Stakeholders Groups (SG) are the bodies that comprise the Generic names Supporting Organization, with each SG representing a different set of interests in the policy making process.
The Board Governance Committee Working Group recommended the creation of SGs in its GNSO Improvements Report. The Board Governance Committee (BGC) created the Stakeholder Groups in order to enhance the creation of new constituencies as well as to add fillip to the growth of the GNSO participants. The main reason behind organizing the SGs was to eliminate any concern that would have otherwise been had due to the addition of new interest groups and new constituencies, as they would have led to an internal imbalance in the composition of the GNSO Council.
The Board approved the following four SGs:
- Commercial SG (CSG), which represents the commercial users and connectivity providers. It ensures that ICANN policies are consistent with the constantly developing Internet and is reliable for B2C and B2B transactions.
- Non-Commercial SG (NCSG), which represents the views of those who are involved in non-commercial activities on the Internet.
- Registrars SG (RrSG), which represents the views of ICANN-accredited Registrars in ICANN’s various supporting organizations and bodies.
- Registry SG (RySG), which represents the interests of gTLD registries under ICANN and provide them with appropriate services.
The SGs function only as a caucus. The SGs have the responsibilities to bring together like-minded stakeholders for the sake of electing the representatives to the Council for the sake of their representation.
The Board Governance Committee (BGC) initially did not specify the structure or the hierarchy for the SGs. However, in the Charter, the SG Constituency Members should be recognized as well as approved by the ICANN Board. The internal Constituency structure as well as the leadership positions and the working of every Constituency was left to the membership and the charter which the SG creates.
The SG’s Petition and Charter includes the following responsibilities that need to be carried out by the SGs:
- Create a methodology for and distribute the GNSO Council seats among the various member constituencies
- Select the delegates of the Nominating Committee as per the directions of the Board
- Evaluate the slate of GNSO Council candidates/nominees for the consistency within the comprehensive ICANN Bylaw requirements. For instance, geographic diversity and group representation
- Request the staff of the ICANN to assist with the following
- Coordination and organization of all the meetings of the SG
- Recruitment specifically targeted towards expanding the SG through the formation and identification of new Constituencies