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  • Minister Paulwell will attend the Commonwealth Domain Name Systems Forum and the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) 50 meeting in London, England.
  • The ICANN 50 Meeting will discuss, among other things: the proposed changes to managing the Internet and ways of preserving and improving its multi-stakeholder governance model.
  • ICANN is a non-profit private organization which was established to oversee a number of Internet-related tasks including managing Internet infrastructure.

Minister of Science, Technology, Energy and Mining, Hon Phillip Paulwell, will attend the Commonwealth Domain Name Systems Forum and the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) 50 meeting in London, England, June 19-20, 2014 and June 22-26, 2014 respectively, as well as, the Ministerial Forum for the Second Working Session of the Smart Sustainable Development Model (SSDM) Advisory Board, Geneva, Switzerland, June 26, 2014.

Under the theme: “Promoting DNS investment, innovation and the development of multi-stakeholder partnerships”,  the Commonwealth Domain Name Systems (DNS) Forum will discuss issues such as: the Commonwealth Governance Model which was adopted by the Commonwealth ICT Ministers in March 2014; the economic potential of the domain name industry and the ways in which Commonwealth countries can leverage the opportunities presented through DNS to achieve broader developmental goals; issues surrounding local content generation and utilisation; and investment and innovation, partnerships and security including national cybersecurity strategies and the establishment of Cyber Emergency Response Teams (CERTs).

The ICANN 50 Meeting will discuss, among other things: the proposed changes to managing the Internet and ways of preserving and improving its multi-stakeholder governance model.

ICANN is a non-profit private organization which was established to oversee a number of Internet-related tasks including managing Internet infrastructure, IP addresses, protocols and standards, security, anonymity, privacy, content regulation, child-abusing protection, copyright laws and software piracy prevention. ICANN also manages domain names such as, .org, .com, .edu, .net and others at the country level such as, .uk, for the United Kingdom and .jm, for Jamaica and defines policies on how the “names and numbers” of the Internet should run.

The meetings will bring an important Commonwealth perspective to the consultation on the DNS.  It will be another step in efforts to mobilise the strengths of the Commonwealth to ensure Cyberspace delivers the desired socio-economic benefits. These outcomes include improving cybersecurity, increasing access, and working with local communities and businesses.

The recent announcement by the National Telecommunications and Information Administration of the USA that it has decided to end its stewardship of the functions of the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority will lead to changes in the approach to Internet Governance.  It is believed that the multi-stakeholder approach is the best way to gain consensus on the numerous issues regarding Domain Names and related issues. The participation of Government as a key stakeholder in Internet Governance, is seen as critical to the process.

The effects of the pending changes to Internet Governance and strategies being formulated will have far-reaching implications for developing countries. Jamaica is one of the few Caribbean countries with representation on the Governmental Advisory Committee (GAC) of ICANN.  The GAC’s key role is to provide advice to ICANN on issues of public policy, especially where there may be an interaction between ICANN’s activities or policies and international laws and agreements.

The Ministry of Science, Technology, Energy and Mining (MSTEM) has embarked on several initiatives in the area of cyber security, including the establishment of a CERT.  The CERT will assist in the protection of Jamaica’s online and cyber infrastructure by coordinating defences against and responses to cyber-attacks and/or threats. 

The Smart Sustainable Development Model (SSDM) Advisory Board, which is spearheaded by the Telecommunication Development Bureau (TDB) of the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), seeks to link ICT for Development (ICT4D) with ICT for Disaster Management (ICT4DM). The Model desires to achieve sustainable development and optimal resource use without additional financial investment in the use of excess satellite capacity.

The SSDM Advisory Board has been established with a view to, inter alia, providing strategic direction to the TDB for the development, implementation and promotion of the SSDM initiative. Minister Paulwell is a founding member of the SSDM Advisory Board which held its first meeting on October 18, 2013.

 

The Minister will leave the island on Tuesday, June 17 and will return on Sunday, June 29.