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.
This section takes you to various types of outputs resulting from IGF 2020.
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.
Contribute to identifying best approaches to ensure the development of human-centric data governance frameworks at national, regional and international levels.
Understand the interdependences between the use of Internet and digital technologies to protect the environment, but also to threaten its sustainability.
Foster discussions within the IG community on the issues, challenges, and solutions for the achievement of an equitable and inclusive Internet.
Discuss strategies and best practices for ensuring trust in the online world, along with the roles and responsibilities of governments, industry and other stakeholders.
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.
IGF 2020 also showcased the work of Best Practice Forums (BPFs), Dynamic Coalitions, and National, Regional and Youth IGF initiatives (NRIs).
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.
Secretary-General | United Nations
António Guterres, the ninth Secretary-General of the United Nations, took office on 1st January 2017.
Having witnessed the suffering of the most vulnerable people on earth, in refugee camps and in war zones, the Secretary-General is determined to make human dignity the core of his work, and to serve as a peace broker, a bridge-builder and a promoter of reform and innovation.
Prior to his appointment as Secretary-General, Mr. Guterres served as United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees from June 2005 to December 2015, heading one of the world’s foremost humanitarian organizations during some of the most serious displacement crises in decades. The conflicts in Syria and Iraq, and the crises in South Sudan, the Central African Republic and Yemen, led to a huge rise in UNHCR’s activities as the number of people displaced by conflict and persecution rose from 38 million in 2005 to over 60 million in 2015.
Before joining UNHCR, Mr. Guterres spent more than 20 years in government and public service. He served as prime minister of Portugal from 1995 to 2002, during which time he was heavily involved in the international effort to resolve the crisis in East Timor.
As president of the European Council in early 2000, he led the adoption of the Lisbon Agenda for growth and jobs, and co-chaired the first European Union-Africa summit. He was a member of the Portuguese Council of State from 1991 to 2002.
Mr. Guterres was elected to the Portuguese Parliament in 1976 where he served as a member for 17 years. During that time, he chaired the Parliamentary Committee for Economy, Finance and Planning, and later the Parliamentary Committee for Territorial Administration, Municipalities and Environment. He was also leader of his party’s parliamentary group.
From 1981 to 1983, Mr. Guterres was a member of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, where he chaired the Committee on Demography, Migration and Refugees.
For many years Mr. Guterres was active in the Socialist International, a worldwide organization of social democratic political parties. He was the group’s vice-president from 1992 to 1999, co-chairing the African Committee and later the Development Committee. He served as President from 1999 until mid-2005. In addition, he founded the Portuguese Refugee Council as well as the Portuguese Consumers Association DECO, and served as president of the Centro de Acção Social Universitário, an association carrying out social development projects in poor neighbourhoods of Lisbon, in the early 1970s.
Mr. Guterres is a member of the Club of Madrid, a leadership alliance of democratic former presidents and prime ministers from around the world.
Mr. Guterres was born in Lisbon in 1949 and graduated from the Instituto Superior Técnico with a degree in engineering. He is fluent in Portuguese, English, French and Spanish. He is married to Catarina de Almeida Vaz Pinto, Deputy Mayor for Culture of Lisbon, and has two children, a stepson and three grandchildren.
Chair | Swiss Digital Initiative Foundation & Former President of Switzerland
Born 1963, Swiss citizen, married to Dr. Roland Hausin.
Study of law at the University of Zurich. Attorney at law.
After years in the private sector she was elected 1999 in the national council of the federal parlament.
2004 president of the CVP, the christian democratic peoples party.
2006 election in the Bundesrat, the Swiss Government (7 members). She quit Government december 2018.
2009 and 2016 vicepresident, 2010 and 2017 president
2006-2010 she was leading the Federal Department of economic affairs, trade, agriculture and innovation. In this function she was Governor for the World Bank, presented Switzerland at the OECD, ILO, FAO, WTO etc.
