>>CHENGETAI MASANGO: Good morning, ladies and gentlemen. We're about to start. If you could please take a seat.
Thank you very much. And I'd just like to start saying it's very good to see you all here, back to in-person meetings.
We're about to start. Thank you.
So good morning, ladies and gentlemen, those people who are in the room, and good morning, afternoon, and evening, ladies and gentlemen, those of you who are following us online.
Just before we start, just the normal housekeeping; that this meeting is being recorded. It's being transmitted to YouTube as well. There is going to be a summary report, basically just the action items from this meeting. We're not going to give a summary summary as such because the recording is available, but the important action items will be laid out so people can follow.
Today is the Open Consultation, so it is open to all stakeholder, and those people have got preference over MAG members. Tomorrow is the MAG meeting, Day 1 and Day 2, and the MAG will have preference, of course, and it's up to the chair to decide who speaks.
When you speak, if you are in the room, please just (indicating), and then we know you're speaking. Online, you can raise your hand, and we can see the order of speaking.
I don't know if everybody will be -- in this room will be on the Webex. I would suggest yes, because sometimes there is some conversation that does go on in the Webex. So if you can go into the Webex, please go into the Webex, and then in that case please use the hand up in the Webex, and then we can have just one system for everybody and then it's fair. And so we'll use the Webex for seeing who is requesting the floor.
When the chair does call your name, please just state your full name and affiliation and whether you're speaking in personal capacity. And then you can speak.
I think I've mentioned everything. Let me just take a quick look at the -- my colleagues at the secretariat. Did I miss anything out? No, I did not.
So let me please hand over the meeting to our chair, Mr. Paul Mitchell, to start the meeting and adopt the agenda.
>>CHAIR MITCHELL: Thank you, and Chengetai has said most of what I was about to say in welcoming you, but I really want to thank you for your participation and for the time and energy and effort that you put into making this meeting and the entire IGF experience a positive one.
For this year, we've reviewed over 240 proposals for workshops and content. A lot of hard work has gone into that. A lot more hard work is going to go into figuring out how to program what came out of that.
This week, the MAG and you have an opportunity to discuss content and format of the meeting. You'll hear from participants and each other your views on what's important, what's not important. And I really encourage the dialogue and the commentary as much as you possibly can to be productive and insightful and focused on things that are achievable, and I think we'll have a good meeting.
I would very much like to welcome my --
>>HURIA ALI: Huria.
>>CHAIR MITCHELL: Huria. Huria, the minister from Ethiopia, and thank her for coming in and sharing some thoughts as well.
>>HURIA ALI MAHDI: Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Thank you, Mr. Chairman and Mr. Paul, esteemed MAG members. It gives me great pleasure to be here at this second Open Consultation and MAG meeting which is working to make IGF more impactful and more successful as well as at all times stay relevant.
This year IGF will be conducted under the (indiscernible) Resilience Internet for Shared Sustainable and Common Future. I would like to first and foremost thank the MAG for the invaluable support you have provided us as far as the host country for 2022. We are very honored and proud to hosting this important forum in Addis Ababa. We believe that this year's forum will significantly contribute to the future of Internet and related policies.
Our aim, to ensure we not only have the youthful attendance but that we also attract new participants from Africa private sectors, civil societies, and the youth. As you know, most of the African countries are more populated, and the majority are youth, so we are trying to engage the youth here.
In this year's forum we would like to see the focus on countries, groups, people in general in lacking Internet connections; countries with pressing Internet infrastructure issues; accelerating the digital economy, and mainly around the complex issues, just as digital taxation, platform regulations, and how to tackle the digital divide. This is also -- It's very -- as you all know, digital divide is -- there are plenty of unconnected people in the world. The majority are in Africa, so we need to work on the digital divide, especially men to women, rural and urban areas and so on.
The other one is the Internet being a right where people are safe, and discussion around the down side of new future technologies, such as the Internet of Things and artificial intelligence; issues around the misinformation and disinformation, as spread by largely unfiltered medias, cybersecurity, and Internet crimes. Here, as a matter of fact, I am talking this as a firsthand experience. We were a victim by this and had been critical challenge for about 18 months in our country.
So we are looking up to this important forum to have a conflective exchange and come up with a roadmap that can point the way to improve and resolving the challenge, and particularly challenge specific to Africa where it's important that Internet is used positively, and that is advanced development and grow the agenda of our nations. Internet strategy reforms is a central component of Ethiopia development agenda for the next ten years. As you all know, digital (indiscernible) 2025 strategy also included.
In conclusion, and on behalf of my government, I would like to reflect on how excited we are to host you in our beautiful country, Ethiopia. I would like to assure you that the government of Ethiopia, especially the Ministry of Innovation and Technology in partnership with the Economic Commission for Africa and the Ethiopian community is already working intensively on planning the give and will spare no effort to contribute and support multistakeholders, advisory groups to deliver a successful 17 edition of the United -- the U.N. Internet Governance Forum.
Thanks so much.
>>CHAIR MITCHELL: Thank you very much, Minister Huria. I really, really appreciate your words and am very much looking forward to visiting Ethiopia for this year's event.
At this point, I'm going to hand it over to Chengetai.
>>CHENGETAI MASANGO: (Indiscernible).
>>CHAIR MITCHELL: Ah, going off the page. We will take a look at a video from the Under-Secretary-General delivering a message to us.
>>MR. LIU ZHENMIN: Dear colleagues, as you commence the second Open Consultations and Multistakeholder Advisory Group meeting, I would like to thank you all for your dedication and commitment to the Internet Governance Forum. We are now more than halfway into the preparations for the 17th IGF meeting in Addis Ababa. And I believe we are on a very good track.
The MAG has done an excellent job so far coordinating program preparations, defining the themes for the meeting, and chartering the intersessional work for the year.
The IGF community has been busy submitting various session proposals and getting involved in work of the best practice forums, policy networks, and the dynamic coalitions. Together with the national, regional and youth initiatives, this collect endeavor shows the dynamic nature of IGF ecosystem. This is a dynamism I trust will be maintained in the years to come as we continue to work together on strengthening the Forum.
As you work over the next three days to shape the substance and the format of the IGF 2022, I encourage you to build on the Forum's successes and the good practices to date.
At the same time, we need to continue assuring that IGF activities are strongly anchored into the realities of our world and reflect real needs and concerns of individuals around the globe.
With IGF coming back to the African region for the first time in a decade, I further invite you to consider what the Forum can do for Africa and how it can help provide momentum for inclusive and sustainable digital transformation in Africa.
What are today's most pressing digital policy issues globally and locally in the region? And how can multistakeholder dialogue and cooperation, two elements and the core of IGF, help to resolve them?
I would also like to encourage you to think about how to improve the Forum's outreach and impact, building on advice that emerged from the IGF Expert Group Meetings held at end of March. Take stock of what has kept the IGF community engaged year after year and how can we further build on this robust community to bring new voices on board. Also, consider what digital future we want for ourselves and the further generations to come.
How can the Forum work to meaningfully contribute to building this future for the future group?
These are not easy questions to answer, but I have confidence in your rich expertise and experiences and equally your collaborative, inclusive efforts. We can make important steps towards ensuring that the IGF adapts to emerging digital space and continues to grow well into the future.
The United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs will remain committed to work together with you and our host country, the government of Ethiopia, as well as United Nations Economic Commission for Africa and the IGF that is anchored in the present and look into the future of a global Internet for All. I thank you.
>>CHAIR MITCHELL: And I thank the undersecretary -- sorry. I got to wake myself up. I just landed late last night. So I apologize.
I would like to thank the UN DESA for the words. And at this point, I would like to pass on and get some updates on the state of preparations for the IGF 2022 from the host country IGF secretariat. The floor is yours.
>>HURIA ALI MAHDI: Thanks so much again, Paul.
As we have previously point out at the first MAG meeting, Ethiopia has recognized the necessary leveraging of the Internet and digital economy in order to build a more inclusive and prosperous society.
Once again, I would like to emphasize Ethiopia has taken the essential steps to host the 17th annual Internet Governance Forum, IGF 2022. As an update to what has already been reported on the last MAG meeting, in addition to branding the event, the IGF 2022 event technically document has been prepared. We have also reported that the string committee comprising of different stakeholders has been set up and a core technical committee which is actively working in the preparation of IGF.
We also have an advisory team from private sector, civil society, academia, associations, and youth that has been set up. All these groups have started working on the national IGF. Groups such as communication teams, logistics, visa, security teams has been formed.
We have also conducted the second School of Internet Governance Forum from May 16th to 19th, planning to host the national IGF. Considerable amount of work has been done in that regard.
Additional information about hotel names, stars, location, proximity to event venue, airport, entertainment, restaurants are revised. More information has been collected on price range, cancellation policy, late check-in and late check-out to be availed on the IGF 2022 website.
When we come to the epidemic, Ethiopia is a safe and reasonably healthy country as long as we follow a few government's (indiscernible), as recommended on the conference website, including the COVID-19 (indiscernible) and measures. Travel advisory measures will be updated as getting closer to the dates, but following measures will be taken with that being said.
Since the last MAG meeting, the updates are IGF 2022 event technical document has been approved. And based on that, we are undertaking the different tasks. A string committee with relevant institutions now actively following up the progress in the performance of the different committees. Important governmental institutions are members of this string committee, including prime minister office and other organizations to help with the preparation of IGF in terms of visa and accreditation, invitation, communication, branding, and other preparatory works.
We're also collaborating closely with the Ministry of Health, which is one of the string committee members, to ensure a successful Forum by adhering to COVID protocol and availing health professionals for our disaster management plans.
Suggestions and feedback from the string committee meeting were taken into consideration and helped us mitigate problems and limitations in work of execution plans.
The secretariat that coordinates different committees is under establishment. And the secretariat with this dedicated team is planning to replace the previous core technical team.
The multiple stakeholder adviser team is currently organizing the national IGF. We are practicing the multistakeholder nature of the Internet governance through this committee.
More on the national IGF to increase the event's inclusive participation, the national IGF is scheduled for the first week of August. The selected topic has been communicated to public through IGF and DTP Facebook page.
Three of the topics were chosen with regard to there. What the three topics are: Economic and social benefits of the Internet, affordable and meaningful access, access to Internet is a fundamental right. Those are the three major topics we have already selected.
Different subcommittees are actively engaged in day-to-day activities of the IGF 2022 preparation with key milestone dates and time lines defined. Each of the subcommittees are now producing their own execution plan and are closely working across the relevant teams.
A comprehensive meeting and orientation for all members of the subcommittee was organized, allowing the team to focus on a single goal, which is IGF 2022 preparation.
Budget for IGF 2022 has been approved already by the government. The relevant committee are now working closely with the ACA, United Nations Conference Center team, across a range of issues, including I.T., conference management, hotel, visa, and protocol.
Regarding our outreach efforts, we have followed different approaches. We have sent out invitations to our permanent representative at U.N. and E.U. In addition, my ministry has sent out invitations to different embassies and councilors in Addis. Furthermore, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs is sending invitation letters to embassies in Addis Ababa and missions abroad to increase the IGF participation.
As planned, we have also launched the host country website with wide-ranging information about IGF 2022.
We've only finalized the host country agreement with the secretariat and will be signed soon.
We are currently working on the high-level of leader track with the secretariat and will be working further on outreach efforts in increasing participation and promotion of the IGF 2022 at the national, regional and global level.
Thank you, gain, to the IGF secretariat and the MAG for the preparation to host 17th IGF meeting in Addis Ababa. Thank you so much. This is an update.
>>CHAIR MITCHELL: Thank you very much. I appreciate that. Now I will turn it back to Chengetai and we will get on the right path going forward.
>>CHENGETAI MASANGO: Thank you very much, Chair.
As the minister said, we had a very, very good working relationship with the minister's team for the preparations for IGF 2022. And we are also very excited to be back in Africa after ten years or so. So I think that is really great, and especially Ethiopia. Ethiopia and Addis Ababa is the diplomatic hub of Africa. So there's the African Union, it hosts the African Union, and most countries' embassies are there, and also we have other missions, headquarters of corporations and aid agencies also based in Ethiopia. So I think it is very good for the IGF to be there. And we can outreach, and by being there we can actually connect with a very large number of entities that we would normally not, if we had been elsewhere.
