ITU's 20th Plenipotentiary Conference (PP-18), held in Dubai from 29 October to 16 November 2018, was attended by more than 2300 participants from 180 countries. The Conference concluded with ITU Member States reaffirming their commitment to the common vision of a connected world, where information and communication technology (ICT) is a source for good for everyone, everywhere – and to the crucial mandate of the Union to realize this vision.
The Conference saw a number of breakthrough records towards gender parity including the election of the first woman ever to one of five top management positions in the 153-year history of the organization. In addition, for the first time in the history of ITU, four out of seven Committee Chairs at the Plenipotentiary Conference were women. The Conference also elected three women to the Radio Regulations Board. Regarding overall participation at the Conference, nearly three out of ten PP-18 participants were women, up from two out of ten at the last Plenipotentiary Conference, held in 2014.
Among the achievements of the Conference were the approval of the Union's Strategic and Financial Plan which sets the targets for 2020-2023, asserting ITU's role in facilitating progress towards the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals through ICTs. These targets are divided into five strategic goals: growth; inclusiveness; sustainability; innovation; and partnership. In addition, ITU Member States resolved:
- to promote an enabling environment for telecommunication/ICT-centric innovation by small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), start-ups, incubation centres, and young entrepreneurs and to introduce reduced membership fees for them and to foster their participation within the context of ITU Telecom World;
- to recognize the positive roles of over-the-top services (OTTs) in fostering socioeconomic benefits and that mutual cooperation between OTTs and telecommunication operators can be an element to foster innovative, sustainable, viable business models;
- to promote investment in the development of the Internet of Things (IoT), and smart sustainable cities and communities to support the Sustainable Development Goals;
- to continue ITU's work relating to the deployment of future ICT networks in developing countries;
- to promote the increased participation of developing countries in ITU's standardization process so they can develop their digital economy faster;
- to strengthen efforts to make progress on gender equality within ITU and in the ICT sector;
- to share best practices implemented in favour of accessibility to telecommunications/ICTs for people with disabilities and people with specific needs and to promote the collection and analysis of statistical data on disabilities and accessibility;
- for ITU's Child Online Protection (COP) Initiative to work with Member States and partners to disseminate methodological frameworks for data production and statistics with the purpose of maximizing data comparison among countries;
- and to strengthen the role of ITU in building confidence and security in the use of ICTs.
This summary includes excerpts from the ITU Press Release dated 16 November 2018. You can view the full press release here.
For more information, visit the Plenipotentiary Conference (Dubai, 2018) web site.