ICANN Meetings in Cape Town
GNSO Council Meeting
Friday, December 3, 2004
Note: The following is the output of the real-time captioning taken during the GNSO Council Meeting held on 3 December, 2004 in Cape Town, South Africa . Although the captioning output is largely accurate, in some cases it is incomplete or inaccurate due to inaudible passages or transcription errors. It is posted as an aid to understanding the proceedings at the session, but should not be treated as an authoritative record.
>>BRUCE TONKIN: Okay, I'll just ask council members to re-take their
seats so that we can convene the council meeting.
I'd first just like to announce that we have a new member of council from the noncommercial constituency.
We have Robin gross.
Gross or gross?
>>ROBIN GROSS: Gross.
>>BRUCE TONKIN: Robin gross joining us for the first time on the council meeting today.
What I will do is just for the record each person here to state their name, and we also have some people who have dialed in on a teleconference line.
But, unfortunately, we're not able to broadcast that into this room at this stage.
So if we can perhaps start from that direction, Robin, if you'd just like to state your name for the record and then we'll just move along the table.
>>ROBIN GROSS: Hi, I'm Robin gross with the noncommercial users constituency.
>>CARLOS AFONSO: Carlos Afonso, also from the NCUC, noncommercial users constituency.
>>DEMI GETSCHKO: Demi Getschko, noncom appointee.
>>VITTORIO BERTOLA: Vittorio Bertola.
I'm the chairman of the at-large advisory committee and temporarily acting as GSO liaison today.
>>TONY HARRIS: I'm Tony Harris from the ISP constituency.
>>TONY HOLMES: Tony Holmes from the ISP constituency.
>>GREG RUTH: Greg Ruth from the ISP constituency.
>>ROSS RADER: Ross Rader, North American represent from the registrar constituency.
>>THOMAS KELLER: Thomas Keller from the registrar constituency.
>>NIKLAS LAGERGREN: Niklas Lagergren from the intellectual property constituency.
>>KIYOSHI TSURU: Kiyoshi Tsuru from the IPC and we are holding a approximately for Lucy.
>>PHILIP SHEPPARD: Philip Sheppard from the business constituency.
>>MARILYN CADE: I just want to make a note to the recorders that they will want to go back and change Vittorio's name from Vint Cerf to Vittorio.
And I'm Marilyn Cade with the business constituency, an editor.
>>AMADEU ABRIL i ABRIL: Amadeu Abril i Abril, noncom appointee.
>>KEN STUBBS: Ken Stubbs, registry constituency.
>>CARY KARP: Cary Karp, also registry constituency.
>>BRUCE TONKIN: Okay.
And I think we have a couple of people online on the phone.
I think it sounded like Philip Colebrook.
But in cases where we are unable to hear him, his proxy would go to Ken Stubbs.
But I'm hopeful that they will be able to listen into the broadcast of this meeting and they can either send messages to their representatives or to Glen on the council if there's any issue they wish to raise.
And I believe we also have Alick Wilson, who is on the teleconference as well, but where he can't be heard, his proxy is going to Amadeu.
So we are -- now have a quorum.
The first item of the agenda is approving the minutes.
The minutes have yet to be published from the last teleconference, so we'll carry those over until the next meeting.
The next item is an update on the procedure for use by ICANN in considering requests for consent and related contractual amendments to allow changes in the architecture and operation of a gTLD registry.
The current status of that work, there is a draft initial report that has been available on the ICANN Web site for some time.
That report has been provided to the ICANN staff to review the procedure, and in particular, compare the procedure with the experience that they have had approving previous requests.
And in their analysis, I think, over 80% of the requests were simple and straightforward, and there were two in particular that were more complex.
And so that mapped out that process, and that document has been provided to the members of council for consideration.
What I will do is, chairing the subcommittee on that topic, is look at suggesting some changes to the initial report and put those out for review in the next few weeks.
And council members will be able to discuss those in more detail with their constituencies.
Are there any questions or comments on the current status of that report?
The next item is an update on WHOIS.
I think we pretty much covered the -- the details of that in our GNSO public forum.
But, in summary, the WHOIS task force 1 and 2 have developed consensus around two positions.
Those two statements are on the GNSO Web site.
The first statement is looking at ways that registrars can make the obligations of registrants more understandable for registrants and allow registrants to acknowledge that they read those.
And that recommendation is now available for constituencies to consider further to see if that requires further review.
But what we'd be doing in the next couple weeks is developing the initial report on that topic, which includes constituency impact statements and financial impacts, before putting it out for the first formal comment period.
The second one of those is looking at how to deal with contention, where a national law may be in conflict with the gTLD contractual agreements, and looking at how to resolve that contention.
A recommendation has also been drafted in that area.
And the task force is seeking review of that recommendation from the ICANN general counsel.
The third task force looking at WHOIS accuracy is has met a couple of times here in Cape Town and is focusing on a procedure to standardize the procedure for when a registrar receives a complaint and the steps that the registrar takes to resolve that complaint, and also is starting to consider what to do where it's necessary to respond very quickly on an issue that might impact security or stability associated with a particular domain name.
So they expect in the next coming weeks that we will crystallize some of those recommendations into an initial report, put that out for public comment, and hopefully have some concrete recommendations by Mar Del Plata meeting in Argentina.
Are there any questions or comments on the WHOIS -- the status of the WHOIS developments?
The fourth item is relating --
>>MARILYN CADE: Bruce.
>>BRUCE TONKIN: Yes.
>>MARILYN CADE: I have a question, actually.
>>BRUCE TONKIN: Yes, go ahead.
>>MARILYN CADE: I think just we were assuming that we would be moving -- from the business constituency perspective, we were assuming we would be moving forward in a modular way on the subtopics that are in the WHOIS task forces, because -- and as I look at this, I just think that would be important for us to just reaffirm that we're going to do that.
Because we certainly now, in task force i/ii, will be devoting our time in the analysis, exploration, examination of the tiered or differentiated access.
But we're in such an early stage of that that we would actually be delaying significantly the other subelements that we've been working on.
And I look at them as being modular and should be able to be moving forward in parallel track.
>>BRUCE TONKIN: Yeah, I think that's correct, that what we're trying to do is where consensus is emerging on areas within the task forces, what we want to do is I guess wrap that consensus around the relevant initial report in the policy development process and then move that forward to decision rather than wait until we've solved every issue, yes.
>>ROSS RADER: I just wanted to note a minor concern with that, Marilyn, in that we're really operating right now without the benefit of what I will characterize as concrete time lines for these task forces, I just want to ensure that moving these forward -- moving these subissues forward on a modular basis doesn't leave us with a bunch of standing committees that are continuously generating policy recommendations on these issues.
>>BRUCE TONKIN: Yeah.
I think that's right.
