These are unedited transcripts and may contain errors.

Cooperation Working Group.
19 April 2012.
4:00 5:30 p.m..

CHAIR: Thanks everyone for coming. This is the Cooperation Working Group. As is probably obvious, I am neither Patrik nor Maria, both of our co?Chairs unfortunately have had to not be here because there is a meeting that the Swedish Government is holding today, so all of that cooperation we have fostered has blown us up in our face and has left us with no Chairs, so Paul and I will be standing in for them at this session. We have got three items on the agenda. So, hopefully there is time there for discussion as well as the preparations. The first one is from Phil Rushton, talking about the ITU and the international telecommunications regulations which are being revised this year, and some of the implications that that has for the Internet community.

The second one is, a representative from the European Commission speaking about some of the future networks projects that they are currently developing, investing in. And then the final one is going to be from Paul, speaking about some of the events that have shaping up in the Middle East to to do with Internet governance, that's including the launch of the Arab IETF, that is going to have its first meeting later this year.

I think we have got the finalised agenda ?? the minutes from RIPE 63, I just had a look at at the mailing list. I am not sure they have been posted but we'll chase up with with your co?Chairs about that. Without further ado ?? sorry, Paul did you have some comments you want ?? okay.

PHIL RUSHTON: For those of you that don't know me, my name is Phil Rushton, I work in BT, I am a numbering and standards strategist. My main role in life is telephone numbers, that's ITU recommending 164, those things that you sometimes use but not necessarily completely in your world.

When Chris invited me to come and chat to you this afternoon about the international telecommunications regulations, or shorthand the ITRs, he said keep it short and keep it interesting. Well it's going to be short. I guarantee that. Interesting? I'll leave you to decide on that.

I am going to talk about the ITRs, what they cover and their current status. Before that, I am going to give you some background as to what it is, what they are. I am going to talk about pessimism versus optimism, interesting when we talk about an international treaty, but the very you have got to ask yourselves throughout all of this is: Does this matter for me? I don't know. You are the ones that are going to have to answer the question. And that's basically where I'm coming from. I am going to ask you some questions. I am not necessarily going to give you the answers, but hopefully you'll come to the right conclusion at the end.

Some of the current issues in the ITRs that are up for discussion and debate touch on some of those. And finally, proposing what are your next steps, the emphasis is on "yours" not necessarily mine.

Okay. The ITU is an intergovernmental organisation. Some people sometimes forget that, other people are quick to remind us of that. The ITRs are an international treaty. Here you are, the ITRs for those at the back it's a green book, it's about A5 in size. And of this document, 15 pages relate to the treaty. The rest are the people that signed it, where it doesn't apply, there is some resolutions in there, but it's only 15 pages that are relevant.

There is preparation underway in the regional groups at the ITU. What are regional groups? Well there is about five regional groups. There is one for 47 run trees in Europe that's done under the committee for European posts and telecoms. CPT. There is one for the Americas, north, middle and south. There is one for the regional common wealth groups that's related primary, not entirely, but primary to the common wealth of of independence states areas. There is one for the Asia Pacific region that goes from Iran in the west to the pacific islands in the east, Australia in the south and Japan, Korea, that sort place in the north. There is Africa, and then there is the Arab states. So each of those groupings are developing common positions from amongst its members to take forward into the various discussions that are going on currently within the ITU and ultimately words to the conference later in the year in Dubai called the Wicket, the world conversation on international telecommunications, the first one ever, whether or not it's the last one, we don't know, but the acronym WCIT is pronounced 'wicket', which, for those of us that like cricket is quite interesting, but that's another story.

There has been some progress in reviewing, revising and revamping the ITRs, there is some agreement on what wording can be changed. Bun of the issues you have is the exact scope of the ITRs is not defined. And therefore, the scope of the ITRs are fairly fluid. When you have a definition of telecommunication that talks about any transmission, emission, reception or processing of signs, signals, righting, images and sounds or intelligence of any nature by wire, radio, optical or other electromagnetic systems as a proposal for a definition, does that impact your world? I don't know. I wouldn't like to say. Only you can answer that.

When one of the definitions of an international telecommunications service includes the offering of a telecommunications capability, including, but not limited to, offering of a telecommunication capability in roaming, international public telegram service, telex, traffic termination services, including Internet traffic termination, any kind of circuit provision services, other services integral to provision of international telecommunications services between telecommunication offices or stations of any nature that are in or belong to different countries.

Is that going to impact your world if that goes forward as an agreed position? I don't know. Perhaps you are the only ones that can answer that.

So what do they cover? As I said they are a treaty. They were signed in 1988. I can just about remember 1988. But back in 1988, the world was different to what we know now. Interesting points are the differences. In the ITRs, the term "Administration and recognised and/or operating agencies" is used interchangably. It assumes within the ITRs that administrations did commercial agreements. And they did, in 1988.

National telecommunications in that intervening period, I would suggest, have changed at different paces. Some have embraced change where, for example, in the UK we have hundreds of competitors to my company that were not present in 1988. Other countries do not find themselves in that situation. But it leads, and has led to a big debate within the ITU that are the ITRs, these international telecommunications regulations out of date? Well I'll leave you to decide that. Are they relevant or are they needed? Well, again, I couldn't possibly comment. I will leave you to decide that.

