The following are the outputs of the real-time captioning taken during the Tenth Annual Meeting of the Internet Governance Forum (IGF) in João Pessoa, Brazil, from 10 to 13 November 2015. 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 event, but should not be treated as an authoritative record.
>> RINALIA ABDUL RAHIM: Good morning, everyone, shall we get started? Can you hear me? No. Is the microphone on? It's on? Good morning, everyone, can you hear me? What about the people who don't have it? I'll try one more time. Good morning, everyone, can you hear me? Yes. Okay. You might need your ‑‑ Channel 2, probably. 1? Okay. Channel 1, everybody. Hello again. Yes. If you have the device, please put it on because it helps you hear. Okay. So welcome to the ICANN open Forum. We normally organise this Forum to provide an update in terms of ICANN's progress since the last IGF meeting. And the way we're going to do this is we're going to have three people from the leadership. Do people have problems listening? You need a device to hear? Please go get a headset. Okay. So we will begin. My name is Rinalia Abdul Rahim. I'm a member of the ICANN board of directors. And today what we'd like to do in our one-hour session which is running fairly quickly is to give you an update about ICANN's progress since last year's IGF. And with me are Steve Crocker, Chairman of the ICANN Board. Rodrigo de la Para, Vice President, Stakeholder Engagement for Latin America and the Caribbean. And on his way is Fadi Chehadé, President and CEO.
So to start us off, I'd like to invite Steve Crocker to give some remarks and provide some highlights on key developments. Steve?
>> DR. STEVE CROCKER: Good morning, everybody. It's a pleasure to be here. The ability and the pleasure of being here is that among other things, Brazil is a country that fervently backs the multistakeholder model that so many of us view as a model and foundation for internet governance. We're forever looking forward in the future as I mentioned last year's meeting in Istanbul. Let's take a minute and look back briefly at the events of the past year.
First of all, about the IGF, we're pleased that WSIS+10 review draft UN resolution released last week calls for an extension of the IGF for another 10 years. That's great. Major point of discussion of the meeting and one of the big accomplishments.
The draft resolution also recognizes the need for all stakeholders to engage in dialogue in Internet Governance issues, which is of course what the IGF's all about.
ICANN has consistently been a strong supporter of the IGF since its inception; it’s increased its support over the past 10 years; and it views IGF as a positive example for stimulating constructive dialogue on Internet topics on global multistakeholder community. We're active in the IGF at all levels, global, regional, and national, participating in the dialogue and initiatives presented through these forums. We applaud the efforts made by the IGF on both on the regional and national levels to garner interest and engagement from the various stakeholders in the developing world. This year ICANN participated in the eighth Latin American Caribbean IGF, August 2015 in Mexico. The European IGF called Euro-dig in Sophia, the 11th Caribbean IGF August 2015 in Trinidad and Tobago, and the fourth Africa IGF in September 2015 in Ethiopia.
Quite a lot of attention has been focused on the transition of the IANA stewardship and the accountability process. These have occupied quite a lot of our attention as well as everyone else's during the past year.
It was a featured session at last year's IGF in Istanbul and is featured in a main session in a number of workshops here.
The IGF community was clear that accountability and the IGF IANA transition go hand‑in‑hand. The community's participation thus far has been extraordinary. At ICANN we have calculated that the staff and Board Members have participated in an estimated 860 or so events around the world where IANA stewardship transition or enhancing ICANN accountability processes were discussed, debated, organized or planned between March 2014 and October 2015, this year. That's equivalent of almost 45 events per month. We're thinking of taking on our own radio station "All ICANN transition, all the time."
Of these events, roughly 520 were joined through global webinars or calls, while an additional 345 were attended in person, spanning over 87 countries around the world. That's not enough numbers. I have some more for you.
Roughly 300 people have been involved with the working groups. More than 340 meetings have been held. And there have been 25,000 or so mailing list exchanges just on the accountability mailing list.
While we're able to track more closely the number of events that ICANN staff and Board have participated in, there have been countless people around the world who have participated in both the numbering processes coordinated by the regional Internet registries and the protocol parameter processes coordinated by the IGF via emails, meetings, and phone calls. That's a lot of participation.
These have not all been dry. There have been some spirited discussions surrounding the transition at the ICANN meeting in Dublin. And by spirited, I'm sure most of us understand that that means a lot of Guinness and Jamisons, as well.
