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  • Vilnius, Lithuania  28 April 2017
    Lithuania hosts last WTDC-17 Regional Preparatory Meeting

    The WTDC-17 Regional Preparatory Meeting (RPM) for Europe was held from 27 to 28 April in Vilnius, Lithuania.

    Participants at the meeting assessed the ongoing implementation of the Dubai Action Plan adopted at ITU's last World Telecommunication Development Conference (WTDC-14) and identified priority areas for information and communication technology (ICT) development strategies in Europe.

    The Regional Preparatory Meeting was the sixth and last of a series of regional preparatory meetings that took place across the world to help identify priorities in each region in preparation for the next World Telecommunication Development Conference (WTDC-17). Previous RPMs were held in the Commonwealth of Independent States (9-11 November 2016); Africa (6-8 December 2016); Arab States (30 January-1 February 2017); the Americas (22-24 February 2017) and the Asia and the Pacific region (21-23 March 2017).

    Five draft regional initiatives for Europe for the years 2018-2021 were identified at the RPM for discussion and consideration at the upcoming WTDC-17.

    They include:

    • Broadband infrastructure, broadcasting and spectrum management
    • A citizen-centric approach to building services for national administrations
    • Accessibility, affordability and skills development for all to ensure digital inclusion and sustainable development
    • Enhancing trust and confidence in the use of ICTs
    • ICT-centric innovation ecosystems

    Noting that Regional Preparatory Meeting for Europe was the sixth and last preparatory meeting for WTDC-17, Mr Brahima Sanou said that "from Kyrgyz Republic to Rwanda, then Sudan, Paraguay, Indonesia and now Lithuania all six RPMs provided a platform for open dialogue, cooperation and partnerships. During all the RPMs one concept resonated loud and clear: the common commitment to make the world a better place through the use of information and communication technologies."

    The RPM was also addressed by Mr Ričardas Degutis, Vice- Minister of the Ministry of Transport and Communications of the Republic of Lithuania and Mr Feliksas Dobrovolskis, Director General of the Communications Regulatory Authority of the Republic of Lithuania and Chair of the RPM.

    As a side event to the RPM, International Girls in ICT Day, observed on 27 April 2017, was celebrated in Vilnius.  Around 30 girls from different cities across Lithuania joined sessions that included practical demonstrations on Virtual and Augmented reality and a presentation of winning projects from Lithuania's biggest annual robotics and technology competition, ROBOTIADA. The event also included a robotics workshop and a video-conference connecting Girls in ICT Day events in Vilnius, Geneva and Beirut. During the virtual meetup, the participating girls had the chance to interact with one another and play together a game on their smart phones. 

    The RPM for Europe was preceded by the Regional Development Forum (RDF) on 26 April. Speakers included Vice-Minister Ričardas Degutis, Mr Manuel da Costa Cabral, Chairman, Com-ITU of CEPT (The European Conference of Postal and Telecommunications Administrations) and Mr Sanou.

    See also: Speeches

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