Geneva, Switzerland, 10 January 2012
Secretary-General, Director of BDT, Mr. Chairman, Vice-Chairmen, dear colleagues and friends.
Let me thank the Secretary-General and my fellow Director for being with us at the opening of this TSAG meeting. Deputy Secretary-General and Director BR and were unable to be here but extend their best wishes to you.
I would also like to wish you all a very happy and successful 2012.
As the Secretary-General mentioned, 2012 will be a very busy year for ITU, and that certainly includes ITU-T.
It is amazing how quickly the next WTSA has come around. I am very pleased that we have this TSAG meeting, the regional preparatory meetings, and another TSAG preparatory meeting in July, to make sure we are well prepared for WTSA-12 in Dubai.
I am very confident that we will have excellent facilities in Dubai thanks to U.A.E’s commitment: a fantastic conference centre, excellent weather, a wide choice of superb hotels in the close vicinity including at a very reasonable rate, a clean and safe environment, everything we need to ensure a excellent result
The last WTSA in Johannesburg was very significant in many ways: it was the first WTSA where the time limits on chairmanships so we had many new chairmen and vice-chairmen, and WTSA-08 identified many new areas of work, such as climate change, cybersecurity, bridging the standardization gap, accessibility to ICTs for persons with disabilities, and conformance and interoperability testing, and decided on a major restructuring of the Sector. It also initiated the new academia membership and the reduced membership fee for companies from certain developing countries.
I believe that this WTSA will be more of a consolidating WTSA, and as you will have seen TSAG has already received two proposals that the number of Study Groups remains the same.
Following WTSA-08 we prepared an Action Plan on the implementation of the decisions made and have regularly updated it. I am pleased to report that we are well on the way to fulfilling the mandate given with many significant developments over the last three years, including in 2011.
The two new Focus Groups cloud computing; and smart grids successfully completed their work and sent their deliverables to the relevant Study Groups.
Last year saw two crucial new Recommendations on narrowband powerline communications approved in close collaboration with our colleagues in ITU-R.
The Chief Technology Officers Group meeting proposed new Focus Groups on e-health and on resilient of networks to disasters, and TSAG has a further proposals for a new Focus Group on Innovation in ICT standards, and the M2M Service Layer.
ICTs and climate change, itself once the subject of a Focus Group, has thanks to the efforts of Study Group 5, been an area that has attracted much interest and great success.
Work around transport and access technologies continues to grow with increased investment of time and energy from our industry members. The last meeting of Study Group 15 attracted a record 400 participants and around 1000 documents.
A new joint group with ISO and IEC has begun work to update and improve the Primetime Emmy award winning H.264 video codec; standards that will allow interoperability of different teleconferencing systems; a system allowing nations to exchange details of cyberthreats; home networking, IPTV and the internet of things are all areas where we are seeing valuable contributions from members.
Digital signage is a brand new area with predictions of a multi-billion dollar industry driven by standard developed here in ITU as a result of the very successful workshop hosted by Japan.
This success would not be possible without taking into account the requirements of the full membership of ITU, and the successes that we have seen are testament to clear and transparent processes that have been elaborated and refined over generations, and are an inspiration to us all.
Last year I agreed with the Directors of the BDT and BR to have much closer collaboration especially on workshops and we organised 14 workshops last year in developing countries as well as meetings of regional groups, and introduced a new mentoring programme and briefing for new delegates.
We have also introduced new facilities for delegates such as direct document posting, e-lockers, RFID badges, and e-printing.
TSB staff make a tremendous effort to support all of these activities and provide a customer oriented service to ensure we retain our global status, our current membership, and attract new members.
As the workload increases on all of us, I am confident that the excellent team spirit that exists in ITU will ensure that we continue to meet the challenges before us, and in particular during this year of the WTSA.
I would like to thank all the many individuals that contribute to the success of ITU-T, in particular the rapporteurs and editors – over 1000 individuals, the study group chairmen and vice-chairmen, chairmen of the working parties and Question groups, chairmen of focus groups, and all the participants in our meetings, a number which continues to grow at each meeting.
I would also like to take this opportunity to thank the Secretary-General for his continued support to the Sector, the Deputy Secretary-General, and my fellow Directors of BR and BDT for their continued cooperation and collaboration, in particular on the conformity and interoperability programme.
I would like to wish our BR colleagues and especially Director François Rancy a very successful Radio Assembly, and World Radio Conference, beginning next week.
Finally, I would like to invite you all to a reception in the Montbrillant cafeteria at 1800 this evening to celebrate the New Year.
With that, I wish you all a successful and enjoyable meeting and I look forward to receiving your advice.