Communiqué of the Governmental Advisory Committee
(3 June 2001)

Communiqué of the Governmental Advisory Committee

3 June 2001

Stockholm, Sweden

SATURDAY 10 March 2001: The Governmental Advisory Committee (GAC) of the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) held its eighth meeting in Melbourne, Australia, yesterday and today. The attending GAC Members, representing 32 national governments, distinct economies as recognised in international fora and multinational governmental and treaty organisations, had fruitful discussions across issues relating to the Internet worldwide, and issued the following statement:

The Governmental Advisory Committee (GAC) of the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) met on June 1 and 2 in Stockholm, Sweden. The attending GAC Members, representing 33 national governments, distinct economies as recognised in international fora and multinational governmental and treaty organisations had useful discussions relating to the Internet. They issued the following statement.

Vice Chair Positions

The GAC decided that three Vice Chair positions should be created and that any current representative GAC member would be eligible to stand for a Vice Chair position. Call for nominations will be conducted inter-sessionally with a view to conducting elections at the next GAC meeting in Montevideo.

The Vice Chairs will play an integral role in progressing issues inter-sessionally and being involved in the co-ordination of work being undertaken by the GAC.

Outreach Activities

Progressing outreach activities is a high priority for the GAC. It will be developing a work program to encourage greater participation in GAC meetings which includes current members playing a more proactive role in raising awareness of the ICANN and the GAC in their respective regions. As a starting point, the members have undertaken to promote the activities of ICANN over the next three months in several fora including:

  • APEC telecommunications working group
  • E-APEC adhoc committee of the senior officials meeting
  • ECOSOC meetings in Latin America
  • Gulf Cooperation Council
  • Arab League
  • G8 dot force
  • EU dialogue with Eastern European and Mediterranean non-member states
  • ASEAN Telmin
  • Commonwealth gatherings


The GAC had a constructive, open and useful dialogue with the ICANN Board and staff.

The GAC welcomes the work of the ICANN Board’s IDN working group to ensure the essential importance of interoperability for the present and future Internet.

The GAC also welcomes the initiative of the DNSO Names Council to undertake a broad consultation process on ‘Whois’.

The GAC welcomes the release of the ICANN Discussion Draft on a Unique Authoritative Root for the DNS.

New gTLDs

The GAC invites ICANN to make information available to the public that concisely describes the policies of the new TLDs. In particular, the GAC invites ICANN to make additional information available on how parties can take advantage of the measures intended to prevent and address cybersquatting such as sunrise periods and other mechanisms.


The GAC thanks the representatives of the ccTLD Constituency for their participation and welcomed the opportunity for further discussion regarding the delegation, re-delegation and administration of country code top level domains. The GAC and the ccTLD constituency have agreed to work together in matters associated with progressing outreach activities. The GAC noted its request to ICANN to send the ICANN letter to Governments and public authorities regarding ccTLD managers.

Presentations from WIPO, OECD and ITU

Representative GAC members from WIPO, OECD and the ITU made informational presentations to the GAC on the Second WIPO Process, the adequacy and accuracy of WHOIS data and ENUM respectively.

The GAC also issued a statement on testbed environments which is attached.

The GAC would like to thank the Government of Sweden for hosting the committee’s ninth meeting. The next meeting of the GAC will be held in in Montevideo in September 2001 to coincide with ICANN’s next round of meetings.

Governmental Advisory Committee
Attachment to Communiqué of 1-2 June 2001 meeting

Co-ordination of testbed environments

The GAC recognizes that creative experimentation has been an essential driver of the robust growth, innovation, diversity, and vitality of the Internet. At the same time the GAC recalls its position taken in Melbourne that preserving the universal connectivity and accessibility of the domain name system is vital to the continuance of the Internet as a global network.

Effective management of testbed projects, in a manner that does not unduly impede innovation, could help reduce confusion and avoid causing harm to users and the network. ICANN has an opportunity to address this issue to the extent that testbed implementations are coordinated through the ICANN process.

With this in mind, the GAC invites ICANN to initiate a public discussion on establishing guidelines for the operation of such testbeds. Without limiting the possible outcomes of the consultation, and building on previous statements of the GAC in its Melbourne communique, the GAC suggests the following principles for possible inclusion in such guidelines:

a) Operators should make a commitment to ICANN that the testbed process will not be used to undermine the universal interoperability of the Internet.

b) Testbeds should be appropriately coordinated within a community-based framework such as ICANN and/or the IETF.

c) ICANN should issue information regarding testbed operations for participants interested in implementing preliminary standards, with a view to encouraging widespread participation at varied levels of scale and scope of operations.

d) Experimental and testing environments should contain a clearly articulated statement of operational scope, goals, milestones, and to the extent foreseeable, implementation timelines.

e) All testbed undertakings should be clearly labeled and communicated to the public as experiments. Operators should be required to implement measures which ensure that users are fully informed of any limitations arising from testbed participation and operation.

f) It should be well understood by testbed operators and users that testing environments may end without establishing any prior claims on future standards or operational directions.

g) Testbed operators should adapt to consensus-based standards when they emerge through the ICANN process or other community-based processes such as the IETF.

h) Appropriate mechanisms for the prevention and resolution of disputes that may arise from the testbed environment should be implemented as part of operational tests to the extent possible. (The GAC notes its Melbourne communique reinforced the benefits of such instruments as sunrise periods.)

i) While operational testing in a "live" commercial environment may be necessary, the scale and scope of such operations should be consistent with the notion of the undertaking as a "testbed" endeavor, rather than a market launch.

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