ICANN Governmental Advisory Committee (GAC) Open Forum

2 September 2014 - A Open Forum on Other in Istanbul, Turkey

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Full Session Transcript

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The following is the output of the real‑time captioning taken during the IGF 2014 Istanbul, Turkey, meetings.  Although it is largely accurate, in some cases it may be incomplete or inaccurate due to inaudible passages or transcription errors.  It is posted as an aid to understanding the proceedings at the session, but should not be treated as an authoritative record.  
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>> ANDERS HEKTOR: Welcome, everybody.  Great to see so many people interested in the GAC Open Forum session.  There are some seats in front, and there will be some slides that are perhaps not always as large font as one would wish, so, please move forward if you have a hard time seeing, which I would.  
My name is Anders Hektor.  I'm a Swedish representative to the GAC.  I work at the Ministry of Enterprise Energy and Communications, and these are a few of my GAC colleagues.  I'm going to introduce them and they are going to help us during this 1.5 hours.
We have a bit of a programme that we introduced in the IGF programme, so we are going to start with GAC 101, if you wish, basics about what the GAC is, basic data, which Thomas Schneider, in the beautiful green shirt, will give a presentation on.  After that I'm going to try and make an interactive interview with three GAC colleagues about our role as GAC representatives, how we prepare for GAC sessions, what other things we have in our portfolio, in our respective governments, and how we use the surrounding other stakeholders to prepare for GAC meetings.  This will be Olga Cavalli from Argentina.  Wanawit Ahkuputra from Thailand, and Jandyr Santos from Brazil.
We also have, as a general resource, the Chair of GAC, Heather Driden, whom is from Canada.  We are also going to get a little bit deeper view of how we work between sessions and what sort of working groups we have from Manal, which is from Egypt.  After that, we will be speaking a little bit more about how we design the GAC Communiqué, which some of you may have seen.  Imad Hoballah is going to help us with this, and Alice Munyua.  Alice is from African Union Commission.  We have a Q&A session at the end.  Please, if you have any questions or comments, interrupt, raise your hand, I'll give you the mic and you can have the floor.
We also have remote participants.  Please create the hashtag #GAC and #IGF2014 and send questions there as well.
So, can I just ask, how many in this room have ever been to an ICANN meeting?  Hands up, please.  Quite a few.  I see people that I know have, but didn't raise their hands.  I don't know if you're embarrassed about it.

Can I also ask how many in this room are being represented in the GAC or have been represented in the GAC?  Hands up, please.  There is a few.  Very nice of you to sit upfront.  And you're welcome to contribute as well.
So, without further ado, I would like to turn to Thomas and ask if you could tell us ‑‑ I'm trying to operate the clicker.  If you can tell us a little bit about the basics of the plumbing of the GAC, its context and the ecology it operates in.
>> THOMAS SCHNEIDER: Thank you and good morning, everybody.  I'm going to show to you in the next few minutes, is not very sexy, so I hope you don't fall asleep.  But it is quite important.  Some people like this very much, others I think it's not the right basics for ICANN or government.  So I tried to make this understood.  Yes, it works.
So what is the GAC?  The GAC is one of the elements in ICANN, which has a very complicated multistakeholder structure.  I go through this quite quickly.
The supporting organisations, there are three of them, develop and recommend policy to the ICANN Board.  The Board of Directors is the authority that decides, approves or rejects the policy.  And then we have four advisory committees, one of them is the Committee for Government, Governmental Advisory Committee.  The others I will not go into detail.
Currently we have 142 members.  These are national Governments or distinct economies; and 31 observers, multinational governmental organisations and treaty organisations.
This is just a little picture for those who are not familiar with ICANN, to show you this is quite a complicated organisation.  In the middle you have the Board and then you have the other separate institutions around it.  I won't again go into detail, but you see also the Board is composed of elements and members from the different components.  You see the GAC is the dark gray thing on the top right.  It has a seat on the Board, the liaison seat, with no voting rights.
So what is the role of the GAC?  This text comes from the bylaws.  Its role is to consider and provide advice on activities of ICANN as they relate to concerns of Governments, particularly matters where there may be interaction between ICANN's policies and various laws and international agreement or where they may affect public policy issues.
Also some references to the GAC in the latest text that binds ICANN to the U.S. Department of Commerce, the Affirmation of Commitment, where they say they recognize the important role of the GAC with respect to ICANN decision‑making and execution of tasks and of the effective consideration by ICANN of GAC input on the public policy aspects of the technical coordination of the Internet.
So what does that mean?  How does the GAC interact with ICANN?  What does ICANN do with the advice that the GAC is giving?  And again, according to the by‑laws, and to the core values of ICANN, ICANN should be while remaining routed in the private sector, recognizing that Governments and public authorities are responsible for public policy and duly taking into account Governments of public authorities recommendations.  That is crucial.
Those cases where policy action affects public policy concerns, ICANN should request the opinion of the GAC and take duly into account any advice, timely presented, by the Governmental Advisory Committee on its own initiative or at the Board's request.  That means an advice can be solicited by the Board and can also be the GAC's initiative to provide advice without the Board asking for it.
The Board notifies of the GAC of any proposal policy‑raising issues.  So if the GAC thinks this is necessary, the GAC may put issues to the Board directly by way of comment, advice, recommending action, new policy development or revision to existing policies.  We'll see more about some specific ways to give assess like the communiqué and others, which will be presented to you by colleagues.
And this is another important aspect by some very controversial aspects.  In the event the ICANN Board determines to take an action that is not consistent with the GAC advice, it shall inform the GAC and state its reason.  And then the GAC and the Board will try to find a mutually-acceptable solution, and if no solution can be found, the ICANN Board will state in its final decision the reasons why the ICANN advice was not followed.  That means it can decide not to follow the GAC advice and then it has to state the reason.
The operating principles of the GAC define working methods and the key elements, like scope, meetings, membership, rules, election rules, conduct of businesses and services, and also the internal revision procedures.  I will not go into detail.  You can find all this information on the GAC website.
Two things to remember, which is important.  The GAC shall provide advice and communiqué issues and advice to the Board.  It's not a decision‑making body.  It's an advisory body.  And this last one is on consensus.  GAC works like the U.N. on the base of seeking consensus among its membership.  It is understood to mean the practice of adopting decisions by general agreement in the absence of any formal objection.  Where consensus is not possible, this happens sometimes, the Chair shall convey the full range of views expressed by members to the ICANN Board.
