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[wg-b] WG procedure - reply to D. Schaefer's "Plea for Inclusiveness"


Your message below was unfortunately a casualty of a problem we appear to be having with the group list, which is currently being looked at.  Although it therefore hasn't been posted yet, it is a very significant comment and I did not want to wait any further in replying to it.

I understand your points and concerns, however the reason for the proposed constituency participation you refer to that was discussed at the pNC meeting, can be traced to the need for
compliance with the ICANN bylaws in having at least one member of each constituency participate in the WGs and to have a mechanism in place that would allow that constituency member to present the consensus view of their constituency to the WG.  This was seen as one way to develop a more effective "outreach" method (from a strictly procedural standpoint) that would ensure the views of the constituencies were somehow added to the mix. 

In particular, it is not contemplated that there are to be two "classes" of wg participants, i.e. one from recognized constituencies, and all others, and certainly not that the latter would be relegated to "background status".  That would clearly be inconsistent with the already established principles of the wg's (ie, inclusiveness, bottom-up structure, etc.) as well as being counterproductive.

The input of all WG members is encouraged and needed, regardless of their membership in a constituency, and whether they represent an organization or participate in an individual capacity.  All members should be, and are, on equal footing with respect to their participation.

I hope that I have been able to address your "plea" adequately.  I particularly appreciate your concern regarding the acrimony that has unfortunately arisen in many contexts relating to WG's and DNSO procedure and I agree with you that it is counterproductive.  I also think you are correct in that some of it is avoidable by adopting fair and open procedures.  Admittedly, this is still a work-in-progress and there are accordingly procedural questions to be worked out.  But to my knowledge, what we do have so far does not in any way limit the ability of any one voice to be heard, or cause it to be given less weight than those of others.   I do hope that in this wg we will be able to adequately give effect to the goal of equal participation by all interested parties, and I continue to look forward to any further suggestions you have in this regard.

Best regards,

Jonathan Cohen

>Date: Sun, 01 Aug 1999 00:16:33 -0700 (PDT)
>From: d3nnis <d3nnis@mciworld.com>
>Subject: [wg-b] wg-c rules
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>Hi all -- a plea for inclusiveness ...
>The Names Council last week discussed a change in the way that WG-C will
>operate.  There will
>be two classes of participants: those from recognized constituencies, and
>all others.    The intention is
>apparently to control  contentiousness within the group.  (Javier mentioned
>an example of non-responsive comments such as 'We shouldn't be doing this at
>While we're waiting to receive the charter from Jonathan, I'd like to make a
>plea that we not adopt this approach in WG-B.
>I am a member of the group that is seeking recognition as the Individual
>Domain Name Owners constituency.  While I have no way of knowing whether or
>when we will achieve recognition, I feel that my perspective as an
>individual needs to be a part of WG-B.  Relegating my perspective to
>background status would not diminish the acrimony that this list has seen so
>far (and which I unequivocally condemn).
>I was the first person to post comments on WIPO Section 4, and in those
>comments I advocated that we obtain a legal analysis as part of our
>activity.   While I don't think that remark should be construed as "We
>shouldn't be doing this at all,"  let me take this opportunity to state that
>it definitely did not.  I agree wholeheartedly with the House Oversight
>Committee member who characterized ICANN as a "grand, fascinating
>experiment." We in WG-B have the opportunity to make this group a model for
>consensual decision making and a small victory for ICANN itself.
>The French writer Andre Gluyksman (sic) posits that the challenge of
>democratic decision-making is
>to recognize that every decision generates negative impacts, as well as
>benefits. By extension,  we as individuals on WG-B need to recognize that
>whatever our position is on WIPO 4, we must take responsibility for the
>negatives that our point of view will produce, and temper and test the final
>decision by that type of analysis.   I think we have the ability to control
>some of the acrimony by affirming a
>group commitment to that ideal.
>Thanks for listening!

Shapiro Cohen
Group of Intellectual Property Practices
Ottawa, Canada

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