Union of International Associations (UIA) (http://www.uia.org/)
As Registry operator, UIA - through its proposed subsidiary Diversitas - will
provide Registry management and directly execute .org TLD policy management.
The UIA is a fresh face in the ICANN community. However, it is no newcomer to
the operation of organisation registries and their management by computer. In
fact, the UIA has always operated at the interface between information, its
organization and enabling the associations to which it is relevant. This
pioneering path was opened from the very beginning of the UIA, in 1910, and
brings competences and benefits summarized in the following table and elaborated
|Intimate familiarity with the .org community
- Understanding of the specific .org community needs to ensure that
these are addressed and supported.
- Ability to reach out to the worldwide civil service/non-profit
|Extensive registry experience
- Continued stability of the current .org registry.
- Capability to support the future growth and size of the .org
- Proven track record and history to ensure that we will continue to
be a reliable entity to support the growth of the .org TLD.
- Financial capability to support future growth and enhancements to
the .org TLD and service offerings.
- Ability to understand, develop, and enforce ICANN requirements
- Recognized understanding of the issues concerning the registrant
community for .org
- Proven ability to solicit input on issues, including those of
policy, from the global civil society community
Registry Capacity of the UIA
The UIA has specialized for nearly a century in registering a variety of
entities of international significance, according to opportunity and within the
constraints of circumstances and resources.
(general with IIB)
of/on int. organizations)
Biographies of int. org. executives
Human development modes
Links between entities
The key to UIA's ability to thrive and provide a service throughout a
turbulent century has been its capacity to design and implement low-cost,
computer-enhanced methods that avoid the challenges of information overload.
Curiously, the provision of cross-sectoral information with a global focus has
proved highly problematic and costly, if not impossible, to much better endowed
intergovernmental and for-profit organizations, whose services are generally
limited to "snapshots" (not updated) or to single sector, single
language or national data.
With the increase in the amount of information associated with the global
community of organizations, the UIA has adopted from 1972 a radical dependence
on in-house computer systems and expertise. It had one of the first LAN systems
installed in Belgium (1984). This system is continually re-specified, developed
and maintained to facilitate the management of the UIA's "thick"
registries (table above and detailed below) and the provision of services
associated with them. As an indication of programming capability, the UIA is
currently using a suite of 300 programs within the Advanced Revelation
environment to manage its relational registries and export them to other formats
for directory or CD production, images in VRML or SVG, XML, etc. The web serving
variant, using the same file structure, has a further 170 programs.
The UIA has an international reputation for producing registry products of
high quality on a regular basis, over decades, within the very tight production
schedules required for low-cost reference book and CD production in partnership
with for-profit enterprises [more]. These capacities have been seamlessly
integrated with the interactive services associated with the web dissemination
of this registry data since 1996. For example, prior to switching to a full
online web service in 1998, the UIA generated, for demonstration purposes, over
10,000 interrelated web profiles on organizations, problems and strategies (some
in parallel languages) with more comprehensive listings of entity names as entry
points - indexable by web search engines to give exposure to organizations and
their concerns usually prior to their acquisition of URLs.
The UIA has considerable experience with regard to the management of
sensitive registries and the development of associated services in a
techno-centric environment. It has demonstrated unique expertise in reconciling
the capacity to sustain an information-focused relation with a large number of
registered entities with the evolving range of technologies, despite the often
problematic political, social and economic environment within which this needs
to be done.
