ICANN Meeting in Accra Preliminary Report
At its 14 March 2002 meeting in Accra, Ghana, the ICANN Board of Directors adopted the following resolutions:
Whereas, the issue of how to create mechanisms for meaningful participation and representation for individual users has been a subject of debate in the ICANN community since ICANN's creation;
Whereas, various proposals failed to achieve broad consensus support in the community, notwithstanding repeated efforts to achieve that end, in part because of widely divergent views and fundamentally different perspectives about the expected or desired results of various approaches within the ICANN community;
Whereas, at its Cairo meeting on 10 March 2000 the Board concluded that, given these impediments, it should initiate a comprehensive study of the concept, structure, and processes relating to a proposed At Large membership;
Whereas, at its Yokohama meeting on 16 July 2000 the Board adopted bylaws to enable the election of five directors through regional online elections, and to create a committee to study the At Large concept;
Whereas, the At Large Study Committee ("ALSC") was chartered in January 2001 to undertake a comprehensive study of the concept, structure, and processes relating to an ICANN At Large membership, and has worked diligently to that end, for which the Board and the ICANN community are extremely grateful;
Whereas, in resolution 01.125 the Board accepted the ALSC Final Report and Recommendations, dated 5 November 2001, as a basis for further discussion by the Board and the ICANN community, and that discussion has in fact continued since that time;
Whereas, the Board believes that the At Large community properly defined embraces the full range of Internet users, including not only individual users, but also academic institutions, small businesses, non-commercial entities of various kinds, including consumer groups, and various other non-governmental organizations, all of which have a legitimate interest in, and a need for workable mechanisms for informed participation in, the ICANN policymaking process;
Whereas, the Board perceives a broad consensus throughout the ICANN community around the core ALSC recommendations relating to the desirability of an At Large mechanism to enable outreach and informed participation by Internet users, and specifically for individual users;
Whereas, in particular, the Board perceives a broad consensus that (a) all Internet users have a significant stake in ICANN's activities, (b) it is critical that all Internet users have the opportunity to meaningfully participate in ICANN policymaking, and (c) the general public interest must be represented in the ICANN policymaking process and on its Board;
Whereas, the Board strongly endorses the ALSC's observation that a structure for informed participation by individual users is required and, in order to be most effective, should be built on sustainable local Internet community institutions, rather than attempting to engineer global top-down structures that lack local roots;
Whereas, the ALSC has solicited expressions of interest from many Internet organizations, a number of which could credibly form the initial nucleus of a regionally-based At Large entity with the objective of educating and facilitating the meaningful involvement of Internet users (and particularly individual users) in ICANN's policymaking activities through bottom-up, self-organized, and self-sustaining local Internet community institutions;
Whereas, the Board wishes to move forward with energy and enthusiasm to build a meaningful structure for informed participation by the full range of Internet users, and seeks avenues to achieve these objectives that are bottom-up, self-organized, and self-sustaining;
Whereas, the Board has concluded that the structural and procedural implementation of the principles stated above can most effectively be developed in the context of broader ICANN reforms such as those proposed in the President's Report delivered to the Board on 24 February 2002, and currently the subject of intense discussion throughout the ICANN community;
Whereas, the Board agrees with the reservations expressed in the ALSC Final Report about the validity and practicality of global online elections, and appreciates the very considerable effort undertaken by the ALSC to identify an electoral process that would reduce (if not eliminate) those problems, but remains concerned about the fairness, representativeness, validity and affordability of global online elections among an easily captureable pool of self-selected and largely unverifiable voters;
Whereas, the Board is not persuaded that global elections are the only or the best means of achieving meaningful public representation or the informed participation of Internet users in the ICANN process;
Therefore it is resolved [02.15] that the Board again expresses its sincere appreciation to the members of the ALSC for their hard work, sensible analysis, and useful recommendations, and to all the members of the ICANN community that participated in that process;
Resolved [02.17] that the Board calls upon the ICANN community to devote sustained energy to the creation of At Large structures built upon bottom-up, self-organized, local Internet community institutions and other organizations that meet the general criteria of openness, participation, and self-sustainability, anticipating that most such entities are not ICANN-specific, but already serve their communities in broader ways;
Resolved [02.18] that the Board expresses the hope that its endorsement of these principles for informed Internet user participation will encourage those interested in an At Large structure to continue the creation, strengthening, or coordinating of local Internet community institutions so as to meet these basic criteria; and
Resolved [02.19] that the Board Committee on Restructuring, working in conjunction with the President and staff, is instructed to ensure that their ongoing efforts at crafting a blueprint for ICANN reform include (a) workable mechanisms and procedures that enable meaningful opportunities for participation by the full range of Internet users, including individuals, academic institutions, large and small businesses, non-commercial entities (including consumer groups), and other non-governmental organizations, (b) an appropriate role for those interests in ICANN's coordinating and management structures, and (c) appropriate mechanisms to minimize disruption during the reform implementation process.
