ICANN’s 39th International Meeting

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I’m currently in Cartagena, Colombia at ICANN’s 39th International Meeting. This meeting started off with a bit of a bang with the U.S. government sending an aggressively worded letter to ICANN’s Board critical of the process regarding the launch of new gTLDs. Here’s Beckstrom’s carefully scripted opening remarks at the meeting; quite a well-crafted response in my opinion.

What’s interesting this time around is how the Governmental Advisory Committee (GAC) is making its presence felt. The GAC, not known as the fastest moving of ICANN committees, released this communiqué yesterday:
ICANN Governmental Advisory Committee Communique

In it, the GAC strongly called on the ICANN Board to delay its decision on new gTLDs, given numerous outstanding issues. The result? ICANN delayed finalizing the rules for new Internet extensions until a special meeting of the GAC can be held in the Spring of 2011, meaning that the earliest a decision will be made is when ICANN meets next.

I’d like to share some good news that has come out of our meeting in Cartagena. Heather Dryden, a Senior Policy Advisor with Industry Canada and a member of CIRA’s Board of Directors, was elected chair of the GAC. Heather has been acting as interim chair of the GAC for a while now, and has been a strong voice for government’s interests at ICANN, and for Canada. Congratulations, Heather!

Just a quick head’s up: CIRA will be submitting an application to host an ICANN meeting in Canada in October 2012. We’re very excited to be considered for this opportunity. I’ll keep you posted on our progress.

Expect a full report on ICANN’s 39th International Meeting next week.

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