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Plenipotentiary Conference under way

The seventeenth ITU Plenipotentiary Conference (PP-06) will take place in Antalya, Turkey, on 6–24 November 2006. The event is expected to attract some 2000 participants from around the world, representing both governments and the private sector, as well as regional and international organizations. During a three-week period, a great amount of work has to be done.

The first task will be to set up a structure to carry out the work of PP-06. According to ITU’s statutes, the conference must have four committees that deal with the smooth running of the conference itself and the production of documents. It is proposed that two further committees be formed, on policy, reform and legal matters, and on administration and management, as well as a Working Group on ITU’s Strategic Plan. These last three will examine reports and proposals and recommend decisions to the conference.

What is the Plenipotentiary?

The Plenipotentiary Conference is ITU’s top policy-making body. Normally held every four years, it sets the Union’s general policies, adopts four-year strategic and financial plans and elects the senior management of the organization, the Council (the Union’s governing body) and the Radio Regulations Board. It is the key event at which ITU’s strategy is decided, thereby determining the Union’s ability to influence the development of information and communication technologies (ICT) worldwide.

In addition to representatives of Member States, the conference is attended by observers from members of ITU’s three Sectors that deal with radiocommunications, standardization and development. Such members include telecommunication companies, scientific or industrial organizations, financial or development institutions, and international organizations.

  What topics are going to be discussed? As well as individual Member States of ITU, regional groups of countries have put forward proposals that ITU News will look at in our November issue. Areas that are likely to feature on the conference agenda include:
  • Organizational reform, including a possible review of ITU’s structure.
  • ITU’s role in implementing the action lines resulting from the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS).
  • Enlarging the participation of new stakeholders in ITU’s work, including civil society organizations, given the expectations raised by the WSIS process.
  • Reflecting the broader mandate given to ITU by WSIS, while maintaining the Union’s central role in global ICT issues.
  • Balancing the Union’s budget within a general framework of zero-growth, despite the need to respond to the challenges of a changing ICT environment which call for additional resources to carry out an ever-increasing number of activities.

Strategic plan, under new management

The conference will also consider the draft 2008–2011 Strategic Plan for ITU. This recommends a strategy (with its financial implications) that will allow ITU to respond to the constantly changing environment for ICT.

It says that ITU activities should take into account the outcomes of WSIS, especially the action lines in which it plays a leadership role. Another important task for the Plenipotentiary Conference is to elect a new ITU Secretary-General, as well as other senior posts (see interviews: Roberto Blois, Marc Furrer, Matthias Kurth, Muna Nijem and Hamadoun I. Touré).



On the Mediterranean coast of Turkey, the province and city of Antalya will host the ITU Plenipotentiary Conference at the Vega Convention Centre, Sungate Port Royal Hotel, from 6 to 24 November 2006. The region is now known as the “Turkish Riviera,” but it has a very long history. Situated on a cliff, the city of Antalya has been continuously inhabited for more than two thousand years. Nearby, the remains of the city of Perge date back to around 3500 years ago.

Many sites of natural beauty are also to be found, including mountain streams and waterfalls. The Gulf of Antalya is backed by the Toros Mountains, with forests stretching down to the sea. Traces of Neolithic habitation have been found at Beldibi, a resort with “Blue Flag” beach and the venue of the Plenipotentiary Conference.



Andrzej Windak


Sungate Port Royal hotel


Sungate Port Royal hotel



The conference venue




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