[apnic-announce] Joint RIR Statement on ICANN Evolution and Reform

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  • Subject: [apnic-announce] Joint RIR Statement on ICANN Evolution and Reform
  • From: "Paul Wilson" <pwilson at apnic dot net>
  • Date: Fri, 21 Jun 2002 11:20:48 +1000
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  • Organization: APNIC
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      Dear Colleague,
      The following statement on ICANN Reform has been prepared by the boards 
      of the three Regional Internet Registries, APNIC, ARIN and RIPE NCC.  
      It was forwarded this morning to the Committee on ICANN Evolution and 
      If you would like to comment on this statement or on the ICANN reform 
      process, please do so on the apnic-talk mailing list or via the ICANN 
      Reform comment forum, which are accessible at:
      More information from ICANN on the reform process is available at:
      Paul Wilson
      Regional Internet Registries' Submission to the Committee on ICANN
      Evolution and Reform
      20 June 2002
      1. Introduction
      The Regional Internet Registries (RIRs) jointly undertake the role of
      management of IP number resources through the allocation of IP number
      resources to network operators and Local Internet Registries. This
      managerial role is in support of the ultimate requirement within the
      Internet to associate network resources with numbers drawn from the
      relevant public Internet number space.
      The three existing RIRs are set up as not-for-profit membership
      organizations with thousands of operators and other companies as
      members. They have undertaken this function for between five and ten
      The RIRs are responsible for a critical component in the operational
      infrastructure of the Internet, and are mindful that in order to execute
      this role effectively they must operate within parameters of stability,
      predictability and efficiency of provided services, together with
      fairness, openness to participation and transparency in the related area
      of determination of RIR resource management policies.
      The RIRs welcome this opportunity to comment on ICANN Evolution and
      Reform. It represents an opportunity to assess the relationship between
      the RIRs and ICANN in the light of a number of years of experience of
      working together, and, in so doing, propose a number of changes to this
      relationship which would enhance the functioning of both the RIRs and
      The RIRs have already noted, in a submission to ICANN dated 8 May 2002,
      the set of principles that should frame the interaction between ICANN
      and the RIRs. The RIRs note that these principles were not substantively
      addressed by the Committee on ICANN Reform and Evolution paper of 31 May
      This submission does not address the entirety of issues noted in the
      ICANN Committee's report, as it specifically addresses only those
      matters which have a bearing on the RIRs' ability to undertake their
      The relationship between the RIRs and ICANN encompasses:
        - the operation of the assignment of number resources from the
          Internet Assigned Number Authority to the RIRs,
        - policy aspects concerning the adoption of common global policies,
        - governance of procedures relating to the recognition of additional
      Within the responsibilities of the Address Council of the Address
      Supporting Organization (ASO) there is the additional role of:
        - nominating three individuals to serve as members of the Board of
      The RIRs note that the RIRs and the ASO are generally acknowledged to be
      functioning well. The RIRs operate as industry self-regulatory bodies,
      using open policy fora to develop operating policies that reflect the
      consensus positions of their constituencies. The RIRs operate
      responsibly and fairly in their application of management policies, and
      have well established review processes to ensure that these policies are
      applied consistently and fairly.
      RIR Position:
          The RIRs would like to construct upon this foundation of effective
          operating practice to assume greater levels of responsibility for
          operational roles that are currently shared between the RIRs and
          ICANN. This is intended to allow ICANN to function properly as an
          independent body with the power of review, such that ICANN can
          properly assume a responsibility for oversight of the RIR
          activities in terms of ensuring that the RIRs operate within their
          adopted policies and processes, without being compromised in its
          independence by also assuming a level of direct responsibility in
          the operation of the address management process.
      2. The Operation of the IANA Address Registry
      The working paper on ICANN Mission and Core Values notes that the
      mission of ICANN includes the coordination of the allocation and
      assignment of identifiers from the unicast IP v4 and IPv6 protocol
      address pool, and Autonomous System numbers.
      The 31 May report of the Committee on ICANN Evolution and Reform noted
      that the Technical Advisory Committee (TAC) could be the body
      responsible for directly overseeing the technical operational activities
      of ICANN (largely but not exclusively the work of the IANA). The RIRs
      understand that such a responsibility would encompass the operation of
      assignment of identifier blocks to the RIRs. This report also noted that
      "a careful evaluation should be made of which of ICANN operational tasks
      are appropriately allocated to ICANN and which could be subrogated or
      outsourced to other entities".
      RIR Position:
          The RIRs are not in favour of passing this operational
          responsibility to a TAC. Furthermore, as noted in the RIR
          Statement of Principles, the RIRs see no requirement or further
          benefit in having a two level address management process of
          initial allocations by ICANN to RIRs and subsequent allocations
          from RIRs to local registries and end users.
          The RIRs have concluded that in the interests of enhanced
          stability and efficiency, the responsibility for this particular
          IANA operational function (maintaining the IANA Address Registry)
          should be passed to the RIRs.
          The RIRs would see it as a desirable consequence to develop with
          ICANN adequate safeguards regarding longer term stewardship of the
          address resource.
