ITU World Telecommunication Policy Forum (WTPF 2009)

As a Sector Member of the ITU, Internet Society participates in the consensus-building process of many ITU activities. At the 2006 Plenipotentiary Conference, the ITU decided to hold a World Telecommunications Policy Forum in 2009.

At its 2006 Plenipotentiary Conference, the ITU decided to convene the fourth World Telecommunication Policy Forum in Geneva, in the first quarter of 2009, on a range of topics that were contentious during the conference. The Plenipotentiary resolution (Decision 9: Antalya, 2006) defined the subject matter of the WTPF in the following way:

  • that convergence, including Internet-related public policy matters, is one of the topics of high current interest to ITU Member States and Sector Members;
  • that the continued development of convergence, next-generation networks, and Internet also has significant implications for several domains, particularly for capacity building, especially in developing countries;
  • that a study of emerging telecommunications policy and regulatory issues is also amongst the topics of high current interest to ITU Member States and Sector Members;
  • that a study of new and emerging issues concerning the International Telecommunication Regulations (as referred to in Resolution 146: Antalya, 2006) is also among the topics of high current interest to ITU Member States and Sector Members.
Preparations for WTPF 2009

The Secretary-General, who is head of the ITU, was instructed by the Plenipotentiary to organize the WTPF. To assist him, he invited an “Informal Expert Group” (IEG) to help prepare the final report of the Conference. The Internet Society is a member of the IEG and has actively participated to this informal group. ITU staff has prepared a series of drafts of the report, each subject to a round of comments from the IEG. The drafts are posted to the ITU web site for review by Member States and Associate Members.

The final Secretary General’s report should be published in March 2009. A more detailed agenda for the Forum is also under preparation. In addition, a one-day Information Session on “The implication of the financial crisis on the ICT sector” will be organized the day before the WTPF, which will be an opportunity for expert speakers to educate attendees about the subject matter of the Forum. The final outcome of the Forum will be the Chair’s report, based on the IEG’s opinions and the discussions occurred during the Forum.


Following is the schedule for the preparatory process outlined by the ITU:

  • 1 March 2009: Final Report of the Secretary-General and deadline for its publication.
  • 1 April 2009: Deadline for submitting written views the IEG’s opinions.
  • 20 April 2009: Meeting of the Informal Expert Group.
  • 21 April 2009: Information Session.
  • 22-24 April 2009: World Telecommunication Policy Forum 2009.

In preparation of the Secretary-General’s report, five major themes have developed, each accompanied by a short issue statement and bibliography on the ITU web site (see: Online resources and articles). These are:

  • Convergence
  • Internet-related public policy issues
  • Next-generation networks (NGN)
  • Emerging telecommunication policy and regulatory issues
  • International Telecommunication Regulations

The agenda included a range of topics related to the Internet, so Internet Society played an active part in the development of the WTPF as a member of the ITU’s “Informal Expert Group” and sent a delegation to the event in Lisbon, Portugal in April 2009. Follow the links below for Internet Society’s full range of community consultations in advance of the Forum and the formal submissions we made to inform discussions.

Date and Time

Tuesday 21 April 2009 –

Friday 24 April 2009