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Work Efforts

The GAC regularly considers a broad range of public policy issues impacting the DNS and other matters regarding the functions of ICANN. This work can result in consensus advice for the ICANN Board or public comment guidance to the ICANN community. This part of the website shares information related to those ongoing topics and activities.

GAC Working Group on Under-Served Regions (USRWG)

Status: Active
Date Formed: 14 Apr 2015

The GAC Working Group on Under-Served Regions (USRWG) focuses on regions under-served by the DNS industry, and least developed economies and small island developing states. A particular focus is on under-served economies/countries from the Africa, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) regions.


The Working Group Leadership is comprised of:


Role Affiliation
GAC USRWG Co-Chair Karel Douglas, Trinidad and Tobago
GAC USRWG Co-Chair Tracy Hackshaw, UPU



GAC USRWG Terms of Reference

To follow are the Terms of Reference for an internal working group of ICANN’s Governmental Advisory Committee (GAC).


The overall objective of the working group is to increase the level of understanding and knowledge of the current GAC representatives from GAC member nations from under-served Regions, leading to an increase in meaningful participation from these regions, while simultaneously increasing the number of GAC members from under-served regions, resulting in an increase in the quantity of GAC membership from these Regions.


The focus of the working group will be on regions under-served by the DNS industry, and on least developed economies and small island developing states.[1]  A particular focus will be on under-served economies/countries from the Africa, Caribbean, and Pacific (ACP) regions.[2] 


An under-served region is defined as one that:


  • Does not have a well developed DNS and/or associated industry or economy; and/or
  • Has low awareness within its government of ICANN, ICANN’s role and functions and policy processes and the way that these policies affect it.


It should be noted that these Terms of Reference form a ‘living’ document – this document may be revised over time to incorporate lessons learned and changed circumstances.



GAC’s Under-served Regions Working Group will develop a range of support, advice and assistance mechanisms aimed at:


  1. Increasing the number and participation of GAC members from least developed economies and small island developing states
  2. Increasing the knowledge, understanding and capacity of GAC representatives from the least developed economies and small island developing states to enable them to engage with ICANN policy processes (and specifically the GAC) in order to:
    • Increase participation and engagement from under-served regions during future new gTLD rounds.
    • Encourage growth and development of the domain name industry (including registries and registrars) in regions currently under-served.


As appropriate, the working group will liaise and work with other working groups or initiatives (within GAC and within the ICANN community) that may be relevant to the needs of under-served regions, countries, economies or states. 


Working Group Members

The GAC’s Under-served Regions Working Group will be co-chaired by:


  • Mr Karel Douglas (Trinidad and Tobago, co-chair)
  • Mr Tracy Hackshaw, (UPU, co-chair)


All GAC representatives and observers are welcome to join the Under-served Regions Working Group. 


Working group participants are expected to be able to:


  • Demonstrate knowledge or expertise about aspects of the objectives of the working group; and
  • Commit to actively participate in the activities of the working group on an ongoing basis.


All participants will be listed in the working group’s online workspace, within the members-only section of the GAC website.


The working group will be assisted and supported by the ACIG GAC Secretariat and the ICANN GAC Support team.


Deliverables and Timeframes

As a first step the working group should establish and adopt an initial work plan and an associated schedule (timeline).  Relevant activities will include:


  1. Liaising with relevant areas of ICANN including applicant support, global stakeholder engagement, government relations, Regional Vice-Presidents, ICANN Fellowships; the ICANN Academy, among others.
  2. Liaising with the GAC Leadership for GAC-Travel Support Rules - Pre–approved Organisations to ensure that the output of the Under-Served Regions Working Group is incorporated in the GAC-Travel Support Rules
  3. Facilitation of the ccTLD Survey among GAC members.  This is to shed light on the way that ccTLD’s are managed and provide the Under-Served Regions with lessons learned from others and practical guidance for strong management of their own ccTLDs;
  4. Grow and develop the domain name industry (including registries and registrars) in regions currently under-served;
  5. Engage the gTLD Review Working Group and share challenges and lessons learned by Under-Served Regions back into that group to contribute to outcomes for the next round of new gTLDs;
  6. Engage the Auction Fees Working Group and the develop a proposal on how Auction fees might be purposed to benefit Under-Served Regions;
  7. Capacity Building, including but not limited to:
    1. more translated material for GAC members in Under-Served Regions
    2. development of ICANN issues and policy briefings from the ACIG GAC Secretariat, targeted at the local level for these region
    3. face-to-face meetings during formal GAC meetings. Starting with Dublin (October 2015) or Marrakech (February 2016).[3]
    4. a range of best practice support, advice and assistance mechanisms aimed at meeting the working group’s objectives
    5. create a GAC Newcomer Travel Kit


The work plan should include the timing and methods for informing the GAC of progress made by the working group.  As a minimum, the Co-Chairs of the working group shall update the GAC about the activities and challenges of the working group, and its progress towards meeting its objectives, at each face-to-face GAC meeting.  The initial work plan and schedule should be published on the web page of the working group. The Co-Chairs will be responsible for maintaining and updating the work plan and schedule and for informing the working group and the GAC Leadership Team of changes made to the work plan and schedule. 


