Please note that all documents referenced in the agenda have been gathered on a Wiki page for convenience and easier access:

This agenda was established according to the GNSO Operating Procedures v3.5, updated on 24 October 2019

For convenience:

  • An excerpt of the ICANN Bylaws defining the voting thresholds is provided in Appendix 1 at the end of this agenda.
  • An excerpt from the Council Operating Procedures defining the absentee voting procedures is provided in Appendix 2 at the end of this agenda.

GNSO Council meeting held 17:30 UTC (12:30 local time)

Coordinated Universal Time: 17:30 UTC:

10:30 Los Angeles; 13:30 Washington; 17:30 London; 18:30 Paris; 20:30 Moscow; (Thursday) 04:30 Melbourne 

GNSO Council Meeting Remote Participation: 

Councilors should notify the GNSO Secretariat in advance if they will not be able to attend and/or need a dial out call.


Item 1: Administrative Matters (10 mins)

1.1 - Roll Call

1.2 - Updates to Statements of Interest

1.3 - Review / Amend Agenda

1.4 - Note the status of minutes for the previous Council meetings per the GNSO Operating Procedures: 

Minutes of the GNSO Council meeting on 21 January 2021 were posted on 4 February 2021.

Minutes of the GNSO Council meeting on 18 February 2021 were posted on 4 March 2021.

Item 2: Opening Remarks / Review of Projects & Action List (0 minutes)

2.1 - Review focus areas and provide updates on specific key themes / topics, to include review of Projects List and Action Item List. 

Item 3: Consent Agenda (5 minutes) 

  • Confirmation of the Recommendations Report to the ICANN Board regarding adoption of relevant Outputs from the New gTLD Subsequent Procedures PDP.

Item 4: COUNCIL VOTE - IANA Naming Functions Contract Amendment (10 minutes)

The Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA) Naming Function Review Team (IFRT) Final Report contains a recommendation that requires GNSO Council action. The IFR is an evaluation of Public Technical Identifiers (PTI) performance of the IANA naming function against the contractual requirements in the IANA Naming Function Contract and the IANA Naming Function SOW. The IFR Review Team's Recommendation 4 (page 5 of the IFR Final Report [PDF, 2.2MB]) calls for an amendment to Article 7, Section 7.1 (a) of the IANA Naming Function Contract. Pursuant to ICANN Bylaws Article 18.6 (iv), there must be "public comment on the amendments that are under consideration by the IFRT through a public comment period that complies with the designated practice for public comment periods within ICANN." In addition, Article 18.6 (b) requires that in order for the recommendation of the IFRT that amends the IANA Naming Function Contract or IANA Naming Function SOW to become effective, one of the requirements is for GNSO approval by a Supermajority.

The IANA Naming Function Contract currently states at Article VII, Section 7.1 (a): Audits:

“Contractor shall generate and publish via the IANA Website a monthly audit report identifying each root zone file and root zone “WHOIS” database change request and its status. The relevant policies under which the changes are made shall be noted within each monthly report. Such audit report shall be due to ICANN no later than 15 calendar days following the end of each month.”

The IFRT recommends that this statement, "The relevant policies under which the changes are made shall be noted within each monthly report" be removed from the contract.

Per the letter from the Co-chairs of the IANA Naming Function Review (IFR), “This section refers to the Root Operations Audit Reports ( which is published monthly by PTI. This statement, carried over from the contract between ICANN and NTIA, is no longer required; further, implementation of this requirement has long been recognised as being operationally impracticable, as a single change request cannot be traced back to a single relevant policy. The IFRT is satisfied that there is no value to this statement remaining in the IANA Naming Function Contract, as the referenced line adds no value to the reports.”

Here, the Council will vote to approve the IFRT Recommendation 4.

4.1 – Presentation of the Motion (Tomslin Samme-Nlar)

4.2 – Council discussion

4.3 – Council vote (voting threshold: supermajority)

Taking this action is within the GNSO’s remit as outlined in ICANN’s Bylaws, as a GNSO Supermajority is one of the required elements to allow for an amendment to either the IANA Naming Function Contract, IANA Naming Function SOW or CSC Charter, as set forth in these Bylaws’ (Art.18.6).

Item 5: COUNCIL VOTE - Charter for the Transfer Policy PDP (10 minutes)

During its February Council meeting, the GNSO Council resolved to initiate a PDP on the Transfer Policy, while also determining that further time was needed to draft the charter. The Preliminary Issue Report included a draft charter, which was included in the public comment proceeding. That draft charter is also included in the Final Issue Report, Annex A. Comment on the draft charter was solicited from Councilors via a pre-recorded webinar prior to this Council meeting. A small team of Councilors was convened to refine the charter, focusing primarily on the membership structure. After receiving input from various communities, the small team proposed a representative structure that it believes allows for appropriate levels of participation.

Here, the Council will vote to approve the Charter.

