ITUís 17th Plenipotentiary Conference opens in Antalya, Turkey, 6Ė24 November 2006. The event is expected to attract 2í000 participants from over 150 countries representing both government and private sector as well as regional and international organizations.
The Conference seeks to provide new vision and direction to ITU to facilitate the worldwide growth and development of telecommunications and information and communication technologies (ICT) everywhere and for the benefit of all. The conference is being held at a time when the telecommunications sector and the ICT industry are coming to grips with new trends in convergence.
ITUís Plenipotentiary Conference, which is held every four years, adopts the Unionís Strategic and Financial Plans, and develops new policies as necessary in the light of recent and forthcoming developments in industry.
The conference will also elect the leadership at the helm of an organization which has been at the cutting edge of helping the world communicate over the past 141 years, earning it the distinction of one of the worldís 10 most enduring institutions.
Looking to the future
The future strategy of ITU is meant to address the rapidly changing ICT environment and its implications for the Union. These include:
- the convergence of technological platforms and the deployment of common network infrastructures for multiple communication services and applications
- the continued but uneven growth of the Internet and other IP-based platforms and related services, and the deployment of national and regional IP-based backbone networks
- the continuing rapid development of wireless and mobile communications, and their convergence with both fixed lines and broadcasting services
- the need for market-driven, high-quality, international standards, which are developed rapidly, in line with the principles of global connectivity, openness, affordability, reliability, interoperability, and security
- the emergence of key technologies including radio-frequency identification (RFID) and sensor network technologies expected to create new services and applications and to enhance efficiency in a revolutionary way
- the importance accorded to Next Generation Networks (NGN) by service providers and equipment manufacturers illustrated by their substantial investment of resources in standard-making activities
- the delivery of audio-visual services and applications over a wide variety of new platforms, including both fixed and mobile networks, resulting in increased competition for media distribution
- the continued trend towards separation of operational and regulatory functions, and the creation of many new independent telecommunication regulatory bodies
- the growing role of regional organizations to ensure the consistency and predictability of regulatory frameworks and encourage capital investment
- continuing market liberalization, including the opening of markets to competition, greater private sector participation, and licensing of new market entrants
- the growing trend to regulate telecommunications with less reliance on sectoral regulation in competitive markets, generating different challenges for policy-makers and regulators
- the ongoing challenges relating to capacity-building, in particular for developing countries, in the light of rapid technological innovation and increased convergence
- the persistent differences in the level of access to the benefits of ICT within and among countries
- the promotion of ICT as tools for the overall development of society based on a robust telecommunication infrastructure, and the encouragement of the private sector to uphold its corporate social responsibility.
Plenipotentiary delegates meeting in Antalya will be expected to take decisions on a number of critical issues, including:
- Organizational reform with consideration of a possible review of ITUís federal structure;
- ITUís role in implementing the action lines laid out in the outcomes of the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS), many of which call for a broader vision on ways that can effectively bridge the digital divide, in a bid to establish a more inclusive, equitable, people-centred Information Society
- Enlarging the participation of new stakeholders in its work, including civil society, given the expectations raised in the WSIS process
- Broadening the mandate of ITU to encompass Information Society issues so as to maintain ITUís pre-eminent role in global ICT affairs
- Balancing the Unionís budget within a general framework of zero-growth despite the need to respond to the challenges of a changing ICT environment which call for additional resources to carry out an ever increasing number of activities
Media accreditation for this event provides a number of privileges, including access to conference documents and the photolibrary, the delegates’ list as well as press material released during the event. Accreditation also provides access to plenary meetings of the conference and its working group and to plenary sessions of the substantive committees.
For media accreditation, click here.
Chief, Media Relations and Public Information, ITU
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