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

Nick Wenban-Smith Nick.Wenban-Smith at nominet.uk
Fri Jan 12 14:48:28 UTC 2018

Thanks Japp for that reply. We appreciate your expertise to guide us in this area!

I was just taking the source of country names from the ISO website "[ISO3166] does not define the names of countries - this information comes from United Nations sources (Terminology Bulletin Country Names and the Country and Region Codes for Statistical Use maintained by the United Nations Statistics Divisions)". 

Are these sources publicly available (e.g. to prospective applicants for a new gTLD) or in practice is use of the 3166 standard as a short cut to the official names of countries recognised by the UN the best we can do (realising its limitations and that it won't always be in sync)?

I can see that from a purist's point of view it is perhaps inelegant, but is there a plausible alternative? 

Best wishes

-----Original Message-----
From: Gnso-newgtld-wg-wt5 [mailto:gnso-newgtld-wg-wt5-bounces at icann.org] On Behalf Of Jaap Akkerhuis
Sent: 12 January 2018 12:59
To: gnso-newgtld-wg-wt5 at icann.org
Subject: Re: [Gnso-newgtld-wg-wt5] Action for WT5 Members - Definition of Geographic Terms

 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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