jueves, octubre 01, 2009

Comment on ICANN's Affirmation of Commitments

Today marks the start of a new era in the history of ICANN which is also bound to be a landmark moment in the history of the Internet and certainly in the history of Internet Governance.

I made the following statement public: "The Affirmation of Commitments signals the recognition that the global Internet community is able to find creative solutions to the Internet's needs and problems at all layers. The multistakeholder nature of ICANN, established long before the word "multistakeholder" came into common usage after the World Summit on the Information Society, has proven to be able to deal with varying conditions, the pressures of contradictory interests, and the increasing need for participation, transparency, and accountability of all stakeholders.

As a long-time contributor to ICANN's processes and improvement, from a non-Anglo country in development, today's recognition is a
great pride."

ICANN is WSIS multistakeholder dream avant la lettre; the work that a huge, committed community has made over more than a decade has finally been crowned by extensive recognition.

There remains much to do, as in all human endeavour and particularly with the speed at which the Internet environment changes. There remain contention, discussion, debate; challenges and just big tasks like IDNs (internationalized domain names) and new gTLDs. But ICANN provides a framework within which all this can be made to progress rationally.

A word of recognition for Paul Twomey is in order; his contribution and leadership in mapping out the process have been no less than extraordinary. The Board - to which I proudly belonged - in many ways, ICANN staff, and the community altogether have piled up a historic piece of work. I also congratulate Rod Beckstrom for putting it all together and walking the last stretch to a great conclusion.

And I think ICANN can also thank many of those who systematically have tried to undermine it, game it, game governments, intergovernmental proceedings, trick good-faith players, erode it, use it, whether with ill-based lawsuits, fake arguments, the whole gamut. As the Mexican politician Jesús Reyes Heroles used to say, "lo que resiste apoya", "what resists supports" - ICANN can thank all who opposed its progress for their generous help in sharpening the focus, energizing the organization and its champions, and testing each and every possible counterargument. May their bitterness turn to pride and constructive contribution; but if it doesn't, sleep peacefully, your avowed "tough love" will further temper the organization.