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Charter of the Geographic Regions Working Group

Approved By ICANN Board — 26 June 2009

1. Purpose

The purpose of the Geographic Regions Working Group is to study and review the issues related to the definition of the ICANN Geographic Regions, consult with all stakeholders, and submit proposals for community and Board consideration relating to the current definition of the ICANN Geographic Regions. The ALAC, ccNSO, GNSO and GAC have indicated their support for the appointment of this working group.

2. Scope

The WG shall:

  • Identify the different purposes for which ICANN’s Geographic Regions are used (e.g. to achieve the geographic diversity of the ICANN Board, to define the structure of some SOs and ACs, and to define constituencies for the election of Council Members of some SOs and ACs).
  • Determine whether the uses of ICANN’s Geographic Regions (as currently defined, or at all) continue to meet the requirements of the relevant stakeholders.
  • Submit proposals for community and Board consideration relating to the current and future uses and definition of the ICANN Geographic Regions.

In meeting these core objectives, the WG shall focus on – but be not limited to – examining the criteria for assigning countries, dependencies and recognized geopolitical entities to a Geographic Region and should take into consideration:

  1. ICANN Geographical Regions Final Report by the ccNSO Regions Working Group For Submission to the ICANN Board (24 September 2007);
  2. GNSO Submission to ICANN Board In Contemplation of Working Group Formation (26 August 2008), and
  3. Other community advice – including the GAC's advice on the topic (ICANN GAC Communiqué) Advising That International Norms Be Used For ICANN Geographic Regions (14 July 2000).

If issues become apparent to the Geographic Regions Working Group that are outside of its scope, the Chair of the WG should inform the community and the Board of the issue so that it can be taken into account and dealt with more appropriately.

3. Membership of the Geographic Regions Working Group

The Geographic Regions Working Group will have at minimum the following members:

  • Two (2) members of the ALAC;
  • Two (2) members of the ccNSO;
  • The Chair of the GAC;
  • Two (2) members of the GNSO;
  • Two (2) members of the NRO/ASO

Pursuant to ICANN Board Resolution 2008.11.07.08, the SSAC and RSSAC have been invited and are also eligible to name up to two (2) participants to serve as members of the working group.

The Geographic Regions WG shall select its own chair and alternate chair from the members of the Working Group.

ICANN will provide adequate staff support to the WG.

4. Processes and Working Methodology

a. GEO WG Initial Report

The GEO WG shall publish for public consultation an Initial Report on the topics and issues which – in the view of the WG – need to be taken into consideration to review the current and future uses and definition of the ICANN Geographic Regions at the time designated in the GEO WG Time Line (set forth in Section 5. below). The consultation should include a public discussion with the relevant stakeholders at a designated ICANN meeting.

b. GEO WG Interim Report

After conclusion of the public consultation period, the GEO WG shall prepare a Interim Report which, building on the Initial Report, assesses the degree to which the uses of ICANN’s Geographic Regions (as currently defined, or at all) continue to meet the requirements of the relevant stakeholders. It shall also contain a review and analysis of comments made on the Initial Report. The Interim Report shall be published for public consultation at the time designated in the GEO WG Time Line (set forth in Section 5. below).

c. GEO WG Final Report

At the end of the public consultation on the Interim Report, the GEO WG shall prepare a Final Report which shall reflect inclusions from the Interim Report, the comments received on that report from the public consultation period, and the WG’s proposals for community and Board consideration relating to the current and future uses and definition of the ICANN Geographic Regions.

d. Working Group methodology

In developing its Reports, the GEO WG shall seek to reach consensus.

If a minority opposes the majority view on a particular issue, that minority position shall be incorporated in the relevant GEO WG Report.

The GEO WG at its reasonable discretion is not obliged to include all public comments made on any GEO WG Report, nor is it obliged to include all comments submitted by any one individual or organisation.

The Final Report shall be published within fourteen (14) days after adoption of the Report by the GEO WG and conveyed to the chairs of the SOs and ACs participating in the WG.

e. Support for GEO WG Final Report

Following its submission, the ACs and SOs who have contributed representatives to the WG shall discuss the GEO WG Final Report and decide whether they support the recommendations. The Chairs of the SOs and ACs shall notify the Chair of the GEO WG in writing of the result of their deliberations.

f. GEO WG Supplemental Final Report

In the event that any SO or AC who has contributed representatives to the WG does not support the recommendations, it will inform the GEO WG in writing of its reasons. The GEO WG may, at its discretion, reconsider its report and submit a re-drafted Final Report to seek support.

g. GEO WG Board Recommendations

In the event the GEO WG Final Report or GEO WG Supplemental Final Report is supported by the SOs and ACs who have contributed representatives to the WG, the GEO WG shall, within 5 days, submit to the ICANN Board its recommendations. This will include:

(i) The (Supplemental) GEO WG Final Report;

(ii) The written confirmations of support from the SOs and ACs who have contributed representatives to the WG.

In the event the GEO WG (Supplemental) Final Report is not supported by all the participating SOs and ACs, the GEO WG may submit the (Supplemental) Final Report, and the statements of support and disagreement to the ICANN Board.

