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Telecommunication Development Sector

Regional Preparatory Meeting for the Asia and Pacific Region for WTDC-10  
Kuala Lumpur, 5 - 7 May 2009
Document RPM-ASP09/45-E
7 May 2009

Original: English

Report by the Chairman

Part I: RPM Proceedings


The Regional Preparatory Meeting was organized by the Telecommunication Development Bureau (BDT) of the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia from 5-7 May 2009, at the kind invitation of the Government of Malaysia.

The objective of the RPM-ASP was to identify priorities, at the regional level, for the development of telecommunications and of information technologies, taking into account the expression of pressing issues facing the Member States and Sector Members of the region. The Meeting arrived at proposals on priority areas to serve as a basis for the formulation of contributions to the World Telecommunication Development Conference 2010 (WTDC-10) on the BDT future work.

This report gives an account of the work and results of the meeting.


The meeting was attended by 97 participants representing 25 countries, 4 operating agencies, 5 regional and international organizations and 3 observers. The list of participants can be found here.

Meeting of Heads of Delegation

The meeting of Heads of Delegation recommended Mr Abu Hassan Ismail, Special Advisor, Ministry of Information, Communications and Culture, Malaysia, as Chairman of the RPM-ASP with Mr Alfred Soakai, Kingdom of Tonga and Mr R.N. Jha, Government of India, as vice-chairmen. The Head of Delegations also endorsed the proposed agenda and the time management plan.

Opening Ceremony

The Director of the ITU Telecommunication Development Bureau (BDT), Mr Sami Al Basheer Al Morshid, welcomed all the delegates to the meeting and thanked the host country for their excellent arrangements. While recognizing the rapid growth rate of ICT in the Asia Pacific region, Mr Al Basheer acknowledged the existing gap between the countries that have attained higher growth in ICT and those that still have limited access. He highlighted the following challenges confronting the region: lack of Infrastructure leading to limited access, lack of appropriate enabling environment, emergency communication needs, human capacity gap and the impact of the ongoing global financial crisis. Finally, the BDT Director invited the delegates to seize this opportunity presented by the RPM-ASP to identify priorities for the next action plan to be discussed at the WTDC-10. The full text of the speech is available here.

In his opening remarks, Mr Houlin Zhao, Deputy Secretary-General, International Telecommunication Union highlighted the leading role played by the ITU in organizing the World Summit on Information Society (WSIS). He touched on the need to mainstream gender, people with disabilities, and the urgency in addressing the challenges posed by the current financial crisis. He also highlighted the outcomes of the recent World Telecommunication Policy Forum (WTPF) held in Lisbon (2009).

H.E. Dato’ Joseph Salang, Deputy Minister, Ministry of Information, Communications and Culture, Malaysia welcomed the delegates and called upon them to review the action plan of WSIS in order to set the strategic plans for ITU-D’s work for the next four years. He underlined the need to further narrow the digital divide, develop broadband, build human capacity and grapple with convergence. Stressing the importance of cybersecurity, the Deputy Minister told delegates that Malaysia is the host of International Multilateral Partnership Against Cyber Threats (IMPACT), the first global public-private initiative created within the framework of the ITU’s Global Cybersecurity Agenda (GCA) to find strategic solutions to boost confidence and security in an increasingly networked information society.

Following the recommendation made by the Heads of Delegation, the nomination of Mr Abu Hassan Ismail as Chairman and Mr Alfred Soakai and Mr R.N. Jha as Vice Chairmen was endorsed by acclamation.

The chairman addressed the participants to express his gratitude for his nomination and his anticipation of a productive meeting. Stressing the importance of ensuring the inclusion of all countries in the Information Society, he urged all participants to contribute actively to the discussions and take an active part in the meeting.

Agenda and Time Management Plan

The meeting reviewed the draft Agenda, Time Management Plan and the Document Allocation Table. The Agenda (Document 01) and Time Management Plan (DT01) were introduced by the Chairman and adopted by the meeting (see Annexes 1 and 2). Conference documents are available on the meeting’s website.

