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Thursday, January 26, 2006

World Telecom Dev confab gets dates

Global telecommunications regulator, the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) has announced that this year’s annual World Telecommunication Development (WTD) conference slated for Doha Qatar, would hold in six weeks times.

ITU in a press statement made available to ITREALMS Online said that WTD conference facilitate an avenue to agree on telecommunication development priorities to bridge the digital divide.

ITREALMS Online also recalls that this is the first world development conference proceeding what some observers described as the landmark World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) held Tunis, last December.

The purpose of the conference, the regulator said in addition is to focus on initiatives to implement the priorities mapped out for bridging the digital divide, taking into account the WSIS Geneva Plan of Action and Tunis Agenda, thus aiming at bridging the digital divide.

“A key objective is to promote international cooperation, regional initiatives and partnerships that could sustain and strengthen telecommunication infrastructure and institutions in developing countries. The Doha Action Plan will set out ways to implement these goals over the next four years,” the statement indicated.

Over a thousand policy-makers and practitioners from government, the private sector, international and regional organizations are expected to attend WTDC-06 to fast-track ITU’s objectives of bridging the Digital Divide in all its dimensions — technical, societal and economic — and to harness the power of ICTs for socio-economic development of the widest number of people, particularly the world’s most deprived.

The opening ceremony slated for March 7, the conference organisers said, will focus on new action lines for global and regional development of telecommunications and ICT, the role of ITU in the post-WSIS paradigm and promoting new initiatives and partnerships to give concrete shape to the global vision enunciated in the WSIS process.

Additionally, ITU noted that the adoption of a comprehensive strategy to achieve balanced telecommunication development worldwide in cooperation with development partners from both governments and private sector, that the conference will consider two new global initiatives benefiting persons with disabilities, and telecommunications for disaster prevention.

Several regional initiatives that have been tabled by countries through a regional preparatory process are also being considered.

They focus on rural connectivity including broadband access, regional Internet Exchange Points (IXP), public Internet access in remote areas, internationalization of domain names, enhancement of regional roaming capabilities, financial schemes to achieve universal service objectives, development of government portals to expand E-government, security and reliability of information and communication technologies and development of digital signatures and public keys for E-commerce as well as e-Health and telemedicine for rural areas.

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