IGF 2022 Open Forum #87 ICANN Reducing inequality by enabling inclusive and resilient internet through global partnerships for sustainable development

Wednesday, 30th November, 2022 (10:45 UTC) - Wednesday, 30th November, 2022 (11:45 UTC)
Banquet Hall A

Round Table - U-shape - 60 Min



(Universal Acceptance, Internationalized Domain Names - evolving the DNS to support meaningful connectivity and avoid fragmentation)


The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers’ (ICANN) Open Forum will discuss how ICANN is contributing key elements to the technical operations of the Internet to keep the Internet unified and avoid Internet fragmentation while providing all Internet users with an increased ability to have meaningful connectivity. For this purpose, ICANN’s President and CEO, Göran Marby and several Board Members will discuss how ICANN is spearheading a number of projects with the goal to better adapt the Internet to all users around the globe, improving access in multiple languages and scripts, ensuring that global consumers are provided with more choices in their online identities whilst also promoting competition and innovation. 

Internet fragmentation can come in different forms. From a technical perspective, conflicting regulations or regulations that disrupt the interoperability of the Internet can unintentionally lead to Internet fragmentation. For this purpose, ICANN has invested in providing our technical expertise and  capacity building support in several forms. For instance, ICANN regularly briefs decision makers on the technical aspects of the Internet and the potential impact proposed initiatives might have on the interoperability of the global Internet. 

Another aspect of preventing fragmentation on the Internet is ensuring access for all users, including those who do not speak English.  For ICANN, of particular importance is the need to guarantee that all domain names, including top-level domains, Internationalized Domain Names and email addresses are treated equally and can be used by all Internet-enabled applications, devices and systems. Through the deployment of Universal Acceptance and Internationalized Domain Names (IDNs) which support local scripts and languages in the Domain Name System (DNS), ICANN supports providing the gateway to the next billion Internet users who will have access to the Internet in their own languages. In addition ICANN has also deployed ICANN Managed Root Server clusters globally to increase capacity and support faster resolution and encourage localizing traffic and development within countries rather than depending on networks and servers in other parts of the world. 

ICANN also focuses on expanding the DNS by enabling interested and qualified entities to establish new Top-Level Domains through the next round of its New Generic Top-Level Domain (gTLD) Program. Since the launch of the 2012 round, the DNS saw an expansion of over 1,200 new gTLDs through this program. ICANN is committed to opening another round of the New gTLD Program and enabling interested and qualified entities to establish new TLDs. 

The session will address these topics and look at ICANN’s role in the technical governance of the Internet and in facilitating  meaningful connectivity for all. Participants will also have the opportunity to pose questions to the ICANN CEO and President as well as the ICANN Board Members and interact with them on these topics.



Mr. Göran Marby, President & CEO, ICANN

Mr. Maarten Botterman, Board of Directors, ICANN

Mrs. Avri Doria, Board of Directors, ICANN

Mr. Edmon Chung, Board of Directors, ICANN



Onsite Moderator
Online Moderator


Targets: 1. No poverty: facilitating access to the internet takes away one of the biggest obstacles, accessing information, that hinders people living in poverty. Online access provide access to men, women and children with resources that can help alleviate poverty in all aspects of society. 8. Decent Work and Economic Growth: Work conducted within ICANN helps achieve higher levels of economic productivity. By diversifying and upgrading technologies decent job creation, entrepreneurship, creativity, and innovation can be promoted by local and regional entities. Ensuring the security and stability of the DNS encourages the growth of micro-, small- and medium-sized enterprises, including through access to financial services. 9. Industry Innovation and Infrastructure: By supporting domestic technology development, local diversification can be achieved. This would lead to a significant increase in access to ICTs and provide meaningful access to the Internet in least developed countries. Several of ICANN’s initiatives aim to achieve this goal. 10. Reduced Inequalities: The multistakeholder model at the heart of ICANN’s governance model empowers all stakeholders ensuring that the engineers, policy makers, business community, and others who need to be involved, are at the table, developing policies. 17. Partnerships for the Goals: Enhancing the use of enabling technology also comprises accessing the Internet secure in the knowledge of its safety, security and resilience. This can be achieved through targeted capacity-building in developing countries and enhancing partnerships for sustainable development complemented by multi-stakeholder partnerships. Through initiatives, such as the Coalition for Digital Africa, ICANN encourages, and promotes effective partnerships in which all can harness each others’ experiences and expertise.