BRG in Montréal for ICANN66 - Highlights

ICANN66 in Montréal was the Annual General Meeting for 2019. Nearly 1900 attendees checked-in for ICANN66, from amongst 2500 registrations across 130 countries. The last meeting of the year, the AGM spanned six days and saw the change of guard for the ICANN Board, as Maarten Botterman took over from Cherine Chalaby as the new Chair.  This was one of many leadership changes taking place across the ICANN community during the week.

At the opening ceremony the community paid respects to two well-known and regarded figures, namely Tarek Kamel (ICANN’s Senior Advisor to the President and SVP of Government and Intergovernmental Organization Engagement) and Don Blumenthal (Security and Stability Advisory Committee), both of whom recently passed away. 

In his opening speech, Cherine focused on the future of ICANN, which is now supported by the Strategic Plan for 2020-2025, now formally adopted by the Board, together with the development of the Operating and Financial Plan for the same fiscal years, which is open for public comment. A third report, expected to be published for comment in December, will be a work plan for improving the effectiveness of ICANN. Using a quote from Ghandi “The future depends on what we do in the present” Cherine emphasised that “ICANN’s future is therefore in our hands”.

Main highlights of ICANN66:

  • ICANN AGM & Leadership Changes – Maarten Botterman takes the Chair’s seat, as we say farewell to Cherine Chalaby.
  • Subsequent Procedures – WT5 delivers Final Report to Working Group. Full Working Group reviews remaining topics and expects to issue recommendations in 1Q20 to the GNSO Council.
  • Review of All Rights Protection Mechanisms – Working Group finalises URS recommendations which will feed into their Initial Report, which is expected to be published for Public Comment in January 2020.
  • GAC Communique – advice delivered relating to Subsequent Procedures and EPDP. 
  • DNS Abuse was a key topic with a plenary session held for the community to exchange views.
  • The BRG participated in the “Innovation in Domain Name Safety” event hosted by INTA. This was a separate event to ICANN, which focused on building security and trust in the Internet.
  • EPDP – Implemention of Phase I is underway whilst policy work continued for Phase II, focusing on developing access requirements for non-public registration data.
  • Evolution of the ICANN Multi-stakeholder Model made progress, aimed at improving effectiveness and strengthening the decision-making process.
  • BRG Closed and Community Meetings provided excellent networking opportunities and sharing of more dotBrand use cases and experiences.
  • BRG hosted Brands & Domains 2019 in Montréal – a growing success.

A detailed summary has been circulated to BRG members and ICANN’s post-meeting policy report is available here.

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