Committed to connecting the world


Speech by ITU Secretary-General, Dr Hamadoun I. Touré

Radiocommunication Assembly (RA-12)

Opening Ceremony

16 January 2012, Geneva, Switzerland

Distinguished colleagues,
Ladies and gentlemen,

It is a great pleasure and a privilege to address you this morning at the opening of the 2012 Radiocommunication Assembly – and let me take this opportunity to wish you all a very happy New Year.

This is the first Radiocommunication Assembly under the new Director of the Radiocommunication Bureau, Mr François Rancy, and I would like to commend him and his staff for their excellent preparatory work and organization of this event.

RA-12 – like the World Radiocommunication Conference starting next week – represents an important landmark in the life of ITU’s Radiocommunication Sector.

In accordance with the ITU Constitution and Convention, the principal duties of a Radiocommunication Assembly can be summarized as follows:
  • To provide the necessary technical bases for the work of the World Radiocommunication Conferences, and to respond to all requests from such Conferences;
  • To consider and refine the working methods and procedures of the Radiocommunication Sector, and particularly those of the Study Groups;
  • To establish future work programmes for the Study Groups;
  • And to consider Recommendations with a view to their approval.

In responding to these directives, the Assembly will once again demonstrate the central role that the Radiocommunication Sector plays in the global development of information and communication technologies.

In approving Recommendations and Resolutions, and in defining future activities, you are recognizing the rapid changes underway in the global ICT sector and reacting to serve its future needs.

As each Assembly and World Conference convenes, the issues become more complex and diverse, and in turn, technological solutions require greater innovation and skill.

At the same time, although it is the task of WRC-12 to use your material to the best advantage, considerations of regulatory and procedural issues cannot be disassociated from technological studies.

Ladies and gentlemen,

Since the 2007 Radiocommunication Assembly, the outcomes of the World Summit on the Information Society have played a major role in shaping ITU’s objectives and work.

This is reflected in the work programmes of the ITU-R Study Groups, and many ITU-R Recommendations directly related to the WSIS Action Lines have been developed.

Examples include Recommendations concerning high-speed internet access – i.e. broadband – via both terrestrial and satellite delivery, as well as digital broadcasting, which both have particular relevance to innovative ICT applications to help bridge the digital divide, such as e-health, e-learning and e-government.

Also of growing importance is the application of ICTs in all phases of disaster management, and many key ITU-R Recommendations and Reports have been produced dealing with various aspects of emergency radiocommunications.

Looking at the ‘rational, efficient and economical use of and equitable access to the radio-frequency spectrum by all countries’ – WSIS Action Line C6 – ITU-R’s responsibilities continue to be supported by the many Recommendations, Reports and Handbooks developed on the topic.

Distinguished colleagues,

You have a busy and challenging week ahead of you, covering a number of different themes.

You are asked to review the working methods of the ITU-R Study Groups and to ensure that they follow efficient and effective practices, commensurate with the budget available.

You will also be considering future work programmes, recognizing the ever-changing global ICT environment in which we are operating.

Your deliberations will need to balance technological needs against those of compatibility between various services, while at the same time seeking innovative means to optimize the use of the frequency spectrum for the good of all.

It is here that your work represents such an important contribution to the forthcoming and future World Radiocommunication Conferences.

I therefore look forward to hearing of the fruitful results of your efforts at the end of this week, and would like to take this opportunity to thank you for your hard work, and convey my warmest wishes to you all for a successful Assembly.

Thank you.