Universal Acceptance Steering Group

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Universal Acceptance Steering Group
Status: Active
Issue Areas: IDN, New gTLDs
Date Established:
Charter: [ WG Charter]
Workspace: [ Community Wiki]

Universal Acceptance Steering Group, or UASG is a community initiative supported by ICANN and formed in February 2015. It is tasked with undertaking activities that will target Universal Acceptance of all ASCII domain names, ASCII email addresses, IDN domain names, and IDN email.[1]

A summary of their duties is as follows:[2]

  • Working closely with staff to drive efforts related to Universal Acceptance
  • Developing budgets (resource, staffing and money) necessary to complete specific projects and develop sourcing strategies
  • Prioritizing efforts requested by domain name industry participants, registrants and Internet users, and ICANN and make recommendations tothe steering committee
  • Identifying collaborative opportunities in new communities
  • Overseeing the development of informational materials for various stakeholders (including coordinating with industry efforts) to incentivize and facilitate resolution of UA-related issues
  • Studying the need and requirements for appropriate repositories (and advocate for their development/deployment by ICANN or through collaboration with appropriate industry efforts)
  • Following up with the deployment of ICANN internal policies to support UA
  • Collecting data and developing measurements/indices/surveys to measure UA readiness
  • Establishing milestones to continue to track progress of UA
  • Inviting non-ICANN community to the initiative and proactively reach out to non-ICANN community events/initiatives in order to have access to needed talents and skills


The Universal Acceptance Steering Group (UASG) will be made up of ICANN community members as well as non-ICANN community experts. Each member will be counted on to contribute in some area of expertise needed by this program.[2]

Secratary General

  • Don Hollander is the Secretary General of the UASG and has been since its formation in 2015.

Administrative Group

  • Ram Mohan, Chair - CTO of Afilias
    • "Providing diversity and choice are important to the Internet community. While the DNS infrastructure is able to support diversity, it’s now important to make sure that all the software that uses the Internet is able to also support the Diversity."[1]
  • Edmon Chung, Vice Chair - .asia
    • "Many of the next Billion Internet users will come from the non-Latin based language communities. It’s vital that they have equal access to all the services on the Internet."[1]
  • Mark Svancarek, Vice Chair - Principal Program Manager at Microsoft[1]
  • Rich Merdinger, Vice Chair - Vice President of Domains at GoDaddy
    • "It's imperative that all registrants have equal opportunity and this Universal Acceptance initiative is important for choice and diversity on the Internet. GoDaddy is fully behind this initiative."[1]

UA Ambassadors

In January 2018, the UASG Coordination Group created the role of UA Ambassador to raise the issues of UA and EAI within their respective spheres to our target audience of developers and CIOs.[3]

Community Outreach Working Group

EAI Working Group

UA Day

The UASG has prepared to make February 16 "UA Day" to mobilize the technical community to become UA-ready. The aim of UA Day is to rally local, national, regional, and global organizations to generate a “buzz” around UA adoption. UA Day will emphasize:

  • sharing UA challenges and gaps in UA technology;
  • encouraging the UA-readiness of all software, systems, and devices;
  • motivating technical and government decision-makers to take up UA adoption;
  • raising awareness of UA issues and solutions in the technical community;
  • rallying language communities around UA to develop policies for promoting UA adoption; and
  • celebrating the achievements of UA so far.[4]

The UASG asked ICANN Org for USD $85,000 to support events leading up to and happening on February 16.[5]


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 Universal Acceptance Steering Group (UASG), ICANN.org. Published 2016 March 28. Retrieved 2016 April 17.
  2. 2.0 2.1 UASG Charter, ICANN.org. Retrieved 2016 April 17.
  3. People of the UASG
  4. UASG Planning, ICANN 75
  5. UASG FY23 Action Plan, ICANN Files