Recognizing WSIS Impacts

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WTDC Resolution 34

WTDC RESOLUTION 34 (Rev. Hyderabad, 2010)

The role of telecommunications/information and communication technology in disaster preparedness, early warning, rescue, mitigation, relief and response

The World Telecommunication Development Conference (Hyderabad, 2010),

  • recalling
    • a)Resolution 34 (Rev. Doha, 2006) and Recommendation 12 (Istanbul, 2002) of the World Telecommunication Development Conference (WTDC);
    • b)Resolution 36 (Rev. Antalya, 2006) ofthe Plenipotentiary Conference, on telecommunications/information and communication technologies (ICTs) in the service of humanitarian assistance;
    • c)Resolution 136 (Antalya, 2006) of the Plenipotentiary Conference, on the use of telecommunications/ICTs for monitoring and management in emergency and disaster situations, and for early warning, prevention, mitigation and relief,
  • considering
    • a)that the Intergovernmental Conference on Emergency Telecommunications (Tampere, 1998) (ICET-98) adopted the Convention on the Provision of Telecommunication Resources for Disaster Mitigation and Relief Operations (Tampere Convention) and that this convention came into force in January 2005;
    • b)that the second Tampere Conference on Disaster Communications (Tampere, 2001) (CDC-01) invited ITU to study the use of publicmobile networks for early warning and the dissemination of emergency information and the operational aspects of emergency telecommunications such as call prioritization;
    • c)that the World Radiocommunication Conference (Geneva, 2003), in its Resolution 646, encouraged administrations to satisfy temporary needs for frequencies in emergency and disaster relief situations, to utilize both existing and new technologies for public protection and disaster relief and to facilitate cross-border circulation of radiocommunication equipment intended for use in emergency and disaster-relief situations through mutual cooperation and consultation without hindering national legislation;
    • d)that the World Radiocommunication Conference (Geneva, 2007), in its Resolution 644, resolved that the ITU Radiocommunication Sector(ITU-R) continue to study, as a matter of urgency, those aspects of radiocommunications/ICTs that are relevant to early warning, disaster mitigation and relief operations, such as decentralized means of telecommunications/ICTs that are appropriate and generally available, including amateur terrestrial and satellite radio facilities, mobile and portable satellite terminals, as well asthe use of passive space-based sensing systems;
    • e)that the World Radiocommunication Conference (Geneva, 2007), in its Resolution 647, resulted in the ITU-R assisting Member States with their emergency communication preparedness activities by establishing a database of currentlyavailable frequencies for use in emergency situations;
    • f) that the World Radiocommunication Conference (Geneva, 2007), in its Resolution 673, recognizes the importance of using radiocommunications for Earth observation applications, such as for prediction of disasters and monitoring of the effects of climate change;
    • g) the work of the ITU-R and ITU Telecommunication Standardization Sector (ITU-T) study groups in adopting Recommendations that have helpedto provide technical information on satellite and terrestrial telecommunication systems and their role in disaster management, including important Recommendations pertaining to the use of satellite networks, particularly those networks which have signed partnership agreements with the Telecommunication Development Bureau (BDT) to be available intimes of disasters;
    • h) that the Radiocommunication Assembly (Geneva, 2007) adopted Resolution ITU-R 53 on the use of radiocommunications in disaster response and relief and Resolution ITU-R 55 on ITU studies of disaster prediction, detection, mitigation and relief;
    • i)that modern telecommunication technologies are basic tools for disaster mitigation and relief;
    • j) the terrible disasters from which many countriessuffer, and the disproportionate impact of disasters on developing countries;
    • k) that least developed countries (LDCs), landlocked developing countries (LLDCs) and small island developing states (SIDS) are particularly vulnerable to the impact that disasters can have on their economies and infrastructures and lack the capacity to respond to disasters;
    • l)that the requirements of persons with special needs (e.g. children, older persons, the illiterate, displaced persons, persons with disabilities) should be taken into account with respect to disaster warning, response planning and recovery efforts;
    • m) that climate change may be considered to bea major contributing factor to emergencies and disasters affecting humankind;
    • n)the role of the private sector in providing telecommunication/ICT equipment and services, expertise and capacity-building assistance to support disaster-relief and recovery activities, particularly through the ITU Framework for International Cooperation in Emergencies (IFCE);
    • o)that the ITU Global Forum on Effective Use of Telecommunications/ICT for Disaster Management: Saving Lives (2007) outlined ways for ITU and its members to integrate ICTs into disaster-management plans,
  • noting
    • a)§ 51 of the Geneva Declaration of Principles adopted by the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS), on the use of ICT applications for disaster prevention;
    • b)§ 20 (c) of the Geneva Plan of Action adoptedby WSIS, on e-environment, which calls for the establishment of monitoring systems, using ICTs, to forecast and monitor the impact of natural and man-made disasters, particularly in developing countries, least developed countries and countries with small economies;
    • c)§ 30 of the Tunis Commitment adopted by WSIS, on disaster mitigation;
    • d)§ 91 of the Tunis Agenda for the Information Society adopted by WSIS, on disaster reduction;
    • e) the continued pursuit by ITU and other relevantorganizations of joint activities being undertaken at the international, regional and national levels toestablish internationally agreed means to operate systems for public protection and disaster relief on a harmonized and coordinated basis, and the successful role of BDT through the activities of Programme 6 of the Doha Action Plan;
    • f) that the capability and flexibility of all telecommunication facilities depend upon appropriate planning for the continuity of each phase of network development and implementation; World Telecommunication Development Conference 177
    • g) the successful role of BDT with respect to rapid intervention in providing telecommunications/ICTs serving countries which have suffered disasters;
    • h)that all phases of disaster operations can be greatly facilitated by national emergency communication plans that enable the rapid deployment and effective utilization of ICT equipment,
  • noting further
