25 October 2013 - A Other on in Bali,Indonesia
The following is the output of the real-time captioning taken during the Eigth Meeting of the IGF, in Bali, Indonesia. 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 session, but should not be treated as an authoritative record.
>> MODERATOR: Good morning, everyone.
Very nice to see you early morning of the last day of the IGFs you're really the most enduring people and we really, really like to see you here.
So today is ‑‑ today we're organizing and on behalf of the Secretary General the event of the series of the open talks. This is the series of events that are designed to gather information from all of the stakeholders about the role specifically now of this series, of the role of governments in the Multistakeholders Internet Governance.
No one has a monopoly over good ideas. It is important to get as many views as possible for the Secretary General to deliver those to the member states and for him to take that into account in the discussions. The event that will happen soon is a council working group on public policy issues which will happen in two weeks’ time basically. So, Secretary General will prepare that report on that.
This event is the second event. The first we had in October 8th in Geneva. A very, very lively discussion, a brainstorming exercise on collecting views and my colleague will present some of those today.
It is not only the last event, we have a program from which we're asking people from around the world, every stakeholder to submit their views.
Over these few days here in Bali we have heard a lot of inputs, ideas that will be taken into account. Today's specific opportunity at least is to say your views directly for those views that are directly accumulated, and all of that will be part of the report, and that report will be made public and the we'll be happy to share that publicly and you'll see that.
We're honored to have the Ambassador from Brazil. This is particularly important because of the discussions here at the IGF, but in the new topic of issues, but Brazil has been engaging in that topic even much earlier and much before.
We had in May this year, we had an event on the World Policy Forum, some of you may have been there. That policy forum, we had a good debate and adopted six opinions of various topics important for Internet Related Public Policy.
We had a lively discussion in the role of governments and it was initiated by Brazil. That's why we're very happy today to have Brazil putting you with the views that could enrich today's discussion and help you, then, to get that feedback.
So, that is for me. With that, I would really like the Ambassador to share the Brazil views and after that we'll have presentation from my colleague.
>> Thank you.
Good morning, everybody.
I would like to take this opportunity to be with you, to discuss a little more about this issue, which is important for us.
We are pursuing what could be perceived as so many different objectives. I just want to make clear that we want to be consistent, an overall view we have of the operation of the Internet.
Basically our proposal aims at operation, the roles of government in the multistakeholder setting. Here, this is very important, we're not seeking to expand the role of government or to redraft the role of government, that's not on this agenda but rather to make sure that the combination of the role and possibilities of governments in the operation of the mute stakeholders model is fully living up to its challenge and basically what we are targeting are the capacity that is needed for that to happen. What kind of information of what's going on, capacity to operate. This is the focus of the proposal.
So the combination of the importance of the role of governments and then seek ways to reach that can be fully implemented in cooperation with other stakeholders. In that sense, we are very glad, we have had important developments that happen after the discussion we had in May which was the presentation of a proposal on the part of the U.K. The minister had shared thoughts on this issue.
We think it is very important piece, important documents that spells out ‑‑ it sees the same issue from a different angle. We are seeing it from the angle of the capacity needed for the role of government to be operationalized and the U.K. proposal in a way, the U.K. documents reflects on how the governments, once they're fully powered and have built their capacity, what's expected from governments in terms of providing the appropriate legal framework in ensuring rights, in assisting and being there for mute stakeholders cooperation.
The same issues seen from different angles I would say. We're very glad that we have this. We initiated this discussion within the ITU, but it is a discussion that belongs everywhere, in each and every body, process, forum that deals ‑‑ that operates in a mute stakeholder model, the discussion belongs there.
Also the discussion belongs from the point of view from other stakeholders' participation. We consider that at the same time, that the government should reflect on how to have their role fully operationalized and other stakeholders should do it. This is not something new. They did something, trying to collect, reflect on something that's already in operation. Our concern as a government ‑‑ of course, we're looking from the point of government, but we're concerned about the participation and the other stakeholders in the international organizations dealing with the Internet.
You see from the point of view of the government we use unilateral not meaning from the intergovernmental, but in this example we mean something not unilateral, not excluding but one thing that's been an idea that's been worked around in this forum is the needs for us maybe to work around the concept, the language. Sometimes when we say one thing it is understood the other way and vice versa.
I said unilateral, but immediately I know this conveys a certain ‑‑ that is not the intent.
By the way, yesterday, our president just referred to multilateral, and then people started saying well ‑‑ she said at the United Nations debate unilateral and rephrased that and now she's going back.
