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ICANN may cancel Morocco meeting over Ebola fear

Kevin Murphy, October 27, 2014, 08:05:06 (UTC), Domain Policy

ICANN may cancel its forthcoming meeting in Marrakech, Morocco, due to fears about the spread of Ebola in Africa.

The organization issued a statement last night, after local reports said the decision to cancel had already been made:

Following Morocco’s recent request to postpone the Africa Cup of Nations football tournament because of possible African travel restrictions, ICANN is in active and ongoing discussions with our ICANN 52 Marrakech hosts.

ICANN is considering postponing the meeting in Marrakech scheduled for 8-12 February, 2015 as the likelihood of travel restrictions being imposed on nationals from African countries would reduce participation in the meeting. ICANN’s multistakeholder, bottom up model relies on the broad, active participation of communities across geography and society.

ICANN staff is working closely with the ICANN Board and its Community representatives.

No decision has been taken yet, however ICANN understands the importance of providing timely updates and path forward on the status and location of ICANN 52.

Citing an unnamed ICANN source, Le360 reported on Saturday that ICANN 52 had been canceled due to the Moroccan government’s reluctance to host large international gatherings.

While Morocco is not affected by the current Ebola outbreak — which has infected over 10,000 people thousands of kilometers away, mainly in Sierra Leone, Guinea and Liberia — there are fears that major international events could bring the virus into the country.

The government has been urging the Confederation of African Football to postpone the Africa Cup of Nations, a football tournament due to take place January 17 to February 8.

The ICANN meeting in Marrakech is scheduled for February 8 to 12.

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