The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) announced that the ICANN69 Annual General Meeting (AGM), which was to be held in Hamburg, Germany, will not proceed as an in-person meeting. ICANN69 will be the third time ICANN will hold a Virtual Public Meeting as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. ICANN 67 and ICANN68 were also held as virtual meetings although they were scheduled for Cancún, Mexico and Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. ICANN is currently scheduled to convene ICANN70 in Cancun, Mexico, and ICANN71 in The Hague, The Netherlands.
ICANN Public Meetings
According to the announcement, the health and safety of the ICANN community is always a top priority and there are still several barriers remaining that prevent holding large international meetings which include ongoing restrictions on international travel, diminished flight availability, challenges in obtaining visas, physical distancing requirements, the risks posed to the local host community, and the possibility of a resurgence resulting in further lockdowns. Maarten Botterman, ICANN Board Chairman said,
“Above all, the health and safety of the global ICANN community, Board, and staff is the most important consideration for any Public Meeting. As of right now, there are still too many uncertainties involved with hosting a face-to-face meeting. The Board believes that this is the right decision, and it gives us ample time to plan a successful Annual General Meeting. There’s a great deal of work to be done, so let’s continue to focus on getting it done, together.”