What numbers folk need to know about ICANN 51

By on 27 Oct 2014

Categories: Community Policy

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Image from ICANN photos /www.flickr.com/photos/icann

Two interrelated topics dominated discussions during the recent ICANN 51 meeting in Los Angeles: the IANA stewardship transition and ICANN’s accountability.

It is clear real progress is being made by Internet communities across the world in eliciting opinions and feedback to produce an IANA stewardship transition plan —from the Opening Ceremony to an At-Large Ad-hoc Working Group, to the Community Discussion with the IANA Stewardship Transition Coordination Group (ICG). If you are interested in reading more, ICANN information about the process can be found here.

One of the key objectives for APNIC staff at ICANN 51 was to help to increase understanding about the APNIC community’s progress on the IANA transition discussion, to ensure the Asia Pacific — and global — numbering community’s voice is heard clearly at the global level and by other affected communities.

And it is clear the global numbering community and the IETF folk are making significant headway towards submitting unified proposals to the ICG from their communities. Soon after ICANN 51, the five Regional Internet Registries (RIRs) publicly published a process that will produce a single proposal from the IP addressing perspective to the NTIA.

ICANN President, Fadi Chehade, praised the process and progress of the numbering community at the ASO meeting with the Board:

“I heard the various representatives of the RIRs speak and frankly wanted to thank you for the incredible commitment and focus you have put to make this transition happen in a smooth and good way for the whole community. It is impressive.”

“I dream, as ICANN President, that one day we will operate with the same calm and precision you seem to be. You are really an example of how multistakeholder institutions should work. And I see that the more I get to know how you operate and you engage your communities…. I look forward to continuing working with you, fully respecting your role, fully respecting who you are but also equally engaging with you to learn from you and make sure we all serve the same community.”

The names community/ies have a more complex and challenging task on their hands developing a cohesive proposal. This impacts all affected communities because, as Chris Disspain said during APNIC 38:

“The key to it is to remember that all three— or possibly four, because the ‘Gs’ and ‘CCs’ (gTLD and ccTLD communities) will end up with slightly different needs from IANA — all four need to be sown together to make one piece. So it is incredibly important that while you are working on your numbers piece, you keep an eye on what’s going on in the other places to make sure that there aren’t any future train wrecks that might occur because the pieces aren’t compatible.”

The naming community is vehemently spearheading the second key topic of ICANN 51- the push for greater ICANN accountability.

In the words of NTIA Assistant Secretary, Larry Strickling, accountability is “the most fundamental question ICANN has had to face” since its creation.

Along with other stakeholders, the naming community is using the IANA transition as a timely opportunity to urge the organization to be more representative of the multistakeholder process. ICANN has been called upon to instigate effective mechanisms to hold it more accountable to the community, and curative measures in the event that it seeks to amend or act inconsistently with its bylaws.

As the deadline for the IANA stewardship transition proposal from the ICG looms, a key discussion point of the week was prioritization of the raft of accountability measures on the table— what must be addressed before the IANA transition can proceed (even if the implementation could follow the transition) and what could be addressed afterwards.

Again, if you are interested in reading further, more information from ICANN on Revised Enhancing ICANN Accountability: Process and Next Steps can be found here.

It is a credit to the global Internet community that the atmosphere of the meeting was one of cooperation, with all communities united in the knowledge that they have to work together, now more than ever, for the future of a global, open, stable, and secure Internet.

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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.

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