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[registrars] Minutes of Registrars' Constituency Mtg in ACCRA

The minutes of the Accra meeting are attached here and will be posted to the
website as soon as time allows.

Timothy Denton, BA,BCL
Secretary, ICANN-Registrars Constituency
37 Heney Street
Ottawa, Ontario
Canada K1N 5V6
1-613-789-5397 Ottawa
1-819-842-2238 North Hatley

Registrars' Meeting-Accra.doc

Title: Registrars’ Constituency Meeting,

Registrars’ Constituency Meeting,


Accra, Ghana, March 11, 2002



Timothy Denton                        Tucows                                    tim@tmdenton.com

Chang Lee                                Cydentity                                  chang@cydentity.org

Jin Ho Hur                                Cydentity                                  hur@cydentity.org

Tom Weller                              Schlund                                    tom@schlund.de

Bruno Piarolli                            Register.it                                 piarolli@register.it

Ross Rader                              Tucows                                    ross@tucows.com

Elliot Noss                                Tucows                                    enoss@tucows.com

Alex Liesche                             Virtual Internet                          alex.liesche@vi.net

Bruce Tonkin                            Melbourne IT                           btonkin@melbourneit.com.au

Paloma Husson                         Namebay                                 ph@namebay.com

Mathieu Dierstein                      Namebay                                 mdierstein@namebay.com

Elana Broitman                         Register.com                            ebroitman@register.com

Bruce Beckwith                        Verisign Register                       bbeckwith@verisign.com



1.     ICANN reorganization


The registrars discussed the proposals for reform of  ICANN.  As a result of those discussions, it was possible to formulate the following statement, which was made by the Secretary to the Board of ICANN in open session on March 12 following the Registrar Constituency’s meeting.


“We have resolved on several principles that we think are sufficiently non-controversial to be stated without further reference to our membership.


We support a domain name authority  such as ICANN able to accomplish its functions in managing the DNS and the competitive issues that arise within it, to the extent that this management is required, and no more than is required.


We wish to assist the process of considering ICANN’s mission and structure, and think that ICANN’s structure must be governed by its mission.


We are actively considering the proposals for reform of ICANN and will likely have a more considered and expanded response in the coming weeks.


We seek to develop a statement of mission for ICANN and a set of principles, flowing from its mission, that would inform its restructuring.


We have begun a discussion along these lines within the Registrars’ Constituency and are open to collaboration with other constituencies.”


The Registrars’ Constituency then constituted itself as a Working Group, and it may be expedient to share some of the observations made during that discussion. No vote was taken in regard to these observations. The observations may be taken in some cases as principles to guide reform.


The first principle was that the governance of the DNS should be appropriate and proportionate to the nature and needs of the DNS.


A corollary of this proposition was that the governance of the DNS should not outlast the useful life of the DNS. This suggests that governance be responsive to markets rather more than arrangements among states.


The second observation was that, owing to the role of states in the management of country codes, the role of a central manager of the DNS, such as ICANN, was naturally larger in relation to generic TLDs that it is in relation to country codes.


The same observation was made in relation to root servers as country codes.


The third observation was that those who wished to participate in the management of the DNS should contribute to the funding of it, with some exception for non-profit entities.


The fourth observation was that we needed a structure that resolved issues quickly. The corollary of this principle was that future structure of ICANN or its successor should be tested against this criterion.  This may mean revising current rules to specify electors, voting and necessary majorities.


The fifth observation was that decisions of stakeholders be able to be enforced or supported by ICANN’s Board.


The sixth observation was that users of computers have interested that are distinct from those of governments. End users are affected by whether the symbols they type resolve to websites they seek. Some avenue of participation in DNS management, apart from registrars themselves, was agreeable to registrars. It was also thought appropriate that end users pay for this input in some measure.


The seventh observation was that registrants of domain names have a greater claim on the attention of ICANN than end users who do not own domain names. The interests of domain name registrants are broad and varied. Registrars cannot speak for their entire set of interests, even though we try to serve their needs as commercial suppliers.



2.     Dot org redelegation


The Constituency meeting agreed to a motion that


  • urged ICANN to maintain its current schedule of redelegation, and urged the Board to assign enough resources to move forward
  • notified the Board that the Registrars had adopted a set of principles to govern the redelegation, which would be communicated to the Board shortly. They include the right of those currently selling dot org registrations to continue to do so.



3.     Need for Constituency Bylaws


A discussion ensued about the need to have some way of terminating an issue within the constituency. Issues that were raised included:


  • We do not have a process for finishing an issue
  • It is unclear that an issue needs a 50% +1 vote or a two-thirds majority
  • Who can cause a vote to be taken?


After discussion of the matter, the Accra Working Group passed a motion unanimously to the effect that:


A comprehensive set of by-laws be voted upon by the membership of the constituency, to be approved or not by a plurality of members;


The proposed by-laws be tabled by April 2nd, 2002 and voted upon by April 16th; and


That the subject matter of quorums for Constituency meetings be defined in the bylaws.




4.     Communications Among Registrars


Discussion ensued concerning the communications among registrars, and whether a monthly teleconference was required. Mr. Beckwith pointed out that part of the function of the RC was to organize us, especially before meetings. He stated that his company was ready to help with money so that teleconferences would be possible. Mr. Rader suggested that the ExCom should provide Records of Decision from its Monday meetings. Mr. Piarolli pointed out that email gave non-English speakers a better opportunity than teleconferences to participate. It was observed that the current weekly teleconference held by the ExCom was not designed to allow a larger number of participants without significant technical changes to the current arrangements.


It was broadly agreed that there should be no decisions taken by means of the teleconference; that it would not substitute for votes of the membership.


Resolved: The Executive Committee was asked to look at better ways of involving the membership, including more and more regular teleconferences.



5.     Constituency Meeting before ICANN Meeting in Rumania


Resolved: The Executive Committee was asked to examine the usefulness of holding a constituency meeting before the June meeting of ICANN in Rumania.




Timothy Denton

Secretary, Registrars’ Constituency.







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