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ICANN Signs MOU with EURid to Develop Local Expertise in the Domain Names System (DNS) Sector in Africa and the Middle East

MOU Signed During the ICANN 52 Meeting

Singapore, 9 February, 2015 – The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) signed today with the European Registry for Internet Domains (EURid), manager of the .eu TLD, a Memorandum of Understanding for the purpose of collaborating together on developing local expertise in DNS technical, policy, and business areas in Africa and the Middle East.

This partnership works to further support ICANN's Africa and Middle East strategies to facilitate the domain names sector's growth in both Africa and the Middle East and strategically position both regions for future business and national success.

"We welcome this agreement, and look forward to implementing it on the ground. Africa and the Middle East are two important regions where it is essential to build a strong and aware skilled knowledge base on the DNS. We strongly believe that it is essential to partner with leading organizations such as EURid to effectively and constructively extend our outreach efforts and build on the excellent work being done on local levels," said Fadi Chehade, President and CEO of ICANN.

The MoU crystalizes the efforts being done by both entities and recognizes the need to implement the below, in order to further strengthen and develop the DNS sector in Africa and the Middle East.

  1. Raise awareness about DNS technical, policy and business aspects, and encourage participation in the different regional and global fora relating to DNS;
  2. Participate in regional forums aimed at supporting the growth of the domain name industry in Africa and the Middle East;
  3. Conduct educational workshops to share Registry / Registrar business and operational best practices;
  4. Support fellowships / internships for representatives of the DNS industry in Africa and the Middle East;
  5. Promote the use of Internationalized Domain Names (IDNs).

"We are delighted to partner with ICANN to help African and Middle East countries to develop local expertise in registry DNS technical, policy, and business areas - stated Marc Van Wesemael, EURid CEO. Since the time EURid started as the .eu TLD operator we always shared our best practices and experience with our industry peers. EURid has become an industry leader in several DNS area. We look forward to making our knowledge available in the ultimate interest of the Internet community".

-The End-


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:

About .eu and EURid

The .eu domain ranks among the largest top-level domains in the world, connecting more than 500 million people across 31 countries to one Internet identity. More than 3.9 million .eu names have been registered since the domain opened for registration in 2005. Many companies and brands use a .eu website as a practical solution to convey a clear European identity and their business ambitions. EURid is the not-for-profit organisation that operates the .eu top-level domain, following a tender process and appointment by the European Commission. EURid works with over 750 accredited registrars and provides support in the 24 official EU languages. As part of its ongoing commitment to data security, EURid has been certified for the ISO27001 security standard since 2013. EURid is also registered by the EU Eco-Management and Audit Scheme (EMAS), which is an expression of its environmental commitment. EURid has its headquarters in Brussels (Belgium), and regional offices in Pisa (Italy), Prague (the Czech Republic) and Stockholm (Sweden). More information at:

For media information, please contact:

Media Contacts


Luna Madi
EMEA, Communications Director
London, UK
Tel: +44 7780 947574

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


Press room:

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."