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Welcome to ICANN62!

Marby 750x425 en

I'm excited to welcome you to Panama City, Panama, for ICANN62. This is the second time an ICANN meeting has been held in Central America, and the first time we've come to Panama.

ICANN meetings represent an important opportunity for our diverse stakeholders to meet face-to-face and discuss in person the policies that will shape the future of the Domain Name System (DNS). As outlined in the current meeting strategy, the second meeting of each year is a Policy Forum, which is shorter than the other two yearly meetings and doesn't include an Opening Ceremony or Public Forums. Instead, more time is dedicated to policy work and close interaction between ICANN's stakeholder groups.

This meeting comes at a critical time for ICANN's multistakeholder community, as it works together to navigate the implications the European Commission's General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) has on the future of the WHOIS system. I expect that a significant amount of time will be spent during the meeting's various sessions discussing and debating the best path forward.

Whether you're attending in person or remotely, I encourage you to download and read the latest ICANN org Report to the Board, which will provide you with an overview of the different projects each department is currently working on and the org's current priorities. I also recommend reading ICANN Board Chair Cherine Chalaby's preview of the Panama Board Workshop, which will be taking place right before ICANN62. I'll be working closely with the Executive Team to prepare for and support the Board's workshop, during which the Board will be tackling a staggering amount of issues and topics.

Many of you will be participating remotely, so I want to remind you that ICANN's Adobe Connect services have been fully restored. We're confident that any issues with the service have been worked out, and once again we will be using it to enable participants from around the globe to experience ICANN meetings to the fullest extent possible.

Having just recently visited Moscow, Russia, to engage with the local DNS community and New York City, New York, to address representatives at the United Nations, I'm looking forward to soaking in some of the warm Panamanian sun.

My team and I will be on the ground to support you in any way we can, so please don't hesitate to reach out with any questions. Safe travels, and see you all in Panama City!


    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."