Comment on Stakeholder Charters by Cheryl Langdon-Orr ALAC Chair 2007-2009
Comment on Stakeholder Charters by Cheryl Langdon-Orr ALAC Chair 2007-2009Disclaimer: This comment is intended to ensure that the Board Structural Improvements Committee (SIC) is aware of and takes into account in this current public comment period the previous activities, views and opinions, including Advice to the Board, and ratified Statements of the At-Large Advisory Committee (ALAC) and the At-Large Community with specific reference to the development of the new structure of the GNSO, its Council and the Stakeholder Group model. This is not a formal or ratified statement or comment per se but rather a synopsis of those previously provided in various fora to date.
As Chairman of the ALAC, I would like to thank the Structural Improvements Committee (SIC) for this additional opportunity for our community to continue to be involved in the GNSO Improvements processes, and specifically the SG model as it applies to the User House and to comment on the most recently revised version of the Stakeholder Group (SG) Charters. The outline provided here is limited to matters of the User House in general and the Non Commercial Stakeholders Group in particular.
We see this as a clear indication of the continued intention of the ICANN Board to better engage with the user community, inclusive of civil society elements both already engaged in, and yet to be welcomed to the ICANN community and specifically the work of the GNSO, as effectively as possible. We recognise this is a ‘work in progress’ of course, and one made more difficult because of the apparent lack of nexus with the wider community of Internet Users, Civil Society and Public Interest groups and advocates that have an interest in Internet and Communication matters and the specific mandate and mission of ICANN, and as such wish to assure the SIC, Board and ICANN Community that as a primary ‘home’ for the voice of the Internet User in ICANN we will continue to do our best to facilitate greater involvement and activity from this sector into the GNSO and its future Working Groups as well as encourage direct involvement in the Non Commercial Stakeholder Group when the Charter is approved.
Specifically we maintain that only with a best possible new model of caucus and integration of consensus built, opinion and view, from the widest possible (and perhaps quite dynamic) variety of interest groups representing and including Individual Internet Users and future users and Domain Name Registrants, (not merely current Registrant communities of interest), that is truly international and global (in terms of regional diversity) will there be any assurance of open, transparent and accountable Policy Development Processes (PDP) and greater good outcomes from the radically designed model for the GNSO where the User voice is being effectively heard and integrated to the future of the Policy Development and Processes of the GNSO.
ALAC was directly involved in the development of this model since the close of the Paris Meeting in 2008 and we understand the importance of the parity, trust and goodwill that must be developed and ensured between the Commercial and Non-Commercial Stakeholder Groups for the User House to function fairly and effectively, and of the importance of Council structure. An essential part of this (as with any successful change management process) will be to ensure that the Charters for all the SG’s not only meet simple design requirements, and of course to be consistence with the Board’s GNSO Improvements Report, but to also maximise ‘buy in and/or ownership’ from the existing players under the current model *and* ensure that opportunity and maximised likelihood exists for new, additional or restructured players (interest groups and sub-groups) to be attracted to engage with and take an equitable role in the SG’s not only now but in the future.
At each of the User House Meetings since Cairo the ALAC has advised a lack of support and various concerns about the NCUC developed NCSG Charter version(s) and also felt unable to support the alternate Port 80 Charter; whilst various efforts and considerable headway was made (At-Large and Policy Staff have been involved with these and can provide detailed activity reports if desired and various materials and reports are available in the NCSG Commons set up by the ALAC for this purpose https://st.icann.org/ncsg-commons/index.cgi?non_commercial_stakeholder_group_commons ) to find satisfactory modifications to the proposed Charters, or third option alternatives that would meet our joint objectives and address all our existing concerns (including a proposed round table face to face meeting/ facilitated workshop) between the Mexico Meeting and the May Resolution of the Board that resulted in these SG Charters.
As the ALAC has maintained throughout this process as an Advisory Committee with our broader than GNSO interests mandate, we do not wish to be per se directly involved as part of the NCSG we have however continued to offer what facilitation and support we can to an outcome where the NCSG Charter best meets the aims of the new GNSO Model and the Boards criteria, which we support, and believe is (with the additional version changes as at July 19^th ) being essentially met.
Maturity and development of the new design GNSO and specifically the parity and viability of the User House will benefit greatly with the “fresh start” this Charter in our opinion provides and it should be noted that in it we can see that the opinions and views brought forward in our processes, activities and meetings on the matter have been recognised, heard and considered.
On a final and purely personal note, in my opinion the work of the SIC and staff to date on this as well as the future modifications and ratifications that may occur as a result of this public comment process, combined with the transition planning options discussed in Sydney will enhance the future of a broad and representatively viable NCSG within the User House of the GNSO, but will not be without either significant challenges. Further to ensure best possible outcomes there will be a need for ICANN to continue its support in specific matters such as outreach to and some staff support of the new constituencies within it until both a critical mass and dynamic has been developed, and the general success of the new GNSO model is ‘proved’.
Kindest regards, Cheryl Langdon-Orr ALAC Chair 2007-2009.