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FINISHED TRANSCRIPT

 

 NINTH ANNUAL MEETING OF THE

 INTERNET GOVERNANCE FORUM 2014

 ISTANBUL, TURKEY

 

4 SEPTEMBER 2014.

 16:30 

  WS 142

 

EMERGING ISSUES FROM THE ARAB INTERNET COMMUNITY PERSPECTIVE (CB)

 

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This is the output of the realtime captioning taken during the IGF Istanbul, Turkey, meetings.  Although it is largely accurate, in some cases it may be incomplete or inaccurate due to inaudible passages or transcription errors.  It is posted as an aid to understanding the proceedings at the session, but should not be treated as an authoritative record. 

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>> MODERATOR:  Good afternoon, everyone.  And welcome to workshop Emerging Issues in Arab World.  The purpose to discuss Internet Governance issues and we have a panel that consists of active contributors and members from the Internet community, from the Arab world.  And we hope this session could be interactive.  So we'd like you, as well, to be engaged in the discussion about issues that currently we're facing in the Arab world.  There is complex Internet governance issues.  Our panelists will be focusing on from their different perspective. 

So without really further ado, we can start and we can start with our first panelist, Fahd Batayneh.  Fahd is a Stakeholder Engagement Coordinator for the Middle East.  He works for INCANN.  Fahn, as well, he's an active contributor in the Internet community in our region. 

So I think we'll start with the same question for all the speakers.  Fahd, what do you see the emerging issues from your perspective in the Arab world?  Thank you.  Start.

>> FAHD BATAYNEH:  Thank you, Mohammed.  Good afternoon, everybody.  My name is Fahd Batayneh, and my colleague Mohammed actually introduced me quite well.  So I guess there are pressing issues in the Arab region that really need to be tackled. 

I mean, I work as a coordinator for the Middle East, and I talk a lot with stakeholders. I engage with people.  And every time I engage with people, I mean, every person or let's say every entity has a different set of or a different number of issues to deal with.  So probably in some countries, they have issues with IPv4 and IPv6.  Other countries would say we really were unaware of the Network Neutrality programme.  Others countries really would say we don't understand what Internet governance is all about.  And even within the same country, there is a lot of misconcepts and issues that really need to be tackled. 

So my role actually is to educate people, is to aware people on the different aspects, let's say, of Internet Governance, let's say the good side or the upside of actually understanding Internet Governance and in goals of actually building a healthier Internet ecosystem. I'm  frankly speaking about coming across countries who are interested in actually either developing their own Internet Governance policy framework or even one step further and actually doing their own national Internet Governance Forum.

In the last one year, I would say that, for example, Tunisia has their own national IGF.  I know that Yemen, for example, are actually working on having a national IGF.  We have in Lebanon, for example, a link which is the Lebanese Internet Network Centre; and my colleagues, Dr. Ahmed and even Salam, would talk more about that. 

So, I guess, understanding or going back to the grassroots, going back to the basics, if we can actually understand Internet Governance properly and actually educate people on what Internet governance is, people can probably decide on what issues they're missing and actually have to move forward.  Thank you.

>> MODERATOR:  Thank you very much, Fahd, for being concise and short. 

Our next panelist is Hisham Aboulyazed.  He is a senior manager for Internet policies.  Hisham, as well, he have another role.  He is a Secretariat of the Arab IGF.  So, Hisham, maybe you can give us your perspective on your experience.

>> HISHAM ABOULYAZED: I will try my best definitely, but I see familiar faces around the table, and I'm not sure there will be more to add from around the table.

Based on the discussions in the Arab IGF with a joint cycle or previous cycles, some of the topics continually appear in the discussions.  Typically we would always see the issues related to the infrastructure.  Broadband affordability has been one of the topics most stressed during the discussions of the Arab MAG, the Arab Multistakeholder Advisory Group, which is the programme committee for the Arab IGF acting in the same manner like the global MAG.  The broadband affordability has been one of the topics with a touch on the I2 Internet access.  The topic of changing business models for ISPs in relation to the discussions on Network Neutrality with a more distant approach, I would say.  Also the Internet of Things and what does it mean for developing countries like the Arab countries?

The theme of IoT, or Internet of Things, for development has been one of the subtopics in the discussions around the IGF agenda.

Another typical theme for the Arab IGF discussions about openness and content in general, for this year, we have seen topics relating to the rights and responsibilities and the Freedom of Expression online and issues relating to censorship and content regulation.

Also, the i2 permissionless innovation and the effect of the kont legislation and the Arab world on innovation.

As in the global agenda, we have also been affected by the global discussion, mainly around principles for IG and NETmundial outcomes as well as the globalization of CIR management, particularly IANA transition and the ICANN accountability topics.  Capacity building is another topic that was discussed.  And it has been discussed also in relation with the effort to widen the outage of the Arab IGF and to bring fresh people and fresh ideas to the discussion of Internet governance and to enhance the awareness of Internet Governance, as Fahd has just mentioned.

The multistakeholder representation has been touched upon, maybe in comparison with other topics.  But there has been discussions around stakeholder groupings to represent the interests as well as the agents in the global IGF, particularly.

Away from the Arab IGF, there have been also the topics relating to the new GTLDs, and the Arab League is leading a project to have the dot Arab and the Arab IDN representation for the .Arab.  This is a project underway in the League of Arab States and also some people also are contributing to this effort.

Last topic is the ISPs and it falls within the basket of infrastructure issues.  It has been also one of the projects that League of Arab States are working on with other parties.  ISOC is also now participating in this project.  It is one of the regional projects identified, and ISOC with ITU and League of Arab States are working on with a workshop actually underway in terms of preparation that will be held in Tunisia later, in November this year.  With this, I conclude.

>> MODERATOR:  Thank you very much, Hisham.  And that's a very wide range of initiatives.  And thank you for summarizing the issues being discussed at the Arab IGF. 

I will hand it over to next speaker, Dr. Haidar Fraihat.  Dr. Haidar is Director of Technology for Development Division at the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia, UNESCO.  Please.

>> HAIDAR FRAIHAT:  Thank you.  It is my pleasure to be here.  I will try not to repeat what my previous colleagues have spoken about, but I want to add a couple of dimensions:  The measurement issue.  Classically speaking, we have periodic measurement of societal behavior with the Internet.  We have online, continuous flow of data, production of data.  And, therefore, I think we should have programmes to encourage stakeholders, including governments, to benefit from such Internet data and Internet consumption patterns in producing dashboards. And that will help in the development process, whether we talk about the economic development or the social development or the political development or any form of development.  So the measurement, we need to think and rethink and investigate the measurement of Internet consumption and patterns over the Internet, patterns and trends.

The other thing which was alluded by the previous colleagues, the Internet of Things, I think the Internet of Things is here to stay.  It's coming.  It's coming strong.  And not only Internet of Things, but now the trend is Internet of Everything.  Now the trend is Internet of Everything.  And in that regard, I need to press the importance of advancing IPv6 implementation programmes in the countries because we don't want to be caught five, ten years from now where we have a shortage of IP resources.  So this IP thing is very important. 

And I think the existing policymakers in the countries, this is not in the front burner.  This is on the back burner in their priorities.  I think it's our job to put this particular IPv6 thing on the front burner of policymakers, especially government, because you need regulators and you need people, you need agencies within the countries to push for such infrastructure.

