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ICANN Resolutions » Protections for Red Cross/Red Crescent Movement Identifiers in gTLDs

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.

Protections for Red Cross/Red Crescent Movement Identifiers in gTLDs


Resolution of the ICANN Board
Meeting Date: 
Thu, 16 Mar 2017
Resolution Number: 
2017.03.16.13 – 2017.03.16.14
Resolution Text: 

Whereas, at ICANN57 in Hyderabad the Board proposed that the GAC and the GNSO engage in a facilitated, good faith discussion to attempt to resolve outstanding inconsistencies between GAC public policy advice and GNSO consensus policy recommendations regarding second-level protections in all gTLDs for the identifiers (names and acronyms) of International Governmental Organizations (IGOs) and International Non-Governmental Organizations (INGOs). This includes certain identifiers of the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement (referred to as "Scope 2 Identifiers" in the Policy Development Process (PDP) Working Group Final Report on the Protection of IGO and INGO Identifiers in All gTLDs [PDF, 644 KB]).

Whereas, the Board acknowledged that any outcome of any dialogue between the affected parties would be conditioned on, and would be reviewed according to, the GAC's and the GNSO's own internal processes.

Whereas, representatives from the GAC and the GNSO engaged in a facilitated discussion at ICANN58 in Copenhagen concerning protections for International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement identifiers (Recommendation 5) in Section 3.1. of the PDP Working Group's Final Report.

Whereas, the starting place for the facilitated discussion was a problem statement and briefing materials reviewed by the affected parties (https://community.icann.org/x/hIPRAw).

Whereas, during the facilitated discussion, the interested parties discussed the following matters:

(1) The GAC's rationale for seeking permanent protections for the identifiers of the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement and its respective components (including the 190 National Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies and the Movement's two international organizations – the International Committee of the Red Cross and the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies), is grounded in the protections of the designations "Red Cross", "Red Crescent", "Red Lion and Sun", and "Red Crystal" under the laws in force in multiple national jurisdictions; and the global public policy considerations in the protections of the identifiers of the respective Red Cross and Red Crescent organizations from forms of misuse in the domain name system, including from fraud and embezzlement in times of humanitarian crises.

(2) The list of names of the National Red Cross and Red Crescent National Societies submitted for protection is finite and comprises the names of the 190 National Societies recognized within the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement – the Movement – both in English and in each National Society's official national language(s) and script(s).

The number of National Societies (see the official list of National Societies at http://www.ifrc.org/Docs/ExcelExport/NS_Directory.pdf [PDF, 657 KB]) is limited and only subject to increase further to the future recognition within the Movement of new National Societies (a development that remains subject to a strict process and to strict conditions defined in the Statutes of the Movement). In accordance with the Fundamental Principle of Unity, there can only be one National Red Cross, Red Crescent or Red Crystal Society in any one country.

The National Societies' names submitted for protection in the DNS include the official names of the 190 National Societies recognized within the Movement, as well as where these are distinct, their usual names.

(3) The respective Red Cross and Red Crescent organizations should preserve the ability to register their names should they require to do so, and there are no other legitimate uses for these names.
Whereas, the participants in the facilitated discussion took note that, following the completion of the GNSO PDP, the GAC provided additional guidance as to the specific International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement identifiers for which protections were being sought (https://gacweb.icann.org/download/attachments/28278854/Final%20Communiqu... [PDF, 145 KB]).

Whereas, the GAC issued advice to the ICANN Board in the Copenhagen Communique [PDF, 190 KB] to "request the GNSO without delay to re-examine its 2013 recommendations pertaining to the protections of Red Cross and Red Crescent names and identifiers (defined as 'Scope 2' names in the GNSO process) which were inconsistent with GAC Advice."

Whereas, the Board has considered the outputs from the facilitated discussion and the GAC's advice in the context of ICANN's mission and ICANN's commitment to carry out its mission in conformity with relevant principles of international law and international conventions and applicable local law, as expressed in ICANN's Bylaws.

