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Why was the ICANN 48 Meeting a great success for Latin America and the Caribbean?

27 November 2013

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by Rodrigo de la Parra, ICANN Vice President for Latin America and the Caribbean

Last week, the most attended ICANN meeting in Latin America and the Caribbean concluded, with over 2,000 registered participants. There was tango, malbec, "asado", barbecues and a wonderful weather in the spring season of the beautiful city of Buenos Aires.

ICANN 48 was, of course, a very important meeting in terms of the context of the global agenda of the ICANN community, but it was successful particularly for the Latin American and the Caribbean region.

After gathering continuous feedback from our friends from the region regarding the prevailing need to make the ICANN agenda more relevant to the region –this being a critical part of one of the reasons why there is a low participation of the region in ICANN matters– for the first time in history, the main meeting agenda included a series of activities and sessions that were created and designed by organizations from the region, for the region.

I must highlight that all this was possible thanks to the efforts of those who have been participating actively in the implementation of the LAC Strategic Plan and, clearly, thanks to the outstanding work of our hosts from NIC Argentina, who, in addition to making us feel at home, were always making sure that everything worked properly. Gustavo, Carlos, Marcelo, Gabriel: Thank you very much!

As part of the Communications Plan, we created a fact sheet in Spanish, Portuguese and English, which indicated the sessions that were most relevant to the region. This gave the participants in the region and others outside the region the ability to navigate more easily through the complexity of the agendas of the ICANN meetings, focusing on the topics of interest for Latin America and the Caribbean.

Colleagues from other regions praised this effort and expect to do something similar. We are raising the bar in terms of ICANN meetings. Let us remember that the purpose of having ICANN meetings change from region to region is precisely to be closer to the local or regional community. We are accomplishing that with these initiatives.

On Friday, prior to the ICANN meeting, the first edition of the Latin American and the Caribbean Forum on DNS, or Domain Name System, was held. This was a joint effort between various sister organizations, LACTLD, ISOC, PIR, NPOC and LACNIC. It had a very rich agenda and a considerable participation.

Here is a link to an article by Paul Díaz on this meeting: http://www.circleid.com/posts/20131119_lac_the_dns_and_the_importance_of_comunidad/

On Saturday, the country code community or the ccTLDs of the region, grouped in LACTLD, held their Legal Aspects Workshop. If you would like to obtain more information about this important Internet organization in the region, click on this link http://www.lactld.org/

On Monday, during the opening session, we presented a brief video tribute that describes the most important milestones in the history of Internet in Latin America and the Caribbean and its involvement in ICANN. Due to time schedules, we were only able to present a shorter version, but here you will find the full version of the video. Once more, we thank everyone who sent us their videos to put together this documentary, and to those of you who did not have the opportunity to send your video to tell your side of the story, soon we will be giving you the opportunity to enrich this documentary.

Just after the opening session, we held another one where the leaders of each of the 5 pilot projects of the LAC Strategic Plan presented the progresses they have made. The session was very well attended and had over 100 participants. After the presentation of progresses, we started project 5, which is a space for the region in the ICANN meetings for the economic actors. This meeting included the presentation of the business or commercial focus that some ccTLDs have, and the cases of .mx and .co were also discussed.

In addition, for the first time we had the opportunity to hear presentations of some new gTLD applicants from the regions of Argentina, Mexico and Brazil, as was the case of .LAT, .BOM, .FINAL, .REST and .BAR. Welcome to the community!

This space is intended to evolve in order to generate a greater participation of the actors in the region and also of those who are in other regions but are interested in the development of the DNS in Latin America and the Caribbean.

On Monday night, I was invited to celebrate the exhibition of LACRALO. In a festive atmosphere to the rhythm of Tango, together with the leaders of LACRALO and At-Large, I had the opportunity to convey the message regarding the importance that the represented users in At-Large have in the ICANN multi-stakeholder model. I thanked them for their commitment and participation in our regional strategic plan and I summoned them to double our efforts. The times to come will require greater inputs from this stakeholder group.

Also, that same night, in a joint effort between the staff, the community and the members of the group of the LAC strategy, we welcomed new participants from the commercial or business community from Argentina. It was very gratifying to meet different personalities from the ICT and other similar sectors. We hope to stay in contact with you and that, in a greater or lower degree, you can participate in ICANN activities.

In order to raise awareness among the actors of the region regarding the transition towards IPv6, we organized a session with a different dynamic. We held a very pleasant session for 90 minutes, moderated by a journalist and panelists representing various visions: the technical community, ISPs, ASO and users; where it was clear that it is necessary to intensify the efforts in the region in order to achieve a coordinated transition.

We are honored that LACNIC has taken advantage of a space in the ICANN agenda to present to the community its Lifetime Achievement Award, which is awarded every year to distinguished Latin American and Caribbean people for their outstanding careers. This year I have been selected as a juror for this award, which fills me with pride. I will strive to carry out a great role. Thank you very much!

There were a couple of sessions that were focused on the region. One of them was about the security challenges in Latin America and the Caribbean and the other was about building academic capacity in the region. Both of these were very successful.

We also had the opportunity to meet informally with different groups of actors from Argentina, the government, civil society, private sector and the technical community. We are pleased to see that the countries in the region are aware of the importance of having a multiple sector dialogue with the internal parts of the countries to discuss Internet governance.

I must clarify. Every country is different and will have a different logic. That is precisely what will make this effort rewarding. There is no unique model, not in the region or in the rest of the world. Maybe only better practices.

My friends, this is just the beginning. We have a long way to go, but I think we must congratulate ourselves for this effort that today is giving our region a very different face within ICANN and towards the world.

Thank you all very much and congratulations!


Rodrigo De La Parra

Rodrigo De La Parra

VP, Stakeholder Engagement & Managing Director - Latin America & Caribbean