A few practical informations, three meetings a year in conjunction with the icommittees.  They normally make us start working on Saturdays, which is not very nice but it's our reality.  And then there are non‑voting liaisons to the Board, as I said.  Another one is to the Nominating Committee and there can be liaisons of the ICANN structure.  We have mailing lists in between meetings.  We communicate by conference calls.  We have a website and for a few years now we have translation into seven languages, six U.N., plus Portuguese for all the meetings and the key documents.  There is travel support for GAC participants especially from Developing Countries and ICANN puts two persons, policy staff to the GAC, and there is another independent sect at of the GAC currently performed by an Australian consulting company called, AC.
I think that is more or less it.  Yes.  So, thank you for your attention and I go over to the next one.
>> ANDERS HEKTOR: Thank you, Thomas.  I would like to ask another question to the audience.  Those of you who are not GAC representatives, do you know who your GAC representative is?  Everybody knows?  Okay.  Excellent.  If you don't know who your GAC representative is -- and I met people from countries that have told me that they were hardly aware of the GAC and they were certainly not aware of who their GAC representative was, and they weren't aware of how they could get in touch with him or her.  But this is obviously available on the website.
Thomas, can I just ask you to say something a little bit more, perhaps with the help of Heather, about the support structure for the GAC with how ICANN supports the GAC, ICANN staff, and how the Secretariat supports us.
>> THOMAS SCHNEIDER:  As I said, have two persons that work for us from the ICANN side that help us convene meetings, set up calls, find rooms, all the logistics for this is provided by ICANN.  But they also help us find documents, find the right people, share information, which is very important thing because as you seen, you probably know, ICANN is quite a complicated institutions that produces a lot of discussions and lots of documents.  And they help us to find out what is going on, where and when.  They are very good and nice people, I have to say, in addition.
And the Australian company that is providing Secretariat support is also helping us organise meetings and calls.  They write minutes of discussions.  Briefing papers.  Try to help us also digest the enormous amount of material, which is almost undigestible for a normal GAC member.  So these are very important pillars for a GAC representative to be able to work.  Thank you.
>> HEATHER DRYDEN:  Just to add, the support to the committees is very critical because we have a much larger committee now than we have had in the past.  There has been an enormous amount of growth in the size of the committee, and at the same time, the issues that the Governmental Advisory Committee deals with are complex.
It's really an expert‑level committee.  So, what we are looking for is expertise from those ministries, those departments, or those regulators, within government to provide public policy advice on matters arising from ICANN's technical coordination role, in particular, domain names and that aspect of things.  
And so, for that committee to be effective, the support element is really important in supporting those efforts.  And as we have grown, as we have had the support for our work, it has led us to form working committees, and working groups and structures within the GAC to try and accommodate the large work load as well as the need to work as quickly as possible, because we are not driving the work at an organisation like ICANN.
We have to be able to respond in the Governmental Advisory Committee.  So that is an important element of the support and its relationship to the success of the committee.
>> ANDERS HEKTOR: Excellent. Thank you, Heather.  So, we are all people with day jobs, so to speak.  I can tell you for information, that in my portfolio at the Minister of Enterprise, besides Internet Governance, I have general ICT policy issues I'm supporting my Minister in when she needs to go to places and make speeches and presentations.  It's not only me. Obviously, there are quite a few others.  But it's not only this issue.  And it's not only the GAC.  I do also some ITU things.  And wherever the head of the Internet Governance pops up.
I would like to turn to Olga.  Could you please tell us your affiliation, where you're working, and what other things you may have in your portfolio?  Wanawit Ahkuputra would you like to start?
>> WANAWIT AHKUPUTRA: Good morning, everybody.  The GAC work was transferred to us since the establishment of the organisation.  We are three years old organization and the Ministry of ICT.  So we take care of the security.  We run the site team as well.  We have a team for legal compliance, the laws and the CCs and several issues.  And the other area is understanding the organisation.  So it's a big task.  So when GAC appoint to us a job ‑‑ the problem we have is not the amount of work on technical sides.  We have a team.  But I think to communicate with the multistakeholder, because Internet was 25 years old, and then the organisations was losing touch on the Internet for some time until the new one helped them get in.
If you go to the three meetings a year, we have less than 10 weeks between the meetings to report the ICANN results from communicating to the public and prepare for the next round before we come so that the regimen times, coordinating with the local multistakeholder, is really a challenge from what I see. We need to interpret from the technical perspective on how it affected them.  Normally, it's not in the document.  You have to study how it affects.
>> JANDYR SANTOS:  Good morning to you all.  Just like to share with you a little bit of our coordination process in Brazil, domestically, how we prepare for the GAC meetings.  In Brazil, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs is responsible for coordinating the Brazilian positions to the different Internet Governance Fora; not only ICANN, but also ITU, U.N. and also the regional mechanisms.
And I had the unit in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, called Information Society Division, which is responsible for this coordination.  In Brazil, we have two coordinations.  The first level is within the government.  It is a consultation process we have domestically with the other ministries, namely the Ministry of Science and Technology, and the Ministry of Communications, the governing positions to the GAC meetings.  This is the first level of consultation.
The second level is a multistakeholder consultation process, perhaps some of you might know, but in Brazil, the Internet Governance is discussed in a multistakeholder model at the Brazilian Steering Committee, Internet Steering Committee; and what we do in Brazil -- and this is the second level of consultation I was talking about -- we take these positions, to the extent possible, we get input from the other stakeholders regarding the GAC positions, the positions we take to the ICANN meetings.  So it's a very complex process.  It is time consuming.  But at least in our review, it adds the multistakeholder component that is so important for us.  Thank you.
>> OLGA CAVALLI: Thank you.  Good morning.  It's fantastic to see such a crowded room.  And thank you for being with us this morning.  
I am Olga Cavalli, Advisor to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Argentina.  Just a brief history of the participation of our country.  We started actively participating in the GAC in 2006 after the WSIS when the delegation came after WSIS in Tunis.  We talked with our Minister of Foreign Affairs at that time, and after explaining the relevance of the Internet Policy Development process all over the world, he thought that it was important to set up a special division in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs about following all of these meetings, especially focus on ICANN and IGF and regional processes related with this issues.
So, since then I have been working in that area. And our major role is to represent Argentina in ICANN meetings and IGF at the Global level and the Regional meetings in IGF.  We also have a Regional Plan of Action for Information Society where we have a special working group about Internet Governance that is led by Brazil and also by Argentina as a SubChair.
We coordinate some ideas at the regional level.  Maybe we agree, maybe we don't.  But in general, we try to set up a common vision from the region with other colleagues from other countries like Uruguay, Paraguay, Chile, Venezuela, Mexico, Peru -- and maybe I'm forgetting someone.
