[governance] Proposal: WSIS Principles => ITU Reform

William Drake drake at hei.unige.ch
Tue Jan 24 07:19:04 EST 2006

Hi Wolfgang,

The fact that even an IG maven like you would say that he is not sure what
the ITU is doing with respect to NGNs and other IG-related topics speaks
precisely to the need for transparency and inclusion, no?  There's serious
stuff happening on these fronts, but because of the prevailing attitudes
toward ITU's failed power grabs regarding ICANN etc., CS people tend to
dismiss it entirely and not pay attention.  I think this is a big mistake.
All the major governments and many of the major firms in our space are
driving more and more work into this forum, subject to no CS 'oversight.'

I'm all for promoting broad change in the ITU constitution etc.  If we could
have a proposal ready by the Council meeting in 19-26 April, that would be
the place to introduce it via some friendly governments.  If the 46
governments in Council were to agree, that would greatly strengthen the
prospects of the fall Plenipotentiary following suit.

However, I cannot imagine us making serious progress on that in the
near-term.  It really would take some work, we'd have to look closely at the
ITU's governing agreements and make very specific proposals in order to not
get dismissed out of hand.  When I raised this issue last year on the caucus
list I think like ten people wrote back saying they'd be willing to work on
it, but then the flow of WSIS carried us away in other directions.  If some
of those folks were prepared to re-up, we could plan a serious attempt.

What I'm proposing right now, though, is something far less ambitious:
simply putting down an initial marker with a one paragraph statement saying
that a) as a general matter, ITU should conform with the WSIS principles and
open to CS, and b) while larger reforms would take more time, one easy step
we'd ask them to take would be to open up, now, all special events organized
under the auspices of the SG, which should not be bound by the restrictive
rules of the diplomatic meetings etc.



