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 Wednesday, August 20, 2008
Conference on planetary emergencies in Erice, Italy: Dr Hamadoun Touré, ITU Secretary-General, warns about pervasive computer use

Extract from the International Herald Tribune: ...More than 120 scientists, engineers, analysts and economists from 30 countries were hunkered down here for the 40th annual conference on "planetary emergencies." The term was coined by Antonino Zichichi, a native son and a theoretical physicist who has made Erice a hub for experts to discuss persistent, and potentially catastrophic, global challenges...

... In a session on information security, Hamadoun Toure, Secretary-General of the International Telecommunication Union, warned that pervasive computer use, while offering the prospect of a global "knowledge society," also made billions of individuals into potential superpowers. "Every single brain on earth is equal and can trigger an attack," he said... [Full article on the International Herald Tribune]

Wednesday, August 20, 2008 9:01:04 AM (Romance Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
ITU TELECOM ASIA 2008 set for Bangkok, 2-5 September - ITU Asia-Pacific Telecommunication/ICT Indicators Report will be released on 1 September

ITU TELECOM ASIA 2008 is set to open in Bangkok, Thailand in two weeks. The leading showcase for information and communication technologies (ICT) and the foremost networking platform for policy makers, regulators and the ICT industry from across the Asia-Pacific region will open its doors 2-5 September 2008 at the IMPACT Convention Centre, Muang Thong Thani, Bangkok.

The VIP/Press Day will be held on 1 September, beginning with the Opening Ceremony at 9:00 am. The Press conference will take place at 12 Noon followed by a Press lunch at 13:00 and a Press tour of the exhibition. A Ministerial round table and high-level dialogue between Ministers and industry leaders will also be held at the venue. The ITU Asia Pacific Telecommunication/ICT Indicators Report will be launched at the Press conference. [More...]

Wednesday, August 20, 2008 8:37:15 AM (Romance Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, August 18, 2008
ITU Secretary-General talks on the occasion of ITU TELECOM Asia 2008 about the new agenda of ITU

Since taking office in January 2007, Secretary-General Dr Hamadoun Touré has set an ambitious new agenda for the ITU designed to help lead the way towards a more equitable and responsible ICT-based economy. A native of Mali whose long career in ICT spans senior private and public sector roles on three continents, Dr Touré seeks to get to grips with the changing realities of a brand new socio-economic paradigm.

Q:  Let's start with ITU's Global Cybersecurity Agenda. Why did ITU feel the need to launch this, and what does it hope to achieve?

A:   ITU recognized an urgent need to raise awareness about the very real threat already posed by cybercrime, and to build global consensus on practical ways forward in combating this scourge.

Cyberspace has no borders, no constraining frontiers. The global nature of today's threats means no country can regard itself as an island. This is therefore a truly international problem demanding action on an international level. ITU boasts a long and successful history of forging consensus on the way the world manages globally shared ICT resources - such as satellite orbits and radiofrequency spectrum. Now we're leveraging that track record to help build an international set of principles and best practice that countries around the world can follow, so that efforts to stamp out cybercrime have maximum impact and effectiveness.

The GCA's role is to link existing initiatives and provide a framework for consensus. We've already got lots of key organizations sharing ideas - INTERPOL with the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, for example. Working together significantly increases our chances of success. And by involving global experts in the process from the beginning, we'll help make sure that the solutions decided upon get implemented properly.

Q:  Where are we in terms of progress on the Agenda?

A:   To ensure all countries and stakeholders had the chance to voice their views and concerns, ITU convened a High-Level Experts Group comprising a broad spectrum of representatives from government, international and regional organizations, private industry and academia. This global multi-stakeholder think-tank was tasked with preparing a strategic report and a set of recommendations on how to best achieve the seven strategic goals of the GCA, which span legislation, hardware and software authentication, digital identity certification, and international frameworks for proactive cooperation, as well as early warning on cyber threats.

The HLEG met on 26 June 2008 to submit its recommendations, and I'll be presenting these to ITU Council in November this year. So just over one year since launch, we're moving from talk to action. In the past three months alone we've seen a number of exciting developments, including new collaboration with IMPACT, the global initiative launched by Malaysian Prime Minister, which has offered to serve as one of the GCA physical homes; launch of the GCA Strategic Partnership Program to forge alliances with key stakeholders; mounting interest from leading ICT firms; and a second Patron from Africa - the President of Burkina Faso.

We still have a lot of complex work ahead of us, but with ITU's proven ability to broker effective, workable international agreements on a whole range of contentious issues - from emergency communications to third-generation mobile telephony - I'm quite confident we'll get there.

