The following are the outputs of the captioning taken during an IGF 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.
>> MASTER OF CEREMONY: Ladies and gentlemen, the 17th edition of the IGF 2022 is now called to order for the official closing ceremony.
People who are still standing, would you please take your designated seats as we're preparing to receive the guests of honor. Thank you in advance for your cooperation and indulgence.
Ladies and gentlemen, please welcome His Excellency, the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign affairs of the federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia.
Thank you very much, Your Excellencies, Deputy Prime Minister, foreign affairs Minister of The federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia, Your Excellencies, Mr. Demeke Mekonnen Hassen.
Thank you all very much. His Excellency Mr. Demeke Mekonnen Hassen, Deputy Prime Minister, Minister for Foreign Affairs, Ethiopia of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia, Her Excellency Huria Ali, State Minister of the Ministry of Innovation and Technology. Excellency, Minister, State Ministers and other senior government official. Mr. Antonio Pedro, Mr. Paul Mitchell, honorable national delegates, participants of the 17th Internet Governance Forum, IGF 2022 here in Addis Ababa and all of you joining us virtually ... All protocols observed.
Hosted by the motherland of humanity, ladies and gentlemen.
IGF 2022 Ethiopia was officially opened on the 28th of November, 2022 by His Excellency, Prime Minister of the federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia and has since been running during the whole week under the theme Resilient Internet for a Shared, Sustainable, Common Future in over 300 sessions and a host of sideline events bringing together probably close to 3,000 people from around the world, those on site and online.
I hope you had a very pleasant stay in Addis Ababa. Do you agree with me!
More importantly, the aims of the forum have been met! The following video will show some of the highlights of the week. I will leave you with the highlights of the video for today.
Inclusive for all. Let us spare no efforts in highlighting the promises of the digital space.
You often hear that the future is digital but it must be person centred and the vision reflects your theme, building a resilient Internet for a shared, sustainable, common future.
>> The best way we can elevate the IGF is to help to transform and transmit the things that it has discovered in the course of its discussions into actionable policy recommendations.
>> Empowering African citizens to not only be consumers of digital technology, but creators of digital technology.
>> The 17th annual IGF has been one of the best IGFs when it comes about the diversity of participation, but also about the quality of the discussions.
>> It's a unique opportunity to share many experiences from the stakeholders of the Internet from all corners of the world.
>> MASTER OF CEREMONY: What a week! Congratulations to you all making it happen here in Addis Ababa.
I would like to give the floor to Her Excellency, Ms. Huria Ali, State Minister of the innovation and technology, the coordinating government organ of the federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia, the host nation of the 17th Annual Internet Governance Forum. Ladies and gentlemen, please welcome Her Excellency, the State Minister!
>> HURIA ALI: Excellency, Deputy Prime Minister, Demeke Mekonnen Hassen, Excellencies, Excellency, our Minister, Excellency, ladies and gentlemen, colleagues and those colleagues joining us online from around the world.
On behalf of the Ministry of Innovation and Technology, Government of Ethiopia, as Co‑Chair of the Multistakeholder Advisor Group of the IGF, I'm very pleased to deliver this statement which has happened in five days.
Today marks the successful conclusion of the 17th Internet Governance Forum in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, the Land of Origins.
We in Ethiopia are very honored to bring the UN IGF to Addis Ababa. It was 2011, nearly eleven years ago when IGF was last held in Africa continent in Nairobi. It comes to African, our Continent Neutrality again after 11 years. I would like to say congratulations to African people.
We're extremely grateful for our collaboration with the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs, the IGF Secretariat, UNECA, we thank UNECA for not only their support for the conference but for their strong commitment to digital agenda of Africa and Ethiopia. I thank the leadership of Mr. Paul, Chair of the Multistakeholder Advisor Group of the IGF as well as all fellow MAG members. They have put together highly relevant and useful topics and ensured that top global experts have joined us at various sessions and workshops.
We were also privileged to host the first in‑person meeting of IGF leadership panel, we certainly cannot express enough thanks for the in‑person participation of Vint Cerf, Chair of the IGF leadership. Thank you, Mr. Vint.
I also thank all my colleagues from the government who worked with us patiently the past weeks and months. We should also acknowledge more than 100 volunteers who helped tirelessly bring the past weeks and make this event successful.
We thank the participants, there were more than 5,120 on sight and off sight participants from all over, more than 170 countries, 17 ministries, 18 parliamentarians, other countries took precious time from their busy schedule to join us here.
All of you are located in previous times to be with us in Ethiopia this week.
