Speech from Dr Hamadoun I. Tour, ITU Secretary-General

Radiocommunication Advisory Group
Geneva, Switzerland
4 February 2009

Deputy Secretary-General, Directors of BR, TSB and BDT,
Mr. Chairman,
Ladies and gentlemen,

I am pleased to welcome you all to this meeting of the Radiocommunication Advisory Group.

It has been now two years that this team of elected officials are in place and quite visible positive changes were implemented in the management of ITU. Of course, this has reflected also in an effective manner in the Radiocommunication Sector, in particular in the way BR has been conducting its work.

The 2008 session of the ITU Council held last November considered several issues relevant to the ITU-R which you will be discussing in detail during the next three days. Most importantly is that the Council adopted

  • the agenda of the next WRC, the exact venue and dates left to be confirmed by the Member States from 21 February. Council also revised the

  • schedule of fees applicable for processing satellite filings

  • and agreed on a trial basis to the free online access to ITU-R Recommendations.

It is worth noting that this year’s Council session is particularly important as it will approve the ITU budget for the next budgetary period, 2010-2011.

That will be a busy period for ITU-R comprising two major related events: CPM-11 and WRC-11. In addition, the period includes other important events for the Union as the WTDC and the next Plenipotentiary in 2010. Combined with the other current activities of ITU, the budget preparation will be a challenging endeavour requiring full support of the membership and wise advice from RAG and other Advisory groups.

I take this opportunity to express my satisfaction with the progress made in ITU with regard to the key objectives we have established for the Union, particularly the critical matters of climate change and emergency communications. In these two fields, ITU-R has been instrumental in contributing with essential material on the role of radiocommunications and actively participating in the main international ITU and external events.

Dear participants,

We are all witnessing the troubles affecting the national and global economies. What this will mean in practice to our nations, and to our industry, remains to be seen. But I am making all efforts to assist the Union, including its membership, to assess its impact to the ICT sector, to allow us to take the right decisions on a timely basis. This was one of the key topics we discussed at the retreat recently organized for the ITU senior management and is the focus of many internal activities currently carried out by the secretariat.

Of course the Management is making its best efforts to streamline our work, make savings, take efficiency measures, while improving our working methods and ensuring to implement all the goals of the Strategic, Financial and Operational plans. I am sure Membership will appreciate all these when we present them at next Council.

The ITU-R continues to represent a key Sector of the Union and the astounding success of WRC-07 by its attendance and results has just confirmed this account. More recently, the World Radiocommunication Seminar 2008 attracted more than 460 participants, representing 121 countries and 13 organizations. These facts show the strength of your Sector and its importance demonstrated by the membership support.

I leave you in the wise hands of Mr. Jean-Baptiste Yao, Chairman of the RAG and Mr. Valery Timofeev, Director, BR and keep my secretariat at your disposal to provide the meeting with all the necessary support you may need during the next three days.

I wish you a successful meeting. Thank you.