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Latest Draft Interim Report of Working Group on ICANN Geographic Regions Review Available

28 May 2010

In preparation for community discussions at the next ICANN International Meeting in Brussels, Belgium, the community-wide Geographic Regions Review Working Group (WGGR) is making the latest working draft of its Interim Report available to the community. The draft document can be found on the Socialtext Wiki page of the working group (http://tinyurl.com/WGGRwiki) at this link - Draft WGGR Interim Report v5 [DOC, 188 KB].

Formed by the ICANN Board, the WGGR has been tasked to study and review the issues related to the definition of the ICANN Geographic Regions, to consult with community stakeholders and to develop and submit proposals to the Board to resolve any problematic issues relating to the current definition of the ICANN Geographic Regions.

First Phase of Work: The WGGR produced an "Initial Report" in July of 2009 (see - http://www.icann.org/en/topics/geographic-regions/initial-report-geo-regions-review-wg-31jul09-en.pdf. The Initial Report identified the various applications and functions to which "ICANN Geographic Regions" are currently applied by existing ICANN structures (e.g., geographic diversity among volunteer leaders). It briefly documented other regional structures used within ICANN but not defined in the Bylaws and documented a number of potential "matters" that working group members (from the ALAC, ASO, ccNSO, GAC and GNSO) thought should be covered during the Working Group's subsequent investigations.

Second Phase of Work: The second phase of the WGGR effort is to produce an Interim Report that builds on the foundation of the Initial Report and begins to focus on General Principles, Specific Considerations and some of the critical issues ("Matters") that it will address in its Final Report document. In its present form, the draft document addresses two particular areas: (1) a review of the underlying objectives and general principles of geographic regions; and (2) identification of specific matters to be addressed in the Final Report.

Members of the WGGR have determined that additional community input would substantially enhance preparation of its Interim Report. Draft Version 5 [DOC, 188 KB] of the Interim Report is still a work-in-progress and is being formally provided to the community solely for discussion purposes and so that WGGR members will have the option to discuss its contents with their respective communities - as well as the general ICANN community - during the Brussels meeting next month. Previous drafts of the Interim Report have been made regularly available on the Working Documents page of the WGGR wiki site. That wiki page is set up to accept community comments and such comments about the Interim Report and the WGGR's work in general are welcomed and will be shared with and viewed by WGGR members. Of course, a full Public Comment Forum will be opened for community comments on the Interim Report document when it is published.

Public Forum in Brussels: As part of its efforts in Brussels, the WGGR also plans to conduct a public session on Thursday morning (24 June) to discuss the geographic regions framework and collect community ideas about potential future options for the framework.

Community Survey Available: As part of its Interim Report preparations, the WGGR has also sponsored a community survey to gather information on the impact and application of the geographic regions framework on various communities within the ICANN ecosystem. That brief survey can be reached at this link - WGGR 2010 Survey and members of the ICANN community are all invited to participate.

Background Information:

The ICANN Geographical Regions were originally created as a means of obtaining geographical diversity in the composition of the ICANN Board. By an ICANN Board resolution in 20001 , the ICANN Staff was instructed to assign countries to geographic regions on the basis of the United Nations Statistics Division's current classifications2 . It also introduced the concept of "citizenship" in relation to the use of ICANN Geographic Regions.

Subsequently, ICANN Geographic Regions were applied in various ways when defining the organisational structures for the ALAC, GNSO, and ccNSO.

Currently the ICANN Bylaws define five geographic regions3:

  • Africa;
  • Asia/Australia/Pacific;
  • Europe
  • Latin America/Caribbean; and
  • North America

Staff Person Contact responsible for this effort: Robert Hoggarth (policy-staff@icann.org)