Joint meeting GAC and ccNSO

20 Mar 2017 01:00h

Event report

The Governmental Advisory Committee (GAC) met with the Country Code Name Supporting Organisation (ccNSO) to discuss a variety of topics such as various policy development processes (PDP); the retirement of country code top-level domains (ccTLDs); the delegation, revocation and retirement of ccTLDs; as well as an update by the Cross Community Working Group (CWG) on the use of country and territory names as TLDs (CWG-UCTN).

Ms Katrina Sataki, Chair of the ccNSO, opened the meeting and introduced Mr Nigel Roberts, ccNSO Councillor, who talked about the ccNSO PDP to address the lack of policy with respect to the retirement of ccTLDs and the introduction of a review mechanism on issues pertaining to the delegation, transfer, revocation and retirement of ccTLDs.

During ICANN57, in November 2016, the ccNSO Council resolved to appoint a drafting team to develop a charter and delineate the issues pertaining to the review mechanism and retirement of ccTLDs. To that end, a working group to address this issue will be presented to the ccNSO and the Council will be asked to formally start the PDP.

Mr Bart Boswinkel, Sr Director, ccNSO Policy Development Support, ICANN, shared three questions from the ccNSO Council on this process:

  1. Whether or not the ccNSO Council should initiate a PDP to develop a process to review this issue?
  2. Should it be one or two PDPs?
  3. Should this process be done in the format of a Task Force or a Working Group or another mechanism?

Several questions were addressed and three recommendations made. The first one was that the PDP process needs be started for both the review and the retirement of ccTLDs. It was also recommended to have one Working Group at this stage and that this way of organising could be more effective than a Task Force, as the community has more experience with them.

Boswinkel pointed out the next steps, which will involve:

  • the Council’s decision on initiating this PDP
  • the publication of an issue report seeking public comments
  • a call for volunteers for the working group, both for the appointments made by the Council and for participants from other supporting organisations (SO) and advisory committees (AC)
  • formally ask the GAC for their opinion.

He also remarked that the work is expected to be completed by January 2019, as there will be several rounds of public consultation.

Ms Annabeth Lange, Chair of the CWG-UCTN, gave an update about the work that the group has been doing. She noted that the mandate of this WG was limited to codes and names based on ISO3166, and that its aim is to review the existing policies and find a common framework that all stakeholders could agree on.

The group has been working on developing its Interim Paper for public comment, including the consensus views to date, the issues faced, and the conviction of the group that a harmonised framework is not feasible. She talked about the current status of the CCWG as the group has finalised its discussion on 2-letter codes, but there are still deliberation about 3-letter codes. She made a call to action for the present to read the report and give input.

Lange also referred to the tentative recommendations that this CCWG has made. The main one was to close the CCWG with the end of its current mandate, but to continue working on the issue in another format. In order to do so, there is a need of consolidation efforts. In addition, she mentioned the next steps to take on the matter such as a webinar on 25 April, to discuss geographical names as a whole, and a face to face meeting during ICANN59.

After the presentation, some of the GAC members made comments and asked questions. The GAC Vice Chair from Argentina, Ms Olga Cavalli, spoke about the work that is being done at the GAC Working Group to Examine the Protection of Geographic Names in Any Future Expansion of gTLDs, and she brought attention to the importance of merging their work with this CCWG. Cavalli also stressed that the GAC WG is undergoing an analysis of what happened/will happen with the names that are not on any of the lists.