Imagini ale paginilor
PDF
ePub

The Secretariat's proposal for implementing a Pension Purchasing Power Protection Insurance Plan (PPPPIP)—if the UN General Assembly did not institute by April 1, 1992, comparable measures for the common system- also generated considerable dissension. The U.S. Delegation warned that this proposal, like those on bonuses and a special allowance, threatened the UN common system of remuneration and conditions of service. Despite this, the PPPPIP was approved in a secret ballot by a vote of 23 to 8 (U.S.), with 9 abstentions. In addition, a U.S.-proposed amendment, which stipulated that the PPPPIP would have to be approved by the UN Joint Staff Pension Board prior to implementation, was defeated in the Council by a vote of 7 (U.S.) to 21, with 11 abstentions.

In contrast to its previous session, telecommunications development was not a major topic. The Committee on Development, which held only one meeting lasting 3 hours, approved establishing two new positions in the Telecommunications Development Bureau (BDT) to improve the information system being developed to link newly established ITU field posts with headquarters in Geneva. In accord with an HLC recommendation, the plenary approved the merger of the Center for Telecommunications Development (CTD) with the BDT not later than December 31.

ITU Technical Bodies

International Telegraph and Telephone Consultative Committee

The International Telegraph and Telephone Consultative Committee (CCITT) continued to carry out the work program approved at its 1988 plenary Assembly, with numerous study group meetings held almost continuously throughout the year. The technical, operational and tariff recommendations (voluntary standards) developed and promulgated by the CCITT for international telecommunication carriers, manufacturers and users are voluntary and generally implemented worldwide. The U.S. telecommunications industry and numerous U.S. Government agencies participate actively in the Department of State's statutory role as coordinator of U.S. efforts in CCITT activities and contribute over $2 million toward defraying costs.

New procedures to accelerate adoption of new standards for telecommunications equipment and networks, first implemented in 1989, have been used frequently to adopt more than 200 new or revised CCITT recommendations since 1989. A com

[merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small][merged small]

mittee formed to further improve organization and working methods met twice in 1991. This committee finalized its proposals and will forward them to the 1993 plenary meeting.

Developing countries continued to argue for a change in the current 50–50 split of international telecommunications services revenue on the grounds that additional funds would enable them to undertake greater telecommunications development. In 1990 the CCITT and the General Secretariat released the results of a study on the relative costs of providing services in developed and developing countries, but it was not deemed comprehensive enough to lead to any conclusions on the division of revenues issue.

Issues studied by the CCITT with major emphasis in 1991 included principles governing use of private-leased circuits, use of personal computers in network operation and the Integrated Services Digital Network (ISDN). The CCITT adopted a U.S. proposal for liberalization of the leased circuit recommendations for customers' use and enhanced services. In addition, a firstdraft CCITT recommendation on International Telephone Accounting Rates was developed, and could lead to reduction of the $3 billion annual U.S. imbalance in payments for international telephone traffic.

CCITT studies also looked at the following areas which will become increasingly important in the near future: (a) the convergence of information and telecommunications technologies, (b) an international telecommunications credit card, (c) new standards for higher speed facsimile services, (d) very high-speed modems, (e) electronic message handling systems, (f) the adoption and implementation of standards for international facsimile services and (g) standards for wide-band fiber-optic submarine cables, including circuit multiplication techniques. International Radio Consultative Committee

The International Radio Consultative Committee (CCIR) is responsible for development of technical bases for international sharing and management of frequency spectrum and geostationary satellite orbit resources; standardization of radio systems (compatible performance and interconnectivity) worldwide; and production of information used for the development, planning and operation of radio systems. CCIR recommendations provide a basis for international standardization of radio communications and have great influence on the scientific and technical radio communications community, on administrations and pri

[merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small]

vate operators, as well as on designers and manufacturers of equipment. CCIR recommendations are not legally binding on members but, because of the imperative of compatible performance and interconnectivity, they are almost universally applied.

During 1991 CCIR study groups continued the development of technical recommendations in a wide range of areas, including compatibility of ISDN circuits in terrestrial and satellite networks, communications requirements for future missions to the Moon and Mars, communications requirements for Earth resources satellites, the harmonization of broadcasting and nonbroadcasting applications of high definition television (HDTV), digital audio broadcasting, digital terrestrial HDTV, and mobilesatellite systems offering personal communications services.

International Frequency Registration Board

The major function of the International Frequency Registration Board (IFRB) is to ensure the orderly recording of satellite orbital positions and radio frequencies that national administrations assign to their radio stations, including satellite systems. The IFRB also assists countries in matters related to radio spectrum management.

