NINTH ANNUAL MEETING OF THE
INTERNET GOVERNANCE FORUM 2014
"CONNECTING CONTINENTS FOR ENHANCED
MULTI-STAKEHOLDER INTERNET GOVERNANCE"
04 SEPTEMBER 2014
ICANN OPEN FORUM
This is the output of the real-time captioning taken during the IGF 2014 Istanbul, Turkey, meetings. Although it is largely accurate, in some cases it may be incomplete or inaccurate due to inaudible passages or transcription errors. It is posted as an aid to understanding the proceedings at the session, but should not be treated as an authoritative record.
>> OLGA MADRUGA‑FORTI: Good afternoon, everyone. Are we ready? Shall we help with the noise factor? Thank you, very much. Welcome to the 2014 ICANN open forum. My name is Olga Madruga‑Forti. We hope today to have a very interactive session, hearing more from you than from ourselves on all issues of the day at ICANN. This is a forum that is traditionally held at the IGF and the purpose really is to give you a highlight of those important issues of the day, topics that you will well recognize now into the third day of the IGF such as accountability, Internet Governance, the various panels involved in this conference within ICANN. Of course the new top level domains so hopefully we will be hearing the state of the moment events that are happening on these topics. And it's very much an interactive event so we are going to handle this panel a little bit differently.
First we will hear from our chairman of the Board Steve Crocker together with Fadi Chehade. Then we will have questions from you followed by the senior advisor to the CEO, Sally Costerton on globalization and other events going on in the ICANN community. And finally Tarek Kamel, senior advisor for International Government Affairs.
Without further ado ‑‑ well, perhaps, can we get a sense of the room of those of you that are newcomers to ICANN issues, to the ICANN communities? First newcomers? Welcome. And veterans, all others? And those that will not say apparently are the preponderance. Thank you, very much, and Steve, please.
>> STEVE CROCKER: Thank you, Olga. You said you felt yourself fortunate to be a member of the board, I think we are fortunate to have you as a member of the board. So my job here is to set the stage for as wide ranging a discussion as we would like to have starting with a sense of perspective from a year ago. So it's been a pretty active and vigorous year. Last year in Bali the Snowden revelations were dominating everything and really stirring the pot in terms of Internet Governance. It has continued to change the whole character of diagnosis in every quarter, public and private, some just very indirectly. He of course was very focused on surveillance and espionage at ICANN. That's quite far from anything we want to be involved in.
Nevertheless the whole issue of governance related to the Internet was a big concern. We are now in September. Back in March and in April there were major events. In March the US department of commerce NTIA announced that it was planning to transition out of the contractual relationship that it has with ICANN with respect to the oversight of the IANA function and that set in motion a lot of process which we will come back to and then followed immediately by NETmundial in Sao Paulo which provided a brand new venue, brand new stage for discussing Internet Governance from a multistakeholder perspective from all sorts of issues outside of ICANN. And one of the natural questions what is the relationship of that to IGF and what is the relationship between ICANN and all of these? Mundial was a big event.
How many here were at Mundial? Some. Some, but not everybody. Well it was a big deal. Others will be much more eloquent at describing how big and important it was. Many, many journalists, lots of translation on the fly. My notes tell me that 2,000 stories were aired or published. And that this really focused the world's attention on the idea of multistakeholder management and participation in Internet Governance. Last week the world economic forum announced that it will facilitate further dialogue in this process that is expected to run for six months. ICANN's role in all of this is to be wildly enthusiastic about these things. We have clearly had a substantial role in getting all of this started and we are equally enthusiastic about stepping back and not being as directly involved and certainly not being out front on these matters.
We have very substantial facts that are ours and that we need to focus on, and that's where we are. So let me bring us back to our tasks and in particular the relationship with the US government. I mentioned the announcement from the US department of commerce in the middle of March. And that is focused on the transition of the stewardship of the IANA function, not the IANA function itself. And as that dialogue expanded and the department of commerce asked for a coordinated proposal for the entire community as to how to make that transition and how to do it in a way that is satisfy factory to in principle everybody but in practice in some reasonable way. A parallel question came up to what extent the accountability mechanisms in ICANN appropriate and how can they be bolstered if they need to be. So there is a two‑part question there. Do they need to be? And if so, how?
We have taken a very strong hand at trying to facilitate and get those processes started but step back and have quite vigorous community led community coordinated management of the process and certainly participation from everywhere. We take accountability quite seriously. We find it in some cases odd that people think that we don't think of ourselves as being accountable. Nothing occupies more of our time, I think, than a bazillion different accountability mechanisms. And we take it all quite seriously. I'm happy to go on it at some length about that. And yet nothing is perfect and we are more than happy to look at ways to improve the process. So those are under ‑‑ in progress, under development. We also during this period looked at a number of different dimensions about our role and how we operate.
