[AfrICANN-discuss] Community Comment Forum Period Extended for New GNSO Stakeholder Group Petitions and Charters

Anne-Rachel Inné annerachel at gmail.com
Fri Mar 20 04:19:18 SAST 2009

 Community Comment Forum Period Extended for New GNSO Stakeholder Group
Petitions and Charters

19 March 2009

The Public Comment Forum regarding new GNSO Stakeholder Groups and Charters
has been extended from 5 April 2009 to 15 April 2009.

As part of the comprehensive GNSO Improvements effort, the ICANN Board
directed community members to submit Petitions and Charters for four new
GNSO Stakeholder Groups (SGs). Initially, a total of five separate charter
petitions from five different groups were submitted immediately prior to and
during the ICANN Mexico City meeting for the Registry SG, the Registrar SG,
the Commercial SG and the Non-Commercial SG (NCSG) (two separate filings
were made for the NCSG).

Because extensive community discussions took place in Mexico City regarding
the various SG charters and because a number of SG proponents indicated that
they would like to modify or update their proposals, the ICANN Staff left
open the possibility that the original 30-day comment forum period would be
extended by as many as 10 days if any of the initial charter submissions
were revised or modified. On 16 March 2009, the Non Commercial Users
Constituency submitted a revised charter document. See NCSG Charter Proposal
(version 6) submitted by the
That submission has triggered an extension of the original comment forum
period by 10 days until 15 April 2009.

During the remaining forum period through,15 April 2009, all members of the
ICANN community are now invited to review the original and revised
submissions and share comments and observations with the Board and the wider

*Background and Explanation: *

As part of the comprehensive GNSO Improvements effort, last August the ICANN
Board approved the formation of four new Stakeholder Groups. These SG
structures represent a new concept for the GNSO that was envisioned by the
Board Governance Committee GNSO Review Working Group On GNSO Improvements
(BGC WG). In endorsing the recommendations of the BGC WG's GNSO Improvements
Report <http://www.icann.org/en/topics/gnso-improvements/>*,* the Board
approved the creation of SGs to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of
GNSO Council operations. Specifically:

"To help the Council reach its full potential, ICANN should ensure that this
body is inclusive and representative of the broad interests found among the
GNSO constituencies and other stakeholders, while limiting its size to
enhance its effectiveness and promote efficiency. Balancing all of these
factors, and cognizant of the limitations of the current structure pointed
out by the [London School of Economics] report, we recommend a reorganized
Council that has the potential to be more representative, agile and
collegial. Our recommendation is to structure the Council on the basis of
four broad stakeholder groups to represent better the wide variety of groups
and individuals that compose the ICANN community." GNSO Improvements Report
at page 31.

The Report continued,

"We want to emphasize that a new non-commercial Stakeholders Group must go
far beyond the membership of the current Non-Commercial Users Constituency
(NCUC). We must consider educational, research, and philanthropic
organizations, foundations, think tanks, members of academia, individual
registrant groups and other noncommercial organizations, as well as
individual registrants, as part of a non-commercial registrants Stakeholders
Group. We also want to point out that the effort to have a balance within
ICANN between commercial and non-commercial registrants reflects only a
sense of equity. We welcome ongoing efforts to forge a stronger partnership
between the international business community and ICANN, and would be
surprised if Council restructuring were to be viewed as an impediment. On
the contrary, we believe that an improved Council will yield concrete
benefits for business and other stakeholders. In addition, all stakeholder
groups and the constituencies that fo! rm them will be expected to conduct
greater outreach and seek to recruit a broader, more diverse membership."
GNSO Improvements Report at page 32.

The BGC WG did not specify a particular formal structure or hierarchy, but
it specifically noted that,

"The stakeholder groups may function only as a 'caucus,' bringing together
like-minded stakeholders to elect representatives to the Council who can
represent them. This structure would be fluid enough to accommodate new
constituencies or the formation of new interest groups. It will be important
for the implementation team to consider how to implement this flexibility
within the overall stakeholder structure set forth in these recommendations.
Our goal is definitely not to create a new layer of bureaucracy, as we heard
concerns about at the San Juan Meeting. Alternatively, if the GNSO believes
it is desirable, the four stakeholder groups could take on additional
functions, such as trying to coordinate and document positions on policy
development questions." GNSO Improvements Report at page 33.

The BGC envisioned that Stakeholder Groups would facilitate the creation of
new constituencies as well as growth and expansion of GNSO participants. It
noted that,

"One advantage of this new model for organizing stakeholder participation is
to remove concern that the addition of new constituencies or interest groups
could create an internal imbalance in the current composition of the
Council. By creating four broad stakeholder groups, the number of
constituencies is less important and can increase (or decrease) with time.
Indeed, it would be inconsistent with ICANN's processes to try to limit
arbitrarily the number of constituencies that people could self-form. Making
it easier to form a new constituency can also address any obstacles people
perceive in joining existing constituencies. Overall, this approach can
encourage the participation of more people in the GNSO. Many details, of
course, remain to be worked out concerning the new stakeholder structure for
the Council, including the role of constituencies and/or interest groups
within them. As noted earlier, we welcome the GNSO working with Staff to
develop the appropriate Implementation Plan." GNSO Improvements Report at
page 33.

A diagram of the restructured GNSO Council structure, showing the context of
the four (4) new Stakeholder Groups, can be found at:

*Relevant Board Resolution, Bylaws and Constituency Submissions: *

   - GNSO Improvements Information Web Page:
   - BGC WG GNSO Improvements Report (3 February 2008):

   - Minutes of 28 August 2008 Board Meeting:

   - Minutes of 1 October 2008 ICANN Board Meeting:

   - Copies of the Five New Stakeholder Group Submissions:
   http://gnso.icann.org/en/improvements/stakeholder-process-en.htm and/or
   in the Comment forum of this proceeding

*The Process From Here**: *

At the end of this public comment forum period (15 April), the ICANN Staff
will provide a summary/analysis of the comments submitted regarding each
Stakeholder Group submission. That summary/analysis will be shared with the
community and the Board. The Board will subsequently take action on each
Stakeholder Group petition and charter as it deems appropriate.

*Deadline and How to Submit Comments: *

The Staff has now extended the original 30-day public consultation forum,
from 5 April 2009 to 15 April 2009, and invites additional community
comments on this topic. The formal Public Comment Forum Box is located here:

To submit comments: sg-petitions-charters at icann.org

To view comments: http://forum.icann.org/lists/sg-petitions-charters/

*Staff Responsible**:* Robert Hoggarth

*Sign up for ICANN's Monthly Magazine <http://www.icann.org/magazine/>*
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