This press release was originally published on icann.org
ICANN and the UASG to Mobilize the Global Internet Community for Universal Acceptance
LOS ANGELES – 09 March 2023 – The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) and the Universal Acceptance Steering Group (UASG) invite the global Internet community to participate in Universal Acceptance (UA) Day events on and around 28 March 2023. The intent of this day is to help achieve a more inclusive Internet that supports a broad range of languages and scripts. Nearly 50 UA Day events are expected to be held in more than 40 different countries.
A cornerstone of today’s global Internet, UA offers many benefits for both individual Internet users as well as the organizations that serve them. There are currently approximately five billion Internet users, and at least one billion more are expected to come online. Most of these potential new users live in countries that speak and write in languages other than English. Achieving UA ensures everybody has the ability to experience the full social and economic power of the Internet using their chosen domain name and email address that best aligns with their interests, business, culture, language, and script.
UA is the gateway to a more inclusive and multilingual Internet. The Domain Name System (DNS) has expanded dramatically in recent years with the addition of new generic top-level domains (e.g., .photography, .technology). These also include 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., .भारत). However, while the DNS has evolved, the checks used by many software applications to validate domain names and email addresses remain outdated. In addition, not all online portals are primed for the using or opening of a user account with an internationalized email address, leaving many people unable to navigate the Internet using their language and online identity of choice. Considered a technical compliance best practice, UA solves these issues by ensuring all valid domain names and email addresses, regardless of script, language, or character length, can be used equally by all Internet-enabled applications, devices, and systems.
“Universal Acceptance is a foundational requirement for a truly global, multilingual Internet,” said ICANN Interim President and CEO Sally Costerton. “The first-ever UA Day will help bring this to fruition by creating awareness of UA and providing the tools needed to ensure that all Internet-enabled applications, devices, and systems work with all valid domain names and email addresses. This milestone event provides an unprecedented opportunity to rally local, regional, and global stakeholders to celebrate UA progress and help bring the next billion users online.”
“Universal Acceptance is crucial to enabling consumer choice and digital inclusivity for all users, including the language they speak or write in,” said UASG Chair Ajay Data. “UA Day was conceived as a global awareness event for Universal Acceptance, which will now occur annually on or about 28 March. It has been met with enthusiasm from multistakeholders worldwide who will participate in about 50 inaugural events. We expect UA Day to be a pivotal moment in time toward promoting Universal Acceptance.”
About UA Day
Organized by the community-led UASG and ICANN, UA Day will consist of UA awareness and technical training sessions hosted by the UASG, ICANN, and interested global partners and organizations. Through a mix of virtual, in-person and hybrid sessions, UA Day aims to engage and mobilize top technical and language communities, companies, governments and DNS industry stakeholders to better understand the benefits of UA and how they can make their systems UA-ready.
UA Day events are open to all relevant organizations and professionals who would like to take part, including ICANN Regional At-Large Organizations, At-Large Structures, Supporting Organizations and Advisory Committees, government officials, international organizations, technology experts, open-source communities, standards bodies, email service providers, software and technology developers, web hosting platforms, academics, DNS industry professionals, and language communities.
To join a UA Day event near you, view the full list of events here. For more information on UA Day, please consult the UA Day page. To learn more about UA, visit https://www.icann.org/ or https://uasg.tech/ and follow the hashtag #Internet4All on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn.
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.
About 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. To learn more, visit https://uasg.tech/.