IGF certainly cannot be detached from the Internet. We had many remote participants bringing additional insights and perspectives that are more than 300 sessions held this past week, ranging from main sessions, open forum, workshops to lightening sessions, also other informal gatherings and side events. We also thank all UN staff for conference services, securities, news carriage communication outreach, remote participation, technical infrastructures. Let me also thank the senior officials of the UN agency, especially to the UN Secretary‑General and Under‑Secretary‑General Li, Under-Secretary Mr. Amandi and Under-Secretary Melissa, Under-Secretary Volkar and Ms. Doreen, ITU Secretary‑General‑elect as well as UN colleagues and other UN agencies for their active participation.
Excellency, ladies and gentlemen, the theme of this year's IGF resilient Internet for sustainable, common future, it is critical. This year we focused and the UN General Secretariat has proposed the Digital Compact, where connecting all people, safeguarding Human Rights, avoiding Internet fragmentations, governing data, protecting privacy, enabling safety, security, accountability, addressing advanced technologies, including the artificial intelligence, it speaks to the reality of our intercommitted society that we need unity and digital cooperation.
I would like to share some key highlights of Addis Ababa IGF message: Number one, on connecting all people and safeguarding Human Rights, the Internet connectivity and access have become important for ensuring livelihood, safety, educational of people all over. Yet, 2.7 billion remains unconnected with those in the least developed countries and rural communities that are most affected.
Key actions are proposed on meaningful access and connectivity in ensuring digital inclusion, it is also important to leverage the Internet as platform to unlock innovation and prosperity.
Access that contributes to the wellbeing of societies must also have Human Rights at its centre.
The Internet is an enabler of rights and must seamlessly incorporate Human Rights as we increase our digital dependency for reaching boundaries between online and offline, they no longer apply.
Second, on the Internet fragmentation, our participation, they have the divergent views on Internet fragmentation and the complexity of the digital issues. Clearly, an open, freely accessible, interoperable Internet delivers immense benefits fostering social development and economic prosperity.
Education and political participation, there is a call for technology companies to assume responsibility for fragmented Internet and multistakeholder collaboration that's critical to address Internet fragmentation. We agree on the value of being part of an interoperable global Internet that also respects diversity.
The third on governments, data, protecting privacy, we identify the importance of linkage between the data and privacy protection, access to information, and Human Rights.
We all agree data is a valuable commodity in high demand from governments, businesses, other organizations. While data personal information has been used to improve lives and advance the economies and societies, it is an unauthorized collection, transfer, sale, it has compromised the users' privacy and security.
Experts here at IGF call attention to the important role of cross‑border dataflows in open market economies and societies.
Cross‑border data transfer should take place within the context of Human Rights, interventions were made on the need for stakeholders to focus not only on data protection but more importantly on data justice.
Access to user data should have clear ‑‑ outside to avoid further fragmentation, fragmenting the Internet and in framing on Human Rights and freedoms.
Fourth, on enabling safety, security, accountability: We acknowledge that cybersecurity is being approached in a more whole of society, human‑centric manner.
This is also more focused on how Human Rights integrated into cybersecurity measures, progress has been uneven but some countries have made in developing nations, recognizing the importance of responding to risks. Examples including passing data, protecting laws, providing notification requirements, investing in research and developments for Digital Transformation, launching a national cybersecurity strategy. Efforts to address cybersecurity must centre around people and the impact of this attacks in livelihood.
We also stress the need for the government to be transparent and accountable.
Fifth, last but not least, on addressing advanced technology, including artificial intelligence, it is clearly evident that advanced digital technologies increasingly shape our economy and society from artificial intelligence to smart devices, from blockchains to Big Data, robotics, Internet of Things, among others. It is not only untapped potential but also uncertainties beyond their promises, the technologies can be felt.
The decision making could result in biases, discriminations, harmful stereotypes, wider social inequality, and bias in artificial intelligence and the systems could go against human safety and Human Rights shaping the new digital technologies to meet the needs of our societies, particularly in Africa is very critical.
To collect outcomes of our policy discussions, highlights, the pertinence of the issues to all countries, particularly in Africa, I believe the Addis Ababa measure also be relevant inputs for the proposed Global Digital Compacts to be consulted and agreed as the UN Summit of the future in 2024.
Excellencies, ladies and gentlemen, Ethiopia has had the honor to host the IGF and we have also benefited from hosting the IGF within innovations and programming and intersessional activities in matters based on feedback from the multistakeholder community in line with the call from greater participation from stakeholders from developing countries and other working modalities.
We wish all participants will benefit fully from the productive meeting and useful outcomes at this IGF. We wish you safe travel back to your home.
Thank you so much.
>> MASTER OF CEREMONY: Thank you very much, Huria Ali, State Minister of Innovation and Technology.