The other thing, which is the cyber laws, the Internet laws, whether criminal laws, or usage laws, any kind of laws, even financial and monetary transaction laws, I think it needs to be promoted.  We, UN‑ESCWA, are promoting resources to promote cyber laws in the countries, but we need more partners and we need more support.  So I think everyone should give good attention to cyber laws.

The next point is kind of critical and politically not very popular, but I'm going to say it, anyway.  I think regarding the governments, I think they are there, whether someone likes or not, they are there.  So either they are on the boat or they are off the boat, but they are swimming. 

So I think ministers of interior, ministers of security apparatus, intelligence, data, government data, they are there.  They own the data by virtue of the law.  So either they are on the boat with us or, if not, they will not be left in the dark; they will create their own apparatus.  So I think we need to think in the next IGF about good governance model, a good stakeholder model that will involve all stakeholders.

Yesterday or the day before I was speaking about the size of the government.  America, for example, the size of the government is 3 percent, but in our countries of the region, the Arab region, the size of the government and the economy and politics and all aspects could reach more than 50 percent of the size of the economy.  So this agency is and should not be ignored.

The next thing is the Arab IGF.  And I'm sure my colleague Iman here has spoken to many of you individually and collectively, but I think we, along with the League of Arab States and the other partners, we are pushing to conduct this Arab IGF every year.  So far, this is the fourth year, and we have been successful.  But behind the scenes, a lot of things, a lot of pushing and a lot of crunching is happening in order to make this happen. 

So I want all stakeholders, including the private sector, the expert house, the NGOs, to chip in, not necessarily financially, but to be there and to be in the promotion and in the convincing part to in fact conduct this and continue to conduct this IG Arab IGF yearly. 

The point before last, which is the national IGFs, I know this may not be very popular topic, but yesterday, for example, we were speaking to the Chinese and they were very eager and they want to go for national IGF.  Fahd mentioned Tunis and some other Arab countries who are venturing there in national IGFs.  I think we and the next IGF we should ‑‑ and Lebanon, of course.  I think we need to, for the next IGF, Arab IGF, to, in fact, have a programme to convince people to at least study the viability of having a national IGF.

The last point is the digital Arabic content.  We have noticed that digital Arab content on the Internet, we have noticed that most of the Arab states are having digital Arabic content programmes nationally.  Whereas, by definition, the digital Arabic content is transnational.  It is something regional.  It's across‑the‑board.  It's global. 

So far, the Arabic language on the Internet has been doing very well.  The Arab population is 5 percent and you know that the Arab Internet content is around 3 percent.  And some people might argue about the quality and so on.  We are there.  We are better than some other languages.  But I think we need ‑‑ in the next IGF, we need to have a collective kind of workshop or event to promote and cater for collaboration, Arab collaboration in terms of creation and dissemination of Arabic content.  Thank you.

>> MODERATOR:  Thank you very much, Haidar, for your remarks. 

I'll hand it over now to Dr. Hosein Badran.  Dr. Hosein, currently he's Director of Special Projects at Qatar Computer Research Centre.  Previously he was working at Cisco at the regional CTO for the Middle East.  Dr. Hosein.

>> HOSEIN BADRAN:  It's really a pleasure to be on this panel.  I know it's getting late in the afternoon and this is the third day of the IGF, so almost of us are quite exhausted.  So thank you for being here and bearing with us until 6:00. 

Yeah, the topic of Internet in the Arab region and Arab IGF and challenges or emerging issues for the Arab community is quite important, of course, particularly in this day and age. 

Try not to repeat excellent point mentioned before by the distinguished speakers.  I personally see access to information not only to the Internet also to information in an open and fair and undiscriminary way is quite vital.  We see that in some cases, some countries are preventing from accessing content on the Internet, which is for education purposes of children or university students.  The Internet should be open and accessible to everybody without discrimination.

We see with the high use of Internet, high use of social media, that user data and privacy of user needs to be protected.  Through raising awareness of Arab users to be in par with now European or American users which went through pains of getting experience of what to share on the Internet, what to be kept secret, having different identity, having different cyber identity than the original identity, this kind of information, practice needs to be common among Arab users.  Awareness on this track is certainly needed.

And governments need to take charge in order to put in mechanisms to protect user data and user confidentiality through site registration, protecting IT and property rights, access and protection of user data and completion of cyber‑related legal framework, as was mentioned by from Dr. Haidar from UN‑ESCWA.  Maybe this is in some countries are advanced but in most Arab countries is lagging.  Critical lagging of the major components of the cyber‑related framework.  That needs to be completed.  And not only national level but on a regional level, to harmonize legislation among Arab countries.  This is also very, very important because many of the infringements are cross‑border.  A user in one country can make an attack or make an infringement on a user in a different country.

So cyber security, protection against attacks is also very high on the agenda.

Freedom of Expression be it offline or online, both need to be protected and protected as a civil right.  We see within recent years, particularly three, four years, Freedom of Expression is becoming a dream in many Arab countries.  Not to say when you come online, bloggers are being brought from their homes, taken to prisons straight‑away. 

So these kinds of practices need to be ‑‑ we need to raise awareness, nationally, globally and regionally that these practices are happening, are happening these days in Arab states.  We shouldn't be shy about talking and presenting these issues.

Capacity building, fully agree.  Capacity building is a very, very important topic that needs to be there because new technologies are adopted globally, are adopted regionally on the Arab level; and we have in the Arab level, because of the dependency for issues, pressing economic issues, technology can help alleviate some of these pains that the communities are suffering.  So adoption of technology to help resolve economic problems gives us the capability to leapfrog in terms of technology paradigm. 

IUT was mentioned several times. I had the pleasure and honour to be on the panel just before lunch with Vint Cerf and several boards of ICANN and ISOC on IoT adoption globally.  And the point was made that in the emerging markets, in developing economies, we don't have the luxury of looking -- of improving life quality of citizens.  We have the pressing need to present the livelihood aspects to our citizens in terms of food, in terms of gasoline to drive cars, in terms of electricity, in terms of clean water. 

And here, IoT, machine‑to‑machine communication is one of the technologies mechanisms that can help us bring in these kinds of capabilities to help improve the economic situation.

Here, innovation we will just follow this kind of adoption because many of these applications can be developed locally in our region without having to import technologies from outside and be just a user of technology but be a producer and creator of technology.

Thank you.

>> MODERATOR:  Thank you very much.  Excellent talk, especially putting back the issue of Freedom of Expression, privacy on the table again.

I will now introduce our next speaker, Ms. Hanane Boujemi.  Hanane is manager of Internet Governance programme for the MENA region at Hivos.  So, Hanane, please.

>> HANANE BOUJEMI:  Thank you.  Well, a lot has been covered already by all my colleagues there.  And I know we all worked together for a few years to, you know, make IG kind of a concept that takes off essentially in the Arab region.  And I think a lot of work has been done already in terms of the challenges you all covered, you know, most of the problems and specifically Hesham, he gave you the details in the agenda that we're working on to discuss in the future IGF which would take place in Beirut late November.

I think I would like to probably focus more on the problems we have in the region at the level of the existing legislation in general related to Internet policy, Internet public policy.  So the problems that we have and we still need to sort out one way or another either by kind of engineering and new legislation that will plug technology, because technology now is the heart of usage in our daily life.  We need that.  And there is that missing link, you know?  But it's not connecting technology with legislation. 

