GAC Communique from the 46thICANN Beijing meeting gave two applications a consensus objection, the GAC communiqué read
i. The GAC Advises the ICANN Board that:i. The GAC has reached consensus on GAC Objection Advice according to Module 3.1 part I of the Applicant Guidebook on the following applications:3.1. The application for .africa (Application number 1-1165-42560)2. The application for .gcc (application number: 1-1936-2101)
The .gcc (dotgcc) applicant wrote to ICANNto protest the GAC advice terming it as lacking any justification or reasoning, the letter reads
“I understand that the GAC has issue formal advice regarding the new gTLD application for .GCC, suggesting (without any reasoning) application be rejected” and continues “we do not consider such unsubstantiated advice of the GAC to be justified, and so we must pursue this matter further”
During the interview with Brad White of ICANN, GAC Chair Heather Dryden on the Beijing Communiqué and New gTLD Advice agreed that there would have been great had there been direct public participation saying that
and in hindsight it’s a result of as having this discussions in a closed formats …during this statement that the community didn’t have the benefit of seeing the exchanges among colleagues intact which were really very substantial of and an interesting that work where asking these questions arise were having to deal with them after the fact” Brad goes to say “so what i hear you say is had these meetings been more open these questions would’ve been answered at the time” and she concludes that “i think they would have or at least better answered the discussions that we have in the GAC around this within the interesting they were substantial and uh… and so it’s unfortunate that the community was not able to see that at work”
The reasoning behind why applications received varied advice has been questioned by applicants. And I think to uphold transparency the GAC committee would be well meaning to substantiate at length how conclusions we arrived at to help sanitize the process and not curtail it before it hits and advanced stage.
There is demand for answers, writing “we call on the GAC to disclose its full justification and reasoning to issuing the advice, as well any and all documents that it considered in formulating that advice. Its of utmost importance that all these details be revealed, in the interests of complete openness and transparency and in order for the applicant and the board to fully understand the situation. We respectfully request the ICANN board to ensure that this information I obtained and published as a matter of Urgency”
The applicant also cites a very important issue, ICANN has not been a great stickler for time lines especially owing to the unpredictable new gTLD process that has experienced several landmark stalling in the past e.g the Applicant hitch that affected initial application stage and the famous “digital archery” method of determining batching priority that was saved by the lottery.
The .GCC letter reads “As an initial matter, the applicant Guidebook states that for the board to be able to consider GAC advice, it must be passed on 13th March, we presume you will reject this advice sa untimely. We would appreciate clarity from the board on this point”
There is a request that the Board should allow the applicants response to yet another legal rights objection be determined before GAC advice is acted upon, their request reads
“We have received a legal rights objection from the Cooperation Council for the Arab States of the Gulf(CCASG), and intend to respond to that objection via the WIPO process. The GAC and Board should allow that process to conclude before making any determination about our application.”