IGF 2019 WS #415 Multilingual Internet: support local languages and scripts

Organizer 1: Satish Babu, ISOC-TRV
Organizer 2: Edmon Chung, Dot Asia Registry
Organizer 3: Natalia Filina, EURALO Individuals` Association, ISOC
Organizer 4: Desara Dushi, University of Bologna and University of Luxembourg
Organizer 5: Klensin Klensin, John C Klensin and Associates
Organizer 6: Lutz Donnerhacke, Fitug e.V.

Speaker 1: Satish Babu, Technical Community, Asia-Pacific Group
Speaker 2: Edmon Chung, Technical Community, Western European and Others Group (WEOG)
Speaker 3: Natalia Filina, Private Sector, Eastern European Group
Speaker 4: Patrik Fältström, Technical Community, Western European and Others Group (WEOG)

Policy Question(s): 

1. In what ways are domain names in writing systems other than basic Latin script ("internationalized domain names" or IDNs) and global use, accessibility, and acceptability ("universal acceptance" or UA) critical to a truly multilingual Internet?
2. What is the current state of IDNs & Universal Acceptance adoption worldwide?
3. What are the limitations of IDNs (eg., variant management, transitional issues) and how may they be managed?
4. Where are the impediments in the adoption of UA?
5. What actions need to be taken by communities, Governments, businesses and Internet Government organizations to address these?
6. Is the lack of Universal Acceptance hindering the deployment of Internet content developed locally?

Relevance to Theme: The workshop aims at identifying factors that are limiting the Universal Acceptance of domain names and email addresses, including, but not limited to, identifiers written in non-ASCII (or Latin) scripts.
Lack of Universal Acceptance affects Digital Inclusion, because it does not provide equal opportunities to users who are not familiar with Latin script and with the English language.
The workshop addresses SDG10, that is to "Reduce inequality within and among countries".

Relevance to Internet Governance: In order to ensure Universal Acceptance and a fully multilingual Internet we need to make policy decisions and define governance processes.
Universal Acceptance and a fully multilingual Internet are of the paramount importance to achieve equal opportunity of access and best use of the content.
The workshop aims not just at identifying factors that are limiting the Universal Acceptance, but also to gather and share the best experience and practice worldwide - this requires collaborative efforts and good governance processes, but also exploring the role of Governments.

Format: 

Round Table - U-shape - 90 Min

Description: The session will start with a brief introduction of the topic and the speakers (10')
Then the speakers will address the following points (30'):
- problems arising from the lack of Universal Acceptance and different approaches to solve them;
- successful stories about efforts to achieve Universal Acceptance, including examples of countries and actions;
- examples of situation in which wider and easier access to the Internet content, in particular the one developed locally, can be achieved with Universal Acceptance.
The main focus will be on the user experience rather than on technical issues and technical solutions.
The floor will be open for contributions, local and remote (30').
The panelists will be asked for opinions about the way forward - this may include comments from the floor (15').
The moderator will close the session summarising the next steps (5').

Expected Outcomes: - Share information about the current scenario and pending issues;
- Raise awareness about the obstacles that prevent universal acceptance and full multilingualism;
- Identify paths to follow and indicate possible solutions to the present situation;
- Identify potential policy issues.

Onsite Moderator: 

Edmon Chung, Technical Community, Western European and Others Group (WEOG)

Online Moderator: 

Natalia Filina, Private Sector, Eastern European Group

Rapporteur: 

Satish Babu, Civil Society, Asia-Pacific Group

Discussion Facilitation: 

First and foremost, the topic will be widely discussed in the ALAC IDN Working Group in the months preceding the IGF, encouraging participation and discussion also in other fora, including national and regional IGF.
Following this preliminary work, it is expected that the participation from the floor (local and remote) will be high.
The moderator will act also as timekeeper making sure that the speakers stay within the topic and the time limits, providing enough time for contributions by the audience.

Online Participation: 

The Online Moderator will be in constant contact with the remote participants and will make sure their voice gets heard at the session.
The organisers still need to evaluate how to make the best use of the facilities - this will be done over the next month or so.

Proposed Additional Tools: The organisers still need to evaluate how to make the best use of the facilities - this will be done over the next month or so.

SDGs: 

GOAL 9: Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure
GOAL 10: Reduced Inequalities
GOAL 11: Sustainable Cities and Communities