Whereas, a Committee on Restructuring ("Committee"), presently consisting of Alejandro Pisanty (Chair), Lyman Chapin, Phil Davidson, Hans Kraaijenbrink, and Nii Quaynor, was established by the Board in resolution 01.132;
Whereas, a more appropriate name for this Committee would be the Committee on ICANN Evolution and Reform;
Whereas, the ICANN President has published a Report describing current issues facing ICANN and recommending various reforms to deal with those issues;
Whereas, the ICANN staff has posted a document describing the current activities of ICANN as a contribution to the ongoing dialogue concerning ICANN's mission;
Whereas, the Committee is responsible for monitoring community discussion on the full range of ICANN reform topics, and for evaluating and making recommendations to the Board concerning any specific proposals for reforming ICANN structures and procedures, including the President's Report noted above;
Whereas, it is important that steady and real progress be made toward resolving the various reform issues now under discussion in the ICANN community, and that a proposed blueprint and timetable for the implementation of any such reforms be available for Board action at its Bucharest meeting in June, and for public review and comment prior to that meeting;
Resolved [02.21] that the Committee is instructed to report to the Board its recommendations for a framework for the structure and functioning of a reformed ICANN, and a timetable for implementing that framework, no later than 31 May 2002, so that it can be considered by the Board at its upcoming meeting in Bucharest on 28 June 2002;
first and foremost, a list of essential functions of ICANN, and a proposed mission statement for ICANN;
ensuring that ICANN decisionmaking takes proper account of the public interest in its activities;
meaningful participation and input from informed Internet users participating through an At Large mechanism, as described in resolution 02.17;
the structured participation of all stakeholders in the organization's deliberations and decision making, and in providing input for policy that guides the decisions;
the ways the different components of any proposed structure will function together and interact;
the system of checks and balances that will ensure both the effectiveness and the openness of the organization.
the ways in and conditions under which essential components of any proposed structure that may not be able to be fully incorporated at the start of the reform process will be included when appropriate; and
a description of a proposed transition process from the current structure to any recommended new structure, including a description of how the present components of ICANN relate to the new proposed structure, and the anticipated timetable for that transition;
Resolved [02.23] that the Board strongly encourages comments and suggestions relating to ICANN evolution and reform from all stakeholders to the Committee as soon as possible, and encourages the Committee to inform the community as soon as possible of any deadlines for such input;
Resolved [02.24] that the Committee should consider all input from the community through the forums established by the President and other public forums, and is encouraged to consult any parties that express themselves through such forums, or through correspondence directed to the committee's email address, where the Committee determines that it requires clarifications or further input from specific stakeholders;
Resolved [02.26] that the Committee is instructed to ensure that any recommendations to be considered by the Board at its meeting in Bucharest on 28 June 2002 are posted for public review and comment no later than 31 May 2002.
Whereas, in resolution 01.117 the Board directed the President to appoint a President's standing committee on the security and stability of the Internet's naming and address allocation systems ("Security Committee") and to develop a proposed charter in collaboration with the President's standing committee and submit it to the Board for its approval;
Whereas, Dr. Stephen Crocker has been appointed as the chair of the Security Committee and the President is near finalizing the membership of the committee;
Whereas, the President has, in consultation with the present members of the Security Committee developed a charter, which has been presented to the Board;
Whereas, the Board has reviewed the charter and concludes that it states an appropriate scope and mission for the committee;
Resolved [02.27] that the Security Committee charter is approved as submitted.