Of great importance in taking on the management role of such a critical
resource is the awareness, as a result of decades of experience, of UIA relative
to the management and strategic issues in striking a balance between rapidly
evolving technological opportunities and the legitimate sensitivity of many
organizations to being over-questioned, over-exposed, and the target of
increasing quantities of unsolicited communications and harassment - as a
result of listing in a registry, however carefully it is designed for their
The UIA sees the need to distinguish clearly between classes of services,
such as "essential", "desirable" and "optional" or
"registry services" as distinct from "other (non-registry)
services. In this connection, UIA would maintain its existing "thick"
registries separately from the .org "thin" registry. For further
detail on our understanding of classes of services, see Section
explicitly recognizing in its statutes the merit in principle of
"activating" the nonprofit community as a whole, the UIA is especially
sensitive to the fact that relatively few organizations - except on a symbolic
basis - wish to be in any way conscripted in practice into
"membership" of larger communities that qualify or distort their
individual sense of identity and promote policies over which their own
membership has relatively little control. The enabling services proposed by UIA
would be promoted and implemented with this in mind, especially in the case of
bodies in sectors or cultures that may not identify fully with limited
understandings of "civil society".
It is for such reasons that the UIA has long downplayed its institutional
role in maintaining such registries. It has instead promoted the registry itself
- notably the Yearbook of International Organizations (now in its 39th edition).
This avoids any socio-political issues associated with a non-information
relationship of individual registrants to the UIA.
Major Current 'Registry' Activities:
The UIA currently handles ten major databases, equivalent to registries, of
varying size and degrees of complexity. Most are web-delivered and many are
International organizations: The UIA has an inclusive approach to what it
profiles in its coverage of the global network of some 50,000 nonprofit bodies
in the Yearbook of International Organizations: Guide to global civil society
networks. It focuses on bodies that indicate a balance of activities in three or
more countries. However, it extends its coverage at a lower priority to bodies
that are primarily national with some international activities. It is especially
attentive to bodies of unusual form that challenge any simple criteria:
networks, clubs, hybrids, "non-organizations", religious orders,
funds, non-membership bodies, etc. It covers bodies with every kind of human
activity and concern, provided they themselves are non-profit, irrespective of
whether the objective of the members is primarily for-profit. This coverage
allows the definitional issues of the subsets constituting the community of
civil society bodies, NGOs, voluntary associations, citizens groups, etc, to be
answered by users rather than being imposed as part of the registry activity.
Figure C15-1: UIA Family of Interrelated Registries
Country participation: As part of the profiling of international
organizations, the UIA has, since 1983, provided information on the country
involvement in such bodies through their memberships. Some 350,000 links between
countries and organizations are currently published in the Yearbook of
International Organizations (volume 2) - and on CD since 1995, and on the web
since 2000. This information does not at this stage include details of any
national counterpart(s) because of the obvious resource challenges of
maintaining such data.
Sectoral participation: As part of the procedure of
international organizations, the UIA has, since 1983, provided information on
the sectoral associations of such bodies through their aims and activities. This
is published as a form of "Yellow Page" classified guide in the
Yearbook of International Organizations (volume 3) - and on CD since 1995, and
on the web since 2000. The 800 subject categories are also used as the basis for
classification in the electronic variants of the following registries.
Problems (civil society issues): Since 1972, the UIA has been assiduous in
registering the social and environmental problems that preoccupy international
constituencies. These have been profiled in a succession of editions of the
Encyclopedia of World Problems and Human Potential. The profiles of some 56,400
problems (with 265,300 links) are now made freely available over the web -
embedded in an evolving network of hyperlink relations between them. The
information for these profiles is obtained from the documents of international
bodies or from others in the public domain. The focus is on profiling the
problem and extending the range of problems registered. Links from problems to
organizations (and their websites) are given when the concern is specific. Since
many of the problems are highly controversial to some, attention is specifically
given to the inclusion of "counter-claims" denying the arguments
substantiating the problem. This is done to hold the often vigorous dynamics
between constituencies within the community of organizations. Every effort is
made to embody the language and perspective of the bodies sensitive to such
problems - rather than to reframe the arguments within a particular ideological
Strategies (civil society solutions): Since 1994, aware of the evolution
of the 1990s into the decade of international agenda meetings, the UIA has been
assiduous in registering the strategies advocated by international
constituencies (having first completed a substantial exercise to this end in
1921). These strategies have been profiled in the last two editions of the
Encyclopedia of World Problems and Human Potential. The profiles of some 33,000
strategies (with 240,000 links) are now made freely available over the web -
embedded in an evolving network of hyperlink relations between them (over 1
million hyperlinks with and between the Strategies, Problems and associated
databases). As with the problems they address, the information for the Strategy
profiles is obtained from the documents of international bodies or from others
in the public domain. The focus is on profiling the strategy and extending the
range of strategies registered. Links from strategies to organizations (and
their websites) are given when the concern is specific. As with the Problems
register (see above), attention is specifically given to the inclusion of
"counter-claims" denying the arguments in support of the strategy.