> -----Original Message-----
> From: Wolfgang Kleinwächter
> [mailto:wolfgang.kleinwaechter at medienkomm.uni-halle.de]
> Sent: Tuesday, January 24, 2006 12:51 PM
> To: William Drake; Governance
> Subject: AW: [governance] Proposal: WSIS Principles => ITU Reform
> Thanks Bill for pushing comments to the ITU meeting.
> My propüosal is to concentrate on the key issues and the key
> issues with ITU are formal and procedural issues, that is equal
> participation of CS groups and individuals in ITU meetings.
> We should work on a formulation which can be further developed
> into a draft resolution for the forthcoming ITU Plenipotentiary
> conference later this year in Antalaya.
> There are two options:
> 1. the ITU Plenipotentiary agrees on a new paragraph in its
> constitution which would introduce a third category of membership
> (next to governments and sector mebers) and which would clarify
> the conditions under which CS groups can become a "member" and
> what the rights and duties would be.
> 2. the ITU Pleniptentiary would adopt a resolution and establish
> a WG or Committee which would study the options for CS inclusion
> into ITU policies and would make receommednations to the next
> Plenipotantierry in 2010 (reporting annually about the progress
> to the ITU Council).
> We would need a friendly government or a sector member which
> could table such a resolution in Anatalaya.
> Next to this procedural issues we should discuss what we want to
> see the ITU should do in the follow up. I think ECOSOC and  CEB
> are the main places where ITU is challenged. Whazt I expect from
> ITU is initiatives towards infrastructure development and human
> capacity building.
> I am not sure which role ITU should play in NGN develoment and
> further standardization. The ITU-report "The Internet of Things"
> has numerous implications. A great challenge. How this will be
> linked to IG and the IGF has to be seen. It is also unclear which
> role the ITU will play in the process of "enhanced cooperation".
> But for the moment, for formal reason, CS should insists that its
> status (against the background of the WSIS principle of
> multistakeholderism) has to be cleared and recognized within
> ITU´s constitutional framework.
> Best
> wolfgang
> ________________________________
> Von: governance-bounces at lists.cpsr.org im Auftrag von William Drake
> Gesendet: Di 24.01.2006 12:16
> An: Governance
> Betreff: [governance] Proposal: WSIS Principles => ITU Reform
> Hi,
> Further to my last post on NGNs etc: According to the Tunis
> Agenda, the IGF is supposed to "promote and assess, on an ongoing
> basis, the embodiment of WSIS principles in Internet governance
> process."  These of course hold that "the international
> management of the Internet should be multilateral, transparent
> and democratic, with the full involvement of governments, the
> private sector, civil society and international organizations."
> Hence, all public and private sector international
> organizations/networks involved in developing shared
> international regimes and programs pertaining to the development
> and use of the Internet are supposed to be evaluated in terms of
> their conformity with these principles, and where necessary,
> reforms are to be encouraged to bring them into conformity.
> This is an essential mandate, and potentially one of the most
> important outcomes of the entire WSIS process.  There are a wide
> variety of mechanisms involved in developing shared frameworks
> for different pieces of the Internet environment, and in many
> cases they do not conform, or conform fully, with basic
> principles of good governance.  When the WGIG did a little
> exercise beginning this sort of horizontal evaluation (we
> unfortunately didn't work it through to completion), a couple of
> things became clear.  While the private sector bodies were not
> multilateral, in the sense of intergovernmental (hence the
> oversight battle), some---e.g. IETF, RIRs, even ICANN in the
> views of many---looked pretty good according to the other
> criteria; other industry-only bodies involved in setting rules
> for e-commerce, privacy and security, etc., less so. Conversely,
> the intergovernmental bodies had other weaknesses, most notably
> with respect to the 'full involvement of,' especially civil society.
> An obvious example of the latter, which was much discussed both
> on the caucus list and in the WGIG, is the ITU.  While ITU's
> ambitions vis the 'oversight' issue have been side-lined by the
> WSIS/WGIG processes, it is increasingly involved in other bits of
> the IG environment, and is emerging as a if not the premier place
> for the work on NGN and security/trust issues.  But there is
> effectively no real CS participation in any of this, and there is
> only full transparency for paid members.  In the WSIS era, some
> of ITU's leadership, most notably Houlin Zhao of ITU-T, professed
> their willingness to promote an opening to CS, which would
> involve convincing member governments and firms and in some
> cases, changing the governing treaties.  At the CONGO debriefing
> on WSIS December, SG Utsumi went on quite a bit about how ITU
> supposedly loves CS and was responsible for getting us into WSIS.
>  We talked previously on the caucus list about taking ITU up on
> such statements, but never acted.
> Now ITU is having one of its periodic reform discussions (these
> have been going on since 1865).  Philippe Dam of CONGO sent a
> message to the plenary list noting that ITU is inviting external
> input on reform priorities; the message is below.  It would be
> really useful if the caucus could make a brief collective input
> on the website encouraging ITU to open its doors to CS.  It
> needn't be elaborate, just a paragraph, but we'd have to do it
> quickly; Philippe's message says 25 January, but since the
> consultation isn't until Feb. 1, I would assume we could still
> submit something.  I'd also encourage ISOC to do the same.
> At a minimum, I'd think we could say that special seminars and
> workshops, such as the upcoming event on policy frameworks for
> NGNs http://www.itu.int/osg/spu/ngn/ (which could be important)
> or the meetings they did previously on spam and security should
> be open.  I don't think this would require constitutional
> changes, as would CS participation in the sectors, Council, or
> diplomatic Plenipotentiary Conference.  Pushing the latter would
> require a more concerted effort.
> Inclusive process demands have always been the one area on which
> the caucus could agree quickly.  If we can't get it together to
> say let us in, probably discussions about becoming a non-profit
> org etc are wildly premature.
> Any interest?
> Best,
> Bill
> -----Original Message-----
> From: plenary-admin at wsis-cs.org
[mailto:plenary-admin at wsis-cs.org]On Behalf Of CONGO - Philippe Dam
Sent: Monday, January 23, 2006 5:31 PM
To: plenary at wsis-cs.org; bureau at wsis-cs.org
Cc: rbloem at ngocongo.org; wsis at ngocongo.org
Subject: [WSIS CS-Plenary] On-line Consultation on ITU Reform

Dear all,

Just for your information, I'd like to draw your attention to the on-line
consultation organised on the ITU website, on the issue of the ITU reform in
the perspective of WSIS follow-up. NGOs, including non-ITU members, and
academicians can participate. ITU mentioned that deadline for on-line input
is 25 January.

This on-line consultation is intended to provide ground for the ITU Reform
Meeting (convened by the ITU Council WG on WSIS) to be held on the 1st
February 2006.

More information at: http://www.itu.int/reform/index.html

ITU Council Resolution 1244:

Best regards,

Philippe Dam
11, Avenue de la Paix
CH-1202 Geneva
Tel: +41 22 301 1000
Fax: +41 22 301 2000
E-mail: wsis at ngocongo.org <mailto:wsis at ngocongo.org>
Website: www.ngocongo.org

The Conference of NGOs (CONGO) is an international, membership association
that facilitates the participation of NGOs in United Nations debates and
decisions. Founded in 1948, CONGO's major objective is to ensure the
presence of NGOs in exchanges among the world's governments and United
Nations agencies on issues of global concern.  For more information see our
website at www.ngocongo.org

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