    • a)the latest version of the ITU Telecommunication Development Sector (ITU-D) Handbook on Emergency Telecommunications (2005), the Compendium of the ITU’s Work on Emergency Telecommunications (2007), the ITU Handbook on Best Practice on Emergency Telecommunications (2008), and the adoption of Recommendation ITU-D 13 (Rev.2005) on “Effective utilization of the amateur services in disaster mitigation and relief operations”;
    • b) that further guidance for ITU members on disaster communication management is provided by the successful conclusions of ITU-D Study Group 2 Question 22/2 and the ITU-D Study Group 2 Report on guidelines for using a content standard for alerts and notifications in disasters and emergency situations (2008) regarding the implementation ofRecommendation ITU-T X.1303 on the Common Alerting Protocol (CAP), Report on use of remote sensing for disaster prediction, detection and mitigation (2008), and Guidelines for implementation of satellite telecommunications for disaster management indeveloping countries (2009);
    • c) that the ITU regional offices can be particularly helpful prior to and following emergencies, owing to their proximity to affected countries,
  • recognizing
    • that the recent tragic events in the world and the experience of BDT in this area in the period between WTDC-06 and WTDC-10 have clearly demonstrated the need for high-quality communications services and reliable telecommunication infrastructure to ensure public safety and assist disaster-relief agencies inminimizing risk to human life and to provide the necessary general public information and communication needs in such situations,
  • resolves to instruct the Director ofthe Telecommunication Development Bureau
    • 1 to continue to ensure that proper consideration be given to emergency communications as an element of telecommunication development, including continued close coordination and collaboration with ITU-R and ITU-T, and other relevant international organizations;
    • 2 to facilitate and encourage the use of decentralized means of communications that are appropriate and commonly available to BDT, including those provided by amateur radio, satellite and terrestrial network services/facilities;
    • 3 to support administrations in their work towards the implementation ofthis resolution as well as the ratification and implementation of the Tampere Convention;
    • 4 to report to the next WTDC on the status ofratification and implementation of the Tampere Convention;
    • 5 to support administrations and regulators in those areas identified in this resolution by taking appropriate measures during the implementation of the Hyderabad Action Plan;
    • 6 to continue to support administrations in preparing their national disaster-response plans;
    • 7 to strengthen the role of the ITU regional offices in assisting Member States and Sector Members in developing emergency-preparedness plans, in organizing workshops on emergency rescue and response, in providing equipment training and in helping deploy communication equipment during emergencies;
    • 8 in view of the success of the 2007 global forum, to consider following it with a new world forum on the optimal use of ICTs for disaster management, in collaboration with the General Secretariat and the Radiocommunication and Standardization Bureaux;
    • 9 to expedite the study of aspects of telecommunications/ICTs related to flexibility and continuity in the event of disasters, as part of national disaster plans, including promoting the use of broadband networks for emergency communications through the work of the ITU-D study groups and taking account of the activities of the other Sectors;
    • 10 to instruct Programme 5, in collaboration with the study groups concerned in the other two Sectors, to prepare a handbook/guidelines on the establishment of telecommunication outside plant in areas frequently suffering from natural disasters,
  • requests the Secretary-General
    • 1 to continue to work closely with the office of the United Nations Emergency Relief Coordinator and other relevant external organizations with a view to further increasing the Union’s involvement in, and support to, emergency communications, and to report on the outcome of related international conferences, relief activities and meetings so thatthe Plenipotentiary Conference (Guadalajara, 2010) may take any action that it deems necessary;
    • 2 to take the requisite measures to hold the second global forum on optimal use of ICT in disaster and emergency situations within the framework of Programme 5,
  • invites
    • 1 the United Nations Emergency Relief Coordinator and the Working Group on Emergency Telecommunications and the other relevant externalorganizations or bodiesto collaborate closely with ITU, specifically BDT, in working towards implementing this resolution and the Tampere Convention, and supporting administrations and international and regional telecommunication organizations in the implementation of the Convention;
    • 2 administrations to deploy all necessary efforts to encourage telecommunication service providers to make available their infrastructure inthe event of disasters,and to take steps to incorporate ICTs into national or regional disaster-management plans and frameworks, including addressing the specific needs of persons with disabilities, children, older persons, displaced persons and the illiterate in disaster preparedness, rescue, relief and recovery planning;
    • 3 regulators to ensure that disaster mitigation and relief operations make provision for the necessary telecommunications/ICTs, through national regulations and national disaster plans;
    • 4 ITU-D to take account of the particular telecommunication requirements of LDCs, LLDCs, SIDS and low-lying coastal countries in terms of disaster preparedness, rescue, relief and recovery;
    • 5 administrations that have not yet ratified the Tampere Convention to take necessary action to do so as appropriate;
    • 6 BDT to consider how space-based technologiescan be used to help ITU Member States collect and disseminate data on the effects of climate change, having regard to the link between climate change and natural disasters;
    • 7 ITU-D to take account of the work of ITU-R, to consider the increased use of mobile and portable communication devices which can be usedby first responders to transmit and receive critical information, and to encourage administrationsto facilitate, to the extent practicable, cross-border circulation of radiocommunication equipment intended for use in emergencies, rescue operations and disaster-relief situations, through mutual cooperation and consultation, without prejudice to national legislation, in accordance with Resolution 646 (WRC-07);
    • 8 Member States and Sector Members to work together to consider standards and related technical issues for improving radio broadcasting systems for sending and receiving information concerning public warning, rescue, disaster mitigation and relief.

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