarians that perhaps it was a bad idea to have a technical representative.  What really mattered was members of parliament talking to themselves and among themselves and sharing that information.  And I'd like, if you wouldn't mind, just elaborate on that a little bit and talk about how it's not just important that parliamentarians talk to systems or their own country but the global dialogue and why that matters.

>> MANUEL HOFERLIN:  And thank you very much.  It's a very good point.  I think last year, we just found out there are many Parliamentarians all around the world who just are wondering how is Internet Governance working around in their nation areas and their nations.  So we as parliamentarians often look at our own country and do our things in our organization or in the wider area like the European Union with you normally as parliamentarians you not often talk to others around the world and it's a another kind of exchange of thinking, of possibilities, what can you learn from other countries they have the same problems and ideas all over the world.  It's interesting to come together.

Like Margarita say in one room.  Now we are in virtual room but it is better than nothing.  So I'm excited to see you maybe next year, hope so next year in one room.  And just let me ‑‑ I'd like to encourage the idea of informal parliamentarian workgroup.  Just that can develop and gather ideas from the IGF.  So that's also maybe the possibility to stay in touch around the year and not only have the IGF once a year.  I'd like to offer coordination with your help.  As Margarita said last year, I think it would be a great chance to say in contact and to exchange a lot of views and I would be glad if we parliamentarians could enforce our last year's good work from all over the world and also in the future IGF.  For example with Margarita's help and I think most of you are interested in staying together and I think last word from me, that is the idea of what Jimmy Schulz thought about as we found out that he always wondered why on all of the IGFs are so many representatives from the governments and so few parliamentarians.  And so let us change this.  I think it will be a great approach.

>> ANDY WILLIAMSON: Thank you.  That's a very generous offer to lead on that.  And I can certainly echo in the last nine months, the value of networking is there for us all to see in the inter parliamentary union and the centre innovationing and Parliament where I'm based.  We seen the networks we have built around other matters just come to the fore in helping to solve problems of the pandemic and bringing parliaments together.  So I think that technical level, as an elective member level, it is a very, very good offer.  Mr. Mattia Fantinati from Italy, I'd like to bring you on next.  I'd like you to think a little bit in terms of what we can do around connecting Parliament with citizen and it is how the Internet helps that in the context of more marginalized groups, and particularly those that have more challenging access to information to the Internet.

>> MATTIA FANTINATI: Thank you for inviting me and I'd like to respond to your question.  This is a topic that is just not COVID‑19.  It's something more.  I wanted to say this in two minutes about my ‑‑

[ Distorted audio ]

‑‑ I think it is a issue because if I have to just a little spot on what is happening in Europe and the times now look for democracy, as system, as the face of the kind of ‑‑ and we have at the same time privacy and COVID pandemic.  Vast majority unrepresented.

I think for very often a lack of legitimacy.  So the citizens sends me out of institutions and something very far and there is a huge void.  Just because we the Internet can give the people the instruments to develop critical thinking and the separate can get it together in one platform in one environment.  Every citizen will be going on about something but in a single.

[ Distorted audio ]

>> ANDY WILLIAMSON: Thank you, Mattia Fantinati.  Alexander, I'm going to try and take Mattia's point forward a little bit and ask you about ‑‑ we are talking about how to better connect Parliament to parliamentarians and citizens together.  Mattia was drawing on the challenge that some people have connecting.  It's not a level playing field.  Could you reflect for a couple of minutes on how you, as a politician, think about how you connect to people and make sure in your own work you don't create a new elite of digitally literal citizens and leave others behind.  And how that challenge plays out for you in your role as a member of Parliament.  Over to you.

>> ALEXANDER HINSHTEYN: [ Speaking in non‑English language ]


‑‑ that is why I believe that people suffer from criminals from other jurisdictions they commit crimes also against your citizens in your territory and is it also possible our criminals are also destroying your citizens just as Russian citizens are at harm by criminals who commit crimes from the territory of some other countries.

This politics is just about criminal activity.  So a very important stage in the development of the different International instruments in the area of the information security as well as fight against cybersecurity as the abduction of the revolution of the General Assembly of the United Nation on the counteracting of information technologies to commit crime.  I believe that initiative of other document was counter Russian Federation so the cooperation in cyberspace is incredibly important, that is why we have to work together in the area of fight against cybercrime.

This document is quite well distributed over the United Nation.  I like to recommend for you to consider the draft document which can be refined but should become a catalyzer for the development of unified methods to fight against Internet technologies as well as cybercrime and fortunately, I have to conclude my address now.  We can see that Internet units people but it is also an instrument that can cause harm and suffering. It does not only bring people together but it can also bring negativity.  I believe that everyone understands how it works.

