DotConnectAfrica reporting from the “Rich Coast”, San Jose Costa Rica

ICANN Costa Rica
ICANN Costa Rica

Delegates from all parts of the world have this month gathered in San Jose Costa Rica. The host country in Central America.Costa Rica, which means “Rich Coast”, which means “Rich Coast”, has an interesting history having constitutionally abolished its army permanently in 1949.

It’s one of the greenest countries in the world thriving with a rich ecosystem that could not escape ICANN CEO ,Rod Beckstrom’s opening speech saying  “Few places on earth can rival Costa Rica and its vast variety of plants, animals, and insects. Despite its relatively small size, it is home to almost 5% of the world’s species including more than a thousand species of butterflies alone”.

The meeting which hosted delegates from all over the world was also attended by our very own Director and founder of DCA, Ms. Sophia Bekele who had the opportunity to attend and participate in discussions.  She was one of the delegates representing the African continent. This is the 43rd convention organized since the inception of ICANN.

Mr Rod beckstrom recognized and thanked AFRALO the main organizes of Dakar 42 meeting hosted in Senegal Africa terming it spectacular saying that Participation in the monthly AFRALO teleconferences has risen 30% since Dakar.

Her Excellency President, Laura Chinchilla who days before the ICANN 43 meeting declared meeting as a public interest event in Costa Rica, calling government agencies and the private sector alike to collaborate . She noted that the meeting was taking place at an important time in history where a new address regime IPv6 had been introduced and urged its adoption.

She recognized the rapid development of the web 2.0 and the concerns about the attempts to regulate internet saying in part “The legitimate concerns on the field of privacy, security, and protection of intellectual property should not become an excuse to justify trends seeking to exercise highly restrictive controls on cyberspace.”

, the need of online protection and enforcement of digital trade act alternatives should rather focus on tracking and limiting payments to illegitimate Web sites without limiting the social transformation potential offered by Internet 2.0.

Other notable speeches included Dr Crocker , who recognized the rapid growth of internet since his days at ARPANET. He acknowledged the transparency that the web has become noting the RFC documents that have become publicly available. More than 25% of the global population has Internet access, and in some countries that connectivity reaches 100%. Therefore, Internet is a reality that cannot be ignored and that has enabled stakeholders to place more significance on it.

He singled out growth attributed to successful startups by individuals that have revolutionized the internet  “And we fully expected there would be new services, new ideas,  we also understood that it would be foolish for us to insist our views or our expectations would be the only way things would happen…”.
He traces the www evolution exclaiming “the www was created by physicists in Switzerland, that eBay revolutionized auctions, Amazon: retail sales of books. Google: search, Skype and Twitter and Facebook would all come about from individual initiatives …” This shows the unlimited nature of online entrepreneurship that has made multibillionaires

The growth of Country Code Names Supporting Organization ( ccNSO ) is unstoppable and now boasts of  126 members, including 17 new members during the year 2011. The multistakeholder though slow in its functions is built by consensus, from the bottom up, and that gives voice to the millions whose future is tied to the Internet and must be guarded as on of the guardians of the internet fraternity.

Being the year of the new gTLD’s, the outgoing ICANN CEO mentioned that so far, 254 registered users have been registered  in the on-line application system, since the application window opened in January, assured the delegates of the highly protected tamper proof application system. Mr. Crocker emphasized that even the ICANN staff were not privy of the information.

The formation of three big teams to aid in the ICANN operations during the application were lauded Accountability and Transparency Review Team, WHOIS review team and Security, Stability and Resiliency Team. The next milestone is the publication of the applied-for new gTLD strings in early May.

Dotconnectafrica indeed shares the values that have been thoughtfully emphasized by the honorable speakers in this conference, the issues that foster development and transparency of the internet space and like Mr. Mr. HARTMUT GLASER, LACNIC representative and Chief Executive Secretary of ably put it “ I believe that Internet use should be steered by the principles of freedom of speech, individual privacy, and respect for human rights… ”adding that “Internet governance must be transparent, multilateral, and democratic, with the participation of several segments of society preserving and fostering its collective creation nature.”

In the same vein need for transparency and elimination of conflict of interests cannot be ignored within the governing systems and DCA seconds Mr. Beckstrom who indeed remarked “We must seize the opportunity to embrace the transparency and good governance that this precious resource deserves. ICANN must be able to act for the public good while placing commercial and financial interest in the appropriate context.”

By and large the ICANN 43 meeting in Costa Rica that closes today has been rated by the delegates as one of the most successful meetings presided by ICANN, many issues touching on internet security ,Child protection , Internet growth and largely the new upcoming gTLD’s we the main topics of deliberation during the entire conference.

DCA hopes that the discussions that transpired in the Forums will go a long way to foster the future of internet and make it better for the benefit of all peoples of this World better called “netizens” .

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