I look back on a very productive Plenipotentiary meeting of the International Telecommunication Union in Busan on October/November 2014.
With the decisions adopted the ITU confirms to be willing to work on issues of Internet governance within its remit and within the existing ecosystem. This is good news, as it allows the various stakeholders to make the necessary changes from within the system. This fits very well with the opinion expressed by various EU representatives over the last few months.
The ITU member states also agreed on a review of the need to have a revision of the International Telecommunications Regulations. While the European Union does not see the merit of starting such a review even before the new rules are operational, I think that the outcome is a reasonable compromise. I can only hope that a next discussion on this will be limited to the technical aspects of these resolutions and not be used as a platform for inappropriate political discussions.
Various technical issues came to the table, such as flight tracking and electromagnetic fields. Also in this case the member states were wise to refer the technical issues to the experts, the spectrum colleagues and the World Health Organisation respectively.
I was particularly glad to see the political resolutions on the Ukraine and Palestine being decided without split voting within the ITU.
Finally, it is good to see that a new management team has been elected from 1 January 2015 onwards. The Chinese Secretary-General Zhao will benefit from the support of two experienced European colleagues, Malcolm Johnson and François Rancy. I look forward to working with them over the next four years.
For a more detailed view on the outcome you can read the Final acts of the Plenipotentiary Conference (pdf).