International Telecommunication Union   ITU
 
 
Site Map Contact us Print Version
 Thursday, January 12, 2012

n light of the frequency and magnitude of recent natural disasters, and in line with the Hyderabad Action Plan adopted by the World Telecommunication Development Conference in 2010 (WTDC-10), the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications (MIC) Japan and ITU are jointly organizing a Symposium on Disaster Communications on 16 March 2012 in Sendai City, at the Sendai International Center (http://www.sira.or.jp/icenter/english/index.html and www.itu.int/itu-d/emergencytelecoms/events.html)

The event will focus on the application of telecommunications/ICTs for the purpose of disaster preparedness, mitigation, response and recovery. Lessons will be mainly drawn from Japan that is currently involved in recovery efforts following the Great East Japan Earthquake of 11 March, 2011. The one-day symposium will be followed by an excursion around Sendai City, Miyagi Prefecture, one of the affected areas.

The symposium will be held back-to-back with Rapporteur Group meetings for Questions 22-1/2, 10-3/2, 11-3/2, 25/2 (15 March-21 March 2012). For the full description of each Study Questions, please visit: http://www.itu.int/net3/ITU-D/stg/index.aspx

The venue for the workshop is:

Sendai Internation Centre

Aobayama,
Aoba-ku,
Sendai,
980-0856 Japan
Click here to read more.

Thursday, January 12, 2012 10:59:05 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, March 17, 2011

When it comes to disaster management, there are quite a few aid organizations around the world who arrive quickly to the spot to help with whatever help required starting from food, to medicines and even ICT.

But Japan’s worst earthquake in decades that is leading to a nuclear crisis as well has raised a peculiar problem. How do international agencies reach with aid, particularly technology aid, when a disaster has the potential to endanger the lives of the helpers who are not locals?

In Japan for instance, Télécoms San Frontières
(TSF) -- or Telecom Without Borders -- the France-based NGO that specializes in setting up emergency telecommunications in disaster hit areas around the world, was one of the first international aid agencies to reach Japan for setting up an emergency telecommunication network in the affected areas.

But when Japan’s beleaguered nuclear power plants started spewing out nuclear radiation, TSF had to hastily retreat. According to TSF, concerned by the threat its staff faced due to the radiation hazard, TSF was forced to pull out yesterday; with bag, equipments and baggage, so to speak.

One organization that was able to tackle this eventuality smartly was UN’s
International Telecommunication Union (ITU).  ITU too dispatched its emergency telecommunications equipment to areas severely affected by the tsunami within 24 hours of Friday’s devastating earthquake.

But instead of sending its own people, it sent its equipment with detailed and lucidly composed instruction manuals so that the
local agencies operating on spot could deploy them easily.

Click here to read more.

Thursday, March 17, 2011 11:35:03 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, November 02, 2010

Satellite broadband terminals deployed following tsunami and volcanic eruption

Geneva, 1 November 2010 - ITU has deployed a hybrid of 40 broadband satellite terminals in an effort to restore vital communication links in the aftermath of a tsunami triggered by a 7.7-magnitude earthquake and a volcanic eruption that hit the Indonesian archipelago in two separate incidents.

As aid and rescue workers battle rough weather and difficult terrain to reach tsunami victims in the remote Mentawi islands off Sumatra, Mount Merapi continues to spew super-heated gas and debris on villages in Central Java. The natural disasters have wreaked havoc, causing untold death and destruction in their wake.

ITU Secretary-General Hamadoun Touré expressed his solidarity with the people of Indonesia and offered his condolences to the bereaved victims of the disaster. “The loss of life and destruction of property as a result of two natural disasters is a matter of deep concern and I offer my heartfelt condolences to the victims and to the people of Indonesia,” Dr Touré said. “ITU will do its utmost to provide assistance to people in the disaster-affected areas by re-establishing telecommunication links which will be vital in the rescue and rehabilitation efforts in the days ahead.”

Click here to read more..

Tuesday, November 02, 2010 10:12:52 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, February 04, 2010

3 February 2010 – Three weeks after the earthquake in Haiti, the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), the United Nations’ oldest agency, is still trying to re-establish reliable telephone and internet connections in the country, but also has long-term plans to help build state-of-the-art telecommunication networks there.

