[Gnso-newgtld-wg] Consensus on Recommendations

Alan Greenberg alan.greenberg at mcgill.ca
Wed Dec 23 06:47:15 UTC 2020

I raised an issue during the last call and I wanted to repeat it here 
for those who were not on the call and have not reviewed the recording.

Jeff described how the leadership team will assess the level of 
consensus on recommendations (packages of recommendations if I recall 
correctly, but that is not relevant here) and state them clearly in 
the final report.

For recommendation that achieve a Full Consensus or Consensus (as 
defined in the PDP Charter), that is fine. But I have a great problem 
if a "Recommendation" does not achieve either level of Consensus and 
is still labelled as a "Recommendation".

Historically most Recommendations coming out of PDPs have WG 
consensus. Until recently, for the few cases where a "Recommendation" 
did not have WG consensus, the GNSO Council chose to not endorse it 
and did not pass it on to the Board.

That changed recently with the EPDP where the GNSO Council ratified 
recommendations that did not achieve consensus, including even one 
with Divergent opinions (defined in the WG Charter as "No Consensus").

There is no way of knowing how the Board will treat such 
recommendations, nor how the CURRENT GNSO will react to receiving 
recommendation s from us that do not have consensus. But I feel that 
we should be taking a prudent stance going forward.

We have been very careful only to draft recommendations that seem to 
have WG consensus. However, until we do the final assessment, we do 
not know if there is really agreement or not.

If there is not agreement, that we must delete them as 
Recommendations. We still of course need to fully document the 
discussion AND the difference of opinion. But to keep them as a 
formal recommendation that might be accepted by the GNSO Council and 
the Board violates our basic operating principles.

I think that many of us would react poorly to finding a specific 
recommendation on closed generics where clearly we do NOT have 
consensus. Why would it be more acceptable to keep other 
recommendations where the final assessment is that despite what we 
thought earlier, there is similarly no consensus on the recommendation?


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