home Governance, Internet Ip-Watch: ITU Plenipot 14 Outcome Limiting UN Agency Role In Internet Governance Deemed “Success”

Ip-Watch: ITU Plenipot 14 Outcome Limiting UN Agency Role In Internet Governance Deemed “Success”


By Monika Ermert for Intellectual Property Watch

US Ambassador Daniel Sepulveda on the eve of the final celebration of the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) Plenipotentiary Conference last week said he was “happy” about the results. Asked what he thought was the most important resolution of the three week conference, he told Intellectual Property Watch he would not name one resolution, but rather considered the achievement of overall consensus by the ITU member states on the final documents “a success.”

There had been concerns over a split of the membership before the conference. All references to possible reconsideration of the allocation of internet addresses or names, and also to privacy, were erased from the final documents.

The UN ITU Plenipotentiary Conference, which takes place every four years, was held from 20 October to 7 November, in Busan, South Korea.

Within its work on connectivity in a number of countries, within specialised technical work, or within its work to ensure that radio spectrum is properly allocated, “the ITU can absolutely do more,” Sepulveda said. But if the organisation broadens its scope to privacy or other content or enforcement issues, “it would limit its ability to do anything,” he said.

Swiss delegate Dirk-Oliver von der Emden, from the Office of Communication (OfCom), said countries in the developing world once more had signalled that for them the ITU was a an appropriate forum to talk about aspects of internet governance.

Von der Emden said the ITU had been in a constant change, away from an organisation covering technical standardisation aspects only to one that also addresses issues of the information society. Work on issues like child protection online and empowerment of women by the mean of ICTs could be welcomed, he said.

The technical community, for example at the European IP address registry Reseaux IP Européen (RIPE), which just held its regular fall meeting, welcomed that the ITU role in internet governance will stay limited.

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James Barnley

I’m the editor of the DomainingAfrica. I write about internet and social media, focusing mainly on Domains. As a subscriber to my newsletter, you’ll get a lot of information on Domain Issues, ICANN, new gtld’s, Mobile technology and social media.

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