Resolved (2017.03.16.13), the Board requests that the GNSO initiate its process for Amendments or Modifications of Approved Policies, as described in Section 16 of the GNSO PDP Manual, to consider amending Recommendation 5 in Section 3.1. of the PDP Working Group Final Report, as follows:

(1) The full names of the 190 Red Cross National Societies and the full names of the International Committee of the Red Cross and International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies are to be placed into Specification 5 of the Base gTLD Registry Agreement, with an exception procedure to be created for cases where the relevant Red Cross Red Crescent Movement organization wishes to apply for their protected string at the second level;

(2) In placing the specified identifiers into Specification 5 of the Base gTLD Registry Agreement, this should apply to an exact match of the full name of the relevant National Society recognized by the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement (in English and the official languages of its state of origin), the full names International Committee of the Red Cross and International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (in the six official United Nations languages) and a defined limited set of variations of these names; and

(3) In considering the Board's request, the Council is requested to duly take into account these factors and the public policy advice to reserve the finite list of names of the Red Cross and Red Crescent National Societies, as recognized within the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement, in all gTLDs.
Resolved (2017.03.16.14), the Board thanks Dr. Bruce Tonkin for facilitating the GAC-GNSO discussions on this topic, and thanks the GAC and the GNSO representatives who participated in the facilitated discussions for their good faith participation and willingness to work toward a reconciliation of the matter.

Rationale for Resolution: 

Why is the Board addressing the issue now?

The Board is taking action at this time to advance the community discussions regarding second-level protections in all gTLDs for the identifiers of the International Red Cross Red Crescent Movement. The Board's resolution is related to previous Board actions to address GAC advice and GNSO consensus policy recommendations on the broader issue of protections in gTLDs for the identifiers (names and acronyms) of International Governmental Organizations (IGOs) and International Non-Governmental Organizations (INGOs).

In November 2013, the GNSO completed a Policy Development Process (PDP), which resulted in consensus policy recommendations for protecting the identifiers of IGOs and INGOs at the top and second level in all gTLDs.

On 30 April 2014, the Board approved some, but not all, of the GNSO Council consensus policy recommendations from the PDP Working Group's Final Report on the Protection of IGO and INGO Identifiers in All gTLDs [PDF, 644 KB]. At that time, the Board requested additional time to consider the remaining consensus policy recommendations because the Board had received conflicting advice from the GAC on the same topic. The Board decided to facilitate discussions among the relevant parties to reconcile the differences between the GNSO policy recommendations and the GAC advice on the topic.

Between June 2014 and January 2015 the Board and the GNSO Council engaged in discussions of the inconsistency between GAC advice and GNSO-approved policy, which raised the possibility of the GNSO considering a modification of its PDP recommendation concerning the Scope 2 Identifiers of the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement (see, e.g., letter from the Board's New gTLD Program Committee (NGPC) Chair to the GNSO Chair of 16 June 2014: https://gnso.icann.org/en/correspondence/chalaby-to-robinson-24jul14-en.pdf [PDF, 276 KB]). Most recently, at ICANN57 the Board proposed that the GAC and the GNSO engage in a facilitated, good faith discussion to attempt to resolve outstanding inconsistencies between GAC advice and GNSO consensus policy recommendations. This included certain identifiers of the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement (referred to as "Scope 2 Identifiers" by the PDP Working Group).

What is the proposal being considered?

At ICANN58, representatives from the GAC and the GNSO engaged in a facilitated discussion concerning protections for the International Red Cross Red Crescent Movement identifiers (Recommendations 5 and 6 in Section 3.1. of the PDP Working Group's Final Report). This discussion was based on materials reviewed by the affected parties. These specific identifiers under discussion were the 190 names3 of the National Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (e.g. The Gambia Red Cross Society) (referred to as "Scope 2 Identifiers" by the PDP Working Group).

The GNSO consensus policy recommendations reflected in the 10 November 2013 Final Report are that the Scope 2 Identifiers are to be placed into the Trademark Clearinghouse for protection via a 90-days Claims Notification process. Representatives of the Movement who participated in the PDP Working Group submitted a minority statement to the PDP Working Group's Final Report noting that the proposed protections for the Scope 2 Identifiers do not reflect the legal protections accorded to the Movement's designations and emblems under international law and local laws in force in multiple jurisdictions.

Following completion of the GNSO PDP, the GAC provided additional guidance to the Board in its March 2014 Singapore Communique [PDF, 145 KB] regarding protections for the International Red Cross Red Crescent Movement. The GAC referred to its previous advice that the terms associated with the Movement should be protected permanently from unauthorized use, and clarified that this should include the 189 (now 190) National Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, in English and the official languages of their respective states of origin, as well as the full names of the International Committee of the Red Cross and International Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, in the six (6) United Nations languages.

During the facilitated discussion, the affected parties discussed the following matters:

(1) The GAC's rationale for seeking permanent protections for the identifiers of the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement and its respective components (including the 190 National Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies and the Movement's two international organizations – the International Committee of the Red Cross and the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies), is grounded in the protections of the designations "Red Cross", "Red Crescent", "Red Lion and Sun", and "Red Crystal" under the laws in force in multiple national jurisdictions; and the global public policy considerations in the protections of the identifiers of the respective Red Cross and Red Crescent organizations from forms of misuse in the domain name system, including from fraud and embezzlement in times of humanitarian crises.

