ICANN Meetings in Marrakech, Morocco
Workshop on Internet Governance
27 June 2006
Note: The following is the output of the real-time captioning taken during the Workshop on Internet Governance held on 27 June 2006 in Marrakech, Morocco. 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.
>>VINT CERF: Good morning, ladies and gentlemen, my name is Vint Cerf.
I'm chairman of the board of ICANN.
It's my pleasure to welcome you to the Internet governance workshop this morning.
This is earlier than we usually start.
I suspect there are a few people out there who weren't prepared to start this early in the day.
We're going to have a fairly simple agenda.
As soon as I've completed these brief opening remarks, we'll have a report from the members of the President's Strategy Committee, discussion of issues identified by this committee.
And then a report of developments since Tunis, including the Internet Governance Forum that Markus Kummer will offer to you.
And after that, presuming there's some time, there'll be some discussion.
I want to start out, though, by offering a few observations about IGF and how we may be able to turn this into a constructive activity.
This isn't to suggest that it's implicitly destructive, but, rather, that it could be -- it could be a forum in which not very much gets done or it could be a forum in which some very useful outcomes could be anticipated.
I'll be very interested to hear what Markus has to say, and particularly, Markus, if you have a critique of my suggestions, I will be listening with great interest.
First of all, within the context of the Internet Governance Forum, there are some opportunities to hold what are called workshops.
They're not necessarily decision-making activities at all, but they are intended as educational opportunities.
And I would suggest to you that there are going to be a lot of new players in the IGF who don't necessarily know very much about Internet.
They may be users of it, but they probably don't understand the nature of the complex collaboration that causes the Internet to work.
And in many respects, I think many people don't fully appreciate the number of different organizations and moving parts that have to function together to produce what we all know of as the Internet.
There is an implicit assumption, I think, that this gigantic thing has a central control to it.
How could it possibly not.
We all understand, especially those of us who spend time in the ICANN context, know that there isn't a central control at all, that it really is highly collaborative.
And one of the things I would suggest is that we take an opportunity in the IGF framework to help people understand how many different groups must function and must cooperate in order for Internet to work.
The second thing I believe that IGF offers as an opportunity is a chance to articulate the range of non-ICANN public-policy issues that face the users and operators of pieces of the Internet.
I won't repeat them all here because I'm sure you could generate them by heart.
But there are simply a huge number of issues related to abuse and fraud and the support for electronic commerce and all kinds of other things that are very important to Internet's utility but which have little or nothing to do with ICANN's responsibility.
With regard to ICANN's responsibility, we have an opportunity to educate and to explain the complex policy interface that shows up at the technical coordination level that ICANN is responsible for.
There are policy issues associated with our technical work.
And it's absolutely essential that the IGF community understand that and understand why those technical interfaces invoke policy problems and the criticality of getting the policies right.
Nothing could be more illustrative of that than our efforts in IDN.
It is, by far, one of the most complex matters that we've ever had to confront in the Internet environment, and we are far from fully understanding either the technology that has to be employed or the policy that should be associated with it.
You will hear more about that in some detail if you attend the IDN workshop that takes place today.
And I strongly recommend it to you.
And, finally, I would suggest that IGF offers an opportunity to illustrate the need for intergovernmental and multistakeholder collaboration in order to implement supranational policy that will, in fact, enhance the utility of the Internet for everyone.
So those are several things that are -- I believe are opportunities for our community in its participation in the IGF.
And I'm looking forward now to finding out what the President's Strategy Committee has to say on this subject.
So I assume that Paul Twomey will manage that activity.
Is that correct?
So, Paul, I'll turn this over to you.
>>PAUL TWOMEY: Thank you, Vint.
And I thought I'd speak from the -- from here at the table.
Just remind members of the audience and the community that in the meeting in Vancouver last December, the board passed the following resolution.
And I want to read it carefully again so that the role of this strategy committee is clearly understood.
Whereas, ICANN's mission is to coordinate at the overall level the global Internet system of unique identifiers and, in particular, to ensure the stable and secure operation of the Internet's unique identifier systems; whereas, the president and board are committee to the bottom-up, strategic, and operational planning, drawing on the inputs of the supporting organizations, advisory committees, and members of the ICANN community; whereas the ICANN community could also benefit from the advice of a group responsible for making observations and recommendations concerning strategic issues facing ICANN.
These observations and recommendations will continue to ICANN's strategic planning process.