Q:  Child protection has emerged as one of the most urgent cybersecurity priorities. What's ITU position here?

A:   There's no doubt this needs to be one of the very first issues addressed. Today’s children are increasingly vulnerable - yet their parents, teachers, guardians and even governments are often unaware of the dangers.

We all tell our children to be careful out on the street. What many people haven’t realized is that, equipped with a computer, a child’s bedroom can suddenly become a very dangerous neighbourhood - and that their children are walking through that neighbourhood in the dark, alone. So the first step is to raise awareness at a parental, educational and social level. We need to urgently integrate cyber protection into our community education programmes, and into our school curricula.

At the same time, we need to work towards a harmonized international framework against child pornography and cybercriminals who target and prey on children. Without this framework, some countries will become unwilling hubs for illegal activities of the most undesirable kind - something no nation would want. Much good work has already been done by various agencies and organizations around the world. Through ITU, we can bring key stakeholders together to leverage the progress made so far and develop an internationally effective strategy to eradicate these activities.

To that end, we’ve just announced the creation of a multi-stakeholder coalition under the GCA framework to undertake concrete actions for the protection of children online. The Child Online Protection (COP) will be launched later this year, and will actively work with partners from industry, governments, international organizations and others to develop concrete actions for protecting children in cyber space.

I believe ITU, which is committed to connecting the world, also has a responsibility to help ensure that these connections are safe. At the same time, it’s vital that our initiatives do nothing to stifle or smother the enormous benefits the Internet can bring young people, both as a traditional educational resource and as a tool for peer to peer networking and learning.

Q:  You talk of ‘Connecting the World’ - and you held the highly successful ÂConnect Africa event in Rwanda last year. Can we expect to see more ‘Connect’ events - and which regions would be targeted next?

A:   We held the first Connect event in Africa because, as home to 36 of the 49 UN-designated Least Developed Countries, the African continent is still the most urgently in need. The unprecedented interest this event generated, including over US$ 55 billion in project commitments, is clear proof that the industry is now aggressively looking to developing markets for new opportunities. The next Connect event - Connect CIS - is already on the agenda, and will be held in Belarus in 2009. We’re confident that it will match the success of our first event, as participants take advantage of enormous untapped demand in fast-emerging markets across this exciting region.

We’ll be following that up with other Connect events for key world regions - Connect Americas, and Connect Asia - with a special focus as well on the small island states of the Pacific.

Q:  How do ITU Connect events differ from the many other ICT trade shows and conferences targeting regional markets?

A:   ICTs are the engine driving every other economic sector. And over the past five years, two thirds of all new jobs created have been in the ICT sector. In defining our Connect events, our motto has been ‘wealth creation, not poverty alleviation’. Unlike many events, we’re not focusing on the latest gizmos, but rather on ICT development through partnership - particularly constructive partnership between governments and the private sector. Regionally-focused events are very useful, because they can address common problems in areas like licensing, regulation and infrastructure sharing. In deciding the venue for future regional Connect events, we’ll be looking for strong commitments from host governments to forging local ICT markets that favour business opportunity and promote good, competitively-priced services.

Q:  In addition to Connect CIS, there’s another important event on the ITU horizon next year - the fourth World Telecommunication Policy Forum in Lisbon. What will this event focus on?

A:   With so much happening across the industry, we’ve chosen the broad theme of ‘Convergence’ to encompass a range of paradigm shifts. The event will look at new network technologies - for example, the standardization work now underway within ITU on Next Generation Networks and IMT-Advanced mobile technology. But we’ll also be looking at other important global issues, such as ICTs and climate change.

Q:  Climate change is a relatively new item on ITU’s work plan

A:   Yes, but in fact we’ve already been very active here for a number of years, through the development of technologies for environmental monitoring, through early warning systems to help communities mitigate the effects of the growing number of natural disasters provoked by global warming, and through technologies designed to minimize human impact on our environment.

I believe we can go much, much further, by helping industries across all sectors reduce their carbon footprint. Sure, as products that consume energy - through both their manufacture and their use - ICTs are part of the problem, accounting for around three per cent of global CO2 emissions. But they can also be a huge part of the solution - for example, by reducing the need for paper, by automatically switching both themselves and other electrical appliances to ‘sleep’ mode to cut energy consumption, by reducing the need for travel, and by more efficiently managing energy needs in our homes or in our cars.

Following two international Symposia on ICTs and Climate Change held earlier this year, the important role of ICTs in mitigating climate change was addressed at the G8 meeting in Lake Toya in July. ITU will continue to proactively work towards even better technological solutions to reducing our carbon footprint, through standardization efforts in areas like NGN, where new technologies can dramatically reduce the power consumption of network infrastructure, and through special areas of focus like the Networked Home and the Networked Car. We’re also stepping up our work in the area of emergency communications, to help communities deal with the often catastrophic effects of a shift in climate patterns.