One of the dimensions we looked at very closely is the notion of public responsibility. We had a major effort looking at what our responsibilities are and we have now taken the step which was announced in London, I think, of establishing a development and public responsibility department which oversees inside of ICANN that each of the initiatives and all of the activities have a component there and are consistent with what our obligations and objectives are there. Let me bring these remarks to an end by touching on the new gTLD programme which used to be the first thing that we would talk about and I'm pleased that it is no longer the first thing but nonetheless a substantial programme. 370 something domains are in the route and more or in pipeline. We keep being asked what about the next round. I think there's only two things we can say for sure: One is yes there will be, and no we don't know when it will be. We have a number of steps to go through including some very important steps of evaluating how well this round turned out, what issues there were. We have a commitment within the affirmation commitments for a review of some combination of consumer choice, competition and trust. Did it get it right? Oh my God. I can't even remember what I just said so I'm not going to try to do it ben. But thank you very much.
So that's a piece but there are other pieces that have to go through as well. Those of you who have been involved in the programme know we have this massive applicant guide book. Surely there are some things that need to be reviewed there, pruned, tuned, or expanded even perhaps. So with that clearly a very excited period. We are a few weeks from the next mayor meeting in Los Angeles than will be our annual meeting. Also as a small matter of business during this period we renewed, extended the contract with Fadi who will be with us now for another three years. And the nominating committee and I had very little influence over them managed to put me back on the board as well for another three years so we have a team effort. And for better or worse you either of the benefit or you're stuck with us and we are pleased to be here.
>> OLGA MADRUGA‑FORTI: Thank you very much, Steve. We'll now hear from Fadi Chehade who is also a member better of the board and then we will have a question and answer session for both of them jointly immediately thereafter.
>> FADI CHEHADE: Good afternoon everyone, good to be here. I'm Fadi and I'll share with you some updates on our focus at ICANN at this time. After the London meeting the board met and asked me to refocus my efforts on the following things: My number one priority is to focus on the transition with the US government. And this easily occupies 40 to 50% of my time and my focus.
The second priority is to spend an equal amount of time on ensuring ICANN's operational excellence. And the remaining amount of time, 20‑25% of my time could be dedicated to our external posture in relation to Internet Governance matters. And since the board asked me to do this, this week and one day last week is the only time I focused on Internet Governance.
My focus has shifted considerably and you need to know this because I work for you. This is where I'm spending my time. So let me walk you through these three priorities that the board gave me and give you an update where things are. First on the USG transition. The first thing we did internally to the ICANN staff and organisation was to create a structured programme in order for us to meet our obligations to you to the stakeholders, to the global community on achieving this goal and that internal effort has led to a number of projects. I am personally managing the total programme and it's a significant programme.
This program is going to be managed with success factors, performance indicators, budgets, actuals and report to the community on where we are with that full project. You will be seeing the beginning of this from us at the Los Angeles meeting of ICANN. And I see Jonathan Zuck right in front of me. I must tell you that I failed you on this last year, did not have full visibility reporting and certainly that level of visibility into our activities last year, for example, in Internet Governance. And many of you frankly were not pleased with that. That will not be repeated.
When we have a major programme like a transition in the US government it needs to be treated by a programme and you need to have full visibility to everything related to that programme and you have my commitment to do that. Now within the USG transition as you know there are two major tracks that we are facilitating with the public with all of you. One track which is the track to ensure that the IANA transition occurs in time and that track is going very well. I don't think anyone is concerned that stage ma the track is moving in the right direction t second track is the accountability track. I have on Tuesday morning corrected a position I had taken publicly and I would correct it one more time in front of all of you. When we started the transition from the US I said the accountability discussion, the accountability track needs to be related but not independent with the USGNTIA stewardship.
I stand corrected on this and I have shared with the community that the more I listen to you, the more I heard from you, it has become clear to me that we cannot be without the US government contract and without some activities to strengthen our accountability to the global interest and to all of you. So we will build these things and move in parallel and ensure that these processes are interdependent where they need to be so we can finish the job together but do it right. One of my colleagues, one of our community members here had proposed a very important concept called stress testing. Thinking together as a community, have we looked at every possible scenario of how ICANN will be accountable when the US government is no longer there with its contract. We should do this.
And do it with discipline, with commitment, and with completeness so that all of us, all of us at the end of this process feel, hey, we've got something here that we can tell the world confidently we are ready to be without the USG transition. That means all of us in the US and outside the US have the comfort that when the US government is not there ICANN can function in a way that is accountable to the global public interest that, it's not a capturable organisation, neither at the board or at the legal level, and that it has processes of accountability and appeal and redress that can stand the scrutiny of our community and the global public interest and we will do that and we will get it done because we are together and aligned on this more than ever today. On Tuesday many of you voiced to me and to the board your concern that some elements of this process are going too fast, that we may not be totally in sync. And I have announced on the same day and I share with you again in case I wasn't clear enough that it was superbly evidence to us that we cannot continue one more day without aligning ourselves together.
We need to take the time to take a deep breath, to stop if the process went too fast. Many of you were on holidays and we were moving things. I now see the unfairness of that to some elements of the community and so I think we stop, we reassess, and we do it together. And today I'm happy to tell you that after receiving some very valuable input from self‑community members last night, we will be shortly within 24 hours I hope announcing the extension of a 21‑day public comment period so all the community can take its time, review the process, give us valuable input, and hopefully after that period we can relaunch but with unity amongst us. That's my commitment.
