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Global Symposium for Regulators (GSR) 2003

8 - 9 December 2003, Geneva, Switzerland

The 4th annual Global Symposium for Regulators (GSR), organized by the Telecommunication Development Bureau (BDT), focused on Practical tools regulators can use to increase universal access to ICTs. 

The regulators from more than 80 countries gathered in Geneva for this event. Participants included international organizations such as the European Commission, the World Bank and the World Trade Organization, as well as academic and non-governmental organizations. Participants prepared a blueprint of what should be done to ensure that global access to the tools of communication is extended to all of humanity. The GSR Universal Access Best Practice Guidelines were delivered to the first World Summit on the Information Society in Geneva 10—12 December.

"Bridging the digital divide can be achieved," said Hamadoun I. Touré, Director of ITU’s Telecommunication Development Bureau (BDT). "Developing countries have all the tools at their disposal now to make the universal access dream a reality," the BDT Director added. "The measures identified by the world’s regulators are entirely feasible. But they need the full support of governments at the highest level. I have no doubt that this support will come from the heads of state and governments participating in the World Summit on the Information Society."

Ms. Muna Nijem, Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer of the Telecommunications Regulatory Commission (TRC) of Jordan, and also Chairperson of the 2003 GSR, added, "The central focus of our GSR meeting is Universal Service and Universal Access. A modern vision that we intend to articulate is the key role broadband deployment can play in meeting the Universal Service/Access goals. Here, we cannot stress enough the need for the proper enabling environment, which includes the establishment of an independent regulator and the recognition of the key role that the regulator plays in the implementation of Universal Service/Access policies. Our goal is that this enabling environment will allow the private sector to exploit new profitable opportunities to offer services that expand Universal Service/Access in ways that eliminate the need for government subsidies."

The first day was open to regulators, policy makers, ITU-D Sector Members and other invited guests, and the second one was reserved for regulators and policy makers.

The fifth annual GSR will be held in the autumn of 2004.

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