Among the challenges of being a Regional Vice President is managing your time to attend and participate in as many worthwhile stakeholder events as possible. So last year, when our partners from the Uzbekistan ccTLD .uz – Uzinfocom invited me to speak at their 2013 ICT Summit, I said “yes”!
Uzbekistan is a beautiful country (I do not say that simply because it is in my region). It also is one of only two “doubly landlocked” countries in the world (Lichtenstein being the other), meaning it is totally surrounded by other landlocked countries. Of course, when it comes to the Internet, access to the sea isn’t a requirement.
I spoke at two events during the ICT Summit in Uzbekistan last week – at a well-attended public meeting, and at a closed meeting with the ccTLD registry and later with national registrars. I presented at both events with material support from ICANN’s Speakers Bureau. I spoke about the progress in the New gTLD Program, about the IDN program, the internationalization of ICANN and, last but certainly not least, the importance of having broader and wider participation from Uzbekistan in everything ICANN does.
I also visited the ICT Exhibition – a very popular destination in countries such as Uzbekistan where people want to meet and talk about recent developments in the telecom industry. And I had several meetings with executives from the .uz registry. (didn’t you already say this?)
At every meeting I attended, people were very interested in the history of the relationship between ICANN and .uz ccTLD; information also documented on ICANN’s website. There also were many questions about the New gTLD program and when a second round of applications might take place. And finally, what made me think my visit had been a success were the questions I received about how Uzbeks could participate in the work of ICANN.
I want to end with a few personal words of gratitude for my friends at Uzinfocom who organized a perfect summit – from the day they picked me at the airport at 3 a.m. to the day they brought be back at 1 a.m. Yes, the travel is long and the hours are sometimes odd. Such is the life of an ICANN Regional Vice President, and one I am grateful to have.