The second part of my goals and my focus is on the operational excellence area. I do not plan to give you a list right now of all the things we are doing in that regard however I'm happy to tell you the following. Major focus is put by myself and leaders insuring ICANN's excellence. We must operate like an institution what the world can count on; that means an effective and fair institution and as my chairman says an institution with empathy. And we are working towards that. I will only mention one thing that I will give you a preview about but in Los Angeles I promise to give you a lot more detail on it, I'm not quite ready to do it today and my ten minutes are almost up.
We are building a new framework for financial and organizational responsibility which will ensure that when ICANN is embarking on a major new initiative that we do not start until we have completed a full fiscal assessments, full organizational assessment, full community assessment and presented these to our stakeholders and make our stakeholders part of that decision process. We are studying this with the board next week, trying to design how we will do this with you to ensure that the trust between the ICANN organisation and its stakeholders is strengthened and that we do not embark on new things. That's just one example of a small area we are developing now. We will review it with the board and with all of you in LA before we implement it hopefully next year. Let me close with my 20% of Internet Governance.
My commitment to you on Internet Governance is the following: My board asked me and correctly so, that it's time for ICANN to step from a leadership role to a participant role in the global Internet Governance space. Our number one job is to serve our stakeholders within the remit you gave us, the remit of ICANN. Is it important for ICANN to participate in Internet Governance? Of course, we are one of many. But in the last year ICANN took some leadership in some areas like in Sao Paulo and other fora that took place. It is time for ICANN to step back, participate, but not lead. And that's the posture we are taking.
My only comment on this area of work will be about NETmundial. You heard last week that the world economic forum agreed to help in the area of Internet Governance. I think there has been some confusion about the role they would play. Let me set that a little bit clearer. I don't know that I'll set it straight but let me at least clarify it a little bit. There are two roles the world economic forum will play. They are distinct and completely separate and I would like to clarify them so all of us participate hopefully in the success of this initiative. The first role they will play is of an incubator for six months only of four projects that require all of us to participate in them. And these are projects to advance the agenda that was set in Sao Paulo and Brazil. So we took four things from the road map of Sao Paulo and the world economic forum, ICANN, CGI, others we are going to work together to enable these four projects with full participation by the community. The role is simply to be like an enable letter and secretariat, not to own, run or enable these. In fact every one of the four projects is sponsored by someone else. ICANN will sponsor one, CGI will sponsor one, Harvard and the network of centres including the network of others, they will participate in one project, and of course the gov lab in New York with MIT and New York University, they will sponsor the project.
All ICANN will do is to enable not run or own or lead even. And I think that's a good thing. The second thing is completely separate that. The WEF will energize the substance of Internet Governance within their own community and that's a good thing. How can we be with any community using the multistakeholder principles that we all believe in? And I think the decision of the WEF to do that within their community is a good thing. And they have invited some of us to inform their community. They have asked us to help them. It's important for two reasons. One, we need global leaders on the business and government side who are present in WEF communities to understand our model. If they do, they won't surprise us next year at the GA assembly in New York and say we don't know what is multi-net governance. We went them to make the right decisions to enhance corporation in where we are. Informing them in the circles of the WEF cannot hurt, it can only help. The second thing the WEF can do is they will involve a lot of other industries. They're inviting CEO's of financial sector, CEO's of manufacturing and energy sectors with the Internet permeating all industries it's good to have these industries also aware of where the Internet should be governed in a multistakeholder way. So that's a good thing. It does not interfere with what we do. It only compliments and adds to what we do. Let's welcome them and thank them for that commitment. Thank you.
>> OLGA MADRUGA‑FORTI: Thank you very much, Fadi. It's an extraordinarily dynamic and historic time at ICANN right now so we have heard from our chairman and CEO about issues relating to US and government transition, new gTLD's, optional excellence, a budget, accountability, transparency, so we welcome now your questions on these topics. I think that we have a roving mic. And our first question is up front here. Microphone to the gentleman on the floor, please. And if I can have you state your name and affiliation if any.
>> AUDIENCE: My name is Sunil Abraham, and I work at the Centre for Internet and Society in India. I'm unable to distinguish the difference between the multistakeholder model and open and self‑regulation. When I read the document I wasn't able to understand it at all because all it said was that Internet Governance should be this and Internet Governance should be that. It didn't clarify to me how the various stakeholders would self‑regulate and enforce this that has emerged from the multistakeholder model. So the question to ICANN is since the endorsement of NETmundial document what in ICANN has changed to be in compliance with the promises made in the NETmundial outcome document? Thank you.
>> FADI CHEHADE: You're speaking about the NETmundial statement that came out of Sao Paulo? Okay. I think the first thing I would like to share with you is that some of the recommendations of that statement was to create in fact a lot of the things you're asking for. They are missing today. There are many things we do in the multistakeholder community I would say by tradition. You remember the Indian representatives in Sao Paulo were very genuinely having difficulty understanding the decision making process. They were trying. And frankly if they asked me to produce eye clear statement of how we make decisions I would have had difficulty doing this. So one of the outcomes of the statement is we need to actually start thinking about how to formalize this. So one of the four projects that was announced in Geneva last week is indeed a project which involves Harvard and 13 other universities to start developing frankly these frameworks, how is digs making done. What are the legal frameworks for these things to be done properly? How do we form groups that are ligament that can make decisions?
