ICANN Holds First Open House in Istanbul
ICANN's hub office in Istanbul successfully organized its inaugural open house on 22 April. The Istanbul office is the hub office for Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA). Our participants at the first open house were the registrar and registry operators based in Turkey - six of the eight local registrars and both registry operators took part.

The key topics included:
  • Update on business conditions in Turkey
  • Competitiveness and maturity of the Turkish domain name industry amid increasing global competition
  • Opportunities arising from Turkey's position in the wider EMEA region
  • Update on the .ist and .istanbul land rush period
  • Upcoming general availability of the second-level domains on .ist and .istanbul
Participants also had the chance to arrange one-on-one discussions with ICANN compliance staff, and to share knowledge with each other. ICANN staff encouraged attendees to take a greater part in policy development and to become involved in the Registries Stakeholder Group and the Registrar Stakeholder Group. Participants also learned about upcoming events such as the Global Domains Division (GDD) Industry Summit and the Middle East and Turkish Domain Name System (DNS) Forum activities.
From ICANN's perspective, these get-togethers facilitate peer-level knowledge transfer and enable us to update the community on ICANN's activities. We look forward to the next one! 
ICANN's New President and CEO Göran Marby Starts 23 May
Göran Marby, an experienced business executive and government leader,  joins ICANN as its President and Chief Executive Officer on 23 May. He will be based in our Los Angeles headquarters. Marby sat down with ICANN's Brad White to talk about his new appointment. "I'm very happy to be coming to this role right now. I see it as an important role, but it's a role within a community. I feel that I am part of an interesting and good team." You can find the full interview on ICANN's YouTube channel  or click here  to watch.

NPOC Announces Elections for Executive Committee Positions
The Not-for-Profit Operational Concerns Constituency (NPOC) will be holding elections for all positions on its Executive Committee:
  • Chair
  • Vice Chair
  • Secretariat
  • Membership Committee Chair
  • Policy Committee Chair
  • Communications Committee Chair
NPOC focuses on the impact of Internet and Domain Name System (DNS) policies on not-for-profit and non-governmental organizations with registered domain names. NPOC is the organization through which these groups can engage on how existing and proposed policies affect them.
Any member of NPOC who is in good standing may apply to become a nominee for a position. Position terms are not limited, so current members of the Executive Committee may also apply.
Nominations are open from 26 April to 26 May. Read about the election process and timeline
ICANN NextGen Candidates Selected for ICANN56
Fifteen individuals from universities in Europe have been selected to participate at the ICANN56 Policy Forum in Helsinki, Finland, from 27-30 June 2016. These individuals are engaged in studies that encompass policy, business, technical, security, law and communications. Five additional selectees who attended a previous  ICANN Public Meeting as NextGeners will serve as ambassadors.

SEEDIG Continues to Promote Multistakeholder Dialogue
On 22 April, the second South Eastern Europe Dialogue on Internet Governance (SEEDIG) conference took place in Belgrade, Serbia. The Internet Governance Forum (IGF) was supported by ICANN, the Internet Society (ISOC), the Réseaux IP Européens (RIPE) and others. The Council of Europe and the European Commission also participated in the event.
The conference's format allowed the 150 participants and speakers to interact closely. Discussion topics touched on the major aspects of Internet governance across the region: definition of Internet governance, limitations and mechanisms, the digital divide and cybersecurity challenges, and human rights protection in the digital era. At the end of every session, the key points emerging from the discussion were summarized in SEEDIG 2016 Messages . These topics will be presented at the upcoming European Dialogue on Internet Governance ( EuroDIG ) conference, to be held from 9-10 June in Brussels, Belgium.
In the first session, Andrea Beccalli, ICANN's Senior Manager of Stakeholder Engagement in Europe, talked about approaches to Internet governance. He was joined by representatives from ISOC, RIPE Network Coordination Centre (RIPE NCC) and the IGF Support Association (IGFSA). A main topic was the role of ICANN and its multistakeholder model within the layered structure of Internet governance. The Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA) Stewardship Transition was held up as an unprecedented example of the open multistakeholder model. With the proposal to replace the U.S. government's role over the IANA functions, the model goes beyond managing the logical layer of the Internet. The ultimate success may have far-reaching consequences for shaping new forms of global governance.
Alexandra Kulikova, ICANN's Manager of Global Stakeholder Engagement for Eastern Europe and Central Asia, joined the session on cybersecurity. Kulikova recognized the role of the various stakeholders and their shared responsibility in addressing many of the current cybersecurity threats. She discussed how a multistakeholder approach could solve these problems.
ICANN supported the early dialogue among stakeholders from the SEE region, leading to the formation of SEEDIG. SEEDIG is considered an example of how an organization can foster multistakeholder dialogue across borders and stakeholder groups. We are glad to see how far SEEDIG has come in just a few years!
The Importance of the WSIS Forum to Internet Governance
The annual World Summit on the Information Society Forum ( WSIS Forum ) has become an established part of the Internet governance calendar in Geneva, Switzerland. This event has a primary purpose of reviewing progress on the "WSIS Action Lines" (adopted at the WSIS in 2005). It has also become an important venue for multistakeholder discussions on Internet policy. This year the focus was on the UN-adopted 2013 Agenda for Sustainable Development , specifically, on the contributions that the information and communications technology (ICT) community can make toward these goals.
ICANN has been a key contributor to the WSIS Forum for many years, leading to our partnership with the International Telecommunication Union three years ago. This year, Akram Atallah, ICANN's acting CEO, spoke at the high-level session. Members of ICANN's civil society community were prominent participants. The Non-Commercial Users Constituency organized a session discussing how to meaningfully engage new communities in regional and global Internet governance debates. Community members chaired plenary policy discussions and organized and spoke in sessions, including a session on ICANN accountability.
During the WSIS Forum, ICANN and the Geneva Internet Platform hosted a well-attended side event - "Ensuring Civil Society's Voice Is Heard in ICANN."
ICANN SSR Expert Visits Warsaw
By Gabriella Schittek, Manager of Global Stakeholder Engagement, Central and Eastern Europe 

