Indian statement on ITU and Internet at the Working Group Plenary

Statement from Indian Head of Delegation, Mr Ram Narain for WGPL

Chairman of Working Group Plenary, Mr Musab Abdulla, Head of Delegations, delegates, ladies and gentlemen, good morning to you all. I was indeed impressed with the camaraderie with which discussions were held inspite of the fact that delegates discussing the issues have different cultures, languages, nuances, impressions and sometimes, interests.
Governance of Packet switched data Telecom Networks based on Internet Protocol (IP), popularly known as Internet, has become an important and contentious issue due to several reasons known to all of us. We proposed a draft resolution to address some of these key issues pertaining to IP based networks. When we put up the proposal, I had thought that the proposal would contribute in diminishing some of the differences. These issues and their probable solutions are given in our draft resolution, document 98, about which we were ready to take constructive inputs.

Information is power these days. The wise Lord Acton said about hundred and fifty years ago that Power tends to corrupt and absolute power corrupts absolutely. The countries in modern times have become great on the principles of equality, liberty and justice. As and when these principles were compromised great powers lost their hold. Broadband penetration and connectivity has been the important running theme of this conference. We believe this, like great empires, can only be built on the principles of fairness, justice, and equality. No Telecom Network whether IP based or otherwise can function without naming and numbering, which is the lifeline of a network. Their availability in a fair, just and equitable manner, therefore, is an important public policy issue and needs to be dealt that way. We believe that respecting the principle of sovereignty of information through network functionality and global norms will go a long way in increasing the trust and confidence in use of ICT.

There are number of existing Internet related resolutions, but they only touch the issue in general and, therefore, without focus concrete action does not happen. Our Resolution was with a view to deal with the issues in a focused manner. Some countries supported our draft resolution, while some others were not able to support it. Some stated since the proposal is a comprehensive one, dealing with a number of important issues, more time is needed for them to develop a view on it. Due to the number of proposals with Ad-hoc group lined up before our draft resolution, there was no time left for detailed discussion on the proposal. Therefore, India agreed not to press the resolution for discussion due to paucity of time, with an understanding that for these issues of concerns for many Member States, contributions can be made in various fora dealing with development of IP based networks and future networks, including ITU. India would like that discussion should take place on these issues and we look forward to these discussions. We would request that this Statement is included in the records of plenipotentiary-14 meeting.

We would like to express our thanks for the cooperation extended by various Member States, particularly USA, for appreciating our concerns and all those who shared our concerns and supported the draft resolution. I would also like to thank Mr Fabio Bigi, Chairman of Adhoc Working Group for giving patient hearing to all us and tolerating all our idiosyncrasies and still arriving at consensus. This is because of his wisdom, which comes with experience.

Thank you all.

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One thought on “Indian statement on ITU and Internet at the Working Group Plenary

  1. Pingback: Contestations of Data, ECJ Safe Harbor Ruling and Lessons for India – Jyoti Panday

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