Wrap Up 2020

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12 June 2020 | 18:00-18:30 | Studio The Hague | Video recording | Transcript | Forum
Consolidated programme 2020 overview / Day 2

  • Under-Secretary General Fabrizio Hochschild, Special Adviser to the Secretary-General
    Launch of the Secretary-General’s Roadmap for digital cooperation (15 min)
  • Summary of Messages by Geneva Internet Platform (GIP) (10 min)


Find an independent report of the session from the Geneva Internet Platform Digital Watch Observatory at https://dig.watch/resources/wrap.

Video record



Provided by: Caption First, Inc., P.O. Box 3066, Monument, CO 80132, Phone: +001-719-481-9835, www.captionfirst.com

This text, document, or file is based on live transcription. Communication Access Realtime Translation (CART), captioning, and/or live transcription are provided in order to facilitate communication accessibility and may not be a totally verbatim record of the proceedings. This text, document, or file is not to be distributed or used in any way that may violate copyright law.

>> SANDRA HOFERICHTER: Thank you very much. I think this was an extremely interesting session, also in terms that we combined two topics that are on top of everyone’s agenda, in particular, also from the European Commission, climate, digitalization. I think it is not going to be the last session on that topic. I would encourage all of the participants, all of the speakers, organizers, to stay tuned, and possibly to continue with that topic for the next EuroDIG.

Now, I ask you to stay host of the studio because we have a little bit to go. It is tradition basically that Thomas and myself, that we’re kind of doing the wrap up together, we also try to do this in cyberspace.

I would like to ask you, Nadia, you, to unmute Thomas and bring him to the screen. He will basically introduce us to our last keynote speaker, which is Fabrizio Hochschild. He is Under‑Secretary, Special Adviser to the Secretary‑General Launch of the Secretary‑General’s Roadmap for digital cooperation. Thomas will explain more background on this process, in particularly, how EuroDIG contributed to this high‑level Internet Governance process. I see Thomas, he’s already in front of the car already! I didn’t expect anything else from you than to see you on a building site with your cars! Thomas, the floor is yours!.

>> THOMAS SCHNEIDER: This is a last summer holiday in Estonia, that’s nicer than my office at home.

Looking at the screen, this feels a little bit like the euro vision song contest with all of the hooks into the capitals, people talking from all over Europe. This is really – so thank you to all of you, it is great to see how professional and how warm this whole thing is running. It is really amazing. I think everybody is proud and happy to just say that, to start with.

As you may remember, those participating last year in the EuroDIG in The Hague, we were the first of the NRIs of the national, regional IGF initiatives to talk about the high‑level panel report that was published just a few days before we held the meeting in The Hague. This year, we’re among the first one to talk about that, we’re the first to talk about the roadmap and take into account what the U.N. Secretary‑General has proposed on how to implement and move on with the digital cooperation and the governance. This is another great timing of all of this. I will not talk for very long. We’re already a bit overtime. I’m basically happy to introduce the Secretary‑General of the U.N., Fabrizio Hochschild, and another thing that you can’t do, we have been on a panel already today earlier on in Geneva, I’m excited to introduce him today and virtually meeting the second time. Let me hand over the floor to Fabrizio Hochschild. Before I do that, as part of the wrap‑up, I think that Sandra and the whole team behind EuroDIG deserves a big thanks, that was amazing, like I said, I don’t think we’ll forget the virtual EuroDIG and hopefully we’ll meet last year to talk about this with the very best memories. Let’s give the floor to Mr. Undersecretary general, Fabrizio Hochschild who will inform us of the launch of the roadmap that happened yesterday and the discussion since then.

Thank you all.

>> FABRIZIO HOCHSCHILD: Excellencies, ladies and gentlemen, I send you warm greetings from New York in unusual, uncertain circumstances and it is an important moment in history. The world has been fundamentally transformed by digital technologies. The COVID‑19 pandemic and social distancing have accelerated the adoption of information and communication technologies and transformed how we communicate.

COVID‑19 has also highlighted challenges of technologies and the need to manage them more effectively.

COVID‑19 has thus raised the stakes for global, digital cooperation. Over the last few months, my office in partnership with the international telecommunications Union organized a series of webinars on digital cooperation in times of COVID‑19 and beyond.

Many of you participated.

These discussions considered where urgent cooperation is required, such as with regards to the connectivity deficit, Human Rights challenges, trust and security issues.