At the discretion of the Co-Chairs an email list may be established to aid the work of the group.  Details of how to subscribe to the email list will be published on the web page of the working group.


Process for the Development of a Position or Statement

The working group, at its own discretion, may publish an Interim (or draft) Paper, which will contain a review and analysis of the topics it considers relevant, or a draft Statement. 
The schedule for drafting and decision-making relating to a Position Paper or Statement should be included in the work plan. 
In developing a working group Position Paper or Statement the working group shall seek to act by consensus. The consensus view of the members of the working group shall be articulated in the paper.  If full consensus cannot be reached, the co-chairs will seek to express the range of views of the WG's members. 


Such a paper will be circulated to the GAC for comment, and may be published with a view to seeking input from the wider ICANN community and/or relevant stakeholders outside the community.


Any such Interim Paper or Statement must clearly state that it is produced by an internal GAC Working Group and does not represent a consensus GAC view.


After revising an interim Position Paper or Statement, the working group may seek formal GAC endorsement or support for the document.  In the event that the GAC does not support or endorse a Position Paper or Statement, the working group may, at its discretion, reconsider and/or revise the Position Paper or Statement.


[1] As defined by UN Office of the High Representative for the Least Developed Countries, Landlocked Developing Countries and Small Island Developing States (http://unohrlls.org/ and specifically http://unohrlls.org/about-ldcs and http://unohrlls.org/about-sids/)

[2] Neither Latin America nor any specific geographic region will be excluded. However, a special focus on the already institutionalized cross-geographical grouping of African, Caribbean & Pacific (see ACP - www.acp.int) countries is being executed in alignment with (and as a "quick win" follow-up to) the recent efforts in ICT Policy & Internet Governance capacity building of the ACP countries through the EU@CP-ICT Programme, 9th European Development Fund (EDF). Similar efforts in other cross-regional groupings will certainly be considered for attention by this WG and identified for development following, or in parallel with, the execution of the ACP Pilot. 

[3] Given the relatively rapid growth of the GAC in membership since the last capacity building event (ICANN47, Durban, July 2013) it may be timely to hold another.  Both the Dublin and Marrakech meetings are likely to be attended by high numbers of GAC representatives from developing economies.

