ITU Conference sets agenda for future ICT development
World Telecommunication Development Conference adopts Dubai Action Plan
Dubai, 10 April 2014 – The Dubai Action Plan, adopted today by the ITU World Telecommunication Development Conference, sets the agenda for telecommunication and information and communication technology development over the next four years.
Under the theme ‘Broadband for Sustainable Development’, the Conference focused on development priorities and agreed on the programmes, projects and initiatives to implement them. The theme underlines ITU’s commitment to leverage broadband as a catalyst to meet the goals of sustainable development.
The Dubai Declaration states that “Universal and affordable access to telecommunications and information and communication technologies is essential for the world’s economic, social and cultural development, and contributes to building a global economy and information society. Widespread access to and accessibility of telecommunications and information and communication technologies applications and services provide new socio-economic opportunities for all people.”
The sixth World Telecommunication Development Conference (WTDC-14) met from 30 March to 10 April at the World Trade Centre in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. It attracted over 1300 participants from 137 countries.
Mr Mohamed Nasser Al Ghanim, Director General of the Telecommunication Regulatory Authority of the United Arab Emirates and Head of the UAE delegation was elected Chairman of the Conference.
The Dubai Action Plan is a comprehensive package that promotes the equitable, affordable, inclusive and sustainable development of telecommunications/ICT networks, applications and services.
The objectives outlined in the Plan are:
- To foster international cooperation on telecommunication and ICT issues
- To foster an enabling environment conducive to ICT development and foster the development of ICT networks as well as relevant applications and services, including bridging the standardization gap
- To enhance confidence and security in the use of ICTs and roll out of relevant applications and services
- To build human and institutional capacity, promote digital inclusion and provide concentrated assistance to countries in special need
- To enhance climate change adaptation and mitigation, and disaster management efforts through telecommunications and ICTs
“With the adoption of the Dubai Declaration, we declare our commitment to accelerate the expansion and use of ICTs, and in particular broadband, to achieve economic growth,” said ITU Secretary-General Hamadoun Touré. “Access to affordable and reliable ICTs, including broadband, can facilitate economic, social and cultural development and achieve digital inclusion for all.”
“The decisions we have taken here in Dubai, reflected in the Dubai Action Plan, will pave the way forward for our work” said Mr Brahima Sanou, Director of the ITU Telecommunication Development Bureau. “They will give us direction, a shared vision and a clear plan of action.”
The WTDC-14 Dubai Action Plan is the culmination of a series of regional preparatory meetings that took place in Chisinau, Moldova (CIS); Phnom Penh, Cambodia (Asia-Pacific); Montevideo, Uruguay (Americas); Accra, Ghana (Africa); and Belgrade, Serbia (Europe).
Special events held at WTDC-14
WTDC-14 hosted a series of special events to bring attention to the role that ICTs play in achieving socio-economic development:
- An Executive Strategic Dialogue provided a platform for an interactive debate on the trends, challenges and opportunities of the telecom/ICT sector.
- At a session on connectivity in Small Island Developing States, ITU presented its satellite project to connect Pacific Island States and discussed ways to replicate it in other regions.
- The Global Cybersecurity Index (GCI), a unique initiative launched by ITU and ABI Research to measure the levels of cybersecurity in countries, presented an analysis of cybersecurity development in the Arab region.
- A demonstration illustrated how ITU’s online interactive terrestrial transmission maps can help bridge the gaps in digital connection worldwide.
- Updated guidelines of ITU’s Spectrum Management System for Developing Countries, known as SMS4DC, were introduced to assist countries in managing the transition from analogue to digital broadcasting.
- A presentation on the methodology used to prepare ITU’s flagship statistics Report, ‘Measuring the Information Society’ indicated how figures are compiled and the criteria used to rank countries on ITU’s ICT Index.
- A session on technical requirements for large scale deployment of e-Health innovations demonstrated how ICTs can transform the health sector.
- A special edition of Trends in Telecommunication Reform was launched at WTDC-14. Highlighting the theme ‘4th Generation Regulation: Driving Digital Communications Ahead’, the report explores policy and regulatory issues coming to the fore as the ICT sector accelerates into a broadband ecosystem of evolving applications and services.
- A new report entitled Digital Opportunities: Innovative ICT Solutions for Youth Employment was also launched. The report says that digital solutions have an important role to play in national strategies to overcome youth unemployment. This includes ensuring that youth around the world obtain digital literacy skills and that governments promote youth entrepreneurs by supporting innovation hubs, mobile app competitions, co-working spaces for digital entrepreneurs, online mentoring networks and a host of other innovative ICT-enabled resources.
ITU is the leading United Nations agency for information and communication technology. For nearly 150 years, ITU has coordinated the shared global use of the radio spectrum, promoted international cooperation in assigning satellite orbits, worked to improve communication infrastructure in the developing world, and established the worldwide standards that foster seamless interconnection of a vast range of communications systems. From broadband networks to new-generation wireless technologies, aeronautical and maritime navigation, radio astronomy, satellite-based meteorology and converging fixed-mobile phone, Internet and broadcasting technologies, ITU is committed to connecting the world. www.itu.int