Think of this, a challenge unique to our times is that hospitals do not just treat COVID‑19 patients, health officials also condition front an alarming number of cases of dangerous miss information and cybercrime. In follow‑up to the Secretary‑General’s call for a global ceasefire, I have stressed that this truce should also apply in the digital world as well. Global cooperation is necessary if we wish to overcome the misinformation pandemic without drastically compromising values like privacy and freedom of speech. It is necessary in the aftermath of this pandemic. In June of last year, the Secretary‑General’s high‑level panel on digital cooperation submitted its final report. The age of digital interdependence following the issuance of the report, the Secretariat reached out in writing to over 500 Member States, other entities and organizations, more than 100 including a number of those participating in EuroDIG provided feedback, roundtable discussion groups of subject matter experts were constituted to discuss the panel’s recommendations which were broken down further into 8 clusters. Yesterday here in New York, the Secretary‑General presented its roadmap for digital cooperation. The report reiterated the Secretary‑General’s support of a multistakeholder approach to digital cooperation.

The high‑level panel noted and I quote, a great deal of dissatisfaction with existing digital cooperation arrangements, a desire for more tangible outcomes, more active participation by governments, and the private sector, more inclusive processes and better follow‑up. End quote.

Similar to the technology devices and applications we use, the Internet Governance Forum and regional, national forums including EuroDIG need to continually be upgraded to be able to be more responsive, relevant to current digital issues.

The roadmap describes the need to consider how we can better position the IGF and its work within the broader U.N. system and includes a series of suggestions to further enhance it.

Including, by improving linkages with regional IGFs. I encourage you to be engaged in the follow‑up of the action areas highlighted by the roadmap and to share your views on how the IGF EuroDIG, national IGFs can be more responsive to the evolving challenges of digital cooperation.

Thank you for your engagement and support of digital cooperation. We welcome your ideas, proposals, we need them and we need your continued support.

Thank you.

>> SANDRA HOFERICHTER: Thank you very much, Fabrizio Hochschild. We can promise that we will continue contributing to this important process not only from the EuroDIG side, I think I can say that for the global IGFs and for many others that are existing across the globe that we will continue monitoring and contributing to that process.

Now we are pretty close to our end. Our last programme point, basically it is to give the floor to the Geneva internet platform. You may have recognized many reporters have been participating in the sessions, taking notes of the discussions, summarizing them on the go, bringing them up to the screen for you to find rough consensus. For me, that’s an incredible task to do when someone is doing this within the session. I would give the floor to the coordinator from the GIP platform and was managing the many reporters that have been in the sessions. Did you manage to find something like an overall summary of the EuroDIG.

>> Andrijana: Greetings from Belgrade, I’m from the Geneva internet platform.

Sandra, first of all, let me congratulate you and the EuroDIG team on completing the first virtual edition of EuroDIG in a successful manner. It was our pleasure to again partner with EuroDIG to provide key messages and session reports from all of the workshops and Plenary sessions, please look forward to our reports which will be available on the digital watch observatory shortly at the EuroDIG.watch/EuroDIG 2020. My plan was to highlight some of the messages that we felt were the most important messages from the previous two days of sessions as we formulated them. Please note, this is very far from a summary of the previous few days because of the discussions, they were indeed very, very rich.

One of the most important messages, it is that there is a need for stronger digital literacy, particularly for children, their parents, teachers, and those who are forced to be a part of the digital society by the pandemic such as elderly. Digital literacy should be approached in an interdisciplinary manner, users should be aware of risk and start to think critically and differentiate between safe and unsafe practices.

Civil Society and governments should participate in the development of internet standards but with important reservations, policy requirements must meet engineering measures to keep the internet safe and resilience without political interruption.

High quality trusted news, it is to be treated by reliable funding for public service journalism on one hand and the protection of the freedom of the press by national authorities on the other. Crisis such as the COVID‑19 pandemic should not be an excuse for governments to restrict freedom of impression – expression. The real foundation of digital sovereignty is the digital infrastructure as the pandemic has shown us. It is therefore key for the E.U. to focus on investments in telecommunication infrastructure, reflect on the regulatory frameworks and the actions and further raise its voice at international fora. Lastly, for us, it should be regarded as a prerequisite for the characteristic product and one that is related to how trustworthiness is communicated to the people. One solution could be developing a standardized way of describing an ethically relevant framework of AI systems.

These are the messages that we felt were resonating the most in the past two days. The messages will be available for commenting by the community as in previous years.

