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ITU Radiocommunication Assembly, Geneva, Switzerland
15 October 2007

Opening Remarks by ITU Secretary General Dr Hamadoun I. Touré


Mr Chairman

Excellencies

Mr Deputy Secretary-General

Mr Timofeev, Director, BR

Mr Johnson, Director, TSB

Mr Al-Basheer, Director, BDT

Ladies and Gentlemen

Dear colleagues,

 

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.

 

Dear Colleagues

 

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.

 

 

 

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