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Regions Working Group Telephone Conference (15 February 2007)

Participants:

David Archbold, .ky

Donna Austin, ICANN

David Chen, .tw

Chris Disspain, .au

Andy Kang, .kr

Oscar Robles � Garay, .mx

Pablo Rodriguez .pr

Gabi Schittek, ccNSO Secretariat

Ron Sherwood, .vi

Working Provisions

It was pointed out at the beginning of the meeting that there are no established ICANN rules the Working Group would need to follow, nor any ICANN imposed time line. Nevertheless, the Group should aim to circulate a ccNSO discussion paper prior to the Lisbon meeting, with the goal of getting approval for a submission to ICANN shortly thereafter. Also, there is nothing requiring that all ICANN structures need to be the same for all various bodies. In fact, it would be both presumptuous and impossible to try to come up with a solution that would suit all other ICANN groups.

The group should also be aware that there will be no �one size fits all� solution to the problem. Instead, it should aim at coming up with a model which will suit as many as possible and that will will work for the ccNSO.

It was further pointed out that ICANN itself has recognised the challenges with the current system � this is reflected in the appointment of several regional liaisons, which do not follow ICANN�s regional categories.

Solution Suggestions

One suggestion could be the possibility to simply create more regions. A negative effect might be that it will be harder to manage several more groups. However, it was felt that if the commitment and representation would increase, it would still mean an overall improvement.

Another suggestion was to allow for sub-groupings within the regions � such as having an Arab sub-group within the AP region, but the AP region would remain the ICANN interface.

It was agreed that the core principle of the group should be to give each nation the opportunity to choose what grouping it would like to belong to. Challenges

It was warned that the group should be careful not to create another structure that would contain similar problems to the current one. A danger would be in not being familiar enough with the specifics of the certain areas. An example of this would be the temptation of setting up a Caribbean region, not bearing in mind there are four different languages spoken, with very different political systems and cultural backgrounds across the islands. It would therefore be extremely important to allow for some choice, so that the nations can decide themselves where they would like to belong.

Another task is to ensure that there are representative opinions from the different regions on the problems they face in their own regions.

For these reasons, it was felt that a serious dialogue with the regional organisations needs to be initiated, to find out where the actual problems are.

Way Forward

It was felt that the group should start working with a blank sheet of paper - defining the current situation, problems and alternatives. It should try to come up with a structure that is not as rigid as the current one, forcing nations to belong to regions they don�t feel comfortable with. The possibility of choice should be a core principle. Some possible alternatives and suggestions could also be defined, so that they could be discussed at the Lisbon meeting.

David Archbold volunteered to write a paper as a basis for discussions within the group, which will be distributed as soon as possible.