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GNSO Restructure – Stakeholder Group Process

Last Updated:

Charters Approved by the Board as of 1 July 2011:

Stakeholder Group (SG) CharterBoard Approval Date
Commercial SG Charter24 June 2011
Non-Commercial SG Charter24 June 2011
Registrars SG Charter30 July 2009
Registries SG Charter (*)30 July 2009


(*) Effective 6 July 2011, the Registries SG submitted a revised version (non-substantive changes) of its Charter, which replaces the one approved by the Board in July 2009. The original 2009 Charter can be accessed by clicking the appropriate document link in the section below.

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

Revised Stakeholder Group Charter Submissions – 2010

Stakeholder Group (SG) Charters Approved by the Board at its July 2009 Meeting


Stakeholder Group Charters Recommended By Structural Improvements Committee (SIC) June 2009

The following documents present text that is under discussion among Board members and the community:

In accordance with the Board's 26 June 2009 Resolution, a public comment period is open as of 30 June 2009 at the following link:

Stakeholder Group Petitions and Charters Submitted to the Board:

Background on Stakeholder Group (SG) Structure and Formation:

In its GNSO Improvements Report, the Board Governance Committee Working Group (BGC WG) recommended the creation of Stakeholder Groups in Section 5.3-Steps to improve efficiency (page 31):

"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 LSE 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."

The Report continued on page 32, "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 form them will be expected to conduct greater outreach and seek to recruit a broader, more diverse membership."

The BGC WG did not specify a formal structure or hierarchy, per se, however, it noted (page 33) 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."

The BGC envisioned that Stakeholder Groups would facilitate the creation of new constituencies as well as growth and expansion of GNSO participants. It noted (page 33) 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."

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

Staff Implementation Assistance: DRAFT Stakeholder Group Petition and Charter Template

On 15 January 2009, Denise Michel released an email transmitting a revised Stakeholder Group Petition & Charter Template (Draft #2). The contents of that email can be found here [PDF, 69K], which contains context for the revision along with the specific changes from the original version published on 28 October 2008.

Note: to avoid community confusion, we removed the original draft SG Template from this web page; however, it may be obtained by contacting