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TALAL ABU-GHAZALEH

 

Statement by Talal Abu-Ghazaleh
Final Plenary Session
World Summit on Information Society
Geneva, December 12, 2003

1. I speak as a developing world private sector firm: the Talal Abu-Ghazaleh Organization.

2. Yet, I also proudly serve as Chair of E-Business Information Technology &Telecom Commission ( EBITT) at the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC), Paris -with Maria Cattaui- and as Vice-Chair of the UN Information and Communications Technology Task Force (UN ICT TF) -with President Jose-Maria Figueres and Sarbuland Khan.

3. The follow up process to Tunis needs to define the implementation mechanism, the resources required and an accountability system for the execution of the Geneva Action Plan.

4. We are indebted to the US for giving the world the Internet.
· The UN ICT TF provides the appropriate multi-stakeholders forum to host the Internet debate as called for by the Prepcom resolution on Internet.
· ICANN performed well under its mandate. What is not in its mandate is yet to be addressed.
· The real world cross-boarder economic, social, cultural, and security problems need real world solutions and cannot continue to be a no-man land (cyberspace) concern.
· We need to expedite the process of Internationalized and multilingualization of Domain Names to make the Internet a truly global media.
· ICC Secretary General announced the establishment of "ICC Working Group on Internet" which I will diligently lead, as a global business forum on the subject.

5. This successful predominately "Developing World Summit" in Geneva will hopefully take us to another "Developed/Developing World Summit in Tunis".

6. On the acute chain of the many global divides, allow me to tell you the story of the race between the developed (lions) and the developing (gazelles).

· Lions need to run only faster than the slowest gazelle to catch one to survive.
· Gazelles need to run faster than the fastest lion to escape and survive!
· A tough race for the gazelles!
· Should the divide continue to grow, the gazelles will be extinct.
· Lions will have only each other to survive on.

An Ugly world, God forbid.

7. In closing, I quote a wise man, JMFO, who said: men are measured by the value of things they own. When they die he who has most wins.

 

 

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