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Chair's Blog: ICANN61 Meeting & Board Workshop

21 March 2018
By Cherine Chalaby

I would be remiss if I didn't begin this blog by thanking the people of Puerto Rico for such a wonderful experience during ICANN61. The conference center was great, the hosts gracious and the island is recovering after hurricane Maria. I hope to visit Puerto Rico again soon.

I would also like to thank the ICANN org staff for their quick work navigating the technical challenges that came with suspending Adobe Connect services during the meeting, and the ICANN community for their good spirits and understanding surrounding the inconveniences.

Board Workshop

Ahead of ICANN61, the Board held a three day workshop in San Juan on 9,10 & 11 March. The Board Committees met on the first day to take care of their regular business, and then the full Board met for two consecutive days. We held in-depth sessions about policy and advice on priority issues for ICANN61 in preparation for Constituency Day. As you can imagine, a large part of our workshop was taken up with discussions on the European Union's General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). We also held sessions on Workstream 2 recommendations, the anticipated updates to the Internationalized Domain Name (IDN) Implementation Guidelines, which apply to the IDNs at the second level, the status of work on the Registration Data Services PDP, and on the proposed disbursement mechanisms considered by the Cross Community Working Group on Auction Proceeds. Finally, we reviewed several resolutions which were approved subsequently during the Board formal meeting at the end of ICANN61.

Public Meeting

Much like at ICANN60, a big focus during the meeting was on data protection and privacy rules, mainly GDPR. I'd like to thank the community for the thoughtful contributions, vibrant conversations and challenges raised during the meeting. I encourage continued participation and engagement as we address near and longer term GDPR compliance issues. Based upon all of your inputs, comments, and submissions, we will in the coming weeks be pursuing a single compliance approach and model. As we work towards this model, please continue to participate and provide your views. We need the community, all of you, to work together to iron out differences. It is important to have a model that has unified community support.

Another major topic of conversation was ICANN's Draft FY19 Operating Plan and Budget. I appreciate very much the thoughtful ideas shared and the information exchanges between the community, ICANN org and the Board. It was a really productive conversation. There seemed to be general agreement that we can and should do our work more effectively, more timely and with the efficient utilization of ICANN's resources. The Board is cognizant of concerns around the proposed budget cuts to various community programs and request mechanisms, and considers the comment period, that just ended, to be valuable in ensuring the community has an opportunity to weigh in on priorities. In finalizing the FY19 Budget, all public comments will be taken into account. There were also discussions on the consultation paper on the replenishment of the ICANN Reserve Fund.

As always, the Supporting Organizations (SO) and Advisory Committees (AC) made great strides in their work, including:

  • The At-Large Community held sessions on its improvement planning and reviewed comments on several current policy and budget topics, and Regional At-Large Organizations (RALOs) held meetings and events, in particular for the North American and Latin American organizations.
  • The ASO Address Council, with new leadership, held its annual meeting covering regional policy developments, the ASO organizational review and candidates for ICANN Board Seat 9;
  • The Country Code Names Supporting Organization (ccNSO) made progress on the retirement of ccTLDs, and elected Council Chairs and Vice Chairs;
  • The Government Advisory Committee (GAC) completed its Communiqué;
  • The Generic Names Supporting Organization (GNSO) spent significant working group time advancing PDPs on New gTLD Subsequent Procedures, Right Protection Mechanism, and Next Generation Registration Directory Services, and reviewed its policy development work with a report expected soon;
  • The Number Resource Organization (NRO) Chair provided an informative overview about the activities of the Regional Internet Registries at the opening session;
  • The Root Server System Advisory Committee (RSSAC) discussed its Statement on Entries in DNS Root Sources; and
  • The Security and Stability Advisory Committee (SSAC) reviewed the Names Collision and Analysis project and hosted a DNSSEC Workshop.

The SO and AC Leaders also started planning for ICANN62, the Policy Forum, in Panama in June 2018.

Finally, the Board held a full Board Meeting as we usually do. For more details on the workshop, including minutes from the public Board Meeting, please see the Board Page.

The Board will hold its next workshop in May 2018 in Vancouver, Canada, ahead of the GDD Industry Summit, but I expect you will be hearing from me sooner.


Cherine Chalaby

Former ICANN Board Chair