It was resolved that the president is directed to appoint by 28th of February, 2006, a president's strategy committee to be responsible for giving advice to the president and the board on strategy issues.
I want to re-emphasize some key points in that resolution, one of which is that ICANN's strategic planning is a bottom-up process which then flows into the operational planning process, and that nothing about this committee undermines that at all.
But the committee's role is to be a further group of people who could make observations and recommendations concerning broader strategic issues.
But the committee itself has no decision-making power.
It does not set the strategy of the organization.
The strategy of the organization is set through the process that I have referred to earlier.
The committee has been -- there's an initial membership of the committee.
And the committee itself is looking to expand its present membership.
Its present membership is Peter Dengate Thrush, and Carl Bildt, the former Swedish Prime Minister, and myself as co-chairs.
And then the chairs of the two preparatory sessions or committees of the two rounds of the World Summit on the Information Society, Adama Samassekou, and Janis Karklins, Thomas Niles, Marilyn Cade, and the CEO of ARIS-A, Art Calvillo.
This committee is very conscious that it needs to expand its membership geographically, needs to expand its membership gender-wise, which is a bimodal opportunity, and it needs to expand its membership in terms of some of the committee representation.
And it is committed to doing that.
The committee has also been working through general topics concerning strategic issues, and we're doing work about identifying a program of work, but that is focused in discussions initially on, you know, the pressing issue of the MOU coming to a conclusion in September 2006.
Now, the committee has had chances to speak.
It has spoken more bilaterally amongst members.
It has not yet met as a full committee.
So I'm somewhat careful in the wording I'm using here.
Members of the committee is probably a more accurate description of the present discussions and the present wording than "the committee" itself.
It has not yet had a chance to meet as a committee.
But I thought I would share with the community the status of thinking of the committee, and also some requests the committee -- members of the committee are making of the community.
Let me just read something carefully.
As we head towards the expiration of the memorandum of understanding with the United States Department of Commerce, members of the President's Strategy Committee have held some preliminary discussions.
Out of these discussions, the committee has identified some themes where input from the community is needed.
The multistakeholder model that ICANN represents is committed to a single authoritative, single -- sorry, managed to use the word "single" several times in that statement.
Single authoritative stable public root for the Internet domain name system.
It is also committed to the management of that unique root in the public trust, according to policies developed through participation by the community.
By offering users an easy-to-use and reliable means of unambiguously referring to Web sites, E-mail servers, and the Internet's many other services, the DNS has helped the Internet achieve its promise as a global communication medium for commerce, research, education, and cultural and other expressive activities.
Effectively, ICANN operates as a steward for users who depend on the Internet's naming resources.
As a result, ICANN needs to focus on participation and input to this resource.
Members of the committee have the view that the committee believes that the basic elements of the model are strong.
One of its main strengths is the model's emphasis on communication by the community.
The model that ICANN represents has been involved now for almost seven years and is broadly endorsed.
It has been reported on by the OECD and discussed at the World Summit of the Information Society.
It has been accepted as an organization dealing with some issues relevant to Internet governance.
But, clearly, the model continues to evolve.
To assist that evolution, members of the committee agree that it should use the inherent strength of the model and invite the participation of the community to provide feedback on some key questions.
The basic question the committee members have asked themselves is, how can the model be strengthened in the context of the evolution and growth of the Internet?
Whilst a high level of analysis of the model has taken place already, there are some specific questions on which the committee would like input from the community.
The questions identify some areas of further exploration and relate to ICANN's legal framework, policy-making process, administrative operations, and accountability, as well as the continued stable growth and operation of the domain name system.
And I'd like to share with you some of the questions.
And this statement and these questions will be posted a little later this week for response.
Let me talk through some of the questions and let me then talk to process for this consultation.
Some of the specific questions members of the committee are looking for input from the community are: What are some of the main challenges to ensuring continued stable operations of the domain name system?
And are there steps that can be taken to improve this?
Is the organization's ability to scale internationally affected by its legal personality being based in a specific jurisdiction?
Members of the committee accept that there are a number of administrative challenges that ICANN faces, as it is a unique model of participation.
What are examples of how the challenges of a global organization have been met and how can they -- how can they be applied to ICANN to serve the global community?
So the committee there is looking for examples of other global organizations that the members -- community may be aware of and examples from there which might be relevant to ICANN.
How should ICANN respond to challenges deriving from the WSIS decisions, including related to the Internet governance?
How should ICANN further enhance cooperation of all its constituencies on issues related to Internet governance that fall into ICANN's scope of activities?
