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IGF 2021 - MAG - Virtual Meeting - VI

The following are the outputs of the real-time captioning taken during an IGF virtual call. 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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>> CHENGETAI MASANGO: Okay, good evening, afternoon, and morning.  We're at 23, and doesn't seem to be increasing that rapidly, so I think maybe we should just start slowly and ramp up and maybe other people will join. 

As you know, this is the MAG Virtual Meeting Number 6.  And as you also know, this meeting is being transcribed and recorded, and also that a summary report will be published on the IGF website after the meeting, by the end of the week. 

If you would like to speak, please, can you use the speaking queue?  If you are unable to use the speaking queue, just put it in the chat or raise your hand and then somebody will put your name into the speaking queue, and you speak when the Chair has called your name.  With that, let me hand it over to our Chair, Anriette Esterhuysen to start the meeting.  Anriette. 

>> ANRIETTE ESTERHUYSEN: Thank you very much, Chengetai.  Good evening, everyone.  It's a cold early Autumn night here in Johannesburg.  I hope the weather is good where all of you are. 

I think Chengetai and all MAG members, I think, for me, the most important thing to say tonight as we start this meeting is that I feel some concern at the lack of participation and responsiveness from MAG members.  And so, I know that's not a very positive note to start the meeting on, but in fact, I think, Chengetai, the poor attendance that you pointed out alerts me to that. 

Of course, this time zone is not a good time zone for several MAG members, and we do need to respect that.  But just with respect to the task that we agreed on at the last meeting, which was to follow up on the issues, we have had ‑‑ I haven't checked tonight, just prior to the meeting, but earlier today, only 15 of 40 MAG members had signed up to join one of the issue teams.  And I think that for me is an indication of either a lack of understanding of what the responsibilities are of MAG members or MAG members feeling left out of the process in some way and lacking commitment.  So I'm hoping that it is lack of understanding, lack of time.  It has been Easter.  I know this is for many people a period of holiday, and I'm trusting that it's not lack of commitment, because I really do have confidence in all of your individual commitment.  But I just wanted to make that, I know, rather stern and negative remark at the beginning. 

But we really are running out of time, and I just urge all MAG members from now onwards to intensify your effort to respond more quickly, to speak out if you're not sure about what to do, to ask for help if you need help.  But on that note, I will just review the agenda.  And hopefully, we will be inspired by the progress that we have made.  And I am pleased to have seen that some MAG members have done work that we can discuss tonight. 

So, the agenda tonight is updated from the host country.  I think we'll be joined by Krzysztof and have reports from them and have report‑backs from those MAG teams that have actually done work, and we will look at progress that's being made in further development of the themes.  After that, we'll have an update from intersessional work.  We haven't had a full update or any update, really, yet from the coalitions and from BPFs and policy networks.  And if there are any other matters that you would like to bring up under Item Number 6, please let us know. 

Can I hand it over to our colleagues from Poland to provide us with an update from the host country? 

>> PRZEMYSLAW TYPIAK: Yes.  Good morning, good afternoon or evening, everyone.  My name is Przemyslaw Typiak.  I work for the Prime Minister of Poland.  And unfortunately for him, who could not join us tonight, I am very pleased to be here with you to be a part of this meeting and to briefly update you on the status that we are preparing for this year's IGF 2021. 

From our perspective, everything is going according to plan, so we have our goals and milestones set and we are slowly but inevitably pulling them up with context, with content, and with everything that needs to be addressed. 

I can also inform you that, thank you very much for having me in two of the working groups, meaning that working group on strategy and working group on hybrid meetings.  I have had the pleasure to participate in the previous meetings, and I am very happy that those groups are full of people who have very good ideas, very good experience, and I had a chance to participate in those meetings, and I am pleased to inform you that we have disseminated information on the MAG Working Groups among our Polish communities and also on the IGF 2021 website so that you could have ‑‑ that those groups could be ‑‑ well, first of all, the information on their work could be disseminated, that it could encourage other people, stakeholders, communities, to join these groups and to join their work.  So that would be preferable for them so that we disseminated this information.  And of course, we are preparing the venue.  The tender process is ongoing, under way. 

The vaccination process in Poland is speeding up, so we, hopefully, will be able to vaccinate at least a half or even a majority of society until the end of holiday period, so that would be very good.  And we are striving for it, so the situation is constantly developing. 

So, we are very happy to cooperate with you.  And again, my constant request and kind request to you ‑‑ I will, of course, prepare the email to you, but it's our kind request from all the MAG members, from other regions of the world and other communities, other stakeholders, to keep us informed on your current situation, on your current COVID pandemic situation in your countries, your regions, your groups, so that we would be aware of the situation and be best prepared for what's coming, because we do hope that the situation will develop, will get better for the second half of the year.  And until December, the COVID, well, we hope that it will be no more.  But even if not, then the situation in other regions would also develop, and as the French say, (French word spoken) more rapidly, and we do hope it will get better. 

So, that's all for me from the Polish host country's perspective.  Thank you very much, Madam Chair Anriette for giving me the floor.  I am at your disposal for any questions you might have, and I will be with you for the entire meeting, so if you have any questions, don't hesitate.  Feel free to ask them.  Thank you very much. 

>> ANRIETTE ESTERHUYSEN: Thanks very much for that.  And MAG members, do remember that he asked us all to share the status of vaccination and travel restrictions in the countries on the MAG list.  So do share information there.  And next, Chengetai and your team, any updates from you?  And Wayman, I see you are with us.  Welcome to the meeting.  Good to have you with us.  Chengetai, over to you. 

