Uniforum’s attempt to convince ICANN Independent Objector to block DotConnectAfrica’s .africa Application Flops

 For these reasons the IO, who is primarily acting as a “safety net”, does not in principle intend to file an objection on the community ground”

The Independent objector has released his findings about the new gTLD ICANN applications, among the casualties of the objections are 24 objections against new applied-for gTLDs before the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC). The 24 objections were on 13 separate strings, three for .Amazon including 2 IDN’s; .Charity; .Med; .Health,; .Healthcare; .Hospital; .Indians; .Patagonia; .Medical lodged on On 12 March 2013

A comment concerning two contentious applicants, in one of the most sought after geographic  gTLD .africa , the IO website reads “During his review of the applications for the new gTLD ‘.Africa’, the Independent Objector (IO) has noted that numerous comments have been posted on the public comments webpage of ICANN. To ensure transparency and address public concerns on those controversial applications, the hereunder comment aims at informing the public of the reasons why the IO does not consider in principle filing an objection.

The responses by the two applicants also were included in the report where the IO reports that “Although finalized after an exchange of views with the applicants, this comment is still preliminary and does not prejudge the IO’s final decision to file an objection against the applications or not.”  Its important to note that Uniforum in their responses attempted to convince the Independent objector to object DotConnectAfrica which was unsuccessful as the IO maintained that “we agree with the comments contained in the Independent Objector’s initial notice. ”

Uniforum went ahead to state that “We will deal with the required heads of a Community Objection as the Independent Objector has done.” a factor that DotConnectAfrica has variously accused them of not applying for a Community TLD application but did not.

Uniform says:

“UniForum application received written endorsement from the African Union as well as 41 out of a total of 54 African governments.” And that their “submission is re-enforced by the Independent Objector’s observation that one of the 17 GAC “early warnings” was raised by the African Union’s representative on the GAC.”

Their reportage also invokes:

“The African Union Commission (AUC) represents the interests of African governments with respect to the “.Africa” gTLD. As we have seen, a majority of these governments have endorsed UniForum’s application. As such, the AUC represents a significant portion of the African Community.”

And noting that DotConnectAfrica remains the initial endorsee of the AUC having received their endorsement in 2009.

Uniforum argued that “If ICANN were to delegate the gTLD to DCA despite the AUC’s endorsement of UniForum, it is likely that the AUC would lose faith in ICANN and its structures.”     

This sounds ridiculous against DotConnectAfrica’s comments that “African Union “…in selecting a registry operator for .AFRICA directly usurps the role of ICANN, and this is directly against the objectives of the new gTLD Program and the UniForum application must be penalized accordingly by the ICANN Evaluation.”

In a matter of concern that directly reflects the corruption and the refusal by DotConnectAfrica to participate in any grounds of illegality that would jeopardize the running of a transparent registry, Uniforum states to the IO that

“Should DCA’s application proceed and reach contention resolution stage, and in the light of its conduct thus far, it is most unlikely that DCA would be open to a negotiated settlement with UniForum.”

Meaning that they look forward to possibility of DotConnectAfrica’s application not reaching the final stages, and so Uniforum conclude that

[a] “Accordingly we request that the Independent Objector should lodge an objection to DCA’s application should it pass the initial evaluation procedures. And continues that [b] We consent to the Independent Objector referring to our above comments in any objection made against DCA’s application for delegation of the ‘.Africa’ gTLD. ”

These statements reflect Uniforum’s attempt to convince the IO to object to DCA’s application.    However, the response by the Independent Objector concludes :

“In the present case, the IO is of the opinion that the African Union is an established institution representing and associated with a significant part of the targeted community. The African Union Commission is already fully aware of the controversial issues and is better placed than the IO to file an objection, if it deems it appropriate. For these reasons the IO, who is primarily acting as a “safety net”, does not in principle intend to file an objection on the community ground.”

This means that the African Union which is a co-applicant together with Uniforum would be in conflict of interest, of it went ahead to object to the application of DotConnectAfrica.

The entire responses are found here

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