The Internet Governance Forum and Preparatory Meeting for Latin America and the Caribbean (LACIGF) was held from August 27 to 29, 2013. This is a regional meeting space for multistakeholder policy debate where different stakeholders representing governments, the private sector, the technical community, academia and civil society organizations share and discuss their views.
With the support of APC, LACNIC, NIC.br, Internet Society, Google and ICANN, the local host Ageia Densi, part of the ICANN structure as ALS (At Large Structure) in the LACRALO, was in charge of this sixth edition, where officials and industry professionals met to address five thematic sessions organized around the issues identified as priorities by the community. It is worth noting that since last year, the LACIGF program committee has made a call to develop a collaborative agenda in which everyone has a voice.
Although some question the expected results of the LACIGF and the impact of its influence since it is not a decision making forum, the fact that discussion topics are identified by the community, legitimizes the exercise and concretely offers the possibility to put the issues on the agenda. The multiplicity of actors involved in this meeting edition turned it into an ideal place to discuss politically sensitive and complex issues while it also favored the formation of interest groups.
This meeting is key to ICANN activities to ensure a safe and stable Internet while promoting a multistakeholder Internet governance model. Our regional team had a strong presence with Albert Daniels as a resource person for the session on “Enhanced cooperation” and Rodrigo de la Parra as moderator of the session on “Principles of multistakeholder participation.” Precisely, in relation these issues, one of the central concerns was the use of a definition shared by all. Rodrigo de la Parra stated that the concept of multistakeholderism means a systemic and endemic participation of various actors and consensus in decision-making, not just community consultations. Albert Daniels for his part, stressed that if the multistakeholderism works well, this will result in tangible instances and examples of Enhanced Cooperation.
With themes such as Human Rights, freedom of expression, security, and privacy and considering the latest events (PRISM / Snowden cases), it is not surprising that this edition was the most successful in terms of participation, with 200 people from 26 countries in the room and more than 2000 people connected remotely on the first day. On the Human Rights and Freedom of Expression issues, we should highlight the participation of Frank La Rue, Special Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of the right to freedom of opinion and expression of the United Nations Human Rights Council.
Far from generating a defeatist climate, recent events made the Internet more alive than ever, adding new players to the debate and multiplying the eyes that now look with great interest the discussions on Internet Governance.
The Regional Preparatory Meeting for the Internet Governance Forum is an effort of several organizations. ICANN has supported this initiative since the first edition in 2008.
Rodrigo de la Parra, ICANN VP for Latin America and the Caribbean and Andrés Piazza, LACNIC Public Affairs Officer, in an interview with local television
Our efforts in terms of communications also were rewarded by the continued participation of about 10 local journalists whom informed that ICANN and the global Internet community will return to Argentina in November this year, this time in Buenos-Aires, for ICANN 48.