ICANN’s Senior Vice President for Government and IGO engagement, Tarek Kamel, highlighted the importance of local content to driving Internet connectivity during an interview on the sidelines of the World Summit for the Information Society (WSIS) Forum this week in Geneva, Switzerland.
Mr. Kamel congratulated ITU Secretary-General Houlin Zhao and the ITU team for the success of the WSIS Forum and the attendance of broad array of high-level delegates representing government, business, civil society and academia.
“It’s very useful for us to listen to those stakeholders and really to explain about the mission of ICANN and the technical role that ICANN really plays, and have the right exchanges within our engagement opportunities,” said Kamel. “Very specifically, this time we are coming with a message related to partnership and capacity building with a focus on developing countries and underserved regions — and we had a couple of panels that have been quite successful and vibrant.”
“Within our limited technical mission that ICANN has, we are contributing very actively with the promotion of the internationalized domain name, or IDN — domain names in Arabic, domain names in cyrillic, domain names in Chinese — and this is important to foster local content, because, as we know, the Internet is global, but from a user’s perspective, it is very local … because the user at the end wants to know about services or online services in his or her own language that would benefit him — municipality services or e-government services or educational services, or whatever,” said Kamel.
“The Internet is global, but from a user’s perspective, it is very local.” — Tarek Kamel, ICANN
“This can primarily happen in local content, and if we look to the next billion users of the Internet, they are primarily coming from developing countries,” he said. “So this positions local content on a higher priority, and I think that the internationalized domain name that ICANN really promotes can really help and contribute to the development of that and, hence, in the success of the Sustainable Development Goals.”
For the full interview, view the video below.