2017 NCPH Intersessional Meeting

Moderated by: Tony Holmes (ISPCPC); NCSG – Kathy Kleiman (NCUC)

Report written by: Ines Hfaiedh / NCUC EC Africa

This session discussed the different challenges facing the GNSO’s traditional policy-making leadership position at ICANN. The demands of the policy-making for GTLDs have increased and in terms of representing a very broad diversity.

It started with raising awareness to the fact that challenging the GNSO’s leadership in policy debates is in fact a challenging of the whole multi-stakeholder model. Discussions went on to remind us of the sad but true fact that by the end of the day, governments are the ones that agree or not to implement policies. Besides, there was an allusion to the At-Large Public comment on expanding their role to actual policy-making and not only advising.

The sub-question to this discussion raised by Kathy Kleiman was: is our role in Policy-making diluting?

First, there was an intro on the GNSO vis-à-vis the GAC and the mechanisms through which consensus must be found between the GAC and the councilors and the role of PDPs.

Second, mapping up the big picture of competitors to the GNSO policy-making leadership, Kathy Kleiman pointed to the At-Large public comment on the review of community where they seem to be looking forward to a greater role in the policy-making.

David Cake, NCUC EC, urged to use GNSO mechanisms to revisit what we need to revisit and to put more effort in the way we interact with the GAC. We need to be more flexible while being clearer why the GNSO has this role.

Greg Shatan, IPC, highlighted the GNSO “raison d’être”; the idea that the job of the GNSO  council is to manage THE POLICY development process of the GTLD policy. GNSO council has primacy on the THE POLICY development process of the GTLD policy. This is for the entire community to agree. That is what we should guard carefully.

Renata Aquino Ribeiro, NCUC EC, people who are new to ICANN and fellows ask to learn about the GAC because it is influencing ICANN. There is an increase in dialogue but also an increase in perception of influence.

To this comment, Steve DelBianco answered that the GAC is maturing and finding its place and raising its voice. There are new mechanisms in the bylaws to « CONTAIN » the power of the GAC but when it comes to the GTLD space, GNSO owns it and others can participate in it.

Rinalia Abdul Rahim, ICANN Board member, highlighted that it’s not a pleasure to receive letters advice from different ICANN community opposing a Policy or aspects of a Policy. Abdul Rahim wondered if the problem was within the Policy-development process in itself and added that in order to be “the locus and focus of policy-making”, the GNSO should be more flexible and engage more stakeholders in the policy discussion, especially at the Policy forums.

It is important to note that now there is a liaison between the GNSO and the GAC. The basic step now is getting them to engage. The discussion then moved to ways to sensitize the GAC to PDP processes and developing practical approaches to hearing out the concerns.

Suggestions ranged from giving a sort of agenda to setting a mechanism of notifications while informing that there is a process and everyone has to fit in the process.

Avri Doria, on the other hand, argued that “the Board is the problem” as it has created a situation of organization against organization. The Board has to be the one that actually solves the problem by looking at the content and the recommendations and go from there.




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