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The Asia Pacific Regional Internet Governance Forum (APrIGF) serves as a platform for discussion, exchange and collaboration at a regional level and also, where possible, to aggregate national IGF discussions, ultimately advancing internet governance development in the Asia Pacific region. This year will be a hybrid event in Kathmandu with virtual participation given the constraints posed by the COVID-19 pandemic. The overarching theme is “Towards an Inclusive, Sustainable and Trusted Internet”. The event will take place between 27 September to 30 September. Participants are required to register to access the virtual sessions.
APrIGF is a process in which APC has been invested for many years and seeks to contribute a feminist and rights-based perspective to internet governance. Our engagement in this space has been rooted in ensuring that our voices reflect the values of the network in relation to the development, exercise and regulation of digital tools and spaces. This participation has resulted in a stronger and more diverse presence of civil society voices and perspectives at the forums, as panellists, speakers, organisers of sessions and active members of APrIGF organisational spaces.
At APrIGF 2021, APC staff are a part of the Multi-Stakeholder Steering Group, Programme Committee, Stakeholder Engagement Committee and the Drafting Committee. We will also be actively contributing to the synthesis document that captures the discussions at APrIGF. We have also been observing the use and execution of hybrid programmes in regional IGFs as a learning opportunity on designing and hosting hybrid events, particularly oriented to ensuring that there is inclusiveness and mechanisms of balanced participation of stakeholders in the process.
This year, a total of 15 sessions and three showcases across these sub-themes will take place over three days. On 27 September (Day 0), a capacity-building programme will be conducted. At the end of the four-day event, a synthesis document will be developed based on open inputs from participants.
APC staff and members are hosting and involved in key sessions. On 29 September, the Foundation for Media Alternatives will host a session entitled Weaponization of surveillance amid a pandemic in Asia Pacific and Engage Media will host a session on a Citizen-Centered Approach on Tackling Hate Speech, Hindering State Authoritarianism and Algorithmic Censorship of Tech Platforms. On 30 September, APC will host a session titled Internet Rules: Judicial and Regulatory developments on digital rights in Asia. APC’s Gayatri Khandhadai will also moderate the closing plenary on 30 September, titled Sail, not Drift: Multistakeholderism and Diversity at APrIGF.
To access the programme, see the full schedule on the APrIGF website. We hope the virtual format facilitates the greater participation of members of the community ensuring that the event reflects our realities and perspectives.