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Mr Markus Kummer, Chairman of the Internet Governance Forum Support Association (IGFSA), introduced the IGFSA Annual Report 2016-2017. He further detailed the strategic approach in seeking approval for the Annual Report from the General Assembly.
The report addressed modification to the Articles of Association in order to streamline the membership application process and make membership automatic upon payment of dues. The changes as proposed by the Executive Committee were approved by the General Assembly..
The Chair acknowledged the individual committee members and organisational members. He further described the budget and activities of the association.
As part of an outreach to recruit new members to the Executive, three candidates were voted in as new members. Participants and members expressed their appreciation towards the new members.
IGFSA is a recognised donor to the UN trust fund. The total amount transferred to the UN is $260,000 USD. IGFSA recognises the importance of National and Regional Initiatives (NRIs) and their dynamism. There’s an increasing demand to support NRIs.
IGFSA currently supports 10 regional and 33 national initiatives.
Ms Andrea Saks, Dynamic Coalition on Accessibility and Disability (DCAD), addressed the need to have a new classification for persons with disabilities. She requested a placeholder for accessibility funding for persons with disabilities to ensure that persons with disabilities are included in the IGFSA process.
The Chair replied that there is no objection to this classification and there can be provisions to earmark contributions towards accessibility. It is a question of how best this can be done.
Ms Marilyn Cade, Executive Member, said that it would be good to check what the accountability and legal requirements are.
The IGFSA continues to promote various events and raise awareness to recruit new members, such as NRI and Multistakeholder Advisory Group (MAG) members.
Questions were raised by Ms Avri Doria in relation to the efforts made by the executive members and committee members to raise funds.
Ms Anju Mangal from Fiji suggested that there need to be terms of reference for board members and executives. It is important to look at their key roles and responsibilities in raising funds.
An outreach strategy is available; however they need an implementation plan to support this strategy. Dr Vint Cerf, father of the internet, made a point to Cade in regards to developing implementation plans to support the outreach strategies.
Budget allocation for 2018
Given the dynamics with current IGFSA situation, the chair is reluctant to come forward with the figures. The chair said that they are not sure what they are going to do in terms of income. Disposable reserves are currently $45,000 USD and there’s a need for more contributions and funding support.
The Chair also requested that Ms Anja Gengo from the IGF secretariat be given a fellowship to continue the work of the IGFSA. Anya has been very instrumental and is a diligent officer and has done tremendous work in the area of establishing the network. The IGF Secretariat relies greatly on her service and it’s important that she has fellowship support.
Ms Marilyn Cade requested that other members speak up regarding Anya’s contribution as well as speak regarding the national and regional IGFs.
Mr Omar from Afghanistan elaborated the work done in relation to the Afghanistan National IGF. IGF Afghanistan is grateful.
All the NRIs have been getting full support and Anya has done quite a lot to support the African regional.
IGF Ukraine representative echoed similar sentiments regarding NRIs and added that they were able to seek great participation on youths. She further added that Anya was quite instrumental in remote participation.
Anju Mangal highlighted the successful Pacific IGF and acknowledged the efforts of the IGFSA in particular Markus Kummer, Marilyn Cade and Anja Gengo.
Finally as a way forward, members were asked to pay their dues and continue to promote IGFSA as well as raise funds.
The Chair Markus Kummer requested for a motion to endorse the IGFSA report. Dr Vint Cerf supported the motion.
By Anju Mangal