[governance] Re: Burr & Cade: proposal for introducing multi-lateral oversight of the root

Patrick Vande Walle patrick at isoc.lu
Fri Jul 21 02:06:01 EDT 2006

Thanks Adam for the link.

I would characterize the Burr-Cade proposal as a "small step  for
mankind and a giant step for the US" to paraphrase Neil Armstrong.
The main merit of the proposal is that it looks like something the USG
might want to follow.

Other posters suggested there should be no governmental oversight at all
but that does not look realistic, in the sense that there can be huge
economic and political interests behind ICANN decisions. Historically,
governments have always been involved in foreign economic policy
decisions (WTO) and would be blamed by their people if they did not.
ICANN is yet another such process.

Like it or not, there are sovereignty issues linked to ccTLDs. There is
 no way one could exclude governments from the decision process.

Regarding the composition of this oversight group, Adam already pointed
out that the Asia Pacific should be reviewed. I would say that the
European group should be reviewed, too. It would not be accepted by the
EU that UK, itself a member of the EU, gets a seat on its own. I would
rather expect two seats for the EU, one permanent and one rotating
according to the EU presidency. The third seat should be for non-EU

The authors of the proposal show they have no clue regarding regional
political weightings. Rather, they suggest American-friendly countries.
It would be wiser to allow regional governmental councils (African
Union, Organization of American States, etc) to designate their

All in all, I would personally support this proposal as a starting point
for discussions. It is incidentally close to a reply to a WSIS
questionnaire last year, in which I suggested  that the oversight on the
 root should be done by a sub-committee of the GAC.

Patrick Vande Walle
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