ICANN's 26th International meeting officially opens in Marrakech, Morocco today. The meeting, which runs until June 30th, sees stakeholders from the technical community, business and government and civil society, participate in over 30 meetings and workshops. They will discuss the most important issues relating to the ongoing stability, security and growth of the Internet. These meetings constitute an essential part of ICANN's global consensus-development and outreach efforts.
Some of the highlights of the Marrakech meeting will be:
- Developments in the area of Internationalized Domain Names (IDNs), with several workshops taking place during the week. IDNs are a key issue for ICANN as it seeks to ensure that the resources of the Internet are available in local scripts. The Marrakech meeting will see plans refined for the technical testing of IDN TLDs based on open forum discussions on remaining technical issues, as well as an update on IDN activities taking place in Africa and the Middle East.
- A public meeting of the Security, Stability and Advisory Committee (SSAC) to discuss the consequences of domain name registration lapses in situations where another person registers a lapsed domain, and a workshop on the committee's ongoing work to ensure the DNS is protected from certain types of attacks.
- Several meetings of ICANN's Governmental Advisory Committee (GAC), including a meeting to discuss government perspectives on the public policy aspects of the WHOIS database and an open plenary session during which the GAC and ICANN Board members will participate in open dialogue on current issues.
- A workshop on Internet governance to discuss private-sector leadership and ICANN's role in the area of self-governance of the Internet, including an update on the Internet Governance Forum (IGF).
- A domain name marketplace workshop to provide a detailed look at how the domain name marketplace operates today and to explore how some of the more controversial aspects of behavior in this marketplace are evolving. Panel members will discuss what, if anything, ICANN's role should be in these areas.
- A public forum of the Generic Names Support Organization (GNSO) to provide the Internet community with an opportunity to tell the decision-makers on the GNSO council with feedback on key issues such as how new gTLDs should be introduced and what domain name registration data (WHOIS data) should be available for public access.
During the Marrakech meeting, several discussions will take place how toimprove governmentalparticipation, addressing issues of concern to government. There will be high-level participation, including from Ambassador Karklins of Latvia, who was the president of WSIS Phase II.
Commenting on this week's meeting, Dr Paul Twomey, President and CEO of ICANN, said:
"We expect this week's meeting to see significant developments, particularly in relation to IDNs and improved relations with the Governmental Advisory Committee.
"ICANN encourages governments to participate in its model and processes so that they can ensure their voice is heard in our processes and we expect the Marrakech meeting will see real developments in this area.
"ICANN is continuing to evolve as an organization. The Marrakech meeting is the last one before the MoU with the Department of Commerce expires in September and there will be discussions about the way ahead for ICANN post September. ICANN encourages the Internet community to participate fully in discussions relating to the organizations' future."
The complete schedule for ICANN's Marrakech meeting, as well as links to webcast sessions, can be found at: http://www.icann.org/meetings/marrakech/
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.
Andrew Robertson, Edelman (London) (Ph: +44 7921 588 770)
Tanzanica King, ICANN (USA) (Ph: +1 310 301 5804)