DATE: 28 August 2009

Introductory Statement

By the Staff of ICANN

The following text was initially drafted by ALAC member Adam Peake with contents as requested by members of the ALAC and the Working Group on the Future Structure of ICANN, as a reply to the public consultation “ICANN Meeting Dates/Geographic Rotation 2011 - 2013” to be found at: http://www.icann.org/en/public-comment/#meeting-dates.

It was then subjected to an informal comments process within the ALAC and RALO leaders; the first revision is a consolidation of the various comments by the staff intended to reconcile all those comments received.

At its 25th August, 2009 Meeting, the ALAC decided that the document, which missed the deadline for the public consultation on ICANN Meeting Dates/Geographic Rotation 2011-2013, shall be transmitted to the Board of ICANN as an ALAC Advisory with immediate effects. The document was submitted to the ICANN Board of Directors as an ALAC Advisory on 28th August.

The document has not yet been ratified by the ALAC. The Chair of the ALAC requested the Staff to open a vote on the document immediately following its transmittal to the Board, said vote opening on 28th August and closing on 2nd September.

(end of introduction)

Advisory on ICANN Meeting Dates/Geographic Rotation 2011-2013

The ALAC welcomes the opportunity to comment on "ICANN Meeting Dates / Geographic Rotation 2011 - 2012 - 2013".

We recognize the dates have been selected to avoid "important holidays, celebrations, and observances around the globe", and note the difficultly of long term planning when many such events are based on the lunar calendar. We suggest reference to a calendar of events published by an independent and authoritative body, for example the United Nations, be adopted and made available to the community, however the problem of planning to the lunar calendar may be difficult to resolve and we encourage flexibility.

The ICANN meeting planning staff is encouraged to request input from At-Large with respect to proposed meeting dates as our community is well placed to ensure that holidays are not inadvertently overlooked. The staff should similarly consult with the GAC, on the same basis. Internet-related meetings such as the IGF and its preparatory and regional meetings need to be included in the planning process. Globally significant events must also be avoided; we also ask that national holidays, celebrations, and observances of the host country be taken into consideration. This may mean flexibility in the dates when considering the best candidate country.

It is important to ensure there is ample time for policy development between meetings. For example, meeting #39, 5-10 December 2010 (Latin America) and meeting #40, 13-18 March 2011 (North America). Typically there is a quiet period after meetings while staff and volunteers recover, which in this case will run into the end of year celebrations and long holidays. The time remaining will be too short to respond to policy processes and ample public comment periods before the meeting in the spring. This compresses the time available for policy development during the year. This is burdensome for the whole community. On the other hand, holding the third meeting of the year early, i.e. October, should be avoided; November would be the ideal month for the third meeting. It may be worth considering setting a minimum number of days between meetings for these reasons.

The North American RALO recommends swapping meetings #40 (North America) and #41 (Asia), the climate is likely to be generally more favorable in both regions if a swap can be made. As regards meeting #40, winter in North America brings with it routine air travel delays, often quite significant, due to inclement weather, and the swap would also move this meeting away from the clash with March local holidays as noted in other comments.

November would be the ideal but I draw your attention which we have in general the IGF in November, except if the IGF of Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt will be the last

Comment by Hawa - AFRALO

contributed by guest@socialtext.net on 2009-09-01 11:36:32 GMT

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