Report of the ALAC for the 32nd ICANN International Meeting, Paris, France
A measure of the ALAC's maturity will be when our advice and comments to the Board, and/or what is included in our submissions on policy matters, is trusted by other stakeholders in ICANN to have validated and identified where clear consensus or the diversity of opinion occurs on any matter, from the grass roots level… This means that we need to find ways to better empower and facilitate the RALO's and ALS's to do their all important jobs.
Our activities in Paris have been focused on meetings and briefings to meet this end, along with strengthening our relationships and interchanges with other s specifically including formal meetings with the Supporting Organisations (GNSO, ccNSO and SSAC) , NCUC, several of the Business Constituencies and the GAC, and has meant that At-Large (ALAC and RALO's), in Paris, have held 16 published + 5 ad-hoc meetings. The detailed agenda's and supporting documentation for these meetings is found at https://st.icann.org/alac/index.cgi?paris_meeting and is not inclusive of the meetings held and attended on our behalf by our liaisons to the various SO's (GNSO, ccNSO and SSAC) as well as WG's such as the IDNC-WG or the specific presentations or sessions relevant to our internal WG leads such as the RAA and IPv6, and of course the various workshops also listed above.
The ALAC wishes to report how well attended and rewarding we found the joint meetings held with the Supporting Organizations and the Government Advisory Committee each of these resulting in a commitment and enthusiasm to continue at some level of future and ongoing work of mutual interest, and importance.
A key feature of our activities this week was the first General Assembly of the EURALO, held on Saturday which is indeed a landmark moment for a RALO (see https://st.icann.org/euralo/index.cgi?euralo_icann_at_large_europe )
The ALAC a keen supporter of IDN's is pleased with the finalisation of the Board proposal of the IDNC-WG which has had the participation of the ALAC through Hong Xue and Cheryl Langdon-Orr, found at http://ccnso.icann.org/workinggroups/idnc-wg-board-proposal-25jun08.pdf .
The draft report to the Board on the ALAC review
Westlake report was presented and debated with ALAC and with the community. Whereas the report presented is still a draft, positive and negative points have been raised by the ALAC and others. The next step in this review journey for the ALAC is to develop its own consensus on this report, and we expect and encourage the RALO's, ALS's and interested individuals to also make their own responses and contributions as comments are called for.
- The recognition ALAC needs a more fair representation especially from Asia Pacific region.
- The recognition of ALAC's importance into ICANN's structure and as an accountability instrument with the community;
- The lack of analysis regarding ALAC's structure and achievement of its goals
- Agreements and disagreements regarding vote capacity of ALAC liaison at board exist
IPv4 to IPv6 transition workshop .
ALAC promoted a well attended workshop, open to the community about IPv6 development, during Monday morning, bringing the views of several experts about IPv6 implementation, experiences, challenges and best practices suggestions.
Feedback from the community encouraged us to follow this path and promote other relevant workshops next meetings.
Relevant documents from this workshop can be found at https://st.icann.org/ipv6-migration/index.cgi?23_june_2008
The At-Large Summit WG made a presentation for the At large community present at this meeting and had already launched a survey among ALS to engage them into Summit preparation. Detailed information can be found at https://st.icann.org/summit-wg/index.cgi?documents
ALAC is keenly waiting for the board decision, as a ‘go' or ‘no go' is required before any further significant work and particular any investigation of possible partnership opportunities can occur.
ALAC joint meeting with GNSO debated the importance of the Public Comment Period Length to improve the At large community response given the ALAC and hierarchical At-Large structure, and the typical lack of easy to understand and multi-lingual documentation,. ALAC previously posted and delivered to GNSO its position regarding GNSO Improvements and we were cooperated in the preparation of the ‘Joint User Proposal' specifically on alternate views to the BGC structure of an improved GNSO, prior to this meeting. We have discussed this further on several opportunities during this meeting, and the ALAC would like to see coming out of any changes, how Councilors perceive these issues. The ALAC watches with great interest the Boards discussion and decision on the GNSO structure alternatives before them.
A significant piece of work done related (and an ad-hoc meeting) related to new GTLD's. The ALAC and At-Large, in no way wish to obstruct or delay the implementation of the new GTLD process as we, the registrants and non registrants of Domain Names need and desire new GTLD's that allow us an informed market choice .
However, we of the ALAC realize the GNSO, ICANN staff and others have worked hard for consensus on this policy for introduction of new gTLDs. However, the ALAC wants to express discomfort with two of the four objection criteria: Morality and Public Order, and Community Objection. With regard to the Morality and Public Order criterion for objection, the ALAC states, with reference to Annex A, 13.b of the ICANN bylaws, such policy is not in the best interests of the ICANN community or ICANN.
The ALAC and the assembled RALO and ALS representatives resolved:
- Any ICANN process in which "Morality and Public Order", however defined, is a criterion, even if only in an objection or arbitration pathway, debases the ICANN process.
- An international organisation cannot be principled on a particular notion of "morality."
- Human Rights instruments should not be linked to notions of "morality"; human rights are intrinsic, whereas no intrinsic rights to domain name purity exist.
- Local community standards may not be determined or adjudicated by any international tribunal.
- Well-established local systems are already in place to adjudicate questions of morality and public order.
- Domain names ought to be treated as symbols devoid of meaning; they do not intrinsically possess trademark status.
- This ICANN process favors Dispute Resolution companies at the expense of users.
- ICANN risks straying into areas that are clearly treaty obligations.
If the Board decides not to reject the policy, the ALAC recommends the working group on the implementation process keeps these points in mind, and work to mitigate its negative impact. ALAC stands ready to work with the Staff on implementation as requested.
The work of RALO's of course continues and during this Paris meeting one of the best attended APRALO monthly meetings was held, as a hybrid face to face in Paris and our usual dial in connection.
AFRALO also took the opportunity to have a very productive meeting here in Paris and this included both the all important planning steps for the RALO between now and the Cairo Meeting, as well as contributions from Kieren McCarthy Maria Farrell.
Finally a special note of thanks needs to go to the excellent interpretation services provided to our meetings, we place great challenges in our culturally and linguistically divers demands but this team has met everyone them.
My personal thanks go not only to our At-Large staff who support us, so tirelessly, in our work, but also all of the At-Large and wider ICANN Community who have attended our meetings. Special thanks however must go to the energetic ALAC itself and particularly my fellow ALAC Executive team, Vanda Scartezini, Sebastien Bachollet, and last but not least Hawa Diakite
ALAC Chair 2008-2009
Paris, 26th June, 2008.