CONSTITUTION AND CONVENTION OF THE INTERNATIONAL TELECOMMUNICATION UNIONSenate Consideration of Treaty Document 104-34
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[Senate Treaty Document 104-34] [From the U.S. Government Publishing Office] 104th Congress Treaty Doc. SENATE 2d Session 104-34 _______________________________________________________________________ CONSTITUTION AND CONVENTION OF THE INTERNATIONAL TELECOMMUNICATION UNION ---------- MESSAGE from THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES transmitting CONSTITUTION AND CONVENTION OF THE INTERNATIONAL TELECOMMUNICATION UNION (ITU), WITH ANNEXES, SIGNED AT GENEVA ON DECEMBER 22, 1992, AND AMENDMENTS TO THE CONSTITUTION AND CONVENTION, SIGNED AT KYOTO ON OCTOBER 14, 1994, TOGETHER WITH DECLARATIONS AND RESERVATIONS BY THE UNITED STATES AS CONTAINED IN THE FINAL ACTS September 13, 1996.--Constitution and Convention was read the first time and, together with the accompanying papers, referred to the Committee on Foreign Relations and ordered to be printed for the use of the Senate. CONSTITUTION AND CONVENTION OF THE INTERNATIONAL TELECOMMUNICATION UNION 104th Congress Treaty Doc. SENATE 2d Session 104-34 _______________________________________________________________________ CONSTITUTION AND CONVENTION OF THE INTERNATIONAL TELECOMMUNICATION UNION __________ MESSAGE from THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES transmitting CONSTITUTION AND CONVENTION OF THE INTERNATIONAL TELECOMMUNICATION UNION (ITU), WITH ANNEXES, SIGNED AT GENEVA ON DECEMBER 22, 1992, AND AMENDMENTS TO THE CONSTITUTION AND CONVENTION, SIGNED AT KYOTO ON OCTOBER 14, 1994, TOGETHER WITH DECLARATIONS AND RESERVATIONS BY THE UNITED STATES AS CONTAINED IN THE FINAL ACTS September 13, 1996.--Constitution and Convention was read the first time and, together with the accompanying papers, referred to the Committee on Foreign Relations and ordered to be printed for the use of the Senate. LETTER OF TRANSMITTAL ---------- The White House, September 13, 1996. To the Senate of the United States: With a view to receiving the advice and consent of the Senate to ratification, I transmit herewith the Constitution and Convention of the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), with Annexes, signed at Geneva on December 22, 1992, and amendments to the Constitution and Convention, signed at Kyoto on October 14, 1994, together with declarations and reservations by the United States as contained in the Final Acts. I transmit also, for the information of the Senate, the report of the Department of State with respect to the Constitution and Convention and the amendments thereto. The 1992 Constitution and Convention replace the ITU Convention signed in Nairobi in 1982. Prior to the 1992 Constitution and Convention, the ITU Convention had been routinely replaced at successive Plenipotentiary Conferences every 5 to 10 years. The 1992 Constitution and Convention represent the first basic instruments of the ITU intended to be permanent. Basic provisions on the organization and structure of the ITU and fundamental substantive rules governing international telecommunications matters are embodied in the Constitution. The ITU Convention is comprised of provisions on the functioning of the ITU and its constituent parts. The 1992 Constitution and Convention reflect the effort by ITU Member countries to restructure the ITU to make it more effective in responding to the changes taking place in telecommunications. The United States is pleased with the restructuring of the ITU. The changes adopted are expected to enable the ITU to meet challenges brought on by the dynamic telecommunications environment. The 1994 ITU Plenipotentiary Conference was convened less than 4 months after the entry into force of the Constitution and Convention to amend the 1992 Constitution and Convention. Recognizing that more time should be allowed to evaluate the extensive changes to the structure of the ITU, the Conference adopted only a few minor amendments, which were acceptable to the United States. In signing the 1992 Constitution and Convention and the 1994 amendments, the United States made certain declarations and reservations. The specific declarations and reservations are discussed in the report of the Department of State. The 1992 Constitution and Convention entered into force July 1, 1994, for states which, by that date, had notified the Secretary General of the ITU of their approval thereof and, in the same manner, the amendments to the Constitution and Convention entered into force on January 1, 1996. Subject to the U.S. declarations and reservations mentioned above, I believe the United States should be a party to the ITU Constitution and Convention, as amended. They will improve the efficiency of management of the ITU and will allow it to be more responsive to the needs of the United States Government and private sector. It is my hope that the Senate will take early action on this