Mr. Nigel Cassimire, Telecommunications Specialist of the Caribbean Telecommunications Union (CTU), represented this organisation at the Governmental Advisory Committee (GAC) of the 59th Public Meeting of the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) – ICANN 59, in Johannesburg, South Africa from 26th to 29th June 2017.
The CTU participates regularly in its capacity as observer member of the GAC.
ICANN 59 was a regularly scheduled meeting to progress the broad range of policy and operational activities coordinated globally by ICANN, via its constituent supporting organisations and advisory committees, in order to manage the Internet’s unique identifiers.
In the GAC, the GAC Underserved Areas Working Group reported on continued progress made in arranging and scheduling capacity building sessions on ICANN and Internet governance matters for Governments in various ICANN regions.
Two sessions, one in Fiji in April 2017 and the other in Johannesburg in June 2017, were held in the interim since ICANN 58 (March 2017). The working group agreed to liaise with the CTU to hold a session in the Caribbean area in 2018 as scheduled in its tentative calendar of events.
Two cross community sessions of high interest that were held at ICANN 59 addressed data protection and the use of geographic names as top level domains. The data protection session made clear of the need for urgent concerted action to bring the Caribbean region up to speed with appropriate, functioning legislation and regulatory structures.
Other items of Caribbean interest included the work of the GAC’s Public Safety Working Group related to minimisation of Domain Name System (DNS) abuse, and proceedings of the cross community sessions on use of geographic names as top level domains (TLDs) which would guide progress in ICANN’s policy development work for future generic TLDs.
A meeting of the Commonwealth GAC representatives chaired by the Secretary General of the CTO, Mr. Shola Taylor, gave updates of various Commonwealth related activities and planned initiatives in ICT capacity development, including Internet governance.
Caribbean representatives at ICANN 59 included the CTU, Dominican Republic, Guyana, Haiti, Jamaica, Puerto Rico, St. Kitts/Nevis, Trinidad and Tobago. St. Kitts/Nevis was specially recognised as a new GAC member attending their first meeting.