Ladies and gentlemen, the organizing governmental organ from the Ethiopian side, the Ministry of innovation and technology, and the Minister himself, His Excellency is here amongst us. If you think that the event has been successfully organized, this is now your moment to congratulate them.
Thank you, ladies and gentlemen.
Now I will leave the floor to Fikir Andargachew, Fikir Andargachew to make a few remarks.
>> FIKIR ANDARGACHEW: Thank you.
Your Excellencies, Mr. Demeke Mekonnen Hassen, Deputy Prime Minister of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia, Excellency, Minister, participants, ladies and gentlemen, first allow me to express the honor and gratitude I feel to stand here and deliver this remark at this esteemed global event.
As you well know, Excellencies, ladies and gentlemen, the world is undergoing major changes due to technological and digital advancement, the Internet is a global phenomenon for 20 years and transformed almost every aspect of our lives. The way we communicate, the way we learn, work, entertain, and anything in between.
Ethiopia as part of the global community is also experiencing the changes caused by the accelerated expansion of the Internet. More than a quarter of Ethiopians now use the Internet.
In response to this disruptive changes, Ethiopia is fostering the digital ecosystem in terms of developing different digital and digital savvy legal frameworks in terms of enabling digital business, developing human capacities with digital skills, digital literacy and much more. Excellency, ladies and gentlemen, the relevance of Internet Governance Forum such as this one and other similar events for the digital ecosystem is undeniably crucial. The exchange of information, sharing of good practices, creating the stage where various key stakeholders, including policymakers meet have paramount experience in shaping and revolutionizing the steps that are being taken towards building a sustainable, digital economy.
Excellencies, our association, the digital transformation Ethiopia has numerous members that have their own private ventures in varied sectors and all of them believe in advocating for a digital transformation in the country. To this end, our association focuses on advocacy, on digital related policies, digital ecosystem, infrastructure promotion and conducting capacity building.
Our association has had various opportunities to advocate for changes to be possible on infrastructure, including the Internet at various levels, including an active contribution at the policy level.
As a conclusion, numerous takeaways and actions have been generated from the different sessions that were underway in the last few days during the forum. I would like to give an assurance that our association will work closely on identified issues and actions to be addressed by Civil Societies like us.
Finally, I believe that all of you participants have had a pleasant stay here in Addis Ababa and as the President, on behalf of the digital Ethiopia association, I wish you a safe journey as you make your TRIPs back home.
Thank you very much.
>> MASTER OF CEREMONY: Thank you very much, Fikir Andargachew, Vice President, Digital Transformation Ethiopia Association.
Our next speaker from the private sector is Mr. Bahiru Zeynu of Africom.
The floor is yours.
>> BAHIRU ZEYNU: Thank you so much.
Your Excellencies, Mr. Demeke Mekonnen Hassen, Deputy Prime Minister, Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia, Excellency, Minister, IGF members, other representatives, respected participants, ladies and gentlemen, at the outset, we must thank the Internet Governance Secretariat to choose Ethiopia to host the 17th edition of IGF at Addis Ababa. Thank you so much.
Further, my sincere thanks and appreciation for the Government of Ethiopia to provide required assistance and State Minister for Innovation and Technology, Ethiopia to work with the Secretariat to provide all of the needs.
Appreciation for all of the stakeholders, thank you to the participants, the panelists, moderators, the delegates. In the vibrant forum for the last five days, many issues were discussed, actions recommended, suggested, forwarded. The reflection of views on several important topics discussed, debated, hence now it is time to act upon without delay.
The networking events during the day and evening were truly engaging. The industry leaders discussed several issues and the experience through resolving challenges, it has left a positive impact and motivation for the actors involved in the respective areas.
Excellencies, ladies and gentlemen, now quickly I represent private sector of Ethiopia, our main objective, it is driving the economy for sustainable, inclusive growth which indeed includes outcome like poverty reduction, creating job opportunities for women and youth.
Countries like us, digital economy, it is the future. It can't be ignored in our country where ICTs considered as one of major pillars out of five of home grown economy Development Agenda by the Government of Ethiopia. We as private sector has a lot of work to create governance structure for inclusive, productive, regulated use of Internet.
Most of the time, misuse creates a setback for the policymakers, even to the leaders to take forward steps.
We believe there are lots of learning during the past session which will be useful for us to alert and learn for mutual benefits and building inclusive Internet Governance ecosystem.
The challenge in terms of Internet Governance is huge and a major actors like government, Civil Society, private sectors, academia puts coordinated efforts and we request all actors to work hard on this agenda. We promise, we'll keep learning, we'll keep participating and make a brighter future shared for all.
Last but not least, gratitude for all supporting staff, security officials on duty, volunteers, those that arranged all of the delicious cuisine, the waiters for serving us, even to the organizers like these and all others associated, including our organizer, please give them a big applause.
