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Travel Assistance

Last modified: 5 January 2017

Provision has been made under ICANN’s Budget for travel assistance for 35 GAC Members for each ICANN meeting from Developing Countries, Small Island Developing States (SIDS) and Least Developed Countries (LDCs). Up to 5 additional slots are foreseen for pre-approved organizations, currently counting the African Union Commission (AUC), the Caribbean Telecommunications Union (CTU) and the New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD). Eligible countries are drawn from a list based on the World Bank economic classification of low, lower-middle and upper-middle economies, in addition to the United Nations’ groupings of Small Island Developing States (SIDS) and Least Developed Countries (LDCs) which are based on criteria that go beyond the World Bank’s economic assessment. With reference to a recent review[1] of the rules for ICANN’s Fellowship program (also referenced for terms and conditions below), flexibility in granting travel support to GAC candidates from other economies may be applied if slots are available. In case there are more requests than available slots, priority will be given to GAC candidates from SIDS, LDCs and lower income countries. To become a pre-approved organization, the organization must be dedicated to the interests of LDCs/SIDSs, have no members from the OECD and be based or headquartered in a LDC/SIDS.

The travel support offered to GAC Members includes the cost of air travel (economy class), lodging for the duration of the ICANN meeting, including GAC meetings convened outside the nominated meeting dates, and a per diem amount set for each city corresponding to the days of effective stay. All travel arrangements, including travel insurance, if required, are made through the ICANN Constituency Travel Team (CTT); however, the development of guidelines and selection process are to be defined by the GAC. It should be noted that it is the responsibility of the GAC traveler to obtain any necessary visas (destination or transit), prior to the purchase of tickets on their behalf by the ICANN CTT; however, itineraries can be provided to assist the traveler with their visa application and visa costs will be reimbursed as specified in D 3.2 below[2].

In addition to travel support for GAC members, ICANN has a Fellowship Program that is open to the GAC.

GAC Travel Support Selection Committee

The GAC Travel Support Selection Committee is composed of the Chair and all Vice-Chairs (up to five) of the GAC and supported by the GAC Secretariat and ICANN staff support to the GAC.

In the event of a vice-chair also seeking travel support, he/she shall not participate in the selection process. If all vice-chairs, or all but one vice-chair, are seeking travel support, then the GAC Chair shall include other GAC Member representatives, as appropriate, in the selection committee.

The GAC Travel Support Selection Committee is responsible for calling for Expressions of Interest (EOI) from GAC members for travel assistance prior to each meeting. The Selection Committee will assess the EOIs against the nominated eligibility and selection criteria, and make selections.

The Selection Committee is responsible for advising successful candidates and ICANN’s Constituency Travel Team of the GAC members who are to receive assistance for each ICANN meeting.

Eligibility and Selection Criteria

  1. Only those GAC candidates from the World Bank economic classification of low, lower-middle and upper-middle economies, in addition to the United Nations’ groupings of Small Island Developing States (SIDS) and Least Developed Countries (LDCs) are eligible to receive travel support for up to 3 consecutive meetings. In case there are more requests than available slots, priority will be given to GAC candidates from SIDS, LDCs and lower income countries. In exceptional cases, if slots remain available after prioritized requests have been granted, candidates from other categories may be considered and accepted by the Selection Committee, provided a reasoned justification for acceptance is issued. Likewise, requests from candidates who have attended 3 consecutive meetings with travel support may exceptionally be considered by the Selection Committee if there are remaining slots after the selection has been made.
  2. The traveler must be an authorized GAC Member representative as delineated at this link. For exceptions, see B4 below.
  3. The program only supports one traveler from each GAC Member per meeting.
  4. This program is ordinarily available to GAC  Members,  but non-GAC Member requests can be considered on a case-by-case basis, taking into account other existing resources of ICANN funding.
  5. Priority consideration can be given to a candidate based on the location of the GAC meeting in order to enhance participation from a particular region.
  6. Priority consideration can be given to candidates holding an elected GAC position or appointed to lead GAC work on a particular topic.
  7. GAC candidates may apply for partial support (for instance, airfare only, hotel only or hotel and per diem only).
  8. Pre-approved organization needs to file timely requests for each meeting to be eligible for travel support for that meeting. The above criteria applies as appropriate for such requests. However, the limit to three consecutive meetings with travel support does only apply to such requests if there are more such requests than available slots for pre-approved organizations.