Human development (and modes of awareness): Since 1972, the UIA has
endeavoured to register the range of approaches to human development that is
often the declared, or underlying, objective of strategies advocated by
individual organizations. These have been profiled in a succession of editions
Encyclopedia of World Problems and Human Potential. The profiles of some
4,800 understandings of human development, and any associated modes of
awareness, are now made freely available over the web - embedded in an evolving
network of hyperlink relations between them. The information for these profiles
is obtained from the public domain, notably on the web. This registry is
especially important because of its sensitivity to modes of thinking
characteristic of non-western cultures.
Human values: Since 1972, the UIA has endeavoured to register the most
comprehensive range of human values because of the manner in which they underlie
ability to perceive problems and guide strategies in response to them. These
have been profiled in a succession of editions of the
Encyclopedia of World Problems and Human Potential. The profiles of some 3,200 human values are now
made freely available over the web - embedded in an evolving network of
hyperlink relations between them. In contrast with the other profiles above,
this information is an experiment in responding to the poly-semantic nature of
value-terms that is often at the origin of international misunderstanding.
International meetings: Since its origins in 1910, the UIA has endeavoured
to register international meetings and has records going back to 1607. Since
1952, information on future international meetings, especially those organized
by nonprofit bodies, are profiled in the International Congress Calendar in its
42nd edition), of which a web variant is currently under test. This information
is made available to support the initiatives of international organizations and
the scheduling of their activities. Over 25,000 future international events are
currently registered. Prior to the commercialization of such data, the UIA
produced bibliographies of the proceedings of such meetings - initially with
support of the US National Science Foundation.
Biographies of executives of international organizations:
Since 1992 the UIA has provided biographical profiles of the principal
executives of international nonprofit organizations through a succession of
editions of a Who's
Who in International Organizations - currently also available on CD
and via the web. Electronically this information is linked to and from the
Bibliographies of international organization materials: The UIA has long
tracked studies about international organizations by the academic community as
well as the key publication series produced by such organizations or about their
concerns. This information is published as part of the Yearbook of International
4) - as well as on CD and on the web.
Logos and emblems: In addition to intellectual property issues associated
directly with their URLs, international organizations are increasingly
challenged by issues of use and abuse of their logos - as well as obtaining
guidance on designs as yet unused. The UIA responded to this in 1997 by
producing a World Guide to Logotypes, Emblems and Trademarks of International
Organizations. This information is scheduled to be made available on the web and
linked to the organization profiles.
Statutes of international associations: Since the beginning of the 20th
century the UIA has been concerned with the highly problematic legal status of
international nongovernmental organizations and has been involved in a variety
of initiatives to remedy this, most notably with the Council of Europe. As an
extension of its registry activity in profiling international bodies, the first
edition of a compilation of the legal statutes of these bodies was produced (International Association
Statutes, 1884) but proved uneconomical. Links are
currently provided to the websites of the organizations.
Links: The UIA has made every effort to move beyond registering isolated
entities (whether organizations, problems, etc) to registration of the formal
and systemic links between such entities. In the electronic form of these
registries, these are the basis for a unique facility for navigation between
entities in a particular registry and to entities in other registries.
