PacIGF 2021 Media Release
PacIGF 2021 – Virtually connecting and building Pacific communities in COVID-19 pandemic times
Hosted for the first time virtually from 6 – 9 September 2021, the Pacific Internet Governance Forum 2021 (PacIGF) brought together stakeholders to discuss and debate policies based on the theme ‘Working towards inclusive, safe and accessible services in the Pacific region.’
The event successfully ran across 10 Pacific countries, with six countries steaming live from the University of the South Pacific hubs: Kiribati, Nauru, Niue, Solomon Islands, Tonga, and Vanuatu. In Papua New Guinea participants streamed live from the Department of ICT and PNG Digital Cluster, in Samoa from the National University of Samoa, and Tuvalu from the Ministry of Communications. Fiji participants joined virtually from their homes and workplaces due to COVID-19 protocols.
PacIGF 2021 event organizers hailed the virtual event is a great success with over 500 registered participants from the Asia Pacific region.
The Honorable Timothy Masiu, Minister of Communications and Information Technology, Government of Papua New Guinea said:
“Digital transformation is changing the way we conduct business in government and our everyday social interaction. The 2021 Internet Governance Forum was an important opportunity for us in the Pacific to discuss how best we can collaborate to ensure the internet remains safe, secure and open for all our Pacific people.”
“Our ICT infrastructure, tools and knowledge can enable our response to COVID-19, and all other natural disasters we face in the Pacific,” he continued.
The Honarable Toelupe Poumulinuku Onesemo, Minister for information and Communications Technology, Ministry of ICT, Government of Samoa said:
“There is a high need in government bodies and other organizations on internet and technologies. It is a must that our Pacific universities are well equipped and prepare us, so we are not left behind in these important areas.”
“What hasn’t changed? The Pacific Region needs to identify the key areas for improvement and make the commitment to build and maintain the internet and ITC platforms in our region. And at the same time push other sectors of the economy down this path,” he said.
Participants connected virtually for discussions with key speakers and panelists ranging from business entrepreneurs, Pacific government Ministers and advisers, Facebook and Google representatives, university lecturers, ICT specialists, regulators and many more.
The Honarable Siaosi Sovaleni, Minister for Education, Government of Tonga said:
“COVID-19 has brought a new dimension on education in the world. How can we deliver quality education in a pandemic? In the Pacific it comes back to our available infrastructures, which has its challenges. A solution to this is using the internet, and we have been working with providers for education packages for students,” he said.
“We need to provide tailored education services that can overcome the challenges we already face in the Pacific and reach all our people,” he continued.
Ms. Ai-chin Lu, Asia Pacific Top Level-Domain (APTLD) Board Chair said:
“The world has become extremely fast paced and heavily reliant on the use of internet, and more so in this time of the COVID-19 pandemic. Making sure we understand what we are using and capitalizing on it is vital for the Pacific people.”
“Asia Pacific Top Level-Domain (APTDL) with its partners are extremely proud to have sponsored this event to bring more education and community awareness on the topic of Internet Governance to Pacific communities,” she continued.
Honorable Simon Kofe, Minister for Justice, Communication and Foreign Affairs, Government of Tuvalu said:
“Internet Governance Forums give us a chance to voice our Pacific challenges, share our experiences, and find solutions. We are separated by water, but we have now become more connected than ever forming the Pacific Internet village.”
“We look forward to maintaining these partnerships and continue strengthening our Pacific Talanoa into the future,” he concluded.
This year’s PacIGF 2021 was proudly sponsored by the Pacific Islands Chapter of the Internet Society (PICISOC) in partnership with the Asia-Pacific Top-Level Domain (APTLD), the United Nations Internet Governance Forum and Secretariat (IGF), the University of the South Pacific (USP), the Internet Society (ISOC), the Asia Pacific Network Information Center (APNIC), the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), Internet New Zealand, Asia Foundation, and other strategic partners.
The PacIGF event organizers extended their thanks to all presenters and moderators, hub facilitators and participants for a successful event. The next PacIGF date will be confirmed by organizing partners and sponsors at a later date.
For more information and to arrange interviews with the PacIGF spokesperson, Ms. Anju Mangal, Pacific Internet Governance Forum Co-Chair please contact:
Ms. Florida Tumulango, Savvy Vanuatu Communications Officer
Phone: +678 7605965