General Secretariat

Geneva, 5 August 1996

Ref: Circular Letter No. 19
.. ..SPU/DM/jb

Contact: .........Don MacLean
Tel: .............+41 22 730 5201
Fax: ............+41 22 730 5881


Subject: World Telecommunication Policy Forum, 21-23 October 1996

Dear Sir/Madam,


1. The purpose of this letter is to bring to your attention the following information in order to assist in preparations for the World Telecommunication Policy Forum (WTPF) on Global Mobile Personal Communications by Satellite (GMPCS) which will take place at the Geneva International Conference Centre (CICG), 21-23 October 1996.

Report on Policy and Regulatory Issues Raised by GMPCS

2. As instructed by Council Resolution 1083, I have prepared a report on the policy and regulatory issues raised by Global Mobile Personal Communications by Satellite (GMPCS). In accordance with Resolution 1083, this report incorporates contributions by ITU Member States and Members of the Sectors, and will serve as the sole document of the WTPF. If necessary because of further developments, the report will be revised and redistributed prior to the Forum.

WTPF Structure and Working Methods

3. Table A of the report provides an overview of the proposed structure of the Policy Forum.

4. Working hours will be 09:00 - 12:00 and 14:00 - 17:00.

5. Interpretation will be provided in English, French, Spanish, Arabic, Russian and Chinese.

6. Resolution 2 of the Kyoto Plenipotentiary Conference resolved that the WTPF "shall adopt its own Rules of Procedure, based on a draft by the Secretary-General which will be examined by the Council". In Resolution 1083, the Council resolved that Forum meetings should be conducted in line with the Rules of Procedure that are enclosed with this letter. As indicated in Table A, these will be presented for adoption at the first session.

7. All sessions of the Policy Forum will take place in Plenary.

8. At the beginning of each session, a keynote speaker will be asked to give a short presentation on the agenda item to be discussed during that session.

9. The WTPF has a number of important and complex issues on its agenda and very little time in which to discuss them. It is therefore very important that participants keep the length of their interventions to a strict minimum. As a guideline, I propose that interventions should be no more than 5 minutes long, and briefer if possible.

Registration and Attendance

10. Circular-letter No. 256 of 20 October 1995 invited all Member States and Members of the Sectors to attend the WTPF and to register by 1 September 1996. I would like to reiterate this invitation, and to extend it as well to all organizations that have the right to attend ITU conferences and meetings as observers. I would also like to emphasize the importance of early registration in order to help the Secretariat plan for and prepare this event.

11. A copy of the WTPF registration form is available along with information on hotel accommodation in Geneva.

12. For your convenience and in order to avoid queues, it is strongly recommended that delegates register by correspondence before the WTPF. However, it will be possible to register on-site during the event.

13. In order to facilitate delegate registration and subsequent participation in the WTPF, it is recommended that ITU Member States and Members of the Sectors planning to attend the forum designate heads of delegation.

14. I would be grateful if you could send by fax (+41 22 730 5881) the list of representatives from your organization who will attend the WTPF, including the name of the delegation head. A separate registration form is required for each delegate attending the WTPF. When we receive a delegate's registration form, we will send them their personal copy of my report on GMPCS, along with an information package to help them plan their stay in Geneva.

15. Under Kyoto Resolution 2, the WTPF is open to participation by all ITU Member States and Members of the Sectors. Given the innovative nature of the WTPF and in order to foster a spirit of openness and cooperation, delegations will be seated in an alphabetical order which includes the names of both ITU Member States and Members of the Sectors. ITU Member States will be placed in the WTPF seating plan by using the French alphabetical order. Members of the Sectors who choose to register in their own names will be placed in the seating plan by using the organization names that appear in the ITU Global Directory.

16. In addition, organizations which have the right to observe at ITU conferences and meetings are welcome to attend the WTPF in that capacity, and are invited to register using the procedures described above. They will be seated in French alphabetical order in a section reserved for observers.

17. For logistical reasons, reserved seating can be guaranteed only for delegates who have registered prior to the event.

Attendance of the LDCs

18. The budget for the WTPF adopted by the 1995 Council contained only limited provision for LDC fellowships. As instructed by Council Resolution 1083, I have therefore encouraged Member States, Members of the Sectors and other interested parties to make voluntary contributions to aid the attendance of the LDCs.

19. To date, there has been a limited response to my appeal. However, I am continuing my efforts and am hopeful that additional contributions will be received. Whatever funds are available for this purpose will be distributed on a 'first come first serve' basis. I would therefore request LDCs to advise as soon as possible if they will require a fellowship in order to attend the WTPF.

Attendance by the Public

20. In Resolution 1083, Council resolved that the WTPF would be open to attendance, but not direct participation, by the public and instructed me to make documentation available to the public against payment of an appropriate fee designed to recover the costs associated with their attendance. This fee has been set at CHF 200.

Information Session

21. As indicated in Circular-letter No. 28 of 4 April 1996, in response to a recommendation from the World Telecommunications Advisory Council (WTAC), I have planned to organize a GMPCS information session at the CICG on Sunday, 20 October.

22. The purpose of this session would be to present factual information on GMPCS systems and services and to answer delegates' questions. This will ensure that the WTPF is able to concentrate on the policy and regulatory issues raised by GMPCS with respect to the items on its agenda.

23. Participation in this session would be open to all WTPF participants and attendees.

24. Since no provision was made for an information session in the WTPF budget, I have sought voluntary contributions from ITU Member States and Members of the Sectors.

25. To date, there has been a limited response to my appeal. However, I am continuing my efforts and am confident that it will be possible to arrange this session. If this proves to be the case, further information will be provided in due course.

Yours faithfully,