Open Forum ITU-UNESCO
08 December 2016 - A Open Forum on in Guadalajara,Mexico
>> DOREEN BOGDAN-MARTIN: Good morning, everyone and welcome to this open forum on the ITU UNESCO Broadband Commission for Sustainable Development. We would like to talk to you about the role of the commission and our work towards achieving the SDGs, very great full that you all got here so early to join us, which is sometimes a challenge after late night festivities. Thank you again for joining us. I would like to start maybe with a little bit of an explanation about what the broadband commission is and how it was created. In 2010 the U.N. Secretary General launched a call and appeal to all members of the U.N. system and all the member States to step up efforts towards meeting the millennium development goals. It was felt we were off track and everybody needed to do their part in helping to accelerate and work towards achieving the SDGs, ITU and our partners UNESCO came together and we created the broadband commission for digital development initially and it was all about looking at connectivity, looking at infrastructure, taking the UNESCO perspective of culture and education and really bringing our different areas of expertise and our mandates together to work towards achieving the SDGs. Our commission from the very beginning has been very much multi-stakeholder. We have a number of high-level representatives from CEOs. We have a head of state as our chairs and the ITU Secretary General and the UNESCO as co-chairs. The over 50 commissioners represent private sector and we have other international organizations. We have some multi-lateral banks and we also have academia. It is quite a mix and we have made a lot of progress over the last six years.
Last year when the 2030 agenda was adopted, the broadband commission was reconstituted and we are now totally focused and dedicated towards sustainable development.
So we changed our name. We are now the Broadband Commission for Sustainable Development and we also refreshed our membership to bring in some different members that were addressing issues such as health and education. The way that the commission works, we meet twice a year. We meet just before the General Assembly and we meet in the spring. We also work throughout the year in different working groups. We have had a number of groups since we were created looking at issues such as the role of broadband in science, broadband in education, broadband in gender. We currently have a number of groups in progress. Paul Mitchell, who is here with us today, will be leading -- he is one of our commissioners, been there since the beginning. He will be leading a new group looking at cloud computing in the SDGs. We have UNESCO that will be leading a new group on broadband in education. We had a previous group on broadband in education but we have a new one. We also have a group on technologies in space where our satellite representatives on the commission will be looking more at satellite connectivity and the SDGs. And we have a group looking at investments in infrastructure. So those groups basically work throughout the year and then they bring forward to the full commission a number of recommendations and guidelines.
The commission has also established a number of targets because we believe that if you can measure it, it's more likely to happen. So from the very beginning we came up with a number of advocacy targets where we've been looking at ways that we can use policy to ensure that broadband connectivity is indeed universal. We did a study where we were able to show that by having a broadband policy actually had an impact, a direct impact on growth of both mobile and fixed broadband. We also have a target on making broadband more affordable, broadband connectivity in homes. In getting more people online and our last target is on advancing gender equality. And we launch every year an annual State of broadband report in September and in that report we're able to basically track, measure and report on how we're doing to achieve those targets. At our next meeting in the spring, we are going to be looking at these targets again because there are a number of commissioners and also outside members that are encouraging us to look more at the broadband affordability target specifically and try to reduce that from 5% of monthly income to perhaps 2%. So we'll be taking that on board in the spring in the hopes of actually having some new targets.
So what we are going to do this morning, you'll hear from some of our commissioners and some representatives of our commissioners. We have a great panel. But before we turn over to our panel, I would like to turn over to our Assistant Director General, Frank LaRue from UNESCO, he is the ADG for the communications and information sector. If you could share with us the perspective of UNESCO.
>> FRANK LARUE: Thank you very much, Doreen. A real pleasure to be with all of you. It is fantastic to see a full room and to see the interest that everyone has on the work of the broadband commission. As Doreen was saying, this is a strong alliance between ITU and UNESCO. We have different mandates. This is very good because we complement each other's work. Of course, we're all looking at connectivity and the use of broadband and we're all looking at development as well. So as Doreen was saying, today for us connectivity and the use of the broadband makes much more sense if we link it to the 2030 agenda and to the sustainable development goals. Now, we believe that access to information and communication through ICTs is relevant for all the 17 goals. Not in particular for one or the other. Some more clearly than others, but all of them.
For us as UNESCO we're focusing a lot on education through ICTles and education at a distance and gender equity, one of our sort of priorities as an institution. We are focusing on cultural preservation and cultural heritage preservation, which is in digital form, which is also very relevant and finally we're focusing a lot on goal 16, which was part of the big debate in the agenda but set the basis for true development by saying you need to establish societies in peace, inclusiveness, access to justice, transparency and public access to information. That's our mandate. Number one, it's a universal right. We believe all our work is focused from a human rights perspective. Making public access to information sort of summarizes our work. It is public. We all have a right to access information.
