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The World Telecommunication Standardization Assembly is held every four years and defines the next period of study for ITU-T. Preparations for WTSA-12 will take place throughout 2012, notably in regional preparatory meetings.

The duties of the World Telecommunication Standardization Assembly are set forth in Article 18 of the ITU Constitution. Article 13 of the ITU Convention provides that the WTSA shall be convened "to consider specific matters related to telecommunication standardization".

The Assembly will also review working methods including approval processes, the work programme and the structure of Study Groups.

Plenipotentiary Resolution 122 (rev. Guadalajara, 2010) further addresses the evolving role of the WTSA.

A one-day Global Standards Symposium (GSS) will be held the day before WTSA.