Those task forces are still working within terms of reference, and those terms of references have defined the areas of study.
And so there's no brief to go beyond those terms of reference in those task forces.
Next topic is relating to how -- or the response to the WIPO II recommendations.
I'm not sure whether we've got new information.
I gather there might have been some discussion on the council mailing list on the general topic.
I wonder, is -- Paul Verhoef, are you able to comment on that?
>>PAUL VERHOEF: Yes, thank you, Bruce.
I think the situation hasn't changed from what we said in discussions in other rooms yesterday.
We have posted the report of the joint working group, and we have posted a letter we have received from WIPO.
As you know, there is at the moment -- there are two views on how we should move forward, and the views happen to be incompatible and there is little middle ground.
We consider that we need to find ways of moving on to middle ground.
We have indications from a few parties that they think that there could be middle ground, and they're willing to provide us with information on how we could possibly approach that.
So we are hoping that both out of this round of public comments, together with maybe a few discussions with the groups concerned, we can see exactly what the middle ground could be.
I would anticipate a process that, if indeed the staff would think that there would be middle ground, that we could put up a proposal on how to move forward and that we would publish that for public comment, and we'd take it from there.
That would be the way I would see going.
If, obviously, there would not be middle ground, we will be in a very complex situation.
>>BRUCE TONKIN: Okay.
Are there any questions?
>>ROSS RADER: I would appreciate it, Paul, if you could perhaps summarize what those two opposing views are.
>>PAUL VERHOEF: I think there are probably people on the council who can do that better than I can.
I haven't been involved in the joint working group.
John Jeffrey has.
Maybe there is somebody here who would want to take that task away from me.
>>BRUCE TONKIN: Who was -- I believe we had council members on that working group.
Who was -- Philip, do you want to respond?
>>PHILIP SHEPPARD: Thank you, Mr. Verhoef.
I suppose, in a sense, there are three options.
There is do nothing.
And there is the -- and there was the do something options.
And the do something options are either -- which was the basis of the original request -- which is amending the existing trademark UDRP in such a way as to accommodate country names and international organization names, albeit in slightly different ways.
The third option, of course, is the creation of one, maybe two, completely separate dispute resolution processes which would accommodate the WIPO request because of the various characteristics, et cetera, that they have.
And the complexity, of course, is all to do with the fundamental difference between the two processes whereby the existing UDRP had always worked on the basis that if either party didn't like it, they simply went to court.
So it worked as classic dispute resolution did.
There's always that option at the back of it.
The complexity, once you involve countries or you involve international organizations, is that they do not like submitting to the jurisdiction of other national administrations.
And that has been the funDAMENT of the discussion and, indeed, considerable and erudite discussion that we had on the working group to do with that complexity and getting through that.
But I think it is clear that ICANN at the moment has a success called the trademark UDRP.
And we have a complex issue in front of us to do with this issue.
So we need to tread very carefully so that we always maintain the success that we have and see what can be done to -- in relation to this request, I think that's probably where we are now.
>>BRUCE TONKIN: Okay.
Thank you for that summary, Philip.
>>KEN STUBBS: Sorry.
Just a real quick query, if someone could do me a favor and possibly forward a link for the -- you said you posted the letter.
I can't find it on the ICANN site under the -- okay.
>>BRUCE TONKIN: Okay.
I'm sure someone can do that for you.
Yeah, I think that's that on that topic.
Thank you, Paul.
>>MARILYN CADE: Bruce, I -- if we could just resummarize what council's previous positions and discussion have been, I think that would be very useful.
>>BRUCE TONKIN: Very useful, yes.
>>MARILYN CADE: As I recall, and I'll try to do this from memory -- but I can be edited at any moment here by my colleagues, who may remember it more clearly -- in our discussion, I think that we had heard, certainly within the constituencies, a strong expression of concern about maintaining the integrity and the successful operation of the narrowly focused UDRP.
The UDRP as it exists today represents an extensive amount of compromise on the part of many, many parties.
The noncommercial community and many others had been concerned, and I believe appropriately so, that a too-broad UDRP could be misused.
And we did, as a community, after a six-month fast-track study by WIPO and then a consideration policy development by the then-DNSO, agree on a narrowly crafted UDRP.
And that UDRP is really, as I see it, reliant on existing national trademark law or other law that governs the use of trademarks.
We, I believe, affirmed our -- we affirmed our support for the UDRP and also expressed concern that modifying the UDRP or taking it into areas for which it was not specifically crafted could threaten its effectiveness and its primary function.
And I believe we supported the idea that if there needed to be a dispute resolution procedure, it should be crafted around the characteristics of the disputes that it was designed for.
I personally do not believe that the panelists that are selected for dispute resolution when there is, you know, existing law necessarily have the qualifications to move into a space where there is no existing law.
And, in fact, probably some kind of criteria would have to be developed to govern the resolution of the disputes.
And I would find it disruptive to the existing well-functioning and important UDRP to add these features into that UDRP.
>>BRUCE TONKIN: Amadeu.
>>AMADEU ABRIL i ABRIL: Do we have a liability policy for council members?
One mike for Marilyn and me is clearly not enough, yeah?
I don't want to discuss the issue itself and express my opinion about whether this is a good idea or not.
It has been done many times.
The only thing I want to stress is the strange situation in which I find myself, in a role where the governments keep telling that they have to be more involved, and many governments keep telling ICANN that they should do less things, that they should do some other things.
When the case arrives that this is clearly the case of governments to create law nationally and internationally through treaties, at this case they ask ICANN to do something and ICANN says they do not want.
This is a really strange role.
But, quite frankly, I concur with Marilyn, we cannot create law, even if we are asked by governments.
We should keep that in mind.
We should not at all go that direction, because it's very dangerous.
And I think that this basic question has not been understood.
We don't like to protect the names of countries we think is important, but we want the governments to help where they can help, and that's creating treaties.
>>BRUCE TONKIN: Okay.
Then the next topic is -- oh, yes, go ahead, Robin.
>>ROBIN GROSS: Yes, I think that the -- that we should release the WIPO II report as soon as possible.
And I think that since this council was fairly unanimous in rejecting the WIPO II proposal, I'm wondering why there is a need for -- to search for a middle ground.
>>BRUCE TONKIN: Okay.
Yeah, I think probably what is happening in the process is that the -- that there was a working group formed, they've done some analysis of that.
That report's available.
WIPO has been asked for information or a response, and they've responded.
And then that's currently open for public comment.
So if you're talking about something that ultimately would become an obligation for registries or registrars, then, ultimately, that would come through the GNSO.
So I think that's the next steps.
>>PHILIP SHEPPARD: Bruce.
>>BRUCE TONKIN: Yes.
