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Summary and Analysis of Public Comments for: Revised gTLD Registries Stakeholder Group Petition

  • To: "ryc-sg-petition@xxxxxxxxx" <ryc-sg-petition@xxxxxxxxx>
  • Subject: Summary and Analysis of Public Comments for: Revised gTLD Registries Stakeholder Group Petition
  • From: Robert Hoggarth <robert.hoggarth@xxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Mon, 15 Jun 2009 16:30:28 -0700

Summary and Analysis of Public Comments for:

Revised gTLD Registries Stakeholder Group Petition

Comment period ended: 10 June 2009
Summary published: 15 June 2009

Prepared by: Robert Hoggarth, Senior Policy Director


As part of the comprehensive GNSO Improvements effort, last August the ICANN 
Board approved the formation of four new Stakeholder Groups (SGs), including 
the gTLD Registries Stakeholder Group (RySG). These SG structures represent a 
new concept for the GNSO that was envisioned by the Board Governance Committee 
GNSO Review Working Group On GNSO Improvements (BGC WG). In endorsing the 
recommendations of the BGC WG's GNSO Improvements Report 
<http://www.icann.org/en/topics/gnso-improvements/> , the Board approved the 
creation of SGs to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of GNSO Council 
operations.  Specifically:

"To help the Council reach its full potential, ICANN should ensure that this 
body is inclusive and representative of the broad interests found among the 
GNSO constituencies and other stakeholders, while limiting its size to enhance 
its effectiveness and promote efficiency. Balancing all of these factors, and 
cognizant of the limitations of the current structure pointed out by the 
[London School of Economics] report, we recommend a reorganized Council that 
has the potential to be more representative, agile and collegial. Our 
recommendation is to structure the Council on the basis of four broad 
stakeholder groups to represent better the wide variety of groups and 
individuals that compose the ICANN community."  GNSO Improvements Report at 
page 31.

The Report continued,

"We want to emphasize that a new non-commercial Stakeholders Group must go far 
beyond the membership of the current Non-Commercial Users Constituency (NCUC). 
We must consider educational, research, and philanthropic organizations, 
foundations, think tanks, members of academia, individual registrant groups and 
other noncommercial organizations, as well as individual registrants, as part 
of a non-commercial registrants Stakeholders Group. We also want to point out 
that the effort to have a balance within ICANN between commercial and 
non-commercial registrants reflects only a sense of equity. We welcome ongoing 
efforts to forge a stronger partnership between the international business 
community and ICANN, and would be surprised if Council restructuring were to be 
viewed as an impediment. On the contrary, we believe that an improved Council 
will yield concrete benefits for business and other stakeholders. In addition, 
all stakeholder groups and the constituencies that form them will be expected 
to conduct greater outreach and seek to recruit a broader, more diverse 
membership."  GNSO Improvements Report at page 32.

The BGC WG did not specify a particular formal structure or hierarchy, but it 
specifically noted that,

"The stakeholder groups may function only as a 'caucus,' bringing together 
like-minded stakeholders to elect representatives to the Council who can 
represent them. This structure would be fluid enough to accommodate new 
constituencies or the formation of new interest groups. It will be important 
for the implementation team to consider how to implement this flexibility 
within the overall stakeholder structure set forth in these recommendations. 
Our goal is definitely not to create a new layer of bureaucracy, as we heard 
concerns about at the San Juan Meeting. Alternatively, if the GNSO believes it 
is desirable, the four stakeholder groups could take on additional functions, 
such as trying to coordinate and document positions on policy development 
questions."  GNSO Improvements Report at page 33.

The BGC envisioned that Stakeholder Groups would facilitate the creation of new 
constituencies as well as the growth and expansion of GNSO participants in the 
policy development process. It noted that,

"One advantage of this new model for organizing stakeholder participation is to 
remove concern that the addition of new constituencies or interest groups could 
create an internal imbalance in the current composition of the Council. By 
creating four broad stakeholder groups, the number of constituencies is less 
important and can increase (or decrease) with time. Indeed, it would be 
inconsistent with ICANN's processes to try to limit arbitrarily the number of 
constituencies that people could self-form. Making it easier to form a new 
constituency can also address any obstacles people perceive in joining existing 
constituencies. Overall, this approach can encourage the participation of more 
people in the GNSO. Many details, of course, remain to be worked out concerning 
the new stakeholder structure for the Council, including the role of 
constituencies and/or interest groups within them. As noted earlier, we welcome 
the GNSO working with Staff to develop the appropriate Implementation Plan." 
GNSO Improvements Report at page 33.

A diagram of the restructured GNSO Council structure, showing the context of 
all four (4) new Stakeholder Groups, including the RySG, can be found at: 


As of the 10 June 2009 deadline, only one comment had been made to this comment 
forum. The commenter was George Kirikos.


In opposing the RySG Petition and Charter, Mr. Kirikos reiterated a theme of 
"transparency" that he shared in comments submitted in connection with the 
renewal of existing GNSO Constituency charters (see GNSO Constituency Renewals 
2009 Forum 

He said, the RySG should maintain public mailing list archives, public budgets 
and public membership lists. He said meetings should also be archived in MP3 
format, and ideally be accompanied by transcripts.

Mr. Kirikos suggested that as part of the GNSO Toolkit, "ICANN staff might want 
to consider electronic voting software such as from www.bigpulse.com for all 
stakeholder groups and/or constituencies."

He noted that proposed RySG membership fees "do not seem to be based on any 
model as to costs, and seem arbitrary and excessive."  He said, "Given any 
secretariat duties should be tendered to the lowest cost provider, or perhaps 
even handled via ICANN's GNSO Toolkit, thought should be given to making the 
membership fees as close to zero as possible, in order to maximize the 
membership (and thus the representativeness of the group)."

Finally, Mr. Kirikos asserted that instead of a "Secretariat" as defined in the 
RySG proposed charter, "there should be an *elected* position of Secretary, an 
officer, elected by and from members."


In addition to the comment in this forum, the Staff will collect relevant 
community comments made on this issue in other public forums including those 
held during the ICANN Sydney Meeting. The ICANN Board of Directors will 
subsequently review the Staff's analysis and comments on the submissions. The 
Board is likely to consider all the relevant community input and move forward 
with a decision on the proposed charter as soon as practicably possible.

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