Mr Deputy Secretary-General
Mr Timofeev, Director, BR
Mr Johnson, Director, TSB
Mr Al-Basheer, Director, BDT
Ladies and Gentlemen
It is a privilege and an honour to address you this morning at the opening of the
2007 Radiocommunication Assembly. As for the World Radiocommunication Conference
(WRC-07) that starts next week, the Radiocommunication Assembly represents a landmark
in the life of the Radiocommunication Sector of the ITU.
In accordance with the ITU Constitution and Convention, the principal duties of
a Radiocommunication Assembly may be summarized as follows:
- to provide the necessary technical bases for the work of World Radiocommunication
Conferences and to respond to all requests from such Conferences,
- to consider and refine the working methods and procedures of the Sector, particularly
those of the Study Groups,
- to establish future work programmes for the Study Groups,
- to consider Recommendations with a view to their approval.
In responding to these directives, this Assembly once again demonstrates the central
role that the Radiocommunication Sector plays in the technological progress of telecommunications.
In approving Recommendations and in defining future activities, you are recognizing
the rapid changes underway in the global telecommunications environment and reacting
in a manner commensurate with its future needs. As each Assembly and World Conference
convenes, the issues become more diverse and complex, and in turn, technological
solutions require greater intuition and skill. At the same time, although it is
the task of WRC-07 to use your material to the best advantage, considerations of
regulatory and procedural issues cannot be divorced from the technological studies.
Since the last Radiocommunication Assembly in 2003, the outcome of the World Summit
on the Information Society (WSIS) has played a major role in shaping the future
objectives of ITU. In turn, this is reflected in the work programmes of the ITU-R
Study Groups and many ITU-R Recommendations have been developed having relevance
to WSIS Actions Lines C2, C5 and C6. Examples include Recommendations concerning
high-speed internet access (broadband) via both terrestrial and satellite delivery,
as well as the area of digital broadcasting that has particular relevance to innovative
telecommunication applications (e-health, e-government, e-learning) to help bridge
the digital divide. Of increasing importance is the application of telecommunications
and ICTs in all phases of disaster management and many key ITU-R Recommendations
and Reports have been produced dealing with various aspects of emergency radiocommunications.
As regards Action Line C6 - the rational, efficient and economical use of and equitable access to the radio-frequency spectrum by all countries – ITU-R’s responsibilities
in international spectrum management continues to be supported by the many Recommendations,
Reports and Handbooks developed on the topic. It is of course to be expected that
these WSIS Action Lines will continue to influence your work programmes into the
next study period.
ITU celebrated this year 142 years of its existence. This is a great history. Just
last week, I had the honour and privilege to attend the 75th anniversary of the
Madrid Plenipotentiary Conference in a ceremony under the high patronage and chairmanship
of His Majesty the King of Spain. This was a celebration of ITU under its new name,
in which “telecommunications” replaced the word “telegraph”. ITU has been built,
throughout its history, on the basis of consensus and compromises.
This year’s Council, just completed in September, was a landmark event that strengthened
ITU’s unity. A new balanced budget was approved along with a number of important
Resolutions, that will affect the work and visibility of the Union.
Your charged programme this week has several themes. You are asked to review the
working methods of the ITU-R Study Groups, including consideration of their structure,
and ensure that they follow efficient and effective practices, commensurate with
the budget available. Secondly, you will be considering future work programmes,
recognizing the ever-changing global telecommunications environment in which we
are operating. Your deliberations will need to balance technological needs against
those of compatibility between the various services, at the same time seeking innovative
means to optimize the use of the frequency spectrum for the good of all. It is here that your work represents such an important contribution to the forthcoming and
future World Conferences.
I call on you to observe, during this week, of the RA and the following weeks of
the WRC, the spirit of cooperation, compromise and consensus that has always guided
the work of this Union.
In all these aspects, I look forward to hearing of your fruitful results at the
end of the week and wish to take this opportunity of conveying my best wishes for
a successful and enjoyable Assembly.