What else?  We try to coordinate at the national level.  The Ministry of Foreign Affairs usually informally used to organise meetings at our ministry with other areas of the government, and with other stakeholders from Argentina, the Civil Society Business Sector, academia, and now we are more formalized and more organised.  We have a special commission where we coordinate at the national level everything that is related with Internet Policy, which is called CAPI, Aommission Argentina Political Internet.
So we have a more formalized -- and the Head of that commission is the Secretary of Communications of Argentina.  And I will stop now.  Thank you.
>> ANDERS HEKTOR: Thank you so much.  If you have any questions, you're welcome to raise your hand.  Thomas said earlier that the amount of material coming out was almost indigestible.  I don't know if you said, almost.  It's indigestible. I can vouch for that.  Can I ask you, Wanawit Ahkuputra and Olga Cavalli what percent of your working time do you put on GAC work, and how many people or how much percent of the full‑time would be necessary, in your mind, to do really good job to contribute to the GAC?
>> OLGA CAVALLI:  Thank you for the question.  It is difficult to answer. It depends -- sometimes the work load is much higher.  It depends on the things that are going on in the GAC.  For example, with IGT and the GAC advice, we had a lot of work, especially those of us in the region.  We had to deal with issues related with some regional names or names from the region that were requested as GTLDs so that was very intense.  I cannot tell you how much time, but it was intense and much more than usual time devoted to the GAC.  So that may vary depending on the issues going on.  But I think GTLDs have been challenging for all of us, for the whole GAC.
>> JANDYR SANTOS:  In our case in Brazil, it's not a question of how much time of the time you dedicate to the meetings.
>> WANAWIT AHKUPUTRA: I'm not an expert.  I'm a Diplomat.  So to the extent possible, I try to get input, technical input, from the other colleagues from the other ministries and also from the other sectors in Brazil.  So when I get to the GAC meetings, I have technical inputs; and not only that, in a sense the positions we take is not only the positions of the Government.  We have, as I mentioned before, this multistakeholder component, and we try to be the messengers of these positions.  So, in terms -- as I said, it's very time consuming because it involves a operation process at two levels, as I mentioned.  Thank you.
>> WANAWIT AHKUPUTRA:  From what we follow -- the Agenda seems to be, you have an Agenda.  So what we try to do -- let's say 25%.  We have five people, but our strategy is we try to focus on certain areas that affect us; for example like IDN, International Domain Names, or international e‑mails that would come.  The translation, transliteration, which we en case in a working group on GDP, early engagement, so they have a weekly meeting.
So we picked up the strategy area and tried to focus.  So for us, I think, in that way, we can maintain a level of 25%, so it's not that difficult.
>> ANDERS HEKTOR: Thomas?
>> THOMAS SCHNEIDER: Just a quick addition.  I think it's not a question of whether you have one or two or three persons, you need a whole network to cover the things.  On a national level you need contacts for to data protection, and Human Rights experts to trade experts.  We have been discussing things like geographical indications, cultural issues come up in the GAC with the new GTLDs.  So you need to have a network that you can count on in order to do your job.  And you also, which is very important, you need your colleagues from your region and also from elsewhere to see, make them alert to you what is relevant for them or what is problematic for them or what is an opportunity for them.
Through that exchange, you learn what is going on because you can't read everything yourself.  You find out who knows more than you do and where can you learn from and this is what takes time, actually.  The coordination and interaction.  Only like this, you get a reasonable job done.
>> ANDERS HEKTOR: I hope it comes through, and it is even more true that the amount of resources that GAC representatives can put in, differs quite a lot.  I would say, I don't know if you would agree, it extends from having almost full instructions for each and every item on the Agenda, to having more or less no instruction and you know, sorting it out from the low‑level of resources that you have.  And many people are doing a tremendously good job doing that as well.
I should wrap this up because Olga, I know you need to leave.  So you're free to do that.  I would just, one final question to you to the three of you or anyone who wants to respond.  We all heard about the CGIBR, the local multistakeholder, national multistakeholder model in Brazil.  We don't have it in Sweden.  We have a reference group we meet with on a regular basis, but it's not full representation and it's not co‑decision, so to speak.
If you would look forward and do you foresee that the support structure you have in your countries will change?  Or would you like to say something about how you would like them to change in order to support your work more?  I can accept a yes or no answer as well.
>> OLGA CAVALLI: A very good question.  I think Thomas made a very good point about the network that you need to do your job.  I think informally, we have been always been doing that from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs consulting other areas of the government, or consulting civil society or private sector or all together, or academia if it was necessary.  I do commend the Brazilian government for having such a very interesting structure and that has been really successful for some years.  How many years, the CGI?  It's like over 10 years, which is really remarkable in a very fast‑growing space, which is technology and Internet.
Now in Argentina, we are more formalized in our National Commission of Internet Policy, but I think that informally, we always did that, and gathering information from our network of contacts; other parts of the government, or the whole society, about what we do.  So I think your point was very good.  Thank you.
>> JANDYR SANTOS:  You ask me how I think our models should change.  I think it could become even stronger and more participatory.  In Brazil, our model of Internet Governance model, multistakeholder, it is a legislation.  So you have change of government but it's already in our legislation, so it cannot change, which is not our plan.  But of course it can be improved in a sense that can become even more participatory.  
As you know, the government is a part of the Steering Committee.  We have feet.  We discuss our positions, our GAC positions with the other sectors.  We do not always we agree on the positions we take to the GAC, but as I said, especially for those of us from the government, and we have different expertise like Foreign Affairs and Science and Technology and Communications, the fact that we can get together with colleagues from other sectors to prepare for the GAC meetings and not only the multistakeholder component.  But I think it brings a clear picture of where the Brazilian interest is in the issues that are discussed in the GAC.
>> PANEL MEMBER:  We have a little bit different because we don't have the Ministry of Foreign Affairs as the ICANN is not governmental organisation.  So it is the Ministry of Science Technologies and Ministry of ICP.  So I do believe that the establishment of the multistakeholder is challenged there because when you talk about it, it becomes a question of how and who.  Because there may be five or six associations and we need to go through all of them.  And the first question they asked is how this is organised.  Somebody rectifies them to be a local multistakeholder.  So we are still in that stage, but we do believe that a functional is more important than structural, from what we discussed with them, that we drop out the function of what we would do and see how the government will support.
>> ANDERS HEKTOR: We do have a remote question and we have a question from the audience.  You need a mic here?
>> AUDIENCE: It is a comment.  And it was for the previous question, I think.  This is from Andhra Pradesh, India.  Rather than central government representation, from each state government, from each country representation, is also key.
