More than 400 participants from some 60 countries, including government ministers and high level international policy makers from the world's information and communication technology (ICT) regulatory authorities and private sector executives met from 11 to 14 July in Nassau, Bahamas, for the 17 edition ITU Global Symposium for Regulators (GSR-17).
GSR is designed to stimulate in-depth peer-to-peer debate, knowledge sharing and exchange of best practices among regulators, chief regulatory officers of private companies, government policy analysts and other key ICT stakeholders.
Under the theme "Living in a World of Digital Opportunities", the three-day programme featured discussions on:
- Artificial intelligence, virtual reality and robots
- Collaborative regulation in a digital ecosystem
- Reliability of networks and devices for digital services
- Affordable access to ICTs for SDGs
"GSR-17 presents us with an opportunity to continue the dynamic global dialogue among regulators, policy-makers, industry leaders and other key ICT stakeholders, where ITU Member States as well as ITU Sector Members can engage in interactive discussions and identify best practices for the future," said Brahima Sanou.
The GSR-17 Pre-event Programme on 11 July featured a Global Dialogue on Digital Financial Inclusion focusing on "The Security of Digital Financial Services". The highlight of the day was an interactive simulated cyber-attack against the financial sector with participants challenged to identify what course of action to take to respond to the attack. The event was an opportunity to hear from various stakeholders on the need to address cybersecurity for digital financial inclusion. It addressed technologies that protect e-transactions, looking in particular at Block Chain, Artificial Intelligence, and its impact on digital financial services. Participants also discussed whether ensuring reliability, security and trust in digital financial solutions is a collective responsibility.
A meeting of private sector chief regulatory officers was held on 12 July prior to the symposium's official opening. The meeting advanced valuable work on digital financial services and included a discussion on how the private sector can help create the enabling environment necessary for investment and innovation to create digital opportunities for all.
ITU also hosted a meeting of regulatory associations which addressed affordable access to ICTs for SDGs.
During the symposium, ITU launched the Global ICT Regulatory Outlook 2017, the first-ever global report tracking market and regulatory trends in the ICT sector and their implications across economies.
The outlook report represents the first in a planned annual series. It tracks how the global digital economy has been shaping up over the past ten years – what impact regulation has had – and what the digital future might look like in the coming years.
The report highlights seven important global ICT trends, seven regulatory trends, and ends with seven predictions on where regulation will go in the coming months and years.
GSR-17 Best Practice Guidelines were presented and adopted on the last day of the symposium.