We also hold weekly and biweekly meetings between ourselves, the government of Ethiopia, and also Economic Commission for Africa. And I think we all understand what is required, and we're all working towards that. So I think that is really great, and I've got all the confidence that things will happen quite smoothly.
Just a quick overview. I'll try not to take too much time, but just as a recap. As you all know, that the IGF 2022 is going to take place on 20th of November to the 2nd of December this year, and it's going to be hosted in the U.N. compound in Addis, the Economic Commission for Africa's compound and the conference center. It's a very nice conference center. It's up-to-date. And it's not as big as we've seen in Katowice and in Berlin. We have 9 rooms instead of the usual 11, but we can adapt to that. And of course there has been calls for us to be more focused and more streamlined, so this will actually help us get there.
We are taking very particular attention, of course, to the hybrid model as well and also to the particularities of the IGF crowd. It's very ICT intensive, so we are making sure, together with our partners, that we have enough bandwidth and with the local ICT company there. So we're talking there to include increase the bandwidth to make sure that there are no bottlenecks, et cetera, as far as we're going.
So as far as this meeting is going to go and taking from what we learned in Katowice and previously as well, I think that the hybrid experience that we're going to have is going to be one of the best that we're going to have, learning from our past and also the efforts that we are doing on the run-up to the meeting.
And again, just as a recap, the theme for this year is Resilient internet for a Shared Sustainable and Common Future, and this was decided by the MAG in our February meeting, in the first meeting. And we have five themes which are derived from the global -- from the seven Global Compact focus areas. We put in five themes, and the aim here is to contribute to the Secretary-General's Global Compact and the Common Agenda, but not just that. Our output is -- of course serves as a dual purpose, so it's not just for the Secretary-General's agenda as well but for the IGF community as well. So we can use those outputs for, you know, dual purposes and for more than two purposes, as a matter of fact.
So the five themes, again, just as a way of recap is connecting all people and safeguarding human rights. The second theme is avoiding Internet fragmentation. Third theme is governing data and protecting privacy. And fourth theme is enabling safety, security, and accountability. And the fifth theme is addressing advance technologies, including AI.
For the high-level leaders meeting, as the minister has touched upon, we are having a series of dialogues among prominent individuals and multistakeholder high-level leaders. So it's not just government and ministers. We also want industry leaders. We also want leaders from the NGO community to come in, and we're going to include the youth as well. We listened to them in our last meeting, so we are also going to be including the youth there.
We are going to be -- have three main sessions. Three -- sorry, maybe not to confuse things. Three high-level leaders dialogues on day zero and day one. We're still finalizing, so these are the tentative plans that we're having. And the themes that they're going to be revolving around is connectivity, rights and security, and that is also going to be on the agenda.
We're also going to be spotlighting on the African region but not just on the African region but globally as well. And we can do both things. We can focus on the African experience, but everything that we are speaking on is also relevant globally because access is a universal issue. It's a universal issue in Africa, it's a universal issue in Asia, it's even a universal issue in the Americas as well, you know, for access, et cetera. So these are issues that are underlying everything that we do, and it is quite important, especially from the lessons that we have learned during the COVID pandemic.
I will not go into much detail for the other things, but I'll just touch upon them because during the course of today, the people in the secretariat and the consultants who are leading these efforts are going to explain a little bit more. But we do have the IGF 2022 Parliament track, which we are continuing with, and we are holding a symposium at the African IGF. That's 18 to 21st of July in Lilongwe Malawi. And we are inviting over, 30 African parliamentarians to come there from around the region, and we are also going to have parliamentarians from outside of Africa, European Members of Parliament as well that will be able to participate remotely so that they can exchange ideas and exchange, of course, how they deal with certain legislative processes; particularly with Internet governance, because of course Internet governance, we are focusing on how we can have -- make good policy instruments to further enhance and to spread the Internet for the benefit of all.
We are also supporting the national and regional initiatives in their efforts to engage parliamentarians. And we are also developing a toolkit for parliamentarians on key Internet digital policy issues.
At the IGF in Addis Ababa, we are also going to have several parliamentary sessions, and we also hope to be working with the Pan-African Parliamentary Union on that.
We are going to be having the youth track, and I think that actually was kicked off a couple of weeks ago -- correct? -- at the EuroDIG, but it's also the global youth track, and we are working closely with the host country as well.
As you know, Ethiopia has got 25 million youth, so they've got this huge resource that we can engage with as well and it's not just for Ethiopia but for the Africa and the world at large. That's what we're going to be doing for the youth track.
Intersessional work activities. As I said, I'll just read out the names and during the course of today we are going to be having a more in-depth review of those. So we've got two Best Practice Forums: The Best Practice Forum on Cybersecurity, and the Use of Norms to Foster Trust and Security. We have the Best Practice Forum on Gender and Digital Rights. And then we have our Policy Networks. The new Policy Network on Internet fragmentation. That's the other thing that we mentioned that we may also include in the high-level track. That was the thing that was missing from my notes here.
And then we also have the Policy Network on the meaningful access, which we had last year and we are continuing this year as well. And of course we have the 24 dynamic coalitions. We'll hear more about that as well.
The -- Our interaction and cooperation with the national and regional and subregional and youth IGFs is continuing. We have over 150 now that have been registered. This year we also managed to find funds to help with the meetings, and I think we managed to aid more than 16 national and regional initiatives to help them, you know, find a room, transport, Internet connection, et cetera.
For the IGF 2022 meeting, we are going -- today we are going to announce travel support. So on our website, if you go on our website, you can apply for travel support. And if you would want travel support, please do apply, and it will be very helpful if you are engaged in some activity so you're either a panelist at a workshop, you're a workshop proposer, your helping out with the IGF, because we are looking for volunteers to be online moderators, et cetera. You're from -- also from the underrepresented groups. So there are things you can do to improve your chances to be funded to come to the IGF. And of course we will give you time to also interact and to attend these sessions.
Remote hubs as well. Remote hubs is a feature that we have had over the past years. So there is some funding available for remote hubs. So registration starts on the 20th of July and that is going to be until the 20th of November. And so we will provide funding for remote hubs for rooms, Internet connections, et cetera, for remote hubs.
We will, from the secretariat side, be also going back to Ethiopia for our second planning mission just to make sure that everything is on track and have some -- also some engagement, especially with the missions there, with the youth there as well, just to make sure that things are prepared for the IGF 2022 meetings. And we will also be launching the MAG renewal process this month -- if not this week, probably next week -- as well. So that, as you know, for the MAG renewal it has to go through the Secretary-General's office, and this takes time. So the earlier we have it, the better for the stakeholders to also select candidates and also that we'll be able to announce the MAG for next year at the IGF 2022 meeting. And we've got some detailed advice and instructions on criteria, et cetera, for that.
And I think that is the end of my presentation. Let me just take a look at the left again to see if I have missed anything out. No? Okay.
Thank you very much.
>>CHAIR MITCHELL: Thank you.
Now I think we have on the agenda the opportunity for you to actually make comments on the content and format of the annual meeting, themes that have been discussed, the role of hybrid, how hybrid might be implemented, the idea of outputs and outcomes, what that might mean, and intersessional activities in any way, shape or form. Any of the content-related discussions we've had, presentations we've had up to this point in time. There's sort of three particular issues: Content and format, outputs, and intersessional activities. And the floor is open for a while now to take -- to take your comments and engage in some dialogue.
So signal with your flag, and let's have an interesting discussion.
I can't believe that in this room there isn't somebody who has something to say about some element of those three -- three things. So I might put somebody on the spot in a minute if there isn't a volunteer. First one's always the hardest.
Jorge, go ahead.
>>JORGE CANCIO: Thank you so much. And good morning here in Geneva. So welcome to everyone to this town of Swiss land on behalf of the Swiss government.
First of all, I would like to thank very much the Ethiopian government for all the strenuous efforts they are doing for these preparations. It's incredible what you are doing, and we know it from our small experience as host country in Geneva 2017. So we are very, very mindful and recognize the efforts you are doing. It's looking very well, and it's looking as a very promising IGF in Addis this November-December. So that's probably the first point, apart from breaking the ice, and hopefully others will join into the discussion.
The other issue I would like to mention in line with what we discussed at the IGF EGM, the retreat in New York where we participated from our side virtually, is that we look forward to a fully integrated program that the -- also the high-level leaders meetings are aligned with the broad lines of the program, recognizing what Chengetai said, that of course it's not only for the global Digital Compact but it has a dual or a plural use, what we have as outputs from the IGF. But of course the more we streamline the discussions, the more we use synergies between the main sessions, the workshops, the intersessional work, the parliamentarian stream, and also the high-level leaders stream of sessions, the more impactful the messages will be. And it's, of course, a great opportunity to have an impact, have an influence on the shaping of the Global Digital Compact which was already envisioned by the High-Level Panel on Digital Cooperation in its recommendations. So this is really a highlight in the global discussion on the architecture of digital cooperation and Internet governance. So worthwhile using all the influence, all the power of the IGF to have a great input on that process.
So I'll leave it by that. And thank you very much again for the great preparations.
>>CHENGETAI MASANGO: Sorry. Just another -- can you just turn. Thank you very much.
>>UNITED KINGDOM: Great. Thank you.
And thank you, Switzerland, for (indiscernible), for all the support you have mentioned.
Thank you to organizers who have convened us here today to the IGF 2022 Open Consultation and Multistakeholder Advisory Group meeting. It is actually fantastic to see everyone in person after -- they can't hear me?
I was just saying it was fantastic to see, maybe not to hear so much, everyone in person after so many months of strictly virtual meetings. And we look forward to contributing to this Open Consultation session, welcoming discussions of important topics such as, as mentioned, the Global Digital Compact but also continuous improvements that the IGF can make.
We look forward to confirmation from the U.N. that the IGF leadership panel will be in place in time to play a meaningful role at the 2022 IGF.
Thank you, Ethiopia, for your key role in driving such an important agenda. The U.K. intends to physically attend the IGF in Addis later this year where we greatly look forward to engaging with representatives across the multistakeholder community in the lead-up to the forum.
The location will draw a diverse array of stakeholders, like you mentioned, which is critical to taking forward our work on Internet governance.
As you know, the U.K. supports the multistakeholder model. It is this open and distributed framework of Internet governance that has enabled the Internet to grow and develop so quickly and successfully, offering enormous opportunities throughout the world to people.
It's a model that is critical to produce effective, collaborative solution to complex problems. It also allows issues to be resolved by those closest to the problem and with the relevant expertise.
So I will only finish by thanking, also, the MAG for the hard work on assessing the proposals for the sessions at the IGF in December. And we look forward to hearing your assessments. Thank you.
>>CHAIR MITCHELL: Thank you. And Amrita.
>>AMRITA CHOUDHURY: Thank you. Amrita Choudhury, MAG member for the record.
I just wanted to say in respect to the high-level panel and the ministerial track, it would be good if the ministers of the different nations, especially developing nations, are engaged now. Many of the time they are not -- they do not know about the event till the last point. So it would be good if information is spread across using different channels apart from the regular channels, which are used. Perhaps even MAG members can help in the respective countries so governments are engaged in this dialogue. Thank you.
>>CHENGETAI MASANGO: Should I answer?
>>CHAIR MITCHELL: Yes.
>>CHENGETAI MASANGO: Thank you very much for your inputs. As for the -- as with the high-level leadership panel -- can you hear me?
>>CHAIR MITCHELL: They're saying there's an echo.
>> Somebody has their speakers on.
>>CHENGETAI MASANGO: It's not me.
Okay. Yeah, I can hear the echo. I can do my answer in interpretive...
So we are expecting the announcement of the high-level leadership panel sometime within the next couple of weeks.
As for Amrita, as you said, yes, we hear you. The government has made -- through the official channels has made announcements for that. And we are also going to be contacting people directly that we've done in the past, that have attended the high-level in the past.
And, yes, we will reach out to MAG members if we cannot get that connection. Thank you.
>>CHAIR MITCHELL: I would like to ask a specific question for anyone's consideration, which is what should be meant by "outputs and outcomes" in this coming year? There's a lot of talk about outputs and outcomes and has been for the past engagements with the IGF. And the idea of outputs and outcomes has been somewhat toxic at some points in time, but it has an increasing currency with governments.
So I'm very interested in your thoughts on what that could mean and specifically what should the IGF do about it.
