[bestbits] Your sign on requested- CS letter to the WCIT

Deborah Brown deborah at accessnow.org
Mon Dec 10 03:39:01 EST 2012

Hi everyone,

As you might know, civil society representatives in Dubai for the WCIT have
a meeting with ITU Secretary General Touré at 1500 local time/1100 UTC
today, Monday, 10 December. In preparation for the meeting, civil society
reps here have drafted an open letter (text below) to WCIT and are
welcoming further sign on. The letter is posted online at

If your organization would like to sign on, please email
WCIT12civilsociety at gmail.com and your signature will be added. The letter
as linked above will be updated as signatures are received. We encourage
you to post the letter on your organization's website and include this link
with the most updated list of signatures.

Please feel free to circulate this to your networks. Apologies for cross
posting and thanks to those who have already expressed their support.

Best regards,

9 December 2012

Open letter to the WCIT

Dear Secretary General Touré and WCIT-12 Chairman Al-Ghanim:

We, the undersigned members of civil society, are attending the ongoing
World Conference on International Telecommunications (WCIT-12), both
physically and remotely. We appreciate your efforts to engage with global
civil society and trust that you will take this letter in the same spirit
of constructive engagement.

We believe that openness and transparency should be the hallmark of any
effort to formulate public policy. In the months approaching the
conference, and in our experience at the WCIT so far, we have discovered
that certain institutional structures continue to hamper our ability to
contribute to the WCIT process in a meaningful and constructive manner.

Now that the conference is in session, we wish to call your attention to
three immediate and pressing matters: the lack of any official standing to
the public comments solicited prior to WCIT at the ITU’s invitation; the
lack of access to and transparency of working groups, particularly the
working groups of Committee 5; and the absence of mechanisms to encourage
independent civil society participation. We address these in detail below.

*Public Comment Solicited By ITU Effectively Excluded. *Prior to the WCIT,
the ITU assured civil society that it would provide an opportunity for
meaningful input through public comment. As many organizations explained at
the time, the inability to see specific country proposals compromised the
ability to offer a detailed response. Nevertheless, primarily based on
documents leaked to the public, 22 organizations from four regions expended
considerable resources and effort to make the most of this single, albeit
highly limited, opportunity to engage on the substance of the proposals as
they existed at that time.

Unfortunately, the ITU has provided no mechanism for inclusion of the
public comments in the WCIT working papers. They are not made accessible
through the document management system (TIES) in the same manner as
proposals submitted by members, nor are any of the comments reflected in
the numerous working drafts reviewed by WCIT delegates. As a consequence,
delegates appear entirely unaware of these comments, and the diligent work
of civil society organizations that accepted the ITU’s invitation to
participate through the public comment process is in danger of being lost.

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