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).
Over time, community members have developed concerns about the implementation of the ICANN Geographic Regions and related representational issues. 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
Responsible Staff Member:
- Rob Hoggarth
Submitted on: Not Applicable
- Report: Not applicable
- Public Comment: Not applicable
ICANN Board Resolution on the Initiation of GEO Regions Working Group:
Adopted on: 24 JUNE 2009
Whereas, the ccNSO raised issues regarding the assignment of territories to ICANN Geographic Regions and noted that any change to ICANN Geographic Regions could have widespread effect in ICANN. Subsequently, the ccNSO Council asked the ICANN Board to appoint a community-wide working group to review issues related to Geographic Regions, consult with all stakeholders, and submit proposed changes to the Board.
Whereas, the Board asked for input from the ICANN community in November 2007 on the ccNSO Council's request for such a working group, and recently the ALAC, GNSO, and GAC have indicated their support for the appointment of a working group on this topic.
Resolved (2008.11.07.08), the Board authorizes the formation of a community-wide working group to study and review the issues related to the definition of the ICANN Geographic Regions, consult with all stakeholders, and submit proposals for community and Board consideration relating to the current definition of the ICANN Geographic Regions. The Board requests that all interested Supporting Organizations and Advisory Committees nominate two individuals to serve on the working group, the composition of which the Board would like to approve at the December Board meeting.
Resolved (2008.11.07.09), the Board requests the working group, as its first order of business, to draft and seek community input on a proposed charter, and submit the draft document for community review, and Board consideration and approval at the March 2009 Board meeting in Mexico City. In drafting the charter, the working group is directed to focus, but not limit, its work on the criteria for assigning countries, dependencies and recognized geopolitical entities to a Geographic Region, and to take into consideration the relevant ccNSO Board paper, the recent GNSO comments, and other community advice – including the GAC's original advice on the topic in 2000 <http://www.icann.org/en/committees/gac/communique-14jul00.htm>. Further, the Board directs ICANN Staff to support these efforts.
Working Group Charter:
Adopted on: 26 June 2009
Working Group Initial Report:
Submitted on: 12 November 2010
Working Group Draft Final Report:
Submitted on: 30 September 2011
Working Group Final Report:
- Summary: TBD
ICANN Board Adoption of the Final Report:
- Summary: TBD
Public Comment Prior to ICANN Board Consideration:
- Public Comment: TBD
ICANN Board Resolution Text:
- Summary: TBD