16 SEPTEMBER 2010
SESSION R/N 12
ESCWA LAS: ARAB DIALOGUE ON INTERNET GOVERNANCE
Note: The following is the output of the real-time captioning taken during Fifth Meeting of the IGF, in Vilnius. Although it is largely accurate, in some cases it may be incomplete or inaccurate due to inaudible passages or transcription errors. It is posted as an aid to understanding the proceedings at the session, but should not be treated as an authoritative record.
>> YOUSEF NUSSIER: Good morning, ladies and gentlemen. Although there are still some people coming in, I think we better start so that we don't lose time. And I believe some of our panelists would like to leave for other engagements.
Let me start by welcoming you to this session. The Arab Dialogue on Internet Governance, which represents an important milestone in the road towards he's even louder than me, Internet Governance in the Arab region.
We are glad to convene this meeting organized with the states which is led throughout the League of Arab States to support Internet Governance in the Arab region.
The cooperation of continuance cooperation has been in session particularly to integrate region efforts for realizing of common goals. Over the past few years we have been initiating discussions with the Arab Internet stakeholders regarding future alignment of the Arab region with a globalization of Internet Governance.
Our key backers with organisations including ITU, UNESCO, and our UN agencies and programmes represented to support effort in serving the Arab countries, Internet purposes of Internet global public policy issues, esquire has been an active player in this field, in cooperation with the League of Arab States. ESCWA is one of the leaders in League of Arab States and issues. It's from an Arab perspective.
To that end, ESCWA develop a study 2009, this study was launched at IGF IV, the development of another document, the roadmap for Internet Governance in Arab countries. This roadmap is currently in that version awaiting feedback from the global Internet Governance community.
Our participation in this important Global IGF will help us fine tune the global dimension of the roadmap. During the next month in Beirut, it will help us fine tune the regional dimension. The vision of ESCWA has been involved in a number of subteams related to Internet Governance to influence effort to improve digital effort, content, enhance legislation and build trust in eServices and most importantly Internet culture and Diversity through championing efforts pertaining to Arab top level domain and other Arab characters.
ESCWA joined the committee for Arab top level domain and its international domain counterpart and these task forces and subcommittees have goals ranging from awareness to promotion to standardization to develop standard and supporting the actual implementation of an Arab domain name system in a cooperative passion.
This brief session will reach its intended goals and provide an overview about the possible Internet Governance in the Arab region. I thank our colleagues from the team from the ICT Division at ESCWA, researchers who have supported the efforts and I also wish to thank the Secretariat in continuous efforts in supporting our regional efforts. Thank you.
I give the floor to Mr. Khaled Foda who's chairing this session. Thank you, Mr. Nusseir. I would like to welcome everybody to this session.
>> KHALED FODA: I have to say that throughout the past few days a lot of effort have been invested by a lot of bodies throughout the League of Arab States concerning Internet Governance, however, maybe, most of the effort on Internet Governance have been directed towards cooperation for the Global IGF, meetings, workshops, reports have been handling topics posted on the upcoming IGF agenda. Attended and discussed by relevant government representatives.
In recognition of the particularity of the area and importance of improvement of Internet Governance issue, regarding the defining the roadmap towards Internet Governance may lead to introduction of the forum on Internet Governance issue. This discussed issues relevant to specific to area and discuss global issue found relevant and against the Arab states.
The organisations will need to discuss it in such participate in such an important dialogue in governance and regulators and relevant stakeholders through physical meetings, public consultation, comments and in any way we can find relevant. So I thank you, ESCWA, for its initiative and for the efforts it has been investing throughout the past period through its ICT Development in the Arab region.
I also thank those willing to participate and help make Internet technology available for everyone and equally powerful to each of us. I thank you for participating and participating in this matter and hope you and many more will be willing to dedicate whatever we might have for the betterment of all of us. Thank you very much.
>> AYMAN EL-SHERBINY: Thank you, Dr. Khaled. Now, it's many pleasure to call upon Mr. Markus Kummer, the Secretariat, to make a few opening remarks.
>> MARKUS KUMMER: Thank you, Mr. El Sherbiny. Good morning, ladies and gentlemen, colleagues and friends. It's a great pleasure yeah, that's better.
It's a great pleasure. I see the initiative afoot to launch a dialogue on Internet Governance also in the Arabic region. It's been one of the most significant development in the IGF context that we have not planned. It just emerged in the regional initiative.
We have in all regions of the world from Asia to Latin America, now also in the Arabic region. We have last year for the first time paid attention to these initiatives. This year we made a bigger effort. We had an open session where the Arab region was presented on the panel where we looked at what was in common with all these areas, the IGFs involved. We have the separate session where each region and each national IGF camp present their work.
And then tomorrow we will have a round table and I hope we have many participants of this meeting all at the round table at 11:30 where we will discuss on how to move on rather than what the interaction should be between these regional initiatives and the Global IGF. Also, whether there is merit in having interregional interaction between the various IGF type initiatives.
One thing that is in common to all of them is that they're all based on multistakeholder participation. This is really the true hall mark of the IGF, because no one stakeholder alone, because it is a multistakeholder participation.
Otherwise, we don't have a template to give. Each region has its own priorities and modalities. So and it's interesting to see how each region also sets different priorities. We are interested to know what is your participation from your region, what would you like to bring to the global level, what we should do differently to meet the needs of the region. And then, also, on what the global characters should be to meet your interest in your needs.
It is true we began discussions very much focused on global issues. Global issues are important, but I think increasingly there was a recognition that very much, much of Internet Governance happen at the regional, national, local level.
Each government has to have a policy in place. Within the region it makes sense they compare policies and develop common approaches I attended these meetings and one panelist said good Internet Governance starts at home. You have to have a good policy in place to make sure good Internet develops further and gets deployed.
So I look forward very much to this discussion. One last point, maybe. Some regions have regional conference and meeting a little bit like a classical to prepare for global meeting, whereas other regions deviated and set out on a regional agenda. I think both approaches are valid. Experience so far shows that regional initiatives seem to have a value of their own that goes beyond propriety process for global meeting.
