ICANN Stakeholder Group Charter Injustices
Dear ICANN The Internet Society Chapter of Mauritius is a member of the Non Commercial Users Constituency (NCUC). The Internet Society Chapter of Mauritius would like to express our deep disappointment with the unjust manner in which previous public comment (period ending 15 April 2009) was discarded by ICANN in the reformulation of the proposed Noncommercial Stakeholder Group Charter. NCUC undertook months of consultations with a diverse range of parties in the creation of its draft charter proposed for a Noncommercial Stakeholder Group (NCSG). NCUC participated in an extended consensus process that involved global civil society, ICANN board, staff, members of the At-Large community, and other non-commercial actors in the creation of the charter submitted by NCUC in March 2009. Civil society's NCSG charter was explicitly supported by over 80 non-commercial organizations and individuals in the April 2009 Public Comment period. Every single non-commercial organization that submitted a comment during the period supported NCUC's charter and asked ICANN not to force non-commercial users into constituencies for electing leadership positions. During discussions at the March 2009 ICANN meeting in Mexico, NCUC specifically asked ICANN if the NCSG charter it was drafting was inconsistent with the report of the ICANN Board Structural Improvements Committee (SIC) and NCUC was told its draft charter was not inconsistent. Yet in June, without any explanation or regard for democratic or bottom-up processes, ICANN staff and Board SIC threw out the consensus charter that civil society developed and replaced it with an entirely different model -- the silo-model that civil society explicitly said would stranglehold non-commercial users in policy development. We are of the opinion that ICANN's Proposed Silo-Model is Bad for Noncommercial Users NCUC and civil society made numerous efforts in public statements in April 09 to explain why the silo-model of governance being imposed by ICANN harms non-commercial interests in the overall GNSO policy process. Yet these concerns remain unanswered by ICANN. In particular, ICANN's attempt to divide the GNSO Council and Executive Committee seats among arbitrary (and board-selected) constituencies within the NCSG encourages competition among constituencies, while an entire stakeholder group wide election (as proposed by civil society) encourages consensus building and cooperation between constituencies to elect NCSG representatives. Noncommercial users will be in a constant stranglehold with each other, competing for scarce resources and representation, and will remain ineffective in the larger GNSO policy negotiations, if the ICANN drafted charter is allowed to replace the consensus charter drafted by Noncommercial users. We are stressing that ICANN should listen to Noncommercial users and finally respect our democratic wishes regarding a governance structure that advances non-commercial interests. Thus ICANN should seriously reconsider its attempt to impose a controlling top-down charter on Noncommercial users against their expressed will. We recommend to the ICANN Board that it reconsiders the NCUC's NCSG Charter proposal. We are of the view that if ICANN were to adopt the NCUC's NCSG Charter, this would signal to civil society that ICANN takes civil society participation seriously. This is an opportunity for ICANN as an institution to take forward the GNSO reforms on a positive basis. Respectfully submitted, Dave Kissoondoyal President Internet Society Chapter of Mauritius.