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Looking at the Future of ICANN’s International Meetings

ICANN’s meetings, their structure, content, and everything else about them have always been very important – and everything about them has been a subject of debate since the very first one was convened. In fact, there are as many opinions about aspects of the meetings as there are members of the community – but everyone agrees on one thing: they’re an essential part of the ICANN process.

Over the course of time, various consultations have been held about how meetings should evolve and change with the times. Most of these have started with a proposal, with the community asked to comment on that proposal. This time around we’re reversing the process, starting with collecting the community’s views and then building proposals based on those views – we think this truly bottom-up-based process is the right way to proceed.

The Board’s Public Participation Committee, in concert with the ICANN staff, has designed a three-stage consultation process to run throughout most of calendar year 2010. Each of the three stages of the consultation will be available in the six UN languages: Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Spanish and Russian.

As ICANN enters its second decade, the time is right to look at the meetings ICANN holds each year from a holistic and truly bottom-up perspective, to ensure that our meetings optimally serve you, the community, in the most cost-effective and stakeholder-focussed ways possible.

Interested in Learning More?

ICANN has established a special microsite on for this consultation. You can find it at  You can take the survey now at; it will be open until 23:59 UTC on 5th July.

A solicitation for participating in the survey will go out to community email lists too, as well as individuals who registered for the last few ICANN meetings.


    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."