Joanna Kulesza is currently serving as the ALAC Liaison the GAC. She was selected by the ALAC in October 2021 and took on the role on Thursday, 28 October 2021 at the end of the ICANN72 AGM. Yrjö Länsipuro previously served in this role since 2016 when the ALAC unanimously voted to appoint him as the first ALAC Liaison to the GAC.

Intersessional Progress Report: Collaboration and Joint Task Updates for ALAC and GAC [by Joanna Kulesza]

Report date: 2024/04/24

This is a report on the bilateral engagement between the GAC and the ALAC in the intersessional period between ICANN79 and ICANN80, emphasizing the significant focus on developing the joint communication regarding the Applicant Support Program, following the ALAC-GAC meeting at the ICANN79 Community Forum in San Juan, Puerto Rico.
The current draft communication includes the following items:
1. Background and Context: The joint communication aims to consolidate the input and perspectives of both ALAC and GAC on the ASP, reflecting the discussions and agreements reached during our bilateral meeting at ICANN79.
2. Content Development: Since our meeting in San Juan, the working group composed of representatives from both ALAC and GAC has diligently worked on drafting the joint communication. They have incorporated key points and recommendations outlined in the draft statement you provided, which articulates our collective stance on the ASP. The drafting work is being excellently spearheaded by Justine Chew, ALAC VC, on behalf of the At-Large Community.
3. Alignment with Community Feedback: The content of the joint communication has been informed by various sources, including recent GAC communiques, public comments, and contributions from working group members. We have strived to ensure that the communication accurately reflects the diverse perspectives and priorities of the ICANN community.
4. Key Themes and Recommendations: The joint communication emphasizes several core principles and recommendations, including:
   - Alleviating the financial burden on ASP applicants to the maximum extent possible.
   - Prioritizing outreach to applicants from underserved regions.
   - Applying a holistic approach to support ASP applicants throughout the application lifecycle.
   - Supporting the longer-term success of ASP-qualified applicants beyond the application phase.
5. Incorporating ALAC and GAC Feedback: The draft communication has undergone iterative review and revision by both ALAC and GAC representatives to ensure consensus and coherence. Feedback provided by working group members has been carefully considered and integrated into the final draft.
6. Annexes and Supporting Documentation: The joint communication will be supplemented by annexes, including the ICANN79 GAC Communique and the ALAC Proposal on the implementation of Subsequent Procedures Recommendation 17.2. These annexes provide additional context and background information to support our recommendations.
7. Next Steps: The finalized joint communication will be presented for discussion and approval during our upcoming bilateral meeting in Kigali, Rwanda. We anticipate productive input for the ICANN Board members and stakeholders to further refine our recommendations and ensure their alignment with ICANN's objectives.

A draft agenda for the bilateral session in Kigali is included below: 

Proposed Agenda for ALAC-GAC Joint Bilateral Session in Kigali
Date: Wednesday, June 12, 2024
Time: 07:00 - 08:15 UTC (75 minutes)
1. 07:00 - 07:10 UTC  Introduction and welcome by GAC/ALAC Chairs     - Jonathan Zuck, ALAC Chair     - Nico Caballo, GAC Chair
2. Presentation of Joint Position Paper
   - (07:10 - 07:25 UTC) Presentation of joint position paper by ALAC representative
   - (07:25 - 07:40 UTC) Presentation of joint position paper by GAC representative
3. Moderated Q&A Session -  (07:40 - 08:00 UTC) - Nico Caballo, GAC Chair
4. Closing remarks and next steps (08:00 - 08:15 UTC)      - Jonathan Zuck, ALAC Chair     - Nico Caballo, GAC Chair

GAC Liaison Report from ICANN79 [by Joanna Kulesza]

Report date: 2024/03/16

The ICANN79 meeting took place from March 2 to March 7, 2024, and comprised various sessions significant to the interests of the end-user community. The GAC held successful meetings with the Board, Address Supporting Organization (ASO), Generic Names Supporting Organization (GNSO), Contracted Parties House (CPH), Nominating Committee (NomCom), and Universal Acceptance Steering Group (UASG). These sessions covered a wide array of topics, reflecting the diverse interests and responsibilities within the ICANN community.

The designated GAC and ALAC bilateral meeting, held on March 3, 2024, featured interventions from both committees, including Rosalind Kennybirch and Tracy Hackshaw from the GAC, and Greg Shatan and Justine Chew from the ALAC. During the meeting discussed various topics, particularly focusing on the Applicant Support Program (ASP) for the New gTLD Program, with following key takeaways:

  • Discussions centered around revisiting challenges from the 2012 Round of the New gTLD Program and addressing them through different components of the ASP. Key points included an overview of the ASP, insights into ALAC and GAC perspectives, and elaboration on pending components such as SubPro Supplemental Recommendation 17.2. The session aimed to provide clarity on the rationale behind the ASP, address challenges for the next round, and propose holistic approaches to its implementation.
  • Overall, the meeting underscored collaborative efforts between the GAC and ALAC in shaping the ASP for the next round of the New gTLD Program. Additional discussions covered topics such as program communications, funding, and structure, reflecting a commitment to addressing key issues for the successful implementation of the ASP.

  • The session highlighted the importance of stakeholder collaboration and proactive measures in enhancing the effectiveness of the ASP, ultimately contributing to the advancement of the domain name ecosystem within the ICANN community.

  • You can find more details about the session here: 

On March 11th, as a reflection of their ICANN79 meeting considerations, the GAC published its usual communique, available here: with following key items for the consideration of the At-Large community:

  • The meeting saw significant attendance with 71 GAC Members and 9 Observers present. The GAC commenced by honoring former Chair Manal Ismail with the 2024 ICANN Community Excellence Award for her long-standing service and commitment to the multistakeholder model.
  • The GAC also underwent leadership changes with Nicolas Caballero assuming the role of Chair along with Vice Chairs WANG Lang, Thiago Dal-Toe, Christine Arida, and Zeina Bou Harb. Additionally, new appointments and departures were noted in various working groups, emphasizing ongoing efforts in areas such as public safety and underserved regions.
  • Capacity development workshops covered a broad spectrum of issues including ccTLD management, IPv6 adoption, and regional internet registry roles. These workshops provided insights and recommendations, highlighting the need for continued capacity building, particularly in developing countries.
  • Strategic planning discussions focused on priority areas for the GAC's strategic objectives, while preparations for the upcoming High-Level Government Meeting in Kigali, Rwanda, emphasized the significance of such gatherings in reinforcing multistakeholder cooperation.
  • An experimental open-mic session allowed for broader engagement within the ICANN community, providing a platform for stakeholders to address the GAC directly. Topics such as DNS abuse, cost-benefit analysis of new gTLD programs, and registry voluntary commitments were extensively deliberated.
  • Regarding DNS abuse, the GAC welcomed new obligations for contracted parties and emphasized the importance of effective enforcement and reporting mechanisms. Discussions also revolved around the need for a comprehensive cost-benefit analysis of new gTLD programs and the enforceability of registry commitments, underscoring the necessity for careful legal analysis.
  • With regard to registration data, the GAC reiterated support for initiatives such as the Registration Data Request Service (RDRS) and emphasized the importance of accuracy in registration data for various legitimate interests while balancing privacy concerns.

Points of Interest for the At-Large:

  - Further steps on applicant support were discussed, emphasizing collaboration between GAC and ALAC.

  - Addressing DNS abuse and enhancing capacity building outreach remained crucial areas of focus.

GAC Liaison Report from ICANN78 [by Joanna Kulesza]

Report date: 2023/11/20

Joint Meeting between GAC and ALAC
The GAC and ALAC convened in a joint session during ICANN78, focusing on key collaborative topics. The agenda encompassed follow-up discussions on the 2017 Joint GAC/ALAC Advice to the Board, deliberations on Closed Generics, and exploration of contention resolutions in new gTLDs, particularly closed bid auctions.

The joint meeting fostered a platform for open dialogue, promoting a deeper understanding of mutual concerns. The collaborative spirit demonstrated during discussions underscores the commitment of both committees to address critical issues impacting ICANN's community.

Election of GAC Vice-Chairs
The GAC elected Vice-Chairs for the term starting after ICANN79 (March 2024) and ending at ICANN82 (March 2025). The elected Vice-Chairs are Zeina Bou Harb (Lebanon), Nigel Hickson (United Kingdom), WANG Lang (China), Christine Arida (Egypt), and Thiago Dal-Toe (Colombia).

Public Safety Working Group (PSWG) Activities and Joint Working Meeting
In addition to the broader GAC meeting, a bilateral session took place between ALAC and the GAC Public Safety Working Group (PSWG). This meeting aimed to foster collaboration on critical issues related to DNS Abuse and domain name registration data access.

The PSWG actively advocated for enhanced measures to combat DNS Abuse and ensure lawful access to domain name registration data. Key highlights from the PSWG meeting include a comprehensive briefing on DNS Abuse Mitigation, support for the GAC Small Group addressing domain name registration issues, and outreach efforts to strengthen collaboration within ICANN.

Closed Generic gTLDs Advisory
The GAC acknowledges and commends the efforts of participants in the GAC, GNSO, and ALAC Facilitated Dialogue on Closed Generics. The GAC issues an advisory to the Board, urging clarity in the Applicant Guidebook regarding the non-consideration of applications for Closed Generic gTLDs in the next round of New gTLDs.

The advisory is based on unanimous support from the Chairs of ALAC, GAC, and GNSO during the Facilitated Dialogue. It emphasizes the importance of community-developed consensus policies before considering applications for Closed Generic gTLDs. The rationale behind this advice includes avoiding confusion for potential applicants, reflecting community concerns, and promoting an open digital space.

This advisory aligns with the GAC's commitment to safeguarding the integrity and public interest of the domain name ecosystem. It underscores the significance of clear guidance in the Applicant Guidebook to prevent unnecessary resource allocation and align with community-wide consensus policies.

GAC Liaison's Report: - Preparations for ICANN 78 [by Joanna Kulesza]

Report Date: 2023/09/25

Following report reflects an email exchange between the liaison, outlining a draft agenda for the upcoming ICANN 78 meeting.

Date and Time: Tuesday, Oct. 24th at 11:30 CEST for 60 minutes

Agenda Items:

1.    Joint ALAC/GAC Statement on Contention Resolution

•    Objective: Follow-up to the discussions held during ICANN77.

•    Previous ALAC Speaker(s): Alan Greenberg (tbc)

•    Previous GAC Speaker(s): Nigel Hickson

2.    New gTLD Program Next Round (formerly SubPro) with a focus on Contention Resolution, Closed Generics, Applicant Support

•    Objective: Exchange views and adjust positions regarding Contention Resolution, Closed Generics, Applicant Support, including a possible joint GAC/ALAC statement on closed generics.

•    Previous GAC Speaker(s): Nigel Hickson

•    Previous ALAC Speaker(s): Justine Chew (tbc)

3.    Joint ALAC/GAC Statement on Enabling Inclusive, Informed, and Meaningful Participation in ICANN

•    Objective: Continue discussions initiated during ICANN77, including:

•    Establishing a numbering system for documents to enhance cooperation.

