In preparation for the Fifth Arab Internet Governance Forum (Arab IGF), the Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (ESCWA), in partnership with the League of Arab States (LAS), held two preparatory meeting at the UN House in Beirut from 16 to 19 July, namely the "Open Consultations and Arab Multi-stakeholder Advisory Group Meeting."
Around 30 remote participants took part in the open consultations by WebEx, including many stakeholders of the Internet governance community in the Arab region.
The Arab Multi-Stakeholder Advisory Group (AMAG) Meeting (then involved the participation of around 35 experts who focused on the outcome of the open consultations. The experts were either members of the 2015 AMAG or the working groups that contributed to the review of the Arab IGF process.
The preparatory meetings also included a joint coordination meeting for the Forum's Executive Bureau for Joint Coordination (EBJC), with the participation of around 12 experts, including representatives of ESCWA and the LAS, as well as the heads of AMAG, Technical Secretariat, Roadmap and Technical Cooperation Working Groups.
The meetings supported the preparation of the Fifth Arab IGF, and marked the start of a new phase of the process following a two-year review that featured the implementation of the ESCWA-LAS AIGF2020 initiative, and produced a Charter for the Forum and a new Arab Roadmap for Internet Governance.
The meetings resulted with the proposal of five themes for the programme of Forum: (i) meaningful access for inclusion and diversity, (ii) cyber security, privacy, trust and peace, (iii) digital transformation and Internet economy, (iv) institutional empowerment and engagement in Internet public policy-making at global and regional levels, and (v) social and human impact.
In addition, working groups were formed for the programme themes to enable collaborative efforts on the plenary sessions and other preparatory activities. Experts proposed slogans that could be considered for the Forum. Cross-cutting topics such as gender equality and women empowerment, human development and capacity-building and legislative frameworks were also discussed.
For further information on the Arab IGF and its preparatory meetings, please check the event page (in English and Arabic) and the ArabDIG page.
For feeds on Arab IGF activities, explore #ArabIGF on social media: facebook.com/ArabIGF and twitter.com/IGFArab.