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ccNSO Review Assessment Report for Community Input; Join the Upcoming Webinar

LOS ANGELES – 8 April 2019 – Meridian Institute, the independent examiner performing the second review of ICANN's Country Code Names Supporting Organization (ccNSO), has published its assessment report for community consultation.

Read the report [PDF, 940 KB].

Your comments are encouraged and can be sent to until 23:59 UTC on 26 April 2019. All comments will be forwarded to the ccNSO Review Working Party mailing list which is publicly archived.

The assessment report contains important and valuable findings from the ccNSO and surrounding community on how the ccNSO fulfills its purpose, manages its structure and operations, and strives for accountability.


Based upon the findings, Meridian Institute's overall determination is that:

  • The ccNSO has a strong continuing purpose;
  • There do not seem to be significant needs to make structural or operational changes; and
  • The ccNSO is accountable to its constituencies, including its members.

The goal of the assessment report is to achieve agreement between the wider ICANN community and the independent examiner as to which areas of the ccNSO work well and which may benefit from improvements. Recommendations for continuous improvement based on the findings will be presented in the draft final report, expected to be published for public comment in June 2019. All organizational reviews convened after the second At-Large Review follow this two-phased approach, which helps bolster the organizational review process and the accountability of the organizations under review.

Join the Webinar

Meridian Institute will host a community webinar on the assessment report, during which participants will have the opportunity to provide initial feedback and ask questions.

  • Date: 17 April 2019
  • Time: 21:00 – 22:00 UTC (click here to view time zone converter)
  • To participate, please RSVP to: to receive a calendar invite and dial-in details (also available here).

A recording will be made available here.


An independent review of the ccNSO is mandated by ICANN's Bylaws. The purpose of the review is to determine (i) whether the ccNSO has a continuing purpose within the ICANN structure; (ii) how effectively the ccNSO fulfils its purpose and whether any change in its structure or operations is desirable to improve the ccNSO's effectiveness; and (iii) the extent to which the ccNSO as a whole is accountable to its organizations, committees, constituencies, and stakeholder groups. This is part of ICANN's commitment to its own evolution and improvement, accountability and transparency. Meridian Institute was selected to perform the review and began its work in August 2018.

Learn more about the ccNSO Review here.


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."