Recognizing WSIS Impacts

Unless it acknowledges key characteristics of the Internet, the World Summit on the Information Society will easily undermine it

PP Resolution 123

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PP RESOLUTION 123 (Rev. Guadalajara, 2010)

Bridging the standardization gap between developing and developed countries

The Plenipotentiary Conference of the International Telecommunication Union (Guadalajara, 2010),

  • recalling
    • Resolution 123 (Rev. Antalya, 2006) of the Plenipotentiary Conference,
  • considering
    • a) that “the Union shall in particular facilitate the worldwide standardization of telecommunications, with a satisfactory quality of service” (No. 13 in Article 1 of the ITU Constitution);
    • b) that, in connection with the functions and structure of the Telecommunication Standardization Sector (ITU-T), in Article 17, the Constitution indicates that those functions shall be “…, bearing in mind the particular concerns of the developing countries, to fulfil the purposes of the Union…”;
    • c) that, under the strategic plan for the Union for 2012-2015, ITU-T is to work to “provide support and assistance to developing countries in bridging the standardization gap in relation with standardization matters, information and communication network infrastructure and applications, and relevant training materials for capacity building, taking into account the characteristics of the telecommunication environment of the developing countries”,
  • considering further
    • a) that the World Telecommunication Standardization Assembly adopted Resolutions 17, 44, 53 and 54 to assist in bridging the standardization gap between developing and developed countries;
    • b) that the World Telecommunication Development Conference adopted Resolution 47 (Rev. Hyderabad, 2010), which calls for activities to enhance knowledge and effective application of recommendations of ITU-T and of the ITU Radiocommunication Sector (ITU-R) in developing countries, and Resolution 37 (Rev. Hyderabad, 2010), which recognizes the need to create digital opportunities in developing countries,
  • recalling
    • that the Geneva Plan of Action and Tunis Agenda for the Information Society of the World Summit on Information Society (WSIS) emphasize efforts to overcome the digital divide and development divides,
  • noting
    • the following goals for ITU-T in the strategic plan for the Union for 2012-2015, adopted in Resolution 71 (Rev. Guadalajara, 2010) of this conference:
      • • to develop interoperable, non-discriminatory international standards (ITU-T recommendations)
      • • to assist in bridging the standardization gap between developed and developing countries;
      • • to extend and facilitate international cooperation among international and regional standardization bodies
    • and the following strategic goal of the Telecommunication Development Sector (ITU-D) in the strategic plan for the Union for 2012-2015, adopted in Resolution 71 (Rev. Guadalajara, 2010):
      • • to provide assistance to developing countries in bridging the digital divide by achieving broader telecommunication/ICT-enabled socio-economic development,
  • recognizing
    • a) the continued shortage of human resources in the standardization field in developing countries, resulting in a low level of developing-country participation in ITU-T and ITU-R meetings, in spite of the improvement observed in such participation lately, and, consequently, in the standards-making process, leading to difficulties when interpreting ITU-T and ITU-R recommendations;
    • b) ongoing challenges relating to capacity building, in particular for developing countries, in the light of rapid technological innovation and increased convergence of services;
    • c) the moderate level of participation by representatives of developing countries in ITU standardization activities, whether through lack of awareness of these activities, difficulties in accessing information, lack of training for human talent in standardization-related matters, or lack of financial resources to travel to meeting sites, which are factors with impact in terms of widening the existing knowledge gap;
    • d) that technological needs and realities vary from country to country and region to region, and in many cases developing countries do not have opportunities or mechanisms to make them known;
    • e) that in implementation of the provisions of the Annex to Resolution 44 (Rev. Johannesburg, 2008) and of Resolutions 17, 53 and 54 (Rev. Johannesburg, 2008), ITU actions have been carried out through ITU-T to assist in reducing the standardization gap between developing and developed countries,
  • taking into account
    • a) that developing countries could benefit from improved capability in the application and development of standards;
    • b) that ITU-T and ITU-R activities and the telecommunication/information and communication technology (ICT) market could also benefit from better involvement of developing countries in standards-making and standards application;
    • c) that initiatives to assist in bridging the standardization gap are intrinsic to, and are a high priority task of, the Union;
    • d) that although ITU is making efforts to reduce the standardization gap, major disparities in knowledge and management of standards remain between developing and developed countries,
  • resolves to instruct the Secretary-General and the Directors of the three Bureaux
    • 1 to work closely with each other on the follow-up and implementation of this resolution, as well as Resolution ITU-R 7 (Geneva, 2007) of the Radiocommunication Assembly, Resolutions 17 , 44 and 54 (Rev. Johannesburg, 2008) and 47 (Rev. Hyderabad, 2010), and to step up actions intended and to reduce the standardization gap between developing and developed countries;
    • 2 to maintain a close coordination mechanism among the three Sectors at the regional level for bridging the digital divide, through activities of the ITU regional offices to that end;
    • 3 to identify ways and means to support the participation of representatives of developing countries in the meetings of the three Sectors of ITU and the dissemination of information on standardization;
    • 4 to further collaborate with the relevant regional organizations and support their work in this area,
    • 5 to strengthen the reporting mechanisms on the implementation of the action plan associated with Resolution 44 (Rev. Johannesburg, 2008) through, for example, the annual operational plans,
  • invites Member States and Sector Members
    • to make voluntary contributions (financial and inkind) to the fund for bridging the standardization gap, as well as to undertake concrete actions to support ITU’s actions and the initiatives of its three Sectors and its regional offices in this matter.

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