According to Internet World Stats, with over 780 Million Internet users, Asia Pacific is already the region with the largest online population. Yet the penetration rate for Asia is only at around 20%, which signals continued rapid growth ahead.
Building on the United Nations (UN) Millennium Development Goals, and the mandate given at the Second Phase of the World Summit on the Information Society in Tunis in 2005, the IGF (Internet Governance Forum) is a United Nations activity initiated in 2006 as a global platform for multi-stakeholder policy dialogue on prevailing and emerging issues on Internet governance so as to foster the sustainability, robustness, security, stability and development of Internet. The annual Forum was previously held in Greece (2006), Brazil (2007), India (2008), and Egypt (2009).
The Internet has become an integral part of people’s life. Despite the advantages, misuses and abuses lead to social problems, such as digital divide, Internet addiction, information safety, security, privacy and other evolving issues. These issues have no respect to national borders, and therefore require collaboration between countries and territories to address. The IGF approach is an open forum for knowledge sharing between stakeholders across borders, which in turn inform local policy development.
Asia Pacific Regional IGF (APrIGF) in Hong Kong
To complement and supplement the global IGF, a group of active participants, with the OGCIO (Office of the Government Chief Information Officer) as the advisor, have come together to organize the first Asia Pacific Regional IGF in Hong Kong. The event will consist of 3 parts:
- Asia Pacific Regional IGF Roundtable
(June 14-16), Cyberport (Function Rooms 1-3, Level 3, Cyberport 3) [ map ]
(Free of charge)
- Hong Kong IGF Conference
(June 17-18), Cyberport (Function Rooms 1-3, Level 3, Cyberport 3) [ map ]
(HK$300 Online / HK$350 Onsite)
- Youth IGF Camp
(June 12-14), Jockey Club Sai Kung Outdoor Training Camp
Visit: Registration Page
While the global IGF is already in its fifth and final year of its initial charter, and Regional IGFs have been established in many other regions, including Africa, Europe, Latin America and the Caribbean, to date, Asia has seen no parallel forum for discussing Internet governance issues at a regional level. For the first time, the APrIGF is therefore being convened with objectives to raise awareness and encourage participation from relevant stakeholders around the region on Internet governance issues, as well as to foster multi-lateral, multi-stakeholder discussion about issues pertinent to the Internet in Asia.
The Hong Kong IGF Conference aims to introduce to the various stakeholders in Hong Kong, in particular NGOs and youth, the status of internet governance and the global IGF. The APrIGF Roundtable will bring together experts in the region and around the world from the civil society, private sector and public sector for an intensive discussion that should help shape the future of the IGF. The Youth IGF Camp is organized and led by young leaders. During the 3-day (2 nights) forum, participants will role-play to represent different stakeholders in the society and interact with international experts in the field to discuss different social topics concerning the Internet.
All 3 component events combine to become a platform for regional collaboration and, albeit organised independently of the global IGF, intends to report its discussion to the global IGF to be held in September 14-17 in Vilnius, Lithuania. This adds to the significance of the APrIGF in that the ideas, recommendations and other outputs from the event will be used as inputs for the coming global IGF meeting in September.