•    Creating primers on key topics for comprehensive understanding, with a small working team set up to following ICANN 78.

•    Previous ALAC Speaker(s): Alan Greenberg/Jonathan Zuck (tbc)

•    Previous GAC Speaker(s): Nigel Hickson

Intersessional Capacity-Building Session on Emerging Technologies (optional):

•    A session ahead of ICANN78 to cover topics such as AI and n/ew technologies.

These preparations reflect both communities dedication to staying updated on regulatory developments concerning the DNS and safeguarding the interests of end-users, while also highlighting our shared interest in supporting applicants. 

GAC Liaison's Report: ICANN77 Governmental Advisory Committee Communiqué Now Available, June 20th, 2023 [by Joanna Kulesza]

Full text of the Communique available here:

In its statement the GAC highlighted several issues of importance, including closed generic gTLDs, registry voluntary commitments (RVCs) and public interest commitments (PICs) in new gTLDs, GAC consensus advice and GAC early warnings, DNS abuse, registration data accuracy, registration data request service (RDRS), and registration data consensus policy. Regarding closed generic gTLDs, the GAC discussed a proposed draft framework and raised concerns about fundamental matters, competition issues, economic and social impacts, evaluation panel criteria, and government intervention during the evaluation process. They emphasized the need for further clarification and committed to elaborating their position during the community comment period. On other topics, the GAC expressed support for additional PICs to address emerging public policy concerns in new gTLDs, emphasized the importance of GAC early warnings and advice, and discussed the role of DNS abuse mitigation in combating negative impacts. They also emphasized the need for accurate registration data while considering privacy concerns. The GAC welcomed the launch of the RDRS and supported efforts to generate data for further community discussion. They highlighted the importance of user-friendly access, training, and guidance. The GAC also welcomed the implementation of the EPDP Phase 1 recommendations and stressed the need for the Consensus Policy to comply with data protection principles.

The GAC provided consensus advice to the ICANN Board on various topics. Firstly, they advised the Board to ensure equitable participation in the proposed Standing Predictability Implementation Review Team (SPIRT) by all interested ICANN communities. They emphasized the importance of clarifying the implementation of SPIRT and the role of the GAC in it. Secondly, the GAC advised the Board to make future Registry Voluntary Commitments (RVCs) and Public Interest Commitments (PICs) enforceable through clear contractual obligations with specified consequences for failure to meet those obligations. They highlighted concerns about the weak implementation and dispute resolution process of PICs in highly-regulated sectors. Regarding applicant support in new gTLD applications, the GAC advised the Board to specify ICANN's plans related to expanding financial support and engaging with actors in underrepresented or underserved regions. They also recommended substantial reduction or elimination of application and ongoing fees to provide financial support for applicants from these regions. The GAC emphasized the importance of increasing diversity in new gTLD applications through awareness raising, capacity development, and exploring potential back-end service support. In relation to contention sets in new gTLDs, the GAC advised the Board to avoid using auctions of last resort between commercial and non-commercial applications. The GAC recommended exploring alternative means, such as drawing lots, for resolution. They also urged the banning or strong disincentivization of private monetary means, including private auctions, to prevent applications under false pretenses for monetary gain. The GAC also provided an update on the follow-up to previous advice. They thanked the Board for reprioritizing the Privacy Proxy Services Accreditation Issues (PPSAI) policy recommendations based on their previous advice and requested regular updates from the Board on the status of activities related to Privacy and Proxy services. 

The GAC also discussed internal matters, including membership and elections. They announced that the election process for GAC Vice-Chairs would be initiated shortly after the meeting. The GAC Working Groups, such as the Public Safety Working Group (PSWG) and the Underserved Regions Working Group (USRWG), provided updates on their ongoing activities and capacity development workshops. Emerging technologies, including artificial intelligence, alternative DNS roots, and blockchain, were briefly discussed, and the GAC agreed to have capacity building on these topics during a future meeting.

GAC Liaison's Report: GAC Discussion on WHOIS and Preparation for ICANN Board Meeting, ICANN 77, June 12th, 2023 [by Joanna Kulesza]

Accompanying slides

The session highlighted the significance of WHOIS data in various legitimate activities, including assisting law enforcement, combating fraud, protecting intellectual property, and maintaining user confidence in the Internet. The speakers at the session included Christopher Lewis-Evans from the United Kingdom's National Crime Agency, Kenneth Merrill from the U.S. Department of Commerce NTIA, Laureen Kapin from the U.S. Federal Trade Commission, and Melina Stroungi from European Commission. These speakers stressed the importance of WHOIS data for government agencies, businesses, and organizations involved in protecting public safety and combating illicit activities. One crucial aspect emphasized during the session was the need to strike a balance between protecting the public and safeguarding privacy. Data protection laws, particularly those in the European Union and other jurisdictions, were recognized as essential for achieving this balance. Such laws enable access to relevant information while respecting individuals' privacy rights. The discussion referred back to the GAC Principles Regarding gTLD WHOIS Services from 2007, demonstrating that the issues discussed then are still relevant in 2023. The session emphasized the continued importance of WHOIS data and the need to ensure its accessibility for those lawfully entitled to access it. The GAC raised concerns about the proposed implementation of Phase 1 recommendations for WHOIS services. These concerns included defining urgent requests and establishing timelines, collecting and publishing reseller data, handling registration information related to legal entities, and determining qualifiers for redacted data. The GAC called for greater clarity and standardized practices in these areas. ICANN responded to public comments, providing clarification on several aspects of the proposed policy. They addressed concerns about the timeline for responding to urgent requests, the collection and publication of reseller data, the impact on Thick WHOIS, and the policy gap between Phase 1 and Phase 2A. They emphasized that the recommendations made during the EPDP Phase 1 were thoroughly considered, and making additional changes beyond the policy's scope was not necessary. The report concluded by noting that the Implementation Review Team (IRT) is currently reviewing ICANN's response, including during ICANN77. The ongoing discussions and considerations surrounding WHOIS data and its role in protecting public interests and privacy will continue to shape ICANN's policies and approaches.

Key WHOIS and Data Protection Policy Summary points focused on the importance of WHOIS and data protection and included concerns around:

1. Background on WHOIS and Data Protection: The GAC emphasized the importance of WHOIS data in assisting law enforcement, combating fraud, protecting intellectual property, and building user confidence in the internet. Compliance with data protection laws was also highlighted.

2. Proposed gTLD Registration Data Policy: The draft Registration Data Consensus Policy was presented, addressing concerns such as response times for urgent requests, collection of reseller data, and registration information for legal entities.

3. Registration Data Request Service (RDRS) itself and its features including a central portal for request intake, no cost to requestors, and routing requests to registrars.

4. Privacy/Proxy Services: Privacy and proxy services were defined as mechanisms to shield the identity and contact information of domain name holders. The impact of these services on registration data access was highlighted.

5. Registration Data Accuracy: The accuracy of registration data was recognized as an essential aspect of WHOIS services. A Data Accuracy Scoping Team was assigned to address this issue.

Considerations for Washington D.C. Communiqué focused on GAC concerns regarding the implementation of Phase 1 recommendations of the Registration Data Consensus Policy, including response times for urgent requests and the collection of reseller data. The GAC also emphasized the need for clarity, standards, and the evaluation of registrar compliance. ICANN response to the public comments on the proposed policy, clarified certain points such as the timeline for response to urgent requests and the collection of reseller data. The response also addressed the impact on Thick WHOIS and the policy gap between Phase 1 and Phase 2A. The development of the Registration Data Request Service (RDRS) was approved by the ICANN Board. The RDRS features a central intake portal, no cost to requestors, and communication between requestors and registrars outside the system. The GAC considered the RDRS a useful first step but highlighted risks and concerns regarding adoption, awareness, and the generation of actionable data. In drafting its Communique the GAC is to consider the GNSO Small Team proposed success criteria for the RDRS, including its availability to all requestors and registrars, tracking of relevant data points, and user satisfaction measurement. Privacy and proxy services are to be discussed in relation to registration data access, highlighting their significance in protecting domain name holder information. Next steps include encouraging comprehensive usage of the RDRS, considering policy development to require registrar participation, establishing success criteria for the system, and analyzing usage statistics.

GAC Liaison's Report on Joint Session: ALAC, GAC, and GNSO Facilitated Dialogue on Closed Generics, ICANN 77, June 12th, 2023 [by Joanna Kulesza]

This session aimed to further the GAC, GNSO and ALAC facilitated dialogue to reach broad understanding on a proposed framework to underpin expected further policy work on the topic of closed generic gTLDs. The participants in the dialogue group held two sessions at ICANN77 to present a draft framework for community feedback.

The reference document is available here: Draft Framework for Closed Generic gTLDs.

Session slides have beed added to the WIki: 

The former GAC Chair highlighted that the primary focus of the dialogue was to uphold the public interest. While acknowledging that the framework falls short of satisfying the expectations of all stakeholders, it does provide a feasible consensus that allows for ongoing discussions. She also expressed gratitude for the constructive support received from the Board and staff, recognizing their crucial role in reaching this consensus. Acknowledging the challenges stemming from previous rounds and the prevailing skepticism, GAC recognized that the current exercise was far from effortless. Participants were well aware of the imminent hurdles that lay ahead. In particular, discussions on certain examples highlighted the necessity of reaching a consensus on the issue of closed generics. With an eye toward advancing the document's content, GAC actively encouraged constructive input from stakeholders, signaling a collective commitment to further develop the draft document.

The ALAC representative emphasized the crucial importance of obtaining valuable input during the decision-making process. However, it was noted that the document in question has exceeded expectations in terms of ambiguity. While the document does provide a tentative list of issues, there are notable omissions in addressing divisive matters. Despite this, ALAC is urging the community to concentrate on the overarching approaches outlined in the report, as they represent a fair equilibrium between two conflicting viewpoints. ALAC drew attention to the significance and eagerness for meaningful contributions to be incorporated into the ongoing process. However, it was acknowledged that the current document falls short of meeting expectations, as its level of ambiguity is higher than anticipated. Although the document does make an attempt to cover a range of issues, there are certain contentious subjects that remain unaddressed. In light of this, ALAC is encouraging the community to focus on the broader strategies outlined in the report, as they strike a balance between two competing perspectives. The need for valuable input in the decision-making process was emphasized by the ALAC. However, it was expressed that the document in question has surpassed initial expectations in terms of its ambiguous nature. While the document does provide a preliminary list of issues, it fails to address certain divisive matters. Despite these shortcomings, ALAC is urging the community to concentrate on the broader approaches reflected in the report, as they represent a middle ground between two conflicting viewpoints.

