WCIT attendance by country

November 27th, 2012 at 10:00 am by David Farrar

Next month is a treaty level conference, called the World Conference on International Telecommunications. It is primarily comprised of Governments, and there are two major threats looming.

Some Governments are wanting to amend the International Telecommunication Regulations, so they can clamp down on free speech outside their borders. Others just want to be able to tax the Internet or have the equivalent of international terminate rates to gain revenue for their countries.

I thought people would be interested in which countries are sending the largest delegations – especially when you consider their standard of living. The largest delegations are:

  1. United Arab Emirates 153
  2. USA 115
  3. Nigeria 72
  4. Russia 45
  5. Brazil 42
  6. South Africa 38
  7. China 31
  8. United Kingdom 31
  9. Thailand 25
  10. Canada 23
  11. Venezuela 19
  12. Algeria 18
  13. Ukraine 18
  14. Ghana 17
  15. Guinea 16
  16. Gabon 15
  17. Oman 15
  18. Turkey 15

With just a few exceptions, few of the wealthy (OECD) countries are sending a delegation of more than 15. The vast majority of the big delegations are from impoverished or developing countries.

Also worth noting that more than half the US delegation are from the private, not the public sector.

So the vast majority of the attendees at will be from countries trying to censor or tax the Internet. Luckily New Zealand, the US and other countries will stand firm to stop a consensus over any malignant changes.

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17 Responses to “WCIT attendance by country”

  1. Chthoniid (2,047 comments) says:

    The cynic in me thinks that overseas trips are a great perk for working in public service in many developing countries. The duty-free stores will be thrilled.

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  2. Luc Hansen (4,573 comments) says:

    Luckily New Zealand, the US and other countries will stand firm to stop a consensus over any malignant changes.

    Your pulling our tit, DPF, surely.

    We Western delegations are there to ensure that those

    impoverished or developing countries.

    remain

    impoverished or developing countries.

    It’s the same as at climate change conferences and Tim Grosser doing a good job of protecting “our” interests, and diminish as far as possible any transfer of compensatory wealth to exactly those

    impoverished or developing countries.

    And its far more likely that the “malignant changes’ you speak of will emanate from the increasingly repressive western nations, too. Think the US Patriot Act internationalised.

    [DPF: I love how much Luc hates the West, and adores the repressive regimes of his comrades]

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  3. Monique Watson (1,062 comments) says:

    Yeah, that’s it Luc. Western delegations hate humanity instead of wanting ensure the internet remains open and uncensored. What the Holly Walker do you mean by this:

    And its far more likely that the “malignant changes’ you speak of will emanate from the increasingly repressive western nations, too. Think the US Patriot Act internationalised.

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  4. Chris2 (775 comments) says:

    David, can you clarify where the conference is being held, and whether it has “teeth” to implement changes anyway.

    [DPF: It is in that bastion of freedom, Dubai. You know where you can go to jail for kissing in public. And yes it has teeth – it is a treaty level conference]

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  5. dave_c_ (225 comments) says:

    End of discussion – well said Luc, you couldnt be more right !

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  6. Manolo (14,179 comments) says:

    The junket is in Dubai.

    Next week the United Nations’ International Telecommunications Union will meet in Dubai to figure out how to control the Internet. Representatives from 193 nations will attend the nearly two week long meeting, according to news reports.

    http://www.weeklystandard.com/blogs/un-seek-control-internet_664018.html

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  7. Chthoniid (2,047 comments) says:

    I’m unaware of any research that shows that developing countries can improve their conditions by repressing free speech. Alex Aan clearly deserves 2.5 yrs in an Indonesian jail for an FB update then.

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  8. scrubone (3,097 comments) says:

    and its far more likely that the “malignant changes’ you speak of will emanate from the increasingly repressive western nations, too. Think the US Patriot Act internationalised.

    Nakoula Nakoula agrees I suspect. Obama didn’t exactly hide his failure to uphold the constitution when he rang youtube to get his video taken down – in fact he seemed quite proud of his actions.

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  9. Graeme Edgeler (2,972 comments) says:

    In GDP per capita, the UAE ranks higher than the US on some measures. And is in the top 10 on all of the major measures.

