NATIONAL, (SUB)REGIONAL AND YOUTH IGF INITIATIVES
- Virtual Meeting X, 19 December 2018, 15:00 p.m. UTC -
- The 10th virtual meeting of the National, Subregional, Regional and Youth IGF Initiatives (NRIs), took place on 19 December 2018 at 15:00 p.m. UTC.
- The meeting was hosted by the IGF Secretariat’s NRIs Focal Point. The final, adopted version of the Agenda is attached to this document as Annex A1 and a list of Meeting Participants as Annex A2. The list of shared documents is attached to this report as Annex A3.
Summary of key points
- The Host opened the meeting by introducing the agenda and underlining that the goal of this meeting is to provide feedback on the NRIs work during the IGF 2018 cycle.
- The coordinator from EuroDIG announced the first 2019 planning meeting will take place in The Hague on 15 January. The meeting is open to everyone and online participation will be possible.
- From the Australian IGF, the coordinator briefed that the Australian stakeholders are working on reinvigorating the initiative and organizing an annual meeting in 2019 year.
- From the African IGF, the coordinator informed participants about newly launched collaborative project between the African Union and European IGF that aims to build capacity among African stakeholders on Internet governance. The project named PRIDA (Policy and Regulatory Initiative for Digital Africa) will call for working with the African IGF and national IGFs from the region on mentioned subject matter.
- The French IGF announced submitting papers that reflect the annual IGF 2018 meeting in France.
- The Host shared a few updates with the participants, noting that the 2019 MAG met yesterday (18 December) and that most probably the MAG will meet three times in person with possible locations be Geneva and Berlin; that the Call for Issues is open until 24 January and that the Taking Stock process receives submissions by 15 January.
- The Host reflected the 13th IGF annual meeting and underlined that the NRIs as a network were mentioned in a number of sessions, emphasizing the importance of the UN Secretary-General and Assistant Secretary-General mentioning the NRIs as the IGF’s important partners.
- A number of NRIs provided feedback to the NRIs collaborative sessions. It was said that the NRIs overpromised and undelivered, taking into account that some NRIs that committed to be speakers or panelists, did not show up in the meeting rooms. The Host added that sudden change in the schedule of time and room of one of the sessions, as well as delayed flights of some speakers, should be factored in as reasons for these situations. It was agreed that for the 2019 IGF cycle, the NRIs should be realistic when expressing interest for these session slots and professional in terms of their commitment to deliver agreed objectives. This was successfully done during the 2017 IGF annual meeting in Geneva. The coordinator from the Nigeria IGF and West Africa IGF suggested to limit participation in collaborative sessions to a maximum of two initiatives.
- From EuroDIG, it was added that the NRIs should focus on contributing to the other existing sessions and programme components such are the best practice forums or dynamic coalitions. The coordinator further noted that it is challenging to attend many sessions of interest at the IGF due to schedule overlapping, and that having dedicated thematic tracks could be practical solution. Also, it was advised to bring new stakeholders to the network and strengthen the work of the so far active participating NRIs. Many noted their agreement and support for the above summarized.
- Coordinator from the Bolivia IGF remarked that it was difficult to participate online meaningfully at the IGF 2018 annual meeting. A number of participants agreed with this argument and many advised to work on improving the 2019 IGF in this regard.
- The Host added that many shared their feedback on the NRIs main session, noting it delivered content of a very good quality. It was said that the format was more effective, as the interventions were limited to 90 seconds. It was added that the preparatory process for the collaborative sessions is important, and that NRIs that expressed interest to be the co-organizer should take responsibility and work as a team to prepare the session. The Host recognized very good organization of the sessions on fake news and access in particular, and noted that the Korea IGF representative in a role of a moderator contributed to making session very vibrant, along with speakers. The Host also explained that the IGF-USA intervened from the same position where the co-moderatos were sitting, due to a last minute change in the IGF-USA representation. The IGF-USA presenter was supposed to be in a role of a floor manager and time keeper, and the co-moderators position was the only place from where the stopwatch was visible. The initially scheduled speaker for this national IGF had a last minute urgent priority change in personal schedule, and could not join this session. The another person sitting next to the IGF-USA assisted to the senior co-moderator.
- Participants agreed that a monthly newsletter, announcing the NRIs updates is a good idea and asked to see the template before published. The Focal Point for the NRIs will share the template with the NRIs coordinators. In this regard, the practice of SEEDIG will be further explored. Other NRIs were kindly asked to share other practices they know of.
- Participants moved to discuss the idea of creating an online observatory. The representative of the ICWiki explained that this platform aims to give online space to all entities whose work mission is related to the Internet. The NRIs were invited to join this project and create online spaces to share key inputs on their work. This repository will allow for collaborative work among entities through hubs, which could save time for NRIs, as currently their work is facilitated using different online platforms. Online profiles in this repository can be updated at any time directly by users. Depending on the need, it will be possible to add information in multiple languages. It was proposed that this repository contains a section for online resources of the NRIs.
The goal is to reach global audience with this platform.
- Many participants noted that this platform could be useful for their work. There was an argument that the NRIs webpages on the IGF website are enough for the NRIs to promote their work, while the NRIs websites contain complete set of information. Also, some of the NRIs said to already have set of Wiki pages (EuroDIG, APrIGF), but the ICWiki representative said that this process will allow for integration of existing resources, in order to avoid duplication. The Australian IGF coordinator added that many indeed do have Wiki pages, but that this process could allow for aggregating those for better sharing.
