Highlights of ICANN76 Meeting in Cancun, Mexico
The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) recently held its ICANN76 forum in Cancun, Mexico, which brought together stakeholders from across the globe to discuss various issues related to the management and operation of the internet. As the Non-Profit Organization Constituency (NPOC) which seeks to promote and protect the interests of non-profit entities in relation to human rights and security of internet users, it is essential to examine some of the sessions held during the forum from a non-profit perspective.
One of the key sessions during the ICANN76 forum was the “Get to Know the ICANN Community: NCSG, NCUC, NPOC” session where NPOC, NCUC and NCSG representatives had an interaction with the ICANN76 Fellowship and NextGen@ICANN Programs Participants with NCSG, NCUC and NPOC members. This was a critical session to bring in new crop of members and policy contributors to the Non-commercial constituencies while also introducing them to the work of various communities within ICANN. Link to presentation by NPOC representative can be found here.
Another session that was of great interest to non-profit organizations was the “IDN EPDP Working Session”. The Generic Names Supporting Organization (GNSO) Council has initiated an Expedited Policy Development Process (EPDP) for Internationalized Domain Names (IDNs). This EPDP is expected to provide the GNSO Council with policy recommendations on
- the definition of all TLDs and the management of variant labels to facilitate the delegation of variant gTLDs in the root zone, and
- address how the IDN Implementation Guidelines should be updated in the future.
During this working session, the Expedited Policy Development (EPDP) Team continued its deliberation of its charter questions, particularly as the Team is working toward publishing its Phase 1 Initial Report focusing on top-level Internationalized Domain Name (IDN) gTLD definition and variant management. As the IDN topic is of interest to NPOC and impacts various non-commercial stakeholders, the session was open to all attendees and observers. Session recordings are available here.
The ICANN76 forum also featured Joint Session of the ICANN Board and Non-Commercial Stakeholder Group (NCSG) where there was an exchange of questions and answers between the members of the ICANN board and NCSG representatives. A few among the key questions asked by the NCSG to the ICANN board includes:
- The board’s thought on the GNSO Statement of Interest (SOI) Task Force’s requirement for identity disclosure before participating in working groups.
- The board’s review on the effectiveness of the implementation of ICANN’s mandate during the COVID lockdown.
- Question of NomCom rebalancing to include a seat for an NPOC representative.
- Question about implementing a meaningful and genuinely effective applicant support program.
- What is ICANN doing to become carbon neutral and thus sustainable?
The ICANN board also asked the NCSG representatives an important question on their desire to explore how to combine the efficiencies of an agile approach to problem solving, like the Council’s small teams, with the need for accountability and transparency, to make progress on policy conversations. Furthermore, they sought to know the NCSG’s thought on when such an approach be most appropriate and how to ensure that it does not circumvent required steps in a policy development process. Find the link to the recording and transcript of this meeting here.
Finally, the NPOC Membership Meeting was held with the agenda touching on important membership matters, announcements, alongside other community updates which include the newly introduced centralized communication platform, the new procedure for determining active membership and updates on NPOCs policy work at the Internationalized Domain Names working group. Find the link to the meeting recording and transcript of the meeting here.
Looking back, the ICANN76 forum provided a platform for NPOC to discuss issues that are relevant to its policy interests and stakeholders. Non-profit organizations need to be aware of the developments within ICANN in these areas to ensure that their contribution remains relevant in the policy making that affect ICANN’s operation of the Domain Name System (DNS). ICANN’s commitment to promoting the interests of all internet users is commendable, and non-profit organizations can benefit greatly from its initiatives.
Check out the ICANN76 Outcomes report and the Pre-ICANN76 Briefing for Policy Research & Stakeholder Programs report.