The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) has announced that its ICANN68 Policy Forum, which was to be held in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, will now be held via remote participation only. The ICANN Board of Directors made the decision that ICANN68 will not proceed as an in-person meeting. Instead, the Board has directed the ICANN org to explore additional community feedback and suggestions, in order to develop a meaningful and productive ICANN68 Policy Forum remotely.
The meeting, scheduled for 22nd to 25th June 2020, will be the second time in a row that ICANN will be holding a Public Meeting solely with remote participation. ICANN67, which was originally slated to hold in Cancún, Mexico, from 7th to 12th March 2020, was held as ICANN’s first entirely remote virtual meeting following the declaration of COVID-19 as a public health emergency of international concern by the World Health Organization.
With an increasing number of countries issuing stay-at-home, lockdown, or social-distancing orders to its citizens to slow the spread of COVID-19, gatherings and international travel are effectively on pause for the foreseeable future. With the health and safety of ICANN’s community as a top priority, ICANN declared that convening ICANN68 as an in-person meeting is no longer feasible.
Following the success of ICANN67 as a Virtual Community Forum, ICANN sought the ICANN community’s feedback on how to improve future virtual meetings. In its decision, the Board also directed ICANN to coordinate with the ICANN community on the best way forward in order to meet the expected outcomes of an ICANN Policy Forum. It was said that the community’s feedback will be incorporated into the planning and execution of ICANN68.
ICANN thanked the Kuala Lumpur host committee and other regional partners in the Asia Pacific (APAC), who had provided their support and expertise throughout the planning process for ICANN68.
ICANN had announced that those interested in attending the virtual meeting will still be required to register. An announcement will be posted once registration is open. To learn more about the ICANN remote participation, visit ICANN Public Meetings.