Pacific Countries Look To Participate In Global Internet Governance Discussions

Fiji Government's Department of Communications
Suva, Fiji

May 10, 2017

Government delegates from 16 Pacific countries including the Cook Islands have attended a workshop aimed at overcoming barriers to participating in global internet governance discussions, such as those taking place within the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) community.

The two-day capacity development workshop, themed “Harnessing the Potential of the Pacific GAC Representatives for Better Participation in ICANN,” took place on April 28-29 in Nadi, Fiji. Organised by ICANN, in cooperation with the Governmental Advisory Committee (GAC) Under-served Regions Working Group, it was supported by the Fiji Government's Department of Communications.

The 20 government delegates in attendance were ICANN GAC members and represented the Cook Islands, Australia, Federated State of Micronesia, Fiji, Kiribati, Marshall Islands, Nauru, Niue, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tokelau, Tonga, Tuvalu and Vanuatu.

“ICANN welcomes the participation of all stakeholders, including governments,” said Savé Vocea, ICANN’s vice-president of Stakeholder Engagement for Australia and the Pacific Islands.

“ICANN is dedicated to demand-driven engagement, and we are happy to see that all the Pacific GAC members were present at this workshop, which demonstrates their willingness to be part of the process.”

Pacific nations face many challenges that inhibit their full ability to participate in global platforms such as ICANN. These include inadequate internet access and a lack of human resources.

During the two-day workshop, the GAC representatives were introduced to ICANN and its policy development process, as well as high interest topics such as Domain Name System abuse. The delegates also learned about issues and working groups that required their immediate attention.

Said the Director of the Department of Communications, Government of Fiji Shivnesh Prasad,: “We are really happy to host this workshop. We often feel forgotten as a region in Internet governance discussions. It is challenging for us to participate in ICANN, as we do not have full understanding of the issues being discussed within the GAC.”

The workshop also included the participation of ICANN ecosystem partners, including the Asia Pacific Network Information Centre (APNIC), which discussed issues relating to Internet Protocol (IP) addresses and the Address Supporting Organization (ASO).

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