India’s Minister of Communications and Information Technology Ravi Shankar Prasad, has announced India’s support for the multi-stakeholder model of internet governance, during the opening ceremony of the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN’s) 53rd public meeting in Buenos Aires, on June 22.
A release by ICANN quotes the Minister saying: “The internet must remain plural. It must be managed by a multi-stakeholder system.”
“Not only do we support multi-stakeholderism, but also we encourage multi-stakeholderism itself to embrace all geographies and all societies. We will partner with you all to make this a reality. We must work toward this new form of digital democracy,” added Ravi Shankar Prasad.
On March 14, 2014, the United States Government announced its intent to transition its stewardship of the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA) functions to the global multi-stakeholder community. It also requested that ICANN, as the IANA functions operator and global coordinator of the Domain Name System (DNS), to convene a multi-stakeholder process to facilitate the development of a proposal by the global multi-stakeholder community for the transition.
The U.S. Government stated clearly that the stewardship must not be replaced with a government or an intergovernmental solution. It must also meet certain key criteria, which include maintaining the security, stability and resiliency of the internet DNS and internet openness.
“Today, with India joining this group of countries that openly support the multistakeholder model of internet governance, we increase our ranks significantly,” said ICANN President and CEO Fadi Chehade. “The decision that was made by India is a significant decision.”
More than 1,400 members of the global internet community are meeting during this week, to discuss and debate the future of ICANN and internet governance.