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Caribbean voices at Internet governance forum in Azerbaijan

Sunday, November 4, 2012
Bevil Wooding

Internet experts and advocates from around the world gather this week in the central Asian republic of Azerbaijan for the seventh Internet Governance Forum. The IGF, as it is commonly known, will be held in the capital city of Baku and will draw about 1,000 delegates from over 100 countries.



Internet stakeholders from Trinidad and Tobago, Jamaica, Barbados and other Caribbean territories are expected to be present at the event or virtually via remote hubs across the region. Trinidad-born Internet expert, Bevil Wooding, is listed to speak on several panels at the event. Wooding, an Internet Strategist for the global non-profit research firm Packet Clearing House, has been a leading voice and advocate on Internet governance in the Caribbean and across the developing world.



He explained, “The IGF is a United Nations sponsored multi-stakeholder forum where a wide variety of issues regarding Internet governance are discussed. Unlike many U.N. forums, IGF is attended not just by government officials but also draws representatives from the private sector, civil society and the Internet community, international organisations and others interested in how to handle, privacy, security, access, content, infrastructure and growth on the global Internet.”



Wooding shared that among the important issues on the agenda will be combatting rising cybercrime, expanding Internet infrastructure in developing countries, leveraging the Internet in the aftermath of natural disasters and the protection of intellectual property rights.



The Caribbean position on these issues will also be represented by the Secretary General of the Caribbean Telecommunications Union, Bernadette Lewis. Lewis believes that Baku meeting is of particular relevance to the Caribbean.


“The IGF provides an excellent opportunity to be exposed to a wealth of information and perspectives pertaining to the growth of the Internet globally. It provides signposts and best practices for issues that need to be considered for improving the Caribbean’s critical internet resources; increasing internet usage and promoting effective, safe and beneficial use of the Internet.”



Lewis added, “Given the phenomenal expansion and impact of the Internet and its potential to foster a new developmental paradigm for the Caribbean, our governments and citizens must take an interest and contribute to its continued evolution.”



The seventh International Internet Governance Forum (IGF) will be held in Baku, Azerbaijan, from November 6-9.


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