[ALAC] ALAC & At-Large involvement in GNSO activities

Olivier MJ Crepin-Leblond ocl at gih.com
Wed Feb 13 14:24:06 UTC 2013

Dear Jean-Jacques,

thank you for your insightful follow-up:

On 12/02/2013 03:22, JJS wrote:
> /- Like any living organism, structures evolve. ICANN and ALAC are no
> exception. I distinguished two periods,/
> /   - first, the ALAC had to prove its existence, gain respect and
> visibility: this was the time of adding value to initiatives or drafts
> from other parts of ICANN; /
> /   - and now, because ICANN has evolved the way it has, with the
> business perspective gradually dominating the debate, it may be time
> for the ALAC to assert -more forcefully than in the past- the central
> importance of the global public interest./

I don't think that the two are mutually exclusive. I am still concerned
that we are still in the phase of gaining respect. We are close to it,
but not quite there yet, with still significant opposition from some.
After so many years, I still heard in Toronto an isolated point of view
that the ALAC and At-Large could not be trusted to be involved more in
policy development due to the "ignorance" (sic) of At-Large and the lack
of legitimacy of the ALAC.

Second, enforcing the central importance of the global public interest
is something we have already done in the past. If you are asking for us
to continue along this path, I would totally agree, but I must also
caution that the ALAC should be careful not to risk dispensing lessons
to all other SO/ACs and the rest of the ICANN community - risking to
look as the purveyor of all morality. I have concerns that this offends
other SOs/ACs at a time when the whole ICANN community needs to be all
cemented as one in the face of outside factors looking at discrediting
the whole organisation.
So yes, we need to be firm. But we also need to use all means possible
to be fair and constructive to make the ICANN experiment succeed. Having
often called upon you to articulate the ALAC's point of view with
regards to the public interest, I will need all your diplomatic
experience to make sure we are heard, listened to and taken seriously
without appearing to be power-hungry anarchists who just want to take
the domain industry down and then take over the world. Far from it.

I therefore believe that whilst we should constantly look out for the
public interest, we should also be promoters of the "balanced
multi-stakeholder" system. (I prefer this term to "equal

Referring to Alan's call for more At-Large participation in GNSO WGs --
I completely support it. We need to be present at the root of all policy
(pun intended). 15 people from the ALAC can't do this all by themselves
- we need all of the power, knowledge, insight and diversity of our
ALSes to provide the experts and the active participants to these WGs
and relay the common At-Large points of view into those processes,
acting for the public interest.

Kind regards,


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