[bc-gnso] ICANN Board - GAC Meeting

Chris Chaplow chris at andalucia.com
Thu Jan 6 17:51:02 UTC 2011

Dear Michael and all,


When the meeting was  suggested  at the Cartegena Board/GAC  session I noted a   presumption in the Community and Twitter that it would be closed and  along the lines of “after all this time, looks like it is going to take a closed head to head to sort this out, welcome to the real world.” 


Naturally I was pleased to hear the Board Chair in the post Cartagena press conference clarify that this Meeting would be open. This video is still on the ICANN home page.  I recommend all BC members to watch it.


Best Regards,

Chris Chaplow
Managing Director
Andalucía.com S.L.
Avenida del Carmen 9
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1ª Planta, Oficina 30
Estepona, 29680
Malaga, Spain
Tel: + (34) 952 897 865
Fax: + (34) 952 897 874
E-mail:  <mailto:chris at andaluciaws.com> chris at andaluciaws.com
Web:  <http://www.andalucia.com/> www.andaluciaws.com


De: owner-bc-gnso at icann.org [mailto:owner-bc-gnso at icann.org] En nombre de Michael D. Palage
Enviado el: jueves, 06 de enero de 2011 0:21
Para: bc-gnso at icann.org
Asunto: [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 advice.


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 below:



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 fairness.”  


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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