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 Thursday, 12 January 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 ( and

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:

The venue for the workshop is:

Sendai Internation Centre

980-0856 Japan
Click here to read more.

Thursday, 12 January 2012 10:59:05 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, 20 December 2011

Emergency satellite communications platform bolsters global humanitarian intervention

ITU and the Government of the Grand-Duchy of Luxembourg have agreed to cooperate on strengthening emergency telecommunications and rapid response in the event of natural disasters. ITU and Luxembourg are members of the Emergency Telecommunications Cluster (ETC), comprising of UN agencies and other humanitarian partners.

The Government of Luxembourg has developed a nomadic satellite-based telecommunication system – ‘’ – aimed at assisting humanitarian agencies respond to communities affected by natural disasters, conflicts or protracted crises. This platform will be available as a global public good to the international humanitarian community as of 1 January 2012, with Luxembourg funding its development, implementation, operation and maintenance to the tune of € 17.2 million.

Under the umbrella of the “ITU Framework for Cooperation in Emergencies” (IFCE), ITU will encourage its 193 Member States to use the ‘’ platform and facilitate the rapid deployment of emergency telecommunication systems in the event of a sudden-onset disaster, or a longer-term deployment in chronic or recurrent humanitarian contexts or as part of a preparedness strategy in developing countries. ITU will negotiate appropriate regulatory and legal frameworks with Administrations, particularly Telecommunications Regulatory Authorities, to assist in the deployment. IFCE is an ITU communications initiative to assist the humanitarian community in disaster response. IFCE and will be jointly and individually deployed within two hours of notification using every possible means, including custom-fitted aircraft, depending on the nature and magnitude of the disaster. Click here to read more.

Tuesday, 20 December 2011 16:03:35 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, 28 November 2011

International Telecommunication Union (ITU) jointly with PORTRAZ a Multi-stakeholder workshop on the use of Telecommunications/ICT for Disaster Management: Saving Lives that took place in Harare, Zimbabwe, 28-30 November 2011.  The purpose of this event was to bring together the main stakeholders active in the dissemination of ICTs and their use for disaster mitigation, and to serve as a forum in which they can map out concrete strategies and adopt practical measures aimed at giving ICTs a central role to play in disaster prevention and management, i.e. early warning, preparedness, relief and response.

Venue :

Rainbow Towers Hotel
Jacaranda 3

Click here to read more.

Monday, 28 November 2011 11:53:18 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

The International Telecommunication Union (ITU) participated in the five-day workshop - “Emergency Communications, Climate Change, E-Waste and Cyber Security Awareness Workshop” organized by the Zambia ICT Authority (ZICTA).  The event was held in Lusaka, Zambia from 28 November to 02 December 2011.

The Forum brought together country representatives, international organizations, civil protection and enforcement agencies, academic institutions and other stakeholders involved in disaster management, envionment, regulation, cybercrime and cybersecurity to discuss the role of telecommunications/ICTs in improving lives.  The Forum’s main goal was to sensitize the stakeholders in Zambia in relation to topics covered during the five day workshop.

The event raised many important issues, including:

Role of telecommunications/ICTs in disaster management
Tampere Convention, the importance of its ratification
National Emergency Telecommunications Plan, Early Warning System
Country experiences in disaster management
Cybercrime and Cybersecurity
ICT Regulation and Enablement
e-Waste Management and Environment
Climate Change Adaptation and ICTs

Click here to read more.

Monday, 28 November 2011 11:52:24 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, 10 October 2011

International Telecommunication Union (ITU) will actively participate at the second forum on standardization . The theme of the Forum - “Saving Lives through Emergency Telecommunications” is organized by the Agence des Télécommunications de Côte d’Ivoire (ATCI).  The event will be held in Abidjan, Ivory Coast from 16-18 November 2011.

The Forum will bring together country representatives, international organizations, civil protection agencies, academic institutions and other stakeholders involved in disaster management to discuss the role of telecommunications/ICTs in saving lives.  

The event will raise some important issues, among others as:

  • Role of telecommunications/ICTs in disaster management
  • Tampere Convention, the importance of its ratification
  • National Emergency Telecommunications Plan
  • Country experiences in disaster management

The event will be conducted in French.

