Nº 2 2015 > Looking Ahead
The coming months will see a flurry of activity at ITU, with a number of key events coming up. April will see celebrations of Girls in ICT Day around the world, aimed at encouraging girls and women to experience Information and communication technologies (ICTs) first-hand, to develop ICT skills and to consider the exciting opportunities on offer with a career in ICT. This year, Girls in ICT Day will be held on 23 April — see our separate article
The 2015 Session of Council will convene on 12–22 May to review the outcomes of the recent 2014 Plenipotentiary Conference in Busan, Republic of Korea. The ITU Council acts as the Union’s governing body in the interval between Plenipotentiary Conferences. ITU Council also prepares a report on the ITU’s policy and strategic planning. And of course, ITU’s 150th celebrations on 17 May 2015 during ITU Council will mark the 150th anniversary of the founding of ITU and the signing of the first International Telegraph Convention in Paris on 17 May 1865. A number of special guests will join us in Geneva for a special awards ceremony and an exciting programme of events. National celebrations and activities are currently being planned in more than 30 countries (as of March) and new activities can be submitted for mapping in our online portal until the end of 2015. To find out more, visit the ITU’s 150th Anniversary website at www.itu150.org.
The month of May closes with the WSIS Forum 2015 on 25–29 May, organized by an impressive coalition of UN agencies and international organizations on the theme, “Innovating Together: Enabling ICTs for Sustainable Development”. The WSIS Forum unites the ICT community to provide structured opportunities to network, learn and participate in multi-stakeholder discussions and consultations on WSIS implementation. The Forum will build upon two tracks: the High-Level Track (consisting of policy statements, the WSIS prize ceremony, and a Ministerial Round Table) and the Forum Track, that will offer participants a series of high-level dialogues, Action Line facilitation meetings, country workshops, thematic workshops and knowledge exchanges, as well as an exhibition addressing issues that are critical to WSIS implementation and follow-up in multi-stakeholder settings. See our separate article online at: www.itunews.itu.int.
June will see the ITU’s annual Global Symposium for Regulators (GSR‑15) organized on the theme, “Mind the Digital Gap”, generously hosted by Gabon and organized by ITU in collaboration with the Gabonese Autorité de Regulation des Communications Electriques et des Postes (ARCEP). The Global Symposium for Regulators is ITU’s major meeting of the global ICT regulatory community and convenes between 130–140 of the world’s 164 independent regulatory authorities each year. Regulators, policy-makers, industry leaders and other key ICT stakeholders will share their views, engage in interactive discussions and identify best practices moving forward. GSR‑15 will be held in Libreville, Gabon, from 9–11 June, to explore ways to ensure that all the world’s citizens can benefit from the social and economic opportunities brought by the digital economy. What kind of regulation is needed to close the digital gap? GSR‑2015 will debate investment strategies, m‑payments, business models, the impact of taxation, the Internet of Everything, interoperability in the digital ecosystem, e‑accessibility, and the impact of regulation on broadband. All in all, the next quarter looks set to be an exciting one — stay tuned!