So in the Arab region we're still lagging behind.  We have vaguely worded legislation.  We have still the structure of top‑down.  You know, when government just engineers some policies that are not compatible with the usage of technology.  And we have to look more closely in that. 

We need more policymakers in the region to be plugged into technology to understand how it works.  And this is the role of organizations like ICANN, for example.  And they do have a Middle East strategy and working on that with regards to the DNS industry.  I know that's RIPE and CC are working in that line, as well.

In terms of the end user, we still have to do a lot of work to bridge the knowledge gap with regards of IG in the Arab region.  And we try with various programmes.  Various organizations have many programmes to bridge that kind of gap that exists now. 

But I feel like there isn't a high level of reception of this concept from civic actors in general.  We work with many segments, from the technical community or from just the end user in general.  There is kind an ambiguity evolving around this concept because of the term “governance.”  I think we should develop more simplified material to build capacity on IG in the Arab region and preferably in Arabic, as well. 

I know that most of the experts in the field are used to do this for a long time in English, including myself.  And working in the region for the last two years, I'm trying to push myself more to basically do IG in Arabic.  And it's not an easy thing. 

So we try to contribute in different ways to simplify the concepts.  And there are other organizations working on that, namely UNESCO.  We provide feedback.  I'm not sure if my colleagues here were involved in the terminology project of the UNESCO 2 formal glossary.  I think it would be very useful for us to use at the regional level or even at the local level.

That's one thing. 

Another issue or topic that I think we should really try to give more attention to is privacy.  We have been talking a long time about Freedom of Expression, about Human Rights in general on the Internet in the Arab region for the obvious reasons that we all know, yeah? 

But privacy specifically does not even take a large stake in our daily conversation, day‑to‑day conversation.  So I feel like we need to do a lot of work in that department, whether it is like raising awareness about it because I think it's a cultural thing, as well, that people in the Arab region ‑‑ and that's based on statistics that I recently look into, studies done by ICT Qatar, it's about the protection of privacy in the Middle East; and it's really interesting to see that people are willing to compromise their privacy because it's convenient to use the Internet an easy way.  And so I think we need to look at the specific reason why people from the Arab region are willing to compromise their privacy.

It's strange because all over the world, the Internet users are very, very concerned with that, except the Arab region, the average is a little bit lower, you know, the percentage of people is lower than the global average.

I don't think I have anything else to add because everything was covered so far.  But the work that we're trying to do in my programme is to first build capacity of civic actors in general but also try to do content work.

For example, we have a lot of projects to analyze the current legislation in the Arab region related to Internet policy and try to find the loopholes in how we can improve it.  It's not only about pinpointing the problems. I think we also have to be in a position either through the Arab IGF or through a dialogue on Internet governance in the Arab region to find best practices, the solutions from the technical perspective, legal perspective, law enforcement perspective, as well.  So that's why we need all these people to come on board so we can solve the problems in hand.

I mean, we're very good at complaining that our governments are a little bit oppressive or maybe too much oppressive, but we also as citizens can contribute into solving the problem.  So we can't be in a position where we have to be offensive all the time or even defensive.  We have to be able to solve our problems.  And the only way to do that is to have a conversation with our governments and other, like stakeholders concerned.

>> MODERATOR:  Thank you very much, Hanane.  That was very useful and thoughtful. 

I'd like to introduce now Paul Rendek.  He is External Affairs Manager in RIPE NCC.  RIPE recently has focused on the Middle East region.  Now they have an office open in Dubai and they have staff available, as well, to serve the region.  So maybe from RIPE NCC, maybe you can talk about the issues you are seeing in the Arab region.

>> PAUL RENDEK:  Thank you very much, Mohammad.  Yes, good afternoon, everyone.  My name is Paul Rendek, and I am the Director of External Relations for the RIPE NCC.  I am based in Dubai.  I am not Arabic, as you can see. I'm the only one on the panel that isn't.  But I'm so happy to be here with my colleagues and I share a great relationship, working relationship, with everyone on this panel, which is very nice.

I have a very big interest in the Middle East region.  I was happy to see my organisation send me out to lead some of RIPE NCC's efforts in the region and to work with the Arabic community.  What I can say is Middle East countries have always been an integral part of the RIPE NCC.  We've had them as members since the inception of our organisation some 20 years ago.  So these Middle Eastern organizations are not something new for us at all. 

But what we have done in the recent years is we've deployed more resources to better serve the community and our membership in the region. 

And dialogue is good.  And all of my colleagues have brought up all these great points of the emerging issues.  I think from the technical community perspective, we are looking at them, some of them a little stronger than others; we do have to prioritize.  But, again, dialogue is good, but I prefer to get down to work.

So some of the stuff that we've done, I'm happy to report that my team in Dubai, I have a team with local Arabic staff serving the community and also serving and dealing with international issues that are working within the whole region of the RIPE NCC service region that covers 76 countries; it's more than just the Middle Eastern countries.  But we are working in integrating together. 

We have completed our 12 to 18‑month road map for RIPE NCC initiatives and activities in the region.  And we've done this through engagement with our membership and with the technical community, public and private sector as well as industry partners.  So this took us a little while.  We've put lot of effort into this.  We feel that we have an idea of where the RIPE NCC can channel its energy, and we're going to be moving quite swiftly, I think you will see.

I'm happy to report that this year we injected a half a million Euros into our regional programme, which is quite a lot of money for an organisation like ours to work within the regional outreach programmes that I have.  So I believe that we're well funded. 

I believe we have the local knowledge that can carry us and give the Arab community what it needs to move, from the technical community perspective.

So in the Arab world, I think the Arab world is still relatively a young region in its Internet growth, and that has very positive aspects; but it also maybe has some aspects that need a little bit of attention.  I see a potential disjoint between the players in the Internet community, namely the public and the private sector.  And I'm hoping that the RIPE NCC and the technical community, once this is well identified, can play a role in maybe bridging some of this and bringing the players together to actually have some cooperation and get real work done between public and private sector.  I think this is very important.

I fear that there is not enough local training and knowledge share and local technical capacity.  And by that I mean, for Arabs, not for the ex pats within the Middle Eastern area but for the local community, in order to sustain the growth aspirations of the Arabic countries. 

So I think that the various players need to come together.  And on this activity, we are taking some initiatives.  I think I can actually be specific in saying that quite recently we teamed up with ICANN and with ISOC in Yemen.  And we brought the whole Yemen technical community together from the engineers and the operators up until the minister himself who showed up at this meeting. 

We talked about all the pressing issues that everyone just brought to this table for a period of almost a week in Yemen.  And it was a great collaborative effort between public and private.  We identified the things that needed to be done in Yemen.  And now we've taken them home and we know the initiatives.  We're going to be actually either funding or putting resources in or working together and providing any kind of documentation or material needed to move forward.  I'm very happy about this.  Yemen's not the only country that's on our list, of course.  It was somewhere where we've started very recently with a new programme.