At one meeting the organizer said irrespective what happened to the Global IGF we continue to have the regional IGF because it's important to us and we have discussed certain issues that have common interest. In that spirit, we don't know yet what will happen to the Global IGF that's I sincerely hope the Global IGF will continue to floor issue.
>> AYMAN EL-SHERBINY: Thank you, Mr. Kummer. I call upon Sami Basheer.
>> SAMI BASHEER: Thank you. I was a member of this Arab Dialogue, a member of this many years ago. I was also a spokesperson for the region, not only on this issue, but on the issues but on the WSIS process, so I'm very happy to be here to present the ITU and we are grateful, of course, for Mr. Kummer and the IGF Secretariat. The IGF after the successful one we had in your region and we're very successful and grateful for that.
As I said, Arab Dialogue and Internet Governance on the international level took place many years ago. And Arab countries are part of the international community. They are not alone and on their position. On this issue, they, I think, have what are called the like minded group ranging from South America to Africa to Asia Pacific to CIS countries and so on on the international level. I agree with Mr. Kummer that the dialogue on the regional level is also important.
Now, what was, in my opinion, missing, which I'm happy to see now in this room, that many of the Arab civil society and NGOs, private sector were not very active in that government dialogue, so this is a good initiative. Maybe you but only put us together for the future to represent all stakeholder. This is a basic, as Mr. Kummer said, and I agree with him, international requirement, really, for the success of our future for the Internet Governance in general is to have all the multisectarianism, and that's what you think about the IGF.
Although, we will know very soon about the future of the IGF, which in the next month or so, I think everybody agrees it's been useful to get us all together, national organisation private sector, national players with governments to discuss this issue, which is everybody's business.
I mean, Internet matters, Internet related matters. No other entity government organisation can claim they want control or they will govern this huge medium that we all share both the benefits and, of course, the problems coming out of it. And here I'm talking about, of course, the issues of cyber security, everybody knows the Internet is vital, not only to help society and social economic development, but the security of different all countries and all society now is dependent on the Internet. That's why you see this importance dialogue and discussion of the Internet Governance.
I know Mr. Kummer has to leave and I don't want to take too much of your time, I just want to, since I've representing the ITU, to assure you before Mr. Kummer leaves, the ITU is very positive to work with all of you, with all stakeholder and the IGF, and we are very positive to work with major players like ICANN, with others with excellent relationships.
And I just want to emphasize that I personally invited ICANN on the highest level to our first conference with Hyderabad for the first time. We made like a special case and yesterday I had a very good meeting with the CIO of Canada to join the ITU as sector members and part in all of last week, two weeks ago they participated in the ITU group, ITU VI and they are active with us. Other elected officials and trying to really explain to the members that there is really enough, there's no fight.
ICANN will continue, the ITU and public policy issues and ITU will continue. This is the membership who are driving to do this. Just remember that IGF itself is a UN Conference. It's not any one of the organisation conference, and they represent all of us in international community. I just wanted to make this clear.
I commend you in this initiative to have this web shop and I encourage you to continue this dialogue and please try to make sure you get all the stake holders together in the future meetings.
I thank you and invite you to our regional office and also in Geneva and we are eager to participate.
>> KHALED FODA: Thank you, Mr. Basheer, for these comforting remarks and continuous cooperation.
Now, let me give the floor to Mr. El Sherbiny who will be the moderator. He will be talking to us about the Arab Dialogue and Internet Governance and the regional roadmap on Internet Governance. Mr. El Sherbiny, you have the floor.
>> AYMAN EL-SHERBINY: Thank you, Mr. Nusseir. I would like to make the introduction, this is the representation on all the dialogue on Internet Governance, so it's going to be a little bit of warning that I try to speed up and change the speed, not to be boring, and then I'll give, hopefully, fewer minutes also for last to present and then on the panel which is most important part of interactive panel which would take the last 15 minutes.
So this is (off microphone) UN it has become initiative to promote security and development particularly in the form of information and knowledge enable. The presentation is generally, the first part is gives the global and nonspecific perspectives about the Internet Governance and then represent a initiative about Internet Governance which is going to be represented, so first global perspectives, the stakeholders and change of experiences and on the cooperation and the discussion as a trying to reach a consensus whose main concern is to debate how to manage not to control and how to manage the Internet.
After the Global IGF meeting, this is it proves to be a discussion medium and share expertise and discuss society and all other stakeholder and take into for the the represented and still represents a global opportunity to benefit from the technological revolution, however, there is kind of lot of specific plans for Internet Governance on the national level, which continue to have different regarding management of this global medium.
Despite the (off microphone) it's important global policy making. Well, we develop across the five stages of IGF, security developing in the meeting combine topics, exploring the intricacies and complexities of ISP, security and openness, the plan session of our meeting. So this is kind of the continuum and the topics involved.
On the regional level, recently as Mr. Kummer has been explaining, the society has started to stress importance of customizing our IGF issues to each region and especially not allowed the countries to really be present and integrated in the global debate and the result of such limitations, the regional IGF which is organized in Kenya after a series of local IGFs, the issues that are the separation of East Africa.
Now, today as we stand, the regional IGF in the Asia Pacific, Caribbean, European, Latin America and have known or have heard about. So as we stand, the regional IGFs are eight and is going to accept the platform for discussions of the IGF which would come later in the presentation.
The other regional perspective as Mr. Nusseir was saying, it was limited but getting more and more and is coming to global and local map of the region. According to the ideas and views of many of the people we talked to, which is the IGF.
As far as the region, the perspective we have seen that the Internet the specifically, particularly to the foreign ministers have group on the Internet issues and these methods related to governance and this is going to be governed by my colleague Khaled Foda. The perspective of Internet Governance and the Arab working groups, I'm not going to cover them now, I'll leave the slides to Khaled and the time to cover related to working groups he is going to give you all about that.
Also the static views and communicative views about the perspective on IPN is going to be his also to explain about the contribution of ICANN. ESCWA has been involved since the WSIS and even before the inception of the IGF.
The CEO contributions to the global workshop Internet Governance and what is happening now which is the participation into the Mr. and it's going to continue. All the players, UNESCO and so forth, so this is going to be a global effort and we must participate of the evolution of it, and so, for example, together with other countries we also involve in the selection committee of governance and is there for you if you would like to have a picture of it and this initiative.
