Summary and Analysis of Public Comments on Initial Report of Geographic Regions Review Working Group
Summary and Analysis of Public Comments on Initial Report of Geographic Regions Review Working Group Comment period ended: 4 September 2009 Summary published: 25 September 2009 Prepared by: Robert Hoggarth, Senior Policy Director I. BACKGROUND 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 (see - http://www.icann.org/en/minutes/resolutions-07nov08.htm - _Toc87682556 <http://www.icann.org/en/minutes/resolutions-07nov08.htm#_Toc87682556> ). The Board approved the charter of the working group at its public meeting in June 2009 (see - http://www.icann.org/en/minutes/resolutions-26jun09.htm - 1.2 <http://www.icann.org/en/minutes/resolutions-26jun09.htm#1.2> ). The Charter authorized by the Board outlines a three-part process in which the working group first prepares an Initial Report outlining the current applications of ICANN's geographic regions in various ICANN structures and processes and confirming the issues to be addressed by the working group during its deliberations. That Initial Report is the document being posted today. According to the Charter, the Initial Report will be followed by an "Intermediate Report." A third "Final Report" that will include the working group's recommendations (if any) is currently scheduled to be published next year. II. GENERAL COMMENTS and CONTRIBUTORS As of the 4 September 2009 deadline and through the second week of September, only one substantive and relevant community submission had been made to this comment forum. The commenter was Abdulaziz H. Al-Zoman, Ph.D. who identifies himself as an IT Consultant. III. SUMMARY & ANALYSIS Dr. Al-Zoman says an Arab region must be created under the ICANN Geographical Regions framework. He says this is necessary to allow the Arab community to participate intelligently and fruitfully in ICANN. Dr. Al-Zoman says the Arab region currently consists of 22 countries and is recognized by the United Nations as a separate region. He provides a Wikipedia link to additional information on "the Arab World." He also notes that the Arab community is not limited to a specific geographic region in that "Arab ccTLDs, Arab LIRs, private sector, civil societies, and others are scattered" around the world including some in the Asia/Pacific, some in Europe, and some in Africa. IV. NEXT STEPS The Working Group will consider the submitted comment and continue to develop its Intermediate Report. Once that Interim Report is published, it will also be made available in all six UN languages for community review and comment.
Summary and Analysis of Comments on Initial Report of Geographic Regions Review Working Group Sep 09.doc