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ICANN Welcomes the EU Council’s Conclusions on Internet Governance

December 2, 2014 – The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) today welcome the EU Council on Telecommunication (TTE) for its Conclusions on Internet Governance adopted on 27 November 2014.

The Conclusions underline "that the governance of Internet is expected to include all stakeholders" and "the importance of strengthening the Internet Governance Forum (IGF)", while endorsing the principles adopted by the global multi-stakeholder community at NETmundial.

"In this period of transition for Internet Governance, and for ICANN in particular, Europe has a substantial role to play. We welcome Europe's public commitment to contribute proactively and constructively to the process of IANA stewardship transition and ICANN's accountability and review process," said Fadi Chehade, ICANN's President and CEO.

The Conclusions by the Council of European Union governments mark an important step in supporting the continued development of the multistakeholder model of Governance of the Internet, based on inclusivity and underpinned by individual rights and democratic values.

"We recognize this is the first time that EU Council Conclusions focus in such detail on Internet Governance and on ICANN specifically, and I would like to thank the Italian Presidency and in particular Under Secretary Antonello Giacomelli for setting the agenda and their vision," said Chehade. "They have worked hard to foster a single coherent approach among 28 Member States, based on the NETMundial principles."

They also reaffirm that the Internet should remain a single, open, neutral, interoperable and un-fragmented network accessible to everyone, everywhere. The ICANN community is proud to have contributed to this goal and "the robust operation of the Internet" through ICANN's role in the coordination of the domain name system over the past 16 years, and we will strive to fulfill this mission going forwards, as the organization evolves.

Building on the Council Conclusion, the Internet community and ICANN welcome Europe's decision and fully support the forging ahead with the implementation of national and regional multistakeholder models of Internet governance.

About ICANN:

ICANN's mission is to 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 coordinates these unique identifiers across the world. Without that coordination we wouldn't have one global Internet. ICANN was formed in 1998. It is a not-for-profit public-benefit corporation with participants from all over the world dedicated to keeping the Internet secure, stable and interoperable. It promotes competition and develops policy on the Internet's unique identifiers. ICANN doesn't control content on the Internet. It cannot stop spam and it doesn't deal with access to the Internet. But through its coordination role of the Internet's naming system, it does have an important impact on the expansion and evolution of the Internet. 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."