On behalf of the ICANN Board and Organization (Org), we want to welcome you to the ICANN73 Virtual Community Forum, ICANN’s first Public Meeting of 2022, which is being held on 7-10 March. Although originally planned to be held in San Juan, Puerto Rico, we hope that this will be our last fully virtual ICANN Public Meeting. While we continue to monitor the status of the pandemic, we are planning to pilot our hybrid meeting approach at ICANN74. This would allow for some of us to meet in person at The Hague in the Netherlands, while others participate remotely. Preparations for this meeting are well underway. We wish to extend our sincere gratitude to the ICANN Org teams that have been hard at work testing and preparing our meeting equipment so it could start its journey to The Hague.
A return to face-to-face meetings requires much more than sending equipment and arranging travel plans. Just as we ensured that all our meeting equipment was up to date and fit for purpose, so must we also update our approach to remote participation and engagement. The ICANN multistakeholder model relies on respect and inclusivity as a foundational principle, and this new meeting approach must be designed so that it too is as inclusive as possible. We want to ensure that those participating remotely are included and engaged to the highest-level possible so that the only substantial difference between those participating in person and those participating remotely is the availability of Dutch pancakes during the Fika breaks. This balance will take time, but we are confident that we can collectively rise to meet this challenge and look forward to sharing our hybrid approach and plans in due course.
As can be seen from the ICANN73 schedule, 2022 will be a year where we together will achieve key milestones in policy development, initiatives, and projects. In addition to the Executive Question and Answer session, the Public Forum, and the Public Board Meeting, the meeting will feature three plenary sessions. The first, on Monday, 7 March, will focus on reviewing The Global Public Interest Framework and discussing whether and how this framework can be best used by the ICANN Community in preparation of recommendations to the Board. The second plenary session, on Wednesday, 9 March, will be on Domain Name System (DNS) abuse and will explore the impacts and limitations related to maliciously registered and compromised domains in DNS abuse. On Thursday, 10 March, we will hold the third plenary session, through which we will engage with the ICANN Community on geopolitical legislative and regulatory developments that might impact ICANN’s work. No other sessions are scheduled during these plenary sessions to encourage broad Community participation, which will enrich the discussions on these important topics. We encourage all who are able to attend.
If you have not already done so, you can review the schedule in detail and register for the meeting here. Thanks to those who attended the ICANN73 Prep Week held on 22-24 February. If you were unable to attend and would like to review these sessions, you can do so here.
We have no doubt that this meeting will be a productive start to 2022. We hope this is our last fully virtual meeting and that we will be able to see many of you in The Hague for a hybrid ICANN74.
With the ongoing tension in the region of Europe, our thoughts are with our friends, loved ones, and colleagues who are impacted by the conflict in Ukraine. At times like this, we become acutely aware of the essential role that the Internet plays in connecting people and supporting essential communication. It feels more important than ever that we gather as a community and continue to develop and maintain the single, global, interoperable Internet on which users depend.
Thanks in advance to those participating remotely, particularly in the areas where time zones are challenging. We look forward to engaging collaboratively and constructively to progress our work this year. See you online!