Communiqué of the Governmental
30 October 2002
The Governmental Advisory Committee (GAC) of the Internet Corporation
for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) met on 27, 28 and 29 October 2002,
in Shanghai, China. The attending GAC Members, which included representatives
from 32 national governments, distinct economies as recognized in international
fora, and multinational governmental and treaty organisations had useful
discussions concerning ICANN and related DNS issues.
The GAC continues to focus on ICANN Reform and the Reports of the Evolution
and Reform Committee (ERC), including the suggested amendments to the
ICANN By-Laws. Members addressed issues of relevance to the implementation
of IPv6, recent deliberations of WIPO and the IETF, ccTLD management issues,
GAC reform and forward going work program and resolved to hold elections
for GAC Office Holders.
Noting its statement of concern in Bucharest around the timeliness of
the ERC consultation process, the GAC welcomed the commitment of the Chair
of the ERC to continue dialogue on implementation of ICANN Reform, and
encourages the ERC to afford adequate opportunities in the future for
the GAC to comment. Affirming the decisions of the Bucharest meeting,
the GAC continues to maintain a strong interest in the deliberations of
The GAC discussed the ERC’s proposed new Bylaws and agreed on certain
recommendations for further amendment. These recommended amendments are
attached and the GAC requests the ERC and the Board to duly take these
recommendations into account. The GAC will consider any further Bylaws
texts to be supplied by the ERC (notably Article IX [ccNSO]), and comment
As the GAC has previously noted, the Internet is a global resource, which
supports world-wide economic and social interaction. The GAC notes that
the issues arising from the co-ordination, at the overall level, of the
technical aspects of the global Internet’s systems of unique identifiers
are entrusted to one entity whose activities should appropriately reflect
the global interdependency of the resource.
Consistent with this approach, the GAC calls on all parties concerned,
including in particular ICANN, but also the RIRs and the ccTLD constituency,
to co-operate in good faith in order to ensure a relationship conducive
to efficiency and mutual confidence.
Dialogue with ccTLD Constituency
The GAC and the ccTLD Constituency continued dialogue on ICANN Reform.
The GAC noted comments that the simplification of contractual positions
and processes might facilitate improvement in interactions between ICANN
and the ccTLD Constituency.
Recognizing that Internet stability depends on accuracy of the IANA database,
the GAC urges ICANN to ensure that the IANA function performs updates
in a more timely and efficient manner to ensure accuracy.
While the GAC members maintain their positions as expressed during the
Bucharest meeting, the GAC prefers that its representative on the Nominating
Committee be a non-voting liaison.
The GAC welcomes ICANN providing the workshop on IPv6 for the first time,
particularly in view of strong interest in this topic. The GAC strongly
supports the efforts of ICANN and related groups in the smooth and safe
deployment of IPv6. The GAC further encourages ICANN to continue to update
information on the operational status of IPv6 with the community.
A presentation was made of the Decision taken by the WIPO Members at
their meeting from 23 September to 7 October 2002 on the issues addressed
in the Second WIPO Internet Domain Names Process. The GAC agreed that
this issue would be put on the GAC work program for consideration at its
The GAC received a presentation from Harald Alvestrand, the Chair of
the IETF, on ICANN and the IETF. The GAC members expressed their appreciation
for this presentation and encouraged further dialogue with the IETF in
the future as appropriate.
GAC Internal Organization
The GAC discussed priority areas for future work for the 2002 – 2003
period. The members agreed to hold elections for Office Bearers beginning
1 November 2002. The GAC expects to have a new team of Chair and Vice
Chairs in place by mid-January 2003. The GAC agreed to accept the offer
from the European Commission to provide the interim Secretariat that will
be supported by other members. The transition between Australia and the
European Commission should be essentially completed by 30 November 2002.
The GAC expresses its appreciation and thanks for Australia’s support
since 1999 for the GAC Chair and Secretariat.
Considering the diversity of the GAC, in the sense that it represents
a collection of different countries, distinct economies and international
organizations that respond to varying domestic and international issues
and also taking into account that GAC members hail from countries or distinct
economies with very different levels of Internet penetration and DNS awareness,
members agreed to continue with outreach strategies and encourage issues
that would be considered as educational and information
sharing. This will ensure that the GAC’s work reflects the interests of
all members and will introduce mechanisms through which the various local
Internet communities benefit from having governmental or public administration
representatives at the GAC.
The GAC welcomes the update provided by Masanobu Katoh, the Chair of
the ICANN IDN Committee and James Seng, co-Chair of the IETF IDN Working
Group, on matters relating to Internationalised Domain Names. The GAC
also notes that the IETF IDN Committee had made various recommendations
as to the standards for use for IDNs. The GAC would like to recall its
advice to ICANN in its previous communiqués to exercise great care
in the introduction of IDNs and to consult all parties affected by the
introduction of IDNs.