“We are working with the Haitian Government and operators to put in place telecommunication infrastructure that could be used for efficient and effective disaster management and for the general socio-economic development of the country,” Cosmas Zavazava, Chief of Emergency Telecommunications at the ITU, told the UN News Centre.

“Our aim is to help Haiti mobilize and deploy different kinds of technologies to mitigate the impacts of disasters. Reliable telecommunication systems can be complemented with remote sensing and GIS [geographic information systems] technology. In disaster management, a hybrid of these technologies is important,” Mr. Zavazava added.


For more information, go to UN News Centre at: http://www.un.org/apps/news/story.asp?NewsID=33668&Cr=haiti&Cr1

 

Thursday, February 04, 2010 4:04:54 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, January 14, 2010

Phone lines and cell phone towers are among the casualties in Port-au-Prince, after the worst earthquake in the region in 200 years. The International Telecommunication Union, the ITU, has announced that it is deploying equipment and experts to establish emergency telecommunications services in the affected areas. Bissera Kostova spoke to ITU's Chief of Emergency Telecommunications, Cosmas Zavazava, about the operation.

Zavazava: ITU, as the specialized agency of the United Nations in providing information and communications technologies has allocated a budget of slightly over one million US dollars for purposes of deploying telecommunications resources by way of satellite based solutions, which are capable of providing voice communications and high speed data, which can be used, of course, for telemedicine facilities to help the injured and those who are maimed.

For more information, go to UN Radio news at: http://www.unmultimedia.org/radio/english/detail/89075.html

Thursday, January 14, 2010 3:16:35 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, October 08, 2009

UNITED NATIONS, Oct. 8 (Xinhua) -- The United Nations has teamed up with two leading global satellite companies in a bid to strengthen emergency communications before impending natural disasters strike and to save more lives by better coordinating relief efforts in their aftermath, the UN telecommunications agency announced on Thursday.

    Inmarsat and Vizada have agreed to donate 70 state-of-the-art and highly portable satellite devices -- capable of delivering voice and broadband data wherever disasters take place -- to the International Telecommunications Union (ITU).

    ITU will receive preferential airtime rates and technical training support as part of the agreement, the UN agency said. When everything else fails, satellite communications provides a critical link for humanitarian agencies and victims.

For more information, go to: http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/2009-10/09/content_12196498.htm 

Thursday, October 08, 2009 9:30:51 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, May 23, 2008

Geneva, 22 May 2008 

The International Telecommunication Union has deployed 100 satellite terminals to help restore vital communication links in the aftermath of the severe earthquake that struck central China on 12 May 2008. The 8.0-magnitude quake in Sichuan province of China killed more than 40 000 people and injured hundreds of thousands, with many still missing ten days after the tragedy. The quake, which destroyed infrastructure and telecommunications lines, disrupted electricity and transport, brought down buildings and rendered nearly 5 million people homeless, is the country's worst natural disaster in three decades.

With the restoration of communication links, designated government officials and other humanitarian agencies are now able to more efficiently coordinate relief operations. The mobile satellite terminals are easily transported by road and air to be used both by humanitarian workers and the victims of this disaster.

For more information go to TMCnet at  http://asia.tmcnet.com/news/2008/05/22/3460835.htm

 

Friday, May 23, 2008 9:09:48 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

22nd May 2008

The International Telecommunication Union (ITU) has deployed 100 satellite phones to help restore vital communication links in the aftermath of the severe earthquake that struck central China. The quake, which destroyed infrastructure and telecommunications lines, disrupted electricity and transport, brought down buildings and rendered nearly 5 million people homeless, is the country's worst natural disaster in three decades.

 

With the restoration of communication links, designated government officials and other humanitarian agencies are now able to more efficiently coordinate relief operations. The mobile satellite terminals are easily transported by road and air to be used both by humanitarian workers and the victims of this disaster.able to more efficiently coordinate relief operations. The mobile satellite terminals are easily transported by road and air to be used both by humanitarian workers and the victims of this disaster.

