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Regional Development Forum and Regional Preparatory Meeting for WTDC-17 for the Arab States, Khartoum, Republic of Sudan

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RDF Summary of discussions

Report by the Chairman

The Regional Preparatory Meeting for WTDC-17 for the Arab States (RPM-ARB) took place in Khartoum, Sudan from 30 January 2017 to 1 February 2017, preceded by the Regional Development Forum for the Arab States (RDF-ARB) on 29 January 2017. Both events were organized at the kind invitation of the National Telecommunications Corporation (NTC) of Sudan.

In line with Resolution 31 (Rev. Hyderabad, 2010), the Regional Preparatory Meeting (RPM) aims at engaging the membership in the preparations of the World Telecommunication Development Conference 2017 (WTDC-17) in order to achieve regional coordination before the conference itself. It also seeks to identify issues at the regional level that need to be addressed to foster the development of telecommunications and ICTs, taking into account the most pressing needs faced by the Member States and Sector Members of the region.

Regional Development Forums provide an opportunity for high-level dialogue, cooperation and partnerships among telecommunication and ICT policy-makers, regulators, industry, academia, regional and international development agencies and organizations on specific regional telecommunication and ICT issues.

The RPM was attended by 195 participants representing 19 Member States and 1 Observer according to Resolution 99, 10 ITU-D Sector members, 6 international organizations and 1 ITU-D Sector Member from other region.

RPM-ARB agreed the five draft ARB Regional Initiatives:

  1. Environment, Climate Change and Emergency Telecommunications
  2. Confidence and Security in the Use of ICTs
  3. Digital Financial Inclusion
  4. Internet of Things, Smart Cities and Big Data
  5. Innovation and Entrepreneurship

RPM-ARB welcomed the preliminary draft ITU-D contribution to the ITU Strategic Plan for 2020-2023, the preliminary draft ITU-D Action Plan 2018-2021 (including Study Group Questions) and the preliminary draft WTDC-17 Declaration recognizing ITU-D's contribution to implementation of the WSIS outcomes and 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. On the basis of the three related contributions presented, it was agreed to continue further improvement of these documents at the Arab WTDC-17 Preparatory Group.

RPM-ARB took note of the work of TDAG and its various correspondence groups.

It also examined the proposals for the revision by WTDC-17 of 17 resolutions (Resolutions 1, 2, 9, 11, 17, 20, 21, 23, 34, 37, 43, 47, 62, 66, 69, 77, and 79) and one proposal for a new Resolution on "Combating Mobile Telecommunication Device Theft".

Besides Syria which submitted a contribution on special assistance, Libya and Yemen informed RPM-ARB that they intend to submit contributions for new resolutions pertaining to this topic. In addition, Iraq and Palestine indicated that they would also submit a contribution to revise Resolutions 51 and 18, respectively.

Regarding streamlining resolutions, the participants took note of the available guidelines which it is proposed to use in the future work of the Arab WTDC-17 Preparatory Group on this matter.

Outcomes of RPMs will be consolidated at the inter-regional coordination meeting and discussed at TDAG 2017 in May. The outcomes of TDAG will be submitted to WTDC-17 as draft documents for consideration.

ITU Contact

Mr Ebrahim Al-Haddad
Regional Director for Arab States
Tel.: +202 353 71777
E-mail: ebrahim.al-haddad@itu.int

Host Country Contact

Eng. Nadir Ahmed Gaylani
Technical Director
National Telecommunications Corporation (NTC)
Tel.: +249 1 8356 2360
E-mail: arab.rpm@ntc.gov.sd