This initiative, what is the cost? Is that we have to have a an initiative, the issues from our perspective. The Internet goal the ultimate goal is, probably, one of it is to establish an IGF which would set the pace for the IGF coming in five years in parallel with the expanded IGF because the voice okay.
IGFs and that's where it's essential to efforts between ESCWA and also welcome to be part of the force such an initiative.
The discussion and later on we can launch the mechanism and this is going to be the subject of the debate in the next hour. So wherever governance, roadmap which is maybe going to take a little bit of focus now with the roadmap on Internet Governance and collaborative, the IGF concept and interactive public meetings and I'm trying to we launched this study five years ago and the study was joint effort of specific policy issues relevant to the region. The sources and at this point in time, the security.
We chose the topics that were, according to a survey, some stakeholders, let me say, they pointed out of this highway priority, so we focused on these three. The study better understanding of the challenges of those and recommendations.
The opinion and positions last year before the IGF. It was (off microphone) it was the debate but that provided this input to the regional host of IGF. The study which was important was also interactive collaborative with input from ICANN and from experts in the field and also it has with the states, so it was interactive, not just an academic piece of work.
The disclaimer of the views of the study present we had to be objective and the sense of the manner and I think this was really well accepted and appreciated by the community.
Now, the second thing which is hardware development, as Mr. Kummer was explaining, we can say this is the study, the roadmap and other things to come, so what we're saying here is the proposal and consultation because we are seeing the roadmap is just an indication, it should be a regional, collaborative and that's why it's such a process.
So the roadmap, we finished the study and held the meetings and we may have also a meeting, also but the map specifically, and while this is going to be a key distinct feature of this different from the other IGFs, the ideal is it is very complicated and developing and changing. You are seeing the topics have changed along the time.
The need the framework, the picture from a regional perspective and also to have kind of very specific measure attainable and relevant objectives.
So without we want to have an open ended, of course we need to have an open, but not open ended. We need to have kind of achievements and we need to have a map for the stakeholder, people like the civil society whose needs are different from the policymakers at the governmental level.
So that's kind of roadmap will provide. Two things; a guideline, second, a baseline to see how we're progressing in the next five years to come. So different stages leading to this IGF V. So how to act on the views and just explain or exchange views and to the global society.
The governance of this roadmap is based on the management and logical framework, which we used in the United Nations for strategic planning. We have some clear objectives, strategies and activities. We have clear expected set clear expected accomplishments and measured to achieve these indicators. So we all have benefited from the IGF. We all benefited from the dialogue but most of us need the decision but probably something that we would love to have it more con treat.
So the region IGF might give this concrete essence. We may discuss this also on the panel. The roadmap has taken several stage from early drafts beginning of this year. It was discussed in the was the last in May and July and in this forum in September.
Next month we're having face to face meeting in to discuss this and in January to talk about the vision and hopefully the beginning of year. Probably the beginning of the next five years of IGF was a great roadmap of governance was the blessing of the stakeholders and hopefully the formal adoption of the list.
So it has to be a process, and for the limitation the next five years there is going to be, as we envision this activity, actions on the national level, there is going to be open forums and, hopefully, also benchmarking.
So some problems of the roadmap, cultural one, which is the security openness elements that completes the whole picture of the Internet Governance, and the something which is to the left side which is institutional impairment. We found a need for having the programme to like define objectives related to the institution empowerment, governments and such kind of things that require different activities from the technical business per se. So I heard this across the board of institutions and I don't want to take your time.
This roadmap is posted already in our showroom, but just to give you a glimpse of the structure, it gives definition and shows the high level strategic objective and how should we accomplish in the objective.
We cannot reach it alone. It is a contribution to our objectives through the programme. But we can accomplish some things. We have expected accomplishments that we and the region need to make on and we have some separation between the national level of implementation and the regional level of implementation because we cannot force to implement a take it or leave it exercise. So it can be national roadmaps as well as also for regional level. So each and every support you see has objectives as well as accomplishments.
Because there's also access and then we hope with security it was very complex and all security and openness and margin and open session was the purpose of the component. We try to use this academic approach of the dimensions of security alert and openness.
The debate for discussions but we are doing a meeting and discuss them further because they should come are the stakeholders.
So the proposal for IGF process from the idea is to have the the strategic framework and to look at the proposals of five years to come and the global process and prepare to launch national IGFs and annualized meetings in the region.
The other thing is specific because it has to do with public policy, public policy is Internet governance. Here it has qualified (off microphone) last to explain because of this initiative, but I want to mention here this process involves registers consultation and this is what a thin line that is very evolution of the main project which WSIS and other so the execution is already online. And this is presentation.
Also, the interactive and this is on the second the information sustained portal for the region that even the community based initiative.
So another map to show the discussion for the roadmap. The six improvements have been the first concentration on the six approvals on the web site and the second on the dialing for before we start this there is consultation on the east, but it is a questionnaire and all of you and all the people you know and I'm interested in the RSV or operator or whatever to participate in this survey mega portal.
The next is public meetings, we have this kind of discussion and next month we have meeting in October. It's going to be in Iran, 21st and 26th of October in Beirut, you're all invited of course.
The partnership we have this initiative in partnership in the League of Arab States and we are happy to have other major experiences because this project and initiative is going to be and already contribution.
So I leave it to Khaled, so thank you.
>> KHALED FODA: Thank you. Let me give to floor to our let me give to floor to our co chair, the manager of IT development, the director at LAS. The floor is yours.
>> YOUSEF NUSSEIR: Thank you. Also, I want to give a brief idea about the project for Arab domain names, which is actually one of our major focus during that period.
But let me first start by saying that actually, when the League of Arab States welcome the ESCWA initiative on Internet Governance issues, actually, the major reasons as I stated before were, first of all, we wanted to get out of the frame of the Global IGF. We are aiming on maybe reaching to a regional Internet Governance Forum. I always refer to a forum on Internet Governance issues, trying to change the name of IGF. I don't want it to be an IGF. We have not related to IGF. We are discussing Internet Governance issues, that's related particularly to our region.
