Plenipotentiary Conference 1998 -- Minneapolis USA

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Briefing Notes 10 of 23 October
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Mr Houlin Zhao of China elected Director of the Telecommunication Standardization Bureau

On the third ballot, Mr Houlin Zhao of China was elected Director of the Telecommunication Standardization Bureau with 97 votes. Mr Michel Feneyrol of France obtained 51 votes. Dr B. Horton (Australia) had withdrawn from the race. 150 ballots were cast and the majority required was 75.

Mr Zhao paid tribute to his opponents, as distinguished men in the telecommunication for conducting such a high level election. "I will further study the brilliant ideas from their programmes and expect to work together with them, in one way or another" he said. He added that the 20th century is witnessing a veritable explosion in the communication and information society: the rapid growth of the Internet, mobile communications, the WTO basic telecommunications agreement, the worldwide trend of liberalization, competition, globalization and the convergence of technology and services. "Standardization plays a key role in making telecommunication accessible to all, thus fostering development and growth in all domains on a global scale," Mr Zhao said. On the need to face the challenges brought about from the market forces in the area of standardization, Mr Zhao said "believing that the world needs an effective and efficient ITU-T, I will do everything in my power to keep ITU-T more dynamic and responsible in delivering services to the whole telecommunication community at the level of excellence and within the time-frame expected by its members to strengthen the ITU-T's preeminence and to maintain its leading position in global telecommunication standardization of the 21st century."

Following the announcement of the result of the TSB election, Mr Feneyrol of France, said "The will of the Member States has been clearly expressed in the ballot boxes this morning at the third round". He thanked those who supported him and who, like him, wished that the Telecommunication Standardization Bureau becomes a forum where both governments and private sector could expressed their views while respecting individual and collective interests to build a balanced telecommunication world. He also expressed his satisfaction at the way the campaign was conducted. "The campaign for the post of Director of the Telecommunication Standardization Bureau has been conducted in the general interest of the ITU and in a spirit of courtesy. I wish the new team success and hope the Plenipotentiary Conference will give them the means to put into place flexible working methods to facilitate the attainment of the laudable objectives expressed in the general policy statements".

Mr Zhao's curriculum vitae and platform can be found at and

Strategic Policy and Plans

Committee 5 considered for the second time and adopted the draft Resolution of ad hoc group 5/1 on the participation of industry members in World Radiocommunication Conferences (see Briefing Notes 8 for details). It will be recalled that the action taken was considered necessary because of the divergences in the current provisions of the Convention concerning the participation of industry members in the plenipotentiary and radiocommunication conferences. It was also in response to a recommendation currently under discussion at this Conference to widen the representation of Radiocommunication Sector participants at world radiocommunication conferences.

The new draft instructs the Director of the Radiocommunication Bureau, with advice from the Radiocommunication Advisory Group, to study and propose to WRC 2000 procedures under which the Industry Members (with the exception of those which already have the right to take the floor) may take part in the debate. International organizations and certain regional telecommunications entities and intergovernmental operating satellite systems already have that right. WRC 2000 is to adopt the appropriate measures for participation at WRC 2000 itself and propose to the ITU Council any action to be considered by t he next Plenipotentiary Conference.

The second draft resolution which Committee 5 examined was submitted by Working Group 5/2 on the possibility for industry members to have the right to adopt, on an equal footing with Member States, technical recommendations. The draft resolution now provides for the appropriate body in each Sector to develop guidelines to be followed by study groups when approving each Recommendation. It also provides for that process not to apply for Recommendations having policy and regulatory implications such as those related to relevant numbering plans, tariffs and accounting issues, relevant financial issues nor to issues relevant to the work of radiocommunication conferences (which are treaty-making). Once again, the discussions did not lead to any agreement, questions being raised as to what other financial issues were covered that were not already included in tariffs and accounting. As worded it was felt that it could apply almost to all work of the three sectors or none of their work depending on the interpretation given. Other concerns expressed concerned whether or not the exception should apply only to recommendations or also to the inclusion of questions in the work programme. The chairperson decided to present a new text by Tuesday on the basis of the comments made.

Further to the adoption yesterday by Committee 5 of the Resolution on telecommunications in the service of humanitarian assistance, the delegation of Sri Lanka, in association with the United Nations, the ITU, the Working Group on Emergency Telecommunications and ICO Global Communications, will hold a multimedia presentation on the emergency telecommunication pilot project conducted in Sri Lanka on Monday, 26 October 1998 in Room D, from 14:30 to 16:00.

Management of the Union

Due to technical difficulties, it is not possible to report on today’s meeting of Committee 7. This will be included in Monday’s report.n

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