GNSO Restructure – New Constituency Process

Last Updated: 9 January 2013

The following documents and forms were approved by the ICANN Board Resolution on 24 June 2011 and describe a formal process by which a prospective new Constituency may apply and, if approved, become recognized within the GNSO.

New Constituency Flowchart of the Process

A Public Comment Forum concerning the New Constituency Recognition Process was opened on 2 February 2011 and closed on 3 April 2011 (extended from 4 March 2011). A Public Comment Issues Tracking Checklist [PDF] was prepared by Staff for the Structural Improvements Committee (SIC) summarizing the community’s input and providing a disposition for each one.

Questions about this process may be directed to:

The following materials are part of the pre-2011 archive record for New Constituency Process and are retained here for historical purposes pending further redesign of the GNSO web presence.

Notices of Intent to Form (NOIF) New Constituency

New Constituency Petitions & Charters Submitted to the Board

New Constituency Application Process

As part of the GNSO Improvements process, the ICANN Board wants to increase participation in the GNSO by encouraging the formation of new constituencies and increasing the participation in existing constituencies.1

Suggested Process for Forming New GNSO Constituencies

As a byproduct of the GNSO Review process, the ICANN Staff received several inquiries about how to form new constituencies; however, the ICANN bylaws2 do not provide specific procedural guidance for how that is accomplished. Mindful that explicit steps, formats, and/or processes for expansion would take some time for the community to develop, ICANN Staff circulated to the GNSO community a proposal intended to provide initial guidance and structure for prospective new constituencies.

At its 1 October meeting, the Board acknowledged Staff's development of a "Notice of Intent" document for potential new constituencies and directed Staff to develop a formal petition and charter template to assist new constituency applicants in satisfying the formative criteria (consistent with the ICANN Bylaws) to facilitate the Board's evaluation of petitions to form new constituencies.

The ICANN staff and the GNSO community have collaborated to develop a process by which entities interested in starting new constituencies could move expeditiously to petition the Board for recognition. The two-step process outlined below is based on a review of the Board Governance Committee recommendations on GNSO Improvements3 , as approved by the ICANN Board, and Staff understanding of existing constituency charters4 .

Step 1: The prospective constituency completes and submits to the ICANN Board a "Notice of Intent to Form New Constituency" [DOC, 40K]. This notification form seeks general information, consistent with the bylaws, concerning a group's intention to form a new GNSO constituency.

During this intense and dynamic period while the GNSO is transitioning to new structures and the Board is actively considering several critical issues, including implementation, Staff believes it will be especially helpful to the Board, the GNSO, and broader ICANN community to have advanced knowledge and information about any/all proposals to form new constituencies. The major benefit to formalizing such intent is that it will provide all interested parties and Staff the opportunity to provide advice, guidance, and assistance concerning the formation, structure, and development of the new constituency such that it satisfies existing and newly established criteria (e.g. representativeness)

There are two important disclaimers printed at the top of the "Notice of Intent…" template. They are replicated below:

Important Notices:

(1) This form's purpose is limited to notifying the ICANN Board, community, and public of the applicant's intention to form a new GNSO constituency. It is not a substitute for, or replacement of, formal petition requirements stipulated in the ICANN Bylaws nor does its receipt, acceptance, or acknowledgement represent an implicit or explicit Board approval.

(2) In addition to the Board, this form will be provided to the GNSO Council and constituencies and will be publicly posted [Note: phone and fax numbers supplied below will be removed].

Step 2: The prospective constituency submits a "New Constituency Petition and Charter" [DOC, 80K] document to the ICANN Board requesting formal constituency recognition.

This template has a couple of significant elements:

  1. It features disclaimers on the header page similar to those included with the "Notice of Intent…" form.
  2. This second-step charter template is very comprehensive. It is based largely on the charters of existing GNSO constituencies. The process of building a thorough and complete charter document will evolve over time. Any new constituency in its formative stages should consider utilizing the template as a reference guide recognizing that some sections may be deferred. It is not envisioned that a new constituency must address all factors or answer every before petitioning the Board for recognition and approval.


Until a final process is approved, the timeframe between Steps 1 and 2 remain fluid and flexible to support any/all unique circumstances that may occur. In some instances, those steps could take place within a few months and, in other more complex cases, the process could consume a much longer period depending upon many factors including the readiness of the constituency to develop a formal petition and charter.

1 See <>

2 Article 10, Section 5 of the ICANN Bylaws stipulates:

"4. Any group of individuals or entities may petition the Board for recognition as a new or separate Constituency. Any such petition shall contain a detailed explanation of (a) why the addition of such a Constituency will improve the ability of the GNSO to carry out its policy-development responsibilities; and (b) why the proposed new Constituency would adequately represent, on a global basis, the stakeholders it seeks to represent. Any petition for the recognition of a new Constituency shall be posted for public comment."

3 See <>

4 See <>