The second thing, we have been working throughout this within relevant government bodies, and we believe Internet Governance is a monthly stakeholder issue that has to be discussed and had to be discussed within own relevant stakeholders. So within the League of Arab States, we have telecommunication, and it is the highest special announcement where it counts and that represents ICT cooperation and that is concerned with ICT cooperation within the Arab region at the highest level. It's there for ICT cooperation.
It's a huge structure that involves committees and one on ICT and one on issues and many technical teams, each working on different on particular issue related to ICT. We have actually 15 teams that I working permanently. We have a number of teams that maybe have been switched established for particular region like preparation for the plenipotentiary, so different ICTs issues. So basically they constitute different government representatives from ministers, from relevant regional or international organisations.
I'll have to mention definitely the ITU, I have to mention ESCWA, I have to mention IATU, those three are severely and humblingly involved with the work of those teams in many of the work of those teams.
I have to say particularly, maybe, the team on Internet issues and the team on ICT strategy. Now it takes most of the state from international organisations. We have the Arab group on Internet issues and from the name, that is clear, the mandate of this name is Internet issues. This is many different subjects, ICT topics.
It has been working on the use of Arabic script in domain names within incorporating within, maybe, the ESCWA group and with coordination with other regions that use similar or same Arabic script like regions that use Farsi, Persian or many other language that use this script.
So the ESCWA group that have been working on this project to test or that have been applying the use of Arabic script in domain names. A lot of effort have been done through that project and a lot of effort to test use and identify problems and test the new solution until we reach the point where the project actually constituted developed proof and the use of Arabic script on Internet domain names can be fully applied in the full name of the domain.
For the use of Arabic script on domain names and this Arabic turned out to be the first global Arabic published on this matter. The first Internet Governance issues have been always publishing reports about maybe Arab vision towards Internet Governance issues.
First ccTLDs have been working on that as well, and I have to mention many parties from the team were heavily involved that ended in maybe Egypt being the first country to apply for internationalized name in ccTLDs and maybe Russia after three Arab countries have applied that in real life, I mean.
There's a global team working on IPv4 to IPv6. The leader of this team is our colleague from United Arab Emeritus, so many have been picked from that team to Internet Governance.
Preparing meetings from IGF guideline document sessions, but speaking in the IGF with different sessions as we are doing now, speaking in discussions in other sessions that we are not organizing.
Also close collaboration about relevant issues, the regional director about Middle East has been invited to attend our meetings. He never skipped one, we've also been publishing comments over the Internet and relevant site about ccTLDs about the application draft guidelines, about multilingualism again. The main body of that project is a committee that's been formed by the Arab ministers dedicated only to that project.
The project only applied for dot Arab in Latin characters. The objectives of the project is to ensure identity on the Internet, promote Arab content, promote eCommerce within the region or between Arab states, maybe enhance or preserve intellectual or better preserve intellectual property within the region, and above all, create a new industry, create the industry of domain names which have been total absent from the region.
Registry and such industry, we don't have in the region before. All of this will end the technological gap and end the divide between us and the west cultures.
The distribution of the project, as I said, is a committee that's given the charge full charge of ownership, supervision control, applying to ITU which is a major job in the project. Not just an application you can fill in within the day or two. It takes a huge lot of effort and work, and money, I know, to apply for the domain names.
Personal management of the DNS's, technical part will be assigned to whoever entity that's willing to take that through a public tender, and to whatever entity, I mean this public tender will be open to the public and to the private sector, to the government bodies, to regional and international organisation whoever finds the way to manage and do this job in the name of the League of Arab States and to the benefit of the League of Arab States after all.
What we have done in that project so far is a lot of work, actually. We have been working on that since about as the steering committee have been established a year ago, we have been working in that project many years before, but the steering committee have actually held many meetings.
I felt had attend some of the plenipotentiary meetings, background short legal issues and legal considerations are in the right place. We seek professional consultancy with people very much aware of the work and procedures within the ICANN.
We had preliminary study, preliminary financial analyses. We had policy guidelines for the project and managing the project. We have agreed upon a business model for the coming period for running for we have agreed upon the business model and published an RFI and sent to many different companies.
We received actually, I have to say, maybe a few results, but from major companies involved in that area. We received for the RFI, we received results from five of the biggest companies, one of them is affiliates, I cannot recall the name, by I'm sure I would know the other five.
We met with them, face to face, or through virtual meetings during the last during the last steering committee meeting to discuss their proposal and to discuss their ideas and their vision about such a project.
The next phase we have, we have the RFP and will put the RFP in the public tender for everybody to apply, and we hope that relevant bodies will encourage the private sector to participate in that project, to share in that project we will work upon the registry operation we will give to that entity, but we also have to work on the registrar function which is still does not exist within the region.
I think that it's around, I don't know, maybe 500, maybe more, registrars that register all over the world. We have only two of them within the Arab region, I think Kuwaiti net and (off microphone). So we have to work on the registrar web site as well. So much of this information is actually published over the Internet web site as well.
Send me an e mail or send Ayman an e mail and get whatever information he needs. Thank you very much.
>> YOUSEF NUSSIER: Thank you, Khaled, for this comprehensive record of the activities that LAS is undertaking. Unless somebody has a burning question, I would like to immediately go into the panel and maybe we can raise questions to the panel regarding issues that have been raised in the representations. May I call on Ms. Christine Arida and Baher Esmat and Mr. Khaled Fattal to join us on the panel.
Let me introduce our distinguished panelist. Starting from the right we have Ms. Christina Arida, she is the Telecommunication Director of Egypt; Mr. Qusai AlShatti, deputy director of Kuwait Information Technology Society; and on my left outside we have Mr. Baher Esmat, ICANN manager of Middle East relations; and on my right hand side, Mr. Khaled Fattal, Chairman and CEO of The Multilingual Internet Group. And, Ayman, the floor is yours.
We have 45 minutes.
>> AYMAN EL-SHERBINY: Thank you. The main idea I wanted to discuss in this small panel, just 45 minutes, it's a start, like I said, I'll be positive for the talk of IGF, the insight about such an idea, initiative, and also we have we have someone who has been working on the with us before, so the first question is retrospective and we would like to get your insight about how do you think about the from an Arab perspective? Was it really that effective in achieving our objective?
