From IGF to GDC – A New Era of Global Digital Governance: A SIDS Perspective

October 12, 2023
Venue: Kyoto, Japan


The Caribbean Telecommunications Union (CTU) is a treaty based, intergovernmental, international organisation dedicated to promoting and supporting the development of the Caribbean information and communications technologies (ICT) sector for the socio-economic development of the region.

The CTU has been coordinating the work of the Caribbean Internet Governance Forum over the past 18 years. This NRI has recently been focusing on the challenges with:

  • The monetisation of local content and the impact on the digital economy;
  • OTTs and the impact on investment in the regional telecom industry;
  • Content regulation, community standards and AI; and
  • The evolving cybersecurity threat landscape of developing countries, all from a developing country perspective and the Caribbean small states in particular.

This open forum aims to share specific experiences on the challenges previously mentioned and advance the discussions on issues of global inequality in the new digital global economy. These discussions will be contextualised within the UN Sustainable Development Goals 8, 9, and 10, and help developing countries formulate specific proposals and recommendations for the Global Digital Compact (GDC), as they prepare for the Future of the World Summit. The aim is to ensure that that GDC takes into account the shortcomings of the UN IGF process, specifically as it relates to DCs and SIDS, and identifies opportunities and mechanisms to address these shortcomings.  All of the issues that will be addressed in the open forum, which takes the format of a panel discussion, are issues that the Caribbean is currently grappling with and which are presenting major social and economic developmental challenges to the region.

While the IGF remains a valuable forum for fostering dialogue, sharing best practices, and raising awareness about internet governance issues, using a multistakeholder approach, power imbalances exist. There are power imbalances among the participating stakeholders which can undermine the inclusivity and effectiveness of the discussions. Developing countries and marginalised communities may have limited resources and representation compared to governments and powerful corporations, which can lead to unequal decision-making processes. The IGF has provided a useful framework for global discussions around internet governance. The session will present and discuss multiple challenges being faced by developing countries within the current global operational framework, offering a unique Caribbean perspective.

Interaction between onsite and online speakers and attendees will be facilitated via an online moderator that will flag questions, comments and other actions of online participants to the onsite moderator. The discussion will be framed by both co-moderators.



Open Forum: ‘From IGF to GDC – A New Era of Global Digital Governance: A SIDS Perspective’

Organised by the Caribbean Telecommunications Union


9:30 – 9:45 Panellists are asked to arrive at WS 10 – Room 1, 15 minutes before the session commences, for both technical check and greeting/exchange with the moderator and other panellists.
·       Simultaneous interpretation will be in the six official UN languages (Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Russian, Spanish) as well as live captioning

·       The session can be joined via Zoom here:

9:45 – 9:55 Moderators’ Introductions

On-site Moderator: Ms. Jewel Forde, Television Producer and Presenter

Mr. Taylor opens the session and welcomes all participants. He gives a quick overview of the session noting the general discussion theme. Mr. Taylor introduces the Online Moderator and each of the panellists by name and affiliation (without going into detailed bios).

Online Moderator: Ms. Michele Marius

Ms. Marius gives brief opening remarks on the general discussion theme and objective of the Open Forum.

1. Mr. Tracy Hackshaw, Director, Trinidad and Tobago Multistakeholder Advisory Group
2. Mr. Quintin Chou-Lambert, Office of the Secretary-General’s Envoy on Technology
3. Ms. Olga Cavalli, Co-founder/Director South School on Internet Governance SSIG
4. Ms. Sylvia Cadena, Acting CEO, APNIC Foundation
5. Mr. Rodney Taylor, Secretary-General, Caribbean Telecommunications Union
6. Ms. Sorina Teleanu, Director of Knowledge, DiploFoundation

7. Mr. Otis Osbourne, Actg. HOD, Dept. of Information Technology at University of the Commonwealth Caribbean (UCC)
8. Mr. Shernon Osepa, Internet Governance and Cybersecurity Policy Advisor

9:55 – 10:13

(3 minutes per speaker)

Opening Remarks

What are the main internet governance challenges you believe have been facing SIDS and how has the IGF served as a platform to mitigate against those challenges?

