The Fifth World Telecommunication/ICT Policy Forum (WTPF) convened last week in Geneva to examine international, Internet-related public policy matters. As an active member of the Internet community, ARIN had a seat at the table and was a valued participant in the proceedings.
Organized by the ITU, the WTPF sought to foster debate and build multi-stakeholder consensus through non-binding opinions that serve to guide ongoing global ICT policies, regulatory, and standardization efforts worldwide.
From the opening ceremony, it was clear that these proceedings would differ from the previous ITU conferences that touched on issues related to the Internet. The image of Secretary-General Toure donning the blue-helmet of the U.N. Peacekeepers while stating that the UN is not here to take over the Internet seemed to set the stage for the a much more collegial approach from the conference participants as work on the Draft Opinions progressed. Many highlighted the importance of working together for the benefit of all. Straight from the Chairman’s Report is the following statement by Fadi Chehadé, President and CEO of ICANN:
No one organization, no one country, no one person can manage the Internet – we must do this together. And it’s our unity that will make this a very strong Internet that is secure and stable for everybody.
In the Chairman’s Report are also detailed six adopted Opinions related to Internet development and deployment including:
Opinion 1: Promoting Internet Exchange Points (IXPs) as a long term solution to advance connectivity
Opinion 2: Fostering an enabling environment for the greater growth and development of broadband connectivity
Opinion 3: Supporting Capacity Building for the deployment of IPv6
Opinion 4: In Support of IPv6 Adoption and Transition from IPv4
Opinion 5: Supporting Multi-stakeholderism in Internet Governance
Opinion 6: On supporting operationalizing the Enhanced Cooperation Process
While the role of Governments in Internet Governance and related public policy issues still needs substantive discussion, significant agreement was achieved on the need for greater efforts in the deployment of more Internet exchange points, broadband connections, and IPv6. ARIN is pleased to note that this brings us another step closer to the end of the journey towards a multi-stakeholder climate.
What’s next for the ITU and Internet governance?
Now that WTPF has wrapped up, preparations can focus on the 2014 World Telecommunication Development Conference (WTDC) in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt and the ITU Plenipotentiary Conference in Busan, Korea next year. But what are these conferences all about and who can participate?
First the WTDC. A World Telecommunication Development Conference (WTDC) is held every four years to develop a plan of action for the ITU Development Sector. Leading up to the WTDC 2014, there will be six Regional Preparatory Conferences throughout the world which will explore and discuss regional needs and projects of the Development Sector. The Regional Preparatory Meeting for the Americas (RPM AMS) will be held in Montevideo, Uruguay on 20 – 22 August and participation is open to ITU Member State Administrations, ITU-D Sector Members within the Americas regions, regional and international organizations, and intergovernmental organizations operating satellite systems.
Then Plenipot. The ITU Plenipotentiary Conference, held every four years, is the policy-making body of the ITU where Member States set the ITU’s general policies, adopt four-year strategic and financial plans, and elect senior management and other officials. Only ITU Member States will be able to participate in this forum; however, ITU Sector Members, Regional Telecommunication and Intergovernmental Organizations, and the United Nations and its specialized agencies may also attend as observers.
If you have thoughts about the issues to be discussed at WTDC and/or Plenipot feel free to send Cathy Handley, ARIN’s Executive Director Government Affairs, an email at chandley (at) arin.net