What do they cover? Well, I'll come on to that in a moment. But there is a gap in my slide, I hear you say. Why is that? Well, commercial aspects outmoded, perhaps not relevant. And that's because the commercial aspects that they talk about in the treaty was mainly having some relevance today are not the only way that business is done today. Now, are we going to be in a position, some of us, hopefully I will have retired in another 25 years, when, by, should they ever come and re?jig the treaty again, or consider re?jigging the treaty again in whatever time frame, the commercial environment has so changed so out of change and so out of understanding that we have seen today, and from we have today, that we go through the same pain again.

Again I couldn't possibly comment. I'll leave you to decide that.

Pessimism versus optimism:
Pessimism: Because Internet issues are not excluded means the ITRs will cover Internet governance issues. Are you a pessimist? I don't know. You can answer that.

Optimism: Because Internet issues are not excluded, it means the ITRs will not cover Internet governance issues. Well, if you are an optimist and you're right, then I'm wasting your time and my time. I will leave you to decide that. You will have seen, no doubt, much written in the press from US governments and the various agencies from various organisations around the world what they think the ITU and the ITRs will cover. You will also have seen with the ITU thinks what the ITRs cover. Which one is correct? It depends whether or not you are an optimist or a pessimist. I think only you should decide that. Because you are going to have to take some next steps.

I'll ask you one question before you decide whether or not the glass is half full or half empty before you go for your dinner this evening. Which is the safer approach: pessimism or optimism? You decide.

So, current high level issues for the ITRs:
Transposition of the ITRs international law. Possibly.
Does it cover all telecommunications capabilities which includes national, or does it only include international telecommunications? It's a good question. I asked it. Who knows? Time will tell.

Recommendations to become mandatory. Recommendations are, if your not aware, the ITU's word for their standards. They are currently voluntary. It's a national choice whether or not you implement them. Within the UK we have general condition 2 of our Telecommunications Act that instructs me, as a communications provider, at what point I must take account of ITUT and ITUR recommendations.

If they were to become mandatory, how are they approved? These wonderful beasts they call the recommendations? Is it by consensus or is it by voting? I just point to the recent issue within the ITUT on MPLS and the process by which that was approved and got through. Whether or not you think that's a good thing or a bad thing, I don't know. But it got through.

Internet traffic termination? Yes, it is an issue, and it's to be discussed. .what does it mean? Well, it means many things to many people. Is this an issue for you? I don't know. Does this impact your commercial world? I couldn't possibly say.

Combatting spam? Currently an issue. People would like to see this included in the treaty. Again, is combatting spam something that is right for a treaty? I don't know. Something that you would need to think about?

There are technical issues. From an old?fashioned telecoms network, there is a push to provide calling line identification across an international interconnect, and if I cannot provide the full international CLI, I have to provide country of origin. Can this be done on an IP network? Can it be done using SIP? Well, if it was required, could you do it? I don't know.

States to dictate routing? There is also a proposal that member states should have the right to dictate what routes are used into their national sovereign area. Now, given what I have described previously with telecommunications service and what institutes telecommunications. On an IP network, could you dictate the routing? What does that mean if that comes in? I don't know. It's up to you to decide whether or not it's a good thing or a bad thing.

So, I have been talking for nearly 14 minutes, this clock down here tells me. So I come to the end. What are your next steps? Well, is pessimism better than optimism, I ask you? I don't know. It's for you to decide.

Can we limit the scope of ITRs to what I would call public defined services? And the example that I put out there was mention of a telex service, and a telegram service, and in some countries they are still required services. However, public defined service in E.105 refers to the recommendation that defines the international public telephone service, and that is very clear, it's a C7 network and it has charging associated with it. It's about three pages of A4 long. It is somewhat antiquated, I grant you, written in 1997 when the world was even less different than it was in 1988 but still different to what it is today. Interestingly enough in the definition that I read out is a proposal; this was not quoted. And interesting observation I would suggest.

Your next steps: Speak to your Government representatives. Why? Because this is an intergovernmental organisation. If you are an individual or, dare I say, a pessimist, and have concerns, then please express those concerns. If you are an optimist, then I thank you for listening, and we can go on and you can enjoy your dinner.

The other thing I would say: Speak with other RIRs and their attendees, because as I described in the presentation in the development of the ITRs in the ITU Council Working Group, not all governments are present. We are using the regional approach more and more to come up with ideas. Therefore, if you can get governments to speak at regional activities, and their regional preparations, then you will at least have made a start. I would suggest. But that's not up to me. It depends on whether or not you are a pessimist or an optimist.

Thank you very much.


CHAIR: Thank you, Phil. If anyone has any questions, that would be great. I'll note just maybe before that some of what RIPE NCC is doing here. We are actually a sector member of the ITUT so we are actually able to talk part in a lot of preparatory meetings that are happening at the moment. There was ?? there are a number of preparatory meetings in Geneva over the course of this year, at least up until June, including one next week and so, what we're doing there, I mean, as Phil mentioned this is an international treaty. I think sector members have certainly very limited power in what we can do here but one of the things that the RIPE NCC can do is help put ?? well make contacts with the member state delegates who are there and help put those member state delegates in contact with people in their own countries, hopefully build those sorts of bridges. If you are interested in talking to your member state and you don't maybe know where to start, RIPE NCC is probably one place to start, talk to myself, talk to Paul, we can hopefully put you in contact with the relevant people who are taking part in this process. If there are people from your country taking part. Okay.