Selection Process

The Selection Committee is responsible for selecting candidates in accordance with the nominated eligibility and selection criteria.

The Selection Committee will advise the GAC candidates who have been selected for assistance. The Selection Committee will also provide ICANN’s CTT with the names of the GAC candidates selected for assistance and their contact details.

As it would assist GAC candidates to plan, it is recommended that the selection of candidates qualifying for travel support take place at least 8 weeks before the scheduled meeting. Late requests may be considered if there are available slots and travel arrangements can still be made. 

ICANN’s Constituency Travel Team will be responsible for liaising with the selected GAC candidates and facilitating the necessary travel arrangements.

Terms & Conditions

The following terms and conditions reflect the current rules developed for ICANN’s Fellowship Program to address the accountability and transparency and audit trail requirements of ICANN. These terms and conditions will apply for GAC Travel Support.

Transportation

  1. All airfare, regardless of length of trip, is economy class.
  2. Travel will be booked by ICANN via its travel service provider. ICANN will not purchase any travel tickets for a GAC traveler unless and until the GAC traveler has all the necessary travel documents, including visas and transit visas in their possession and has provided ICANN with pdf copies of such documents. GAC travelers should apply for visas, if necessary, well in advance of the meeting.
  3. GAC travelers are not expected, nor are they permitted, to create their own travel itinerary, nor are they permitted to reroute or extend the itinerary created by ICANN’s travel service provider. However, GAC travelers may request from CTT their preferred flight itinerary as long as the cost does not exceed or is equal to the cost of purchasing the most non-stop and direct flight based on the GAC traveler’s approved date of arrival and departure as determined by ICANN’s travel service provider.  
  4. ICANN shall not be liable for any loss or expenses (including airfares) of the traveler for travel delays incurred by the traveler as a result of inaccurate information provided by the traveler, delays in submitting the appropriate forms to the relevant authorities or refusals of host or transit country authorities to grant a visa to the traveler.

Allowances

  1. For ICANN meetings, a per diem amount[3] set for each city will be available and are based on USD. If possible, per diems will be wire transferred to a designated bank account at least one week prior to the start of the ICANN meeting. Since per diems are based on arrival/departure dates plus any travel dates, travel plans must be completed and bank wire details provided to ICANN at least three weeks in advance of the meeting.
  2. ICANN will only cover the cost of a hotel room (including breakfast whenever possible) directly using an ICANN meeting partner hotel as established by ICANN’s travel service provider. Any and all hotel surcharges (e.g. telephone calls, room service, laundry, movies) are the responsibility of the GAC traveler. The hotel may request a credit card from the GAC traveler to guarantee these expenses. It is the traveler’s responsibility to have either a credit card or the necessary deposit to guarantee these expenses.

National laws and legislation

  1. During the travel covered under ICANN GAC travel support, it is the responsibility of the GAC traveler to comply with all local laws and legislation of the country or countries to which he or she will travel (including but not limited to laws pertaining to immigration, taxation, customs, employment and foreign exchange control).It is the responsibility of the GAC traveler to comply with all regulations (including those dealing with visas and required vaccinations) of any country visited.
  2. ICANN is not responsible for obtaining visas for GAC travelers, but will cover costs (visa fees, mailing of passports) incurred by GAC travelers in applying for and obtaining visas (including for transit) upon presentation of the relevant receipts. A GAC traveler is expected to submit visa application well in advance of the meeting.
  3. Upon request, ICANN will provide a form invitation letter to any GAC traveler, inviting the GAC traveler to the ICANN meeting for which the GAC traveler has been granted travel support.
  4. ICANN will not entertain any claim for work permits or any other costs relating to compliance with the national legislation of any country in the world from a GAC traveler or any third party.
  5. ICANN is a California non-profit public benefit corporation incorporated in the United States and must therefore comply with all of the laws and regulations of California and the United States.