I do not say that for any contradiction. We're working in an environment with a very clear difference between those terms. Especially the level, sometimes it is difficult when she's asking ‑‑ responding to a question and the terms used are not, let's say, exactly the technical words that show the ideas. But the president has made it clear that her view is of the multistakeholders.
This is not maybe too much concerned about this and I would like the proposal to be seen in that larger picture that basically what we aim, after the meeting, and we have seen in a number of places here in panels the consensus of what happened to reflect that we need to device new ways to operate to allow for these results.
Basically through our proposal, seeking to operationalize the role of governments, but at the same time we want to stimulate other stakeholders to engage in the same discussion. It is to achieve an environment in which we can work in mutual recognition, in mutual respect for each other's role. That we really recognize the legitimacy of participation of others, that's an important point. In some discussions we see there is even the challenge of the participation of other parties.
I was present at the first open forum in Geneva, it just followed on the first meeting for a review that's being led by ITU in cooperation with other U.N. agencies. It was very interesting. The theme of the open forum is should governments participate, is there a role for government? Is there a role?
I was just reflecting that if we turn this question around and we ask is there a role for Civil Society Internet, something so abstract that people immediately challenge even the title. When it applies to governments, for something, for some people it is natural and some say no, there is no role for government. I think we must work in mutual recognition, mutual respect and recognize the legitimacy of participation and that will have different meanings in different context in different situations.
What we're proposing, it is to take a view of the larger picture, see what can be done, but also not to lose the opportunity to best equip ourselves and again we're looking from the government. But we want all other stakeholders to do the same, to enable to us work in an environment that will achieve the vision that emerged. Stakeholders working together with a shared objective, but in different roles and different responsibilities towards that shared goal. This is basically what we have initiated in the discussion. I'm very glad to see this is taking place here.
I just heard that ICANN is taking on that discussion which is not new to ICANN. We have talked about that, the participation. It is something we want to foster, we think the moment is mature for this.
We have seen in the ‑‑ we're living in a moment in which we should reflect on that in the light of the growing importance of the Internet a lot of us, we have a need to make sure that we go together in the spirit and agenda, which is our main objective.
Maybe I should stop here and I already apologize, in 10 minutes I should move to another meeting.
I cherish this opportunity to be with you. I look forward to be working with all of you to develop those ideas and to make this a reality to the benefit of all for the system as a whole.
>> MODERATOR: Thank you.
We appreciate your team here and it sets a basis for further discussion.
Before moving ‑‑ I will ask my colleague to give a small presentation on what's happening so far and what will happen further with the consultation.
>> Good morning, everyone.
Thank you, Ambassador. It is an honor to have you here.
This event, this is primarily for us, for us here to just listen. To your views, to your ideas. Very quickly, I'll run through the presentation, very, very quickly.
Of course, this is the idea of the Secretary General Torres on policy issues. It is a part of a series of consultations which we call as open docs launched to get your thoughts, for you to share your ideas and to continue the discussions which are happening in other platforms, including the IGF.
So, a bit of background on this, the issue of Internet Related Public Policy has been raised over the past several years not only at ITU, not only among policymakers or within industry or Civil Society but in the general public. We're approaching the 10 years of this. We have seen this topic being discussed over the entire 10 years.
A recent one that Thomas mentioned, the WDIP which many of you were a part of, 900 delegates, multistakeholders participation, we agreed on six opinions and there was a seventh one on the role of governments, the Brazilian proposal, a good discussion on that. We didn't have a consensus in the end due to lack of time.
There was consensus that this topic should be discussed further. This series of open talks is an opportunity to do so.
What are the open talks? We wanted something which was informal, open, inclusive, anyone, anywhere can participate. We came up with three different formats.
One was a work ethic. I'll tell you more about that.
The second is the idea of town hall meeting.
The third is the online platform which Thomas just mentioned that. The plan is to have all the comments, inputs we received from each of the formats, the sense of the discussions to be reflected in the secretary general information document for the consulting group which is on 11‑10.
Now the work ethic: It was organized in the second week of October. For those of you who do know this work is, it is an attractive format with people sitting around small roundtables talking about the ideas coming out and it was in small clusters and you see that. We have a video online on the Word Cafe, in the Website, interesting to have a look at that.
We had around 50 participants. A diverse group. These were people who were also involved in discussions on the multistakeholders gathering and the topics of discussion was on the rules of government and the multistakeholder model, highlighting the contribution of governments, so, just suggesting ways for government to improve interactions with other stakeholders.