Secondly, it divides access and information. We need to guarantee access to everyone with gender equity in the access but we also have to guarantee the information and the quality information. This is probably one of the unique elements of UNESCO. We're interested in the access and the connectivity but we're also that it guarantee the appropriate and relevant information to reach the goals. We're talking about women being able to access Internet and connectivity for women and for women to participate in development but we are also talking about the content. We want gender equity content related to women. Something that empowers women in the development plans and policies of -- we're including freedom of expression in all its forms. Freedom of the press and safety of journalists as well.
One of the issues that we believe is not so much linked to this is the question of cultural heritage. We are strongly involved in -- for UNESCO in all the cultural heritage programs. The world heritage convention on the physical heritage, the intangible heritage but for us in communication we have the documentary heritage. This is again very relevant to the preservation of information to the role of this preservation to libraries and archives in the role in development which is sometimes neglected and we've been highlighting this. This is the way we focus the role of UNESCO and the compliment we have with ITU and other institutions.
Finally one last word we strongly believe in the multi-stakeholder dialogue. We're doing research around the world for good experiences. We strongly believe the future of Internet, which will have many challenges from economic to political challenges, from national security to cultural diversity, in many ways we believe that these challenges can only be confronted if everyone has the possibility of speaking their mind and their priorities. The multi-stakeholder dialogue will become a necessity for policy and governance of Internet. Thank you.
>> DOREEN BOGDAN-MARTIN: Thank you very much, Frank. Now we'll turn over to our first panelist and hear very briefly from our panelists and we'll come back to them and direct a question and open up to you for your questions as well as to the remote participants. So I'll start first with Manu. Manu Bhardwaj is the senior advisor on technology and Internet policy. He is also spear heading the Global Connect Initiative and he is the focal point of Under-Secretary, Manu, if you want to share with us your thoughts about connectivity and the SDGs, thank you.
>> MANU BHARDWAJ: Thank you, Doreen. It is good -- we have found the work of the broadband commission to be exemplary. We are so grateful to be strong participants and supporters of the work and we look forward to continuing that as an expression of the entire U.S. government going forward. The leadership that the broadband commission has shown can be highlighted with how important the role of the commission was in moving forward the Global Connect Initiative. The initiative, of course, starts with a top line metric to connect 1.5 billion people by 2020. That, of course, is a metric that comes from the ITU meeting where South Korea but forward the connect 2020 resolution. Through this Global Connect Initiative we're trying to work with key stakeholder groups and stakeholders that aren't as active right now, whether it be multi-lateral development banks or the technical community, making sure they're at the table so we can respond to the needs of developing countries as they think about how to implement their broadband plans going forward. We have really experienced tremendous level of success thanks to our strong partnership with the broadband commission.
When we launched the Global Connect Initiative when the agenda was launched, we had many broadband commissioners there in attendance and many of them did express support at the onset. We've worked very closely with the commission to think about devising strategies on different topics, whether how to best utilize satellite technology or how to best identify policies that will promote investment and growth and we continue to believe the commission has the vital role to play. As we think about how we might move ahead together, I did have a four suggestions on behalf of the U.S. for consideration of the group here and also for the broadband commission going forward. Of course, I'll say the IGF is the premier venue for discussion of these topics and we're looking forward to the different reactions and views of stakeholders here before we kind of move forward with any sort of approach.
The first notion is with the Global Connect Initiative we have basically taken a listening first approach. We have 40 countries that support this effort but if there are countries, whether Tunisia, India, Liberia, that would like to seek help of this coalition of countries, SDGs, industry players, we are here to help and to be available as a coalition and group. Many countries have raised their hand seeking assistance. I think it would be important for us to think strategically with the broadband commission about how we can now respond to these expressions of interest, whether it is actually Tunisia, India, Liberia and Argentina, to name a few. They have identified broadband connectivity as a head of state priority in many ways. There is a huge opportunity here for the broadband commission and ITU, UNESCO and all industry partners to find ways to respond. Of course, this is not just about one initiative but about the global community and how to help these countries in moving forward.
The second area for us to think about accelerating our involvement is with multi-lateral development banks. I think this is critical. I've been on this journey for the past year and what I've learned is the MBDs, the infrastructure budgets account 1 or 2% for ICT Internet connectivity whether you're talking about the World Bank or other SDGs. We at the U.S. government are trying to make the argument that Internet structure has a cost cutting impact. The way you would operationalize that as a bank, think about how all of the different practice groups, whether it's health, education, etc., can benefit, ICT. That connects the SDG agendas well. That's the second area.