      3. Global RIR Policies
      The Memorandum of Understanding relating to the establishment of the ASO
      assigned to this organization the responsibility for the development of
      global policies relating to the management of Internet addresses. The
      Memorandum notes that, in general, proposals for such policies would be
      developed within the RIRs and forwarded to the ASO for their
      consideration. The ASO then passes such proposals to the ICANN Board for
      further consideration and formal adoption.
      RIR Position:
          The RIRs are of the view that this duplication of the review
          function by both the ASO and ICANN is unnecessary, and adds
          overhead without benefit.
          In the interests of simplifying the current process, and reducing
          the levels of duplication of function, the RIRs propose that the
          ASO undertakes the responsibility for formal adoption of global
          RIR policies, allowing for open review of such policies as part of
          its function of review and evaluation.
          Furthermore, the RIRs propose that ICANN's role in this area is
          that of oversight of the ASO process, ensuring that the RIRs and
          the ASO adhere to their stated procedures in the undertaking of
          this function.  In this fashion ICANN provides the appropriate
          checks and balances in the RIRs' and the ASO's policy development
          process to ensure that the process is managed with the appropriate
          level of integrity.
      4. Recognition of Additional RIRs
      The Memorandum of Understanding relating to the establishment of the ASO
      assigned to ICANN the responsibility for the development of requirements
      and policies for the approval of additional RIRs, and enumerated a
      number of requirements that were agreed to form part of that policy. The
      RIRs note that they have unanimously supported and encouraged the
      establishment of LACNIC and AFRINIC.
      RIR Position:
          The RIRs propose that this responsibility be delegated to the ASO,
          and that ICANN adopt the role of oversight through review and
          reconsideration of ASO decisions in the event of a dispute. This
          proposal is intended to ensure that ICANN can operate with
          integrity as an independent and open body that can fairly review
          ASO's actions in application of the relevant adopted policies. The
          current process of placing both the decision-making responsibility
          and the responsibility for review within ICANN allows for a
          potential situation of unclear and possibly conflicted interest on
          the part of ICANN.
      5. Nomination of ICANN Board Members
      The Memorandum of Understanding relating to the establishment of the ASO
      assigned to the Address Council of the ASO the responsibility for the
      nomination of three Board members of ICANN. The 31 May Evolution and
      Reform report proposed that the chair of the Address Council, or a
      delegate be an ex-officio member of the Board of ICANN.
      RIR Position:
          In the scenario that the RIRs and the ASO assume a greater level
          of responsibility for operational and policy roles in managing
          Internet Address space, as proposed in this submission, the RIRs
          see little benefit in having the ASO seat more than one member of
          the ICANN Board, and is in agreement with the proposal that the
          chair of the Address Council be an ex-officio of the ICANN
          Board. It is noted that this agreement is conditional on a
          realignment of roles and responsibilities between ICANN, the ASO
          and the RIRs as proposed here.
      6. General Comment
      The RIRs have a direct and ongoing responsibility to undertake their
      role in management of Internet address resources. The RIRs have
      undertaken this role without any formal contract with IANA for many
      years, and, since 1999, on the basis of a Memorandum of Understanding.
      The RIRs would be willing to further formalize the relation with ICANN
      in the context of the proposals contained in this document.
      The RIRs view with considerable concern the manner in which ICANN has
      assumed a critical role in the operation of certain aspects of the
      address management function, and at the same time, allowed itself to
      become deeply enmeshed in the complex issues of domain name management
      to the effective exclusion of all other roles. This assumption of
      responsibility without the wherewithal to undertake the associated role
      is not a desirable or stable position. The RIRs would propose that the
      relationship between the RIRs and ICANN be rephrased in a manner that
      aligns the onus of operational responsibility with the RIRs, and the
      onus of issues of adoption of global policy with the ASO, allowing ICANN
      to function as a venue for responsible review of those policies that are
      developed within the RIR process and that are common to all RIRs (global
      policies). As noted in the previous RIR statement on this subject, the
      RIRs see no value in an ICANN structure that admits the possibility of
      imposition of arbitrary and potentially capricious policies onto the
      management of Internet resources.
      Given the discussion about ICANN reform the future of ICANN is by no
      means assured, and it is essential that we can ensure that the Internet
      and its associated infrastructure service roles should continue to
      function even if ICANN fails. Part of the intent of these proposals is
      to ensure that the Internet is not critically dependent on the
      continuation of one of the operational roles of ICANN, and that ICANN
      can operate as an efficient entity that can provide the appropriate
      levels of oversight and review to the RIR role without becoming a
      critical single point of failure for the entire network.
      The Regional Internet Registries are:
        Asia Pacific Network Information Centre (www.apnic.net) (APNIC)
        The American Registry for Internet Numbers (www.arin.net) (ARIN)
        Réseaux IP Européens Network Coordination Centre (www.ripe.net) (RIPE
      Paul Wilson           Raymond A. Plzak         Axel Pawlik
      Director General      President & CEO          Managing Director
      APNIC                 ARIN                     RIPE NCC
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