matter and give its advice and consent to ratification. William J. Clinton. LETTER OF SUBMITTAL ---------- Department of State, Washington, July 15, 1996. The President, The White House. The President: I have the honor to submit to you, with a view to transmission to the Senate for advice and consent to ratification, the Constitution and Convention of the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), with annexes, signed by the United States at a Plenipotentiary Conference at Geneva on December 22, 1992; Amendments to the Constitution and Convention, signed by the United States at Kyoto on October 14, 1994; and U.S. declarations and reservations, as contained in the Declarations and Reservations made by participating Member countries at the end of the Geneva and Kyoto Conferences. The texts of the 1992 Constitution and Convention, with annexes and U.S. declarations and reservations, are contained in a bound volume, which also includes texts of the following documents that do not require ratification by the United States: (1) declarations and reservations of other governments; (2) an Optional Protocol to the Convention; (3) Resolutions; and (4) a Recommendation. The certified English language texts of the 1992 Constitution and Convention and other Acts are submitted herewith. Certified copies of the texts in Arabic, Chinese, French, Russian, and Spanish are also available. The texts of the 1994 Amendments to the Constitution and Convention, with U.S. declarations and reservations, also are contained in a bound volume which includes other documents that do not require ratification by the United States. The certified English language texts of the 1994 Final Acts are submitted herewith. Certified copies of the texts in Arabic, Chinese, French, Russian, and Spanish are also available. The ITU, with over 180 member States, is the United Nations specialized agency responsible for international telecommunications. The ITU is the principal global forum for telecommunication standardization activities, for management and use of the radio spectrum, and for promoting and offering technical assistance in the field of telecommunications to developing countries. At their 1989 Plenipotentiary Conference, ITU Members, while adopting a Constitution and Convention, decided to create a High-Level Committee (HLC) to examine the structure and functioning of the ITU and to make recommendations on changing the ITU to ensure that it could effectively deal with the rapidly changing telecommunications environment, including the introduction of new technologies and services. The United States was one of the 21 ITU Members on the HLC. The HLC issued a report entitled ``Tomorrow's ITU: The Challenges of Change'' that recognized the rapid changes in telecommunication technologies and services and made numerous recommendations aimed at restructuring the ITU so that the ITU would continue to play its leading role in world telecommunications. The United States generally supported the recommendations of the HLC and their implementation. The 1992 Geneva Conference was convened to consider proposals by ITU Member countries concerning the restructuring of the ITU. Proposals were based on the recommendations of the HLC as well as the views of Member countries. The 1992 Conference decided to recommend that ITU Members not bring the 1989 ITU Constitution and Convention into force, but that they instead adopt full texts of a Constitution and a Convention that could be amended as necessary, by future Plenipotentiary Conferences. The basic principles regarding the organization and structure of the ITU and fundamental substantive rules governing international telecommunications are embodied in the 1992 Constitution. The 1992 Convention, which is comprised of provisions on the functioning of the ITU, is intended to be more easily modified and thus more flexible. The 1992 Constitution and Convention restructure the ITU by establishing three sectors--Radiocommunication, Telecommunication Standardization and Telecommunication Development--that replace the previous permanent organs. Each sector is headed by a Director who is elected by the Members at Plenipotentiary Conferences. The division of work among the three sectors is similar to the division under the 1982 Nairobi Convention and interim resolutions. New procedures have been added to permit more rapid consideration and adoption of recommended standards. Some issues that were previously considered radiocommunication issues are now being addressed with similar issues under the purview of the Telecommunication Standardization Sector. The restructuring is intended to enable the ITU to respond more effectively to the changing telecommunications environment and to meet the needs of Member governments and telecommunication entities that participate in the work of the Union. The meetings and conferences of the ITU are renamed and, in most cases, there are changes in their mandate. The ITU Administrative