Blog post summary by Maureen Hilyard

Personal Schedule

Day 0 - My introduction to the Synthesis Document 2018 as co-Chair of the Drafting Committee (as part of Capacity Building Day 9.20 - 9.30am). See the final Synthesis Document prepared after the APrIGF in Bangkok 2017, and presented in an NRI session at the IGF Geneva. PPT presentation

Days 1 & 2 - co-Chair the Town Hall sessions of the Synthesis Document with Chat Garcia Ramilo (Philippines) at the end of Tuesday and Wednesday sessions

Day 2 - Pacific-focused Workshops

a) I am moderating the plenary session on "Preparing for natural disasters" (11.00-12.30pm) with participants from Vanuatu, NZ, Nepal, Sri Lanka and Japan.This workshop was coordinated by Hiro Hotta (Japan) PPT presentation1; PPT Presentation2; PPT Presentation3

b) I am presenting digital literacy for environmental and climate change issues for SIDS in (NZ) Winston Roberts' "Digital literacy, libraries and information services: supporting the community on the platform of the Internet" (1.30-2.00pm)

c) AP* 2018 Community Update - I have coordinated this workshop which is to be moderated by Rajnesh Singh (APrIGF Chair) - My update is on ALAC and APRALO events in 2018 (2-3pm), Also involves ISOC, PICISOC, APC, APTLD, APNIC, APAC Hub PPT Presentation1; PPT Presentation2; PPT Presentation3

d) My workshop which I am also moderating is on "Effective eGovernment for empowering Pacific Citizens" (3.30-5pm) Participants are from Vanuatu, Fiji, Cook Islands and Japan, Singapore, Taiwan. Learning lessons from Pacific and Asian eGov models. PPT Presentation1; PPT Presentation2


Spent Saturday 11 August travelling from Auckland to Port Vila via Brisbane (Virgin Australia). Arrived a few minutes after a direct Auckland to Port Vila (Air Vanuatu) also carrying several APrIGF participants - including Keith Davidson (ex-InternetNZ and ccNSO Council), Raul Echeberria (Internet Society), Joyce and Ken (APAC Hub), Ellen Strickland (InternetNZ Policy) and a few others. But a contingent of 60 is arriving tomorrow (Sunday 12 August).

A blog item has just been published by the Pacific section of about my being selected as Chair

Spent all of Sunday preparing 10 slides to go with various presentations I am giving, as well as those that I am moderating or that I organised and needed to provide the title slide and agenda./list of speakers. For one group I had to make up a package of slides because none of the panel provided one (to explain what their eGovernment website was like in their country and what value it gave to its citizens. I felt that the audience should be able to see what they were talking about.

Presenting with the APrIGF team at the Global IGF Geneva 2017

Welcome to APRIGF 2018, Port Vila, Vanuatu

Catching up with old friend, Keith Davidson

Day 0

Capacity Building

Monday, 13 August

Capacity Building Day

The day started with a welcome to the Fellows and an introduction to the APrIGF by the MSG Chair, Rajnesh Singh. He introduced the theme of the conference, "Empowering communities in the Asia Pacific region, to build an affordable, inclusive, open and secure internet" and some history of the APrIGF. I followed Raj as the co-Chair of the SynDoc Drafting Committee, with a promotion for the Synthesis Document and the Town Hall Sessions at the end of each conference day, where we will collect comments on the sessions and themes, that which will be synthesised by Sub-Theme teams and compiled to make up the final Synthesis Document.

The Fellows session then continued with an introduction to Internet Infrastructure and how the Internet works using a "DNS and Addressing Network" Card Game. They had Fellow participants representing servers responding to queries requesting a particular web address. This active workshop was taken by Pablo from APNIC, and Edmon from DotAsia,who also explained DNSSEC.

The capacity building programme then began with a panel which was moderated by my SynDoc co-Chair, Chat Garcia Romilo. The panel was the first group to introduce one of the sub-themes of the conference "Diversity and Multistakeholder Participation"

During the lunchbreak, 20 participants attended the Pacific IGF. It started with a semi-tutorial on Internet Governance provided by 3 IGF MAG members from the region - Salanieta (Fiji), Dalsie (Vanuatu) and Sylvia (APNIC). It was then followed by a presentation on a Blockchain application developed by a Kenneth Katafono of Fiji for the fishing industry, and some queries from first timers to the IGF from the Solomon Islands (Marlon T) and Tonga (Leotrina Macomber). Raul Echeberria from ISOC raised that when delivering their governance solutions, many in the developed world assume that everyone else is also connected to the internet. ISOC is working on solutions for SIDs and their challenges.