This third area, as part of the initiative we're trying to highlight the importance of connectivity at all of the bank fund meetings. The bank fund meets twice a year, April and October. We have strategic partners like the World Bank, IEEE that have committed to holding these major events. Our next one will be in April. At these events we're trying to invite finance ministers, development finance institutions. The thing about the multi-stakeholder model it only works if you have all the players at the table. All the expertise. And right now we are missing that. I think that was an observation that we made two years ago when we launched this initiative and really the only way for us to succeed is really be working together strategically and in concert and proactively and aggressively and inviting these new players to the table because they haven't really been included before. And so it's on us to really articulate why this matters. With finance ministers, you know, the common refrain when we had a major event with Secretary Kerry and President Kim is why is this issue relevant to my portfolio? This is an issue of the communications ministry. How does -- but, of course, we made the point and everyone here in this room believes that Internet connectivity is critical but we have to start talking to this audience and talking to them about taxation of ITC devices -- there are a lot of different ways finance ministers can help.
The last area for us to be thinking about. I actually touched on it a little bit. How can we help current multi-stakeholder venues like the IGF become even stronger in terms of the level of participation and diversity of views. One of the things I'm proud of through this initiative is we partnered very well with IEEE. Many people didn't know maybe two years ago at the IGF. They have a really critical role to play in connectivity, they just need to be asked. They have a membership of 800,000 people globally, electrical engineers. How you make connectivity happen through satellite fiber and they need to be at this table. I don't know if they are right now at this table. I know some of them are. But I think we need to make a really concerted effort if we want to be effective in this space to really be thinking about how we can move forward together. Thank you so much for your leadership, Doreen. It has been a privilege to work for you as you are the focal point for all the broadband commission work and I really mean to say this very sincerely the U.S. government views the work of the commission to be exemplary and looking forward to partnering with UNESCO and ITU as we move forward. Thank you.
>> DOREEN BOGDAN-MARTIN: Thank you very much,Manu. Great suggestions. Maybe we can come back to some of them after we hear from the other panelists. I'll turn now to Alex Wong who is the head of global challenge partnerships at the World Economic Forum. It is a perfect follow from Manu, because in terms of partnering, a lot of us are now involved with the Internet for all. That's another great example of bringing people and organizations together where we all share a common goal. Alex, over to you.
>> ALEX WONG: Thank you. Doreen, I think one of the questions you asked me to address was how can connectivity enable the SDGs. We're preaching to the converted here but I wanted to maybe give a bit of a different framing on how we look at this because we consider it such a self-evident thing. For the forum we've been talking a lot about the fourth Industrial Revolution. The theme they've promoted. Right now there is such rapid convergence.
Physical, digital and biological systems that society and human kind are embarking on a new trend. It is good to remember what are the first three revolutions which would be the first revolution being steam power, the second industrial being electricity and the third computing. A lot of the things we're talking about here at IGF is that we can't be talking about the fourth Industrial Revolution until we make sure everyone benefits from the third one, let alone the second, I probably could add. The reason why I think for us it's so self-evident that connectivity will enable the SDGs. Uber relies on three different technology platforms to come together. GPS, Smartphones, and financial payment systems. And we now take that for granted. Uber has been invaluable to get us around here in Guadalajara. Without Uber or the sharing economy we aren't going the make progress on SCG number 8 related to decent economic work for all. You ask an Uber driver do they appreciate the fact they can now earn extra income or have a job, I'm sure most would say yes. The second example I'll give is related to insuring healthy lives and promoting well-being, SCG3.
I talked to my colleague on the healthcare initiative team. A project called Access to Primary Care. In Africa, 99% of cancers in Africa are preventable because they aren't caught in the early stage. Could you imagine the power of having a photo of maybe some remote village where they believe there could be something wrong sent remotely. Diagnosed and preventive measures taken to address what could have been a preventable solution. This is a real project that is happening today. Many of you may be involved with some of that.
What this raises is it's not -- I think it's inevitable and self-evident that connectivity is essential for achieving the SDGs. The question, is society ready for this? Is the policy framework going to allow Uber or the self-working economy or sharing economy, will privacy laws allow a photo of something to be shared across the Internet? Can we create the matching regulatory frameworks needed to allow this to happen, which will be essential to achieving the SDGs.
