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IGF 2020 Second Open Consultations and MAG Meeting - dotAsia

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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>>EDMON CHUNG:  Hello, everyone.  This is Edmon Chung from DotAsia.  We manage the .ASIA top-level -- top-level domain registry, and we operate as a not-for-profit organization with a vision to support a collaborative, global Asia Pacific community.
 We also serve as the Secretariat for the Asia Pacific Internet Governance Forum, the APR IGF.  This year, the APR IGF was impacted by COVID-19 as well.  First we postponed the event from May to September, hoping to still have a face-to-face meeting, but now we have decided to go completely virtual.  This is one of the impacts from COVID-19.
 One of the projects that we worked on specifically about COVID-19 is ProjectLockdown.asia.  In this project, we are mobilizing youth from our Net Mission Ambassadors Program and other Asia Pacific regional fellowship alumni to dig deep into finding data from different countries around the world for their lockdown situation and their policies.
 On one hand, we want to take a look at how the tight -- how tight and how responsive lockdowns have been implemented to fight against the coronavirus.  On the other hand, we also want to keep watch on whether the lockdowns may have lingered too long for the wrong purposes and maybe infringing on human rights.
 So this is what ProjectLockdown.asia is.  If you're interested, please login and check it out.
 And this brings me to another area that we have been working on and I wanted to talk about, which is very much related to the report from the High-Level Panel on Digital Cooperation, which findings has highlighted the concept of digital interdependence.
 The Internet itself is, of course, a global public resource, and therefore the concept of interdependence is quite natural.  In the wake of COVID-19, however, we realize that even health systems and other global coordination are also interdependent.  That's one myself and a growing number of people are working on at OneShared.World.  What we did is we put out a Declaration of Interdependence which calls for relooking at our global coordination system, especially calling for a global multistakeholder, bottom-up model to look at other aspects of global coordination which is beyond a purely government-driven agenda.
 This, I believe, is something that the COVID pandemic has really shown us, and this essence, this global coordination is lacking.  Whether it was the WHO or what our governments did or did not do, the fact of the matter, I think, is we can do better, and we can do better if we had a better system.  And the reasons why I think a global multistakeholder model would be better is twofold.  On one hand, government-driven model is problematic because our governments are designed to put the interests of our country as a priority.  It is precisely that they're doing their job that undermines to a certain level the higher call for interdependence.  Secondly, therefore, until different stakeholders can participate from the ground up with interdependence at its core, this higher call may not be realized.
 The United Nations and its related organizations were created at a time when global collaboration was really infeasible.  The Internet changed that.
 Now, like here at IGF and like at ICANN, we can have the global collaboration from people around the world making decisions, creating policies.
 If you think this is meaningful, please join us at OneShared.World.
 Finally, back to Internet governance.  What we have here at IGF and at ICANN and other parts of the Internet governance ecosystem is something really precious in my mind.  It is also important to continue to evolve, to grow, and to improve this global multistakeholder model we have so that perhaps, in turn, we can inspire other aspects of global coordination, such as health and maybe even other areas such as finance and the global climate change.
 With interdependence in mind, I believe one of the most urgent questions for us here at IGF is to make it more of a two-way street.  We have been quite successful in bringing together multi -- different stakeholders from around the world to talk about Internet governance and Internet policies here.  How we can be successful to bring the discussion here back to the local legislature, back to local policies and make an impact and create influence is going to be the challenge we will face.  And how well we answer this challenge has the potential to take the global IGF movement to the next level.
 Hopefully this was useful, and thank you for listening in.

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