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.

Proposed Process for Recognition of New GNSO Constituencies

Open: 2 February 2011
Closed: 4 March 2011 Extended to 3 April 2011

At the direction of the ICANN Board, the ICANN Staff has extended the 30-day public consultation forum until 3 April 2011 (see – Additional community comments concerning any/all elements of the proposed "Process for Recognition of New GNSO Constituencies" – including its procedures, sequences/steps, forms/tools, and evaluation criteria (see Document Links below) are welcomed.


In June 2008, the ICANN Board of Directors endorsed a series of recommendations concerning how to improve the GNSO's structures and operations. A significant underpinning of those recommendations was an interest in maximizing participation in the GNSO and its policy development processes. Among the recommendations endorsed by the Board was that ICANN take steps to clarify and promote the option to self-form new GNSO Constituencies as provided in the ICANN Bylaws, Article X, Section 5(4).

Recognizing that the Bylaws do not contain specific procedural guidance concerning how an interested party might formulate a new Constituency petition, the Board directed Staff in late 2008 to assist the community by developing a set of procedures, consistent with Bylaws principles, which a prospective organizer could follow in submitting a petition to become approved as a new GNSO Constituency. That process, acknowledged by the Board in October 2008, involved submission of (1) a "Notice of Intent to Form a New GNSO Constituency" (NOIF) followed by (2) a formal Petition/Charter. To date, five prospective Constituency groups have submitted formal New GNSO Constituency petitions in accordance with the process; however, the Board has yet to approve any of those applications.

To address concerns it had regarding the clarity and timing of the original New Constituency petitioning procedure, the SIC embarked on this effort last year and, working with Staff, has completed development of a replacement "Process for Recognition of New GNSO Constituencies." The proposed process significantly modifies the original procedure and is designed to accomplish four goals:

  1. Optimize the considerable time and effort required to form, organize, and propose a new GNSO Constituency by prescribing a streamlined sequence of steps and associated evaluation criteria that are objective, fair, and transparent - with ample opportunity for community input;
  2. Delegate more authority to each GNSO Stakeholder Group in evaluating new Constituency proposals while maintaining the Board's oversight role;
  3. Manage the entire process to a flexible, but specific and limited timeframe; and
  4. Provide a partial set of criteria for use during the periodic review of the GNSO

The SIC has directed Staff to open this Public Consultation Forum and invites the community to provide feedback on any/all elements of the process including its procedures, steps, tools/forms, and evaluation criteria.

Please see the Forum Announcement for a broader discussion of the background leading to this Public Forum as well as a brief overview of the proposed process.

Document Links:

Deadline and How to Submit Comments:

At the direction of the ICANN Board's Structural Improvements Committee (SIC), the ICANN Staff has extended the original 30-day public consultation forum an additional two weeks until April 3, 2011 and invites additional community comments concerning any/all elements of the process including its procedures, sequences/steps, forms/tools, and evaluation criteria.

To submit comments: See
To view comments: See
For a copy of the original public announcement of this forum please see:

Staff Responsible: Rob Hoggarth, Senior Policy Director

Staff member responsible: Rob Hoggarth, Senior Policy Director

Updated Announcement | Announcement | Comments | Summary/analysis of comments