Nº 4 2013 > World Telecommunication Development Conference 2014
Regional preparations kick off in Moldova
The Regional Preparatory Meeting for the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) region was organized by ITU's Telecommunication Development Bureau (BDT) in Chisinau, Moldova, from 19 to 21 February 2013, at the invitation of the Government of Moldova through the Ministry of Information Technology and Communications.
This event was the first of six regional meetings to prepare for the next World Telecommunication Development Conference (WTDC‑14), which is to be held from 31 March to 11 April 2014 in Sharm el‑Sheikh, Egypt. WTDC‑14 will decide on the activities that ITU’s Telecommunication Development Sector (ITU–D) will carry out over the period 2015–2018.
Objective and participation
The objective of the CIS Regional Preparatory Meeting was to identify regional priorities for the development of telecommunications and, more generally, of information and communication technologies (ICT). The meeting was held in close collaboration with the Executive Committee of the Regional Commonwealth in the field of Communications (RCC), and brought together 76 participants representing 10 Member States from the region, two other Member States, as well as 14 agencies or organizations. It was chaired by Pavel Filip, Moldova’s Minister of Information Technology and Communications. He was supported by two vice-chairmen, Baiysh Nurmatov of the Kyrgyz Republic and Vladimir Minkin of the Russian Federation, and the secretary of the meeting, Orozobek Kaiykov, Head of the ITU Area Office for the CIS region.
“The development of the telecommunication and ICT sector, as well as the information society as a whole, both in our country and the entire region, have reached an advanced level. The ICT sector is one of the most significant components of economic growth and is an effective instrument for improving the living standards of our citizens”, said Mr Filip.
Supportive ITU initiatives
ITU Deputy Secretary-General, Houlin Zhao, congratulated the countries of the region for their achievements in the field of ICT. The Director-General of the Executive Committee of the RCC, Nurudin Mukhitdinov, emphasized the importance of the Regional Preparatory Meeting for defining priority objectives and actions for the region in the period 2015–2018.
“It is clear that the countries in this region have identified ICT as a priority and a driving force towards sustainable development”, said Brahima Sanou, Director of ITU’s Telecommunication Development Bureau, adding “Now that the region has almost achieved universal access to mobile communications, the next challenge is to develop fixed and mobile broadband on the same scale. This will contribute to sustainable development through timely service delivery for health, education, banking, and business.”
Mr Sanou shared three of the initiatives that he has launched, which he considered would support the positive developments in the CIS region. These initiatives are: m‑Powering Development; Smart Sustainable Development Model; and ITU Academy.
The aim of m‑Powering Development is to build partnership around the rapid growth of mobile communications across the globe to deliver ICT applications in education, health, government, banking, environment, business and other areas. The Smart Sustainable Development Model seeks to link emergency telecommunications and sustainable development in order to optimize the use of the resources of the ICT sector. The business case is to use excess capacities for delivering social services in remote and vulnerable areas to trigger development, while training these service providers to become emergency telecommunication operators when natural disasters strike. The ITU Academy will develop training modules and toolkits for countries and academic institutions covering all areas of ITU’s work. It will serve as a platform for sharing training modules and opportunities around the world.
Inputs to the Regional Preparatory Meeting
The Regional Preparatory Meeting in Moldova was preceded on 18 February by the Regional Development Forum for the CIS, which focused on trends in the development of ICT. Discussions centered on efforts made by countries in the CIS region to create a more dynamic ICT sector. Countries were concerned, in particular, with infrastructure building, especially for broadband access, as well as with strengthening cybersecurity and enhancing capacity building.
Along with the views of the forum, the Regional Preparatory Meeting had before it reports on the results of the World Telecommunication Standardization Assembly (WTSA) and the World Conference on International Telecommunications (WCIT), both held in 2012. WCIT‑12 agreed on revised International Telecommunication Regulations, which have treaty status and will come into force in 2015.
The reports highlighted the results of WTSA‑12 and WCIT‑12 that have implications for the future work of ITU–D. The main purpose of the reports was to facilitate the preparation of contributions to WTDC‑14. Participants noted both documents with appreciation.
The following WTSA‑12 resolutions were considered to have a significant impact on the work of ITU–D: Resolution 44 on bridging the standardization gap between developing and developed countries; Resolution 50 on cybersecurity; Resolution 58 on encouraging the creation of national computer incident response teams, particularly for developing countries; Resolution 64 on IP address allocation and facilitating the transition to and deployment of IPv6; Resolution 76 on studies related to conformance and interoperability testing, assistance to developing countries, and a possible future ITU mark programme; and Resolution 78 on information and communication technology applications and standards for improved access to e‑health services.
The main topics addressed by the International Telecommunication Regulations that affect the work of ITU–D are: creating and maintaining an enabling policy and regulatory environment; improving energy efficiency and cutting e‑waste; bringing the benefit of ICT to the 650 million people living with some kind of disability; increasing security by promoting greater international cooperation in ensuring the security and robustness of international telecommunication networks; improving broadband connectivity to landlocked developing countries and small island States; and improving access to emergency services.
Priority areas for the CIS region
Taking into account the 29 contributions received from ITU Member States and ITU–D Sector Members, a set of proposed regional priorities was drawn up (see table) as a basis for contributions to WTDC‑14.
Participants also felt that ITU–D goals should include a reference to bridging the standardization gap and to the United Nations Millennium Development Goals.
CIS regional initiatives
The Regional Preparatory Meeting concluded by identifying the following five initiatives to: create a child online protection centre for the CIS region; ensure access to telecommunications and ICT services for persons with disabilities; introduce training technologies and methods using telecommunications and ICT in order to develop human potential; develop broadband access in the CIS countries; and build confidence and security in the use of ICT in the CIS countries.