Council, which was the governing body of the ITU in the interval between plenipotentiary conferences, is now called the ITU Council. (See Constitution, Article 10.) The Council has more responsibility than did the Administrative Council to consider broad telecommunication policy issues, including the strategic plan of the ITU. Chapter II of the Constitution (Articles 12-16) sets forth the provisions concerning the Radiocommunication Sector. World Administrative Radio Conferences, which were convened as necessary to consider changes to the Radio Regulations concerning specific communication services (mobile, broadcasting, or space services) or the Radio Regulations in general, are replaced by World Radiocommunication Conferences which are held every two years to consider any subject within their competence and on the agenda. (See Article 13.) World Radiocommunication Conferences amend the Radio Regulations, which contain provisions regulating the use of the radio spectrum and geostationary orbital positions vital for the continuing operation of existing systems and for the early introduction of new and innovative radio technologies. For U.S. companies that are leading the world in the development and introduction of new services, the two-year cycle will allow proposals for the allocation of radio spectrum for these services to be introduced and considered more rapidly. Plenary Assemblies of the International Radio Consultative Committee, which were held every four years to approve recommendations, i.e., standards for radiocommunication services, are now called Radiocommunication Assemblies. They are to be held every two years in association with World Radiocommunication Conferences. (See Article 13.) The five-member, full-time elected International Frequency Registration Board, which was responsible for the examination and registration of radio frequency assignments, is replaced by an elected nine-member, part-time Radio Regulations Board within the Radiocommunication Sector. (See Article 14.) The Radio Regulations Board approves the Rules of Procedure used by the director and the bureau in applying the Radio Regulations to register frequency assignments made by Members and considers certain matters that cannot be resolved through application of the Rules of Procedure. The Telecommunication Standardization Sector is addressed in Chapter III (Articles 17-20) of the Constitution. The Plenary Assemblies of the International Telegraph and Telephone Consultative Committee, which met every four years to approve recommendations for technical, operational and tariff questions related to telecommunication services, are replaced by World Telecommunication Standardization Conferences (Article 18), which also will meet every four years. The change in title of these conferences reflects the fact that the sector now deals with a broad range of rapidly evolving telecommunications services over both the public switched network and private lines, as well as such issues as numbering plans and international settlement of accounts. Provision was also made for convening World Conferences on International Telecommunications (Article 25) at infrequent intervals to consider basic issues pertaining to the provision of telecommunications services, including those covered by the binding International Telecommunication Regulations. Chapter VI of the Constitution (Articles 21-24) covers the Telecommunications Development Sector. This sector replaces the Telecommunication Development Bureau, which was established by resolution at the 1989 Nice Plenipotentiary Conference to facilitate and enhance telecommunications development. World and regional Telecommunication Development Conferences, established by resolution in Nice, will continue to be convened. The world conferences are held approximately every four years; the frequency of regional conferences is to depend on availability of resources and need. The entities and organizations authorized to participate in the work of the sectors of the ITU were expanded by Article 19 of the Convention to include, inter alia, scientific and technical organizations, financial or development institutions and other entities dealing with telecommunication matters that are approved by member states. Certain rights and related obligations (including financial obligations) of these entities and organizations are also established in the Constitution and Convention. Pursuant to Article 19 of the Convention, the ITU Council is to develop criteria and procedures for entities dealing with telecommunication matters to participate in ITU activities. Additionally, to enhance the participation of those entities and organizations described in Article 19(1) of the Convention in the activities of the Union and to provide them a role in determining the priorities of the study groups in the Radiocommunication and Telecommunication Standardization Sectors (Convention, Articles 11 and 14), the 1992 Plenipotentiary Conference