IGF 2018 - Day 2 - Salle X - OF10 Strengthening the IGF - the German Community Invites to a Discussion

The following are the outputs of the real-time captioning taken during the Thirteenth Annual Meeting of the Internet Governance Forum (IGF) in Paris, France, from 12 to 14 November 2018. Although it is largely accurate, in some cases it may be incomplete or inaccurate due to inaudible passages or transcription errors. It is posted as an aid to understanding the proceedings at the event, but should not be treated as an authoritative record. 



>> DR. RUDOLF GRIDL:  Good afternoon, everybody.  Welcome to our open forum on Strengthening the IGF.  The community invites you to a discussion with notably perspective on the IGF 2019 that will be held, as you all know, in Berlin from 25 to 29 of November next year.

      Thank you very much for coming, all of you.  This is the aim or the perspective of this open forum is to present a little bit what we have been thinking, what are our perspectives to inject into the international IGF community, and then, of course, with the U.N. structures to shape next year's IGF

     We are honored and we are very proud that we have been accepted as host country, and we see this as an inter‑sessional process that is not only a one‑time event in November, but something that will go on for one year starting with Wednesday evening or Thursday morning this week and then until next year's IGF meeting.  There will be a lot of inter‑sessional activities, plans, projects from the German IGF community that we wanted to present to you here and not only from the German but also the international IGF community, and we are very happy and eager to hear from you what are your thoughts, what is your input, and what are your perspectives so that we could go together with the U.N. structures a good IGF year, I would say, 2019 that has many important events on its way.

      Also, in the U.N. structures and my colleague will explain about those now, and I welcome you again and all the best for this nice hour of perspectives.  Also, a very warm welcome. 

     >> I think I continue in English. Everybody understands English? Okay. Some speaking ‑‑ welcome. Welcome from me. The big item yesterday was the speech of Mike, of course, and we work closely with our French partners, counterparts to coordinate some of the items present. Macron also mentioned. Also this line from Geneva IGF through Paris IGF to IGF 2019 is Germany, but also on the Paris call. We have a support for this initiative very much from the German government side, and also, other details like the artificial intelligence strategy. We will come out with the German artificial intelligence strategy very soon, says and that has strong elements of coordination and close cooperation with our French counterparts. Not only with our French counterparts, but in particular with our French counterparts.

      It is clear in artificial intelligence, probably more clear than in other areas of technology that only through cooperation over borders you can basically achieve results and deliver results.

      Other elements of the speech were quite new and quite ambitious. We have to look into detail. My understanding is the text has not been published yet, so we have to look into detail. A lot of interesting ideas, but the devil is in the detail. You have to look at how to implement it and how difficult, as we see in the other format in the U.N. GGE process, a group of government experts which worked on voluntary nonbinding guidelines for state behavior in cyberspace, and deliver quite impressive results in 2013 and 2015. The last group of government experts GGE, unfortunately, failed to deliver the results, and we just concluded the process of establishing a new group of government experts where this is just for your information here, we're not too happy with the result. We have basically two ‑‑ we had two competing resolutions. Once by the U.S., and then the supported by the E.U. countries, and then we have ‑‑ we have to see how that will work. It's an interesting new development. We will, of course, engage in this group or try to engage as much as possible and positively, but it will be hard work. That's an example of how difficult it is to implement even the formation of a group. We're not even talking about the content.

      That's for the GGE. Other formats, Germany, upcoming, we have the freedom online coalition yearly conference in Berlin at the end of this month, 28th, 29th, 30th of November.

      That's a very interesting event because we also want to focus there on developing new ideas for freedom online, and we want to link in particular this format, this coalition with other formats in particular with the high level panel on digital cooperation, which the U.N. secretary general set into place and was a chair from Linda Gates and Jack Ma. I think it's Ma. Anyway, and we also want to connect this format with the IGF. Lynn is here, and she will be in a panel with Joban, who is basically the executive director of the high level panel.

      That's one of the discussions we will have at the freedom online conference. Of course, freedom online is under pressure. We have to be aware to deliver more, and we can only do that with multi‑stakeholder approach. We have now an advisory network also in the freedom online coalition, which is a new development, which we didn't have before. It will be a slightly different format than the previous conference because it's jointly prepared by this advisory network as the chair and the friends of the chair. And the support unit, of course 

     >> Thank you very much. Ladies and gentlemen, colleagues, when we discuss how we could strengthen the IGF, I think it's important to ask how we can make it more relevant.

