[council] Final GAC communique

Mary Wong mary.wong at icann.org
Tue Nov 26 17:43:25 UTC 2013

For the benefit of some of the newer participants among us and the GNSO
community - note that even when GAC members participate in WGs, they do
not do so as representatives of the GAC, or even their own countries,
though they may of course be able to inform the WG of either the GAC's
position (if there is one) on the issue at hand. The GAC has been very
firm about this, and it may partly have to do with how GAC consensus is
achieved - as in other multi-lateral forums, "consensus" is reached if
there is no objection by a GAC member to a particular position.
Conversely, if just one GAC member objects to a particular position, there
is therefore no consensus. This is of course different from how GNSO PDPs
and WGs work.

As Marika has mentioned, this discussion could be helpful to the small
group from the GNSO that will be discussing methods of early engagement
with/from the GAC, mindful of Thomas' distinction between GAC Advice (as
conceived in the ICANN Bylaws) and GAC input.


Mary Wong
Senior Policy Director
Internet Corporation for Assigned Names & Numbers (ICANN)
Telephone: +1 603 574 4892
Email: mary.wong at icann.org

* One World. One Internet. *

-----Original Message-----
From: Amr Elsadr <aelsadr at egyptig.org>
Date: Tuesday, November 26, 2013 12:18 PM
To: Council GNSO <council at gnso.icann.org>
Subject: Re: [council] Final GAC communique

