Message to the Senate Transmitting Amendments to the Constitution and Convention of the International Telecommunication Union
To the Senate of the United States:
I transmit herewith for Senate advice and consent to ratification, the amendments to the Constitution and Convention of the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) (Geneva 1992), as amended by the Plenipotentiary Conference (Kyoto 1994), together with declarations and reservations by the United States as contained in the Final Acts of the Plenipotentiary Conference (Minneapolis 1998). I transmit also, for the information of the Senate, the report of the Department of State concerning these amendments.
Prior to 1992, and as a matter of general practice, previous Conventions of the ITU were routinely replaced at successive Plenipotentiary Conferences held every 5 to 10 years. In 1992, the ITU adopted a permanent Constitution and Convention. The Constitution contains fundamental provisions on the organization and structure of the ITU, as well as substantive rules applicable to international telecommunications matters. The ITU Convention contains provisions concerning the functioning of the ITU and its constituent organs.
Faced with a rapidly changing telecommunication environment, the ITU in 1994 adopted a few amendments to the 1992 Constitution and Convention. These amendments were designed to enable the ITU to respond effectively to new challenges posed.
The pace at which the telecommunication market continues to evolve has not eased. States participating in the 1998 ITU Plenipotentiary Conference held in Minneapolis submitted numerous proposals to amend the Constitution and Convention. As discussed in the attached report of the Department of State concerning the amendments, key proposals included the following: amendments to clarify the rights and obligations of Member States and Sector Members; amendments to increase private sector participation in the ITU with the understanding that the ITU is to remain an intergovernmental organization; amendments to strengthen the finances of the ITU; and amendments to provide for alternative procedures for the adoption and approval of questions and recommendations.
Consistent with longstanding practice in the ITU, the United States, in signing the 1998 amendments, made certain declarations and reservations. These declarations and reservations are discussed in the report of the Department of State, which is attached hereto.
The 1992 Constitution and Convention and the 1994 amendments thereto entered into force for the United States on October 26, 1997. The 1998 amendments to the 1992 Constitution and Convention as amended in 1994 entered into force on January 1, 2000, for those states, which, by that date, had notified the Secretary General of the ITU of their approval thereof. As of the beginning of this year, 26 states had notified the Secretary General of the ITU of their approval of the 1998 amendments.
Subject to the U.S. declarations and reservations mentioned above, I believe the United States should ratify the 1998 amendments to the ITU Constitution and Convention. They will contribute to the ITUs ability to adapt to a rapidly changing telecommunication environment and, in doing so, will serve the needs of the United States Government and U.S. industry.
I recommend that the Senate give early and favorable consideration to these amendments and that the Senate give its advice and consent to ratification.
GEORGE W. BUSH
The White House, April 30, 2003.
George W. Bush, Message to the Senate Transmitting Amendments to the Constitution and Convention of the International Telecommunication Union Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/211188