Internet top-level domain

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Country code TLDs

Two-letter top-level domains are assigned to countries and dependent teritories by ICANN. Main criteria for ICANN is ISO country codes list, but ICANN and ISO lists differ a little.

As of 23.07.2017 ISO list contains 249 officially assigned codes.

As of 9.09.2015 ICANN's IANA Root Zone Database contains 255 two-latin-letters country-code domains, including 249 ISO-assigned codes + AC (Ascension - while it is part of Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha territory in SH ISO code), AN (former Netherlands Antilles, divided into BQ, CW and SX), EU (European Union), SU (Soviet Union), TP (former Portuguese Timor) and UK (United Kingdom, along with GB for Great Britain).

246 domains are online. Domains BL (Saint Barthélemy), BQ (Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba), EH (Western Sahara), MF (Saint Martin), SS (South Sudan) and UM (U.S. Minor Outlying Islands) are marked as Not assigned. GB is Reserved. AN and TP marked as Retired.

ISO codes

ISO codes are based on United Nations Statistics Division list. UNSD list includes as separate entries Sark island (since 2011) and Channel Islands.

12 ISO codes are exceptionally reserved at requests of countries and organisations:

AC Ascension Island
CP Clipperton Island
DG Diego Garcia
EA Ceuta and Melilla
EU European Union
EZ (European OTC derivatives)
FX France, Metropolitan
IC Canary Islands
SU USSR
TA Tristan da Cunha
UK United Kingdom
UN United Nations

Reserved codes AC, EU, SU and UK are delegated as Internet TLDs.

7 ISO codes are transitionally reserved for 50 years after renaming of countries or dissolution of federations and dependent territories:

BU Burma                 Reserved from 1989-12 to 2039-12. New country name: Myanmar                   MM
NT Neutral Zone          Reserved from 1993-07 to 2043-07. Divided between Iraq and Saudi Arabia     IQ+SA
ZR Zaire                 Reserved from 1997-07 to 2047-07. New country name: Congo (Kinshasa)          CD
TP East Timor            Reserved from 2002-05 to 2052-05. New country name: Timor-Leste               TL
YU Yugoslavia            Reserved from 2003-07 to 2053-07. New country name: Serbia and Montenegro     CS
CS Serbia and Montenegro Reserved from 2006-09 to 2056-09. Divided to Serbia and Montenegro          RS+ME
AN Netherlands Antilles  Reserved from 2010-12 to 2060-12. Divided (see below)                      BQ+CW+SX

.AN deleted by ISO on 2010-12-15/2011-12-13 - and is still transitionally reserved to Netherlands Antilles (divided into: Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba - BQ, Curaçao - CW and Sint Maarten - SX).

States with limited recognition

UN members, UN observers (Vatican, Palestine) and non-UN states (Taiwan - Republic of China), having control over CC-TLDs are not included.

1st level: non-UN states recognised by at least one UN member state (5)

State             Regarded by as its part   Recognized by UN members                    Suggested domain zone
Abkhazia          Georgia                   Russia, Nicaragua, Venezuela, Nauru (4)     ab.world, ap.world
                                            withdrawn: Tuvalu, Vanuatu (2, total of 6)
Kosovo            Serbia                    111 UN-members                              ks.world
Northern Cyprus   Cyprus                    Turkey (1)                                  kk.world
Sahrawi ADR       Morocco                   84 UN-members                               sw.world
South Ossetia     Georgia                   Russia, Nicaragua, Venezuela, Nauru (4)     os.world
                                            withdrawn: Tuvalu (1, total of 5)

2nd level: non-UN states recognised by at least one 1st level limitedly recognized state (4)

State             Regarded by as its part   Recognized by                               Suggested domain zone
Donetsk People's  Ukraine                   South Ossetia (1)                           dr.world
 Republic
Luhansk People's  Ukraine                   South Ossetia (1)                           ln.world
 Republic
Nagorno-Karabakh  Azerbaijan                Abkhazia, Pridnestrovie, South Ossetia (3)  nk.world, ah.world
 (Artsakh)
Pridnestrovie     Moldova                   Abkhazia, Nagorno-Karabakh,                 pd.world, ns.world
 (Transnistria)                             South Ossetia (3)

International recognition procedure (ISO, UN)

On May 6, Kosovo membership in the International Monetary Fund (IMF) was adopted with 96 countries voting in favor, 8 against (Angola, Azerbaijan, Cyprus, El Salvador, Georgia, Greece, Pakistan, Romania, Slovak Republic, and Venezuela), 32 submitted written abstentions, 47 did not vote. On June 29, 2009 Kosovo became member of IMF and World Bank (and it seems enough for ISO to include it in the List of States).

ISO can include new country to its list after Working Group on Country Names of United Nations Group of Experts on Geographical Names has included it into the UNGEGN List of Country Names (latest versions - August 2012, May 2014). It seems that the next list will be prepared to 30th Session of the United Nations Group of Experts on Geographical Names (7 and 18 August 2017, NY, USA) and 11th United Nations Conference on the Standardization of Geographical Names (8-17 August 2017, NY).