      This includes that the IGF should not only identify, discuss, and find solutions. That's what it already does. It's a multi‑stakeholder approach. The IGF should also raise more awareness. Awareness among the broader public. This is also part of its mandate. I believe this is something we should do more work on. In order to achieve this, we have in my view to raise the level of representation of certain groups. We have to include in our discussions all relevant stake holders and all regions of the world.

      What I'm talking about, I think it's clear that the globe itself is still underrepresented, and for the IGF 2019 in Germany we are going to make money available to the United Nations to help representatives of the global ‑‑ to travel and to cover the expenses of travel and travel accommodation.

      I'm also thinking, secondly, of the business community, and higher level representatives of governments. Therefore, we are planning to have also a high level segment next year, like it was the case here in France and also last year in Switzerland. I'm convinced when the hosts of the IGF attach a high level of importance to the forum, so will those attending as well.

      If we have high level representatives, I'm sure we will have a higher media coverage, and then by that way we will reach a broader public.

      This is also something we need to be prepared for in advance. We need to prepare the content, the grouping at the shape of the discussions that hopefully will arise then also in the broader public.

      What you also do as the host country, we are asking our businesses, especially our SME's, you probably know that Germany's economy is very much structured by small and medium sized companies. We ask ourselves and I ask you what we can do better to involve also them.

      Finally, we put a particular focus on the cooperation with parliaments. I'm glad and honored that we have a delegation of the German parliament and also of the European parliament here.

      Thank you for coming. I would like to continue that very good practice next year in Berlin.

      Ladies and gentlemen, we are proud and delighted that the IGF will be taking place in Berlin next November. The German federal government has applied to host the internet governance forum because we deeply believe in the IGF and the multi‑stakeholder approach. We want to get the forum more awareness and a broader public attention. In the run‑up to the IGF 2019, the federal ministry of economic affairs will be holding a series of events, like the internet and jurisdiction conference in Berlin next June.

      In close cooperation with ‑‑ and especially with the national German IGF, which is a very strong partner, of course. I very much hope to see many of you next year in Berlin. I invite you all very much together with Mike, of course. We are proud to be the host next year, and hopefully we will do that together in the sense to maintain the stability and the innovative power of the internet. Thank you very much.

     >> DR. RUDOLF GRIDL:  Thank you very much. I would now like to ask Lorena Palasi, the coordinator of the German IGF, to give us her view of next year's IGF

     >> LORENA PALASI:  Thank you very much. Hello, everybody. The German IGF is the group in Germany that's mixed up with a very different ‑‑ several types of stakeholder groups.  We feel very lucky that we achieved in the course of the last two years to involve not only the private sector, the technical community, the scientific community, and the society as well as the youth as next generation to make sure that these generations are coming into the audience and bringing fresh air into the internet governance process, but we are also feeling very happy and very proud to also have high level members of the both government and of the parliament. 

     With this we slightly differentiate ourselves as a local IGF from the typical multi‑stakeholder, and that shows the regions of a local IGF, which means that you have your own particularies, your new groups that you identify.  The specific stakeholder group related to your culture.

     For us it was a big step to have both the government and the parliamentarians on equal footing discussing with us on equal footing about the agenda, about the structures that we have, and we hope very much that this is a good example. Practice, of course, with its learnings, its failures, and also, with best practices that might help or inspire other communities within the NRI community. We have a huge NRI community. Over 80 groups doing similar constituencies all across the world. 

     We hope that the next conference in Berlin 2019 keeps being a place where other high level groups and members taking part in the IGF are open to all other stakeholder groups on equal footing so that we together can achieve better improvement because we prove that there's a possibility to have different stakeholder groups working together towards output that is meaningful. It is meaningful because it's inclusive.

     We're really looking much forward to what's central with the government that they are putting money aside to make sure that also the global south is involved, that we have diversity with respect to gender and age, but also with respect to regionality.  Also, with regards to different types of stakeholder groups interacting with each other, which I think is crucial.  And as the German IGF, we are very much looking forward to start our work reaching out to a wider, very rich community that we have in Berlin and all across Germany.