Should you have any questions regarding the organization of the seminar or need any further information, please contact:

Doua Pascal
Sous Directeur de l'homologation et de la Normalisation
Agence des Télécommunications de Côte d'Ivoire(atci)
Marcory Anoumanbo
Tel  +22520344202
doua (at)

The venue for the workshop is:

Avenue Botreau Roussel
Abidjan Plateau
Google map

Click here to read more.
Monday, 10 October 2011 13:09:31 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, 17 April 2008

Telecommunications to save lives when disasters strike

Geneva, 13 December 2007 — The Global Forum on ‘Effective Use of Telecommunications/ICT for Disaster Management: Saving Lives’ closed yesterday, having launched two important initiatives, the ITU Framework for Cooperation in Emergencies and the ITU Network of Volunteers for Emergency Telecommunications. Two new publications on emergency telecommunications were also issued.

The ITU Secretary-General also established a High-Level Panel for Emergency Telecommunications consisting of Mr Eui Koh, Mr Jay Naidoo, and Mr Olof Lundberg.

Several partnerships forged with industry were also announced. These partnerships bring to ITU both equipment and funds to be used to finance telecommunications/ICT solutions in all phases of disaster management, including early-warning and response.

The Global Forum was held in Geneva from 10 to 12 December 2007.

The Forum attracted representatives of 174 governments, some at Ministerial level; 18 international organizations; 18 private sector entities including some CEOs; and 53 non-governmental organizations (NGOs). Participants gathered to map out concrete strategies and adopt practical measures aimed at giving telecommunications/ICT a central role in all phases of disaster management early warning, preparedness, relief and response, and rehabilitation of telecommunication networks.

"We have seen through first-hand experience the power and potential of telecommunications to save lives in times of disaster," noted Mr Sami Al Basheer Al Morshid, Director of the ITU Telecommunication Development Bureau. "I was pleased to meet so many dedicated men and women during this Forum who are united in the common belief that much more can and must be done."

The Forum discussed policy, regulation, technology, finance and deployment of last-mile, multi-hazard communications systems. The Forum comprised plenary sessions, panel discussions, a ministerial round table, a private sector CEO round table, a workshop on remote sensing, thematic sessions, and an exhibition of telecommunication/ICT state-of-the-art solutions, including technologies for remote sensing.

More information on ITU's press releases website at

Thursday, 17 April 2008 09:05:23 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, 14 April 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


Monday, 14 April 2008 15:03:16 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, 28 September 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

    Thursday, 28 September 2006 10:51:41 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
     Tuesday, 26 September 2006

    Manager of the Nevis Disaster Management Office (NDMO), Lester Blackett and Nevis Island Administration Director of Information & Public Information Officer with the Nevis Disaster Management Committee, Huey Sargeant are attending a three-day Forum entitled 'Using Information and Communication Technology (ICT) for effective Disaster Management'. 

    The forum which takes place from September 26th to 29th, 2006 focuses on the various communication technologies such as telecommunications, broadcasting (radio and television), and information technology such as the internet in managing the information associated with Disaster Management.

    It has been acknowledged that information surrounding disasters was available.  However, there is great difficulty when information has to reach the persons in a timely manner for it to be effective.
    Disaster Management recognized that many disasters cannot be prevented.  Therefore, it strives to minimize human suffering and according to all of the speakers at the end of the first day's session, getting information to the relevant persons and agencies was critical in achieving the goal.
    More information on - Basseterre,St. Kitts and Nevis at
    Tuesday, 26 September 2006 10:49:19 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
     Thursday, 31 August 2006

    The 2005 hurricane season wreaked havoc in the Caribbean region. Never before had the Atlantic seen 27 tropical storms -- including four in category 5 -- and as many as 15 hurricanes in one season. The storms left a death toll of 2,280 people in their wake, with more than 3 million people displaced and an estimated USD100 billion in economic damage.

    In response to a call for action from the World Telecommunication Development Conference (WTDC-06) to develop ICT-based solutions to cope with emergency situations, the International Telecommunication Union along with the Commonwealth Telecommunications Organization (CTO) is organizing the Caribbean Forum 2006 on Using ICT for Effective Disaster Management. The event, which will be held in Ocho Rios, Jamaica, Sept. 26-28, 2006, aims at improving early-warning communication and disaster preparedness in the Caribbean region while reducing vulnerability to natural disasters and mitigating their effects through the effective use of information and communication technologies (ICT).

    The three-day forum will address policy, regulatory and technological issues related to emergency telecommunications and look at practical ways by which ICT can help mitigate disasters.

    More information on Public CIO - Folsom,CA,USA at

    Thursday, 31 August 2006 10:46:58 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     |