Nº 2 2014 > World Telecommunication Development Conference 2014
Setting strategies and objectives for the next four years
Brahima Sanou Director, ITU Telecommunication Development Bureau
We are honoured to be in the splendid city of Dubai for ITU’s sixth World Telecommunication Development Conference (WTDC‑14). As we look forward to the next stage of our journey towards ensuring equitable and sustainable information and communication technology (ICT) networks and services for all, we can also contemplate with a measure of pride the progress made in implementing the Hyderabad Action Plan adopted at the World Telecommunication Development Conference in Hyderabad, India, in 2010.
The Telecommunication Development Bureau was assigned five programmes to implement in the areas of information and communication infrastructure and technology development, cybersecurity, matters relating to ICT applications and IP-based networks, creating an enabling environment, capacity building and digital inclusion, not forgetting least developed countries, countries in special need, emergency telecommunications and adaptation to climate change.
WTDC‑14 is an opportunity to evaluate progress made by the two study groups of ITU’s Telecommunication Development Sector (ITU–D) in responding to the 18 Questions assigned to them in the Hyderabad Action Plan. It will also give us a moment to assess the implementation and impact of the 28 regional initiatives identified for the six regions in the Hyderabad Action Plan. These initiatives address such vital matters as human capacity building, broadband infrastructure development and access, digital broadcasting, emergency telecommunications and e-accessibility.
More than one million low-income women have been trained since ITU and the Telecentre.org Foundation launched their joint Women’s Digital Literacy Campaign in 2011. Key partnerships have been created to use mobile technology, in particular text messaging and apps, in the health sector. For the first time, ITU has quantified the real size of the digital gender gap and the digital native population. The Bureau has assisted 30 countries over the last four years in switching from analogue to digital broadcasting, and helped 43 countries with spectrum management and monitoring.
To promote inclusive and sustainable development across the world, I have launched three initiatives, which are close to my heart. The m-Powering Development initiative extends the benefits of mobile technology to all strata of society, particularly those in rural, remote and underdeveloped areas. The Smart Sustainable Development Model links rural telecommunications and ICT development with disaster risk reduction and management efforts. The ITU Academy integrates and harmonizes all the Union’s capacity-building activities.
Building confidence and security in the use of ICT is also high on our agenda. We continue to act as catalyst and facilitator in achieving a global culture of cybersecurity.
The work that ITU–D has been doing under its mandate to implement the outcomes of the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) and subsequent WSIS Forums will also be presented to WTDC‑14, as will the results of activities undertaken to follow up major ITU conferences and meetings relevant to the work of ITU–D.
Also on the agenda are other important matters such as strengthening ITU’s regional presence, the current state of telecommunication and ICT development, cooperation among ITU members, ITU–D working methods, and the authorization for the Telecommunication Development Advisory Group to act between world telecommunication development conferences.
The Hyderabad Action Plan has guided us to achieve great things. It is thanks to your commitment, your passion and your alliances that we now have so many success stories to tell. You will read some of them in this Special Edition of ITU News.
The discussions in Dubai will chart the course of ITU–D action over the next four years. WTDC‑14 will adopt an Action Plan and Declaration to guide efforts to accelerate the development of telecommunications and ICT worldwide. It will also adopt a Strategic Plan for ITU–D, which will be integrated into the overall ITU Strategic Plan for the years 2016–2019 at the forthcoming Plenipotentiary Conference, to be held in Busan, Republic of Korea, in October-November 2014.