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ICANN 50: Talking IANA and Accountability

More than 3,000 people gathered in London last week to participate in the largest ever ICANN meeting. Some of the key issues discussed included the evolution of IANA oversight arrangements and ICANN's accountability to its many stakeholders.

Members of the RIPE community, representatives from the RIPE NCC as well as other Regional Internet Registries (RIRs) contributed to discussions as key stakeholders of ICANN, particularly in the management and oversight of the IANA functions.

Jari Arkko and Patrik Fältström moderated the session on the evolution of the IANA oversight arrangements. They concluded the session by summarising four major points made during the discussion:

  1. The final transition proposal needs to ensure continuity and build on a system that has worked and continues to work well. We may need to invent new parts, but not reinvent the whole thing.
  2. Accountability is a critical element of this discussion, but there are accountability issues that relate directly to this transition and the broader range of ICANN accountability issues. Unresolved accountability issues not directly related to IANA operation should not prevent the successful transition of the NTIA out of IANA oversight.
  3. There is clear consensus that there should be broad and diverse participation in this process. Active outreach efforts to inform people about this process are essential and should be a priority for all communities.
  4. The work of the Coordination Group, currently being established to channel the output of community discussions on this issue, is important but separate to the work of developing a transition proposal. This development work needs to happen in the relevant communities via their respective processes.

During the session, Paul Wilson, APNIC Director General, stressed that the Internet numbering communities have long had policy structures in place that effectively provide community oversight of the IANA operations.

The session on ICANN accountability took place earlier the same day and facilitated a wide-ranging discussion on ICANN's current processes for ensuring accountability and areas where greater accountability may be required. The Number Resource Organization (NRO), representing the five RIRs, made a submission earlier this month in response to a call for public comments on this subject:

Audio archives and transcripts of the two sessions are available on the ICANN 50 website:


More information on the IANA oversight transition is available at:
https://ripe.net/iana-oversight-transition