.info and Country Names
The GAC continues to monitor and facilitate the registration of .INFO
country names, as per the Board decision of the Montevideo meeting of
The GAC warmly thanks the Internet Society of China and the sponsors
for hosting its meeting.
The next face-to-face meeting of the GAC will be held in March 2003 in
Rio de Janiero, Brazil to coincide with ICANN’s next round of meetings.
ATTACHMENT A: GAC Amendments
to Committee on ICANN Evolution and Reform’s "Proposed New Bylaws"
Additions proposed by the GAC are presented in BOLD font. Deletions
proposed by the GAC are
Only portions of the original document directly commented upon by the
GAC have been included in this response.
ARTICLE I: MISSION AND CORE VALUES
Section 1. MISSION
3. Coordinates policy development as necessary to perform these technical
ARTICLE III: TRANSPARENCY
Section 6. NOTICE AND COMMENT ON POLICY ACTIONS
1. With respect to any policies that are being considered by the
Board for adoption that substantially affect the operation of the
Internet or third parties, including the imposition of any fees or
charges, ICANN shall:
a. provide public notice on the Website explaining what policies
are being considered for adoption and why, at least one month
(and if practical, earlier) prior to any action by the Board; and
b. provide a reasonable opportunity for parties to comment on the
adoption of the proposed policies, to see the comments of others,
and to reply to those comments, prior to any action by the Board.
c. in those cases where the policy action affects public policy
concerns, to request the opinion of the GAC and to take duly into
account advice presented at the Board's request or at GAC’s own
ARTICLE IV: ACCOUNTABILITY AND REVIEW
Section 4. PERIODIC REVIEW OF ICANN STRUCTURE AND OPERATIONS
The Board shall cause a periodic review, if feasible no less frequently
than every three years, of the performance and operation of the Nominating
Committee and of each Supporting Organization, Supporting Organization
Council, Advisory Bodies, other than the GAC, by an entity or
entities independent of the organization under review. The goal of the
review, to be undertaken pursuant to such criteria and standards as
the Board shall direct, shall be to determine (i) whether that organization
has a continuing purpose in the ICANN structure, and (ii) if so, whether
any change in structure or operations is desirable to improve its effectiveness.
The results of such reviews shall be posted on the Website for public
review and comment, and shall be considered by the Board no later than
the second scheduled meeting of the Board after such results have been
posted for 30 days. The first such reviews, to be initiated within one
year following the adoption of these Bylaws, shall be of the GNSO Names
Council, the Technical Advisory Committee, and the ICANN Root Server
System Advisory Committee.
The GAC shall provide its own review mechanisms.
ARTICLE VI: BOARD OF DIRECTORS
Section 9. NON-VOTING LIAISONS
1. The non-voting liaisons shall include:
a. One appointed by the GAC
established by Article XI of these
4. The non-voting liaisons shall be entitled to attend Board meetings,
participate in Board discussions and deliberations, and have access
to materials provided to Directors for use in Board discussions, deliberations
and meetings, but shall otherwise not have any of the rights and privileges
of Directors. Nevertheless, the non-voting liaisons shall be entitled
to use those materials in deliberations in their respective committee
Section 11. REMOVAL OF A DIRECTOR OR NON-VOTING LIAISON
1. Any Director may be removed, following notice to that Director
and, if selected by a Supporting Organization, to that Supporting
Organization, by a three-fourths (3/4) majority vote of all Directors;
provided, however, that the Director who is the subject of the removal
action shall not be entitled to vote on such an action or be counted
as a voting member of the Board when calculating the required three-fourths
(3/4) vote; and provided further, that each vote to remove a Director
shall be a separate vote on the sole question of the removal of that
2. Any non-voting liaison, other than the liaison appointed by
GAC, may be removed, following notice to that liaison and to the
organization by which that liaison was selected, by a three-fourths
(3/4) majority vote of all Directors if the selecting organization
fails to promptly remove that liaison following such notice.
ARTICLE X: GENERIC NAMES SUPPORTING ORGANIZATION
Section 3. GNSO COUNCIL
1. Subject to the provisions of the Transition Article of these Bylaws,
the GNSO Council shall consist of two representatives selected by
each of the Constituencies described in Section 5 of this Article,
and three persons selected by the ICANN Nominating Committee. There
may also be a liaison to the GNSO Council appointed by the GAC
time to time, who shall not be a member of or entitled to vote
on the GNSO Council, but otherwise shall be entitled to participate
on equal footing with members of the GNSO Council.
ARTICLE XI: ADVISORY
Section 1. GENERAL
The Board may create one or more Advisory Bodies in addition
to those set forth in this Article. Membership of Advisory Bodies
may consist of Directors only, Directors and non-directors, or non-directors
only, and may also include non-voting or alternate members. Advisory
Bodies shall have no legal authority to act for ICANN, but shall
report their findings and recommendations to the Board.
