India finds itself in centre of Internet governance controversy… Again

India has put a lot of effort into Internet governance lately.

There’s been its work since 2006 to have a National Internet Registry of India established, its input into the UN’s December 2010 enhanced cooperation consultations, its detailed proposal submitted (late) to the March 2011 meeting of the Commission on Science and Technology for Development Working Group on improvements to the IGF (CSTD WG), and its participation in draft IBSA recommendations on Internet governance in September 2011.

Then, at the end of September, at the Internet Governance Forum Critical Internet Resources main session, India explained the reasons it had participated in the initial drafting of IBSA’s Internet governance recommendations earlier in the month. In brief, India explained that IBSA countries were concerned that developing countries weren’t able to participate on an equal footing in the current Internet governance system. India’s representative, Tulika Pandey, finished by stating:

    “This is yet a very initial process of a thought process which has caused this. I’m very happy that people have awoken. They’re looking at India and Brazil and South Africa. We suddenly are in the center of the IGF. We are happy about it.”

Move forward a month, and after India’s intervention at the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) Second Committee on October 26, India is, yet again, in the centre of Internet governance discussions around the world.

India’s speech to the Second Committee provided a detailed proposal for how it would like Internet governance to be formalised at the UN level. Under India’s proposal, 50 Member States of the UN would form a Committee for Internet-Related Policies (CIRP) that would meet for a fortnight each year in Geneva and report directly to the UNGA. Non-Member State stakeholders in Internet governance would participate via Advisory Groups that provide recommendations to the CIRP. CIRP would not replace IGF, but would take input from it. A research wing would be attached to CIRP to provide members with the detailed information and analysis of Internet issues needed for their deliberations. Oh, and CIRP is to be fully funded by the UN.

India’s suggestions, first made public in detail via an article on .nxt, resulted in a wave of hand wringing in Internet governance circles. See, for example, the October archives of the Civil Society Internet Governance Caucus mailing list. Milton Mueller’s article, A United Nations Committee for Internet-Related Policies? A fair assessment, also expressed concern about the details of India’s proposal.

But it is very important to note that India’s proposal detailed in their Second Committee speech has not appeared as a draft resolution. (Note that it is possible that it has been submitted as a formal draft resolution and just hasn’t appeared on the UN website yet.) So why is there so much consternation about a proposal that hasn’t been submitted as a formal draft resolution? After all, in its current form, a speech by a Member State (yes, even a speech that comes with an annex), it can’t go anywhere.

My totally subjective personal opinion is that the anguish is being exacerbated by two factors: a) ongoing suspicion between various participants in the Internet governance ecosystem and b) amnesia about India’s previous statements expressing similar sentiments.

The Internet Governance Forum (IGF), where the focus is on open discussion and exchange rather than decisions, is a great way to address the first factor and has gone a long way to dispel suspicions about different Internet governance participants’ motives. But the only way to address the second factor, amnesia about India’s previous proposals, is to jog people’s memories.

Similarities between India’s 2011 UNGA Second Committee and 2010 Enhanced Cooperation consultation statements

In December 2010, India’s statement at open consultations on Enhanced Cooperation called for a Working Group to be created under the CSTD to develop the “possible institutional design and roadmap for enhanced cooperation in consultation with all stakeholders, and […] submit its report to the UN General Assembly in 2011”.

Move on almost a year, and with no UN follow-up on its suggestion, India tries again—this time at the Second Committee—having developed its own ideas about the institutional design of the enhanced cooperation body. Below, are similar sentiments India has expressed in its statements made less than a year apart:

1. It’s been X years since the Tunis Agenda, and no action yet

In 2010, India has expressed its view that despite the Internet’s increasingly important role in the world, the Tunis Agenda mandate for enhanced cooperation had not come to fruition. A year later, feeling that nothing had changed, India’s 2011 UNGA speech restates its concerns and refers to a greater range of Tunis Agenda paragraphs to support its views.

From the 2011 UNGA Second Committee contribution:

Indeed, this was already recognized and mandated by the Tunis Agenda in 2005, as reflected in paragraphs 34, 35, 56, 58, 59, 60, 61 and 69 of the Agenda. Regrettably, in the six long years that have gone by, no substantial initiative has been taken by the global community to give effect to this mandate. […] Meanwhile, the internet has grown exponentially in its reach and scope, throwing up several new and rapidly emerging challenges in the area of global internet governance that continue to remain inadequately addressed.

