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Fadi Chehadé Opening Speech (Part 1) | ICANN 46 | Beijing | 8 Apr 2013

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Minister Bing, thank you very much for your words. Minister Feng, thank you for welcoming us here to China. It's very happy to see you again, Madam Hu. And certainly meeting for the first time today, Mr. Lee from the Academy of Sciences. Thank you for being with us today.

Your Excellencies, our guests, the ICANN community, welcome to Beijing. It's good to be here.

I want to start, obviously, by thanking our great sponsors, who not only made all this possible -- CNNIC, CONAC and the Internet Society of China -- but also welcomed me and many of my team members here in China a few weeks ago. And I must tell you the great feeling of being in China can only be described in maybe one word. It's a vibrant place. It's a vibrant place. And you feel it. When you come to China, everything is vibrant. The people are vibrant. The plans that we heard directly from the ministers are very vibrant!

There is tremendous movement forward in China. And I felt this when I came here a few weeks ago. And all of you must be feeling it now, being here and enjoying, as I am, this feeling of this great place. And of course we all mention the numbers. 564 million Internet users. Just in the last year, they've added over 40 million new Internet users. The numbers are staggering.

But I want us to not only focus on the numbers. I think we should focus on where they're going, because China is going to be a central part of where the Internet community, as we know it, is heading. And, therefore, in my clear discussions with the local responsible ministers, that from ICANN's standpoint, engagement with China is not an option. It is not an option. If we do not engage with China at every level of our community, we, frankly, lose a part of our global legitimacy. We must and we will. And that's why we're here today, with the great numbers that we have shared with you.

More than 2500 people! This is the largest meeting in ICANN's history. It's happening right now. So I am delighted by that. I will speak to many of you at length in the next hour here, so I will conclude on one important note. There are many organizations on this planet that do different things. But having been, now, part of this great ICANN community for six months, I must tell you something. We have something that is very unique. I would like to call it our magical ingredient. It's what makes us special, what makes us unique and different. And that's the fact that, no matter what, we keep each other to this bottom-up multi-stakeholder model. That is what makes us who we are. And I am very clear, having learned this myself over the last few months, that if we lose this, we lose everything.

Everyone can hold big meetings. Everyone can set up great technical standards, but very few can claim to do this from the bottom, always in a multi-stakeholder fashion. That is our magical ingredient. So in front of all of you, I personally renew my commitment to that. And I ask all of us to keep watch on each other, as you have done with me, so we keep that important ingredient the center of who we are.

Welcome to China, and I hope you have a great meeting.

Thank you.

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Duration: 4 minutes and 48 seconds
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Language: English
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Posted by: icann on Apr 24, 2013

Fadi Chehadé Opening Speech (Part 1) | ICANN 46 | Beijing | 8 Apr 2013

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