Dialogue participants encouraged community feedback on the draft, inclluding feedback from individual end-users, as per the formal announcement: "The Facilitated Dialogue group is currently seeking community feedback on the Draft Framework for Closed Generic gTLD. This feedback will be considered by the group as it continues to work toward a Final Framework, to underpin expected policy work on closed generic gTLDs. SO/AC groups are encouraged to submit feedback via: support staff within ICANN org or directly to by 15 July 2023.

GAC Liaison's Report on ALAC-GAC bilateral session ahead of ICANN77 held on May 22nd, online [by Joanna Kulesza]

Date: Monday, May 22nd
Duration: 75 minutes (16:00 - 17:15 UTC)

The ICANN 77 Joint ALAC/GAC meeting took place to discuss various important topics and seek alignment between the ALAC and GAC perspectives. The meeting followed a draft agenda with specific time allocations for each agenda item.

1. New gTLD Program Next Round:
Nigel Hickson from the GAC delivered a presentation on the Next Round of the New gTLD Program, highlighting key priority issues. These included concerns regarding the Predictability Framework, Registry Voluntary Commitments/Public Interest Commitments, Applicant Support, Community Applications, Auctions, GAC Consensus Advice and GAC Early Warnings, and Closed Generics. The GAC emphasized the need for equitable participation and enforceable commitments to address these issues.

The ALAC shared their views on the topics raised by the GAC. They expressed support for community-based applications, advocated for banning private auctions, and provided input on DNS abuse mitigation. They also highlighted the importance of clear and efficient document management systems and the need for executive summaries to enhance understanding and participation. ALAC's Perspectives on the Raised Issues included:

Predictability Framework (Topic 2):
Regarding the Predictability Framework, the Standing Predictability Implementation Review Team (SPIRT) was clarified to be responsible for considering issues that arise after the approval of the next Applicant Guidebook. It does not make policy decisions but instead provides recommendations to the GNSO Council. It is important to note that membership of SPIRT is open to all interested parties.

Registry Voluntary Commitments/Public Interest Commitments (Topic 9):
ALAC emphasizes that all Registry Voluntary Commitments (RVCs) and Public Interest Commitments (PICs) must be enforceable and enforced. However, the question remains on how to achieve this. The ICANN Board is currently considering a limited Bylaw amendment to ensure enforceability within ICANN's mission. Additionally, the Implementation Review Team (IRT) needs to consider mechanisms within ICANN's organization to facilitate the proposal, review, and inclusion of RVCs and PICs in Registry Agreements (RAs), including remedies and consequences for non-compliance.

Applicant Support (Topic 17):
The ICANN Organization (ICANN Org) has taken steps to create awareness of the Applicant Support Program by engaging a communications consultant. Additionally, the Generic Names Supporting Organization (GNSO) is developing success metrics for the program. However, there are concerns that the allocated USD 2 million fund is insufficient to adequately support applicants. As a result, there has been discussion about the possibility of reducing or eliminating ongoing ICANN registry fees to provide better financial support.

In summary, ALAC's perspectives on the raised issues include the importance of clarifying the roles and membership of SPIRT in the Predictability Framework, ensuring enforceability of RVCs and PICs through potential Bylaw amendments and ICANN org mechanisms, and addressing concerns about the adequacy of funding for the Applicant Support Program. These perspectives highlight ALAC's commitment to transparency, fairness, and effective support for applicants in the ICANN ecosystem.

2. 2017 Joint Advice:
Alan Greenberg from the ALAC and Nigel Hickson from the GAC provided an update on the 2017 Joint Advice, titled "Enabling Inclusive, Informed and Meaningful Participation at ICANN." They discussed the progress made in addressing the recommendations related to document management systems and executive summaries. However, concerns were raised about the adequacy of ICANN's Information and Transparency Initiative (ITI) in meeting the core recommendations. Recommendation 1 suggests that ICANN should create a user-friendly document management system that provides easy access to ICANN documents, even for non-insiders. These documents should have clear titles, dates or reference numbers, and identify the author and intended recipients. Additionally, they should reference the relevant process they belong to and explain any acronyms used. Recommendation 2 proposes that ICANN should produce executive summaries, key points, and synopses for all important issues, processes, and activities. These summaries should be easily understandable to non-experts, allowing stakeholders to determine if a particular issue concerns them. Furthermore, stakeholders should be able to participate in the policy process easily and effectively, on an equal footing with other stakeholders. This practice should be implemented, at a minimum, for issues open for public comment.

3. DNS Abuse:
Susan Chalmers from the GAC presented the GAC's perspective on DNS abuse, focusing on the goals of fostering meaningful, inclusive, and informed participation. The discussion covered contract compliance, transparency, data accuracy, reporting of incidents and statistics, and the implementation status of relevant CCT and SSR2 Review Recommendations. The GAC welcomed ongoing contract negotiations and voluntary efforts to mitigate DNS abuse.

ALAC's Contribution to DNS Abuse:
Hadia El Miniawi from the ALAC shared ALAC's views on DNS abuse, emphasizing the need for continued efforts in contract compliance enforcement, structured monitoring processes, and responsible disclosure of DNS security threats.

The implementation status of relevant CCT and SSR2 Review Recommendations can be summarized as follows:

- Monitor and Enforce Compliance (Rec. 9.1): This recommendation has been fully implemented.
- Resolve CZDS Data Access Problems (Rec. 11.1): The necessary actions have been taken to address this recommendation.
- Privacy Requirements and RDS (Rec. 16.1): Implementation of this recommendation has been completed.

In Progress:
- Provide Clarity on Definitions of Abuse-related Terms (Rec. 10.1): Work is currently underway to achieve this recommendation.
- To complete implementation of SSR1 Recommendations (Rec. 1.1): Efforts are ongoing to fulfill this recommendation.

SSR1 Recommendations:
- Recommendation 10 emphasizes the need for ICANN to continue its efforts to enhance contract compliance enforcement and allocate adequate resources for this function. The status of its implementation is not specified.
- Recommendation 15 states that ICANN should act as a facilitator in the responsible disclosure and dissemination of DNS security threats and mitigation techniques. Its implementation status is also not indicated.

These updates highlight the progress made in implementing the recommendations. The ones listed as complete have been successfully addressed, while ongoing efforts are being made for those categorized as in progress. The report does not provide specific details regarding the status of the implementation for SSR1 Recommendations 10 and 15, which focus on contract compliance and DNS security, respectively.

The meeting concluded with a moderated Q&A session and a summary of the discussions. The participants acknowledged the importance of collaboration and alignment between the ALAC and GAC on these critical issues.

The ICANN 77 Joint ALAC/GAC meeting provided an opportunity for productive dialogue and exchange of views, aiming to address key challenges and work towards a more inclusive and transparent ICANN ecosystem.

GAC Liaison's Report on draft agenda for ALAC-GAC bilateral sessions during ICANN77 to be held between June 11th -16th 2023 in Washington D.C., US [by Joanna Kulesza]

In preparation for the bilateral meeting scheduled for ICANN 77 in D.C., which due to organizational constraints has been limited to 45 minutes rather than the usual full hour it has been proposed to accordingly readjust the usual schedule.

Following the insightful and useful Q&A session in Cancun the parties are considering keeping full 15 mins for Q&A, which would allow them to focus on only one topic during the D.C. meeting. This would let them adjust positions and exchange experiences on the most pertinent issue within the current ICANN policy landscape. Other bilateral exchanges could be facilitated through dedicated bilateral sessions held in the lead-up to ICANN77, as has been previously the case with e.g. DNS Abuse.

With due regard to these organizational constraints, the parties are considering continuing the eager discussion on the joint 2017 statement, to ensure focus and inform the community of the results of our working pre-ICANN77 bilateral meeting, to be scheduled. Alternatively, they might wish to hold a bilateral prep meeting to select another topic, possibly from among these:

- DNS Abuse, which we might wish to couple with a dedicated NIS 2 impact CB session. ICANN org team could support this session by explaining the perplexities of EU law, whereas the EC GAC representative expressed interest in supporting such a dedicated session while in Cancun. The bilateral would then inform both ACs on important community topics and allow us to briefly report back during the bilateral.  

- Regulatory advancements and their MSM impact – as many interesting questions were posed during the Cancun plenary on the issue, it has been considered by both parties to follow up on them with more specific answers. Both ACs have a valid interest in seeking more effective measures to tackle this challenge and evolve the MSM to reflect current geopolitical realities. Also here an open, dedicated CB session ahead of D.C. might be an option, with the bilateral allowing us to summarize its results.

The current draft agenda is as follows, subject to GAC consideration and feedback:

ICANN 77 Joint ALAC/GAC meeting Wednesday, June 14th at 10:45 local time for 45 mins (GAC Room)


10:45-10:55 (10 mins)  Introduction and welcome: Nicolas Caballero, GAC Chair; Jonathan Zuck, ALAC Chair

10:55-11:05 (10 mins) [review on progress/status quo on one selected policy theme]

11:05 - 11:10 (15 mins) moderated Q&A

11:20 - 11:30 (10 mins) Summary and wrap up

Next Steps:

The parties are working to:

  • host a dedicated working meeting on the joint statement in the lead-up to the DC meeting; possibly joined by Sally Newell Cohen, who expressed initial interest in better-identifying community needs in the respect.
  • second working meeting to coordinate identified topics of mutual interest and speaking points;
  • [optional]: open, capacity-building session/s on DNS Abuse and/or regulatory impacts for the ICANN MSM, as noted below.

GAC Liaison's Report on the ALAC-GAC bilateral sessions during ICANN76 11-16 March 2023 in Cancun, Mexico[by Joanna Kulesza]

During ICANN 76 in Cancun, Mexico 5 ALAC held a bilateral joint session with the GAC on Tuesday, March 14th, 2023 at 09:00 - 10:00 EST (Cancun local time) / 14:00-15:00 UTC with the following agenda: 

09:00-09:10 EST (14:00-14:10 UTC) (10 mins)  Introduction and welcome, GAC/ALAC Chairs - Jonathan Zuck, ALAC Chair and Manal Ismail, GAC Chair

09:10-09:20 EST; (14:10-14:20 UTC)(10 mins) Follow up on the 2017 joint Advice to the Board entitled “Enabling Inclusive, Informed and Meaningful Participation at ICANN: A Joint Statement by ALAC and GAC.”; Alan Greenberg, ALAC, 5’ / Jorge Cancio, GAC, 5’

09:20-09:30 EST (14:20-14:30 UTC) (10 mins) Further advancement of the multistakeholder model – follow up to the plenary session; Nigel Hickson, GAC 5’ / Marita Moll; ALAC/At-Large: 5’

09:30-09:40 EST (14:30-14:40 UTC) (10 mins) DNS abuse in the context of contemporary legislative advancement?; Hadia Elminiawi, ALAC 5’ / Laureen Kapin, GAC 5’

09:40-09:50 EST (14:40-14:50 UTC) moderated Q&A

9:50 - 10:00 EST; 14:50-15:00 UTC) (10 mins)     Summary and wrap up

Ahead of the meeting, Nigel Hickson was appointed as the GAC VC acting as liaison to the ALAC.