>> CHENGETAI MASANGO: Thank you very much, Anriette.  Nothing much new to say in this meeting, as we did have the holiday period.  And just to say that we are still working on the IGF 2020 messages and I think we will finish translating them by the end of the week and they will be up.  So we'll have the translations up on the website.  And I'd like to thank all those people who volunteered to do the translation.  And we are going to note them at the bottom of the translation as well for their help because it does take quite some time to do. 

We did, as most of you know, we did post the consultants for the Best Practice Forums and the Policy Networks.  I think the last one did finish being advertised on the second of April, because we do have to advertise these for a set period of time, and now we're just going through the applications and sending them to our CDO department to get them processed.  And hopefully, they could be processed as quickly as possible so that the Best Practice Forums and the Policy Networks can get up and running as quickly as possible and be fully staffed. 

As far as the IGF website is going on, we did finish our first round of public consultations with the developers, so they're working on that now.  And of course, we will continue from time to time to get in touch with the various focus groups for their part of the IGF website to see if we're doing things right because it is a community effort. 

Then the last thing I would just like to signal ‑‑ I think it's best to start off now ‑‑ is also that for the June meeting, we will be providing financial support for those MAG members that are resident in the Global South.  If they would want some help or support with the internet access, if you just please contact the secretariat and let us know and also let us know roughly how much that would be so that we can begin now and there won't be a rush at the, you know, before the meeting. 

And just let me have a quick check with Luis.  And Anriette, if I have forgotten anything or if they would like to add something. 

>> LUIS BOBO: Nothing from my side.  Thank you, Chengetai.  This is Luis. 

>> CHENGETAI MASANGO: Thank you, Luis.  So, I guess that is it.  Back to you, Madam Chair Anriette. 

>> ANRIETTE ESTERHUYSEN: Thanks, Chengetai.  And Luis, can you put the agenda back on for us? 

>> ROBERTO ZAMBRANA: Sorry to interrupt.

>> ANRIETTE ESTERHUYSEN: Roberto, go ahead.

>> ROBERTO ZAMBRANA: Thank you very much.  Sorry to interrupt.  In regards to what was mentioned from our colleague from Poland about the information about the vaccinations, I thought it was also important for that meeting, but also now that we are also talking about the meeting on June, if we finally do the meeting on June, face‑to‑face meeting, it would be great to have in‑advance information about the PCR tests that, as we all know, it's some basic requirement to return back to our different countries.  I think it's a common line in most of our countries to ask for this kind of tests. 

And since we just ‑‑ we will be visiting for a very few period of time in Poland as well as we will be in June in Swiss ‑‑ in Switzerland, sorry, if we finally go, then that's some information that, perhaps, will be very useful.  Thank you very much, Anriette. 

>> ANRIETTE ESTERHUYSEN: Thanks.  Roberto, my understanding is that June will definitely be a virtual meeting.  Chengetai, can you confirm, please? 

>> CHENGETAI MASANGO: Yes.  We're making no plans for a face‑to‑face meeting in June, so that's going to be a virtual meeting.  The only other meeting ‑‑ we do have a third meeting that is scheduled for September, and that may be a face‑to‑face meeting.  But as far as the June meeting is concerned, it is going to be a virtual meeting. 

>> ANRIETTE ESTERHUYSEN: Thanks, Chengetai.  So, Roberto, that's relevant, but it will be relevant for the next MAG meeting, if a third MAG meeting takes place.  So, unfortunately, everyone, we are going to have to carry on working virtually.  It would have been wonderful to have a face‑to‑face meeting in June, but it's simply not possible yet.  In fact, I've even inquired about just myself traveling to Switzerland so that I can work with the team during that virtual meeting, and even that is not an option yet, not simply because I don't have access to vaccinations yet, but also in Switzerland, there are still severe travel restrictions for international travel.  So, I'm afraid June will be a virtual meeting. 

Any other comments or questions for Chengetai before we move on to Item 4, which is the reports back on the subthemes? 

>> ADAM PEAKE: Hi, Anriette.  Sorry, I lost the raised hand function.  It's Adam.  Just going back to the issue teams.  It doesn't seem to be ‑‑ not only did I forget to sign up for one for myself, I missed the last meeting because the ICAN meetings were going on at the same time, so I wasn't on the last MAG meeting.  But anyway, I did forget. 

It doesn't seem that much has happened on the mailing list, so perhaps it would be a good idea if someone could write something to explain what should be happening on the mailing lists, if there's anything that's known about what the starter is for each of the groups, so the six of them, if a paragraph or even a few sentences could be written about each saying, this is what you're meant to be doing, go and get doing it.  Perhaps other people have forgotten or don't know what they're meant to be doing or whatever it is, but perhaps we need a little nudge.  Thanks.  Yeah, sorry, Luis. 

>> ANRIETTE ESTERHUYSEN: Adam, thanks for that.  I actually felt I was sending too many nudges, because you know, we sent reminders.  There's a very detailed briefing document.  I assume, Adam, you are signed up to the MAG private list, because this information was distributed not on the public MAG list but on the MAG private list. 

So I actually do not feel that any further nudging would necessarily have made any difference, because all of this information was sent.  So, yes, maybe I could have sent some over the long weekend, which I know it was for many people, but I don't think ‑‑ personally, I think the issue is not about nudging. 

If you look at the document, which, Luis, do you mind?  Could you please display the Google sign‑up sheet just so we can see what the status is of work that's been done on ‑‑

>> Adam Peake: I meant now.  I didn't mean previously. 

>> ANRIETTE ESTERHUYSEN: After tonight's meeting? 

>> ADAM PEAKE: Yeah, to say what you've just said, which is, basically, you're not signing up, please sign up and understand what you're signing up for, which is ‑‑ there's a group on economic social issues and human rights, and if you discussed that in the previous meeting ‑‑ and I don't know if you did ‑‑ but if you did, stick a couple of lines in there.  And if on the fourth one it's environmental sustainability and climate change, stick in a paragraph about there.  Tell people to sign up, tell them what to do, because frankly, I didn't know what to do and I forgot about it.  So there are two things going on here.  One is my bad memory and one is not knowing.  So, yeah, push us. 

