The ICANN Board and ICANN's Governmental Advisory Committee (GAC) held another productive meeting to discuss the limited number of remaining issues related to the anticipated launch of the new gTLD program. This teleconference was the latest in a series of proactive, issue-oriented collaborations targeted at addressing GAC concerns to ensure the stable and secure delegation of new top-level domains.
ICANN Chairman Peter Dengate Thrush recognized the members of the Governmental Advisory Committee, "for their energetic and well-intentioned devotion to the work of reviewing and improving the introduction of new generic top-level domains. The discussions have resulted in significant progress, including improvements to trademark and consumer protections, assistance for potential applicants from developing countries, and other areas of the program." Together, the Board and GAC have reviewed twelve issues, comprised of 80 sub-issues, discussing each in depth. The work has included several days of face-to-face meetings between ICANN's Board and GAC, meetings that were informed by preparatory papers and conference calls.
"In particular," Mr. Dengate Thrush noted, "the GAC Indicative Scorecard and the reports in response to Board-GAC discussions were concise, clear and helpful." Governmental Advisory Committee Chair Heather Dryden said, "the GAC appreciates the time taken by the Board to discuss remaining issues on the call and looks forward to continued progress as a clear signal that the Board is committed to enabling the formulation of true community consensus in developing policy that is in the global public interest as well as increasing the overall accountability and transparency of the organization."
The latest discussion and ICANN Board and GAC agreement on the benefits of having a face-to-face meeting in Singapore pave the way to possible Board consideration of program approval on 20 June 2011.