Press Releases

CTU Statement at ICANN Public Meeting at ICANN 79 in San Juan, Puerto Rico

CTU Statement at ICANN Public Meeting at ICANN 79 in San Juan, Puerto Rico

Delivered by Secretary-General Rodney Taylor

7th March 2024

Good day, I am Rodney Taylor, Secretary-General of the Caribbean Telecommunications Union (CTU) an inter-governmental organisation with 20 Member States and an observer member of the Government Advisory Council  (GAC).

The Member States of the CTU fall into ICANN’s geographic region of Latin America and the Caribbean and we are also a part of a grouping not recognised in the ICANN structure – namely, small island developing states or SIDS.

SIDS is a category of some 39 States recognised by the United Nations as being worthy of special consideration owing to their small size and particular vulnerabilities to external shocks. SIDS exist in most of ICANN’s geographic regions and it is typical to find that their digital economies and DNS industries are what we loosely describe as being underserved or underrepresented.

ICANN public meetings are therefore an opportunity for representatives from SIDS to come together and share knowledge and experiences and benefit from capacity-building programmes.

We would like to express appreciation to ICANN for facilitating a meeting of representatives from SIDS from all over the world at ICANN 79 and for the patronage of ICANN Vice Presidents from Latin America and the Caribbean, Africa, Asia-Pacific and Oceania. We also express appreciation for the solidarity shown, by our brothers and sisters from the Pacific Islands, within ICANN and in other internet governance spaces such as the UN IGF and the ITU.

Our meeting at ICANN 79 greatly enhanced understanding within the ICANN hierarchy of the concerns of SIDS and particularly in terms of stakeholder engagement requirements in all ICANN constituencies. We are relying therefore on effective executive follow-up by ICANN Org on behalf of SIDS going forward and to the regular accommodation of a “SIDS Space” at future ICANN public meetings. This can only serve to enhance the validity of the multistakeholder model and broaden the input to policy development processes across the ICANN community.

Lastly, we believe that the hosting of the United Nations 4th International Conference on Small Island Developing States in Antigua and Barbuda in May this year, provides an excellent platform for deepening the engagement with SIDS particularly around issues that are central to ICANN’s mandate and that intersect with the social and economic development aspirations of this stakeholder group and the UN Sustainable Development Goals or SDGs. It is for this reason that we proposed the hosting of the 2nd SIDS IGF as a special event within the SIDS4 conference and extend an invitation to the ICANN community to support this important initiative.

Once again, I express my sincere appreciation for this opportunity.