And secondly is society ready? We're seeing the backlash to globalization and the closing of borders and trump and Brexit and Italy and we can go on. People are being afraid. How can we as a community share how this is benefit for all and address some of the concerns? And these are very legitimate concerns. Finally, therefore because ICT and connectivity is not an individual SCG. How can we make sure as the others are approached that the policies and messaging on the role of connectivity can be done in a coordinated manner. They will be discrete messages driven by discrete players. I think the broadband commission and also venues what the forum does and others in the room are doing we have to get the other people at the table because otherwise we are just preaching to the converted here. I think it's a great potential thing for IGF and broadband commission to consider as we go forward. Be fantastic next year or two years we have work streams on healthcare and on education and on the sharing economy and having others at the table who can engage in conversations about these critical topics. Thank you.
>> DOREEN BOGDAN-MARTIN: Thank you very much, Alex. As some of you may know, we for the past couple of years have been teaming up with WEF and doing a special session of the broadband commission during -- next year in January we'll actually instead of having a side event outside the perimeter we'll be in the perimeter in DAVOS and doing the event together. We all agree preaching to the converted and we need to work harder on getting the message outside. Upon of the things that the commission has been doing when it comes to U.N. events in particular, is the series of open letters and statements and communiques coordinated within the commission where we release a statement to the Chair of a particular conference like the humanitarian summit or the recent habitat 3 summit in Ecuador and we release to those big U.N. events the importance of broadband in issues such as be it refugee connectivity that we heard in September, or climate change, or humanitarian issues. We think it's important that in every major U.N. event that we really get out there with that messaging and we need to pick up on Manu's suggestion about getting that message also more clearly out to the major meetings of the SDGs.
I'll turn it over to Paul Mitchell. Paul is the corporate vice president and general manager of regulatory policy and standards at Microsoft. Paul, if you would like to share with us your perspective.
>> PAUL MITCHELL: Just as the other two said, I don't think there is any questions that universal connectivity is a requirement for achieving the SDGs. The reason for that is the pace of economic development is now tied to the pace of information exchange and the ability to receive, analyze and respond to data in Internet time instead of in sort of analog time. Economist Robert Gordon has authored a thought-provoking book which I would commend to people. It is long called "the rise and fall of American growth."
The hypothesis of that book is certain one-time events changed American society forever within a very short period of time between 1870 and 1940. And that those events can never happen again and were profoundly transformational. He explains the growth in output in terms of how it affected the daily home and work lives of Americans. The way it comes together is it's about how the typical American family moved from a completely disconnected life without indoor plumbing in 1870. No electricity, no transportation networks, nothing, to a fully connected life. Different terms for connected with water, sewage, electricity, radio and telephones by 1940.
So the American of 1940 wouldn't recognize the American in 1870. The American today would be reasonably comfortable in the world of 1940. Now, so his hypothesis, those were one-time events that can never happen again and they represent the maximum trajectory for growth that will ever be attained. Which is a depressing view. I prefer professor Schwab's view in the fourth Industrial Revolution but the challenge there we have to get all these initial networks, the sort of 1940 baseline has to be established everywhere in order for the economic change to be real.
Now, when -- if you think back to 1905 in the United States, the vast majority of agricultural production in the United States at that time was to feed horses, not people. Horses were the engines of society and 15 years later that was gone. And all the jobs related to keeping horses up were gone. And a lot of the horses were gone.
And so in some of these societies, we also, as we bring this technology to bear to try to address the SDGs, we're creating opportunities, we're creating real disruption. We see that in the Brexit case and in the United States where there is a massive diseffective people feeling the lack of inclusion and they are also not skilled for the jobs that we now have that we're enabling with these technologies. So I think my fundamental point here is that I think we cannot achieve the SDGs at all without achieving the universal connectivity. But in order to achieve the universal connectivity in a way that actually will allow the SDGs to be achieved in the overall economic growth we have to address the broader ecosystem of employment inequity, social inclusion, social level, at sort of at the social baselines and from that perspective that means not just the investments of big companies like Microsoft and Verizon and AT&T and all others, but it also means micro investments and getting people at the grassroots level and the Uber example is a good example of creating now big company creating jobs for lots of people and there is all kinds of tension around that in various places. So you can -- the Uber drivers I've talked to this week are thrilled, right? And flip side I'm not sure the taxi drivers are as happy.
So those are things that we have to address along the way. I'll just note that one approach that seems to be gaining traction is to try to find these micro-enterprises that have a good idea, that are local in a particular part of a particular country with a good idea and with all the sort of -- with the right social network, not Facebook, but like actual human-to-human contact where they can bring something to bear to solve a particular problem that people understand at that level.
We're trying to focus on stimulating those activities as much as possible on the premise that they will ultimately feed into the broader effort. I think I'll stop there and pass it along. I would also echo Manu's comments relative to Doreen's overall administration of the work of the broadband commission and, in fact, just the focus -- the continual focus on the broad brush ecosystem and trying to bring solutions the bear as opposed to just talking about it, which has been great to participate in.
