TAG-Org Participates in the Third Internet Governance Forum in Hyderabad


HYDERABAD – Talal Abu-Ghazaleh Organization (TAG-Org) participated in the third Internet Governance Forum (IGF) held at Hyderabad International Conference Centre (HICC) in Hyderabad, India.

With an overall concept of "Internet for all", the Forum provided a space for dialogue in which some 1300 participants from over 100 countries attended, and addressed five main themes: reaching the next billion Internet users; promoting cyber-security and trust; managing critical Internet resources; taking stock and emerging issues – the Internet of tomorrow. Open meetings, panel discussions and thematic workshops involving presentations and debates were held to discuss specific issues and share best practices.

TAG-Org, the only private company from the Arab world to take part in the event was represented by Abu-Ghazaleh Intellectual Property (AGIP) Executive Director Charles Sha’ban, a member of the IGF’s Multi-stakeholder Advisory Committee (MAG).

Participants from the government and private sectors, civil society, Internet community, international organizations and the media engaged in many sessions and workshops that underscored the importance of Internet access as it is expanded to the next billion people. 

As a member of the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) Business Action to Support the Information Society (BASIS) Initiative, TAG-Org took part in side meetings with the BASIS team, along with representatives from the US, Egyptian and Canadian governments as well as the EU presidency.

“Discussions centered mainly on the IGF format, the way forward, the next IGF in Sharm El-Sheikh and how to get more members of the private sector – particularly in developing countries – to participate in the IGF,” Sha’ban said. He also represented the views of the private sector in respect of multilingualization and diversity.

The IGF focused on the issues of access, diversity, openness, security and managing critical Internet resources. The theme of access includes infrastructure, connectivity and the role of the government and private sector to improve access for all. Issues of diversity and openness cover promoting local content, cultural diversity, the number of languages used on the Internet and access by marginalized groups such as indigenous people and persons with disabilities. Cyber-security, the safety of the Internet and the fight against cyber-crime were also central issues discussed at the Forum.

The Internet Governance Forum is an outcome of the Tunis phase of the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS), which took place in 2005.

The two previous meetings of the Forum were held in Greece in November 2006 and in Brazil in November 2007. The Forum will hold its 2009 session in Egypt.