>Hi all,
>Thanks for the clarification Thomas. It makes a lot of sense to be wary
>of what kind of early engagement we¹d like to encourage from the GAC, and
>I don¹t find it surprising that there seems to be a general sense of
>agreement here on how this should be done.
>I, like others, feel it would be great to have more GAC representatives
>become involved in PDP WGs, but cannot confidently predict how this would
>affect the GAC reaction at-large. I am not familiar with how the GAC
>collectively reaches a position on PDP outcomes. I wouldn't be surprised
>to learn that these positions are prepared by only a handful of their
>members. If anyone else has insights on how this is done, I¹d appreciate
>it if you shared.
>Like Chuck said, we do have two GAC reps on the policy and implementation
>WG, but this is not a PDP WG. And unless I am mistaken (and please
>correct me if I¹m wrong on this Chuck), their participation both during
>calls and on-list is quite limited. I bring this up because encouraging
>GAC members to join WGs is one thing, and encouraging them to actively
>engage in the consensus development of policy recommendations is another.
>I hope we can encourage them to do both. I am curious to see how
>interaction at this level (the WG level) might affect GAC Advice (capital
>A) and their collective perception of the necessity and manner of early
>On Nov 26, 2013, at 5:30 PM, Mike O'Connor <mike at haven2.com> wrote:
>> ah!
>> *very* helpful.  thanks Thomas for taking the time to craft that reply.
>> and thanks to John for picking up how i misunderstood the core of
>>Thomas' argument.
>> i agree with you that capital-A advice would indeed be complicated for
>>a WG to handle, given that the goal of WG discussion is to arrive at
>>positions that are usually different from the starting points of each
>> does Berry's contribution to this thread (describing USG comments
>>during a comment period) provide an avenue for slightly-less-firm input
>>from the GAC, or GAC members?  while WG's are not required to
>>incorporate comments into their final positions, they ARE required to
>>respond to each comment -- which might provide an avenue for dialog.
>>focusing on developing that approach might lead us to a good middle
>>ground between the WG's need for flexibility/negotiation and the GAC's
>>need for structure and due deliberation.
>> m
>> On Nov 26, 2013, at 10:14 AM, Thomas Rickert <rickert at anwaelte.de>
>>> John, Mikey and Chuck,
>>> to start with, I am not against early GAC input and you will remember
>>>that I have encouraged that the GAC or individual GA members get
>>>involved at the earliest possible date. Let me quote from my earlier
>>>e-mail where I explicitly stated that:
>>>>>> The GAC should engage early so that PDP WGs get an indication as to
>>>>>>what the GAC or even individual GAC member's thinking is. This is
>>>>>>valuable and will help a lot.
>>> What we should discuss, though, is whether GAC Advice (capital letter
>>>A) should be directed at PDP WGs during a PDP or at the G-Council.
>>> Bear in mind, I spoke about GAC Advice and not about GAC input.
>>> My hesitation with respect to GAC Advice during a PDP stems from the
>>>following considerations:
>>> - The term GAC Advice has legal implications. At the moment GAC Advice
>>>is only directed at the Board and the Board can only disregard GAC
>>>Advice under certain circumstances.
>>> -  If GAC Advice were also directed at PDP WGs, would or should that
>>>be a second opportunity for the GAC to give Advice (capital A)? If so,
>>>what would be the consequences of that?
>>> - Could the WG disregard GAC Advice? If so, what would give the WG
>>>authority to do so? PDP WGs work on recommendations to be made to the
>>>Council, but I do not see that it has the legal authority to make
>>>binding decisions on behalf of the GNSO or even ICANN, while, in fact,
>>>responding to GAC Advice in one way or the other would be or would be
>>>seen as acting on behalf of ICANN.
>>> - If the WG followed GAC Advice, would that bind the Board at a later
>>>stage so the Board looses the right to disregard it?
>>> - Either way PDP WGs are tasked to work and I am not sure we should
>>>burden their work with issues that might have far-reaching political
>>>implications for the whole community.
>>> - Comparable issues would arise if GAC Advice would be directed at the
>>> Again, I very much in favor of GAC early engagement and the discussion
>>>that we have here should not dilute that. Even more, GAC early
>>>engagement can help avoid friction between the GAC's expectations and
>>>the communities work product at a later stage and maybe avoid the
>>>necessity for GAC Advice to the Board.
>>> What I am asking for is that we carefully consider the consequences of
>>>GAC input if such input took the format of GAC Advice for the reasons
>>> Thanks,
>>> Thomas
>>> Am 26.11.2013 um 12:36 schrieb John Berard <john at crediblecontext.com>:
>>>> Thomas,
>>>> Can you confirm you were arguing against early GAC input?
>>>> Berard
>>>> Sent from my iPhone
>>>>> On Nov 26, 2013, at 10:25 AM, "Mike O'Connor" <mike at haven2.com>
>>>>> hi all,
>>>>> i lean in Chuck's direction with regard to WG participation.  i
>>>>>don't have the history/knowledge to comment on the relationship
>>>>>between Board/GAC/GNSO-Council...
>>>>> as i've come to know the WG process over the years, i've found that
>>>>>it works better when there are more inputs rather than fewer.  that
>>>>>doesn't mean that it's easier, only that the results are more robust.
>>>>> i've always hoped for more participation by members of the GAC and
>>>>>am keen to find ways that they could do that.
>>>>> i also agree with Chuck that earlier participation is a great thing.
>>>>> much like any project, the sooner we can get help figuring out the
>>>>>gaps in our thinking, or the reasons why a given direction is to be
>>>>>desired, the easier it is to get on the right track.  and the less
>>>>>backtracking/repair/recovery we need to do later on.  often people
>>>>>don't really mind changing the direction a conversation is going if
>>>>>it resolves a divergence -- but when the journey is nearly done, WG
>>>>>members are weary and the road to the new place is long, sometimes
>>>>>participants get frustrated and resist the change just because it's
>>>>>hard to get from here to there.
>>>>> these thoughts don't just apply to the GAC, but any point of view
>>>>>that needs to be expressed in a WG.  more voices is good.  earlier is
>>>>> like Chuck, i'm willing to be persuaded.   :-)