Whereas the President has adopted a set of procedures and standards for the receipt and evaluation of applications for recognition as a regional Internet registry (RIR), as authorized by the Board in resolution 01.68;
Whereas an application for recognition, together with a detailed transition plan – including draft bylaws, policies, funding model, and staff resumes – have been submitted to ICANN by the LACNIC organization;
Whereas the President has conducted a preliminary evaluation and concluded that the application and transition plan constitute a reasonable basis for eventual recognition, while noting that some adjustments will be necessary;
Whereas APNIC, ARIN, and the RIPE NCC have communicated a joint statement praising the excellent work of the LACNIC organization, noting the close cooperation between ARIN and LACNIC, and recommending a favorable response to the application by recognizing LACNIC's accomplishments thus far and according an interim status to LACNIC;
Resolved [02.28] that the Board gives its provisional approval to the LACNIC application for recognition and transition plan, with the expectation that the transition plan will be completed and a final application for recognition will be submitted; and
Resolved [02.29] that the President is directed to continue working closely with LACNIC and ARIN to assist in a smooth transition and the preparation of a revised application for full recognition of LACNIC in conformance with the criteria set forth in ICP-2 and the ASO Memorandum of Understanding.
Whereas, the ICANN Board has received, with gratitude, the kind and encouraging wishes of Secretary General Kofi Annan;
Whereas, the Board notes with particular pleasure the receipt of the Secretary General's communication while the Board was meeting in Accra, Ghana;
Whereas, the Board is in agreement with the Secretary General as to the importance of Information and Communications Technology (ICT) in world social and economic affairs, including the Internet;
Now therefore [02.30] it is resolved that the ICANN Board expresses its deep appreciation to Secretary General Annan and accepts his invitation to participate in the activities of the Secretary General's ICT initiative;
It is further resolved [02.31] that the Chairman of the Board of ICANN will undertake to liaise with the appropriate activities and persons engaged in UN ICT work, keeping alert, always, for opportunities for mutually beneficial work between ICANN and the UN and its various subsidiary organizations; and
Whereas, the preparation for and execution of the ICANN Ghana meeting has been conducted in an exemplary fashion;
Whereas, the government of Ghana, and the hosts, reflect a true support to the Internet in and its population welcomed participants, and showed their utmost support for the benefits of the Internet;
Whereas, the hospitality, facilities, attention to the needs of the participants and extraordinary efforts to provide support have been without peer;
Whereas, the enormous participation from the region should be the beginning of continued relations;
Local Organizers: Dr. Nii Quaynor - ICANN Board Member and CEO of Network Computer Systems; Prof. Clement Dzidonu - President – International Institute for Information Technology; William Tevie – Network Computer Systems; Mike Baidoo – Network Computer Systems; Nancy Dotse – Network Computer Systems; Johnny Nettey - Network Computer Systems; Joseph Abanyin – Network Computer Systems; Alfred Archampong – Network Computer Systems; David Kumi – Network Computer Systems; Nana Quaynor; Steve Huter – Network Start-up Resource Centre; Joel Jaeggli – University of Oregon
Government of Ghana, including: Mr. Hayfron – Ministry of Communication & Technology; Mr. Percy Amarteifio – Immigration Service; Mr. Kofi Sekyiamah – Ministry of Information
Sponsors: Afilias; Agence de la Francophonie; CTO, .BIZ and .US; Network Computer Systems; NSRC; The Government of the Republic of Ghana; Global Name Registry; Valley View University; INIIT; VeriSign.
The Board especially appreciates the efforts of the Organizing Committee, most particularly the work of Dr. Nii Quaynor, Nancy Dotse, William Tevie, and Johnny Nettey. Dr. Quaynor has been an active and instrumental participant in the ICANN process, including very active in ensuring and promoting participation from the African region.
In addition, the Board expresses its great appreciation to Diane Schroeder, Steve Huter, Joel Jaeggli; John Crain, Terri Darrenougue; Laura Brewer; and the ICANN staff for their continued extraordinary service to ICANN and the ICANN community.
