Arab Internet community came together to discuss Internet governance issues and priorities related to the region. The Arab Multi-stakeholder Internet Governance meeting took place in Dubai as part of the Arab IGF open consultations. The meeting, hosted by the Telecom Regulatory Authority (TRA) of the United Arab Emirates brought together over 100 participants representing different stakeholders, including high-level participation by heads of telecom regulators, CEO’s of telecom operators, ISPs, ccTLD operators, ICANN accredited registrars, ISOC Chapters, as well we leaders of Internet organizations.
Over the course of a day and a half the meeting discussed issues of interest to the region, and came up with a number of action items to be undertaken by various related parties. Participants engaged in constructive and open discussions around a range of issues including Internet governance multi-stakeholder model, DNS industry development, ICANN Middle East engagement strategy, and capacity building in related Internet governance areas.
Participants shared views on fostering multi-stakeholder Internet governance mechanisms in the region, and agreed that all stakeholders should be involved. It was noted that stakeholders’ roles should be complementary rather than competitive. Leaders of Internet organizations who were present at the meeting talked to the distinctive roles of their organizations in the global governance ecosystem, and highlighted the community bottom-up participation in the relevant processes. Participants noted that engagement in global policy fora should be two-way as community members have a role to play, and so are the relevant global and regional bodies such as ICANN, ISOC, IETF and the RIRs. Participants also emphasized the importance of capacity building in stimulating engagement and talked to several different activities in that regard.
Regarding the Arab IGF, it was agreed that the Arab IGF should play a key role in stimulating multi-stakeholder Internet governance mechanisms at national and regional levels, through working with various stakeholders from governments, business, academia, as well as ISOC chapters. Participants noted that the Arab IGF should have a sustainable funding mechanism to ensure stability and continuity. Internet organizations together with UN ESCWA reiterated their commitment to support the Arab IGF.
ISOC, RIPE NCC and AfriNIC reiterated that they would continue to promote capacity building in the region through workshops and support of activities such as MENOG and the building of IXPs.Participants welcomed the creation of the Arab States Research and education Network – ASREN as an entity which will be responsible for networking the R&E organizations in the Arab Region and committed to support it.