Cooks part of international internet meets

Sunday April 21, 2013 Written by Published in Technology

Beijing was the destination for two Cook Islanders recently, to attend an international meeting to discuss the names and numbers used in internet addresses.

ICAAN (Internet Corporation of Assigned Names and Numbers) held the first of its three meetings for the year, over four days in early April. The meeting was hosted by APRALO (Asia Pacific Regional At Large Organisation), one of the five regional groups of ALAC (At Large Advisory Council) that make up ICAAN.

Maureen Hilyard, made the journey to represent the Pacific Islands Chapter of the Internet Society, as its board chair, along with Pua Hunter from the Cook Islands Internet Action group.

Hilyard, one of the members of the organising committee for the APRALO events, said that as the meeting was held in the Pacific regions they were the host for the showcase event for this meeting.

“The showcase will be an opportunity for all the local organisations to tell ICAAN participants from all around the world about their countries and what their organisations do back home,” said Hilyard. “Pua will be able to tell them about the Cook Islands Internet Action Group and its involvements in helping to make the internet more accessible for people across the Cook Islands.”

Celebrating diversity was the theme of the meeting, with the Pacific region well represented. APRALO sponsored the attendance of its ALS (At Large Structures) members including the three from the Pacific, Pacific Islands Chapter of the Internet Society, The Cook Islands Internet Action Group and the Niue Internet Users Society.

Also present were government representatives from Marshall Islands, Papua New Guinea and Nauru.

ICAAN’s main function is to co-ordinate the internet addresses that are used world-wide and to ensure that each one is unique. It was formed in 1998, and describes itself as a not-for-profit partnership of people all over the world dedicated to keeping the internet secure and stable.

“ICANN employs a multi-stakeholder bottomup approach to decision making – involving technical, government and end-users – relating to the global development of the internet,” says Hilyard.

Hilyard also attended a women’s breakfast session, where she says she was honoured to be able to meet with Madam Hu Qiheng, President of the Internet Society of China. Madam Hu is known for the important role she has played in the development of the Internet in China as well as international exchange and co-operation in related fields, says Hilyard.

While most of Hilyard and Hunter’s time at the meeting was filled with IT talk, they also found time to spare to visit some of the sites of Beijing. Hilyard says they visited the village markets, the Forbidden City and Tiananmen Square prior to the event, in a day which saw them dealing with crowds that you are unlikely to ever see in Rarotonga.

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