13 March 2002
Representatives of 82 country code managers including 17 Managers from Africa met in Accra, Ghana on March 10 and 11, 2002.
The country code managers record their grateful thanks to the Ghanaian meeting organisers for arranging this forum for the continuation of the important work of the ccTLD community.
The group was extremely pleased to see the participation of so many African ccTLD managers, who contributed with a highly welcome exchange of information about their local situation, and also informed the meeting about their experiences with regard to IANA services.
The meeting received a report from the IANA Work Group of the ccTLD Managers. The WG made several recommendations, which the meeting confirmed almost unanimously.
One major topic of discussion was the restructuring of ICANN as proposed by CEO Stuart Lynn, issued 24 February 2002.
Our initial assessment is that we agree with Dr Lynn.s conclusion that ICANN in its current form cannot meet its objectives.
However, there are some points in his analysis where we do not agree.
We welcome the recognition by ICANN that ccTLDs occupy a distinct position within the ICANN structure. The proposal for a "Geographic TLD Names Policy Council" is a first step towards engaging the ccTLD Managers in full participation.
However, this is not sufficient in itself. At least one deficiency is the suggestion that only ccTLD registries that have existing agreements with ICANN can fully participate in the management of the new Policy Council which we find to be unacceptable.
We also believe that the proposal lacks a clear process and are very concerned about the absence of a calendar for obtaining formal comments from the Supporting Organisations and the DNSO constituencies.
Some members of the ccTLD constituency feel that the Lynn proposal moves away from the fundamental principle of industry self -regulation.
We reiterated our commitment to the creation of a ccTLD Supporting Organisation (ccSO) and the need for a unique approach to ccTLD representation within the ICANN structure, and resolved to proceed further.
We have seen the recently released Draft ICANN mission statement and likewise have had not yet the opportunity to fully evaluate it. We recognise the relationship between the two documents and expect to have the opportunity to first consider the direction and mission of ICANN as expressed in the Draft Mission statement before being able to properly consider practical, procedural and structural reforms.
The meeting received presentations on Internationalised Domain Names including those from several different language communities. We appreciated being informed about the linguistic, technical and political difficulties in the implementation of Internationalised Domain Names, particularly with regard to Registry policy issues.
The ccTLD managers
Issued at Accra, Ghana, 13 March 2002