Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Need to further bridge the dialogue between IGF and ICANN

I've been amongst the few people that have attended both the IGF and ICANN meetings and my understanding of issues pertaining to Internet Governance have been enlightened to a great extent. After participating in the IGF Open Consultations twice, the WSIS Forum and the 12th Session of the Commission on Science and Technology, United Nations, I felt a strong need to see with my own eyes and participate with what goes on in ICANN to explore what all the rhetoric has been about. Interestingly, consider it a wish come true when I received a fellowship to attend ICANN's 36th International Meeting in Seoul, Korea that helped me to understand what all the chaos about ICANN has been within the IGF multistakeholder circles.

From what I have perceived so far, its about realizing what needs to be done according to the needs of today within a very interconnected and decentralized world of communications. ICANN is a governance system that is in transformation that needs a lot of improvements. It needs to interact more within the Internet Governance community despite the fact that it has a multistakeholder advisory and consultation model in place but it itself is not the only caretaker of the Internet. I must admit that I have had mixed feelings though, a few that the staff composition of ICANN is not multistakeholder within the sense of having lots of people from the developing world on staff. Secondly the board composition also lacks a great deal of developing world composition. Similarly too much contracting is being done with host country companies and institutions from the developed world.

There are a lot of things to share and further explore from this point onwards and that's where the motivation to create and run this blog specifically on international Internet Governance came to my mind. I will be commenting on the state of Internet Governance on a regular basis on this blog including coverage of the actual meetings of the United Nations organized Internet Governance Forum and future ICANN meetings taking place. I am also in the process of creating a constituency under the NCSG Charter of the ICANN so I will keep my readers posted. Yes, this is a very practical blog on current issues in Internet Governance.

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