>> ANDERS HEKTOR: I think that is a really good comment.  Thank you for that.  We have a remote or a local question?  Introduce yourself.  
>> AUDIENCE:  Not remote.  Question.  I am from Indonesia.  Because it is a GAC Open Forum, I just want to get input from our GAC members, but also from the audience.  In Bali in 2013, and today, we have several ICT issues rise globally.  Number 1 is, of course, the transfer from U.S. NTIA to the multistakeholders platform.  Unfortunately, we don't have a global standard of what a multistakeholder institution looks like.  If you go to the IGF, every country has different idea of what multistakeholder is I believe, including U.S. government has a different idea of other governments.  There might be a good discussion as to what you mean by multistakeholders institutions.  That is number 1; because it has not happened.  2016, 17, 19, until I retire, you know?
And the second one is the ICT security.  Being a global Internet infrastructure, because IGT8 and 9, we have a lot of ICT sector issues.  Indonesian President, for example, even to our neighbors to complain why our President and top officials (?) and today, in Istanbul, I go this morning to newspaper in front of my hotel room and what you call it?  The deadline is very interesting.  It is called (?) now, what does it mean?  It means ICT sector is becoming a big issue today.  This is what I read this morning.  And I believe it is somewhere in there too.
So I think the ICANN, as well as the GAC and other stakeholders, should think about what these big issues we have. Thank you.
>> ANDERS HEKTOR: Thank you.  Heather, if I can ambush you with a question ‑‑ I know you like that.  You're stepping down as Chair after the Los Angeles meeting so now you can be upfront.  Are you happy with the GAC representatives?
(Laughs)
(Applause)
No, I'm not pulling your leg.  It is also a relevant question, because since people have different resources to prepare, it may make your job more difficult to reach consensus, perhaps, or could it be that it makes your job easier because countries have not taken positions on several issues?  Do you have a comment on this?  On the fact that people have different opportunities to prepare and contribute?
>> HEATHER DRYDEN:  Thank you, Andrew, for putting me on the spot.  But I'm used to that from colleagues in the GAC.
So I think you hit on a really important point in terms of the functioning of the committee.  I spoke a bit earlier about some of the challenges and a lot of the changes in how the committee is developing, and what this means for a representative in the GAC is.  There is more pressure being exerted on a representative.
We heard from several of you this morning about some of the other issues and responsibilities that you have.  It is also possible that it is not well understood what is the role of this committee, what is the role of the Internet corporation for assigned names and numbers, which the committee is advisory to.  In that case, it is difficult, I think, for a representative to perhaps get the support.  Or it can boil down to getting travel authority signed off by a senior official.  And if it's not clear, and the purpose isn't clear, then I think it can be very difficult to function.
If colleagues do not have that kind of policy authority then, to come to a meeting, then it is very challenging for us to resolve issues and to reach consensus.  I think the consensus point is very important.  It is a consensus‑based committee.  So consensus processes can take time.  Certainly with a larger committee, that will be a lengthier process.  However, there is no less pressure on us to move quickly and be responsive to the work that gets initiated by other parts of the organisation to do things.
Olga mentioned the details programme.  It was a very large programme with many kinds of applications that were ultimately made.  As part of that programme, this isn't something that the GAC really asked for, but nevertheless, had to respond to.  The GAC was given a particular role to provide advice or possible objections to strings or applications within that programme, and that was an entirely new kind of role for the GAC to take on.  It was a bit of an experiment.  And I think we have learned some lessons from that and if there are in fact future round of generic top‑level domains to be initiated at ICANN, hopefully we can take some of those lessons learned from that.
As I say, I think it is challenging for a representative because of workloads and the importance of having understanding at home about why it is important to be in a particular meeting or address a particular issue.  And also the committee functions differently than other governmental settings.  They may be more accustomed to.  So there is a change there in terms of working methods and really there is a necessity to work across the organisation with other stakeholder groups and to be taking in information as well as influencing their thinking and making that bottom‑up policy development process work.
And it is complicated.  It is complicated.  To understand what the different groups are and how they relate to the work of government, I think does really make the point very well, that there is an additional layer of complexity to an organisation like ICANN and for the GAC.
>> ANDERS HEKTOR:  Thank you.  I think you handled the question.  It was an unfair question but a really good response.  But it's not only the actual ICANN meetings that we love to do three times a year on the different exotic places around the world.  There is also work to be done between meetings.  And I'd like to turn to Manal.  You're going to tell us about the working groups and your engagement in those and I wonder if you also could say your affiliation at home and if you have other things in your portfolio as well before you enter your presentation?  Thank you.
>> MANAL ISMAIL: Okay.  Thank you, and thank you everyone for being in this room.  So, very quickly, I work at the Egyptian Regulator, which of course has so many other things that fall into my portfolio along with handling ISTs and things that have to do with infrastructure provisioning and broadband and things of this sort.
I always like to start by quickly noting my very first GAC meeting that I was requested to attend, in which when I tried to enter the room, it was locked with a key.  So, just to give the sense of how things are developing and the progress we are trying to make now thanks to Sweden and to the initiative, we had our first community session in London and this Open Forum and I hope that we can continue engaging with the community.
Now, back to the intersession at work and the working groups.  So the GAC normally discusses issues among the whole GAC membership through the GAC mailing list, conference calls, and also of course at face‑to‑face meetings.  Sometimes we need to assign a topic lead to further progress on a particular topic of interest or concern to GAC members.  And working groups may be created also to focus efforts and facilitate GAC reaching a decision and providing advice on a certain topic.
Of course, as Heather mentioned, this is quite challenging because we come from different countries with different interests, with different maturity and ecosystems and Developing Countries, Developed Countries, new members and old members.  So it is really hard to drive consensus and even to make sure that all members are on the same page on the same topic.  So, quite challenging for us.
We basically have three activities of working groups, the GAC internal working groups, and those are not open for membership outside of the GAC.  We have also the joint working groups, and consultation groups, which are basically an inter‑constitute working group between the GAC and any of the other SOs and ACs; and finally, the reviewed teamwork or the nation groups, which are cross-community working groups in representation from all GAC participation.
So, the GAC working groups are created to address specific issues like GAC working methods and other stuff.  GAC members volunteer to participate in those working groups.  We have a topic leader who coordinates the work of each working group and some examples of those are the Capacity‑Building Working Group, GAC Early Warning and Advice on Future Rounds of (?) -- quite a broad topic -- and also includes further sub-working groups like the (?) Working Group, and also GAC Working Methods and the newly-formed Working Group on Government Engagement led by Lebanon.