During the meeting the two parties identified a need to further engage in direct, bilateral exchange on the issue of the 2017 Joint advice, to be followed up with ICANN’s Sally Newell Cohen and the ICANN communications team in light of current implementation of the Information Transparency Initiative (ITI). An initial working meeting with the ICANN communications team to that result was held by ALAC leadership and thematic leads directly after the bilateral session in Cancun as a lead-up to a dedicated bilateral working meeting ahead of ICANN 77. This working meeting would allow us to best understand the needs of both constituencies regarding quick and efficient access to ICANN working documents and ways in which they may be addressed by the ICANN communications team.

Also, the parties agreed to consider:

  • hosting a dedicated working meeting on the joint statement in the lead-up to the DC meeting; possibly joined by Sally Newell Cohen, who expressed initial interest in better-identifying community needs in this respect.
  • second working meeting to coordinate identified topics of mutual interest and speaking points;
  • [optionally]: an open, capacity-building session/s on DNS Abuse and/or regulatory impacts for the ICANN MSM.

ICANN75 GAC Communiqué published, 30 Sept. 2022 [by Joanna Kulesza]

ICANN75 GAC Communiqué is now available:

Key issues covered by the report closely align with those at the top of the At-Large agenda and include: Capacity Building, DNS Abuse, Universal Acceptance, IDNs and New gTLDs as well as Subsequent Procedures and Underserved Regions.

Moreover, on p. 5 you will find reference to the joint efforts of our two communities and the GNSO regarding subsequent rounds of new gTLDs. There „The GAC confirmed its commitment to engage with the GNSO Council as well as ALAC in seeking a mutually agreeable solution on Closed Generic applications in the next round of New gTLDs, in keeping with the GAC Beijing Advice on the matter whereby “exclusive registry access should serve a public interest goal”.  While the GAC positions on Closed Generics „will be guided by said advice as well as prior GAC consensus inputs to the Subsequent Procedures for New gTLDs Policy Development Process (SubPro PDP)”, it plans to facilitate internal „regular exchanges between the six (6) GAC designated representatives to the facilitated dialogue and the GAC are envisaged to take place intersessionally”.

GAC Liaison's Report on the ALAC-GAC bilateral sessions during ICANN75 16-22 Sept. 2023 Kuala Lumpur [by Joanna Kulesza]

During ICANN 75 in Kuala Lumpur ALAC held two join session with the GAC. 
The first one was held on Sat., Sept. 17th, 2023 as part of the GAC Capacity Building weekend with the following agenda: 
GAC & ALAC Cooperation - Capacity Building
07:30 - 08:00 UTC
Session objective: Explaining the importance of close collaboration between ALAC and GAC
DRAFT Agenda:
    Introduction and Welcome from Maureen and Manal (15:30-15:35 MYT; 07:30-07:35 UTC)(5 mins)
    Introduction of ALAC/At-Large's roles to GAC members - Joanna Kulesza, ALAC Liaison to the GAC and Shi Young Chang, GAC Liaison to the ALAC (15:35-15:40 MYT; 07:35-07:40 UTC)(5 mins)
    Sharing of a good practice example of Local Cross-Community Cooperation, especially from the APAC region - Ian Sheldon, GAC Representative from Australia and and Cheryl Langdon-Orr from At-Large (15:40-15:50 MYT; 07:40-07:50 UTC)(10 mins)
    Q&A and Open Discussions from both Advisory Committees - Shi Young/Joanna Kulesza (remote) (15:50-16:00 MYT; 07:50-08:00 UTC)(10 mins)

The second session was the traditional bilateral session held on Wednesday, Sept. 21st at 01:00 - 02:00 UTC
Joint ALAC and GAC Meeting
    Introduction and welcome, GAC/ALAC Chairs - (09:00-09:10 MYT; 01:00-01:10 UTC) (10 mins) - Maureen Hilyard, ALAC Chair and Manal Ismail, GAC Chair
    Internet Fragmentation, the DNS and ICANN [Pari Esfandiari, ALAC: 5’; Nigel Hickson, GAC: 5’] (09:10-09:20 MYT; 01:10-01:20 UTC)(10 mins)
    Subsequent Rounds of New gTLDs and Closed Generics-ALAC 's Participation in the facilitated dialogue with the GNSO Council and GAC [Greg Shatan (remote) and Alan Greenberg; ALAC/At-Large: 5’; Jorge Cancio and Nigel Hickson, GAC 5’](09:20-09:30 MYT; 01:20-1:30 UTC) (10 mins)
    Local cross-community cooperation - good practice examples  [ALAC speaker: Joanna Kulesza (remote) and Yrjö Länsipuro, ALAC/At-Large; 5’;  Shi Young Chang and Ian Sheldon, GAC representative from Australia, GAC: 5’] (09:30 - 09:40 MYT; 01:30-01:40 UTC) (10 mins)
    Q&A (09:40 - 09:55 MYT; 01:40-1:55 UTC) (15 mins)
    Summary and wrap up (09:55 - 10:00 MYT; 01:55-2:00 UTC) (5 mins)

GAC Liaison's Report on the ALAC-GAC bilateral session during ICANN74 13-16 June 2022 The Hague [by Joanna Kulesza]

During ICANN 74 the bilateral meeting between the GAC and the ALAC was held on Wednesday, June 15th 2022 at 07:00 UTC for 60 minutes with the following agenda:

07:00 - 07:10 Introduction and welcome : Manal Ismail GAC Chair, Maureen Hilliard ALAC Chair

07:10 - 07:25 Universal Acceptance and IDNs :

  - ALAC Speaker: Satish Babu, At-Large UAWG Liaison [5 mins] 

  - GAC Speaker: Nigel Hickson, GAC Representative of the U.K. [5 mins] - update the group on current EPDP on IDNs

07:25 - 07:40 GAC-ALAC/At-Large Cooperation at National Level : further good practices from each committees to discuss :

  - ALAC Speaker: Johan "Julf" Helsingius, Chair of ISOC Finland [REMOTE] [5 mins] - explain how the multi-stakeholder mechanisms work on grassroots level in Finland

  - GAC Speaker: Shi Young Chang, GAC representative of the RoK and Juuso Monsander, GAC representative of the Finland (Ministry of Foreign Affairs) has promised to chime in virtually [REMOTE][5 mins]

07:40 - 07:55 Geopolitical Issues and advancing the MS model: role of governments and civil society volunteers : discuss recent issue of Internet Governance and the way to improve Multi-stakeholder participation mechanism.

  - ALAC Speaker: Marita Moll ([REMOTE] with Joanna Kulesza facilitating) [5 mins]

  - GAC Speaker: Jorge Cancio, GAC representative of the Switzerland [5 mins] - exchange information on recent developments at the global level, including "Declaration of the Future of the Internet"; invite ALAC and GAC members to share their views on.

07:55 - 08:00 Summary - Shi Young/Joanna Kulesza

In preparation for the meeting the presenters were encouraged to coordinate their speaking points representing the positions of both constituencies (see all speaking points here:

The topic of universal acceptance raised much interest also from the audience. Both: the GAC and the ALAC share key observations with regard to the need of advancing universal acceptance objectives outside the ICANN community.

Particular attention was granted to the issue of bilateral cooperation between representatives about communities within regional and national frameworks. With the example of stellar corporation in Finland speakers focused on (1) background and the reason why the cooperation was launched, (2) the current status of your cooperation, and (3) advantages/difficulties to carry on the work, (4) further considerations or suggestions for the better cooperation.

The conversation around geopolitical issues and advancing the multi stakeholder model included two key narratives: one focused on diplomatic and political process is which include the threat of DNS fragmentation including but not limited to the new IP project by Huawei as well as the need to ensure a volunteer support within the ICANN community. this last point is particularly important for both communities which rely on the individuals from non-contracted parties what do you regard to their different policy objectives and engagement profiles.

In summary both communities agreed to further cooperation on the topics discussed during the bilateral as well as through dedicated intersessional meetings that would give them an opportunity to develop shared perspectives on topics of DNS Abuse and subsequent procedures.

GAC Communique and the role of At-Large March 15th, 2022 

ICANN73 GAC Communique published here : refered to topics of mutual interest to both communities, including DNS Abuse, Subsequent Procedures, Public Interest and Universal Acceptance, which have been subject to bilateral meetings and intersessional webinars. The Communique included a reference refers to the situation in Ukraine (“The GAC would like to reference the statements made by GAC members during the GAC Opening Plenary Session on the action taken by Russia against Ukraine and the related requests from Ukraine to ICANN and the GAC.” (p.1.) and individual statements as a transcript available at:, much supported and welcomed by the At-Large community.

ALAC/GAC PSWG bilateral; Tuesday 7 June 2022 at 15:15 UTC for 45 minutes.

Following up to the the Action Point recorded in the GAC Minutes of ICANN72 that reiterated both communities' desire to ensure that "GAC and ALAC volunteers to work together to consider possible targeted recommendations of concrete and enforceable contract provisions regarding the mitigation of DNS Abuse to inform future negotiations between ICANN and contracted parties." a joint meeting of the GAC PSWG and a Small DNS Abuse work group was held.

The PSWG expressed their convicion that DNS Abuse was an important topic worthy of further discussion and consideration, yet during the meeting both communites consnted to posponing any formal engagement in drafting concrete proposals, including working on a white paper. This was due to recent developments, and in particular the release by the European Commission of a substantial study of DNS Abuse (see report and technical annex), which required careful analysis.

GAC Liaison's Report on the ALAC-GAC Intersessional Leadership call to prepare the agenda for the joint meeting @ICANN72, 20 September 2021

In order to ensure active particpation by representatives of both AC's at  the joint ALAC-GAC meeting @ICANN72, preparations were started ealier than usual by the two Liaisons. Shi Young, the GAC Liaison to the ALAC, made a survey among GAC members in order to find out which items would be of interest to them. The results were of great help at the intersessional meeting.

Herewith the minutes of the meeting by Evin Erdoglu (ALAC Staff), noted with thanks:

Notes from GAC and ALAC Leaderships Meeting

Monday, 20 September 2021 at 15:00 UTC


 GAC Brian Beckham, Chris Lewis-Evans, David Satola, Jorge Cancio, Kenneth Merrill, Laureen Kapin, Manal İsmail, Alexandra Excoffier, Shi Young Chang, Velmira Nemiguentcheva-Grau

 ALAC Hadia Elminiawi, Justine Chew, Yrjö Lansipuro (Moderator in place of Maureen Hilyard), Joanna Kulesza, Jonathan Zuck, Olivier Crepin-Leblond

 Staff Devan Reed, Gülten Tepe, Evin Erdoğdu, Benedetta Rossi, Julia Charvolen, Fabien Betremieux, Rob Hoggarth, Claudia Ruiz


  1. Opening of the meeting
  2. Introductions by the Chairs of the GAC and the ALAC
  3. Selection of topics for the joint meeting @ICANN72 from the following:
    1. Session to exchange views on the plenary session topic, looking out for the public interest in ICANN, between two ACs for the further cooperation together.
    2. Fraudulent websites and other DNS nuisances which are sometimes outside of DNS abuse categories
    3. Next steps on SubPro
    4. Next steps on EPDP on the Temporary Specifcation for gTLD Registration Data Team Phase 2A          
    5. EPDP on Specific Curative Rights Protection for IGO’s 
    6. DNS Abuse (Could be integrated with b))
    7. ATRT3
    8. Internet Governance
  4. Conclusions
  5. Closing of the meeting


The GAC and ALAC leadership determined there would be 5 agenda items for their meeting during ICANN72:

  1. DNS Abuse (combining topics 3B & F)
  2. Reflection on public interest processes (using EPDP and SubPro as examples)
  3. Common ground on EPDP on IGOs
  4. ATRT3 topics
  5. Internet Governance and the ICANN Board question

The GAC and ALAC will follow up to refine the session titles and agenda further in advance of ICANN72.