>> ANRIETTE ESTERHUYSEN: Sorry, Adam, but there's a document with steps.  If you look at the MAG dashboard.  So, I'm very sorry that you missed this, and I am clearly, probably other people missed this as well.  But if you look at the MAG dashboard where all of the steps are, there's a link to the briefing document, and that document has very detailed instructions and explanations and background material for what was supposed to be done. 

This Google doc here was simply one that Luis created to facilitate the selection of facilitators and sign up for the different groups.  This is not the document with the instructions.  So, actually, Luis, let's just have a look at that document as well, just so that people know where to find it.  In fact, if you can just show everyone the dashboard.  And the dashboard is a new innovation, so thank you to the secretariat for assisting with setting that up. 

And I urge all MAG members to regularly check the dashboard, because what we'll do with that is to keep all the current tasks up at the top of the list so it's easy for you to check that you are up to date.  The only trick is that you have to login to be able to see it, because only MAG members have permissions to view it.  This is a good opportunity, actually, for us to show it to you and to make sure that everyone understands how to get to it. 

This is the login.  So you'll all have logins.  If you have problems with your login, please let Luis know. 

So, this is the dashboard.  This has been up since our last call.  And it has all the current tasks.  It has the sign‑up sheet for issue teams, the sign‑up for workshop process.  That's how you find it.  Thanks, Luis.  You can navigate to it, as well.  And then it has the further development of the main focus issues, see briefing document, and it also has tasks for the workshop process working group.  And if you click on the briefing document ‑‑ Luis, if you can just click on the briefing document ‑‑ Adam, that should have what you've been ‑‑ what I think you are asking for, which is really the next steps.  Item Number 2: Next steps for MAG issue working groups.  So, that's really what we were hoping that MAG members would use as a guide. 

And those of you that have not yet started work, now at least you have seen it all. 

So, let's just look at the sign‑up on Issue Teams.  Thanks to everyone who signed up so far.  As you'll see, we still need facilitators for the Main focus area on economic and social inclusion and human rights.  And by that, the facilitators really just need to get the teams together to review the material and to work on developing subthemes and policy questions and descriptive text for that issue area. 

So, Group 2, thank you so much, Karim and Roberto for stepping up as facilitators and the other members who have signed up.  But I don't think you have done ‑‑ have you got a report to deliver yet?  I didn't see any traffic in that list

>> ROBERTO ZAMBRANA: No, not yet. 

>> ANRIETTE ESTERHUYSEN: Not yet.  Thanks, Roberto. 

>> KARIM ATTOUMANI MOHAMED: Madam Chair? 

>> ANRIETTE ESTERHUYSEN: Yes, Karim. 

>> KARIM ATTOUMANI MOHAMED: I'd like to press the way that's ‑‑ I saw a lot of email and I'm supposed to wait for the other group to be constituted before starting something, and I missed the way to start our activities in our group, but we're going to start next couple of days, and we'll be able to produce something. 

>> ANRIETTE ESTERHUYSEN: Good. 

>> KARIM ATTOUMANI MOHAMED: But in the planning process, I don't know if we can start for every group or we need to start working together.  So I think we missed in terms of instruction and guidance on this way. 

>> ANRIETTE ESTERHUYSEN: Thanks, Karim.  I mean, I think, possibly ‑‑ I actually sent the instructions as an attachment as well, so maybe the lesson here is to not rely on the website and not to send email attachments, but to put the instructions in an actual email.  So you know, we can do that as well. 

But let's not be too concerned about that.  I think there are several groups that have to catch up.  We probably will need a MAG call next week, so I think that's ‑‑ that probably is the best way of dealing with it. 

So, the next one ‑‑ and Karim, what we can do is, once the facilitators have signed up, I can also check in with all of the facilitators just to make sure you know what the next steps are, which, really, if you look at the document, what the facilitators needed to do was primarily just to convene a meeting or a call or a discussion. 

Okay, so, next we had the Emerging and Cross‑cutting issue team on the area of emerging regulation: Market structure, content, data and users' rights.  So, there we have Amado and Maria Paz, and we do have a substantial report on that and we will have that presented to us later.  Luis, can you just go back? 

So, with that group, we have facilitators, we have some members that have signed up, but please, it would be good if more people can join. 

And then the next ‑‑ Luis, if you can scroll down.  Thanks a lot.  And for the Emerging and Cross‑cutting Issue area for Environmental Sustainability and Climate Change, we have some members that have signed up, but we do not yet have a facilitator, so we really need someone to volunteer to facilitate that issue team.  Remember, these issue teams are really only going to be working for the next few weeks, for the next, maybe the next month or so.  It's not a working group that will last for the rest of the year.  They have a very specific task, which is to do the development of the issues and come up with the subthemes and policy questions. 

And below that, we have Inclusive IG Ecosystems and Digital Cooperation.  Luis, if you can just scroll down.  And there, again, thanks very much for Amado, for stepping up, to volunteer to facilitate, and Lucien, you are needed, so good to have you as co‑facilitator there.  And for the area of Trust Stability and Security, we have some members.  We don't yet have a facilitator.  So now you've all seen where the gaps are.  You also see the trust and security has very few members. 

So, I mean, one thing that we could do, if MAG members would like more support from past MAG members, we can share this on the public MAG list.  We didn't because this really is a MAG task.  But if you wanted to open this up now already to volunteers from the broader MAG community, that is an option.  But you've seen where the gaps are.  But I'm also happy to say, we do have one report. 