Common Registry Structure
Except in the case of logos, the above registries (and other smaller ones) use
what amounts to a common meta-data structure enabling management of profiles
through the same application and file structure (linear hash files exploited by
an Advanced Revelation database suite, including a web serving variant). Since
1984, the common structure has facilitated a variety of maintenance, analysis,
and re-formatting operations, notably for directory and CD production (XML
variants), as well as for web serving (HTML) with associated generation of
graphics (mapping applets, VRML) and export to third party visualization
Typically the "thick registry" profiles include fields equivalent
to names (with multilingual variants), multiple addresses (including
electronic), historic and contextual information, descriptive, and relational
information (multiple forms). Aside from some 13 common fields of administrative
information, each profile may use up to 26 such data fields, with numerous
additional symbolic fields (over 600 in the case of the organization profiles).
Profiles in the case of organizations vary in size from basic name/address
information to in excess of 64k of data.
As indicated earlier, subject coverage - whether for organizations, problems,
strategies or meetings - is multi-sectoral. The registry functions respond to
the variety of human activity that manifests rather than being pre-determined by
a particular subject framework. For this reason the UIA had to develop a
multi-lingual thesaurus that could evolve rapidly in response to innovative
The UIA pursues several strategies in relation to issues of access relating to
the community of organizations.
Enabling pass-through links from UIA profiles. As an extension, or
alternative, to information profiled by the UIA on an organization, users can
transfer to the organization's own website. This illustrates the UIA's policy of
non-stickiness in relation to the data it maintains.
Bridging the digital divide. As noted earlier, the UIA maintains contacts
with international bodies, wherever they may be based, using whatever
technologies are possible for the recipient, from post through fax, e-mail and
web. The rapid uptake of Internet facilities has allowed the UIA to maintain
connections with bodies first made by post. The UIA first demonstrated the
potential of Internet use for NGOs from a developing country in Dakar in 1980.
The UIA is currently assisting a partner organization to develop a network of
45,000 Internet cafes in villages across the Indian sub-continent.
Feedback facilities and interactivity
Currently any user in the organization community can respond interactively to
the profiles in the various databases in the following ways:
send general comments on all databases
send general comments on individual databases (as indicated on any profile
page from a database)
send specific comments about individual entries (as indicated on any profile
Registered users can supply on-line feedback on any profile entry through the
comment facility (enabling other users to view those comments immediately from
the relevant profile):
Qualified user-editors can edit entries on-line, resulting in modified texts
that overlay earlier versions when other users access a given profile. Other
users can then choose to view such comments. Clearly the challenge is to find
ways to work with this flow of information, bearing in mind the difficulties of
editorial style, quality of content, quantity, and the constraints on ability to
process whatever is received.
Contextual support for UIA's suitability to operate .org TLD
The UIA's claim to operate the .org registry derives from a coherent,
consistent, evolving information strategy dating back over a century. This
section gives a sense of this trajectory in order to demonstrate the strategic
logic of its taking on the .org domain and enabling services to the .org
community and beyond.
The UIA has always operated at the interface between information, its
organization and enabling the global community of associations to which this
information is relevant. The UIA has a tradition of rapid response to new
information technologies as an early adopter of: in-house computers (1972), word
processing (1973), computer typesetting (1974), email (1979), meta-data
structure (1984), LAN relational database operation (1985), automatic
translation (1994), CD-ROM technology (1995), web technology (1996), hyperlink
editing (1997), VRML (1998), inter-institutional data integration (1999), online
web data services (2000), sonification (2000), XML (2001), SVG (2002).
Most recently innovation has focused on enabling web users to generate,
reconfigure and print, from its databases, a multitude of network maps or to
view/export such networks through third party packages (Decision Explorer,
Netmap). Generically these innovations are possible at the UIA because of an
in-house capacity to handle a variety of cross-platform and interface
situations, and typified most basically by the early challenges of accented
characters. In 1986, as an early example, the main UIA registry product received
the UK HMSO Printing World Award for the most innovative application of
computers to typesetting.
