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Call for Observers to Join Cross Community Working Group to Develop an IANA Stewardship Transition Proposal on Naming Related Functions

In Brief

The organizations that have adopted the charter for the Cross Community Working Group (CWG) to develop an Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA) Stewardship Transition Proposal on Naming Related Functions call for observers to join this effort. The primary goal of the CWG is to produce a consolidated transition proposal for the elements of the IANA Functions relating to the Domain Name System.

Participating as observer

Participation in the CWG is open to members and observers. In addition to members, who are appointed by the chartering organizations, anyone interested in the work of the CWG, can join as an observer. Observers are expected to actively participate and attend all meetings. The only difference between a member and an observer is that any consensus calls or formal decisions that may need to be made will be limited to CWG members appointed by the chartering organizations. However, this does not take away that it is the expectation that the CWG will operate as much as possible with the views and consensus support of all participants in mind as the importance of considering all input and views on this important topic is recognized. Observers may be from a chartering organization, from a stakeholder group or organization not represented in the CWG or currently active within ICANN, or self-appointed.

How to join

If you are interested in joining, please contact Grace Abuhamad (, or the secretariats of your Supporting Organization or Advisory Committee. All participants (members and observers) will be listed on the CWG's webpage. All observers are also required to submit a Statement of Interest (SOI) following the procedures of their chartering organization, or where that is not applicable for observers, the GNSO Procedures should be followed (see

Next steps

The CWG is currently in formation. To date, the At-Large Advisory Committee (ALAC), the Country Code Supporting Organization (ccNSO), the Generic Names Supporting Organization (GNSO) and the Security and Stability Advisory Committee (SSAC) have adopted the charter, and are in the process of appointing members. The CWG will have its first meeting (via teleconference) on 6 October at 13.00 UTC, followed by a F2F meeting in Los Angeles during the ICANN meeting (scheduled for Monday 13 October from 12.15 – 13.45 local time (19.15 – 22.45 UTC), with remote participation). Both sessions will be recorded and transcribed.


The National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) has requested that ICANN "convene a multistakeholder process to develop a plan to transition the U.S. government stewardship role" with regard to the IANA Functions and related root zone management. In making its announcement, the NTIA specified that the transition proposal must have broad community support and meet the following principles:

  • Support and enhance the multistakeholder model
  • Maintain the security, stability, and resiliency of the Internet DNS
  • Meet the needs and expectation of the global customers and partners of the IANA services
  • Maintain the openness of the Internet.

NTIA also specified that it would not accept a proposal that replaces the NTIA role with a government-led or an intergovernmental organization solution.

On June 6 ICANN proposed the creation of an IANA Stewardship Transition Coordination Group (ICG) "responsible for preparing a transition proposal reflecting the differing needs of the various affected parties of the IANA functions."

It was determined that Stewardship Transition proposals for each of the IANA functions should be developed by the directly affected communities, the IETF and IAB for IANA functions related to Internet Protocol Parameters; the NRO, the ASO, and the RIRs for functions related the management and distribution of numbering resources; and the GNSO and ccNSO for functions related to the Domain Name System. These efforts will inform the work of the ICG, whose responsibility is to develop an overall integrated transition proposal from these autonomously developed components.

Two of IANA's global directly affected communities, the addressing and Internet protocol parameter communities, have responded to the NTIA's announcement and the formation of the ICG, by establishing working groups to provide input on their specific needs and expectations with respect to the IANA Stewardship Transition.

This CWG was formed as an integral part of this transition process, and to develop a proposal for the elements of the IANA Stewardship Transition that directly affect the naming community.

Further Information

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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."