>>PHILIP SHEPPARD: Just for clarification in terms of where we are in the process. I think to characterize the lengthy working group report, if you wish to read it, by all means do, but it was basically an analysis of the options and the difficulty of the options and made no conclusions.
The recent materials we've received back from WIPO have simply been a more detailed suggestion as to how the original request may be implemented. That detailed suggestion was, indeed, part of those options discussed in the working group report. So there's not, in essence, particular advancement in the -- in the whole debate. We've merely seen various papers with increasing levels of detail and analysis of the options available, but still leaving open the fundamental question that I heard earlier in terms of the difficulty.
And I think that's what Paul was hinting at earlier, was that the middle ground is still being looked for.
>>BRUCE TONKIN: Yeah. I guess part of the issue, too, is where do you find that middle ground, and it's the attempt to try to find some middle ground and create a PDP process around the middle ground in terms of where the next steps are.
I think from a council point of view, we're just really in monitoring mode at the moment, then, and seeking what the public comments are and identifying if there's a middle ground emerging that would justify doing policy development on this.
The GNSO council review process, the board, as part of its bylaws, reviews all the supporting organizations and advisory committees of ICANN. The purpose of the review is to see does that organization have a -- is there a need to continue that organization in the ICANN structure, does it have a continuing role. And if so, are there any improvements to the processes of that organization.
In the case of the GNSO, the review is currently focused just on the GNSO council and its processes and is not actually focused on the entire GNSO and the structures within the constituencies.
In the context of that review, the council has worked to develop a document to provide input to the community on the council's views and recommendations, and that will form part of the information to the board.
The board has appointed, through the ICANN staff, an external evaluator that has been conducting interviews and has produced a draft report.
And I think that will probably be discussed in the normal board public forum either later today or tomorrow as an update on what that external review has to say.
From the GNSO council itself, we've done -- been working on a self-review document. A draft of that was provided about a week or so ago. There's been a couple of iterations on that draft. I just wonder what council wishes to do with that draft, whether council wishes to approve that draft at this meeting and forward it to the external evaluator or whether the council thinks they need some time to get input from their constituencies. So I'll open the topic of the self-review document for members to comment on.
>>PHILIP SHEPPARD: I think just speaking for the BC, the -- the -- try again. The recent additional changes we've had to that I think have just been useful clarifications. There's been no fundamental change there. I think certainly with a view to expediting this we support a view to propose that self-review document so that could put us as part of an appendix to the main report to give time to go into the external consultant's report.
>>BRUCE TONKIN: Cary.
>>CARY KARP: I'm afraid that the registry constituency would, in fact, need to be provided some opportunity to give the reps a little more input before we feel comfortable calling the question.
>>BRUCE TONKIN: Okay. Ross.
>>ROSS RADER: I just wanted to underline that we're looking at a document here that is really a review of ourselves, so I'm not sure that it's something that we -- at least I would feel it necessary to run by my constituency. I certainly want to raise awareness of that document with them and see if they have a different view on that subject, but would propose that the council looks at this as a leaving document that we can continue to deal with as we evolve, both our processes and function and how relate back to our constituencies.
>>BRUCE TONKIN: Marilyn.
>>MARILYN CADE: Yeah, I concur with Ross. We've had this self-review, and of course we are -- that's what a self-review is. One examines one's self. And I know we've all had -- it's a short document, it's well written. I must thank our chair for the succinctness and clarity of the effort that's gone into it. And we've had a round of review and edits, and of course we've all had the opportunity to talk with our constituencies because we're here.
So I would like to see us move it forward.
I think it's important for us to do this -- we want to put -- we want to see the external review document being put forward, and this document should go with it.
>>BRUCE TONKIN: Okay. Anyone else want to comment on that? Tony.
>>TONY HOLMES: I tend to align with Ross on this. I think that as far as the constituency is concerned, we would need a short period before we came back and gave that okay. So I'm just looking for a short window before it's moved on.
>>BRUCE TONKIN: Kiyoshi.
>>KIYOSHI TSURU: We would also like to second the motion for this document to move forward.
>>BRUCE TONKIN: Okay. So I think, then, as I understand it, there's a motion on the table to approve this report for forwarding to the external evaluator, and it seems that some are speaking in favor of that and some against. So I think, Tony, is it correct you're speaking against that motion; that you believe that it's not ready to be voted -- not ready to move forward?
>>TONY HOLMES: I believe we just need a very short period of time before we can do that. I think there's some urgency to do it, and I agree with that, but I don't feel that it would be right to do it now.
>>BRUCE TONKIN: Do you want to nominate a period of time?
>>TONY HOLMES: I think probably a week after the meeting would be fine.
>>BRUCE TONKIN: So you're looking for seven days.
Ken or Cary, did you want to --
>>KEN STUBBS: I think quite a few of us are going to be traveling in the next week. I would hope we could possibly make that a period of 14 days, would make sense, so we would have a chance to have a meeting inside of our constituency. if at all possible, it would make it easier for us.
I'll give you an example of some of the concerns that have been raised and I think we need to elaborate on them in our constituency, and let me give you a real quick excerpt here.
One of the main points of the draft is asking for policy support from ICANN to the council. In my opinion, it should be asking for policy support to the GNSO community and not just to the council. Members of the council are representatives of the community, they are not the community in and of itself.
In the spirit of being representative, I believe there should be a motion to approve the report but rather a motion to approve sending the report to the community for its feedback in its review of council. After the feedback is solicited, then and only then should there be a motion to approve the report that you're talking about.
So I mean, these are the sentiments that, really, we haven't even had a chance to really discuss this part of it, and that's why I'm hoping we'd have a little more time within our constituency to help clarify some of this.
>>BRUCE TONKIN: Okay. Well, one approach that's possible, if we approved at this meeting forwarding the report to Patrick for inclusion in his report but as part of the public comment -- so this would then form part of that overall evaluation report. So there will be an evaluation report from Patrick, and an appendix to that would be the council self-review.
If you then communicate, once that's published, and I'm expecting that would be matter of days, once that's published, a formal public comment period opens on the whole council review itself, what I would expect is that the council itself will probably comment on the external evaluator's report, because I believe the external evaluator has a number of recommendations, and we have some recommendations from within this council on that as well. But what we would then go back to our constituencies with is that whole package and get comments on the whole package, and then certainly the council can then approve those comments, if you like, which would be inclusive of any comments the members of the community would want to make on our comment. In other words, whether we want to change our recommendations in light of what Patrick Sherry has or any of the constituencies has. So I want to be careful we're not creating too many processes in parallel. We have one process which is a!
review of the council, and as input into that process, we have the external evaluator's report, we have an initial review from ourselves, but we're still open for input. And then there's an overall public comment period.
So I think that it would be better for the constituencies to take back both of those reports, because it's a report from the external evaluator, a report from us, for the GNSO to read both of those documents, because they'll both be, say, ten page documents, read both of those documents, then forward their comments to the council members, and then the council members would then update their recommendations accordingly.