From the 2010 enhanced cooperation speech:

The Tunis Agenda of 2005 recognized the need for enhanced cooperation “to enable governments, on an equal footing, to carry out their roles and responsibilities, in international public policy issues pertaining to the internet” and mandated the UN Secretary-General to start the process towards Enhanced Cooperation by the first quarter of 2006. Almost five years later, we are yet to meaningfully discuss or operationalise the enhanced cooperation process. […] In the meantime, the reach and influence of the internet on public policy issues has grown dramatically.

2. Democracy, openness, inclusiveness, transparency

A lot of the same values appear in India’s two big Internet governance speeches of 2010 and 2011. Openness, inclusion, transparency are all ideals supported by the many stakeholders in Internet governance.

“Multilateral”, which appears in both the 2010 and 2011 speeches, rings alarm bells for many, but unfortunately, that term appears in black and white in paragraph 29—the first paragraph about Internet governance—of the Tunis Agenda. No matter how much people object to governments like India and Brazil using the term, the governmental practice of quoting exact words and phrases from previously adopted UN documents will continue. The lesson? No word in a resolution is ever unimportant. Those weasel words agreed to late at night to get a resolution through will bite you down the line.

From the 2011 UNGA Second Committee contribution:

We believe that the governance of such an unprecedented global medium that embodies the values of democracy, pluralism, inclusion, openness and transparency should also be similarly inclusive, democratic, participatory, multilateral and transparent in nature.

From the 2010 enhanced cooperation speech:

Indeed, the Internet today is universally acknowledged as a powerful catalyst for democracy, openness, inclusion and democratic values like liberty and equality. It is therefore paradoxical that the governance of such a phenomenal global force that transcends borders and welds peoples and communities across national borders, continues to lack equitable representation, transparency and inclusiveness at the international level. It is time for global internet governance to be conducted in line with established UN principles and universally accepted tenets of multilateralism.

3. A CSTD WG to work out details of enhanced cooperation/Internet public policy body

India continues to call for CSTD to develop a roadmap for their proposed UN process on enhanced cooperation. But a year on from its 2010 enhanced cooperation speech, India acknowledges that a year wouldn’t be long enough to develop such a roadmap and moves it to an 18-month timeline. My experience with the CSTD WG on improvements to the IGF suggests that an 18-month timeline for discussing the even more contentious idea of enhanced cooperation is incredibly optimistic.

From the 2011 UNGA Second Committee contribution:

In order to operationalize this proposal, India calls for the establishment of an open-ended working group under the Commission on Science and Technology for Development for drawing up the detailed terms of reference for CIRP, with a view to actualizing it within the next 18 months. We are open to the views and suggestions of all Member States, and stand ready to work with other delegations to carry forward this proposal, and thus seek to fill the serious gap in the implementation of the Tunis Agenda, by providing substance and content to the concept of Enhanced Co-operation enshrined in the Tunis Agenda.

From the 2010 enhanced cooperation speech:

We, therefore, propose that an inter-governmental working group be established under the UN Commission on Science and Technology for Development (CSTD), which is the designated focal point in the UN system-wide follow up to the outcomes of the WSIS. The Working Group should be mandated to prepare a report on the possible institutional design and roadmap for enhanced cooperation in consultation with all stakeholders, and asked to submit its report to the UN General Assembly in 2011. The Working Group should also take into account inputs from all international organizations including the ITU, and should recommend on the feasibility and desirability of placing the Enhanced Cooperation mechanism with an existing international organization or recommend establishing a new body for dealing with Enhanced Cooperation, along with a clear roadmap for the process.

Similarities between India’s 2011 UNGA Second Committee and other processes

India’s 2011 statement is also informed by processes and decisions that have taken place in other forums.

In both India’s 2011 statement and the recent ITU Council decision about the Working Group on international Internet-related Public Policy Issues, Member State committees/working groups consider inputs from non-Member States. In other words, the Member States can choose to discard the input if they feel it is not relevant to their deliberations. However, before feeling outraged that the proposed CIRP wouldn’t consider non-governments stakeholders as equal partners in a multistakeholder Internet, please do not forget that this isn’t so different to how a number of Internet organizations currently operate. For example, the ICANN Board considers the advice of its Advisory Committees, but ultimately has to make decisions that may contradict some of the input from ICANN’s various stakeholder Advisory Committees.

