[governance] ITU reform and WSIS - CS

Parminder parminder at itforchange.net
Thu Jan 26 09:35:01 EST 2006


Hi Everybody, 


Philippe, thanks for the information on ITU meeting on possible reform
vis-à-vis WSIS.


I think this is an important time for WSIS – CS to take up some important
post WSIS advocacy work.


ITU lobbied hard to be the main body for WSIS implementation, and has been
able to get itself named as ‘possible coordinator’ for most of the action
lines.  ( see Annex to Tunis agenda). So it is important for us to watch now
how ITU acts, and reforms. And though its membership policies have been
quite exclusionary for CS, by taking up WSIS implementation roles ITU has
certainly made itself accountable to the CS associated with the WSIS (and


So, I went to the link in your mail for open online consultation and found
only one message posted there.  Since the physical processes of the ITU
meeting will be closed to us, we need to use the online platform to voice
our concerns. 


Yesterday, I posted the following message on the online consultation but I
still do not find it listed after 24 hours (the consultation is moderated).
So I thought I will share it with the list.


(posting begins)

I am unable to understand how does ITU reconcile its role in initiating and
hosting the WSIS, and also being the 'possible moderator' of the action line
on 'access to information and knowledge' (tunis agenda), with complete
non-compliance of the WSIS recommendation on 'access to information and


The relevant part of Geneva Pan of Action (10 i) reads - 'Encourage
initiatives to facilitate access, including free and affordable access to
open access journals and books, and open archives for scientific


ITU publications which are of great value for organizations like ours that
do research on ICT and ICTD issues are not only priced, the prices are


Even a download of the WSIS Stock-taking report, prepared from information
gathered 'free' from various stakeholders on various WSIS related
initiatives is priced.



What is interesting is that the same WSIS stock-taking report is available
for free download from the WSIS website.


So, the WSIS practices that ITU (temporarily?) adopted with regard to WSIS
are clearly quite different from standard ITU processes. The question is –
now that WSIS is over, which processes will ITU carry forward. And what
influence it will have on WSIS implementation since ITU has maneuvered
itself into a driving seat for this purpose.


(The fact that 2003 Geneva POA does not seem to be implemented internally by
ITU, in terms of open access, and that was the time when the WSIS spot-light
was on, does not give us much confidence that ITU will reform according to
the WSIS letter and spirit.) 


And there some other things which are as funny about ITU’s WSIS


While it calls the above to be an open consultations with stakeholders on
ITU reform, and also lists ITU resolution 1244 as the main document on ITU
reform, when you try to open the link to this doc you reach a page beyond
which you need an ITU membership id. So, basically one cannot access this
document. But this is supposed to be an open forum for people to give inputs
on the forthcoming meeting on ITU reform for which this particular document
is a base document


Is this a joke or something !!!! 

(see http://www.itu.int/reform/index.html )


However, I could read the document by following the link on Philippe’s email
– so apparently the same doc is freely accessible on WSIS website – but on
the ITU website right on the page that is devoted to ‘open online
consultation’ access to this document is restricted. 


So we have an ITU which has some very bad internal practices which militate
against all that WSIS stands for and all that CS fought for at WSIS ( these
though are really the very basic things, but if this is how ITU behaves on
these basic issues, what confidence do we have on it leading WSIS


And of course there is also the often raised issue of CS membership of ITU.


I propose that WSIS-CS, as represented through this list, makes a
representation to the 1st Feb meeting raising these serious concerns. And
ITU got to listen to us, because it means to reform itself as per WSIS
outcomes. It has no excuse not to engage with the WSIS-CS. 


For this purpose


1.    we can submit a short statement to the Feb 1 meeting raising concerns
on the issues of ITU membership for CS entities, and on its poor record on
‘open access’ principle recommended by WSIS outcome documents. We can ask
for greater CS inclusiveness for ITU activities, and urge ITU to immediately
apply open access principle to its documents, as a proof of its intention to
implement WSIS in letter and spirit.


2.    we can also use the period available till 30th to put a few posting to
this effect on the open online forum for the forthcoming ITU meeting which
will consider the reform agenda. (at http://www.itu.int/reform/index.html) 


best regards





Parminder Jeet Singh

IT for Change

Bridging Development Realities and Technological Possibilities 





-------- Original Message --------

Subject:    [CS Bureau] On-line Consultation on ITU Reform

Date:       Mon, 23 Jan 2006 17:31:02 +0100

From:       CONGO - Philippe Dam <wsis at iprolink.ch>

Organization:     CONGO

To:   <plenary at wsis-cs.org>, <bureau at wsis-cs.org>

CC:   <rbloem at ngocongo.org>, <wsis at ngocongo.org>




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 <BLOCKED::http://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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