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Proposed Agenda for the GNSO Council Meeting 14 April 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: 21:00 UTC:
14:00 Los Angeles; 17:00 Washington; 22:00 London; 00:00 Istanbul; 07:00 Hobart

Please be aware that the clocks will have changed in some parts of the world, so refer to the other times below to ensure you join the meeting at the correct time. UTC time remains the same for Council meetings, local time changes.

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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:

Minutes of the meeting of the Special GNSO Council session 29 February 2016 will be posted as approved on 22 April 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 (0 minutes)

Item 4: PRESENTATION & DISCUSSION – Possible Next Steps in Resolving the Issue of Permanent Protection of Certain Red Cross Identifiers (20 minutes)

In November 2013, the GNSO Council approved the final recommendations from its Policy Development Process (PDP) Working Group on the Protection of IGO-INGO Identifiers in All gTLDs. Subsequently, in April 2014, the ICANN Board approved those of the GNSO's PDP recommendations that are not inconsistent with GAC advice received on the topic. For the Red Cross movement, the protections adopted were for the full names Red Cross, Red Crescent, Red Crystal, Red Lion & Sun at the top and second levels, in the 6 official languages of the United Nations, with an Exception Procedure to be designed during the implementation phase for the affected organizations. However, with respect to the names and acronyms of the 189 national Red Cross societies and the names of the International Red Cross Movement (as noted by the GAC in its Singapore Communique), the Board requested more time to consider the GNSO's recommendations as these are inconsistent with GAC advice received on the topic. In the interim period, the Board adopted temporary protections for the Red Cross national society and international movement names noted in the GAC's Singapore Communique.

At ICANN55, representatives of the Red Cross met with the GNSO Council leadership to discuss possible next steps. Here the Red Cross representatives will brief the Council on the scope of the Red Cross' continuing request for permanent protections for those of its national society and international movement identifiers that are not currently covered by the policy recommendations that have been adopted by the GNSO Council and the ICANN Board.

4.1 – Introduction (James Bladel)
4.2 – Presentation by representatives of the Red Cross (by invitation)
4.3 – Q&A / next steps

Item 5: 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 Feasibility Analysis, and vote on its adoption as well as agree on next steps in the process.

5.1 – Presentation of the motion (Wolf-Ulrich Knoben)
5.2 – Discussion
5.3 – Council vote (voting threshold: simple majority)

Item 6: COUNCIL VOTE – Approval of Procedures Governing the Selection of the GNSO Liaison to the Governmental Advisory Committee (10 minutes)

As part of a two-year pilot program initiated in June 2014, the GNSO Council and the Governmental Advisory Committee (GAC) agreed, through its joint GAC-GNSO Consultation Group, to appoint a GNSO Liaison to the GAC. The purpose of the Liaison role was to facilitate more effective early engagement by the GAC in GNSO policy activities and to contribute toward better information flow between the two bodies. Following Consultation Group review of the pilot program, the Consultation Group recommended that the Liaison role be made a permanent one in March 2016. Here the Council will review and approve the scope of such a permanent Liaison role as well as the application, selection and confirmation process.

6.1 – Presentation of the motion (James Bladel)
6.2 – Discussion
6.3 – Council vote (voting threshold: simple majority)

Item 7: COUNCIL VOTE – Approval of GNSO Input to the ICANN Board on the GAC's Marrakech Communique (20 minutes)

Beginning in mid-2015 with the GAC's Buenos Aires Communique, the GNSO Council developed a mechanism for reviewing and commenting on aspects of that Communique that are relevant to gTLD policy. The resulting GNSO input on both the GAC's Buenos Aires and Dublin Communiques were approved by the GNSO Council and sent to the ICANN Board and the GAC Chair (see and Here the Council will review the draft response to the GAC's Marrakech Communique, drafted by a volunteer group of Councillors, and, if appropriate, approve its being forwarded to the ICANN Board and GAC Chair.

