The first group of Internet Registries and Registrars has signed new agreements with ICANN, bringing new generic Top-Level Domains (gTLDs) into the home stretch of going live online.
“This is a huge accomplishment,” said Fadi Chehadé, ICANN President and CEO. “We can see the last mile before the first new TLD is activated in the Internet’s root.”
Chehadé made the comments during a ceremonial signing at the opening session of ICANN’s 47th Public Meeting in Durban, South Africa.
Three companies signed the Registry Agreement (RA) while five others signed the Registrar Accreditation Agreement (RAA), including Registrars from Senegal, Australia, France and the U.S.
Registries operate Top-Level Domains. Registrars are the entities through which domain names are registered.
The three registries applied for Top-Level Domain Names using language characters in Arabic, Chinese and Cyrillic.
During his remarks, Chehadé also acknowledged Nelson Mandela, the renowned former South African leader who is now hospitalized. Chehadé said Mandela’s philosophies should act as guiding principles in the Internet ecosystem.
“We must realize we are inherently interdependent and thus must learn to be conciliatory and Africa defines that, as does Madiba [Mandela’s clan name],” said Chehadé. “We need to maintain that Madiba spirit.”
Dr. Elham Ibrahim, the African Union’s Commissioner for Infrastructure and Energy told the attendees, “The Internet is one of the greatest public gifts of the 20th century.”
“African domain names will bring financial, economic and sociocultural benefits to Africa,” said Ibrahim.
In referring to ICANN during a video address, Dr. Hamadoun Touré, the Secretary General of the International Telecommunication Union, said there needs to be a “goal of working together by cultivating a relationship based on collaboration and cooperation.”
“In a fast moving, rapidly evolving environment there are not permanent or even long term solutions,” said Touré. “What works today will not necessarily work tomorrow. We need open on-going dialogue.”
ICANN’s Durban meeting will continue through Thursday, July 18.