In spite of that, or perhaps because of that, the cross‑community Working Group on accountability and the IANA stewardship transition coordination group, the ICG, reached significant results. The latter, the ICG finalised its IANA stewardship transition proposal dependent upon the outstanding dependencies on the naming committee CWG stewardship and CCWG accountability. There will be a test to see if you get all these acronyms. The CCWG accountability made real, tangible progress in Dublin on many of their outstanding recommendations, notably deciding to focus on developing the sole designator as the legal enforcement mechanism for their new community powers.
It's very important that people stay involved. We know it's been a long process, but the CCWG's getting close, and continued engagement and participation will be the key. The CCWG accountability will launch a 35‑day public comment on their third draft of work stream 1 recommendations beginning 15 November. That's until . At the launch, the CCWG will launch a 20- to 30‑page high level overview of the proposal, a summary of the key changes from the previous draft and documentation on how the proposal meets both the CWG and the NTIA requirements. Approximately 15 days into the public comment, that's at the end of this month, the CCWG will then release the full indepth proposal including appendices and process documentation.
Pending no major changes or concerns raised in the public comments, the CCWG accountability aims to submit a proposal to the ICANN Board by mid-January 2016.
I'm often asked, what will the Board do with that? The Board is committed to transmitting the proposal unchanged. We have reserved the right, as is part of the process, to add whatever comments we want to add. We have asserted well in advance that we won't add any comments that contain any content that is not what we have previously discussed. And it is our firm intent and hope that we will be entirely supportive of the proposal, that we'll be able to turn it around very quickly and move it past us to NTI faster than it can be reported. That's the hope.
This group more than most realises that the coming year will be a significant one in the history of Internet Governance. It's important that we realise the process we're currently undertaking and it is an important part as the destination will be ultimately reached. I mentioned in Dublin the manner in which we reached that destination will ultimately define us. My hope is that it will remain one of inclusivity and transparency.
And with that, I hope we have a very productive week. Thank you, Rinalia.
>> RINALIA ABDUL RAHIM: Thank you, Steve. Next I'd like to invite Fadi Chehadé, President and CEO of ICANN to say a few words about ICANN's globalization efforts.
>> FADI CHEHADÉ: Thank you, Rinalia. Hello, everyone. Globalization at ICANN works on four levels. At the first level is operational globalization. And I think the record of the last three, four years shows that ICANN has become, in many ways, operationally global. First we divided our Headquarters into three global hubs, one in Los Angeles serving North and South America; one in Istanbul serving Europe, Middle East and Africa; and one in Singapore, serving Asia and Oceana. So by splitting the Headquarters into these three hubs, we were able to also split the main operational functions of ICANN. Whilst not too long ago, for example, all the legal staff of ICANN was in Los Angeles, trained in U.S. law, we now have legal staff around the hubs so that we can understand and work with our local communities around the world.
We also have globalised our support in this area. Today, for the first time in ICANN's history, 24 hours a day, 5 days a week anyone can call an ICANN line and get support in all the UN languages plus Portuguese, plus Turkish and get help and support into the ICANN operations.
We have also partnering with certain communities very successfully, for example, in South Korea. We are working with the local community to localise our materials. And this is not just about translation of what we do. This is also in preparing briefs in local languages that help the people in that region understand what we're doing and contribute to what we're doing. This initiative in South Korea is being copied in other places.
We have also globalised our expertise. I was just in Cairo where we announced the first DNS entrepreneurship centre in the world, in partnership with the Egyptian community. it has already held seven workshops training more than 100 people in that region on issues of DNS business, issues of DNS law and policy, issues of technical matters. So these are the things we do to take our expertise and our operations and take them to the world. So that's the operational globalization.
The next level of globalization is to make sure that at the geopolitical level ICANN is viewed by the world as an organisation, as a community, as an institution that is accepted to be serving the world, not serving any one community. And I think the work of the last few years also demonstrates, without question, starting here, in fact, in Brazil, in April 2014, how the Brazilian government embraced ICANN and the multistakeholder model and allowed us to move forward with their blessing and with their support to continue the work we've been doing for over 16 years.
Following that, the Chinese government, which for a long time was still searching for its place and role in ICANN, announced at the ICANN meeting in London in June 2014, at the highest level, first time ever in an ICANN meeting, that China is also supportive of one Internet for the world with ICANN and its partners, the IETF and the Regional Internet Registries coordinating the affairs of the unique protocol identifiers.
