We have listened to the community. Many are looking forward to Nairobi, some expressed concerns, particularly in light of the events in downtown Nairobi on January 15. Accordingly, ICANN staff and board have reexamined the security situation
During our re-examination we first explored moving the event out of the downtown Nairobi area to a suburb, but determined that no suitable venue was available.
Second, we reached out to the Kenyan government as well as other nations with operations in Kenya for their risk assessments of the situation. The consistent feedback was that the overall risk assessment of Nairobi had not changed. Accordingly, based on the ICANN CEO’s recommendation, the ICANN Board has approved moving ahead with the ICANN Nairobi meeting.
At the same time, we recognize that many developing country cities have higher ambient levels of street crime and much of the world (the U.S. And Europe included) faces international terrorist threats and attacks. Both are simply facts of life. Also, as with all ICANN events, we will continue to monitor the security situation in case there are any material future changes. For any ICANN community members who do not travel to the event, remote participation will be available for many of the meetings.
Given that ICANN is committed to “One world. One Internet. Everyone connected.” we have engaged and will continue to engage with the whole world.
We greatly appreciate the assistance of Kenya, the host country, and their commitment to address ICANN security concerns. In addition, the ICANN board has approved further security investments by the CEO as necessary for the event, and the CEO will become personally involved in reviewing the security plans.
I love Kenya. I have been to Nairobi six times and greatly look forward to participating in this important ICANN International meeting.
CEO and President
22 January 2010