So a lot of that is in formation, it's not in place yet today. We are still in the early stages of absorbing that, of engaging and developing that hopefully we can share with the world. The technical community has done things I think with good products for many years. But now the subject of Internet Governance is far bigger than the technical community. It now will involve models governance and institutions of people in a much broad are way. We need frame works to do that. And we are working on it today; we are contributing to that understanding and effort. And I hope these things as they evolve will not only be useful to others, they will also be useful to all of us including ICANN. Okay?
>> OLGA MADRUGA‑FORTI: Thank, very much, that's a very good question. There's probably an understanding of what a multistakeholder process is can be as varied as there are types of governments around the world. So thank you. Next question?
>> AUDIENCE: So the way I understood the response is that nothing has been done so far? And that whatever is going to be done is going to happen outside ICANN by other collaborators? And when I look at that list of projects announced at the NETmundial initiative one of them will result in the regulation of a particular stakeholder category. Corporations and governments which are the biggest sources of harm on the Internet today to public interest and Human Rights will not be regulated as the results of any of those initiatives.
My second question is to compare the transparency mechanisms in ICANN versus the right to information act in India. And I think there are some similarities but also important differences. I posed a question at IGF asking for details of a list of legal entities that give money to ICANN and how much money they give to ICANN every year. Historical data so that we can do analysis as a research organisation. It was then forwarded to the ICANN CFO and it's been a Monday and I haven't gotten a response to my question yet if this was a public information officer in the Indian government, that public information officer would be expected to pay a daily fine for every day of delay for not answering the question asked by the public over a one month period. So surely the multistakeholder model has improved overstate centric governance in the past but also there are a lot of valuable lessons that the multistakeholder organisations can learn from states in terms of accountability to the public since in reality you're a monopoly serving a public function. Thank you.
>> FADI CHEHADE: Thank you, and make sure you send me the fine, the invoice, we pay on time. Look, first of all on your first statement you're incorrect. We are not just doing things out of ICANN; we are doing things that will affect the whole ecosystem including ICANN. And we are doing them with others as opposed to on our own. So one way to do accountability is go in a room and say we are going to be more accountable or involve some of the best minds in the world to come and think together on how we can all improve our accountability frankly including the ones of our states.
The second question you ask is you want to know who gives us money and certainly I mean we receive the request and we will respond to the request and there is clear absolute understanding where ICANN gets its money. It's from the websites. When people get money they pay us. We don't get money from the government or any other source other than the people that buy websites. And most of it comes from the gentleman behind you so I can ask him as well. And we have a very simple model of collecting money from the CCTLDs but it's agreed with the CCTLDs and it's completely voluntary, we do not impose any fees on the country top level domains, the cc TLD's.
So look, accountability is nature, it's a way of functioning. We are committed to it. God knows as our chairman said we have done a lot of things towards that and we have just opened a process to do more of that since clearly this is important to you by all means please join that process and form us, guide us, enlighten us and criticize us this way we can improve our accountability, we are committed to that. And thank you for this.
>> OLGA MADRUGA‑FORTI: Thank you, Fadi. I think we have three more questions and then we will close this set. There will be an opportunity at the end to address a variety of questions so we have the next question up front in the first row, I believe.
>> AUDIENCE: Thank you, very much. Mr. Fadi, you are a very good speaker. Very good. I congratulate you; you are in full command, perfect command of everything you say. Very, very good.
>> OLGA MADRUGA‑FORTI: You can self‑introduce first.
>> AUDIENCE: I am speaking on the personal capacity as a participant in the IGF. It is my first IGF. I hope it will not be the last IGF. I hope I will encourage to participate in IGF so that should be encountered as the duration of the speech. Three things for me, Mr. Fadi Chehade is not clear. First you said no‑no longer will lead, that means you were leading up to now but you no longer want to lead but you will be participating. So it means that ICANN will leading up to some time and now is going to participate. Then who will be leading exactly you or you and US government together? Now, you don't want to lead anymore. Who will lead? How? Then who are the leaders in future? This is the first question. Second question is the accountability.
You want to redefine the accountability, you want to have the accountability and this is the third time I raise the question, this accountability once it is defined to whom this accountability will be reported, an entity, international or not international, an independent auditor, what is the entity to which the accountability will be reported? This is very, very important. Now another question is in London we have heard that ICANN ‑‑ this working group will compose of 22 to 25 different members. All of a sudden you change the path. You withdraw that and some overall consultation asking for seven consultants. Why change the path? We have this good experience of IGF. It works at least up to this time very well. We have consulted with each operate and many, many e‑mails have been exchanged. More than 600 e‑mails have been exchanged.
>> OLGA MADRUGA‑FORTI: Okay. Thank you.
>> AUDIENCE: Thank you.
>> FADI CHEHADE: Getting an excellent that I communicate well from my friend is impressive because he is quite a communicator as well. If you haven't seen him do it, he is very clear always and I appreciate your questions. For those of us here for a second or third or 9th time we welcome you and hope you do come again. You asked me three questions. The first one who will lead? In our community there is a point where it becomes important to step back and let the momentum of the community lead. We are at a point as you saw even last week in Geneva where will are many, many institutions, organisations, individuals, that are now aware this is a critical issue.