In April, Dave Piscitello, ICANN's Vice President of Security and ICT Coordinator, came to Warsaw, Poland. Piscitello is also a member of ICANN's Security, Stability and Resilience (SSR) team. The original reason for the trip was to speak at a conference sponsored by the Safe Cyberspace Foundation. However, when a ICANN staff member flies in from a distant location (in this case, the U.S.), we try to schedule other events to reach as many stakeholders as possible. 

Piscitello's week in Warsaw shows what happens when an SSR team member travels abroad.

The week started with a presentation at the  IDC Security Roadshow in Warsaw. Sponsored by the International Data Corporation (IDC), the conference is mainly directed at business stakeholders. Piscitello spoke on the asset value of domain names and the DNS, why they are at risk, and why and how organizations should consider domain names in their risk management processes.

Piscitello then rushed off to the Polish National Police's Cybercrime Unit, where he explained how ICANN is collaborating with law enforcement agencies around the world. He also discussed training opportunities for law enforcement officers to learn about cybercrime investigations.

The next stop was the American Chamber of Commerce, where Piscitello gave a presentation on DNS attacks and DNS monitoring. Here, the audience consisted of business people, technical people and lawyers, all keen on learning more about DNS attacks. To reach this mixed audience, Dave toned down the technical aspects of the presentation. Judging from the feedback, he was successful!

He also visited the Poland Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT.PL), where he discussed another training program. Piscitello talked about the "Train the Trainer" program, in which ICANN is providing training to entities such as CERTs, so that they can in turn train local agencies.

Warsaw Hackerspace is a group of young technical professionals who invited Piscitello to teach them more about DNS attacks. His deeply technical presentation made a good impression - it was followed by in-depth discussions on a variety of issues.

Piscitello's last day in Warsaw started with a conference organized by the  Safe Cyberspace Foundation. His three-hour presentation was geared toward a technical audience. It focused on DNS attacks: classification, mitigations and countermeasures.

The last engagement in Warsaw was to record a podcast, where Miroslaw Maj, Director of the Safe Cyberspace Foundation, asked tough questions on a variety of topics. [Listen to the  podcast.] 

Throughout the week, the feedback on Piscitello's presentations was overwhelmingly positive. A huge number of live-tweets were posted during his presentations; statements such as "the best presentation  ever" were not unusual.

