What to Watch at the ITU Plenipotentiary Conference 2014

On October 20th, 2014, the world’s governments convened in Busan, South Korea for the International Telecommunication Union’s (ITU) Plenipotentiary Conference (usually called “Plenipot”). During this three week conference (running through November 7) held every four years, member states of the ITU will set the strategic direction and focus areas for the intergovernmental organization for the next four years, examine financial plans, elect new members of the Secretariat leadership, and revise the ITU’s Constitution, Charter, and Bylaws as necessary.

While the Plenipot is usually a relatively administrative conference, there is a sense that the 2014 meeting may revisit many of the controversial issues and contentious debates of the World Conference on International Telecommunications (WCIT), an extraordinary treaty conference the ITU hosted in 2012 in order to update the 1988 International Telecommunications Regulations (ITRs). More information and analysis of the WCIT can be found here: https://www.accessnow.org/wcit

While the ITU has taken some positive steps recently toward increased transparency and inclusivity, it remains a largely opaque institution where only governments have a voice. As such, it’s difficult to know what exactly is being proposed.

Click here to download and read Access’ Plenipot policy brief, “What to Watch at the ITU Plenipotentiary Conference 2014,” an overview of the top procedural and substantive concerns to look out for at the Plenipot as well as recommendations for relevant and productive areas for the ITU to focus its work on in the coming four years.