10:13 – 10:31

(3 minutes per speaker)

Question 1:

How do you see the acceptance of the Global Digital Compact (GDC) changing the digital governance landscape and addressing global inequalities facing SIDS in the new digital global economy?

10:31 – 10:49

(3 minutes per speaker)

Question 2:

Is the GDC positioned to address the shortcomings of the IGF process, and if so, what are the opportunities and mechanisms to address these shortcomings?

10:49 – 11:07

(3 minutes per speaker)


Question 3:

Specifically, from a SIDS perspective, what are the real benefits these vulnerable countries can derive from the GDC, is the GDC a duplication of current processes, and should the IGF process and GDC be kept separate or should there be an evolution of one to the other?

11:07 – 11:14 Open Floor
11:14 – 11:15 Closing Remarks

Mr. Rodney Taylor, Secretary-General, CTU


Rodney Taylor

Mr. Rodney Taylor, a national of Barbados, was appointed as CTU Secretary General from 1st March 2021. He was formerly the Chief Digital Technology Officer with Barbados’ Ministry of Innovation, Science and Smart Technology (MIST), where he was the technical lead on Barbados’ digital transformation, improving public sector service delivery through strategic use of innovation, science and SMART technology. Mr. Taylor’s over 20 years of professional experience includes management of the Information Systems Unit in Barbados’ Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade and its overseas missions. He also previously served between 2010 and 2014 as the Business Development and Operations Manager at the CTU, where he worked with regional governments in the development of policies to govern information and communications technology (ICT) and represented the region in many international ICT conferences. He also led the work to operationalise the CTU’s Caribbean Centre of Excellence, to offer consultancy services to the Member States and others. Mr. Taylor is an advisor on Internet Governance and has published research on e-Commerce diffusion in small island developing states in the Journal of Information Systems for Developing Countries. He is an Ethical Hacker and a founding member and former Chairman of the Barbados Chapter of the Internet Society, an organization whose aim is to promote the open development, evolution, and use of the Internet for the benefit of all people throughout the world. Mr. Taylor holds a Masters in Management and Information Systems from the University of Manchester, UK, and a Post Graduate Diploma in Public Sector Management from the University of the West Indies.

National Cybersecurity Director, Argentina

Olga Cavalli

Olga Cavalli is presently Argentina National Cybersecurity Director, previously she was Undersecretary of Information Technology in the Chief of Cabinet of Ministers, and senior advisor of the Minstry of Foreign Affairs of Argentina. On the academic side, she co-founded and is the director of the South School on Internet Governance, university teacher at University of Buenos Aires. She holds a PhD in Business Direction, an MBA, a master in telecom regulations and she is engineer in electronic and electricity. Olga is fluent in spanish, english, german and portuguese, and can understand italian, french and dutch.

Acting Chief Executive Officer

Sylvia Cadena

After ten years managing the Information Society Innovation Fund (ISIF Asia) at APNIC, Sylvia was appointed Head of Programs at the APNIC Foundation in December 2016. As Head of Programs and Partnerships, Sylvia works on the management, design and implementation of collaborative programs and projects to expand APNIC Foundation activities in the region including the ISIF Asia program, one of the region’s most established Internet development programs, as well as the Seed Alliance, which supported innovative Internet development across the global south. Over her 25 years of experience in Internet Development in Latin America and Asia Pacific, Sylvia’s work has focused on the strategic use of the Internet for development with an emphasis on capacity building and infrastructure deployment. Since her early years as a UN Volunteer, she has worked across the multistakeholder spectrum of organizations with technical, training and advisory roles, mainly about information systems, access provision and innovation coordinating projects and team across the global south. She has served in many selection committees and working groups focused such as the Multi-stakeholder Advisory Group of the Internet Governance appointed by the UN Secretary General, the ICANN CCWG on new gTLD auction proceeds, the APrIGF Multi-stakeholder Steering Group and the Policy Network on Meaningful Access among others.

