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A new season of cooperation between ICANN and ITU
Lee-Roy Chetty   Dec 16, 2012   Ethical Technology  

A number of high ranking officials and dignitaries are in attendance at the conference, including Mohamed Nasser Al-Ghanim, Director-General of the UAE Telecommunications Regulatory Authority and Chairman of the Conference; Fadi Chehadé, President and CEO of the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN); and ITU Secretary-General, Dr. Hamadoun I. Touré.

ICANN_ITU[The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) is a nonprofit private organization headquartered in Los Angeles, California, United States, that was created on September 18, 1998, and incorporated on September 30, 1998 to oversee a number of Internet-related tasks previously performed directly on behalf of the U.S. government by other organizations, notably the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA), which ICANN now operates.

ICANN is responsible for the coordination of the global Internet's systems of unique identifiers and, in particular, ensuring its stable and secure operation. This work includes coordination of the Internet Protocol address spaces (IPv4 and IPv6) and assignment of address blocks to regional Internet registries, for maintaining registries of Internet protocol identifiers, and for the management of the top-level domain name space (DNS root zone), which includes the operation of root name servers. Most visibly, much of its work has concerned the DNS policy development for internationalization of the DNS system and introduction of new generic top-level domains (TLDs). The actual technical maintenance work of maintenance of the central Internet address pools and DNS root registries ICANN performs pursuant to the "IANA function" contract.

ICANN's primary principles of operation have been described as helping preserve the operational stability of the Internet; to promote competition; to achieve broad representation of the global Internet community; and to develop policies appropriate to its mission through bottom-up, consensus-based processes.

On September 29, 2006, ICANN signed a new agreement with the United States Department of Commerce (DOC) that moves the private organization towards full management of the Internet's system of centrally coordinated identifiers through the Multistakeholder Model of consultation that ICANN represents.] -wikipedia

The World Conference on International Telecommunications (#WCIT-12) took place in Dubai early December of 2012

Addressing what he described as a historic opening ceremony, Fadi Chehadé is on record stating that his presence at WCIT-12 is due to his and ICANN’s firm belief in the power of engagement.

Mr. Chehadé went on to say that it is a new season of engagement at ICANN, and for cooperation between ICANN and ITU, which started recently at a meeting with Dr. Touré at the Internet Governance Forum in Baku.

ICANN – under Mr. Chehadé’s stewardship – has recognized ITU’s deep impact on the development of the telecommunication industry and broadband infrastructure, which has specifically impacted the developing world tremendously.

Mr. Chehadé believes that ITU and ICANN have complementary functions to facilitate and in the future, will cooperate in good spirit, while clearly respecting each organization’s distinct roles.

ICANN therefore – along with other Internet organizations, which include; ISOC (the Internet Society), IETF (the Internet Engineering Task Force), and other regional Internet registries – plan to continue their deep commitment to servicing the world’s needs for Internet governance.

Mr. Chehadé also added that when building any organization, there are two options. You could either build it as a fortress or as an oasis.

ICANN chooses the latter option when it comes to their organization.

The President and CEO of ICANN pointed out that oases are open and vital, and that it is important to  remove the walls, open the windows, and build organizations that are welcoming and transparent.

Dr. Touré thanked ICANN and Mr. Chehadé as well as Steve Crocker, ICANN’s Chairman, for accepting the invitation to come to WCIT-12.

Dr. Touré said he looked forward to the exciting opportunities that lie ahead and all that can be achieved by ITU and ICANN together, in a positive spirit of collaboration.

This is indeed a welcome development and bodes well for the world’s users who can only benefit from such strengthened cooperation. A good news story to watch and one the ITU4U will be sure to return to

Lee-Roy Chetty holds a masters degree in media studies from the University of Cape Town and the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. A two-time recipient of the National Research Fund Scholarship, he is currently completing his PhD at UCT and an economics degree with Unisa.

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