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ICANN Concludes 26th International Public Meeting in Marrakech with Action on IDNs and WHOIS

10 July 2006

Marrakech, Morocco, 30 June, 2006: Over 750 delegates from 87 countries gathered in Marrakech, Morocco for ICANN's 26th International Meeting. These meetings, one of three held each year, are open to anyone interested in participating. They constitute an essential part of ICANN's efforts to consult the global community.

"This has been a successful meeting. We saw progress on Internationalized Domain Names (IDNs) and the WHOIS policy process, as well as development of the relationship between the Board and ICANN Governmental Advisory Committee (GAC)" said Dr Paul Twomey, President and CEO of ICANN.

"This was also the last ICANN meeting before the expiry of the Memorandum of Understanding with the United States Government, so we had discussions and set up a consultation process on existing and future organizational models" he said.

During the week, a number of workshops and meetings were conducted in relation to IDNs to further the work already conducted in this important area. IDNs will enable people across the world to interact with the Internet's domain name system in their own languages.

This meeting culminated with a Board resolution to extend the timeline for the Top Level Domain (TLD) registries working group to develop a best current practices document for submission during next ICANN meeting in Sao Paulo, Brazil this December.

The Marrakech meeting also saw progress in relation to WHOIS, with the ICANN Board acknowledging that more time is needed by the Generic Names Support Organization (GNSO) and its WHOIS taskforce to make recommendations to the Board on this complex and controversial issue. The Board extended the timeline for reporting issue, urging the two groups to have recommendations ready for Board consideration early in 2007.

In an important step to further improve enhanced cooperation between the GAC and the ICANN Board, both bodies endorsed a regular communications process. This should improve the GAC's participation in ICANN's policy development mechanisms by earlier engagement with relevant ICANN constituencies. It will also secure timely and precise routine communications with the ICANN Board.

At the conclusion of the meeting, ICANN also announced that it has signed and exchanged letters with United Kingdom Country Code Top-Level Domain (ccTLD) manager, Nominet. This demonstrates a willingness to develop cooperation between ICANN and Nominet, the registry responsible for the United Kingdom ccTLD .uk. Nominet has become the seventh registry to formalize their relationship with ICANN in the past two months.

Nominet will also lodge an application to join ICANN's country code Names Support Organisation (ccNSO) to ensure that the .uk domain name space is represented in the global Internet arena. Nominet will be the largest registry to join the ccNSO since it was established.

About ICANN:

ICANN is an internationally organized, public benefit non-profit responsible for coordinating Internet Protocol (IP) address space allocation, protocol identifier assignment, generic (gTLD) and country code (ccTLD) Top-Level Domain name system management, and root server system management functions. For more information please visit: www.icann.org.

Media Contacts

International
Andrew Robertson, Edelman (London)
Ph: +44 7921 588 770
E: andrew.robertson@edelman.com


Tanzanica King, ICANN (USA)
Ph: +1 310 301 5804
E: tanzanica.king@icann.org