So there was a point in the last 12 months where I had taken a certain focus on this. It started of course with the statement we made with the I Star leaders and that led to the meeting with President Russeff (phonetic) which then let to NETmundial in Sao Paulo which also led to the panel with the president that produced a very important report and now we get to the point where frankly a year on as I said in my opening speech at the IGF that the world is engaged. The world is engaged. When we were together at the WCIT, many people were saying where is that multistakeholder Internet Governance. I don't think anyone can go say this. Multistakeholder Internet Governance is alive and well. Only in the last 48 hours Indonesia, Somalia, Costa Rica, Lebanon, country after country came here told me they were moving forward with multistakeholder governance body. The movement is happening and that's a good thing. So who will lead is all of us. It's all of us. I think Internet Governance in the multistakeholder way has its issues, the gentleman from India is right, we still have quite a bit of work to do, to strengthen this model but it's life. And it working and we should all continue as you have been I must give you all the credit.
You have thrown yourself into our world and been very supportive and very helpful and very informative and very critical and I thank you for that. You are now part of who is leading, all of us are leading. On the accountability front your second question you asked who are we going to be accountable to? And that's a very good question we are accountable if you read our mission as ICANN to the public interest, so is your government, so is my government, so is everyone government. So is every institution like ours that has in its bye laws a commit tent to the public interest.
What you and I and everybody should do is translate that since ICANN is a multistakeholder organisation with processes and mechanisms that ensure anybody in the public that if there's any decision being made at ICANN that they want to discuss to participate in, to challenge, the mechanisms are clear and effective. That's who we are accountable to. And I as the president of ICANN I'm accountable to the public interest, first and foremost. I answer to my board and to my chairman but I'm accountable to the public interest. So is he. Your third question was very technical one, why did we change in the accountability process where why did we change the mechanism from the mechanism that you are participating in the ICG on the IANA stewardship.
In the IANA stewardship we are affecting certain communities that affect policies like the IGF or the RIR's and those who benefit from their great work in the distribution of numbers so the communities all need to decide how this function will be coordinated with the absence of the US government. In this particular track it's different. Here we are talking about ICANN accountability. I could have said honestly why don't we just decide amongst us how to fix ICANN accountability? But there are many people who are not in this room, there are many people who don’t even attend the ICANN meetings and I'm equally accountable to them. How do I make sure that I infuse into our discussions on how to inform our accountability external views? Expert views? Best practices from other industries, from other academics? From other experts? We didn't invent accountability as the gentleman from India said. Governments are accountable to their people, institutions; there are many accountability frame works.
We have one, it may not be perfect, let's fix it but let's not fix it by simply talking to each other, let's also involve some experts so I said I will pick the experts and people said no you can't pick the experts we need somebody else. I said the Board will pick the experts. People said no the Board can't pick the experts so I picked people who will need the experts. If anybody has a better idea, please tell me. But I picked people that are respectable, that the community knows, one is from Civil Society, one government, one international government organisation.
I picked four people everyone knows and I said please, I have nothing to do with it, you pick experts. And we as people who believe in openness and learning from others as the gentleman from India was suggesting, we shall be open. But our community has to lead because this is about ICANN accountability. Even in the proposed process today which is now back to you for comment, even in that process the community will be the majority and will lead because we have to. Thank you, very much. Thank you for your questions.
>> OLGA MADRUGA‑FORTI: Thank you, Fadi. I think the last question in this set was the gentleman right there about the fifth row up.
>> AUDIENCE: Thank you. My name is Alexander Castro; I'm representing the Brazilian telecommunication operators. Just for clarification because I believe I don't understand correctly, if understood correctly, after six months under those WEF groups dealing with the principles and framework results from the NETmundial meeting, we are going to have proposal to be submitted to someone or some organisation, I would like to understand this, or we are going to have procedures already approved regarding for instance the decision process. I believe that we have here the Internet organisations we have different countries, different sectors, stakeholders.
The process to take the decision is very difficult. The consensus in NETmundial we discussed this. So I believe that if understood correct, WEF groups will try to establish some procedures regarding this decision process. And I'd like to know how it's to be approved rules or just a proposal to submit to someone?
>> OLGA MADRUGA‑FORTI: Thank you, very much. Steve or Fadi? Fadi, please. Thank you.
>> FADI CHEHADE: Thank you, very much, for your question. I want to make sure I understood what you said. You're saying the effort of these four projects that will be incubated and started immediately; all four projects come from the NETmundial Sao Paulo road map. I mention one only which was the one related to creating better governance and legal frameworks for making decisions. There's another one, for example, to create a very easy to use web‑based tool to connect issues to solutions so that when you want to find a policy on a certain issue you can find exams of this policy being implemented, how the policy is working, you can connect with a network of experts who will help you implement the policy. There were four of them that you can find them.
Your question is once these things are finished in six months, what do we do? Are they things we can implement? So I want to be clear. We are incubating these projects and we are inviting soon they will be inviting anyone and everyone to participate in these projects, anyone is welcome. It will be open participation. The WEF is only providing the ground. We will plant these projects and some of them will be finished in six months, some of them will not be. But the WEF agreed that in six months they cannot continue to do this.
