On 28th March 2023, in case you missed it, was UA day. And what is Universal Day? It is about rallying local, regional, and global communities and organizations to spread Universal Acceptance (UA) awareness and to encourage UA adoption with key stakeholders. The day generally consists of UA training, awareness, and strategy sessions held by the Universal Acceptance Steering Group (UASG), ICANN, global partners, and regional and local organizations.

While the DNS has changed in recent years, the checks used by many software applications to validate domain names and email addresses remain outdated. Many systems do not recognize or appropriately process new domain names. These domain names include new generic top-level domains (e.g., .photography), 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., .ไทย). In addition, not all online portals are primed for the opening of a user account with a related email address. That is why awareness of and support for UA is critical for a truly global, multilingual Internet.  Therefore, understanding the economic benefits that come along with the use of Universal Acceptance (UA) cannot be overemphasized.

The UASG is a community-led initiative that was formed in 2015 and funded by ICANN. It is made up 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/.

In its simplest form, UA is a technical requirement that ensures all valid domain names and email addresses, regardless of script, language, or character length, can be equally used by all Internet-enabled applications, devices, and systems. If you would like to know more about this please visit the ICANN website or write to me and I will give you pointers.

If this piqued your curiosity, that is good. We are glad to know that we at the Somali chapter are interested in raising awareness about all kinds of technical issues that are relevant and important in advancing our knowledge in this field.

I managed to virtually attend this and hope you will like watching this: https://livestream.com/internetsociety/na-uaday