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Forum on Implementation of WTSA-08 Decisions and Workshop on Bridging the Standardization Gap
 Nadi, Fiji  16 - 17 September 2009 
Forum on Implementation of WTSA-08 Decisions and Workshop on Bridging the Standardization Gap
Nadi, Fiji, 16 - 17 September 2009
Opening Remarks by
Malcolm Johnson, Director of the Telecommunication Standardiztion Bureau, ITU

Honourable Minister
CEO of the CTO
Distinguished delegates
Ladies and Gentlemen,

My sincere thanks go to the government of Fiji for hosting this event and to our co-organiser the Commonwealth Telecommunication Organization (CTO). It is a real pleasure to be at such a beautiful venue, and to enjoy such excellent hospitality. I would also like to thank Korea for financially supporting this event as well as active participation.

In the preparations for the 2008 World Telecommunication Standardization Assembly (WTSA) we held meetings in each region. In the Asia Pacific Region this was held in Viet Nam 12 months ago.

Since WTSA-08 we have been holding a series of forums such as this explaining the outcome of WTSA, which was extensive, and how we intend implementing the decisions taken in Johannesburg last October, especially related to bridging the standardization gap.

We made a presentation on this at the ASTAP meeting in Bangkok last March. However recognizing that even travelling to Bangkok made it difficult for people from the Pacific islands to attend this event, and noting that there were few Pacific islands participating in WTSA-08, I was very pleased to be able to collaborate with the CTO in order to put on these two days immediately following the CTO Forum. I am pleased that this has meant we have a very good participation, not only from this region, but from around the world. Thank you all for attending.

WTSA-08 was a first for many reasons. For me it was my first WTSA as Director! It was the first held in Africa, the first preceded by a Global Standards Symposium, the first chaired by a woman, and the first in which special accommodation was made for academia.

We held three very well attended side events on cybersecurity, accessibility, and ICTs and climate change, and had an excellent exhibition of new technology including 3D TV.

WTSA-08 saw the highest level of participation ever with nearly 1000 participants from 99 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, showing the growing interest in the work of the ITU-T Sector.

We adopted the first ever ITU Resolutions on ICTs and climate change, accessibility to ICTs for persons with disabilities, conformance and interoperability testing, and encouraging academic participation and sector members from developing countries – amongst many other significant Resolutions which we will review today and tomorrow.

In short we received a very strong message from our members that ITU is, and will remain the world’s pre-eminent global telecommunication and ICT standards body.

And we heard also, and very clearly, that ITU should continue on its mission to connect the world, and that bridging the standardization gap, by increasing developing country participation in our work, is an essential prerequisite to achieve this goal.

Time flies. That is why we have developed a WTSA-08 Action Plan which is on our website and which we will maintain from now until WTSA-12. It will be presented to WTSA-12 to show what actions have been taken to fulfill the decisions of WTSA-08.

We have done a lot already and you will hear what has been achieved since WTSA-08 and how we are working to meet the demands of the Resolutions, and how you our members can assist us in this.

The success of WTSA-08 was largely due to the extensive regional preparations, such as the very successful ITU Asia Pacific WTSA-08 Preparatory Meeting, held in Viet Nam in September last year. Asia Pacific countries made a significant contribution to the success of WTSA-08 especially for the enhancement of activities to bridge the standardization gap.

I would like to thank all the members from this region that put forward candidates for the leadership positions in our study groups, as well as the individuals themselves. In fact the Asia Pacific region is now represented by 21 leadership positions.

I look forward to working closely with them to maintain and further improve ITU-T’s position as a leader in efficient international standards making.

As I said, time passes, and now we are preparing for another Plenipotentiary Conference next year where new challenges will be faced, and we will soon need to start thinking about the next WTSA in 2012 which is likely to have associated with it a World Conference on International Telecommunications to review the International Telecommunications Regulations that were last revised in Melbourne in 1988.

I hope very much that we will be able to hold the next WTSA in this region. We have had a WTSA in Europe, North America, South America and Africa. So a WTSA in this region will I hope ensure good participation from the region.

With your support, I hope I shall still be TSB Director at that time to continue my actions in favour of developing countries and to be able to collaborate closely with you in your preparations for these important conferences.

I will not take more of your time. We have a very interesting programme to look forward to and excellent speakers. I would like to thank the speakers for their efforts to prepare their presentations and for coming here to support our event.

I wish you all a productive, informative and enjoyable forum.

Thank you for your attention.


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