Finally, we wish all of our guests a happy, a lovely journey back home. We thank you.
We'll see you in another event soon.
>> MASTER OF CEREMONY: Thank you so much.
Our next speaker, Fiona Asonga, CEO, Technology Service Providers of Kenya.
>> FIONA ASONGA: Good evening, everyone, honorable Deputy Prime Minister, distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen.
I would like to just submit a presentation on behalf of the region's technical community, the technology service providers association is part of the region's technical community to bring together several technology organizations from across and beyond Kenya.com, Kenya, others are still reaching out, they'll soon be member, the reason, it is because we work together as of the spirit of Ubuntu.
It is an honor to host this event here in Ethiopia. This provided us with again another opportunity to strengthen Africa's participation in this very important conversations, and every time we have had a global meeting in Africa, we're able to empower our members to empower our youth, to empower communities. The IGF engagements enabled several stakeholders to participate in the collaborative nature of the Internet ecosystem. Key to this multistakeholder collaboration is realizing that no one voice or approach is final. Others may have a few, others may have done some work in areas and so we come together to continue building jointly to improve the ecosystem as a whole.
Over the years, we have seen the transition of some of the discussions and ideas tabled at the IGF move into translated into implementable industry Best Practices that are adapted by the technical community.
When you look at issues such as data minimization practice, digital rights, for various services offered by the technical community across the world, the conversation, some of them began at such IGF meetings. Hosting this IGF in Africa, where the youth are more than 60% of the population and are vibrant technology innovators, it has greatly contributed to the development of a group of young innovators with a different approach to technology solutions.
This is because they are forced to create a balance between various innovations that they're creating and the various variables that they have to address which are basically the issues covered at the IGF. Particularly, for those who are gathering in this meeting, who are able to attend this IGF. The IGF discussions have also over the years set groundwork and planted a seed that must be nurtured by all stakeholders.
It was at the IGF that we first had our first discussion on, for example, the Internet exchange point Best Practices. That conversation continued and has gone on over the year, enabling the exchange ever operators globally to set standard and agree on improving on Best Practices to ensure that the Internet has an important resource that's accessible to all. In' the launch of the coalition of the ‑‑ coalition for digital Africa couldn't happen at a better time or location, on the African soil. The continent is ripe for Internet connectivity and digitalization.
A large number of innovations are developed on this continent as our governments drive a smart economy agenda. And this has created opportunities for innovators that support the digital economies of the respective countries in the midst of implementing the African confederation area that's changing the way we trade and the way we do business.
This is having us to look, and we look at a number of things such as the boundaries and our boundary issues when it comes to cross data communication and cross data transactions. Pretty much changing all of our socioeconomic and political interactions. We acknowledge that we live in uncertain times with global and regional geopolitical tensions, the COVID crisis, Climate Change, and, therefore, a global unified Internet will help us to address this challenge. It should not be taken for granted.
There have to be many important discussions that will take place to ensure that we maintain a unified Internet.
During this IGF, important sessions have taken place, discussing on how to identify and avoid fragmentation of the global resource.
The Internet's technical community globally stands ready to work with all stakeholders to ensure that we can retain the value of a global Internet for all the world's people. There is one of the global organizations that has a motto, one world, one Internet, which is what we need, what we need to strive to work towards. That's the only way we can guarantee the use of the Internet in a manner that guarantees future generations a better environment and better opportunities.
On behalf of the region's technical community, I would like to just appreciate the hosts of the IGF and I would like to in a special way recognize the effort that the UN ICT team has done, the service providers, the Ethiopian Communication Authority, all of the technical support that's gone into making this meeting happen. We hosted the meeting in Nairobi, I was in charge of the technical service delivery, I understand and relate to how difficult it can be. Sometimes it's challenging, the system is challenging us to perform better. I believe that in this meeting a lot of effort has been made to make sure that the team dealing with the connectivity handled the challenges in stride and were able to ensure that the 300 sessions were all both virtual and physical, and I would just like us to applaud the technical team particularly for that efforts.
With that, I would like to wish you all a safe journey back home and thank you and see you at the next Internet Governance Forum.
>> MASTER OF CEREMONY: Thank you very much, Fiona Asonga, CEO, Technology Service Providers of Kenya.
Ladies and gentlemen, now please welcome the IGF youth representative, Ms. Phyo Thiri Lwin for her remarks.
>> PHYO THIRI LWIN: Good evening, Your Excellencies, ladies and gentlemen, all wonderful people.
I'm Phyo Thiri Lwin. It is my great honor to be speaking in this IGF 2023, closing ceremony, representing the youth community.
