GAC and GNSO meeting

10 Jul 2017 02:00h

Event report

The Governmental Advisory Committee (GAC) welcomed the Generic Names Supporting organization (GNSO) Council to discuss a number of issues. The first topic dealt with was regarding the developments  on the Red Cross/Red Crescent protection and international governmental organisations (IGOs) names protection.

Mr James Bladel (GNSO Council Chair) reported that the GNSO in co-operation with the GAC and the Board has executed a section of their procedures, called ‘Section 16’. Generally, what this means is a review of GNSO recommendations. They have reconvened the working group to examine one or two recommendations to consider issues raised during their facilitated discussions. Bladel said that the they are putting together a working plan and that they are expected to deliver some guidance by the next ICANN meeting in Abu Dhabi later this year. He also spoke about the reconvened Policy Development Process (PDP). Bladel shared their concern of whether or not membership should stick to the original roster of participants or whether a new PDP should be opened up to all interested parties.

Mr Thomas Schneider (GAC Chair), took the floor and congratulated the GNSO for their willingness to open up the discussions on this topic and be pragmatic and inclusive. This, he believes, is one of the keys to success in instances like this.

Another important item discussed during the meeting was an update on PDPs currently under discussion at the GNSO level and the level of participation from GAC members.  Bladel shared four ongoing PDPs with the GAC members:

  • The PDP on Access to Curative Rights.
  • The PDP on the Next Generation Registration Directory Services (RDS), which was meeting that same day and would have a cross-community discussion on Monday. Bladel said that there have been some GAC involvement in this PDP.
  • The PDP on New gTLD Subsequent Procedures, currently addressing issues such as geographical names and their use and application.
  • The PDP on Review of Rights Protection Mechanisms in all gTLDs. Bladel said that the first phase of this PDP is currently focusing on Trademarks Clearinghouse and its Sunrise period. He believes that the Uniform Rapid Suspension (URS) issue is in there as well. Bladel said that he had little information about the level of participation from GAC members in this discussion; however, he said that it is still possible and the process is still open for more engagement.

During the Q&A session led by Schneider, members of the GAC called on each other for more participation, such as in responding to public comments, and involvement in the PDPs.

On a side note, a GAC member made a comment saying that one of the actions marked as having been completed is the consultation between the GAC secretariat, the outgoing and incoming GNSO liaison to the GAC, and relevant support from staff. She wondered whether a report on this has been shared and asked for clarification on the matter. Schneider responded that there has been no comment from GAC members so far, but he encouraged the GAC member to open or to review the comment, if interested.

At the end of the discussion, Schneider commented on the effectiveness of the GAC participation in some PDPs. He said that the GAC is supposed to give advice to the Board but that there is a problem in the fact that their comments are coming in late most of the time. He encouraged GAC members to do their best to engage as early as they can in various processes. Schneider said that one of the ways to achieve this was to reduce the number of simultaneous ongoing projects, with which some members agreed.