My question for everybody here is: What should be meant by "outputs and outcomes" and what should the IGF do about the concept of outputs and outcomes in the Internet governance space? There has been lots of discussion about outputs and outcomes, criticism that the multistakeholder model doesn't do any outputs or outcomes and, therefore, is irrelevant on one extreme. And then on the other extreme is if you don't have robust outputs, you are not worth anything either.
What should the IGF's view, position, and activities be on the concepts of outputs and outcomes?
>>AMRITA CHOUDHURY: Okay. This is a very tricky question, Paul. First of all --
>>CHENGETAI MASANGO: Sorry. Amrita. We've been asked if people could introduce themselves for the record. I know we know each other, but it's -- yeah...
>>AMRITA CHOUDHURY: Amrita, MAG member for the record.
It's a very tricky question which you have asked at this point. Firstly, the IGF cannot take a position. It can give the various threads of opinions which come out from the discussions. What it could do is there could be specific threads of thought which can come and feed in directly to the Global Digital Compact. That it can share.
But to say what is right, what is wrong is not IGF's position, but it can share what people think and perhaps what could be the way ahead.
>>NAZARIUS KIRAMA: Yes. Can you hear me, guys? Hello?
>>CHRIS BUCKRIDGE: I think someone is online wanting to talk as well. Perhaps it's better to go with that person.
>>NAZARIUS KIRAMA: Yes. My name is Nazar. Can you hear me?
>>CHRIS BUCKRIDGE: Hang on. We can hear you. But I'm not sure our colleagues at the top of the desk are listening.
We have a speaker in line.
>>NAZARIUS KIRAMA: Yes. My name is Nazar Nicholas.
>>CHAIR MITCHELL: Nazar. Thank you.
>>NAZARIUS KIRAMA: Yes, my name is Nazar Nicholas from Tanzania IGF.
I would like to chip in on your question about -- actually, your question has the roots in what the IGF mandate is.
What should be done is to ensure that we engage the government of the world in these issues to have enough information on what the IGF does and what it means to have all these discussions from multistakeholders around the world.
And one way of doing this is to ensure that we engage the government as well as the policymakers, like the members of parliament, to take this forward. Thank you so much.
>>CHAIR MITCHELL: Thank you very much.
Who is next? Chris.
>>CHRIS BUCKRIDGE: Thank you, Paul. Chris Buckridge, MAG member for the record. And I will keep it very brief because we want to hear more from non-MAG.
I find myself, as usual, agreeing with Amrita. I think the Global Digital Compact gives the IGF a quite important opportunity this year to actually provide some specific outputs with a very specific target and aim in mind. And I think it's a very important aim given that we want the Digital Compact to reflect the multistakeholder community inputs.
So from a MAG perspective, I think it's really important that we at this point really be thinking about how can we shape those outputs in a way that will be of most use and value in developing the Global Digital Compact going into next year. Thank you.
>>CHAIR MITCHELL: Thank you. Anyone else? I can't see a flag, if there is one. Jorge.
>>JORGE CANCIO: Okay. Thank you so much. Jorge Cancio, Swiss government for the record.
Yes, I agree very much with what Amrita and Chris said. And going more to the format of the outputs, this is a long discussion we have had in the IGF. But, of course, one of the -- one of the sets of outputs which is probably most important at least for us are the messages coming from the IGF. So the IGF messages which is a format of inputs that was introduced in the Geneva IGF in 2017 and which builds on the tradition of several national and regional IGFs which used that method.
And in the end, the messages are summaries or synthesis as concise and as to the point as possible of the discussions held at the IGF. And I would imagine that as an output of the IGF in Addis, we have five sets of messages, each of them dealing with each of the themes we have decided for this year's IGF themes that are aligned with the Global Digital Compact.
So that would be very helpful, I think, in order to feed them in -- into the discussions of the Global Digital Compact, to feed them into the Tech Envoy Office so that they can use them in preparing the discussions to be held in New York on the Global Digital Compact.
Just as an example, we held the Swiss national IGF one month ago. And we had also sessions that were, to a large extent, aligned with the contents of the Global Digital Compact. So we made use of this dual nature. Of course, the messages had a bearing for our national multistakeholder community, but we also fed them into the consultation that is run by the Tech Envoy Office about the different themes of the Global Digital Compact. And, of course, at a very much larger scale, I can imagine that happening for the IGF.
So there are, of course, beyond the messages, many other forms of outputs and outcomes from the IGF: The chair's summary prepared by the secretariat and, of course, the different outputs from the intersessional work and other outcomes from the discussions, be it the proceedings or the networks that are created during these conversations.
But I just wanted to highlight the importance of the messages as a way of really putting in very concise words the room consensus, the room agreement, and also the opinions when there are no agreements on the different sets of themes of what we will have at the IGF in Addis. Thank you.
>>CHAIR MITCHELL: Thank you very much.
We have Timea.
>>TIMEA SUTO: Thank you very much, Chair, for giving me the floor. This is Timea Suto from the International Chamber of Commerce for the record.
For those of you who don't know us, the International Chamber of Commerce is the world's largest business organization. We have a network of around 45 million companies in over thirty countries in the world. Several of them, of course, on the African continent. So we are very much looking forward to the IGF in Ethiopia towards the end of the year.
I'm very heartened to hear from the minister on the great progress of the preparatory work going on in Ethiopia and with the local communities, both business, of course, and all the other stakeholders to make sure that the event will be a success.
First of all, I wanted to offer my thanks and our support for the preparation of the meeting. And if there are any plans to connect with the global business community in the months to come, please count on our support and our involvement.
On the three topics here, that, Paul, you put in front of us for the preparation of the IGF from the MAG side and from the community side, I think we are on a good track, having established the five main themes for the IGF. And I think it's worth mentioning how beneficial it is that these themes are well connected with the global agenda of the Secretary-General and where the Internet community is moving towards this year and in the next year. And I would like to underline that this alignment with these five themes is going to be crucial not just to contribute to the process of the Global Digital Compact and the Under-Secretary-General's agenda but to help us report out from what's happening in the meeting. To your question on outputs and outcomes of the meeting, I think if we can keep everything that is happening under the IGF, all the intersessional tracks, the various special tracks, all different types of sessions, so workshops, open forums, everything else, well aligned with these five themes, including the high level, it will give us a guiding thread for our outputs so that we are focused, and people who want to know what's happening at the IGF can follow this thread across the different streams.
So my first point is alignment with the themes is crucial. And I think Jorge and others have said this, too.
The other thing that -- and I'm going to sound like a broken record. For those of how already know me, we always bring up the point of communication about the IGF's activities, not just about the outputs and outcomes, but communication on what is going on throughout the year, what is going on from the MAG side, the secretariat side, the U.N. level. We heard also from the Under-Secretary-General what they are planning, and of course what is planned by the host country. And if we have we can have some coordination and cooperation in the communication efforts of all these different entities, it is going to be that much easier for the community to stay up-to-date and to act as a multiplier for the messages and the work that is happening in all these pockets around the IGF, because there is a lot of work going on. So the community should know what is going on and how they can best engage and spread the word.
So for me, I think at this point, these are my three points. Just to offer our thanks, gratitude and support; to caution about alignment across all the different threads; and to put a good word in for communication efforts that is at the heart of everything we do.
So thank you very much, everyone. And I'll be coming in throughout the day for other topics. And wish you a productive meeting going forward.
>>CHAIR MITCHELL: Thank you. Next we have Wout.
>>WOUT DE NATRIS: Yes. You can hear me?
>>CHAIR MITCHELL: Yes.
>>WOUT DE NATRIS: Thank you, Paul.
My name is Wout de Natris, and I'm the coordinator of the dynamic coalition on Internet standards, security and safety or IS3C. And we have shared a letter with the chair and the secretariat a short while ago on messages and outcome -- outcomes, or actionable outcomes as they are now called, in IGF jargon.
Basically just to give a very short introduction, we have two working groups where professional researchers are doing work for this coalition, which is being funded by some organizations around the world to come up with security by design on it's type of things, best practices, and recommendations and guidelines. And we are very -- we are far advanced in Education Skills Working Group, and I expect to be able to announce at least three more working groups within two months from now. So that will mean that we will come up with messages and perhaps even tangible outcomes or actionable outcomes by the time of the IGF.
And what our concern is as a coalition, we've discussed this with the DCCG, the Dynamic Coalition Coordination Group, and on the basis of that we wrote a letter, which I signed personally and not on behalf of this group. But what I would like to have discussed with the MAG in the coming days, if possible, is discussion on how do we make sure that the messages that we are going to arrive at can be worked at during this -- not just as an intersessional one but also that it is delivered to the right people that have to give some sort of support, some sort of buy-in or perhaps even a form of consensus so that these messages are accepted by the time that we arrive at our yearly meeting. And the people who need to know about it and have to act on the recommendations are aware of them and perhaps even -- can even work with them afterward so that they become actionable.
So the second question is on the IGF itself, how do we make sure that the work -- that in the intersessional period is being done by a coalition or Best Practice Forum arrives in time on the seat, more or less, of people making the decisions after the IGF. And usually we have a session somewhere in the program that is well or not well intended, just depending on what other sessions are going on. But when do we actually be able to present the messages at the right time? And we have some suggestions for that in the letter, and we would very much like to discuss this together so that we arrive at some -- some understanding of what we're going to do with the actionable outcomes that come out of intersessional work, and that they are understood as being actionable.
So thank you for the opportunity, and I look forward to a discussion in the coming days. And I'm very sorry not to be able to be with you in Geneva, which I very much would have liked to shake hands again.
>>CHAIR MITCHELL: Thank you very much.
>>AVRI DORIA: I didn't realize I had raised my hand. I'm very sorry for doing so. But since I'm -- I'm speaking, there was a comment made earlier about the outcomes and outputs, and I put this comment in the chat, that -- that somehow that the inability to do them has more to do with the multistakeholder model than with the construction of the forum or association that wants to have outputs and outcomes. And I think that really isn't a helpful way of looking at it. There are organizations that do put out outputs and outcomes and are essentially multistakeholder models, though the various models vary.
So I think it really has more to do with the commitment of -- of the -- of the IGF, of its secretariat, of DESA that, you know, initiates and sort of controls its shape and its framework and their commitment, and the support for a structure that basically allows outputs and outcomes to be done, to have the schedule, to have the meetings and assistance that Wout and others talk about.
And that commitment, which includes the financial, which has always been a missing component of the IGF -- oh, and I should indicate, I'm speaking as someone that used to be secretariat, that used to be MAG, and now speaks in her personal capacity. But that -- that that commitment, both -- both in terms of structure and organization and in terms of financing, is critical. Without having that, it remains, at best, a hope. It remains something that we do a little of. We get some of. But for the IGF to really succeed at that and to succeed at then doing an outreach with those messages so that they are heard in governments, in industry, in various NGOs, civil society, academia, the technical community, for that to happen there has to be a structure that wants it, that supports it, that supports the multistakeholder method of it and that finances it. And until that happens, this remains a perennial hope, something that a few messages leak out, but by and large, it ends up something that is almost impossible to do.
So with this commitment to the, you know, Global Digital Compact, I hope that the financial part of that and the organization and structural part of that becomes real. Because without that, you know, from my years of participating from the beginning and even from before tells me we stay in this loop. And I wish those of you that are there good luck. Truly wish I was in Geneva with you, but I'm not.
>>CHAIR MITCHELL: Thank you, Avri.
>>TEREZA HOREJSOVA: Thank you, chair. Tereza Horejsova, MAG member. Avri, you are with us. This is a hybrid meeting. So thank you also for your interventions.
Indeed, the topic of the outputs and outcomes of the IGF has been on the table for quite some time. I, however, think that we should acknowledge that we have made progress. And maybe the messages are going in the right direction, and thank you also Switzerland for leading by example with your national IGF in, you know, using this model further at the global level.
However, we also need to realize what the limitations are. The IGF as a platform for all stakeholders actually calls for diversity of views. We evaluate the sessions that make it to the IGF based on this criteria. So we want diverse views. We are not expecting like, you know, clear outcomes: This is what the session has decided, this is what the IGF has decided.
So this is something we should be sensitive about, about like how tangible the outcomes in the form of the messages or another format can actually be. However, this should not matter, because we understand what role the IGF has as the only forum bringing all these stakeholders together to discuss digital policy, Internet governance issue holistically. So just showing to the community what the -- actually the kind of hunger for issues are, what issues actually make it to the agenda, what issues are considered of a priority, in what way they have been discussed, this is very valuable, and should be valuable for stakeholders, such governments which obviously need, you know, something more tangible to take away from a meeting like this.
