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Call for Volunteers to Participate on Enhancing ICANN Accountability

In brief

The Cross Community Working Group (CCWG) was formed to deliver proposals that would enhance ICANN‘s accountability towards all stakeholders. The organizations that chartered the CCWG now call for volunteers to join this effort.

How to participate

There are two ways to volunteer:

  • Individual Participants – anyone interested can volunteer to join the CCWG as a “participant”, regardless of whether they are members of the ICANN community. Participants are expected to actively contribute to mailing list conversations as well as meetings. It is anticipated that participants will provide essential input to the process. They will participate similarly to ICANN chartering organization-appointed members and will be required to provide a Statement of Interest (SOI).
  • Mailing list observers – for those who are merely interested to monitor the CCWG conversations, there is the possibility to sign up as a mailing list “observer” which offers read-only access to the mailing list. Mailing list observers will not be permitted to post, will not receive invitations to the various meetings or calls of the CCWG (note that audio streaming will be provided for those interested to follow the CCWG meetings) and will not have to complete a statement of interest (see below). At any point in time, a mailing list observer can join the CCWG as a participant simply by informing ICANN staff.

In addition, there will be opportunities to provide input through public consultations and public comment processes that the CCWG is expected to organize.

How to join

If you are interested in joining the CCWG as an individual participant or mailing list observer, please contact Grace Abuhamad (accountability-staff@icann.org).

Members of ICANN Supporting Organizations or Advisory Committees should contact their respective SO/AC secretariats and state clearly whether they are joining as a participant or mailing list observer. All participants – chartering organization-appointed members and individual participants – will be listed on the CCWG’s webpage. All participants in this process are required to submit a SOI following the procedures of their chartering organization or, in cases where that is not applicable, the GNSO procedures. Alternatively, a statement should be provided which, at a minimum, should include name, whether the participant is representing a certain organization or company as part of his/her participation in this effort, areas of specific interest in relation to this effort, material relationship with other parties affected by ICANN and primary country of residence.

Next steps

The CCWG currently is in formation. To date, the At-Large Advisory Committee (ALAC), the Country Code Supporting Organization (ccNSO) and the Generic Names Supporting Organization (GNSO) have adopted the charter and are in the process of appointing members. The first online meeting of the CCWG has been scheduled for Tuesday 9 December 2014 at 20.00 UTC, which also can be followed via audio streaming (please click here at the start of the meeting). Following that, regular online meetings are expected to alternate between 11.00 and 14.00 UTC to allow for maximum participation taking into account the different time zones.


The National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) requested that ICANN “convene a multistakeholder process to develop a plan to transition the U.S. government stewardship role” with regard to the IANA Functions and related root zone management. In making its announcement, the NTIA specified that the transition proposal must have broad community support and meet the following principles:

  • Support and enhance the multistakeholder model
  • Maintain the security, stability, and resiliency of the Internet DNS
  • Meet the needs and expectation of the global customers and partners of the IANA services
  • Maintain the openness of the Internet.

NTIA also specified that it would not accept a proposal that replaces the NTIA role with a government-led or an intergovernmental organization solution.

In response to NTIA‘s transition proposal, the ICANN Board, leadership and community raised the broader topic of the impact of the change on ICANN‘s accountability mechanisms. The Enhancing ICANN Accountability process was finalized and posted on 10 October 2014, and can be found here. The scope of the Enhancing ICANN Accountability process is defined as ensuring that ICANN remains accountable in the absence of its historical contractual relationship with the U.S. Government and the perceived backstop with regard to ICANN‘s organization-wide accountability provided by that role, such as the renewal process of the IANA functions contract. It calls for an examination, from an organizational perspective, of how ICANN‘s broader accountability mechanisms should be strengthened to address the absence of its historical contractual relationship with the U.S. Government, including looking at strengthening existing accountability mechanisms (e.g., the ICANN Bylaws and the Affirmation of Commitments).

The CCWG Charter foresees that work is carried out in two work streams:

  • Work Stream 1: focused on mechanisms enhancing ICANN accountability that must be in place or committed to within the time frame of the IANA Stewardship Transition;
  • Work Stream 2: focused on addressing accountability topics for which a timeline for developing solutions and full implementation may extend beyond the IANA Stewardship Transition.

In addition to individual participants and observers, there are also chartering organizations appointed members – Each ICANN Supporting Organization (SO) / Advisory Committee (AC) that has adopted the charter can appoint up to five members to the CCWG. These members are expected to have sufficient expertise to participate in the applicable subject matter; commit to actively participate in the activities of the CCWG-Accountability on an ongoing and long-term basis; and where appropriate, solicit and communicate the views and concerns of individuals in the organization that appoints them. Those interested to join as a chartering appointed member should contact their respective SO/AC for further information about the selection procedures.

In developing its Proposal(s), work plan and any other reports, the CCWG-Accountability shall seek to act by consensus taking into account the views of all participants (both members and individual participants).

For further information, please see the CCWG Charter at https://community.icann.org/x/XQHxAg.

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