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Agenda and arrangements for the
Second World Telecommunication Policy Forum

DECISION 475

The Council,

decides

1. to convene the second World Telecommunication Policy Forum in Geneva, from 16-18 March 1998 in order to discuss and exchange views on the theme of trade in telecommunication services, with the following agenda:

a) the general implications of the World Trade Organization (WTO) agreement on trade in basic telecommunication services for the ITU membership with respect to:

  • the telecommunication policies, regulations and regulatory structures of ITU Member States;
  • the implications of the WTO agreement for developing countries, particularly with respect to policies, regulations and financial strategies to promote the development of telecommunication networks and services, as well as on their national economy;

b) actions to assist Member States and Sector Members in adapting to the changes in the telecommunication environment including analysing the current situation (e.g. by case studies) and formulating possible co-operative actions involving ITU Member States and Sector Members to facilitate adaptation to the new environment;

c) the evolution of the international telecommunication environment, particularly the accounting and settlement system, having taken into account activities being undertaken by ITU-T study groups;

2. that the Forum shall draw up a report and, if possible, opinions for consideration by ITU Members and relevant ITU meetings;

3. that arrangements for the second WTPF shall be similar to those of the first. In particular:

a) discussions shall be based on a report from the Secretary-General, incorporating the contributions of ITU Member States and Sector Members, which will serve as the sole working document of the Forum, and shall focus on key issues on which it would be desirable to reach conclusions;

b) the report of the Secretary-General shall be prepared following the process set out in Section E of Document C97/44;

c) the Secretary-General shall convene a balanced, informal group of experts, each of whom is active in preparing for the Policy Forum in his/her own country, to assist in this process;

d) to assist participants in preparing for the Forum, a working group composed of representatives of the ITU-T and ITU-D Sectors and the ITU Secretariat, in collaboration with the other organizations should conduct case studies particularly in developing countries, the result of which should be made available to the participants with other relevant reports. The case studies should be conducted on the basis of agreed models and specifications with the necessary guidelines from ITU-T and ITU-D;

e) participation shall be open to Member States and Sector Members and to attendance, but not direct participation, by the public;

f) the Secretary-General shall encourage ITU Member States and Sector Members, and other interested parties, to make voluntary contributions to help defray the costs of the Forum and facilitate the attendance of the LDCs.