ITU embraces multistakeholderism

Proving that you can teach an old dog new tricks, the ITU embraced multi-stakeholderism today, as the picture below proves.

Forming a huddle in order to find a suitably worded fudge and so prevent Saudi Arabia from stamping its foot any harder, ITU Secretary-General Hamadoun Toure found himself discussing a solution to an impasse over wording by taking views from civil society (Wolfgang Kleinwacher) and business (Marilyn Cade) as well as a number of government representatives.

And following the grand tradition of multistakeholderism, the end result was a semantic fudge that makes no real sense, added additional words, could not be practically applied, and left everyone uncertain as to what it actually means. ICANN's CEO is said to be preparing a congratulatory email.

Coming out of the huddle, Toure told us he felt energized by the whole experience. "Normally I would just tell anyone who was not a government representative an unrelated story, or a mildly sexist African proverb and hope they were suitably confused to stop asking questions," he told us.

"But this time, I really engaged with them, despite the colors of their badges, and I was glad I did. We reached a nonsensical compromise in record time thanks to the long-held experience of civil society for using eight words when one will do. Business was also superb when it came to mindless obfuscation."

The feeling was mutual with the non-government actors. "Dr Toure stood there, listened to me, repeated back what I'd said and even came up with his own non-sequitur. This is a great day for mutual co-operation."


Much ado about muffing

Andy Borowitz couldn't have done a better job of farcical reporting!