established advisory groups for those two sectors. This will help to ensure that the ITU is responsive to the needs of Member countries and to private sector participants in the ITU. In addition, the Director of the Telecommunication Development Sector is to receive advice from an advisory board (Convention, Article 18). The purpose of each Advisory Group is to review the priorities and strategies of its sector and to make recommendations to the directors. The 1992 Constitution and Convention also make significant changes to the management of the ITU designed to increase its effectiveness and responsiveness. --Articles 4 and 5 of the Convention establish a two-year budget cycle instead of the past one-year cycle and mandate the establishment of a strategic plan for the ITU. The ITU Secretariat is also instructed to prepare an annual strategic policy and planning report for the ITU Council and the ITU Council is to consider the report each year. --Article 55 of the Constitution and Article 42 of the Convention allow amendments to enter into force for countries that have ratified or approved the amendments at a date fixed by the adopting plenipotentiary conference rather than after two-thirds of the Members have deposited instruments of ratification, acceptance or approval, or accession as had been adopted at the Nice Plenipotentiary Conference. The 1994 Kyoto Plenipotentiary Conference was convened less than four months after the entry into force of the 1992 Constitution and Convention. There were a number of proposals to amend the new Constitution and Convention--to correct oversights; to refine the 1992 changes; to further restructure the ITU; and, in some instances, to revert to provisions in the earlier Convention (Nairobi, 1982). After much deliberation, the Conference rejected the vast majority of the proposals to amend the Constitution and Convention in part because there was a consensus that more time should be allowed to evaluate the extensive changes to the structure of the ITU which had only recently taken effect and in part because many of the proposals were substantively flawed. There were only minor changes made to the Constitution and Convention concerning the function of the Plenipotentiary Conference, elections, and finances. An amendment to the Convention--strongly supported by the U.S. private sector--provides for the ITU's Secretary-General to invite private sector entities and organizations described in Article 19(1) to send observers to Plenipotentiary Conferences. The changes are acceptable to the United States. Article 4 of the 1992 Constitution provides that the Constitution and Convention are ``complemented by'' the Administrative Regulations--the International Telecommunication Regulations and the Radio Regulations--``which regulate the use of telecommunications and are binding on all Members.'' Article 54 of the 1992 Constitution establishes mechanisms for the entry into force of Administrative Regulations adopted by competent World Conferences subsequent to the date of signature of the 1992 Constitution and Convention. ITU practice provides for declarations and reservations to be submitted by governments prior to signature of instruments adopted by a conference, for inclusion in the Final Acts of the conference. In 1992, the United States submitted three declarations and reservations, which are included in the 1992 Final Acts. The first (Number 68) incorporates by reference reservations and declarations from previous administrative conferences and reserves the right to make additional specific reservations at the time of deposit of its instrument of ratification to the Constitution and Convention. The full text reads as follows: The United States of America reiterates and incorporates by reference all reservations and declarations made at world administrative conferences. The United States of America does not by signature by any subsequent ratification of the Constitution and the Convention of the International Telecommunication Union (Geneva, 1992) consent to be bound by the Administrative Regulations adopted prior to the date of signature of these Final Acts. Nor shall the United States of America be deemed to have consented to be bound by revisions of the Administrative Regulations, whether partial or complete revisions, adopted subsequent to the date of signature of these Final Acts, without specific notification to the International Telecommunication Union by the United States of America of its consent to be bound. Finally, the United States of America refers to Article 32, paragraph 16 of the Convention and notes that in considering the Constitution and Convention, the United States may find it necessary to make additional reservations. Accordingly, the United States of America reserves the right to make additional specific reservations at the time of deposit of its instrument of ratification to the Constitution and the Convention. The second (Number 73), in which the United