So, let's take some questions and then Maria Paz, I'm going to hand over to you to present the work that your group has done.  Karim, you have the floor. 

>> KARIM ATTOUMANI MOHAMED: Okay.  Thank you, Madam Chair.  I would like to just encourage newcomer MAG member to join the task and the group as a participant or other member, because I can share my experience from last year starting MAG member, and I can say that involving myself in the activities really helped me the second year.  And I think that we need to give hand to encourage other newcomer to join the activities, because MAG activities are sometimes, how can I say, disruptive, because we are in the process already working, and we need to catch up, we need to learn, we need to understand what is doing, what others are doing.  And I think that we need really to pay attention on newcomer and encourage them to join the activities.  Thank you. 

>> ANRIETTE ESTERHUYSEN: Thanks, Karim.  And you really are right.  And I encourage all the new MAG members to plunge in.  And it seems quite intimidating.  But really, I promise you ‑‑ and Karim has just given testimony of that ‑‑ that once you start, it becomes easier.  And once you're part of a team ‑‑ the teams are mixed, the teams have old MAG members, new MAG members ‑‑ and people work with a very supportive spirit.  So you know, even if you're not 100% sure about what needs to be done, it's the process of starting that really is most important.  And once you've taken that step, things will fall into place. 

Courtney, you have the floor. 

>> COURTNEY RADSCH: Thank you.  I appreciate that comment.  I think that is definitely summing up my experience right now.  It's kind of overwhelming.  And you know, I really appreciate the detailed instructions that you've provided, Anriette.  It's very, very helpful to have, you know, this is your task for the week email.  I find that extraordinarily helpful.  The MAG dashboard is really useful.  And the calendar, very useful.  You can download the invitations.  But one thing that's still missing is the big MAG meetings.  Like, I know there's going to be one in June.  It's not on the calendar.  I know that we need to block off probably, I don't know, two or three days.  I don't know what time.  That would be really useful. 

Then with these lists, I think maybe, like some sort of better understanding of how we can make sure that we have, like, completed what was asked.  Because I know that we were supposed to sign up for things, you know, do the Doodle poll, et cetera, and then I was wondering, okay, did my subscription not work?  Am I supposed to be getting something? 

So, definitely, there's a steep learning curve, but those emails with the detailed instructions that you send out coupled with the dashboard I think are really, really helpful.  So, thank you for that. 

>> ANRIETTE ESTERHUYSEN: Thanks, Courtney.  I was just checking the calendar, because that really ‑‑ I mean, if it's not ‑‑ if the June MAG meeting is not yet on the calendar, please, Secretariat, do add it.  I thought it was there.  I was fairly sure it was there, but please, Secretariat, can you check? 

I think, and Courtney, what happened in this instance was that, normally, the facilitators would start the traffic on the list, and I think because we haven't had facilitators for all of the groups, that didn't happen.  And I think that then created this kind of vacuum.  So, I think we're a little bit short at the moment on MAG members that are feeling able and willing to step forward and play the leadership role that we need in this period, and I think that's creating a bit of a vacuum. 

So, I think what I can do in response, if we don't have volunteers stepping forward to facilitate these groups, I'll reach out directly to individual MAG members to request.  I led back a little bit because I felt that I've been putting a lot of pressure on MAG members, and I felt it was time, really, for MAG members to step forward.  But I will do more to encourage individuals to step forward to play this facilitation role.  But it is intimidating, I know, but just bear with the process. 

This really is core MAG work.  You know, we've had lots of other interesting activities, and the working groups are very important as well, but developing the content and program and the workshop process and then doing the evaluation of the proposals, that's core MAG work.  So, you know, for MAG members, getting your teeth into this process now, getting a sense of what the issues are and the subthemes, really, it's time that will help once you do the evaluation of sessions.  It will be so much easier for you to do that well if you've really participated into this phase, which is developing the issues and content. 

But let's move on now.  And we have a report from a group that I think will serve as an inspiration and an example.  So, Maria Paz, can I hand over to you to share the work?  And I think Maria Paz, it will be helpful if you also share how you went about doing it.  I think that will help other MAG members. 

>> MARIA PAZ CANALES LOEBEL: Sure, no problem.  Do you want to show the document on the screen, or I can do it?  It's there, okay.  So, the first thing is to clarify, because there's some people that subscribed for working in this group that they see that ‑‑ they say that they didn't see the document.  I apologize, but I didn't have time for working on this last week, so I finished it, this first draft, yesterday, and I sent it to a list.  If you haven't seen it on the list, please check, double‑check, if you are registered, well registered on the list. 

Consider that after you register in the list, you receive an email confirmation, and you need to click the link for the confirmation in order to ensure that you will start receiving the emails from the list.  If you don't do that later step, you will not be receiving the emails.  So, please, everyone, this is valued for all the list for all the groups. 

So, that being said, this is just a starting point.  It's the first draft that I produced for helping to enlighten the discussion in the group.  I didn't have the time for coordinating with my other co‑facilitator, Amado, and they mentioned it before, it was to get us started in some point.  And as I am a third‑year MAG member, I thrive on my previous experience working on this stage of the organization of the work in the previous year. 

And what I tried to do, it was following the instruction provided by this and by our share, try to refine the description of the issue using the input that were collected from the community in the survey and later were processed by the Secretariat and are available for all of you in a spreadsheet that also I link it in the dashboard. 

So, looking in this particular case for the emerging regulation issue, there was an additional task of merging the original description, that it was separate for market structure, that the protection and content moderation with the user or consumer regulations. 

So, in the description, now you can see all of them merged in a common narrative of emerging regulation with these four different topics highlighted in each one of these paragraphs that are there for your comments, for the comments of all the participants in the working group, but also, we welcome additional comments from all our MAG members that are interested in the issue and want to collaborate to improve the draft. 

