How the Taiwanese Community Participates in ICANN

Assistant Manager, National Information Infrastructure Enterprise Promotion Association (NIIEPA)

During the second ICANN APAC-TWNIC Engagement Forum, I was honored to be one of the panelists of the ‘How to be a member of ICANN stakeholders’ session. Kuo-wei Wu, a well-known ICANN veteran in Taiwan, was our moderator. Kuo-wei is also the founder and current chair of the Taiwan Internet Governance Forum (TWIGF), which made him the best fit for hosting this session! Other ICANN community members from Taiwan included Nicole Chan (ASO), Morris Lin (GAC), Joy Chan (ccNSO), and me (GNSO).

The Governmental Advisory Committee (GAC) is composed of governments and International Governmental Organizations (IGOs). A GAC representative is often associated with a specific governmental position; as a result, the turnover rate of GAC delegates is usually quite high. Morris Lin has been Taiwan’s GAC representative since I started attending ICANN meetings in 2018; suffice to say that he’s more experienced than many of us. During his remarks, Morris noted that the GAC doesn’t develop policies, it only provides advice to the ICANN Board. Moreover, since one has to be a government official to be a GAC member, it is not easy for an ordinary person to join that group. However, Morris welcomes people to bring topics they are concerned about to him and expressed a willingness to address those topics during GAC meetings as long as they are in line with Taiwanese public interest and policy.

Compared to other people on the panel, Nicole Chan is relatively new to ICANN. Appointed by APNIC to the ASO’s Addressing Council (AC), Nicole is almost halfway through her one-year term as an ASO AC member. The Addressing Support Organization (ASO) is comprised of representatives of the 5 Regional Internet Registries (RIRs), and is responsible for advising the ICANN Board on global policy issues relating to the operation, allocation, and management of IP addresses. ASO AC is also responsible for filling 2 seats on the ICANN Board. As the term of one of the ASO representatives on the ICANN Board ends this year, Nicole told us that the AC has been busy going through the appointment process, which led to her having to attend multiple special meetings for the last few months.

Joy Chan is the Deputy CEO of TWNIC, the country code Top Level Domain (ccTLD) manager of .TW. The Country Code Names Supporting Organization (ccNSO) provides a platform to nurture consensus, technical cooperation, and skill-building among ccTLDs, and facilitates the development of voluntary best practices for ccTLD managers. Because of Joy’s technical background, she is also active in other Internet forums, currently serving as the chair of the Cooperation Special Interest Group (SIG) in APNIC. She hosted a session on the first day discussing Digital Transformation, and I highly recommend you watch the session recording if you missed it!

I started attending ICANN meetings in 2018 and became an NCSG (the Noncommercial Stakeholder Group under the Generic Names Supporting Organization or GNSO) member during the ICANN66 Montreal meeting in 2019. Drawing from my experience as a current working group member of the GNSO’s Policy Development Process (PDP), I pointed out that while it is easy to become a community member, it requires much more commitment and time to participate meaningfully. I will explain in more detail my argument in the next post. Stay tuned!


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