What came out of the Word Cafe? A number of interesting ideas. It was a two‑hour long discussion, very interactive with the people mixing continuously.
Some ideas that came out was on the role of governments, one was often enabling, this is a theme which ‑‑ it is a positive recurring them that came up again and again, offering and enabling.
The second, public interest needs to be taken into account, Human Rights protected. Something which came up very often in the discussions.
Governments play an active role in some areas which are mentioned, it was ensuring the compatibility and transparency, cyber security was a topic which came up. Management of critical national infrastructure resources. Protection of the weakest and most susceptible. Raising awareness and educating citizens on the use of the Internet. Also on how could governments improve with other stakeholders, and enable the participation of all stakeholders groups through various ways. Ensuring transparency and openness in the consultations and to legitimatize the results from the multistakeholders consultations.
Another platform we have, we have for you to share ideas, it is the online platform, it is a crowd‑sourcing platform. This is something we used at the ‑‑ in the preparations for the youth forum to gather the ideas.
This is an exercise ‑‑ this is a tool that we're using here, highly interactive tool for you to post your ideas. You can see on the left, bottom, you have a box for the ideas. You go there, post your idea, people can immediately see this, you can have a discussion or debate online on this. People can also work on the idea. This is something that's been live since October 8th. We really invite you to go online, to give us your ideas and thoughts.
So, today's session, these are the three questions that we're again posing. It is similar to the Cafe, but a different format. We would be happy to hear your views on each of these or on all of these together.
With that, Thomas. Thank you.
>> MODERATOR: Thank you.
>> A last thing, while the Cafe was going on, we had a talented lady, an artist that captured the word Cafe in a form of the drawing, you see how the discussions progressed in the work.
I'll just leave this there while we kind of discuss this issue. Thank you.
>> AUDIENCE: Is the next council open to the secretary members or no? No.
>> MODERATOR: Thank you.
Now is the time about you, not about questions but interventions.
Is there anything that you wish to share on the topics, but maybe we can also bring back three questions I think on the slide. As we said, this ‑‑ to be as provocative as you can, you know, the ideas that you think that need to be discussed and heard.
We have quite a bit of food for thought this week. You know, it is great if you share, you know, what you think.
Who will start, please?
>> AUDIENCE: Good morning, everybody. I'm Jackson. I work for the Government.
I acknowledge Thomas and thank you for this session.
I just share with you our experience. I ‑‑ especially on the role of governments and multistakeholders model of the Internet.
Firstly, developing countries do have a different view on how the whole model works and that a lot ‑‑ a lot of developing countries depend on government for basically everything.
Our experience as we have in this IGF is governments usually have a lot of battles with the Civil Society to keep services going and as government our responsibility is to ensure that services reach our citizens, which is often very difficult. While taking this into consideration we also note that there are lots of competing priorities such as global warming infrastructure, et cetera, et cetera.
The important role of governments in multistakeholders is to ensure that the Civil Society, non‑governments contribute to policy development processes. Also involve the Civil Society in taking the lead.
However, government from my view should take the lead in the multistakeholder setting firstly to protect the interest of the citizens within the country as well as having continuous dialogue with the Civil Society. And most importantly is to develop policies for the country to encourage investment and growth not only within these sectors but in other sectors also. Not only this, but doing other processes in an open, transparent way.
From my view, I think governments should be the leaders in this multistakeholder, not for their interests but for the interest of the whole country as a whole.
>> MODERATOR: Thank you very much, Jackson, for that view from the developing country perspective.
We would like to continue on that.
>> AUDIENCE: Good morning, everyone.
I'm an activist and blogger, I'm currently associated with ISOP.
My ‑‑ I have a clear experience of the government of developing countries, they don't want to facilitate. What they want to do is ‑‑ they want to put themselves up in the hierarchy and they want to regulate rather than facilitate. That's what's been going on in our country.
They have been imposing a lot of rules and regulations in regards to making different fixed policies without consolidating, you know, the private sector, you know, bi‑passing the multistakeholdership.
A year back, what they did, they tried to impose the use of blocking software without any consultation. It was ‑‑ it was done in a way where the private sector or public sector was not, you know, they were not informed. I thought we tried to bridge that gap and we tried in consolidating the fact that it is related to all the sectors, right. When we try to communicate later on they did stop the project.
