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My experience after the event in Brisbane– yIGF & APrIGF 2023

One of the amazing events I\'ve been to was the Asia Pacific Regional Internet Governance Forum (APrIGF) 2023, which took place in Brisbane, Australia. The APrIGF 2023 Overarching Theme is \" Emerging Technologies – Is Asia Pacific Ready for the Next Phase of the Internet?\". Young people and multi-stakeholders from various parts of Asia-Pacific have been invited to the table to discuss Internet governance. As a member of the CamyIGF 2023 organizing committee, I had the chance to interact and converse with a variety of stakeholders and young people from diverse regions.I\'ve never been this far away from home before, so I\'m truly amazed by Brisbane, Australia\'s beauty. From day 0 of the yIGF and APAC until the closing ceremony, I have learned immensely the primary role of youth in Internet governance, how we as young people are prepared to pursue these opportunities, and how we can contribute to the advancement of technology in our own society. The conference was hosted by the.au Domain Administration (auDA) sponsored by Asia Pacific Network Information Centre (APNIC), APNIC Foundation, NETTHING 2023, Australian Government and Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN). The IGF basically aims to inform young people about Internet governance. It also encourages the younger generation to engage in more deliberation and decision-making process.The program agenda for yIGF 2023 and APrIGF includes the APAC Youth Leader dialogue on Youth Power Building Collaborative Partnership for Youth Inclusion Internet Governance, a panel discussion on algorithmic decision-making and the future of the Internet, a round table discussion on cyberspace\'s impact on youth digital wellbeing, and a meeting with industry experts. After each speaker’s presentation, there was an open floor dialogue followed by a panel discussion, where the speakers recap the discussion and receive follow-up questions from the participants. Participants can also ask their own questions to gain a deeper knowledge, and this is also one of the memorable moments when I see many enthusiastic young people and numerous stakeholders actively voicing their concerns!One of the highlights for me was getting to practice public speaking and boosting my confidence in expressing my concerns to the general public by presenting our Youth policy statement. The statement was the result of our discussion during the conference when we were divided into four groups made up of representatives from the Civil Society, the Technical Community, the Government, and the Private Sector.Everyone can participate in voicing their concerns about issues relating to Internet governance by doing so through the Youth Policy Statement in the APrIGF Synthesis Document 2023. If you\'re a Cambodian and are interested in learning more about Internet governance, join our Cambodia Youth Internet Governance Forum on September 23–24, 2023, at CADT!Photo by APNICFinally, I want to express my deepest gratitude to NetMission and the DotAsia Organization for giving me the chance to learn about Internet governance and develop my active participation, networking, and cooperation skills. Moreover, a special thanks to the organizing committee, who made sure that everyone is on the same page while continuing to provide us with all the essential materials from the day before the event to the last day of the conference. They put in a lot of effort, and I\'ve learned a lot from it, which has made me aspire to be like them. As a member of the yIGF 2023 Cambodia, I also want to offer my sincere gratitude to Open Development Cambodia for covering the cost of my roundtrip flight and visa.

