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ICANN CEO Report Highlights Org Activities

14 September 2022
By Göran Marby

As we look forward to the ICANN75 Annual General Meeting (AGM) next week and the rest of fiscal year 2023 (FY23) beyond that, I wanted to also reflect on FY22, which ended 30 June 2022. The ICANN organization (org) has made notable progress in many key areas, and it's important to take the time to recognize these accomplishments.

The ICANN Board of Directors is holding a hybrid workshop this week ahead of ICANN75 in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Before each Board workshop, the ICANN org Executive team compiles a report for the Board that provides an overview of recent activities and milestones. These reports are published on the President and CEO's Corner page of the ICANN website, but I wanted to share some highlights from the most recent report.

Throughout FY22, ICANN and the wider Internet ecosystem faced the ongoing threat of the COVID-19 pandemic as well as new challenges, including the Russia-Ukraine war. Despite these obstacles, ICANN has continued to achieve its mission of ensuring a stable, secure and unified global Internet.

In May, ICANN org published the fifth version of the Root Zone Label Generation Rules (RZ-LGR-5), which integrates 26 new scripts. These rules serve as a consistent mechanism to determine valid Internationalized Domain Name (IDN) top-level domain (TLD) labels for different languages and scripts. IDNs promote a multilingual Internet by enabling people to use domain names and email addresses in local languages and scripts.

In June, ICANN signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the European Registry for Internet Domains vzw, the registry that manages the .eu TLD. Through this agreement, the two organizations aim to collaborate in supporting IDNs and promoting the Universal Acceptance (UA) of all domain names and email addresses.

June also marked the return of hybrid ICANN Public Meetings with the ICANN74 Policy Forum in The Hague, Netherlands after two-and-a-half years of virtual meetings. We were committed to ensuring that ICANN74 provided equal opportunities for all to engage on important policy matters, and we are anticipating another successful hybrid Public Meeting with ICANN75.

ICANN org has also recommenced local, in-person activities and business travel as part of our plan to return to pre-pandemic operations safely and gradually. We are doing our best to make smart choices based on the risk ratings we use in our Travel and Events Framework for decision-making. ICANN offices in Los Angeles, Washington, D.C. and Singapore, as well as our Nairobi, Kenya, engagement center, have opened to fully vaccinated staff as part of phase one of the plan.

And in just the past couple of months, ICANN org has opened several new Public Comment proceedings that represent key milestones in important areas of our work. These include:

  • The UA Roadmap for Domain Name Registry and Registrar Systems, which proposes how to test these systems for UA readiness. Following the Public Comment period, the study will be shared with registries and registrars to help promote the UA readiness of such systems.

  • The Pilot Holistic Review Draft Terms of Reference. The Third Accountability and Transparency Review Team's Recommendation 3.5 called for a new Specific Review, the Holistic Review. The ICANN Board approved the review as a pilot, "pursuant to a community-agreed Terms of Reference."

  • The proposed Registration Data Consensus Policy for Generic Top-Level Domains (gTLDs). This Public Comment proceeding is intended to gather input on the implementation plan for the Expedited Policy Development Process on the Temporary Specification for gTLD Registration Data Phase 1 recommendations, Phase 2 Priority 2 recommendations, and Phase 1 Generic Names Supporting Organization Council Supplemental Recommendation 12 adopted by the ICANN Board.

Please take the time to review these proceedings and provide your input. Public Comments are a vital part of our multistakeholder decision-making process and contributes to our transparency and accountability commitments.

As you can see, ICANN org has been hard at work on various projects and initiatives directed by the ICANN community, and in support of the goals of our Strategic Plan. Please see the latest CEO Report to the Board for more details on our progress. As we look ahead to ICANN75 and beyond, let us remember to appreciate our accomplishments of the past year. It has been a privilege to work alongside the community on such important matters. I hope that this fiscal year brings us even more opportunities to find new solutions together in support of ICANN's mission of one, global Internet.


Göran Marby

Göran Marby

Former President & CEO