Geneva, Switzerland, 10 January 2013
Good morning and welcome to ITU, and best wishes to everyone for a very enjoyable and successful 2013 !
I would like to thank you most sincerely for being willing to take on the responsibilities of chairmen and vice-chairmen and I congratulate you on your appointment by WTSA-12.
WTSA-12 was very successful, and let me thank again the chairman Mohammmed Gheyath who is here with us today for leading us so effectively.
ITU-T’s activities were given a strong endorsement and in addition we have been given new areas of work such as e-health, e-waste and software defined networks. The bridging the standards gap programme has renewed emphasis and those of you from developing countries have been given increased responsibilities in this area.
It is essential that the leadership of ITU-T is efficient and effective if we are to continue our good progress. The achievements of the next four years will rest largely in your hands. We now have a nice mix of experienced members and new blood, and the excellent level of participation in this event shows that you are eager to contribute.
So thank you all for coming. I am sure this will be an excellent opportunity to develop a good team spirit to take us forward over the next four years.
It will give us an opportunity to review the decisions of WTSA-12 and how they impact our work, and more importantly to provide guidance to new members of the leadership team on how to conduct the work.
It will also allow networking with your peers and the ITU staff who are here to support you and facilitate your work over the coming years.
I am grateful to those of you that have already completed one term, to bring here your wealth of experience for the benefit of the new team members.
WTSA-12 appointed four new chairmen and 50 new vice-chairmen.
As a reflection of the truly global representation of our new leadership team, we have chairmen and vice-chairmen from 35 different countries. And of these, 24 are developing countries, which means 68 per cent. I believe this confirms the progress being made in ITU-T to bridge the standardization gap.
WTSA adopted 50 revised Resolutions and 6 new Resolutions, 6 new Recommendations, and one new Opinion.
A key achievement was to conclude on MPLS-TP following many years of collaboration with IETF. The two Recommendations on MPLS-TP, were urgently required by operators to increase network efficiency and reduce costs. This was a particularly difficult challenge and I am pleased that Yoichi Maeda is here to share his experience on this topic.
An important signal ahead of WCIT was Resolution 69 inviting Member States to refrain from taking any unilateral and/or discriminatory actions that could impede another Member State from accessing public Internet sites.
WTSA also approved Recommendations on the remote management of networked devices in customers’ homes, and on deep packet inspection.
Of particular importance to you are the seven revised A series Recommendations that guide our working methods.
WTSA adopted the first ever ITU Resolutions on e-health, software-defined networks, e-waste, and engagement of academia in ITU-T work – amongst many other important Resolutions that will impact on the work of the Study Groups.
In particular WTSA made significant changes to Resolution 76 on conformity and interoperability, and gave the lead responsibility to Study Group 11. I believe this puts us on a much better footing to take forward this very important programme which all the study groups, other than Study Group 2 and Study Group 3, will need to give close attention.
A revision of Resolution 34 on voluntary contributions will hopefully encourage more financial contributions to TSB to support the work of the Sector. Increased funding will be essential if we are to implement all the decisions made at WTSA. If anyone has any suggestions on avenues of potential funding for any aspect of our work, whether for the bridging the standards gap fund, or for funding any new projects, please let me know!
The importance of collaboration and cooperation with other standards bodies, and vertical sectors, was also emphasised, recognising that ITU-T, unlike the other ITU Sectors, is in a very competitive field and faces many challenges.
I am very pleased therefore with the establishment of a Review Committee that should help ensure that ITU-T continues to meet the needs of the continually evolving and converged ICT landscape.
The advantage that ITU-T has over our competitors is its membership. No other standards body that the unique combination of 193 governments and over 450 private sector entities and academia. Our diverse membership ensures that ITU-T standards are truly international, non-discriminatory, and meet the needs of the full membership – whether in developing countries or developed countries.
This is why the growing participation of developing countries is so important, and I am pleased to see the impetus given to the efforts to bridge the standards gap in the revised Resolution 44.
In particular this revised Resolution calls on ITU-T to ensure that new ITU standards are accompanied by implementation guidelines. It also calls on chairmen and vice-chairmen from developing countries to take on a number of responsibilities in particular with regards to mobilizing greater participation in our activities in their countries and region.
The WTSA Editorial Committee is meeting this week, unfortunately not with the Chairman as she was unfortunately taken ill, and so we hope to have the final texts available shortly. In the meantime all the provisional texts are available on the website.
Turning to the WCIT, I believe the new treaty is a considerable boost to the work of the ITU-T Sector, as it requires Member States to encourage the application of relevant ITU-T standards by service providers and authorized operating agencies, in many areas including the following:
- a wide range of international telecommunication services
- Quality of service
- International telecommunication numbering
- International calling line identification
- provision of information on operations
- provision of free-of-charge, transparent, up-to-date and accurate information to end users on international roaming prices
- safety-of-life telecommunications
- priority of telecommunication services
- making known the number to be used for emergency services, and the introduction of a globally harmonized national number (112 or 911) in addition to any existing national emergency numbers
- countering spam
- and accessibility
WCIT called for ITU-T to study the regulatory, technical and economic issues which need to be taken into consideration due to the transition from dedicated phone and data networks to converged IP-based networks.
It also called for Member States to work together to ensure the security and robustness of international telecommunication networks.
TSB will cooperate with the regional organisations to organise information sessions on the results of WTSA, and WCIT, and to discuss how we can implement, in each region, the decisions taken. I am pleased that APT has already invited us to participate in a joint ITU/APT seminar for the region that will take place in Bangkok 7-8 March.
So we have a lot of important work ahead of us and I very much hope this tutorial will help us meet this challenge.
I am very pleased that we have Gary Fishman here with us to lead us through these two days. He has a lot of experience in ITU and also more recently in conducting courses to educate people in our work, including having conducted a number of training sessions on bridging the standardization gap and for our rapporteurs. So I am confident we are in very good hands.
I wish you all a very enjoyable and productive two days and I look forward to working with you over the coming years.