     There are very different parts in Berlin doing economic innovation, but also, very rich political NGO's operating in Germany, both in German or in other languages.  Germany has become a place for focus groups, and, of course, a very rich scientific community working on all things digital and automization.  Also, the government gave us a bit of space here to present also the work we did.

     Thank you very much.

     >> DR. RUDOLF GRIDL:   Thank you very much.  I have now on my list Pavisar, member of the scientific community and also very active member of the German IGF.

     >> PAVISAR:  Thank you very much. If we go back to the history, we see IGF as a process, and this process builds through various phases both globally and nationally, and I will use this moment to speak a little bit about the IGF on the international level.

     I think, you know, one of the key things which have evolved on the national and the regional IGFs is that we from the very early day orient more practical outcomes.  I was in the conference where the mandate of the IGF was framed, and it was very clear that the majority of the governments didn't want to have a negotiation body where they produced concrete recommendations.

     The basic idea was this is a place for discussions.  Decisions should be made elsewhere, so what I've learned over the years is that it's extremely important to have the discussions, because you have to have the input from all different sides.  One in the same issue is seen in a different way by a governmental representative by a businessperson, civil society activist, or a technical expert.  The wisdom of all this together creates then what we could say is the common knowledge, but what you do with this common knowledge, if you have reached in the discussion a certain level, and how you can deliver this outcome from the discussion to the places where decisions are made.  And in my personal opinion being involved for nearly 20 years in this, I have discovered a missing link between discussion and decision.

      What we need probably is something like a distribution mechanism between discussion and decision.  This would be the discussion.  We have already developed into IGF, but I think it's the general feeling that, you know, discussion has to lead to something. Nobody wants to extend a mandate for the IGF that the IGF becomes a negotiation body where you have to have long debates about language and other things. This makes no sense.

      The idea now that the IGF produces messages or has adopted this idea from the national and the regional forum and moves forward with IGF messages is the next very good step, and then what you do with the messages?  I think this could be discussed in Berlin in the next IGF whether we need a certain mechanism or some forms and the messages will be sent to the bodies where decisions are made so that you can guarantee that the outcome of the discussions in the IGF will go to the various intergovernmental and non‑governmental organizations which have a mandate to decide, and then they should report back what happened with the discussion.  It needs to bridge this gap between discussion and decision by distribution mechanism.

      It could be the next step on the long road to enhance and improve the IGF and to work with more stable and more relevant.  In the end you contribute the decisions, and then, you know, a lot of stakeholders have said from the private sector and also from governments will realize, oh, that's the place where you have to go because you have to be involved in the early beginning by a discussion to reach a certain level and then it goes to the decision making, but decision making is not for the IGF.

     I want to be very clear here.  This would be the wrong pass, but somebody decides and they could make decisions in the light of the discussions in the IGF.  Thank you very much.

     >> DR. RUDOLF GRIDL:   Thank you very much.  Next speaker is a professor, also from the German IGF community, the business community 

     >> The European view came into effect some ten years ago.  And in Berlin already in 2014, it was in the premises of the foreign affair office house and was very big success, and we from the business community ‑‑ we believe with all the development we currently see at the horizon with the messages especially, which are very important for the business community to have some take‑aways at home to justify on one side and to make it interesting, of course, for the businesses, and what we have seen from the business community. 

     It started to be a debate club, and it's now going to be ‑‑ in the past few years going to be more and more interesting also for the business world, as many developments could be influenced on one side.

      The business community is very much a provider community so far, but we see that many within the business community ‑‑ many businesses from outside are now coming up because the internet or the appropriate things are everywhere.

We started, and we want to support the whole process for Berlin 2019, of course, and we started with a compendium with an ethics and, well, for digitization, and we want to expand this on the other side, and there are many things that have to be done.

     What we would like to see are not only projects which have the long‑run effect.  This is necessary to have the brighter view into the future.  Thank you.

       >> DR. RUDOLF GRIDL:   Thank you so much. Now I'm very much honored to have amongst us the chair of the MAG, and also my chair, because I'm a member of the MAG

     >> LYNN ST. AMOUR:  Thank you, Rudolph.  I feel very happy to be here and very thankful to the German government for stepping up and stepping up so early to host IGF 2019.  We haven't had that luxury for the last several years.  This is a tremendous difference.  We're also very pleased that they announced the MAG chair for next year as well yesterday.  The last few years that hasn't happened until March.