And then most recently, and really the cherry on top for us, was India's move at the Buenos Aires meeting in June 2015 where His Excellency, Minister Prasad sent us a powerful message how this great nation of India, an India that is rooted in democratic, open policies that we all support and embrace, is now joining the global community in its support for ICANN and its role as the coordinator of the unique protocol identifiers. These are geopolitical shifts that happened at ICANN meetings, giving ICANN the geopolitical presence that it needs. And this train continues now with more and more countries as we've signed tens of MOUs in the last four years supporting our role as the coordinator of those functions. That's the second level of globalization.
The third level of globalization was to make sure that ICANN itself is independent. You cannot claim that you're global if your affairs are viewed or perceived as being either overseen or controlled by one party. And I think it's pretty clear that the United States Government has had a very fruitful partnership with us for many years; however, the time for a unique role for any one government is done. And I think all of us who have worked so hard over the last two years to finish this phase of our life and to bring to the end the fruitful partnership we've had with the U.S. government and to give ICANN the global independence that it needs is now. And I'm confident, as I'm sure many of you are around this table and around this room, that we will finish this project next year, and we will end up with an ICANN that the whole world can see as independent and serving everyone without the particular influence of any one group or one party or one government or anyone, but serving the public interest.
And, finally, to close, there's a fourth element to globalization. And that's globalising the DNA of a community and of an organisation. And that's the toughest one. I was involved in the 2008 timeframe in the globalisation of big chunks of the IBM services organizations, and I remember how easy it was to build offices around the world, put people around the world. Today ICANN has people in 30 locations around the world. That’s the easy part. Building the globalization is the easy part. The difficult part is to make everyone ‑‑ not just the ICANN staff or the ICANN board, but the ICANN community ‑‑ change the DNA of this organisation to understand our global role and to understand that the billions of people we're adding to the Internet today do not even have a Latin keyboard. It's a brand New World. And the world is large. And the world is complex. But the Internet is for everyone. And if ICANN is to maintain its globalisation, we cannot simply say we have people in 30 countries or 30 locations; we have to say "we think locally. We may act globally, but we think -- we understand our communities. We cannot continue to be caught thinking with a US‑centric or western‑centric frame. We have to think like the world, and we do this by engaging and listening and participating. And I think we're on the way to get there. This is a non‑stop mission. And I know that ICANN is committed to this. So thank you very much.
>> RINALIA ABDUL RAHIM: Thank you, Fadi. And finally Rodrigo De La Parra Vice President, Stakeholder Engagement in Latin America and the Caribbean, will say a few words about ICANN's regional engagement with stakeholders.
>> RODRIGO DE LA PARRA: Thank you very much, Rinalia, and good morning, everybody. It's a real pleasure to be here and to see many of our stakeholders in our community in this and also new faces.
So I want to share a couple things. First I want to share the experience of what the ICANN globalisation has meant for the Latin American, the Caribbean region, and also a good piece of the -- let's say materialisation of this globalization of ICANN in terms of outage and engagement in the form of what we call the regional community strategies.
So as you know, despite many years of efforts in the past trying to create a more regional balance in the presentation of ICANN stakeholders, of stakeholders of different regions in ICANN, there still was an unbalanced situation coming from the developed world. So three years ago, you might remember ICANN changed its posture towards a more global approach. So this entailed not waiting for stakeholders to come and join ICANN's stakeholder model, but rather to go out to the world to different regions and be close to these communities and try to get them engaged in ICANN.
So Fadi just mentioned the hubs. ICANN has now three main hubs in North America for the Americas, the traditional one, but then two additional in Istanbul for Europe and Africa and then we have Singapore for Asia.
But we also have another kind of physical presence in the regions which is called the engagement centres. In Latin America, the Caribbean, we have one engagement centre, which is based ‑‑ located in Montevideo in Uruguay in a very particular place. Many of you have already heard of the casa of the Internet or the house of the Internet which is a place where we share physical space with other colleagues from the Internet technical community, the RIR for the region, the ccTLD regional organisation, LACTLD, the Internet Society regional office, plus others outside the regional community. We also share this space with the ICT companies, organisation as yet, LAC and others colleagues where we work with this space and create some good synergies.
And in terms of the presence in the region, we also have colleagues from different locations. So we have one person working from La Paz in Bolivia; he's our regional manager and he takes care of the implementation of the regional strategy.
Then we also have, of course, full‑time staff in Montevideo, our communications manager and head. She's based there, as well.
We have our colleague Albert Daniels based in Saint Lucia to take care of the Caribbean. Myself, I'm based now in Mexico City and we have of course our stakeholder manager for Brazil, Daniel Fink. So this has happened in a very short time. So probably three years and we have come this far.
