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WCIT-12 Opening: Fadi Chehadé

Fadi Chehadé, President & CEO of ICANN

Opening of World Conference on International Telecommunications (WCIT-12)

Dubai, United Arab Emirates, 3 December 2012

Mr. Chairman,
Mr.  Mohamed Al-Ghanim,
Dr. Hamadoun Touré, Secretary-General of the ITU,
Excellencies, Ministers, and Heads of Delegations,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
I am deeply honored to address your distinguished conference today responding to a most gracious initiative from Mr. Mohamed Al-Ghanim the Chairman of the Conference, and the ITU Secretary-General Dr. Hamadoun Touré.
I sincerely thank both of them on behalf of myself and Dr. Steve Crocker, Chairman of the Board of ICANN, who is here with us today, for their invitation to this historic opening ceremony.
I am here because I believe in the power of engagement – engagement starts with listening. It’s a New Season of engagement at ICANN, and for cooperation between ICANN and the ITU, which started recently at a meeting with Dr. Touré at the IGF.
I recognize the ITU’s deep impact on the development of the telecommunications industry and the broadband infrastructure, of  which we all benefit every day especially in the developing world, the world I come from. The ITU and ICANN have complementary roles, and moving forward, we shall cooperate in good spirit, while clearly respecting our distinct roles.
I therefore join my fellow Internet organizations, ISOC, IETF, and the Regional Internet Registries in our continued deep commitment to service the world’s needs for Internet Governance. Allow me to address you in my mother tongue*: 
سعدت بالأمس بلقاء الأخوة رؤساء الفود العربية في المؤتمر وكان لقاءً مثمراً للغاية واتفقنا على بدء صفحة جديدة من التعاون بيننا وأشكركم جميعاً على هذه الروح الطيبة في استقبالي
وأنتهز هذه الفرصة لأسجل اعتزازي وسعادتي بانعقاد هذا المؤتمر في دولة عربية رائدة هي دولة الإمارات العربية المتحدة التي حققت خطوات كبيرة نفتخر بها جميعاً
 في مجال تكنولوجيا الاتصالات والمعلومات عامة واقتصاد الإنترنت خاصة

I want to finish by saying the following: When I started at ICANN I said we could build organizations either as fortresses or as oases. I invite you to make our organization an open oasis. Oases are open and vital; let’s remove the walls; open the windows; build organizations that are welcoming and transparent.
I wish you the best with your conference.

​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​* When we initiated cooperation with colleagues and brothers in the Arab world, I was delighted to meet the leaders of the Arab delegations here.  It was a very fruitful meeting.  And we committed ourselves to a period of cooperation and coordination on my own name and on behalf of ICANN.  I would like to thank you all for that cooperative spirit, which is extremely positive. And I should, too, like to take this opportunity to express my satisfaction and pride to see such an important conference being held in an Arab country, this brother country, the UAE.  It is certainly a matter for great pride for all of those of us working in ICTs.  
Note: This text in English is extracted from the WCIT-12 captioning service​. Captioning is provided in order to facilitate communication accessibility and may not be a totally verbatim record of the proceedings.  ​