ICANN64 | Day 6 – Cross-Community Session: Universal Acceptance / IDNs

Exclusive Coverage by Tarun Taunk, Chief Editor ITVoice

The aim of this panel discussion was to discuss how ICANN Org, the Universal Acceptance Steering Group (UASG), and the ICANN community can work together to achieve the strategic goal of developing unique identification systems to continue serving the needs of the global Internet user base.

The ICANN64 Cross-Community Session on Universal Acceptance / IDNs had the following objectives:

  • Raise awareness for Universal Acceptance, IDN implementation and Universal Acceptance Steering Group (UASG) work
  • Encourage readiness for Universal Acceptance and IDN implementation by raising awareness to enable more end-users to use the Internet
  • Discuss the (potential) impact of reading. North America and Western Europe may be more concerned with new gTLDs than with non-ASCII script TLDs
  • Bringing the next billion online (cultural and economic impact)
  • Improve understanding and responsiveness to new technologies and standards through greater involvement with industry, academia, standards development organizations and other relevant stakeholders (even if technology and standards are discussed by us).

The session started with a welcome note from Christian Dawson and then an introduction of the panelists by Lars Steffen, further Mr Ram Mohan (former UASG Chair) was called upon to answer the question: Who is the UASG and what has it achieved so far?

  • Founded in February 2015
  • stands for Universal Acceptance Steering Group
  • Tasked with undertaking activities that will effectively promote the Universal Acceptance of all valid domain names and email addresses
  • Comprised of 120+ companies, governments & community groups

After people were familiar with Universal Acceptance, five panelists each from a different background took their chances on the stage to explain the relevance of Universal Acceptance /
IDNs for each of the SO / AC.

1 – ccNSO – Maria Kolesnikova
Head of External Relations at the Coordination Center for
TLD .RU/.РФ (.ru and .рф)
2 – GNSO – Mark Svancarek (UASG Co-Chair)
Principal Program Manager at Microsoft –
Tech Policy / Internet Governance
3 – SSAC – Ram Mohan (Previous UASG Chair)
Chief Operating Officer at Afilias
4 – At-Large / ALAC – Jennifer Chung
Director of Corporate Knowledge at DotAsia Organisation
5 – GAC – Manal Ismail
Director, International Technical Coordination at National
Telecommunications Regulatory Authority of Egypt (NTRA)

After the panelists had their chances, Panel Discussion took place on various topics which were followed by an Open Discussion i.e. including the attendees as well.

To think about :

The Internet is used by more than half of the world’s population. It is expected that the vast majority of new Internet users will come from Asia and Africa. As it evolves to include more of the world, the next chapter in the growth of the Internet will increasingly impact the global Internet community.

With an exponential growth forecast, the number of Internet-connected devices is increasing even more rapidly. ICANN must play a role in ensuring that a single, stable, interoperable infrastructure, including the provision of IANA functions, addresses the needs of both users and devices. In order to reach a more diverse Internet user base, it is necessary to promote and improve universal acceptance and the implementation of Internationalized Domain Names (IDNs). Furthermore, embracing the rapid development of emerging technologies, business and security models enables ICANN to maintain agility as the Internet evolves. Thus the strategies discussed will ensure that ICANN enhances the unique identification systems of the Internet to better serve a broader and more diverse global user base and protect an open Internet for all.

Moderators wrapped up the session after a healthy discussion and this session was definitely the highlight of the final day in ICANN64, Kobe Japan.


Session Leader: Maria Otanes