October 19, 2022, 11am-12:30pm
The ITU’s Plenipotentiary Conference and Internet Governance
On September 29 in Bucharest, delegates to the Plenipotentiary Conference of the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) elected Doreen Bogdan-Martin to serve as the organization’s first female Secretary-General. In the run-up to the conference, many media outlets, think tanks and pundits characterized the election contest between a US and a Russian candidate as an epochal battle between good and evil that would somehow determine whether the Internet would be open or closed, democratic or controlled by dictators. Little attention has been given to significant Internet-related policy decisions that are being negotiated during the three-week conference, an event that takes place every four years. On some of these issues, the competing visions for the Internet of democracies and authoritarian regimes do loom large, but there are many other divisions—between proponents of state-led vs. industry-led development, the global North and South, regions, industry coalitions, and so on—that also will shape the resulting treaty instruments.
This webinar convened just five days after the end of the ITU Plenipotentiary. It brought together expert attendees and close observers to analyze the conference’s potential implications for the Internet and its global governance. Against the backdrop of the long-standing geopolitical tensions between multistakeholder vs. multilateral as well as open vs. closed governance models, the webinar assessed the ITU’s debates and negotiations on such issues as: the Internet resolutions, the International Telecommunications Regulations treaty, the follow-up to the World Summit on the Information Society, the work of the Council Working Group on International Internet-related Public Policy, cybersecurity, the treatment of “over the top” services and Internet traffic exchange, the Chinese proposal for a “new Internet Protocol,” and more.
Roundtable Panelists: Samantha Dickinson, Internet Governance Consultant and Writer; Nermine El Saadany, Regional Vice President, MENA Region, The Internet Society; Wolfgang Kleinwächter, Professor Emeritus, International Communication Policy and Regulation, University of Aarhus (Denmark)