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Proposed Agenda for the GNSO Council Public Meeting in Marrakech 9 March 2016

Last Updated:

This agenda was established according to the GNSO Council Operating Procedures, approved and updated on 24 June 2015.

For convenience:

  • An excerpt of the ICANN Bylaws defining the voting thresholds is provided in Appendix 1 at the end of this agenda.
  • An excerpt from the Council Operating Procedures defining the absentee voting procedures is provided in Appendix 2 at the end of this agenda.

Coordinated Universal Time: 13:30 UTC

05:30 Los Angeles; 08:30 Washington; 13:30 London; 15:30 Istanbul; 00:30 Hobart

GNSO Council Meeting Audio Cast
To join the event click on the link:

Councilors should notify the GNSO Secretariat in advance if they will not be able to attend and/or need a dial out call.

Item 1: Administrative matters (5 minutes)

1.1 – Roll call

1.2 – Updates to Statements of Interest

1.3 – Review/amend agenda.

1.4 – Note the status of minutes for the previous Council meetings per the GNSO Operating Procedures:
Draft minutes of the meeting of the GNSO Council on 18 February 2016 will be posted as approved on 6 March 2016.

Item 2: Opening Remarks / Review of Projects & Action List (5 minutes)

2.1 – Review focus areas and provide updates on specific key themes / topics, to include review of Projects List and Action List

Item 3: Consent agenda (5 minutes)

3.1 – Approve appointment of co-chairs for the New gTLD Subsequent Procedures Policy Development Process Working Group (co-chairs: Stephen Coates, Avri Doria, Jeff Neuman; Council liaison: Paul McGrady)

Item 4: VOTE – Approval of Recommendations from the Cross-Community Working Group on Enhancing ICANN Accountability (45 minutes)

In the course of discussions over the IANA stewardship transition, the community had raised concerns about ICANN's accountability, given ICANN's historical contractual relationship with the United States government. The community discussions indicated that existing ICANN accountability mechanisms do not yet meet some stakeholders' expectations. As the US government (through the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA)) has stressed that it expects community consensus on the transition, this gap between the current situation and stakeholder expectations needed to be addressed. This resulted in the creation of a Cross Community Working Group on Enhancing ICANN Accountability (CCWG-Accountability) of which the GNSO is a chartering organization.

In May 2015, the CCWG-Accountability published an initial proposal regarding its work on Work Stream 1 for public comment. Following significant changes made as a result of feedback received, the CCWG-Accountability published its Second Draft Proposal for public comment in August 2015. With the assistance of further community input, including from the ICANN Board, and discussions at several sessions during ICANN54, the CCWG-Accountability made further adjustments to its draft recommendations, resulting in its Third Draft Proposal that was published for public comment on 30 November 2015.

Concurrently, the IANA Stewardship Transition Coordination Group (ICG) – the community group formed to consolidate the various proposals relating to the IANA stewardship transition submitted by the Internet communities affected by the issue – announced after ICANN54 that it had completed its task. However, before the ICG can send its consolidated proposal to the NTIA via the ICANN Board, it needs confirmation from the Cross Community Working Group to Develop an IANA Stewardship Transition Proposal on Naming Related Functions (CWG-Stewardship) that its accountability requirements have been met by the Work Stream 1 recommendations from the CCWG-Accountability. In this regard, the CWG-Stewardship had submitted a public comment to the CCWG-Accountability which, while noting that several of the CCWG-Accountability's latest recommendations adequately satisfied the CWG-Stewardship's requirements, nevertheless highlighted a number of points that in its view merited further attention.

Following a Special Meeting on 14 January 2016, the GNSO Council had approved a letter setting out its response to the recommendations in the Third Draft Proposal. This was sent to the CCWG-Accountability on 22 January.

In response to the community input to its Third Draft Proposal, the CCWG-Accountability reworked some of its draft recommendations, resulting in a Final Supplemental Proposal that was sent to all its Chartering Organizations on 23 February (see Supplemental Final Proposal on Work Stream 1 Recommendations has the consensus support of the CCWG-Accountability, and contains five minority statements (see revised Appendix A, circulated to all Chartering Organizations on 25 February).

On 29 February, the GNSO Council held a Special Meeting that included all the GNSO representatives to the CCWG-Accountability. The purpose of the meeting was to receive initial feedback from all the GNSO's Stakeholder Groups and Constituencies, and to identify any remaining issues of concern that may require further discussion amongst the GNSO community. Here the Council will review the final comments from of all its SG/C, and, taking into account further discussions occurring during ICANN55, vote on whether or not to adopt the recommendations from the CCWG-Accountability as set forth in the Supplemental Final Proposal.

