15th annual meeting Internet Governance Forum

Internet for human resilience and solidarity

2–6

November

Phase I

9–17

November

Phase II

Virtually together Welcome to IGF 2020

The Fifteenth Annual Meeting of the Internet Governance Forum (IGF) was hosted online by the United Nations under the overarching theme Internet for human resilience and solidarity. The programme was built around the four main thematic tracks:  (1) Data; (2) Environment; (3) Inclusion; (4) Trust. 

The IGF 2020 pre-events, newcomers sessions, thematic introductory sessions, as well as the Open Forums, NRIs and DC sessions were hosted on 2–6 November during the meeting's first phase. The meeting was officially opened on 9 November and closed on 17 November. During this 7-day phase, workshops, main sessions, the high-level leader's track, a parliamentary roundtable, and thematic concluding sessions were hosted.

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IGF 2020 outputs

This section takes you to various types of outputs resulting from IGF 2020.

IGF outputs

IGF 2020 summary; IGF 2020 messages; Press releases

Intersessional outputs

Best Practice Forums reports; Dynamic Coalitions papers

Participant outputs

Key takeaways; Policy recommendations; Voluntary commitments

IGF thematic tracks

IGF 2020 featured live discussions on some of today’s most pressing Internet governance and digital policy issues, from digital inclusion and data governance, to online trust and environmental sustainability. The programme included over 150 sessions grouped into four main thematic tracks.

Data

Data

Contribute to identifying best approaches to ensure the development of human-centric data governance frameworks at national, regional and international levels. 

Environment

Environment

Understand the interdependences between the use of Internet and digital technologies to protect the environment, but also to threaten its sustainability.

Inclusion

Inclusion

Foster discussions within the IG community on the issues, challenges, and solutions for the achievement of an equitable and inclusive Internet.

Trust

Trust

Discuss strategies and best practices for ensuring trust in the online world, along with the roles and responsibilities of governments, industry and other stakeholders. 

Digital cooperation

In light of the United Nations Secretary-General’s Roadmap for Digital Cooperation, the IGF 2020 discussions also reflected on the IGF’s role as an institutional framework for improving global digital cooperation.

Session formats

Main sessions

Main sessions are intended to recognise broad and current IG issues of importance. They are determined by the MAG.

Workshops

Proposals for IGF workshops are solicited from the community and then evaluated and selected by the MAG.

Open Forums

These are organised by governments, treaty-based organisations, and other global organisations.

Pre-events

Known also as Day 0 events, these sessions take place on the day before the IGF official programme begins.

Intersessional activities & NRIs

IGF 2020 also showcased the work of Best Practice Forums (BPFs), Dynamic Coalitions, and National, Regional and Youth IGF initiatives (NRIs).

Best Practice Forums

BPFs provide a platform for stakeholders to exchange experiences in addressing Internet policy issues, discuss and identify emerging and existing good practices.

Dynamic Coalitions

DCs are open, multistakeholder groups dedicated to an Internet governance issue or set of issues.

IGF initiatives

NRIs are independent IGFs formed at national or regional level to discuss Internet issues from the perspective of their respective communities.

High-level sessions

In addition to the opening and closing sessions, IGF 2020 featured a high-level leaders tracks and a parliamentary session.

Internet Governance in the Age of Uncertainty High-level Leaders Tracks

The High-Level Leaders Track reflected some of the most important aspects of the role digital technologies and public digital policy have in times of uncertainty. Each of the five sessions under this track took the form of an interactive dialogue among high-level discussants from different stakeholder groups, including from governments, private sector, civil society and technical communities from different regions.

Building trust in the COVID-19 time Parliamentary Roundtable

In co-operation with the Inter-Parliamentary Union, the IGF 2020 brought together members of parliaments from all parts of the world to discuss ways of building trust in the COVID-19 time and how people can recover from it.

UN DESA    Inter-Parliamentary Union

Youth at IGF 2020

IGF 2020 was committed to a meaningful engagement of youth in Internet governance. Several-months of online consultations with youth resulted in several youth engagement opportunities being organised during the IGF. The meeting featured a global IGF Youth Summit and ten networking lightning talks between senior Internet governance experts and youth.

Youth

Networking & engaging

Networking

During IGF 2020, several informal and interactive networking breaks were hosted. Some breaks created opportunities for participants to network on different IGF components, as they met representatives of BPFs, DCs, NRIs, and the MAG. Participants were also able to sign-up for coffee or tea breaks in their own language. In addition, they had the opportunity to organise a “birds of a feather”, “town hall” or “regional get-together” networking session.

IGF Village

The IGF Village is the meeting space of every IGF!
This year, the Village featured over 70 organisations from all stakeholder and regional groups which showcased their work on different Internet governance issues. Participants were able to visit online exhibition spaces (i.e. ‘booths’) for each organisation, approach these organisations, and schedule 1:1 discussions with them. The IGF Secretariat also facilitated a joint tour of the Village.

High-level speakers Engaging with some of the world leading experts

IGF 2020 brought together experts and leaders from all stakeholder groups, including governments, civil society, private sector, technical communities, intergovernmental and international organisations and from all parts of the world, to engage in discussions on some of the most pertinent issues on Internet governance. The high-level leaders track featured a number of prominent speakers, such as the ones presented here. 

Mr. Antonio Guterres

Secretary-General | United Nations

Ms. Doris Leuthard

Chair | Swiss Digital Initiative Foundation & Former President of Switzerland

Mr. Jeffrey Sachs

Professor | Columbia University, Center for Sustainable Development

Mr. Vint Cerf

Vice President and Chief Internet Evangelist | Google

Ms. Chat Garcia Ramilo

Executive Director | Association for Progressive Communications

Mr. Victor Harison

Commissioner for Economic Affairs | African Union

H.E. Mr. Volkan Bozkır

President | UN General Assembly, 75th session

Ms. Latha Reddy

Co-Chair | Global Commission on the Stability of Cyberspace

Ms. Anriette Esterhuysen

Chair | IGF Multistakeholder Advisory Group

About the IGF

The Internet Governance Forum (IGF) is a global multistakeholder platform that facilitates discussions on public policy issues pertaining to Internet governance. The IGF was one of the most important outcomes of the United Nations World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) that mandated the United Nations Secretary-General to formally convene the Forum. 

Institutionally, the IGF is supported by the IGF Secretariat, administered by the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs (DESA), while the programme of the annual IGF meeting is developed by the Multistakeholder Advisory Group (MAG).

Within IGF’s framework of intersessional work and annual meetings, stakeholders coming from all disciplines (e.g. governments, private ‎sector, civil society and technical communities) and from all parts of the world are discussing public digital policy, networking and exchanging best practices for an open, safer and accessible Internet for all.