Whereas, Dr. Paul Twomey has served ICANN, its Governmental Advisory Committee (GAC), and the Internet Community with skill, wisdom, and panache as Chairman since February 1999;
Whereas, the Government of Australia has generously provided secretariat services to the GAC for the same period of time,
Whereas, Dr. Twomey has announced his intention to step down from his GAC position and its chairmanship at the close of the October 2002 meeting in Shanghai; and
Whereas, the Government of Australia has announced that it would end its operation of the GAC secretariat at the close of the June 2002 meeting in Bucharest;
Now therefore [02.34] resolved that the ICANN Board expresses its deep appreciation to Paul Twomey and the Australian Government for their long-standing support and leadership in connection with ICANN's mission. The Board wishes Dr. Twomey all possible success in his future work and expresses the hope that his knowledge and perspective will continue to be available to ICANN in the future.
Whereas, the ICANN meetings in Accra have been greatly enriched by the availability of simultaneous English-French and French-English translation, supported by the Agence de la Francophonie;
Whereas, this valuable translation initiative has been led by Pierre Ouedraogo, without whose energy and commitment it would not have been possible;
Resolved [02.35] that the ICANN Board expresses its sincere thanks and appreciation to the Agence de la Francophonie and to Pierre Ouedraogo, whose efforts have helped the ICANN community better fulfill its mandate to enable global participation in our dialogues.
Whereas, the May 2001 .org registry agreement between VeriSign, Inc., and ICANN provides that VeriSign will cease being the registry operator for .org top-level domain as of 31 December 2002;
Whereas, at its meeting in Stockholm, Sweden, on 4 June 2001, the ICANN Board referred to the ICANN Domain Name Supporting Organization (DNSO) the issues raised by the scheduled transition of the operation of the .org top-level domain from VeriSign to a new entity;
Whereas, in response, the DNSO created a task force, which prepared a report that makes several recommendations, which was adopted by the DNSO Names Council on 17 January 2002;
Whereas, the report was posted on the ICANN web site on 26 February 2002;
Whereas, public comment on the report was received by a web-based forum and at the ICANN Public Forum held in Accra, Ghana, on 13 March 2002;
Resolved [02.36] that the President is directed to cause a request for proposals for the reassignment of the .org top-level domain to be prepared (in consultation with the members of the Board) and issued, with at least thirty days allowed for applications by those proposing to become the successor operator of the .org top-level domain;
Resolved [02.38] that the President is directed to cause the applications to be evaluated and a report to be posted and provided to the Board in advance of the ICANN Bucharest meeting in June 2002; and
Resolved [02.39] that the President is requested to prepare and present to the Board a proposal for application fee levels based on ICANN's likely costs in connection with soliciting and reviewing the applications, making the selections, and any related costs.
Whereas, in resolutions 00.89 and 00.90 the Board selected seven new TLD proposals for negotiations toward appropriate agreements between ICANN and the proposing registry operators and sponsoring organizations and authorized the President and General Counsel to conduct those negotiations on behalf of ICANN;
Whereas, one of the selected proposals was by RegistryPro for an unsponsored .pro TLD;
Whereas, negotiations of the .pro agreement were concluded and posting of the resulting draft agreement and appendices on the ICANN web site was completed on 6 March 2002;
Whereas, after hearing community views the Board concludes that entry of the negotiated agreement would be in the interest of the Internet community;
Resolved [02.40], that the President is authorized to enter the .pro registry agreement, with any minor corrections as the President determines are consistent with the intention of the agreement as posted; and
Further resolved [02.41], that the President is authorized to implement the agreement once it is signed, including by accrediting registrars for the .pro top-level domain (in that regard, registrars already accredited and in good standing for .aero, .biz, .com, .info, .name, .net, or .org may be accredited for .pro without additional qualifying procedures upon entering an accreditation agreement that the President determines is consistent with the existing accreditation agreement for .aero, .biz, .com, .info, .name, .net, and .org).
