Bahrain Internet Society (BIS) board member and Director of Strategic Alliances, Mr. Ali Al-Meshal participated in the 48th meeting of the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) with more than 1,700 participants worldwide in Buenos Aires, Argentina between 17th – 21st November this year. More than 100 topics around the future of internet governance were discussed in the 5-day-meeting. In addition to the main and general meetings, Al-Meshal participated in a number of other meetings and worked with special groups like the Asian, Australasian and Pacific Islands Regional At-Large Organization (APRALO), the Working group of Singapore Showcase, fellowship meetings, Joint ATLAS II, Capacity Building WG and Regional Secretariats’ Meeting.
Al-Maeshal said: "The 48th ICANN Meeting comes ahead of an April conference on Internet governance in Brazil and all the ICANN meetings and activities serve also as preparations for this important conference. With all the ICT & internet revolutionary developments taking place around the world and the new evolving issues have made the implementation of internet governance laws and policies a must."
At the opening ceremony, ICANN President and CEO Fadi Chehadé said: "ICANN is part of an ecosystem, and the environment around us affects us". He also said: "We have to be engaged. It doesn't mean we leave behind our responsibilities. It doesn't mean we increase our responsibilities, but we have to also be active participants in the ecosystem, this is central to the multistakeholder success on a global level."
Argentina’s high profile government officials attended the meeting including the Communications Secretary and Chief of the Cabinet of Ministers of Argentina, Juan Manuel Abal Medina, Jr., who stressed the importance of keeping up with a rapidly growing network. He also reflected on the status quo in Argentina by saying: "We have a human resource deficit". He also confirmed the importance of designing public policies that will help in overcoming obstacles that affect growth.
During the Annual General Meeting, Dr. Stephen Crocker, ICANN Board Chair commended the groundbreaking work of the community of Internet organizations for bringing the issue of governance to the forefront through the "Montevideo Statement on the Future of Internet Cooperation". Dr. Crocker stated: "We have to have a more inclusive framework. We have to have the participation from everybody; civil society, academia, business, et cetera," He also spoke of the possible damaging effects if they didn’t work to preserve the inclusive communications system!
During the Buenos Aires Meeting, which is also ICANN's Annual General Meeting, Chehadé shared with the participants, ICANN’s accomplishments over the past year and also praised the success of the new generic Top-Level Domains (gTLDs) Program. He stated that by now, 24 new top-level domains have been delegated into the Domain Name System (DNS).
Al-Meshal indicated that the ICANN Meeting was very enlightening with positive results and gains that included the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the Korea Internet and Security Agency (KISA) and ICANN. This MoU entails a close collaboration between ICANN and KISA to engage in efforts in Korea and implement a pilot project to promote language localisation efforts in the region.