[governance] ITU reform and WSIS - CS

Parminder parminder at itforchange.net
Thu Jan 26 12:06:05 EST 2006

The following is a draft for consideration. 


We, the undersigned members of civil society, that has been associated with
the WSIS, wish to express our appreciation of the intention of ITU to 'adapt
itself to the post-WSIS environment' as stated in its 'agenda for change'


We are happy to see ITU note that its 'future actions should help accomplish
the goals and objectives articulated in the Declaration of Principles and
Plan of Action, as adopted by the Geneva phase of WSIS, and the Tunis
Commitment and the Tunis Agenda for the Information Society. These outcomes
have important implications for ITU, including its role in the
implementation and follow-up process'.


As a first step towards fulfilling the above objectives ITU must change its
membership structure to include a wide membership of the civil society. And
even before that ITU needs to modify its mandate to include civil society as
a stakeholder. The present mandate of ITU, as expressed in its various
documents, only recognizes governmental and private sector stakeholdership.
Such a practice in completely at variance with the exhortations for
multi-stakeholder participation, including in WSIS implementation, contained
in many places in WSIS outcome documents. 


It is also unfortunate that despite being the host for WSIS, and the
facilitating agency for many action lines including the one on 'access to
information and knowledge' (Tunis agenda) ITU has still not adopted the
'open access' principle recommended by the Geneva Plan of Action in 2003.
We quote relevant parts of point 10 of the Plan of Action;


10 (a) Develop policy guidelines for the development and promotion of public
domain information as an important international instrument promoting public
access to information.


 10 (b) Governments are encouraged to provide adequate access through
various communication resources, notably the Internet, to public official
information. Establishing legislation on access to information and the
preservation of public data, notably in the area of the new technologies, is


10 (i) 'Encourage initiatives to facilitate access, including free and
affordable access to open access journals and books, and open archives for
scientific information.'


Downloads of ITU publications, which among other things contain important
information for research in information society issues, are exorbitantly
priced. Such a practice severely curtails access to important information,
which is publicly funded and should be available in the public domain. It is
also directly in contravention of the above quoted recommendations of the
Geneva POA.


We wish to draw attention to the fact that though apparently open online
consultations have been set up for the February 1 meeting for taking inputs
for ITU reform from non-members, postings made to this forum did not appear
online. We also find that the ITU website restricts access to the ITU
Council resolution 1244 which appears to a base document for ITU reform
process. Under the circumstances, the process of consultation with
non-members do not appears to be a serious effort, and looks like a mere


We urge the ITU to begin the reform process with the following two urgent


1.    Change its mandate to include civil society partnership in its
activities, and make its civil society membership processes easy and
transparent. As a first step towards this, begin a genuine open consultation
with civil society.


2.    As a proof of its sincerity towards implementing WSIS outcomes,
provide immediate open access to all its documents. 


We will like to have these issues considered at the February 1 meeting, and
positive decisions taken on it as soon as possible.





Parminder Jeet Singh

IT for Change

Bridging Development Realities and Technological Possibilities 




-----Original Message-----
From: governance-bounces at lists.cpsr.org
[mailto:governance-bounces at lists.cpsr.org] On Behalf Of Veni Markovski
Sent: Thursday, January 26, 2006 9:22 PM
To: Avri Doria; WSIS Internet Governance Caucus
Cc: WSIS Plenary
Subject: Re: [governance] ITU reform and WSIS - CS


Also agree.

Keeping in mind that the WSIS was just an introductory of what we 

weill be seeing in 2006, and with the PleniPot meeting of the ITY, we 

need to make sure we have access to everywhere.




Veni Markovski


the Internet Governance Resource Portal




At 10:20 26-01-06  -0500, Avri Doria wrote:



>seems like a good idea.

>i suggest that you, or someone, draft a statement that the rest of 

>us can, hopefully, endorse (perhaps after a bit of discussion).






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