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GAC-Board Consultation – Announcement Update

21 January 2011

Updated: 15 February 2011
Updated: 9 February 2011
Updated: 2 February 2011

Arrangements are being finalized for the GAC-Board consultation to be held in Brussels on 28 February and 1 March 2011.

As previously advised, the venue for this consultation will be at The Square Brussels Meeting Centre in Room 400. This room will provide classroom style seating for the GAC and Board members, and there will be theatre style seating provided for those people who responded to the RSVP posted on 2 February 2011. Individual emails will be sent to all those who responded to the RSVP to confirm attendance. As the current combined attendance numbers are close to capacity for the seating allocated we are unable to extend an invitation for additional attendance from interested community members.

The agenda and format for proceedings is still being finalized. It is the intention to publish the agenda before the meeting, along with briefing papers on the agreed topics for discussion. This will be done as a separate announcement.

Remote participation will be available through adobe connect and the link and other relevant details will be provided closer to the consultation.

Updated: ICANN's Board and GAC to Meet on New gTLDs

The RSVP list is now closed.

RSVP to Attend ICANN Board-GAC Meeting in Brussels

A message to those who wish to attend the ICANN Board-GAC Meeting in Brussels on 28 Feb-1 Mar.

If you wish to attend as an observer the upcoming meeting of the ICANN's Board and the GAC to discuss new gTLDs [see below], please RSVP by sending an email to GAC-BoardRSVP@icann.org no later than 8 February 2011. Space in the room is limited and we don't wish to have people traveling and find there is no space for them to attend. Therefore it was necessary to come up with a limited procedure for seat allocation. If the number of RSVPs exceeds the amount of available seating, ICANN staff will allocate the seating in an equitable manner. To ensure maximum attendance, those whose RSVPs are confirmed will need to submit a copy of an airline ticket, hotel reservation or other indication of their intent to attend in person.

As previously announced, the meeting will be open, scribed and streamed live over the Internet. Only GAC members, ICANN Board members, select ICANN staff members and subject matter experts will participate in the meeting. Please note that in addition to the open plenary sessions, smaller meetings focused on specific issues may also take place and may be closed to non-participants. If they occur, those in these smaller meetings will report on their work during the open plenary sessions.

During the recent ICANN meeting in Cartagena, the ICANN Board of Directors and Governmental Advisory Committee agreed to meet at some time prior to the upcoming Silicon Valley/San Francisco meeting in order to devote significant time in the interest of resolving the outstanding issues the GAC has identified with the new gTLD process.

Planning for that meeting has occurred and the Board and the GAC have agreed to meet on 28 February and 1 March 2011, in Brussels, at the Square Brussels Meeting Centre, Mont des Arts – Kunstberg, Brussels.

The purpose of the meeting is to:

  1. Identify the specific differences between Governmental Advisory Committee ("GAC") advice and the current implementation of the GNSO New gTLD Policy recommendations embodied in the Applicant Guidebook.

  2. Through discussion among Board and GAC members, either:
    1. arrive at an agreed upon resolution of those differences, or
    2. for those issues not resolved, identify what differences remain. This meeting is not intended to address the requirements/steps outlined in the Bylaws mandated Board-GAC consultation process.

The meeting will be open, scribed and streamed live over the Internet. Only GAC members, ICANN Board members, select ICANN staff members and subject matter experts will participate in the discussion, whether in person or remotely. It will be possible for interested parties to attend and observe proceedings.  Remote participation facilities will also be made available. 

Papers to inform the discussions will be published prior to the meeting. Details of the agenda and logistics will be made available closer to the meeting.


ICANN's Governmental Advisory Committee (GAC) plays a key role within ICANN, particularly with regard to providing advice to the Board on public policy issues. The GAC has been actively involved in the discussions on the introduction of new gTLDs and has regularly provided advice to the ICANN Board on a number of issues, which the Board has sought to address. The most recent GAC communiqué [PDF, 45 KB] identified a number of issues associated with the introduction of new gTLDs that the GAC considers outstanding, or unresolved to the GAC's satisfaction.

The new gTLD program has its origins in carefully deliberated policy development work by the ICANN community. In October 2007, following more than 18 months of community discussions, the GNSO formally completed its policy development work on new gTLDS and approved a set of 19 policy recommendations. In June 2008, ICANN's Board of Directors adopted the policy recommendations and directed staff to commence work on an implementation plan.

The first version of the Applicant Guidebook was posted for public comment on 1 October 2008, and since that time a further four versions have followed with the most recent, the Proposed Final Applicant Guidebook published on 10 November 2010. Each version has been revised as a result of comments received via the respective public comment fora. The ICANN meeting in Cartagena provided the platform for discussion of the latest version, and provided an opportunity for the Board to hear first hand, the community's views.