ICT development status in the region: challenges and opportunities

BDT introduced document 41 entitled Information Society Statistical Profiles 2009 – Asia and the Pacific and gave an overview of the current ICT trends, highlighting the ICT and broadband status in Asia-Pacific and benchmarking ICT developments in the region. The new ICT Development Index was also introduced.

Implementation of Doha Action Plan

The Meeting took note of the following documents presented by the BDT:

Document 03: Report on the Implementation of the Doha Action Plan (DAP) Programmes, Study Groups, Activities and Initiatives in the Asia-Pacific Region (2007-May 2009)

This report provides a summary of the various activities undertaken by the BDT in implementing WTDC-06 Programmes, Study Groups, Activities and Special Initiatives during the last two and one half years with a particular emphasis on the Asia-Pacific region: activities undertaken under ASP Regional Initiatives and with regard to WSIS follow-up and implementation are reported in separate contributions to the Regional Preparatory Meeting.

Document 15: Report on implementation and planned activities of WTDC-06 Resolutions (From 1 January 2007 to 31 December 2009)

This report provides additional information on various activities undertaken or planned by the BDT for the period of three years (January 07 to December 09) in implementing Doha Action Plan (DAP) with particular emphasis on WTDC-06 Resolutions, relevant to Programmes, Study Groups, Activities and Special Initiatives.

Document 02: Report on implementation of Doha Action Plan (Resolution 17 – ASP Regional Initiatives)

This document reports on the status of implementation of the Regional Initiatives (Resolution 17 Rev. Doha, 2006) as well as provides an overview on the other projects implemented within ASP Region.

Document 05: Summary of ITU-T Action Plan for WTSA-08 Resolutions (Johannesburg, 2008) which includes reference to ITU-D/BDT

The ITU World Telecommunication Standardization Assembly (WTSA-08, 21–30 October 2008, Johannesburg, South Africa) adopted 49 Resolutions, 21 of which are new. A list of 17 Resolutions which call for collaboration with ITU-D/BDT, together with excerpts from the Resolutions requiring actions ("resolves", "instructs") related to ITU-D/BDT and (high-level) action items was presented.

Further presentations on the above mentioned documents were made on the activities (Programmes, Projects and Regional Initiatives) specific to the Asia Pacific region.

Topics for BDT future work

Document 06: A fresh look on ITU-D activities

The purpose of this document was to trigger discussion, especially on programming of BDT activities and potential for consolidation in preparation for the World Telecommunication Development Conference (WTDC-10). The document was presented by BDT Secretariat. The BDT Director emphasized that the future programming layout in the document was given as an example and Members were invited to submit contributions as they deemed fit.

While some concerns were expressed on the extent to which the future programming of BDT can be clustered, the document was generally endorsed. Spectrum management, numbering and electronic addressing, cybersecurity and broadcasting was included as suggested by Malaysia.

Some members from SIDS suggested that the specific needs of the LDCs and SIDS be taken into consideration.

Document 11: Evaluation on implementation of the Resolutions/Decisions, Initiatives of WTDC-06

Vietnam proposed that there is a need to evaluate BDT’s work on the implementation of WTDC’s Resolutions, Decisions, Programmes and Initiatives in line with result based management. This is not only needed to optimize the use of resources and to reach tangible results, but it is also a prerequisite for better accountability and transparency in the implementation of activities decided by ITU Members.

The BDT Director informed the Meeting that a system was already in place to evaluate BDT activities on a regular basis. He took note of the comments and suggested taking all necessary measures to continue improving efficiency wherever needed in line with established ITU evaluation mechanisms.

Document 19: Proposal to include SIDS in fellowships programme

The document, presented by Tonga, requests the extension of the ITU fellowships programme beyond LDCs to include SIDS. The Director of BDT acknowledged the difficulties faced by this group of countries and stated that all the proposals contained in the document would be included in the final report of the meeting.

Document 26: Key considerations when establishing ITU-D Sector work priorities

The Australian proposal includes improvement of current working methods, regular assessment of work methods and not to undermine the importance of small projects directed towards specific needs of countries. Australia welcomed Document 06 and supported the Regional Initiative on SIDS.

ABU supported the proposal of Australia and highlighted the need to undertake assessment of small scale versus large scale projects.