AUDIENCE SPEAKER: Olaf Kolkman, NetLabs, the reason why I stand up here is just like the RIPE NCC as a sector member, ISOC DOS org is also a sector member. They have got a very comprehensive material. I would like to point to the WCIT issue matrix, if you Google for wcitissuematrix.isoc, it's one of the first things you hit, and make you appreciate that there are things that you can know about how this is threatening the multi?stakeholder model. How this is threatening the Internet technology and standardisation methodologies and probably get you in a somewhat more pessimistic mode if you weren't already.

PHIL RUSHTON: I thank you for that and I am sorry to see there are already two pessimists in the room.

AUDIENCE SPEAKER: All it takes it one full glass.

AUDIENCE SPEAKER: Dmitry Burkov, on behalf of myself. You missed one point because previous ATR of 1988 already was not recognised by some countries, like United States, Canada, UK, I don't remember exactly the last and it seems that this time we can get the world even more split. What do you think about this? Moreover, it's a different situation especially when all these attempts to establish new regulations will be a drop down.

PHIL RUSHTON: The ?? I think you are right that some member states have not ratified this into their law. What that actually means, I don't fully understand. I think what has happened since 1988 is because the world has changed so much, and it has changed in different areas at different paces of change with different results, that, yes, greater fragmentation will happen potentially, it depends very much what comes out of the treaty in Dubai, and I think that's the concern. Unless you engage in the debate going forward as an individual, through your Government or through RIPE NCC, then the potential is that you will be left with the results that maybe you don't want, if you are a pessimist. And if you are an optimist, then it doesn't matter. But I think, going forward, you have to ?? and this is the plea I suppose I am making is ?? is get engaged with the discussions.

AUDIENCE SPEAKER: Second question: What do you think, about such a case that currently some lawyers, not only in my country, I am from Russia, reading official documents of ITU made the conclusions that new terms for international telecommunications was including Internet and some related is out of the scope of chapter and it's a question: What should be done first? It's a legal question. Changing chapter of ?? charter chapter, a huge charter or put an ITR document? In principle, it can be a legal case.

PHIL RUSHTON: I'm not a lawyer. I think that's a good question. I think the question depends on whether or not you would like to see the charter of the ITU change. I know certain countries and certain sector members have different views. I won't tell you what mine is, but I think it depends whether or not you believe the ITU should have a formal role and whether or not on how that might relate to other institutions like IETF, IANA, going forward.

AUDIENCE SPEAKER: Formally, ITU can change their charter in 2014 on world telecommunications assembly. It's the first time.

AUDIENCE SPEAKER: I think that's actually answered my question.

PHIL RUSHTON: Any other questions?

PAUL RENDEK: I don't have a question. Thank you Phil. And we had a lovely discussion at lunch time over this and I'd like to thank you for coming here. I just wanted to add, maybe where we have had a presence and maybe where we can discuss our presence moving forward. Chris went to the CEPT meeting which is the European conference on posts and telecommunications administration, they are the body that's dealing with the ITRs, the European body. We were invited there as RIPE NCC, very warmly invited there, which was great. And of course we made sure that we would be there for any kind of of consultation that is they would have and we would bring those to the RIPE community as we would see fit as they'd be looking for expertise in particular areas. The other invitation we got was AfriNIC and the RIPE NCC was invited to the Arab WCIT preparatory meeting which takes place next week in Cairo. The Cairo national telecommunications and regulatory authority who is hosting that event provided us with a list of topics they wanted us to already prepare in order to give technical expertise into the meeting which would help them make decisions on deciding what they would do with their ITRs. So we have a presence in the Arab world.

Next week, there is a WCIT meeting in Geneva on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday, and I will be attending that meeting, together with some of my colleagues from ARIN and I think also from APNIC will be present. So, we will also be seeing what's being discussed there. So we are looking at these regional areas. I am sure that our industry partners such as ISOC and the rest will also be there. We will naturally be working with them. So if any of you are interested in this, please, we are very happy to either get you in the process with us or put you in touch with who you need to be put in touch with, if we can. So... anyway, thank you very much, again, Phil for coming. Thank you.


CHAIR: Thank you. Rudiger is our next speaker.

RUDIGER MARTIN: Hello everybody. My name is Rudiger Martin and I am coming from the European Commission and since the European Commission is a big, big organisation, and I realise while talking to some people here, that it's never quite really clear who is who and who is doing what. I will invest some amount of my time on my slides here to really make clear what part of the organisation I am representing and what part I am talking about.

So, as you can see here on my starting slide, I am coming from a unit called "Future Networks" within the director general information society and media.