The other piece I wanted to share with you are what we call the regional strategies. And this is, of course, not only the case for Latin America. Actually the first regional strategy we had in ICANN was for the Africa region. So also the Middle East has a regional strategy. But the commonalities among these regional strategies is that they were built with and designed by the community itself. So community members in ICANN, they gathered together and organized and drafted these strategies.
In the case of Latin America and the Caribbean, we have identified four key areas of interest for our strategy. We have been implementing these also three years ago, more or less. And one of these key areas of interest is what we call the political dimension of it. And it basically means the interactions among the different stakeholder groups or stakeholders in the LAC region and how we participate in fora like the regional IGFs and others.
Then we also have this very important component of outreach and capacity building, which is one of the elements that we need to increase participation from the region in ICANN and other processes.
Then we also have one area of interest which we call the economic issues. And the economic issues area of interest means how can we help develop a DNS industry or sector in the region? We are following a little bit of the steps and good practices from the Middle East. Fadi just mentioned this idea of entrepreneurship centre in Egypt. We're trying to do something similar for the LAC region.
And, finally, we have the technical area of interest, which is how do we continue to have or enhance or strengthen the DNS operational part in this part of the world?
And most importantly, we are working very strongly in having a communications plan. This communication plan includes having all relevant ICANN information in the languages of this region but also trying to have ‑‑ it's not only translation into language but rather try to explain in very simple terms what is it ICANN do and how can people get involved in ICANN processes and policy development processes and other activities happening at ICANN?
So we think we are still a long way to go in terms of increasing participations from the region in ICANN. But I think we just made a great start. We have the basic foundations now in place. And I hope people can appreciate that ICANN is becoming more of a global organisation. Thank you very much, Rinalia.
>> RINALIA ABDUL RAHIM: Thank you, Rodrigo.
So now we arrive at the interactive part of the session. And I'd like to invite comments or questions from people around the room, especially those who are not traditional ICANNers. We would really like to hear from you. Anyone would like to start?
People are very shy this morning. No questions at all about globalization, progress since last year, region strategies, IANA transition, accountability?
Peter Dengate Thrush. I'm going to call on you. Please come to the microphone and ask an interesting question.
>> PETER DENGATE THRUSH: The only interesting question I can ask is why do you think I might be able to ask an interesting question? I wanted to congratulate Fadi I think on not just the work but the explication of the work and the globalisation. I think that's been one of the most important things that ICANN could have undertaken in this period. We do get ‑‑ we spend a lot of time on issues like the IANA transition which are important in the DNA of the organisation, but building the credibility and building the strength and building the responsiveness and building that global body that is trusted by the world community to handle these very important resources has been the mission for the last 16 or 17 years. And these last few years have seen some fantastic achievements in relation to those. So that's not a question. That's just really a comment from an old hand who's very pleased to see these enormously powerful developments.
I suppose the question for Fadi is having set those up, what do you see as the next set of challenges and continuing that? Do you see more offices? Do you see more people or some other way forward? I know you're going to be leaving shortly, but if you were to look back in three years' time, what would you hope would have been achieved in that period?
>> FADI CHEHADÉ: First of all, many thanks, Peter, for your comments and, frankly, the credit goes to our whole team and our Board that has worked very closely together with the community to build this globalisation. But thank you. The vote of confidence from you means a lot to me and I'm sure many around this room given what you've done to help ICANN get to this point. So thank you for that.
I do not believe that the next three years will require a major further expansion of ICANN and its size or staff. Quite the opposite. I made the commitment, as you know, to start slowing down the growth of ICANN. And we are on track. We have slowed down the growth last year and this year again and next year to make sure the growth kind of levels where we are.
In terms of specifics, I do believe we ‑‑ before I leave, I hope we will complete the strategy and the implementation of adding one more engagement centre in Africa. That's something I'm hoping we can get done. Right now, if you look at the ICANN presence map, quite frankly, besides Baher in Egypt, it's a little bit lacking. So we will address that. And the community is now in dialogue to help us figure out how to do this.
