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ICANN Meetings in Accra, Ghana – 10-14 March 2002

As previously announced, ICANN's next round of meetings will be held 10-14 March 2002 in Accra, Ghana. The meeting venue is the La Palm Royal Beach Hotel, which is located two miles from the city center. Details regarding accommodations are available at the local host's web site (mirrored here).

Please be sure to allow sufficient time to obtain the visas and vaccinations that are required for most visitors to Ghana. See the local host's web site (or its mirror) for more details.

The meeting will feature a special topic: "Higher-Layer Naming Systems: Keywords and Other Non-DNS Identifiers." This will consist of presentations discussing the technology involved in above-DNS naming systems and how they relate to the DNS and other areas of ICANN responsibility.

The general schedule for the meeting is as follows:

Sunday, 10 March 2002 Miscellaneous preliminary meetings; some DNSO constituency meetings
Monday, 11 March 2002 DNSO constituency meetings
Tuesday, 12 March 2002 DNSO general assembly and Names Council meeting
Wednesday, 13 March 2002 ICANN Public Forum (including special topic)
Thursday, 14 March 2002 ICANN Board meeting

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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."