By Bevil Wooding – Director of Caribbean Affairs
The second and final day of the 4th ARIN-CTU Internet Public Policy Forum was a milestone in our collaboration with the Caribbean Telecommunications Union (CTU). After an energetic and informative first day, the second day continued in similar vein.
Accelerating Caribbean Internet Development
After giving a brief summary of the day one sessions, I introduced our feature speaker, Rodney Taylor, the recently appointed Secretary General of the (CTU). In his address, Accelerating Caribbean Internet Development: Internet Policy Priorities and Imperatives, Mr. Taylor shared the CTU’s vision and agenda for accelerating digital adoption in the Caribbean. He also highlighted the importance of building regional Internet infrastructure; the need for the Caribbean to present a unified voice at international fora; and the value of strategic partnerships.
The feature address was followed by remarks from our development partners at the Inter-American Telecommunication Commission (CITEL) at the Organization of American States (OAS), the OAS Inter-American Committee Against Terrorism (CICTE). Oscar Leon, Executive Secretary of CITEL, went first, sharing several initiatives CITEL is working on to increase further participation from the Caribbean. Violanda Botet, Deputy Executive Secretary of the OAS CICTE took the virtual stage next to highlight several initiatives OAS-CICTE is spearheading in the Caribbean to enhance cybersecurity capacity and resilience. Kevon Swift, Head of Strategic Relations and Integration, at LACNIC highlighted the registry’s work in region (ARIN and LACNIC share the Americas region geographically) then moderated the Q&A session covering the points raised by the speakers.
We then moved right into our Round Table Discussions for the day. The first panel focused on Regulatory Considerations for Fostering Digital Transformation and featured Bernadette Lewis, Secretary General for the Commonwealth Telecommunications Organization (CTO), Carlton Samuels, Development Strategist, and Gabriela Lago, Regulatory Affairs Advisor for INTELSAT. Our second and final Round Table for the day focused on Connecting the Dots: Practical Actions for Accelerating Regional Digital Transformation. This panel featured Junior McIntyre of the CTU, Kerry Ann Barrett, Cyber Security Policy Specialist at the OAS, and Avinash Persaud, Senior Fellow with the Caribbean Policy Research Institute.
The event closed with a presentation and discussion about practical next steps, led by the CTU Secretary General. Mr. Taylor, focused on how to translate the rich interactions into meaningful action. He presented a proposed priority list that will now serve as the foundation for deepening ARIN’s collaboration with the CTU and our government stakeholders in the Caribbean.
We would like to sincerely thank all the speakers and attendees for making the 4th ARIN-CTU Caribbean Internet Public Policy Forum a huge success.
The journey to implement digital transformation in the Caribbean has only just begun. The challenges of the pandemic have increased the demand to achieve the right balance of technology, human resource development and public policy to accelerate this journey. Governments and enterprises have little choice but to support digital adoption and deliver meaningful value to an increasingly interconnected and interdependent region and world. ARIN therefore remains committed to doing its part to support development of an open, reliable and secure Internet in the Caribbean.
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