5. GEO WG Time Line

Activity Date* Closure* Minimal Duration
Publish Initial Report July 2009 NA NA
Public Comment on Initial Report July 2009 August 2009 35 days
Publish Interim Report 9 October 2009   NA
Public Comment on Interim Report 9 October 2009 13 November 2009 35 days
Publish Final Report 2 weeks prior ICANN 37 meeting (February 2010)   NA
Participating SO’s and AC’s Support Final Report Ibidem February 2010, ICANN meeting 21 days
Submission Board Proposal** February 2010   NA

* Latest date possible to meet minimal duration for public consultation period.

** It is assumed in this schedule / time line the Final Report is presented at an ICANN meeting.

6. Background and References

The ICANN Geographical Regions were originally created to ensure regional diversity in the composition of the ICANN Board. By ICANN Board resolution in 2000 staff assigned countries to geographic regions on the basis of the United Nations Statistics Division's current classifications, and introduced the concept of "citizenship" in relation to the definition of ICANN Geographic Regions.

Subsequently the concept of ICANN Geographic Regions was applied in various ways as a structuring element for ALAC, GNSO, and ccNSO.

Currently the ICANN Bylaws define five geographic regions:

  • Africa;
  • North America;
  • Latin America/Caribbean;
  • Asia/Australia/Pacific; and
  • Europe.

In combination with the concept that "persons from an area that is not a country should be grouped together with the country of citizenship for that area" some geopolitical entities or territories are assigned to the ICANN Geographic Region of the "mother country". As a consequence, depending upon the measurement criteria one uses, either 17% or 40% of countries or geopolitical entities are allocated to different ICANN regions than those to which they are allocated on the basis of the UN Statistics Office.

At its meeting in Los Angeles, November 2007, the ICANN Board requested the ICANN Community, including the GNSO, ccNSO, ASO, GAC, and ALAC, to provide ICANN Staff with input on the ccNSO Council's recommendation ( see references) to appoint a community-wide working group to further study and review the issues related to the definition of the ICANN Geographic Regions, to consult with all stakeholders and submit proposals to the Board to resolve the issues relating to the current definition of the ICANN Geographic Regions.

Following the input and support from the GNSO, ALAC, and GAC (see references), the ICANN Board at its meeting in Cairo (November 2008), authorized the formation of a community-wide working group to study and review the issues related to the definition of the ICANN Geographic Regions, consult with all stakeholders, and submit proposals for community and Board consideration relating to the current definition of the ICANN Geographic Regions.

The first order of business, for the working group is to draft and seek community input on a proposed charter, and submit the draft document for community review, and Board consideration and approval at the March 2009 Board meeting in Mexico City. In drafting the charter, the working group is directed to focus, but not limit, its work on the criteria for assigning countries, dependencies and recognized geopolitical entities to a Geographic Region, and to take into consideration the relevant ccNSO Board paper, the recent GNSO comments, and other community advice – including the GAC's original advice on the topic in 2000.

Minutes of ICANN Board 16 July 2000 Containing Resolution 00.64 Adopting Geographic Regions Structure (http://www.icann.org/minutes/minutes-16jul00.htm)

ICANN GAC Communiqué Advising That International Norms Be Used For ICANN Geographic Regions (http://www.icann.org/committees/gac/communique-14jul00.htm)

Minutes of Montreal meeting (June 2003). Reaffirmation of ICANNs Geographic Regions (http://www.icann.org/minutes/minutes-26jun03.htm)

United Nations Composition of macro geographical (continental) regions, geographical sub-regions, and selected economic and other groupings, revised 31 January 2008 (http://unstats.un.org/unsd/methods/m49/m49regin.htm)

Regions Working Group Draft Report for Submission to ICANN Board for Public Consultation 8 August 2008 (http://ccnso.icann.org/announcements/announcement-08aug07.htm)

ICANN Geographical Regions Final Report by the ccNSO Regions Working Group For Submission to the ICANN Board 24 September 2007 (http://ccnso.icann.org/workinggroups/ccnso-final-report-regions-wg-240907.pdf [PDF, 122K])

ICANN Board Resolution (07.92), 2 November 2007 (http://www.icann.org/en/minutes/resolutions-02nov07.htm #_Toc55609368)

GNSO Submission to ICANN Board In Contemplation of Working Group Formation (http://gnso.icann.org/drafts/icann-geographic-regions-26aug08.pdf [PDF, 14K])

ICANN Board Resolutions to Form Community Wide Working Group Review ICANN Geographic Regions; ICANN Board Resolutions 2008.11.07.08 and 2008.11.07.09 - 7 November 2008 (http://www.icann.org/en/minutes/resolutions-07nov08.htm - _Toc87682556}

Note on Translations

This document has been translated from English in order to reach a wider audience. While the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) has made efforts to verify the accuracy of the translation, English is the working language of ICANN and the English original of this document is the only official and authoritative text. You may find the English original at: http://www.icann.org/en/topics/geographic-regions/charter-26jun09-en.htm

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