APrIGF 2023 Session Proposal Submission Form
Part 1 - Lead Organizer
Contact Person
Mr. Michael Karimian
Organization / Affiliation (Please state "Individual" if appropriate) *
Director, Digital Diplomacy, Asia and the Pacific
Economy of Residence
Primary Stakeholder Group
Private Sector
List Your Organizing Partners (if any)
Raman Chia, Access Now,
Part 2 - Session Proposal
Session Title
Stronger together: Amplifying multistakeholder voices in cyber diplomacy
Session Format
Panel Discussion
Where do you plan to organize your session?
Onsite at the venue (with online moderator for questions and comments from remote participants)
Specific Issues for Discussion
As the sophistication and frequency of cyber threats continue to grow, it becomes increasingly clear that these challenges cannot be effectively addressed by governments, industry, or civil society independently. The Asia-Pacific region, a rapidly evolving digital landscape, is especially vulnerable to such threats. As we venture into an era marked by the rise of cutting-edge technologies like AI, 5G, and blockchain, and increasing cyberthreats, it is clear that collective action and multistakeholder cooperation become paramount.

This session will focus on the urgent need for enhanced collaboration within the Asia-Pacific region to counter these challenges. To make meaningful progress, all stakeholder groups must find ways to synergize their strengths, resources, and expertise. This is particularly relevant for cyber diplomacy efforts, including those at the United Nations and other regional platforms.

Despite the pressing need, the inclusion of multistakeholder voices in these discussions and negotiations often remains fragmented and inconsistent, particularly in and from Asia and the Pacific. This session will delve into recent examples of inclusion and exclusion of various stakeholder voices in regional cyber diplomacy efforts. We aim to compare, contrast, and draw valuable lessons from these case studies, paying particular attention to the unique dynamics and challenges of the Asia-Pacific region.

This session is designed to foster an understanding of how we can better navigate the complexities of the Internet's next phase by fostering more inclusive and effective multistakeholder collaborations, so that we can enhance our collective readiness to tackle the new era of the Internet in the Asia-Pacific region.
Describe the Relevance of Your Session to APrIGF
This session directly addresses the Trust thematic track. It aims to foster and strengthen trust among different stakeholders in the international digital ecosystem. As emerging technologies are adopted, the question of trust becomes critical, particularly in internet governance processes. By encouraging multistakeholder collaboration, this session will pave the way for more transparent, accountable, and fair cyber diplomacy efforts. By discussing various cases of inclusion and exclusion in cyber diplomacy, it will also highlight the importance of trust-building among all stakeholders to ensure the resilient functioning of the Internet and its infrastructure.

This session also resonates with a second thematic track, Access & Inclusion. The principle of inclusivity extends to the realm of cyber diplomacy, where all voices - government, industry, civil society - should be heard and considered. With the advent of emerging technologies such as AI, 5G, and blockchain, it becomes even more imperative to ensure diverse representation in these discussions to prevent exacerbation of existing digital divides. This session will discuss the need to ensure that policies and regulations around these new technologies are inclusive and do not disadvantage any particular group.

Contributing to the overarching APrIGF theme, this session will shed light on the importance of robust, inclusive, and collaborative cyber diplomacy mechanisms in navigating the challenges and opportunities brought about by emerging technologies. By discussing the role of different stakeholders in these processes, it will highlight the urgent need for a unified and comprehensive approach to deal with cyber threats and to ensure the fair and responsible use of new technologies.

The expected outcomes of this session will include a heightened understanding of the importance of multistakeholder collaboration.
Methodology / Agenda (Please add rows by clicking "+" on the right)
Time frame (e.g. 5 minutes, 20 minutes, should add up to 60 minutes) Description
5 minutes Introduction by the facilitator/moderator. Setting the stage for the session and introducing the speakers.
5 minutes Johanna Weaver: Reflections on her experiences in cyber diplomacy and her work at ANU's Tech Policy Design Centre.
5 minutes Briony Daley Whitworth: Australia's involvement in UN and regional cyber processes, reflections on the Let'sTalkCyber initiative, and opinions on the role of multistakeholderism.
5 minutes Brett Solomon: Sharing experiences from Access Now's work in protecting open internet and user rights across Asia-Pacific.
15 minutes Facilitated panel discussion: Each panelist will respond to questions prepared by the facilitator concerning their experiences and perspectives on the session's themes. The facilitator will ensure equal speaking time and will engage panelists in dialogue with each other.
20 minutes Audience Q&A: The facilitator will open the floor for questions from the audience. The facilitator will ensure a variety of audience members get a chance to participate.
5 minutes Conclusion: Each panelist will have a chance to share final thoughts. The facilitator will summarize the key takeaways from the session and provide information on any follow-up activities or resources.
Moderators & Speakers Info (Please complete where possible)
  • Moderator (Primary)

