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ICANN and the National, Regional, Subregional, and Youth Internet Governance Forums

22 December 2020

National, Regional, Subregional, and Youth Internet Governance Forums (NRIs) have emerged organically around the world. Similar to our recent evaluation of the Schools on Internet Governance, the ICANN organization (org) has conducted a review of NRIs around the world and identified a set of good practices to guide our future support of these initiatives.

More than 120 countries and regions have established some form of Internet Governance Forum (IGF) process or initiative. Most follow the IGF principles, particularly as bottom-up, neutral, and multistakeholder platforms for discussion of Internet governance (IG) issues.

ICANN has been a long-time participant in and supporter of the global IGF, not only financially, but as a reference organization for topics such as the multistakeholder model and management of the Internet's critical resources. Historically, ICANN has had a seat on the IGF's Multistakeholder Advisory Committee (MAG). The org has been deeply involved in high-level discussions about the IGF, including those around the direction and future of the IGF.

ICANN's participation at the NRIs has been and will continue to be significant. ICANN org has served as a co-organizer, member of program committees, and sponsor, as well as participating. In fact, some ICANN Fellows and NextGen participants are quite active in the different NRI processes and Youth IGFs.

ICANN supports NRIs for a variety of reasons, including outreach and engagement; explaining complex ICANN-related topics; developing capacity; and ensuring discussions around Internet governance contribute to maintaining a secure, interoperable, and stable Internet.

We will engage with our current NRI partners to share our thinking about how we can align our participation in individual initiatives that share our core objectives. We also plan to simplify how new NRI organizers can engage with us in the future.

We will share updates with the community as this effort progresses.


Sally Costerton

Sally Costerton

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