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ICANN Meetings in Lisbon Portugal

Transcript - Welcome Ceremony

26 March 2007

Note: Although transcript output is largely accurate, in some cases it is incomplete or inaccurate due to inaudible passages or transcription errors. It is posted as an aid to understanding the proceedings at the session, but should not be treated as an authoritative record.

[ Applause ]

>> PEDRO VEIGA: Good morning, Minister of Science, Technology, and Higher Education, Professor Mariano Gago, Secretary of State Jose Magalhues, Chairman of ICANN, Dr. Vint Cerf, CEO of ICANN, Dr. Paul Twomey. Representatives of the sponsors of this event, especially I would like to highlight the representative of the mayor of Lisbon that has given us some local support, but also the other companies that are listed in all the documentation and that were very important to support FCCN in this event.

Directors of ICANN, and, especially, the Internet community, represented in this event by around 900 registered participants from more than 80 countries.

Good day. I suppose you remember that from Rio. That means "good morning" and "welcome to Lisbon." So you can understand already the Portuguese language.

On behalf of FCCN, I want to welcome you to Portugal and Lisbon.

FCCN is a private, nonprofit organization responsible for the planning and making of the Portuguese research and education network.

We are also responsible for the operation of the top-level domain for Portugal, dot PT. We are doing this since 1991. And now we have around 140,000 domains.

Until 1996, the registration and maintenance of a domain was free. We have a limited number of domains by that time.

We then started charging for domain names, and this is still happening today.

As FCCN is a nonprofit organization, we just charge to cover our running costs.

In the year 2000, we have introduced the model registry/registrar, following the practices used in other TLDs, and now we have slightly more than 100 registrars.

In 2001, we have updated the rules concerning the registration of domains and the dot PT hierarchy, and we created dot com dot PT where registration is completely free. And we started using the mechanism of resolution of conflicts using the same principles behind UDRP.

We have introduced IDNs three years ago, a little more than three years ago. So domain names using non-seven-bit ASCII characters can be done in the Portuguese language. We have 12 characters, basically vowels with accents and the "C" with a cedilla. That is under operation for quite a long time.

We are also trying to promote IPv6. We started associating IPv6 addresses to domain name registrations four years ago. In Lisbon, we have a replica of the F root server in the context of cooperation with IFC.

In relation to our research and education network, we have a rather advanced network. This network is partially based in optical cables that my organization owns.

We connect main universities. We have a backbone running at 10 gigabits per second, and we hope within one year to upgrade to 40 gigabits per second. And we have international connectivity of 2.5 gigabits at present, and we expect to upgrade in the near future, basically because we are connecting to Spain with optical cables. And this is in cooperation with our counterpart in Spain.

With this advanced network, we try to give to the participants of this conference the best working conditions. We have one of the (inaudible) linked to our network. This is true for these rooms, the ground floor, not in rooms. I had some complaints about the networking in rooms. This is not the responsibility of our network. So if you want to have fast access, please be here or in the lobby, in the bar, and so on. Not in your room.

But our network, in addition to connecting the higher education system, has been connecting all Portuguese schools since 1997. We have been one of the first countries in Europe, and maybe in the world, to connect all schools to the Internet by that time using ISDN technology. And now we have broadband connections to all schools. And they are connected via our academic network.

Our network since 2002 is a dual-stack network capable of running IPv4 and IPv6. IPv6 traffic is still rather small, but the network is completely ready when the user base grows, we have IPv6.

FCCN has decided to propose to ICANN to organize this meeting here in Lisbon. We knew that in spring 2007, Europe was the region where the event should take place, and we have made a proposal to ICANN. We are very glad that you are all here.