In the rapidly evolving period of ISP emergence, the UIA was the founding
member in 1997 of a cooperative, Agora, based in its own offices from which it
provided Internet connectivity to the NGO community in Belgium through a T1
line. Agora was at that time the Belgian node of the Association for Progressive
Communications (APC). These facilities were absorbed in 1999 into XS4ALL,
another community oriented ISP, that itself was absorbed into a corporate ISP
that currently provides UIA connectivity and hosting of portions of its site.
The online services have however been based in-house since their experimental
origin in 1998.
The UIA was involved in the earliest stages of the UN-based Inter-Agency
Group on Indexing and Documentation that resulted in the Macrothesaurus. The
UIA's early expertise in information systems resulted in its involvement as
reporter in two successive consultations in the early phases of the development
of UN information systems (Acquisition and Organization of International
Documentation, 1974; Utilisation of International Documentation, 1980). The UIA
provided consulting expertise to UNESCO in 1984 with respect to the development
of UNESCO's in-house country data system, followed by later consultations
concerning the feasibility of sharing data with UNESCO.
The original focus on information classification led to UIA involvement in
the Committee on Conceptual and Terminological Analysis (COCTA) and the
International Society for Knowledge Organization in the 1970s. Association with
the early work on computer graphics, resulted in production of a film on
Visualization of International Organization (1971). Two decades before the
emergence of "knowledge management" as a theme, a study on Knowledge
representation in a computer-supported environment (1977) articulated much of
the design philosophy of UIA information systems. Throughout the 1970s the UIA
was a strong advocate to international NGOs of the new concept of organizational
networking and its associated challenges [more]. It was a user of Murray
Turoff's experimental Electronic Information Exchange System, funded by NSF,
that became operational in 1976 as the great-great-grandmother of all virtual
communities and promoted its significance for the community of non-profit
Throughout the 1970s the UIA was also a strong advocate to international NGOs of
the new concept of organizational networking and its associated challenges
[more]. It was an early user of the experimental EIES email system funded by the
National Science Foundation, that became operational in 1976 as the
great-great-grandmother of all virtual communities, and promoted its
significance for the community of non-profit organizations.
These different threads had led to contact in the 1970s with Douglas
Engelbart at the ARPANET centre in Menlo Park (and even an offer to manage the
centre). Engelbart was a key source of inspiration at the UIA, as elsewhere, for
many concerned with the development of hypertext and associated graphics in
support of knowledge navigation. Contact with that community was resumed through
a UIA keynote speech to the Electronic Networking Association: Transformative
conferencing: re-enchantment of networking through conceptware (San Francisco,
The UIA organized the first gathering in Europe of Internet cognoscenti from
North America within the framework of a demonstration symposium at the World
Future Studies Federation Conference on Science, Technology and the Future
(Berlin, 1979) [more]
As an early response to the digital divide, the UIA was probably the first to
demonstrate the potential of Internet technology in an African developing
country -- within the framework of a meeting of the UN University (Dakar, 1979).
In 1986 the UIA participated in the UN University's project on Information
Overload and Information Underuse. The intersect between its information
management skills and international content resulted in an invitation (declined)
to manage the "92" (international) domain of the International
Standard Book Numbering (ISBN) system -- as was an analogous invitation to
consider management of the .INT domain as first conceived. Registration in the
Yearbook continues to be used, under certain circumstances, as a criterion for
ascription of an International Standard Serial Number (ISSN).
At the beginning of the 20th century, with a very strong bibliographical
focus, the UIA network of bodies maintained 11,000,000 card file records -
portions of its archives now being held by Mundaneum, currently presented
as being the first "Internet on paper". One of the UIA's founding
personalities, Paul Otlet, was intimately involved in the development of the
Universal Decimal Classification (UDC) that remains an alternative to the Dewey
system. The other leading founder, Henri La Fontaine, received the Nobel Peace
Prize (1913) for his efforts towards international organization through the UIA
and associated bodies. In that period the documentation work of the UIA was
closely associated with the International Institute of Bibliography (IIB)
founded by Otlet and La Fontaine in 1895. This was subsequently transformed into
the International Federation for Information and Documentation (FID), which
continues as a focus for the UDC and founded in 1995 the Global Information
Alliance (GIA) -- a strategic alliance of NGOs in information, communication and
knowledge to serve the world community. The UIA continues to maintain strong
links with the library world, notably through a 20-year relationship with its
publisher K G Saur Verlag (Munich) one of the principal suppliers of
international reference works and itself closely associated with the
International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA).
