ITU Council concludes with consensus on new strategies to address evolving
needs of membership
Focus on key issues and challenges reshaping the
Geneva, 13 July 2012 – ITU’s governing body,
ITU Council, concluded its annual session in Geneva yesterday with agreement
on ambitious operational plans for each of the three ITU Sectors (Radiocommunication,
and Development), and
endorsement of ITU’s vital convening role in major upcoming milestones for the
information and communication (ICT) sector, including the
World Conference on
International Telecommunications (WCIT-12) and the formal review process for
the UN World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS+10
The 2012 session of Council was attended by 341 participants – including ICT
Ministers from Costa Rica, Ghana and the Russian Federation – representing the
48 Council Member States,
33 Member State Observers, and seven Sector Member Observers. It was chaired by
Dr Ahmet Çavuşoğlu, Head of the Department for International Affairs,
Information and Communications Technologies Authority of Turkey.
ITU Council tracks implementation and adherence to the Strategic Plan and
Budget of the Union, reviews ongoing work to meet the objectives of the World
Summit on the Information Society, and agrees the theme of
and Information Society Day, which marks the establishment of ITU on 17 May
1865. The theme for 2013 will be ‘ICTs and Improving Road Safety’.
Highlights and achievements of this year’s session included:
- Confirmation of the venue, dates and agenda of the next
World Radiocommunication Conference (WRC-15), which will be
held in Geneva on 2-27 November, 2015.
- Confirmation of the dates of the
World Telecommunication / Information and Communication
Technology Policy Forum in 2013, which will take place in
Geneva on 13-14 May, 2013 and which will focus on Internet
Public Policy issues.
- A landmark decision to allow free public access to the main
conference preparatory document for the World Conference
on International Telecommunications (WCIT-12). The compilation,
known as Temporary Document 64 (TD64), comprises over 450
contributions, and will be made freely available on the
WCIT website in the coming days. There was also a unanimous
decision to set up a publicly accessible webpage on the WCIT-12
website, where all stakeholders will be able to voice their
views on TD-64 contributions and other WCIT-12 issues.
- Consensus on the modalities of the Open Consultation for the
Council Working Group on International Internet-related Public
Policy Issues (CWG-Internet). Council agreed to online
consultations open to all stakeholders, with inputs to be fed
into ongoing CWG-Internet discussions.
- A formal Resolution confirming ITU’s leadership role in the
overall review of the implementation of the outcomes of the
World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS+10 Overall Review)
as well as preparations towards WSIS+10 High Level Event to be
held back to back with the World Telecommunication Development
Conference in 2014
- The signing of Host Country Agreements with the United Arab
Emirates for upcoming events including
ITU Telecom World 2012,
World Telecommunication Standardization Assembly (WTSA-12)
and WCIT-12, all of which will take place in Dubai later this
- The approval of a resolution to initiate a process to
mainstream the results of the Rio+20 conference outcomes into
- Endorsement of an ambitious action plan for technical
conformance and interoperability testing and certification, led
by ITU’s Telecommunication Standardization Bureau.
- A decision to authorize the Secretary-General to continue to
express interest in ITU becoming the supervisory authority of
the future international registration system for space assets
Space Protocol, and to authorize the Secretary-General or
his representative to participate as an observer in the work of
the Preparatory Commission for the establishment of the
- Agreement on the attendance of the six regional
telecommunication organizations as Observers at Council (the
Asia-Pacific Telecommunity; the European Conference of Postal
and Telecommunications Administrations; the Inter-American
Telecommunications Commission; the African Telecommunications
Union; the Council of Arab Ministers of Telecommunication and
Information; and the Regional Commonwealth in the field of
- Endorsement on ITU’s activities in the area of promoting
accessibility to ICTs for persons living with disabilities. This
included a reminder to all ITU Membership to contribute to the
new ITU Accessibility Fund.
- A decision to trial free online access to the ITU
Administrative Regulations, with the aim of facilitating their
availability to interested parties everywhere, and particularly
in the developing world.
- The holding of a very successful ‘World
Café’ session on ‘Engendering Change’. The first event of
its kind to be held in conjunction with an ITU Council session,
this innovative approach to collaborative conversation on gender
equality and mainstreaming in ITU.
- A series of information sessions on topics including WSIS,
WCIT-12, remote participation and accessibility to ICTs for
persons living with disabilities.
This year’s Council also observed a minute of silence to mark the passing
away of former ITU Secretary-General Richard Butler (Australia) on 23 June at
the age of 86. Mr Butler served as ITU Deputy Secretary-General from 1968 to
1982, and Secretary-General from 1983 to 1989.
Speaking at the final Council session, ITU Secretary-General Dr Hamadoun
Touré praised his organization’s long-standing tradition of consensus building
and collaboration. “This Council was an excellent demonstration of how we
continue to build on our long and honourable history of working together, to
facilitate technical and technological progress, with trust and faith in one
another,” he said.
The full text of the Secretary-General’s State of the Union address,
delivered at the opening session of Council on Monday 4 July and summarizing
ITU’s 2011/2012 achievements, can be found at
Dr Touré’s closing address can be found at
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