Egypt’s communications minister announced the introduction of the first Arabic domain, in a step easing Internet access to millions of Arabic speakers around the world.
The voice of developing world must be heard, From midnight, registration was to begin for the .misr country code top-level domain, Tarek Kamel told the fourth meeting of the Internet Governance Forum (IGF) in Egypt’s Red Sea resort of Sharm el-Sheikh.
The announcement follows a decision by the US-based Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) to end the exclusive use of Latin characters for website addresses, allowing Internet users to write an entire website address in Chinese, Arabic, Russian and several other scripts.
At present, all domain names — the part of the website address after the dot, as in .com and .org — end in letters from the Latin alphabet.
“The voice of developing world must be heard,” Sha Zukang, the UN undersecretary-general for economic and social affairs, told the Sharm el-Sheikh conference.
“Good and democratic Internet governance is a means of achieving development for all,” he said.
The IGF groups more than 1,500 representatives of government, non-governmental organisations, advocacy groups and the private sector to discuss the future of the Internet.
Under the banner “Creating Opportunities for All”, this year’s forum is to discuss increasing accessibility, development of local content, encouraging cultural and language diversity, the promotion of safe use of the Internet, means of combating cybercrime, and management of critical Internet resources