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Oceania Engagement Update

Vast stretches of land and water connect Asia, Australia and the Pacific Islands to form one of ICANN’s five service regions. However, our Global Stakeholder Engagement (GSE) team divided up the region to provide better service and closer communications. Yu-Chuang Kuek the Regional VP for Asia focuses primarily on Asia. Australia and the Pacific Islands, a sub-region commonly known as Oceania, is my concern.

In the Pacific Ocean alone there are 25 ccTLDs for countries and territories and some are quite well known as their management and domain registration business models allow for global registration of strings. Among them is .tk for Tokelau which recently topped the number of active domain name registrations globally. Some other well-known vanity ccTLDs are .as, .fm, .ki, .nu, .to, .tv, .vu and .ws.

A number of community representatives from the Oceania sub-region have participated in ICANN meetings since ICANN’s inception. A few have gone on to perform leadership roles in the various constituency groups to guide and support ICANN’s work. ICANN fellowship programs have also boosted participation from the sub-region as travel support for many is the only way a representative from a small country or territory can physically attend a GAC or ccNSO session at ICANN meetings. With their exposure to ICANN, new leaders continue to emerge and they are well represented and engaged at the ICANN Board, NomCom and various AC’ and SO’s levels.

It became apparent that the Asia/Australia/Pacific community should also consider developing their own ICANN engagement strategy after other ICANN regions had embarked on their own plans.

The onboarding of a new RVP Asia and the recent opening of an ICANN Hub office in Singapore meant that communities and constituents from Asia/Australasia/Pacific Islands could be widely consulted to decide if they too should work on their own regional engagement strategy.

Community members from Oceania had always met informally at ICANN meetings but after ICANN 47 in Durban, they formalized their own WG to start working towards developing its own Oceania-ICANN Engagement strategy. Kuek and I are heavily involved.

The Oceania-ICANN engagement strategy working group has had several teleconference meetings already. Minutes and working documents from the group are posted on

The group is currently running an online survey so all interested community members from Oceania can have a say. If you are from the Oceania sub-region, the working group looks forward to your participation. Please submit your responses to the survey by 15 February at

The working group will update it’s draft report at our next meeting, ICANN 49 in Singapore. I look forward to seeing all of you there.

- Save Vocea, Regional VP for Australasia/Pacific Islands


    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."