Document 07: ITU-D assistance to broadcasters

The proposal of the Asia-Pacific Broadcasting Union (ABU) focuses on the creation of training materials as well as information sharing. ABU gave several proposals to work with BDT including issues such as bridging the digital divide, emergency communication, conversion of analogue to digital broadcasting, archiving broadcasting programmes from analogue to digital, spectrum issues, human resource development issues and also proposed a new Regional Initiative for digital broadcasting.

Document 39: Cooperation agreement between ITU and AIBD (Broadcasting Development) Action Plan 2010-2013

AIBD presented the document which seeks to provide assistance to broadcasters (Radio and Television) to enhance their skills and improve on efficiency and effectiveness through regional seminars and other such events.

The proposals relating to the migration to digital broadcasting were supported by Indonesia.

Document 08: Assistance to developing countries for the development of their telecommunication master plans

Indonesia presented this document and sought the support of BDT in the provision of direct country assistance to the countries in the region for the development of master plans.

Document 10: Collaborative efforts on the provision of high capacity backbone networks in Asia-Pacific region

Indonesia presented the document and sought BDT involvement in facilitating bold progress towards provision of high capacity backbone networks by countries in the Asia-Pacific region.

Document 16: Human capacity building in next 5 years for upcoming NGN environment in India with the help of ITU experts

India presented the proposal and sought direct assistance from BDT to build human capacity in the country as well as in the region to develop a large scale pool of experts to address NGN issues.

Document 25: Compilation of experiences and case studies on NGN migration

The document was presented by BDT on behalf of ITU-APT Foundation of India. The proposal requests that the lessons learnt on NGN migration be compiled and a comprehensive guidebook prepared.

Document 09: Impelling telecommunication technology for rural areas in the Asia-Pacific Region and other Regions

Indonesia presented the proposal urging WTDC-10 to focus on development of rural communications and narrowing the digital divide.

Document 17: India’s experience in rural telecom

India presented the proposal on the importance of rural communications and offered to share its experiences with other countries in the region.

Document 23: SMART ICT Villages showcase

The document, presented by BDT on behalf of ITU-APT Foundation of India, seeks to share information on a project being undertaken by the Government of India to create SMART ICT villages.

Document 27: ITU Development Sector role in cybersecurity initiatives

Australia proposed to incorporate cybersecurity initiatives into the proposed broader programme to be entitled "Cybersecurity and ICT applications". Australia also proposed to modify WTDC Resolution 45 to align it with the developments at the WTSA and the outcome of the WTPF.

Document 33: Managing telecom SPAM

The document, presented by BDT on behalf of Telecom Regulatory Authority of India, proposes a study question on regulatory framework to curb Unsolicited Commercial Communication in various countries.

Presentation of the IMPACT initiative

The Director of BDT invited the representative of IMPACT to make a presentation on the facilities and services that the centre would provide to the membership.

The representative explained the significance of the initiative, which mirrors the US Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and acts as a centre for information sharing and capacity building in the area of countering cyber-threats. The presentation is available here.

The participants requested clarification on IMPACT’s mandate, modus operandi and services to be made available. It was pointed out that all ITU Members were eligible for membership upon signature of a MoU. The BDT Director informed that the services of IMPACT are voluntary in nature, that they imply sharing of information and data gathering and they do not raise any sovereignty concerns. A site visit to IMPACT facilities for interested participants was organized after the closing of the RPM-ASP.

Document 28: Framing of standard Regulatory Impact Analysis (RIA) Guidelines for telecom regulators

The document presented by BDT on behalf of Telecom Regulatory Authority of India proposes a new study question on framing the standard RIA guidelines to improve the quality of regulatory decision-making.

The Director of BDT clarified that the BDT is presenting documents on behalf of those sector members who are not present at the meeting.

Document 31: Costing methodologies used in telecom regulation

The document was presented by BDT on behalf of Telecom Regulatory Authority of India. The proposal is to have a study group question(s) to study costing methodologies, particularly in a converged environment.

Document 35: Electronic governance in developing countries - strategy, capacity, implementation
The United Nations University (UNU) introduced the document that seeks collaboration between BDT and UNU in line with Doha Action Plan and WSIS outcomes, in particular on issues relating to e-Governance.

