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Abu-Ghazaleh Announces Declarations and Outcomes of ASREN’s Sixth Annual Platform on Integrating Arab e-Infrastructures

BEIRUT - The Sixth Annual Platform on Integrating Arab e-Infrastructures (e-AGE 2016) held under the Patronage of HE Mr. Botrus Harb, Minister of Telecommunications in Lebanon concluded its activities with His Excellency Dr. Talal Abu-Ghazaleh announcing the following outcomes:

 1- Recognition of the National Research and Education Networks (NRENs) in the development of their national networks and support to establish international high-speed links cross boarder interconnection towards building a more inclusive network infrastructure for research and education at the regional level.

2- The League of Arab States will support the political level for an integrated “Arab Connect”.

3- Emphasis of ASREN’s leading roles in developing pan Arab e-Infrastructures to support research and education communities and linking them to Europe and worldwide.

4- Recognition of the European Commission’s co-funding schemes and GÉANT’s development role in the framework of EUMEDCONNECT3 and AfricaConnect2 to build and operate dedicated high-speed networks in the Mediterranean countries and in coordination with Ubuntunet Alliance and WACREN in Africa.

5- Recognition of the efforts of the Internet2 Special Interest Group in international linkage to Internet2 network in the US and abroad.

6- Importance of the role of organizations and communities such as GEO, Internet Society, RIPE-NCC, ICANN, ITU, ALECSO, and ISESCO in supporting research and education communities.

The recommendations of ASREN’s Shareholder Meeting, which was held during e-AGE 2016, are to:

- Support Arab national research and education networks.

- Develop an advanced pan-Arab e-Infrastructure and strengthening research connectivity to make it available for use on a regional scale.

- Develop regional points of exchange, one of them currently operational in London for peering with GÉANT, and two other are being established in Fujuaira, and Alexandria.

- Deploy services for science and education at the national and regional levels including science gateway, eduroam, and edugain activities.

- Continue a process of consultation with a task force of experts from ASREN, GÉANT, and Internet2 for the following actions on the “Arab Connect” initiative:

·        A comprehensive concept document

·        Detailed technical design and financial implications

·        Marketing document for dissemination and outreach

- Endorse ASREN’s plans for 2017 as follows:

·        Promote the operations and development of network and points of exchanges (Fujairah, Alexandria).

·        Support the development of Arab National Research and Education Networks (NRENs).

·        Legally register the new shareholders of the Arab NRENs: Iraq, Somalia, Algeria, Palestine, Oman, and Lebanon.

·        Develop a master plan for awareness of the importance of research in the Arab world for economic and social development such that we may be able to engage decision makers, researchers and the civil society at large towards making scientific research a priority.

·        Develop an action plan explaining the usefulness of the scientific research infrastructure developed by us for all development purposes and engaging research centers at universities and other research institutions to make use of this infrastructure research facility.

·        Define the management model for this facility in such a way that it becomes a constructive tool for creativity, especially by our young generations.

·        Ensure that the network will be strictly used for productive useful research in the fields of educational economic and social development away from counter productive use and strictly for research objectives.

·        Organize e-AGE 2017 at the League of Arab States in Cairo, Egypt during December 2017 in co-location with AROQA 2017.

- Continue efforts of e-AGE in a larger audience scale as a manifestation of the sound basis and the respectable sustainability of the dialogue environment towards developing Arab research and education networks.