 Action Items

  • ALAC (Yrjö Lansipuro, Jonathan Zuck, Sebastien Bachollet) to share questions for GAC review regarding ATRT3 by Friday, 1 October in advance of ICANN72.
  • Jonathan Zuck to share meeting details (date/time/agenda) of At-Large session on Closed Generics during “At-Large Week” for GAC representation. Jorge Cancio confirmed his availability, pending confirmation of meeting timing.


  • Yrjö Lansipuro opened the meeting in Maureen Hilyard’s absence. He noted the purpose of the meeting was to determine the GAC & ALAC meeting agenda for ICANN72 from the list of items on the agenda. Manal İsmail welcomed the meeting participants on behalf of GAC. Jonathan Zuck raised an AOB item for GAC representation in the At-Large session on Closed Generics.
  • Hadia Elminiawi noted that the plenary session topic on agenda item topic 3A on the public interest is likely not to take place during ICANN72. Yrjö and Manal agreed to remove the item from discussion for ICANN72. Manal suggested the second community plenary session on hybrid meetings as a potential replacement topic.
  • Shi Young Chang introduced agenda item topic 3B on DNS abuse. Manal noted that the ALAC did not prioritize this discussion for ICANN72, that the proposal came from the GAC. Brian Beckham observed the topic has come up frequently both in WIPO and elsewhere. Different discussions about toolkits, frameworks, and which actors should be involved. The conversations are in early phases, but there is a question that often comes up regarding the concept of applying UDRP framework for other areas and having a transparent process with known criteria and decision-making process to address DNS abuse in all forms. He shared that the WIPO report, slides 10, 16, and 17 may be of particular interest: Joanna Kulesza noted that the At-Large has been in conversations with registrars and registries to understand how processes function and convey information to end users. She promoted the EURALO Roundtable on Tuesday, 21 Sept at 18 UTC on European regulatory proposals, and the At-Large session during At-Large week ahead of ICANN72 as a platform for these ongoing conversations. Velmira Nemiguentcheva-Grau noted that the European Commission is working on study on DNS abuse, and that it might be useful for colleagues in ALAC to follow up on the matter. She suggested that ICANN73 may be a better time to discuss this study, given it is currently in the finalization stage. Hadia Elminiawi suggested items 3B & F be combined as an item for the ICANN72 ALAC and GAC meeting.
  • Yrjö noted that item 3C on SubPro may not have much room for discussion. He called on Justine Chew to provide comments. Justine noted that it is difficult to ascertain next steps until the webinar on ODP for SubPro takes place. ALAC is monitoring next steps and noted that the ODP does not include community members outside GNSO. Jorge Cancio agreed with Justine.
  • Yrjö opened item 3D on EPDP Phase 2A. Hadia noted only 3 recommendations that would be relevant for GAC-ALAC discussion at this stage, that require action in the future: 1) Code of conduct for domain name registration, 2) Encouragement for GNSO to follow legislative developments, 3) SSAD (TBD implementation). Laureen Kapin noted it was unclear what the GNSO and Board will do at this stage and that it would be better timing for discussion when the GAC and ALAC know procedurally what the GNSO and Board will do.
  • Jorge observed that both the GAC and ALAC may “take a step back and reflect on their role in public interest processes.” He noted GAC comments during an internal GAC discussion on their minority statement to the EPDP Phase 2A Final Report questioning why it is called a minority statement with most other community groups within ICANN are also providing dissenting minority statements. He noted that the perhaps the GAC and ALAC can reflect on the procedural policy processes and how to do justice to the public interest, and general reflections on how to broaden the discussion to more members of the ALAC and GAC. Hadia noted that the ALAC had also shared similar reflections in their At-Large Consolidated Policy Working Group (CPWG) discussions, on how “minority statements” are not representative. Yrjö noted that this item on the role of the ALAC and GAC in public interest processes may include reflections on EPDP and SubPro.
  • Yrjö opened item 3E on EPDP on IGOs. Alexandra Excoffier noted that the ICANN Public Comment on the Initial Report from the EPDP on IGOs is now subject to a 40-day Public Comment period, and suggested it be a topic for ICANN73. She urged both the GAC and ALAC to comment. Yrjö noted that one aspect of joint interest for the ALAC and GAC would be a mechanism to solve this problem, because it may cause confusion for end users. Manal noted the GAC and ALAC would benefit from aligning their views on the topic.
  • Yrjö opened item 3G on ATRT3. He noted the proposal came from Sebastien Bachollet, who was not on the call. Manal noted it had been a proposal for ALAC and GAC agenda for several meetings. She suggested the ALAC provide questions that could trigger a GAC discussion on the topic. Jonathan noted that one question would be objectives for the pilot project on the holistic review. Joanna noted another question would be the prioritization of recommendations, particularly how to best implement them without burdening the community and how to encourage cross-community work. Yrjö confirmed that the ALAC would share questions with the GAC on ATRT3 in advance of ICANN72.
  • Yrjö opened item 3H on Internet Governance. Olivier Crepin-Leblond suggested the topic probably needs more preparation than the two communities have for ICANN72, and noted that IGF is happening soon after ICANN72. Jorge noted that the plenary discussion during ICANN71 on the topic was very interesting, looking into the workings of both ICANN and beyond ICANN. He noted the ICANN Board has asked all SOACs for their input on how ICANN and the Board could engage even better with governments, including geopolitical tensions. He suggested it would be worthwhile for ALAC and GAC to exchange views on this. Yrjö agreed, noting that the ALAC meeting with the ICANN Board will take place before ICANN72, but it would be useful for the ALAC and GAC to exchange views on the topic, also before the GAC answers the Board. Manal agreed. Joanna noted that it may be worthwhile to monitor regional IG developments that directly impact ICANN policies, and to suggest a format for this approach.
  • Yrjö summarized that 5 items would be on the ALAC and GAC ICANN72 agenda: 1) DNS abuse, 2) Reflection on public interest (ex. EPDP and SubPro), 3) Common ground on EPDP on IGOs, 4) ATRT3 topics, and 5) Internet Governance at the ICANN Board question. The GAC and ALAC will follow up to refine the session titles and agenda further in advance of ICANN72, including ATRT3 questions. Jorge confirmed his availability to participate in the At-Large session on Closed Generics pending session time and date information.

#   #   #

GAC Liaison's Report on  the ALAC-GAC Meeting at Virtual ICANN71

 As at every ICANN public meeting since 2016, a joint meeting of the ALAC/At-Large and the GAC took place at the virtual ICANN71 on Thursday, June 17, 2021.

 During the five years since ICANN55, cooperation between the two advisory committees has developed from general comparing of notes to concrete cooperation on policy details of issues important to both. As I noted in my report from the joint meeting at ICANN70, substantive discussion on EPDP and SubPro, the most important of those issues, had increasingly moved to intersessional meetings (with leadership teams and topic leads participating) which then were just reviewed at the full joint sessions at ICANN meetings.  For those actively involved from both sides, this meant repetition; others had to be on the listening side at an increasingly detailed discussion between topic leads of the two PDP’s.

At the joint meeting at ICANN71, an effort was made, at the initiative of the Chairs of both AC’s and with active participation of senior GAC staff, to make the joint full sessions more interesting and engaging for a wider group of participants from both sides.  Most of the time was still devoted to the discussion of the EPDP and SubPro, but from a wider and more principled angle. Other subjects were briefly introduced with the aim of possible having them on the agenda at future joint meetings.

However, in my view, to have more active participation from a wider group of people from both AC’s, the topics need to be decided and prepared earlier before the meeting.  In particular, it cannot be expected that GAC members would be comfortable commenting “on the fly” on unfamiliar issues, and the virtual format certainly does not help fostering spontaneous discussion.  The meeting showed that we are on the right track in developing a new model for our joint meetings, but it still needs fine-tuning and, most obviously, their agenda planning must start much earlier.


Justine Chew reviewed the latest developments and expected next steps, including the initiation of an Operational Design Phase and convening an Implementation Review Team, and suggested there would be ample room for the GAC and the ALAC to cooperate on them and monitor the issues that both are interested in. She also pointed out the need to better “connect the dots” on various PDP’s which, although they are separate processes, nevertheless have mutual prerequisites and dependencies.

Jorge Cancio noted that the GAC had reminded the Board, both in its written comments and at a bilateral meeting, of preconditions or steps to take before a new round is launched. He said that in the GAC comments, support for ALAC advice was expressed on many issues, and the cooperation with ALAC with continue also in the operational design phase.

Moving to a more general discussion on the goals of both committees on the SubPro, Hadia El-Miniawi mentioned the end-user proritities of safety and security, which bring DNS Abuse mitigation into the picture, and the need to protect the identity of local communities online. From the GAC side, Manal Ismail noted the need to expand the DNS market to underserved regions and to include more IDN’s. Jonathan Zuck pointed out that to begin with, end-users predominantly are not looking for new TLD’s. There is no consumer demand for them. But if they are introduced, at least mistakes of the past should be avoided, and new players should be given a chance. Finally, Alan Greenberg came back to the ALAC-GAC cooperation, noting that SubPro is a complicated set of issues, some of which we disagree on, but we have to keep focusing on those we agree on and work together on them.


Alan Greenberg reviewed the gradual intensification of cooperation on EPDP not only between the ALAC and the GAC, but also with the business community, IPC and SSAC. Hadia El-Miniawi gave examples of how seemingly small things (such as distinguishing between natural and legal persons) can have a big impact on the daily activities of end-users.

Chris Lewis-Evans agreed with Alan Greenberg’s assessment of the intensive cooperation on EPDP, which he was as a great benefit of the multi-stakeholder model.

Discussing the basic goals of both committees in the EPDP, Chris and Alan agreed that it is a question of maintaining balance between two goals, both in themselves important: data protection and enabling services to work efficiently and correctly.

Internet governance

Olivier Crepin-Leblond noted that the COVID-19 has proven the resilience of the ICANN’s multistakeholder model, as the Internet was relied on to keep the world running. He suggested ICANN should be more involved in the international space and showcase its model to the outside world, including those who would like to replace it with a different one.

