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The Future of Internet Governance Dominates Opening of ICANN's Singapore Meeting

Singapore…The process of determining how best to transfer stewardship of key Internet technical functions from the U.S. Government to the International community began today during ICANN's 49th public meeting in Singapore.

The discussions were driven by the recent announcement that the United States Government (USG) will transfer the stewardship of key Internet technical functions to the global community.

"This is indeed momentous," ICANN President and CEO Fadi Chehadé told an international news conference. "The decision by the United States Government validates the idea that people around the world can come together and manage a global resource that is borderless."

Explaining the next steps in the transition process, Fadi Chehadé went on to say, "We will now take the global process launched today by the ICANN community to the world. We will have meetings and consultations with the public, communities and with our fellow technical organisations, the IETF, the Regional Internet Registries, and here most importantly in the Asia Pacific region, APNIC, who will be partnering with us in getting the word out to involve everyone into that process."

"I would like to congratulate ICANN for successfully setting up two regional hubs last year, one in Istanbul, Turkey, and the other here in Singapore," said Dr. Yaacob Ibrahim, Singapore's Minister for Communications and Information. "It underscores ICANN's commitment to serve the global community. and I believe that Asia-Pacific hub in Singapore will be a great vehicle for ICANN to reach out to the region.

"Absolutely central to everything that we do and that matters to the world at large is the security, stability and resiliency of the system," said Board Chair Dr. Stephen D. Crocker. "The discussion that is taking place now has to do with the stewardship, but with the proviso of continued stability and rock-solid operations of the core functions."

ICANN's 49th Public Meeting in Singapore will continue through Thursday, 27 March.


To listen to an audio recording of the ICANN49 Singapore news conference go here:

To download high resolution photos from the ICANN49 meeting in Singapore go here:

To see the full schedule of ICANN49 in Singapore, go to:


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

Liana Teo
Head of Communications for Asia Pacific
Tel. +65 6808 6669

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."