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

Radio Regulations Board (RRB), 61st meeting

12 November 2012, Geneva, Switzerland

Distinguished Members of the Radio Regulations Board,
Distinguished colleagues,

It is a great pleasure to be here with you today for the opening of the 61st meeting of the Radio Regulations Board.

Let me start by offering my congratulations to the Chairman, Mr Victor Strelets, who has done sterling work this year – and indeed throughout his illustrious career. And let me also congratulate – in advance – next year’s Chairman, Mr P K Garg, who I am sure will do everything in his power to guide the RRB successfully through 2013.

We are fortunate indeed to have Board members of this calibre and quality – indeed the entire Board is a credit to the Union.

We are also most fortunate in having François Rancy, the Director of the Radiocommunication Bureau, as the Executive Secretary to the RRB. He has many fine qualities, as you all know, but the one I would like to single out today is his ability to listen to the voices of the RRB and to ensure that the Radiocommunication Bureau does its best to implement your instructions on a timely basis.

For their and their staff’s direct support to the RRB, I would also like to thank Fabio Leite, the Deputy Director of BR and the Chief of IAP; Yvon Henri, the Chief of SSD; and Alberto Mendez, the Chief of TSD.

Let me also express my gratitude to Karine Gozal, who looks after all administrative and organizational matters for the RRB, and ensures that all documentation is available in a timely manner in the official ITU languages; and to Venkatesh Nangapuram who looks after the finalization of the Summary of Decisions and follow-up activities related to the RoPs. They – along with the rest of the staff within BR – provide all the necessary support for the smooth running of these Board sessions, both during and in-between meetings.

Ladies and gentlemen,

The Board is to be commended for its timely and competent work in relation to WRC-12 decisions – and in particular for revising and updating the Rules of Procedure.

This work is based on input provided by the Radiocommunication Bureau, and this is vital, as these RoPs are used by the Director and the Bureau in the application of the Radio Regulations.

The Board is presently looking into the application of ‘force majeure’ which is being invoked by some Administrations to request for the extension of the regulatory time-limit for the bringing into use of frequency assignments (Document 554 of WRC-12). In this context, the opinion of the ITU Legal Advisor was sought at the previous meeting, and I look forward to hearing an update on this matter.

In conclusion, I would like to note the growing complexity of the matters being addressed by the RRB, particularly those matters related to the application of Radio Regulations applicable to space services.

In terms of complexity, a good example is the issue of the coordination of satellite networks at 25.5/26E, which has been on the Board’s Agenda since the 55th meeting in December 2010.

I also praise your diligence in dealing with the complex and somewhat politically intricate cases of harmful interference, which have already been on the Board’s agenda for some time.

I am nonetheless confident that – in the ITU way – we shall eventually find consensus on these issues, and that the way forward will be deftly charted by this Board.

Once again, many thanks for all your efforts, and I look forward to seeing the outcomes of this meeting.

Thank you.