So in specific I think if we look at critical Internet resources, because this is probably the expertise that I could bring to this table, namely in the IPv6 area, I think it's an issue and I think a few of my colleagues have pointed this out.  It's still an issue that's relatively low on the agenda of operators in the Middle East.  And given the plans of these operators, because of course I work very closely with all of these large incumbent Telcos, which we have a very apparent presence in from the Middle East countries, I think that these initiatives, I think that the community really needs to come together before these initiatives can go forward.  And this needs to be an agenda that isn't only seen by the public sector debate, by governments.  It needs to be led by both together.  Thank you.

>> MODERATOR:  Thank you very much, Paul. 

We'll break now and to give you a chance as an audience to also raise issues that you see from the Arab region.  I would just ask you to provide us with your name, details and try to be short and brief.  Then for 15 minutes. 

Then we'll have another round of five minutes' talk by the panelists.  So you have the chance now to engage with us.  Please be brief.

>> Thank you, Chair.  Riga Geloose from the Tunisia United Association.  Mr. Chairman, allow me first to thank all our colleagues for the very valuable proposals they have done in terms of future issues to be dealt with. 

I'd like to add two areas of interest and make a general comment.

As far as the areas of interest are concerned, I think that big data analytics are going for the coming years to become very, very active or very important area of activity all over the world.  And I think that the Arab region should move to introducing some expertise in this area because, well, I mean, it doesn't just bring business.  It also brings problems in terms of prioritize, in terms of data protection.  And we should pay attention to all these issues.

The second issue is openness.  Not in terms of data only.  But also in terms of culture.  And to be frank with you, my feeling is that in the Arab region, openness culture is not so common.  I mean, we have still a lot to do to be within the general understanding of what is now openness in all areas.

The general comment I have is that when you go through the two main documents we have in our hands actually in terms of evaluation and from the prospective point of view, we have the NETmundial document, and we have the WSIS + 10 review.  In both documents, you will find the set or a part of the report, the final declaration, dealing with pending issues.  I think that all these pending issues are ‑‑ should remain a preoccupation for us because at least for these points, the debate is still open.  Nothing has been decided on these points.  Even some understandings have to be deepened.  So why don't we take our chance to be part of the global community, at least in the debate on these points.  Thank you.

>> MODERATOR:  I think the lady in the middle.

>> JESSICA DHEERE:  Hi, my name is Jessica Dheere, and I am the Director of Social Media Exchange, which is a Lebanese NGO, that Mohammed Najim, who is sitting next to me, and I run.  And we're formalizing a report right now  that maps the legislation in the Arab region that affects online expression.  And among that legislation are about 11 Cybercrime laws that have been either drafted or passed in the past three years.  And I think, without exception, these Cybercrime laws all contain articles that restrict both Freedom of Expression and violate privacy and other related rights.

So my question to the panel is:  Within this international and regional sort of cyber framework that you're promoting and the development of this legislation, and definitely acknowledging the need for laws to prosecute cyber crimes, real cyber crimes, what measures are being taken by ESCWA and others that are facilitating this process, the ITU and others, to make sure that rights to expression and privacy aren't compromised? 

And also what measures are being taken to ensure that the drafting process, the legislative drafting process, has some sort of opportunity for public comment or at least technical expertise and input from the private sector?  That's my question.  Thank you.

>> MODERATOR:  I think Dr. Haidar can respond before we take the next question.

>> HAIDAR FRAIHAT:  Yeah, well, since you mentioned ESCWA, I think when it comes to cyber laws, either we can invent the wheel, reinvent the wheel or benefit from what the others have been doing. 

The methodologies so far is that we are looking at the best practices, particularly in Europe.  It's called Cyber Law Directives.  And we are bringing these to the region and opening dialogue among local, legal, apparatus in the countries.  And it's up to the countries, up to them to put on the table laws to the legislative branches.  But it's a cycle.  There's a process there. 

First of all, we are not starting from zero.  We are bringing best practice.

Two, it is being discussed among the legal apparatus within each country.  They will do customization, localisation and all these adaptations.

Then, of course, after all of this scientific, objective work, it will go through the government legislative process.  So it is like stages.

But, again, our role is to ‑‑ I mean ESCWA, since you mentioned ESCWA, is to bring the best practice but it is up to the sovereign decision of the countries.

>> MODERATOR:  Maybe just to add to that, from experience what I'm seeing is that more and more government entities are doing public consultations.  For example, I'm working in Qatar.  And we are doing lots of public consultations, either at the ministry level or the communication regulatory level.  And there is ‑‑ others might can speak about other examples.  But it's an issue.  It's a change that needs to happen.  I'm not sure if any of the panelists will contribute. 

Okay.  Paul.

>> PAUL RENDEK:  You raised some very good questions.  And I can only speak here from the technical expertise side because the other parts are probably not really specific to RIPE NCC business so much. 

What I can say is that we are reaching out to the LAE community.  Also in the Middle East, it's a little newer to us than maybe other parts.  This summer in August we were invited by Interpol as the outside organisation, outside of Interpol, to interact with MENA, with the MENA Cybercrime units.  So we met with a lot of the MENA Cybercrime police units and heads of police and what have you in the region to exchange the technical expertise needed.

Now, in all of those dialogues, I can tell you that we are always promoting that the LAEs are an integral part of the technical community so that they understand what it is that they are doing when they're making the laws. 

We are not involved in public policy as an organisation nor do we want to be.  That's somebody else's role.  But I think we can help in making better public policy.  And I think we can do that in the LAE community, as well.

Another example is that the Jordan Cybercrime unit or the police unit of Jordan also had the RIPE NCC‑‑ hosted the RIPE NCC in their country.  We worked together with them for a number of days, again sharing our technical expertise with them and pulling them into the fold, making sure that they realise what it meant for them to understand what was going on in technical community issues. 

So there is this work going on from our organisation.  And like I said, in each one of these, we are trying to make sure that the LAEs are engaging a lot more with the other stakeholders.  I think they'll make better public policy decisions.

>> MODERATOR:  I was thinking should I comment or leave it at that on this positive note? 

But perhaps just on a word of reality, the current situation, not in all countries, in most Arab countries, the way new laws are drafted are typically left to the ministry in charge.  And it's the closed room that the law is drafted.  And it either goes to the judicial branch where people who don't have any technical background on the issue approve it or legislative branch doesn't even exist like in some Arab countries at the moment.  This same person in the ministry or his boss makes a decision and it becomes the law.

I think it's up to us as a civil community to raise these points and make it clear what kind of infringement do exist and also help raise the awareness in the local civil society that there should be a platform from the community that has the understanding, had the expertise, that can present the argument to the government what is the best interest of everybody?  Ultimately the best interest as citizens is what everybody should be looking for.  Thank you.

>> JESSICA DHEERE:  Yes, you're correct.  There is no coherence in how the legislation is implemented, but just to feed into what he said, in the Arab region, there is a huge problem of ambiguous legislation in place.  And the only way to do that is to literally pin down all the legislation in place.  UNESCWA works on a very interesting project, but unfortunately it doesn't cover freedom of expression and these issues that are of your concern. 

That's why we worked together on a specific project which will basically define from a legal perspective the loopholes in the existing legislation in the Arab region with regards to Freedom of Expression, intellectual property rights, and, you know, other topics that you're aware of. 

I mean, I don't know whether we have luxury, you know, to feed into the government processes in the Arab region and advise them on what are the modalities to change or influence that kind of legislation.  I don't think we are in that position yet from what I see.