(2) The list of names of the National Red Cross and Red Crescent National Societies submitted for protection is finite and comprises the names of the 190 National Societies recognized within the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement – the Movement – both in English and in each National Society's official national language(s) and script(s).

The number of National Societies (see the official list of National Societies at http://www.ifrc.org/Docs/ExcelExport/NS_Directory.pdf [PDF, 657 KB]) is limited and only subject to increase further to the future recognition within the Movement of new National Societies (a development that remains subject to a strict process and to strict conditions defined in the Statutes of the Movement). In accordance with the Fundamental Principle of Unity, there can only be one National Red Cross, Red Crescent or Red Crystal Society in any one country.

The National Societies' names submitted for protection in the DNS include the official names of the 190 National Societies recognized within the Movement, as well as where these are distinct, their usual names.

(3) The respective Red Cross and Red Crescent organizations should preserve the ability to register their names should they require to do so, and there are no other legitimate uses for these names.
The participants in the facilitated discussion noted that, following the completion of the PDP, the GAC provided additional guidance as to the specific Movement identifiers for which protection was being sought. Given this, the Board is now requesting that the GNSO Council initiate its process for Amendments or Modifications of Approved Policies, as described in Section 16 of the GNSO PDP Manual, to consider amending Recommendation 5 in Section 3.1. of the PDP Working Group Final Report as follows:

(1) The full names of the 190 Red Cross National Societies and the full names of the International Committee of the Red Cross and International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies are to be placed into Specification 5 of the Base gTLD Registry Agreement, with an exception procedure to be created for cases where the relevant Red Cross Red Crescent Movement organization wishes to apply for their protected string at the second level;

(2) In placing the specified identifiers into Specification 5 of the Registry Agreement, this should apply to an exact match of the full name of the relevant National Society recognized by the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement (in English and the official languages of its state of origin), the full names International Committee of the Red Cross and International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (in the six official United Nations languages) and a defined limited set of variations of these names; and

(3) In considering the Board's request, the Council is requested to duly take into account these factors and the public policy advice to reserve the finite list of names of the Red Cross and Red Crescent National Societies, as recognized within the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement, in all gTLDs.
As described in the GNSO PDP Manual, the GNSO Council may modify or amend consensus policies prior to final approval by the ICANN Board. This process for doing so includes reconvening or reforming the PDP Team to consider the proposed amendments or modifications, publishing for public comment the proposed revisions or modifications, and GNSO Council consideration of the proposed amendments or modifications.

Which stakeholders or others were consulted?

The matter of protections for identifiers of the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement has been under discussion in various parts of the community for several years. If the GNSO Council accepts the Board's request to consider amending its consensus policy recommendations, any resulting proposed modifications will be the subject of a public comment period.

What concerns or issues were raised by the community?

The community has requested that the Board move forward with resolving this open issue as soon as possible. Additionally, other community concerns about protections for IGOs and INGOs in the GNSO policy recommendations are summarized in rationale to Board Resolutions 2014.04.30.03 – 2014.04.30.05, which is incorporated here.

What significant materials did the Board review?

As part of its deliberations, the Board reviewed various materials, including, but not limited to, the following materials and documents:

PDP Working Group Final Report
GAC Singapore Communique (March 2014)
Problem Statement and briefing materials prepared for the GAC-GNSO facilitated dialogue at ICANN58
GNSO PDP Manual
What factors the Board found to be significant?

In taking this action, the Board has considered the outputs from the GAC-GNSO facilitated discussion in the context of ICANN's mission and ICANN's commitment to carry out its mission in conformity with relevant principles of international law and international conventions and applicable local law, as expressed in ICANN's Bylaws. The Board has also considered its role in considering the consensus policy recommendations developed as part of the bottom-up policy development process, as well as its role in considering advice from the GAC.

Are there positive or negative community impacts?

By adopting this resolution, the Board is taking a step to advance the community's work on developing a final resolution of the scope of protections for International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement identifiers. There are additional outstanding consensus policy recommendations from the Final Report on the Protection of IGO and INGO Identifiers in All gTLDs. The Board will continue to work on a path forward on these remaining open issues related to the protections for IGOs and INGOs.

Are there fiscal impacts or ramifications on ICANN (strategic plan, operating plan, budget); the community; and/or the public?

There are no anticipated fiscal impacts on ICANN, the community or the public related to the Board's action.

Are there any security, stability or resiliency issues relating to the DNS?

There are no security, stability, or resiliency issues related to the DNS as a result of the Board's action.

This is an Organizational Administrative Function of ICANN not requiring public comment.