[council] GAC communiqué in Wellington

Bruce Tonkin Bruce.Tonkin at melbourneit.com.au
Sun Jun 25 13:05:21 UTC 2006

Final Communiqué Wellington 28 March 06 99

Governmental Advisory Committee 

Wellington, 28 March 2006 

GAC Communiqué - Wellington, New Zealand 
28 March 2006. 

The Governmental Advisory Committee (GAC) of the Internet 
Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) met in 
Wellington, New Zealand March, 24 to 28 March 2006. 

The participating GAC Members comprised representatives from 33 
Members and 3 Observers. 

The Governmental Advisory Committee expressed warm thanks to the 
Government of New Zealand and the organisers for hosting the meeting in 

- GAC Internal Organization and Workplan 
The GAC discussed priority areas for the future of the GAC, in particular 
the immediate transition of the GAC Secretariat. 

GAC recognized the need to take urgent steps to provide an immediate 
solution to the transition of the GAC Secretariat from the European 

The GAC welcomes the generous proposal from the Government of India 
and the offer from ICANN for the support of the GAC Secretariat 
functions and it agrees to an immediate transitional solution to transfer the 
core functions of the GAC Secretariat from the European Commission to 
the Government of India which shall occur no later than 30 June 2006. 

The GAC will continue to explore how to: 

a) Extend the GAC membership, develop outreach and build 
capacity, and more generally widen international 
participation, and, 

b) Improve the way it addresses public policy issues in a 
more effective manner in relation to the ICANN 
framework, taking account of the outcome of the WSIS. 

The GAC will continue to explore the modalities for a permanent solution 
and the development of a sustainable funding mechanism. 

- Internationalization and Capacity Building of the GAC 
The GAC recognized the need to enhance its current outreach to nonmember governments to increase awareness of its work. It also 
acknowledged its role in building capacity amongst developing country 
non-members and new members on how the GAC's activity could be of 
value to them. 

In this regard, the GAC has identified initial areas of focus and will 
further consider these areas, including how such activities would be 

The GAC welcomes and supports the offer by Iran to organize a regional 
workshop on the GAC as a good first step in its outreach efforts. 

- GAC-ICANN Board cooperation 
The GAC welcomed the inaugural meeting of the Joint Working Group 
of the GAC and the ICANN Board. The Joint Working Group will be led 
by Alejandro Pisanty on behalf of the ICANN Board and Janis Karklins 
(Latvia) on behalf of the GAC. It was acknowledged that in the 
immediate term (from Wellington to Marrakesh), it would be important to 
improve the timeliness and efficiency of communications between the 
GAC and the ICANN Board. 

In order to achieve the objectives of enhanced cooperation within the 
ICANN context, the GAC acknowledges that there is a need for the GAC 
to consider changes in its working methods to enable it to interact more 
routinely with the ICANN Board and the community. 

Beyond this it was agreed that the working group should as a longer term 
issue focus on the role of the GAC vis-à-vis ICANN and the ICANN 
Board and it should lead to the creation of a better environment that 
facilitates the development and application of public policy principles. 

In particular, the GAC has identified the following issues as key priority 
areas for early engagement, namely: 

a) ccTLDs, 

b) IDNs, 

c) IPv6 and IP addressing resource allocation, 

d) Development and creation of policies on gTLDs, and 

e) WhoIS. 

III. New TLDs, .XXX 

The GAC appreciates the efforts of ICANN to clarify the process by 
which the Board approved the entry into negotiations by ICANN staff 
and ICM Registry, the applicant for the .xxx sponsored top level domain, 
as reflected in the ICANN President's letter to the GAC Chair on 
February 11, 2006. However, the GAC does not believe the February 11 
letter provides sufficient detail regarding the rationale for the Board 
determination that the application had overcome the deficiencies noted in 
the Evaluation Report. The GAC would request a written explanation of 
the Board decision, particularly with regard to the sponsored community 
and public interest criteria outlined in the sponsored top level domain 
selection criteria. 

In its application, supporting materials and presentation to the GAC in 
November 2005, ICM Registry promised a range of public interest 
benefits as part of its bid to operate the .xxx domain. To the GAC's 
knowledge, these undertakings have not yet been included as ICM 
obligations in the proposed .xxx Registry Agreement negotiated with 

The public policy aspects identified by members of the GAC include the 
degree to which .xxx application would: 

·Take appropriate measures to restrict access to illegal and offensive 

·Support the development of tools and programs to protect vulnerable 
members of the community; 

·Maintain accurate details of registrants and assist law enforcement 
agencies to identify and contact the owners of particular websites, if need 
be; and 

·Act to ensure the protection of intellectual property and trademark rights, 
personal names, country names, names of historical, cultural and 
religious significance and names of geographic identifiers drawing on 
best practices in the development of registration and eligibility rules. 

Without in any way implying an endorsement of the ICM application, the 
GAC would request confirmation from the Board that any contract 
currently under negotiation between ICANN and ICM Registry would 
include enforceable provisions covering all of ICM Registry's 
commitments, and such information on the proposed contract being made 
available to member countries through the GAC. 

Nevertheless without prejudice to the above, several members of the 
GAC are emphatically opposed from a public policy perspective to the 
introduction of a .xxx sTLD. 

GNSO related issues 

The GAC GNSO working group held an internal session to review 
ongoing work projects related to the development of public policy 
principles applicable to the introduction of new gTLDs and Whois data. 

In recognition of the policy development processes underway in the 
GNSO on these subjects, the GAC GNSO working group also held a 
meeting with the GNSO Council. The joint session provided a 
constructive opportunity to exchange status updates and information, and 
the GAC welcomes the interest of the GNSO Council in scheduling a 
joint session during the next ICANN meeting in Marrakesh. 

IV. ICANN - VeriSign Agreement 
Some GAC members believe that the ICANN Board should ensure that 
the reasons for its decision are properly understood and accepted by the 
ICANN community, in particular on how it contributes to ICANN's 
missions and values as identified in its draft strategy plan July 2006 - 
June 2009. 

V. IANA Policies and Processes 
The GAC welcomes ICANN's report on its progress on reducing delays 
in the IANA function. We ask ICANN to publish its policies and process 
for updating the root as soon as possible. 

- Election of Vice Chairs 
In light of the vacancies of two vice chairmanships, the GAC is pleased 
to announce the introduction of two new ad interim Vice Chairs. The 
two new ad interim Vice Chairs are Pankaj Agrawala (India) and Frank 
March (New Zealand). 


The GAC warmly thanks all those among the ICANN community who 
have contributed to the dialogue with GAC in Wellington. 

The GAC expresses its appreciation and thanks to the European 
Commission for providing the GAC Secretariat since November 2002. 

The next GAC meeting will be during the period of the ICANN 
Marrakesh meeting, end of June 2006. 

Wellington, 28 March 2006 

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