Journey to “Building Our Multistakeholder Digital Future”

UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs / Internet Governance Forum Secretariat/

Session 352

Thursday, 30 May 2024 10:00–10:45 (UTC+02:00) Physical (on-site) and Virtual (remote) participation Room K1, ITU Montbrillant Building Internet Governance Forum Interactive Action Line Facilitation Meeting 1 Document

Looking ahead to IGF 2024

The session will provide a forecast of the 19th Internet Governance Forum (IGF), scheduled to be held in Riyadh, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia on 15-19 December 2024, under the overarching theme, “Building Our Multistakeholder Digital Future”. Participants will hear about the status of the meeting’s organization, the topics to be discussed, and what they can look forward to in the months leading up to the IGF annual meeting. 

The first 25 minutes will be devoted to overviews from panellists on: 

  • IGF Bottom-up Programme Building - How the IGF programme is taking shape around dedicated tracks, including for youth, parliamentarians and business, as well as its four main themes and how these themes connect to the ongoing discussions on GDC and WSIS processes: Harnessing innovation and balancing risks in the digital space; Enhancing the digital contribution to peace, development, and sustainability; Advancing human rights and inclusion in the digital age; Improving digital governance for the Internet We Want
  • IGF Organizational & Logistical Preparations - A status update and preview from the Saudi Host Country on preparing for IGF and welcoming the digital community to Riyadh
  • Next Steps & How to Engage - Forthcoming events for stakeholders to join ahead of IGF 2024, and a survey of the IGF’s outreach and intersessional activities, including capacity development activities and policy work open to all

Engagement opportunities include the IGF’s youth events within the “IGF 2024 Youth Track”, which is active throughout the year and culminates at the annual meeting, and capacity development workshops to be held at regional IGFs around the world. The IGF’s intersessional policy work streams provide interested stakeholders the chance to participate in multistakeholder, open processes to identify trends and best practices on critical digital issues. Policy Networks on Artificial Intelligence (PNAI), Internet Fragmentation (PNIF), Meaningful Access (PNMA) and a Best Practice Forum on Cybersecurity (BPF-Cybersecurity) are active in 2024. 

In addition to panellist and MAG Chair Carol Roach, the overview on IGF 2024 programme building will feature inputs from MAG members Sumair Gul, Olga Kyryliuk, and Xiao Zhang. 

The final 20 minutes of the session will open the floor to questions and discussion with participants onsite and online. 

Ms. Carol Roach
Ms. Carol Roach Under Secretary Cabinet Office Government of The Bahamas

Carol is the current MAG Chair of the IGF. Over the last 30+ years, Carol Roach has been a key player as an ICT strategist and programme lead, and e-government expert for the Government of The Commonwealth of The Bahamas. Ms. Roach has improved the efficiency and effectiveness of services through strategy development and implementation, change management, process redesign, and procurement and implementation of solutions. Ms. Roach has extended her expertise on a regional level by actively working with Red GEALC (Network of e-Government Experts in Latin America and the Caribbean), Organization of American States (OAS), CARICOM (Caribbean Community and Common Market), and Caribbean Telecommunications Union (CTU). She is a strong advocate of People, Prosperity, and Planet in the digital space.

Mr. Asim A. Abobakr
Mr. Asim A. Abobakr General Manager Partnerships and International Cooperation Digital Government Authority - Kingdom of Saudi Arabia

Asim serves as the General Manager of Partnerships and International Cooperation at the Saudi Digital Government Authority. His role involves nurturing and enhancing international partnerships essential to Saudi Arabia's digital strategy. He contributes to preparing Saudi Arabia for hosting significant events like the IGF and supports discussions that help shape future digital policies. He has built up a vast amount of expertise in public sector, private sector and in international organizations, in the fields of business development, financial management and digital transformation. His efforts are part of a collective aim to bolster Saudi Arabia's standing in the digital world, facilitating innovative transformations.

Ms. Anja Gengo
Ms. Anja Gengo Associate Program Expert IGF

Anja Gengo works at the United Nations Secretariat for the Internet Governance Forum (IGF) as an associate programme expert and focal point for national, regional, and youth IGF initiatives. Before joining the IGF Secretariat, she worked with international non-profit organizations, academia, and private legal practice, as a legal analyst and advisor in international law, human rights, media and IT law.

Anja has over 10 years of experience as a debater, trainer, and judge in the Karl Popper and British Parliamentary debate formats, with extensive participation in numerous debate tournaments and training sessions. She holds a bachelor’s degree in Law and a master’s degree in International Law, with her academic research focusing on the intersections between digital technologies and international law.

She is also an alumna of the Monroe E. Price Programme in Comparative Media Law and Policy at the University of Oxford and the Annenberg School for Communication.

Mr. Deniz Susar
Mr. Deniz Susar Governance and Public Administration Officer United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UN DESA) Moderator

Deniz Susar is a Governance and Public Administration Officer, Digital Government Branch, Division for Public Institutions and Digital Government is a Governance and Public Administration Officer at the Division for Public Institutions and Digital Government of UNDESA. Deniz’s main work areas include digital government and preparation of the biannual UNDESA flagship publication ‘United Nations E-Government Survey'. As part of his current role, he also supports the Internet Governance Forum (IGF). His main research areas include e-government, open government, citizen engagement, internet governance, artificial intelligence and other frontier technologies and open government data. Deniz holds a Master Degree on International Political Economy and Development from Fordham University, New York, United States and a Computer Engineering degree from the Bosphorus University of Istanbul, Turkiye.

Artificial Intelligence Cybersecurity Digital Divide Digital Economy Digital Inclusion Digital Transformation Ethics Human Rights Infrastructure Machine Learning Media Smart Cities
WSIS Action Lines
  • AL C1 logo C1. The role of governments and all stakeholders in the promotion of ICTs for development
  • AL C11 logo C11. International and regional cooperation
Sustainable Development Goals
  • Goal 4 logo Goal 4: Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all
  • Goal 5 logo Goal 5: Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls
  • Goal 8 logo Goal 8: Promote inclusive and sustainable economic growth, employment and decent work for all
  • Goal 9 logo Goal 9: Build resilient infrastructure, promote sustainable industrialization and foster innovation
  • Goal 10 logo Goal 10: Reduce inequality within and among countries
  • Goal 16 logo Goal 16: Promote just, peaceful and inclusive societies
  • Goal 17 logo Goal 17: Revitalize the global partnership for sustainable development