However, this year we have a unique opportunity with the annual meeting that is exactly about the Global Digital Compact process. And here, you know, I would like to concur with Avri's points a lot that, you know, this is also a great opportunity for us to kind of see how can we make sure that what is discussed at the IGF, what will be kind of a bit of a showcase how we all feel about these five main themes, how does it make it to the Global Digital Compact, how can it be picked up in an efficient way.
So these are my inputs. Authentication.
>>CHAIR MITCHELL: Thank you very much.
And now we have Amir.
>>AMIRHOSSEIN MOKABBERI: Hello, can you hear me?
>>CHAIR MITCHELL: Yes, we can. Thank you.
>>AMIR MOKABBERI: Thank you very much for giving me the floor.
Hello, everyone. I'm Amir Mokabberi. I am an academic at Tehran University. I speak from my personal capacity.
Regarding the question of outcome of the IGF, I would like to say building a good Internet could be long-term outcome and output of the IGF. What do I mean by good Internet? It has many components like a peaceful Internet. A good Internet is peaceful Internet. Safe and secure Internet. Ethical Internet. Lawful Internet. Responsible Internet. Just-ful and fair Internet. Healthy Internet. And Internet with collective Internet governance framework.
I think contributions to build good Internet is an outcome, an output of IGF community. If we're going for (indiscernible), we should define what is a good Internet for all. Good Internet is different from different views, cultures, different moral views, social values, and legal framework.
I hope good Internet could be included in Global Digital Compact discussion with support -- with support of IGF community. I really hope we have your vote for IGF in Addis Ababa.
Thank you very much for giving me the opportunity to share my view. Thanks.
>>CHAIR MITCHELL: And thank you. And now we have Mark.
>> MARK CARVELL: Yes, thank you very much, Chair, and hello, everybody. I'm Mark Carvell. I'm a member of EuroDIG support association. I'm also policy advisor to the ISC3 dynamic coalition and a former MAG member.
And I first of all want to echo Tereza's comment about, well, essentially the IGF is not a negotiating forum. It was never intended to be that. It's a forum to bring together stakeholders worldwide with a common interest on issues of relevance to the governance of the Internet, its evolution, the challenges and opportunities and so on.
But the experience of EuroDIG has been very good, the European regional IGF, in working quickly to identify broad areas of consensus and to issue those in messages format that Jorge spoke about in the context of the Geneva hosting of the IGF. So it's a kind of approach which aims to capture broad areas of agreement of what are the key priorities and potential options for addressing those. And it's a way of capturing the core elements of the proceedings of the event. And it's a very important device because it's on the record, and it becomes a vehicle for transmitting to policymakers and governments, to decision-takers in industry, to leading thinkers in academia and in leaders and activists in civil society and to young people about what are the potential ways forward in addressing Internet issues.
So the messages are important, and they need to be done quickly. In EuroDIG, we try to do this visually on the spot during -- so that we can sum up at the end of the EuroDIG event, which this year was held a couple of weeks ago in Trieste in Italy, so that we have a kind of rolling process, momentum, if you like, coming out of the discussions. And that's valuable for the IGF as well to have that.
And as to mechanisms, which Avri touched upon, well, the IGF is working on that very effective. First of all, we have the NRI network globally. The messages can be disseminated through the national and regional IGFs, from -- the messages from the global IGF can be disseminated through this network very effectively.
We have the parliamentarians engaged increasingly. Messages should be transmitted to the parliamentarians. And we have the leadership panel coming in. I hope, you know, this can be sorted out quickly. We've been anxiously awaiting the leadership panel being installed and getting up and running and working effectively alongside the MAG in broadcasting and disseminating the outputs from the IGF, the key priorities. And so the leadership panel's primary role will be one to deliver and engage on the outcomes, be they messages, menus of options, recommendations, guidelines, toolkits, that kind of thing. The leadership panel can have a valuable role in ensuring that outcomes are delivered.
And it's important also to measure the impact to get some sense of how the outcomes from the IGF are actually being picked up, deployed, adapted regionally according to national -- differing national circumstances. You know, these are not going to be things set in stone on tablets. They have to be -- they have to take into account different situations across the globe. But some effort should be enacted to measure how the impacts of the IGF are actually being reflected in new policy, in new thinking in how industry is working collaboratively to promote the welfare of citizens through more effective deployment of digital transformation and all the associated issues with that.
Thank you very much. I hope those thoughts are helpful. Thank you.
>>CHAIR MITCHELL: Yes, thank you.
And next we have Karim. Karim, if you are speaking, we can't hear you.
Okay. So the queue is exhausted, I think, at this point.
Anybody that has yet to make a comment on this topic that you want to make at this point? Yes, take it away.
>>MATTIA FANTINATI: Thank you very much, MAG Chair. Thank you very much, secretariat. Thank you very much for your hosting to the Ethiopian government. We are very, very happy of the location of the IGF change and we have chosen the African continent.
I think we are facing a sort of revolution about the concept of using the Internet. Distinguished colleagues, I have to say, honestly and frankly, that Internet and the problem of Internet are not the same for all. We have the European problem that's different from the African problem that's different from the Russian problem that's different from the U.S. problem. And sometimes it's very difficult to find data, a common goal, a common solution. We have to be frank. We have to say that.
Otherwise, I think the IGF should be strengthened in order to reinforce the roll out the IGF (indiscernible) at the U.N.
Why I'm asking this is very important, that we share a common understanding, we share some good practice. We have re-informed the mechanism of international cooperation and things we all have agreed, even during this very difficult period.
But I want to be frank and I want to ask you: What will be the role of the IGF at the U.N -- at the United Nations? That's the key, how are we really to be important in the Digital Compact. Because if they care about us and our role and our outcome -- I'm sorry, I have to put it away.
It would be very good to involve our politicians. It would be very good to involve our government. It would really pave the way to define our pillars, I think we have good work. Otherwise, it's a very good kind of talking. It's a very point to common understanding and make a lot of pillars of Internet.
But I think that we have to be concrete on defined pillars that we want to strengthen to have a position of the Internet for the future.
Otherwise, I think that we have different and several outcomes. One is involving the government. One is involving the politician. I am a politician. I am a member of Italian parliament. I am the chairman of IGF in Italy. It is really my personal experience that I want to share with you because as my experience, that we involve a lot of politicians, a lot of parliament. And we have one chance to be concrete on this panel.
Of course, we have to decline on how our national situation. That's the key. It isn't very easy. But at the global level, it's important to speak and talk about some points.
Otherwise, I'm working with IPU, other politicians. And I officially say that I am trying to do -- it's not official but we are very, very close to put an IGF event on IPU agenda.
I spoke with the president of IPU and IGF event will be fixed event of the IPU agenda. So I think that's a sort of a way we are really trying to really be concrete at the parliamentary level. So we have the parliament level. We have the government level. We have the civil society level that I think that can we really have a concrete impact on the Digital Compact.
But this is why I recommend to you that we have to be strengthened at the U.N. level because we have to be really, really recognized. Thank you very much.
>>CHAIR MITCHELL: Thank you. So we've had a lot of discussion over the last 45 minutes or so on the outputs and outcomes.
I would like to turn us a little bit to something a little closer at hand which is the content and format for the meeting as a whole; that we have been marching down a certain path of how the IGF is put together for the last several years. Is it perfect? Is it exactly what we'd like? For the few ideas leaning into maybe some changes, this is an opportunity to put input in and have some discussion of the potential more different approaches for putting together the annual meeting and how the content flow should work. What's the hybrid potential? How do we want to define hybrid or the model going forward? Any of those areas that are touching on the actual event itself, I'm really interested to see what people have on their mind.
Yes, down at the end, I can't read it.
>>ADAM PEAKE: Thanks, Paul. It's Adam hiding behind a mask. Adam Peake, MAG member.
I wanted to mention about how it would be interesting to hear from the local host what kind of technical preparations you have considered. I imagine it's with the host and the U.N. facilities in Addis.
Particularly recent experience suggests quite large numbers of cameras in rooms, monitors so that people on panels can see what's happening because a lot of them -- a lot of what's happening is happening on Zoom behind them.
But whatever it is, I'm just wondering what kind of technical preparations you're considering because hybrid format and approach will require that. And we are, as MAG members in a working group, available to help with this. But there is a lot of technical preparation that will be required as well. Thank you.
>>CHAIR MITCHELL: Thank you.
Chengetai, do you want to make any comments on that?
>>CHENGETAI MASANGO: As I mentioned earlier on that as far as the hybrid format is concerned, we do have IC teams from the three sides, from the secretariat side -- I don't know if you remember Eduardo who has been with us the past ten, 11 years doing the interactive stuff.
We have ECA, Economic Commission for Africa. And they also are well-versed -- I think everything who runs conference center has become more and more competent and well-versed in this hybrid mode of organizing a conference.
And then we also have the government -- the Ethiopian government team. And the Ethiopian government team, they're also accessing the private sector there which includes the telco.
So we're all working together to make sure that everything goes as smoothly as possible and there's been -- as I said, we've had weekly meetings. We know what is needed. We know what needs to be done. And we're all working together to get that done. So by the time that the meeting comes, I am very confident that we're going to have one of the smoothest -- of course, I mean this is all technical stuff, so I will -- something will go wrong somewhere. But hopefully, it will only be for a very short amount of time.
But, yes, we are doing everything that we can. And we are also well aware of once everything is set up, that we can also reach out to the IGF community such as ICANN as well, and ISOC. So we do -- we are aware and we do have all those plans, and we're working towards making sure that it's going to be as smooth a process as possible. Thanks.
>>CHAIR MITCHELL: Great. Thank you.
>>AMRITA CHOUDHURY: Thank you. I think for the meetings to actually have a real live feel even if you are aware, it should have less glitch. We have had lessons in the past, last year also in terms of getting access into the meetings, joining -- looking at the agenda, et cetera, so certain things. Perhaps we need to beef up our back-end systems to be able to take that kind of load, the system does not crash.
It should be easy, as easy as it is to enter a U.N. compound, the access into the online world should also be that easy. It should not be too complicated. We should try to make things as easier as possible.
And keep one system. Let's not kind of think, okay, let's use this option, that option. Let's keep one system through which if Zoom works, even people in the room can log into Zoom. Of course, they can walk up to a mic and speak. But I think let's think of one system, easy, two or three steps to get where we want to be in the room, whichever, virtual or physically. Thank you.
>>CHENGETAI MASANGO: Thank you very much, Amrita.
Yes, as you said, yes, my motto is keep things simple.
[ Laughter ]
As we've learned from last year and the previous years, we shouldn't have a single point -- make sure there is no single point of failure and we do have the backup systems in case anything goes wrong with one and there's a bottleneck.
So taking those lessons that we've learned in the previous years, we are now implementing them this year as well. We will take what we've learned this year for next year. I mean, it's a continuous process, yeah.
>>TALANT SULTANOV: Hello. It's working, yeah?
Hi, it's Talant from Kyrgyzstan. Thanks so much for the organizers, MAG Chair, secretariat, host country.
Speaking of the format and continuing with what Amrita said, we have been organizing many hybrid events in Kyrgyzstan, for rural communities especially. And what we found out is that a very simple for us, I guess, Internet-related people, things can be challenging for remote areas, for people in remote areas. And if we would like more people to connect to events at the IGF, perhaps we should think of very simple ways for people to connect.
So when we do Zoom events, one time we tried to have preregistration so people would be entering their emails. But in the rural communities, they don't even have emails sometimes to register, so it would tamp down the participation significantly.
But when we did the very simple way to enter the Zoom room, then we would have a lot of people actually interested in the topics that we are discussing. So one, I guess, area where we need to consider is if we want to reach out more to rural communities, how to make it from one hand safe that we don't have Zoom bombers or anything like that but from on the other hand, simple enough for people to actually join in the online format. Thank you.
>>CHAIR MITCHELL: Thank you.
And we have Wout.
>>WOUT de NATRIS: Yes. Thank you, Chair.
I've got a question of concern that -- in full appreciation of everything I've heard, it's a very ambitious program that we're going to have in Ethiopia. And I'm very appreciative of all the initiatives that are being prepared.
