ICANN has been invited to participate in the XIth St. Petersburg International Economic Forum. Both myself (Veni Markovski) and CEO and President Paul Twomey will be attending. Paul will speak at the Round Table entitled: “Knowledge based economy” where the moderator is Andrei Fursenko, Minister of Education and Science of the Russian Federation, and other speakers include Leonid Reiman, Minister of Information Technology and Communications of the Russian Federation; Esko Aho, President, Finnish National Fund for Research and Development (SITRA), former Prime Minister, Finland; Todd Bradley, Senior Executive Vice President, Hewlett Packard; William Swope, Vice President, Intel; Evgeny Utkin, President, Sitronics; and Jon Fredrik Baksaas, President and CEO, Telenor ASA.
During the two days of the conference Paul Twomey and myself will be meeting Russian and foreign governmental officials, representatives of private and governmental businesses from Russia and all over the world. A meeting with representatives from the Russian Internet business community is also scheduled.
I believe the invitation to participate at the Forum, is a clear sign, that ICANN’s commitment to work in cooperation with Russia and the countries from the region, has been welcome by our Russian colleagues. I also hope that during the meetings with the Russian officials, we’ll send some clear messages, one of which is the importance all countries with Cyrillic alphabet have for the development of IDNs. We believe that Russia, with its large number of engineers, could be more active within ICANN, the IETF, ISOC and other relevant organizations – at all levels. We are looking forward towards further Russian participation at the ICANN meetings, and we encourage Russian and regional representatives to put forward their names for different positions at ICANN – from the Board level, to the supporting organizations.
We signed the accountability framework with the .ru ccTLD at the end of March 2007, and that’s only the beginning of what, we hope, will be a long-term and positive development.
Other participants at the Forum include Russian president Vladimir Putin, vice-president Al Gore, Gerhard Schroeder, James Wolfensohn – former president of the World Bank, Klaus Schwab – Executive chairman of the World Economic Forum, Pascal Lamy – Director-General of the World Trade Organization (WTO), Jean Lemierre – President of the European Bank of Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), Susan C. Schwab – US Trade Representative, and many others.