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Office of the Press Secretary

For Immediate Release September 13, 1996


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.



September 13, 1996.

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