Q:  ITU took the lead back in 1998 in brokering the Tampere Convention on the cross-border use of mobile communications for humanitarian relief. What other activities are you involved in?

A:   The Tampere Convention was a major landmark in emergency response, and has now been ratified by 36 nations. This is a priority area for us, and we’re partnering with a wide range of public and private sector organizations across a range of different areas.

Following the Asian tsunami in 2004, we’ve been working with the Australian government and others on developing early-warning technology for maritime disasters. The most recent World Radiocommunication Conference here in Geneva last year approved new key spectrum allocations for environmental monitoring and disaster mitigation.

And we’re active on the ground, providing communications equipment for disaster relief, and technical expertise to help authorities get backbone links up again quickly after a disaster.

During the course of 2008 alone, we’ve deployed 100 satellite terminals for emergency relief in Myanmar - we were one of the very few agencies authorized to enter - and in Sichuan, China, following the earthquake there. We also have excellent partnerships with most of the major satellite service providers, such as ICO and Inmarsat, with equipment vendors like Thuraya, and with specialist relief organizations like Télécoms Sans Frontières.

More, however, still needs to be done. That’s why we developed a new international framework that was put in place in December 2007. This framework focuses on putting in place national and international disaster prevention and response agreements that can serve as the basis of relief efforts in the event of a catastrophe. When disaster strikes, no-one should be wasting time brokering deals. And no-one should be arguing as to who might get credit for the rescue and clean-up. All our efforts must be directed to helping the victims - as efficiently and as quickly as possible.

Q:  What can we expect to see at the industry’s flagship trade show, ITU Telecom Asia 2008 in Thailand in September?

A:   With Asia now leading the world in technological innovation, there are always plenty of surprises! I’m sure we’ll see much to excite us on the show floor from major global players and rising Asian stars. As to the Forum programme, we can expect plenty of healthy debate. The new, more interactive format we piloted at our Cairo event in May was very well received, so we’ll be reinforcing that model in Bangkok. I believe ‘from friction comes light’ - so we’ll be aiming to provoke a few clashes of opinion from industry leadersÂ…

Asia is a fascinating region because it encompasses both ends of the ICT development spectrum. It’s home to the most wired, most technophile communities in the world. And it’s also home to LDCs and marginalized island states. That makes it a great test bed for new ideas, new technologies - and exciting new applications.

Q:  The theme for this year’s ITU Telecom event is New Generation, New Values. What does this mean, in practice?

A:   We chose this theme because, quite simply, no region of the world embraces ICTs like Asia. Entire generations now define themselves through technology. That’s a huge force for innovation, as manufacturers and service providers alike clamber to make the most of the opportunities by devising compelling new products and services designed to capture the consumer imagination - and wallet. In other countries, technology tends to be applied as a tool, to meet user needs. In Asia, it’s already very much a lifestyle.

Q:  So Asia’s really shaping today’s market developments, setting the tone and pace of trends?

A:   There’s no doubt that this is true in areas like mobile and broadband. Asia spans some of the most sophisticated markets with the highest levels of ICT penetration and growth in the world. China and India are the world’s largest and fastest growing markets, with mobile subscribers alone totalling over 600 million and 280 million respectively by mid-2008. The Republic of Korea leads the world with close to 80% of households connected to broadband. Both Singapore and Hong Kong, China are not far behind, with 70%. That’s why ITU Telecom Asia has always served as a bellwether for the industry - it not only opens doors to some of the biggest opportunities for exhibitors, but provides a crucial snapshot of where the industry’s heading in terms of technologies, applications and new business models.

That’s particularly important in Asia, which remains a region of stark contrasts. While some countries now boast excess broadband capacity, others - particularly geographically isolated nations like Small Island States - are still struggling to get their populations connected. New technologies will help. The next Connect Asia Summit that ITU is organizing with other partners will be a key milestone in setting the strategies at regional level. Discussions during Asia 2008 with business and political leaders will be timely for achieving the expected results.

Monday, August 18, 2008 8:44:55 AM (Romance Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, August 14, 2008
Media Advisory: ITU TELECOM ASIA Forum addresses policy for next-generation networks - New regulatory approaches to match innovation in telecommunication/ICT technology

This ITU TELECOM ASIA 2008 Forum session addresses the theme: Meeting the Needs of Society. Today's modern world of communications is witness to innovative systems that present a host of both opportunities and challenges for public policy frameworks. The current telecommunications regulatory model applies to legacy publicly switched telecommunications networks (PSTN). However, the rapid investment in next-generation networks (NGN) is creating new regulatory issues and challenges, calling for a paradigm shift in ICT regulation.