>>TONY HOLMES: I should make it clear that my intent was to meet the same time frame that Patrick is working to, not to delay the association of our report beyond that.
>>BRUCE TONKIN: Can I -- just before, can I clarify with Paul Verhoef what the steps are from the external evaluator, when that would be finalized?
>>PAUL VERHOEF: My understanding is he still has a number of interviews to do and that he is planning to do that next week. I think there had been some scheduling problems with those he had foreseen to contact. So my expectation is he is going to be busy with it for at least a week or so. It depends how quickly we want to move forward.
>>BRUCE TONKIN: So we can do the seven days before finalizing our report.
>>MARILYN CADE: Bruce, I would like to reiterate, we are the subject of external review. We created an input from ourselves into that external review. We are not actually in charge of deciding how the external review goes forward, so if we provide an input into the external review, at a minimum we should not delay the external reviewer's work. And I could accept the idea that people haven't taken the time to review this with their constituencies while they're here, I find that regrettable but it happens, and urge us to try not to let that happen again we have a report a this nature and agree that as long as we get it done and in to him and don't hold his review up, then I could live with that.
>>BRUCE TONKIN: So suggesting seven days, I think, sounds about right.
>>MARILYN CADE: I think the point is we need to meet his schedule.
>>BRUCE TONKIN: Okay. All right. So what I think we're doing is opening up further comments. The question, I guess, is how we would move this to a conclusion, anyway; I mean, whether we need a motion to allow us to forward that report if there's no further comments of some sort. Because otherwise, we're then going to have to convene a meeting to report that.
>>ROSS RADER: Bruce, I wanted to clarify are we requesting further input on this document or feedback on this document? It sounds like a semantic difference but if we're soliciting input on this document from the constituencies, that implies some sort of revision.
>>BRUCE TONKIN: Yeah, I'm saying that we're soliciting, I'm soliciting input from the council members and I'm allowing time for those council members to discuss the matter with their constituencies in order for them to provide that input, if that makes sense.
>>PHILIP SHEPPARD:Bruce, why don't I therefore amend my motion to say the council resolves to forward draft 2.2 of the council self-review to Patrick SheRry in 7 days unless we receive constituency -- input from council members with substantial changes, in which case we will then see draft 2.3 and need a vote on that also within a very short period. Does that make sense?
>>BRUCE TONKIN: I think so, yes.
>>PHILIP SHEPPARD: I can float that wording before I commit to it. Are you happy with that, as chairman?
>>BRUCE TONKIN: I think what you're saying is the council is agreeing to forward draft 2.2 to Patrick at the end of -- in a week's time, unless there are substantial comments received, in which case an update will be made to that report, and council will be able to decide whether it wishes to proceed on that basis.
>>PHILIP SHEPPARD: Yes.
>>BRUCE TONKIN: Marilyn.
>>MARILYN CADE: And I have a clarification to ask. In that case, let's say, "A," there are small edits and it goes forward in a timely manner and goes forward and it be attached. "B," we get a Bushel load of additional comments, we go to 2.3, et cetera. Then in that case the external should go forward without our input.
>>BRUCE TONKIN: Yes, the external review shouldn't wait, I believe, because the external review has interviewed members of council already. I think this is our opportunity to provide some of our own input to the community and to the board, for them to consider. I'm not actually saying this is input to the external review, because the external review is conducting its own review.
>>CARY KARP: We're doing a bit of speculation on the time frame that the external reviewer set for himself. So perhaps a further rider to the revised motion might be to include some possibility for feedback from him. That we are saying that we are going to do whatever editing we can manage to shoe horn in during the course of 7 days. And if the reviewer should indicate the fact that there is, indeed, more latitude than that before he would be able to turn his attention to the three point in any case, then we will heed his requirements more than try to predict them.
>>BRUCE TONKIN: Yeah. I think the external review is actually driven by the board rather than himself. He's a paid reviewer and he's got a paid time line associated with that.
So I don't think it's entirely in his control either. But I think we just have to be careful again that we're not trying to replace the external review process. There is an external review being conducted. That reviewer is producing a report. There will be the opportunity for the public and the council members to comment on that report, but this is just a bit of an opportunity to guide the debate, I think, and get that out to the public so that they can read what we have to say in crafting their comments to the external review. Because it's not to us; it's to the external review where those comments need to go.
>>KEN STUBBS: Yeah, I'd like to echo Marilyn's concerns there. I think it's important for us to keep within the purview, the time line that's set. And we were only concerned with the commentary and the way it works this way, we're getting exactly what we were looking for in that.
>>BRUCE TONKIN: Yeah. So do you want to just restate your motion, Philip?
>>PHILIP SHEPPARD: Council resolves to forward draft 2.2 of the council's self-review within 7 days to Patrick Sherry unless we receive substantive changes to that from council members, in which case we may need to reconsider a new draft and a new council meeting to vote on the report.
>>BRUCE TONKIN: Yes, I think that has reasonable checks and balances. Is there a seconder to that motion? Are you seconding the motion, Cary?
>>CARY KARP: (Nods head.)
>>BRUCE TONKIN: Kiyoshi, was that a second or a motion?
>>KIYOSHI TSURU: Second.
>>BRUCE TONKIN: I think we'll then put that to a vote. All those in favor, say aye.
>>BRUCE TONKIN: Any against?
Okay. The motion is passed.
The next element of this is that we are faced with, at the end of this annual meeting, we formally, as far as the bylaws go, drop from three representatives to two representatives per constituency. It's certainly my understanding that the council wishes to retain three representatives. We believe that there's -- I don't know whether Paul Verhoef might want to comment, because I think he's probably seen drafts of the external review report, but I believe that the external review is most likely to concur with that review. That would require a change to the ICANN bylaws, and changing the ICANN bylaws would require first the text for the change, then a fairly thorough public comment period before the board could formally vote on a changed bylaw.
That whole process would probably take us until the meeting in Argentina, but that would then leave the council with only two representatives per constituency while that process takes place.
At the annual meeting last year, we requested the board to provide an extension of one year of the three representatives while the review was conducted. I think the council now wishes to request a further extension of that ruling until the meeting in Argentina, which gives adequate time for the public to comment on the review and adequate time for ICANN to draft changes and put those changes out for public comment.
So we have a motion before us saying that whereas,s at the ICANN meeting in Tunisia the board to change the transition article to allow three representatives per constituency until the end of the annual meeting 2004, which will be on Saturday, or Sunday, I believe, and resolve to perform a review of the GNSO council in or around July 2004, which should include, among other aspects of the review, an analysis of the efficiency of three representatives, taking into account the external review draft, the council self-review, the council request that the ICANN board extent the current arrangement of three representatives until the ICANN meeting in Mar Del Plata, Argentina, this allows time for the external review to be completed following the public comment period, allow time for ICANN to announce the proposed change to the bylaws, to allow three representatives per constituency on an ongoing basis, and allow an appropriate period for public discussion before changing those byla!
