Recognizing WSIS Impacts

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

PP Resolution 25

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PP RESOLUTION 25 (Rev. Guadalajara, 2010)

Strengthening the regional presence

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

  • considering
    • a) the need for developing countries to keep up with the increasing pace of development of new technologies for the benefit of their population;
    • b) that the enhanced development of national telecommunication/ information and communication technology (ICT) infrastructures would narrow the national and global digital divides;
    • c) that the three Sectors of the Union could assist Member States in various issues concerning, in particular, developing countries, as specified in the Hyderabad Action Plan adopted by the World Telecommunication Development Conference (WTDC),
  • recalling
    • a) the United Nations’ Joint Inspection Unit (JIU) 2009 report on the effectiveness of the ITU regional presence;
    • b) Resolution 123 (Rev. Guadalajara, 2010) of this conference, on bridging the standardization gap between developing and developed countries;
    • c) Resolution 5 (Rev. Hyderabad, 2010) of WTDC, on enhanced participation by developing countries in the activities of the Union;
    • d) Resolution 48 (WRC-95) of the World Radiocommunication Conference, on strengthening the regional presence in the radiocommunication study group work;
    • e) Resolution 17 (Rev. Johannesburg, 2008) of the World Telecommunication Standardization Assembly (WTSA), on telecommunication standardization in relation to the interests of developing countries;
    • f) Resolution 44 (Rev. Johannesburg, 2008) of WTSA, on bridging the standardization gap between developing and developed countries;
    • g) Resolution 57 (Johannesburg, 2008) of WTSA, on strengthening coordination and cooperation among the ITU Radiocommunication Sector (ITU-R), the ITU Telecommunication Standardization Sector (ITU-T) and the ITU Telecommunication Development Sector (ITU-D) on matters of mutual interest,
  • recognizing
    • a) the difficulty faced by many countries, particularly developing countries, including the least developed countries, small island developing states, landlocked developing countries and countries with economies in transition, as well as countries with stringent budgetary constraints, in participating in the activities of ITU, including the conferences and meetings of the three Sectors;
    • b) the urgent need to adapt the mandate, priorities, expertise and working methods of the regional presence towards partnerships in project implementation and activities, which would necessarily involve strengthening the relationship between ITU and regional telecommunication organizations, as foreseen in Resolution 58 (Rev. Guadalajara, 2010) of this conference,
  • convinced
    • a) of the importance of the regional presence in enabling ITU to work as closely as possible with its Member States and Sector Members, improving the dissemination of information on its activities and developing closer ties with regional and subregional organizations;
    • b) of the importance of continuing to strengthen coordination between the Telecommunication Development Bureau (BDT), the other Bureaux and the General Secretariat;
    • c) of the importance of increasing the technical expertise and knowledge of the human resources allocated in regional and area offices;
    • d) that the regional and area offices enable ITU to be more aware of and more responsive to the specific needs of the regions;
    • e) that the regional and area offices should provide enhanced technical assistance to countries with development needs;
    • f) that resources are limited, and that efficiency and effectiveness are therefore key considerations for activities to be undertaken by ITU;
    • g) that, to be effective, the regional presence must have the necessary level of authority to meet the diverse requirements of the Member States;
    • h) that adequate online access between headquarters and the field offices enhances technical cooperation activities significantly;
    • i) that all relevant electronic information available at headquarters should also be available to regional offices;
    • j) that strengthened regional presence will create efficiencies and greater convenience for Member States,
  • noting
    • a) that joint projects involving the collaborative efforts of the ITU regional offices and certain regional telecommunication organizations have already been very successfully implemented in some regions;
    • b) that both the Plenipotentiary Conference and the ITU Council have endorsed the principle that regional and area offices should be entrusted with clear and specific functions;
    • c) that there should be greater cooperation among BDT, the other Bureaux and the General Secretariat in order to encourage participation by the regional offices in their respective spheres;
    • d) that there is a need to evaluate the staffing requirement for regional and area offices;
    • e) that the JIU report made a number of recommendations on ways to improve the ITU regional presence, finding also that members expressed appreciation for the work of the offices, especially in the areas of human capacity building, direct country assistance, dissemination of information and preparation for major ITU events and in formulating regional positions in regard to major issues and trends in telecommunications,
  • noting also
    • that regional and area offices represent the presence of the entire Union, that their activities should be linked to ITU headquarters and should reflect the coordinated objectives of all three Sectors, and that regional activities should enhance the effective participation of all members in ITU work,
  • resolves
    • 1 to undertake a comprehensive evaluation of the ITU regional presence in the interval between two consecutive plenipotentiary conferences;
    • 2 that, within the scarce existing resources of the Union, the regional presence shall be further strengthened and kept under review in the interests of meeting the continually evolving requirements and priorities of each region, the first objective being to maximize the benefits of the regional presence for the whole of the Union’s membership;
