[AFRI-Discuss] Happy Holidays and Thank You!

FMAI fmai at topnet.tn
Mon Dec 30 20:39:36 UTC 2013

Thank you Olivier for this fabulous message and for your wishes.


I hope that At-Large and ICANN achieve successfully more inclusiveness, more
protection of the public interest above all other interests and more
bottom-up multi equal stakeholder governance.


Let 2014 be an exceptional year for our community




Executive Director

Mediterranean Federation of Internet Associations (FMAI)

Phone:  + 216 41 649 605

Mobile: + 216 98 330 114

Fax:       + 216 70 853 376






-----Message d'origine-----
De : afri-discuss-bounces at atlarge-lists.icann.org
[mailto:afri-discuss-bounces at atlarge-lists.icann.org] De la part de Olivier
MJ Crepin-Leblond
Envoyé : lundi 30 décembre 2013 17:09
À : alac-announce at atlarge-lists.icann.org;
afri-discuss at atlarge-lists.icann.org; apac-discuss at atlarge-lists.icann.org;
euro-discuss at atlarge-lists.icann.org;
lac-discuss-en at atlarge-lists.icann.org; na-discuss at atlarge-lists.icann.org
Cc : ICANN At-Large Staff
Objet : [AFRI-Discuss] Happy Holidays and Thank You!


Dear members, staff, and friends,


as we near the end of the calendar year, the traditional holiday season

allows us to take a week where we can reflect on this year's past

challenges and the ones we have ahead of us.


Looking back at the year, I am really delighted with the advances this

community has made. We now have active working groups with a very

diverse membership. Some people take part in one or two working groups,

or take part in regional activities, and they bring in the valuable

diversity of input that is needed in a geographically balanced,

bottom-up multi-stakeholder system. Others promote this community by

performing outreach in fora outside of ICANN. Others work behind the

scenes designing courses and capacity building for newcomers and for

those members who are not yet taking an active part in this community.

Some are very active in enhancing their RALO's capability at helping

their members with understanding and taking part in ICANN processes.

Some people are active in GNSO working groups. I could go on for a long

time to explain all of the activities of this community. As ALAC Chair,

I try to keep aware of all of the work that our members do for this

community, but occasionally I am surprised by people who are taking part

in an ICANN process but have not directly "advertised it" - such is the

humbleness of some people in our community.


When interacting with the Board and in other fora, I often receive

congratulations from people who tell me that they are so pleased that

At-Large has matured over the years. They are so pleased with the

quality of the Statements that we draft and send to them. I tell them

that this would not be possible without the great Team that I have on

the ALAC and in the RALOs. So I wanted to thank you for the work you are

doing as volunteers. It is truly inspirational to a lot of people in ICANN.


Next year is about to arrive and there are a lot more challenges coming

up. Our work in Policy Development will continue to grow as we now need

to expand our competencies beyond commenting on ICANN processes but also

in Internet Governance as a whole and the defense of the

multi-stakeholder model as practised in ICANN. I have concerns that a

few people have done the majority of the work in "holding the pen" when

drafting Statements - so I look forward to new volunteers adding to the

list of writers. Remember, you could co-draft Statements and you do not

need to be an ALAC member to be a pen-holder. Policy work is very

important to improve ICANN as a whole and I am thankful that many in our

community care enough to take the time to propose constructive comments

to improve ICANN's processes.

On Organisation building, there is a lot of ongoing work in Capacity

Building. This is an integral part of building our community. Outreach

brings more people and organisations in At-Large to share the workload

among more people and to reach more parts of the world and more diverse

communities. In-reach makes sure that our At-Large Structures are more

actively involved. However, after three years as ALAC Chair, I am still

not satisfied that we have done enough to help engage our At-Large


Thankfully this year we will have the second ever At-Large Summit (ATLAS

II) which will take place in London in June 2014. This is an opportunity

for every At-Large Structure named delegate to experience an ICANN

meeting but also to learn about the bottom-up multi-stakeholder process

of governance. It is the opportunity for participants to meet face to

face and discuss the challenges facing ICANN and this community. The

Summit is being entirely prepared by At-Large Structures, for At-Large

Structures. It is vital that our Capacity building programs continue to

expand since without knowledge, it would be impossible for At-Large

Structure representatives to engage more in policy work. Capacity

building is the first step to involvement of Internet end users at all

levels of policy - please make sure you make use of the ATLAS II

opportunity to enhance your knowledge!

With efforts on the way to make ICANN more accountable after the end of

the second round of Accountability & Transparency Review (ATRT 2), it is

also important to recognise that our community is taking steps to make

the ALAC and At-Large more accountable. Whilst I am delighted to see a

significant number of organizations having signed up as At-Large

Structures, it is equally as important for our RALOs to check on the

existence of their members and to report back to the ALAC if an

organisation's status has changed. Equally, ALAC members, selected by

their RALOs and by the Nominating Committee, should be effective in

their position. Non participation is to let down the community that has

chosen them to assume this position and puts an unfair workload on other

ALAC representatives from the region. As ALAC Chair, I am therefore

delighted to see that our community is looking at Metrics to more easily

identify matters which need to be improved. These are all small but

significant steps to make our community more effective and more

answerable to Internet end users and to therefore continue to improve

its legitimacy when bringing input into the ICANN processes.


Our bottom-up multi-stakeholder model is not perfect and still needs

much improvement but it is a work in progress! I am proud to be able to

work with you all in what I consider to be a cutting-edge experiment in

bottom-up governance. I am proud that so many of us are actively trying

to make the model work, to find its limits and shortfalls, but also to

find its force and its opportunities. Some days, the model works beyond

my expectations - what a great surprise! Some days it fails miserably

and we are then able to learn from our mistakes. You are pioneers and

just being able to work with all of you has been an immensely rich

experience. It is so unique, I don't believe there is any other process

like it out there.


And for this, I thank you all, volunteers and staff, and I send you my

Best Wishes for the Holiday Season and for the New Year 2014. Prepare

for an exciting year. Prepare for a lot of work. Prepare for a lot of

rewards. Expect the unexpected, but never give up.


Olivier MJ Crépin-Leblond

ALAC Chair




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