>> DOREEN BOGDAN-MARTIN: Great, thank you very much, Paul. Now I'm going to turn it over to our colleague from Ericsson, Jose Ayala, the head of government and industry relation for Latin America for Ericsson. They have championed different groups including our first task force on sustainable development which was before the SDGs were endorsed and the group on climate change which you have led for many years. Very happy to have you with us this morning and we would love to hear from Ericsson, Jose, please.
>> JOSE AYALA: As you point out, Ericsson is a member of the U.N. sustainable development solution network and also the broadband commission for digital development and we have been fully convinced and engaged in promoting the vision that ICT is a game changer for reaching the SDG goals by 3030 or earlier. We have partnered with leading organizations in several projects all around the world. And we have last May 2015 we published a report highlighting how ICT can accelerate the reach of the SDG goals by 2030. And also we tried to convince governments and urge them to release technology and also investments and partnerships to each one of the specific goals with examples on how they can be implemented.
Having said that, in regards to education which SDG4, we have a long time ago partnered with leading institutes like the earth institute and millennial promise, and we founded the program called connect to learn which is aiming at escalating the high-quality education in secondary level especially for girls in areas -- remote areas that are also lacking adequate infrastructure. We firmly believe that mobility, broadband and cloud are tee technologies that can make a big difference in the quality of life of everyone and accelerate the SDG goals. But at the same time, especially in education, mobile industries at the forefront to make a difference. Today this partnership is a non-profit program and the partnership also includes other partners like UNESCO, mobile -- and in many cases -- the program has been very successful. Now has spread out to 22 countries and there are 76,000 teenagers, especially girls, in these regions which are benefiting from the program. The program provides scholarships and also the infrastructure to provide a cloud-based, high-quality education in these remote schools.
So I invite you all to log into our website and there is plenty of information about this project and also all the projects that Ericsson has been doing all over the world, especially in Latin America and other emerging regions.
>> DOREEN BOGDAN-MARTIN: Thank you very much, Jose. So Indrajit, would you like to jump in and talk about the universality concept?
>> INDRAJIT BANERJEE: Thank you, Doreen, very good morning to all of you. It is a pleasure being here, as always with the broadband commission of which UNESCO has been a founding member since its inception. Now, before I turn to UNESCO's Internet concept, I want to just say a few brief things. If I could it is a little late, more than halfway through, I will change the title of this to how with -- I think Paul's presentation was very interesting because when we talk about connectivity, way back then it was plumbing, electricity grids and cables and today we're not talking about that anymore, number one. I think connectivity to the Internet is a different ballgame.
Secondly, if you look at connectivity in its various manifest indications, there were strictly limited to one service only. Whereas connectivity to the Internet opens up the whole world from banking to access to knowledge to access to educational resources and what have you. So I think the word connectivity should be buried now and we should turn toward access, first point.
Second point when we talk about access, academic research has proved that. The word access means connectivity to infrastructure. It means, of course, access to content, access to capital, access to communities, corporation, and lots of these I can name. I think once we migrate to this understanding of connectivity or access, I think our work becomes much easier. I think the comments Alex made were extremely important in this respect. Also Manu. So we are looking at like the six blind men and the elephant, we're looking at this amazing platform all from different angles and it is absolutely essential whether it be the broadband commission, whether it be WEF or the other partners, the banks that Manu mentioned, we need to work together and we've been talking about it for a long time but I think it's time now that we really sat down and said who does what. We have identified goals and clearly identified targets and indicators. Now let's agree on who does what. We know at UNESCO that SDG4 is largely our responsibility because it is about education but we're fully aware without the teachers and ministries of education we will reach nowhere. It will never have the capability to deliver on SDG4 if every player in the education spectrum is not present.
Having said that as base principles quickly what is UNESCO's Internet connectivity concept? This was a concept we were forced to develop just to have more clarity. Both internally UNESCO education and, all the sectors. All doing different things related to the Internet but we didn't have an overarching framework. The concept is based on what we call the ROAM principles. And this came about after extensive global consultations with all kinds of players, all kinds of stakeholders. What does Internet universality represent? Same from UNESCO's point of view, the letter R in ROAM is referring to it being rights-based. We believe everything in the Internet has to be rights-based. If you look around today, a lot of the challenges that we see on the Internet, what are called a lot of people if it was the dark side, hate speech, cyberbullying, privacy, is directly related to the issue of rights. If we entrench all our principles dealing with the Internet on rights-based approach, I think a big part of the problem is solved.
