Resolution COM6/5 (Antalya, 2006)

Use of the six official languages of the Union on an equal footing

The Plenipotentiary Conference of the International Telecommunication Union (Antalya, 2006),

recalling

a) Resolution 115 (Marrakesh, 2002) of the Plenipotentiary Conference;

b) Resolution 104 (Minneapolis, 1998) of the Plenipotentiary Conference,

reaffirming

the fundamental principle of equal treatment of the six official languages, as enshrined in Resolution 115 (Marrakesh, 2002) on the use of the six languages on an equal footing,

noting with satisfaction and appreciation

a) the steps taken so far to implement Resolution 115 (Marrakesh, 2002) as from 1 January 2005;

b) the progress made in the successful implementation of Resolution 104 (Minneapolis, 1998) and resulting efficiencies and economies,

recognizing

a) the importance of maintaining and improving the multilingual content of services required by the universal character of United Nations system organizations, as called for in the United Nations Joint Inspection Unit report on "Multilingualism in the United Nations System" (Document JIU/REP/2002/11);

b) that, notwithstanding the successful implementation of Resolution 115 (Marrakesh, 2002), for various reasons the switchover to six languages cannot be achieved overnight, and a "transition period" to full implementation is inevitable;

c) that, in order to achieve such full implementation, it is necessary also to align working methods and optimize staffing levels in the six languages;

d) the work accomplished by the Council Working Group on Languages, as well as the start made by the secretariat to implement the working group’s recommendations as agreed by the Council at its 2006 session, in particular with regard to the unification of linguistic databases for definitions and terminology and the centralization of editing functions,

recognizing further

the budget constraints facing the Union,

resolves

to take all necessary measures to maximize interpretation and the translation of ITU documentation in the six languages on an equal footing, although some work in ITU (for example working groups, study groups, regional conferences) might not require the use of all six languages,

instructs the Council

1 to review the interim measures and principles for interpretation and translation proposed by the three Sectors and the General Secretariat, in order to adopt final measures, taking into consideration the financial constraints, and bearing in mind the objective of full implementation of treatment on an equal footing;

2 to pursue and monitor appropriate structural measures, such as:

– fundamental review of ITU documentation and publication services with a view to eliminating any duplication and creating synergies;

– means of expediting the timely delivery of ITU documentation and publications in the six languages;

– optimum levels of staffing, including core staff, temporary assistance and outsourcing;

– judicious use of information and communication technologies in language and publications activities, taking into consideration experience gained by other international organizations, notably through the International Annual Meeting on Language Arrangements, Documentation and Publications (IAMLADP);

– measures to reduce the size and volume of documents (page-limits, executive summaries, material in annexes or hyperlinks), when justified, without affecting the quality and content of the documents to be translated or to be published, and bearing clearly in mind the need to comply with the United Nations system objective of multilingualism;

3 to monitor the work carried out by the ITU secretariat on:

– paying special attention to completion of the integration of the terminology database for Arabic, Chinese and Russian and provide for the priority translation into Arabic, Chinese and Russian of terms and definitions;

– merging all existing databases for definitions and terminology into a centralized system, with proper measures for its maintenance, expansion and updating, with a possible completion date by the end of 2007;

– creating the necessary centralized editing functions for each language, on an equal footing between languages, with a possible completion date by the end of 2008;

– harmonizing and unifying working procedures in the six language services, and providing them with the necessary qualified staff and tools to meet their requirements, with a possible completion date by end 2009;

– developing a market-oriented publication policy for all ITU publications (both paper and electronic), with the objective of promoting ITU publications, reducing costs and generating sufficient income on a cost-recovery basis;

– enhancing ITU’s image and the effectiveness of its public-information work, making use of all six languages of the Union, in, among other things, publishing ITU News, creating ITU websites, organizing Internet broadcasting and archiving of recordings, and issuing documents of a public-information nature, including announcements of world and regional
ITU TELECOM exhibitions and forums, e-flashes and such like;

4 to continue the work of the Council Working Group on Languages, in order to monitor progress and report to the Council on the implementation of this resolution;

5 to report to the next plenipotentiary conference on the implementation of this resolution.