Public Comment

Public Comment is a vital part of our multistakeholder model. It provides a mechanism for stakeholders to have their opinions and recommendations formally and publicly documented. It is an opportunity for the ICANN community to effect change and improve policies and operations.

Interim Report of Geographic Regions Review Working Group

Open: 12 November 2010
Closed: 30 January 2011

Explanation/Background: 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:

This Interim Report document of the Working Group builds on the foundation of its Initial Report and assess the degree to which the uses of ICANN's Geographic Regions (as currently defined, or at all) continue to meet the requirements of the relevant stakeholders.

This document begins to focus on General Principles, Specific Considerations and some of the critical issues that it will address in its Final Report document. This document addresses three specific areas. It offers (1) a review of the underlying history, objectives and general principles of ICANN's Geographic Regions Framework; (2) it raises a number of fundamental strategic questions for further community consideration; and (3) it expands on a number of specific matters identified in the Initial Report that are likely to be addressed in the Final Report.

The community is invited to submit comments regarding the contents of this document by 30 January 2011 at the latest.

The Final Report that will include the working group's recommendations (if any) is currently scheduled to be published next year.

Staff Responsible: Robert Hoggarth

Deadline and How to Submit Comments:

The Staff is opening a public consultation forum, from 15 November 2010 through 30 January 2011, and invites community comments on the report.

Copies of the Interim Report in all six UN languages can be found at the following links:

Links to documents in each language will be posted as the document translations become available.

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