All right, I will go through those slides fairly quickly. Actually, when prepping for the talk here I wasn't really so sure how much I could assume that people present here know what European research funding is about and how much they don't know. While talking to different people over the last time I realised that the amount of knowledge around is very, very different. So I decided to go back to the very basics and briefly browse through where I'm coming from and what it is. It is something call the EU research framework programme 7 which started in 2007 and will end in 2014 and which had a total funding or had a total funding of 15 .5 billion euros in the the process of that time. This huge programme is subdivided into specific programme. Like cooperation, ideas, people, capacities and Euroton and the JRC. I am actually talking about the specific programme: Cooperation.

While I am telling you where I am coming from, what part of the programme I am talking about, I also kind of interleave certain facts about our projects, such as who can participate in our projects, any undertaking university or research centre or other legal entity well established in associated member state or country or third country. What do those projects like like? There is a minimum consortium size, three independent legal entities from three different EU member states or associated countries.

All right. So, cooperation: That's what we are talking about.
Within the specific programme cooperation programme there are different themes. It's not very important for you to know what those themes are. What, however, is interesting for you to know is that I'm coming from the ICT part, which is the biggest part in this programme and here is the basic project fact 2. Who can get funding in such a programme or in such a project?

Well, in short, legal entities from member States and associated countries, and only exceptionally third countries like, special I think could he countries.

All right, we are talking about the ICT part of the programme. So, now we are going further down. The ICT programme structure: It's structured in what is called basic ICT technologies and infrastructures and ICT for socioeconomic challenges and if you are looking at the basic infrastructures, there you have network and service infrastructures, that's what is interesting for you and that's actually where I'm coming from. Cognitive systems and robotic components and systems and so on. I am not going through all that in detail. The numbers. I am just showing here that I have an impression how big it is and what part is for network and services infrastructures. So, in the two years patches for 2011 and 2012, 62% were for network and service infrastructures. So, for the part where I'm coming from.

Okay. And we are almost there. Only one additional step. Now, this challenge 1, as it's called, pervasive and trustworthy network and service infrastructures is, again, sub diveded in different parts like the Internet of services and cloud computing, Internet and connected objects, and the future networks.

So, in short, it's the big EU research framework programme, from there to the specific cooperation programme, which basically means that you always have collaborative projects. From there to the ICT theme. From there to the network and services infrastructures and from there to the objective future networks.

So, I think now it kind of should be clear what I'm talking about.

So, which networks for our future? What does our unit really fund? What are we really doing? Well, we have an a kind of a political language that's underpinning all that. For the future networks research was the ubiquitous ultra?fast Internet of the future enabling every European to have a broadband connection to the digital society. It's written down as an a digital agenda. What does it mean in concrete terms? What are the facts? The future networks projects we are funding right now are currently split into three clusters of projects. So, if you are looking at the Internet infrastructure as it is out there, there are of course different areas, and the area of clustering goes into radio access and spectrum uses, into converging optical networks and into future Internet technologies. Those are the different topics our projects cover.

That's the name of all projects and the clustering of the projects we have been funding from call 1 to 5, as you can see, it's a lot, it's a huge number. And what are they basically doing? Well radio access and spectrum use. As you can imagine is about 40, will be about 5 ?? just to pick a random example. There is a project down there called LOLA, it's about low latency in 4G networks. How you can use 4G networks to support online gaming for instance, or financial services. Then in the converge and optical networks, it's striving words to all optical networks and there is a project, for instance, called [] Geezers, which is introducing into the network cloud computing principle so that you can ?? that you can provision what you need on demand. And then there is a future Internet technologies cluster where I will say more about it in a minute.

So, to make it more concrete. A randomly chosen project example. The project is called change and maybe it's not so randomically chosen. I choose it because I thought what they are doing has maybe something to do with what a lot of people at RIPE are dealing with. So, what the people behind this project realised is, if you are trying to introduce a ?? use a new TCP option, they were simply trying what happens if you send new TCP options out there in the wild, what happens with them? And they realised in many cases those options are simply ignored or deleted so you could not really do that because there are too many middle boxes out there who do not know what to do with them and how to treat new options. That is why there is this idea to enable innovation in the Internet architect through a flexible flow process extension. Meaning they are trying to devise programmable middle boxes which will allow you in the end to do flow processing for new applications as you need it. As you can see, this project example is pretty much forward looking, meaning something like that won't be implemented tomorrow.

And just the basic project data behind it. So it started in October 2010. It's 36 months. It has a total cost of 5.6 million euros. And there is a funding and an EC contribution of 3.9 million euros. Of course you can also go to the web page. I provided the link here. And it comprises eleven partners. So that's about the typical size of what we call a smaller project. There are also bigger projects which are around 10 million funding, that always depends, so that changes a lot.

Now, something more on our project in the area of novel Internet architectures. So in the area of novel Internet architectures, we have been clustering our projects from, well is it more a clean?slate visionary approach or an evolutionary approach to a future Internet or to the future Internet? And what we basically have in our project portfolio are projects which are focusing on information centric networking, so there is also a will the going on on the European side. Then on software defined networks, where this project I just talked about, change is basically in sight. Then virtualisation, content distribution, and content distribution also incorporating knowledge of social relations so that you could always, based on social relations, move the content to the ideal spot and thing like that. Then service of air networks, of course that the network knows what to do, the service and what the service needs. Cloud networking, which is the approach of bringing cloud principles into the network. Network coding, designed for tussle, the mobile cloud. Then it's also complimented by network management and control projects. Like measurements, measurement plains, how do you create programmable probes. Then quality of experience from a user perspective. How is the user perceiving the quality of the Internet and how could you do something about it if you are then, if your job is to manage the Internet? Self and autonomic problems. Then projects about socio?economics of the Internet and then of course a big subject also, the green Internet. How do you make everything more energy efficient?

