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The Middle East Regional Strategy Session at ICANN67 to Move to a Webinar

I would like to explain the changes to our scheduled "Middle East Regional Strategy Session" for ICANN67. We have decided to cancel the "Middle East Regional Strategy Session" at ICANN67, and instead hold a webinar to seek input from the community on the draft Middle East and Adjoining Countries (MEAC) Regional Strategy for Fiscal Years 2021-2025 [PDF, 417 KB]. The webinar will take place at 14:00 UTC on 18 March 2020. You can learn more about the participation details here.

As in previous regional strategies, this effort is led by the regional community with support from ICANN's Global Stakeholder Engagement (GSE) Middle East team. The primary objective is aligning the regional needs and priorities with the ICANN FY 2021-2025 Strategic Plan.

The draft regional strategy was posted on 18 February 2020 for public comment. It builds on four of the five strategic focus areas set forth in the ICANN Strategic Plan. For each focus area, there is a set of proposed goals and targeted outcomes, in accordance with the needs of the region.

I strongly encourage you to read through the draft regional strategy [PDF, 417 KB] before joining the webinar to help us have a fruitful discussion. I would also invite you to share your input and suggestions via the public comment process, which will remain open until 23.59 UTC on 3 April 2020.

Finally, I would like to take this opportunity to thank the Middle East and Adjoining Countries Strategy Working Group for leading this important effort.


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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."