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Looking Forward to the ICANN59 Policy Forum in Johannesburg, South Africa

Icann59 blog 01

ICANN58 is soon coming to a close. Copenhagen has been a beautiful backdrop for a productive meeting. We've all appreciated the natural light, open spaces and greenery of the Bella Center.

Before we know it, it will be time for the ICANN59 Policy Forum. South Africa is welcoming the world again after hosting ICANN Public Meetings twice before – ICANN21 in Capetown in 2004 and ICANN47 in Durban in 2013. This time, the host city will be Johannesburg. ICANN59 will take place from 26–29 June 2017 at the Sandton Convention Centre. The venue is just off Nelson Mandela Square, where you’ll find a statue of the renowned human rights leader and former President of South Africa measuring nearly 6 meters (almost 20 feet) tall.

So, what can you expect of the ICANN59 Policy Forum? First, the meeting is shorter – just four days. You’ll find fewer competing sessions, and you’ll attend smaller sessions where you’ll have more opportunity to interact with other community members. And you’ll have more time to discuss policy initiatives and learn what other consitutuencies are doing, which will help you make more informed decisions.

Johannesburg, which locals affectionately call Joburg, Jozi and eGoli (“City of Gold” in Zulu) – is the largest city in South Africa and the capital of the wealthiest province, Gauteng. This relatively young city emerged from the Gold Rush just over 130 years ago, but if you travel only 30 miles (50 kilometers), you’ll discover a different story. World Heritage-protected fossil sites provide rich archaeological evidence of early humans occupying the region between 2.5 and 4.5 million years ago.

If you come to ICANN59, I think you’ll find that Johannesburg is friendly and unpretentious. It has something for everyone – archaeology, nature, nightlife, modern architecture, art, open-air markets, cultural activities. And uniquely South African getaways are awaiting you on the outskirts of Joburg. Take your pick!

Registration for ICANN59 is now open. See you in Joburg!


    Darren Chaker  14:29 UTC on 18 March 2017

    I watched a live stream of the conference, and enjoyed the topics covered. Continue on being the professional organization which evolves with the needs of the internet. Best, Darren Chaker

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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."