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Policy vs. Implementation

10 April 2013 - 09:00 - 10:30
Grand Hall A

Session Leader: Marika Konings | Sr Director, Policy Development Support

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Mainly as a result of discussions stemming from implementation related issues of the new gTLD program, there is increased focus on which topics call for policy and which call for implementation work, including which processes should be used, at what time and how diverging opinions should be acted upon. In order to facilitate these discussions, ICANN Staff developed a draft framework for community discussion that identifies a number of steps and criteria that might facilitate dealing with similar questions in the future. The paper identifies a number of questions that the community may want to consider further in this context, as well as a couple of suggested improvements that could be considered in the short term. While developing a bright-line rule as to what is policy or implementation may not be possible, the hope is that by developing clear processes and identifying clear roles and responsibilities for the different stakeholders, it will become easier to deal with these issues going forward and allow for broad participation and involvement. In order to facilitate community discussions on this topic, this session is being organised to obtain community input as well as identifying potential next steps.

Agenda Details:


  • Bruce Tonkin - ICANN Board, Vice Chair

Panel Members:

  • Don Blumenthal – Security and Stability Advisory Committee (SSAC)
  • Evan Leibovitch – At-Large Advisory Committee (ALAC)
  • Chuck Gomes – GNSO Registry Stakeholder Group (RySG)
  • Avri Doria – GNSO Non-Commercial Stakeholder Group (NCSG)
  • Steve DelBianco - GNSO Business Constituency (BC)
  • Brian Winterfeldt - GNSO Intellectual Property Constituency (IPC)
  • James Bladel - GNSO Registrar Stakeholder Group (RrSG)
  • Aparna Sridhar - Google


  • Welcome – David Olive, ICANN, VP Policy Development Support (2 minutes)
  • Introduction of the panel, outline of the session – Bruce Tonkin, ICANN Board, Vice-Chair (3 minutes)
  • Short presentation of staff paper and comments received in response to public comment forum – Marika Konings, ICANN, Sr. Policy Director (5 minutes)
  • Question 1 - What is from the perspective of your community the main priority with regard to the discussion on policy vs. implementation
Response Panel (10 minutes)
Comments / questions from the floor (8 minutes)
  • Question 2 - Do you believe that an overall framework could be created for all policy implementation activities within ICANN or should specific models be created that would apply for ASO/ccNSO/GNSO policy implementation activities?
Response Panel (10 minutes)
Comments / questions from the floor (8 minutes)
  • Question 3 - One of the questions that was raised in the staff discussion paper is how to deal with instances where no consensus can be reached on key issues or competing ‘policy advice’ is received from different SO/ACs? From your perspective, should additional mechanisms be developed that would ‘force’ cross-community engagement and decision-making (see for example EU conciliation procedure http://www.se2009.eu/en/meetings_news/2009/11/4/how_does_the_conciliation_procedure_work.html) or should alternative approaches be explored?
Response Panel (10 minutes)
Comments / questions from the floor (8 minutes)
  • Question 4 - What should be the next step in addressing this issue? Some have suggested the creation of a cross-community WG. What is your view on this approach? Are there certain elements that would need a cross-community approach while others should be addressed within respective SO/ACs?
Response Panel (10 minutes)
  • Comments / questions from the floor (8 minutes)
  • Conclusion & Next steps – Bruce Tonkin (8 minutes)

Background material:

For further details, including bios, please see https://community.icann.org/display/gnsocouncilmeetings/Policy+vs+Implementation.