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[Comment-Geo] Part 1 - The Commitment of the Goverment of the United States of America with the establishment of the Geographic Diversity on the ICANN Board

May 20, 1999.  01:20 EST TIME

TO	:       ICANN Board of Directors 
SUBJECT :       Part 1 - The Commitment of the Goverment of the United
States of America with the establishment of the Geographic Diversity on
the ICANN Board
FROM	:       Javier Rodriguez                 jrl@mail.lima.net.pe
DATE	:       20 May, 01:20 EST TIME

Dear Gentlemen:

My name is Javier Rodriguez and I speak in behalf of the Peruvian
Association of Internet Users and ISPs (AXISNET).  Before I continue I
must ask your pardon about my broken english, but I know you will
understand that for non english native speakers there is a double task
since we have to deal with the internet themes and at the same time
manage ourselves to survive in a language that is not natural for us.

We congratulate to all the participants on this and other public forums
because we are seeing that the road to a democratic and open
administration of the Internet is in full motion.

This message has been done after reading the "Proposed Interim Policy
for Geographic Diversity on the ICANN Board of Directors" and the
comments send by some of the finest people in the internet.  All of them
well known because of their commitment with the internet evolution and
the looking for a new administration of the internet.

In this moment we need to speak aloud, and let say it in the clearest
way: we are here because we trust in the word of the Goverment of the
United States of America.  We are here because in 1994 the VicePresident
Al Gore in Buenos Aires told us about the new era that we will see in
telecommunications, and because Mr. Clinton in 1998 has decide to give
the administration of the DNS and IP numbers to the global community of
the internet. And this translation of authority and power will come
attached with all kind of related items that is not possible to separate
from the DNS and IP number world.   We are here because we believe in
the words and the commitment of the goverment of the United States of
America to respect the Geographic Diversity.

If this is not true, if a real Geographic Diversity, in the broadest
sense of the world, is not on the mind and in the heart of the Goverment
of the United States of America it would be better to recognize it and
inform to our national goverments that the sunrise is not equal for each
person on this world and that they have to say its word directly to Mr.
Clinton, to the goverment of the United States of America, and most
important to the media and the people of the United States of America.

We are here discussing themes prepared by a board that was not elected
in a democratic way.  And that is fine.  The interim board, and all the
responsability that it has to rule this new administration of the
internet, is formed by great people, and they were choose without any
democratic procedure.  And thats fine and we can live with that.  And we
have faith in their work and their honesty and we trust that they are
doing their best, without doubts.  We accept all of this because in 1998
when this interim board was elected there were no "organized population"
on the internet, and it was not possible to do any kind of election in a
democratic fashion.  And thats fine, and thats the reason because we
participate and we believe in the ICANN and the people around.

But now, today, is the day to see wich is the degree of commitment with
the global internet, with a global community, with a global
understanding that this is the most interesting effort made to develop a
global world, and that it will not be fine if in this moment we can not
develop, all together, the widest, the broadest concept about how to
reach the Geographic Diversity that has been promised by the Goverment
of the United States of America.

Some people say "... I would like to see in that chair the best person,
without knowing or thinking of his origin or nationality or race or
color... the best person in the world for that important position...".  
Thats an error, a terrible error, done in good intention but without
recognition of the brutal reality of our world.  Not all the people has
been born with the same oportunities and we must do any effort to put a
solution to this.  We can not keep the system if it is possible to be
fair and create a better system.  Lets think... how can be elected the
best man from all around the world without recognizing that there is A
LOT of different worlds ? The best in what terms ? for whom ?

Lets do an example... with the same effort, with the same intelligence,
with the same qualities, 2 men have present for the elections, one of
them has studied in the Harvard University and work for the NASA... and
the other has got its degree from the Rio de Janeiro University and work
for the Telecommunications Institute.  Oh yes! both are capable of doing
DNS stuff, and are members of the IETF, and both are honest, and so
on... but "ceteris paribus", been all the rest of the conditions
equal... the only difference is a matter of luck: were he was born and
from this point he got 2 terrific advantages over the other people: were
he studied and were he works.  And both men are equally capable, equally
inteligent, equally honest, so it is just a matter of luck to be born on
the USA or in Brazil.  The merits of Harvard and the NASA are the merits
of them, not the merits of the people who are lucky enough to be born in
a society that has such terrific cientific centers.  
So.. are we ready to break this terrible situation of difference of luck
or we want to perpetuate, to keep, to save the "statuos quo" where ALL
the candidates that will come from the developed world will have,
always, a tremendous amount of advantage over the candidates of the
"undeveloped world" just because one of them was more lucky and was born
in a richer society with better schools and better universities and
better work centers ?  Are we ready to set the base for a new internet
world ? more open, more transparent, with more equal oportunities and to
see the internet as a tool for the development of a whole mankind with
lesser differences? Are we going to respect the spirit of the internet
pioneers who settle this as a tool for comunications for the mankind? or
this time we will perpetuate the difference betwen north and south, rich
and poor societies ?

It has been said "I have born in a black neighborhood, a poor black
neighborhood, went to a poor school and got a poor education.  Finally I
graduate and got a poor job, got a poor salary and raise a poor family,
and my son will have the same because he is going to the same poor
school...".  This sentence could be translated easily to the terms of
the modern Internet, just replace neighborhood, school, work, for
"internet" and you will see the results: the perpetuation of the
difference in economics, culture and oportunities all around the world. 
Preservation of the "status quo" is the sinonymous of keeping the
diference in the development of the internet and it is not guarantee
that we can think that the decisions at any ICANN Board will be done
respecting the best interest of our diferent reality.

No.  We are not talking about having one site for one person from our
region.  We are talking about that the full composition of the ICANN
Board should have full recognition of the Geographic Diversity.  That
means that all the Supporting Organizations must follow the guidelines
of what will be established as the way to reach the Geographic
Diversity.  This is one ICANN, and the Supporting Organizations are part
of the ICANN, they are not different independent organizations with
their own bylaws, so what is good for the ICANN board should be fine for
the Supporting Organizations that are part of the ICANN.

In the second part we will speak about what is our proposal for reaching
this Geographic Diversity that is the main commitment of the Goverment
of the United States of America to the WorldWide Internet Community.

Thanks for your time and patience.

Javier Rodriguez
Peruvian Association of Internet Users and ISPs
Lima, Peru.
South America