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Proposed Change to ICANN Bylaws Regarding Number of GNSO Council Representatives – Public Comment Forum

Background:

  • The Board meeting in Carthage on 31st of October, 2003 voted unanimously to change the transition article (Article XX) of the ICANN bylaws to allow three representatives per constituency on the GNSO Council until the end of the ICANN annual meeting 2004. The Board also resolved to perform a review of the GNSO Council in or around July 2004 to include, among other aspects of the review criteria, an analysis of the efficacy of having three representatives from each constituency on the GNSO Council.
  • The original language developed in the evolution and reform process had recommended that at the end of the Carthage meeting the number of representatives on the GNSO council would be reduced to two rather than three. The Board's motion permitted the continuation of three representatives on the council per region until the end of 2004, when there would be a re-examination of the practice.
  • The GNSO Council met by teleconference on 3 December 2004 and re-examined the issue of the number of constituency representatives on the Council. The Council took note of the recommendation by the external review report prepared for the ICANN Board to retain three representatives per constituency in order to maintain geographic representation. The GNSO Council also performed a self-review which recommended retaining three representatives per constituency.

The key issues regarding the number of representatives per constituency are the effectiveness and representativeness of the GNSO Council. The external review of the GNSO Council found that although a larger Council membership creates some coordination issues (e.g. on Council conference calls), the overall effect on Council effectiveness is positive. Maintaining three representatives assists in workload distribution and attendance of all constituencies on conference calls. It also helps the GNSO Council to continuously improve the geographic representativeness of its membership.

The independent consultant interviewed Council members and key stakeholders of the GNSO. He found that "In fact every single person who was interviewed (including those who had previously stated that they believed that the number of representatives should be reduced to two)was either strongly in favour of the current three representatives (a significant majority) or neutral on the issue."

Proposed change to the ICANN Bylaws:

ARTICLE X: GENERIC NAMES SUPPORTING ORGANIZATION

Section 3. GNSO COUNCIL

  1. Subject to the provisions of the Transition Article of these Bylaws, the GNSO Council shall consist of three representatives selected by each of the Constituencies described in Section 5 of this Article, and three persons selected by the ICANN Nominating Committee. No two representatives selected by a Constituency shall be citizens of the same country or of countries located in the same Geographic Region. There may also be two liaisons to the GNSO Council, one appointed by each of the Governmental Advisory Committee and the At-Large Advisory Committee from time to time, who shall not be members of or entitled to vote on the GNSO Council, but otherwise shall be entitled to participate on equal footing with members of the GNSO Council. The appointing Advisory Committee shall designate its liaison (or revoke or change the designation of its liaison) on the GNSO Council by providing written notice to the Chair of the GNSO Council and to the ICANN Secretary. The GNSO Council may also have observers as described in paragraph 9 of this Section.

The proposed change is indicated in the text in bold type above. Article X(3)(1) previously read as: "Subject to the provisions of the Transition Article of these Bylaws, the GNSO Council shall consist of two representatives selected by each of the Constituencies described in Section 5 of this Article, and three persons selected by the ICANN Nominating Committee."

Please submit your comments in time for consideration at ICANN's Board meeting in Mar del Plata, Argentina, on 8 April 2005.

Click here to submit comments on the change to ICANN Bylaws regarding GNSO Council Constituency representative number

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