Before Kenya – Building Agreements in Latin America and the Caribbean
4th Preparatory Meeting for the Internet Governance Forum, Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago. August 9-11, 2011.
The First Regional Latin American and Caribbean Preparatory Meeting for the Internet Governance Forum was held in 2008, motivated by the idea of having a space that would foster multistakeholder political dialogue open to governments, the private sector, the technical community, academia, and civil society. The fourth of these meetings was held this year.
During its four editions, this forum has provided the regional community with a unique opportunity to participate, learn and have an effect on the debates and discussions regarding global Internet Governance issues, thus contributing to the positions that regional stakeholders later promote at global forums.
Access and diversity, privacy, Internet freedom of expression and security, critical Internet resource management, and emerging issues, were among the topics discussed at the Fourth Meeting, held in Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago, between August 9 and 11.
During this meeting, 106 delegates from 23 different countries (13 of them in the Caribbean) and representing various social organizations, academic networks, technical organizations, and governments exchanged ideas and debated on the current challenges posed by Internet Governance in Latin America and the Caribbean in preparation for the 2011 Internet Governance Forum (IGF) which will meet in Kenya in September.
The Trinidad and Tobago meeting followed in the steps of previous IGF preparatory meetings held in the region (Montevideo, Río de Janeiro, Quito) and, thanks to the diversity and wealth of its participants, quickly became a space for multistakeholder political dialogue in which governments, the private sector, the technical community, academia, and civil society organizations were able to present their views on human rights on the Internet, emerging issues, access barriers, critical resource management, and mainly the dilemma of Internet security versus privacy.
The discussions of the different sessions as recorded by the rapporteurs are available at http://lacnic.net/sp/eventos/igfprep2011/agenda.html. These reports show the complex challenges that Internet growth is currently facing and the fact that freedom of expression was an underlying issue present in all discussions.
Initially sponsored by APC, NUPEF and LACNIC, this year ISOC, Google and the Caribbean Telecommunications Union (CTU) also contributed to the coordination of the meting, thus incorporating new sectors to its promotion. In addition, the substantial contributions made by CGI.br/NIC.br and the IDRC of Canada allowed funding participant attendance and achieving an event of overall excellent quality.