Nigel Hickson took note of the threats on the horizon, including New IP project and the preparations for the 20-year review of the outcomes of the World Summit on Information Society.  For ICANN, the question is, “how close do you get to the sun”, ie. how close to political issues it can get in the internet eco-space.


From the GAC side, there were no substantial developments yet in answer to Sébastien Bachollet’s presentation on ATRT3 at the joint ALAC-GAC meeting at ICANN70, but Manal Ismail promised to come back to it as soon as possible

Sébastien Bachollet volunteered to come, with colleagues from the ATRT3 shepherd team, to any GAC meeting if that would be helpful.

DNS Abuse

Jonathan Zuck noted the joint ALAC-GAC educational initiatives for countering DNS Abuse. He also expressed satisfaction about the signs for more cooperation on this issues with contracted parties, as evidenced at an earlier session organized by them.


GAC Liaison's Report on ALAC-GAC Meeting at Virtual ICANN70

21 April, 2021

 A joint meeting of  the ALAC/At-Large and the GAC was held at the virtual ICANN70 on Tuesday, March 23, 2021.  On the agenda were the two perennial items – EPDP and SubPro – and ATRT 3, a new subject for ALAC-GAC discussion. 

In a way, the meeting marked a new stage in the cooperation between the two advisory committees in that substantive discussion on both EDPD and SubPro has increasingly moved to intersessional meetings  specifically held on each issue in the LT+topic leads format.   Thus, the role of the full joint sessions at ICANN meetings has somewhat shifted towards reviewing and assessing the progress of the practical cooperation between the experts on both sides, in addition to searching for new policy areas where the two committees could benefit from working together.


Drawing on his 10-11 year of experience from discussions with the GAC, and remembering the beginnings of cooperation with occasional joint statements, Alan Greenberg gave high marks to the present level of cooperation on EPDP :“In my wildest dreams I never thought it would come to this…”  He praised the GAC representatives as marvelous, both active and vocal team, with whom “we are pretty much 100% in sync on most of the important subjects, so I’m just delighted about how well the two groups are working together, and I’m so delighted how much the GAC people are putting in because it takes a lot of pressure off us.”

Laureen Kapin agreed that the representatives of both AC’s are very much in sync and working together better than ever.  Both she and Hadia El-Miniawi mentioned the efforts to take into account concerns of the contracted parties on the natural/legal distinction, and both expressed a hope  on eventually coming up with policy recommendations that “take us to a better place than where we are now” (Laureen). Hadia also raised the possibility of the Phase 2A being terminated without result, and Manal Ismail confirmed it has been a worry for the GAC as well.

Alan mentioned that the contracted parties are pushing for deciding on guidelines instead of consensus policies, which is not really the job for a PDP. Laureen stressed that the GAC is in full accord that PDP should produce requirements rather tan just aspirational goals, valuing if course those who elect to go above and beyond what contracts require and engage in best practices.


Justine Chew echoed the comments made by Alan regarding the excellent cooperation between the ALAC and the GAC. She noted that the ALAC is preparing its advice to the Board, and explained the four items that are going to included  in addition to those raised in the report of the SubPro report.  She also said she didn’t believe that although we are now at the stage where advice to the Board will be issued, this will not be the end of opportunities for ALAC-GAC cooperation the SubPro.   There’s still going to be Operational Design Phase, and the implementation, where the ALAC and the GAC  will have a role to play.

Jorge Cancio agreed on the good cooperation on SubPro and pointed out the dedicated intersessional call on 20 January as exceedingly productive.

At ICANN70, the GAC had focused on SubPro at three sessions, of which  Luisa Paez gave a summary. The items discussed by the GAC included predictability of the applications process, public interest commitments, applicants’ support, closed generics and GAC advice.

Alan took up the concerns expressed by the Board as to the mission limits of the ICANN that may limit enforceability,but argued that a careful reading of the Bylaws says ICANN cannot impose its views on content, and that this would not be the case if a registry voluntarily agrees to content-related commitments.


Sébastien Bachollet, who was one of ALAC representatives on the third accountability and transparency review team and had had proposed ATRT3 to the agenda, gave a summary of the Board scorecard of the recommendations of the third accountability and transparency review.

Manal noted that the GAC had been actively involved in the community assessment and feedback effort of ATRT3, but mainly focusing on parts relevant to the GAC. As the GAC is not subject to organizational reviews, it relies mainly on ATRT reviews for feedback. This time there were no recommendations, and only a few suggestions to to the GAC. (Contained on pp. 174-181 of the ATRT3 Report,

Sébastian pointed out a suggestion that the GAC could be taken as another AC with the continuous improvement, and that the ATRT and the holistic review would take that into account. Manal said the GAC will take note and look into it, and it could well become another topic for coordination and cooperation.

The GAC Communiqué

In the part of the GAC Communique dealing with SubPro, there were a couple of references to ALAC positions:

  • Relative to Community Based Applications, some GAC mMembers expressed support for a GAC alignment to At-Large positions in the ALAC MinorityStatement, especially relating to CommunityPriority Evaluations (CPE).

  • On Auctions/Mechanisms of Last Resort, some GAC Members supported the At-Large MinorityStatement on disincentivizing auctions of last resort and that the use of a bona fide intentaffirmation should supplement applications, not only those which fall into contention sets

Some possible next steps envisaged in the GAC Communiqué included further coordination/cooperation with the ALAC/At-Large:

GAC members discussed potential next steps for theGAC to consider, including:

  • Review of advice envisaged by At-Large for ICANN70,which could provide a basis for a GACconsensus comment in the forthcoming Public Commentproceeding;

  • A potential intersessional statement from the GACto the ICANN Board (separately or jointlywith the ALAC); and

  • Potential GAC Consensus Advice to the ICANN Boardbefore it votes on the SubPro PDP FinalReport.

Follow-up after ICANN70

In view of the GAC interest expressed in the Communiqué, I relayed the draft ALAC Advice to the GAC Leadership and SubPro topic leads after it was cleared by the CPWG, and Justine sent then the final version immediately after it was approved by the GAC.

The ALAC Advice was discussed preliminarily at the GAC Leadership call on 19 April. In his e-mail, Jorge Cancio said GAC will factor it into the preparations for a GAC consensus input to the Public Comments period:

“We will look into the substance and the next steps for the development of GAC positions in a specific internal GAC topic leads’ call later this week, and will then come back to you regarding how we can further align our mutual positions in this phase of the process – possibly a common call may help in sharing information and exchanging on positions.”


GAC Liaison’s Report on Intersessional Meetings, December 2020 - January 2021

January 26, 2012

As decided by the joint ALAC-GAC meeting at ICANN69 (21 October, 2020), coordination and cooperation efforts on EPDP and SubPro issues between the two advisory committees were continued and concretized at their subsequent intersessional meetings in the “Leadership + topic leads” format. A meeting focused on Phase 2A of the EPDP was held 15 December, 2020, and another devoted to the situation after the Public Comments period on the Final Report of the EDPD 20 January, 2021.

Important decisions were taken by both committees to ensure the continuity of their cooperation:  the GAC filled the vacancy after Ana Neves (Portugal), who left the GAC in December 2019, and appointed Shi Young Chang (Korea) as the GAC Liaison to the ALAC.  On the ALAC side, Joanna Kulesza, Vice-Chair of the ALAC, was appointed as a “Shadow Liaison” to the GAC to work with me until the 2021 AGM, when she will take over the post.

  • Meeting on the Phase 2A of the EPDP, 15 December 2020


The two advisory committees largely agree on the issues, known by shorthand expressions legal vs. natural person distinction and anonymized e-mail. Both issues are complex, and fraught with definitional, logistical and other problems. Contracted parties are not keen on performing extra work they would cause, and consider the issues closed.  If the ALAC and the GAC want to keep them alive, they have to come with proposals. The meeting discussed how that could be made in the very short time available. There was agreement that it has to be done, whether by a joint statement or just by tight coordination of separate one.   Lauren Kapin, the GAC lead on the topic, and Alan Greenberg, agreed to continue immediately to work towards that end.  

Transcript of the meeting:

  • Meeting on SubPro, 20 January 2021


The main purpose of the meeting was to compare the ALAC and GAC positions (agreed, in the process of being agreed upon, or still being discussed within them) on key SubPro issues, as both now prepare for next steps in the process. Just before the meeting, ALAC had registered it minority opinion within the SubPro PDP WG; the GAC had decided not  to issue such a statement, but was still discussing whether to address the GNSO  Council with its concerns.  Eventually, both will have the opportunity to issue their advice to the Board.

On 18 December, 2020, Justine Chew had sent the GAG a document that stated the ALAC points of view on ten key SubPro issues.  Its first eight points were repeated and elaborated in the ALAC minority statement to the EDPD and will be, along with two additional points, elements of its forthcoming advice to the Board.

At the meeting 20 January, Jorge Cancio (Switzerland), the GAC topic lead, assisted with other GAC representatives, kindly agreed to answer to the ALAC Brief point by point, making it clear that on some of them, the GAC had not yet achieved a full consensus. Convergence or similarity of views prevailing in both AC’s could be noted on most items of the ALAC Brief, and will certainly be useful when they prepare their advice to the Board.

It was also noted that a minority opinion on SubPro WG Recommedation 35 had been issued by a group of individuals from several constituencies, including the GAC and At-Large, strongly opposing private auctions.

As a new issue, the composition and modalities of the Operational Design Phase (ODP) was raised at the end of the meeting as a possible topic on which ALAC and GAC might develop common views.

Transcript of the meeting is not yet (25 January) available. For those interested in the detailed discussion of the points of the ALAC Brief, watching the Zoom recording is recommended.

GAC Liaison's Report on ALAC-GAC Meeting at Virtual ICANN69

A joint session of the GAC and ALAC/At-Large took place at the Virtual ICANN69 on October 21, 2020, with EPDP, SubPro and DNS Abuse on the agenda for comparing notes and planning further cooperation.


Alan Greenberg noted that EPDP is now at an interesting point, as GNSO has adopted all recommendations from EPDP Phase 2, including some not supported by a consensus. It is now up to the Board to decide what to do, but it is the responsibility of the GAC and the ALAC, as the two main advisory committees, to think carefully what kind of advice they give to the board.  When the EPDP WG reconvenes for Phase 2 A, the two groups have to put forward proposals on different treatment of legal and natural persons and on anonymized e-mail addresses.

Hadia El-Miniawi added the issue of accuracy, the ability of the SSAD to evolve, and financial aspects  to the joint concerns of ALAC and GAC.

Chris Lewis-Evans assured that GAC representatives look forward to working together with ALAC on proposing a way forward for the whole EPDP.

Manal Ismail concluded the discussion suggesting a call between topic leads after ICANN69  to agree on concrete steps forward or even to start jointly working on material to feed into the Phase 2A tracks.

Taking note of the suggestion, Yrjö Länsipuro took organizing the call as an AI.


