Committed to connecting the world

World Telecommunication Standardization Assembly (WTSA)

Dubai, United Arab Emirates, 28 November 2012

Closing Remarks

Director General TRA, UAE
Deputy Secretary-General
Director of the Radiocommunication Bureau
Director of the Telecommunication Development Bureau
Distinguished Delegates,
Ladies and Gentlemen,

Salam Alekum, good morning.

We are coming to the close of the 2012 World Assembly of ITU’s Telecommunication Standardisation Sector, after more than a year of preparatory meetings around the world, and ten full days of hard work and intense deliberation here in Dubai.

I believe I can announce that WTSA-12 has been a great success.

There have been differences of view on some issues, but we have all been united by the desire to support ITU-T in its efforts to meet its strategic objectives.

This World Assembly has built on the decisions made in Johannesburg, strengthening our mandate in many areas, and initiating new areas of work.

We now have an excellent foundation to take us forward into the future.

During this World Assembly, and the Global Standards Symposium that preceded it, the importance of collaboration and cooperation with other standards bodies, and vertical sectors, has been emphasised, recognising the competitive forces and the many challenges that ITU-T faces.

I am pleased that we have the new Review Committee as a forum with the time to discuss these issues seriously and come up with suggestions on how ITU-T, as the only truly global ICT standards body, can best ensure that it remains the place to come to develop international standards.

The strength of ITU-T compared to other standards bodies is in its membership: no other standards body has the unique combination of 193 Member States and around 430 Sector Members and Associates, as well as our new academia members. This diverse membership ensures that ITU-T standards are truly international, non-discriminatory, and meet the needs of the full membership – whether in developing countries or developed countries.

This is why the growing participation of developing countries is so important, and I am pleased to see the impetus given to the efforts to bridge the standards gap in the revised of Resolution 44.

On that note I would like to highlight the fund that we set up after Johannesburg to support developing country participation.

The Bridging the Standardization Gap fund has had four contributors; Korean Communications Commission, NSN, Microsoft and Cisco. I am pleased that we now have a new contributor… Canada. Thank you Canada.

Let me take this opportunity to repeat my plea of yesterday and encourage others to contribute to this fund which helps developing countries.

Participation at this World Assembly was the best we have ever had, with around 1000 participants from over 100 countries in attendance.

We have appointed 4 new chairmen and a total of 50 new vice chairmen.

I congratulate them all, and myself and my colleagues look forward to working with you to meet the expectations of this World Assembly. We will hold a tutorial for the new chairmen and vice-chairmen in Geneva on 10-11 January to go over our rather complex working procedures so that they are all well prepared for your new responsibilities. I very much hope the experienced Chairmen and vice-chairmen will also be able to join us to pass on their experience.

Although unfortunately we will not have a woman chairman for the next study period, we do have a number of new women vice-chairmen and I am confident that the next World Assembly will have candidates for women chairmen.

Over the last 10 days, we have worked in 5 committees, 4 working groups, 17 ad hoc groups, and 11 informal groups. They have worked through over 240 documents, often into the night and over the weekend.

This Plenary has adopted 49 revised and 10 new Resolutions, and 6 new Recommendations.

Following many years of collaboration with IETF, I was very pleased that the two Recommendations on MPLS-TP, which are urgently required by operators to increase network efficiency and reduce costs, were approved.

We also approved a key Recommendation on management of network access devices.

In addition, seven of the A series Recommendations that guide our work have been revised, in particular A.7 on Focus Groups which now allows TSB to provide Focus Groups with some support.

During one of our three side events we launched an Innovation challenge for the design of an app that would improve the social and economic inclusion of underserved communities, with a prize of $5000 kindly offered by NSN. This is the latest in an on-going series of challenges we started last year to encourage innovation.

We have adopted the first ever ITU-T Resolutions on e-health, software-defined networks, e-waste, and engagement of academia in our work – among many other important Resolutions.

We have made significant changes to Resolution 76 on conformity and interoperability, and given the task to Study Group 11. I believe this puts us on a much better footing to take this programme forward with the help of our industry members.

A revision of Resolution 34 on voluntary contributions will hopefully encourage more financial contributions to TSB to support the work of the Sector. Increased funding will be essential if we are to implement the decisions of this World Assembly and so I would encourage our Member States and Sector Members to consider providing TSB with some voluntary funding.

Over the last 12 months the ITU Secretariat participated and helped organise together with the regional organisations many preparatory meetings not for WTSA but also the World Conference on International Telecommunications (WCIT).

In order to inform everyone of the outcome of the World Assembly, we are willing to cooperate with the regional organisations to organise information sessions on the results and to discuss how we can implement in the region the decisions taken. I am pleased that APT has already invited us to participate in a join ITU/APT seminar for the region, provisionally 7-8 March next year.

In conclusion Mr Chairman, I would like to express my sincere thanks to you.

Your calm and assured approach created a conciliatory ambiance, and I am sure that all of the delegates here today felt confident of a successful conclusion in your hands.

I would also like to thank the Vice Chairmen of the Assembly, the Chairmen and the Vice-Chairmen of the Committees and Working Groups, and the Chairmen of the ad hoc groups and the informal groups, and especially our hard working Editorial Committee.

I wish to express not just my own personal appreciation, but the appreciation of the whole ITU Secretariat, to all delegates for the huge amount of effort that you have put in to ensure a success World Assembly.

I would also like to express my appreciation and thanks to my colleagues, especially the Secretary-General for his unfailing support, and the other elected officials, all of whom attended WTSA-12, and the staff in TSB, BR, BDT and the directors of the regional offices, as well as the staff of the General Secretariat, who have all worked very hard to achieve this success.

I would also like to thank the interpreters, translators, and captioners both here in Dubai, in the US, and in Geneva, and all those 602 local staff who have worked so hard towards the smooth running of this Assembly.

Last but not least, it gives me great pleasure to express my thanks to our hosts for the magnificent job they have done.

We know just how complicated organizing an event of this size can be.

We have enjoyed a wonderful level of hospitality and support and I know that everyone here will join me in expressing our gratitude for this.

In particular, I would like to express my thanks for the wonderful reception on the beach at Jumeirah, which was kindly sponsored by Du, who were also kind enough to provide mobile phones to all ITU staff and officials. I am sure all of us will retain fond memories of that night.

And the DVD that the hosts have kindly produced for us, will also be a nice souvenir.

Ladies and gentlemen… Thank you all for your participation and your contribution to the World Telecommunication Standardisation Assembly, 2012. For those of you leaving Dubai, I wish you a safe trip home, for those of you staying for WCIT, I hope you will find time to recharge your batteries!

Thank you chairman and I wish you and your colleagues a very enjoyable National Holiday.