Last month, the 74th APTLD Members Meeting took place in the city of Tashkent, Republic of Uzbekistan. Hosted by UZINFOCOM company — the .UZ ccTLD registry (that recently joined APTLD) — the meeting boasted a record-breaking audience of 124 Members’ representatives and guests who actively engaged in the on-site and off-site activities.
There was a healthy number of participants from Uzbekistan and neighbouring economies, as well as guests from the Americas, Europe and Africa. Representatives of major regional organizations, including the RIPE NCC, APNIC and ICANN were also there and contributed to both the opening and general sessions.
The local stakeholders very much appreciated APTLD’s status as a major regional organization, with the keynote address at the opening session delivered by the Hon. Shuhrat M. Sadikov, Minister for the Development of Information Technologies and Communications of the Republic of Uzbekistan, who shared insightful comments on the economy’s path of transformation. He stressed that the local ICT and Internet industry was a cornerstone of the nation’s bold reform agenda.
The Hon. Shuhrat Sadikov, Minister of IT & Comms for Uzbekistan opens #aptld74 in Tashkent. I’m honoured to be invited to attend 20 year celebrations of an organisation I helped found and then lead. pic.twitter.com/rPvhJar882
— Peter Dengate Thrush (@pdengatethrush) September 21, 2018
APTLD celebrated its 20th anniversary at the meeting, a very special milestone for the regional ccTLD community. It provided an opportunity to look back on its past achievements, as well as look ahead to APTLD’s future.
Founded by just a handful of what later became known as ccTLD registries back in 1998, and incorporated in Malaysia five years later, APTLD has now expanded to include 61 Members spanning across the Middle East, Asia, Oceania and Australasia, as well as having Associate Members in Europe and South America.
The community has expanded significantly, now encompassing all the sub-regions across the Asia Pacific and uniting, perhaps, the most diverse membership that proved to be ready for full-fledged collaboration and projects.
APTLD is recognized as a reputable platform for region-wide cooperation and dialogue to promote common interests and values. It was not accidental that the Members present at APTLD 74 promptly developed, and agreed on, a policy statement on an important matter of the use of two-character extensions in gTLDs, which was then submitted to ICANN.
APTLD has become instrumental in building very productive relationship with other regional and global I* organizations and proven a very trustworthy partner in a number of collaborative initiatives in the region. Though smaller in terms of membership than many of its partners, it has emerged as an equal player in the regional Internet governance ecosystem, at times paving the way for others to previously uncharted territories, and ensuring greater outreach to local stakeholders.
Guided by its fairly narrow ccTLD-centred mission, the APTLD and its individual Members fully recognize the importance of supporting educational and capacity building initiatives such as Schools of Internet Governance (SIGs) and the Asia Pacific Internet Governance Academy, and have become active participants in such projects.
With the Internet advancing at an enormous pace and new challenges emerging every day, it seems apt to cite Lewis Carroll’s Through the Looking Glass:
“…it takes all the running you can do, to keep in the same place. If you want to get somewhere else, you must run at least twice as fast as that!”.
The 20th anniversary is now part of APTLD’s legacy; there’s no time left for fireworks as APTLD is speeding up in the global Internet race to keep meeting the community’s expectations and demands.
Leonid Todorov is General Manager of the Asia Pacific Top Level Domain Association.
The views expressed by the authors of this blog are their own and do not necessarily reflect the views of APNIC. Please note a Code of Conduct applies to this blog.