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New Policy Development Fundamentals Course Now Available on ICANN Learn

The ICANN community develops and refines policies that ensure the security, stability, and resiliency of the global Internet. The ICANN organization is proud to facilitate this work and to support the core, consensus-driven policy and advice development work of the community by enabling efficient and effective bottom-up participation in the multistakeholder model. The new Policy Development Fundamentals course on ICANN Learn provides newcomers with a basic, foundational understanding of how policy development works at ICANN.

The manner in which policies are developed at ICANN is one of the most unusual and distinct processes for any global organization. A global community of stakeholders and participants with different backgrounds and points of view help coordinate and support the unique identifiers of the Internet. Many in the ICANN community use the expression "bottom up" when they talk about policy formation at ICANN. This course will put clarity and meaning in that term.

The Internet functions for everyone because everyone is invited to help make it work. We believe consensus policies developed through the multistakeholder model are highly effective and have the greatest legitimacy. This course explains the distinct roles the ICANN community, ICANN org, and ICANN Board each have in this process. The Policy Development Fundamentals course will also be translated into Arabic, Chinese, French, Russian, Spanish, and Portuguese.

Capacity development across the ICANN ecosystem remains a key priority. Policy Development Fundamentals, along with the recently launched Domain Name System (DNS) Fundamentals course, will serve as a cornerstone for developing capacity in the ICANN ecosystem. We hope the community will check out this valuable contribution on ICANN Learn.

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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."