Eastern Europe and Central Asia: Looking Back on 2019 and Planning for 2020

20 December 2019

Natalia Mochu

2019 was full of engagement activities within Eastern Europe and Central Asia. We continued building awareness and promoting ICANN's mission to help ensure a stable, secure, and unified global Internet. Working together with our stakeholders, we focused on developing the Domain Name System (DNS) and fostering regional participation in ICANN and its policymaking processes.

Capacity Development: A Key Component of Regional Efforts

Our proactive engagement approach in the region helped us identify important community demands over the past year, including raising awareness and capacity building. In response, a series of ICANN-specific trainings were organized with the support of country code top-level domain (ccTLD) registries, registrars, and the broader Internet community. These trainings involved local capacity building programs on the DNS and DNS Security Extensions (DNSSEC). For instance, we held basic operational DNSSEC workshops in Uzbekistan and Georgia as well as trainings for ICANN-accredited and non-accredited registrars in Russia and Georgia. We also held lectures in cooperation with universities in Uzbekistan and Ukraine, with a focus on Internet governance and ICANN's role within its complex ecosystem.

Regional Industry Support

At ICANN org, it has become customary for us to take part in regional conferences which focus on the DNS industry and Internet governance. Our involvement in these events allows us to better engage with the regional DNS players, and to discuss the developments and challenges faced on local and/or regional scales.

One of these events was the Asia-Pacific Regional Internet Governance Forum (APrIGF 2019). Other events included national Internet Governance Forums, and national and global annual conferences on domain market development.

ICANN's Flagship Event: The Eastern European DNS Forum

Thanks to our hosts the .am/.հայ registry, ISOC.AM, and participants, we successfully wrapped up the fourth Eastern European DNS Forum in October in Yerevan, Armenia.

A continuation of our past efforts, the Forum brought current global discussions on the DNS to the regional level, uncovering the unique circumstances in underlying regional experiences and perspectives. You can find out more about it here.

For an overview of our fiscal year 2019 regional activities, take a look at pages 126-132 of the ICANN Annual Report (1 July 2018 - 30 June 2019) here.

Looking Ahead

In 2020, we will build on our engagement efforts, and work towards capacity development to meet the needs of our regional stakeholders. We will continue raising awareness about ICANN's mission, strategy, and the multistakeholder model of governance within the broader Internet community.

We will also help strengthen the DNS security and evolution of the unique identifier systems in collaboration with our stakeholders, as indicated in ICANN's Strategic Plan for Fiscal Years 2021-2025. A substantial part of this will be achieved by engaging with regional governments to encourage more effective participation.

With regards to aligning our regional efforts with ICANN's Strategic Plan for Fiscal Years 2021-2025, we have kicked off consultations with the community to develop a long-term regional engagement strategy. Throughout 2020, we will work to position our efforts in line with the priorities and needs of the region. We invite all interested parties to contribute to this work. It is critical that we have participation, representation, and engagement from all stakeholders.

I want to extend our appreciation to the regional community that helped make this year a success, and look forward to yet another fruitful year in 2020.

Natalia Mochu