Delegates  representing  the  United  States  at  the  International  Telecommunications  Union   (ITU)  Plenipotentiary Conference in Busan, South Korea applauded a working group agreement on a set of resolutions that  affirm the current multi-stakeholder approach to Internet governance and the right of individual  states to take the lead on web network governance issues within their respective national  boundaries.

The resolutions, approved on Wednesday, push back recent efforts by China, Russia and other nations  to mandate a centralized international governance model for the Internet with the ITU at the head.  At the December 2012 ITU World Conference on International Telecommunications, members of the U.S.  delegation refused to ratify a treaty to update the ITU International Telecommunications  Regulations after conferees agreed to add a resolution to conduct further discussions on a proposed  centralized governance model for the Internet. Fearing that the non-binding resolution would open  the door to future worldwide regulation of the Internet, U.S. Ambassador Terry Kramer proclaimed  the U.S. stance at the time that “no single organization or government should attempt to control  the Internet or dictate its future development.”

Described by ad hoc working group chairman Fabio Bigi as a “very carefully negotiated and  delicately balanced package,” the resolutions address (1) IP-based networks, (2) the ITU’s role with respect to domain name and  other international policy issues that pertain to Internet resources and management, (3) the role  of member state governments over domain name management, and (4) the transition of Internet  networks from IP version 4 to IP version 6 (IPv6). Language adopted for the resolution on the ITU’s  role maintains that “the public sector, as well as public-private and regional initiatives,  continues to play a very important role in the expansion and development of the Internet.” The  resolution further acknowledges “the need for development of international public policy by  governments in consultation with all stakeholders.” With respect to future IPv6 networks, the  resolution stresses that “the involvement of all stakeholders is critical for a successful  transition.”

Conferees, meanwhile, turned down a proposed resolution, championed by India, that would have  directed the ITU Telecommunications Standardization Bureau to explore the “development of [a]  naming and numbering system from which the naming and numbering of different countries are easily  discernible.” Among other things, the  rejected resolution would have also required the bureau to  make recommendations on “network capability which ensure effectively that address resolution for  the traffic originating and intended to be terminated by the user in the same county/region takes  place within the country/region.”  Praising the working group’s efforts, a U.S. spokesman described  the resolutions as “the soul of a positive environment of compromise” which “will help guide us over the next four  years.”