What can ICANN do to further improve the value of the GAC and its individual members offer to the multistakeholder approach in addressing public-policy concerns. What can be done to encourage wider participation from all regions.
Are there any steps that build on existing processes that would continue to ensure accessibility of ICANN's processes and decisions?
That's an example of the questions.
It's not a complete list at the moment, which will be completed in the next couple of days.
But it'll give you some idea of the sorts of questions that the members of the committee are interested in receiving feedback on.
Let me just, then, go to particular timing.
The committee will -- in the announcement later this week, the committee will actually establish a link and a place for posting of input.
And it will also be looking to establish a online and potentially geographic-based as well consultation on the 21st of July, which is a Friday.
We will be looking for inputs from members of the community or members of the community actually participating in that consultation day on the 21st of July.
And more details will be released on this later this week.
The committee's work will continue through the northern hemisphere summer, but potentially one of the opportunities that some members of the committee may have after the 21st of July will be to summarize the input they receive and be able to make such a summary available to the United States's Department of Commerce presentation which is taking place on the 26th of July in Washington.
In many respects I think the work that's being outlined now by the members of the President's Strategy Committee is a process for consultation with the community about how do we achieve the long-term objectives for secure and stable operation of the DNS.
We are looking for members of the community to give us the high-level views about what is necessary for long-term strength, but also looking for specific -- if there are specific items or issues that people think are important or have particular examples they are also -- the committee's also keen to hear those.
The committee itself has had discussions about these issues and has some perspectives.
The committee also -- has also initiated some materials for its consideration, and we will make those materials available also to the community the first part of the launching of this consultation process.
This being work done on some of the legal aspects and others already outside work has been done for the benefit of the committee.
So that's the purpose of the process that we'll go through this summer.
The committee -- let me emphasize again, the committee is not the ICANN board.
And the committee is not the formal decision-making process of this organization.
It is an advisory President's Strategy Committee which will be tendering advice and recommendations.
But I think it'll be a useful tool, especially considering that the members and the new members which we expect to bring on are people who are really concerned about ICANN and that this model works well, but are not necessarily people who are absorbed with the everyday operations of our -- of our constituency work, our policy work, our administrative work, and so, to a degree, they bring a certain perspective which I think is useful, if you like, a slightly higher altitude perspective on the issues than sometimes our discussions can be if we are talking about some of our detailed concerns here in the community.
Can I make a -- if I may, chairman, I'd like to make a -- go as an aside to a related consultation, but not formally that of the President's Strategy Committee.
Obvious, there is a parallel in timing, at least in the first part of what the President's Strategy Committee is calling for, with the consultation process that the United States Department of Commerce has already initiated.
And I have had the chance to talk to members of the various constituencies over the last couple of days about that consultation process.
And I think it would be fair to say that not all members of the constituencies actually understood that was being undertaken.
You can find reference to that consultation process under a notice for inquiry or a notice of inquiry, acronym is NOI, which can be found on NTIA.DOC.gov.
And is a -- a set of questions that you'll see there are a set of questions that the Department of Commerce is putting to the global community for seeking input.
If I -- I clearly, and make very clear, do not speak on behalf of the United States government.
That's a phrase I've learned a lot over the last couple of years.
But I think I can make the following observations.
John Humanns [phonetic], the acting assistant secretary, has clearly said to me and others, that the United States -- through this process, the United States government is seeking the input of the stakeholders to establish the maturity and stability of the multistakeholder model that is ICANN.
So that's the big picture.
And I suggest to members of the community, I exhort you to respond to that consultation process, but to keep your eye on that big picture.
What is the input of the stakeholders to establish the maturity and stability of the multistakeholder model.
And the timing for that is -- sorry.
The timing for that present deadline for input on the site says July 7th.
But I think members of the community should not feel constrained necessarily by such a date and should take the opportunity if they wish to to actually consider their position and put the input in.
My now quite clear observation as president of ICANN is that what many members of the community -- I think our sense is that most members of the community really are committed to this multistakeholder model.
And I think in any input you give in such processes this summer, don't lose sight of that which you have built.
In some respects, keep your eye on the prize.
So in terms of giving input, I would just recommend to the community that people do -- if they feel strongly about this multistakeholder model and that it's important, they make that quite clear and they support it.
And I make that point because, of course, inside our community, we have always got controversies, there's always things that can be done to improve, there's always things that have gone wrong last week.
And as a community, we tend to focus our discussions normally about the things that are wrong, not about the things that are right.