Status and Ongoing Work
Activities last updated
Date: 20 Jul 2023
20 Jul 2023 1689865537000
Date: 16 May 2024
16 May 2024 1715871584000
Date: 28 May 2024
28 May 2024 1716925803000
Date: 09 Oct 2018
09 Oct 2018 1539088520000
Meeting and Records
GAC HRILWG and USRWG Joint Call on Discussion of WS2 Implementation of the Diversity Recommendation
Closed Meeting
Closed Meeting
Members Delegations
Ashton Fearon Antigua and Barbuda
Davit Sahakyan Armenia 
Avet Poghosyan Armenia 
Kristina Hakobyan Armenia 
Ian Sheldon Australia
Bree Alexander Australia
Ingram Niblock Australia
Dale Buttfield Australia
Dr Shamsuzzoha Bangladesh
Houégnon Geoffroy Bonou Benin
Suada Hadzovic Bosnia and Herzegovina
Marcelo Salomão Martinez Brazil
Guiguemde Jacques Rodrigue Burkina Faso
Saidou Yanogo Burkina Faso
Francis Olivier Cubahiro Burundi
Rapid Sun  Cambodia 
David Bedard Canada
Monika Surma Canada
Rida Tahir Canada
Tomboye Ibrahim Itno Chad
Yenan Ji  China 
Maoulida Mmadi Issihaka Comoros
Noel Jean-David Litanga Sangu Democratic Republic of Congo
Venceslas Katimba Kukwabantu Democratic Republic of Congo
Blaise Azitemina Fundji Democratic Republic of Congo
Thomas Bennette Dominica
Amparo Arango Echeverri Dominican Republic
Manal Ismail Egypt
Christine Arida Egypt
Abdalmonem Tharwat Galila
Esteve Sanz European Commission
Martina Barbero
European Commission
Jonas Roule France
Philipp Schulte Germany
Vincent Roberts Grenada
Cellou Diallo  Guinea
Kwame McCoy Guyana
Davide Coluccini Holy See - Vatican City State
Sushil Pal India
T. Santosh India
Pradeep Kumar Verma India
Wahkeen Murray  Jamaica 
Kaydian Smith Jamaica
Ahlam Abu-Jadallah  Jordan
Euniter Amolo  Kenya 
Linet Onyando Kenya
Renga Teannaki Kiribati
Zeina Bou Harb Lebanon
Rainer Schnepfleitner Principality of Liechtenstein
Ruzamri Ruwandi Malaysia
Mohamad Afiq Ammar Tulos Malaysia 
Neilan Lajkan Marshall Islands, Republic of the 
Mohamed El Moctar Mohamedine Mauritania
Lizbeth Aranda Ramirez Mexico
Redouane Houssaini Morocco
Criden Appi Republic of Nauru
Sidi Mohamed Raliou Niger 
Salou Abdou Niger 
Kammiri Souroumpo Niger
Chukwudi Diugwu Nigeria 
Mistura Aruna  Nigeria 
Pär Brumark Niue
Raza Ahmed Sukhera  Pakistan
Melnguis Mesubed Republic of Palau
Jonathan Temol Republic of Palau
Miver Umedip Republic of Palau
Hildeman Rangel Republic of Panama
Steven Matainaho Papua New Guinea
Russell Woruba Papua New Guinea
Tessie Leva Papua New Guinea
Jackson Kariko Papua New Guinea
Nicolas Caballero Paraguay
Viorel Vulturescu Romania 
Cristiana Flutur  Romania 
Vincent Museminali Rwanda
Gregory E. Plante Saint Lucia
Roxanne John Saint Vincent and the Grenadines
Alwyn Danitofea Solomon Islands
Ronnie Aiolupotea Samoa 
Mana Aidara Senegal
Mustafa Sheik  Somalia
Moses Hoboyi South Africa
Nadir Ahmed Gaylani Sudan
Wendy Jap A Joe  Suriname
Wendy Palas  Suriname 
Ola Bergström Sweden
Jorge Cancio Switzerland
Isabelle Lois Switzerland
Mwesigwa Felician United Republic of Tanzania
Jose Lay Timor-Leste
Shelley-Ann Clarke-Hinds Trinidad and Tobago 
Karel Douglas (co-chair) Trinidad and Tobago 
Gloria A. Katuuku Uganda
Jaisha Wray United States of America
Susan Chalmers United States of America
Pearl Risberg United States of America
Owen Fletcher United States of America
Nguyen Hong Thang Viet Nam
Andrew Molivurae Vanuatu
Jennifer Britton  Caribbean Community Secretariat (CARICOM)
Rodney Taylor Caribbean Telecommunications Union (CTU)
Nigel Cassimire Caribbean Telecommunications Union (CTU)
Nia Nanan Caribbean Telecommunications Union (CTU)
Elvin Prasad  Council of Regional Organisations of the Pacific (CROP) ICT 
Jose Aguilar The Inter-American Telecommunication Commission (CITEL)
Oscar Léon The Inter-American Telecommunication Commission (CITEL)
María Celeste Fuenmayor The Inter-American Telecommunication Commission (CITEL)
Miguel Ángel Muñoz Petrichole The Inter-American Telecommunication Commission (CITEL)
Leonard Obonyo Commonwealth Telecommunications Organisation (CTO)
Guichard Tsangou Economic Community of Central African States (ECCAS)
Raphael Koffi Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS)
Khaled Wali League of Arab States
Kerry-Ann Barrett Organization of American States (OAS)
Mariana Jaramillo Organization of American States (OAS)
Rodrigue Jacques Guiguemde Smart Africa
Marielza Oliveira United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO)
Tracy Hackshaw Universal Postal Union (UPU)
Filter Documents
Title Date Type
Date: 28 May 2024
Type: Report
28 May 2024 Report 1716925680000
Date: 28 May 2024
Type: Report
28 May 2024 Report 1716925620000
Date: 16 May 2024
Type: Report
16 May 2024 Report 1715870880000
Date: 16 May 2024
Type: Report
16 May 2024 Report 1715869380000
Date: 04 Sep 2023
Type: Report
04 Sep 2023 Report 1693838100000
Date: 02 May 2023
Type: Report
02 May 2023 Report 1683038940000
Date: 19 Oct 2022
Type: Report
19 Oct 2022 Report 1666178460000
Date: 18 Nov 2020
Type: Principles and Guidelines
18 Nov 2020 Principles and Guidelines 1605711720000
Date: 02 Feb 2020
Type: Report
02 Feb 2020 Report 1580666100000
Date: 31 May 2019
Type: Report
31 May 2019 Report 1559334060000
Date: 25 Jan 2019
Type: Report
25 Jan 2019 Report 1548449400000
Date: 01 Nov 2017
Type: Principles and Guidelines
01 Nov 2017 Principles and Guidelines 1509537600000
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