    • Name: Michael Karimian
    • Organization: Microsoft
    • Designation: Director, Digital Diplomacy, Asia and the Pacific
    • Gender: Male
    • Economy / Country of Residence: Singapore
    • Stakeholder Group: Private Sector
    • Expected Presence: In-person
    • Status of Confirmation: Confirmed
    • Link of Bio (URL only):
  • Moderator (Facilitator)

    • Name: Michael Karimian
    • Organization: Microsoft
    • Designation: Director, Digital Diplomacy, Asia and the Pacific
    • Gender: Male
    • Economy / Country of Residence: Singapore
    • Stakeholder Group: Private Sector
    • Expected Presence: In-person
    • Status of Confirmation: Confirmed
    • Link of Bio (URL only):
  • Speaker 1

    • Name: Johanna Weaver
    • Organization: Tech Policy Design Centre (TPDC), Australian National University
    • Designation: Professor
    • Gender: Female
    • Economy / Country of Residence: Australia
    • Stakeholder Group: Academia
    • Expected Presence: In-person
    • Status of Confirmation: Confirmed
    • Link of Bio (URL only):
  • Speaker 2

    • Name: Briony Daley Whitworth
    • Organization: Cyber Affairs Branch, Australian Department for Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT)
    • Designation: Director
    • Gender: Female
    • Economy / Country of Residence: Australia
    • Stakeholder Group: Government
    • Expected Presence: Online
    • Status of Confirmation: Confirmed
    • Link of Bio (URL only):
  • Speaker 3

    • Name: Brett Solomon
    • Organization: Access Now
    • Designation: Executive Director
    • Gender: Male
    • Economy / Country of Residence: Australia
    • Stakeholder Group: Civil Society
    • Expected Presence: In-person
    • Status of Confirmation: Confirmed
    • Link of Bio (URL only):
  • Speaker 4

    • Stakeholder Group: Select One
    • Expected Presence: Select One
    • Status of Confirmation: Select One
  • Speaker 5

    • Stakeholder Group: Select One
    • Expected Presence: Select One
    • Status of Confirmation: Select One
Please explain the rationale for choosing each of the above contributors to the session.
Johanna is Australia's former Australian diplomat who led the Cyber Affairs Branch at the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, working closely with Australia’s inaugural Ambassador for Cyber Affairs. Johanna is now head the Tech Policy Design Centre at ANU in Canberra, working with industry, government, civil society and academia, the Centre’s mission is to co-design a new generation of best practice governance frameworks that are fit for purpose in our digital age. Johanna is also a member of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) Global Advisory Board on digital threats during conflict.

Briony represents Australia in various UN cyber processes such as the current Open-Ended Working Group (OEWG) on Developments in the Field of Information and Telecommunications in the Context of International Security, and the Ad Hoc Committee (AHC) to Elaborate a Comprehensive International Convention on Countering the Use of Information and Communications Technologies for Criminal Purposes. Briony also manages Australia's partnership in the Let'sTalkCyber initiative which was launched to facilitate informal multistakeholder dialogues to support the OEWG in order to bring together the multistakeholder community to debate, discuss and provide input into cybersecurity discussions at the United Nations.

Raman leads Access Now's work in protecting an open internet and advancing the rights of users at risk across Asia and the Pacific. He is a founding volunteer with the Net Neutrality Coalition and assisted the legal team involved in the Supreme Court of India's landmark Shreya Singhal v. Union of India judgment on internet free speech. Prior to this, he served as Policy Counsel and Government Affairs Manager with Google based in Delhi across 2010-2014 and advised government, industry bodies and academia on technology policy issues.
If you need assistance to find a suitable speaker to contribute to your session, or an onsite facilitator for your online-only session, please specify your request with details of what you are looking for.
The APrIGF is welcome to propose additional suitable speakers for the session.
Please declare if you have any potential conflict of interest with the Program Committee 2023.
Are you or other session contributors planning to apply for the APrIGF Fellowship Program 2023?
Brief Summary of Your Session
The session delved into the complexities of navigating the evolving digital era, marked by emerging technologies like AI, 5G and 6G, blockchain, and quantum computing. It addressed the need to synergize the strengths, resources, and expertise of various stakeholder groups, emphasizing the significance of collaborative efforts for cybersecurity, including those at the United Nations and other regional platforms.

Notably, the session explored real-world examples of multistakeholder inclusion and exclusion in regional cyber diplomacy, shedding light on the unique dynamics and challenges faced in the Asia-Pacific region. The discussions aimed to derive valuable lessons from these case studies, aiming to foster an understanding of how multistakeholder collaborations can enhance preparedness for the new era of the Internet.

