ICANN and the Universal Postal Union (UPU) have reached an agreement in principle for the UPU sponsorship of the .POST Top-Level Domain. Final approval of the agreement is subject to ICANN's public comment process (which will commence after ICANN concludes its meeting in Seoul on 30 October 2009), and consideration by the Board of Directors.
The UPU is responsible for setting the rules for the universal network of international postal mail exchanges. A specialized agency of the United Nations, the UPU was established in 1874 and is one of the world's oldest intergovernmental organizations (IGOs). Despite ICANN's relative youth, ICANN and the UPU bear a number of resemblances, including active participation by representatives of geographically diverse governments and constituencies. Both organizations are governed by a bottom-up process: the UPU by its member countries and ICANN by the global Internet community. And both organizations serve billions of people globally.
The agreement concludes the negotiation that enables both organizations to recognize one another's traditional autonomy, mission, and core values. The agreement represents a significant accomplishment for the UPU, ICANN, and the global Internet community. "This validates the ICANN model for fostering expansion of and innovation in the domain name space," said ICANN CEO and President, Rod Beckstrom. "The UPU has also helped mark out a path for other IGOs to sponsor their own top-level domains and helps us expand our multi-stakeholder relationships in the IGO field."