ICANN has just written to all the Goverments of the world seeking an expression of interest for IDN ccTLDs.
Each country manages its own ccTLD; the United Kingdom has .uk and China has .cn etc. The existing domain name system is predominantly ASCII based. IDN ccTLDs will allow part of a domain name to the right of the dot to be written in languages not based on the ASCII character set.
Some countries have been very keen to implement IDN ccTLDs and ICANN has been working on testing their implementation. ICANN has now reached the stage where it is seeking expressions of interests from Governments which would like to be included in the fast track process.
Once implemented this will be a huge step in the development of the internet and will significantly increase the number of domains the Domain Name system will be able to address.
The annoucement can be found here