[ga] Final Statement of NAIS
Members of the General Assembly:
Attached is the final statement of the NGO and Academic ICANN Study.
For more information please visit http://www.naisproject.org/
* * *
Final Statement by the
NGO and Academic ICANN Study (NAIS)
Since November 2000, an international, interdisciplinary team of
researchers known as the NGO and Academic ICANN Study (NAIS) has
investigated pragmatic mechanisms for incorporating the public voice
into the activities of ICANN. The work for which the NAIS group was
created - research, analysis, and the preparation of a comprehensive
report on At-Large membership and the role of the public voice in
ICANN - is largely complete.
The members of NAIS strongly believe that our collaboration has been
a fruitful one, with a positive impact on debate in the ICANN
community; we hope it will inform future dialogue as the At-Large
community continues to coalesce at ICANN.
We leave a set of resources for general use, available at our website
http://www.naisproject.org, that we hope will continue to inform the
community as debate continues about the role and structure of ICANN,
and about technical coordination more generally:
* The NAIS report "ICANN, Legitimacy, and the Public Voice: Making
Global Representation and Participation Work" (August 2001) stands as
a comprehensive analysis of the need for a public voice in ICANN, and
offers suggestions for how best to address that need. It also
provides for the only in depth and regional analysis of the global
At-Large elections that took place in 2000. [ FN 1 ]
* The NAIS group's interactions with ICANN's At-Large Study Committee
led to convergence on key issues of the At-Large Membership. NAIS has
produced a detailed implementation plan for an At-Large membership in
its February 2002 Statement. Many of the issues remain valid and we
believe it may provide a blueprint for future actions.
The NAIS Final Report and other materials also provided detailed
analysis of issues of ongoing relevance to discussions about the
future of ICANN's structure and processes, including:
* Suggestions for enhancing accountability mechanisms needed by
ICANN. Available at
http://www.naisproject.org/report/final/3.6.2.shtml [et seq.].
* Examination of ICANN's need for a coherent, limited statement of
its mission and authorities, and a proposal for what such a statement
could look like. Available at
* Analysis of the role of governments in ICANN, including a critique
of the notion that governments might appoint At-Large Directors to
the ICANN Board. Available at
* Suggestions for building efficient, stable mechanisms of public
participation in ICANN. Available at
http://www.naisproject.org/report/final/3.4.shtml [et seq.].
We were disappointed to witness, in Accra, the ICANN Board of
Directors' abandonment of its own study process, which had
recommended moving forward with public representation on the ICANN
board through direct elections. We emphatically urge the Board to
remember that the final credibility of ICANN as a global manager of
critical parts of the Internet's infrastructure depends on the
Board's ability to ensure that the public's interests are represented
in ICANN's activities. If the Board rejects elections as the best
way to serve this goal, then it must implement a better alternative,
not abandon the goal.
With the work for which the NAIS group was created complete, NAIS
members' activities will take on new dimensions and will proceed in
new directions. There remains a great deal of work ahead.
The grassroots efforts underway to build a structure for
participation by users interested in ICANN (see
http://www.icannatlarge.com) are important and have been undertaken
in the best traditions of the Internet. Efforts to restate the scope
and nature of ICANN's mission are equally critical. And the recently
opened discussion of ICANN-wide restructuring requires public
participation and oversight if it is to proceed effectively and
fairly. We will continue working, individually and collaboratively,
on these issues and we hope others in the community will join us in
The members of the NAIS project wish to acknowledge the contributions
made by the worldwide Internet community to our work. In addition, we
wish to express our deep appreciation to the Markle Foundation for
its generous support of this project. We look forward to future work,
with each other and with others in the community, to promote
recognition of the public's interest in the activities of ICANN.
The NGO and Academic ICANN Study (NAIS) was established as an
international and independent (from the ALSC) project to review the
nature of public participation and representation in the Internet's
domain name management organization, the Internet Corporation for
Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN).
The NAIS team began as an ad hoc effort in November 2000 by a global
group of researchers to study the 2000 At-Large Election and to
answer tough questions about the importance of public participation
and representation in ICANN's activities. From November 2000 to
August 2001, the NAIS team examined the details and effects of the
2000 election on a worldwide scale, consulted with diverse sections
of the Internet community, and closely analyzed the roots of ICANN's
legitimacy online. The NAIS report, "ICANN, Legitimacy, and the
Public Voice: Making Global Participation and Representation Work,"
was released on August 31, 2001.
[ fn 1 ] The Carter Center also published a detailed monitoring
report on the election, available at
Center for Democracy & Technology
1634 Eye Street NW, Suite 1100
Washington, DC 20006
202 637 9800
fax 202 637 0968
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