His Excellency Dr. Hamadoun I. Touré, Secretary-General of the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), and H.E. Mohamed Nasser Al Ghanim Director General of the Telecommunications Regulatory Authority of the UAE (TRA), today inaugurated World Conference on International Telecommunications (WCIT), taking place from 3-14 December 2012 at the Dubai World Trade Centre. Generally considered one of the most important conferences in the field of telecommunications, the conference is organized by the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), the United Nations’ specialized agency for ICTs and will review the current International Telecommunications Regulations (ITRs), the global treaty that regulates the telecommunications industry.
During his opening address, H.E. Al Ghanim said: “As we celebrate the spirit of the union of the United Arab Emirates, a spirit has greatly influenced our lives over the past four decades, a spirit that has brought us together in peace, harmony and prosperity, both amongst ourselves and in our relationships with the rest of the world, we look forward to that same spirit of union to be present at WCIT 2012.
We will do all we can to help you reach consensus, to resolve any difficulties and overcome any hurdles you may face, so that this conference reaches conclusions that would benefit all the people of the world.”
During the two-week WCIT-12 conference, delegations from ITU’s 193 Member States will debate revisions to the current treaty to ensure it better meets the needs of 21st century networks and users. Proposals to the conference include ways to accelerate the global roll-out of broadband (with an increased focus on energy efficiency and cutting e-waste); initiatives to further promote accessibility of technology to persons with disabilities; support for continuing investment in networks, services and applications; strategies to address high cost of mobile roaming and taxation of international telecommunications services; and the need for a harmonious and conducive international environment that drives future innovation.
The UAE has been leading the Arab States Region in presenting recommendations and proposals to the ITU, culminating in the joint proposal to amend the ITRs that will be submitted during WCIT 2012.
H.E. Al Ghanim added: “The accomplishments of the UAE at the international level have been noteworthy. We are proud to have played an important role in all of the ITU’s activities this year, starting with the World Radiocommunication Conference in Geneva which was chaired by the UAE, and ending with WCIT, which is also chaired by the UAE.”
The UAE, through the TRA, has hosted a series of high-profile ITU events over the past two months, including the ITU Telecom World in October, the Global Standards Symposium, and the World Telecommunication Standardization Assembly in November.