     I'm particularly pleased about the additional support, funds you're going to make available for those from developing countries in the global south.  We're very fortunate to have had the support of so many European countries the last two years, and this coming year at the same time we need to make sure we're doing all we can to bring in other parts of the world.  Very appreciative of your prioritizing that and bringing that in.

     I would also like to focus on increasing the outreach to the private sector and government and senior policymakers.  That's something the MAG and the IF community has asked for for several years now. I look forward to working with you, whether it's through high level ministerial.  In the early days we did have a full day ministerial, and this is, you know, roughly right, but the first few years it was mostly closed to governments and ministers, and then some experts were invited in, or observers in a few later years.

     I think one of the things that we've said in the MAG is we need to determine how we can more usefully work for governments, useful for everybody.  Certainly for governments and all the other stakeholders as well.  I think that will be one of the first things.  I'm hopeful the MAG will take up, which is some real kind of concrete activities with respect to how can we better engage, better support, better deepen our relationship with governments and policymakers and the same thing for the private sector as well where, frankly, in many instances, there's just as much policy being set through private sector activity as there is through government‑led activity.

     If you are an individual and you look at what impact that has on your day‑to‑day activities.  Just briefly, I'm going to like Wolfgang's comment from moving from discussion to decision.  We're very much aligned in the fact that the decisions obviously belong in different bodies, different places, nation level, region level.

     I do think there's a whole host of things we can do in between to take the very rich work that exists in the IGF and make it more accessible, and that means not just more concrete, not just more tangible outputs, but much easier to find in the IGF website, much more accessible in sort of reachable ways.  I think there's a lot of work we can do there, and we're, again, very pleased to be at this point in time with a host for IGF 2019, and we have a full year and full runway, and I look forward to working with you, as I know the MAG does as well. Thank you 

     >> We are also looking forward to this joint undertaking and work.

     >> DR. RUDOLF GRIDL:  We will now have three presentations of this kind of inter‑sessional activity that I have been talking about at the beginning, and I will start with Dr. Schweiger.  He is the CEO, and he will present the Internet Governance Radar that he is developing ‑‑ or they are developing 

     >> DR. JORG SCHWEIGER:  Thanks, again, for the opportunity to speak.  A couple of words about DENIC before I start.  We are an entirely private company. Yet, we are managing the German name space on the internet.

     One of our indispensable mission statements is that we do want to champion and open free and secure internet, and as the internet becomes so important to all of us, I think we need to foster an informed community to govern the internet of today and tomorrow.  This is exactly the end where we built the internet governance radar to.

      To easily gather comprehensive information, to update information, and to facilitate informed participation for an informed and facilitate informed participation in internet governance, so, for example, on our way to the IGF in Berlin in 2019.

      Now, what does the Internet Governance Radar really look like?  Well, we are taking a look at internet governance to a different perspective.  One is topics.  Those topics are being distilled into different baskets like cyber security, like digital economy, like, well, you never want to present with a computer that is not yours. 

     On the one hand we are focussing on institutions, and they are an internet governance. One thing we do is we give a complete overview of all the different institutions that are currently being involved with internet governance. We can browse the whole list through.

      You see there's all institutions that have ever been involved with governance, like Freedom Online Coalition, G20, G7, and all of those. It's a very comprehensive list.

      Not only that we're not only providing the institutions that are currently being involved, but we do as well ‑‑ we give some more information about what they are really actually doing, how they are involved in internet governance discussions.  For example, over here the European Union and what the European Union is doing about internet governance.

     More than that, we try to differentiate between state actors, non‑state actors, and multi‑stakeholder institutions. All color‑coded like you probably already recognized.

     Now we see we provide a list of institutions that are currently involved in internet governance.  That is probably just the basic part, but probably even more interesting is that we provide an overview of what is currently going on in internet governance.  For each and every of those institutions you saw prior, their quarterly reports on the current discussions and the current outcome of this discretion.

     Once again, for example, we even provide some input about just recently formed U.N. high level panel on digital cooperation.  We can take it to these and find out what the nothern high panel ‑‑ high level panel on digital cooperation is currently doing.

     Basically, what we try to do is provide you with a comprehensive picture of where discussions started and where they currently are.

