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The Who, What, Where and Why?

The World Telecommunication Development Conference (WTDC) is organized by the International Telecommunication Union (ITU). The Telecommunication Development Bureau (BDT) of the ITU carries out the preparations for the Conference and organizes its work. WTDC is a gathering of the ITU's 189 Member States and 250 or so ITU-D Sector Members. The objective of the meeting is to establish ICT development priorities, strategies and Action Plans to direct and guide the work of the BDT.

The First World Telecommunication Development Conference took place in Buenos Aires, Argentina, in 1994. That Conference approved the Buenos Aires Action Plan which set the scene for four years of activity of the ITU Development Sector.

The Second World Telecommunication Development Conference took place in Valletta, Malta, in 1998. That Conference reviewed the progress made worldwide over the previous four-year period, including the developments in the Global Information Society. It also examined and evaluated the implementation of the Buenos Aires Action Plan, approved recommendations prepared by the ITU-D Study Groups and adopted the Valetta Action Plan.

The Third World Telecommunication Development Conference (WTDC-02) will be held at Lütfi Kirdar Convention and Exhibition Centre in Istanbul, Turkey from 18-27 March 2002 and shall establish work programs and guidelines, define ICT development questions and priorities in view of the high-level recognition of the digital divide created by the rapid and pervasive expansion of ICTs.

WTDC-02 will determine the objectives and strategies for the balanced worldwide and regional development of telecommunications, giving particular consideration to the expansion and modernization of the networks and services of the developing countries as well as the mobilization of the resources required for this purpose.

The Organizers

The ITU is a specialized agency of the UN system, within which governments and the private telecommunication sector coordinate the establishment and operation of telecommunication networks and services. It is responsible for regulation, standardization, coordination and development of international telecommunications as well as the harmonization of national policies.

The Telecommunication Development Bureau (BDT) is the administrative arm of the ITU Development Sector. It has well-established programmes of activities to:

  • facilitate connectivity and access
  • foster policy, regulatory and network readiness
  • expand human capacity through training
  • formulate financing strategies
  • integrate least developed countries into the global community and
  • e-enable enterprises in developing countries.

The host of the WTDC-02 conference is the Government of Turkey, acting through the Telecommunications Authority of Turkey, the national regulator.

Who Can Attend

The Conference is intended for:

  • Administrations of each Member State
  • Sector Members concerned
  • Regional Telecommunication Organizations
  • Intergovernmental Organizations operating Satellite Systems
  • Other regional organizations or other international organizations dealing with matters of interest to the conference
  • Observers, including the United Nations and its specialized agencies

Output of WTDC-2002

The Conference is expected to adopt:

  • The Istanbul Declaration, enshrining a shared vision of the future of telecommunications worldwide
  • A Strategic Plan for Bridging the Digital Divide, translating the vision into objectives and priorities for consideration by the Plenipotentiary Conference in Marrakesh, Morocco (23 september to 18 october 2002) and for inclusion in the Strategic Plan of the ITU.
  • An Action Plan for Bridging the Digital Divide at the global level for worldwide network extension and at the regional level to cope with specificities. This will establish the work programme for the period 2003 to 2007.



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Updated : 2002-03-11