These sorts of public consultation processes, however, are for a much broader community.
And they'll be read by a much broader community.
So as you give your input, I would just ask you to keep that in mind.
You are the ICANN model.
If you support it, then you should say so.
By all means, if you wish to share issues that you think are wrong with it or problems changed or shifted, by all means do that.
I just want members of the community to keep that in mind.
I think the Department of Commerce would like to receive feedback.
I can definitely tell you that the President's Strategy Committee is very keen to get the feedback of the members of the community and is probably a little more than the DOC process, we are probably more looking for specifics and specific suggestions.
So, chairman, I might leave it at that, and we can leave any questions until the end of the session.
>>VINT CERF: Thank you very much, Paul.
In that case, I'm not sure whether Janis has anything to add or whether we go now over to Markus.
>>JANIS KARKLINS: I have to justify my presence on the stage.
Otherwise, I would feel much more comfortable sitting in the audience.
Indeed, it's very difficult to add something to the very comprehensive presentation that Paul just made.
For my part, I would like to add just very, very few observations.
One is, I will pick up what Paul ended, with the consultation process launched by the Department of Commerce.
I remember during WSIS process, September 2006 was a very -- or was considered as a very important date or time, even a milestone.
And everybody was thinking what would be the next -- what would be after or post-MOU environment or arrangement.
And I would like to commend Department of Commerce, which undertook this initiative of public consultations.
I think that only in concert with the Internet community, with all stakeholders, the next model or arrangement could be developed.
And equally, I hope that the community, all stakeholders, will actively participate in this public debate and will contribute to reflection on the post-MOU arrangement.
At the same time, I'm aware that U.S. government is reaching out to other governments and they're -- on a bilateral basis, and I hope that this bilateral contact will also bring perspectives of different governments, big and small. Important and equally important to this and the post-MOU arrangement will be decided on the basis of very broad consultations and inputs.
My other observation, though, I am relatively new in ICANN community, it is my fourth -- if I'm not mistaken -- meeting, but, clearly, I see internal evolution.
And whether that is a response to the WSIS process and discussions over four years which took place during WSIS process or that is triggered by any other developments, it is for academics to explore at one point.
But my observation is the following: That the cooperation of different communities or different constituencies within ICANN is developing and increasing.
I was told that in early -- earlier years, GAC was sitting behind closed doors and barely communicated with the rest of the community.
At the same time, there was denial of the role of governments in Internet governance issues related to ICANN's scope of activities.
So now, GAC is seeking its role to be enhanced in the policy development processes and is willing to engage in these processes at the early stages.
At the same time, I observed that there is also a desire from other constituencies that GAC is involved in policy development processes at earlier stage and not at very late stage when a decision is already made.
And this mutual movement, in my view, is a very good example of natural evolution within ICANN of cooperation and -- of multistakeholder cooperation.
I have a privilege and honor to co-chair the joint ICANN board and GAC working group.
This working group is a result or derivative, if you wish, of the letter which chairman of the board Vint Cerf sent to Prep-Com III, inviting or expressing readiness of ICANN board to engage with governments in -- on the path of enhanced cooperation.
This joint working group was -- is active since Wellington meeting, when we had the first face-to-face meeting.
In intersession of time, we have developed several -- we had several conference calls.
We developed two documents.
One is communication timelines.
And another is outreach program.
And there is a good chance that until the end of this meeting, the document on communication time lines will be adopted by the GAC and by ICANN board.
This document contains two underlying ideas.
The first idea is that GAC is ready and willing to engage in policy development processes at early stage, that it needs to be guided by a system of early warning.
And the second underlying idea is that communications between ICANN board and GAC should be timely, routine communications should be timely, and that would benefit both ICANN board and GAC, taking into account certain limitations and slowness internally within national governments in reaching or preparing response to any questions.
The outreach document is geared towards participation of the GAC in ICANN outreach activities and capacity-building of people in different countries around the world on Internet governance-related issues.
And so we hope that GAC representatives will take part in ICANN's outreach activities and will be able to contribute to capacity-building organized by -- within the framework of these programs.
Of course, that does not mean that GAC or governments will not use other channels and other possibilities for outreach activities and capacity-building.
There are many, there are a number of regional organizations working on that, and international organizations, including ITU and WIPO and UNESCO.
And, of course, this program should be seen only as a -- one element of wider outreach activities of governments related to Internet governance.
So these are my very few comments on the topic.
