Names Council chair presentation to ICANN public forum 27 June 2002 Bucharest
ICANN is not fundamentally flawed. The principles upon which it today rests are the right ones. The EU Council of Ministers said two weeks ago “Bottom-up participation, transparency and consensus building should continue to be the guiding principles of ICANN”. We agree.
We seek gradual change, evolution not revolution. However all change will be useless unless two conditions are first met.
Unless ICANN is allowed the budget it needs, it will perform poorly.
Unless that funding allows for staff support to policy development, policy development will be poor.
Other changes will be insufficient to make a difference without action on these two enabling conditions of success.
ICANN’s only real failure was the quaaint hope of its founders that it would be OK to set up a board with administrative staff support, but to leave the heart of its mission - the all-important policy questions - to someone else. And to offer them no help at all. Go off, self organise and tell us when you have found the answer to ending cyberpiracy in the world, and to introducing competition on a global scale in a meaningful way.
Concretely then, let me summarise the key NC recommendations which will lead to an ICANN that functions better, outreaches better, performs better and is liked better.
Funding is key. The ICANN budget approval process should be independent of those who administer ICANN funding. Core funding should ultimately derive from the revenues of gTLD Registrants' fees.
Support. That funding should provide full-time staff to support all aspects of policy making including a co-ordinating secretariat and staff support to policy-making task forces.
That will make the new DNSO quick to respond to Board need, effective in outreaching to its internal stakeholders, and an instrument to outreach to external interested parties. Policy development staff is the enabler of bottom-up consensus policy making.
Policy bodies. There should be four policy development bodies. gTLDS, ccTLDs, addressing, protocols. Those bodies need self-determination. They should select their own steering councils and they should select their own chair.
There should be better stakeholders interaction within the new gTLD policy development body. A reformed general assembly should embrace those stakeholders uniquely and thus be a forum for broad cross-constituency consensus building. Policy development staff will enable this.
And what of those who are not direct stakeholder participants in the new gTLD policy development body? They must be given new means of participation in policy development with improved consultation via e-mail based input mechanisms for individuals and the interested public. Policy development staff will enable this.
What is more those four policy development bodies (gTLDS, ccTLDs, addressing, protocols) should elect around half the Board.
Rest of Board Around the same number should be chosen by a 15 person selection committee comprising equally of providers, users and public interests.
Add a voting ICANN CEO and your board is complete and probably numbers around 17. And there should be no further role for a selection committee. Getting that job right is challenge enough.
Advisory bodies. The Board should have as many technical advisory committees as it wants but according to need. These committees should liase with the board but not provide board members. To do so would limit the creation of future technical advisory bodies.
Government Governments should not have and we understand do not seek voting Board representation. There should be better liaison between the GAC and the policy development bodies. Policy development staff will enable this.
How does this compare with the recent Blueprint from the Board’s committee? Pretty well – and we hope we have given you a few refinements to that blueprint to consider. And that blueprint and our refinements are all the fix we need. Thank you for your attention.
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