ICANN78 Readout on Highlights and Insights from the Annual General Meeting in Hamburg

eco – Association of the Internet Industry & ICANN – Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers held a joint ICANN78 Readout to summarise and discuss selected topics from the Annual General Meeting (25th) in Hamburg.

  • The full 7-page readout summary is available for download as a PDF here.

Speakers from different constituencies of the ICANN community gave an overview of the highlights and key takeaways of the hybrid ICANN78 meeting from their respective perspectives. The session was moderated by Lars Steffen, Director eco International. The readout was co-hosted by Gabriella Schittek, Stakeholder Engagement Director, Nordic & Central Europe, ICANN Org, and Thomas Rickert, Director Names & Numbers at eco Association.

Gabriella Schittek welcomed everyone to the readout for ICANN78, ICANN’s 25th Annual General Meeting. The event in Hamburg with a total of 167 public sessions attracted over 1,800 on-site participants and 600 online participants from 175 countries or territories, half of them from Europe.


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Nicolas Caballero, Chair of the GAC, introduced the new leadership team from March 2024. Zaina Bou Harb, Nigel Hickson and Wang Lang were re-elected, while Christine Merida and Thiago Dal-Toe were appointed as new vice-chairs. Issues discussed by the GAC included the upcoming high-level government meeting in Kigali, Rwanda, future rounds of new gTLDs, and the launch of the Registry Data Request Service (RDRS). The committee also advised the Board on closed generic gTLD applications.

The report from Sebastien Ducos, RySG, the outgoing Chair of the GNSO Council, covered the implementation of SubPro, the GNSO’s new DNS abuse panel, the cooperation between ALAC and GNSO on closed generic gTLDs, the discussions on character variants in scripts, and the upcoming launch of RDRS. He also reviewed the ongoing efforts on the Registry Data Policy and the current impasse on Urgent Requests.

Matthias Hudobnik, representing the At-Large Advisory Committee (ALAC), reported on the key topics addressed by the At-Large Community at ICANN78. They are following the ongoing discussions on strings with diacritics and the discussions about the next round of new gTLDs. Additionally, ALAC is monitoring the proposed contractual amendments to the Base Registry and Registrar Accreditation agreements concerning DNS abuse mitigation. Hudobnik shared insights from three At-Large policy sessions on multi-stakeholder governance for new Internet infrastructures, the impact of technological advancement on ICANN, and the need for structured engagement in the upcoming WSIS+20 review in 2025.

Jordan Carter, Vice Chair (Asia Pacific) of the ccNSO Council, summarised the main discussions and decisions of ICANN78. One point of concern was the gap in the policy framework identified in relation to the Lebanese domain “.lv”. A focus for 2024 is to evaluate potential gaps in the policy framework applicable to ccTLDs and how to address unforeseen gaps in the future. Discussions during ICANN78 also focused on tools and measurement systems for DNS abuse. In the coming months, the ccNSO will explore the relationship between data validation, registration policies and DNS abuse in ccTLDs, effective collaboration between ccTLDs and registries to combat abuse, available tools to mitigate abuse, and the impact of governance models and regulatory frameworks on DNS abuse.

Philippe Fouquart, Chair of the ISPCP in the GNSO, explained the ISPCP’s involvement in policy development initiated by the GNSO and the Non-Contracted Parties House (NCPH). At ICANN78, the NCPH agreed to leverage its members’ participation in intergovernmental organisations for concrete action. He outlined three key issues addressed by the ISPCP in Hamburg: a new charter, their dialogue within the NCPH and the Non-Commercial Stakeholder Group (NCSG), and an outreach session during ICANN78. The ISPCP also discussed Fair Share, with presentations on its pros, cons and potential impacts, particularly in relation to net neutrality and technical implications.

Thomas Rickert, Director Names & Numbers at the eco Association, provided an update on NIS2, a European Union directive that is causing concern for various stakeholders, including registries, registrars and national legislators. The comprehensive report on the ICANN78 NIS2 workshop can be downloaded free of charge here.

In closing, Thomas Rickert thanked everyone who spoke and participated in the ICANN78 readout and looks forward to seeing everyone again at ICANN79 in Puerto Rico in March 2024.

  • The full readout summary is available for download here.
  • The video of the ICANN78 Readout is available online.
ICANN78 Readout on Highlights and Insights from the Annual General Meeting in Hamburg