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APTLD 74 Communique

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APTLD 74 Communique

The 74th APTLD Members Meeting took place
in the city of Tashkent, Republic of Uzbekistan. Hosted by UZINFOCOM company,
the .UZ ccTLD registry, the Meeting boasts the record-breaking audience of 124
Members’ representatives and guests who proactively engaged in the on-site and
off-site activities.

The traditional 2 day-long pre-Meeting training course
consisted of a technical class on DDos attacks and ways to counter them. The
course was delivered by the RIPE NCC under the MoU signed back at APTLD72. The
marketing class on the art of argumentation and business negotiations and a
hands-on training on how to craft Power Point slide decks drew a lot of
participants, including some APTLD Board members.

The Meeting itself got together nearly 30 Membership’s
delegation, as well as a number of participants from Uzbekistan and some
neighboring countries, as well as the Americas, Europe, and even Africa.
Representatives of major regional organizations, including RIPE NCC, APNIC, and
ICANN also were there and contributed to the opening session and ensuing ones.

The local
stakeholders very much appreciated APTLD’s status as a major regional
organization, and it was the Hon. Shuhrat M. Sadikov, Minister for the Development of Information
Technologies and Communications of the Republic of Uzbekistan who opened the
Meeting with very insightful comments on the country’s path of transformation
of the local ICT  and internet industry
as a cornerstone of the government’s audacious reform agenda.

As propensity
for experimenting with Meetings and sessions formats has already become an
APTLD’s hallmark, APTLD74 was no exception. With Davos-style setting, that
allowed no-PPT panel discussions, simultaneous English-Russian interpretation
and live streaming of the event on YouTube, the Meeting allowed a greater
interaction and served as a catalyst for a more active networking during the
breaks. A total of 15 sessions were held during APTLD74, and the audience
seemed to be never thinning, while attendees posed many questions and comments
to the panelists and presenters.

The Meeting saw
many new faces of representatives of recently joined members, such as .SU and .СРБ (the IDN ccTLD
for Serbia), as well as those whom the community have not seen for a while,
such as .SA, .OM, .VU, among others. They all delivered quite illuminating
presentations.

IDN-related
topics are another APTLD Meetings’ hallmark, and in Tashkent, there were two
sessions, one of which focused on security challenges facing IDNs while in
other one, reports from several ccTLDs (SA, TH, TW – and CN by reports) show
that they have pursued EAI solutions to complement their IDN offerings. These
solutions, developed in-house or by private developers, have not been widely
advanced generally because the private developers do not see value in putting
efforts into the solutions while IDN registrations remain low.

The Meeting has
also further corroborated APTLD’s standing as a regional platform for, and
facilitator of, the best practices exchange. On APTLD74 sidelines, KAZNIC, the
administrator of .kz, signed a MoU with Indian Company Data Xgen Technologies
to empower about 18 million citizens to have universal acceptance and have
EAI-ready email address in the language of their choice in Kazakhstan.

APTLD74 also was
a very special event to celebrate the Association’s 20
th anniversary, which became a great cause to also celebrate the Association’s
rich legacy. To that effect, a special session became homage to ex-Board Chairs
represented by Prof. Kilnam Chon, Peter Dengate Thrush, and Jonathan Shea, and
ex-GM Don Hollander. Reminiscencing over the past, the veterans were unanimous
in their call to the community to keep reaching out and keep going.

The ensuing
Members Gala held on 20 September became a fascinating event for the meeting
participants, a true showcase of the Uzbekistani hospitality, culture, and
cuisine. They also took part in an off-site networking event in the ancient
city of Samarkand.

During APTLD74,
the Membership has also unanimously approved a draft Community Statement on
Country and Territory Designations as Top-Level Domains. Developed by an ad-hoc
working group that consisted of Vice Chair Gihan Dias (.LK), Cameron Boardman
(.AU), Hiro Hotta (.JP) and Stephen Deerhake, it became yet another sign of the
community’s commitment to the bottom-up policy making process and is poised to
send a strong signal across the global Internet community on the Asia Pacific
ccTLD registries’ unchanged stance on the subject matter. Once approved, the community
instructed GM to send it out to the APTLD Membership for prompt review and
comment with a view to submit the document to ICANN as its official position.

At the closure of the Meeting,
the next destination was unveiled for APTLD75 and AGM, namely, they are going
to take place in Dubai, UAE, on 20-21 February 2019. As well, the APTLD75
website was unveiled, already up and running at
www.aptld75.ae, and the draft agenda should
be sent to Members for review and comments.

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