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Chair’s Blog: ICANN78 and October Board Workshop Recap

17 November 2023

With the conclusion of ICANN78, the annual cycle of ICANN Public Meetings has come to an end. Accordingly, ICANN's 25th Annual General Meeting marked the culmination of much of our work of the past year, as we set our sights on the year ahead.

On behalf of the ICANN Board, I would like to emphasize that ICANN meeting attendees are expected to adhere to the ICANN Expected Standards of Behavior, which require participants to treat each other equally irrespective of nationality, gender, racial or ethnic origin, religion or beliefs, disability, age, or sexual orientation, and with respect and civility both face-to-face and online. The ICANN community comes together in service of ICANN's mission and within its remit in safe spaces for discourse and the exchange of ideas.

At the public Board Meeting on 26 October, the Board took action on all remaining policy recommendations relating to the New Generic Top-Level Domain (gTLD) Program: Next Round, paving the way for the implementation work to proceed as planned. Furthermore, the Board approved funding for the next stage of implementation. This achievement is the product of the dedication and close collaboration across the ICANN community, organization, and Board, and I thank everyone involved for your hard work.

Besides the next new gTLD application round, another key focus of the meeting was the forthcoming 20-year review the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS+20). In 2025, the international community will have the opportunity to reaffirm its support for the multistakeholder model of Internet governance. At ICANN78, several ICANN community groups held sessions on how to best engage with decision-makers ahead of this process. The WSIS+20 review was on the agenda of many of the Board's 10 bilateral sessions with community groups, and the Board also brought together representatives from ICANN's technical partners to discuss deepening our collaboration.

Among other highlights of ICANN78 were the relaunch of Europe Space, the European Regional At-Large Organization General Assembly, and the first open work sessions of the Security and Stability Advisory Committee. And while ICANN78 was underway, applications for the position of ICANN President and CEO were being received by Perrett Laver, which was selected to lead the worldwide search. The deadline for applications is 27 November 2023.

At the Approval Action Community Forum, the Empowered Community discussed proposed amendments to the ICANN Bylaws regarding the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority Naming Function Review. The Empowered Community process showcases the strength of our multistakeholder model. The ICANN Board looks forward to the Empowered Community's consideration of these fundamental Bylaws amendments.

Just before ICANN78, the Board held a three-day workshop to prepare for the meeting and advance our work. Here are a few key outcomes:

Strategic Planning: The Board held an environmental scan session to inform the development of the next five-year ICANN Strategic Plan. Insights and input from the ICANN community are also a crucial component of the planning process, and I want to thank everyone who participated in the community environmental scan session during ICANN78.

Policy Implementation: ICANN organization staff shared early usage metrics for the Registration Data Request Service. For the Registration Data Policy for gTLDs, the Board discussed a path toward completing the implementation and the feedback on mechanisms for urgent requests.

Global Public Interest Framework: The Board discussed possible use cases for the Global Public Interest Framework and the possibility of integrating the framework into community processes. The Board will continue to keep this framework as a priority and hone its efficacy.

Internal Audit Function: After further discussion during the workshop, the Board passed a resolution to support the ICANN organization's establishment of an internal audit function. The function will enhance ICANN's risk management, while assessing the effectiveness of many different aspects of the organization.

Throughout our time together in Hamburg, Germany, we had many opportunities to celebrate the 25th anniversary of ICANN, our dynamic and diverse community, and our pioneering multistakeholder governance model. While we have come a long way together, we have much work ahead of us as we continue to deliver on ICANN's mission.


Tripti Sinha

Tripti Sinha

ICANN Board Chair