In our national newspapers in the past two, three weeks, there was very, very alarming news coming out of Ethiopia. And that has led an explosion of activity on our NL IGF app, of people saying I am not going to go there because we think it's dangerous.
If I listen to you, I get a different opinion. So my question is, there are people with grave concerns about traveling to Ethiopia. And I looked at our foreign ministry just now, and it comes with several warnings traveling to Ethiopia but we are allowed to travel at this point.
How can we take these concerns away if they're not accurate? So that is one. So how could the IGF communicate on this perhaps in a better way?
But, on the other hand, if it comes to a very bad point, is there a plan B? So those are questions that I'm asking in a personal capacity, not as representative of anybody, but just as a concerned stakeholder.
So sorry having to ask that, but it's question that came up too often not to address. So thank you for the opportunity.
>>CHENGETAI MASANGO: Thank you very much, Wout, for bringing that up.
Yes, I mean, there have been some concerns. Yes, there was some issues, particularly late last year. But I don't want to speak for them. They can speak.
But as far as the U.N. is concerned, we do listen to our Department of Safety and Security and they have the utmost safety of participants and the U.N. staff.
And as far as they are concerned at the moment, Addis Ababa is on the green level. Addis Ababa is very peaceful, and we've been there. We did a planning mission there as well. And we did not have any problems when we got there. And it's not as if we've made the decision and everything -- wherever we go, it's the same. There's nothing special that we're going to do in Ethiopia that we didn't do anywhere else. We always listen to our Department of Safety and Security and they do have monthly updates. And we do listen to them and we do have an event security coordinator, and we do listen to them.
As I mentioned before, if Ethiopia -- Addis Ababa is the diplomatic hub of Africa. And if you go and see what's happening there with the missions, et cetera, all the missions are in operation there and everything is happening. So it's not as if we're the only ones who are there.
I mean, as far as the international community is concerned, they're operating -- as far as I see it, they are operating normally in Addis Ababa. But I don't know if the minister wants to say anything.
>>ETHIOPIA: Thank you. With the permission of my minister, thank you very much for giving me the floor.
As you rightfully said, Addis Ababa is the third diplomatic capital: New York, Geneva, and Addis Ababa. Addis Ababa is a city of the African Union, a city of E.U. Economic Commission for Africa, headquarters for tens of international organizations, more than 150 embassies in Ethiopia. There are international conferences carried out in Addis Ababa on a daily basis.
Currently, not only Addis, the entire country, except few pockets at the peripheral areas, yes, there was a conflict in the northern part of Ethiopia where at some times some of the members of the international community and the international media made some exaggerations that Addis Ababa is under siege, which was a propaganda ploy to -- which was politically motivated.
I don't want to go into the details, but now those are over. Those are over. The international community even go into -- where the original conflict began and providing humanitarian assistance in other operations. The rest of the country is peaceful. Addis is peaceful.
We are running conferences in Addis. Even during those periods where the media was telling the international community that there is a security problem in Ethiopia, the African Union, the leaders of Africa held their summit in Addis Ababa. During that time, no single instance of security problem in Addis or elsewhere. Now, the country's safe, Addis is safe. The ITU has office in Addis Ababa. All U.N. (indiscernible) agencies here in Geneva have their office in Addis Ababa. They are operating. Embassies are operating.
Even the EU is -- members are traveling to Addis Ababa on a daily basis. Ministers, prime ministers, leaders are visiting and traveling to Addis Ababa very frequently these days.
So what I would like to say is, please, rest assured. Don't follow some negative approaches and attitudes. Ethiopia is a responsible country, a responsible member of the international community which cares not only for others but for its own. When it cares for its own, it's caring for others.
So rest assured, everything is safe. Ethiopia is safe. Addis is safe.
We are ready, and people are traveling to Addis Ababa on a daily basis. That is what I would just like to reassure you.
>>CHAIR MITCHELL: Thank you very much.
>>CHENGETAI MASANGO: Yeah, and another thing about news reports. I mean, we cannot control news reports. So if you are concerned, we do have -- as I said, we do have our departments of safety and security, and you also have your embassies in Addis Ababa, and they can give you the latest news. So those are the ones that I'd go to. Check with your embassy. As I said, most of them are there. But as far as we can see now, there's nothing to worry about, about Addis Ababa. I mean, of course, natural caution because a city is a city. It doesn't matter where you are. But as far as any enhanced -- yeah.
>>ADAM PEAKE: Thank you. Adam Peake again taking the floor as a MAG member. Sorry for that.
Yeah, I just texted some friend in Addis and she's just going out to lunch and she's perfectly happy. So yeah, thank you very much for those comments.
But I think it's still -- you know, we see travel guidance from countries that suggest that it's not safe. So do listen to everything that's just been said. But, Chengetai, if you could share reports from the U.N. security team, as you've mentioned, then that is really what we need, because insurance companies don't talk to my friend who is going out for coffee and just walked her dog.
So I did hear exactly what colleagues have said. But please, if you can provide that official information, it will help people, because it's just necessary for travel insurance, for safety and concerns of your bosses, et cetera, et cetera. So if you can do that and make that publicly available, that would be wonderful.
Thank you very much, and looking forward to being in Addis later this year. Thanks.
>>TALANT SULTANOV: Thanks so much. Another issue I wanted to raise in terms of outreach, maybe the issue of translation and interpretation. Hopefully there will be a translation at the event to major U.N. languages. But in addition, if we could think of innovative ways of translating the -- what's happening at the IGF to local languages of different countries, perhaps we could find potential partners in small countries where they would be willing to experiment with translating. It could be an interesting way to reach out to people who have not been connected into IGF activities.
And in Kyrgyzstan we are willing to try to test -- to translate the Kyrgyz language.
>>CHAIR MITCHELL: Thank you.
So that was a great discussion on one part of what it might mean to be hybrid, but I'm wondering if you have thoughts about how hybrid evolves and how you'd like to see hybrid evolve in terms of delivering content and reaching the needs of the participants who come to IGF virtually or in person.
For example, hybrid, once upon a time, was the occasional entity, participating online while everybody else is in a room. Now we've also seen the opposite of that where nobody's in the room and everybody's in their individual spaces.
But what can you do or should we consider as work items to create a truly universal experience for people participating in IGF that really delivers the same level of impact whether you're online or offline?
Anybody have thoughts?
>>AMADO ESPINOSA: Thanks. Amado Espinosa, MAG member.
As we have already discussed at the internal groups, Paul, I think it's very key to -- to have the organizers of the -- of the different events in presence there at the room, because as you realize, this dynamic today, it wouldn't -- it wouldn't work if all of us would be virtually. Actually, the main organizers should be in place there. And if we can encourage them to do that, I think it will be very helpful to improve the quality level of the event, and also to enhance the local discussion if we are trying to approach the different jobs or social groups in Africa and Ethiopia, and if we are really trying to make this experience as universal as you mentioned. But the -- the physical presence, I think, at least from the standpoint of the organizers, should be one of the rules to make it successful.
>>CHAIR MITCHELL: Thank you.
Anyone else have thoughts on this topic?
>>NAZARIUS KIRAMA: I really wanted to comment on the situation in Ethiopia. I think there has been some, at least in the past, movement to ensure that the IGF in Ethiopia is perhaps moved to some other location. And I think somewhat those quarters that have been pushing for the IGF to be held somewhere else are either not aware of what is happening in Ethiopia or they might have some other, you know, politically motivated, I mean, issues around them, because I was in Ethiopia the last two months, and activities are happening. The international community is there. You know, normal; everything is green. I even went to two different embassies, and their level of alert was on the green side of the equation. So I wanted to assure the international community that is coming to Ethiopia in November-December that Ethiopia is a safe place to go, because I was there as part of the delegation for a meeting that was happening in the headquarters of African Union.
So as a person who is not an Ethiopian, I have been in Ethiopia this year, and everything is peaceful. It's fine. People are going about their lives, daily lives, you know, normally. And, you know, we have tourists going in Ethiopia. And I just wanted to make that comment to allay those fears of individuals that may have been misinforming the public or, especially online, you know, perpetuating the information that Ethiopia is not a safe place to go.
I think the IGF in Ethiopia is going to be wonderful. I have seen the government of Ethiopia hosting several many events, and they have been very homely and welcoming and colorful.
So I just wanted to comment on that to allay those fears that, you know, as some were -- for those who have not been in Ethiopia.
>>CHAIR MITCHELL: Thank you.
And we now have Sandra.
>>SANDRA HOFERICHTER: Hello, everyone. Can you hear me?
>>CHAIR MITCHELL: Yes.
>>SANDRA HOFERICHTER: Super.
Coming back to your question, Paul, on what makes a good hybrid meeting, I would just like to share my experience from the recent EuroDIG that finished two weeks ago.
I think we were pretty good in achieving our goal to put remote participants and participants onsite on an equal level. It went as far as that online participants were so equally that participants in the room sometimes felt like rather watching TV. And this happens, in particular when you only have a fully hybrid -- a fully virtual panel, for instance. And we realize that this is a problem for those who took the effort to travel if we only have a fully remote panel.
I do understand that it is difficult to avoid this because apart from some people that deliberately choose to participate online, there might be some last-minute cancellations or illness or whatsoever what might hamper a person from coming to the meeting, albeit the person was intended to do so.
We were just discussing in a very small group in the EuroDIG board how we can overcome this, and we believe it needs a second moderator, a moderator that is definitely in the room. And possibly a way out might be that there is a pool of resource moderators that are able to take over any session, of course according to the expertise, but take over any session for which it happens that the panel, including the moderator, is fully online because for online participants it's rather hard to get a sense of the room who is queuing, who wants to speak up, what is the temperature or what is the activity in the room. So it would be really important, and this is something that I can already take as a takeaway from the EuroDIG, it is essential that someone is physically in the room and is in constant interaction with the potential remote moderator or the potential online moderator. And also is able, and this again is key, to stop people that are speaking overtime, that are speaking for just too long. And the online moderator as well as the moderator in the room should be able to stop those in order to.
[ Cross-talk ]
Sorry, some background noise here in my line. I don't know.
Looks like Abdeldjalil Bachar Bong is the source of noise.
Okay. I stop here anyway.
>>CHENGETAI MASANGO: Yes. Abdeldjalil, can you please mute yourself? Can we try and see if we can mute him from here, Luis?
>>CHAIR MITCHELL: Sandra, would you like to finish? I think we have the audio fixed.
>>SANDRA HOFERICHTER: I think I said what I had to say. If it was understood in the room, let me know; otherwise, I'm happy to repeat.
>>CHAIR MITCHELL: Questions for, Sandra?
Okay. Then Amrita.
>>AMRITA CHOUDHURY: Amrita, MAG member for the record.
I agree with what Sandra had said, and this was one of the learnings from last year's IGF and the working group on hybrid strategy has been dwelling on it. And for that, this year, when we propose -- workshop proposals were called, it was mentioned that there has to be some person in the room, too, so that there is a blend between the hybrid, the online and the offline world.
Having said that, a suggestion was shared in the mailing list a few days ago, if MAG members can also be there as assigned to certain workshops so that they can step in if required to manage the floor.
And like we always gave a training on how to -- for selected workshop proposals, as to how to go about the session, I think a brief on what is expected in terms of engaging people in the room versus online has to be reiterated because it's new for most people.
Another thing which we have to understand in case of IGF, which is different from regional IGFs, is that we have diverse set of people coming with diverse expectations. When it is regional, there may be diverse thoughts but still it is more region-centric. But when we go into the global world, it is different. For example, you know, the issues of the developed countries may be very different from developing countries. The people in the room should feel that the discussion is relevant to them.
So I think the challenge lies with the MAG members also to select that the discussions are diverse, universal to a certain extent, that people can engage on them.
>>TEREZA HOREJSOVA: Thank you. Sorry I missed a few minutes, but I caught up with the transcribe which is one of the perils of hybrid meetings.
On the hybrid elements and the needs that it's true hybrid, meaning there should be people in the room and there should be people online. If there are no people in the room, it's a problem both from the session organizer point of view and for -- from the -- yeah, just the hybrid nature of the IGF.
Please correct me if I'm wrong, dear colleagues from the secretariat, but was that not a requirement for anybody suggesting workshop proposals, submitting workshop proposals, to actually ensure that they have a moderator or somebody taking up that role of serving as the bridge between the online, in case this is a predominantly online session, in the room?
