[bc-gnso] ICANN Board - GAC Meeting

Dirk Krischenowski krischenowski at dotberlin.de
Thu Jan 6 09:42:03 UTC 2011

dotBERLIN also supports Michael’s iniatiative.


Best regards,


Dirk Krischenowski



From: owner-bc-gnso at icann.org [mailto:owner-bc-gnso at icann.org] On Behalf Of
Michael D. Palage
Sent: Wednesday, January 05, 2011 6:21 PM
To: bc-gnso at icann.org
Subject: [bc-gnso] ICANN Board - GAC Meeting


Hello All,

As many of you may know the ICANN Board and GAC have scheduled an
intercessional meeting in Geneva next month to resolve outstanding issues in
connection with the new gTLD implementation process. Unfortunately to date
details of whether this meeting will be open/closed to observers has not yet
been publicly addressed.  As a strong advocate toward openness and
transparency I have drafted the following text which calls for the meeting
to be open to observers, I did so after talking with several ICANN
stakeholders that shared these same concerns.   It would be my hope that
SOs/ACs/SGs and individuals could make their voice heard on this important
issue. I welcome any questions/comments.

Best regards,




Over the past eighteen months ICANN has had the opportunity to navigate
through a number of challenges and achievements:  expiration of the Joint
Project Agreement and the negotiation and signing of the Affirmation of
Commitments; introduction of new internationalized top-level domains in the
ccTLD fast track process; preparing for the pending exhaustion of IPv4
address space while advancing the visibility of IPv6; and progress on
addressing remaining work on the proposed Applicant Guidebook/process to
introduce new gTLDs, including IDNs.  


As important as these initiatives have been, ICANN is now experiencing a new
challenge, an upcoming consultation between the ICANN Board and Government
Advisory Committee (GAC). This consultation appears to be the first time
that ICANN’s Board and the GAC will use provisions set forth in Article XI
Section 2 to resolve situations where the Board has decided to reject GAC


In many ways, the legacy of ICANN’s leadership will be significantly
impacted by how the parameters are established for this upcoming
consultation between the ICANN Board and the GAC, which appears to have been
scheduled for the end of February in Geneva. Switzerland. 


While the undersigned support this meeting as an important step in bringing
about the responsible conclusion of the new gTLD implementation process, and
other issues as defined in the GAC Communiqué, we call on the Board to
provide certain safeguards to protect ICANN’s legitimacy as a bottom up,
private sector led consensus driven global organization.


We respectfully request that this consultation between the Board and GAC be
open to observers, consistent with the practices of GAC – Board interactions
at the public meetings which ICANN holds three times a year. Since this is
the first meeting of this nature in ICANN’s eleven year history, the
precedent for all future such meetings will be established by this meeting. 


We note that no clear communication on this aspect of the meeting has yet
been provided. Therefore, we believe it is timely to express the views of
the ICANN community on this topic. Specifically, that ICANN should provide
for both onsite and remote observers to this interaction. An examination of
the relevant ICANN bylaws, commitments and best practices are provided



Article I, Section 3 of the ICANN Bylaws states that “ICANN and its
constituent bodies shall operate to the maximum extent feasible in an open
and transparent manner and consistent with procedures designed to ensure


Article 3 of the Affirmation of Commitment (AoC) states that ICANN commits
to “ensur[ing] that decisions made related to the global technical
coordination of the DNS are made in the public interest and are accountable
and transparent.” While the GAC is clearly suited to provide advice to ICANN
regarding “public interest”, this advice should be provided in an open
meeting accommodating observers. 


The new gTLD policy development and implementation process has been a
multi-year process that has taken place through a series of public
consultations, and since the majority of the items that will be discussed in
this intercessional meeting are about concerns of the GAC regarding aspects
of the new gTLD Applicant Guidebook, we ask that this meeting provide for
both onsite and remote observers.  


Holding the intercessional meeting in a closed manner will raise questions
of legitimacy, and could have a chilling effect on future ICANN policy
development processes. We believe it is also not consistent with the form of
multi stakeholder model that ICANN embodies. It may even have a negative
impact on ICANN’s legitimacy within the broader stakeholder community, which
has supported it over the last twelve years.


Recently, ICANN was a recent signatory to a collaborative letter raising
concerns about the actions taken by the Commission on Science and Technology
for Development (CSTD) Bureau to exclude non-government actors from full
participation in the Working Group on Improvements to the Internet
Governance Forum.  ICANN participated in both the UN Consultation on
Enhanced Cooperation, and in the CSTD Panel held on December 17, and
actively supported the importance of allowing private sector stakeholders in
these meetings.  It is hard to reconcile ICANN’s position in this letter if
it organizes a closed intercessional meeting with the GAC to resolve
outstanding issues in the new gTLD Applicant Guidebook/process.


We accept that there may be space limitations for observers, as there often
are in the face to face ICANN meetings. Given logistics and budgetary
restraints, it is unlikely that large numbers of in-person attendees would
travel to Geneva. Therefore, ICANN should also provide real time
transcription and audio streaming of the proceedings, with an MP3 recording
in a timely manner. 




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