As we approach the first Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) Public Meeting of 2023, the ICANN76 Community Forum, I wanted to share an update on the ICANN organization's (org) activities since our last meeting. It's important to recognize the progress we've made so far as we consider the next steps.
The ICANN Board of Directors just held its first Board Workshop of the year in Los Angeles. Before each workshop, the ICANN org Executive team compiles a report for the Board that summarizes our recent activities and achievements. 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.
After a successful return to hybrid Public Meetings last year, we held our first hybrid Annual General Meeting in three years, ICANN75, with great success. ICANN org remains committed to hosting safe, effective, and inclusive hybrid Public Meetings going forward. We continue to improve our hybrid meeting format by applying the lessons learned since ICANN74.
This reporting period saw the culmination of several major projects across ICANN org, with the launch of the Knowledge-sharing and Instantiation Norms for DNS and Naming Security (KINDNS) initiative, which promotes Domain Name System (DNS) security best practices, and the Coalition for Digital Africa, which aims to bring together stakeholders to expand the Internet in Africa. ICANN also deployed the first ICANN Managed Root Server cluster in Africa, which will help improve the DNS infrastructure on the continent.
In supporting the community's policymaking efforts, ICANN org delivered the WHOIS Disclosure System Design Paper to the Generic Names Supporting Organization and presented the design at ICANN75. On the implementation side, we developed a Preliminary Implementation Plan for the ICANN Grant Program, which is based on the recommendations of the Final Report of the Cross-Community Working Group on New Generic Top-Level Domain (gTLD) Auction Proceeds. ICANN org is working to implement the program, with the aim of launching it no later than the first calendar quarter of 2024.
Another important part of ICANN's work is raising awareness of the importance of Universal Acceptance (UA) and promoting UA and Internationalized Domain Names ahead of the next round of new gTLDs. During this period, ICANN org has continued to promote UA through dedicated sessions at ICANN75, presentations and workshops at other events, and community webinars.
ICANN org will continue to update the Board and community on our progress on these and other areas of our work, and to coming together with the community at ICANN76 to advance our mission.