Taking note of the above and
with a view to setting goals and objectives for the future, the Conference
have been accomplished since the first World Telecommunication Development
Conference in 1994. The implementation of the Buenos Aires Action Plan (Chapters
II and III) has been largely satisfactory thanks to the collaborative efforts of
all the parties involved. It is noteworthy that the key to this success was the
considerable effort made by the countries themselves and the catalytic inputs of
their development partners, including public, private and intergovernmental
organizations. The ITU-D study groups also made a significant contribution to
the body of knowledge which has been placed at the disposal of the
The successes of the past
are a great encouragement to all stakeholders in the sector to sustain these
efforts in the upcoming period from 1999 to 2003. These initiatives will be a
key factor for the success of the Valletta Action Plan.
The BDT should promote the
enhanced participation of the private sector in the activities of the ITU-D and
it should facilitate the creation of partnerships between governments and
private enterprises and between the private enterprises in developed countries
and those in developing countries.
including sound and television broadcasting techniques, is an essential
component of political, economic, social and cultural development. It fuels the
global society and economy and is rapidly transforming our lives and promoting
better understanding among peoples. It also plays an important role in
protecting the environment and in the mitigation of natural and other disasters.
All stakeholders are urged to make their contribution to extend these benefits
to all peoples.
New technologies have a
significant impact on the expansion of telecommunications and have the potential
to close the gap not only between developing and developed countries but also
between urban and rural areas within a country.
telecommunications, computing and broadcasting, and multimedia applications, is
opening up new perspectives for the sector, providing opportunities for tele‑education,
telemedicine, environmental protection and many other applications which are
highly beneficial for social and economic development.
emergence of innovative and entrepreneurial approaches to providing a rural
service, and more cost-effective technologies, may provide the opportunity for
telecommunication services in rural and remote areas to be profitable.
The global information
infrastructure (GII), of which the Internet is a precursor, and the global
information society (GIS) are evolving and should be responsive to the interests
of all nations, especially developing countries.
The opportunities offered by
modern technologies should be fully exploited through research, development and
innovative technological applications for the ongoing betterment of our lives.
The environment of the
telecommunication sector is undergoing significant changes. The combined forces
of "demand pull" and "supply push" have made telecommunications one of the
leading growth sectors of the world economy. The telecommunication sector has a
high profit potential in every country of the world. However, experience
suggests that in developing countries retained earnings in the sector are not
sufficient to finance all new projects because networks are underdeveloped and
do not generate enough cash flow.
Sector reforms leading to
greater private sector involvement and competition are new forces shaping the
development of telecommunications. These new challenges of the information
society and the new trade environment heightened by the agreements reached by WTO, place even greater pressure on policy-makers, regulators and operators to
acquire the necessary skills to manage the new environment.
In this respect, human
resources development becomes a key success factor.
Governments play a key role
in the development of telecommunications, and are urged to establish appropriate
policies and regulatory structures to promote reasonable and affordable access
to basic telecommunication services for all.
The regulatory framework
should also create a stable and transparent environment, promote fair
competition while protecting network integrity and guarantee the rights of
users, operators and investors. Policies and strategies for the development of
telecommunications should reflect the trend towards multi-services utilizing a
common infrastructure platform.
Global, regional and
national financing and investment agencies are urged to attach high priority to
the growth of telecommunications, particularly in developing countries.
ITU has a special role to
play in advising policy-makers on the options available in tailoring policies
and regulatory structures to fit a country's unique requirements. ITU should
work in collaboration with regional telecommunication organizations and
international, regional and national development and financing agencies, as well
as with the private sector, to bring about appropriate sector reform.
ITU's regional presence and
synergy and collaboration between the Standardization, Radiocommunication and
Development Sectors of ITU will be highly beneficial in instilling dynamism and
vitality in the process of transferring knowledge and technology.
ITU should be urged to
promote the development, expansion and operation of telecommunication networks
and services, particularly in developing countries, taking into account the
activities of other relevant bodies, by reinforcing capabilities for the
implementation of new services and technologies including the Internet, mobile
and other wireless technologies, human resources development and management,
planning, management, resource mobilization and research and development.
ITU-D is urged to provide
expert knowledge, information and advice to developing countries to enable them
to make significant advances in the telecommunication sector.
Further, ITU-D is committed
to encouraging gender issues in its programmes as well as ways to reflect the
needs of other aspects of global society such as youth and the needs of
WTDC-98 drew the attention
of all ITU Member States and Sector Members to a number of pressing issues.
These included the importance of emergency telecommunications and the need for
an international convention on this subject and the need to address, as a matter
of urgency, the "Year 2000" problem. It also pointed to a number of mechanisms
for the Development Sector to advance the goals of telecommunication development
including Opinion B of the World Telecommunication Policy Forum (Geneva, 1998)
and the opportunities provided by the centres of excellence funded by the
surplus funds from the ITU TELECOM exhibitions.
WTDC-98 reaffirmed the ITU-D
commitment to focus its activities on the major facets of telecommunication
development, including among other things sector and regulatory reform,
accounting rate reform, management of technologies, finance and investment and
human resources, giving special attention to the least developed countries
(LDCs). ITU is urged to encourage and support universal service, global access
and fair pricing.