States joined with 26 other countries, was in response to statements by Colombia and Kenya and reaffirms the Declarations made * * * when signing the Final Acts of the World Administrative Radio Conference (Geneva, 1979), and the World Administrative Radio Conference on the Use of the Geostationary-Satellite Orbit and the Planning of Space Services Utilizing It (first and second sessions, Geneva, 1985 and 1988), the Plenipotentiary Conference of the International Telecommunication Union (Nice, 1989) and in the Final Protocol of the International Telecommunication Convention (Nairobi, 1982) as if these Declarations were here repeated in full. The above-mentioned Delegations also wish to state that reference in Article 44 of the Constitution to the ``geographical situation of particular countries'' does not imply a recognition of claim to any preferential rights to the geostationary-satellite orbit. The third (Number 82) reads: The United States of America refers to Declarations made by various Members reserving their rights to take any such actions as they may consider necessary to safeguard their interests in response to reservations by other countries which jeopardize their interests, application of provisions of the Constitution and Convention (Geneva, 1992) which adversely affect their interests, and other Members not sharing in defraying the expenses of the Union. The United States of America reserves the right to take whatever measures it may consider necessary to safeguard United States interests in response to such actions. In 1994, the United States made four declarations and reservations that are included in the Final Acts of the Kyoto Conference. The first two (Numbers 84 and 92) substantively restate and reaffirm U.S. declarations and reservations made in Numbers 68 and 73 at the 1992 Plenipotentiary Conference. The third (Number 97) in 1994 addresses a misleading statement submitted by a number of countries regarding the status of amendments to the Administrative Regulations. The United States submitted a declaration in response as follows: The United States of America refers to Declaration 80 made by many delegations. The United States of America notes that the United States of America does not agree with various points in that Declaration and that Declaration No. 80, which is prospective in nature, was not made at the time of signature of the Constitution and the Convention of the International Telecommunication Union (Geneva, 1992) and does not affect the application to the United States of America of Article 54 of the Constitution (Geneva, 1992). The fourth (Number 98) in 1994 was in response to a statement by Cuba reserving its right to take any steps that it may deem necessary against U.S. radio and television broadcasting to Cuba and denouncing U.S. use of radio frequencies at Guantanamo, Cuba. It reads as follows: The United States of America, noting the Statement (No. 40) entered by the delegation of Cuba, recalls its rights to broadcast to Cuba on appropriate frequencies free of jamming or other wrongful interference and reserves its rights with respect to existing interference and any future interference by Cuba with United States broadcasting. Furthermore, the United States of America notes that its presence in Guantanamo is by virtue of an international agreement presently in force; the United States of American reserves the right to meet its radiocommunication requirements there as heretofore. The Department of State and the other agencies involved recommend that these declarations and reservations be confirmed in the U.S. instruments of ratification of the Constitution and Convention and of the amendments. In the view of the Department of State and other interested agencies, no additional reservations are necessary to protect U.S. interests. Ratifying the Constitution and Convention of the International Telecommunication Union, signed by the United States at Geneva, on December 22, 1992, along with the amendments thereto, signed by the United States at Kyoto on October 14, 1994, will enable the United States to continue to play a full and active role in the affairs of the ITU. (As of July 1, 1996, only those countries that have ratified the Constitution and Convention may vote in the ITU.) The 1992 ITU Constitution and Convention and the 1994 Amendments will not require any implementing legislation on the part of the United States. The Federal Communications Commission; the National Telecommunications and Information Administration, Department of Commerce; the Department of Defense; and the United States Information Agency concur in my recommendation that the Constitution and Convention (Geneva, 1992), the amendments to the Constitution and Convention (Kyoto, 1994), with the U.S. declarations and reservations to those instruments, be submitted herewith be transmitted to the Senate for its consideration and advice and consent to ratification. Respectfully submitted, Warren Christopher.