We understood this participation in the first place as a way to give a contribution to the global Internet connectivity with our resources. ICANN has been doing significant effort and has made great achievements in its outreach initiatives. And this is a way of our collaboration. And, indeed, in this meeting, for the first time in ICANN meetings, we have the participation of three Portuguese-speaking countries in Africa. That's Angola, Cape Verde, and Guinea-Bissau. And this is for us a very good possibility to strengthen the cooperation that we already have with those countries. For example, we run in Portugal, with agreements with those countries, the primary name servers for dot CV, Cape Verde and for Angola, dot AO.

In second place, the possibility of having this event in Portugal brings to our country a lot of experts in Internet technologies. And we hope this is also a contribution to increase the awareness of the Portuguese society to the relevance of the Internet.

This last objective is aligned with importance that Internet technologies have in the core activities of FCCN, but also the public policies of the Portuguese government related to the development of our society towards an information society and also bridging the digital divide.

I hope that during these days you will find some free time to get a flavor of the Portuguese architecture, culture, and cuisine. I know some of you already have done that, the last part especially.

I know this is very difficult during ICANN meetings, because everybody's always so busy. We have meetings during the day, sometimes in the evening. But I hope you get -- you can get a small slot of time to visit the city.

Because the unique location of Lisbon, with the beautiful estuary of the Tagus River flowing into the ocean makes a visit to Lisbon an unforgettable experience. But if you don't have time during the meetings, plan a visit in the near future. I also want to emphasize that during this meeting, we have participants of Portuguese-speaking countries in Africa. Of course, another country with Portuguese-speaking people has a long tradition of cooperating with ICANN. Indeed, in Brazil, we had already two ICANN meetings.

So this is all. I want to thank you all for coming to this event and wish you a fruitful and successful work.

Finally, I would like to re-emphasize our gratitude to the sponsors of this event, and I would also like to thank the staff of FCCN. They worked hard, and they will go on working hard, until Friday afternoon so that you have the best conditions for your work. And, once again, thank you for coming.

And now I will ask Vint Cerf to address you. Good morning.

[ Applause ]

>>VINT CERF: Good morning, everyone. This is a special treat for me, frankly, to return to Lisbon for something like the third or the fourth time.

I must tell you that our Portuguese friends are very subtle. The -- Pedro mentioned that the quality of the Internet in the rooms differs from the quality in the open public areas. This was a subtle attempt to bring people together, because if you want good networking, then you can't avoid actually being in areas where you would meet each other as well. So I think that's a very clever tactic.

It gets you out of your room. And, of course, he hopes eventually to get you out of the building and into the rest of the city.

Having spent some time here, let me urge you, if you can, to find time to visit Sintra, not far from here, and also, if you can make it into the south to the Algarve, I would recommend that as well.

This is a small country with a big heart. It produces one-sixth of the world's wine. And, of course, if you haven't already sampled the product from Oporto, I would recommend that as well.

We are going to have a very busy week. I'm sure many of you have already noticed that.

Just to give you a sense for the wide range of issues that we will be faced with, you all know we will come to some decision on the question of the dot XXX top-level domain. We will be looking at the root server attacks and to understand more deeply whether and how we can defend against them. We will be talking about transparency and the whole process of accountability of ICANN. We'll be signing additional agreements with various international organizations, from Africa, the Pacific Islands, and the United Nations. We have already signed -- and this is news -- an agreement with Libya.

We will be working on the President's Strategy Committee report.

We'll be talking about the WHOIS issue again. I hope we can make some progress on coming to conclusions there.

We will certainly be concerned with the side effects and lessons learned from the RegisterFly "debacle" is the best way to describe it, a meltdown of one of the registrars, from which we may learn some very important lessons and to take some actions that will improve matters for registrants in the future.

We will be hearing more about internationalized domain names and testing of them in laboratory environments. We'll be talking about ccTLDs, some of which should be or could be sunsetted, like dot SU.

We'll be hearing about some very important advances in security of the domain name system, particularly led by Sweden and Bulgaria.

We will be discussing questions about delegations or redelegations of ccTLDs. And a number of other things as well.

