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Telecommunication Standardization Advisory Group (TSAG) Meeting
 Geneva, Switzerland  28 April 2009 
Deputy Secretary-General, Directors of BR and BDT, very nice to see you here, thank you for coming.

Mr. Chairman,
Ladies and gentlemen,
Colleagues and friends

Welcome to this – the first meeting of TSAG since WTSA-08.

I think you will all agree that WTSA-08 was a great success.

In Johannesburg we saw the highest level of participation ever for a WTSA - one more country, and we would have topped 100 countries in attendance.

We were honoured by the presence of 13 ministers or deputy ministers… and VIPs spanning the world and the entire telecommunication and ICT industry.

This is a sure sign of the growing interest in the work of the ITU-T Sector.

However more to the point the results of WTSA put us in excellent shape to tackle the challenges of the coming study period.

WTSA approved 49 Resolutions, some as revisions to Resolutions from earlier assemblies and 21 new.

WTSA has strengthened and sharpened our focus. It has also given us a lot of work to do.

A detailed action plan for the implementation of all the WTSA-08 Resolutions is contained in TD 18, as you have seen.

As quite a few of our Resolutions ask for collaboration with our other two Sectors, in particular BDT, I presented the outcome of WTSA to both TDAG and RAG thanks to an invitation from the Directors. We have also submitted a document with those Resolutions to the WTDC preparatory meetings.

From a TSB perspective we have already made an impressive start on getting to grips with this new mandate.

I will give you just a few examples: you can see more details in the “Status” field of the WTSA-08 Action Plan:
  • regarding Resolution 64 - IP address allocation and encouraging the deployment of IPv6: we have issued a Questionnaire and I encourage you to reply if you have not already done so; the deadline is 12 June. Also the development of a new web site on IPv6 is well underway and should be live in the first week of May.
  • With respect to Resolution 68 - on the evolving role of the World Telecommunication Standardization Assembly: the organization of a high-level industry group, we will be inviting some Chief Technical Officers (CTO) and their equivalent from the main contributors to our work to a kick-off meeting on 6 October 2009 here in Geneva during Telecom World.
  • And for Resolution 73 - Information and communications technologies and climate change: I will pleased to be invited to the final meeting of the Focus Group in Hiroshima. I congratulate the Focus Group on completing its work there thanks to the excellent facilities and support provided by Japan. We have four contributions on this topic including proposals that TSAG take the historic decision to establish a study group dealing with environment and climate change.
  • For Resolution 76 - Studies related to conformance and interoperability testing, assistance to developing countries, and a possible future ITU mark programme: a Temporary Document (TD) has been sent to all Study Groups reminding them that WTSA has instructed them to identify as soon as possible existing and future ITU-T Recommendations that would be candidates for interoperability, and to prepare Recommendations with a view to conducting conformity and interoperability tests. We are currently in the process of compiling information for the preparation of the report to Council this year.
  • With regards to Resolution 69 - Non-discriminatory access and use of Internet resources: a webpage has been developed to take incident reports and make an analysis
  • We have developed reports on the implementation of Resolution 70 on accessibility: identifying the tasks needed for its implementation, and the implications of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities on our work.
  • Following my report on the outcome of WTSA to Council a Dedicated Group on international Internet-related public policy issues has been established as requested by Resolution 75.
  • TSB provides each meeting of the Council WG on WSIS an update on the activities in ITU-T related to WSIS implementation and follow-up in accordance with Resolution 75.
WTSA’s Budget Committee estimated the cost of the new work to be CHF 2.1 million. Clearly in these difficult financial times membership will not wish to see an increase in its financial contribution. We have made efforts therefore to adjust our budget to allow us to implement all this new work within our current resources. This has required a restructuring of the TSB which will include the creation of a new Telecommunication Standardization Policy Department with a Project Division which will have responsibility for the many projects given to TSB by WTSA-08 such as accessibility, climate change, WSIS implementation and follow up, the Resolution 76, IPv6, CIRTs, etc.

Since WTSA-08 we have seen meetings of all of the Study Groups.

While the global financial crisis and cutbacks across the industry have also had an influence on the participation of some of our study groups, contrary to what we may have expected I am pleased to say some Study Groups have seen increased participation.

Study Group 15 for example saw an extra 31 participants, compared to its previous meeting, making this the largest SG 15 meeting ever, and Study Group 12 had 12 countries participating that had never previously participated.

Also despite the financial crisis we continue to attract new members. During 2008 we had 22 new Sector Members and 42 new Associates.

Last December, we invited all study group chairmen and vice-chairmen to a two-day tutorial, and many came. According to our evaluation forms this event had the highest satisfaction ranking ever, with 4.8 on a scale of 1 to 5. I would like to thank my colleagues in TSB for presenting excellent material; this material is now available on our website.

Ladies and gentlemen, as you know, ITU is committed to reach carbon neutrality in three years. And with this in mind I am pleased to report progress in the area of paperless meetings, initiated by the Chairman of Study Group 15 last December.

Since then, most study groups have gone “paperless” and have had positive experience, some are in the transition phase from “less paper” to “paperless” (especially study groups dealing with regulatory or policy aspects).

This meeting of TSAG will also be paperless, as was the World Telecommunications Policy Forum last week which had 850 participants including 40 ministers, The Portuguese government carried out an environmental assessment of the WTPF and found that going paperless saved 4.7 tons of CO2 which is the equivalent of a vehicle on the road for one and a half years. ITU management wholeheartedly encourages this trend.

Of course to be truly paperless the network has to work without flaws. I can assure you that everything is being done to achieve this. We have submitted a TD for this meeting to outline the roadmap towards a successful paperless meeting environment.

I would like to remind delegates that laptops are available from the Service Desk for the period of a meeting if you are without one.

I strongly believe that as well as the clear ecological benefits of paperless meetings, for most types of meeting they can also make us more efficient.
It was with efficiency in mind that TSAG Management Team agreed to reduce this TSAG meeting to three days. It is a good example that I hope others will follow.

I am a great believer in looking towards increasing efficiencies through making use of our own ICT technology, and making the best use of our time.
Anyway I still have enough in my hospitality budget for this year to offer you a small reception this evening to celebrate a successful WTSA thanks largely to the excellent TSAG advice and preparations for which I am most grateful.

So, on that note I will hand you back to the Chairman and wish you all a very productive meeting.

Thank you for your attention.


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Updated : 2009-04-28