[governance] Annan in Davos on Civil Society

William Drake drake at hei.unige.ch
Sat Jan 28 14:42:16 EST 2006


> -----Original Message-----
> From: governance-bounces at lists.cpsr.org
> [mailto:governance-bounces at lists.cpsr.org]On Behalf Of Robert Guerra

> if i'm not mistaken quite a number of governments made clear
> statements during the WSIS IG negotiations that they did DID NOT want
> the ITU to be the venue where IG public policy and standards issues
> get addressed.
> If i recall well,  Brazil, Russia, Iran and many members of the "like
> minded" group were in favour of the ITU, but the "common ground
> group" composed of Singapore, New Zealand, Canada, Uruguay, Australia
> and others were not keen on the ITU. So, no consensus...

Beginning in this quarter, there is supposed to be an evolution toward a
new, enhanced cooperation model involving the development of globally
applicable public policy principles for core resources.  Key players
apparently don't want to address it in the fledgling IGF, and there's little
sign thus far that the developing countries or the Europeans are going to be
content to do it just or primarily in GAC.   Read the German paper for the
ITU reform meeting, which not only states flat out that the ITU is the
natural place, but says that the ITU should take over running the GAC
(ITU-I!).   Absent better alternatives, there will be a big push by many
governments to ramp up stuff in the ITU as the 'natural home' with 'proven
administrative capacity and expertise', broad multilateral participation,
substantial private sector participation, etc.   Sure, the mandate and
substantive content of dialogue and possible agreements will be heavily
contested, but processes with significant institutional mo behind them
nevertheless will go forward, just as before but in a changed context.  As
such, the fall show in Turkey could be at least as important as the one in
Greece.  And of course, that's just the naming and numbering oversight
principles space.  ITU is already doing a ton of standards and policy work
of relevance with serious intergovernmental and corporate backing, such as
the trust/security/surveillance, NGN, and ENUM stuff I mentioned before.
And ITU got a mandate in Tunis to continue on interconnection, gets key
roles in seven WSIS Action Lines, and so on.

Anyway, I didn't say that the ITU necessarily will or should inherit the
earth here, but rather just that it will be 'the main multilateral venue in
which governments address IG public policy and standards issues.'
Multilateral and governments were the key terms in the sentence.  If the IGF
doesn't get screwed up, it could grow into a useful
alternative/catalytic/gadfly space, but who knows how long it will take to
really take shape.  In the meanwhile, the ITU has well institutionalized
processes already underway, and strong support in some quarters.  So CS
needs to pay attention to and seek a role in ITU, rather than settling for
circa 1998 rhetoric about how governments, telcos and manufacturers are all
irrelevant dinosaurs and all that matters is how 'the community' manages
names in ICANN.

> Personally,  I don't think Tunis quite resolved the situation. It all
> depends on the what gets decided at the ITU council meeting in early
> Feb, a well as  the structures that get set up in the coming months.

The Council's April session presumably will WSIS follow up alongside all the
other admin and policy stuff,  but it's less than a quarter of the
membership.  They'll all be in Turkey in November.  Right now, we have no
right to participate, other than by getting on national dels.



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