The second letter in ROAM is for open. We believe in open. It refers to a lot of other things. UNESCO has a major program on open access to scientific knowledge. And this again is a tragedy that a large majority of scientific knowledge which is produced is restricted to a few publishers. When you see big even medical crisis like Ebola and Zika, countries suffering from it don't have access to the scientific information. It's a real tragedy. Again, the big challenge is that a country like India from where I come, a majority of the research is funded by the State but all this research, this data and knowledge is published in journals abroad and even the Government of India doesn't have access to what it was funded. Publicly funded medical must be accessible.
The third letter A is accessible. Accessible, if we take the bottom line is accessible even in terms of persons with disabilities. 1 billion people today who suffer from some form of disability. Access for them can be life changing. And so from access just to the infrastructure, to access to all kinds of services at affordable prices and access to the most deprived and under privileged. The last letter is multi-stakeholder. We are still discussing what does multi-stakeholders mean. We always try for example, I noticed in many of the forums, always trying to bring people together, ITU and UNESCO has been at the forefront of this but somewhere down the line everybody says this is my territory. This is my space. And one could even say it's kind of natural. ITU has its mandate. UNESCO has its mandate. Manu has his mandate. Everybody has a mandate. Are we going to be so generous as to give away in the name of multi-stakeholderism to give away all we're supposed to deliver? Of course not. One of the critical challenges we're facing multi-stakeholders, who does what? Where can you take the lead and I support? Where can I take the lead and you support? And how do we share responsibilities, resources and so on? So I will end there with UNESCO principles and just one last word the commission's work has been gratifying indeed. We have been absolutely delighted to work with Doreen and ITU in general.
We have major plans going forward. But I think even the broadband commission needs constant change, constant evolution. We have new partners coming in and I welcome the recent initiatives by the World Economic Forum to be a partner. The more the merrier is our perspective as far as UNESCO is concerned. Our territory is formally entrenched. Nobody messes with us when it comes to education and culture and we're quite comfortable where we are. We welcome all of you, all your participation and your commitment to the Industrial Revolution. Thank you.
>> DOREEN BOGDAN-MARTIN: Thank you for being provocative as usual. But I think we would all agree with you on your point about connectivity versus access and we talked about this the other day, when we look at network coverage, the coverage is sort of there but we still have half of the world that's off line and we really need to look at the factors that are keeping these people off line, be it affordability or lack of relevant content or lack of digital skills. We need to be focusing our attention on the access area and what we can be doing to stimulate access.
The commission did have a group on demand which was chaired by Intel and they just released their report a couple of weeks ago. I would invite you to take a look at that. I saw some smiles from the other end of the room, Andraya Sachs is with us and works close with ITU and UNESCO on accessibility issues. She was smiling when you were talking about the importance for persons with disabilities and those 1 billion people out there and maybe Andraya would like to say a few words. I think I would like to open up at this point to comments or questions. We do have other colleagues in the room that are -- that they have -- they are representatives of commissioners. We Flavia from Facebook, or Andraya, the floor is open if you would like to say a word.
>> ANDRAYA: Thank you very much for mentioning persons with disabilities. Every single category that everyone has mentioned applies to access for persons with disabilities and it cuts down the social, economic problem that we have in paying to keep persons with disabilities in -- it is not only an opportunity for them but an opportunity for society to be able to -- let's just say make them productive and reduce our costs.
I was delighted the other day when you got up and spoke in the main session because only three people spoke about persons with disabilities and, of course, when you did that I was going yes!
I'm very passionate as everyone who knows me, about this. I really support that and I would like to possibly work with any of you on this particular aspect because I've been with the ITU now 26 years, we figured it out. And it is now beginning not to be an effort where I'm banging my head on the wall. People are getting it and it is really important. So that's all I have to say. Thank you, Doreen, for the floor.
>> DOREEN BOGDAN-MARTIN: Thank you very much, Andraya. Flavia or Dominic, would you like to jump in and share some thoughts about the commission and SDGs?
>> Thank you, yeah, I actually recently joined the broadband commission and I've been appreciating the great work we're doing on gender and the working group on gender and inclusion in ICTs. I'm sorry I didn't prepare for this. I hope we'll be working together going forward.
>> DOREEN BOGDAN-MARTIN: Thank you. And as always I think this has been a very interesting--
>> DOMINIC: Very interesting session and obviously my colleague, Belinda is more involved in this than I am but we appreciate all the work, especially the work on gender as you were mentioning that MAGs is participating at well. It has been around SDGs and connectivity. We have a large program going forward on that and couldn't do it without all of our partners and all of the participatory groups that we work in. Because as Manu said, we really need to make sure we get as many experts in the room in order to make sure this happens. From a mobile industry perspective this is absolutely our priority in the next year and the next coming years. Thank you, Doreen.