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  10. Luc Hansen (4,573 comments) says:

    Chthoniid (1,854) Says:
    November 27th, 2012 at 10:58 am

    You obviously haven’t spent a lot of time on examining imprisonment in the US, especially of blacks and hispanics, disproportionally. And recently all those Arab-Muslim American citizens locked up since 9/11 on trumped up charges, including a group of ex-pat Arabs who raised money to send to Gaza charities and were imprisoned because they couldn’t prove any of the money was not being diverted to Hamas. Neither was there any evidence that money was being diverted to Hamas, but that didn’t stop them being jailed for possibly the rest of their lives.

    I don’t think cherry-picking specific cases is a valid argumentation technique, because it is typically a double edged sword. I prefer to look at the bigger picture.

    When examining the factors that caused the de-development and impoverishment of the Global South, it’s difficult to go past the centuries of European Imperialism as the original sin. And western policies today still largely act against those countries breaking out of the consequences of that adventure.

    I have no intimate knowledge of the matters the conference is looking at, but it would be naive in the extreme to accept uncritically DPF’s take on the proceedings.

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  11. Chthoniid (2,047 comments) says:

    1) I’m aware of the higher imprisonment rate. That’s not germane.
    2) Alex Aan was sentenced to 2.5 yrs in jail for opining there was no god on his Facebook page. This is not cherry picking. This is a consequence of laws repressing freedom of speech hitting the internet.
    3) Your disregard for human rights is appalling. Please do not address me again. There are things I find swimming in dog-vomit I consider less loathsome than you.

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  12. tristanb (1,127 comments) says:

    So the vast majority of the attendees at WCIT will be from countries trying to censor or tax the Internet. Luckily New Zealand, the US and other countries will stand firm to stop a consensus over any malignant changes.

    I understand our government already blocks a number of internet sites. And Clare Curran, in Labour’s IT manifesto, talks about charging a levy to use the internet. Clare Curran also said that she only supported free speech if those saying it took responsibility for what was said – I assume she didn’t think this through, because that is not free speech.

    Every National Party MP, every Labour Party MP, plus NZF and windsock Dunne, all voted for a law that allows companies to spy on what we are downloading, contact our ISP, and send out warning letters to us, threatening to take us to court.

    We’re not as bad as the Muslims and the corrupt Asian and South American countries, but our MPs are hardly “standing firm”.

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  13. scrubone (3,097 comments) says:

    When National repeal the changes to Section 59 and restrain CYFS, I’ll believe they’re interested in a free society.

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  14. Sean (290 comments) says:

    DPF, I lived in Dubai for two and a half years, returning only recently to Singapore. I kissed my wife many times in public and was never arrested. Don’t make stuff up. Dubai is very tolerant on a practical day-to-day level. It may not be New Zealand but that’s not a reason for hyperbole.

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  15. Sean (290 comments) says:

    Also, the UAE is very keen to enhance and improve technology and infrastructure, knowing the benefits this brings to the economy.

    As for the delegation size, this is because the UAE is composed of seven emirates. I experienced this many times as my work involved government-to-government negotiations. The UAE delegation always dwarfed the other side since each emirate will want to be represented. Nothing sinister in that.

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  16. Steve (North Shore) (4,538 comments) says:

    Stick that in your arab pipe and smoke it.

    1) I’m aware of the higher imprisonment rate. That’s not germane.
    2) Alex Aan was sentenced to 2.5 yrs in jail for opining there was no god on his Facebook page. This is not cherry picking. This is a consequence of laws repressing freedom of speech hitting the internet.
    3) Your disregard for human rights is appalling. Please do not address me again. There are things I find swimming in dog-vomit I consider less loathsome than you.

    That is a bitch slap and I like it

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  17. Anthony (768 comments) says:

    As someone who has actually been to one of these ITU conferences a few years ago – I can tell you for the most part it was most excruitiatingly boring thing I’ve ever been to – you could look across at some of the delegations and see the second row of delegates all asleep (a bit difficult for us to hide as there was only two of us from NZ). Furthermore, those countries with big delegations never had anything like the full number of delegates actually in attendance.

    There was a windbag guy representing Syria in attendance who raved on and on and on at every opportunity – railing against the US but the translation of his emotive speaking was totally deadpan. I was told he had lived in Geneva for the previous 10 years.

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