    • 3 that a broadening of the information dissemination functions of the regional presence is required in order to ensure that all of the activities and programmes of the Union are represented, while avoiding the duplication of such functions between headquarters and the regional offices;
    • 4 that the regional and area offices shall be empowered to make decisions within their mandate, while the coordination functions and the balance between ITU headquarters and the regional and area offices should be facilitated and improved, in accordance with the strategic plan for the Union for 2012-2015, in order to achieve a better balance of work between headquarters and the regional offices;
    • 5 that priority shall be given to implementing all elements of the strategic plan for the Union for 2012-2015 with a view to strengthening the regional presence, in particular:
      • i) to expand and strengthen the regional and area offices by identifying functions which could be decentralized and implementing them as soon as possible;
      • ii) to review the internal administrative procedures pertaining to the work of the regional offices, with a view to their simplification and transparency and enhancement of work efficiency;
      • iii) to assist countries in implementing the projects defined in Resolution 17 (Rev. Hyderabad, 2010) of WTDC;
      • iv) to establish clear procedures for consulting Member States, giving Member States the opportunity to review the consolidated regional initiatives and provide feedback to help prioritize them, and keeping Member States informed on project selection and funding;
      • v) to provide the regional and area offices with greater autonomy in terms both of decision-making and of addressing the crucial needs of the Member States in the region, including, but not limited to:
        • • functions relating to the dissemination of information, provision of expert advice and hosting of meetings, courses and seminars;
        • • any functions and tasks that may be delegated to them relating to the preparation and implementation of their own budgets;
        • • ensuring their effective participation in discussions on the future of Union and on strategic issues concerning the telecommunication/ICT sector;
    • 6 that cooperation between the ITU regional and area offices, relevant regional organizations and other international organizations dealing with development and financial matters should continue to be improved, in the interests of optimizing the use of resources and avoiding duplication, and that Member States should be kept updated through BDT, where necessary, in order to ensure that their needs are being met in a coordinated and consultative fashion;
    • 7 that regional meetings should be organized in the various regions by the relevant Sectors, particularly ITU-D, in collaboration with regional organizations, in order to improve the effectiveness of the corresponding global meetings and facilitate better participation;
    • 8 that substantial resources have to be made available in order for BDT to be able to operate effectively in the interests of narrowing the telecommunication gap between the developing and developed countries, thereby supporting endeavours towards bridging the digital divide, and that, accordingly, the regional offices should, in coordination with ITU headquarters, take measures with a view to:
      • − supporting pilot projects for the implementation of e-services/applications, analysing and disseminating their results and managing their further adaptation and development within the region;
      • − creating a mechanism for the purpose of:
        • i) developing a suitable and sustainable business model that will result in private-sector participation (companies and academic communities);
        • ii) assisting in the determination of an appropriate and affordable technology to meet the needs and requirements of rural populations;
        • iii) formulating a rural deployment strategy that takes account of the ICT literacy of rural populations and is relevant to their conditions and needs;
      • − actively assisting Member States in the area of funds-in-trust projects or projects financed from the ICT Development Fund;
    • 9 that operational and financial key performance indicators (OKPIs and FKPIs) identified by the Director of BDT, in collaboration with the directors of regional offices, shall be used to evaluate BDT activities related to regional presence, and that, where regional and area offices do not meet the agreed evaluation criteria, the Council should assess the reasons and take the necessary corrective actions that it considers appropriate, in consultation with the countries concerned,
  • instructs the Council
    • 1 to continue to include the regional presence as an item on the agenda of each session of the Council in order to examine its evolution and adopt decisions for its continuing structural adaptation and operation, with the aim of fully meeting the requirements of the Union’s membership and giving effect to the decisions adopted at meetings of the Union, and of consolidating the coordination and complementary aspects of activities between ITU and regional and subregional telecommunication organizations;
    • 2 to allocate the appropriate financial resources within the financial limits established by the Plenipotentiary Conference;
    • 3 to report to the next plenipotentiary conference on the progress made in implementing this resolution;
    • 4 to analyse the performance of regional and area offices based on the report of the Secretary-General and on the evaluation of the OKPIs and FKPIs defined in the ITU-D operational plan, and to take appropriate measures for improving the ITU regional presence;
    • 5 to decide, to the extent possible, on the implementation of the recommendations from the 2009 JIU report at http://www.itu.int/md/S09-CL-C-005/en;
    • 6 to undertake a cost-benefit analysis comparing OKPIs and FKPIs, taking into consideration resolves 9 above,
  • instructs the Secretary-General
    • 1 to facilitate the task of the Council by providing all necessary support for strengthening the regional presence as described in this resolution;
    • 2 to adapt, where necessary, the prevailing terms and conditions of host-country agreement(s) to the changing environment in the respective host country, after prior consultations with concerned countries and the representatives of the regional intergovernmental organizations of the affected countries;