Do we have a seconder for that motion? Tom. And discussion. Marilyn.
>>MARILYN CADE: Yeah, I do want to ask a point of clarification. I'm quite happy with this with one question.
We have given a hard date for the length of time that this extension would exist. On the assumption that the board will be able to -- that the staff, that the public comment period will have concluded and the staff will be able to prepare a recommendation to the board and the board will be able to vote in Argentina.
Should there be intervening problems in meeting that time line, would we just then expect to amend our -- or ask for another extension in the council meeting in Argentina? Which I would be fine with.
>>BRUCE TONKIN: I think that's correct, yes. I think the feedback I had from the general counsel on this topic was he felt the board would prefer to have a date on there that they're approving it to rather than just leaving it open-ended. But I agree with you, that if that date became a problem, we would just seek a further extension at that time.
>>MARILYN CADE: And as long as that's recorded in our minutes, which of course it will be, I'm happy with that.
Any other discussion on that motion?
Okay. I think because we're putting this motion through to the board, I think we should formally vote as individuals of the council. So perhaps if I can start down the other end. Cary, if you'd like to indicate how you vote on this motion.
>>CARY KARP: In favor.
>>KEN STUBBS: In favor, and I have a proxy for Philip Colebrook if he's not on the call also in favor.
>>BRUCE TONKIN: Thank you, Ken. Amadeu.
>>AMADEU ABRIL i ABRIL: Sorry, I was read ago message from my proxy. I will also vote in favor and with the proxy of Alick wilson.
>>BRUCE TONKIN: Thank you, Amadeu.
>>MARILYN CADE: I vote in favor and I vote Grant Forsyth's vote in favor.
>>PHILIP SHEPPARD: I vote in favor.
>>KIYOSHI TSURU: In favor, Lucy Nichols in favor.
>>NIKLAS LAGERGREN: In favor.
>>THOMAS KELLER: In favor as well.
>>ROSS RADER: I also vote in favor.
>>GREG RUTH: In favor.
>>TONY HOLMES: In favor.
>>TONY HARRIS: In favor.
>>BRUCE TONKIN: Demi.
>>Demi Getschko: In favor.
>>CARLOS AFONSO: In favor.
>>BRUCE TONKIN: Robin.
>>ROBIN GROSS: In favor.
>>BRUCE TONKIN: And I also vote in favor and so we'll note that motion is passed and we'll forward that through to the board on Saturday.
>>GLEN: Excuse me.
>>BRUCE TONKIN: Yes. Who has the proxy for Marc Schneiders? ROSS Rader, do you want to vote the proxy?
>>ROSS RADER: Sure. Marc votes in favor.
>>BRUCE TONKIN: Okay. The next item is really I guess to receive input from council members on the strategic plan. I believe council members have had some time to discuss with their constituencies, but I know in the registrars, I don't think there has been enough time to really absorb the document as yet. But I open this item up for any comments anyone would like to make on the strategic plan.
>>MARILYN CADE: Thank you, Bruce. I'd like to say, to start out by commending the staff for the development of the strategic plan and the posting of the strategic plan. But I have a number of comments. One is we are at version 6 of the strategic plan, and the supporting organizations, at least this supporting organization saw it for the first time when it was publicly posted, and I would think that at some point in our discussion, we might want to recommend a process which could allow our participation and communication earlier in the stage of the development of the strategic plan so that there's an iterative and ongoing consultation. That would be one point that I would make.
The strategic plan as it is drafted is, in some cases, extremely high level and in other cases has a little more detail to it. It must be read in conjunction with the budget and with the dot net bid in order to get a full picture of the directions that we are taking ICANN. And I do wish to say we are taking ICANN, because of course the supporting organization and the council as its elected leadership are key to ensuring broad community and consensus support to ICANN.
The plan prepares ICANN for its role in a post-WSIS world, and I think that's very appropriate.
I do think that it has approaches and activities in it; that it's very important to have input from the constituencies and the community to perhaps fine-tune, suggest some editorial or edits; in some cases perhaps augment.
So I think that we should really be thinking about that and what our comments might be.
The scope and scale of the changes that are represented in the strategic plan are really quite extensive and bring us into a world where we will have a more regional distribution of contacts while maintaining a global perspective. And where we will have the need for techniques and mechanisms that broaden the opportunity to participate, for people to participate, most particularly for people from the developing countries.
As we look at this, I really think that the comment period and process is not fully adequate, and that we need both an extension in the time, and I believe we also need an enhancement to the consultation process, and would like to see a consultation process that would bring the elected leadership of all three of the supporting organizations together in a dialogue with the staff in order to provide a two-way communication as well as the opportunity for written input in an extended comment period.
>>BRUCE TONKIN: Thanks, Marilyn. Any other comments on the strategic plan?
>>ROSS RADER: My cold seems to be getting worse so I'll make it very brief. I just wanted to fully underscore and support the comments that Marilyn has made. And certainly without commenting -- excuse me -- on the merits of the strategic plan, I would say that -- and I'm not saying this in an official manner at the moment, because it's certainly the case, as you pointed out that the registrar constituency has not had any time to consider this plan, which I suppose is the biggest problem with the plan at this point.
And furthermore, as a -- as a consensus -- not as a consensus-based organization, but as a community-driven organization, I think it's absolutely critical that we continue operation of the organization in that -- at least taking into account the spirit of that bottoms-up process, and anything we can do to engender that I think is useful and appropriate.
>>BRUCE TONKIN: Thank you, Ross. Any other comments? Tony?
>>TONY HOLMES: Thank you.
The ISPs spent a considerable amount of time during their meeting looking at the strategic plan.
And there are very many facets of it which we endorse and think will prove a good way forward.
So those are very welcome.
But we do have some overriding concerns that the proposals still lack measurable objectives and detailed time lines.
And I'd very much like to endorse the remarks made by both Ross and Marilyn.
It does need more consultation with the support organizations.
And as council, I believe that we should recognize that and have a dialogue with ICANN as to how that can be resolved.
But whatever happens, it needs to be focused on, and we need a way of actually engaging the stakeholders as soon as possible.
>>BRUCE TONKIN: Do you want to comment, Paul?
>>PAUL VERHOEF: Yes, Bruce, I would like to try and take away one misunderstanding.
The plan has not been consulted with anybody before it appeared in its draft form.
The version 6 happens to be an internal version 6.
It has only been seen by the senior -- and worked on by the senior staff.
Not even all staff of ICANN has seen it.