From November 2010 until december 2018 she was leading the Federal Department for Environment, Transport, energy and communication. In this function she presented Switzerland at different UN institutions like UNEP or IGF, the Paris climate negotiations, OECD, WEF, transport and digital conferences etc.
2018-2019 she was member of the UN High Level Panel on digital cooperation
Today she is back in the private sector and member of the Boards of the Coop-Group, Bell Food Group, Transgourmet International and Stadler Rail.
She works for different institutions
- President of the Ulrico- Hoepli- Foundation,
- Co-President Steering Committee Europa Forum Luzern
- President of the Swiss Digital Initiative, Geneva
- Member of the ETH Foundation
- Member of the Kofi-Annan-Foundation
Professor | Columbia University, Center for Sustainable Development
Jeffrey D. Sachs is a world-renowned economics professor, bestselling author, innovative educator, and global leader in sustainable development.
He is widely recognized for bold and effective strategies to address complex challenges including debt crises, hyperinflations, the transition from central planning to market economies, the control of AIDS, malaria, and other diseases, the escape from extreme poverty, and the battle against human-induced climate change.
Sachs serves as the Director of the Center for Sustainable Development at Columbia University, where he holds the rank of University Professor, the university’s highest academic rank. Sachs held the position of Director of the Earth Institute at Columbia University from 2002 to 2016. He is President of the UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network, a commissioner of the UN Broadband Commission for Development, and an SDG Advocate for UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres. From 2001-18, Sachs served as Special Advisor to UN Secretaries-General Kofi Annan (2001-7), Ban Ki-moon (2008-16), and António Guterres (2017-18).
Sachs has authored and edited numerous books, including three New York Times bestsellers: The End of Poverty (2005), Common Wealth: Economics for a Crowded Planet (2008), and The Price of Civilization (2011). Other books include To Move the World: JFK’s Quest for Peace (2013), The Age of Sustainable Development (2015), Building the New American Economy: Smart, Fair & Sustainable (2017), A New Foreign Policy: Beyond American Exceptionalism (2018), and most recently, The Ages of Globalization: Geography, Technology, and Institutions (2020).
Sachs was the co-recipient of the 2015 Blue Planet Prize, the leading global prize for environmental leadership. He was twice named among Time magazine’s 100 most influential world leaders and has received 34 honorary degrees. The New York Times called Sachs “probably the most important economist in the world,” and Time magazine called Sachs “the world’s best-known economist.” A survey by The Economist ranked Sachs as among the three most influential living economists.
Prior to joining Columbia, Sachs spent over twenty years as a professor at Harvard University, most recently as the Galen L. Stone Professor of International Trade. Sachs received his B.A., M.A., and Ph.D. degrees at Harvard. Sachs is a native of Detroit, Michigan, and currently resides in New York City.
Vice President and Chief Internet Evangelist | Google
Vinton G. Cerf co-designed the TCP/IP protocols and the architecture of the Internet and is Chief Internet Evangelist for Google. He is a former member of the National Science Board and current member of the National Academy of Engineering and Foreign Member of the British Royal Society and Swedish Royal Academy of Engineering, and Fellow of ACM, IEEE, AAAS, and BCS. Cerf received the US Presidential Medal of Freedom, US National Medal of Technology, Queen Elizabeth Prize for Engineering, Prince of Asturias Award, Japan Prize, ACM Turing Award, Legion d’Honneur, the Franklin Medal, the Catalunya International Prize and 29 honorary degrees.
Executive Director | Association for Progressive Communications
Chat Garcia Ramilo is the Executive Director of the Association for Progressive Communications (APC). She served as APC’s Deputy Executive Director and led APC’s women’s programme before being appointed in her current position in 2017. Ms. Ramilo has considerable organisational, management and gender expertise developed over 30 years of leading multi-country and multi-disciplinary projects, programmes and networks. Chat is from the Philippines.
Commissioner for Economic Affairs | African Union
Professor Victor Harison holds a PhD in Mathematical Sciences, University of Antananarivo.