So, the second part, if you can move to the next page, please, of the document?  The second part, it's even defined inside this general description of the issue, umbrella issue, and the four different topics that are described in the first section.  Later is to move to identify what specific topics could be identified inside these general descriptions and to propose some sample policy questions for each of them. 

So, in this case, for example, the exercise, the idea that, again, is totally open for comments and improvements and changes from the working group and from the other MAG members, it was to identify nine different elements or subtopics, subteams that can be considered inside the description that are present in the first section.  All these topics are also coming from the processing of the input in the spreadsheet that was coming from the community and processed by the Secretariat. 

And inside each one of these identified subtopics are two different components.  One is the tags, which are the words that were the most mentioned in the input collected from the community that it was referred to this issue, so these will be helpful for the proponents of the workshops for identifying in which one of these issues they can frame their proposal because they will see these different words and also will help the Secretariat later to classify the different proposals that are received.  So, that is why the tags are important in terms of facilitating the processing of the information that we receive. 

And then the second part, which is the sample policy question, which is intended to show to the proposers of the work session how they should frame their policy questions that they will try to answer in the session that they will be proposing.  And the idea here is to make enough open to cover different perspectives and with the stakeholder approaches, but also make them concrete in terms of connect them well with the issue that we are focusing on the subtopic inside the issue that the workshop wants to tackle. 

So, that is what I have so far, so this exercise is repeated for the nine subtopics identified.  And finally, there is a space ‑‑ sorry, the last line before the red comments ‑‑ which is attempt to identify which sustainable development goals the issue can be linked.  That's still pending.  We have to do it, but I think that this is also useful.  We had done this before in the last two years, at least, that I am a MAG member, and also it's helpful for the proponent in terms to identify how the issue connects with the sustainable development goals.  So, I will stop there, which is the general description.  If you want to discuss more about the content, I think that we can do that on the list, but I am here if you have any questions that I can help to answer.  Thank you. 

>> ANRIETTE ESTERHUYSEN: Thanks a lot, Maria Paz.  Just one question from me.  What did you ‑‑ when you looked at all the issues that the community submitted in response to the call, you know, was your feeling that there's a lot of interest and that there's a fairly clear set of issues that they would like to submit proposals on?  Do you think ‑‑ you know, that's really my question.  Do you think that there's a readiness within the community to focus on this? 

>> MARIA PAZ CANALES LOEBEL: Yes, from what I saw, that was the processed input by the Secretariat I could identify.  They are not all convergent because this emerging regulation issue is quite broad in terms of the thematic content.  So, you can see from the submission different buckets, the different buckets, and that is what I used to divide this in these nine subtopics, because I think that not everyone is interested in the same.  So, that is why I think the idea of having very clear and differentiated subtopics that match with the overarching issue is relevant in terms of help them to orient where they want to submit their proposal, particularly with what focus.  And I think that it will be helpful in terms of categorize the different proposal that we'd receive and make easier, for example, in a strategic sense, decide how much attention we want to give to each one of these topics, depending on how much interest we perceive from the community submissions of proposal. 

>> ANRIETTE ESTERHUYSEN: Thanks, Maria Paz.  That was my reaction as well, when I worked on the issues.  And I think that because we have this issue‑driven approach this year, we can also ‑‑ I think, well, one of the proposals on the table for the working group on workshop process to consider is to work with the community in two ways: The one which is to put an open call for session proposals, but then also to work with issue teams that could develop some of the other types of sessions that will address these issues over time. 

But this is exactly what we needed for this step.  So, any comments or any questions for Maria Paz?  Clearly, she only sent this yesterday, so she is still waiting for comment from other members of this group.  It looks from the chat that there might have been problems with signing up as well.  I think maybe the signing up has not worked that well.  And we can help with that. 

What I'll do is, that's why it's useful if you add your name to the Google doc, because then Luis can check and he can sign you up if you haven't been signed up yet or if your own attempt to sign up hasn't worked.  So, just add your name to the Google doc.  And I promise that by tomorrow, you know, Luis' morning, he can follow up and check that everyone is actually signed up.  

Any other comments or questions for Maria Paz? 

>> CARLOS ALBERTO AFONSO: I have one. 

>> ANRIETTE ESTERHUYSEN: Go ahead, Carlos. 

>> CARLOS ALBERTO AFONSO: Just to say that these are fantastic first work for the group.  And if the other groups can produce a document like that to start, it would be fantastic.  Congratulations to Maria and to other participants.  Very good. 

>> ANRIETTE ESTERHUYSEN: I agree.  I think she did a fantastic job.  But just to encourage everyone else, you're not starting from a blank slate, because there are existing summaries that you can use, and there are the long lists of issues from the community. 

So, really, your task as MAG members is to read, to analyze, to reflect, and to synthesize, but you're not starting from a blank slate.  So, it's hard work, but it's not as hard as you might think it is. 

I don't see any other hands.  I'm just checking the list.  So, Maria Paz, thanks very, very much.  And I think that serves as a really useful example, a kind of template for everyone. 

Do any of the other groups have any reports to share or any questions, if you've tried to start and if you've found it quite difficult?  Just any other comments or questions or reports from any of the other issue groups? 

So, I think, certainly from what I've seen of the lists, nothing else has actually been done yet.  So, I think what we should do now is just agree on a timeline.  And I wonder if we ‑‑ what I would suggest is that we have a call.  Our deadline is the 20th, so keep that in mind.  Our deadline that we need to work back from is 20 April.  20 April, we want to issue the call.  That means that by 20 April, we need all the issue teams to have completed the task of further developing the issues, and we need the working group on workshop process to finalize the process.  So, I think we have to have a call next week.  Actually, I see no alternative, other than to have a call next week.  We could do a call next Tuesday, but maybe that doesn't give you enough time. 

