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Marhaba, Bienvenue, and Welcome to Marrakech!

We are honored to welcome the global ICANN community to Marrakech, Morocco, for ICANN65. The ambitious Policy Forum agenda, featuring outreach and cross-community sessions, was developed by ICANN’s Supporting Organizations and Advisory Committees. A few important policy topics to be discussed include: the next round of new generic top-level domains (gTLDs), next steps for the Interim Registration Policy for gTLDs, and ICANN’s next five-year Strategic Plan.

ICANN65 will be the twelfth ICANN Public Meeting held in Africa, and the third one in Marrakech, Morocco. We are grateful to our local hosts from Morocco’s National Telecommunications Regulatory Agency for their partnership. Capacity development is especially important in the African region and is a key priority for ICANN. Africa is a continent of great digital potential and, by hosting ICANN Public Meetings in the region, we hope to expand opportunities for our regional community to participate in policy development. If you are new to the policy development process, I encourage you to explore the Developing Policy at ICANN webpage, which features essential details about the crucial role ICANN plays coordinating policy in the Internet ecosystem. The information is available in all six U.N. languages. We need your participation to help us set new and ambitious goals on both global and local levels.

We welcome and support new voices in the ICANN community. The diversity of our community is crucial to strengthening policy development and is what makes vibrant and multicultural Marrakech a fitting host.

I look forward to seeing you all at ICANN65!

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    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""icann.org"" is not an IDN."