4.1 – Update (Thomas Rickert, GNSO co-chair of the CCWG-Accountability)

4.2 – Presentation of the motion (James Bladel)

4.3 – Discussion

4.4 – Council vote (voting threshold: simple majority)

Item 5: COUNCIL VOTE - Approval of Charter for a PDP Working Group to review all RPMs in all gTLDs (20 minutes)

On 18 February 2016, the GNSO Council voted unanimously to initiate a new Policy Development Process (PDP) to review all Rights Protection Mechanisms (RPMs) in all gTLDs (see At that meeting, a small group of Councilors volunteered to review the draft Charter for the PDP Working Group, with a view to submitting an updated Charter for the Council's review and approval at the Marrakech meeting. The draft Charter had been based substantially on the approach recommended in the Final Issue Report, published on 11 January 2015 (see This recommended that the GNSO Council proceed with a two-phased PDP, with the first phase focused on a review of the RPMs developed for the New gTLD Program and the subsequent, second phase on a review of the longstanding Uniform Dispute Resolution Policy (UDRP). A Working Group Charter typically also sets out the scope of work for the PDP Working Group and includes a list of topics identified previously by the community for the Working Group to consider including as part of its work. Here the Council will consider the updated draft Charter and vote on whether to adopt it.

5.1 – Presentation of the motion (Phil Corwin)

5.2 – Discussion

5.3 – Council vote (voting threshold: an affirmative vote of more than one-third (1/3) of each House or more than two-thirds (2/3) of one House)

Item 6: VOTE – Approval of Proposed Approach for Implementing Recommendations from the GNSO Review (10 minutes)

As part of ICANN's Bylaws-mandated periodic review of its structures, the ICANN Board's Structural Improvements Committee (now known as the Organizational Effectiveness Committee) appointed Westlake Governance as the independent examiner to conduct the current review of the performance and operations of the GNSO. A GNSO Working Party, chaired by former Councillor Jennifer Wolfe and comprising representatives of all the GNSO's Stakeholder Groups and Constituencies, was formed to consult with Westlake over the design and conduct of the review. Westlake's Draft Report was published for public comment on 1 June 2015. Following feedback received, including from the GNSO Working Party, Westlake published its Final Report on 15 September. The Working Party reviewed all the recommendations to develop guidance for the GNSO Council and ICANN Board in relation to the implementability and prioritization of the recommendations. The Council received a written update from the Working Party chair on 29 January, and the Working Party's proposed Implementation and Feasibility Analysis was sent to the Council on 28 February.

Here the Council will review the Working Party's Implementation and Feasbility Analysis, and vote on its adoption as well as agree on next steps in the process.

6.1 – Presentation of the motion (Wolf-Ulrich Knoben)

6.2 – Discussion

6.3 – Council vote (voting threshold: simple majority)

Item 7: DISCUSSION – RDAP Implementation (15 minutes)

Building on previous advisories, ICANN's Security and Stability Advisory Committee (SSAC) had recommended the replacement of the longstanding WHOIS protocol in SAC051 (see In October 2011, the ICANN Board directed staff to produce, in consultation with the community, a roadmap for the coordination of the technical and policy discussions necessary to implement the recommendations outlined in SAC 051. The Roadmap was published in 2012 (see Also in 2012, the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) chartered the WEIRDS (Web Extensible Internet Registration Data Services) working group, which concluded its work in early 2015 with the publication of several specifications defining the behavior of the Registry Data Access Protocol (RDAP), a standardized replacement for WHOIS. ICANN-accredited registrars subject to the 2013 Registrar Accreditation Agreement (RAA), registry operators from the 2012 New gTLD round and several other gTLD registries are contractually obligated to deploy RDAP.

In February 2014 the ICANN Board adopted the GNSO Council's recommendations for a new Consensus Policy that would require the provision of "thick" WHOIS services for all gTLD registries. The GNSO Implementation Review Team that was formed for the Thick Whois Policy Implementation agreed with the proposal of ICANN staff to synchronize implementation of the policy with the adoption of RDAP. On 3 December 2015 ICANN staff published a draft RDAP Operational Profile for public comment (see Public comments will be received through 15 February 2015.

Some concern has been expressed as to the policy implications of adopting RDAP in view of a number of other parallel efforts with potential cross-cutting impact, such as the recent initiation by the GNSO Council of a PDP for a Next-Generation Registration Directory Service to Replace WHOIS (see Following an expected discussion with ICANN's Global Domains Division staff overseeing the RDAP implementation during the GNSO Weekend Sessions at ICANN55 on the policy bases for RDAP, the linkage to Thick WHOIS, and the RDAP Operational Profile requirements, the Council will now consider next steps and any further actions that may be advisable at this time.

7.1 – Update (James Bladel?)

