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How to participate in ICANN 50
Call it the World Cup of internet governance. The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers is holding its 50th public meeting in London from June 22 to 26, and the world is watching closely. More than 3,300 people from around the world have registered for ICANN's 50th meeting in London, making it the largest in the organization's history.
ICANN is the not-for-profit organisation that controls the registration of domain names, which are the web addresses you use to access online content like this article that you’re reading right now. Because it plays a key role in ensuring the Internet’s overall stability as a global, decentralised communications system, ICANN has come under great scrutiny in recent time. Because the ICANN 50 meetings are public, you can participate remotely and take part in the discussions that shape the internet.
"The bedrock of ICANN’s activities, including policy development processes, is the multistakeholder model," said Albert Daniels, ICANN manager for stakeholder engagement in the Caribbean.
"Through this model, individuals and groups impacted by the Internet and its myriad of uses have the opportunity to make input to the policies which affect the management of the Internet. Because of the size of Caribbean nations, the Internet can be a key ingredient in formulas for economic and social development in the region, so from this perspective Caribbean nationals and organisations need to find out about the current issues being discussed and addressed within ICANN, and the related policies being developed, and then find ways to participate actively to ensure that regional perspectives are considered in these processes."
The Telecommunications Authority of Trinidad and Tobago (TATT) will facilitate a remote hub to ICANN 50 at its head office, #5, Eighth Avenue Extension, off Twelfth Street, Barataria on Thursday 26 June, from 8 am. The Hub can facilitate 20 persons on a first come first serve basis. For registration information contact Sherry Mc Millan, TATT Executive Officer, Communications, Consumer and Information Services at (868) 778 8095 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Among several very important issues on the table at ICANN 50 is one key areas which will have a significant role in shaping the future of the Internet: ICANN’s relationship with the US government. In March, the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA), an agency of the United States Department of Commerce, announced an intent to transition stewardship over the stewardship of the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA) domain name functions to the global multistakeholder community, and asked ICANN to convene the global Internet community in an effort to develop a transition proposal.
ICANN immediately sought public input on how to structure the development process, and ICANN 50 is a crucial next-step in the development of an open, stable and secure internet. Daniels encouraged Caribbean citizens to participate in the public global police development process.
"Within ICANN, structured working groups are used widely to analyse issues and come up with recommendations for policies and actions related to those issues. Caribbean participation on these working groups is one of the best ways to get involved. The first step of utilising a remote hub to find about the structures, working groups and issues will set the stage for a deepening of Caribbean involvement in the important work of ICANN."
The ICANN 50 session on the IANA Stewardship Transition Forum will be followed by the ICANN Public Forum at 11 am, at which community members will be allowed to voice their opinions and concerns, as well pose questions to the ICANN Board. Finally, at the Public Board Meeting at 1 pm, remote participants will have a chance to see how the ICANN Board operates, as board members review and discuss various topics on their agenda. (Times quoted are for T&T.)
Get the full ICANN 50 June 26 agenda here, and follow the meetings on Twitter, search hashtag #ICANN50.