SPEECH FOR CHINA INTERNET FORUM
Բարև Ձեզ, Kia orana, Namaste, Ni hao.
My name is Siranush Vardanyan from Armenia, Chair of the Asia, Australasia and Pacific Islands Regional At-Large Organisation known as APRALO, of the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers, or ICANN.
Together with me today are some of APRALO’s leadership team members Satish Babu from India, Maureen Hilyard from Cook Islands and Kaili Kan from China, as well as Song Zheng, director of ICANN’s Beijing Office. We deeply appreciate our invitation to this conference of the Internet Society of China.
First of all, on behalf of APRALO and ICANN’s At-Large Advisory Committee, or ALAC, I want to again express our warmest welcome to Internet Society of China for joining ALAC and becoming an ICANN accredited At-Large Structure in our Region.
What is APRALO and how do we fit into the ICANN system? ICANN is divided into five regions to which the At-Large Structures which make up the Regional At-Large Organisations of the world, have been assigned.
APRALO as a region is made up of 44 At Large Structures, or ALSes, covers 70 countries stretching across the largest area on Earth, and is home to more than half of the entire mankind. APRALO already has the role of acting in the best interests of the largest number of Internet end-users in the world and yet still has the greatest potential for growth in the future.
The APRALO motto is "Celebrating Diversity", highlighting the diversity of ethnicity, culture, language, occupations, experience and interests in our region.
Our leadership team represents this diversity, and other members who could not come to Beijing at this time include Holly Raiche from Australia, Ali Almeshal from Bahrain, Amir Qayyum from Pakistan and Pavan Budhrani from Hong Kong.
We all know ICANN's role in the Internet’s addresses and names, and within that entity, the At-Large Advisory Committee, ALAC, represents the interests of consumers, individual Domain Name Registrants and Internet end-users. APRALO covering so many countries and so many people makes it to bring the most multi-faceted, multi-cultural, multi-stakeholder perspectives to enhance the discussions and conversations that we have at ALAC and ICANN.
Across such a vast region, what brings us together? Simply put, it is the importance of the Internet. Over the last few decades, the Internet has been spreading to every country on Earth, thousands of cities, millions of villages, and to billions of people. Internet now provides the broadest coverage and unprecedented connection for all mankind, as it facilitates communications.
Playing an enormous role in our everyday life, we use the Internet not only to search information and to communicate with friends and family, but also use the Internet to buy things, to watch news, shows and movies, to make reservations at hotels and buy tickets, and even to order a meal to be delivered to the doorstep. About every single industry now also depends on the Internet to do business, and many governments utilise on the Internet in their daily operations. We are at a stage where our economic development, lifestyle and social interactions are dependent on the Internet.
The Internet is of course still growing, and growing fast. Together with Internet related technologies, including cloud-computing, artificial intelligence and Internet of Things, just to name a few, there are many, many things the Internet will do for us tomorrow that we cannot even imagine today.
What makes Internet so powerful? Because the Internet is open and connected network of networks. Here, I would like to quote China’s President, who described the Internet a few months ago as being “open, democratic and global”.
In this regard, I want to recognise the enormous progress that China has made in its widespread usage and application of the internet, and its growth towards integration into the global internet community. Now you not only have the most Internet end-users, but also a number of the largest Internet companies globally. We applaud for all these accomplishments at APRALO as well as around the world.
APRALO is delighted to have the Internet Society of China join us in our vital role within ICANN, and look forward to your contribution and participation, alongside our other ALS members of APRALO, in helping ICANN to fulfil its broader vision of "One World - One Internet".
To conclude, we again welcome the Internet Society of China into the APRALO family, and we look forward to a very cooperative and mutually productive relationship with you all in the future.