[Gnso-newgtld-wg-wt5] Action for WT5 Members - Definition of Geographic Terms

Jaap Akkerhuis jaap at NLnetLabs.nl
Fri Jan 12 12:58:34 UTC 2018

 Nick Wenban-Smith writes:

 > SNIP>
 > Is it fair to say then that whilst 3166 obviously does not define
 > country names that it is nonetheless a convenient reference point
 > for what the UN Statistics Division considers to be a country name?

The 3166/MA follows the UN terminology database, not the UN Statistics
Division.  Normally the 3166 MA is notified by the UN when a country
changes its name which starts a process in ISO to adapt the standard.
That takes some time so the they listings are not always in sync
(as is now the case with the State of Libya).

One can use the ISO 3166 standard as a short cut, but should realize
the limitations and scope of the standard. Not all information is
in the standard is normative. As an example, as far as I know the
IANA/PTI IDN fast track program uses ISO 3166 only to determine
whether a country/territory is eligible for the getting a ccTLD
IDN. It does not use the listed name as authoritative.

 > Is there any other way this could be easily done without reference
 > to the 3166? Or do we simply rely on the wording in AGB
 > (iiv) "it is a name by which a country is commonly known, as
 > demonstrated by evidence that the country is recognized by that
 > name by an intergovernmental or treaty organization".
 > I have no principled objection to moving away from 3166 if there
 > is a better benchmark that could be used, but its long-standing
 > use as an objective standard has at least given the community some
 > certainty in this area.

I'm pretty agnostic about what to do. What I do see is that there
are all the time ISO 3166 and other standards are referenced for
things that are completely out of scope.



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