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Proposed Agenda for the GNSO Council Teleconference 17 December 2015

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: 18:00 UTC (

10:00 Los Angeles; 13:00 Washington; 18:00 London; 20:00 Istanbul; 05:00 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:

Minutes of the GNSO Council meetings of 19 November have been posted as approved on 5 December 2015

Item 2: Opening Remarks / Review of Projects & Action List (10 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: VOTE ON MOTION – Initiation of Policy Development Process (PDP) for New gTLDs Subsequent Procedures (15 minutes)

In June 2015, the GNSO Council requested an Issue Report to analyze subjects that may lead to changes or adjustments for subsequent New gTLD procedures, including any modifications that may be needed to the GNSO's policy principles and recommendations from its 2007 Final Report on the Introduction of New Generic Top Level Domains. Preparation of the Preliminary Issue Report was based on a set of deliverables from the GNSO's New gTLD Subsequent Procedures Discussion Group (DG) as the basis for analysis. The Preliminary Issue Report was published for public comment on 31 August 2015, and the comment period closed on 30 October as a result of a request by the GNSO Council to extend the usual 40-day comment period. The Final Issue Report was submitted to the GNSO Council on 4 December 2015. Here the Council will review the report, including the draft Charter setting out the proposed scope of the PDP, and vote on whether to initiate the PDP and adopt the Charter.

4.1 – Presentation of the motion (Donna Austin)

4.2 – Discussion

4.3 – 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 5: VOTE ON MOTION – Adoption of Final Report from the Privacy & Proxy Services Accreditation Issues PDP Working Group (15 minutes)

This PDP had been requested by the ICANN Board when initiating negotiations with the Registrar Stakeholder Group in October 2011 for a new form of Registrar Accreditation Agreement (RAA). The 2013 RAA was approved by the ICANN Board in June 2013, at which time the accreditation of privacy and proxy services was identified as the remaining issue not dealt with in the negotiations or in other policy activities, and that was suited for a PDP. In October 2013, the GNSO Council chartered the Privacy & Proxy Services Accreditation Issues PDP Working Group to develop policy recommendations intended to guide ICANN's implementation of the planned accreditation program for privacy and proxy service providers. The PDP Working Group published its Initial Report for public comment in May 2015, and delivered its Final Report to the GNSO Council on 7 December 2015. Here the Council will review the Working Group's Final Report, and vote on whether to adopt the consensus recommendations contained in it.

5.1 – Presentation of the motion (James Bladel)

5.2 – Discussion

5.3 – Council vote (voting threshold: an affirmative vote of more than two-thirds (2/3) of each House or more than three-fourths (3/4) of one House and one-half (1/2) of the other House)

Item 6: VOTE ON MOTION - Adoption of GNSO Review of the GAC Dublin Communique (10 mins)

Following discussions at the Council level in late 2014 to develop a means for the GNSO to provide input to the ICANN Board regarding gTLD policy matters highlighted in a GAC Communique, a template framework to review each GAC Communique was created by a group of Council volunteers assisted by ICANN staff. The Council agreed that while it would review carefully each GAC Communique issued at an ICANN meeting, it would not always provide input to the Board unless it also agreed that such feedback was either necessary or desirable, on a case-by-case basis. The first GNSO Review of a GAC Communique was of the GAC's Communique from ICANN53 in Buenos Aires. That Review document was sent to the ICANN Board in July 2015 and acknowledged by the Board in October. At its last meeting, the Council discussed an initial draft of a possible review document to be sent to the Board in response to the GAC's Dublin Communique. Here the Council will review an updated draft document and vote on whether to adopt it for forwarding to the ICANN Board.

6.1 – Presentation of the motion (Stephanie Perrin)

6.2 – Discussion

6.3 – Council vote (voting threshold: simple majority)

Item 7: VOTE ON MOTION – Endorsement of GNSO Candidates for the Competition, Consumer Trust and Consumer Choice Review (20 minutes)

Under ICANN's Affirmation of Commitments (AoC) with the United States government, ICANN is mandated to review the extent to which the introduction of gTLDs has promoted Competition, Consumer Trust and Consumer Choice (CCT Review). The CCT Review Team is expected to also assess the effectiveness of the application and evaluation processes, as well as the safeguards put in place by ICANN to mitigate issues involved in the introduction or expansion of new gTLDs. A Call for Volunteers to the CCT Review Team closed on 13 November 2015, and twenty-six (26) applicants indicated that they wished to be endorsed as representatives of the GNSO to the Review Team. ICANN staff has since followed up with all these applicants for further information to assist the Council in its decision on endorsements (see Here the Council will discuss and determine which of the applicants to endorse for the CCT Review Team.

