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ICANN Resolutions » New GNSO Voting Thresholds to address post-transition roles and responsibilities of the GNSO as a Decisional Participant in the Empowered Community - Proposed Changes to ICANN Bylaws

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New GNSO Voting Thresholds to address post-transition roles and responsibilities of the GNSO as a Decisional Participant in the Empowered Community - Proposed Changes to ICANN Bylaws


Resolution of the ICANN Board
Meeting Date: 
Sun, 13 May 2018
Resolution Number: 
2018.05.13.05
Resolution Text: 

Whereas, during its meeting on 30 January 2018, the GNSO Council resolved to recommend that the ICANN Board of Directors adopt the proposed changes to Section 11.3.i of the ICANN Bylaws to reflect new GNSO voting thresholds which are different from the current threshold of a simple majority vote of each House (see https://www.icann.org/en/system/files/files/proposed-revisions-bylaws-ar... [PDF, 39 KB]).

Whereas, the addition of voting thresholds to Section 11.3.i of the ICANN Bylaws as proposed by the GNSO constitutes a "Standard Bylaw Amendment" under Section 25.1 of the Bylaws.

Whereas, the ICANN Bylaws require that Standard Bylaw Amendments be published for public comment prior to the approval by the Board, and on 15 March 2018 the ICANN Board of Directors directed these proposed amendments to be posted for public comment.

Whereas, the public comment was opened on 26 March 2018 and closed on 05 May 2018.

Whereas, after taking public comments into account, the Board considered the proposed amendment for adoption.

Resolved (2018.05.13.05), the ICANN Board of Directors approves the amendment of the ICANN Bylaws [PDF, 106 KB] to include the proposed changes to section 11.3.i of the ICANN Bylaws, including the rewording for clarity proposed by the Registries Stakeholder Group, to reflect additional GNSO voting thresholds which are different from the current threshold of a simple majority vote of each House to address all the new or additional rights and responsibilities in relation to participation of the GNSO as a Decisional Participant in the Empowered Community.

Rationale for Resolution: 

The action being approved today is the amendment of the ICANN Bylaws to include the proposed changes to section 11.3.i of the ICANN Bylaws to reflect additional GNSO voting thresholds which are different from the current threshold of a simple majority vote of each House (see https://www.icann.org/en/system/files/files/proposed-revisions-bylaws-ar... [PDF, 39 KB]). These additional voting thresholds are intended to address all the new or additional rights and responsibilities in relation to participation of the GNSO as a Decisional Participant in the Empowered Community to fully implement these new or additional rights and responsibilities as they appear in the revised GNSO Operating Procedures published on 30 January 2018 (see https://gnso.icann.org/en/council/op-procedures-30jan18-en.pdf [PDF, 1.68 MB]). Per Article 2 of Annex D of the ICANN Bylaws, Standard Bylaw Amendments, the Board approval of these amendments then provides the Empowered Community an opportunity to consider if it will initiate a Rejection Action.

These Bylaw amendments are the result of a process that was initiated when on 27 May 2016 the ICANN Board adopted a set of new ICANN Bylaws that reflect changes needed to implement the IANA Stewardship Transition Proposal. Following the completion of the transition, the GNSO Council recognized that changes may need to be made to the GNSO's current Operating Procedures and related mechanisms, as well as to the ICANN Bylaws. The goal was to give effect to the new roles and obligations of the GNSO under the new ICANN Bylaws, including but not limited to the GNSO's participation in the Empowered Community.

The GNSO Council tasked the GNSO Rights & Obligations Under Revised Bylaws Drafting Team to put forward recommendations for changes to ICANN Bylaws and GNSO Operating Procedures to enable effective GNSO participation in ICANN activities. The GNSO Council accepted the Drafting Team's recommendations, which were translated into changes in the GNSO Operating Procedures and additional voting thresholds in section 11.3.i of the ICANN Bylaws. During its meeting on 30 January 2018, the GNSO Council resolved unanimously (https://community.icann.org/display/gnsocouncilmeetings/Motions+30+Janua...) to recommend that the ICANN Board of Directors adopt the proposed amendments to the ICANN Bylaws.

On 15 March 2018, the Board directed ICANN organization to post for public comment for a period of at least 40 days the Standard Bylaw Amendment reflecting proposed additions to section 11.3.i of the ICANN Bylaws to establish additional GNSO voting thresholds (see https://features.icann.org/new-gnso-voting-thresholds-address-post-trans....)

ICANN Organization opened a public forum on 26 March 2018. At the close of the public comment period on 05 May 2018, per the ICANN organization's Report [PDF, 364 KB] on Public Comments, there were five comments received. Of these comments, the Registries Stakeholder Group (RySG), the Registrar Stakeholder Group (RrSG), the Non-Commercial Stakeholder Group (NCSG), the Business Constituency (BC), and the Intellectual Property Constituency (IPC) supported the proposed additions to section II.3.i. Although BC restated its position that "GNSO Council is not the appropriate vehicle for GNSO to exercise Empowered Community rights and responsibilities", and the IPC noted a reservation with regards to application of the voting threshold outside the scope of the policy development process, the BC states that it "supports the recommended voting thresholds and changes to Bylaws" and the IPC states that it "is in favor of the GNSO Council's resolution to make needed changes to Section 11.3.i of the ICANN Bylaws, and urges for this proposal's adoption by the ICANN Board." The RySG also suggested a minor rewording of section II.3.i to improve clarity.

With the public comment completed, the Board is now considering the proposed amendment for adoption. In taking this action, the Board has considered the amendment to the ICANN Bylaws as forwarded by the GNSO Council, the public comments, and the ICANN Organization's public comment report.

There is no anticipated fiscal impact from adopting the proposed changes to the Bylaws. Approval of the resolution will not impact the security, stability and resiliency of the domain name. This action is consistent with ICANN's mission and serves the public interest by supporting the effectiveness and ongoing improvement of ICANN's accountability and governance structures.