Unfortunately Internet and different problems connected with coronavirus, they also for folks are negative, they trigger negative tendency and we are all over the word, we have to act against it.  Thank you very much for your attention and if you have any problems, and any questions, I can answer them.

>> ANDY WILLIAMSON: Thank you.  I think the summary there is that we heard some interesting discussions on how the Internet is a good thing for many of us with a number of caveats and a number of negatives.  Marina from the European Parliament, I'm going to give you the task of summarizing as quickly as you can, really, what you have just heard in the last 25 minutes of discussion.  Over to you.

>> MARINA KALJURANEL: Thank you.  I'll try to do my best.  I am very grateful to all the participants and it was interesting that many same topics, many same priorities were mentioned by almost all of our speakers.  We should take advantage over the tragedy.  It has brought digitalization to the top of political agenda.  We should keep it there and work with that.  Yes, there are benefits like remote working and remote schooling.  There are negative sides like cybercrime, and cyberhygiene.  Each and every person has to do much more about cyberhygiene than previously.  Maybe to add to my Russian colleague, I agree.  International corporation is crucial and I would undermine the  conventions we already have of cybercrime.  It's the convention which is open to all countries who exceed.  Cooperation has to be on all level and this year we celebrate the 75th Anniversary of the United Nation and I think it's very timely that the United Nations has attached so much attention to digitalization.  I have the privilege to serve on the Secretary General's high‑level Panel on cooperation, security and trust, other keywords.

From there to regional cooperation and I like the idea of cooperation among parliamentarians.  When we talk about multi‑stakeholders, we mention government, we mention Academia, Private Sector, industry, IT.  We do not mention paltition specifically.  But would argue that parliamentarians who have been elected by people should have a say‑so I very much support that idea.

I'm wearing today a double hat.  I'm a member of European Parliament and I'm from Estonia, a country that has had, for 30 years, the privilege of on line so e‑Life has its benefits.  We have the benefits of open, transparent society, on line voting, but everything is possible if people trust.  Trust is the word that was repeated by so many colleagues.  Trust between government and Private Sector.  Trust between citizens and service providers.  Trust between citizens and government.  Because if there is no trust, our people will not be able to take advantage of the digital benefits.  And earning trust, building trust, that is something where I would argue politicians and members of Parliament, are well positioned.

And my very last remark representing the European Parliament, I'm really happy that in next budget we have digitalization high on political agenda from all perspectives, being it data strategy, fight against corruption, being it protection of Human Rights on line.  So all of those aspects are equally important.  So I trade my best but I'm sure many right things will be said and colleagues, a pleasure to see you all. Ore not face‑to‑face.  This time on line but it is not the last time we are meeting and talking.  Thank you.

>> ANDY WILLIAMSON: That was very passionate and I appreciate the brief summary of the power of the Internet to change the way that we see democracy in our representation.  Florence Levy from Nicaragua, I'm going to call you on to reflect on what you have heard in the last session.  And particularly just picking up on your thoughts on trust.

>> FLORENCE LEVY:  Good morning everyone and good afternoon and good evening.  Greetings from our beautiful country from Nicaragua.

Last year, we had a chance to take part in the meeting that took place in Berlin, in Germany.  And we took an active part in it.  I would like to say that what we had today, as well as yesterday, during all of the sessions of this IGF meeting, shows that as parliamentarians we have to be more conscious and aware of the social context and the economic context.

Access to Internet is essential.  It has to be provided everywhere in all the countries of the world, yet we know that in some countries, that access is not perfect and I'm talking about Developing Countries here.  I would also like to mention the health issues during the pandemic.  This is where it is absolutely essential to have a strong model of Health Care System also available on line because that will allow us to take care of our citizens and of the families.  So, it's a huge difference to know that Health Care System is free of charge or perhaps you have to pay for it.  And another issue is you have to face the reality, and that reality is different in different countries.

It's important to know what sort of approach is going to allow us to appropriate coordination of activities within the Health Care System at the same time minding the economy.  For a country like ours, for Nicaragua, 40% of our citizens live in rural areas.  80% of urban dwellers work in the shadow economy.  So we have to remember that.  And we cannot fully lock our economy down.  And the Parliament has to bear that in mind and has to develop its strategies accordingly.  So it's important to find creative ways of working further on and developing a better economy.  This is something the Parliament needs to bear in mind always and in Nicaragua we can basically not afford not to work.  However, we have to reinvent our work.  We have to find a different way to perform our duties on line, remotely, of course, and other important issues.

