On behalf of the ICANN Board and organization, we would like to welcome all who are attending the ICANN77 Policy Forum, which is taking place this week online and in Washington, D.C.
The first ICANN Public Meeting to take place in the U.S. capital coincides with our Washington Engagement Center's 10-year anniversary and its recent reopening at a new location. We look forward to hosting the ICANN community in this improved space at the center of this important hub of government, business, civil society, and academia.
As the second ICANN Public Meeting of the calendar year, the Policy Forum is dedicated to the ICANN community's policy-development work, and a major focus of this meeting will be the effort to launch the next round of the New Generic Top-Level Domain (gTLD) Program. The Generic Names Supporting Organization (GNSO) Council will be working to address the pending issues related to the next round by the end of the week. The GNSO Guidance Process on Applicant Support will continue drafting its Recommendations Guidance Report.
To inform its work on the next round, the At-Large community will hold a session on Monday about end-user perspectives and a discussion on Wednesday of how auctions should be handled. The Governmental Advisory Committee's agenda includes strategic planning sessions on the next round as well as Domain Name System abuse, another key issue of this meeting.
ICANN77 also marks a major milestone for the Country Code Names Supporting Organization: The group will celebrate its 20th anniversary at this meeting, with a session on Tuesday to look back on its history and evolution.
Lastly, the Policy Forum is where the ICANN community annually recognizes the members who have deeply invested in consensus-based solutions and contributed substantively to ICANN's multistakeholder governance model. The Community Excellence Award will be presented during the networking cocktail on Wednesday.
Whether you are there in person or online, we look forward to seeing you at ICANN77!