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ICANN Resolutions » GAC Advice: Johannesburg Communiqué (June 2017)

Important note: The Board Resolutions are as reported in the Board Meeting Transcripts, Minutes & Resolutions portion of ICANN's website. Only the words contained in the Resolutions themselves represent the official acts of the Board. The explanatory text provided through this database (including the summary, implementation actions, identification of related resolutions, and additional information) is an interpretation or an explanation that has no official authority and does not represent the purpose behind the Board actions, nor does any explanations or interpretations modify or override the Resolutions themselves. Resolutions can only be modified through further act of the ICANN Board.

GAC Advice: Johannesburg Communiqué (June 2017)


Resolution of the ICANN Board
Meeting Date: 
Sat, 23 Sep 2017
Resolution Number: 
2017.09.23.07
Resolution Text: 

Whereas, the Governmental Advisory Committee (GAC) met during the ICANN59 meeting in Johannesburg, South Africa and issued advice to the ICANN Board in a communiqué [PDF, 469 KB] on 29 June 2017 ("Johannesburg Communiqué").

Whereas, the Johannesburg Communiqué was the subject of an exchange between the Board and the GAC on 14 August 2017 (https://gac.icann.org/transcripts/public/20170814_GAC_ICANN_Board_Call-E... [PDF, 393 KB]).

Whereas, in a 7 August 2017 letter [PDF, 976 KB], the GNSO Council provided its feedback to the Board concerning advice in the Johannesburg Communiqué relevant to generic top-level domains to inform the Board and the community of gTLD policy activities that may relate to advice provided by the GAC.

Whereas, the Board developed an iteration of the scorecard to respond to the GAC's advice in the Johannesburg Communiqué, taking into account the exchange between the Board and the GAC and the information provided by the GNSO Council.

Resolved (2017.09.23.07), the Board adopts the scorecard titled "GAC Advice – Johannesburg Communiqué: Actions and Updates (23 September 2017)" [PDF, 330 KB] in response to items of GAC advice in the Johannesburg Communiqué.

Rationale for Resolution: 

Article 12, Section 12.2(a)(ix) of the ICANN Bylaws permits the GAC to "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." In its Johannesburg Communiqué (29 June 2017), the GAC issued advice to the Board on: protection of names and acronyms of Intergovernmental Organizations (IGOs) in gTLDs. The ICANN Bylaws require the Board to take into account the GAC's advice on public policy matters in the formulation and adoption of the polices. If the Board decides to take an action that is not consistent with the GAC advice, it must inform the GAC and state the reasons why it decided not to follow the advice. Any GAC advice approved by a full consensus of the GAC (as defined in the Bylaws) may only be rejected by a vote of no less than 60% of the Board, and the GAC and the Board will then try, in good faith and in a timely and efficient manner, to find a mutually acceptable solution.

At this time, the Board is taking action to address the advice from the GAC in the Johannesburg Communiqué. The Board's actions are described in the scorecard dated 23 September 2017.

In adopting its response to the GAC advice in the Johannesburg Communiqué, the Board reviewed various materials, including, but not limited to, the following materials and documents:

Johannesburg Communiqué (29 June 2017): https://www.icann.org/en/system/files/correspondence/gac-to-icann-29jun1... [PDF, 469 KB]
The GNSO Council's review of the advice in the Copenhagen Communiqué as presented in the 7 August 2017 letter to the Board: https://www.icann.org/en/system/files/correspondence/bladel-et-al-to-cro... [PDF, 976 KB]
The Board also notes that the GAC has included a new section in the Johannesburg Communiqué entitled "Follow-Up on Previous Advice and Other Issues". The Board thanks the GAC for this information and for its efforts in organizing the communiqué to distinguish between new advice and previous advice. The Board believes this change will contribute to additional information sharing between the Board, the ICANN Organization, and the GAC.

The adoption of the GAC advice as provided in the scorecard will have a positive impact on the community because it will assist with resolving the advice from the GAC concerning gTLDs and other matters. Additionally, the Board's action is in the public interest as it positively affects the accountability of ICANN by taking into account the concerns of governments, particulary matters where there may be an interaction between ICANN's policies and various laws and international agreements or where they may affect public policy issues. There are no foreseen fiscal impacts associated with the adoption of this resolution. Approval of the resolution will not impact security, stability or resiliency issues relating to the DNS. This is an Organizational Administrative function that does not require public comment.