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Registration of domain names

The registration of UNESCO domain names with generic extensions (e.g. .org .info .net .biz etc.) is the exclusive prerogative of the Secretariat of UNESCO.  When registering the domain names of their own websites, National Commissions and Permanent Delegations should exclusively use national domain name extensions.

It is recommended that the National Commissions register the root national domain names for their own websites and that any subdomains of the national UNESCO domain pertaining to national themes or networks be added after the root name (e.g.,…)

It is recommended that domain names of Permanent Delegations websites be hosted within the national domain (e.g.…). In some cases Permanent Delegations may prefer to host their websites under their specific government domain addresses. 

What is the domain name system?

The Domain Name System (DNS) helps users to find their way around the Internet. Every computer on the Internet has a unique address - just like a telephone number - which is a rather complicated string of numbers. It is called its "IP address" (IP stands for "Internet Protocol"). IP Addresses are hard to remember. The DNS makes using the Internet easier by allowing a familiar string of letters (the "domain name") to be used instead of the arcane IP address. So instead of typing, you can type It is a "mnemonic" device that makes addresses easier to remember.

What does it mean to "register" a domain name?

The Internet domain name system (DNS) consists of a directory, organized hierarchically, of all the domain names and their corresponding computers registered to particular companies and persons using the Internet. When you register a domain name, it will be associated with the computer on the Internet you designate during the period the registration is in effect. From that computer, you can create a website which will be accessible to Internet users around the world.

How do I register a domain name?

Domain names can be registered through many different companies (known as "registrars") that compete with one another. A listing of these companies appears in the Registrar Directory <> .

The registrar you choose will ask you to provide various contact and technical information that makes up the registration. The registrar will then keep records of the contact information and submit the technical information to a central directory known as the "registry." This registry provides other computers on the Internet the information necessary to send you e-mail or to find your web site. You will also be required to enter a registration contract with the registrar, which sets forth the terms under which your registration is accepted and will be maintained.

What are the rules for registration of gTLD names?

The rules vary depending on the nature of the gTLD. For an overview of all gTLDs, see You can get additional information on how to register gTLD names by contacting an ICANN-accredited registrar. A list of all ICANN-accredited registrars is also available at <>.

What is ICANN?

ICANN was formed in 1998. It is a not-for-profit public-benefit corporation from all over the world dedicated to keeping the Internet secure, stable and interoperable. It promotes competition and develops policy on the Internet’s unique identifiers.

ICANN doesn’t control content on the Internet. It cannot stop spam and it doesn’t deal with access to the Internet. But through its coordination role of the Internet’s naming system, it does have an important impact on the expansion and evolution of the Internet. More information about ICANN can be found at

Are gTLD names available for registration on a global basis?

Yes, these domains are available for registration by Internet users across the globe; also, ICANN-accredited registrars are located in countries around the world.

-        View a list of Domain Name Registrars Sorted by Country

You can also consult:

-        Alphabetical Listing by Company/Organization Name 

-        Listing by Language Supported

Since new accredited registrars are establishing registration services on an ongoing basis, this directory is updated frequently. It is suggested that you refer to this directory often for new, up-to-date information.

For information on the ICANN registrar accreditation process, please refer to the ICANN Accredited Registrar Information Page

What are the national extensions or Country-code Top-level Domains?

The national extensions or Country-code Top-level Domains (ccTLDs) are two-letter top-level domains especially designated for a particular country or autonomous territory to use to service their community.

What are the rules for registering in country code top level domains?

Two letter domains, such as .uk, .de and .jp (for example), are called country code top level domains (ccTLDs) and correspond to a country, territory, or other geographic location. The rules and policies for registering domain names in the ccTLDs vary significantly and some are reserved for use by citizens of the corresponding country. You should check with the registrar offering ccTLD registration services regarding the specific terms and conditions for registration.

Some ICANN-accredited registrars provide registration services in the ccTLDs in addition to registering names in .aero, .biz, .com, .coop, .info, .museum, .name, .net, .org, and .pro, however, ICANN does not specifically accredit registrars to provide ccTLD registration services.

For more information regarding registering names in ccTLDs, including a database of designated ccTLDs, please refer to <>.

Where can I find information about existing national extensions (ccTLDs)?

