The President and CEO of the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) says the organization’s 49th meeting that just concluded in Singapore marked the beginning of a new era for the organization and the future of Internet governance.
“ICANN49 will be remembered as a meeting that, in many ways, ended the early phase of ICANN and brought the organization into a new phase of maturity and responsibility,” said Fadi Chehadé. “It is exemplified by the recent decision of the United States Government to hand us the very ominous responsibility to facilitate and convene the world toward determining how ICANN will be providing assurances of accountability across the board.”
Chehadé made the comments during a video interview at the conclusion of the Singapore meeting, for which more 1,940 people registered from 150 countries.
“People from all over the world, from all segments of the Internet community are here, interacting not just with ICANN, but also interacting with each other,” said Dr. Stephen Crocker, ICANN‘s Board Chair.
The Singapore meeting was dominated by discussions stemming from the recent announcement by the U.S. Government that it wants to transfer stewardship of some vital Internet technical functions to provide for global accountability. It has reached out to ICANN, which will continue to manage those functions as it has for more than 15 years, to help determine the best process for transferring that stewardship.
“These are important times,” said Chehadé. “The U.S. Government has modulated its stewardship over time, it has dialed it down and this was just a natural moment for all this to happen, as the U.S. government has said, due to the community’s readiness to actually embrace these responsibilities and establish the appropriate accountability mechanisms to replace the U.S. role.”