Encouraging a multilingual Internet – Pre 08 2019

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18 June 2019 | 12:00-14:00 | YANGTZE 2 | Remote participation
Consolidated programme 2019 overview

Proposals assigned to this session: ID 160, 168, 186 – list of all proposals as pdf

Session teaser

Universal Acceptance (UA) “refers to the process by which software is updated to accept all valid domain names and email addresses,”[1] and UA is absolutely fundamental to making the Internet multilingual. The present challenge is this: UA-readiness is nowhere near as prevalent as it should be on the Internet, thereby creating barriers to diversity and inclusion. This Day 0 Event will serve to convene members of a small but tenacious community – and anyone who is passionate about promoting greater digital inclusion – to discuss how to promote UA-readiness to government policymakers. All are welcome to join.

Session description

This Day 0 Event is an opportunity for the EuroDIG community to discuss current advocacy around Universal Acceptance (UA) readiness.

The Universal Acceptance Steering Group (UASG) and the IGF Dynamic Coalition of DNS Issues (DC-DNSI) will introduce and explain their work. European regional partners from the South Eastern European Dialogue on Internet Governance (SEEDIG) community will provide an overview of their recent session in Bucharest, co-organised with the DC-DNSI, titled: “Multilingual Internet: local scripts by default.” Participants also will hear from leading experts that are promoting a multilingual Internet, including an update on the annual EURid-UNESCO World Report on Internationalised Domain Names (supported by Verisign and the regional ccTLD organisations).

Following these updates, there will be a roundtable discussion focused on end-user experiences, as well as how to encourage public sector adoption of UA-readiness. We will also consider how low awareness of UA-readiness actually hampers access to several digital economies around the globe. Experts will engage the audience on these vital questions and seek to explore remedies to address these challenges.

This Day 0 Event is organized by the (DC-DNSI) and friends. The DC-DNSI fosters multistakeholder discussion on DNS issues that complement, but do not duplicate or compete with, work undertaken within ICANN and the IETF. Afilias, the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (U.S. Department of Commerce) and Verisign are the DC-DNSI Secretariat and founding members, and the Coalition currently includes over 50 members from the private and public sectors, civil society and technical community.


The format for this engagement will be a roundtable discussion, which will: encourage participation, the exchange of information between stakeholders, and enable discussion with subject matter experts on how to advance UA-readiness within the public sector at a national.

Roundtable discussion items will include:

  • Measuring the awareness about domain names, IDNs, Internationalized email addresses, and the multilingual web;
  • The end user experience;
  • The major obstacles to UA-readiness in different countries; and
  • whether governments can play a lead role in encouraging UA readiness.

Further reading

Please find the following links to see prior and current engagements with the DC-DNSI here:

Links to relevant websites, declarations, books, documents:


Onsite Moderator:

  • Melinda Clem, Vice President Strategy, Afilias

Key participants:

  • Susan Chalmers, Internet Policy Specialist, National Telecommunications and Information and Administration (NTIA), US Department of Commerce
  • Sorina Teleanu, Chair, SEEDIG Executive Committee, Consultant, Internet governance and digital policy
  • Lianna Galstyan, External Relations Manager, ISOC Armenia
  • Emily Taylor, CEO Oxford Information Labs
  • Lars Steffen, Director eco International
  • Roberto Gaetano, EURALO Board Member
  • Andrea Beccalli, Stakeholder Engagement Director for Europe, ICANN
  • Dennis Tan, Senior Platform Manager, Verisign; UASG
  • Nik Smith, Senior Policy Manager, Verisign

[1] Michael Kende & Andrew Kloeden for Analysys Mason, Paper for UASG: Unleashing the Power of All Domains: The Social, Cultural, and Economic Benefits of Universal Acceptance, White Paper (11 April 2017), available at: https://uasg.tech/wp-content/uploads/2017/04/Unleashing-the-Power-of-All-Domains-White-Paper.pdf.


Find an independent report of the session from the Geneva Internet Platform Digital Watch Observatory at https://dig.watch/sessions/encouraging-multilingual-internet.