ICANN 55 | Morocco

Post-Doctoral Fellow, Dr. Monika Zalnieriute attended the 55th meeting of the International Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) in Marrakech, Morocco, 5–10 March 2016*

ICANN is a global non-profit organization that is responsible for coordinating the maintenance of the Internet's global Domain Name System, including policy development for internationalization of the DNS system, introduction of new generic top-level domains (TLDs) and the operation of root name servers.

Dr. Zalnieriute is currently serving on the Executive Committee of the Non-Commercial Stakeholder Group (NCSG), which is part of the Generic Names Supporting Organization (GNSO) within ICANN.

Thus, in the regular ICANN meetings every four months, Dr. Zalnieriute supports the workings of Non-Commercial Stakeholder Group and Non-Commercial Users Constituency in particular, and is devoted to the strengthening of the human rights protection within ICANN policies and procedures. Recently Council of Europe as well as non-governmental organization ‘Article 19’ released her several expertise reports on ICANN & human rights issues**, which have attracted a lot of attention among various stakeholders within ICANN and Internet Governance circles. This in turn, led to the creation of Cross-Community Working Party on ICANN’s Corporate and Social Responsibility to Respect Human Rights, which continues to work towards advancing human rights protection within ICANN’s policies and procedures.

In this context, Dr. Zalnieriute’s attendance at the 55th ICANN meeting in Morocco particularly focused on holding a joint session and establishing clear collaboration in the future on human rights issues with the Governmental Advisory Committee (GAC); a drafting of the commitment to respect human rights by ICANN together with the ICANN Board of Directors, as well as advancing data protection and privacy concerns in the newly-established Working Group on the Next-Generation Registration  Directory Services, and protection of free expression issues in the Working Group on the New generic Top Level Domain (gTLD) Subsequent Procedures.

The full schedule of ICANN 55 in Marrakech and remote participation is available here


**See Dr. Monika Zalnieriute and Thomas Schneider, ‘A Council of Europe Analysis on ICANN’s Procedures and Policies in the Light of Human Rights, Fundamental Freedoms and Democratic Values,’ Council of Europe, Strasbourg, DGI(2014)12, available here

Dr. Monika Zalnieriute, ‘ICANN’s Corporate Responsibility to Respect Human Rights,’ Policy Brief for Article 19: Global Campaign for Free Expression, February 2015, London, available here

Dr. Monika Zalnieriute, ‘Issue Report for the Cross Community Working Party on ICANN’s Corporate and Social Responsibility to Respect Human Rights: Practical Recommendations for ICANN, June 2015, London, available here

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