From the 2011 UNGA Second Committee contribution:

Links with the IGF: Recognizing the value of the Internet Governance Forum as an open, unique forum for multi-stakeholder policy dialogue on Internet issues, the deliberations in the IGF along with any inputs, background information and analysis it may provide, will be taken as inputs for consideration of the CIRP.

Compare this to the 2011 ITU Council resolution on Working Group on international Internet-related Public Policy Issues:

[The Working Group will] initiate and conduct open consultations with all stakeholders in an open and inclusive manner; and the output of the open consultations will be presented for consideration in deliberations of the Council Working Group.

India’s suggestion in the 2011 UNGA Second Committee speech that the CIRP be funded by the UN is in keeping with India’s proposal earlier this year that the IGF be funded by the UN. From the 2011 UNGA contribution:

Budget: Like other UN bodies, the CIRP should be supported by the regular budget of the United Nations. In addition, keeping in view its unique multi-stakeholder format for inclusive participation, and the need for a well-resourced Research Wing and regular meetings, a separate Fund should also be set up drawing from the domain registration fees collected by various bodies involved in the technical functioning of the Internet, especially in terms of names and addresses.

From India’s contribution to the CSTD WG on improvements to the IGF:

The accepted norm worldwide is that policy forums can function independently only when they are based on public funding. Indeed, it would be unthinkable for our national policy level institutions to have private funding. In the case of the IGF, this would mean a transition to full UN funding. In addition to predictable and budgeted UN funding, voluntary contributions can be allowed, as is the practice in many UN agencies.

The future of the CIRP proposal

Will India raise its CIRP proposal at next week’s CSTD WG on IGF improvements? I hope not. First, because one of the agreements between CSTD Member States in negotiating the extension of the WG was that no new material be admitted for the WG’s deliberations. Only the discussions and contributions received up until the end of the second CSTD WG in February were to be considered during the WG’s extension through to 2012. Introducing this CIRP proposal to the IGF WG would lead to my second reason for hoping it is not raised: it has taken up until now for the WG members to develop a reasonable level of trust amongst each other. For the new CIRP proposal to be introduced, when India was amongst the Member States who agreed not to introduce new materials, would return the WG to the levels of mutual distrust shown during the first CSTD WG meeting. And this level of mistrust would dash any hopes of reaching agreement on a report of proposed improvements for the IGF. I believe that India’s intentions in the WG are sincere, and I believe that it will honour the Member States’ agreement not to introduce new material to the WG.

While there is, as yet, no formal UNGA draft resolution by India on the proposal, given its past positions on Internet governance, it is highly likely that permutations of the proposal will be presented again in future. It is possible that if India doesn’t feel that the UNGA is listening to its concerns, it will take them to other UN agencies that are holding Internet-related discussions. And which UN agency is holding the greatest number of Internet-related discussions over the coming few years? The ITU. Will India raise its CIRP proposal at ITU’s WCIT 2012, WTPF 2013, or WSIS+10? Possibly.

If not the ITU, as the CSTD has WSIS-related outcomes as one of its activities, and given the role India proposes CSTD play in the formation of the CIRP, perhaps a variation of the CIRP proposal may turn up at CSTD or ECOSOC in 2012.

One thing we can be sure of, CIRP, or its offspring, will turn up at some UN-related forum again in the future.

UNGA Second Committee discusses Internet issues

On 26 October 2011, the UNGA Second Committee discussed three documents of interest to the Internet community as part of agenda item 16, Information and communication technologies for development:

  • A/66/77-E/2011/103 Report of the Secretary-General on enhanced cooperation on public policy issues pertaining to the Internet
  • A/66/67-E/2011/79 Report of the Working Group on Improvements to the Internet Governance Forum
  • A/66/64-E/2011/77 Report of the Secretary-General on progress made in the implementation of and follow-up to the outcomes of the World Summit on the Information Society at the regional and international levels

First, a little bit of context

The Second Committee’s discussion was only days before the Working Group on Improvements to the Internet Governance Forum (CSTD WG) convenes for its third meeting in Geneva, 31 October – 2 November 2011). (As a member of the CSTD WG, I’ll be blogging about its activities next week, so stay tuned.)

The Committe’s discussion on enhanced cooperation comes in the wake of IBSA work on Internet governance in September and earlier this month. Following an IBSA Seminar on Global Internet Governance, 1-2 September 2011, IBSA issued a set of draft recommendations on Internet governance, in which they called for a new UN body to house the Internet governance enhanced cooperation process.

