ICANN Announcements

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8 January 2009

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At a Glance

The ICANN Board has recently approved a variety of important structural and operational changes designed to improve the efficiency, effectiveness, and accessibility of the GNSO. Now is an excellent time for interested individuals/entities to become engaged in this critically important work. Those interested are invited and encouraged to contribute their time and expertise. This announcement identifies several specific opportunities and efforts that are underway or will soon be initiated, and how you can become involved.

More information is available on the ‘GNSO Improvements webpage,' which has been established as a central clearing house for all key documents relating to GNSO Improvements (including GNSO restructuring).

There are five primary ways that you can participate in the GNSO Improvements effort:

  1. Participate in starting/building/launching a new GNSO Constituency;
  2. If you're involved in a current GNSO Constituency, each constituency will be reconfirming its charter with the ICANN Board;
  3. Help to establish new Stakeholder Groups;
  4. Participate in one of five new GNSO Improvements Work Teams being formed; and
  5. Provide input as various GNSO Improvement-related proposals are posted for public comment.

These five activities are described in the sections that follow along with references and, where applicable, contact information.

1. Participate in starting/building/launching a new GNSO constituency

A two-step process, including templates, for establishing a new constituency has been developed by Staff and is available on the GNSO Improvements webpage. Staff has received several inquiries recently from individuals and groups interested in forming new GNSO constituencies. Below are just two of the community activities that are still in the early stages of formation:

  • Members of the At-Large community are engaged in discussions on how to potentially create additional non-commercial oriented constituencies that would enable the voice of individual Internet users to be represented in a way that is not duplicative of the At-Large Advisory Committee (ALAC). Email At-Large Staff for more information and contacts.

All “Notice of Intent” forms received will be posted and linked on the GNSO Improvements web page.

2. Current Constituencies will be reconfirming their charters with the ICANN Board

The ICANN Board has requested that all of the existing GNSO constituencies submit their charters for re-confirmation in time for its 3 February meeting. Staff has published guidelines that constituencies can follow in completing this task. Contact your Constituency's Chair or Secretariat for more information on your Constituency's efforts.

3. Help with the establishment of the new Stakeholder Groups

Some members of existing GNSO constituencies and prospective new constituencies have been discussing the formation of the four over-arching Stakeholder Groups and how to fulfill the Board's expectation that they submit new petitions/charters in late February for consideration during its March 2009 meeting. Staff has developed a Stakeholder Group template and additional information to assist in this effort. If you are unfamiliar with the GNSO's new structure and organization, including the role of Stakeholder Groups, please see the discussion and diagrams on the GNSO Improvements webpage.

Non-Commercial Stakeholder's Group (NCSG):

One of the central issues in forming the NCSG, in particular, has been the appropriate role of individual Internet Users within the GNSO. At the direction of the ICANN Board, the Staff opened a 30-day public consultation forum in late October, asking interested community members to provide comments on this topic. Commenters were asked to consider addressing the inclusion of registrants and individual users in the GNSO in a manner that complements the ALAC and its supporting structures and ensures that the gTLD interests of registrants and individual Internet users are effectively represented within the GNSO. ICANN Staff published a report summarizing and analyzing the various comments submitted in the forum. In its latest 11 December 2008 resolution, the Board requested a specific community recommendation on this matter that is due no later than 24 January 2009 for Board consideration. Among the involved parties in the formation of this recommendation will be the ALAC, prospective new constituencies, the NCUC, and the Policy Staff.

Relevant background materials, along with the Board resolution language, can be found on the GNSO Improvements webpage. To participate in this effort, contact Rob Hoggarth.

GNSO Council Restructuring

Another important element of the GNSO Improvements initiative involves the restructuring of the GNSO Council.

As directed by the ICANN Board, implementation of and the transition to a newly structured GNSO Council will follow its own specific timetable. The Board expects a new Council to be seated at the June 2009 ICANN Asia Meeting in Sydney, Australia. The current GNSO Council began discussing specific implementation planning for the transition during the November 2008 Cairo meetings. The Council prepared a report outlining the issues, timetables and possible approaches to an efficient transition to the newly structured GNSO Council and this work is ongoing.

4. Participate in one of five new Work Teams being chartered

The GNSO is forming Work Teams to implement specific improvements in the following five areas:

  • A new and improved Policy Development Process (PDP)
  • A standardized Working Group model for GNSO policy development
  • GNSO Council operations
  • Stakeholder group and constituency processes and operations; and
  • Efforts to improve the various communications functions in the GNSO community that will lead to broader and more effective participation in all policy development activities.

These Work Teams will be open to all ICANN stakeholders, providing an opportunity for broad sharing of insights and expertise. The GNSO will issue an announcement shortly describing each of the Work Teams in more detail along with information on how you can participate.

5. Provide input as various GNSO Improvement-related proposals are posted for public comment.

As the efforts noted above move forward, public comments will be strongly encouraged. ICANN's monthly Policy Update will highlight opportunities to comment. ICANN's public comment page will provide information and enable you to provide your ideas and perspectives.