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ICANN and UA Steering Group Announce Inaugural UA Day and Call for Proposals

22-Dec-2022 | Source : The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) | Visits : 1754

LOS ANGELES - The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) and the Universal Acceptance Steering Group (UASG) are calling for event proposals for the inaugural Universal Acceptance (UA) Day to be held on 28 March 2023. Organized by the volunteer-led UASG and supported by ICANN, UA Day will be an opportunity to rally local, regional, and global communities and organizations to spread UA awareness and to encourage UA adoption with key stakeholders. UA is a technical requirement that ensures all valid domain names and email addresses, regardless of script, language, or character length, can be equally used by all Internet-enabled applications, devices, and systems, a press release stated by ICANN.

UA Day will consist of UA awareness and technical training sessions hosted by the UASG including its UA ambassadors and UA local initiatives, ICANN, and interested global partners and organizations. The sessions will aim to engage and mobilize top technical and language communities, companies, governments, and Domain Name System (DNS) industry stakeholders to better understand the benefits of UA. They will also explain how to make systems UA-ready. Pre-packaged presentation materials will be made available to event organizers so they can conduct their own sessions on, or around, 28 March 2023.

"The UASG's annual UA Day will be a global multistakeholder event to raise UA awareness and help break language barriers on the Internet. I encourage all stakeholders to contribute to UA Day and help bring the next billion users online," said UASG Chair Ajay Data.

"ICANN is excited to support and contribute to the UASG's first annual UA Day. This will be a tremendous opportunity to engage with key stakeholders around the world and raise the profile of our work to build a more inclusive and multilingual Internet," said ICANN President and CEO, Göran Marby.

If you are interested in organizing a UA Day event, please complete the submission form on the UA Day page.

For more information on UA Day, including details on UA speaker and trainer requests, session requirements, and financial support, please also consult the UA Day page. A full UA Day event calendar will be published in the coming months.

WHAT: The UASG and ICANN are seeking event proposals for UA Day to help spread UA awareness and adoption with key stakeholders around the world. Events should focus on one of three types of engagement sessions:

• UA Awareness: provide a high-level overview of UA and Email Address Internationalization (EAI), the benefits of being UA-ready, basic technical concepts related to UA, and next steps to become UA-ready.
• UA Technical Training: provide in-depth training on becoming EAI-ready for email system administrators and email service providers and on becoming UA-ready for developers.
• UA Strategy: discuss appropriate mechanisms to promote UA adoption at the regional level.

WHO: Event proposals are encouraged from all relevant organizations. They include but are not limited to: ICANN Regional At-Large Organizations, At-Large Structures, Supporting Organizations and Advisory Committees, governments, international organizations, technology organizations and companies, open-source communities, standards bodies, email service providers, software and technology developers, web hosting platforms, academia, DNS industry, language communities.

WHERE: Multiple events to be held virtually, in person, or hybrid per the proposals received.

WHEN: On or around 28 March 2023.

What is UA?
 
UA is a technical requirement that ensures all valid domain names and email addresses can be used by all Internet-enabled applications, devices, and systems. While the DNS has changed in recent years, the checks used by many software applications to validate domain names and email addresses remain outdated. Many systems do not recognize or appropriately process new domain names. These domain names include new generic top-level domains (e.g., .photography), Internationalized Domain Names (e.g., एमईआईटीवाई.सरकार.भारत/, 红螺寺.网址, صحة.مصر, стопкоронавирус.рф), and country code top-level domains (e.g., .ไทย). In addition, not all online portals are primed for the opening of a user account with a related email address, which is why awareness of and support for UA is critical for a truly global, multilingual Internet.

Benefits of UA
 
There are currently more than five billion active Internet users, and at least one billion more are expected to come online. Achieving UA for all valid domain names and email addresses is crucial to enabling consumer choice and digital inclusivity for all users. In addition, there are important economic and social benefits of supporting multilingual Internet users in their ability to access and connect to ecommerce, local communities and governments, as well as to embrace and proliferate cultural traditions through language.

The UASG
 
The UASG is a community-led initiative that was formed in 2015 and funded by ICANN. It consists of representatives from more than 120 companies, governments, and community groups. The UASG works to raise awareness of the importance of UA globally, provide free resources to organizations to help them become UA-ready, and measure the progress of UA adoption.
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