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Thursday, March 23, 2006

969 participants @ WTDC-06

The fourth World Telecommunications Development Conference (WTDC-06) ended weekend in Doha, Qatar, with 969 participants in attendance.

The conference, which held between March 7 and 15, at Sheraton Convention Centre, include 820 government delegates from 132 countries and four representatives from Palestine.

Also 93 representatives came from the public and private companies from 31 nations and 14 from national telecommunications-related entities from nine countries.

In addition, 32 participants came from regional and national telecommunication organizations, just as 21 media representatives from 22 countries registered with 139 covering the events on site.

The conference, the first after the two-phased World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS), the Doha meet also came out with a broad action lines in support of the summit, mostly as related to the information and communication infrastructure development, public policy and regulatory framework, capacity building, e-applications and radio spectrum management.

Organised by the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), the Doha’s Action Plan was based on a mutually reinforcing strategy for telecommunication development to be implemented at the global, regional and national levels.

The plan is based on six programmes, five global initiatives, two cross-cutting activities and a new regional approach where each region defined the framework of action for all stakeholders based on agreed categories and region-specific priorities.

The Doha Action Plan offers a comprehensive package that provides the elements needed to make an impact on the ground together with clear guidance for achieving universal access.
Deputy Secretary-General at ITU, Mr. Roberto Blois, said he was happy with the outcome.

“The adoption of programmes and new initiatives based on international cooperation and multi-stakeholder partnerships will have far-reaching implications in telecommunication and ICT development especially in rural areas,” he said.

Mr. Blois also said that the endorsement of the important role to be played by ITU in implementing the programmes as outlined by WTDC-06 and the recognition of ITU’s lead role in implementing the WSIS outcomes gives clear direction in achieving the objectives of building an inclusive, people-centred and development-oriented Information Society.

Equally speaking, Director of ITU’s Telecommunication Development Bureau, Mr Hamadoun TourĂ©, expressed confidence on the programmes’ outline saying it will help to accelerate the pace of development.

“ITU’s long history in helping the world communicate will now be used to its best advantage in using ICT-based solutions and telecommunications in furthering the development priorities for the benefit of people everywhere,” he asserted.

Stressing that the Doha Action Plan has set the pace for the objectives of the WSIS to close the digital divide and harness the full potential of information and communication technologies to achieve the development goals by 2015.

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