The moment we manage to get the governments or these specific departments responsible for these kind of laws involved in the Arab IGF, maybe, we have hope that we can exchange that kind of expertise with them so we can help them with that.

>> [Inaudible]

>> Thanks, my name is Nadine.  I'm from Beiruit.  I'm an activist and I work with APC and the women's rights programme.  I have a concern about ‑‑ and I'm glad that we've raised the issue of Human Rights and Freedom of Expression throughout these IGF processes. 

So what the IGF is designed to do is allow for civil society to have a space to hold the government and the private sector accountable for Human Rights standards that we adhere to and that our governments have signed onto.

In the Arab IGF, because of, you know, it's not because of culture or anything like that, no, but because of the way it's structured, a lot of activists and bloggers and Tweeps and people who come to the Arab bloggers meetings those that are involved in like Global Voices, who are dissidents, who are in jail, who are really paying the price for freedom and for objecting to government's practices don't have a space to feel safe to come and really hold these governments accountable. 

So I feel like it's always sort of the elephant in the room when we try to push the issue.  So in the panels that I remember from the Arab IGF, it was either siloed as a separate discussion with 10 people in the room and we talked about humans, women, minorities, religious expression, blah blah.

In the main sessions, there really wasn't enough room.  And there wasn't enough courage, I think.  And there wasn't enough willingness, perhaps, with civil society's end to sit with governments who have put our friends and our colleagues in jail in a lot of cases for a long time or even for a short time and to say, you know, we need to uphold Human Rights online and offline, as well.

So I want to ask you as a panel, really, for how you think we can approach this issue to be able to use the Arab IGF as a breakthrough space?  Yeah, as a brave space that sort of talks about the issues that we find difficulty talking about, getting the controversial activists into the space, trying to set standards or plans, action plans, for all these stakeholders to move forward with Human Rights and the Internet.

>> MODERATOR:  Very excellent question.  I think that's why I redirected to Hisham.  Hisham is Arab IGF Secretary.  Maybe he can add insight more than anyone on the panel.

>> HISHAM ABOULYAZED: Well, I will start by saying maybe the space for the discussions is already there.  Openness has been one of the themes we have had on the agenda for the last two years and this is the third year for the Arab IGF and it is still there as one of the main subthemes for discussions.  Whether there is enough courage to ping the issues, it's up to the discussion of everyone.  It's not us to ping specific topics.

When it comes to the advisory group, the AMAG, we have 33 percent -- actually 34 percent from civil society sitting on the MAG.  Three of them are bloggers.  I don't know if they are dissident enough, but they are quite active in their spaces in blogging and Freedom of Expression issues they are pinging continually. 

I do still acknowledge that it has been one of the issues for the Arab IGF to maybe in the main sessions give more time to discussions and questions coming from the floor.  This has been maybe a challenge in the last two years to maybe have fewer number of speakers on the main panels and give more space for discussions in the room.

>> MODERATOR:  I think I will have also to give the chance, the apology in taking that question.  We have here ‑‑ the Chair of the Arab MAG.  So maybe he can also respond from the MAG perspective.

>> Good afternoon, everyone.  I honestly believe that what has been said about cyber security and Human Rights in general is totally correct.  Now, the question is:  How do we proceed from here? 

This year, as was mentioned by Hisham, at least one third of the MAG comes from civil society.  As a matter of fact, a person from civil society is leading the session on these topics during the next IGF, Arab IGF, that is being held in Beirut.  There will be a total open space and area and platform for people to voice their opinion to have this discussion, hoping that at the end of the sessions that the feelings of everyone, what needs to happen and all these issues are really brought to the table and hopefully some action is taken or at least recommendations of actions to be taken take place. 

As you would know, Lebanon is as open as it comes, at least in the Arab region.  We still hope for it to be a lot more open than it is, a lot less restrictive than it is.  But it's your chance, our chance to make a difference.  And we're hoping that that's what will take place. 

I'm not saying we're resolving the issues.  There's no way to say that.  But the platform is going to be there, totally open.  And I believe the structures of the panels that are being propose the at this time at least, it's five minutes, the speakers four or five minutes, five minutes, five minutes.  And then a whole hour for the discussion to take place in addition to the additional workshops we are doing. 

This is as far as we've been able to do so far, now your participations throughout, or everybody's participations throughout the pre events, after the events are necessary to continue this struggle. 

Thank you. 

And by the way, even though I come from the government, we still believe in these things.  Thanks.

>> MODERATOR:  Thank you very much.  We'll go to the remaining questions.

>> I am Facil from Tunisia from the MAG of Tunisia.  Just I want to highlight the importance of to remove the multistakeholder model in the Arab countries.  The IGF and the Internet Governance was the exercise for this model.  And I want that, the organisation, the regional organizations, especially, and the governments and the civil society improve this kind of discussion because as you know, in our region, we have a lack of democracy of discussion of how to have people with different ideas to discuss without arms.  So I think this model, this new model of multistakeholder is very important for the Arab countries.  And I hope everyone in his country or his organisation improve this kind of platform.  Thank you.

>> MODERATOR:  Thank you very much.  Khail, question?  Brief, please.

>> KHALID:  It's really not a question but thank you for the microphone.  It's going to be an observation and a comment.  First of all, my name is Khalid Factal.  I'm group Chairman of multi‑‑ Internet group. 

Before I actually throw this bomb, intellectual bomb, how many people here have attended more than five IGFs, raise your hand, please?  Five IGFs or more, raise your hand.  Thank you.  Less than 10 percent. 

Those who have attended previous IGFs will at least confirm what I'm going to say is that we've heard all this before.  And I'm going to remind you of -- anybody who attended yesterday's big tent event by Google, Vint Cerf was being interviewed.  And he made a comment.  I don’t think he was aiming at us.  But it's so, so, so valid.  The comment included three words:  Adapt or die.  Guess what?  We, you, are dying.  And I'll tell you why.

The topic of this session here which I came to try and be supportive, which I still want to be supportive, but sometimes reality check is in order, Mr. Chairman, maybe I'll pull it out, but maybe you can read for me what the title of this session here is?  Could you please? 

>> MODERATOR:  Yes.  Emerging issues on the Arab world.

>> Khaleed:  Emerging issues in the Arab world.  If ISIS deployed a video on the Internet about what they are doing on the globe, does that not make it now an Internet issue?  I would believe it does. 

You are all debating and infrastructuring based on old school of doing things while our region is dying.  If you cannot step up to the plate and do things differently and creatively to champion the cause of your people, then step out of the way. I'm being ‑‑ I'm saying this in the most humblest, most endearing way.  And this is not a challenge to any individual or any organisation but to all of you. 

Prioritization is key.  Our region is now not just suffering from lack of democracy, it has no democracy.  It has now enablers for democracy that are being supported by outside forces.  This is democracy? 

Capacity building in what form?  We're doing events.  We're doing summits.  We're doing conversations that are getting us nowhere.

So unless you are really going to sit back, go back and meet between yourselves and come up with some creative solutions for the community, which if they prove are successful, then you have exemplified a multistakeholder model.  Stop preaching multistakeholderism.  This is a challenge to ESCWA who is doing a tremendous effort to try to promote this to the region but I'm sorry it's still not up to scratch. 

Same thing to the Arab League.  It's not enough to just talk about privacy.  It's not enough to talk about legislation.  There are countries that are disappearing off the maps.  So if we're not up to scratch to making it valid and prioritized, then I think it's time to step out of the way.  My two cents for whatever it's worth.  Thank you very much.