>> DOREEN BOGDAN-MARTIN: Thank you, Dominic. Are there other comments or questions? Please, go ahead.
>> Okay, thank you. Just a small comment on organizational aspect. My country also has set up a stakeholder platform where everybody who is involved can -- that is to say NGOs and government people. Everyone who would like to contribute and it is still a work in progress. Nevertheless, all the information is available on the Internet so if you are interested you could have a look. And we are confident that we can make a difference and contribute actively. I happen to be a delegate to UNESCO and ITU. One of my tasks is coordinating these efforts and I think that could perhaps help as a best practice example. Thank you. I would be happy to send you the information by email so I will get you the information. Thanks.
>> DOREEN BOGDAN-MARTIN: Please. At the end of the room. If you could introduce yourself.
>> Thank you very much. My name is Veronica, I represent In Hope. It is an International Association of Internet hotlines and very briefly what we do is to offer digital citizens opportunity to report child sexual abuse and material online. We work very closely with Internet service providers and also with law enforcement. Of course, with local governments. Whenever we try to set up a hotline somewhere where we feel there is a need for it, basically all over the world, we do need to work very closely with governments, with ICT ministries, ministries of justice so the hot lines can actually operate. I think in particular because of the work we do, we contribute to a number of goals. Goal number 5 in particular -- 5.2, eliminate all forms of violence against women, 8.7 eradicate forced labor and all forms of violence, and abuse against children. 16.2, exploitation of trafficking.
We also, when it comes to Code 9, we work closely with industry to try to make them accountable for what it means to reach the next billion users. Because I think it's very important that when we have this conversation -- I think sometimes I'm a bit shocked the many times I think the next billion users, I think the picture that comes to people's mind is usually someone very exotic from Asia, Latin America, well-educated with an expective cell phone. We don't see the pictures of children on the street actually using the cell phone, of being abused or exploited or confronted with race. So I think for me I would like two comments.
One, it's the responsibility that it comes with connectivity and accessibility. Because providing access implies a big responsibility of us as society. It is not the same that the way in which Europe or United States have embraced the Internet is very different. It took decades to understand how this technology involves. When it comes to continents, countries, when people from one day to the next get confronted with Internet. All the opportunities and all the risks, I think we have a huge responsibility and we need to embrace that.
My second comment, I mentioned it specifically how my organization is trying to contribute to the SDGs so I wonder do we have a mapping or are we planning to have a mapping to know who is doing what in this field? It relates a lot to what you were saying about the ROAM but the multi-stakeholder how we understand that. Just having like thousands of players doing thousands of different things and we all think we're doing a great job and the best we can at contributing, but how do we connect the dots? How do we make sure that the initiatives are in hope are putting in place are in line with initiatives of all the people sitting around this table plus all the people attending the IGF and all the people out there in the world doing something? We don't want to duplicate efforts and especially if I wanted to represent NGOs or the non-profit sector, we are so challenged by lack of resources that I think that coordination is crucial so that we can really move forward. Help each other and make it like really a more sustainable approach. Thank you.
>> DOREEN BOGDAN-MARTIN: Thank you very much for raising those points. Actually, the next session in this room is on online safety issues, I believe. When you talk about responsibility, I think that's very much related to the next session and ITU has been doing a lot of work in that area to ensure sort of responsible and safer connectivity. I'll pass the floor in a moment to Peter Major. I want to come back to your point about connecting the different initiatives and trying to figure out who is doing what, as you were saying before, so we can all succeed together. You can look at this perhaps later but we've done a mapping of our own activities in the ITU versus our strategic plan versus the WISIS action lines and SDGs to figure out how we as an organization is responding. We want countries to be able to contribute their initiatives as well as other initiatives trying to link it up with WSIS stock taking and we're working closely with Global Connect, with Internet for all and many of the other initiatives out there. Peter.
>> PETER MAJOR: Behind this beautiful chart, still the connections between WSIS and the SDGs. I'm Peter Major, the Chair of the Commission of Science and Technology for Development in the U.N. I was very, very happy to be part of this discussion and to hear voices which echoed and made the original idea of the WSIS itself, building a people-centered development, oriented, inclusive information society, and I have heard it from many of you who have addressed the human factors, the social aspects of the SDGs and I'm particularly happy to hear your comments and calling our attention to the diversity and the differences we have in continents. To answer your question about the mapping, who is doing what, I have been chairing a working group what is called -- I won't go into detail what enhance corporation is, but one of the exercises we have been doing is mapping the different aspects of Internet governance and who is doing what. So it is available on the website of the WSIS. I can give you details about it. While this work is going on and going further, we are facing an enormous challenge, of course, but I'm very optimistic we can come up with some solutions and some recommendations which will really force the implementation of the SDGs as well. So basically I really want to reiterate that the human aspect of the connectivity of the access is absolutely important and we can see as Alex has said, just the reaction to what we have ignored or didn't really take very much seriously. Thank you.
