Wednesday, 2 December 2009

10th anniversary of CENTR - welcome speech

The full text of Bartosiewicz's welcome speech during 10th anniversary dinner.

Dear Commissioner, Dear Members of the European Parliament, Dear colleagues from the ccTLD community, Dear guests!

It is my pleasure to welcome you as Chair to the event on the occasion of the tenth Anniversary of CENTR– the association of Internet Country Code Top Level Domain Registries

CENTR is an organization unlike any other. Much more than a typical trade association, which main goal is often to lobby on behalf of its members, CENTR has been offering a sophisticated platform and forum to its members for the last ten years. A platform to exchange ideas and visions. A platform to discuss security issues and Internet stability. A platform to exchange best practices and inspire new and emerging country code TLDs.

Our membership is diverse and colorful. As Chair I’ve only been able to truly appreciate the richness of a multicultural and multilingual working environment through my regular contact with our Members from over 40 countries. Across their diversity, every single one of them has something important to contribute to the shared knowledge pool.

Some of our members are academic; some are government departments; some are companies with a main focus on business. Some of our members have millions of domain names; some have a few thousand and finally some have just 100 domains. But all collaborate to safeguard the stability of the Domain Name System while at the same time developing and improving it, to not just follow but also steer the evolution in the Internet world. This bottom up approach has contributed to the stability of the Internet for the past ten years.

The spectrum of topics we deal with at CENTR is rich and wide: technical, legal and organizational issues; security; development of new technologies, the recent introduction of non-Latin scripts in the domain name system and Internet Governance are just a few.

CENTR Members were among the first in the world to implement today’s know standards like Internationalized Domain Names or security extension to DNS called DNSSEC. CENTR Members have delivered constructive contributions to the Internet Governance debate. For instance in Sharm el Sheikh a few weeks ago, where many of you were also present, to the discussions on IPv6.

What is this discussion about?
The Internet as we know it has been functioning in a stable way for decades. However, as you know, we are running out of address space – IPv4 – and we need to move to Internet Protocol version 6. Until now, the distribution of addresses has worked impeccably, through the Regional Internet Registries, like RIPE in Europe. This model works, and there is no need to create an extra layer of bureaucracy for future distribution. Why? For the very simple reason that the amount of available IPv6 addresses is enormous. To give you an idea: if the amount of IPv4 addresses equals the size of a golf ball, the amount of IPv6 addresses equals the size of the sun. There will be enough addresses for everyone across the world. We believe that the focus of the discussion should not be the distribution of IPv6, but the ways in which we can encourage the world to start using IPv6.

We have had the opportunity to share our knowledge with some of you through the meetings of the High Level Internet Group and some joint sessions at ICANN with the Government Advisory committee. I have always felt that these exchanges were mutually beneficial.

Therefore we wanted to seize the opportunity of CENTR’s anniversary to bring all stakeholders together – Parliament, Commission, HLIG, GAC, Permanent representations and our own members – with the purpose of providing a discussion platform and networking opportunity.

In essence THIS is what Internet Governance is about – multistakeholder approach – and what CENTR does best: providing the PLATFORM and bringing everyone together.

I am incredibly impressed and glad to see that so many of you have recognized the importance of continuing this multistakeholder approach and have chosen to attend today’s events.

It is our aim to continue providing this platform on an annual basis, the evening before our yearly meeting in Brussels. Our Secretariat will keep you posted.

With the experiences from Internet Governance Forum in Sharmel Sheikh fresh in our memory, with the Swedish Presidency providing interesting ideas in their paper on The Green Knowledge Society and with the opportunities that the IGF 2010 meeting in Vilnius will bring for an increased European participation, I believe the timing of today’s event could hardly be better.

I would like to thank all of you for attending – and with a special word of appreciation to our members who have traveled from 18 different countries to be here tonight.

I would like to say thanks especially to Commissioner Reding for joining us and sharing her views with us.

Last but not least, I would like to thank the CENTR secretariat in Brussels, and in particular Peter Van Roste for bringing all of us together for this meeting and for organizing this wonderful event.

As not only the Chairman of CENTR but also representing domain registry from Poland, one of the new Member States, on behalf of myself and my CEO, Mr. Michal Chrzanowski, I would like to wish you a pleasant dinner and fruitful discussions.

Thank you!
Andrzej Bartosiewicz

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