Li Xiaodong: IANA Stewardship Transition Calls for Louder Voice from the Asia-Pacific Region
On January 29, Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers Asia Pacific Hub (ICANN APAC Hub) held a press conference titled “Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA) Stewardship Transition”. ICANN Vice President and General Manager Luo Jiarong, ICANN Senior Advisor to the President on Global Strategy Theresa Swinehart, China Internet Network Information Center (CNNIC) President Li Xiaodong and Japan Network Information Center (JPNIC) Policy Liaison Officer Izumi Okutani attended the meeting and made in-depth discussions on the progress of the proposal on IANA stewardship transition and its impacts on the Internet communities in the Asia-Pacific region.
At present, the number of Internet users in the Asia-Pacific region has exceeded three billion, accounting for approximately half of that of the total Internet users in the world. It is preliminarily predicted that the next one billion of Internet users will mainly come from developing countries including Asian countries such as China, India and Indonesia, and such users will play a crucial role in the Internet development in the future. ICANN indicated that such Internet users need to take part in Internet governance extensively so as to protect their interests.
As the only Chinese representative in the IANA Stewardship Transition Coordination Group (ICG), Research Fellow Li Xiaodong said that the IANA stewardship transition will provide the Internet communities in the Asia-Pacific region with more participation opportunities. The Asia-Pacific region, with the largest population of Internet users, needs to raise its voice and take part in the transition process more actively. He stressed that IANA stewardship transition signifies that the Internet has shifted from unilateral government management to global multi-stakeholder communities, and the achievement will further embody the Internet’s spirits of openness and inclusiveness.
IANA stewardship transition is the key point for realizing global Internet governance. After the transition, the right for auditing the Internet domain name system root zone files will be handed over from the government of the United States to the global multi-stakeholder communities. At present, the transition proposal has been completed by the three major operating communities that are in charge of Naming, Numbering and Protocol Parameter respectively, and has been publicly announced after undergoing the integration and assessment process of ICG. However, subject to the work schedule of the Cross-Community Work Group on Accountability (CCWG-Accountability), it is not an appropriate time to submit the proposal to the board of directors of ICANN. IANA stewardship transition proposal is expected to be submitted together with the proposal on accountability at the 55th ICANN meeting to be held in March 2016.
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