I trace the failure of Dubai back to the decision to cut corners on the expert group that was to prepare for the conference. A delegate who was a participant-observer reaches a similar conclusion.
Consensus-based decisions take time. Principles must be understood, positions presented, compromises made. Throughout the process, enlightenment occurs at various times and in varying ways. Individually we consent to the will of the group. We accept the decision, because it is one we have made.
Complex issues require even more time, especially when they interact. Such was the case of this Conference that covered areas like accessibility, energy efficiency, e-waste, liberalized markets, expanded regulation, mobile roaming, human rights, and of course the Internet. In the end, there simply wasn’t enough time to bring everyone together on all the issues. Outcome was selected over consensus. Efficiency prioritized over understanding. Majority imposition over free choice. There is a lesson here if we choose to recognize it.