I do believe the central theme of the next three years will be set by our Board and my successor, who will hopefully be named early next year. But my sense of this ‑‑ and I haven't thought about this, so I'm being direct with you here ‑‑ is that what ICANN needs to focus on in the next three years is trust, is strengthening the trust in our organisation. And it starts at home where it starts building the trust between us and making sure that the parts of our community feel that we're working together. We've been rightfully battling. A little bit of mistrust is always good, as professor Hofmann told me yesterday, it's good; it’s healthy, because then we check on each other. But we need to find that balanced middle ground. And the institution, the community, and everything we do has to strengthen that trust so that also when people come from outside for the first time, they see us as a community that may battle, but at the end of the day there is trust in this community. And you've built it when you were at the helm. We continue to build it. And I believe that the next phase will be very important, even more important, because we are though now an independent organisation, and the world will need to trust us to do what we do and do it well, inclusively, openly. So I really hope that we don't lose that momentum, that we continue in that direction. And I'm confident, by the way, everything I see in the Board's activities to prepare the new CEO and to prepare for a new CEO is very assuring and reassuring. And I'm confident ICANN will continue in its trajectory.
>> RINALIA ABDUL RAHIM: Thank you, Fadi. Anyone else brave enough to step to the microphone? Would you like to have? Yes, please do.
Give the young a chance before we go to the ICANNers.
>> Hello, everybody, I'm Floren, and I'm from the EUFAIGF. I already had some interesting conversations yesterday because this is all very new to me. But when you are talking about the regional hubs, I was wondering when you say you try to get more independent from governments and states and then you go and build hubs in different regions, does it make the organisation ICANN more vulnerable to the will of those states?
So first you only had the U.S. but now you have two more regions. Is it a problem?
>> FADI CHEHADÉ: You are actually spot on, that when organizations spread their presence around the world, we increase the -- you called it vulnerability, but certainly the exposure of the organisation, to different frameworks of law and government. There is no question about that. It's much easier if we moved all of ICANN on a big cruise ship and put it in the middle of the ocean. And by the way, some people did think about that at some point. But having said that, I think it's important to appreciate that when you put all staff in one place, and you hire them from one place, you tend to have the mentality of that place set in. And then our users are not in one place. We have Save in the Pacific Islands, he sends me reports from little islands in the Pacific that are connected and want to make sure we are also serving their needs. By being near everyone, we actually listen better, we engage better. And, yes, we take more exposure. But that's well worth the risk. Otherwise we will become an ivory tower that does not really serve the very people that need us to serve them. So that's the commitment we have.
>> RINALIA ABDUL RAHIM: Thanks, Fadi. Steve?
>> STEVEN DELBIANCO: Steve DelBianco with NetChoice and the business constituency. Fadi, even if we were on a boat in the middle of the ocean, I realise that it isolates the employees from those regimes; but we do create policies and enforce contracts that affect registrants and users all over the world, and therefore those activities are subject to the laws of the countries where those registrants and users live. So the speaker who asked the question might have thought that putting employees into a country means that ICANN has to ensure that the laws of that country are respected, but that's the case anyway, whether the employees are there or not. There are special concerns about employees, but they don't suddenly increase the need to pay attention to laws.
And, Fadi, your answer to Peter about ICANN's evolution used the word "trust" many, many times and I'm not even sure how that would translate into all the different languages we work with. But in the accountability transition track, I don't really know that trust was at the nub of coming up with the community accountability mechanisms. It's more about the community if it disagrees with the management and Board's interpretation of some very fluid concepts like fiduciary duty, global public interest. These are concepts that are difficult to nail down, and there may be instances where the community as a consensus comes together and says, “Respectfully, Board, we don't agree with how you've interpreted your fiduciary duty on this." And that is why the community powers are designed. And that disagreement has nothing to do with trust, right? It has to do with a different perspective. When you're on the board, when the people move from this side of the table to the Board don’t suddenly transform; they’re still great people, but they now have a new duty. They are now have more of a duty to the corporation than they did before and it's a broad duty to the public interest of the community.
So it's not about trust as much as it is about disagreement of interpretation, and I think that helps to take the temperature down because we didn't really have a trust problem as much as a disagreement issue.
>> FADI CHEHADÉ: Thank you, Steven. Your comment, by the way, to the young man is spot on. You're right about that.
When I speak about trust, I'm not speaking about trust between individuals. You and I trust each other and know our intentions are good. I'm speaking about institutional trust. So everything the community has done to strengthen accountability increases the trust in the institution. These things are very congruent and I think we're aligned. But the community putting the right checks and balances within this institution and the community is precisely what makes anyone looking at us from the outside say, "This is a trustworthy institution and community because they check on each other, they have a healthy dose of mistrust between parts of the organization that allows them, then, to check on each other."
