ICANN: Geographic Regions Review – Draft Final Report

By October 1, 2011 ENUM No Comments

ICANN logoSection I: Description, Explanation, and Purpose

Geographic diversity is a fundamental component of the ICANN organization.  The ICANN Bylaws (Article VI Section 5) currently define five geographic regions as Africa, North America, Latin America/Caribbean, Asia/Australia/Pacific and Europe.

The ICANN Geographic Regions were originally created to ensure regional diversity in the composition of the ICANN Board and were subsequently expanded in various ways to apply to the Generic Names Supporting Organization (GNSO), At-Large Advisory Committee (ALAC) and the Country Code Names Supporting Organization (ccNSO).

For the past two years a community-wide working group chartered by the ICANN Board has been working to (1) confirm the history, underlying principles and goals of the current geographic regions framework, (2) analyze how those goals and principles have been applied by the Board, Staff and community and (3) consulted with the community on how those principles and goals can be best maintained in the future.

This Draft Final Report reflects the penultimate step of that research and consultation effort.  The draft document outlines specific recommendations from the Working Group to the ICANN Board regarding how the present Geographic Regions Framework can be modified to ensure that the organizational principles of geographic and cultural diversity are honored and maintained. Those recommendations are based on thorough research, extensive community consultation and reflect the points of view of a wide range of the ICANN community.

Mindful of the potential implications even small changes to the framework could have on the wider community, the WG decided to make this draft document available to the community for review and comment before the WG formally publishes its Final Report.  The WG will closely review all submitted comments to determine if further modifications to the draft document are necessary.

Section II: Background

The ccNSO Council approved a resolution in 2007 recommending that the ICANN Board appoint a community-wide working group to further study and review the issues related to the definition of the ICANN Geographic Regions, to consult with all stakeholders and submit proposals to the Board to resolve the issues relating to the current definition of the ICANN Geographic Regions.

The rest of the community supported the concept of the working group and the Board authorized its formation at its December 2008 Meeting (see – http://www.icann.org/en/minutes/resolutions-07nov08.htm#_Toc87682556).

The Board approved the charter of the working group at its public meeting in June 2009 (see – http://www.icann.org/en/minutes/resolutions-26jun09.htm#1.2).  Copies of the Charter, in all six UN languages, are set forth here: http://www.icann.org/en/topics/geographic-regions/charter-26jun09-en.htm.

The Working Group produced two previous reports. An Initial Report in which the Working Group (1) identified the various applications and functions to which “ICANN Geographic Regions” are currently applied by existing ICANN structures; (2) documented other regionally identified processes and structures used within ICANN but not defined in the Bylaws; and (3) detailed the “issues” that it thought should be covered during its subsequent investigations.

The Working Group also produced an Interim Report that focused on general principles, specific considerations and some of the critical issues that it intended to address in its Final Report document. It (1) offered a review of the underlying history, objectives and general principles of ICANN’s Geographic Regions Framework; (2) raised a number of fundamental strategic questions for further community consideration; and (c) expanded on a number of specific issues identified in the Initial Report that were likely to be addressed in the Final Report.

Section III: Document and Resource Links

Documents posted for comment:

Copies of the Draft Final Report in all six UN languages can be found at the following links:

Additional Resources:

Further information on the work of the Geographic Regions Review Working Group is available at: https://community.icann.org/display/georegionwg/Home+Page+of+Geographic+Regions+Review+Working+Group

Section IV: Additional Information

The entire structure of this Working Group effort has been organized to achieve broad community input. All the individual ICANN SOs and ACs were given the opportunity to comment on the community-wide working group concept and each community was invited to send participants to be involved with the working group (all but the RSSAC have contributed members). The entire community had the opportunity to comment on the proposed charter of the Working Group before it was approved by the Board (see March 2009 Geographic Region Review WG Charter Public Comment Period).

Every written report generated by the Working Group has been published in all six UN languages and each has been subjected to extended community review and comment opportunities. Working Group members individually reported on the group’s progress to their respective communities. The Working Group also sponsored a community survey (in the six UN languages and Portuguese) seeking another form of community input on the geographic regions framework.  Additionally, a public session was conducted at the ICANN Public Meeting in Brussels (June 2010) and public workshops were conducted at the Cartagena (December 2010), San Francisco (March 2011) and Singapore (June 2011) Public Meetings to gather further community perspectives on this matter.

Comment Period Deadlines
Open Date:     30 September 2011
Close Date:     19 December 2011

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This ICANN announcement was sourced from:
www.icann.org/en/announcements/announcement-3-30sep11-en.htm