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Third Meeting of the ITU Dedicated Group on Internet-Related Public Policy Issues

Posted by ISOC.BG News on February 12, 2010

Report from Geneva, Switzerland
3-4 February 2010

Purpose of the meeting

The Dedicated Group on Internet-Related Public Policy Issues, herein after abbreviated as Dedicated Group (DG), is tasked to identify, study and develop matters related to international Internet-related public policy issues, to disseminate its output throughout ITU’s membership and to contribute to the work of Working Group on World Summit of Information Society (WG-WSIS) on the above-mentioned issues.
Its mandate has been defined by relevant resolutions of the Plenipotentiary Conference (Antalya, 2006), by Resolution 1282 of ITU Council 2007 and by Resolution 1305 of ITU Council 2009. Annex 1 of said Resolution 1305 contain list of topics on international Internet-related public policy issues on which ITU Member States are invited to elaborate their respective position and contribute actively to relevant work of ITU.

At the second meeting of the DG, 23 June 2009, a proposal for future Internet was discussed, whereby ITU General Secretariat was requested to:
– Provide summary report on emerging issues with potential impact on the future Internet;
– Identify requirements and objectives for the future Internet, including ways and means to meet these objectives; and
– Develop third column, taking into account relevant activities on Internet-related public policy issues within and outside the ITU and report back to the Third DG meeting.

Observations

The interest of ITU Member States Administrations to participate at this meeting and at the adjacent to it meeting of WG-WSIS was high. The list of participants was identical at both meetings however the ITU Secretariat has provided the list of participants for WG-WSIS meeting only.

The meeting was chaired by Mr. Majed M. Almazyed from Saudi Arabia.

Total of 7 documents inspired active meeting discussions complemented by informal consultations.

The contribution from the ITU Secretariat (Doc.WG-WSIS-16/6) was entirely dedicated to introduction of third column in the Table (Public Policy Issues/Relevant ITU Mandate/Other Intergovernmental Organizations with related activities).

The Authors of the UK contribution (Doc. WG-WSIS-16/12) have noted the USA contribution WG-WSIS-15/17 and in particular the relationship between the ITU’s role in Internet-related public policy issues and the role of both the Inter Governmental Organizations (IGO) and Non-Governmental Organizations (NGO) currently also coordinating specific areas in the above-mentioned Table.
The Authors of the UK contribution believe that the first column of the table needs to be related to the WSIS Action Lines in line with Resolution 140 (Antalya, 2006) in order to demonstrate a clear link between WSIS outcomes and the usefulness of ITU actions. Lines 1 (multilingualization of the Internet) and Line 3 (management of Internet resources) af the said Table were pointed out in particular.
Furthermore the said Authors would like that other stakeholders, such as ICANN, IANA and IETF be also reflected in the Table by indicating their roles on these issues.
Both contributions were commented from diverse points of view:
Some delegations supported the notion that the work of some other international organizations in the area of Internet-related public policy issues should be recognized and be listed in the third column, or in a separate annex to the document.
Other delegations were of the opinion that the ITU General Secretariat was requested to include only IGOs for a specific reason.
The DG has noted that contributions from these international organizations could be submitted to the DG meetings via relevant national delegations, in line with existing mechanisms of the ITU and in accordance with its ITU Constitution and Convention.
The DG has recognized the activities undertaken by other stake holders through the various contributions to the DG with specific reference to these activities.
Some delegations felt, that collaboration with other relevant organizations also addressing the said Internet-related public policy issues to be submitted through appropriate channels would be beneficial as well.
The output of the DG, as stated in Council 2009 Resolution 1305, should be disseminated, as appropriate to all relevant international organizations and stakeholders actively involved in such matters, for their consideration in their policy making process.
Some delegations stated that, in order to be effective, the DG should focus on Internet-related public policy issues, especially those listed in Council 2009 Res. 1305 as falling within the scope of this DG (taking into consideration relevant clarifications as stated in the ITU Council 2009 Summary Record 7).