NGN is a packet-based Internet Protocol (IP) network designed to deliver a full range of services - from broadband Internet to fixed, wireless and mobile voice and data, and even broadcast television -- over a single network with guaranteed quality of service. The imminent replacement of circuit-switched phone systems with the new packet-switched architecture illustrates how regulatory approaches must match innovation. A significant challenge with NGN is matching the right policy and regulatory settings to facilitate migration to NGN and stimulate investment in the new networks. This session will consider the costs and benefits of investing in the still uncharted NGN terrain. [More...]

Thursday, August 14, 2008 11:00:38 AM (Romance Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, August 04, 2008
Media Advisory: ITU TELECOM ASIA Forum to address climate change - Business opportunities seen in adopting environment-friendly ICT

Climate change is a global challenge that demands urgent attention. Information and communication technologies (ICT) are vital instruments in monitoring the spread of global warming as well as part of the solution in promoting carbon displacement technologies. At the same time, in an increasingly ‘switched on’ society, ICTs are also becoming a part of the cause of global warming. Although ICTs contribute only an estimated 2.5 per cent of total greenhouse gases, this is set to increase as ICT usage expands globally.

New technologies that increase efficiencies provide opportunities for monitoring and protecting the environment, mitigating the effects of global warming and adapting to climate change. In its commitment to connecting the world, ITU advances a green ICT agenda and leads environment-friendly initiatives to monitor climate change and reduce the carbon footprint of ICT while enabling other sectors to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. [More...]

Monday, August 04, 2008 9:39:10 AM (Romance Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, July 30, 2008
ITU Secretary-General at the 24th Universal Postal Congress: ITU and UPU have long worked towards the ideal of universal access

Extract from Dr Touré's address: ... ITU and UPU have long worked towards the ideal of universal access. Now, at a time when the digitalization of our industries is rapidly changing the communication landscape, we are still working towards this ideal.

The goal of universal access was the reason for ITU’s Connect Africa initiative, launched at a high-level Summit in Kigali last October. While great gains have been made in the African continent in recent years, there remains much to do if we want to eliminate the digital divide. Bringing connectivity to every region in Africa requires mobilizing all possible human, technical and financial resources – both public and private. At the same time, Connect Africa has demonstrated that such mobilization of resources can create exciting business and investment opportunities.

UPU, of course, has had its own role to play in this process. As has been so often the case in the history of our two organizations, we again find ourselves not only standing side-by-side, but working actively together. Let me give you 3 examples... [Full speech]

Wednesday, July 30, 2008 2:04:33 PM (Romance Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, July 25, 2008
Second African tour of ITU Secretary-General to Connect Africa: Dr Touré visits Mali

During the audience granted to Dr Touré on 25 July by His Excellency Amadou Toumani Touré, President of the Republic of Mali, discussions focused on the successes achieved in the ICT sector with a view to facilitating access to communication for people from all layers of society nationwide and thereby attaining the Millennium Goals. Reference was also made to ITU's support, which will result in the implementation of priority projects relating to smooth privatization of SOTELMA, optical fibre networks, multipurpose community centres in post offices and training centres.

Friday, July 25, 2008 12:51:30 PM (Romance Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, July 23, 2008
ITU standard assists rescue workers to notify victim's next of kin - Global mobile phone directory code for use in emergencies

Emergency workers searching for next-of-kin contact information for an injured person now have a globally recognized way of doing so, thanks to a new standard from ITU.

By simply prefixing the Arabic numericals 01, 02, 03, and so on to a nominated contact, such as "01father", "02wife" or "03husband" written in any script in the mobile telephone directory, will help emergency workers in any part of the world identify contacts in order of priority and notify them.

ITU will work with non-profit organization ICE4SAFETY to promote this new way of identifying an emergency contact in a mobile handset's directory.

"In Case of Emergency" — or ICE — has emerged in some English-speaking countries encouraging people to list emergency contact numbers in their mobile phone’s directory in the form of "ICE father", for example, or "ICE doctor". However, this precludes people who do not use or recognize the Roman script from readily identifying what the term "ICE" represents. ITU members expressed the need to identify emergency contacts independent of language or script. [More...]

