More than 735cparticipants from 91 countries successfully concluded the ICANN Cape Town
Annual Meeting including industry and technical leaders, Internet
users from Africa and around the world and Ministers and Governmental
representatives this week.
– Africa’s At-Large Internet Community members advanced their awareness
and challenges and further integrated the African community in the ICANN
process, creating a much deeper understanding of the Internet landscape in
Africa, and what African stakeholders face.
– ICANN stakeholders held their third WSIS workshop to update the
community on proceedings within the international discussions on Internet
governance. They were addressed by a panel of African leaders in Internet
governance who put forward many of the key issues of developing nation
Internet communities. Also addressing the community were the newly appointed
chairman of the Working Group on Internet Governance (WGIG), Nitan Desai,
Special Advisor to the Secretary General for the World Summit on Information
Society (WSIS) and Markus Kummer, Executive Coordinator, Secretariat of the
WGIG. ICANN constituency groups agreed to formulate and sign a joint
resolution regarding Internet governance which will be included in a jointly
prepared White Paper to be distributed widely in the Internet governance
– This was the 20th meeting of ICANN’s Governmental Advisory Committee
(GAC). Many GAC members were present in Cape Town and of particular mention,
the representatives of GAC present from the Africa region were from South
Africa, Djibouti, Senegal, Sudan, the Gambia and Tanzania. Outcomes of this
Regional Forum are included in the official GAC Communique which will be
available on their website.
– The Country Code Domain Name Supporting Organisation (ccNSO) moved
forward on discussions regarding its ccTLD Principles, and announced their
intention to review the GAC paper regarding the Principles through its
appropriate Working Group. Additionally, the CCNSO and the GAC have
established a joint liaison group which will identify issues of common
– A second IDN workshop successfully brought together experts on
integrating local languages with the global Internet. With African languages
as the focus, these experts explored the range of cultural and technical
issues that must be overcome to bring the many local language forms to
everyday use on the Internet. Participants identified topics for further
discussion and plan to continue their work in future forums.
– Frank Fowlie, the new ICANN Ombudsman, was introduced to the ICANN
community at the Cape Town meeting and he announced the posting of his
framework document that can be found on the ICANN website. The appointment of
Mr. Fowlie represents ICANN’s further commitment to ensuring ICANN’s
accountability to the global Internet Community.
– ICANN’s Board approved the finalisation of a Request for Proposals for
designating a successor operator for the .NET registry. The current .NET
Registry Agreement was signed in May 2001, and will expire on 30 June 2005.
VeriSign is eligible to be considered for designation as the successor
registry operator. The procedure for selecting the successor operator was
developed through an open and transparent process incorporating opportunities
for public review and comment at multiple stages. Completed .NET proposals
will be due in January 2005. Proposals will be evaluated by an independent
third-party, based on pre-established criteria developed through ICANN’s
bottom-up, consensus-based policy development system. The designation of the
successful proposal is scheduled for March 2005.