For more information, go to Cellular News at http://www.cellular-news.com/story/31314.php

Friday, May 23, 2008 9:03:49 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
May 23, 2008

The International Telecommunication Union (ITU) has deployed 100 satellite terminals in China to help restore vital communication links in the aftermath of the severe earthquake that hit on May 12, the UN agency said on Thursday.

The 8.0-magnitude quake in the southwest Sichuan province killed tens of thousands of people and also destroyed infrastructure and telecommunications lines, disrupted electricity and transport.

The mobile satellite terminals are easily transported by road and air to be used both by humanitarian workers and the victims of this disaster.

With the restoration of communication links, designated government officials and other humanitarian agencies are now able to more efficiently coordinate relief operations, ITU said in a statement.

For more information, go to People's Daily Online at http://english.peopledaily.com.cn/90001/90776/6416624.html

Friday, May 23, 2008 9:01:26 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Source: Reliefweb

Date: 22 May 2008

Emergency health kits capable of providing assistance to 30,000 people for up to one month have been rushed into the quake-affected areas of Sichuan province in China by the United Nations World Health Organization (WHO).

One hundred satellite terminals have been deployed to provide accurate coordination of relief and rescue operations by the UN International Telecommunication Union (ITU), as UN aid agencies continue their humanitarian efforts.

State media report that over 41,000 people lost their lives as a result of the massive temblor on 12 May, which measured 7.8 on the Richter scale. Some 32,000 people are missing, while more than 250,000 others have sustained injuries. Roughly 5 million people have been left homeless.

ITU said the 100 mobile satellite terminals they are supplying are easily transported by road and air and can be used by both humanitarian workers and quake victims.

‘I would like to assure the Government that ITU is ready to provide expertise in carrying out telecommunication network damage assessments aimed at paving the way for the rehabilitation of the damaged telecommunications structure,’ said Sami Al Basheer Al Morshid, Director of ITU’s Telecommunication Development Bureau.

The hand-held Thuraya satellite phones use both satellite and GSM networks and can provide accurate GPS coordinates to support relief and rescue efforts.

For more information, go to Reliefweb at http://www.reliefweb.int/rw/RWB.NSF/db900SID/EGUA-7EVNSV?OpenDocument

Friday, May 23, 2008 8:56:16 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Monday, 19 May 2008, 11:38

The International Telecommunication Union has deployed 100 satellite terminals to help restore vital communication links in the aftermath of Cyclone Nargis that hit Myanmar on 2 May with devastating effect in Yangon and the low-lying Irrawaddy delta region. 

With the restoration of communication links, designated government officials and other humanitarian agencies are able to more efficiently coordinate relief operations. The mobile terminals are easily transported by road and air to be used both by humanitarian workers and the victims of this disaster.

Tin Htwe, director-general of the Posts & Telecommunications Department of Myanmar, comments: "In the light of the level of damage caused by Nargis, we warmly welcome ITU's offer of assistance."
Cosmas Zavazava, chief of ITU's Division for Emergency Telecommunications, says: "In confronting the global challenge of climate change, we are intensifying our activities in integrating information and communication technologies in disaster preparedness, including early warning and disaster relief, so as to save human lives.
"Since July last year, we have provided ICT relief services to the Americas, Africa, and Asia and Pacific regions." ITU is providing both Thuraya hand-held satellite phones and Inmarsat Global Area Network (GAN) terminals.
"The Thuraya satellite phones use both satellite and GSM networks and also provide accurate GPS positioning coordinates to aid relief and rescue. The Inmarsat GAN terminals are mainly used for voice communications and, for high-speed data. ITU pays for all expenses, including transportation of the equipment and usage."

For more information, go to IT-Online at http://it-online.co.za/content/view/287432/142/

Wednesday, May 21, 2008 9:59:59 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

20 May 2008 at 14:43

News, Disaster Management, ITU, Satellite, Myanmar: Controversy has marked the relief efforts in Myanmar's recent cyclone tragedy. One encouraging sign is that ITU satellite terminals are restoring vital communications links. The International Telecommunication Union has deployed 100 satellite terminals to help restore vital communication links in the aftermath of Cyclone Nargis which hit Myanmar on May 2 with devastating effect in Yangon and the low-lying Irrawaddy delta region.

