[council] FW: Candidate sought for GNSO representatives to ICANN Geographic Regions WG.

Glen de Saint Géry Glen at icann.org
Wed Nov 26 15:08:36 UTC 2008

Forwarded from Eric Brunner Williams:
Dear Glen, Avri,

I've attached a note I wrote to the RC list when we were considering the issue  a month ago. It is more or less what I said from the floor at Cairo. It covers what I think are the hazards, and the opportunities we have attempting to actually obtain meaningful regional representation.


Attached note in plain text:
[Sent to the RC list on 10/19/08]

Let me state what I see are issues:

   1. citizenship is not necessarily coincident with residence, my initial point. A person who left Ethiopia as a youth and living in California ever since is a poor choice for "the voice of Africa". This is not a hypothetical.

   2. I think Israel is in the same part of the world as Lebanon, Syria, Jordan and Egypt. However, Israel choses to identify as part of Europe. Do we have any interest in, that is, _do_we_benefit_by_, forcing one model of region or another on parties seeking to stand for diversity determined responsibilities? Its not just Israel, also Turkey, Azerbaijan and Uzbekistan identify as "Europe", at least for sports. Where is New Caledonia or Tahiti? How about Guyane?

To use the usual mantra, ICANN should not be in the business of defining geographic regions against the will of those folks. Let them choose whether they wanted to vote in one region or another. ICANN should not be telling them what they are, but telling them that they should opt for one and only one description. Something along the lines of "bottom up" vs "top down" is appropriate here.

   3. The pseudo-geograpical approach has been problematic from the begining. Requiring someone from the fictitcious AP region normally means having someone from Australia or New Zealand. Try and wrap your head around the idea that because Paul and Peter are Antipodeans, ICANN is therefore an Asian-centric organization. ICANN determining that Peter, Paul, Bruce and Adrian are "Asians", not "Europeans", is simply bizarre. Did I mention the problem isn't hypothetical?

Now for the cure:

We have adequate representation from the brightly light parts of the world city-to-city link map, which Fred Baker was kind enough to point out to me at Paris. Fred's worked (charity) on getting infrastructure into Kabul, and parts of Africa, as do I.

Here's the URL: http://www.chrisharrison.net/projects/InternetMap/medium/worldBlack.jpg

ICANN is staffed primarily from the OECD states. The existing "diversity" requirement has been gamed throughout ICANN's existence to favor rich, well-connected Anglo-Saxons from all over the world. We need to restate the requirement towards material diversity, not fictional diversity, towards some goals of folks, staff or elected, coming from non-OECD countries, the darker parts of that map.

The UN's model doesn't fit our needs, which is convenient because we _don't_ benefit by pretending treaty organization regionalism is an adequate representation of diversity of network penetration and availability.

So, to a first order, our goal should be half of staff and half of elected roles are the responsibilities of persons from (and not in the remote past either) the non-OECD economies, because our present model is "only token participation, as staff or elected", by persons from anything but OECD economies.

Our market is pretty darn good in the OECD market. Where we need help growing our market is in the non-OECD market, and last I looked, 2/3rds of the world's population are in non-OECD countries, and the cost of a domain name is still within the envelope for a huge user base all now well served with cheap cell phones that are already web enabled.

What we're doing isn't making us as much money as doing something else.


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