First of all, I congratulate to the Host Country, Ethiopia government, Prime Minister, Minister, also IGF Multistakeholder Advisory Group, UN IGF Secretariat and the successful IGF event.
Thank you so much for giving me the chance to participate in this forum. Many of our young people are from the lower income group. If we didn't get any kinds of support, we couldn't make it to attend this event in person.
Also I have learned many things from this forum, and also I call for a chance to experience the Ethiopia culture, cuisine, so on, because of my generous Ethiopian friends. Thank you for that as well.
This year’s IGF theme is Resilient Internet for a Shared and Common Future. To move forward to a resilient by sharing shared values of sustainability, common future for us, we cannot forget the roles of the young people. By shaping the future of the Internet we young peoples are the future generation as well as a future leader. We have to be part of the finding the solution, drafting the framework for our digital world.
On the other hand, there are many opportunities and challenges we are facing when we are engaging in this community. Also, there are also things impeding our commitments and contribution to our economy. How can we connect with each other for sustainable, better future of the Internet?
The answer will be the sustainable community, sustainable in how we use natural resources, the Internet infrastructure, the sustainability in policymaking and sustainability in people, talents and leadership. The impacts of digital technology are far reaching in our life, whether it is positive or negative. We learned from the past to create our digital future.
As young peopling from a developing country, it is just 12 years, I started to surf the Internet in the 2011. The reason why I'm here today, it is because of my own story. I also believe that everyone who is here today has their own story as well.
In this Internet Governance community, we have our nationality and the background, but I do believe that we have to have a common goal for shaping our Internet and the Internet community. We have to educate, we also have to educate the next generation and empower the young people around us to understand and to advocate a more secure, open, trusted Internet.
Of course, raising awareness, it is a fundamental way to strengthen our community, we young people need your support for guidance and mentorship as well as resources and importantly for continuous involvement in this Internet Governance community.
Also 8 billion in the world, 4.7 billion are living in the Asia‑Pacific region. Only 2.5 billion of them are online. The Internet issues and accessibilities, it is also state challenges in our region because of the political conflict, Internet infrastructure developments and the inclusions of the underserved and marginalized community. We need our community to contribute from the local to the global level.
Young people from the underprivileged background like me also deserve to voice out their difficulties and issues. I'm also delighted that Internet Governance Forum 2023 coming back to the Asia‑Pacific region next year, ten years after the last meeting in Bali in Indonesia. I'm also excited that it will be in this region that's such a beautiful, historical place and we have the Asian cultures and tradition.
Also in this, I would like to read a poem written during this forum reflecting my experience, the poem, it is a technology and community.
Let me read out: Once we appreciate the technology. Technology shaped the majority. When the majority lacks agency, we have to be of the community. It shapes people. When we talk about the community, we have to consider inclusion, diversities and sustainability.
One person, they can transpower their opportunity, and the challenges, but empower the demand of their future path, now everything is easy for everyone in life, there is no benefit without a trade‑off in the world.
We have to remember that there are many calls behind the benefit. However, if we have the global consensus and common goal for our digital future, the steps of belonging to each other will impact and have you to create our digital world. Finally, I would like to welcome all participants, all to participate in the next year's Internet Governance Forum, 2023 in Japan, in the Chinese language.
Thank you, my friends, for such an honor. Thank you so much.
>> MASTER OF CEREMONY: Thank you very much, Ms. Phyo Thiri Lwin, IGF youth representative for your remarks.
Ladies and gentlemen, next we will hear from Chair of IGF MAG, Mr. Paul Mitchell. Ladies and gentlemen, please welcome Mr. Paul Mitchell, Chair of IGF MAG.
>> PAUL MITCHELL: What a remarkable week!
Over 4,000 registrants, over 300 sessions, over a theme of resilient Internet for a shared sustainable, common future and related subthemes.
It is my honor to share ‑‑ to Chair the Multistakeholder Advisory Group of the IGF, which over the past many months has been responsible for capturing and curating the program that we have been sharing this week. I want to recognize tremendous effort and the collaboration that MAG members put into the process leading up to this week's meeting.
I want to thank all of you who participated and shared your thoughts, insights, your critique and your willingness to make a difference. This meeting comes at a critical time when the world is asking hard questions about Internet and digital governance. The UN system as a whole is increasingly leaning into technology questions, issues and recognizing the value of the intertwined nature of our shared reliance on the Internet.
The IGF is more than ever necessary. The level of interest in digital and Internet Governance has never been higher and our selected themes reflect a goal of aligning the work of the IGF with other UN work and policy issues, including the Global Digital Compact and the Summit on the future.
