I believe the year 2012 will be remembered as a very eventful, and successful year for ITU-T.
We saw an increase in our membership, and in the number of participants in our meetings. We initiated many promising new areas of work, and held productive preparatory meetings in every region for the events in Dubai at the end of the year: the Global Standards Symposium (GSS); the World Telecommunication Standardization Assembly (WTSA); and the World Conference on International Telecommunications (WCIT).
The GSS highlighted that the demarcation between different standards bodies is becoming blurred, leading to a risk of overlap and duplication. As a result, there is a need for the development of cooperation agreements, drawing on the skills of each body, and identifying who does what, and how to work together to develop common international standards.
In addition, GSS participants acknowledged that ICT standardisation no longer applies just to the ICT industry and more must be done to integrate the needs of vertical sectors.
These conclusions led to the establishment, at WTSA, of a Review Committee to address how ITU will meet these challenges in the coming years.
WTSA adopted 50 revised Resolutions, six of which are new, including the first-ever Resolutions on e-health, software-defined networks, and e-waste. We saw our mandate in crucial areas such as climate change, conformity and interoperability, and accessibility, re-emphasized and strengthened, along with encouragement for the greater participation of academia.
WTSA also recognized that for ITU-T to fulfill all the demands placed upon it, additional funding will be necessary, and Member States and Sector Members are encouraged to provide voluntary contributions to TSB.
The leadership teams appointed by WTSA have members from 35 countries, 25 of which are developing countries. I believe this is a good indication of the progress we are making with bridging the standardization gap.
I would like to congratulate all the newly appointed chairmen and vice-chairmen and I look forward to working with them to ensure that ITU-T remains the only truly global standards body where all countries and companies, no matter how large or small, are afforded equal opportunity to engage in and influence the work to produce the standards they need.
I look forward to another productive year addressing these new challenges, and welcoming new and old faces to participate in ITU’s mission to connect the world.