My APrIGF 2023 Fellow Experience

I am honored to be selected as one of the fellows for the Asia Pacific Regional Internet Governance Forum (APrIGF) held in Brisbane, Australia from 29th to 31st August 2023. The conference brings together a diverse group of people sharing different backgrounds, including youths, researchers, policymakers, and others, to collaborate and discuss Internet issues happening in the Asia Pacific region. This highlights the importance of multistakeholder approach to shape our digital space and Internet world.This year, it\'s noteworthy that the APrIGF, NetThing, Pacific IGF, and yIGF events were hosted concurrently at the Brisbane Convention & Exhibition Centre. The overarching theme for this year’s conference is “Emerging Technologies – Is Asia Pacific Ready for the Next Phase of the Internet?” with an emphasis on three main themes, access & inclusion, sustainability, and trust. In a world where technology is evolving rapidly, this forum pushed us to question our readiness, our strategies, and our ethical frameworks. Various interesting topics were discussed, such as data privacy and protection, AI ethics, cybersecurity, human rights, online child protection, digital inclusion and connectivity, policies and regulations, and many others.Day 0: Capacity building for fellows and newcomersBefore the official kick-off of the event, fellows and newcomers were invited to a capacity-building session. We were introduced to Internet governance and the multi-stakeholder model. The orientation helps to ensure that all attendees are welcomed, informed, and equipped with the knowledge necessary to actively participate in the forthcoming discussions in the following days, and everyone is open to raising their voices to shape the future of the Internet during the conference.We had an opportunity to stand up, introduce ourselves, and share our interests in Internet issues. It was enlightening to hear from such a diverse group, each bringing their unique perspective about Internet governance to the room. I also had the enriching experience of attending the APAC Youth Leaders Dialogue hosted by yIGF, which provided insights into how can the youth meaningfully contribute to Internet governance discussions and initiate local Internet governance in their home country. I also had the opportunity to discuss with the IGF secretariat. The discussion was not just about gaining knowledge but also about seeking advice, sharing concerns, and envisioning pathways for youth participation in the development of Internet policy.Day 1“Policy development on generative AI based on Biometrics & Weaponizing Information Bubbles” is one of the sessions I attended on the first day.The session is about the challenges we\'re facing with new AI technologies, especially the ones that create super realistic, yet fake content. The concerns around advanced AI technologies include voice synthesis that can mimic anyone\'s voice, deepfakes which can produce convincing videos of individuals doing or saying things they haven\'t, and even the ability to replicate unique identifiers such as fingerprints, and many more. Such advancements, powered by AI tools, blur the lines between reality and deceit. The session highlighted the importance of reflecting on why we use these technologies and what we hope to achieve with them. With AI\'s ability to generate almost real content, distinguishing genuine from fake is becoming a challenge.A significant concern raised was about AI\'s potential to disseminate false information widely and rapidly. But what\'s even more challenging is that our laws and regulations aren\'t adapted quickly enough to these technological advancements. This session raises our awareness of the need to exploit new technologies, understanding, and an emphasis on ethical use.Day 2In addition to the insightful sessions on Internet-related issues happening simultaneously on day 2, all the fellows had the opportunity to present their selected topics related to Internet issues within their buddy groups. It was an enriching learning experience to listen to the diverse perspectives everyone brought to the stage on Internet governance.I had a unique and new experience working with my buddy, Eshaq. Collaborating with someone who has a disability gives me insight into the challenges he is facing in relation to Internet governance. His perspective taught me that as technology is advancing, there is often a concerning oversight - the lack of prioritization and inclusion for underprivileged groups. Therefore, we decided to give a talk centered around the theme of “Inclusion.” Our primary goal was to emphasize the importance of inclusivity in today\'s digital world, ensuring that no one gets left behind as technology continues to evolve.Day 3On day 3, I had a chance to step up to the microphone during the Town Hall session to share my insights and to contribute to the Synthesis Document input – a collection of views and concerns about Internet governance in the Asia Pacific region. This document will be presented for further discussion at the Global IGF this October in Kyoto. The questions related to the three main themes are open for both online and onsite participants to share their thoughts.Access and InclusionDo emerging technologies bridge or widen the pre-existing digital divide in the Asia Pacific?How do they impact human rights, and how should policies respond?How can we ensure their affordability and equitable benefits?TrustHow can trust in the Internet, its infrastructure, and governance be strengthened?How can we balance trust and privacy? How can we ensure transparency, accountability and fairness in emerging technologies?How do we promote trust in complex, unfamiliar technologies?SustainabilityHow can new technologies support a sustainable Internet?How do we encourage sustainable development with these technologies?How do they contribute to an equitable future?Social EventsAttending the Asia Pacific Regional Internet Governance Forum (APrIGF) was not just a learning experience, but a golden opportunity to network with like-minded individuals passionate about Internet governance. We discussed the challenges and best practices related to Internet issues in our respective countries and region. Our fruitful and informal discussions led to further collaboration to work on Internet governance activities in our country.Photo by APNICTo everyone I had the pleasure of interacting with during APrIGF 2023, I extend my heartfelt gratitude. Your insights and experiences help me learn a lot, and come back with many new ideas. I would like to express my heartfelt gratitude to my mentor, Dr. Shabbir, as well as DotAsia and sponsors for granting me the opportunity to participate in this insightful conference and make significant impacts and success in the region. I am looking forward to further collaboration for a better and sustainable Internet world. Please mark your calendars for two upcoming Internet governance events:Cambodia Youth Internet Governance Forum: Scheduled for 23rd to 24th October 2023 at the Cambodia Academy of Digital Technology.18th Annual Meeting of the Internet Governance Forum: Scheduled for 8th to 12th October 2023 at Kyoto.