[CWG-Stewardship] GNSO-ccNSO engagement in the Multi-stakeholder model

Milton L Mueller mueller at syr.edu
Mon Jun 1 17:03:44 UTC 2015


I really agree with what Martin said here:

>Given that the GNSO is essentially a policy-development organisation, I am concerned that heavy GNSO membership will lead to re-running issues that should be dealt with at the ICANN level.  I would not want to see the PTI (or a successor organisation) being judged on issues where it does not have a role and cannot (or should not) have an influence.  Independence of policy from IANA also means that the assessment of the performance of the IANA functions operator also needs to be independent of policy

I think it is a bit narrow to view the stakeholder groups within the GNSO as essentially policy-development bodies, just because the GNSO's main purpose is policy development.  This is an entirely understandable view, but it's not correct.

MM: The GNSO is indeed a “essentially policy development bodies.” Don’t take my word for it, read ICANN’s bylaws (Article X):

“There shall be a policy-development body known as the Generic Names Supporting Organization (GNSO), which shall be responsible for developing and recommending to the ICANN Board substantive policies relating to generic top-level domains.”

MM: It is reassuring and nice for Greg to talk about responsibility and the bigger picture, and in his case, he has some credibility. But not everyone does. Aside from its basic purpose and organization as established in the bylaws, someone like me with a lot of experience of GNSO could never agree that its constituencies and stakeholder groups do not act primarily in their own self-interest. We see, for example, a concerted effort to connect the creation of the .sucks domain to the IANA transition going on now in Washington. 3 years ago during the renewal of the IANA contract, we saw a concerted effort by certain stakeholder groups – caught up in the controversies over new TLDs - to require IANA to determine whether new TLDs “had consensus” and were “in the public interest.” Basic institutional design would caution us that there will be continuing pressure to link IANA issues to policy disputes. Our mechanisms must guard against this.

That said, clear terms of reference are an excellent idea and should be part of the review team's foundational documents (charter, etc.).  I don't think that's a controversial idea (nor a new one).  And I don't think there will be any problem with GNSO non-registry stakeholders (or for that matter, non-GNSO non-registry stakeholders) failing to understand or trying to subvert those terms of reference.

MM: It’s probably not controversial but the question for us is one of enforcing those terms if a review group goes astray. How do we do that?

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