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ICANN69 to be Held as Virtual Public Meeting

LOS ANGELES – 11 June 2020 – The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) today announced that the ICANN Board of Directors has made the decision that the ICANN69 Annual General Meeting (AGM), which was to be held in Hamburg, Germany, will not proceed as an in-person meeting. Instead, the Board has directed the ICANN org to coordinate with the ICANN community on the best way forward for ICANN69 to meet the expected outcomes of an ICANN AGM and support the community's ongoing policy advice and development work, despite being unable to meet in person.

The meeting, scheduled for 17-22 October, will be the third time ICANN will hold a Virtual Public Meeting as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. ICANN67, originally scheduled for Cancún, Mexico, was held as a virtual meeting, as will the upcoming ICANN68, originally scheduled for Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

The health and safety of the ICANN community is always a top priority, and as such, convening ICANN69 as an in-person meeting is not expected to be feasible by its scheduled date. While progress has been made to mitigate the impact of COVID-19, there are still several barriers remaining that prevent holding large international meetings, such as ICANN's Public Meetings. These include ongoing restrictions on international travel, diminished flight availability, challenges in obtaining visas, physical distancing requirements, the risks posed to the local host community, and the possibility of a resurgence resulting in further lockdowns.

"Above all, the health and safety of the global ICANN community, Board, and staff is the most important consideration for any Public Meeting," said Maarten Botterman, ICANN Board Chair. "As of right now, there are still too many uncertainties involved with hosting a face-to-face meeting. The Board believes that this is the right decision, and it gives us ample time to plan a successful Annual General Meeting. There's a great deal of work to be done, so let's continue to focus on getting it done, together."

ICANN thanks the Hamburg host committee and our regional partners in Europe, who have provided their support and input during the planning process for ICANN69. The Board fully appreciates the importance of face-to-face interactions, and looks forward to a return to in-person ICANN Public Meetings. ICANN is currently scheduled to convene ICANN70 in Cancun, Mexico, and ICANN71 in The Hague, The Netherlands.

ICANN org, in consultation with the ICANN community, will build on the lessons learned during ICANN67 and ICANN68 to improve upon the meeting format. In its decision, the Board directed the ICANN org to work with the community leaders to determine how to ensure that the virtual meeting fulfills the community's agreed-upon priorities.

Those interested in attending ICANN69 will still be required to register. An announcement will be posted to https://icann.org once registration is open. To learn more about remote participation, visit ICANN Public Meetings.

More information, including details about the meeting's time zone, language interpretation options, and final schedule will be provided at a later date.

About ICANN

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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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."