We could send out a Doodle poll for a call towards the end of next week, unless somebody wants to propose a time right now.  Chengetai, what is your advice in terms of when to have a call?  But I think we have to have a call next week.  Otherwise, we won't make our 20 April deadline. 

>> CHENGETAI MASANGO: I would tend to have it at the end of the week, as you said, just to give people enough time and not to do a rush job, but to do a good job on it. 

>> ANRIETTE ESTERHUYSEN: So Thursday ‑‑

>> CHENGETAI MASANGO: Yeah, yeah, that was my thing.  Does anybody object to Thursday?  We're talking about objections here, not agreements.  If nobody objects to Thursday, then let's have it on Thursday. 

>> ANRIETTE ESTERHUYSEN: Let's do it on Thursday.  And I think you need the time.  And that also gives the working group on workshop process time to get their work.  And what I would suggest is that everyone tries to have at least one call before the end of this week so that you can actually talk about how to start the work, how to divide the work up. 

What we can do tomorrow, myself and the Secretariat, is to reach out to individual MAG members to facilitate those groups that don't yet have facilitators.  So, we can do that. 

And Courtney is asking for 8:00 a.m. Eastern Time or later.  We can certainly try that, Courtney.  Do keep in mind that we have MAG members in Australia and in Singapore as well.  But yes, let's ‑‑ we'll try. 

Okay.  So, I think we've covered as much as we can on this, but are there any questions?  It's really ‑‑ don't feel reluctant to ask questions, if this is not clear to you.  Does everyone feel more or less clear now on what the next steps are?  I don't see any questions.  I think what I would like to do, though, before we move on to the next agenda item, is to review the next steps for the working group on workshop process.  Roberto, that's you who have very kindly offered to facilitate.  She said she would be of assistance.  So, Luis, if I can ask you to go back to the MAG dashboard and to bring up the task for the working group on workshop process, because that's also quite complex, because this year the process is a little bit different.  So, it's important that MAG members don't only work on issues.  We also need to work on that.  Thanks very much. 

That's the briefing document.  And this single document has the guidelines for both types of work.  I think if you go to the top, Luis, let's just have a look.  Next steps for Item Number 3.  That's right. 

So, here it is really important that you look at what the difference will be in the process this year as a result of, as doing this quite detailed issue analysis before the call has gone out.  So, also, you have to consider that there are different issue areas.  There are two main focus areas.  And then there are the emerging and cross‑cutting areas.  And if you look at this list of bullets, there's quite a lot of detailed guidelines.  Luis, if you can just scroll down a little bit. 

Yes.  You can also look at the proposals from the MAG working group on strategy.  And then you need to draft the call text, the text that will go out to the community when we send out the call for proposals.  So, it's quite a lot of work. 

And I can just ‑‑ Roberto, I can promise that we'll assist you.  I will assist you myself, and so will the Secretariat.  But we do need MAG members to lead this work.  And there's a deliverables and timeline for this as well, as there was for the issue teams, as you can see.  This all moves to that deadline of 20 April.  Which at this point we really ‑‑ Roberto, are you okay with that?  Do you have any questions? 

>> ROBERTO ZAMBRANA: Yes.  Do you hear me? 

>> ANRIETTE ESTERHUYSEN: Yes, I can hear you.

>> ROBERTO ZAMBRANA: Okay, thank you very much again.  First of all, I need to apologize about my misunderstanding, because ‑‑ listen ‑‑ in our call where we had working groups.  I mean, the working groups of issue also an invitation to join, not only me, but also all of the other members.  Besides that, I was with problems in ‑‑ not problems, but I am taking our office, because I am ending my job in the city ‑‑ (inaudible) that took most of my time, is to look further and look with more detail to this dashboard, which is really good, and of course, following the text.  And that's why I am intending to do now.  I've just sent ‑‑ a mail to all the ‑‑ working group.  At least we have the new members, at least I think we have something like four interested MAG members, and I know we're going to be supported also by past MAG members. 

And the good thing about it is that we have a lot of accumulative work over the past years, so very important input for the work we have to do.  As you said, yes, there are some adjustments that we have to do before to release the call for workshops.  We also have to take a look to the process that has different criterias and indicators, but I think there is a lot of very good work that have been done in the last years and all of that is going to be very useful for our work. 

Initially, I will ask of the MAG members that are in ‑‑

>> ANRIETTE ESTERHUYSEN: I've lost you, Roberto.  Are you still there? 

>> ROBERTO ZAMBRANA: Problems with my internet. 

>> ANRIETTE ESTERHUYSEN: Yes, you are back.  You are back.  You're breaking up for me.  Sorry, Roberto.  You are breaking up for me, so maybe you can try and type.  But I think we got the message. 

You are encouraging people to join that working group, and there is a lot of work that's been done in the past, and you are quite right.  I think that the key task for the working group this year will be to look at what is different, what needs to change, and to do that also reflecting on the stock‑taking, to look at the comments that we receive.  But we can still do it.  So, thanks, Roberto.  And if we all make the necessary effort, we can still meet the 20 April deadline. 

So, if there are no further questions, I think if people have questions on these steps and the guidelines, please ask them in the list. 

I also think we should probably go back to using the MAG list, not the MAG private list, because in that way, we can be more transparent and encourage past MAG members to step in if they want to volunteer. 

So, if there are no other questions, let's move on to Item Number 5: Intersessional Work Updates.  Can you start us to give us the latest in terms of establishing the policy networks?  And after that, we'll move on to Best Practice Forums and Dynamic Coalitions.  And if you have an update on NRIs, that would also be really good.  So, if I can hand over here to Anja Gengo. 