What they said, what they said was ‑‑ you know, it is basically ‑‑ it is basically the line of infrastructure that they were trying to set for the country rather than ‑‑ you know, having any policy, any fixed policy. So the mentality itself is very rigid. It is just unorthodox thinking of, not adapting the multistakeholderism rather than, you know, being a regulator and lobbying your own public policy in context of benefiting your public organization. Right.
So, I think ITU needs to further have policies and mechanisms to contract, and I think this is one of the good things that it has launched and probably will be more focused on this in supplying open and public views regarding what the policies are going on in developing countries.
Thank you for that.
>> MODERATOR: Thank you very much. Thank you for that view.
Regulate, facilitate? If regulate, how much to regulate, very interesting topics. I think that's part of this discussion.
Who would like to continue, chip in further on this?
>> I'm Sheryl Miller, I'm with Verizon Communications.
I wanted to give a bit of a business perspective on it. I think overall the best value that you receive is when everyone has sort of an equal footing with respect to dealing with some of these issues. Some of them are very difficult.
One thing, you know, I noted at this particular IGF I haven't heard enough of, I have heard a bit from civil society government, private sector. I think we forget the technical community. These are the engineers who really understand sort of technologies that we're building for companies like us to be able to rollout new technologies and innovate and provide service at affordable prices to our population.
It is really important that we have flexible policies and that's why, you know, through various models that we have been a part of in the United States, multistakeholder models, we have worked with many different groups and come to solutions on things. We're at a point where we can roll out the network that will cover 290 million people by the end of 2015 and it is something we're proud of.
>> MODERATOR: Thank you for that view. Sometimes it seems ‑‑ the creative engineer, it is too important for other engineer as a public perception, yeah, we forget that there are many issues that are technical solutions that are needed. A good view on bringing the technical community into the picture.
Who would like to further continue that, please?
>> AUDIENCE: Yes. Thank you very much.
Thank you for doing this session. I think unfortunately I couldn't make the Geneva session, but I think this session is important and very much look forward to the report that the Secretary General gives the council working group in a couple of week's time and I hope that report will be made available to the stakeholders so we can see what's being presented to the governments. As you know, many feel that particular working group should be multistakeholder in the agreement. I know it can't be at the moment. Hopefully we can change that at the ‑‑ I say "we" ‑‑ perhaps it could be changed in the next ‑‑ to represent the stakeholders so that the working group will adhere to the eloquent word that the Secretary General uses in terms of no individual country or no individual having a sort of ‑‑ having all of the wisdom so to speak.
In terms of the questions, briefly, I think ‑‑ it is interesting. The first two observations of my friend Jackson and colleague here, clearly governments have an absolute role in terms of safeguarding the citizen, in terms of public responsibility. I don't think anyone can ever deny that.
It is how governments sort of rollout that role or operationalize that role which is important. I can't speak for governments but in the 30 years I worked in the U.K. government there are many examples where we got it right and got it wrong, if you see what I mean.
In some of the cases where you got it wrong, it was perhaps because you didn't consult in advance. You didn't ‑‑ and sometimes there are reasons why you can't.
Where we made best decisions I think in terms of telecoms, Internet policy is where you had a true discussion with all of the stakeholders and taking their views on board. I think that's a factor.
In terms of the questions, I think it is ‑‑ it is clear that all stakeholders have a role to play and that government must play an active role in these discussions in the ICANN context ‑‑ some of you more expert on ICANN than certainly I am.
We have this fairly complex mechanism in ICANN where the Government Advisory Committee now comprised of 129 governments, trying to sign up a few more. I get a bonus for every new government signed up ‑‑ no, actually I don't! ‑‑ But we're always trying to get new governments into ICANN and the Government Advisory Committee plays an important role in the policy process of determining new generic top level domains or policy concerning the Domain Name System. It is key that governments play that role.
How governments can improve their interaction with other stakeholders, I think it is just involvement. It is just having a process within each government where you have these ‑‑ where you have these multistakeholder discussions and you have heard excellent examples several times this week of Brazil, to have this platform that they have had, other countries have a platform. I know the U.K. set up one. I know there is platforms in many different countries that involve the stakeholders in terms of having Internet policy. I think this is one way of doing it.
>> MODERATOR: Thank you.
Indeed it is not just about what, but how. You know, some good uses of how the governments could operationalize their role and engage stakeholders.
Who would like to continue on that? Please. When they wave the hand, I pick up on that.
>> Thank you very much.
Olivia, Chair of the Advisory Committee of ICANN. I'm sorry. I'm in the same location as Nigel earlier.
