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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: Sébastien Bachollet, Cherine Chalaby, Chris Disspain and Francisco da Silva,

Staff Attendees: Susanna Bennett – Chief Operating Officer; Megan Bishop, Michelle Bright, Mandy Carver, Sally Costerton, Rodrigo de la Parra, Baher Esmat, Elizabeth Le, Everton Lucero, Amy Stathos, and Save Vocea

Invited Attendee: Kuek Yu-Chuang


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

  1. New Government Engagement Strategy – The BGRC received an update on the status of the new government engagement strategy development. The strategy is currently still in the conceptual phase and is not yet a developed strategy. Preliminarily, the strategy is intended to be a three-year plan, focusing on how to operationalize the role of governments within the ICANN multistakeholder model as well as empowering ICANN participation at the global Internet governance debate at the national, regional, and global level. Once developed, it is intended for the strategy to fit into the global engagement strategy towards different stakeholders.

  2. Internet Governance Forum (IGF) 2013 – The BGRC received an update on the 8th IGF that will take place on 22-25 October 2013. The BGRC was advised that the IGF will be introducing a new format with an overarching theme and subthemes. The proposed overarching theme will be building bridges, enhancing multistakeholder cooperation for growth and sustainable development. The proposed subthemes include access and diversity, in particular, the Internet as an engine for growth and sustainable development, openness, human rights, freedom of expression, free flow of information, security, enhanced cooperation, and Internet governance principles. With respect to ICANN's participation at the forum, there will be a workshop on New gTLDs moderated by Chris Disspain, and a workshop with IDNs co-organized with APRALO, as well an ICANN open forum. ICANN will also participate in two workshops with regional representatives from Africa and the Middle East.

  3. WSIS Review – The BGRC received an update on the status of the WSIS review. The BGRC discussed the objective of the review, which is to evaluate the effectiveness of Tunis Agenda by examining the action lines from two prime WSIS events – the UNESCO event earlier this year and the WTDC in 2014 in Sharm El Sheikh. The BGRC also received a report on the World Telecommunications Policy Forum (WTPF) that took place in May 2013.

  4. Regional Updates – The BGRC received an update on the regional strategic efforts in the Middle East. A working group was established including 22 members from 11 countries approximately six months ago. The working group concluded their work on strategy in early May and the strategy document was posted. The working group has been working on the implementation plan for year 1, which includes specific projects and activities to be undertaken by ICANN and other partners from the region and the international community. The plan focuses on three strategic areas: DNS security and stability, domain name industry development, and the Internet governance ecosystem. The BGRC also received an update on the status of the Latin America and Caribbean strategy. A steering committee was formed to define a strategic plan. The plan was presented to the region after the Beijing meeting at the LACNIC meeting in Medellin, China. Approximately 70 projects were developed. The steering committee prioritized 40 projects based on a set of criteria identified by the Committee itself. It is estimated that five pilot projects will start being implemented before the Buenos Aires meeting. These five projects are: (1) a roadshow to promote different subjects such as IPv6, new gTLDs, security, stability and the resiliency of the DNS; (2) a communications plan in the languages of the region and that is easily understandable to everyone; (3) workshops on capacity building on security and stability; (4) creation of CERT – an emergency response team for ccTLDs; and (5) creation of a Latin America and Caribbean space in the ICANN meetings. The BGRC also received an update regarding the African strategic engagement program, which will be presented at the 15 July 2013 African panel during the meeting in Durban and has been posted on the strategic group's website. Staff provided the BGRC with an update on the strategic efforts in Asia. The goal is to develop a strategic plan similar to those for Africa, the Middle East, and Latin America, and to have the strategy in place before the ICANN Buenos Aires meeting. The BGRC also received an update on the status of ICANN's digital engagement strategy, including the launch of a project called ICANN|Labs, which is a mechanism for the community to work together to try and experiment with different software tools and platforms, and provide feedback in a laboratory environment.

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."