So this is the plan.
We need -- What you will appreciate is we needed to have time to go through our internal versions to make sure that we had a coherent proposal and view to put forward to you.
So the process of consultation really starts now.
There has been no consultation outside, and we are looking forward, obviously, to that discussion and your comments and guidance on that.
>>BRUCE TONKIN: Thanks for that clarification.
>>MARILYN CADE: Thank you for that clarification, Paul.
I just would make the following comment.
This is the first strategic plan.
And so of course it's always harder the first time you do it.
And I think we all recognize that.
But I think what I'm expressing, and I believe it's supported by others, is, we would like to ensure a productive and efficient way so that the -- we can provide consultation now and then in the future developments of strategic plan, neither you nor we are apart for a year.
>>PAUL VERHOEF: I think I know what you're saying, Marilyn.
But you will appreciate the chicken and egg we are in here.
If I take some of the logic I hear around the conference center on this, then I would say, well, if you really want us to consult us at the moment that the thought pops into our brain and we come to you with a white sheet of paper so that you can tell us what you want but I cannot answer what I want because I haven't been allowed to think about it because I needed to consult you, we're on the wrong track.
I think we need to agree not only for this -- this is why I'm making a point of it.
Because I am seeing that this is happening with the strategic plan, but also with other things which the staff is doing.
The staff needs to have time to put a coherent story forward, particularly on this one, because it was important for us that the constituents see not only what we're doing for them, but what we're doing also for other constituents, so that they have the complete overview.
This is to make sure that the discussion on ICANN is operating out of its mandated mission is finally brought to an end.
So I'm just saying that we need half of this egg and half of the chicken.
>>MARILYN CADE: I fully agree, but I am going to make a comment now to council.
I think that what we need to learn about ourselves, and I suspect that the other supporting organizations are in the same place, is that we have now to turn to ourselves and say how can we organize ourselves so that if there is to be at various points an efficient and effective consultation, that we are prepared to do that, whether it's through an executive committee process or something of that nature, so that we are more able to then provide the kind of feedback that would be helpful to you.
I'm not expecting change to be on one side.
And I think the other supporting organizations undoubtedly face the same thing we do on that.
>>BRUCE TONKIN: I will add a comment as well from a process point of view.
And I think it relates to input that we received during the GNSO public forum.
But I think what we need to be talking about is the best way to manage the public comments that we receive on the strategic review.
Because I think just putting it up on the Web site and saying send an E-mail to this address if you have a comment is probably not effective.
And I think different groups are probably going to be more focused on different parts of the strategic plan.
So, I guess, we just need to think about how we manage the input.
>>PAUL VERHOEF: Yeah.
What we would foresee is that besides the public comment in the more traditional way through E-mail, that we would have from the staff discussions with various constituent groups and the various councils in whatever way we can organize ourselves to go into the particular aspects which interest them.
And we'll find one way, I guess, or another to record that and also put that in the public domain.
But I think that is going to be important.
And I think in as much as I appreciate, for example, Tony's comments on time lines and all that, you will understand that we've had to feel our way around with the tone and the way we have presented this and the whole rest of it.
And I think once we're through the whole process for one year, that is, we have produced the report and we have the consultations, we know what adjustments to make next time and then it becomes a more regular annual exercise with which we all feel more comfortable.
>>BRUCE TONKIN: Okay.
>>TONY HOLMES: Well, I fully understand the difficulties that Paul's referred to and appreciate that.
I also believe that the ongoing strategic plan will become easier, we'll have the processes that give us those requirements.
But this initial step is quite significant.
And I'm not sure that we can move forward on the current strategic plan in a way that we can for the future.
This is a particular difficult period.
And the input that's required from all of the support organizations needs to be channeled through one effort.
And I would like to see a way that the support organizations and all of those who are ICANN stakeholders can work together probably in a slightly different time frame.
So we're looking at a different issue this time and the big question is how we move forward from here and how it's fixed.
I don't believe it's going to be in the same manner that we will work in the future.
>>BRUCE TONKIN: Ross.
>>ROSS RADER:-- Paul, I just wanted to reinforce something.
I really do appreciate the leadership position the staff has taken on this.
And perhaps it would be useful to reiterate something Tony has said.
I think it's not immediately clear to the community what that way forward is to ensure that we can take advantage of what you've given us.
So if we can get in there and help move this forward, I think that's what we're looking for, is a more transparent view of what that process is and what our input points are.
I'm speaking for myself here, so....
>>PAUL VERHOEF: Yeah, I think I can commit that we will try to clarify how we move forward with some extra input on our Web page on how we would see that we provide beyond the request for E-mail comments on it, we do what I just described and with whom we would want to consult and how we would set out to do that.
>>BRUCE TONKIN: Yeah, I think that would be useful.
Again, just speaking for a moment with the registrar hat on, what tends to happen at these meetings particularly for registries and registrars that have a lot operational issues for discussion is you find it's often difficult to have a strategic discussion.
And we really need to allocate separate time to think that way, because otherwise we're busy discussing contention issues of deleted names and other operational issues.
>>PAUL VERHOEF: Yeah.
We'll put it forward.
Let me give you an example.
I'm just popping something here out of nothing.
We have a new chief registrar liaison who we hope to come soon to Europe and organize a discussion there with the registrars there.
We will use that as an occasion to discuss the strategic plan.
>>BRUCE TONKIN: Okay.
>>PHILIP SHEPPARD: Bruce, I just wonder if to try to make this concrete -- I mean, we heard the sense of council.
We've had some very good response from Paul.
I just wonder if a very short resolution might just help make that very clear.
And I was just thinking of something that's about 30 words long on the lines of the following:
Insofar as the ICANN strategic plan, albeit operational in nature, contains implications of policy development, council requests that the supporting organizations are formally consulted by ICANN with appropriate time lines on this in future strategic plans.
Do you think that might be an appropriate resolution for council to make?
At the moment, I'm floating that.
But I'm happy to propose it formally if the sense of council thinks that's a nice idea.
>>BRUCE TONKIN: Yeah, I think just a comment, because I am certainly involved in that in my own organization, is there is a difference between an operational plan and a strategic plan.
I view the budget is probably what I would call the operational plan and saying what is our budget for this year and what are we achieving for that and then the strategic plan is saying what are we doing in the next three years.
And strategic plans are rough and rolling document.
So every year you continue to adjust that.
You're always looking three years out but updating it every year.
So I think my understanding, having read the strategic plan, was the concept that it would be a rolling document and would continue to evolve.
So I'm not quite sure what you're implying.
So you're saying at this time you don't need input, but next time you do?
I thought we were saying that we actually want input at this stage.
>>PHILIP SHEPPARD: I'm sorry.
