The World Conference on International Telecommunications (#WCIT-12) currently taking place in Dubai is now in full swing.
A number of high ranking officials and dignitaries are in attendance at the conference, including Mohamed Nasser Al-Ghanim, Director-General of the UAE Telecommunications Regulatory Authority and Chairman of the Conference; Fadi Chehadé, President and CEO of the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN); and ITU Secretary-General, Dr. Hamadoun I. Touré.
Addressing what he described as a historic opening ceremony, Fadi Chehadé is on record stating that his presence at WCIT-12 is due to his and ICANN’s firm belief in the power of engagement.
Mr. Chehadé went on to say that it is a new season of engagement at ICANN, and for cooperation between ICANN and ITU, which started recently at a meeting with Dr. Touré at the Internet Governance Forum in Baku.
ICANN – under Mr. Chehadé’s stewardship – has recognized ITU’s deep impact on the development of the telecommunication industry and broadband infrastructure, which has specifically impacted the developing world tremendously.
Mr. Chehadé believes that ITU and ICANN have complementary functions to facilitate and in the future, will cooperate in good spirit, while clearly respecting each organization’s distinct roles.
ICANN therefore – along with other Internet organizations, which include; ISOC (the Internet Society), IETF (the Internet Engineering Task Force), and other regional Internet registries – plan to continue their deep commitment to servicing the world’s needs for Internet governance.
Mr. Chehadé also added that when building any organization, there are two options. You could either build it as a fortress or as an oasis.
ICANN chooses the latter option when it comes to their organization.
The President and CEO of ICANN pointed out that oases are open and vital, and that it is important to remove the walls, open the windows, and build organizations that are welcoming and transparent.
Dr. Touré thanked ICANN and Mr. Chehadé as well as Steve Crocker, ICANN’s Chairman, for accepting the invitation to come to WCIT-12.
Dr. Touré said he looked forward to the exciting opportunities that lie ahead and all that can be achieved by ITU and ICANN together, in a positive spirit of collaboration.
This is indeed a welcome development and bodes well for the world’s users who can only benefit from such strengthened cooperation. A good news story to watch and one the ITU4U will be sure to return to.
For more highlights from the WCIT-12 opening week, please visit http://www.itu.int/osg/wcit-12/highlights/dec03.html
By: Lee-Roy Chetty
Lee-Roy Chetty is a proud citizen of the Republic of South Africa. He works as a researcher and writer for ITU.