APTLD 77 Meeting Report

by Maureen Hilyard

I was invited to attend the opening day of the APTLD meeting which was held at a separate Melbourne venue from APRICOT. After the presentations by ccTLD managers present, the finale was a presentation by PICISOC Board member, Cherie Lagakali and the signing of an MOU between PICISOC and APTLD by Board member Andrew Molivurae. It was a great opportunity to meet up with some of our ALS representatives from Papua New Guinea, Fiji, Tonga, Vanuatu and as well as with ICANN’s Oceania GSE VP, Save Vocea, and a good friend of PICISOC from InternetNZ, Keith Davidson. During the 2-day meeting at break-out discussions, participants shared their ideas and came up with a set of recommendations as to what could be the role of ccTLDs in the Internet Governance ecosystem. We would encourage PICISOC members to build collaborative relationships with their ccTLD managers and to encourage their support for our work in the region.

At the opening plenary, Rajnesh Singh from ISOC gave an update on ISOC and APRIGF activities; and Cherie Lagakali as mentioned above updated everyone on PICISOC activities before Andrew Molivurae added his signature to the PICISOC MOU with APTLD.  Brent Carey (.nz) facilitated a session specifically for Pacific Island ccTLDs.  APTLD General Manager Leonid Todorov is very keen to help regional managers to develop their vision and strategies that will enable an expansion of their ccTLDs. There are very few ccTLD members from the Pacific in APTLD.  

Presentations were made by Tony Saaga (.ws, remotely), Norman Warput (.vu) and Fereti Atalifo (.fj).  Other Pacific representatives who were at the meeting (that I knew) included Bill Tomon (University of Technology, PNG), Per Darnell (.nu), Jordan Carter (InternetNZ), Keith Davidson (Internet NZ), Ellen Strickland (InternetNZ and former PICISOC Board), Save Vocea (ICANN) and Stephen Deerhake (.as).

As additional information, Stephen is the administrator of ICANN’s Empowered Community which under California law, has 9 powers which it can use to ensure that the ICANN Board and its staff are accountable. Stephen and I from the Pacific region represent the ccNSO and the ALAC on this specifically empowered group within ICANN. The Board has to do something drastic before we have to take any action.

Networks: During the week there were some interesting discussions with the Internet Society about the relationship between ISOC and ICANN and how they could collaborate more. We also met with members of ISOC Australia and AuDA who hosted a cocktail event. At the opening APRICOT event we noticed a couple of gatecrashers from the Oceania Cybersecurity conference. They too had noted the hailstone storm of a couple of hours back as we had been walking to the venue. Needless to say, we had to go back to our hotel to change. They came armed with umbrellas. It wasn’t just cybersecurity they were looking after. It was a wet welcome to Melbourne but a great time together!

Some of the Pacific Team at the Eureka Skybar; at the APRICOT Opening Social; and at the APRICOT Birthday Party.

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