Countries gather through September to discuss UN Internet plans

Ahead of the World Conference on International Telecommunication in December, countries from around the world are meeting to discuss regional proposals.

Delegates from these countries will vote at the World Conference on International Telecommunication, or WCIT-12, on a renegotiation of the International Telecommunications Regulations – an international treaty ratified in 1988, which deregulated international telecommunications and paved the way for the Internet.

U.S. officials have vehemently opposed the conference on the belief that the countries will vote to upend the multi-stakeholder system established to govern the Internet since then.

This notion has been roundly denied by the International Telecommunications Union — a U.N. agency under whose jurisdiction the ITRs fall, and the host agency of the conference.

The Arab states, whose most recent meeting in Dubai began Sept. 8, will conclude their regional preparatory meeting on Sept. 13. The Americas are scheduled to meet in El Salvador from Sept. 11-14, and the Africa region is scheduled to meet at the end of the month.

The Regional Commonwealth in the Field of Communications, to which Russia belongs, will meet in Armenia from Sept. 17-18.

The Asia-Pacific Telecommunity — to which China and Australia belong — will have a final meeting on Oct. 30-Nov. 1, before the Nov. 3 deadline.

The APT met in August, but delegates from the region did not come prepared to settle on a proposal, former U.S. ambassador David Gross told The Daily Caller. Gross attended the August APT conference in Thailand.

“They didn’t do their homework,” said Gross.

Gross told TheDC that since the APT proposal will come late in the process, it is practically inconsequential.

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