5.1 – Presentation of the Motion (Pam Little, GNSO Council Vice-Chair) Presentation Slide Deck

5.2 – Council discussion

5.3 – Council vote (voting threshold: an affirmative vote of more than one-third (1/3) of each House or more than two-thirds (2/3) of one House)

Taking this action is within the GNSO’s remit as outlined in ICANN’s Bylaws as the GNSO ‘shall be responsible for developing and recommending to the Board substantive policies relating to generic top-level domains and other responsibilities of the GNSO as set forth in these Bylaws’ (Art.11.1). Furthermore, this action complies with the requirements set out in Annex A: GNSO Policy Development Process of the ICANN Bylaws.

Item 6: COUNCIL DISCUSSION - Nominating Committee Outreach Subcommittee Outreach (10 minutes)

The Nominating Committee (NomCom) initiated its application process on 25 January 2021 (with the deadline extended to 29 March 2021). For this cycle, the NomCom will be selecting two members of the GNSO Council, one representing the Contracted Parties House and one representing the Non-Contracted Parties House. The GNSO Council provided updated criteria to the NomCom in January 2021.

Here, the NomCom Outreach Subcommittee will provide information about the NomCom panel, about the positions being filled for the GNSO Council, and answer questions that the Council might have.

6.1 - Introduction of topic (NomCom Outreach Subcommittee: Adetola Sogbesan & Wolfgang Kleinwaechter) Presentation Slide Deck

6.2 – Council discussion

6.3 – Next steps

Item 7: COUNCIL DISCUSSION – Status Update Regarding EPDP Phase 2A (20 minutes)

On 21 October 2020, the GNSO Council approved the initiation of EPDP Phase 2A, to examine the topics of legal/natural and feasibility of unique contacts. In doing so, the Council required that:

"[a]t the latest 3 months after reconvening, the Chair of the EPDP Team and GNSO Council Liaison to the EPDP will report back to the GNSO Council on the status of deliberations. Based on this report, which is expected to include an update on progress made and the expected likelihood of consensus recommendations, the GNSO Council will decide on next steps, which could include providing additional time for the EPDP to finalize its recommendations or termination of the EPDP if it is clear that no progress is being made or consensus is unlikely).”

Here, the Chair of the EPDP Team and GNSO Council Liaison to the EPDP will provide an update to the Council.

7.1 – Introduction of topic (EPDP Team Chair, Keith Drazek and GNSO Council Liaison to the EPDP, Philippe Fouquart) Presentation slide deck

7.2 – Council discussion

7.3 – Next steps

Item 8: Council Discussion - Debrief on the Consultation with the ICANN Board on the Financial Sustainability of the SSAD (20 minutes)

In the adoption of the Expedited Policy Development Process (EPDP) on the Temporary Specification Phase 2 Final Report and Recommendations, the Council resolved that:

“Noting some of the questions surrounding the financial sustainability of SSAD and some of the concerns expressed within the different minority statements, the GNSO Council requests a consultation with the ICANN Board as part of the delivery of the GNSO Council Recommendations Report to the ICANN Board to discuss these issues, including whether a further cost-benefit analysis should be conducted before the ICANN Board considers all SSAD-related recommendations for adoption.”

The GNSO Council communicated its Recommendations Report to the Board 29 October 2020, in which the Council proposed, “to form a small team consisting of GNSO Council and ICANN Board members to develop a proposed approach and agree on expectations in relation to this consultation.” The ICANN Board responded on 1 December 2020, stating that it believed the Operational Design Phase (ODP) it envisioned, will help facilitate the consultation with the Council. The Council responded on 22 January 2021, suggesting that it is more important to agree upon the elements of the operational impact assessment, rather than relying on the ODP framework exclusively.

That consultation between the Board and the GNSO Council took place on 22 February 2021. The Council will meet with the Board again, connected with ICANN70, on 1 April 2021. There, the Operational Design Phase for the SSAD will be one of the topics for discussion. A small team of Councilors is preparing a letter to be sent to the Board, in advance of the 1 April 2021 meeting, which is expected to be available for this 24 March Council meeting.

Here, the Council will hold a debrief on the 22 February consultation and plan for the 1 April meeting.

8.1 – Introduction of topic (Council Leadership)

8.2 – Council discussion

8.3 – Next steps

Item 9: COUNCIL UPDATE - EPDP Phase 1 Rec 27 (Wave 1.5) (5 minutes)

Recommendation 27 from the EPDP Phase 1 Final Report, “... recommends that as part of the implementation of these policy recommendations, updates are made to the following existing policies / procedures, and any others that may have been omitted, to ensure consistency with these policy recommendations as, for example, a number of these refer to administrative and/or technical contact which will no longer be required data elements.” In support of this recommendation, ICANN org prepared the Wave 1 report, an updated version of which was shared with the Council on 19 February 2020. ICANN org has performed additional analysis for recommendation 27, resulting in the Wave 1.5 Report that focuses on Privacy and Proxy Services Accreditation Issues (PPSAI) and Translation and Transliteration of Contact Information (T/T) policy recommendations, for which implementation has been started but not completed.

