Abu-Ghazaleh Chairs Diversity Session at IGF in Sharm El Sheikh


SHARM EL SHEIKH - Talal Abu-Ghazaleh, chairman of UN Global Alliance for ICT and Development (GAID), chairman and CEO of Talal Abu-Ghazaleh Organization, is leading today’s discussions at the Diversity Session within the fourth Internet Governance Forum (IGF), being held in Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt, according to ag-IP-news Agency.

Key speakers at this session, chaired by Abu-Ghazaleh, and moderated by Jonathan Charles, presenter, BBC World News, are:

• Gerry Ellis, Accessibility and Usability consultant, Feel The BenefIT
• Shadi Abou Zhara, Activity Lead, WAI International Program Office, W3C
• Cynthia Waddell, Executive Director, International Center for Disability Resources on the Internet (ICDRI)
• Andrea Saks, Convener of the joint coordination activity on accessibility and human factors, Coordinator, Dynamic Coalition on Accessibility and Disability
• Abdul Waheed Khan, Assistant Director-General for Communication and Information, UNESCO
• Abdulaziz Al Zoman, SaudiNIC (.sa)
• Dwayne Bailey, Research Director, ANLoc (African Network for Localisation)

The Access and Diversity session was split into two to draw in the outcomes of related workshops, which could compare and contrast approaches and best practices.

Within the Diversity Session, the access for people with disabilities and the Multilingualism and IDNs are the main issues to be tackled.“Internet Governance – Creating Opportunities for all” is the overall title of the meeting.

It’s worth mentioning that Abu-Ghazaleh was appointed on June 1, 2009 as the Chairman of the Global Alliance for ICT and Development of the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UNDESA-GAID).

GAID was established by the UN Secretary General in March 2006, to meet the need for an inclusive, multi-stakeholder global forum and platform for policy dialogue and partnership building, to promote the use of ICT for the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), and to enable and catalyze multi-stakeholder partnerships for action under the GAID umbrella.

The Internet Governance Forum is an outcome of the Tunis phase of the World Summit on the Information Society, which took place in 2005.  In the Tunis Agenda for the Information Society, Governments asked the Secretary-General to convene a “new forum for policy dialogue” to discuss issues related to key elements of Internet governance and set out the Forum’s mandate.

The fourth annual IGF Meeting is being held November 15-18, 2009 in Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt. The Forum’s first three meetings took place in Athens, Greece, in November 2006, in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, in November 2007 and in Hyderabad, India, in December 2008.


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