RIPE NCC Participates in First Arab IGF

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The first Arab Internet Governance Forum (IGF) took place in Kuwait from 9-11 October, hosted by the Kuwait Information Technology Society (KITS) and attracting more than 290 participants from 16 countries throughout the Arab region and around the world. As well as contributing to wide-ranging discussions over the three days, the RIPE NCC played a significant role in supporting this event. Paul Rendek, RIPE NCC Director of External Relations, is a member of the Multi-stakeholder Advisory Group responsible for organising the event, and RIPE NCC staff provided remote participation facilities in all of the Arab IGF sessions. 

The Arab IGF program reflected the concerns of many Internet stakeholders in the region, which is experiencing rapid growth in its ICT sector. Subjects such as regional Internet infrastructure, online freedom of expression, network security, local content and website blocking were all discussed in depth, with a particular emphasis on the increasing engagement of women and youth. 

The RIPE NCC helped to organise a plenary session on Critical Internet Resources, which discussed IPv6 adoption, the uptake of internationalised domain names (IDNs) and strategies to improve Internet governance in the region. RIPE NCC staff also contributed to several workshop sessions on topics including IPv6 and the importance of Internet Exchange Points (IXPs) to regional Internet growth. 

Issues raised during the event will feed into the global Internet Governance Forum, which takes place in Baku, Azerbaijan, from 6-9 November. Archives of the sessions will also be made available on the Arab IGF website in the near future. 

The Arab IGF will take place annually, with offers currently being considered for a 2013 host country. The RIPE NCC looks forward to continuing to work with all stakeholders to ensure the long-term success and value of this unique regional event.