Lack of Transparency for WCIT Talks Draws Protests

18 May 2012

Objections are being raised to the lack of transparency surrounding the World Conference on International Telecommunications (WCIT).

A coalition of 30 interest groups May 18 wrote that “[t]he current preparatory process lacks the transparency, openness of process, and inclusiveness of all relevant stakeholders….” (See announcement on Article 19 website.)

The comments came as the World Summit on the Information Society Forum (WSIS) was being held in Geneva, Switzerland, to prepare for the Dec. 3-14 World Conference on International Telecommunications in Dubai at which the outdated 1988 International Telecommunications Regulations (ITRs) will be reviewed and updated.

A compilation of member country proposals has not been made public and ITU officials said countries must make their own decisions to release their position papers.

The critics asked that the organization “remove restrictions on the sharing of WCIT documents and release all preparatory materials, including the Council Working Group’s final report, consolidated reports from all preparatory activity, and proposed revisions to the International Telecommunication Regulations.”

In addition, they said, that prepatory process be opened to meaningful participation by civil society “in its own right and without cost at Council Working Group meetings and the WCIT itself, providing formal speaking opportunities and according civil society views an equal weight as those of other stakeholders.”

Member states should have “public processes at the national level to solicit input on proposed amendments to the International Telecommunication Regulations from all relevant stakeholders, including civil society, and release individual proposals for public debate.”

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Filed under: IFTI Watch

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In this column, Washington, D.C.-based journalist Toby J. McIntosh reports on the latest developments in information disclosure in International Financial and Trade Institutions (IFTI).
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