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Co-Chairs Statement from CCWG-Accountability Meeting in Copenhagen

On 10 March 2017, the Cross Community Working Group on Enhancing ICANN Accountability (CCWG-Accountability) held a full day face-to-face meeting prior to ICANN58 in Copenhagen, Denmark. 90 members and participants attended in-person, and many others joined remotely using the virtual meeting room, to further discussions on Work Stream 2 (WS2).

The CCWG-Accountability used the meeting to receive updates from its sub-groups and inform the ICANN community about the status of its work. The CCWG-Accountability also made substantive progress in the following areas:

  • SO/AC accountability: The CCWG-Accountability completed a successful first reading of the draft recommendations of the Supporting Organization and Advisory Committee (SO/AC) Accountability sub-group.
  • Staff accountability: The CCWG-Accountability worked with the Staff Accountability sub-group to define the scope and expectations for the sub-group’s recommendations.
  • Finalizing sub-group recommendations: The CCWG-Accountability agreed to put each sub-group report out for public comment and gain approval by the full CCWG-Accountability before finalization. The group also agreed to put the total package of finalized sub-group reports out for public comment to identify any inconsistencies between the various recommendations.
  • Chartering Organization approval: The CCWG-Accountability suggested that Chartering Organizations approve the finalized sub-group reports in small chunks, rather than all at once. This will help the Chartering Organizations with document management and not result in a heavy impact on each SO or ACs normal operations.
  • Timing: The CCWG-Accountability concluded that, despite progress made by each of the sub-groups, the CCWG-Accountability will not complete its final recommendations by the end of the fiscal year 2017. A discussion on carrying forward resources to the next fiscal year has been initiated with ICANN, however the CCWG-Accountability expects to stay within the initially proposed budget.

The CCWG-Accountability was pleased to have Göran Marby, Steve Crocker and George Sadowsky in attendance for the meeting. Their participation led to a discussion on the role of the ICANN CEO, staff and community, and how to increase the accountability and transparency of their collaboration. The group agreed to establish a pilot project on these topics with the Staff Accountability sub-group with the objective of determining if improvements can be made to some of the systemic issues identified by the sub-group.

The CCWG-Accountability co-Chairs recognize the outstanding dedication of its volunteers, and express gratitude to ICANN staff for their diligent and skilled support. For more information on the CCWG-Accountability, or to view meeting archives and draft documents, please refer to the group’s dedicated wiki page.

CCWG-Accountability WS2 is an open group. Anyone interested in the work of the CCWG-Accountability can join as a participant or observer. For more information about how to join the CCWG-Accountability, please send an email to acct-staff [at]


CCWG-Accountability co-Chairs
Thomas Rickert, León Sánchez, Mathieu Weill


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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"""" is not an IDN."