Sorry, I'm having trouble.  So, the joint working groups of course, as the name implies, it has work leads, coordinating discussions with other relevant SOs and ACs.  They may have separate mailing lists and they basically get back to the GAC with either briefing notes, draft for discussions or for feedback, or concrete proposals where we can still discuss and approve.
The most important thing is that nothing can move forward without the whole GAC approving the outcome.  So, a challenging thing is that governments do not freely have other governments representing them in other areas.  So basically everything has to get back to the GAC to get the GAC consensus approval.
So, another example of the joint working groups, and one which I'm involved with, is the GAC Consultation Group, which is concerned with working on GAC Early Engagement in Jenis.  It is co-Chaired by the GAC and Jenis with members from both, and approximately whole numbers of representatives from both areas.
We hold conference calls between the team leads and the whole consultation group.  I have to admit this has slowed down a bit this last month with everything else that is taking place around, but we hope to catch up again.  We have ongoing consultations and consolations to ensure that everyone is on Board at each milestone, so we don't really publish until we get some blessing from our constitution.  We have also arranged informal gatherings, one in Singapore and one in London, which tends to be also useful to engage in an informal setting.  Another example of the coordination groups now that is across community working group, is the (?) Stewardship Transition Coordination Group, which has wide representation from all stakeholders.  The GAC has nominated five members, and those compose the context group between interfacing between the ICG and the GAC.  And of course, nominations were based on principles of diversity, including regional diversity, gender and language.
And I believe we are still discussing how the GAC could participate in also the Cross‑Community Working Group discussions.  The GAC Conflict Group basically represents the range of GAC member views at the ICG.  They report back any feedback to the GAC, keep the GAC informed of any significant developments that they can place, and try to make constructive interventions based on general and public policy considerations rather than individual government positions.
So, with this, I will pause here and you can take any questions.
>> ANDERS HEKTOR: Thank you very much.  We have a remote question.
>> This one is from Sergio saying, if there is no proper representation of IGF meetings and are not given clear and open common framework to all stakeholders, we have to freeze on it.
>> ANDERS HEKTOR: Thank you, Sergio.  Anybody have a comment?  Frankly, I didn't really understand the question either.  So Sergio, if you see this, please rephrase the question and send it again.  Thank you.  I'm sorry.  We have a couple of local questions here.  I thought this hand was up first.  Your name and affiliation, please?
>> AUDIENCE:  My name is Maria Farrell and I'm a member of the Non-commercial Stakeholders Group in the ICANN, and I think what we are seeing here is the best of the GAC.  We have a superb Chair.  We have really, really committee knowledgeable members, but if I may also say, this is not the whole of the GAC.  There is a large number of people who come to GAC meetings who don't understand the issue and don't follow them very closely and don't have the necessary buy-in from home.  And I wonder what the GAC members think of that and the issue of effectiveness of some ‑‑ I don't want to be unkind, but not all the GAC members are created equal.  And at the same time, within ICANN, we have a big drive to increase the power of the GAC and to effectively give the GAC almost something like a veto over policy that is developed in a very participatory, deliberative manner in the rest of the organisation.
Some of us are struggling with that and I'd like to know what the panel thinks about that.  We are trying to do two things at the same time.  One, increase the effectiveness, and two increase the power of the GAC.  And some of us are struggling with the fact that one is going faster than the other.
>> ANDERS HEKTOR: You mentioned the ‘V’ word.  Veto.  This is discussed from time to time in corridors and hallways, as well and also in GAC meetings.  And my reaction would be that it is a delicate balance of representation in the GAC.  On one hand, we want to keep it expert representation.  Some are asking for more of Ambassador‑level representation overall, which would perhaps some would say, bring it closer to a U.N.‑like organisation, which brings it closer to a voting‑like organisation and veto organisation, which would perhaps change the GAC entirely.
Manal has a comment and Heather as well before we take the next question.
>> MANAL ISMAIL: Just very quickly, because we have other colleagues yet to speak.  We already noted the points you're saying and I think this was also noted by the recommendations of the ATRT where the high‑level meeting was suggested explicitly to address this point and to higher the level of commitment of the Governments so that they can spare their representatives at the GAC the time, the effort, the authority, and the necessary resources.  So we hope this would solve this problem of unbalanced representation or commitment to the GAC.
>> HEATHER DRYDEN:  Thank you, Manal.  I'm really glad you talked a bit about the accountability and transparency review recommendations that acknowledge some of the challenges in the GAC and the need for doing that kind of outreach and building capacity for our government colleagues to come and participate, and ensuring that they have that kind of support at home so that they are coming with prepared positions.  And they are firmly rooted in policy and legislative approaches at home.  And this, of course, strengthens the ability of the GAC to address the issues that come before it.
I do think it is important to remember that, regardless of the current state of the GAC or how things may develop, that at the end of the day it is a political process, one within a multistakeholder model like ICANN.  And there always will be that political aspect to things.  And this is very much the environment that representatives are living in at home.  It's a political environment.
So I think that is also important to remember.  Maria, you mentioned something about increasing the role of governments.  Did you have something in particular in mind that we could respond to?
>> MARIA FARRELL:  It's Maria again.  Yes, there was a current proposal within the ICANN model to require the Board to have a two‑thirds majority rather than a simple majority, to effectively reject GAC advice on a GNSO policy.  So that is something that very much raises the bar of the Board.  It makes it very, very difficult for the Board to ever effectively disagree with the GAC on a matter of substance and that's a constitutional change being considered.  It's not being implemented.  And I think there is a lot of this in other parts of the ICANN modeled about that.
And I trespass on new things.  The representation on the GAC, two of us are here, McCaylee, and me from Ireland, and we have no GAC members.  Despite both of us lobbying for literally a decade, we don't have any representation on the GAC.  And that is our problem.  But there are quite a few countries like that.  Anyway, two‑thirds majority.  That's the particular question.
>> ANDERS HEKTOR: Thank you very much.  And thank you for giving us a flavor of a central issue of the GAC.  We do have more ground to cover.  So Heather, if you have a really short response to this or not?  I just want to check with Secretariat, we have time until 12:30, right?  Because the clock says we have only three minutes left.  Thank you.  I know we are glad to get up.  And others as well.  There was one more question back here.  Sir, name and affiliation.
>> AUDIENCE: Thank you.  Hello, my name is Olga Cavelli.  I'm a member of the ICANN Board and firstly, I want to thank all of you for your generous and tireless commitment and service to the GAC, and most especially to Heather Dryden for her very generous leadership and excellent service to both the Board and the GAC.
