A community-wide working group has been established by the ICANN Board to undertake a review of ICANN's Geographic Regions. The Working Group has developed a draft charter to guide its efforts. All members of the ICANN community are now invited to review that draft charter [PDF, 44K] and share comments and observations with the Board and community through 24 March 2009.
Geographic diversity is a fundamental component of the ICANN organization. The ICANN Bylaws (Article VI Section 5) currently define five geographic regions as Africa, North America, Latin America/Caribbean, Asia/Australia/Pacific and Europe.
The ICANN Geographic Regions were originally created to ensure regional diversity in the composition of the ICANN Board and were subsequently expanded in various ways to apply to the GNSO, ALAC and ccNSO. An ICANN Board resolution in 2000 directed Staff to assign countries to geographic regions on the basis of the United Nations Statistics Division's current classifications, and introduced the concept of "citizenship" in relation to the definition of ICANN Geographic Regions.
Over time, the Country Code Names Supporting Organisation (ccNSO) has developed concerns about the implementation of the ICANN Geographic Regions and related representational issues. The ccNSO Council approved a resolution in 2007 recommending that the ICANN Board appoint a community-wide working group to further study and review the issues related to the definition of the ICANN Geographic Regions, to consult with all stakeholders and submit proposals to the Board to resolve the issues relating to the current definition of the ICANN Geographic Regions.
The Board determined at its meeting in Los Angeles on 2 November 2007, that because any potential change to ICANN Geographic Regions could have widespread effect in ICANN, the views of other Supporting Organizations and Advisory Committees should be sought by the Board. The Board asked the ICANN community, including the GNSO, ccNSO, ASO, GAC, and ALAC, to provide the ICANN Staff with input on the ccNSO Council's resolution relating to ICANN's Geographic Regions - including the proposal to appoint a community-wide working group to review the structure of ICANN's present Geographic Regions and related issues, as suggested by the ccNSO.
At its November 2008 meeting in Cairo, Egypt, the Board authorized the formation of a community-wide working group to study and review the issues related to the definition of the ICANN Geographic Regions, consult with all stakeholders, and submit proposals for community and Board consideration relating to the current definition of the ICANN Geographic Regions.
The companion resolutions on the issue stated:
Resolved (2008.11.07.08), the Board authorizes the formation of a community-wide working group to study and review the issues related to the definition of the ICANN Geographic Regions, consult with all stakeholders, and submit proposals for community and Board consideration relating to the current definition of the ICANN Geographic Regions. The Board requests that all interested Supporting Organizations and Advisory Committees nominate two individuals to serve on the working group, the composition of which the Board would like to approve at the December Board meeting.
Resolved (2008.11.07.09), the Board requests the working group, as its first order of business, to draft and seek community input on a proposed charter, and submit the draft document for community review, and Board consideration and approval at the March 2009 Board meeting in Mexico City. In drafting the charter, the working group is directed to focus, but not limit, its work on the criteria for assigning countries, dependencies and recognized geopolitical entities to a Geographic Region, and to take into consideration the relevant ccNSO Board paper, the recent GNSO comments, and other community advice – including the GAC's original advice on the topic in 2000. Further, the Board directs ICANN Staff to support these efforts.
Since that time the ALAC, ccNSO and GNSO have named specific members to join the working group and the GAC has established a methodology for monitoring and contributing to the group's progress. David Archbold of the .ky domain has accepted the responsibility to chair the working group efforts. The full roster of working group members is as follows:
David Archbold (ccNSO member - .ky) Chair
Fahd Batayneh (ccNSO member - .jo)
Olga Cavalli (GNSO Council member, Nominating Committee Appointee)(vice chair)
Zahid Jamil (GNSO Council member, Business Constituency)
Janis Karklins (GAC Chair)
Cheryl Langdon-Orr (ALAC Chair)
Carlton Samuels (LACRALO Secretariat)
Relevant Board Resolution, Bylaws and Background Documents:
- ICANN Bylaws Article VI, Section 5: http://www.icann.org/en/general/bylaws.htm - VI-5
- ICANN Geographical Regions - Final Report by the ccNSO Regions Working Group For Submission to the ICANN Board: http://ccnso.icann.org/workinggroups/ccnso-final-report-regions-wg-240907.pdf
- Minutes of 2 November 2007 Board Meeting: http://www.icann.org/en/minutes/resolutions-02nov07.htm - _Toc55609368
- Minutes of 7 November 2008 2008 ICANN Board Meeting: http://www.icann.org/en/minutes/resolutions-07nov08.htm - _Toc87682556
The Process From Here:
At the end of this public comment forum period, the ICANN Staff will provide a summary/analysis of the comments submitted regarding the proposed charter document. That summary/analysis will be shared with the community and the Board. The Board will subsequently make a decision on whether to approve the proposed charter.
Deadline and How to Submit Comments:
The Staff is opening a 30-day public consultation forum, from 18 February 2009 through 24 March 2009, and invites community comments on this topic. This particular forum period is longer than 30 days because public forum comment periods are now typically suspended during the dates of ICANN Board meetings and the ICANN Mexico City meeting is scheduled from 2 March to 6 March 2009.
The formal Public Comment Forum Box is located here: http://www.icann.org/en/public-comment/#regions-charter
To submit comments: email@example.com
To view comments: http://forum.icann.org/lists/geo-charter/
Staff Responsible: Robert Hoggarth