Public Comment

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Initial Report of Geographic Regions Review Working Group

Open: 31 July 09
Closed: 4 September 09

Explanation: 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 Generic Names Supporting Organization (GNSO), At-Large Advisory Committee (ALAC) and the Country Code Names Supporting Organization (ccNSO).

Over time, community members have 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 rest of the community supported the concept of the working group and the Board authorized its formation at its December 2008 Meeting (see -

The Board approved the charter of the working group at its public meeting in June 2009 (see - Copies of the Charter, in all six UN languages, are set forth here:

The Charter authorized by the Board outlines a three-part process in which the working group first prepares an Initial Report outlining the current applications of ICANN’s geographic regions in various ICANN structures and processes and confirming the issues to be addressed by the working group during its deliberations. That Initial Report is the document being posted today.

According to the Charter, the Initial Report will be followed by an "Intermediate Report", currently scheduled to be drafted and prepared by the October 2009 Seoul ICANN meeting. A third "Final Report" that will include the working group’s recommendations (if any) is currently scheduled to be published early next year.

Links to Initial Report in 6 UN Languages

Staff Responsible: Robert Hoggarth

Deadline and How to Submit Comments:

The Staff is opening a 35-day public consultation forum, from 31 July 2009 through 4 September 2009, and invites community comments on the report.

To submit comments: Comments on the Initial Report are welcome via email at This public forum will be open through 4 September 2009.

To view comments: An archive of all comments received will be publicly posted at

For a copy of the public announcement of this forum please see

Staff member responsible: Robert Hoggarth

Announcement | Comments | Summary/analysis of comments