[council] GAC communique

Bruce Tonkin Bruce.Tonkin at melbourneit.com.au
Thu Jun 29 23:06:04 UTC 2006

Hello All,

Attached is a copy of the GAC communique.

I have also attached a plain text version below.

Bruce Tonkin

Governmental Advisory Committee 

Marrakech, 28 June 2006 

GAC Communiqué - Marrakech 

June 2006 


The Governmental Advisory Committee (GAC) of the Internet Corporation for 
Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) met in Marrakech, during June 24-28, 

The participating GAC Members comprised representatives from 41 members and 
4 Observers. 

The Governmental Advisory Committee expressed warm thanks to the 
Government of Morocco and the organisers for hosting the meeting in Marrakech. 

II. WHOIS and New gTLDs 

The GAC Working Group on GNSO issues continued its focus on the development 
of GAC Principles applicable to the WHOIS database and to the introduction of 
new gTLDs, with the intention of sharing a stabilized draft with the community in 
Sao Paulo and to enable the GAC to provide guidance to the ICANN Board. 

Consistent with the GAC's commitment to providing information and advice on 
the range of public policy aspects of WHOIS data, representatives from Consumer 
Protection Agencies in three GAC members, OPTA in the Netherlands, MIC in 
Japan, and the FTC in the U.S. who made presentations during an open session 
with the GNSO outlining their respective perspectives and concerns regarding the 
accuracy and timely access to WHOIS data. 

Some of them and some GAC members also expressed concerns regarding the 
implications for enforcement of laws of the recent GNSO Council decision on a 
definition on the purpose of WHOIS data. Some GAC members expressed 
concerns that formulation 2 would also not provide an appropriate definition for 
the purposes of WHOIS. 

The GAC appreciates the interpretation of the GNSO Council Chair that 
formulation 1 does not imply that a decision has been taken to remove any data 
from public access. 

The GAC believes therefore that the final definition of the purpose of WHOIS data 
needs to reflect the public policy concerns expressed by GAC members. The GAC 
is intending to produce policy advice on the purpose and use of WHOIS in the 
form of principles for the Sao Paulo meeting. 


A joint ICANN and GAC Workshop outlined the challenges and issues in the area 
of IDN. The various presentations emphasized the implementation and the public 
policy issues concerning the IDN deployment. 

The GAC appreciates the intention of ICANN's Presidential Advisory Committee 
on IDN to perform a technical test of two approaches to the insertion of 
Internationalized Domain Name (IDN) labels into the root zone of the DNS along 
with a timeline. The GAC awaits the outcome of the technical tests which will 
provide information to address policy issues. 

The GAC also proposes that policy issues as outlined in the GNSO preliminary 
issues report relating to IDN at the top level dated 28th May 2006 should be 
identified, prioritized and addressed in cooperation with GNSO, ccNSO as well as 
the broader ICANN community. 

IV. IPv6 

The GAC's Working Group on IPv6 held a joint session with the NRO Executive 
Council and the ASO Chair, where they had a very fruitful exchange on the 
proposed IPv6 allocation policy, followed by internal discussion within the 
working group. 

The GAC notes that the RIRs have completed their policy development process in 
relation to the allocation of IPv6 addresses and welcomed the proposal under 
consideration by the ASO. The GAC will endeavour to provide advice within the 
proposed time frame. 

Noting the ongoing development of IPv6 the GAC encourages ICANN to keep the 
policy under review in the light of technical developments and evolution of 

Noting the possibility that the request for advice from the GAC would be done 
inter-sessionally between Marrakech and Sao Paulo, the GAC would like to 
remind the Board that such timelines to respond continue to be a challenge. 

V. Notice of Inquiry from the Department of Commerce and request for feedback 
by the President's Strategy Committee 

The GAC welcomed a presentation from the US government representative on the 
Department of Commerce's Notice of Inquiry regarding the continued transition of 
the technical coordination and management of the Internet domain name and 
addressing system. The GAC expressed confidence that the decision on the MoU 
between ICANN and the United States Department of Commerce will be taken in 
the light of the WSIS principles. The GAC welcomed the report from the President's 
Strategy Committee on the improvements to the inherent multi-stakeholder model of 
ICANN. The GAC welcomes both initiatives to seek feedback on the evolution of 
the ICANN multi-stakeholder model. 

The GAC considers it important to engage in a further structured discussion on this 
matter at the Sao Paulo meeting. The GAC recognizes that many of the issues put 
forward in the above initiatives are part of the ongoing efforts of enhanced 
cooperation within the ICANN context already being undertaken by ICANN Board 
and GAC Joint Working Group. 


GAC internal organization and work plan 

Following its previous decisions, the GAC endorsed the document, which was 
developed by GAC's Working Group on the future of the GAC, describing necessary 
improvements in its working methods. The document will be posted on the GAC 

The GAC took a decision to synchronize its work program with ICANN's strategic 
plan and activities of other constituencies. To implement this by Sao Paulo meeting 
the GAC will introduce a bi-annual planning and will elaborate an annual work 
program. The work program will reflect GAC priorities, outline objectives and define 
delivery timeline. 

ICANN Board and GAC cooperation 

The GAC welcomes the work of the ICANN Board and GAC Joint Working Group, 
which since the meeting in Wellington held two conference calls, and appreciates the 
positive outcome of the meeting in Marrakech. 

