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Internet Governance 21 September 2018

What’s Ahead at the 2018 Plenipotentiary Conference

By Elizabeth Oluoch – Do CantoDirector, International Institutions and Relations

Today the Internet Society published a matrix of issues that will be discussed at the International Telecommunication Union’s (ITU) Plenipotentiary treaty conference (PP-18) in Dubai next month.  The matrix reflects common proposals adopted recently at some of the ITU’s regional preparatory meetings. It is intended to aid our community in preparations and serve as a useful guide on where governments stand on some of the issues that are important to the Internet Society community. Note that the matrix will be updated periodically as individual country proposals are submitted closer to the conference date. Based on the input from governments so far, Internet Governance, emerging technologies such as the Internet of Things (IoT), Artificial Intelligence (AI), and Over-the-Top (OTT) applications and services will rank high on the agenda at the Plenipotentiary.

While the Plenipotentiary happens every four years, it comes at a time when Internet Governance stakes are particularly high, as governments’ response to the borderless nature of Internet issues such as cybersecurity and data privacy is intensifying, and support for multilateral solutions to deal with them grows. Those that favor a multilateral governance approach might view the ITU’s international cooperation framework for global telecommunications as the natural vector into Internet policy issues, and could be seeking a firm role for the ITU in the Internet Governance realm.

The Internet Society sees the Internet’s success as the result of open, inclusive, and collaborative processes that allow a wide range of people with expertise and interest to contribute to its development and find collaborative solutions.

As a Sector Member of the ITU, the Internet Society will be at PP-18 as an observer. We support the technical evolution of the Internet and are committed to making sure that everyone has access to it. We will work with our partners and community to raise awareness amongst delegates on the importance of a distributed model of governance, encourage more open and inclusive processes within the ITU to enable development, and provide our expertise on Internet technical and development aspects so that delegates can be better informed in the discussions.

Please see our PP-18 page for more information about the conference: https://cfdev2.internetsociety.org/events/un/plenipot-2018/

Suggestions and comments on the matrix are welcome and should be sent to oluoch@isoc.org.

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Disclaimer: Viewpoints expressed in this post are those of the author and may or may not reflect official Internet Society positions.

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