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Editorial
2010: A year of great achievements
Dr Hamadoun Touré
photo credit: ITU/V. Martin
Dr Hamadoun I. Touré
ITU Secretary-General

ITU joined international efforts to provide emergency communications to Haiti — following a devastating earthquake — and later to Uganda, Chile, Pakistan and Indonesia. Satellite terminals were deployed to help re-establish basic communication links in these countries.

Third-generation (3G) IMT-2000 mobile phone systems will enjoy worldwide compatibility, international roaming, and access to high-speed data services, thanks to a new ITU standard. Our Radiocommunication Sector also designated two next-generation 4G mobile technologies as IMTAdvanced. “LTE-Advanced” and “WirelessMANAdvanced” are now qualified as true 4G technologies.

World Telecommunication and Information Society Day was celebrated in Shanghai, China, with the theme, “Better city, better life with ICT”. WSIS Forum 2010 focused on the impact of information and communication technologies (ICT) on the Millennium Development Goals, while ITU’s World Telecommunication/ICT Development Report provided a mid-term review of the progress made in implementing the ten targets of the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS).

The World Telecommunication Development Conference held in Hyderabad, India, outlined a road map to foster the global development of ICT networks and services and established five programmes that will form the core work of our Telecommunication Development Bureau for the next four years. The Global Symposium for Regulators meeting in Dakar, Senegal, defined Best Practice Guidelines that will help stimulate the roll-out of networks, notably broadband. Busan, Republic of Korea, hosted ITU’s first-ever ICT•LEARN, a biennial global forum designed to build the skills and talents needed to nurture and fuel tomorrow’s broadband-enabled global economy.

A new Focus Group was established in our Telecommunication Standardization Sector to create standards for smart grid electricity distribution — a move that will help protect the environment. Also, ITU and the Global e-Sustainability Initiative (GeSI) launched a report on the power of ICT in tackling climate change. ICT can help cut emissions and raise energy efficiency, as well as monitoring climate and the environment worldwide.

ITU, in partnership with the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), launched the Broadband Commission for Digital Development. ITU will participate in the new high-level United Nations Commission on Information and Accountability for Women’s and Children’s Health.

The Plenipotentiary Conference in Guadalajara, Mexico, strengthened ITU’s commitment to work with the Internet community, and boosted ITU’s work in many new areas such as accessibility, ICT and climate change, and conformance and interoperability.

Good progress is being made in connecting the world. ITU’s latest statistics reveal that the world now boasts an estimated 5.3 billion mobile subscriptions, of which 3.8 billion are in developing countries, and Internet users have surpassed the 2-billion mark.

 

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