Thousands were killed, and thousands more are injured and missing. High winds cut electricity and destroyed roads and communications links, hampering the coordination and delivery of assistance. With the restoration of communication links, designated government officials and other humanitarian agencies are able to more efficiently coordinate relief operations. The mobile terminals are easily transported by road and air to be used both by humanitarian workers and the victims of this disaster.

"I am very disturbed by the high frequency of disasters across the globe," said Sami Al Basheer Al Morshid, Director of ITU's Telecommunication Development Bureau. "This particular disaster, like the tsunami of 2004, struck on a weekend when most of the agencies that could provide assistance least expected it." Expressing his deep condolences to the government and people of Myanmar, Mr Al Basheer said: "I am however, heartened by the fact that ITU was one of the very first agencies to arrive in Myanmar with telecommunications resources."

For more information, go to Developing Telecoms at http://www.developingtelecoms.com/content/view/1240/26/

Wednesday, May 21, 2008 9:38:37 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, April 17, 2008

Secretary-General addresses Space Business Round Table in Washington D.C.

Geneva, 27 February 2008 — ITU Secretary-General Dr Hamadoun Touré addressed the Washington Space Business Round Table: Looking Forward to Space held in conjunction with the Satellite 2008 Conference and Exhibition. Fifty years after the launch of the Russian Sputnik, the first manmade object in outer space, satellites have become the mainstay of telecommunications worldwide.

As the leading United Nations agency for information and communication technology (ICT) issues and the global focal point for developing networks and services, the International Telecommunication Union plays a key role in managing radio-frequency spectrum and satellite orbits. ITU is the international forum where the rights and obligations of Member Administrations in obtaining access to the spectrum and orbit resources are agreed. ITU also carries out vital work recording frequency assignments and orbital positions in the Master International Frequency Register and processing satellite filings to ensure that orbital positions and frequencies are compatible and interference-free.

Dr Touré outlined the outcomes of the ITU World Radiocommunication Conference (WRC-07) which met in Geneva for four weeks last autumn to address the worldwide use of radio frequencies and to meet the global demand for spectrum, fuelled by rapid technological developments and growth in the ICT sector. Attended by over 2800 delegates, representing 161 Member States and 94 observers, WRC-07 focused on the impact of the latest technological developments in satellite services, mobile communications, digital broadcasting and spectrum/orbit resources for satellite applications, including voice, data, digital and high definition TV, and the Internet.

Satellite communications aid remote communities

Dr Touré highlighted the role of satellite communications in providing access to communications in remote and isolated communities to bridge the so-called digital divide. He said ITU had embarked on a major initiative to connect the world, beginning with Africa, aimed at attracting investment for infrastructure development by developing an enabling environment through appropriate policy and regulatory frameworks and capacity building. The Connect Africa Summit, held in Kigali, Rwanda last October brought together African leaders and business from around the world "seeking not aid or charity but to mobilize investment and business resources to support sustainable growth, employment and development," said Dr Touré.

More information on ITU's press releases website at  http://www.itu.int/newsroom/press_releases/2008/NP02.html

Thursday, April 17, 2008 9:02:11 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, April 14, 2008

Opinion  April 09,2008

Disasters disrupt economies, severely weaken the poor and vulnerable and are recognized as major impediments to sustainable development and reduction of poverty especially in least developed countries. According to the International Telecommunications Union (ITU), the impact is even worse for those living in remote and isolated areas with no access to basic information and communication facilities that are essential to providing vital alerting information.

Thus, the development arm of the ITU considers emergency telecommunications an integral part of its projects integrating telecommunications/information and communication technology in disaster predication, detection, and alerting. "Emergency Telecommunications play a critical role in the immediate aftermath of disasters by ensuring timely flow of vital information which is much needed by government agencies, and other humanitarian actors that are involved in rescue operations and providing medical assistance to the injured," the ITU website declares.

