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    Premier Nazif Inaugurates IGF 2009 in Sharm El-Sheikh

    Sharm El-Sheikh, 15 November 2009

    Prime Minister Dr. Ahmed Nazif inaugurated today in Sharm El-Sheikh resort the fourth annual meeting of the Internet Governance Forum (IGF) held under the slogan: “Creating Opportunities for all.”

    The inaugural ceremony was witnessed by Minister of Communications and Information Technology Dr. Tarek Kamel, Minister of Higher Education and Scientific Research Dr. Hani Helal, Minister of Social Solidarity Dr. Ali Al-Moselhi and Minister of Education Dr. Yousry El-Gamal.

    Mr. Sha Zukang, United Nations Under-Secretary-General for Economic and Social Affairs, Mr. Robert Kahn, a co-inventor of Transmission Control Protocol (TCP) and Internet Protocol (IP), Mr. Tim Berners-Lee, World Wide Web (WWW) inventor and Mr. Jerry Yang, the co-founder of Yahoo Inc are contributing to the meeting.

    The world event has brought together more than 1600 international figures from over 100 countries concerned with the internet-related issues will contribute to the forum. About 50 ICT ministers and senior officials are also among the event participants.

    Moreover, the event is attended by heads of international companies and non-governmental organizations like Dr. Hamadoun Touré, Secretary-General of International Telecom Union (ITU) and Assistant Director-General of UNESCO.

    International Chamber of Commerce (ICC), some parliamentarians from the European Union, the USA, England, European Commissioner for Information Society and Media Viviane Reding, US Secretary of State for Technology Affairs Ambassador Phil Viver and the Head of Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN).  

    The forum consists of 10 major sessions in addition to the inaugural one. A total of 105 workshops will be held during the four-day event.
    The meeting will discuss a number of key issues about internet policies.

    These issues include: how to make the most of the internet in development-related issues, securing an internet access to a large number of users as well as facilitating multilingualism and multi cultures on the web.

    The forum will further discuss means of combating cyber crimes, securing children on the web and exchanging expertise in internet governance.

    The IGF is expected to review means of enhancing everybody's access to the internet, developing local context and cultural diversity, ensuring internet security and fighting cyber crimes. It will tackle means of managing the internet main resources like domain names, protocols, web addresses, major servers, technical criteria for new protocols and wired and wireless communications. 

    Additionally, the forum will look into the impact of social networking tools like Facebook and YouTube and the wide popularity they gained and how they have an impact on the lives of users and on several fields and daily activities.
    Security and data protection and laws applied on content produced by users and the material liable to intellectual property rights (IPR) are among other issues tackled during the forum sessions.

    Dr. Kamel, who heads the forum round, stated that Egypt has sought through several initiatives to facilitate internet access for all social segments.At the same time, he added, the State has provided a secure information environment for children. All internet service providers (ISP)s, Dr. Kamel noted, offer special software programs for content filtration to put forward a secure network for children and families.

    Egypt has further supported efforts for developing Arabic e-content, exerting efforts to offer multi cultures and multilingualism on the web, Dr. Kamel noted.
    The Egyptian Government’s interest in the internet came out of the increasing importance of the internet around the world, Minister Kamel explained.

    The forum was preceded by preparatory meetings and Egyptian and international procedures. In January 2009, the Executive Bureau of Arab Ministers of Telecommunications and Information Council decided in its ordinary 25th session to call on all Arab administrations to take part in the advisory meetings held in Geneva and prepare for the fourth IGF meeting.

    The bureau requested the general secretariat to spread out a report released by a virtual task force over the subjects that Arab governments would like to add to the IGF agenda.

    Suggestions were presented about organizing and unifying an Arab stance during the recent Open Consultancy Meeting in Geneva.

    In Egypt, Ministry of Communications and Information Technology (MCIT) organized a session at Cairo ICT 2009 as part of the preparations for the fourth IGF meeting. International experts like IGF Executive Director Mr. Machos Kumar and representatives of a number of international companies participated in the session.   

    Last March, Egypt officially announced the significance of holding the IGF meeting and hosting it in Sharm El-Sheikh for discussing the future of internet governance in a comprehensive, balanced way to ensure the interests of all parties. On top of these parties are the developing countries that seek to boost their capabilities in accessing the web.

    Hosting the event in Egypt reflects the tremendous breakthroughs Egypt has achieved in spreading and boosting internet services. Such accomplishments were proved by statistics referring to a lucid rise in the number of internet users in Egypt during the past decade to reach more than 15 million.

    Meanwhile, an important interactive workshop had been held yesterday on the sidelines of the forum about the current trends that influence the outsourcing industry. The workshop was held in cooperation with Information Technology Industry Development Agency (ITIDA) and Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD).

    It shed light on the recent developments in the business process outsourcing (BPO) industry, the impact of the World Financial Crisis on the IT industry and future market changes.

    A number of Egyptian and international figures specialized in IT and representatives of multinational companies took part in the workshop. 
     
    IGF is a multi-stakeholder forum for policy dialogue on issues of Internet governance. The establishment of the IGF was formally announced by the UN secretary-general in July 2006 as one of the outputs of the second phase of the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS).

    The first IGF meeting was held in Athens, Greece, in 2006, the second in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, in 2007 and the third in Haidarabad, India end of 2007.



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