So much about the projects. Now, this slide I try to kind of describe for you what is a project life cycle? So how does such a project come into existence? How is it selected? How is it started and reviewed and so on. So there is something called a work programme, I called it work programme X because it's usually on a two year basis, sometimes also on a yearly basis and out of this work programme there comes a call for proposals. And in this call for proposals, there are different topics addressed. I just quote here the call 8, which was closed in January 2012 and which is currently still under evaluation, or let's put it like that. Evaluation is as good as over and very soon we will go into the negotiation mode. And it has been subdivided into different aspects, like wireless and mobile phone broadband systems, LTE advanced and post LTE systems, for instance. End?to?end infrastructure technology. Then the novel Internet architect and operations management. Then flexible, resilient broadband and satellite communications.

Once such a call for proposals has been out and people send us their proposals, they will be evaluated. The evaluation actually is done by independent experts. So it's not done by ourselves. And once the evaluation has been done, there is a selection and then a project which has been selected goes into negotiation, so meaning based on the evaluations of the experts, certain things are still be corrected, changed, and from the nexts it goes to a grant. That is not all fully automatic. As you can imagine, of course, not all projects which are evaluated are also selected. And not all which are being negotiated are also getting a grant in the end. Then the project starts. There are periodic reviews, yearly usually, and there is then the project end. And the periodic reviews are also done by independent experts.

And that's where I thought it might also be interesting for the people in the RIPE community, we are always looking for independent experts who are willing to do all that, the evaluation and the periodic review, and if that is something which is interesting to you, somewhere you might like to get involved because I believe that there is a lot of knowledge here, then that's ?? that's register as an expert in the Cordis database. Talk to us. Send us your reference number and let us know you are interested and what your expertise is.

So much on that. Then another aspect: The work programme life cycle. So I just told that you the project life cycle but of course it is also interesting to know such a work programme. Where does it come from? So there is a work programme X and we want to get to the next work, we want to get to the work programme X plus 1. Of course the old work programme is one source but also consultations. So if you are consulting independent experts, what they believe are hot topics how the there at the moment. And there are several of them and at the moment there is actually one consultation open, so if you feel like participating, then please participate in the current future networks consultation and that's what I believe is also, once more, again, a thing where there is excellent expertise present here at RIPE to participate in something like that.

All right. Just a few words on the ongoing future networks consultation. So far, it has been on invitation is now open for public comments for everybody to comment, and there have been various challenges, identified like for instance that filling the gap between demand and capacity is one of the big barriers and challenges at the moment. Spectrum scarcity, dependability and so on and so on. Then technical evolutions, likely merge ance of machine to machine communications, virtualisation integration of communication network storage and computing resources. Would I invite you to simply go to our web page and have a look at that and give us your view on what you think about it. That is really important. Since it's in the end you who is shaping the future work programmes.

And the last final thing, I talked about FP7 and our projects, but there is a new thing coming up in 2014 which is called horizon 2020, that is well, in a nutshell, it's a new framework programme so you might also think of it as FP8, and as opposed to the current framework programme, it will have three pillars, one called tackling societal challenges, another: creating industrial leadership and competitive frameworks and excellence in the science base, for time reasons I'm not going to talk about that in detail. I just wanted to kind of give hints, so if you have more interest, then please feel tree and come to talk to me and I will be more than willing to give you all kinds of information you would need on that.

Let me skip that one and ?? let me proceed to the last slide, which is basically saying, please do participate in our consultation on network communication challenges. How by the web base consultation, and also if that is something that is interesting for you to participate, keep in touch with us, via our future networks web page. Drop us an e?mail or you might also subscribe to our future networks news flash, which is our newsletter, that might be of particular interesting right now since there will be soon the new projects which have been selected in the current call, and maybe there is something where you have a particular interest in.

Okay. Thanks a lot.


CHAIR: Are there any questions for Rudiger? No. Okay, well thank you very much, Rudiger, that was very useful. I think it sort of, if nothing else, demonstrates how it's useful to have some inside contacts to understand some of the bureaucracy and structure of the European Commission. So thank you for walking us through some of that.

CHAIR: Our final presentation is Paul Rendek speaking about Internet governance in the Arab region.

PAUL RENDEK: Good afternoon everyone, my name is Paul Rendek and I am the a director of external relations in the RIPE NCC. Before I talk about experiences I have in the Arab world I just wanted to say that my life in the last couple of months has changed tremendously. I have moved from London to Dubai where I was hurled into the whole Internet community and Government community or governance community inside the Arab world. The Arab world is not a strange place for me. I grew up there as a child so I felt a little bit like I was going home but I certainly wasn't prepared for the whirlwind of changes that are going on in Internet governance that takes place in that Arab world. It certainly had my eyebrows raised very much. I am going to attempt to walk through some of the things that I have experienced, some of the things that are going on there and of course the formation of the Arab IGF.

