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[alac] Fwd: [WSIS CS-Plenary] 3rd Unofficial personal report of Government's ad-hoc group for Internet Governance


From: Chun Eung Hwi <chun@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
To: plenary@xxxxxxxxxxx, <ct@xxxxxxxxxxx>
Subject: [WSIS CS-Plenary] 3rd Unofficial personal report of Government's ad-hoc group for
 Internet Governance
Date: Thu, 18 Sep 2003 15:05:09 +0900 (KST)

Yesterday evening, at 6:30 P.M. I attended again to the governments'
working group meeting for Internet Governance in wondering how much time I
could be there. Then, fortunately I could be present there until the
ending time. But assuming I could be in the next meeting only for 5
minutes, I want to record this in detail as much as possible.

At the beginning, there was a briefing/introduction on ICANN, which was
presented by Dr. Paul Twomey, President/CEO of ICANN. I remember around 25
minutes was used for his presentation. And in my feeling, as expected, his
presentation was impressively successful. When he introduced himself and
ICANN at first, he emphasized he had worked in government of Australia and
one leader of GAC(Government Advisory Council ) of ICANN. He described
that ICANN is international and at that time introduced Mr. Mouhamet Diop,
one board member of ICANN and CEO of one ICT company of Senegal. I don't
know why he came here and why only he was invited here among many ICANN
board members. He didn't say even any one word there, but his African
traditional clothes was very beautiful and enough good to demonstrate or
persuade that ICANN is truly international (?). Anyhow, in my
understanding, ICANN may be international, but precisely speaking there is
no change in the fact that it is legally one non-profit foundation based
on California State law of the U.S. Paul Twomey emphasized that ICANN is
seeking public-private partnership in describing GAC and although I
suspected momentarily my ear and I also don't know well of it, he
described that GAC has 86 member countries.

His presentation had five points - what ICANN is, what ICANN is not,
Public-Private Partnership, Redelegation procedure of ccTLD (country code
top level domain) transition, the future of ICANN. Regarding the procedure
of ccTLD transition, Paul Twomey said that is very cautious process and
its transition procedure depends on each country's rule or their internet
community. He said that each government is always important in this
transition process. But there are many different ways applied because of
different and diverse situation of countries. Although I forgot most of
his very succinct and clear explanation, he emphasized ICANN's scope is
very narrowly technically defined and its function has worked from its
earlier date of Internet and for a couple of decades. But his last point
regarding the future of ICANN - it seemed to be very attractive to most
governments and even to myself because I have rarely heard such an
explanation before. If my memory is correct, over last many ICANN
meetings, many people asked questions on this, but only poor and very
vague answers had been got back. But Paul Twomey explained very clearly
and firmly on this part even to an extent that nobody could have any
suspect on that point. Given the importance of his explanation on this
part, I copied his last presentation slide as it was written. Of course,
when transition could be done remained very ambiguous even in his clear

Completing the transition from the U.S.

-       final step
-       further internationalization - staff, materials, education, skills
transfer, presence
-       transition from US backstop function

There were two question and answers on his presentation. The first
question was very good. It was "You just said that ICANN's scope is very
technical one, but the creation of new gTLD (generic top level domain like
.com, .net, .org) is so technical?" Paul Twomey's answer was very
excellent. Yes, it may have many aspects of ICT business and even some
public policy. Regarding business aspects, there is one issue of monopoly
of gTLD. ICANN's principle is to promote competition to this business. And
in relation to public policy aspect, that is why public-private
partnership is so important in ICANN. GAC's - governments' opinion on
public policy related issues has always been very seriously being taken
into account at ICANN Board.

The other question came from Uganda delegate - "Concerning on each ccTLD,
what ICANN can do for its technical skill?" His answer was that ICANN
doesn't have enough resources and but there is such a school that ICANN
should provide for something to those needs. Such an issue might be
discussed in WSIS context. Due to the limited time span, after two
questions, the chair requested some people who have more questions to go
outside and ask him directly. Some people went out together with Dr. Paul

Maybe, since afternoon session, that working group organized one team for
drafting compromise document. And they submitted one new draft and
disseminated it to all participants. It is just discussion draft, but I
rewrite it here as it is - It is very short.

-       The international management of the Internet should be
multilateral, transparent and democratic, with the full involvement of
governments as well as the participation of the private sector, the civil
society and international organizations. The management of the Internet
encompass both technical and policy issues.
-       The private sector has had and must continue to have a lead role
in the development of the Internet at the technical level.
-       Public policy authority for country-code top-level domain names
(ccTLDs) should be the sovereign right of countries, and its management
should rest with the respective government or with a relevant public
-       International issues related to public policies and to the
national interest should be coordinated, as appropriate, on an
intergovernmental basis, under the UN framework.

That document was put on the table and participants' comment was open. One
delegate requested to add one more bullet sentence as the fourth one. -
"Facilitating the multilingual domain name registration"

Next speaker was Chinese delegate. (Horrible to all observers in hearing
its country name called and such an expectation has never been betrayed
even this time) His short remark reminded the chair of rules of procedure
that make observers leave in negotiation process. Chair quickly responded
by requesting observers to leave out. Alas! So, I should leave. Then,
abruptly, one person of civil society participants rebuffed the chair's
request. "Depending on rules of procedure, at least five minutes should be
given to observers for speaking their concerns". That argument was very
correct, and so chair allowed observers use ten minutes. He made a very
good comment on the draft document. His point was two. One is that at the
first bullet sentence, "multilateral" is inappropriate word. Multi
stakeholder concept should be clearly described there. And secondly,
regarding ccTLD (third bullet sentence), multistakehoder principle should
be reformulated even to national level. Later, I confirmed the speaker was
Bertrand Chappelle. Momentarily, in my brain, Meryem's comment that
multistakeholder concept is not yet a consensus of civil society community
was reminded, but anyhow I think his short comment was very important and
valuable at the meeting.

When I slowly put materials in my bag for leaving, Brazilian delegate made
new proposal. His request was very interesting. "We, Brazil, and some
other countries which are taking common position on this issue should
discuss together and I have not yet consulted with my government.
Therefore, I propose to have another comment session tomorrow morning" He
mentioned some countries - Cuba, South Africa, China and at least two more
countries (unfortunately I forgot it) sharing the same position. Chair
accepted his request and declared to close the meeting.

This morning, I will attend to the working group meeting again, but
definitely I must be kicked off after five minutes attendance.

Chun Eung Hwi
General Secretary, PeaceNet | phone:     (+82)  2-2166-2205
Seoul Yangchun P.O.Box 81   |   pcs:     (+82) 019-259-2667
Seoul, 158-600, Korea       | eMail:   chun@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx

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