7.1 – Presentation of the motion (James Bladel)

7.2 – Discussion

7.3 – Council vote (voting threshold: simple majority)

Item 8: DISCUSSION OF COUNCIL ACTION – Cross-Community Working Group on Enhancing ICANN Accountability (25 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 that the U.S. 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 (meant to align with the timing of the IANA stewardship transition) for public comment. In August 2015, the CCWG-Accountability published its Second Draft Proposal for public comment. This second proposal included significant changes to the initial document, arising from feedback received in the first public comment period. Following community input, including from the ICANN Board, and discussions at several sessions during ICANN54, the CCWG-Accountability has made further adjustments to its draft recommendations, resulting in its Third Draft Proposal that was published for public comment on 30 November 2015.

Following ICANN54, 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 that it had completed its task. However, before the ICG can send the consolidated proposal to the NTIA via the ICANN Board, it will first have to confirm with 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. Public comments on these latest recommendations closes on 21 December 2015, with all the Chartering Organizations expected to consider whether to adopt them in time for the CCWG-Accountability to send its final report on Work Stream 1 to the ICANN Board by late January 2016.

Here the Council will discuss its review and adoption of the CCWG-Accountability recommendations, including the timeline and consideration of any input from its Stakeholder Groups and Constituencies.

8.1 – Update (Thomas Rickert)

8.2 – Discussion

8.3 – Next steps

Item 9: DISCUSSION OF COUNCIL ACTION – New gTLD Auction Proceeds (10 minutes)

On 8 September 2015 ICANN published for public comment a Discussion Paper concerning possible next steps in the community process regarding proceeds obtained from ICANN-conducted auctions for contested strings in the New gTLD Program. The Discussion Paper summarized the community discussions that had occurred to date, including discussions started by the GNSO Council and conducted at ICANN52. An updated Discussion Paper was submitted to the GNSO Council on 7 December 2015, noting that there seems to be general community support for a Cross-Community Working Group to be formed on the topic and proposing that the next step be confirming the interest of each ICANN Supporting Organization and Advisory Committee (SO/AC) in participating in this effort. Interested SO/ACs would then be requested to nominate up to 2 volunteers for the Drafting Team to be formed, to develop a charter for adoption by all the potential Chartering Organizations.

9.1 – Status update (Marika Konings)

9.2 – Discussion

9.3 – Next steps

Item 10: Any Other Business (10 Minutes)

10.1 – Confirming schedule of GNSO Council meetings for 2016

10.2 – Marrakech meeting planning (note: weekend session planning being led by Susan Kawaguchi and Amr Elsadr)

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 18:00
Local time between March and October, Summer in the NORTHERN hemisphere
California, USA (PDT) UTC-7+1DST 10:00
San José, Costa Rica UTC-6+0DST 12:00
Iowa City, USA (CDT) UTC-6+0DST 12:00
New York/Washington DC, USA (EST) UTC-5+0DST 13:00
Buenos Aires, Argentina (ART) UTC-3+0DST 15:00
Rio de Janiero, Brazil (BRST) UTC-2+0DST 16:00
London, United Kingdom (BST) UTC+0DST 18:00
Bonn, Germany (CET) UTC+1+0DST 19:00
Cairo, Egypt, (EET) UTC+2+0DST 20:00
Istanbul, Turkey (EEST) UTC+3+0DST 20:00
Perth, Australia (WST) UTC+8+1DST 02:00 next day
Singapore (SGT) UTC +8 02:00
Sydney/Hobart, Australia (AEDT) UTC+11+0DST 05:00
DST starts/ends on last Sunday of October 2015, 2:00 or 3:00 local time (with exceptions)
For other places see