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Public Comment: Proposed CyberSafety Constituency

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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 its first formal petition - from the prospective CyberSafety Constituency. All members of the ICANN community and the public are now invited to review the petition and charter of the CyberSafety Constituency and share comments with the Board through 5 April 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.” Despite those Bylaw provisions, it has been many years since the organization has had a formal request 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.

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 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 New Constituency (NOIF) [DOC, 148K]. The proponent of the CyberSafety Constituency completed that first step on 20 October 2008. The second step of the process is development of a New Constituency Petition and Charter. The proponent of the CyberSafety Constituency completed that effort on 23 February 2009.

Relevant Board Resolution, Bylaws and Constituency Submissions:

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 CyberSafety 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 5 March 2009 through 5 April 2009, and invites community comments on this matter. This particular comment period is slightly longer than 30-days because the period is tolled while International ICANN meetings are in session.

The formal Public Comment Forum Box is located here:

To submit comments:

To view comments (including the various constituency submissions):

Staff Responsible: Robert Hoggarth

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