Following its pre-war (very "thick") registry activity on the
international organizations (currently being released in electronic form), the
UIA produced in 1923 the first registry of all previous resolutions of
international conferences - the last occasion on which this task proved possible
to any institution until the UIA adopted its current approach of registering
problems and strategies recognized by the international community. In that same
period (1922-27) it operated an International University for international
association executives, participating as students and staff.
In the 1920s, the UIA transferred its registry activity on international
organizations to the League of Nations whose establishment the UIA had
significantly promoted, notably through La Fontaine.
Historians of hypertext have recently acknowledged [more] the prophetic
description of a Universal Documentation Network by UIA's founder, Paul Otlet,
as part of his work on the nature of transdisciplinarity, which concluded, in
Man would no longer need documentation if he were assimilated into an
omniscient being - as with God himself. But to a less ultimate degree, a
technology will be created acting at a distance and combining radio, X-rays,
cinema and microscopic photography. Everything in the universe, and everything
of man, would be registered at a distance as it was produced. In this way a
moving image of the world will be established, a true mirror of his memory. From
a distance, everyone will be able to read text, enlarged and limited to the
desired subject, projected on an individual screen. In this way, everyone from
his armchair will be able to contemplate creation, as a whole or in certain of
its parts. (Monde, pp. 390-391, trans., emphasis added.)
In this light, there is even a speculation that the UIA was itself designed
by Otlet and his network as a form of virtual organization [more]. Indeed the
21st century interpretation of the UIA name, points to the challenge of
discovering new insights into forms of "union" that are required to
relate conceptual or social "associations" of any kind across
"international" boundaries that may be cultural or sectoral as much as
In 1950 the UIA retook responsibility for registering international
organizations in its Yearbook of International Organizations. Its capacity in
this respect was acknowledged in a special UN/ECOSOC Resolution 334B (XI) of 20
July 1950, and subsequently figured in successive Annual Reports of the UN
Secretary General. The UIA has had consultative relationship with UN/ECOSOC
since 1951 for that reason.
In response to the challenges of society, the UIA was generating studies in
1969 and 1970 with titles such as: Improvement of communication within the
world-system: research uses, applications and possibilities of a computer-based
information centre on national and international organizations and related
entities and International organizations and the generation of the will to
change: the information systems required. The UIA's continuing dedication to
democratic development and the development of information technology potential
are reflected in a range of UIA-led project proposals, including:
The UIA has survived in a country overrun by two World Wars, and the
following period in which international documentation was subject to
considerable Cold War pressures applied through intergovernmental institutions
to distort the realities with which individual organizations had to deal.
Although the UIA does not associate itself with advocacy on particular concerns,
in accordance with its documentalist culture, it exhibited strong resistance to
efforts to curtail or misrepresent information from any sector throughout that
Underlying this century of exploration is the fundamental question of what to
do with information on organizations and issues to enable action for the
betterment of society - and how to enhance public understanding of the
challenge. At the start of this new millennium, in a version of the knowledge
society prefigured by its founder Paul Otlet, the UIA seeks the endorsement of
the modern Internet community to continue this work in partnership with the
civil society community in the operation and delivery of services to the dot.org
Proposed Management Structure for Diversitas
UIA proposes to establish an independent organization, Diversitas, to be
the operating entity for the .org registry. Initially, Diversitas will be a
wholly-owned subsidiary of UIA; over time it will take up an independent status
as other organizations are invited to join the shareholding.
