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Regional Regulators' Associations

7 December 2004, Geneva, Switzerland

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At the invitation of the BDT Director, the second annual meeting of Regional Regulatory Associations was held in Geneva on 7 December 2004, to discuss the topics of  “Capacity Building” and “Resource Mobilization”. Some 25 participants took part in the meeting, representing regional regulatory associations, international organisations and national administrations. Mr. Patrick Masambu, Executive Director of the Uganda Communications Commission (UCC) and Chairman, ARICEA (the Association of Regulators of Information and Communications for Eastern and Southern Africa), chaired the meeting.

During the first session, separate presentations on the capacity development activities of the Arab ICT Regulators’ Network (ARN), the Francophone Network for Telecommunications Regulation (FRATEL), and the European Regulatory Group (ERG) were delivered. These were followed by a presentation by the Human Resource Development Unit (HRD) of the BDT on their capacity building activities.

 During the second session, three different presentations were made. The first presentation focused on the training opportunities made available by the Australian Communications Authority (ACA). The second presentation highlighted the activities of the Latin American Forum for Regulatory Agencies for Telecommunications (REGULATEL), in particular its recent Third IRG-REGULATEL Forum held last month. LexUM delivered the last presentation on the development of an online database of global regulatory decisions.

Summary of the Discussion
During the open discussion that followed in the two sessions, the following points were raised by the meeting:

  • The possibility of an ITU certification scheme that would certify certain countries as having expertise in a particular regulatory aspect was suggested as a way to ease the identification of regulatory best practices. However, the difficulty of developing appropriate criteria to define expertise and the potential sensibilities involved in ranking countries were identified as significant hurdles to such a scheme. BDT would nevertheless look into the feasibility of a regulatory certification programme.

  • The establishment of nodal points on a regional level was suggested as a possible way of facilitating the identification of country best practices. Nodal points, which can constitute regional associations or designated regulators, could assist regulators from outside their region by providing or pointing out good regulatory practices from that region. GREX could also assist in establishing the network of nodal points.

  • The need for high-level regulatory capacity building, particularly at high levels such as commissioner or CEO, was highlighted by the meeting. Possibilities included adding short training sessions of one or two days to the GSR or having longer three day to one week long training sessions during the year. In order to ensure that these training sessions would be appealing, it was emphasised that attendance would be confined to only high-level delegates with no substitutes allowed. BDT would follow-up on this matter.

  • Following the presentation on the online database for global regulatory decisions, the meeting agreed that it would be useful if there was a way to link the different regulatory databases, These included LexUM, GREX, the proposed ITU - InfoDev Regulator’s Toolkit and the database on regulatory remedies set up by the European Commission. These organisations were encouraged to look into further co-operation.

  • The topic of regulatory independence was also raised during the meeting. Following on from the REGULATEL presentation that highlighted the November 2004 Joint IRG-REGULATEL Declaration, the meeting recognised the importance of guaranteeing the independence of regulatory agencies. The Chairman of REGULATEL was invited to take the initiative to sponsor a similar declaration during the course of the GSR.

The meeting ended with a summary of the proceedings by the Chairman.


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