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Editorial
Plenipotentiary Conference in Mexico
Dr Hamadoun Touré
photo credit: ITU/V. Martin
Dr Hamadoun I. Touré
ITU Secretary-General

Deciding the future direction of ITU

It is my great pleasure to welcome participants to Guadalajara for the eighteenth ITU Plenipotentiary Conference. We expect the event to attract around 2000 participants, including Heads of State and Government and an estimated 130 top-level officials from more than 160 countries, representing government, the private sector, as well as regional and international organizations.

The Plenipotentiary Conference is ITU’s top policy-making body. Held every four years, plenipotentiary conferences determine the Union’s strategic direction and priorities, adopt its strategic and financial plans, and develop policies and recommendations in the light of industry developments, to help the Union address the evolving needs of its membership.

Along with 192 Member States, ITU’s membership includes around 700 private-sector companies and Associates, as well as national, regional and international bodies that have an interest in information and communication technologies (ICT). I am pleased to announce that Timor-Leste is the Union’s 192nd Member State, effective from 24 August 2010, and will participate for the first time in the Plenipotentiary Conference.

In Guadalajara, the conference will address a number of important issues for the future of the Union. It will consider and approve a Strategic Plan and a Financial Plan covering the years 2012–2015, laying the foundation for the future operational plans of the Union. Our Union is today in a sound financial and strategic position. Now we need to work together to broaden and strengthen the Union by increasing our Sector membership.

The conference will discuss the basic instruments of the Union (the Constitution and the Convention). As you know, it has always been the wish of our members to streamline these instruments and make them durable enough to stand the test of time. This can be achieved by retaining only the Union’s inalienable principles in the current instruments. Other provisions could then be moved to an instrument that is both flexible and adjustable to the constantly changing telecommunication environment.

The conference will also address key issues ranging from cybersecurity, and climate change, to strategies to bridge the growing broadband divide, the move to IPv6 Internet addressing, and the possible review of the International Telecommunication Regulations — the global treaty that currently governs how telecommunication services are delivered around the world.

The conference will elect five top executives to lead the work of the Union over the next four years, elect a 12-member Radio Regulations Board, and vote on which countries will serve on the ITU Council.

Guadalajara, the capital of the state of Jalisco, is an ideal venue for this important event, which will play a major role in shaping the future of the information society in developed and developing countries alike. The decisions of the conference will determine the Union’s ability to influence the development of ICT worldwide.

Guadalajara, affectionately known as La Perla del Occidente (the Pearl of the West), embodies the soul of Mexico. I am confident that Guadalajara’s joyful and exuberant spirit, drawing strength from its historical, cultural and artistic heritage, will inspire the Plenipotentiary Conference to reach results that are life-enhancing for all the peoples of the world.

 

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