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RIPE NCC Report on the ITU WTPF-13

The International Telecommunication Union (ITU) held its fifth World Telecommunications/ICT Policy Forum (WTPF) in Geneva from 14-16 May 2013.

The RIPE NCC participated in the event together with the four other Regional Internet Registries (RIRs) and industry partners to discuss Internet governance issues.

Discussions in the Forum focused on a number of Opinions developed ahead of the event by an Informal Experts Group (IEG) made up of ITU Member States, Sector Members and non-affiliated experts. Paul Wilson of APNIC and Cathy Handley of ARIN participated in the IEG.   

These Opinions were as follows:

Opinion 1: Promoting Internet Exchange Points (IXPs) as a long term solution to advance connectivity

Opinion 2: Fostering an enabling environment for the greater growth and development of broadband connectivity

Opinion 3: Supporting Capacity Building for the deployment of IPv6

Opinion 4: In Support of IPv6 Adoption and Transition from IPv4

Opinion 5: Supporting Multi-stakeholderism in Internet Governance

Opinion 6: On supporting operationalizing the Enhanced Cooperation Process

The RIPE NCC submitted a document addressing five of these Opinions on behalf of the five RIRs. This submission was announced to the RIPE community in early May.

The Forum discussed the six Opinions in three Working Groups and adopted all six Opinions with few editorial changes. Part II of the Report by the Chairman of the 5th World Telecommunication Policy/ICT Forum includes the final text of these Opinions.

The RIRs' submission highlighted some specific issues with the text of the Opinions, and the endorsement of the Opinions was seen as a compromise with ITU Member States grappling with issues relating to Internet policy.

The RIPE NCC particularly appreciated the opportunity to work with the Minister Ivo Ivanovsky of Macedonia, Chairman of the Forum, and Mr Musab Abdulla of Bahrain, Chair of the Working Group responsible for considering Opinions 3 and 4. Their positive leadership in the Forum helped to usher the six Opinions to consensus agreement, while providing the RIPE NCC and other RIRs the opportunity to make several remarks on the record and clarify some of the issues raised in the Opinions. [See the report from the Chairman of Working Group 2 in Section III of the WTPF Chairman's Report].

"The dialogue, including the Brazilian proposal, will continue… in Council Working Groups, and in the CSTD [the United Nations´ Commission on Science and Technology for Development] and in other forums.

I will propose that the Council Working Group that discusses this be open to all stakeholders, as this meeting has been, and I will bring this proposal to ITU Council next month."

This is a significant change to the status of the Council Working Group on International Internet-related Public Policy Issues (CWG-Internet), participation in which has so far been restricted to Member States of the ITU. The CWG-Internet has also been the venue for some of the more controversial proposals regarding the ITU's role in Internet governance.

The RIPE NCC, working closely with the other RIRs and industry partners, will monitor developments in this space closely and engage where necessary and appropriate to inform ITU Members in their continuing discussion of Internet-related public policy development.

For further information on the WTPF-13 and the RIPE NCC's involvement, consult the following documents:

We invite you to send any feedback or questions regarding the WTPF-13 and the RIPE NCC's participation via the RIPE Cooperation Working Group mailing list.