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Russia Set To Join ICANN Board

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A Russian has passed the first ICANN hurdle, so the country could soon have a say in global Internet governance

Russia could soon have a representative on the board of directors of ICANN (Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers), the  US-based domain-name authority which manages the global Internet.

Marina Nikerova, who chairs Russia’s national domain coordination centre, has applied to join ICANN’s board, has passed the firsthurdle and eexpects to be appointed in August 2011. a conference in Moscow was told this week.

A more international ICANN

“I passed the first interview,” Nikarova (pictured)  told  the the second Russian Internet Governance Forum (RIGF) in Moscow, adding that membership in the leadership of ICANN would help promote Russia’s interests in global decisions on Internet governance.

“In addition to simplifying practical aspects, this will give Russia the opportunity to participate in the decision-making process for such strategic aspects as the creation of new domain zones and the allocation of address space,” said Andrei Kolesnikov, head of the national domain coordination centre. “Russia has just recently become aware of the importance of participating in such international organizations as ICANN and IETF [Internet Engineering Task Force],” he added.

A Cyrillic internationalised top-level domain for Russia, .РФ (short for “Russian Federation”), was launched in November 2011 and has been expanding vigorously, counting now over 800,000 domain names. The traditional extension .RU counts 3.3 million names.

“Russian Internet companies have grown to an international level: Mail.ru Group held its IPO; Yandex is preparing its own introduction. Their experiences and suggestions will be of interest to other countries,” said ICANN representative in Russia, Veni Markovski

A call for a multi-stakeholder approach

In their addresses to the RIGF, Markus Kummer, vice-president of public policy at the Internet Society, and Rod Beckstrom, CEO and President of ICANN, both emphasised the importance of a multi-stakeholder approach to the challenges facing the development of the Internet.

RIGF is a regional extension of the Internet Governance Forum (IGF), organised by the United Nations Secretary General to provide a meeting point for industry experts, businesses, and government representatives.

Sources: Kommersant , East West Digital News the international resource on Russian IT industries.

Flag image from Wikimedia by Osipov Georgy Nokka