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RIPE NCC to Host Arab IGF MAG Meeting and Open Consultation

At the invitation of the Arab Internet Governance Forum (Arab IGF) Secretariat, the RIPE NCC and the Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (TRA) of the UAE will co-host two preparatory events in Dubai this March for the second Arab IGF: an Open Consultation and a meeting of the Arab Multi-stakeholder Advisory Group (AMAG). 

The first Arab IGF, held in 2012 in Kuwait, was hailed for successfully bringing together a diverse group of participants to discuss pressing regional Internet governance issues, including security, content blocking, access for youth and women, and management of critical Internet resources (including IP addresses and domain names). 

The RIPE NCC is proud to have been a supporter of the Arab IGF since its inception, and in 2012 provided financial and administrative support for the event. Paul Rendek, RIPE NCC Director of External Relations, also serves as a member of the AMAG, which is responsible for guiding the development of the Arab IGF. 

The 2013 Arab IGF event will be held in the second half of the year, and the important work of setting an agenda that engages with the concerns of Internet stakeholders in the region begins with this meeting of the AMAG and Open Consultation. 

The two events will run from 3-5 March at the Radisson Royal Hotel in Dubai, UAE, with the AMAG meeting in closed sessions on 3 and 5 March and the Open Consultation on 4-5 March. Anyone with an interest is welcome to attend the Open Consultation, and remote participation facilities will also be available. The programme will also include a public session on “Multi-stakeholder Internet Governance in the Arab World”, with speakers including ICANN President and CEO, Fadi Chehade, and Chairman of the ICANN Board, Steve Crocker.

This is a key moment for Internet governance, both at the global level and for the Arab region. Well-publicised discussions in forums such as the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) have left many uncertain about what future Internet-related public policy will look like, and what roles the public and private sectors should play. In this context, it is more important than ever that all Internet stakeholders express their opinions and concerns, and that there be forums where all groups can meet and share information and opinions. While still new on the scene, the Arab IGF is already proving an important, multi-stakeholder space for these discussions. 

The RIPE NCC is honoured to be working with the UAE TRA and the Arab IGF Secretariat to facilitate the community-driven development of the 2013 Arab IGF agenda. The RIPE NCC and its fellow Regional Internet Registries have repeatedly stressed the importance of regional Internet governance processes to identify the distinct regional perspectives on key Internet governance issues. As well as helping to address issues at a regional level, events like the Arab IGF are vital in presenting regional perspectives in global Internet governance discussions. 

We strongly encourage anyone with an interest in Internet governance issues in the Arab region to contribute to the Open Consultation process on 4-5 March. Those wishing to attend in person can complete an online registration form