Yes, I'm relying on some privileged information, which was the information session we had in the cross-constituency meeting, in which Paul Twomey stated that the nature of the strategic plan was operational and not policy, and that led to some debate in which it was clear that the general feeling, certainly, of our meeting of council is there are certainly policy implications of that by the very nature of the way that some operational implications may be carried out.
So that was the reason for the phrasing "albeit operational in nature."
Contains implications of policy development.
But the request is for consultation to all the SOs on this plan and future strategic plans.
>>BRUCE TONKIN: Yeah.
I still, I guess, am struggling a little bit.
Because I thought we were more or less saying that ICANN -- that's what ICANN is doing.
I'm not sure how the resolution adds value.
Because isn't ICANN --
>>PHILIP SHEPPARD: The word I was using there was "formally consult."
So I would expect the ICANN staff or whatever to actually say to -- to send the council the report and say, "We would like your formal input on this, and this is the time line."
That would be the expectation of the outcome of some --
>>ROSS RADER: If we could get the text of the motion up on the screen.
>>BRUCE TONKIN: I think Barbara is --
>>PAUL VERHOEF: Well, if it may help, I think.
>>PHILIP SHEPPARD: Let me reword it slowly and we can get it transcribed perfectly, I think.
It's only 35 words.
Insofar as the ICANN strategic plan, comma, albeit operational in nature, contains implications for policy development, comma, council requests that the supporting organizations are formally consulted by ICANN staff with appropriate time lines on this and future strategic plans, full stop.
>>BRUCE TONKIN: Okay.
Did you have a comment on that, Paul?
>>PAUL VERHOEF: Yes.
I think I said to you, Bruce, as chair of the council -- sent to you Bruce, as chair of the council, the document on the day it was released with a suggestion that we get input from the council on it.
So I think, unless that is not seen as a formal request, which, of course, could be the case.
>>BRUCE TONKIN: Yeah, I think it's less the request, it's more the process.
What we're saying is we -- we --
>>PAUL VERHOEF: You want some more clarity in the process?
>>BRUCE TONKIN: -- yeah, is sort of defining -- and I think it's probably a joint responsibility.
But I think we need to sort of work with the ICANN staff, between the ICANN staff and the council and say what is the best process to use to give you that input.
Because, otherwise, we've got a document, and, yes, we can comment on the document.
But I think what we're looking for is a dialogue, which is a slightly different approach.
>>PAUL VERHOEF: Yeah, okay.
But, I think, going on on the previous discussion where you started to react, I think it's true we need to be careful that the organizations and the individual entities on it have an opportunity to give different types of comments.
That is, as a registrar, you may have much more, from your own perspective, comments, whereas from the council you would presumably look at are there issues in here which affect policy, how do they affect policy, and what sort of feedback on that would you give back to the staff.
And let me say as well, it is, indeed, a projection forward for planning purposes from the staff to say, well, this is all the tasks which have been entrusted to us.
If we take the operational logic of this forward of two to three years, this is what we see are the consequences.
I think it's good to keep that context in mind.
>>BRUCE TONKIN: Yeah.
I'm still just trying to look at that motion, just trying to see whether we've captured it.
Because "formally consulted," as Paul said, could be interpreted as they have sent us the report, as they have sent it to others.
I am wondering whether it would be better council request that supporting organizations are involved in a dialogue with ICANN staff, something like that, just to give it a slightly different emphasis.
>>PAUL VERHOEF: You are addressing this to the board?
>>ROSS RADER: Bruce, I would like to speak.
>>BRUCE TONKIN: I think this is a question who we would like to address this to.
It's the board's document; is that how you view it?
Or is it the staff's document?
>>PAUL VERHOEF: My assumption is the motion you are putting forward is a motion you put forward to the board, wouldn't you?
>>BRUCE TONKIN: I believe that's what we would be saying, yes.
>>PAUL VERHOEF: The document itself is at the moment a staff document, and it will be -- I don't know if Kurt is still here.
The board will be at some moment involved and sort of bless it, so to speak, and say, yes, we concur.
>>BRUCE TONKIN: My understanding on a process side, the staff are producing a document which the board will eventually need to approve.
As part of producing that document, the staff would need to say that we have consulted extensively with the community and the supporting organizations in the creation of this document.
And if I was on the board, one of the things I would be asking the question of of staff is, who have you -- what process have you used to arrive at this document and who has it involved?
So I guess it is appropriate for -- at this stage, because it is perhaps the council advising the board of what the council would like to see in regards to that dialogue.
So I think that's right, we're saying -- so we are requesting that the supporting organizations are involved in a dialogue with ICANN staff, because it's ICANN staff that are producing that plan.
But that plan reflects the community's view.
And then, therefore, the board is signing off on that on the basis that it does reflect the community's wishes, is how I'd interpret that.
Do we have any other updates?
I think I'm personally okay with this wording.
But do other members of council want to comment?
>>ROSS RADER: Actually, I'm not in favor of this motion.
What I've heard from Paul is that he's invited the community formally already.
So I think we're dealing with somewhat of a moot point here.
And I'd like to move back to a slightly more tactical view of this situation and bring back one of the suggestions that Marilyn brought up earlier, which is, respond to the staff's invitation with direct instructions as to how we would like to participate and provide them with that input.
>>BRUCE TONKIN: Yeah, that's useful, too.
>>PAUL VERHOEF: I must say I have some sympathy for it in that this motion seems to give the impression that the staff gives the impression not to consult.
And I am hoping we can move beyond that.
>>BRUCE TONKIN: Marilyn.
>>MARILYN CADE: Maybe I might just go back to what I was trying to ask for. And perhaps we put it in the nature of a formal request.
So let's just kind of go back to that.
It seems to me that one thing that would be very helpful at this stage for all of the supporting organizations and for the staff would be to have an interactive consultation.
And by that I mean face to face and the opportunity to be looking at the strategic plan and consult with each other in an interactive way.
And that could be accomplished -- ideally, it would be accomplished in a day-long meeting.
I know that means travel for people, et cetera.
It could be accomplished in a day-long meeting and each of the supporting organizations sent as many people as they could.
It could be accomplished in a painfully long conference call, with structure and dialogue.
And at this point, what I'm really hoping to have is a dialogue where there's a sharing of information and ideas and input.
That's what I'm trying to propose.
And I think that's generally the sense that I get from other councillors that, they would welcome that as well.
>>BRUCE TONKIN: Yeah.
And I think the sense I am getting from Paul, I guess, as a representative of ICANN staff is, he's absolutely open to that and it doesn't require us to require the board to direct staff to do that.
And I guess that's the sort of difference.
I think one of the options is that, for me, as council chair, in our report to the board, saying that this is what was discussed, you know, we welcome the strategic plan and the opportunity to comment on it, and the council -- it's more of a progress report -- the council will be working with the ICANN staff to develop an appropriate forum.
