AGIP Regional Office Executive Director Selected to the UN WGIG

13 Nov 2004

Abu-Ghazaleh Intellectual Property (AGIP) Regional Office Executive Director, Charles Sha’ban, has been selected to the United Nations Working Group on Internet Governance (WGIG).

Mr. Sha’ban is among the six candidates who are chosen to represent the Business sector. The WGIG includes 40 members from governments, private sector and civil society, representing all regions.

The WGIG will be chaired by Nitin Desai, Special Adviser to the Secretary-General for the World Summit.

Secretary-General Kofi Annan announced the establishment of the Working Group on Internet Governance November 11, 2004. The Working Group will prepare the ground for a decision on this issue by the second phase of the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS), which will be held in Tunis November 2005.

Annan was requested to establish a working group on Internet governance by the first phase of the WSIS held in Geneva December 2003. The task of this Working Group is to organize an open dialogue on Internet Governance, among all stakeholders, and to bring recommendations on this subject to the second phase of the Summit.

The two documents adopted by the Geneva Summit -- the Declaration of Principles and the Plan of Action -- asked the Working Group “to investigate and make proposals for action, as appropriate, on the governance of the Internet by 2005.”

The Group was requested to: develop a working definition of Internet governance; identify the public policy issues that are relevant to Internet governance; and develop a common understanding of the respective roles and responsibilities of governments, international organizations and other forums, as well as the private sector and civil society from both developing and developed countries.

“The Working Group is not a negotiating forum,” said Mr. Desai. “Its purpose is to facilitate the negotiations that will take place in Tunis. We come into this process as facilitators, and will strive to establish a dialogue of good faith among all participants.”

The two Summit documents call for an “open and inclusive process” and “a mechanism for the full and active participation of governments, the private sector and civil society from both developing and developed countries, involving relevant intergovernmental and international organizations and forums.” On the basis of these guidelines, the Working Group will hold regular consultations and will seek to make the best possible use of electronic working methods, including online consultations.

The first meeting of the Working Group is scheduled to take place in Geneva November 23 - 25. On November 24, the meeting will be held in an open format, allowing all governments and other stakeholders to interact with the Working Group.

“There is a general convergence of views on the need to treat Internet governance from a broad perspective and to build on what has been done elsewhere,” said Markus Kummer, Executive Coordinator of the United Nations secretariat of the Working Group. “Issues that we expect to address include the management of Internet resources, network security, cyber-crime, spam and multilingualism.”

The report of the Working Group is expected to be submitted to the Secretary-General in July 2005 and will be made available to the WSIS second phase in Tunis.

For full list of members, please refer to

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