At that point we have as a community to say are these projects now flowers? Do they look like we can do something with them? Maybe we take these flowers and move them to other exists organisations, maybe we create an organisation to deal with them? We don't know. But we didn't want to spend another year thinking where do we do project we wanted to do. So that's the movement. The second part of the question I think is more delicate. You're asking what legitimacy important power or whatever comes out from this, anyone will have to force them or to implement them. And that's ‑‑ implementation is a whole different discussion. Huh?
As the president’s report said and I think this is very worth reading if you haven't, it said the solution to Internet Governance has three stages. One stage is to identify issues. I think the IGF does a superb job at that. We can meet, we can identify issues and discuss them and debate them. The second stage is to identify solutions to these issues. And that's the stage where ICANN does its job for its work but there aren't many solutions that are visible yet that we need to strengthen in a multistakeholder way. And the third stage is solution implementation and that will be done through the policy processes or voluntarily. Today all the focus in the NETmundial initiative is on the middle area. It's how to move from issue identification to solution identification and building. I'm happy to catch up with you later to give the floor to my questions.
>> OLGA MADRUGA‑FORTI: Thank you Fadi. I think in the interest of time we will next here from our two remaining speakers Sally Costerton and Tarek Kamel and we will have one last wrap up Q and A question and we will come back to the two questions in the back as the first questions. Thank you. Our next speaker is Sally Costerton. She is the senior advisor for stakeholder engagement. And if you have worked with Sally, then you already know this. And that is that she has 20 plus years of public relations and communications experience. She's an absolute expert in her field and she applies those talents in ICANN's very important new mission of outreach globalization of the entity and reaching out to all stakeholders in this comment. Thank you. Sally, please.
>> SALLY COSTERTON: Thank you very much, Olga. My communication skills clearly don't extend to microphone operation. Thank you all for being here. I've been with ICANN just over two years. I think ‑‑ how many people in the room were in Bali at the last IGF? Okay. So quite a lot of people who weren't in Bali. So about half the room, little under half the room. So what I was just going to do very briefly was give all of you a bit of an update on what is happened in our part of the forest in the last year but I'll keep it very high level, don't worry. For those of who you were in Bali or those of you who are regulars at ICANN meetings you probably heard me say already that when I came into ICANN Fadi asked plea to help him to internationalize ICANN.
That was the first goal. And the second was to get closer to our stakeholders. And those are closely related but they're not exactly the same. And the strategy that we put in place was in three parts all of which were designed to broaden and deepen our relationships and our dialogue with existing and new stakeholders all around the world which is extremely ambitious. I'm pleased to say that we have made good progress. There is sometimes I wake up in the night and I frighten myself by how much more there is to do.
We are, however, making headway and much of the reason is because of people in this room. Some of whom are people we have brought on to staff. Could anybody who is a regional vice president in the room put their hand up, please? Okay. Thank you, very much. So for those of you who are sitting in the front you won't be able to see, I think five hands went up. The key thing ‑‑ a key priority that I had was to broaden out the team of engagement leaders around the world. It's incredibly difficult to run effective engagement programmes from thousands of miles away run by people who don't share your culture, and don't speak your language. That's really been more or less completed. We now have teams in different all around the world actually lead have very experienced practitioners, most who have participated in this community for many years. Between them they have built a series of strong community based engagement strategies which many of you in this room participate in which broaden and deepen both how do we support and protect the core work we do today when we are not at meetings like the IGF, how do we do it day‑to‑day but also how do we bring new blood into that community? And it's not just younger blood although it is that.
And one of the initiatives that my college, Kwak (phonetic), our colleague form our Asian specific region has been focused on is what we call next generation at ICANN. It's a very focused strategy to bring in much younger participants to our ICANN meetings both virtually and in person. And that's been a very important part of bringing in some of these new voices. Now thousands new voices, younger voices consume messages in a different way specifically social media. We have had a big push in the last 12 months in terms of building out our website, changing it, evolving it, which was done completely bottom up. Chris gift, our head of digital engagement had a very dedicated team working with him and they nagged him and supported him and cheered him on through many iterations of our new site. It will always be iterating, it's the nature of the beast.
But the traffic figures are really increased. Language translation has really been a major focus. Again much more work to do but I wanted you to know for example this year to date we have translated 50 and a half million words and that's actually up to the end of March. So the scale of the requirement of to us make content more relevant to go closer to our stakeholders with better languages, this will never stop, both human contributions and how do we use technology better. On social media we have now got a big focus on simplifying our communication.
ICANN is complicated. Most of our newer stakeholders are not insiders by definition. We are using video much more in multiple languages. We have 25,000 subscribers to our YouTube channel and we have gone from 0 to 6,000 down loads in the last nine months. These are quite tactical things. And finally on twitter Fadi has a Twitter account. Fadi also has some fake Twitter accounts which is an interesting development of working in the social space. I find them fascinating to follow. I can keep up with what is going on. We have for example the ICANN president account has gone from 79 followers a year ago, this is the real ICANN president account, to just under 2,000 a couple months ago; and it's growing all the time. 5,000. Thank you. 4,000. We had a busy, busy few months. Thank you very much.