>> MODERATOR:  Thank you very much, Khalid.  I think your presence support here to the community here.  And basically we don't have positions to step in.  We are part of the community.  And there is lots of people here within the community who is also doing very good job within their communities to try to support the Internet cause.  I didn't get the question, but your statement is noted.  I'll give it to Manal now.

>> Yes, thank you.  Frankly, I didn't get the question, also, but I would look to people as expert as you and I already see you in all ICANN meetings and IGF meetings to guide us how to do this in a better way and guide our efforts.  So if we have a constructive proposal, this would be extremely helpful.  Thank you.

>> KHALID:  My dear Manal, first of all. it was not a question, you're absolutely right.  I did not pose a question.  I presented a challenge.  It's a challenge.  I presented challenges to the ICANN Board in the past and they concluded with conclusions that are positive.  We presented these challenges before to the community and we're still nowhere.  And we're pleading the same issues while the community is going down hill.

>> MODERATOR:  Thank you very much.  I'll leave it with that.  I think your point is noted.  Although I think it's ‑‑ the aim here as a community, we are trying to express our issues to try to find solutions. 

The next part of this session actually is going to be what we're going to address those issues currently.  There is work inherited for many years.  There is good work that has been done by civil, technical community and others, as well, and governments. 

So we don't want to be in that negative mode.  I think we'll take another round.  I'll give it to Christine, just one minute before taking another round with the panelists.

>> CHRISTINE:  I have a question which is not a bomb, so I hope it will fit fine.  But I think it may be well ahead of the second part, I don't know.  I was contemplating on it on the first part. 

So I’m here wearing a hat of just a simple Internet user in my country.  I hear national IGFs being mentioned through the panel and I also hear it as an emerging issue which has been really strongly put forward through all the sessions, most of the sessions where I attended.  So it would be interesting to hear from the panel.  We have distinguished experts here around the table and from others maybe what can be done actually to push that forward?  And how is it possible, actually, to make those ‑‑ that emerging issue?  It is something that we link through it through the regional and then to the global.  Because obviously listening to the comment coming from Lebanon, obviously there is some detachment here.  People are going to one venue but not going to the others.  So I hope this can be addressed.

>> MODERATOR:  Sure, I think I will also give a chance to the panelists to respond to that.  We will go another round with the panelists.  And this time the focus is about what you can do from your perspective or your organisation or your community in terms of addressing those challenges that has been discussed earlier.  I think this time we'll make a twist and we'll start with Paul, quickly.  Quickly brief.

>> PAUL:  I will keep this brief.  I think I mentioned some of the bits in the first intervention that I had. 

You know, in order to tackle all these emerging issues, I think that you need to identify all the different stakeholders and the different communities.  And while I would never attempt to try to identify all the different stakeholders, what I can do is I can put energy from my organisation and from my own self into actually identifying the technical community in the Middle East, which I think is something that we're still doing.  I don't think we're quite there yet. 

And that's unfortunate because I think a lot of other regions enjoy a much stronger technical community.  And together their voice or their influence inside of issues that have been expressed here are quite positive.  And we're seeing a lot of that activity. 

So I'm hoping that ‑‑ we see a lot of players from government in the debate.  I think everyone around the table here knows why that would be.  And that's one piece of it.  But I think we need to make some links in the chain.  And I'm hoping that we can do that with the technical community and actually making this a bit more robust. 

I've seen the results of bottom‑up, open and inclusive processes.  I have not used the work multistakeholder here.  I'm using the word bottom‑up, open and inclusive.  Multistakeholder is a very big word.  It is a word that of course we see flung around the rooms here all week long.  I'm going to try to simplify this.

My idea or my definition of multistakeholder would probably translate a little bit better to bottom‑up, open and inclusive processes.

And in other parts of the Internet environment, I've seen the positive impacts that these kind of processes can have.  So I think it's time for the Arabic community to embrace these processes as an opportunity to realise the challenges that we have here.  And this is for everything that the Internet is throwing at us in our way forward.

So I think one thing that we have seen is that if I look at the Arab IGF, I think that at a start we had a very positive multistakeholder kind of approach the formation of the Arab IGF; but I think it's impertive and I think it does need to be re‑visited, we need to re‑visit the approach and make sure that we're moving in this kind of manner where we've got all the folks involved to protect ‑‑ to protect what we've started so that we can enjoy future success.

I understand the comments brought forward by our colleague Khalid, yes, okay, I can see they're fairly explosive and I think there's something that probably is beyond the control of any one person in this room.  They are valid questions, yes.  But I think the bomb that was thrown here, it's probably easy to throw a bomb at the table, but what do you do in your capacity and whatever stakeholder group you're in, what do you do to kind of make any kind of change to offset the bomb that was thrown here? 

I think this is the thing we need to look at.  Again I can comment only from the technical community, but we are willing to move this thing forward, and we will be here as a player.  Thank you.

>> Yeah, thank you, Paul.  It's really nice to be in the driver's seat sometimes because then you can see the road in front of you.  And then you know what you have to do to solve all the issues that we have in hand. 

We really have a big challenge in the Arab region.  We have a fragmented community, whether it's within the technical community, whether within what ICANN is trying to do or within what I'm trying to do. 

My job is -- full‑time job is literally to build capacity on IG in the Middle East and bring in all civic action in that region.  We're leading this programme is only the program in the Middle East and North Africa.  I have been working with a lot of people in my network and I can say this is not the easiest job.  I'm sitting on a very hot seat and I can tell you that I deal with people who are ‑‑ who have agendas.  I mean, I can’t deal with that.  If my agenda is to bridge the knowledge gap of IG with the help of different stakeholders I've been working with for the last two years.

Now, how can we really change things together?  This is what I want to know.  This is not the job of the people sitting here on this table.  This is the task for all of us.  I felt like I'm having homework from Khalid when he stood up and said what are you doing about this?  No, what are we doing about this together?  This is the attitude that we have to have to solve these challenges.  I mean, I don't look at the problems we have as obstacles, you know?  I look at them as a challenge that I can overcome in the future.  And the only way you can do that is if you really put your head down to the business and do that business, not by talking.  We have been talking for a very long time.  It's time to do, okay?

Now, we have to really try to focus on what we're trying to achieve.  Have an objective.  Don't be too ambitious.  Expect to be facing a lot of kind of challenges.  And you have to think of the way around that.

Now, if you have agendas, it's not going to work.  We have to work together to make things better.  And I think that's a better way of solving things.  And I'm not going to use any of the terminology that is being used for like the last 13 years in IG.  I'm just going to keep it simple, nice and sweet and short.  Let's get to work, because there is a lot to be done. 

And if, if some segments of our community decides to have hidden agendas, I can confirm that it's not going to work.  You will have to sit on the table.  You will have to be able to cope with whatever we have in place.  We have to sort our own business between ourselves.

And for Human Rights issues, safety of people being present in the IGF, guys, we're talking about public policy issues.  We're not doing anything wrong, you know.  If you have any problems locally, of course the platform has been open even in the worst kind of environment we could have been with.  We had a lot of experiences.  We had bad experiences, good experiences.  But we still managed to bring the issues at stake to the table.  And we did it in a diplomatic way, but we still managed to get the point across to the parties who are concerned with that.  We just have to put some modalities in the way we talk about issues and not be confrontational. 

