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Further Bylaw Changes Following Adoption of Revised Generic Names Supporting Organization (GNSO) Policy Development Process (PDP)

Comment/Reply Periods (*) Important Information Links
Comment Open: 10 February 2012
Comment Close: 2 March 2012
Close Time (UTC): 23:59 UTC Public Comment Announcement
Reply Open: Cancelled – No Comments To Submit Your Comments (Forum Closed)
Reply Close:   View Comments Submitted
Close Time (UTC):   Report of Public Comments
Brief Overview
Originating Organization: ICANN Board
Categories/Tags: ICANN Board / Bylaws, Policy Processes
Purpose (Brief): In order to complete the documentation of the revised GNSO PDP, it is recommended that the ICANN Bylaws be modified to include the new threshold definitions. In addition, a small revision to Annex A of the ICANN Bylaws is recommended to require that public comment periods on PDP-related documents shall abide by the practices for public comment periods in effect within ICANN. A redline of the proposed Bylaws revisions is attached to this submission. The proposed revisions are put out for public comment prior to Board consideration of incorporating the revisions into the Bylaws.
Current Status: The proposed changes to the ICANN Bylaws as a result of the revised GNSO PDP and the new practice for public comment periods are put out for public comment prior to Board consideration.
Next Steps: The ICANN Board will consider the comments received as part of their deliberations on the proposed Bylaw changes.
Staff Contact: Marika Konings Email:
Detailed Information
Section I: Description, Explanation, and Purpose

Following the adoption of the revised GNSO Policy Development Process (PDP) by the ICANN Board in December 2011, it is recommended that further changes are made to Article X, Section 3.9 of the ICANN Bylaws which sets out the voting thresholds that apply to a GNSO PDP. A number of new voting thresholds were introduced in the revised PDP, such as for the adoption of a PDP Charter, termination of a PDP and modification of approved PDP recommendations, which are recommended for addition to this specific section. Furthermore, a new definition of a GNSO Supermajority has been included as adopted by the GNSO Council on the recommendation of the PDP Work Team. In addition, following the adoption of new practices for public comment periods (see, a small modification to Annex A of the ICANN Bylaws is proposed to ensure that these do not conflict with the practices for public comment periods in effect within ICANN.

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 GNSO Improvements Report, approved by the Board, identified the following key objectives:

  • Maximize the ability for all interested stakeholders to participate in the GNSO's policy development processes;
  • Ensure that recommendations can be developed on gTLD "consensus policies" for Board review and that the subject matter of "consensus policies" is clearly defined;
  • Ensure that policy development processes are based on thoroughly-researched, well-scoped objectives, and are run in a predictable manner that yields results that can be implemented effectively;
  • Align policy development more tightly with ICANN's strategic and operations plans; and
  • Improve communications and administrative support for GNSO objectives.

The Board emphasized the need to improve inclusiveness and representativeness in the GNSO's work while increasing its effectiveness and efficiency.

In furtherance of this effort, the GNSO Council recommended to the ICANN Board the adoption of a revised policy development process (PDP) as outlined in the Updated PDP Final Report [PDF, 1.51 MB]. The proposed Annex A to the ICANN Bylaws and the PDP Manual proposed in the Updated PDP Final Report attempt to achieve the goals established by the ICANN Board when it approved the restructure of the GNSO Council. The Board adopted the revised PDP at its meeting on 8 December 2011 and this revised PDP has now replaced the previous PDP defined in Annex A of the ICANN Bylaws. The revised PDP establishes voting thresholds for new parts of the PDP, and therefore revisions are proposed to Article X, section 3.9 of the ICANN Bylaws, where the applicable GNSO voting thresholds are defined. The Board directed ICANN Staff to open a public comment forum on the proposed revisions.

Section III: Document and Resource Links

Document posted for comment: [PDF, 136 KB]

Additional Resources:

Section IV: Additional Information

(*) 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.

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."