Whereas, in resolution 01.93 the President was directed to propose to the Board an action plan for rapid analysis of the technical and other issues related to registration of domain names in .info corresponding to geographic and geopolitical names;
Whereas, on 11 October 2001 the Names Council adopted a resolution commenting on this issue, and on 26 October 2001 the Governmental Advisory Committee submitted additional commentary, both of which were posted on ICANN web sites;
Whereas, the President's proposed action plan was posted on the ICANN website on 9 October 2001, proposing creation of an .info Country Names Discussion Group (ICNG) consisting of Board members and representatives of GAC participants and additional individuals invited by the President;
Whereas, in resolution 01.122 the Board accepted the President's recommendation to appoint the ICNG;
Whereas, under resolution 01.123 the President invited representatives from WIPO, Afilias, and the DNSO Chair also to participate in the ICNG;
Whereas, the ICNG extensively discussed the issues through a preliminary physical meeting, conference calls, and e-mail;
Whereas, the ICNG's draft final report was posted for public comment on 21 February 2002;
Whereas, public comment and input to the draft report by the community occurred;
Whereas, the ICNG notes that while it recommends to proceed with restriction of use of the reserved names in .info to governments and distinct economies, because of the variety of ways of spelling country names, the ICNG recommended exploring the potential utility of a new top level domain (TLD) specifically for uses only by governments of countries and distinct economies; and
Whereas, the ICNG deserves recognition as an example of the ability of the Board and the GAC, as an advisory body, to constructively reach resolution on a controversial issue;
Resolved [02.43] that the Board adopts the ICNG recommendation that the 329 country names reserved under resolution 01.92 should be made available for registration by the governments and public authorities of the areas associated with the names and directs the General Counsel to cause those names to be made available to those governments and public authorities according to procedures established by the GAC;
Resolved [02.44] that, in view of the second recommendation in the ICNG report, the Board invites the GAC to investigate the level of interest by governments and distinct economies for a TLD to be used internationally for official purposes, and if established, what criteria and ground rules are necessary for such a TLD.
Whereas, on 14 February 2002 the ICANN staff posted a proposal to establish a Redemption Grace Period for unsponsored TLDs under which names deleted by registrars would be deactivated for thirty days, during which the registrant could redeem the name through a registrar before being subject to re-registration;
Whereas, the proposal was the topic of discussion by registrars, registry operators, and users, including at numerous meetings, through e-mail, and at the ICANN Public Forum held 13 March 2002 in Accra, Ghana;
Whereas, the commentary received has shown that some domain names are being deleted without the intention of the domain-name holder;
Whereas, the community discussions have demonstrated broad support for the general points of the Redemption Grace Period Proposal, with the recognition that several technical details must be worked out before the proposal can be implemented;
Resolved [02.45] that the President is authorized to convene a technical steering group (including knowledgeable registry and registrar personnel and in consultation with the Domain Name Supporting Organization) to develop a concrete proposal implementing the Redemption Grace Period Proposal, to be considered by the Board at a later meeting after posting on the ICANN web site and an opportunity for public comment.
Whereas, in resolutions 01.49 through 01.51 the Board called for the Independent Review Nominating Committee to present a slate of nine nominees meeting the requirements of the Independent Review Policy;
Whereas, the Committee has been unable to present a slate of nine nominees under the Independent Review Policy in the ten months that have passed since the call for nominations;
Whereas, the General Counsel has presented to the Board a description of the significant difficulties that have confronted the Nominating Committee and has recommended that the Board thank the committee members for their efforts and immediately begin a review of the Independent Review Policy with the goal of providing a more workable independent review mechanism;
Whereas, particularly in view of the ongoing discussions of the need for broader ICANN reforms, the Board believes that the present Independent Review Policy should be reviewed and evaluated in the larger context of ICANN reform;
Whereas, in resolution 01.132 the Board established a Committee on Restructuring (since renamed the Committee on ICANN Evolution and Reform in resolution 02.20), to monitor and provide reports to the Board on restructuring issues;
Resolved [02.46] that the members of the Independent Review Nominating Committee are thanked for their service in attempting to carry out the extremely challenging task presented to them and the committee is excused from further service;
Further resolved [02.47] that the issues concerning an independent review mechanism are referred to the Committee on ICANN Evolution and Reform for its consideration in the context of its ultimate recommendations on ICANN evolution and reform.
Whereas, the Audit Committee has recommended that ICANN seek to retain KPMG, LLP, to conduct an audit of ICANN's financial reports for the 2001-2002 fiscal year;
Resolved [02.48] that the President is authorized to negotiate, in consultation with the Audit Committee, with KPMG, LLP, regarding the terms of its engagement to audit ICANN's financial reports for the 2001-2002 fiscal year;
Resolved [02.49] that the Audit Committee is delegated authority to authorize, upon recommendation of the President, entry of an agreement with KPMG, LLP, under which the audit for the 2001-2002 fiscal year will be conducted.