>>>>> mikey
>>>>>> On Nov 26, 2013, at 8:12 AM, "Gomes, Chuck" <cgomes at verisign.com>
>>>>>> Thomas,
>>>>>> Please see my responses below.
>>>>>> Chuck
>>>>>> -----Original Message-----
>>>>>> From: Thomas Rickert [mailto:rickert at anwaelte.de]
>>>>>> Sent: Sunday, November 24, 2013 5:45 PM
>>>>>> To: Gomes, Chuck
>>>>>> Cc: Avri Doria; Council GNSO
>>>>>> Subject: Re: [council] Final GAC communique
>>>>>> Hi Avri and Chuck,
>>>>>> in my view, we should have a discussion on our expectations some
>>>>>>time soon. 
>>>>>> Other than Avri, I do think that the GAC could engage early and /
>>>>>>or acknowledge the role and work products of the GNSO and at the
>>>>>>same time only consider the Board as its equal.
>>>>>> [Chuck Gomes] I think the Bylaws should be changed so the GAC is
>>>>>>encouraged to provide input to WGs as early as possible like they
>>>>>>did with the IGO-INGO PDP WG, albeit via the Board.  I personally
>>>>>>think that the language in the Bylaws that says that the GAC should
>>>>>>be complemented with language that says they also give advice to
>>>>>>policy WGs that involve public policy issues.  The excuse that they
>>>>>>are just advisors to the Board should be removed.
>>>>>> During the GAC/GNSO session it was mentioned that the GAC still
>>>>>>needs to consider when to give advice during a GNSO policy
>>>>>>development process and I am not sure we really want GAC Advice
>>>>>>directed at the G-Council or even at the WG level.
>>>>>> [Chuck Gomes] Why not?
>>>>>> The GAC should engage early so that PDP WGs get an indication as to
>>>>>>what the GAC or even individual GAC member's thinking is. This is
>>>>>>valuable and will help a lot. I would not like to see special rights
>>>>>>for the GAC to be implemented. In that regard, it does not harm if
>>>>>>the GAC sees the Board as the group to direct advice at.
>>>>>> [Chuck Gomes] As you can see by my earlier comments, I disagree but
>>>>>>am open to being convinced otherwise.
>>>>>> We should discuss this further - maybe in one of the upcoming
>>>>>> [Chuck Gomes] I am open to discussion but remember that I am only a
>>>>>>temporary alternate on the Council and probably will not be on any
>>>>>>more Council calls.
>>>>>> Thanks,
>>>>>> Thomas 
>>>>>>> Am 22.11.2013 um 18:09 schrieb "Gomes, Chuck"
>>>>>>><cgomes at verisign.com>:
>>>>>>> Note that we have two GAC participants in the Policy &
>>>>>>>Implementation (P&I) WG.  We suggested in our letter to the GAC
>>>>>>>that they might be able to serve in some sort of unofficial liaison
>>>>>>>capacity if the GAC was okay with that, not representing the GAC
>>>>>>>but being communication channels.
>>>>>>> Chuck
>>>>>>> -----Original Message-----
>>>>>>> From: owner-council at gnso.icann.org
>>>>>>>[mailto:owner-council at gnso.icann.org] On Behalf Of Avri Doria
>>>>>>> Sent: Friday, November 22, 2013 12:13 PM
>>>>>>> To: Council GNSO
>>>>>>> Subject: Re: [council] Final GAC communique
>>>>>>> Hi,
>>>>>>> I do not think this should surprise us.  And I mean the disrespect
>>>>>>>the GAC has for any structure lower than the Board.  For them to
>>>>>>>acknowledge our work would be for them to acknowledge that we have
>>>>>>>a role on a par with theirs.  And governments never admit to being
>>>>>>>equal to any one else - only in the IGF have we seem some loosening
>>>>>>>of that in the general Internet governance arena.  I expect that
>>>>>>>they really do not consider the Board their equals, but they put up
>>>>>>>with the things they need to put up with.
>>>>>>> They had a liaison with the Council in the past, but participation
>>>>>>>limited them and limited their ability to give advise that took no
>>>>>>>account of the work done in the GNSO.  Early engagement is
>>>>>>>contradictory to reinforcing the power of their advice - which is
>>>>>>>their ultimate goal.
>>>>>>> I think we should continue to invite and encourage them to
>>>>>>>participate.  Sooner or later one of them will take us seriously
>>>>>>>again - we have had some WG participants from GAC in the past, we
>>>>>>>may again some day.  But we should also not fool ourselves into
>>>>>>>expecting them to take any supportive notice of our efforts.
>>>>>>> I have every respect for those of you doing the essential work on
>>>>>>>improving coordination between GAC and the GNSO, as I expect your
>>>>>>>main reward will be knowing you tried, as opposed to any real GAC
>>>>>>>early engagement.  Hope I am wrong.
>>>>>>> avri
>>>>>>>> On 21 Nov 2013, at 18:00, Thomas Rickert wrote:
>>>>>>>> Nonetheless it is sad and I will say that I find it interesting
>>>>>>>>to show respect to the GNSO's PDP work by working on ways to
>>>>>>>>engage and then completely ignore work that is done in PDPs which
>>>>>>>>is relevant to what they are deliberating.
>>>>>>>> Thomas
>>>>>>>>> Am 21.11.2013 um 17:17 schrieb "Gomes, Chuck"
>>>>>>>>><cgomes at verisign.com>:
>>>>>>>>> Remember that they never thought we should be considering this.
>>>>>>>>> Chuck
>>>>>>>>> -----Original Message-----
>>>>>>>>> From: owner-council at gnso.icann.org
>>>>>>>>>[mailto:owner-council at gnso.icann.org] On Behalf Of Thomas Rickert
>>>>>>>>> Sent: Thursday, November 21, 2013 3:11 PM
>>>>>>>>> To: Glen de Saint Géry
>>>>>>>>> Cc: council at gnso.icann.org
>>>>>>>>> Subject: Re: [council] Final GAC communique
>>>>>>>>> All, 
>>>>>>>>> sadly, the GAC communique includes Advise on IGO/INGOs, but does
>>>>>>>>>not mention the GNSO's PDP WG or the motion that passed.
>>>>>>>>> Thomas
>>>>>>>>> =============
>>>>>>>>> thomas-rickert.tel
>>>>>>>>> +
>>>>>>>>>> Am 21.11.2013 um 16:57 schrieb Glen de Saint Géry
>>>>>>>>>><Glen at icann.org>:
>>>>>>>>>> FYI
>>>>>>>>>> Attached please find the finalised GAC communique from Buenos
>>>>>>>>>> The communique will be posted on the GAC Website later today.
>>>>>>>>>> Glen de Saint Géry
>>>>>>>>>> GNSO Secretariat
>>>>>>>>>> gnso.secretariat at gnso.icann.org
>>>>>>>>>> http://gnso.icann.org
>>>>>>>>>> <FINAL_Buenos_Aires_GAC_Communique_20131120.pdf>
>>>>>>>>>> _______________________________________________
>>>>>>>>>> gac mailing list
>>>>>>>>>> gac at gac.icann.org
>>>>>>>>>> https://mm.icann.org/mailman/listinfo/gac
>>>>> PHONE: 651-647-6109, FAX: 866-280-2356, WEB: www.haven2.com, HANDLE:
>>>>>OConnorStP (ID for Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, etc.)
>> PHONE: 651-647-6109, FAX: 866-280-2356, WEB: www.haven2.com, HANDLE:
>>OConnorStP (ID for Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, etc.)
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