The Internet Governance Forum (IGF) is a United Nations multi-stakeholder platform for dialogue between governments, business, civil society and the technical community on public policy issues related to the way the Internet works and is regulated.

This year the annual meeting of the IGF will take place in Kyoto from 8 to 12 October. The forum will be hosted by the Japanese government, and the overarching theme will be “The Internet we want – Empowering all people”.

As in previous years, IFLA will participate in this forum as many of the discussions that take place in it are relevant for anyone in the library field (e.g. public Internet access, universal connectivity, digital inclusion, digital literacy, freedom of responsible expression, and other urgent issues). This year IFLA will be hosting a side event and two programme sessions, all oriented towards the empowerment of citizens, the evolution of Internet public access and the long-term benefits of having an informed society.

Therefore IFLA highly encourages and welcomes participation from library professionals and stakeholders in the Asia-Oceania region at the forum and at these sessions in particular, to ensure that all voices are heard, exchange ideas, build partnerships and obtain support and inspiration. This is an opportunity to highlight the importance of libraries and information services in the digital era, to emphasize the opportunities and social challenges presented by current technological developments and to advocate for a stronger role for decision-making and policy delivery for the library field.

We welcome your on-site and online participation to these sessions. In addition to our blog setting out what you can expect from the IGF, below you will find additional details on each of the sessions:

Day 0 Event #161 – Towards a vision of the Internet for an informed society 

Click here for more information via the IGF website
Sunday 8 October 2023, 13:30-15:30h Kyoto local time

In the context of the updating of IFLA’s own Internet Manifesto, this Day 0 event will look therefore at the types of roles that libraries are playing – notably in partnership with others – in ensuring that the internet fulfills its potential to inform everyone, and create the conditions for the fulfillment of development goals. Prepared speakers will bring in particular ideas with a view to stimulating discussion focused on building a shared understanding of what libraries can do, and what is needed to deliver successful partnerships for internet inclusion with libraries.

  • Winston Roberts, National Library of New Zealand
  • Nina Nakaora, International School Suva, Fiji, Civil Society, Asia-Pacific
  • Misako Nomura, Assistive Technology Development Organization, Japan, Technical Community, Asia-Pacific
  • Rei Iwasaki, Notre Dame University, Japan, Academia, Asia-Pacific
  • Woro Titi Haryanti, National Library of Indonesia, Government, Asia-Pacific

Networking Session #158 – An infrastructure for empowered Internet citizens

Click here for more information via the IGF website
Tuesday 10 October 2023, 8:30-9:30h Kyoto local time

For the internet to realize its promise as an enabler of inclusive sustainable development, it needs to be people-centered and rights-centered. It should open up possibilities for everyone to fulfill their potential, with this representing the key metric of success, and not just more tech-focused proxies. And in line with the emphasis of the UN 2030 Agenda, no-one should be left behind.

This session therefore looks at what an effective strategy for mobilizing the global local network that is the world’s over 2.5 million libraries in order to promote both citizenship through digital means, and digital citizenship in particular. Specific issues touched on will include the fulfillment of core human rights, such as to privacy (including cybersecurity), education, citizen participation and science (notably in the face of the rise of AI), all of which are implicitly or explicitly part of ongoing discussions around both the Global Digital Compact and WSIS+20 process.

  • Xianhong Hu, UNESCO, Intergovernmental Organisation, Asia-Pacific
  • Woro Salikin, National Library of Indonesia, Government, Asia-Pacific
  • Trish Hepworth, Australian Library & Information Association 
  • Yasuyo Inoue, Dokkyo University (Japan), Academia, Asia-Pacific

DC-PAL session: Public Access evolutions – lessons from the last 20 years

Click here for more information via the IGF website
Wednesday 11 October 2023, 11:30-13:00 Kyoto local time

With the imperative of universal meaningful connectivity set out in the Global Digital Compact, as well as the need for clear definitions and an action plan to delivery, it is high time to look at how public access itself has evolved, and what this has meant for its contribution to the goal of a people-centered internet. This panel, drawing on a collection of inputs developed by the Dynamic Coalition on Public Access in Libraries, will share some insights into changes over time, and invite contributions from participants. The results will feed into a new publication, focused on the changing face of public access, in which itself will be submitted to those negotiating the Global Digital Compact, as well as the IGF+20 and WSIS+20 processes.

  • Ugne Lipekaite, Public Library Innovation Programme Impact Manager, EIFL
  • Woro Salikin, National Library of Indonesia, Government, Asia-Pacific
  • Don Means, Director, Gigabit Libraries Network


For questions about these sessions please contact Maria De Brasdefer ([email protected]) or Stephen Wyber ([email protected]) so we can work together towards an excellent event experience.