In 1998, the ITU led the crafting of the Tampere Convention on the Provision of Telecommunication Resources for Disaster Mitigation and Relief Operations, that was unanimously adopted by delegates of the 78 countries that attended the Intergovernmental Conference on Emergency Telecommunications (ICET-98) in Tampere, Finland. The Convention came into force in January 2005, following the ratification by 30 countries.

The Tampere Convention calls on States to facilitate the provision of prompt telecommunication assistance to mitigate the impact of a disaster, and covers both the installation and operation of reliable, flexible telecommunication services. Regulatory barriers that impede the use of telecommunication resources for disasters are waived. These barriers include the licensing requirements to use allocated frequencies, restrictions on the import of telecommunication equipment, as well as limitations on the movement of humanitarian teams.

Until now, the trans-border use of telecommunication equipment by humanitarian organizations was often impeded by regulatory barriers that make it extremely difficult to import and rapidly deploy telecommunications equipment for emergency without prior consent of the local authorities. The treaty simplifies the use of life-saving telecommunication equipment.

For more information, go to Catanduanes Tribune at  http://www.catanduanestribune.com/Apr-09-2008/Opinion/EditorialPage/Detail.aspx?newsID=4001

 

Monday, April 14, 2008 3:03:16 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, April 10, 2008

 Date April 09,2008

The International Telecommunications Union (ITU) has committed to send mobile satellite telecommunications equipment to Catanduanes for use in disaster preparedness and response during the typhoon season.

The commitment was made by Dr. Cosmas Zavazava, head of the ITU department for Less Developed Countries, Small Island Island Countries and Emergency Telecommunications, during the ITU Mission’s meeting with key members of the Provincial Disaster Coordinating Council (PDCC) headed by Governor Joseph C. Cua.

Accompanying Dr. Zavazava and Wisit Atipayakoon, specialist of the ITU Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific, during their half-day visit to the island last April 2 was Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC) Assistant Secretary Cesar V. Sarmiento.

"We have agreed that you just send a message, when you are getting into the typhoon season, to request for mobile satellite telecommunications equipment and we will loan it to you free of charge," the ITU mission head told the PDCC. The satellite gear can provide voice communication, high speed data transmission, and internet access.

"You can use the equipment as much as you want and we will pay the bills. After three months when the disaster is gone, you can return it to us in Geneva so other countries can use it, too," Zavazava said.

However, he added, the provincial government can enter into a co-financing agreement for the permanent basing of mobile satellite terminals in Catanduanes. "Tell us what you need, we can do costing, help you acquire equipment to make it permanent here," he emphasized.

For more information, go to Catanduanes Tribune at  http://www.catanduanestribune.com/Apr-09-2008/TopStory/Detail.aspx?newsID=4017

Thursday, April 10, 2008 2:38:54 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, February 04, 2008

Source: International Telecommunication Union (ITU)

Date: 16 Oct 2007

Geneva, 16 October 2007 — The International Telecommunication Union has deployed 25 satellite terminals to help restore vital communication links in the aftermath of severe floods that have affected the eastern and northern regions of Uganda since August this year. Several districts were ravaged by torrential rains and flash floods that swept through the country taking lives, marooning over 140 000 people, destroying road and communication links, and submerging crops, compelling the Government to declare a state of emergency.

With the restoration of communication links, designated government officials and other humanitarian agencies are able to more efficiently coordinate relief operations. The mobile terminals are transported by helicopter to serve people most in need.

"I noted with concern and sadness, the suffering and destruction that has been caused by floods that hit the eastern and northern regions of Uganda," said Sami Al Basheer Al Morshid, Director of ITU’s Telecommunication Development Bureau. "There is no doubt that communication links are essential to ensure a more effective and coordinated relief effort. This is why we have, upon request from the Uganda Communications Commission, quickly deployed the resources at our disposal."

For more information, go to Reliefweb at http://www.reliefweb.int/rw/RWB.NSF/db900SID/KHII-7833NC?OpenDocument

Monday, February 04, 2008 5:07:56 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Written by Michael Schwartz   
Oct 16, 2007 at 12:00AM
Disaster management, ITU, Satellite, Rural, Uganda: ITU has deployed 25 satellite terminals to help restore vital communication links in the aftermath of severe floods that have affected the eastern and northern regions of Uganda since August this year. Several districts have been ravaged by torrential rains and flash floods that swept through the country, taking lives, marooning over 140,000 people, destroying road and communication links, and submerging crops, compelling the Government to declare a state of emergency.