My question relates to your internal processes of deliberations and perhaps what you might share with us about that.  Actually, the most interesting response would be to hear a variation on the answer between at least two of you.  And that is regarding your process of consensus.  What does consensus mean to the GAC?  And how do you reach it?  Is there a point at which a vote needs to be taken?  But when does that magical bell ring that consensus is reached?  And is there a process by which a presumed consensus can be objected to, or made impossible?  Somewhat related to the veto question.  Thank you all.
>> ANDERS HEKTOR:  It's a brilliant question.  As it happens, we have two presentations that are going to deal with this particular issue.  Before we do that, sir, did you have a question or comment?  Name and affiliation.
>> AUDIENCE: I'm from Palestine.  We are not member of GAC now but we look to be in the future.  My question is to Imad.  As you are in GAC, how you encourage me to be member in GAC and why in Arab country?  Thank you.
>> IMAD HOBALLAH:  I don't know if you could hear me or not.  Good morning, everyone.  I think it is noon now.  Glad to be here and I'm glad to see all of you here.  My name is Imad Hoballah from Lebanon.  I represent the Government of Lebanon in the GAC.  I started about a year and-a-half ago.  What I do back home is, I'm the Regulator for the ‑‑ the Telecom Regulator.  I also currently Chair the IGF.  The Arab countries have been, I should say -- the least I would say is, not participating as much as they should be in the GAC, due to many issues.
Being away from this platform, in general, puts the whole Regions, or the people in the region at a disadvantage because actually, the voice of the people in the region, even the voice of the Governments in the region may not be heard.  And since some of the Arab countries have started to join, this platform has been extremely useful and supportive.  There are issues that interest everybody, every government, every citizen of every country, and by not being there you won't be able to put your voice or you won't be able to voice your opinion.  You won't be able to represent your people.  However, by being there, you will be able to have a vote, contribute.  You will be able to enter and exchange views with other countries and representatives, even people in the ICANN, not necessarily within the GAC itself.
It is really giving the multistakeholders a more inclusive favor.  It gives you the opportunity to present your views and to make a difference.  Otherwise you are going to be living with the consequences and not have any vote or any voice.  This is to be as short as possible.
>> ANDERS HEKTOR: Thank you very much for that.  And while you have the mic, I think I suggest you continue.  Change places.  And Alice, you should prepare.  Alice, you should also prepare to have a good seat for your presentation.  So the communiqué can be a little bit bewildering when you confront it.  
And so Imad Hoballah is going to tell us about how the GAC communiqué is designed, how it comes out the way it does.  You didn't get a response?  Okay.  We are going to discuss the communiqué and we are going to discuss some examples also.  And then we will have a Q&A at the end.  Please remind me if you don't think you have response to your question.  So, please.
>> IMAD HOBALLAH:  Okay, let's go back to the definition of communiqué.  I'm sorry, my voice, I'm a bit sick.  I hope my friends here do not get sick today.  But at least I'm sure you can hear me.  Communiqué is a commonly understood term when Governments meet.  According to the definition from the Oxford English Dictionary, communiqué is simply an official announcement, especially when made to the media.  
Going back to the operating principles of the GAC, principle number 55 states that, after a private meeting, and usually face‑to‑face meeting, has been held, the Chair may issue a communiqué to the media such communiqué having been preapproved or approved by the GAC beforehand.
The GAC issued communiqué at the first meeting in Singapore in 1999 and continues to do that every time.  The communiqué serves basically as a useful purpose for both GAC and ICANN.  It is a clear statement on the public record on what GAC worked on, what they have agreed to, at their face‑to‑face meeting they held.  It is the main vehicle that not ‑‑ but not the only vehicle, that we, as a GAC have, to provide access to ICANN Boards on public policy aspects of ICANN activities.
Just what are the main elements or parts of the communiqué?  Basically, three parts.  First, it provides details of meetings with other ICANN constituencies.  It gives internal GAC matters and third it is representative or has a part on the GAC advice to the Board, to the ICANN Board.
Basically on the first part, the ICANN constituencies, and our meetings with them, such as the country code names supporting an organisation, and genetic names supporting an organisation, and other constituencies.  On internal matters that the GAC and how it operates and functions, issues of that nature, for example secretarial support and other items.  It is also part of the communiqué.
The most important part, not necessarily minimizing the importance of the other parts, is the part related to the communiqué to the Board or the advice to the Board.
Next question is, how does the GAC identify issues for discussing at the meeting and for inclusion in the communiqué that we issue for the ‑‑ or the Chair issues?  One is through intersession of discussions that we talked about that lead up to the face‑to‑face meeting.  Two, through a robust Agenda-setting process that we go through in the four months between the two meetings, the process that ensures members are briefed on what needs to be decided on any issue.  Third, is basically discussions at the meeting that takes place in the face-to-face meeting like we did in London.  And finally the fourth item is in response to new issue that is come up during the meeting, during the period of the week meeting that we have at the ICANN meetings.  
Next is how do we draft the communiqué?  What takes place and how does the ‑‑ or when does the drafting of the communiqué take place?  Clearly throughout the week that we meet, the communiqué drafting, or preparation, takes place it's not an effort that takes place at the end of some activity.  The GAC together to review it as a body, one body, one group of people and it happens usually on Wednesday of that week.  The drafting is usually done by the GAC on Wednesday as we said in the afternoon and this is generally the only Closed Session meeting that the GAC holds.  So we start the meetings usually during the weekend.  We'll have the discussions and the secretary does a nice job of taking notes and preparing bits and pieces of the communiqué and when it comes to Wednesday, usually we start discussing it at that time, as a group.
So the question was about consensus earlier.  Here we say consensus, consensus, consensus.  The key issue in reaching an agreement is the fact that the GAC operates via consensus.  That is an issue.  But at the same time is a part of the strength of the GAC.  This is reflected in the GAC Operating Principle Number 47 that was briefed earlier by Thomas.  Basically it states that consistent to practice, consensus is understood to mean the following:  The practice of adopting decisions by general agreement in the absence of any formal objection.  Any formal objection.
The fact is this process is not easy.  Let's be honest.  In some situations we would see opposing views and the situation may get heated.  People start getting frozen in their positions, if I must say.  But the fact is we got to get back the items and the elements and the discussions and the people in the room to the basics as to why we are there and just make sure that everybody realizes that all of us are doing this for the public interest.  It does not necessarily to the benefit of the specific government or a specific people.  Something that has to really be accepted by others, by everybody, almost.  I'm saying almost because that is what consensus really meant by Principle 47.  But again, it is the job of everybody within the team, especially the Chair and the Vice‑Chairs, to try to make sure that the issues are understood or sometimes what is behind the issue.  And that takes a lot.  What is behind the issue?  Let's see how we can get the groups to agree.  And we have to make sure that people understood that nobody has bad intentions in these discussions.  Nobody wishes to do this to spite other Governments or whatever.  That is the part of what takes place as we move forward.
