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Approved July 2012 - June 2015 Strategic Plan Posted

Based upon the Board Resolutions resulting from the recent Special Meeting of the Board of Directors held in Amsterdam on 6 May 2012, the adopted 2012-2015 Strategic Plan [PDF, 864 KB] is now posted.

2012-2015 Strategic Plan

During the Special Meeting of the Board of Directors held in Amsterdam the Board approved the July 2012-June 2015 Strategic Plan, and directed the President and CEO to move forward with the Internationalization survey and community-based operational planning process based on the strategic objectives as set forth in the plan. The aspects of the 2012-2015 Strategic Plan that cover the expansion of ICANN's international presence and engagement efforts are deferred pending further direction from the Board.

Rationale for Resolution 2012.05.06.06

To remain accountable to the global Internet community, the Board is taking this action to allow for community input on the further planning for ICANN's international presence and engagement. There has been a community survey on these items, and a paper will be produced that will be the subject of public comment and discussion. In addition, continued work towards these efforts as set forth in the 2011-2014 Strategic Plan is not prudent, therefore those portions of the 2011-2014 Strategic Plan are deferred.

After review of these inputs, and as appropriate to respond to inputs, initiatives to expand ICANN's international presence and engagement may be updated within the 2012-2015 Strategic Plan, and included within the 2012-2013 Operating Plan. In order to allow for the 2012-2013 operational planning cycle to proceed, the Board approves the 2012-2015 Strategic Plan.

While there will likely be a fiscal impact as a result of this work, the fiscal impact of undertaking the survey and review process is minimal. Further, the deferral of current initiatives within the 2011-2012 Operating Plan regarding the further allocation or reallocation of staff and resources that relate to ICANN's international presence and engagement prior to the Prague Meeting will preserve resources from having to be reallocated as necessary after this review is complete.

This action is not expected to have any impact on the security or the stability of the DNS.

This version of the Strategic Plan includes extensive community feedback, including a 45-day Public Comment period (10.3.11 – 11.17.11). Many thanks to the Community for its continued support and input.

ICANN's Strategic Plan is a three-year rolling, annually updated strategic planning process and feeds in to the larger ICANN planning process as the adopted Strategic Plan guides the development of the FY13 Operating Plan and Budget.


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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."