Robert Shaw of ITU responded to the question of ITU's further involvement in DNS-oversight by saying that member states will look into the matter at their session next year. Shaw is critical of various ICANN decisions like the decision to give both the registry and registrar functions to VeriSign for the .com, .net and .org domains (details at heise.de).
The joint organizing of a conference on multilingual domains may in itself be seen as suggesting a more intensive involvement of the ITU in domain name issues in the future. Differences between ICANN and various Asian governments on the introduction of multilingual domain names could prove a catalyst to a renewed discussion on the best model for DNS-oversight.
At the conference several representatives from Asian ccTLD-registries like Young-Eum Lee, from KrNIC talked about the need for a wider distribution of authority. Prof. Tan Tin Wee, Vice President of MINC demanded to "demythologize the unique root" and proposed a "unique distributed root with coordinated multiple authorities". From the perspective of the non-English-speaking community the next steps would be to "devolve authority and responsibility" and to "deploy a coordination process".
As part of a "conservative central-control approach" he also discussed the possibility of the integration of a IDN-supporting organization. Interesting to note, that the ITU-briefing paper heavily relied on some of the proposals from Asian representatives. "But only the less controversial ones", said Shaw.
Tan took a step back from his quite aggressive speech after a lengthy talk with ICANN's at-large director Masanobu Katoh. Katoh is in charge of ICANN's IDN working group.
No answer was given during the conference to the question of what place ICANN should take in a model of distributed authority, and whether there is then a need for a new oversight body on top of the "multiple authorities". ICANN director Jonathan Cohen said the ITU seems to be "sowing the seeds".
All papers from the conference can be found here.