[ALAC] Urgent: proposed email to GAC/ Board Chairs

Olivier MJ Crepin-Leblond ocl at gih.com
Wed Jan 12 23:17:38 UTC 2011

Dear ALAC members,

you might be aware that there is currently much internal debate going on
within GAC and the Board, and elsewhere, about the organisation of the
summit which will bring GAC and the Board together. A significant tug of
war appears to be taking place between partisans of the open meeting
model and those of the closed meeting model. Another area of unknown
unknown is where and when this meeting is due to take place.

Please find enclosed below, a letter which I propose emailing to the
Chair of the GAC and the Chair of the ICANN Board. Again, time is of the
essence, so please read this:
** I shall be sending this in 24H if there is no objection from the ALAC **

The aim is to catalyse the finding of a solution by suggesting one
that's agreeable to everyone and avoid a situation where the results of
such a meeting hold no legitimacy due to a flawed process.

I look forward to your feedback.



--- body of the letter ---

The following is a suggestion which I make in an individual capacity,
after having listened to the argument of many people involved in and out
of the decision process.  [ this will be replaced by: "which is made
with agreement of ALAC" ]

Proposed meeting Date: Mid-February
Rationale: there are concerns that a meeting taking place at the end of
the month will not give enough time for the Board to take notice,
discuss and act on the points raised in the meeting, in time for the SFO
meeting. Similarly, the GAC members would not have enough time to report
to their governments and their stakeholders.
As a result, there would be a real threat that the meetings in SFO would
not contribute positively to the possibility of pressing the "go" button
in SFO. More delays. More unhappy constituencies.

Proposed meeting type: a mix of open & closed
Rationale: both closed and open models have their advantages &
Proponents of the closed model argue that there are several points of
internal GAC & Board relationship building which might not benefit from
being public - and could stop from GAC or Board members from being free
to say what they wish to say during the meeting. This argument certainly
has its validity.
Proponents of an open meeting argue that ICANN, a champion of the open
model of transparency, cannot politically have a closed meeting between
the GAC and the Board. In the light of the uproar released by civil
society triggered by the recent CSTD decisions regarding IGF-related
governance, it is a simple case of eating one's own dog food.
Opponents of the open model argue that if the meeting is going to be
turned into a "circus" with people after people coming onto the
microphone and giving mixed signals, this would be a waste of time.

I therefore propose:
- that the meeting, likely to last 2 days to be thorough, should be
composed of a mix of closed and open meetings, with an emphasis that the
closed meeting time shall constitute less than 40% of the total time
allocated for meetings.
- that it shall be possible to follow the open meeting remotely, through
an Adobe Connect room, Internet streaming and a telephone bridge, to a
standard no lower than the standard proposed at an ICANN Annual General
Meeting (AGM).
- that the Chair and Vice Chairs of SOs and ACs, plus a select number of
people in the GNSO (number to be determined but akin to a selection of
people taking part in Cross Community Working Groups (CWGs)) shall be
invited to make comments and take part in the discussion in *some* of
the open sessions. They shall be called "Community Representatives (CR)".
- that the Chair and/or Vice Chairs of SOs and ACs might, at a common
GAC-Board invitation, appear or make statements for a part of the closed
meetings, provided there is consensus between GAC and Board on their
- that the rest of the people following the meeting shall have observer
status but shall have full freedom to be in touch at all times with
their Community Representatives and shall therefore be able to speak
through them.

Yours sincerely,

--- cut here ---

Olivier MJ Crépin-Leblond, PhD

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