2021 ARIN-CTU Caribbean Internet Forum Day 1 Recap

By Bevil Wooding - Director of Caribbean Affairs

Today kicked off the first of our annual ARIN Caribbean Forum events. The 4th ARIN-CTU Internet Public Policy Forum is being staged under theme, “Caribbean Priorities Within a Changing Global Internet”.

This year’s virtual forum is already providing attendees with a current, holistic view of the issues, trends and opportunities affecting adoption, resilience and security of the Internet in the Caribbean. Our goal is to foster greater awareness of actionable strategies that can help accelerate Internet adoption, and more importantly, relevant development.

The event features leaders and expert presenters from our collaborative partners, including amongst others, the Latin America and Caribbean Network Information Centre (LACNIC), the International Telecommunications Union (ITU), the World Bank, Diplo Foundation, the OAS Inter-American Committee against Terrorism (CICTE)  and the Commonwealth Telecommunications Organization. The sessions take the form of interactive discussions and case studies on international Internet public policy topics relevant to the Caribbean.

Day one was off to a great start with meaningful presentations and discussions. Here’s a look at the day’s events. Don’t forget to join us tomorrow for day two; there is still time to register!

Anne-Rachel Inné, Senior Vice President, kicked us off with opening remarks and set the stage for the rest of the day. John Curran, ARIN President & CEO, welcomed all on behalf of ARIN, and Rodney Taylor, Secretary General for the CTU, offered welcoming remarks on behalf of the CTU.

The Connectivity Conundrum

Next up, the Feature Address delivered by Doreen Bogdan-Martin of the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) titled “The Connectivity Conundrum: Access, Inclusion and Digital Transformation – Trends, Challenges, and Opportunities for SIDS and the World.” In this relevant and timely address, Ms.Bogdan-Martin discussed the trends in global connectivity opportunities and challenges. She posited that the benefits of connectivity outweigh the complex set of challenges being connected brings to individuals corporations, governments and societies. Ms Bogdan-Martin noted that specific implications for Developing States and underscored the importance of bringing Caribbean and Small Island State perspectives to global policy development fora.

Around We Go

Two Roundable Discussions then followed, focusing on twin priorities of Strengthening Caribbean Connectivity and Enabling Digital Inclusion. The first panel, moderated by Rodney Taylor, focused on public policy priorities for Caribbean internet infrastructure development. Panelists Oscar Robles of LACNIC, Doyle Gallagos of the World Bank, Andrew Beard of Vanu Inc. and Nigel Cassimire of the CTU shared on critical issues impacting connectivity efforts in the region and globally.

The second panel, moderated by Kevon Swift of LACNIC, focused on public policy priorities for Caribbean digital inclusion. Stephen Bereaux of the ITU shared his insights into digital inclusion challenges and opportunities in the region and what ITU efforts to address access inequality. Bocar Ba, CEO of the SAMENA Council and Broadband Commission for Sustainable Development  member and Jovan Kurbajila, Executive Director of DiploFoundation and Head of the Geneva Internet Platform (GIP) respectively shared perspectives and useful statistics on key issues to be considered in tackling digital inclusion in the region; and how member states might use stakeholders to actually be present and make their voices heard, internationally.

Throughout the day one sessions, it was clear that there is renewed energy to push the Caribbean to real and meaningful development action.  We expect this action-oriented focus to continue into Day 2 and beyond. You won’t want to miss out on this unique opportunity to shape the Caribbean Internet Public Policy.

The 4th ARIN-CTU Internet Public Policy Forum runs from 18 – 19 May from 9 am to 12:30 pm (EDT). Registration is free. Visit: https://arin.swoogo.com/ACFSpring2021

Follow @TeamARIN  and hashtag #ACF2021 for more live tweets of the event. Special thanks our organizing team, partners, panelists and attendees. Together we will continue working to support development of an open, accessible, secure and resilient Internet for the Caribbean!

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POST WRITTEN BY:

Bevil Wooding

Director of Caribbean Affairs