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Internet Governance Takes Center Stage at ICANN's Buenos Aires Meeting

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Buenos Aires, Argentina… The future of Internet governance took on a new priority at the opening of ICANN's 48th Public Meeting, ahead of an April conference on Internet governance in Brazil. More than 1,700 people from around the world are attending the ICANN meeting in Buenos Aires.

"ICANN is part of an ecosystem, and the environment around us affects us" said ICANN President and CEO Fadi Chehadé. "We have to be engaged. It doesn't mean we leave behind our responsibilities. It doesn't mean we increase our responsibilities, but we have to also be active participants in the ecosystem, this is central to the multistakeholder success on a global level."

Communications Secretary and Chief of the Cabinet of Ministers of Argentina, Juan Manuel Abal Medina, Jr., stressed the importance of keeping up with a rapidly growing network. "We have a human resource deficit. We must design public policies that will help us overcome these obstacles in terms of growth."

During the Annual General Meeting, ICANN Board Chair Dr. Stephen Crocker remarked on the groundbreaking work of the community of Internet organizations in bringing the issue of governance to the forefront through the Montevideo Statement on the Future of Internet Cooperation.

"We have to have a more inclusive framework. We have to have the participation from everybody – civil society, academia, business, et cetera," said Crocker. "And if we don't preserve that and we don't preserve that inclusiveness, then we will redefine – which is a very polite word for 'do enormous damage to' – the most inclusive communications system that man has ever devised."

During the Buenos Aires Meeting, which is also ICANN's Annual General Meeting, Chehadé outlined the organization's accomplishments over the past year and also praised the success of the New generic Top-Level Domain (gTLDs) Program. So far, 24 new top-level domains have been delegated into the Domain Name System (DNS).

"Today, we can celebrate the success. The gTLD program is off the ground," remarked Chehadé. "In fact, we have added more new gTLDs to the root today than all the gTLDs in the history of ICANN."

ICANN also announced that Lesley Cowley, the CEO at the U.K. registry Nominet, is the winner of the first Leadership Award. The organization also announced plans to create a new award to honor community members called the Multistakeholder Ethos Award. The first Ethos award will be presented at the next ICANN meeting in Singapore.

Also during the Buenos Aires meeting, the Korea Internet and Security Agency (KISA) and ICANN announced that they had signed a Memorandum of Understanding. Under the memorandum, ICANN and KISA will closely collaborate on engagement efforts in Korea and implement a pilot project to promote language localization efforts in the region.

ICANN's 48th Public Meeting in Buenos Aires will continue through Thursday.


To watch a video about Internet pioneers in Latin America, go here:

To download high-resolution photos from the ICANN's opening session, go here:

To review the schedule for the ICANN meeting, go here:

To read the Montevideo Statement, go here:


Brad White
ICANN Director of Global Media Affairs
Washington, D.C.
Tel. +1 (202) 570 7118

Alexandra Dans
Communications Manager for Latin America and the Caribbean
Montevideo, Uruguay
Tel. +598 95 831 442

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."