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Proposed Agenda for the GNSO Council Meeting | 19 November 2015 at 15:00 UTC

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: 15:00 UTC

07:00 Los Angeles; 10:00 Washington; 15:00 London; 17:00 Istanbul; 23:00 Perth

GNSO Council Meeting Audio Cast
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Councilors should notify the GNSO Secretariat in advance if they will no able to attend and 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 24 June, 23 July 2015 and 24 September and 21 October will be posted as approved on xxxxxx 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 – Adoption of the Charter for PDP Working Group on Next Generation gTLD Registration Directory Services (RDS) to Replace WHOIS (15 minutes)

In November 2012 the ICANN Board requested an Issue Report on the purpose of collecting and maintaining gTLD registration data, and on solutions to improve accuracy and access to gTLD registration data, as part of a Board-initiated GNSO Policy Development Process (PDP). Concurrently, the Board directed the launch of a new effort to redefine the purpose of collecting, maintaining and providing access to gTLD registration data, and to consider safeguards for protecting data, as a foundation for new gTLD policy and contractual negotiations, as appropriate. In June 2014 the Expert Working Group convened as a result of the Board resolution published its Final Report. In April 2015 a group comprising Board and GNSO Council members finalized a proposed Process Framework to guide the work of the PDP. In July 2015 an updated Preliminary Issue Report was published at the Board’s request for public comment, following which a Final Issue Report taking into account public comments received was prepared and submitted to the GNSO Council on 7 October 2015 (see

At its October meeting in Dublin, the Council agreed to defer voting on chartering the Working Group for this PDP till its next meeting. Here the Council will review and vote on a revised motion to approve the charter for the Working Group to be formed to conduct this Board-initiated PDP.

4.1 – Presentation of the motion (Susan Kawaguchi)

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 – New Referral Request to the Standing Committee for GNSO Improvements Implementation (10 minutes)

The GNSO Council identified a number of procedural issues during the most recent round of elections for the GNSO Chair. These arise mainly from the fact that the GNSO Operating Procedures do not currently contain express provisions for an election timetable and a method for prescribing the specific terms to be served by the Chair and Vice-Chairs. The Procedures also do not seem to permit new incoming Council members to stand for the Chair position. Here the Council will discuss and vote on whether to refer these matters to the GNSO’s Standing Committee for GNSO Improvements Implementation (SCI), and the scope of such a referral request.

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

5.2 – Discussion

5.3 – Council vote (voting threshold: simple majority)

Item 6: VOTE ON MOTION - Adoption of GNSO Review of the GAC Dublin Communique (15 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. Here the Council will review a draft of a possible review document to be sent to the Board in response to the GAC’s Dublin Communique.

6.1 – Presentation of the motion (Stephanie Perrin)

6.2 – Discussion

6.3 – Council vote (voting threshold: simple majority)

Item 7: 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. Considering that the US Government (through the 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 some initial proposals surrounding its work on Work Stream 1 (meant to align with the timing of the IANA stewardship transition) for public comment. In August, 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. As a result, a third public comment period will be held in November, with the aim to submit a report to all the Chartering Organizations for adoption in January 2016.

At ICANN54, the IANA Stewardship Transition Coordination Group (ICG) – the community group that was 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 National Telecommunications and Information Administration 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 Work Stream 1 recommendations currently being finalized by the CCWG-Accountability. The CCWG-Accountability therefore hopes that completion and timely approval of its Work Stream 1 recommendations by all its Chartering Organizations will mean minimal disruption of the IANA stewardship transition timeline.

Here the Council will receive an update on the progress of the CCWG-Accountability, and determine how best to ensure that its comments, as well as input from its Stakeholder Groups and Constituencies, are submitted and considered in a coordinated and timely fashion.

7.1 – Update (Thomas Rickert)

7.2 – Discussion

7.3 – Next steps

Item 8: COUNCIL ACTION – GNSO Candidates for ICANN’s Competition, Consumer Trust and Consumer Choice Review Team (15 minutes)

As part of its Affirmation of Commitments with the United States government, ICANN is committed to conducting periodic community-led reviews of four key objectives, one of which is the promotion of competition, consumer trust and consumer choice. This review team is currently being formed, to “examine the extent to which the introduction or expansion of gTLDs has promoted competition, consumer trust and consumer choice, as well as effectiveness of (a) the application and evaluation process, and (b) safeguards put in place to mitigate issues involved in the introduction or expansion.” The Call for Volunteers to serve as a Review Team member representing a particular ICANN Supporting Organization or Advisory Committee closes on 13 November. SO/ACs are expected to confirm their endorsements of their representatives by 13 December, following which the ICANN CEO and the GAC Chair will select the members of the Review Team, which is expected to begin its work in January 2016. Here the Council will discuss which of the volunteers who have indicated a wish to represent the GNSO to endorse.

8.1 – Presentation of the candidate list (Volker Greimann)

8.2 – Discussion

8.3 – Council decision and next steps

Item 9: UPDATE – Issue Report for a Potential PDP on New gTLDs Subsequent Procedures (10 minutes)

In June 2015, the GNSO Council had 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, with the comment period closing on 30 October as a result of a request by the GNSO Council to extend the usual 40-day comment period. Here the Council will receive an update from ICANN staff on the expected timeline and next steps following the close of the public comment period.

9.1 – Update (Steve Chan)

9.2 – Discussion

9.3 – Next steps

Item 10: BRIEFING – Ensuring Attendee Security at ICANN Meetings (15 minutes)

At its meeting in Dublin the GNSO Council had expressed an interest in getting early information about security arrangements for forthcoming ICANN meetings, starting with the next meeting scheduled for Marrakech. The intention is to make this briefing a standard agenda item for all future ICANN Public Meetings, so that the community will have up to date information regarding the security arrangements ICANN is making for each Public Meeting.

10.1 – Informational briefing (Nick Tomasso / Geoff Bickers / Chris Clark)

10.2 – Discussion / Q&A

Item 11: QUESTION & ANSWER SESSION – GNSO Chair Elections (30 minutes)

Following the close of the second nomination period on 5 November, one nomination for GNSO Chair for the term AGM 2015-AGM 2016 was received from the Contracted Parties House. The Non-Contracted Parties House has since confirmed that it will not be nominating a candidate for Chair. Here the Council will have a chance to ask questions of the sole candidate, Mr James Bladel, prior to the distribution of the ballots on 20 November. Balloting will close on 23 November, with results to be announced on 24 November.

11.1 – Introduction of candidate (James Bladel)

11.2 – Q&A

11.3 – Next steps (Marika Konings /Glen de St Gery)

Item 12: 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 15:00

Local time between March and October, Summer in the NORTHERN hemisphere

California, USA (PDT) UTC-7+1DST 07:00

San José, Costa Rica UTC-6+0DST 09:00

Iowa City, USA (CDT) UTC-6+0DST 09:00

New York/Washington DC, USA (EST) UTC-5+0DST 10:00

Buenos Aires, Argentina (ART) UTC-3+0DST 12:00

Rio de Janiero, Brazil (BRST) UTC-2+0DST 13:00

London, United Kingdom (BST) UTC+0DST 15:00

Bonn, Germany (CET) UTC+1+0DST 16:00

Cairo, Egypt, (EET) UTC+2+0DST 17:00

Istanbul, Turkey (EEST) UTC+3+0DST 17:00

Perth, Australia (WST) UTC+8+1DST 23:00

Singapore (SGT) UTC +8  23:00

Sydney/Hobart, Australia (AEDT) UTC+11+0DST 02:00

DST starts/ends on last Sunday of October 2015, 2:00 or 3:00 local time (with exceptions)

For other places see