     For the fast readers under us, there's also some executive summaries.  We even provide you with internet governance calendars of events so you can browse through different events where internet governance is the focal point.  By that I just want to start with that presentation without saying that is something that's currently been built, so the whole handling of the side is still under development.

     I would appreciate if you would like to give me any feedback, I'll be available after the session on the floor to ‑‑ hopefully this is going to feed into internet governance and more knowledge about internet governance.

     If we do not happen to meet here, just drop me a line at IG‑radar.GE. Thank you.

     >> DR. RUDOLF GRIDL:  Thank you very much for this very interesting presentation.

      Next speaker on our list is Paul Fehlinger from the policy network, and will present the ongoing work on the Internet and Jurisdiction Network and what it has to do with the Berlin events in 2019. 

     >> PAUL FEHLINGER:  It's a pleasure to be here.  I'm the deputy director of the secretary of the Internet and Jurisdiction Policy Network, and we are incredibly delighted that Germany, the government of Germany, is the partner country for the 3rd Global Conference of the Internet and Jurisdiction Policy Network that will take place in Berlin, Germany.

     On those days over almost 300 senior level key actors, representatives from governments, internet companies, technical operators, civil society, academia, and international organizations engaged in the Internet and Jurisdiction Policy Network will meet at this third global conference in Berlin.

      This global conference is also next to the partnership with the government of Germany institutionally supported by international organizations.  I'm very grateful for the institutional support of UNESCO where we are here today.  In addition, there is also the OECD, European Commission Council of Europe, ICAN, and the United Nations Commission for Latin American, Caribbeans.

     For those of you that don't know what the Internet and Jurisdiction Policy Network is, it's a multi‑stakeholder organization that was created in 2012 that addresses the cross‑border nature of the internet and national jurisdictions and tries to enable multi‑stakeholder cooperation between the different actors to develop policy standards and operational solutions.  Germany, the government, is joining a coalition of leading governments that care about the future of the cross‑border nature of the internet and care about finding solutions, concrete solutions, to those very pressing challenges in the digital twenty‑first century.

     The previous partners were France and Canada, and so the 2nd Global Conference of the Internet and Jurisdiction Policy Network took place in February of this year in Ottawa.  The stakeholders there wanted the so‑called Ottawa road map that for the first time was the moment where the different stakeholders set themselves after seven years of discussions in the Internet and Jurisdiction Policy Network, a concrete common objective, what they want to achieve together, and to list structuring elements that formed work plans for each of our three programs state and jurisdiction continent jurisdiction and domain jurisdiction.  They deal with very concrete challenges.

     Data and jurisdiction deals with the challenge of cross‑border access to E‑evidence.  Continent jurisdiction deals with cross‑border requests for content restrictions.  Domain jurisdiction deals with cross‑border requests for content for domain suspensions.

      As a result of the Ottawa road map and fulfilling the mandate, they are right now three multi‑stakeholder contact groups in the Internet and Jurisdiction Policy Network that correspond to those three programs.

     They are around 120 experts from all five continents, and over 12 working groups because each of the three contact groups has sub‑working groups that continue work and regular interactions virtually and for physical meetings late in the process and the beginning of next year to try based on the Ottawa road map to come up with proposals for policy standards and operation solutions. These proposals will be released to the public in April of this year, and they will be discussed in Berlin, and we really hope as the secretary that by Berlin there can be consensus on some of the proposals that come forward so that there is something that can also feed in the Internet Governance Forum that Germany is hosting in November of next year.

     In addition, I also want to announce that we are going ‑‑ there was a very strong call in Ottawa for more policy coherence, and the issue of jurisdiction on the internet is a very complex field, and there are a lot of ongoing initiatives and different policy fields digital economy, human rights, cyber security that can be very often uncoordinated and becomes increasingly difficult to keep track of all the trends around the world to have an informed discussion of those solutions to those very pressing problems.

     On the occasion of the 3rd Global Conference in Berlin, the internet and Jurisdiction Policy Networks are also going to launch towards first global status reports on the state of jurisdiction on the internet, which were for the first time provide consistent mapping of all the different actors and trends and initiatives around the world.

     Thank you very much.

     >> DR. RUDOLF GRIDL:  Thank you very much for this presentation.  And last but not least on my list there is the co‑director of Mission Publiques, Dr. Antoine Vergne. 

