3 September 2007

Statement by Raúl Echeberría on behalf of the NRO, delivered at the IGF Open Consultation meeting

Thank you Mr. Chair.

I am Raúl Echeberría, CEO of LACNIC, and member of the IGF MAG, and at this moment I am speaking on behalf of the Number Resource Organization. First of all, the Number Resource Organization, NRO, would like to congratulate Mr Desai for his successful leadership of the IGF and the Advisory Group, and his reappointment to co-chair the AG toward RIO.

We think that under his leadership, the community has largely achieved the objectives that were outlined in Tunis 2005 regarding the IGF.

We also congratulate Mr da Rocha Vianna and we sincerely wish both of you all the success in your work toward Rio.

The NRO doesn’t agree with the proposal of having a formal report as an outcome of the IGF and this includes a summary report of the workshops.

We support that the chair issue a narrative report like last year and also that Workshop organizers could issue their own reports about the workshops that each organize.

Any other kind of report would mean to recreate all the process of negotiation of the WGIG and WSIS and this is not the spirit of the IGF.

The IGF should remain based on the principles and spirit of the Tunis agreement which, by the way, is in our sense the reason of its success.

One of the most valuable things of the IGF meeting last year was the fact that all the stakeholders met for the first time to discuss many important issues without the pressure of producing agreed text.

Some could think that if there are not formal recommendations the IGF is useless, but those of us that work daily in this business know that as a consequence of this process (WGIG and WSIS) there are levels of collaboration and interaction among stakeholders as never had happened in the past. So, IGF and all the process around IGF make many things happen outside IGF.

It is not a matter of convincing or imposing our view to everybody. There are different opinions and that is fine, it is just a matter of understanding and respecting the principles on which each of us is willing to continue participating and making contributions in IGF. It is important to remark that only with the participation of all of us that the IGF will continue to be a success which will benefit the international community.

However, Mr Chair let me beg you to allow me to extend my comments, because having heard the positions expressed by the representative of the Government of China, I would like also to make some comments about it.

We, the NRO, have seen with interest the position expressed by the Chinese Government relating to IP addressing matters. However, let us stress that it is not accurate to say that the current management system of IPv4 address has resulted in the shortage of IP resources and the discontinuity of IP address blocks for countries that are less-developed in Internet.

In fact it was the NRO who brought to the attention of governments the issues of IPv4 consumption and the transition to IPv6.

For several years, the NRO and individual RIRs have made many presentations in different forums, including ICANN meetings, intergovernmental forums, and other forums with governmental participation. We have also have had many meetings with other stakeholders, mainly Governments exchanging ideas and positions. We have given numerous presentations to the ICANN GAC, and have presented in every GAC meeting since the Marrakech meeting in June 2006.

Our hope and our intention through these activities was that Governments actively participate in these discussions, and act in coordination with the existing system of IP address management, including the RIRs themselves to express their concerns and view through their open forum.

In recent years in fact, the issues of IPv4 consumption and the transition to IPv6 are among the most popular topics under discussion in all the RIR public forums. In all RIR regions a range of policy proposals are being discussed through the respective open, transparent, and participative Policy Development Processes. These proposals are, in some way or other, way related to the consumption of IPv4 and the transition to IPv6, and looking for the best scenarios for the transition. I can assure you that many different views are being expressed representing different perspectives, different interests and different needs, and I expect that some of these already reflect the concerns of the Chinese government. If they do not, then such views would certainly be welcome, along with proposals which address those concerns.

Thousands of people representing the worldwide Internet community are participating in the discussion, including of course a good number from China. In fact, exactly at this moment, some of the mentioned proposals are being discussed in the APNIC meeting in Delhi, where the Asia and Pacific community is meeting today to discuss those issues and many others of interest of the regional community.

Since some of the proposals are meant to be global, the process will include the necessary ratification of the policy by ICANN, and while I cannot speak on behalf of ICANN, I am sure that ICANN will include in the ratification process consultation with all the stakeholders, including governments through the GAC, as they have done on past occasions.

The IGF is of course a good place for bringing concerns and positions regarding every issue related to Internet Governance, and in fact it has been the NRO who together with other organizations has promoted de organization of a workshop on this topic for the IGF. However, in cases like this, there are well established and successful open and transparent policy development processes, the best way to influence decisions is to participate through those processes

I invite all of you to participate in this productive discussion by subscribing to the RIRs public forums lists (I can assist you in doing that if some of you need any help). Also, in the case of governments, either participating in the RIR public discussion or expressing their positions in the GAC of ICANN.

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