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Call for Volunteers: GNSO Review Working Group

In Brief

The Generic Names Supporting Organization (GNSO) Council adopted the Charter [PDF, 565 KB] of the GNSO Review Working Group during its meeting on 21 July 2016. This Working Group is tasked to develop an implementation plan for the GNSO Review recommendations [PDF, 407 KB] which were recently adopted by the ICANN Board. This is the Call for Volunteers to join this Working Group. Anyone interested in the GNSO Review and contributing to the development of the implementation plan and subsequent implementation is encouraged to volunteer.

What This Working Group Will Do

Per the GNSO Review Working Group Charter [PDF, 565 KB] the GNSO Review Working Group will be responsible for developing an implementation plan, containing a realistic timeline for the implementation, definition of desired outcomes and a way to measure current state as well as progress toward the desired outcome for the GNSO Review recommendations adopted by the ICANN Board (thirty-four (34) recommendations of the Final Report [PDF, 727 KB] of the Independent Examiner (i.e. all recommendations excluding recommendations 23 and 32). This implementation plan is to be submitted for approval to the GNSO Council, followed by consideration by the ICANN Board. Following the approval of the implementation plan, the Working Group is also expected to execute and oversee the implementation of the GNSO Review recommendations unless specified differently in the implementation plan.

The GNSO Review Working Group will also be responsible for considering any new requests1 by the GNSO Council concerning issues related to the GNSO Council processes and procedures and to Working Group guidelines that have been identified either by the GNSO Council, or a group chartered by the GNSO Council, as needing discussion. However, the first priority of the Working Group will be the development of an implementation plan and the subsequent implementation of the GNSO Review recommendations.

Timeline and Deliverables

The GNSO Review Working Group is expected to deliver the implementation plan to the GNSO Council for consideration at the GNSO Council meeting at ICANN57 at the latest in order to meet the Board set objective of 'an implementation plan, containing a realistic timeline for the implementation, definition of desired outcomes and a way to measure current state as well as progress toward the desired outcome, shall be submitted to the Board as soon as possible, but no later than six (6) months after the adoption of this resolution'2 i.e., December 2016.

How to Join

Each GNSO Stakeholder Group and/or Constituency will identify one primary and one alternate member to serve on the GNSO Review Working Group. In addition to these appointed members, anyone interested will be able to join this working group as a participant or observer. Please note that participants are expected to attend conference calls and to actively participate in online discussions. They also must submit a Statement of Interest per Section 5.0 of the GNSO Operating Procedures [PDF, 1.31 MB]. Observers can follow the group's work on the mailing list but can neither send to the mailing list nor participate actively in the calls.

Interested participants and observers are requested to complete the sign-up sheet by Friday, 19 August 2016.

Next steps

It is anticipated that the GNSO Review Working Group will convene online for the first time in the last week of August 2016. Following that, regular online meetings will be scheduled in accordance with the Working Group's work plan, which it is expected to develop as one of its first tasks.

Further information and preparation

For those interested in volunteering for this effort, you are encouraged to review the following materials:

  1. GNSO Review Recommendations [PDF, 407 KB]
  2. Independent Examiner Final Report [PDF, 727 KB]
  3. Frequently Asked Questions


The second independent review of the GNSO commenced in 2014. The Final Report of the independent examiner was published on 15 September 2015 (see [PDF, 1.99 MB]) and contained 36 recommendations in the areas of: participation & representation, continuous development, transparency and alignment with ICANN's future. The GNSO Council adopted the GNSO Review Recommendations Feasibility and Prioritization analysis (see: [PDF, 407 KB]) on 14 April 2016 with the modification of Recommendation 21, that the council recommends staff working with the GNSO to institute methods of information sharing of highly relevant research related to gTLDs to help the GNSO community members increase their knowledge base (low priority).

On 25 June, the ICANN Board accepted the Final Report from the independent examiner, taking into account the GNSO Working Party's Feasibility and Prioritization Analysis of the GNSO Review Recommendations, adopted with modifications by the GNSO Council. The Board adopted thirty-four (34) recommendations of the Final Report (i.e. all recommendations excluding recommendations 23 and 32). Furthermore, the Board requested that the GNSO Council convene a group that oversees the implementation of Board-accepted recommendations.

Per the motion adopted on 21 July 2016, the GNSO Council adopted the Charter [PDF, 565 KB] of the GNSO Review Working Group and directed staff to send a Call for Volunteers for the Working Group.

1 For items that are submitted for review 'on request', the GNSO Review WG expects to receive detailed input from the group affected by the process/operational change concerned. See request template at: [DOCX, 102 KB].

2 The Board resolution was adopted on 25 June 2016

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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."