Section 2. GOVERNMENTAL ADVISORY COMMITTEE (GAC)
a. The GAC should consider and provide advice on the activities of
ICANN as they relate to concerns of governments, particularly matters
where there may be an interaction between ICANN's policies and various
laws and international agreements or where they may affect public
b. Membership in the GAC shall be open to all national governments.
Membership shall also be open to Distinct Economies as recognized
international fora, and multinational governmental organizations and
treaty organizations, on the invitation of the GAC through its Chair.
invitation of the ICANN Board.
c. The GAC may adopt its own charter and internal operating
principles or procedures to guide its operations.
g. The GAC may
from time to time designate a non-voting liaison
to each of the Supporting Organization Councils and Advisory Committees,
to the extent the GAC deems it appropriate and useful to do so.
h. The Board shall notify the Chair of the GAC in a timely manner
of any proposal for which it, or any of ICANN´s supporting
organizations or advisory bodies identified in Articles VIII to XI,
seek public comment, and shall take duly into account any response
to that notification prior to taking action.
i. The GAC may put issues to the Board directly, either by way
of comment or prior advice, or by way of specifically recommending
action or new policy development or revision to existing policies.
j. The advice of the GAC on public policy matters shall be duly
taken into account both at the policy-drafting and at the decision-making
stage. ICANN will inform the GAC on how it intends to take account
of such advice. In the event that the majority of the ICANN Board
is in conflict with the GAC advice the ICANN Board shall state the
reasons why it cannot follow that advice. In this case, the GAC and
the ICANN Board will try, in good faith and in a timely and efficient
way, to find a mutually acceptable solution.
k. If no such solution can be found, the ICANN Board will, in
its decision, explain the reasons why the GAC advice was not followed,
without prejudice to the rights and obligations of GAC members with
regard to public policy issues falling within their responsibilities.
SECTION 3 – SPECIFIC ADVISORY COMMITTEES
There shall be at least the following other Advisory Bodies:
1. Technical Advisory Committee
2. Security and Stability Advisory Committee
3. Root Server System Advisory Committee
4. At Large Advisory Committee
ATTACHMENT B: GAC Amendments
to Committee on ICANN Evolution and Reform’s “Second Supplemental Implementation
Report (with Revised Bylaws)” of 23 October 2002 – Article XI-A
ARTICLE XI-A: OTHER ADVISORY MECHANISMS
Section 1. EXTERNAL EXPERT ADVICE
Seeking external expert advice is intended to allow the policy-development
process within ICANN to take advantage of existing expertise that resides
in the public or private sector but outside of ICANN. In those cases
where there are relevant public bodies with expertise, or where access
to private expertise could be helpful, the Board and constituent bodies
should be encouraged to seek advice from such expert bodies or individuals.
2. Types of External Expert Advice
(a) On its own initiative or at the suggestion of any ICANN body,
the Board may appoint, or authorize the President to appoint, Expert
Advisory Panels consisting of public or private sector individuals
or entities. If the advice sought from such Panels concerns issues
of public policy, the provisions of Section 1 (3) (b) of this Article
(b) In addition, in accordance with Section 1(3) of this Article,
the Board may refer issues of public policy pertinent to matters within
ICANN's mission to a multinational governmental or treaty organization.
3. Process for Seeking Advice – Public Policy Matters.
(a) The Governmental Advisory Committee may at any time recommend
that the Board seek advice concerning one or more issues of public
policy from an external source, as set out above.
(b) In the event that the Board determines, upon such a recommendation
or otherwise, that external advice should be sought concerning one
or more issues of public policy, the Board shall, as appropriate,
consult with the Governmental Advisory Committee regarding the appropriate
source from which to seek the advice and the arrangements, including
definition of scope and process, for requesting that advice.
(c) The Board shall, as appropriate, transmit any request for advice
addressed to a multinational governmental or treaty organization,
including specific terms of reference, to the Governmental Advisory
Committee, with the suggestion that the request be transmitted by
the Governmental Advisory Committee to the multinational governmental
or treaty organization.
4. Process for Seeking and Advice – Other Matters. Any reference of
issues not concerning public policy to an Expert Advisory Panel by the
Board or President in accordance with Section 1 (2) (a) shall be made
pursuant to terms of reference describing the issues on which input
and advice is sought and the procedures and schedule to be followed.
5. Receipt of External Advice and its Effect. External advice pursuant
to this Section shall be provided in written form. Such Advice is not
binding, and is intended to augment the information available to the
Board or other ICANN body in carrying out their responsibilities.
6. Opportunity to Comment. The GAC, as well as the Supporting Organizations
and other Advisory Committees, shall have an opportunity to comment
upon the external advice, prior to its consideration by the Board.
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