For the Internet community in Poland, Piscitello's presentations and talks not only provided an opportunity to learn more about ICANN, the DNS and cyberthreats, but also triggered ideas for follow-up engagements with ICANN. The Warsaw visit showed the community that ICANN sees, listens to and cares about its global stakeholders!
A Successful First Webinar! Update on the IANA Stewardship Transition
On 6 April, we held the first webinar in our region to update attendees on the IANA Stewardship Transition. Speakers were:
  • Michael Yakushev, ICANN's Vice President of Stakeholder Engagement for Eastern Europe, Russia and Central Asia
  • Alexandra Kulikov, ICANN's Manager of Global Stakeholder Engagement for Eastern Europe and Central Asia
  • Wolfgang Kleinwachter of Aarhus University in Denmark, an ex-Board Member of ICANN
  • Mikhail Medrish, Board Member of the European At-Large Organization (EURALO)
  • Leonid Todorov, General Manager of the Asia-Pacific Top-Level Domain Association (APTLD)
The lively question-and-answer exchange that followed the presentation demonstrated that webinar participants were genuinely interested in the process. The recording is available on the ICANN website . We hope that webinars like this will become regular events!
ICANN Participates at the Russian IGF
Last month, ICANN joined over 800 participants at the 7th Russian IGF in Moscow. The event brought together members of the Internet governance community in Russia. This year saw a strong participation from the Council of Europe, Internet governance figures like Wolfgang Kleinwachter and Bill Drake, and representatives from other organizations involved in Internet governance. Kleinwachter was awarded the traditional Russian IGF Award Vertuti Interneti for his contributions to the development of the global Internet. Discussion topics included: approaches to Internet governance, the relationship between the Internet community and the state, and the development of infrastructure cybersecurity practices.
ICANN's Michael Yakushev spoke during the opening session, providing a brief update on the IANA Stewardship Transition and congratulating .ru on its 22nd anniversary. ICANN's Alexandra Kulikova also spoke on the principles of Internet governance, highlighting the multistakeholder model's recent successes and challenges. 
Kiev Hosts New gTLD Media Round Table
As part of the EMEA Media Roadshow, ICANN gathered members of the local media in Kiev, Ukraine on 19 April. The purpose of the meeting was to discuss business and economic perspectives of the New generic Top-Level Domain (gTLD) Program and Internationalized Domain Names. ICANN's Michael Yakushev led off the presentation. Other speakers were Alexander Olshansky, Deputy Chairman of the Ukrainian Internet Association and President of the Internet Invest Group, and Yuri Kargapolov, Internet technology expert and member of the Coordination Council for the Ukrainian Network Information Center. The discussion with the attending media went beyond the original topics. Participants discussed a range of local issues such as: interaction with law enforcement, WHOIS reform and trust of DNS infrastructure. The plan is for ICANN to take the Media Roadshow Round Table to other countries in the region. 
Middle East DNS Forum Turns Three!
Now in its third year, the Middle East DNS Forum 2016 was hosted by Tunisia Internet (ATI) in Tunis, Tunisia. The Middle East DNS Forum has become an annual event, organized by ICANN in partnership with ISOC. Noomane Fehri, Tunisian Minister of Communication Technologies and Digital Economy, and Sally Costerton, ICANN's Senior Advisor to the President and CEO, spoke at the event. This year, the forum attracted over 100 participants from countries that included: Egypt, Jordan, Kuwait, Morocco, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Tunisia, USA, France and Italy.
The agenda is developed by community members who are experts in various areas of the DNS. This year's topics included: online trends in the Middle East and North Africa region, entrepreneurship and the hosting industry, global and regional perspectives on the domain name industry, and civil society participation in the ICANN policy development process.
The Middle East DNS Forum comes out of the ICANN Middle East engagement strategy, which was developed by community members. It aims at providing a platform for stakeholders who are interested in domain name topics to come together to learn about recent developments, share experiences, and explore opportunities for collaboration.
NextGen participants from Kenya took time to visit the office
Nairobi, Kenya: Our Africa Engagement Center Opens with a Buzz
Internationalizing ICANN has been a major focus during the past four years. In fact, "evolving and further globalizing ICANN" is one of ICANN's five strategic objectives. ICANN is a global organization that is committed to supporting the growth and development of the domain name industry in Africa. As part of this strategy, the ICANN Board of Directors and senior leadership agreed to open the first ICANN office in Africa. The decision was announced during the ICANN55 Public Meeting in Marrakech, Morocco.

