ICANN Board to Meet With GAC Feb 28 in Brussels

MARINA DEL REY, Calif.—ICANN announced Friday that a meeting between the corporation's board of directors and the Government Advisory Committee (GAC) has been scheduled for Feb. 28 and March 1 in Brussels, at the Square Brussels Meeting Centre, Mont des Arts—Kunstberg, Brussels.

The stated purpose of the meeting is twofold:

1. Identify the specific differences between Governmental Advisory Committee ("GAC") advice and the current implementation of the GNSO New gTLD Policy recommendations embodied in the Applicant Guidebook.

2. Through discussion among Board and GAC members, either:

a. arrive at an agreed upon resolution of those differences, or

b. for those issues not resolved, identify what differences remain. This meeting is not intended to address the requirements/steps outlined in the Bylaws mandated Board-GAC consultation process.

The meeting is part of an agreement hashed out during the December ICANN meeting in Cartagena, Colombia, where "the ICANN Board of Directors and Governmental Advisory Committee agreed to meet at some time prior to the upcoming Silicon Valley/San Francisco meeting in order to devote significant time in the interest of resolving the outstanding issues the GAC has identified with the new gTLD process."

Though GAC members, ICANN Board members, select ICANN staff members and subject matter experts only will be allowed to participate in the discussion, the meeting will be open, scribed and streamed live over the internet. "It will be possible for interested parties to attend and observe proceedings," ICANN said. "Remote participation facilities will also be made available."

The Friday statement contained no mention of the .XXX sTLD application by ICM Registry that is still pending before the board, which passed a resolution in Cartagena stating it would consult in Feb. 2011 with CAG to discuss outstanding issues the government advisory committee has with .XXX. AVN will attempt to find out whether .XXX is also on the Feb. 28 agenda.

Information about the ICANN meeting in San Francisco March 13-18, 2011 can be found here.