Australia took the floor to suggest that policy and regulatory issues be considered as a regional initiative given the continued emphasis by the Members. Australia also recalled that document 31 recommends that this be considered within the framework of the BDT work programme.

The BDT Director took note of the comments and suggested its inclusion within Programmes and/or Regional Initiatives based on the final outcome.

Mongolia supported the proposal of UNU and requested BDT to consider sub regional actions similar to SIDS for landlocked countries. They also supported Indonesia’s and India’s proposal on rural communication. Iran (Islamic Rep. of) suggested that development issue should not be separated from regulatory issue. They proposed the establishment of a regional regulatory council to handle issues of regional nature such as roaming, quality of service, interconnection.

The Director of BDT welcomed the initiative and underlined that this was in line with the several initiatives already in existence on regional and sub-regional basis.

Document 14: Telecommunication application for disaster early warning for Asia-Pacific region

Vietnam presented the proposal on the establishment of a single database system to predict disaster for Asia Pacific region and the use of broadcast channels for disaster alert. Iran (Islamic Rep. of) and ABU supported the proposal.

BDT informed the meeting of the ITU ongoing activities in this area.

ITU Deputy Secretary-General informed the meeting of his role as the chair of ITU’s inter-sectoral task force on emergency communications and highlighted the active role played by ITU in assisting the countries affected by disaster in this region.

Document 30: Development of common regional key performance indicators

The document was presented by BDT on behalf of Telecom Regulatory Authority of India. The proposal requested BDT to assist in providing a basic list of indicators that network operators, regulators and analysts could use to carry comparative analysis.

BDT took the floor to acknowledge the link between the proposal made and document 41.

Document 22: ICT and gender equality

The document was presented by BDT on behalf of the ITU-APT Foundation of India. The proposal requests the assistance of BDT in creating awareness on Gender Equality issue and policy implications if any.

Document 24: Young professionals and student forum

The document was presented by BDT on behalf of the ITU-APT Foundation of India. The proposal requests BDT assistance in creating awareness on youth related issues.

The BDT Director welcomed the proposal and informed the meeting of the current ITU activities in this area.

Document 13: Inputs for RPM – WTDC-10

Bhutan highlighted the shortfall in financial and human resources in the country and requested direct country assistance in areas indicated in the proposal. In particular they emphasized the need for developing a National Emergency Communication Plan.

Document 20: Needs for Pacific Islands Countries

Tonga presented a proposal requesting BDT to support the implementation of the decisions taken during the Pacific ICT Ministerial Forum and contained in the Communiqué. In this context, Tonga requested BDT to continue its work on affordable access, enabling environment, cybersecurity and ICT applications, emergency communication and disaster relief, climate change and human capacity building.

Papua New Guinea supported the proposal from Tonga. They also highlighted the need for a new regional initiative on unique needs of SIDS and requested BDT support for the establishment of a Pacific Regional Resource Centre.

The BDT Director welcomed the proposal and informed the meeting that initiatives are being undertaken in this regard.

Document 37: Proposal for ICT development

The proposal of Iran (Islamic Rep. of) highlights the importance of information sharing on regulatory procedures and interconnection, research related to ICT, ICT role in protecting the environment, improvement in the quality of life in rural areas through new technologies. Iran also supported the proposal in document 29 on "Green Telecommunications" and the proposals contained in documents 14 and 18.

Document 18: Need for an ITU Reference document for interoperability at equipment level in NGN network

India proposed that ITU may undertake the preparation of a reference document containing interoperability requirements at equipment level to help the smooth implementation of NGN.

Document 21: Emergency communications services

The document, presented by BDT on behalf of the ITU-APT Foundation of India, proposes the creation of a task force to develop minimum interoperable communication standards for broadband equipment used for public safety as a guideline for various countries.

Document 29: Green telecommunications

The document was presented by BDT on behalf of the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India. The proposal aims to promote the study and sharing of information on various aspects of "Green Telecommunications".

