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Moroccan Minister of Industry, Trade & Digital Economy to Speak at ICANN’s 55th Public Meeting in Marrakech

ICANN55 to be a pivotal moment in organization’s history

Marrakech, Morocco… Morocco's Minister of Industry, Trade and Digital Economy, Moulay Hafid Elalamy, will be speaking during the Welcome Ceremony of the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN)'s 55th Public Meeting, which will be taking place from 5-10 March 2016. The meeting is hosted by the National Telecommunications Regulatory Agency (ANRT) of Morocco.

The meeting is being held at a critical moment in the organization's history, as the IANA Stewardship Transition nears completion. Stakeholders from around the world will be convening in Marrakech to finalize the proposal that will ultimately transfer stewardship of the IANA functions – key elements of the Internet's Domain Name System (DNS) – from the United States government over to the global multistakeholder community.

Göran Marby, ICANN's incoming President and CEO, will also be speaking to attendees during the Welcome Ceremony. On 21 May 2015, Fadi Chehadé announced his intent to depart from ICANN, and after a nearly year-long process to find his replacement, ICANN announced that Marby, a seasoned business executive and government leader, has been selected for the role.

In addition, Chehadé and Board Chair Dr. Stephen Crocker will be addressing attendees during the ceremony. We encourage members of the press to join in-person or remotely, as they will provide a high-level overview of what is expected to occur throughout the meeting. Those who are unable to attend the Marrakech meeting in person are encouraged to participate remotely via a live web stream. The details for connecting are provided below.

BACKGROUND: Held three times a year, ICANN's public meetings convene members of the global, multistakeholder Internet community, made up of individual users, businesses, civil society, governments, research institutions and non-government organizations, to discuss issues impacting the Domain Name System (DNS) and develop policy.

Welcome Ceremony & Opening Session:

WHO: Moulay Hafid Elalamy, Moroccan Minister of Industry, Trade & Digital Economy, Göran Marby, Incoming President and CEO, Fadi Chehadé, Current President and CEO, Dr. Stephen Crocker, Chair of the Board of Directors

WHEN: Monday, 7 March, 08:30 A.M. – 10:00 A.M. IST

WHERE: Atlas Auditorium, Palmeraie Conference Center

OFF-SITE ACCESS: Journalists from around the world can participate in the Welcome Ceremony via remote access.

  • A live webcast may be accessed at LINK.

Media Contacts

Luna Madi
Communications Director, EMEA
London, U.K.
Tel: +44 7780947574

James Cole
Global Media Coordinator
Washington, D.C.
Tel: +1 202 733 7598


ICANN's mission is to help ensure a stable, secure and unified global Internet. To reach another person on the Internet, you have to type an address into your computer - a name or a number. That address has to be unique so computers know where to find each other. ICANN helps coordinate and support these unique identifiers across the world. ICANN was formed in 1998 as a not-for-profit public-benefit corporation and a community with participants from all over the world. ICANN and its community help keep the Internet secure, stable and interoperable. It also promotes competition and develops policy for the top-level of the Internet's naming system and facilitates the use of other unique Internet identifiers. For more information please visit:

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."