He actually mentioned ‑‑ he mentioned the multistakeholder group taking place in the U.K., there is a Multistakeholder Advisory Group on Internet Governance. That has Civil Society, private sector, members of the government as well that worked together on absolutely everything that is ITU related, all the work from the U.K. is going through that large committee, 20 to 30 people, it works well. We manage to reach consensus on most issues and it is very, very productive. It certainly reflects the view of a very wide cross section of the U.K. community.
>> MODERATOR: Thank you very much. Another view of how to make it practical.
Who would like to share experiences and their views on that further? Someone in the back, please?
>> AUDIENCE: I'm Garlin McVoy.
I want to follow‑up on the points that were made by Verizon. Particularly in terms of having a little bit more role from the technical community and this multistakeholder environment, I have been a fellow participant here since the beginning. There are lots of policy issues that come and go and we have one burning platform after the next, all that's good and I really do like the multistakeholder because of the check and balance type of approach in this.
I do want to keep ‑‑ I do try to keep focused on trying to find examples of what's actually being experimented with and what's working in bringing broadband to the next billion global citizens, things like, again, Verizon, Google, that process, it is challenging, you have a very ‑‑ a challenging environment getting past the urban centers out to where the people live out there, but it is ‑‑ it's ‑‑ I think if we had a bit more on these technical areas about fixed and for example mobile wireless in there that we keep coming back to what I think, I hope everybody's goal is in this room, and that participates in this environment, continuing to focus on bringing this incredible platform of engagement to the next billion and then the next billion and then the next billion. So, you know, that's where I live anyway.
This is a great forum, you know, to keep focusing on that.
A final point: There was a workshop on broadband for those that need it most. A man from India says there is no way we in India ‑‑ I think this is probably, you know, representing a lot of developing countries ‑‑ that we can build the actual infrastructure, schools, hospitals, medical centers past enough, the brick and mortar fast enough for the current youth, the current huge youth community we have out there that we want to provide healthcare, education, these libraries and all of this to except the only way possible to even think about that, to consider that, is through, you know, e‑education, e‑health. It is a magnificent thing.
I want to keep making sure that as ‑‑ again, one burning platform of issues comes and goes, and we have a conversation about it, that we though keep the longer mission in mind, that we're all, hopefully again, focused on, which is, you know, keeping those billion people coming.
>> MODERATOR: Thank you very much.
Indeed, it is important to focus on what really matters, and to look and see what really works.
Usually most of us, we agree on those issues, you know. They're doing great work in the developing countries to combat those types of topics and remembering that there is a forum of ideas as well. That's a good example to work on things that truly matters.
>> I'm Dominique. I'm from London.
I want to follow‑up on the point because I'm on the Internet Governance Advisory Group across the U.K.
Another comment, we constantly have consultations on every kind of input from this to whatever other inputs we have across Europe as well. That's something that works really, really well, people that have the time and can do it, they can get involved and then others dropout, it depends on the time.
The other thing I wanted to point out, in the U.K. we just don't have the Internet Advisory Group, we have sector boards and we have sub boards that have ‑‑ that are smaller and have to do with open data, transparency, you know, so we have actually sort of focused on specific issues. They are also very inclusive.
A thing we have in the U.K. that I consistently never, ever see across the IGF ‑‑ and I have been doing this for three years now ‑‑ we have a lot more involvement from the start‑up community as well as from people that support the start‑up community like financial institutions, law firms, things like that.
There's a ‑‑ that's really important. The engine for driving growth in the U.K. and I believe across the world as well, start‑up meaning even one person kind of start‑up thing. They're just getting on, getting on, doing their work, but I think it is ‑‑ it is a voice that we hear a lot in the U.K. that I think is missing and somehow getting them to talk to government really, really would be an advantage and we have done it more successfully there.
It is just a point I wanted to make.
>> MODERATOR: Truly, you're right.
Always it is important to include all of the voices especially those that are creating the future or able to create the future and in public consultations, there is a good point there. Some people sometimes, you know, say, that maybe it is like spam, there is so many public consultations it is difficult to keep up with all of them. We're not adding to the noise there, we want to get the benefit. Indeed, same time, it is good to hear the voice.
Who would like to continue on that? Whether especially with ‑‑ we have heard from private sector a bit. What about Civil Society? Any views from you that you think, you know, what's important on the governments to think of?
Civil Society is very shy. Any people here?
Okay. Any views from stakeholders? I'll be calling up on people. We just worked out from Civil Society. That's ‑‑ you know, we have to contribute. That's Civil Society thinking should be the role of the governments how it should be operationalized?
