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Board Global Relationships Committee (BGRC) Minutes

BGRC Attendees: Chris Disspain, Erika Mann, Gonzalo Navarro – Chair, George Sadowsky, Katim Touray and Kuo-Wei Wu

Other Board Attendees: Rod Beckstrom, President and CEO; Steve Crocker, Bill Graham, Bertrand de La Chapelle, Ray Plzak, Mike Silber

Invited Attendees: Thomas Roessler

Staff Attendees: Akram Atallah – Chief Operating Officer, Elise Gerich – Vice President, IANA, Jamie Hedlund – VP, Government Affairs – Americas, John Jeffrey – General Counsel and Secretary, Samantha Eisner, Diane Schroeder and Amy Stathos


The following is a summary of discussions, actions taken and actions identified:

  1. Minutes – The BGRC approved the minutes of the previous meeting.
  2. Internationalization – The BGRC discussed the need to use the right nomenclature when discussing this topic, as its not really "internationalization." Prior to engaging in that discussion, the BGRC reviewed committee member work on the definition of overarching principles and messages, and the need to engage with the community on these definitional and prioritization efforts. The BGRC discussed the possibility of creating some strawman "vision statements" for broader Board consideration, to bring the Board to a collective view on where the organization is headed. The BGRC also discussed the need to assure that there are appropriate resources to perform the work that will arise out of the committee.
    • Actions:
      • Staff to work with committee regarding the identification of technical communities.

      • BGRC members to work with staff to refine a proposed survey for the community.

  3. Communiqué from the African Union Commission – The BGRC began discussions of how to address the items raised with the communiqué presented to ICANN after the high-level ministerial meeting, from both a relationship perspective as well as future strategy for the organization. There was agreement that there has to be a focus on continuing engagement within ICANN, and the need to identify channels of communication within which this work can continue. The BGRC considered the proposal for committee members to take the lead on topics raised within the communiqué and move them forward for Board discussion, as opposed to having staff provide the Board with some initial responses. The BGRC also noted its hopes that staff will continue to produce more regular interactions of this type, understanding the regional differences, but with some standard protocol of the types of interactions expected, such as the creation of agendas, etc.
    • Action:
      • Staff to prepare proposed responses to the communiqué and circulate to the Board for reaction.
  4. IDN ccTLD Fast Track – The BGRC received an update on the status of the IDN ccTLD Fast Track Process and applications.
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."