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Spain’s Secretary of State for Digital Advancement Reinforces the Importance of Domain Names During ICANN63 Opening Ceremony

BARCELONA, Spain – 22 October 2018 – Today, the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) kicked off its 63rd Public Meeting (ICANN63) in Barcelona, Spain. From 20 to 25 October, over 2000 participants from across the world will discuss and debate policies regarding the Internet's system of unique identifiers as they participate in one of the meeting's 326 sessions. The event will also present an opportunity to celebrate ICANN's 20th anniversary.

Representing the Spanish Government, Francisco Polo, Secretary of State for Digital Advancement, expressed his thanks to ICANN for holding ICANN63 in Barcelona and congratulated ICANN on its 20th anniversary. He remarked on the essential role of domain names in the digital world, and recognized the work done by ICANN and professionals of the DNS industry. "Your task, all of you, is fundamental for us because a domain name is more than just a simple name," said Polo. "A domain name is the basis of the Internet. If the internet was a building, domain names would be the structures of that building. They would be the windows, the doors, and the walls. Without them, we would not be able to find themes and people within that building. We wouldn't have rooms, nor stairs or lifts. Without domain names, we would be lost."

David Cierco, Director General of Red.es, also congratulated ICANN on the important work the community has done over the past twenty years, adding, "Keep it up. Keep on working as you have been to date, bringing together different views in the global Internet community. This is a very hard task, but at the end of the day, we have a stable, secure, and interoperable Internet."

In his speech, ICANN Board Chair Cherine Chalaby thanked everyone that has been involved in ICANN since its establishment, and remarked on the path ahead. "As we look to the future, let us never forget that ICANN's technical remit is specific and focused, but that we cannot and must not become complacent or operate in a silo," said Chalaby. "We will therefore evolve with the Internet's technical evolution. We will follow closely advancements in technology and assess their impact on ICANN so that our role as the trusted guardian of the Internet's unique identifiers remains relevant and effective."

ICANN President and CEO Göran Marby talked about major issues ICANN has been tackling in the past months. He highlighted the importance of ICANN's multistakeholder model as it leaves behind twenty years, stating "We're not a government. We're nothing like anyone else. We're a pure multistakeholder model where we solve problems that no one has encountered before in world history. And we do that by consensus, by bottom-up, by discussions, and by agreeing. This is one of the world's biggest peace projects in practice."

The Opening Ceremony will be followed by the day-long High Level Governmental Meeting (HLGM), which is being attended by ministers, government representatives, and delegations from around the world. The meeting will serve as a platform for discussions related to the Internet governance ecosystem, ICANN's work, wider digital issues of global interest, and the role that governments play in these areas.

ICANN63 is being hosted by the Spanish Ministry of Economy and Business, through the Secretary of State for Digital Advancement, and Red.es, a public corporate entity responsible for managing the Internet Domain Name Registry for the country code ".es" and developing programs to stimulate the digital economy.

ICANN Public Meetings are held three times a year in different regions, enabling community members from around the globe to participate in person. These meetings offer sessions such as workshops, forums, and meetings on the development and implementation of policies related to the Internet's system of unique identifiers.

More Information is available at:

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Media Contacts:

Luna Madi
Communications Director, EMEA
Istanbul, Turkey
Tel: +90 533 0313505
Email: luna.madi@icann.org

Buket Coskuner
Global Communications Coordinator, EMEA
Istanbul, Turkey
Tel: +90 533 4876254
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 need to type an address – a name or a number – into your computer or other device. That address must 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 with a community of participants from all over the world.

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."