And the second thing, what are the priorities of the Arab region regarding IG? So I would like to have two minutes maximum or three minutes from each panelist to give us their idea about his views regarding the priorities of IG and the IG, of course? Thank you.
>> CHRISTINE ARIDA: I would like to thank the League of Arab States and ESCWA for organizing this. I think it's a very important thing that has to get started for the Arab region. We are late. Other regions may have done this by way before us.
But let me look back and I was happy to to listen to Mr. Basheer when he was saying when he was saying about the WSIS and the preparations and indeed the Arab group was one of the most active groups in that process.
And IG issues, although maybe they are not clearly labeled IG at that time, were one of the main focuses of that group. I had the honour to attend some of those meetings and participate with them in the preparatory phase.
And then before that, the IGF was constituted and started there were many participants that participated and made this a reality. So now looking that the IGF has made five years, I think it was an important venue, maybe the Arab participation has declined and if we don't look at it like this, we have to be honest and decline last year I would say, again, we had many participants from the Arab government. We were happy to have this in Egypt.
Maybe we will not agree all of us if this is something that has got to our vision everything we needed, but I see we have government. I know everybody will not agree, but I see the idea and what has happened with the first cut is something that the IGF has contributed to. Of course, the IT community and what has happened, but the IG community and IGF and the discussions that have happened here and the participation of Arab representatives was my stone I would say of the IGF for what has happened.
We expect a lot still to go from the IGF. We hope it will show up in a better way for the next five years and will take that sense.
Like Khaled was mentioning, we have to associate the priorities of our region from the Global IGF. I would suggest we do not set our own agenda from the IGF. I suggest we look at our agenda first, what is the common governance in our region? We have many. We have a lot to learn from one another. We have a lot of cooperation to work on. I would look at child safety. It's very specific to our region.
We all can agree on the way to go, which is not necessarily the way the world goes but it is very common among us. Multilingualism is common to us. Security is important to all our countries and here we can do that on our own and our own region.
>> Security, child safety and multilingualism.
>> To start with us?
>> AYMAN EL-SHERBINY: We'll pick up with Khaled.
>> KHALED FATTAL: Thank you. It's limited. First, we take the point that the Internet Governance was mentioned and it is very (off microphone) and it took from 80, meaning after of that document is talking about Internet Governance. And we have a host of the one of the IGF meetings and we take a five that as a member of the affected community of the final and I will send up with myself represented.
The important since the second meeting in Rio, it should be discussed on a local level. On the national level it should be discussed in our interest.
We can come to an understanding of a framework that can represent our original interest and take that. Let's accept two parts. The Arab world is diverse. It's from the Indian Ocean to the Atlantic Ocean. And we have different priorities and different communities and different interests. We need to community that we have different priorities. The initiative of the ESCWA, this is different. And we need to start on that aspect.
Once we define a national interest, we can work on a more constructive manner and once we define a regional interest, our work and contribution to global community, in all aspect, also the technical committee talking about the ICANN the committee will be better and approved.
That's, as you say, a principle for the governance and news of the what are the best of practices? They said 10 principles and this is what we need? That means policies and procedures and all the other stuff comes. We need to do something like that for the Arab world. At least the objects you talked about can be the principles we agree on but it should come, also, it should come from national interest too in order to be effective.
So, two things. Internet should always be viewed in light of WSIS. The principles that we should stick to the definition of paragraph 54 and paragraph 55 which defines all of the stakeholders and paragraph 57 which states the role of ESCWA and paragraph 56 which talks about technical community.
And one of the framework I think we can agree. Thank you, Ayman.
>> AYMAN EL-SHERBINY: The main problem from your point in time, it's not safe from the Internet Governance, the Brazilian way can be taken as a good example?
>> KHALED FATTAL: Yes.
>> AYMAN EL-SHERBINY: So can you give us a graphic high level ideas about the priorities and the benefit from the IGF forces or not?
>> KHALED FATTAL: Thank you, Ayman.
>> First let me pay attribute to my previous speakers, I will not go and take some of my time in supporting, readdressing, so I agree with them. But I think I think in addressing the out of market, vis a vis IGF, content, anything, let's at least start with recognizing our charges.
What is unique to us? As you know, I like to use metaphors. Assume tomorrow IGF is taken off life support system. Does that mean we don't go out and develop what we need to do for the out of market from a governance point of view? Absolutely not. We must.
So in addressing the issues, the concerns, the challenges, let's also compare the out of market community or society, we have 22 countries, each as my previous speakers address have different national agendas.
We had some pan Arab or regional agendas that are not customized and hardly had enough commitment to move forward and are not addressing the Arab community.
We have issues that we need to address and if we're not addressing them, we need to take it to the next level in delivering on some excellent points the previous speakers address.
So let's look, for example, at Brazil as an example. Brazil is addressing IGF for Brazilian perspective. Korea is a single language, one country two countries north and south but single language. Their issues are many, but they can be addressed from a, if you want to call it, singular decision making process.
We have many challenges. So first, we ought to address how to bring the single denominator on why we can agree on a regional level that brings in governance of a society so we can actually deploy operationally a governance format from the Internet I heard the excellent presentation from Khaled earlier in regards to process in Arabic and English, et cetera, and the desire to consult with service providers to do the registry.
I understand our challenge from a financial point of view. Do we really believe that a dot Arabic should be serviced? Should it be a home grown service provider? I don't know. We should start providing products, services and tools that we have sole control over that we're not restricted to the rest of the world? This is something to think. I'll keep it simple
>> AYMAN EL-SHERBINY: We have a question about the proposals. For the moment would you like to go to that? Go ahead. Go ahead. I don't know if Christine predicts you're going to is this a prediction
>> CHRISTINE ARIDA: I'll try to be short in conscious of time and the previous were probably complementing what I was going to say, the IGF process in the past five years, has it been useful?
Yes. Impact on our region, maybe the overall Internet Governance this course since WSIS, maybe it doesn't have a great impact or some at least may say that it doesn't have a great impact on our region, however, it's important to realise that the effectiveness of any process comes from the effectiveness of participation in the process.
