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Chair’s Blog: A Preview of the Kobe Board Workshop

Prior to the start of ICANN64 in Kobe, Japan, the ICANN Board will be meeting from 8-10 March for its second Board workshop of 2019. As I’ve noted before, workshops held before ICANN’s Public Meetings provide us with a chance to take a closer look at the issues the community will be working on during its time together.

In the workshop, we will hold three public sessions, including a public Board meeting, which I hope you’ll be able to join. Information on how to dial-in to these listen-only sessions is available here.

Friday, 8 March, we will begin the day with a dialogue with ICANN President and CEO, Göran Marby, where he will outline his priorities for the ICANN org. Following that, Chris Disspain and León Sanchez will host a session regarding the Generic Name Supporting Organization’s final report for the Expedited Policy Development Process on the Temporary Specification for gTLD Data Phase 1.

After lunch, Göran, Chris and I will meet with leaders of ICANN’s Supporting Organizations and Advisory Committees at a roundtable that Göran will host. In addition, the rest of the day will be spent in Board committee meetings, including meetings of the Finance Committee, Accountability Mechanisms Committee, Technical Committee and Governance Committee.

Saturday, 9 March, will begin with a session on the status of the .Amazon applications and a review of the next steps.  Following that session, a significant amount of the day will be dedicated to prep work for ICANN64 Constituency Day, with Avri Doria hosting two consecutive sessions aimed at getting the Board up to speed on major issues we must be prepared to discuss during the week. The first session will be a policy briefing on the key topics that will be discussed by stakeholders during ICANN64. The second will be a review of the Board’s answers to questions submitted by the constituencies. I will then host a session dedicated to reflecting on the topics submitted by the Board to the community for discussion regarding how the next Strategic, Operating & Financial, and Governance plans can be successfully implemented.

Göran will then lead a session where he will share an overview of the preparatory work needed for the possible launch of a subsequent round of new gTLDs. The Board requested this session at its last workshop in Los Angeles.

On Sunday, 10 March, I’ll start the day by leading our review of the Board’s various resolutions, which will be followed by our public Board meeting. Afterward, we will prepare for Public Forums 1 and 2. Maarten Botterman will then provide a status update on the progress made toward the Board’s FY19 priorities during a public session. Mathew Shears will then join Maarten in updating the Board on the comments received during the public comment period for the FY21-25 Strategic Plan and next steps.

Next, Ron De Silva will lead a session with an update on the approach being taken to develop the FY21-25 Operating & Financial Plan. He will also lead a related session where we look at the financial implications of implementing the recommendations from, WS2, CCT and other reviews. Akinori Maemura will then host a public session where the Internationalized Domain Name Universal Acceptance Working Group will present its final recommendations to the Board. Khaled Koubaa will lead our final session of the workshop, where the Board’s Operational Effectiveness Committee will present short- and long-term options for adjusting the timing of reviews.

As always, this Board workshop is packed with a range of topics and discussions, yet I’m confident it will be a productive three days. I’m looking forward to seeing all of you who plan to join us in Kobe.


    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."