Today, the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) kicked off its 60th Public Meeting in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates (UAE). From 28 October to 3 November, more than 2,500 regional and global participants are gathering for discussions about the policies regarding the Internet's system of unique identifiers. One of the key topics at ICANN60 is the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) of the European Union. The meeting is also an important forum for cross-community discussions on a number of ongoing projects in ICANN. The host of the meeting is the Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (TRA) of the UAE.
H.E. Hamad Obaid Al Mansoori, Director General of the Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (TRA) of the UAE, spoke at the ICANN60 Opening Ceremony. Al Mansoori remarked, "The significance of this event stems from the fact that ICANN has always been the safety valve for the Internet world. With a four-billion internet penetration worldwide, we can touch the unique role of this organization in maintaining the momentum of the Internet". He added, "ICANN's functions, from registration management to dispute resolution and new top-level domains, have become so important that they cannot be missed."
Al Mansoori presented Dr. Stephen Crocker, ICANN Board Chair, with a gift in recognition of his lifelong efforts toward the development of the global Internet. Dr. Crocker, who is retiring right after ICANN60, reflected on ICANN's journey during his tenure. "My greatest source of pride when it comes to this organization is quite simply - that it works," said Crocker. "Furthermore, it works better and more inclusively than many ever thought possible. The security, stability and resiliency of the Domain Name System are in good hands. In the early days, it was called the 'ICANN experiment.' We don't hear that anymore, because the experiment has proven successful."
Göran Marby, ICANN President and CEO, named Crocker the recipient of 2017 Leadership Award in tribute to his tireless dedication to both ICANN and the wider Internet community. "Every year, the ICANN Leadership Award is given to outstanding individuals in our community who demonstrate extraordinary commitment to ICANN. It is an award for people who remain true to the community's core values, chosen by the ICANN org's Executive Team" said Marby. He added, "This year, there is no other choice, and I think you all will agree."
ICANN Public Meetings are held three times a year in different regions around the globe, enabling community members from around the globe to participate in person. These meetings offer sessions such as workshops, forums, and meetings on the development and implementation of policies related to the Internet's system of unique identifiers.