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Cablegate: Ottawa: Demarche to Members of the Itu Council On

This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.




E.O. 12958: N/A


1. (SBU) Econ staff responsible for the Telecom portfolio met
with Industry Canada's Director of International
Telecommunications Policy and Coordination Bill Graham and
staffers Janis Doran and Jim Mackenzie to discuss the
documents provided in reftel, which we had previously faxed
to Industry Canada. Industry Canada officials seemed already
well-briefed on the subject and mentioned that they have
previously discussed this issue with Dick Baird, Marian
Gordon and Jamie Annis. GOC's position is generally in line
with U.S. position on Single State Veto, but GOC sees the
problem as tactical rather than philosophical--how to best
present the issue to gain the support of other ITU members?
GOC plans to focus its efforts on decreasing opposition,
saying specifically that any mention of national sovereignty
is not helpful, as it can be seen by some members
(particularly African countries) as U.S. pressure tactics or
the possibility that one country could have a sovereign
interest to veto other countries' proposals.

2. (SBU) Instead, GOC intends to convey to African and
smaller Asian member country representatives the fact that a
global consensus on IT standards is in their interest, that
it would simplify progress for developing countries, that
geographic fragmentation hurts everyone, and that the single
member state veto is helpful in ensuring that global
consensus. Ms. Doran in particular emphasized that the GOC
supports global consensus, and clarified that the GOC had
suggested the possibility of a two-member veto as a
compromise (some countries, particularly Australia and the UK
had been suggesting three- or four-member veto options). Ms.
Doran explained that the two-member veto mirrors the
procedural requirements of the ITU for a motion and a second
of the motion. This proposal of a two-member veto compromise
was intended, in her words, to "minimize damage." What the
GOC hopes to get out of council is a mechanism to study and
explain the advantages of the single member state veto.

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3. (SBU) Mr. Graham and Ms. Doran characterized the UK and
Australia as the biggest impediment, with additional
opposition to the US stance from African nations (comment:
Ms. Doran said that "the UK has charged up the African
countries" and noted with some surprise that this seems to
have become an issue for Uganda and Ghana, countries which
previously did not get involved much, in her opinion. End
comment.) As for Europe, she characterized smaller countries
as less likely to be on board than bigger countries. Ms.
Doran plans to speak with representatives from Brazil and
Venezuela, hoping to find out about Spain and Portugal's
influence in South America. Ms. Doran also plans to speak
with the Moroccan representatives to get a sense of the
stance of other Arab nations.

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