>> ANJA GENGO: Thank you officially.  I did update the MAG on the previous call that the NRIs were consulted about the cooperation on the IGF 2021, the preparatory phase we were discussing.  And as you know, one of the kind requests, I should say, that emerged from that call is that the NRIs are interested, but they would like to understand more about how the cooperation with them in the preparatory phase would be documented into the IGF 2021 processes, including the Annual Meeting. 

When it comes about the work of the NRIs, a quick update there is that the NRIs are in a process of running open consultations to identify the topic of a mutual interest of the network on which the NRIs' main session could focus as well as the collaborative sessions, and what could be the agenda of the traditional NRIs coordination session, which you know is an open work meeting between, basically, all parties that have interest in working and supporting the NRIs. 

So, that call for identifying issues and themes of NRIs' mutual interest is open until early May.  We will be having a call next week to understand better where we are, and especially to agree on developing some briefing materials for specific stakeholders, so it could be different versions of those materials that will be developed depending on which stakeholders we are briefing, such as the Governments, especially parliamentarians, but also attracting private sector. 

So, the briefing material will be, of course, shown to the MAG as well, once it's developed.  But basically, it's very simple.  It's just to, in simple terms, bring to these stakeholders, who are the NRIs, what's being done so far, what are the plans for the future, and why they should establish cooperation with the NRIs and how.  So, that's about the NRIs. 

And I will just move quickly to the Policy Networks, Anriette.  So, we were, the Secretariat, working also with the MAG members, the co‑facilitators that are involved in these policy networks on environment and meaningful access.  We've been communicating intensively over the past couple of days or, I would say even weeks, to understand how to start with an active work to the community.  In brief, the Policy Network on the Environment, the working group is in place.  There is only one stakeholder we are waiting from to hear about a concrete name, and I think that will definitely happen ‑‑ it has to happen in this week because we would like to convene a first working meeting with that working group, and of course, bring this information officially to the attention of the MAG. 

We will be also sharing with you very soon a document that outlines the nature of policy networks.  And that's just to understand better what's the difference, for example, between the Best Practice Forums and the Policy Networks, what we want to achieve, and what's the timeline. 

The Policy Network on Meaningful Access.  I want to thank the MAG members that are actively involved in this policy network as they're actively working on updating the proposal.  We need to now enter the final stage on how the Policy Network on Meaningful Access is going to address among all other members also what's been addressed so far by the BPF on local content and what the proposed for this year to be addressed, as well as the proposal, as you'll remember, by Roberto and Karim on meaningful ways of connectivity, how it will feed into this work. 

And we will be meeting in this week to understand who could be the members of the working group.  So, I think, unlike for the Policy Network on Environment, which is still a bit new area to us, we have good contacts when it comes to the Policy Network on Access ‑‑ I mean, on that matter.  So, I think the working group should be composed within a couple of next days. 

So, MAG members, if there are any ideas on who could be those high‑level experts that could be ‑‑ or high‑level ‑‑ when I say high‑level, I just mean a good, rich expertise and experience on access and connectivity.  If you know stakeholders that could be involved, suggestions are most welcome to come in as soon as possible in this week.  And we will then consider everything, and hopefully, put together a group of 15 to maximum maybe 20 experts to work, of course, with the MAG and with the broader community on developing further this proposal in preparing for IGF.  So, that would be the update from me, but I'm happy, of course, to answer any questions on what I missed.  Thank you. 

>> ANRIETTE ESTERHUYSEN: Thanks very much, Anja.  And I'm just seeing in the chat that Carlos has said that he updated the proposal in the Policy Network on Meaningful Access.  So, thanks for that.  I saw that, Carlos, and I will add my responses as well.  Any questions for Anja or any other updates from Best Practice forums?  I know your work is just starting, but if anyone has any updates to share, please, now is the time. 

>> WIM DEGEZELLE: Hi, Anriette.  I can say a few words on the cybersecurity one.

>> ANRIETTE ESTERHUYSEN: Please, go ahead.

>> WIM DEGEZELLE: I had a chance to join a call that was organized last week by the coordinators and the lead experts on the cybersecurity BPFs, and I think the most important to share is that they're working on proposed to workland for the work this year.  And I think they were planning to create the MAG and the cybersecurity list later this week, but the idea would be to have a kickoff call or to present that plan, that draft plan, at a call at the end of the month, the 29th of April. 

And also, I think as soon as that plan is completely ‑‑ I mean, draft plan is completely formalized, she will also reach out to have that published on the IGF website. 

So, I think that is the main, as far as I could see.  It's very similar, the work plan is similar to the one of last year with three workstreams, two that focus more on content and the third one that focuses on outreach.  And new this year would be that work stream three would focus on outreach, but also this year focus on cooperation with other IGF activities and other program elements.  But I would say look out for Hariniombonana's email this week and look out for the call that will be on the 29th of April at 3:00 p.m. UTC. 

>> ANRIETTE ESTERHUYSEN: Thanks a lot for that update, Wim.  I assume from the agenda there is nothing new to report.  I don't see Chengetai in the call.  So, Wim, have you been in touch with her yet or has she been in touch with you yet? 

>> WIM DEGEZELLE: Sorry, no.  Like I said, I just joined as a volunteer the call that was organized by the cybersecurity coordinating team. 

>> ANRIETTE ESTERHUYSEN: Okay, good.  So, we'll get more.  It does take a little while for the BPFs to get going. 

Any updates from Dynamic Coalitions? 

