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World Telecommunication Development Conference to be held in Qatar

Geneva, 12 January 2005 — The fourth World Telecommunication Development Conference (WTDC-06), the highest policy-making authority at the International Telecommunication Union for development, will take place in Doha, Qatar from 7 to 15th March 2006 at the invitation of the government of Qatar. The conference, to be held for the first time in the Arab States Region, is organized by the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) and will be hosted by ictQatar, the policy making and regulatory body for information and communication technology in Qatar.

WTDC-06 will bring together ITU’s 189 Member States and nearly 290 development Sector Members, four months after the second phase of the World Summit on the Information Society, in a forum to consider projects and programmes related to information and communication technology (ITC) development. It will also provide guidance for the activities of the ITU Telecommunication Development Bureau (BDT) for the following four years by establishing ICT development priorities, strategies and plans to bridge the digital divide and create an equitable and inclusive Information Society.

"The WTDC provides an important opportunity for ITU to further its commitment to bringing the benefits of information and communication technologies to all of the world," said Yoshio Utsumi, Secretary-General of ITU. ‘WTDC will be the first global ICT event held after the World Summit on the Information Society and will no doubt give ICT leaders an opportunity to consider practical ways to achieve the WSIS goal of connecting the world by 2015".

"We are very pleased with the decision to hold the WTDC-06 conference in Qatar", said Hamadoun I. Touré, Director of the ITU Telecommunication Development Bureau. "Its achievements in ICT, its renowned facilities for hosting large-scale events and its tradition of hospitality makes it the ideal choice for WTDC-06", Touré added.

Qatar has become a leading user of ICT in the region, with annual growth in the fixed and mobile teledensity of 15% over the last 5 years. Newer services such as mobile and Internet are driving ICT use. Mobile subscription surpassed fixed line in 2001 and continues to show astounding growth. Internet use is also becoming popular, with an annual growth rate close to 47% over the same period.

Regional Preparatory meetings for WTDC will be held in 2005 to consolidate views, regional initiatives and priorities on ICT development at the regional level. This process provides an opportunity for interregional discussions and consensus building prior to the conference. The priority topics and issues identified by the region will form part of the WTDC agenda, with the aim of incorporating those priorities into the action plan of ITU’s development bureau for 2007-2010. The action plan includes technical and operational themes such as; Finance and Investment, Human Resources Development, Network Development and New Technologies, Policy and Regulation, Universal Access and ICTs, and Special Programmes for Least Developed Countries.

More information on ITU’s Development Bureau can be found here.

What: World Telecommunication Development Conference (WTDC-06)
When: 7-15 March, 2006
Where: Doha, Qatar
Why:

WTDC provides a forum for the discussion and consideration of topics, projects and programmes related to telecommunication development. It also provides guidance for the activities of the ITU Telecommunication Development Bureau (BDT) for the following four years.

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Updated : 2005-08-02