Wednesday, October 05, 2011

ICANN opens final comment on geographic review

Global coordinating organization for the internet, the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) has opened a comment window for the final report of its geographic regions review.
The window expected to last till December 19, 2011 was opened on Friday, September 30, this year.

Public statement from ICANN made available to ITRealms Online indicated that geographic diversity is a fundamental component of the ICANN organization.

As such, the ICANN Bylaws, especially the Article VI Section 5, currently defined five geographic regions comprising Africa, North America, Latin America/Caribbean, Asia/Australia/Pacific and Europe.

ITRealms Online also gathered that the ICANN Geographic Regions were originally created to ensure regional diversity in the composition of the ICANN board and were subsequently expanded in various ways to apply to the Generic Names Supporting Organization (GNSO), At-Large Advisory Committee (ALAC) and the Country Code Names Supporting Organization (ccNSO).

The contact person for the review at ICANN, Mr. Robert Hoggarth, noted that for the past two years a community-wide working group chartered by the ICANN board has been working to first, confirm the history, underlying principles and goals of the current geographic regions framework.

Secondly, he said, the working group examined analyzed how those goals and principles have been applied by the Board, Staff and community and thirdly, consulted with the community on how those principles and goals could be best maintained in the future.

“This Draft Final Report reflects the penultimate step of that research and consultation effort,” he said.
Additionally, he said, the draft document outlines specific recommendations from the Working Group to the ICANN Board regarding how the present Geographic Regions Framework could be modified to ensure that the organizational principles of geographic and cultural diversity are honored and maintained.

“Those recommendations are based on thorough research, extensive community consultation and reflect the points of view of a wide range of the ICANN community,” he outlined.

Hoggarth pointed out that being mindful of the potential implications even small changes to the framework could have on the wider community, the working group decided to make this draft document available to the internet community for review and comment before the group formally publishes its final report.

“The WG will closely review all submitted comments to determine if further modifications to the draft document are necessary,” he assured.

ITRealms Online recalls that the ccNSO Council approved a resolution in 2007 recommending that the ICANN Board 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. 

The rest of the community supported the concept of the working group and the Board authorized its formation at its December 2008 Meeting.

Additionally, the Board approved the charter of the working group at its public meeting in June 2009 with copies of the Charter in all six UN languages. 

Further, the Working Group produced two previous reports, including an Initial Report in which the Working Group identified the various applications and functions to which “ICANN Geographic Regions” are currently applied by existing ICANN structures; secondly documented other regionally identified processes and structures used within ICANN but not defined in the Bylaws; and (3) detailed the “issues” that it thought should be covered during its subsequent investigations.

Remmy Nweke:

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