Wednesday, July 23, 2008 9:41:29 AM (Romance Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, July 21, 2008
Second African tour of ITU Secretary-General to Connect Africa: Dr Touré visits Senegal

An audience with His Excellency Abdoulaye Wade, President of the Republic of Senegal, was granted on 21 July to the ITU Secretary-General, who had previously paid personal visits to ongoing projects such as extension of the Governmental Intranet, the Pompenguine Cybercase pilot project, and the computer-recycling programme involving disabled persons. Operational missions relating to feasibility studies in close collaboration with the African Union were entrusted to ITU.

Monday, July 21, 2008 12:49:26 PM (Romance Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
ITU TELECOM ASIA Forum to address cybersecurity

TELECOM Forum: Security, Privacy and Trust - Who Protects Whom? And From What?

In an increasingly networked world, achieving cybersecurity and cyberpeace is critically important. Recognizing the magnitude of the issue, the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) called for building confidence and security in the use of ICTs. And ITU, in keeping with its lead role, launched the Global Cybersecurity Agenda (GCA) to fast-track a global response to enhance cybersecurity.

Considering the major role that ICTs play as an engine of growth in the world economy, the ITU TELECOM Forum in Bangkok, Thailand will address the key issues of security, privacy and trust.

Huge investments have been made worldwide to put government services online, and cross-border collaboration is critical for the effective implementation of those services. Users are often rightly suspicious about technology that aggregates massive amounts of personal data which, in the hands of identity thieves and cyber criminals, could lead to disastrous consequences.

How can the rights and privacy of citizens be safeguarded while still facilitating the convenience of electronic identity systems? What principles have been learned and where should attention be focused? This Forum session at ITU TELECOM ASIA will dig deep to find the answers! [More...]

Monday, July 21, 2008 7:53:13 AM (Romance Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Sunday, July 13, 2008
ITU Secretary-General participates in CANTO's 24th Annual Telecommunications Conference and Trade Exhibition on Connect the Caribbean

The Connect the Caribbean event was hosted by the National Telecommunications Provider, Bahamas Telecommunications Company (BTC) and was attended by well over 680 delegates, ten Ministers of Government from around the region and other invited guests from The Bahamas. The theme of this year’s event was “CANTO"- Caribbean Unity through Connectivity and was centered on the Connect the Caribbean (CTC) Initiative of CANTO. The Connect the Caribbean Initiative is the Caribbean’s response to the “Connect the World Initiative”, consistent with the framework of Connect the World project of the ITU. The project will function as a partnership to mobilize the human, financial and technical resources required to bridge major gaps in ICT infrastructure development, enabling a harmonized policy framework and developing relevant and affordable services and applications.

Sunday, July 13, 2008 2:19:10 PM (Romance Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, July 11, 2008
ITU responds to industry call to accelerate work on cleaner and greener environment - New group to focus on the impact of ICT and climate change

Responding to an industry call, ITU has set up a new group to work on standards related to the impact of information and communication technologies (ICT) on climate change. The new group will focus in particular on the reduction of ICT emissions and how ICTs can assist in cutting emissions in other industry sectors such as energy, transportation and buildings.

Since the adoption of the Kyoto Protocol, in December 1997, the number of ICT users has tripled worldwide. It is estimated that the ICT sector produces between two to three per cent of global greenhouse gas emissions. But ICTs are also seen as a part of the solution to the climate change challenge.

ICTs could help cut global emissions by between 15 to 40 per cent, depending on the methodology used to make these estimates. Two recent ITU symposia on ICTs and climate change in Kyoto in April and in London in June this year drew attention to the wide variation in these estimates. A key objective of the Focus Group will be to develop internationally agreed methodologies to describe and estimate the impact of ICTs on climate change, both directly and through their application in other industry sectors... [More... ]

Friday, July 11, 2008 7:08:32 AM (Romance Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, July 09, 2008
ITU and Servei de Telecomunicacions d'Andorra join forces to connect least developed countries and Small Island Developing States

The International Telecommunication Union and Andorra's telecommunications operator, Servei de Telecomunicacions d'Andorra (STA), have signed a non-exclusive partnership cooperation agreement to help boost access to telecommunication and information and communication technology (ICT) services in least developed countries and Small Island Developing States. In particular, the two parties will work together to develop and implement projects that aim to improve rural or outer island communication infrastructure; provide basic telecommunications, as well as high-speed Internet services; strengthen local capacity in information technology skills; and enhance ICT capacity, especially for emergency and disaster preparedness and management. [More...]