So I think the work on accountability is in many ways a tremendous boost forward in making ICANN a trustworthy institution in community. And, frankly, I know the role you and many around the table have played, Jonathan and others, and, frankly, history will show that this is what made ICANN a better place and a more trustworthy place. So thank you.
>> RINALIA ABDUL RAHIM: Thank you. Steve Crocker also wants to weigh in on the issue.
>> DR. STEVE CROCKER: Thank you. Steve, I want to emphasize that a part of trust is listening carefully. And so I listened very carefully to what you said. And I appreciated your comment about good people moving from where you're sitting to the Board, remaining good people. I hope that as people on the Board move into the community they also remain to be good people.
>> RINALIA ABDUL RAHIM: Okay. That's surprising. And we see reactions around the table.
>> JONATHAN ZUK: Thank you. Jonathan Zuk from Act The App Association. This might be a little bit of a sideways into the topic, trust, globalization, and accountability. One of the things that's happening concurrent with this transition is an enormous number of reviews of different things that have happened inside the organisation, accountability and transparency reviews, reviews in the new gTLD programme, et cetera. Something like 7 of them are occurring over the next year. And I feel like one of the challenges -- and I'm curious about people's insight into this -- of the organisation growing its participation from the outside, being truly accountable is about trying to manage timelines in such a way that it becomes apparent and fluid that people's input into these processes have a dramatic effect on how the organisation proceeds to the next round of TLDs ,to the next version of rights protection and mechanisms, whatever it is it may be. I think that one of the biggest challenges that Fadi outlined in his opening about getting more people engaged and having a more global community is about believing that their periodic participation in these issues can have a real impact on the course of the organisation. And I think that's going to be something that’s going to be one of the biggest challenges for the coming year, is to not have the reviews going on in a way that feels irrelevant to the actual course of events at ICANN.
>> RINALIA ABDUL RAHIM: Thank you, Jonathan. Is it on this point, Wolfgang? I'll let Steve respond and then I'll come back to you and then Thomas.
>> DR. STEVE CROCKER: Jonathan, we've been very concerned about the number of reviews. And we plan to look into it. We're starting up another review to look at this problem.
More seriously, the general issue of sustainability, how much time any of us have to put into this from a volunteer point of view, the board spends enormous amount of time disproportionate compared to any other reasonable board, is certainly something that has to be addressed. It's very hard to make an instantaneous change in all of this, but it is a concern that we have strategically for how we're going to set ICANN on a course where people can participate in a meaningful way and do it while they still have day jobs.
And I don't know. I can't tell you that we have a plan to get there, but it is certainly on the agenda in a broad sense for looking at how ICANN evolves over the next few years.
So to the question that Peter asked about what happens? What do we expect to see looking back? I would hope that there is a way of comparing where we are then to where we are now and seeing a qualitative difference.
>> JONATHAN ZUK: Quickly. Very quickly? I'm sorry. Those are very good points, Steven. Thank you. The question I'm asking is the flip side. Not the volunteer burnout and how difficult it is to participate. What it is, is how difficult it is for the organisation to be influenced by these reviews and to ensure that the organisation makes course changes as a result of the reviews as opposed to forging ahead in parallel to them when there's so many. And I think that's going to be one of the biggest challenges for the organisation in the coming years.
>> DR. STEVE CROCKER: You raise a good point. Let me cast it in a slightly different way.
That transforms, in my view, into basically, if I can use the word, the management problem, because it's intertwined with not only how do you sequence these things so that they take effect, but also how do you know that after the reviews they have been implemented properly, that they're followed through and so forth? So all of that is a sort of problem management problem written very large. And we've made huge strides. And we have bigger strides yet to make, I think, orat least big strides yet to make. But that, too, is part of what's in front of us.
I don't mean to sound too negative about this, but the intense focus that we've had on the transition process has, in effect, impeded our ability to focus on what we have already known is a management problem in front of us. So one hopes that as we get through this very big meal and digest it, that we can then turn our attention back to the operational excellence aspects of ‑‑ and this is a piece of that equation.
>> RINALIA ABDUL RAHIM: Thomas, you wanted to weigh in on this point?
>> Thank you. My name is Thomas. I'm with the governance in ICANN.
Raised very important issue. Fadi has had to realise this, as well. If you're the CEO of a company or if you're a dictator in a country, then you can actually move much quicker than if you have to consult and get the community along in a bottom‑up structure. And if you have the idea to be inclusive and be inclusive to the whole enacting the global public interest, of course this is a cumbersome process.
