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Press Release: ICANN Celebrates 25 Years of Multistakeholder Governance at ICANN78 in Hamburg

HAMBURG, 23 October 2023 – Today, the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) kicked off its 78th Public Meeting in Hamburg, Germany. At this week-long meeting, which runs until 26 October, ICANN will also be celebrating 25 years of ensuring a unified and secure Internet.

The opening ceremony featured remarks from the host entities' eminent speakers. ICANN Board Chair Tripti Sinha said, "I am honored to be part of this milestone celebration. ICANN's 25th anniversary stands as a testament to our unwavering commitment in fostering collaboration among diverse stakeholders to propel the dialogues that are crucial for driving the global Internet's continued growth and stability."

"On this anniversary, we are not merely reflecting on our substantial achievements over the past 25 years," said Sally Costerton, Interim President and CEO of ICANN. "This is also an opportunity to look to the future and to renew our commitment to ensuring a secure, stable, and unified global Internet. Our work together here this week will bring us closer to achieving our mission."

Dr. Volker Wissing, Germany's Federal Minister for Digital and Transport said, "We need international digital policy, that promotes democracy, prosperity, and resilience in our digital societies. Germany is committed to a global, open, free, and secure Internet. That is why we are currently developing a strategy to create a rules-based digital order. In this endeavour, we are building on the extensive exchange of information and experience with national and international stakeholders like ICANN."

Jana Schiedek, State Secretary of Culture and Media, Free and Hanseatic City of Hamburg stated, "The rapid development of the internet requires infrastructures, and ICANN makes an essential contribution to their functioning. Hamburg is Germany's number one Smart City, having been awarded this title four times in the last five years. The digital transformation would not be possible without the work of ICANN. ICANN's efforts to standardize and create uniform processes that keep the internet accessible to everyone worldwide are the basis for all the smart technologies from which we benefit today as a city, but also as a society as a whole. We are glad and proud to host the ICANN78 meeting."

Founded in1998, ICANN has played an important role in ensuring the Internet's stability and security by coordinating the Domain Name System (DNS). ICANN's clear mission and inclusive, multistakeholder governance ensure the effective functioning of the DNS, providing a stable foundation for global Internet platforms and services.

ICANN has consistently focused on addressing complex issues using the multistakeholder model to involve pertinent stakeholders. Through this model Internet users collectively contribute to the ongoing development of the policies that ensure the continuous and uninterrupted operation of the Internet.

At ICANN78, experts will analyze Internet ecosystem intricacies at various sessions, including a plenary on geopolitical, legislative, and regulatory developments. Such sessions reflect the intentions of ICANN public forums to facilitate direct communication between the ICANN community, board, and organization.

"The domain industry is a key player in the digital infrastructure ecosystem. While it may not always be visible to users, Internet and IP addresses are indispensable cornerstones for a functioning Internet and the digital transformation of the economy and society. ICANN78 makes the underlying industry and its significance for digitalization visible and promotes exchange between stakeholders from politics, business, and civil society. This is an important contribution future-proofing a free and open Internet," said Oliver J. Süme, Chair of the Board, ECO, the German association of the Internet industry.

Andreas Musielak, member of the Board DENIC eG, stated "We are aware that the domain world is changing. In the past, the focus was mainly on technical issues. The major challenges of the future, however, are legal issues. We at DENIC therefore see the tasks of the domain industry to be broader than ever already today: in addition to ensuring a secure and stable Internet, we as the domain industry have the responsibility of ensuring continued free access to the Internet for all, unimpeded by the legal framework."

As in previous meetings, registered attendees may participate both in person and virtually, allowing for global participation. Learn more about the meeting at its dedicated website.


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 nonprofit public benefit corporation with a community of participants from all over the world.

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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."