Digital cooperation in practice: IGF Dynamic Coalitions

8 Dec 2021 08:30h - 10:00h

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The dynamic coalitions (DCs) reported on how their work relates to the IGF issue areas and how the work contributes to the debate on specific topics included within these areas. 

Ms Tatiana Tropina, co-moderator, spoke about the DC on gender issues and how the links between digital inequality and social-economic inequality make it increasingly difficult to ensure gender equality, and to create gender responsive and gender sensitive digital policy.

Ms Debarati Das noted that a gender gap is still found regarding access to devices, even access to the internet. The coalition focuses not only on addressing the issue of access to the internet, but also on discussing the surrounding issues around privacy and surveillance.

Tropina spoke about the DC on public access in Libraries. This DC works in the context of the global health crisis to enable meaningful access and solve inequality. Ms Valensiya Dresvyannikova of this DC spoke about meaningful universal connectivity and internet access in shared and public community facilities. This DC has recently focused on gathering evidence, recommendations, and good practises for maximising public access. Public access computers and internet access have been promoted to meet community needs and support digital skills training, for example, to power access to e-learning and improving the skills of job seekers.

A consolidated report has been released on the role that public access to the internet plays in broadband policies. A working draft has been released on the consequences of public access to the internet .

Mr Chris Marsden of the DC on Network Neutrality spoke on the report of the value of internet openness in times of crisis. Marsden focused on three main points needed to secure an open internet in times of crisis. Network neutrality is very much an issue that involves interoperability, including interoperability of platforms. 

The DC on Internet Rights and Principles Coalition has focused on greening internet governance. Ms Minda Moreira indicated that since 2019 the DC has worked with other partners on environmental sustainability, ensuring that technologies are not only rights based, but environmentally sustainable.

On the issue of emerging regulation, market structure, content, data and consumer rights and protection, Ms Yasmin Curzi de Mendonca of the Dynamic Coalition on Platform Responsibility addressed the work being done to bridge the gap between policymakers, academia, and the private sector.

Ms Jutta Croll of the Dynamic Coalition on Children’s rights in the digital environment indicated that their work is focused on balancing children’s rights such as privacy, freedom of speech, and freedom of information with children’s rights to protection. 

Ms Eileen Cejas of the Dynamic Coalition on Youth spoke on advancing digital cooperation from the youth perspective. Two webinars were facilitated: the first on environmental sustainability and literacy to encourage companies in implementing Corporate Social Responsibility and policy, and the second on an inclusive internet governance ecosystem and digital cooperation. The importance of stimulating a greater environment at the crossroads of youth, digital rights, and internet governance was emphasised.

Mr Olivier Repin-Leblon of the Dynamic Coalition on the core internet values spoke on digital sovereignty and the work of the DC to solving this tension and preserving core internet values. Most countries already have control of their own networks, but that differs from control of the information on the network. The DC looks at it as digital sovereignty over the content of things, but not digital sovereignty over anything outside your own networks. The balance must be found so no fragmentation of the internet occurs with non interoperable networks and enormous amounts of content filtering.

Mr Markus Kummer and Mr Wai Min Kwok (UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs) spoke on a paper produced on the DC as well as the collaboration being done across DCs in addressing the current health crisis, the food crisis, water crisis, security crisis and progress with the SDGs.

Mr Jason Munyan (Office of The Secretary-General’s Envoy on Technology) focused on the digital issues that have risen in the agendas of member states and digital cooperation for the General Assembly. The most significant questions are how can those who will be developing policy and grappling with the issues apply technologies in a responsible manner.

Mr Mark Karvell of the Dynamic Coalition on Internet Standards, Security and Safety spoke about the focus of the DC on producing policy recommendations that should grab the ears of governments and of decision makers in the private sector. 

In concluding the review of the progress with the DCs, a call was made for more explicit recognition of every DC output in the official record of the IGF. 

By Andre Edwards

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