Caribbean Internet Governance Forum (CIGF)

What does the term “Internet Governance” mean?

As articulated in the report of the United Nations’ Working Group on Internet Governance (WGIG) in 2005, “Internet governance is the development and application by Governments, the private sector and civil society, in their respective roles, of shared principles, norms, rules, decision-making procedures, and programmes that shape the evolution and use of the Internet.”

What is the Caribbean Internet Governance Forum (CIGF)?

The Caribbean Internet Governance Forum (CIGF) is a multi-stakeholder grouping initially convened by the Caribbean Telecommunications Union (CTU) and the CARICOM Secretariat in 2005 to bring together Caribbean views on the issues being addressed at the World Summit on Information Society (WSIS). It has since been convened annually by the CTU with the intention of studying and offering recommendations on technical, content, policy, cyber security, privacy and other matters related to the Internet. The CIGF was the first regional forum of its kind worldwide and continues to evolve with the Internet.

The CIGF has had 13 sessions from its inception to 2017 and has produced and maintained a policy framework document based the outputs of those sessions and inter-sessional online discussions.

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What is the objective of the CIGF?

The CIGF provides a forum for discussing, analysing and building consensus on issues, priorities, objectives, policies and structures relating to the governance of the Internet in the Caribbean with the aim of ensuring that the development and use of the Internet proceeds in an equitable manner that benefits everyone. It is a forum to which all stakeholders can contribute on an equal basis without any formal hierarchy.

All are welcome to participate in the CIGF, including policy makers, regulators, service providers, content providers, consumer groups, academia, professionals, end users and other Internet interest groups.

What are the current priorities of the CIGF?

The CIGF remains concerned with the following issues as outlined in its policy framework:

  • Broadband infrastructure
  • Internet technical operations
  • Legal frameworks
  • Local Internet Content Development
  • Awareness-building
  • Research

In addition, the CIGF has been supporting the establishment of national IGFs in Caribbean territories and strengthening institutional linkages to other regional Internet Governance Forums (such as the LACIGF) as well as the United Nations’ global Internet Governance Forum.

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