So it's I think it has been useful. Some things that have been given, whether it's IPNs or others somehow came along the process of the WSIS and efforts that were conducted or pursued within the region, within the Arab league and other force.
We still need to do a lot in different aspects, but I don't think this is the right slot to discuss what we still need to do.
On the priorities things, when, there are the obvious things, access security, et cetera, I agree. Then we need to take what I call a grass roots approach. We need to reach out to wider community and reach out to our people rein get them into the process of policy develop to within our region. That has not happened yet. I haven't seen it and the IGF by nature is a multistakeholder thing. So that's an important aspect to me to consider.
>> AYMAN EL-SHERBINY: All right. Thank you for the first time slot, very interesting insightful answers. Mr. Nusseir, would you like to give the priorities?
>> YOUSEF NUSSEIR: I'm sitting among them, I might as well put my two cents. I think we have a golden opportunity. Unlike some of my panelists, I've been on this panel for four years. I've seen these initiatives and most of them, not all, have failed.
We have a golden opportunity. We have an Arab strategy, we have a commitment from the League of Arab States in terms of setting up the right environment, the right teams, the right forum.
We have the IGF that is bringing us together not as much as I hope to see in terms of participation. The participation is very limited, maybe because of geographic location. Hopefully, if we set up an Arab Internet Governance, then the participation will be stronger, but I also say that in our region, the political will is a very important component of cooperation. The political will on paper is there, but the political will in the field is not there.
And I think it's our duty as experts, as people in this field to convince our governments and our politicians, if you like, to take the step into the plan of political will that they usually write on paper.
This is a very important issue. When I look at Brazil and other countries and regions, the political will is coupled with financial resources made available for cooperation. This is not there yet.
So what I'm saying is that we have the floor in terms of League of Arab States and IGF, but we need the extra two bits to start working. Usually people, technical people and experts are willing to cooperate if the environment allows, so let's give them that environment.
>> AYMAN EL-SHERBINY: Thank you, Mr. Nusseir. The specific question about IGF, would you say, with regard to the region and structures and realities and challenges, regardless of this now, if IGF is to be conceived, so yes or no, what would be the mandate of such an Arab IGF, if you think it would be useful to the region.
Then go to the challenges in the next question, so, Christine, do you think an Arab IGF is the structure that we proposed is going to be useful?
>> CHRISTINE ARIDA: Yes, if and only if we make this grass roots motion to have this bottom up participation, getting different stakeholders. The IGF is by definition a multistakeholder process.
If it will continue for the next five years, I presume it will remain because it has proven effective the multistakeholder process. If we manage to leave it a multistakeholder process in the Arab world it will be effective.
>> AYMAN EL-SHERBINY: The name of an Arab IGF, regardless of the challenges and concerns
>> CHRISTINE ARIDA: I think the mandate should be it should be a dialogue and this dialogue should focus on the challenges of our region, with the with the objective of moving whatever we have as concerns in our region to the global dialect with the objective of practice being very, very strongly in this global dialogue. This is my view.
>> AYMAN EL-SHERBINY: Binding?
>> CHRISTINE ARIDA: I don't think this should be the venue. It's still being born.
>> AYMAN EL-SHERBINY: Mandate should be similar and the founding solutions for the binding issues?
>> KHALED FATTAL: Focused on our concerns in the Arab nation.
>> AYMAN EL-SHERBINY: Is it required that we go to or just like the other Arab IGF
>> KHALED FATTAL: An Arab IGF is definitely needed. To replicate, no. We have our own identities, interests and own problems which is different from the other part of the world. We just listened to Mr. Kummer who said you have your own needs.
But what we need and this is to reiterate what my dear colleague Christine said. It should be a policy, dialogue platform, independent nonbinding policy. Why? This is what we get.
Ideas, opinions, will attract none technical community and we should be so IG is not about people specialized in ICT. It's about people who use the Internet and that is all.
We should assure it should be multistakeholder and we should make sure it will be (off microphone) and that is multilateral IGF. If we took I felt in that sense it will be a successful, independent policy IGF.
>> AYMAN EL-SHERBINY: So this is a decision oriented, open ended public policy forum that is not what we think binding or decision oriented, do we need it to start with?
>> KHALED FATTAL: I have a question by the way, and I'm asking all of you. My initial answer based on history is, it won't work. Now that I've got your attention is I you asked me why won't it work? Unless we are truly committed to changing the mechanisms, the fundamentals of the way we operate in the Arab world, this will be a ribbon cutting. We need it like we need oxygen to breathe.
Our esteemed Chairman put it beautifully in addressing the challenges we have in front of us. I call the challenges I'll call it ailments. Unless we address how we going to resolve the issue of the property, our problem of honouring the right of Microsoft to charge for a license fee. It's their ability to empower the local citizens to go out and create.
Unless we have mechanisms for private public partnerships that are evenly balanced, if we don't have any of those it is unlikely an Arab IGF binding or unbinding will which is placing the Arabic language, its people and place, on the global map.
>> AYMAN EL-SHERBINY: Thank you for shocking us. This is what we want. We like to see ideas and other ideas and also think out of the box. And so Mr. Basheer?
>> YOUSEF NUSSEIR: I find myself in agreement with what Khaled said, and that doesn't happen quite often, so at least the first part, but let me be a bit softer and try to play the role of diplomat in speaking.
The need do we need an IGF? Again, they said we need it if, okay, and I think all the important stuff falls under this. To act on the point of the mandate and what is it that a regional IGF should do, again, the mission to opening anything, opening dialogue, et cetera, the interaction of the global for that.
It's important that the regional IGF encounters and stimulates the staple barrier on the national level because again, we might find ourselves in a dilemma trying to hold in things regionally why we have a problem on national level.
It's important that regional IGF hold meetings or tries or attempts to stimulate the same process to take place on the national level.
>> AYMAN EL-SHERBINY: Thank you, Mr. Nusseir.
>> YOUSEF NUSSEIR: Well, I agree with what has been said, but to replicate what has been done at the global level, but to define what is needed at the regional level, my colleague said, what has been said at the national need, to start off with we need to have a dialogue on what to what are the issues that are important to our region, and from there, start the dialogue on these issues.