The GAC endorses the Communications Timeline document (attached), which 
should improve the GAC's participation in ICANN's policy development processes 
by earlier engagement with relevant ICANN constituencies, as well as secure timely 
and precise routine communication. 

The GAC welcomes ICANN's outreach program and commits itself to participate in 
its implementation. 

The ICANN Board and GAC Joint Working Group in the run-up to Sao Paulo 
meeting will work on synchronization of GAC priorities with ICANN's strategic 
plan, will address issues related to evolution of GAC and the ICANN framework, 
will engage in discussion on a permanent solution for the GAC secretariat and will 
support internal GAC discussion on contingency planning. 


Handover of the GAC Secretariat 

The GAC took note of the handover of the GAC Secretariat from the European 
Commission to the Government of India with effect from 1st July 2006. 

GAC Election 2006 

The GAC nomination and election process for the position of the Chair and Vice-
Chairs is now open with the intention that a new Chair shall be installed by the first 
meeting of the GAC in 2007. 


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

The next GAC meeting will be during the period of the ICANN meeting in Sao 
Paulo, Brazil, December 2006. 

Marrakech, 28 June 2006 
Communications Timeline document between the ICANN Board and the GAC 


Communication timelines between the ICANN Board and the GAC 

Communication on Strategic and Policy Issues 

It is in the interest of the global Internet community that all ICANN constituencies 
especially the supporting organizations and advisory committees provide their input 
into policy development and decision making processes continuously, effectively, 
constructively and in a timely manner. 

The environment of ICANN demands that the principle stated above in the first 
paragraph be considered in the communication processes of all parties involved. 

To maximize the results of cooperation and in order to harmonize the timing of the 
release of the advisory opinion of the GAC with decision making by the ICANN 
Board, it is necessary to implement an "early warning mechanism". This mechanism 
will provide an early indication of future challenges. The goal is to make GAC aware, 
very early in any policy development process (PDP) or proposal process, that such 
work is underway and that it could yield a proposal to the Board that would require 
public policy advice. 

GAC should identify issues where there may be public policy concerns as early as 
possible and bring them to the attention of other ICANN constituencies. 

Early in the policy development process, the Board of ICANN as well as Supporting 
Organizations, Advisory Committees and ICANN Staff may ask the GAC for advice 
on related public-policy issues. ICANN and other constituencies may provide initial 
input (by distributing background information prepared by the staff or by supporting 
organizations and President's advisory committees) to the GAC in terms of the 
public-policy questions and impact areas as they perceive them. The GAC, in its 
deliberations, may take these considerations into account. In order to support the 
policy development process it may be useful to consider a creation of an ad hoc cross-
constituency working group, which would explore options around specific policy 

A recent example of a timely indication of a future challenge was the statement of the 
President and CEO of ICANN, Dr. Paul Twomey, during the Wellington ICANN 
Board and GAC meeting. Dr. Twomey reminded the GAC of the possible public 
policy issues related to the introduction of IDNs. It is expected that during the 
Marrakesh meeting (June 2006) the GAC will discuss possible areas of public policy 
issues related to IDNs and aim to identify a work program with clearly defined 
deadlines in relation to IDNs for its work in 2007. In earlier years, an "early warning" 
was issued concerning IPv6 addressing allocation policy. 

The policy development process usually takes time. The GAC should be able to 
follow the evolution of ideas related to these policies and provide its input when 
necessary during the policy development process. That requires the capacity for GAC 
to monitor issues on a long-term basis. Government(s) particularly interested in a 
given PDP and following closely its development, is/are encouraged to provide input 
in the work of the GAC on the given issue. 

In a more advanced stage of a PDP, when a 21 day1 public notice is issued by ICANN 
to its various constituencies for comments on policy being considered for adoption by 
the Board, it has been noted that for a number of governments and for a variety of 
reasons, including inter-agency coordination within national governments, insufficient 
resources devoted to the GAC, limited secretarial support in synthesizing different 
input from the governments, etc., this 21 day public notice has not been found to be 
sufficient. Therefore, earlier indications from the Board about public policy 
considerations of those issues that will soon be considered for adoption could be 
considered helpful in securing timely responses from the GAC. 

Timely and Precise Routine Communication 

Taking into account GAC's limited resources as well as the specificities of 
governments' consultation and decision-making processes, communication between 
the ICANN Board and the GAC should be timely. It should become a rule that to the 
extent possible all communications should be made at least 30 days before the 
ICANN meeting. GAC will make any effort to respond to timely communications but 
will alert ICANN Board if it is not in a position to give a response at the meeting and 
will give an indicative timescale. 

It is also important to ensure precision in communication to ensure it is 
understandable to a multilingual and multicultural audience. Clarity in communication 
will help both the GAC and the Board and should be considered not only as a time 
saver, but also as a confidence building measure on sometimes sensitive issues. 

GAC is entitled to receive communications on a timely basis, as is the ICANN Board 
or respective Supporting Organizations (depending on the respective process). 
Streamlining the decision-making procedures, with full respect to due process, should 
be aimed at preventing delays in the development of advisory opinions. 


1 ICANN Bylaws Article III, Section 6. 1. a 

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