     >> DR. ANTOINE VERGNE:  Thank you very much.  I will talk about what feeds the IGF and the next government.  Thanks for your support.

      Let me explain to you the context of this initiative.  In the recent Paris Peace Forum that was opened by President Macron, Chancellor Merkel, and U.N. Secretary Gutierrez one has been put on the table by the global community is what evolution is necessary to bring to the global governance for the benefit of the 8 billion people living on the planet.

     On the table of the Paris Peace Forum, there are many options to improve the governance of the planet, and one option on which there is a very converging agreement is that there is an urgent need to reduce the gap between citizens and the decision makers.

     There is an urgent need to include the expertise in the decision making process.  The internet Became a common good in the last 20 years.  That is a disservice of 50% of the population, and the 50% that are not connected yet also benefit from the internet. So the issue of the governance of the internet might be a wonderful topic to apply these principles of the new governance that is on the table of the nations.

     Our proposition to you as a member of the community of stakeholders of the internet governance is to experiment together what it means to take decisions to have discussions together inside the community of stakeholders.  When we include the expertise of non‑experts, What does it mean on the table of the IGF ‑‑ around the table of the IGF? We have seats reserved for ordinary citizens.

      This is what we propose to experiment through a global citizens debate.  We know for many years now that the inclusions of the opinions of non‑experts, what we call the day to day citizens, can be very successful in delivering local communities, can be very successful in delivering of nations. 

     It has be experimented on five continents for years now.  And it is experimented ‑‑ it has been widely experimented on the level of the whole world.  This is what we propose to you.  The idea is to organize on 100 countries the citizens debate engaging conversation with ordinary citizens on the future of the governance of the internet.

     That means that in September 2019 before the IGF in 100 countries ordinary citizens represent the diversity of their country from 18 or 16 years old to 85 or 90 years old will meet in a room for a full day, and they will discuss in their own language during a full day about the vision of what should be the governance of the internet.  This would be replicated in 100 countries, and it will be exactly the same protocol everywhere.  That means that the results will be country per country.  There will be groups, and there will be the level of the planet. 

     In the IGF 2019 we will bring this dialogue with tens of thousands of ordinary citizens about their vision of the future of internet, and we will invite you as member of the stakeholders community of the governance of internet to enrich your discussion with the opinions of an expert.

     The action is to say that every expert in this room are relevant to talk about the future of the internet, but there is a necessity to include in the expectees on experts and the day to day citizens.

     We are going to launch with the support of the German governments in the coming weeks in five continents to start this conversation and global scale in September.

      I finish with my call to you as member of the stakeholders community.  I'm here with my colleague Antoine, and if you are interested by this process before the IGF 2019, if you want to join the advisory board that we are going to establish to create this dialogue with ordinary citizens, please come and contact us, and we do hope that during the IGF 2019, the voice of ordinary citizens will be presented in each of your discussions.

     Thank you very much.

     >> DR. RUDOLF GRIDL:  Thank you very much, and thank you to all those who have entered.  Now we have ten minutes left for discussion, question, and answers.  The floor is open, if there is anybody who has ideas, suggestions, questions, remarks.  We would be more than happy to get into a little discussion here.

     >> AUDIENCE:  My name is Walt. I would like to share a small experience of this week.

      Last Monday there were several occasions going on in Paris that directly led to also the policy people and politicians to run out of my session at the very last days before the session.  In other words, to physical their leaders to the Peace Conference going on.

     If the high‑level meetings are going on in parallel with sessions that will hurt the sessions.  That's the first lesson.

     The other one is that I think that the higher‑level people involved could actually learn from being brought in contact with higher‑level people in other stakeholder communities, so the technical community to explain exactly what they're doing and what their relevance is for politicians and policy makers.  Just to give an example.  I think that is something very much worthwhile to discover whether that could work in 2019.

     Thank you.

     >> DR. RUDOLF GRIDL:  Thank you very much. 

     >> Good afternoon.  I apologize for sitting behind you. Quite hard to see.

      A quick reflection basically on what was mentioned at the beginning, and I'm very thankful to hear that Germany is willing to support the participation of developing countries.  There is something that has been missing heavily in the past years apart from ICAN, and various other partners with limited resources.  In previous years, five years ago it was a much bigger fund also by Canada and many to support participation of developing countries, and that's a really important move, and I thank you for that.

