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  • Geneva, Switzerland  11 May 2018
    ITU-D Study Groups meet at the start of the 2018-2021 study period

    The first meetings of the ITU-D Study Groups for 2018-2021 study period took place between 30 April and 11 May at ITU headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland. ITU-D Study Group 1 met from 30 April to 4 May, and ITU-D Study Group 2 from 7 to 11 May.

    "ITU-D study groups represent a unique neutral platform where experts gather to produce relevant tools, useful guidelines and resources for our membership" said Brahima Sanou, Director, ITU Telecommunication Development Bureau. "The groups allow participants to be engaged in a continuous learning process, to keep abreast of technological developments in the areas agreed by the membership at WTDC-17, to share information, and to find solutions to challenges faced by stakeholders active in these areas."

    Mr Sanou added that in order to attain the four objectives of the ITU-D Strategic Plan, "we need to ensure that the work of the study groups and the implementation of programmes and regional initiatives are coherent and interdependent in such a way as to achieve overall synergies."

    ITU-D Study Group 1 is chaired by Ms Regina Fleur Assoumou-Bessou while ITU-D Study Group 2 is chaired by Dr Ahmad Reza Sharafat.

    During the meetings, 21 Rapporteurs/co-Rapporteurs and 118 Vice-Rapporteurs were appointed to join the ITU-D study group management team. The list of the appointed members from the management team is available here.

    Draft work plans, tables of contents and other output documents were approved in order to set the right base and direction for our future work. The approved outcomes are available in the annexes of the Rapporteur Group meeting reports for ITU-D Study Group 1 and for ITU-D Study Group 2.

    Significant updates were made to the mapping of Questions under study in ITU-D and the ITU Standardization Sector (ITU-T), while similar mapping between ITU-D and the ITU Radiocommunication Sector (ITU-R) is to follow, in order to reach a new level of coordination between the three ITU Sectors.

    A panel session on Early Warning Systems was held on 8 May in conjunction with the ITU-D Study Group 2 Question 5/2 meeting on "Utilizing telecommunications/ICTs for disaster risk reduction and management".  The objective of the session was to share experiences and knowledge on early warning and safety information systems. Topics covered during the session included: disaster prediction and detection, emergency alerting and safety of first responders and affected communities and evacuation guidance.

    Several focus sessions/workshops are also planned during the next ITU-D Study Group Rapporteur Group meetings which will take place from 17 September to 12 October this year.

    The meeting of ITU-D Study Group 1 was attended by 131 participants of which 98 were from Member States and 33 from Sector Members, Associates and Academia. ITU-D Study Group 2 had 125 participants, 88 of whom were from Member States and 36 from Sector Members, Associates, Academia and specialized agencies of the United Nations.

    ITU-D study groups provide an opportunity for all Member States, Sector Members, Associates and Academia to share experiences, present ideas, exchange views and achieve consensus on appropriate strategies to address ICT priorities. Outputs agreed in the ITU-D study groups, and related reference material, are used as input for the implementation of policies, strategies, projects and special initiatives in Member States.