Stakeholder Groups and Constituencies

Last Updated: 3 October 2013

The GNSO is comprised of Stakeholder Groups whose leadership teams are shown in the tabs below. ICANN's Board encouraged the GNSO to structure the Council on the basis of four broad stakeholder groups in order to represent the wide variety of groups and individuals that compose the ICANN community. Stakeholder Groups function as caucuses, and are intended to facilitate the creation of new constituencies as well as growth and expansion of GNSO participants.

Membership to Stakeholder Groups varies. If you are interested in learning more about membership, each group page contains links to more information.

In the GNSO, "constituency" is a technical term referring to a group of Internet users united around a particular common interest or perspective, formally recognized by the GNSO Council. Two of the Stakeholder Groups in the GNSO are comprised of individual Constituencies. Their leadership teams are shown in the tabs below.

Information about joining a Constituency can be found at the bottom of each Constituency page.

Process For Amending GNSO Stakeholder Group and Constituency Charters

On 28 September 2013, the ICANN Board established a process for the amendment of GNSO Stakeholder Group and Constituency Charters. That process is as follows:

Phase I: Amendment Preparation

GNSO Stakeholder Groups (SGs) and Constituencies should formulate charter amendments through their own internal processes and notify ICANN Staff as early as practicable (at policy-staff@icann.org) upon initiation of such efforts. [Note: If the SG Charter requires it, proposed amendment(s) to Constituency Charters must first be submitted to the applicable SG for review and evaluation before being forwarded to Staff and Board.]. Subsequently, after formal community action approving any proposed amendments, the Staff should be formally notified of that action as early as practicable (at policy-staff@icann.org).

Phase II: Staff Review

Upon formal receipt of the proposed amendment(s) approved by the community group, ICANN Staff will analyze the proposal and, within 10 business days, submit the community proposal with a report to the appropriate Board committee identifying any fiscal or liability concerns.

Phase III: Public Comments

After Board committee review of the Staff report and the proposed charter amendments, the Board committee will direct the opening of a Public Comment Forum. Upon completion of the Forum, within 30 calendar days, Staff will provide a report to the Board committee summarizing the community feedback.

Phase IV: Board Review

At the next available opportunity after the delivery and publication of the Staff report, the appropriate Board committee shall review the proposed charter amendments, the Staff report and any community feedback and make a recommendation to the Board.

After receiving a recommendation from the committee, the Board shall either:

  1. Recognize the proposed charter amendment by a simple majority vote; or
  2. Reject the proposed amendment by a supermajority (2/3) vote and provide a specific rationale for its concerns.
  3. If neither above condition is met, the Board will ask for further explanation of the proposed amendments by the community.

In its review of the proposed amendments, the ICANN Board may ask questions and otherwise consult with the affected SG or Constituency. If it is not feasible for the Board to take action on the proposed amendments after two meetings, the Board shall report to the affected SG or Constituency the circumstance(s) that prevented it from making a final action and its best estimate of the time required to reach an action. That report is deemed an "action" under this process. If it is not feasible for the Board to take action on the proposed amendments after four meetings (or after a total of six scheduled meetings), the proposed community amendments will be deemed effective.

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A copy of the process in .pdf format can be found here