7.2 – Discussion

7.3 – Next steps

Item 8: Open Microphone (10 minutes)

Item 9: Any Other Business (5 Minutes)

Appendix 1: GNSO Council Voting Thresholds (ICANN Bylaws, Article X, Section 3)

9. Except as otherwise specified in these Bylaws, Annex A hereto, or the GNSO Operating Procedures, the default threshold to pass a GNSO Council motion or other voting action requires a simple majority vote of each House. The voting thresholds described below shall apply to the following GNSO actions:

  1. Create an Issues Report: requires an affirmative vote of more than one-fourth (1/4) vote of each House or majority of one House.
  2. Initiate a Policy Development Process ("PDP") Within Scope (as described in Annex A): requires an affirmative vote of more than one-third (1/3) of each House or more than two-thirds (2/3) of one House.
  3. Initiate a PDP Not Within Scope: requires an affirmative vote of GNSO Supermajority.
  4. Approve a PDP Team Charter for a PDP Within Scope: requires an affirmative vote of more than one-third (1/3) of each House or more than two-thirds (2/3) of one House.
  5. Approve a PDP Team Charter for a PDP Not Within Scope: requires an affirmative vote of a GNSO Supermajority.
  6. Changes to an Approved PDP Team Charter: For any PDP Team Charter approved under d. or e. above, the GNSO Council may approve an amendment to the Charter through a simple majority vote of each House.
  7. Terminate a PDP: Once initiated, and prior to the publication of a Final Report, the GNSO Council may terminate a PDP only for significant cause, upon a motion that passes with a GNSO Supermajority Vote in favor of termination.
  8. Approve a PDP Recommendation Without a GNSO Supermajority: requires an affirmative vote of a majority of each House and further requires that one GNSO Council member representative of at least 3 of the 4 Stakeholder Groups supports the Recommendation.
  9. Approve a PDP Recommendation With a GNSO Supermajority: requires an affirmative vote of a GNSO Supermajority,
  10. Approve a PDP Recommendation Imposing New Obligations on Certain Contracting Parties: where an ICANN contract provision specifies that "a two-thirds vote of the council" demonstrates the presence of a consensus, the GNSO Supermajority vote threshold will have to be met or exceeded.
  11. Modification of Approved PDP Recommendation: Prior to Final Approval by the ICANN Board, an Approved PDP Recommendation may be modified or amended by the GNSO Council with a GNSO Supermajority vote.
  12. A "GNSO Supermajority" shall mean: (a) two-thirds (2/3) of the Council members of each House, or (b) three-fourths (3/4) of one House and a majority of the other House."

Appendix 2: Absentee Voting Procedures (GNSO Operating Procedures 4.4)

4.4.1 Applicability
Absentee voting is permitted for the following limited number of Council motions or measures.

  1. Initiate a Policy Development Process (PDP);
  2. Approve a PDP recommendation;
  3. Recommend amendments to the GNSO Operating Procedures (GOP) or ICANN Bylaws;
  4. Fill a Council position open for election.

4.4.2 Absentee ballots, when permitted, must be submitted within the announced time limit, which shall be 72 hours from the meeting's adjournment. In exceptional circumstances, announced at the time of the vote, the Chair may reduce this time to 24 hours or extend the time to 7 calendar days, provided such amendment is verbally confirmed by all Vice-Chairs present.

4.4.3 The GNSO Secretariat will administer, record, and tabulate absentee votes according to these procedures and will provide reasonable means for transmitting and authenticating absentee ballots, which could include voting by telephone, e- mail, web-based interface, or other technologies as may become available.
4.4.4 Absentee balloting does not affect quorum requirements. (There must be a quorum for the meeting in which the vote is initiated.)

Reference (Coordinated Universal Time) UTC 13:30
Local time between October and March Winter in the NORTHERN hemisphere
California, USA (PDT) UTC-7+1DST 04:00
San José, Costa Rica UTC-6+0DST 07:30
Iowa City, USA (CDT) UTC-6+0DST 07:30
New York/Washington DC, USA (EST) UTC-5+0DST 08:30
Buenos Aires, Argentina (ART) UTC-3+0DST 10:30
Rio de Janiero, Brazil (BRST) UTC-2+0DST 10:30
London, United Kingdom (BST) UTC+0DST 13:30
Bonn, Germany (CET) UTC+1+0DST 14:30
Cairo, Egypt, (EET) UTC+2+0DST 15:30
Istanbul, Turkey (EEST) UTC+3+0DST 15:30
Perth, Australia (WST) UTC+8+1DST 21:30
Singapore (SGT) UTC +8 21:30
Sydney/Hobart, Australia (AEDT) UTC+11+0DST 00:30 next day
DST starts/ends on last Sunday of October 2016, 2:00 or 3:00 local time (with exceptions)
For other places see