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Reflecting on 2023: ICANN in Europe, Eastern Europe, and Central Asia

20 декабря 2023

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Collage of ICANN’s 2023 Activities and Engagements in Europe.

ICANN activities across Europe, Eastern Europe, and Central Asia reached key milestones in 2023 alongside our active stakeholder community and technical partners, as well as with broader audiences and other organizations.

ICANN78, held in Hamburg, Germany, was the crowning achievement of the year for our European team. We saw record-breaking attendance from a great diversity of geographies and backgrounds, and we celebrated ICANN's 25th anniversary with panel discussions and parties. Our community advanced several important issues, including the Grant Program, future generic top-level domain expansion, and fighting Domain Name System (DNS) abuse. The host committee, facilities, and city itself all contributed to a successful meeting. ICANN's DNS infrastructure team was pleased to announce that the next series of ICANN Managed Root Server (IMRS) instances will be installed in Germany as well.

Another highlight was ICANN's attendance at the Web Summit in Lisbon, Portugal. This event attracts tens of thousands of entrepreneurs, business stakeholders, and political leaders. They proved to be very interested to learn about developments in the governance of the global Internet upon which they depend. They also attended sessions on domain name innovations, like Internationalized Domain Names, that will enable new business opportunities and help bridge the global digital divide. Our Interim President and CEO, Sally Costerton, participated in multiple sessions and was featured in several media outlets.

Our team made strides in deepening relations with European Union (EU) member states, attending an important meeting of cyber ambassadors in Leon, Spain. Many digital dignitaries from Latin America also participated. ICANN benefited from a keynote speaking slot that enabled us to reinforce the key message that the multistakeholder model of Internet governance continues to deliver benefits to netizens in the EU and worldwide, setting the tone for discussions throughout the rest of the meeting.

In Norway, ICANN co-hosted an event with the Internet Society, dedicated to cryptography and featuring Domain Name System Security Extensions (DNSSEC). This was the second of two events hosted in Norway. Earlier in the year we gathered government, country code top-level domain (ccTLD) representatives, technical experts, and academics for discussions on Internet developments there.

We also attended several domain name industry gatherings. Highlights include the Baltic Domain Days in Riga, Latvia, and the Nordic Domain Days in Stockholm, Sweden. In both we were able to underscore the work of the community and explain the status of many ICANN projects supporting the domain name ecosystem.

In light of discussions at the United Nations (U.N.) about digital governance, ICANN convened a meeting of United Kingdom (U.K.)-based community members to review the roles and perspectives of diverse stakeholders. A facilitated conversation among senior leaders from the ICANN community, alongside representatives of the U.K. government, the ccTLD operator Nominet, and the head of the Commonwealth Telecommunications Organisation, explored ways to participate, wherever and however possible, in U.N.-led talks, and to continue to support the global Internet Governance Forum (IGF).

In Ireland, ICANN provided a training and overview presentation for the diverse technical stakeholders who are members of the INEX Internet Neutral Exchange, an Internet exchange point, and held meetings with community members and government officials.

In the Eastern Europe and Central Asia region, we made great strides in securing introductory meetings with several governments, while deepening ties with technical stakeholders. We saw a revitalized participation in the Governmental Advisory Committee by states like Kazakhstan. We met with the Internet community of Turkmenistan and held technical security focused "Internet Measurement Days" in both the Kyrgyz Republic and the Republic of Moldova. The deployment of Internet Protocol version 6, DNSSEC, and IMRS instances continues to be an area of focus in many countries.

Parts of our region have been affected by terrible military conflict. ICANN endeavored to support the work of our technical partners and maintain the smooth operation and availability of the DNS for all Internet users, regardless of location. This included allowing registrars to defer cancellation of domain names and providing flexibility in the fulfillment of some contractual obligations in conflict areas.

ICANN was pleased to support many regional and national IGFs, by providing subject matter expertise, speakers, and sponsorship, in places like Finland, Ukraine, U.K., and Kazakhstan. Finally, it was delightful to once again, for the first time since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, participate in person in the Southeastern Europe Dialogue on Internet Governance that was convened in Zagreb, Croatia.

It was an exciting year for the community and all ICANN organization team members based across the region. We look forward to building on our achievements during the year ahead.


Christopher Mondini

Christopher Mondini

VP, Stakeholder Engagement & Managing Director - Europe