At-Large Summit Successfully Concluded
Evan Leibovitch, Chair of the North American Regional At-Large Organisation, thanked everybody involved in the At-Large Summit for all the work done and concluded the Summit with a few closing words:
From Mission to Action
"Bonjour à mes amis, mes collègues, les membres de toutes les circonscriptions, et aussi aux employées d'ICANN. C'est un grand plaisir d'être ici devant vous à la clôture du premier Sommet de la communauté de "At Large".
It is an understatement to say that I am very proud to have been part of the the creation, planning and staging of the first-ever global gathering of ICANN's public constituency.
Soon after my ALS was first recruited to join ICANN At-Large about two years ago, I was exposed to a diversity of opinions and emotions about ICANN for which I was not prepared. It was curiosity and confusion, augmented by an unusual amount of cynicism. My first meeting in San Juan was actually what I consider to be the birthplace of the current At-Large, for it was the first time that every region had formalized and we finally had an ALAC that was mainly elected by and representative of the community.
Between then and now I have come to see that the vision that created the At-Large infrastructure was, complex as it may be, is the best long-term path to providing ICANN with high-quality, diverse, and genuine direction. And in the six days that have just passed, I have come to see that this vision is in the right hands.
In the time I have been involved the ALAC has evolved dramatically. Two years ago I would have told you that "AGP" meant a kind of PC graphics card. In the time since I have also come to know it as the Add Grace Period, a seemingly benign tool with few equivalents in the normal world of business. At-Large had witnessed that the AGP had become the core of a particularly nasty form of namespace abuse known as domain tasting. It was At-Large that identified the tasting as contrary to the public interest, initiated processes to study it, and eventually drove measures that would ultimately lead to a dramatic reduction in its use.
Since then, At-Large and its representative ALAC has become increasingly involved in other areas of ICANN policy. We have become a primary supporter of internationalized domain names and IPV6. We have asserted ourselves into the debate on WHOIS data accuracy and new gTLD creation.
We continue to study the various parts of the RAA to identify areas of domain abuse, of registrant abuse and end-user abuse. We are holding ICANN increasingly accountable as to its transparency, its enforcement activities, and its respect for the rights and needs of its registrants and the billions of Internet users worldwide.
The level of maturity, enthusiasm and talent evident within At-Large has clearly been evident in the events being held this past week in this, its first-ever Summit. In workshops and thematic sessions, we have not only identified challenges but proposed concrete solutions that will ultimately benefit both ICANN and the public it is charged to serve. Yesterday's workshop on E-crime, another Summit initiative, attracted interest throughout the ICANN community.
The vision that has inspired these events was a bold one that was not without risk and has not been easy to achieve. It is a continuing challenge to engage the interest of organizations and individuals who do not have a primary interest in Internet governance.
C'est un défi encore plus grand d'être informés, dans des langues autres que l'Anglais. And sometimes, we still find within ICANN that merely having the ability to speak does not mean we get listened to.
These changes can be addressed and they are being addressed. The Board Governance report on the ALAC Review has demonstrated admirable understanding of the vision of At-Large. The quality of At-Large's policy input has, I believe, naturally led to a heightened awareness of -- and respect for -- the voice of ICANN's largest constituency.
Some of our largest challenges come from within. We need to be more active, more assertive, more educated and more engaged -- both within ICANN and within the greater community of Internet users. We cannot be intimidated by those who care not for the public good, but we must also be constructive and progessive in our approach. Some healthy cynicism is always useful, but we cannot and must not allow ourselves be obsessed by it.
We are well on our way. This Summit has been a critical milestone in the maturation of At-Large. I hope many of you have had a chance to participate in our many events, and I invite everyone here to go to the website above me to read the constructive and realistic policy work produced in this week alone. In it you'll find creative and positive approaches to WHOIS and how ICANN can operate better in a global environment. And you'll also find that, in some ways, we are amongst the strongest advocates of new gTLDs.
This Summit is neither a beginning nor an end. In its success, however, we see a point of transition. For here we have demonstrated that we have not only turned vision into mission, but also mission into action.
On behalf of the 88 At-Large Structures attending here and the many more operating at home, I want to thank ICANN staff - and you know who you are. Your help has been invaluable in creating an event that I believe to have been a complete success by any metric. I want to give a special acknowledgement to summit program chair Wolf Ludwig and his extraordinary talent at herding cats. And I'm delighted that Nick Ashton Hart is in good enough shape to spend some time with us and see the fruits of our collective sweat.
As we prepare to close the Summit today I hope that my fellow members of At-Large leave here with a strong message.
This is our ICANN.
Ceci est notre ICANN.
Esta es nuestra ICANN.
What happens next depends upon ICANN's holding true to its vision, and our community's determination to fulfill it.
Now let's go make it happen."
Please find Alejandro Pisanty's Opening Keynote Address "From Vision to Mission" under: http://www.atlarge.icann.org/announcements/announcement-28feb09-en.htm
The entire scribe transcript of the Closing General Session of the At-Large Summit can be found under: http://mex.icann.org/files/meetings/mexico2009/transcript-atlarge-conclusion-05mar09-en.txt