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ICANN concludes 24th International Public Meeting in Vancouver with action on Governmental Advisory Committee evolution and Internationalised Domain Names

Vancouver, Canada, 4 December 2005: Over 700 delegates from 109 countries gathered in Vancouver, Canada to participate in ICANN's 24th International Meeting. These meetings, open to anyone interested in participating, constitute an essential part of ICANN's global Internet Community consensus-development and outreach efforts.

Government participation in ICANN

During the meeting, productive discussion took place between ICANN's Board and the Governmental Advisory Committee (GAC) concerning the role of the GAC in light of the WSIS discussions. In the lead-up to the Vancouver meeting, ICANN's Chairman proposed that discussions take place in Vancouver concerning measures that could be taken to make cooperation with the GAC more effective, including ensuring the participation of developing countries.

As a result of the discussions, a joint working group will be established to effectively improve communication links and collaboration processes between the GAC and the Board, and relevant ICANN constituencies. The working group will report on its progress at the next ICANN meeting to be held in Wellington, New Zealand, March 2006.

Additionally, the President will appoint a strategy committee by the end of February 2006. The committee will be responsible for making observations and recommendations concerning strategic issues facing ICANN.

Progress on IDN implementation

The meeting also saw an important workshop on Internationalised Domain Name (IDN) implementation, following on from successful IDN workshops held during ICANN's meeting in Luxembourg. During the Vancouver workshop, significant progress was made towards the launch of a global IDN test bed.

Public comment on .com and settlement agreements

ICANN's Vancouver meeting also provided the Internet community with an opportunity to make public comment for Board consideration on the proposed .com and settlement agreements with VeriSign. The Board has asked ICANN staff to continue accepting further written comments until 7 December. Following that, ICANN will produce a public report summarizing, analysing and organising the feedback provided on the .com and settlement agreements by 11 December.

The Board has recommend that staff approach VeriSign with the results of the report on the proposed contract and settlement, and reminds all parties that the Board has not yet agreed to the terms of the contract and settlement.

Board resolutions

The week's meeting culminated in ICANN's Board of Directors public voting and approval of a resolution to enter into negotiations relating to the proposed commercial and technical terms of the .ASIA sponsored top level domain (sTLD) with the applicant.

In addition, the Board approved the following resolutions relating to ICANN's structural reform:

  • An adoption of the terms of reference to be used in the review of the Generic Names Supporting Organisation (GNSO), consistent with ICANN's bylaws which provide for independent review of each supporting organisation.
  • Acknowledgment and posting for comment the recommendations by the Country Code Names Supporting Organisation (ccNSO) for changes to the ICANN bylaws applicable to the ccNSO to improve and clarify areas in relation to membership.
  • Removal of restrictions relating to expense categories involving DNSSEC deployment, ALAC projects, translation, facilitation of regional meetings and establishment of regional presences.
  • Adoption of changes to the bylaws to improve the certification process for At-Large structures.

Members of ICANN's Governmental Advisory Committee, Internet country code Top-Level Domain (ccTLD) Managers, Business leaders, Registrar and Registry groups, Non-Commercial Internet users, Intellectual Property holders and Internet Service Providers from across the region and the world were present at this meeting.

Press enquires should be addressed to ICANN's Communications and Operations Specialist, Tanzanica King at +1 310 301 5804, or via email: tanzanica.king@icann.org.

Any follow-up questions or requests can be sent to press@icann.org.

About ICANN:

The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) is an internationally organised, non-profit corporation that has responsibility for Internet Protocol (IP) address space allocation, protocol identifier assignment, generic (gTLD) and country code (ccTLD) Top-Level Domain name system management, and root server system management functions. As a private-public partnership, ICANN is dedicated to preserving the operational stability of the Internet; to promoting competition; to achieving broad representation of global Internet communities; and to developing policy appropriate to its mission through bottom-up, consensus-based processes.


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Domain Name System
Internationalized Domain Name ,IDN,"IDNs are domain names that include characters used in the local representation of languages that are not written with the twenty-six letters of the basic Latin alphabet ""a-z"". An IDN can contain Latin letters with diacritical marks, as required by many European languages, or may consist of characters from non-Latin scripts such as Arabic or Chinese. Many languages also use other types of digits than the European ""0-9"". The basic Latin alphabet together with the European-Arabic digits are, for the purpose of domain names, termed ""ASCII characters"" (ASCII = American Standard Code for Information Interchange). These are also included in the broader range of ""Unicode characters"" that provides the basis for IDNs. The ""hostname rule"" requires that all domain names of the type under consideration here are stored in the DNS using only the ASCII characters listed above, with the one further addition of the hyphen ""-"". The Unicode form of an IDN therefore requires special encoding before it is entered into the DNS. The following terminology is used when distinguishing between these forms: A domain name consists of a series of ""labels"" (separated by ""dots""). The ASCII form of an IDN label is termed an ""A-label"". All operations defined in the DNS protocol use A-labels exclusively. The Unicode form, which a user expects to be displayed, is termed a ""U-label"". The difference may be illustrated with the Hindi word for ""test"" — परीका — appearing here as a U-label would (in the Devanagari script). A special form of ""ASCII compatible encoding"" (abbreviated ACE) is applied to this to produce the corresponding A-label: xn--11b5bs1di. A domain name that only includes ASCII letters, digits, and hyphens is termed an ""LDH label"". Although the definitions of A-labels and LDH-labels overlap, a name consisting exclusively of LDH labels, such as""icann.org"" is not an IDN."