ITU reaches out to developing nations

ITU has wrapped up its marathon three-week 18th Plenipotentiary Conference in Mexico with wide-ranging resolutions, including plans to improve broadband access and facilitate ITU membership for developing nations.

Delegates from around the world agreed to step up projects to bridge the digital divide, accelerate broadband roll-out, and implement the outcomes of the World Summit on the Information Society.

Other key agreements focused on better use of ICTs technologies to manage climate change and disaster response; conformance and interoperability; and accessibility for persons with disabilities.

ITU Secretary-General Hamadoun Touré told delegates that the Guadalajara conference had been one of the most challenging in the Union’ s 145-year history: “ I came to this 18th Plenipotentiary Conference with news of the extraordinary progress that had been made in ICT development in the space of just four years,” he said.

“ I am absolutely confident that when we meet again, in four years’ time, I will be able to report even more dramatic progress. And that this progress will be very much due to the work that has been done here, by you, in Guadalajara.

Key Resolutions taken at this year’ s event included reducing ITU membership costs for developing countries and academic institutions, launching special measures to assist Small Island Developing States (SIDS) and Landlocked Developing Countries (LLDCs), in keeping with the Hyderabad Action Plan agreed by the World Telecommunication Development Conference in June 2010;   the enhanced use of ICTs in tackling climate change; the stepping up of ITU’ s activities in the area of emergency communications and humanitarian assistance and the need to put in place concrete strategies to stimulate deployment of broadband networks, particularly in developing countries

Delegates agreed that efforts had to be made to bridge the standardisation gap between developed and developing countries, to help technical experts from the developing world play a more active role in ITU standards development activities.

  The Plenipotentiary Conference also formalised the team of elected officials of the Union at a swearing-in ceremony on Thursday 14 November. Dr Hamadoun Touré was handed his contract extension as Secretary-General, along with Deputy Secretary-General Houlin Zhao and TSB Director Malcolm Johnson. New appointees Mr Franç ois Rancy and Brahima Sanou received their letters of appointment. All will officially commence their terms of office on 1 January 2011.

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