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