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Dear Colleagues,

As an alumina of Diplo, It was a Great opportunity for me to attend the 35th ICANN Meeting held in Sydney as "ICANN's Fellow".

The 35th International Meeting of the Internet Corporation of Assigned Names and Numbers’ (ICANNs) Meeting in Sydney Australia – from June 21-26, 2009 was attended by ICANN’s global, multi-stakeholders community with an aim of tracking many issues surrounding the Internet’s unique identifier system which they seek to improve and protect.

Always, the conference schedule was parked. Particular interest was progress on the NewgTLD Program. Of equal importance was the internationalized Domain Names (IDNS) process, including the latest on the IDNccTLD Fast Track process implementation plan, the IDNA Protocol and the most recent steps toward completing a full policy for creating IDNccTLDs, Together, new TLDs abd IDNTLDs are expected to open the gateway to global Internet access for billions of potential users.

Other continueing key issues addressed were helping the organization to avoid capture, making it more accountable, ensuring its operational and financial security, and improving its focus on the crucial issues of stability and security of the Internet’ unique identifier systems and the Domain name System.

Workshops and other sessions held during the meeting included enhancing security, stability and resiliency of the Internet, DNSSEC root zones signing, public participation, contractual compliance, the new Registrar Accreditation Agreement, the ICANN budget and operating plan, and many others.

The Fellowship Program
Attending the Fellowship Meetings during the morning and as well as participating in other sessions helps me understand and familiarize myself with ICANN’s acronyms/vocabularies-having a broader overview about the issues discussed in different meetings during the past day.

In terms of Networking, information sharing and collaboration, the Fellowship Meeting was an extraordinary one, exceeding my expectations: I met and had discussions with prominent individuals such as Janice Lange Anne –Rachel Inne, Anne Lord of ISOC, and others who are tirelessly working to bridge the digital divide, making the Internet what it is today. What was most interesting to me was that Janice, Anne-Michel and Anne Lord are people who are interested in other people and their views. They are willing at all times to help, and to answer questions without delay, and they helped me with ideas and strategies that I can apply to help me with the evolution of Internet in my home country, Liberia. We spontaneously shared experiences and dialogues in finding the way out to make my region, Africa, and especially my home country Liberia strong when it comes to Internet issues, and about how we can work together, help each other grow and expand the works of the Fellowship Program, ICANN in general, and ISOC.

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Comment by Siranush Vardanyan on July 31, 2009 at 11:27am
Dear Charles, thanks for posting such an interesting report on your participation at ICANN 35th meeting in Sydney. Your report inspired me to post also two cents from my side:)

The 35th ICANN public meeting in Sydney for me was the third time as an ICANN Fellow (I am three time Alumni of ICANN Fellowship program). But Sydney meeting was actually the first time when I was in advance asked to make a presentation on the first day of the Fellowship meeting for all new comers and ICANN alumni and for the first time actually when I felt strong enough to agree to do that presentation. I was happy to be a so called "ambassador" for ICANN fellows in Sydney for the whole week, by introducing participants to the program, expectations of the week ahead and how to be involved in the ICANN community (the info is also posted here: http://www.icann.org/en/announcements/announcement-16jul09-en.htm).

I want to share with my Diplo colleagues here the fact that my presentation at ICANN Sydney meeting started with the introduction of my own story of development, which actually started from my participation at IGCBP 07 program, supported by Diplo Foundation. After my participation in an online course, Diplo gave me the second chance to be a part of the First Summer School on Internet Governance in Meissen, Germany (in August 2007). Only through to these participation I learned about ICANN.

I am happy to say that this start make me enthusiastic and full of new innovative ideas to state that within one and a half year (from February 2008 till July 2009) I became three time alumni of ICANN meetings and once on my own expenses (Paris meeting in June 2008). I was also encouraged by the participation of several Diplo fellows in ICANN meeting in Sydney, particularly Dassie (who is also Diplo fellow of this year), who came to me after my presentation and said that when she was listening to me, she thought I was telling her own story story".

From my participation in different ICANN meetings I can also see how influencial are becoming Diplo participants all over the world on both local and internation level and I am very happy to be a part of such a great family.

This only proves tha fact how Diplo Foundation is changing people's life, making them learn, develop, providing so much knowledge, encouragement and space for future development.

Thanks for giving the chance in this space to share my thoughts with all of you!
Comment by Richard Jonathan on July 15, 2009 at 8:27pm
Hi Charles
Thank you for such an insightful report back. It is good to see how Diplo's influence extends from the point at which you started the Internet Governance Capacity Building Programme in 2008 up to the point where you are a more active participant - in particular the wealth of knowledge you could take back to Liberia. Well done!

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