Previous editions of the LACIGF meeting have certainly contributed to expand the understanding of Internet Governance issues, actors, institutions and processes, as well as their impact on the region. They have helped local stakeholders come together and opened the possibility of sharing information on the work that is being done on various topics at national and regional level.
In this sense, the regional process has helped discussions not be limited to the theoretical level but taken them to a practical level, as regional meetings allow a wealth of details that the global Internet Governance Forum does not address.
Regional meetings have inspired and promoted Internet Governance related processes at national level, including the creation of national hubs that allow remote participation in the global Internet Governance Forum. They have also served as a platform for the convergence of different stakeholders and to broaden the range of stakeholders involved in the various issues, thus opening up possibilities for the exchange of perspectives among different groups.
Thanks to the regional process, we can now say that some of the region’s visions, perspectives and issues have been brought up for global debate at the Internet Governance Forum. Regional meetings have served as a catalyst for bringing together the various stakeholders, particularly those from the technical community, academia and civil society organizations. Lately, progress has also been made in involving governments and the private sector, thanks to which participation is now more balanced.
However, there are still challenges and issues that need to be considered in the future. For example, the effect at national level has not been as strong as it was at regional level (a notable example of which is eLAC, especially after the Ministerial Meeting held in 2013 in Montevideo).
It is also necessary to recognize the asymmetries in terms of participation and effective involvement of the different stakeholders, particularly civil society, in configuration and decision-making instances. Agreeingon common positions to be presented by governments at international multilateral and multisectoral forums is another area where progress is needed.