The draft recommendations resulted in a flurry of discussion in the Internet governance community:

Following the large amount of time spent on discussing the IBSA proposal at IGF, the language used by IBSA about Internet governance in its October Tshwane Declaration (paragraphs 52-55) was significantly toned down, but still was the cause of much discussion in the Internet community.

The Second Committee’s discussion on World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) follow-up took place after recent decisions by the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) 2011 Council to take the lead within UNGIS on a multistakeholder WSIS+10 process, but to keep its own newly renamed Working Group on International Internet-related Public Policy Issues open to Member States only.

Note:

    While all workings of the Working Group on International Internet-related Public Policy Issues will remain closed to non-Member States, there is the opportunity for other Internet stakeholders to submit input as part of “open consultations” called by the WG.

Discussions at Second Committee on 26 October 2011

Below are some of the more interesting extracts from the long UN press release, with some initial reactions from me:

1. Role of UN in Internet governance

“HAIYAN QIAN, Director, Division for Public Administration and Development Management, Department of Economic and Social Affairs, said that five years after the World Summit on Information Society, there was no common perspective on how to achieve enhanced cooperation on Internet-related international public policy issues. However, cooperation would be helpful on a wide range of key policy issues, including cybercrime, privacy and capacity-building, she said, adding that, although opinions differed on the most appropriate mechanisms, there was agreement on shared principles. While authority over Internet-related public policy issues was the sovereign right of States, management of the Internet should continue to follow a multi-stakeholder approach, she said, adding that consultations had reaffirmed the facilitating role of the United Nations in the relevant policymaking.”

My thoughts: It’s encouraging to see DESA referring to the UN’s role as playing a “facilitating”, rather than authoritative, role in Internet governance-related public policy issues. This is in the spirit of the multistakeholder approach to Internet governance agreed to at WSIS.

2. Information technology and the Millennium Development Goals (MDG) deadline

“YUSRA KHAN (Indonesia), speaking on behalf of the Association of South-East Asian Nations (ASEAN) and associating himself with the Group of 77 and China, said information and communications technology was a key driver of economic and social transformation. With barely four years left to meet the Millennium Development Goals, it was important to harness effectively its full potential as a strategic tool to help in meeting development goals.”

My thoughts: Will the looming 2015 MDG deadline, CSTD WG deliberations on how to better help the IGF better accomplish development goals, plus upcoming meetings like the ITU 2012 World Conference on International Telecommunications (WCIT) and 2013 World Telecommunication/ICT Policy Forum (WTPF) refocus Internet governance discussions in a more strongly developmental direction? The increasingly crowded calender of Internet governance related international events, while aiming to help progress issues, can paradoxically hinder progress. This is because no stakeholder group, whether they be government, civil society, business or technical, have the resources to track all activities at the exploding number of Internet governance related forums. When this happens, it’s very possible that balls get dropped. Yes, one of the suggested improvements for IGF being discussed at the CSTD WG is having IGF be the lynchpin for connecting and sharing various Internet governance discussions, for the IGF Secretariat to attend other Internet governance meetings and disseminate IGF materials to all relevant parties. But to achieve this, the IGF is going to have to find a lot more funding in a world where the UN has across-the-board budget cuts, and other stakeholder groups are similarly financially stretched across competing, worthy projects.

3. The future of IGF

“FÁBIO FARIAS (Brazil), associating himself with the Group of 77 and China, […] Calling for more investment in broadband infrastructure, he said that in light of the Internet’s standing as a global facility, according to the World Summit, its governance should be multilateral, transparent and democratic, with the full involvement of all Governments, the private sector, civil society and international organizations. The Internet Governance Forum should continue to focus on policy dialogue, on Internet governance and on creating mechanisms for greater participation by representatives of different stakeholders from developing countries, he said. It should also produce clear outputs of its discussions in order to fulfil the goal of contributing to the shaping of policies on the various actors involved in Internet governance.”

My thoughts: I’m not sure about the use of “multilateral”, given, within the same sentence, Brazil talks about involving stakeholders outside government as well. Brazil has been consistently supporting the need for more clear outputs in the CSTD WG, so no surprises here. Also no surprises that the UK and Sweden stated their support for leveraging the multistakeholder IGF for enhancing Internet development. For the UK and Sweden’s statements, see the very bottom of the UN press release.