Wednesday, July 09, 2008 10:47:34 AM (Romance Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, July 08, 2008
BBC Radio - Digital Planet: Interview with Malcolm Johnson, Director of the Standardization Sector of ITU

Reducing energy consumption is on the agenda at the G8 summit in Japan. Gareth from BBC Radio speaks to Malcolm Johnson, from the International Telecommunication Union, about the global issues facing technology providers and users... [Interview]

Tuesday, July 08, 2008 12:00:17 PM (Romance Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, July 07, 2008
ITU TELECOM ASIA 2008 aims at the younger generation - Bangkok, Thailand to focus on new generation values at ICT showcase

ITU TELECOM ASIA 2008, the regional ICT showcase, is set for Bangkok, Thailand from 2 to 5 September. The first such event to be hosted by Thailand, Asia 2008 will promote information and communication technologies (ICT) both globally and within the Asia-Pacific region.

"New Generation, New Values" the theme for ITU TELECOM ASIA 2008 sets the stage for both the Exhibition and the Forum. The Exhibition showcases a comprehensive range of ICT-related products and services, reflecting the ever extending reach of industry. Parallel to individual stands, a number of initiatives are underway to showcase national competitive advantages. Pavilions registered thus far include: China, France, Japan, Korea, Russia, Thailand and USA. ITU TELECOM ASIA 2008 will be held at the modern IMPACT Challenger Centre in Bangkok. As ASIA 2008 coincides with the dates for Bangkok International ICT Expo that has been organized for the last four years by Thailand’s Ministry of Information and Communication Technology (MICT), the entire central hall of the IMPACT Challenger venue is dedicated to showcasing the ICT industry in Thailand.

"Thailand is very supportive of this year’s event and has organized an impressive Pavilion that firmly establishes Thailand as an ICT hub," said ITU Secretary-General Dr Hamadoun Touré. "The location is ideal because of its strategic and geographic situation in the Asia-Pacific region, noting the fast-growing markets in China and India and the huge potential of the rest of the region. At the same time, more developed markets in neighbouring countries continue to embrace cutting edge information and communication technologies." [More...]

Monday, July 07, 2008 9:46:51 AM (Romance Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, July 02, 2008
European Commission wants a web that is better enabled for the disabled

15% of Europeans suffer from some form of disability, and many face barriers such as reading a website's small text or even knowing how to access websites and online services. Despite repeated calls by the EU and government leaders to improve this situation, progress remains limited: by far the majority of websites fail to use universally accepted user-friendly solutions. Today the European Commission launched a public consultation on further measures to make websites in Europe accessible, starting with those of public administrations, and invites stakeholders to give their views. It also addresses other technologies like digital television. The consultation is open until 27 August 2008. [More...]

Wednesday, July 02, 2008 3:23:13 PM (Romance Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
Effective regulatory framework to spur investment in Africa - African ICT regulators and policy makers meet in Dakar

African regulators and policy makers met in Dakar, Senegal to address the challenges of connecting Africa to information and communication technologies (ICT). Achieving connectivity is seen as a catalyst for achieving the broader targets of the Millennium Development Goals.

The ninth Forum on Telecommunication/ICT Regulation and Partnership in Africa was held 4-6 June 2008 in the context of the Connect Africa Summit, which met in Kigali, Rwanda last October.

Opening the Forum, Mr Habib Sy, Minister for Infrastructures, Land Transport, Telecommunications and ICT of Senegal emphasized the importance of establishing a regulatory framework to build a modern and successful Africa perfectly integrated in the information society.

ITU was represented by Mr Yury Grin, Deputy Director of the Telecommunication Development Bureau. He highlighted ITU’s role as a facilitator in supporting African countries to establish effective regulatory frameworks. He said the creation of an enabling environment would foster investment and stimulate growth in the ICT sector.

Over 140 delegates from 43 countries attended the Forum. [More...]

Wednesday, July 02, 2008 9:51:33 AM (Romance Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
ITU Secretary-General Dr Hamadoun I. Touré opens the Meeting of the Telecommunication Standardization Advisory Group in Geneva, Switzerland

Speech from Dr Hamadoun I. Touré:

Excellencies,

I am pleased to be with you this morning at this especially important TSAG meeting, the last before WTSA in Johannesburg.

As you know ITU's mission is to connect the world. I am proud of the strong resolve that TSAG has shown in supporting this number one goal of ITU.

In my address to TSAG in December last year I laid out the five key priorities that were identified by the new management team.

  • Bridging the digital divide
  • Stewardship of the radio spectrum
  • Adopting international standards to ensure seamless global communications and interoperability
  • Building confidence and security in the use of information and communication technologies (ICTs)
  • Emergency communications.

As a direct result of that last TSAG meeting ICTs and climate change has become an item to add to this list and is now very strongly fixed on our agenda. I am very appreciative of the drive that has come from TSAG and ITU-T on this topic and note with pleasure the excellent outcome of the recent symposiums in Kyoto and London... [Full speech...]