And, indeed, I would like to invite, for my part, everybody actively participate in consultations which are launched by Department of Commerce and contribute to overall reflection on post-MOU arrangement.
Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
>>VINT CERF: Thank you very much, Janis. Let me mention the Web site that Paul referenced. It's actually WWW.NTIA.DOC.gov.
And if you go there and some of you look like you are quick to do so, you will find a fairly substantial list of questions that the Department of commerce poses about the whole process that ICANN is involved in.
And ask also for some suggestions for improvements, if there are any to be made.
So I want to emphasize that Paul's comment earlier that in the course of suggesting improvements that you also would need to, if you agree, you would need to say that you do endorse the multistakeholder model; otherwise, your comments might be misunderstood as saying that the system is broken. And that would lead to a fairly unappetizing outcome, in my view anyway.
So I hope you'll be able to negotiate that adequately.
In the meantime, I'd like to turn the stage over to Markus Kummer to give his report.
>>MARKUS KUMMER: Thank you very much, Vint. I would also like to thank you for your thoughtful introduction on the Internet Governance Forum. This is what the Internet Governance Forum can turn out to be, and if it turns out that way I would be very happy indeed.
One of the problems we are facing is that our basis is a negotiated text, and I think we went a bit through the Tunis Agenda in Vancouver and looked at the creative ambiguities that are in that text. This was the nature of the exercise, and this allowed everybody to be happy with the outcome. But now the WSIS is over, and we have to interpret what it means.
And in the time since Vancouver, it became evident that there are vitally divergent interpretations of what this could be.
It is maybe easier to describe what the IGF is not than what the IGF is.
It is not a new international organization. It is not a decision-making body. And what is more, it has also -- it is multifaceted when it comes to participation. It has no defined membership.
The fact that it has no defined membership has its implications as regards procedures. You cannot establish a formal decision-making process if you don't know who the members are.
So we built on this fuzziness when moving forward, and we held a series of open consultations. And during these consultations there emerged some common ground.
There's clearly an expectation that the Internet Governance Forum should be as open and inclusive as possible. Very much in line what we had during the WSIS phase with our WGIG open consultations, where everybody who has a bona fide interest, proven expertise and experience with regard to the Internet can attend.
And remarkably, we made very good experience with this very open process. Nobody came and abused this open-door policy.
There was also a clear understanding that the IGF should be seen in the context of development. Development should be an overarching priority. And in particular, capacity building. Capacity building both meaning attendance in existing Internet Governance arrangements, but it also means enhancing the capacity in developing countries to deal with very complex issues related to the Internet.
Building on that, we moved forward, and the secretary-general appointed an advisory group that would assist him in convening the meeting. The only institutional anchor coming out of this is the secretary-general of the United Nations. WSIS asked him to convene a meeting.
Obviously, he cannot do that on his own, so this advisory group is here to assist.
We held a meeting in Geneva in late May, and we had I think a very good dialogue within this advisory group.
The ICANN community is well represented there, and there are several members of this group in this room. I would hope that some of them will join me up here on this stage to engage in a dialogue. Maybe can I call on Erick, I wonder if (saying name) would also be inclined to join us up here on the podium.
And we agreed to recommend to the secretary-general to have the meeting in Athens under the overall theme Internet Governance for Development.
We also identified four broad themes, openness, security, diversity, and access. And identified capacity building as a cross-cutting priority.
The secretary-general is expected to announce the agenda this week. There are sub-themes to these four broad themes, and there are some key issues related to these themes that will form the agenda. So I will not preempt the secretary-general who will announce the details later this week.
So the program for the meeting will be structured around these themes. The intention is to have interactive panels with question and answers with the audience. We want to avoid repetition of speakers and written -- read-out statements. We rather want to make the meeting as dynamic as possible.
This does not preempt people from preparing statements, but they will do that, we would allow them to record them and they will be shown on a video outside, in the premises but not as part of the meeting itself.
Since the meeting of the advisory group, we had a lively online discussion within the group, and it centered essentially on workshops that would be held also in the meeting.
There it is also clear that these divergent views of what the IGF should be are also represented in the advisory group. Broadly speaking. We have those who would like to take a very broad approach, very horizontal approach versus those who would like to have a narrow focus and have a more vertical approach, a focus on two or three issues.
The challenge is, of course, to reconcile these divergent approaches. The program does this many ways, as we also allow for a session which will be opening the scene, more kind of general panel, and they will also have a final closing panel to deal with emerging issues.