The Internet community in Africa applauded the decision, which they saw as strong evidence of ICANN's continued commitment to Africa. We are glad to inform you that the office is now fully operational. Plans to officially launch the office are underway - the official opening ceremony will be held in Nairobi, Kenya, on 24 May 2016.
While acting as ICANN's foothold in Africa, this office will be focused on championing institutional engagement with our stakeholders, including governments, civil society, and technical and academic institutions. For any questions about our Nairobi office, email queries.nairobiec@icann.org.
YouthCom Project Launches in Burkina Faso
ICANN hosted the first YouthCom workshop in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso, from 16-26 April. The YouthCom workshop initiative seeks to introduce young people from various backgrounds to ICANN and the wider Internet ecosystem. Participants were very excited about this opportunity. They promised to be more active in the ICANN community, and expect to participate in the next ICANN Public Meeting, with the workshop venue acting as a remote host.
The goal of the YouthCom program is to prepare a new audience to participate effectively in Internet governance. This program is an extension of other ICANN programs like  NextGen@ICANN and  Fellowship. YouthCom aims to reach as many youth as possible at the national level over the course of a two-day workshop.
Between now and June, YouthCom will educate youth in Kenya, Botswana, Morocco and Gabon.
DNS Entrepreneurship Workshops Continue
Recently, ICANN hosted two workshops - in Dakar, Senegal, from 14-16 April, and in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso, from 28 -29 April. The workshops provided an overview of the domain name industry to ICT companies, local domain name resellers and new startups. Participants at the workshop in Dakar resolved to work closely with NIC-SN - the country code top-level domain registry in Senegal - to promote ccTLDs.
DNSSSEC Roadshow Success Story
The Madagascar ccTLD registry has successfully implemented DNS Security Extensions (DNSSEC) as result of the DNSSSEC roadshow program. Read more about the program.
It's now been roughly two months since the  submission  of the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA) Stewardship Transition Package to the U.S. Government. Work is progressing to ensure that if the package is accepted, ICANN can implement any changes required by the proposals. The planned implementation work has been mapped across 14 projects and grouped into 3 tracks.
A focal point for ICANN and the community is the updating of ICANN's Bylaws. A draft of the new Bylaws has been posted for a 30-day public comment  period, which ends on 21 May 2016. After the comments are analyzed and incorporated, the ICANN Board can consider adopting the new Bylaws by the end of May. Once the ICANN Board adopts any changes to the Bylaws, the U.S. National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) can complete its anticipated 90-day review.
ICANN is also continuing joint planning efforts to remove NTIA's administrative role from the root zone management system. ICANN and Verisign completed system code changes and began a 90-day "parallel testing" period on 6 April 2016. This is a key step in ensuring the continued security and stability of the Root Zone Management System operation after the successful completion of the transition. Over a month has passed since the start of parallel testing, and everything is going smoothly.
Additionally, ICANN hopes to complete three other critical agreements this month:
  • Service Level Agreement for the IANA Numbering Services
  • Memorandum of Understanding Supplemental Agreement with the Internet Engineering Task Force
  • Root Zone Maintainer Agreement
ICANN will make these documents publicly available when they are final.
To keep everyone informed on all these strands of implementation planning, ICANN has begun publishing weekly updates. We encourage anyone who is interested in the transition's implementation planning details to read the inaugural update .
Register Today for RIPE 72
Réseaux IP Européens (RIPE) Meetings are five-day events bringing together Internet service providers, network operators and other interested parties from Europe, the Middle East and parts of Central Asia. RIPE 72 will be held 23-27 May 2016 in Copenhagen, Denmark. During the three days of plenary and two days of RIPE Working Group sessions, discussions will cover a range of Internet-related issues, including: the RIPE Database, addressing policy and routing. Registration is now open.
Learn about Multistakeholder Policy Development
Policy recommendations are developed and refined by the ICANN Community through its Supporting Organizations and Advisory Committees. These groups are composed entirely of volunteers from across the world - working in a bottom-up, open and transparent process. Each Supporting Organization has its own specific policy development process. Learn more about this work in the new "Multistakeholder Policy Development" infographic!
GNSO Council Unanimously Adopts Review Feasibility and Prioritization Analysis
The GNSO Review Working Party reviewed the GNSO Review Independent Examiner's Final Report. The report presented recommendations for improving GNSO processes. The reviewers gave detailed feedback on the priority and feasibility of all 36 recommendations. The Working Party Council adopted the assessment unanimously. It sent a letter to the ICANN Board Organizational Effectiveness Committee, which will oversee the implementation process. 
ccNSO Council Promotes Transparency
The Country Codes Names Supporting Organization (ccNSO) Council recently adopted a resolution making all ccNSO, ccNSO Council or ccNSO-chartered working group meetings open to observers. This practice will apply unless a majority of the voting members present at the meeting resolves to close the meeting due to the confidential nature of agenda. Recordings, transcripts, notes and minutes are made publicly available after meetings. Consult the draft agenda of ccNSO sessions for ICANN56. 
GAC Prepares for ICANN56
The Governmental Advisory Committee (GAC) recently finalized its agenda for ICANN56. Each morning will begin with a GAC working group session. The working group will then report back to the GAC plenary. Discussions will follow; issues could include:
  • Preparations for future rounds of new generic top-level domains (gTLDs)
  • Use of two-character country codes as second-level domains
  • Protection of acronyms for intergovernmental organization
Afternoons will be dedicated to cross-community topic sessions. The GAC is also considering whether to present formal advice to the ICANN Board in a communiqué or in a letter. In view of the limited meeting time available, a letter may be more feasible, but the GAC has not yet made a final decision. 
GNSO Council Formalizes GNSO Liaison to the GAC
The GNSO Council decided that beginning 1 July 2016, the role of GNSO Liaison to the GAC will become permanent. The decision came after a successful trial period with Mason Cole serving as GNSO Liaison. The GNSO Council also adopted a request for candidates to fill the role, and will issue a call for volunteers soon.
ALAC Advises on Draft Budget and Updates to the Five-Year Operating Plan
In a  statement, the At-Large Advisory Committee (ALAC) noted the improvements in the FY17 Operating Plan & Budget. The ALAC highlighted several areas in need of further clarification, including:
  • Operational responsibilities of the Post-Transition Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA)
  • Expenses related to strategic and operational planning
  • Programs and projects categorized as "Support Operations"
Furthermore, the ALAC suggested ways to improve data presentation related to community support requests and variance analysis of the New gTLD Program. In addition to this statement, the ALAC also submitted a formal  proposal requesting ICANN to establish a multiyear budget to facilitate the forward planning of Regional At-Large Organization General Assemblies and At-Large Summits. 
ccNSO SOP Working Group Submits Comments on Draft Budget
The ccNSO Strategic and Operational Planning Working Group (SOP WG) submitted public comments on the Draft FY17 Operating Plan and Budget. Their views do not necessarily represent the views of the ccNSO or country codes top-level domain (ccTLD) community at large. The ccNSO SOP WG looks forward to a discussion leading to further improvements to the document. Read their comments
New gTLD Delegation Deadlines
There are about 200 TLDs with New gTLD Program delegation deadlines approaching between now and the end of August 2016. The ICANN team is here to help registry operators navigate the final few steps toward the shared goal of delegation. For more information about delegation deadlines and tips on how to stay on track, read the blog .