Wednesday, July 02, 2008 6:37:55 AM (Romance Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, June 26, 2008
ITU and Microsoft to collaborate on achieving development goals

Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates met with ITU Secretary-General Hamadoun Touré along with a high-level ITU delegation including the Director of the ITU Standardization Bureau, Mr Malcolm Johnson, Director of the Development Bureau, Mr Sami Al Basheer, and Ms Doreen Bogdan-Martin, Chief of Strategic Planning and Membership.

The meeting in Redmond, WA, USA aimed at extending the collaboration between ITU and Microsoft. Discussions ranged from improving education through information and communication technologies (ICT), developing digital resources, providing access to low-cost ICT devices and building human capacity to expanding e-health services and other e-applications.

At the meeting, Mr Bill Gates emphasized that ICT is a key component for achieving the Millennium Development Goals.

He expressed interest in ITU's standardization work, especially on audio and video coding. [More...]

Thursday, June 26, 2008 8:36:21 AM (Romance Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, June 19, 2008
ITU Secretary-General visits Japan

After the OECD Ministerial Meeting and on his way to Seattle,  Dr. Touré visited Japan for the first time since the begining of his mandate as Secretary-General and met with high-level officials in Tokyo to discuss subjects such as Cybersecurity, Climate Change, and the Digital Divide, with the view to intensify efforts in these important areas. The Secretary-General also thanked the Governement of Japan for its generous support towards an ITU pilot study project on Wireless Broadband Technology. Within the framework of his mission, Dr Touré was received by Mr. K. Aritomi Kaníchiro, President of the ITU Association of Japan and emphasized the catalytic role of ITU to link the new technologies and services of the Japanese industry with developping countries and develop this through partnerships.

Thursday, June 19, 2008 2:40:35 PM (Romance Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, June 17, 2008
OECD - The ICGN's 13th Annual Conference and AGM

The OECD Ministerial Meeting that took place in Seoul, Korea was attended by more than 70 countries.
Dr Touré, ITU Secretary-General met with Presidents and CEOs of prominent ICT companies from Korea where the developments and innovations of the ICT industry have brought a significant benefit to the region. The industry leaders shared initiatives at multilateral and bilateral levels. Many themes were tackled and "the Global Internet Economy" was the topic of roundtable 5 at which Dr Touré addressed the mobile success story of today and defended the priority of tomorrow which is the broadband Internet as a basic and vital infrastructure to the economy and social development.  The Secretary-General urged participants to bring the broadband networks within easy reach of all in order to avoid creating a devastating new Digital Divide. In face of today's new threats, the task of ensuring the right infrastructure and empowering people to use the new tools will build confidence in Internet becomes an essential goal to global technology.

Speech | OECD Ministerial Meeting | International Corporate Governance Network

Tuesday, June 17, 2008 8:45:47 AM (Romance Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, June 03, 2008
Intelsat Global Telecommunications Meeting (GTM-2008)

Dr. Touré attended the GTM 2008 in Washington on 3 June 2008. Intelsat has been hosting GTM for the past 30 years where communications companies, satellite industry and organizations from all over the world gather in sharing their network and knowledge to address the benefit of ICT to people in the most remote places on the globe. This year GTM event opened its doors to corporate network operators, government services sectors and carriers.  GTM 08 tackled the networking environment and focused on business and social issues affecting the world telecom industry. “Connect the World” having been the theme of this years’ GTM, Dr. Touré, a keynote speaker at this event, found this forum a perfect platform to share one of the principal missions of ITU to expand access and connectivity in a view to reaching its goal to “connect the unconnected by 2015”.

Speech

Tuesday, June 03, 2008 11:25:29 AM (Romance Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, May 26, 2008
Dr Touré receives Ms Khédija Ghariani, Secretary-General of AICTO (Arab Information and Communication Technologies Organization)

toure-ghariani

Geneva, Switzerland
Ms Khédija Hamouda Ghariani, Secretary-General of the Arab Information and Communication Technology Organization (AICTO) visited the Geneva headquarters of ITU and met with Secretary-General Dr Hamadoun Touré and Deputy Secretary-General Mr Houlin Zhao on 26 May 2008. Established in January 2008 to meet the goals of the Information Society in the Arab States through the development of ICT, AICTO has applied to become a Sector Member of ITU.