So we're not seeking a directive from the board; we're just merely reporting on what we're doing.
>>MARILYN CADE: I just need to clarify something.
I just need to clarify something.
And I need for Paul to hear this, so I'll wait.
>>BRUCE TONKIN: Actually, let mark have a comment, and then --
>>MARK McFADDEN: Well, I thought what I'd do here is show that cross-supporting organization liaison works.
I'm -- for those of you who don't know me, I'm Mark McFadden, the chair of the address council.
And the first thing I want to do is just, point of reference, is that the address council received the same notification and the same consultation as you did.
Paul was nice enough on the day that it was re- -- the strategic plan was released to the public, he wrote me a note, and I received that on behalf of the address council and sent that to the address council.
The address council has met once and has talked about -- has met one informally and has talked about the strategic plan and how it would react to the strategic plan.
The address council welcomes the opportunity to join in a cross-supporting organization discussion with ICANN staff along the lines that Marilyn has talked about.
And I can say from the point of view of the address council, ICANN staff has been very flexible in terms of how they want to actually discuss the strategic plan.
Although staff and the chair of the address council may have some disagreements about the strategic plan, I will say that staff has been extremely flexible in working with us.
And so as a point of -- just to give you a point to work with, I think the address council would be very, very willing to work jointly with the other supporting organizations to develop, first of all, a process, and also a response to the strategic plan.
>>BRUCE TONKIN: Thanks for that comment, mark.
>>MARILYN CADE: So if I can just clarify, two things.
I didn't mean to imply there had been consultation with others.
I just didn't feel I could reply on whether anyone had been consulted.
But my real point was the intent of this consultation in my mind is to make this consultation happen before the board approves the strategic plan.
>>BRUCE TONKIN: Right.
I think that's understood.
>>PHILIP SHEPPARD: I think in light of everything we have heard and in light of the assurances we have had from Paul, in light of the comment we just heard from mark, why don't we just make this a council statement.
And what I would like to suggest is an edit, that we change the word "-- the words "council requests," to "council welcomes," and we change "that the supporting organizations are involved," to "will be involved," and we leave it at that. Because that's what's going to happen, I understand.
So we're now saying insofar as the strategic plan, da da da, council welcomes the SOs will be involved in a dialogue with ICANN staff using appropriate time lines on this and future.
>>BRUCE TONKIN: I think that's fine. I don't think I need a vote on that. I think I can simply include that as part of our report.
>>PHILIP SHEPPARD: No, but as a statement and just perhaps within our minutes I think it's going to be appropriate if we all agree with that.
>>BRUCE TONKIN: Ross.
>>ROSS RADER: I hate to be a stickler, Philip, but certainly at least from my constituency's perspective, we have a much broader interest than simply policy implications. And anything that we put on the record in that regard should probably not include at least the first half of that sentence. At least that would be my suggested edit.
>>PHILIP SHEPPARD: Are you saying the "albeit" statement is too narrow for you?
>>ROSS RADER: Yes.
>>BRUCE TONKIN: I think that's my view, too. Get rid of that. I'd just say the council welcomes that the Supporting Organizations will be involved in a dialogue.
>>PHILIP SHEPPARD: Okay. So we delete everything within those commas. Yeah. Okay.
>>PAUL VERHOEF: Just --
>>BRUCE TONKIN: Sorry, Paul.
>>PAUL VERHOEF: One last remark. I'm fine with that, but as I said before,.
>>PAUL VERHOEF: My electronics here. Sorry.
If constituents have particular remarks which are considered to go outside the realm of the --
>>BRUCE TONKIN: Yes. They don't need to necessarily -- that's correct.
>>PAUL VERHOEF: I would suggest they go separately because I don't want to get into the situation that the council itself starts taking on things for which it doesn't have any responsibility.
>>BRUCE TONKIN: I think that's fair take, yeah.
>>PAUL VERHOEF: Do that through other channels.
>>BRUCE TONKIN: Absolutely, yeah. I think what we're really seeking is a discussion with -- which can follow this meeting between the council and the staff and just say what's the best way to manage the process from here. And it could be some individual constituency meetings, which each constituency often has different concerns, and that's probably a precursor to anything coming up to the council anyway, so I think that's fair. And I think what Marilyn is implying is we just need enough time to allow some of these processes to be done before the board actually signs off on the plan. That's really the crux of it, I think.
I think my preference is to leave that statement as what we have in the minutes and what I present to the board. I don't think we need to be -- because motions and resolutions is implying -- we're requiring a directive. I don't think we're requiring that.
I guess under any other business, it would be useful perhaps to get an update from Paul Verhoef on the staff support positions and what's happening there.
>>PAUL VERHOEF: Yes, I'll be glad to do that. As you know, we are throughout the organization recruiting at the moment now that the budget has been approved. I think of relevance for the council is that John Jeffrey is going to have additional staff, so that should help in providing you with continued general counsel office advice. Kurt is recruiting and that should help with continuous verification that of the operational implications of your discussions are taken into account. And I'm going to have two people relevant to the GNSO. One is going to be somebody who will coordinate in a senior position and a GNSO staff member directly. On those two positions, the senior position, we have interviewed our final candidates, and we will be coming to a decision shortly.
On the GNSO staff position, we're about to finalize the short list, and as soon as I get back to Brussels, we'll hope to do the last interview.
So I hope that we can conclude with the preferred candidate say late December, early February, and then depending on his/her availability, have the person start shortly after.
>>BRUCE TONKIN: Okay. Thank you, Paul.
Are there any questions, clarification on that? No?
Any other business? We're coming to the end of our time, I believe.
I'd just like to perhaps thank, I guess at the conclusion of this meeting it will be, I guess, the conclusion of Amadeu's term on the council. And so on behalf of the council, I'd like to thank Amadeu for his work on the council in the past two years, I guess, since the council was formed under the new bylaws. And also, we'll be welcoming a new member of council at our next meeting, which will be Maureen C.
Did you want to comment at all, Amadeu?
>>AMADEU ABRIL i ABRIL: Well, the only thing is I wanted to ask you to welcome Maureen on board and to bring her here. Thanks for the special gratitude. In any case, I don't think I've been of much use during this year, but I haven't been that noisy, either, and that's a lot for me.
>>BRUCE TONKIN: Okay. Thank you. Marilyn.
>>MARILYN CADE: I would like to just contradict my colleague in one way. I think, in fact, he has been of tremendous use in his usual role as expert advisor, and has a unique understanding of some areas that we've all benefited from. So I would like to join you, Bruce, in your expression of appreciation for Amadeu's work with us.
>>BRUCE TONKIN: Okay. Thank you.
>>BRUCE TONKIN: Okay. At that point, we'll close the council meeting, and thank everybody for attending. Thank you.