>> AYMAN EL-SHERBINY: I see people want to share from the floors. He's a good Chairman, Khaled, please give us your
>> KHALED FODA: I want to share a comment. Thank you very much, Chairman. I totally agree on what has been said on particularly on the Diversity of the region. I agree the major challenge has not been technologically what has been between us and other countries but the technological gap and the divide between our states and within each state from the 22 member countries.
So the divide between the technological gap is one of our major challenges, I have to say. I don't know how to how to put it, but I thought it wouldn't get that way. Our challenge is how to think on the national level and apply on the national level and think on the regional level and apply on the global level.
We need to meet again, which I don't know how to do, but we need to act and we need to act within a nongovernmental frame yet through our government and the League of Arab States. This is what we need to do and I don't know how to do this. Thank you.
>> AYMAN EL-SHERBINY: Thank you. Hanan had something to add.
>> I'm involved in the IGF. I'm originally in Morocco. I was the first one to create a regional group, a bilingual group. This is the first thing we need for Arabic region. I felt scare from the region, people in the region don't know what is IG. I mean when you when we tackle the translation of governance, most of the group of people I tutor thought governance is control, but then we had to retell the concept and defer the meaning of IG to these people.
Last year in Egypt we had a fantastic representation from Arab region based on the experience we have with Egypt and with the group of people, you know, we had with the group foundation from Egypt and we're engaged them in the discussion and they have actually worked off the interest of youth in Asia and it was online protection of children.
So in the Arab region we cannot obviously cope with the global agenda. We need to define the issues and that's what ESCWA has been trying to do two years and I contributed personally in two reports of last year and this year and provided input for IG issues relevant to region from the Arabic perspective.
What do we need to do to act on the national level. It's difficult because people of the Arabic region. The environment is completely different. I mean, in the west or European country, the society is the people, is the society. So the society as Christine said, we need a better approach.
We need to start from the mass, from the people, the organizations, our associations of the local level in each country and try to do programmes to initiate matters and the issue of Internet Governance and what are the issues relevant to the group of concepts.
People are not familiar with what we're talking about here. I mean, if we talk of Internet Governance from the technical level it's even more complicated.
The matter of the Internet is not an issue. We want to tackle simplified governance issues related to cultural Diversity. Access to Internet, things that would contribute massively in the Arab region. So this is my personal opinion and I think that's the main reason why we don't see people from the Arab region
>> AYMAN EL-SHERBINY: Thank you, Hanan. So the effectiveness or the likelihood of success for social initiative. Even though the people are against, they said against was a bit like provisions in their mind. Let us pick up, you want to make it successful. It's a lot to ask about the mechanism or framework for such IGF for the Arab level.
An Arab IGF, Secretariat five hosting countries and have people speaking about the laws, openness and mechanisms will also in group national policymakers who will include business sector, solution providers, advocates and so on. So does it matter that we have this four days opportunity every year and who's paying for it? That is the issue.
The first year 2011 that will be the best? Imagine the essence on the then the second would be our real and the third would be things like that. So think out of the box and think positively.
In five years envision IGF ton Arab level? What wouldn't make it successful from a structural point of view. The structure of IGF, how do you think can it be successful? We mentioned the national, the bottom up, is participation, such things, the transparency? Christine?
>> CHRISTINE ARIDA: It's difficult to think like that, but one has to be a bit creative. I think it is important to us, of course, to have someone who would say because the Secretariat is probably an important thing, then I'm all behind making this because I see perfect candidates in the room.
But then we have to look at the dilemma, look at the dilemma like we were saying a lot of what is happening on the level of Internets because I don't want to speak of other domains but in our countries, it's top down approach.
So we have to see in order to make this possibly happen, how are we doing to keep the balance between the bottom up approach we really need because this is what we need to make it happen and the top down which is the way we used to act in the Arab world.
>> AYMAN EL-SHERBINY: Would you support an idea members of the multistakeholder above a globe of group of Global IGF forces? If we do an Arab IGF to work on inclusion, work on bottom up mechanisms and participation and such kind of things can be part of the Secretariat?
>> CHRISTINE ARIDA: I think it is important to have a process, it's not a MAG important to have at least twice a year a face to face meeting of a group interested to prepare for this meeting. And I think we can also look at other regions. We should look at the mechanism behind it and look at other, I don't know, national IGFs, like the UK, I know we should look at the successful ones and see the mechanism behind it and try to see what we can take from that and apply. At least the structure.
We know we would be very unique about the topics and the content but the structure we should look at report some ideas from it.
>> AYMAN EL-SHERBINY: Okay. Our panelists and number of them.
>> What the they organized a problem and the problem is based on the consultations on the outreach of the constituents. So running a process similar to what would take place in late October will be a positive step to what see how is how IGF will be taking place.
As of a structure, I think, beyond the fact that we should have a Secretariat and I join by Christine, my dear colleague Christine that we have a good candidate, so should not go beyond that.
There's stuff having a consultative lack of or coordination group that would outreach constituents and follow consultation, that's what's important.
>> AYMAN EL-SHERBINY: I agree the way it's created, this is a so stop coordinating group in Beirut to think about the structure.
>> How much out of the box do you want?
>> AYMAN EL-SHERBINY: Whatever.
>> What are the challenges or elements that we have in our market or society? If I'm a sergeant I would say to cut to chase, I would not be concerned about the Secretariat. While I think it's an important element, that's not really the fundamental.
The preliminaries, as Christine mentioned, I would make it and take it to the people events in the Arab world and interview the local citizen and ask them what do you want to do on the Internet? What do you have that we know?
Some of us are government and representing big organisations. We have some ideas but guess what? We really not out of the box. Let's go to people and do a research study and do one in Lebanon, Syria, Egypt, and feel the feedback of what people want.
Now, that, is the intimate. That's the bottom up approach our friend from the back mentioned. That will get us addressing the issues and perhaps that will make the governments start paying attention to what needs to be changed.
Clearly what I mentioned early on, we need to start changing what has not worked in the past so we can be successful. This is, perhaps, one suggestion.
>> AYMAN EL-SHERBINY: Okay. So, Esmat, the influence and we can say
>> BAHER ESMAT: No, no, no. Just go
>> AYMAN EL-SHERBINY: Something like that.