Photos | AICTO website

Monday, May 26, 2008 12:53:22 PM (Romance Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, May 21, 2008
Cybersecurity: Dr Hamadoun I. Touré opens the Second meeting of the High-Level Experts Group (HLEG)

hleg

Geneva, Switzerland

Opening remarks by Dr Touré

HLEG website

 

 

Wednesday, May 21, 2008 1:24:08 PM (Romance Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Sunday, May 18, 2008
ITU Secretary-General at the Annual Meeting of the Global Alliance for ICT and Development (GAID)
Sunday, May 18, 2008 4:04:13 PM (Romance Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Sunday, May 11, 2008
ITU Secretary-General Dr Hamadoun Touré and Dr Ahmed Nazif, Prime Minister of Egypt open ITU TELECOM Africa 2008
Sunday, May 11, 2008 4:37:37 PM (Romance Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Sunday, April 20, 2008
Dr Hamadoun Touré and the President of the Republic of Belarus, Mr Alexander Lukashenko, exchange their visions on ICT development
Sunday, April 20, 2008 7:41:19 AM (Romance Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, April 18, 2008
Secretary-General and Geneva State representatives sign ITU TELECOM World MoU
Friday, April 18, 2008 7:50:29 AM (Romance Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, April 01, 2008
First African tour of ITU Secretary-General to Connect Africa: Dr Touré visits Cameroon, Burkina Faso and Nigeria
Tuesday, April 01, 2008 8:56:49 AM (Romance Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, March 10, 2008
Secretary-General at 8th ITU Global Symposium for Regulators and Global Industry Leaders Forum
Monday, March 10, 2008 8:57:05 AM (Romance Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, March 05, 2008
Secretary-General participates in the Fully Networked Car Workshop at Geneva's International motor Show
Wednesday, March 05, 2008 8:59:30 AM (Romance Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, February 26, 2008
Secretary-General addresses Space Business Round Table in Washington D.C
Tuesday, February 26, 2008 9:02:55 AM (Romance Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, February 12, 2008
ITU Secretary-General supports the launch of Mobile Alliance Against Child Sex Abuse at GSMA-2008

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Barcelona, Spain

Dr Touré's supporting quote:
"As the specialized United Nations agency for information and communication technologies (ICT), the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) welcomes the new Mobile Alliance Against Child Sexual Abuse to protect children from the misuse of mobile broadband networks by child predators around the world. The World Summit on the Information Society called for national and international measures against the use of ICT in all forms of child abuse and encouraged the setting up of child helplines. Those measures have been endorsed by the ITU and they are being adopted by our distinctive membership of 191 Member States and some 700 private companies. The Mobile Alliance is a prime example of the proactive action industry can take and, together with government and law enforcement support, we can make significant progress in the global fight against child sexual abuse content online."

Speech from ITU Secretary-General at the opening of the Session 'Economic & Social Value of Mobile'

Press release from GSMA

Tuesday, February 12, 2008 9:53:47 AM (Romance Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, January 23, 2008
Dr Hamadoun I. Touré attends World Economic Forum in Davos
Wednesday, January 23, 2008 9:51:37 AM (Romance Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, October 29, 2007
President of Burundi H.E. Pierre Nkurunziza meets ITU Secretary-General Dr Hamadoun I. Touré on the occasion of the Connect Africa Summit

toure-nkurunziza

Kigali, Rwanda

Speech (video) by H.E. Pierre Nkurunziza, President of Burundi, at the Connect Africa Summit: English | French  *

Speech (video) by Dr Hamadoun I. Touré, ITU Secretary-General, at the Connect Africa Summit: English | French | Floor  *

Photos

* Real Player is required. Download it here

 

 

Monday, October 29, 2007 9:44:15 AM (Romance Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, October 10, 2007
H.M. King Juan Carlos I of Spain meets ITU Secretary-General Dr Hamadoun I. Touré on the occasion of the 75th anniversary of ITU's Plenipotentiary Conference in Madrid in 1932
Wednesday, October 10, 2007 11:23:09 AM (Romance Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, September 20, 2007
Press Conference: Better ICT Connectivity would unleash Africa's economic potential
Thursday, September 20, 2007 11:25:52 AM (Romance Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, September 04, 2007
High-Level Segment during ITU Council 2007: Debate of Ministers
Tuesday, September 04, 2007 11:29:45 AM (Romance Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, August 01, 2007
ITU Secretary-General meets Chinese Vice-Premier Zeng Peiyan: Meeting heralds enhanced cooperation in ICT development

toure-peiyan Beijing, China

Press release

Photos

Wednesday, August 01, 2007 11:31:49 AM (Romance Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, July 06, 2007
UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon makes historic visit to ITU: Call to broaden ITU’s agenda to meet long-term development needs

ki-moon-toure Geneva, Switzerland

Press release

Archived webcast

Photos

Friday, July 06, 2007 11:34:29 AM (Romance Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     |