I come from a country with direct democracy. That slows our political processes down at first sight because you have to make sure that people are actually convinced when you propose them. Once again when you have their support, you can move on much quicker because they won't try to raise issues via sideways which is absolutely much more inefficient economically and politically. So actually at first sight, a bottom‑up process in waiting for everybody to weigh in may be cumbersome, painful and perceived to be slow; but once you have everybody in and you have the solution, you can actually move on much quicker. So thank you.
>> RINALIA ABDUL RAHIM: Thanks, Thomas. An excellent point. Are there other questions or comments? Yes, please.
>> Thank you, Ma'am. This is a question from Mr. Veni Markovski, ICANN's Vice President from UN Engagement. It is not a question it is a comment. So I'll read it for all of you. The globalization efforts are positively accepted at the United Nations. Through the work of ICANN, GAC participation but also ICANN has government engagement team people in EURIC and Geneva. This allows us to share knowledge about ICANN and what it does to all UN agencies and to the permanent missions to the UN as well as the knowledge about UN and its Internet relationship work to ICANN. This bidirectional constant communication is a good example of how the Internet has changed in the last few years. That's his comments. Thank you, Ma'am.
>> RINALIA ABDUL RAHIM: Thank you. That was almost a hack. Now the lady at the table.
>> Hello. I am an ICANN fellow and I would like to know more about the fellowship programme and especially the view and engagement in Latin America and globally. As since the 53rd meeting, the criteria for fellowship left out Argentina and Venezuela out of consideration, and this has been a huge issue for us as the countries are very organized together. So if you could please comment on that.
>> RINALIA ABDUL RAHIM: Rodrigo will respond.
>> RODRIGO DE LA PARRA: Thank you, Rinalia and thank you, Rinata, for the question. It's very relevant to mention the fellowship programme, which is one of the very successful programmes that we have in ICANN to engage with newcomers. It's not only about getting financial support to attend the ICANN meetings, but it's intended also to engage with all of the stakeholder groups in ICANN and how to have a meaningful participation which has been running for almost eight years now, since 2007 in San Juan in Puerto Rico. And it has been successful to a point that we now have a board member, a fellow, Salvador Ibarra. He was a fellow from the early generations. I am myself a Fellow too. And many successful members of our community, Leon here is also a fellow. And we acknowledge the problem of the list.
We were trying to be as objective as possible to use an external list to assess which countries were subject to these kind of support. Because of course this programme is meant to help in the developing world.
However, this list has shown that it's not representative of the real needs. Argentina, Venezuela is one example. But we have some countries in eastern Europe that would need support and they're not. Also Chile and Uruguay, they changed the criteria in this list.
So we're looking into this very seriously. We may be using other criteria in the near future. We are still working on that. And we'll make sure that the Fellowship programme continues to deliver on the promises.
>> FADI CHEHADÉ: Thank you. And just for those of you that are not familiar with the fellows programme. This is a programme that has been at ICANN for many years to enable the youth and the new to participate in our work. ICANN puts a lot of effort in that programme. I doubled its size in my first year at ICANN and I doubled it again last year. So we're now a pretty major programme at ICANN.
And it's also worth mentioning that we have now introduced a brand new programme called next gen which brings the really young people from universities into the ICANN meetings. For the Marrakech meeting, we received over 400 applications for youth to come to the next gen programme, so we're going through a selection process. So this would feed into the Fellows programme.
And I'm happy to inform you that we will soon also introduce the third major programme to bring new blood into ICANN, and that's the internship programme where some of the Fellows can come actually into ICANN offices and participate in internships. So all of these are programmes we're continuing to invest in to ensure the broader participation.
And as our head of governmental adviser committee said, slow is actually not bad. Slow is beautiful sometimes. We lament sometimes that things get slower. And as a CEO, I came and I wanted everything to move fast. But I've learned over the years that slower may be okay so long as we're all on the train and we're all participating and there's diversity in the views. So we support that and hopefully the fellowship programme will continue feeding into that diversity.
>> RINALIA ABDUL RAHIM: Thank you, Fadi and Rodrigo. Other questions or comments? Yes, please.
>> Good morning, everyone. I'm an deal from Pakistan. Since everything is new for me, my question is regarding transition ‑‑ I would like anybody to comment on when a formal ‑‑ will be reached. I understand this is complex. But according to my knowledge it has been going on for very long. So if anybody can give me a tentative date, month or even a year, I would really like to hear that. Thank you.
>> FADI CHEHADÉ: It actually happened last night. You may have missed it.