IANA Functions, DNSSEC Audits: ICANN Systems Have Appropriate Controls
For the sixth consecutive year, ICANN has achieved Service Organization Control (SOC) 3 certification for its management of the Domain Name System Security Extensions (DNSSEC) Root Key Signing Key. Additionally, a SOC 2 audit of the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA) registry maintenance systems confirms that ICANN has the appropriate controls in place to ensure the security, availability and processing integrity of these systems.  Learn more.

Twenty Three New gTLDs delegated in April 2016

(ابوظبي, "Abu Dhabi", /abu thabi/)

For the full list of new gTLDs delegated in April 2016, click here.
Chatham House Cyber 2016
23-24 May       Royal Society of Arts | London

Increasing connectivity and complexity in cyberspace means that protecting businesses and states from attack is becoming ever more difficult. The Cyber 2016 conference will bring together policy-makers, security experts and business leaders. The conference will review the key challenges in cybersecurity and opportunities for new approaches to tackle threats.

Register at:  http://cht.hm/1Xze13S
For help with registration, contact Daniel Mitchelmore at +44 (0)20 7314 2785 or email  mitchelmore@chathamhouse.org.
Join us at these upcoming events in the EMEA region:

17 May     
Belarus Internet Governance Forum, Minsk, Belarus
23-27 May
RIPE 72, Copenhagen, Denmark
24 May 
Official launch of the ICANN Africa Engagement Office, Nairobi, Kenya
25-27 May
Connected ConferenceParis, France
29 May-10 June  
Africa Internet Summit 2016 (AIS'16)), Gaborone, Botswana
31 May  
IDC Day Tbilisi (Security, Virtualization, and Infrastructure Efficiency), Tbilisi, Georgia
9-10 June    
EuroDIG, Brussels, Belgium
21-22 June    
First Central Asian Forum on Internet Governance, Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan

Learn more about how ICANN will be participating in  regional events near you .