In terms of physically putting people around the world getting close to our stakeholders we have done some important initiatives in term of our engagement points. Now we can't put in ICANN offices all around the world because it would be unsustainable but we are experimenting with different models. Language localisation programmes with our colleagues in Seoul who were working with us helping us with outreach from there. Talking to our partners in Japan about how we evolve new engagement models there. Opening an engagement office in Beijing, opening in Geneva. So we are doing our very best to experiment. And please keep giving us feedback on how those work for up.
Finally, I just want to talk about our meetings. ICANN meetings are in many ways the heart and soul of ICANN life, that's what people tell me. They continue to be in tremendous demand. The last year has seen us as a community go through an extremely extensive meeting strategy working group review. And I can tell you that we are again deepening our access. We have increased by 50% the amount of community‑supported travelers that we bring to ICANN meetings, and I am pleased to say we are balancing partly through supported travelers and partly through our rotation model of ICANN meetings we are balancing the engagement across stakeholder groups and across nationalities and we need to continue that. Finally to finish I would like to just reference the introduction of using remote hubs.
We actually piloted this at NETmundial a way of making sure that people could contribute virtually to the discussion. It was so popular that we broad it into our meeting in London and we had about I think 12 cities around the world with us for a full day through our public dialogue day on Thursday at ICANN and we will do the same thing at our meeting in Los Angeles. And I have a feeling this is going to become a permanent part of our life at ICANN. I now have people coming to me from all over the world saying please can I be a remote hub. And I think that's one of the highest metrics, if you like of are we engaging effectively closer to our stakeholder if they come towards us and say please can we be a part of the process. I'm happy to take questions. I hope that's useful update.
>> OLGA MADRUGA‑FORTI: Thank you, very much, Sally. Another very important transformation as part of the globalization of ICANN is engagement with governments and international organizations. We will next hear from Tarek Kamel. Tarek brings to ICANN a career in communications. He's probably one much the few global experts in both all of the international organisations as well as ICANN including the international telecommunications union, the United Nations, et cetera. He's considered the father of the Internet in Egypt and has been minister of communications of his country.
>> TAREK KAMEL: Thank you for the introduction. I'm glad to participate in this distinguished panel I'm going to complement and build on what Fadi and Sally has said concerning the globalization. It was clear when we started this journey Sally and myself two years ago that one of the major challenges to the ICANN board that was really meaningful was the globalization of the organisation. There was never a doubt that the organisation is doing an excellent technical job. The operation of the IP addresses going forward. But we definitely the programme has proven that we need further globalization. We need further inclusion from the developing world and we need definitely further participation from the developing world. Because at the end of the day the DNS business as Fadi mentioned is the biggest business that ICANN is taken care of. IP addresses important, parameters are important.
But at the end the domain name space is the most important activity that ICANN is really coordinating its management, for together there was the various constituents and with the various players. So it was clear that we need definitely to address the needs of the governments to include more governments within the GAC to motivate them to participate and become active. We have seen a huge improvement within the number of participates in the GAC as well as the role of the GAC itself. Because suddenly the world started to ask, who is deciding about dot X and dot Y in the gTLD domain? And many questions were there. Many players that were not normally interested in looking at what ICANN was doing suddenly started to ask who this is organisation, who are these people exactly, how global is it, how is the engagement within the developing world, how can we influence the decisions going there, how can we play a role within the constituencies that are happening at ICANN.
And governments are definitely part of that. When I mention governments I don't only mention the ministers of the communication and technology and science as such they have definitely an important role within the different countries but let's be clear and as Fadi as mentioned the challenges become more of a broader spectrum that they include other disciplines. They include the ministries of economy, include foreign affairs and include other players also when it comes to relation to security and cyber security and other issues within on a national level as well as on a regional level. So we decided to empower our government engagement team as such as work together with the regional vice president and with Sally to have a government engagement strategy that we have developed last year and presented to the poured and that we are implementing on the ground while the regional vice president and the needs of the governments and to work close with the GAC. It comes to the IGO it was also necessary to build bridges with the IGO. They are observers at the GAC but they have also other roles within the development of the Internet access, within the multilingualism, within the different applications, issues related to Human Rights, with the other challenges.
So it was very important to build bridges and the right dialogue as it was mentioned with the IGO's within the overall distributed ecosystem that we have been witnessing and building together as a community within the last ten years. Our responsibility now is to make sure that we expand this ecosystem as multistakeholder ecosystem on a global level to keep it distributed and to make sure it really reaches the unreachable at the time being and that we enter the regions where we have not been as strong until now as ICANN as well as a global multistakeholder community with the right message and in order build the right structure as it has been mentioned this is what will ensure a healthy ecosystem to have on the national level the right structures of IGO ecosystems in the countries carrying the different aspects related to ICANN and related to the standards and related to the existing challenges together with the governments and private sector and Civil Society.