As promised at the ALAC-GAC intersessional meeting (21 October 2020 ), Justine Chew presented a comparative analysis of comments on following topics from different stakeholders in the SubPro PC process:

  • 1)Registry commitments and enforceability
  • 2)DNS abuse mitigation
  • 3)Application support and communications (outreach)
  • 4)Community applications + CPE
  • 5)Auctions & private resolution of contention sets
  • 6)Closed generics aka “exclusive generics”[1]

On 1), Justine noted the  GAC had comment  that we should be looking at Category 2 safeguards for TLDs in highly regulated sectors. She also drew attention to the Board’s concern about the enforceability of both PICs and RVCs in light of ICANN Bylaws which exclude judgment on contents from ICANN’s mission. On 2), Justine noted that GAC expects swift action from GNSO Council in triggering holistic efforts on abuse mitigation. On 3), ALAC still had concerns over some of the draft final recommendations, including source of funds, details of auction bid credit, prevention of gaming  (eg., in connection with an application denied support and then transferred into a standard one), and metrics. On 4), Justine noted that the GAC and the ALAC are saying similar things in their comments.  ALAC has pushed for major reforms in the CEP process,  eg., for including more grassroots participation in the evaluation panels or their access to expertise in community matters, and for avoiding the bias toward economic communities. On 5), ALAC is proposing a ban on private auctions so that auctions proceeds would benefit the global internet community. And finally, on 6), allowing closed generics, if at all, only if they served some sort of public interest.

From the GAC side, a recognition of Justine’s tremendous effort and expertise was expressed, as well as of the inter-sessional collaboration with the ALAC, which the GAC looks forward to continuing.  Luisa Paez, GAC Vice-Chair, noted that at the GAC session with the Board the day before, the GAC had raised two items of importance to the ALAC, namely implementing CCT Review recommendations, with a particular focus on DNS Abuse, and the question of enforceability of public interest commitments.[2] She concluded that there is a lot of commonality in terms of the ALAC and GAC views, and that the GAC is looking forward to engaging further with the ALAC.

Jorge Cancio, GAC Vice-Chair, endorsed Luisa’s thanks to Justine and ALAC, and her view on the commonalities of ALAC and GAC positions. He drew attention to the evolution of the GAC thinking on SubPro from a compilation of the views of about 20 individual GAC members in April-May[3]  to the consensus input to the draft SubPro report in September.[4] During ICANN69, the GAC discussed both internally and raised with SubPro WG co-chairs the question of what role the GAC would play in the new predictability framework.  Jorge noted that the PDP WG should be  aware of the synergy and alignment between the comments from the GAC and ALAC, which both, at the end of the process, have the possibility of issuing advice to the Board.  He expressed the hope that their comments are well considered in the WG, so that interventions at the end can be minimized.

Manal held out the possibility of an intersessional call between SubPro topic leads, if they think it would be needed, to agree on how to align our next steps together might be.

Combating DNS Abuse

Lastly, an AOB item at the suggestion of the ALAC side was raised on the possible cooperation on grassroots capacity building on combating DNS Abuse. As Jonathan Zuck, ALAC Vice-Chair explained, ALAC is committed to a two-pronged approach to combating DNS Abuse, by pursuing improvements to relevant policies of ICANN, and by launching a campaign to educate individual internet users about how to protect themselves from harms like phishing scams and others based on DNS Abuse.  Looking for cooperation with GAC on the matter, At-Large brings to the table a fairly deep network of its regional/local structures that enables us to reach out in a significant way. What At-Large looks for from governments are educational resources of the type of videos produced by FTC/US that Laureen Kapin of the PSWG had pointed out.  ALAC is now in a resource identification phase, finding out what kind of resources in what languages are available.

Manal thought the initiative was a relevant and timely one, noting that the need of capacity building on combating DNA Abuse has been mentioned in previous GAC communiqués, and echoing Jonathan’s call to GAC members for sharing any relevant materials.

Maureen Hilyard, the ALAC Chair, noted the important place of capacity building in the At-Large plans next year and thanked the GAC in advance for its help for this effort.


 At the conclusion of the meeting, Manal reminded her GAC colleagues that since Ana Neves, the representative of Portugal, left the GAC, there has not been a GAC Liaison to the ALAC, as a counterpart to the ALAC Liaison to the GAC, and she was now seeking volunteers for that task.

Lastly, Alan took the floor commenting the evolution of the GAC over the last 14 years he had been involved with ICANN: “I am just amazed and pleased at how involved the GAC now is in the actual work of ICANN and helping  (it) to go forward in the right ways, as opposed to almost, in the past, sitting back and critiquing things but not actively being involved, and just how dynamic the GAC is right now compared to a dozen years ago. So my hat’s off to you, if I was wearing a hat”.

[1] Slide deck at:

[2] Transcript of GAC meeting with the Board 20 October:[0]=isPinned&sortByFields[1]=lastActivityAt&sortByOrders[0]=-1&sortByOrders[1]=-1&uid=a6ijir8iemBHYWRru



GAC Liaison’s Report 28 July, 2020

Dialogue between At-Large and the GAC continued in the spring and summer of 2020 in spite of COVIC-19 restraints and actually developed new, issue-focused forms of cooperation on key topics of interest to both. On 20 May, 2020, an important GAC Leadership delegation participated in a CPWG singleissue call on registry commitments and the role of GAC advice and GAC early warnings, where the topic leads from both AC’s presented the current stage of their deliberations on the topic.

Transcript of the call is available at 4430/136120452/atlarge-cpwg-role-gac-advice-20may20-en.doc.

Due to time constraints, an ALAC-GAC meeting at ICANN68 was replaced by an ALAC-GAC Leadership call, attended by the leads of relevant topics, during the week preceding ICANN68, on 17 June 2020.

On the agenda were Subsequent Procedures, EPDP and DNS Abuse, with a view to developing mutually supporting positions on issues of common end user – government interests. On SubPro, Justine gave a comprehensive presentation of At-Large views on how to make applicant support and community application processes more effective and meaningful; on issues related to GAC category one safeguards; on some geonames issues, and on the CCT recommendations to be implemented before the next round. The presentation included a number of concrete questions to the GAC about their stand on the issues. The GAC Chair thanked Justine for a thorough and excellent presentation and promised the GAC would try to digest the information shared and to respond to it. On the prerequisites to the next round, she noted that at recommendations related to DNS Abuse were prioritized by the GAC to be dealt with prior to any new rounds, as stated in its Montreal communiqué. Summary of the Justine’s presentation and requested input from the GAC: 0578/138969933/2020-06-17%20ALAC-GAC%20Leadership%20Call%20- %20SubPro%20Summary.pdf

Under the agenda item on DNS abuse, Joanna and GAC Chair Manal shared information about relevant sessions planned by both AC’s at ICANN68.

On EPDP, Alan Greenberg noted that At-Large and the GAC are pretty well in lockstep on issues that are important for both – natural vs. legal, accuracy, e-mail, the evolution mechanism, and GAC Chair Manal confirmed that the GAC shares At-Large’s concern on many, if not all EPDP issues.

Transcript of the 17 June call is available at 0578/140248486/atlarge-alac-gac-leadership-17jun20-en.doc. 

In addition, on 9 July 2020, a call of the Public Safety Working Group (PSWG) of the GAC with the participation of interested At-Large members at the initiative of the former, originally scheduled for the Cancún meeting and postponed a couple of times, finally took place. Its agenda covered Access to gTLD registration data (effectiveness of current interim arrangements, including EPDP Phase 1 implementation) and DNS Abuse (implementation of CCT and RDS-WHOIS2 recommendations and enforceability of Public Interest Commitments PIC’s). Due to its “informal” nature, it was not recorded so that a transcript is not available.


The threat of COVID-19 is not over, and nobody knows when full-scale physical meetings of ICANN can be resumed. So far, it has been possible to develop cooperation on issues of interest to both At-Large and the GAC by remote means. If constraints continue, it will be more and more important to keep up a meaningful, results-oriented dialogue on key topics of interest to both AC’s, lest the dialogue turns into a formality. GAC itself will be challenged by the absence of face-to-face meetings, which until now have been necessary for adopting GAC Consensus advice. On the other hand, the pandemic has provided an important lesson to both At-Large and the GAC. Unashamedly quoting myself from the COVID-19/end users session of ICANN68: At our meetings with the GAC, we used to point out that citizens and internet end users are same people. With pandemic lessons learned, we can now say that during an emergency, people can continue to play their full role as citizens because they are internet end users, and good at that. In an emergency like this, resiliency of the fabric of the entire society depends on the Internet. I think – I hope – that the lesson has not been lost on governments or on any other stakeholders. This is a good starting point for cooperation, also on local/national level, something that has been suggested at our joint meetings.

Yrjö Länsipuro

GAC Liaison’s Report on ICANN 67 Virtual Community Forum

Like other ICANN constituencies, the GAC managed to adapt smoothly  to the virtual format of ICANN67, gathering a number of online participants (61 Members, 6 Observers)  comparable to face-to-face meetings in recent years, conducting its core business and drafting a communiqué, however without any formal Consensus Advice, which would have required a face-to-face meeting.  The focus of the meeting was clearly on the issue of Subsequent rounds of new gTLD’s, which was dealt with  both at GAC meetings proper and at its sessions with the Board, the SubPro PDP WG and the ALAC/At Large. In addition, GAC capacity building sessions were devoted to this topic in their entirety.  This emphasis is understandable in view of the rapid turnout of national representatives to the GAC. There are not so many left from the days of the lively discussions 2008-2012, when the GAC played an important role in shaping the modalities of the 2012 round, as it itself was transformed by the process into an operative component of the new gTLD-generating

mechanism.  Recent capacity building efforts seem to have borne fruit, and the GAC is now coming up to speed on this issue, something of great importance also for ALAC/At-Large (see below).

The other two topics mentioned in the communiqué as “issues of importance to the GAC” were Acquisition of PIR (.org) and Domain name registration directory service and data protection (EPDP).

 Unlike a normal face-to-face meeting, where the GAC  (or its WGs) may have a dozen bilateral meetings with other ICANN bodies, the online GAC at ICANN67 had to cut down on dialogue sessions, including an informal meeting that its Public Safety Working Group wanted to have with interested ALAC/At-Large participants  on DNS Abuse.  However, as its only bilateral meeting with another SO/AC at “virtual Cancun”, the GAC met with ALAC/At-Large, as it had at every ICANN meeting since the summer 2016.

ALAC-GAC meeting at ICANN67, Wednesday March 11


When a planned face-to-face meeting had to turned into an online one at a couple weeks’ notice, just the absolutely necessary could fit in.  In keeping with this constraint, the joint ALAC-GAC meeting focused on just the two issues high on the agenda of both - SubPro and EPDP – and on the search of possible common ground within them.