Director of Knowledge, Diplo

Sorina Teleanu

Sorina has worked in the internet and digital policy field for almost 15 years in roles including policymaking, research, capacity development, and stakeholder engagement. Before joining Diplo, she worked as an advisor in the Parliament of Romania, dealing with ICT-related legislation and policies. Between 2011 and 2016, Sorina served as the alternate representative of the Romanian Government to ICANN’s Governmental Advisory Committee. She was also the Chair of the Executive Committee of the South Eastern European Dialogue on Internet Governance (SEEDIG) and a member of the UN Secretary-General’s Multistakeholder Advisory Group for the Internet Governance Forum (IGF). Sorina also worked as a fellow and consultant at the IGF Secretariat. Her educational background is in international relations and European studies, having received a bachelor’s and a master’s degree from the Lucian Blaga University in Sibiu, Romania.

Board Chair, ISOC Jamaica

Otis Osbourne

Mr. Otis Osbourne has been serving the Internet Society through its Jamaica Chapter as Board Chair since it was chartered on January 15, 2019. He is au fait with Jamaica’s digital transformation initiatives in bridging the digital divide, and the rate of progress by telecoms and private/public sector organizations in adopting modern Internet security standards and actions. Mr. Osbourne’s formal education and training spans cybersecurity, Internet governance, information technology, school management and leadership, and public sector administration. He facilitates undergraduate degree courses in data communications and networks, programming, data analytics, computer and cyber security, and cloud computing at the University of the Commonwealth Caribbean (UCC) in Jamaica. In addition, he is currently the Acting Head of the Department of Information Technology in the School of Mathematics, Science and Technology.

Director, TTMAG

Tracy Hackshaw

Our Future is NOW. OWN the Future. #DigitalFirst 💡An ICT & Digital Economy Strategist currently leading the implementation of a major global sectoral Digital Transformation initiative within the United Nations System 💡 25 years of experience spanning work in the public and private sectors, integrally involved in the design and implementation of several globally recognized award-winning digital initiatives Analytics | Augmented & Mixed Reality | Cybersecurity | Digital Health | Digital Readiness & Transformation | Enterprise Architecture & Collaboration | GovTech & Digital Government | ICT Policy & Governance | Internet & Web Architecture | Internet Governance | New Media & Publishing | Strategic Project & Programme Management | Workplace Ecology

Consultant, Entrepreneur, Thought Leader

Michele Marius

An experienced Consultant, Manager, Regulator, Engineer and Author, Michele Marius has 20 years’ experience in the ICT and telecommunications space. She has worked in both the private and public sectors, and in developed and developing countries in the Caribbean, Southeast Asia and the South Pacific. Currently, Michele is the Director of ICT Pulse Consulting Limited, a research and advisory firm that specialises in a broad range of ICT and telecommunications issues, and is based in Jamaica. She is also the Founder of Project Calls (, an online platform that collates tender opportunities from across the Caribbean region. Finally, Michele is the Publisher, Editor and Primary Contributor of ICT Pulse (, a well-respected and longstanding online publication that discusses topical telecommunications and ICT issues from a Caribbean perspective, which has wide readership across the region and internationally. She also hosts of the ICT Pulse Podcast, through which to deep dive into important ICT/technology issues occurring in the Caribbean, thus enriching the conversation we, in the region, could be having. Specialties: Telecoms/ICT policy, Telecoms/ICT regulation, Telecoms/ICT regulatory change and development, Telecoms/ICT governance, operations, management

Head of TV at Caribbean Broadcasting Corporation

Jewel Forde

Experienced Television Executive with a demonstrated history of working in the broadcast media industry. Skilled in Journalism, Media Relations, Radio, Editing, and Public Relations. Strong program and project management professional with a Certificate focused in Broadcast Management from Radio Netherlands Training Centre.

Office of the Secretary-General’s Envoy on Technology

Quintin Chou-Lambert

Telecommunications/Internet Operations and Policy Strategist

Shernon Osepa