If ICANN indeed is not giving lip service to its accountability process, then it should respect the outcome of its own Independent Review Process (IRP)
During the ICANN 50 Press Conference in London the ICANN president was fielding questions from Journalists and .africa came in discussion as the string that has been mentioned quite severally in the ICANN 50 meeting that started from 22-26 June 2014.
This affirmation of applicant rights comes immediately after the African Union Commission had written a letter to ICANN 02 Jun 2014 to complain about the IRP process saying
“It is therefore with great concern that we are faced with yet another delay in delegating this important regional TLD due to the recent IRP instructions stopping ICANN from processing the dotafrica application until it has rules on the complaint filed by DotConnectAfrica (DCA).”
To which the President responded on 15 June 2014 that
“I sincerely appreciate your acknowledgement of ICANN’s Bylaws and the accountability procedures afforded through the Bylaws, including the Independent Review Process (IRP) that has been invoked by the competing applicant for the .AFRICA TLD. Even when challenges are not well taken (such as the way that we view the .AFRICA IRP), it is essential for all stakeholders – including those just joining ICANN from the developing world – to see ICANN’s commitment to upholding its accountability processes. Unfortunately, at times this requires delays such as those faced by ZACR and the AUC in seeing the launch of the .AFRICA TLD.”
The AUC was also heard during the ICANN London 50 GAC meeting saying.
“Africa is really frustrated. And we need to do something about it. We need to understand what’s going on. And we need to make sure that the communication between us and the technical communities are okay. Your support as a GAC is very needed. Because your decisions, your advice on .AFRICA is being challenged. And by being challenged by a process ‐‐ I’m repeating myself ‐‐ endless. And we need to be sure that tomorrow, if that IRP ‐‐ or we make sure that that IRP first will stop somewhere. Not just continue”
He continued that,
“And I’m assuring you that many other institutions outside are waiting for this frustration to be used for something else. And we don’t like to have Africa being used by other institutions. We as a government most of the time we feel very comfortable in something ‐‐ governments wanted sit in a place where they have a voice, where they have their flags, where they can vote, where they can veto.”
In a similar manner the president in the ICANN 50 press conference reiterated that
“Similarly the Africa where single applicant has filed an IRP she decided that this is her right and it her right and we should let her pursue her right even if the whole African Union has a different view her right is to say I don’t agree with the decision.”
Finally, by this very important affirmation of his commitment to the process , ICANN should be able to respect its own IRP outcome.
You can watch the rest of the video below