Here you have it. You see it here first. This is just been unveiled. This is the logo that has been selected for the Arab Internet governance forum. If you see that anywhere, you know what you'll be talking about.

Quite sometime ago, the league of Arab states, through their Arab telecommunications information Council of ministers published a set of documentation calling for a regional Arab IGF to be formed. At that time, it didn't really have a home. There was a lot of discussions going on about this. Eventually, they ended up actually going to the united nations, the economic and social commission for western Asia where they asked them to help them get this Arab IGF off the ground. So sometime in December I was contacted by both the league of Arab states and by ESQA and asked to join a consultation meeting that they were having that was organised pretty much ten days before the enter happened in Beruit. It's a lovely city to visit of course. So, many Arab countries came together in an open consultation to talk about the formation of an Arab IGF, what that would like like, who would be involved. You can imagine that the debate that was going on there.

In the end, the Arab IGF turned out to be multi?stakeholder in nature and open and inclusive and already I can tell you that this is something that is not very common in the Arab world. I think it took quite a lot for them to actually must I remember up the energy to agree that this is the way they were going to run their IGF forum. In fact many of the telecommunications regulatory bodies, or minute trees that I spend time speaking with, were very much on the side of saying that they wanted to have something that was Government ran with closed meetings by Government and that decisions would be taken. But it's quite funny, once everybody got into the room and the discussions went on, things took a little bit of a different turn and I'm really happy to see that they actually agreed on a multi?stakeholder open and inclusive process for their IGF.

They gave their IGF a home. The Egyptian national telecommunications regulatory authority stepped up to bat and offered their offices to be the secretariat for this Arab IGF. Of course Saudi Arabia stood up and countered that bid. In my experience, I feel there are two very heavy hitters in that region and they are definitely Saudi Arabia, probably a lot to do with their financial standing and their size and Egypt and that would be their sheer mass. So, those you can see are are two countries that lead a lot of what happens inside of governance. That's not to say the other countries don't participate and provide a voice but you can see leadership coming from these countries. In the end the room agreed that Egypt would be hosting the Arab IGF secretariat.

So what they have done now is there was another meeting that was held in Beruit, a much smaller meeting of an informal steering body where they invited a few people from the larger open consultation to be part of a group that would help shape things that would happen there. I chaired two of the sessions at the open meeting that were really set on forming this and dealing with this whole multi?stakeholder approach and whether it would be you know closed meetings or open meetings. So it was great to be involved in that and Chair, to see these countries talking about this and the other stakeholders as well.

So in the end what happened is there was a meeting that happened in Beruit on the 5th April this month where six people, well about seven people were called together to see how things would be going to shape the formation of this Arab IGF. I was invited to be one of the people on this informal group, so back to Beruit I went and we discussed how things would be done, the programme outlines, called for a multi?stakeholder advisory group, because in the original resolution that was published by the league of Arab states, by the Council of Ministers, they called for all of these certain sets to be put in there but of course this was supposed to be discussed in dialogue with everyone. So in the end that is what happened. I am happy to say that when the resolution was published by all of those in the open consultation meeting that took place, the RIPE NCC's name was mentioned there as a strategic partner to provide technical input into the Arab IGF and that was really great. They were the only stakeholder outside of Government that was mentioned in the resolution that went to the league of Arab states. So that was quite nice.

AFTR second meeting that took place in Beruit, there was a call put together for a multi?stakeholder advisory group for the Arab IGF. That has been published recently. Some of you who were on the MENOG list or on some of the other lists that are around from that region probably would have seen the call for this to come, this call come by.

In the end, what they want to do is they want to have half of the meeting as representatives from Government and the other half from this multi?stakeholder advisory group from the other stakeholder groups: Business, the technical community, civil society. They haven't put a number on how many people are going to be on this multi?stakeholder viz re group. They are wanting to wait to see what they are going to get in. How this will be chosen the multistakeholder advisory group. It will be chosen by members of the league of Arab states, from UN ESQA and from the Arab IGF secretariat itself.

Actually I want to list down here some of the regional concerns that they had because in the room during the two day open consultation room that they had they discussed a whole bunch of issues that were interesting for the region. Critical Internet resources were among them but it was not seen as a most important thing that the Arab IGF should be concentrating on. That was actually quite nice to see.

Three points that I have listed here were pretty much seen as the most important areas for the Arab region. That's capacity building, job creation in IT and youth. I was surprised to see that out of some of these rich Gulf state countries we have a very educated population in the IT area that do not have jobs. The figures there, the percentage of those that are not working is very high. It's very alarming for them. They are quite concerned with this. So I think this is a regional issue that they wanted to work on.

Of course we have seen some of the things unfolding in the Middle East, some things not very positive for them. They see youth. They want to make sure that they pull in the youth and that they can see the future of their youth inside of how the development of their Internet happens. That was seen as very important. And of course capacity building, because there is a lot of education to be done and human capacity building to be done in that region.

So these are the kind of core things that this Arab IGF wants to concentrate. I think those will be some of the things that you'll see coming from this meeting.