And then the four broad themes are so broad that you can fit more or less anything under these headings.
But now, with regard to the workshop again, there are those who would like to have very few workshops only who would be very focused, versus those who say it should be as open as possible and only the physical limitations of the conference facilities should be the limit for selecting workshops.
Well, on this basis, we have decided to make a call for proposals of workshop and make a final decision then on the basis of the proposals that come in.
The call for proposals has been posted on our Web site yesterday. Our Web site is www.intgovforum.org.
And we have on the Web site, we explain a bit the philosophy behind the workshop, organizational principles, content and format, selection criteria. We also provide a template for the organizers of workshops to fill in.
Maybe the most important criterion of the workshop is that we don't want simple advocacy workshops, but we would like to have the multistakeholder principle reflected in the workshops so that all stakeholders should be represented in a workshop. The workshops should also represent all the various views that are held on one given issue.
Having said that, there is clearly some paragraphs in the Tunis Agenda that have a potential of controversy. There's 72-I which says promote and assess on an ongoing basis the embodiment of WSIS principles in Internet Governance processes.
This is seen by some as a continuation of the WSIS debate, and others would like to avoid such a discussion at all costs.
Again, I think we cannot shy away from the fact that this is agreed language, and under this heading, it is possible to discuss again almost anything.
My advice would be not to shy away from such a discussion, but just to make sure that it takes place in a well-structured and well-reasoned way.
There are -- looking back, actually, at the whole WSIS process, I think the Internet community came out of it remarkably well when you think where we started and when you think where we ended. So I think the Internet community has nothing to hide. And this challenge should be taken up. Of course, there are certain pre-conditions. I said already that any workshop should reflect all views held and all actors should be represented on any given issue. And then the second prerequisite and of course that the IGF cannot be turned into a tribunal over other institutions.
But if you assess, I think, any given issue in a reasonable and reasoned manner, I think then it might contribute to what you said, Vint, at the beginning. That it will contribute to a better understanding of how the Internet works.
We should not forget that the participants, we expect the participants go well beyond people who attend ICANN meetings. And I think it will be an opportunity for the Internet community to address this -- these participants and to help them understand better how the Internet works.
All in all, I think I'm moderately optimistic that we can make good use of this opportunity.
I would like to stop here.
I wonder whether Erick would like to add his.
>>ERICK IRIARTE: It's completely problematic for me to try to say something when you say all.
More than problematic in that can't use my native language and so I try to speak English or something like that.
IGF is -- I try to make a definition of what is IGF. It's like the locker space. So we try to bring together the members of this community, the big community, what we want about ICT development. Not only the ICT. And this is one of the principle issues that appear when WSIS finish it.
We pass from ICT technology community to ICT for development community.
This process is very necessary to understanding, especially in developing countries, because we have a lot of (inaudible) that people who are involved in this kind of process. We are helping national process of information society, where we are involved in domain name system, we are involved in ICANN process. I am part of At-Large Advisory Committee. But when you put this experience together with people who come in from different stakeholders, different areas, maybe you can develop something different. My expectation for the IGF is not to resolve problems. It is to make more questions, that the people from each country, I repeat especially from the develop countries, can try to resolve. And this solution can be interchanged, it can be help to another people, to growing up, it is easy to talking about what we want about IPv6 in some countries because have connectivity. But when in the country the problem is connectivity, because don't have the connectivity, we need to start with one point.
So maybe we have a lot of differing dialogues in the same level. And I think IGF could be one space to try to make some consensus for this dialogue.
Well, I think this opportunity is very interesting, and especially for the people both in the ICANN process, because we can move from our idea this is only a technical process to move to the development policies. To use the ICT for the policies that involve the development of the people, like millennium goals or like the national information society process.
So we have a lot of work and we have the possibility to express our proposals in our language. We have a very large discussion inside the advisory committee of the people can express their proposal in different language than English. And it could be possible because the members of the advisory committee help to the Secretariat to translate in some case, or will have to make some resumes of the proposal.
If you have a proposal for any workshop in the meeting in Athens, please send in your mother language. We will help to put this in English or in another language when necessary. And please use this space of dialogue. If you don't use this space of dialogue, be more problematic in the future to say I want to say something but I couldn't say something.
The openness -- the door is open. Please get in.
>>VINT CERF: Thank you very much. That's a wonderful and you open invitation.
I have a question for Markus about the expectation of IGF meeting schedule. The first meeting, as you say, is taking place in Athens. Is there any current expectation of frequency? Is it once a year? Is it twice a year? Is it once every four years? Is it once and then no one will ever come back? Do you have some idea there?
