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Chair’s Blog: Board Priorities Ahead of September Remote Workshop

This week, the Board will be meeting remotely from 9 to 11 September to discuss and deliberate on several pressing issues. While the present circumstances continue to disrupt how the Board normally meets and conducts its business, it’s important that we keep our momentum and continue to make meaningful progress toward our goals and established priorities.

With ICANN69 now on the horizon, the Board is keenly focused on the important topics that will be widely discussed during the Annual General Meeting.

In August, the Final Report of the Expedited Policy Development Process (EPDP) on the Temporary Specification for Generic Top-Level Domain (gTLD) Registration Data was submitted to the Generic Names Supporting Organization (GNSO) Council for its consideration. The Board will spend time thoroughly understanding the 22 recommendations outlined in the report as we prepare for receiving the GNSO Council’s decision. Similarly, the Draft Final Report of the GNSO's New gTLD Subsequent Procedures Working Group was recently posted for Public Comment. The Board will be spending time to review the content of the report in detail, in anticipation of the final report being sent to the Board for our consideration.

As I outlined in my previous blog regarding the Board’s operational priorities, we are closely following the work of the third Accountability and Transparency Review Team (ATRT3), which submitted its Final Report to the Board in June. The recommendations outlined in the report will help shape the community’s ongoing efforts to ensure that ICANN is prioritizing the right issues, with the right level of effort, at the right time, and with the right amount of resources. With so many activities happening at once, collaboration between the Board, ICANN org, and the community is all the more important. The ongoing efforts to enhance the effectiveness of our multistakeholder model will ensure that our processes and methods keep pace with ICANN’s ever-changing needs.

With so many important decisions ahead of us, it’s critical for the Board to have a firm understanding of how these decisions will impact ICANN’s ability to execute its mission in line with ICANN’s Strategic Plan for Fiscal Years 2021–2025. The Board is committed to continuously enhancing our accountability and transparency, as well as improving our processes and procedures. Part of this effort includes the Board’s self-evaluation that we conduct every other year, which is led by the Board Governance Committee. We’ll spend time during the workshop examining the results and discussing how the Board can evolve in the way we work together to meet not just the community’s needs but also those of the wider Internet governance ecosystem.

The past months have been extraordinary and unprecedented to us as a community and as individuals. This has resulted in a need for the ICANN Board, org, and community to come together to find innovative solutions to some of the most challenging circumstances imaginable.

Moments like these are where the multistakeholder model really shines, and I want to thank everyone for their efforts and contributions as we navigate this temporary normal.

We are all working together to deliver on our mission, which is a key part of how the global Internet functions. I am proud to be contributing to this mission alongside all of you.

I look forward to updating you on some of the key takeaways and highlights after our workshop has ended.


    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."