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India Calls For UN Body To Replace ICANN

India is calling for a United Nations-run body to take over the responsibilities of ICANN, with discussions likely to take place in Geneva later this week, according to a report in The Hindu.The Geneva meeting is to be led by the Commission on Science and Technology for Development and is a multi-stakeholder discussion platform on Internet governance structures.In its proposal submitted to the General Assembly in New York on 26 October, 2011, The Hindu reports “India has argued for a radical shift from the present model of multi-stakeholder led decision-making, to a purely government-run multilateral body that would relegate civil society, private sector, international organisations as well as technical and academic groups to the fringes in an advisory role.””India is pushing for the creation of a forum called ‘Committee for Internet Related Policies’ (CIRP) to develop internet policies, oversee all internet standards bodies and policy organisations, negotiate internet-related treaties and sit in judgment when internet-related disputes come up. The catch is that India’s formal proposal is for CIRP to be funded by the U.N., run by staff from the U.N.’s Conference on Trade and Development arm and report directly to the U.N. General Assembly, which means it will be entirely controlled by the U.N.’s member states.The report goes on to say “India’s proposal could prove controversial for multi-stakeholder communities within the country and across the world, since it entails moving away from the prevailing democratic ‘equal say’ process for internet governance to one in which governments would be front and centre, receiving advice from stakeholders and deciding the way forward.”To read the report in The Hindu in full, see: