ICANN GNSO Improvements Accepted – Voting Balance Maintained
The GNSO Improvements working group wrapped up its work in a marathon negotiating session on Friday 25 July.
The ICANN Board had told the GNSO to work out a consensus on the structure of the new GNSO Council; if the GNSO could not reach consensus, the Board would make its own decision on the structure.
The good news is that the concept of a bicameral GNSO Council was accepted by all parties. One chamber will represent the contracted parties (the registries and registrars), and the other chamber will represent the non-contracted parties (Noncommercial, business, intellectual property and ISPs), with equal votes for each chamber.
The primary concern of .ORG and the other registries had been to maintain this voting balance. Also, there are safeguards requiring supermajority votes on significant policy issues, which will protect all parties from efforts by one or two groups to gang up to impose burdensome policies on a minority.
The only bad news is that the group was unable to reach consensus on the number and role of the NomComm members of the Council. This issue will likely be decided by the ICANN Board. Maintaining voting balance and the fact that a consensus was reached within the GNSO working group could be a sign that the GNSO constituencies will now be better able to reach consensus in policy matters.