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Press Release

Global information tech leaders to convene in Dubai to set ITU four-year strategic roadmap

Signing of host country agreement and launch of official website kick- off ITU Plenipoteniary Conference 2018 activities




Geneva, 31 October 2017

​An agreement was signed today in Abu Dhabi between the Government of the United Arab Emirates and the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) for the hosting in Dubai of the ITU Plenipotentiary Conference 2018 (PP-18). The Plenipotentiary Conference is the top policy-making body of ITU, the UN agency for information and communication technologies (ICTs), which oversees global radio spectrum allocation, the creation of global technical standards for ICT networks and services, and efforts to promote digital inclusion in under-served communities.

ITU's Plenipotentiary Conference is held every four years. PP-18 will convene representatives of the organization's 193 Member States to set out a roadmap for 2020-2023 at a time when information and communication technologies are transforming lives and societies around the globe. This specifically includes setting ITU's general policies, adopting four-year strategic and financial plans, electing the leadership, and addressing key issues related to ICTs as requested by ITU Members.

ITU's ICTs Facts and Figures 2017 reports that while great progress has been made, there still remain 3.9 billion people around the world who are not connected to the Internet. PP-18 will take stock of the progress towards achieving the ITU Connect 2020 Agenda, in line with the United Nations' Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) whose central promise is to leave no one behind. This will then inform ITU Members as they strive to meet ITU's overarching goal of "connecting the unconnected".

ITU Secretary-General Houlin Zhao and H.E. Hamad Obaid Al Mansoori, Director General of the Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (TRA) of the United Arab Emirates, signed the host country agreement for PP-18, which will be held at the Dubai World Trade Centre from 29 October to 16 November 2018. At the signing ceremony, H.E Majed Sultan Al Mesmar, TRA Telecommunication Sector Deputy-Director General, was officially nominated as the designate-chairman for PP-18.

"I am very pleased to announce that our 20th Plenipotentiary Conference will be held in Dubai next year," said Mr. Zhao. "This is an opportunity for me to congratulate the teams that have been involved in reaching agreement on all the elements of the host country agreement. ITU is looking forward to being back in Dubai and in the UAE for its highest-level meeting where countries will work together to create tomorrow's digital world. A world where everyone, everywhere can benefit from information and communication technologies."

H.E. Hamad Obaid Al Mansoori, said: "It is our pleasure to announce the hosting of the Plenipotentiary Conference next year. This conference is significant because it involves the highest policy-making body of the ITU. We are also happy to have an excellent relationship with the ITU, the deep-rooted prestigious organization whose long history of serving the ICT sector is well acknowledged worldwide. ITU has been and continues to be one of the most impactful organizations in the world."

"Our collaboration with the ITU stems from the directives of our wise leadership to strengthen the role of the UAE at international forums and to participate in all efforts that contribute to the promotion of human development." added Al Mansoori.

ITU Members will have the important tasking of electing the following at PP-18:

Today's signing ceremony was also an opportunity to launch the PP-18 website, which provides a rich range of information related to the PP-18 event and process.

For more information, please visit: www.itu.int/plenipotentiary   

Notes to editors:

The ITU Council, at its 2016 session, confirmed the city of Dubai as the venue for PP-18 (C16/110). Further to this decision, the majority of the Member States of the Union concurred with the proposal from United Arab Emirates to hold PP-18 for a three-week period, from Monday, 29 October to Friday, 16 November 2018 at the Dubai World Trade Centre (CL-17/06). The previous ITU Plenipotentiary Conference was hosted in 2014 in Busan by the Government of the Republic of Korea.

About ITU

ITU is the leading United Nations agency for information and communication technologies (ICTs), driving innovation in ICTs together with 193 Member States and a membership of nearly 800 private sector entities and academic institutions. Established over 150 years ago in 1865, ITU is the intergovernmental body responsible for coordinating the shared global use of the radio spectrum, promoting international cooperation in assigning satellite orbits, improving communication infrastructure in the developing world, and establishing the worldwide standards that foster seamless interconnection of a vast range of communications systems. From broadband networks to cutting-edge wireless technologies, aeronautical and maritime navigation, radio astronomy, oceanographic and satellite-based earth monitoring as well as converging fixed-mobile phone, Internet and broadcasting technologies, ITU is committed to connecting the world. www.itu.int

About the Telecommunications Regulatory Authority:

The Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (TRA) of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) was established to help further develop the telecommunications and information technology industries and support efforts aimed towards creating a knowledge-based economy in the country. The authority focuses on strengthening the development of the telecommunications and information technology sector, which are important drivers for social and economic growth and one of the main pillars of UAE Vision 2021.

TRA is responsible for supporting the telecommunications and information technology sector through the enforcement of a regulatory framework that stimulates healthy competition; maintains the rights of the beneficiaries; improves readiness of e-services; encourages investment, innovation and development and develops human capital. For more information, please visit: www.tra.gov.ae.