Required Travel Documents

Each GAC traveler must be holding the following documentation prior to ICANN booking any travel (airfare and hotel):

  1. A valid passport.
  2. Travel documents as required by the GAC traveler’s country of origin or the country hosting the meeting. An entry visa may be required. It is very IMPORTANT that the GAC traveler check with his or her local consulate agency.
  3. Transit Visas may be required to connect in certain cities or countries. GAC travelers should check with their local consulate agency.

GAC travelers should always carry proof of health insurance. Health insurance is NOT supplied by ICANN.

**All travel documents must be consistent with the name on the GAC traveler’s valid passport**

Personal Safety and Health

  1. Acquiring and paying for any and all insurance, including but not limited to travel insurance is the sole and exclusive responsibility of the GAC traveler.
  2. Claim processing against such insurance (including any costs involved) is the responsibility of the GAC traveler.
  3. ICANN is not responsible for the personal health, safety or belongings of the GAC traveler.
  4. Each GAC traveler is exclusively responsible for maintaining his or her personal health and safety during the period of the GAC membership.
  5. ICANN strongly suggests that GAC travelers consult and comply with the views of the diplomatic and consular authorities of the country of their nationality in respect of travel conditions and safety of travelers applicable in the countries to be visited under this GAC travel support. It is not ICANN’s responsibility to inform or provide advice to applicants or GAC travelers about travel conditions or safety of travelers. However, for ICANN meetings, ICANN does provide general information on the ICANN website about the meeting venue, including general travel and visa information.
  6. Should travel to the selected destinations not be advised by the relevant authorities, upon making a determination not to travel the GAC traveler must immediately advise the ICANN GAC travel support program administrator. This provision is to limit when possible the penalty payments and lost funds imposed by travel vendors due to cancellations.
  7. ICANN also strongly suggests that GAC traveler seek guidance from qualified health personnel concerning potential health risks in the areas to be visited. In preparing for a trip, GAC travelers should receive, at their own expense, all required and recommended immunizations and take malaria prophylaxis if traveling to an area where malaria is endemic. BE AWARE THAT SOME TRANSIT REGIONS MAY ALSO REQUIRE CERTAIN VACCINATIONS OR LAPSE TIME IN TRAVEL DUE TO YOUR REGION OF ORIGIN.

Other provisions

  1. It is required that the GAC traveler benefiting from the travel support to assist and actively participate in all meetings of the GAC and ICANN.
  2. GAC travelers will be asked to complete a feedback form to be submitted to ICANN on the quality of the GAC travel support program itself.
  3. A GAC traveler may apply for partial support (for instance, air fare only or hotel only). In any case the applicant should indicate specific requirements during the application process.

Deferment

If an applicant has been accepted as a GAC traveler to receive financial support to attend a particular ICANN meeting and, due to unforeseen extenuating circumstances, is unable to attend that meeting, upon the applicant’s written request, ICANN may in its discretion and on a case by case basis depending on all relevant factors consider resubmitting that applicant’s support application to be considered for support for attendance at the next ICANN meeting. 

Failure to Comply with Terms and Conditions

If a GAC traveler fails to comply with any one of the above-mentioned terms and conditions of the ICANN GAC travel support program and upon the suggestion or agreement of the GAC Travel Support Selection Committee, ICANN upon suggestion by the Chair of the GAC reserves the right to determine the appropriate course of action including, but not limited to: (i) terminating the financial support prior to the end of a meeting; (ii) causing the GAC traveler’s early departure from the program and ICANN meeting; (iii) and/or asking the GAC traveler to cover costs for expenditures.

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