How do I join a Working Group (WG)?

Send an email to the GNSO Secretariat at - specify if you want to join as a Member or as an Observer. As a Member, you will have full posting rights on the WG mailing list and will be able to participate on WG calls and at meetings. As an Observer, you will have read-only rights to the WG mailing list and will not be able to join or participate in WG calls or meetings. Members will have to fill in a Statement of Interest prior to joining the WG.

Is joining a WG the only way to participate in a GNSO Policy Development Process (PDP)?

Generally speaking, yes - in terms of being able to discuss and deliberate on proposals with other WG Members while the PDP is ongoing, in order to craft the final policy recommendations. However, there are other, specific opportunities to contribute to gTLD policymaking, such as sending in a public comment to WG draft reports that are published for public comment at a certain phase in the WG's work, or (as part of an ICANN Supporting Organization or Advisory Committee or a GNSO Stakeholder Group or Constituency) responding to a WG's solicitation of community input from these groups.

Do I need to be a member of an ICANN Supporting Organization or Advisory Committee, or a GNSO Stakeholder Group or Constituency, to join a WG?

Absolutely not - all GNSO WGs (both for PDPs and non-PDP work) are always open to anyone.

Can I join a WG after it has started work?

Yes! WGs are open to new Members and Observers throughout the course of their work. However, you will be expected to take the time to familiarize yourself with work that has already been completed by the group, and not re-open issues for which discussion has ended.

Who can join the WG calls?

Only WG members may join the weekly calls (unless exceptions are made for certain calls and announced beforehand). Call-in and Zoom details are therefore sent only to WG members via the “ntfy” mailing address – members are requested to not circulate these details without first consulting the WG co-chairs.

However, WG sessions held during ICANN Public Meetings are generally open to all – including Observers and members of the public. Remote participation and call-in details for these open sessions are normally posted on the ICANN meeting schedule and also mirrored/compiled by the GNSO Secretariat for the convenience of GNSO community members.

As an Observer, if I can’t join the calls how can I follow the WG discussions that take place on the calls?

All WG calls – including Sub Team calls – are recorded and transcribed. Along with the weekly agenda, documents and Zoom virtual meeting room chat transcript, these are all uploaded to the WG online wiki space shortly following each call:

I’m a WG Member but can’t attend a particular call. Who do I inform and why do I need to do that?

If you are not able to be on a call, please inform the GNSO Secretariat ( as soon as possible. Please refrain from sending apologies to the whole email list Per GNSO guidelines and practice, attendance is taken on every call – and in the WG’s Final Report these numbers are reported so being able to record who was absent with/without apologies is helpful for purposes of ensuring accuracy.


I’m a WG Member but cannot find my country on the toll and toll free numbers on the dial in information on the calendar invitation or I am travelling at the time of the call, how can I join?

Please email the GNSO Secretariat ( with your preferred contact number and an operator will call you ten mins prior to the scheduled start time of the meeting. You always have the option to follow the audio streaming in the Zoom room, or to connect via VoIP with your laptop microphone.

How do I change my status from Observer to Member (and vice versa)?

It’s simple - just email the GNSO Secretariat ( with your request. For Observers who wish to become Members, please note that this will entail your filling out a Statement of Interest if you have not done so previously.

Who do I contact if I have any other questions?

Feel free to contact any of the staff members who are supporting this WG at any time, or any member of the GNSO Secretariat. We are here to assist you and facilitate the policy work of the GNSO community.


There are also several online modules and toolkits that we continue to develop, to assist newcomers with participation - there is a general module at (about ICANN’s Expected Standards of Behavior and Mailing List Etiquette) and Policy Staff have developed one specifically for the GNSO as well: (covering the GNSO structure, Council, and the development of ICANN Consensus Policy).

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