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IGF 2019 Pre-Event #51 IGF Arab Regional Dialogue: Overcoming Barriers to Meaningful Participation

NTRA, Egypt


In his speech at the IGF2018 in Paris, António Guterres, UN Sec-Gen, highlighted the importance of an inclusive dialogue on new digital technologies and policies around them in order to maximize their benefits to the humankind whilst minimizing their negative unintended consequences. He stressed the notion of “leaving no one behind” as a prerequisite to reaching workable solutions for challenges posed by these new technologies and the way they affect societies, and to achieving the globally agreed 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda.
During IGF2018 recap session in Paris, it was noted that the voices of the Middle East and North Africa are among those particularly missing or underrepresented in the global debate. A more concerted effort is obviously required to identify the barriers and to boldly rethink the current approaches.
This session aims at bringing together various actors in the region and beyond, including from organizations, entities, and initiatives addressing key Internet-related policy and governance areas. Speakers and participants will have *equal opportunity* to share experience, and outline both efforts aimed at better engagement in the region, and also barriers that might be limiting the realization of the full potential of these efforts.
The session will also seek to facilitate identifying gaps where actors can further their efforts, redesign certain aspects of their activities, or commence on new partnerships to respond to identified needs to bridge those gaps. It will also touch upon existing mechanisms to draw on best practices and lessons learnt, identify needed tweaks or required reforms, and collectively outline envisaged trajectory.
Session will adopt a moderated roundtable format to allow for maximum engagement.
Among invitees intended to participate:
Moez Chakchouk, Assistant Director-General, UNESCO (Paris)
Jovan Kurbalija, Co-lead of the secretariat of the HLPDC (Geneva)
Denis Suar, UNDESA (New York)
Anja Gengo, IGF Secretariat (Geneva)
Charles Shaban, Chair of Arab IGF AMPAC (Amman)
Hanane Boujemi, vice-chair of Arab IGF AMPAC
Mohamed El-Dahshan, MEAC-SIG (Cairo/Oxford)
Ayman El-Sherbiny, UN ESCWA (Beirut)
Hazem Hezzah, League of Arab States (Cairo)
Baher Esmat, VP, Global Stakeholder Engagement, Middle East, ICANN (Cairo)
Salam Yamout, Regional Director, Middle East, ISOC (Beirut)
Qusai El-Shatti, Arab IGF Improvement Group former Co-chair (Kuwait)
Christine Arida, Arab IGF Secretariat (Cairo)
Manal Ismail, Chair, ICANN Government Advisory Group (Cairo)
Ridha Guelouz, Chair, NAIGF MAG (Tunis)
Aziz Helali, NAIGF MAG member (Rabat)
Rasha Abdalla, former MAG member, American University in Cairo (Cairo)
Zeina Bou Harb, former IGF MAG member, Arab IGF AMPAC member, Ogero (Beirut)
Mohamed El Bashir, Arab IGF MAG former vice-chair (Khartoum/USA)
Walid El-Saqaf, Trustee, Internet Society, former Arab IGF member (Sanaa/Stockholm)
Nadira El-Araj, member of ICANN Nom-Com, former Arab IGF member (Ramallah)
Khaled Foda, ICT Policy Expert, former League of Arab States (Cairo)

Contact Information

United Nations
Secretariat of the Internet Governance Forum (IGF)

Villa Le Bocage
Palais des Nations,
CH-1211 Geneva 10

igf [at] un [dot] org
+41 (0) 229 173 411