The Regional Preparatory Meeting (RPM) for the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) was held from 9 to 11 November in Bishkek. The meeting assessed the ongoing implementation of the Dubai Action Plan, which was adopted at the 2014 World Telecommunication Development Conference (WTDC-14) and identified priority areas for information and communication technology (ICT) development strategies in the CIS region.
The RPM was the first of a series of regional preparatory meetings that will take place across the world to help identify priorities in each region in preparation for the next WTDC.
WTDC-17, which will be held in Buenos Aires, Argentina, from 9 to 20 October 2017, will forge a global plan for telecommunication and ICT development over the next four years.
"The Regional Preparatory Meeting helps to achieve regional coordination in preparation for WTDC-17 and identify issues at the regional level that need to be addressed, taking into account the most pressing needs faced by the Member States and Sector Members of the region," said ITU Secretary-General Houlin Zhao. "At WTDC-17 we will define the way forward and elaborate innovative ways to accelerate the achievement of the United Nations' Sustainable Development Goals."
Eshmambet Amatov, Deputy Chairman of the State Committee of Information Technologies and Communications of the Kyrgyz Republic (SCITC) and Chairman of the RPM, said, on behalf of the Kyrgyz Republic, that "the Regional Preparatory Meeting is the best platform to discuss the future of telecommunications and ICT development in the region."
Presenting the final draft report of the RPM, Amatov added: "Five draft regional initiatives for the CIS region for the years 2018-2021 were agreed at the RPM, and they will be considered at WTDC-17. They will help to promote ICT and socio-economic development in the region."
The draft regional initiatives agreed at the RPM include:
- Development of e-health to ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all, at all ages.
- Use of telecommunications/ICT to ensure inclusive, equitable, quality and safe education, including the enhancement of women's knowledge of ICTs and e-government.
- Development and regulation of telecommunications and ICTs infrastructure to make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe and resilient.
- Monitoring of the ecological status and of the presence and rational use of natural resources.
- Fostering innovation and partnership in the area of IoT implementation and interaction in telecommunication networks, including 4G, IMT-2020 and Future Generation Networks for the benefit of sustainable development.
"I am pleased to see that during these past three days we have reached important milestones towards WTDC-17," said Brahima Sanou, Director of the ITU's Telecommunication Development Bureau. "My focus is on the implementation of the Dubai Action Plan, with an emphasis on the regional initiatives. The regional initiatives are and will remain one of my first priorities because it is through their implementation that we can make a difference in the lives of people on the ground."
The RPM for CIS was preceded by the Regional Development Forum. Speakers at the opening ceremony included Bakyt Sharshembiev, Chairman of the State Committee of Information Technologies and Communications of the Kyrgyz Republic; Brahima Sanou; Alexander Avanessov, UN Resident Coordinator/UNDP Resident Representative in the Kyrgyz Republic; and Nurudin Mukhitdinov, Director General of the Regional Commonwealth in the field of Communications (RCC) Executive Committee.
The Regional Development Forum provided an opportunity to hear about the status of implementation of the CIS regional initiatives approved at WTDC-14 as well as the development of the ICT sector in the region.
The initiatives focus on the following areas: child online protection; ensuring access to ICTs for persons with disabilities; using ICTs for human capacity building; development of broadband access; and building confidence and security in the use of ICTs.
Participants noted that projects implemented within the CIS regional initiatives in 2015 and 2016 led to a significant contribution to the implementation of Sustainable Development Goals.