Now, when the Internet Governance Forum was created as an outcome of the World Summit on Information Society in 2005, it was an innovation. It was an innovation at a time when we were only just beginning to see the potential of the Internet and digital technologies rather than from a top‑down governance treaty, those pioneers adopted the innovation of the multistakeholder model, and that's led to the vibrant IGF we see today that's grown to include 152 national and regional IGFs complete with an abundance of intersessional activities, Dynamic Coalition, Best Practice Forums and Policy Networks and attention to the future with youth engagement and a parliamentary track, all innovations developed over the past 17 years resulting in the vibrant event that we experienced this week.
Innovation takes courage, innovation breaks through established barriers to change the game, meeting old needs in new ways or more efficiently or meeting new needs or wants that we didn't necessarily know we had. Home video recorders the personal computer, smartphone, they were all innovations in their time, initially viewed with skepticism and each has created billions of dollars in value for consumers and industry alike.
And, of course, now we have the Internet. Innovators typically face tough challenges, ridicule, doubt, one was investigated by the Roman inquisition trying to understand the universe, the Royal Society wouldn't publish the paper on Smallpox, the Wright Brothers were called the Lying Brothers, ridiculing their attempts to fly at Kitty Hawk and here in Ethiopia Centre of Post and Telegraphs, there was a request for an insane asylum rather than funding for research technologies. These characters faced obstacles, they had vision and passion and overcame them. The innovation eventually led us to the moon, Dr. Jenner eradicated Smallpox saving millions, the Wright Brothers slayed the planet and the innovation of Markoni became the wireless innovations that we're using today. Add to this list, the Internet innovators that work every day to change our world for the better to achieve digital equity to apply technologies and service of solving the planet's largest challenges.
There were and are still many naysayers when it comes to multistakeholder governance. Adopting a multistakeholder model for the governance discussions that recognized the respective roles of governments, the private sectors, Civil Society, has allowed for the norms, rules, decision making processes to evolve and enable the tremendous developments that have taken place over the past two nearly decades ‑‑ nearly two decades.
Overtime, using this governance model together we have achieved at best or at least I should say, a rough consensus around principles that aim to sustain the global Internet, reinforcing core principles, fundamental freedoms and Human Rights as reflected in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. But, while we have made meaningful progress, much remains to be done.
The IGF is continuing its own innovation with the high‑level panel and engagements with the tech envoy and the Global Digital Compact and so much for the future. As we conclude IGF 2022, I hope that you have been inspired and rejuvenated. Going forward, I hope you are motivated to build upon the work that's gone so far, defend the legacy of innovation that's been so important today.
In closing, I want to thank the Government of Ethiopia for its gracious hospitality, and all of you for the participation and for everything you have contributed to make IGF 2022 a success.
>> MASTER OF CEREMONY: Thank you, very much, Mr. Paul Mitchell, Chairman of IGF MAG. Thank you so much.
Ladies and gentlemen, next we hear a video message from His Excellency, Mr. Hiroshi Yoshida.
>> HIROSHI YOSHIDA: (No translation). (Captions on video).
>> MASTER OF CEREMONY: Thank you very much, Your Excellencies, Hiroshi Yoshida, Vice Minister for policy coordination at the Ministry of Internal affairs and communications from Japan.
Now welcome to the floor, acting executive Secretariat of the Economic Commission for Africa, Mr. Antonio Pedro.
>> ANTONIO PEDRO: Good afternoon.
Your Excellencies, Mr. Demeke Mekonnen Hassen, Deputy Prime Minister, Minister For Foreign affairs of Ethiopia, Your Excellencies, Huria Ali, State Minister for Innovation and Technology, Ethiopia, Honorable Ministers, esteemed delegates, ladies and gentlemen:
It has been a great honor hosting you at the United Nations Conference Centre here in Addis Ababa with more than 300 sessions organized over these last four days, this has been the biggest IGF since its inception, 17 years ago.
I would like to express my sincere gratitude to the government and people of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia for hosting this historic event in a diplomatic centre of Africa.
I would also like to express my sincere appreciation to the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs, the IGF Secretariat, the ITU and the many other partners and participants for making this event in the United Nations Internet Governance Forum such a success.
Excellency, ladies and gentlemen, each year as IGF convenes new ideas are born, new partnerships forged and alliances strengthened. This year we had the privilege to host the African parliamentarian network on Internet Governance for the first time, a feat of its own with sessions that strengthen the parliamentarian track. The youth congress and volunteers both with their vibrancy and strength, the WSIS was reinforced o as an important tool for onboarding governments to Internet Governance and we saw the launch of the coalition of digital for Africa, the initiative and the cybersecurity model law established.
