Geneva - Matthew Shears made the following statement on behalf of CDT at the Informal Experts Group meeting in preparation for the ITU's World Telecommunication Policy Forum, to be held this May in Geneva:
CDT would like to thank the ITU and its members for ensuring that the process of contributing to the Secretary General's report and the draft opinions for the WTPF has been open. It has been a pleasure participating in this process. We hope that this spirit of openness will extend to all ITU work in the future.
While the WTPF is designed to foster debate and build multi-stakeholder consensus, the mechanisms for participation in the forum itself do not allow for true “multi-stakeholder consensus” or inclusive debate as civil society does not have the ability to participate in its own right as a distinct stakeholder grouping.
We appreciated the multi-stakeholder nature of many of the delegations at the WCIT and look forward to being able to contribute further in that manner, but it is important that in these and future discussions civil society also has the ability to contribute as an independent voice.
Civil society brings incredibly valuable technical, human rights, and policy insights and expertise to deliberations such as these. CDT believes that civil society should be able to bring this expertise to the WTPF in May and make its views heard and included in a meaningful way.