Information about the delegation of existing ccTLDs appears in the IANA Root Zone Database, or it may be obtained at the IANA Whois service (port 43 access available at This listing contains basic information for the top-level domains for each country, such as the sponsoring organization's name and the technical and administrative contacts. If you desire to register a domain name under one of these top-level domains, you should contact the person(s) listed via e-mail or visit their website if one is listed.

Information about the IANA's procedures concerning ccTLDs

The IANA's ccTLD database contains authoritative information about ccTLDs. This information includes sponsoring organization, administrative contact, technical contact, nameserver information, registration URL, and Whois server address.

For the establishment of new ccTLDs, the IANA follows the ISO 3166-1 list as published by the ISO 3166 Maintenance Agency (see also the IANA's Procedures for Establishing ccTLDs).

Will my name and contact information be publicly available?

Information about who is responsible for domain names is publicly available to allow rapid resolution of technical problems and to permit enforcement of consumer protection, trademark, and other laws. The registrar will make this information available to the public on a "Whois" site. It is however possible to register a domain in the name of a third party, as long as they agree to accept responsibility -- ask your registrar for further details.

How long does a registration last? Can it be renewed?

Each registrar has the flexibility to offer initial and renewal registrations in one-year increments, with a total registration period limit of ten years. 

How much does a domain-name registration name cost?

Each registrar sets the price it charges for registering names, and prices vary significantly among different registrars. In addition, some registrars offer discounted or free registration services in connection with other offerings, such as web hosting. To see what offering best meets your needs, you should go to the web sites of several of the registrars listed in the Registrar Directory.

Can I change registrars after registering a domain name?

Yes, you may change the registrar sponsoring your domain name (60 days after initial registration.) For details on the transfer process, contact the registrar you would like to assume sponsorship of the registration.

I have seen advertisements for domain-name registration by companies not in the accredited registrar directory. Are these legitimate?

Only registrars accredited by the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) are authorized to register .aero, .biz, .com, .coop, .info, .museum, .name, .net, .org, or .pro names. Some of these accredited registrars offer their services through resellers, which may provide assistance in completing the registration process. Your registration contract, however, will be with the accredited registrar and that registrar will maintain your contact information.

Someone else has registered UNESCO’s name as a domain name. What is the process for resolving my complaint?

All ICANN-accredited registrars follow a uniform dispute resolution policy. Under that policy, disputes over entitlement to a domain-name registration are ordinarily resolved by court litigation between the parties claiming rights to the registration. Once the court rules who is entitled to the registration, the registrar will implement that ruling. In disputes arising from registrations allegedly made abusively (such as "cybersquatting" and cyberpiracy"), the uniform policy provides an expedited administrative procedure to allow the dispute to be resolved without the cost and delays often encountered in court litigation. In these cases, you can invoke the administrative procedure by filing a complaint with one of the dispute-resolution service providers listed at <>. For more details on the uniform dispute resolution policy, see <>, and the FAQs at <>.

In conformity with the Directives concerning the use of the name, acronym, logo and Internet domain names of UNESCO (Resolution 34 C/86), the National Commissions for UNESCO, except where another body has been designated by the Member States, are the competent body to deal with questions relating to the use at the national level of the name, acronym, logo or Internet domain names of UNESCO in national extensions or sub-extensions (ccTLDs), in accordance with national laws.

National Commissions, or other bodies designated, are therefore responsible for the consequences arising out of the authorizations granted by them. They are responsible for instituting proceedings in the case of unauthorized use or registration at the international level of the name of UNESCO in national extensions (ccTLDs).

If I have customer service questions or problems related to my domain name registration, who should I contact?

You should contact the registrar that registered your domain name.

I want a domain that has recently expired, but the registrar won't release it. How can I get the name?

Section 3.7.5 of the Registrar Accreditation Agreement requires registrars to delete domain registrations after a second notice and a grace period, unless there are "extenuating circumstances." Some examples of such "extenuating circumstances" might include ownership disputes, payment disputes, or lame server delegations. Only the registrar would know exactly why it hasn't yet deleted a particular name. No specific dates or deadlines are prescribed in the current provisions.

ICANN has not yet adopted a uniform policy concerning the handling of expired domain names. If you're interested in helping to craft such a policy, you can learn more about ICANN's bottom-up, consensus-based process for making new policies at ICANN's website.