ITU Policy Forum: An Important Step Forward, Yet More is Needed
*By Andrés Piazza
The International Telecommunication Union (ITU) World Telecommunication/ICT Policy Forum (WTPF) seeks to provide a venue for Member States and Sector Members to exchange and debate opinions and information on new telecommunications/ICT policy and regulatory issues, in particular, a venue for the discussion of global and cross-sectoral issues.
The fifth edition of the forum convened in May 2013. This meeting was notable in that it allowed Member States and other Sector Members the possibility of participating on an equal footing, as well as in the fact that it made use of real time webcasting and verbatim minutes. This is undoubtedly an important step forward, yet more is needed from this intergovernmental body in terms of openness and transparency.
The latest edition of the forum kept the validity of the opinions previously formulated by the IEG (Informal Experts Group) on six Internet related topics not traditionally under the scopoe of the International Telecommunication Union. In fact, the six draft opinions formulated by the Experts Group became approved opinions:
– Promoting Internet Exchange Points (IXPs) as a long-term solution to advance connectivity.
– Fostering an enabling environment for the greater growth and development of broadband connectivity.
– Supporting Capacity Building for the deployment of IPv6.
– In Support of IPv6 Adoption and Transition from IPv4.
– Supporting Multi-stakeholderism in Internet Governance.
– On supporting operationalizing the Enhanced Cooperation Process.
Not only are these six topics widely covered by Regional Internet Registries (RIRs) and especially by LACNIC, but in some cases the content of these opinions recognizes fundamental aspects of the work carried out by our organizations while in others it expresses views consistent with our political stance on the global debate.
While the outcome of the forum may be construed as an endorsement of the current Internet model, it is important to highlight a paragraph regarding the stances taken by Member States from the LACNIC region (led by Brazil) and to express that greater strength and influence of the region’s positions and points of view in the upcoming global meeting are greatly to be desired.
* Public Affairs Officer at LACNIC.