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Global Internet Stakeholders to Convene in Johannesburg for ICANN’s 59th Public Meeting, and 10th Meeting in Africa

Members of the media are invited to join the ICANN59 Policy Forum from 26-29 June

Johannesburg, South Africa… The Internet Corporation of Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) will hold its 59th Public Meeting in the Johannesburg Sandton Convention Center from 26-29 June 2017. This meeting is ICANN's second ever Policy Forum, which is focused on policy work and outreach. It is also the tenth time an ICANN meeting will be held in Africa, a continent of great online potential.

Hosted by the ZA Domain Name Authority (.ZADNA), the meeting will bring together global and regional Internet stakeholders for four days, to develop policy related to the Internet's Domain Name System (DNS).

One of the highlight topics of ICANN59 for media is the Key Signing Rollover (KSK Rollover). ICANN is in the process of performing a Root Zone DNS Security Extensions (DNSSEC) KSK rollover to replace the top-level cryptographic keys used in DNSSEC, which will happen on the 11th October 2017. This is another reason for attending ICANN59, the last ICANN meeting before the rollover takes place, as a step towards raising awareness about this important change.

During the meeting there will also be a public presentation launching the final report of the Africa Domain Name System market study commissioned by ICANN. The report highlights the strengths and weaknesses in the Domain Name Service (DNS) sector in Africa and develops recommendations on how to advance the industry to better utilize the opportunities available and address identified challenges.

ICANN59 is also the third meeting since the IANA Stewardship Transition, and a platform for the new empowered community that has taken over the reigns of the Internet's system of unique identifiers. So another topic of interest is the Empowered Community. Through this mechanism, the global Internet community, through ICANN's Supporting Organizations (SOs) and Advisory Committees (ACs) can organize under California law to legally enforce community powers.

ICANN meetings are an excellent opportunity for those interested in getting involved to learn how they can join and have an impact. There are important voices represented via different structures at ICANN from across the globe. Here in Africa, structures such as AFRALO, the home of individual Internet user community for the African region, African Government Advisory Committee representatives including South African Government, observer International Governmental Organizations like ATU, and other businesses in the region like AFICTA help represent the region's diverse voice. This is what makes ICANN's multistakeholder model a success, the mixture of voices from around the globe.

As Africa continues to increase its online presence, ICANN hopes that more new users will participate in the ICANN community to ensure their continent's unique perspective is reflected in DNS policies.

The ICANN Meeting Strategy is also shaped in a way to accommodate this model: ICANN meetings are held three times a year, in different regions around the world, to give all interested stakeholders an opportunity to interact with the rest of the community in person.

Event Information:

  • Journalists who are unable to attend the meeting are encouraged to participate remotely. Details for remote participation in any of the sessions can be found here.
  • All ICANN59 attendees (including journalists) are required to register either on-site or here.
  • For more details on ICANN59, please visit: https://meetings.icann.org/en/johannesburg59
  • The full schedule of ICANN59 events and meetings is available at https://schedule.icann.org/

You can also download the ICANN59 Mobile App, which is available in the App Store, Google play, Windows Store and BlackBerry World.

Media Contacts

Luna Madi
Communications Director, EMEA
Istanbul, Turkey
Tel: +90 533 031 3505
Email: luna.madi@icann.org

Buket Coskuner
Global Communications Coordinator
Istanbul, Turkey
Tel: +90 533 487 6254
Email: buket.coskuner@icann.org

About ICANN

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: www.icann.org.

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."