So, the meeting is scheduled to take place on the 9 to 1 October in Kuwait. It will be hosted by the Kuwait information technology society together with the Government. The kits is actually a civil society group, so it's great to see that they are the ones that stepped up to the bat and said we will host the first Arab IGF. The Government has backed this and will completely finance the event. So that's quite great. But they are going to be looking for other stakeholders to participate and get involved as they see fit.

The governments that were present at that first meeting that actually passed this resolution that went back to the league of Arab states were the following: The UAE, Bahrain, Algeria, Egypt, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Oman, Qatar and Saudi Arabia. They were quite well represented. Other stakeholders that were there. I have listed some of them here, there were more, universities and the like, of course the RIPE NCC was among them. Microsoft was there. A mean a which is basically the south Asia, Middle East and north Africa telecommunications Council. It's basically the equivalent of ETNO we have here in Europe. That is their sister organisation in that part of the world. They are very active in governance issues there. They are quite strong lobby group for the Telcos inside the regions that are specified there. There were some universities, of course there was academia involved. It was really quite nice.

So, input into the global process. Why is this important for the technical community? Area we here? Why would we want to be here? I think that we have identified that regional public and private cooperation is important and I think from the regional side it's important to eject into the whole global process. RIRs have always expressed the importance of this regional input. We are active in all the different regions there, moving things to the global front. The RIRs have always supported remote participation and using the technology to actually be involved here. Not everybody can go to an IGF meeting. Not he have been it go to a regional IGF meeting but actually using some of the technology that we have in the Internet I think we can have a lot of support remotely and people participating there. I know that we are very active and we have been asked to help with the remote participation that will take place at this ash IGF, so you know we will certainly be working with them to do that. We have provided that as RIRs before in the global IGF so it's something that we think is important regionally as well.

The RIPE NCC is working with the secretariat. We have actually offered our help to draft the outcomes and the suggestions that will come from this Arab IGF and move them to the global IGF process. So that's actually quite nice.

And in the end, area we really doing this? For influence. I don't think we need to hide that. I think the technical community has to find its place in Internet governance. I think it has found its place in the Internet governance and I think that the influence that we have through our presence and through our contributions is very positive. And I can see that actually, if I look now through my e?mail box I am contacted by so many intergovernmental organisations and governments that are always either looking for some expertise from the RIPE community or from the RIR community, the general global RIR community or even from the RIPE NCC. It's great. They are list engine to us. I think when we give them good consultation and good input we have influence and that's important.

So some useful links just on this whole Arab IGF process. I have list add few things down here. With one for the Arab IGF pages. The Middle East network operators group, which is also providing some its expertise inside of this Arab IGF. A lot of folks from the local community, a lot of members from the RIPE NCC that will be getting involved here. Also for the pages and the league of Arab states.

Something that I want to talk about because okay it's great that we are involved in this Arab IGF but we have been doing a lot of other things in the region too. I have spent quite sometime visiting, as I mentioned, some of the different telecommunications regulatory authorities and Ministries and our customers that are out in the region and from that, actually something quite nice unfolded. We are actually going to have having an orientation at the RIPE NCC in July from the 2nd to the 4th that will have two TRAs from every single middle eastern country, including Egypt, so it's middle eastern countries plus Egypt come for a three day orientation on the RIR system and other areas of Internet operation at the RIPE NCC offices. This is great for us. Because we don't traditionally have ?? we have really good relations, solid relations with a lot of European governments and intergovernmental bodies but we don't have them from the Middle East area and they were quite excited about this. This proposal was sent to the Gulf cooperation Council, Council of Ministers, and we would never have got there alone. I know I have been trying to get into had a body for quite sometime and it's quite a closed group. I think if you want to get in there, you need to kind of team up with with somebody from a Government that's going to make a proposal. So that's exactly what we did. We teemed up with the UAE TRA, we made a proposal to have this orientation of these TRAs in Amsterdam. This went to the Gulf Cooperation Council and the Council of Ministers met in Riyadh on the 7th February this year, and we approved this orientation of the TRAs coming to the Netherlands. That's fantastic. Actually the nice thing is that I had a real smile on my face when the UAE TRA said to me during the meeting the Council of Ministers said this was one of the most useful things they had seen on their agenda that they had to approve and that they were hoping that this was not going to be a one?off. And I think that's a really positive statement coming from the GCC. So this meeting like I said is on the 2 to 4 July. We are busy inside RIPE getting this together and we hope to welcome these TRAs from the Middle East area. Again I think it's important for to us establish these relations. Open the doors for consultation for RIPE and the RIPE NCC, for these TRAs. They are looking at us for these consultations to help them make decisions in their public policy. Every time I meet with these, with any kind of Government bodies I have to stress to them we are not interested in making public policy. That is not the RIPE NCC or the RIPE's interest at all. But what we can do is we can provide our expertise to make sure that governments and regulatory bodies make better public policy that doesn't impact business in our operations in a negative way and that's good cooperation between the public and private sector.

So I think, I hope that we can open the door here and pull some of the Arab countries in and have some positive relations.

