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At-Large White Paper on Future Challenges Entitled Making ICANN Relevant, Responsive and Respected

Comment/Reply Periods (*) Important Information Links
Comment Open: 20 November 2012
Comment Close: 2 January 2013 Extended to 11 January 2013
Close Time (UTC): 23:59 UTC Public Comment Announcement
Reply Open: 3 January 2013 Extended to 12 January 2013 To Submit Your Comments (Forum)
Reply Close: 23 January 2013 Extended to 1 February 2013 View Comments Submitted
Close Time (UTC): 23:59 UTC Report of Public Comments
Brief Overview
Originating Organization: ALAC
  • Internet Governance
  • Participation
Purpose (Brief):

The At-Large White Paper on "Making ICANN Relevant, Responsive and Respected" (R3 White Paper) seeks to address the questions that are now being raised about whether the present ecosystem of Internet governance, including ICANN, is able to adapt to recent changes in the ecosystem that have taken place, and more specifically, within the following four areas:

  1. The Global Public interest;
  2. The Multi-Stakeholder System – A Choice for the Future
  3. Global Governance; and
  4. Institutional and Practical Cooperation.

The document suggests a number of recommendations on how the challenges within these areas might be addressed.

The purpose of this public comment period is to obtain feedback and collect broader community input into the further development of this White Paper.

Current Status: Following a request by the ALAC Executive Committee on 14 November 20 12, ICANN Staff has now published the At-Large White Paper on Future Challenges entitled "Making ICANN Relevant, Responsive and Respected" (R3) for public comment.
Next Steps: The At-Large Future Challenges Working Group will update the At-Large White Paper on Future Challenges entitled "Making ICANN Relevant, Responsive and Respected" (R3) after considering community feedback submitted through this forum. An updated version of the White Paper will then be presented to the ALAC and the broader community during a public meeting at the 46th ICANN Meeting in Beijing.
Staff Contact: Heidi Ullrich Email:
Detailed Information
Section I: Description, Explanation, and Purpose

The At-Large White Paper entitled "Making ICANN Relevant, Responsive and Respected" (R3 White Paper) identifies four major challenges that ICANN is facing:

  1. The global public interest – In a continuously evolving and challenging environment, will ICANN be able to keep pace with growing public interest requirements and adapt its methods to better serve the global user community, while escaping capture by narrower interests?
  2. The multi-stakeholder system – Is ICANN's multi-stakeholder approach sufficiently robust and sustainable in the long run under increased external pressure?
  3. Global governance – Are the arrangements related to the governance of the Internet's critical resources, including that of ICANN's own internal governance, adequate to meet the needs of the growing and diverse community of internet users worldwide?
  4. Institutional and practical cooperation – Can ICANN coordinate and cooperate effectively with organizations that have been set up to deal with Internet governance issues beyond ICANN's remit of technical coordination?

A series of recommendations is offered for each of these four challenges with the aim of initiating the significant changes ICANN will be required to undertake if it is to adapt to the identified challenges as well as others within the Internet eco-system.

Over the next several months, the At-Large Future Challenges Working Group will be seeking input from both within ICANN and the broader Internet community. The next milestone in the development of the R3 White Paper will be a public session during the 46th ICANN Meeting scheduled to be held in Beijing in April 2013.

This Public Comment solicitation represents an opportunity for the ICANN community to provide its views on the issues outlined in the R3 White Paper.

Section II: Background
The At-Large White Paper entitled "Making ICANN Relevant, Responsive and Respected" (R3 White Paper) was developed by the globally diverse At-Large Future Challenges Working Group through wide consultation with the At-Large community. It was unanimously ratified by the ALAC in September 2012.
Section III: Document and Resource Links

At-Large White Paper on Future Challenges entitled Making ICANN Relevant, Responsive and Respected (R3) [PDF, 109 KB]

Translations of the At-Large White Paper on Future Challenges entitled Making ICANN Relevant, Responsive and Respected (R3):

Section IV: Additional Information

(*) Comments submitted after the posted Close Date/Time are not guaranteed to be considered in any final summary, analysis, reporting, or decision-making that takes place once this period lapses.

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."