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ICANN Submits Application to International Telecommunications Union for ITU-D Sector membership

LOS ANGELES – 28 February 2019 – Today, the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) announced that it has applied for sector membership to the Telecommunication Development Sector of the International Telecommunications Union (ITU-D).

"In order to effectively fulfill ICANN's mission to ensure the stable and secure operation of the Internet's unique identifier systems, ICANN must participate in discussions where its mission may be impacted," said Göran Marby, President & CEO, ICANN. "After many years of successful collaboration and engagement with the ITU, we look forward to sector membership, as it could allow ICANN to help meet our responsibility and desire to lend our technical expertise to help ensure any deliberations are considered and informed with a full technical understanding of the consequences that they may have for the future of the Internet."

The ITU-D fosters international cooperation and solidarity in the delivery of technical assistance and in the creation, development and improvement of telecommunication equipment and networks in developing countries. As it relates to ICANN, the ITU-D spends significant efforts on matters regarding Internet development, with special attention to international public policy matters and capacity building efforts.

Since ICANN's formation in 1998, it has operated within a specific remit as a technical coordination body designed to ensure the security and stability of the Internet's unique identifier systems. ICANN has always worked closely with technical partners around the world to fulfill its mission, and now must work more closely with governments and intergovernmental organizations as they tackle potential legislative and regulatory efforts that may impact ICANN's mission or operations.

The final decision will be made by the ICANN Board in June.


ICANN's mission is to help ensure a stable, secure, and unified global Internet. To reach another person on the Internet, you need to type an address – a name or a number – into your computer or other device. That address must be unique so computers know where to find each other. ICANN helps coordinate and support these unique identifiers across the world. ICANN was formed in 1998 as a not-for-profit public-benefit corporation with a community of participants from all over the world.

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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."