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A Look Back at ICANN78

3 November 2023

Thank you to everyone who helped make ICANN's 25th Annual General Meeting a success. It was an especially meaningful event as we celebrated ICANN's quarter century of achievements and our commitment to ensuring a stable, secure, and unified global Internet. More than 1,800 people attended ICANN78 in person in Hamburg, Germany, and over 600 participated virtually.

ICANN78 participants represented 175 countries and territories. Here is a regional breakdown of the in-person attendees:

  • Africa – 109 (6 percent)
  • Asia, Australia, and the Pacific Islands – 282 (15 percent)
  • Europe – 924 (50 percent)
  • Latin America and the Caribbean – 95 (5 percent)
  • North America – 439 (24 percent)

Detailed statistics will be available in the ICANN78 By the Numbers Report that will be published in the coming weeks.

If you missed anything during ICANN78, visit the meeting website for session recordings and transcripts.

I'd like to thank the City of Hamburg and our hosts for their warm welcome and hospitality. Their friendly reception and the wonderful venue provided the perfect backdrop to commemorate this ICANN milestone.

Throughout the meeting, I felt a shared sense of pride and gratitude mixed with a bit of nostalgia, as people reminisced about the many achievements during ICANN's first 25 years. It was great to see so many ICANN community members contribute selfies to our 25th Anniversary Photo Mosaic and record congratulatory video messages or memories, which we will highlight online throughout the next few months. If you have not contributed a picture yet, you can still add one until the end of November.

As part of the official program, I was delighted to host a special 25th Anniversary Session, in which Steve Crocker and Lawrence Strickling, key figures in ICANN history, as well as other guests reflected on milestones and highlights in ICANN's development. They also shared their perspectives on the organization's future. To close out the special occasion in style, it was wonderful to see so many come together on Wednesday evening for the ICANN 25th Anniversary Celebration with food, fun, and music.

With the 20-year review of the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS+20) approaching in 2025, geopolitical discussions permeated the meeting. Potential strategies to address the WSIS+20 process and other geopolitical issues were discussed during the Geopolitical, Legislative, and Regulatory Developments Update session. Another key topic during ICANN78 was planning the next Universal Acceptance Day (UA Day). I'm pleased that after a successful premiere this year, we've made substantial progress in developing the second edition of UA Day in 2024. You'll hear more about our plans soon.

Combating Domain Name System (DNS) abuse continues be a key priority for ICANN and was also discussed during ICANN78. I'd like to encourage all ICANN-accredited registrars and generic top-level domain registry operators to vote on the proposed contract amendments, which mark a significant milestone in our efforts to counter DNS abuse.

Finally, thank you all again for being part of a productive and joyous ICANN78. I look forward to seeing you again in March 2024 at ICANN79 in San Juan, Puerto Rico.


Sally Costerton

Sally Costerton

Sr. Advisor to President & SVP, Global Stakeholder Engagement and Interim President & CEO