Multilingual Domain Names: Joint ITU / WIPO Symposium
International Conference Center of Geneva (CICG)
December 6-7, 2001





In association with the Multilingual Internet Names Consortium

Agenda | Briefing Paper | Background Resources | List of Participants | Presentations

Now available: ITU Briefing paper, WIPO Briefing paper, Symposium presentations, Chairman's Day One remarks, Information Note to the Press.


The International Telecommunication Union (ITU) and the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) hosted a Joint Symposium on Multilingual Domain Names from 6-7 December 2001, at the International Conference Center of Geneva (CICG).  

Day one of the Symposium was led by ITU and dealt with technology and policy issues. Day two was led by WIPO and dealt with intellectual property and dispute resolution issues.


As background, domain names, on which Internet mail and web addresses are based, currently use a restricted subset of Latin (ASCII) characters — even for countries that do not use Latin characters in their written language. While Internet content such as web pages have been internationalized and made available in many languages, it is only recently that there have been a number of initiatives to similarly internationalize the Internet’s domain name system.

The implementation of multilingual domain names raises a number of complex issues. Besides technical and interoperability issues, these include, inter alia, the appropriate administrative arrangements for multilingual domains and top level domains, competition policy and market access, intellectual property and dispute resolution, as well as the related wider cultural and social issues inherently associated with languages.

The objective of the Symposium was to raise wider understanding of the issues as well as offer an opportunity for further dialogue on possible approaches to these issues. The ITU and WIPO Briefing papers, available as part of the Symposium documentation, provide a background to the respective topic areas covered. The two-day Symposium took the form of presentations and round table discussions by invited experts.

Click here for examples of Multilingual Domain Names.

Top - Feedback - Contact Us -  All Rights Reserved
Contact for this page :
Updated : 25.06.2002