South School on Internet Governance comes to Trinidad

Albert Daniel, ICANN Caribbean Manager, explained the ICANN's role in Internet plain English! EVENTS - The Caribbean Telecommunications Union (CTU) and the ICT Training Centre for Latin America and the Caribbean (CCAT-LAT) are bringing a five-day intensive training programme to the Caribbean, which aims to improve the quality of regional representation at international Internet Governance meetings.

The South School on Internet Governance, or SSIG, is a programme to prepare Caribbean and Latin American participants to actively participate in international meetings that determine the future of the Internet. The aim is to increase the level and quality of representation of Latin American and Caribbean countries at regional and international Internet Governance fora.

The Trinidad and Tobago Government, through the Ministry of Science and Technology, will be hosting the sixth edition of the SSIG. The event will take place in Hilton Hotel, Port-of-Spain, from April 28th to May 2nd. It will be the first time in its history that the SSIG will be held in the Caribbean.

“The CTU fully supports of the convening of the South School on Internet Governance in the region, as that venue gives Caribbean stakeholders greater access to benefit from the programme,”  said Bernadette Lewis, CTU Secretary General.

With more than half of the registered participants from the region, the programme is preparing participants to engage in the formulation of national, regional and international Internet policy, addressing with a special focus on Caribbean issues. Participants are interacting with local, regional and international experts in a range of technology-related areas.

“The Internet is a global resource, and governing it requires a multi-stakeholder approach. That’s why SSIG participants are given an understanding of the global Internet ecosystem and its evolution,” said Dr Olga Cavalli, Director of the SSIG.

Cavalli, a Lecturer in Networking, Telecommunications and Informatics at the University of Buenos Aires, is Argentina Representative for ICANN and a member of Advisory Committee to the United Nations Secretary General for the global Internet Governance Forum.

Director of Institutional Relations at SSIG is Adrian Carballo, a former coordinator of the ICT Financing Group in the Strategy for the Information Society in Latin America and the Caribbean (e-LAC), coordinated by the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC) of the United Nations.

“The principal objective is to create a new kind of leader, one who is better equipped to represent the needs of the region,” Carballo said.

SSIG 2014 participants, drawn from the public and private sectors, civil society as well as academia, will have the opportunity to network with members of organisations such as the Latin America and Caribbean Network Information Centre (LACNIC), the Internet Society (ISOC) and the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), which help to shape the future of the Internet.

Since its inauguration in 2009 in Argentina, the location of the SSIG has been rotated annually to Sao Paolo, Mexico City, Bogota and Panama City. Emily Fitzpatrick, Business Development and Research Officer at CTU, completed SSIG 2012 in Bogotá, Colombia. Initiatives like the SSIG can play an important role in fostering healthy dialogue about Internet Governance in the Caribbean, she said.

“SSIG is a diverse and safe forum where people with varying levels of expertise, knowledge and capacity can have meaningful dialogue. The real beauty of SSIG is the ability to sit in small groups with colleagues converse and reflect on the flow of information coming from the presenters. The cross-pollination that takes place in that forum is healthy and needed in the region.”

Selected SSIG sessions will be livestreamed online and open to remote participation in Spanish and English. Full course details are available on the official SSIG website, and on the CTU’s official website,