4. The call for a UN Committee on enhanced cooperation

“DUSHYANT SINGH (India) proposed the establishment of a new institutional mechanism within the United Nations for global Internet-related policies, to be called the United Nations Committee for Internet-Related Policies. The goal of such a mechanism would not be to control the Internet, but to ensure that the Internet was governed in an open, democratic, inclusive and participatory manner. The proposed committee would take on the task of developing international public policies to ensure coordination and coherence in cross-cutting Internet-related global issues, and addressing Internet-related developmental issues, among others. He said that his multi-ethnic, multicultural country, as a democratic society with an open economy and an abiding culture of pluralism, emphasized the importance of strengthening the Internet as a vehicle for openness, democracy, freedom of expression, human rights, diversity, inclusiveness and socio-economic growth. The governance of such an unprecedented global medium that embodied those values should be similarly inclusive, democratic, participatory, multilateral and transparent in nature, he said, emphasizing that India attached great importance to the preservation of the Internet as an unrestricted, open, and free global medium that flourished through private innovation and individual creativity. In order create the proposed committee, India called for the establishment of a working group to draw up the detailed terms, under the auspices of the Commission on Science and Technology for Development.”

My thoughts: So of the IBSA countries, neither Brazil nor South Africa mentioned the enhanced cooperation body that caused so much consternation after their draft recommendations in September this year. But India still supports it. Being totally selfish, I’m hoping this proposal for yet another CSTD WG doesn’t derail the CSTD WG on IGF improvements discussion next week. I also wonder how India’s proposal for this new committee interacts with ITU’s work on Internet public policy issues through its own Working Group on International Internet-related Public Policy Issues and its discussions on Internet policy at WCIT and WTPF. The last thing any of us need is yet another body that duplicates (even partially) the work of another existing Internet governance body or forum.

5. Critical Internet resources

“XIE XIAOWU (China), endorsing the statement made on behalf of the Group of 77 and China, […] He stressed that States had the sovereign right to make decisions on any Internet-related public policy issues, adding that though the United Nations should play an active role in Internet governance, the principles of multilateralism, democracy, and transparency, should be respected. Efforts should also be made to include developing countries on an equal footing in the management of key Internet resources, he said, emphasizing that every State and individual was entitled to an information society that benefitted all citizens.”

My thoughts: It wouldn’t be an Internet governance discussion without someone referring to ICANN/IANA being based on US government contract. China’s 2010 Internet white paper states that it “maintains that all countries have equal rights in participating in the administration of the fundamental international resources of the Internet, and a multilateral and transparent allocation system should be established on the basis of the current management mode, so as to allocate those resources in a rational way and to promote the balanced development of the global Internet industry.” So the statement made by China at the Second Committee is merely a reaffirmation of its stance.

Where to from here?

The deadline for draft resolutions on item 16, Information and communication technologies for development, is 28 October 2011. Watch this space…

Georgia supports UN’s involvement in international cybersecurity

On 11 October 2011, during the UN General Assembly (UNGA) First Committee general debate, Georgia noted its concern about rapidly evolving cybersecurity risks, and stated its support for UN and UNGA First Committee to include activities on cybersecurity. Georgia’s statement follows China’s statement in the same First Committee, on 7 October, about the the reasons it had worked on a draft international code of conduct for information security with Russia, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan.

The extract about cybersecurity from Georgia’s statement to the First Committee follows:

ALEXANDER LOMAIA (Georgia) : […] New threats, including cyber-attacks, had emerged and were evolving rapidly, he said. The United Nations and the First Committee should contribute to scrutinising the problem and raising awareness and understanding of that challenge, by providing an essential platform for elaborating mechanisms and instruments aimed at diffusing that threat

For a full summary of the First Committee’s discussions during the 11 October general debate, see the UN press release:

ITU Council 2011 to discuss Internet issues

On Thursday 13 October 2011, the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) Council during its 2011 session will discuss four important issues of relevance to Internet governance:

As the ITU is a union, the documents for the Council meeting are only available to its paying members (Member States, Sector Members, etc). But below is a brief overview of the four issues that will be discussed and why they’re important to the wider Internet governance ecosystem.

1. Implementing WSIS outcomes

WSIS was the process that spawned the Internet Governance Forum (IGF). But the WSIS Tunis Agenda also specified a number of “action lines” to be pursued at the local, national, regional and international levels in the wake of the 2005 Tunis meeting. These action lines include issues like “the role of public governance authorities and all stakeholders in the promotion of ICTs for development”, “capacity building”, and “international and regional cooperation”. There are yearly meetings to discuss how these action lines are being pursued, with potentially another summit (as large as the initial Geneva and Tunis summits) to be held in 2014 or 2015 to mark ten years since the Tunis Summit.

