ICANN participated in an event, as part of the Arab IGF initiative, in Dubai, UAE from 3-5 March. The Arab Multi-stakeholder Internet Governance meeting was hosted by the Telecom Regulatory Authority of UAE as part of the Arab IGF Open Consultations and in partnership with ICANN and RIPE NCC, the Regional Internet Registry for Europe and the Middle East.
The President of the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) says it is time for the Arab world to step up its involvement in determining the future of the Internet.
“The Internet is becoming far more user friendly for the Arab world,” said Fadi Chehadé. “Now it is time for Arabs to become much more engaged in the Internet’s future.”
Chehadé made the comments at the conclusion of the Arab Multi-Stakeholder Internet Governance meeting in Dubai. The meeting, hosted by the Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (TRA) of the United Arab Emirates, brought together representatives from several different Internet organizations.
“We hope to have an ICANN Middle East engagement strategy developed by May,” said Chehadé. “It is critical that the Arab world itself come to the table to help us develop that strategy. We want to hear all the Arab voices; those of the Domain Name industry, governments, businesses and even unaffiliated Internet users.”
There was general agreement at the meeting, that the Domain Name industry needs to be more fully developed in the Arab region. Chehadé said ICANN stands ready to add its support to that effort, but it is dependent on Internet leaders in the region helping the organization map the way forward.
Chehadé has been on a worldwide tour aimed at increasing global participation in ICANN’s multi-stakeholder model. On Thursday he will be hosting African Internet leaders at a meeting in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.