>>MARKUS KUMMER: This is also one of the elements that emerged from our consultations. There's a general understanding that there will be a meeting once a year. We already have hosts for the next two meetings. The meeting in 2007 will be in Brazil, I think in Rio de Janeiro, and the meeting in 2008 will be in India. And the life span is five years with an assessment at the end of the five years whether to continue or not.
>>VINT CERF: Thank you.
At this point, I think we could open the floor for discussion or questions, unless I hear something from the other panelists.
No? All right.
In that case, I'll invite people in the audience to make use of the microphones, if you would like to continue this discussion.
I can tell you that if you choose to have no further discussion at all, that you get a half-hour break before the next meeting takes place at 9:30.
But the floor is now open for questions.
>>SEBASTIEN BACHOLLET: Bonjour. I guess I need to speak in English, even if we are in a French and Arabic speaking country.
I just wanted to ask if under the suggestion given by the president of ICANN if, during the session, will be held in different languages today and tomorrow, if the question you ask in your speech will be or could be one of the topic. Because I think ICANN have a great role to play because we already set up some tools, not all the tools, for different language expression. And those tools could be very useful to help answer the question you ask this morning.
>>PAUL TWOMEY: Thank you, Sebastien. I think that's a very good idea. We are actually exploring at the moment what combination of our various tools we can bring to bear on the 21st of July.
And -- for our consultation, and the degree to which we -- we certainly want to use transcription. That's one of the things we're trying to work on, but being able to conduct it in several languages I am exploring at the moment. That's why I am waiting until later in the week to make the announcement.
>>VINT CERF: Stefano Trumpy is the next speaker.
>>STEFANO TRUMPY: Stefano Trumpy, one of the vice chairs of GAC.
I would like to have a clarification about the value-added of this consultation started by the president's committee on strategy. And first of all, I presume before the end of the MOU there are formal steps by ICANN president, board, towards the Department of Commerce that should be the input for them to evaluate directly from the organization what are the achievements concerning all the points that are inserted in the list. And this is a formal, let's say, reporting that I think is inserted into the MOU itself.
This consultation started by the strategy committee has, of course, a value-added outside of the formalities I was describing. And I would like to know which is the output?
I suppose that the output will be a report of this committee that is making the summary of the results of all the contributions or what, question mark?
Because at the beginning, I was a little bit surprised and say why ICANN should start an internal consultation if there is also the interest of other community of ICANN to respond to the -- to the NTIA inquiry.
>>PAUL TWOMEY: Thanks for that.
I think a couple of questions on that.
There is a regular reporting, formal reporting on the MOU. But I think the key -- I think, John (inaudible) has reinforced it and I think he is reinforcing this phrase that the United States government is seeking the input of the stakeholders to establish the maturity and security of the multistakeholder model that is ICANN.
That's their sort of arching motivation of their public consultation process.
I think what the -- what the committee members think is important is to -- building on where we are, is about how to, looking for the community's own view about how one can further express the maturity and strength of this model. And the committee members are very aware that there are a lot of views in the community about that and they are very keen to hear those views. They are also conscious we think a lot of the views are very similar.
But that's the reason for the public consultation. We think it's appropriate that the members of the community also participate and make known what they think is important.
I think the dialogue we're in now is about -- both about the MOU, but it's also a dialogue about what's the long-term, strong, stable process, if you like. How does the next 20 years work.
And so I think there's both an ending of one process but also a certain natural reality of we're now looking forward for some time frame, you know, how should we be looking forward, what things we think are important.
And that's the -- that's the purpose.
I think to come to your question, yes, there will be some report from the committee towards the end of the summer, in my expectation.
I have just head "towards the end of the summer." To those of us from the southern hemisphere, I deeply apologize. Towards the end of August, September.
>>IZUMI AIZU: Izumi Aizu, member of ALAC. Perhaps this is a question to either Ambassador Karklins or Markus Kummer, and I don't know if this is appropriate to ask or not in this context, but this so-called enhanced cooperation process in parallel to IGF in theory, but we don't really know what's going on. Is this going to happen? That's one question. If so, how? Or how it relates to IGF? Is there any plan to have some kind of interaction or interface with IGF meeting and some kind of activities of this consultation or enhanced cooperation process? Is it going to be multistakeholder like similar to IGF or not?
So I don't want to take up too much time on it, but we really need to know basics because it's very much not transparent so far.
