[governance] statement for ITU website

Veni Markovski veni at veni.com
Mon Jan 30 10:31:22 EST 2006

Bill Drake,
<http://www.isoc.bg/index_en.html>Internet Society - Bulgaria signs.

www.isoc.bg/ig - the Internet Governance Resource Portal

At 16:06 30-01-06  +0100, William Drake wrote:
>So far I have as signatories,
>William Drake                        Computer 
>Professionals for Social Responsibility/
>Graduate Institute for International Studies
>Wolfgang KleinwДchter        University of Aarhus
>McTim                                     Internet Infrastructure Consultant
>Lee McKnight                        Syracuse 
>University/Internet Governance Project
>Parminder Jeet Singh            IT for Change
>Jeanette Hofmann                 Social Science Research Center, Berlin
>Avri Doria                             Computer 
>Professionals for Social Responsibility/Consultant
>1.  Parminder thinks we should have some sort of 
>WSIS-related identification.  I'm not much on a 
>lead like 'we the people of WSIS-CS' or whatever 
>since it implies a level of consultation and 
>consensus that isn't there, but I suppose I 
>could label it, Statement by Members of the 
>WSIS-Civil Society Internet Governance 
>Caucus.  Any problems with that?  Of course, I'd 
>rather it was simply a statement of the caucus, 
>full stop, can't imagine that many caucus 
>members are opposed to asking for inclusion, and 
>we've made caucus statements in the past with 
>fewer ayes (an issue in itself, I suppose), but 
>maybe that's pushing it a bit...Anyone have 
>guidance/feelings about this either way?
>2.  Avri suggested I frame this in terms of 
>"civil society organizations and academics."  I 
>view academia as part of CS by definition, but 
>can do this for emphasis, in which case perhaps 
>I should stick Dr. in front of the relevant 
>names.  With ITU, where claims of 'expertise' 
>are highly relevant to a claim to participation, 
>this might be desirable.  Guidance/feelings...?
>I guess I can send this later in the evening to 
>give more time in case others want to sign on, 
>I'll just email it directly to relevant staff to 
>make sure it gets seen before the meeting.
>-----Original Message-----
>From: Parminder [mailto:parminder at itforchange.net]
>Sent: Monday, January 30, 2006 3:25 PM
>To: 'William Drake'; 'Governance'
>Subject: RE: [governance] statement for ITU website
>Hi Bill
>Pl add IT for Change▓s endorsement to it. Thanks.
>I still find it astonishing that ITU can get 
>away with not incorporating open access 
>principle which is clearly stated in POA, and 
>more clearly so for the kind of work ITU does √ technical IS related info┘.
>I am in the middle of something urgent, and not 
>able to draft a separate ▒open access▓ 
>statement▓ √ so well, some other time. Though I 
>also see that there could be some lack of 
>complete consensus on this issue in the CS √ it 
>is certainly is a complex issue┘┘
>For me making such representations is important 
>not only from a content point of view √ which is 
>of course more important √ but as much from 
>process point of view. We need to take 
>opportunity at these times when the WSIS-CS 
>mandate, structure and future is uncertain to 
>asset ourselves as the ▒WSIS CS▓ or something. 
>We have gathered some political strength in our 
>collective form, however rudimentary. It needs 
>to be preserved √ and it can only be preserved 
>by pushing ▒content▓ or substantive actions like this one┘┘
>That was the reason I had used the rather 
>artificial sounding opening for the statement I 
>drafted √ ▒We, the CS that associated with the 
>WSIS▓. See if some acceptable version of such 
>assertion can be used┘┘ It will be politically 
>significant┘.. though we need to figure out how 
>much active the WSIS CS is at present┘. More on that later┘.
>Thanks for the effort┘
>Best regards
>Parminder Jeet Singh
>IT for Change
>Bridging Development Realities and Technological Possibilities
>From: governance-bounces at lists.cpsr.org 
>[mailto:governance-bounces at lists.cpsr.org] On Behalf Of William Drake
>Sent: Monday, January 30, 2006 3:05 PM
>To: Governance
>Subject: [governance] statement for ITU website
>Good morning,
>Since there was no consensus on making a joint 
>caucus or other CS statement on the website for 
>the ITU's Wednesday reform meeting, I decided I 
>might as well type up something short to submit 
>on a personal basis.  If anyone would like to 
>sign on you're more than welcome; either way, I 
>will submit this by close of business today, 
>Geneva time.  I don't know that we'd have time 
>to do any text tweaking, but if that might make 
>this more attractive to potential signatories, 
>let's communicate.  I see that Parminder made a 
>nice submission on the cost of ITU documentation 
>and its nonconformity with the access to 
>knowledge and information principle enunciated 
>in the WSIS Plan of Action.  The below text is 
>on a different point and is complementary.
>The WSIS Principles state that Internet 
>governance should be multilateral, transparent 
>and democratic, with the full involvement of 
>governments, the private sector, civil society 
>and international organizations.  The ITU 
>clearly does not meet the last criteria.  For 
>the overwhelming majority of civil society 
>organizations, the barriers to becoming a sector 
>member or even an associate are simply too 
>high.  In parallel, there are no options for 
>participating on a more flexible, ad hoc basis 
>in special workshops and seminars, or in the 
>assemblies and conferences.  In consequence, and 
>unlike other UN agencies, true NGOs (as opposed 
>to hybrid business/user/technical organizations) 
>are almost entirely absent and alienated from 
>the ITU.   That this is not in the ITU▓s own 
>interest was amply demonstrated by the WSIS 
>process, in which civil society strongly opposed 
>the ITU playing an expanded, leading role in Internet governance.
>With WSIS follow-up and implementation efforts 
>forthcoming, now would be a particularly 
>appropriate time to make opening up to civil 
>society a central element of ITU reform.  Doing 
>so would not in any way disrupt the work of the 
>Union, and the administrative cost would be 
>negligible (we can print our own documents, 
>etc).  The ITU would not face a stampede of 
>hundreds of organizations seeking to participate 
>in ongoing study group work on frequency 
>propagation, signaling requirements and 
>protocols, and other technical matters.  A much 
>more likely scenario would be that a manageable 
>number of NGOs would seek to participate in some 
>of the above-mentioned workshops, seminars, 
>assemblies and conferences.  Civil society 
>experts contributed significantly to the success 
>of the February 2004 ITU workshop on Internet 
>governance, and there is every reason to believe 
>that same constructive engagement would ensue in 
>other forums.  Allowing civil society 
>participation in events like the March 2006 
>meeting on NGN policies would be a good first 
>step, and would not require changes to the 
>Constitution and Convention.  WSIS and/or ECOSOC 
>accreditation would seem sufficient for this purpose.
>It is unfortunate that the ITU▓s February 1 
>reform meeting is closed to civil society 
>participation.  Our exclusion from this and 
>similar events has been debated extensively on 
>civil society Internet listservs in the course 
>of the WSIS process and afterwards.  There was 
>little enthusiasm for the website▓s cheery 
>invitation to ⌠be part of it■ by submitting 
>statements in this ⌠open forum■ for a meeting 
>from which we are barred.  If however the ITU 
>were to initiate a genuine, open and inclusive 
>dialogue on the matter, the response would be rather different.
>William J. Drake  <mailto:drake at hei.unige.ch>drake at hei.unige.ch
>Director, Project on the Information
>   Revolution and Global Governance
>   Graduate Institute for International Studies
>   Geneva, Switzerland
>President, Computer Professionals for
>    Social Responsibility
>governance mailing list
>governance at lists.cpsr.org
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