Diversitas will administer the contractual relationship with registrars and
with ICANN, communicate and interact with the civil society community, guide the
development of .org policy and facilitate its adoption, develop enhanced
services that address civil society needs and "market" the TLD to the
community. This work will be supplemented by the rest of the UIA Team (UIA and
its partners) to whom Diversitas will outsource portions of the registry
services and other functions.
Structure and Governance
The legal structure of the new organization will satisfy the following
maintenance of its non-profit mission;
flexibility as to legal jurisdiction for operating, fiscal and other
openness to active, joint participation by other important entities and
sectors of the civil society, including sharing legal ownership with a set of
non-profit organizations in some form.
It will be fiscally and financially transparent and maintain appropriate
legal risk and liability sharing.
Preliminary research indicates that a suitable form for Diversitas would be a
"social purpose company" (SPC). Under Belgian law, an SPC can take the
form of a limited liability, non-profit company with a very favourable tax
status providing its activities are deemed "social" rather than
"commercial or industrial". Alternatively, a form of European company
known as "European Economic Interest Group (EEIG)" is well suited to
function as a non-profit, fiscally-transparent, multinational entity.
The governance apparatus will be composed of a board, a policy advisory
council and a technical and scientific panel.
Board: Diversitas will form an active, highly focused board of directors.
Its functions are to authorise overall strategy, confirm and assure management
competence and management's fulfillment of the strategy. Further, the board will
act to ensure the general common good and utility of the operation as a function
of its various constituencies. Concretely this will mean a small board composed
of real contributors who can devote the necessary time to fulfill their
Policy Advisory Council. An advisory council will be formed composed of
representative organizations of the various constituencies. Its function is to
give insight to management and the board of the changing needs of the civil
sector. Concretely this will mean a council or people whose experience, contacts
and wisdom can together represent the needs of those sub-sets of the civil
sector that we wish to serve.
Technical Panel. A panel will be formed with invited participants from the
NGO world who will reflect the best of IT knowledge and experimental
developments. Concretely, this will mean a small group of outstanding
personalities who can keep the UIA abreast of the growing use of the Internet in
the civil sector and who can explore with us the real needs as the extent and
depth of use increase. The UIA wishes to be proactive in its mission and hence
must constantly be aware of the emerging needs of the constituencies within the
Transition Team and Staff
UIA will put together a high level transition team to quickly ramp up and
staff Diversitas. The transition team will ensure that there is significant
continuity among staff so that the new structure created will be able to take
advantage of and leverage the core strengths brought to this proposal by UIA. Diversitas will be co-located with UIA headquarters in Brussels, Belgium to
ensure that the new organization will be able to take full advantage of UIA's
The transition team will be composed of the following three senior people
(Curriculum Vitae for all three can be found in Appendix
Ann-Marie Boutin, President of UIA and Magistrat, Cour des Comptes in France
Paul Caron, UIA Executive Council Member and financial and corporate advisor,
who formerly held very senior positions in Europe, the Middle East and U.S. for
J.P. Morgan and General Manager for Euroclear, a cooperative formed of many of
the world's major banks, central banks and financial institutions
Anthony Judge, Assistant Secretary General, UIA
Staffing of Diversitas Will Include the Following:
Management (1): An Executive Director will oversee and manage Diversitas and
all its various activities. Anthony Judge, Assistant Secretary General of UIA,
will be transferred into this position for a period of time to ensure the
necessary continuity in the new structure.
Civil Society Outreach (2): A Director of Civil Society Outreach and Manager
of Value Added Services will be hired to develop and implement plans to
encourage the use of the .org domain and provide international non profit
organizations with various offerings specifically requested and needed by them
to leverage their activities. Nadia McLaren, with extensive experience working
with UIA and civil society organizations, will take on these responsibilities
during a transition period.
