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ICANN bans sandwiches from Helsinki meeting

Kevin Murphy, April 1, 2016, 00:10:11 (UTC), Gossip

ICANN has announced that sandwiches have been banned from the forthcoming ICANN 56 public meeting in Helsinki.

The move has been made in response to recent controversies over the availability of “inappropriate” foodstuffs during coffee and lunch breaks at the thrice-yearly policy meetings.

“The board has listened, and the board has acted decisively in response to community concerns,” ICANN chair Steve Crocker said at a packed press conference today.

“Starting with ICANN 56, our meeting venues will be sandwich-free zones,” he said.

ICANN has had to take on new caterers to supply non-sandwich-based refreshments and will incur a one-time early termination fee of $242,000, according to its contract with its former supplier.

“It’s a small price to pay to make sure we only provide appropriate snacks for our valued stakeholders,” he said.

DI has obtained a copy of the proposed Helsinki menu, which has been approved as “100% fine” by ICANN’s board and Ombudsman, as well as the legal and compliance departments and external auditors.

You can read it here (pdf).

The unexpected sandwich ban surprised many community leaders.

“The ICANN board is totally missing the point here,” said GNSO chair James Bladel. “The PBJ-WG clearly and unanimously recommended that the prohibition should only apply to cheese sandwiches.”

“It’s just another example of top-down, unilateral regulation,” he said.

Critics noted that, due to pressure from the French government, the ban does not apply to filled baguettes.

But Crocker denied government meddling had created a loophole, noting that all baked goods containing fillings comprising over 32% dairy-based solids would still be captured by the ban.

“Naturally, we couldn’t ban all baguettes,” he said. “That would be a ludicrous thing to do.”

He advised all ICANN 56 delegates to show up early to sessions in order to speed up the new mandatory sandwich-screening bag checks.

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Comments (12)

  1. Acro says:

    Shocking. I’d expect them to ban filet mignon as it’s quite expensive.

    What would Fadi say?

  2. BT says:

    1st of April is my favorite day of the year

  3. Sounds like a perfect way of stopping sexual harassment at ICANN meetings!

  4. Bob says:

    Does the ban apply to all products with any cheese content, or is there a safe threshold? I was told there was a PDP to be formed to study the matter?

  5. That’s going to be really unfair to the .gs ccTLD management from the Sandwich Islands.

  6. Chris Gift says:

    Are there any policy vs implemention concerns here?

    • Greg Shatan says:

      If the caterer provides bread, cold cuts, sliced cheeses, lettuce, tomato and condiments, that will not violate the sandwich ban, since putting the ingredients together will constitute “mere implementation.”

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