Excellencies, ladies and gentlemen, throughout these four days, we have seen committed engagement from participants around the world, highlighted current global concerns on digital sovereignty, misinformation, interoperability, affordability, Internet shutdowns, Freedom of Expression, and most importantly, capacity and infrastructure gaps.
We heard your call that IGF should put forth tangible proposals whether for shaping global norms and standards or for impacting national level regulations. I would like to highlight some of the key points that stood out to me at this IGF.
First, governance of advanced technologies such as artificial intelligence, should be pursued to experimentation and policy sandboxes, given the dynamic nature of these technologies.
Second, local conference preparatory text is important for Internet usage. This should be reflected in the governance to avoid Internet fragmentation.
Third, Universal Service Funds and community networks offer viable solutions for connectivity and bringing everyone online.
Fourth, an inclusive, safe cyberspace is a necessity to ensure no one is left behind in a Digital Transformation journey and everyone is safe online.
Fifth, last, partnership with all stakeholders should be at the foundation of digital transformation.
Excellency, ladies and gentlemen, we must utilize the momentum garnered during this IGF. The UN Global Compact, digital ‑‑ the Digital Global Compact consultations offer a platform to continue to the learning and networks forged at IGF. In addition, UN Summit for the future in 2024 will serve as an excellent platform for reaffirming the UN charter with multilateralism and agreeing on concrete solutions to digital challenges.
Moreover, IGF demographic is getting younger, young people at IGF now account for around 50% of the total attendees, and an excellent sign for the next generation of digital natives. This IGF has also seen a higher number of African participants than any other before at a time when the continent is at the peak of Digital Transformation and implementation of the strategy, 2020 to 2030. We remain committed to supporting African voices at the global stage on Internet Governance in and out of season.
Excellencies, ladies and gentlemen, to ensure the achievements of our theme, resilient Internet for shared, sustainable common future, we must strive for frameworks that are resilient amid uncertainty and unforeseen wars and the prevalent digital divide among others, I trust you leave here as I will be, inspired and even more determined to deliver together for inclusive digital development.
We look forward to passing this baton, one that is resilient, open, fragmented, affordable, inclusive Internet to the next hosts of the IGF.
See you at the next IGF in Tokyo, Japan.
>> MASTER OF CEREMONY: Thank you, Antonio Pedro.
Ladies and gentlemen, it is now my great honor and privilege to invite to the podium, His Excellency, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign affairs of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia, Mr. Demeke Mekonnen Hassen.
>> DEMEKE MEKONNEN HASSEN: Excellencies, distinguished participants, ladies and gentlemen:
I'm delighted that Internet Governance Forum 2022 has been a resounding success in the organization of the various events and the contents covered.
I thank you for your active engagements and for making the IGF 2022 a great success.
My sincere appreciation for your active participation in such large numbers in the IGF 2022 I'm confident that ‑‑ IGF 2022 Ethiopia, I'm confident you have shared insights and it will lead to progressive actions emerging from IGF. Resilience Internet for a shared, sustainable, common future has ‑‑ is a topic of importance for all countries. I hope that the decisions in the various sessions have created a common understanding of the political ‑‑ the practicality of digital media and connectivity for growth and development.
The diversity of the participants in IGF 2022 Ethiopia, countries at various stages of development, industry, youth, parliamentarians as well as Civil Society, representatives have been very impressive.
Ladies and gentlemen, I'm pleased that IGF 2022 is a chance as our country is turning the page of two years of conflict in northern Ethiopia, where we're on the course of diligently implementing the peace deal and providing emergency relief and service to that part of our country. Even when we're at the head of the conflict, we never relented from fighting poverty. Ethiopia has persisted in its drive for prosperity and building a digital economy.
We attribute the success of the IGF to a dedicated team working day and night with a real commitment to a shared future. I would thus like to extend my gratitude to the organizations, the IGF Secretariat and the members of the Multistakeholder Advisory Group. Congratulations on the success of your tireless efforts.
I would also like to thank the Minister of Innovation and Technology, the National Steering Committee and the local Secretariat as well as the volunteers who have worked tirelessly and professionally to make the IGF 2022 a great success.
Excellencies, ladies and gentlemen, IGF has been successfully conducted for the last 17 years as a major platform for nurturing a common understanding of Internet Governance. We wish the IGF to assume additional responsibilities such as calling on the implementation of its outcomes. It could also have some decisions on selected issues without losing its features as a forum for open collaboration and free flow of ideas. We believe this will enable the IGF more toe safeguard the World Summit on the Information Society principles and move discussions forward toward appropriate actions.
I hope this agenda will be raised in subsequent forums. Ethiopia continues to support IGF as observers in the hosting of this successful forum. For those of you who traveled from abroad, I hope you have a marvelous stay in Ethiopia. Please make a point to visit the Splendors of our country in your leisure time.
