ICANN57 – Hyderabad
[Updates] The following reports are now available: Reactions to the new gTLD Program - by Glenn McKnight Updates from the Middle East - by Nadira Alaraj Read also the event announcement Reactions to the new gTLD Program At the first meeting in Hyderabad, India, for ICANN 57, the At-Large Advisory Committee (ALAC) and At-Large leadership held a public discussion of the end-user comments on the new gTLD initiative. [Learn more about the new gTLD Program on our dedicated page] The last round produced a range of results and the under-served communities is one area that was a major concern, despite incentives in those communities to be active. The general observation from the delegates was that the last round of gTLds was a failure in developing economies and some of the representatives made an issue on their lack of local knowledge, participation, and promotion. Meanwhile, a major concern also arose in the last round that saw opportunists purchasing hundreds of new gTLDs with the expectation of profiting from selling these domains to the highest bidders. In one of the meetings to ALAC and At-Large, a staff presentation of the ICANN gTLD Health Index provided an overview of the general sales figures which illustrated the sharp contract of Europe, Asia and North America versus Latin America, Africa and Small Island States. The feedback was spearheaded by Olivier Crepin Leblond (France), EURALO Chair and former ALAC Chair, followed by Barrack Otieno (Uganda), ALAC member from Africa, who observed that most resellers and registrars in the African region were not familiar with the ICANN ecosystem, despite being in the business of selling domains. Tijani Ben Jemaa (Tunisia), ALAC Vice-Chair, argued that a specific round dedicated to the under-served communities needs to be promoted. He argued that ‘the existing system is not fair since these countries can't compete with the wealthy countries in the auction process, critical is working collaboratively with other groups.’ The applicant support programme did not produce the results expected. Leon Sanchez (Mexico), ALAC member from LACRALO, argues that we have not had enough time to evaluate the past round of new gTLD to assess the recommendations for the next round. The under-served region criteria needs enhancement to encourage these communities. Dr John Laprise (USA), NARALO ALS representative, questioned: if the next round becomes a geographic focus, will they be potentially commercially unsuccessful for their owners? The Council of Europe’s report Applications to ICANN for Community-based New Generic Top Level Domains (gTLD): Opportunities and Challenges from a Human Rights Perspective is worth noting. The Government Advisory Council (GAC) plans to send the report to the Policy Development Process (PDP) Working Group on Subsequent Procedures. by Glenn McKnight, Internet Society Canada Updates from the Middle East The ICANN Global Stakeholder Engagement team for the Middle East expanded their country reach to include Afghanistan, Iran, Pakistan and Turkey - or Middle East & Adjoining Countries (MEAC). This was explained by Baher Esmat, ICANN Regional Vice-President, during an ICANN 57 session on 8 November. Esmat gave a review of the historical development and the outcomes of the 2013-2016 strategy for the region, and the process and procedures to draft the renewal of the regional strategy which will be aligned with the ICANN 2016-2020 strategy. Walid Al-Saqaf, chair of MEAC Strategy Working Group, highlighted the content of the draft strategy, stating that it was now open for public comments until 17 November. He encouraged ICANN communities to review it and provide their feedback. The mission statement of the MEAC strategy is ‘to attract more active engaged participants from the region to contribute to ICANN’s policy development process and to acquire leading roles within the ICANN community’. The three following focus areas are identified to achieve the MEAC strategy mission:
- Support secure, stable, and resilient domain name system infrastructure;
- Promote a healthy and competitive domain name marketplace; and
- Clarify ICANN's role in an evolving Internet ecosystem through engagement with the MEAC community.
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