And how to maintain communications?  I think that Internet is providing huge support here.  I think it was said yesterday during one of the sessions is about communicating not just among parliamentarians but also in a cross‑border manner.  I'm talking about International communication among all sides, all parties.  In Latin America, we have the Parliament in Nicaragua and an assembly for Latin America and we have to take care of bilateral relations and intercontinental relations it's essential the communication is ongoing.  Another issue I would like to mention is the use of technology.  Of course technology is becoming essential.  It's becoming very, very important.  And under the circumstances, communication is also key consultations.  Wherever we adopt a legal institution, we have to consult it with others.  We are not able to convene in a single room with all stakeholders.  We have to do it on line.  We have to use the Internet to achieve it.  Another issue I would like to mention is the broadcasting of Parliament meetings on T.V., on line, or social media.  This is something that we are only just learning yet we are already practicing it because we want to make sure that our citizens trust the Parliament, that their trust is maintained.  In our country, our legal acts are already published in a digital form.  We have to bear in mind interpretation, translation and interpretation.  Many Parliament members need an interpreter in order to be able to send their message to the citizens in multiple languages.  I'm talking about multi‑lingual countries here.  And I think there is going to come a time when we will come back to physical meetings but we will have to remember biosecurity.

This is not only true of the parliaments but true of the entire societies, the societies that will have to adapt to their new normal, to the new reality.  We also have to utilize local media, radio stations, T.V. stations, local ones.  We cannot only rely on the Internet because not everywhere the majority of citizens have access to the Internet and are fully connected.

And here I mostly talk about remote areas.  Rural areas where the digital infrastructure is still lacking.  I would also like to mention that as present, for instance, going to ‑‑ what my Russian colleague said, so increasing cybercrime, this is something that we see in our country as well.  We are introducing certain legal stipulations to prevent that phenomenon.  We have to consult on that and also have to pass these solutions, the legislation as soon as possible in order to protect our Internet users.  Internet security is a huge challenge.

Another one we are now facing, another challenge, is digital literacy.  Parliamentarians ‑‑ perhaps we need to have younger parliamentarians but every single Parliamentarian needs to know how to use, for instance teleconferencing software.  You have to invest in that as well, investing in training and invest in digital infrastructure because we have to know that that situation can come back.  It can reoccur or it can take a long time still and we have to remember that when designing our budgets.

All digital issues are goings to be more and more present in our life.  Cybercrime is a huge challenge, as I said before.  And I am happy that we are talking about that as well here in this forum.  We also need to exchange information among parliaments when it comes to legislation regarding these issues.  We can learn from one another.  We can follow what we do.  We can look for good legislative examples wherever they might be.  So we have to keep analyzing this it's becoming key also on a global level.  We will need digital technologies ever more and we will depend on them to a greater extent to finish what I would like to say that we should get even more involved in the work to implement International conventions focusing on cybercrime and other activities on line.

That's why inter parliamentary collaboration is so important.  Thank you.

>> ANDY WILLIAMSON: Thank you very much.  That was Florence leafy from Nicaragua.  There is a clear challenge we need to be thinking collaboratively and not working individually.

Time is running away on us so I'm going to just reshape this session a little bit dynamically.  What I'm going to do is ask original contributors, very quickly, in one minute to summarize a voluntary commitment that their institution wants to make to try and take the role of parliamentarians forward in terms of the Internet Governance space.  And I'm going to start, if I may, with Margarita.  So if I could ask you in just one minute to summarize the commitment that you would like to make around parliamentarians and IGF.


  Thank you.  I think we need to understand that the presumption of good faith will not be enough to build trust.  We need to construct a blueprint and to work on it on democracy on Human Rights, on line, fight against corruption and the power of the moral authority.  We need to work on security systems on line that can be shared among all parliamentarians.

Also I think the future will challenge the U.N. to put us together to work on a new blueprint for development that can carry basic points of access to technology, access to Internet, access to financial resources to develop digital infrastructure.  In those contraries that have no access.  As well as building this new approach of development.  Access to new educational tools through technology.  Those are really challenging times for humanity.  I appreciate very much the benefits of Internet but I also recognize the challenges for Developing Countries as El Salvador is.

And finally I'd like to leave reflection on all of you and that is a question, highway do we perceive history?  Doe we perceive history as something of the past that belonged to others?  Or history as now and we?  I think that poses an important question to all of us.  If we perceive history as now and not as yesterday and as we and not others, I think we will be building the humanity that we all wish to have with this wonderful Internet.

So my commitment is to continue to work on this issues in my own territory, my own square meter in El Salvador, as legislation and legislator.  And also to keep alive the Schulz spirit we are so grateful for and shown in Berlin last year.  So thank you to all of you: I look forward and continue working with all of you.

>> ANDY WILLIAMSON: Thank you, Margarita.  That was fabulous.  And I think that call to arms at the end is very, very important.  And that will drive us forward.  Manuel Höferlin, can I ask to you suggest perhaps something you might do?  And I'm going ask you for the elevator pitch on this one as briefly as possible, please.

