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Welcome to ICANN60!

Welcome to ICANN60 – our Annual General Meeting. This is our first ICANN meeting in the Gulf Cooperation Council, and it will undoubtedly be a very busy one.  It is my first time in Abu Dhabi and I am glad to be here.

So much of our work is done over email, over the phone and in the comfort of our own offices and homes. For those of you here, I hope the sessions and schedule allows you to meet people, put faces to names, and build upon your working relationships.

If you haven’t had the opportunity to do so, please look at the latest Report to the Board, published just recently. This report details what’s going on in the ICANN organization, and will provide you with really good insight into what we’re working on, and our priorities.  

We will be holding another open Q&A with the ICANN organization Executive Team this week, so I hope you can attend and ask us any questions you might have. This doesn’t replace the public forums, but is meant to give you another chance for us to talk and answer your questions.

In the spirit of transparency, I hope you have the chance to look at the flow charts and manuals for the Process Documentation Initiative to see how far we’ve come, with your input, this year in mapping out how all of our fairly complicated processes actually work.

I’d also like to encourage you to look at the recently launched Accountability Indicators, an improvement to the Key Performance Indicators (KPI) Dashboard that allows us to present our progress better against ICANN's strategic and operating plans and make the data more accessible.

I hope you have time to think about your day to day business, as well as some of the larger issues we face as part of the Internet Governance community. As many of you know, we are seeing many legislative and policy proposals around the world tackling issues that can and will impact our work. One example is the European Commission’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), which will likely effect how WHOIS data is displayed, it could impact our ability to maintain a single global WHOIS system. In turn, this will likely impact either ICANN's agreements or its ability to enforce contractual compliance of its agreements using a single and consistent approach. Data protection and privacy is certainly on the minds of many. I hope you can join the cross-community session this week on GDPR and contribute to discussions that will be occurring during and after our time here in Abu Dhabi.

Together we are working hard in service of ICANN’s mission. My team and I are here to support the community in its important work. I hope to meet with many of you on the ground here in Abu Dhabi, and to have productive conversations. Please let me know if there is anything you need, and stop me in the halls to say hello. Safe travels to those of you on the way here, and to those of you following along from home, I look forward to connecting with you too.

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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."