A Draft Presentation To Be presented at ICANN Bucharest Meeting



The Bucharest meeting of ICANN is likely to be arriving at decisions with far reaching impact on how the Internet is likely to be governed in future.

One of the key features to be discussed is the role that the At Large Community developed by ICANN in future and the role of national Governments in the administration of ICANN.

The At Large representative body which is presently a collection of self motivated persons interested in strengthening the public participation and have volunteered to reach out to the audiences in the respective areas of operation, will be participating in the Bucharest meet and placing its views before the august gathering.

Mr Denise Michel will be presenting the views on behalf of the At Large Committee. A draft of his proposed presentation is given below for comments and suggestions from those who have a view to submit.



**Draft 1.0**

 As ICANN’s Evolution and Reform Committee and Board of Directors considers changing the corporation’s policy and decision making structures and processes, as well as other operational elements, we ask that you take into account the progress and promise of our At-Large organizing efforts.

We are members of the newly formed “At-Large Organizing Committee” and we represent “At-Large Structures” that have been formed, or designated, throughout the world to provide meaningful, informed participation by Internet users in ICANN.  In response to the Board's decision in Accra that "ICANN should have a robust At Large mechanism …of the kind recommended in the [At-Large Study Committee] ALSC report," we are building “bottom-up, self-organized, local Internet community institutions and other organizations that meet the general criteria of openness, participation, and self-sustainability.”  We have committed to:

  • Meet general criteria of openness, participation, and self-sustainability;

  • Engage in outreach to, and education of, individual Internet users about ICANN and ICANN issues;

  • Involve individual Internet users, aggregate views, and identify relevant Internet user priorities;

  • Solicit the opinions of our members on these issues; and Work with other ICANN stakeholders to address issues and develop positions on Internet policy issues that fall within ICANN's mission

 At this writing, there are 13 At-Large Structures worldwide representing over …. individual Internet users:

The At-Large Organizing Committee, an informal group that was created to guide and encourage At-Large organizing, is comprised of representatives of these At-Large Structures, as well as one member each from the former At-Large Study Committee and the former NGO and Academic ICANN Study (NAIS) group. The Committee currently includes the following members:

With no funding currently available in ICANN's budget, the Board authorized the acceptance of initial contributions to fund coordination for the creation and nurturing of At-Large structures. Thus far, US$17,000 in donations has been received.

Our goal is to represent individual Internet users in ICANN’s development of policies and practices for the management of the DNS, thus helping to ensure that ICANN operates as a private entity for the benefit of the Internet community as a whole. As stated by the ALSC, "ICANN needs to be accountable not just to governments and members of its existing Supporting Organizations, but also to those who are affected by its actions. Actions ICANN takes within its seemingly narrow technical and administrative mission can affect (and generate interest among) the world's individual Internet users in a myriad of ways. These users hold a variety of values and interests and represent a critical voice in how ICANN's actions can and should impact them."

Our organizations are concerned about, and involved in, a variety of Internet issues and, as members of the At-Large Organizing Committee, we are currently discussing which ICANN issues we will work together to address.  Suggested issues on which we could provide a collective “individual Internet users” perspective include internationalized domain names, practices and policies for registering and transferring generic top level domain names (gTLD's) (including access to, and use of, "who is" data), domain-name intellectual property issues, introduction of new top level domains (TLDs,) the implementation of IPv6, the fair allocation of address space, and participation and representation of At-Large in ICANN’s policy and decision-making. 

Although we are not yet in a position to offer detailed, substantive input (having just formed last month), we would like to share some general observations that may assist ICANN’s Evolution and Reform Committee.

Since the Board agreed in Accra to support a self-organized At-Large, and since our organizing efforts are proceeding well and we expect them to be successful, we believe the Board should plan to institutionalize a new At-Large (at the appropriate time and with the appropriate safeguards), with dedicated At-Large seats on the Board to ensure that "individual user" perspectives are represented in ICANN’s policy and decision-making.

We recommend that the Board also consider the establishment of an At-Large Supporting Organization (with an At-Large Steering Committee) comprised of our organizations and future self-forming, self-supporting At-Large Structures to help ensure individual Internet user needs are reflected in ICANN work.  At-Large Structures should be groups that meet specific criteria (e.g. see www.at-large.org for criteria currently in use). 

To facilitate coordination and effective policy-making, we suggest the Board consider requiring: 

proposed policies and issues be jointly referred to an At-Large Steering Committee for review and input (under Board guidelines/time limits);

the At-Large Steering Committee to designate liaisons to other policy-making and advisory bodies; and designated ICANN staff to support the At-Large Steering Committee’s work.

Furthermore, we recommend the Board consider allowing the At-Large Supporting Organization to select their Steering Committee and Board members under Board-approved guidelines/criteria. Finally, to help ensure greater transparency, participation, and accountability for ICANN's decision-making, we recommend that ICANN establish specific time periods and mechanisms for public participation in policy development. 

Thank you for your consideration of our input.  We look forward to working with you as our At-Large efforts continue to progress.


(names and email addresses)

Denise Michel


The views can be submitted to Naavi at the earliest


June 15, 2002


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