of the Governmental Advisory Committee
(10 March 2001)
of the Governmental Advisory Committee
10 March 2001
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:
A. With regard to the election of the First
Chair of the Governmental Advisory Committee, that:
The GAC has held the First Election for
Chair of the GAC, and that Dr Paul Twomey of Australia, the Initial
Chair, was elected as Chair of the GAC, to serve for a term of
two years, in accordance with the GAC Operating Principles.
B. With regard to issues relating to the delegation
and administration of country code top level domains (ccTLDs)
The GAC had a constructive, open and useful
dialogue with the ccTLD Constituency of the Domain Name Supporting
Organisation (DNSO), and the ICANN Board and staff, on issues
relating to the delegation and administration of ccTLDs.
The GAC reaffirms its commitment to the
appropriateness of a three-party communications regime among
ICANN, the relevant government or public authority and the ccTLD
administrator, as provided for in the GAC
document Principles for the Delegation and Administration
of Country Code Top Level Domains (the GAC Principles).
The GAC considers that such a three-party regime should be the
goal of relationships between ICANN and ccTLD administrators,
and GAC members will take steps to facilitate implementation
of the GAC Principles.
Meanwhile, should ICANN and the ccTLD
administrator envisage entering into bilateral (legacy)
agreements, such agreements should be provisional and interim
in nature, pending appropriate expression by the relevant government
or public authority for participation in a tri-partite regime.
Any bilateral agreements should contain
provisions for early termination should a tri-partite communications
regime be reached within the term of such an agreement.
There should be no such bilateral agreements
in the following three cases:
- with administrators of ccTLDs for which
redelegation requests are pending;
- in instances where the relevant government
or public authority has advised ICANN that it is taking steps
to implement a tri-partite regime; or
- where the ccTLD administrator is not within
the jurisdiction of the relevant government or public authority,
unless the relevant government or public authority is comfortable
with such an arrangement.
In drafting and negotiating agreements
with ccTLD administrators, the GAC hopes that ICANN will have
regard to standard commercial practice for private international
legal agreements in the country or territory corresponding to
C. With regard to GAC working methods, that:
In recognition of its goal to implement
efficient procedures in support of ICANN and to provide thorough
and timely advice and analysis of relevant matters of interest
to governments and public authorities, the GAC has established
working groups to examine and report on issues for consideration,
including issues relating to:
- multilingual domain names;
- geographic and geopolitical terms as top
level and second level domains; and
- the applicability of international conventions.
D. With regard to international domain names
(IDNs), the GAC confirms the importance
and interests of this development to the benefit of Internet
users worldwide. Further, regarding IDNs, including testbed initiatives,
the GAC considers that three key public policy areas need to
be kept at the forefront of the considerations of ICANN, its
Supporting Organisations and the broader Internet community.
- the essential importance of interoperability
of the present and future Internet;
- the prevention of cybersquatting and resolution
of disputes in the IDNs environments should be addressed by appropriate
means and processes such as an appropriate dispute resolution
policy and implementation of sunrise periods; and
- the application of competition and market
access, consumer protection and intellectual property principles.
Specifically, the GAC states that:
Anti-cybersquatting principles and mechanisms
should translate from the current ASCII character set environment
to any non-ASCII character set environments, and that technological
implementation should appropriately keep pace with any developments
in this area.
Preserving the universal connectivity and
accessibility domain name system is vital to the continuance
of the Internet as a global network. While various technical
experimentation may need to be investigated in the pursuit of
unified standards, ultimately, a unified or interoperable standards
for multilingual domain names should be achieved, with the ability
of systems to work ubiquitously across the Internet.
IDNs registration in top level domains
should benefit from effective and fair conditions of competition,
at appropriate levels and scale of activity. ICANN should take
steps to communicate to operators of IDNs testbeds that they
should note any legal obligation they have to inform consumers
regarding both the status and operation of their testbeds, including
the status of their registrations within that testbed, particularly
in circumstances where registrations are taken prior to full
The GAC notes its thanks to the Government
of Australia, and particularly to Australias National Office
for the Information Economy, for hosting its meeting and for
hosting and administering the GAC website.
The next meeting of the GAC will be held
in June 2001 in Stockholm, Sweden, to coincide with ICANNs
next round of meetings.
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