For the Wave 1 Report,  the staff support team conducted a first analysis of the report, identifying possible next steps for Council consideration that the Council subsequently reviewed to determine next steps. The Council may elect to follow a similar approach to the Wave 1.5 Report, to determine appropriate next steps.

Here, the Council will discuss the Wave 1.5 Report.

9.1 – Introduction of topic (Council Leadership)

9.2 – Council discussion

9.3 – Next steps

Item 10: COUNCIL DISCUSSION - Introduction to the Briefing Paper on Accuracy Requirements and Programs from ICANN’s Global Domains & Strategy (GDS) (5 minutes)

On 4 November 2020, the GNSO Council wrote to ICANN org, requesting the preparation of a briefing document outlining both the existing accuracy requirements and programs as well as the impact that GDPR has had on implementing and enforcing the identified requirements and programs. This briefing is intended to inform an accuracy scoping team that the GNSO Council envisioned initiating , which would be tasked with furthering the community’s understanding of the issue and assist in scoping and defining the issue. On 10 December 2020, ICANN org responded to confirm its understanding of the request and to commit to delivering that briefing by 26 February 2021. ICANN org delivered the briefing paper on the 26th. In addition to the briefing providing an overview of accuracy requirements and programs, ICANN org included a suggestion that a study to measure accuracy of registration data might be beneficial. In parallel to the request for the briefing, ICANN SO/AC/SG/Cs were requested to start thinking about whether their groups would be interested to participate in a scoping team once created. To date, the BC, ISPCP, RySG and GAC have expressed an interest and identified potential volunteers with relevant knowledge and expertise. 

Here, the Council will discuss next steps as it relates to the briefing as well as the scoping team.

10.1 – Introduction of topic (Council Leadership)

10.2 – Council discussion

10.3 – Next steps

Item 11: COUNCIL DISCUSSION - GNSO Council Consideration of SAC114 (5 minutes)

On 15 February 2021, the SSAC shared SAC114 with the GNSO Council, which are the Security and Stability Advisory Committee (SSAC)’s comments on the New gTLD Subsequent Procedures PDP’s Draft Final Report, but are directed at the ICANN Board for its consideration. While the comments are directed at the ICANN Board, they pertain to the work of the GNSO and as a result, the Council may benefit from considering SAC114 and formulating its impressions of the recommendations.

Here, the Council will consider SAC114 and discuss next steps, if any.

11.1 – Introduction of topic (Council Leadership)

11.2 – Council discussion

11.3 – Next steps

Item 12: COUNCIL DISCUSSION - GNSO Framework for Continuous Improvement (5 minutes)

The GNSO Council has sought an approach to address work that focuses on GNSO structural, procedural and process improvement related work. The proposal from Council leadership is to create a GNSO Framework for Continuous Improvement that will help provide structure to manage the numerous non-PDP related efforts residing on the Council’s Action Decision Radar (ADR). An overview was developed and shared on 20 January 2021.

Based on initial feedback from Councilors and other GNSO stakeholders, a much more detailed draft document was prepared and shared on 2 March 2021, which provides additional information about the structure and potential work assignments. Input was sought from the Council and SG/C Chairs.

Here, the Council will consider whether the framework serves as an appropriate path forward, as well as relevant next steps.

12.1 – Introduction of topic (Council Leadership)

12.2 – Council discussion

12.3 – Next steps

Item 13: ANY OTHER BUSINESS (10 minutes)

13.1 - Open Microphone


Appendix 1: GNSO Council Voting Thresholds (ICANN Bylaws, Article 11, Section 11.3(i))


Appendix 2: GNSO Council Absentee Voting Procedures (GNSO Operating Procedures, Section 4.4)


References for Coordinated Universal Time of 17:30 UTC 

Local time between November and March Winter in the NORTHERN hemisphere


California, USA (PDT) UTC-7 10:30 

San José, Costa Rica (CST) UTC-6 11:30

New York/Washington DC, USA (EDT) UTC-4 13:30

Buenos Aires, Argentina (ART) UTC-3 14:30

Rio de Janeiro, Brazil (BRST) UTC-3 14:30

London, United Kingdom (GMT) UTC+0 17:30

Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of Congo (WAT) UTC+1 18:30

Paris, France (CEST) UTC+1 18:30

Moscow, Russia (MST) UTC+3 20:30 

Singapore (SGT) (+1 day) UTC+8 01:30 

Melbourne, Australia (AEDT)(+1 day) UTC+11 04:30  


DST starts/ends on Sunday 28 March 2021, 2:00 or 3:00 local time (with exceptions) for EU countries and on Sunday 14 March 2021 for the US.


For other places see and

  • No labels
For comments, suggestions, or technical support concerning this space, please email: ICANN Policy Department
© 2015 Internet Corporation For Assigned Names and Numbers