APrIGF 2019 ‘zero’ day starts with a game


On July 16, the Asia Pacific Regional Internet Governance Forum (APrIGF 2019) kicked off at Far Eastern Federal University on Russky Island in Vladivostok. The Coordination Center for TLD .RU/.РФ is the host. Although the official opening ceremony will take place tomorrow, on July 17, many participants representing the region’s countries are already taking part in the events of the “zero” day.

The highlight of the day is the Youth IGF 2019 forum, which brings together students from various countries within the region. Its theme is “Cultivating a sustainable online community and the role of young people in the process.” A special youth agenda has been developed for Youth IGF 2019. On the first day, students learned the basic principles of internet governance and took part in business games and workshops. During the business game, the participants were divided into several groups representing the state, civil society and private businesses, where issues related to internet governance were discussed from different points of view. Over the next three days, students will follow their own agenda as well as taking part in the sessions of the main forum program.

Today, it has become a global trend to hold youth events ahead of the “adult” internet governance forum, and many national and regional IGFs have their own youth programs. Their main task is to better inform young people about internet governance and involve them in the discussion of the internet state policy.

For example, a similar youth agenda has been included in the (RIGF) Russian Internet Governance Forum (RIGF) for several years. Well-known experts in internet governance, internet technology and the digital economy hold lectures for university students in the city that hosts RIGF, and these events have become very popular.

One important occasion during Youth IGF 2019 was Capacity Building Day, arranged as part of the “zero” day for those who had come to APrIGF for the first time. During the event, the organizers speak about APrIGF’s organization, the topics for discussion and what has been done or is being done in various areas. When opening Capacity Building Day, Multi-Stakeholder Group (MSG) Chair Rajnesh Singh noted that the Asia-Pacific Region had the largest population, and that all the topical global internet governance issues were actively discussed at APrIGF.

This year, Enabling a Safe, Secure and Universal Internet for All in Asia Pacific is the key topic. Representatives of the Organizing Committee presented their particular areas. The forum participants are also expected to discuss topics including the growing role of internet governance in today’s world, human rights online and the development of digital economy in the region’s countries. In addition, at the end of the forum, a document summarizing the outcome of the discussions will be adopted.

The APrIGF 2019 opening ceremony will take place tomorrow, on July 17, at 10 am Vladivostok Time (3 am Moscow Time). After that, the forum participants will attend sections, seminars and meetings in six main forum themes: information security, universal access, human rights on the internet, new technologies and their influence on society, internet governance and digital economy. There will be live coverage of all three days of APrIGF 2019 at the forum’s website.

The Asia Pacific Regional Internet Governance Forum (APrIGF) has been held since 2010. It provides a discussion platform for regional problems, regional cooperation and exchange, aligning national forum agendas, and ultimately for the development of internet governance in the Asia-Pacific Region.