>> AUDIENCE: Thank you very much.
I just came in. I'm lost.
What's the context of the question?
>> MODERATOR: What should be the role of the government in terms of Internet Governance and how the government should behave ‑‑
>> AUDIENCE: In the context of?
>> MODERATOR: In anything.
>> AUDIENCE: Encourage wider participation, understand what the issues are within the Civil Society that the government can play a role.
In terms of we know that the Internet is ‑‑ has evolved from a very academic, government only institution to a wider public domain. There are issues that have come up as of late that has put some constraints into, you know, the trust relationship, whether people should share privacy issues, those. We all understand this is such a wonderful tool, we cannot go back. We cannot retract.
One, to inspire that trust of the Civil Society in using the space. Also, what the government can do in terms of guidance, in terms of building the infrastructure, the security, cooperation between the governments as this is one of the tools that the governments share responsibility across the globe. This is not limited to a particular country. It is a different kind of challenge.
In terms of the Civil Society stakeholders, we also have to work with the governments, support them and share openly what kind of benefits and features we expect as service delivery, the serves we can get from the Internet, from this wonderful tool. We have to be very vocal about our participation and how open we can participate in the process.
>> MODERATOR: Indeed, the government has a role of engagement.
Coming back to what we have been hearing before, you know, that the governments ‑‑ engagement doesn't necessarily just happen. It has to be built.
Who would like to continue on that or some other topics? You can let it settle in.
>> AUDIENCE: The government has to engage the civil societies and one of the issues we all are facing from a Civil Society background, taking care of child protection online. You're an open commission and up to some extent, the civil societies, are they getting enough funds in order to work in this domain.
I'm from India ‑‑ basically from Asia. The funding part is ‑‑ I'm not saying government has to fund but government has to facilitate the funding for the Civil Society in order to come up what they call the resolution programs and duties.
Another thing is government has to be open in order to collaborate with the international organizations. What we face is a bit of ‑‑ depends on the government to government, definitely ‑‑ it should be an open approach to see what's going on and every government definitely consists of culture and religion and they have local ‑‑ localization of the programs that have to be there. By looking into that, international, the collaboration is important, very much important, and to open their minds to listen to the international community and that is what every government ‑‑ again, it is government to government. It is partly different, every government has different countries and cultures.
You want me to talk about more?
>> MODERATOR: Please.
>> AUDIENCE: The problems we're having as a democratic government, and when we started talking to the government. Now the government doesn't have time to listen to us at this moment because next year the election is going on. They're all waiting for one year before they'll start the election process.
We have now to wait to see whose coming. We're stuck knowing that the new government from here on will work in order to get the proper hands with the government, or to stay the same with the government. That's another problem. I hate to say that in a democratic environment, that's a problem and issue that the civil societies face. When the government comes, you see another one year to see exactly what's going on. It will take another one, two years to set up, then the time is over, then another new government is coming. That's another problem in this.
Again, as well as in the national collaboration is concerned, we're getting a lot of support from the international organizations.
Thank you very much.
>> MODERATOR: Thank you very much. It is indeed always a challenge to fit policy circles, the policy cycles with the political cycles. Yes.
>> I am from Nepal, and wanted to add something.
I seriously believe that the government has a dynamic role of not just trying to build up the multistakeholder share, but it has a role of doing surveys, findings, all that is possible, it is the government that sets the bridge among the public and the private sector and building that trust is important.
If the government is more rigid in not facilitating the platform, how can, you know, it go in a smooth process? Multistakeholderism is not possible without the government. Government has to be practical and we're finding commonalities and building that trust.
It is more important for government to research, do everything possible in facilitating the process rather than being rigid and, you know, being a regulator. I just focus on, you know, focus the policy on government being more flexible and moving towards multistakeholderism.
>> MODERATOR: Thank you very much.
>> AUDIENCE: I want to just add on to what had been said earlier.
From our work, we know that globally not all governments are in the Internet safety space there.
Issues of safety, awareness education and protection for children from sexual exploitation and other forms of exploitation. In many countries in underdeveloped countries where the knowledge is missing about the issue but technology, the Internet is penetrating through either mobile phones, aggressive deployment of infrastructure primarily coming from the economy that's generated.
All governments these days understand that they have to be a part of the Internet and use these services for their own economy. That's not coupled with the same kind of guidance, the framework that needs to be generated, set up to protect children, the understanding and guidelines.
