[council] Descriptive statements from candidates for the position of GNSO Representatives to the Geo-Region Community Wide WG

Glen de Saint Géry Glen at icann.org
Fri Nov 28 18:04:50 UTC 2008

Dear Council Members,

Nominations have closed for GNSO Representatives to the Geo-Region Community Wide WG.

Please find descriptive statements from 2 of the 3 candidates standing for the position of GNSO Representatives to the Geo-Region Community Wide WG:

1. Olga Cavalli NCA - GNSO Council
2. Eric Brunner-Williams - CTO CORE
3. Zahid Jamil - CBUC GNSO Council - statement not yet received.

Forwarded from Olga Cavalli to the GNSO Council on 26 November 2008:

This is the requested descriptive paragraph on why I am interested in the role and my view on the subject:

I chaired the drafting team that prepared the text submitted by GNSO in relation with the creation of this Working Group on Geographic Regions.

Complete final text can be found in:

In this sense, I agree with all concepts and principles included in the document, and I am very much interested in understanding how much of these principles are taken in consideration in the dynamic of the wide WG activities.

I also have extensive experience in analyzing geographic regions issues, especially those related with its impact on developing countries, development of Internet traffic exchange points, benefits of establishing free trade areas (like Mercosur) in relation with technology industries and development, etc.

Updating the GNSO Council on the activities of this WG will also enhance my role as ccNSO liaison for the GNSO, as I believe that many aspects of both activities are somehow related.

I will be pleased to provide further details if needed, especially those about my professional experience.

Forwarded from Eric Brunner-Williams to the GNSO Council on 26 November 2008:

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-geographical approach has been problematic from the beginning. Requiring someone from the fictitious 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.

Forwarded from Eric Brunner-Williams to the GNSO Council on 26 November 2008:

I am in broad agreement with the principles expressed by the Council last August, that diversity of participation is a net good, and if selected to the ICANN Geographic Regions WG I will advocate for each of the 12 positions. However, I would like to take this opportunity to convey to the Council my thoughts on the 4th position, which I have previously shared with the Registrar Constituency.

Our goal in December of 1997 in creating a regional requirement in the IAHC was to ensure equitable international participation. The principle of equitable international participation is subsumed in the ICANN goals of diversity, opportunity, and the pragmatic limits of simplicity.
Equity is not best found by selecting "people like us". We are early adopters, and quite privileged in our accumulation of network resources, in particular, our individual and collective comprehension of, and control over, internet identifiers and the uses to which these are enjoyed or exploited. We must look for "people unlike us" if we are to best implement our policy of equity, or its cognates, diversity, opportunity and simplicity.

The "unlikeness" we need to find is not unlike citizenships, as we could satisfy that requirement within area code 408 (San Jose and environs), and never leave the metaphoric "machine room at cisco", or the median income for OECD countries. We need to find "unlikeness" that is substantive, not formal, and residency is a better indicator of a candidate's awareness of local network cost, availability, and "hot spots", than standing to vote.

I hope that the Council will substitute "residency" for "citizenship", or sufficiently nuance "citizenship" to replace a formal measure with a substantive measure of diversity. I would be very surprised if we could not meet our diversity goal for "a person from X", and not find a person who is a citizen of some state within X, but I can think of examples where I've no idea of the citizenship of a person from X who's input to ICANN at any level easily meets the requirement for equitable international participation.

Thank you for your collective attention, Eric Brunner-Williams CTO, CORE

Forwarded from Eric Brunner-Williams to the GNSO Council on 26 November 2008:

I confirm that I support the GNSO adopted principles stated in the following URL:
and that I will be a committed advocate for these principles.

Thank you.
kind regards,

 Glen de Saint Géry
 GNSO Secretariat
 gnso.secretariat at gnso.icann.org

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