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Cross Community Working Group on Enhancing ICANN Accountability Paris Communiqué

Members and participants of the Cross Community Working Group on Enhancing ICANN Accountability (CCWG-Accountability) met in Paris, France, from 17-18 July 2015. The event served as an opportunity to further advance the discussion on key outstanding issues and to reach agreement on next steps towards finalizing its Work Stream 1 recommendations.

This gathering comes on the heels of ICANN53 in Buenos Aires, as well as a series of prior discussions and feedback in response to the public comment period of the group's draft report.

The meeting had strong community participation, with 76 group members and participants attending in person and an additional 30 joining remotely. Further, several members of the ICANN Board of Directors, Governmental Advisory Committee (GAC) representatives, external Advisors and local stakeholders were also present (list of all participants).

Key issues discussed and agreed-upon next steps are outlined below:

Community Empowerment Models

Following close examination and a series of dialogues and exchanges on the merits and drawbacks of the three (3) community empowerment models presented, the group agreed to advance the Community Mechanism as Sole Member Model (CMSM) as part of Work Stream 1, noting the momentum that emerged among the members of the CCWG-Accountability in support of this model.

Under this framework, the Supporting Organizations (SOs) and Advisory Committees (ACs) would collectively participate together as the sole member of ICANN. This coordination of SOs and ACs would be empowered to take certain special actions within ICANN. Further, an exchange of views will occur with the community before decisions are made. Additional details will become available over the next few weeks as the community continues to develop the framework for this model.

The 'Empowered SO/AC Designator' and 'Empowered SO/AC Membership' models were also discussed and considered. Brief descriptions of each of these models can be found here [PDF, 564 KB].

Review of Government Inputs/Concerns Received

31 GAC members submitted individual contributions to the CCWG-Accountability ahead of the Paris meeting. The contributions addressed a series of questions aimed at further clarifying the positions of GAC members with regard to their vision of the role of governments in a post-transition environment.

While in Paris, discussions focused on identifying requirements such as the role of governments with regards to public policy and assuring that the ICANN Board of Directors does not act outside of ICANN's mission. The group also acknowledged the challenges for governments to make certain decisions regarding their participation into the new community model in time for ICANN54 in Dublin.

Dependencies between the CWG-Stewardship and CCWG-Accountability

CWG-Stewardship co-Chair, Lise Fuhr, articulated the conditionalities and dependencies between the naming community proposal and the work of the CCWG-Accountability. These dependencies fall under 6 areas:

  1. ICANN Budget: Community rights regarding development and consideration
  2. ICANN Board: Community rights, specifically to appoint/remove members, recall the entire Board
  3. IANA Function Review: Incorporated into the bylaws
  4. Customer Standing Committee: Incorporated into the bylaws
  5. Appeals Mechanism: Independent Review Panel should be made applicable to IANA Functions and accessible by TLD managers
  6. Fundamental bylaws: All foregoing mechanisms are to be provided for in the bylaws as "Fundamental bylaws"

The group agreed to continue coordinating their activities with the CWG-Stewardship in an effort to ensure that the recommendations put forth by the CCWG-Accountability fully meet the requirements [PDF, 1.4 MB] (p. 20-21) of the naming community.

Refinements of Independent Review Process (IRP)

The group reached broad agreement on elements of the enhanced IRP, including diversity as a guideline for conformation and community-driven panel selection processes. Additionally, a subgroup will be formed to further develop IRP rules and procedures as well as fine tune the subject matter for IRP.

Next Steps

Over the coming days, the group faces the challenge of addressing all outstanding issues and compiling a complete 2nd Draft Proposal for a 40-day public comment from 31 July until 23:59 UTC on 8 September 2015. It is important to note that this public comment period will directly parallel the public comment on the Interim Final Transition Proposal being assembled by the IANA Stewardship Transition Coordination Group (ICG).

The first public comment included over 60 submissions that the CCWG-Accountability is carefully considering. Comments were helpful in preparing for the Paris meeting and are being considered in developing the 2nd Draft Proposal. Responses to these comments will be published along with references to the 2nd Draft Proposal to acknowledge substantive changes where applicable.

The CCWG-Accountability aims to have a Work Stream 1 proposal finalized and distributed to its chartering organizations prior to ICANN54 in Dublin. Based on the current work plan, the group confirms its plans aiming at delivering the Work Stream 1 proposal to the U.S. National Telecommunications Information Administration (NTIA), by late October or early November.

For more information, visit:

Kind regards,

Thomas Rickert
Mathieu Weill
León Felipe Sánchez Ambía
CCWG-Accountability co-Chairs

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