ICANN Resolutions » Geographic Regions Review Working Group Final Report

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Geographic Regions Review Working Group Final Report

Resolution of the ICANN Board
Meeting Date: 
Thu, 25 Oct 2018
Resolution Number: 
Resolution Text: 

Whereas, the cross-community Geographic Regions Review Working Group has produced its Final Report in which it proposed a series of findings and recommendations regarding the ongoing application of the ICANN organization's geographic regions framework.

Whereas, in addition to several public comment forums conducted during the Working Group's deliberations, a public comment period of 120 days was provided following submission of the Final Report to give the community an opportunity to thoroughly review the proposals and provide any additional comments on the Working Group's recommendations.

Whereas, the Board's Organizational Effectiveness Committee has reviewed the process followed and recommends that the Board approves the actions identified in the accompanying "Recommendations Mapping Document".

Whereas, the Board has considered the comments of the community and operational recommendations from ICANN organization.

Resolved (2018.10.25.16), the ICANN Board accepts the Working Group recommendations that are consistent with the accompanying "Recommendations Mapping Document" and directs the ICANN organization to implement those recommendations in a manner that aligns with the Board's expectations as outlined in the mapping document.

Rationale for Resolution: 

Why is the Board addressing this issue now?

The Board-chartered cross-community Geographic Regions Review Working Group submitted its Final Report recommendations to the Chair of the ICANN Board on 4 November 2015. In accordance with the Working Group's recommendation, the Board sought additional community comment on the Working Group recommendations.

What are the proposals being considered?

The Working Group's Final Report provided an extensive series of conclusions, proposals and recommendations including:

The Working Group concludes that the general principle of geographic diversity is valuable and should be preserved.
Application of the geographic diversity principles must be more rigorous, clear and consistent.
Adjusting the number of ICANN geographic regions is not currently practical.
No other International Regional Structures offer useful options for ICANN.
ICANN must formally adopt and maintain its own unique Geographic Regions Framework.
The Community wants to minimize any changes to the current structure.
ICANN must acknowledge the sovereignty and right of self-determination of states to let them choose their region of allocation.
ICANN communities have flexibly applied geographic diversity principles over the years. While the Board should remain strictly subject to the current framework, flexibility should be preserved for other structures.
"Special Interest Groups" or "Cross-Regional Sub-Groups" offer new diversity opportunities.
Implementation mechanisms and processes must be developed by Staff.
The Board must preserve its oversight and future review opportunities.
What stakeholders or others were consulted?

All ICANN Supporting Organizations and Advisory Committees were invited to participate in the Working Group. At various times throughout the effort, the ALAC, ASO, ccNSO and GNSO had representatives in the Working Group. The GAC Chair also participated early in the process. Prior to submission of the Working Group's Final Report, comments were provided by the ALAC, ccNSO, GNSO and the GAC Chair. The formal ALAC, ccNSO and GNSO comments accompanied the submission of the Final Report.

What significant materials did the Board review?

The Board reviewed the Working Group's Final Report, including formal written statements from the ALAC, ccNSO and GNSO. The Board also received a copy of the Staff Summary Report of Public Comments received and a mapping document that aligned the Working Group's conclusions and recommendations with community comments and suggestions for resolution of each.

What factors did the Board find to be significant?

The Board considered the extensive time frame taken by the Working Group to produce the recommendations, the extensive consultation with various community groups and opportunities for input, the concurrent developments surrounding the IANA Stewardship Transition and the creation of the Empowered Community in arriving at its resolution.

Are there positive or negative community impacts?

The community had multiple opportunities to participate in and comment on the work of the Working Group. The final recommendations from the Working Group represent a consensus from across the ICANN community, and will ensure continued certainty in the community's operations in ensuring that there is geographic diversity and representation in its policy and advisory activities.

This decision is in the public interest and within ICANN's mission, as it supports ICANN org's work to ensure the stable and secure operation of the Internet's unique identifier systems.

Are there fiscal impacts/ramifications on ICANN (Strategic Plan, Operating Plan, Budget); the community; and/or the public?

Implementation of the Working Group's recommendations is not expected to have any immediate fiscal impacts/ramifications on the organization, the community or the public.

Are there any Security, Stability or Resiliency issues relating to the DNS?

Implementation of the Working Group's recommendations is not expected to have any substantive impact on the security, stability and resiliency of the domain name system.

Is this either a defined policy process within ICANN's Supporting Organizations or ICANN's Organizational Administrative Function decision requiring public comment or not requiring public comment?

While public comment opportunities regarding this matter were numerous and extensive, no further comment opportunities are required. The decision to provide an additional public comment opportunity reflects the Board's interest in receiving additional feedback from the community before it deliberates on the recommendations of the Working Group. The Board anticipates that implementation of certain specific recommendations set forth in the accompanying "mapping" document may require further community review and comment.