The ITU General Secretariat has submitted important contribution (Doc. WG-WSIS-16/19) titled “The Future Internet” – Report to the Dedicated Group on international Internet-related public policy issues.
The Secretariat has reiterated that this contribution was in response to the specific request by the Dedicated Group and that this Report should be considered as a living document, intended to provide ITU membership with a snapshot of current work in the area of Future Internet. This Report provides information on some emerging trends and challenges for the future Internet, and some of the approaches that could be taken. This Report is structured as follows:

    Background
    Future Trends – Evolution of Internet Usage (Internet of Things; Internet of Services; Distributed Computing – Utilities, Clouds and Grid Computing; Smarter Web; and Mobile Internet);
    Increasing Need for Improvement of Internet Design;
    Survey of Current Research Efforts (Clean Slate Approach; and Evolutionary Approach);
    Public Policy and Socio-Economic Considerations (Future Internet and Public Policy; as well as Future Internet and Economics of Innovation);
    ITU Activities in the Area of Future Internet;
    Selected Research Efforts (Digital Object Architecture and Exploiting the Diversity of DNS Classes); and
    Conclusion.

The DG took note of the contribution with appreciation.
Several delegations welcomed this contribution as a way of information collection and analysis in this important area for the benefit of Member States.
As agreed by the Dedicated Group, this contribution constituted a preliminary report and the DG has requested ITU Secretariat to provide regular and timely up-to-date Reports on said Future Internet issues.
The DG requested that while updating this document, ITU General Secretariat should take into consideration the outputs of the ITU-T Focus Group on Future Networks established in 2009 by ITU-T Study Group 13 to share the discussion on Future Networks and to ensure common global understanding about Future Networks with collaboration and harmonization with relevant entities and activities in this domain (kindly refer to http://www.itu.int/ITU-T/focusgroups/fn/ ).
The DG took note of the Report and encouraged Member States to submit contributions based on the above-mentioned Report of ITU General Secretariat.

Dedicated contribution by Administrations of Algeria, Saudi Arabia, Syria, and UAE, (Doc.WG-WSIS-16/11) was referring to the said Report by the ITU General Secretariat on the current progress and developments with regard to the future Internet.

This contribution stimulated comments from different perspectives:
Some delegations acknowledged the importance of the elements stated, while some other delegations could not agree to some of the points raised (e.g. the statement that “The existing Internet has run out of its ability to cope with the very high level of innovation which it has engendered.”).
The DG agreed that with the topic being so vast and complex, ITU General Secretariat collect and analyze information on ongoing activities, summarizing those areas of particular relevance to international Internet-related public policy issues – submitting related analysis to Member States via the DG website one month in advance of scheduled meetings of the DG in order to give delegations ample time to study them and submit meaningful and constructive contributions at the meetings.

ITU Council 2009 Resolution 1305 was presented for information purposes as it was related to the mandate of the Dedicated Group (accompanied by some clarifications in C09 Summary Record 7) and the DG has taken note of it.

The contribution by the ITU General Secretariat (Doc. WG-WSIS-16/04) “Report on ITU activities – Fourth Internet Governance Forum Meeting, Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt, 15 – 18 November 2009 was forwarded to the DG by the Chairman of the CWG-WSIS.
The ITU General Secretariat has pointed out this contribution (such as recommendations and conclusions) was meant for internal purposes, in order to enable ITU to improve its participation at the IGF. The DG has taken note of it without discussing in detail relevant ITU activities reported.

Conclusions and Follow-up Actions

Member States were requested to make contributions on international Internet-related public policy issues, especially those listed in Council 2009 Res. 1305, falling within the scope of the DG (taking into consideration relevant clarifications in ITU Council 2009 Summary Record 7).

ITU General Secretariat was requested to:
– Continue its study of the activities that are already underway regarding development of the future Internet, in particular by covering Internet-related public policy issues;
– Continue providing summary reports on emerging issues that could be leveraged for the development of the future Internet, covering Internet-related public policy issues;
– Work further on identifying requirements and objectives for the future Internet (covering Internet-related public policy issues), as well as ways and means to meet these objectives;
– Highlight those activities and issues of particular relevance to international Internet-related public policy issues;
– Submit these reports via the DG website at least one month before the next scheduled meeting of the Dedicated Group;
– Establish the processes for continuous monitoring, analyzing and reporting of these activities and public policy issues related to the future Internet;
– Invite contributions in this regard.

The Report of the Chairman of DG (Doc WG-WSIS-16/24), after extensive discussions within the DG, was finally approved for further consideration by CWG-WSIS.

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