We have agreed that PPI should participate in various UN agencies in order to advance our cause.
Based on some thinking, and on a good discussion with Koen, here is where I think that PPI should try to participate.
WIPO for intellectual property issues, and to a lesser degree WHO and WTO since they also discuss those issues.
HRC (Human Rights Council) for freedom of speech, privacy, ending mass surveillance. And to a lesser degree ITU.
IPU (Inter Parliamentary Union) for democracy, good governance, transparency of governments. And to a lesser degree HRC.
WSIS for the "information society", which includes the core issues of interest to the Pirate Party.
Regarding participation formalities, I have initiated the request to obtain ECOSOC observer status. Once we have that, we can participate in HRC, UNESCO, and many other UN agencies. But that won't be until 2017.
Participation in WIPO will be possible if they accept Pirates Without Borders.
I've asked for information on participation in WHO and IPU.
Participation in WTO is purely informal, so I don't think that we need to do anything other than to get in touch with the secretariat and ask them to invite us when they have open forums.
Anybody can join ITU, but you have to pay a membership fee which is far too high for PPI. An organization such as PPI can ask for exemption from membership fees, but right now they are reviewing their process for evaluation those requests and they are not granting new requests for exemptions. I attend relevant ITU meetings anyway, so I suggest that we re-evaluate ITU later.
WSIS is a very open process, all we need to do is to register for the next WSIS Forum in 2016. I can take care of that. If we had registered for a previous WSIS Forum, then we could have made inputs to the formal WSIS+10 Review that will take place at the end of this year. But it is too late for that now.
I now have the information for WHO on participation. Formal participation is only possible for organizations that are directly active in health in one way or another. But other organizations can participate informally. That's actually good for us, because we won't have to go through any formal registration process. The question is what, if any, WHO activities do we wish to participate in.
The obvious hook is patent reform. The TPPA provisions call for extended patents on new medicines. These are a threat to the health of poorer nations.
Indeed. But the TIPP, the TPP, and the TISA negotiations are all kept secret, so we have no chance of influencing them, whether through WTO or through WIPO. The best chance of influencing them is at the national level. And via the European Union. The European Parliament has discussed the matter and we are represented there by Julia Reda. But more efforts at the national level would be helpful.
I received the following comments from Thomas Gault:
WHO is broad in its aspects, but I believe some things have to be monitored and might fit into the ideas of PPI. Even if some view to see it fitting might be cripelled.
I do hope the ECOSOC oberserver status will run smooth in the process. As I do have as an aim HRC, UNESCO etc. (Personally, I would be into human rights :) )
I would also recommend to include IGF in this picture Richard.
IGF is the Internet Governance Forum. It is true that many of the issues of interest to Pirate are discussed in the context of Internet governance, but the IGF is only one of the forums in which such discussions take place.
I have a personal grudge against the IGF so I will not participate in it.
Also, I'm not convinced that it is an effective place in which to lobby for change. I think that the WSIS process might be more effective.
PPBR are organising an Internet UNgovernment Forum