ITU PP-14 Day 16: We’re starting to relax

By on 6 Nov 2014

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There are many issues and documents at this Plenipot that touch on the Internet, and the applications and services that use it as a platform. There are however only a handful that directly address Internet issues. By this stage in the conference, it is not regarded as good collaboration to go against the consensus achieved earlier. It does happen, but I think it is reserved for times when Member States feel particularly strongly about a matter.

Accordingly, resolutions passed through both readings of the Plenary without comment, ending the discussions on the Internet at this Plenipotentiary. However, the Chair of the WG-PL noted that the Delegation of India had submitted its statement “in opposition to the approval of Resolutions 101, 102, 133 and 180” to the Chair for inclusion into his report.

A number of draft resolutions were also approved including “Connect 2020 Agenda for Global Telecommunication/ICT Development”. This resolution brings into the ITU document archive a number of action items related to the implementation of the Ministerial Statement agreed and signed the day before the beginning of the Plenipot. It was a negotiated text presented by more than a dozen administrations and was passed with no comment.

Another new resolution of interest is titled “Creating an enabling environment for the deployment and use of ICT applications”. Roughly, this new resolution seeks to increase the recognition of the socio-economic opportunities presented by ‘e-applications’, whatever they are.

The excitement of the day was provided by the draft proposed Resolution titled “Assistance and support to Ukraine for guaranteeing the use of frequency and numbering resources in the territories of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea and the city of Sevastopol”. (Perhaps excitement is not the right word.) Negotiations were held in private, but delegates had little choice but to wait until late in the evening as the break was repeatedly extended in case they were required to debate or even vote on the resolution. In the end the issues were resolved enough to proceed and the two sides read statements into the minutes of the meeting. It’s not so much that the matter was resolved, more that there was an acceptance that the ITU is not the proper forum to reach agreement. The proposal was withdrawn and the Chair did not open the floor for other Member States to comment.

This left the matter of Resolution 99 regarding the “Status of Palestine in ITU” and Resolution 125 on “Assistance and support to Palestine for rebuilding its telecommunication networks” still in negotiations. The Plenary Chair adjourned the meeting with this issue up first on the Thursday agenda.

While these highly charged geo-political issues are under consideration by a handful of delegates, others here at PP-14 are beginning to relax . The work for most delegations is already done and they have only minor things to watch. Some have issues still outstanding, but as I mentioned above, it needs to be particularly important at this point to step up and break the consensus. It’s not always necessary, even if you don’t agree. Even states who sign will normally submit reservations to their agreement, either generally stating that nothing they agree here will overrule their sovereign rights or domestic legal framework. Sometime they are more specific statements that single out particular issues that they feel they cannot agree with the consensus decision. Still, it seems most will sign and overall people seem very happy with the outcomes, the tone of discussion, and a feeling that the ITU is moving on from WCIT.

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One Comment

  1. Dmytro

    Dear Adam, do you work for Russia? Why don’t you write about the Statement of the ITU Secretary-General, recognizing all sovereign rights of Ukraine in the temporarily occupied territories of the Crimea and Sevastopol, which is included to the PP-14 documents? Why don’t you write about the statements of 28 EU countries, the US, Canada, Georgia and others in support of Ukraine and the ITU SG statement, which are also included to the Plenary minutes? This is the great victory of Ukraine over Russia at the PP-14. Be honest, tell truth!

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