Thursday, October 1, 2009

ICANN: The Affirmation of Commitments – What it Means

Much was expected to the arrival of this very day. And from other days to come too.

No doubt that a couple of items will still be used as an eternal argument for those who are prone and against their model, such as:
8. ICANN affirms its commitments to: (...) b) remain a not for profit corporation, headquartered in the United States of America with offices around the world to meet the needs of a global community;

This one specially made me realize that not a lot of changes are to come within the next few years. But a couple of years ago they would not be expected to be made as well.

Check also: http://icann.org/en/announcements/announcement-30sep09-en.htm#reaction

http://www.icann.org/en/announcements/announcement-30sep09-en.htm
The Affirmation of Commitments – What it Means

30 September 2009


The Affirmation of Commitments completes a transition that started 11 years ago ...

When ICANN was created in 1998, with the assistance of the United States Government, a memorandum of understanding (MOU) process wasstarted with the objective of achieving a noble goal: the coordination of the Internet's unique identifiers by the private sector through a not-for-profit organization where policies were developed from the bottom up.

The signing of the Affirmation determines once and for all that this model works.

The JPA was the seventh amendment of the original MOU.  Over the years there have been thirteen report cards on performance of responsibilities to the US Department of Commerce alone.  So why is the Affirmation of Commitments a further step in progress and internationalization of the ICANN model?

It commits ICANN to remaining a private not for profit organization. It declares ICANN is independent and is not controlled by any one entity. It commits ICANN to reviews performed BY THE COMMUNITY – a further
recognition that the multi-stakeholder model is robust enough to review itself.

The Affirmation is of long standing and is not limited to the three years for which previous agreements operated.

The Government Advisory Committee's role is reaffirmed.  And the GAC is a key participant in selecting the membership of the review teams.

There is a certain timetable as to when those reviews will take place.

In summary, the Affirmation of Commitments places beyond doubt that the ICANN model is best equipped to coordinate this vital resource and places reviews of ICANN's performance in the hands of the community.

That provides a stable, secure platform into the future that can adapt to changes to the Internet itself.


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