With the restoration of communication links, designated government officials and other humanitarian agencies are able to more efficiently coordinate relief operations. The mobile terminals are transported by helicopter to serve people most in need.

"I noted with concern and sadness the suffering and destruction that has been caused by floods that hit the eastern and northern regions of Uganda," said Sami Al Basheer Al Morshid, Director of ITU's Telecommunication Development Bureau. "There is no doubt that communication links are essential to ensure a more effective and coordinated relief effort. This is why we have, on request from the Uganda Communications Commission, quickly deployed the resources at our disposal."

Patrick Masambu, Executive Director for the Uganda Communications Commission, said: "The satellite terminals to be used in the areas which were severely affected by the floods are very timely and will go a long way in facilitating the relief efforts in the affected areas."

Cosmas Zavazava, Head of ITU's Division for Emergency Telecommunications said: "It is clear that we are making a difference on the ground. For the past three months, we have had to deploy telecommunications resources for disaster mitigation in three different regions. In August, we deployed in Peru following an earthquake; in September we deployed in Bangladesh where floods had wreaked havoc; and now we have had to intervene in Uganda. Telecommunications can save lives when natural disasters strike."

 For more information, go to Developing Telecoms at   http://www.developingtelecoms.com/content/view/1033/100/
Monday, February 04, 2008 5:03:50 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

The International Telecommunication Union (ITU) has given Uganda 25 satellite telephones to help restore vital communication links following flooding in the eastern and northern regions.

A statement from the ITU yesterday said the terminals are to be used by designated government officials and other humanitarian agencies, to coordinate relief operations in the affected districts.

Isaac Kalembe, a spokesperson at the Uganda Communication Commission (UCC), confirmed that the terminals were in the country. "The Thuraya satellite phones will be handed over by the ICT minister on Thursday."

The offer follows a request by the communications commission.

"There is no doubt that communication links are essential to ensure a more effective and coordinated relief effort. This is why we have, upon request from the Uganda Communications Commission, quickly deployed the resources at our disposal," said the Sami Al Basheer Al Morshid, an ITU director.

Patrick Masambu, the UCC chief, thanked ITU and said the gadgets would facilitate relief efforts.

For more information, go to allafrica.com at http://allafrica.com/stories/200710170027.html

Monday, February 04, 2008 4:56:55 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, September 07, 2007

The United Nations telecommunications agency has deployed 50 satellite terminals in remote areas of southern Peru as part of its efforts to restore vital emergency communication links to the region in the wake of last month's deadly earthquake.

The 50 "plug and play" terminals, which are portable devices the size of a small suitcase, allow users to make calls to telephones, access the Internet and provide other voice, data and video services, such as telemedicine.

The Geneva-based International Telecommunication Union (ITU) said in a statement released today that the terminals are being deployed to areas where telecommunications were severed because of the damage caused by the quake. Rescue operations in Peru have been hampered by the often mountainous terrain.

"We take very seriously the role of telecommunications in mitigating disasters," Sami Al Basheer Al Morshid, Director of ITU's Telecommunication Development Bureau.

"Whenever a country is affected by a disaster, we quickly mobilize and dispatch transportable telecommunications resources that can be used for general communications by government authorities and to provide e-services such as telemedicine that are crucial for saving human lives," he added, voicing hope that the contribution would help Peru cope with the recent massive earthquake.