I wish you all safe travel back to your destinations.
>> MASTER OF CEREMONY: Thank you very much, Your Excellencies, Mr. Demeke Mekonnen Hassen, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign affairs of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia for coming, for being here with us for the official closing of the 17th annual Internet Governance Forum. Thank you very much Your Excellency.
Thank you all very much.
Excellencies, ladies and gentlemen, Ethiopia has been hugely pleased to have had you for one week in Addis Ababa for this important gathering, this important world gathering of the world of the Internet and digital technology. Thank you all very much for having been here with us.
With the Ethiopia history we would say, such an international mix of people, it would be a rare opportunity.
Thank you all very much. Ethiopia extends gratitude to you all.
With those closing remarks of His Excellency, Deputy Prime Minister, the IGF 2022 will now be returned back to the United Nations with a video message by His Excellency, UN Under‑Secretary‑General for the Department of Economic and Social Affairs whose video message will now be viewed..
>> LI JUNHUA: Distinguished participants, ladies and gentlemen:
I'm pleased to deliver this closing statement on behalf of the UN. The past five days of the 17th annual meeting of the Internet Governance Forum have been very intensive and also inspiring, motivating and fruitful.
I hope that all of you have found this forum an incredible experience with the active contributions from several thousands of stakeholders coming from across the world and different disciplines and backgrounds. This is what is unique about the IGF. It is a vibrant participatory space, multistakeholder platform, and the multilateral process involving input from over 117 countries.
It gives us hope that working together we can meet the challenges and seize opportunities created by Internet and digital transformation. In spite of these issue, we must ensure that digital future puts people first.
Other issues have been spotlighted in this forum over the past week, through the IGF's mainframes, you've dressed the specifics of the major digital policy areas ranging from connectivity and Human Rights to Internet fragmentation and emerging technologies. All of you are informed participants that have demonstrated to the world that if we cooperate we can harness the true power of a digital technology, changing lives for better. Your outputs are consolidated within IGF Messages from Addis Ababa. Let us now embark on a mission to ensure these messages reach everyone and inform the decision makers.
I call upon all stakeholders to disseminate the messages from Addis Ababa to networks.
Ladies and gentlemen, allow me now on behalf of the United Nations to thank the Government of Ethiopia for its generous, warm hospitalities as host to this year's IGF. Thank you also to our colleagues of United Nations Economic Commission for Africa for their outstanding support.
Thank you also to all participants here in Addis Ababa or virtually across the world.
IGF is a success first and foremost because of the support and commitment of you to be multistakeholder model. Please remember the IGF is not just a standalone yearly meeting, it is a yearlong process with reach into intersessional work streams. I hope that you will continue to engage as we work together towards the 18th session of the IGF next year in Japan.
We are looking forward to working very closely with our Japanese hosts. I thank you again for each of the contributions and for those of you present in Addis Ababa, you have a safe journey back home.
See you next year!
>> MASTER OF CEREMONY: Thank you very much, Mr. Li, Under‑Secretary‑General for the Department of Economic and Social Affairs of the United Nations who was here in person during the opening session.
Thank you so much, Mr. Under‑Secretary.
Ladies and gentlemen, we will finally view a video of what will be waiting for you next year for the IGF in Japan, Tokyo.
Ladies and gentlemen, a video from Tokyo, it is Kyoto, Japan.
>> MASTER OF CEREMONY: The 18th edition of IGF will be in Kyoto, Japan, Kyoto, 2023.
Finally, the Government of Ethiopia would like to thank everyone involved in the organization of the 17th IGF. If you agree with me, you will give them a stand up ovation to the following entities who have done a great job in organizing this event:
Ladies and gentlemen, the National Committee.
The Steering Committee!
The Ethiopia IGF 2022 Secretariat!
And, of course, the proudly African event organizers that showed us that Africa can and does it all the time, the event team. Thank you very much, ladies and gentlemen.
Now His Excellency, Deputy Prime Minister will leave the auditorium and we will give you final announcements before everybody leaves.
Ladies and gentlemen, please give a warm farewell to His Excellency, the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of the Foreign Affairs of the Democratic Republic of Ethiopia. We'll have a group photo.
Thank you very much again, Deputy Prime Minister, thank you very much, Ethiopia.
Ladies and gentlemen, we know you have a lot of memories and experiences to remember Ethiopia by. The Ethiopia team, as you go home, remember Ethiopia, as you leave the auditorium, the famous world class coffee is awaiting for everyone to take home, remember Ethiopia by.
Ladies and gentlemen, have a wonderful flight home. We hope to see you again for one event or another. Thank you for being with us. Thank you.
Have a safe flight home!