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ICANN and UNESCO jointly promote multilingualism on the Internet


The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) and the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) have agreed to jointly work so as to strengthen and promote multilingualism on the Internet and enable the successful introduction of internationalized country code top level domain names in languages of countries which do not use the Latin (ASCII) script.

ICANN and UNESCO have signed a Letter of Intent which sets out areas of joint cooperation also defined in the Cooperation Agreement from December 2009. Both parties have agreed to cooperate, each in its field of expertise, to develop a reference table of full and abbreviated names of UNESCO’s Member States whose official languages are based on the Cyrillic script. The cooperation is also expected to spread to countries using other non-Latin scripts.

The exact scope of the project has not been determined yet, but the proposed reference table will not be binding in its use. The creation of this table may assist applicants for country code top level domains in non-Latin scripts but the current Fast Track application process and requirements will not be altered due to this project.

At the beginning of this year, the Serbian National Register of Internet Domain Names (RNIDS) initiated the procedure for establishing the internationalized country code top level domain in the Serbian language and Cyrillic script

Two proposals with the highest number of votes from the Internet community in Serbia (“срб“ and “србија“) were sent to the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) for evaluation, along with a note that the Internet community of Serbia had chosen the proposal “срб“. The proposal “србија“ is a spare proposal, in case the DNS Stability Panel does not approve the proposal “срб“ whatever reason there may be.

Upon the decision of ICANN on the Cyrillic Internet domain of Serbia, the process of registering new domains will commence. The process of registering Cyrillic domains is expected to begin in 2011.