Key messages and reflections of the 16th Latin American and Caribbean Internet Governance Forum (LACIGF)

The 16th Latin American and Caribbean Internet Governance Forum (LACIGF) held in Bogota, Colombia, on December 4 and 5, 2023 brought together diverse sectors, experts, industry leaders, academics, representatives and multiple stakeholders who during these two days shared and participated in the dialogue around Internet governance, leaving important conclusions and messages in each segment of the agenda.

Below we share a summary of the messages, discussions, themes and final reflections:

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Day 1

Data governance and trust: The importance of multi-sectoral collaboration to find strategies to address digital privacy, inclusive laws and digital and individual empowerment was emphasized, as well as issues around the culture of care and personal data. The tension between data protection and innovation, informed consent and the importance of data governance that promotes equity and transparency were also addressed.

Policies and Initiatives for Universal Access: Meaningful internet access, the importance of local content creation, and the potential of 5G technology to connect the unconnected were discussed. Community networks were highlighted as a complementary solution to the digital divide.

LACIGF: New Bylaws and Intersessional Committees: LACIGF’s new bylaws were presented, focusing on the organizational structure and the implementation of intersessional working groups and workshop selection committees to encourage greater community participation.

AI and Emerging Technologies: The transformative impact of AI, its current challenges, and the need for an ethical approach to technology development were discussed. Legislative participation and regional collaboration were highlighted as keys to effective regulation and inclusive AI.

Day 2:

Core Session with Carol Roach: The importance of multi-stakeholder participation in internet governance was highlighted and greater inclusion of youth and diverse communities in these processes was invited.

Cooperation for Online Security: Discussed the vulnerable nature of computer systems and the importance of collaboration at all levels to protect against cybercrime. The need to humanize cybersecurity terms and build community capacity was highlighted.

Global Digital Governance and Cooperation: Discussed digital cooperation from a regional perspective, the importance of inclusiveness in digital governance and the need for innovation in governance models to ensure that the voices of all communities are heard.

GRULAC NRIs: The evolution of Internet governance in the region was analyzed, with emphasis on the training of new generations and the discussion on issues such as AI, cybersecurity and the digital divide. The contribution of the NRIs to the Global Digital Compact was also discussed.

Internet blocking: The reasons, issues and consequences of Internet blocking were explored, highlighting the importance of proportionality, transparency and multi-sector participation in blocking decisions.

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