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APTLD AGM’s Response to the ccNSO Assistance Group’s Recommendations

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24 February 2003

1. Introduction

1.1.  At its Annual General Meeting on 24th February 2003 in Taipei, APTLD considered the recommendations of the ccNSO Advisory Group. We commend the ccNSO AG for the work done in producing the recommendations towards establishing the ccNSO and are committed to working with the AG in good faith. However, we are disappointed that we do not have a final version of the AG’s report which was due on Feb 14th as this limits our opportunity to discuss it before the ICANN Meeting at Rio de Janeiro.

1.2.  Any support herein for the recommendations is based upon the narrowly defined global policy-making role of ICANN as was described by the matrix proposed by the assistance group, which clearly states that the ccTLD’s local policy responsibilities lie with the local Internet community.

2. Preliminary Recommendations on ccNSO Policy Development Process

2.1. Issue Manager

(a)  We support the ccNSO’s Assistance Group’s (“AG”) recommendation for a person, defined as the Issue Manager, to manage the PDP. However, we note that there is no additional information as to who appoints the Issue Manager. We strongly propose that the Issue Manager be accountable to the ccTLD community and is appointed by the ccNSO Council. The Issue Manager plays a pivotal role in policy formulation. Hence it is critical for the Council to appoint a person that they know and trust to be knowledgeable on ccTLD issues.

(b)  We will be liaising with other ccTLD colleagues on the possibility of the Issue Manager being part of the ccTLD Secretariat and will update the AG on any feedback received. On the issue of funding, we recommend that any contributions to ICANN by the ccTLD community pertaining to the Issue Manager functions be re-channeled to the agreed party (for example, the ccTLD Secretariat).

2.2. ICANN’s General Counsel

(a)  The AG proposes that ICANN’s General Counsel’s opinion must be sought on whether the Issue Manager’s Recommendations are properly within the scope of ICANN policy. While we regard this as relevant and useful, we strongly feel that two (of the five) components should not be part of his/her opinion. They are:

“3. is likely to have lasting value or applicability, albeit with the need for occasional updates;

4. will establish a guide or framework for future decision-making; or”

(b)  Sub-items 1,2 and 5 are legal issues and are directly relevant in determining whether the issues being considered are properly within the scope of ICANN policy process as it pertains to ccTLDs. However, we do not see how sub-items 3 and 4 have any bearing on the issue.

(c)  We would recommend that the General Counsel examine sub-items 1, 2 and 5 in determining whether the issues come with ICANN’s scope. In the event the conclusion is in the positive, only then may the General Counsel add his/her comments on sub-items 3 and 4.

(d)  Although we agree that the issue manager may consult the General Counsel of ICANN, failure to do so will not invalidate the PDP. Thus, we propose that all references to “shall” in 2(e) be changed to “may.”

2.3. Initiation of PDP

(a)  Clause 3 of Annex A sets out the Council’s voting mechanism of the Issue Report. We are concerned that sub-item (b) has provided that a vote of 100% of Council members of at least 2 Regions will amount to approval of the initiation of the PDP. Bearing in mind that there are 5 Regions, this is equivalent to a minority vote that should not be deemed as sufficient agreement by the Council. The option should be deleted. Hence initiation of PDP is limited to a vote of more than 66% of Council.

2.4. Board Vote

(a)  It is noted in item 13(a) that if the Council reaches a supermajority vote, the Board is to adopt the policy recommendation unless it is rejected by more than 66% of the Board. “Supermajority vote” is not defined. If a 66% vote is a supermajority, the term “supermajority” should be applied consistently. However, we recommend that “supermajority” be defined as 75% or more votes.

(b)  In light of the assumption and recommendation above, we would also like to propose that the rejection vote by Board be on par with the Council’s. The Board must accept Council’s recommendations unless more than 75% of the Board rejects it, in which case the recommendation is not adopted.

(c)  We also do not agree with the principle provided for in item 13(c) that a recommendation supported by more than 50% but less than 75% of Council is adopted as ccTLD policy unless more than 50% of the Board rejects the same. As these policies have the potential of binding all ccTLDs, it is not acceptable that a policy proceeds to the Board (let alone be ratified by the equivalent voting requirement of the Board) where 49% of the Council does not support it. Accordingly, we propose that item 13(c) be deleted.

2.5. Implementation of the Policy

(a)  APTLD remains firm that once adopted, the PDP process is the only way a policy affecting ccTLDs can be formulated.

(b)  In relation to implementation, ccTLDs will implement the agreed policy as appropriate at the local level in consultation with the local Internet community.

3. Preliminary Recommendations on ccNSO Council

3.1.  APTLD confirms that the council comprise fifteen voting members being three from each geographical region. The ccTLDs have established regular liaisons with the other ICANN constituencies and SOs and because of our responsibilities to the local Internet communities have taken into account the interests and viewpoints of the wider Internet stakeholders.

3.2.  Should the Board ignore the strong feeling and appoint council members via the Nominating Committee, then natural justice requires that ccTLDs be represented on that committee.

4. Preliminary Recommendations on ccNSO Structure

4.1.  APTLD has worked four years to evolve membership structures and therefore the first sentence in paragraph 3 requiring a letter is unnecessary and should be deleted.

4.2.  We unanimously disagree that the AG should comprise the transition committee. We believe our AdCom, which has worked successfully for the past four years in building the ccTLD constituency, is the appropriate group to manage the transition.

5. Conclusion

5.1.  The APTLD look forward to the final report from the ccNSO AG and intend to discuss and make comments. We look forward to good faith consideration of our response.

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