ICANN delegation visits Moscow, Russia May 12-14, 2010.
A delegation from ICANN, headed by President and CEO Rod Beckstrom and including Barbara Clay, Tina Dam and Veni Markovski, was in Moscow on a 3-day visit, and participated actively in a number of events (in time order):
– A meeting at the Institute for Information Security Issues (IISI) – the organization that has signed an MoU with ICANN and that is organizing the Garmisch Meeting on Security*. Col.-Gen. Sherstyuk** discussed with ICANN opportunities for further cooperation in the field of internet security.
– Visit to former Soviet President M.S. Gorbachev – the conversation covered a number of issues, not only related to the Internet, and gave us the opportunity to explain the development of the IDN ccTLD, and the gTLD policies. Mr. Gorbachev was particularly impressed by his guests’ remarks about his role in changing the history of Eastern Europe, and the freedom and opportunities this brought to the whole world.
– Rod gave five exclusive interviews, including Reuters and four major Russian media. The Reuters interview was published in many media in countries all over the world, and in Russian, Spanish, Portuguese, Chinese, French, etc. Some of the Russian language pieces could be found here: Rossiiskaya gazeta, Chastnii korrespondent, and Computerra, and some of the English langauge ones are at Radio Free Europe, and at RT (watch the video there).
Russian Internet Governance Forum and official Launch of the Russian .рф IDN ccTLD
The Ministry of Telecom and Mass Communications and the Russian ccTLD Coordination Center organized a great Internet Governance Forum – IGF. The Coordination Center arranged an amazing list of speakers, proving that they are indeed a professional registry, with great staff and leadership.
At the opening of the Forum, the Russian Minister of Communications, Igor Schegolev, praised ICANN for the work it has done, and Rod delivered a special plaque to Andrei Kolesnikov (attached), CEO of the Coordination Center for .ru ccTLD, to confirm the Center was approved as the operator of the new .рф Cyrillic IDN ccTLD.
The opening session included Rod’s keynote address and speeches by Larry Strickling, Col.-Gen. Sherstyuk, Chuck Gomes (GNSO), Chris Disspain (ccNSO), Wolfgang Kleinwachter (NomCom) as well as Russian politicians and businessmen. A full recording (MP3) could be downloaded from the site of the organizers (110 Mb)
here was a VIP lunch, given by the Minister for the top Russian and US officials*** and the ICANN delegation. With lots of greetings, and in a cheerful atmosphere, the lunch allowed informal communication to take place.
Later that day Rod participated in a panel discussion on security, sharing the stage with cyber experts from CISCO, Kaspersky, Lille University, the Russian Parliament, and others.
ICANN’s press activities for these two days produced stories in more than 100 publications, all of them positive about ICANN and the IDN ccTLD program.
But that was not all – IDN “guru” Tina Dam participated in a panel on IDNs, and special attention was paid to her for her achievements, and Veni Markovski was a panelist talking about the governance of the Internet critical infrastructure.
The first day of the Russian IGF ended on a high note, with a cruise for all participants on the Moscow River.
In conclusion, the visit was a big success. ICANN is today more respected, has more friends, and is better known in Russia, than it was before.
Having said that, the work is not done. There are a number of items on the agenda in Russia and the region which require constant attention, cross-cultural knowledge, and good communication. ICANN top executives were able to see and understand this with their own eyes. The investment in improving relations with Russia paid off – less than two years ago nobody believed that ICANN would be welcome in Russia, that Russia would join the GAC, and that such good and positive relations were possible.
The launch of the Cyrillic IDN ccTLD was the focus of this visit, and it was well navigated on two continents, with a 9 hour time zone difference, and included dedicated work between IANA, Tina Dam, regional liaisons, top management, to make sure that not only it will be successful, but it will be a great celebration for the Russian Internet. ICANN performed at its best, and so did the Russians.
Congratulations, Russia! And good luck to the new IDN ccTLD .рф! And thank you, everyone, for the great time, wonderful launch, and being such good hosts!
– Pictures from the Russian IGF could be seen here, and from the other meetings – here.
– We are deliberately not putting the names of all the people from Russia, who organized the Russian IGF, and who helped for the success of the ICANN’s visit. We don’t want to omit anyone, but we are thankful to everyone. Спасибо!
* – The Garmisch meeting takes place every year in April, and ICANN is an active participant and supporter; last April George Sadowsky, Greg Rattray, Yurie Ito and Veni Markovski spoke there.
** – Col.-Gen. Sherstyuk is head of the IISI, and undersecretary of the Russian National Security Council to President Medvedev
*** – Besides Assistant Secretary Strickling, the US delegation included Ambassador Philip Verveer, Fiona Alexander, as well as representatives from State Department, Department of Commerce, the US Embassy in Moscow, and others.