>> SORINA TELEANU: Hi, everyone.  I can try to say a few things.  If you remember at some previous MAG meeting, we were mentioning that dynamic coalition coordination group is planning to develop a paper for Dynamic Coalitions this year to document what they have been doing and how they can improve for the future and contribute better to the overall IGF process.  And we're doing good progress in that direction.  We've launched for the dynamic coalition and we're providing input for them and we have a tiered timeline with the goal to have the paper produced by the end of October with several rounds of consultations. 

So, as soon as we will have a first draft, a first section of the paper, we will, of course, get back to the MAG with invitations for to also take a look at what's there.  And that would be it for now.  Thank you. 

>> ANRIETTE ESTERHUYSEN: Thanks very much for that, Sorina.  Any questions for the Secretariat?  I see no one in the speaking queue, and I see no hands.  I think that is it, then.  I think we have nothing else.  It's just as well that we are finishing early as well, because you have so much work to do. 

I'm going to share.  I see that Mark asked about the link to the document that has the draft proposal for the Policy Network on Meaningful Access, which we hope will also include the BPF on local content.  Also, the BPF on Governance of Environmental Data, that's being integrated into the Policy Network on the Environment.  So, all of this information ‑‑ if you go to the IGF website and if you look at the link to intersessional work, you'll find most of this information there already as well as this very helpful document that we developed earlier this year that Wim actually led, which explains what the differences are between the different intersessional modalities.  And I think that is it at this point.  Any other matters that anybody else wanted to bring up? 

Thanks, Luis.  That's the document.  And it's a really useful document, and I think especially for new MAG members, because it can help you just grasp what the differences are between these different intersessional modalities. 

Also so that everyone is clear, Sorina supports the Dynamic Coalitions.  Wim is supporting two best access forums, gender and access and cybersecurity.  And as far as I know, the other consultants have not yet been appointed.  Chengetai, is that correct?  Or they have not yet started work. 

>> CHENGETAI MASANGO: That's correct.  Sorry.  Too many mute buttons. 

>> ANRIETTE ESTERHUYSEN: But.

>> CHENGETAI MASANGO: Will introduce you to the rest of the Secretariat team that will be supporting the intersessional work.  Courtney, I will definitely do that.  I thought it did have permissions to allow comments, but I will check into that right now. 

Any other comments?  I hope my negative remarks at the beginning of the meeting have not silenced you all.  We're a small group tonight, and I'm sorry to have been, you know, so critical of the work done so far.  I know you are all very busy, and I know you are all committed, but I am just concerned at the progress and at the degree of responsiveness, and I think it's challenging for us.  The MAG is smaller this year than it was last year, and there are many new MAG members, and I really know that it is intimidating and difficult to start without having had a face‑to‑face meeting, but I'm afraid that's our reality and we just have to work with that.  I see no other comments, so Chengetai, can I hand back to you to just make any other announcements and just to confirm that you'll be sending a Doodle poll for the call? 

>> CHENGETAI MASANGO: Did we say a Doodle poll, or did we agree on ‑‑

>> ANRIETTE ESTERHUYSEN: Actually, we agreed ‑‑

>> CHENGETAI MASANGO: ‑‑ Thursday.  And if we do ‑‑ and since it's an off‑the‑schedule meeting, I would suggest noon UTC.  So that will be 8:00 EST and 2:00 p.m. European time.  Or is that okay? 

>> ANRIETTE ESTERHUYSEN: I think that's fine.  Does anyone object to that time?  I don't see any objections.  Adam, I've noted your hand, so I'm going to give it to you.  Oh, was it a false floor request?  So, Chengetai, I think that's fine.  Why don't you just type that in the chat so that everyone is clear on when the next call is? 

>> CHENGETAI MASANGO: Okay. 

>> ANRIETTE ESTERHUYSEN: And I'll send an update to the mailing list to remind everyone of their tasks.  And I'll make sure that I volunteer and reach out to individuals to play the facilitator's role where we don't have that yet. 

So, nothing else from me.  Maybe I should hand over to you, Typiak.

>> PRZEMYSLAW TYPIAK: Thank you for giving me the floor.  As a positive remark, I would like to just back up to everyone, back up the MAG colleagues who participate in the working groups.  I would just like to share my experience with the two working groups that I am in, the MAG working group on hybrid meetings and the MAG working group on strategy. 

I have met so many interesting people there that although I feel that some of them are very well experienced, even more experienced than myself, and I am very happy to be a part of these groups and I encourage everyone, in particular the new MAG members, to not to be, to feel intimidated, but not to be afraid of joining those groups, because it's a very good experience, even if you don't know the topic yet.  You have a very good opportunity to learn, to speak to people who have really enormous experience and to share your views, share your positive feelings and positive reactions on the issues that are being raised there. 

So, I personally have already learned a lot, and I think that I will learn even more as a member of these working groups.  So, I do encourage everyone to feel committed to those issue teams and then other working groups in the intersessional work.  It's really a good ‑‑ it's a very good experience.  It's a very good way of developing your skills and to learn ‑‑ and particularly to know other people around the world.  It's something that you ‑‑ it's not taken for granted, you know.  It's not something that you receive normally.  It's a very good chance and a very good opportunity to meet other people, to meet them online.  But we do hope that we will meet, every one of us, we will meet on site in the near future.  But nevertheless, it's a very good opportunity and a very good, also fun, yeah, and very good way of developing your own skills and experience.  So, yeah, I do encourage everyone.  Thank you very much, Anriette. 

>> ANRIETTE ESTERHUYSEN: Thanks for that.  That's a very positive closing to the meeting. 

So, everyone, goodnight and thank you for your work and thank you for the work that you'll do in the coming days, and thanks to the Secretariat, to our captioner.  And I wish you all well and see you online in the mailing list. 

>> Thank you very much, Anriette.  Thank you.

>> Bye‑bye.

>> ANRIETTE ESTERHUYSEN: Goodnight, everyone! 

>> Thank you all.

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