ITU is doing a phenomenal work in supporting the government, organizing workshops, stuff like that. One is the interest from the government has to be there, but also resource mobilization. We understand that not all governments will be equally equipped with the knowledge of child protection. That's why the question of, you know, cooperation, engagement with the civil society, other expert organizations and those that are working in the space is important. It is a question of how that can happen.
The interest should be there and definitely should be ‑‑ what we're trying to do, is to get the governments interested and to pay attention to this very important issue. Cannot be one or the other. It has to happen hand in hand.
>> MODERATOR: Thank you very much.
Please, I will give the microphone.
>> Thank you. I'm Mary Duma from Nigeria.
First I want to ask what is government? Who is the government? It seems as if we're separating ourselves who are a part of the government from the government. The government is there to protect and make sure that ‑‑ and rules of engagement as well.
I'm from a developing country. My environment is the environment that knowledge on Internet Governance is not ‑‑ the regulation, it is very, very key. I worked with the regulator authority before now and openness, participation and regulation, and consultation, but when it comes to the final rule making, final policy making, the final legislation making the views of all the stakeholders may not be taken into concentration.
Government in its own wisdom would take the ones that feels it would go well for the environment. I think they must be a political will in the part of government. Government will not change its normal due process because of consultation. It takes time to then bring out the regulation and things that have gotten to another level, political will to take in the views of the modest stakeholders or other members of the public.
Consistency in regulation and rules would also be very important.
In Nigeria we're trying to kick off our child online protection. We're coming from a multistakeholder approach. If the government does not lend it weight behind it, it will not move. In my environment, government is key to make sure that things ‑‑ that, you know, multistakeholder process, that it is taken to another level.
We have just started the IGF in Nigeria, and the major financiers are the government. The private sector, others, they didn't give us so much support like the government. It is the government that's pushed our national IGF to what it is today. It depend on your environment. We don't have the business in our environment, the government is the highest spender in our environment so the original ‑‑ we depend more now on the government. The role is very, very apparent in our own environment to push for the process to go on.
>> MODERATOR: Thank you very much.
For me, the very, very useful insight of how you phrase it, you know, what is the government? I think it is also sometimes a discussion from a business perspective. We have it as Civil Society versus the government, something versus the government, one or the other, indeed as you say, many countries, it is not that distinction, it is not clear and the roles are not necessarily set and it is not necessarily one is against or one versus. The government comes from, you know, sometimes what you're saying, the government comes from the same people to help the same people and to do something there. That's an interesting perspective to bring. That's very, very useful.
Would anyone like to add further to that debate?
Also I think ‑‑ just before I'll call up on someone ‑‑ also part of that debate, and I think we have heard this before, I think that's also about different ‑‑ multistakeholder as well, multi‑‑ various backgrounds and various countries. That's like from previous intervention, I think that continues that, whether that role of governments is the same in every culture and every country, that's I think another perspective that I have been hearing today.
I don't know if someone would like to add on that perspective. Would anyone like to add further to that?
I see a gentleman there looking around. The gentleman in the middle, would you be okay? No. No. Next to you. Next ‑‑ yeah. No?
Anyone that would like to contribute? Have we said everything? Everything is well captured in everybody is happen on the views? On that vote, we'll just ‑‑ thank you. Sorry.
>> Thank you.
I'm from South Korea. I'm currently working for the ministry, but I originally worked for the technical community. I'll be going back to the technical community.
Korea used to be a very, very poor country after the Korean war. Thanks to government ‑‑ this is my personal opinion, not Korean opinion ‑‑ thanks to the Korean Government we could develop very, very quickly. Now I think we're an okay country in terms of economy and everything. We have some.
Anyway, the importance of governments and Civil Society and technical community, they're all I think equal and what makes them different is the culture and their economic status in my opinion. So for developing countries, we used to be a very developing country, but in that case the role of the government is extremely important. We should not ‑‑ what do you call, hinder them to participate in the Internet Governance or the economical development, everything.
I think we're talking about ITU, some U.N. agencies and everything, what I would like to suggest is that as one of the gentleman already has mentioned, the government should facilitate to participate, to make Civil Societies and all the stakeholders participate in their multistakeholderism process. As a person from the technical community I think technical standards ‑‑ ITU also handles the standards as well, but those standards can help build a better consensus model. Those standards, those published standards are already ‑‑ how do you say ‑‑ consensus based and they're already agreed and all the stakeholders, even the governments take sector members, member states agree that that's tendered as very good. Especially for developing countries if we take advantage of the developing standards and make good use of that development it would be better for us to discuss how to ‑‑ how to make governments to involve the whole thing.
