4th annual Global Symposium for Regulators (GSR), organized by the
Telecommunication Development Bureau (BDT), focused on Practical tools regulators can use to
increase universal access to ICTs.
regulators from more than 80 countries gathered in Geneva for this event.
Participants included international organizations such as the European
Commission, the World Bank and the World Trade Organization, as well as academic
and non-governmental organizations. Participants prepared a blueprint of what
should be done to ensure that global access to the tools of communication is
extended to all of humanity. The GSR Universal
Access Best Practice Guidelines were delivered to the first World Summit on
the Information Society in Geneva 10—12 December.
"Bridging the digital divide can be achieved," said
Hamadoun I. Touré, Director of ITU’s Telecommunication Development Bureau (BDT).
"Developing countries have all the tools at their disposal now to make the
universal access dream a reality," the BDT Director added. "The
measures identified by the world’s regulators are entirely feasible. But they
need the full support of governments at the highest level. I have no doubt that
this support will come from the heads of state and governments participating in
the World Summit on the Information Society."
Ms. Muna Nijem, Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive
Officer of the Telecommunications Regulatory Commission (TRC) of Jordan, and
also Chairperson of the 2003 GSR, added, "The central focus of our GSR
meeting is Universal Service and Universal Access. A modern vision that we
intend to articulate is the key role broadband deployment can play in meeting
the Universal Service/Access goals. Here, we cannot stress enough the need for
the proper enabling environment, which includes the establishment of an
independent regulator and the recognition of the key role that the regulator
plays in the implementation of Universal Service/Access policies. Our goal is
that this enabling environment will allow the private sector to exploit new
profitable opportunities to offer services that expand Universal Service/Access
in ways that eliminate the need for government subsidies."
day was open to regulators, policy makers, ITU-D
Sector Members and other invited guests, and the second one was reserved for regulators and policy makers.
fifth annual GSR will be held in the autumn of 2004.