For more information, go to Scoop Independent News at http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/WO0709/S00183.htm

Friday, September 07, 2007 10:21:58 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, September 28, 2006

The International Telecommunication Union along with the Commonwealth Telecommunication Organization (CTO) organized a three-day Forum 26-28 September on Using ICT for Effective Disaster Management. The meeting at Ochos Rios, Jamaica adopted a road map for better coordination in the use of state-of-the-art information and communication technologies (ICT) aimed at improved disaster preparedness and mitigation. This includes:

  • formulation of appropriate policies

  • deployment of appropriate technologies

  • ratification and implementation of the Tampere Convention for free movement of technical equipment in case of disaster

  • capacity building for users of ICT services and applications

  • establishment of national platforms that help countries to be ready to use ICT when disasters strike

  • development of common regional strategies on integrating ICT in all phases of disaster mitigation: early warning, preparedness, response and relief

  • Speaking at the opening session of the Forum, Mr Philip Paulwell, Minister of Industry, Technology, Energy & Commerce of Jamaica, reiterated that the Caribbean countries are among the most vulnerable areas in the world to tropical cyclonic events. "Following the 2004 Ivan hurricane disaster and Emily in 2005 it became evident that the lack of communications was one of the significant weaknesses of the regional disaster management framework," Mr Paulwell said. "Both intra-agency communications as well as public information have been identified as requiring improvement." He added that we should "move forward through the creation of an effective process for the development of early-warning information using ICT and media broadcast technologies, develop a publicly accessible website containing real-time disaster monitoring information, and implement a regional database of survey results and findings for selected disaster events to support the project’s engagement with policy-makers."

    The three-day forum focused on improving early-warning communication and disaster preparedness in the Caribbean region, developed practical tools to augment national disaster management strategies and initiatives, built effective relationships among national and regional stakeholders in effective disaster management and mitigation, assessed the impact of recent disasters and discussed the role of ICTs in disaster risk prevention, preparedness, relief and reconstruction.

    Still reeling from the aftermath of the 2005 hurricane season, the most active and destructive in history, experts in the Caribbean region decided to look the storms in the eye and prepare for future disasters. In 2005, a record number of 27 storms and as many as 13 hurricanes pounded the vulnerable Caribbean coastline. These included Hurricane Wilma, the most intense in recorded history, and Katrina, the most destructive with an estimated USD 50 billion in insured damage.

    Access to information is of paramount importance in the immediate aftermath of a disaster for relief agencies to coordinate search-and-rescue, medical intervention and rehabilitation efforts. There is an urgent need to establish effective and comprehensive communication links between the affected area, national disaster response facilities, and with the larger international community. This is particularly important for countries with fragile economies and countries with special needs, such as least developed countries and Small Island Developing States.

    More information on ITU's press releases website at http://www.itu.int/newsroom/press_releases/2006/18.html

    Thursday, September 28, 2006 10:51:41 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
     Tuesday, June 06, 2006

    The United Nations Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space (COPUOS) will hold its forty-ninth session in Vienna, Austria, from 7 to 16 June.

    Topics such as space and water, space and education and the recommendations of the World Summit on the Information Society, will be on the agenda. The Committee will also discuss issues raised in the reports of its two Subcommittees – the Scientific and Technical Subcommittee and the Legal Subcommittee – on their sessions earlier this year. These include space-system-based disaster management support, space debris, the use of nuclear power sources in outer space, practice of States and international organizations in registering space objects and the definition and delimitation of outer space.

    Space and Water

    The Committee will be briefed on a pilot project in the area of "Space and water". At its session in 2005, the Committee heard a presentation on progress in preparing a pilot project that would apply space applications to the restoration of Lake Chad and the management of water resources in the Lake Chad basin. The representatives of those States involved in the pilot project will brief the Committee on the progress achieved in implementing the project.

    Space and Education

    The Committee will consider "Space and education", and will develop specific, concrete action plans for incorporating outer space into education, enhancing education in space, expanding space tools for education and ensuring that space-based services contribute to the achievement of the Millennium Development Goal on access to education. The Committee will also prepare a brief document on the role of space in education, as well as the link between space and education, for transmission to the General Conference of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).

    Recommendations of the World Summit on the Information Society

    The Committee will consider a new agenda item concerning the recommendations of the World Summit on the Information Society. The International Telecommunication Union will brief the Committee on the recommendations of the World Summit and their implementation.

    For more information, go to Space Ref.com at http://www.spaceref.com/news/viewpr.html?pid=20019

    Tuesday, June 06, 2006 3:45:26 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     |