I -- Frankly, speaking, I did consider this as an important aspect in my evaluations of the workshop. I did bring attention to the fact that if it was a purely online panel. But I would like to have a clarification as to whether this was really a requirement. And if not, how can we make it happen, be it with volunteering, MAG members, but it's tricky as well, or finding another way. But I think we should by all mines avoid situations that we have empty rooms with running screens and maybe few participants in the room not knowing how to meaningfully engage. Thanks.
>>CHENGETAI MASANGO: I mean, to answer your question, it was a requirement this year, yes. To answer your question, it was a requirement this year.
>>BRAM FUDZULANI: Thank you, Paul. Bram, MAG member. I wanted to underscore the assumption that the hybrid model, especially when you don't have someone physically present, you know .
I think you summarized it well, Paul, when you highlighted where we're coming from, doing the background of the hybrid initially. You only have an institution that would participate remotely with everyone else in the room and then, you know, engage with the audience in the room.
The pandemic has pushed us, you know, where we have now getting -- are getting used to these hybrid conversations. However, I think it would be wrong to conclude that we have gotten to a level where we can completory have a session without anyone else in the room. If we are really looking for a vibrant engagement and a fruitful conversation in these workshops, then it means we need to either -- I think the training that Amrita recommended to talk with workshop proposers and say how do you ensure active participation by engaging the audience that are online, even with combining those that are onsite to make sure that these conversations are fruitful and I think even the outcomes are actually reflecting the vibrant conversations.
So I think there's an aspect of capacity-building, I don't know, engaging with workshop proposers. Just to make sure we are not completely assuming, as Amrita highlighted, where there are other people coming from the developed world and they are accustomed to these kinds of conversation. They can participate in an online conversation just fine.
Where I come from in Africa, you actually have 17 people showing that online but very few are actually paying attention to conversation in the room. How do we ensure that when we have a large number registered online they are actually participating actively in the conversation? Thank you.
>>CHAIR MITCHELL: Thank you. And CGI.
>>CGI.BR: Hi, everyone. (saying name), CGI.BR, Brazil. Just a brief comment?
Can you hear me? Okay.
Brief comment regarding communication and the advertising of sessions. I think that this should play a very important role on the IGF hybrid dynamic, as it brings new participants (background noise) and shouldn't be just a --
>>CHENGETAI MASANGO: Sorry to disturb you.
Wisdom, can you just mute yourself? Can somebody mute Wisdom?
>>CHENGETAI MASANGO: Wisdom, can you mute yourself? Thank you.
>>CGI.BR: Thank you.
So communications of the sessions should be encouraged by the secretariat to the session organizers in order to -- not make all the communications' efforts go on the shoulders of the secretariat as we have so many sessions to be publicized. So it should be encouraged that session organizers also bring participants to their own sessions instead of having them communicated only by the secretariat. That's my comment. Thank you.
>>CHAIR MITCHELL: Thank you. Okay. Down in the -- go ahead. Roberto.
>>ROBERTO ZAMBRANA: Thank you very much, Paul. Roberto Zambrana, MAG member for the record.
I just wanted to follow up the question from Tereza and the answer, of course, from Chengetai about if it was a requirement. Yes, indeed, it was a requirement. But some of the proposers, as you saw during the evaluation process, just mentioned that there would be people onsite in some cases, maybe in some others, that some of the panelists were going to be in person but were not sure about people in charge of the session or even a moderator that is going to be in person.
So I think it would be good to think in advance that in some cases, we will need to ask the proposers to perhaps assure that they're going to have someone in the room. Because as some of the other colleagues mentioned before, it's an important thing to want engagement of the people that are going to be face-to-face during the IGF. So just to keep that in mind for all of us.
And that is something that we will also have to take into account when we're doing the final evaluation round during the following days. Thank you.
>>CHAIR MITCHELL: Thank you.
>>CHRISTIAN NZHIE: Hello. Can you hear me? Good morning. I am Christian Nzhie from Cameroon.
My comment is about the involvement of session organizers. We should -- I mean, I think -- I don't know if it can be a requirement. They should participate into the Open Consultation throughout the year to know what is going on, I mean, also concerning the IGF organization before the IGF event, to have them to also relate information from their local community. That is number one.
Number two, also, with regard to participation, sometimes the room can be empty but it is also the responsibility of the session organizer to communicate throughout the event. And effective communication should be carried out by the session organizers. That's the reason why they should participate through the open discussion like this throughout the year, to know exactly -- they should be part of the discussion for them to also digest and learn the information. That, one, will motivate people to participate and they should also communicate. If they don't communicate the information, people might not be there. They might not be onsite to also partake or even participate to the event. That is the problem -- that might also be the point sometime. We should emphasize communication from the session organizers' point of view. Thank you.
>>CHAIR MITCHELL: Thank you.
Anyone else on this topic?
>> TALANT SULTANOV: Thank you very much. Talant Sultanov.
I wanted to see if there would be the potential to have so-called side events, maybe online side events, if people would like to organize some kind of workshops anchored to the IGF. Maybe they wouldn't be official workshops but to see how popular this might be. And if there is really a lot of such side events happening, then we could in the future see how we could co-exist or to encourage to have kind of some parallel events like this.
>>JIM PRENDERGAST: Thank you, Paul.
Jim Prendergast for the record, long-time MAG observer but never a member of the MAG.
I want to pick up on something that Christian mentioned in his intervention about potentially having workshop organizers participate in the Open Consultations. I realize not everybody has the time, energy or effort to do that. But I do think there are valuable things that are coming through these conversations about how to run your workshops that I think if the secretariat could communicate to all accepted workshop proposers and open forum and day zero proposers some of the ideas that were thrown out in the group for people to think about incorporating. Because knowing some folks who have put workshops in, in the past, they do the work in May and then they go to the event in December and they don't have the benefit of all the rich discussions that this group has twice between those two milestones.
So I think there's good ideas that are coming out of these discussions that could be forwarded to the workshop organizers for them to try and incorporate. Thanks.
>>PEACE OLIVER: Thank you, Chair. My name is Peace Oliver for the record.
So I want to go back to the issue of popularizing and sharing and widely letting people know about the different sessions that are happening.
I think what the secretariat could do -- if it's done anyway, you should just ignore. Create templates for the different sessions -- for the different session organizers to use so they don't have to recreate sessions they can use own social media platforms. So then it becomes easier for them to put their pictures, titles of the sessions and the rest and then it becomes really easy for them to share, to tweet, and this kind of thing. Thank you.
>>CHAIR MITCHELL: Thank you.
>>ADAM PEAKE: Thanks again, Paul.
Just again about hybrid, we seemed to have moved on to discussion about hybrid format meetings. I think it is on the agenda for -- is it for tomorrow or Friday as well? Anyway, with Tereza, as a MAG.
Member, we co-chair the working group on hybrid meeting formats. And one of the discussions that we've been having in the working group is that we would like to see -- and this really goes to Jim Prendergast's point. We would like to see more capacity-building for all workshop proposers. In fact, it should be really for all session proposals because all sessions will be in a hybrid format.
And that would mean at the beginning, I think, discussing what we all mean by "hybrid." We will all be attending more and more sophisticated hybrid meeting format conferences over the coming months before we go to Addis at the end of November. So what do we learn from each other about what works well?
Sandra mentioned EuroDIG, the European regional IGF. ICANN, the organization I work for, held a meeting earlier this -- yeah, last month, sorry. We're now in July. In June with 800 people in person, 800 people online. So we're going to be learning about how these things work.
So we will be proposing that it shouldn't use the word "mandatory," but that would be a question for you as non-MAG members, what do you think? How do we make this hybrid work? Do you want to share ideas? Because this is the way of the future. We're not doing remote participation anymore. Where people accessing from outside of the physical meeting are somehow not fully involved. We want a fully inclusive event, whether you're online or onsite. That's the whole goal of the hybrid.
So it's really -- you know, if you're a workshop proposer, are you willing to join sessions where you help improve what "hybrid" should mean and understand what the technologies available will be and understand what you and others will expect from sessions in terms of their hybrid involvement? We've really got to work together to make it work because I think we're all going to be learning how it works over the coming months in particular, because we're getting back together, holding onsite meetings like today, and we're also still continuing with a lot of important online participation.
So the proposal will be some quite significant and involved capacity-building discussions about how hybrid will work. But those only work if all workshop proposers and other session organizers get involved. We have to work together to make it work.
So would people be willing to sort of do that, I suppose, is the question I have from my perspective as a MAG member working on this particular issue. Thank you.
>>CHAIR MITCHELL: Thank you. Anyone else want to come in on this topic? Yes.
>>JOSEPHINE MILIZA: Josephine Miliza, a MAG member. For me it comes from the aspect of us as the MAG as well as the organizers and not for the accepted proposals.
Looking at the technical capacity to support the different sessions, we know with hybrid sessions there might be issues around connectivity, around -- we've all been like "can you hear me," "are the mics working?"
So what sort of preparations are we having so that even the workshop proposers have everything working. But from on our end, we provide that support, that it's as seamless as possible for the accepted proposals?
>>CHAIR MITCHELL: Thank you. Anyone else want to come in? Yes.
>>ALHAGIE MBOW: Thank you very much. My name is Alhagie Mbow, a MAG member. I think it's quite important that we actually have a clear understanding and a clear way forward in the hybrid model because the hybrid model is actually here to stay.
I think COVID has actually brought something quite new in the area of organizing workshops and stuff like that. And I believe capacity-building -- and first of all, I actually have some experience in hybrid meetings to be able to support small workshops that are really very crucial for the IGF to ensure (indiscernible) actually right.
And I think going forward, I think workshop proposers also need to have a full understanding about the hybrid model because if it doesn't work, it is going to actually fail. People will be in isolation and they need to understand they are part of the workshop like a physical person.
So I think the workshop proposers need to have a clear understanding and a clear path about the truth that is available for it to work. They need to have a very good understanding. Otherwise, maybe we can learn from those who have some experience in the organization of those workshops to actually assist, for the workshops to have the full support of the IGF. Thank you.
>>CHAIR MITCHELL: Thank you. Anyone else? If not, I would like to go to the last topic before lunch, which is intersessional work and how it comes together, how it should come together, how it benefits the IGF community as a whole, things that could be done in intersessional work to improve the overall status and stature of the IGF efforts; things that you're concerned about in terms of implementation or trajectory; and things that you would like to see or think of as innovations that the IGF can put into place with the intersessional stuff.
I will just note that intersessional has been a wealth of intervention and demonstrating coming up with something new directly in the stimulus from participation at conferences and people sensing very real needs to do direct work.
But beyond what we've got to this point, do you have ideas that you'd like to see put in place? Do you have concerns about what is in place, et cetera? And we have 40 minutes before lunch.
So maybe as a starting point here, we'll take some updates from those who are responsible for some of them and get you maybe more attuned to what's actually gone on.
So I'd like to call upon the people who are responsible for our policy networks first, Daphnee and Bruna to provide a little bit of background and overview of the work that's gone on in your areas.
>>WIM DEGEZELLE: Hi, it's Wim here. I'm afraid Bruna was not able to make it back in time for the session, so I can give a brief update.
>>CHAIR MITCHELL: Thank you.
>>WIM DEGEZELLE: I hope this is the correct one. Let me quickly share my screen as it has a brief overview of where we are with the policy network on Internet fragmentation.
We come back here on Friday with a more in-depth discussion. And then Bruna as well as Sheetal, both co-facilitators, will be present. But both send their apologies for now.
So the policy network is -- is intended to raise awareness on the technical, policy, legal, and regulatory measures and actions that pose a risk to the open and interconnected, interoperable Internet.
The objectives that were in the proposal that was accepted by the MAG earlier on was to focus on the framework to define Internet fragmentation, to start collecting case studies, and to work towards shared principles and recommendations.
The policy network works with a multistakeholder group of experts, a group that really helps define -- helps the co-facilitators to define the work plan for this year.
I think one point that is really important for this year -- or for the work plan is that the initial work plan was intended to be spread over at least two years. However, this year the multistakeholder working group played an important part. It was put on the -- or it was restressed that the policy network should put the Global Digital Compact discussion on their radar.
So that is one of the reasons why on the public mailing list, not that much has happened. That the multistakeholder working group is symptom busy discussing how it could organize or reorganize the work to, on the one hand, produce a timely and very useful output for the PNIF this year that could be relevant in the -- with regard to the Digital Compact discussion, and, on the other hand, organize on the full bottom-up and typical work the Policy Network is working on.