7.1 – Presentation of the motion (Susan Kawaguchi)
7.2 – Discussion
7.3 – Council vote (voting threshold: simple majority)

Item 8: COUNCIL APPROVAL – Public Comment on ICANN's FY17 Proposed Budget (15 minutes)

On 5 March 2016, the draft ICANN FY17 Operating Plan and Budget was published for public comment (closing on 30 April). The GNSO Council had previously provided public comments to the FY16 Operating Plan and Budget. At ICANN55, a small group of Councillors had volunteered to work on possible Council comments to the draft FY17 budget. Here the Council will review and, if appropriate, agree to send in the proposed comments.

8.1 – Update and summary of comments (Keith Drazek / Edward Morris / Carlos Raul Gutierrez)
8.2 – Discussion
8.3 – Next steps

Item 9: DISCUSSION – Implementation of the IANA Stewardship Transition Plan (10 minutes)

At ICANN55, community discussions were held concerning the upcoming implementation of the IANA Stewardship Transition Plan, including at a session on 7 March. Several GNSO community members voiced concerns about whether the proposed implementation plan would meet the requirements of the Cross Community Working Group to Develop an IANA Stewardship Proposal on Naming-Related Functions (CWG-Stewardship). On 25 March a Call for Volunteers was issued for additional CCWG participation, including for implementation of the adopted Work Stream 1 recommendations.

Here the Council will discuss the community concerns that have been raised, and review possible next steps in relation to the CWG-Stewardship and ICANN staff that have been charged with developing the implementation plan.

9.1 – Summary & update (James Bladel)
9.2 – Discussion
9.3 – Next steps

Item 10: DISCUSSION – Planning for "Meeting B" (ICANN Policy Forum) (10 Minutes)

At ICANN55, the GNSO held several discussions, including with the ICANN Board, concerning the focus, duration and meeting schedule for the first designated ICANN Policy Forum, to take place in Helsinki as ICANN56 (i.e. the initial so-called "Meeting B"). Specific concerns were raised about the apparent lack of time for actual policy work in the overall Meeting B schedule when all the current draft SO/AC/Board proposals were put together, and about the lack of opportunity for different SO/AC/Board groups to interact with one another. A small group of SO/AC volunteers has been formed to address these concerns.

Here the Council will hear from its representatives to this group, and discuss further plans for finalizing the GNSO's schedule for ICANN56 so as to maximize the policy focus for Meeting B. This includes confirmation of the PDP Working Group(s) to be invited to consider conducting a face-to-face working meeting in Helsinki, on a day either precedent or subsequent to the ICANN56 schedule.

10.1 – Update (Donna Austin / Volker Greimann)
10.2 – Discussion
10.3 – Next steps

Item 11: DISCUSSION – Status of Cross Community Working Group on Internet Governance (10 minutes)

The Charter for this Cross Community Working Group was ratified by the ccNSO Council (September 2014), the GNSO Council (October 2014), and the ALAC (April 2015). The CCWG Charter states its scope as doing "whatever it deems relevant and necessary to facilitate and ensure engagement and participation of the ICANN community in the global Internet governance scene and multi-stakeholder decision-making processes", with regular updates to be provided to its Chartering Organizations and a periodic Progress Paper where appropriate. The Charter also provides that the Chartering Organizations should review the Charter and CCWG deliverables in order to determine whether the group should continue or be dissolved, with the proviso that the CCWG will continue if at least two of its Chartering Organizations extend the Charter and notify the other Chartering Organizations accordingly.

During the CCWG co-chairs' update to the ccNSO and GNSO Councils at ICANN55, there was some discussion over whether a CCWG format or other arrangement might be the most appropriate form for SO/AC interaction on Internet governance matters, especially given the expected forthcoming finalization of a Uniform Framework of Principles for Future CCWGs by the CCWG-Principles. Here the GNSO Council will continue that discussion, with a view toward agreeing on the appropriate next steps for the CCWG on Internet Governance.

11.1 – Introduction and summary (Carlos Raul Gutierrez)
11.2 – Discussion
11.3 – Next steps

Item 12: Any Other Business (5 minutes)

12.1 – Proposed approach to Expert Working Group on Internationalized Registration Data (IRD) Final Report


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 21:00

Local time between October and March Winter in the NORTHERN hemisphere


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DST starts/ends on last Sunday of October 2016, 2:00 or 3:00 local time (with exceptions)
For other places see