[IANAtransition] Input on the Draft Proposal, Based on Initial Community Feedback

Tamer Rizk trizk at inficron.com
Thu May 8 15:24:45 UTC 2014

While the principles and mechanisms to guide transition proposal 
development, as suggested by the convener of the process, seem sensible 
enough, both the scope of the transition and the operation of the 
mechanisms remain vague. Contrary to one who directs a process, the very 
definition of a convener is one who brings together for a meeting or 
activity. In this spirit, the call for public input prudently identifies 
wide community concern for the examination of broader globalization and 
accountability mechanisms.

In keeping with the principles to maintain an inclusive, transparent, 
and consensus driven development process, both proposal scope and 
execution management must ensue directly from an open consultation 
process, without artificial limitation by, or to, a single interest. 
This could be achieved, for example, by aggregating responses to a call 
for input that requests very brief statements on each responder's 
interpretation of scope. As a result of granular input, independent of 
convener predisposition or vetting, the transition focus would naturally 
evolve to the sphere defined by the greater community, and similarly its 
mechanisms would prescribe to minimize conflicts of interest.

A steering group that stewards proposal development may help to ensure 
that the process remains focused. Again, such a steering group should be 
operable to focus on the purview of the greater community, with respect 
to a plethora of diverse global stakeholders. While the process outlined 
for the operation of the steering group is generally sound, constraints 
on the creation, direction and support of the group, including: 
restrictions on membership selection, ambiguity in the impartiality of 
its Chair, outcome sensitivity to Board influence, and support of the 
group by a single interest, severely degrade the ambition of at least 
half of the principles identified by the community.

Notwithstanding limitations to the definition of affected parties, and 
in order to develop a proposal that truly reflects openness, parties 
should have the right to choose whomsoever they feel best represents 
their interests, without limitation. Certainly, the acceptable 
definition of affected parties must at least include trademark 
authorities, relevant globally recognized forums, and governments in 
their own right. Nevertheless, stakeholders should continue to assert 
vigilance, perhaps bolstered by a non-participating or diversified 
secretariat, in order to prevent an imbalance in proposal direction or 
developmental influence.



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