[Internal-cg] Coordination Group, 2 weeks after London.
wolf-ulrich.knoben at t-online.de
Mon Aug 4 07:38:53 UTC 2014
thank you for your openly offered remarks, Jean-Jacques which I take very
It seems to me that your observations - besides the question of membership
and chair structure - make here the general point of how CIG members in
future can trust each other. This question - as usual in diverse groups - is
strongly related to the commonly understood and agreed process in finding
Our group is still lacking such an agreement. In London we just agreed to
follow the "rough consensus principle" but we understand and use different
means for it: humming, polls, no objections raised on the email list etc. If
we don't find a better way it will lead us deadlocked in almost every
question to be decided.
Therefore I am convinced that we have to go through this part to clearly
define our decision making process. As a starter I attach an extract of the
GNSO Working Group Guidelines. I'm sure others may have similar approaches
with additional ideas. It is worthwile to put this together and come up with
a suggestion to be finalized at the Istanbul meeting. I'd be happy to be
part of a small prep team.
From: Subrenat, Jean-Jacques
Sent: Sunday, August 03, 2014 7:35 PM
Subject: [Internal-cg] Coordination Group, 2 weeks after London.
two weeks after our first Coordination Group (CG) meeting in London, I would
like to offer a few remarks.
FIRST, THERE IS A TENDENCY WITHIN OUR CG TO DISREGARD THE WIDER PICTURE.
For most global Internet users, the NTIA statement about transitioning
stewardship of the IANA functions, while undoubtedly implying that technical
changes would be required, was primarily a political message about the
United States' willingness to hand over that stewardship. And for the global
user community, it is natural and acceptable that Washington, as the current
custodian, requires certain conditions to be met before transition can be
carried out. The fact that the timing of the NTIA statement may have
something to do with the Snowden revelations does not diminish the value of
the US proposal.
To someone who follows US and world affairs quite closely, some attitudes
displayed in the CG show little awareness of the fact that the intentions of
the United States could be completely misunderstood. They also show little
consideration for the user communities in non-affluent societies.
When it became clear that the membership of our Coordination Group was
heavily weighted in favour of a single geographic region (North America),
one citizenship (11 US citizens out of 30 members), as well as business
interests and technical operators, this was played down by several members
of the CG as representing a "purely political" dimension and therefore not
relevant to the matter in hand which, for them, should remain "purely
To illustrate my point: in London I was given the opportunity ( thank you
Alissa ;-) ) to share a few thoughts about the geo-strategic challenges
facing the Internet, and their possible implications for the task of the CG.
In reaction, there was not a single question or remark: this was not the
silence of approval, but a lack of interest in the topic. Rest reassured, I
have no personal hangup about this; but I am concerned that the CG seems to
be ignoring an important dimension.
SECOND, SUCH A LACK OF CONSIDERATION FOR POLITICAL IMPLICATIONS IS NOT
In London, through an agreed process, we reached a documented decision in
favour of 3 Co-Chairs. After London, some of you considered that you did not
like this result, and took the initiative to set up a poll. I mention this
topic of Chair structure because it encapsulates several of the problems
facing us now.
The composition of our CG is what it is, we're not going to change it now.
But we owe it to the global community to show more sensitivity to some wider
issues. Are we impervious to the writing on the wall? Quite a few in the
global user community consider that the presence of US citizens, already so
strong in the CG, would not be justified in the Chair structure and would in
fact open our work to easy criticism, whatever the quality of that work. It
has also been noted that the presence of business interests (already
strongly represented in the CG) would be unjustified and unfair in the chair
structure. Let me be clear: this is not about the merits or capacity of any
individual, it is about over-representation and conflicts of interest, real
Members of the CG should be aware that they are under close scrutiny by the
global community, and that the acceptability and credibility of their final
plan for transition will also hinge on the perceived process by which this
It is therefore important to demonstrate to the outside world that we
operate in an orderly, efficient and fair fashion, and that we follow agreed
processes and abide by our documented decisions. Deciding upon our own
leadership structure is an important first test. We need a leadership
structure that is the outcome of agreed process and which demonstrates the
CG's commitment to its duty to act in the interests of the global
THIRD, THE WAY FORWARD IS NOT NECESSARILY CONTENTIOUS.
Like all of us on this list, I'm not interested in confining myself to
analysis or criticism. Here are my proposals moving forward:
- Membership of the CG: let's just accept it as is.
- Chair structure: for all the reasons already put forward by the ALAC,
having 3 Co-Chairs from 3 different geographic regions will garner the
widest support from the global community. This can be achieved in a simple
and straightforward way by the Interim Chair declaring that the poll (the
results of which are in any case open to widely differing interpretations)
will be put to one side, that the CG will continue as agreed in London, and
by calling for candidates for the 3 Co-Chairs. The timeline should be very
- Global public interest: in the future, we need to consciously take into
account the way in which our processes and choices may impact not only the
operators and clients of the IANA functions, but more generally the global
Internet community. This is the only way to ensure that the transition is a
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