ICANN ICANN Email List Archives


<<< Chronological Index >>>        Thread Index >>>

Review of ICANN Regions - An Overseas Territory Perspective

  • To: <geo-regions-comments@xxxxxxxxx>
  • Subject: Review of ICANN Regions - An Overseas Territory Perspective
  • From: "David Archbold" <david.archbold@xxxxxxx>
  • Date: Wed, 29 Nov 2006 17:40:44 -0500

As the ccTLD Manager for the .ky (Cayman Islands) domain, I'm located as

a.  Physically, I'm in the Western Caribbean
b.  The UN Statistics Office in "Composition of macro geographical
(continental) regions, geographical sub-regions, and selected economic
and other groupings" puts me in Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC)
c.  But in note b/ to the same table, the UN states that North America
(003) comprises Northern America (021), Caribbean (029) and Central
America (013), so maybe I'm in North America (NA)
d.  Not according to ICANN Bylaws - ICANN says I'm in Europe (EU)
e.  But wait..ICANN's ASO and Number Resource Organisation, for
"practical reasons", puts me and most of the Caribbean under ARIN,
together with the US and Canada
f.   And finally, my ICANN Regional Liaison Officer covers Canada and
the Caribbean. 

Aside from personal confusion, what are the consequences?

a.  No one from the Cayman Islands can realistically stand for election
to the Councils of the ccNSO or ALAC, because they require to be
nominated and elected by members of the EU Region - individuals they
don't know and have never met.
b.  It would be impractical for anyone from Cayman to participate in, or
benefit from, the work of a ccNSO European Regional Organisation or
RALO, and they are not entitled to participate in the work of any other

In other words, because of the past decisions of the Board, the Internet
community in the Cayman Islands has no effective representation in the
ICANN process unless they attend the Main ICANN meetings, and does not
benefit from any of the outreach initiatives.  Cayman is undoubtedly
small, but I estimate that there are 25 other countries/territories that
potentially have similar difficulties.  I cannot believe that this was
the Board's intent.

It is also interesting to look at a number of procedural matters.

In both 2000 and 2003, the Board understandably expressed disquiet about
having to allocate countries and territories to Regions, but accepted
that it had to.  Presumably to avoid controversy, it chose to adopt the
list produced by the UN Statistics Office.  However, this external
standard was modified in two ways; the six UN regions were compressed
into five ICANN Regions, and "persons from areas that are not countries
would be grouped together with the country of citizenship for that area"
(Minutes of the Yokohama Meeting, Jul 2000).  There is nothing
inherently wrong with making modifications - provided they are for good
reasons which are publicly justified, and that they are applied
correctly and consistently.  In this case, neither of these conditions
appear to have been met.

Why was it decided that there should be only 5 regions?  The question
has been asked many times, including during the Yokohama meeting, but
there is no answer on the public record.  Why therefore was there a need
to compress the 6 UN regions into 5 ICANN regions?   Why were the
territories handled in the way they were?  It was not on the public
advice of the GAC who merely stated that ICANN "should make reference to
international norms"?  In any case, in 2000, citizens of the UK
Dependent Territories were NOT citizens of the UK (and most still
aren't), so the exception as stated, should not have applied to them.
Finally, the Board resolution in 2000 merely authorised the staff to
allocate countries to geographic regions in accordance with the UN
classifications.  It did not authorise any exceptions.  The same is true
of the 2003 (Montreal) resolution that maintained the status quo
following the 3 yearly review.

Turning to the present Topic Paper, I would ask for clarification of
"GAC Comment" that led to staff recommending the present treatment of
Territories.  It is my understanding that this comment was given in a
quite different context.  I also must take issue with the comment that
the present system "has worked without significant problems."  How can
ICANN Staff say this when the problems in question relate to the
difficulties the territories have in making their views known to ICANN?

As the Topic Paper notes, the ccNSO has concerns about both the
treatment of Territories and the number of Regions.  A questionnaire has
been circulated.  The results will be presented to the ccNSO meeting in
Sao Paulo, the matter will be discussed further, and hopefully a
submission will be made to Board.  I urge ICANN not to again
rubber-stamp the existing system, but to heed the concerns of the ccNSO
and , I believe, the ALAC.

Personally, I would like to see the Territories issue dealt with
rapidly.  My solution would be to allow each Territory to make a
one-time selection of the Region that they wish to join.  That selection
could be made by the ccTLD Manager and endorsed (or otherwise) by the
appropriate Government agency.  The need for more Regions is more
complex and would undoubtedly require consultation between the ccNSO,
ALAC and GAC.  The July 2000 decisions were rushed because of the need
to get ALAC elections underway.  There is not the same rush now.  ICANN
should establish a Task Force to study the issue and make
recommendations to the Board at the next Main ICANN Meeting in Lisbon in
March 2007.   

Dave Archbold

David A Archbold
Managing Director
Information & Communications Technology Authority
.ky ccTLD Manager

<<< Chronological Index >>>        Thread Index >>>

Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Cookies Policy