- The meeting continued by discussing the next agenda item, dedicated to certification of the NRIs recognition process carried by the IGF Secretariat. The Host explained that the NRIs are recognized by the IGF Secretariat when all conditions are met, as per the procedures agreed by the NRIs. The recognition process is done through a formal email sent to the multistakeholder core organizing teams. Given that there were requests in past for obtaining a formal letter that confirms their recognized status, the Host asked for an opinion of the network for introducing this practice.
- The IGF-USA expressed concerns, as introducing this process could imply that the NRIs are not independent from the Governments; or that the NRIs have to have endorsement of their Governments. From China IGF, it was said that having this type of a document would give stronger credibility to the NRIs that could result in increasing stakeholder engagement. The Caribbean IGF added that their initiative started the process without having any type of certification, and managed to create a successful process. From the Italian IGF, it was advised to provide more details on how this document will be given and see the template. The IGF-USA added that it is challenging for the IGF Secretariat to verify needed information for such a formal record. These concerns were shared by a few other participants (SEEDIG/Slovenia IGF, Benin IGF, APrIGF).
- Many agreed that the term ‘certification’ is not appropriate for introducing this process. The coordinator from the Belarus IGF suggested to use term ‘validation’, while a number of other NRIs advised to use the term ‘recognition’.
- In regards to the NRIs objectives for the IGF 2019 process, EuroDIG elaborated that the network should think how to bridge work from Paris IGF to Berlin IGF. It was added that this year, the community has an advantage of a stable budget, announcement of the MAG much earlier and with that more time for planning the work. It was advised that the NRIs focus on one particular topic of mutual interest and also to contribute to the IGF 2019 intersessional work. Many expressed support for this suggestion.
- The APrIGF coordinator followed up with pointing that the NRIs work is more and more recognized, adding as an example the NRIs Coordination Session that is attended by high-level officers of UNDESA, MAG Chair and the IGF Secretariat.
- EuroDIG also added that there may be some funding from the IGF 2019 Host Country for the participants coming from the Global South and noted that this could be an excellent opportunity for the NRIs to be able to take onsite active participation. It was concluded by stating that the NRIs should aim for a meaningful participation in the IGF 2019 process.
- The IGF-USA added that the NRIs could define topics of mutual interest to work on throughout the year, in a bottom up manner. It was added that the NRIs could think about engaging with expert leadership on chosen topics to have the NRIs informed about ongoing initiatives and trends.
- The coordinator from the African IGF added that the NRIs should contribute to the Call for Issues with topics of interest, and in that way bring issues of relevance to the global level.
- A full summary report will be sent to the NRIs mailing list, for further consultations.
- Next meeting: A doodle poll will be sent in three weeks-time, for scheduling the next virtual meeting in 2019 to set up the NRIs objectives for the 14th IGF annual meeting.
- For any suggestions or questions regarding the Report, kindly contact the IGF Secretariat, NRIs Focal Point at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
AGENDA: Virtual Meeting X
1. Welcome and introduction (5 min)
2. Updates from NRIs and IGF Secretariat (5 min)
3. NRIs at IGF 2018: feedback (15 min)
4. NRIs monthly Newsletter (10 min)
5. NRIs Observatory (10 min)
6. Certification of recognized NRIs (10 min)
7. NRIs at IGF 2019: objectives (15 min)
MEETING PARTICIPANTS (in alphabetical order):
- Adam Ahmat Doungous, Chad IGF, Youth IGF Africa
- Ale Erramuspe, Uruguay IGF
- Chamsa Al Marif Nime, Chad IGF
- Cheryl Langdon-Orr, Australia IGF
- Concettina Cassa, Italy IGF
- Dajana Mulaj, Albania Youth IGF
- Dušan Caf, Slovenia IGF, SEEDIG
- Dustin Phillips, IGF-USA, ICWiki
- Fotjon Kosta, Albania IGF
- Franck Kouyami, Benin IGF
- Helen Belskaya, Belarus IGF
- Jennifer Chung, APrIGF
- Judith Hellerstein, IGF-USA
- KHOUZEIF Issakha Doud-bane, Chad IGF
- Lianna Galstyan, Armenia IGF, SEEDIG
- Lucien Castex, France IGF
- Maheeshwara Kirindigoda, Sri Lanka IGF
- Makane Faye, Africa IGF
- Marilyn Cade, IGF-USA
- Mary Uduma, Nigeria IGF, West Africa IGF
- Michel Lambert, North America IGF (in-formation)
- Mohammad Abdul Haque (Anu), Bangladesh IGF
- Mohammed Alhaj, Sudan IGF
- Nick Wenban-Smith, UK-IGF
- Nigel Cassimire, Caribbean IGF
- Oksana Prykhodko, Ukraine IGF
- Paul Rowney, Namibia IGF
- Priyatosh Jana, India
- Roberto Zambrana, Bolivia IGF
- Salyou Fanny, West Africa IGF
- Sandra Hoferichter, EuroDIG
- Sharon Emptage, Panama IGF
- Tian Luo, China IGF
- Vinicius Santos, Brazil IGF
- Ying-Chu Chen, APrIGF
- Youssouf Abdelrahim, Chad IGF
LIST OF SHARED INPUTS
- IGF Call for Issues https://www.intgovforum.org/content/igf-2019-call-for-issues
- IGF Taking Stock process https://www.intgovforum.org/content/igf-community-public-consultation-taking-stock-of-the-2018-work-programme-and-13th-igf-and
 Summary Report available at: https://www.intgovforum.org/filedepot_download/7532/1451
 Speech available at : https://www.intgovforum.org/content/igf-2018-closing-speech-by-un-asg-fabrizio-hochschild