U.S. Intervention at the World Conference on International Telecommunications
Below is the text of a statement delivered by Ambassador Terry Kramer from the floor of the World Conference on International Telecommunications (WCIT) on December 13, 2012 in Dubai, United Arab Emirates.
Mr. Chairman, as Head of the U.S. Delegation, I wanted to start out and thank you for your tireless work and leadership. Your personal commitment to a successful outcome here is very impressive. However, I do need to say that it is with a heavy heart and a sense of missed opportunities that the U.S. must communicate that it is not able to sign the agreement in the current form.
The Internet has given the world unimaginable economic and social benefits during these past 24 years – all without UN regulation. We candidly cannot support an ITU treaty that is inconsistent with a multi-stakeholder model of Internet governance. As the ITU has stated, this conference was never meant to focus on internet issues; however, today we are in a situation where we still have text and resolutions that cover issues on spam and also provisions on internet governance. These past two weeks, we have of course made good progress and shown a willingness to negotiate on a variety of telecommunications policy issues, such as roaming and settlement rates, but the United States continues to believe that internet policy must be multi-stakeholder driven. Internet policy should not be determined by member states but by citizens, communities, and broader society, and such consultation from the private sector and civil society is paramount. This has not happened here.
We live in an interconnected world which is becoming more interconnected with every passing day. We came to this conference with a hope for finding ways to advance our cooperation in the telecommunications arena and continue to believe that’s an important goal. We are disappointed that this conference did not fully provide that opportunity, but remain committed to finding other ways to advance on our shared common goals.
My Chairman I would like to ask that this intervention be entered into the record of the plenary and thank you for your time.