>> MODERATOR: Thank you. That's very useful perspective on development.
>> AUDIENCE: I used to be a government official before my current position and I think one of the things that I used to struggle with, get caught up with respect to my goal on how I got there.
So, I would just say with respect to governments, there's not only one way of approaching things. Particularly in this space, where you have so many new issues that are arising with respect to the technology itself, I would say to be open, to be as consultative as possible, industry, civil societies, they're all willing partners and there is a lot to learn from them. There is some non‑regulatory models that achieve the same result, even achieve a possible result, to be open to the possibilities but to think outside of the box and not only view a one‑side only approach. Thank you.
>> MODERATOR: Thank you very much.
An interesting thing I'm hearing as a side thing when people introduce themselves, I was with the government, I'm now in the government, now the civil sector, technical community, back to the government, you know, an interesting observation. Not making conclusions out of that, but that's an input into this process. How those boundaries are ‑‑ especially with the government specific people, are not that clear.
Anyone else to add some concluding thoughts?
>> This is not my opinion, I'm just asking a question to the gentleman in the front.
I saw in the beginning of the meeting a gentleman from ‑‑ I don't remember ‑‑ he asked you, a sector member of ‑‑ is it okay to participate in the council working group with the Internet policy. I guess they cannot, so he just left. I would like to ask you, why are sector members not allowed to participate in the working group?
>> MODERATOR: This question is such is also good input into the report, that's a report that will go to the body that actually is deciding on those issues.
Because that's ‑‑ this is the council working group and the ITU, I think ‑‑ you know, part, I think that is ‑‑ it is a question to us but it is kind of difficult for us to answer here today, but definitely something that we can bring in this report and for the membership to consider and to see that there is this question being raised. Maybe they should consider that further.
>> AUDIENCE: John Carol with Civil Society, never worked for the government.
I'm sorry, I came in a bit late. I hope this point hasn't been done to death previously.
The multistakeholderism, I think in the same way as communism, great idea, pity it doesn't work.
In other words, what multistakeholderism means in reality is people that can afford to buy airplane tickets and can afford to spend time going to conferences like this get to participate in the illusion, anyway, that they're influencing what's happening on the global scale with the Internet.
Another point, I work with the child protection community. If you ‑‑ at meetings like this, when you hear people speak about the Internet you would think that the only thing that matters is over throwing governments, helping free speech, helping people to connect across the world and that the way parents, the way schools, the way people actually use the Internet is almost the second order of importance. Actually, you know, for the huge majority of people using the Internet it's about very practical day‑to‑day things. It is about parents helping their kids to learn. It is about teachers and classrooms teaching. It is about kids interacting with each other. It is about me buying books from Amazon, getting presents sent to my daughter on the other side of the world. It is that type of conversation about what's actually happening to real people in the real world, it is almost always absent in my experience because we only have a focus on how is this going to affect tyranny, effect totalitarian regimes and our idea of free speech, so on, so forth.
There is a worry basically that at some point all of this will explode because things will happen in the real world, governments, national governments will get elected into power in one way or the other, not able to resist the articulation of people's dissatisfaction with the way things are working in practice.
This is a highly political environment that we are in. My fear is that as I say, multistakeholderism is really a sham, it is about who can afford to buy airline tickets, stay in hotels, take time off work and come to speak at events of this kind.
It is a real pity, because of the idea of multistakeholderism, it is wonderful. If you look at the organizations represented on the MAG for example, they represent organizations that nobody in my country ‑‑ I'm sure in many other countries ‑‑ have ever heard of. They're tiny, tiny little organizations. Why are they on the MAG? They're on the MAG because they have the time to come to meetings like this and play the political game and get on there.
I don't think we should run away with this idea that multistakeholderism, it is very, very difficult to make it work, I don't think the IGF has made it work yet.
>> MODERATOR: Thank you. That's a useful input. Why we have no start‑ups, the representatives of start‑ups here, maybe that's part of the answer.
I think I'm pretty happy to close on this very nice intervention. I think, you know, raising broad questions, but valid questions of how things should be operationalized.
Thank you very, very much then. You will see that report and you will see that in other events today as well. Who I won't see, have great trips back home. Thank you very much.
This text is being provided in a rough draft format. Communication Access Realtime Translation (CART) is provided in order to facilitate communication accessibility and may not be a totally verbatim record of the proceedings.