So the team is working on that and I will conclude by one of the steps in order to implement our strategy you have opened on office in Geneva to be close to the IGO's and also to be very close to the missions, the UN missions, UN country missions because at the end of the day they need to be informed about the multistakeholder system, about the importance of the multistakeholder system and how to participate within this multistakeholder system. We started doing briefings very recently in Geneva and New York to make sure we widen it so it's not only excluded odd on the technical levels or whatsoever. So please help us as a community that broader mission that we have. We welcome any feedback be in direction to improve the overall direction and to empower and clarify the role of governments and the role of IGO's within ICANN but within an overall distributed multistakeholder IGO system as well.
>> OLGA MADRUGA‑FORTI: Thank you very much, Tarek. We'll use the time remaining for an all topic question and answer session so we turn the floor over to you. There were two questions remaining from the first session in the back, I believe Robin over in third row. If you can introduce yourself and your affiliation.
>> My name is Robin Gross, I'm with IP justice. I have a question with respect to the NETmundial initiative, in particular the financial arrangements that are supporting the initiative. I had heard some reports that the financial relationships, the financial arrangements between ICANN and the WEF was essentially that it was costing ICANN about $200,000 per year for this initiative. I'm wondering if that's true. Secondly what are the arrangements and who else is supporting or funding the NETmundial initiative? And lastly what are the terms of engagement between ICANN and the WEF for holding that? And would you be willing the make those terms public. Thank you.
>> FADI CHEHADE: Thank you, Robin. As soon as they are known they will be public. There are no arrangements at the moment. We have not had a single meeting about these things because we have been at the state simply creating the vision and the meeting you saw last week which was public click aired but there's been no meeting yet on how are these things going to be funded and enabled. As soon as we do and it's clear, we will make it public.
>> OLGA MADRUGA‑FORTI: Thank you. Next question was there another question from the first session in the back, I believe, towards my left? No? Okay. There's a question here in the middle. To my right.
>> AUDIENCE: Hello. My name is Mohammad. I'm from Lebanon, Beirut. I really liked what Mr. Tarek said and it opens the idea of public policy. We do a lot of research and training around digital rights in our region about freedom of speech online. We have seen a lot of legal framework happen entering the last three years in that region and it's really scary what is happening. We have seen a lot of push from the governments against freedom of expression. And I really like that ICANN is going more local translating things but I also worry that the more local they will go, the more they should obey with local laws. And I wonder how much there's going to be a push from governments in the Arab region or other countries against issues that's related to freedom of expression under international standard.
>> OLGA MADRUGA‑FORTI: Well, let's see. It's a little bit hard. I am an attorney but not in my capacity as an attorney but it a little bit hard to address your question sort of out of context but let's take a particular example. It is ‑‑ ICANN does not run everything that has to do with the Internet. It has a very particular mission that has to do with the Domain Name System. And in that regard the principle activity of allocating the domain names falls upon registries and registrars. Those registries and registrars have contractual arrangements with ICANN and within those contractual arrangements it is made clear that adherence to relevant local law is an important aspect of those activities. So I hope that helps to frame your question and give us a point of reference for what I believe will continue to be a very important legal and social issue in our dialogue going forward. It has to do with conflicts of laws with territoriality, very complex and very rich question so thank you.
Next question? Way in the back.
>> AUDIENCE: I'm from Internet society. And this is actually a question to Tarek. Tarek, you have made concerted progress during the last two years by improving government participation. Is there any plan to go to the next step wherein you can at some future point of time see government seated equally in a multistakeholder house along with business and Civil Society so that balance policies emerge from that house by government participation, while the government could also work and separate issues; or at least is there a possibility that we will see more of government participation in a house like that? Thank you.
>> OLGA MADRUGA‑FORTI: Thank you, very much. I think if we can bring the mic up front I might prevail upon our chair of the government advisory committee of ICANN to give you an idea regarding the participatory process within the GAC. We need the mic at the first row, please. Microphone, first row.
>> Thank you, Olga, thank you for sending a question my way. So the government advisory committee at ICANN is very much a part of the community alongside businesses, Civil Society and other colleagues as part of the multistakeholder approach at ICANN. So we have a government committee comprised of more than 140 governments and about 30 observer organisations and they are basically intergovernmental organisations that are either regionally based or based on a certain kind of expertise that is relevant to ICANN's mandate. So the governmental advisory committee provides advice to the board and to the community and is very much engaged with working with other parts of the community and it really essential, it's really integral to the way we approach things in the GAC. So as I say we are really right alongside the other advisory committees and supporting organisations at ICANN and part of that community.
>> OLGA MADRUGA‑FORTI: Thank you Heather. Next question? No? If there are no more questions then I thank you very much for coming this afternoon. And I hope that you will continue to engage. I think we have one more comment.
>> AUDIENCE: I just wanted to say we have a special offer today. If this is your first ICANN meeting we are disputing free top level domains in the back. You can grab your own. (Laughter)
>> OLGA MADRUGA‑FORTI: Thank you, very much, for coming. Everyone have a wonderful rest of the meeting.
This is the output of the real‑time captioning taken during the IGF 2014 Istanbul, Turkey, meetings. Although it is largely accurate, in some cases it may be incomplete or inaccurate due to inaudible passages or transcription errors. It is posted as an aid to understanding the proceedings at the session, but should not be treated as an authoritative record.