[At-Large] Separate issues

Roberto Gaetano roberto_gaetano at hotmail.com
Tue Jan 4 08:07:28 UTC 2022

Hi all

IMHO, we have separate issues that we might want to keep separated.

The first issue is about the original point Jeff is making, about whether there is a problem about whether his reconsideration request has been properly dealt with and/or there has been a retaliation or other consequences. This is a question about the process, not the person, and I am extremely surprised that it spawned consideration about the person. It is by and large irrelevant whether Jeff has a conflict of interest, ALAC should look a the process itself and if there has been some misbehaviour - or even a mistaken in the process - it should act regardless what role the claimant has and not wait until the same issue hits a person that does not have any involvement with the contracted parties.

The second issue is about the conflict of interest. Here as well we must abstract from the specific case and ask whether the CoI policy is sound or need modification. IANAL, but it looks to me that the procedure followed by Jeff is the correct one as related to his nomination: he has declared his potential conflict at application time, correctly omitting the name of the TLD he might get involved in. Sure, he should have updated his SOI more promptly. OTOH, I doubt that any subscriber to this mailing list does not know the involvement of Jeff with the contracted parties. So, the question is whether the CoI policy and the management (and actualisation) of SOIs are sound or need revision, and that is again something that is orthogonal to the practical case.

Last but not least, the Multi-Stakeholder Model. I am not a theorist, so my opinion is not authoritative, but I personally believe that a process in which all potential stakeholders are involved guarantees better - and more stable - results than a process in which some forces are prevailing over others. I can discuss whether ICANN applies it correctly, whether it is necessary to improve it to make it “global” (i.e. independent from geopolitics) and “equal” (i.e. with a balanced power of the stakeholders), but I firmly believe that this is the best answer - surely superior to the classical multilateral approach, that gives the ultimate power to agreement by the governments. I agree that some, but not all, the UN organisations have introduced some perfume of involvement by other stakeholder types, whether business, civil society, or other, but we cannot forget that the ultimate power of the UN system resides in the UNGA, where the vote is cast by the governments only.

Just an additional note about the last point, related to ICANN’s model. I personally believe that nowadays the table is tilted to favour contracted parties, and the fact that some business interests are linked to contracted parties makes the matter even worse, but I also believe that a sort of people’s tribunal whether it is the users - or even generally the non-contracted parties - the sole arbiter of the behaviour of the contracted parties is a non-starter. Of course, we should achieve better collaboration among stakeholders while sometimes we have confrontation with little effort to reach a compromise, but this only means to me that the model has to be improved, not abandoned.

Cheers, and Happy New Year

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