I added the link to the website, but happy to answer additional questions. I think it's good to leave it there for the update right now.
There are also several participants of the -- or members of the multistakeholder working group in the room. I noticed a couple MAG members. So maybe you are happy to fill in or add some comments if there are questions.
>>CHAIR MITCHELL: Thank you.
Can we learn about the meaningful access?
>> DAPHNEE IGLESIAS: Can you hear me well?
>>CHAIR MITCHELL: Yes. Thank you.
>> DAPHNEE IGLESIAS: Thank you so much.
So my name is Daphnee Iglesias for the record. I'm here representing the Policy Network on Meaningful Access on behalf of our two co-chairs, Mrs. Sonia Jorge and Mr. Giacomo Mazzone.
So for the meaningful access and the Policy Network, the work we've been doing so far, we're going to talk more about that on Friday, but on my brief presentation, our work is really trying to understand why Internet access, universal Internet accessory mains so challenging despite all the efforts that we have been doing so far over these last couple of years.
We have a plan to throw back to what was developed back last year with the help of our multistakeholder neighbors as well. And we have three main focus areas, which are connectivity, digital inclusion, and capacity development. And the community really wants to put an effort on multilingualism this year. This has also been, on both ways, an ask from the community and also something that evidence has shown us that needs to be tackled. It's not just because even when people have access to connectivity, sometimes they are not really using the Internet in a proper way, in a good way.
And to that, our aim is to promote a really informative, evocative brief that we don't really want to reinvent the wheel but we do want to follow a framework -- for instance, the framework that is already there for the roadmap of digital cooperation -- and promote these activities within the community.
We're going to have our next meeting by the end of July, and everyone is invited. So please do join our mailing list and participate in these discussions.
>>CHAIR MITCHELL: Thank you.
Let's see. Amrita, can you do an update on BPF?
>>AMRITA CHOUDHURY: Sure, wall. I'll request Daphnee to share her screen.
Daphnee, could you please share the presentation?
Just to give you a brief, this year the BPF Gender and Digital Rights started its work a bit late. We actually want to -- the focus area is basically to analyze the impact of regulations from a gender justice perspective, taking into consideration the work which has been done at the United Nations Special Rapporteur for Freedom of Expression and opinions on violence against women, human rights defenders, and to assess the impacts of diminishing privacy and hyper-fiscalization of women and LGBTQI+ people online; assess the role of privacy and freedom of expression provisions on female and LGBTQI groups online.
We tried to look at only freedom of expression and privacy because we wanted to limit it to certain tangible outcomes. So the first step which we were thinking is kind of look at what hyper-fiscalization means and how it manifests.
So in terms of implementation steps, we are -- you know, we had the first meeting on Monday. We have the next towards the end of the month. We would be taking input from the community, reaching out to people who have already been working on these issues, look at case studies across the globe, and also get in people to come and speak in our meeting so that we can, like other years, get some inputs from them, learn from what they have been doing, and then perhaps look -- prepare our report. Basically taking information from the different sources, especially women who have been working on these issues, human right defenders, et cetera.
Daphnee, do we have any other slides here?
The only request we have to MAG members and people who are there in this call is in case you have someone who you know who has been working on these aspects or issues, you could encourage them to participate in the mailing list of the BPF gender. Reach out to Daphnee or Bruna, me, or Courtney so that we can invite them or hear or, you know, share the links of what they have done.
So that is it from our end. We are still in a very nascent stage at this point in time.
>>IOMBONANA ANDRIAMAMPIONONA: Thank you, Chair. Iombonana, MAG member, and BPF on Cybersecurity facilitator. Yes, thank you for sharing the slide.
As committed in the beginning of the year, we will continue to identify further cybersecurity initiatives. So we have shared in three workstreams the work. The first one is identifying the initiatives and explore areas of disagreements. We want also to bring the voices of the most affected -- affected by cybersecurity events forward, and to analyze the complex interplay between norms and civil crime legislation. And the third one, we will continue informing and supporting the discussion and to reach out assessment, taking place in the UNDG and OEWG.
[ Cross-talk ]
That will be discussed in --
[ Speaking simultaneously ]
>>IOMBONANA ANDRIAMAMPIONONA: I have some echo.
>>CHENGETAI MASANGO: I think it may be Vera. Can you mute yourself?
>>IOMBONANA ANDRIAMAMPIONONA: Thank you. We have added an extra, and this will be discussed in our next meeting on 12 of July. The details will be seen on the web pages, but I just want to briefly recap that it will be about myth-busting paper on cybercrime versus cybersecurity. The goal of this paper is to help civil society organizations to understand the key policy differences between the cybersecurity and the cybercrime so that the advocacy strategies can be aligned accordingly.
I would like to invite Markus to add more details on that. It's okay?
So I would like to invite people who wants to follow this work with us to join our next meeting.
>>CHAIR MITCHELL: And thank you.
>> MARKUS KUMMER: Nothing to add from my end.
>>CHAIR MITCHELL: Anja, did you want to say anything?
>>ANJA GENGO: I can say a few words about the capacity development. I see that's on the agenda.
>>CHAIR MITCHELL: Yep.
>>ANJA GENGO: So I will focus on what the secretariat, together in cooperation with the MAG members, also with community members, is doing on capacity development, and then hopefully the discussion can build on that.
So let me just share the page. I'll share it in the chat of the Webex room. This is the page that contains basically all the activities of the IGF Secretariat in terms of the capacity development. And you can see on the page that there are many activities. They are organized into the capacity development workshops which we usually implement upon demand from the community, and in collaboration and cooperation with the national and regional IGFs. To give you one example, Chengetai mentioned earlier this morning we launched the youth track, for example, which is also part of the capacity development at EuroDIG, and we're thankful for EuroDIG for hosting us.
The "Our Digital Future" is one of the streams of the capacity development workshops which we have been collaborating with colleagues from Microsoft and many stakeholders which are involved in our intersessional work focusing on safe digital transformation.
In addition, we are also supporting the NRIs substantively but also financially through a grants program. And as Chengetai said, this year we managed to allocate 16 grants to the NRIs.
In terms of the stakeholder integration in the IGF, there are various activities, but what we are especially focusing this year on is what many of you echoed, actually, in the previous hour. It's the capacity development focused on session organizers and those that are supporting implementation of sessions such as many volunteers, for example, critical for ensuring that online participation works as well as onsite participation.
The capacity development for those that are attending or participating at the IGF for the first time is also part of our plan, and the planning in that sense is under way. We will be probably mirroring our project activities as in past years, which means organizing capacity development workshops for stakeholders coming to the IGF for the very first time to the annual meeting, but we may expand this also to those who are participating for the first time in intersessional work, just to give them an orientation online and also orientation in a hybrid format at the IGF in Addis.
The Parliamentary track is well under way. Since 2019 we have been working on engaging parliamentarians.
My colleague Sorina, sitting next to me, is the focal point. I'll just -- Probably Sorina will take the floor, but I will just say that this year we are working on an enhanced version of capacity development for the parliamentarians. And in that sense, I would like to recognize the African IGF and all the stakeholders gathered around the African IGF. That's the first part of the capacity development we will be implementing in July, in two weeks, I think, at the African IGF in Malawi through a symposium that's dedicated to the parliamentarians from Africa but also from other regions.
The youth engagement that we mentioned, it's the series of capacity development workshops and other forms of support to young people to foster their integration into the IGF intersessional work but also the annual meeting. This year, we're particularly grateful to the youth IGF coordinators. Several big youth-focused international organizations, such, for example, as ISOC or the youth IGF movement were having also quite a lot of support from your number of organizations. There will be four capacity development workshops, the first one already being implemented at EuroDIG. Next one is going to be implemented at the African IGF. The set of workshop is really focused on digital transformation as a broad topic, and then we are kind of guided by young people telling us what particular items within that broad topics are of their interest.
We also started our closer communication and collaboration with schools on Internet governance. The first version of the syllabus has been developed in close, also, collaboration with the Dynamic Coalition on Schools and Internet Governance. We received a number of suggestions for that syllabus to be further developed, and we are working on that. We had cooperation with Ethiopia National School on Internet governance that was hosted not long ago, and part of the syllabus were successful at being implemented through that school.
Finally, Chengetai mentioned that travel support has been announced just as of this morning. The link is on the website. It is our way to also provide support to eligible stakeholders to in-person participate in the 17th annual IGF meeting. Of course we will also work with the supported colleagues to ensure that we provide substantive support in terms of them finding a way or navigate better a very robust program of the IGF.
And, finally, we have calls for fellowships and internships. Polly, our colleague, is present here, is our intern. Joined us just a few days ago. And I believe we will soon welcome new Fellows from developing countries to the IGF Secretariat. I certainly personally, from my experience, can testify that's an excellent way for any stakeholder interested to learn more about Internet governance substantively and also procedurally, too, to learn and then go back to their local communities, to their home countries and implement those knowledges.
And just in closing, maybe respond to what's been echoed by so many much you in the past hour, which is that really strong insisting on cooperation with the session organizers. Thank you very much for that. I just wanted to say that that is really part of our discussions internally in the theme, but also with the MAG members thanks to the work of the MAG Working Group on Hybrid Meetings. And we certainly should be able to soon come up publicly with concrete set of activities that we can all consider hopefully to better build capacity of all the stakeholders in the IGF 2022.
Thank you very much.
>>CHAIR MITCHELL: Thank you.
And, Markus, would you like to share anything on the dynamic coalitions?
>> MARKUS KUMMER: Yes, thank you, Paul. Happily to do so. The Dynamic Coalition Coordination Group has been actually quite busy this year. We had five meetings so far. And for those of you who are not that familiar with dynamic coalitions and their coordination, over the years we have developed some common guidelines and principles they should adhere to. The three key principles are three Os: Open membership, open mailing list, and open archives. And there were some questions, there have been some questions. People checked their website and said they're not actually all in line. They don't all abide by their principles, but we have since, and thanks to the help of Sorina who has personally contacted each of the dynamic coalitions to make sure they are now all updated and up-to-date and their websites are now all in order. So that's good news for a start.
Now the basis for our coordination work is that the dynamic coalition paper that was worked out last year and presented also to the MAG, and there are some key findings and issues to explore for further cooperation. And we are looking into those, and we have also provided input in the Expert Group Meeting at the end of March that took place in New York. And we have looked at the paper, the outcome paper of that meeting also, and looked what could be taken as a basis for future work.
Now, there is a common thrust among all the DCs. They are very keen to contribute to the process towards an IGF Plus and to the Secretary-General's Global Digital Compact. And common also to all of them is the wish to enhance the visibility of the dynamic coalitions and to integrate them better into the broader IGF work and also a little bit to think outside their own silos and look at other parts of the activities of the broader communities.
Some very concrete proposals that found traction among the dynamic coalition would be to maybe have an intersessional dynamic coalition week so they could look better to present their output. And also to devise a process for reframing the dynamic coalition main session to allow a small number of dynamic coalitions to present their outcomes at the annual meeting.
Now, we already have heard from Wout the letter they had written, the dynamic coalition had written to you, Paul, as chair of the MAG. And as far as I understand it, we have further opportunity to look at these proposals later this week.
We had discussed it with the Dynamic Coalition Coordination Group, but we did not have time to -- sufficient time to endorse it. Also, it is the views of one dynamic coalition. But as I said, some of the proposals therein found traction among the broader group.
And, lastly, I would also raise an issue that some concerns have been expressed, privacy concerns, as regards the openness of archives and mailing lists. But our position was if that is also the policy for the MAG, then we abide by the same policy. But this is something that should be discussed by the MAG and should not be decided by the dynamic coalition themselves.
But that's all I think I have to report. But, once again, the dynamic coalitions really are keen to integrate better into the overall work of the IGF. Thank you for your attention.
And before I stop, maybe my co-facilitator and MAG liaison Adam may have a word or two to add from his perspective. That's up to him. Thank you.
>>CHAIR MITCHELL: No? No go? Okay.
Then we are 12 minutes ahead of our lunch hour. Oh, go ahead.
>>ROSALIND KENNYBIRCH: Thank you. Ros KennyBirch, observer from the U.K.
I just wanted to say thank you for hosting this important session, exploring continuous improvements for the IGF. And it was great to hear updates from everyone. It has been excellent to discuss the content and format of the annual meeting and its outputs and outcomes and intersessional activities.
