ITU: PP-14 Will Be Open, Transparent

ITU Secretary General Dr. Hamadoun Touré has received and is considering a request by Public Knowledge and other civil society groups to make more documents and sessions available to outside groups at the upcoming Plenipotentiary conference (PP-14) in Busan, South Korea from Oct. 20-Nov. 7. That is a quadrennial conference at which international telecommunications policy is reviewed and set.

That is according to Sarah Parkes, chief of media and public information for the conference, on a conference call with reporters Monday.

The groups wrote to Secretary General Touré asking him to provide more access to plenary and committee sessions.

"We encourage the ITU to openly share its documents and procedures with the public," they said. "Opening the Committee Sessions for observers, organizing regular briefings and creating an online public contribution platform to host documents, information and commentary will help organizations inform the public of ITU policies affecting our digital rights."

Taking a page from the FCC, they also want the group to create an online platform for comment and contributions that could be made part of the official information delegations could take into account when making decisions.

Asked about that online platform, Parkes said she was not sure whether such a platform would be created, but said the secretary general had taken note of the request and that a response, when it was made, would be posted on the conference website.

She said that ITU would be "very open" in its dealings and pointed to the planned briefings with civil society groups.

Tomas Lamanauskas, head, corporate strategy division, for ITU said they were still working through the tough questions of which documents should be open how to get stakeholders more involved.

The previous WICT 2012 conference was criticized for transparency issues, but Parkes pointed out that the UN had declared it an "incredibly open" conference and said the upcoming conference would try to hold to that standard.

John Eggerton

Contributing editor John Eggerton has been an editor and/or writer on media regulation, legislation and policy for over four decades, including covering the FCC, FTC, Congress, the major media trade associations, and the federal courts. In addition to Multichannel News and Broadcasting + Cable, his work has appeared in Radio World, TV Technology, TV Fax, This Week in Consumer Electronics, Variety and the Encyclopedia Britannica.