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Board Global Relationships Committee (BGRC) Minutes

BGRC Attendees: Bill Graham (Chair), Bertrand de La Chapelle, Olga Madruga-Forti, Erika Mann, Gonzalo Navarro, George Sadowsky, and Kuo-Wei Wu

Other Board Attendees: Francisco da Silva, Chris Disspain, Sébastien Bachollet, Steve Crocker

Staff Attendees: Megan Bishop, Michelle Bright, Mandy Carver, Sally Costerton, Pierre Dandjinou, Rodrigo de la Parra, Baher Esmat, Jamie Hedlund, Nigel Hickson, Tarek Kamel, Elizabeth Le, Veni Markowski, Amy Stathos, and Save Vocea


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

  • Internationalization Strategy Update: Staff presented an update on the progress of the implementation of ICANN's internationalization strategy through hub and engagement offices. The intent is to have three ICANN hub offices, located in Los Angeles, Istanbul, and Singapore. Efforts are currently underway to establish the Istanbul and Singapore offices. The Istanbul office will be announced at an event in Istanbul on 25-26 April 2013. With respect to engagement offices, ICANN currently has two engagement offices – one in Washington, D.C. and one in Brussels, Belgium. Three additional engagement centers are planned, with the first one in Beijing to be announced during the Beijing meeting. The idea is that additional engagement centers will be established based upon a critical mass of stakeholders being identified in a particular geographic region.
  • Regional Strategy Implementation: Staff provided the BGRC with an update on the regional strategy implementation. In Africa, implementation is underway in eight countries with a DNSSEC roadshow with the full cooperation and assistance of I* organizations, including ISOC Africa, AFRALO and AfTLD. Additionally, ICANN is considering two other programs, such as a domain name awards for best practices in TLD management in order to motivate gTLD or ccTLD operators. In the Latin America and Caribbean regions, a draft strategy plan has been developed with the help of the community and LACNIC, and will be announced in Colombia in May. In the Middle East, a draft strategy plan for the region will be presented in Beijing at the meeting on Monday, 8 April 2013. A strategy for the Asia region is also under development. ICANN is also identifying priority countries for further engagement.
  • World Telecommunications Policy Forum (WTPF) and World Telecommunications Development Conference (WTDC): Staff reported that ICANN has been invited to attend and speak at the May 2013 WTPF, which will take place on a parallel tract with the WSIS forum. Topics expected to be covered at the WTPF include Internet governance and enhanced cooperation, broadband, and IPv4 and IPv6. The BGRC will also be tracking the upcoming WTDC. Topics expected to be covered at the WTDC include broadband access and education.
  • WSIS and UN CSTD meetings: The BGRC discussed ICANN's involvement with the Internet Governance Forum (IGF). ICANN has increased its funding for the IGF by 50%. The BGRC also discussed the IGF open consultation and the MAG meeting that took place in Paris, along with the UNESCO/ITU WSIS +10 meeting. The IGF meeting mainly focused on the format and themes of the next IGF meeting in Bali, which include areas of enhanced cooperation, human rights, Internet governance principles, legal frameworks, cyber security/cybercrime, principles of multistakeholder cooperation, as well as the broader theme of Internet as an engine for growth and economic development. The BGRC also discussed the upcoming WSIS Forum taking place in Geneva on 21-23 May 2013. ICANN has proposed two workshops for the MAG meeting relating to the role of the Internet technical community on Internet governance and the multistakeholder model. The first meeting of the CSTD working group will also take place at the WSIS Forum. The CSTD multistakeholder working group was recently formed to examine the implementation of the WSIS mandate on enhanced cooperation. It is composed of 22 member states, four from each of the five geographic regions plus one from Tunisia and Switzerland, which are the two countries that hosted Phases 1 and 2 of the WSIS, and 28 members from the stakeholder groups. The working group is expected to finish its work this year and report its findings at the 17th CSTD session in 2014.
  • MIG-Works meetings: The BGRC received an update on the events in Addis Ababa and the Arab MIG in Dubai. The event in Addis Ababa was the first time that registries and registrars got together and discussed business in Africa. The event was well received and resulted in favorable decisions. The Arab MIG in Dubai was held as part of the Arab IGF open consultations. The event was to raise awareness and understanding of the multi-stakeholder model among the Arab nations, and encourage more participation in global policy forum. The meeting was successful in getting people to understand how to get people engaged and involved. Following the Dubai meeting, there was an effort in Lebanon to establish a multistakehoder organization to oversee Internet policy issues in the country. An informal survey was conducted to assess the pilot program in Lebanon and whether there is interest to do the same in other Arab regions.

    • IGO protections: The BGRC was advised that, on 22 March 2013, the GAC submitted a list of IGO names and acronyms to be protected at the second level as part of the new gTLD program. The main issue is that the acronym list contains a number of terms for which there are competing claims. The GAC will hold an open session on 6 April 2013 to discuss how they will handle the IGO protection issue. Another issue relates to languages and the names and acronyms that will be protected in addition to English. The IGOs want a process for reviewing and modifying the list and the GAC did not specify how that would happen. The BGRC briefly discussed the IGO protection list and its relationship with GAC advice within the multistakeholder process.
  • AOB

    • The BGRC received an update of the ongoing work in Latin America to implement a strategy plan. A steering committee was created after the Toronto meeting comprised of different stakeholder groups from the community, including the ASO, LACNIC, ccNSO, LACTLD, different members of the GAC, At-Large structures from LACRALO, members of the GNSO, and ex-board members from the region. The committee produced a draft strategic plan that covers four main areas of interests: political issues, economic aspects, operational issues, and capacity building and outreach. The committee defined strategic objectives, projects, and indicators for each issue. The draft was subject to open public consultation process on 31 March 2013. The committee received positive feedback from the community and some comments and details that require additional work by the committee. The comments will be analyzed at the committee meeting on 7 April 2013 and then discussed at the public meeting on Wednesday, 10 April 2013.
    • The BGRC discussed that the meeting of the ICCP committee of the OECD taking place this week in Paris, France.
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."