Multilingual Internet Initiative meets in Cairo

The first meeting of the Multilingual Internet Initiative (MII) Board of the Arab Knowledge Management Society (AKMS) concluded on February 1, with a focus on a range of key themes, including promotion of the Arabic content on the Internet and the process of introducing new generic Top Level Domains (gTLDs) by ICANN.

Held at AKMS’s Cairo office and presided over by Talal Abu-Ghazaleh, AKMS Chairman, the meeting brought together the founding members of the Board of the MII under one umbrella, to discuss the most pressing issues surrounding Internet multilingualism.

During the course of the meeting, the Board mandate was approved and a way to move forward was decided on.

Chaired by Samar Al-Labbad, Deputy Chair of Talal Abu-Ghazaleh Organization (TAGorg) and co-chaired by Baher Esmat, Middle East Liaison of the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), the MII, previously known as the Multilingual Internet Committee (MIC), is a joint partnership between AKMS and ICANN that was launched May last year, to start a constructive dialogue and raise awareness within the Internet community in the Arab region on technical aspects and policies related to domain names and numbers.

Commending such a successful meeting, Al-Labbad said, “This private-business driven initiative is in harmony with other governmental and individual initiatives related to the multilingual Internet that have been launched in the region.”

“The meeting has provided us with the opportunity to engage in an interactive discussion with different multi-stakeholders, as well building new bridges and strengthening existing relationships in this field,” she added.

On his part Esmat stated “This is an initiative led by AKMS and ICANN and engaging experts from the Arab region who will help MII achieve its goals. The meeting was an opportunity for MII’s members to come together for the first time to discuss and agree on the agenda for the coming period.”

Other attendees included ccTLDs registries, gTLDs registrars, and members of the Internet Society (ISOC), representatives of business and Intellectual Property entities, in addition to members of intergovernmental organizations.

The next MII Board meeting will be held in Dubai in early April 2008 coinciding with the ICANN regional meeting.

AKMS the Arab Knowledge Management Society (AKMS), www.akms.org, is a non-profit Jordan-based regional association, established and chaired by Talal Abu-Ghazaleh, Chairman and Founder of Talal Abu-Ghazaleh Organization (TAGorg).

The Society’s main purpose is to facilitate knowledge sharing and management in Arab countries through promoting research and development in those fields and offering programs and qualifications that support its purpose

ICANN the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), www.icann.org, is an internationally organized, non-profit corporation that has responsibility for Internet Protocol (IP) address space allocation, protocol identifier assignment, generic (gTLD) and country code (ccTLD) Top-Level Domain name system management, and root server system management functions.

As a private-public partnership, ICANN is dedicated to preserving the operational stability of the Internet; to promoting competition; to achieving broad representation of global Internet communities; and to developing policy appropriate to its mission through bottom-up, consensus-based processes.