Document 32: Bridging the digital divide: universal access to broadband

The proposal, presented by BDT on behalf of the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India, seeks to examine the feasibility of increasing the multilingual support of different ICT applications.

Document 36: Sector Membership

The Government of Thailand submitted a proposal that would enable entities from developing and least developed countries (LDCs) to choose from the scale of contributions applicable to the ITU-D Sector when applying for ITU-T Sector membership. Vietnam supported the proposal of Thailand, and indicated that owing to the ongoing financial crisis, it is important to bring this issue to the notice of the ITU Council.

The BDT Director welcomed the proposal and the need for participation of entities from LDCs and developing countries in all ITU sectors. He acknowledged that the issue could be taken up in the appropriate fora such as the Plenipotentiary Conference.

The Deputy Secretary-General also welcomed the proposal from Thailand supported by Vietnam and recognized the financial challenges of participation of LDCs and developing countries.

Document 04: Report on implementation of Doha Action Plan (WSIS Implementation)

The document provides an overview of the activities undertaken by BDT within the context of WSIS Action Plan. It underlines the dual roles of implementer and facilitator for a number of action lines. The document also focuses on roadmap to WSIS and invited inputs from the delegates.

Document 12: Roadmap for WSIS Action Lines

Malaysia proposes that ITU’s role as a leading agency in WSIS is reaffirmed. The document suggests a roadmap as well as templates for performance indicator measurements for WSIS implementation. In the proposal Malaysia suggested organising World Conference on Cybersecurity and World Conference on Digital Divide between 2010 and 2012.

Document 40: ITU/UNESCAP cooperation and collaboration

This document was presented by BDT on behalf of the UNESCAP. UNESCAP proposed areas of cooperation with ITU in promoting the use of ICT and space technology to achieve the Millenium Development Goals (MDGs).

Australia sought clarification on the proposed ITU roadmap and encouraged identification of efficiency and avoid duplication in implementing the WSIS outcomes. BDT stated that the document is being coordinated with ITU-R while inputs from ITU-T have been incorporated.

The Director of BDT explained the role of the BDT and its activities. He highlighted the link between BDT’s work and the WSIS outcomes. He stated the need to avoid overlaps and duplication of efforts and welcomed the proposal from Malaysia.

The Chairman asked for clarification on the WSIS follow-up on the C2, C5, and C6 Action Lines.

The ITU Deputy Secretary-General informed the Meeting of the various initiatives being undertaken by ITU to facilitate, implement and coordinate the WSIS Action lines.

Document 43: Developing a regional benchmarking for key telecommunications factors for the Pacific Islands

PNG proposed developing regional benchmarks on issues including costs, tariffs, key performance indicators, cybersecurity, emergency communication, fraud and revenue leakages.

Document 44: Assistance to develop a regional platform for continuity and critical information and infrastructure protection

Papua New Guinea (PNG) presented the proposal to develop a platform and program for preparedness, prevention and protection of critical infrastructure in situations of emergency and disaster in small island countries of the Pacific region.

Tonga supported the proposal (documents 43 and 44) made by PNG.

Document 38: Next Generation Networks

The document was presented by the BDT Secretariat on behalf of the Telecommunications Regulatory Commission of Sri Lanka (TRCSL). TRCSL proposed a regional initiative to explore NGN issues including standards, architecture, economic matters and public interest matters including emergency communications.

PART-II: Proposal for Future Work
from the Asia-Pacific Region

After considering the introduction of documents and interventions, the RPM-ASP identified the following as priority areas for programmes, regional initiatives, and Study Group Questions for BDT future work.

Priority Areas for Programmes

The Members’ contributions to the RPM-ASP include a number of topics that require the provision of training, expertise and information sharing. These topics, which are global in nature, could be operationalized through programmes supported by the following four modes of delivery: the creation of tools, development of training materials, information dissemination through workshops and seminars as well as direct assistance.