    • 3 to take into consideration the elements for evaluation contained in annex to this resolution;
    • 4 to submit each year to the Council a report on the regional presence containing, for each specific regional and area office, detailed information on:
      • i) staffing;
      • ii) finances;
      • iii) evolution and development of activities, including, among others, the extension of activities to the three Sectors, implementation of projects and regional initiatives, organization of seminars and workshops, participation in events, organization of regional preparatory meetings and attraction of new Sector Members, in coordination with regional intergovernmental organizations;
  • further instructs the Secretary-General
    • to suggest appropriate measures to ensure the effectiveness of ITU’s regional presence, including evaluation by JIU or by referring it to any other independent entity, taking into account the elements set out in the annex to this resolution,
  • instructs the Director of the Telecommunication Development Bureau, in close consultation with the Secretary-General and the Directors of the Radiocommunication Bureau and the Telecommunication Standardization Bureau
    • 1 to take the necessary measures for further strengthening of the regional presence, as described in this resolution;
    • 2 to support the evaluation of the effectiveness of the ITU’s regional presence, taking into account the elements set out in the annex to this resolution;
    • 3 to develop specific operational and financial plans for the regional presence, in collaboration with the regional offices, to be included as part of ITU’s annual operational and financial plans;
    • 4 to elaborate detailed OKPIs and FKPIs on the activities of each regional and area office, to be included as part of ITU’s annual operational and financial plans, taking into consideration resolves 9 above;
    • 5 to review and determine the appropriate posts, including permanent posts, in regional and area offices, and provide specialized staff on an as-needed basis to meet particular needs;
    • 6 to fill in a timely manner the vacant posts in the regional and area offices, where appropriate, planning staff availability and giving due consideration to the regional distribution of staff positions;
    • 7 to ensure that the regional and area offices are given sufficient priority among the activities and programmes of the Union as a whole, and that, to supervise the implementation of funds-in-trust projects and projects financed from the ICT Development Fund, they have the required autonomy, the decision-making authority and the appropriate means;
    • 8 to take the necessary measures to improve the exchange of information between headquarters and field offices;
    • 9 to strengthen the human resource capabilities and provide the regional and area offices with a measure of flexibility in terms of the recruitment of professional staff as well as support staff;
    • 10 to take the necessary measures to ensure the effective incorporation of Radiocommunication Bureau and Telecommunication Standardization Bureau activities in the regional and area offices,
  • instructs the Directors of the Radiocommunication Bureau and the Telecommunication Standardization Bureau
    • to continue cooperating with the Director of BDT in enhancing the ability of the regional and area offices to provide information on their Sectors’ activities, as well as the necessary expertise, to strengthen cooperation and coordination with the relevant regional organizations and to facilitate the participation of all Member States and Sector Members in the activities of the three Sectors of the Union.
  • ANNEX TO RESOLUTION 25 (Rev. Guadalajara, 2010)
    • Elements for evaluation of the ITU regional presence
      • The evaluation of ITU’s regional presence should be based on the functions assigned to its regional offices under Annex A: “Generic activities expected of the regional presence” of Resolution 1143 adopted by the ITU Council at its 1999 session, in resolves 2 to 9 of Resolution 25 (Rev. Guadalajara, 2010) of the Plenipotentiary Conference and in other pertinent decisions.
      • The evaluation of the regional presence should take into account, but not be limited to, the following elements:
        • a) the extent of fulfilment of the provisions of Resolution 25 (Rev. Guadalajara, 2010) by BDT, the General Secretariat and the other two Bureaux, as appropriate;
        • b) how further decentralization could ensure greater efficiency at lower cost, taking into consideration accountability and transparency;
        • c) a biennial survey of the level of satisfaction of Member States, Sector Members and regional telecommunication organizations with ITU’s regional presence;
        • d) the extent of possible duplication between the functions of ITU headquarters and the regional offices;
        • e) the degree of autonomy in decision-making currently accorded to regional offices, and whether greater autonomy could enhance their efficiency and effectiveness;
        • f) the effectiveness of collaboration between the ITU regional offices, regional telecommunication organizations and other regional and international development and financial organizations;
        • g) how regional presence and the organization of activities in the regions can enhance the effective participation of all countries in ITU work;
        • h) the resources currently made available to the regional offices for reducing the digital divide;
        • i) the identification of functions and powers that might be assigned to the regional presence in implementing the Plan of Action adopted by the World Summit on the Information Society;
        • j) the optimal structure of the ITU regional presence, including the location and number of regional and area offices.
      • In preparing this evaluation, input should be sought from Member States and Sector Members which benefit from ITU’s regional presence, as well as from the regional offices, from regional and international organizations and from any other relevant entities.
      • A report on this evaluation exercise should be submitted by the Secretary-General to the Council at its 2012 session. The Council should then consider the appropriate course of action to be taken, with a view to reporting to the 2014 plenipotentiary conference on the matter.
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