The Foreign Service Journal - September 2014 - page 16

dent Fadi Chehadé has actively involved
civil society, Internet groups and other
organizations, as well as governments,
in the transition to the new governance
model. Agenda items for the most recent
of the organization’s quarterly confer-
ences, ICANN 50, held in London in
June, included Internet Governance, the
IANA Transition and Stewardship, and
ICANN Transparency and Accountabil-
ity. (ICANN 51 will be held in Los Angeles
from Oct. 12-16.)
Another venue for debate about
these issues was the April NETmundial
conference in São Paulo, which brought
together more than 1,200 government
officials, technical experts and represen-
tatives of nongovernmental organizations
and businesses from 97 countries.
in its detailed
readout, for all the grandiose talk of “a
new beginning” in Internet governance,
most participants expressed the view that
the Web works rather well as things stand.
Rafal Trzaskowski, Poland’s minister in
charge of information technology, warned
his colleagues: “Any changes must pre-
serve the principle of ‘do no harm.’”
Milton Mueller, a noted Internet
scholar at Syracuse University, quipped
that replacing the Commerce Department
with some “multistakeholder commit-
tee,” itself in need of supervision lest it be
captured by vested interests, would be a
step toward “an infinite regress.”
Vinton Cerf, one of the Internet’s
founders and now the vice president of
Google, was more blunt: “Don’t screw it
up,” he implored the high-level commit-
tee that drafted the summit’s concluding
document on the basis of hundreds of
submissions received prior to and during
the proceedings.
The final NETmundial declaration, a
non-binding document, stipulates that
human rights must be observed online
as much as off, but that the properties
which have let the Web blossom must
be preserved. It gives a nod to some con-
crete ideas, such as separating ICANN’s
policymaking role from the day-to-day
ust in time for the United Nations General Assembly’s
annual convocation later this month, the organiza-
tion has launched the new website of the
Yearbook of
the United Nations
), the main
reference work on UN activities.
Since 1946, the
has served
as the authoritative source of information
on the United Nations system, offering
comprehensive coverage of political and
security matters, human rights issues, and
economic and social questions, as well as
assorted legal, institutional, administrative
and budgetary matters. The website made
its debut in 2008.
The new and improved version boasts
a powerful search engine and enhanced
readability across all platforms and mobile
devices. A scrolling gallery of
cover art provides
clickable access to each of the 63 published
“Yearbook Pre-press,” a new feature, offers a look at
Yearbooks currently in production, with draft
chapters and detailed chapter research outlines added
regularly. Another feature is “Yearbook Express,” an online-
only publication comprising all
chapter intro-
ductions as well as the annual secretary-general’s report
on the work of the organization, in the six official United
Nations languages.
You’ll also find an expanded “Yearbook
News” section with background on
stories. This complements the live
feed from the
Twitter account,
with its historical perspective on current
United Nations issues. Finally, an “About the
Yearbook” section provides an overview of
the latest published edition, as well as a look
back at the past 68 cover designs.
The new website was developed jointly
by the Knowledge Solutions and Design
Section and the Yearbook Unit of the U.N.’s
Department of Public Information. The
web-development team built the site using open-source
software, providing improved functionality at substantial
savings to the organization.
Readers and researchers are encouraged to visit the
new website and to use the “Contact” function to provide
feedback about their experience.
—Steven Alan Honley, Contributing Editor
Yearbook of the United Nations
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