Where consensus is not possible, and it has happened,  where it is not possible, the Chair has the responsibility to make sure that she or he represents the full set of views that the people have.  The Chairs, she or he, cannot, present a view that is not consistent with the consensus.  If there is no consensus, the different sets of views have to be represented in the communiqué and in any other communication that takes place with the Board and other constituents.
There are the means for drafting the communiqué.  The drafting session itself produces the communiqué through several means.  One, the GAC tries to give most attention to the parts related to the formal advice to the Board.  That is the one that we really spend most of the time on.  And to make the advice as clear as possible, so there are no ambiguities.  The GAC and ICANN support staff assisting the drafting.  The GAC members interested in a specific issue.  Sometimes they take an issue off line and have a huddle, a little bit, discuss it and bring it back to the full GAC representation to make sure that people agree with it.  As you say sometimes, the drafting is not easy and that is why some of the side groups are extremely important to make sure we get the different introduce harmonized and agreed to by different members.
It is necessary to say that some members have different behaviors from their government on certain issues.  To the question that has been raised earlier, the fact is, there is no equal representation as far as the representatives of different countries in the meetings.  Some come to the meetings well prepared and having been there since 1999.  They know what the background is.  They are supported by their organisations back home.  And some are new.  The GAC is working on some kind of package up to date everybody and some kind of awareness campaign.
The ICANN Board or the ICANN Administration or Leadership, has a group that deals with outreach, getting new Governments in.  And when they come in they do not suddenly have to be aware of every issue or of a specific issue.  So that is where we collectively have to play a role in making sure that we get people up to speed on these issues as much as possible, but it doesn't always work.  It takes time and it depends on the support back home.  Sometimes the GAC simply uses the communiqué to put on notice that an emerging issue may have specific public policy implications.  And that is what communicated to the ICANN and its Board and other interested parties to have time to work on the GAC with the GAC on possible solutions.
Sometimes, GAC members simply agree to disagree.  And as I said earlier, in this case, we will have to disagree and get the communiqué that is agreed by the group, of the committee, represented different views.  An example of this recently is (?)
Okay.  Now, if I could get to this one.  The GAC communication usually is followed by the publication of the Minutes and then the GAC or the GAC meeting usually announced four weeks later.  Like four weeks after the London meeting, we got the communiqué out and it usually is put on the website.
The status.  This is basically the GAC deliberates carefully about the origin of the communiqué because the GAC advice to the ICANN Board has a particular status under the ICANN by‑laws.  That's why it is a specific status.  That's why we take care of it and people really are very clear and very careful when it is issued.
The by‑laws are in Section 2 and provides that the Government Advisory Committee may put issues to the Board directly either by way of comment or advice or by way of specifically recommended action, or new policy developments or revision for existing policies.
Two, the advice of the GAC on public policy matters shall be duly taken into account, both in the affirmation and adoption of policy.  In the event the ICANN Board determines to take an action that is not consistent to the GAC, they have to justify it.  They may but they have to justify it.  There has been, as mentioned earlier, an advice by the GAC saying that if the Board is going to go against recommendation by the GAC, they should have two-third vote to do that.  I believe the Board has already met.  Do not disagree and they put for public comment.
If such, basically, the GAC and the ICANN Boards will then try in good faith to resolve the issues or discuss it to try to come up with a solution.  If no such solution can be found, the ICANN Board will state in the final decision the reasons why they did not go ahead with it.
The GAC supports advice available to the GAC on the GAC website and to everybody on the GAC website.  Thank you.  I think I have taken more than my 10 minutes.
>> ANDERS HEKTOR: I know we have a remote question and possibly questions in the audience as well.  Time is running a little bit short.  We have 10 minutes left and I would like to give the word to Alice to give a little bit of a narration of how this plays out.  I think you mentioned you have an example you would like to make.  Thank you.
>> ALICE MUNYUA: Thank you very much.  I'm going to speak about GAC advice, and I think the level of confusion or the lack of clarity that was for a long time about exactly what GAC advice is, and at times, you would find that exchanges between specific GAC members during meetings or interventions would be considered GAC advice.  
So, what exactly is GAC advice?  Again, like my colleague said, it is negotiated text that is put in writing and to make channels for that, is currently the GAC community, sometimes we do have letters coming from the Chair that would also be considered GAC advice.  Over time, you know that the communiqué as mentioned by my colleague evolved in ways that is presented.  And they also, as he mentioned being, technical attention through high‑level set of principals, a certain level of tension between high levels set of principles providing ICANN Board and ICANN community with providing very specific recommendations for implementation details.  Which are also quite relevant to Governments.  So the focus is not just on high‑level principles.
However, having said that, the GAC developed several principles, for example, on new GTLDs, on CTTLDs, and most often these high‑level principles help to determine at the national level the policy and regulatory framework.  At least I know that for several of our African countries and when it comes to specifically CCTLDs.  
One of the greatest challenges, continues to be how GAC advice is interpreted, and not just by the ICANN Board but the ICANN community generally -- interpreted in order to identify actions, in response to the advice provided.  And a good example, which I said I was going to provide, was the frustrations we felt, especially when we were developing the new GTLDs the frustrations most of us felt with the fact that most of our communications and the advice we were providing is being misunderstood or taken into account.  And that is the reason why we came up with a new process with a new process called, the Scorecard, developed for the first time during the GAC Board face‑to‑face meeting in Brussels in 2011, and then in San Francisco in March 2011.
This, itself, reflected a lot of negotiations among and between GAC members, sometimes quite tense.  And we also had volunteer leads who drafted very specific sections of text of this core cut and also shared focus and intention on providing consensus perspective.
This Scorecard contains GAC agreements on the content.  It was consensus GAC value.  And it provided more detail than the usual GAC communiqués, and I think it was considered extremely useful to have as a structure to work with so we could understand what the GAC was trying to communicate and to also keep track of the progress in the discussions between the GAC, the Board and the community generally.
I think during all of this process, in developing GAC advice, the GAC communiqué, most of us members have come to appreciate the developmental positions and procedures or rules in this whole marketship, requires new steps of negotiations  and interactions.  So, sometimes a consensus is not possible.  Our Chair conveys the full range of by the members to the Board.  And to be honest, I'm not sure, even my own country, Kenya, tried to develop a multistakeholder model, which is currently trying and trying to, in our constitution, that forces any policy processes to undergo a multistakeholder model.  But I don't think it is currently working in the way we would like it to work.  So I'm not sure we have really established a definite method for developing multistakeholder policies or regulatory frameworks using the multistakeholder approach.