There are three WSIS-related documents being discussed at the ITU Council meeting in 2011:

  • Contribution 33: Summary of the 18th meeting of the Council Working Group on WSIS (by Chair of the Working Group)
  • Contribution 61: Elaboration of a working definition of the term “ICT” (by Russia)
  • Contribution 74: Draft new resolution – ITU’s role in the final stage of WSIS implementation and follow-up activities after WSIS+10 (by Russia)

While none of these three documents are directly related to Internet governance, they do have an indirect relationship:

  • The Council Working Group (WG) on WSIS is open to ITU Member States only. ITU Sector Members cannot participate. Within the context of ITU processes, this makes perfect sense: the Council is open to Member States only, therefore it is logical for the Council’s WGs to also be open to Member States only. The potential anachronism arises from the topic of the WG’s work: WSIS. As the larger WSIS process has become open to multistakeholders, having ITU, one of the key bodies involved in managing the WSIS process, limit its WSIS discussions to only Member States can be seen as at odds with the spirit of WSIS. The Internet governance sphere, as one of the topics of contention during WSIS, 2003 to 2005, is therefore indirectly affected by how WSIS implementers choose to adopt, or not adopt, multistakeholder principles.
  • The proposal to develop a definition of “ICT” has ramifications for the Internet. Depending on how narrow or broad the definition is, it will have an effect on where and how Internet governance issues are discussed and decided upon.

2. Dedicated Group on international Internet-related public policy issues

The Dedicated Group (DG) is an offshoot of the ITU Council’s WSIS WG. As such, its deliberations have also been limited to ITU Member State representatives. Since the DG’s creation in 2009, it has discussed a number of topics of interest to the wider body of Internet governance stakeholders, including internationalized domain names, ccTLDs, IP address management, and IPv6 security. As a result of the ITU Plenipotentiary in October 2010, where the ITU recognized the role of stakeholders in the wider Internet community, the DG is to hold open consultations with other stakeholders. The Council’s discussions on how these open consultations will be conducted, therefore, will be of interest to the wider Internet community.

The two DG-related documents under discussion on 13 October 2011 are:

  • Contribution 33 Addendum 1: Report of the fifth meeting of the Dedicated Group on international Internet-related public policy issues (by Chair of DG)
  • Contribution 72: Terms of Reference of the Dedicated Group on international Internet-related public policy issues (by Saudi Arabia)

3. ITU update on Internet activities (Res 101, 102, 133, 180)

The ITU includes a number of Internet-related activities in its Study Groups, workshops and trainings. Three of its most recent resolutions from Plenipotentiary 2010 that provide Member State authorization for these activities are:

  • Resolution 101: Internet Protocol-based networks
  • Resolution 102: ITU’s role with regard to international public policy issues pertaining to the Internet and the management of Internet resources, including domain names and addresses
  • Resolution 133: Roles of administrations of Member States in the management of Internationalized (multilingual) domain names

During the discussions on the morning of 13 October 2011, the Council will discuss the ITU’s Internet-related activities in the past year, including NGN work, the Internet of Things, child online protection, and cloud computing:

  • Contribution 31: ITU Internet activities: Resolutions 101, 102, and 133 (by ITU Secretary General)

4. IPv4 to IPv6 transition

The ITU has been discussing their role, and the role of their Member States, in the Internet’s transition to IPv6 in a number of its forums. It has the IPv6 Group, and it has also help workshops on IPv6, as well as discussed IPv6 at meetings such as the 2010 World Telecommunications Development Forum.

The latest resolution by Member States that endorses ITU involvement in the transition to IPv6 was passed at the 2010 Plenipotentiary, Resolution 180: Facilitating the transition from IPv4 to IPv6. ITU Council 2011 will discuss the ITU’s IPv6 activities in the year since Resolution 180 was passed:

  • Contribution 32: Facilitating the transition from IPv4 to IPv6 as requested in Resolution 180 (by ITU Secretary General)

How to follow the ITU 2011 Council discussions on Internet matters

For those with ITU TIES accounts, you can view the draft time management plan and listen to the webcast in the six UN languages. For those without TIES accounts, ITU publishes news of its activities in its Newsroom.

UPDATE 13 OCTOBER 2011: As Veni Markovski very rightly pointed out to me, he is tweeting the ITU Council meeting from @veni. He also tweets a lot of other very interesting content, so well worth following.