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New GNSO Policy Development Process

Comment Period Deadlines (*) Important Information Links
Public Comment Box
Open Date: 9 June 2011 To Submit Your Comments (Forum Closed)
Close Date: 9 July 2011 Time (UTC): 23:59 View Comments Submitted
Section I: Description, Explanation, and Purpose
As part of the GNSO Improvements Process, which has as its objective to improve the structure and operations of the Generic Names Supporting Organization (GNSO), the Policy Development Process Work Team (PDP-WT) has now submitted to the GNSO Council its Final Report [PDF, 1.39 MB] that outlines the proposed new GNSO Policy Development Process in the form of forty-seven (47) recommendations, an outline of the proposed new Annex A – GNSO Policy Development Process for the ICANN Bylaws as well as a supporting document that is envisioned to be included in the GNSO Council Operating Procedures as the PDP Manual. Prior to considering this Final Report, the GNSO Council is seeking community input. Following the public comment period, the GNSO Council will review the comments received and determine whether additional modifications need to be made to the report or whether the new GNSO Policy Development Process is ready for adoption following which it will be submitted to the ICANN Board for its consideration.
Section II: Background

On 26 June 2008 the ICANN Board approved a set of recommendations designed to improve the effectiveness of the GNSO, including its policy activities, structure, operations, and communications. The following pertains to the PDP-WT's mission:

Revising the PDP: The Policy Development Process (PDP) needs to be revised to make it more effective and responsive to ICANN's needs. It should be brought in-line with the time and effort actually required to develop policy and made consistent with ICANN's existing contracts (including, but not limited to, clarifying the appropriate scope of GNSO "consensus policy" development). While the procedure for developing "consensus policies" will need to continue to be established by the Bylaws as long as required by ICANN's contracts, the GNSO Council and Staff should propose new PDP rules for the Board's consideration and approval that contain more flexibility. The new rules should emphasize the importance of the preparation that must be done before launch of a working group or other activity, such as public discussion, fact-finding, and expert research in order to properly define the scope, objective, and schedule for a specific policy development goal and the development of metrics for measuring success. The revised PDP, after review and approval by the GNSO Council and ICANN Board, would replace the current PDP defined in Annex A of the ICANN Bylaws.

Section III: Document and Resource Links
Section IV: Additional Information
Staff Contact: Marika Konings Email:

(*) Comments submitted after the posted Close Date/Time are not guaranteed to be considered in any final summary, analysis, reporting, or decision-making that takes place once this period lapses.

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Domain Name System
Internationalized Domain Name ,IDN,"IDNs are domain names that include characters used in the local representation of languages that are not written with the twenty-six letters of the basic Latin alphabet ""a-z"". An IDN can contain Latin letters with diacritical marks, as required by many European languages, or may consist of characters from non-Latin scripts such as Arabic or Chinese. Many languages also use other types of digits than the European ""0-9"". The basic Latin alphabet together with the European-Arabic digits are, for the purpose of domain names, termed ""ASCII characters"" (ASCII = American Standard Code for Information Interchange). These are also included in the broader range of ""Unicode characters"" that provides the basis for IDNs. The ""hostname rule"" requires that all domain names of the type under consideration here are stored in the DNS using only the ASCII characters listed above, with the one further addition of the hyphen ""-"". The Unicode form of an IDN therefore requires special encoding before it is entered into the DNS. The following terminology is used when distinguishing between these forms: A domain name consists of a series of ""labels"" (separated by ""dots""). The ASCII form of an IDN label is termed an ""A-label"". All operations defined in the DNS protocol use A-labels exclusively. The Unicode form, which a user expects to be displayed, is termed a ""U-label"". The difference may be illustrated with the Hindi word for ""test"" — परीका — appearing here as a U-label would (in the Devanagari script). A special form of ""ASCII compatible encoding"" (abbreviated ACE) is applied to this to produce the corresponding A-label: xn--11b5bs1di. A domain name that only includes ASCII letters, digits, and hyphens is termed an ""LDH label"". Although the definitions of A-labels and LDH-labels overlap, a name consisting exclusively of LDH labels, such as"""" is not an IDN."