>> MANUEL HÖFERLIN: So, yes, now the audio is on.  So, thank you very much.  I think as Margarita said, the National Cooperation is extremely important if we want to share the viewing on the same topic.  If you see the big questions we have in digitalization all around the world, there are different views and everybody can learn from each other.  Not only in one direction.  And I think this is a very important thing if you exchange the point of view and this discuss it in an equal ‑‑ on the same field as parliamentarians.  I'm a Chairman of the Committee of the Digital Agenda and I would like to push this informal cooperation or workgroup between the parliaments, just to exchange our point of views in digital questions in general so we will have special topics.  But I think it's mostly important to network more between parliamentarians in several digitalization questions.

So we can learn from each other and we can learn from our own countries just because we learned the point of view from the other side of the world and so let us use the Internet to stay stronger together and to make virtual room I and hope sometime we will meet in a real room, but in the meanwhile let us be in the great Internet network together and change our opinions and let's talk about it.  That would be what Jimmy Schulz would want for us.  That's what I would like to push.

>> ANDY WILLIAMSON: Thank you very much, Manuel Höferlin.  I think it would be a pleasure for us all to be sitting in the same room and hopefully that will come about very soon.  Mattia Fantinati I'm going to you now.  I asked the others to make a short commitment.  Can I ask you to do the same?  And can I ask you to think about it in the context of how that might appear to the citizens as well, not just for MP, but citizens and I'm sorry to pop that on you in really one minute.  But over to you.

>> MATTIA FANTINATI: Yes, I don't know if I have a solution but we have to put the problem in the centre and.

[ Distorted audio ]

It's really important theme that emphasizes three aspects.  Rise for everyone because it is the future of the Internet T doesn't belong to a particularly segment, but it is belonging to everyone.  So government, companies and citizens.  So let's share with government and share ‑‑ I'm staying positive.  Thank you very much.

>> ANDY WILLIAMSON: Thank you very much, Mattia.  We are running short on time.  I'm going to ask Mr. Hasanul Hag from Bangladesh who kindly joined us as an observer in this, to perhaps just very, very briefly, Mr. HAG, to reflect on those commitments you heard.

>> HASANUL HAG:  Can you hear me?  Thank you very much.  Most COVID situation is exposed the ongoing socioeconomic political structure of the world and the countries.  To that extent, I think what we have here, we need to consider the situation from the mounting situation, look at the post COVID situation.  Number 2, let us focus on capabilities.  How to apply these technologies in the digital divide in the case of e‑Learning, e‑Governance and e‑Health, so everybody can participate.

Access to equality, quality health for all levels.  Here I see we have to get very important, how to develop the capabilities.  Access to emerging technologies which is rocking the boat in this evolution.  That is very important.

How we cooperate in the task for knowledge transfer and to implement all of these things because involvement system needs to inform and need to become more simple and agile.  Cultivate and targeted programs, physical, social, mental and financial well‑being.  And let us develop human‑centric qualities.  For that, we need to enact new laws to reform the government.  Already discussed here, I add yes, we need to go for certain global events and certain laws at the national level.  What parliamentary needs to act very quickly.  Here are global level to check the cybercrime and global cybercrime but we also need global implement and data.

We need global emerging economies of Internet.  So these are the areas where we need to emphasize.  At the same time, at the local level, we need to emphasize certain very important laws discussed access to Internet should be universal human right it's a fundamental right, we should be able to choose and in post‑COVID situation, exposed the weaknesses of the Society so we need to work for universal health care, universal education, universal food insecurity system and universal safety net.  All these centers should be have basic fundamental Human Rights to inactivate in the Constitution and the government is bound to ensure these areas so the digital divide and the social divide is wiped out.

For all of these, the application is very important.  So, how you apply Internet to relief the social and digital divide, that is the job of the parliamentarians in the country also.  So I don't go further, I concentrate in the post illusion and passed to evolution and so we are entering the domination of the machines.  How to make the domination of the machines more human.  So that is a very important thing where Parliament need to focus.

We have said that and I maintain that while we are living in a glass house, which is transparent but in that glass house, you learn life exists here.  So managing cyberspace is very important.  Very important.  So I hope we need a safe Internet.  Trustworthy Internet.  And for that, we need to have an agreement on the standardization of technology.  Thank you very much.

>> ANDY WILLIAMSON: Thank you.  That was a really good intervention at the end and I think promoting the inclusivity of the Internet is very, very important.  And talking of inclusivity, I'm going to try now to ask Francesco who had his hand raised for quite a while to make an announcement.


Contact Information

United Nations
Secretariat of the Internet Governance Forum (IGF)

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

igf [at] un [dot] org
+41 (0) 229 173 411