On another subject all together. Away from the Middle East. We had a round table meeting for the first time in Brussels this year, in February. We had more than 50 attendees come. It was a great full room. There are a few people that are in this room that were at that round table meeting. It's quite nice to see, I can see Erika here, Constanze, I can see Urban, we see you not only here at RIPE meetings which is fantastic. We also see you at the RIPE NCC Government round table meetings. So it's nice to see them both coming to the meetings that are really shaped for the governments and then coming here also and talking to the community and being part, you know, ready for the community. And that's great.

Some of the topics that we discussed at the last RIPE NCC round table meeting are probably pretty he much in keeping with what we are seeing on the global scene in governance. We had the ITU WCIT, which is probably not surprising. We talked about the ITRs together with the governments. Great meeting. Before we had this meeting, we did not have relations in CEPT. We do now. We were invited. Chris went, it's crate, we know what's happening in that process. That's a positive outcome out of that meeting.

Half?way through the round table meeting all of a sudden we had a lunch of law enforcement people walk in the door because they had a meeting in Brussels as well and they thought it would be great to POP in and see what was going on at our meeting in Brussels. We talked about cross boarder law enforcement in the RIPE NCC. We certainly talked about the current court case that we have going on. This was something that of course the law enforcement community was interested to see. They were very much in support of that. They knew that we were doing this within positive spirit. So we had actually great dialogue with them and that's good to see.

And then of course we talked about IPv6 deployment, RPKI and some of the tools and services that the RIPE NCC that we thought would be interesting for Government.

So that kind of brings me to the end of the presentation. And, do you have any questions?

CHAIR: All right. Thank you, Paul.


Well that brings us to the open discussion /any other business section of the agenda. And I know there is a couple of points we want to raise. Erika, perhaps you want to go first?

SPEAKER: Hello everyone, Erika from the Swedish posts and telecommunications agencies. I would just like to make an announcement: In the loveliest period in Sweden on the 14th and 15th June, PTS will be hosting the EuroDIG, European dialogue on Internet governance and I would like to take the opportunity to invite you to the EuroDIG.

Is everyone familiar with the EuroDIG? Of course. And confirmed speakers, Her Majesty, the Swedish Queen, vice?president of the European Commission Mrs. Nelly Kroes, the Swedish Minister of foreign affairs and the Swedish Minister for information technology and energy. And topics hall be discussed are consumer rights, children's rights on the Internet, net neutrality, human rights on the Internet, etc.. so please have a look on the EuroDIG website. The registration is open, and also have a look at the programme on EuroDIG's website. That was what I wanted to tell you.

CHAIR: Okay. Thank you. Just adding to that list of topics covered, there is also going to be I think it's called a Flash session on IPv6 which we are involved in helping organise as well as working on one of the final session I think, which is about some of the Internet governance principles that have been developed over the last couple of years in a variety of forums, so this is trying to, I guess, condense or summarise some of the activity been going on there. So ?? and then, did you want to say something about the IGF?

AUDIENCE SPEAKER: Hello, from NetNod. I don't have that much to say, I thought it might be good to point out some dates for people. For who's who are not aware, the IGF, for this year, will take place in book a, as err buy January Fr. The 6th to the 9th November, and I think the host website is up so for those of you planning your trips there, you can booking hotels and stuff.

A deadline for the workshop proposals was extended till the 20th April, so that's tomorrow, so if you get any brilliant ideas tonight during dinner, why don't you send in a proposal.

But it's good to know also, I mean it's a process to ?? even if you don't have a fully worked out proposal, it might be good to get it in there and then speak to a few people to sort of finalise it.

And then, as, you know, these IGFs are planned through these open consultations and through these meetings and the next one will take place in Geneva, the 15th to 17th May, and there is remote participation as well. So you can participate in that.

I won't ?? I'll stop there. Thanks.

CHAIR: Thanks, Nurani. She mentioned MAG, which is the multi?stakeholder advisory group which helps, which develops the programme for each of these IGF events and it's recently, very recently just been reshuffled or had some new blood brought into it and so both Paul Rendek and Paul Wilson of APNIC are now members of that and will be contributing there along with roulettey from LACNIC. And just also in relation to the IGF, the NRO has submitted a couple of workshop proposals, so there will be, hopefully, assuming this is approved, workshops on addressing, IP addressing and governance issues surrounding that so that sort of continues from what we have done in the past on IPv6, we want to continue a bit of that but obviously acknowledge that there is also going to be discussion of things like IPv4 markets and transfers and how that develops. And then another workshop which is going to look at RPKI and some of the issues associated with Internet resource certification there. So we may be calling on some of you, if you are going to be in attendance, to speak as part of those. So, if you have an interest in that, please get in contact with me or Paul.

So, is there anyone else who has anything that they'd like to add? If not, I think we can probably close the session. Hopefully next time around we'll have ?? oh, Sebastian.

AUDIENCE SPEAKER: It's Sebastian, member of the ICANN board and what I think if you talk about all these organisations, maybe it's interesting to just to say that the next meeting of ICANN will be in Prague in June and that you are, of course, all welcome to come to this meeting. The date: 24?29 June. Thank you.

CHAIR: Thank you very much. As I say hopefully next time we will have our regular chairs back in the saddle, so thank you all for coming, thank you for participating and we'll close the session.