The proposed topics could be consolidated into programmes based on the linkages or similarities between them, as follows:

Programme 1
Information and communication infrastructure

Broadcasting (documents 07, 39)
Backbone networks (document 10)
NGN and broadband (documents 18, 25, 37, 38)
Rural telecommunications (documents 09, 17, 23, 37)
Disaster Early warning and Emergency communications (documents 13, 14, 20, 21, 37, 44)
Access (document 20)
Mobile communications
Resources such as spectrum, numbering and electronic addressing

Programme 2
Cybersecurity and ICT Applications

Cybersecurity initiatives (document 27)
Combatting Spam (document 23)
E-governance (document 35), E-health (document 25)
Cybersecurity and ICT applications (document 20, 37)
Climate change, environment protection and green telecommunications (documents 20, 29, 37)
Internet related policy issues
Multilingualism for ICT applications (document 32)

Programme 3
Enabling Environment

Costing methodologies used in telecom regulation (document 31)
Guidelines for telecoms regulators (document 28)
Benchmarking (documents 30, 43)
Enabling environment (document 20)
Telecommunication national Master Plans (document 08)
Telecommunications regulation and Interconnection (document 37)

Programme 4
Capacity Building and other initiatives

Training in new technologies (document 16)
ICT and Gender equality (document 22)
Young professionals (document 24)
Human capacity building (document 20)

ASP Regional Initiatives

The Asia-Pacific Regional Initiatives are intended to address the specific ICT priority areas through partnerships and resource mobilization to implement small-, medium- and large-scale projects. Under each Regional Initiative, projects would be developed and implemented to meet countries’ needs.

1. Unique ICT needs of least developed countries (LDCs), small islands developing countries (SIDS) and landlocked Countries

Objective: Provision of special assistance to LDCs, SIDS and landlocked countries to meet their priority ICT requirements

Expected results

  1. Improved infrastructure and enhanced access to affordable ICT services
  2. Improved enabling environment to facilitate the ICT development
  3. Appropriate national, sub-regional and regional frameworks for cybersecurity
  4. Enhanced skills of relevant human resources

2. Emergency communication

Objective: To provide the assistance to Member States at all phases of disaster management i.e. disaster preparedness including early warning, disaster response/relief and rehabilitation of telecommunication networks

Expected results

  1. Identification of suitable technologies to be used for emergency communication
  2. Creation of common databases to share information on emergency communication
  3. Design of national and sub-regional emergency communication plans taking into account the impact of climate change
  4. Development of appropriate policy, regulatory and legislative frameworks on emergency communication at national and regional level
  5. Enhancing the skills of concerned human resources

3. Digital broadcasting

Objective: To assist ITU Member States towards a smooth transition from analogue to digital broadcasting

Expected results

  1. Policy and regulatory framework for digital terrestrial broadcasting including mobile television;
  2. Digital broadcasting master plan for transition from analogue to digital broadcasting including Mobile TV and IPTV
  3. Appropriate mechanism for conversion from analogue to digital archives
  4. Provision of assistance in the field of interactive multimedia services to broadcasters of the Asia-Pacific region
  5. Enhanced skills on digital broadcasting technologies of relevant human resources
  6. Comprehensive guidelines on transition from analogue to digital broadcasting

4. Broadband access and uptake in urban and rural areas

Objective: To assist Member States in the development of broadband access in urban and rural areas

Expected results

  1. National ICT master plan in meeting the requirements of developing countries
  2. Improved broadband infrastructure and access to affordable ICT services in urban and rural areas
  3. Development of ICT applications that can support multilingualism and address local needs
  4. Enhanced skills on broadband communication network for the relevant human resources

5. Telecommunication / ICT policy and regulation in Asia-Pacific region

Objective: To assist Member States in the development of appropriate policy and regulatory frameworks, enhanced skills, increased information sharing and strengthened regulatory cooperation.

Expected results

  1. Development of appropriate policy, regulatory and legislative frameworks to improve ICT penetration
  2. Enhancing the skills of relevant human resources
  3. Promote regulatory cooperation and information sharing

Study Group Questions

  1. Combating spam (document 23)
  2. Costing methodology in a converged environment (document 31)
  3. Compilation of experiences and case studies on NGN migration (document 25)
  4. Framing of standard guidelines for Regulatory Impact Analysis to improve the quality of regulatory decision-making (document 28)

WSIS implementation

Roadmap and performance indicator measurements for WSIS Action Lines (document 12, 26)



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