>> DOREEN BOGDAN-MARTIN: Thank you very much, Peter. Time is racing. I just want to turn back to my panelists for perhaps a concluding thought. Alex, can I maybe start with you based on what you've heard, Manu's suggestions and other suggestions? If you would like to share with us a concluding thought.
>> ALEX WONG: The need for more at the table. Get more people coordinated. I think it's quite an exciting opportunity for IGF and the bank commission. We're at the cusp of a new phase and there is so much work to be done. I leave the session with actually quite a bit of excitement on how much opportunity there is and the work that we have to take.
>> DOREEN BOGDAN-MARTIN: Great, thank you, Alex. Paul.
>> PAUL MITCHELL: So I would share that view and just also note that I think we've come to the point where creating access for the next 4 billion people or 3.9 billion or whatever the magic number is, it's one of those things that we are not going to be able to do the way we created access for the first 3 plus billion people. The technologies are not really the issue, it's the way of working and the way of doing finance and the way of doing regulation in ways that allow for inclusion, experimentation and partnerships of the kind that, you know, previously would never have been imagined. I think what we see in places where there are successful new access initiatives that are changing societies, those are happening because it's a combination of innovation and business models, innovation and policy and regulation and innovation in technology. I think it is important that we all keep that in mind and then have an open mind to how we might address the problem. I think this also addresses the issue with NGOs and sort of mapping things. It's easy to think well, we should just do it the way we used to because it's easy and that's what we know but if fact those solutions we've done all the easy stuff. We're now into the harder stuff and time to be innovative. I think it's great we see that happening all around the world. There are lots of pockets of it ranging from finding new ways to get power, which you don't have to have as much power anymore because everything is -- consumes far less but you still have to have it. I'll stop there and pass it on.
>> DOREEN BOGDAN-MARTIN: Thank you, Paul. Jose?
>> JOSE AYALA: Thank you, Doreen. Well, I'm going to be very brief. We're very excited to see there are many organizations and from the public and private sector engaged in the reach of the SDG goals and we'll leave out the invitation to the rest of the industry and organizations that are still out there to engage themselves into this initiatives and programs. In our region of Latin America, one out of two persons still on average still don't have access to Internet service and broadband. And they are missing a big opportunity for personal development. Several studies from UNESCO, ITU and other organizations point out the big difference it makes to have basic quality education in the life of persons. And also their descendants. We still all have a big challenge. It is great that we have built momentum together with leading partners such as yourselves, and we leave the invitation open to the rest of the industry and the public sector to engage in these programs to make a difference in Latin America and the rest of the world.
>> DOREEN BOGDAN-MARTIN: Thank you, Jose. Manu.
>> MANU BHARDWAJ: Thank you, Doreen. As many of you know, the ITU published their State of broadband report just recently. One of the metrics that you'll see there is just last year we had an uptick of.3 billion people that came online last year. .3 billion people that came online last year. This is the challenge. We aren't really at the current pace making sufficient progress. There are reasons for hope. And we're looking to many people in this room and the stakeholders that are here in really thinking strategically about how we can respond to this call to action that we now have globally and how can we take advantage of it so we actually see progress. What would be the most disappointing thing is in five years' time we aren't able to move the needle in a significant way. I am very optimistic. I think we have now created a platform that can actually meet the needs of many countries. And also assembly a strong coalition of strategic partners from really key stakeholder groups that are really necessary to form a real strategy and blueprint. We still have a great deal of work to do in the coming months and years if we really want to see the type of adoption rates that we're all hoping for.
>> DOREEN BOGDAN-MARTIN: Thank you very much, Manu. It's time for us to conclude. What I would like to say in closing is I think that we have touched on each and every SDG and for me that means that part one is done. Part one was to make sure we were advocating globally and people understood the issue of connectivity on each SDG. In the comments this morning I heard references to almost every one of the 17 SDGs. I think that's very good. What I'm also hearing there is lots more work to be done. As Manu said at the current pace we won't achieve the 1.5 billion to achieve it by 2020. And we need to step up actions. We do need to be more innovative, as Paul was saying. And we really need to get it done again, to quote Vint Cerf, there is unfinished business out there and we need to get it done. Thanks again for joining us this morning.
(Session ended at 10:05 AM CT)