FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Asia Pacific Regional Internet Governance Forum (APrIGF) – Hong Kong IGF Conference Opens Opportunity for All Sectors in Hong Kong to Exchange Ideas for Internet Issues
Hong Kong, June 17 － The Hong Kong Internet Governance Forum (HK IGF) its grand opening today. Following the successful discussions held at the Youth IGF Camp and the Asia Pacific Regional IGF Roundtable, the third leg of the APrIGF: 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, as well as to spark the participation from all sectors in Hong Kong to engage in a multi-stakeholder discussion of Internet governance issues.
Mr. Stephen Lau, Hong Kong’s representative to the UN IGF’s Multi-stakeholder Advisory Group (MAG) and the Chairman of the Local Host Organizing Committee for this APrIGF, Mr. Jeremy Godfrey, Government Chief Information Officer of the HKSAR OGCIO and Mr. Markus Kummer, Executive Coordinator of the United Nations IGF Secretariat opened the conference with welcome speeches at the opening ceremony, followed by a keynote presentation by Mr. John Galligan, Director of Internet Policy, Microsoft Asia Pacific on the impacts of cloud computing. Mr. Samson Tam, Member of Legislative Council (Information Technology), Mr. Charles Mok, Chairman of Internet Society Hong Kong, Mr. Ken Ngai, Project Manager, BeNetwise Internet Education Campaign and other members of the Organising Committee (http://rigf.asia/sponsors-and-supporters/) also attended the opening to participate in this landmark event for the Internet in Hong Kong.
Mr. Stephen Lau greeted and thanked the participants during the opening and he emphasized that the success of the Internet governance depends on its multi-stakeholder approach embracing diversity and respectful dialogue in the discussion of Internet issues, even when they may be contentious.
Apart from joining the meeting at the venue in Cyberport, all interested parties can also participate in the discussion online through live video streaming and chat at the forum website http://webcast.rigf.asia/seed/. Live transcription will also be available online as along with sign language and simultaneous interpretation (in Mandarin, Cantonese and English) will also be provided to support participants in expressing their views.
Mr. John Galligan, in his keynote speech added that, “The Asia Pacific Region is in a prime position to maximise the potential of the Internet to drive its human capital agenda through the adoption of cloud computing services. It is already leading the world in broadband investments in some countries, but now is the time for all governments across the region to ensure that the social and economic dividends of these new Internet-enabled services are enjoyed by all.”
The conference will explore various Internet issues including topics of “access and diversity”, “managing critical internet resources”, and the more contentious issues of “security, openness and privacy”. The HK IGF conference is the final leg of the 3-part Asia Pacific Regional Internet Governance Forum, which will conclude the weeklong event on Friday, June 18.
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About Internet Governance Forum
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.