The facilitated panel discussion engaged speakers Johanna, Briony, and Brett in a comprehensive exploration of key questions surrounding multistakeholder cooperation in cybersecurity. Johanna led discussions on obstacles in achieving effective collaboration and shared insights on successful multistakeholder initiatives influencing cyber diplomacy efforts. Briony addressed the value of multistakeholderism within regional architecture and strategies to maximize positive influence. Brett shared actionable strategies for industry and civil society collaboration, highlighting ways to ensure concrete outcomes in cybersecurity policy-making through multistakeholder engagement.

Overall, the session underscored the pivotal role of multistakeholder collaboration in navigating the complexities of cyberspace, fostering trust, and ensuring the collective readiness of the Asia-Pacific region to address emerging cyber threats and challenges.
Substantive Summary of the Key Issues Raised and the Discussion
Johanna highlighted the significance of multistakeholderism's effectiveness, considering the proliferation of platforms such as the 2023 IGF in Kyoto and the Singapore International Cyber Week (SICW). Despite the potential benefits, barriers were identified, including resource constraints and the obstruction of engagement by certain member states.

Johanna’s insights underscored the necessity to address impediments and enhance inclusivity by mitigating the costs associated with participation and navigating objections from some states. The emergence of various multistakeholder venues, as highlighted by Johanna, provided a steppingstone towards harnessing collective expertise for impactful cybersecurity solutions.

Briony, delved into the resource constraints faced by stakeholders. She emphasized the potency of coordination among stakeholders as a strategy to overcome such constraints, amplifying engagement and fostering opportunities for meaningful impact. Capacity building emerged as a vital component to bolster multistakeholder involvement, as underscored by Briony.

Intrinsically linked to capacity building, Brett contributed insights on the importance of creating avenues for stakeholders to engage effectively. Brett's emphasis on the value of coalitions resonated, illustrating how collective efforts can yield more influence in the pursuit of inclusive cybersecurity policies.

The overarching theme that emerged from the discussions was the pressing need for strategies to enhance multistakeholder participation while addressing resource constraints and objections. The speakers collectively emphasized the potential of regional platforms and collaborations to overcome challenges, promote inclusivity, and enable effective policy-making in the realm of cyber diplomacy. As the Asia-Pacific region faces evolving cyber threats, the session highlighted the imperative for stakeholders to unite and amplify their voices for a resilient and secure digital future.
Conclusions and Suggestions of Way Forward
The session yielded profound insights, and the following conclusions and suggestions emerged from both the discussion and audience Q&A:

Diverse regional perspectives: It is imperative that regional perspectives encompass a wide array of viewpoints, beyond just "Silicon Valley perspectives." Embracing diverse insights will support regional abilities to harness a comprehensive understanding of cybersecurity challenges and tailor effective solutions to its unique dynamics.

Advocacy for multistakeholder outcomes: Stakeholders must grasp the significance of advocating for multistakeholder outcomes, especially within the ongoing Global Digital Compact process. So, actively participating and influencing this process will better ensure its outcomes reflect the collective interests and expertise of stakeholders in Asia and the Pacific.

Gender-responsive cybersecurity policy: Ensuring inclusivity and addressing the unique concerns of women and other marginalized groups is vital to creating resilient and equitable digital ecosystems.

Inclusion of persons with disabilities: The need to make cybersecurity policies inclusive of persons with disabilities was highlighted and this requires crafting policies that consider accessibility and accommodate diverse needs, which will result in a more comprehensive and effective approach to cybersecurity.

Support for academic skillsets: Recognizing the value of academic expertise, stakeholders should prioritize supporting and promoting the skillsets of academics, to better help tap into specialized knowledge to shape robust cybersecurity policies.

Overall the session emphasized the importance of collaboration, inclusivity, and proactive engagement in enhancing multistakeholder cyber diplomacy efforts.
Number of Attendees (Please fill in numbers)
    • On-site: 40
    • Online: 30
Gender Balance in Moderators/Speakers (Please fill in numbers)
  • Moderators

    • Male: 1
  • Speakers

    • Male: 1
    • Female: 2
How were gender perspectives, equality, inclusion or empowerment discussed? Please provide details and context.
The discussions highlighted the need for cybersecurity policies to be gender-responsive and considerate of the diverse needs of women. The importance of fostering inclusive dialogues that involve women, as well as marginalized groups, was emphasized to ensure a holistic understanding of cybersecurity challenges. The session also underscored the significance of advocating for policies that empower women and promote their active participation in cybersecurity decision-making processes, including in the context of the Women in Cyber Fellowship which is co-funded by Austalia, Canada, New Zealand, Netherlands, UK and US. By addressing gender-specific concerns and enabling equal participation, the session contributed to the overall goal of creating more inclusive and equitable cybersecurity frameworks.
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