By Anil Kumar Jain, UASG Chair
It has been an exciting year for the global Internet community, in particular those who are working toward the Universal Acceptance (UA) of all domain names and email addresses. In recognition of everything the community has achieved, I’d like to share a few recent highlights that demonstrate the enthusiasm for UA around the world.
During ICANN77 Prep Week (30 May-1 June), the UASG hosted a Community Update on Universal Acceptance. UA is necessary to promote choice, innovation, and access for the Domain Name System (DNS), and it is a critical part of ICANN’s FY21-25 Strategic Plan. This session provided an update on the work being carried out by the UASG Working Groups (WGs) and ICANN as we plan for the new fiscal year.
We began the session with an introduction to the new UASG leadership team. I recently had the honor of being elected as UASG Chair, a position that I take seriously and will fulfill to the best of my ability. The team also includes three new Vice Chairs: Nabil Benamar (Morocco), professor of computer sciences at Moulay Ismail University of Meknes; Haixin Duan (China), professor and lead at the Network and Information Security Lab at the Institute for Network Sciences and Cyberspace of Tsinghua University; and Nitin Walia (India), Director of Data Xgen Technologies. We are all looking forward to engaging with the UA community in this new capacity and to contributing to the UASG’s important work.
The session continued with a recap of the inaugural UA Day, which aimed to raise awareness of UA at the local and regional levels, as well as globally. According to a recent report compiled by the UASG and ICANN, UA Day events were attended by a total of 9,424 attendees worldwide, representing more than 40 countries/territories and 22 languages. UA Day was a significant moment for our community because it marked the first time such a broad range of stakeholders – including a diverse set of technical and language communities, companies, governments, and DNS industry professionals – have been mobilized to champion UA on a global scale.
As we look toward FY24, representatives from the various WGs (Measurement WG, Tech WG, EAI WG and Communications WG) gave a status update on FY23 progress and FY24 planning and invited the community to weigh in on FY24 draft plans. Based on the success of the first UA Day, the plans include a second annual UA Day to be held next spring. You can listen to the session recording here to get more information about each WG’s plans and goals for FY24.
On behalf of the UASG, I’d like to thank everyone who participated in the Prep Week session, as well as the thousands of people worldwide who helped make the Internet more inclusive by supporting UA Day. To learn more about the UASG and how you can help build an #Internet4All, visit https://uasg.tech/ and interact with the UASG on social media (Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn).