ICANN Resolutions » 2002-03-14 - ALSC Report and At Large
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Board resolves that At Large Membership issues can most effectively be developed in the context of broader ICANN reforms and that ICANN should have a robust At Large mechanism for meaningful, informed participation by Internet users of the kind recommended in the ALSC report.
Whereas, the issue of how to create mechanisms for meaningful participation and representation for individual users has been a subject of debate in the ICANN community since ICANN's creation;
Whereas, various proposals failed to achieve broad consensus support in the community, notwithstanding repeated efforts to achieve that end, in part because of widely divergent views and fundamentally different perspectives about the expected or desired results of various approaches within the ICANN community;
Whereas, at its Cairo meeting on 10 March 2000 the Board concluded that, given these impediments, it should initiate a comprehensive study of the concept, structure, and processes relating to a proposed At Large membership;
Whereas, at its Yokohama meeting on 16 July 2000 the Board adopted bylaws to enable the election of five directors through regional online elections, and to create a committee to study the At Large concept;
Whereas, the At Large Study Committee ("ALSC") was chartered in January 2001 to undertake a comprehensive study of the concept, structure, and processes relating to an ICANN At Large membership, and has worked diligently to that end, for which the Board and the ICANN community are extremely grateful;
Whereas, in resolution 01.125 the Board accepted the ALSC Final Report and Recommendations, dated 5 November 2001, as a basis for further discussion by the Board and the ICANN community, and that discussion has in fact continued since that time;
Whereas, the Board believes that the At Large community properly defined embraces the full range of Internet users, including not only individual users, but also academic institutions, small businesses, non-commercial entities of various kinds, including consumer groups, and various other non-governmental organizations, all of which have a legitimate interest in, and a need for workable mechanisms for informed participation in, the ICANN policymaking process;
Whereas, the Board perceives a broad consensus throughout the ICANN community around the core ALSC recommendations relating to the desirability of an At Large mechanism to enable outreach and informed participation by Internet users, and specifically for individual users;
Whereas, in particular, the Board perceives a broad consensus that (a) all Internet users have a significant stake in ICANN's activities, (b) it is critical that all Internet users have the opportunity to meaningfully participate in ICANN policymaking, and (c) the general public interest must be represented in the ICANN policymaking process and on its Board;
Whereas, the Board strongly endorses the ALSC's observation that a structure for informed participation by individual users is required and, in order to be most effective, should be built on sustainable local Internet community institutions, rather than attempting to engineer global top-down structures that lack local roots;
Whereas, the ALSC has solicited expressions of interest from many Internet organizations, a number of which could credibly form the initial nucleus of a regionally-based At Large entity with the objective of educating and facilitating the meaningful involvement of Internet users (and particularly individual users) in ICANN's policymaking activities through bottom-up, self-organized, and self-sustaining local Internet community institutions;
Whereas, the Board wishes to move forward with energy and enthusiasm to build a meaningful structure for informed participation by the full range of Internet users, and seeks avenues to achieve these objectives that are bottom-up, self-organized, and self-sustaining;
Whereas, the Board has concluded that the structural and procedural implementation of the principles stated above can most effectively be developed in the context of broader ICANN reforms such as those proposed in the President's Report delivered to the Board on 24 February 2002, and currently the subject of intense discussion throughout the ICANN community;
Whereas, the Board agrees with the reservations expressed in the ALSC Final Report about the validity and practicality of global online elections, and appreciates the very considerable effort undertaken by the ALSC to identify an electoral process that would reduce (if not eliminate) those problems, but remains concerned about the fairness, representativeness, validity and affordability of global online elections among an easily captureable pool of self-selected and largely unverifiable voters;
Whereas, the Board is not persuaded that global elections are the only or the best means of achieving meaningful public representation or the informed participation of Internet users in the ICANN process;
Therefore it is resolved [02.15] that the Board again expresses its sincere appreciation to the members of the ALSC for their hard work, sensible analysis, and useful recommendations, and to all the members of the ICANN community that participated in that process;
Resolved [02.16] that ICANN should have a robust At Large mechanism for meaningful, informed participation by Internet users of the kind recommended in the ALSC report;
Resolved [02.17] that the Board calls upon the ICANN community to devote sustained energy to the creation of At Large structures built upon bottom-up, self-organized, local Internet community institutions and other organizations that meet the general criteria of openness, participation, and self-sustainability, anticipating that most such entities are not ICANN-specific, but already serve their communities in broader ways;
Resolved [02.18] that the Board expresses the hope that its endorsement of these principles for informed Internet user participation will encourage those interested in an At Large structure to continue the creation, strengthening, or coordinating of local Internet community institutions so as to meet these basic criteria; and
Resolved [02.19] that the Board Committee on Restructuring, working in conjunction with the President and staff, is instructed to ensure that their ongoing efforts at crafting a blueprint for ICANN reform include (a) workable mechanisms and procedures that enable meaningful opportunities for participation by the full range of Internet users, including individuals, academic institutions, large and small businesses, non-commercial entities (including consumer groups), and other non-governmental organizations, (b) an appropriate role for those interests in ICANN's coordinating and management structures, and (c) appropriate mechanisms to minimize disruption during the reform implementation process.