So all of you have very, very big lists of meetings to go to. And as chairman of ICANN, I look forward to taking advantage of all that you produce during the week so that we can take actions that are useful for everyone, not only this week but in the future as well.

I'd like to invite Paul Twomey, the CEO of ICANN, to make some brief opening remarks, after which I will introduce Mininster Gago, who is going to address us as the final part of our opening session this morning.

So Paul, let me invite you to take the stand here.

[ Applause ]

>>PAUL TWOMEY: Thank you, Vint.

Mininster Gago, and my good friend Pedro, I think this is the tenth year we have come to ICANN meetings together, Pedro. Ladies and gentlemen, and for all the people who are looking at this event either through chat rooms or through video and audio streaming, welcome to ICANN's meeting here in Lisbon.

Minister, I have to say how pleased I am to be ending a journey. My first experience and engagement of the journey of Portuguese culture started with (saying name), which is closer to my home town, a small detour in India, quite some time in Brazil, but now I'm at the heartland, so now here we are in Portugal.

I would like to particularly thank the sponsors for this meeting. I'd like to particularly thank all the amazing he effort of FCCN, not only the work they do in representing Portugal internationally but actually in the operations of the country code and in putting together what's been a fantastic meeting. Already.

I mean, the last couple of days has just been -- you could sense that things are going to get done very well and very professionally, and my staff are all much calmer than they can be, so that's been very positive, and we appreciate that very much.

I would also like to voice our thanks to the city of Lisbon and to other sponsors for their assistance.

As I pointed out, Portugal has been, through FCCN, a part of the founding of ICANN. It has been a founding member of the Governmental Advisory Committee in 1998, and has been a consistent participant and friend of the ICANN process and we thank them for that.

Minister, as we were discussing this morning before we came down here, what you see here before you are representatives of the sort of international organizational arrangements which are likely to continue to emerge in the 21st century, to coordinate technical, economic, and social activities in a globalizing world, bound together by the Internet and other networks.

And ICANN is an expression of the way in which multiple parties, multistakeholders can come together to help coordinate a function and set of issues that are truly global in their nature.

There are representatives here of the technical community, from the Internet engineering task force, from people who are involved in running registries such as the Regional Internet Registries, the country code registries, the top-level domain registries.

There are people here from business, both on the supply side, people, ISPs and the registries themselves, the registrars who help serve the registrants worldwide.

But also on the demand side. I see my friend Ayesha from the ICC in two-thirds of the room, the International Chamber of Commerce and others who represent the business zone, small as well as large.

You have people here from civil society, wide range of civil society representation. Importantly, during this meeting, we have three regional what we call at-large organizations who are coming to finalization in their discussions, which is an expression regional participation of the civil society grouping. Our experience has been how to have a mixture, if you like, of open participation, but also almost representational democracy. How do you ensure that you have representational groupings of people, both at say country code levels, at civil society levels, who can come together so that voices come from all regions of the world, not just from the powerful, the strong or the rich.

And importantly, we have governments. There are some 120 governments who are members of the Governmental Advisory Committee. There's some 40-plus meeting here today, or this week.

We have a special event, we say farewell to the longstanding chair of the Governmental Advisory Committee from -- Sharil Tarmizi from Malaysia, and we have a new European chair for the GAC, Ambassador Janis Karklins.

It's important to finish, Minister, as many people realize Portugal is at the center stage of European politics this year. The nation assumes the presidency of the European Union in the second half of the year, and of course the President Barroso from Portugal is the president of the European Commission. The EU is celebrating its 50th anniversary, so it's a series of celebrations here for Portugal. And we look forward to being in further engagement with you, as you assume your roles with the presidency, partly to help, I think, to further explore and defend and promote the sort of new models that I know you, as a physicist, have got a sort of understanding of these sort of new ways of thinking of the world. These new models which are very important for a stable coordination of a truly global function.

So welcome, and we look forward to your words.

