[Updates] The following reports are now available:
Read also the event announcement
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 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.
A comment from the floor suggested that the strategy includes a bilateral dialogue with governments in the region.
Hadia El Miniawi, director of the DNS Entrepreneur Center (DNS-EC), said that DNS-EC was one of the outcomes of the first ICANN Middle East strategy. It was founded as a joint project between the National Regulatory Authority of Egypt and ICANN with the purpose of developing the domain name ecosystem in the region.
Some of the action items of the 2016-2019 DNS-EC strategy were to make the centre a hub for DNS-related information and material, to develop capacities, and to develop partnerships with key stakeholders to help in all aspects of the DNS industry.
Fahd Batayneh, from the ICANN Global Stakeholder Engagement team for the Middle East, shared some of the team’s efforts and activities in the region for this year. He emphasised the commitment to hold the MEAC School on IG with partners, on the same lines as in previous years. The school was last held in Beirut. The team also conducted a workshop on DNSSEC in Ankara, and training for computer emergency response teams (CERTs) in Dubai, Doha, and Beirut.
by Nadira Alaraj, Internet Society Palestine
The ICANN57 meeting will take place on 3-9 November, in Hyderabad, India. It will be hosted by the Department of Electronics & Information Technology, Ministry of Communications & IT, Government of India.
The meeting will give ICANN supporting organisations and advisory committees the ooportunity to have face-to-face discussions on various issues pertaining to ICANN's activity. A detailed schedule will be made available on the event website.
ICANN57 will also represent ICANN's general annual meeting.
ICANN meetings in brief
- ICANN meetings are held three times each year in different regions of the globe to enable attendees from around the world to participate in person. One meeting each year is also the organisation's annual general meeting, during which new Board members take their seats.
- ICANN meetings are free and officially run five days (Monday to Friday). There are also a few pre-meeting workshops and working sessions when the volunteer members of our supporting organizations and advisory committees initiate their work.
- ICANN meetings offer the best opportunity for face-to-face discussions and airing of opinions among knowledgeable people dedicated to the continued stable and secure operation of the Internet.
- ICANN meetings offer a variety of sessions such as workshops, open forums, and working meetings on the development and implementation of Internet policies.
- Remote participation is possible while the meetings are going on. ICANN offers several tools such as streaming live audio and video, chatrooms, and online question boxes.
- Detailed logistics and information about each meeting venue, registration, and remote participation can be found at the dedicated website created for each meeting.
- ICANN’s Fellowship programme supports attendance at ICANN meetings by selected individuals from stakeholder groups around the world.
Where and when do ICANN meetings take place?
ICANN meetings are held three times a year in different regions, with the Board typically choosing the actual location at least a year out from the meeting. The list of regions and countries of past and upcoming ICANN meetings is available at http://meetings.icann.org/calendar.
What happens between meetings?
In the period between meetings, the supporting organisations (SOs) and advisory committees (ACs) work closely with ICANN staff to make progress on the work agreed to during the most recent meeting. The results are then posted for public comment on the ICANN website to allow anyone in the Internet community to become acquainted with the latest developments and offer opinions on them. ICANN’s advisory committees also prepare reports to inform you about these issues and their potential impact on the Internet. A summary and analysis of all the comments is prepared and relevant documents are revised accordingly in time for your further review at the next meeting.
What topics are discussed?
A broad range of Internet-related topics are discussed at each meeting. The agenda is ever changing and as dynamic as the Internet itself, but typically they cover contractual issues with the retail and wholesale arms of the Domain Name System, ways to respond to illegal or abusive use of the Internet’s naming systems, internal restructuring, and new initiatives for increasing competition on the Internet.
What is an ICANN meeting and what happens?
ICANN meetings provide the opportunity for an internationally diverse group of individuals and organisations to come together and discuss and develop policies for the Internet‘s naming systems. The organisation’s staff of around 100 runs the meetings and coordinates with its volunteer SOs and ACs. The SOs and ACs are represented by governments, managers of Domain Name System elements (registries, registrars, ISPs), technical, business and intellectual property communities, academia, Internet users, and so on. ICANN’s Board, which is international in nature, ultimately weighs and makes the final decisions about Internet policies and processes.
One committee, the Governmental Advisory Committee or GAC, is made up of representatives from governments and governmental entities. Currently numbering over 130 members, they come together at each meeting to provide a unique regulatory, legal, linguistic, and cultural perspective on the issues being discussed during the meeting.
ICANN’s international meetings have been a staple of ICANN’s multi-stakeholder bottom-up consensus-building model since its formation in 1998. At the annual general meeting, one of each year’s three meetings, participants have the opportunity to meet newly seated members of the Board of Directors and thank outgoing Board members for their service.
How are ICANN meetings structured?
ICANN meetings run nearly a full week and follow a theme. Monday is the official opening where the week’s work is outlined in the morning, and the main issues given specific sessions in the afternoon. Tuesday is constituency day, when the Generic Names Supporting Organization’s (GNSO’s) several constituencies meet separately. At the same time, the Country Code Names Supporting Organization (ccNSO), GAC and At-Large community meet all day in a variety of different sessions.
The councils of the ACs and SOs make decisions on Wednesday while workshops inform the community about new and upcoming issues. Wednesday also sees sessions dedicated to internal review of ICANN’s own structures. A gala event ends the evening.