In the morning there was a report that the great Asian democracy, India, had not signed the ITRs. Now it looks like it did. Looks like poetic babus played a double game.
Kenya’s brave lone stand is extraordinary and can be explained by what it has to lose if the Internet ceases to be seamless, as I explained in an oped in the Business Daily in October.
But there are surprises: Qatar and Egypt? Egypt, which basically coordinated the proposals from the African and Arab States? I was approached by senior officials of Egypt after I spoke against the access charge proposals in Baku and wanted all my writings on the subject, but this is huge!
No sooner had applause run out after a vote on what to include in the preamble to an updated global telecoms treaty than the United States took the floor and announced it would not sign it.
The Internet has given the world unimaginable economic and social benefit during these past 24 years. All without UN regulation”It’s with a heavy heart and a sense of missed opportunities that the U.S. must communicate that it’s not able to sign the agreement in the current form,” said Ambassador Terry Kramer. “The Internet has given the world unimaginable economic and social benefit during these past 24 years. All without UN regulation. We candidly cannot support an ITU Treaty that is inconsistent with the multi-stakeholder model of Internet governance.”
The US was then followed by the UK, Sweden, Egypt, Canada, Poland, the Netherlands, Denmark, Kenya, New Zealand, Costa Rica, Qatar, and the Czech Republic, all of whom expressed regret that the conference had not been able to effectively tackle the issues in front of it and warned they would not be able to sign the final text.