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Welkom bij ICANN71!

9 June 2021

Next week, the ICANN71 Virtual Policy Forum is coming to a screen near you. This Public Meeting was scheduled to be held in The Hague, Netherlands, but shifted to a Virtual Public Meeting due to the continuing impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. On behalf of ICANN's European region, let me be the first to offer you een virtueel welkom. As our Rotterdam-based Board Chair Maarten Botterman will tell you, that's Dutch for "a virtual welcome."

I hope you were able to take advantage of the excellent Prep Week sessions to prepare you for the work that is to come. If you'd like to access the materials, you can find them here. Policy Forums provide an opportunity for the community to advance policy development in the bottom-up, consensus-driven process through which ICANN coordinates key Internet resources. ICANN's Supporting Organizations and Advisory Committees have taken the lead in organizing the program for this four-day meeting. I hope everyone participating will find it productive.

Many of the sessions will focus on targeted policy development work or cross-community discussions. ICANN71 will feature three plenary sessions chosen by the community; topics include discussions on recent regulatory developments, ICANN's role in the Internet governance ecosystem, and how domain registration reputational block list providers work. The plenaries are an excellent opportunity to gain additional context and learn about the impacts of ICANN's work. I encourage you to take part.

One of the highlights of ICANN71 will be the presentation of ICANN's 2021 Community Excellence Award. This award recognizes community members who have contributed significantly to consensus-based solutions and our multistakeholder model. This year's recipient(s) will be announced on 14 June. Read more about the award and past recipients here.

Even though we are not in The Hague in person, I am delighted to be able to highlight the dynamic Dutch Internet governance community. The Netherlands has a long tradition of consensus decision-making, dating back to the Middle Ages. To reclaim low-lying land from the sea, villages had to build an agreement to share responsibility for building and maintaining the dikes and pumps to keep the areas from flooding. This collective effort for a common good is an apt inspiration for the ICANN community and the multistakeholder model.

In the run up to ICANN71, young Dutch Internet governance leaders led a discussion on ways to get involved in Internet policy development, including at ICANN. Also, ICANN's Business Constituency organized a session on the role of the private sector in multistakeholder bodies. This session was cohosted by ECP Platform for the Information Society, an independent Dutch organization fostering cross-sector collaboration on digital issues. Check out a recording of these sessions here and here. Sessions like these help us introduce the ICANN community to new stakeholders. We are grateful to all our regional partners for their collaboration. Of course, we look forward to seeing you here in person someday soon in the future.

Follow me on Twitter at @chrismondini for more updates and to learn about ICANN events in Europe.

I look forward to seeing you in the ICANN71 sessions and exchanging a virtueel hallo!


Christopher Mondini

Christopher Mondini

VP, Stakeholder Engagement & Managing Director - Europe