ITU Plenipotentiary Results

By Sean Hopkins - Policy Analyst, ARIN

The 2010 Plenipotentiary Conference (PP-10) of the International Telecommunications Union concluded 22 October in Guadalajara, Mexico. This three-week event brought together representatives from the 192 Member States and more than 700 Sector Members and Associates and set all of the financial planning, strategic goals, and policy for the ITU for the next four years. In addition to this, PP-10 also elects the senior management team of the ITU, the members of the ITU Council, and the members of the Radio Regulations Board. Four out of the five Regional Internet Registries (RIRs) are Sector Members, and able to send delegations to the conference. Working together, we were able to have RIR representatives from nearly every region represented at the conference.

PP-10 saw the passing of many resolutions of interest to RIR communities, including a newly shifted focus on Internet governance and IPv6 adoption on a global scale. The ITU’s first IPv6-focused Plenipotentiary resolution, for instance, promotes sharing IPv6 implementation stories and information with stakeholders, assisting ITU Member States with managing and allocating IPv6 resources, and collaboration among relevant international recognized partners (including the Internet community as RIRs, IETF, and others) in order to encourage the deployment of IPv6 by raising awareness. This resolution also calls for the ITU to study and monitor current allocation mechanisms, identify any flaws, and communicate proposals for changes to existing policies, if appropriate. This resolution is groundbreaking because it puts a globally fundamental focus on IPv6 adoption. While the impact remains to be seen, it should mean more focus on making the implementation of IPv6 as smooth and painless as possible. For complete highlights of passed resolutions, visit:

Another important takeaway from PP-10 was the recognition of active participation by the Internet technical community. We at ARIN were approached on numerous occasions for input on issues directly or indirectly affecting our region. There were strong positions held by many Member States and this nearly resulted in an impasse in being able to achieve common resolution language. As time ran short, it was only after a direct request from Secretary-General Hamadoun Touré that compromise was reached, allowing for finalization of the language in several of the resolutions, including the one focused on IPv6 adoption.

Now that the conference is over and the Resolution language has been finalized, the next step for ARIN and the other RIRs is to determine how the Member States will interpret the agreed resolutions. In meetings like PP-10, there is a great deal of last-minute negotiating and changes with regards to language. After Member State delegates return home and hold their various debriefs, there will be a better overall sense of the resolutions’ impact. ARIN will continue its involvement in appropriate Study and Working Groups of the ITU in order to facilitate the flow of accurate information, and will continue to collaborate and coordinate with the ITU and other relevant technical community organizations. Our work in this arena is by no means finished. As part of the Internet technical community, ARIN will continue to have significant interaction with the ITU as we move toward global IPv6 adoption.


Sean Hopkins

Policy Analyst, ARIN