News

Universal Acceptance one of the highlights of ICANN 66

<p>
On the second day of ICANN 66 in Montreal, a session was held to review the activities of regional working groups on universal acceptance (UA). The discussion was attended by representatives of ICANN, regional working groups, UASG board members, as well as representatives of vendors, software developers, and internet services.</p>
<p>
Regional representatives of ICANN's stakeholder engagement office spoke about the UA initiatives in their countries. The majority of the participants agreed that a service or software product is ready for universal acceptance only if the balance between the regulatory impact and careful work to increase market demand is observed. They also highlighted the need for increased user awareness of what universal acceptance is, and consequently, for the development of educational initiatives. The same conditions are necessary for the further development of IDN in general.</p>
<p>
Samiran Gupta, the head of India for ICANN, noted that the national standards office in his country requires all smartphone manufacturers that ship to India to support the official languages. ICANN Vice President for Stakeholder Engagement and Managing Director for Asia Pacific Jia-Rong Low noted that China now has domain names in the most popular languages in that country.</p>
<p>
Natalia Mochu, Global Stakeholder Engagement Manager for Eastern Europe and Central Asia at ICANN, spoke about regional projects. She pointed out that these projects had been launched even before the ICANN Universal Acceptance Steering Group (UASG) began promoting them. One of them is the UA regional working group created this year at the initiative of the TLD .RU/.РФ Coordination Center: “The working group was set up as a grass root initiative by representatives of registries and registrars who are concerned about the future of internationalized domain names. There is an understanding that many users in the region are still not fully aware of the IDN capabilities and the benefits that IDNs can bring to their projects. Currently, the group includes 12 domains from seven countries, and in the near future, the group’s experts will be focusing on the development of communications, working with software manufacturers and end-user education programs.”</p>
<p>
The discussion on universal acceptance continued at a meeting of the ICANN's Governmental Advisory Committee (GAC). The participants proposed several principles that, according to GAC Chair Manal Ismail, should form the basis for various national governments’ strategies in this field: 1. All domain names and email addresses should be considered equal. 2. The entire community, including stakeholders, should work to resolve this problem. 3. The problem of universal acceptance concerns not only internationalized domains and email addresses, but also new domains that are longer than the classic two-letter or three-letter ones.</p>
<p>
Universal acceptance has a special place in IACNN’s plan for 2021-2025. At the same time, the GAC plans to work intensively with national governments to raise UA awareness, and will create a databank of best practices for its implementation. Recommendations for creating a working group will be included in the final GAC communique, which will be released at the end of the conference.</p>
Previous News Next news