It was a long weekend of work that focused on the Internet-related resolutions, including extensive discussions on Resolution 64, which if accepted after revision, is now entitled “Non-discriminatory access to modern telecommunication/information and communication technology facilities, services and applications, including e-meetings applied research and transfer of technology, on mutually agreed terms”.
There were also discussions regarding WSIS and the ITU’s role in implementing the WSIS action items both before and after the 2015 review process. The document for Resolution 140 reflects a revised title and if approved will be “ITU’s role in implementing the outcomes of the World Summit on the Information Society and in the overall review by United Nations General Assembly of their implementation”.
The Ad Hoc Group on Internet Related Matters completed its work Sunday evening after two full days of discussion. The group discussing Resolution 130 “Strengthening the role of ITU in building confidence and security in the use of information and communication technologies” completed its work a little later after working concurrently with the Internet matters group throughout the day Sunday.
In fact all groups working over the weekend completed their work with only small outstanding matters to be tidied up on Monday. Sometimes this is because they are awaiting decisions to be made in other discussions, or where a consensus has still not been reached.
Part of the reason for completing the work is that there exists quite a strict deadline of Sunday night to complete the work in time for the Secretariat staff to translate the documents and return them for approval to the Working Group of the Plenary on Monday. That committee must complete its work in time for final versions of the document to be prepared for final approval by the Conference Plenary before all the documents can be compiled to create the Final Acts which are to be signed on Friday.
I personally spent the weekend following the discussions in the Internet Ad Hoc group and followed the other discussions remotely by keeping in contact with colleagues from other organizations.
While most of the weekend consisted of long difficult days with agreements only reached after considerable resistance, by the conclusion of Sunday a great deal of opposition dissolved. This was partly due to the deadline mentioned above, but also partly due to one compromise reached during the evening tea break.
It remains to be seen whether these agreements will stick on Monday and Tuesday as these documents move back up the process and we will report on them as they are presented.
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