Communiqué of the Governmental Advisory Committee
(25 May 1999)

Communiqué of the Governmental Advisory Committee
25 May 1999
Berlin, Germany

BERLIN, TUESDAY, 25 MAY 1999 - The Government Advisory Committee was holding its second meeting today. The attending Committee members, representing over 33 national governments, multinational governmental organisations and treaty organisations, issued the following statement:

1. The Committee has established its Operating Principles and remains committed to its stated position of implementing efficient procedures in support of ICANN.

2. The GAC requests that ICANN amend its Bylaws to ensure that the Membership definitions for the GAC in the Bylaws align with the Membership definitions in the adopted Operating Principles.

3. The Committee has had fruitful discussions around substantive issues relating to the usage of the Internet across the worldwide community, the administration of the country code top level domains (ccTLDs), and the WIPO Internet domain name process. The Committee initiated a positive and constructive process for addressing these and other significant Internet policy issues, and as a consequence makes the following recommendations to the ICANN Board.

  • With regard to the text of the WIPO final report on the Internet domain name process, that:

    1. The GAC welcomes the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO) report on the Management of the Internet Names and Addresses and endorses the general principles developed in the report related to best practice, Administrative Dispute Resolution (ADR), abusive domain name registration, and generally to help resolve differences between domain name and intellectual property rights address holders. The GAC notes, that, for the time being, the proposed trademark policy and disputes policy recommended by the WIPO report could be applied to gTLD's including existing and future Registries and Registrars.

    2. The GAC reaffirms the requirement for transparency and reliability of DNS registration data, as recommended by the WIPO report, and requests that ICANN put in place an appropriate system to authorise and ensure access to data, consistent with applicable law or standards, including defining the purposes of such access.

    3. In view of the extensive public international consultations undertaken by WIPO in cooperation with ICANN during 1998-1999, we look to ICANN's procedures to result in rapid resolution of the issues concerning dispute settlement and treatment of well known and famous marks. Specifically, the GAC calls on ICANN to report on implementation of the dispute settlement proposals by its Santiago meeting and to engage in further consultations with the Supporting Organisations and Advisory Committees with respect to the treatment of well known and famous marks.

  • With regard to the Management of the ccTLDs of External and/or Dependent Territories, that:

    Where the delegate of a ccTLD does not have the support of the relevant community, in the context of the ISO 3166 Code, and of the relevant public authority or government, that, upon request, ICANN exercise its authority with the utmost promptness to reassign the delegation.

4. The GAC will have further discussions with regard to domains containing restrictions or conditions on registration that serve to ensure certainty with respect to the applications and enforcement of laws, as opposed to domains containing no such restrictions or conditions on registrations.

5. The next face-to-face meeting of the Committee will be held to coincide with the next meeting of the ICANN Board.


ICANN is a new, non-profit, international corporation formed to oversee a select range of Internet technical management functions currently managed by the U.S. Government, or by its contractors and volunteers. Specifically, ICANN is taking over responsibility for co-ordinating domain name system management, IP address space allocation, protocol parameter assignment co-ordination, and root server system management.

ICANN has a truly international board of directors. Its interim board is finalising ICANN's by-laws and procedures and working to pave the way for a smooth and stable transition from the present technical management system. The board's interim chairman is Esther Dyson, the chairman of EDventure Holdings, which publishes the monthly Release 1.0 newsletter and sponsors the annual PC Forum and High-Tech Forum in Europe. Other members have been drawn from nations and leadership positions from around the world. The interim board members will be replaced by board members elected by four different constituency groups, collectively representing a broad range of the Internet's technical and user communities around the globe.

The open Public Meeting, held in Berlin on 25th and 26th May is the fourth in a series of meetings to form the structure by which the ICANN's technical coordination and policy functions will be handled in the future. A press conference will be held at the end of the series of meetings on Friday, 28th May at 10:00 (CET) to discuss the results of the meeting.

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