We made it back to the plenary hall to catch the end of lunch (2.30pm) and

  1. The end of the Cybersecurity session hosted by Paul Wilson, Director General of APNIC
  2. Online Privacy and Protection hosted by Salanieta T who ran two very interesting but hilarious debates involving audience participants about why data should be protected. Teams included Paul Wilson, Raul Echeberria and Tongan lawyer Leotrina Macomber whom I am sure we will see a lot of.
  3. Digital Economy and Emerging Technologies hosted by Raul Echeberria, Vice President of Global Engagement of the Internet Society.

Maureen explaining the Synthesis Document process

Pablo explaining the RIR system to the Fellows

Privacy debate - Raul, Paul and Trina vs the Fellows

Day 1

Opening Ceremony

Tuesday, 14 August

The Opening Ceremony was quite impressive with the Prime Minister and Vint Cert being escorted into the venue by a group of Vanuatu warriors. The conference participants were welcomed on behalf of the government by Dalsie Baniala who is the head of the Telecom Regulators office. Vint was the keynote speaker and raised various new technologies which could help SIDs connect to the Internet. But he emphasised that connectivity is not enough. Acces needs to be affordable and sustainable. There has to be local utility (local language use) and the infrastructure must support local business development. It must also have social utility (esp. Health care and educating our children for the future). And it must be resilient (storms & sea rise). He also discussed the unfinished business of the Internet (abuse, misinformation, malware) and the importance of Digital Cooperation. The Prime Minister of Vanuatu not only opened the event but also stayed to participate in a discussion of ICT development in the Pacific which also included Vint Cerf, the Minister of IT from Samoa, a representative of the Australian government, and was moderated by the Chair of the APRIGF, Raj Singh. A highlight of the morning's ceremony was a musical interlude by a group of singers welcoming us all to Vanuatu.

I was able to catch up with Vint Cerf at lunch and so grateful to have been invited to talk with him. It was my first opportunity since meeting him at my first PacINET conference in Samoa in 2006. Raj Singh was Chair of PICISOC at the time and this conference was held just before PICISOC became an ALS of APRALO and Raj was APRALO's first Chair. Following that event in Samoa, I ran two PacINET conferences on Rarotonga for PICISOC in 2008, and again in 2014 in my last year as the Chair of PICISOC. Vint Cerf very generously donated to these events, firstly with Google funds and the second time with his own money, and years later I got my first opportunity to thank him in person. Vint was very casual about what he had done for me, but I had to let him know how much his messages to us at that conference in Samoa had inspired me to join up with the Internet Society Chapter and have since continued on to where I am today. He responded that he felt it had been a good investment, that I had continued and achieved the role of Incoming Chair to the ALAC. I felt great too, because he had inspired and contributed to this effort, and I will forever be grateful for his genuine support and interest in the Pacific.

After lunch, Salanieta Temanikaiwaimaro and I were interviewed by local radio host and journalist, Dan McGarry (Media Director, Vanuatu Daily Post/Buzz FM 96, PICISOC member). It was a pre-recording because we would not be available when his programme is on, on Wednesday morning. It was a chat show, so Sala and I were able to talk about our involvement in IG in the Pacific, my work with PICISOC and a little about ICANN, and also Sala's role as the Pacific representative on the IGF MAG.He will inform us when the recording wil be posted online.

The day ended with the first of two Town Hall sessions co-Chaired by myself and Chat Garcia Ramiro, to gather inputs for the Synthesis Document.

The Prime Minister was present at a gala event on the beach front of the little island on which the conference venue was situated. Unfortunately I had to leave early to prepare for Wednesday's busy programme and to respond to a long stream of today's emails and other messages.

Vint Cerf - keynote speaker at the Opening Ceremony

Then collared at lunch so that I could thank him for the personal support he has given me in my work in the Pacific.

With Kasek and Cherie from the PICISOC Board,and finally with Chengatai (UN IGF MAG Secretariat) who was twice rejected at the Vanuatu border. (Almost a disaster!)

Day 2

Pacific Workshops

Wednesday, 15 August

Wow it was a busy day.. and raining quite heavily.

