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Has Real "Change" Come to ICANN? (How to Repair Trust Part I.5)

Khaled Fattal

Has real "Change" come to ICANN? (How to repair trust part I.5)

Just under 4 years ago and fresh from his world celebrated election win of the White House and the US Presidency on a platform of "Change Has Come To America", newly elected US President Barak Obama packed his bags and headed to Cairo on a strategic vision and mission that included delivering a speech from Cairo University aimed at winning the trust of Arabs and Muslims worldwide. A target audience that has been deeply distrusting of US Governments and their foreign policies of the past, often for very good reasons.

This morning in Toronto, Canada new ICANN President and CEO Fadi Chehadé will also attempt a similar feat that is no less important to the world than that of Obama's 4 years ago. ICANN winning the hearts, minds and intellect of the ICANN sceptics, doubters, distrusters and opponents all over the world is key if ICANN is to continue as the sole global Internet regulator in the coming Multilingual Internet

Obama's Cairo speech was monumental for a US President. It had everything, but above all, it had enough contrition and acknowledgement of previous US administration errors of the past to let Obama's sincerity, humility, and his new offer of mutual respect to shine in the eyes of millions of his viewers and listeners worldwide. It was a dandy of a speech.

In a post I wrote back then, I and many Arabs and Muslims felt that Obama came across as genuine, sincere, and well intending. I wanted to hope and believe, yet, my intellect and the realist / skeptic in me kept asking: Can Obama really succeed in delivering this "Change" he promised Arabs and Muslims all over the world?

To succeed I believed Obama will need to change the way Washington does politics, and the ways "special interest politics" that is well entrenched in the US political fabric works. I allowed myself to dream a little. Wow, what a great achievement for the world and humanity this would be if he could it.

Then a reality check woke me up and as I pondered, will Washington's entrenched institutions and "traditional special interest politics" not only prove unchangeable, but turn Obama's promises into the same old hollow words the world has heard before rendering him to the status of a mere politician and not the visionary leader whose win the world celebrated.

And as I feared, and almost 4 years later, time proved to be the ultimate litmus test with Obama failing miserably at many of the promises he made in Cairo. It proved that implementing operational reforms and restructuring can claim some success, but changing entrenched political dogmas is not as easy, with grave consequences.

Today, on the morning of ICANN Toronto, I ask a similar question I asked 4 years ago; has real "change" come to ICANN?

To continue reading the full editorial please click here

By Khaled Fattal, Group Chairman, The Multilingual Internet Group
Related topics: ICANN, Internet Governance
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Promoted Post

Buying or Selling IPv4 Addresses?

Watch this video to discover how ACCELR/8, a transformative trading platform developed by industry veterans Marc Lindsey and Janine Goodman, enables organizations to buy or sell IPv4 blocks as small as /20s.