The ongoing GNSO Improvements process has created significant community interest in the formation of new GNSO constituencies and several groups have stepped forward to begin the process of forming a new GNSO constituency.
The ICANN Board has now received a fourth formal petition from the prospective City Top-Level Domain (CTLD) Constituency. All members of the ICANN community and the public are now invited to review this petition and charter and share comments with the Board through 10 July 2009.
Background and Explanation:
In June 2008, the Board of Directors endorsed a series of recommendations on how to improve the GNSO's structures and operations. One of the significant drivers of those recommendations was an interest in maximizing participation in the GNSO and its policy development processes. Among the various recommendations endorsed by the Board was that ICANN take steps to clarify and promote the option to self-form new constituencies.
The current ICANN Bylaws provide that any group of individuals or entities may petition the Board for recognition as a new or separate constituency, in accordance with Section 5(4) of Article X. Such a petition must explain (1) why "the addition of such a Constituency will improve the ability of the GNSO to carry out its policy-development responsibilities" and (2) why "the proposed new Constituency would adequately represent, on a global basis, the stakeholders it seeks to represent." Notwithstanding those Bylaw provisions, it has been many years since the organization has had formal requests for a new constituency. Since the Board action last June, however, the ICANN Staff has received inquiries from several interested parties about how to form a new GNSO constituency and the first took place a little over three months ago when the proposed new CyberSafety Constituency submitted its formal petition and Charter documents (23 February 2009). Since then, formal petitions have also been filed by the proposed Consumers Constituency (10 April 2009) and the proposed IDNgTLD Constituency (18 April 2009).
The ICANN bylaws do not provide specific procedural guidance for how interested parties should submit the petitions contemplated in Article X.
Mindful that explicit steps, formats, and/or processes for expansion would take some time for the community to develop in the implementation of the improvements recommendations, the Board directed ICANN Staff to provide the community with some initial guidance, a structure and a specific procedural path for potential new constituencies to follow. At its 1 October 2008 meeting, the Board acknowledged Staff's development of a "Notice of Intent" document for potential new constituencies and directed Staff to develop a formal petition and charter template to assist new constituency applicants in satisfying the formative criteria (consistent with the ICANN Bylaws) to facilitate the Board's evaluation of petitions to form new constituencies.
The process subsequently developed by the Staff required interested groups to first submit a Notice of Intent to Form a New Constituency (NOIF). The proponents of the City TLD Constituency completed that step on 15 February 2009. The second step of the process is development of a New Constituency Petition and Charter, which the proponents of the City TLD Constituency completed on 1 June 2009.
Relevant Board Resolution, Bylaws and Constituency Submissions:
- Minutes of 1 October 2008 ICANN Board Meeting: http://www.icann.org/en/minutes/minutes-01oct08.htm
- ICANN Bylaws Article X, Section 5, Subsection 4: http://www.icann.org/en/general/bylaws.htm - X-5.1
- The City Top-Level Domain (CTLD) Constituency Petition Documents: http://gnso.icann.org/en/improvements/newco-process-en.htm and/or in the Public Comment Forum of this proceeding
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 CTLD Constituency petition and charter. That summary/analysis will be shared with the community and the Board. The Board will ultimately make the decision on whether to authorize the new constituency.
It should be noted that the GNSO Improvements Report approved by the Board in June 2008 has additional guidelines and recommendations for the ongoing practices and processes of GNSO constituencies. It is expected that this work will be ongoing as part of the GNSO Improvements implementation efforts.
Deadline and How to Submit Comments:
The Staff is opening a 30-day public consultation forum, from 6 June 2009 through 10 July 2009, and invites community comments on this matter.
The formal Public Comment Forum Box is located here: http://www.icann.org/en/public-comment/public-comment-200907.html#city
To submit comments: firstname.lastname@example.org
To view comments (including the various constituency submissions): http://forum.icann.org/lists/ctld-petition
Staff Responsible: Robert Hoggarth