I trust that EuroDIG will provide more details about the commenting platform itself.

In the end, Sandra, team, allow me to congratulate you once again for this wonderful event..

Over to you.

>> SANDRA HOFERICHTER: Thank you very much.

Also thank you to the Geneva internet platform for offering this important service because this is basically the essence of the EuroDIG to have the messages at the end.

Now we are coming to more or less the last point of our agenda. I ask my studio colleagues to be ready for our last little exercise. We practiced it yesterday! First of all, I would thank all the others that have been involved in setting up the virtual EuroDIG. What we basically tried to do, we transformed 1 to 1, a physical concept into the cyberspace. That sounds very easy for the first moment. As we say, the devil is in the detail. Believe me, there have been a lot of details. If we would have known in advance we possibly would have not done it! We kind of managed! I think it was not so bad! We will send our feedback forms and we would really, really appreciate if you could give us your feedback not only on how the virtual meeting went, but also on the EuroDIG content overall, on the speakers, the sessions, so on.

We learned every day a lot of details. The point was we never had a chance to practice really. Here, if you would continue for five more days, I think all of us would be professionals in streaming and in organizing virtual meetings. Maybe you have found some things useful that you would like to use in your future virtual meetings and I think remote participation will get a real boost in the next year’s and months to come.

However, let me thank you, first of all, to our people that organized the youth programme, they are part of the EuroDIG Secretariat. To shape the sessions, I would like to thank our focal points, all subject matter experts, all the teams and speakers, you worked tireless in the last months and weeks and for us, it was really amazing to see how your energy didn’t lower when we had to take the decision to go virtual.

To collect the messages, I said already we really thank the reporters from the Geneva internet platform to transcribe the sessions, we would like to thank Caption First, the company we’re working with for quite some years and they must be very familiar with our acronym soup.

Then I would like to connect those that connected you wills across Europe, the streaming company and the stage directors, they have basically been all in front of me, they’re very excited and also very tired. Of course, I would like to thank the studio hosts in The Hague, in Berlin, in Trieste, basically those that were to be our physical hosts as well. Of course, I would like to thank also the IGF Netherlands that supported the studio in The Hague and the German society that supported the studio in Berlin and ICPT that supported the studio in Trieste. I’m not yet finished! Furthermore, I would like to thank the Italian cooperation partners. ICTP in particular. Also, the University, the people that were sponsoring and we were proud to be a part of your big event of being the European City of Science.

I would also like to thank Alberto, it was his idea to start in Trieste, Roberto Gaeteno, you may regret that you won’t lose us next year well. I look forward to continue with you.

I would like to thank all of the partners that support through the years and the sponsors, you will see them here without them, EuroDIG would not be possible. Thank you for supporting us, please continue to do so.

The EuroDIG board, our President, Thomas Schneider, I have a special thank you that you won’t imagine how tirelessly he worked in the last days, but also continuously during the entire year of EuroDIG mine while, for quite a while already. Without you, I would be totally lost.

And then, since I finished my thank you part now, now we have to make sure that we really get to Triesta next year, the flag made it to the – from The Hague there, the dart was not promising, we’ll start something new this year, I would like to hand over the balance to The Hague first.

>> AUKE PALS: Last year we were also host and three times in a row, it seems quite a lot! I fast on to Berlin.

>> Thank you. As you know, 2014 already were Berlin, we all know where we want to go next year, which is Italy!

>> And now we have the ball!

>> (Clapping).

>> We look forward to meeting you in 2021. Thank you very much, Sandra, thank you very much to the EuroDIG, the Secretariat, all of the people involved, there is a whole team here from the management to the staff and, of course, those that are here with me. What can we promise you for 2021 edition? Of course, great weather, we have good food, we have special coffee here. We’re known to be a City of coffee.

When you will visit us, you will enjoy really good coffee.

I think next year it is going to be a different edition. It will be in a post‑COVID situation and hope we will have learned many lessons from this situation. We heard about transformative, connectivity, we heard about, you know, policy, even open science, which in our themes that are of interest to the academic community here. I’m sure that next year, we will have learned many lessons and I hope that that will drive to the next sessions. I look forward to seeing you next year.

Thank you.

>> SANDRA HOFERICHTER: Thank you. With this, I declare the first virtual EuroDIG adjourned. Have a nice evening! Enjoy your weekend! Have a great drink, everyone!