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Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Breaking News: Zika virus fear: ICANN relocates 57th meeting to India

The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) has moved the 57 public meeting from San Juan, Puerto Rico to Hyderabad in India, due to fear of Zika virus, reports ITRealms.

President of ICANN's Global Domains Division, Mr. Akram Atallah made this disclosure in his blog post, Tuesday, saying that it was a very difficult decision to be taken by the Internet coordinating body, noting that earlier in the year, ICANN announced that ICANN56 was going to be relocated from Panama City, Panama, to Helsinki, Finland, due to concerns related to the Zika virus.

He also said that following a great deal of internal debate and discussion, as well as taking into consideration the continued spread of Zika, ICANN has decided that they will be relocating ICANN57 from San Juan, Puerto Rico, to Hyderabad, India.

“Due to highly limited space availabilities, this relocation has necessitated changing the date of the meeting from 29 October – 4 November 2016, to 3 – 9 November 2016,” he said.
As said by Atallah, they did not arrive at this decision easily, but rather than remain in Puerto Rico,  which he described as the excellent location they had originally chosen.

“Moving the meeting venue creates a lot of additional work and challenges, and we understand and recognize that moving an ICANN meeting affects many groups within the community. However, we have come to the conclusion that we must postpone going to Puerto Rico after a lengthy discussion with and feedback from Supporting Organisations (SO) and Advisory Committee (AC) leaders, the Board, and within our management team,” he said.

Also Atallah explained that this decision was based on available research and information and the fact that Puerto Rico has declared a state of emergency due to the ongoing Zika virus outbreak.

“We believe that the Zika virus poses a significant enough threat that we need to postpone going to Puerto Rico for the health and safety of our community and our ICANN team, just as we had to postpone ICANN52 and relocate from Marrakech to Singapore due to the Ebola virus outbreak in 2014,” he said.

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