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ICANN's 28th International Meeting Opens in Lisbon, Portugal

ICANN's 28th International meeting opened today in Lisbon, Portugal. It will see important developments in the organization's mission of global coordination of the Internet's system of unique identifiers. Attendees and on-line participants will take part in more than 30 sessions and workshops. It constitutes an essential part of ICANN's global consensus-development and outreach efforts.

"This is a particularly busy meeting for ICANN and the Internet community," said Dr Paul Twomey, President and CEO of ICANN.

Some issues and events for the meeting include:

  • The appearance by the Dr Hamadoun Touré, the new Secretary-General of the International Telecommunication Union at the meeting.
  • An update on IPv6 aimed at opening up the number of Internet Protocol addresses available globally. (Of note is the fact that ICANN is already putting IPv6 addressing into practice, including at the Lisbon meeting through its remote participation website.)
  • A major review of ICANN's Registrar Accreditation Agreements (RAA) and the Accreditation process, arising out of the situation.
  • Update on the development of Internationalized Domain Names (IDNs) following the successful laboratory.
  • Signing of and accountability Framework with the country code top level domain (ccTLD) managers for .ly in Libya, the General Post and Telecommunication Company.
  • The signing of agreements with three new Regional At Large Organizations to provide Internet users increased representation: the African Telecommunications Union, Pacific Islands Telecommunications Association, and United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia. (These agreements build on the model and the success of the Latin American and Caribbean Regional At Large Organization agreement signed at the ICANN last meeting in Sao Paulo.)
  • Tutorials examining changes to the marketplace for expiring domain names and the secondary market for domain names.
  • Commencement of a consultation on ICANN's Operating Plan
  • An open meeting of ICANN's Security and Stability Advisory Committee (SSAC) which will discussion the incorporation of IPv6 records at the Root of the DNS, the WHOIS taskforce report that has been available for public comment since last week, and the Registerfly issue.
  • Presentations by Sweden and Bulgaria during the SSAC public meeting on the successful deployment of DNSsec in their respective TLDs.

"Also of particular interest will be the decision by the ICANN Board on Friday on the proposed creation of a .xxx Sponsored Top Level Domain (sTLD)," Dr Twomey added.

"You don't have to be in Lisbon to be a part of the meeting — our remote public participation website, meeting blogs, and webcasts are there so people from across the globe can be a part of the discussion. This is a key part of our continuing efforts to improve accountability and transparency at ICANN" Dr Twomey said.

"The meeting is just one of the ways that members of our community make voluntary contributions throughout the year to ICANN, and we are extremely grateful to them for all of their efforts. We are all looking forward to a successful meeting in Lisbon and thank the local hosts, the National Foundation for Scientific Computing, and the event sponsors, for their efforts ."

The complete schedule for ICANN's Lisbon meeting, as well as links to webcast sessions and our public participation website, can be found at:

About ICANN:

ICANN is an internationally organized, public benefit non-profit responsible for coordinating 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. For more information please visit: .

Media Contacts:

Jason Keenan
Media Adviser
Ph: +1 310 818 9072

International: Andrew Robertson
Edelman ( London)
Ph: +44 7921 588 770

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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"""" is not an IDN."