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IGF 2020 Second Open Consultations and MAG Meeting - Diplo

The following are the outputs of the captioning taken during an IGF virtual intervention. Although it is largely accurate, in some cases it may be incomplete or inaccurate due to inaudible passages or transcription errors. It is posted as an aid, but should not be treated as an authoritative record. 

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>> Hello to everyone.  I hope you are coping well with these challenging times that have changed the way we work, study, and meet.
 For DiploFoundation, the COVID-19 did not bring major changes in the way how we work since Diplo has been an online organization from the very start.
 >> When we think about the recent period, it's astonishing to realize what the shift to online events does.
 >> The way we meet, discuss, and deal with conflicts has changed significantly over the last three months.  Since the start of COVID crisis, we at Diplo have been trying to help small organizations, countries, and big actors to make transition towards online meetings and online discussions.
 >> Just a few days into the crisis, we set up the ConfTech Lab as our just-in-time response to the growing demand for help from individuals and organizations in regard to shift to online work.
 >> Our conference tech lab, or ConfTech Lab for short, developed several resources on how to shift from on-site to online meetings.  One of these resources is a detailed overview of over 20 online meeting platforms plus guidelines on how to moderate effectively and tips and tricks on how to make online meetings efficient and effective.
 We also developed and ran a series of webinars that focus on the shift from on-site to online.
 >> An urgent need for a new set of skills and knowledge on online meetings has emerged in this period.  That is why we delivered an online course on online meetings for diplomacy and global governance.  The course centered around technological, behavioral, security, moderation, and diplomatic aspects of online meetings.  Over 30 diplomats and participants from various stakeholder groups have completed the course successfully.
 The last few months pushed us to accelerate our work on two main axes:  digital as a topic where we dealt with various Internet governance issues and digital as a tool where we focused on online meetings for global governance.
 >> The current situation did not disrupt our regular work.  In addition to quantitative and qualitative analysis, our AI and data lab has continued to support both researchers and our webinars.
 An additional part of our activities was focused on training different artificial intelligence models and applying them to various aspects of our work.
 >> Data governance is a at the core of the Road to Bern via Geneva dialogues.  Ahead of the U.N. World Data Forum which will take place later this year in Bern, the permanent mission of Switzerland to the U.N. in Geneva and other Geneva-based organizations have launched a series of dialogues on data governance which, at the end of the process, will constitute the Geneva contribution to the U.N. World Data Forum.
 >> Digital Watch has been covering a variety of IG issues.
 >> Our Digital Watch observatory continued its work on the monthly briefings as well as the newsletter.  In June we will celebrate the 50th edition of the newsletter and we will launch the new digital watch portal.  We also took some time to dedicate to research on the following topics:  The .ORG sale, digital health, digital and environment, and we also mapped out the relationship between COVID-19 and digital technologies.  We also dedicated efforts to report from the open-ended working group and UNCTAD's eWeek.
 >> During these online discussions we covered issues such as growing pressure on Internet infrastructure, new cybersecurity risks, and online learning opportunities.
 >> At the beginning of this year we have started a big project with the Swiss government, the Geneva Dialogue on Responsible Behavior in Cyberspace, where we tried together, the global industry, to discuss how to secure their digital products and services.  And one of the milestones of this project was supposed to be a big event in Geneva.  And then the pandemic has changed everything, and so we had to turn the originally -- the in situ event into online -- series of online gatherings which, interestingly, ended up quite useful, maybe even more than the main event.
 During the pandemic we have realized there are new threats which are coming caused by the COVID context.  For instance, the phishing emails which were luring people to open the infected attachment because of the information about COVID, or the cyber attacks against the hospitals, and so on.  So we gathered the experts to deliver a webinar and discuss these new threats and provide a short video to explain to everyone what they can expect from the COVID and after when it comes to cybersecurity.
 >> Our creative lab contributed to conveying key points and messages of the tackled IG issues.
 >> So what the Creative Lab did was create very short but effective visual narrative to draw the participants immediately into the topics involved.  And this culminated in creating an online-only Zoom exhibition for the future meetings conference, which of course was a huge adventure.
 >> We had human rights communities start series of online meetings.
 >> We have launched a Right on initiative together with a couple of partners in order to maintain discussions on human rights issues such as women's rights and the rights of older persons.  However, a number of our webinars also discussed digital issues, including contact tracing but also the rise of fake news and online hate speech as well as inequality and discrimination during the COVID time.
 >> When the pandemic hit, Diplo immediately looked at some of the digital policy aspects of the discussion.  Very soon our focus went on digital contact tracing.  We provided and conducted a mapping of all countries that currently have a digital tracing app at use.  We looked and compared aspects such as what is the legal basis, do these countries go into centralized or decentralized way, how is the data stored, and so on, so forth.  This is a very fast-evolving (indiscernible) is that kind of -- is updated day to day.
 >> Now, after the immediate firefighting and helping organizations to ensure business continuity in their work, we are moving to the new normality or future of hybrid meetings where combinations of in situ and online meetings will determine the way we deal with conflicts and future cooperation.
 The future of meetings is the future of global governance and diplomacy.

Contact Information

United Nations
Secretariat of the Internet Governance Forum (IGF)

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

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