[ Applause ]

>>VINT CERF: Thank you very much, Paul. It's my honor to introduce Minister Jose Mariano Gago, who is now the Portuguese Minister for science and technology and higher education.

He served in this role earlier, from 1995 to 2002, and added the higher education responsibility in 2005.

So it's under his watch that the Portuguese information society initiatives unfold.

He is trained as a high energy physicist. He continues to serve as a professor of physics at the Instituto Superior Tecnico in Lisboa here, and has worked for many years at Cern, which is where we crossed paths, in fact, in 1993. He kindly invited me to Lisbon at that time to speak, and unfortunately, I wasn't able to do. So it's a pleasure 14 years later to have this opportunity and of course to greet him in this rather substantial role which he has undertaken.

In 2004, he chaired the initiative for science in Europe, which joined together some of the largest scientific organizations and laboratories and institutions in Europe. He chaired the International Risk Governance Council, which is based in Geneva. And I think if we're speaking about Internet and its future, risks for all participants and the mitigation of them is a very important part of our agenda.

So I would like to invite Mininster Gago now to address you. I urge you to pay close attention to what he has to say.

It's wonderful to see someone in a technical discipline serving in this important political role.

I must tell you that his experience at Cern has equipped him to detect any kind of false information. He has Bogon detectors operating at high speed. So when you encounter him and have any discussions, be aware of that.

Mininster Gago, it's a pleasure to welcome you here.

[ Applause ]

>>MINISTER GAGO: Well, thank you. Good morning, president of ICANN, Mr. CEO of ICANN, directors, delegates, president of FCCN, ladies and gentlemen.

We are certainly proud of you. The idealistic fathers of the Internet, researchers and engineers, students, social activists, deserve all our praise.

They have stimulated and helped to create the tools for the extraordinary global movement of social, culture, and economic networking the Internet would allow for.

The Internet has changed our views about democracy and has allowed for a renewed impetus for freedom.

Not only communication, but information itself, as well as the organization of knowledge innovation, science, education, lifelong learning, social networking. We are already and are still being deeply transformed.

ICANN is itself an innovative concept, both public and private, an extremely successful, multistakeholder organization, that has been able to steer adequately the tremendous growth in the technical and organizational challenges of the Internet.

This is a model that tends to emerge in many other global domains.

The ICANN concept has also proved how deeply rooted in and dependent of the choice of the technical paradigm of the Internet and of its governance model, its societal values of freedom and inclusion.

We welcome the contribution of ICANN to the emergence of renewed international debate on the contribution of Internet to human and social development. Namely, at the world forum for the information society, and at the Internet governance forum.

Portugal is fully committed to these goals and values. Portugal is a free, modern, open and innovative society, one of the fastest growing countries in Europe in science, technology, and digital inclusion in the last decade.

The Portuguese government supports this development as a matter of urgency and national priority.

The host of organization of this meeting, FCCN, has led a very active role in this process; namely, in pioneering in Europe the connectivity of all schools, local libraries and of public and free access points to the dense academic and research network, thus transformed into a national science, technology, and society network, that's its name, and in providing security and innovation.

Mr. President, we all know your personal role in the development of the Internet and in the shaping of its present governance model and in the success of ICANN.

You deserve all our gratitude and applause. We look forward to ICANN's debates and conclusions, and we wish you all a fruitful meeting, and if you can, please stay in Lisbon.

Thank you.


>>VINT CERF: It's very clear that Mininster Gago knows all about the three Bs of public speaking. They are be brief, be funny, and be seated.

[ Laughter ]

>>VINT CERF: I'm very impressed. Most people, given the opportunity to address an august crowd of this magnitude and significance would spend much more time.

So as it happens, we can take a coffee break!

And in fact, we won't reconvene until 10:30.

There is a press conference at which Mininster Gago and several others are asked to attend. But the rest of you can now enjoy a few moments of freedom and a chance to chat.

We'll reconvene here in this room at 10:30.

Thank you all so much for attending

[ Applause ]

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