" ITREALMS: Ghana takes over @ ITU Council

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Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Ghana takes over @ ITU Council

Ghana now holds the chairmanship of the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) council for 2009-2010.

This was announced at the council’s annual session which began last week in Geneva. With this appointment, Ghana will take over from Bulgaria the steering of the council comprising of 56 members states across the world.

The Council will review and approve ITU’s biennial budget for 2010-2011 with focus on issues related to implementing the union’s strategic plan, with the objective of responding to the current demands of a dynamic, rapidly changing telecommunications and Information and Communication Technology (ICT) environment.

At the opening plenary meeting, Ghana’s Minister of Communications and Member of Parliament, Mr. Haruna Iddrisu said Ghana is committed to the ideals and values of ITU.

“Our major task is to bridge the digital divide. We must set the tone and agenda on how to strengthen regulatory practices, address issues related to convergence and ensure the smooth functioning of the Internet. We must also address the key challenges of our times, such as harnessing the power of ICTs to combat climate change,” he said.

Presently, he said ITU must focus on the issues affecting developing countries, how they could build capacity and attract investment in order to achieve the connectivity targets set by the World Summit on the Information Society and meet the 2015 Millennium Development Goals.

Also speaking, the outgoing chairman, Mr. Plamen Vatchkov of Bulgaria expressed his appreciation of the challenges addressed by ITU and its membership during his tenure.

“In the past year we addressed the challenges of strengthening cybersecurity, in particular protecting children online, as well as climate change and emergency communications. The year was marked by a severe economic downturn, but the ICT sector has weathered the storm well. I am confident that ITU, as the leading intergovernmental body for telecommunications and ICT, will continue to support all its stakeholders,” he said.

In his remark, ITU Secretary General, Dr. Hamadoun Toure, said this has been a very successful year in raising ITU’s profile on the international stage.

“ITU has demonstrated that information and communication technologies are vital and beneficial in addressing each and every one of the global issues faced today, particularly in the key areas of climate change, cybersecurity, and the financial crisis — areas where ICTs are now clearly recognized as being part of the solution, not part of the problem,” he said.

Dr. TourĂ© added that next year “promises to be as exciting as ITU continues to drive and influence the rapidly changing ICT landscape”.

The ITU Council will be in session until 30 October.

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