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The IANA Stewardship Transition: The Last Few Inches

When ICANN was first formed in 1998, the intent was for the organization and the multistakeholder community to eventually become the stewards of the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA) functions. Now, almost two years since the U.S. National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) announced its intent to transition the role in the IANA functions to the multistakeholder community, the community has come together to do so much. We want to highlight a few noteworthy accomplishments.

The community:

  • Established two inclusive and open processes, one to outline how best to facilitate the succession of NTIA’s stewardship of the IANA functions, and a second to ensure that ICANN remains accountable to the global Internet community in the absence of its contractual relationship with the U.S. Government.
  • Discussed, debated, organized or planned these processes at over 1,100 events around the world.
  • Held a combined nine public comment periods to finalize the proposals, ensuring that all of the Internet’s diverse stakeholders would have a voice in the transition process.
  • Developed two expertly crafted consensus proposals to submit to NTIA regarding the stewardship of the IANA functions, thereby proving the strength of the multistakeholder model of Internet governance.

Reaching a point of consensus was not easy, as anyone who was involved in this process can attest. As one of the leaders in this process stated, it’s often painful, lengthy and often takes detours. However, meeting this challenge defines the multistakeholder model, and is one of the reasons the Internet has become the global platform for economic and social growth it is today.

With ICANN55 only days away, we find ourselves in a very exciting and promising moment. The IANA Stewardship Transition Coordination Group (ICG) provisionally finalized its proposal back in October, outlining how to best facilitate the succession of NTIA’s stewardship of the IANA functions. Now, after receiving confirmation from the Cross Community Working Group to Develop an IANA Stewardship Transition Proposal on Naming Related Functions (CWG-Stewardship) that its accountability requirements have been addressed in the final Cross Community Working Group on Enhancing ICANN Accountability (CCWG-Accountability) Work Stream 1 Recommendations, the ICG will hold a call to determine if the proposal can be submitted to the ICANN Board. In addition, the CCWG-Accountability distributed its Supplemental Final Report to its six Chartering Organizations for approval. The group is optimistic that they will be able to send the approved Report to the ICANN Board, for transmission to NTIA, in Marrakech.

While many important accountability discussions will be taking place within the Chartering Organizations, several transition-related sessions are scheduled for ICANN55 in Marrakech:





Friday, 4 March


CCWG-Accountability Face-to-Face Meeting


Monday, 7 March


IANA Stewardship Transition Implementation


Monday, 7 March


CCWG-Accountability Engagement Session


Thursday, 10 March


CCWG-Accountability Working Session on Developing a Framework for Work Stream 2


Note: The ICG will not be hosting a formal session at ICANN55.

As was discussed at a session in Dublin, ICANN has been involved in pre-planning and preparing ourselves for implementation of the elements of the ICG and CCWG-Accountability proposals. We encourage those who are interested in our progress to read previous blogs and to attend our Monday morning IANA Stewardship Transition Implementation session, taking place after the Opening Ceremony.

ICANN's evolution is not over, but achieving this milestone is essential to the community and the success of global Internet. We’d like to thank everyone involved for their historic efforts throughout the community proposal development process. We look forward to the prospect of celebrating success at the end of ICANN55.

Theresa & Akram


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