The International Telecommunication Union (ITU) concluded its Plenipotentiary meeting in Guadalajara recently. The Plenipot, which happens once every four years, is the most important decision-making process for the 160-nation intergovernmental organization. For students of Internet governance, the Plenipot was notable for its attempt to resolve the issue of “ITU's collaboration and coordination with other relevant organizations” namely, the ODii or organically developed internet institutions (IETF, ICANN, the Internet Society, the RIRs, and the W3C). The growth of the ODii has provided an alternative locus of global governance authority over communications, often leading to clashes with the ITU and its nation-state members. The official ITU resolutions – which IGP provides here – actually mention ICANN by name, albeit in a footnote. According to one observer, “This is the first time to my knowledge that the name of ICANN appears in a ITU resolution, and the decision was preceded by a long and – at times – rather heated debate.” Proposals by countries such as Russia to transform ICANN’s Government Advisory Committee (GAC) into an intergovernmental organization with oversight powers over ICANN,” or to create a “progressive cooperation agreement between ITU and ICANN and define a mechanism to increase the participation of governments” were all struck from the text. To us, this was not surprising, given the support the ODii enjoy from the U.S. and other important governments. But sources report that it took determined efforts by a small group of member states led by the U.S. to produce this result.

For a very good analysis of the meeting, see Monika Ermert's article in IPWatch. From that account, it doesn't sound like the ITU-ICANN tensions have been completely resolved, but they do seem to have taken a step forward toward some kind of mutually agreed division of labor.

The ITU is reported to have taken another important and progressive step by inching toward making its documents more accessible to its members and the public. Ermert reported that the ITU promised to make package of resolutions agreed in Guadalajara freely accessible to the public. Later, we learned that the Resolutions “will be freely accessible to the general public when ready in [printed] publication form, i.e. by end February 2011.” But, IGP has obtained a pdf copy of the resolutions and inspired by the spirit of Resolution 66, we make it available here.

1 thought on “Free online access to ITU resolutions

  1. Milton;
    It's nice to see the ITU made good on its promise of “measures are in progress for a similar service to be made available under ITU auspices” and that the usual glacial pace has been picked up so it only took 19 years to do what Malamud and Rutkowski had originally done in an afternoon.
    Progress marches ever onward.
    P.S. Bob Shaw: you still owe me $20.

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