I want to echo comments that it is important to streamline IGF messages to ensure they are focused and result in concrete action. We believe that this streamlining will bring benefits to the format of the IGF allowing for core themes to be explored across workshops, high-level dialogues, and open forums. The policy networks also provide an extremely useful format for focusing work.
Identifying actions for 2022 will support the IGF in its aim to facilitate a common understanding of how to maximize Internet opportunities and address risks and challenges that arise. It is also important with respect to the WSIS+20 review.
We welcome the fact this Open Consultation is taking place, and thank you so much for providing this space to have a physical MAG meeting.
We also welcome the IGF 2022's focus on the Global Digital Compact. And the U.K. seeks to be fully engaged in those discussions. We believe that the IGF can have a major role in contributing to the WSIS+20 review process and believe that Addis Ababa will serve as a excellent forum to discuss this process due to diverse stakeholder engagement.
It will also be excellent if the newly appointed U.N. Technology Envoy would be present with us in Addis Ababa.
Thank you very much, and we look forward to discussing these key topics throughout the week. And thanks again for the presentations.
>>CHAIR MITCHELL: Thank you very much. Thanks for your commentary. It's very much appreciated.
>>CHRIS BUCKRIDGE: Thanks, Paul. I do also have a question going back to the presentations we just heard.
It was to Anja. Thank you, Anja, for the updates on all of those different projects.
I wanted to mention the parliamentary track. And particularly, I think, the focus on African parliamentarians makes a lot of sense given the location, given the themes.
But I was wondering what that meant for engagement with other parliamentarians from around the world. Are we still making an effort to engage and bring in parliamentarians from beyond Africa? Is there anything that we as MAG members can be doing in trying to encourage that engagement?
>>SORINA TELEANU: Thank you, Chris. I'll take that since I'm dealing with the parliamentary track.
The program that Anja mentioned is actually only focusing on African parliamentarians, and it's happening at the African IGF. But that's only a small portion of the parliamentarian track.
Then we have activities internationally for members of parliaments from around the world for the IGF. And for that one, we will be reaching out to members of parliaments around the world.
Even for this event in Africa, Chengetai also mentioned earlier we are engaging members of the parliaments from other parts of the world for some exchanges of experiences. And, yes, we would very much welcome MAG support in reaching out to members of parliaments as soon as we have a program for activities in November. Thank you.
>>CHAIR MITCHELL: Thank you. The Czech Republic.
>>CZECH REPUBLIC: Many thanks, Chair. And good day to everybody, and thanks to minister for her kind words about how Ethiopia is ready to host the autumn event.
From the Czech Republic, allowed to speak as a current presence of the E.U. We would like to very much welcome this event and we're hoping to be represented at a highest possible level.
In terms of content, maybe allow me to say just a few words, maybe three principles that we stand for as the Czech Republic, I believe as the E.U. as well, is of course, the free, accessible, secure Internet. We believe that the multistakeholder approach, as we discussed this morning, is important and that the business community should be more active not only in Africa but all over the world to be able to keep the Internet as a global good.
A bit provocative but, of course, the nice interplay between the state and the private, we believe, is key in this regard.
Mayb the third principle that has been mentioned here on various occasions we would also like to uphold is the work of IGF should really flow smoothly into the work of the -- work of the new Tech Envoy -- many thanks -- and our global agenda in terms of Secretary-General.
So these two things should be complementary, and then we believe that the Ethiopia IGF in this autumn will be instrumental in this regard.
Last, but not least, the Czech Republic, we have been trying to push forward a -- I think, future covenant on Internet just to try to make sure that Internet really does remain a global good. Thank you.
>>CHAIR MITCHELL: Thank you very much.
>>CHRISTINE ARIDA: Thank you very much. This is Christine Arida on behalf of the Egyptian government for the record.
And since I'm taking the mic for the first time today, I would like maybe to start by thanking the government of Ethiopia for hosting the IGF this year and for their efforts and also commend the MAG for all the work that's been done for the build up till now.
I have to say Egypt is very excited that the IGF is coming back to Africa. It's been there in Africa a number of times, but coming back is very timely now with the focus on the development of the Internet in Africa that's gaining a lot of momentum this year.
So I just wanted to come back on the parliamentarian track thing and just saying that we have had a very positive experience in Berlin with participation of members -- member of parliament at the IGF. It was the first time for one of our parliament members to come, and it was a really positive thing.
And I really hope you could reach out to us to support in case that this year, either for the African IGF or for the IGF itself. There is no participation. We would like to support to make that happen, because it does have a very positive impact on the overall. And Internet policies are very -- are gaining a lot of momentum on a national level within the parliament. A lot of discussion is happening. So let's make that happen. Thank you so.
>>CHAIR MITCHELL: Thank you.
>>MARIELZA OLIVEIRA: Thank you very much. Hello, everyone. Marielza Oliveira from UNESCO.
Let me start by thanking Paul for attending our EuroDIG session and say hello to everyone.
I wanted to comment on a series of points that were raised. First, on the best practice forum, our colleagues mentioned the importance of multilingualism. I would like to reinforce that. We have been working very strongly to increase the presence of languages on the Internet. It's an issue that has been a factor of exclusion for a lot of people. And particularly now that we're talking about digital learning, digital health, access to justice, all being mediated by the Internet, it's particularly important that we focus on that.
I also recall the element of freedom of expression that our colleagues from gender and digital -- sorry, digital rights have mentioned.
I would like to say that next year, UNESCO -- in February, UNESCO will be organizing a conference -- a global conference on regulation of the Internet, specifically looking at freedom-of-expression issues. And this is something that I would like to really invite everyone to join.
And also on the parliamentarian net, of course, we'll be fully engaged on that as well. We are supporting this process as much as we can.
But I'd like also to follow up on Czech Republic's comment about Our Common Agenda. Last week UNESCO held a pre-Transforming Education Summit, the organizing meeting for the Transforming Education Summit, which is part of Our Common Agenda. The summit will be held alongside as part of the U.N. General Assembly this year.
And one of the elements of the summit was digital public goods particularly related to education, such as open education resources and capacity development and digital -- and ICT for teachers and so on and so forth.
So I would like to raise the importance of the IGF to also wait on some of these elements of digital public goods and invite that collaboration in that regard. So thank you very much.
>>CHAIR MITCHELL: Thank you. Anyone want to have a final word before we wrap up? We have a queue. All right. You get to go first.
>> KARIM ATTOUMANI: Hello. Hello, everyone. I'm Karim Attoumani, MAG member. This is my third year as a MAG member. I was also co-chair of the language working group.
I'd like, once again, to raise something regarding language. Thank you for UNESCO to put the note regarding multilingualism.
While my colleague from Kyrgyzstan talk about having translating information in local languages, I see a lot of people accepting it or not.
And I think that's -- if we take IGF as a global forum, we should pay attention on the language because, Paul, you asked us about outcomes and outputs. But if we don't think about inputs at the beginning, I'm sure that, yes, we can have output and outcome but from a limited group of stakeholders, those who speak English or those who make effort to speak English.
And you can assume -- I don't know if you can understand the level of effort people have to think in the language -- local language or speaking language, try to draft workshop proposal, submit it, try to defend it, try to mobilize people who speak other language to be onsite and be involved on the workshop. It's very challenging as part of other stakeholders.
So, yes, from the three areas I'm involved in the work of IGF, I saw that a lot of thought was done on the website, on giving the possibility of translation on the IGF.
But it's the final stage of a process. It's the final stage of one-year activities. And if we like to involve people, I think we need to pay attention at the beginning of the processes to let people be able to do things in an easy manner, in an easy way.
I don't know in terms of budget, in terms of contribution how and what can be done, but we take the issue on the table and try to find a solution.
We are the Internet. We have a lot of app solution in terms of translating, how that we can use, how we can try to find a way to select the right one. Because if we don't consider the issue as an issue, we still continue to work and think that at the end of the process, people will come, will travel to come and listen to others discussing issues and topics that they didn't be involved on.
Thank you for your attention, and I think that we can in the -- we are resilient. We work and we can come up with solutions against COVID. We are talking about hybrid session. But the issue of language is here for a while for the beginning. And I think that we don't pay more attention to that than we could.
>>CHAIR MITCHELL: Thank you.
>>CHENGETAI MASANGO: Chris. Mark.
>>MARK CARVELL: Thank you very much, Chair. I want to come in on a couple of points.
First of all, several people have referred to the Global Digital Compact and how important that is and the opportunity for the IGF to help develop that. As you know, there's a question or survey which the Tech Envoy's Office has launched..
EuroDIG has decided to hold a regional consultation about that. The details of that will be launched very shortly. We will use a commenting platform that EuroDIG has to invite stakeholders in the European region to comment on what the compact should include in its main provisions. And that's following the template that the Tech Envoy's Office has posted on their website.
And we aim to submit a European input in response to that consultation by the Tech Envoy's Office by the end of September, which is the deadline.
Secondly, unrelated to that, at EuroDIG just a couple of weeks ago, we had a very important session on the declaration for the future of the Internet. This, as many of you will be well aware, I'm sure, is so far a government-led initiative. There are about 60 governments which have signed up to it, expressing support for the open, free, global, interoperable, secure Internet and to protect human rights online.
So the EuroDIG session highlighted the importance of developing this as a multistakeholder initiative. So far it's government-led. And I hope very much that consideration of the Global Digital Compact will take into account also this declaration for the future of the Internet. The compact could well be a contribution to the -- advancing the declaration in future.
So the IGF in Addis would very usefully include consideration of the declaration and how stakeholders should actively contribute to it.
And my final point is about parliamentarians. This is so important because they have the outreach down to local communities. The International Parliamentary Union has made a lot of helpful effort to promote awareness of the IGF, but of course many parliaments are not involved. For example, I'm in the UK, and we have a parliament for Scotland, for Wales, Northern Ireland as well as our Westminster Parliament. The awareness of the IGF is very low in these parliaments, and I guess it may well be the case in many countries that have federal systems with regional or state or lender parliaments that are not engaged in the IGF. So the development of the Parliamentary track should really have this broader scope in terms of our engaging parliaments. Not just IPU members but also national and regional, subregional, subnational parliaments as well. That' so important for the future of the IGF, I think, to have those connections.
>>CHAIR MITCHELL: And thank you.
And then we have Wout.
>>WOUT DE NATRIS: Yes.
>>CHAIR MITCHELL: And, Wout, you are closing the queue. Thank you, Paul. I think you can hear me.
>>WOUT DE NATRIS: Thank you, Paul. I think you can hear me.
As some of you may remember, that I did quite some extensive research into the strengthening of the IGF in the period 2017-2020, and I'm very glad to see that a lot of these points that were raised by the IGF community that were reflected in these reports are now -- they're commonly used and commonly discuss, and that's a very good thing to note is that the work has been appreciated.
Stepping from there, there's a suggestion maybe not for this year but for next year. There are in the room in Geneva, and perhaps a few online now, 50 people who know exactly what the issues are that the world is bringing forward to the IGF. And we are going to select -- you are going to select these workshops proposals overcoming two days. But what do you do next? You have this knowledge. You have all the interactions between the different proposals, so what are the main issues that come forward from that?
And I think there are two options. One is to just do the workshops, and then you have a few people discussing it and perhaps you have a few questions and a few lines of a report of that workshop, or you look at what are the potential intersessional issues that come forward from this work. And could we perhaps bring these people together to discuss the issues before the IGF and then come up with recommendations instead of just saying "I think that this is my personal opinion" and the other says, "This is my personal opinion." And if you're unlucky in the session, they all agree. So in other words, there's nobody opposing the thoughts in some -- sorry, some sessions.
But you have these two options. And one is just go with the flow of what is happening normally, and the other is trying to bring these people together and make sure that the IGF is really, truly used to bring these brilliant minds together and come up with solutions. And is that a way that we would like to discuss the future of the IGF?
And let me stop there, and thanks for the opportunity, Paul.
>>CHAIR MITCHELL: And thank you very much. Appreciate it.
And now I think we have run out of time for the session, and it's our lunch break now till 2:00 -- 3:00. 3:00.
It's a long lunch break. I encourage you to make new friends while you're here. And we're adjourned until 3:00.
>>CHENGETAI MASANGO: Good morning, ladies and gentlemen. We're about to start. If you could please take a seat.