This is what I actually say to people I train in the Arab region when I'm doing this.  You're not going to achieve anything if you are confrontational.  And I'm going to cut it short for you.  You will get stuck.  And this is the same problem they have here in Turkey.  The activists have whatever, they can't even have a conversation with their government.  Well, guess why?  They have the legal expertise.  They have the experience.  But they can't sit down with the government on the same table to talk about these problems. 

Let's not be confrontational and provide solutions.  It’s very easy to sit here and point fingers to people and say, “Oh, you should do this or you should do that.”  No. I'd like people to come on board.  There is a whole session on Human Rights in the Arab IGF.  Please, feel free to take my seat. 

I mean, I'm really calling people who are in like kind of experienced in this topic to come moderate this session because we're looking for a moderator.  Now, the speakers are finalised and if you want to take over, you're more than welcome, I'll be very happy to share the agenda with everyone and then, you know, we see how we can solve that.

>> Thank you.  Actually, I wanted to not in line but try to answer the question ‑‑ yes, it's a habit of mine.  Yes.  Right. 

To answer the question that ‑‑ mentioned and Christine mentioned regarding what we can do, really, at the local level.  I think at the local level is where we can have the most direct impact.  And also have the direct effect of what's going on. 

The Internet community, as in our countries, have to be relevant, have to have an impact on what's going on.  And to have an impact on what's going on in our countries, we have to address the issues that are in front of us.

Adopting global issues is not necessarily the highest priority when you look at local agendas or local priorities.  So to gather for local IGF, I think you have to be relevant to the local issues otherwise people would not be interested.  And we have seen experience of national ISIL chapters.  For them to be, for people to know about them, they have to address issues of local developments.  That's the bottom line.  And these issues not only have to be politics related.  They can be about economics.  About raising awareness of issues that affect user privacy or user habits on the Internet.  About phishing user information on the Internet.  We have to find issues that are important to the general public and gather momentum and participation around these issues.  That's the only way. 

So call it national IGF or local chapter, open participation, as Paul mentioned, bottom up.  An open Forum is what we're looking for.  This will not happen if we stay only, if we stay far away from the community.  Thank you.

>> I wish Khalid stayed here, just he left now.  I think he mentioned the last 10 IGFs, but let's go back further to the 1994/1995 when our country started to introduce Internet.  There was no governance.  There was no laws or regulations.  So it was in the mode of learning while doing, learning from mistakes, regulating whenever there's a need to regulate. 

And my observation is that their process of the Internet has been much faster than any other government efforts to regulate even if they want to.  So the pace is very high. 

So it was a top‑down approach or bottom-up approach.  I don't want to argue that.  But I want to argue that's learning while doing.  And I want to confess from my side that we, the claimers of the multistakeholderism, we are not multistakeholder. 

For example, the Internet is a way of life.  It's not a technology.  It's not a tool.  It's not a network.  It is not for the elite.  It is not for certain groups.  It is a replica of the existing life; therefore, you will see everything in the ordinary life, you will see it on the Internet.  Maybe you have seen it now.  Maybe you will see it in the very near future.  Therefore, we need in the multistakeholders, we need the psychologists, the sociologists, the criminologists, everyone should chip in.  It's a way of life. 

If you noticed, until this point in time, even in the U.S. and in Europe, there is rating for their movies.  You have PG13, PG15, you have R and other rating of movies.  And it is entertained in the laws. 

Now, the Internet is more pervasive.  It is more beneficial.  But at the same time, it could be very harmful.  And therefore we should ‑‑ I don't think we have the capacity to regulate the Internet.  We need to involve their people through scientists, college professors, initiate national debates.  And therefore comes the issue of national IGF.

I think within the same country, whether the country is small or large, people within the same country are not in agreement over Internet issues.  You have even within the government itself, you have the minister of culture who is happy to open more and more.  And you have the minister of interior who want to shrink and shrink and shrink and everyone in between.  So within the government, there is disagreement.  Within the civil society, there is disagreement.  Within the interactions among the various facets of one society there is a lot of disagreement.  And therefore it's important to, in my judgment, to have this national IGFs which will basically manifest their bottom‑up approach that has been mentioned around here.

>> Thank you very much.  Well, I do appreciate the intention of the question posed by Khalid.  And I do, too, hope he was still in the room.  We continually need to think differently of the challenges we face, otherwise we will just stuck at them.  And I do appreciate the intention of this question.

For the questions posed by others, as well, I think the key challenge we all have is how to widen the engagement in the Arab IGF and other foras, as well.  We still lack, for example, the presentation from private sector, specifically from carriers and ISPs in the region.  We have tried our best, but it seems for some various reasons, they are not interested enough. 

And this is a challenge for everyone now on the table.  It's not just for the Secretariat of the IGF or the umbrella organizations.  It's for everyone sitting around the table, how to ping this discussion and how to recompose the issues, to show people what is at stake for them. 

We have tried also at the NTIA in Egypt, we have tried to do things differently.  We have hosted the Arab Secretariat since its establishment in 2012.  We did not imagine at that point in time the amount of work we would have to do for this.  But we have stepped in and we are still committed for this.

We have also established a DNS centre of entrepreneurship.  And this is in cooperation with ICANN.  We have just signed an MOU in July, three months ago, two‑month ago, yes.  My calendar's confused.  So this is something we aspire to go with to address the challenge of the level of the DNS industry in the Arab region, not just in Egypt. 

We are still trying to outreach and bring more players into the discussion whether at the national level or the regional level.  We are trying to ping judiciaries and legislators into the discussion.  For the first time, we have a judge sitting on the AMAG.  For obvious reasons, of course, they are not always able to attend most meetings but at least we are starting. 

There is a challenge to bring different departments of government, as many have mentioned.  It is important to see ministries of interior, ministries of foreign affairs, other departments of the government that should be aware what is Internet for them, as well.  It's not just about communication. 

So basically it is all about engagement.  How do we enhance this and how to do it together.

>> Okay, thank you, Mr. Chairman.  So I would say unfortunately in the developing world, one of the reasons why we are still developing goals or the developing world is still the developing world, because we are good at talking, pointing fingers to each other and never doing action. 

Okay.  So probably there are issues.  There is nothing perfect.  Two days ago at the opening ceremony, the minister of ICT of Macedonia actually said that, okay, most of us here are opening the global IGF are ministers of ICT, but where is the minister of economy?  Where is the minister of culture?  What he was trying to say is actually everybody within the government must actually be involved in the Internet governance process.

Now back on the issue that we are debating at the moment, again I would say capacity building is the key.  At ICANN, we developed regional strategies.  One of those regional strategies was actually for the Middle East.  And in that strategy, the community members were actually part of the Working Group concluded that actually strengthening Internet Governance and Internet Governance mechanisms within the region is actually the way forward. 

From discussing with people, again, I would say many lack understanding of what Internet Governance is all about.  So when we tell people “governance,” they think that it's governments.  So they think that it's only governments who are involved in the process.  And so you have to define to them what Internet Governance is all about, who are the key stakeholders?  What are the key topics?  And actually that gets the ball rolling.  And they start thinking.  And they start engaging.