On the SubPro, intersessional dialogue between the GAC SubPro Focus Group with ALAC/At-Large was suggested by the GAC side already at ICANN64 (Marrakech, June 2019). However, the GAC group had first to focus on capacity building activities. The first intersessional meeting on the topic was held in February 2020, as an “appendix” to the GAC/ALAC leadership call, with Luisa Paez, the Chair of the GAC Focus Group, and Justine Chew, the Chair of the ALAC/At-Large Small Team on SubPro, as the main speakers. Both sides also exchanged the draft score cards on various aspects of SubPro.

At the joint meeting at ICANN67, Justine Chew presented a chart showing the ALAC/At-Large high level process of producing scorecards which ultimately will form its position, with  cooperation with the GAC built in.

She then presented the list of SubPro topics of interest to ALAC/At-Large and asked for the GAC perspective and inputs on them and whether consensus has been reached within the GAC on them.

Replying to Justine, GAC Chair Manal Ismael said GAC had  prioritized  five  SubPro topics,  namely  1)closed generics TLDs, 2) public interest commitments, 3) GAC early warnings and GAC advice, 4) applicant support program and underserved regions, and 5) community-based applications.

Jorge Cancio added  that GAC discussions have gone to the substance on public interest commitment, GAC early warnings,  applicant support programs and closed generics. The work of finding possible new consensus positions on the specifics of the of the recommendations being elaborated by the PDP working group will take place intersessionally. GAC is basing its discussions on consensus positions dating back the GAC principles on new gTLDs dating back to 2007 so that it is not starting from scratch.

Luisa Paez noted that GAC has still a lot of internal work to do intersessionally, but that it is encouraging that ALAC has a dedicated group looking at their priorities, and that there is an alignment on a few items.  GAG is open to have further intersessional calls with ALAC and noted that it is helpful to get a sense again of where  the ALAC is moving, and those exchanges will help also to build the GAC capacity as well.


Hadia El-Miniawi presented possible EPDP topics that might be of mutual interest for both the ALAC and the GAC:

Commenting on Hadia’s presentation, Giorgios Tselentsis said that the ALAC and the GAC, in his view, have a quite good collaboration in the EPDP. He not only agreed that the points presented by Hadia were of mutual interest, but also, on most of them, the GAC and the ALAC are practically aligned. This was also confirmed by Alan Greenberg and Laureen Kapin in their comments.

The transcript of the meeting can be found at

Yrjö Länsipuro

ALAC Liaison to the GAC

ALAC-GAC meeting at ICANN66, Montreal, 5 November, 2019

 Continuing a practice that started at ICANN56 (Helsinki, June 2016), the ALAC/At-Large and the GAC had a joint meeting at ICANN66 in Montreal 5 November, 2019.

The agenda covered topics of joint interest that have been discussed at many previous meetings: capacity building, EPDP and SubPro. Willingness to move forward from “comparing notes” to more concrete cooperation could be sensed from both sides.

Under AOB, a suggestion was made to develop contacts and cooperation between At Large elements and relevant governmental entities, represented on the GAC, also on country level.

Capacity building

Joanna Kulesza, Co-chair ALAC Capacity Building Working Group confirmed the readiness to cooperate with the GAC on capacity building by having At-Large members participate in the capacity building pre-events of the GAC in Cancun and Kuala Lumpur. Details will be worked on intersessionally.

There is interest in the GAC to learn about the capacity building, practices and working methods of At-Large. Joanna replied to the question by GAC Vice-Chair Luisa Paez by pointing to ICANN Learn, to online resources developed by At-Large and to the At Large Policy Platform that is under development. She also welcomed the Information Transparency Initiative that will make information about ICANN better organized and more accessible


Hadia El-Miniawi, one of the two ALAC representatives in the EPDP, presented an overview of points of common interest between the ALAC and the GAC with regard to the expedited process for gTLD registration data: first and foremost, complying with GDPR and other relevant data protection laws; having a standardized system for access/disclosure automation; accuracy of registration data; and distinction between natural and legal persons. On the last point, a study is going to be launched, something that arose from EPDP meeting in Montreal.

(Reference is also made to the joint GAC – ALAC statement on Phase I of the EPDP at ICANN64, Kobe, 13 March 2019, and subsequent discussions on a follow-up to it concerning Phase II)


Justine Chew, the ALAC Liaison for SubPro, listed SubPro issues that are important to At-Large and that ALAC has commented on in the process, such as global public interest, safeguards including verified TLD’s and registration restrictions for highly regulated sectors, CCT review recommendations, closed generics, new appeals mechanism, applicant support, community priority evaluation and possible enabling of change requests. She confirmed that ALAC is open to working with the GAC in a way that GAC is comfortable with to see if there is common ground on some of these topics or topics that the GAC wants to put forward.

Replying to Justine, Jorge Cancio (Switzerland) noted that already at the previous ICANN meeting (ICANN65, Marrakech, June 2019) the GAC and ALAC had more or less agreed to try to find synergies between the ALAC and GAC SubPro groups. He hoped this can still be done, and pointed out that at least some in the GAC had called for some urgency in tackling the issues that are crystallizing in the PDP working group. He said he hoped that the GAC could share with ALAC its scorecard of SubPro issues which covers 95% of the issues that Justine listed. “So it would be a shame if we didn’t work together on this because our resources, yours and ours, are very limited”, he said,

Luisa Paez, the Chair of the GAC Focus Group on Subsequent Rounds of New TLD’s, agreed that the GAC and the ALAC have a lot of synergies, and that an intersessional call between the GAC Focal Group and ALAC will be planned. She also welcomed sharing the scorecard or parts of it, after it has been updated and reviewed by GAC members.

Contacts and cooperation “on the ground”


Under AOB, Ricardo Holmquist (ALAC-LAC) suggested preparing a joint GAC-ALAC statement encouraging At Large elements and relevant governmental entities to talk to each other at country level. This would facilitate capacity building, help developing policies related to ICANN and building a better internet in our countries, he said.

Next steps

 Moving on to next steps, Ana Neves, the GAC Liaison to ALAC, noted the difficulties of getting the policy dialogue going between bodies that represent governments, on one hand, and consumers and users, on the other. Nevertheless, she insisted on a more active and energized partnership to get the most out of it.

Yrjö Länsipuro, the ALAC Liaison to the GAC, said he realized the ALAC and GAC are “very different animals” but they nevertheless represent the same people whom the GAC calls citizens and ALAC calls individual end users of the Internet. He also thanked Luisa in inviting At Large participation in the GAC Focus Group.

Concluding the meeting, both Chairs, Manal Ismail and Maureen Hillyard, agreed that the GAC and the ALAC should get intersessional cooperation up and running, looking forward to having active engagement between now and the next ICANN meeting in Cancun.


Two other events with ALAC-GAC engagement at ICANN66 need to be noted:

1)   At the joint ALAC-GAC-NPOC Communications and Capacity Building Session (2 November), Bob Hoggarth, Vice President, Policy Development & GAC Relations, explained the special capacity building needs of the GAC, taking into account the high turnover rate of GAC representatives that 178 governments send to meetings. Over 12 months, the committee has seen 99 new participants, and 62 have departed.

2)   Joanna Kulesza and Yrjö Länsipuro participated at the session of the GAC Human Rights and International Law working group (6 November) which discussed the new draft template for human rights impact assessments. 

Joint ALAC-GAC meeting at ICANN65, Marrakech


June 26, 2019

There was a joint ALAC-GAC meeting at ICANN65 on Wednesday, June 26. Due to scheduling constraints, only 30 minutes had been reserved for it, so the agenda was limited to three topics only.

  • EPDP

As a follow-up to the ALAC-GAC joint statement[1] on EPDP, issued at ICANN64 in Kobe, Hadia Elminawi reviewed developments on issues of common concern for both ALAC and GAC, including the distinction between natural and legal persons, accuracy of the data in relation to the purposes they are collected for, and the necessity of including the field for technical contact. In the joint statement, the two bodies had also called for exploring the need of having an ICANN purpose that addresses related DNS research requirements pertaining to the security and stability of the internet. Hadia noted that this Purpose 2 had not been adopted by the Board, so that it needs to be rephrased so the it reflects ICANN’s public interest role.

From the GAC side, Ashley Heineman (US) observed that GAC and ALAC seem to be aligned on many issues pertaining to the EPDP. On Purpose 2, we still need to wait for there to be some sort of Board – GNSO Council consultation, but perhaps leading up to that and afterward, GAC and ALAC can regroup together and maybe chart a path forward on how best to handle that particular purpose.

  • Cooperation on capacity building

Joanna Kulesza reported from the joint small group meeting on Monday on how to facilitate especially newcomers to both ALAC and GAC in adapting in the complex ICANN environment. The objective is to have joint capacity building events both at and between ICANN meetings. In addition, all At-Large capacity building events and online resources are open and GAC members are welcome to use them. In the ensuing discussion, Kavouss Arasteh (Iran) expressed support for this cooperation and suggested leveraging also resources of other international organizations.

  • Intersessional dialogue on policy matters


GAC Liaison to the ALAC Ana Neves (Portugal) presented the idea of expanding the intersessional cooperation of the two bodies to policy matters, in particular to discussing the possible new gTLD round. She proposed a small joint group of 4-5 people from each side to start the work. Jorge Cancio (Switzerland) suggested that instead of setting up a joint group, a newly constituted GAC focal group on new gTLD’s could be used for the purpose. The Chair of that group, Luisa Paez (Canada) confirmed that GAC is open for a dialogue with ALAC on new gTLD, something she sees as important. The focus group is going to discuss the modalities after the summer holiday period and come back with its invitation. (On our side, we should identify a few people who would like to participate in this dialogue.)

At the conclusion of the meeting, the ALAC Chair Maureen Hilyard welcomed the willingness of the GAC for a policy dialogue, noting that we have a lot of commonalities and that ALAC is very willing to participate in discussions with GAC, on terms they find appropriate, and that GAC members are always welcome to the capacity building sessions organized by ALAC. The GAC Chair Manal Ismail agreed that multiple working groups would not be needed and that the GAC focus group will invite ALAC colleagues to join


June 2018

The GAC appointed Ana Neves as the first GAC Liaison to the ALAC during ICANN 62. 

ALAC-GAC meeting at ICANN 62; annotated agenda

23 August, 2016

On 19 August, 2016, there was a call where the Chairs of the GAC and the ALAC, Thomas Schneider and Alan Greenberg, together with the interim ALAC liaison to the GAC, Yrjö Länsipuro, and staff of both advisory committee, discussed the rationale and objectives of the newly created ALAC-GAC Liaison post.

It was agreed that the purpose is to keep the ALAC and the GAC – the two bodies of ICANN community that share a concern for public interest – mutually informed on a general level about what they are doing and planning to do, and to explore issues where the two committees could find enough common ground for cooperation. In the short run, expectations are modest, and the main objective is to build solid foundations for cooperation, whenever there's a need for it.

A call with participation from both sides will be held in September to discuss  issues of mutual interest.  The ALAC Liaison volunteered to present the first draft for the  agenda of the call, and welcomes ALAC input to it.

Yrjö Länsipuro

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