Nº 10 2012 > World Conference on International Telecommunications | Special report
Five new resolutions approved: non-treaty text
Special measures for landlocked developing countries and small-island developing States for access to international optical fibre networks
A new resolution on “Special measures for landlocked developing countries and small-island developing States for access to international optical fibre networks” should help these countries achieve the United Nations Millennium Development Goals, as well as the targets of the World Summit on the Information Society. In many countries, the deployment of a network infrastructure that bolsters broadband uptake has become a priority on their development agendas.
The planning and laying of international optical fibre calls for close cooperation between landlocked developing countries and transit countries, and capital investments are required. Noting this, the new resolution instructs the Director of the Telecommunication Development Bureau to study the special situation of telecommunication/ICT services in landlocked developing countries and small-island developing States, taking into account the importance of access to international fibre-optic networks at reasonable costs. He is to report to the ITU Council on measures taken to provide this assistance. These countries should also be assisted to develop their plans, along with practical guidelines and criteria to govern and promote sustainable regional, subregional, multilateral and bilateral projects.
The Secretary-General is to bring the resolution to the attention of the Secretary-General of the United Nations with a view to placing this on the agenda of the United Nations High Representative for least-developed countries, landlocked developing countries and small-island developing States.
“The special measures adopted to assist landlocked developing countries and small-island developing States to gain access to international optical fibre networks will be of great help to these countries in strengthening their integrated development and their capacity to build their own information society,” said the Chairman of the conference.
Globally harmonized national number for access to emergency services
A new resolution on “Globally harmonized national number for access to emergency services” underlines the importance of travellers being aware of a single well-known number to access local emergency services. The resolution invites Member States to introduce, in addition to their existing national emergency numbers, a globally harmonized national number for access to emergency services, taking into consideration the relevant ITU–T Recommendations. Also the resolution instructs the Director of the Telecommunication Standardization Bureau to take the necessary action in order that Study Group 2 of the ITU Telecommunication Standardization Sector (ITU–T) can continue exploring the option of introducing a single globally harmonized national number for access to emergency services in the future.
Fostering an enabling environment for the greater growth of the Internet
The conference also approved a resolution that recognizes the Internet as a central element of the infrastructure of the information society, noting that the Internet has evolved from a research and academic facility into a global facility available to the public.
Entitled “To foster an enabling environment for the greater growth of the Internet,” the resolution also recognizes the importance of broadband capacity to facilitate the delivery of a broader range of services and applications, promote investment and provide Internet access at affordable prices to both existing and new users.
It was agreed that all stakeholder groups make a valuable contribution to the evolution, functioning and development of the Internet, and they should do so in their respective roles, as recognized in paragraph 35 of the Tunis Agenda for the Information Society.
The resolution says that, as stated in the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) outcomes, “all governments should have an equal role and responsibility for international Internet governance and for ensuring the stability, security and continuity of the existing Internet and its future development and of the future Internet.” The need for the development of public policy by governments in consultation with all stakeholders is also recognized.
Under the terms of the resolution, the Secretary-General is to continue taking the necessary steps for ITU to play an active and constructive role in the development of broadband and the multistakeholder model of the Internet as expressed in the Tunis Agenda (paragraph 35). He is also to support the participation of Member States and all other stakeholders (as applicable) in ITU activities.
Member States are invited “to elaborate on their respective positions on international Internet-related technical, development and public-policy issues within the mandate of ITU at various ITU forums including, inter alia, the World Telecommunication/ICT Policy Forum, the Broadband Commission for Digital Development and ITU study groups”. They are also to engage with all their stakeholders in this regard.
Periodic review of the International Telecommunication Regulations
A new resolution recognizes the ITRs as one of the pillars supporting ITU’s mission, and that, while the ITRs are high-level guiding principles that should not require frequent amendment, in the fast-moving sector they may need to be periodically reviewed.
The Plenipotentiary Conference of 2014 (PP‑14) is to consider whether to convene a World Conference on International Telecommunications, for example every 8 years, to revise the ITRs, taking into account the financial implications to ITU.
International telecommunication service traffic termination and exchange
Approval was given by the conference to a new resolution that recognizes that the transition from dedicated phone and data networks to converged Internet Protocol (IP)-based networks raises regulatory, technical and economic issues, which need to be taken into account.
Entitled “International telecommunication service traffic termination and exchange,” the resolution invites concerned Member States to collaborate so that each party in a negotiation or agreement related to or arising out of international connectivity matters can seek the support of relevant authorities of the other party’s State in alternative dispute resolution.
Member States are also invited to collaborate so that their regulatory frameworks promote the establishment of commercial agreements between authorized operating agencies and the providers of international services in alignment with principles of fair competition and innovation.
The resolution then goes on to instruct the Director of the Telecommunication Standardization Bureau to take necessary action in order that ITU–T Study Group 3 can study recent developments and practices with regard to the termination and exchange of international telecommunication traffic under commercial agreements. The aim would be to develop a recommendation, if appropriate, and guidelines for concerned Member States, for the use of providers of international telecommunication services in regard to issues such as the conditions for the establishment, sending and payment of invoices, dispute resolution, fraud prevention and mitigation, and the conditions for charges for international telecommunication service traffic termination and exchange.
Suppression of resolutions, recommendations and opinions
A decision was taken to suppress the following non-treaty texts from the 1988 ITRs:
- Resolution 1: Dissemination of Information Concerning International Telecommunication Services Available to the Public
- Resolution 2: Cooperation of the Members of the Union in Implementing the International Telecommunication Regulations
- Resolution 3: Apportionment of Revenues in Providing International Telecommunication Services
- Resolution 5: CCITT and World-Wide Telecommunications Standardization
- Resolution 7: Dissemination of Operational and Service Information Through the General Secretariat
- Resolution 8: Instructions for International Telecommunication Services
- Recommendation 1: Application to the Radio Regulations of the Provisions of the International Telecommunication Regulations
- Recommendation 2: Changes to Definitions Which also Appear in Annex 2 to the Nairobi Convention
- Recommendation 3: Expeditious Exchange of Accounts and Settlement Statements
- Opinion 1: Special Telecommunication Arrangements.