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21st Forum of the Asia Pacific Telecommunity Standardization Programme (ASTAP)

Bangkok, Thailand 11 March 2013

Keynote Address
Secretary General of APT, Mr. Toshiyuki Yamada,
Chairman of ASTAP, Dr. Seyed Mostafa Safavi,
Distinguished colleagues,
Ladies and gentlemen,
I would like to thank the Secretary General of APT, Mr. Toshiyuki Yamada, and the Chairman of ASTAP, Dr. Seyed Mostafa Safavi, for inviting ITU to participate in this 21st Forum of the Asia-Pacific Telecommunity Standardization Program (ASTAP).
Last Thursday in the joint ITU and APT event we reviewed the very successful outcome of WTSA-12. I would like to thank again the APT for making such a significant contribution to the success of the Assembly.
Resolution 44 on bridging the standards gap was substantially revised and strengthened, a significant new area of work was created on software defined networking, Recommendation A.7 was amended to allow TSB to support Focus Groups, all thanks largely to APT proposals, and the APT support for the Review Committee made sure that the Japanese proposal was successful.
Of particular interest is the success of moving the conformity and interoperability responsibility to Study Group 11.
I believe the revised Resolution 76 puts us on a much better footing to take this programme forward with the help of our industry members. It acknowledges that the C&I programme poses a large administrative challenge and it encourages ITU to make full use of the wide-ranging expertise and global reach of its public-private partnership of members.
Resolution 76 stresses that ITU action under its C&I programme should be informed by market demand and the needs of the membership; and that ITU should encourage cooperation with other standards development organizations (SDOs), forums and consortia, and with international networks of conformance assessment and accreditation bodies.
This is why am very grateful to ASTAP for devoting a large part of tomorrow on how to implement this programme in this region, and the APT Management Committee for agreeing to hold an interoperability event on C&I, including a workshop and showcasing, back-to-back with the upcoming ASTAP-22, and myself and my colleagues look forward to planning this with you this week. We also have a presentation tomorrow by a colleague from UNIO which is cooperating very closely with ITU.
Study Group 11 met recently and approved its C&I Action Plan taking account of the Action Plan agreed by 2012’s meeting of ITU Council and the outcome of WTSA. The meeting created a SG 11 Working Party focused on “Conformance and Interoperability testing”, and also defined new Terms of Reference for the Joint Coordination Activity on C&I Testing (JCA-CIT) which is now under Study Group 11.
The meeting also hosted a presentation delivered by the Executive Secretary and Chairman of IECEE, the Worldwide System for Conformity Testing and Certification of Electrotechnical Equipment and Components. IECEE presented its conformance assessment scheme and offered ITU to make full use of this platform to implement the C&I programme Pillar 1 – conformity assessment. Study Group 11 requested the Director to continue discussion with IECEE on how this might be implemented and report to TSAG and Council in June.
ITU has signed MoUs with the International Accreditation Forum (IAF) and the International Laboratory Accreditation Cooperation (ILAC) – two major international players in conformance assessment and accreditation. Other signed cooperation agreements include MoUs with testing laboratories: CERT in Tunisia; CPqD in Brazil; and Sintesio in Slovenia; and we are in the process of signing MoUs with Telecom Italia’s Tilab and Russia’s Central Science Research Telecommunication Insitute (ZNIIS).
ITU is developing a set of guidelines for the development, implementation and management of Mutual Recognition Arrangements (MRAs) so that these test centres will accept each other’s test results.
MRAs are have become very important in the context of international standardization commitments made by the membership of the World Trade Organization under its Agreement on Technical Barriers to Trade.
These MoUs and MRAs will support the development of test centres, and encourage cooperation among them so as to avoid duplications of testing and ease the entry to the market for vendors.
ITU’s C&I programme is an ambitious one, it started at WTSA in 2008, it was endorsed by the Plenipotentiary Conference in 2010, now is the time to move quickly to its full implementation. A great deal of work lies ahead, but it is absolutely essential to ITU’s and ASTAP’s missions to increase interoperability through effective standards development and implementation.
I look forward to working with ASTAP and our membership in this region to implement the programme here.
Thank you, and I wish you a very productive forum.