So for me, the GAC communiqués and Scorecard is one way of interaction, which is very, very important, especially for the multistakeholder model.  And the GAC work is not easy and sometimes it actually feels quite a lot of empathy, especially during difficult negotiations to help us create that advice.

You can see the process of creating advice and the communiqué has evolved, and we continue creating and inventing mechanisms, especially taking into consideration that the organisation ICANN itself is at the core of the most sensitive expression in the WSIS, which acknowledge the respective roles of various stakeholders.
So ICANN is currently, I believe, the only entity at the global level that is actually making policies and decisions and implementing them in a slightly different manner in that way trying very hard to make that multistakeholder model work.
So making resolutions, declarations, and recommendations, it is quite different from developing agreements.  That's why ICANN is quite special in that way; and even more challenging because we have to make recommendations and implement policies using that model.  And this is why the current ICANN accountability process is extremely important and they are all at the GAC more important.  So in how to engage it and participate, and in fact, not just important, quite critical.  I'll stop there with questions.
>> ANDERS HEKTOR: Thank you very much, Alice.  And I'm going to change to the last slide.  And we do have a remote question here.
>> REMOTE AUDIENCE MEMBER:  From Africa, I have a question on the GAC members understanding on the ICANN and Internet Governance Policies and Process when they come to ICANN meetings.  How do they determine and delegate the understanding of these when they make decisions?
>> ANDERS HEKTOR: That's not an easy question.  Does anybody on the panel ‑‑ How is their understanding of this when they make decisions?  Could you repeat the question, perhaps?
>> REMOTE AUDIENCE MEMBER:  How do they data mine the delegated understanding of these when they make decisions?
>> ANDERS HEKTOR: Maybe I can read it.  That's really small print.  
I have a question to the GAC members.  I have a question on the GAC Members’ understanding on the ICANN and Internet Governance Policy and Processes when they come to ICANN meetings.  From Gideon.  How do we understand the questions when we come to the meetings?  Well, some do.
How do we understand the questions when we come to the ICANN meetings?  I understand the question as, how well are we understanding and following the Agenda for the meetings?  And the technical issues of the things that are on the Agenda.
I think we discussed that a little bit earlier, actually.  So considering that we don't have much time now, there is a question in the back I would like to take as well.
>> ANDERS HEKTOR: Name and affiliation, please.
>> AUDIENCE: Hello.  I think the last question has more to do with, how do you, as the GAC, determine the validity of representation?  So how do you determine the validity of the person who is sitting on the GAC representing a country such that one, you have an understanding, or you're able to determine and have an understanding of the issues to be able to make those decisions.  So it's more around that process, I think.
>> ANDERS HEKTOR: Heather, please?
>> HEATHER DRYDEN:  Thank you for the questions.  So it is pretty straightforward in that a GAC member will appoint a representative and then that representative speaks on behalf of that country and that's not questioned.  And that is how we operate.  Thank you.
>> ANDERS HEKTOR: Thomas?
>> THOMAS SCHNEIDER: Just, I'm participating in the GAC for six years, and I have observed in the beginning, it was mostly technical experts in the early days of ICANN and especially with the new GTLD programme where more economic and political and social and rights issues have come in that the representation of Governments has also changed.  That you have more people who maybe have less technical specific skills somewhere but are able to consult, as we said before, with other ministries, with the industry, with civil society and academics.  So, it is shifting from at least that is my perception, from a more technical to a more diplomatic, collecting information and digesting it and informing a position‑type of representative.
And many GAC members have also two, one expert on the a key issue and the other takes the whole thing together.  Thank you.
>> ANDERS HEKTOR: Imad.
>> IMAD HOBALLAH:  As was mentioned, it bit the responsibility of the government to make sure that the person who comes to the meeting has credentials.  It's their responsibility to make sure that they are well prepared and ready and they have the background for the issues that are going to be discussed because that agenda is made available ahead of time and we talked a little bit about the process how we come up with the Agenda.
Third, I believe it is the responsibility of the people who have an issue to communicate to the different Governments and their representative, to get their views as to what their views are on the different issues.  And then when they come to the meeting, it is an Open Forum and everybody has to take responsibility for what they do.  Thanks.
>> ANDERS HEKTOR: All right.  We are drawing to a close.  I would also like to point to the GAC website, which you can find through the ICANN website, and we have some nice presentation papers there that you can print.  I have a kit of them, about 25, that I can hand out here if anybody is interested.  It may give some answers to questions that maybe was never asked but you were thinking about.  
And so, let's finish here.  I would like to say thank you to ‑‑ I'm sorry?  Who has a question?  You have a question?
>> AUDIENCE: Sorry, yes.  I did have a question.  My name is Debbie, I'm Civil Society, Electronic Frontiers but also part of the Vice‑Chair of the GSO within ICANN and part of the GAC GSO Corporation Committee.  I just want ‑‑ My question is really, and I apologize, it's probably not a simple one.  A lot of the clashes we see within ICANN between particularly between the GAC and the GSO and other things, often come down to the fact and yes, people disagree, but one of the complicating factors is the GAC does not actually deliver policy.  It delivers policy advice.  So perhaps often a paragraph about something, and this will then sort of be compared to a policy, which is ‑‑ policy being a 20‑page document prepared over a year.  This clash between policy advice and policy, obviously part of that is getting the GAC to engage earlier but it's not the only foolproof solution.  How do we deal with that situation better where the GAC can often be giving ‑‑ often comparing policy advice to policy and the GAC is not actually able to in itself, to policy.
>> ANDERS HEKTOR: Thank you for this comment.  One of you can have a short reply to it.
>> HEATHER DRYDEN:  It will be brief.  So I think you pointed to what is really at the heart of the challenge.  In a model like this and there is no quick and easy solution.  The work happening between the GSO, generic name supporting organisation, and the Governmental Advisory Committee, is one attempt that you are aware of that addresses that but there is no quick illusion and there are a number of things working on the GAC as we have talked about that can also limit the ability of the GAC to comment maybe earlier on or to simply focus on the policy without those political considerations and all of these things, making it challenging.  But I think it is important to look at that issue.  Thank you.
>> ANDERS HEKTOR: Thank you very much.  Thank you for showing up.  Thank you for the panel and wish you all have a nice lunch.
(Applause)