>>JANIS KARKLINS: Thank you for the question. I think already two times on two previous occasions, in Vancouver and in Wellington, I said that formulation of -- related to enhanced cooperation is so ambiguous that it provides a very wide interpretation of the meaning of the concept.
In my presentation earlier this morning, I tried to say that what we are doing in the working group, ICANN board/GAC working group, it is enhanced cooperation. It is how we understand enhanced cooperation.
And certainly all ICANN community is involved in that. It's a transparent process, and I hope that we will -- we will go and we'll reach out all constituencies, because it is not just between ICANN board and the GAC, but it is between all our constituencies.
I didn't mention -- didn't mention in our -- in my presentation, earlier presentation, what we are planning to do between Marrakech and Sao Paulo and we discussed we could address in this intersessional period four topics, potentially. One would be synchronization of ICANN's and GAC's work programs and strategies.
The second would address issue of development of the role of the GAC within evolving ICANN framework.
The third would be the contingency, contingency planning. And the fourth -- it slipped out of my mind.
But anyway, this will be in communique.
So -- and again, this is enhanced cooperation.
Today, here in ICANN framework, we cannot speak about plans in other international and relevant organizations. It is up to them to decide how to do. And hopefully that will be multistakeholder process as well as it is here.
So -- but on concrete plans, what was asked to secretary-general, I'm not aware. And I'm not sure whether Markus can say a few words on that.
Thank you, Markus.
>>MARKUS KUMMER: Yes. Thank you.
You're right in pointing out, Janis, that the mandate was given to the secretary-general to start this process, and you could argue that he has started this process. He has appointed his special advisor on Internet Governance, Mr. Nitin Desai, to consult, and he has consulted key players and key stakeholders, and he is in the process of preparing -- he has also discussed this with the secretary-general and he is in the process of preparing his recommendations to the secretary-general on the next steps to take.
But your question, what it -- the interface is with the IGF, in our interpretation, that is the U.N.'s interpretation, these are two separate processes.
My brief is clearly the IGF and not enhanced cooperation.
>>VINT CERF: Go ahead.
>>PANAGIOTIS PAPASPILIOPOULOS: Good morning.
To those that you don't know me, my name is Panagiotis Papaspiliopoulos.
I am from the ministry of communication in agrees.
And I don't want to make a question, I just want to say and to inform everybody here that we are trying to do our best to host as much as we can the first IGF meeting in Athens.
And we are now, let's say, negotiating the host agreement between the United Nations.
And we will conclude very soon, I hope.
And the other thing that I want to say is that it depends on the working groups and on the agenda of how we will make the arrangements and the room meetings in the meeting venue.
And I can say that we have already booked a hotel.
It's a very big and very good hotel.
For those of you that you cannot book rooms in this hotel, just wait for a while.
We are trying to achieve the best for the people that will come in Athens.
This is what I wanted to say as host.
And I'm expecting also for the working groups to be formulated and their agenda to be also formulated as well as possible in order for the IGF in Athens to have a real meaning to the community.
Thank you very much.
>>VINT CERF: But don't go away.
I have a question.
>>PANAGIOTIS PAPASPILIOPOULOS: Okay.
>>VINT CERF: First of all, thank you for all of the hard work you clearly are putting into hosting this activity.
Can you tell us, will there be good Internet access during the time of the meeting?
>>PANAGIOTIS PAPASPILIOPOULOS: I can tell that you there will be a good Internet access during the time of the meeting.
I mean, the hotel has already a good Internet access, so why not having the same during the meeting.
I don't see why not.
>>VINT CERF: Some hotels may provide useful access for, you know, interactive E-mail and things like that, but if you were doing webcasting or other kinds of more demanding processes, you might need additional capacity.
I just don't know what the scope is of your expectation for that kind of support.
Many people, of course, who are not attending the IGF might be very pleased to have some way of remotely observing what's happening.
But I have no idea whether that was part of your plan.
>>PANAGIOTIS PAPASPILIOPOULOS: Well, we have such plans.
And being very sure that we are doing our best to achieve also webcasting.
We know, we know about this.
So don't worry.
>>VINT CERF: Thank you very much.
>>PANAGIOTIS PAPASPILIOPOULOS: You're welcome.
>>VINT CERF: Any other questions from the floor?
Are there any final statements from the panelists?
Well, in that case, I will declare this session at an end and offer you to take a break until 9:30, when this room will be used for the next session.
Thank you all very much for attending.