     Now, one thing is that when we think about bringing developing countries in the past.  Many of the governments do not have funds to bring people here from developing countries.  Also, because they don't see the priority here. Please account also bringing the government representatives as well.

      Now, a more important component of that is that experience that they have in the previous ‑‑ from the beginning of the IGF 2006 is that bringing people per se might not be enough.  I'm linking basically to what you mentioned as the role of the IGF in awareness and capacity building.  The experience that we had a couple of years ago and we have more comprehensive programs was actually coupling capacity building activities with fellowships.

     That means using throughout the year to organize a number of online programs, blended learning for governments, private sector, civil society from developing countries, to have enough time for them to understand and develop their own positions and meaningfully participate in the IGF.  In that sense, what I suggest is that you consider to actually couple sort of a capacity‑building program together with fellowship program.  One good feature of that is that once you have a capacity‑building program, you can actually filter naturally the good available participants you want to support to meaningful IGF.

     Linking to what what the professor said, as we think of building IGF and how do we support the continuation of this supporting developing countries.

      The last comment was a reflection from these days, being in MAG a couple of years ago, we fought seriously for remote participation.  It's worse than ever.  It's seriously worse than ever.  It doesn't work.

     Remote participation has always been put up, but mainly as a buzz word.  It's a serious effort.  It's not a technical tool.  It's a serious effort to prepare remote participation, and it's heavily important for the outreach, for participation across the world to have a functional remote participation.  I'm sure Germany will dominate in that one.  Thank you.

     >> DR. RUDOLF GRIDL:  Thank you 

     >> Thank you.  I'm a business sector member, and I who like to thank Germany for deciding to host the IGF 2019.

     As everyone here knows, the host in the next few years ‑‑ from this perspective we see the IGF in 2019 is ‑‑ we would like to showcase the outcomes there.  We are very much looking forward to working with you and the stakeholders to hold a successful IGF 2019, and we try to do our best to contribute too in the future. Thank you.

     >> DR. RUDOLF GRIDL:  Thank you very much. 

     >> Yes, hello.  I'm a member of the Asia Pacific region governance forum, and I have been to all IGF's since Tunis, and I think the diversity of participation is decreasing a bit.  I was wondering whether we could have a look at the countries that are not here and not only from Asia, but also Middle East and Africa, and look at now the IGF takes place the third time in Europe.  I wonder if this is a good message to the world.

     Just as a comment.  Yeah. 

     >> DR. RUDOLF GRIDL:  I think it is not the case that it has not been huge efforts in trying to find other host countries. 

     >> Thank you for the question, and thank you, Rudolf. In fact, we've had Berlin on the agenda for some years.  It wasn't announced publicly, but it was a really high expression of interest.

     We had to default back, which isn't as positive of a word as it should be, to a U.N. premise in Switzerland for last year's IGF because we didn't have any other host country.  This year we were in serious danger of not having a host country, having had eight, nine seriously good leads in the previous years if for one reason or another didn't come through. 

     We're very happy that France stepped up, and I approached France in February, and by April they had taken a decision, and it's not a small undertaking. It's not actually a lot financially, but it's the organization.

     We're not a normal conference structure.  We actually need governments to step up and volunteer to host an IGF.  If you do not have an IGF in a U.N. premise, the country actually has to agree to cede its territory to the U.N.  It's a serious negotiation and serious commitment.

      We would very, very, very much love, as much as we love Europe, and I spent 26 years living here ‑‑ we would very much love to have future IGFs in other regions.  2020 and beyond is open, and we're hoping to close on quite a number of them quite quickly.  If we want IGFs in other regions, we need countries to step up saying it very directly.

     >> DR. RUDOLF GRIDL:  Thank you.  I think we have time for one more question, if there is any.  If not, we are right on time.  Thank you all very much for participating.  Looking forward working with all of you on the way to the IGF 2019 in Germany.  Thank you very much.  Have a nice evening, and I want to invite all of you tomorrow at 6:00 on the seventh floor to a reception hosted by Germany, which will be directly after the closing session and will be the first event in the coming up 2019 year until the 25th to 29th of November, IGF.  Thank you very much.