He is currently Commissioner for Economic Affairs Department of the African Union Commission since August 2017. Previously he held the positions of Director General of the National Institute of Accounting and Business Administration (INSCAE), Antananarivo and Director of Studies and Programming, Ministry of Higher Education and Executive Secretary of the "Human Resources Development" project, administered by the World Bank.
In addition, he was Professor of Mathematics, Leadership, Organizational and Project Management. He conducts research activities such as Thesis Director in Mathematical Sciences and Management Sciences.
President | UN General Assembly, 75th session
Mr. Bozkir has served for 39 years in Turkey’s foreign service. He was elected to Parliament in 2011, and over the next nine years held a range of positions including Chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee, Chairman of the Turkey-United States Inter-Parliamentary Friendship Caucus, Chairman of the Turkey-Australia Inter-Parliamentary Friendship Group and Co-Chairman of the Turkish-Russian Civic Forum. From 2014 to 2016, he served as Minister for European Union Affairs and Chief Negotiator.
Over the course of his career, Mr. Bozkir has also held positions including Permanent Representative of Turkey to the European Union, Ambassador to Romania, Consul General in New York, Counsellor of the Permanent Representation to the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), First Secretary of the Embassy in Iraq and Vice Consul General in Stuttgart, Germany.
In addition, he served as the Foreign Policy Adviser to Prime Minister Turgut Özal, Chief of Cabinet and Chief Foreign Policy Adviser to Presidents Turgut Özal and Süleyman Demirel, Deputy Undersecretary at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs responsible for European Union Affairs, and Secretary-General for European Union Affairs.
Mr. Bozkir has been awarded the Order of the Star of Romania, the Order of Merit of the Italian Republic with the rank of “Knight”, and the 100th Anniversary Medal of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Azerbaijan.
He is married and has two children and three grandchildren.
Co-Chair | Global Commission on the Stability of Cyberspace
Latha Reddy is the former Deputy National Security Adviser of India where she was responsible for cybersecurity and other critical internal and external security issues. She also served as a Commissioner on the Global Commission on Internet Governance.
Ms. Reddy served in the Indian Foreign Service from 1975-2011. During her diplomatic career she served in Lisbon, Washington D.C., Kathmandu, Brasilia, Durban, Vienna and Bangkok. She served as Ambassador of India to Portugal (2004-2006) and to Thailand (2007-2009). She was Secretary (East) in the Ministry of External Affairs in Delhi (2010-2011) with overall charge of India’s bilateral and regional relations with Asia. She was then appointed as India’s Deputy National Security Advisor in the Prime Minister’s Office from 2011-2013.
Ms. Reddy has extensive experience in foreign policy, and in bilateral, regional and multilateral negotiations. In addition, she has expertise on security and strategic issues and has worked on strategic technology policies, particularly on cyber issues relating to cyber security policy, international cyber cooperation and Internet governance.
Ms. Reddy is involved with several organizations and think-tanks, both globally and in India. She is currently, among other positions, serving as a Distinguished Fellow in the EastWest Institute in the US and the Observer Research Foundation in India.
Chair | IGF Multistakeholder Advisory Group
Ms. Esterhuysen currently serves as a Commissioner on the Global Commission on the Stability of Cyberspace. She was the executive director of the Association for Progressive Communications (APC) - the largest ICT-focused civil society network in the world - from 2000 to 2016. She continues to work with APC as a consultant and convenes the African School on Internet Governance (AfriSIG) a joint initiative of APC, the African Union Commission and Research ICT Africa. Ms. Esterhuysen has served on the African Technical Advisory Committee of the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa's African Information Society Initiative (1996-1999), the United Nations ICT Task Force (2002-2005), the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) Working Group on Financing Mechanisms (2003-2005), the Commission on Science and Technology for Development Working Group on Internet Governance Forum (IGF) Improvements (2011-2012) and on Enhanced Cooperation (2017-2018), the Global Commission on Internet Governance and the Multistakeholder Advisory Group (MAG) of the IGF (2012-2014). She was inducted into the Internet Hall of Fame as a Global Connecter in 2013.
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.