From my discussion with people, I mean, Paul mentioned a visit of ICANN and RIPE NCC to Yemen.  I was astonished, actually, that of the people who I engaged with in Yemen, some of them are actually here attending the global IGF.  And they just came over to me and said, “Hello, Fahd.”  I kind of didn't know them because I met so many people.  And I was really amazed that actually they came here and are attending the global IGF.  I wouldn't take credit for that.  But I guess when you educate people, they tend to move.

Okay.  If let's say ‑‑ if 10 percent of whom you educate actually show interest, that is amazing because the 10 percent will probably be ambassadors to train others and then another 10 percent will come in and then at the end you will have a huge community.

Back in May, we did a Middle East and adjoining countries school on Internet Governance.  We actually had 25 students and 10 instructors.  Of the 10 instructors, amazingly 8 were actually from this region.  So we do have the capacity.  People do trust that there is good capacity and good trainers within the region who can actually do something for the region.

Now of the 25 students who actually attended that school, three are attending the global IGF.  So that's 12 percent.  That's a small number.  But that's a good beginning.  So, yeah, it's time that we stopped just talking, pointing at each other.  It's actually time to do action. 

I think within our communities, we can each play a role.  I mean, I'm paid by ICANN to actually do this work.  And I understand that you all ‑‑ I mean, many in the room have other jobs to do and just Internet Governance is probably one small thing you would do.  But then, I mean, even if you think you can't do it, you can definitely approach somebody who can do it.  And education is the way.

>> MODERATOR:  Thank you very much, Fahd, and our panelists.  Two, three opportunities one minute each, please, because we need, as well, to wrap up.  Please go ahead, yes.

>> Me, yes?  Okay, thank you.  A question and a comment.  You know, I think we can talk about participation.  But how does that ‑‑ my name is Courtney Rajin with the Committee to Protect Journalists.  And I think how do you translate participation into meaningful participation?  This is not a criticism of this panel per se, but most of the IGF is comprised of panels talking about things then results in some reports, but it's still unclear about the role that the IGF, much less other regional level IGFs are playing in actual governance processes.

The UNESCO Internet study was looking at multistakeholderism but the ethical dimensions of multistakeholderism.  So when you have the governments dominating the governance space, is there an ethical obligation to have your words and your normative statements meet up with the actions? 

Many of the Arab governments in the region have journalists in jail, have bloggers in jail, many of whom are jailed on anti‑state charges related to the content that they circulated online.  So I think it's time to take action to address that issue, as well.

And I just wanted to ask a question about how do you envision ‑‑ what do you want to come out of the Arab IGF?  How do you take it from showing up and being present to actually being able to meaningfully contribute?  Thank you.

>> MODERATOR:  Thank you.  I think we need to invite you, as well, to the next Arab IGF.  So at least you can observe.  I have observed the Arab IGF and believe it's useful for you also to participate.  Just for the sake of time I'll give questions.  Please just be brief if you can.

>> I will try.  Good evening, everybody.  Mr. -- from Algeria government representative.  First I thank everyone who has participated to make happen this workshop at this event.

I think in my opinion the big issues and priorities in the region are well summarized by the panelists.  We have access, we have infrastructures.  The penetration is still low in our countries.  Local content, capacity building, global security issue and legislation. 

What we must do at work is the concept of ‑‑ harder to try to find an adopted rights model that meets our needs and our priorities. 

And for our side, the example that -- I am more optimistic than many people.  If you remember the last year when we have organised the Arab IGF in Algiers, at the beginning during the opening ceremony, more than 8 ministers were present.  They support the concept of Internet Governance Forum.  And they expect that this space will help to find right solutions to solve the Internet issues in our region, Arab region, not only Middle East, there is also North Africa.

>> MODERATOR:  Thank you very much.  The list of issues has been really noted.

I think on just closing, I'm sorry, Ridha, half a minute, quickly.

>> RIDHA GUELLOUZ:  I just wanted to say that the Arab IGF call for workshop is still open.  Please go to the website; and if you have a good idea for a workshop, please apply.  You have until 15th.  Fifteenth of September.

>> Thank you, Chair.  Back to this cultural issue.  I fully agree with you, Paul, on what you said.  We should no more to talk about multistakeholderism anymore because it's a matter of practice.  Multistakeholderism is probably inclusion.  Multistakeholderism is probably bottom-up way of doing.  And today where in our region, and other regions, as well, you will face someone saying "I will never accept what you are saying or what you are doing because it is not bottom up", that day probably will start being multistakeholder.  That's it.

>> MODERATOR:  Thank you very much.  And I think just as a final wrapup, I will just give a final chance to Iman, he was from UNESCO.  He was also working with the Arab League, as well.  They were supporters for the Arab IGF.  I think I'll give him the closing remarks and I'd like to thank the speakers for the good talk.

>> Thank you, Mohammed.  Thank you for this wonderful moderation of this workshop at the end of the day.  Thanks for everyone.  And I'd like in my capacity of co‑organizer of this workshop, myself and my colleagues and League of Arab States, Arab Secretariat and the MAG to really tell everyone here that this is very insightful, enriching discussion for all the community of the Arab IGF. 

There is now an Arab IGF community.  And I'm very happy.  And my colleagues here know that four or five years ago we have been like just few champions, one, two, then three and then four and then five and six and then we are here.  The champions are about 50 and the community is about 500 at least who are active. 

My two key messages for the closure of this workshop, two main messages:  Evolution and sustainability.  These are the challenges in the region, to sustain, to evolve and to sustain first of all the dialog and then the action.  And let us be really realistic.  I mean, we are just three years old baby who just started.  The global IGF is just 9 years old plus two, so it's like 11 years old, young man.  And the whole ICANN is maybe 16 years old now.  So we are in the process of establishing the dialogue.  And establishing the dialogue, per se, is a success. 

Just to reiterate the first year we had one MAG structure, two MAG meetings.  Second year, we had MAG meetings plus open consultation.  Third year, now we had five MAG meetings bottom-up inclusion, three of them face‑to‑face, two WebEx.  And we are improving.  We are not claiming that we touched the skies or that we are idealistic or error‑free.  But the process itself being in place and being evolving is a success. 

We had the civil society as a host.  We had Algeria as a government as a host.  And now we have ESCWA as a host for the third year.  So I think we have to be realistic with ourselves.  We should really be balanced in praising the pros and identifying the cons. 

And, last not least, I'd like to see all of you, each one of you bring like 10 or 15 of his community to the Arab IGF third version in Beirut end of November.  And with you, with the community, and with the main partners and with the ESCWA, together we are strong.  Thank you.

>> MODERATOR:  Thank you very much. 

I'd like just finally to thank you for coming up here, listening, discussing.  This is very important, I think, for all of us.  And we also need you to engage with us.  There is a mailing list.  There is a website.  Arabigf.org. -- Igfarab.org. 

So it's really important for you and for us that we continue this discussion.  We need you to engage with us, and we need you to be active because the same group here and others, as well, would like to drive this forward. 

I'd like to thank the panelists and thank you very much for the attendance.  Thank you.

  (End of session.) 

***

This is the output of the realtime captioning taken during the IGF Istanbul, Turkey, meetings.  Although it is largely accurate, in some cases it may be incomplete or inaccurate due to inaudible passages or transcription errors.  It is posted as an aid to understanding the proceedings at the session, but should not be treated as an authoritative record.