No. I think that's a fair question.
So just to remind you history‑wise. The transition was announced on U.S. Pacific time in 2014. That's when it was announced. That's when the train started. So it's been, let's say, a little less than two years.
The community has been working very hard to get a proposal ready for the U.S. government to review and to grant us the end of this stewardship, the contract, essentially.
At the moment, expectations are ‑‑ and I'm going to either hear people stand up and yell at me or agree with me ‑‑ is that we will give the U.S. government the proposal sometime in mid January 2016. Any disagreement from those who are driving the bus? Because I'm not driving the bus. Plus or minus.
Add a couple of weeks here or there, let's say mid January 2016.
And then the U.S. government has to consume this proposal. They have to study it, to review it. At the end of that process, the U.S. government should either say they're okay with the proposal or they're not okay with the proposal. The expectation is that that will happen sometime in the March/April/May timeframe. So the U.S. government has always said they need 60 to 90 days to do that. So if you add 60 to 90 days to mid January, then you're looking at mid‑March to mid April. That's at least the current plan.
And then after that, we are just implementing the proposal. And at the moment, our community has looked at the implementation and believe that we will complete it on time before the contract expires on the . Naturally. The contract will expire naturally at that point.
If we're not done, or if the implementation is not done, then 30 days or so prior to , the U.S. government could either in agreement with us or unilaterally extend the contract further. At the moment, no one is expecting this will occur, but it could and that's what we're working against.
I hope we answered your question and thanks for your patience through the process. We're working hard to get it done.
>> RINALIA ABDUL RAHIM: It's a very extensive answer, though. Could have given you just a specific date. But it's important to understand the context and the process.
So we're down to our last question, probably. We have two minutes and 50 seconds. Okay. So please go forward.
>> Hello. This is John from Bangladesh. I have comments or one question. Is there any studies or report in ICANN how many come from community ICANN framework to board accept this proposal? If there is half then I think it will be better for community to build trust to ICANN. Thank you.
>> RINALIA ABDUL RAHIM: I'm sorry. Could you come back and repeat your question?
>> My question is is there any studies this report in ICANN? How many proposal comes from community within ICANN framework community to board and board accept this proposal? Is there any statistics report?
>> RINALIA ABDUL RAHIM: Any proposal on any issue?
>> Yes. Within ICANN framework, actually.
>> RINALIA ABDUL RAHIM: So Rodrigo's answer is that all proposals to the board come from the community. We don't have the statistics for you at this very moment.
>> Also accept the proposal from Board. These proposals.
>> I think I've heard that question being asked before. It's how many of the proposals that come from the community are being accepted by the Board? And I don't believe that there are statistics that have been made. But that was the question.
>> RINALIA ABDUL RAHIM: Thank you. That's the right answer, also. Yes, I'll give you the chance for the last question.
>> My name is Indri Jilkanka (?). I come from the government of India, work for the government. Thank you, Board, for giving me the opportunity to ask a question. I framed a question I don't know whether this question is meant for this Forum. My question is in case of IPv4 addressing there was a limitation on number of IP addresses. Number based on the need or quality type of rationing, but in case of IPv6 numbering there is large number. So there is no need of rationing. So why don't we distribute with the country with a specific code like done in the case of telephone numbers for national distribution? What are the barriers to such method considering IP addresses are an important resource for the growth of Internet and development in the developing countries?
I also would like to list some views from other distinguished members.
>> DR. STEVE CROCKER: The Internet was built as a global resource and makes use of the natural contours of the earth. Routing is done on a topological basis as opposed to a political basis.
In general, we have found over the years concerning the Internet that it's far better to try to observe those natural boundaries as opposed to the artificial ones by different countries. I know that's not the answer that you want to hear, but the world we're living this is one in which it is far better to have the most efficient connectivity rather than one that is set up with the artificial boundaries of countries.
>> RINALIA ABDUL RAHIM: Thank you, Steve. So we're now at the end of our session. I will allow you to state your question and I will keep the options of whether or not the answer will be provided. Please.
>> All right. I'll be very brief. Question regarding work stream 2 issues. Some of the controversial and tough questions have been shifted to work stream 2. Will it be an indefinite time period or is there a time bound?
>> RINALIA ABDUL RAHIM: Your name?
>> Khangesh from the Centre at National University Law Delhi.
>> RINALIA ABDUL RAHIM: The answer from the Chairman of the Board is yes. Thank you, everyone. Enjoy the rest of the day at the IGF.
[End of session.]