Disaster preparedness: The first part of my morning was spent looking for my panel for the first plenary on "Disaster Preparedness" I found that the main Vanuatu participant - the Director of the Disaster Management Service - was actually involved in transferring citizens off the volcanic island of Ambae to safety on the mainland. My local disability person couldn't come, but I had a backup in Gunela Astbrink whose disability session I had attended first thing. Fortunately the others turned up so that the session went well, including the remote participation from Nepal and Sri Lanka (eventually) but I really have to promote the value of captioning. The rain was heavy and noisy on the roof of the marquis which made it difficult to hear, so that the captioning kept everyone up with what was being said by all the participants which was really helpful. Otherwise the whole thing could have been a disaster! But I had some good feedback about the session and the captioning, so all is good with the world... except in Ambae.

Traditional Knowledge: After mornng tea, I provided some input into the Digital Literacy session with a presentation on the impact of technology on Traditional Knowledge in our island cultures..

ALAC/APRALO update: and then had to rush to the AP* session to give an ALAC/APRALO update which Raj was moderating anyway, so it didn't matter that I was a little late. I was in time for Joyce and Save's input.

APRIGF MSG Meeting: During lunch we had an MSG meeting, with Cheryl participating remotely (smile) . We were able to cover lots of issues including the re-running of the Vice Chair election because of so many technical issues last time. These have been resolved and both candidates are happy with the re-election decision to be fair to all, but it did raise an issue we will be discussing later on re- MSG membership.

Effective eGovernment: After lunch I moderated what turned out to be a very energised and fun session on "An effective eGovernment for empowering citizens", There were excellent responses from the discussion groups before the panelists presented what they liked most about their country's eGov system with updates on further developments in their systems. My work group consisting mainly of locals from Vanuatu, gave me a list of what they would like to see in their eGov system here in Vanuatu. I will pass my report on this session on to John Jack - who was also at the session when he wasn't rushing around as an organiser and who is in the Vanuatu government's Information and Communication office. Hopefully these Vanuatu participants will get the services they asked for, in Vanuatu's development of their eGov system. We will have helped to implement some change there.

Feedback from the "government and decision maker's group"

Dear e-Government team, It was indeed a pleasure and a great honour to be the head of our not so democratic & unstable government yesterday. Thank you for pulling me in to be part of the facilitation team by absolutely no choice of mine 

Maureen I congratulate you again for leading a fun filled but very informative session. Also to the rest of the team. You were all great!

If there was anything anyone took away from the entire session yesterday - I hope they all remember that government's come and go (literally as shown yesterday) but the work must carry on!! Regards,Hon. PM of the Republic of Instability! (Leotrina Macomber, Tonga)

Synthesis Document: The day ended with our second and final Town Hall session for the Synthesis Document. We encouraged participants to contribute directly to the comments platform ( and were very pleased to see a real increase in online comments.

Facebook put on a cocktail event in the evening which I attended for a while but decided to forego dinner for an early night. I really needed it (and missed the CPWG meeting (sad))

The final session of the Town Hall Session for the public contributions to the Synthesis document

Pacific participants after the PACIGF session

Leonid Todorov making friends with the locals. Jennie and Dalsie (TRR Director)

Kuo Wei voicing an opinion during the Town Hall session

Day 3

Closing Ceremony

Thursday, 16 August

The day resumed with two sessions and then the closing ceremony. This began with a big thanks from the organiser, John Jack, not only for giving Vanuatu the chance to participate in and host the APRIGF but also to learn so much from this first APRIGF in the Pacific. Kasek Galgal, outgoing PICISOC Board Co-Chair then presented the achievements of PICISOC during 2018, followed by the NZ Privacy Commissioner, John Andrews, who spoke about privacy issues that impact the Pacific. Reports on the workshops related to each of the conferences subthemes were then presented by six of the APRIGF Fellows who had been given the role of rapporteurs for the final event.

And the event ended with another Town Hall session, but this time for participants to give their final comments about the event. The event ended with a special dinner put on by the Internet Society.

Raul Echeberria tweeted his comments. Raul Echeberria @raulecheberria Aug 16

The #APrIGF2018 meeting in Vanuatu has been a very good experience. I liked very much the collaborative and open way that the outcomes are produced. A good practice that perfectly could be adopted by the global #IGF. It would be an improvement. @intgovforum @internetsociety #APrIGF


Participants in the 2018 APRIGF, Port Vila, Vanuatu

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