Nº 2 2014 > ITU’s Connect the World initiative
Connect Arab Summit
As the third regional event in the series, ITU held the Connect Arab Summit on 5–7 March 2012 in Doha, Qatar. The summit was organized in close partnership with the League of Arab States and the Qatari administration.
All stakeholders, including governments, the private sector, civil society and regional and international organizations, committed to working together to achieve the summit goals in the following areas by 2015: access and infrastructure, digital content, cybersecurity and innovation.
On the occasion of the summit, a number of projects valued at some USD 46.6 billion were proposed by stakeholders, including projects for the least developed countries in the Arab region.
As a follow-up to the Connect Arab Summit, and as part of an initiative to promote digital content, ITU has worked with the League of Arab States to establish the “.ARAB” domain name, both in the Latin and Arabic strings, injecting a cash contribution of USD 380 000 for the submission of the application for this domain name.
ITU and its cybersecurity partner, the International Multilateral Partnership Against Cyber Threats (IMPACT) joined hands with the Omani government (represented by the Information Technology Authority — ITA) to establish a Regional Cybersecurity Innovation Centre through a project worth more than USD 2 million. Launched in March 2013, the centre is acting as ITU’s cybersecurity hub in the region, localizing and coordinating cybersecurity initiatives and providing assistance to the Arab countries.
A regional Working Group on Legal Framework for Child Online Protection in the Arab region was established in January 2013 as a follow-up to the decisions and recommendations on cybersecurity made during the Connect Arab Summit.
Also, as decided at the Connect Arab Summit and endorsed by the Arab Council of Ministers, ITU and the League of Arab States are tasked with holding meetings to follow up on the summit goals. The first follow-up meeting was held in November 2013 in Hammamet, Tunisia.