>> BAHER ESMAT: Community involvement and this is also the past of the so the group on this grass roots or inclusion.
>> Once again, I just say I'm in agreement with Khaled.
>> KHALED FATTAL: You're shocking me.
>> I know. I'm more concerned about again, how we're going to involve people, how we're going to reach out to people. Hanan talked very well about the issues of Diplo and other organisations. This should be the starting point.
If we are to get the government's blessing, that's fine. Let them commit, you know, to dedicate some resources but that also work on the process again, I'll use the term, grass roots.
Let's try as a I'm not trying to invent terms but as either founding members of this initiative or whatever to maybe in the next two months do one single project that same at reaches out at inviting members of the Arab community to start this whole thing off.
If we manage to do one thing that is successful initiative, I think this leads to a successful process for establishing IGF.
So I'm more you know, I'm trying to take us back to
>> AYMAN EL-SHERBINY: Thinking of the bottom up approach, establishing okay, sir.
>> Unfortunately, I don't agree with what has been said. Let me tell you why. First of all, we don't have time five years to establish an IGF. We have to leave to say where we are. Out of bottom of the regions in terms of equalization of technology, we cannot wait.
Doing studies in the field, what I'm talking about as a UN. ESCWA with grass roots work and working with communities and most of the countries, Arab countries, and we've accomplished tabs and so on so again, at this point in time, I don't think it's useful.
We can we can outreach to these centers, we can talk to them and we can pro clues them. And what has said is most people don't know what is IG, so we can't ask them what they want from Internet Governance they don't know.
So let me give you a couple suggestions and I think we want activity. We can secure the resources to do that. As soon as we can, and that might be in the next few months, to call for a meeting to establish the Arab IGF and have it as a conference or the sectors.
We, as ESCWA, will support that activity. I think we as quickly as possible and move ahead to catch up with other regions in the world. We cannot stay slowly moving like we did five years ago. We don't have the time.
>> AYMAN EL-SHERBINY: I'm working with Mr. I strongly support these kind of things can be part of the tasks of the IGF but we cannot wait to establish this in six months time, so we have the questions from Qusai first and then
>> Can we still use Arab forum on Internet government issues instead of Arab, Baher?
>> BAHER ESMAT: We didn't say wait. No. We want it to go on. We are not fighting. We are catching up. We are fighting with nothing.
Okay. Let's put it that way. The point is if we want to end this meeting, it was confrontational. They were not fighting they were hitting someone. But in Rio, they started talking. We were confrontational. We started talking and mature. Look at us today.
>> AYMAN EL-SHERBINY: Very briefly
>> Very briefly, I agree. I never said taking it to the people will be an easy process. Let's be honest. The average citizen in the Arab world is more liable to base their briefs and opinions on Facebook and other social networks, I'm not going to do a plug in for my own, nor feel comfortable to speak up for what they want within their own national enclosure.
The bottom line is we need to give bottom up participation, we need to send the message to the citizen that he does not.
He does have a say, and that actually gets him engaged to what is it that you want. This could be as a commercial for what IGF or what conference as Khaled suggested.
>> AYMAN EL-SHERBINY: Reaching out. Hanan?
>> Yes. I have a comment before we go to Howard Kreton, we could learn from experience from 2006, you know, we don't need Hyderabad, we can speed up the process and learn from the lessons that we went through the previous years.
I really agree with what he said, his contribution is very valid and in my opinion we need to find a way maybe to set up, even an online forum for people to give feedback.
The problem we face is definitely IG, again, people they don't have an idea what does it mean. Maybe we can cover all the issues, break them down into subtopics for people to understand what we are trying to tell them if you want to tell people.
No, Hanan is online and thinks I'm looking at university in the IG theme will be a good idea because she thinks people from universities in general should be initiated to this concept, should be informed about the issues related to Internet and maybe this is a lead for us to start work.
>> AYMAN EL-SHERBINY: Okay. The last question. And it is also to the point. Now there's a meeting planned in Beirut next month in October. It's to discuss Internet Governance. It is part of the dialogue and is adjacent to this idea of Azerbaijan. Will you accept other invitation to Beirut and will you would you come to the meeting in Beirut and support this process for conceiving Arab IGF in this capacity?
>> I would definitely come and seriously. I would definitely come and disseminate the info within Egypt, trying to get the best political will possible forgetting this making this a reality and pushing it forward.
>> AYMAN EL-SHERBINY: Qusai, would you support?
>> QUSAI ALSHATTI: Definitely. We should make sure multistakeholder representation for each portal from each and society, government, private sector technical community, we hope it will be there to contribute to this Arab.
>> AYMAN EL-SHERBINY: So great.
>> You're asking me to attend. I have not seen the programme and you're asking me to discuss and I have not seen my calendar. Impossible. You're asking me we want to do the best we can and do it in the most transparent, enabling way and fastest way in eliminating the previous shortcomings of the best, then you have my equipment.
If I cannot make it you have my commitment for supporting as well, but I would like to see if I can help as well.
>> AYMAN EL-SHERBINY: Thank you.
>> I would come. I can support the regional IGF initiatives. We speak at almost all of them. I'm going to spread the message across the Internet community in the region from ccTLDs to do my best to get as much, you know, good attendance.
>> AYMAN EL-SHERBINY: This is good news. The last comment I'm going to save would be for Mr. Nusseir.
>> YOUSEF NUSSEIR: Yes, I will definitely attend. I think this dialogue, if anything, is very important, very useful and very innovative in ideas that has been tabled during the last couple of, what, one hour or so.
So, in conclusion, and I'm sorry for overshooting our time, I would like to thank everybody that attended this session. And, foremost, I would like to thank our distinguished panelists.
Ms. Christine Arida, Mr. Khaled Fattal, not to forget our distinguished panelist who had to leave early, Sami Basheer, Markus Kummer. I would like to thank the organizers of IGF V for their support and for allowing us to have this session.
And, of course, not to forget our moderator and our cochairman, Mr. Khaled Foda, and Mr. Ayman El Sherbiny, our moderator, for a thoughtful session and thanks for our people in the back, our technical people that tried to make it through. Thank you.