Marketing is viewed by UIA as an effort to "enable" non-profit
organizations around the world to take advantage of various services that will
help them accomplish their mission. An integral part of the
"marketing" effort will be to gauge the needs of various sectors of
the civil society through communications with them.
It is also envisioned that these efforts will be supplemented through some
contracting out to firms specializing in this area. In addition, these staff
will also work closely with the Registrars in developing services geared to the
civil society's needs.
Legal Affairs (1): Counsel will be hired to handle the organization's legal
issues, and to coordinate with any outside law firms that are brought in to
supplement this function. How much of this function will be done in-house and
how much will be contracted out is still to be determined.
Policy (1): A Director of Policy will be dedicated to working with ICANN and
the .org community at large on policy related issues. The person will be
responsible for ensuring compliance with all ICANN policies and procedures,
working with the gTLD Registry Constituency and the Non Commercial Domain Name
Holders Constituency of the Domain Names Supporting Organization. Jon Englund,
with extensive background in Internet policy matters, will handle these
responsibilities during a transition period.
Finance and Administration (1): A Director of Finance and Administration will
be hired to help manage all the financial and administrative matters associated
with the smooth functioning of Diversitas. Paul Caron (see background above)
will perform this role as the organization is established.
Administrative staff (2): Two administrative personnel will be hired to
support the organization.
VeriSign Global Registry Services
To leverage their competencies and economies of scale, UIA will subcontract
Registry technical operations to VeriSign Global Registry Services (VGRS) and
manage VGRS's performance to fulfill ICANN's objectives.
There is no single system more fundamentally vital to the Internet than the
Domain Name System (DNS). Since 1991, VGRS has managed the authoritative
database of domain names for many of the most popular top-level domains (TLDs)
in the world, including .com, .net, and .org. Collectively, VGRS manages nearly
30 million active domain names.
VGRS has deployed the world's most robust nameserver infrastructure unmatched
in reliability and security. Made up of thirteen nameserver sites located at
topological cores of the Internet, this infrastructure responds to an average of
over 6 billion domain name lookups every single day. In recent years, the rate
of queries to these servers has doubled every nine months, a strong indicator of
continued strong growth of the Internet.
To continually maintain all of the names supported by this infrastructure,
VGRS operates the Shared Registration System (SRS). Over 100 registrars access
the authoritative database of domain names managed by VGRS, adding, deleting, or
modifying domain name registrations at a rate of over 150 million transactions
From the Registry Command Center in Virginia, VGRS carefully controls all of
these systems and networks with the most advanced security and system
maintenance technology. This secure environment is staffed around the clock to
continually monitor the system's performance and unparalleled reliability.
VGRS's highly trained and skilled technical groups are composed of 50
Engineers and 50 Technical Operations staff. The technical skills of this team
have been developed over the past 11 years of managing the authoritative
database for .org as well as .com and .net. Please refer to Appendix
resumes of the key personnel.
Separate development and quality assurance environments have been provisioned
so that new software releases can be developed and tested without any impact to
production or registrar testing and certification.
VGRS has developed sophisticated tools to perform automated regression
testing. This allows for a full regression test of the .org functionality in a
relatively short period of time, guaranteeing that new releases of the .org TLD
system work according to functional specifications prior to deployment. VGRS has
also developed performance, capacity, and availability tools that guarantee that
the components (including software, hardware and networking) of the .org TLD
system meet VGRS's demanding availability, capacity and performance
requirements. This includes both the registration and resolution areas of the
The following data provides the performance history of VGRS validating
stability and reliability of .org TLD that has been the result of the efforts of
the VGRS technical groups. Further details and explanations of these statistics
can be found in Section C17.
||Total SRS Availability
||SRS Availability minus planned outages
||Validation of Zone File Publication and Distribution
*Over the course of the year, there were 1.8 billion opportunities for error.
This represents 1 error during that period.
As the provider of registry services for gTLDs and ccTLDs, VGRS has
demonstrated its ability operate several registries, each completely separated
by an auditable process.