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

Radiocommunication Assembly (RA-12)

Closing Remarks

20 January 2012, Geneva, Switzerland

Distinguished colleagues,
Ladies and gentlemen,

You have just completed a most intense week of debate and discussions. Your days have been long and arduous, and the efforts you have put in have been prodigious.

Your hard work has been well rewarded, however, and you have achieved results that place the Radiocommunication Sector, and in particular the activities of the Study Groups, on a sound footing for the coming study period.

Your work has been administrative, organizational and technical. And in all these domains your results have once again demonstrated the primordial role that the ITU Radiocommunication Sector plays in global telecommunications and information technology.

Three particular areas stand out:
  • Your response to the requests of the Plenipotentiary Conference in addressing working methods; the involvement of Academia in the work of the Sector; and progressing studies on conformance and interoperability.
  • The approval of the Recommendation and Resolutions that not only establish the IMT-Advanced technologies but also initiate ITU-R studies for the further development of global mobile broadband communications. IMT-Advanced provides comprehensive support for broadband wireless data and brings major improvements – and I know that we are all looking forward to seeing the benefits that these technologies will bring.
  • The approval of new or revised Resolutions to focus studies on new radiocommunication techniques and applications – such as cognitive radio systems, and on the potential for radiocommunications to act as a catalyst to monitor and mitigate the impact of human activity on the environment.

These three technological milestones fit in well with the innovative telecommunication applications called for in WSIS action lines – not forgetting of course the Sector’s continuing responsibilities in all aspects of spectrum management.

In terms of the content of RA-12, I am sure you will have noticed the tremendous media attention focused on the issue of UTC and the leap second over the past days. Indeed, looking at the media coverage of ITU this morning, there were over media 500 clippings related to just this one particular ‘hot topic’ – which I believe is a new record for ITU.

It is a testament to ITU’s important place in the world that the discussion surrounding UTC and the leap second has been taking place, here, at RA-12, and it will be very interesting to see how this issue is eventually resolved at RA-15 and WRC-15 – because I am convinced, with the power of ITU’s membership, that this is indeed an issue we can indeed resolve, together.

Distinguished colleagues,

I was conscious of the difficult decisions relating to the election of the chairmen and vice-chairmen of the Study Groups, RAG, CPM and the Special Committee, and I am happy that this matter has been resolved to the satisfaction of those administrations concerned.

We should never forget the value that ITU places on all candidates for such positions, and to recognize that the large number of nominations to the posts reflects the healthy state of the Sector today.

So at this point, let me personally congratulate all the candidates, and to wish them every success in their new roles.

It has been an eventful week which has served as a worthy prelude to the even larger event starting on Monday.

For those of you remaining in Geneva for WRC-12, you have a major task ahead of you, and I look forward to seeing you on frequent occasions over the next four weeks.

For those of you returning to your home countries, I wish you a safe return.
Thank you.