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Friday, September 5 • 9:30am - 11:00am
Main/Focus Session: IANA Functions: NTIA's Stewardship Transition and ICANN's Accountability Process

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In March 2014, the United States National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) announced its intent to transition its stewardship of the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA) function to the global multi-stakeholder community. The IANA function is a technical administrative function relating to three categories of Internet identifiers: Internet protocol parameters, Internet Protocol addresses, and Internet domain names. Policy development relating to these three categories takes place outside of the technical administration of the IANA function. Various parties, such as the Internet Engineering Task Force, the regional communities associated with the Regional Internet Registries, and Supporting Organisations within the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), develop these policies, which are then translated into the technical fabric of the Internet by the IANA team. This process ensures that the Internet remains the globally unique resource that we are all familiar with today.

The IANA function is performed by ICANN, pursuant to a contract between ICANN and the NTIA. Discussion about the stewardship of the IANA function has generated a parallel discussion about accountability within ICANN. From an organisational perspective, this discussion focuses on how ICANN’s broader accountability mechanisms should be strengthened to address the absence of its historical contractual relationship with the US Government. While separate from the IANA stewardship transition discussion, the process on enhancing ICANN’s accountability is a key component to the success of the IANA stewardship transition.

The IGF enables the global community to further deliberate on these two issues: the transition of NTIA’s stewardship of the IANA functions and the parallel process of enhancing ICANN’s accountability. This Main Focus Session will have been successful if participants leave feeling better informed on these two interrelated processes.

Thus this session will be divided into two parts: the first will discuss the transition of NTIA’s stewardship role, and the second will discuss the impact of the transition on ICANN’s accountability scheme. For each part, the session will provide questions that both panelists and audience members can respond to. The session will open with a brief background on the IANA functions. 

Relevant questions include the following:

1. Transition of NTIA's Stewardship of the IANA Functions:

1.              How is the IANA transition discussion evolving?

2.              How will the various parties involved in the IANA functions be affected by these proposals?

3.              What are the expectations with respect to the timeline and how could the process improve to meet the deadline?

2.  Enhancing ICANN Accountability:

1.              What are the guiding principles to ensure that the notion of accountability is understood and accepted globally?

2.              What features does the community identify as being core to strengthening ICANN's overall accountability in the absence of its historical contractual relationship to the U.S. Government?

3.              What are the means by which the global community is assured that ICANN is meeting its accountability commitments?


Mr. Nihat Sümer, Vice-President, Information and Communications Technologies Authority, Turkey


For Panel No 1 on IANA stewardship: Nii Quaynor, University of Cape-Coast, Ghana. 

For Panel No 2 on ICANN accountability: Matthew Shears, Center for Democracy and Technology.


Panelists for the IANA stewardship transition:

  1. Joseph Alhadeff, Chair of the ICC Commission on the Digital Economy;
  2. Andrew Sullivan, IAB 
  3. Narelle Clark, Internet Society;
  4. Byron Holland, President and CEO, Canadian Internet Registration Authority, Chair, ccNSO;
  5. Manal Ismail, National Telecommunications Regulatory Agency of Egypt; 
  6. Valentina Pavel Burloiu, Association for Technology and Internet, Romania.

Panelists for ICANN’s accountability process:

  1. Avri Doria, Researcher, ICANN, IETF and Internet Society participant;
  2. Benedicto Fonseca, Itamaraty, Brazil;
  3. Towela Nyirenda-Jere, NEPAD;
  4. Theresa Swinehart, ICANN;
  5. Paul Wilson, APNIC.


5.5.         Remote moderator

Susan Chalmers, Principal, Chalmers & Associates

5.6.         Feeder workshops

No. 185: ICANN Globalization and the Affirmation of Commitments

No. 191: ICANN Globalization in an Evolving IG Ecosystem

No. 114: Developing countries participation in global IG


Nii Quaynor

Nii Quaynor pioneered Internet development and expansion throughout Africa for nearly two decades, establishing some of Africa's first Internet connections and helping set up key organizations, including the African Network Operators Group. He also was the founding chairman of AFRINIC... Read More →
avatar for Matthew Shears

Matthew Shears

Global Internet Policy & Human Rights, CDT
Mr. Matthew Shears is Director for Global Internet Policy and Human Rights activities at the Center for Democracy and Technology’s (CDT). He has extensive experience in Internet and telecommunications policy and governance in the non-profit, public and private sectors. He was Internet... Read More →


Joseph Alhadeff

Vice President for Global Public Policy and Chief Privacy Strategist, Oracle Corporation
Mr. Alhadeff is the Chief Privacy Strategist and Vice-President for Global Public Policy at Oracle Corporation, where he is responsible for coordinating and managing Oracle's international electronic commerce, privacy and Internet-related policy issues.   In addition to his role... Read More →

Valentina Pavel Burloiu

Association for Technology and Internet, Romania

Narelle Clark

Internet Society
avatar for Avri Doria

Avri Doria

Avri Doria is a research consultant. She served on the UN Working Group on Enhanced Cooperation (WGEC) and the UN Working Group on Internet Governance (WGIG). She served as a member the Internet Governance Forum (IGF) Secretariat and is a member of the IGF Multistakeholder Advisory... Read More →

Benedicto Fonseca Filho

Ambassador Benedicto Fonseca Filho is Director of the Department of Scientific and Technological Affairs of the Ministry of External Relations, Itamaraty of Brazil. A trained diplomat by profession, since he was appointed Ambassador in 2010 he has participated in several international... Read More →

Byron Holland

President and CEO, Canadian Internet Registration Authority
Byron Holland is the President and Chief Executive Officer of the Canadian Internet Registration Authority (CIRA). Driven by an entrepreneurial spirit and a passion for Internet governance, Byron’s leadership has brought CIRA to the forefront of innovation. At CIRA, Byron has led... Read More →

Manal Ismail

Manal Ismail is Executive Director for International Technical Coordination at the National Telecom Regulatory Authority (NTRA) of Egypt.  Mrs. Ismail has led GAC discussions and input to the IDN ccTLDs Fast Track process, co-chaired IDNC WG on Fast Track, and participated to th... Read More →
avatar for Towela Nyirenda-Jere

Towela Nyirenda-Jere

Head of Economic Integration Division, African Union Development Agency
Dr. Towela Nyirenda Jere works in the Regional Integration, Infrastructure and Trade Programme at the NEPAD Planning and Coordinating Agency as a Principal Programme Officer focusing on policy, legal and regulatory aspects of infrastructure and services. She has over 15 years of experience... Read More →

Theresa Swinehart

Ms Theresa Swinehart is the Senior Advisor to the President on Global Strategy at ICANN. She works with stakeholders and policymakers around the globe to advocate the Internet's multistakeholder model, and oversees a team with overarching responsibility for a range of initiatives... Read More →
avatar for Paul Wilson

Paul Wilson

Director General, APNIC
Head of APNIC, Regional Internet address Registry for the Asia Pacific Region. Currently Chair of the APrIGF Multistakeholder Steering Group; Previously a member of the IGF MAG. Long involvement with Internet development and administration, and IGF, as a member of the technical c... Read More →

Remote Moderators

Susan Chalmers

Principal, Chalmers & Associates
Susan Chalmers is a MAG member and the Principal of Chalmers & Associates, a small consulting firm providing research, analysis and strategic advice on Internet policy issues. Since May 2013, Susan has worked with members of the Internet community to develop www.friendsoftheigf.org... Read More →

Friday September 5, 2014 9:30am - 11:00am EEST
Main Meeting Hall (Rumeli Ground Floor / Room A1 + A2)

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