In 1991 the IFRB continued its participation in preparations for various radio conferences. During the first half of the year, it continued work related to the planned 1993 WARC on High-Frequency

Broadcasting. Its findings were generally pessimistic about prospects for a successful outcome of the conference, in light of the very large number of requirements and the insufficient amount of radio spectrum to satisfy those needs. The Board's results were useful in Council deliberations on the subject and influential in the Union's decision to defer the conference indefinitely.

In October 1991 the IFRB issued its report to the 1992 WARC relating to use of channels in the high-frequency aeronautical mobile service. On the basis of concern expressed during the 1989 plenipotentiary, the Board was tasked to develop an arrangement that could accommodate the many new countries created since the 1959 plan was adopted. The report, which the United States supports, was expected to get favorable treatment at the 1992 WARC. In addition the Board contributed heavily to the work of the Voluntary Group of Experts (VGE) to simplify the radio regulations, as well as to the work of the High-Level Committee.

Telecommunications Development

The Bureau for Telecommunications Development (BDT) was created by the 1989 Plenipotentiary Conference. The BDT became operational in January 1990, under the interim direction of the Secretary General, pending election of a Director at the additional Plenipotentiary Conference scheduled for December 1992.

Under the Bureau's leadership, the ITU has sponsored several regional telecommunication development conferences. The first, for Africa, was held in December 1990 in Harare, Zimbabwe. The second, for Europe, was held in Prague, Czechoslovakia in November 1991. In both cases, conference participants included not only regional officials, but also officials from countries outside these regions, including the United States. A third regional development conference, for the Americas, is scheduled for the spring of 1992 in Mexico.

The Center for Telecommunications Development (CTD) ceased as a separate entity of the ITU when it was incorporated into the BDT in December. The U.S. Government donated $125,000 for development of a series of recommendations on how the CTD's functions might be integrated into the BDT. No additional funds were granted in 1991.

UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO)

Not a member of UNESCO, the United States maintained observer status with UNESCO during 1991 and worked through its observer mission in Paris to promote residual U.S. interests at UNESCO and to encourage reform within the organization. During 1991 the United States sent observer delegations to the 136th, 137th and 138th sessions of the UNESCO Executive Board and to the 26th session of the General Conference.

The United States continued a regular and open dialogue with UNESCO Director General Federico Mayor and his senior staff. U.S. officials met with Mayor in Washington, D.C., in January and June, and in Paris in October.

The General Accounting Office (GAO) informed Secretary of State Baker and Director General Mayor in July that, at the request of Congress, it was undertaking a review of UNESCO's "(1) overall'administrative structure and coordination, (2) program management, (3) financial management, and (4) personnel management." The GAO conducted its field review of UNESCO during October and November and is expected to release its report in April 1992.

The United States was represented at the April 29—May 3 Seminar on Promoting an Independent and Pluralistic African Press in Windhoek, Namibia. In the "Declaration of Windhoek," the participants committed themselves to promote actively a free, independent and pluralistic press in Africa.

A highly critical report on Iraqi vandalism and pillaging in Kuwait was submitted to Director General Mayor during the May session of the Executive Board by his Special Representative, who made a field visit to Kuwait in April to investigate damage to educational, scientific, cultural and communications institutions. The Board instructed the Director General to report in September on ways of assisting Kuwait to restore these institutions and infrastructures.

The United States worked through like-minded states at the 137th Executive Board and 26th General Conference to block, for at least 2 years, consideration of PLO membership in UNESCO as the “State of Palestine." It helped also to defer indefinitely Iraqi efforts to have the Executive Board and General Conference discuss the "situation of the cultural heritage and educational and cultural institutions in Iraq." Working through the Sanctions Committee of the UN Security Council, it discouraged UNESCO from sending a mission to Iraq to assess the condition of these institutions.

The United States supported Japanese action that led to the 26th General Conference adopting constitutional changes mandating member states—not individuals—be elected to the Executive Board. The Conference recommended that the Board improve its structure and working method, and initiate intersessional preparatory and follow-up work. The United States also supported successful efforts to establish an expert group on budget and finance to advise the Executive Board.

In mid-November the Chair of the National Council on the Evaluation of Foreign Educational Credentials, accompanied by a representative of the Department of Education and the U.S. Observer to UNESCO, attended, in Paris, the Bureau meeting of the Regional Committee in charge of the application of the UNESCO European Convention on the Recognition of Studies, Diplomas and Degrees. They discussed the recognition accorded European degrees in the United States.

The United States also participated in the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (IOC) and the International Geolog

« ÎnapoiContinuați »